Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
2 September 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 today during an operation against the illegal movement of goods from Ukrainian territory into occupied Luhansk oblast, a mobile Ukrainian unit was ambushed by Russian-terrorist forces. The road on which they were travelling (near Shchastya) was mined, and a Russian-terrorist sniper fired at the unit. Two members of the group were killed and four were wounded. The RNBO reported that yesterday towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Shchastya with mortars, and fired on Ukrainian positions at Krymske with small arms. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Sanzharivka and Avdiyivka with small arms and grenade launchers. At Maryinka, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions with small arms.
- US expands sanctions against Russian companies, individuals
The US widened sanctions against Russian companies, including subsidiaries of state oil company Rosneft. 29 entities in total have been sanctioned – including companies in Russian-occupied Crimea, Cyprus, Finland, Romania, Switzerland, and Britain, the NY Times reported. “The new U.S. sanctions cover people and entities linked to those already sanctioned, including Gennady Timchenko, a prominent Russian gas trader, Russia’s top oil producer Rosneft and firearms maker Kalashnikov Concern. […]They also target ferry operator and ports in Crimea,” the NY Times stated. The full list of entities against which sanctions were implemented is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/09/02/2015-21682/addition-of-certain-persons-to-the-entity-list#h-18
- EU to extend sanctions against Russian companies, individuals
EU ambassadors today agreed to extend for six months existing sanctions against Russian companies and individuals which were due to expire this month, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported. The decision is expected to be signed off by EU ministers in mid-September. RFE/RL reported, “The Russians targeted include deputy prime minister Dmitry Kozak, who the EU said was in charge of integrating Crimea into Russia after its March 2014 annexation, and Dmitry Rogozin, who publicly called for the seizing of the territory, according to the EU. It also includes Igor Sergun, head of Russia’s main intelligence directorate, and senior Kremlin aide Vladislav Surkov. Also on the list are 37 firms and other entities, including 13 which were confiscated by Moscow during Russia’s annexation of Crimea or which benefited from that move.”
- Nadiya Savchenko named as one of US State Department’s #Freethe20 Campaign
On 1 September the US State Department launched the #Freethe20 campaign “to draw attention to the plight of women political prisoners and other prisoners of concern. Throughout September, the department will highlight 20 individual cases of women prisoners from around the world who are unjustly imprisoned, featuring one case per business day. And these women will be featured on social media accounts for Ambassador Power and the U.S. Mission to the UN and will be profiled on www.humanrights.gov.” One of the women named in the campaign is Ukrainian pilot and MP Nadiya Savchenko, who has been illegally imprisoned in the Russian Federation for over one year. 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.