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  • The Russian war against Georgia is far from over
    EUROMAIDAN PRESS 2018/08/08 - 12:10

    http://euromaidanpress.com/wp-conten...06/georgia.png

    Despite suggestions by analysts like Sergey Markedonov that the 2008 Russian-Georgia war is over, Moscow’s aggression against Georgia which began long before 2008 shows no sign of ending anytime soon.

    Indeed, as the tenth anniversary of the Russian invasion approaches, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has openly threatened Georgia with disastrous consequences if it continues its efforts to join NATO, and polls show that Russians accept the Kremlin’s version of events that Georgia, not Russia, is responsible for the conflict.

    According to a new Levada Center poll, in fact, only one Russian in 20 thinks that Moscow was responsible for the 2008 conflict and its consequences, even though the facts of the case are that Russian forces invaded and occupied Georgian territory rather than the other way around.

    Russian economist and commentator Andrey Illarionov offers a useful list of ten reasons why those like Markedonov who argue that the war is over are wrong and why the war continues and is likely to continue well into the future. These include:

    1. Markedonov et al refuse to call the war what it in fact was, “a Russian-Georgian war,” lest by doing so they call attention to the “aggressive” nature and continuing quality of the conflict.
    2. They act as if the war is “finished” when in fact there has been no peace agreement and when in fact after the more open phase of the war was concluded, Russian military forces have taken over control of an additional 103 Georgian villages.
    3. Such people invariably seek to equate the situation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia with that of Kosovo, which they argue is “a precedent” for what Moscow did, even though the situation is entirely different and even though Kosovo has attracted near total international recognition while Abkhazia and South Ossetia have not.
    4. They ignore Russian military actions after the ceasefire, actions that have expanded Russia’s zone of control on Georgian territory.
    5. Such analysts equate Russia’s military presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia with those of the US and the EU in Georgia, ignoring the fact that Russian now “occupies 20 percent of Georgia’s territory” while neither the US nor the EU has established a single base in Georgia.
    6. Markedonov and his kind engage in blaming the victim by arguing that Tbilisi was responsible for the war even though it did not invade anyone and Russia was somehow an innocent bystander even though it did.
    7. They suggest that Georgia fired the first shot even though investigations show that it was Russia not Georgia that did so.
    8. Markedonov et al, Illarionov says, talk about changing borders with such ease that they fail to recognize that their words highlight Russian imperial views that the borders of all neighboring states are up for grabs if Moscow thinks they are.
    9. They implicitly suggest that more border changes are thus ahead, not only in Georgia but elsewhere as well.
    10. And such writers ignore the reality that whatever problems Georgia and the other “new states” have with democracy, their achievements in that sector are far greater than are those of Russia which is a democracy in name only.

    In concluding his article, Illarionov says that “the Russian-Georgian war of course will end. But it will end not as those in today’s Kremlin suppose. It will end with the signing of a peace treaty between free Russia and free Georgia about the restoration of an internationally recognized border between the two countries.” The Russian war against Georgia is far from over | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press |

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    Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp

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    • Ten years after the Russian-Georgian war: the Kremlin’s unlearned lessons
      EUROMAIDAN PRESS Andrey Zubov 2018/08/08 - 14:15

      Russian history professor Andrey Zubov, who was fired from his position of at the Moscow State University of International Affairs for criticizing Russia’s occupation of Crimea, recalls the Russian-Georgian war in August 2008 and the lessons the Kremlin should have learned but has not. We offer you an English-language translation of his post.

      This war which lasted a week took hundreds of lives of Georgians, Ossetians, and Russians, soldiers and civilians. Hundreds of thousands of residents were forced to leave their homes in South Ossetia and, before that, in Abkhazia. This war created the unrecognized state “South Ossetia” and strengthened another unrecognized state – Abkhazia. Both these states, created on the territory of Georgia, are poor, far from democracy and, in fact, are completely controlled by the Russian FSB and Army.

      Since that time, diplomatic relations between Russia and Georgia have been severed. Russian taxpayers were burdened with two subsidized areas and the maintenance of troops necessary to retain the occupied land. For some reason, citizens of South Ossetia and Abkhazia were issued Russian passports and, accordingly, for some reason, the Russian Federation took responsibility for these people.

      Why was this all done?
      The USSR left many unresolved ethnic problems after its death. The Bolsheviks drew internal borders without accounting for either ethnic or cultural factors. By destroying all the national elites, from those of the Russians to the Ossetians, Abkhazians, and Georgians, the communist leaders sought to control the USSR’s territory, resources, and its brainwashed intimidated population. They succeeded in this until the late 1980s. But here, long-standing ethnic contradictions and cultural discrepancies reappeared with full force in Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Chechnya, and Central Asia.

