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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: SEPT. 11 - 15
01:15, 16 September 2017
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: SEPT. 11 - 15

Conflict in Eastern Ukraine, YES conference, West-2017 drills, UN peacekeepers in Donbas and new iPhone

01:15, 16 September 2017

112 Agency

Conflict in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian militants continue shelling Ukrainian Army positions. Casualties reported

The UN Monitoring Mission on Human Rights in Ukraine released a new report demonstrating 34 766 people were killed and wounded in the Donbas in the period from April 14, 2014 to August 15, 2017 as a result of the war.

"Following the results of the Skype meeting of the subgroup on security, the Ukrainian side called on the Russian Federation and the Donbas occupations forces to comply with their obligations to observe the ceasefire," the press secretary of the second president of Ukraine, country’s representative in the Trilateral Contact Group Darka Olifer said.

Meanshile, the OSCE SMM plans to set up four security cameras in the Donbas Conflict zone until the end of September.

Open source
 

Saakashvili

The story actually began last week on Sunday. Mikheil Saakashvili, a two terms Georgian president (2004 – 2013) and former Governor of Odessa region, crossed the border of Ukraine as he promised earlier. He literally broke into Ukraine, because the crowd that gathered at the checkpoint broke through the border from the Ukrainian side and made a fight with the border guards who were in the transit zone.

Several law enforcers were injured after Saakashvili's fans break through the border. 

112.ua correspondent witnessed the return of the prodigal Saakashvili 

Arsen Avakov, the Interior Minister of Ukraine, said that those behind the incident will be identified and brought to criminal responsibility. The court has even arrested one of the assistants of Saakashvili’s breaking through Ukraine’s border.

Several Ukrainian authorities have also reacted. The world media also noticed the “act by Saakashvili”.

Myrotvorets, Ukrainian website that purports to reveal personal information of people who are considered to be "enemies of Ukraine," has added Saakashvili to the list of violators together with Yuliya Tymoshenko.

Former Georgian President himself said that he was in Ukraine legally, and accused Ukrainian police of stealing his passport in the bus. Though, a day later he admitted he violated the law while crossing the border.

Saakashvili is now in Lviv showing up together with Lviv Mayor, but he intends to come to Kyiv on September 19.

As it was reported earlier Poroshenko revoked Ukrainian citizenship of Saakashvili. The State Migration Service of Ukraine confirmed this.

The department explained that Saakashvili lost the citizenship on the basis of the point 2, article 19 of the Decree on Citizenship, precisely on the basis of the false data that is indicated in the form. Saakashvili wrote that he is not under the investigation in Ukraine or in any other country but it is known that the former president was arrested in absentia in Georgia.

 

WEST-2017

Week-long military exercises West-2017 with the participation of Belarusian and Russian troops started on Thursday, September 14 in Belarus.

Several days earlier, MFA of Lithuania called on Russia to cancel the drills, and Michael Fallon, the British defense minister said that the West 2017 military drills are designed as a major Russian provocation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus held the briefing for the heads of the diplomatic mission of the foreign countries and international organizations to “give a possibility to the ambassadors to ask the questions that disturb and interest them”.

Related: Why Russia conducts drills in small Belarus, if Russian land is so great?

‘The main aim of the drills to check the readiness of Belarus and Russia to provide the military security of the Common State, its readiness to response at the possible aggression and to increase the teamwork of the command and control organizations, field and air training of the units and detachments of the Armed Forces of both countries’, the Defense Ministry of Belarus noted.

Politically active Belarusians paint a grim picture of possible results of the exercises, but most of their fellow citizens are not alarmed by these gloomy prospects.

Related: West-2017 drills: Russian troops in Belarus and fears of the West

Open source

 

UN peacekeepers

On Monday Ukraine’s Prime Minister Volodymyr Grosyman told that the UN General Assembly included the issue of deploying UN peacekeepers in Donbas on the agenda of the 72nd session. The next day OSCE Chairman-in-Office and Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz welcomed the talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to strengthen the protection of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Ukraine. Poland also claimed its readiness to support the deployment of the UN peacekeepers in Donbas and actively take part in the settlement of the situation in the East of Ukraine as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Russia prepared a draft resolution for the UN Security Council to send the UN peacekeepers to the East of Ukraine to provide security for the OSCE observers. The document offers to “set a UN Mission on securing the OSCE SMM in the South-East of Ukraine for a six moth term after complete withdrawal of personnel and military equipment from the actual contact line with a head of the mission to report directly to the General Secretary”.The text of the resolution also reads that the mission personnel should be agreed with the representatives of Kyiv and the occupied Luhansk and Donetsk. 

