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  • Kyiv ranks 118th in The Economist's 2018 Global Liveability Index
    Kyiv tops the five biggest decliners' ranking.
    UNIAN (REUTERS) 16:54, 14 August 2018

    Kyiv, Ukraine's capital, was 118th on the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2018 ranking of the world's most liveable cities.

    Kyiv got 56.6 points of the overall rating (100=ideal), having climbed from the 131st position (47.8 points) in 2017, Ukraine's news outlet Ekonomichna Pravda said.

    Over the past 12 months, Kyiv has significantly improved its position due to economic growth and relative political stability, even despite the conflict in Donbas, it said.

    For the second year in a row, Kyiv has topped the five biggest decliners in the past five years with "minus" 12.6% of five-year movement.

    According to The Economist, in this year's Global Liveability Index 2018, the capital of Austria, Vienna, displaces Australia's Melbourne as the most liveable city in the world.

    Japan's Osaka and Tokyo have now moved up into the top ten, coming in third and seventh place, respectively. Canada's Calgary and Vancouver rank fourth and sixth, respectively; Australia's Sydney is fifth. Canada's Toronto shares the seventh place with Tokyo, followed by Copenhagen (Denmark) and Adelaide (Australia).

    Syria's Damascus ranked 140th, closing the rating. Bangladesh's Dhaka and Nigeria's Lagos were just above at 139th and 138th place, scoring 38.0% and 38.5% respectively.

    Abidjan in Côte d'Ivoire, which ranks 124th in the ranking, topped the five biggest improvers.

    As was earlier reported, Kyiv is among the world's cheapest cities for tourists.


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    Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


    • Money remittances to Ukraine in H1 exceed transfers from Ukraine by nine times
      The United States, Israel, Russia, Italy, and Poland account for the lion's share of money transfers to Ukraine.
      UNIAN 16:06, 14 August 2018

      Money transfers to Ukraine via money remittance systems in the first half of 2018 (H1) were estimated at US$1.209 billion, which was nine times up on the amount transferred from Ukraine ($140 million).

      Money transfer transactions inside Ukraine were estimated at UAH 69.4 billion, or $2.596 billion, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) said on its website.

      The largest share of transfers to Ukraine came from the United States (15%), while Israel accounted for 13%, Russia for 10%, Italy for 8%, and Poland for 7%. At the same time, Russia accounted for 38% of remittances from Ukraine, whereas the share of Georgia was 9%, that of China was 6%, Azerbaijan 5%, and Uzbekistan 4%.

      A total of 35 money remittance systems operated in Ukraine in H1 2018, of which 28 were created by residents, while seven are foreign ones, it said.

      As UNIAN reported earlier, private money transfers to Ukraine in 2017 were estimated at $9.3 billion, which was 24% up from 2016.

      The National Bank says Ukraine may receive $11.6 billion in remittances from labor migrants this year. UNIAN:

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      Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


      • Over 400,000 Ukrainians leave country since late March 2018 for work abroad – Ukrainianpeopleleaks
        Two Ukrainians leave their country every minute in search of a better life.
        UNIAN 15:47, 14 August 2018

        Over 400,000 citizens of Ukraine have left their country since late March 2018 to work abroad. Such a statistics is presented by the Ukrainianpeopleleaks platform, which is an online count tool used to estimate migrant workers leaving Ukraine.

        Two Ukrainians leave their country every minute in search of a better life, the platform says, referring to Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin's words. According to him, 100,000 people leave Ukraine for work abroad every month.

        The Social Policy Ministry’s estimates are more ambitious and frightening: labor migration has already involved nine million Ukrainians.

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        Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


        • GDP growth in Ukraine in 2Q accelerates to 3.6% in annual terms – statistics agency \
          Against the previous quarter, GDP increased by 0.9%, as it had in the first quarter.
          UNIAN 21:10, 14 August 2018

          The growth of the real gross domestic product in Ukraine in the second quarter of 2018 in annual terms - against the second quarter of 2017 - accelerated to 3.6% after 3.1% in the same period in the first quarter, according to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine.

          Referring to the operational data, against the previous quarter, taking into account the seasonal factor, Ukraine's GDP in the second quarter grew by 0.9%, as it had in the first quarter.

          As UNIAN reported earlier, the Economic Sentiment Indicator has improved in Ukraine.

