Ukraine: Daily Briefing – October 18, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
October 18, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
 
Ukrainian Armed Forces training exercises. 
Photo – Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense


 
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 or 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 17 times in total, including at least 7 times with heavy weapons. Returning fire, Ukrainian forces wounded 2 enemy combatants.
2. Parliament passes draft 2019 budget in first reading
 
photo – Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers


Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers reported, “Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman urged lawmakers to demonstrate a joint work on the draft state budget for 2019 which is timely submitted, balanced and preserved all priority programs launched by Government.
           The Head of Government stressed, commenting on the approval of the draft in the first reading. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine approved in the first reading the draft state budget for 2019 by 240 votes.
          The Prime Minister stressed that at present the task is to endorse a balanced budget when expenditures correspond to incomes.
          ‘We drew up a balanced budget. We are ready to work in synergy with the factions, committees on improving this document for the second reading,’ the Head of Government said. ‘Now we must unite to take another step towards development of a strong Ukrainian economy.’
           On the eve of vote for the draft budget, the Verkhovna Rada also approved in the first reading amendments to the Budget Code that regulate the formation of local budgets in terms of transferring part of the tax payments for the use of subsoil, issues of state guarantees and granting of subventions.”
3. Canada offers its deepest condolences following deadly attack in Crimea
On October 17, Global Affairs Canada stated, “The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement following the attack at the Kerch Polytechnic College in Crimea, Ukraine:
            ‘Canada offers its deepest condolences and profound sympathy to the families and friends of the nearly two dozen teenagers killed and the dozens injured in the mass shooting and explosion at the Kerch Polytechnic College and hopes for a quick and full recovery of the injured victims. Canada strongly condemns this cowardly act of violence targeting young people. Canada remains steadfast in its support for the people of Crimea, who have endured extreme suffering since 2014, and we stand in solidarity with them. We reiterate our unreserved condemnation of Russia’s illegal annexation and invasion of Crimea.'”
4. Ukraine sets up group to stop any attempt by Russia to influence elections
Reuters reported, “Ukraine has set up a group to stop any attempt by Russia to influence next year’s elections, a state security body said on Thursday. The National Council for Security and Defence, which is headed by President Petro Poroshenko, established the special group ahead of presidential elections in March and parliamentary elections next October. […]
           ‘The experience of the United States and Western European countries shows that the Kremlin will try to influence (elections) through the cybernetic and informational space on socio-political processes,’ said Olexander Turchynov, secretary for the Council.
          ‘There are legitimate reasons to assume that the Russian leadership will try at any cost to use the electoral process to implement the plans of hybrid aggression against our state,’ he said. […]
           Hackers infected three energy and transport companies in Ukraine and Poland with sophisticated new malware and may be planning destructive cyber attacks, said software security firm ESET this week. […] Investigators at ESET said the group responsible for a series of earlier attacks against the Ukrainian energy sector, which used malicious software known as BlackEnergy, had now developed and used a new malware suite called GreyEnergy.”
5. After big investments, electricity from renewables to jump 67% in 2019 in Ukraine
Ukraine Business News reported, “Since 2015, $1 billion has been invested in renewable energy projects in Ukraine, Serhiy Savchuk, State Department of Energy Efficiency, told Kyiv’s International Sustainable Energy Forum on Tuesday.            One fast growing segment – often overlooked, he said – is rooftop solar. So far, $100 million has been invested in 4,660 of these household and factory projects. He called on the Rada to approve a government bill to replace the ‘green tariff’ in 2020 with auctions for electricity produced by solar farms larger than 10 MW and by wind farms larger than 20 MW.

Investments in solar and wind power this year will pay off with a two thirds jump next year over 2018 levels in electricity generation from renewables, the Energy and Coal Industry Ministry predicts. By sector, renewable productions and year over year growths are: solar up 87% to 1.65 billion kWh; wind up 70% to 1.55 billion kWh; small hydro up 19% to 250 million kWh; and biogas and others up 25% to 300 million kWh.”


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