Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
25 May 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, Sokilnyky and Novozvanivka. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Luhanske village, Zaytseve and Avdiyivka. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Krasnohorivka with mortars. Russian-terrorist forces attacked Ukrainian positions at Novotroitske. The attack was repelled. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and two were wounded in action.
2. Nadiya Savchenko freed, returns to Kyiv
Ukrainian pilot and MP Nadiya Savchenko, who was held illegally in Russian captivity for almost two years, was freed and returned to Kyiv. Savchenko was serving in eastern Ukraine, when abducted by Kremlin-backed terrorists in June 2014 and taken to Russia, where she was illegally imprisoned until today. She was returned to Ukraine in a prisoner exchange – Russian soldiers A. Alexandrov and Y. Yerofeyev (3rd Brigade, Special Forces, Armed Forces of the Russian Federation), who were wounded in a battle in Luhansk oblast in May 2015 and captured were sent to Russia. Upon returning to Kyiv, Savchenko stated, “I am free. I want to ask forgiveness from all the mothers, whose children did not return from the [front], or who are imprisoned in Russian prisons. I will do everything possible, so that everyone who is held in captivity, returns to Ukraine. […] Thank you to all those who wished me well and supported me during this time.”
3. Ukraine’s President on Savchenko’s return to Ukraine – this is only the beginning
Upon Nadiya Savchenko’s return to Ukraine, Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko stated, “this is only the beginning, because we are waiting for the return home of Yuri Soloshenko, Hennadiy Afanasyev, Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko and many Ukrainians, who today are hostages in Russia and in the occupied territories.” For a report by the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) on Ukrainian citizens illegally being held in Russia and the occupied territories, seehttp://khpg.org/en/index.php?
4. Lawsuit filed against Russia, Putin in European Court of Human Right over MH-17
Australian law firm LHD filed a lawsuit on behalf of 16 victims of the downed Malaysian airliner MH-17 and 33 next of kin at the European Court of Human Rights, naming Russia and Russian President V. Putin as respondents, Reuters reported. The lawsuit seeks $10 million in damages for each claimant. J. Skinner, of LHD stated to in an interview with Reuters, “I am confident in saying that it was the Russians who caused this event to occur.”
5. EBRD to promote best practices in Ukraine’s financial institutions
The European Bank for Reconstruction and development has begun an initiative “aimed at fostering anti-money laundering (AML) and counter financing of terrorism (CFT) operational principles in the Ukrainian banking community. Almost 120 representatives of state and privately-owned Ukrainian banks will participate in specialised AML/CFT seminars in Kiev jointly organised by the EBRD, the National Bank of Ukraine and the State Committee for Financial Monitoring of Ukraine (financial intelligence unit).” Sevki Acuner, Director, Head of EBRD operations in Ukraine, stated, “To be a part of today’s international financial markets, which are increasingly sensitive to clients’ sources of wealth, it is essential that Ukrainian banks understand and follow AML/CFT policies and procedures. These seminars will help Ukrainian banks ensure compliance to the highest standards.”