Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
30 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 carried out heavy shelling of Ukrainian positions, lasting 8 hours, near Popasne with mortars and artillery. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces carried out heavy shelling of Ukrainian positions with tanks, mortars and artillery near Luhanske village, where Ukrainian forces repelled an attack by Russian-terrorist forces. Near Mayorsk and Avdiyivka, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Maryinka, Dokuchayevsk, Starohnativka and along the Taramchuk-Shyrokyne line. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and eleven Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action.
2. German Chancellor: EU will extend sanctions against Russia
German Chancellor A. Merkel stated that the European Union will extend economic sanctions against Russia, the Wall Street Journal reported. EU Ambassadors agreed last week in principle to extend the sanctions by six months; it is expected that a formal decision on the rollover of sanctions will happen in the coming days. Merkel stated, “There’s nothing stopping the extention of sanctions,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
3. US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense: Almost two years after Minsk, Russia has yet to fulfill commitments
Speaking at the OSCE Annual Security Review Conference, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense M. Carpenter stated, “In response to Russia’s capabilities, posture, exercises, open threats, and unpredictable behavior, the United States has invested in deterrence and defense capabilities for our Allies and at home. This includes augmenting our conventional force presence in Europe. Let us recall, again, that today there are thousands of Russian regular soldiers inside Ukraine supporting tens of thousands of separatist troops trained in Russia and equipped in Russia. Moreover, more than a year since the Minsk Package of Measures and almost two years since the Minsk Protocol was signed, Russia has yet to fulfill the first three commitments listed in those documents: ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weapons from proscribed zones, and unhindered access for OSCE monitors to the entire territory of the Donbas. […] The reality of today’s security environment requires that we augment our force posture in Europe to provide the credible deterrence and defense capabilities that are aimed at preventing another conflict from erupting in the OSCE region. We do not do this with any great joy; let us recall that in the spring of 2013, we celebrated pulling our last tanks out of Europe.”
4. US President: US, Canada stand united when nations like Russia violate international rules
Addressing Canada’s Parliament on 29 June, US President B. Obama stated, “when nations violate international rules and norms — such as Russia’s aggression against Ukraine — the United States and Canada stand united, along with our allies, in defense of our collective security. Doing so requires a range of tools, like economic sanctions, but it also requires that we keep our forces ready for 21st century missions, and invest in new capabilities.”