Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 8 July 2016, 7 PM Kyiv time

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
8 July 2016, 7 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 shelled Ukrainian positions at Novooleksandrivka with mortars. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Luhanske village with mortars. The most intense combat was near Avdiyivka, where Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars and artillery. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Mayorsk, Opytne and several other locations. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Talakivka and Shyrokyne with mortars. Intense firefights with Russian-terrorist forces took place at Maryinka, Dokuchayevsk and Starohnativka. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and six Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action.

2. Ukraine’s President: Ukraine and NATO, Complementary Allies Against Russia
In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko stated, “The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created to defend the peace and global order that emerged out of the chaos of World War II. As world leaders gather in Warsaw for the NATO summit on Friday, it will be important to remember these origins. Appeasement is not a solution. Russia has been deliberately inciting instability wherever it can, hoping to divide the West and advance its own geopolitical agenda. […] Russia’s aggression on the eastern flank of NATO territory is an aggression not only against Ukraine, but the Western world. Yet no NATO member state has actual battlefield experience engaging with the modern Russian army. Ukraine does. We are grateful for the support the West has given us so far. NATO has held firm in its stance against Russia’s aggression in Crimea and Donbas, and continues to support the building of a strong army and a successful democratic state. […] Yet this reactive strategy, imposing sanctions after violations have taken place, has largely exhausted itself. In Donbas, the Kremlin has turned to a war of attrition. […] So long as the Kremlin can continue to ignite minor conflagrations in certain areas such as the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, it will use them as leverage to bully other countries. Only a deeper partnership between NATO and Ukraine will foster stability in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, the Black Sea region and the transatlantic area as a whole. NATO’s support is a necessary part of the solution for defense and security threats in Ukraine. We will not settle for anything less than peace. But there is little value in talks with a negotiating partner who thinks in terms of geopolitical ambitions rather than saving human lives, and who shows no respect for legal commitments on his part. Pressure on the aggressor must be intensified until the Kremlin fulfills its obligations under the Minsk agreements, reverses the illegal and illegitimate self-declared annexation of Crimea, and comes back under the rule of law. The unified efforts of NATO and its partner countries matter. Working together, we can guide the course of history toward peace, stability and security. Staying strong is the key.” The full article is available at

3. Five US Senators Urge US President to make US Support for Ukraine a focus of NATO Summit
US Senators C. Murphy (D-Conn), D. Durbin (D-Ill), J. Shaheen (D-NH), B. Boxer, (D-Calif) and T. Kaine (D-Va) sent a letter to US President B. Obama on 7 July, stating, “amid the brazen failure of Russia to abide by the Minsk Agreement and internal political turmoil within the European Union, it is critical for NATO to reaffirm its support for Ukraine’s success and the fundamental democratic values at stake.[…] Unquestionably it is in American and European interests to see a peaceful democratic Ukraine succeed. At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin has not only ignored key terms of the Minsk Agreement, but also continued to escalate the conflict and undermine decades of established international norms. He maintains Russia’s illegal seizure of Crimea and continues provocations against NATO allies […] As such, we applaud your efforts to bolster NATO amid such Russian provocations. The announcement of a rotational deployment to Eastern Europe along with the tripling of the NATO Response Force helped reassure our NATO partners most vulnerable to Russia. Your support for military training and supplies for Ukraine has been equally important. And while not a NATO member, success in Ukraine is certainly in NATO’s interests as well. We hope you will reaffirm this sentiment at the Warsaw Summit.” The full letter is available at


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