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Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing 15 June 2015

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1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine

The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that the situation in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone is deteriorating. At key sectors of the front, shelling of Ukrainian positions by Kremlin-backed terrorists with heavy weapons continues. Kremlin-backed terrorists are shelling residential areas of towns near the front. The RNBO reported that clashes have resumed in areas along the contact line that had previously been relatively quiet. Towards Mariupol, clashes took place at Shyrokyne, where Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions with artillery. Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions near the Donetsk airport with heavy weapons throughout the day.  Near Maryinka, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions with Grads (truck mounted multiple-rocket launchers) and tanks. Towards Luhansk, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions along the front from Popasne to Shchastya, and fired at least 30 Grad rockets on Troitske. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and twenty were wounded.

 

2. IMF: If deal between Ukraine and private creditors not reached, IMF can lend to Ukraine under Lending-into-Arrears policy

C. Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF, stated in a letter to members of the financial community on 12 June, "The Ukrainian authorities have embarked on an ambitious economic program for 2015-18 aiming at deep-reaching macroeconomic adjustment and structural reforms. It includes a substantial fiscal consolidation and energy sector reforms, the rehabilitation of the banking system, the build-up of the National Bank of Ukraine's (NBU) international reserves to prudent levels, and the improvement of the business environment to enhance the productive potential of the economy. [...]Ultimately, Ukraine's debt repayment capacity is limited by its fiscal capacity. Rapid completion of the debt operation with high participation is vital for the success of the program, since Ukraine lacks the resources under the program to fully service its debts on the original terms. The IMF, in general, encourages voluntary pre-emptive agreements in debt restructurings, but in the event that a negotiated settlement with private creditors is not reached and the country determines that it cannot service its debt, the Fund can lend to Ukraine consistent with its Lending-into-Arrears Policy. The Ukrainian authorities are fully cognizant of the large challenges ahead-including substantial macroeconomic risks stemming from the unresolved conflict in the East--and have reaffirmed their steadfast determination to tackle economic imbalances that held Ukraine back in the past, and deepen structural reforms in order to achieve robust and sustainable growth. I believe that their program warrants the support of the international community, including the private sector, which is indispensable for the success of this program."

 

3. Ukraine, Japan sign $870 million loan agreement for modernization of water treatment infrastructure

The Government of Ukraine and the Japan International Cooperation Agency signed a loan agreement for the "Bortnychi Sewage Treatment Plant Modernization Project." Ukraine's Ministry of Finance stated, "Through the development and modernization of the facilities at the Bortnychi Sewage Treatment Plant, the project will improve sewage treatment in Kyiv city and contribute to the improvement of public health and living conditions of its citizens. [...]The loan will be allocated for the construction and renovation of wastewater treatment facilities, sludge treatment facilities, sludge incinerators, as well as expert consultant services." The loan agreement is for approximately $870 million, at an interest rate of 0.1%/year for 40 years, with a 10-year grace period.

 

4. US Mission to OSCE: Mandate of OSCE border monitoring mission "woefully inadequate"

At a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on 11 June, US Permanent Representative to the OSCE D. Baer stated in response to the Chief of the OSCE border observation mission,"Your team continues to observe vehicles carrying coffins crossing into Russia, as well as vehicles entering Russia marked with 'Cargo 200,' a Russian military term used for personnel killed in action. These and other observations from your mission point clearly to Russia's aggression and destabilizing actions in eastern Ukraine. [...]The mandate of the Mission remains highly restricted and woefully inadequate. As we approach the expiration of the Observer Mission's current mandate on June 30, a full discussion on its renewal and expansion is needed. [...]As the EU, Canada, Turkey, Ukraine, and others have already made clear, an expansion of the mission along the entire border is required to support efforts toward peace. We remind the Permanent Council that the current mandate limits observations to exactly two pinpoints along the international Russian-Ukrainian border, as combined Russian-separatist forces ensure that the rest of the border along the conflict zone remains off limits to the international community and Ukrainian authorities. Let us also not forget that combined Russian-separatist forces are also systematically denying the Special Monitoring Mission access to the Ukrainian side of the border. Russia often calls for the full implementation of the Minsk agreements. Russia should heed its own calls, and cease resistance to full international monitoring of the international border, and full inspection by international organizations of anything crossing the border. Mr. Chair, we remain concerned by the Observer Mission's restricted access within the Gukovo checkpoint, where observers are confined to a small patch of ground. We also understand that Russian authorities will not allow citizens of certain OSCE participating States to take part in the Observer Mission."

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Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing 12 June 2015

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1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine

The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that towards Mariupol, Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions near the Pavlopolsky Reservoir. Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions near the Donetsk airport with artillery and tanks; and shelled Ukrainian positions with artillery at Maryinka, Starohnativka, Hranitne and mortars at Horlivka. Towards Luhansk, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions with small arms, mortars, artillery and tanks along a wide sector of the front. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and ten were wounded.

