All posts by en.takagero

Ukraine: New Restrictions on Anti-Corruption Groups

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Following President Poroshenko signing a measure that will increase government monitoring into civil society groups, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“Ukraine’s passage of intrusive reporting requirements targeting anti-corruption activists and NGOs undermines their work, which is essential for restoring public trust in the government,” said Marc Behrendt, director of Eurasia programs at Freedom House. “The new requirements protect politicians unhappy with public scrutiny and allow them to retaliate against those involved in anti-corruption investigations. Moreover, the law appears to violatestandards established by the Council of Europe, which prohibit arbitrary and discriminatory intrusion into independent civil society activity.”

Ukraine is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2016, Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2016, Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2016, and receives a democracy score of 4.68, on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 as the worst possible score, in Nations in Transit 2016.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

Harms called the “disappointment” of the amendments to the law on Declaration

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MEP Rebecca Harms believes that the President of Ukraine was supposed to sign changes to e-Declaration, which is to submit the electronic Declaration has ordered anti-corruption activists. This is stated in the statement Harms, reports European truth.

“The President’s decision not to veto, but to sign the amendments to the law on electronic Declaration – is a huge disappointment, – said Harms.

In her opinion, the amendments should be revised. “Special orientation of the amendments on NGOs active in fighting corruption, easing the rules of transparency, this is a significant step backwards in the reform process in Ukraine”, – she added.

Sanctions against Russia and their prolongation show that the EU has civilized mechanisms to combat uncontrolled military aggression of the Kremlin

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The two-day Boris Nemtsov Forum, held on November 17-18 in Brussels, was devoted to the dialogue between Russia and the EU. The key topics of discussion were the impact of sanctions and resistance to the Kremlin propaganda. The forum, organized by Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom, was attended both by representatives of the Russian opposition and political activists from all over Europe. Head of the NGO “Bridge Ukraine-EU” Natalia Sevidova also joined the event.

The participants of the forum agreed that it is necessary to focus on implementing new personal sanctions against Russian officials. They say that the European sanctions act as an “awakening factor” for Russia. Leader of “Open Russia” Mikhail Khodorkovsky said he is willing to foster dialogue between Europe and the Russian civil society. At the plenary session the head of the European Parliament Martin Schulz said that relations between Russia and the EU experience “difficult times,” because of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, while Russia’s non-commitment to obligations under the Minsk agreements “creates enormous tension in relations between Russia and Europe.” Stressing that the European institutions want that “EU and Russia work together in future,” Mr. Schultz said that “it is necessary to provide a common legal framework.” As a negative example of Russian authorities’ conduct, the head of the European Parliament mentioned the use of the veto in adopting the most important documents in the Security Council that “violates international structure and stability in the world.” He also noted that the European Parliament has “frozen relations with the Russian parliament.”

Great contribution to the Forum has made ALDE faction led by Guy Verhofstadt who said that “the EU should be open to ordinary Russians.” His recipe in supporting good relations between Russians and Europeans is in expanding personal contacts with scientists, entrepreneurs, artists and many others.

Vice president of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Deputy Speaker of the Seimas of Lithuania Petras Auštrevičius, MEP, who has long supported Ukraine and is making every effort to end the war in Donbas, was moderating the second panel of discussion.

The head of the NGO “Bridge Ukraine-EU” Natalia Sevidova said the European sanctions against Russians have “influence,” which shows that aggressive and uncivilized policy of kremlin leaders isolates all Russian society from the rest of the civilized world.

“Sanctions against Russia and their prolongation show that the EU has civilized mechanisms to combat uncontrolled military aggression of the Kremlin,” – emphasized Natalia Sevidova.

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August 22-28, 2016

Situation in Eastern Ukraine

On August 21, terrorists shelled village Solodke, Maryinsky district of Donetsk region with 122-mm artillery. The shelling was carried out from the village Olenivka, reported ATO press centre. As a result of powerful explosion, shrapnel damaged residential houses.

On August 23, terrorists shelled the control post “Mine Rodina,” reported the State Border Service. Terrorists used small arms and grenades. Grenades exploded along with the control post. Fortunately, no victims among the military were reported. Border guards did not open fire in response.

