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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: NOV. 3 - NOV. 10
22:00, 10 November 2017
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: NOV. 3 - NOV. 10

Conflict in Eastern Ukraine is not "frozen", Ukraine's diplomatic relations with Poland and Serbia, developments on Kharkiv deadly car accident, freedom of speech in Ukraine, etc.

22:00, 10 November 2017

112 Agency

War in  Donbas

Pro-Russian militants keep shelling Ukrainian strongholds in the combat zone in Eastern Ukraine, killing one Ukrainian soldier on Wednesday.

On Friday, Joint Staff of the Counter-Terrorism Operation in eastern Ukraine reports growing tensions in the Mariupol sector, Donetsk region. 

Lieutenant-General, Hero of Ukraine Mykhailo Zabrodsky became the new commander of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) forces in Donbas.

OSCE reported that the "DNR" militants did not allow observers from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to the temporarily occupied village of Markyne, located 94 km from Donetsk. 

Alexander Hug, the first deputy head of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, reported of 39 children killed or injured in the area of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) in occupied Donbas since the beginning of the year

In his interview with Deutsche Welle, Hug also spoke of over 300,000 ceasefire violations in Donbas observed in 2017 alone.  “The military conflict in Donbas is far from being considered ‘frozen’”, he said.

Iryna Gerashchenko, the first deputy speaker of the Verkhovna Rada and representative of Ukraine in the humanitarian subgroup in Minsk claimed about the applying of the blind eye tactics by the OSCE towards the presence of the Russian soldiers in Donbas

 

Diplomacy: Ukraine – Poland relations

On Monday Poland’s Deputy Minister of Culture Jarosław Sellin called Volodymyr Viatrovych, the head of Ukrainian Institute of National Memory, "irresponsible", commenting on accusations against the Minister of Culture and Deputy Prime Minister Piotr Gliński, who during his recent visit to Ukraine "did not dare" to light candles on the graves of the victims of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). 

According to Sellin, the main purpose of the visit of Gliński to Ukraine was to try to bring the historic negotiations (in particular, regarding the exhumation of Polish citizens) to the government level. However, he did not succeed.

Later, the same day, Viatrovych reacted to statement of Polish Culture Ministry calling it “impressive competence".

Besides, Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said that Ukraine has been "using" Poland for too long. He also may recommend Andrzej Duda to cancel his visit to Ukraine in December. However, Duda is still considering visiting Kharkiv, saying that “historical truth is important for good relations of Ukraine and Poland”.

In its turn, Ukraine’s foreign ministry said: ‘The Ukrainian government remains committed to pro-European policy, and there are no politicians with anti-Polish attitude of mind.” 

On November 8, Poland’s vice consul called Lviv a "Polish city".

Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine, initiated a meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Presidents of Poland and Ukraine due to the escalation of the strain in relations of both countries, as the recent resonant statements on the side of the Polish authorities towards Ukraine, including its governance, raise the serious concern and cannot be left without any response.

Viatrovych criticized the monument dedicated to Poles perished in the fight against UPA, installed at the Tomb of Unknown Soldier in Warsaw. “The majority of the perished in the fight against Ukrainian insurgents were representatives of the communist security. The KGB servicemen including those with hands coated with the blood of Polish patriots will be honored in Poland at the state level’, Viatrovych claimed.

Related: War of memorials: Relations between Ukraine and Poland deteriorated again
 

Diplomacy: Ukraine – Serbia relations

A week ago, the ambassador of Ukraine to Serbia Oleksandr Aleksandrovich gave an interview to the BIRN information portal, focusing on the fact that Russia uses Serbia to destroy Europe. The reaction of the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not take long to wait - the department accused the Ukrainian ambassador of intent to harm the friendly relations between Belgrade and Moscow and threatened with retaliatory measures. Presumably, the Serbian government might withdraw Alexandrovich's accreditation and the declaration of his non grata person can. Let us try to understand why the Ukrainian ambassador offended the Serbian people.

Thus, Pavlo Klimkin, the Foreign Minister of Ukraine, held the consultation with Oleksandr Alexandrovych, the Ambassador of Ukraine to Serbia, on the issues of the relationships with Serbia on November 7. ‘The key attention was drawn to the issue of the Serbian mercenaries that fight in Donbas as a part of the pro-Russian militants’ troops and necessity of observation of its international commitments in a fight against the terrorism by Serbia, despite the discussion of the Ukrainian-Serbian relationships’ the minister noted.

Alexandrovych’s statements were supported by the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine. The very next day, Serbia urgently called out its ambassador from Kyiv to discuss relations with Ukraine and "further measures" related to them 

Related: Russian-Serbian friendship, or how Ukraine's ambassador to Serbia offended Serbia


Ukraine's Minister of Internal Affairs

Despite Ukrainian Parliament had a voting Arsen Avakov’s dismissal from his position of the Minister of Internal Affairs, he kept his seat and went on working, offering the changes to the traffic rules. Referring to the high death rate at road accidents (which is four times bigger than the death toll in the combat zone of Eastern Ukraine), he offers to lower the speed limit to 50 kilometers per hour (compared to the current speed limit of 60 km/h). Another offer is a 2-year limit for the first driving license. If the driver doesn’t break the traffic rules more than twice, they are given a new license for 30 years without additional exams. 

UN Peacekeepers to Donbas

The White House is getting ready to offer the Kremlin a plan, which foresees deployment of 20,000-strong contingent of UN peacekeepers in the war-torn Donbas. Though, the U.S. administration denied the piece of information about the allegedly approved decision to start supplying lethal arms to Ukraine. Earlier this week, U.S. approved its defense budget with $350 mln of financial aid for Ukraine, including defensive lethal assistance.  

 

Developments on Kharkiv deadly car accident

Gennady Dronov, the second driver of Kharkiv deadly car crash arrested for 42 days. The hearing lasted for 10 hours. Dronov pleads not guilty.

The pregnant woman injured in that accident on October 18 was brought out of the medically induced coma. Another two patients are still under medical treatment in the regional clinical hospital.

 

 

Freedom of speech

On November 9, 112 Ukraine TV channel workers rallied at the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council waiting for results of the digital license tender. However, the Council predictably announced the Rada TV channel a winner of the license for a nationwide digital broadcasting channel.

The victory of the 112 Ukraine could mean not only expanding of the broadcast of a reputable Ukrainian TV Channel but also the additional liberation of frequencies in MX-5 TV-network, which is put out to tender and with analogous overall coverage all over Ukraine. This will allow announcing additional tenders for other broadcasters. Licenses of the 112 Ukraine TV channel are a source of conflict from the National Broadcasting Council during last four years, who issued 26 refusals to reform the TV channel’s program framework for information broadcasting mode, referring to various problems, while reissuing licenses to the 112’s direct competitors.

Related: National TV Council held tender for one participant

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