Ukraine: Daily Briefing – January 24, 2019, 6 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
January 24, 2019, 6 PM Kyiv time
 
278th Armored Cavalry Regiment Soldiers,Tennessee Army National Guard deployed on training mission in Ukraine. Photo: US Army Europe


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 or wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions on the Donetsk sector of the front once.
2. Yanukovych found guilty of treason, sentenced to 13 years in prison
The Associated Press reported, “A court in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Thursday found former president Viktor Yanukovych guilty of treason and helping Russia annex Crimea.
           The court began reading out the verdict in Yanukovych’s case, a process that is expected to take at least the whole day. The judge already declared Yanukovych guilty of treason and premeditated actions to alter the country’s borders, and will rule later on the other charges.
           Yanukovych fled Ukraine in 2014 as tensions in Kyiv flared up following a deadly police crackdown on protesters calling for the president to follow through with an association agreement with the European Union. Yanukovych eventually surfaced in Russia and was tried in absentia. […]
          At a United Nations Security Council session on March 1, 2014, a Russian envoy had read out a request by Yanukovych to send Russian troops to Ukraine. […] Prosecutors have asked the court to sentence Yanukovych to 15 years in prison.”
          Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported at 5:30 PM Kyiv time that Yanukovych has been sentenced to 13 years in prison.
3. Statement by IMF Managing Director following meetings with President of Ukraine
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director met with Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko on January 23. Following the meeting, Lagarde issued the following statement, “I had a good and constructive meeting with President Poroshenko and his team, during which we discussed recent economic developments and prospects for Ukraine, as well as the implementation of the measures under the Stand-By Arrangement approved by the IMF Executive Board on December 18, 2018.
           I reiterated that the IMF stands ready to continue to support Ukraine, along with other international partners, in its reform efforts under President Poroshenko’s leadership. I also highlighted the urgency for Ukraine to accelerate reforms and transition to stronger growth, which is needed to improve people’s living standards in a sustainable manner.”
4. Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe condemns Russia’s attack in Kerch strait
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution, The escalation of tensions around the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait and threats to European security, in which PACE “condemns the use of military force by the Russian Federation against Ukrainian warships and their crews.”
           The Parliamentary Assembly urges the Russian Federation to:
“immediately release the Ukrainian servicemen and ensure they are granted the necessary medical, legal and/or consular assistance in accordance with relevant provisions of international humanitarian law such as the Geneva Conventions;
ensure freedom of passage in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait in accordance with the above-mentioned Treaty and any other mutually agreed procedures and to respect the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea;”
          The Parliamentary Assembly:
“reiterates its commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders; […]
           expresses great concern about the construction by Russia of the bridge over the Kerch Strait, which it considers illegal and another breach of Ukraine’s sovereignty, as well as about Russia’s policy regarding the selective search of Ukrainian and international ships, which hinder navigation to and from the Sea of Azov; […]
          calls on the international bodies which have competence in the field, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), to visit the Ukrainian servicemen in prison, pending their release, and supports any diplomatic action taken by member States aimed at their release.”

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