Ukraine: Daily Briefing – February 13, 2019, 8 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
February 13, 2019, 8 PM Kyiv time
Operatiion UNIFIER
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that on February 12 one Ukrainian service member was wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire five times on Ukrainian positions on the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors, including once using heavy weapons.
The press centre of Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation released the intelligence report saying that three invaders were killed and three were wounded as a result of returning fire by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the last 24 hours.
2. UN Security Council Holds the Meeting on Ukraine
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On February 12, the UN Security Council held a meeting about the situation on Ukraine. One of the highlights include the statement by Ambassador Jonathan Allen, UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, who boldly addressed the Russian Ambassador asking to explain Russia’s role in the conflict in Ukraine. He emphasized that Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine was not limited to the Donbas and Crimea but that Russia was trying to undermine Ukraine at every opportunity including the agreement on ceasefire; supplying weapons and personnel to eastern Ukraine, calling illegitimate elections, etc. He spoke of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) being unable to carry out its mandate because of Russia’s repeated refusal to support the SMM, of the deployment of Russian electronic jamming system ‘ZHITEL’ in the Donbas, of the downing of SMM UAV near Ukraine-Russia border.
Ambassador Allen reminded everyone of the upcoming fifth anniversary of the illegal annexation of Crimea and how the Security Council on the 15th March 2014 voted on a draft resolution that reaffirmed the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine and how on 27th March 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 68262 supported by one hundred member states which affirmed the General Assembly’s commitment to the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and underscored the invalidity of the referendum. After mentioning the human rights violations by the Russian government in Crimea and the seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels injuring three Ukrainian servicemen he called for Russia to release all political prisoners and allow urgent, unrestricted access for human rights monitoring organizations immediately. In the end he reiterated the United Kingdom’s full support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and expressed readiness to hear what Russia was doing to meet its obligations and bring an end to the suffering of the people of Ukraine.
During the same meeting Miroslav Jenca, Assistant Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas for the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations told the Council that “negotiations appear to have lost momentum, … The conflict in Ukraine is first and foremost tragically affecting the Ukrainian people” he said, but it also “continues to test the credibility of international and regional organizations”.
The five current European Union members on the Security Council issued a joint statement accusing Russia of continuing to fuel the conflict. “We call on Russia to immediately stop fueling the conflict by providing financial and military support to armed foundations,” the statement said.
3. US and EU Close to Agreeing New Sanctions to Check Russia
“Western nations are close to agreeing new sanctions against Russia in a
co-ordinated push aimed at punishing Moscow for its aggression towards Ukraine in the Sea of Azov” reports Financial Times (FT).
It is believed that discussion of sanctions will start on February 18th with the aim to be finalized by the end of March. FT talked to the diplomats who revealed that the move [sanctions] will be applied jointly by the US and the EU with an expectation to be “directed at those individuals and companies involved in Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels in the Kerch strait in November.”
Apparently, the EU is going to back new sanctions because Russia is showing no signs of progress on any front as reported by FT. “More than two months after the incident, and despite repeated appeals from the US and EU states to release them, 24 Ukrainian sailors are still being detained by the Russian authorities,” notes the agency

“Both the US and Europe are looking into what additional measures we should be taking if Russia fails to return the sailors and continues to make those assertions of control of the Kerch strait,” Kurt Volker, US special envoy for Ukraine, said last month.

4. Ukraine Doubles Export of Agricultural Products to Canada Since 2016


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Ukraine has exported $9.9 million worth of agricultural products to Canada in 2018 which is almost 100% increase compared to $4.9 million in 2016, reported acting Minister of Agrarian Policy Olga Trofimtseva during her meeting with Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine Roman Waschuk. Increasing volumes and diversification of agricultural trade were the two points of emphasis during the meeting.

Ukrainian producers have substantially expanded the export of juices, chocolate, sugar confectionery and water with sugar. According Ukrainian official Canada started to see more of Ukrainian corn, dried fish, frozen fruits and vegetables, dried vegetables and some oil seeds in 2018, thanks to the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA).


“My position is that trade is only part of bilateral cooperation in the agricultural sector. Therefore, the important issues in cooperation between Ukraine and Canada will be projects in the field of education and research, including such areas as bio-economy and green economy, as well as cooperation in the field of agro-technologies,” said Trofimtseva.


Notably, import of agrarian products and food from Canada was estimated at
$49.9 million in 2018.

5. Ukrainian Canadians Exhibition launched in Kyiv


Today, the Museum of Ukrainian Diaspora in Kyiv launched a new multimedia exhibit: Ukrainian Canadians. It covers the history of the first settlers from the end of the 19th century until the present day. The materials are dedicated to well-known Ukrainan Canadians – scientists, writers, politicians and public leaders. The exhibit showcases some of the oldest Ukrainian publications in Canada as well as archival documents including photos, documents, personal belongings of Mykola Plaviuk the last President-in-exile of the Ukrainian People’s Republic.


Interestingly, the exhibit carries artwork by William Kurelek – a well-known artist of Ukrainian descent whose fame goes far beyond Canada. Some of his paintings showcased at the exhibit have never been shown to the public before. The materials were gathered from all over the world, as reported by the director of the museum.


The Museum of the Ukrainian Diaspora was opened in May 1999 as a branch of the Kyiv History Museum. The museum collection is displayed in eight halls of an old restored house in the center of Pechersk, one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in Kyiv. The museum tells the life stories and shows the personal belongings of composers, choir masters, writers, poets, choreographers, singers and other famous Ukrainians who emigrated or those who were born to Ukrainian families abroad.

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