NSC NEWS & ANALYSIS CENTER BRIEFING at 12:00 AUGUST 12, 2014

International humanitarian aid initiative

Ukraine’s government is doing everything it can to support civilians who are in the ATO zone and on territories temporarily under the control of terrorists. President Petro Poroshenko has initiated a call for international humanitarian assistance for the areas of the Donbas where the activities of the terrorists have destroyed infrastructure and disrupted basic services.

Any humanitarian cargo coming to Ukraine must enter the country in line with Ukrainian legislation and international law and following the procedures used by the International Committee of the Red Cross, which are completely approved by Ukraine and the world community. In this regard, President Poroshenko spoke with Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), on August 11. Maurer assured Ukraine’s leader that the Red Cross was prepared to support this mission in every way possible.

In particular, the organization will take on itself all organizational and logistical matters related to the international mission. Maurer also told Poroshenko that he was prepared to send the director of the Red Cross’s regional division to Ukraine. Red Cross officials emphasize that this kind of aid can only be provided in the basic principles of the Red Cross are followed: neutrality and independence, and no armed escorts whatsoever. This means that a “humanitarian convoy” is not an option.

Dr. Davron Mukhamadiev, the regional representative of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), noted that Red Cross workers would assess the humanitarian aid needs of those civilians still in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine. The humanitarian mission would take place after this assessment, Andriy Lysenko, spokesperson for the National Security Council’s News & Analysis Center, reported at the Center’s midday briefing, August 12, 2014.

President Poroshenko’s initiative to organize a humanitarian mission was also supported by European Commission President Jose-Manuel Barroso, who said he was confident that this mission would be carried out in line with international law. Barroso announced that the European Union was prepared to provide € 2.5 million for humanitarian aid to Ukraine. This mission was also discussed with US President Barack Obama.

Military action in the conflict zone

ATO forces continued to press forward and to weaken the position of the militants, pushing them gradually out of territory in Luhansk Oblast. They are now using Antratsyt County as their main point of resistance because, if the Ukrainian Army advances on them, they will be able to flee to Russia. ATO forces have taken control of the highway between Horlivka and Donetsk, which means that the militants in Horlivka are now cut off from their main forces.

The militants also have considerable resources concentrated in Shakhtarsk, Mospyne, Snizhne, and Zugres.

In the run-up to decisive battles, intensive scouting of enemy positions is now taking place. On August 11, front-line units of the 95th mobile brigade completed a lightning-fast 470-km raid, 170 km of which was to the rear of the terrorists. During this raid, Ukraine’s paratroopers destroyed three checkpoints and a large number of terrorists and their military equipment.

According to the paratroopers, they wiped out part of an armored group of terrorists that were leaving Horlivka. An air strike, coupled with ground fire destroyed a mobile anti-aircraft complex near Sukhodolska.

The border area

Over the last 24 hours, ATO forces engaged in fire with terrorists 24 times, near the towns of Stepanivka, Krasniy Yar, Debaltseve, Donetsk, Semenivka, Uspenka, Starobesheve, Vilkhova, Petrivka, Andriyivka, and Savur-Mohyla, and Luhansk Airport.

The Russian side continues to provide weapons and mercenaries through parts of the state border of Ukraine that are temporarily not in the control of the State Border Service. 4 attacks were attempted on ATO and border patrol unit positions. On August 11. from 20:35-21:45, Russian forces fired at border patrols near the village of Krasna Talivka. Artillery fire came 40 times from near the Russian village of Voloshyne.

Firing from the direction of the Russian village of Manotskiy, Russians kept going at Ukraine’s border checkpoint near the village of Kamyshyne. At 02:00, the Uspenka crossing in Donetsk Oblast was hit by massive shelling. Altogether, the Russians fired some 150 volleys, damaging the Border Patrol building and the telephone line. At midnight, a National Guard checkpoint near the village of Uspenka was attacked by Grads from Russian territory.

Earlier in the day, at 14:00, terrorists shot a patrol of Ukrainian soldiers on the Luhansk section of the state border. The soldiers opened fire in response and rebuffed the attack.

Typically shelling and artillery fire are preceded by Russian air surveillance. On August 11, a border patrol in the area of the Krasna Talivka border checkpoint in Luhansk Oblast registered the flight of a drone that flew onto Ukrainian territory at an altitude of about 2,000 m. At 21:30 in the area of Milove, Luhansk Oblast, a MiG-24 Russian helicopter flews at about 200 m on a line between Chorkvovo (RF) and Milove (UA).

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry reported August 11 that in recent days Russia had rained massive artillery fire using Howitzers, Grads, and mortar units from its own territory on Ukrainian Army positions near the town of Amvrosiyivka and Uspenka in Donetsk Oblast, and the towns of Bilovodsk, Derkulske, Ivanivka, Krasna Talivka, Milove, Stanychno-Luhanske, and Yuhanivka in Luhansk Oblast as well as near the towns of Vasylivka and Iliyinka in Donetsk Oblast, and Diakove, Miusynsk and Petropavlivka in Luhansk Oblast. This led to casualties and injuries.

One obvious result is that hundreds of residents of the village of Stepanivka in Donetsk Oblast were left without roofs over their heads as a result of endless volleys of rockets fired August 10 and 11 from Russian territory using Grad MLRSs. Ukraine’s border patrol units alone were under fire more than 13 times in the past week from Russian territory and Russian helicopters violated Ukrainian air space 9 times. Under cover of artillery fire, the RF continues its attempts to breach the border and penetrate Ukrainian territory with its mercenaries and military equipment.

While it engages in these provocations, the Kremlin keeps making statements about the urgency of resolving the supposed humanitarian catastrophe in Eastern Ukraine. The cynicism lies in the fact that, by killing Ukraine’s soldiers and civilians, and destroying the infrastructure of Ukrainian cities and villages, Russia and its suborned terrorists are the primary cause of this humanitarian crisis.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has categorically protested and demanded Russia to immediately cease and desist with its open aggression against Ukraine. This would be the best contribution Russia could make to regulate the situation in eastern Ukraine. It would allow the Ukrainian government to begin the process of economic recovery and social rehabilitation in the region.

Population centers in the conflict zone

As reported earlier, the №124 penitentiary in Donetsk was shelled, resulting in injuries to 31 inmates, one of whom since died. Another 71 prisoners escaped, but 42 returned already yesterday because they did not want to fight on the side of the militants. 

The State Employment Agency is assisting IDPs from the ATO zone to find jobs where they have settled. An awareness campaign is running at State Employment Centers where these individuals are temporarily staying and on routes to transport hubs: at railway and bus stations and terminals.

In those towns freed of the terrorists, military psychologists are working with civilians who were living under conditions of armed conflict. The psychologists are also explaining things to people, which helps protect them against aggressive Russian propaganda.

International support

Deputy State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf expressed the deep concern that Washington feels over the possible penetration of Russian military into Ukraine. She reiterated that any presence of RF armed forces on Ukrainian soil was “impossible without the agreement of Kyiv.” Moreover, she stated that Russia’s professional soldiers for destroying infrastructure and disrupting water and power supplies in Ukraine’s eastern towns.

The Government of Norway has decided to join the EU’s economic sanctions against Russia. Foreign Minister Berg Brende pointed out that Norway was not a member of the European Union.

Source: NSC, http://mediarnbo.org/

Translated by Lidia Wolanskyj, EMPR

#English #euromaidanpr #EMPR  #Ukraine #NSC  #ATO #Donbas #Donetsk #Luhansk #poroshenko #EU
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