43 times Russian occupation forces violated the truce in Donbas on the Independence Day, reported ATO press centre.

In Donetsk direction the enemy shelled the villages Troyitske and Luhanske with 122-mm artillery. Avdiyivka, Svetlodarsk and Nevelske suffered from mortar attacks, including the forbidden 120-mm mortars; more than three dozen tank shots were recorded near Avdiyivka.

In Mariupol direction the enemy also used heavy artillery against Shyrokyne (120 shells). Positions in Novohryhorivka, Shyrokyne, Starohnativka the enemy shelled with 120-mm and 82-mm mortars.

In Luhansk region the enemy used heavy 152-mm artillery against the fortifications in Kalynovo-Popasna, Novozvanivka, Novotoshkivka, and a dozen of 122-mm shells against Krymske.

Trilateral contact group including representatives of individual regions of Donetsk and Luhansk regions (ORDLO) declared the need for complete and indefinite ceasefire in Donbas from September 1, 2016, reported Darka Olifer, spokeswoman of Leonid Kuchma Leonid Kuchma. “This day the new school year starts. Only on the controlled territory of Donbas over 150 thousand children go to schools and kindergartens. We insist: all children in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, regardless of their residence, have the right to care and security. That is why Ukraine insists on a complete ceasefire,”- said Olifer. The press secretary said that the Ukrainian side implements consistently the Minsk agreement, and calls on the Russian Federation and ORDLO not violate its obligations and initiate a ceasefire from September 1, 2016.

Politics and Economy

Ukraine started production of anti-tank hedgehogs to be further installed at the border with annexed Crimea, reported MP from Kherson region Oleksander Spivakovskyi. According to him, hedgehogs will be installed to protect against invasion of tanks and motorized units of the Russian army from the peninsula.

The decision on visa-free regime for Ukraine is expected during the EU – Ukraine Summit in the fall, most likely – in October, reported Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze. As you know, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy Johannes Hahn also expressed hope that Ukraine will receive visa free regime in October.

On August 26, National Bank of Ukraine presented a commemorative 20-hryvnia banknote dedicated to 160th anniversary of the famous Ukrainian writer Ivan Franko. NBU Deputy Chairman Yakiv Smoliy said that the commemorative banknotes enter into circulation on September 1, 2016; one million banknotes will be entered into circulation. He said the paper for commemorative banknotes was produced with the addition of Ukrainian flax, which helped reduce the cost of its production and add strength. As noted, 20 thousand copies of the commemorative notes will be wrapped in souvenir envelopes for realization by regional representative offices of the National Bank at a price of 31 hryvnia. The cost of other commemorative banknotes will be UAH 27.

National anti-corruption bureau verifies information on ownership of undeclared wealth by the former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, stated the reply of NABU on the appeal of MP Mustafa Nayem (BPP). They considered the appeal of MP on possible illegal enrichment of Shokin and reported on the start of proceedings. Earlier, the journalists of the TV programme “Schemes” reported that former Prosecutor General Victor Shokin, who in March was dismissed by the President, had a prosperous common-law wife and a child, whom he did not mention in his declaration.

Ukrainian business will increase capital by prepayment of foreign currency liabilities to non-residents. The respective changes were made to the current resolution of the NBU dated June 7, 2016 № 342 “On settlement of the Situation in the Money and Foreign Exchange Markets of Ukraine,” reported the press service. As noted, the current residents can perform the repayment of loans and borrowings in foreign currency contracts with non-residents until the term provided.

In addition, the National Bank simplified the procedure of purchase and transfer of foreign currency to pay for the treatment of individuals abroad. Information about these transactions will be included in the register without submitting the relevant documents to the National Bank of Ukraine. Thus, the authorized bank can buy foreign currency to the customer for this purpose the next day from the date of transfer of funds in UAH.

International Arena

Ambassador of Ukraine to the European Union Mykola Tochitskyi denies information on providing visa-free regime for Ukraine and Georgia from January 1, 2017. He said this during a meeting with journalists in Kyiv. He also stressed that he sees no reasons to tie visa-free regime with the beginning of 2017.

