Ukraine: Daily Briefing – August 2, 2019, 8 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
August 2, 2019, 8 PM Kyiv time
 
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
 
Ukraine’s military field training. Image courtesy of MOD
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours one service member of the Ukrainian Armed Forces was wounded in action. On August 1, Russia-led proxy forces opened fire five times against the positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors of the front.
2. The New York Times: Trump Adds to Sanctions on Russia Over Skripals
Image courtesy of Irish Times
The United States hit Russia with the new round of sanctions as President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday. “It is the second round of sanctions by the administration after a botched attempt in March 2018 to fatally poison a former Russian military intelligence officer, Sergei Skripal, in the British town of Salisbury,” reads the article in The New York Times (NYT).
According to NYT, an American president has been “reluctant to take punitive actions against Russia, instead seeking better relations with Moscow despite its well-documented interference in the 2016 election. […]
But in recent weeks, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have criticized his administration’s delay in taking what they have called legally mandated action to follow up on sanctions imposed last August.”
Read the full article here
3. Bloomberg: Senate Panel Advances U.S. Sanctions for Nord Stream 2 Pipeline
Image courtesy of 112 international
On Wednesday the Senate Foreign Relations Committee advanced legislation “that would impose sanctions on undersea construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline for shipping gas from Russia to Germany,” reads an article in Bloomberg.
“The bill, introduced by Texas Republican Ted Cruz and New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, was approved by the committee 20-2 with bipartisan support.
“Russia has a bad history of using energy as a weapon,” said Cruz shortly before the vote. He said Russian President Vladimir Putin “gets his revenue for military adventurism and hostility” from oil and gas.
Read the full article here
4. IKEA in Ukraine, Zelenskyy Demands Investigation of Attack on Ukrinform, ITLOS Appoints Arbitrators, 9 MPs to Watch
Image courtesy of newsroom.inter.ikea.com
  • Sweden’s IKEA which is to open in Kyiv at the end of this year is recruiting 100 employees for its first Ukraine store.
  • President Zelenskyy demanded to launch a probe into an attack on Ukrinform’s press center. On Tuesday, July 30, young men dressed in T-shirts with the inscription “Tradition and Order” broke into the Ukrinform which hosted a press conference on parliamentary elections breaking the door, damaging sound system, pulled out microphones and injuring three Ukrinform employees.
  • President of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Judge Jin-Hyun Paik, has appointed judges Donald McRae (Canada), Rüdiger Wolfrum (Germany) and Gudmundur Eiriksson (Iceland) as arbitrators in respect of a dispute concerning the detention of three Ukrainian naval vessels and the twenty-four servicemen on board, according to ITLOS press release.
  • In her latest article for the Atlantic Council Melinda Haring, an editor of the UkraineAlert blog, offers a very brief overview of the recent parliamentary elections in Ukraine. She suggested to closely watch some of the new faces, namely five MPs from Holos [Voice] party and four MPs from the president’s Servant of the People party whose voice on reforms deserves special attention.
5. Kyiv Post: To Boost Security, Ukraine Must Plug Its Energy Holes
The fact that Ukraine’s political independence depends on energy independence is the leading idea in the article by Vyacheslav Hnatyuk in today’s Kyiv Post. The author provides an overview of Ukraine’s energy market, mentions Russia’s habit of using energy supplies as a means of political leverage and talks about inefficient consumption.
“Currently, Ukraine uses two to three times more resources to produce the same unit of output than many other economies. That ratio is rising due to aging buildings, infrastructure and factories. […]
The lack of investment in energy – including in efficient use – is the cause of this problem. Ideally, Ukraine should invest three to four times more in the energy sphere. In particular, that money should be invested in the housing stock, state-owned buildings like university campuses, municipal buildings and infrastructure, and industry.” writes Hnatyuk. Read the full article here
6. Saskatoon StarPhoenix: Senator Andreychuk Retiring After 26 Years
Senator Raynell Andreychuk speaks at XXIII Triennial Congress
Yesterday’s issue of Saskatoon StarPhoenix ran an article by Shannon Boklaschuk based on a recent interview with Senator Andreychuk who is about to retire on her birthday on August 14, after 26 years in the Senate.
“A passion for justice and human rights, and a commitment to public service, are some of the defining qualities of the long and illustrious career of Conservative Senator A. Raynell Andreychuk,” starts Boklaschuk her introduction of the senator.
“A lot of senators are very focused on certain issues,” said Andreychuk. “I do foreign policy, I do human rights, I do family issues. I do Saskatchewan – pulse crops forever – so international trade. And then I do Ukrainian things. So, I’m all over the world and all over Canada and Saskatchewan.”
Read the full interview here

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