Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
22 June 2015, 6 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 situation near Mariupol remains extremely tense. Active battles took place at Shyrokyne and Berdyanske. Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions with artillery and Kremlin-backed terrorist’s snipers were active in the area. Towards Donetsk, battles took place near the Donetsk airport. Kremlin-backed terrorists used heavy weapons, including tanks and artillery to fire on Ukrainian positions. Near Horlivka, a series of firefights took place and Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions near the city several times. Towards Luhansk, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions near the Bakhmutska highway and shelled Ukrainian positions near Stanytsia Luhanska with mortars. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported at 9AM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions 85 times – 52 of which took place in the section of the front near Donetsk city. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and three were wounded.
- EU extends sanctions on Russia for 6 months
The European Union extended economic sanctions against Russia, “which were introduced in response to Russia’s destabilising role in Eastern Ukraine” until 31 January, 2016. ” This follows an agreement at the European Council in March 2015, when EU leaders linked the duration of these sanctions to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements.”
- Ukraine bondholders hope to meet with Kyiv, IMF soon
A Reuters report stated, “A committee of Ukraine’s bondholders said on Monday that a debt restructuring plan proposed by Kyiv was based on IMF estimates that were not yet publicly available, adding it hoped to meet with the Fund and Ukraine’s government soon. Ukraine is negotiating with foreign bondholders to restructure $23 billion of debt as part of a broader International Monetary Fund-led bailout package, but talks have stalled over a disagreement on the necessity of a write-down on the principal of the bonds.” On 19 June, Ukraine’s Ministry of Finance sent a proposal to the ad hoc creditors’ committee, “in order to accelerate negotiations on the restructuring of sovereign and sovereign-guaranteed debt.”
- Ukraine PM appeals to Justice Ministry to involve international experts in lawsuits against Russia
Ukrainian PM A. Yatsenyuk called on the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine to “involve the international community and the best lawyers in the world, in order to file as many lawsuits against Russia as possible over a short period of time, including from private business entities,” the Cabinet of Ministers press service reported. Yatsenyuk stated that Ukraine has filed three lawsuits against the Russian Federation in the European Court of Human Rights and began the process of holding Russia accountable for violating the UN Conventions on suppression of terrorism. Yatsenyuk stated, “Russia must be held responsible.[…] There is no pardon for the illegal annexation of Crimea, the invasion of Donetsk and Luhansk, and the thousands of deaths on Putin’s conscience.”
- General Prosecutor to ask Parliament to remove immunity from prosecution from Appellate court chief justice
General Prosecutor of Ukraine, V. Shokin stated that he will file an appeal asking Parliament to remove immunity from prosecution from the chief justice of the Kyiv Appellate Court, A. Chernushenko, tomorrow. The General Prosecutor and State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) executed search warrants at the Appellate Court on 19 June. The acting head of the SBU, V. Hrycak, stated that the court is suspected of unlawful interference in the assignment of cases to certain judges and corruption.
- NATO Defense Ministers to meet 24-25 June
NATO Defense Ministers will meet in Brussels on 24-25 June. NATO Secretary General J. Stoltenberg stated, “On Thursday, the second day of the ministerial meeting we will also meet with Ukraine’s new defence minister in the NATO-Ukraine Commission. We will there reaffirm our strong commitment to an independent, peaceful and prosperous Ukraine. And to Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.”