The Election Commision for the Anti-Corruption Bureau Head has started its work. The situation in the conflict zone in the Donbass escalated after the invasion by уet another Russian “convoy”. The foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany will meet on January 12 in Berlin to discuss settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Key Events In Ukraine
● Prime Minister Yatsenyuk said that new credit trunches will be used not to pay neither salaries nor to finance the state budget but for foreign debt servicing.
● Deputy Minister of Energy Zyukov said there is no alternative but to purchase coal from Russia and the mines located on the territory controlled by Donetsk and Luhansk terrorist “republics”, if the mines will be re-registered on the territory controlled by Ukraine.
● Crimean tatar leader Chubarov was elected Chairman of the Election Commision for the Anti-Corruption Bureau Head, human rights activist Zakharov was elected the deputy chairman. The Bureau may be lead by a foreigner. President Poroshenko declared the independence of the activities of the Bureau from the intervention of the authorities and parliament.
● President Poroshenko held talks with the head of the Polish government Kopacz about increasing macro-financial assistance for Ukraine.
● Prime Minister Yatsenyuk stated that the issuance of biometric passports will be launched on January 12. Up to 30,000 documents per month would be issued.
● Hryvnia (UAH) FX rate against the US dollar remains the same: 15.75 UAH / USD (-0.01 UAH), 18.53 UAH / EUR (-0.11UAH) 2.80 UAH / 10 RUR.
War in Ukraine
● The situation on the front line has escalated dramatically. Heavy fighting has taken place near Stanitsa Luhans’ka and Donets’k. During the day 6 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed, about 20 wounded, there are casualties among civilians too. The “truce” was broken dozens of times after the invasion by yet another Russian “convoy”.
● Military experts stated the enhancement of interaction between units of the Russian army and militias terrorist “republics” Donbass and improved their supply of fuel, spare parts and ammunition from Russia.
● The introduction of the special permit regime is being prepared to be introduced in Mariupil for citizens arriving from the occupied territory. Passes will be issued by the Security Services of Ukraine (SBU) due to the increasing terrorist threat .
● Journalists may access the war zone only after obtaining a special press card and pre-accreditation by the SBU.
Ukraine and the World
● Rating agency Fitch lowered the ratings of the Russian Federation to BBB- with a negative prediction, due to the depreciation of the national currency (RUR) FX rate and a sharp increase in the interest rate of the central bank of RF to 17%, decline in oil prices and the introduction of Western sanctions against the largest Russian companies. Agency experts believe that the rate of decline of Russia’s GDP in 2015 will accelerate to 4%, and inflation will rise to 8.5%. According to financial analysts of Bloomberg, there is a fairly high probability that Russia will default on government bonds.
● The foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France will meet in Berlin on January 12 to discuss the situation in eastern Ukraine. There has been no progress in resolving the conflict.
● According to the OSCE negotiations of the contact group consisting of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE on the situation in the Donbass with representatives of terrorist Donetsk and Luhansk “republics” has been held through a video conference on January 9.
● Russian authorities have moved Ukrainian pilot, Verkhovna Rada deputy Savchenko, whom is holding a hunger strike demanding recognition as a prisoner of war to a solitary confinement cell. The US State Department condemned the action and demanded the immediate release of her and other hostages held illegally in Russia.
● Cuba has released 36 political prisoners as part of the process of renewal of political and economic relations with the United States.
● President Poroshenko visit to France to attend the ceremonies for the victims of the terrorist attacks, while ignoring the daily deaths of soldiers in the Donbass as well as his statement that he sees no difference between the terrorist attacks in France and the situation in the Donbass.is causing a mixed reaction in the Ukrainian society.
● Experts say that the coal supplied to Ukraine under the Russian guise is produced at mines owned by oligarch Akhmetov on the territory of the terrorist “republics” Donbass. According to them Deputy Minister of Fuel and Energy Zyukov is a business partner of the Enakievskiy Ivanyushchenko-Abramov gang and the coal from the mines “re-registered on the territory controlled by Ukraine” are owned by these criminal organizations.
● The scandal with the solemn transfer of incomplete military equipment by President Poroshenko to army units demonstrates that the leadership of the Ministry of Defence still remains corrupt. Adviser to the Minister of Defence volunteer Biryukov said that the president did not know about the shortcomings.
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