Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
9 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 shelled Debaltsevo, Donetsk oblast 13 times throughout the last day and attacked Ukrainian positions 5 times. The attacks were repelled. As a result of shelling by Kremlin-backed terrorists, 7 civilians were killed in Debaltsevo and Adviyivka yesterday. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours 9 Ukrainian soldiers were killed. 26 Ukrainian soldiers were wounded. The RNBO reported that according to intelligence information, on 7-8 February, the Russian Federation sent in nearly 1500 soldiers of the armed forces of the Russian Federation, and over 300 pieces of military equipment from Russian territory into Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts through the border crossing at Izvaryno. The press-center of the anti-terrorism operation (ATO) reported at 8 PM Kyiv time that Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions almost 80 times throughout the day. On 8 February, the RNBO reported that Ukrainian forces killed 70 Kremlin-backed terrorists over the preceding 24 hours.
2. Ukrainian President calls for defensive military support for Ukraine
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on 7 February, “Today Ukraine has to fight for its independence and its freedom. We must defend our land. But from the very beginning Ukraine has been committed to peace and has remained coherent and consistent on the peace process. […]I would like to stress that a non-military and diplomatic solution remains the only remedy to this situation. And I would like to reiterate that the Minsk Protocol and the Minsk Memorandum are still on the table. […] I would simply like to reiterate that the Ukrainian question will remain unsolved as long as the hearts of people and politicians in the West are closed to providing solid, practical support to strengthen Ukraine’s independence politically and economically, but also militarily. Ukraine greatly needs defensive military support to ensure the ceasefire and contain the aggression. I know many experts have argued that enhancing us militarily would provoke further aggression. On the contrary, we have seen that the lack of defense capabilities triggers offensive operation against Ukraine and spins the escalation. Over the course of the conflict we have proven to be responsible and that we will not use the defensive equipment to attack. The stronger is our defense – the more convincing is our diplomatic voice. We stand ready for comprehensive and immediate cease-fire. So should be Russia, without any precondition. Unfortunately, we do not see its readiness so far.”
3. US President: No decision yet on providing defensive weapons to Ukraine
At a press conference with German Chancellor A. Merkel, US President B. Obama stated, “It is true that if in fact diplomacy fails, what I’ve asked my team to do is to look at all options. What other means can we put in place to change Mr. Putin’s calculus? And the possibility of lethal defensive weapons is one of those options that’s being examined. But I have not made a decision about that yet. I’ve consulted not just with Angela [Merkel] but will be consulting with other allies about this issue.”
4. Meeting of Ukrainian, German, French, Russian leaders to be held 11 February
Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko, German Chancellor A. Merkel, French President F. Hollande and Russian President V. Putin will meet in Minsk on 11 February.
5. German Chancellor A. Merkel to meet with Canadian PM S. Harper to discuss Ukraine
The two leaders are scheduled to meet at 6:00 p.m. Monday evening in Ottawa.