          Economic sentiment indicator improves in Ukraine – statistics agency
          UNIAN 19:50, 14 August 2018

          The index of economic sentiment (ESI) in Ukraine, calculated by the State Statistics Agency, in the third quarter of 2018 reached 109.6%.

          At the same time, it grew compared with the second and first quarter of the year - from 104% and 108.8%, respectively, the agency said.

          Also, three of five indicators of business confidence were confirmed - the components of the ESI in retail trade (from 5.3% in the second quarter to 10.7%), in the services sector (from -5% to 0.3%), and in construction (from -21.5% to -18.7%), writes ZN.UA.

          Consumer confidence has worsened (from -27.1% to -29.1%) as well as business confidence in the processing industry (from -3.9% to -4.8%).

          The largest contribution to the definition of the ESI is made by business confidence indicator in industry (40%), followed by services (30%), construction and retail (5% each). The weight of consumer sentiment is at 20%.

          The agency recalls that in the third quarter of 2017, the ESI was 103.9%, but in the fourth quarter it dropped to 100.4%.

          Indicators of business confidence, depending on the sector, are estimated based on surveys on the current level of orders and finished goods stocks, changes in sales volumes for the last three months, forecast of changes in production / sales and number of employees in the next three months.

          According to the survey conducted by the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) in the second quarter of 2018, Ukrainian enterprises retain positive expectations about the macroeconomic situation in Ukraine.

          The index of business expectations of businesses for the next 12 months is at 118.3%. A high level of business activity is forecasted by the respondents for the sixth consecutive quarter.

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          Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


          • Ukraine's politicians spend record funds on campaigns – Ukraine Voters' Committee
            The organization says the enormous share of campaign funding in Ukraine remains in the shadow.
            UNIAN 21:50, 14 August 2018

            Chairman of the Voters' Committee of Ukraine, Oleksiy Koshel, says Ukrainian politicians are in the lead among their European colleagues in terms of money spent on campaigns.

            "We are the record holders among the EU states in terms of funds that parties spend on their political activities, first of all, on campaigning. Now we are surprised by the fact that 10 months before the election, certain potential candidates are already conducting a full-fledged campaign onTV and through billboards, city-lights, large-scale events, street campaigns, etc. That's natural when six months before elections, politicians boost their activity. But it's nonsense when they conduct a direct agitation campaign," quoted Koshel as saying on August 13.

            Ukrainian political forces and candidates spend twice or thrice more as much money than Polish parties do in the elections to the Sejm or candidates in presidential elections. But there is another problem, namely the enormous share of campaign funding (3/4 or 4/5) remaining in the shadow," Koshel said.

            The official stressed that, with the launch of the new political season, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, should make changes to the legislation on presidential elections in order to limit the huge election funding. UNIAN:

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            Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


            • Iryna Siedova: Ukraine needs to show that it can broadcast in the occupied territories in the language of people living there... Otherwise, the invaders will say Bandera followers want to destroy Russian language Iryna Shevchenko
              UNIAN 17:50, 02 August 2018

              Representative of the Crimean Human Rights Protection Group Iryna Siedova in an interview with UNIAN told whether broadcasting across Crimea from the TV tower in Chongar is effective, how the invaders block the signal of Ukrainian radio stations in Crimea, and what to do in order to gain confidence of a Crimean audience that still does not know whom to trust - Ukraine or Russia.

              Four years into the occupation, residents of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, in particular, Crimea, have been victims of information disorientation and have little faith in the reports of both Ukrainian and Russian media. However, the problem is also that the latter have much more presence, while occupation authorities do their best to drown Ukraine's signal.

              In July, the Crimean Human Rights Protection Group checked the effectiveness of four Ukrainian radio stations - "Ukrainian Radio", "Meydan", "Crimea.Realities," and " Kherson FM." These radio stations last year began broadcasting to Crimea from a TV tower installed in the village of Chongar of Kherson region. According to the initial idea, the signal was to cover both Kherson region and the entire northern part of Crimea. Monitoring was carried out in 13 settlements in the north of Crimea – through car radios and portable FM radios. According to monitoring results, human rights activists conclude that, in recent years, the occupation authorities of Crimea have been jamming the signal of Ukrainian broadcasters by putting Russian radio stations on the same frequencies.

              UNIAN sat down with the representative of the Crimean HRPG, Iryna Siedova, to discuss this problem, as well as the ways to address it and win audience's confidence in Crimea.

