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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: APRIL 22 – 26

Source : 112 Ukraine

Developments in the Donbas conflict zone – no Easter truce, controversial Language Law adopted, Chornobyl’s 33rd anniversary, etc.
22:30, 26 April 2019

112 Agency

1. Developments in Donbas conflict zone
2. Russia's issuing passports in Donbas
3. Language law adopted
4. Chornobyl: 33rd anniversary
5. Russian light fuel products export to Ukraine, Baltics, Poland suspended
6. Handziuk case

 

1. Developments in Donbas conflict zone

An 11-year-old girl was injured in the attack by Russian occupants in the militant-held area of Luhansk region. The Joint Forces Operation HQ reported this on Facebook, referring to the OSCE SMM report. On April 20, a local woman told the OSCE patrol members that the incident occurred on April 14. At about 7.30 p.m., she heard a loud explosion next to her house in Zolote-5. Her daughter suffered a wound, which caused her ear to bleed. Mother called the ambulance, which took the girl to a hospital in Pervomaisk (militant-controleld part of Luhansk region), then to a medical facility in Luhansk, where she could be treated properly.  

Ukrainian soldier Yuriy Konovod died in Donbas combat zone, as another Ukrainian serviceman Sergiy Serdyuk reported on Facebook. He was killed by a sniper shot. The tragedy happened on April 23. Konovod was born in 1964 in Poltava region. He was a junior sergeant in the 53rd Mechanized Brigade.

OSCE hopes there will be a new impetus for the further implementation of Minsk agreements in Donbas conflict. The Organization's Secretary-General Thomas Greminger stated this on April 24 as quoted by Interfax-Ukraine. 'Let's see if there's a new opportunity due to the developments in Ukraine and the election of the new president', he said.

Ukrainian servicemen detained a militant in Donbas, as the Joint Forces Operation HQ reported. Ukrainian soldiers detained the occupant of the so-called 100th Motorized Infantry Brigade of Russia’s illegal armed gangs. The militant named Sergei was born in Donetsk in 1977. He tried to infiltrate the camp of Ukraine’s troops near Novomykhaylivka. He was supposed to create a diversion there.


2. Russia's issuing passports in Donbas

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin signed a decree, which facilitates the procedure of obtaining the Russian citizenship for the residents of the occupied regions of Donetsk and Luhansk (ORDLO), as the Kremlin’s press office reported. According to the document, the application for Russia’s citizenship, if filed by a resident of this area, should be considered within three months.

Ukraine appealed to the UN Security Council, as Russia simplified the procedure of citizenship granting for citizens of occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin called on residents of the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk not to take the Russian passports. 

The press office of president-elect Volodymyr Zelensky claimed that Russia confirms its aggressive actions by offering Donbas residents Russian citizenship. The incumbent President Petro Poroshenko also stated that Putin’s decree was an attempt to justify the Russian aggression. The U.S., EU and Canada also blamed Russia’s actions in this particular regard.

UN Secretary-General and Ukraine’s envoy in the UN also addressed the issue. The latter, Volodymyr Yelchenko urged UN member countries to increase the sanctions pressure on Russia.


3. Language law adopted

On April 25, the Ukrainian parliament adopted the law, which defines the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state one. Parliament’s Chairman reported that he will sign the law on May 14.

Meanwhile, future president Volodomyr Zelensky stated he will analyze the law after the inauguration.

Russia officially stated that the language law contradicts the Constitution of Ukraine. Later Russian diplomat added that the Ukrainian language law might lead to Donbas seceding from Ukraine's composition.

Besides, Hungary criticized the language law and stated that it violates the rights of the Hungarian minority.


4. Chornobyl: 33rd anniversary

April 26 marks the anniversary of the most horrific nuclear catastrophe in the history of the humankind.

Two explosions thundered at the power unit No.4 of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine on April 26, 1986, at 01.23 a.m. local time. The blasts destroyed the power unit completely and caused dozens of fires all over it. Though the flames were put out, the leak of radioactive particles caused deadly contamination of the ground, water and the atmosphere within the huge range. The radioactive cloud that emitted into the atmosphere hung over the European part of the-then Soviet Union and a greater part of Europe.

The first emergency crews that eliminated the consequences of the tragedy had no protective gear to get themselves protected against the radiation. Dozens of people lost their lives because of the radiation disease months after the disaster. The radiation caused a wide variety of mutations and diseases among people, plants and animals.  

200,000 people were evacuated from the contaminated area in Kyiv region. The exclusion zone was set in the 30-km range around Chornobyl NPP; currently, some locations are completely uninhabited because of the radiation hazard, which is still too high for living there.

The areas abandoned by humans are, instead, populated by the growing numbers of wild animals, as the exclusion zone created favorable conditions for population growth. Plants also gradually recover in many locations affected by the disaster.


5. Russian light fuel products export to Ukraine, Baltics, Poland suspended

On Tuesday Belarus reported to suspend light fuel products export to Ukraine, Poland, and Baltic countries due to poor quality of oil supplies from the Russian Federation. Later this week Ukraine Ukrtransnafta, Ukraine's national oil transit operator also claimed the oil transit from Russia temporarily suspended.

Poland joined the list also.

On April 18, 2019, the Russian Government has adopted Resolution prohibiting import of crude oil, bitumen, and bituminous mixtures to Ukraine. In addition, from June 1, 2019, the export of coal, gasoline and diesel fuel is allowed only with the special permission of the government.


6. Handziuk case

On April 24, the attackers on public activist Kateryna Handziuk pleaded guilty and the suspicion was changed for them. The next day, the Prosecutor General’s Office changed the suspicion for Vladyslav Manger supposed to be the organizer of the murder of Handziuk. This fact raised the protest and activists gathered near the house of Prosecutor General Yury Lutsenko and demanded explanations.

 

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