Ukraine Day 998: LIVE UPDATES BELOW.
Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
- READ OUR SPECIAL REPORT:
“Nearly every day, the militants persistently continue to fire on Stanitsa Luganskaya. Today was no exception. Thus the enemy fired from grenade-launchers. A total of 12 shellings occurred for the given period (midnight to 18:00).
The ATO said that after decrypting the data from a Russian Orlan-10 drone recently downed by Ukrainian military, indisputable proof of the involvement of the Russian Federation in the conflict was found.
A Ukrainian blogger @GlasnostGone reported today that a large Ukrainian military depot had been taken over by combined Russian and separatist forces and was being supplied from Russia.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian President who announced his resignation as governor of the Odessa region on Monday, has told reporters that he intends to launch a new political party and seeks to win early elections in Ukraine.
Saakashvili said that he would create “a new, broad political force – the Platform of New Forces.”
“Our goal is to remove the existing, so-called political elites, that are in fact profiteers and dregs of humanity, who control the Rada, the Cabinet of Ministers and all the branches of the Ukrainian government. Our objective is to have early parliamentary elections as quickly as possible and within a tight schedule. Our goal, I will say this again, is the removal of the political elite of the whole country…
We will not accept anyone who has been in the Rada for more than one term, whoever they are. No one who has held a position in the executive government for longer than 2-3 years. We will have no direct or dummy representatives from big business. We will support business, we will help business in any way, but we will not allow business into politics and we will not allow business into the Verkhovna Rada. They have no business there.
The epoch of racketeers in the Verkhovna Rada is over. Now those people are there, they bought their places to rob the people of Ukraine. We need to sweep them out of there by the force of the people, by peaceful force, but very strong force…
For me, Ukraine’s victory in the war with the aggressor is the main objective. I think that we will win this war not only thanks to the heroism of our soldiers – this is the most important thing, but in addition to the heroism of our soldiers, we will win only when we get rid of the so-called Ukrainian political elites, but actual dregs of Ukrainian society, profiteers, who are absolutely identical to the Russian ruling class. As long as we have Russian-like elements in the Rada, in every branch of the Ukrainian government, to talk of Ukraine being able to escape the Sovok [Soviet mindset], escape from Putin, win this war, establish peace and enter Europe, will come to nothing.”
Saakashvili said that he would shortly be touring Ukraine’s regions in order to engage with the public.
He claimed that he had previously declined offers from President Petro Poroshenko to become prime minister, or to head his party in parliament, but had chosen to distance himself from corrupt power.
Saakashvili ruled out any alliance with Poroshenko “or anyone else.”
If elements of Saakashvili’s speech remind readers of the rhetoric recently used by US President-elect Donald Trump, they would not be mistaken. In fact Saakashvili played a video clip of Trump praising him on a visit to Georgia in 2012 during the press conference.
As we noted earlier on Monday, Saakashvili’s Khvylya (wave) party, formed in July this year, barely registers on the electoral scene so far.
The former governor will have an arduous task ahead of him if he plans on achieving power in Kiev with no national base or collaboration with Ukraine’s entrenched power brokers.
— Pierre Vaux