August 15-21, 2016

Situation in Eastern Ukraine

On August 16, Defence Intelligence confirmed four dead terrorists and five wounded from the 11th separate motorized infantry regiment (Makiyivka) and 3rd separate motorized rifle brigade (Horlivka), 1 AC Armed Forces of Russia and 6th separate motorized infantry regiment (Stakhaniv), 2 AC Armed Forces of Russia.

Russia delivered a batch of jet infantry flame throwers “Bumblebee” and ammunition for them in Donetsk region, reported Defence Intelligence of Ukraine. It is reported that this transfer was made to strengthen the military capacity of the units of 100th separate motorized rifle brigade, operating in the areas of settlements Pisky and Maryinka. The intelligence also recorded moving a couple of Grads to Russia for repair.

Russian-terrorist forces opened fire 96 times on the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on August 18, reported ATO press centre. Most attacks (45) were recorded in Donetsk area, 10 of them with heavy artillery. Six times the enemy shelled Avdiyivka (134 projectiles of 122mm calibre); the same calibre was used during the shelling Pisky, Novoselivka Druha; 40 shells were launched at Luhanske settlement. Shelling with mortars and grenade launchers at the positions of Ukrainian defenders were recorded along the whole boundary line. In Novhorodske and Zaitseve the enemy used BMP and anti-missile systems. A sniper was recorded In Avdiyivka.

In Mariupol direction there were recorded 32 cases of enemy shelling with 122mm and 152mm artillery at the positions in Maryinka, and fortifications in Sionitne.

Terrorists shelled the control posts “Mayorsk” and “Zolote,” reported the State Border Service. The shelling was carried out from Horlivka with 120mm mortars. The mines exploded near the control post. No injuries among the border guards were reported. In both cases border guards did not open fire in response.

Terrorists shelled the outskirts of Maryinka during the day and at night, when people went to bed, treacherously shelled the city centre, reported the National Police. In addition, school №2 was damaged, which is located 1.5 km from the boundary line. According to preliminary information, no injuries were recorded.

Russia’s Emergency Ministry sent to occupied Donbas another column with the so-called humanitarian aid, reported the Ministry on August 20. The humanitarian aid

for terrorists in the occupied Donbas will be 55th, which Russia sends in violation of international agreements.

On August 20, Russian occupation forces opened fire 49 times on ATO forces positions, reported ATO press centre. In particular, 27 truce violations were recorded in Donetsk direction. The enemy shelled Chervonyi Pakhar, Zaitseve, Avdiyivka, Mayorsk and Luhansk with heavy artillery, grenade launchers and heavy machine guns; 82-mm and 120-mm mortars were used when shelling Pisky and the mine Butivka. Svetlodarsk suffered from four dozen projectiles of calibre 152-mm and seven dozen mines calibre 120-mm. Near Luhanske and Zaitseve the enemy involved infantry fighting vehicles.

Politics and Economy

The lawyer Vitaliy Serdyuk requests Kyiv Pechersk District Court to conduct an interrogation of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and other current and former officials as witnesses in the presence of ex-president Viktor Yanukovych. This is stated in the petition, a copy of which is available at the agency “Interfax-Ukraine”. According to the document, in addition to Poroshenko, the lawyer asked to question former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk, VRU Speaker Andriy Parubiy, Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klichko and NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov.

Finance Minister Olexander Danyluk proposes to introduce a five-year vacation on income tax for small businesses with a turnover up to UAH 3 million. The Finance Minister is very positive about the initiative. “I believe that we need to look for all possible incentives for businesses, and especially small ones,” – said the Minister.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed protest in connection with the inconsistent stay of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the territory of Ukraine, stated the note of protest.

New US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Jovanovich took an oath in the State Department and arrives in Ukraine next week, reported the US Embassy to Ukraine.

