MONITORING

MONITORING EVENTS OF THE WEEK ELAPSED

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.

Monitoring August 1-7, 2016

Situation in Eastern Ukraine 

On July 31, Ukrainian military discovered a sabotage and reconnaissance group of up to 5 people in the area of Bohdanivka, Donetsk region, reported ATO press centre. Ukrainian military fired back with small arms making the enemy retreat.

On August 1, terrorists shelled the positions of the State Border Service of Ukraine twice, reported the press service of the State Border Service. The terrorists used small arms and AGS against the control post “Mayorsk” and “Maryinka”. As a result of shelling the control posts, none of the border guards was injured.

There have been recorded regular losses in units of the 1st AC (Donetsk), reported the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine (three killed and ten wounded) The largest losses suffered units that carried out attacks on ATO forces near Krasnohorivka and Maryinka.

On August 2, terrorists shelled the areas of Avdiyivka – Krasnohorivka with 120mm mortars and heavy machine guns, reported ATO press centre. In addition, the enemy used 82 mm mortars, grenade launchers and small arms near Avdiyivka, Mayorsk, Novhorodske, Zaitseve, Nyzhnie Lozove and Opytne. In Mariupol direction Shyrokyne was a hotspot, where occupants used infantry fighting vehicles, 120mm and 82mm mortars, grenade launchers and small arms.

On August 2 situation in the area of Avdyivka deteriorated, reported ATO press centre. The enemy shelled residential areas with 82mm mortars.

On August 3 ATO press centre reported of non-stop shelling of residential areas of settlements near Donetsk. In Donetsk area the enemy did not stop armed provocations near Krasnohorivka – Avdiyivka – Horlivka.

Number of civilian casualties in the fighting in eastern Ukraine has returned to the maximum of last year, stated the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. In June 2016 they documented 69 civilian casualties: 12 dead and 57 wounded – almost twice more than in May 2016 and the maximum since August 2015.

The Russian side of the Joint Control and Coordination Centre for Ceasefire in Donbas has first started confirming the facts of shelling by terrorists, reported ATO press centre.

On August 4, the terrorists shelled 38 times Ukrainian forces positions, reported ATO press centre. Most cases (21) were recorded in Donetsk area. Positions of Ukrainian soldiers in Avdiyivka and Mayorsk were under the fire of 120mm and 82mm mortars and grenade launchers. In Zaitseve the enemy violated twice the Minsk agreement using heavy artillery (122mm artillery shells).

On August 4, the enemy group of up to 8 people approached the stronghold in the region of Bohdanivka. From the distance of about 500 meters, the saboteurs opened fire from grenade launchers and small arms, reported ATO press centre. Ukrainian defenders were ready for a provocation and repelled the attack. An hour later the enemy retreated. No losses among the Ukrainian soldiers were reported.

The leader of the LNR terrorists Ihor Plotnytskyi was hospitalized after an attempt on his life in Luhansk, confirmed the “official” separatist website of LNR. He was injured as a result of a powerful blast next to his car. Plotnytskyi was diagnosed damage to vital organs reported Interfax with reference to a source in the hospital. According to intelligence, the reason for an attack on the LNR leader could be redistribution of financial flows.

Politics and Economy

Ukraine increased production of natural gas in January-July 2016 by nearly 2% (to 223.3 million cu. m.), according to current data, and now constitutes 11 billion 695.3 million cubic meters.

Ukraine paid Rosatom for the return of Russian fuel for recycling, reported Interfax, citing its own sources in the public corporation.

Ukraine reached an agreement with Westinghouse to increase the supply of nuclear fuel and construction of the nuclear production plant in the country, reported Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine Ihor Nasalyk. He said that the plant is needed to prevent the state from nuclear dependence on Russia.

Already in August, Ukraine will get the first ship with anthracite coal group, an alternative to coal mined in Donbas, reported Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine Ihor Nasalyk. He noted that there was signed an order on reconstruction of two blocks of Zmiyiv TPP to substitute anthracite coal group for coal of gas group.

President Petro Poroshenko brought into effect the decision of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine concerning the activities of the military-industrial complex of Ukraine.

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed a law on amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine concerning the documents certifying the citizenship of Ukraine aimed at liberalizing the EU visa regime for Ukraine. The respective law was adopted by the Parliament on July 14, 2016.

