Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
17 September 2015, 6 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported at 12:30 PMKyiv time that yesterday towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Kryakivka village with small arms. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Sanzharivka with small arms. There was no combat at the Mariupol sector of the front. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed or wounded.
2. Parliament approves debt restructuring deal
Ukraine’s Parliament adopted a number of bills approving the debt restructuring deal reached in August between Ukraine and international commercial creditors. The bills were passed with constitutional majorities of over 300 votes.
3. US calls on Russia to release of Nadiya Savchenko, all Ukrainian hostages
Speaking at the OSCE Permanent Council, US Ambassador D. Baer stated, “The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the continued detention of Nadiya Savchenko by Russia. Ms. Savchenko was captured by Russia-backed separatists over a year ago and taken to Russia, where she has remained in prison ever since. On September 15, a court in the Russian city of Donetsk ruled to extend Ms. Savchenko’s detention by six months. Although a date to begin trial proceedings was set, the court continues to deny her defense team the ability to call witnesses, showing, once again, that the trial is a miscarriage of justice. The charges against Ms. Savchenko should be dismissed, and Ms. Savchenko should be released to return to Ukraine. Mr. Chair, while we continue to have serious concerns about Nadiya Savchenko’s treatment in detention and are watching preparations for her trial and pre-trial proceedings closely, Ms. Savchenko is not alone. Oleg Sentsov and Oleksander Kolchenko were sentenced in a Russian court last month on baseless charges, and more than one hundred other Ukrainian civilians and military personnel remain in detention in Russia and in separatist-controlled territory of Ukraine. We call upon the Russian Federation to adhere to all of its Minsk commitments and release Ukrainian hostages without delay.”
4. Ukraine PM: Plans for illegal elections in Donetsk and Luhansk are a clear signal that Putin does not intend to adhere to Minsk Agreements
On 16 September, Ukrainian PM A. Yatsenyuk stated that announcements by Russian-terrorist leaders that elections in occupied Donetsk are to be held 18 October “is a decision made not by Russian-led terrorists, but a decision of the Kremlin. This is a clear signal that President Putin does not intend to fulfill the Minsk agrements. […]This is absolutely illegitimate and a flagrant breach of the Minsk process.” O. Turchynov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, stated, “The elections in specific areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions may take place only after the withdrawal of Russian occupation troops from these territories, restoration of our control over the state border, liberation of captured government agencies and enterprises and creating conditions that meet the requirements of ODIHR mission of the OSCE.”According to the Minsk agreements, elections in these areas are to be held “exclusively under Ukrainian law and under the control of Ukrainian authorities. […] The provocations of Russia […] again lead the situation into a deadlock and clearly demonstrate Russia’s desire to disrupt the peace plan of liberation and reintegration of the occupied part of Donbas,” Turchnyov stated.
5. Atlantic Council to present new Interpreter report on Russia’s war in Ukraine today
The Atlantic Council, and the Institute of Modern Russia, with The Interpreter’s Michael Weiss and James Miller, will present The Interpreter’s report, “An Invasion by Any Other Name: The Kremlin’s Dirty War in Ukraine”, today at 4pm ET. The report “aims to offer a complete account that proves Russia is behind the unrest in the Donbas region in Ukraine’s east. The report relies on open source evidence and ultimately argues that if it were not for Russian weapons and soldiers, the separatists cause would have been defeated by the end of the summer 2014.” The presentation and discussion will be live streamed today at 4 PM by the Atlantic Council at http://www.atlanticcouncil.
org/events/webcasts/the- interpreter-s-an-invasion-by- any-other-name-russia-s-dirty- war-in-ukraine