Daily review: Court freezes Poroshenko’s assets; Latvia to send weapons to Ukraine; Christmas in Ukraine

daily review - christmas in ukraine, court freezes Poroshenko assets, latvia to send weapons to ukraine

 

Daily review

Catch up with the latest news from Ukraine in our Daily Review. Our patrons get this review as a newsletter delivered to their inbox; become one of them here.

Past 24 hours in the war zone

  • Russian-hybrid forces launched four attacks on Ukrainian positions in Donetsk, Luhansk, Mariupol sectors, including heavy artillery and weapons banned by the Minsk accords, according to Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation Staff.
  • As of 19:30 January 4, OSCE’s Special Monitoring Group recorded 54 violations in Donetsk Oblast and three violations in Luhansk Oblast.

News flash

  • Due to Russia’s blockade of the transit route, Kazakstan has not delivered contracted coal supplies to Ukraine, announces Ukrainian Minister of Energy Herman Halushchenko.
  • The EU and NATO must pay attention to different scenarios of a Russian invasion, says Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs in an interview.
  • Due to the build-up of Russian troops near Ukraine’s borders, NATO is going to hold an urgent meeting on 7 January 2022.
  • The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell will submit proposals to the EU to launch the EU military advisory and training mission in Ukraine.
  • Today, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is celebrating its third anniversary of autocephaly – or independence. Three years ago on this day, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew had granted the so-called tomos of autocephaly to the newly established church, thus making it effectively independent of Russia.

Ukrainian court freezes property of ex-president Poroshenko

ukraine president poroshenko

Ukraine’s fifth President Petro Poroshenko (2014-2019). Credit: depositphotos

On 6 January, Kyiv’s Pecherskyi court, previously known for several questionable decisions, has now frozen property owned by the former President, MP Petro Poroshenko as part of a formal investigation into alleged high treason by the former head of state, which he denies. Now, the former president said that he was going to return to Ukraine from abroad on 17 January.

Poroshenko’s allies see the seizure of assets as President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s personal revenge.

In December 2021, prosecutors charged Poroshenko with high treason and aiding terrorism, then asked a Ukrainian court to arrest the former President with the possibility of bail set at about $37 million. Poroshenko had denied all the allegations while accusing the Ukrainian leadership of crossing “a red line” by bringing treason charges against a former head of state. In the same month, Ukraine’s Antimonopoly Committee fined Poroshenko-linked companies $10.3 million.

Satellite data reveals Russian military buildup at half of the Russian bases near Ukraine’s border

The Ukrainian project Texty has analyzed remote sensing data from the Sentinel-1 satellite and found that the amount of military equipment on 10 Russian military bases near Ukraine’s borders out of a total of 26 has increased during September-December 2021, while no base shows any decrease in the amounts of military equipment.

Military buildup registered at nearly half of Russian bases at Ukraine’s border in late 2021, satellite image project shows

Latvia to send weapons, equipment to Ukraine

After his meeting with Oleksandr Mishchenko, Ukrainian Ambassador to Latvia, Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks said that Latvia is going to send Ukraine humanitarian cargo, weapons, and equipment.

“Today, during a meeting with the Ambassador of Ukraine to Latvia, I confirmed our support. Like Estonia and Lithuania, we announced that we will provide both humanitarian and military assistance, ensuring the supply of weapons and equipment necessary for defense,” Pabriks said on Facebook on 5 January.

Previously, Latvia provided broad support to Ukraine, including financial and humanitarian assistance, rehabilitation of the wounded, and support for the chaplaincy service.

Earlier another Baltic state, Estonia, had plans to provide Javelin missiles and howitzers to Ukraine.

Defense chiefs of the US and Russia discussed ‘risk reduction’ on Ukraine’s borders

On 6 January, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had a phone conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu. In the call, they discussed “risk reduction near Ukraine’s borders,” the Pentagon said in a two-sentence-long statement.

“We’re obviously still very concerned by what we’re seeing,” a US defense official told Reuters, without commenting on the call itself.

The conversation took place amid Russia’s military buildup of some 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders, and Western concerns that it could be part of preparations for a potential further invasion, which the Kremlin denies.

“Russia to further promote creeping integration of Ukraine’s occupied territories”

Pavlo Klimkin, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

Pavlo Klimkin, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Photo: Radio Svoboda (RFE/RL)

In his op-ed on ZN.ua, former Ukrainian foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin wrote that Russia’s creeping integration of the occupied areas in Ukraine’s east through mass passportization is complemented by the creeping economic integration of the territories.

