Ukraine: Daily Briefing
April 9, 2018, 6 PM Kyiv time
Ukraine’s national hockey team brings flowers to the Canadian embassy in Kyiv in memory of the young hockey players tragically killed in the bus crash in Saskatchewan on Friday. #humboldtstrong
To view video, please click on image above
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 and five Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions on the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors of the front 36 times in total.
2. US Treasury Designates Russian Oligarchs, Officials, and Entities in Response to Worldwide Malign Activity
On April 5, the US Department of the Treasury stated, “The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), in consultation with the Department of State, today designated seven Russian oligarchs and 12 companies they own or control, 17 senior Russian government officials, and a state-owned Russian weapons trading company and its subsidiary, a Russian bank.
‘The Russian government operates for the disproportionate benefit of oligarchs and government elites,’ said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. ‘The Russian government engages in a range of malign activity around the globe, including continuing to occupy Crimea and instigate violence in eastern Ukraine, supplying the Assad regime with material and weaponry as they bomb their own civilians, attempting to subvert Western democracies, and malicious cyber activities. Russian oligarchs and elites who profit from this corrupt system will no longer be insulated from the consequences of their government’s destabilizing activities.'”
The full listing of the sanctions imposed on Russia by the US government on April 5 is available here
3. Russia’s ruble, Rusal, Sberbank take hits as US sanctions bite
Reuters reported, “Russia’s ruble suffered its biggest daily fall in over three years on Monday and stocks in major Russian companies also slid, as investors reacted to a new round of U.S. sanctions targeting some of Russia’s biggest tycoons.
The sanctions, announced on Friday, target officials and businesspeople around President Vladimir Putin in an aggressive response to alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. […]
Russia’s currency briefly dipped more than 4 percent before recovering slightly to trade at 60.31 to the dollar at 1512 GMT, down 3.67 percent, its biggest daily percentage fall since January 2015. Shares in Russia’s two biggest banks, Sberbank and VTB fell 17.3 and 9.1 percent respectively.
State-owned Sberbank is traditionally seen as a barometer for the wider health of the Russian economy, and is also a creditor for businesses hit by sanctions. […]
On equities markets, Russian aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska saw the share price of one of his companies halve after he joined six other so-called ‘oligarchs’ sanctioned together with their businesses, as well as 17 political figures.”
4. Atlantic Council: US Sanctions on Oligarchs Send a Warning to Russia
Atlantic Council distinguished fellow Daniel Fried, former US State Department coordinator for sanctions policy, stated, “The Trump administration’s latest Russia sanctions package is solid and strong. It hits oligarchs tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin and their associated companies, two ‘golden children’ (corrupt and privileged children of the Putin elite), Rosoboroneksport (the Russian arms firm), and selected officials. […]
In short, the administration’s pros-political appointees and career officials-are on the case. We would be better positioned if the administration enunciated a comprehensive Russia policy, one which the president owned. We don’t have that yet, which detracts from the power of today’s move. Still, this is a good, strong move by the administration, demonstrating that Russian aggression will carry costs for them.”