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  • ATLANTIC COUNCIL Brian Mefford March 24, 2019
    What to Expect from Ukraines Completely Unpredictable Presidential Election

    On March 31, Ukrainians will select their sixth president. The election is seen a referendum on the incumbent Poroshenko administration and his record since the watershed Euromaidan Revolution that decisively moved Ukraine onto a pro-Western path. Polls put political newcomer Volodymyr Zelenskiy in the lead, with Poroshenko and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko fighting for second place. The top two candidates will face off in an April 21 runoff. Here are five predictions about the first round.

    1) This is likely to be the cleanest and least fraudulent election in Ukraines history. As someone who has observed every Ukrainian election since 1999, the signs point to an election day result that will reflect the will of the voters. This has often not been the case in Ukraine, as one recalls the more notorious cases, such as Kuchmas re-election in 1999, the second round of the 2004 Orange Revolution election, and the 2010 local elections. My prediction contrasts with sensational news stories and allegations of how dirty this election already is. Keep in mind that allegations of dirty tricks, wiretaps, and bribing voters are nothing new in Ukrainian politics. These have been a staple of elections, but they were never reported to such a degree as they are now. Under former President Viktor Yanukovych for example, such allegations were never public, and instead were desperate pleas behind closed doors to Western diplomats. In addition, while bribing voters with money, vodka, and buckwheat continue to occur, the pressure on state workers, media, and civil society is a mere fraction of what it was under Yanukovych. Much attention has been drawn to Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and the criminal cases that are being investigated by the police into election fraud. Never before has an Interior Minister cared enough about election fraud to fight it publicly; Avakov has wisely deduced that by pointing out violations by all candidates (including the incumbents campaign), it enhances his political standing in the West and enhances his influence with the Ukrainian electorate. Self-interest triumphs. Fortunately, the end result is that the heightened attention on potential election problems has actually scuttled many attempts at fraud and improved the overall conduct of the campaign.

    2) Poroshenko and Tymoshenko need strong turnout to make the second round. Zelenskiy will be in the runoff; the only question is who he will face in round two. This is the first time in Ukraines history that the candidates in the runoff are not known ahead of time. Polls in Ukraine are abundant, but they are too often political gimmicks to promote a candidate, rather than objective scientific tools. If one averages all polls over the last week (and disregards obvious partisan polls), the president maintains about a 1.5 percent lead over Tymoshenko. In addition, the powers of the incumbency will also benefit the president on election day. The key measure to watch is not the response to an individuals political sympathies, but rather how motivated that individual is to actually vote. This reality strongly benefits both Poroshenko and Tymoshenko, with polling showing the president having a slight edge in voter intensity. Thus, Poroshenko's and Tymoshenkos numbers on election day may be higher than their current poll ratings. Based on all of these factors, Poroshenko is more likely to make the runoff against Zelenskiy.

    3) If Poroshenko doesnt make the runoff, Yuri Lutsenko is to blame. Despite their close friendship, it seems that Yuri Lutsenko is doing everything possible to ensure the president loses the race. Whether its threatening politically motivated criminal investigations against Tymoshenko and former defense minister and presidential candidate Anatoliy Hrytsenko, his accusation that the US ambassador gave him a do not prosecute list, or his whining about not receiving a planned $4 million in US technical assistance, every time the prosecutor general opens his mouth, he drives a wedge between Washington and Poroshenko. For Poroshenko to win, he needs Washingtons support. Thus, he would be wise to banish Lutsenko from Ukraine for the remainder of the campaign and replace him as soon as possible.

    4) If Tymoshenko doesnt make the runoff, it will be because of her sense of entitlement. Similar to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, Tymoshenkos statements suggest that she sees this election as a coronation rather than a real contest. Also similar to Clintons deplorable comment, Tymoshenkos campaign hit a low when she accused US born Health Minister Dr. Ulana Suprun of being sent by foreigners who want to experiment on Ukrainians. Unlike the Clinton campaign though, Tymoshenko is actively campaigning in every region of the country, but her similar sense of entitlement is likely to be her downfall.

