Terrorist threat increasing in Ukraine. Ukrainian humanitarian aid was delivered to the occupied territories. Budget process is sabotaged by former members of the Party of Regions.

Key Events In Ukraine

●      The Verkhovna Rada will consider the budget on Sunday, on 28 December. Numerous protests are expected in front of the Parliament on this day. The traffic police is trying to prevent arrival of groups of protesters from Western Ukraine according to activists. Police preparing to strengthen security measures in the city center.
●      The reactor on South-Ukrainian NPP was connected back to the grid after maintenance. It will reduce power shortage in the country. Two units are scheduled for the maintenance on the Zaporizhzhya NPP at the end of February.
●      State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting allowed broadcasting of the Russian opposition channel “Dozhd ” (“Rain”) in the Ukraine.

War in Ukraine

●      Eight hostages, including four civilians were handed over to the Ukrainian authorities by the militants. 154 people have been freed during two days.
●      “Humanitarian” convoys from the Crimea and Abkhazia arrived in Donetsk.
●      The first part of Ukrainian humanitarian aid has been delivered to the occupied territories of Donbass.
●      Positions of Ukrainian troops have been under fire 10 times during the day. Three soldiers was wounded. Russian troops and militants carried out regrouping and concentration of forces in the areas of possible attack using silence regime as a cover for their actions. They also increasing number of their troops due to arrival of people from Russia and deploying field hospitals.
●      Wave of terrorist attacks is growing in Ukraine. Grenade launcher was used in the assault on the house of the Lviv mayor, two terrorists blew up on their own explosive devices in Odessa and Kherson. Oil pipeline “Druzhba” in Transcarpathia damaged . Oil pumping stopped in order to avoid an ecological catastrophe in case of oil leak. Ukrainian militaries stepped up security of strategic objects in Mariupil and blocked the eastern exit from the city.

Ukraine and the World

●      OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Burkhalter urged representatives of the Minsk contact group to resume negotiations to settle the situation in the Donbass as soon as possible .
●      President Lukashenko changed all top government officials, including the Prime Minister, his deputies, ministers and their principal deputies and the chairman of the National Bank before the presidential elections in Belarus.

Trends

●      Economic Policy Committee of the Parliament, where the former members of the Party of Regions have majority, sabotages consideration of changes and amendments to the legislative package required to adopt the budget in time. Committee on Anti-Corruption Policy refuses to consider bills due to the lack of the detailed cost estimates by the Cabinet. Members of the committee found evidence of corruption in the draft budget and in 12 bills proposed by the government.
●      Kasich who is the former top manager of the Russian oligarch Grigorishin appointed as a director of state enterprise “Ukrenergo”. Grigorishin is a business partner of President Poroshenko and holds  controlling interest in several Ukrainian regional power distribution companies. According to observers, the new director will oversee the delivery of coal and electricity from Russia. Experts believe that the President Poroshenko wants to obtain a control over cash flow in the energy sector in the absence of large gas supply contracts.

 

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