Ukraine: Daily Briefing
2 March, 6 PM Kyiv time
CAF personnel training Ukrainian forces in convoy operations #OpUNIFIER
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and nine Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. Russian-terrorist forces increased shelling of Ukrainian positions in the last 24 hours – Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions 128 times in the last 24 hours, including at least 47 times with heavy weapons. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions. At Svitlodarsk Russian-terrorist forces carried out heavy mortar shelling of Ukrainian positions, which lasted 6 hours. Near Horlivka, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Stanytsia Luhanska with artillery and mortars. At Krymske, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with artillery. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Krasnohorivka with mortars, tanks and artillery. On the Pavlopil-Shyrokyne line Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars and artillery.
2. Eight miners killed in explosion at mine in western Ukraine
Eight miners were killed in a methane gas explosion at the Stepova coal mine in Lviv oblast. 34 miners were working in the area of the explosion, about 500 meters underground. Six miners were injured. As of 3:30 PM local time all the trapped miners had been rescued, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine reported. Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko announced a national day of mourning for March 3 in memory of the miners who were killed.
3. Ukraine’s President: Confiscation of Ukrainian assets by Russia is more evidence of Russian occupation of eastern Ukraine
During a meeting with UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Witold Waszczykowski, on March 1, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko stated, “Another brutal and dreadful violation of international law took place – Russia de-facto confiscated Ukrainian state and private assets located in the occupied territory. This is another evidence of Russian occupation of eastern Ukraine.” President Poroshenko added that this is taking place against the background of putting these territories into the “ruble zone,” gas and power supply from Russia and introduction of direct budget transfers. Poroshenko stated, “This is an absolutely clear confirmation of the fact of occupation of this territory by Russian troops along with full control over the state border in the uncontrolled area. In this regard, we emphasize that Russia bears full responsibility for ceasefire violation, murder of Ukrainian military and civilians, illegal detention of hostages both in the occupied territory and in Russia.”
4. US House Intelligence Committee Chair, Ranking Member establish parameters for Russia investigation
US House Intelligence Committee Chair David Nunes (R-CA) and Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA) “approved the Scope of Investigation for the inquiry by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence into the Russian active measures campaign targeting the 2016 U.S. election. While the detailed, six-page scoping document remains classified, the investigation will seek to answer the following questions: What Russian cyber activity and other active measures were directed against the United States and its allies?; Did the Russian active measures include links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns or any other U.S. Persons?; What was the U.S. Government’s response to these Russian active measures and what do we need to do to protect ourselves and our allies in the future?; What possible leaks of classified information took place related to the Intelligence Community Assessment of these matters? To answer these questions, the Committee will seek access to and custody of all relevant information, including law enforcement and counterintelligence information, consistent with the Committee’s oversight jurisdiction and investigative responsibilities. The Committee’s inquiry will not, however, impede any ongoing investigation. The Committee will also conduct interviews, take witness testimony, and review all reporting underlying the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) ‘Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections.’ The inquiry will seek to ensure that the ICA comported with all relevant Intelligence Community analytic standards, and that allegations of Russian collusion with any U.S. Persons and the leaks of classified information are fully investigated,” a Committee press release stated on March 1.
5. US Mission to OSCE on Ongoing Violations of International Law and Defiance of OSCE Principles and Commitments by the Russian Federation in Ukraine
Speaking at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, US charge d’ affaires Kate Byrnes stated, “Russia regularly attempts to convince the Permanent Council it bears no responsibility for the conflict in the Donbas, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Over the last two weeks, combined Russian-separatist forces have been building fortifications on the contact line. […]The Minsk agreements were designed not merely to end the conflict, but to restore Ukrainian government authority over its sovereign territory in the Donbas. Resolving the conflict requires the return to Ukrainian government control certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk. On this, the Minsk agreements are crystal clear. We therefore condemn the decision by the Russian Federation to accept separatist so-called ‘passports’ as valid for crossing between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Our sanctions for Russia’s aggression in Ukraine remain in place. We stress once again that our sanctions related to Russia’s occupation of Crimea will remain in place until Russia returns full control of the peninsula to Ukraine. We again call on Russia to observe the Helsinki Final Act, in which all participating States acknowledged that one another’s frontiers are inviolable and committed to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each participating State.”