Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
12 August 2015, 7 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported at 12:30 PMKyiv time that towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces continue to shell Ukrainian positions at Stanytsia Luhanska, Shchastya and Krymske. Towards Donetsk, a firefight with Russian-terrorist forces took place near Svitlodarsk. Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Novhorodsk (west of Horlivka) with mortars and Troitske with artillery. On the western outskirts of Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Krasnohorivka with Grads (truck-mounted multiple rocket launchers). Russian-terrorist forces shelled residential areas of Krasnohorivka. One civilian was injured. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions on the Bohdanivka-Starohnativka line with artillery and Uragans (self-propelled multiple rocket launchers). Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Chermalyk. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and three were wounded. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported at 9 AM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions 87 times.
2. Ukraine’s Finance Minister holding talks today with international commercial creditors
Ukraine’s Eurobonds had their biggest gain in more than a week on “speculation the nation will reach agreement with creditors on its $19 billion debt restructuring at a meeting Wednesday. The country’s $2.6 billion of July 2017 notes rallied 1.4 cents to the highest level in a week on closing basis. The first bond to mature, a $500 million security due Sept. 23, jumped 3 cents, headed for the second-biggest daily gain since February. Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko is set to meet members of a creditor committee led by Franklin Templeton in San Francisco in an attempt to clinch a deal six months after announcing the need for a debt overhaul. The government has called the meeting the final opportunity to reach an agreement and leave enough time for execution before the Sept. note comes due,” Bloomberg reported.
3. NATO: “Snap” Russian military exercises are increasing tensions
NATO Deputy Spokesperson C. Romero stated today, “NATO has made repeatedly clear that we not seek confrontation with Russia. For over two decades, we have tried to build a cooperative relationship with Russia. But Russia has changed borders by force, continues to support separatists in Ukraine and threatens to base nuclear missiles close to Alliance borders. The scale and scope of Russia’s exercises are increasing tensions, rather than helping to de-escalate them. Russia is deliberately avoiding military transparency and predictability. It has deliberately circumvented the requirements for notification and observation of exercises under the OSCE Vienna Document and has made routine use of the ‘exception’ for large-scale, no-notice ‘snap’ exercises. These exercises are part of a more aggressive Russian military doctrine, dangerous political rhetoric, increased military deployments and the illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea. In response, NATO has increased its presence in the eastern part of our Alliance, in order to enhance collective defence. This is our core task as a defensive Alliance. […]Russia’s unpredictable and surprise military maneuvers contribute to instability.”
4. EU: Attacks on Ukrainian government-controlled areas violate Minsk Agreements
The EU’s External Action Service stated on 11 August, “The renewed escalation of the conflict raising the number of casualties, as a result of attacks on several government controlled areas today and in the night of 10 August on Starohnativka, violates the spirit and the letter of the Minsk Agreements.”