Ukraine: Daily Briefing – April 5, 2017, 5 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
April 5, 2017, 5 PM Kyiv time
Ukraine’s Minister of Defence Stepan Poltorak 
meets with Lieutenant General Paul Wynnyk, Commander of the Canadian Army
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 five Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Avdiivka with mortars. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at several locations on the Donetsk sector of the front. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Krasnohorivka and Bohdanivka with mortars. Near Maryinka, Russian-terrorist forces attacked a Ukrainian position. Ukrainian forces repelled the attack. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Popasne.
2. World Bank publishes Ukraine Economic Update
On April 4, the World Bank stated, “Ukraine’s economy grew modestly by 2.3 percent in 2016 after 16 percent cumulative contraction in the previous two years, according to the World Bank’s latest Ukraine Economic Update.  Fixed investment rebounded by 20 percent in 2016, pointing towards strengthening investor confidence, while a bumper agriculture harvest led to stronger growth of 4.8 percent in the fourth quarter. […] Economic growth is projected at 2 percent in 2017, given the weak global environment and the coal and trade blockade with Donbas that is expected to negatively impact two key sectors-steel production and electricity generation. Reforms to boost investor confidence and private sector competitiveness can help raise growth to 4 percent in the medium term. The fiscal deficit widened to 2.2 percent of GDP in 2016 due to lower social security contributions, and fiscal pressures are expected to persist in 2017 due to the increase in the minimum wage. A systematic fiscal consolidation effort grounded in the reform of pensions, education, health, and social assistance is needed to gradually reduce the fiscal deficit and public debt. Without such a systematic fiscal consolidation effort, Ukraine will need to rely on ad hoc revenue measures and expenditure cuts, which would undermine debt sustainability, growth prospects, and the quality of social services.” The World Bank’s Ukraine Economic Update is available at
3. Ukraine’s Defence Minister holds talks with representatives of Canadian defence industry
Ukraine’s Minister of Defence Gen. Stepan Poltorak met with representatives of Canada’s defence industry on April 4 in Ottawa. Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence reported, “Vice-President of Canadian Commercial Corporation Cameron McKenzie welcomed the Ukrainian delegation and underscored his interest in development of cooperation with Ukraine. He also mentioned that signing the Defence Cooperation Arrangement gave new opportunities for two countries and this cooperation could be developed comprehensively. Minister of Defence of Ukraine General of the Army of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak underlined that Ukraine was interested to extend defence cooperation in many spheres.” Minister Poltorak stated, “Considering the needs of the Ukrainian army and possibilities of our defence industry, cooperation in aviation, production of ammunition, armour vehicles, radio electronics, and control and communication systems is very prospective.”
4. Peter MacKay: It’s time for Canada to get tough with Putin and his thugs. Here’s how we can do it
Writing in the National Post former Canadian Minister of Defence, Foreign Affairs and Justice Peter Mackay stated, “What kind of country assassinates the opposition leader virtually on the steps of their legislature; puts hits out on citizens who speak out against them, even outside its borders; orders the persecution of government employees; foreign politicians and governments to cyber attacks; sends troops across sovereign borders and generally behaves like a 16th century dictatorship? The answer, of course, is Vladimir Putin’s Russia. […] Opponents and critics are silenced and murdered. The media is controlled. Government propaganda deceives the public. […] Abroad, the picture is just as bad. Russia commits war crimes in Syria and props up the Assad regime, while threatening NATO and annexing parts of Ukraine. The invasion of Crimea is the worst example of their aggression, but the reach of their cyber warriors is felt everywhere, including right here in the democratic West. […] It is incumbent upon civilized nations to push back when the rule of law is abrogated in such a blatant way, and Canadians now have a historic opportunity. In addition to making the investments required to meet our NORAD and NATO commitments, we can pass the Magnitsky Act and hold those responsible for the abominable and disruptive behaviour of Russia. This would send a clear signal of solidarity to the long-suffering Russian people and to our allies who have taken action. Shared values is a lovely expression, but it must be an actionable item if it is to have meaning. […] Efforts to sanction officials involved in illegal activity would bring some measure of justice. Barring travel, denying visas, and seizing assets are just a few proper steps in that direction that Canada has already taken. The American and British governments have already gone further. […] Canada has taken some similar steps, but can put in place tougher measures. A few years ago a motion was adopted in Parliament unanimously with the clear intent of signalling to Russia our determination to impose meaningful penalties on those who commit crimes and violate rights and the rule of law. This was a rare showing of complete non-partisan support for an international justice initiative in our Parliament. A Canadian Magnitsky law would sanction Russian officials involved in human rights abuses, importantly allowing for the seizure of their ill-gotten millions abroad. Such a tool restricts the movement, freedom and impunity of those named individuals in positions of power who abuse and steal from the Russian people. […] Canada needs legislation to signal its revulsion at Russia’s crimes and to punish those responsible. Denying visas, seizure of assets and in some cases, working with other like-minded democratic allies to bring these thugs to the International Criminal Court may, in time, bring justice to Russia’s many victims, especially those in Russia itself.” The full article is available at
5. NATO Deputy Secretary General to Attend Kyiv Security Forum
NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller will visit Kyiv on April 6 and 7, the NATO press office stated. Deputy Secretary General Gottemoeller will meet with Ukraine’s PM Volodymyr Groysman and other high level officials. She will also meet with Crimean Tatar leaders. She will deliver a speech to the Kyiv Security Forum on April 7. For more information on the Kyiv Security Forum see


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