              The launch of the Chongar TV tower for broadcasting to Crimea a year ago was presented as the largest joint project of the Ministry of Information Policy and the National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting. Do you know how much this project cost?

              After our monitoring of FM stations' effectiveness in Crimea, I chatted on Facebook with Serhiy Kostynsky, who represents the National Council and deals with the issues of Crimea. Based on what he said, it turns out that the construction of the tower is the credit of a private investor (I don't remember the name) - not a penny of budget funds was spent to this end. In addition, all broadcasters who received licenses paid their own money for both licenses and transmitters. That is, it is not a state project. The state simply helped to get the frequencies.

              In your opinion, is it necessary for the state to join the effort and spend budget funds?

              That's a difficult question. In fact, if the tower brings a good effect, public money indeed can be spent on it. But to make sure it does, it is necessary to check and monitor the work not only of radio, but also of television stations. Maybe monitoring should not be public, but it must be systematic, for those who invested money in the tower to see that it brings some effect.

              Indeed, if there is an effect, it makes sense to build more such towers for budget funds, for example, in Kalanchak (the signal from Chongar tower does not physically cover some parts of Crimea). However, most likely, it will be necessary to "jump" between frequencies to respond whenever the occupation authorities block certain frequencies. And here everything is not so simple, it is necessary to fix the legislation.

              Our current legislation on the use of frequencies and licensing was adopted for peacetime. Now we need some measures that will take into account the challenges of the information war. This is a complex process. The fact that they managed, without rewriting the legislation, to put this tower in Chongar, to launch at least some broadcasting is, of course, a victory. Now the task of the state is not only to launch broadcasting, but also to make it work there.

              Please, clarify the nuances of your monitoring in Crimea. Who conducted it, were there any obstacles?

              All our monitoring is carried out by ordinary people living in Crimea. We do not tell who they are, as it's not safe for them.

              You mentioned the need for systematic monitoring, maybe even by the state, according to which one could judge the feasibility of building new towers. How do you see such monitoring, again, taking into account the security aspect. Do you also need to attract local people, or take risk and deploy experts from Kyiv?

              It is better, of course, to find some local residents willing to cooperate. Specialists from Kyiv still have to rent cars, and this information could be leaked to the FSB. Driving cars with Ukrainian plates across Crimea, doing some research, would mean drawing unnecessary attention. And this, in my opinion, is really unsafe.

              You see, we made this monitoring system, including to help our own authorities. If they wanted to cooperate with us, they could ask us to monitor for them, maybe not even publicly. But there have been no such appeals yet. There was only criticism of our last monitoring. They claimed that by presenting its results to the public, we're also informing the FSB. But this is not so! We inform our society, our citizens about how much access to Ukrainian information there is in Crimea. And, in fact, now this is a big problem.

              You once mentioned that the Russian signal makes its way to the Kherson region, creating obstacles for Ukrainian broadcasters. Can we somehow block it from our side?

              I'm not a technical specialist, but there is a scheme for jamming the signal. And this, too, of course, must be dealt with systematically – there should be monitoring, to do everything so that their signal does not break through.

              æ, !

              Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


              • Iryna Siedova Pt 2

                I read your recent commentary in social networks about the real situation with broadcasting to Crimea: "... our politicians' statements that Ukrainian radio stations broadcast in Crimea, while they do not really broadcast there, affect Ukraine's ratings in the eyes of Crimeans much stronger than truth, however bitter it might be." Is this your subjective assessment, or perhaps those people from Crimea who helped you monitor, have paid attention to this nuance?

                Look, we had information that four Ukrainian radio stations were broadcasting in Crimea. Our monitoring showed that, in fact, they were not. And it makes no sense to tell even the citizens of Ukraine that there is broadcasting to Crimea.

                Doing PR on something that is not happening is populism that cannot be accepted. It is necessary to tell the truth to people, even if, from the point of view of pro-Ukrainian propaganda, it is not a good thing. If we really want to win the trust of Crimeans, we need to tell the truth, even if it is not always convenient for us.

                Since October this year, Ukrainian media that broadcast to the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as to the territory of the illegally annexed Crimea, will have a 75% share of Ukrainian language content. Do we need language quotas for the occupied territories?

