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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: JULY 9 – 13

Read about Donbas conflict, political prisoners in Russia, NATO summit, Croatia, football
22:30, 13 July 2018

Donbas conflict in Ukraine and Sea Breeze drills

Verkhovna Rada adopts new laws

Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia

NATO summit in Brussels

Croatian football players shouted ‘Glory to Ukraine’ after match against Russia causing uproar

112 Agency

Donbas conflict in Ukraine and Sea Breeze drills

The week started with Sea Breeze, the U.S.-Ukrainian naval drills, in Odesa.  This year's Sea Breeze involves 30 vessels from naval forces of 19 countries, including a Turkish submarine. An important feature of the exercise is that the multinational staff will be coordinating the actions of naval, air and ground forces from USS Mount Whitney, the flagship of the 6th U.S. Navy Fleet.

On July 10, it was reported that Odesa Unit of Maritime Security conducted an exercise within the ongoing Sea Breeze drills, where divers practiced a landing on water from helicopters. According to the legend, the enemy uses sabotage teams to destabilize the situation in the region, which is why the Odesa Unit of Maritime Security steps in to protect the local seaport.

State Border Guard's divers used no parachutes; they jumped from the helicopter at the height of seven meters above the sea level. They landed successfully, then proceeded under the water and eliminated the conditional enemy.

Speaking of the situation in the East of Ukraine, on July 10, Ukraine lost a soldier - Volodymyr Luzhetsky from Lviv region died in Donbas on Tuesday. He was born in 1995.

During the same day, The Ukrainian Army's crews of tanks and infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) conducted combat exercises in JFO zone.

On Tuesday, July 10, illegal armed formations of Russian militants shelled the residential quarters in Zolote-4 village, Luhansk region. Those who suffered during the attack received help from the teams of the civil and military cooperation. Zolote-4 was liberated from Russian mercenaries last month, as the Ukrainian troops advanced in that particular section of the combat area in Luhansk region.

The JFO HQ reported that on July 11 the enemy has launched 20 attacks. The most intense combat situation was observed in Mariupol sector, where Vodyane, Lebeydnske, Shyrokyne, Hnutove, Pavlopol, and Bohdanivka came under fire. No casualties reported among Ukrainian forces

Yesterday, on July 12 pro-Kremlin militants attacked Ukrainian positions six times. In Donetsk region, the enemy attacked Avdiivka, Opytne, Pavlopol, Talakivka and Lebedynske, using RPGs, large-caliber machine guns and small arms. Besides, in Pavlopol, militants used an IFV and 82 mm mortar. 

One Russian mercenary was killed in combat; another two were wounded.

Related: Donbas: Three Ukrainian soldiers wounded in action over 24 hours

Verkhovna Rada adopts new laws

Ukrainian Parliament restricted domestic consumption of processed timber, suspends lumber exports. The Ukrainian Parliament Regulatory Committee recommended closing the lobby of the Parliament for journalists, press photographers, camera operators and to provide them press office on the third floor. 4.5 thousand of journalists are accredited in the Ukrainian Parliament – not all of them being true journalists.

Besides, the Verkhovna Rada signed a bill to a law, releasing the defense enterprises of strategic importance for Ukraine from payment of the penalty to the companies from the aggressor-state. Ukraine also ratified an agreement with the Netherlands on a joint probe of MH17 crash.

And the Parliament voted for new fines for breaking car import rules – the problem of European car plates is of great public concern now in Ukraine.

Related: Kyiv took 75th place in ranking of the most expensive cities for life

Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia

This week one gets his sentence in Russia, another one in on 115th day of his hunger strike in Crimea, the other one beyond the Arctic Circle marks his birthday in the Russian jail for the fifth time already, while a winner of a film festival hands her money prize over to his family. These are Ukrainian citizens imprisoned in Russia.

Related: Putin's administration claims to consider plea of Sentsov's mother

NATO summit in Brussels

NATO summit took place in Brussels on July 11-12. NATO Secretary General said the Alliance would not offer Ukraine the Enhanced Opportunities Partnership (EOP) just yet but will continue supporting Ukraine. The participants of NATO summit adopted declaration officially confirming Ukraine’s aspirations to the membership in the North Atlantic Alliance.

Ukraine aims to put the NATO membership aspirations in its main law, the constitution. President Petro Poroshenko said this during his meeting with Jens Stoltenberg.

In addition, President Poroshenko announced that Ukraine is going to reach NATO standards by 2020 and for this purpose, it introduces an annual national program under the auspices of the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC). “This effective tool directs all our efforts to the final goal, - to make Ukraine a future member of NATO,” he said.

Poroshenko met his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump on July 12. According to the sources Trump and Poroshenko communicated for about 20 minutes and discussed quite a lot of issues – specifically, the leaders of two countries discussed cooperation in the sphere of defense and Russian project Nord Stream 2, among others.

Earlier, Donald Trump said Wednesday that Germany was under complete control of Russia because of Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Trump noted that the United States is expected to "defend them against Russia," when Germany is making "billions of dollars" in energy payments to Moscow. Trump was rumored to have threatened to pull the United States out of NATO over the disputes about defense expenditures. However, it was decided that NATO member states would pay more.

On the same day, Jens Stoltenberg said that the Alliance did not recognize the annexation of Crimea, but this, in his opinion, is not an excuse to isolate Russia.

During the summit, the representatives of NATO member states approved the development of structures specialized on fighting the hybrid threats, as Jens Stoltenberg reported.

Related: Yarmolenko becomes West Ham player

Croatian football players shouted ‘Glory to Ukraine’ after match against Russia causing uproar

On July 7, after Croatia’s win against the Russian team, Vida and team’s coach Ognjen Vukojević posted a video, where the player chants ‘Glory to Ukraine’ and Vukojević says: “This win is for Dynamo and for Ukraine. Go, Croatia!”

Ukrainian Embassy in the United Kingdom reacted to the publications of British media that writing about events around Croatia’s football player Domagoj Vida, called the slogan ‘Glory to Ukraine’ nationalistic.

FIFA has issued a formal warning to a Vida for politic slogans. After that, a large-scale flashmob in support of Croats started on the Facebook page of the International Football Federation (FIFA).

Ognjen Vukojević has been relieved of his duties as an associate of the coaching staff of the Croatian national team by a decision of the management of the Croatian FA, and that he will no longer be a member of the Croatian delegation at the FIFA World Cup in Russia.

On Wednesday, President Poroshenko said Ukraine appreciated the words of support of Domagoj Vida and Ognjen Vukojević, the Croatian footballers who devoted their victory over Russia in 2018 World Cup. 

And on July 12, Croatian footballer Domagoj Vidaapologized for this to the Russians. It happened after the match between Croatia and England. During the match, the moves of Vida were accompanied by Russians' whistling.

 

Related: Video of day: Ukrainian athlete wins European Youth Championship setting record
 

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