Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
5 November 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 Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Novohorodske (near Horlivka) and Ukrainian positions west of Donetsk city, with small arms and grenade launchers. No Ukrainian soldiers were killed or wounded. The press center of the anti-terrorism operation (ATO) reported that this morning, Russian-terrorist forces shelled residential areas of Krasnohorivka with mortars. No civilians were injured.
- Ukraine’s President congratulates Canada’s Prime Minister on assuming office
Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko spoke on the phone with Canada’s Prime Minister J. Trudeau. According to President Poroshenko’s press service, “The Head of State congratulated Justin Trudeau on assuming the office of Prime Minister of Canada on November 4. He noted significant support of citizens received by the Liberal Party in the parliamentary elections. The Prime Minister of Canada stated that the Ukrainian President was the first foreign leader who congratulated him and with whom he had a conversation as Prime Minister. He (Trudeau) underlined the important role of Ukrainians in the life of Canada. President Petro Poroshenko noted the fact that two Ukrainians had been appointed to the new Canadian Government – Chrystia Freeland and MaryAnn Mihychuk. He also thanked the Prime Minister of Canada for constantly supporting Ukraine in its struggle against the Russian aggressor. Justin Trudeau assured that Canada would further help Ukraine in the protection of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the implementation of systemic internal reforms. In the course of the conversation, the Head of State invited the Prime Minister of Canada to make a friendly visit to Ukraine.”
- Former Justice Minister of Ukraine detained by State Security Service
Olena Lukash, former Justice Minister of Ukraine during the Yanukovych administration, was detained by Ukraine’s State Security Service (SBU). Lukash is suspected of misappropriation, abuse of public office and involvement in crimes during the Maidan demonstrations.
- Ukraine’s Parliament passes new labor code, rejects amendment prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation
Ukraine’s Parliament passed a new Labor Code in first reading, but failed to adopt an amendment to the Code prohibiting workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. The amendment is a part of the EU visa liberalization package Parliament is required to adopt. Ukraine’s first deputy speaker A. Parubiy stated that the amendment would be re-introduced before second reading. H. Coynash from the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, (KHPG), stated,“EuroMaidan began almost exactly two years ago after Viktor Yanukovych’s rejection of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. The very name suggests that Ukrainians were upholding their right to move closer to the European Union. It is frustrating that MPs are forgetting this.” Today Ukraine’s Parliament is considering 9 bills that need to be adopted as part the EU visa liberalization package. Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is due to file a report to the European Commission on the progress of the visa liberalization plan on 9 November, and the EU is set to decide on 15 December whether there will be a visa-free regime with Ukraine for 2016.
- US: Russian-held hostages should be released, allowed to return to Ukraine
US Ambassador to the OSCE D. Baer stated, “The United States condemns again in the strongest possible terms the continued detention of Ukrainian citizens Nadiya Savchenko, Oleg Sentsov, and Oleksander Kolchenko by Russia. […]Mr. Sentsov’s lawyer has stated that the Supreme Court of Russia is scheduled to hear an appeal from Mr. Sentsov on November 24. This is an opportunity for the Russian justice system to right itself consistent with its international obligations and overturn this miscarriage of justice. Russia’s continued detention of these three hostages is also a violation of the commitments it has made, including under the Minsk Package of Measures in February, when Russia pledged it would ‘ensure release and exchange of all hostages and unlawfully detained persons.’ We call upon the Russian Federation to adhere to all of its Minsk commitments. Russia should also adhere to international law regarding the treatment in detention of Nadiya Savchenko, Oleg Sentsov, and Oleksander Kolchenko. The charges against all three hostages should be dismissed, and all three hostages should be released immediately and allowed to return to Ukraine – along with all other Ukrainians held by Russia for politically-motivated reasons.”