Ukraine: Daily Briefing – April 10, 2019, 7 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
April 10, 2019, 7 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian military training. Picture courtesy of JMTG-Ukraine
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that on April 9, the Ukrainian Armed Forces had no casualties. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire thirteen times on Ukrainian positions in the Donetsk and Luhansk sector using heavy weapons seven times.
According to the Ukrainian military intelligence report one invader was killed and four were wounded as a result of returning fire by the Ukrainian Armed Forces on April 9.
2. Atlantic Council: Will the Elections Give the Ukrainian Economy the Kick It Needs?
Anders Aslund. Photo taken from Twitter account
The first round of presidential election – possibly the freest and fairest in Ukraine’s history – is over, the financial markets are stable, Kyiv is calm except for an online battle between the two top candidates, describes Anders Åslund, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, the today’s Ukraine.
He carries on explaining how “Zelenskiy, Tymoshenko, and former Defense Minister Anatoly Hrytsenko all ran against corruption, and together their platforms gained 50 percent of the vote.” This was the revolt of the young and the poor against the old establishment, old elite. The fact that Ukraine was so united in its outcry against corruption speaks of the fact that corruption and judicial reform at the top of the agenda, followed by the economy. Having gained a lot of confidence in terms of national identity because of the war with Russia the author is convinced that the people are “ready to take the two extra steps to the rule of law and a more dynamic economy.”
Click here to get a better overview by Aslund as to what Ukraine is missing and whether it should stay traditional or become radical and reformist.
3. Relatives of Ukrainian Political Prisoners Call on PACE Not to Lift Sanctions on Russia
The relatives of Ukrainian citizens illegally held in Russia, as well as in occupied territories, have called on PACE delegates not to make changes to the regulations that could ensure the lifting of sanctions from the Russian delegation amid Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine as reported by Ukrainian media.
“We have appreciated firm reaction of the Parliamentary Assembly to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Russia’s military action in eastern Ukraine. We are grateful that the Assembly called on Russia to release our beloved ones. At the same time, we have observed with pain and regret attempts to allow Russia to return to PACE without fulfilling demands of the Assembly, contained in its resolutions,” read the letter, written by the relatives of Ukrainian hostages of the Kremlin regime.
The relatives of Ukrainian prisoners noted that during the spring session of the Assembly the delegates were considering proposals to amend the mechanism of imposing sanctions, emphasizing that if adopted the amendments would allow Russia to eventually restore its rights at the Assembly and at the same time escape responsibility for what it has done to Ukrainian citizens.
Since the beginning of military aggression against Ukraine in 2014, Russia has been holding at least 97 political hostages and prisoners of war on its territory and about 120 people in occupied Ukrainian territories, including Crimea.
4. Ukraine to Expand its Fiber-Optic Network to 300 Small Town and Villages
Picture from Youtube screenshot
Ukrainian telecommunications giant and traditional landline monopolist Ukrtelekom has announced that it was going to invest around UAH 270 million (CAD 13.4 million) in a high-speed optical network. For this project, which is estimated to last for two year, it plans to partner with international partners including the Slovenian telco Iskratel.
The company is going to employ GPON technology. The goal is to build the 3,500 km fibre-optic network, providing broadband access at a speed of up to 200 Mbps to almost 300 small towns and villages in Ukraine. The project will begin in mid-May with first new subscribers hooking up to the network as early as July benefiting from the use of additional telecom services, including Internet telephony and interactive television.
Half of the funding for the project will be coming in the form of an insured loan from the Slovenian Development Bank (SID), acting as an export credit agency (ECA).

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