Ukraine: Daily Briefing
September 14, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
|A Ukrainian soldier keeps guard at his post during an Operational Capabilities Concept evaluation. The evaluation was being conducted by a multinational OCC evaluation team during the Rapid Trident exercise to assess Ukraine’s military interoperability capacity. (Photo – US Army)|
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time 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 and Donetsk sectors of the front 37 times in total. Returning fire, Ukrainian forces killed 1 and wounded 4 enemy combatants.
2. EU signs 1 billion Euro in Macro-Financial Assistance to support reforms in Ukraine
The European Commission stated, “The European Commission has today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ukraine in Kyiv for Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) of up to 1 billion Euro in the form of medium- and long-term loans. With this assistance, the EU will continue to support economic stabilisation in the country, including through structural and governance reforms.
Valdis Dombrovskis, Commission Vice-President responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, signed the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the European Union. He said: ‘Europe strongly supports Ukraine on its path of economic recovery and reform. The new programme of EU macro-financial assistance will help Ukraine reduce its economic vulnerabilities and enhance stability. At the same time, by implementing important reforms related to the new MFA operation, especially in the area of the fight against corruption, Ukraine needs to deliver on the expectations of its citizens and send a strong signal to its international partners and investors.’
The proposed new Macro-Financial Assistance complements three previous MFA programmes, through which the EU has supported Ukraine with a total of €2.8 billion since the onset of the crisis in 2014, and a programme of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The funds of the new assistance programme will be disbursed in two instalments of up to 500 million euro. Each disbursement is conditional on the implementation of specific policy measures agreed between Ukraine and the EU in the Memorandum of Understanding. The agreed policy programme covers in particular the fight against corruption, public finance management, governance of state-owned enterprises and banks as well as key social policies.
The programme is consistent with the reform path agreed between the EU and Ukraine in the context of the Association Agreement.”
3. Operation UNIFIER assists the National Guard of Ukraine to define NCO corps
photo – CAF Operations
Writing for the Maple Leaf, Major Jan Kool, Joint Task Force-Ukraine Liaison Officer to the National Guard of Ukraine stated, “Since the beginning of July 2018, a small team from Operation UNIFIER-Canada’s military contribution to whole of government support in Ukraine-has been working diligently with officers and senior Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) of the National Guard of Ukraine (NGU) to help them define the future of their NCO corps.
The project sprung from a visit to the guard’s NCO Academy in the small town of Zolochiv, in western Ukraine. There, NCOs, instructors, and specialists are trained and developed. The Operation UNIFIER leadership found that while the quality of instruction and students were excellent, the Academy needed assistance creating the foundational concepts and documents typically found in a NATO-standard school: general specifications, qualification standards, and training plans. Following the visit, Canadian Armed Forces members developed a plan to bring in a Training Development Officer and pair him with an experienced NCO from Joint Task Force-Ukraine to help the NGU create these documents.
The project took place over a six week period from June to August with a group of senior Ukrainian NCOs and officers pairing with Operation UNIFIER staff, as well as representatives from the US Army. They applied the NATO Systems Approach to Training to create two foundational documents for the NGU: a Non-Commissioned Member General Specification, and a Qualification Standard and Training Plan for the Basic Leader Course.
The general specification dictates the selection, desired attributes, and development system for NCOs in the national guard, includes an NCO creed, and specifies the specific performance requirements for NCOsat every rank and development level. The plan lays out the course structure, teaching points, references, standards, assessments, and timetable of the new Basic Leader Course, which focuses on teaching Sergeant-candidates practical leadership skills and abilities, as well as knowledge in basic mission planning. […]
Chief Warrant Officer James Hebert, Operation UNIFIER’s former Task Force Sergeant Major and Canadian lead on NCO Development in Ukraine, thinks that the work completed so far is exactly what is required. He gives credit to the Operation UNIFIER team, but even more credit to the committed group of Ukrainian officers and NCOs on the writing board. ‘The NGU has demonstrated pride and passion towards developing a strong NCO Corps that will strengthen them for the future,’ he stated. ‘What they have achieved in a short amount time is nothing less than revolutionary for their organization.'”
4. US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman calls for stronger US actions against Russia
Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, stated at a Committee hearing on September 13, “Since January 2017, more than 200 Russian individuals and entities have been designated for sanctions under CAATSA and other existing laws. Hundreds of millions of dollars in assets have been blocked.
That said, we should be doing more to hold Putin accountable for his aggressive acts, including attacks on our democracy. The administration should use authorities included in Section 228 of CAATSA to cast a wider net. Those still engaged in significant business with designated Russian individuals and entities need to pay a price, as the law prescribes.
We cannot expect Vladimir Putin and his corrupt associates to change their behavior in Syria, Ukraine or anywhere else until we prove we will hold them to account. […]
In the months ahead, the committee will continue to work with the administration on this and other sanctions policy, including implementation of the executive order announced yesterday regarding election interference. And we’ll be watching to see that another tranche of sanctions is imposed against Russia later this year for its use of a military-grade nerve agent on British soil in March. Putin will certainly be looking for any signs that the U.S. is wavering. […]
Our goal here is to leverage America’s economic might to peacefully end urgent threats to our national security. If we’re going to succeed, the administration needs to fully utilize the tools Congress has provided.”