                I believe we don't. You know, there is such a thing as "soft Ukrainization" ... Crimea has been taken away from us. For four years, people, in fact, have no access to Ukrainian information, to the media. Our attempts to launch radio broadcasting, as we see, have so far not been crowned with real success. People are physically unaccustomed to the Ukrainian language. And, of course, they will not be very comfortable listening to the Ukrainian language on the radio - they will switch to Russian stations.

                Ukrainian content should be in Russian with inclusions of the Ukrainian language, but gradual ones. First, 25 percent, then 30-40 percent. Or, for example, we could launch one station completely in Russian, and then another one, completely in Ukrainian.

                At the same time, our primary task today is to establish stable broadcasting. When we have a scheme of how to avoid blocking, when broadcasting works fine, we will need to make sure that our content is also "digested" by Crimeans without resistance. That's because Russian propaganda specifically speculates on the language issue. When we monitored the language of hostility in the Crimean media, one of the main points for speculation was precisely the language issue. If we include only Ukrainian-language stations, they say, they will say, you see, Bandera followers destroyed the Russian language in Ukraine, now they want to do this in Crimea.

                It is necessary to take into account the interests of the population that lives there. Ukraine needs to show that it can broadcast in the occupied territory in the language spoken by people there. After all, let's admit honestly, probably for 80% of Crimeans, Russian language is native. Why am I talking with you in Russian right now? I've been living in Kyiv for four years, I have learned Ukrainian, I write in it, but if I need to convey my idea very quickly and emotionally, it is still easier for me to speak Russian.

                Had these four stations, which had been operating for a year, until blockings began, been broadcasting mainly in Ukrainian?

                No, why? "Crimea. Realities" has Russian-language programs. Guests speak the language they are comfortable with. Radio "Meydan" should broadcast in Crimean Tatar language.

                In the context of the discussion on what should be the language of broadcasting in Crimea, the aspect of banal fear is also interesting. I mean that listening to Ukrainian-language content can be unsafe because once I switch on the radio and there is a show in Ukrainian, my neighbor might hear and report me to the FSB. We do know, that such reports in Crimea have become commonplace.

                I don't think that this will be a problem. There are still plenty of people in Crimea who sport vyshyvnkas. And those of our people who love Ukrainian-language content can get it - because "Ukrainian Radio", which received a license, broadcasts only in Ukrainian. There are practically no Russian-language programs.

                However, I repeat, we must take into account the interests of the population of Crimea. And the most important message in our information work with Crimea is that it's our citizens who live there. This is for some reason being forgotten. They propose to pay attention only to those who support Ukraine, those waiting for us to return Crimea. In fact, in my opinion, first of all, it is necessary to work with an audience that has not decided whom to trust - Ukraine or Russia. There are a lot of people who are in doubt. And our task is to make sure they trust us more.

                I read the post by Serhiy Kostynsky, where he writes the following: "When we say that for the occupied territories we need some special adapted language (Russian), we simply separate our fellow citizens who became hostages of the Russian occupation. If we choose the Russian as the language of communication with Crimea and Donbas, we agree with the Kremlin that Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as Crimea, are inhabited by people other than Ukrainians, and that this land has never historically and legally been part of Ukraine..." Could you comment on this?

                Many men, many minds… I have been engaged in media operations in Crimea for ten years, and I know what's up. I know how hatred for everything Ukrainian had been imposed by Russian propaganda long before the occupation. To overcome this hatred, to overcome the language of enmity, we need to act more gently, rather than harshly. It's my opinion.

                In general, in your opinion, does the state approach to broadcasting in the occupied territories need any changes? If so, what changes are needed? There are at least some shifts in this direction, and it is already pleasing. I hope that they will be successful. Perhaps our monitoring will also help. They will be more aware of possible challenges and they will take this into account in the further development of broadcasting.

                There are at least some shifts in this direction, and it is already pleasing. I hope that they will be successful. Perhaps our monitoring will also help. They will be more aware of possible challenges and they will take this into account in the further development of broadcasting. I'm glad that there are people who launched the TV tower. This is a good initiative, so let them move on. We, on our part, will continue to do our work, carry out monitoring. After all, the task of civil society is just to monitor the work of state bodies. As we are in a state of armed conflict with Russia, we monitor the work on Crimea of state agencies of both Ukraine, and Russia. I hope that the monitoring of the efforts of Ukrainian state bodies will bring us only positive results. After all, monitoring the work of Russian ones, on the contrary, is only negative.

