Training of 72nd mechanized brigade. Photo JMTG-Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported that during the week of April 5 – 11, five Ukrainian service members were killed in action and 16 service members were wounded in action on the eastern front. Throughout the week, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire 96 times including 42 times using heavy weapons on Ukrainian positions on the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors of the front.
Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation headquarters reported that while returning fire, Ukrainian forces killed 29 and wounded at least 43 enemy troops in the last week.
2. CBC: The hot cold war: Inside Canada’s military training mission in Ukraine
Lieutenant-Colonel Pierre Leroux_ Commander of Joint Task Force-Ukraine_ visits with Canadian Armed Forces members during T-80 Tank training at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in Lviv_ Ukraine during Operation UNIFIER on October 26, 2018. Photo – Joint Task Force Ukraine
On April 7, CBC released an article by Murray Brewster who provides an overview of Canada’s renewed military commitment to Ukraine within the operation UNIFIER framework. In 2015 the Ukrainian military received training from the Canadian troops in advanced combat skills that included detection and defusing of roadside bombs and booby traps. As time went by “the Ukrainians have advanced to the point where they can train their own bomb disposal troops,” said Lt.-Col. Pierre Leroux who oversees the Canadian task force training Ukrainian soldiers.
Now Canadians are helping Ukrainian troops with “what’s known as ‘sapper’ training: breaching fortifications, demolition and bridge-building under fire,” noted Lt.-Col. Leroux. One of Canada’s biggest contributions has been in the field of advanced combat medical training that has expanded into a “three-month course that delivers advanced life-saving skills,” writes Brewster.
To learn more about the Ukrainian military attrition rate, and NATO’s rotating naval deployments in the Black Sea that now includes Canadian destroyer read the full article here
3. UATV Interviews Mission Canada 2019 Deputy Head on Election Results and Role of Women in Politics
Olya Odynska Grod at UATV studio on April 5_ 2019
On April 5, Deputy Head of Mission Canada 2019 Olya Odynska-Grod participated in the Head to Head program on Ukrainian TV channel UATV. During the interview she reiterated CANADEM’s conclusions that the first round of presidential election was free and fair. Having attended about 75 openings of voter stations in all regions of Ukraine the mission observed candidate and voter registration, campaign activities, the media and information environment, as well as the adjudication of election related disputes.
Prior to the election the CANADEM representatives observed about 45 rallies around the country and met with over 189 candidate groups. Having compared Ukraine’s political establishment with Canada where 50 percent of MPs are women, Olya Odynska-Grod emphasized that Ukraine needs more women candidates. Notably there were only four women candidates out of original 44 registered deputies.
Mission Canada 2019 consists of 160 representatives including 50 long-term observers (LTOs) and 110 short-term observers (STOs) who have left for Canada after the first round of presidential election and will be back in Ukraine on April 16 for the second round.
Watch the full interview with Deputy Head of Mission Canada 2019 Olya Odynska-Grod here
4. Atlantic Council: Will the Elections Give the Ukrainian Economy the Kick It Needs?
Anders Aslund. Photo Aslund’s from Twitter account
The first round of presidential election – possibly the freest and fairest in Ukraine’s history – is over, the financial markets are stable, Kyiv is calm except for an online battle between the two top candidates, describes Anders Åslund, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, the today’s Ukraine.
He carries on explaining how “Zelenskiy, Tymoshenko, and former Defense Minister Anatoly Hrytsenko all ran against corruption, and together their platforms gained 50 percent of the vote.” This was the revolt of the young and the poor against the old establishment, old elite. The fact that Ukraine was so united in its outcry against corruption speaks of the fact that corruption and judicial reform at the top of the agenda, followed by the economy. Having gained a lot of confidence in terms of national identity because of the war with Russia the author is convinced that the people are “ready to take the two extra steps to the rule of law and a more dynamic economy.”
Click here to get a better overview by Aslund as to what Ukraine is missing and whether it should stay traditional or become radical and reformist.
5. Foreign Interference ‘Very Likely’ in Canada’s 2019 Election, Federal Security Agency Warns
Badge of the Communications Security Establishment
Yesterday’s story by Janice Dickson in the Globe and Mail suggests that with federal election approaching Canada should be on the lookout for cyber threat. “It is “very likely” Canadian voters will encounter foreign cyber influence before and during the fall federal election,” as reported by Canada’s national cybersecurity agency.
Political parties, candidates and political staff may be facing cyber threats, according to the Communications Security Establishment (CSE).
According to CSE, the amount of cyber threat activity has increased almost threefold between 2015 and 2018 and the upward trend is expected to continue.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland shown at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on April 3, 2019. The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick
Previously, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland stated that malign foreign actors will likely try to meddle in Canada’s federal election in October. “Canada has learned important lessons from countries such as Ukraine, which is seen as a veritable laboratory for malign Russian cybermeddling and disinformation,” noted Minister Freeland while attending a G7 ministers’ meeting in France on April 5.
New judges of the anti-corruption court. Photo by Reuters
Ukraine has launched of a special anti-corruption court which is aimed at supplementing the efforts of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, the state body investigating corruption cases, and the Specialised Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office.
“The anti-corruption court is being set up as part of Ukraine’s $3.9bn loan programme with the IMF, with the intention of rooting out entrenched corruption and insulating court decisions from political pressure or bribery,” as reported by Aljazeera news agency.
The anti-corruption court will employ 38 new judges who have been granted independence from the legislative and executive branches as well as from the president.
7. UWC President Pavlo Grod Addresses Ukrainians Around the World
Pavlo Grod, UWC president. Screenshot from the video address
In his address the president of Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) Pavlo Grod explains the difference between results of the vote in the presidential election among those Ukrainians who live in Ukraine and those who live abroad. He notes of the responsibilities of the parliament and the president and calls on the Ukrainian citizens all over the world to be active and vote both on April 21 [second round of presidential election] and October 27 [parliamentary election].
“This is your right and responsibility to take part in the elections. Do not be indifferent – think about the future of Ukraine – make a choice that you think is right,” concluded Pavlo Grod.