Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
5 January 2016, 6 PM Kyiv time
- Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that yesterday towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Horlivka and the Donetsk airport. At Opytne, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions with grenade launchers. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Maryinka. There was no combat on the Luhansk sector of the front. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours no Ukrainian soldiers were killed or wounded in action.
- Ukraine calls for more active role of UN in stopping Russian aggression against Ukraine
Ukraine’s new Permanent Representative to the UN Volodymyr Yelchenko presented his credentials to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on 4 January. During his meeting with Ban, Yelchenko “spoke in support of a more active role of the UN to stop the Russian aggression against Ukraine. He stressed that one of the possible ways the UN could engage in the de-escalation of the conflict in Donbas would be the deployment of a peacekeeping operation there,” Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported. Yelchenko stated, “We are ready to discuss the mandate and other aspects of such an operation. In order to analyze the situation on the ground we invite the assessment mission of the UN Secretariat to visit Ukraine.”
- Energy Community transfers Ukraine complaint against Nord Stream 2 to European Commission
The Energy Community Secretariat transferred to the European Commission a complaint submitted by Naftogaz Ukrainy under Article 90 of the Energy Community Treaty, concerning the alleged violation of Energy Community law by the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. In November 2015, 10 EU countries wrote to the European Commission stating that the proposed Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would send natural gas from Russia directly to Germany, “runs counter to EU interests.”
- Ukraine approves draft Memorandum of Understanding on defense cooperation with UK
Ukraine’s government approved a draft Memorandum of Understanding between Ukraine and the United Kingdom on defense cooperation and authorized Ukraine’s Minister of Defense S. Poltorak to sign the agreement. Ukraine’s government stated that the Memorandum will create the legal basis for defense cooperation.
- NATO European Commander to continue to press for more military, intelligence resources
Stars and Stripes stated that General Philip Breedlove, Commander, US European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe, stated that he would continue to press for more military resources and intelligence-gathering assets in Europe, given the more fragile security landscape. Stars and Stripes reported, “The military downsizing in Europe that has occurred over the past 20 years — a period that Breedlove described as ‘hugging the bear’ — reflected a view that Russia was more partner than adversary. But with Russia’s aggressive moves in Ukraine, its growing navy presence in the Mediterranean and periodic nuclear saber rattling, that has changed.” Breedlove stated, “We see we don’t have a partner with Russia here in Europe.”