Ukraine: Daily Briefing
January 30, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
|Soldiers from Canada and the UK work with Ukrainian soldiers on training in Urban Operations. Photo – Canadian Armed Forces|
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. Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions on the Donetsk sector of the front once in the last 24 hours. There was no combat on the Luhansk sector of the front.
2. US Treasury “Kremlin Report” names senior political officials, oligarchs
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported, “The U.S. Treasury Department has released a hotly anticipated list of 210 Russian officials and billionaires seen as part of President Vladimir Putin’s ruling elite, exposing them to scrutiny and potential future sanctions. […]
Published early on January 30 — shortly after midnight in Washington — the so-called Kremlin Report names 114 senior Russian political figures and 96 oligarchs who U.S. authorities say have gained wealth or power through association with Putin.
It was mandated by Congress in a law aimed at increasing pressure on Russia in response to its alleged meddling in the U.S. presidential election last year. […]
The report itself does not impose sanctions, and President Donald Trump’s administration has notified Congress that it will not impose new sanctions on Russia at this time.
The list includes 43 of Putin’s aides and advisers including his spokesman Dmitry Peskov, 31 cabinet ministers including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, senior lawmakers, and top officials in Russia’s intelligence agencies.
The CEOs of major state-owned companies, including energy giant Rosneft’s chief, Igor Sechin, and the head of state-controlled Sberbank, German Gref, are also on the list, along with some of the most famous wealthy Russians.
‘To determine the list of oligarchs,’ the Treasury Department said, it ‘enumerated those individuals who, according to reliable public sources, have an estimated net worth of $1 billion or more.’
The tycoons named include Roman Abramovich, Alisher Usmanov, U.S. NBA basketball team owner Mikhail Prokhorov, aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, and Kaspersky Lab founder Yevgeny Kaspersky. […]
The Kremlin Report was submitted to the U.S. Congress on January 29 as required under the Counter America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). The published list is part of the unclassified version of the report.”
The report from the US Treasury Department is available here
3. Russian military plane flies within 5 feet of US Navy plane over international airspace, in violation of international law and agreements
The US State Department stated on January 29, “The United States notes with the highest level of concern the latest incident of unsafe Russian military practices, over the Black Sea on January 29. As confirmed by U.S. Naval Forces Europe, a Russian SU-27 engaged in an unsafe interaction with a U.S. EP-3 in international airspace, with the Russia pilot closing to within 5 feet and crossing directly in front of the EP-3’s flight path.
While the U.S. aircraft was operating under international law, the Russian side was flagrantly violating existing agreements and international law, in this case the 1972 Agreement for the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas (INCSEA). This is but the latest example of Russian military activities disregarding international norms and agreements. We call on Russia to cease these unsafe actions that increase the risk of miscalculation, danger to aircrew on both sides, and midair collisions.”
4. Ukraine food exports rise 16% to highest level in five years
Ukraine Business Journal reported, “Ukraine’s food exports rose 16% last year to $17.9 billion, the highest level in five years, reports the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food.
Top three staples of food exports were grain crops — 36%; vegetable oils — 25%; and oilseeds –11%. The top five buyers are: India, the Netherlands, Egypt, Spain and China. Exports to Asian countries totaled 43%, to the European Union – 32%, African countries – 14%.”