    5) Pay no attention to current polls regarding the runoff, as the dynamics will be completely different. At the moment, polls predict that Zelenskiy easily wins the second round. However, those who say they are voting for Zelenskiy are not voting for him, but rather against the status quo. His candidacy is a classic protest vote. The first round gives voters a chance to register their disapproval, but in a runoff when the vote really matters, voters may reevaluate their support for Zelenskiy.https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blog...ntial-election

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    • ATLANTIC COUNCIL Tetyana Matychak March 28, 2019
      The Kremlins Top Eight Lies about Ukraines Presidential Race

      On March 31, Ukrainians go to the polls to elect their sixth president. An openly pro-Russian candidate is unlikely to win. However, Moscow is watching closely and cares about the outcome. What is it saying about the election? We analyzed the most widespread Kremlin manipulations about Ukraines presidential election on Russian state-controlled media in March. We selected examples from three Russian state-owned websites with high ratings: Channel One Russia, RT, and Ukraina.ru.

      Manipulation #1: Poroshenko bribed the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to get an independent church for political gain

      Channel One Russia claims President Petro Poroshenko bribed the Patriarchate of Constantinople to get autocephaly for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in order to gain some additional points in the pre-election ratings. The channel claims that Poroshenko signed a secret agreement to transfer buildings, premises, and other objects to Istanbul. However, the agreement between Kyiv and the Orthodox church in Constantinople says that Ukraine has no obligation to transfer any buildings.

      Ukraines independent church has been a target of Russian propaganda since it gained autocephaly. Many Russian and pro-Russian outlets are spreading a boogeyman narrative that the Ukrainian church will fall under the control of what Russians call the "Istanbul patriarchate," and in this way, it will bring Orthodox Christians under the control of a Muslim state.

      Manipulation #2: The UN says that an atmosphere of intimidation prevails in Ukraine

      Kremlin media love to blame Poroshenko for persecuting his opponents. An atmosphere of intimidation reigns in Ukraine, which does not allow people to openly express their disagreement with the policies of the authorities, Channel One Russia reported, pointing to a UN report.

      The UN report on Ukraine deals mainly with the catastrophic human rights situation in the territories occupied by Russia. In other words, Russia is responsible for the atmosphere of intimidation that prevails in the areas of Ukraine that it occupies.

      Manipulation #3: PACE has criticized the election campaign in Ukraine

      State-controlled media claim that international organizations are completely dissatisfied with the pre-election environment in Ukraine. PACE is dissatisfied with systematic bribery of voters, RT reported.

      In fact, PACE praised this campaign, pointing to some problems that still might be resolved by the election. It was also concerned to hear allegations that some candidates were trying to establish vote-buying systems, but PACE never concluded that these allegations were true.

      Manipulation #4: Exaggerating of the significance of pro-Russian candidates

      Kremlin media exaggerate pro-Russian Ukrainian presidential candidate Yuriy Boykos chances of winning. Ukraina.ru published a series of articles on this topic. In reality, Boyko has no shot at making the second round of the presidential election.

      Manipulation #5: Ukrainian elections are fake

      Kremlin-controlled stations try to present Ukraines election as fake by using dubious experts.

      The high ratings of showman Volodymyr Zelenskiy are linked with the fact that in the society these elections are perceived as fake, and therefore the electorate is ready to support the fake candidate, Ukraina.ru reported, citing little-known political technologist Alex Sitnikov. Sitnikov gave no proof to back up his statement.

      Manipulation #6: Ukraines election will be falsified

      The state-controlled channels love to repeat the idea that Ukraines election will be falsified. For example, Ukraina.ru claimed that election fraud is part of the political culture of Ukraine.

      Check the source. None other than Marat Bashirov, who served as chairman of Council of Ministers of the Luhansk Peoples Republic from July 4 to August 20, 2014.

