Ukraine: Daily Briefing
February 28, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
|On a visit to Ukraine, United Kingdom Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, Chief of the Air Staff, Royal Air Force, pays tribute to Ukrainian soldiers who died defending their country.
Photo – UK Embassy in Ukraine
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported at 12:30 PM that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and one Ukrainian soldier was wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions on the Luhansk 7 times in total, including 5 times with heavy weapons. Russian-terrorist forces shelled residential areas of Luhanske village, in Donetsk oblast, with 120-mm and 82-mm mortars.
2. Ukraine’s President: Key challenge for Ukraine in 2018 remains Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported, “In a press conference in Kyiv on February 28, Poroshenko said ‘the key challenge for Ukraine in 2018 remains the ongoing war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine.’
Poroshenko added that ‘the risk posed by Russia’s wide-scale war against Ukraine is decreasing thanks to the strengthening of Ukraine’s armed forces and continuing sanctions against Russia,’ but added that the measures “do not fully bring Russia’s threat to zero.”
‘In the past 24 hours alone, some 300 mortar shells had been launched by Russia-backed separatists in the east,’ Poroshenko said. […]
‘The involvement of UN peacekeepers will make the aggressor country (Russia) withdraw its troops and its military equipment from the area and secure the implementation of the Minsk peace agreements,’ Poroshenko said. ‘I will do my best to bring peacekeepers [to the region] as soon as possible because it is the only way now to stop the killings of Ukrainians there.'”
A video of the full press conference is available below. To view, please click on image
3. Ukraine Cybersecurity Cooperation Act introduced in US Senate
On February 27, US Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) “introduced bipartisan legislation to support Ukraine’s cyber infrastructure as it faces continued cyberattacks from the Russian government. Brown’s bill, the Ukraine Cybersecurity Cooperation Act, directs the U.S. State Department to help Ukraine secure its government networks by reducing reliance on Russian technology and expanding its capacity to respond to cyber threats.
‘Russia’s cyber aggression against Ukraine cannot stand unchecked,’ said Brown. ‘We must support Ukraine’s efforts to defend against these harmful cyberattacks and stand up to Russian aggression.’ […]
Ukraine has been the target of Russian attacks on the country’s cyber infrastructure, including attacks on Ukraine’s electric grid. Brown’s bill calls for the U.S. to support Ukraine’s efforts to enhance existing cyber capabilities by bolstering Ukraine’s cyber security and expanding existing technology to fight against cyberattacks. The bill also requires the State Department to report to Congress within 180 days on the state of Ukrainian cybersecurity.
Brown’s bill is also cosponsored by Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Lindsay Graham (R-SC),” Senator Brown’s office stated.
The US House of Representatives passed the Ukraine Cybersecurity Cooperation Act on February 7.
4. EU announces 24 million euros to address the humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine
The European Union stated, “The European Commission has announced today 24 million euros in humanitarian assistance to address the needs of conflict-affected people in eastern Ukraine.
The funding comes as the European Commission and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs are organising a high-level conference in Brussels to raise awareness about the humanitarian consequences of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
On the occasion, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said: ‘
Four years of conflict have put a tremendous strain on the civilian population in eastern Ukraine. We cannot overlook that there’s a humanitarian crisis at the European Union’s doorstep. Supporting all those in need, wherever they are, is a priority for the EU. Our new aid package will provide essential assistance such as food, healthcare and education for children.'”
5. Germany-Ukraine trade increases by 22.4% in last year
Ukraine Business Journal reported, “Germany-Ukraine trade increased by 22.4% last year, with Ukraine’s exports growing slightly faster than imports, reports the German-Ukrainian Industrial Chamber of Commerce, or AHK. The strongest driver for Ukrainian exports were: food – up 69%, followed by steel – up 57%, and chemical products — up 39%. On the import side from Germany, the biggest growth was seen in cars – up 38.5% and mechanical engineering – up 30%.”