Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
11 January 2016, 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 towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Troitske with tanks and grenade launchers near Leninske. On the Zaytseve-Novhorodske line, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions. Near the Donetsk airport, Russian-terrorist snipers fired on Ukrainian positions. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Starohnativka and Shyrokyne. There was no combat on the Luhansk sector of the front. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and one was wounded in action. On 9 January, two Ukrainian soldiers were killed in action.
- Nadiya Savchenko continues hunger strike
Ukrainian pilot and MP, Nadiya Savchenko, who has been illegally imprisoned in Russia since June 2014, began a hunger strike on 18 December 2015. Her attorney Mark Feygin stated that she is continuing her hunger strike, and that her attorneys will meet with her on 11-12 January, 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.
- Ukraine demands clear deadlines for implementation of Minsk Agreements
Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko stated that because Russia has failed to fulfill its obligations under the Minsk Agreements, Ukraine insists that specific deadlines be set for their implementation, the President’s press service reported. Poroshenko stated, “All items of the Minsk agreements must be fulfilled. As Russia disrupted the fulfillment of its obligations, we demand setting clear deadline for the Minsk agreements in 2016,” Poroshenko stated that “Normandy format” (Ukraine, Germany, France, Russia) talks will be focused on this issue.
- Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group deploys to Ukraine on Operation UNIFIER
On 10 January, the first group of approximately 200 Canadian Army soldiers from 5th Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group deployed to Ukraine for Operation UNIFIER, Canada’s training mission to Ukraine, to relieve 2nd Canadian Mechanized Brigade Troops, who will be returning to Canada. H. Sajjan, Canada’s Minister of National Defence, stated, “With the return of the troops based in Petawawa, I am pleased to see additional soldiers deploying from Valcartier to offer continued support to the Ukrainian Armed Forces under Operation UNIFIER. This important training mission demonstrates that Canada, together with our other allies, stands proudly in support of our Ukrainian friends.”
- Ukraine’s PM: Ukraine has stopped purchasing natural gas from Russia
Ukraine’s PM A. Yatsenyuk stated on 10 January that Ukraine has stopped purchasing natural gas from Russia and that Ukrainian storage facilities currently hold about 13 billion cubic meters of gas, 2.3 billion more than last year. “We do not buy gas in Russia, because we buy gas in the European Union cheaper,” Yatsenyuk stated.
- Canada gains expanded market access for beef and pork to Ukraine
Canada’s Agriculture Minister L. MacAulay and Minister of International Trade C. Freeland “announced that Ukraine has approved beef and pork exports from any Canadian federally registered establishment that meets certification requirements. Following a successful inspection last September by Ukrainian authorities, 15 additional Canadian beef and pork establishments are now eligible to export, bringing the current total to 27.”