      Manipulation #7: Ukraine is waiting for the third Maidan

      The message of a third Maidan is constantly repeated by Kremlin media. For example, Viktor Medvedchuk made this claim on RT. Kremlin media give no facts, just biased fabrications from pro-Russian experts. Medvedchuk is an odious Ukrainian businessman with a pro-Russian stance and an intimate friend of Vladimir Putin.

      Manipulation #8: Freedom of speech is being squeezed before the election

      Kremlin media point to Kirill Vyshinskys case as proof that freedom of speech is being squeezed during the campaign. Vyshinsky was the former chief editor of RIA Novosti Ukraine whose case is being tried now.

      Vyshinsky was arrested in May 2018 on treason charges. The Special Service of Ukraine (SBU) alleges that he helped Russia occupy Crimea and the Donbas in 2014, and that Russia gave Vyshinsky 53,000 Euros monthly.

      What do these manipulations tell us? Russia is deeply interested in Ukraines election and attempting to shape public opinion. Russia wants to persuade its citizens that the situation in their country is much better than in the neighborhood, and to persuade the United States and Europe that they should not support Ukraine.https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blog...ine-s-election




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      • Ukrainian 2019 presidential elections: Live updates
        2019/03/31 - 12:51 EUROMAIDAN PRESS Yuri Zoria
        ==================
        https://i2.wp.com/euromaidanpress.co...ions.jpg?w=848
        2019 Ukrainian presidential elections. Photos: UkrInform, collage: Euromaidan Press

        Today on 31 March Ukraine elects its President. The record-long ballot paper lists 39 candidates, though according to the opinion polls the top three candidates are incumbent President Petro Poroshenko, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, and comedian Volodymyr Zelenskyi.

        34,544,993 people are eligible to vote in the elections, however, about 12% most of the voters who reside in the Russia-occupied territories of Crimea and parts of the East-Ukrainian Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts wont be able to participate in the elections.

        The Central Electoral Commission (CEC) has registered a record number of 139 Ukrainian non-governmental organizations as observers. Plus, a total of 2,344 international observers from 17 countries and 19 organizations are also monitoring the electoral process today.

        The voting has started at 08:00 and will last until 20:00.

        http://euromaidanpress.com/2019/03/3...-live-updates/


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        • Facts CEC website
          16:34 31.03.2019
          Voter turnout at Ukraine's presidential election at 197 districts at 45.12% as of 15:00

          Voter turnout at the presidential election in Ukraine as of 15:00 on Sunday was 45.12%, according to data from 197 out of the total of 199 electoral districts, Ukraine's Central Election Commission (CEC) reported on its website.

          The data on voter turnout came from 197 electoral districts throughout Ukraine. The total number of electoral districts is 199.

          Voter turnout in Vinnytsia region stood at 46.34%, in Volyn region at 48.21%, in Dnipropetrovsk region at 48.74%, in Donetsk region at 44.35%, in Zhytomyr region at 47.13%, in Zakarpattia region at 29.35%, in Zaporizhia region at 49.09%, in Ivano-Frankivsk region at 38.52%, in Kyiv region at 46.81%, in Kirovohrad region at 47.59%, in Luhansk region at 43.49%, in Lviv region at 41.18%, and in Mykolaiv region at 45.8%.

          The first round of the presidential election has drawn a voter turnout of 41.84% in Odesa region, 48.84% in Poltava region, 46.74% in Rivne region, 48.1% in Sumy region, 42.49% in Ternopil region, 45.98% in Kharkiv region, 46.94% in Khmelnytsky region, 47.46% in Cherkasy region, 36.16% in Chernivtsi region, 48.69% in Chernihiv region, 43.78% in Kherson region and 46.47% in Kyiv.

