Ukraine: Daily Briefing – July 30, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
July 30, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian Armed Forces training exercises. 
Photo – Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense

1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense 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. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions on the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors of the front 30 times in total.
2. Representative of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholemew: Ukrainian Church and its leaders have the right to their place among the Churches
Celebrations of the 1030th anniversary of Christianization of Ukraine-Rus’, Kyiv,July 28. Photo – Ukraine’s Presidential Administration

Ukraine’s Presidential Administration reported on July 28, “At the celebration of the 1030th anniversary of Christianization of Ukraine-Rus’, representative of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Metropolitan of France Emmanuel emphasized that the Ecumenical Patriarch ‘will not leave his Ukrainian sons unprotected and abandoned.’
            ‘The Ecumenical Patriarch cannot remain blind and deaf to the appeals that have been repeated for more than a quarter of a century,’ Metropolitan Emmanuel said. ‘Sons of the Ukrainian Church and its leaders have the right to their place among the Churches,’ he added.
            ‘The Mother Church has already passed the ruling on April 20 this year. Namely – to begin the procedure for achieving the ultimate goal – to provide autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,’ representative of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew noted. He added that this became possible after the appeal of the Ukrainian authorities, the President of Ukraine, ‘which is the successor to the political structure of Kyivan Rus.’
            ‘We are sure that the Ecumenical Patriarchate is on your side. You will not be orphaned because the Mother Church will find a way to become involved in your progress, your success, your growth in the faith of Christ,’ Metropolitan Emmanuel said.
            ‘We express our hope that our Lord will fill all your needs. May God bless you,’ Metropolitan Emmanuel said and gave blessings to the Ukrainian people from the Ecumenical Patriarch.'”
3. Canada’s Department of Global Affairs: Annexation of Crimea breaches international law
On July 28, Canada’s Department of Global Affairs issued the following statement:
“Through its illegal invasion and annexation of Crimea, Russia has violated the international rules-based order and the vital international norm that no country can change another country’s borders by force.
            Canada reaffirms its enduring commitment to the territorial integrity of Ukraine and condemns actions taken by Russia towards the forcible integration of the Crimean peninsula into Russia, including through the opening of the Kerch Strait Bridge in May 2018.
            Since Russia’s occupation of Crimea, we have witnessed severe human rights violations-committed by state agents of Russia-including the suppression of freedom of expression and association, arbitrary arrests, torture, detentions and disappearances. Many of these grave human rights violations were documented last fall by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
            We call for the release of all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens, including Oleg Sentsov, who have been removed to Russia and sentenced by courts whose jurisdiction in Crimea we do not recognize.
            Crimea’s rich cultural heritage has also been targeted by Russia, including through the mistreatment of the Crimean Tatar population and their historic sites.
            Canada is steadfast in its support for the people of Ukraine. Together, the international community must maintain its pressure, including through economic sanctions, until Russia respects international law and Ukraine’s sovereignty.”

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