Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
30 July 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 towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positio30ns east of Starohnativka with artillery and tanks. Clashes with Russian-terrorist forces occurred at Mykolaivka at Chermalyk. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions and residential areas of towns near Horlivka with increased intensity. Shelling by Russian-terrorist forces along the Avdiyivka-Maryinka line continued yesterday. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Stanytsia Luhanska with grenade launchers, Tryokhizbenka with tanks and Krymske with mortars. The RNBO reported that on 29 July, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and four were wounded. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported at 8AM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions and residential areas of cities and towns 82 times.
- Shelling by Russian-terrorist forces kills two civilians, one soldier in Dzerzhynsk, Donetsk oblast
The Prosecutor’s Office of Donetsk oblast reported that today Russian-terrorist forces carried out artillery shelling of Dzerzhynsk, Donetsk oblast at 3AM Kyiv time on 30 July. Two civilians and a Ukrainian soldier were killed. One civilian was injured. At least ten residential buildings were destroyed by the shelling.
- Russia vetoes establishment of international tribunal on Flight MH-17 at UN
On 29 July, at the UN Security Council, Russia vetoed the establishment of an international tribunal to prosecute those responsible for the downing of Flight MH-17. 11 Security Council members voted in favour. China, Angola and Venezuela abstained. Speaking at the UN Security Council following the vote, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister P. Klimkin stated, “A year ago the Ukrainian people took the downing of MH17 as a national tragedy and it will always remain this way in our hearts. […] Now our duty before those who died and the families of the victims is to bring to justice those who have committed this barbarian act. […] Our aim is to create an effective, transparent, unbiased and independent mechanism to bring to justice those responsible for the crime. It is about individual criminal responsibility of the murderers. It is not about politics. […] We want the perpetrators revealed and tried by a public international court. There can be no reason to oppose this – unless you a perpetrator yourself. […] When I look at the Russian delegation today I feel pity. It dared to dump the aspirations of the whole world and especially of the families of the victims. To align their country with the thugs who committed this atrocious crime. But our hope for justice is not lost. The Russian Federation, as the UN people would say, just killed the resolution. But this abuse of the veto power will not kill the hope of those who suffered. It will only make us stronger and more determined to elaborate and implement effective and credible prosecution model to deliver justice.”
- US Representative to UN: Russia’s veto cannot and will not deny the victims and their families justice
Speaking at the UN Security Council, US Permanent Representative to the UN S. Power stated, “The United States believes firmly that those who carried out this unspeakable crime cannot remain unnamed and unpunished. So when the Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia, Belgium, and Ukraine put forward this resolution, we supported their efforts. Of course, justice by itself will not fill the profound void left behind with the loss of those on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. But efforts to deny justice only intensify the pain of the victims’ families, who have already endured more than any of us can fathom. That was the effect when Russian-backed separatists prevented investigators from gaining full and timely access to the crash site; it was the effect of Russia’s refusal even to negotiate this resolution and statute, essentially preventing any meaningful negotiation of those texts from taking place; and it is the effect of Russia’s veto today. By vetoing this resolution, Russia has tried to deny justice to the 298 victims on that plane, and deny their families a chance to hold accountable those responsible. Russia has callously disregarded the public outcry in the grieving nations, the appeals of the families affected. It is tragic that Russia has used the privilege entrusted to it in order to advance international peace and security in order to frustrate international peace and security. But let us be clear: today’s veto cannot – and will not – deny the victims and their families justice. […] So while we are outraged and gravely disappointed by the outcome of this vote, today we say to those families: No veto will stand in the way of this heinous crime being investigated and prosecuted. And no veto will weaken our unshakeable commitment to you – to ensure that you and your loved ones have the justice that you deserve.”
- Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs: Russia’s veto is unconscionable
On 29 July, commenting on the UN vote on the MH-17 tribunal, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, R. Nicholson stated, “Russia’s veto against justice for the victims of MH17 is unconscionable. Canada is profoundly disappointed by the outcome of today’s UN Security Council vote on the creation of an international criminal tribunal to prosecute those responsible for downing Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 17, 2014, over territory controlled by pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine. Canada regrets that, because of the obstruction of Russia, the families and friends of the 283 passengers and 15 crew members who lost their lives will not see those responsible for this horrific event brought to justice by an international tribunal.”
- Savchenko trial begins behind closed doors; adjourns
The trial of Ukrainian pilot and MP Nadiya Savchenko, illegally imprisoned by Russia for over a year, adjourned shortly after it began today in Russia’s Rostov oblast. A spokesperson for the Russian court stated that the court would consider an appeal by Savchenko’s lawyers to have the trial held in Moscow, and that a date for the next hearing won’t be set until the court rules on this appeal, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported. Neither journalists nor Western diplomats who tried to attend the trial were allowed into the courtroom, RFE/RL reported. Savchenko was serving in eastern Ukraine, when abducted by Kremlin-backed terrorists in June 2014 and taken to Russia, where she has been illegally detained and imprisoned since that time. Russia has ignored repeated calls from the international community for her immediate release.
- Russia imprisons Crimean Tatar Leader without trial
On 28 July, a court in Russian-occupied Crimea extended the detention of Akthem Chiygoz, Deputy Head of the Mejlis (Representative Assembly) of the Crimean Tatar People until November 19, the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) reported. Chiygoz has been held in custody since 29 January 2015. “There are no grounds for holding him in custody, and his detention seems an overt attempt to isolate him, if not to punish him precisely for his determination not to leave his homeland. […]In the absence of good material for a show trial, it [the occupation regime] appears to have opted for long-term detention without a trial at all,” KHPG stated. The full report on the continued illegal imprisonment of Chiygoz is available at http://khpg.org/index.php?id=1438129012
- General Prosecutor of Ukraine informs former Justice Minister of suspicion of embezzlement
The General Prosecutor of Ukraine has informed former Minister of Justice (2010-2013) and head of the High Council of Justice (2013-2014) O. Lavrynovych of suspicion in committing embezzlement of state funds in large amounts. The Prosecutors’ office has asked a Kyiv court to issue an arrest warrant for Lavrynovych.