Kerry Pledges More Aid In Kiev, ‘Convinced’ Minsk Can Be Realised Before Obama Leaves Office

July 7, 2016
John Kerry and President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev today. Photo from Ukrainian President's press office.

Ukraine Day 871: LIVE UPDATES BELOW.

Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.


An Invasion By Any Other Name: The Kremlin’s Dirty War in Ukraine


Kiev Reports 2 Soldiers Killed, 6 Wounded, Separatists Claim 2 Civilians Wounded By Shelling

Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and six wounded yesterday, as Kiev reports 57 attacks by Russian-backed fighters.

A source in the Ukrainian armed forces told Ukrainska Pravda last night that both fatalities and three of the casualties had been caused by a shelling attack near Donetsk.

One of the dead was named as Volodymyr Serheyev, born in 1993, from the 81st Airborne Brigade. He reportedly died outside Avdeyevka. 

Another soldier, aged 32, was wounded by a landmine in Maryinka and lost his right leg and hand.

Colonel Andriy Lysenko, military spokesman for the Presidential Administration, gave a briefing on yesterday’s fighting at noon today:

Military spokesman Oleg Sushinsky told the 112 television channel that there had been a further 11 attacks between midnight and 6 am today.

According to Sushinsky, Russian-backed fighters used mortars to attack positions near Luganskoye, east of Gorlovka, and Avdeyevka and Troitskoye, north of Donetsk. To the west of Donetsk, positions in Maryinka were attacked with grenade launchers.

In the south, Sushinsky said, positions near Bogdanovka, east of Volnovakha, came under fire from BMP infantry fighting vehicles, while those near Vodyanoye, Beryozovoye and Novogrigoryevka were fired on with small arms.

In the Lugansk region, positions near Novoaleksandrovka were shelled with 82 mm mortars. 

Meanwhile the pro-separatist Donetsk News Agency (DAN) reported, citing Russian-backed officials, that two civilians were wounded this morning by Ukrainian fire in a separatist-held area of Zaytsevo, on the edge of Gorlovka.

According to the report, the Ukrainian army shelled the village at 10:30 this morning after a group of OSCE observers left the area.

The self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) today accused the Ukrainian military of firing on separatist-held territory 386 times over 24 hours, using mortars to shell te outskirts of Donetsk and Gorlovka, as well as the southern villages of Novolaspa, Sakhanka and Kominternovo.

— Pierre Vaux

Kerry Pledges More Aid In Kiev, ‘Convinced’ Minsk Can Be Realised Before Obama Leaves Office

The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, is in Kiev today for meetings with President Petro Poroshenko ahead of the NATO summit in Warsaw which begins tomorrow.

Kerry announced that the USA would provide Ukraine with almost $23 million in humanitarian assistance, bringing the total sum of US humanitarian aid funding since the beginning of the crisis in 2014 to more than $135 million.

From a State Department press release

The funding announced today will support the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and other international humanitarian organizations as they provide for the basic survival needs of thousands of vulnerable people. This contribution is available to help supply food, clothing, bedding, access to medical care and supplies, shelter materials, repair of key infrastructure, and more.

In addition, U.S. assistance will help address humanitarian needs in parts of eastern Ukraine affected by the ongoing conflict. This assistance will be implemented through a number of international non-governmental organizations, and will support shelter, water and sanitation, and livelihoods programs, in areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts on both sides of the line of control.

Meanwhile Poroshenko announced that he intends to hold a meeting with the leaders of the USA, the UK, France, Germany and Italy in Warsaw during the NATO summit.

Ukrainska Pravda reported that Poroshenko said:

“As part of this summit two extraordinary events will take place. The first is a meeting of the Ukraine-NATO commission at the highest level. The second is a meeting in a unique format with the countries of the big five, as we met in Wales in 2014.”

RFE/RL’s Christopher Miller and Tom Burridge from the BBC were at the press conference this afternoon:

Incredibly, Kerry said that he believed a full ceasefire and peace deal could be implemented by the end of the year:
Burridge sums up the problems with today’s upbeat statements: