Ukraine: Daily Briefing – March 6, 2019, 7 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
March 6, 2019, 7 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian Army training Photo – Sgt Anthony Jones
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that on March 5 two service members of Ukrainian Armed Forces were wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire seven times on Ukrainian positions in the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors. In 6 instances enemy forces used heavy weapons.
According to military intelligence one invader was killed and two were wounded, as a result of returning fire by the Ukrainian Armed Forces on March 5.
2. The Hill: US Considering Providing More Weapons for Ukraine, General Says
Curtis Michael ‘Mike’ Scaparrotti, Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO Allied Command Operations
Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO Allied Command Operations General Curtis Scaparrotti has issued a statement to the US Senate Armed Services Committee highlighting the plans to provide Ukraine a helping hand to defend its sovereignty.
“The president recently decided to provide enhanced defensive capabilities to Ukraine, as part of the US effort to help Ukraine build its long-term defence capacity, to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to deter further aggression,” said General Scaparrotti.
Notably, last November Moscow blocked, fired upon and seized three ships of Ukrainian Armed Forces detaining 24 sailors who were trying to go through the Kerch Strait to Ukrainian port in the Sea of Azov.
“Continued senior-level engagement and support for Ukrainian self-defense capabilities and institutional reform will help enhance regional security and demonstrate our continued commitment to Ukraine’s security and territorial integrity, and a rules-based international order in Europe,” stated the general.
Read General Scaparrotti’s full statement here
3. The Guardian: Five Years On From ‘Maidan’, Ukraine’s Small Successes Are Its Real Revolution
Photo – Euromaidanpress
Ukraine has gone through some rapid changes triggered by the events five years ago that are usually referred to as the “Revolution of Dignity” or “Euromaidan” by Ukrainians. Looking back one can see that a lot has been done and yet “when you can’t agree on what success is, you risk failure,” contemplates Angelina Kariakina, Editor-in-chief of Hromadske TV from Kyiv in her piece in the Guardian.
She talks about the media and reforms, the people’s expectations and some of the less visible achievements that became possible only as a result of the decentralization and war in the east.
“Whatever international attention Ukraine gets these days tends to focus on Russian aggression, geopolitics, electoral competition or the struggle against corruption. But that misses some of the underlying transformations we are experiencing – the spread of many individual agents for change across the country, whose stories rarely reach wide audiences. The solidarity and sense of responsibility they demonstrate is arguably one of the great legacies of our revolution. Citizens taking the initiative will shape new markets, help create new infrastructures and will eventually define the national agenda. That’s a success we should cherish,” concludes Kariakina.
Read the full article by Hromadske’s Editor-in-Chief here
4. Ukraine’s New Church Complains to UN, OSCE over Pressure in Occupied Crimea
Klyment, Archbishop of Simferopol and Crimea  Photo – Euromaidan
The new Orthodox Church of Ukraine has appealed to the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) over the mounting pressure on the Ukrainian church in the temporarily occupied territories of Crimea and Donbas.
In its statement the Holy Synod mentioned that for more than five years the occupying Russian authorities never ceased persecuting the Crimean diocese headed by Archbishop of Simferopol and Crimea, Klyment. Among most recent incidents is an attempt to seize the building hosting the St Volodymyr and Olha Cathedral in Simferopol, pressure on church community in Yevpatoria, as well as the detention of Archbishop Klyment.
The statement also says that “the situation is significantly worsening” with respect to the right to freedom of conscience and religion in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine [the territories which are currently controlled by the so-called “DPR” and “LPR”]. On March 1, the Russia supported proxies issued a ban forbidding all OCU activities, granting full confiscation of property, and deportation of priests from the territory temporarily controlled by the Russian proxy forces in “DPR”.
“Considering these threats and an ongoing pressure on the clergy and believers of our Church in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories of Donbas and in Crimea, we appeal to the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Minsk process guarantor states, the European Union and in general to all democratic countries, international and interfaith institutions with a call to influence those who make decisions in these territories to stop the escalation of persecution of our Church,” the statement reads.

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