Ukraine: Daily Briefing – April 18, 2019, 7 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
April 18, 2019, 7 PM Kyiv time
Please don’t miss item 7 in today’s bulletin, a special round-up of media coverage on the Ukrainian Presidential Election.
Also, a reminder that as tomorrow is Good Friday, the UCC Ukraine Daily Briefing will return Monday, April 22, 2019. Thank you for your interest!


UAF training. Photo courtesy of CAF in Ukraine
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that on April 17 the Ukrainian Armed Forces suffered no casualties. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire eight times on Ukrainian positions in the Donetsk sector using heavy weapons in two instances.
Returning fire, Ukrainian forces killed two and wounded five enemy troops on April 17.
2. Canada’s UNIFIER Helps Reform Military Police in Ukraine
 
Photo courtesy of Aviator Stephanie Labossiere, JTF Ukraine. Operation UNIFIER
Canadian Military Police continue to support Military Police reform in Ukraine through operation UNIFIER. Earlier this week several dozen Ukrainian candidates, representatives of Security Forces of Ukraine, have successfully completed Transition Course 2019-01 and Basic Military Police Course 2019-01 at the Military Law and Order Service Centre in Lviv.
Operation UNIFIER is the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) mission to support the Security Forces of Ukraine. The training mission includes instruction in military engineering and explosive device disposal, medical training and assisting with increasing the battle-readiness of Ukrainian soldiers.
It unites the efforts of other nations through a Multinational Joint Commission. This commission includes Canada, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, Denmark and Sweden.
Approximately 200 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel are deployed to Ukraine every six-seven months to train Ukrainian soldiers through Operation UNIFIER. Since the start of the mission in September 2015 more than 11,000 Security Forces of Ukraine (SFU) candidates have participated in the trainings.
Canada became a member in January 2015. It co-chairs the Sub-Committee on Military Policing with Ukraine.
3. Russian Court Keeps Ukrainian Seamen in Jail Through Late July
Picture is a screenshot from the video by Lyudmyla Denisova
On Wednesday, April 17, the Lefortovo court of Moscow has extended the arrest of all 24 Ukrainian sailors who were detained during the Kerch Strait passage on November 25 last year.
The detention was extended until July 24 and 26 as reported by the court press service. The sailors were divided into groups and arrested one by one in a closed process. The investigation deadline is set to August 25.
On November 25, 2018, the Russian FSB coast guard ships blocked three Ukrainian vessels attempting to pass from the Black Sea into the Sea of Azov through the Kerch Strait to the port of Mariupol, ramming a tug boat, opening fire and injuring six and detaining all 24 Ukrainian sailors. The incident increased tension over the Kerch Strait, which is the sole passage from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov.
Western leaders have demanded that Russia release the seamen and the incident has led to the imposition of additional sanctions on Russia.
4. How Joseph Stalin Starved Millions in the Ukrainian Famine
Picture is a screenshot from History channel video
The History channel has just released a four-minute video and a piece by Patrick J. Kiger who writes about the 1932-33 Ukrainian famine also known as Holodomor under the ruling of Joseph Stalin. He draws a vivid picture of cruel Stalin’s efforts to impose collectivization and punish independence-minded Ukrainians who posed a threat to his totalitarian authority.
The video features Tom Brokaw of NBC News, Patrick Morgan of University of California, John Micgiel of Columbia University, Joshua Good of Claremont Graduate University, etc.
Kiger put together quotes and conclusions from some of the opinion leaders including Alex de Waal from the World Peace Foundation, Pulitzer Prize-winning-journalist and historian Anne Applebaum, Trevor Erlacher of the Center for Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies and others.
“In those days, Ukraine-a Texas-sized nation along the Black Sea to the west of Russia-was a part of the Soviet Union, then ruled by Stalin. In 1929, as part of his plan to rapidly create a totally communist economy, Stalin had imposed collectivization, which replaced individually owned and operated farms with big state-run collectives. Ukraine’s small, mostly subsistence farmers resisted giving up their land and livelihoods,” writes Kiger.
Click here to watch the video and read the article.
5. Pysanky: The Beautiful Tradition of Ukrainian Easter Eggs and How to Make Your Own
Picture is the screenshot from the video by Ukrainian EggCessories
Tomorrow is Good Friday followed by Easter Sunday or Pascha which commemorates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and includes the ceremony of the blessing of the food including the eggs by the priest. It is not uncommon for many cultures to decorate their Easter eggs. Interestingly, Easter egg decoration has grown into an art that dates back centuries.
“Known as pysanky, these Ukrainian Easter eggs are decorated using the wax-resist (batik) method. Covered in stunning motifs often taken from Slavic folk art, you’ll also find these decorated eggs in many parts of eastern Europe,” writes Jessica Stewart. In her article Jessica talks about various tools and methods of decorating pysanky.
“Archaeologists have found decorated ceramic eggs to back up this theory and, according to folklore, pysanky can help ward off evil from overtaking the world. Later, this blended with Christian beliefs, though many people still feel that the decorative eggs works to scare off bad spirits from the home,” emphasized Stewart.
Click here to watch the video and read the Jessica Stewart’s article
6. UCC encourages voters to participate in the second round of Ukraine’s Presidential Election
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) once again encourages all eligible Ukrainian citizens residing in Canada to exercise their right to vote in the second round of Ukraine’s Presidential Election taking place Sunday April 21, 2019.
Eligible voters are able to cast ballots at three polling locations across Canada on Sunday April 21, 2019 from 8 am to 8 pm local times. The UCC will once again have elections observers onsite at all three voting locations in Canada.

Ottawa: Embassy of Ukraine, 310 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, ON K2P 0J9
Toronto: Consulate of Ukraine, 2275 Lake Shore Blvd. W, Suite 301, Toronto, ON M8V 3Y3
Edmonton: Consulate of Ukraine, Unit 327, 9707 110 St. NW Edmonton, AB T5K 2L9
7. Media Round-up: Links to articles about the Presidential Election in Ukraine:
  • Reuters: Poroshenko 2.0: Ukraine leader reboots campaign ahead of presidential run-off
  • The Record: Will the presidential elections in Ukraine bring change?
  • BBC: Ukraine election rivals trade taunts and media tricks
  • Euromaidan Press: Sociology of Ukrainian elections: who votes for Zelenskyi/Poroshenko and why
  • Bloomberg: Comedian as President Raises Serious Questions for Ukraine
  • Newsweek: Hacked Emails Appear to Reveal Russia is Backing Comedian Likely to be Ukraine’s Next President

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