 

2. Kremlin-backed terrorists shell pipeline that delivers gas to Mariupol

The Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that in the morning of 12 June, Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled and damaged the pipeline that delivers gas to Mariupol and Avdiyivka. Ukrainian PM A. Yatsenyuk stated, "The Russian terrorists deliberately damaged the pipeline with heavy artillery with the goal of stopping the delivery of gas to Mariupol and stop the factories working in the city. They are doing this purposely, to create panic in Mariupol, to stop factories so that people don't receive their wages. This is part of the Russian plan." The head of Naftohas Ukrainy stated that after the military ensures safe access to the damaged pipeline, 48 hours would be needed for repairs.

 

3. State Security chief fires heads Organized Crime and anti-Corruption units within SBU

The Head of the State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), V. Nalyvaichenko, has fired the deputy heads of the Main Directorate on Anti-corruption and Organized Crime and the heads of its Departments. In a letter to the head of the Parliamentary Anti-Corruption Committee regarding the matter, Nalyvaichenko wrote, "The work that began in February of last year continues," and invited the Committee to investigate facts about possible offenses related to corruption committed by the former heads of these departments.

 

4. First meeting of Regional Development Council

The first meeting of the Regional Development Council, established in May and headed by Ukraine's President, was held today.  President Poroshenko stated that "We are assigning maximum powers to the local communities, including the right to local taxes and a part of nationwide taxes, in order to stimulate the efficiency of the tax reform, [...]. Local self-sufficient community must become a cornerstone of decentralized public administration system under the European principles provided for by the European Charter of Local Self-Government. [...] Ukraine was, is and will remain a unitary state. [...] Coordination, control and supervision must be increased at the level of districts. There will be no right to intervene in social and economic activity of local government, but there will also be no right to violate the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine."

 

5. US Representative to UN visits Ukraine

US Permanent Representative to the UN S. Power, stated on 11 June in Kyiv, "The focus on Ukraine in the Security Council is important, because it gives me the chance - on behalf of the United States - to lay out the mounting evidence of Russia's aggression, its obfuscation, and its outright lies. [...]But there is something more important that is often lost in the international discussion about Russia's efforts to impose its will on Ukraine. And that is you - the people of Ukraine - and your right to determine the course of your own country's future. Far too often, people tell the story of what is happening today in Ukraine without you in it. It is East versus West. [...]The irony of applying this way of thinking to the current crisis is that it goes against the very ethos of the Maidan, which was - and still is - about putting you, the Ukrainian people, back in the driver's seat of your country's future. [...] It is this idea - that the people can use their voice to hold their leaders accountable - that is so threatening to leaders like President Putin, and the autocratic governments they lead. And it is the reason Moscow is working so desperately to sabotage your efforts at reform. [...] It is bitterly ironic that the Russian government - which views international support for NGOs that promote human rights as an unacceptable threat to its security - it is ironic that that same government has no qualms bankrolling, training, and arming separatist movements in multiple neighboring countries, and sending its soldiers across Russia's borders to fight alongside those same fighters. You tell me: which of these is the true foreign agent: Russian NGOs in Russia or Russian soldiers in Ukraine? [...]America believes that your struggle has resonance far beyond your sovereign borders. And because we believe that there is no greater cause than the cause of human dignity [...]You, Ukraine, are standing tall for your freedom. And if you stand tall together - no kleptocrat, no oligarch, and no foreign power can stop you." A transcript of Power's remarks is available at http://usun.state.gov/briefing/statements/243583.htm

 

 

 

COMMEMORATION OF THE TRAGEDY OF THE BALTIC NATIONS EVENT IN TORONTO,  JUNE 14, 2015
As a result of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, the alliance between Nazi Germany and the USSR, the Baltic States were invaded by Soviet armed forces in 1940. During the first occupation, the Year of Terror, 1940 -1941, tens of thousands of all age groups, from elderly to infants were arrested, tortured, or murdered. Many of those, sent in cattle cars to the Siberian Gulag, did not survive the trip or deprivations of the concentration camps. This year, Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians mark the 74th anniversary of this tragedy. Those who know their history, see a direct comparison to the war being waged against Ukraine. While Ukraine's sovereign territory has been attacked and occupied, threats of aggression against the Baltics, Poland and other parts of Europe are increasing. Please join in commemorating the suffering of so many by attending the memorial service to be held on: June 14, 2015, 4:00PM, Lithuanian Church, Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ Parish, 1 Resurrection Road, Toronto, ON

 

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing 11 June 2015

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1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine

The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that towards Mariupol, Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions at Myrne and Berdyanske with artillery. There is heavy fighting in Shyrokyne - where Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars and heavy artillery. Towards Donetsk, the heaviest fighting was in the area of the Donetsk airport, where Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions with tanks, mortars and artillery. Towards Luhansk, Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions at Novotoshkivsk with Grads (truck-mounted multiple rocket launchers) and artillery. Clashes with Kremlin-backed terrorists also took place at several other locations, including Shchastya and Stanytsia Luhanska. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, three Ukrainian soldiers were killed and thirteen were wounded. The Donetsk oblast Prosecutor's Office reported that on the night of 10-11 June, Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled residential areas of Horlivka with heavy artillery, murdering three civilians, including two children.

