Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 3 March, 6 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
3 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 in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and 22 Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions 116 times in the last 24 hours, including at least 43 times with heavy weapons. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Svitlodarsk and Horlivka with mortars. At Avdiivka, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with tanks and mortars. Russian-terrorist forces shelled residential areas in and around Avdiivka, damaging at least 9 residential buildings. No civilians were injured. Russian-terrorist forces fired over 200 mortar rounds and over 80 tanks shells near Avdiivka in the last 24 hours. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Lysychansk (over 15 km from the front lines) with 152-mm artillery. Near Popasne, Russian-terrorist forces carried out heavy mortar shelling of Ukrainian positions. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Krasnohorivka with mortars. On the Chermalyk-Shyrokyne line, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars, artillery and tanks.
2. Globe and Mail: Bitter Harvest – A forgotten history, finally told
Lubomyr Luciuk, professor of political geography at the Royal Military College wrote in the Globe and Mail on March 2, “My godmother, Nina, told me the truth. When I shared it with my history teacher, he said she was mistaken, or had lied. I was upset. I asked my parents who was right. They gave me a book, Russian Oppression in Ukraine, which included firsthand accounts about the Great Famine of 1932-33 in Soviet Ukraine. […] What brought this decades-old high-school memory to mind was a new film, Bitter Harvest. As it ended, I glanced around the screening room. Some cried quietly. Others seemed uncertain about how to react. I know why. It’s a beautifully filmed love story about Natalka (Samantha Barks) and Yuri (Max Irons), set in an almost Edenic landscape saturated with colours evoking a verdant and fruitful life. Very soon, however, almost imperceptibly, it begins to soil, as the brutality of the Bolshevik occupation of Ukraine metastasizes Europe’s breadbasket into a modern-day Golgotha, a place of skulls. Can love survive such corrupting foulness? I don’t know. […]  Stalin’s successors in the Kremlin remain Holodomor-deniers while fellow travellers in the West call upon the world to turn a blind eye to continuing Russian imperialism against Ukraine, lest we offend the ‘Great Russians.’ Director George Mendeluk’s film will challenge those fake news peddlers. […] Millions of Ukraine’s best sons and daughters were disposed of unceremoniously, tipped into collective boneyards. The survivors were leavings, entombed in a postgenocidal society, victims of a crippling legacy still unexorcised.” The full article is available at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/film/buried-history-of-ukrainian-famine-finally-told-in-film-bitterharvest/article34183392/
For more information on Bitter Harvest show times in Canada, see
3. US statement on Russia’s Continued Occupation of Crimea
Speaking at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on March 2, US charge d’affaires Kate Byrnes stated, “Three years have passed since Russia launched its occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea.  On February 27, 2014, Russian troops in unmarked uniforms seized the parliament building in Simferopol, and then proceeded to hold Crimea hostage until the illegitimate, so-called ‘referendum’ could take place on March 16.President Putin confirmed those soldiers were Russian military personnel operating under his orders to violate Ukrainian sovereignty and intimidate the population of Crimea, despite initially misleading the international community by denying Russia’s involvement. Moscow organized the sham ‘referendum’ held under the threat of violence in an attempt to justify Russia’s occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea.  The people of Crimea have never freely accepted Russia’s occupation – not then, and not now.  Russia subsequently followed through on its threat of violence through the systematic oppression of those who oppose Russia’s occupation.  Moscow fears exposing the truth behind its rule by force, and has created a climate of fear and intimidation to shore up its control. […]Russia continues to subject ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars to systematic discrimination, including through severely limited access to education in Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar languages.  In May 2016, Russian authorities banned the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, a democratically-elected body representing the Crimean Tatar population, claiming it was an extremist organization.  This is a laughable claim, and a sad indication of how far Russia is willing to go to punish those who will not assent to its attempted annexation. […] The ability to freely assemble has nearly ceased to exist under Russian occupation, and authorities routinely deny Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians permission to hold political or cultural public gatherings. […] Russia has dangerously undermined international peace and security by occupying and attempting to annex the territory of its neighbor.  Russia’s violation of international law and our shared Helsinki principles, and its rejection of the commitments that are the basis of 70 years of post-war international order, have made the world more dangerous for us all. The United States affirms its full support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally-recognized borders.  As we have said before, the lifting of Crimea-related sanctions on Russia is tied to Russia returning control of the peninsula to Ukraine.” The full statement is available athttps://osce.usmission.gov/russias-continued-illegal-occupation-of-crimea/
4. Ukraine’s tax chief targeted in corruption probe
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported, “Ukraine’s tax and customs service chief has been suspended from his post amid a graft investigation that marks a rare attempt to prosecute a senior official on suspicion of corruption. The government said on March 3 that State Fiscal Service (DFS) Director Roman Nasirov has been temporarily relieved of his duties. Meanwhile, a special prosecutor tasked with fighting corruption said it will seek Nasirov’s arrest on suspicion of ‘abuse of office leading to serious financial losses,’ voicing concern that he could try to flee the country. The moves came a day after the National Anticorruption Bureau (NABU) said it attempted to serve Nasirov, who was in a Kyiv hospital, with a document identifying him as a suspect. Minutes later, Nasirov was transferred to an intensive care unit after suffering what a doctor said was a heart attack. The Specialized Anticorruption Prosecutor’s office (SAP) says it suspects Nasirov might have helped fugitive lawmaker Oleksandr Onyshchenko dodge taxes. […] [Onyshchenko]is wanted in Kyiv on suspicion of fraud and of embezzling the equivalent of more than $100 million in tax revenues from natural gas delivery contracts.”

 


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