Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
10 June 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 three locations. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Troitske and on the outskirts of Donetsk city with mortars. On the Avdiyivka-Nevelske line, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Novotroitske with artillery. At Krasnohorikva, Maryinka and Shyrokyne, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and four were wounded in action.
2. Statement by the Delegation of Ukraine at UN Security Council
Speaking at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Protection of Civilians in the context of Peacekeeping Operations, Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister S. Kyslytsya, representing Ukraine’s Delegation to the UN, stated, “As a non-permanent member of the Council, Ukraine knows first-hand that sometimes the Security Council cannot react promptly to threats to civilian population because the absence of host-country’s consent stands in the way of a rapid deployment of a peacekeeping mission. However, it is hard to explain the Council’s inaction in response to a direct request to host a UN mission, whose presence on the ground would provide additional protection to civilians and contribute to stopping the violence. Our calls for a Council’s action on such a request from Ukraine, where civilian population continues to suffer from foreign military aggression, were not heeded. Russia-led illegal armed groups, with direct support of the Russian regular military forces, continue to wage war in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine with dire consequences for civilians residing there. According to the UN OHCHR reports on the situation in Ukraine, ‘civilians have paid the greatest price for this conflict’. Since 2014 OHCHR recorded 9,371 people killed and 21,532 injured in the conflict area in eastern Ukraine. Up to 2,000 civilians have been killed in armed hostilities, mostly as a result of indiscriminate shelling of populated areas from various artillery systems. In a situation where the Council finds itself blocked in discharging its direct responsibilities, Ukraine is compelled to use other possibilities at the regional level to establish an international armed presence in the occupied territories in order to protect civilians and to ensure full implementation of the Minsk Agreements. I would like to use this forum to call on the occupying power to implement the respective provisions of the Minsk Agreements.”
3. KHPG: Ukrainian gets 10-year sentence in Russia’s revenge for Maidan
The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) reported, “A Crimean court under Russian occupation has passed a sentence of extraordinary lawlessness sending a chilling message to all Ukrainians in Crimea, as well as any visiting or living in Russia. 22-year-old Ukrainian Andriy Kolomiyets has been sentenced to 10 years in a maximum security prison with the main ‘offence’ something which almost certainly never happened, but over which no Russian court could have any jurisdiction. Kolomiyets’ lawyer Mikhail Kushlel reports that the court in Simferopol on June 10 ignored all the evidence that the alleged offences were fictitious and provided exactly the sentences sought by the prosecution on Thursday. The de facto prosecutor had demanded a 6-year sentence for allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail at two Ukrainian Berkut riot police officers in Kyiv during Euromaidan in January 2014, and four years on a highly dubious charge of possession of marijuana. […] Kolomiyets himself has given shocking details of the torture he says was used to force ‘confessions’ from him. […] All Ukrainians travelling or living in Russia would be well-advised to consider this case since there is nothing even linking Kolomiyets with Crimea. The young man who is from Kyiv oblast was arrested in the Northern Caucuses of Russia on May 15, 2015, where he was living. […] The only element of truth in this entire case appears to have been that Kolomiyets is Ukrainian and was on Maidan. That, in Russian-occupied Crimea, is considered enough to imprison a person for many years. Russia has long been using tactics of terror and intimidation against Crimean Tatars and all other Ukrainians who do not support Russian occupation, and the trials now underway will certainly make many wonder if they could be next.” The full report from KHPG is available at http://khpg.org.ua/en/index.
4. OPIC approves funding for Ukraine development project investments
The Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US government’s development finance institution, approved “Up to $37.5 million in financing to Emerging Europe Growth Fund III L.P., a private equity fund launched by Horizon Capital Advisors, LLC. This fund seeks to invest in fast-growing, mid-sized, export-oriented companies in Ukraine and Moldova with the potential to grow from local to regional market leaders. Horizon Capital Group is a private equity fund manager that originates and manages investments in mid-cap companies with offices in Kyiv, Ukraine, and Chicago, Ill, [and] up to $25 million in financing to Dragon Capital New Ukraine Fund L.P., a private equity fund managed by a subsidiary of Dragon Capital Holdings Limited. This fund is expected to have a significant developmental impact in Ukraine by investing in established Ukrainian businesses that are focused on product expansion, modernization, and growth potential in a wide range of sectors including agribusiness, healthcare, infrastructure, retail, consumer goods, and real estate,” OPIC stated.