Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
8 April 2016, 7 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that yesterday towards Luhansk Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Stanytsia Luhanska, Tryokhizbenka and Popasne. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces carried out heavy shelling of Ukrainian positions at Avdiyivka. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions along the entire Donetsk sector of the front. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Novotroitske and Pavlopil. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours one Ukrainian soldier was killed and twelve were wounded in action.
2. US Mission to OSCE: Situation in eastern Ukraine can hardly be called a ceasefire
At a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on 7 April, US Ambassador D. Baer stated, “Since the Permanent Council last met, the level of violence in eastern Ukraine has only increased. With the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine reporting, on average, 600-800 violations per day, the situation on the ground can hardly be called a ceasefire. According to the SMM Chief Monitor, these are not short bursts of gunfire but rather sustained combat lasting several hours, involving heavy machine guns, grenade launchers, mortars, and heavy artillery. Combined Russian-separatist forces have not hesitated to make use of proscribed heavy weapons that should be far away from the contact line; this past weekend, they fired a volley of 20 grad rockets at Ukrainian government positions. […]We join the European Union in recalling that the duration of sanctions is linked to the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements.”
3. Atlantic Council Report: Ukraine v. Russia and the Kleptocrats
The Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center presented a new report, Ukraine v. Russia and the Kleptocrats, written by Alan Riley. The report “proposes new legal avenues that Ukraine can pursue to recover asset losses resulting from corruption under the Yanukovych regime and Russian occupation of Ukrainian territory. […] Riley’s report identifies the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) as a key institution, which, with Western support, could be used to hold Russia accountable for occupation liabilities. In addition, Riley outlines the legal mechanisms that the Ukrainian government can implement to recover assets stolen by individuals under the Yanukovych regime. According to Riley, Ukraine has an opportunity to use the rules of public international law, the legal regimes of its allies, and domestic law to recover its property, protect its rights, and obtain compensation for the substantial damage that followed from the invasion. The law can be deployed to assert Ukraine’s rights as a sovereign state and reinforce the principle that breaches of the UN Charter Article 2(4) and the acts of kleptocrats will result in transgressors being faced with paying in full measure for losses that they have imposed on the innocent.” The report is available at http://www.atlanticcouncil.
org/publications/reports/ ukraine-v-russia-and-the- kleptocrats
4. EBRD program on improving energy efficiency in Ukrainian homes presented
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) “IQ Energy” program was presented in Kyiv on 7 April. Under the program the EBRD “will provide €75 million to three Ukrainian banks (Megabank, UkrSibbank and OTP Bank) which will then provide long-term loans to citizens and unions of residential property owners for a number of measures aimed to increase energy efficiency including insulation of homes, installation of modern energy-efficient windows and gas boilers, modernization of heating systems and installation of solar heating systems. Debtors who will comply with the program’s criteria will have 15% to 35% of their investments into energy-saving technologies and materials refunded,” Ukraine’s Ministry of Finance reported. N. Jaresko, Ukraine’s Finance Minister, stated, “We are profoundly grateful to the EBRD for their next important step in supporting the energy independence of Ukraine; we ask all our citizens to actively use the opportunity provided by our partners to reduce energy consumption in their homes.”
5. NATO-Russia Council to meet in two weeks
NATO reported that a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council will be held in Brussels in two weeks. NATO stated, “The NATO-Russia Council will discuss the crisis in and around Ukraine and the need to fully implement the Minsk Agreements. We will discuss military activities, with particular focus on transparency and risk reduction. We will also address the security situation in Afghanistan, including regional terrorist threats. This meeting is the continuation of our political dialogue, as agreed by NATO Heads of State and Government. At the same time, there will be no return to business as usual until Russia again respects international law. NATO decided to suspend all practical cooperation with Russia in April 2014 in response to Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine. This decision stands. At the same time, NATO kept channels of political dialogue and military communication open.”