          Ukraine is holding the first round of its presidential election on Sunday. The polling stations will close at 20:00. A record-large number of candidates 39 - are running in this presidential election. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/576946.html


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          • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 17:38 31.03.2019
            Total of 600 kilos of heroin seized in Kyiv region - Ukrainian National Police head

            As many as 600 kilograms of heroin worth around $50 million have been seized by law enforcement agencies in the Kyiv region, Ukrainian National Police head Serhiy Knyazev wrote on his Facebook page.

            "I have never seen such a large quantity of heroin as the haul seized by the Ukrainian police. We are growing up. One hundred kilograms of this poison were seized overnight and another 500 kilograms were confiscated a few hours ago," he said.

            The drug traffickers stored the heroin in Kyiv and then smuggled it to other countries, he said.

            "Four people have been detaihttps://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/576974.htmlned: a citizen of Moldova, a citizen of Turkey and two from Macedonia," Knyazev said.https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/576974.html


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            • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 11:55 31.03.2019
              Flammable liquid thrown, extinguished at polling station in Chernihiv region Interior ministry

              A man threw an incendiary mixture at one of the polling stations at 10:50 in town of Borzna, Chernihiv region, the Interior Ministry of Ukraine reported, adding that no one was injured as a result of the incident.

              "Chernihiv region: at 10:50 in Borzna, a man threw a flammable substance that ignited at one of the polling stations located on 105 Panteleimon Kulish Street. At 10:51 the fire was extinguished. No one was injured as a result of the incident. The electoral process was not stopped," the Interior Ministry said on Twitter.

              The first round of Ukraine's presidential election is taking place on Sunday. The polling stations will close at 8:00 p.m. A record-large number of candidates - 39 - are running in the presidential election.

              https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/576806.html


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              • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 20:16 31.03.2019
                Zelensky and Poroshenko go to second round of presidential elections in Ukraine TSN exit poll ordered by 1+1

                Showman Volodymyr Zelensky and incumbent head of state Petro Poroshenko go to the second round of the presidential elections in Ukraine, gaining 30.1% and 18.5% of votes respectively in the first round of elections, according to an exit poll conducted by TSN on the order of 1+1 TV Channel.

                According to the exit poll, leader of the Batkivschyna party Yulia Tymoshenko has 14% of the vote, candidate from the Opposition Platform-For Life party Yuri Boiko was supported by 9.1% of the voters, while leader of the Civil Position party Anatoliy Hrytsenko gains 7.6%.https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/577069.html

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                • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 19:58 31.03.2019
                  Tymoshenko, Zelensky teams holding talks to unite in second round of presidential election MP Nayyem

                  Ukraine's MP (not a member of any parliamentary faction) Mustafa Nayyem has said that teams of candidates to the President of Ukraine of showman Volodymyr Zelensky and leader of the Batkivschyna Party Yulia Tymoshenko are holding talks to unite efforts in the second round of presidential election.

                  "It has been confirmed that the teams of Yulia Tymoshenko and Vladimir Volodymyr are negotiating to unite efforts in the second round of presidential election. According to one version, the leader of Batkivschyna is ready to support Zelensky in exchange for signing a memorandum on creating a parliamentary coalition, the main task of which will be a change in legislation and the introduction of a two-round system of parliamentary elections," Nayyem wrote in his Telegram channel on Sunday.

                  According to him, if this model is used, the elections are held exclusively on a proportional basis in two rounds. The party that wins, gets 51% of the seats in the parliament, makes the majority and forms the Cabinet of Ministers.

                  "If these agreements are reached, it would actually mean that Zelensky will announce Tymoshenko his Prime Minister. We do not know at what stage the negotiations are and whether the leader of the presidential race will agree to such support, but it is already clear that this alliance will become a big problem for Petro Poroshenko and will severely knock down the image of 'non-systemic candidate' and agent of new forces' Zelensky," the people's deputy wrote.https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/577041.html


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                  • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 18:10 26.03.2019
                    Poroshenko, Tymoshenko, Zelensky and Taruta have largest election funds - CHESNO movement

                    Incumbent Head of State Petro Poroshenko has the largest electoral fund among the presidential candidates of Ukraine, who is followed by leader of the Batkivschyna Party Yulia Tymoshenko, showman Volodymyr Zelensky, and parliamentarian Serhiy Taruta, according to the analysis of financial reports conducted by the CHESNO movement with reference to data from the Central Election Commission (CEC).