                When can we expect new research results?

                We hope that in a couple of months we will be able to do something like that. Maybe the situation will change.

                Will you check the same areas of Crimea?

                I don't know yet. I talked with one of our broadcasters, who received a license. They said that they have a list of cities which their radio stations previously covered. I want to see this list, so that we get to those very settlements, to clearly understand whether there is broadcasting or not. We also want to understand how the blocking system works. That is, we are talking about the overlay of frequencies or special jamming. We are not technical specialists, and this time we did not have a clear task to deal with this issue. But for our future efforts, if we record parts of broadcasting, we can show them to our broadcasters and technicians for them to see how our signals are being blocked. Iryna Shevchenko

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                Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


                • ATLANTIC COUNCIL Andreas Umland August 14, 2018
                  Why Peace in Ukraine Cannot Wait

                  The war in eastern Ukraine grinds on, forgotten by many. There’s no obvious way out. The ceasefire agreements have been continuously broken, high-level dialogue between Russia and the United States stopped months ago, and the unarmed OSCE monitors in conflict zone are continuously harassed. Some analysts suspect that Moscow is waiting until March when Ukraine holds its presidential election. The Kremlin wants to see who the next president will be before taking any new steps, and time is on Russia’s side.

                  But time is not on Ukraine’s or the European Union’s side. The Donbas conflict should be understood anew, approached differently, engaged with directly, and solved sustainably. It should start with clearer communication of the EU’s stake in the crisis. Tighter economic and individual sanctions should be accompanied with positive offers to change Moscow’s behavior. For a transition period, the Donbas should be put under the control of an international administration and UN peacekeeping forces. Finally, Ukraine and the West need to find a way to secure control over a reintegrated Donbas while formally implementing the Minsk Agreements.

                  Phase One: Re-Imagining the Stakes
                  Today’s confrontation in the Donbas is often compared to the frozen conflicts in Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Moldova, and this is false. A communications campaign needs to correct this misperception; the Donbas war is a hot conflict that challenges Europe’s security as long as one of the largest European states remains on the brink of collapse.

                  The reasons for this risk are neither domestic political tensions nor Ukraine’s grave economic difficulties. Ukraine experienced massive upheaval at least four times since independence, yet none seriously endangered the integrity of the nation. Ukraine’s economic situation throughout the 1990s and 2008-2010 was difficult, but neither downturn threatened European security.

                  The West’s large-scale financial help for Ukraine is sometimes misconceived as a major instrument to solve the crisis. Western help for Ukraine should continue, but it’s no substitute for actually solving the Donbas conflict.

                  Moscow’s shrewd combination of crude military and non-military methods is meant to subvert Ukraine as a socio-political community. The Kremlin’s premier instrument for achieving this aim is to keep the Donbas as an open bleeding wound that will eventually cause Ukraine to implode. A seemingly domestic Ukrainian collapse can then be used by the Kremlin to demonstrate to Russians the impotence of European integration and foolishness of post-Soviet democratization.

                  While this is a rational strategy in terms of short-term Russian regime stability, it is a hazardous enterprise. Western opinion shapers need to better communicate why and how Ukraine’s possible future collapse entails transnational risks. For instance, millions of Ukrainian refugees would flow into the EU. In a worst-case scenario, if Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia were to malfunction (it’s less than 300 miles away from the war zone), this could have repercussions worse than Chernobyl.

                  Phase Two: Prioritization
                  A new understanding of the Donbas war should lead the EU to prioritize this conflict.

                  Sanctions on Russia are not trivial but they are wrongly apportioned. According to Moscow’s Skolkovo School of Management, EU sanctions “are capable of jeopardizing Russia’s production of gas and, particularly, oil in the future.” The West hopes that future income losses for the Russian state will lead the Kremlin to modify its policies toward Ukraine today. Yet Moscow’s logic may be different. If the Ukrainian state were to collapse as a result of Russia’s successful hybrid war, that would compensate for declining future energy exports.

                  To counteract this scenario, the West should develop a tougher combination of carrots and sticks.

                  First, sanctions need to generate earlier effects. Russian access to Western financial markets should be further reduced, and the Nord Stream II pipeline should be frozen.

                  Second, the West needs to crackdown through individual sanctions (visa bans, assets seizure, accounts freezes, etc.) on the regime’s major stakeholders as well as their immediate family members to generate more dissatisfaction and infighting within Putin’s system.

