Fischer:Putin, Staatsbesuch im Kreml

#Austria: Staatsbesuch spielen mit kriminellem #Putin….


 

„Russland ist ein wichtiges und einflussreiches Land in genau jenem Raum, der auch für Österreich von größter Bedeutung ist, nämlich Zentral- und Osteuropa, Naher und Mittlerer Osten und Zentralasien“, umriss Fischer die Hintergründe seiner Reise. „Wirtschaftliche und politische Veränderungen in diesem Raum betreffen jeden einzelnen Menschen in Österreich. Wir wollen mit den wichtigsten Playern in dieser Region vernünftig zusammenarbeiten.“

Österreichs Bundespräsident Heinz Fischer, anlässlich seines Staatsbesuchs bei Putin in Moskau

Als OSCE Mitglied (nächstes Jahr im Vorsitz der OSCE) ist die Österreichische Regierung genau im Bild über den brutalen Krieg, den Putins Russland gegen die Ukraine führt.

Österreichs Bundespräsident Fischer und sein Aussenminister Kurz

  • haben rein rechtlich die Bedeutung und deren Dimensionen erfasst, begriffen, die der Bruch des internationalen Völkerrechtes durch Putin mit seiner Krim-Besetzung darstellt (ein kleines Land wie Österreich, ist geradezu elementar auf die Aufrechterhaltung von internationalem Recht angewiesen, und Putin und seine kriminelle Bande zerstört diese Rechtsgrundlagen gezielt und systematisch)
  • kennen die Verbrechen, die Putin auf der Krim gegen die Krim Tataren ausführen lässt
  • kennen die täglichen OSCE-Kriegsberichte (Berichte der OSCE-SMM) aus der Kriegszone auf dem Boden der souveränen Ukraine, aus denen Tag für Tag in Zahlen schwarz auf weiss täglich hervorgeht, wie Putins Hybridarmee hunderte Angriffe gegen die Verteidiger der Ukraine ausführt
  • Bundespräsident Fischer und Aussenminister Kurz kennen im Detail die ständigen Verletzungen des Minsk Waffenstillstands Abkommens durch Putins Russland – (vorausgesetzt sie sind in der Lage, die entsprechenden eindeutigen OSCE-Berichte und Statements lesen zu können)
  • kennen die eindrücklichen Berichte über die nahezu 2 Mio. Vertrieben durch den von Putin angezettelten Krieg in der Ostukraine
  • Fischer und Kurz kennen die Zahlen, die belegen, dass die von Putins Russland angegriffene Ukraine tausende Tote zu beklagen hat, und die zweifelsfrei belegen, dass auch die Russische Arme bereits tausende Tote Soldaten zu beklagen haben
  • Bundespräsident Fischer und sein Aussenminister Kurz kennen die Namen der Ukrainischen Staatsbürger, die nach Russland verschleppt worden sind und dort als Geiseln festgehalten werden
  • Bundespräsident Fischer und sein Aussenminister Kurz kennen die Einschätzung von unabhängigen internationalen Stellen und Organisationen zur Verletzung von elementarem Menschenrecht, Kriegsrecht, Völkerrecht am Beispiel der als Geisel nach Russland verschleppten Ukrainischen Pilotin, Parlamentarierin, Abgeordnete des Europaparlamentes – Nadja Savchenko

und trotzdem erachten es Fischer und Kurz als opportun, mit jenem Verbrecher, der dabei ist, sämtliche Grundlagen unserer Zivilisation systematisch und gezielt zu zerstören – Menschenrecht, Kriegsrecht, Völkerrecht, Bilaterale Verträge – ja der die Weltgemeinschaft im Laufe der letzten gut zwei Jahren derart offensichtlich frappant belogen hat – wie nennt das Bundespräsident Fischer? – „Wir wollen mit den wichtigsten Playern in dieser Region vernünftig zusammenarbeiten“

Österreichs Bundespräsident Fischer sagt damit klar:

