Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
21 September 2016, 8 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that yesterday towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Mayork, Zaytseve and Luhanske village. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Maryinka and Starohnativka. There was no combat on the Luhansk sector of the front. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours no Ukrainian soldiers were killed or wounded in action.
2. Ukraine’s President addresses UN General Assembly
Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko addressed the UN General Assembly in New York. He stated,
“Limiting the use of the ‘veto’ power in decision-making on conflict prevention and resolution should become a priority task within the Security Council reform. The suspension of the use of veto in cases of mass atrocities, as well as in cases when a UN Security Council member state is a party to a dispute, should become a rock-solid rule without exceptions. […]As you well know, Ukraine voluntarily dismantled its own nuclear arsenal, the third largest in the world at the time with from 2800 to 4200 tactical nuclear warheads, in exchange for security, sovereignty and territorial integrity assurances under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum. Regretfully, all these assurances remained just a piece of paper. […]However, Ukraine as a responsible international actor has always been and remains a committed advocate of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. […]Since 2014, Ukraine has learned from its own tragic experience what foreign-grown terrorism feels like. The terrorist component of the undeclared hybrid war that Russia wages against Ukraine is evident. Dramatically, it has become a daily routine in the occupied areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. For over two years of this tragedy, Ukraine has received extensive and irrefutable evidence of direct involvement of Russia, its state agencies and officials in financing, sponsorship, and coordination of terrorist groups which have committed countless crimes against my compatriots. The shocking reality is that there is a roughly 38,000-strong illegal military force in Donbas and its large part is regulars and mercenaries from Russia. This force is armed to the teeth by Russia. […] At the same time, the Russian side continues insisting at all forums, including the UN, that it has nothing to do with all of this and that the Russians are not there in Ukraine. Even hypocrite Soviet leaders could hardly compete with the outright lies and manipulations deployed by the Kremlin today.[…] The occupying state does not limit itself to combat actions in Donbas only. It also carries on its repressive policy in Crimea. Once thriving and free, now the Crimean peninsula has become a ‘grey zone’ where people are effectively deprived of all protection. […]Churchill’s vision of the United Nations as a vital ‘sinew of peace’, as an essential policy foundation in international relations that must confront ‘the two giant marauders – war and tyranny’, acquires a new reading for our times. He called to ‘adhere faithfully to the Charter of the United Nations and walk forward in sedate and sober strength seeking no one’s land or treasure, seeking to lay no arbitrary control upon the thoughts of men’. I trust that this very approach remains a powerful guide for all of us.” The full address is available at http://www.president.gov.ua/
en/news/vistup-prezidenta- ukrayini-petra-poroshenka-na- zagalnih-deba-38237
3. Ukraine’s President meets with US Vice President
Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko met with US Vice President J. Biden on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York on 20 September. The White House reported, “The Vice President congratulated President Poroshenko on completing the IMF review, and also informed him that all policy steps have been taken to proceed with the issuance of Ukraine’s third U.S. sovereign loan guarantee of up to $1 billion. They agreed that these milestones are a demonstration of Ukraine’s continued progress on the path of reform. The Vice President stressed, however, that it was imperative for Ukraine’s leadership to accelerate the reforms necessary to strengthen Ukraine’s energy and justice sectors.”
4. Trilateral Contact Group signs “Framework Decision on Disengagement of Forces and Hardware”
Following a meeting in Minsk, the Trilateral Contact Group (Ukraine, OSCE, Russia) signed a “Framework Decision on Disengagement of Forces and Hardware,” the OSCE reported. The agreement was initialed by “representatives” of certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the OSCE stated. “The document provides for, among other things, the establishment of areas of disengagement of forces and hardware along the contact line.” the OSCE stated. Following its invasion of Ukraine, the Russian Federation has continually ignored and violated its commitments under the Minsk I and Minsk II Agreements.