President Petro Poroshenko has signed the law no. 1462-VIII “On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On State Social Assistance to Poor Families “re the social protection of family members of participants in anti-terrorist operation” adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on July 14, 2016. The law aims at improving social protection of the ATO family members.

At the meeting in Minsk representatives of L/DNR reported on 45 Ukrainian hostages, though they are not willing to talk about the exchange of hostages, reported Advisor to the head of the SBU Yuriy Tandit. According to him, Ukraine is interested in the fast release of these hostages held in DNR.

Secretary of NSDC Oleksander Turchynov did not rule out new waves of mobilization. In the case of deterioration of the situation in Donbas “new mobilization will be announced immediately,” Turchynov said.

International News

If sanctions against Russia are not working, they need to be strengthened, announced the US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt in an interview with Austrian newspaper Der Standard. He also stressed that the main goal is restoration of Ukrainian Donbas territorial control. In this process there is a serious problem of access for OSCE observers to the territories in eastern Ukraine.

US may impose sanctions against the organizers of the hacker attack on the servers of the National Committee of the US Democratic Party (DNC), reported Deutsche Welle. “Washington has a number of measures, including economic and legal, it may apply to the State which committed the attack on the DNC, said the White House representative on August 2. He said that representatives of the American authorities for years have been talking about Russia’s activity in the field of cyber-attacks.

The Italian Parliament did not adopt a resolution on the lifting of sanctions against Russia, while the MPs adopted a resolution calling to fulfil Minsk agreements, said Ukraine’s Ambassador to Italy Yevheniy Perelyhin.

Ukraine and Malaysia signed an agreement for the avoidance of double taxation between two countries during the visit of President Petro Poroshenko to Malaysia.

Poland officially appointed the new Ambassador to Ukraine, a journalist Jan Pieklo, reports the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland.

EU introduced anti-dumping duties against Russian and Chinese steel companies. The reason for such a decision was the complaint of the European Steel Association (Eurofer), which includes firms that produce more than 25 per cent of cold-rolled steel sheet, reports DW. According to the media, European steelmakers have accused Russian and Chinese rivals that they artificially decreased prices for cold rolling, which is used in the production of automobiles and home appliances, thus displacing competitors from the market. Sanctions have affected Russian largest steel companies: “Severstal,” Novolipetsk and Magnitogorsk plants.

The petition for the resignation of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has taken 158,362 votes, reports Change.org. “The Cabinet should be led by a competent and sympathising for his country person. Now we see a reverse picture. Not an advertising face of Apple, sleeping at the opening of the Olympics, the man who advises teachers to “somehow and somewhere look for jobs to survive,” should stand at the head of the Cabinet Ministers. The fish stinks from the head,” says the petition.

US is ready to cooperate with Russia “in Syria, but Moscow, in their opinion, “does not make any necessary steps”, and continues to support the regime in Damascus. With this statement US President Barack Obama addressed the media, reports “TASS”. The US president also said that ISIS “has changed tactics” and “encourages high-profile attacks, including the United States.” The head of the US administration expressed confidence that the coalition that opposes ISIS “is making progress.” He recalled the destruction of a number of leaders of the militants, including the Chechen Umar al-Shishanov.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltbenberh condemned the launches of ballistic missiles by North Korea, reported the press service of NATO. “This is another violation of several UN Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2270, which clearly stated that North Korea must stop all activities related to ballistic missile program. North Korea’s provocative behaviour is of concern and undermines international security. NATO calls on Pyongyang to immediately stop and abandon existing nuclear activities and ballistic missile programs,”- said in a statement. The Secretary General also stressed that North Korea must return to international negotiations and refrain from further provocative actions.

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.

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.

June 27-July 03, 2016

Situation in Eastern Ukraine

During the week, the army intelligence has recorded 30 deaths and 37 wounded Russian soldiers, reported the representative of the Defence Intelligence Vadym Skybytskyi. According to him, about 60% of Russian troops’ loss falls on sabotage and reconnaissance groups. He added that such losses adversely influence the moral and psychological state of personnel, leading to deserting, including among career Russian officers.