                    "Those who, according to the results of opinion polls, are at the top of the list of favorites became leaders in the size of election funds. But the list is headed not by Volodymyr Zelensky, but by Petro Poroshenko. Hrytsenko's reports [Anatoliy Hrytsenko], Vilkul's [Oleksandr Vilkul], Liashko's [Oleh Liashko] and the ones by several other presidential candidates are not yet available therefore, the rating may change," the website of the movement said on Monday.

                    According to the published information, Poroshenko financed his election campaign on his own. So, from February 8 to March 18, he transferred UAH 415 million to his election fund.

                    The size of the electoral fund of Tymoshenko, according to the interim financial report, is UAH 164 million. All funds came from the accounts of the Batkivschyna party.

                    The analysis noted that in 2018, Batkivschyna paid the TV channels almost UAH 127 million for Tymoshenko's advertising, and several tens of millions were officially spent on outdoor advertising.

                    "That is why the real minimum cost of Tymoshenko's campaign is about UAH 320 million," it says.

                    Election fund of showman Zelensky is UAH 102.8 million. The analytical report says that the funds came from different sources. In particular, most of all - over UAH 68 million - were transferred by individuals, another UAH 16 million - by the Servant of the People party. In addition, Zelensky himself replenished his electoral fund by UAH 11.5 million.

                    According to the preliminary report of CHESNO, Taruta's electoral fund amounted to UAH 98.4 million, most of which came from individuals, while he invested almost UAH 33 million on his own, and another UAH 7 million was transferred from Osnova party.

                    According to the information provided by CHESNO, Poroshenko's expenses in hryvnia equivalent for elections set a record in the history of the presidential elections in Ukraine, but in terms of dollars, he spent less than $15.4 million, while ex-President Viktor Yanukovych spent over $40 million in 2010, and Tymoshenko - $36 million.

                    CHESNO movement also notes that the candidates have already spent most of the money from the funds for campaigning, primarily for advertising in the media.https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/575624.html












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                    • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 17:55 30.03.2019
                      EU expects Russia to release 23 Crimean Tatars detained in annexed Crimea without delay

                      The European Union expects all 23 Crimean Tatars detained under a ruling of a court in the Crimean peninsula illegally annexed by Russia to be released without delay to ensure that human rights can be exercised by all in the peninsula, according to a statement of by the spokesperson of the European Union External Action Service spread on Saturday in Brussels.

                      A court in the Crimean peninsula, illegally annexed from Ukraine by Russia, has ruled that all 23 Crimean Tatars detained on 27 March and 28 March will be held in pre-trial detention until 15 May. They are accused of belonging to the organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is banned in Russia but not in Ukraine.

                      The spokesperson said that "the European Union does not recognise the enforcement of Russian legislation in Crimea and Sevastopol and expects all illegally detained Ukrainians to be released without delay."

                      "Such acts corroborate the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which states that "Crimean Tatars continue to be disproportionately affected by police raids and prosecuted under terrorism and extremism-related offences in proceedings falling short of human rights standards." The European Union expects the Russian Federation to end these practices and to take all necessary steps to ensure that human rights and fundamental freedoms can be exercised by all in Crimea, without discrimination on any grounds," the spokesperson said. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/576647.html


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                      • The turnout below 60% was recorded in Donetsk region (59.51%), Zakarpattia (46.99%), Luhansk region (56.76%), Odesa region (58.44%), Kherson region (57.65%), Chernivtsi region (56.07%).

