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Almost saints. The stories of Ukrainian volunteers

Ukrainian volunteers. Photo: Oleksandr Lemenov
International Volunteer Day is celebrated on December 5th since 1985. The word “volunteer” has a special meaning now in Ukraine. The Euromaidan protests of 2013-2014 were driven by thousands of volunteers self-organizing into movements and initiatives. From that time on, volunteers in Ukraine and beyond are building their country, often doing better than the state institutions, and sometimes paying with their lives. For the third year in a row, the EuromaidanSOS volunteer awards honored these ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
An exhibition held on in Vienna in April 2014 featured one of the most famous posters of the Euromaidan revolution, “I am a drop in the ocean.” Photo: RFE/RL

“There was an expression on Euromaidan, ‘I am a drop in the ocean’ – each one of us stepped in to do what was needed and not expecting anything in return. Then, the volunteer movement was born in Ukraine,” said Oleksandra Matviychuk, Euromaidan SOS coordinator at the opening of the awards on 30 November 2016.

The three years that followed were a test for Ukrainian society. Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and hybrid war in Donbas directly after the victory of the Euromaidan revolution had many volunteers leave from the barricades of Euromaidan directly to Donbas to fight against Russian-backed separatists. As the Ukrainian state was paralyzed from years of looting and mismanagement, the volunteer soldiers of the early days were funded and prepared for battle almost exclusively by another army of volunteers procuring everything from first aid kits to infrared visors to chocolate.

Volunteers at the Euromaidan SOS volunteer awards ceremony. Photo: Euromaidan SOS

Often, they are invisible and don’t want to take credit for what they do. They also burn out and return to their regular life, which is why there is a feeling that the volunteer movement is waning. But a single “thank you” helps, as does the understanding that your work is needed. That is why the Euromaidan SOS volunteer awards were established – to highlight the volunteer movement and show that volunteers are doing very important work, told Palina Brodik, one of the organizers of the awards.

This year, more than 112 volunteers were nominated, up from 83 nominations in 2015. The jury, which included the winners of last years’ contest chose three, and one was given an Audience Choice Award.

For the strength of spirit

Photo: Euromaidan SOS

Starting from 2014, Anton Dubishin supports soldiers in the military hospital, inspiring them to fight for their recovery with his example. By making decorative crafts, he sells them and buys the necessary medical supplies for the military hospital. All his life, Anton struggles against a difficult illness which makes movement of almost all muscles difficult for him. But this “peculiarity,” as Anton call his illness, didn’t prevent him from becoming a volunteer. Recently, he organized the event “Invite a defender to chill out,” paying for the billiard and pizza from his own pension. He was worried that the soldiers wouldn’t come, but they did and were impressed by his hospitality.

Together with other people like him, he organized a creative group that earlier gave concerts in schools, and now gives them in military hospitals.

“We decided to call ourselves ‘From the special to the special,’ because they, the military people, are special people that went to war, defending not the people in power, but the people and their homeland. And we are special boys and girls: despite our physical capabilities, we show that life is a cool thing,” Anton said.

For him, this is a personal statement. In 2008, five men told him in a grocery store that such people as him should be kept at home.

“I asked myself: why does society despise me? I am not an invalid, a cripple; I am a person just like you. So I went against the system,” Anton shared at the ceremony. “I created three rules for myself. Accept yourself the way you are; believe in yourself and your abilities; and society will accept you.”

Although recently more efforts for increasing accessibility and inclusiveness are being made, people with disabilities remain largely marginalized Ukraine.

For making sure Ukraine doesn’t forget its own

Photo: Euromaidan SOS

For some, volunteering means doing anything to free your loved ones from captivity. After her brother was imprisoned in the 2014 battle of Debaltseve, Liudmyla Hlondar has dedicated herself to the campaign to free Ukrainian POWs kept captive in the “LNR” and “DNR,” who for more than 600 days they are on the brink of life and death. She organizing the family members of the other prisoners to and has become their spokeswoman. More than anything, Liudmyla said at the award, the campaign needs support: joining demonstrations, initiatives, requests.

There are at least 109 POWs imprisoned in the Russian-backed separatist “republics.” Despite the exchange of hostages on the “everyone for everyone” basis being part of the Minsk agreements, it is going slowly and many Ukrainians have basically become hostages, as the Russian side insists their release be postponed until the implementation of the political clauses of the Minsk agreements.

