Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 23 February 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
23 February 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and one Ukrainian soldier was wounded in action. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Svitlodarsk and Zaytseve with mortars. At Avdiyivka, Pisky and several other locations, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist force shelled Ukrainian positions near Popasne with mortars. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Vodyane and Shyrokyne with mortars, artillery and Grad rockets. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions 54 times in total, including 12 times with heavy weapons.
Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the UN Volodymyr Yelchenko
2. Bitter Harvest Film Premieres in Kyiv
The film Bitter Harvest, produced by Ukrainian Canadian philanthropist Ian Ihnatowycz, premiered in Kyiv on February 22. The film is the first English-language feature film about the Holodomor. Attending the premier, Ukraine’s First Lady Maryna Poroshenko thanked everyone who took part in making the film, and stated, “this film will become a revelation for millions of viewers around the world, because for many years this crime against humanity was concealed.” A trailer of the film as well as locations and dates from premiers across Canada is available at
First Lady Maryna Poroshenko and Ian Ihnatowycz at premier of Bitter Harvest PHOTO -Ukraine Presidential Administration
3. US lawmakers call for providing lethal weapons to Ukraine
In an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) in Kyiv on February 22, US Senator Dick Durbin (D-Il) stated, “What [the Russians] continue to do in eastern Ukraine, in Donetsk, gives no indication they’re backing off. We have to give to Ukraine the tools and weapons they need to protect their own people. […] We have to look at the reality. Putin continues to be confrontational.” Durbin is the second-most senior Democrat in the Senate, and is a member of the Judiciary, Appropriations and Rules Committees. US Representative Mike Quigley (D-Il), who spoke to RFE/RL together with Durbin stated that providing lethal arms was necessary “because it is a new world and there’s new technology out there, and [the Ukrainians] are competing against an advanced force.”
4. The Hill: New US National Security Adviser pick marks big change on Russia
The Hill reported on February 21, “President Trump’s replacement for former national security adviser Michael Flynn represents a stark new direction, both in policy and approach. Where Flynn was widely seen as a Trump loyalist whose extreme views mirrored the president’s own, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster has a reputation for speaking his mind to superiors – and has publicly staked out positions that are in direct conflict not only with Flynn, but with Trump himself. Widely thought to be one of the Army’s premier thinkers – he’s been called a ‘warrior scholar’ – McMaster made the threat posed by Russia a central focus in his most recent role as the director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center. He has publicly warned lawmakers about the threat posed by Moscow. […] The president has been engaged for months in a public feud with the intelligence community that has its roots in a multi-agency assessment that Russia attempted to interfere in the U.S. presidential election on Trump’s behalf – analysis that the president has begrudgingly and only partially acknowledged.”


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