Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
27 April 2015, 8 PM Kyiv time
- Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that Kremlin-backed terrorists are increasing their military activity, in violation of the Minsk Agreements. Yesterday, Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions 7 times with 122-mm artillery, 15 times with mortars and twice with tanks. Towards Mariupol, clashes continue at Shyrokyne. The area of most intense confrontation is towards Donetsk, where Kremlin-backed terrorists continue to fire on Ukrainian positions. The epicenter of clashes is around Avdiyivka. Towards Luhansk, Kremlin-backed terrorists concentrated their activity around Shchastya, as well as Krymske and Sokilnyky. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and 3 were wounded. The press-center of the anti-terrorism operation (ATO) reported that from midnight to 6 PM Kyiv time on 27 April, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions 27 times.
- European Council President Statement following conclusion of 17th EU-Ukraine Summit
Following the conclusion of the 17th EU-Ukraine Summit, European Council President D. Tusk stated, “(This) was, however, the first summit taking place under the new EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. And it was also the first summit since the aggression and conflict in Donbass and Crimea erupted. […] We expect the Russian Federation to take its responsibility for fulfilling its obligations, this includes withdrawing Russian armed forces and equipment. It is worth recalling that our sanctions and restrictive measures are linked to the full implementation of the Minsk agreements. We expect the urgent release of all hostages, including Nadiya Savchenko. […]We touched upon monitoring and security tasks. The European Union is already strengthening its support to the OSCE, but we also discussed broader issues. We know the expectations of the Ukrainian side on this issue. It will not be easy, but we will look into it. We will send as soon as possible a civilian assessment mission. We had an exchange of views on the humanitarian situation, where efforts to bring relief to the afflicted population need to intensify. […] The European Union and its Member States are among the biggest contributors to the international relief efforts and we are ready to contribute further. […] Let me conclude by a reflection after my visit to Maidan this morning. Maidan was a turning point for Ukraine – and also for Europe. Now, we need to make sure that it was a turning point for the better.”
- Savchenko lawyer: Nadiya Savchenko will be moved from Moscow jail to civilian hospital
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported that Nadiya Savchenko’s lawyer, Mark Feigin, stated that Savchenko will be moved from a Moscow jail to a civilian hospital. “In a handwritten letter posted on Twitter by Feigin, Savchenko wrote that she had an allergy of unknown origin and was being transferred to a civilian hospital for that reason. Savchenko wrote that she weighs 50 kilograms and her body temperature is low,” RFE/RL reported. Savchenko, a Ukrainian air force pilot, who was serving in eastern Ukraine, was abducted by Kremlin-backed terrorists in mid-June and taken to Russia, where she has been illegally detained and imprisoned since that time. She was elected an MP of Ukraine’s parliament in October and appointed a delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in January.
- Ukraine PM: Give us the weapons to defend our country
On 26 April, Ukrainian PM A. Yatsenyuk stated in an interview, “Right now the problem is that we want peace, but we are forced to fight for peace. So our call to our European partners and Western friends – give us the ability to defend our territory, give us the ability to defend our country. […] Give us the weapons to defend our country, because we are defending your borders. Today we are defending peace and calm in the European Union. […] To those, who in the western part of the EU think that Russian tanks will not get there. God willing. A year and a half ago, we also thought that Russia will never allow itself to annex Crimea, and to militarily invade the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk. […] History will put everything in its place. We did not attack Russia, Russia attacked us.”
- Canadian Foreign Minister’s Statement on Russia’s ongoing violations of the Minsk Agreements
On 26 April, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs R. Nicholson stated, “Canada strongly condemns ongoing violations of Minsk agreements by Russia and Russian-backed insurgents in eastern Ukraine. Russia continues to violate the ceasefire and maintain troops and equipment in eastern Ukraine. There are credible reports of additional Russian weaponry being moved into the area. These acts are in clear violation of the Minsk agreements and jeopardize their viability. We also condemn Russia’s reported military buildup along the border with Ukraine to levels not seen in months, which further undermines the region’s stability. The Minsk agreements are only as good as their implementation. We call on Mr. Putin to respect his commitments, to withdraw Russian troops and weapons from Ukraine and to allow for de-escalation. We will continue to judge Russia by its deeds and not by its words. We are closely monitoring the situation on the ground and, in close coordination with our partners and allies, will continue to confront the Kremlin to end its brutal aggression.”