      Over the years of communist rule, all the citizens of the USSR got used to the fact that man is the least of all values. Battles were fought for land, not for the happiness of all people living on earth. The battles were fought for the happiness of our own against strangers, as in the years of the [1917 – Ed] Revolution the peasants fought for land against the landowners. Strangers can be disposed of, expelled, and then perfect happiness will come. The principle “do to others as you would have them do to you” was firmly forgotten over seventy years of totalitarianism, when kids were taught about the class struggle from kindergarten – in reality, the war of all against all. The simple idea that by taking away from another human being you won’t become happier, but only doom yourself to the same fate and even worse, did not come to mind at all.

      The Caucasus, both in the South and North, is one of the most complex ethnic and cultural regions of the world. As in other mountainous countries, for example, in the Balkans, entirely different peoples live in neighboring valleys, having found shelter here at different times. There isn’t much land here, and livestock is herded to pastures through the fields of farmers.

      https://i0.wp.com/euromaidanpress.co...ins.jpg?w=1012

      Interethnic and intercultural conflicts are unavoidable here, and the best skills of political engineering plus the strongest goodwill are needed so that after the death of a totalitarian power, under democracy and self-government, such a complex region does not collapse into the fire of wars, genocide, and mass exodus of refugees.

      Unfortunately, Mr.Putin used these natural weaknesses of the Caucasus region to expand Russia’s influence in it. He did not heal, and could not heal the wounds of the Caucasus, he exacerbated them, generating more suffering for many people. It’s not the fault of Putin and Medvedev that they do not know how to reconcile ethnic conflicts. This was not taught to them, nor their other compatriots. Their fault is that they try to use the illnesses of their neighbors in their own interests, indulging in the imperial flames that consume them from within.

      For the happy life of its people, Russia had absolutely no need to divorce Abkhazia and South Ossetia from Georgia: any separation of land leads to age-old conflicts. What is needed is that all residents of Abkhazia and Ossetia – Ossetians, Abkhazians, and Georgians – live peacefully and be recognized as part of the world political community. If we, the Russians, have not yet mastered the art of peacemaking, it is better to place this burden on the shoulders of other countries, on the shoulders of the UN.

      But Putin really wanted to have his “own” military base in Gudauta, his tanks in Tskhinvali, and to have Georgia under his heel. These empire games cost everyone very dearly and restoring the destroyed destinies of people and the collapsed trust of the nations to Russia will be much more difficult for us than healing the wounds of the earth, building houses, roads, and factories destroyed by these conflicts.

      Nothing has been understood, no lessons learned
      When Mr.Medvedev recently attacked Georgia again for its desire to join NATO, as well as NATO for its readiness to accept Georgia, he was being simply ridiculous. In the early 2000s, Putin talked about Russia’s accession to NATO and it is unlikely that he would care about Georgia, Iran, or China, who believed that such an alliance threatened their national interests. Why is what is permissible for Russia is not permissible for Georgia?

      And when Mr. Medvedev began to threaten the world with Russian military bases in Abkhazia, he completed the ten-year circle – not NATO bases, the Russian bases, and we will not give up what is ours – that was the meaning of his words. It was for the sake of this that everything was done. It is for the sake of this that Putin took the weight of the fates of tens of thousands of Georgians who fled Abkhazia and Ossetia and the blood of the dead onto his soul. For the sake of the bases and the land. Very Stalinesque, very Bolshevik-esque, but totally inhumane.

      What’s ahead?
      Battalion of Russian army on its way to Georgia, 9 August 2008

      Of course, after the end of the Putin regime, Russia will have to withdraw from Abkhazia and Ossetia. Its troops must be replaced by UN peacekeepers, and under their control, strictly observing the principles of restitution of property rights; refugees must return to these areas. International control should minimize potential new conflicts on national grounds, and when peace is restored (I’m afraid this will take 10-15 years), the international peacekeeping contingent can be withdrawn from these areas of Georgia.

      Russia has lost the moral right to participate in this contingent. The most that it should do is help with money. The accounts of Putin, Roldugin, Prigozhin would be very helpful for this. And, of course, the territorial integrity of Georgia cannot be questioned, and the status of the now-torn off lands is the subject of benevolent multilateral negotiations, on which Russia should be given only an advisory vote.

