Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
December 2015 - Ukraine Special Weapons News
- Ukraine Cuts Power To Crimea Again, Citing Faulty Equipment RFE/RL 31 Dec 2015 -- A Crimean official has said that Ukraine has cut off a major source of electrical power to the region, a month after saboteurs first plunged the peninsula annexed by Russia into darkness.
- No Curling Irons After Dark: Crimean Authorities Scramble To Tackle Latest Blackout RFE/RL 31 Dec 2015 -- As Crimea struggles with its second power outage in just over a month, the peninsula's Russian-backed authorities have issued power-saving recommendations to residents that include avoiding the use of curling irons after nightfall.
- Almost 4,000 Civilians Killed in DPR Since Start of Ukrainian Conflict Sputnik 31 Dec 2015 -- According to the Donetsk People's Republic spokesperson, almost 4,000 civilians have been killed by Kiev-led forces' shelling since the start of the conflict.
- Normandy Four Leaders Reaffirm Commitment to Ceasefire in Donbass Sputnik 30 Dec 2015 -- The leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine reiterated their commitment to the Minsk deal, including the pullout of heavy weapons in Donbass.
- DPR says two residents, serviceman killed in Ukrainian army shelling Press TV 28 Dec 2015 -- Pro-Russia forces in east Ukraine say shelling by Ukrainian military forces in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) killed two civilians and a serviceman last week.
- In Odesa, Ukraine's Reform Agenda Faces Crucial Test RFE/RL 28 Dec 2015 -- To many of those living or doing business in this otherwise laid-back slice of southern Ukraine, even a whiff of the salty Black Sea breeze can't mask the smell of corruption.
- Deadly Clashes In Ukraine Despite Holiday Truce RFE/RL 27 Dec 2015 -- Ukraine's military said on December 27 that one of its soldiers and an elderly woman were killed in fighting between government forces and Russian-backed separatists despite a holiday truce between the warring sides.
- Shelling of OSCE Mission Shows Kiev's Reluctance to Stick to Minsk Deal Sputnik 27 Dec 2015 -- The shelling of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) observers in eastern Ukraine highlighted Kiev's reluctance to implement Minsk agreements, Russia's permanent OSCE envoy Alexander Lukashevich said Sunday.
- Poroshenko Approves Plan for Foreign Troops to Join Drills in Ukraine Sputnik 26 Dec 2015 -- Up to 5,000 troops from NATO members as well as countries who are part of NATO's broader Partnership for Peace program will be allowed to participate in the drills on the Ukrainian territory in 2016, according to Ukrainian President's decree.
- Ukraine, Separatists Agree To Cease-Fire During Holidays RFE/RL 23 Dec 2015 -- Ukraine has reached an agreement with Russia-backed separatists for a truce during the Christmas and New Year holidays that went into effect at midnight on December 22.
- Last-Ditch Talks With Russia Fail To Resolve Impasse Over Trade RFE/RL 22 Dec 2015 -- Last-ditch negotiations aimed at addressing Russia's concerns about a free-trade agreement between the European Union and Ukraine ended without result December 21.
- Russia to introduce food embargo against Ukraine due to Kiev-EU trade deal Press TV 21 Dec 2015 -- Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says Moscow will introduce a food embargo against Ukraine due to Kiev's trade deal with the European Union (EU).
- Moscow not to abandon Russians in Ukraine: Putin Press TV 20 Dec 2015 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin says his government will take appropriate action to protect Russian nationals in east Ukraine to nationalists there.
- Putin Says Russia Will Not 'Abandon' Russians In Southeast Ukraine RFE/RL 20 Dec 2015 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he will not abandon Russians living in southeast Ukraine to what he described as Ukrainian 'nationalists.'
- Ukraine not to repay $3-billion debt to Russia: Premier Press TV 18 Dec 2015 -- Ukraine's prime minister says the country will not pay back its USD three-billion debt to Russia despite Moscow's warning that it would take legal action against Kiev if it misses looming deadline for the debt redemption.
