Ukraine: Daily Briefing
October 4, 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 at 12:30 PM Kyiv time 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, including at least 5 times with heavy weapons. Returning fire, Ukrainian forces killed 2 and wounded 2 enemy combatants.
2. Ukraine’s Parliament extends Donbas special status law by one year
Ukraine’s Parliament extended the “Law on special procedures of local self-government in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts,” for one year. 245 MPs voted in support. The law was first adopted in 2014. Ukrinform reported, “The adoption of the bill is aimed, among other things, at determining the need to preserve the international sanctions regime introduced to restore the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, as well as creating the necessary conditions for the deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping operation in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.” No MPs from the Samopomich or the Batkivshchyna parliamentary factions voted to support the bill.
US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker stated, “Congratulations to Poroshenko, Parubiy and Ukraine’s Parliament for renewing special status. Major step; Ukraine doing its part for peace. Now it’s Russia’s turn. Disappointed some major political figures did not support this important step. Ukraine has repeatedly done its part to implement Minsk, now Russia must fulfill its commitments – a real ceasefire, withdrawal of foreign fighters/equipment, removal of illegal armed formations, exchange detainees.”
3. US Senate passes Resolution recognizing Holodomor as Genocide against Ukrainians
On October 3, the US Senate unanimously adopted S.Res. 435, Expressing the sense of the Senate that the 85th anniversary of the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-1933, known as the Holodomor, should serve as a reminder of repressive Soviet policies against the people of Ukraine.
The resolution states that the US Senate:
“(1) solemnly remembers the 85th anniversary of the Holodomor of 1932-1933 and extends its deepest sympathies to the victims, survivors, and families of this tragedy;
(2) condemns the systematic violations of human rights, including the freedom of self-determination and freedom of speech, of the Ukrainian people by the Soviet government;
(3) recognizes the findings of the Commission on the Ukraine Famine as submitted to Congress on April 22, 1988, including that ‘Joseph Stalin and those around him committed genocide against the Ukrainians in 1932-1933;’
(4) encourages dissemination of information regarding the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in order to expand the world’s knowledge of this manmade tragedy; and
(5) supports the continuing efforts of the people of Ukraine to work toward ensuring democratic principles, a free-market economy, and full respect for human rights, in order to enable Ukraine to achieve its potential as an important strategic partner of the United States in that region of the world, and to reflect the will of its people.”
The full text of the Resolution is available here
4. Canada identifies malicious cyber-activity by Russia
Global Affairs Canada stated, “Today, Canada joins its allies in identifying and exposing a series of malicious cyber-operations by the Russian military. These acts form part of a broader pattern of activities by the Russian government that lie well outside the bounds of appropriate behaviour, demonstrate a disregard for international law and undermine the rules-based international order. Canada calls on all those who value this order to come together in its defence.
Some of these acts have a connection with Canada. In 2016, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), an independent international agency headquartered in Canada, publically disclosed that the cyber-hacker group Fancy Bear/APT28 had released confidential athlete data on its website that it had obtained illegally from WADA’s Anti-Doping Administration and Management System. The Government of Canada assesses with high confidence that the Russian military’s intelligence arm, the GRU, was responsible for this incident.
In 2016, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport was compromised by malware enabling unauthorized access to the Centre’s network. The Government of Canada assesses with high confidence that the GRU was responsible for this compromise.
Earlier today, Canada’s allies disclosed that in April 2018, following the use of a Novichok agent in Salisbury, United Kingdom, the Russian military attempted to use its cyber-capabilities to gain access to official networks of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The Government of Canada assesses with high confidence that the GRU was responsible for this attempt. Canada is a member of the OPCW and currently sits on its Executive Council. Canada supports the OPCW’s efforts to rid the world of these abhorrent weapons and global efforts to address the recent illegal use of chemical weapons in Syria and the United Kingdom.
The incidents identified by Canada and our allies, including the GRU’s attempt to undermine the work of the OPCW, underscore the Russian government’s disregard for the rules-based international order, international law and established norms. The attempt to compromise the networks of the OPCW is consistent with Russia’s broader attacks on the independence and professionalism of the personnel of the OPCW.
The Government of Canada is committed to defending its citizens and institutions from cyber-threats, domestically and internationally. With the adoption of a new Cyber Security Strategy and the establishment of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, Canada is making significant investments in improving its cyber-resilience. Further, as was agreed at the G7 Summit, in Charlevoix, Quebec, the Government of Canada is working with allies and partners to hold malicious cyber-actors to account, denouncing their actions and imposing costs upon them. Canada will continue to act to uphold international law in cyberspace.”
5. US Defense Secretary: Russia must be held accountable for cyber attacks
Reuters reported, “U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Thursday Russia must be held accountable for its attempts to hack the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
‘Basically, the Russians got caught with their equipment, with people who were doing it and they have to pay the piper, they are going to have to be held to account. How we respond is a political decision by the nations involved,’ Mattis said after a meeting with his NATO counterparts, although he said there would not necessarily be a ‘tit-for-tat’ response by the West.
Britain and the Netherlands have accused Russia of running a global campaign of cyber attacks to undermine democracies, including a thwarted attempt to hack into the U.N. chemical weapons watchdog while it was analyzing a Russian poison used to attack a spy.
‘We are ready today to provide cyber support to our allies, I’ve seen enough of the evidence to say that the Dutch and the British are 100 percent accurate in who they have attributed this to,’ Mattis said.”