Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
25 January 2016, 7 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 the Donetsk airport, at Opytne and Pisky, with grenade launchers and small arms. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Luhanske village and Horlivka. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Maryinka with grenade launchers and anti-aircraft guns. 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’s military intelligence reported that Russia continues to deliver weapons and military hardware to Russian-terrorist forces. Trains with military equipment, fuel and ammunition arrived from Russia in Ilovaysk and Khartsyzk. A Russian convoy carrying ammunition illegally crossed the Ukraine-Russia border near Dmytrivka, Donetsk oblast.
- Ukraine’s PM calls for referendum on new Constitution
Ukraine’s PM A. Yatsenyuk called for a referendum on proposed constitutional changes. Yatsenyuk stated, “The time has come for the Ukrainian people to have their say on what a new Ukrainian constitution in a new European Ukraine should be. No one except for the Ukrainian people has the right to determine what the fundamental law will be. […] A new constitution is a new social contract between citizens and the power which they have elected. An accord on the distribution of rights and responsibilities among the authorities – between the President, Government and Parliament. An accord on relations between the center and regions. An accord on establishing a new, honest and just court, but not reappointing the current one. An accord on Ukraine’s clear geopolitical aim to become a member of the European Union and NATO.”
- Russian court refuses to hear testimony from Ukrainian soldiers held prisoner with Savchenko
The court in Russia’s illegal trial of Ukrainian pilot and MP Nadiya Savchenko refused to hear testimony from Ukrainian soldiers who, with Savchenko, were held prisoner by Kremlin-backed terrorists in Luhansk, Radio Svoboda reported. The defense stated that it plans to call four witnesses this week, and that Savchenko will testify on 1 February. 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, US to enhance cooperation in defense production
Ukraine’s state defense concern Ukroboronprom reported that Ukraine and the US will “realize joint projects in the sphere of production of modern weaponry and deepen cooperation in the security sphere.” These topics were discussed at a meeting with an American delegation headed by US Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance F Rose on 23 January. Ukroboronprom stated, “Ukraine and the US discussed the possibility of transfer of technology, joint research, development and introduction of new production technologies.”
- Council of Europe sends human rights mission to Russian-occupied Crimea
The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, T. Jagland announced that a delegation was sent today to Crimea to assess the human rights situation there. “The mission will be conducted with full independence and will not deal with any issue related to the territorial status of Crimea. It will help us receive clear and comprehensive information on the human rights situation and make sure the people of Crimea are not forgotten,” Jagland stated. Swiss diplomat Ambassador G. Stoudmann will lead the delegation. A report from the mission is expected in late February or March, the Council of Europe stated.