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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: JAN. 29 – FEB. 2

Developments in Donbas, shooting in Ukrainian cities, Centenary of 1918 Kruty battle, death of first Ukraine's astronaut and, of course, our new project - Close East
22:40, 2 February 2018

Conflict in Eastern Ukraine

Criminality in Ukraine

Centenary of 1918 Kruty battle

Ukraine's first astronaut dies

New escalation of Poland-Ukraine relations

Cryptocurrency illegal farms busted

Watch Close East - a new project

Video digest for January 2018

*Watch the most important news on our Youtube channel 

112 Agency

Conflict in Eastern Ukraine

This week, the overall security situation in Donbas remained tough; however, Ukrainian forces appear to be in control.

On Monday, the Ukrainian military intelligence warned that Russia-backed militants could go for major provocations. According to the officers, the possible provocations are related to the build-up of the intensity of training of the militants and the arrival of the yet another “humanitarian convoy” from Russia.

U.S. Special Envoy on Ukraine’s Affairs Kurt Volker expressed confidence that in order to hold elections in Donbas, the UN mission must be deployed throughout the region; at the same time, the deployment can begin with a line of demarcation.

Related: Ex-prisoner of pro-Russian militants: 'I saw guys who were electrocuted'

Another round of Minsk talks took place in the Belarusian capital on Wednesday. After the meeting, Martin Sajdik, the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in the Trilateral Contact Group claimed that the members of the task security group support the ceasefire-regime in Donbas.

Earlier this week, OSCE Head Angelino Alfano came to Ukraine with a working visit. He met with top Ukrainian officials and observed a checkpoint in the combat area in Donetsk region.

 

On Thursday, fighters of the Ukrainian army entered the village of Novooleksandrivka, Luhansk region, which lies in the so-called gray zone of the combat zone in Donbas since 2015. According to the Ukrainian military, this act does not contradict the spirit of Minsk agreement.

Criminality in Ukraine

On Jan. 29, according to the preliminary information, a hand grenade exploded in Kharkiv. A woman with a two-year-old child saw a package near the supermarket, and when she opened it, an explosion occurred.

The 53-year-old woman with an avulsed wound of the hip and the child with an avulsed wound of the superciliary arch were hospitalized.

That very day, a shooting took place in Kyiv, in which one person died and another was wounded. The shooting took place as a result of a civil dispute for a lottery ticket stall between two owners. There were two decisions of the courts as to the property rights which contradict each other.

That very day, an individual suspected of taking part in the shooting and killing another man was detained. The police seized a weapon from him, which they believe was the one used in the shooting that occurred a few hours earlier. 

Related: Business sees no results of reforms: Corruption in Ukraine returned to the level of 2014

Centenary of 1918 Kruty battle

Ukrainians marked a centenary of 1918 Kruty battle on January 29. Torchlight processions were held in a few cities of Ukraine due to the occasion. 

In Kyiv, there was also a reconstruction of the battle for Arsenal Factory. 

The battle of Kruty took place on Jan. 29, 1918, when a 400 soldiers unit of the Ukrainian forces (300 of them were students) briefly halted the advance of a 4.000 Red Army marching towards Kyiv. This was part of Ukrainian Revolution 1918 when Ukraine was fighting for its existence against Soviets and Royalists. More than a half of the Ukrainian soldiers perished in the unequal battle. 

Earlier, trailer of “Kruty 1918”, the Ukraine-made action film, was uploaded the movie trailer on Facebook. The trailer shows everyday lives of students who participated in the historical battle of 1918, their studying process and fragments of battle scenes.

The film will be aired in late 2018.

 

Ukraine's first astronaut dies

Leonid Kadenyuk, the famous Ukrainian astronaut and air force pilot passed away on Wednesday morning at age of 67. A source from those close to Kadenyuk reported that the astronaut died during his morning run at a local park in Kyiv. The ambulance failed to arrive on time. 

Leonid Kadenyuk was the first astronaut of independent Ukraine. He joined the country's first space mission in 1995 and later made his flight on NASA's Columbia in 1997, as part of the international mission STS-87. During the flight, Kadenyuk and his counterparts ran biological tests with several kinds of plants. 

Related: Earth through the round porthole: First Ukrainian astronaut Kadenyuk died

New escalation of Poland-Ukraine relations

New escalation of Poland-Ukraine relations began this week. As we reported Polish Sejm on January 26 adopted the bill, providing criminal penalty for public accusations of Poland of crimes during Holocaust, of helping Nazi Germany, of military crimes or crimes against humanity. Amendments to the bill also provide for criminal liability for the denial of the Volyn tragedy and propaganda of "Bandera ideology".   

Later Andrzej Duda, the President of Poland claimed that he will carefully consider the draft law about the Institute of the National Memory approved by the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish Parliament.

However, already on February 1, the Senate of Poland adopted a law on the National Memory Institute of Poland, which criminalizes the denial of the crimes of Ukrainian nationalists against the Poles.

The same day Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine responded on such decision of Poland and considered Polish law on banning "Bandera ideology" contradicting the principles of a bilateral strategic partnership and calls the Polish government to dialogue. 
Moreover, the US State Department urged Poland on Wednesday to re-evaluate the draft law on the Institute of National Memory and the OSCE called on President of Poland Andrzej Duda to veto the law on the Institute of National Remembrance. 

In its turn, Israeli parliament claimed that they will consider the draft law that recognizes the Polish law on the Institute of National Memory as denial of the Holocaust.

Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish Prime Minister said on February 2 that Poland needs amendments in the law on the Institute of National Memory, which foresees criminal responsibility for denying the 'Banderite ideology'. These are necessary to oppose the lies about crimes against Jews - the ones laid upon the innocent people. 

Cryptocurrency illegal farms busted

Ukrainian Military Prosecutor’s Office reported busting several illegal farms for mining cryptic currency in Kyiv and Cherkasy regions. It appeared that these farms were used for funding pro-Kremlin militants in eastern Ukraine. The farms were illegally linked to a power line and located in storages.

A recent study of Ukrainian officials’ income declarations conducted by Opendatabot revealed that 57 civil servants had declared more than 21,000 bitcoins as intangible assets over the period of the previous two years. 

Currently, Ukraine’s National Bank does not recognize cryptocurrencies as means of payment. A number of bills regarding the regulation of cryptocurrencies in Ukraine have been submitted, but none of them was adopted.

Watch Close East - a new project

112.international is launching pilot films in the series about people adjusting to the life after war in Donbas.

We are proud to represent you two short films. Feel free to share.  

Video digest for January 2018

And the video digest for January 2018 shall sum up the whole month!

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