OSCE SMM to continue its work in Donbas – Apakan
The Special Monitoring Mission will continue to fulfill its mandate in eastern Ukraine and calls for an investigation to hold accountable those responsible for the tragic incident involving the OSCE SMM patrol, OSCE Special Monitoring Mission Chief Monitor Ertugrul Apakan said in a statement on April 24, according to UNIAN.
“In spite of this tragedy, we remain committed to fulfilling our mandate and contributing to bring peace to the people of Ukraine,” Apakan said. “I reiterate my call for sustainable cease-fire, withdrawal of weapons, full demining and real commitment to peace,” the OSCE chief said. “And I ask that those responsible for placing mines are held accountable.”
He underlined that this international unarmed civilian monitoring mission is staffed with “dedicated professionals who work hard to implement the mission’s mandate of contributing to normalisation and stabilisation in Ukraine.”
“I am today travelling to the area to extend my support to the monitors and understand the situation better,” he said.
OSCE earlier confirmed a loss of the SMM team member who was conducting a patrol near non-government controlled Pryshyb in the Luhansk region yesterday morning. “One of our armoured vehicles experienced an explosion, likely a mine, resulting in the tragic death of a paramedic from the United States working with the OSCE SMM. Two more patrol members from Germany and the Czech Republic have been admitted to hospital for medical examination,” the statement said.
Ukraine to cease electricity supplies to occupied areas of Luhansk region from Apr 25
Lugansk Energy Association (LEA) plans to shut down power supplies to the occupied part of Luhansk region starting April 25, LEA CEO Volodymyr Gritsai told Luhansk regional TV channel, according to UNIAN.
“We have received documents from state-owned enterprise Energorynok, which are confirmed by documents from the Energy and Coal Industry Ministry signed by Minister Nasalik, that the power flow to the uncontrolled side will be completely halted starting April 25,” Liga.net quotes Gritsai as saying. He also noted that certain technical procedures are underway. “Starting April 25, at 00:00, the power flow should be completely shut down,” Gritsai said.
Popasnyanskiy Vodokanal (water and wastewater treatment plant) is among the facilities dependent on LEA’s electricity.t noteworthy that Ukraine ceased water supplies to the occupied areas of Luhansk region from December 1, 2016, due to debts. As reported by Luhansk regional civil-military administration, the debt of KP Popasnyanskiy Vodokanal amounted to about UAH 124 million.
It noteworthy that Ukraine ceased water supplies to the occupied areas of Luhansk region from December 1, 2016, due to debts. As reported by Luhansk regional civil-military administration, the debt of KP Popasnyanskiy Vodokanal amounted to about UAH 124 million.
On January 7, it was reported that Ukraine for the first time received part of the funds owed by the self-styled authorities of the “LPR” (self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic) for the water supplied to the occupied areas of Luhansk region.
Keep calm and always smile: Training of Eurovision 2017 volunteers starts
Young boys and girls have gathered at the premises of the National Police of Ukraine. The training of Eurovision 2017 volunteers starts today, according to Ukrinform.
The coaches are hanging posters on the walls. Some posters depict smiling lips, some read “We love our volunteers,” “Keep calm and always smile” and so on. The coaches are handing out leaflets, pens and eco bags featuring contest symbols to volunteers. All the people are a little bit fidgety and confused, but everyone, who enters the room, is welcomed with a smile. Smile is perhaps the main point of today’s training session.
“Do you know the myth about Ukraine? They say that we are really reserved, do not smile, the guests do not know whether we are okay or not,” starts Deputy Director for Projects of the British Council Ukraine Natalia Vasyliuk and then adds: “When people get to know us closer, they find out we are very hospitable people.”
Smile is a very serious thing. Volunteers should have a smile on their faces in every situation.
“The selection of volunteers was very tough,” Mrs. Vasyliuk assures, noting she is happy with the fact that Ukrainian youth are improving their knowledge of English. There are volunteers who speak even several languages, which is certainly a plus.
“The coaches are great and enthusiastic, and the volunteers are unique,” Mrs. Vasyliuk says, adding this is an opinion of her colleague from the UK.
The opening ceremony of the training session is in English. The volunteers were asked whether they need translation, and they refused it.
“Are you ready for the Eurovision 2017?” coach from India Mandju Eterton asks. “Yes, we are!” the audience answers in chorus.
The volunteers-to-be are divided into pairs. The first task is to learn more about an interlocutor in just few minutes, speaking English only.
The patrol police officers sit behind the volunteers and also perform the tasks.
The Eurovision quiz turns out to be a more difficult challenge. The volunteers are asked how many times Ukraine has won the Eurovision. Everybody knows the right answer – Ukraine has been the winner twice. A more difficult question is what participating country has been a record-holder for wins.
This question got the audience thinking. However, the most popular Eurovision winner was called without hesitation – Swedish band ABBA. The volunteers got a notebook or a candy for each correct answer. Maria Khrapunenko, a student of Kharkiv, collected the largest number of prizes. She said that she had begun to watch Eurovision after Ruslana’s victory in 2004 and read about the history of the contest before the interview.
“It was interesting, fun and lively,” student from Kyiv Dmytro Teslenko said during the break. He applied for a volunteering position at Eurovision accidentally, when he saw an ad on the Internet. Dmytro was surprised that not knowledge of English but motivation to be a volunteer at Eurovision was the main criterion for selection. His desire to take part in the competition appeared after Jamala’s victory.
It turns out that Jamala also inspired student of Warsaw University Iryna Kostiukova to become a volunteer at the song contest in Kyiv.
The coaches continue to conduct the class and offer to simulate a situation that may happen during the work of volunteers. The volunteers-to-be are again divided into pairs. One volunteer is set a task to show an aggressive tourist, another student has to respond to this situation as a volunteer. Another pair of students has to simulate a situation with a good tourist. In both situations, volunteers keep calm and smile and coaches nod in approval.
The police officers listen to the volunteers and say that they know English well. Police inspector from Kyiv Tetiana Zhembotska says that the police officers also improve their English at the British Council on the eve of the Eurovision Song Contest.
The scheduled Customer Service training for volunteers has been held for 15 people, several trainings had been already conducted before. 900 people passed the selection for Eurovision. In total, there were 12,000 applications from prospective volunteers for Eurovision 2017.
In addition, volunteers from other countries will arrive in a few days. “Foreigners make up 5% of all volunteers who passed the test,” says coach of the Volunteers for Europe project Oksana Nazimok. She explains that most of the volunteers have extensive volunteer experience, get English language practice at schools and so on. And this is not only about young people, because the oldest volunteer is 62 years old.