OSCE Ambassador to Ukraine Ihor Prokopchuk says that the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), despite the request, will not send its observers to the elections to the Russian parliament, which will take place, among other things, in the annexed Crimea. The countries may invite ODIHR mission only on its territory. ODIHR’s position: they will not take part in monitoring the elections held in the annexed Crimea,”- said the diplomat. The Ambassador did not predict how this will affect the recognition of the parliament of the Russian Federation as a whole. He also recalled that in a similar situation with the Crimean representative in the Federation Council of the Russian Federation, the OSCE authorities refused to recognize the authority of only an MP from the annexed territory.

The EU Commission again discusses the introduction of financial sanctions against countries that do not want to host refugees, stated the Commissioner for Migration, Internal Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopulos. The size of the proposed fine is EUR 250 000 for each missed migrant. According to Avramopulos, the Commission’s proposals are intended to complement the existing mechanism of distribution of refugees and make adjustments for situations where some Member States close their eyes on resettlement. According to recent data, only 1% of refugees were displaced under EU resettlement program, with planned 160 thousand people.

The leaders of Germany, France and Italy held talks on Monday on the decision of the UK to leave the European Union and said that Europe should turn away from the populists who blame Brussels for all problems, reported Reuters. Speaking at the aircraft carrier off the coast of the Italian island of Ventotene, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called for closer security cooperation and better opportunities for young people. Negotiations on Monday marked the beginning of the weekly meeting of Merkel with other European governments. She will visit four countries and host eight other leaders in Berlin. Hollande, in turn, stressed the need to protect the EU from violence by strengthening borders and exchange of information.

EU Ambassador Ian Tombinski who completes his mission in Ukraine has identified priority areas, where, in his opinion, the state should make changes. First is decentralisation, second task he called is the fight against corruption. The third is political reform in Ukraine. The fourth is revitalization of the economy, with increasing weight of small and medium enterprises. And the last is internal dialog. There must be reconciliation among Ukrainians. Unfortunately, this issue is given too little attention, says Tombinski.

In addition, Ian Tombinski argues that until the full launch of electronic declaration Ukraine will not complete the requirements for the abolition of EU visas. He sees no possibility for the EU to influence this process.

Ukraine-EU summit to be held on May 19 was postponed until October-November 2016, reported the Brussels correspondent of Radio Liberty Ricard Yozvyak.

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.

August 08-14, 2016

Situation in Eastern Ukraine

On August 12 Russian-terrorist forces made two attacks using different weapons at border guards’ positions in ATO area, reported press service of the State Border Service. The terrorists shelled with small arms and grenade launchers the control check point “Maryinka.” The shelling was carried out from the settlement Oleksandrivka, which is in uncontrolled territory.

On August 12 terrorists opened fired 19 times at Ukrainian military positions in the ATO, reported ATO press centre. In particular, Krasnohorivka, Mariupol direction, was shelled by terrorists with 82mm mortars, while Shyrokyne and Novohryhorivka – with grenade launchers, heavy machine guns and small arms.

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko by his decree awarded 74 ATO servicemen with state orders and medals, reported the press service of the head of state. Of these, nine soldiers were awarded posthumously.

On August 11 one soldier of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was killed in Luhansk region during night terrorist attacks, two military were wounded, reported the Head of Luhansk Administration Yuriy Harbuz.

SMM OSCE installed three surveillance cameras in the conflict zone near the Donetsk airport, in Shyrokyne and near Mariupol, in places where ceasefire is often violated, reported the first deputy head of SMM OSCE Alexander Hug.

A long column of military vehicles from Russia was recorded near the occupied Debaltseve, reported journalist Roman Bochkala with reference to one of the locals.

As a result of shelling Maryinka on August 10, two children were injured, reported Vyacheslav Abroskin, Chief of National Police in Donetsk region.

Last week Kharkov military hospital received more than 50 Ukrainian soldiers from the ATO area, reported the correspondent Marya Varva.

Due to shelling, the pumping station “Mayorska” (Donetsk region) the press service of the company “Donbas Water.”

