About Donbas conflict
In Donbas pro-Kremlin mercenaries and Russian regular army soldiers intensified the attacks, using anti-tank missile launchers. Intensive sniper fire resulted in several fatalities among Ukrainian forces over the week. Meanwhile, the OSCE reiterated that since early 2018, 39 civilians lost their lives in war-torn eastern Ukraine. In 2017, the number made 87.
The negotiation process within Minsk talks group is somewhat stalling. 'The POW (Prisoners of War) release was the key topic of the humanitarian group where the members of State Security Service and the Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories worked on October 16. Moscow does not recognize there are Russian citizens in Ukrainian prisons.
About Kerch shooting
A terrible tragedy happened on October 17 in occupied Kerch – Vladislav Roslyakov, an 18-year-old student of the college, came to the institution with a gunshot and killed 21 people, injured over 50. Both Russian and Ukraine launched a criminal probe on Kerch shooting case – murder and terrorist attack respectively.
Ukrainian officials commented the situation – the President Poroshenko expressed condolences to families of victims; Poroshenko’as representative to Crimea Babin claimed Ukraine’s readiness to any assistance to the families of the dead and injured; Foreign Minister Klimkin doubted that such tragedy would take place on a peaceful peninsula without Russia’s occupation.
In his turn, Putin, the leader of Russia, explained the situation in the following way – he said that Kerch shooting happened due to the ongoing globalization.
Speaking of the investigation of this terrible tragedy, Russia checked Kerch shooter for connection with Ukraine’s Right Sector, while Aksyonov, the so-called “head” of Crimea, said someone helped Roslyakov with preparation of the terrorist attack. Ukraine’s Interior Ministry suggested Kerch shooting could be used as a reason for was in Azov Sea. At the same time, Ukraine monitors state border with occupied peninsula in an enhanced regime.
About the Sea of Azov
On October 18, Russian Foreign Minister said Russia would not allow NATO vessels hold drills in Sea of Azov. The next day, Russia's L-39 jet trainer crashed into Sea of Azov.
About Clear Sky drills
The story of Ukraine’s fighter jet crash in Vinnytsia region is among this week’s breaking news. The tragedy took place on Tuesday, as Clear Sky multinational drills took place in central Ukraine. Sukhoi Su-27 air superiority fighter hit the ground near Ulanove village. The crash killed both the American and the Ukrainian pilots, Colonel Seth Nehring from the 144th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard stationed in California, and Ivan Petrenko, the Chief of Aviation of East Air Force Command of Ukraine’s Armed Forces. The drills were supposed to be running until October 19, but were canceled after the incident.
Ukrainian political prisoners
Ukrainian movie director Oleg Sentsov, after a 114-day hunger strike, appeared in the intensive care of Labytnangi hospital, Russia. Moreover, his cousin Natalia Kaplan said it was difficult to predict whether Oleg survives. Besides, she claimed about the pessimistic attitude of his last letters.
Speaking of another political prisoner Balukh, who is illegally kept in Crimea, this week, it was reported that he was to be transferred to Kerch prison on October 18.
On October 16, Mustafa Dzhemilev, former Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, Ukrainian MP and the presidential envoy for the affairs of Crimean Tatar people, stated that Kremlin needs Ukrainian hostages to have “exchange material”.
About Ukrainian Orthodox Church
On October 15, Russian Church broke relations with Constantinople. The Kremlin expressed 'concern' about this breakup. Dushanbe Orthodox Church (Tajikistan) also severed ties with Constantinople.
Ukraine’s Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate noted that Russian Synod follows Kremlin policy, while Ukraine's Foreign Minister called Russian Orthodox church "dissident." Ukraine's President Poroshenko also stated that Russian Orthodox Church follows self-isolation path.
Ukraine will offer St. Anrdrew’s cathedral to Constantinople for use. Ukrainian Autocephalous Church, as well as Ukrainian parliament agreed to it.
In the meantime, Ukraine-Russian Orthodox church conflict reached Germany.
Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church breaks plans of Putin about Russian World. In fact, Russia adopted statement on "escalation of situation in Ukraine," claiming that attempt of Ukrainian authorities to legalize church “dissenters” is an example of this.
About Minsk process
Ukraine’s national football team claimed another victory in UEFA Nations League; Andriy Shevchenko’s men beat the Czech squad in a home game (1-0), scoring another three points and finishing first in the ranking of Group 1, League B. Having defeated Slovakia and the Czech Republic - once again (the Yellow-Blues won in both legs), Ukraine makes it to the next round of the competition.