Escalation in Donbas: Ukraine reports 4 killed, 7 wounded in action in last day
Russia’s hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 73 times in the past 24 hours with four Ukrainian soldiers reported as killed and seven as 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 militants opened fire 29 times yesterday.
“At first, the invaders shelled our fortified positions near the town of Krasnohorivka, using 122mm artillery systems and 120mm mortars. They also used portable versions of multiple launch rocket systems near the village of Chermalyk. Our fortified positions near the towns of Krasnohorivka and Mar’inka, and the villages of Slavne, Hnutove, Talakivka, Vodiane, Shyrokyne and Chermalyk repeatedly came under enemy fire from grenade launchers and small arms, and 82mm mortars from time to time,” the headquarters said. In the evening, the situation was most tense near the village of Pavlopil.
The militants carried out a number of attacks on the Ukrainian fortified positions, using 82mm mortars, infantry fighting vehicles, grenade launchers of various modifications and other infantry weapons. In the Donetsk sector, the Russian occupation forces continued to fire 120mm and 82mm mortars on the Ukrainian defenders of the town of Avdiyivka. In the evening, the intensity of fire increased significantly there.
“Explosions of mines and grenades, which arrived from the enemy’s side, almost did not abate until midnight. The enemy also used the same weapons near the villages of Verkhniotoretske, Kam’ianka, Troyitske and Luhanske. Less powerful armed provocations were recorded near the villages of Zaitseve, Opytne, Nevelske and Novhorodske, where the illegal armed groups repeatedly attacked the Ukrainian positions with grenade launchers and small arms, and 82mm mortars in some areas.
In total, the Russian-backed mercenaries carried out 21 attacks on our positions in this direction,” the report says.
In the Luhansk sector, the situation was rather calm during the day. The Russian-backed militants violated the ceasefire only several times near the villages of Stanytsia Luhanska, Valuiske, Troyitske and Donetskiy, using small arms and grenade launchers of various modifications. Additionally, they fired 82mm mortars near the village of Krymske. However, the enemy was more active after dark, the headquarters said.
“In particular, the occupiers intensively shelled our fortified positions near the villages of Krymske and Novotoshkivske, using 120mm and 82mm mortars, 122mm and 152mm cannon artillery systems, as well as infantry weapons,” the press service said. Furthermore, mortar attacks of low intensity were recorded near the town of Popasna, and the villages of Novo-Oleksandrivka and Troyitske.
Moreover, the militants opened fire from infantry fighting vehicles near the village of Novozvanivka.
EU visa-free travel for Ukraine comes into force June 11
On June 11, the decision of the Council of the European Union to introduce a visa-free regime for short trips of Ukrainian citizens to 30 countries of the European Union and the Schengen zone came into force, according to UNIAN.
A visa-free regime allows Ukrainians who have a biometric passport of a citizen of Ukraine to stay and freely travel across Europe for no more than 90 days during any 180-day period.
From now on, Ukrainians can travel to Europe for tourism, visiting relatives, search for business partners, attending seminars, conferences, concerts, music and theater festivals, sports competitions, beach recreation.
Every traveling citizen of Ukraine, regardless of age, even up to 16 years, must have a biometric passport if he plans to enter the EU territory on a visa-free basis. In case a person should stay in the EU for a long time, more than 90 days, he should apply for a visa. At the same time, the visa-free regime does not apply to economic, commercial activities, employment, contract work, etc. In this case, a person must apply to the consular offices of the EU member states for working visa.
Although it is forbidden to work in the EU without a visa, a person can quite legally look for work due to the visa-free status. A visa is not required to go to interviews, communicate directly with the employer, get acquainted with the working conditions in the company before the consent to work is given.
A visa-free regime allows studying in the EU in the framework of short-term programs lasting no more than 90 days. For a longer period of study, a person will have to apply for a special visa, but short internships, courses, seminars, participation in scientific conferences, as well as the choice of a university or college – all this becomes available without a visa.
When entering the EU countries, a Ukrainian citizen must have documents confirming the purpose of the trip, the place of residence, the availability of sufficient financial means for this period of stay and the intention to return to the place of permanent residence.
In addition, Ukrainian citizens must have a health insurance policy for visa-free border crossing, and the vehicle owner’s liability insurance policy in case of traveling by car.
Thanks to the introduction of a visa-free regime, Ukrainians are allowed to travel without visas to 30 countries in Europe.
In particular, these are 22 countries of the European Union that are members of the Schengen zone: Austria, Belgium, Greece, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, France, the Czech Republic and Sweden.
In addition, these are four EU member states that are members of the Schengen area but have not yet withdrawn control on their internal borders: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania and Croatia. Also, these are four other states that are not included in the EU but are parties to the Schengen agreement – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
In addition, visa requirements for Ukrainian travelers will be removed by those countries and territories that now require Ukrainians to have a Schengen visa or those that can only be entered by transit through the member states of the Schengen agreement, for example, Monaco or the Vatican.
Visa-free travel does not apply to travel to the UK and Ireland, which conduct their own migration policies. Ukrainians still need visas to visit these two countries. The need to get visas also applies to the non-European territories of France and the Netherlands.
The European Union upholds the position that citizens of Ukraine living in occupied Crimea and having biometric passports can enjoy the visa-free regime on a par with other Ukrainians. Also, Ukrainians who live in uncontrolled territories of Luhansk and Donetsk regions who have received biometric passports of Ukrainian citizens will be able to travel to Europe without visas on equal terms with residents of other regions of the country.
UN Secretary-General plans to visit Ukraine soon
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres intends to visit Ukraine in the near future, First Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Iryna Gerashchenko has said, with reference to Executive Director of the UN Women structure, UN Under-Secretary-General Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
“The UN Under-Secretary-General informed that the new UN Secretary-General plans to visit Ukraine in the near future. By the way, Antonio Guterres defined the issue of gender equality as the key priority of his work,” Gerashchenko wrote on her Facebook page after a meeting with Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
In addition, according to the Ukrainian official, a new UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict will be appointed in July. One of the first visits of the commissioner will be carried out to Ukraine.