It was nothing but hot and tense in Donbas conflict zone this week. The Russian mercenaries boosted the activity in certain areas – most notably in Pivdenne, where the fierce fight occurred on Thursday. Both sides took casualties, but the Ukrainian forces managed to hold the recently liberated village.
Among the combat casualties, which Ukraine suffered this week was 20-year old Ruslan Bahlyk from Sumy region, northeastern Ukraine. The young man suffered a critical wound due to a shot of an enemy sniper.
Two civilians were injured as a result of the attack at Zalizne, Donetsk region, as the press office of the region police reports. As the service informs, the militants opened a mortar fire at the populated area at around 4 pm today on June 27. The injured were in the yard at that moment.
The representatives of the Trilateral Contact Group agreed on the ceasefire since July 1, 2018, at the session on June 27. Darka Olifer, the Press Secretary of Leonid Kuchma, the representative of Ukraine to the Trilateral Contact Group, wrote this on Facebook. “Due to the start of the harvest season the Trilateral Contact Group with the participation of the ORDLO (Separated Districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, - ed.) representatives confirm a complete commitment of the parties to the inclusive, stable and termless ceasefire starting from July 1, 2018, Kyiv time,” she wrote.
The topic of tortures of Ukrainian hostages in Donbas has been one of the major ones. Vasyl Hrytsak, the head of the SBU, Ukraine's state security service said that Russian military officers are often involved in tortures of Ukrainian prisoners in Donbas conflict area. The head of Ukrainian Security Service Vasyl Hrytsak reported this on air of 112 Ukraine TV channel. “They either directly tortured Ukrainians or organized such things with the help of those who fought on the side of terrorists," he said. Hrytsak reported on documented cases of torture on the territory of Russian Federation. He also added that as of Monday, 113 Ukrainian hostages remain in the captivity of Russian mercenaries in Donbas.
The Ukrainian military successfully tested Myslyvets (Ukrainian for 'hunter', - 112 International), the unmanned reconnaissance and weapon system. After the tests, the system will be adopted by the Ukrainian Armed Forces and sent to the combat area in Donbas.
The Marines of the Ukrainian Navy and the subordinated artillery units held the joint exercise in Kherson region, southern Ukraine; the drill took place near the administrative border with the occupied Crimea. The HQ of the Ukrainian Navy reported this on Facebook on Wednesday. The key mission of the exercise was successfully completed, as the troops practiced in defending the coastline and eliminating the enemy in case of the attack from the occupied territory. The artillery trained in hitting the targets and adjusting fire in the temporarily occupied areas.
The week has begun with the refusal of Russia to let Ukrainian Ombudswoman Lyudmyla Denisova contact political prisoner Oleg Sentsov in the video conference mode.
In her turn, Ukrainian Ombudswoman Lyudmyla Denisova claimed that if she cannot get to our prisoners, then Mrs. Moskalkova also cannot visit Russian prisoners in Ukraine. Also, she denied the statements of Moskalkova that Sentsov's health is satisfactory.
Russian Ombudswoman also claimed that she would not write a letter to the Russian President on the pardon of Sentsov.
Moreover, on June 26, Council of Europe Secretary General Thurbjørn Jagland has officially filed for the pardon of Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov to Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, Kremlin responded that it cannot be a ground for the pardon.
On June 28 it was reported that another political prisoner Emir-Usein Kuku went on the hunger strike.
Talking about PACE session, on June 28, it adopted the resolution on the release of the Ukrainian political prisoners in Russian and Crimea. Also, Ukraine urged PACE to struggle for all of those Ukrainians, who are now illegally detained in Russia.
On June 24, seven people were arrested in Western Ukraine for a deadly attack on a Roma camp in a forest on the outskirts of Lviv.
A 24-year-old Roma man from a village near the city of Rivne was killed in the attack carried out by a group of masked men on June 23 just before midnight. Police say four other people were hospitalized with knife wounds as a result of the attack - including a 10-year-old boy, two 19-year-old men, and a 30-year-old woman.
The Council of Europe condemned the attack on the Roma camp. And the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine commented on the attack, saying it was 'horror and indignation.' It added that this crime should be considered by an interdepartmental working group that is implementing the Strategy for the Protection and Integration of the Roma, with the participation of law enforcers.
Later, a district court of Lviv region detained without the right to bail for two suspects in the attack on Roma camp. Suspects of 2000 and 2002 years of birth will be in a pre-trial detention center for 60 days.
The police decided to undertake a set of preventive measures to prevent similar cases in the future, after the assault on Romani people near Lviv.
At the beginning of the week, it was reported that Russian and Ukrainian intelligence services were spying the members of the Netherlands mission who came to Ukraine for the investigation of the MH17 tragedy.
The investigators were finding bugs in their hotel rooms and later when they came back to the Netherlands, a malware was found on their devices. Devices were reflashed, some of them were destroyed. The joint reply of the Netherlands authorities says that other parties may invoke the surveillance as the tragedy took place in the conflict zone where the geopolitical interests play the role.
On June 27, the EU Council adopted a resolution on the MH17 crash. The resolution adopted at the EU Summit urges Russian Federation to admit the responsibility and contribute to the efforts taken to determine the truth, justice, and responsibility.
On the next day, the EU leaders joined the idea of the resolution and called the Russian government to admit its responsibility for the tragedy. According to the agreement made in Brussels, the Council fully supported the respective resolution of the UN Security Council.
As of the end of May 2018, Ukraine's government debt decreased by $ 790 million. It is noted that the reduction in the amount of public debt is due to the implementation of payments "for the repayment of state and state-guaranteed debt in accordance with credit agreements and due to the difference in exchange rates at the end of the reporting period compared with the previous one."
Also, the Council of Europe has approved the allocation of one billion euro of the macro-financial aid to Ukraine. Oleksandr Danyliuk, the Ukrainian finance minister expects it in June. The tranche would be part of a €1bn EU programme designed to give the Ukrainian state more liquidity.
In addition, the United Kingdom will allocate $42.6 million to Ukraine for the humanitarian aid and increase of the defense capacity. Boris Johnson, the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the UK claimed this at the international conference on the reforms in Ukraine that takes place in Copenhagen.