Ukraine: Daily Briefing – April 25, 2017, 5 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
April 25, 2017, 5 PM Kyiv time
 
 
Non-commissioned officer situational training exercise, Yavoriv, Ukraine. Photo – US Army Europe
 
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 or wounded in action. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Avdiivka and Verkhnotroitske with mortars. At Pisky,  Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with grenade launchers. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Maryinka and Krasnohorivka with grenade launchers. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions along the Pavlopil-Shyrokyne line. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Novooleksandrivka and Troitske.
 
2. Atlantic Council: Surkov email Leaks Show How Russia Funds and Manages Conflict in Ukraine
On April 24, the Atlantic Council reported, “Hacked emails show that the Kremlin directs and funds the ostensibly independent republics in eastern Ukraine and runs military operations there. In late 2016, Ukrainian hacker groups released emails purportedly taken from the office of Kremlin official Vladislav Surkov, who oversees Ukraine policy for Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Surkov leaks confirm what many have long suspected: the Kremlin has orchestrated and funded the supposedly independent governments in the Donbas, and seeks to disrupt internal Ukrainian politics, making the task of rebuilding modern Ukraine impossible. Russia has consistently denied accusations from Kyiv and the West that it is providing the separatists with troops, weapons, and other material support or meddling in Ukrainian affairs. The emails from Surkov’s office betray the official Kremlin line, revealing the extent of Russian involvement in the seizure of Ukrainian territory, the creation of puppet “people’s republics,” and the funding to ensure their survival. […] In his own words, the Surkov leaks show that the Kremlin directs and funds the ostensibly independent republics in eastern Ukraine and runs military operations there. Yet nearly all media in the West speak about the war in the Donbas as being run by Kremlin-backed separatists, but this isn’t a true characterization. Moscow is actively guiding and managing this breakaway state, down to paying invoices for office equipment. The leaks provides clear, irrefutable evidence that the Donetsk People’s Republic is not an independent actor; it is a creature of the Kremlin and should be treated as such. It’s time for the media and foreign governments to catch up and call it what it is: a Russian hybrid war. The full report from the Atlantic Council is available at http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/russia-funds-and-manages-conflict-in-ukraine-leaks-show
 
Vice Prime Minister Klympush-Tsintsadze and NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg


3. NATO-Ukraine Commission addresses Ukraine’s reform agenda
Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Ivanna Klympush-Tsinsadze visited NATO Headquarters, where she met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. NATO’s press service reported, “In a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, Minister Klympush-Tsintsadze briefed Allies on Ukraine’s reform efforts and annual implementation plans. The Secretary General reaffirmed NATO’s strong support for Ukraine and thanked Kyiv for pursuing an ambitious reform agenda in the defence and security sector. He also expressed his condolences to the loved ones of the OSCE paramedic killed and those wounded in the explosion in eastern Ukraineon Sunday (23 April). He said that the incident underscored the need for the Minsk Agreements to be implemented in full. Allied ambassadors reiterated this message, stressing the importance of guaranteeing safety and freedom of movement for OSCE monitors. Allies also encouraged Ukraine to take reforms forward to strengthen its defence forces and democratic institutions, and tackle corruption.”

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