Ukraine: Daily Briefing
September 21, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian Armed Forces 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, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed or 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 22 times in total. Returning fire, Ukrainian forces killed 2 and wounded 4 enemy combatants.
2. US announces new Russia sanctions under Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act
The US State Department stated on September 20, “Today, the President issued a new Executive Order “Authorizing the Implementation of Certain Sanctions Set Forth in the Countering Americas Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” to further the implementation of certain sanctions in the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 (CAATSA) with respect to the Russian Federation. In addition, the Secretary of State is taking two actions today to implement his delegated authorities pursuant to section 231 of CAATSA and to further impose costs on the Russian Government for its malign activities.
First, the Secretary of State added 33 additional persons – a person is either an entity or an individual – to the CAATSA section 231 List of Specified Persons (LSP) for being a part of, or operating for or on behalf of, the defense or intelligence sectors of the Government of the Russian Federation. This action increases the number of persons identified on the LSP to 72. Any person who knowingly engages in a significant transaction with any of these persons is subject to mandatory sanctions under CAATSA section 231. […]
Section 231 of CAATSA and today’s actions are not intended to undermine the military capabilities or combat readiness of any country, but rather to impose costs on Russia in response to its interference in the United States election process, its unacceptable behavior in eastern Ukraine, and other malign activities. Today’s actions further demonstrate the Department of State’s continuing commitment to fully implement CAATSA section 231, which has already deterred billions of dollars-worth of potential arms exports from Russia. State encourages all persons to avoid engaging in transactions with entities on the LSP that may risk sanctions, including high-value, major transactions for sophisticated weapons systems.”
The list of individuals and entities sanctioned by the United States on September 20 is available here
3. UK Defence Secretary announces extension of support to Ukraine’s Armed Forces
UK Secretary of Defence Williamson in Ukrainep. photo – UK Ministry of Defence
The UK Ministry of Defence reported, “In his first visit as Defence Secretary to Ukraine, Gavin Williamson announced that the UK will be extending its military training operation there for a further two years until 2020. […]
He also announced the expansion of the UK Defence Section in Kyiv and introduction of a permanent Naval Attaché to help build Ukrainian naval capability.
The Defence Secretary also met President Poroshenko reaffirming the UK’s commitment to their country. He also discussed the Russian security forces continuing to disrupt merchant vessels trying to access Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov, posing negative effects on Ukraine’s economy.
He also travelled to Marinka in the east of Ukraine to see the effects of the four-year conflict in the Donbas region, and received an operational update from the Joint Force Operation Commander Lt Gen Serhiy Nayev. The visit to Marinka highlighted the severity of the ongoing conflict, including its humanitarian and environmental impacts, driven by Russian aggression. […]
The training, delivered through Operation Orbital, has been expanded in 2018 to include anti-armour, infantry skills, counter-sniping and mortar planning. This is in addition to the defensive skills programmes such as the identification of mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), medical care and logistics that UK personnel have been delivering since early 2015.”
Secretary Williamson stated, “By extending and expanding our training programmes, we are sending a clear message – we support the people of Ukraine and are firmly committed to its sovereignty as it faces down blatant Russian aggression.”
4. Ukraine’s talks with IMF on new aid deal continuing – central bank
Reuters reported on September 20, “Ukraine is continuing to hold talks with the International Monetary Fund on a new aid agreement which will help preserve macroeconomic and financial stability during elections next year, a top central bank official told Reuters on Thursday.
‘There are productive negotiations on the new programme. Significant progress has been made. We expect results in the near future,’ Deputy Central Bank Governor Oleh Churiy said, in the first comments by a senior Ukrainian official a day after an IMF mission concluded a visit to Ukraine.”