Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 1 March, 6 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
1 March, 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 shelling by Russian-terrorist forces escalated significantly in the last 24 hours. Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions 117 times in the last 24 hours, including at least 51 times with heavy weapons. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces fired over 110 artillery shells, 60 tank shells and over 400 mortar shells. Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and four Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Avdiivka with tanks and artillery. At Svitlodarsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Popasne, Orikhove and Novoshkivske with mortars. At Krymske, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with artillery. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Vodyane with artillery and at Hnutove with mortars. Russian-terrorist forces shelled residential areas of Hnutove, damaging a residential building.
2. EU moves step closer to granting Ukrainians visa-free travel
The Associated Press reported, “The European Union has moved a step closer to granting visa-free entry to citizens of Ukraine. Negotiators from EU member countries and the European Parliament reached a deal late Tuesday to allow Ukrainians who have biometric passports to enter the EU for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. […] The deal now has to be formally endorsed by the full European Parliament and by ministers from EU member countries. European Parliament lawmaker Mariya Gabriel said that approving the visa waiver ‘is an important step forward toward reforming Ukrainian society by bringing people together, building bridges across borders.'”
3. UK Foreign Secretary, Foreign Minister of Poland visit Kyiv to reiterate unwavering support for Ukraine
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Witold Waszczykowski, Foreign Minister of Poland are in Kyiv on March 1 for meetings with President Poroshenko, PM Groysman, Deputy-PM Klympush-Tsynsadze and Foreign Minister Klimkin. Foreign Secretary Johnson stated, “This visit reinforces our unwavering support for Ukraine. The UK remains committed to defending Ukraine’s sovereignty. We are adamant that Russia’s annexation of Crimea is illegal and we urge Russia to return it. I welcome the progress made on implementing reforms and tackling corruption. The UK-Ukraine reform conference in July will enable us to showcase the great work that is being done in Ukraine.” Foreign Minister Waszczykowski stated, “Poland and the UK since the beginning of Revolution of Dignity have supported Ukraine on its pro-European path. I’m extremely happy that together with Minister Boris Johnson we will be able to reiterate our commitment to Ukraine’s European choice, sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
UK Foreign Secretary Johnson; Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Klimkin; Poland’s Foreign Minister Waszczykowski in Kyiv
4. US at UN calls on Russian-separatist forces to stop attacks on civilian infrastructure
Speaking at a meeting of the UN Security Council on February 28, US Minister Counselor Christopher Klein stated, “We continue to support the Minsk agreements and their full implementation as the best path to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The United States condemns last Friday’s targeting of OSCE monitors and the seizure of a Special Monitoring Mission unmanned aerial vehicle by combined-Russian separatist forces. It is imperative that these forces stop their attacks on civilian infrastructure, including the Donetsk water filtration station. We call on Russia and the separatist forces it backs to immediately observe the cease-fire, withdraw all heavy weapons, and allow full and unfettered access to the OSCE monitors.”


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