„Ich Heinz Fischer, als Österreichs Bundespräsident, will jetzt mit dem Geiselnehmer Putin vernünftig zusammen arbeiten, mit Putin, der Kriegsrecht, Menschenrecht, Völkerrecht, Bilaterale Verträge verletzt, im Nachbarland Ukraine einen noch nie gesehenen brutalen hybriden Krieg führt, mit gezielten Massnahmen der hybriden Kriegsführung die Europäische Union destabilisiert, die Regierung Deutschlands mit Mitteln der hybriden Kriegsführung angreift und mit seinen Terror-Massnahmen wie z.B. Scheinangriffe mit Atombombern rund um den Globus die Welt terrorisiert und der internationale Atomverträge mehrfach verletzt, Putin, der sein eigenes Land in Geiselhaft hält und mit einem ausgeklügelten System ausplündert (Putin gilt als reichster Mann der Welt, während die Infrastruktur des Landes vergammelt und Millionen Russen kaum genügend zu Essen haben) – mit diesem skrupellosen Verbrecher will ich, Österreichs Bundespräsident vernünftig zusammenarbeiten.“

 

 


 

Vergleiche:

http://derstandard.at/2000034122749/Fischer-in-Moskau-Gespraech-mit-Putin-ueber-internationale-Krisenherde

als PDF:

Fischer in Moskau: Gespräch mit Putin über internationale Krisenherde – Russland – derStandard.at ›

 


Einschub sozusagen als Kompass:

 

Hört endlich auf, dem Diktator die Stiefel zu lecken.

Mikhail Shishkin

Der russische Autor Michail Schischkin, geboren 1961 in Moskau, bezeichnet den Konflikt zwischen der Ukraine und Russland als das »schlimmste Verbrechen«, das die Führung in Moskau in den vergangenen Jahren begangen hat. Sie habe zwei Brudervölker aufeinander gehetzt. Schischkin ist Sohn einer Ukrainerin und eines Russen und lebt als Schriftsteller in der Schweiz. Er hat alle wichtigen russischen Literaturpreise bekommen, seine Romane sind in Russland allesamt Bestseller. Letztes Jahr veröffentlichte er einen »Brief an Europa«, der mit dem Satz endete:

»Man muss endlich verstehen: Das Nachkriegseuropa steckt bereits wieder in der Vorkriegszeit«.

Hier gibts mehr von Mikhail Shishkin zu hören und zu sehen:

Putins schwarzes Loch, Mikhail Shishkin und Dr. Petersen


 

Fischer:Putin, Staatsbesuch im Kreml

Fischer:Putin, Staatsbesuch im Kreml

 

Das Gespräch zwischen Fischer und Putin im Beisein der Delegationen. Foto-Peter Lechner-HBF

Das Gespräch zwischen Fischer und Putin im Beisein der Delegationen. Foto-Peter Lechner-HBF

Außenminister Sebastian Kurz berichtet von seinem USA Besuch am Tag zuvor. Er reiste direkt von Washington nach Moskau-Foto-Wolfgang Unterhuber

Außenminister Sebastian Kurz berichtet von seinem USA Besuch am Tag zuvor. Er reiste direkt von Washington nach Moskau-Foto-Wolfgang Unterhuber

 

Rupprechter, Sebastian Kurz, Heinz Fischer und Wolfgang Brandstetter (v.l.) bereiten sich auf ein Gespräch vor-Foto-Wolfgang Unterhuber

Rupprechter, Sebastian Kurz, Heinz Fischer und Wolfgang Brandstetter (v.l.) bereiten sich auf ein Gespräch vor-Foto-Wolfgang Unterhuber

 

Sigi Wolf, langjähriger Stronach-Vertrauter und heute Manager eines russischen Autozulieferkonzerns, berichtet den Ministern Brandstetter und Rupprechter von der Lage in Russland-Foto-Wolfgang Unterhuber

Sigi Wolf, langjähriger Stronach-Vertrauter und heute Manager eines russischen Autozulieferkonzerns, berichtet den Ministern Brandstetter und Rupprechter von der Lage in Russland-Foto-Wolfgang Unterhuber

 

Heinz Fischer und Wladimir Putin geben in Moskau eine gemeinsame Pressekonferenz-Foto-Wolfgang Unterhuber

Heinz Fischer und Wladimir Putin geben in Moskau eine gemeinsame Pressekonferenz-Foto-Wolfgang Unterhuber

Flags of the OSCE participating States (OSCE:Mikhail Evstafiev)

DAILY REPORT #OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to #Ukraine, based on information received as of 19:30hrs, 1 April 2016


 

The SMM continued to observe a high number of ceasefire violations in Donetsk region. In Luhansk region the SMM recorded a higher number of ceasefire violations than the previous day. The SMM followed up on reports of shelling. It facilitated the safe passage of civilians between Ukrainian Armed Forces and “LPR” checkpoints in Luhansk region. The Mission encountered freedom of movement restrictions in areas not controlled by the Government, including in border areas.*