The Russian military command continues to use Donbas for testing new weapons and ammunition, in particular guided weapons CM-8 called “Gran” designed to destroy the single and group objectives, including fortification with the first shot and no additional zeroing, reported the AP spokesman on ATO Andriy Lysenko.

On June 30 the enemy opened fire 66 times, including 28 in Donetsk, 21 in Mariupol and 17 in Luhansk areas.

In Mariupol direction terrorists using small arms and grenade launchers shelled strongholds near Shyrokyne, Starohnativka, Pavlopil and Talakivka, and near Novotroitske even 120-mm mortars.

In Luhansk direction the enemy shelled the strongholds of ATO forces near Novozvanivka with automatic grenade launchers and heavy mortars. Terrorists carried out shelling with 122-mm self-propelled guns aiming to provoke our soldiers.

Russian occupation forces used banned weapons for shelling Armed Forces of Ukraine positions in violation of the Minsk agreements. In total there were recorded 51 cases of shelling, including 24 in Mariupol and three in Donetsk and Luhansk directions.

In Donetsk direction the strongholds near Pisk, Berezove, Luhanske and Troyitske the enemy shelled with machine guns and large-calibre grenade launchers of various systems, while Avdiyivka, Nevelske, Opytne, Novhorodske and Zaitseve were shelled with mortars.

Unaffiliated MP Dmytro Yarosh announced about a successful operation of Ukrainian intelligence, the result of which was captured eight terrorists.

Terrorists actively regroup divisions between Sparatak and Yasynuvata in Donetsk region, reported the head of the “Information Resistance” Dmytro Tymchuk. He mentioned 15-16 APCs, including six tanks.

Opera singer Vasyl Slipak was killed near the village Luhanske at about 6 am by a shot from a sniper rifle, said one of the soldiers who was in combat together with Slipak. He noted that Slipak arrived at the front a week and a half ago.

Politics and Economy

The Government has approved a restructuring plan for “Naftogaz Ukraine,” which provides separation of transportation and gas storage, reported the Minister of Economic Development. The Cabinet decision on the proposal of the Minister of Economic Development and Trade Stepan Kubiv will prevent members of the Supervisory Boards of separated companies to hold positions in selling energy.

For five months 2016, foreign direct investment has amounted to USD 1.8 billion, stated First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade Yulia Kuznetsova.

Starting from July 1, under a decision of the National Commission which regulates energy and utilities, tariffs on heat will be doubled. Previously Kyivites paid UAH 37-41 per 1 cu. m for hot water, in July the sum in bills will amount to UAH 63-78 (depending on the service provider and the availability of heated towel rail). The same range of tariffs on hot water is expected in other cities. In particular, in Lviv UAH 70-80 in Odesa up to UAH67,9-72,28.

Ministry of Economic Development and Trade in response to the continuing Russian embargo of food until 2017 propose to extend Ukrainian counter sanctions, stated Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Trade Representative of Ukraine Natalia Mykolska.

During the visit to Azerbaijan, the Ukrainian side will present the preliminary program of the Ukrainian aircraft An-178 construction in Azerbaijan, reported the press service of the Ministry of Regional Development.

Ukraine will attract a credit from Germany worth EUR 300 million for energy projects, infrastructure and railway, announced the Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groisman after a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Ukrainian side at the meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk asked for clarification on the “law on nationalization” in L/DNR as it completely dismantles Minsk II agreements, reported Darka Olifer, spokeswoman of the representative of the Ukrainian side in the contact group. She noted that during the discussions the representatives of the OSCE and Russia agreed that such actions are illegal and contrary to the spirit of the Minsk agreements.

The release of hostages is locked. Last week we got the warning signs of deterioration in the dismissal of people, reported Darka Olifer. According to her,

Ukraine demands L/DNR representatives to provide information on location of Ukrainian citizens.

The official website of the President of Ukraine registered e-petition claim, which asked Poroshenko to never change the Constitution without a referendum.

The Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation said that they did not receive a request from Ukraine for conducting interrogation of ex-president Viktor Yanukovych via videoconference.

International Arena

The members of the European Union adopted a decision to extend sanctions against Russia until January 31, 2017, reported a correspondent of the “Radio Liberty” in Brussels Ricard Yozvyak.