      Such is the price of that shameful victory in August 2008. I hope that these steps and this “forcing Russia to peace” will become the pledge of future good relations between my country and the states of the South Caucasus. Ten years after the Russian-Georgian war: the Kremlin’s unlearned lessons |Euromaidan Press |

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      Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp

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      • Putin disliked Ukrainians long before he seized Crimea, KGB veterans reportedly say
        EUROMAIDAN PRESS 2018/08/08 - 14:34

        When Vladimir Putin was serving as a KGB officer in East Germany, he had the reputation among his fellow Soviet intelligence officers of being especially hostile to Ukrainians, Ukrainian Lt. Gen. Vasyl Bohdan tells Marina Yevtushok of the Apostrophe news agency.

        Bohdan, author of a new book on Putin’s responsibility for the Russian Anschluss of Crimea and the war in the Donbas, says he was in the service at that time and heard others say this and other negative things about the future Kremlin leader.

        Anti-Ukrainian attitudes were hardly unknown among Russians in the KGB and otherwise 30 and 40 years ago. Many memoirs report similar attitudes among others. Consequently, this account is entirely plausible and perhaps even likely. But it is obviously indirect evidence at best and thus should be treated with caution.
        Putin disliked Ukrainians long before he seized Crimea, KGB veterans reportedly sayEuromaidan Press |

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        • ATLANTIC COUNCIL Andy Hunder August 7, 2018
          Why Ukraine Is Reappearing on US Investors’ Radar Screens

          When I was an eight-year-old boy growing up in London in the late 1970s, my schoolteacher asked our class to show on the map where in Britain our parents were born. When it was my turn, I walked to the other side of the blackboard where the world map hung and proudly exclaimed that my parents came from Ukraine.

          But when everyone looked at the map, I was horrified to discover that the country I had so excitedly announced wasn’t there; instead, there was just a colossal landmass identified as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. I tried to convince the class that such a country really did exist, but I didn’t have much luck: it simply wasn’t on the map.

          That was my first attempt at promoting Ukraine in public, and it wasn’t a great success.

          These days, I make a living advocating for businesses in Ukraine, and I’m still running into barriers. As in my London classroom, many American and international investors haven’t yet detected Ukraine on their radar screens.

          That’s not necessarily surprising. For many years, the country was mismanaged by a small cohort of greedy oligarchs and their cronies, and it became internationally recognized as a haven of corruption and vested interests, a terrain inhospitable to foreign investors.

          That now appears to be changing.

          Just two months ago, President Petro Poroshenko invited me to the first meeting of Ukraine’s National Investment Council, a platform for dialogue between business, government, and the global investment community. Around the table sat two dozen leading global chief executives of companies with a combined market capitalization in excess of $900 billion. These top bosses had flown into Kyiv especially for the meeting.

          And some of them are already benefiting from Ukraine’s resilient economy and financial reforms.

          Cargill, for example—America’s largest privately owned corporation—is in the final stages of constructing a deep water terminal on the Black Sea near Odesa. The facility will accommodate post-Panamax vessels and provide transshipment of Ukrainian grain to customers across the globe.

          But Ukrainian farmers have been crippled in their efforts to export millions of tons of grain, due to the overloaded national railway system. Enter General Electric. GE Senior Vice President Jamie Miller was at the table and shared details of a recently-signed diesel locomotive framework agreement with Ukraine, valued at over $1 billion. GE will provide thirty new locomotives to Ukraine’s state railway later this year, and will supply a total of 225 engines over the next decade, with up to 40 percent of parts and production taking place in Ukraine.

          Also at the table was Lakshmi Mittal, the London-based chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, the world's number one steelmaking company. His business has already invested $9 billion over the years in Ukraine’s largest steel mill.

          New York-headquartered companies Bunge and Westinghouse are also actively expanding in Ukraine. The former recently launched a new $280 million oilseed refinery, terminal, and grain storage in the port of Mykolaiv. The latter now supplies nearly half of Ukraine’s nuclear fuel—which is significant in a country where nuclear power accounts for 55 percent of electricity generation.

          The American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine has been monitoring the investment climate since 1991. Unmistakably, Ukraine has implemented more reforms since the Revolution of Dignity in 2014 than it did over the previous two decades.

          This positive trend is highlighted in the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking, the institution’s signature report on the ease of doing business around the world. Ukraine leapt an impressive sixty-one positions between 2013 and 2018, from 137th place to 76th. The criteria indicate better—usually simpler—regulations for businesses and stronger protections for property rights. Our own survey earlier this year demonstrated that 63 percent of members of the American Chamber of Commerce saw their business grow in Ukraine in 2017. Out of 600 member companies, 82 percent reported that they are planning to expand their business in Ukraine this year.