Read more: Ukrainian hostages in the “LNR” and “DNR: The price of life

For the self-sacrifice that saves lives

Photo: Euromaidan SOS

Many volunteering efforts fall apart. It takes an efficient manager to create a long-running project. Iryna Huk from Narodnyi Tyl [“The Home Front’], a group that has the back of the soldiers that have Ukraine’s back, managed to create an efficient system that will last for long. Iryna works on the projects “Medicine of the Home Front” and “Children of the Home Front.” Medicine of the Home Front procures and sends first aid kits to the soldiers front, as well as materials for military doctors and medicine for the hospitals at the frontline. Thanks to Iryna, the sanitary instructors of the Ukrainian army have equipped medical backpacks and intensive care ambulances have medical equipment. She also organizes aid for children of the killed soldiers.

“Iryna does not believe in ceremonies and did not come to the ceremony, being true to herself to the end. The importance of what she is doing cannot be overstated, and I hope that the government takes over its functions, and she can dedicate her energy to what pleases her,” said Yevheniya Zakrevska, last years’ winner of the Euromaidan SOS volunteer awards, when announcing the nomination.

Read more about Narodnyi Tyl: Verified ways to help Ukraine

When $5 are worth a million


Anybody can be a volunteer – proven by 80-year old Askold Naumets (pictured with his wife), who each month for three years in a row comes to bring a UAH 100 ($5) donation from his pension to a famous volunteer center in Kyiv [the average pension in Ukraine is UAH 1900 ($75), barely enough to cover food – Ed]. For him, this is a lot of money, but the cause is fundamentally important. Even though he is becoming tired in the last year and is lsing his eyesight, he comes in any weather and helps in any way he can.

“All his life now is in the participation in the life of the country. We think it’s important to notice extraordinary people around us,” the organizers of the award noted.

The organizers of the Awards stress that their goal is not to establish who is the best, but to give support and recognition to the many volunteers that show “what it means to have a truly big heart.” Each person that was nominated received a symbolic award.

The volunteers were awarded pendants featuring a winged Ukrainian trident. Photo: Euromaidan Press

War still most pressing issue
A Ukrainian soldier’s reaction to underwear of the “Combat seamstresses”

As Russia’s hybrid war in Donbas still remains Ukraine’s most pressing issue, war-related activities are still the main direction for volunteering this year, from efforts to procure sophisticated military equipment to initiatives like the “Women’s sotnia,” which makes camouflage nets for the frontline, or “Combat seamstresses,” which sew colorful (and spirit-lifting) underwear for soldiers at the front.

Still, as the government albeit slowly, but takes over some of the procurement problems, mental and physical rehabilitation of soldiers and civilians who suffered from the war becomes a prominent topic.

“Art therapy is increasingly more popular for these means, and the programs are becoming more complex and systematic,” told Anastasiya Chernoshtan, an organizer of the Awards.

Help also come from abroad – one of those nominated for this years’ award is Ivica Pirić, a retired football player from Croatia that organized the rehabilitation of 900 Ukrainian children and soldiers in his home country. A persona non grata in Russia, he is now the honorary consul of Croatia in Ukraine. “Croatia has lived through everything that Ukraine is going through now. I understand the horror very well,” he explained his interest at the ceremony.

Ivica Pirić at the Volunteer Awards. Photo: Euromaidan Press

Some of the stories of the volunteers are fit for a film scenario.

“The story of Halyna Almazova impressed me the most,” Anastasiya told. “She was a professional racer, competing to be the first to drive to the finish line. She went to the front and became a paramedic, now also competing for speed by driving the wounded to hospitals. Her reward now is not an abstract prize, but a saved life. Or a woman that sold her valuables to go to the conflict zone. She received a list of items that needed to be procured for the soldiers of a battalion, and couldn’t gather the necessary funds, so she sold her own precious items.”

Many initiatives from Euromaidan grew into full-fledged funds, like the well-known Diana Makarova fund, of NGOs – like Crimea SOS which started as a volunteer initiative and now is a human rights organization working to adapt Crimean refugees and help the Crimean diaspora and political prisoners. Euromaidan SOS itself also such an example, which now deals with a wide specter of human rights issues, such as the LetMyPeopleGo campaign, which advocates for the return of Ukrainians illegally imprisoned in Russia on political motives.

Volunteer stories are inspiring, but provoke the question: the second year into the war, are volunteers doing the work that the Ukrainian government is supposed to be doing?

