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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: OCT. 2 - OCT. 8
23:15, 8 October 2017
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: OCT. 2 - OCT. 8

Trilateral Contact Groop in Minsk, Donbas re-integration draft law and hot parliamentary debates, new findings in Kalynivka depot fire case, militants' antrocite in Poland, etc.

23:15, 8 October 2017

112 Agency

Donbas conflict zone

Unfortunately, pro-Russian backed militants go on shelling Ukraine’s army positions in Donbas combat zone, killing one Ukrainian man. 

Another meeting of the subgroups of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) took place in Minsk on October 4. The negotiators supported the initiative of Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Ertugrul Apakan to open Zolote checkpoint on October 20. Apart from that, the Ukrainian side of the Trilateral Contact Group stated that Russian side and representatives of certain parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions don’t fulfill the undertaken obligations under the “school cease-fire”. Since August 25, 2017, the militant groups attacked the Ukrainian positions 979 times, including usages of tanks and artillery, and, not so long ago, MRLs “Grad” were used in Mariupol sector (near Hnutove and Vodiane). Under the cease-fire, 5 soldiers were killed and 37 were wounded

Later it became known that Antony Blinken, former deputy secretary of state in the Obama administration and is a contributing opinion writer, made a strong appeal to Donald Trump for supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine in connection with continuous armed hostilities in Donbas. Antony Blinken wrote that in his article in The New York Times.

Open source

Later the same day, Viktor Muzhenko, the head of the General Staff of Ukraine, expressed his doubts whether Ukrainian society is ready for the belligerent solution to the Donbas conflict. Muzhenko noted that the Armed Forces are ready or the belligerent solution to the Donbas conflict if looking into a problem in the context of armament availability and the command system.

According to the Head of the Staff, the casualties may be up to 10 – 12 thousand military men in a 10-day air operation, with 3 thousand fatalities.

On the question of civilian loss assessment, he noted that there are 10 thousand civilians on every 2300 military men.

 

Rada and re-integration of Donbas

The draft law “On specifics of state policy on ensuring Ukraine’s sovereignty over temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions” by the President of Ukraine was registered in the Verkhovna Rada on October 4. 

According to the explanatory note, the draft law defines the legal regime of certain parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions as the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine. The document defines the aim and means of state policy on ensuring the sovereignty of Ukraine over the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, and the specifics of implementing and defending rights of Ukrainian citizens who live in these territories.

The bill also defines the procedure of managing activities on ensuring national security and defense in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Next day, on October 5, when the Parliament was to consider the draft law, activists burned flares near the building of the Verkhovna Rada protesting against the parliamentarians’ intention to adopt the law on re-integration of Donbas. Apart from that the activists insisted that Ukraine gives up of Minsk agreement, which laid the basis for Donbas reintegration bill.

Scuffle at Rada session hall, October 5, 2017
112 Agency

Russia in its turn called Donbas reintegration law ‘mockery over Europe’.

The debates inside the Parliament were also hot, until the Chairman of Verkhovna Rada closed the session without adopting the draft law on Donbas reintegration.

The next day, on October 6, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine approved, in principle, the so-called Donbas Reintegration draft law in the first reading, excluding all mentions of Minsk agreement from it.

233 MPs voted for the draft law.

The document announces the Russian Federation an aggressor. 

Having approved the law about the extension of special status of the local government in the occupied areas of Donbas for another year, the Ukrainian Parliament showed it can take solid steps to bring peace there. Kurt Volker, the U.S. Department of the State’s Special Envoy tweeted this, sharing his view on the law approved.

Heavenly Hundred Memorial

A vandal broke the monument of heroes of the Heavenly Hundred.

The incident took place at Instytutska street in the downtown Kyiv on Thursday noon. The man broke the monument and tried to flee the scene, but the police detained him on the spot. The 43-year-old came to Kyiv from Sevastopol, in the occupied Crimea.

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According to Zoryan Shkiryak, the counselor of Ukraine’s interior minister, the vandal now testifies before the law enforcers. He faced charges with deliberate destruction or damage of property.

A man who crushed several memorial plates to the Heavenly Hundred Heroes near the Independence Square on Instytutska street was arrested.

 

Poland buys anthracite from occupied Donbas

On October 4, Polish Gazeta Prawna reported that the anthracite mined in the occupied territories of Luhansk region arrive in Poland. According to the newspaper, leader of the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) Igor Plotnytsky is one of the people who receive the incomings from the sale of the coal.  After Ukraine’s Embassy sent a note to Polish MFA over swastika on Rzeszow consulatePoland confirmed importing anthracite from occupied Donbas. 

 

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Polish Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchórzewski assured that there will be an inspection over the supply of coal from occupied Donbas and in the future such supplies will be banned

 

New findings in Kalynika depot fire case

The State Emergency Service reported that the explosions ceased at the armament depot in Kalynivka as at the morning of October 3. 

The director of Kyiv Research Institute of Foreign Expertise Olexandr Ruvin reported on the investigation of the tragedy at the meeting of Committee of the Verkhovna Rada on National Security and Defense broadcasted. He said that the first explosions in Kalynivka occurred inside the storage with the self-propelled mortars ‘Tyulpan’ and in the closed bunker with multiple rocket launchers ‘Uragan’.

AFP

‘We understand that the explosions occurred inside the storage. Two powerful explosions took place. One was at the open storage with the number of ‘Tyulpan’. The second was at the bunker with the number of Uragan’. There was no possibility to initiate the explosions outside of it, it was totally enclosed, it is made of concrete and there was missile stations so the wideness of the concrete doors is one meter. Nothing could get there. Moreover, there was any equipped armament’, Ruvin noted.

 

Political prisoners: Sentsov, Chiygoz

Ukrainian director Oleh Sentsov, who was unlawfully convicted in Russia for 20 years, said he was being transferred from Irkutsk to Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. Sentsov wrote this in a letter to human rights defender Zoya Svetova. 

Facebook Petro Poroshenko

European Parliament members call on the EU to expand the list of economic and personal sanctions against Russia and those involved in the persecution of Crimean Tatars, as well as other Ukrainian hostages of the Kremlin. This issue is included in the drafts of five registered resolutions of the EP concerning the cases of Crimean Tatar leaders Akhtem Chiygoz, Ilmi Umerov and the journalist Mykola Semena.

The next day, on October 5, the deputies of the European Parliament supported the resolution on Russia's violation of human rights in the annexed Crimea.

To get back what happened in Ukraine earlier, back in September, watch our video digest.

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