Ukraine: Daily Briefing
January 11, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian soldier participates in training exercises. Photo – Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported that in the last 24 hours, three Ukrainian soldiers were killed and four Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions on the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors of the front seven times in total, including three times with heavy weapons.
2. President meets with representatives of Ukraine in the Trilateral Contact Group
photo – Ukraine’s Presidential Administration
Ukraine’s Presidential Administration reported, “President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko held a meeting with the representatives of Ukraine in the Trilateral Contact Group [Ukraine-OSCE-Russia] on the peaceful resolution of the situation in the Donbas (TCG) and its working subgroups. The parties discussed the results of the TCG achieved over the past year and set the priorities and tasks for 2018.
The Head of State thanked the representatives of Ukraine in the Trilateral Contact Group for the protection of the national interests and professional and selfless work for the restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
3. US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Democratic staff report details two decades of Putin’s attacks on democracy
The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee stated, “A Senate Foreign Relations Committee Democratic staff report released Wednesday and commissioned by U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the Committee’s ranking member, details Russian president Vladimir Putin’s nearly two decades-long assault on democratic institutions, universal values, and the rule of law across Europe and in his own country.
The report comes one year after Senator Cardin introduced the Counteracting Russian Hostilities Act of 2017, which served as the basis for the sanctions package signed into law last August, and makes a series of recommendations to adequately bolster U.S. and European defenses and counter the growing Kremlin threat to democratic institutions. […]
Across eight chapters and several appendices, the report meticulously details the tools the Russian government has repeatedly deployed from its asymmetric arsenal, and how the Kremlin has learned and perfected its techniques attacking democracy both internally and abroad. Such tools – drawn largely from a Soviet-era playbook, but updated with new technologies – include military incursions, cyberattacks, disinformation, support for fringe political groups, and the weaponization of energy resources, organized crime and corruption.
Putin first developed his techniques at home, against his own people. In Russia, he repressed independent civil society, journalists, and the political opposition, while manipulating cultural and religious institutions, the media, and fueling a corrupt kleptocracy to bolster his regime and increase his net worth. Putin’s increasing aggression abroad is directly related to his need to maintain power at home. As he looks to maintain power in Russia, he is likely to step up his attacks on democracies around the world.
Some European countries have shored up their democracies with a strategic, whole-of-government approach: publicly warning Moscow of consequences if it meddles; mobilizing various sectors of society to neutralize and push back against Kremlin disinformation; and confronting Russian efforts to use corruption as a tool of influence. It is time for the United States to take similar actions. The report includes more than 30 recommendations for the U.S. and its allies.”
The report is available here: Putin’s Asymmetrical Assault on Democracy in Russia and Europe: Implications for US National Security