A project funded by the Ministry of Poland to support small and medium business in Ukraine started, reported the Polish Radio. EUR 800 thousand has been allocated for realisation of the project. Polish government agencies and Ukrainian partners will participate in it. The Project provides training, business counsel and the creation of dozen of centres to service businesses. The program will be implemented over the next eighteen months, i.e. until the end of 2017.

On June 28, near the port of Zavia, Libyan Coast Guard detained tanker “Temeteron” on suspicion of carrying out smuggling oil out of Libya, reported the MFA. According to available information, the crew consisted of nine members, five of who are citizens of Ukraine. Currently the tanker is in port of Tripoli. Investigation has started.

President of the Parliamentary Assembly Pedro Agramunt again called to maintain a dialogue with the Russian parliament, said his statement on the results of a two-day visit to Moscow. According to him, “on June 24, 2016 the Bureau of the Assembly adopted a declaration confirming the role of the Assembly as a pan-European forum for inter-parliamentary cooperation between parliamentarians from all 47 member states of the Council of Europe.”

Canada confirmed its participation in the formation of a new contingent of NATO in Eastern Europe. At the moment details are unknown, but in military circles they talk about sending Canadian soldiers to Latvia, reports Radio Liberty. In mid-June, NATO defence ministers agreed on the deployment of an additional four multinational battalions in the Baltic States and Poland in response to the intensification of Russian military activity.

During 2016-2018 SEED Grant scholarship program initiators plans to invest about USD5 million in business education of Ukrainian specialists, stated the message of

Fund Western NIS Enterprise. In 2016, the fund has allocated more than USD 1 million for studying 13 Ukrainian students in the US and Britain. They will study in the best American and British universities, including Yale School of Management, Duke Fuqua School of Business, University of Michigan Ross School of Business, University of Chicago Booth School of Business and others.

Ukrainian transporters got expanded quotas and were provided free transportation and additional one thousand bilateral and 500 transit permits, reported the Ministry of Infrastructure. This will enable domestic carriers to save more than EUR400 thousand by the end of 2016. Deputy Infrastructure Minister Yuri Lavrenyuk noted that the Hungarian side initially advocated compliance with the rules of traffic on a parity basis, drawing attention to the fact that Hungarian transporters used no more than 30% of the permits for the first half, crossing the border with Ukraine about 4,2 thousand times, while Ukrainian carriers have done more than 19.3 thousand trips.

Number of victims of the terrorist attack at the airport in Istanbul was about 250 people, announced Health Minister Recep Akdag in Turkey, reported Reuters.

UK access to European Union single market is possible only if the state will ensure freedom of movement, stated the President of the European Council Donald Tusk.

June 06-12, 2016

 

Situation in Eastern Ukraine

On June 6, Ukrainian troops repelled an attempt by terrorists to assault the strong hold in Mayorsk, reported the AP spokesman for the ATO Andriy Lysenko. According to him, the enemy made powerful shelling in Donetsk direction, using 120-millimeter howitzers.

On June 6, a Ukrainian military was killed in the ATO, another seven were injured, reported AP spokesman for the ATO Andriy Lysenko.

113 Ukrainian hostages remain in terrorist captivity in Donbas, 642 persons are considered missing, reported Yuriy Tandit, Advisor to the SBU Head.

The SMM OSCE confirmed the disappearance of its employee in Luhansk region. The Mission reported they have no additional information on the whereabouts of the missing man at the moment.

On June 4-6, two terrorists were killed; eleven were injured, reported AP spokesman for the ATO Andriy Lysenko.

Terrorists shelled ATO forces positions with the BMP-1 near the village Stanytsia Luhanska, wrote coordinator of the “Information Resistance” on his Facebook page. Terrorists also actively used anti-tank missiles to destroy light armoured vehicles of ATO forces, which are located directly on the front line, reported Dmytro Tymchuk.

Situation in the ATO area remains tense. On June 8, terrorists shelled 15 times ATO forces positions. The hottest spot was in Mariupol direction.

Politics and Economy

Due to introduction of energy efficiency programs Ukraine would be able in five years to reduce gas import to 1-1.5 billion cubic meters annually, stated the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko during a meeting of the National Council reform.

Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin sees no possibility of the participation of the Russian side in the police OSCE mission in Donbas.