In Toretsk, as a result of terrorist shelling, a 7-year-old girl received injuries, reported the press service of State National Police in Donetsk region.

Politics

Civil society organizations are preparing a draft law on anti-corruption court, said MP Serhiy Leshchenko. He stressed that the law can be adopted quickly, in case of political will.

In Kyiv, hundreds of depositors of the bank “Mykhailivskyi” blocked Khreshchatyk Street and demanded the restitution of their funds by the Deposit Guarantee Fund, the NBU and personally by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, reported Radio Liberty. Investors who came to protest from Kharkiv, Dnipro, Vinnytsia, Rivne, Poltava and other Ukrainian cities, have no access not only to their deposits but also to the money on the card and current accounts. On May 23, the NBU by its decree recognized the bank “Mykhailivskyi” insolvent and introduced a temporary administration there. However, since then, according to the depositors of the bank, they cannot get either of their deposits or funds on card accounts, or even use them in non-cash transactions.

Filip Makedonskyi, one of the cadets who did not betray and left the occupied Crimean Academy named after Nakhimov, was expelled from Odesa Maritime Academy. He was one of three cadets who studied half a year in the British Royal Maritime College, reported TSN. Filip had only gratitude for the service in Sevastopol, and when he returned from England he found three penalties in the record card for nothing.

President Petro Poroshenko said that the mandatory electronic declaration of assets and resources by officials is scheduled for August 15, reported his website. According to President Poroshenko, such a declaration should become an effective control of income and expenditures by officials, judges, prosecutors and other law enforcement officers.

Self-employed Ukrainians will be obliged to register with tax authorities and pay 10% of the minimum wage per month, writes the Correspondent. The Ministry of Finance plans to introduce taxes for self-employed Ukrainians. The project proposes to introduce an additional tax for self-employed entrepreneurs who have no employees. Their annual income must not exceed 250 minimum wages (up to UAH 344000,00). The document has a list of professions that are subject to taxation: traders, tailors and shoemakers, craftsmen and repair of transport equipment, nail tech, hairdressers and beauticians, tutors, taxi drivers and people who care for patients, also cleaners, and hand-made masters who sell products over the Internet.

As the site of the SBU, the escalation of the situation on the administrative border with Crimea and in the ATO area, under the requirements of paragraph 8 of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of 18.02.2016 no. 92, the Security Service of Ukraine informs on the decision to establish these levels of terrorist threats:

“RED” – Donetsk and Luhansk, Crimea;

“Yellow” – Zaporizhia, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Sumy, Kherson and Chernihiv regions;

“BLUE” – Dnipropetrovsk, Zakarpattia, Rivne, Khmelnytskyi, Cherkasy, Chernivtsi, Kyiv regions and the city of Kyiv;

“Grey” – Vinnytsia, Volyn, Zhytomyr, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kirovohrad, Lviv, Poltava and Ternopil regions. The said ordinance is open; citizens can get acquainted with measures

taken by the entities to combat terrorism in accordance with certain levels of terrorist threats.

International Arena

The international community is very concerned about the charges trumped up by Russia that Ukraine allegedly tried to invade Crimea and caused the deaths of two Russian officers, stated the Foreign Minister of Lithuania Linas Linkyavichyus in a telephone conversation with Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin. “Methods of provocations and accusations of threatening the “Normandy format” is a serious obstacle to international efforts to stop foreign aggression and military actions in eastern Ukraine. The international community must seriously respond to such fabricated allegations and to prevent any further provocations from Russia, if planned,”- said Linkyavichyus.

US presidential candidate Donald Trump called incumbent President Barack Obama the founder of a terrorist group “Islamic State.” Such a statement he made during a speech in front of his supporters in Florida, reports ABC News. Referring to Obama, Trump used his full name – Barack Obama Huseyin. Proponents of the idea that US president is secretly a Muslim often use such an address.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of RF said that “the damage caused to the Russian side, as well as the loss of Russian troops will not remain without consequences,” according to the Ukrainian Pravda. The ministry, released such a statement on Thursday evening. As you know, on August 10 the Russian Federal Security Service issued a statement about alleged two attempts of the Ukrainian military to attack Crimea during which two Russian military were killed and a soldier of FSB.