2. Ukraine ready to impose moratorium on debt payment if deal with creditors not reached

Ukraine's Minister of Finance N. Jaresko stated that Ukraine's Parliament would move next week on three final preconditions for the next tranche of the IMF package, including strengthening the independence of the central bank. Jaresko stated that if a deal with international commercial creditors on debt repayment is not reached, Ukraine was ready to impose a moratorium on debt payments, the Wall Street Journal reported. Jaresko said, "We cannot keep bleeding in repayments to the debt this year. [...]They are provoking the use of other tools, including the moratorium," the Wall Street Journal reported. On 9 June, the IMF stated that they can keep supporting Ukraine even if it doesn't pay bondholders. IMF First Deputy Managing Director D. Lipton stated, "We have a policy of lending into arrears which allows us to continue lending to a member state when it has arrears with private creditors, providing it's fulfilling all its other commitments that it's made to us. This is a way we can go forward," Bloomberg reported.

3. Ukraine's President appoints new Governor of Donetsk oblast

Ukraine's President P. Poroshenko appointed Pavlo Zhebrivsky head of the Donetsk oblast State Administration (Governor). He previously served as head of the Anti-Corruption Department of the General Prosecutors' Office (2015) and as an MP (2006-2012). Poroshenko thanked outgoing Governor Oleksander Kikhtenko and stated that he will be appointed to a different position.

4. US Vice President: G-7 ready to impose significant additional sanctions

On 10 June, Ukrainian PM A. Yatsenyuk met with US Vice President J. Biden in Washington, DC. "

The Vice President underscored the resolve of the United States and its G-7 partners to continue pressing Russia to fully implement the Minsk agreements, including return of the Ukrainian side of the international border to Ukrainian control, as well as the withdrawal of all Russian soldiers and weapons from Ukraine. The Vice President also noted that the United States and its G-7 allies stand ready to impose significant additional sanctions if necessary to respond to Russia's actions," according to statement from the Office of the VP.

5. European Parliament: Russia can no longer be considered a strategic partner

On 10 June, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on EU-Russia relations, which stated, "Whereas Russia has - by illegally annexing Crimea, an action which was strongly condemned by the EU and which will not be recognised, and waging an armed conflict against Ukraine, with the direct and indirect participation of military and security services, and by deliberately destabilising this neighbouring sovereign and independent country - profoundly damaged its relationship with the EU by jeopardising the basic principles of Europe's security by not respecting borders and by breaking its international commitments, notably the United Nations Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, the Budapest Memorandum, the 1990 Paris Charter for a New Europe and the bilateral Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership; whereas the humanitarian situation in Crimea and in Eastern Ukraine has considerably deteriorated, with a death toll of several thousand;[...] In this context, the EU cannot envisage a return to 'business as usual' and has no choice but to conduct a critical re-assessment of its relations with Russia, which includes the drafting, as promptly as possible, of a soft-power contingency plan to counter the aggressive and divisive policies conducted by Russia, and a comprehensive plan on its future relations with that country and with its Eastern European partners; underlines that the resolution of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine can only be political in nature;  Stresses that at this point Russia, because of its actions in Crimea and in Eastern Ukraine, can no longer be treated as, or considered, a 'strategic partner'. " The full text of the resolution is available at http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P8-TA-2015-0225+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=EN

6. Russian court illegally jails Crimean Tatar leader's son

A Russian court sentenced Khaisar Dzhemiliev, son of Crimean Tatar leader and Ukrainian MP Mustafa Dzhemiliev, to 5 years in prison. He was found guilty of manslaughter through carelessness and illegal possession of a weapon. Dzhemiliev was found guilty by a Russian court "for an offence committed in Ukraine by a Ukrainian national and one in which a Ukrainian court has already passed sentence. [...]A Russian court on May 27 this year refused to terminate the trial despite the verdict and sentence passed by a Ukrainian court and Ukraine's formal request for his extradition.  Although Russia's own Criminal Code makes it quite clear that a sentence passed in Ukraine is sufficient grounds for terminating proceedings on the same charges in Russia, the judge explained his refusal as being because there had been no verdict from a Russian court. There has now been a verdict from a Russian jury and an unfairly severe and simply unlawful sentence from a Russian court [...] The jury's verdict and Ukrainian court verdict and sentence were entirely in keeping with previous rulings from Ukrainian courts from early 2014 which reinstated the original charges of manslaughter and ordered Khaiser's release from custody.  The order to release Khaiser was then reiterated by the European Court of Human Rights which on July 10, 2014 applied Rule 39, ordering that Dzhemiliev be freed. Despite the binding nature of all rulings and decisions from the Court in Strasbourg, Russia not only failed to comply, but also moved Khaiser from Simferopol in Crimea to Russia's Krasnodar," the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) reported.

