Home / World / Ukraine News Today Feb. 20, 2017: No ceasefire in Donbas, 62 militant attacks; Avdiyivka remains cut off electricity; Head of Radical Perty Lyashko demands Artemenko leave his party after his statements on Crimea

Ukraine News Today Feb. 20, 2017: No ceasefire in Donbas, 62 militant attacks; Avdiyivka remains cut off electricity; Head of Radical Perty Lyashko demands Artemenko leave his party after his statements on Crimea

Ukraine News Today: No ceasefire in Donbas, 62 militant attacks; Avdiyivka remains cut off electricity; Head of Radical Perty Lyashko demands Artemenko leave his party after his statements on Crimea
Ukraine News Today Feb. 20, 2017: No ceasefire in Donbas, 62 militant attacks; Avdiyivka remains cut off electricity; Head of Radical Perty Lyashko demands Artemenko leave his party after his statements on Crimea

No ceasefire observation: Militants launch 62 attacks in Donbas, 1 soldier killed, 1 wounded over the past 24 hours

Russia’s hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 62 times in the past 24 hours with one Ukrainian soldier reported as killed, another one wounded in action, according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters, Joinfo.com reports with reference to UNIAN.

“In the Mariupol sector, the invaders fired mortars of various calibers on the villages of Hnutove, Novotroyitske, Lebedynske, and Zaitseve. Grenade launchers and heavy machine guns were used to shell the villages of Hnutove, Pavlopil, Hranitne, and Vodiane. Infantry fighting vehicles repeatedly attacked the village of Shyrokyne, while anti-tank missiles were lobbed into Vodiane. Additionally, a sniper was active in the town of Avdiyivka,” the report says.

In the Donetsk sector, the occupiers used 120mm and 82mm mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms to fire on Avdiyivka, and the villages of Troyitske, Zaitseve, Opytne, Kam’ianka, Luhanske, and Novhorodske.

In the Luhansk sector, the Russian occupation forces repeatedly shelled the village of Valuiske, using grenade launchers and small arms.

The ATO HQ has called on civilians residing in the action area not to pick up fragments of shells, mines or other projectiles after attacks until police examine the scene.

“It will be difficult for our state to use them as evidence in an international court without proper examination, photos and video footage.”

Also, a Ukrainian soldier who was seriously wounded in the village of Zaitseve on February 16 died in a hospital behind enemy lines on Sunday.

It should be noted also that Avdiyivka remains cut off from electricity on Monday as negotiations on the repair works in the militant-controlled territory continue.

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OSCE: “DPR/LPR” passports recognition is step back in Minsk agreements

“The decision to recognize pseudo-documents does not mean recognition of those who issue them,” General Secretary of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Lamberto Zannier said.

Russia’s decision to recognize the “passports” of the terrorist organizations “DPR/LPR” obstructs the possibilities to strengthen the truce, Zannier said in an interview, Joinfo.com reports with reference to 112 Ukraine TV Channel.

This step of Russia is a step back from “the distant goal to stop the war in Donbas,” according to him. It will complicate the implementation of Minsk agreements.

“The decision to recognize the pseudo-documents does not mean recognition of those who issue them,” Zannier noted.

Earlier it was reported that US Embassy stated that Russia’s recognition of “DPR/LPR” passports contradicts Minsk process. Beyond that, the embassy expressed concern over increased military activity in Donbas and use of Grads along the contact line.

Head of Ukraine’s Radical Party Lyashko requires MP Artemenko leave his party after his statements on Crimea

A Back-Channel Plan for Ukraine and Russia, Courtesy of Trump Associates

Radical Party will gather faction meeting to discuss the issue of his expulsion, 112 Ukraine TV Channel reported.
Leader of the Radical Party Oleh Lyashko requires MP Andrii Artemenko to hand over the mandate after his statements on giving up Crimea to remove US sanctions against the Russian Federation. Lyashko said this on the sidelines of Parliament before the meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

“He should not be a member of the Radical Party. He has no right to represent the Radical Party. By his statements Artemenko discredited both Ukraine and our team. So I think if Artemenko says that he is the politician who wants to be friends with Putin and Russian allies, he will have to lay down the mandate and go make friends wherever he wants. Radical party is friends only with the Ukrainians. Radical Party defends only the radical interests of Ukraine. We do not trade territories, neither Crimea nor Donbas. Anyone who does not support our policy cannot be with us. Therefore, I demand to exclude Artemenko from the party. In addition, today we will gather faction meeting to discuss the issue of his expulsion”, Lyashko said.

Recall, MP from the Radical Party Andrii Artemenko developed the concept of making peace between Russia and Ukraine, and the lifting of sanctions on Moscow. His plan was transferred to an adviser of US President Donald Trump, Michael Flynn shortly before his retirement.

He suggested the withdrawal of Russian troops from the east of Ukraine and conducting a nationwide referendum to submit Crimea to Russia for lease by 50 or 100 years.

In addition, Artemenko allegedly provided evidence of corrupt activities of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, which included the names of the companies and the number of bank transfers. In his opinion, this should help to oust Poroshenko from his post and to bring the new government to Kyiv that will be not so hostile towards Russia.

Donbas coal blockade may destabilize currency market – Central Bank

The foreign exchange market situation in Ukraine has recently stabilized. But Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine Dmytro Sologub warns that, rapid changes in the volume of foreign currency earnings caused by the coal blockade may affect the market, Joinfo.com reports with reference to Ukrinform.

“Metal products are one of the main components of the country’s exports. Last year their share was 40%. Therefore, any changes in this market have a strong effect on the economy,” Sologub said.

According to him, Ukraine may lose $2 billion worth of foreign currency earnings due to the blockade of Donbas, although such estimates are rather pessimistic.

“The foreign exchange market situation has recently stabilized, but rapid changes in the volume of foreign currency earnings may affect the market, as it was in August-September 2014 and February 2015, when metal manufacturers suffered from the escalation in military actions. However, the situation has improved since then – today, unlike in February 2015, the National Bank has enough tools and large international reserves to smooth short-run fluctuations on the foreign exchange market,” Sologub noted.