Members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces load a grenade launcher on a firing range. Photo courtesy of Joint Task Force-Ukraine
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that on May 7 one service member of the Ukrainian Armed Forces was killed in action and three service members were wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, Russia-led proxy forces opened fire 25 times on Ukrainian positions in the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors using heavy weapons 12 times.
According to the Ukrainian Military Intelligence three enemy troops were killed and two were wounded yesterday as a result of returning fire by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
2. Foreign Minister Freeland: Canada Committed to Supporting People of Ukraine
Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Ukraine’s President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskyy meet on May 8 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo courtesy of Ukrinform
Today the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs is on a working visit in Ukraine to meet with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin and Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Andriy Parubiy. According to Global Affairs Canada Media Relations Office the parties plan to discuss Canada’s and international support of the people of Ukraine, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, upcoming Ukraine Reforms Conference in Toronto.
The press service of Ukraine’s President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskyy has already reported that the president-elect and Canada’s official have met and discussed the fight against corruption and the Minsk format for settling the conflict in eastern Ukraine. According to his press service Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed that he wanted to defeat corruption instead of talking about fighting it emphasizing that his team would do its best to employing digital technology to limit interaction between Ukrainian citizens and officials.
Minister Freeland highlighted the importance of continued international support for Ukraine. “Now is a key moment when Canada’s support, and the support of the international community, is of tremendous importance,” she noted.
3. (Opinion) Ottawa Citizen: Five Things to Watch for With Ukraine’s New President
In his latest article David Kilgour, former MP from southeast Edmonton, talks about Ukraine’s elections and their global impact, about the president-elect, and about the key factors to watch out for. Kilgour introduces analysis of Timothy Ash, senior emerging markets sovereign strategist for Bluebay Asset Management, who said that the markets took Zelenskyy’s win well. “Ukraine’s macro backstop is much better these days, with much smaller twin deficits, lower public sector debt, a stable currency, over $20 billion U.S. in foreign exchange reserves at the central bank, and respected technocrats at both the bank and the ministry of foreign affairs,” goes Ash’s summary.
The factors to watch out for include Zelenskyy’s move on the parliamentary elections, his interaction with Verkhovna Rada [Ukraine’s Parliament], nominations, his move with respect to the nationalized Privatbank, and interaction with Russia.
4. Atlantic Council: Why We Can’t Get Enough of Ukraine
Map of Ukraine. Picture courtesy of BBC
In his April 18 speech at the Atlantic Council Francis Fukuyama highlighted the importance of Ukraine in several perspectives that included geopolitical value, education and gaining power by the people who are not corrupt and want to change the status quo – the new generation of reform-minded younger Ukrainians.
“As soon as Brazilians found there’s a Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program, they said how about a Brazilian Emerging Leaders Program, and you know Brazil is an important country. Of course it is, but Ukraine plays an outsized role in Europe as a whole. It’s both a symbol and also a geopolitical role that is much more important than other countries, other post-Soviet or post-communist countries,” emphasized Fukuyama. He reiterated that “the Russians understand fully well how important it is that Ukraine [does] not succeed. The speaker noted the disappointing backsliding in some Eastern European countries.
“Ukraine is doing better because it still believes that Europe and the European Union and the idea that liberal democracy coupled to an open capitalist economy is still the wave of the future and the way to go,” highlighted Francis Fukuyama.
Here is the link to the essay based on Fukuyama’s speech.
5. Facebook Further Curtails Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior from Russia
On May 6, Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook made announcement about removing multiple pages, groups and accounts “that were involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior on Facebook and Instagram.”
In his report Gleicher mentioned that Facebook had identified networks of accounts created to mislead others about who they were and what they were doing.
“We removed 97 Facebook accounts, Pages and Groups that were involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior as part of a network emanating from Russia that focused on Ukraine. The individuals behind this activity operated fake accounts to run Pages and Groups, disseminate their content, and increase engagement, and also to drive people to an off-platform domain that aggregated various web content. They frequently posted about local and political news including topics like the military conflict in Eastern Ukraine, Russian politics, political news in Europe, politics in Ukraine and the Syrian civil war,” emphasized Gleicher.
Please note the changes to Ukraine’s President-elect’s surname spelling:
As of today, May 08, 2019, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress will be using the updated spelling (-yy) of the last name of Ukraine’s President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The change comes as the followup to the announcement from Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s team about the launch of his new official Twitter account: https://twitter.com/ZelenskyyUa.