                  Third, a forward-looking vision for improved Russian-Western relations should be communicated throughout Russia. The West could offer a less aggressive Moscow joint energy projects or a free-trade zone between the Eurasian and European unions. Western rewards to Russia for even more comprehensive solutions to all disputed conflicts in the former Soviet Union could comprise an Association Agreement (including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement) with the EU, visa-free regime with the Schengen Zone, and a Membership Action Plan with NATO. Think tanks and NGOs should communicate such ideas, and as they become widely known, national governments and international organizations could voice such proposals in meetings with Russian governmental and non-governmental actors. The offers should be made officially, explicitly, and repeatedly to feed societal pressure for a change in Russia’s foreign policy.

                  Phase Three: Pacification
                  Once Moscow takes a more compromising position, the real work can begin. Western experts, diplomats, and politicians should explore future financing, the mandate, and the shape of an international peacebuilding operation across the Donbas. A temporary third-party intervention would provide a transition between Moscow’s crypto-occupation and the territories’ subsequent return to Kyiv’s control. A UN mission with up to 30,000 peacekeepers could serve the Kremlin as a face-saving mechanism.

                  The UN’s primary task would be to demilitarize, disarm, demine, re-reset local self-governance, allow for the return IDPs, create a new police force, as well as prepare for local elections. Armed UN detachments would have to come from non-NATO and non-CSTO countries to preempt accusations of instrumentalization. International Crisis Group (2014), International Crisis Group (2016), International Crisis Group and Andrey Kortunov (2017), or, more recently, Richard Gowan, Alexander Vershbow, Vitalii Kulyk and Maria Kucherenko and Liana Fix and Dominik Jankowski (2018) have discussed additional challenges. International developmental organizations (World Bank, UNDP, EBRD, USAID, GIZ, DFID, SIDA, etc.) should begin working in the occupied territories as soon as the security situation permits.

                  Phase Four: Reintegration
                  Restoring Ukrainian control over the Donbas means putting the political provisions of the Minsk Agreements into place, which will not be easy.

                  The Minsk Agreements include a number of provisions intended by the Kremlin to infringe upon Ukraine’s sovereignty. Moscow supports the Donbas’s official autonomy in order to increase its own unofficial influence there.

                  Today Ukraine’s major stakeholders reject the political parts of the Minsk Agreements. Western and Ukrainian politicians, diplomats, and experts need to find a way out. A possible solution could be a joint Ukrainian-Western reinterpretation of the Minsk Agreements. A new reading of Minsk II’s call for a “special status” of the Donbas could, for instance, mean stronger control over the occupied territories by Kyiv.

                  Ukrainian and Western diplomats should turn the text on its head while formally fulfilling its prescriptions. A future Ukrainian law on the Donbas could proclaim a transitory “special status” for the occupied territories by, for example, temporarily increasing the power of the future Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts prefects. While these prefects had been originally designed to fulfill supervisory functions in a decentralized Ukraine, their prerogatives could for the Donbas be extended to that of provisional presidential governors within the framework of an interim regime for this region. The National Guard—not mentioned in the Minsk Agreements—could in a future Donbas law be temporarily granted additional rights and obligations in the occupied territories. Similar provisions could be included in a future law to make constitutional reform that includes a “special status” provision for the Donbas acceptable to the Verkhovna Rada.

                  This four-stage plan will hardly please the Kremlin. But, if implemented consistently, Moscow might have no choice but to go along with it. Tightening Western sanctions will eventually lead Putin’s entourage to assent to an international administration of the Donbas as the least embarrassing way out. Once UN troops have arrived, Kyiv could start gradually implementing a reintegration plan that does not violate the Minsk Agreements, yet still reestablishes proper Ukrainian control over the Donbas. Only this result will constitute a sustainable solution to the conflict.
                  Why Peace in Ukraine Cannot Wait

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                  Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


                  • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 10:30 16.08.2018
                    Freak thunderstorm floods Kyiv downtown streets

                    A freak thunderstorm flooded a number of streets in downtown Kyiv, including the main thoroughfare Khreschatyk and underground passages under it, according to the Kyiv-based ezine Informator.Kyiv.

                    Water drains could not cope with runoff water, the ezine said.

