Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
7 July 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 shelled Ukrainian positions near Popasne with mortars. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Troitske with mortars. Russian-terrorist forces carried out heavy mortar shelling of Ukrainian positions near Zaytseve, Mayorsk and Avdiyivka. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Shyrokyne with artillery and mortars. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and six Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action.
2. Kerry in Kyiv: Without real security in Donbas, Minsk is doomed to fail
Speaking following his meeting with Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko in Kyiv US Secretary of State J. Kerry stated, “To be crystal clear: Ukraine is making a good-faith effort to implement Minsk, no doubt in my mind about that. It has begun the process of granting special status and amnesty and decentralizing political power. And it has committed to do more as the security conditions allow. […] But without real security in the Donbas, an end to the bloodshed on the contact line, the use of heavy weapons, blockading of OSCE (inaudible) – without that, Minsk is doomed to fail. Now, this was President Obama’s message to President Putin in their phone call just yesterday, as they talked very frankly about the steps that are needed to be taken in order to move the process forward. […] So make no mistake: If Russia chooses the path of de-escalation and full implementation of Minsk, the international community – all of us – will welcome it. And we pledge to work very closely with President Poroshenko to make sure that his government and Ukraine is doing all in its power to live up to its responsibilities. If Russia does not move in the direction of embracing that possibility and de-escalating, then the sanctions will remain in place. The same is true with respect to Crimea. From the very beginning of the conflict, the very beginning of Russia’s move to Crimea, the United States has said consistently that we do not and we will not recognize Russia’s attempted annexation. And our sanctions that apply to the issue of Crimea will stay in place until, ultimately, that issue is resolved.” Kerry also announced an additional $23 million in US humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, which will support the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other international humanitarian organizations. Kerry’s and Poroshenko’s full remarks are available at http://www.state.gov/
3. Ukraine’s President to meet with leaders of Germany, France, UK, Italy, US
Ukraine’s President will hold a meeting with the leaders of Germany, France, the UK, Italy and the US in Warsaw, Poroshenko’s press service reported. “The unity of the international community on the need for maintaining sanctions’ pressure on Russia is preserved due to this fact. This is not a punishment, this is a motivation for Russia to fully implement the Minsk agreements, remain at the negotiating table and finally start to fulfill its obligations,” Poroshenko stated. Speaking ahead of the NATO Summit which begins in Warsaw tomorrow, Poroshenko stated, “priority attention will be paid to security, expansion of defense cooperation and military-technical cooperation. We expect NATO’s support, we expect that the positions declared during the Bucharest Summit, the key of which is that NATO’s doors remain open to any European country, are unchanged.” A meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the level of heads of state or government will be held at the Warsaw Summit on July 9.