Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
5 June 2015, 7 PM Kyiv time
- Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that the last 24 hours saw highly aggressive actions by Kremlin-backed terrorists, accompanied by massive shelling from mortars and artillery by Kremlin-backed terrorists. Towards Mariupol, there were battles at Shyrokyne. Towards Donetsk, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions with mortars, artillery and tanks near the Donetsk airport, Maryinka, and Hranitne. Near Horlivka and Svitlodarsk, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions with artillery. Towards Luhansk, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions between Zolote and Krymske with small arms. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and four were wounded.
- Canada’s PM: Canada strongly opposes Russia rejoining G7
In an interview with the Associated Press, Canada’s PM S. Harper stated, “I don’t think Russia under Vladimir Putin belongs in the G7. Period. Canada would very, very strongly oppose Putin ever sitting around that table again. It would require consensus to bring Russia back and that consensus will just not happen. […]The mindset of the guy we are dealing with is that the Cold War has never ended and `I’ve got to fight to change the ending somehow.’ I don’t think there is any way under this leader Russia will ever change.” Asked what Putin’s response was when Harper told him he needs to get out of Ukraine at the G20 summit in Australia, Harper said that Putin denied he was in Ukraine. “This is kind of typical Russian foreign policy to just say black is white even though everyone knows the contrary. I think as long as that’s the view that they are going to take, that they’re just going to treat us like we are all stupid, there really is no point in having a dialogue with them.”
- US Senator files amendments to Defense Authorization Bill which would require at least $60 million in defense aid to Ukraine
On 4 June, US Senator R. Portman (R-Ohio) filed amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act 2016. “The first amendment authorizes funds to provide a number of critical capabilities the Ukrainians need to defend themselves, including real-time intelligence, counter-artillery radars, defensive lethal assistance, UAVs, secure communications, and training to develop key combat, planning, and support capabilities. The amendment requires that at least $60 million be used on the most important capabilities the Ukrainians need and have requested: real-time intelligence, defensive lethal assistance, and counter-artillery radars.” Portman stated, “Ukraine has reached a pivotal moment. The Ukrainian people have made incredible sacrifices in the hopes of securing a democratic future for their country. However, sustained economic, political, and military support from the United States and NATO is absolutely crucial to ensuring that their vision comes to fruition.”
- US Ambassador’s Remarks at UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine
Speaking at a meeting of the UN Security Council, US Ambassador S. Power stated, “On June 3rd, combined Russian-separatist forces launched multiple, coordinated attacks west of the Minsk line of contact in Donetsk. […] These and other joint attacks by Russian-separatist forces have deadly consequences. At least 5 Ukrainian soldiers were killed, and 38 wounded. […] We also do not know how many Russian soldiers were killed in recent attacks – or in any of their operations in eastern Ukraine, for that matter. Russia continues – despite incidents such as the recent capture of two special operations Russian soldiers in Schastya last month – to deny any military involvement in eastern Ukraine. And just last week, President Putin signed a decree classifying any death of Russian soldiers in “special operations” in peacetime a state secret, a policy which previously was limited to wartime only. Not content with denying their military service in life, Russia now denies their loved ones the respect and closure – not to mention social services – for their service in death. And it denies the Russian people knowledge to which they are entitled – of a conflict their government has been fueling with weapons, training, and soldiers. No matter what your opinion of the open secret that is Russia’s military involvement in eastern Ukraine and occupied Crimea, the dignified recognition of one’s dead should have primacy. […]The consensus here, and in the international community, remains that Minsk’s implementation is the only viable way out of this deadly conflict. The Ukrainian government has made good faith efforts to honor that consensus – notwithstanding the seemingly endless violations by Russia and the separatists – and deliver on the commitments made at Minsk. […] Yet Russia – and the separatists it trains, arms, fights alongside, and with whom it shares command and control systems in eastern Ukraine – continues to ignore this consensus, flouting the commitments it made at Minsk. It goes right on applying its playbook in new territories – as though this Council and the world are too blind, or too easily deceived to notice. We must not let ourselves be deceived.”
- General Prosecutor advises former Minister of Justice of Ukraine of suspicion in several crimes
On 4 June, the General Prosecutor of Ukraine informed former Minister of Justice Olena Lukash (July 2013-February 2014) that she is suspected of several offenses under the Criminal Code, including misappropriation of state funds through abuse of office, conspiracy, and forgery of documents. The case against Lukash is at the pretrial investigation stage.