                    "In the middle of the road, a car is stuck in the water, it's in the water. Cars cannot manage. Many of them turned around and went back," the portal said on Facebook on Thursday morning.

                    Videos posted on social media networks showed flooded underground passageways.

                    The Kyiv-based ezine Ukrayinska Pravda said Khreschatyk was knee-deep in water and said the Metrograd underground shopping complex was flooded.

                    The ezine said a river of water flowed down Shevchenko Boulevard and flooded Kyiv's central department store.

                    Channel 1+1 TV said Kyiv's Podil District was flooded also.

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                    Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


                    • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 13:40 16.08.2018
                      Nearly 450 people involved in illegal armed groups detained in Donbas over past 3.5 months

                      Some 449 persons involved in illegal armed formations have been detained in the area of the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) in Donbas since its beginning on April 30, Joint Forces Commander Serhiy Nayev has said.

                      "Structural subdivisions of the Joint Forces, including law enforcement and reconnaissance capabilities, carried out significant work to identify individuals who are taking part in hostilities on the side of the Russian occupation forces. Some of them have already been detained on Ukrainian territory and brought to justice, and another part was finally neutralized," Nayev said at a press conference in Severodonetsk (Luhansk region) on Thursday.

                      He also said that since the beginning of the JFO the number of roadblocks in Donetsk and Luhansk regions had been reduced from 147 to 43, six of which are mobile.

                      In addition, 1,500 hectares of area, about 30 kilometers of roads and almost 15 hectares of the sea have been checked for explosive items over this period.

                      "In less than three months, the units of the Joint Forces discovered and destroyed over 64,000 explosive items," Nayev said.

                      He recalled that the main goal of the JFO is the creation of safe conditions for the multi-vector revival of Donbas, the restoration of the rule of law and complete cessation of hostilities.

                      "In a fairly short time we managed to give people the confidence that the achievement of peace in Donbas is quite realistic, and this reality will come very soon," Nayev said.

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                      Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


                      • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 11:12 16.08.2018
                        Three Russian writers, historian added to list of individuals threatening Ukraine's national security

                        The Ukrainian Culture Ministry, on the basis of an appeal from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), has added four more individuals to the list of those who pose a threat to Ukraine's national security.

                        According to the updated list of the Culture Ministry as of August 15, which was published on the ministry's website, this list includes Russian-speaking writer, historian and politician from Ukraine Lev Vershinin, as well as Russian writers Zakhar Prilepin, Alexander Tamonikov and Alexander Shirokorad.

                        The list of persons who pose a threat to national security is made up by the Ukrainian Culture Ministry on the basis of appeals from the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine, the National Council of Ukraine on Television and Radio Broadcasting.

                        The list currently includes 138 people.

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                        Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


                        • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 10:03 16.08.2018
                          Grinchenko University implements project to reduce CO2 emissions by 400 tonnes per year

                          Kyiv Borys Grinchenko University has implemented a project on the use of alternative and renewable energy sources, which will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 400 tonnes per year, Kyiv City State Administration (KCSA) has reported.

                          "This result was achieved thanks to the installation of three unique heat pumps in the educational building at 13-B Marshal Tymoshenko Street. The technology helped solve such important tasks as obtaining an independent source of thermal energy for heating the pool and hot water supply of the University, allows the uninterrupted use of the sports complex regardless of the condition of the city's heating networks," the administration's press service said on its official website on Wednesday, August 15.

                          The report notes that the new equipment will also help reduce the load on the city's heating networks, which will lead to a decrease in carbon dioxide emissions.

                          Due to the installation of new heat pumps, the university will be able to save more than UAH 400,000 per year on hot water supply.

                          In addition, a powerful power generating station was installed at the university, and this reduced the payback period of investment from four-and-a-half to two-and-a-half years.

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                          • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 14:24 16.08.2018
                            Kyiv court recesses hearing of Yanukovych high treason case over his lawyers' obstruction

                            Kyiv's Obolonsky District Court has once again announced a recess in the hearing of former President Viktor Yanukovych's high treason case to establish order in the proceedings on Thursday.

                            After the hearing was resumed earlier in the day with Yanukovych's private lawyers in attendance, the court started considering his motion in which he officially declined state-appointed lawyer Yuriy Riabovol's services.

