Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
21 June 2016, 5 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 Novozvanivka and Shchastya. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Verkhnotroitske (southwest of Horlivka) with mortars and grenade launchers. North of Horlivka, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at several locations. Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Avdiyivka with mortars. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces carried out intensive mortar and tank shelling of Krasnohorivka. Two civilians were injured as a result of the shelling by Russian-terrorist forces. Russian-terrorist forces shelled Shyrokyne with mortars and grenade launchers. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and five Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action.
2. Canada’s Prime Minister to visit Ukraine July 11-12
Speaking at the Canada-Ukraine Business Forum on 20 June, Canada’s Prime Minister J. Trudeau announced that he travel to Ukraine on an official visit on 11-12 July. Prime Minister Trudeau stated, “Canada and Ukraine enjoy a historic friendship forged through generations of shared values and strong relations. By working together in close partnership, Canada will help bring greater security, prosperity, and economic independence to the Ukrainian people.” The Prime Minister’s Office stated, “While in Ukraine, the Prime Minister will reiterate the Government of Canada’s longstanding – and ongoing – commitment to the Ukrainian people, and its strong support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. He will also voice encouragement for Ukraine’s reform efforts, and will work to deepen commercial ties between the two countries, all in an effort to create jobs, strengthen the middle class, and grow the Canadian economy.”
3. EU diplomats agree to extend sanctions against Russia
The Ambassadors of 28 member states of the EU have agreed to extend sanctions against Russia over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported. “The measure will now go to EU ministers for formal approval, possibly on June 24, and EU leaders will have to okay it at a summit in Brussels next week, but diplomats said there was no doubt they would. The sanctions, which target the energy, financial, and defense sectors of Russia’s economy, were due to expire at the end of July and will now run to January 2017,” RFE/RL reported.
4. Ukraine’s President meets with French President
Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko met with French President F. Hollande. Poroshenko stated, “I am grateful for a clear and principled position of our French and German partners, President of the European Commission and leaders of the EU member-states for the continuation of sanctions. Ukraine is committed to the Minsk agreements and the fulfillment of the undertaken obligations. Continuation of sanctions is directly related to the process of de-occupation.” Poroshenko’s press service reported that Poroshenko “emphasized that the process of de-occupation provides for the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Ukrainian territory, termination of supply of weaponry, ammunition and equipment, provision of unimpeded access for the OSCE SMM to all areas, including Ukrainian-Russian border, liberation of hostages and beginning of political process.”