In an interview to Radio Svoboda, Nataliya Voronkova, herself a volunteer and advisor to Ukraine’s deputy Defense Minister, said that there shouldn’t be any problems with food, fatigues, or medicine. But the Ministry still does not procure specific equipment, such as infrared visors and noise-cancelling heandpones, which prevent hearing loss of artillery soldiers by muffling sounds from gunfire. This can save lives, beause the soldiers hear their enemy at the front. There can never be too much of small goodies like candies and spices, antiviral drugs, as well as children’s hand-made drawings and letters. As well, the vehicles that volunteers purchased for the army need to be maintained by volunteer efforts: they are still not on the balance sheet of any Ministry.

“The state is catching up, but not fast enough. Volunteers work better than the state. They care about the people they are helping, and that makes their activities more effective,” Anastasiya Chernoshtan suggested.

Perhaps that is why volunteers are the most trusted category of Ukrainians. According to a poll conducted by the Razumkov Center in May 2016, 63.7% of Ukrainians trust volunteers (the army, church, and NGOs got, respectively, 61.8%, 60.5%, and 46.8%). Meanwhile, the local governments had a trust rating of 37.5% and the President – only 24.3%.

“We are all responsible for what is happening in the country. That is why we are all doing what we are doing for three years in a row. If we stop, it will all stop,” Oksana Voropai, who volunteers with rehabilitating soldiers, told at the ceremony.



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February 12: ”Normandy Four” negotiations concluded in Minsk with a disappointing result for Ukraine

February 12 – "Normandy Four" negotiations concluded in Minsk with a disappointing result for Ukraine. Putin did not give in on a single point – there will be no withdrawal of Russian troops (they are, of course, nowhere close to Ukraine), no immediate resumption of control over the border, no reinstatement of sovereignty over occupied Crimea or Donbas. There are, however, the obligations on behalf of Ukraine to service social needs of separatists, legalize their armed gangs and hold fake elections under their watchful eye. The situation looks a lot like the surrender of Sudetenland (Czechoslovakia) to Hitler.

February 12 – Total financial assistance to Ukraine from the IMF and other organizations could amount to 40 billion dollars over 4 years, – said IMF's Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

February 12 – Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations has announced the preparations for the 14th so-called humanitarian aid convoy destined for Donbas – more weapons will be transported, no doubt.

February 12 – Russia has transferred another lot of military equipment and artillery to the territory of Ukraine, controlled by militants – approximately 50 tanks, 40 "Grad", "Uragan" and "Smerch" multiple rocket launch systems and 40 armored vehicles crossed Russian-Ukrainian border at border crossing point Izvaryne, – said NSDC spokesman Andriy Lysenko.

February 12 – The transfer of the amphibious assault ship "Vladivostok" (Mistral-class) to Russia could begin as early as next week.

February 12 – EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini does not expect sanctions against Russia to be discussed during the summit of EU member-states leaders to be held on Thursday.

February 12 – Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Lamberto Zannier hassaid that at present it is impossible to determine whether the militants in Donbas are also soldiers of the regular Russian army. OSCE has completely exhausted itself as a security-oriented organization.

February 12 – Agreements reached in Minsk during the meeting of the leaders of the countries of the "Normandy quartet" are absolutely weak. This was stated by the President of Lithuania, Dalia Grybaskaite, to journalists in Brussels before the EU Summit. "The fundamental part of the resolution is the control of the borders. It was not agreed upon and not resolved," she noted. "This means that the border is open for crossing by whatever soldiers and whatever artillery," remarked Grybaskaite. "This means that the resolution is totally weak," emphasized the President of Lithuania. She is also not very optimistic about the agreements on the cease-fire.

"Five months ago we already had one agreement about a cease-fire which was not implemented. Let's see what happens with this one," underlined Grybaskaite. "We will observe in the next few days how at least these partial agreements will be implemented," she added.

