Ukraine: Daily Briefing
April 23, 2019, 6 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that on April 22 one service member of the Ukrainian Armed Forces was killed in action and three service members were wounded in action.
In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire 14 times on Ukrainian positions in the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors using heavy weapons twice. Returning fire, Ukrainian forces killed three and wounded seven enemy troops on April 22.
2. Ambassador Shevchenko: Election Results May Be An Example Of A New Political Culture
On Monday, April 22, the host of the CTV News Channel Power Play Don Martin discussed the outcome of Ukraine’s presidential election that took place over the weekend.
“In a true democracy everything is possible even if you don’t have a political machinery behind your back and even if you have no political experience,” said Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada Andriy Shevchenko.
When speaking about the Mission Canada the Ukrainian official mentioned that out of 160 observers some stayed for several months emphasizing that “the reason they came to Ukraine wasn’t just to make sure that it was a free and fair election but also we hope that they had a chance to learn from our experience how we fight the Russian interference with the election, I m afraid that is something you might have to deal with this fall here in Canada.”
Watch the full interview here
3. CBC Radio: Ukraine Election ‘a Wake-up’ Call to Canada on Russian Meddling, Warns Former Minister
Despite the fact that Ukraine has been working for the last five years to fight against the cyber-attacks aimed at influencing people’s opinion Russia was able to influence the election, noted Canada’s former Liberal foreign minister Lloyd Axworthy as he spoke to As It Happens host Carol Off.
In his interview Dr. Axworthy talked about the president-elect, the reach of Russia’s influence – and why he thinks Canada is at risk ahead of the federal election. He also mentioned that it was a real tribute to Ukraine and Ukrainians that make it possible to change the government by the ballot box.
“But there’s no question that the agenda of Putin is to provide disruption where he goes. And I think we have an election in six months, and let’s not kid ourselves – the Russians are going to be involved. It’s a question of how well we’re able to counteract that,” emphasized Lloyd Axworthy.
Read the full interview with Lloyd Axworthy here
4. Atlantic Council: Zelenskiy Wins: What’s Next for Ukraine?
In this article by David Wemer, a few of Atlantic Council foreign policy experts namely John Herbst, Atlantic Council Eurasia Center Director, Adrian Karatnycky, senior fellow and co-director of the Ukraine in Europe Initiative with the Eurasia Center, and Anders Åslund, Atlantic Council Senior Fellow discuss the next steps they believe Ukraine’s President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy should be focusing on.
According to the experts, as president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy must now turn his attention to following through on much-needed economic and anti-corruption reforms, all while continuing to confront Russia in Ukraine’s east and the illegal occupation of Crimea.
Since the election vote was “clearly a vote for change,” according to John Herbst, Zelenskiy cannot be content with the margin of his victory. “To consolidate power,” Herbst said, “Zelenskiy must move on reforms.”
Adrian Karatnycky, explained that the “mandate in the second round was less for Zelenskiy than for hope for a change of course.” He argued that the Ukrainian public will be “looking for rapid results in terms of movement against corruption, potential economic improvements, and perhaps some progress in dealing with the Russian threat.”
Read the full article by David Wemer here
5. France 24: Ukrainian Army Struggles to Demine War-Stricken Donbas Region
It’s been five years since Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity has been violated by the neighbouring Russian Federation that first invaded and illegally annexed Crimea and then proceeded to invading eastern part of Ukraine in the war of aggression. As a result parts of eastern Donbas region has “become one of the most heavily mined in the world, according to the UN, as some 2,000 people have been killed or injured by landmines since war began. But demining is only possible in some areas,” as reported by France 24.
“To fully clear the land along the frontline would take two or three decades, and in many places demining is not currently possible, due to shelling,” Major Marta Mizerina, Head of Demining Co-ordination from the Ukrainian Armed Forces, explained to France 24.
Many of the deminers are local. But there’s a lack of adequate information about where mines and unexploded ordnance may be found.
“I live on the same street as this kid, he found a shell, I don’t know where, and took it home and he wanted to take it apart and it blew his fingers off,” Aleksandr Velev, a Halo Trust deminer, told France 24.
Click here to watch the video
6. Several Thousand People Come to Thank Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko
In an unprecedented event, several thousand people came to Bankova Street [the location of Presidential Administration of Ukraine] on Monday, April 22, to see President Petro Poroshenko, whose presidential term is about to end, in order to express gratitude for everything he did for Ukraine.
Poroshenko thanked them for their support and reminded them that he would stay in politics. He emphasized that his goals were to win the parliamentary elections and “return to Bankova” after the next presidential election.
View the photo gallery here