- Ukrainian Refugees Say Russia Not So Welcoming Anymore RFE/RL 18 Dec 2015 -- Svitlana Moroz, her two sons, and her elderly mother have lived in the spartan Sport hotel in Pskov, in western Russia, for nearly a year and a half now.
- Kremlin Backtracks On Putin's Comment About Military In Eastern Ukraine RFE/RL 18 Dec 2015 -- The Kremlin is accusing NATO and Kyiv of 'misinterpreting' a remark made by President Vladimir Putin about the presence of Russian troops in eastern Ukraine.
- NATO Chief Misunderstood Putin on Russian Volunteers as Military in Ukraine Sputnik 18 Dec 2015 -- Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Jens Stoltenberg misunderstood Russian President Vladimir Putin's statement by assuming that Russian "volunteers" located in eastern Ukraine meant "members of the military."
- Ukraine 'Ready To Pay Price' For EU Deal, Putin Suspends Trade Zone RFE/RL 17 Dec 2015 -- Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko says his country is 'ready to pay the price' for a trade deal with the European Union after Moscow moved to restrict its own trade ties with Kyiv over the EU-Ukraine pact that is due to take effect on January 1.
- NATO and Ukraine sign Defence-Technical Co-operation Roadmap NATO 16 Dec 2015 -- On Wednesday (16 December 2015) NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment, Mr. Patrick Auroy and the First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine Mr. Oleg Gladkovskyi co-signed a Roadmap for NATO-Ukraine Defence-Technical Co-operation.
- Russia suspends free trade accord with Ukraine Press TV 16 Dec 2015 -- Russia has suspended an agreement on a free trade zone with Ukraine starting from the New Year amid strained relations between Moscow and Kiev.
- Moscow Confirms Suspension of Russian-Ukrainian 'Dnepr' Rocket Launches Sputnik 16 Dec 2015 -- Russia's Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) Commander said that Launches of Russian-Ukrainian carrier rockets have been suspended in accordance with President Vladimir Putin's decree.
- Ukraine to Participate in Major NATO Drills in Poland - Poroshenko Sputnik 15 Dec 2015 -- The Ukrainian military will take part in the NATO exercises in Poland.
- In Moscow, Kerry Calls For 'Common Ground' On Syria, Ukraine RFE/RL 15 Dec 2015 -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for the 'seriousness' of Russia's commitment to resolving conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, as the U.S. diplomat opened intensive talks in Moscow.
- US-Russia Talks Focus on Syria, IS, Ukraine VOA 15 Dec 2015 -- Saying the first two rounds of talks on a political transition in Syria are a "strong beginning," Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States and Russia have the ability to make a "significant difference" in Syria's crisis.
- Moscow Court Jails Ukrainian On Espionage Charges RFE/RL 15 Dec 2015 -- The Moscow City Court has sentenced Ukrainian Valentyn Vyhovskiy to 11 years in prison for espionage.
- Kerry to Focus on Syria, Ukraine During Russia Trip VOA 14 Dec 2015 -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will use a visit to Russia to frame the next meeting of the International Syria Support Group, which is expected to take place Friday in New York, a senior State Department official said.
- U.S., Russia Spar Over Ukraine Conflict At UN Meeting RFE/RL 12 Dec 2015 -- The United States and Russia traded accusations on December 11 over the conflict in Ukraine at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council.
- US to Russia: Let Badly Needed Aid Reach Eastern Ukraine VOA 11 Dec 2015 -- The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is urging Russia to honor the Minsk peace deal and allow badly needed humanitarian aid into Ukraine.
- Ukraine could again slip into cycle of calm giving way to savage fighting - senior UN rights official UN News 11 Dec 2015 -- A senior United Nations human rights official warned today that the fighting in Ukraine, which has recently decreased, could erupt again with a massive civilian toll in a conflict that has already left over 9,000 people dead and nearly 21,000 injured over the past two years.
- Over 9,000 killed in Ukraine conflict: UN Press TV 09 Dec 2015 -- The United Nations says more than 9,000 people have been killed since the start of the conflict in eastern Ukraine in April 2014.
