Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Crisis in Ukraine - UCC Briefing for July 12

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
12 August, 7 PM Kyiv time

1. Russia’s proxy war against Ukraine in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts
The active phase of the Anti-Terrorism Operation (ATO) in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts continues. The National Security and Defense Council (RNBO) stated at 12PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, ATO forces exchanged fire 24 times with Kremlin-backed terrorists. The press center of the ATO reported that ATO forces liberated Pervomaisk, Kamyshevakha and Kalinovo from Kremlin-backed terrorist control. The RNBO reported that offensive operations of ATO forces have further weakened the positions of Kremlin-backed terrorists. ATO forces took control of the road between Horlivka and Donetsk, cutting off the Kremlin-backed terrorists in Horlivka. The RNBO stated at 5PM Kyiv time that ATO forces liberated Uhledar, are preparing for further offensive operations in several directions,  and that battles have been taking place in areas around Donetsk, Luhansk, Horlivka and Ilovaysk. The State Border Service of Ukraine stated that from 8:35PM-9:45 PM Kyiv time on 11 August, artillery was fired from the territory of the Russian Federation on the border unit at Kransna Talivka. 40 shells were fired. From 8:50PM-11:30PM on 11 August, artillery was fired from the territory of the Russian Federation to a Ukrainian border checkpoint near Kamyshene.

2. Red Cross calls for clarity on aid convoy

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) “is seeking more information about the 280-vehicle aid convoy that left Moscow for eastern Ukraine on 12 August 2014. Laurent Corbaz, ICRC Head of Operations for Europe and Central Asia, says the organization still needed security guarantees and contacts with all parties, plus details of the convoy’s cargo and its size.”

3. Presidential Administration: any unsanctioned entry into Ukrainian territory will be viewed as aggression
Deputy head of Ukraine’s Presidential Administration, V. Chaliy, stated that any unsanctioned entry into Ukrainian territory by other states, even under the appearance of humanitarian aid, will be viewed as aggression. “There should be no unexpected actions. Any unsanctioned entry into the territory of Ukraine – will be an act of aggression. We are speaking about an initiative of the President of Ukraine about international humanitarian aid that Ukraine, together with its own delivery of humanitarian aid, is ready to give to the peaceful residents of Luhansk. If Russia wants to join in this, we are not against it, but this should all be done in accordance with the norms of international law, and our conditions…The Red Cross receives [the aid] and coordinates the logistics of its delivery.”

4. US State Department: no actions should be taken in Ukraine without Kyiv’s direct permission
M. Harf, Deputy Spokesperson for the US Stated Department, stated on 11 August that “we believe Russia’s been trying to lay the international groundwork to support a humanitarian operation into Ukraine. We are concerned that Russia could try to use a humanitarian or peacekeeping operation as a pretense for inserting elements of military force into Ukraine. We do not believe that any actions, humanitarian or otherwise, should be taken in Ukraine without Kyiv’s direct permission, no – whether under the guise of humanitarian convoys or any other pretext, Russia has not right to intervene in Ukraine without Kyiv’s permission. So we are concerned about it, and we’re closely monitoring it…[T]hey’ve been laying groundwork for increased intervention in Ukraine, with the large build-up of troops at the border that we’ve seen…They’ve deployed a sizeable military force to the Ukrainian border. This force is capable of invading Ukraine on very short notice if Russia were to elect to do so. A large portion of this force is deployed only a few kilo

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