The number of ceasefire violations observed in Donetsk region remained at a high level. Positioned in “DPR”-controlled Donetsk city between 19:40hrs on 31 March and 06:30hrs on 1 April, the SMM heard 307 undetermined explosions and 31 bursts of small-arms fire 3-10km north, north-west and east of its position. Whilst at the Donetsk central railway station (“DPR”-controlled, 6km north-west of Donetsk), between 09:26 and 14:25hrs the SMM heard 122 undetermined explosions, 20 outgoing rounds of multiple launch rocket system (MLRS), two airbursts, five bursts of heavy-machine-gun and three single shots of small-arms fire at locations ranging from 3-8km north, north-north-west, north-west and west of its position.

While in government-controlled Svitlodarsk (57km north-east of Donetsk) between 19:30 and 21:30hrs on 31 March, the SMM heard 45 impacts of mortar rounds (120mm) and 101 bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire in areas 3-5km south-west of its position. During the evening hours of 31 March, while in “DPR”-controlled Horlivka (39km north-east of Donetsk), the SMM heard 63 explosions assessed as caused by artillery (152mm) and mortar rounds (82 and 120mm) and at least 37 bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire and 12 outgoing rounds of automatic grenade launcher, 6-12km north and west-north-west of its position.

Whilst in “DPR”-controlled Yasynuvata (16km north-east of Donetsk) between 10:45 and 15:35hrs, the SMM heard 100 undetermined explosions, 36 single shots of small-arms and 42 bursts of heavy-machine-gun fire 1-5km north-west, west and south-west of its position. While in government-controlled Avdiivka (17km north of Donetsk) the SMM heard 10 impacts of mortar rounds (82 and 120mm), two impacts of artillery rounds (122mm), 16 impacts of automatic-grenade-launcher rounds, 13 impacts of recoilless-gun (SPG-9) rounds, and eight impacts of infantry fighting vehicle (IFV; BMP-1), along with bursts of heavy-machine-gun and small-arms fire in areas 2-5.5km north-east, east, south-east and south of its position.

In Luhansk region, the SMM recorded an increased number of ceasefire violations compared to the previous day. While in “LPR”-controlled Pervomaisk (57km west of Luhansk), during the evening of 31 March, within 25 minutes, the SMM heard 43 explosions (assessed as caused by artillery) 8km west of its position. Whilst in “LPR”-controlled Stakhanov (50km west of Luhansk) between 17:25 and 18:45hrs, the SMM heard at least 200 explosions (caused by automatic-grenade-launcher rounds, including 20 assessed as caused by 120mm mortar) and automatic-grenade-launcher rounds) along with bursts of anti-aircraft gun (ZU-23) all 10km south-west of its position.

The SMM followed up on reports of shelling from media sources and Russian Federation Armed Forces representatives at the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC). Directed and escorted by Russian Federation Armed Forces JCCC representatives in “DPR”-controlled Horlivka (39km north-east of Donetsk), and “DPR” members it visited alleged sites of shelling. Accompanied also by media, they showed to the SMM a number of craters in two locations two in Horlivka and one location in Zaitseve (50km north-east of Donetsk).

In the eastern part of “DPR”-controlled Holmivskyi (49km north-east of Donetsk), on the outskirts of “DPR” controlled Horlivka, the SMM analysed six fresh craters, assessed as caused by 152mm artillery rounds fired from east and north-east. On one of the buildings the SMM observed the impact of a round fired from a westerly direction. The SMM observed a water purification tank damaged by shrapnel and one crater (assessed as 120mm mortar round) filled with the liquid pouring from the holes in the tank. Close to another five-storey building, the SMM observed a crater assessed as caused by a 120mm mortar round fired from the west. According to residents the shelling had occurred at 06:00hrs on 31 March. On Varlamova Street in Horlivka the SMM observed that a wall of a one-storey building was destroyed by what the SMM assessed as the impact of a 120mm mortar round fired from north-north-east. The SMM observed another building where the shrapnel had damaged the windows and the ceiling of an apartment and was informed by the injured residents (one man, and two women aged between 21 and 40years) that the shelling had occurred at 07:02hrs on 31 March. The man had suffered an injury to the right eye, the woman to the knee (both were treated but not hospitalized) and the 21 year old daughter had sustained light injuries.

