Ukraine: Daily Briefing
May 23, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian armored units training exercises. Photo – Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was 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 49 times in total, including at least 13 times with heavy weapons – mortars and artillery. Russian-terrorist forces shelled civilian areas of Talakivka with artillery, damaging several buildings.
2. Ukraine’s President: American-supplied Javelin anti-tank missiles significantly increase combat capabilities of Ukrainian Armed Forces
For a video of President Poroshenko’s remarks following training exercises with Javelin missiles,
please click on image above
On May 22, Ukraine’s Presidential Administration reported, “President, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko made a working trip to the military training area and checked the readiness of the AFU to use the American anti-tank missile complexes ‘Javelin.’ […]
‘Today, on May 22, for the first time in Ukraine, the trial of Javelin anti-tank complexes of the third generation took place. I am convinced that today, combat capabilities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, missile troops and artillery have grown significantly,’ the President said. ‘Of course, it is a defensive weaponry that will be used only in case of the offensive on the positions of Ukrainian troops by the Russian Federation,’ he said.
Petro Poroshenko stressed that the units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces had passed respective training to use this weaponry.
The Head of State noted that the American anti-tank complexes had shown extremely high efficiency. ‘You saw happy faces of soldiers. Today, their dream came true. It is very symbolic, as it is a symbol of our cooperation with our American partners,’ he added.
The Head of State thanked U.S. President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Secretary of Defense, U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. Senate and Congress, all the American partners for supporting Ukraine and approving the relevant decision on the provision of Javelin anti-tank missile complexes.
The President watched the confidence firing at land targets performed by Ukrainian servicemen. All the targets were successfully hit. Also, the training launch of Ukrainian anti-tank missiles, including Stugna, was carried out and showed great results as well.”
3. US State Department calls on Russia to end its aggression in Ukraine
At a press briefing on May 22, US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert stated, “I’d like to draw your attention to Russia’s ongoing aggression in Ukraine. This has been one of the most violent weeks of the year. Five Ukrainian soldiers are now dead and 23 have been wounded. The fighting has not spared civilians either. A 13-year-old boy and his father were killed in a Ukrainian Government controlled territory when artillery shells struck their home. A pipe carrying chlorine gas at the Donetsk water filtration station was struck by artillery shells.
The Kremlin controls the violence in eastern Ukraine and could bring this violence to an end tomorrow if the Kremlin wanted to do that. Russia has claimed it wants to protect Russian speakers, but as our Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, Kurt Volker has pointed out on numerous occasions, there’s nowhere in the world more dangerous for Russian speakers right now than in eastern Ukraine.
Russian and Ukrainian soldiers and civilians continue to die in a conflict manufactured by the Russian Government with forces that arms, equips, leads, and trains. And while Russia perpetuates the violence in eastern Ukraine by pouring money, soldiers, and resources into the region, the Russian economy continues to stagnate. We call on Russia to end its aggression in Ukraine and live up to its commitments when it signed the Minsk agreements.”