Putin even urged Macron to support Russian idea on UN peacekeepers. 

Open source

                                                                                        

YES

The 14th Yalta European Strategy (YES) meeting kicked off at the Besarabsky Market in the downtown of Kyiv on Friday, September 15. YES was founded by businessmen Viktor Pinchuk in 2004 and usually took place in the Livadia Palace in Yalta but after the annexation of Crimea, it was relocated to the capital of Ukraine.

YES is a leading forum for discussing Ukraine’s European future and global context. YES fosters new ideas. It connects Ukraine to international partners, supports forces for change in the country, and builds networks of supporters for a new Ukraine worldwide.

The YES board includes Aleksander Kwaśniewski, President of Poland (1995-2005), Chairman of the YES Board; Carl Bildt, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden (2006-2014), Prime Minister of Sweden (1991-1994); Pat Cox, President of the European Parliament (2002-2004), Member of the European Parliament (1989-2004); Stephane Fouks, Vice President of Havas Group, Executive Co-Chairman of Havas Worldwide; Wolfgang Ischinger, Ambassador, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Senior Professor, Hertie School of Governance; Victor Pinchuk, Founder and Member of the Board, YES and Founder of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and EastOne group; Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Founder of Rasmussen Global, Secretary General of NATO (2009-2014), Prime Minister of Denmark (2001-2009); and Javier Solana, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (1995-1999), High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union (1999-2009), distinguished fellow in Foreign Policy at Brookings Institution.

'The list of the reforms will be very long because the peaceful return of Donbas and return of Yalta by the visa-free regime and Association Agreement is the only strategy for us. This is our goal for the next year', Poroshenko said. He also offered to create international friend group of Crimea de-occupation.  and said that the goal for 2018 is to return Crimea.

Vice President of the European Commission for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic claimed that Ukraine has a great potential to become a significant energy hub and the EU is ready to support the preservation of the important role of the country in the transit of the Russian natural gas to Europe. In the commentary for the press Leonid Kuchma, the ex-president of Ukraine and this country’s official envoy in the Minsk talks group said that the Kremlin has been ‘mocking’ Ukraine and the rest of the world by offering to implement the UN peacekeeping mission in Donbas

In his turn former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen claimed that the offer of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the deployment of the UN peacekeepers in Donbas is unacceptable and it will worsen the situation in the region.  According to Fogh Rasmussen, the problem resides in the fact that Ukraine does not control the part of the border with Russia. 'We have to deploy there the peacekeeping forces to control this part. I think that Putin made one step forward and Poroshenko should make three steps', he said.

yes-ukraine.org

 

Pavlo Gryb

Lawyer Andrey Sabinin managed to visit 19-year-old Ukrainian Pavlo Gryb, who is kept in one of the detention centers in Krasnodar on September 11. He said that he couldn’t disclose what exactly Gryb is accused of, as he signed a non-disclosure agreement. According to the lawyer, Pavlo Gryb told him that he was moved out of Gomel by unknown individuals and handed him over to other strangers, and in a few days later an arrest report was filed in Smolensk region of Russia.

 On September 13 the Octyabr District Court of Krasnodar claimed that the son of the worker of the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service 19-years old Pavlo Gryb was arrested in Krasnodar on August 17 for two months. Later that day Andrey Sabinin who defends Pavlo Gryb said that the decision on Gryb’s arrest untill October 17 was taken in absentia. Ukraine urges European Council to assume measures to release Gryb  “Ukrainians aren’t safe not only in Russia,” Ukraine’s MFA Pavlo Klimkin. On Septermber 15 Pavla Gryb was transferred from detention center to hospital.

His sister Olga Gryb believes the Russian special services, with the help from their doctors, may be trying to deny Pavlo Gryb’s diagnosis – portal hypertension syndrome, due to which he must take medicine every day. The relatives of the youngster say that if he doesn’t take his medicine, it may lead to fatal consequences.

Igor Gryb Facebook

 

Oh… and the iPhone!

Traditionally Apple released a new iPhone on September 12. Traditionally a lot of rumours and expectations fed the tension. Ukrainian viewers of the presentation of Apple products were pleasantly surprised: during the presentation the building of Kyiv railway station was shown. When watching video Apple Watch presentation, you will recognize the lobby of the Kyiv station with two escalators, and you can even hear the announcement in Ukrainian. Next, the action takes place on a subway platform, similar to "Zoloti Vorota" station.

And here’s a bit of fun about the iPhones in Ukraine http://112.international/opinion/ukrainian-true-fans-of-iphones-or-making-a-splash-is-better-than-cash-20744.html

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We made some video news pieces for you. Please, don't forget to watch them later.

 

 

 

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