Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
4 May 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 continue to violate the ceasefire in both Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions with small arms, grenade launchers, mortars, artillery and Grads (truck-mounted multiple rocket launchers). Towards Donetsk, shelling by Kremlin-backed terrorists was heaviest near the Donetsk airport – Avdiyivka, Opytne, Pisky and Vodyane. Towards Mariupol, Kremlin-backed terrorists continue to shell Shyrokyne. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, 2 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 5 were wounded. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported at 8:30 AM Kyiv time that on 3 May Kremlin-backed terrorists significantly increased their fire on Ukrainian positions; 95 such incidents were reported. The press-center of the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) reported that on 4 May, from midnight to 6 PM Kyiv time, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions 17 times, including with mortars and artillery.
- Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spreading false information about shelling of Donetsk city
On 3 May, in response to Russian Foreign Minister S. Lavrov’s phone conversation with the OSCE Chairperson in Office and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia I. Dacic, in which Lavrov claimed that Ukrainian units had supposedly shelled Donetsk, Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated, “The Ukrainian side categorically rejects these accusations and affirms that Ukrainian forces did not commit any shelling of the city. […] Any use of weapons by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, if it occurs, takes place only as a necessary step in response to armed provocations by illegally armed groups […] in the event of a direct threat to the life of Ukrainian soldiers. As earlier, Ukraine remains committed to full and unconditional implementation of the Minsk agreements […] We consider the intentional spreading of false and openly provocative information as deliberate actions, intended to disrupt the implementation of the Minsk documents from September 2014 and February 2015.” Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported on 3 May that the previous day had seen intense shelling of Ukrainian positions near the Donetsk airport by Kremlin-backed terrorists, fired on Ukrainian positions near the airport 35 times in 24 hours – 9 times with120-mm mortars, 5 times with 122-mm artillery, once with 152-mm artillery, and once with Grads (truck-mounted multiple rocket launchers). All of these types of weapons were required to have been withdrawn under the Minsk agreements.
- Kuchma spokesperson: Trilateral Contact Group to meet 5 and 6 May
A working meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group (Ukraine-OSCE-Russia) will take place on 5 May, Radio Svoboda reported, quoting D. Olifer, spokesperson for former President of Ukraine L. Kuchma, who represents Ukraine in the Group. On 6 May, the Trilateral Contact Group will meet with “representatives” of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk “Peoples’ Republics,” according to Olifer.
- President of Poland: Soon Red Square will again turn into an armoured square
On 3 May, President of Poland B. Komorowski stated, “Soon, on May 9 [VE Day in Russia], Red Square in Moscow will again turn into an armoured square. Flexing their muscles again will be the divisions that recently attacked neighbouring Ukraine before the eyes of the world. […] Let us remember that the point of this military demonstration … will not be history but the present time and the future. Let us remember that a war conflict has not been this close to Poland’s borders for a long time. […]”If you want peace, prepare for war. We want peace but we know that nothing encourages potential aggressors like a neighbour’s weakness. Nothing discourages them more than strength and determination in defence.”