Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 12 August 2016, 7 PM Kyiv time

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
12 August 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 fired on Ukrainian positions near Stanytsia Luhansak and Shchastya. At Popasne, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Avdiyivka with mortars. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Horlivka, and along the Zaytseve-Verkhnotroitske line. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions along the Pavlopil-Shyrokyne line with mortars. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and four Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action.
2. Address from Ukraine’s Parliament to the heads of Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committees of Canada, EU Countries, United States, and European Parliament
The First Deputy Speaker of Ukraine’s Parliament, I. Heraschenko, First Deputy Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on European Integration M. Ionova, and the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs H. Hopko stated,”We have to draw attention of the world community due to the policy currently carried out by the leadership of the Russian Federation purposefully aiming to escalate its military aggression against Ukraine. This time, the issue is another cunning provocation related to unfounded accusations against Ukraine of alleged plotting several terrorist attacks on the territory of the Russia-annexed Crimea, which is an integral part of the Ukrainian state and is currently occupied by Russia. Respective Ukrainian bodies of state power have refuted general information, whereas the Russian side has not provided any solid evidence to the events Ukraine is accused of. Moreover, Russian special forces committed another crime having kidnapped a citizen of Ukraine in order to concoct evidence of his alleged ‘crimes.’ […] Intentional escalation, breaching of the Minsk accords by the Russian Federation, intensified shelling from prohibited types of weapons, which is confirmed by the Special Monitoring Mission of the OSCE, accumulation of offensive forces along the whole confrontation line and near the border with Ukraine, hostile statements by the Russian high-ranking officials and their proxies on the occupied territories of Ukraine over the last month, do indicate nothing more but Russian leadership’s unwillingness to abandon the idea of carry out further naked military aggression against Ukraine. […] Currently the [occupying] country is looking for the ways to shift all responsibility for its destructive activity on Ukraine and its international partners. Besides, it creates artificial preconditions to further escalate the military confrontation. We are confident that such actions of the Russian leadership are of direct threat not only to Ukraine, but also to Europe and the whole world. […]Taking the provocative actions of the Russian leadership into consideration we call on our colleagues to immediately take all possible political and diplomatic measures to influence the Kremlin, prevent new escalation in Ukraine and complete disruption of the Minsk process by the Kremlin.”
3. Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Defense and head of State Security Service brief G7 Ambassadors
Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs P. Klimkin, Minister of Defense S. Poltorak, and head of the State Security Service (SBU) briefed the Ambassadors of the countries of the G7, on the order of Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko. Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported, “In connection with the fact that the occupying state has carried out another provocation on the temporarily occupied territory of the Crimea, it was stressed that all accusations levelled against Ukraine are unfounded. It was underlined that the goal of the aggressor is to destabilize the situation in Ukraine and the entire region. The Ambassadors of the G7 confirmed their unity in support of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state and the use of all political-diplomatic mechanisms aimed at stopping the aggressive actions of the Kremlin.”
4. Washington Post: While the World is Distracted, Putin Escalates his War in Ukraine
The Washington Post’s Editorial Board stated, “President Vladimir Putin of Russia is again playing with fire. This time, it may be a summer bluff, or it may be a pretext to escalation of war with Ukraine. Either way, it reflects Mr. Putin’s determination to deceive and subvert whenever it suits his goals, at home and abroad, taking advantage of a distracted United States and Europe. The Russian Federal Security Service, or FSB, claimed Wednesday  that one of its officers was killed over the weekend near the de facto border between Crimea and Ukraine. […]Ukraine responded that it was all “fantasy,” a provocation from Russia. […] The FSB announcement sounds suspiciously like a gambit by Mr. Putin, who swiftly vowed revenge.  […]We’ve seen this movie before. Mr. Putin’s troops stealthily took over predominantly Russian-speaking Crimea with their ‘little green men,’ soldiers without insignia; he has never confessed to Russia’s true role in instigating and executing the Donbass insurrection nor the shoot-down of a Malaysian civilian jetliner. His military campaign in Syria has been carried out with similar disinformation and insouciance. […]In 2014, President Obama and Secretary of State John F. Kerry urged Mr. Putin to take an ‘off ramp’ from a deeper war in Ukraine. But Mr. Putin pays no heed to traffic directions. The United States and Europe can ill afford complacency and illusions about Russia.” The full article is available at


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