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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: JULY 2 – 6

Read about Donbas conflict, political prisoners in Russia, gas, Ukrainian movies
22:40, 6 July 2018

Donbas conflict in Ukraine

Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia

Criminal case against Ukrainian Vitaly Markiv in Italy

New poisoning by Novichok

Gas, Gazprom and Naftogaz, Nord Stream 2

Ukrainian movies in the world

112 Agency

Donbas conflict in Ukraine

This week, Armed Forces of Ukraine reclaimed control over Zolote village in Luhansk region. Volunteer Roman Donyk wrote on Facebook that it happened on October 30, three weeks after the active phase of the operation. Earlier, Zolote was situated in the grey zone, as well as Katerynivka village.

Ukrainian army also took control of the road near the liberated Zolote-4 village, where previously the sabotage and reconnaissance groups of the enemy and smugglers could get about. As of now, such actions are impossible, according to the message by Joint Forces operation HQ.

In addition, the Ukrainian court announced the verdict in the case of Yuriy Marchukov, the Russian citizen who served with the illegal armed units of the self-proclaimed 'Luhansk people's republic', the LNR.

However, there is also bad news. Oleksandr Skus, the Ukrainian Army serviceman died in combat in Donbas on July 4. It appears that Skus served with the military unit A0693, stationed in Bakhmut, Donetsk region. The deceased fighter left his son and daughter behind.

On July 6, it was reported that one Ukrainian soldier was injured in the enemy attack.

Related: Ukraine: bird’s eye view of Zaporizhia

Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia

The week starts with the speach of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko about Oleg Sentsov. The filmmaker is one who must be urgently released, the President said at the opening ceremony of the Ravenna-Kyiv friendship initiative.

On July 2, Iryna Herashchenko, the First Vice-Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament named 23 who are ready to be conveyed to Moscow in exchange for Ukrainian political prisoners. Later in the week, she voiced additional names of 13 Russians who are ready to be exchanged.

The same day, Lyudmyla Denisova, Ukraine’s Commissioner for Human Rights, called the European Union ambassadors for supporting Ukraine in the intentions to release the Ukrainian political prisoners kept in Russia.

On July 3, the Russian court decided to extend the detention for Pavlo Gryb, the political prisoner from Ukraine charged with the alleged preparing of a terrorist act in Russia.

In Kyiv, a large-scale rally was held at the NSC Olimpiyskiy stadium to support a Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov in his unequal fight against the Kremlin judicatory.

On July 4, The Ukrainian court announced the verdict in the case of Yuriy Marchukov. The jury found that the prosecution failed to prove that he willingly and deliberately served with LNR, aiming to destroy the constitutional order in Ukraine. The court also took into account his honest confession, his poor health conditions, and the positive qualities.

On July 5, Volodymyr Balukh, the Ukrainian political prisoner was sentenced in Crimea to five years of a colony on the second case.

The next day, Klyment, the Archbishop of Simferopol and Crimea addressed the Russian president Vladimir Putin with a request to pardon Oleg Sentsov, Volodymyr Balukh and other political prisoners from Ukraine who currently serve time in Russia.

Related: What is wrong with the Ukrainian airlines and tour operators

Criminal case against Ukrainian Vitaly Markiv in Italy

Vitaly Markiv was detained on Friday, June 30, in the city of Bologna. Suspicion to him was put forward by the Pavia Prosecutor's Office. Currently, the fighter is in prison. Deputy platoon commander Markiv, who served in the operational battalion of Kulchytsky, is suspected of involvement in the deaths of photo reporter Andrea Rocchelli and Russian journalist Andrey Mironov, who were killed in May 2014 near Sloviansk (Donetsk region). French reporter William Roguelon was also wounded that day. In the area of the village Andriivka group of foreign journalists fell under mortar fire.

On July 3, it was reported that a lawyer of Ukrainian Vitaly Markiv intends to invite witnesses from Ukraine to the hearing in Italy.

A hearing in case of Ukraine’s National Guard soldier Vitaly Markiv will take place Friday, June 6 in Pavia.

The criminal case against Ukrainian Markiv in Italy

Related: Tragedy at firing range in Rivne region: Poroshenko temporarily bans use of Molot mortars

New poisoning by Novichok

A man and a woman were found unconscious near Salisbury. They were poisoned by a nerve agent after touching a contaminated item.

An urgent investigation is being conducted to discover how a British couple have been left critically ill by the nerve agent Novichok, the same military-grade poison that nearly killed a former Russian spy and his daughter four months ago.

Britain’s top counter-terrorism officer, Neil Basu, announced that expert scientists in chemical warfare at the world famous Porton Down laboratory had established that Novichok had caused the collapse in Wiltshire of British nationals Dawn Sturgess, 44, from Salisbury, and Charlie Rowley, 45, of Amesbury.

Gas, Gazprom and Naftogaz, Nord Stream 2

Ukraine’s State Service for Geology and Mineral Resources of Ukraine released the data, which confirms that Ukraine's oil and gas producers have been especially active lately in terms of getting permissions for gas extraction. The companies expand their old licenses and get the new ones in order to develop hydrocarbon deposits. 

Deputy European Commissioner for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič said that Ukraine, Russia, and the EU will gather for the meeting on gas relations on July 17. According to him, trilateral negotiations are the most effective process to seek the solution of the problems regarding the gas transit across Ukraine after 2019.

Another good news this week is that Swiss high court of Zug canton has reinstated the seizure of assets of the Nord Stream AG and Nord Stream 2 AG, belonging to Russian Gazprom.

In addition, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in his speech at the European Parliament once again stressed that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was a political project and would increase the EU's dependence on Russia.

Related: Ukrainian student attracts funds for development device

Ukrainian movies in the world

The week started with great news for Ukrainian cinematography - Ukrainian movie Vulkan (volcano, - ed.) directed by Roman Bondarchuk was presented on a big screen in Karlovy Vary at the 53rd International Film Festival. This movie was the first feature-length movie of the Ukrainian film director.

The film tells a story about OSCE translator Lucas

On July 4, the most popular music event started in Kyiv – Atlas Weekend. The first-day headliner was Oleh Vynnyk. The fans will have an opportunity to admire the performances of great foreign musicians. In particular, The Chemical Brothers, Placebo, and LP.

Taras Shevchenko is immortal – his spirit lives in his books, which attract and fascinate modern artists and writers. Shevchenko’s famous Kateryna will soon be published in English. Mykola Tolmachov, an artist, made the Illustrations to this book. He noted he tried to find really charismatic, interesting and close characters in this poem.

The book will appear on the shelves next month.

On the same day, we reported that the project of Ukrainian documentary film ‘Panorama’ won the "Docs in Progress" contest in the frameworks of the 53rd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The hero of the picture is a cinema mechanic Valentyn, who has been working in one of the oldest cinemas in Kyiv ‘Kinopanorama’ for 44 years.

And finally, the shooting period of the Ukrainian movie 'Only A Miracle' is over.

The State Cinema Agency of Ukraine specified that the episode features adventure scenes, where the main character, the young man named Severyn, and his dog Snizhok end up in an icy cave. Severyn needs a rare medicine to save his father, which is why he goes for a long winter ride. The adventures make the two even bigger friends than they were.

Related: Football: Zinchenko may leave Manchester City

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