About Donbas conflict
One Ukrainian soldier was killed in action over the past week of combat activity in Donbas. Besides, the Ukrainian military reported several combat injuries in the ranks of the servicemen. To wrap it up, the 128th Detached Mountain Assault Brigade of the Armed Forces lost a man missing; he had appeared on the video filmed by the Russian militants who interrogated him. The unit confirmed that the man actually served with the brigade.
Four Russian militants ended up in detention in Ukraine this week. On Friday, the SBU, Ukraine’s Security Service detained a machine gunner fighting with the DPR, ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’. Another three gave up to the Ukrainian police unit in Kramatorsk, Donetsk region.
About Azov crisis and Ukrainian sailors
Ukraine gathers the information on Russia violating the ECHR decision on the provision of the treatment to the detained Ukrainian sailors and provision of all of their rights and freedoms according to the European Convention on Human Rights. Ivan Lishchyna, the ECHR Commissioner made such statement. He reminded that the ECHR partially granted the appeal of Ukraine due to the attack of Russia on the Ukrainian sailors.
The President of France urged his Russian colleague Vladimir Putin to release captured Ukrainian sailors and vessels. “Speaking of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, Macron urged Russia to immediately release detained Ukrainian sailors and return the ships captured after the naval incident in Kerch Strait on November 25, 2018,” the message of the press office of the Élysée Palace said.
The Poles consider Russia’s aggression against Ukraine in the Azov Sea the most important international event of 2018, according to the survey conducted by the Research Centre of public opinion in Poland. “According to the results of the survey, the 100th anniversary of the restoration of Poland’s independence is one of the most significant events which happened in the country (40%). The Poles consider Russian fleet attack against the Ukrainian vessels in Azov Sea the most important event on the international stage (6%),” the message says.
New international sanctions might be imposed against Russia due to its aggression against the Ukrainian vessels in Kerch Strait, said Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, the Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine. “Russia’s aggressive attack in the Black Sea occurred two weeks before the European Council session and less than a week before the Council of Ministers for Foreign Affairs meeting, we received a quick reaction of the countries and their firm position. We got political support from NATO, from the EU and some other partner-states concerning the inadmissibility of the violation of the international law by the Russian Federation,” she stated.
About Ukrainian political prisoners
In 2018 three Ukrainian political prisoners were released - Roman Savkov and two border guards (B. Martson and I. Dzyubak), while many others remain illegally kept in Russian prisons.
Stanislav Klykh is having treatment in psychiatric hospital, as Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia Tatyana Moskalkova informed Ukrainian Ombudsman Lyudmyla Denisova on January 2.
Ukrainian prisoner Volodymyr Dudka is under medical observation due to some chronic diseases he has, his condition is satisfactory.
On January 3 it was reported that Lyudmyla Denisova, the Ukrainian Parliamentary Envoy for Human Rights turned to her Russian counterpart Tatyana Moskalkova and Director of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service Gennadiy Korniyenko and asked to report on the current whereabouts of Yevhen Panov, the political prisoner who is now behind the bars in Russia.
About presidential election campaign in Ukraine
Presidential election campaign kicked off in Ukraine on December 31. Up to 30 candidates are expected this time. Ukrainian showman Volodymyr Zelensky claims to run for presidency. The Central Election Commission of Ukraine closed all polling station in Russia, particularly, Moscow, Rostov-on-Don, Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk.
The election day is March, 31. In case none of the candidates gets 50% of votes (which looks the most probable scenario), the second round of voting shall be scheduled for April 21 – people will chose among two most rated candidates after the first round.
In case of two-round elections, the Central Election Committee will publish official results on May 1, 2019. The inauguration of the president-elect shall take place before May 31 inc.
After that, presidential campaign will smoothly flow into parliamentary campaign. Parliamentary elections are set for October 27.
About political issues on Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ambassador to the U.S. Valeriy Chaly stated that Ukraine expected NATO and the U.S. to provide assistance in increasing the defence capacity. Besides, Ukraine’s Representative to UN Volodymyr Yelchenko stated that the deployment of the UN peacekeepers in Donbas will not be considered at the UN Security Council until the decision in Normandy or Minsk formats is ready.
On January 2, Foreign Minister of Poland Jacek Czaputowicz has offered to appoint the Ambassador of UN Secretary-General for Ukraine.