In “DPR”-controlled areas of Zaitseve, near a building used by the “village council”, the SMM was shown six fresh craters assessed as caused by 82mm mortar rounds. Another three craters, also assessed as caused by 82mm mortar rounds, were observed in the yard and at the entrance of a severely damaged private house. All nine craters were assessed as caused by rounds fired from the west.

In “DPR”-controlled Kominternove (23km east-north-east of Mariupol) residents showed the SMM seven craters spread within a 100m radius area and told they were caused by shelling that occurred on the night between 31 March and 1 April. The SMM assessed that the craters were caused by mortar rounds (six of them by 120mm and one by 82mm) fired from a south-westerly direction. The SMM observed that another two 120mm mortar rounds had impacted near a house and damaged the roof and windows. The resident, one elderly woman had not sustained injuries. The SMM observed that power and gas pipelines were also damaged.

In relation to the implementation of the Addendum to the Package of Measures, the SMM revisited a Ukrainian Armed Forces permanent storage site whose location corresponds with the withdrawal lines and noted that three towed howitzers (D-44, 152mm) were missing, as has been the case since 29 January.

Aerial surveillance imagery available to the SMM revealed the presence of seven tanks, in violation of the withdrawal lines and outside storage sites, in Donetsk city.

The SMM continued to monitor the withdrawal of heavy weapons foreseen in the Minsk Package of Measures. The SMM has yet to receive the full information requested in the 16 October 2015 notification. The SMM revisited locations known to the SMM as heavy weapons holding areas, even though they do not comply with the specific criteria set out for permanent storage sites in the 16 October 2015 notification.

In government-controlled areas beyond respective withdrawal lines, the SMM revisited such locations and observed: 18 towed howitzers (2A65 Msta-B, 152mm), 12 MLRS (BM-21 Grad, 122mm) and 11 self-propelled howitzers (2S3 Akatsiya, 152mm). Six self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm) were noted as missing.

In “DPR”-controlled areas beyond respective withdrawal lines, the SMM revisited such locations and observed: seven self-propelled howitzers (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm), two towed anti-tank guns (MT-12 Rapira, 100mm), eight towed howitzers (six 2A65 Msta-B, 152mm; two D-30, 122mm). One self-propelled howitzer (2S1 Gvozdika, 122mm) was observed missing.

In violation of the respective withdrawal lines, the SMM observed one surface-to-air missile system (9K35 Strela-10, 120mm) near “DPR”-controlled Komuna (57km north-east of Donetsk).

The SMM observed the presence of other hardware within the security zone: three armoured combat vehicles (BRDM-2) near government-controlled Pavlopil (26km north-east of Mariupol); seven armoured personnel carriers (APC; MTLB) stationary north of government-controlled Vilkhove (22km north-east of Luhansk); six APCs (BTR-60) near government-controlled Petrivka (27km north of Luhansk); 16 IFVs (BMP-2) near government-controlled Hirske (62km north-west of Luhansk); one anti-aircraft gun (ZU-23)  towed by a civilian vehicle near „LPR“-controlled Chornukhyne (70km south-west of Luhansk). Aerial surveillance imagery available to the SMM revealed the presence of 39 armoured vehicles in “DPR”-controlled Donetsk city and 15 armoured vehicles near government-controlled Svitlodarsk (government-controlled, 57km north-east of Donetsk).

The SMM continued to observe the presence of mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO). At a “DPR”-controlled checkpoint in Staromarivka (46km north-north-east of Mariupol), the SMM saw three pieces of unexploded ordnance (from 120mm mortar projectiles), stuck in the middle of the road.

The SMM continued to monitor the situation affecting civilians at checkpoints in Zolote (60km north-west of Luhansk) (see SMM Daily Report 1 April). Some of the civilians who had been stranded on the road between the checkpoints and were returned the previous day to government-controlled areas were transported to Stanytsia Luhanska official crossing checkpoint. The SMM liaised with both sides, facilitated dialogue and monitored the safe passage through the contact line, using a local route, from government-controlled areas towards “LPR” controlled area of Zolote of another 208 people who had been stranded the previous night between the checkpoints.

The SMM endeavoured to visit border areas not controlled by the Government. Upon two attempts to reach two border areas, armed “LPR” members at the Chervonopartyzansk border crossing point (67km southeast of Luhansk) and Izvaryne border crossing point (53km south-east of Luhansk) prevented the SMM from accessing and monitoring in both areas and told the SMM to leave.

