Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
7 May 2015, 9 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 fire on Ukrainian positions with mortars, artillery and tanks in violation of the Minsk ceasefire agreement. In the last 24 hours, towards Mariupol Kremlin-backed terrorists opened fire on Ukrainian positions 12 times with various types of weapons. Towards Donetsk, the areas with the most intense shelling by Kremlin-backed terrorists remains the area around the Donetsk airport and Horlivka. Towards Luhansk, Kremlin-backed terrorists continued to violate the ceasefire near Shchastya. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and three were wounded. The press-center of the anti-terrorism operation (ATO) reported that from midnight to 6 PM Kyiv time on 7 May, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions 37 times, with artillery, mortars, high-caliber machine guns, automatic grenade launchers and small arms.
- Imprisoned Crimean Tatar leader goes on hunger strike
Akhtem Chiygoz, imprisoned Deputy Head of the Mejlis (Representative assembly of the Crimean Tatar People) has begun a hunger strike to protest being placed in solitary confinement by the “authorities” in Russian-occupied Crimea, the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) reported. The head of the Mejlis, Refat Chubarov, who is banned from entering Crimea by the Russian occupying authorities, wrote, “Escalation on the eve of May 18, Remembrance Day for the victims of the genocide of the Crimean Tatar People, arrests, interrogations and violence against those who took part in the demonstration in support of Ukraine’s territorial integrity in Simferopol on Feb 26, 2014, indicates that the occupiers are intending come what may to organize knowingly unlawful show trials of activists of the Crimean Tatar national movement. To this end, dozens of Crimean Tatars arrested have been coerced in the course of interrogation to give false testimony against Akhtem Chiygoz, while various forms of pressure and blackmail have been used against Chiygoz himself in the SIZO [remand centre],” KHPG reported.
- Update on Nadiya Savchenko legal proceedings
The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) filed the following report on yesterday’s court hearings in the legal proceedings against Nadiya Savchenko, Ukrainian MP and pilot illegally imprisoned by the Russian Federation: “Nadiya Savchenko was, the investigators now admit, captured in Ukraine by Kremlin-backed militants. They claim, however, that the militants released her and she promptly sped, not back to areas under Kyiv’s control, but to the Russian border in order to cross it illegally. Sped here is the operative word since she is alleged to have covered up to 75 kilometres in just one and a half hours. This is the investigators’ gem in full: ‘Immediately after the military encounter Savchenko was captured by insurgents of the self-proclaimed Luhansk people’s republic, after which she was released and between 15.30 and 17.00 on 23.06.2014, in violation of the established procedure for entry to the Russian Federation, she illegally crossed the State border of the Russian Federation’. According to Mark Feygin, one of Savchenko’s lawyers, the investigators had previously claimed that Savchenko escaped. […]. All of this nonsense is fully available to the judges of the Basmanny Court, as is evidence demonstrating that Savchenko was already captured when she is alleged to have climbed a telephone tower to report the whereabouts of two Russian journalists.” Yesterday the court rejected Savchenko’s appeal that she be allowed to attend the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), to which she is a delegate and which grants her diplomatic immunity. Yesterday the court also extended her illegal detention until 30 June.
- EU Trade Commissioner: EU-Ukraine trade deal will be implemented from start of 2016
EU Trade Commissioner C. Malstrom stated that the EU-Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement would be implemented from the start of 2016, despite calls by Russia for further delays and threats of retaliations, Reuters reported. Malstrom said, “It is not for Russia to decide. There has been a very clear statement by the European Union, by member states, by the Ukrainians … that the first of January 2016 is the date,” Reuters reported.
CALL TO ACTION – Please write to Nadiya Savchenko
May 11 is Nadiya Savchenko’s birthday. Please write to her and send her birthday greetings at the following address –
ул. Матросская тишина д 18,
ФКУ СИЗО-1 УФСИН России по Москве,
Савченко Надежде Викторовне.