Ukraine: Daily Briefing
August 14, 2019, 5 PM Kyiv time
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 13 times in total.
2. Suprun and Zelenskyy discuss further healthcare reforms
Ukrinform reported, “On Sunday, August 11, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Acting Health Minister Ulana Suprun met to discuss the progress and next steps to transform the health care system.
The acting health minister said this before a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on Wednesday, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
‘I had a meeting with the president … on Sunday. In general, we discussed the idea of further healthcare transformation. This is the most important thing,’ she said.
According to Suprun, this is the content of most of her conversations with the head of state. ‘A significant number of Ukrainians is waiting for changes at other levels of medical treatment,’ she added.”
3. Associated Press switches to correct English-language spelling of Kyiv; will no longer use “Kiev”
The Associated Press stated, “AP has changed its style for the capital of Ukraine to Kyiv, in line with the Ukrainian government’s preferred transliteration to English and increasing usage.”
4. Biden says he would make Ukraine a US foreign policy priority
Former US Vice-President Joe Biden, a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for the 2020 US Presidential election, responded to a questionnaire from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The CFR asked, “What, if any, steps would you take to counter Russian aggression against Ukraine?”
Biden responded, “First, I would make Ukraine a U.S. foreign policy priority. On the military side, I would provide more U.S. security assistance – including weapons – to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to defend itself. I would also expand the successful training mission for the Ukrainian Armed Forces that was initiated by the Obama-Biden administration.
Economically, I would work to increase Western direct investment and support for Ukraine’s energy independence from Russia, particularly if the Nordstream II pipeline is built in the coming year, because this project would severely jeopardize Ukraine’s access to Russian gas.
I would also ensure that all U.S. assistance to Ukraine is strictly conditioned on anti-corruption reforms, including the appointment of genuinely independent anti-corruption prosecutors and courts.
Finally, I would support a much stronger diplomatic role for the United States, alongside France and Germany, in the negotiations with Russia. For diplomacy to work, however, we need stronger leverage over Moscow, and that means working more closely with our European partners and allies to ensure that Russia pays a heavier price for its ongoing war in Ukraine. Our strategic goal will be to support the evolution of a democratic, unified, sovereign Ukraine and to force the Kremlin to pay a price for its unrelenting attacks on the international order.”