Ukraine: Daily Briefing
November 19, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
Note to our readers:
The UCC Ukraine Daily Briefing will be not be published November 20-29, 2018. The UCC Ukraine Daily Briefing will return Friday, November 30. Thank you for your interest!
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin interviewed on Global News’ The West Block. To view interview please click on image above
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 16 times in total, including at least 4 times with heavy weapons. Returning fire, Ukrainian forces killed 3 and wounded 4 enemy combatants in the last 24 hours.
2. Joint Statement on US-Ukraine Strategic Partnership
Secretary Pompeo and Minister Klimkin deliver statements to the press following US Ukraine Strategic Partnership Committee meeting
On November 16, the US State Department reported, “The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and Ukraine on the occasion of the 2018 U.S.-Ukraine Strategic Partnership Commission Meeting in Washington, DC.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin met November 16, 2018, in Washington, D.C., to hold a plenary session of the U.S.-Ukraine Strategic Partnership Commission. The plenary meeting marked the tenth anniversary of the U.S.-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership, a document that enshrines the principles upon which the relationship between our two democracies is based. […]
During the 2014 Revolution of Dignity, the Ukrainian people voiced their desire to live in a modern, democratic, European state, free from corruption and foreign control. Since the Revolution, the United States has provided over $2.8 billion in assistance and three $1 billion loan guarantees to help Ukraine defend its territory and implement key reforms. The United States remains steadfast in its support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Klimkin reiterated that cooperation between the United States and Ukraine is based on common interests and shared values, including support for democracy, economic freedom and prosperity, sovereignty and territorial integrity, energy security, and respect for human rights and the rule of law. They decided to create three new bilateral working groups focused on Security and Countering Russian Aggression; Rule of Law and Humanitarian Issues; and Economy and Energy. These groups will meet regularly to discuss areas of mutual concern and advance joint objectives. The 2018 Strategic Partnership Commission’s meeting featured inaugural sessions of each working group.”
Full text of the Joint Statement on U.S.-Ukraine Strategic Partnership
3. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan warns voters that Russia will meddle in 2019 Canadian election
The Canadian Press reported, “With a federal election less than a year away, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is warning voters they will be targeted by online cyberattacks and fake news as Russia steps up its efforts to undermine Western democracies.
‘We have taken this into account very seriously in our defence policy,’ Mr. Sajjan said in an interview with The Canadian Press. ‘We need to further educate our citizens about the impact of fake news. No one wants to be duped by anybody.’
Mr. Sajjan made the comments while attending a defence and security conference in Halifax, where experts, military officers and politicians representing democracies from around the world spent a great deal of time discussing cyberwarfare.
‘When we stand up for human rights, and when we stand up … to nations like Russia who are going against the rules-based order … you become a target,’ Mr. Sajjan said, adding that Canada’s decision to protest Russia’s annexation of Crimea has also raised Russia’s ire.
He said the Canadian government has a cybersecurity plan that includes establishing the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security within the Communications Security Establishment, which is focused on collecting foreign signals intelligence.”
4. Kyiv march for transgender rights canceled after violence by far-right radicals
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported on November 18, “Activists for transgender rights were forced to disband a demonstration in Kyiv after counterdemonstrators assaulted several protesters and attacked a Canadian journalist trying to cover the event.
The organizers of the event criticized Ukrainian police for failing to protect about 40 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights activists who had planned to gather in Shevchenko Park on November 18 for a legally sanctioned march through the streets of the Ukrainian capital coinciding with International Transgender Remembrance Day. […] The counterdemonstrators included members of the far-right groups Tradition and Order, Right Sector, and the Religious National Front.
LGBT rights activists who moved their gathering place by two blocks to a location near Kyiv’s University subway station were followed by a small group of counterdemonstrators who confronted them by shouting slurs and setting off smoke bombs.
Ukrainian police did not try to remove the counterdemonstrators, but shoved the LGBT rights activists through turnstiles of the subway station while swearing at them and shouting slurs. The police officers then blocked the entrance to protesters to avoid further clashes.
An RFE/RL correspondent saw two female activists who remained on the street being physically assaulted by the counterdemonstrators. The two women were attacked with pepper spray and were given first aid at the scene, according to the AFP news agency.
Canadian journalist Michael Colborne was also assaulted with pepper spray and punched in the face by two counterdemonstrators near the metro station, suffering a swollen lip and cuts on his face from his broken glasses. Police said they have opened an investigation into the attack on Colborne, classifying the assault as hooliganism, and said officers were searching for the two suspects.”
Canada’s Ambassador to Ukraine Roman Waschuk stated on Twitter, “Criminal and hateful actions by far-right radicals deserve an effective and dissuasive policing response. The National Police have shown they can do it at past LGBT events; they need to reassert commitment to media protection and human rights for all.”
Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Kateryna Zelenko stated on Twitter, “Attacks on journalists, and any manifestations of intolerance and violence, are unacceptable. We are waiting for the results of the investigation by law enforcement authorities.”