Budget Resolution for 2017 foresees growth of GDP by 3%, said Finance Minister Oleksander Danyluk.

For five months the general funds of local budgets in Ukraine have received almost UAH 54 billion, which is by UAH 17 billion higher than in the same period last year, said Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groisman.

In 2016, the Ukrainian side expects the gas price in the range of USD160-180 per thousand cubic meters, announced the Secretary of the National Council of Reforms, AP Deputy Head Dmytro Shymkiv.

In two years the budget deficit of Ukraine will be reduced from 12% to 3% of GDP, announced the Secretary of the National Council for Reforms, AP Deputy Head Dmytro Shymkiv.

The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has signed the law “On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine” On the State Budget of Ukraine for 2016,” under which UAH5 billion is directed to subsidies for low-income citizens.

President Poroshenko has signed a law granting the foreigners the opportunity to serve under the contract in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

International Situation

The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko had a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande. Participants noted that sanctions against Russia should remain until full implementation of the Minsk agreements.

Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin and Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine Eliab Byelotserkovski signed the intergovernmental agreement between Ukraine and Israel on temporary employment of Ukrainian workers in certain labour market sectors of the State of Israel.

The International Monetary Fund stated that the size of the next tranche will be determined at IMF meeting, which is tentatively scheduled for early July, said the representative of the Fund in Ukraine Jerome Voucher.

Ukraine ranked 156 out of 163 countries in the Global Peace Index ranking of peace-loving countries. This is according to a study published on the website of the Institute of Economics and Peace. The closest neighbours of Ukraine in the ranking were Sudan (155) and the Central African Republic (157).

French Senate adopted a resolution easing sanctions against Russia. Russia is an aggressor, which started war in Europe and annexed the territory of Ukraine. I understand that the final decision will make the government – so I hope that this decision will be reasonable and wise, stressed in his appeal to the French Senate Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Speaker Andriy Parubiy.

44% of Ukrainians support NATO membership, 38% are against. These results of a nationwide poll published the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology.

International rating agency S & P Global Ratings (S & P) expects GDP growth in Ukraine in 2016 by 1%, due to improved confidence in the government, investment and political environment, reduced inflation and stabilization of the national currency. According to the agency, “accelerating of the economy should lead to GDP growth in 2016-2019 by an average of 2%.”

Deputy Managing Director of the IMF David Lipton praised the policy of exchange rate and monetary policy of Kyiv and said that Ukraine established the basis for recovery. He said this in an interview with “Novoye Vremia.”

The Council of the European Union and European Parliament will consider visa liberalization for Ukraine, Georgia and Kosovo no later than September, reported The Wall Street Journal with reference to European officials and diplomats. It is indicated that the hopes of Georgia, Ukraine and Kosovo that the EU approves visa-free travel to the EU by the end of summer disappeared against the background of problems, which recently were raised by most of the EU members.

May 30 – June 5, 2016

Situation in Eastern Ukraine

On May 30, three Ukrainian military were killed and eight were injured in ATO area, reported AP speaker on ATO Andriy Lysenko.

On May 31, Ukrainian military lost one fighter, two soldiers suffered injuries, said AP Speaker on ATO Aleksander Motuzianyk. In addition it was reported that two DNR terrorists were killed and six were wounded.

On June 1, Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk admitted the increasing number of attacks at Ukrainian military positions, including shelling with guns exceeding 100-mm, mortars and Grads. Only in May 2016 due to violation of truce 26 Ukrainian military were killed, reported Darka Olifer, Spokeswoman of the representative of the Ukrainian party in the contact group.

SMM OSCE representatives wanted to launch a drone near Ozeryanivka, where on the eve another OSCE drone had been hit, but DNR terrorists forbade them to visit the area, the press service of the SMM OSCE reported.

OSCE documented the escalation of the conflict in areas controlled by the DNR in Yasne and near the controlled by the government Berezove, which could lead to the isolation of people in Dokuchayevsk, reported deputy head of the SMM OSCE Alexander Hug.

On June 3, no military was killed, but eight soldiers were wounded in the ATO area (Zaitseve, Novoselivka Druha, Avdiyivka), said the AP Speaker on ATO Andriy Lysenko.

