Ukraine: Daily Briefing – June 1, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
June 1, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
Several demonstrations in support of the more than 60 Ukrainian political prisoners illegally jailed by Russia are taking place across Canada on June 1 and June 2. For more information please see here
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and three Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions on the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors of the front 26 times in total, including at least 7 times with heavy weapons – mortars and artillery.
2. Suspect in plot to assassinate journalist Babchenko remanded to custody
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported, “Borys Herman, the man suspected of overseeing a plot to assassinate journalist Arkady Babchenko, has been remanded in custody by a Kyiv court. Herman is alleged to have promised $40,000 to a would-be assassin for the killing of Babchenko.
          Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) says it thwarted the planned killing by working together with Babchenko to fake his death.The SBU faked Babchenko’s death on May 29, saying this contributed to thwarting an assassination plot allegedly organized by Russia’s secret services. […]
          Prosecutor-General Yuriy Lutsenko, meanwhile, told Ukrainian TV channel Inter that Herman hired Oleksiy Tsymbalyuk, a man who had fought in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, to kill Babchenko, Interfax has reported.
          Lutsenko previously said the person who was supposed to kill Babchenko cooperated with the investigation and will be treated as a witness in the criminal case.
         ‘Herman contacted Tsymbalyuk so that he would murder Babchenko,’ Lutsenko told Inter. ‘After that, Tsymbalyuk went to the SBU and joined an operative game to expose the organizer — Herman, according to our theory. A number of other SBU agents assisted with the operation.’
        According to Lutsenko, Herman met with Tsymbalyuk several times and at one of their meetings gave him $20,000 as a 50 percent down payment for the journalist’s murder, and promised the remainder would be paid after the killing.”
3. US Mission to the OSCE on Russia’s ongoing violations in Ukraine
The US Mission to the OSCE stated on May 31, “The last two weeks have seen increased fire from Russia-led forces – not just against Ukrainian positions, but Ukrainian population centers as well – particularly near Svitlodarsk. As many delegations have noticed, shell struck and killed Daria Kazemirova, a 15-year old girl in the Ukrainian-controlled town of Zalizne, as she was playing in the courtyard of her grandmother’s house.
           Russia continues to demonstrate callous disregard for civilians in the Donbas, and clear contempt for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Mr. Chair, Russia started this conflict; Russia fuels it; and Russia must choose to end it. […]
          Regrettably, Russia has continued to abuse the population of occupied Crimea, choosing to ratchet up violence and intimidation against Crimea’s Tatar community. […] Russia must cease politically-motivated harassment and abuse of Crimean Tatars and other activists. […]
        The United States remains deeply concerned about the condition of Ukrainian activists Oleh Senstov and the over sixty other Crimean political prisoners currently in Russian custody. Sentsov was arrested by Russian occupation authorities in Crimea on trumped-up charges, transported across an international border against his will, and languishes in a Russia prison. He has been on a hunger strike since May 14. Crimean political prisoners should be released immediately and allowed to return to Ukraine. […]
          Russia’s aggression and conduct in Ukraine undermine the core principles and commitments of the OSCE, as well as our collective security. The United States fully supports Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. We do not, nor will we ever, recognize Russia’s purported annexation of Crimea. Crimea-related sanctions on Russia will remain in place until Russia returns full control of the peninsula to Ukraine.”
4. Amobi Capital and Helios Royal Energy to build solar power farms in Ukraine
Ukraine Business Journal reported, “Amobi Capital and Helios Royal Energy are to construct solar power farms capable of producing 500MW of solar power in Ukraine over the next three years and an additional 1GW in 10 years, Ukrinform reports. Construction will begin this year in the Bohuslav area on the first 35MW solar park. Ukraine installed 257 MW of renewable energy generation capacity in 2017, of which 27 MW comprised wind power, 14 MW biogas plants, and 5 MW small-hydro power stations. Solar accounted for the largest growth last year, due to the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme that is currently in force for both large-scale and distributed generation PV, Ukrinform added.”

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