UAF training during Operation Unifier. 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 13 the Ukrainian Armed Forces suffered no casualties. In the last 24 hours, Russia-led proxy forces opened fire nine times on Ukrainian positions in the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors using heavy weapons twice.
According to the Ukrainian Military Intelligence one enemy soldier was killed and two were wounded yesterday as a result of returning fire by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
2. Bloomberg: Senators Draft Bill to Sanction Work on Nord Stream II Pipeline
Two U.S. senators Texas Republican Ted Cruz and New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen plan to introduce a bill targeting the Nord Stream II pipeline, as reported by Bloomberg. According to the authors of the draft bill their intention is to increase pressure one of Russia’s most important exports.
“A draft version of the bill would target vessels that lay the pipeline and would deny visas to executives from companies linked to those vessels. It also would block transactions in U.S.-based property or interests belonging to those individuals and would penalize entities that provide insurance to the project,” reads the description.
Nord Stream II has divided Europe into two camps: the supporters argue that a new pipeline is needed to sustain the EU’s economy and import needs rise; the opponents claim that it of the project say it hurts the bloc’s cohesion and weakens the EU’s energy diversification and energy security.
3. Feature Interview: Canadian Ambassador Waschuk on Ukrainian politics
Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine Roman Waschuk. Photo courtesy of UNIAN
On May 14, Ukrayinska Pravda (UP) has published an interview with Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine Roman Waschuk. The Canadian diplomat talked about the upcoming Ukraine Reforms Conference in Toronto, Ukraine’s political vector, recent visit of Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, presidential elections, expectations, Marshall Plan for Ukraine, Canada’s support, and cooperation with Ukraine.
When asked about the Ukrainian society His Excellency Waschuk noted of the social negativism phenomenon amplified by the four factors that include natural distrust of Ukrainians to power, Russia’s propaganda influence, oligarchic media, and “hyper-maximalist” expectations by the civil society. Therefore, in his opinion, it is important that the newly elected president creates a visual image that would unite the society.
When talking about the reform priorities Ambassador Waschuk advised to listen to Ukrainian voters and spoke about the sensibility of choosing the civic-centric approach rather than an institutional or political one.
Click here to read the full Ambassador Waschuk’s interview [in Ukrainian]
4. Ex-commander of Ukrainian Joint Forces: About 75,000 Russian Soldiers Stationed in Crimea and Donbas
General Serhiy Nayev. Photo courtesy of Kyiv Post
During the recent interview with the Ukrainian television news service TSN the former Ukrainian Joint Forces Commander Serhiy Nayev spoke of the achievements of the Ukrainian Armed Forces during his tenure as a senior commanding officer, his personal career goals, military intelligence and counterintelligence, Ukraine’s naval capabilities, the amount of Russian troops in Crimea, Donbas and Luhansk regions and the amount of time required to retake Ukraine’s territory.
“About 75,000 ranking members of the Russian military are now stationed in occupied Crimea and certain areas of Luhansk and Donetsk regions,” said General Nayev. “Forty thousand members of [Russian] military are in Crimea, another thirty five thousand are stationed in certain areas of Luhansk and Donetsk regions. […] Special units, and instructors are from Russia. There are from 2,100 to 2,300 of them. In addition, there are about 11,000 Russian citizens (since even before Russia started distributing its passports).”
In addition, General Nayev has informed that the generals of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation hold key positions in the so-called 1st Army Corps [of Donetsk] or the 2nd Army Corps [of Luhansk] keeping them out of the public eye.
5. Parliament Chairman Parubiy Signs Draft Law on Ukrainian Language
The building of the Ukrainian Parliament in Kyiv.
On May 14 the Chairman of Ukrainian Parliament Andriy Parubiy has signed the draft law No. 5670-d on ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the national language. He also noted that he would be asking the parliament’s office to send the signed document to the Presidential Administration as soon as possible so that the Head of State could enact the law.
The signing took place after the lawmakers rejected all four draft resolutions proposing that the parliament’s decision to adopt the draft law be repealed.
Notably, on April 25 Verkhovna Rada [Ukraine’s Parliament] has adopted the draft law on ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the national language. Some 278 Members of the Parliament backed the decision.
6. Blog: Why Ukrainian Music Should Become Your Next Obsession
“Bitanga” by Alina Pash
In his blog on Medium Anton Solovjov wrote about Ukraine not from the political or economic perspective but as a homeland of “fairly gorgeous and alluring” culture and art.
“…discovering Ukrainian music can be a life-changing experience. It’ll add more color and flavor to your life. You might indeed become a better person after listening to some fine specimen of this genre,” suggested the author. He then offered a “few brief points or observations on why is Ukrainian music so indescribably amazing.”
After explaining the intricacies of Ukrainian language and why “it almost feels like it [Ukrainian language] was specifically designed for signing rather than speaking Solovjov offers the ultimate hit list, which, according to the author, should include the following: KAZKA, THE HARDKISS, Jamala, Sergey Babkin, ONUKA, Gurt [O], Okean Elzy, TINA KAROL, ODYN V KANOE, DAKHABRAKHA, YUKO, alyona alyona, and Alina Pash.