                            Yanukovych's lawyers asked the court to grant this motion, and Riabovol himself supported them as well. "I would ask you to review the court ruling of August 1, 2018, which directly orders ensuring uninterrupted engagement of an appointed lawyer, namely me, in the proceedings, which does not comply with the law," Riabovol said.

                            Prosecutors objected, and the court ultimately dismissed the motion by Yanukovych's lawyers on declining lawyer Riabovol's services. Judge Vladyslav Deviatko said in his resolution that the ex-president's lawyers have committed multiple procedural violations and often abused the right to defense throughout the proceedings.

                            At the same time, the judge stressed that the court did not order dismissing Yanukovych's private lawyers from the proceedings.

                            After that, the court allowed the prosecutors to present their case in the debates, but the lawyers started shouting and interrupting them.

                            "Considering that Viktor Yanukovych's defense lawyers are taking steps aimed at disrupting the judicial proceedings, the court instructs the administrator of the proceedings and the National Police to ensure order both in the courtroom and outside it. In particular, the court asks for removing any equipment which it didn't allow using and which obstructs the prosecutor from exercising his right to speak in judicial debates and the court from conducting the proceedings," Deviatko said.

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                            • Kyiv needs to help Ukrainian tourists abroad be independent of Russians
                              EUROMAIDAN PRESS 2018/08/13 - 13:01

                              The "We speak Russian" sign in a shop window has spelling errors in every word (Image:

                              Kyiv wants its diplomats to promote the independent identity of Ukraine abroad, Delovaya stolitsa reports; but it has generally failed to promote what could be an especially important ally: Ukrainian tourists abroad who need to become separate and distinct from Russian ones.

                              Unfortunately, the paper says, Ukrainian diplomats have done little to combat the ways tour companies often treat people from the two nations as if they were one because it is cheaper and easier to lump them together as Russian speakers.

                              As a result, the paper says, “Ukrainians are not only forced to coexist with Russians in hotels but also rely on programs prepared for tourists from Russia and using Russian-language guides.” Those Ukrainians who travel independently do not face this problem to the same degree, but even they are often kept in a common “Russian-language” space.”

                              “Our diplomatic missions are not involved with promoting the ‘Ukraine’ brand in those countries where every year tens of thousands of our fellow citizens take their vacations. As a result, Ukrainian tourists there remain invisible” because they are treated by others as if they were Russians.

                              If the Ukrainian government were to change its approach, tour companies would “rapidly Ukrainize themselves” not just linguistically but in terms of content. Any tour company that resisted would lose customers and might even “lose the right to work in Ukraine,” something few would be willing to risk.

                              And Ukrainian diplomats should be doing even more in this regard. “In cities where many Ukrainians take vacations, there would to be a permanent Ukrainian representation office. Not only in Ankara, Madrid or Cairo but in Antalya” and elsewhere. That would allow Kyiv to support Ukrainians and to promote the distinctiveness of Ukraine in the minds of others.
                              Kyiv needs to help Ukrainian tourists abroad be independent of RussiansEuromaidan Press |

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                              • Donbas militants use Grad MLR systems against Ukraine troops
                                No casualties among the Ukrainian troops have been reported over the past day.
                                UNIAN 09:20, 17 August 2018

                                Russian-led forces mounted 30 attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas in the past day, using heavy weapons in five instances, including Grad MLR systems.

                                "No casualties among the Ukrainian troops have been reported over the past day. According to intelligence reports, two occupiers were wounded," the press center of Ukraine's Joint Forces Operation (JFO) said in an update on Facebook as of 07:00 Kyiv time on August 17, 2018.

                                The Russian occupation forces opened aimed fire from grenade launchers, heavy machine guns and small arms to attack the defenders of the towns Svitlodarsk, Maryinka and Krasnohorivka, and the villages of Krymske, Novozvanivka, Luhanske, Novhorodske, Hnutove, Lebedynske, Pavlopil, Vodiane and Shyrokyne. In certain areas, the enemy engaged Ukrainian troops using weapons installed on infantry fighting vehicles.

                                Along with this, the enemy shelled the defenders of Svitlodarsk, using Grad multiple rocket launchers and 120mm mortars, while the defenders of Krymske, Luhanske and Novhorodske came under fire from 82mm mortars.

                                "Since Friday midnight, Russian-led forces have mounted six attacks on the Ukrainian positions near Novoluhanske, Maryinka, Vodiane and Lebedynske," the report says.

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