Ukraine: Daily Briefing – April 08, 2019, 7 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
April 08, 2019, 7 PM Kyiv time
Air Defense training of the Ukrainian military. Photo by Ukrainian MOD
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that on April 7 one service member of the Ukrainian Armed Forces was wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire 10 times on Ukrainian positions in the Donetsk and Luhansk sectors using heavy weapons four times. Returning fire, Ukrainian forces killed four and wounded fourteen enemy troops on April 7.
On April 5 and 6 the Russian-terrorist forces opened fire 31 times on Ukrainian positions in the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors, using heavy weapons in 17 instances. Three Ukrainian service members were killed in action and two were wounded in action on Friday and Saturday. Returning fire, Ukrainian forces killed seven and wounded five enemy troops on April 5 and 6.
2. CBC: The hot cold war: Inside Canada’s military training mission in Ukraine
Lieutenant-Colonel Pierre Leroux, Commander of Joint Task Force-Ukraine, visits with Canadian Armed Forces members during T-80 Tank training at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in Lviv, Ukraine during Operation UNIFIER on October 26, 2018. Photo – Joint Task Force Ukraine
On April 7, CBC released an article by Murray Brewster who provides an overview of Canada’s renewed military commitment to Ukraine within the operation UNIFIER framework. In 2015 the Ukrainian military received training from the Canadian troops in advanced combat skills that included detection and defusing of roadside bombs and booby traps. As time went by “the Ukrainians have advanced to the point where they can train their own bomb disposal troops,” said Lt.-Col. Pierre Leroux who oversees the Canadian task force training Ukrainian soldiers.
Now Canadians are helping Ukrainian troops with “what’s known as ‘sapper’ training: breaching fortifications, demolition and bridge-building under fire,” noted Lt.-Col. Leroux. One of Canada’s biggest contributions has been in the field of advanced combat medical training that has expanded into a “three-month course that delivers advanced life-saving skills,” writes Brewster.
To learn more about the Ukrainian military attrition rate, and NATO’s rotating naval deployments in the Black Sea that now includes Canadian destroyer read the full article here
3. UATV Interviews Mission Canada 2019 Deputy Head on Election Results and Role of Women in Politics
Olya Odynska Grod at UATV studio on April 5, 2019
On April 5, Deputy Head of Mission Canada 2019 Olya Odynska-Grod participated in the Head to Head program on Ukrainian TV channel UATV. During the interview she reiterated CANADEM’s conclusions that the first round of presidential election was free and fair. Having attended about 75 openings of voter stations in all regions of Ukraine the mission observed candidate and voter registration, campaign activities, the media and information environment, as well as the adjudication of election related disputes.
Prior to the election the CANADEM representatives observed about 45 rallies around the country and met with over 189 candidate groups. Having compared Ukraine’s political establishment with Canada where 50 percent of MPs are women, Olya Odynska-Grod emphasized that Ukraine needs more women candidates. Notably there were only four women candidates out of original 44 registered deputies.
Mission Canada 2019 consists of 160 representatives including 50 long-term observers (LTOs) and 110 short-term observers (STOs) who have left for Canada after the first round of presidential election and will be back in Ukraine on April 16 for the second round.
Watch the full interview with Deputy Head of Mission Canada 2019 Olya Odynska-Grod here
4. NBC News: No Policies, No Problem: Ukrainian Comedian’s Election Success as Latest Warning For Politicians
Incumbent President Poroshenko and current presidential race leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Photo courtesy of voanews
On April 7, NBC News has released the article by Yuliya Talmazan where she makes an overview of the leading candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy who is a comedian and a political novice in Ukraine. “The man who has no political experience and few clear policies appears to be on the verge of replacing the real-life incumbent,” writes Talmazan emphasizing that while “campaigning on little more than his charisma and a desire for change, he won the first round of the country’s presidential election last weekend.” The polls suggest that he may win the second round on April 21 as well.
In her piece Talmazan cites several examples when the unknown candidates were able to establish the ruling parties or even land the Head of State positions. The author puts together conclusions by numerous political experts and think tanks showcasing the peculiarities of Zelenskiy’s success so far. These include staying away from negative messaging, focusing on the “uncertain future”, choosing social media rather than traditional media for campaigning, etc.
In the meantime the author quotes Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, a former foreign minister, who said that some world leaders are cautious about Zelenskiy because there is little understanding about who he is… And that doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence about what to expect from him.”
Read the full news article by Yulia Talmazan here

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