OSCE started discussions on introduction of the police mission in the occupied territories of Donbas and perhaps the process will be completed in 2016, stated the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.

Since April 1, 2014, there have been found 1351 unidentified bodies in the territories controlled by the government, stated the 14th report on the human rights situation in Ukraine in the period from February 16 to May 15, 2016.

Politics and Economy

The final agreed text of the revised memorandum on cooperation between Ukraine and the IMF will be published by the Ministry of Finance immediately after signing the memorandum, which is expected within a month, reported the press service of the Ministry of Finance.

Deputy Prosecutor General, responsible for international legal activities, is appointed Yevheniy Yenin, announced Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko. Deputy Prosecutor General Yenin will deal with international legal activities, coordination of the Department of Supporting Public Prosecution, as well as cooperation with the Ombudsman.

Grain traders exported 36.5 million tons of grain as of May 31, 2016, according to the press service of the Agriculture Ministry, in particular wheat 15514000 tons, corn 16431000 tons, barley 4298000 tons and other grain 216000 tons. Thus, the volume of exported and prepared for exports grain is up to 37180000 tons

On June 1, the main work of the humanitarian subgroup was devoted to debates on the location of hostages and providing OSCE with facts of hiding by separatists info on the persons detained in the occupied territories, reported representative of Ukraine in the humanitarian subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group Iryna Gerashchenko.

On June 1, in Starobilsk, Luhansk region, NABU detectives arrested the second suspect in the attempted embezzlement of UAH 480 million received by Ukraine under the Kyoto Protocol, reported the press service of NABU. According to NABU, during the preliminary investigation it was found that the detainee by prior agreement with the Secretary of State Enterprise “Ukrainian Ecological Investment,” who was taken into custody on May 18, created a number of fictitious companies controlled by the group under the false name, designed for dummies. So he tried to create an imaginary competition in order fictitious business entities would win during the public procurement for the reconstruction of lighting networks totalling more than UAH480 million.

The Parliament abolished the taxation of pensions. By 274 votes MPs adopted the law. The draft law provides for the abolition of taxation of pensions that do not exceed UAH10 740. Pensions exceeding UAH 10740 will be taxed at the rate of 18%. Herewith, working pensioners, as explained the chairman of the respective committee, Nina Yuzhanina, will have downward coefficients.

By amending the Constitution regarding justice, ratification of the Rome Statute will be postponed for three years, stated the human rights organization Amnesty International in Ukraine.

The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko does not exclude that the issue of releasing Ukrainians Gennadiy Afanasyev and Yuriy Soloshenko, convicted in Russia, will be decided in June. He said this during a press conference.

Elections in Donbas will be possible in case the security component is guaranteed, stated the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko at a press conference. “… Security is not only in stopping firing. Permanent effective observation posts should be

established on the contact line, which would guarantee the implementation of the security,” – said Poroshenko.

Foreign Affairs

President of Turkey Erdogan has accused Russia of supplying militants from ‘Kurdistan Workers’ Party “(PKK), which Turkey considers a “separatist terrorist organization,” with air defence missiles, reports Deutsche Welle.

On May 27, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Netherlands, supported the proposal of the European Commission to grant Ukraine visa liberalization, reports ANP. It is noted that the resolution, presented at a government meeting by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Bert Kunders, was approved based on the findings of a working group to assess the proposals of the European Commission.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter after talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin said that Berlin reaffirms its promise given to Kyiv on visa-free regime, announced Ambassador of Germany to Ukraine Andriy Melnyk.

IMF and EBRD recognized inflated starting price of privatization of Odesa Portside Plant, for which Ukraine wants to get more than USD 500 million and offered Kyiv to reduce it to not to scare away foreign investors, reports Reuters.

The German Bundestag passed a resolution that qualifies as genocide the mass destruction of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915-16, reports DW. As noted, after discussions that lasted more than an hour, MPs almost unanimously approved the joint draft resolution submitted by the parliamentary groups of the CDU/CSU, SPD and “Green”. Only one MP voted “Against.” It is reported that German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Foreign Minister of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel were absent at the session of the Parliament.

US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt welcomed the adoption of a judicial reform by the Verkhovna Rada and said the United States stands ready to support its implementation and work hard to transform the judiciary as an independent institution.

