Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
8 April 2015, 8 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) stated at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that yesterday, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions 5 times with 120-mm mortars, 3 times with artillery and 5 times with armored vehicles and tanks. In the last 24 hours, 2 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 4 were wounded. The RNBO stated that Kremlin-backed terrorists of the so-called Donetsk “Peoples’ Republic” are placing their units in full battle readiness, recalling personnel who are on leave, or in Crimea or the Russian Federation. The deputy commander of the anti-terrorism operation (ATO) Col. V Fedychev, stated that from 3-6 April, Russia sent three columns of tanks and military vehicles into Ukraine – 12 T-72 tanks through Izvaryne towards Luhansk; at Dmytrivka – 10 APCs and 10 infantry combat vehicles, and again at Dmytrivka 20 infantry combat vehicles and 25 Kamaz trucks, along with personnel. The press-center of the ATO reported that from midnight to 6 PM Kyiv time on 8 April, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions 18 times, mostly with small arms.
2. Polish President: Poland supports peacekeepers in Ukraine
Following a meeting with Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko, Polish President B. Komorowski stated that Poland supports the deployment of UN peacekeepers to the Donbas, adding “this is not an easy path, because it requires a decision of the UN Security Council,” Poroshenko’s press service reported. Poroshenko stated, “If earlier the attitude towards the idea of peacekeepers was very cool, today everyone understands that the question of peacekeepers is the most effective method of de-escalating the conflict. I underline – not freezing, but de-escalating.” President Komorowski is on an official two-day visit to Ukraine. He will address Ukraine’s Parliament tomorrow.
3. BBC exposes Russian media lie about Ukraine
The BBC has exposed Russian media lies about claims that a 10-year old girl had been killed by shelling. In the BBC piece, a Russian journalist admits he was forced to run a story alleging that a girl was killed, but that in fact this did not occur. The video of the BBC story is available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-
4. Ukrainian Defense Industry will transition to NATO standards in weapons production
UKROBORONPROM, Ukraine’s state defense agency, stated that its enterprises will transition to NATO standards in weapons production. UKROBORONPROM, Ministry of Defense and NATO representatives developed a “Road Map of Reforming the System of Standardization in the Defense Sphere for 2015-2018,” at a 31 March seminar. UKROBORONPROM stated that 20 countries have been added to the list of international partners, and that negotiations have begun on cooperation with companies such as Airbus, Boeing, Textron, Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems and Thales.
5. Kremlin-backed terrorists open fire towards OSCE Special Monitoring Mission patrol
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) stated, “On 7 April, while traveling east on road E58 toward a “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) checkpoint in Shyrokyne (20km east of Mariupol, 99km south of Donetsk), the SMM was halted by an improvised “DPR” roadblock, located on the northern edge of Shyrokyne (“DPR”-controlled). As the SMM approached the checkpoint on foot, a (SMM) patrol member immediately encountered warning shots of heavy machine gun fire to his right, and semi-automatic rifle fire to his left.”
6. Security Service of Ukraine: Former Ukrainian officials in Russia funding “protests” in Ukraine
M. Lubkivskyi, advisor to the head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) stated that the SBU discovered the means by which “protests” in Ukraine are funded from Russia. According to him, protests are organized by organizations that exist only on paper, with the goal of destabilizing the socio-political situation in Ukraine. The “curators” of these protests hire pensioners and unemployed or homeless people, for approximately 50-60 UAH/ hour. Funds are received from the so-called “office” of former PM M. Azarov, former Party of Regions MPs O. Tsaryov and V. Oliynyk, who are currently in Moscow. Lubkivskyi stated that the SBU “has information that actions are being planned to destabilize the situation in both the capital and other cities. In particular, on directions from the Russian Federation, on 9 April, organizers want to bring up to 3000 people into the streets of Kyiv.”