Catch up with the latest news from and related to Ukraine with Euromaidan Press’ daily review.
- Russian proxy forces launch 5 attacks on Ukrainian positions in Donetsk, Luhansk and Mariupol sectors, also using heavy artillery and weapons banned by Minsk. 1 Ukrainian soldier killed, 1 wounded; 1 civilian wounded.
- As of 19:30 Nov 30, OSCE SMM recorded 265 violations, incl 22 explosions in Donetsk Obl, 6 violations in Luhansk Obl.
- If Russia invades Ukraine, highly effective economic sanctions will be imposed, warns Secretary of State Blinken.
- Russia launches military exercises today in the Southern Military District bordering Ukraine, reports press service of the Air Defense of Russian Defense Ministry.
- Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejects proposal put forward by Turkish President Erdogan to have Türkiye mediate in Donbas settlement talks between Ukraine and Russia.
- EU will stand firmly and decisively with Ukraine in case of any attempt to undermine its territorial integrity and sovereignty, states Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Six Ukrainian defenders killed in November
The 28th OSCE Ministerial Council in Stockholm
During the OSCE Ministerial Council, Germany’s Acting Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stated that since Russia signed the Minsk agreements, it must contribute to the peaceful settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, pointing to the rise of ceasefire violations and Russia not extending the mandate of the OSCE SMM mission on the Ukraine-Russia border.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it is Russia, not Ukraine, that is not fulfilling the Minsk agreements on the peaceful settlement of the conflict that the Russians launched in eastern Ukraine. He also delivered a warning to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov of the “severe costs” Russia would pay if it invaded Ukraine, urging his Russian counterpart on Thursday to seek a diplomatic exit from the crisis. Blinken said it was likely that Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin would speak soon.
EU to help Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine improve defense capabilities
The European Council has adopted assistance measures to strengthen the military and defense capacities of Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine over three years. The measures under the European Peace Facility (EPF) aim to promote “domestic resilience and peace,” and do not involve the supply of lethal equipment, the Council said in a statement on December 2, RFE/RL reports.
Experts explain why Russia is demanding that NATO doesn’t expand, again
Russia is demanding once again that NATO guarantees it will not expand. The statement comes after more than a month of increasing tensions near the Russian-Ukrainian-Belarusian border that had experts worldwide guessing whether Russia would invade. We asked several security experts why this statement of Putin comes at such a time and what it aims to achieve.
Russia announces bulk ‘Ukrainian spy and saboteur’ arrests while claiming Ukraine is acting as aggressor
Russia’s Security Service [FSB] reported on 2 December that it had ‘broken up intelligence and sabotage activities by Ukraine’s Security Service ‘ in three Russian regions. Three Ukrainians have been arrested, with the only proof of such alleged activities coming from ‘videoed confessions’ made by men totally under the control of the FSB.
In reporting the new FSB announcements on 2 December, the independent Russian website Grani.ru was blunt in linking them with the negotiations in Stockholm between Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the US State Secretary Anthony Blinken as part of a meeting of OSCE Foreign Ministers. “In order that the negotiations in Stockholm go successfully, it’s necessary to announce the capture of three ‘Ukrainian spies’; report the latest harsh sentence in ‘the case of Ukrainian saboteurs’; use missile launchers in Donbas and ensure new losses”.
While western leaders are expressing concern over the huge Russian military presence on Ukraine’s border, a glance at Russian state media would suggest that it is Ukraine that is ‘planning aggression’, writes Halya Coynash of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group.
Crimean hotel under EU sanctions keeps winning British tourism award
Situated near Yalta on the southern coast of the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula, the hotel Mriya Resort & Spa has been on the list of winners of the London-based World Travel Awards (WTA) since 2015. This story is truly special because this hotel complex, popular among the Russian rich, officials, businessmen, and the company Garant-SV LLC that owns the hotel, as well as their ultimate owner, Sberbank of Russia, are under Western and Ukrainian sanctions.
Ukraine adopts 2022 state budget
The Ukrainian parliament adopted the country’s 2022 state budget on Thursday, setting a deficit at 3.5 percent of the gross domestic product. The budget, passed by 268 lawmakers in the 450-seat assembly, is expected to reach about 1.322 trillion hryvnias (about 48.55 billion US dollars) in 2022, while state expenditures will amount to 1.497 trillion hryvnias (about 54.98 billion dollars).
Meanwhile, the country’s defense spending in 2022 will reach about 323.1 billion hryvnias (about 11.87 billion dollars).
Sentence passed in case of murder of former Russian lawmaker Denis Voronenkov
The Shevchenkivskyi district court sentenced Yaroslav Tarasenko to 12 years in prison, finding him guilty of aiding the murder of Denis Voronenkov, an ex-Russian Duma member and a key witness in the treason case of Ukraine’s ex-president Viktor Yanukovych. Tarasenko was found to have aided the murderer of Voronenkov, ATO veteran Pavlo Parshov, who died after the murder in the hospital, by driving Parshov to the scene of crime and destroying the car afterward. The other accused in the case was acquitted.
Akhmetov tried to cover up accident at power station, investigative journos find
A joint investigation of the Skhemy investigative journalists and the Center for Corruption Prevention has found that DTEK, the energy company owned by oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, attempted to cover up large-scale accident that happened in early November at the Burshtyn power station near Ivano Frankivsk in western Ukraine.
By filming the scene of the accident from a drone, they found that roughly 10 hectares of land were flooded after the accident. An independent chemical examination found that the water had inadmissibly large concentrations of arsenic, a toxic chemical. Journalists recorded how this liquid was pumped directly into a nearby reservoir connected to the local river, which further flows into the Dniester.
At the time of the accident, DTEK insisted that a regular water collector had burst and no damage to the environment was done but did not allow a visit by the State environmental inspection.
Apple to help Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation conduct 2023 census
Apart from that, Apple will support the ministry in defining and elaborating key projects on the way to paperless state services. In particular, the company will advise on advancing the Diia app based on iOS, the operating system for Apple mobile devices.
In the Russia-Ukraine Conflict, Standing Up to Putin Is Our Only Credible Option, write Toomas Hendrik Ilves and David J. Kramer in Politico in response to an article of Samuel Charap, who argued for an “unsavory compromise” to address Russia’s troop buildup.