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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: AUGUST 26 – 30

Source : 112 Ukraine

Read about Donbas conflict, Ukrainian political prisoners, new Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, and other important news of this week
22:34, 30 August 2019

112 Agency

About Donbas conflict

August 29, Ukrainians bowed their heads to the warriors who lost their lives in the bloody Battle of Ilovaisk. Thus, citizens observed the Day of Defenders of Ukraine, the new holiday. It also pays tribute to the dark day in the history of the Ukrainian military. On August 29, 2014, Ukrainian troops liberated Ilovaisk, the city in Donetsk region. But soon after that, they found themselves encircled by Russian army units. Ukraine and Russia's military command agreed that the encircled soldiers would safely withdraw across the 'green corridor'. However, it turned into a bloodbath, as the enemy opened fire on Ukrainian soldiers that proceeded across the corridor. It became the most tragic and most tangible loss of the Ukrainian military in Donbas conflict.

The Ukrainian side of the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination stated that the illegal armed formations of Russian mercenaries continue to simulate works on the dismantlement of the fortifications situated in Stanytsia Luhanska.

Most of the residents of the occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions still consider it part of Ukraine. This is the outcome of the sociological poll that was conducted among the people living under the occupation of armed Russian mercenaries. The survey was ordered by the Center for Eastern Europe and International Studies (ZOiS) based in Germany.

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About Ukrainian political prisoners

The week has begun with the number of the statements of the possible release of the Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia. Thus, it was stated that Yevhen Panov and Oleksy Syzonovych might be transferred to Ukraine for the further serving of sentence.

Besides, the possible transfer of film director Oleg Sentsov and journalist Roman Sushchenko to Ukraine was announced.

However, Russian President Vladimir Putin has opposition from the security forces in the issue of the prisoners’ exchange.

Ex-Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko stated that Ukraine has a reserve for conducting the exchange of its citizens illegally held in the Russian Federation and in territories, which are temporarily beyond Ukraine’s control.

Concerning annexed Crimea, Crimean Tatar activist Edem Bekirov was released from the remand center.

Here, you can find everything we know about the state of the prisoners’ exchange.

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About new Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine

On August 29, members of the newly shaped Ukrainian Parliament gathered for the opening session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. On the very first workday, they dismissed the previous government and approved the new Cabinet. Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk chaired the new government. MPs also dismissed Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko and appointed his successor Ruslan Ryaboshapka. The lawmakers also made a hallmark decision to lift the parliamentary immunity from themselves. The session began at 10 a.m. Thursday and concluded already on 2.30 a.m. Friday, lasting approximately 13 hours. Newly elected Speaker of the Parliament Dmytro Razumkov claimed that Servant of the People party will act as the parliamentary majority. The next session of the Parliament is slated for September 3.

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About Bolton's visit to Ukraine

On August 27, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton arrived in Kyiv. He announced the meeting of Donald Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky in Warsaw, Poland on September 1. However, Trump canceled the visit Poland due to Hurricane Dorian.

Besides, Bolton arrived in Ukraine to convince Ukraine not to cooperate with China and not sale it Motor Sich enterprise.

Moreover, Zelensky held meeting with Bolton where they discussed cooperation between Ukraine and the U.S.

Bolton also hopes for the good relationship between Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka and U.S. Attorney General William Barr.

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About G7 

G7 summit was held on August 24-26 in Biarritz, France. During the summit, American President Donald Trump argued with the colleagues of the G7 due to his wish to return Russia to the group. French President Macron noted that Russia might be invited to the next summit as the quest. Ex-Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin stated that G7 may have lost the unity in their stance towards Russia.

During G7 summit, it was announced that Normandy Format meeting will take place in the upcoming weeks. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during which they discussed the preparation for the meeting. Besides, Merkel discussed Normandy Format meeting with Russian President Putin.

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About sports

It’s been a rich week in UEFA Europa League, as teams fought in the qualification playoff, struggling for a place in the group stage. Some Ukrainian fans saw Zorya Luhansk leave the tournament, and some felt happy about Dynamo Kyiv and Oleksandriya FC proceeding in the competition.

Zorya Luhansk is now out of UEFA Europa League after a 3-1 loss and a 2-2 draw with RCD Espanyol. In the recent home game in Zaporizhya, Viktor Skrypnyk’s team put up a decent fight but eventually succumbed to the opponent’s pressure, allowing two goals that prevented it from proceeding to the next stage of the tournament.

Dynamo ended up in the group stage of Europa League after losing to Brugge KV and leaving UEFA Champions League. Oleksandriya made it to UEFA Europa League thanks to the bronze medal of the last season's Ukrainian Premier League. The Ukrainian teams are in different pots and, thus, cannot meet on this particular stage.

Two important draw ceremonies took place this week; the procedures made it clear who will face whom in the group stages of Champions League and Europa League.

In Champions League’s Group C, Shakhtar Donetsk will face Manchester City, Atalanta and Dynamo Zagreb.

Dynamo Kyiv joined UEFA Europe League’s Group B, along with FC Kobenhavn, Malmö and Lugano. Oleksandriya FC ended up in Group I, where it will face KAA Gent, Wolfsburg and St.Etienne.

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