Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 29 March 2016, 6 PM Kyiv time

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
29 March 2016, 6 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that yesterday towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Stanytsia Luhanska and Popasne. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with artillery. Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Luhanske village, Zaytseve, Mayorsk, Leninske and Avdiyivka with mortars. Russian-terrorist forces fired over 230 mortar shells, the highest one-day total since summer 2015. In Avdiyivka a civilan was wounded as a result of the shelling by Russian-terrorist forces. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Maryinka and Shyrokyne. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and six were wounded in action.
2. Ukraine’s Parliament approves resignation of General Prosecutor
Ukraine’s Parliament approved the resignation of General Prosecutor V. Shokin. 289 MPs voted to support the motion. Shokin had resigned from office on February 16, but the resignation needed Parliamentary approval to come into force.
3. US Ambassador to Ukraine: Important that new Prosecutor has support of Ukraine’s civil society
US Ambassador to Ukraine G. Pyatt stated, “There are skeptics who will say that no matter how much support the international community provides for Ukraine, no matter how much money and technical support Ukraine receives, Ukraine is not up to the challenge of defeating corruption.  That is why today’s action in the Rada, which we strongly welcome, to fire a discredited Prosecutor General is so important.  That is why it is so important to find a new Prosecutor General, a successor who enjoys the support of Ukrainian civil society, who is viewed as professional, independent, committed to the values and principles that so many have sacrificed so much to achieve on the Maidan, and in the war with Russia.  That is why Ukrainian civil society must remain vigilant in continuing to work to build this new society that you have done so much already to achieve.”
4. Ukraine’s President to visit US 30 March-2 April
Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko will make a working visit to the US on 30 March-2 April. Poroshenko will take part in the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington at the invitation of US President B. Obama.
5. New IRI poll: Ukrainians struggle against corruption while seeing improvements in local government
A poll released by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) “shows that corruption remains a serious problem across Ukraine. In the poll, conducted in 24 of the country’s largest cities, an overwhelming majority of citizens rank corruption as a significant or serious problem, including more than 70 percent of people in the nation’s capital, Kyiv […]While corruption remains a problem overall, trust and approval among Ukrainians of their local mayors has increased since last year. In half of the cities surveyed, more than 40 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the October 2015 mayoral results and in some places, like Kharkiv, Lviv and Ternopil, well over 60 percent approve of the mayor’s activities and reforms. According to the poll, one of the most popular reforms of the last year was replacing patrol police in the cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv and Odesa. This reform resulted in a significant boost in citizen approval ratings of the police.” IRI stated. The poll was conducted in all oblast capitals of Ukraine (excluding Russian-occupied Simferopil and Donetsk and Luhansk), as well as Mariupol and Severodonetsk from January 20February 8. The poll was funded by Global Affairs Canada. The full results of the poll are available at


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