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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: AUG. 13 – 17

Read about Donbas conflict in Ukraine, political prisoners, Yanukovych case, preparations for the Independence Day and other important news of the week
22:30, 17 August 2018

Donbas conflict in Ukraine

Case of Tornado ex-fighters

Political prisoners exchange and Sentsov

Yanukovych treason case

EU funding and IMF tranche for Ukraine

Ukrainian films, sites, awards and Invictus Games 2018

Ukraine prepares for the Independence Day

112 Agency

Donbas conflict in Ukraine

Russia-backed militants continue shelling in Donbas, killing one Ukrainian soldier and one Ukrainian marine, attacking residential area in Donetsk region, 

Militants used heavy artillery and Grad multiple-launch rocket systems near Svitlodarsk, which are banned by Minsk agreement.

Apart from that, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission patrol, which ensured the observance to ‘silence’ regime during the repair works on the power lines, was attacked

JFO HQ informed on Russian provocation at Marinka checkpoint: when the “DNR border guards” let the civilians to cross the grey zone between the two checkpoints 1- minutes before closing. The Ukrainian checkpoint border guards didn’t let the civilians spend the night in the grey zone and extend hours of operation to let the civilians cross the border.

 

Viktor Muzhenko, the Head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported the increase of the quantity of militants and military hardware in the conflict zone and showed the numbers: 32,000 Russian soldiers, over 700 tanks, cannons, artillery systems. Moreover, there are the mercenaries and the soldiers of the regular Armed Forces of Russia. 

Also the United Force Commander, Lieutenant-General Serhiy Nayev reported that the Armed Forces of Ukraine returned under its control 15 sq. km of territory since the Joint Forces Operation began in the east of Ukraine on April 30, 2018.

Related: Armed Forces Head tells how U.S. allocation is to be used

Case of Tornado ex-fighters

Earlier, on August 9, ex-fighters of Tornado staged a revolt, protesting against their convoy to different detention centers.

Later, several dozen people were protesting at Lukyanivska prison in support of the former Interior Ministry specialized troops ‘Tornado’. The protesters brought posters with the demand to free detainees.

As a result, three Tornado fighters, kept in Lukyanivska Prison, were transferred and the others were put in an isolation cell. As the representatives of the Justice Ministry informed, one law enforcer got injured as the fighters used handmade firecrackers. Moreover, it was reported that Tornado fighters poured petrol on a law enforcer and threatened to burn him.

Earlier, 12 ex-Tornado servicemen were detained in summer 2015. They were accused of power abuse, illegal confinement, kidnapping, tortures and rapes. One of the fighters was shot during the arrest.

On August 16, Igor Mosiychuk, Ukrainian people’s deputy from the Radical Party, referring to his sources informed that the Justice Ministry decided to fire the entire managerial staff of Lukyanivska Prison after Tornado ex-fighters conducted a protest and got banned things.

Later, it was reported that Ruslan Romashkov, the Head of Boryspil Penal Colony #119 has become the new Head of Kyiv Remand Center more known as Lykyanivska Prison.  The other personnel of the renewed administration of the prison will be announced next week.

Political prisoners exchange and Sentsov

On August 14, Oleg Sentsov, the Ukrainian political prisoner called this condition "pre-critical". According to Svetsova, Sentsov is in a “good and clean” four-place ward.

Later, the Russian president administration said that Sentsov should ask for the pardon himself. While the Ukrainian side responded that it was a lie as Sentsov does not have to ask for pardon personally – it is not an obligatory condition. A human right activist noted that Sentsov would not ask Russia to pardon him.

Day later, the sister of Sentsov claimed that her brother is being used as a product and now an auction is happening. At the same time, she also stressed that Sentsov was not going to ask Putin for pardon.

At the same time, a number of the Russian citizens detained in Ukraine asked Putin to exchange them for the Ukrainian political prisoners detained in Russia such as Sentsov.

Later Ukrainian Ombudswoman reported that there are 22 appeals from Russian citizens imprisoned in Ukraine to Russian President Federation Vladimir Putin with a request to return them to Russia by exchanging for Ukrainian political prisoners.

