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Daily Briefing May 26, 2021, 5 PM Kyiv time



Ukrainian Armed Forces training exercises. Photo - Ukraine's Ministry of Defense

Russian invasion of Ukraine

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported at 7 am Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and one Ukrainian soldier was wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions on the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors of the front 10 times in total. 

Prosecutors send case against Constitutional Court head to trial 

 The Kyiv Post reported, “The Prosecutor General’s Office said on May 25 that it had sent the obstruction of justice case against Oleskandr Tupytsky, head of the Constitutional Court, to trial. In December, prosecutors charged Tupytsky with unlawfully influencing and bribing a witness to induce false testimony. He denies the accusations. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy suspended Tupytsky in December and fired him in March, using the corruption charges as justification. The Constitutional Court refused to implement Zelenskyy’s decrees, saying that they were unconstitutional. Since then, Tupytsky has ignored summonses to attend bail hearings five times. However, security guards have refused to let Tupytsky into the Constitutional Court building. The court is effectively chaired by Tupytsky’s deputy Serhiy Holovaty, who is seen as more loyal to Zelenskyy.

The events followed a bitter conflict between Tupytsky and Zelenskyy after a number of controversial decisions by the Constitutional Court and corruption scandals surrounding the court’s chairman.
Tupytsky has faced harsh public criticism since October, when the Constitutional Court issued a ruling that effectively destroyed Ukraine’s entire asset declaration system for state officials, eliminating a crucial pillar of the country’s anti-corruption infrastructure.”

 The full report from the Kyiv Post is available here: Prosecutors send case against Constitutional Court head to trial 

White House on Biden-Putin meeting: President Biden will underscore America’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated on May 25, “you’ve seen the statement we put out this morning confirming that President Biden will be meeting with President Putin in Geneva, as you said, on June 16th.  
The leaders will discuss the full range of pressing issues as we seek to restore predictability and stability to the U.S.-Russia relationship. And to — more specific to your question,  we expect they will spend a fair amount of time on strategic stability, where the arms control agenda goes following the extension of New START.  Obviously, we’re both members of the P5+1, as well, as those negotiations are ongoing.  
The President will also raise Ukraine, underscoring America’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. And he will also plan to raise Belarus and convey our grave concerns […]
President Biden is meeting with Vladimir Putin because of our country’s differences, not in spite of them. It’s an opportunity to raise concerns where we have them and, again, to move toward a more stable and predictable relationship with the Russian government. […]
The President will continue to convey what has been his consistent message, that is: Ukraine is a sovereign country. […] And we are closely coordinated with them. We support them in their efforts to protect their people and protect their borders. That’s been consistent — a consistent message from him. And I’m — it will be the basis of his message to the Russian President in a couple of weeks.”
Inspection of reconstruction of MH17 and wreckage conducted in Netherlands
Ukrinform reported, “An offsite court session has begun at the air base in Gilze-Rijen in the Netherlands within the framework of MH17 trial. All the wreckage collected at the site of the tragedy, as well as the reconstruction of the MH17, are stored at the air base.
According to an Ukrinform correspondent in The Hague, judges and journalists work in a small tent camp built near the hangar with the reconstruction. Before inspecting the wreckage, presiding judge Hendrik Steenhuis said that the court would see the reconstruction of MH17 for the first time.
During the court hearing on May 21, 2021, the prosecution asked to inspect the right and left parts of the plane’s cockpit to compare the damage. According to Dutch and Belgian experts, the surface-to-air missile hit the left side of the plane. Lawyers of one of the suspects, Oleg Pulatov, asked to provide them with a written version of the court-approved procedure for reviewing the reconstruction of the aircraft.
The court informed that it had re-interviewed experts of Russian concern Almaz-Antey, Dutch and Belgian experts. It was a joint interrogation conducted by experts.
The District Court of The Hague will start consideration on the merits of the case over the downing of Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine on June 7, 2021. In March 2020, the District Court of The Hague began the consideration of the case of the downing of Flight MH17 in the sky over Donbas.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over occupied area of Donetsk region on July 17, 2014. There were 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board. All of them died. The international Joint Investigation Team reported that the plane had been shot down from a Buk missile system that belongs to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces stationed in Kursk.
On June 19, 2019, the JIT named four suspects believed to be involved in the transportation and combat use of the Buk missile system, from which MH17 flight had been downed. Three of them are Russians: Igor Girkin (Strelkov), former colonel in Russia's FSB intelligence service and former so-called defense minister of the so-called ‘Donetsk People's Republic’; Sergey Dubinskiy, general (at the time of downing – colonel) of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces and head of the so-called 'Main Intelligence Directorate of the Donetsk People’s Republic’; Oleg Pulatov, lieutenant colonel of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. The fourth suspect is Leonid Kharchenko, a Ukrainian civilian, who fought on the side of the so-called ‘Donetsk People's Republic.’”

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