                        Less than the average turnout was also in Ivano-Frankivsk region (61.83%), Kirovohrad region (61.96%), Mykolaiv region (60.2%), and Cherkasy region (63.14%).

                        The highest turnout was in Volyn region (68.35%) and Lviv region (68.88%), as well as in the city of Kyiv (68.01%).

                        In other regions, turnout was also higher than the average: in Vinnytsia region (65.06%), Dnipropetrovsk region (65.96%), Zhytomyr region (64.56%), Zaporizhia region (64.37%), Kyiv region (66.49%), Poltava region (65.82%), Rivne region (64.94%), Sumy region (64.46%), Ternopil region (66.1%), Kharkiv region (64.53%), Khmelnytsky region (65.08%), and Chernihiv region (65.35%).https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/577374.html

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                        • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 22:46 31.03.2019
                          Poroshenko: not Galkin or Petrosyan but Putin will represent Russia at talks

                          President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, appealing to young voters who want changes in the country, called them to unite, noting that his task was to win the trust of young people.

                          "I want to address the younger generation today, those who are less than 30 now. You see changes in the country, but you want the changes to be closer and faster. I fully share your desire," Poroshenko said in a statement.

                          According to him, to achieve qualitative changes, it is necessary to unite and not to waste time.

                          "I fully understand the motives of your discontent. I heard you and I ask you to hear me too. Everything that we have been doing for five years, by and large, is for the future of Ukraine, for the future generation," Poroshenko said.

                          He stressed that it is young people who decide who will be the commander-in-chief, who will negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Western partners.

                          "And not Maxim Galkin or Yevgeny Petrosyan will represent Russia [at the talks]. So that you know, just in case, Putin will represent Russia," the president added.

                          "My task is to win your confidence," Poroshenko said.https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/577261.html


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                          • Russian economy isnt in crisis: it is in a depression, Shein says
                            EUROMAIDAN PRESS Paul Goble 2019/03/31 - 14:23

                            Two out of three Russians (68 percent) tell the Public Opinion Foundation that they believe that their country is in the midst of an economic crisis, four percent more this year than last. And only one in twelve (eight percent) believe that there is any chance that this crisis will be over in a years time.

                            Among the Russian parliamentarians the Regions.ru news agency surveyed, Oleg Shein, a Just Russia member of the Duma committee on labor, social policy, and veterans affairs, offers an even bleaker assessment. He says that what Russia faces not so much a crisis as a depression.

                            Crises are cyclical, he points out; and they contain within themselves the bases for recovery.

                            But a depression can last for an infinitely long period until some external political conditions arise that will change the situation.

                            Those are not now on the horizon at least as long as the current regime remains in power.

                            For example, he says, a crisis may be brought on by overproduction. Too many goods are produced and remain unsold; but once they are bought, new goods have to be produced and the economy begins to recover. But a depression is something else. This is when the national government by its decisions kills all possibilities for the development of domestic production.

                            And consequently, as long as this government will be running things, there cannot be any growth or restoration of the economy, Shein says.

                            Consider how the economy functions under the Putin regime: Russian companies extract oil and gas, sell them abroad, and then put the money they earn into offshore accounts. Little or none of it goes to the population. Instead the regime seeks to take as much money from the people as possible, by increasing the pension age and raising taxes.

                            As a result, domestic demand continues to fall, something exacerbated by the decline in wages as a result of the pension reform, the parliamentarian says; and unless there is an unexpected boom in international oil and gas prices, the economy will continue to be in crisis but in fact in a depression.

                            One can only agree with society that the Russian economy is in trouble; but, Shein continues, society must draw the conclusion that the powers that be must be changed because it is they who are the threat for the present and future of our country.http://euromaidanpress.com/2019/03/3...on-shein-says/

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                            • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 17:25 03.04.2019
                              Nova Poshta considers new draft bill on postal services to be balanced

                              The Nova Poshta group of companies considers the new version of the draft law "On Postal Communication," promulgated by Ukraine's Infrastructure Ministry to be balanced and taking into account the interests of both the state operator and the market.

