Ukraine: Daily Briefing
December 12, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian soldier participates in platoon live-fire training exercise, Yavoriv. Photo – US Army Europe
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, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed or wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions on the Luhansk, Donetsk and Mariupol sectors of the front 22 times in total, including at least 11 times with heavy weapons – Grad rocket artillery and mortars.
2. Canada’s Defence Committee tables report on Ukraine, recommends Canada provide Ukraine with lethal weapons
On December 11, Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence tabled their Report, Canada’s Support to Ukraine in Crisis and Armed Conflict. Among its 17 recommendations to the Government of Canada, the Committee stated,
“That the Government of Canada advocate for a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Ukraine that respects its territorial integrity. […]
That the Government of Canada provide lethal weapons to Ukraine to protect its sovereignty from Russian aggression, provided that Ukraine demonstrate it is actively working to eliminate corruption at all levels of government.
That the Government of Canada add Ukraine to the Automatic Firearms Country Control List […]
That the Government of Canada expand Canada’s sanctions, including implementing the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law), against those responsible for contributing to the armed conflict in Ukraine and work with its allies, including NATO, to maintain and enhance their sanction regimes against Russian operatives.”
The Committee’s report is available here: Canada’s Support to Ukraine in Crisis and Armed Conflict
3. Statement in Canada’s Parliament on the 100th Anniversary of the Crimean Tatar Qurultay
On December 11, in the House of Commons, Borys Wrzesnewskyj, (MP Etobicoke-Centre), stated, “Mr. Speaker, in December 1917, 100 years ago, the Crimean Tatars proclaimed their democratic republic and launched their national assembly, the Qurultay. The Bolsheviks abolished this state and in 1944, Stalin attempted ethnocide through the mass deportation of Crimean Tatars into central Asia. Almost half perished during the deportation. However, starting in 1989, Crimean Tatars began returning home, and under independent Ukraine were provided citizenship and a formal right of return.
Sadly, history seems to be repeating itself. With Russia’s 2014 military invasion and illegal occupation, the Crimean Tatars are once again facing disappearances, the murder of leaders, exile, and collective repression and persecution.
As we commemorate the centenary of the Crimean Tatar Qurultay, let us reaffirm that Crimean Tatars are the indigenous people of Crimea and that Crimea is Ukraine.”
4. Kyiv court releases former Odesa oblast governor Saakashvili
A Kyiv court released former Odesa oblast governor Mikheil Saakashvili, who is accused by prosecutors of assisting a criminal organization, from custody on December 11, pending trial.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported, “Ukrainian prosecutors had sought to place Saakashvili under house arrest, but a judge on December 11 turned down the request. […]
Judge Larysa Tsokol told Kyiv’s Pechera district court that the prosecutors’ request to put Saakashvili under house arrest pending trial was ‘dismissed.’ […]
Ukrainian Prosecutor-General Yuriy Lutsenko later said on ICTV that he will appeal the judge’s ruling.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported that Ukraine’s Justice Ministry is also still weighing an extradition request from Georgia for the former Georgian president to face criminal charges related to his years in power there. […] Ukrainian authorities say Saakashvili is suspected of abetting an alleged ‘criminal group’ led by former President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled to Russia after his ouster in February 2014.”
Saakashvili was detained on December 8, after fleeing law enforcement custody on December 5.