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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: APR. 16 - 20
22:30, 20 April 2018

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: APR. 16 - 20

Donbas Conflict, NATO aspirations, Ukraine's Autocephalous Orthodox Church, Yunkom mine, sanctions against Russia and Ukrainian films - main events in Ukraine on one page

22:30, 20 April 2018

Donbas Conflict 

Sanctions fever

NATO aspirations

Yunkom mine of Donetsk region

Ukraine's Autocephalous Orthodox Church

Ukrainian films

112 Agency

Donbas Conflict 

The latest developments in eastern Ukraine showed that Russia-backed militants aim for all sorts of destabilization in the region, including not only regular firefights and numerous provocations to open fire, but also the environmental risks. The Ukrainian government, on the other hand, presented the program to re-claim Donbas from the occupation of pro-Kremlin mercenaries; Arsen Avakov, the Interior Minister, shared his point of view on the issue.

On Monday, the Ukrainian military intelligence reported that the enemy plans shooting down OSCE’s drones, posing the attacks as if they were performed by the Ukrainian army. On Wednesday, the actual incident did took place – however, the Ukrainian military immediately apologized.

An obnoxious attack on Donetsk water filtration plant occurred on April 17. The Donetsk Filtration Station has stopped working as militants shelled the convoy of the filtration station's workers. Five workers suffered, one of them is in the serious condition. both Ukraine and the U.S. condemned this. 

Related: Ukrainian soldier dies in Donbas on April 17, - Poroshenko

This week’s round of Minsk trilateral talks was focused on the issue of environmental risk in Donbas, too. The parties discussed issues of POW release and exchange; specifically, Ukraine insisted that Russia still has not replied to the offer to exchange its POWs on Ukrainian political prisoners who now serve time in Russian jails.

Water supply systems in Donetsk and Luhansk regions either failed or experienced huge trouble due to the attacks of militants this week. In Luhansk region, the system failed entirely, while in Donetsk region, experts reported that Avdiivka water reservoir has enough drinking water for no longer than four days

Related: 11 civilians injured due to combat actions in Donbas, - Hug

Sanctions fever

After the 29th United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley announced on Sunday new sanctions to be lifted against Russian companies supplying equipment and technologies related to Assad's chemical weapons, Trump postponed them on Tuesday.

The same day Russia’s State Duma has published a bill on reciprocal sanctions against the United States in response to US sanctions from April 6, which are the most severe since the annexation of Crimea in 2014. Targeting top Russian companies and public officials, the sanctions take aim at Russia's stock and currency exchanges for what the US calls Russia's "malicious activities" around the world, including in Ukraine and Syria. 

 

Russian MP treaded down his iPad due to new U.S. sanctions. “Have you stamped on your iPhone? Or iPad?', he wrote.

 

Later on Friday, April 20, John Bolton, the White House home security advisor met with Russian ambassador Anatoliy Antonov. He said that the improvement of bilateral relations between the U.S. and the Russian Federation depends on how the Kremlin solves issues concerning its foreign policy.

NATO aspirations

This week NATO praised Ukrainian government for developing the Law on National Security, adding provisions on civilian control over the military and special services.

On the same day, Rose Gottemoeller, the Deputy Secretary-General of NATO claimed that the NATO members will include Ukraine in the agenda of the summit.

On April 19, Ukraine, NATO Military Committee took place in Ukraine for the first time in its history. The meeting was held at the National Ground Forces Academy named after Hetman Petro Sahaidachny in Lviv.

Also, it was stated that Ukraine intends to join the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence (ENSEC COE) until the end of 2018.

As we reported earlier, the NATO admitted Ukraine’s aspirations to obtain full membership in the Alliance and gave it a NATO aspirant status. On April 12, Poroshenko emphasized that Ukraine will insist on the getting the program of the strengthened opportunities and NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP). The MAP is a NATO program of advising assistance and practical support tailored to the individual needs of countries wishing to join the Alliance. It was launched in April 1999.

Related: NATO supports airstrikes in Syria

Yunkom mine in Donetsk region

Militants started to flood Yunkom mine in a temporarily occupied Yenakiyeve of Donetsk region. Almost 40 years ago there has been a nuclear explosion performed with an aim to relieve the tension in the mountain massif. Thus, Donbas residents are facing the danger of radiation poisoning, in particular through the poisoning of drinking water.  

The flooding of the place oa f nuclear explosion can cause radionuclides flow out with the ground waters to the surface and it threatens not only ground water but also that on the surface. And it can flow out of Ukraine’s territory to Russia, according to Deputy Minister of the Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs Yuriy Hrymchak.

The flooding of Yunkom mine in Donbas can become a new Chornobyl, and it is nothing more than terrorism and blackmail, the Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine Ostap Semerak said after the meeting of EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee in Strasbourg. 

Ukraine's Autocephalous Orthodox Church

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko said on Tuesday that Ukraine has never before been closer to the creation of the autocephaly of the local churches. He noted that at the moment, all archbishops of the Ukrainian Autocephaly Orthodox Church signed the appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch and the president.

Earlier the President wrote a letter to Ecumenical Patriarch with a request to provide autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Since 90-s there are a few jurisdictions in Ukraine that call themselves Orthodox local and autocephaly Churches.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine supported the appeal of Ukraine’s president to Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch on the provision of the tome on the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Later, the parliament documented the President’s appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch.

On April 18, the President held a meeting with the primates of the Orthodox churches and accepted the appeal to Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch on the provision of the tome on the autocephaly for the Ukrainian church with the signs of all bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate and Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.

Patriarch Filaret noted that the appeal signed by all bishops and expressed the hope that the decision of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will become the beginning of the recognized Ukrainian local Orthodox Church.

We have tried to analyze what is Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and why is it important.

Ukrainian films

Two good news of Ukrainian cinematography appeared this week. The premiere of the Ukrainian movie ‘Woman at war’ directed by Icelandic movie maker Benedikt Erlingsson will take place at the 71st Cannes Film Festival. The film was made in the cooperation of France, Iceland and Ukraine with the support of the State Film Agency.

The film raises the painful issue of the environmental degradation that is depicted through the fight of a woman who decided to protect nature of Iceland’s Highlands. Halla is a conductor of a choir and a secret defender of the environment. When she plans her most ambitious operation, she receives a letter that an orphan from Ukraine is waiting for her…

Related: Ukrainian film Black level won grand prize at film festival in Switzerland

The 71st Cannes Film Festival's program includes the world premiere of 'Donbas' film, a new film by Ukraine's moviemaker Serhiy Loznytsia. The script of the film is loosely based on documents about the ongoing armed hostilities in eastern Ukraine, revealing true stories that occurred in the occupied territories of Donbas.

'Donbas' was created in the co-production of Ukraine, Germany, France, Romania and the Netherlands.

Related: South Korean NCT band filmed clip in Kyiv’s Vernadsky library

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