Ukraine: Daily Briefing
October 31, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
UAF 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 and two Ukrainian soldiers were 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 6 times with heavy weapons. Returning fire, Ukrainian forces killed 3 and wounded 2 enemy combatants in the last 24 hours.
2. US at UN Security Council: Russia continues to impede peace process
Speaking at a UN Security Council briefing on the situation in Ukraine, US Deputy Permanent Representative Jonathan Cohen stated, “The United States joins with others in condemning the announcement by the so-called ‘Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics’ that they intend to hold what they are calling ‘elections’ on November 11. These actions are clearly illegitimate and have no basis in Ukrainian law.
These sham elections, staged by Russia, run directly counter to efforts to implement the Minsk peace agreements. The elections also obstruct and undermine efforts to end the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, which has killed over 10,000 people and causes more casualties daily. The Minsk agreements state that the OSCE must supervise elections, which are to be held in accordance with Ukrainian law and OSCE standards. The November 11 balloting will satisfy none of these conditions.
The Minsk agreements also call for the disarmament of illegal groups and withdrawal of foreign armed formations from eastern Ukraine. Russia, however, is using these so-called elections to achieve the opposite – it seeks to bolster the positions of the so-called ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ and the ‘Luhansk People’s Republic.’ Both entities are inseparable from the illegal armed groups controlled by Moscow. […]
Beyond eastern Ukraine, Russia’s occupation of the Crimean peninsula and its aggressive actions in the Sea of Azov, where Russia is harassing and obstructing international shipping bound for Ukraine’s ports, further demonstrate Moscow’s blatant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and readiness to undermine regional stability.
We greatly appreciate the efforts of France and Germany in the Normandy Format to push for implementation of the Minsk agreements. Unfortunately, Russia continues to impede the peace process and is, we believe, deliberately stalling in these discussions and in talks between Special Representative Volker and Russian Presidential Advisor Vladislav Surkov. We call on Russia to cease its obstructionist activities and its artificial delays.
The United States reiterates our strong condemnation of Russia’s destabilizing actions in Ukraine. We will continue to impose sanctions against Russia for its action in the Donbas and Crimea until it fully implements the Minsk agreements and returns the Crimean peninsula to Ukraine.”
3. Ukraine’s President: Results of UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine reaffirm ongoing international isolation of Moscow
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko stated, “The results of the UN Security Council meeting on the ‘Ukrainian issue’ obviously reaffirmed the ongoing international isolation of Moscow, which demonstrates audacious behavior and stubborn reluctance to hear the legitimate calls of the international community. […]
The Kremlin must stop its brutal aggression in Donbas, terminate the supply of Russian weapons and technology to the occupied territory and stop the violation of the Minsk agreements. Crimea must be de-occupied, Russia’s aggressive policy in the waters of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait is unacceptable. […]
I am sincerely grateful to the international partners and the leadership of the UN Secretariat for their solidarity with Ukraine and the call to increase humanitarian assistance to mitigate the consequences of Russian devastating aggression.”
4. Medicine procurement through international organizations: almost twice as many adult oncology patients get free medicines
Ukraine’s Ministry of Health reported, “Every year, specialized international organizations that support Ukraine in procurement of medicines and healthcare products conduct transparent tenders and negotiate with manufacturers on prices, which results in savings of the allocated funds. The savings are used to purchase additional medicines to provide safe and effective treatment to more patients in need.
The effective cooperation with international organizations helped the Ukrainian government to provide free medicines to a significantly higher number of adult oncology patients. In 2016, the savings were used to purchase 90 out of all 94 centrally procured medicines.
These infographics show that the procurement figures were much lower before 2015 when Ukraine started procuring medicines and healthcare products through specialized international organizations. For some medicines, like a chemotherapy medication Docetaxel, these figures are now five times higher, which means that five times as many patients in need are provided with this medicine than before 2015. This is a great progress, as many Ukrainian patients no longer have to purchase expensive life-saving medicines – the state provides these medicines to them free of charge.”
5. Ukraine exports grow 12.4%
Ukraine Business News reported, “Ukraine’s exports through August were up 12.4% yoy, to $30.9 billion, according to the Economic Development and Trade Ministry. Exports to the EU grew faster than the global average, increasing by 18.3% to $13 billion. EU bought 42% of Ukraine’s exports through August. Separately, two-way trade between the US and Ukraine grew by 16% through August, reaching almost $2.6 billion, Stepan Kubiv, the minister, wrote on Facebook.”