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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: MAR. 26 - 30

Armed conflict in Donbas, Fire in Russia's Kemerovo, Expulsion of Russian diplomats over Skripal case, Savchenko in a court of appeal, etc - the weekly news on one page
22:16, 30 March 2018

Donbas conflict in Ukraine

Savchenko appeals to the court 

Fire in Russia's Kemerovo

Expulsion of Russian diplomats over Skripal case

112 Agency

Donbas conflict in Ukraine

This week, the overall intensity of military actions in Donbas increased again. The average daily number of attacks went up, and Ukraine’s military took new casualties. One of this week’s victims became Andriy, the 19-year-old fighter of the Volunteer Ukrainian Corps of the Right Sector, call sign Dilly. This was reported on Facebook by the Back and Alive fund, which assists the Ukrainian army. “The defender of ‎Volunteer Ukrainian Corps of the Right Sector Andriy with the call sign “Dilly” has died at the frontline. He will remain forever 19-year-old boy. The bullet of enemy sniper has taken the life of “Dilly” on March 27. Andriy was born in Konotop. The town announced three days of mourning for him,” the message says.

Despite the fact that the OSCE offered a ceasefire so that the civilians could celebrate Easter in peace and silence, Russian militants of the self-styled ‘people’s republics’ continue to attack Ukrainian positions. For example, since small hours of Friday, Russian militants violated the Easter ceasefire twice - in spite of the recommendation of the Minsk talks group. Oleg Sushynsky, the speaker of the HQ of counter-terrorism operation reported that in his commentary for 112 Ukraine TV channel. The enemy opened fire near Avdiivka and Opytne, both in Donetsk region. No firefights were observed in Luhansk region. The Ukrainian military suffered no casualties.

On Wednesday, the Ukrainian military reported another case of the use of banned equipment in combat; a serviceman of Ukraine’s state border guard suffered a retinal burn due to the use of the forbidden laser weapon. A few days ago, one of the border guards was blinded by the laser during the performing of the service at the checkpoint Mariinka and performing the observing of the territory through the optical instruments. It was used from the side of the temporarily occupied territory’, the press service of the State Border Guard said.

Related: Russia sent its 75th "humanitarian convoy" to occupied Donbas

On Friday, the OSCE special monitoring mission said it planned to open more forward patrol bases in the towns in the occupied area of Donetsk region, including those lying near the Ukraine-Russia state border. Alexander Hug, the first deputy head of OSCE SMM in Ukraine reported this at a briefing in Kyiv on Friday. 'We intend to open new forward patrol bases in the two areas near the engagement line - for instance, in Dokuchaivsk, where the armed units assist us. But we also plan to open these in Novoazovsk and Amvrosiivka, not far from the non-controlled sections of the border with Russia,' Hug said.

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine intends to use the long-range unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to increase its monitoring activities and to overcome the obstacles to monitoring the situation in Donbas conflict zone. This was reported on the OSCE website. On Wednesday, "the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine will reintroduce the use of long-range unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to augment and complement its monitoring activities and to overcome impediments to monitoring in eastern Ukraine," the message says.

 

Savchenko appeals to the court  

The defense of Nadiya Savchenko appealed against her arrest, which was rejected by the Appeal Court on March 29. During the court hearing, Savhcenko tried to challenge a prosecutor, stating that “Klymovych let himself shameful statement in the comparison of her and former GRU officers”, however, the court also rejected the claim. Thus Savchenko is to stay in custody until May 20.

MP Nadia Savchenko went on a hunger strike after the arrest on March 23. According to her lawyers, Nadiya “lost weight but she is alive”.

The case of MP Nadia Savchenko, suspected in the planning of the coup d’état in Ukraine and the terrorist attack in the government quarter, will be passed to the court in two-three months, according to Yury Lutsenko, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine.

 

Fire in Russia's Kemerovo

As the Russian society mourns over the victims of the fire in Kemerovo, some new details appeared in this tragic story. On Monday, representative of Department of Consular Service of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Vasyl Kyrylych said that there were no Ukrainians among the victims. On Wednesday, President Poroshenko expressed his condolences to relatives of those who deceased in the deadly fire.

On March 27, Kyiv city hall announced that strict fire safety checks would take place in all shopping malls across the capital city.

Related: Fire in Kemerovo: owner of shopping mall is detained

On Wednesday, the Russian Investigation Committee claimed that Ukrainian pranker Yevhen Volnov spread the information about 300 fatalities, while the official number of victims made 64. A criminal investigation was opened, and the court even decided to arrest Volnov in absentia. It is worth mentioning that the Ukrainian government does not give out its citizens, which is stipulated by the law.

Related: Accused in Kemerovo accident denies charges

 

Expulsion of Russian diplomats over Skripal case

This week the expulsion of the Russian diplomats all over the world continued. On March 26, Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine claimed that 13 workers of the Russian diplomatic service will be sent out of Ukraine. Later, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry confirmed this information and specified that those diplomats are the representative of Russian special services.

On March 27, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) banned 23 Russian citizens from entering this country; they are the same diplomats who had been ousted from the United Kingdom because of the high-profile case of Sergei Skripal.

Later, the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine claimed that the expulsion of the Russian diplomats from Ukraine can influence the process of the release of the Ukrainian political prisoners if Kremlin responds to it.

Also, Russia officially recognized the presence of its intelligence officers among expelled diplomats.

In total, about 30 countries of the world and announced the expulsion of more than 150 workers of the Russian diplomatic missions in the response to the chemical attack in Salisbury.

 

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