Ukraine: Daily Briefing – February 28, 2019, 7 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
February 28, 2019, 7 PM Kyiv time
Operation Unifier training. Photo – JMTG-U
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that on February 27 one Ukrainian service member was wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire 11 times on Ukrainian positions in the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors, including six times using heavy weapons.
According to military intelligence two invaders were killed and five were wounded, as a result of returning fire by the Ukrainian Armed Forces on February 27.
2. Pompeo calls on Russia to return occupied Crimea to Ukraine
Photo – Reuters
U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo issued a press statement on February 27 calling on Russia to end its occupation of Crimea and return it to Ukraine’s control, to release all of the Ukrainians, including members of the Crimean Tatar community, to cease all its abuses immediately and comply with its obligations under international law.
“Five years ago, Russia’s occupation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula fueled an escalation of Russian aggression. Russia attempted to upend the international order, undermined basic human freedoms, and weakened our common security. The world has not forgotten the cynical lies Russia employed to justify its aggression and mask its attempted annexation of Ukrainian territory. Russia’s use of force against a peaceful neighbor must not be tolerated by reputable states. The United States reiterates its unwavering position: Crimea is Ukraine and must be returned to Ukraine’s control,” started the statement.
Click here to read the full statement
Separately, in an opinion piece published in The Guardian newspaper on February 27, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and 10 other foreign ministers from EU countries and Canada reiterated their condemnation of Russia’s seizure of Crimea.
“We will continue our nonrecognition policy with respect to the illegal annexation of Crimea, and continue to condemn Russia’s aggression against Ukraine in the strongest terms,” the foreign ministers said.
3. U.S. Congressional Committee reviews if Russia may be designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.
Picture – Radio Lemberg
On February 13, 2019 Senator Graham, 63, a republican from Central, South Carolina, together with his colleagues introduced the bill S.482 designed to “strengthen the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, to combat international cybercrime, and to impose additional sanctions with respect to the Russian Federation, and for other purposes.”
This bill covers multiple issues including the call to Russia to return Crimea to the control of the Government of Ukraine, to end its support for Russian-led forces violence in eastern Ukraine, as well as Georgia and Moldova, immediate release the Ukrainian sailors detained following an attack by Russian forces on Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait and abide by its commitments to freedom of navigation in international waters and allow for passage of Ukrainian vessels through the strait.
One of the most important parts of the bill is the Section 701 – “Determination on designation of the Russian Federation as a state sponsor of terrorism,” which requires the Secretary of State to submit to the appropriate congressional committees a determination of whether the Russian Federation meets the criteria for designation as a state sponsor of terrorism no later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
Read the full Bill here
4. ‘Is This Real Life?’: Inside the Ukraine War’s Gray Zone
Grey Zone. Photo – Nolan Peterson
 
This is the compelling story of Nolan Peterson – a former SpecOps pilot and a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, and now a foreign correspondent for The Daily Signal – who traveled to the so-called grey zone [area between Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Russian-supported enemy positions] not far from the temporarily occupied city of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine.
In his article he touches upon the intricacies of war describing the life on the front line during a short period of ceasefire.
Read the full story here
5. NASA Wants Ukraine to Join in Moon Exploration Effort
Ambassador Valeriy Chaly and NASA head Brydenstein Feb 27. Photo – Ukrainian Embassy in the U.S.
Ukrainian Ambassador to the US Valeriy Chaly and NASA head Jim Brydenstein have agreed to begin preparations for signing an intergovernmental agreement on the use of outer space for peaceful purposes, as reported by the Ukrainian Embassy in the United States.
The parties discussed a “wide range of issues of cooperation in the field of exploration of outer space for peaceful purposes and intensification of bilateral dialogue in this field.” Head of NASA expressed gratitude for Ukraine’s support of NASA’s space initiatives. He stressed interest in attracting Ukrainian enterprises to implementing projects in the Moon exploration.
Both sides agreed on the prospects of increasing Ukrainian-US cooperation in the space sphere mentioning “Antares” project.

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