Russia did not provide any firm evidence of accusations against Kyiv on events in Crimea, said an official in NATO headquarters in comments to Deutsche Welle. “We are closely and with concern following the development between Russia and Ukraine,” – said in a statement.

July 25-31, 2016

Situation in Eastern Ukraine

Another group of Russian militants (110) in four trucks with three guns arrived in Sverdlovsk to support local terrorists, announced the Speaker of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine for ATO Andriy Lysenko.

On July 25 three Ukrainian soldiers were killed in the ATO area, three were wounded, added Andriy Lysenko.

Forty Russian “instructors” came to landfills near Yenakiyeve and Torez, reported the “Information Resistance.” According to information received, most “instructors” are tank drivers and motorized infantry.

Terrorists shelled a school in Krasnohorivka with125-mm high-explosive tank shells, reported ATO headquarters. Due to explosions the outer wall, windows and interior premises of the school were damaged.

The largest losses were born by 9th separate mechanized regiment of marines (Novoazovsk), who tried to carry out sabotage and intelligence activities in the area of Shyrokyne and the 3rd separate motorized rifle brigade (Horlivka), which carried out attacks on ATO forces near Zaitseve.

Russian mining and metallurgical company “Mechel” has received an order from the “DNR” on the introduction of an interim administration to “Donetsk Electrometallurgical Plant” (DEMZ), says an official site of “Mechel.” The enterprise has concerns that there is a risk of losing control over industrial and commercial activities of DEMZ. Currently, the company conducts due diligence of the situation. If necessary, it will “take measures to protect its rights and interests in accordance with the law.”

Politics and Economy

Ukraine increased import of natural gas from some European countries, stated the Head of PR of PJSC “Ukrtransgaz” Maksym Biliavskyi. Therefore, import will amount to 35.7 million cubic meters of natural gas: 29.5 million cubic meters will be imported from Slovakia, 4.3 million cubic meters from Poland and 1.9 million cubic meters from Hungary.

The next IMF tranche will be provided in a month, stated the Head of the NBU Valeriya Hontarieva. She added that by the end of this year, Ukraine is unlikely to receive three tranches from the IMF. The third tranche the NBU plans already in 2017.

“Naftogaz Ukraine” appealed to the European Commission to consider creating a monitoring mission to check the pressure in the Russian gas transportation system. The company says about the facts of significant pressure drops in Russian gas transportation system at the entrance to the gas transportation system of Ukraine. This proposal for the establishment of a mission was sent by “Naftogaz” to the European Commission Vice-President for Energy Maroš Šefčovič and the Energy Community Secretariat.

The inclusion of the occupied Crimea to the Russia’s Southern Federal District deprives the peninsula of a special status of the region, where there were possible exceptions, particularly in the call to the Russian army. Now the Crimean citizens will be called to the Army as well as all citizens of the Russian Federation, voiced an opinion the Crimean coordinator Olha Skrypnyk.

The European Court of Human Rights decided to dismiss the complaint of the three residents of Donbas against Ukraine and Russia through their destroyed homes, stated the public court decision. In particular, as stated the judgment, one of the applicants used to live with his family in Yasynuvata, Donetsk region, on August 17, 2014 his home was destroyed due to shelling. The applicant submitted the photo of the destroyed house. Another two applicants complained in court that on unspecified day their homes were destroyed as a result of shelling.

Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea to the Southern Federal District. The respective decree was published on the Kremlin website. It is also reported that the representative of the Russian President in Crimea was appointed Vladimir Ustinov.

International Arena

Russia blocked in a UN Security Council the draft statement of Ukraine regarding the decision of the Russian President Vladimir Putin to annex Crimea into the Southern Federal District (SFD), reported the Mission of Ukraine to the UN.

The State Duma will consider the candidacy of the new ambassador of Russia to Ukraine in early autumn. The respective Committee of the State Duma will likely be able to consider the candidacy of a new ambassador of Russia to Ukraine only after the federal parliamentary elections and the completion of the structure of the lower chamber of the seventh convocation, i.e. until October, reported the head of the Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots Leonid Slutsky.

