Donbas and disengagement of forces
Fights in the war-torn eastern Ukraine continue. Ukrainian government forces lost several men killed over the week; Russian occupants open fire from various weaponry, including that of Minsk-banned calibers.
As if that was not enough, Russia officially claimed it could not guarantee the effective disengagement of its forces from the division line in Donbas. Moreover, the Russian government blamed Ukraine for the alleged “disrupting of disengagement of troops”, as Russian presidential advisor Yuriy Ushakov put it. The Russian side demands effective disengagement of forces, otherwise there would be no talks within the Normandy Four format – or the direct meeting of Ukrainian and Russian leaders.
Russian mercenaries also accused Ukraine with breaching the disengagement procedure. The process actually fails – but it seems that Russian armed gangs are the ones to blame. Given the ongoing attacks on Ukrainian emplacements in Donbas, Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko even claimed that Russia was not interested in holding the next round of Normandy Four talks.
Due to the disengagement of forces in Donbas conflict area, fighters of Ukrainian Armed Forces will return to positions that they held three years ago, in 2016. Ruslan Khomchak, the Chief of General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces said so as quoted by the government web portal. "New positions of the Ukrainian military will be where they were in 2016, when the disengagement of forces in the said area first took place. The units of Ukraine's Armed Forces will keep controlling the situation", he said.
Veterans of Donbas conflict will remain on the division line in Zolote settlement in Luhansk region, demanding that the Ukrainian government officially refuses to implement the Steinmeier formula and drops the idea to disengage troops along the said line. Andriy Biletsky, the leader of National Corps party and the first commander of Azov volunteer regiment put it this way. Soon after that, activists of the National Corps and veterans of Donbas conflict came to Zolote checkpoint, demanding that the law enforcers let them across it. After a heated conversation, the police shot in the air to warn the protesters, but eventually the situation calmed down. The veterans proceeded to Zolote, where residents also ask the Ukrainian army to stay on its positions.
The Parliament of the Netherlands plans to begin the additional investigation into the reasons why Ukraine did not close the airspace over Donbas in 2014. That, according to the Dutch side, could be part of the answer to what happened on the day when flight MH17 was shot down.
14-hour press-marathon form the President
On October 10, Ukraine’s President spoke with some 300 Ukrainian and foreign journalists. It was a 14-hour press marathon – the longest press conference ever held by any sitting president. The most frequently asked questions were about Donbas, Zelensky-Trump relations, Privatbank, social issues, etc. He even got injections during press marathon to save his voice. Find the main statements here.
Energy issues - new gas contract with Russia
Later, the Chairman of the Board of Naftogaz of Ukraine Andriy Kobolev said Gazprom Export could become gas supplier for large Ukrainian consumers.
The Secretariat of the Energy Community hopes that the National Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission of Ukraine will be able to certify the independent operator of Ukrainian gas transporting system during the next month.
It was also reported that U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry denied the pressure on Ukrainian leadership in staff changes in top management of Naftogaz. However, Perry admitted that he provided guidance to Ukrainian state gas company Naftogaz but assured that he did it on the request of the government of Ukraine.
Oleksandr Usyk’s fight against Tyrone Spong was called off. Spong tested positive for the banned substance. 38-year-old American boxer Chazz Witherspoon has officially become the new opponent in Usyk’s heavyweight debut.
On October 11, Ukraine will host Lithuania. Andriy Shevchenko's squad is on its way to UEFA Euro 2020 qualification, and Lithuanians will try to get in that way. The football match will take place at the Metalist arena in Kharkiv.
Oleksandr Gvozdyk speaks on the upcoming bout with IBF world light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev. The boxing bout between Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Artur Beterbiev will take place on October 18 in Philadelphia. WBC and IBF titles will be unified.