Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
29 August 2016, 7 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that yesterday towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Zhovte, Zolote and Popasne. At Stanytsia Luhanska, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces carried out heavy shelling Ukrainian positions near Avdiyivka with several types of heavy weapons. Russian-terrorist forces shelled residential areas of Avdiyivka. Russian-terrorist forces carried out heavy artillery shelling of Ukrainian positions near Horlivka, Pisky and several other locations on the Donetsk sector of the front. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces carried out heavy artillery shelling of Ukrainian positions near Shyrokyne and Talakivka. At Krasnohorivka and Taramchuk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and nine Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action.
2. Human Rights Group: Russia steps up torture of Crimean Tatar leader Ilmi Umerov amid protest over return of punitive psychiatry
The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) reported, “Ilmi Umerov [the Deputy Head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis (Representative Assembly)] has now been confined in a psychiatric clinic for 10 days, and was even prevented from seeing his grandchildren except through the grating on Saturday. His health continues to give real cause for concern, yet even the simple request to allow the 59-year-old who suffers, among other things, from diabetes, three meals a day, instead of the present two with a huge interval, has been ignored. Ayshe Umerova reports that her father has had to increase the doses of all medication to keep his blood pressure under control. This has, at least, enabled some degree of stability after the alarming deterioration in his health a week ago. In a further worrying development, however, three people have now been placed in the same room as him. In at least two cases, these are men who are suspected of theft, and it seems more than likely that they are there either to report on Umerov to the FSB, or for some kind of provocation. Although supposedly in the clinic for an ‘assessment’, he has now been told that he will be held there for a minimum of 28 days. Russia has, in short, reinstated punitive psychiatry, and is brazenly using it against the Deputy Head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis who is charged with saying what all western leaders have reiterated many times, namely that Russia must leave Crimea and Donbas. […] Umerov’s original detention on May 12 came shortly after Russia criminalized the Mejlis, effectively for its consistent opposition to Russian occupation of Crimea. He is now the second Mejlis leader to be effectively deprived of his freedom. Akhtem Chiygoz has been in detention on insane charges over which Russia has no jurisdiction since January 2015. The Head of the Mejlis Refat Chubarov and veteran Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemiliev were banned from their homeland soon after Russia’s invasion. […] Umerov himself believes that the forced psychiatric assessment is aimed at declaring him mentally unfit as an attempt to discredit his views and the Mejlis. […]Soviet punitive psychiatry was used against those who dared express views which the regime was unwilling to tolerate. Now, however, it is being used against Ukrainian nationals in their homeland which Russia invaded – and for saying that Russia must leave.” The full report from KHPG is available at http://khpg.org.ua/en/index.
3. US Army Europe presents ambulances to Ukraine’s Armed Forces
Commander of US Army Europe, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, officially handed over five Field Litter Ambulances (FLAs) to the Ukrainian Armed Forces on 27 August, in Yavoriv, US Army Europe reported. “The ambulances, part of the train-and-equip program with Ukraine, were presented to Ukraine’s Minister of Health, Dr. Ulana Suprun. She expressed her government’s appreciation for the support of USAREUR and the U.S. government. She also highlighted the urgent need for equipment like the FLAs,” US Army Europe reported. Suprun stated, “The Ukrainian Army receives tremendous help from the American Army. Nowadays we all know that Ukrainians face medical evacuation problems. The army is short of armored vehicles for fast evacuation of injured soldiers to the hospitals where they can be treated by professional doctors.” The full report from US Army Europe is available at
4. Ukraine’s President appoints new Head of Presidential Administration
Ukraine’s President appointed Ihor Rainin the new Head of the Presidential Administration. Rainin previously served as Head of the Kharkiv Oblast State Administration. Outgoing Head of the Presidential Administration Borys Lozhkin will chair the National Investment Council and will remain an Advisor to the President, Poroshenko’s press service reported.