Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 16 August 2016, 7 PM Kyiv time

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
16 August 2016, 7 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported that yesterday towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at several locations along the Luhansk sector of the front. Near Stanytsia Luhanska, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars and grenade launchers. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Horlivka and Avdiyivka with mortars. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Novoselivka with artillery. At Talakivka, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. Near Bohdanivka, Russian-terrorist forces attacked a Ukrainian position. Ukrainian forces repelled the attack. Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Maryinka and Krasnohorivka with mortars. Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and eight Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action.
2. Ukraine’s Military Intelligence: Russia deploys air defense unit to occupied Donbas territories
Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Department reported that Russia deployed an air defense unit of the 60th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 5th Army of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation to the Russian-occupied territories of the Donbas. Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Department established that this Russian air defense unit consists of 168 personnel, 21 pieces of military equipment and 30 vehicles. Ukraine’s Military Intelligence stated, “We consider the deployment of the air defense unit of the 60th Brigade as posing an increased threat of air terrorism to all aircraft, including civilian aircraft, taking into account the well-known terrorist act by the Russian Federation – the downing of Flight MH-17. The unit [of the 60th brigade of the 5th Army of the Russian Armed Forces] is equipped with powerful [surface-to air missile systems] ‘Tor-M2U,’ which are no less effective than the ‘Buk’ missile system that was used to shoot down MH-17.” The full report from Ukraine’s Military Intelligence is available in Ukrainian at https://gur.gov.ua/content/shchodo-naroshchuvannia-rosiiskoi-viiskovoi-prysutnosti-na-terytorii-ukrainy.html
3. Chairman of US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Stresses US Support for Ukraine Amid Increasing Russian Provocation
US Senator B. Corker (R-Tenn), Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, spoke with US Ambassador to Ukraine G. Pyatt on 15 August, following which Senator Corker “stressed continued U.S. support for Ukraine amid reports of increasing Russian military mobilization in Crimea,” the US Embassy in Ukraine reported. Corker stated, “This morning, I spoke with Ambassador Pyatt about the ways that Putin is putting pressure on Ukraine and the restraint that the Ukrainians are showing. With Russian forces illegally occupying Crimea and escalating the conflict in the Donbass, Putin’s recent military mobilizations along Ukraine’s borders add increasing instability to the already dangerous situation. Since the Maidan Revolution, the United States has strengthened its relationship with the reform-oriented government of Ukraine, and we must continue to provide the support we have committed.”
4. Ukraine’s President speaks with German, French leaders
Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko held a phone conversation with German Chancellor A. Merkel and French President F. Hollande. Poroshenko “expressed deep concern about the recent provocation in the temporarily occupied her Ukrainian Crimea, which led to a sharp deterioration of the security situation. […] The interlocutors reaffirmed their commitment to joint efforts to resolve the situation in the Donbas and temporarily occupied Crimea exclusively by diplomatic-political means,” President Poroshenko’s press service reported.

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