US Agreement on granting Ukraine USD 1 billion loan guarantees will contribute to the implementation of programs of the International Monetary Fund, stated US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt during the ceremony of signing the declaration of intent and agreement to guarantee borrowing between Ukraine and the United States.

About 2.7 million people living in areas controlled by armed groups are experiencing significant restrictions of their freedom of speech, peaceful assembly and association, announced Assistant UN Secretary General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović during

the briefing. He added that since the beginning of the conflict in Donbas 9 404 people have been killed.

The Security Service of Ukraine regularly detains and tortures people suspected of sympathizing with terrorists, as well as presence of secret prisons in Ukraine, – writes The Times referring to the United Nations. According to Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović, in some regions “contempt for human rights” by Kyiv became ingrained and systematic, requiring immediate intervention in the situation.

May 23-29, 2016

Situation in Eastern Ukraine

Recently, two Armed Forces soldiers were captured by terrorists, reported AP spokesman for ATO Andriy Lysenko. It happened in Donetsk area. Currently, military are in Donetsk. Ukrainian government and military command make efforts for their release.

On May 25, no Ukrainian military was killed, but two soldiers were wounded in Avdiyivka “industrial zone,” reported AP spokesman for ATO Andriy Lysenko.

In Donetsk area terrorist snipers fired ATO forces positions, reported AP Speaker for ATO Oleksander Motuzyanyk. The fighting was in Luhanske, Zaitseve and Avdiyivka, mostly at night. Terrorists used mortars, APCs and sniper fire, said O.Motuzianyk.

As of today SMM OSCE consists of 701 observers, including 589 in eastern Ukraine, reported deputy head of OSCE Mission Alexander Hug.

The OSCE observers could not get into occupied Novoazovsk as LNR terrorists prevented them from this, reported Deputy Chief of mission Alexander Hug. Patrol had to go back to Mariupol. In addition, an incident occurred in Avdiyivka – one of the mission drones was shot down by a missile above Horlivka.

Near Novotroitske, terrorists shelled ATO forces with Grads, ATO press centre reported. In the same area terrorists used 120-mm mortars and powerful 152-mm artillery systems to shell Ukrainian fortifications near Mykolayivka. In Luhansk area terrorists used heavy machine guns, grenade launchers and weapons on APCs against Ukrainian soldiers near the village Luhanske and ATO fortifications near Popasna. It was reported about a combat clash with enemy sabotage and intelligence group in Mariupol direction. As a result, enemy sabotage and intelligence group receded.

Terrorist military units began to spread rumours among its gunmen to raise their combat readiness, reported the coordinator of the “Informational Resistance,” MP Dmytro Tymchuk. Militants talk about the planned massive attack at positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in a couple of months.

Politics and Economy

The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed into law no.1369-VIII “On Amendments to Some Laws of Ukraine to Strengthen Social Protection of Persons who Care for Disabled Children and Disabled Group I,” adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on May 17, 2016. The Law is aimed at strengthening state support for families with disabled children, subgroup A.

Public and publicly guaranteed debt in April increased by 2.8% – up to USD 67.090 billion compared with March 2016, reported the official website of the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine. According to the Ministry, in particular public debt in April totalled USD57.527 billion, including domestic debt USD21.73 billion. At the same time, foreign debt in April totalled USD35.796 billion. State guaranteed debt for this period amounted to USD9.563 billion.

The eldest son and a daughter of Ilma Umerov, the deputy head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, refused to give evidence during the interrogation in the Crimean Department of the FSB of Russia, said Umerov’s youngest daughter Aishe. Earlier, the Kurultai CEC chairman Zair Smedliayev said that the FSB invited children of the Deputy Chairman of Mejlis for interrogation in Simferopol. Recall Ilma Umerov is accused by Russian law enforcement authorities in Crimea of separatism under Article 280.1 of the Criminal Code of Russia. On May 19 after interrogation by the Russian FSB in Crimea he was indicted and released on bail.

The Pension Fund has a problem, its deficit compared to last year increased by UAH65 billion and constitutes UAH 145 billion this year. The Fund has provided only UAH 112 billion, reported the press service of the Ministry of Social Policy.

