Direct fire training, Operation UNIFIER. Photo – Joint Task Force-Ukraine
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 26 times in total, including at least 9 times with heavy weapons – artillery and mortars. Returning fire, Ukrainian forces wounded 10 enemy combatants in the last 24 hours. On 7-8 June, two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and thirteen Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. On 7-8 June, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions on the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors of the front 50 times in total, including at least 14 times with heavy weapons – tanks, mortars and artillery.
2. FSB in Russian-occupied Crimea detain Crimean Tatar activists
Russian security forces in Russian-occupied Crimea detained eight Crimean Tatar activists after searching their homes. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported, “An RFE/RL correspondent reports from Crimea that Federal Security Service (FSB) officers detained Riza Omerov, his father Enver Omerov, Eskender Suleymanov, Ayder Dzhepparov, Ruslan Mesutov, Ruslan Nagayev, Eldar Kantemirov, and Lenur Khalilov on June 10 after searching their homes in the districts of Alushta, Bilohirsk, and Simferopol.
A Crimean lawyer, Mammet Mambetov, said on Facebook that during the search, Riza Omerov’s wife, who is seven months pregnant, went into premature labor and was rushed to the hospital. […] Rights groups and Western governments have denounced what they describe as a campaign of repression by the Russian-imposed authorities in Crimea who are targeting members of the Turkic-speaking Crimean Tatar community and others who have spoken out against Moscow’s takeover of the peninsula.”
3. Deploying for a Good Cause: Reservists on Op UNIFIER
Writing in the Maple Leaf, Capt. Felix Odartey Wellington, Joint Task Force Ukraine Public Affairs Officer, stated, “‘As a Reservist, deploying on Operation UNIFIER has been a fulfilling experience,” says Corporal Andriy Tovstiuk as he leaves the historic Lychiakiv Cemetery in Lviv, Ukraine on April 28, 2019.
When he’s not busy helping businesses succeed as a Digital Marketing Specialist, the Ukrainian-Canadian serves with an Edmonton-based Army Reserve unit. He’s deployed on Operation UNIFIER as a Linguist with Joint Task Force-Ukraine (JTF-U) Roto 7 and has spent the afternoon translating for the Canadian chaplain at a service for Ukrainians killed in ongoing regional conflicts.
Launched in 2015, Op UNIFIER is the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) mission to support training for the Security Forces of Ukraine (SFU). ‘Our Reservists enhance the agility of the Task Force,’ says Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick Côté, JTF-U Roto 7 Commander, at his headquarters in Starychi. ‘In addition to their military qualifications and experience, they bring diverse skillsets from their civilian employment that we leverage to meet the needs of our Ukrainian partners.’
He adds, ‘While majority of Roto 7’s personnel come from 3e Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment in Québec, there are Reservists from all across Canada playing important roles in Op UNIFIER.’
Since UNIFIER involves international partnerships, many of the roles Lieutenant-Colonel Côté mentions involve coordinating international relationships. For example Captain Wembonyama Shembo from Montréal, is the Liaison Officer to the Ukrainian, British, Polish, American, Lithuanian, Danish and Swedish training elements. He is also a Platoon Commander mentoring Ukrainian partners. And that’s just two of the hats he wears on this tour. He describes his work as being \both tactical and cultural.'”
4. Kyiv International Institute of Sociology publishes poll ahead of parliamentary elections
The Kyiv International Institute of Sociology published the latest polls on support in the parliamentary elections in Ukraine. According to the poll, of certain and likely voters, Sluha Narodu (Zelenskyy) obtains 34.4%; Opposition Platform (Boyko) 8.4%; European Solidarity (Poroshenko) obtains 5.8%; Fatherland (Tymoshenko) 5.5% and Holos (Vakarchuk) – 4%. 25.9% of those polled are undecided/difficult to answer. Among certain, likely and decided voters – Sluha Narodu obtains 48.5% support; Opposition Platform – 11.8%; European Solidarity – 8.1%; Fatherland – 7.8%; Holos – 5.6%.
5. Hearing in Ukraine v. Russia arbitration starts in Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague
Ukrinform reported, “On June 10-14, the Permanent Court of Arbitration will hold hearings on the preliminary objections of the Russian Federation in the arbitration Concerning Coastal State Rights in the Black Sea, Sea of Azov, and Kerch Strait, instituted by Ukraine against Russia. As an Ukrinform correspondent reports from The Hague, the opening statement of the Russian Federation will be delivered on Monday, 10 June 2019, at 10 a.m. (CEST). The opening statement of Ukraine will be delivered on Tuesday, 11 June 2019, at 10 a.m. (CEST)
The second round will be held on June 13-14. On Thursday, 13 June 2019, the Russian Federation will present its second round of oral arguments. On Friday, 14 June 2019, Ukraine will present its second round of oral arguments.
The arbitral proceedings were instituted on 16 September 2016 when Ukraine served on the Russian Federation a Notification and Statement of Claim1 under Annex VII to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (“UNCLOS”). The Notification and Statement of Claim refers to a ‘dispute concerning coastal state rights in the Black Sea, Sea of Azov, and Kerch Strait.’
In May 2017, the first procedural meeting of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea was held, within the framework of which the arbitration was established to consider a dispute between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. The memorial, a package of evidence that Russia violates the sovereign rights of Ukraine in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov and in the Kerch Strait, was filed with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on February 19, 2018. Russia submitted its objections to the jurisdiction of this court over consideration of Ukraine’s lawsuit against the Russian Federation.”