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Timothy Ash

Ukraine – deal thoughts

I guess with hindsight, a deal was always going to be done. Merkel was not going to get on a flight to Minsk, after Kyiv, Moscow, and Berlin, and not get something. And Putin needed to try and rebuild some bridges with Merkel, after seemingly upsetting her at Brisbane. Merkel is probably the honest broker in all this. She really feels for the Ukrainian position, but understands the real threat from Russia – she reads Putin better than any other Western leader, and cannot be bought. But it is Bismark-style real politik for Merkel, and she was desperate to stop the fighting – almost at any cost, which is entirely understandable. Hollande will likely get his aircraft carriers delivered, and sees all this as offering the hope of ressurection in terms of his presidency at home – a global leader, strutting the international stage and making Cameron, et al look like poodles, or rather a bulldog with no teeth. Putin gets his aircraft carriers, which will no doubt have a nice shiny berth now awaiting in Sebastopol. Putin also fended off near term threats of sanctions from the West, and can sell himself to allies in Europe (there are many) as a peacemaker – again heading off further sanctions threats. He has also not agreed to very much, as I don't think his signature is on the document, so if it fails (and it likely will) he can blame others. He has also headed off the threat of the US arming Ukraine – and therein he is in cahoots with Obama himself, who will see this deal as being useful in fending off calls from the DC consensus (including within his own administration) now to arm Ukraine – and can return to his own "splendid isolation" or "strategic patience" as it is now called stateside. That's a nice term for doing as little as possible. Poroshenko gets his IMF programme, and can try and roll out reforms attached to this to try and assure the supporters of Maydan that this team is really the Real Deal in terms of the reforms they so desire. Note the IMF press release was timed for 10am, just as news of the Minsk deal broke – so my sense is that someone was telling the Ukrainians that an IMF deal was contingent on a Minsk ceasefire deal. No ceasefire – no IMF deal. And the IMF gets to roll out its new programme, which it has been working on for months. Poroshenko probably also thinks that the ceasefire will buy time for Ukraine to regroup, rearm against the clear and present danger of further Russian intervention. But will it all stick/last? I just do not think so, as I still fail to see from this deal what is different to Minsk I in terms of delivery on Russian strategic objectives in Ukraine. Minsk I clearly did not deliver for Russia, hence that ceasefire did not last long, so let's see what is really different this time around. The issues of real autonomy/federalism, and border control don't appear to be properly addressed in this document. Constitutional reform towards the Russian agenda will be impossible for Poroshenko to deliver. And finally and fundamentally why I do not think that the status quo is sustainable – one year ago Russia felt the need to annex Crimea, and intervene in eastern Ukraine. But one year ago Ukraine was no threat to Russia as a) it was non aligned; b) popular support for Nato membership was low single digits, and there was little support in parliament or amongst political elites to drive Ukraine NATO membership. C) the west really did not want Ukraine in NATO as they saw this as a red rag to the Russian bull, and as events have proved could not defend Ukraine under NATO's TOR; c) the Ukrainian military had limited fighting capability as was proven in the early days of the conflict, but subsequently changed; d) the govt in Kyiv was weak and disarray and the Ukrainian economy on the brink of collapse; e) and as events have proven Russia had de facto control of Crimea via the stationing of 26,000 troops and the long term BSF agreement. And f) and finally Ukrainians were not anti-russian or even particularly anti-Putin. If Moscow was not a real threat a year ago, but Moscow felt compelled to intervene, look at the risk from a Russian perspective now from Ukraine – a) Ukraine is no longer non aligned. B) it now wants to join NATO and opinion polls now show majority support for this. C) Ukraine is rebuilding military capability and the military doctrine is now against the threat from Russia; d) Ukraine has a reform admin in Kyiv, which has a real chance of succeeding now with imf support. It can offer a rival and successful model of development to Putin's power vertical and sovereign democracy. E) Opinion polls show strong ukrainian opposition/distaste for the Putin regime. So, net-net the above still suggests the risk of further future Russian intervention in Ukraine.

P.S.: Please spread this appeal as much as possible.

March 3: Poroshenko has requested that the Parliament of Ukraine increases the number of servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to 250 thousand persons

March 3 – 3 Ukrainian military were killed and 9 wounded in the ATO area in the last 24 hours, – said NSDC spokesman Andriy Lysenko.

March 3 – National Regulatory Committee for Energy and Utilities has increased the minimum rate for natural gas used by general public for heating by 3.3 times.

March 3 – President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has urged the EU to refrain from premature optimism and continue to pressure the parties to Minsk agreements in order to implement the latter.

March 3 – Deputy General Prosecutor of Ukraine and Chief Military Prosecutor Anatoliy Matios has announced that 17 thousand deserters from the Armed Forces who evaded military service will be prosecuted.

