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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: MAR. 19 - 23

Author : News Agency 112 International

Source : 112 Ukraine

Armed conflict in Donbas, Savchenko's detention, reaction of Ukrainian authorities on Russia's presidential elections, etc - the whole week on one page
23:27, 23 March 2018

Armed conflict in Donbas

Savchenko: lifting immunity, detained and arrested

Ukrainian pilot blamed for downing MH17 bid farewell in Mykolaiv

Ukrainian authorities' reaction on Russia's presidential elections

112 Agency

Armed conflict in Donbas

Quite surprisingly, Donbas conflict in Ukraine seems to have cooled down this week – at least for the time being, and in terms of fire density. The overall amount of attacks decreased compared to that of the last week. Specifically, on Monday, Ukrainian military reported no attacks on its positions in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The same tendency remained on Wednesday and Thursday, as over the 24-hours-long period, there were no firefights in the entire combat area.

On Tuesday, the SBU, Ukraine’s security service busted two car dealers who supplied vehicles for pro-Kremlin militants in Donbas. The men were arrested while trying to move an SUV across the Russian border. According to the SBU's press department, the criminals set a dealing network, which provided the transit of vehicles registered in the EU to the temporarily occupied areas of Luhansk region. The cars were moved to Russia, where members of the self-styled 'people's police of LNR' took them. 

On March 20, Russian mercenaries attacked Ukrainian outposts near Stanytsia Luhanska so that there would be no disengagement of troops in this area – in the breach of Minsk agreement.

On Thursday, the OSCE extended the mandate of the Special Monitoring Mission in Donbas until March 31, 2019. The press service of the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to international organizations in Vienna reported this on Twitter. “The mandate of the OSCE SMM was extended until March 31, 2019. The delegation of Ukraine issued its interpretative statement, in which it stressed that the SMM should have full and unhindered access to the entire territory of Ukraine, including Crimea and Sevastopol. All states of the EU, the USA and Canada have supported this,” the message says.

On March 23, the International Committee of the Red Cross sent to a convoy with construction materials and medical supplies to Donbas. Eleven trucks crossed Novotroitske checkpoint in Donetsk region, reaching the militant-held territory. According to the Border Guard, they carried sand, construction materials and medications with the total weight of 190.4 tons. 

Savchenko: lifting immunity, detained and arrested

Nadiya Savchenko, the Ukrainian MP and former Air Force pilot, was the only news on March 22. Early in the morning Parliamentary Regulatory Committee considered her detention and arrest and recommended the parliament to lift immunity, investigate and arrest her. 

Prosecutor General accused her of a planned assassination attempt on Interior Minister, National Security Council Secretary, the President of Ukraine, MPs and to explode the building of the parliament. Savchenko was detained and delivered a notice of suspicion right after lifting immunity.

Related: What Savchenko is accused of: the text of the prosecutor's plea

The next day the court was considering a restrictive measure. 

The detained Ukrainian MP Nadiya Savchenko refutes any charges against her, calling the whole case 'politically motivated'. The prosecutors insist that Savchenko should be kept in custody; the defense team demands to release her, saying that the detention is illegal.

Related: New Savchenko's case: People's Deputy accused of preparing a terrorist act

In the result, the court arrested Savchenko for two months without bailSavchenko’s defense intends to appeal against the decision of Shevchenkivskyi District Court to retain people’s deputy in custody on Monday.

Related: Savchenko becomes "man of the people" for impoverished and disillusioned voter

Ukrainian pilot blamed for downing MH17 bid farewell in Mykolaiv

On March 21, over a hundred citizens of Mykolaiv bid farewell to Vladyslav Voloshyn, the military pilot, acting director of Mykolaiv International Airport, a hero of Donbas Conflict who reportedly committed a suicide. The last farewell took place at the territory of the Forensic Medical Bureau. The family of Voloshyn, his friends, familiars, coworkers and the representatives of the authority were present.

The 29-year-old acting director of one of the local airport committed suicide by shooting himself from a gun in his apartment. The police opened a criminal proceeding under the Criminal Code article on intentional suicide.

Vladyslav Voloshyn was one of the Donbas conflict heroes; he was awarded the Order of Courage of the third degree. The Russian authorities accused him of attacking the Malaysian Boeing MH17, shot down over Donbas in the summer of 2014. Later this version was completely refuted by the investigation of the prosecutor's office of the Netherlands and Ukraine. Voloshyn is known to have engaged the Russian troops and pro-Kremlin mercenaries in Donbas – specifically, during the Ilovaisk battle in August 2014, when his ground attack aircraft landed an air strike on Russian airborne troops in Donetsk region.

The Dutch government submitted the draft law in the case of MH17 tragedy for the Parliament’s consideration. In the document, the Cabinet reveals the legal framework allowing to prosecute and judge those involved in the deadly attack that claimed almost 300 lives in the sky over eastern Ukraine in 2014. The respective session will be held in the Hague. Foreign citizens and those who do not come will be interrogated in the video conference mode. 

Ukrainian authorities' reaction on Russia's presidential elections

The election of the president took place in Russia and on the territory of the temporarily occupied Crimea on March 18, 2018.

Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine claimed that holding the Russian presidential election in Crimea is another rude violation of international law by Russia  and that Russia will use the result of the past presidential election in the information war. He also urged the world community to extend the sanctions against Russia due to the presidential election held by it in Crimea. 

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin during a meeting in Brussels Monday, March 18, handed over to the Foreign Ministers of the European Union a list of 140 people who participated in the organization of illegal presidential elections in the occupied Crimea

Also, Refat Chubarov, the Head of Crimean Tatar Mejlis claimed that the power of Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia should not be recognized as the citizens of other countries were involved in the participation in the election against their will.

Moreover, Ukraine filed an application to the PACE, offering the Assembly to hold the debates on non-recognition of the Russian presidential election in the annexed Crimea as Vice President of the PACE, head of the Ukrainian delegation Volodymyr Ariev said.

On March 21, the Verkhovna Rada received a proposal to acknowledge Russian presidential elections in annexed Crimea illegal and note that the voting questions the legitimacy of election’s results.

On March 22, the Parliament of Ukraine has proclaimed Russian presidential election in the annexed Crimea illegal. The bill #8168-1 was supported by 255 MPs.

In the world: a number of countries, particularly, the EU countries, US, Japan and others did not recognize the results of the election of the president of Russia due to its holding at the territory of annexed Crimea.

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