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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: DECEMBER 24 – 28

Author : News Agency 112 International

Read about Donbas conflict, Azov crisis, Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk, end of martial law in Ukraine and Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia - the whole week on one page
22:30, 28 December 2018

112 Agency

About Donbas

The tensions in the war-torn region continue. Russia's armed units and pro-Kremlin militants deployed Grads, the 122 mm multiple launch rocket systems near Kryshtaleve town in the occupied part of Luhansk region. Earlier, on December 22, a drone of OSCE SMM spotted 22 Grads near the said town, which was recently renamed from Krasnyi Luch to Kryshtaleve. 

Moreover, the militants disrupted the mine clearance works near the Mariinka checkpoint. It was agreed to warn the local citizens before the beginning of works but the day before, the representatives of the armed formations of the Russian occupation troops unilaterally disrupted the holding of the planned works.

Besides, Ukrainian forces keep the situation in the combat area under control at all times; and to prove that once again, they deployed an anti-airborne defense group in Mariupol sector. Its main objective will be to protect the seashore of the Sea of Azov. This is a restriction measure and the improvement to the defense system due to the major threat of military invasion from the waters of the Azov Sea.

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About Azov crisis and Ukrainian sailors

This week, 22 Ukrainian sailors declared themselves POWs. On December 26, court ruled to leave 20 of them in custody.

Sailors themselves commented on the detention conditions: the Lieutenant Commander of Nikopol boat Sergiy Popov joked that “he is resting from his commander, who yells at him every morning”.

The captain of the detained tug-boat “Yany Kapu” Oleg Melnychuk told his lawyer that “the cell is warm” and he got enough money. The youngest sailor detained by Russians in Kerch Strait Andriy Eyder sent a letter to Ukraine, where he noted that he was hoping for a political resolution.

 People on social media are trying to support the captives - a flash mob titled ‘Yellow-blue decoration boat for Christmas tree’ was set up in their support.

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About festive ceasefire and Trilateral Contact Group  

On December 27, the sides of the Trilateral Contact Group agreed on the festive ceasefire regime, which should start in Donbas from the midnight of December 29. 

Besides, the Russian mission left the session hall, as the Ukrainian side brought up the issue of release of the detained Ukrainian sailors. Moreover, the militants of “Luhansk People’s Republic” have refused from the offer of the Ukrainian side to hold the video conference of the humanitarian subgroup on the prisoners’ exchange on December 27.

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About end of martial law in Ukraine

Martial law imposed in ten regions in Ukraine on November 26 is over, as President Poroshenko stated. Besides, he noted that such regime did not affect the lives of the Ukrainians and stressed that the criminality level decreased over this period.  

Though the martial law is over, Ukraine prolongs travel ban for Russian men aged 16-60. In its turn, the Border Guard Service reported it would continue monitoring foreigners’ entry to the country.

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About Ukrainian political prisoners

This week the works of Ukrainian political prisoner Sushchenko created in Russian penal institutions were exhibited at the Press Club in Brussels.

Besides, the North Caucasian District Military Court of the Russian Federation decided to convict Enver Mamutov, Rustem Abiltarov, Ramzi Memetov and Zevri Abseitov, while the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine found this decision unlawful.

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