Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 3 August 2016, 7 PM Kyiv time

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
3 August 2016, 7 PM Kyiv time
 03
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that yesterday towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces carried out heavy mortar shelling of Ukrainian positions at Krymske and Popasne, firing nearly 100 mortar shells. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Stanytsia Luhanska and Zolote. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces carried out heavy shelling of Ukrainian positions near Avdiyivka. At Zaytseve and Pisky, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with artillery. Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near the Donetsk airport. On the Donetsk sector of the front, Russian-terrorist forces fired over 400 mortar shells and 34 artillery shells in total throughout the day yesterday. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions along the Krasnohorivka-Maryinka line and the Hnutove-Shyrokyne line. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and three Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action.
2. Statement by the Delegation of Ukraine at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict
Ukraine’s Delegation to the UN stated at the Security Council Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict, “Unfortunately, we know first-hand what negative impact armed conflicts could have on children. According to our data, 68 children have been killed and 186 have been wounded in Eastern Ukraine since the beginning of the conflict masterminded by Russia. The number of IDPs in Ukraine, who were forced to leave their homes in war affected regions, now stands at 1,7 million, including 215 thousand children. The Ukrainian Government is doing its utmost to strengthen social protection of displaced children and families with children, including through elaboration of relevant legislation. […] According to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, 39 schools, kinder gardens and other children facilities in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine are used for military purposes by the Russia-backed illegal armed groups. They have transformed these sites into barracks, fortified military outposts, ammunition and weapons storage facilities. On numerous occasions Russia-backed separatists used school grounds as artillery and mortar positions. There are also extremely worrying reports regarding establishment of camps, where children are trained to handle weapons, use of children for intelligence gathering and manning checkpoints. […] OSCE mission in Ukraine has on several occasions reported that irregular armed formations in the East are allegedly preventing young men from leaving Donetsk and forcefully recruiting them to join their ranks, which could amount to human trafficking. In particular, at ‘DPR’ checkpoints, the SMM observed young armed persons, with some of the male individuals estimated to be minors. There have also been reports from various sources that children as young as 15 years old were being recruited to armed youth groups and taking part in active combat as full-fledged members of combined Russian-backed militant forces, including as youth reconnaissance and sabotage groups operating in the government-controlled territory. It all amounts to recruitment of children, which is a grave violation of international humanitarian law. In this light the fact that the UN Secretary-General’s report on children and armed conflict does not contain any reference to the situation of Ukrainian children affected by the conflict in the Donbas region of Ukraine is an omission that should be corrected. Unfortunately, this is another example of a blind eye turned to the only ongoing armed conflict in Europe.” The full statement is available athttp://ukraineun.org/en/press-center/96-statement-by-the-delegation-of-ukraine-at-the-un-security-council-open-debate-on-children-and-armed-conflict/
3. Centre for European Policy Analysis publishes report “Winning the Information War”
The Centre for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) published its report, “Winning the Information War: Techniques and Counter-strategies to Russian Propaganda in Central and Eastern Europe. “As revisionist, autocratic states like Russia sharpen their use-and abuse-of disinformation, liberal democracies are failing to keep pace. The Kremlin’s use of information as a weapon is not new, but its sophistication and intensity are increasing. Belatedly, the West has begun to realize that disinformation poses a serious threat to the United States and its European allies, primarily the ‘frontline states’-Poland, the Baltic states, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine-but also to Western Europe and North America,” CEPA stated. Winning the Information War “analyzes the impact of Russian disinformation by drawing on dozens of case studies, some directly commissioned by the authors and others detailed by on-the-ground monitors. Project chairs Edward Lucas and Peter Pomerantsev synthesize those works and analyze the tools of Russian information warfare-overt propaganda channels as well as the political forces, civil society actors, businesses and public figures who use them. The report also looks at several examples of policies Russia has enacted to spread disinformation throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Winning the Information War concludes with a comprehensive set of recommendations- also produced as a stand-alone report-to defend against and ultimately defeat Russia’s disinformation machine.” The report can be downloaded at http://cepa.org/reports/winning-the-Information-War

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