The SMM continued to monitor the situation in Kherson, Odessa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Dnepropetrovsk, Chernivtsi and Kyiv.

*Restrictions to SMM’s freedom of movement or other impediments to the fulfilment of its mandate

The SMM’s monitoring is restrained by security hazards and threats, including risks posed by mines and unexploded ordnance, and by restrictions of its freedom of movement and other impediments – which vary from day to day. The SMM’s mandate provides for safe and secure access throughout Ukraine. All signatories of the Package of Measures have agreed on the need for this safe and secure access, that restriction of the SMM’s freedom of movement constitutes a violation, and on the need for rapid response to these violations.

Denial of access: 

  • Armed men refused the SMM to enter a military-type compound in “DPR”-controlled Svobodne (49km north-east of Mariupol) and stated the SMM should request permission from the “DPR” “command” located in Komsomolske (42km south-east of Donetsk). The JCCC was informed.
  • Two armed men in military-type clothing denied the SMM entry to a residential building near “DPR” controlled Kulykove  (30km north-east of Mariupol) to verify the presence of heavy weapons within the security zone. The SMM observed a military-type truck stationary in the garden. The JCCC was informed.
  • At the border crossing point in “LPR”-controlled Izvaryne (53km south-east of Luhansk), armed men insisted on seeing the SMM patrol plan. The SMM refused to show and was told to leave the area. The JCCC was informed.
  • At the border crossing point in “LPR”-controlled Chervonopartyzansk (64km south-east of Luhansk) an “LPR” member from “komendatura” in Sverdlovsk (61km south-east of Luhansk) told the SMM to leave, citing an order from “border guard headquarters”. Even though it informed the JCCC calling for its intervention, the SMM was escorted out of the area up to the entrance of “LPR”-controlled Sverdlovsk.

Delay:

  • At a “DPR” checkpoint on highway H-15 near Oleksandrivka (19km south-west of Donetsk), armed men requested to see monitor’s national passports citing an order from “minister of security” to check all passports of people entering the “DPR”-controlled area, including OSCE and UN. The SMM refused, contacted the JCCC and was allowed passage after 30 minutes.
  • At a “DPR” checkpoint in Olenivka (“DPR”-controlled, 23km south-west of Donetsk), armed men requested to see monitor’s national passports and the OSCE vehicles registration documents. A “DPR” member recorded the data from the requested documents and the SMM was allowed to pass after 30 minutes.
  • At a temporary checkpoint in “LPR”-controlled Sverdlovsk (61km south-east of Luhansk) an “LPR” member of the local “komendatura” requested to see the patrol plan. The SMM refused but was allowed to proceed after three minutes delay.

For a complete breakdown of the ceasefire violations, please see the annexed table.

For PDF attachments or links to sources of further information, please visit: http://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/231261

Contacts:

Iuliia Poberezhna
26 Turhenievska Street
01054 Kyiv
Ukraine
mobile: +380 67 467 75 65
iuliia.poberezhna@osce.org

Iryna Gudyma 
26 Turhenievska Street
01054 Kyiv
Ukraine
mobile: +38 067 4021716
Iryna.Gudyma@osce.org

 

#OSCE helps #Ukraine to introduce information management system for mine action


PRESS RELEASE

OSCE helps Ukraine to introduce information management system for mine action

MEREFA, Ukraine, 4 December 2015– A first group of 12 Ukrainian emergency personnel officers completed a four-day training course today on operation of an information management system for mine action (IMSMA), organized by the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine at the State Emergency Service training facility in Kharkiv oblast .

Developed and delivered by the expert hub Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining (GIHDC), the system helps to systematize and store gathered data on specific geographic areas contaminated by explosive hazards. The IMSMA is used in many post-conflict countries to ensure effective clearance of areas affected by military actions, enabling decision-makers to plan, implement and monitor humanitarian demining operations in line with international standards.

“Ukraine’s history demonstrates that explosive remnants of war threaten people’s lives even decades after the conflict. You can still discover unexploded mines and shells from the Second World War here,” said Jeffrey Erlich, Deputy Head of OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine.  “The introduction of IMSMA will help Ukraine to respond to old challenges and deal with the consequences of the recent hostilities in Donbass.”

