Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
16 June 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 continued shelling Ukrainian positions at Shyrokyne (near Mariupol) with heavy artillery and mortars. Towards Donetsk, Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions at Maryinka with Grads (truck-mounted multiple rocket launchers); clashes with Kremlin-backed terrorists are taking place on a wide sector of the front (from Hranitne to Horlivka). Towards Luhansk, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions at several locations, usually with small arms, and shelled Ukrainian positions near the Bakhmutska highway with artillery. The intensification of shelling by Kremlin-backed terrorists has also caused significant damage to residential areas and infrastructure. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and five were wounded.
- Vice News investigates presence of Russian regular army soldiers in eastern Ukraine
Vice News published an investigative report by journalist S. Ostrovsky on the presence of regular Russian army troops in Ukraine. The 23-minute report, Selfie Soldiers: Russia’s army checks into Ukraine, is available at https://news.vice.com/video/selfie-soldiers-russia-checks-in-to-ukraine
- Donetsk city residents protest against Kremlin-backed terrorists
On 15 June, about 500 people protested in occupied Donetsk city on Monday, demanding that Kremlin-backed terrorists stop firing rocket launchers from inside residential neighbourhoods and stop using civilians as human shields. Agence France-Presse stated, “The small but unusual demonstration outside the offices of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic suggested that an undercurrent of resentment with the new authorities was appearing in eastern Ukraine’s main rebel-held town. […]Donetsk residents from a neighbourhood near the airport that insurgents managed to seize after months of some of the war’s heaviest clashes in January, accused the insurgents of using them as human shields. ‘You are hiding behind our backs,’ some residents chanted. Others simply shouted ‘Shame!’”
- General Prosecutor initiates trial-in-absentia of two Yanukovych-era ministers
The General Prosecutor of Ukraine V. Shokin stated in an interview with Holos Ukrainy, the Parliamentary newspaper, that the General Prosecutor has submitted a request to the court for trial in absentia of former Minister of Health R Bohatyriova, suspected of misappropriation of state funds, and former Head of the National Bank, first deputy PM and acting PM S Arbuzov, on suspicion of misappropriation of state funds.
- Trilateral Contact Group meets in Minsk
The Trilateral Contact Group (Ukraine-OSCE-Russia) met in Minsk. Radio Svoboda reported that OSCE representative H. Tagliavini stated that the Contact Group listened to reports from working subgroups, discussed the organization of further work, and held consultations with “representatives” of certain regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. It was reported that Tagliavini will resign as the OSCE representative to the Trilateral Contact Group.