Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
19 October 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 yesterday there were no ceasefire violations by Russian-terrorist forces. No Ukrainian soldiers were killed or wounded.
- Russia’s illegal trial of Nadiya Savchenko continues
Hearings in Russia’s illegal trial of Ukrainian pilot and MP Nadiya Savchenko continue. So-called witnesses for the prosecution – mostly Kremlin-backed terrorists of the so-called Luhansk “Peoples’ Republic” – are testifying. During the hearings today, the judge threatened to remove Savchenko from the court if she continues to ask questions. Savchenko stated that should she be removed from the court, she would start a hunger strike, Radio Svoboda 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.
- NATO launches largest military training exercise in over a decade
NATO launched Trident Juncture, involving 36,000 troops from more than 30 countries, in Italy, Spain and Portugal, NATO’s largest military exercise in over a decade. Speaking at the opening ceremony NATO Deputy Secretary General A. Vershbow stated, “The last time NATO regularly held exercises of this magnitude, we were in the midst of the Cold War, facing the Soviet threat. While there was always the possibility of nuclear war, in general, the Euro-Atlantic area was a place of stability. Now, we have a far more unstable and potentially more dangerous situation. In the east, Russia has illegally annexed Crimea, continues to support the separatists in eastern Ukraine; and now appears to have entered the war in Syria firmly on the side of Assad.”
- Ukraine President’s statement on Ukraine’s election to the UN Security Council
Following Ukraine’s election to the UN Security Council by an overwhelming vote, Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko stated on 15 October, “Every one of the 177 votes received at the General Assembly of the UN for Ukraine – is a vote in support of the state sovereignty, political independence and unity of Ukraine. This vote demonstrated the global level of international support for Ukraine. […] This time, our victory is especially important, because we achieved it at a time when the world is faced with the most complex challenges of the last decades: Ukraine is faced with foreign aggression, a part of our territory is occupied by Russia – a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Because of this our membership in the UN Security Council gives us new opportunities to defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity. […] Ukraine will dedicate significant attention to reform of the Security Council and countering the abuse of the veto right of permanent members, one of whom has become an aggressor against Ukraine. […] [Ukraine’s membership in the Security Council] will facilitate the restoration of Ukrainian sovereignty over all territories occupied by Russia, both in the Donbas and in Crimea.”