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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: MARCH 25 – 29

Read about Donbas, Azov Crisis, human rights in Crimea rights, presidential elections in Ukraine and other news of the week on one page
22:30, 29 March 2019

112 Agency

About Donbas

Pro-Kremlin occupants claim that they would not resume the work of Zolote entry-exit checkpoint because the adjacent areas that they hold under control are currently wired. Yevhen Marchuk, the representative of Ukraine in Minsk trilateral talks group said that on Monday morning.

Ukraine has offered Russia to conduct prisoners exchange – 25 Ukrainians for 25 Russians convicted in Ukraine on March 30, said Iryna Gerashchenko, First Vice-Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament, representative of Ukraine to the humanitarian subgroup in the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk. Gerashchenko added that Ukraine was ready to take 19 Ukrainians from the occupied territories and pardon 72 separatists

Armed Russian mercenaries attacks civilian infrastructure objects in the occupied areas, so as to frame the Ukrainian forces. Two schools came under attack; then, houses in several towns took damage due to the shelling. No casualties were reported in all these attacks. The enemy also opened fire on the settlements controlled by Ukrainian troops – specifically, Mariinka.

 ; 35-year-old Eric Estu denies all chargesd, even though the Czech prosecutors provided the court with solid proof of his involvement in combat action alongside Russian mercenaries in eastern Ukraine.   

OSCE SMM in Ukraine is about to get a new chairman. Turkish diplomat Halit Çevik will step in, replacing his compatriot Ertugrul Apakan. Turkish foreign ministry reported that on March 27.

Creating safety zones and taking certain localities in the 'grey area' of Donbas under control are the most important achievements of the Joint Forces Operation over the previous year. Serhiy Nayev, the Joint Forces Operation Commander said this in his interview with Golos Ukrainy newspaper.

Pro-Kremlin mercenaries have shelled the area of Novoluhanske; a mortar attack resulted in the damage to a local gas pipeline. The gas supplies are to resume in several days, as Ukrainian emergency service crews conduct the maintenance works.

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About NATO naval activity in the Black Sea

A group of three NATO warships entered the Black Sea. Vessels from the NATO Standing Navy Maritime Group 2 entered the Black Sea waters; Toronto, the frigate of the Royal Navy of Canada, and Santa Maria, the Spanish Navy frigate. Dutch destroyer Evertsen joined the company, too. Turkish coastal guard vessels escorted the warships across the Bosporus; Russian navy vessels escorted them in the Black Sea. By April 1, the Dutch, Spanish and Canadian ships are to join the NATO naval exercise near the port of Odesa. The Sea Shield drills will also involve Ukrainian and Georgian forces.

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About violations of rights of Crimean Tatars

This week is marked by Russia’s mass raids and detentions of Crimean Tatars

Thus, on March 26 Russia detained two Crimean Tatars Remzi Bekirov and Ruslan Suleymanov. Later they were released.

On March 27, Russian Security Service began a series of raids in homes of the Crimean Tatars on the annexed peninsula. As a result, over 20 people were arrested allegedly for participation in Hizb ut-Tahrir.

The Crimean police launched two criminal proceedings on illegal detaining of the Crimean Tatars.

International community reacted to such behaviors. For instance, U.S. Embassy in Ukraine expressed their concern about raids and massive stalking held by Russia in Crimea and the U.S. Department of State condemned such intimidation and repressions.

The Foreign Ministry of Poland urged to stop carrying out searched in occupied Crimea and stop detention of the Crimean Tatars.

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About corruption in Ukraine

The week has begun with the accusations of National Anti-Corruption Bureau’s official of participation in the Ukroboronprom scandal. Later it was reported that the ex-leadership of UkrSpetzExport was accused of embezzlement for the sum of $23,8 million in 2010-2012.

Besides, the British Serious Fraud Investigation Office stated it did not launch investigation against Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko due to corruption schemes at Ukroboronprom.

On March 27, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau closed all cases on the illicit enrichment of officials, including the case of First Deputy Head of Foreign Intelligence Service. On its part, the EU offered the expert assistance to Ukraine in sphere of the illicit enrichment legislation.

On March 29, Swedbank President of Bank Birgitte Bonnesen was dismissed after reports about schemes of money laundering tied with ex-president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and Paul Manafort.

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About upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine

First round o Ukraine's presidential elections kicks off on Saturday, March 31, at 8:00 a.m.

The polling stations will be closed at 8 p.m. Kyiv time, (GMT+2).

The Central Election Committee approved a final list of 39 presidential candidates in Ukraine. The voters list contains 35.6 million Ukrainian citizens. More than 315,000 Ukrainians changed voting places shortly before the presidential election.

This year ballot is the longest ballot in the history of presidential elections in Ukraine. It is 80 cm in length and printed on the paper with watermarks and special protection ink.

112 Ukraine TV Channel will hold its own exit poll.

We will have a live stream from Central Election Committee.

We will have our own online broadcast.

Stay tuned!

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About explosions at Kropyvnytsky petrol station

On March 27, patrol station in Kropyvnytsky exploded. As a result, three people got injured. On the next day, Ukraine’s Emergency Service reported that at 10:45 pm fire on a gas station was extinguished.

The National Police opened a criminal proceeding due to the emergency tied with the explosions at the petrol station in Kropyvnytsky. Later, two officials were served with charge papers.

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