          Ukraine’s National Bank has done a commendable job cleaning up the banking system, imposing more stringent regulations, and closing ninety of the country’s 180 banks. This cleanup of a dysfunctional banking sector dominated by oligarch-owned banks has resulted in fewer but bigger and more transparent lenders.

          By no means is Ukraine out of the woods yet, however. Much still needs to be done to prove to investors that there is no going back to the old ways of doing business.

          Continuation of the IMF program is absolutely essential to return investors’ trust. Ensuring the rule of law through full-scale judicial reform, removing unlawful pressure on business, and assuring protection of intellectual property rights are just a few of the key reforms Ukraine still needs to undertake. The country is also not done eradicating the oligarchic system and replacing it with a functioning market economy.

          Unlike forty years ago, my former schoolteacher and all of my old classmates would probably find it relatively easy to find Ukraine on a world map today. But the country doesn’t yet fully register in international business circles. Now is the time for strategic global investors to take another good look at Ukraine and what it has to offer. Why Ukraine Is Reappearing on US Investors’ Radar Screens

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          • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 11:50 06.08.2018
            Over 1.51 mln IDPs from Crimea, Donbas registered in Ukraine

            Over 1.51 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) had been registered in Ukraine as of August 6, 2018, Ukraine's Ministry of Social Policy has reported.

            "As of August 6, 2018, some 1,516,237 displaced persons from the occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions and Crimea had been registered, according to local administrations' social security departments," the ministry's press service said on Monday.

            At the same time, there is no information on the payment of benefits for their housing and utilities.

            As reported, there had been 1.4 million IDPs registered in Ukraine as of February 12. Their number was 1.5 million as of May 2 and 1.51 million as of June 18. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/523085.html

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            • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 10:00 07.08.2018
              Kyiv promises to set up interagency council to sue Russia over Donbas soon


              Ukraine will form an interagency coordination body soon in order to sue Russia for the damage it has inflicted on Donbas, Ukrainian Deputy Justice Minister Serhiy Petukhov said.

              "This is what our colleagues at the Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories are doing. I know their draft is in the final stage. It has now reached us. We are the last ministry to release all draft acts. I think this council will be created very soon," Petukhov said on Channel 5 on Monday.

              The council will be tasked with coordinating all government bodies' activity related to lawsuits over the Donbas aggression, he said.

              On August 1, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko proposed setting up a coordination body to sue Russia over the ruination of Donbas. Such a body was envisaged by the Donbas reintegration law approved in January of this year, which "explicitly reaffirms Ukraine's commitment to a peaceful resolution and reflects my idea of the peaceful reintegration of the occupied region," Poroshenko said. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/523323.html

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              • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 17:28 08.08.2018
                Russia using array of non-military methods against Ukraine – Chernysh

                Ukraine's Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons Vadym Chernysh has said Russia is no longer trying to influence Ukrainian society through direct propaganda, but has moved on to covert information activities.

                "What Ukrainian society has learned to identify is direct propaganda, straightforward, with pro-Russian messages, but Russians have already changed tactics. Long ago Russia started using indirect ways to influence Ukrainians. The messages are more subtle, targeting specific groups," Chernysh told the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency in a blitz interview.

                The minister also divided Russia's propaganda efforts in Ukraine into two categories: supporting those who, according to Moscow, should come to power in Ukraine, as well as discrediting those whom they oppose.

                Chernysh said along with military methods of influence and pressure on Ukraine, Russia uses non-military methods, including economic sanctions, diplomacy, pro-Russian organizations and religious organizations, as well as the activities of intelligence agencies.

                "Russia is also very serious in studying the problems of Ukraine. I am convinced that the number of scientific and expert institutions of Russia that are engaged in Ukraine is greater than in Ukraine itself, and much is done by Russia's National Institute for Strategic Studies," he said. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/523660.html

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                • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 10:50 09.08.2018
                  New U.S. sanctions could restrict uranium imports from Russia

                  The proposed U.S. bill to tighten sanctions against Russia could hit Rosatom, as it proposes to extend restrictions on imports of low-enriched uranium (LEU) from Russia until 2031, national daily Kommersant reported on Thursday.