- Despite less fighting, eastern Ukraine still 'highly flammable,' UN reports, as death toll tops 9,000 UN News 09 Dec 2015 -- Despite a significant reduction in hostilities in eastern Ukraine in the last few months in a conflict that has already left over 9,000 people dead and nearly 21,000 injured, serious human rights concerns persist, including killings, torture and impunity, the United Nations reported today.
- UN: As Ukraine Fighting Dwindles, Rights Abuses Rise VOA 09 Dec 2015 -- While the United Nations has found a marked decrease in fighting between Ukraine's forces and Russian-backed rebels in the country's east, it also reports an increase in abuses of civilians in the insurgent-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk.
- Biden Says Western Pressure, 'Cost' To Moscow Will Rise If 'Aggression' Persists RFE/RL 08 Dec 2015 -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has told Ukraine's parliament that Western pressure on Russia will increase if Moscow continues its 'aggression' against Kyiv.
- Kiev's Captured Seven Villages in Buffer Zone in Donbass - DPR Envoy Sputnik 08 Dec 2015 -- Denis Pushilin, the envoy of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic at the Minsk reconciliation talks said that Ukrainian forces captured seven villages located in the 'gray' or 'buffer' zone in Donbass.
- Biden Promises Ukraine Continued US Support VOA 08 Dec 2015 -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has assured Ukraine's lawmakers that the United States will never recognize "Russia's attempt to annex Crimea," drawing a standing ovation in the country's parliament.
- Desperate farm families in eastern Ukraine forced into 'difficult choices' to survive - UN agency UN News 07 Dec 2015 -- The absence of financial, physical, social and human resources has left some 700,000 farm households extremely vulnerable in conflict-torn eastern Ukraine, the results of a United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) household survey revealed today, and also warned of food insecurity among those families due to "skyrocketing" commodity prices.
- FACT SHEET: U.S. Assistance to Ukraine The White House 07 Dec 2015
- Biden Announces $190M in New Aid for Reforms in Ukraine VOA 06 Dec 2015 -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says $190 million in new U.S. aid to Ukraine will help the country implement reforms and fight corruption.
- Joint Statement by the Heads of Delegation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair Countries US Dept. of State 03 Dec 2015
- Lviv Embraces US Training for Ukrainian Soldiers VOA 03 Dec 2015 -- As sporadic fighting continues between government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, the U.S. Army has begun training soldiers from Ukraine's Ministry of Defense.
- Putin Promises To Deliver More Power In Visit To Crimea RFE/RL 03 Dec 2015 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to deliver new electricity supplies to power-short Crimea in a surprise visit to the disputed territory on December 2.
- Kerry Calls on Russia, Ukraine to Restore Cease-fire VOA 03 Dec 2015 -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told a group of European foreign ministers that Russia and Ukraine both must work to end tensions and restore the cease-fire in Ukraine.
- Background Press Briefing by Senior Administration Officials on Vice President Joe Biden's Trip to Ukraine The White House 02 Dec 2015
- NATO Foreign Ministers reaffirm support for Ukraine as two-day meeting concludes NATO 02 Dec 2015 -- NATO Foreign Ministers ended their two-day meeting on Wednesday (2 December 2015) by confirming the Alliance's continued political and practical support for Ukraine. In a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, Allied ministers and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin reviewed the current security situation, and the progress of NATO's assistance for the country.
- Poroshenko Says Ukraine To Keep Defense Spending High RFE/RL 02 Dec 2015 -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says his government will spend five percent of gross domestic product on defense and security next year, in a bid to strengthen the army in its fight against pro-Russian separatists in the east.
- Russia Warns Of Penalties On Kyiv After Failed Trade Talks RFE/RL 02 Dec 2015 -- Russia is likely to penalize Ukrainian imports starting in January after negotiators failed to agree on ways to address Moscow's objections to Kyiv's free-trade agreement with the European Union.
- U.S. Vice President To Address Ukrainian Parliament RFE/RL 02 Dec 2015 -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will address Ukraine's parliament next week during a visit U.S. officials say is aimed at showing Ukraine -- and Russia -- Washington's continued support for Kyiv.
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