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Ukrainian Diary – digest of the most important news over the past week (audio)

21.10.2017 р., 22:00

Situation in Donbas – Weekly Review.

This week Ukraine witnessed the sharp rise of violence in Ukraine’s war-torn Donbas. The number of separatists’ attacks grew almost tree-fold, from 16 on Monday, Oct.16 to more than 50 on Thursday, Oct.19. The Donetsk direction remained an epicenter of attacks. Pro-Russian hirelings keep shelling the Ukrainian positions near the villages of Pisky, Marianka, Avdiivka, Butivka coal mine and others. Shelling of Ukrainian positions continued in Mariupol and Luhansk directions. Alexander Hug, principal deputy chief monitor of the OSCE monitoring mission to Ukraine commented on the general tendency of increasing the level of violence in Ukraine’s east. “Last week the OSCE SMM to Ukraine observed 3345 ceasefire violations, 45 per cent more than in the previous week. Last week’s increase isn’t keeping with the general trend we had been recording since the early September. Following the sides’ recommitment to the ceasefire on Aug. 25, there was a decrease in the number of ceasefire violations, but since then there was a sure but steady climb in the numbers”, Alexander Hug said.

Meanwhile, the OSCE Permanent Council has prolonged the mandate of the Organization’s monitoring mission at two checkpoints on the Ukraine-Russia state border. The Organization added that the mandate of the mission, which consists of 22 members, remains unchanged. ‘Abiding by principles of impartial approach and transparency, the observers will monitor and report the situation on the two Russian checkpoints, as well as follow the movement along the border,’ the Council’s message reads.    
The Bellingcat International Investigation Group which is investigating Boeing MH17 disaster in July 2014, published a new photo of the Russian Buk air defense missile system made in Ukraine on the day of the aircraft being shot down. This was reported by the research network Bellingcat. The team said they are preparing a new report regarding the image. According to the message, this is a satellite image that could be found on Google Earth. It is also reported that among the evidence of the presence of the Russian Buk in the east of Ukraine there are videos and fotos from the villages of Makiivka, Torez, Snizhne, and the separatist-held city of Donetsk. Earlier it was reported that trial over suspects in downed Boeing MH17 case to be held in Hague. Although nobody has been charged yet, the investigation is under way, and Hague is the place where the trial should be held. Boeing 777 of Malaysian Airlines, flight number MH17, was destroyed while performing a regular flight from the Netherlands to Malaysia in July 2014. The tragedy took place in the sky over the militant-held section of Donetsk region. All 298 people aboard deceased; most of the victims,196, were Dutch, but there were citizens of other nine countries as well. The international investigation group found out that the civilian aircraft was downed by the surface-to-air missile; it was fired from Buk, the anti-aircraft missile launcher, which belonged to a unit of the regular Russian army and was operated by servicemen of Russia’s armed forces. The group decided that the perpetrators of the tragedy will be judged in the Netherlands.

Russia Prolonged Detention of Kidnapped Ukrainian Teenager.

The doctors from Ukraine are not allowed to visit Pavlo Gryb, the illegally detained Ukrainian teenager who was presumably kidnapped in Belarus by the Russian security services. According to Pavlo’s father, the young man suffers a serious liver disease, thus he needs proper medication, as otherwise, the consequences could be fatal. However, the necessary medical drugs are not given to the young man since the beginning of his detention. His father, Ihor Hryb comments on Pavlo’s health condition as described his Russian lawyer, Andrei Sabinin. Ihor Hryb said, “Disregarding Pavlo’s poor health, the Russian court extended his arrest till Jan.04, 2018. The boy looks ill, with red eyes; his liver medicines were not given to him. “
   As it was reported earlier, 19-years old Pavlo Gryb got lost in Belarus on August 24. The young man was later found at a prison in Krasnodar, Russia. He told a Russian lawyer that he had been kidnapped in Belarus and brought to Russia, where he is allegedly accused of the terrorist activities, in particular – in preparation of the terrorist attack at a Russian school in the city of Sochi. Earlier, October 18, the Russian court extended the arrest of kidnapped Ukrainian citizen Pavlo Hryb until January 4, 2018. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry voiced its protest against the decision. The Foreign Ministry stressed that the detention of Pavlo Hryb in custody in Krasnodar on a fabricated charge is another evidence of the political nature of the case. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry demanded to iimediately release Pavlo and called on the international community and human rights organizations to condemn the inhuman treatment of the Ukrainian citizen  to increase pressure on the Russian Federation in order to release him.

Malta and Ukraine Strengthen Cooperation.
Malta and Ukraine are strengthening their mutual cooperation. On Tuesday, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of the Republic of Malta, arrived in Ukraine for a state visit at the invitation of Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko. During the meeting, the heads of the two states discussed Ukraine's European integration progress as well as trade and economic cooperation. “We talked the development of engineering services, infrastructure construction, healthcare, pharmaceutical, financial and information technologies cooperation. There was a detailed discussion of logistics for exporters of Ukrainian agricultural and machine engineering products,” Petro Poroshenko said.
Ukraine’s President also thanked Marie-Louis Coleiro Preca for continuing sanctions against Russia because of the aggression in the Donbas and the annexation of Crimea. Petro Poroshenko said - start of the quotation “from the very first minutes of the Russian aggression, from the very first minutes of the illegal annexation of Crimea, we felt your support at the bilateral level and within the EU, in the framework of the UN vote and in many other cases. On behalf of the Ukrainian people, I want to thank you, Mrs. President and the Maltese people, for a clear and constructive position. We are also grateful for introducing and continuing sanctions against the Russian Federation, in connection with the annexation of Crimea, and the aggression in the east of our country.    The strong condemnation and Malta’s voting at the UN regarding human rights violations in Crimea are of a great importance to us,” end of the quotation. Moreover, the Presidents took part in the Ukraine-Malta Business Forum.

Medical Reform Adopted in Ukraine.
On Thursday the Ukrainian parliament on Oct. 19 has passed a law that will trigger the start of long-awaited medical reform in Ukraine. The parliament has approved the bill on financing of the healthcare system from the country’s budget with 240 votes in favor. Lawmakers also approved five amendments to the health legislation.The medical reform bill, which was proposed by Acting Health Minister Ulana Suprun. The law stipulates a series of changes to be made by 2020, including the introduction of a insurance system financed by the government, and a mechanism to allow patients to choose doctors and hospitals themselves. According to the law, some medical services will remain covered by the state (although a list of them is yet to be finalized). Meanwhile, doctors will be able to set their own prices for their services, and choose which hospitals and clinics to use. According to Ukraine’s Health Minister Uliana Suprun, this is only the first in systemic transformations of the health system. She said, “That’s just the beginning. We have worked out a number of regulatory acts necessary to implement the new law and now we wait for the parliament to adopt them as well.”

Right after passing the law on financing healthcare, the Rada approved two other related bills at first reading: one on telemedicine (to provide people in remote areas with access to medical services), and another that amends the financial code of Ukraine.

According to the new law, the state will pay from the state budget for the medical service, products and medicaments for the preventive measures, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation relative to the diseases, traumas, intoxication, pathological state and relative to the pregnancy and childbirth. Under the new law, patients got more liabilities, doctor’s wage bound to average wage in Ukraine. The draft law will come into force in a month after its publishing and it will start to work step by step since January 1, 2018. However, the state will begin to pay for the medical service on the program of the medical guaranteed only since August 1, 2018. It is planned to implement the state guaranteed for all kinds of the medical services in 2018-2019 and the whole complex should start to work since January 1, 2020.



Ukrainian Diary – digest of the most important news over the past week (audio)