1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine

The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 26 were wounded in combat. Kremlin-backed terrorists continue to use weapons (mortars, artillery) that were required to have been withdrawn under the Minsk agreements, which “indicates the enemy’s purposeful intent to destroy the Minsk agreements,” the RNBO stated. Towards Mariupol, Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions several times with artillery and mortars at Shyrokyne. In the western suburbs of Donetsk, Kremlin-backed terrorists are attempting to penetrate Ukrainian defenses at Avdiyivka-Pisky-Maryinka with artillery fired directly from residential areas of Donetsk. Towards Luhansk there were a series of firefights near the Bakhmutka highway and Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions at Shchastya and Stanytsia Luhanska. The press center of the anti-terrorism operation (ATO) reported that from the morning to 6 PM Kyiv time on 8 May, Kremlin-backed terrorists violated the ceasefire 28 times, opening fire with mortars, grenade launchers, machine guns, artillery and rocket systems.

2. RNBO: Kremlin-backed terrorists planning large-scale provocations

The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) said in a statement that according to information available to the RNBO, Kremlin-backed terrorists, are “planning large-scale provocations with victims, including among the civilian population,” at so-called military parades on the occupied territories. “These provocations are planned with the goal of creating a pretext for destroying the Minsk agreements and renewing active hostilities in our country’s east. We caution the local population that has stayed in the occupied territories about a real threat to their lives from the provocations planned by Russian-terrorist groups and advise the population to refrain from participating in the above-mentioned dangerous events.”

3. Ukraine’s President Addresses Parliament on the 70th anniversary of V-E Day

Addressing Parliament on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazism in Europe and the role of the Ukrainian people in the Second World War, Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko stated, “the end of World War II did not make Ukraine free. Our final liberation from the fog of Soviet-Russian imperialist propaganda significantly expands the horizons of historical knowledge. And the commemorations of these days allows us as never before to deeply understand the past, assess its impact on the present, and draw the proper conclusions for the future […] For the first time in 70 years we are defending, with weapons in our hands, our country, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state. Worthy of the glory of their heroic ancestors, Ukrainians have stood up in defense of their Fatherland, serving this sacred duty in the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations. In total, 1675 Ukrainian soldiers have given their lives for their homeland, for our inevitable victory, because good always triumphs over evil. I ask the country to observe a moment of silence in the memory of the dead of World War II, and our patriotic war for independence, 2014-2015. May their Memory be Eternal!” A transcript and video of Poroshenko’s address are available in Ukrainian at http://www.president.gov.ua//news/32815.html

4. US State Department’s Chief of Sanctions Policy: US, Europe, G7 preparing additional sanctions

Daniel Fried, the US State Department’s Coordinator for Sanctions Policy, stated in an interview on Polish television TVN 24 BiS on 7 May, “Unfortunately it is true that there has been a military build-up, both on the borders of Ukraine, and a buildup of Russian forces inside Ukraine. […] There are obviously concerns about new attacks and we have to be prepared for all eventualities. The United States, and Europe and the G7, and including Poland by the way, are preparing additional sanctions should these be necessary in the event of Russian attack. And it’s either an attack on Mariupol, or anywhere else along the line of contact – Kramatorsk, Slavyansk, past Donetsk toward Dnipropetrovsk, or Kharkiv. Any major assault, I am confident will be met with a very strong US-European response. Now, I hope we don’t go there. But we’re prepared if we do.”

5. US Mission to OSCE: Separatist forces effectively function as an extension of Russian military power

At the 7 May meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, US Ambassador D. Baer stated, “As we have said before, separatist forces effectively function as an extension of Russian military power. […] As it obstructs Ukraine’s full control of the entire international border and the [OSCE Special Monitoring Mission’s] ability to monitor this area, Russia has been moving military equipment and personnel across Ukraine’s border at will and without inspection. […] Russians and the separatists are working together, training together, and operating with the same command and control systems. Combined Russian-separatist forces maintain a sizeable number of artillery pieces and multiple rocket launchers within areas prohibited under Minsk. Russia is building up its forces along its border with Ukraine. Russia also continues to send convoys into Ukraine in contravention of international law and without full and proper inspection by Ukraine or any international organization that might reveal the true contents of what Russia says is humanitarian aid. […] We once again call on Russia, and the separatists it backs and controls, to immediately stop their attacks, enforce the ceasefire, withdraw heavy weapons in a verifiable manner, halt the flow of fighters and equipment from Russia into Ukraine, and end the training of separatists. We call on Russia to cease its efforts to destabilize Ukraine and to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We demand that Russia end its occupation of Crimea, which remains an integral part of Ukraine.”

6. UN Secretary General’s remarks with President Poroshenko for 70th anniversary of the end of WWII

Speaking with Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko in Kyiv today, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated, “Yesterday I was with many European leaders and international organizations who commemorated the victorious end of the Second World War, the 70th Anniversary. And this morning, I am standing with people of Ukraine to commemorate and to express my deepest admiration and respect to many people who gave their lives to defend freedom, liberty, democracy, and their human dignity. It is a day of celebration and commemoration, and solemn remembrance. Today, we pay our profound respect to the memory of the millions of people who fought for freedom. Ukraine contributed and sacrificed immensely, a fact that the world cannot and will never forget. We honour the valiant veterans, some of whom we are fortunate to still have with us to commemorate today. […] I am saddened that I come to Ukraine amidst a debilitating conflict in the east, where nearly 7,000 people [lives] have been lost, along with so much destruction of your society. The United Nations stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. I am here to reaffirm my support for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, in a manner upholding Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.”