Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
27 September 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 Stanytsia Luhanska and Popasne. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Nyzhne Lozove and Zaytseve with mortars. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Troitske, Verkhnotoretske and Avdiyivka. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Maryinka, Pavlopil and Shyrokyne. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and three Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action.
2. European Parliament Committee approves plans for EU visa-free regime with Ukraine
The European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee approved plans to waive visa requirements for Ukrainian citizens entering the Schengen area. Once approved by the European Parliament and European Council, Ukrainians who hold a biometric passport will be able to enter the EU without a visa for 90 days in any 180 day period. The Committee approved the resolution by a vote of 38-4, with 1 abstention, the European Parliament reported.
3. OECD publishes 2016 Ukraine Investment Policy Review
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published its 2016 Ukraine Investment Policy Review, which states, “Ukraine’s post-Maidan authorities have embarked upon an ambitious reform programme to improve the country’s framework for investment and strengthen the country as an attractive investment destination. This review, which was prepared in close cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities in response to their 2011 request to adhere to the Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises (OECD Declaration), analyses the general investment framework as well as recent reform, and shows where further efforts are necessary. It assesses Ukraine’s ability to comply with the principles of openness, transparency and non-discrimination and its policy convergence with international investment standards such as the OECD Declaration. In light of the recently updated OECD Policy Framework for Investment, it also studies other areas such as investment promotion and facilitation, infrastructure development; financial sector development and responsible business conduct practices. In the scarcely two years since a new attempt at economic reforms was launched in earnest, Ukraine has made quite important progress in introducing a modern legal framework for investment. But additional efforts are required in some policy areas to reaffirm Ukraine’s attractiveness for investors.” The report is available at http://www.oecd.org/countries/
ukraine/oecd-investment- policy-reviews-ukraine-2016- 9789264257368-en.htm
4. Atlantic Council – Vilify and Amplify: How the Kremlin’s Disinformation Machine is attacking the MH-17 Probe
B. Nimmo, the information defense fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, stated, “The Kremlin has turned its disinformation machine on those who are investigating the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine in July of 2014, using state employees, state-run media, and the state-run, though unacknowledged, ‘troll factory’ of fake Internet accounts. The primary goal of the media attacks has been to undermine the credibility of citizen journalist group Bellingcat, an independent researcher into the crash. [Editor’s note: Eliot Higgins, the founder of Bellingcat, is a nonresident senior fellow for Digital Forensic Research Lab with the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe program.] The Dutch Safety Board (DSB), which conducted an official investigation in 2015 and concluded that MH17 was downed by a surface-to-air missile, has also been targeted. The attacks have followed a pattern that could be termed ‘vilify and amplify.’ They come just before the publication on September 28 of the results of a criminal investigation into the crash by an international team led by the Dutch prosecutor’s office. These attacks reveal how the Kremlin public-relations machine works. They also reveal the extent of the Kremlin’s concern ahead of the publication of the criminal investigation. Going by the attacks on Bellingcat, the criminal investigation itself can anticipate a similarly aggressive response, should its findings be unfavorable to the Kremlin. […]This behavior sheds light on Kremlin propaganda practices. The system uses state employees to vilify ‘opponents,’ then uses state-owned media and the ‘troll network’ to amplify them. So far, the campaign does not appear to have penetrated the Western media. Its significance lies more in the fact that, given the manpower and resources dedicated to condemning those who would tie the Kremlin to the crash, it reveals the Kremlin’s disquiet about the criminal probe’s likely findings.” The full article is available at http://www.atlanticcouncil.
org/blogs/new-atlanticist/ vilify-and-amplify-how-the- kremlin-s-disinformation- machine-is-attacking-the-mh17- probe