Certain developments took place in Donbas over this week. Zolote, Luhansk region, was cut off from the water supplies after the attack of Russian militants.
Russian militants passed the 13 inmates to Ukraine-controlled territory. The procedure took place at Novotroitske checkpoint in Donetsk region. All of them served sentence in jails on the uncontrolled part of Donetsk region.
Demolitions experts of Ukraine's Armed Forces found and disarmed the explosive, which was put under the Siversky Donets-Donbas water pipeline. According to the HQ of the Joint Forces Operation, this became possible thanks to the efforts of combat engineers from one of the units of Centre for Mine Clearing.
Two servicemen from a Detached Airborne Assault Brigade of Ukraine lost their lives in the combat area in Donbas. The HQ of the Airborne Assault Forces of Ukraine's Armed Forces reported that on Facebook.
About the meeting of Poroshenko and Stoltenberg
This week Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg met in Brussels. Stoltenberg claimed that the alliance is concerned over the “heightened tensions” between Russia and Ukraine for a naval confrontation in Kerch Strait. In his turn, leader of Ukraine stated that NATO will provide regional security in the Sea of Azov.
About Azov crisis
24 Ukrainian sailors who still remain in captivity in Russia. According to the latest media reports, the seamen hold out well, unanimously stating that they are the POWs and denying to testify in the Russian court.
Andriy Eyder and Andriy Artemenko, two of the detainees, wrote letters to their families from behind the bars; however, the Russian censors returned the letters to sender.
Russia's Justice Ministry has responded to the official request of the ECHR about the current location of the Ukrainian sailors.
Ukrainian diplomats visited six Ukrainian sailors earlier this week; Ukraine’s Ombudsman Lyudmyla Denisova posted this on Facebook.
U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said there will be no meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin while Russia still holds Ukrainian ships and sailors seized near Crimea.
Admiral Ihor Voronchenko, the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Navy arrived in Washington, where he is to meet a number of high-rank military officials, including John Richardson, the U.S. Admiral and the Chief of Naval Operations.
Constantinople approved statute of new Ukrainian church. Date of delivery of Tomos on autocephaly to future Head of Ukrainian Local Church was announced. Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate will present its candidate for primacy in the local church during the assembly on December 15.
At the same time, Poroshenko opened Facebook poll on importance of Tomos for Ukraine.
And on December 13, the first divine service of Ecumenical Patriarchate took place at St. Andrew’s Church in Kyiv.
On the other hand, Metropolite of Moscow Patriarchate Orthodox Church of Ukraine was denied access to Donetsk region.
About Sentsov and situation in Crimea
On December 14, Sentsov’s sister Nataliya Kaplan was present in the European Parliament during the rewarding ceremony – she received Sakharov Prize “For Freedom of Thought” for her brother. It should be noted, that shooting took place in Strasbourg on that day, which it took four lives.
This week, Crimean lawyer Emil Kuberdinov left the temporary detention center in the occupied Simferopol after the administrative arrest. He was earlier arrested for a Facebook post.
On December 11, the court decided to cancel the government decree on sacking Roman Nasirov from the office of the Head of the State Fiscal Service. However, Nasirov did not come to the Fiscal Service after reinstatement. Later the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office stated it will prepare a motion to remove Roman Nasirov from the post of the head of the State Fiscal Service. You can also read more about Nasirov here.
At the same time, the European Parliament endorsed resolution urging for tightening sanctions against Russia.
Germany vowed to be in favor of prolonging sanctions against Russia at EU Summit.
Hungary also expressed readiness to support the decision on prolonging sanctions of the European Union against Russia in spite of the fact that Hungary incurs losses from the counter-sanctions.
Ukraine’s President Poroshenko urged to extend the sanctions saying that adoption of “Azov sanctions package” should become next step against Russian aggression.
At the same time, Ukraine paid $1.67 billion to Russia for coal supplies.
About financial aid for Ukraine
On December 11, the EU transmitted the first tranche of macro-financial aid for Ukraine. It made $566 million.
In addition, it was reported that the National Bank of Ukraine expected for the positive decision of IMF on the continuation of the cooperation with Ukraine and supply of the first tranche within new stand-by program until December 25.