Ukraine: Daily Briefing
30 January 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported that yesterday four Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 13 were wounded in attacks by Russian-terrorist forces. General Staff spokesman Col. Oleksander Motuznyak stated that yesterday at approximately 5 am Kyiv time Russian-terrorist forces began massive mortar and artillery shelling of Ukrainian positions near Avdiyivka (towards Donetsk) and carried out two attempts at offensives. Ukrainian forces repelled the attacks. Motuznyak reported that 15 Russian-terrorist militants were killed and 24 wounded. Russian-terrorist forces shelled residential areas of Avdiyivka – two civilians were injured. Russian-terrorist forces carried out heavy mortar shelling of Ukrainian positions at Zaytseve, Verkhnotroitske and Opytne. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Krasnohorivka with mortars. Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Vodyane with artillery, and Talakivka with Grads (truck-mounted multiple rocket launchers). Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Popasne with mortars.
2. Ukraine’s President meets with German Chancellor
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. During the joint press conference, Poroshenko spoke about the increasing attacks by Russian-terrorist forces in eastern Ukraine. Poroshenko’s press service reported, “President Petro Poroshenko informed that five Ukrainian servicemen had been killed and 12 had been wounded yesterday during the escalation of the situation in eastern Ukraine. The Head of State informed that this morning two more soldiers had been killed and 5 had been wounded defending Ukraine’s territorial integrity. According to the President, the shelling was carried out by the artillery installed by Russian militants in the residential areas of Donetsk and Yasynuvata, so that the Ukrainian military were unable to open fire in response.” Poroshenko stated, “These are barbarian methods of war. We have informed the OSCE immediately and already involved them.” German Chancellor Merkel stated, “In the last hours, we have learned that the ceasefire regime does not exist and soldiers die again. The situation on the delimitation line raises concern. According to the UN, about 10 thousand people have been killed in this conflict already. We must do everything to implement the Minsk agreements.”
3. Canada’s House Foreign Affairs Committee concludes visit to Eastern Europe, Central Asia
On 27 January, Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development “concluded a productive and illuminating fact-finding mission to Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Over 12 days, the Committee carried out a mission to four countries – Ukraine, Latvia and Poland in Eastern Europe, and Kazakhstan in Central Asia. […] The purpose of the mission was to learn from individuals and organizations working on-the-ground about the key political, security, economic and other issues that are affecting these countries and their regions. In each country, the Committee held meetings with a variety of stakeholders, including parliamentarians, government officials, civil society members, academics and business people. […] In all of these countries, the Committee also discussed the role of multilateral institutions, as well as the issue of sanctions enacted against Russia and individuals following the illegal annexation of Crimea and the ongoing conflict in the Donbas region of Ukraine. The Committee’s fact-finding mission enabled members to understand the Canadian interests that are at stake in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the kinds of assistance and engagement that countries in these regions are seeking from Canada, and the optimal approach for Canada’s policies toward them. The Committee will continue its study of these issues with hearings in Ottawa,” a press release from the Committee stated.