Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
13 October 2016, 3 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. Near Popasne and Krymske, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Luhanske village and Novhorodske. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces carried out heavy mortar and artillery shelling of Ukrainian positions along the Talakivka-Shyrokyne sector of the front. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Slavne and Novotroitske. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and seven Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action.
2. PACE: sanctions against Russia must be maintained until aggression against Ukraine has ceased, territorial integrity of Ukraine restored
On 12 October the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) passed a resolution, “Political Consequences of the Russian Aggression in Ukraine,” which states, “[The Assembly] condemns the illegal Duma elections held on 18 September in occupied Crimea and considers their results null and void. The incorporation of Ukrainian sovereign territory into Russian federal constituencies and the creation of four single-member constituencies are blunt violations of international law and effectively compromise the legitimacy of the Russian Parliament; is deeply concerned about actions against critical media outlets, acts of intimidation and harassment against opponents, cases of disappearances and threats of abduction and the repression of persons belonging to minorities, in particular the Crimean Tatars, in the application of the law on extremism; considers the banning of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, declared to be ‘an extremist organisation’, to be a harsh repressive measure targeting the whole Crimean Tatar community and calls for this measure to be reversed; […] calls on the Russian authorities to reverse the illegal annexation of Crimea and allow Ukraine to regain control of the peninsula. As regards the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine the Assembly […]asks once again the Russian Federation to withdraw its troops from the territory of Ukraine and stop military supplies to the separatists […]As regards, in particular, the issue of local elections to be organised in Donbas, the Assembly underlines that for such elections to be in line with Ukrainian legislation and international standards on free and fair elections there is need to ensure: an improved security environment, full access for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission throughout the entire territory of Donbas, with the border sealed and controlled by the Special Monitoring Mission following the complete withdrawal of Russian troops, mercenaries and weapons, and safe storage of weapons under international supervision; the possibility for all Ukrainian parties to participate in the elections and for Ukrainian media to broadcast in Donbas during the campaign; […] International pressure, including sanctions, must be maintained until Russian aggression has ceased and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders has been fully restored.”
3. Ukraine’s President speaks with US Vice President
Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko spoke with US Vice President J. Biden. The White House stated, “The leaders condemned ceasefire violations by combined Russian-separatist forces and discussed their shared understanding of a phased path towards full implementation of the Minsk agreements, including completing disengagement in the three agreed-upon sites. The Vice President stressed the critical importance of continuing Ukraine’s economic and anti-corruption reforms and ensuring their transparent implementation.”