US President Barack Obama held a telephone conversation with Chancellor Angela Merkel, the press service of the White House reported. During the conversation, Obama expressed his condolences to the victims of terrorist attacks in Germany. He

also offered support and assistance in the investigation of such incidents. In addition, during the talk the two leaders discussed the situation in Ukraine. President Obama and Chancellor Merkel stressed the importance of the cease-fire in Ukraine and the early implementation of the Minsk agreements.

At least ten people were killed in the explosion that committed suicide bomber at the checkpoint in northern Baghdad. Among the victims of the explosion are two policemen and eight civilians. Twenty people are reported injured. Recall, on July 24 Afghanistan declared the day of national mourning in connection with the death of eighty people that had died day before as a result of the explosion.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the European Union of non-execution of its promises regarding agreements on migrants. He said this in an interview with German television channel ARD. He said the EU has not yet fulfilled its promise. He added that Turkey has to spend USD12 billion on about 3 million refugees from Syria, but the EU provides little support. According to Erdoğan, the thing is in EUR 1 to 2 million. In this case, the EU promised Turkey EUR 3 billion.

A suicide bomber in a car packed with explosives rammed a checkpoint outside the Shiite town north of Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 14 people, reported the Iraqi officials. The explosion occurred on Monday in one of the busiest entrances to the city Halis, about 80 km north of the Iraqi capital, said a police officer. The city is a Shiite enclave surrounded by Sunni areas in the troubled province of Diyala. As a result, eight policemen and six civilians were killed and at least 41 people were wounded, police said, adding that the explosion also damaged about 20 cars lined up at a checkpoint.

Commissioner Oettinger in Kyiv to discuss challenges and opportunities that the Digital Single Market represents for Ukraine

Today and tomorrow, Günther H. Oettinger, European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, is in Ukraine.

During this visit, Commissioner Oettinger is inter alia expected to meet Volodymyr Groysman, Prime Minister, Stepan Kubiv, Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, and Oleksandr Danchenko, Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament’s ICT Committee to discuss cooperation in the field of digital economy and society.

The Commissioner will also speak at a high-level policy event which will explore the challenges and opportunities that the European Union’s Digital Single Market represents for Ukraine.

The Commissioner has been inspired by the success of the Energy Community which extends the EU’s internal energy market rules to countries in South-East Europe and beyond, and hopes to explore a similar common vision of a Digital Community between the EU and Ukraine.

Commissioner Oettinger intends to organise a Ministerial level meeting with the six Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine) in early autumn in Brussels in order to continue the discussion on the creation of the Digital Community.

July 18-24, 2016

Situation in Eastern Ukraine

Defence Intelligence of Ukraine reported about the losses in the ranks of the terrorist Army Corps 1 (Donetsk) and Army Corps 2 (Luhansk). Thus, on July 18, three soldiers were killed and seven wounded.

Discontent of the local population in the temporarily occupied territories of Eastern Ukraine is growing due to the presence and actions of the Russian occupation forces, reported the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine. On July 17, military personnel of the 1st separate Infantry Brigade (Komsomolske) 1 AC (Donetsk) during the dispersal of the spontaneous rally against the location of firing positions of artillery units in residential areas seriously injured three civilians with a firearm.

On July 19, the Russian-terrorist forces opened fire 78 times at the ATO forces units, including weapons banned by the Minsk agreements, reported the press centre for ATO. In particular, 43 attacks were recorded in Donetsk directions, and 13 in Mariupol and Luhansk directions. Near Myronivske and Pisky, in Donetsk region, the enemy used 122-mm artillery. In addition, the terrorists used 120-mm mortars near settlements Mayorske, Nyzhnie Lozove, Zaitseve, Avdiyivka and Luhanske.

Terrorists are destroying infrastructure and housing sector of the settlements located close to the demarcation line in Donbas, reported the press centre for ATO with reference to Vitaliy Ivanov, Press Officer of the Ukrainian side of the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination of the Ceasefire and Stabilization at the Boundary. Observers of this Centre in cooperation with representatives of the SMM OSCE recorded the facts of crimes against the citizens of Ukraine and their private property.

