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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: FEBRUARY 11 – 15

Read about Donbas conflict, Azov Crisis, upcoming presidential elections, anti-Russian sanctions, Crimean Tatars and other news from Ukraine for this week
22:30, 15 February 2019

112 Agency

About Donbas conflict

The Ukrainian artillery systems performed maneuvers in the government-held section of Donbas. The Ukrainian forces used Uragan multiple-launch rocket systems.   

Arsen Avakov, Ukraine's interior minister has introduced the Strategy of de-occupation of militant-held sections of Donbas. It is called 'The mechanisms of small steps'. The official presented it during the roundtable at the Institute of Peace in Washington. 

A foreign delegation of Norwegian diplomats came to the government-held section of Luhansk region. Ole Terje Horpestad and members of the Norwegian Council for Refugees Affairs came there to inspect the operation of Stanytsia Luhanska checkpoint.

The OSCE did not support Ukraine’s claims about Russian army present in the occupied Donbas. Head of the mission Ertugrul Apakan said that the recent report of OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine does not have any information about the presence of Russian military in the country.

Workers of an emergency crew came under fire in the occupied section of Luhansk region on Thursday, February 14. As the employees tried to fix the power line there, the attack took place, and the works were suspended.

Militants of the terrorist group 'DNR' (Donetsk People's Republic, - 112 International) held the combat drills in the safety zone in Donbas.

46 citizens were evacuated from the unsafe grey area near Mayorsk checkpoint, Donetsk region. This step was necessary, as the lives of civilians were in grave danger due to a provocation by the Russian occupants. Pavlo Lysiansky, the representative of the Envoy for Human Rights in Donetsk and Luhansk regions posted that on Facebook.

***

About elections

This week Interior Ministry stated the police will send additional units to the eastern regions of Ukraine during the holding of the elections.

The ODIHR of the OSCE will suggest to all the members-countries, including Russia, to send their observers to the elections in Ukraine. In its turn, the border guards would check the international observers before letting them enter Ukraine. 

Meanwhile, Russia stated it intends to send short-term observers within the OSCE ODIHR to Ukraine.

Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin responded that the Martians have more chances to become observers on the presidential election in Ukraine than the Russian citizens.

Besides, the complete list of the candidates for the presidency of Ukraine is ready.

***

About Handziuk case

This week, the Ukrainian society witnessed certain developments in case of Kateryna Handziuk, the public activist who was murdered last year. Prosecutor General’s Office announced that there’s a suspect in the organization of this crime – Vladyslav Manger, the chairman of Kherson regional council.

The official said he would not flee from justice and cooperate with the law enforcers. It took the court four days in a row to choose the restriction measure.

Eventually, Manger was detained until March 3, with the right for a bail. The lawyers filed a complaint against the court’s decision and even found enough money to bail out the defendant.

***

About sanctions

It was reported that Brussels and Washington are working on more sanctions against Moscow - as the response to the Russian naval attack and the following capture of Ukrainian sailors in the Kerch Strait in November 2018.

Besides, the U.S. stated that its sanctions against the Russian Federation would remain in place until Moscow completely abides by the Minsk agreements and gives Crimea back to Ukraine.

On February 14, the U.S. bipartisan group of senators presented a Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKA) of 2019 to the Senate aimed at enhancement of economic, political and diplomatic pressure upon Russia.

In its turn, Russia called these sanctions “racketeering” and unfair.

***

About Crimea

On February 12, the so-called parliament of Crimea ordered to produce 500 medals worth about $6,000 dedicated to the anniversary of the annexation of the peninsula.

Jonathan Cohen, the U.S. Deputy Permanent Envoy in the UN, stated that the U.S. sanctions against the Russian Federation will remain in place until Moscow completely abides by the Minsk agreements and gives Crimea back to Ukraine.

While Russia in its turn does want to return Crimea - Leonid Slutsky, the Chairman of Russian Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs said that this “is out of question”.

This week the so-called ‘the District Court of Kyiv’ of annexed Crimea extended imprisonment of the Crimean Tatar blogger Nariman Memedeminov till March, 16.

In should be mentioned that on February 14, Russian Security Service held another search at the houses of the Crimean Tatars.

***

About Azov crisis

This week Moscow City Court has ruled to keep eight Ukrainian sailors in prison and to keep four of them in the remand center until the end of April.  

On February 11 it was reported that the Russian military has relocated the Ukrainian vessels captured in Kerch and tried to disguise them.

In addition, Andriy Eider, the wounded Ukrainian seaman injured during the Russian attack in the Kerch Strait, does not have hepatitis, despite the suspicion.

On February 13, Russian Ombudsman Tatiana Moskalkova along with Vice President of European Ombudsman Institute Nina Karpachova visited injured Ukrainian sailors Andriy Eider, Vasyl Soroka and Andriy Artemenko at Lefortovo prison.

***

About UN Security Council

On fourth anniversary of Minsk Agreements Russia summoned UN Security Council on Ukraine. Five EU members states supported Ukraine prior to UNSC meeting . As usually – it’s obvious for every member who is an aggressor and who is the victim. Quite predictably – Russia insisted Ukraine doesn’t stick to Minsk agreement.

***

About sports

On Thursday, Dynamo Kyiv and Olympiakos played the game of UEFA Europa League's Round of the Last 32. The Kyivites barely managed to avoid the loss (2:2).

On the same evening, Shakhtar Donetsk hosted Eintracht Frankfurt in the other game of UEFA Europa League. The outcome was the same, 2:2. Apart from that, the Mountaineers had a player sent off early into the first half and remained short-handed for the rest of the game.

Ukrainian Oleksandr Zinchenko, the defender of Manchester City and Ukraine's national team ended up in the symbolic Best XI of the Premier LeagueWhoscored, the famous British football outlet included the Ukrainian in the line-up of this metaphorical team, based on his recent performance on the pitch.

Elina Svitolina, Ukraine's No.1 tennis player played the quarterfinal fixture of Qatar Total Open. She met with Karolina Muhova from the Czech Republic. Svitolina managed to beat the opponent in two sets - 6:4, 6:2.

Oleksandr Gvozdyk, the Ukrainian boxer and the WBC light-heavyweight champion of the world spoke to the press about his forthcoming fight against French fighter Doudou Ngumbu.

'I saw the fans are disappointed with my choice of opponent. But I would disagree with them. Ngumbu is one of the guys who you should not underestimate. If you do, he will kick your ass silly. Yes, he's been defeated before. But if you look closely, you'll see he only lost to top fighters. No, this guy is not that simple. I guess the fans just underestimate him', he said as quoted by BoxingTalk.

 

 

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