According to him, Russia is creating such a situation which would allow the Kremlin to pursue any decision in the future – ranging from the region’s return into the Ukrainian political and legal field on Russian terms and up to its integration with Russia.

UK warns Russia it is ready for sanctions should Russia invade Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has announced a visit to Kyiv later this month to stress London’s “unwavering” commitment to Ukraine amid continuing Russian aggression against its fellow post-Soviet neighbor. She has also called Ukraine a crucial priority and warned against any concessions to Russia.

“Any Russian military incursion into Ukraine would be a massive strategic mistake and would come at a severe cost. We will not accept the campaign Russia is waging to subvert its democratic neighbours…

“We made clear that any further military incursion into Ukraine would bring massive consequences, including coordinated sanctions to impose a severe cost on Russia’s interests and economy,” Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told the British Parliament on 6 January.

Ukraine, UK, Canada, Sweden announced a new effort to get reparations over an airliner downed by Iran

On 6 January, Ukraine and three other affected countries – Britain, Canada, and Sweden – have abandoned their two-year effort to negotiate with Iran over reparations for a Ukrainian passenger airliner shot down by Iran‘s military in January 2020.

Now, Ukraine joined the three other affected nations in saying that their related coordination group would “now focus on subsequent actions to take to resolve this matter in accordance with international law.”

Last month they told Iran it had three weeks to reverse its refusal to address the reparation demands, according to RFE/RL.

Booster shot for COVID-19 now available to all adult Ukrainians six months after their last jab

A booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine can now finally be administered to all Ukrainians aged 18 and older, six months after their last vaccination, according to the Ukrainian Minister of Health, Viktor Liashko.

Ukraine’s Parliament may legalize medical cannabis this year

In 2022, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Parliament) may adopt a bill on the legalization of medical cannabis, initiated by the Cabinet of Ministers. According to Mykhailo Radutskyi, MP from the Servant of the People parliamentary faction, the Cabinet’s bill has already been published for discussion, though the Rada’s Committee on Public Health, Medical Assistance, and Medical Insurance should pass it before it can be voted by the MPs. The ruling party’s MP Radustsky stressed that the adoption of the relevant legislation would provide more than 2,000,000 Ukrainians with access to medical cannabis.

Russia deploys troops to Kazakhstan

On 5 January, the Russia-led alliance Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) decided to intervene militarily in Kazakhstan, one of Central-Asian former Soviet republics, at the request of the current Kazakh authorities. Alongside Russia, the Bloc’s members are Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhtan.

Pro-Russian bloc countries announce deployment of troops to Kazakhstan

Today, January 6, Russia started the deployment of its “peacekeeping” units of airborne forces in Kazakhstan.

“The occupation of Kazakhstan is taking place right before our eyes. I hope that the countries of Central Asia will someday learn to resist the Russian government and its soldiers,” one of Kazakh commentators, Bektour Iskender wrote on Facebook.

Meanwhile, Russian experts believe Moscow risks being sucked into neighboring unrest and having to manage strategic instability “on two fronts.”

At the same time, John Herbst, former US ambassador to Ukraine and Uzbekistan, believes that the situation in Kazakhstan could shift Putin’s calculus on Ukraine,

“The stakes for Putin are large in both Kazakhstan and Ukraine—but it may prove difficult for the arch opportunist to successfully attend to both at the same time,” he wrote in his article on Atlantic Council.

History

Prominent Ukrainian poet and dissident Vasyl Stus was born 83 years ago. He was a poet of rare talent and created some true masterpieces of Ukrainian 20th century poetry. Soviet dictatorship banned his works and twice imprisoned Stus. He died in Soviet prison in 1985, aged 47.

Poet Vasyl Stus (second from the left) in Lviv, 1972. (Read more on the 1972 Vertep). ~

Poet Vasyl Stus (second from the left) in Lviv, 1972. (Read more on the 1972 Vertep).

«They triumphed, though their struggle stretched for 74 years while the communist totalitarian and its concentration camp system existed.»

Holy Night and Christmas Dinner in Ukraine

Today, most Ukrainian Christians celebrate the Holy Night or Christmas Eve, according to the Julian calendar. You can read in our archive articles on what the Julian calendar is and why Ukraine now officially has two Christmases .

Meanwhile, if you are celebrating Christmas today, Merry Christmas from Ukraine!

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