The terrorists shelled the residential area of Avdiyivka, reported the National Police Department in Donetsk region. Four buildings suffered significantly. Police recorded all damages and provided assistance to citizens. No casualties were recorded. Due to shelling, Avdiyivka was left without water and power supply, while Avdiyivka coke plant had to stop production.

On July 21, situation in ATO area remained restless; there were recorded 20 enemy attacks at the Ukrainian army positions, reported ATO headquarters. In particular, Donetsk area was shelled by the Russian occupation troops with 120-mm mortars, grenade launchers of various systems and heavy machine guns. 82-mm mortars terrorists used in Mayorske and Pisky, and heavy machine guns in Troyitske and Nuzhnia Lozova. Krasnohorvka in Mariupol direction was shelled with 82-mm mortars, grenade launchers, anti-aircraft installations and small arms, and later with

a tank. The enemy used grenade launchers at the fortifications in Hnutove and heavy machine guns and small arms near Maryinka and Pavlopol.

The residents of Alchevsk and Stakhanov conduct spontaneous rallies to protest against the numerous cases of looting and violence of militants, reported the Defence Intelligence.

Politics and Economy

By the end of the current fiscal year the US will help Ukraine with USD 355 million through different lines and programs, announced Deputy Minister of Defence of Ukraine Ihor Dolgov.

The European Union insists “Naftogaz Ukraine” and Russian “Gazprom” have agreed on terms of purchase Russian gas, announced Vice President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič, reported the press service of the European Commission.

The Board of Directors of the International Monetary Fund may take a positive decision on restoring funding for lending program for Ukraine at a meeting in August, announced Minister of Finance Oleksander Danyliuk. He said that by that time the government would have time to solve the rest of the technical issues. Moreover, the delay in lending will not affect the exchange rate of UAH.

The explosion of a car in the capital killed a journalist of one of the Ukrainian publications. A well-known Ukrainian journalist Pavel Sheremet was killed. The explosion occurred at the intersection of the streets Bohdan Khmelnytskyi and Ivan Franko, opposite the restaurant “McDonald’s.”

Ukraine and Romania signed an agreement on connecting gas transportation systems at the point Isaccea, on the Ukrainian-Romanian border, reported the press-service of JSC “Ukrtransgaz.” This agreement will cover the route of the pipeline used to transport natural gas from Ukraine to Bulgaria (connection point Negro Water 1) through the territory of Romania.

EU Commissioner on Trade Cecilia Malmstrom during a meeting with Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groisman said that in September 2016 the European Commission will issue a decision to allocate additional trade preferences for Ukraine. The Prime Minister said that the implementation of the Agreement is one of the main priorities of the Government, and therefore “we need support from Brussels,” he said. Ukraine and the EU are interested in DCFTA that would give positive economic result in the nearest future. “It will be a political” success story “in our bilateral relations,” – said Head of the Government.

International Arena

The billionaire Donald Trump officially became a candidate for presidency nominated by the US Republican Party.

UNN reference: Donald John Trump is an American businessman, owner of one of the largest construction companies in the US, producer and anchor man. On June 16, 2015, Donald Trump announced that he started the fight for the post of the President of the United States in 2016.

EU police office Europol said about the highest number of planned and implemented terrorist attacks in the EU territory, namely 211 This is the largest number since 2006, when they started annual records.

Action of the European Convention on Human Rights will be suspended in Turkey for the period of the state of emergency, stated by Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey Numan Kurtulmush.

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) opened a case against the Russian Paralympic Committee, after receiving from the World Anti-Doping Agency more information on the names of 35 Russian Paralympic with missing samples with positive tests.

Munich, after a shooting in one of the biggest shopping centres of the city, introduced a state of emergency. On Friday evening, July 22, unknown person opened fire in the mall. Initially, the media reported about 15 dead, but currently six victims are confirmed. Another point of shooting was also reported. This information was not officially confirmed. Police conducted operations throughout the city, transport is blocked, subway does not work as well.

