Ukraine: Daily Briefing
October 9, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
Ukraine is hosting Clear Sky 2018, a 12-day joint multinational military exercise involving 9 nations – Belgium, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, and the United States. For a report from UATV on Clear Sky 2018, please click on image above
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and three Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions on the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors of the front 36 times in total, including at least 12 times with heavy weapons. Returning fire, Ukrainian forces killed 5 and wounded 6 enemy combatants.
2. Ukrainian political prisoner in Russian-occupied Crimea suspends hunger strike
Volodymyr Balukh, a Ukrainian political prisoner illegally jailed by Russian occupation authorities in Russian-occupied Crimea, suspended his months-long hunger strike, pending an expected transfer to a prison in Russia.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported, “Archbishop Klyment, the cleric responsible for Crimea in the Kyiv-based Ukrainian Orthodox Church, told reporters in Kyiv on October 9 that Balukh will resume the hunger strike once he arrives at prison in Russia. He is currently being held at a jail in Crimea.
Klyment read aloud from a letter in which Balukh wrote that he ‘used the last chance to find at least a crack in the occupier’s punitive system, where some elements of common sense and honor might be present, and decided to halt the hunger strike.’
He said he will resume the protest fast once he is in a prison in Russia. ‘I will not allow myself to consume food from the occupiers’ hands and wear their prison robes,’ Balukh wrote, adding that if he dies he would like to be buried in the ‘unoccupied part of Ukraine.'”
3. Ukraine suspects sabotage after ammo depot explosions
Reuters reported, “Ukrainian authorities suspect sabotage lay behind explosions that tore through an ammunition depot in the early hours of Tuesday, sending fireballs into the sky and causing more than 12,000 people to be evacuated.
No casualties were reported at the depot, located 176 km (about 110 miles) east of the capital, Kyiv. Explosions were happening at a rate of two to three a second at one stage, according to the defense ministry. […]
The fact that explosions were set off at intervals in different parts of the depot pointed to sabotage, a defense ministry’s spokesman said.
‘Two simultaneous explosions, and after five minutes two more explosions (in another part of the depot) suggest it was military sabotage,’ Defence Ministry spokesman Rodion Tymoshenko said at a press briefing.
Authorities closed airspace in a 30 km radius and suspended road and rail transport. The emergency services reported that gas and electricity supplies to the area had been disrupted.”
Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers reported, “The consequences of the emergency occurred today in Chernihiv region at the ammunition depot of the military unit A-1479 will be liquidated, everything needed for people’s safety is done. This was stated by Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman during his communication with media people.
The Head of Government visited Parafiivka, where residents of the surrounding villages evacuated due to explosions of ammunition are staying. […]
He chaired a meeting of the operational headquarters, which outlined the […] needs of people and approved the decisions necessary for their provision. The Prime Minister thanked the rescuers and local authorities for the emergency evacuation and accommodation.”
4. EBRD shifts gears from “crisis response” to growth stimuli in Ukraine investments
Ukraine Business News reported, “The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the largest international financial investor in Ukraine, is shifting gears from post-2014 ‘crisis response’ to targeting five areas for investment through 2023. Since 1993, the Bank has invested EUR 12.1 billion in 400 Ukraine projects, a track record that motivates foreign investors to watch its evolving priorities.
As approved by the Bank’s London-based board, the new priorities for Ukraine are: 1) energy – efficiency, renewables and market reform 2) privatization and better governance in the state sector 3) strengthening banking and capital markets 4) facilitating foreign investment and trade 5) modernizing infrastructure and ties to the EU.”