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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: Mar. 20 - 24
22:00, 24 March 2017
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: Mar. 20 - 24

A tough-tough week for Ukraine: war in Donbas, Balakliya, Voronenkov, Samoylova, Tsymbulyuk, NBU’s forecasts reviewed

22:00, 24 March 2017

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War in Donbas

The situation in the Anti-Terrorist Operation zone remains very tense. Thought the press officers of the Defense Ministry keep saying that it is controlled by Ukraine. Almost every day brings deaths to Ukrainian side.   3 soldiers killed, 12 injured on March, 20. Eight militants killed during the clashes in Vodyane. 84 shellings on March 22 – one military men dead, another one injured. Another Ukrainian soldier killed after shelling in Troitske. 

On Monday the Defense Ministry published information, stating that 2 thousand 629 Ukrainian military officers have been killed since the beginning Anti-Terrorist Operation.

And “cherry on top” – the 63th “humanitarian convoy”.

Another bad piece of news - Reuters publishes video on dozens of Russian tanks near Ukrainian border

At the same time, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted a draft law asking America to consider concluding the defense agreement with Ukraine and granting it the status of the major non-NATO ally. 232 MPs voted for this decision. 

 

Open source

Drills

International peacekeeping and security center of the National Land Forces Academy hosted drills of Ukrainian military undergoing training under Joint Multinational Training Group in Lviv this week. 

Apart from that, March 20, the Genichesk military ship of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, together with the ships of the NATO Naval Team No. 2 (SNMCMG2), participates in joint PASSEX training in a Black Sea area

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Balakliya

Thursday was a hot day in Ukraine.

Early in the morning blast on ammunition storage facility in Balakliya city, Kharkiv region

It’s been more than a day since the ammunition arsenal burst into flame. The fire started due to the subversive group that broke into the territory of the arsenal at night. As of Friday evening intensity of the blasts went down and the liquidation of the blasts consequences at the ammunition storages kicked off. Fire in Balakliya is fully extinguished, the consequences are being eliminated now. 

112 Ukraine news agency shot a video from the drone for you. 

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Voronenkov’s murder

On March 23, ex-State Duma MP and a witness in Yanukovych’s case, Denis Voronenkov was shot in Kyiv downtown. He was wounded into his neck and face, the third bullet hurt his stomach. He died at the scene. Actually, the two men were shot dead – the second was killed by Voronenkov’s bodyguard. All the details of the murder are here. Voronenkov’s biography is here. The killer died in the hospital, his identification details are here and here.

Voronenkov’s colleague, Ilya Ponomarev, ex-deputy of Russian State Duma, by the way, he is also involved in Yanukovych’s case as a witness, stated that he had a meeting with Voronenkov, scheduled for that time.  Later on Friday, video of Voronenkov’s murder was made public.

Open source

Tsymbulyuk

Ukrainian journalist and correspondent of UNIAN Roman Tsymbalyuk was detained in Moscow. His cameraman and a hero of the interview were also detained. Tsymbalyuk recorded an interview with Zakhar, who hanged Ukrainian flag at the Moscow State University on the day of third anniversary of Crimea annexation. He was released in three hours. He told the details of his detention on air of 112 Ukraine TV channel

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Eurovision: Samoylova banned to enter Ukraine

On March, 22 Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) prohibited entry of Russian artist Yuliya Samoylova, chosen for Eurovision song contest this year, for three years. In the reaction, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) commented on the decision by SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) to prohibit Samoylova’s entry to Ukraine saying that they respect the law of the hosting country and they are deeply disappointed this decision.

In its turn, Russia decided not to broadcast Eurovision song contest on its territory.

An even the European Broadcasting Union was considering the remote participation of the Yulia Samoylova at the Eurovision-2017,  the Russian First Channel rejected the proposal.

Related: Songs and politics: Top 10 demarches and scandals at Eurovision Song Contest

RIA news

Ukraine in International Courts

On March 21, Ukraine appealed to the High Court of the United Kingdom against JKX as a defendant seeking to set aside the recent Uncitral arbitration award against Ukraine and in favour of JKX. 

The World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Body took the decision to create the expert group in the dispute on Ukraine’s claim against the Russian Federation on transit restrictions through the territory of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan by Russia.

Open source

NBU’s forecasts

National Bank of Ukraine reconsidered macroeconomic forecasts for IMF due to Donbas blockade.  After an extraordinary meeting of monetary policy committee on March 20 they renewed macroeconomic forecasts taking into account the effect of trade blockade against occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which will contribute to accelerating another IMF tranche. So, first – they confirmed 9.1% inflation for 2017. Second,  - GDP will go down from 2.8% to 1.9% due to the temporary halt of goods transportation across the line of demarcation in Donbas. . Third, the deterioration of the payment balance will affect the volume of net purchases of foreign currency in the market to replenish reserves – the international reserves will drop from 21,3 billion dollars to 20,8 billion dollars

A day later, the National Bank of Ukraine banned subsidiaries of Russian banks from processing financial transactions in favor of controlling structures by the decision of National Security and Defense Council. 

At the same time State Duma adopted the law in the third reading that limits money transfers from Russian Federation to foreign countries using international payment systems.

Related: Free trade not for all: Ukraine's exports statistics by regions

Related: Blockade of IMF tranche for Ukraine: Why the Fund took a timeout

National Bank of Ukraine
 

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