Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
5 February, 8 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that Kremlin-backed terrorists continue attacks on Ukrainian positions. The RNBO stated that Kremlin-backed terrorists are attempting offensives in the Volnovakha and Debaltsevo areas. Attacks by Kremlin-backed terrorists were repelled. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, 5 Ukrainian soldiers were killed. 29 Ukrainian soldiers were wounded. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, 190 Kremlin-backed terrorists were killed. The Ministry of Defense reported that throughout the night of February 4-5, Kremlin backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions and residential areas 21 times.
2. German Chancellor, French President fly to Kyiv and Moscow with “new peace plan”
German Chancellor A. Merkel and French President F. Hollande have flown to Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko. According to the Guardian, Hollande stated, “We will make a new proposal to solve the conflict which will be based on Ukraine’s territorial integrity.” Hollande and Merkel will travel to Moscow on Friday. The details of their plan are unknown as of this writing.
3. US Secretary of State in Kyiv: We cannot close our eyes to Russian tanks and fighters
Following a meeting with Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko in Kyiv, US Secretary of State J. Kerry stated, “We want a diplomatic resolution. But we cannot close our eyes to tanks that are crossing the border from Russia and coming into Ukraine. We can’t close our eyes to Russian fighters in unmarked uniforms crossing the border and leading individual companies of so-called separatists in battle. We can’t close our eyes to modern rockets and modern radar capacity and other capacity that has crossed the border in order to prosecute this conflict across sovereign lines, across international borders, against all the promises that were made in the Minsk ceasefire agreement.”
4. US Defense Secretary Nominee supports providing weapons to Ukraine
The Washington Post reported that during his confirmation hearing at the US Senate Armed Services Committee on 4 February, nominee for US Secretary of Defense A. Carter stated, “We need to support the Ukrainians in defending themselves. […] I am inclined in the direction of providing them with arms, including […] lethal arms.”
5. Parliament passes resolution asking Constitutional Court to review draft bill removing immunity from MPs and judges
Parliament passed a resolution calling on the Constitutional Court to review a draft bill on Constitutional changes that would remove immunity from prosecution from Members of Parliament and judges. 365 MPs supported the resolution.
6. Hryvnia falls by 33% as Central Bank scraps indicative rate and cancels currency auctions
The Hryvnia fell 33% to about 25UAH/USD as the Central Bank of Ukraine Governor V. Hontarva “scrapped the Hryvnia’s indicative rate and canceled daily currency auctions to help eliminate what she called ‘multiple exchange rates’ on interbank and unofficial markets,” Bloomberg reported. “The IMF is supportive of the Ukrainian central bank’s latest decisions, Gerry Rice, an IMF spokesman, said at a briefing in Washington. A mission from the international lender is in Kiev to discuss extending and expanding a $17 billion bailout agreed on in April 2014,” Bloomberg reported.