Ukraine: Daily Briefing
April 17, 2019, 7 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that on April 16 two service members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces were wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire nine times on Ukrainian positions in the Donetsk and Luhansk sectors using heavy weapons four times.
Returning fire, Ukrainian forces killed three and wounded four enemy troops on April 16.
2. The Atlantic Council: Three Predictions for Ukraine’s Presidential Run-off
The results of the first round of presidential election in Ukraine demonstrate the disappointment and anger directed toward the current President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, writes Brian Mefford in his article for the Atlantic Council.
Taking into account that Zelenskiy scored a little over 30 percent of the voter support whereas the incumbent president had close to 16 percent of the votes there is about 54 percent of the electorate that can be swayed to vote either way.
“In times of prosperity, the public seeks candidates with great resumes and many achievements, but in times of change the public simply wants new faces,” contemplates Mefford. It looks like President Poroshenko needs to do something different and fast.
Read more about the history of the polls in Ukraine, the thoughts on the upcoming debates and the chance to change the public opinion in Ukraine.
3. Ukraine Terminates Agreement with CIS on Arms Standards
On April 17 Ukraine declared that it was withdrawing from an agreement on standardized weapons and military equipment between members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
“Today, on April 17, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine supported the initiative of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and terminated for Ukraine the effect of an agreement aimed at strengthening and developing cooperation between the CIS states in the field of standardization of armaments and military equipment,” the statement reads.
After a thorough analysis by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade it was concluded that the agreement was no longer viable as Ukraine cancelled more than 90 percent of the Soviet standards replacing them with the European Standards, as reported by Stepan Kubiv, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Trade. In addition, Ukraine has recently secured its strategic course toward NATO in the Constitution, added Kubiv.
The Commonwealth of Independent States is a regional organization of the former Soviet Republics, which was formed after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. It coordinates trade, finance, lawmaking, and security in member states.
4. The Washington Post: The Cybersecurity 202
Recent reports by Canadian and the U.S. officials indicate that Ukraine is being used as a lab for testing Russia’s asymmetric warfare capabilities. Reportedly, an army of hackers operate from the territory temporarily occupied by Russian proxies in eastern Ukraine. This group has been targeting the Ukrainian government and military, according to new research from the cybersecurity company FireEye as reported by Joseph Marks with the Washington Post
“This is probably the most extreme case to date of an ultra-small group targeting a national government with a sophisticated hacking operation, said John Hultquist, FireEye’s director of intelligence analysis in the interview with Marks. “And it could usher in a new era of small nations or non-state actors developing sophisticated hacking operations,” he said.
“A small nation or non-state group is highly unlikely to be able to pull off a major hack, such as Russia’s breach of the Democratic National Committee or China’s alleged theft of millions of background checks from the Office of Personnel Management. […] But that doesn’t mean they couldn’t do serious damage,” Hultquist suggested.
Click here to read more about how Russian hacking groups perfect their techniques in Ukraine before launching them elsewhere.
5. Valentyn Moroz, Soviet dissident, dies at age 83
Valentyn Moroz, a scholar, intellectual, and dissident passed away yesterday at the age of 83 in Ukraine. Mr. Moroz belonged to the generation of Ukrainian intelligentsia that protested the russification of western Ukraine, promoted Ukrainian language, culture and identity.
May His Memory Be Eternal! Вічная Пам’ять!
Moroz was born on April 15, 1936 in the village of Kholoniv, Gorokhiv district, Volyn region. After graduating from Lviv University he worked as a teacher, rural school principal and then as a lecturer at Lutsk and Ivano-Frankivsk Pedagogical Institutes.
Moroz believed that the sixties was the first wave of Ukrainian revival after a long winter of Stalinism, so to speak, the revolution of poets. After being arrested in 1965 for anti-Soviet propaganda he served four years in the Soviet prisons.
In 1970 he was arrested the second time and sentenced to 14 years in prison, detention camp and exile. This triggered a sharp negative reaction of Ukrainian intelligentsia which reacted violently to the lawlessness and cruelty of the court – there were more than 40 protests against the Supreme Court of the Ukrainian SSR; demonstrations of protest near the Soviet embassies and consulates took place in Canada and the U.S.
In 1979 he together with four other political prisoners was exchanged for two Soviet KGB agents who were arrested as spies working at the United Nations. He first settled in the U.S.A, lectured at Harvard University (1979-1980), published the Anabazis magazine (1980-1991). Between 1986 and 1991 Moroz lived in Canada and hosted a weekly radio program in Toronto.
He moved back to Ukraine in 1991 and continued to work in academia. Moroz is the author of about 30 books. On the day of his 80th anniversary, April 15, 2016, he presented the third book of the trilogy “Ukraine in the Twentieth Century”.