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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: JANUARY 13 – 17

Source : 112 Ukraine

Read about Donbas conflict, Boeing 737 crash, a scandal over wiretapping of PM Honcharuk, Ukrainian political prisoners and other news from Ukraine
22:34, 17 January 2020

112 Agency

About Donbas conflict

Ukraine’s forces in Donbas took casualties this week – again. Fighter of Ukraine's Armed Forces Vitaliy Karavan deceased in the Donbas combat area. The untimely death was caused by the case of mishandling ammunition. The press service of the 56th Detached Motorized Infantry Brigade reported that on January 15. The tragedy occurred in the small hours of January 13. The command and comrades-in-arms express their condolences to the family and close people of the perished serviceman. On January 15, another Ukrainian fighter died in combat, on January 16 – another one.

Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky claimed that at the consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk on January 16, the Ukrainian side did a lot to promote additional measures for a complete and comprehensive ceasefire. According to him, the Ukrainian side has already identified a list of three additional sites for the disengagement of forces and assets.

President of France Emmanuel Macron decided not to wait for the solution of the conflict in Donbas and started rapprochement with Russia. He also explained the grounds of changing attitude toward President of Russia Vladimir Putin as RFI reported. “Russia captured Ukraine and we assumed measures. We are on the way of the frozen conflicts. But if we would wait the solution of all frozen conflicts to move forward we would wait a lot,” Macron said.

On January 16, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) spotted 140 explosions in Donbas.

Pro-Kremlin militants mined the positions of Ukrainian military near Orikhovo and Zolote-5. 

As Minsk hosted another session of the Trilateral Contact Group, Ukraine and Russia discussed possible areas for further disengagement of troops and vehicles in Donbas. Ukraine insists on four sections, while the Russian side offers six. Hromadske reported that on January 16. Ukraine's delegation chose the following areas: the railroad bridge in Stanytsia Luhanska, near Avdiivka, Novoselivka-II and near Hnutove checkpoint. Russia insists on Schastya, Veselohorivka, Pozsadky, Hnutove, Shyrokyne and near Avdiivka. The sides agreed on the next meeting to take place on January 29.

About Boeing 737

Iran's representative will soon arrive in Ukraine with the official apologies within the case of the flight PS752 tragedy. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko reported this during the question hour at the Parliament on January 17.

President Volodymyr Zelensky met with relatives of Ukrainian citizens killed in the crash of UIA plane in Iran.

Canadian investigators visited the site of the Boeing 737 crash and demand the full cooperation in the investigation from Iran. Meanwhile, Ukraine requested Tehran to pass the flight recorders from the crashed Boeing 737.

About wiretapping of Ukraine's PM Honcharuk

On January 15, a voice record appeared in the network where allegedly the Prime Minister of Ukraine Oleksiy Honcharuk, the first deputy head of NBU Kateryna Rozhkova and the Finance Minister Oksana Markarova discussed the dollar exchange rate and economic issues before meeting with President Zelensky. The Prime Minister allegedly said that it was hypothetically necessary to explain to Zelensky that the hryvnia is being strengthened due to the fact that it was shaken heavily before the election. And now people saw that there was nothing to fear because there was a "strong president." "He doesn’t have this in his head. We need to show and it needs to look very realistic, we’ll talk," Prime Minister said.

Honcharuk himself "pleads not guilty". He doesn't comment on the records, though states that "the files that leaked on the Internet were spliced from fragments of Government meetings".

On January 17, Ukraine's PM Honcharuk filed a resignation letter and handed it over to President Volodymyr Zelensky, however, Ukraine is a parliamentary-presidential republic and the resignation of the Prime Minister should be filed to the Parliament.

About Ukrainian political prisoners

On Monday, Lyudmyla Denisova, Ukraine's parliamentarian envoy for human rights reported that Crimean Tatar Arsen Dzhepparov, the man who is judged as a member of the Hizb ut-Tahrir religious movement has not been getting any adequate medical assistance. She also turned to the Russian ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova, asking her to take action to restore the rights of Arsen Dzhepparov, that is, to see to it that he is duly examined and treated accordingly. 

She later reported that Dzhaparov suffers from a tumor in his lower jaw.

Denisova also urged her Russian colleague Tatiana Moskalkova to organize thorough medical examination to Crimean Tatar Alim Karimov who is kept in the remand center of Rostov Oblast, Russia.

About hacking of Burisma, Kvartal 95

Russian military hackers were trying to tap into the Ukrainian gas company, according to security experts. Department of the cyber police of the National Police of Ukraine began a criminal proceeding due to this fact.

About sports

Olga Kharlan, Ukrainian sabre fencer, won a gold medal in the women's individual saber event at Saber Grand Prix. Kharlan went through six opponents, beating five of them dominantly.

Denys Berinchyk will defend his WBO international lightweight title on February 22. The fight will take place in Kyiv, the opponent is yet to be announced.

Ukrainian tennis player Dayana Yastremska qualified for the WTA tournament's final. She will now face the winner of the fixture between Ashleigh Barty vs Danielle Collins.

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