Ukraine: Daily Briefing – June 11, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
June 11, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
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 32 times in total, including at least 8 times with heavy weapons – mortars and artillery.
2. Release of Ukrainian political prisoners to be priority issue of the Normandy format foreign ministers’ meeting – President of Ukraine at meeting with families of Ukrainian hostages
photo – Ukraine’s Presidential Administration
Ukraine’s Presidential Administration reported on June 8, “President Petro Poroshenko met with the families of the Ukrainian hostages, held in Russian prisons in the occupied territories of Donbas and Crimea. The Head of State informed about the steps undertaken to release political prisoners and further actions.
          ‘Pavlo (Klimkin – ed.) is heading to a meeting of the Normandy format [Ukraine, Germany, France, Russia] countries’ foreign ministers on June 11. And the first question apart from the deployment of peacekeeping mission, ceasefire and implementation of the Minsk Agreement, is issue of hostages. We have already agreed and coordinated our position, the French and German sides support us,’ – said the President.
          He also said that at a meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk the presidential representative for the peaceful settlement of the situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Irina Gerashchenko, officially handed over a letter with a list of 23 Russians, who carried out the espionage activities in Ukraine, to be exchanged for Ukrainian political prisoners. […]
         The President stressed that the issue of release of Ukrainian hostages is present in all its international negotiations. In particular, Petro Poroshenko during the telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discussed the need to raise the issue of the Ukrainian political prisoners at a meeting of G7 leaders. Also it is a question the President has discussed in Aachen with Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron. ‘And received a clear assurance that international solidarity and pressure on Russia will continue,’ – said the Head of State.”
3. US Treasury sanctions Russian Federal Security Service Enablers
The US Treasury stated, “Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated five Russian entities and three Russian individuals under Executive Order (E.O.) 13694, ‘Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities,’ as amended, and Section 224 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).  One of the designated entities in controlled by and has provided material and technological support to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), while two others have provided the FSB with material and technological support.  OFAC is also designating several entities and individuals for being owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, the three entities that have enabled the FSB.
           ‘The United States is engaged in an ongoing effort to counter malicious actors working at the behest of the Russian Federation and its military and intelligence units to increase Russia’s offensive cyber capabilities.  The entities designated today have directly contributed to improving Russia’s cyber and underwater capabilities through their work with the FSB and therefore jeopardize the safety and security of the United States and our allies,’ said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.  ‘The United States is committed to aggressively targeting any entity or individual working at the direction of the FSB whose work threatens the United States and will continue to utilize our sanctions authorities, including those provided under CAATSA, to counter the constantly evolving threats emanating from Russia.’
           Examples of Russia’s malign and destabilizing cyber activities include the destructive NotPetya cyber-attack; cyber intrusions against the U.S. energy grid to potentially enable future offensive operations; and global compromises of network infrastructure devices, including routers and switches, also to potentially enable disruptive cyber-attacks.  Today’s action also targets the Russian government’s underwater capabilities.  Russia has been active in tracking undersea communication cables, which carry the bulk of the world’s telecommunications data.”
4. Ukraine’s PM: small-scale privatization will begin in June through ProZorro system
Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers reported, “Privatization of small assets that are not strategically important for the Ukrainian economy will begin through the ProZorro system in June, which means open and transparent process.  This was announced by Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman.
           ‘I believe that privatization is attraction of investment in the industry. This month, a new formula for the sale of small enterprises – through ProZorro – starts openly, publicly, without abuse,’ the Prime Minister stressed.
           He emphasized that strategically important large state-owned enterprises will be kept in state ownership, and those where it is possible to raise capital for updating technologies and multiplying jobs will be implemented with the assistance of well-known world advisers.”
5. Priorities of new acting Minister of Finance – macroeconomic stability and reduction of fiscal risks
Ukraine Business Journal reported, “Macroeconomic stability and the reduction of fiscal risks are the priorities of the new Acting Minister of Finance.  Oksana Markarova, says a return to medium-term budget planning, the achievement of macroeconomic stability and reduction of fiscal risks, as well as support for economic development are among the key priorities for her at the new post.
           ‘What is needed,’ she said, is ‘a gradual reduction of the budget deficit and deepening of cooperation with our international partners – the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, as well as the reform of tax and customs administration, which should be accelerated, the creation of a new body of financial investigations and a reduction of pressure on business.'”
6. Ukraine central bank files lawsuits against Kolomoisky over PrivatBank
Reuters reported, “The Ukrainian central bank said on Monday it had filed lawsuits in Switzerland and Ukraine against Ihor Kolomoisky, the former owner of Ukraine’s largest bank, which was nationalised in 2016. The central bank is seeking to recover 10 billion hryvnias ($384 million) of loans it says were given to PrivatBank between 2008-2015. The central bank says PrivatBank was used as a vehicle for shady lending practices and money-laundering over the course of at least a decade.”

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