Since June 2014, Ukraine’s State Emergency Service deminers disposed of 195,000 unexploded munitions, including old ones and those discovered in the conflict-affected areas of Donbass. The OSCE Project Co-ordinator provided equipment and trained personnel to help streamline operations and to introduce IMSMA in four regions of Ukraine, where it was successfully piloted this year. The new target is to expand the use of this system in six more regions, including Donetsk and Luhansk early next year.

For PDF attachments or links to sources of further information, please visit: http://www.osce.org/

Contacts:
Andrii Dziubenko
16 Striletska Street
01030 Kyiv
Ukraine
mobile: +380506767734
andrii.dziubenko@osce.org

#OSCE helps develop standard for #legal education of #bachelor degree-students in #Ukraine


OSCE.1

KYIV, 9 November 2015 – A draft state standard for legal education at bachelor degree-level, developed with the help of the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine, was presented to the legal community and handed over to the Education and Science Ministry at an event in Kyiv on Monday.

“Recognizing the fundamental role of legal professionals and lawyers in strengthening the rule of law in the country, I believe that ensuring high-quality legal education in law schools is an investment in youth, as quality education in this sphere remains an essential precondition for the further democratic development of Ukraine,” said Vaidotas Verba, the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine.

The draft was developed with the prominent role of the Law Faculty of Ivan Franko Lviv National University and representatives of other law schools from across Ukraine. Before finalization, the draft was widely discussed at nationwide events with the involvement of officials from the Education and Science Ministry, and was also analysed by international experts.

The presentation of the draft state standard was supported by the USAID FAIR Justice project.

The OSCE Project Co-ordinator has been co-operating with laws schools and assisting the government of Ukraine in improving legal education on various levels since 2006.

#OSCE supports discussions on #Ukraine’s national strategy for developing #civil society in 2016- 2020


KYIV, 6 November 2015 – An OSCE-organized conference in Kyiv brought together representatives of the government and civil society to discuss the national strategy for developing civil society over the next four years.

OSCE- Ambassador Vaidotas Verba, the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine

Ambassador Vaidotas Verba | OSCE

When OSCE stops its silence about complete dead of Minsk ll?

#Minsk ll in fact is complete dead – @OSCE_SMM stop your silence about or you are responsible for the ongoing killing by #Russia!


 ll in fact is complete dead – so long  is hiding this – you are responsible for the ongoing killing by !

this is war, real war and nothing like what is declared in Minsk ll, so stop covering it and hiding the truth abut Russian killings in Ukraine, otherwise OSCE is part of this mechanism that makes this ongoing Russian killing-machinery possible –

OSCE stop to hide the truth – Mins ll is completely dead!

When OSCE stops its silence about complete dead of Minsk ll?

When OSCE stops its silence about complete dead of Minsk ll?

USOSCE Statements | United States Mission to the OSCE


USOSCE Statements | United States Mission to the OSCE.

Resolving the Russia-Ukraine crisis will require Russia to make a fundamental decision to recognize Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and support peace.

To resolve this crisis, Russia must decide to support peace

Ongoing Violations by the Russian Federation in Ukraine | As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires Kate Byrnes a.i. to the Permanent Council, Vienna | February 26, 2015 | Comment on this item on our Facebook page

One year ago, the corrupt former President of Ukraine abandoned his office and the people of Ukraine took their opportunity to choose a future based on democracy, free trade, and rule of law.

In response, Russia occupied and attempted to annex a portion of Ukraine’s sovereign territory, where it has systematically persecuted ethnic minorities and others who oppose the occupation.

It has also sparked a conflict that has left more than 5,700 people dead, and displaced nearly 1.5 million.

During the course of the conflict, Ukraine – supported by the international community – has made several efforts to find diplomatic solutions to the crisis – in Geneva, Normandy, Berlin, Moscow and Minsk.

A very clear and sobering pattern has developed.

After intense diplomatic effort, an agreement is reached. Both sides make commitments, but only one side implements them. Time and again Russia and the separatists it backs fail to implement their commitments.

A pattern repeating that we’ve seen too many times already

We welcomed the latest round of intensive diplomacy aimed at finding a lasting and peaceful resolution to the conflict, which culminated in the February 12 Minsk package of implementation measures that provided for a full ceasefire, the withdrawal of heavy weapons, unfettered access by the Special Monitoring Mission, and the full implementation of the September 2014 Minsk agreements. Unfortunately, the past two weeks have demonstrated a repeat of the pattern that we have witnessed too many times already, as Russia and the separatists it backs have repeatedly violated the ceasefire and refused the SMM unfettered and unrestricted access to separatist-controlled areas.