                              Nova Poshta-Center Legal Affairs Director Inna Khomych told the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency that the wording of the concept of a universal service, which in the previous version of the bill allowed the designated operator to monopolize the market, has been changed.

                              In the amended edition of the draft law, the universal postal services included: simple mail items registered and with a declared value of a letter up to 2 kg; parcels without a declared value of up to 10 kg and dispatches for the blind up to 7 kg.

                              "This edition of the bill is balanced. It takes into account the interests of stakeholders, the market, the regulator, the state operator and, most importantly, customers who will have the opportunity to choose the best quality and the best price," she said.

                              According to Khomych, it is also important for the company that this edition of the draft law does not provide for the broad powers of the regulator to regulate the market and supervise the operators, as previously proposed.

                              "The authors of the draft law also refused from unreasonable fines for operators. The authorities of the regulator are reduced to keeping the register of operators, approving prices for universal services, and supervising the quality of universal services," she said

                              At the same time, Nova Poshta said certain norms of the draft law still need to be improvement, including regulating the work of courier delivery.

                              "But this edition is definitely better than the previous one. We hope that the new law on postal communication will be unequivocal, understandable, simple and meet all the requirements of the Ukrainian and European legislation," said Nova Poshta-Center legal director.

                              At the same time, Ukrposhta CEO Igor Smelyansky said the new version of the bill changes absolutely nothing for private players.

                              "Both carried parcels, calling them 'express shipments,' just as they did not obey any regulation, and they will continue to do so. Only Ukrposhta will be regulated," he said.

                              According to the published text of the draft law, in its new version it is proposed to allow unsafe items to be sent in parcels if their dispatch is permitted by the rules of the Universal Postal Union.

                              At the same time, as before, designated operators, who are obliged to provide universal services throughout the country, are determined by the Ministry of Infrastructure in the manner prescribed by the Cabinet of Ministers.

                              As reported, the Ministry of Infrastructure proposed to transfer to the universal postal services the shipment of mailings weighing up to 2 kg, including those registered and with declared value, and parcels weighing up to 10 kg. Market participants have repeatedly expressed concern about the possibility of Ukrposhta monopolizing the mail market.

                              The Nova Poshta group of companies in 2018 delivered 174 million parcels, almost 20% more than in 2017. At the same time, in 2019 the company also plans to achieve a 20% increase in the number of served items.

                              Founded in 2001, Nova Poshta group of companies is a leader in the express delivery market in Ukraine. The company's network consists of almost 3,000 branches throughout the country.https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/578197.html




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                              • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 15:44 03.04.2019
                                Kyivstar connects 968 localities in all regions of Ukraine to 4G technology in Jan-March

                                The Kyivstar mobile communications operator in January-March 2019 connected 968 localities in 24 regions of Ukraine to the 4G communications (LTE) network, the press service of the company has told Interfax-Ukraine.

                                "In the first quarter of 2019, Kyivstar connected 968 localities to the 4G communications network, connecting 10 new localities per day. This happened in all regions," the company said.

                                According to Kyivstar's press service, today the operator's 4G communications network is available in 4,587 localities in the territory where 24.1 million people live (58% of the population of Ukraine).

                                At the same time, 43% of all mobile data traffic of Kyivstar is generated in the 4G network.

                                In March 2019, Kyivstar subscribers used the volume of mobile Internet equal to the consumption for the entire 2016 (40 petabytes).

                                In the first quarter, most of all localities in Ivano-Frankivsk (120), Lviv (108) and Rivne (103) regions were connected. Also among the leading regions in the number of localities connected to the 4G network are Kyiv and Vinnytsia regions: 73 and 69 respectively.

                                Kyivstar is a Ukrainian mobile communications operator. VEON international group (earlier VimpelCom) is the shareholder in Kyivstar. The group's shares are listed on NASDAQ (New York).https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/578155.html


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