Home / World / Ukraine News Today Mar. 28, 2017: Ukraine begins to suffer from water shortage; Ukraine more than triples cranberry, blueberry exports in 2016; Ukraine reports relative “stabilization” in ATO zone

Ukraine News Today Mar. 28, 2017: Ukraine begins to suffer from water shortage; Ukraine more than triples cranberry, blueberry exports in 2016; Ukraine reports relative “stabilization” in ATO zone

Ukraine News Today: Ukraine begins to suffer from water shortage; Ukraine more than triples cranberry, blueberry exports in 2016; Ukraine puts on wanted list alleged accomplice in former Russian MP Voronenkov murder; Ukraine reports relative "stabilization" in ATO zone
Ukraine News Today Mar. 28, 2017: Ukraine begins to suffer from water shortage; Ukraine more than triples cranberry, blueberry exports in 2016; Ukraine reports relative "stabilization" in ATO zone

Ukraine begins to suffer from water shortage – Environment minister

In recent years, the level of filling of Ukrainian rivers is within 20% of the norm – Ukraine begins to suffer from a shortage of water, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Ostap Semerak said, Joinfo.com reports with reference to Interfax-Ukraine.

“Today there is not a single lake or river left in Ukraine where the quality of water would have been at the level of the first class. For example, last summer I woke up every morning and was horrified to see the news, whether the pestilence of fish began in some river,” the minister said.

According to him, this situation is caused by deforestation, the attitude of industrial enterprises to water resources and clearing of water arteries.

At the same time, in view of the weakness of the Ukrainian environmental legislation, according to which only administrative responsibility is provided for such treatment of natural resources, no single enterprise-violator has been punished.

“The Environment Ministry together with the Prosecutor General’s Office developed the amendments to the criminal legislation, which provides for increased liability for the damage to nature. But in December of last year the parliament passed a law very quickly, which prohibits any inspections in 2017, including environmental ones. Therefore, the Environment Ministry actually turned out to be under a moratorium on conducting inspections,” Semerak said.

Ukraine more than triples cranberry, blueberry exports in 2016

Ukrainian agri-businesses exported 2,900 tonnes of cranberries and blueberries last year, which was 3.3 times more than in 2015, according to the press service of Ukraine’s Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food, Joinfo.com reports with reference to UNIAN.

The shipments in monetary terms amounted to $6.9 million, it said. Poland, the Netherlands and Belarus were the biggest importers of Ukrainian berries last year. In particular, Poland bought 1,400 tonnes, the Netherlands 613 tonnes, and Belarus 541 tonnes.

In addition, farmers more than doubled exports of raspberries, blackberries and mulberries, to 720 tonnes, while shipments of strawberries and wild strawberries abroad last year grew by 1.7 times, to 2,270 tonnes. The ministry said that for the first time since 2013, Ukraine had exported 79 tonnes of currant to the tune of $18,200.

Ukraine puts on wanted list alleged accomplice in former Russian MP Voronenkov murder

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has declared wanted Yaroslav Levenets, the alleged accomplice of exiled Russian MP Denis Voronenkov’s assassin, according to UNIAN.

The interior ministry website confirms the fact that the suspect has been put on a wanted list. Earlier, a Ukrainian journalist Alena Lunkova said that the killer of former State Duma deputy was not alone when he came to Kyiv. According to her, the killer came along with another ex-fighter of the Donbas battalion, Yaroslav Levenets (call sign “Hunter”).

As reported by the Right Sector organization, the likely accomplice of the Voronenkov’s killer had been taken for an interrogation by Ukrainian law enforcers following the murder, but then he allegedly disappeared.

It should be recalled that former State Duma deputy Denis Voronenkov, who had received Ukrainian citizenship after fleeing Russia and who was expected to become an important witness in a high treason case against Viktor Yanukovych, was in the center of Kyiv.

Voronenkov’s bodyguard who was wounded in an attack, also managed to hit the assassin with several shots as he returned fire. The hitman later died during a surgery performed at a Kyiv hospital.

It should be recalled that Voronenkov was killed in the center of Kyiv on March 23.

Ukraine reports relative “stabilization” in ATO zone: 58 enemy shellings in past 24 hours

The situation in the zone of the Anti-Terrorist Operation in Donbas has stabilized, the number of enemy attacks on the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has decreased, with 58 cases of shelling recorded in the past day, ATO Headquarters reports, according to UNIAN.

“Most enemy shellings were reported in the Donetsk direction, where 122mm artillery was used against [Ukrainian] positions near Troyitske. Russian-occupation forces fired 120mm mortars on defenders of Avdiyivka, Troyitske, and Luhanske. 82mm mortars, grenade launchers of various types, and large-caliber machine guns were used by the enemy in the area of Avdiyivka, Kam’ianka, Pisky, Novhorodske, and Luhanske,” the report said. According to the headquarters, in Mariupol direction, the enemy fired 82mm mortars and grenade launchers on strong points of the Ukrainian troops near Krasnohorivka and Mar’inka, and large-caliber machine guns – on the defenders of Novohryhorivka and Vodiane. Marines stationed in Shyrokine were fired upon from a ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft system. An enemy sniper was active near Pavlopil and Hnutove.

In Luhansk region, Ukrainian positions near Novozvanivka were shelled from 152mm artillery, while 120mm mortars were used near Krymske. The enemy fired 82mm mortars on the defenders of Novo-Oleksandrivka, and anti-tank grenade launchers – at positions near Kriakivka. “In order to suppress the enemy shelling, our troops returned fire. Over the past day, two Ukrainian defenders were killed in action, four were wounded, another soldier was injured,” the headquarters reported.

ATO HQ also reported that an IED explosion killed two Ukrainian soldiers near Novoluhanske in Donetsk region yesterday.