March 3 – Oblasts of Ukraine where attempts to destabilize the situation are highly possible, remain under control of Security Service of Ukraine (SSU). Russian misinformers are spreading the rumours that Russian terrorist Girkin who started the occupation of Donbas, will soon reappear in Odesa.

March 3 – The price for 1 USD has dropped to 25 UAH.

March 3 – The EU and Russia have agreed to resume a trilateral dialogue on association agreement of Kyiv and Brussels; the date and place of the meeting will soon be agreed upon, – said the Minister for Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev after a meeting with European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström. I wonder if Ukrainian government officials know about this? Putin has proved his point – both the EU and Ukraine are waiting for his decision.

March 3 – Russia is seriously violating human rights in Crimea and is not adhering to the Minsk agreements which causes a difficult humanitarian situation in Eastern Ukraine. This was stated by the assistant of Ukraine's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Serhiy Kyslytsia in his appearance at the United Nations 28th Session of the Council of Human Rights, informs U.N. news center. According to him, on the Crimean peninsula, there are arrests and persecution of Crimean Tatars going on. He claims that 10,000 Crimean Tatars were forced to leave Crimea and to escape to

Ukraine's mainland. Kyslytsia appealed to the U.N., and in particular, to the U.N.Council on Human Rights "not to permit Russia to trnsform Crimea into an isolated army camp, and its residents into prisoners."

March 2 – 1 Ukrainian military was killed and 4 injured in the ATO area during the last 24 hours, – informed NDSC spokesman Andriy Lysenko.

March 2 – In the last 24 hours Russian terrorists have fired at ATO position 32 times, – said Head of the Press Center of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Vladyslav Seleznyov. ATO spokesman Anatoliy Stelmakh has also stated that the militants used artillery and mortars 14 times (the weapons that should have been withdrawn).

March 2 – President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has requested that the Parliament of Ukraine increases the number of servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to 250 thousand persons.

March 2 – There will be no court hearings regarding Ukrainian MP detained during the mourning rally in Moscow Oleksiy Goncharenko. Russia's Ministry of Interior has said that there will be no further actions regarding the MP.

March 2 – During the day, Russian troops showcase the withdrawal of their military equipment and at night they return it to previous positions. "Wherever you see militants withdrawing heavy equipment, they are only implementing relocation or plan attacks, or return the equipment to the same site at night", – said NDSC spokesman Andriy Lysenko.

March 2 – Ukrainian citizen Anna Durytska, who was with Boris Nemtsov when he died, is unable to leave Russia.

March 2 – German doctors examined Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko and have identified March 6-8th as a "point of no return", – informed her lawyer Mykola Polozov. What will follow is her death and Putin's congratulations on International Women's Day...

March 2 – Russian soldier Dorzhy Baltomunkuyev from the capital of Buriatiya in Siberia, Ulan Ude, related how Russia "masks" its soldiers as "civil guardsmen": "Here only those who had signed a contract with the Russian Army were sent; and I came to Rostov as a soldier for a limited time. However, being on a contract, I had wonderful results – whether on the rifle or physical ability. They took me into the army in Chyt; there in Chyt, I went through the preparation training and I decided to remain on contract with the army division Ulan-Ude," he related.

Right now Batomunkuyev lies, overall burned, after his tank was shot at by Ukrainian forces near Debaltseve in Lonhvynove village.

According to Batomunkuyev, Russia sends its soldiers from units together with weapons: "We painted the tanks still in Ulan-Ude. Right there, on the railroad depot. We painted over the numbers; some of the tanks had Guard insignia – it was also painted over. Chevrons and stripes -we took off in Ukraine, when we got to the poligon. All are taken off – purposefully to masquerade. We left the passport in the army unit, the army ticket in the poligon," he described.

Russia's ghost army in Ukraine

Betrayal of Ukraine

Ukrainian fundraiser in Toronto

Photo gallery: January 1 – March 1, 2015

Nemtsov – bravery

Putin: Story of a little man (animated short film)

P.S.: Please spread this appeal as much as possible.

March 22: Russia tries to pressure all countries that want to participate in a common missile defense system project

U.S., UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa

March 22 – The West needs a new transatlantic strategy in response to the challenges posed by Russia, – said the President of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski, speaking at a forum in Brussels (reports PAP). "The West remained delusional for too long, believing that Russia will choose modernization because it is in its interest to do so", – said Komorowski. "We need a strategy that would unite the West in view of new challenges, in order to adhere to core values and interests of Euro-Atlantic community; a strategy, which would unite the efforts put in by the key institutions, both in the EU and NATO", – emphasized Komorowski.