                  This could affect a key market for the state nuclear corporation. Rosatom subsidiary Tenex earned over 40% of its LEU export revenue from U.S. contracts in 2017. The owners of nuclear power plants (NPP) in the United States are interested in buying Russian uranium, because it is cheaper than alternatives.

                  The Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act of 2018 (DASKAA) included a proposal to restrict LEU imports from Russia. The bill proposes to extend limits on U.S. imports of Russian LEU until 2031.

                  While quotas for Russia will increase until 2020, the bill proposes to rapidly reduce them in the subsequent decade, to 463.6 tonnes in 2021 and to 375.8 tonnes in 2030. The bill also proposes to eliminate the current option to purchase uranium above the limit for the U.S. Energy Department's reserves, although Russia has not used this option, the paper said.

                  Russian LEU is exported to the U.S. by Tenex, which works primarily with the operators of NPP. As of the end of 2017, the company's total limits for uranium product exports to the U.S. in 2011-2020 were 95% filled. Tenex's overall portfolio of long-term contracts totals $17 billion, and a number of these agreements go beyond 2020, so they could be affected by the proposed reduction of the limits.

                  The U.S. is Tenex's largest market, accounting for about $700 million of the company's $1.7 billion in sales in 2017 and about $1.1 billion of the $3.3 billion in new contracts secured by the company.

                  Tenex's IFRS net profit dropped by 38.5% to $242.6 million in 2017 on revenue down 10% to $1.9 billion. Tenex noted difficulties on the world market, including high uranium stockpiles (equivalent to two to three years of consumption in Europe and the U.S.) and a drop in prices for uranium enrichment from $52 to $45 per separative work unit under long-term contracts, according to UxC estimates.

                  The U.S. nuclear energy sector has depended heavily on imports of both uranium and uranium enrichment services in recent decades, particularly since 2011, when prices for uranium, enrichment and nuclear fuel tumbled in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. The U.S. now essentially has two suppliers of enrichment services: Russia's Rosatom and Europe's Urenco, which also has facilities in the U.S. Most uranium mining in the U.S. has been shut down due to unprofitability, including assets controlled by Rosatom.

                  This situation has for a long time essentially kept U.S. sanctions against Russia from affecting Rosatom. So far only scientific cooperation and a number of secondary sectors have been symbolically hit with restrictions.

                  But the situation has changed this year. Back in January, U.S. uranium miners proposed that the White House introduce quotas for purchases of local uranium for NPP and in July the Commerce Department began an investigation concerning this complaint. At the time, Tenex did not see this as a direct threat to the company. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/523748.html

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                  • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 13:29 09.08.2018
                    NBU sees no opportunity to agree Paritetbank's acquisition of Ukrainian Sberbank - Rozhkova

                    The Belarusian-based Paritetbank does not comply with the requirements of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) for the acquisition of the Ukrainian subsidiary of Russia's Sberbank, NBU First Deputy Head Kateryna Rozhkova has said.

                    "We have once again denied the applicant because it did not meet our requirements ... There were a number of items, not just technical ones. Look at the size of the capital and portfolio of Paritetbank and Sberbank, this is one of the discrepancies," she told Interfax-Ukraine.

                    According to Rozhkova, the National Bank does not currently see a potential buyer for Sberbank in Ukraine.
                    https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/economic/523797.html

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                    • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 13:56 09.08.2018
                      Marketplaces of Rozetka and EVO will merge

                      The online supermarket Rozetka and the EVO group of companies plan to merge, Vladyslav Chechotkin, the founder and co-owner of Rosetka.UA, said on his Facebook page.

                      "As a result of the planned deal, Rozetka will buy out Naspers' share in the EVO group of companies, the share of the EVO founders will be transformed into a share in the merged company. All existing projects will continue their work, and business management will remain unchanged," he said, citing the EVO press service.

                      According to him, the merged company will continue to actively develop the marketplace, which will allow small- and medium-sized Ukrainian entrepreneurs to sell goods through the sites of the united company.

                      In the future, thanks to the logistics of Rozetka, consumers will enjoy faster delivery of goods from vendors selling on the marketplaces.

                      "We believe that the synergy of the logistics infrastructure, IT infrastructure and cooperation with tens of thousands of entrepreneurs will allow us to build one of the most useful companies in the life of every Ukrainian," Chechotkin commented.

                      The deal will be closed after the Antimonopoly Committee green-lights the merger in Ukraine.
                      https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/economic/523808.html

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                      • NTERFAX-UKRAINE 18:25 10.08.2018
                        Volker calls on Russia to release Sentsov

                        U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker believes it is necessary to promptly release Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov, who is serving his sentence in a Russian penal colony and whose health has deteriorated recently.