Related: Ukraine prepares complex of countermeasures for Russia's actions in Black, Azov Sea

Yanukovych treason case

On August 16, another court session on the state treason of the ex-president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych took place. During the session, fee-based lawyers of Viktor Yanukovych start a skirmish with police. The reason for the conflict is the denial of access of the Aver Lex lawyers to the court hearing.

A day later, Kyiv prosecutor’s office opened a criminal proceeding against private lawyers of Yanukovych for impeding his state lawyer.

Also, the prosecution asked the court to sentence ex-President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych to 15 years of imprisonment in the case on state treason during the court session. However, the continuation of the trial over Yanukovych was scheduled for September.

Related: Donetsk Labour Service Head detained for bribery

EU funding and IMF tranche for Ukraine

Related: Klimkin: accusations of Czech communist against Ukrainians absurd

On August 13, the international rating agency Fitch Ratings reported that the program of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the support of Ukraine is a key factor of the creditworthiness as it mitigates law outside liquidity and reduces the risks of the refinancing.

The agency emphasized that the increase of the exchange rate and monetary policy that was oriented for the stability of the prices and bank settlement promoted the improvement of the macro-economic stability of Ukraine.

On the same day, it was reported that International Monetary Fund (IMF) is visiting Kyiv from September 6 through 19, 2018, to discuss the latest economic developments and economic policy and the following steps, including financial aid.

On August 14, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) commented the visit of the mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to Kyiv in September and called this step an evidence of the improvement of prospects of the allocation of financial aid. NBU Chairman Yakiv Smoly called the arrival of the IMF mission in Kyiv a step for the reduction of the ambiguity toward the further development of the situation in the economy.

On the same day, it was informed that the European Union decided to increase assistance to Ukraine on the basis of the results achieved in the reform of public administration in 2017.

Media reported on August 15 that Ukraine might receive another tranche from IMF in autumn. According to NBU Deputy Chairman, though IMF mission to Ukraine will be technical, its arrival in Ukraine means the process begins.

Ukrainian films, sites, awards and Invictus Games 2018

Ukrainian Oscar Committee on August 16, has published a list of six films for the Oscar nomination in the category "Best Foreign Language Film." The Ukrainian contenders are: "Brama" by Volodymyr Tykhy, "The Volcano" by Roman Bondarchuk, "Donbas" by Serhy Loznytsia, "Cyborgs" by Akhteim Seitablaev, "When the trees fall" by Marysia Nikityk, "Myth" by Leonid Canter.

Earlier, the first trailer of the film 'Donbas' by Serhiy Loznitsa was introduced. The film consists of 13 intertwining plots, which demonstrate different spheres of life in the occupied territories.

Ukrainian brand Ukraine Now received one of the most prestigious design award Red Dot Award 2018. The award will be presented at the official ceremony in Berlin on October 26.

British rock band Suede made public a video for the song Life Is Golden which was made in Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. “It is not about a tragedy of a disaster which happened many years ago. It is about superior power of life which absorbed the territory deprived of human,” Mike Christie, the producer, commented on the video.

It was also reported that the open training for Invictus Games 2018 took place in Ukraine. Ukrainian veterans are preparing for the international competitions in Sydney. The military servicemen who sustained injuries in battles in Donbas will go to Australia in several months, in October.

Related: Ferry service between annexed Crimea, Turkey can be renewed

Ukraine prepares for the Independence Day

Ukraine is getting ready to the Independence Day. On August 24 the country celebrates it’s 27th anniversary.

A traditional military parade to take place that day. 

Transport aircraft Antonov An-178 with the carrying capacity of 18 tons will be presented as a novelty of the Ukrainian defense industry complex at the military parade in Kyiv. 

Among other guests, John Bolton, the U.S. National Security Advisor sill visit Ukraine. 

Last year, many world politicians visited parade in Kyiv, the U.S. special representative Kurt Voker among them.

Related: Ukraine's Infrastructure Minister announces new restriction of trips to Russia

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