March 22 – Viktor Yanukovych Jr., younger son of former President of Ukraine, has died in Russia. A Volkswagen he was driving with 5 passengers on board fell through the ice on Lake Baikal.

March 22 – Russia tries to pressure all countries that want to participate in a common missile defense system project, said Philip Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO Allied Command Operations (reports Reuters) when commenting on a statement made previously by the Ambassador of Russia in Denmark Mikhail Vanin about Denmark being a target of a possible Russian nuclear attack if it joins NATO missile defense system. "Romania has come under a lot of pressure when it became a part of the shield. Poland is under great pressure, and now everyone who still wants to join this defense project will be under diplomatic and political pressure", – said Breedlove.

March 22 – In St. Petersburg (Russia) a Russian International Conservative Forum was held with the participation of ultra-right parties of the whole Europe. The organizer was the Russian Conservative Party "Rodyna". Its leader is a member of the fraction of the pro-Putin Party of United Russia in the State Duma of the Russian Federation. As the site of the organization informs, the main goal of the Forum is the creation of a plan of action and a general coordinating committee of all nationalist forces in Russia and Ukraine.

Near the hotel where the Forum was held, there was a protest meeting against this gathering of neo-fascists; people banged their drums and called out anti-fascist slogans. However, the Russian police apprehended eight demonstrators who were demonstrating against the holding of the Forum, and not against the neo-fascists.

In Petersburg there are also the so-called "individual" protests against the holding of this Forum.

An "individual" picket is when one person by her/his self has a poster with a protest – in Russia this is the only form of protest which does not require previous governmental approval.

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West should consider all tools, including arms

Long Live Minsk2!!

Ukraine's ceasefire deal hurt by deception

P.S.: Please spread this appeal as much as possible.

January 12: Interpol has announced that former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych, former Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, and several other former Ukrainian officials are now wanted persons

Maidan Community Sector, Lviv: Dear friends!


January 12 – No Ukrainian military were killed in the ATO area in the last 24 hours, – said NSDC spokesman Andriy Lysenko. The terrorists, however, have carried out 63 attacks on Ukrainian military and civilian sites.

January 12 – Interpol has announced that former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych, former Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, and several other former Ukrainian officials are now wanted persons. Earlier on, Edward Stavytskyy, Serhiy Kurchenko, Serhiy Arbuzov, Olexandr Klymenko, Andriy Ignatov, Olexandr Dynnyk have also been announces as wanted persons. Instead, Russia is ignoring all requests by Ukraine regarding the search for these criminals.

January 12 – US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt believes that Russian terrorists are trying to move the dividing line between Ukrainian army and terrorists, which was agreed upon in Minsk.

January 12 – Special agents of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) have detained a young girl who worked as a sniper and is suspected to have killed at least 10 Ukrainian military. Within social networks she is known as Anastasia Voroshylova, aka "Ekstezi". Some of the networks provide a different name for this girl. Apparently she received photos of Ukrainian officers whom she was supposed to kill from her superiors. She confessed that she and other girls from her unit were trained in Krasnodar and recruited by Russian Federal Security Service. Angelina Sambur, another girl from Anastasia's unit who is also a fellow student, confessed via social networks that she is also a sniper.

January 12 – Ukraine is ready to grant Donbas a status of special economic zone under a special relations format with the EU and Russia, – said President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in an interview France 24. In order to be able to do this, legitimate elections according to Ukrainian laws should take place and local governments should be elected.

January 12 – President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed an Order "Strategy of Constant Development: Ukraine – 2020", which demarcates the basic directions of the development of the country. "Strategy – 2020" includes in it 62 reforms. Priority is given to 8 reforms and 2 programs. 25 key indicators of the success of the development of the country are specified. Primary specified reforms are those of the system of national security and defense, the renewal of government and an anti-corruption reform, judicial and human rights reforms, the decentralization and reform of state management, deregulation and development of entrepeneurship, reform of health care and tax reform. Among the priorities is also the realization of two programs – energy independence and the popularization of Ukraine in the world through advocating the interests of the nation on the world-wide informational network.

Official Interpol page



Timothy Ash: New round of Ukraine-Russia peace talks under way

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