                        "Russia should release Oleh Sentsov before it has another death on its hands. "Confession" apparently extracted under torture... Russia should be better than this. #SaveOlegSentsov #MagnitskyAct," Volker said on Twitter.

                        In August 2015, the North Caucasus District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don ruled to sentence Sentsov, who had been detained in Crimea in 2014, to 20 years in a maximum-security penal colony for setting up a terrorist group on the peninsula.

                        Sentsov has been on a hunger strike since May 14, 2018, demanding that all Ukrainian citizens held in Russia "for political reasons" be released. His relatives said that his health has seriously deteriorated.

                        On August 9, the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada's Human Rights Commissioner Liudmyla Denisova published Sentsov's photograph taken in the colony and sent by the Russian side. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/524136.html

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                        • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 17:42 10.08.2018
                          Five children, one adult killed, 17 injured in bus and truck collision in Zaporizhia region

                          Five children and one adult were killed and 17 people, including children, were injured in a road accident involving a minibus and a KamAZ truck near the village of Kamianske between Zaporizhia and Vasylivka on Friday, Ukrainian media said.

                          "The minibus overturned and burned down. It is known that it was carrying tourists from Kyrylivka to Zaporizhia. According to one theory, the truck's brake failed [...] Eight ambulances were sent to the scene," the local Internet media outlet Akzent said, referring to its sources and eyewitnesses.

                          According to the 112 Ukraine television channel, five children and one adult were killed. Four minors died on the spot, and another child died in hospital. Seventeen people, among them children, were injured. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/524118.html

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                          • INTERFAX_UKRAINE 11:47 10.08.2018
                            Some 349,500 people cross administrative border with Crimea over July

                            During July 2018, the administrative border of Kherson region and the occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea was crossed in both directions by 349,528 people and 53,276 vehicles, the website of the Ministry for Temporary Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine has reported.

                            "Citizens of Ukraine who live in temporarily occupied territories, go to controlled territory to visit families, purchase necessary goods and services, as well as document registration," the ministry notes.

                            The number of crossings of the administrative border has increased by 35.76% compared with June of the current year, the ministry said. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/523979.html

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                            • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 11:41 11.08.2018
                              EU: legislation on anti-corruption court is an important step in fight against corruption in Ukraine

                              The European Union views the adoption of legislation to create a High Anti-Corruption Court in Ukraine as a positive event that meets its international obligations and the interests of Ukrainian citizens and enterprises, the official spokesperson of the European External Action Service has said.

                              "Ukraine's adoption of the legislation with a view to establishing a High Anti-Corruption Court is a positive development in accordance with its international obligations and to the benefit of Ukrainian citizens and businesses. The establishment marks a significant step in the crucial fight against corruption in Ukraine which is a key component of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and follows the commitments taken by Ukraine during the EU-Ukraine Summit in Brussels on July 9," a report on the agency's website reads.

                              "Once established, the High Anti-Corruption Court will complete the chain of independent anti-corruption institutions that also includes the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office. The EU underlines the need for all anti-corruption institutions to be fully independent and carry out their tasks free from undue influence. To this end, it is important that the integrity and credibility of the Office of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor and its leadership are upheld and reinforced," it says.

                              "We look forward to the court being fully operational before the end of the year as this is the intention of the authorities. What counts now, what will support the country and its people to fight against corruption will be the full implementation of this act. The European Union stands ready to support the process," the document states. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/524171.html

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                              • Ruble in Russian-occupied Donetsk plunges more than in Russia itself 1
                                As of today, one dollar is sold for RUB 70 in Donetsk, whereas in Moscow it is sold for RUB 68.22 on the average.
                                UNIAN 6:30, 14 August 2018

                                The ruble in the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk has plunged even more than in the Russian Federation.

                                As of today, one dollar in Donetsk is sold for RUB 70 and bought for RUB 65. At the same time, one euro is sold for RUB 79 and is bought for RUB 75, according to the website of the so-called Central Republican Bank.

                                For comparison, the dollar in Moscow is sold for RUB 68.22 on the average and bought for a bit more that RUB 65, Ukraine's news outlet Liga.net said.

                                As UNIAN reported earlier, on August 10, Russia's national currency, the ruble, once again updated its two-year low against the U.S. dollar, falling to the level of August 2016, in the face of new possible U.S. sanctions against Russia. UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/war/10224528-...ia-itself.html

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