Attack of Chongar
Last week started with an attack of Chongar. A group of armed men in uniforms invaded and captured the base camp of Crimean Tatar battalion in Chongar, Kherson region, southern Ukraine – not far from the administrative border with the Russian-annexed Crimea.
Later the leader of Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people Refat Chubarov announced that the attackers on the base camp of Crimean Tatar volunteer battalion in Chongar proved to be Ukrainian troopers.
Ukrainian army denied their involvement in Chongar incident, saying that the message about the alleged attack on Crimean Tatar NGO ‘Asker’ is nothing but fake news; an attempt to cast a shadow on the Armed Forces and to sow the mistrust and discontent within the Ukrainian society.
Two days later Chubarov said that the was over and done with. Military officers and police have left ‘Asker’ base. According to him, the conflict could have been avoided if Kyiv had created a separate unit of Crimean Tatars in the Armed Forces or in the National Guard of Ukraine, where Crimean citizens and people of other nationalities could serve.
New Bellingcat report on MH17
Bellingcat International investigative group published a new report, identifying the person under the nick name ‘Khmuryi’ as Sergey Nikolaevich Dubinsky.
The Head of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin in his speech at the board of the FSB said that Ukrainian authorities openly speak about the organization of sabotage, terrorism and subversive activities in Russia. “The aim of this aggravation is obvious - to disrupt the Minsk agreements. The current authorities in Ukraine are clearly not ready for a peaceful solution to this complex problem and rely on a military solution", Putin said.
Trump, Russia and Crimea
Trump expects Russian government to ease tensions, calm down the violence in Ukraine and return Crimea. That caused a positive public reaction from the Presidential Administration of Ukraine, though the official representative of Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova commented that they are not going to return their territories and that Crimea is the territory of Russian Federation.
Meanwhile the Financial Times wrote about the U.S. Congress introducing the bill restricting the possibility of Donald Trump’s administration to unilaterally lift sanctions against Russia.
Annual Security Conference kicks off in Munich
53rd Security Conference kicked off in Munich on Friday. Previously the foreign ministers of the "Normandy Four" (Russia, Germany, France, Ukraine) were reported to may meet on the sidelines of the MSC. The Security Service of Ukraine hopes for progress in negotiations on hostage release issue on the territories beyond the its control. Yuriy Tandit, the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine said that we are ready for any compromise.
Avdiivka still in the agenda
The good news was about heavily wounded in Avdiivka British reporter who got his sight back. That was all good news about Avdiivka. The EU again declared their intentions to go on urging Russia to put pressure on militants in Donbas.
The newly appointed German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel urged his colleagues from France, Ukraine and Russia to meet in Normandy format in Munich during the Security Conference. At the same time pro-Russian militants went on shelling both Ukrainian military positions and living blocks of Avdiivka. At least one civilian was killed in an artillery attack.
Donbas human losses
United Nations Population Fund recorded 203 cases of sexual violence in the Donbas region. Battle losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine make 2197 dead and 8 000 wounded in this period. United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) reported that one million children suffered due to the fighting in Donbas.
The Donbas railway blockade, performed by some MPs and ATO veterans, is now leading to humanitarian and social tensions - emergency state was introduced to Ukraine's energy sector. Ukraine is on the brink of blackouts. Groysman explained what emergency measures in state energy system mean.