Ukraine Conflict Monitor

Ukraine 101:

  • Ukraine’s population (without the Crimean Peninsula) as of Aug. 1 had declined by 128,500 since Jan. 2017, and its population averaged 42.5 million people between Jan.-July, according to the Ukrainian State Statistics Service. (Interfax, 09.19.17)
  • If demography is destiny, Ukraine has cause for concern. In this country of approximately 45 million, the annual death rate exceeds the number of live births. The German CEO of a major wholesaler estimates that as many as 200,000 Ukrainians emigrate each year. (Wall Street Journal, 09.19.17)

Casualties and costs for Russia, West and Ukraine:

  • From Sept. 12 to Sept. 19, eight Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action in the Donbas, the press center of Ukraine’s Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) headquarters has reported. Officials from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic reported that one of its servicemen and two civilians were wounded in the last week. (BBC Monitoring Ukraine & Baltics, 09.19.17, 09.18.17, UNIAN, 09.17.17, 09.16.17, 09.14.17, 09.13.17, TASS, 09.19.17, 09.18.17, 09.16.17)

Impact of Russia’s actions vis-à-vis Ukraine on other countries:

  • The European Commission has proposed a set of measures to scale up the bloc’s response to what it called a “dramatic rise in cybercriminal activity.” (RFE/RL, 09.19.17)

Factors and scenarios that could cause resumption of large-scale hostilities or lead to accident between Western and Russian forces in Europe:

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the Zapad war games on Sept. 18, skipping the U.N. General Assembly in favor of the military exercises held jointly with Belarus. A revitalized Russian military sent tanks, paratroopers, artillery, antiaircraft weapons, jets and helicopters into frigid rains to engage the forces of a mock enemy called the “Western Coalition”—which Baltic leaders said was a simulation of an attack against NATO forces in Eastern Europe. Gen. Petr Pavel, head of NATO’s Military Committee, said the coalition is increasing efforts to re-establish the military-to-military communications with Russia to avoid any “unintended consequences of potential incidents during the [Zapad] exercise.” (The Washington Post, 09.18.17, AP, 09.16.17) 

Arming and training of Ukrainian forces by Western countries:

  • The U.S. Senate on Sept. 18 strongly backed a $700 billion defense policy bill that maintains funding for Ukrainian military support and authorizes the treatment of injured Ukrainian military personnel in U.S. military facilities. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s claim that the the Senate bill allots $500 million for lethal defensive weapons for Ukraine. He did note that the Kremlin remains critical of the possibility of lethal weapons supplies to Kiev, which it says will not promote stability in eastern Ukraine. (RFE/RL, 09.19.17, TASS, 09.19.17, Reuters, 09.19.17)
  • U.S.-led military drills continued this week near the western Ukrainian city of Yavoriv on Sept. 18 as part of the Rapid Trident exercises, which involved more than 1,800 troops from 14 countries and have been held each year since 1996. (RFE/RL, 09.17.18)
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