Home / World / Ukraine News Today Mar. 20, 2017: Heavy fighting with Grad, tanks near Ukraine’s Mariupol: 1 soldier killed, 8 wounded; Security Service chief says entry ban papers drafted against Russia’s Eurovision pick; President expects inflation in Ukraine below 10% in 2017

Ukraine News Today Mar. 20, 2017: Heavy fighting with Grad, tanks near Ukraine’s Mariupol: 1 soldier killed, 8 wounded; Security Service chief says entry ban papers drafted against Russia’s Eurovision pick; President expects inflation in Ukraine below 10% in 2017

Ukraine News Today: Heavy fighting with Grad, tanks near Ukraine's Mariupol: 1 soldier killed, 8 wounded; Security Service chief says entry ban papers drafted against Russia’s Eurovision pick; President expects inflation in Ukraine below 10% in 2017
Ukraine News Today Mar. 20, 2017: Heavy fighting with Grad, tanks near Ukraine's Mariupol: 1 soldier killed, 8 wounded; Security Service chief says entry ban papers drafted against Russia’s Eurovision pick; President expects inflation in Ukraine below 10% in 2017

Heavy fighting with Grad, tanks near Ukraine’s Mariupol: 1 soldier killed, 8 wounded – volunteers report

Ukrainian civil volunteers report Russia’s hybrid military forces are attacking Ukrainian positions near the Ukrainian-controlled strategic port city of Mariupol with all available weapons on Monday, Joinfo.com reports with reference to UNIAN.

“According to preliminary reports, an enemy fortified position has been completely destroyed together with the terrorists. The enemy has been intensifying the shelling and is already firing on its former positions. Enemy main battle tanks are also engaged in the fighting,” the People’s Project volunteers’ center reported on Facebook on Monday, March 20. Later, the center shared an update, saying that the hybrid troops are using Grad multiple rocket systems, tanks, banned 122mm and 152mm artillery systems and mortars. “At least nine Ukrainian troops have been wounded in action. Information about the casualties is being verified,” the center wrote.

In turn, volunteers from the Povernys Zhyvym [Back and Alive] project report that the fighting in the Mariupol sector goes on: the enemy continues to intensively shell the advanced positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), using large-caliber mortars and cannon artillery systems.

“There is confirmation that around 12:00 Kyiv time, the terrorists fired Grad MLR systems,” the volunteers said, adding that, according to unconfirmed information, there were wounded among the AFU fighters.

“A severe battle was near Mariupol in the morning. Welcome back to 2014. We would like to be mistaken, but it seems to be very serious. There are wounded among Ukrainian soldiers,” volunteer AKA Serg Marco wrote on Facebook.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters reported that the village of Vodiane was under fire from Grad systems. It is noted that the Ukrainian positions near Vodiane in the Mariupol sector were fired by the occupiers with the use of Grad systems, 152mm and 122mm artillery systems, and 120mm and 82mm mortars. “According to preliminary reports, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and another eight were wounded in battles in the Mariupol sector,” the press center said.

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Ukraine State Security Service chief says entry ban papers drafted against Russia’s Eurovision pick

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has prepared papers prohibiting entry into Ukraine of Eurovision 2017 participant from Russia Yulia Samoilova, SBU Head Vasyl Hrytsak told reporters on Monday, March 20, according to UNIAN.

“As of now, the decision regarding her entry ban has not yet been made, but I will reveal the secret — the relevant document has already been drafted,” Hrytsak said.

“The law should be the same for everyone,” he said. “She did not just visit Crimea, she also left traces in social networks, where she addressed the issue of Ukraine, its government, and its path toward Euro-Atlantic integration. My position is clear. I believe she should not come to Ukraine.”

It is worth noting that Russian media earlier reported that the SBU had already granted Samoilova a permission to enter Ukraine to participate in Eurovision 2017. However, Samoilova violated Ukrainian law in 2015 when she performed in the occupied Crimea, having arrived there in violation of the order established by the Ukrainian authorities. Read also Ukraine’s Deputy Information Minister does not rule out FSB provocations regarding Russia’s Eurovision entry.

President expects inflation in Ukraine below 10% in 2017

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko says he expects that the average inflation in 2017 will not fall below a 10% mark, Joinfo.com reports with reference to Ukrinform.

“Inflation, the burden of high prices is what people care about the most. I hope that this year it will be measured by a simple number below ten. Our joint task until 2019 – we must reach the annual inflation rate of about 5%,” he said during an open meeting of the Regional Development Council in Kyiv on Monday, an Ukrinform correspondent reported.

President Poroshenko also reminded that Ukraine’s inflation rate jumped to 43% in 2015. “It’s terrible to recall that it totaled 43% per annum the year before last. But we managed to tame it.”