UCC Weekly Bulletin on Ukraine – June 29-July 5, 2019

UCC Weekly Bulletin on Ukraine
June 29-July 5, 2019
Ukraine Reform Conference,Toronto, July 2-4

1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported that during the week of June 28-July 4, three Ukrainian soldiers were killed and seventeen Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. In the last week, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions on the Donetsk and Luhansk sectors of the front 184 times in total, including at least 81 times with heavy weapons. Returning fire, Ukrainian forces killed 6 and wounded 11 enemy combatants in the last week.
2. Russian-terrorist forces attack medical vehicle
Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation Headquarters reported on July 1, that during the evacuation of a wounded soldier near Vodyane, Russian-terrorist forces shelled a medical vehicle with anti-tank rockets. As a result of the attack by Russian-terrorist forces, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and two Ukrainian soldiers were wounded. An army medic was wounded and later died of injuries.
          The Command of the Joint Forces Operations stressed, “shelling of medical vehicles is a violation of international law and norms of international humanitarian law. The insidious shelling of a medical vehicle by Russian occupation forces is yet more evidence that the occupiers do not adhere to any international legal norms. Russian forces open fire even on medical vehicles marked with the Red Cross.”
3. Canada’s Prime Minister meets with Ukraine’s President
Prime Minister Trudeau and President Zelenskyy. 
Photo – Office of the President of Ukraine

The Prime Minister’s Office stated on July 2, “The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today met with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, during the third Ukraine Reform Conference. The conference is co-hosted by Canada and Ukraine and is taking place in Toronto this week.
           During the meeting, Prime Minister Trudeau reiterated Canada’s steadfast support for the people of Ukraine and its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The two leaders also discussed Ukraine’s efforts to advance democratic reforms on its path to Euro-Atlantic integration, as well as the security situation in the region. The Prime Minister stressed the need to stand together in the face of Russia’s attempts to undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty.
           The two leaders also explored ways to further deepen Canada-Ukraine trade relations. They highlighted the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement and agreed to expand the agreement to create even more new opportunities and good, middle class jobs for Canadians and Ukrainians alike.
           Prime Minister Trudeau and President Zelenskyy also welcomed two new agreements which will lead to even closer people-to-people ties between our two countries. The Audiovisual Coproduction Treaty will help promote Canadian content in Ukraine and provide significant opportunities to expand audiences for Canadian feature film, television, and digital productions. The Joint Declaration on a Youth Mobility Arrangement is a welcome step towards a revitalized agreement, which would strengthen our ties and support travel and work opportunities for young Canadians and Ukrainians.”
4. Canada strengthens commitment to Ukraine
On July 2, the Department of Global Affairs Canada stated, “Canada and the international community stand with the people of Ukraine on their journey toward a secure, sovereign and prosperous future.
           Today, representatives from 37 countries concluded the ministerial portion of the Ukraine Reform Conference in Toronto, Ontario. The meeting, co-chaired by Canada and Ukraine, included foreign ministers, heads of international institutions, parliamentarians, representatives from the private sector, civil society and think tanks, as well as members of the Ukrainian Canadian community, in support of Ukraine and its ambitious reform agenda.
          The Government of Canada took this unique opportunity to announce over $45 million in support for Ukraine, including $25 million to help implement inclusive and gender-responsive reforms in Ukraine.
           Canada is also taking concrete action against continued Russian aggression in Ukraine and condemns Russia’s decision to issue Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens in the Donbas region. As of today, Canada will take action to ensure these passports cannot be used to travel to Canada.
         In order to maintain the important momentum of reform and international support, it was also announced today that Lithuania will co-host the next Ukraine Reform Conference in Vilnius in 2020.”
A backgrounder on the additional support announced by Canada is available here:
5. “Schemes” program investigates electoral list of candidates from Servant of the People Party
The investigative journalism program “Schemes” (a joint project of Radio Svoboda and UA:Pershiy) investigated candidates running on the party list of Servant of the People Party in the July 21 parliamentary election. The investigation can be viewed by clicking the image above (in Ukrainian)
6. Exercise Sea Breeze 2019 kicks off in Ukraine
Canadian frigate HMCS Toronto arrives in Odesa for Exercise Sea Breeze 2019. Photo – US 6th Fleet

The US 6th Fleet reported on July 1, “Sea Breeze, now in its 19th iteration, will run through July 12 and is designed to enhance interoperability among participating nations and strengthen regional security by focusing on a variety of security and stability scenarios in the areas of land, sea and air.
           ‘The United States Navy, along with 18 of our closest friends, allies, and partners, are here to continue the Sea Breeze exercise series,’ said Capt. Matthew Lehman, commodore of Task Force 65 and U.S. exercise director. ‘Exercises like this show the world that the U.S. stands with our NATO allies and partners here in Europe. The goal is quite simple: to train and work together, side by side, and to ensure a Europe that is whole, free, prosperous, and at peace.’ […]
           Ukraine and U.S. are cohosting the exercise in the Black Sea with participation and support coming from 17 other countries to include: Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
           ‘If you look around, you will see Ukrainian, Georgian, Turkish, Moldovan, Romanian, and Bulgarian sailors who represent almost every Black Sea nation,’ said Lehman. ‘That is a lot of friends to have in one place, especially in the Black Sea where maritime security, the rule of law, and the international order are critical to economic prosperity and regional peace. One day, like years before, I hope that every Black Sea country will see the benefit of working with one’s neighbors toward regional peace.’
          Some of the training areas include maritime interdiction operations, air defense, special forces training, anti-submarine warfare, damage control tactics, search and rescue, amphibious warfare, and a noncommissioned officer leadership course to include training in operational planning.”
7. Rating Group publishes public opinion polls ahead of July 21 election
On July 4 the polling company Rating Group published a poll of voting intentions ahead of the July 21 parliamentary election in Ukraine. According to the poll, among decided, likely voters, 5 parties clear the 5% barrier for entry into parliament – Servant of the People (Razumkov) has 42.3% support; Opposition Platform (Boyko) – 13.4%; European Solidarity (Poroshenko) – 8.3%; Holos (Vakarchuk) – 7.2%; Fatherland (Tymoshenko) – 7.2.%.
The full results of the poll are available here

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