July 11-17, 2016

Situation in Eastern Ukraine

On July 11, terrorists greatly intensified shelling along the demarcation line, reported the ATO press centre. Terrorists opened fire 94 times at the ATO forces positions. Most attacks (48) were registered in Donetsk area. The enemy used the forbidden by Minsk II 152-mm artillery at the fortifications in Novhorodske, and 122-mm artillery in Mykolayivka Druha. The occupants used 120-mm mortars for shelling the ATO positions in Mayorske, Pisky, Avdiyivka, Novhorodske and Troyitske.

In Mariupol direction the enemy violated the ceasefire 29 times. In particular, Ukrainian forces bases in Talakivtka, Vodiane, Novohryhorivka and Maryinka were shelled with 120-mm mortars. In Donetsk region Russian occupants shelled with grenade launchers, armoured vehicles, heavy machine guns and small arms.

During the combat clash in Troyitske ATO fighters captured three Russian mercenaries, reported ATO press centre.

On July 12, terrorists opened fire 56 times at the ATO forces units, reported ATO press centre. Specifically, terrorists violated truce in Donetsk direction (23 times), in Mariupol direction 25 times and 8 times in Luhansk areas.

As a result of terrorist shelling of residential areas in Kurdiumivka (near Toretsk, Donetsk region) there were destroyed several houses, announced the head of the National Police in Donetsk region Vyacheslav Abroskin.

On July 13 a new dividing line was set in Donbas, told the former head of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine Mykola Malomuzh. According to Malomuzh, apart from the three hottest points in Avdiyivka, Mariupol direction and Pisky, there are other twelve potentially dangerous points, including Stanytsia-Luhanska and the whole Luhansk direction.

The SBU together with the police detained two DNR terrorists, reported the SBU. In Druzhkivka the police detained a local resident, who in April-July, 2014, was a member of DNR. He served at one of the terrorist roadblocks.

In Luhansk area Ukraine will set a tower for broadcasting Ukrainian media in controlled and uncontrolled areas of the region, reported the head of Luhansk military and civil administration Yuriy Harbuz.

Politics and Economy

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine issued a decree on the extension of the ban on Russian import to Ukraine with a list of goods approved by the government. This is stated in the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of July 6, 2016 no.417.

Finance Minister of Ukraine Oleksandr Danyluk believes that the failure to approve by the Parliament a number of laws required for cooperation with the IMF should not affect the next tranche from the IMF in July.

72 rail cars with destination point Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan were detained on the Russian border; 13 of these cars were sent via the changed route, the other 59 remain in the Ukrainian-Russian border.

The Supreme Economic Court of Ukraine dismissed the appeal of the Russian “Gazprom” on refusal of lower courts to consider the claim to impose a fine in the amount of USD 85.9 billion.

US Senators before summer vacation unanimously voted for the appointment of Marie Jovanovich as a new US Ambassador to Ukraine, reported former US Ambassador to Ukraine Jeffrey Pyatt.

The Parliament adopted a law on domestic biometric passports. 226 MPs supported this draft law. The document, among other things, is expected to introduce a passport for citizens aged fourteen and legalize internal biometric passport.

World News

Damage to the economy of Crimea due to energy blockade increased to RUR 2.5 billion, reported “the prosecutor” of Crimea Natalia Poklonskaya, reports UNN citing TASS.

The process of exit of Great Britain from the European Union could be delayed for a period of six years due to ratification by all 27 national parliaments, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs of the UK Philip Hammond.

On July 14, a terrorist attack was carried out in Nice, reported the Department of Alpes-Maritimes prefecture. According to it, there are many injured. TV channel BFM TV reported of “at least five dozen dead and many wounded.” It is reported that unknown persons in a van (other sources – on the truck) crashed into a crowd of people admiring the fireworks in the famous Promenade des Anglais during the National holiday.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said about the coup attempt in Turkey, reported UNN with reference to Reuters. According to him, a group of soldiers attempted to carry out a force coup. He also said that at present the security forces are doing their best to neutralize the situation. At the same time, a representative of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) Nuh Yilmaz said on preventing the coup attempt in the country.