Ukraine: Daily Briefing – May 11, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
May 11, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian army training exercises. Photo – Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense

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 three 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 55 times in total, including at least 18 times with heavy weapons – mortars and artillery.
2. Bellingcat Full Report: Russian officers and militants identified as perpetrators of the January 2015 Mariupol artillery strike
A joint investigation between Bellingcat and McClatchy DC “has determined the identities of eleven men, including nine Russian commanders and officers of the Russian Armed Forces, in the 24 January 2015 artillery attack on Mariupol, which killed at least 29 civilians and wounded more than 90. […]
           Our investigation used materials submitted by Ukraine as part of an International Court of Justice (ICJ) case, which were made available to a small group of investigators, including Bellingcat and McClatchy DC. […]
           Bellingcat has determined conclusively that the artillery attack in the Ukrainian town of Mariupol on 24 January 2015, which resulted in civilian loss of life, came from Russia-controlled territory. Bellingcat has also determined that the shelling operation was instructed, directed and supervised by Russian military commanders in active service with the Russian Ministry of Defense. Bellingcat has identified nine Russian officers, including one general, two colonels and three lieutenant colonels, involved directly with the military operation.
           Furthermore, Bellingcat has determined that two artillery batteries of Multiple Launch Rocket Systems were transported from Russia into Ukraine the day before the Mariupol operation. In the early morning of 24 January 2015, these batteries were deployed near the village of Bezimenne exclusively for the shelling of targets in and around Mariupol, after which they were repatriated back into Russia.
           In the course of analyzing the events in the eve of and on 24 January 2015, Bellingcat additionally identified two Russian generals involved with selection and assignment of Russian artillery specialists to commanding roles in Eastern Ukraine.”
3. US Mission to OSCE on Russia’s violations in Ukraine
The US Mission to the OSCE stated “We witnessed another week of violence as a result of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. The Special Monitoring Mission reported a three-fold increase in heavy weapons fire, including the use, for the first time since February, of dangerous Multiple Launch Rocket Systems. […]
           Elsewhere in Ukraine, Russia shows no sign of ending its campaign of harassment and abuse of ethnic Tatar and Ukrainian activists in Crimea. Ihor Movenko was sentenced to two years in prison on spurious charges of so-called ‘extremism’ – simply for re-affirming on social media that Crimea is part of Ukraine.             By contrast, no charges were brought against the man who attacked Movenko simply for displaying his country’s – Ukraine’s – symbols on his motorcycle. Movenko’s case demonstrates Russia’s failure to protect the ability of individuals to express themselves freely and to guarantee due process. […]
           Russia’s conduct in Ukraine undermines the core principles and commitments of the OSCE, as well as our common security. Let me reiterate that the United States fully supports Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
           We do not, nor will we ever, recognize Russia’s purported annexation of Crimea. Crimea-related sanctions on Russia will remain in place until Russia returns full control of the peninsula to Ukraine. We join our European and other partners in restating that our sanctions against Russia for its aggression in eastern Ukraine will remain until Russia fully implements its commitments under the Minsk agreements.”
4. Prime Minister stresses urgency and importance of creating an anti-corruption court
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman “told the Cabinet of Ministers that the creation of an Anti-corruption court is needed, first and foremost for Ukraine itself, rather than for the EU or IMF.

Next Monday two plenary weeks [in parliament] begin; this is enough time for consideration of the draft law on the Anti-corruption court…The Cabinet of Ministers, for its part, will do its utmost to launch the work of the court,’ he said, as reported by the government portal. ‘It will be, among other things, a signal to investors,’ he added,” Ukraine Business Journal reported.

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