Ukraine: Daily Briefing
September 18, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian Armed Forces training exercises.
Photo – Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed or wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions on the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors of the front 21 times in total.
2. Ukraine’s President meets with Exarchs of Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine
|To view a video of President Poroshenko’s meeting with the Exarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Bishop Ilarion and Archbishop Daniel, please click on image above|
Ukraine’s Presidential Administration reported, “President Petro Poroshenko had a meeting with the Exarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine – Bishop Ilarion of Edmonton and the Western Eparchy of the UOC in Canada and Archbishop Daniel of Pamphylia and the Western Eparchy of the UOC in the United States of America.
The Head of State emphasized that the beginning of the mission of the Exarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine, Archbishop Daniel and Bishop Ilarion, is an extremely important event for all Orthodox people in Ukraine. ‘It is also extremely important that I can speak to you in Ukrainian. This is a huge pleasure and understanding that Ukraine has a big part in your heart,’ the President added.
‘I am very grateful to His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for the courage and wisdom shown with your appointment,’ the President said. ‘We know that Ukrainians have prayed for hundreds of years to have the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. The views of Ukrainians were aimed at the Mother Church, Constantinople. It is wonderful that the Lord heard our prayers,’ Petro Poroshenko said. […]
Archbishop Daniel noted that almost a month had passed since his last visit to Ukraine. ‘This time we arrived in Ukraine with an extraordinary mission, we personally represent Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and at the same time the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in order to continue working on the fait accompli that the beginning of the process of granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has begun. We are on the straight line that goes to the finish line,’ Archbishop Daniel said. […]
In turn, Bishop Ilarion read the letter of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the President. ‘It is with particular joy and spiritual exaltation that we would like to inform you that in the framework of the already initiated process of giving the long-awaited status of autocephaly to the Christ-loving Ukrainian people, the Holy Synod unanimously decided at the last meeting to appoint His Eminence Archbishop Daniel of Pamphylia from the United States and His Eminence Bishop Ilarion of Edmonton from Canada. […]
This remarkable historic decision of the First Orthodox Church will definitely contribute to the processes of granting autocephaly, which we pray for and work over day and night. With this joyful message from the Constantinople Mother Church, the First Orthodox Church, we warmly congratulate you on faith in the wonderful process that we, together with you, have initiated for the spiritual prosperity and independence of the Christ-loving and long-suffering Ukraine,’ the letter reads.”
3. US Air Force to join large-scale aviation exercise in Ukraine
Stars and Stripes reported, “The U.S. Air Force and eight other nations will participate next month in independent Ukraine’s largest aviation exercise, which aims to promote regional security and improve that country’s cooperation with NATO members, the military said Tuesday.
Announcement of the Clear Sky multinational exercise comes days after Ukraine said it would establish a new naval base along the Sea of Azov to counter a more assertive Russia.
The U.S. plans to send about 450 personnel from bases in the States and in Europe, a U.S. Air Forces in Europe spokesman said Tuesday. About 250 will participate in the exercise, including pilots and maintainers; the remainder will be in support roles.
Clear Sky is one of several joint and multinational exercises being conducted in Ukraine this year aimed at promoting regional security, defense officials said. […]
A total of some 950 personnel are slated to take part in Clear Sky. Besides Ukraine and the United States, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom are participating.
The exercise will take place mainly at Starokostiantyniv Air Base, located about 150 miles southwest of Kyiv, and other training areas and ranges in Ukraine. […] Training will focus on air sovereignty, air interdiction, air-to-ground integration, air mobility operations, aeromedical evacuation, cyberdefense and personnel recovery.”