The General Prosecutor’s Office said they still have no information about the location of ex-President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych that prevents him from carrying out investigative and other proceedings. As reported on Friday, the press service of the GPU, they received a petition from the lawyer Vitaliy Serdyuk in the interest of Yanukovych on his participation in questioning certain witnesses in criminal proceedings, including the examination of witnesses simultaneously with interrogation of the suspect Yanukovych in the videoconference mode. The GPU

stressed that Yanukovych is suspected of hiding from the investigation and trial, “and therefore declared him wanted, which in turn, deprives the GPU the possibility to undertake legal proceedings.”

The Military Prosecutor Ruslan Kravchenko said that one of the accused former officers of the MoI Special Forces unit “Tornado” Yuriy Shevchenko pleaded himself guilty. He told reporters this after the hearing in Kyiv Obolon District Court on Friday, “Interfax-Ukraine”. Commenting on the statements of the defender of an ex-Tornado officer Volodymyr Yakimov, who earlier told reporters that during a video conference with Shevchenko there was very bad sound and the defence did not hear any confession of guilt by the accused, the prosecutor stated that the trial has audio and video fixation and he heard these words well.

International Arena

USA began to transfer its nuclear weapons located on Indzhyrlik Air Base in Turkey to Romania, reported EurActiv, citing sources. According to the newspaper, the decision was taken against a background of strained relations between Washington and Ankara. According to one source, the transfer is technically and politically challenging.

Russian singer Oleg Gazmanov said that customs officers did not let him to Lithuania. According to the artist, he was not released from the airport in Vilnius despite the presence of the current Schengen visa. He said that Lithuania has a secret list of undesirable Russian Federation citizens.

French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi will meet on August 22 to discuss the future of the EU and after the referendum on Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc, reported Politico. The meeting will take place three weeks before the informal summit of EU leaders, except Britain, which will be held in Bratislava to coordinate actions of UK’s leaving the bloc. The meeting will be held on the island Ventonene. The place was chosen not by chance – because there was signed the so-called manifesto of Ventonene Altiyero Ernesto Rossi and Spinelli, who was a key impetus to European unification.

The International Monetary Fund sent a letter to the Government of Ukraine, urging promptly correct deficiencies in the system of electronic declaration and run it in full mode. The Letter from Washington was signed by the head of the IMF mission Ron van Rooden and sent personally to Prime Minister Groisman, several key ministers and the head of the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption Natalia Korchak.

Russian long-distance bombers Tu-22M3 and frontline Su-34 attacked targets of terrorist group “Islamic state” in the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor, said a statement of the RF Defence Ministry. According to authorities, the aircraft took off from airports situated on the territory of Russia and Iran.

The EU calls for an immediate cessation of fighting in the Syrian city of Aleppo to allow medical evacuation, aid delivery and maintenance of water supply and electricity, stated the declaration of the EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. The EU stressed that once ceasefire is reached, Member States will be able to provide immediate support in the reconstruction of Syria and help return refugees and internally displaced persons to their communities.

The French publishing house, which last year caused a scandal by publishing a map with Crimea belonging to Russia, released the new atlas with corrected mistake, reported community Euromaidan Press. Publishing house Larousse marked Crimea as “annexation by Russia, not recognized by the international community.”

New supply of military assistance to Ukraine from the United States arrives in the coming days, announced US Ambassador Geoffrey R. Pyatt. Answering whether Ukraine will get ever anti-missile systems “Javelin”, the Ambassador noted that Ukraine is able to provide itself with necessary weapons. “Ukraine has a powerful defence industry and has the ability to produce its own ammunition,” – he said.

Turkey expects EU accession no later than 2023, stated the Ambassador of Turkey to the EU, Selim Yenel in an interview with Die Welt. Recalling the statement of the former British Prime Minister David Cameron that Turkey will not join the EU no later than 3000, he noted that the country still hopes to join EU by 2023. He recalled that Cyprus issue also prevents the opening of new chapters in accession negotiations.

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko expressed confidence that in the coming weeks the European Union will provide a visa-free regime for the citizens of Ukraine. Earlier, it was reported that European Council President Donald Tusk praised Ukraine’s preparations for visa liberalization with the EU.

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