Ukraine: Daily Briefing – May 17, 2019, 8 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
May 17, 2019, 8 PM Kyiv time
Photo courtesy of Joint Task Force-Ukraine
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that on May 16 one service member of the Ukrainian Armed Forces was killed in action and one service member was wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, Russia-led proxy forces opened fire 13 times on Ukrainian positions in the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors using heavy weapons four times.
According to the Ukrainian Military Intelligence one enemy soldier was killed and four were wounded yesterday as a result of returning fire by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
2. Ukraine’s Coalition Failure and Signing of Inauguration Decree
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. Photo by UNIAN
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has signed a decree on inauguration of President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskyy. According to the document, the organizing committee has been formed and approved “to plan and organize the events related to the inauguration of the newly elected President of Ukraine”. The Foreign Ministry has been tasked with inviting foreign delegations (representatives of the diplomatic corps of foreign states) to attend the inauguration ceremony scheduled for May 20.
Ukrainian Parliament Chairman Andriy Parubiy. Photo by UGCC
Ukrainian Parliament Chairman Parubiy announces breakup of coalition in the Verkhovna Rada as of May 17, 2019, after the People´s Front faction announced about its withdrawal from the coalition. Now, according to the Constitution of Ukraine, MPs should form a new majority within a month from the date of termination of the coalition’s activities.
3. Kyiv Post: Ukraine’s tech sets record, attracts $323 million in 2018
Photo by Courtesy
Ukraine boasts about 172,000 tech professionals and 23,000 tech graduates annually. Last year Ukraine’s tech startups attracted about CAD 435 million in investments through Venture Capital and Private Equity funds which is the 22 percent increase compared to 2017. This is just a brief recap of the report prepared by local venture firm AVentures and Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (UVCA), and published on May 14.
The report includes the list of all the tech startups that attracted money in 2018, specifying the stage of investment and the amount raised.
“Roughly 90 percent of the money came from foreign investors, with companies in the United States contributing most of the funding. Goldman Sachs, Y Combinator, and Soros Fund Management are among the biggest U.S. investors in Ukraine’s IT startups,” reads the summary in the Kyiv Post.
Read the full article here
4. Atlantic Council: Ukraine’s Most Urgent Needs and Early Booting of the U.S. Ambassador from Kyiv   
In his recent article published by the Atlantic Council Peter Dickinson, publisher of Business Ukraine and Lviv Today magazines, goes through Ukraine’s past beginnings and disillusionments. He emphasized that most of the frustrations within Ukrainian society are triggered by the inability to fundamentally undermine corruption practices.
Toward the end he concludes that “Zelenskyy’s election win was a powerful demonstration of Ukraine’s democratic credentials, but the values defining a modern democracy go far beyond the ability to stage a free and fair vote. None of these values is as elementary as the rule of law, which provides the accountability underpinning all other rights and responsibilities. This is Ukraine’s most urgent need”
Read the full article here
Mykola Vorobiov, a Ukrainian journalist, contemplates on the untimeliness of recalling of the US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch from Kyiv. “It may threaten the country’s European future by creating a vacuum of American leadership in the country. Without doubt the Kremlin will try to fill this gap by installing as many loyalists into Zelenskyy’s fragile team.”
Read the full article here
5. Canadian Parliament Fails to Vote on the Motion to Recognize the 1944 Deportation of Crimean Tatar People as Genocide
On May 16 the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development met with the Mustafa Dzhemilev, former Chairman of the Mejlis [governing body] of the Crimean Tatar People, and Akhtem Chiygoz, Deputy Chief of Mejlis who was imprisoned by the Russian Federation and served three years in Russian prison. During the meeting the delegates talked about the current situation in Crimea under the Russian occupation.
“There are sanctions and those sanctions are insufficient to make Russia leave from the occupied territories,” responded the members of the Crimean Tatar delegation. “We believe that the Magnitsky Act should expand to include the repressions against the Crimean Tatar People – the indigenous people of Crimea,” they emphasized. Click here to listen to the recording of the meeting.
Later that day, Borys Wrzesnewskyj introduced the Motion 214, calling on the House to recognize the Crimean Tatar People deportation of 1944 as an act of genocide. Unfortunately, the Motion did not receive unanimous support. The Canadian Association of Crimean Tatars has already expressed that it “was saddened to learn about the defeat of Motion 214.”
6. Wave of Resignations of Public Officials Hits Ukraine
On May 17 Ukraine witnessed a series of resignations of several top officials including Oleksandr Turchynov, Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, Pavlo Klimkin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Vitaliy Kovalchuk, First Deputy Head of Presidential Administration, as well as Kostiantyn Yeliseyev, who furnished his letter of resignation yesterday.
The departing officials stated that they wanted to make space for the new people and expressed their willingness to work with the new team once President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskyy gets inaugurated and appoints his new cabinet.

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