Investigators of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine together with the employees of the Security Service of Ukraine carried out searches in the offices of former Consul General of Georgia Teimuraz Nishnianidze who is currently advisor to the head of Odesa regional administration, reported the official website of the GPU. According to the GPU, the investigators of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine together with the employees of the Security Service conducted searches in criminal proceedings on the fact of illegal VAT refund by the officials of the Consulate General of Georgia in 2012-2013.

Between January and April 2016 payments from Ukrainian customs to the general fund of the state budget amounted to UAH 69.8 billion. In particular, most of the revenues were received from the Energy customs UAH 14.4 billion, Kyiv customs UAH 12.4 billion and Kyiv City customs UAH 11.5 billion.

The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has plans to free Ukrainian political prisoners detained in Russia and Crimea, announced Nikolai Polozov, the lawyer of

the Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko. As M.Polozov reported, in AP they discussed a happy return of Nadiya Savchenko home. The President thanked them for the work done and thanked them for their support in this matter.

Ministry of Finance of Ukraine attracted UAH2.395 billion and USD271.07 million under the planned placement of T-bills. According to the Ministry, a loan in the amount of UAH 2.395 billion was drawn at 17.3% per annum and foreign currency bonds – at 7.52% per annum. Bonds in UAH need to be repaid on May 23, 2018 and in foreign currency on November 22, 2017.

The governments of Ukraine and the US signed an agreement on mutual assistance between customs administrations. The signing ceremony was held with the participation of Prime Minister Volodymyr Groisman and the US Ambassador to Ukraine Jeoffrey Pyatt, reports UNN.

Ukraine agrees on participation of international donors to build confinement at Chernobyl in time, stated the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko during the humanitarian UN summit in Istanbul.

International Arena

US expects that EU sanctions against Russia will be once again renewed this summer, said Sanctions Policy Coordinator of the US Department of State Daniel Fried, reports UNN citing TASS. In addition, the State Department said that Washington is governed by the fact that sanctions against Russia due to hostilities in eastern Ukraine will be kept for the full implementation of the Minsk agreements.

President Petro Poroshenko met with the Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland in the framework of his visit to Turkey, during which the President asked Secretary General of the Council of Europe to increase pressure on Russia because of systemic violations of the rights of Crimean Tatars in the occupied Crimea, reported UNN with reference to the press service of the Head of State.

Polish Foreign Minister Witold Vaschykovski said that the decision to extend the European Union economic sanctions against Russia had been taken, reported UNN with reference to Polish Radio. According to him, such a conclusion can be drawn from informal conversations on this topic. The debate on this subject took place in particular during the April meeting of leaders of the United States, Germany, Britain, France and Italy in Hanover. As noted Vaschykovski, it was recognized that the Minsk agreements are “absolutely ignored by Russia, so it is obvious that the sanctions will continue.”

The European Union will provide Ukraine with additional EURE 20 million to reform the institutions of the Ministry of Infrastructure, stated the Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Ian Tombinski.

EU Council on Foreign Affairs has decided to complete the procedures for ratification of the Association Agreement with Georgia, reported UNN with reference to the press service of the Foreign Ministry of Georgia. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, the agreement will take effect from the beginning of July. “Association Agreement is another important date in the history of relations between Georgia and the EU, as the Association Agreement have officially become the basic legal framework that defines a completely new, high level of cooperation with the EU.”

EU Parliament will speed up consideration of the visa-free regime with Ukraine. This was discussed in a telephone conversation between the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and the European Parliament President Martin Schulz, reported UNN with reference to the press service of the President of Ukraine. President of the European Parliament welcomed the Head of State and the Ukrainian nation with the release of Nadiya Savchenko.

The United States does not see grounds for easing sanctions against Russia after the release of the Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko, said the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt. The Ambassador said that the sanctions, the US imposed in response to Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine, will be eased when Russia fulfils its commitments under the Minsk agreements.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev instructed the government to prepare proposals for Putin on extension the food embargo from the EU and the US until the end of 2017, reported TASS.

The leaders of the “Big Seven” (UK, Germany, Italy, France, USA and Japan) called on all parties to fulfil their obligations without delay in order to hold local elections as soon as possible in parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions under the Minsk agreements, stated the final declaration of the G7 Summit in Japan, reported UNN.