Ukraine: Daily Briefing – September 15, 2017, 5 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
September 15, 2017, 5 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian soldiers participate in BMP maneuver exercises. 
Photo – US Army Europe

1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and two Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Avdiivka with mortars. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Zaytseve, Pisky and the Donetsk airport. Near Horlivka, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Maryinka  and Pavlopil with mortars and grenade launchers. On the Pavlopil-Shyrokyne line, Russian-terrorist forces fired on several Ukrainian positions. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Krymske with mortars.
2. Ukraine’s President: Price for aggression must keep rising so that it is unbearably hard to keep what was unlawfully taken
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko stated today, “History teaches us that Russia cannot be trusted. Under any circumstances. With Moscow, one should always be prepared for the worst. You can hear it from tens of thousands of Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians who are persecuted in the Crimea and Donbas. Hundreds of them have perished at the hands of the killers and torturers only for the Ukrainian language, the Ukrainian flag or the Ukrainian passport […]
           Sanctions against Russia must be in force until full implementation of Minsk Agreements and restoring the sovereignty of Ukraine over the Crimea and Donbas. I would like to thank the United States for its leadership in strengthening the sanctions against the aggressor. The price for aggression must keep rising. It must be unbearably hard to keep what was unlawfully taken, or, more bluntly, cynically stolen.[…] Almost two years ago I put forward the initiative to establish an international mechanism for restoring Ukraine’s sovereignty over the Crimea. We are talking about gradual – peaceful – pushing Russia out of the Crimea […]
           The fact that at the highest international level – UN General Assembly – Russia was recognized as an occupying power proves that we are on the right track. We count on coordinated and targeted support of our international partners.”
           Poroshenko also suggested the idea of creating an international group of friends of de-occupation of Crimea aimed to coordinate common steps and actions. “I plan to discuss this initiative in details in New York at the UN General Assembly,” Poroshenko said.
3. Atlantic Council: Health care reform should be a top priority for Ukraine’s Parliament this fall

Writing for the Atlantic Council, Michael Getto stated, “Health care reform should be a top priority for Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada this fall because it can help transform Ukraine. […]
          In June, parliament greenlighted comprehensive health reform legislation in the first reading. Ukraine’s health system combines the worst of Soviet-era health care and post-Soviet corruption, leaving Ukrainians with few good options for both preventive health care and timely treatment for illness and injury.
           This autumn presents the opportunity to finish the job. It’s time for the Rada to pass the legislation in the second reading now. Poroshenko has promised to sign the far-reaching legislation once parliament approves it.
          The reform package, meticulously assembled by Acting Health Minister Dr. Ulana Suprun and her team, addresses age-old gaps and inefficiencies and eliminates corruption and outright theft in a system that has failed ordinary Ukrainians for decades. Such an arrangement has resulted in placing Ukraine near the bottom of European health rankings. The reform legislation has its opponents, representatives of interests more intent on lining their pockets and maintaining corrupt relationships than fixing a broken system.
           Suprun’s reforms are guided by the key principle that “money follows the patient,” and if passed, it would change Ukraine’s health care system in at least four ways:
           First, Ukrainians will benefit from a system of government-provided insurance that will pay for a wide range of medical services. […] Second, ‘patient and family-doctor contracts’ will be introduced and honored. These will ensure consistent, annually reviewed prices for patients and, importantly, mutual responsibility for both medical providers and their patients. […]
           Third, doctors and medical professionals will be paid more. This helps both recruiting and retention to keep the best and brightest in the medical field and in Ukraine. Family doctor salaries will be increased by 30 percent-potentially more for top doctors. […]
           Fourth, state subsidies will be directed to medical care for the 1.8 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) whose lives have been disrupted by Russia’s war on Ukraine in Crimea and the Donbas. […]
           Other measures included in the reform promote prevention over treatment and healthy lifestyles. State-provided insurance will be a tangible benefit in a country where more than 90 percent of Ukrainians lack any form of insurance.
           Suprun is a medical doctor, not an ambitious politician. She wants what her fellow Ukrainians want: Decent health care that treats those who are sick and injured with dignity. This reform package is based on her extensive medical experience in the United States as a practitioner as well as consultations with medical professionals from around the world in countries where national health care actually works.”
4. EU expresses readiness to finance Energy Efficiency Fund of Ukraine
photo – Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers


Ukraine’s Prime Minister Volodoymyr Groysman met with Vice-President of the European Commission for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic. Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers reported that “The European Union pledges readiness to provide funding for the established Energy Efficiency Fund of Ukraine as one of the key instruments to promote energy conservation, energy modernization and energy independence, and expects it to become a reliable platform for attracting investors.”
           Sefcovic stated, “We are planning to grant 100 million euros (for the Energy Efficiency Fund) during two years, but our essential objective is to create a platform that would have high confidence of foreign partners.”

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