Russia-backed separatist forces captured Debaltseve on February 20, five days after the ceasefire went into effect on February 15.

Russian military personnel have participated in the recent attacks on Debaltseve and Vuhlehirsk, a town located nearby.

The separatists have denied the Special Monitoring Mission access to Debaltseve, with the exception of a single 30 minute visit while the SMM escorted an ICRC relief convoy on February 21.

Notably, an SMM UAV flying over Debaltseve on February 21 recorded a significant military presence, including armored personnel carriers, a truck that may have been carrying missiles, and three artillery positions.

The Normandy format ministers met on February 24, and issued a joint statement calling yet again for a comprehensive ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weapons, and full access for OSCE monitors to all areas. Following this latest good faith effort by Ukraine, France, and Germany to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, we once again look to Russia and the separatists to live up to their commitments.

The actions taken by Russia and the separatists suggest instead an effort to consolidate the ground the separatists gained in recent weeks, and preparations for further military action.

Chipping away at Mariupol’s defenses in advance of an assault

The Russian military continues to provide equipment, including tanks and artillery, to separatist forces inside Ukraine. Separatist associated heavy artillery and combat elements remain deployed in and around Debaltseve. Separatist or Russian military elements, including trucks and artillery batteries, are on the outskirts of Mariupol. The SMM has reported numerous ceasefire violations in recent days, and we are concerned that Russia and the separatists intend to begin chipping away at Ukrainian defenses around Mariupol in advance of an assault.

If Russia wants to demonstrate to the international community that this is not the case, Russia and the separatists need to implement a genuine ceasefire and allow the SMM access to monitor the withdrawal of heavy weapons.

On February 25, Foreign Minister Lavrov claimed that a withdrawal of heavy weapons is underway in separatist-controlled areas. He criticized the SMM for not being present to monitor the alleged withdrawal despite the fact that it is the Russia-backed separatists who have repeatedly denied access to the SMM.

For effective monitoring of the withdrawal of heavy weapons to occur, Russia and the separatists must provide the SMM with full information on what heavy weapons they have in eastern Ukraine, where these weapons are now, which routes will be used to withdraw them, and where they will be located after they have been withdrawn.

Mr. Chair, colleagues, while the United States hopes that this time Russia and the separatists will follow through on their commitments, we must also remain clear-eyed about the situation in eastern Ukraine. The Russia-backed separatists now have a fighting force numbering in the hundreds of tanks, armored vehicles, heavy artillery pieces, and other military vehicles. Pro-Russia separatists now have a larger and better equipped fighting force than many of the countries represented around this table.

The separatists are an instrument of Russian national power

The separatist movement at this point is a de facto extension of the Russian military and an instrument of Russian national power. The Russian military has put in place a robust command structure in eastern Ukraine, ranging from Russian General Officers overseeing operations down to junior officers. Russian personnel conduct communications, intelligence gathering, direct military operations, and help correct artillery fire. Separatist fighters have publicly acknowledged that they are operating under instructions from Moscow.

As if this is not enough, we have seen attempts to bring the conflict to Ukrainian cities far from the front lines.

Most recently, a bomb exploded during a February 22 Maidan commemoration in Kharkiv.

The explosion – which occurred just 100 meters from an SMM observation team – killed four people, including two teenagers, and injured several more. Ukrainian authorities have disclosed that there were several other unsuccessful terrorist attempts that day. There have been bombings in Odesa and attempted bombings in Kyiv and Lviv. The United States condemns these efforts.

Mr. Chair, let us also recall that Russia’s violation of international law and defiance of OSCE principles and commitments includes its occupation and attempt to annex Crimea, which remains a part of Ukraine.

Resolving the Russia-Ukraine crisis will require Russia to make a fundamental decision to recognize Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and support peace.

Russia and the separatists it backs must stop their aggression in eastern Ukraine and contribute to a genuine ceasefire; Russia and the separatists it backs must allow the SMM unfettered access to all areas under their control; and, Russia and the separatists it backs must withdraw heavy weapons from the conflict zone in a verifiable manner.

Should Russia fail to live up to its international commitments, there will be further consequences.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.