7. Pope calls for "great and sincere effort" for peace in Ukraine in meeting with Russian President

Pope Francis met with Russian President V. Putin on 10 June. The Vatican Information Service reported that "Regarding the situation in the Ukraine, the Holy Father affirmed that a great and sincere effort is necessary to achieve peace. He agreed on the importance of re-establishing a climate of dialogue and that all parties must commit themselves to enforcing the Minsk Accords."

   

U-19 Championship. "Dinamo" (Kyiv) - "Zorya" (Lugansk) - 1: 0 (0: 0)

U-19 Championship. 2nd round, the final stage

03.18.2015. Chapaevka. UTB "Dynamo". 100 spectators.

"Dinamo"  (Kyiv) - "Zorya" (Luhansk) - 1: 0 (0: 0)

"Dynamo": 12. Makhankov, 18. Timchik, 2. A. Nesterenko, Masalov 15. 13. Norenkov (7 Shebetun, 67), 11. Nechay (4 Mickhaylichenko, 67), 9. Priymak (k) (3 Chobotenko, 81), 8. Orihovsky (9 Yarovyi, 90 + 1), 14. Kovbasa 6. Kozak (16 Lapa, 73), 10. Knysh.

"Zorya": 1. Fedorenko, Soldatenko 2., 3. Filinkov 5. Alantev, 4. Skvortsov, 6. Shspochka (17 Krivchun, 81), 7. Zhdanov (14 Korol, 46), 10. Vasilchenko, 11. Belousov (k) 9. Romanov, Stecenko 8. (15. Chernyshev, 68).

Goal: Orihovsky (75)

Warnings: - Chernyshov (86).



 

President discussed further actions on advocating the interests of Ukraine in the world with UWC leaders

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 President Petro Poroshenko had a meeting with UWC leaders - President Eugene Czolij and Secretary General Stefan Romaniw, as well as President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Pavlo Grod.

 The Head of State noted that the UWC was a powerful force in the protection of Ukraine's interests in the world. "It is a pleasure that we coordinate our efforts in various spheres so efficiently," the President said adding that it was particularly related to the issues of volunteer assistance to the militaries, inter alia, technical equipment of the Ukrainian troops.

 The President has noted the necessity of countering Russian propaganda and bringing objective information on the events in Ukraine. "Telling the truth to the people all over the world is an extremely important mission not only for the Ukrainian President, Foreign Ministry, Government and civil organizations, but also Diaspora, the opinion of which plays a significant role," Petro Poroshenko emphasized.

 The President has once again noted the importance of powerful Armed Forces, unity and solidarity of the Ukrainian nation inside the country and all over the world, as well as global partners' strong position of support for Ukraine. "We must work over it every day," the President said. Petro Poroshenko positively evaluated the results of the G7 Summit on the support for Ukraine noting not only the position on the necessity of compliance with the Minsk agreements, but also the position regarding the illegal annexation of Crimea.

 The President has urged the Ukrainian World Congress to intensify efforts in advocating the interests of Ukraine in the issue of the European prospect, bringing information on the implementation of reforms, countering Russian propaganda and the issue of ratification of the Association Agreement. The President has noted that the given process was not a simple formal procedure, but an "important political process, which demonstrates the recognition of the European aspirations of Ukrainians".

 The Head of State has highlighted the importance of simplifying the visa free regime for Ukrainians not only with the countries of the EU, but also with Canada, Japan and Australia.

 The President has recalled the need for specialists on psychological aid to the militaries and demobilized warriors. The Head of State has informed on his instruction regarding the implementation of initiatives of volunteers with experience of war in Iraq and other military conflicts.

 In his turn, UWC President Eugene Czolij  informed that the Ukrainian World Congress had established its Mission in Ukraine for the better coordination of actions. The established Council includes Ukrainian Diaspora representatives in 48 countries of the world.

 Eugene Czolij  congratulated Petro Poroshenko on the first anniversary of presidency and presented him the icon of St. Nicholas. "We hope that St. Nicholas will give you health, strength and endurance to protect territorial integrity of Ukraine and make Ukraine an independent, confident and democratic European state," he said.

   

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