Operation UNIFIER Canadian soldiers take part in Artillery Working Group session with US and Ukrainian partners. Photo – OpUNIFIER
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, three Ukrainian soldiers were killed and three Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions on the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors of the front 16 times in total, including at least 4 times with heavy weapons. Returning fire, Ukrainian forces killed 1 and wounded 1 enemy combatant.
2. After 5-year-old boy’s death, protesters demand Interior Minister Avakov resign
Protesters at the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Photo – Kyiv Post
The Kyiv Post reported, “Nearly 200 people gathered outside the Interior Ministry in Kyiv on June 4, 2019 to protest the killing of Kyrylo Tliavov, a five-year-old boy who was allegedly shot by drunken police officers and died in a hospital on June 3.
Demonstrators carried signs, left toys at the doors of the Interior Ministry headquarters, and lit candles in memory of Tliavov. Some activists also demanded that Interior Minister Arsen Avakov resign from his post.
Ukraine has a long history of citizens protesting in response to violence and crimes committed by police officers. Tliavov’s death was perceived by many as a clear sign of the country’s failure to reform law enforcement.”
3. European Council President meets with Ukraine’s President
European Council President Tusk and Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy. Photo – European Council
European Council President Donald Tusk met with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Following the meeting, Tusk stated, “The EU will always be determined to help Ukraine strengthen its democracy and the rule of law, fight corruption, stabilise its economy and pursue energy sector reforms. Because a strong and democratic Ukraine is in the best interest of the European Union.
We are ready to continue our work on the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association. This has already brought many positive results in trade and investments, which benefit our people, on both sides. And it can bring many more in the future. The EU will also maintain its financial support for economic stabilisation, despite Russian aggression and the war in Donbas.
We also discussed the ongoing threats to the security of Ukraine. The EU will stay its course and remain committed to Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. We condemn the Russian decrees on granting Russian citizenship to Ukrainians in Donbas or of Crimean origin. This goes against the Minsk agreements.
And we continue to call for the immediate release of Ukrainian citizens illegally detained in Russia and Crimea, including the 24 Ukrainian sailors held in Moscow since November.
President Zelenskyy and I discussed our next EU-Ukraine summit. This will set the priorities for our relations in the year ahead. Our joint decision is to hold the summit, as planned, and we have also agreed to remain in close contact with the President.
Let me conclude by repeating what I said in the Rada in February: ‘There can be no just Europe without an independent Ukraine. There can be no safe Europe without a safe Ukraine. To put it simply: there can be no Europe without Ukraine!’ Mr President, Ukraine can count on the European Union, as always. We are and will remain your best friend and trusted ally.”
4. Hearings in Ukraine’s suit against Russia at International Court of Justice resume
International Court of Justice hearing. Photo – ICJ
The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) reported, “The latest round of hearings is underway before the International Court of Justice at the Hague in Ukraine’s suit against Russia over alleged violations of two international conventions. Russia is again trying to convince the Court that it lacks jurisdiction in the case, with this just one of the déjà vu features linking the hearings with those in April 2017. There are, however, some crucial differences. One is that the Court found prima facie jurisdiction over Ukraine’s claims under both conventions on 19 April 2017 and ordered Russia to stop specific forms of discrimination in occupied Crimea, an order which Russia has flouted.
Ukraine is accusing Russia of violating two UN conventions, namely the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.”
5. Ukraine’s PrivatBank files lawsuit against former owners
Anders Aslund, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, stated, “On May 21, the nationalized Ukrainian PrivatBank filed a remarkable civil case against its prior owners Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov in the state court of Delaware. The three co-defendants are US citizens in Miami and nineteen anonymous companies.
The defendants are accused ‘for hundreds of millions of dollars of damages arising in connection with claims for…unjust enrichment, for fraudulent transfer under state laws (including Delaware and Ohio), for violations of Ohio’s [Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations] statute, and for civil conspiracy’ (p. 2).
The most striking statement is ‘From 2006 through December 2016, the total movement of funds (credits) into the [ultimate beneficiary owners’] laundering at PrivatBank Cyprus was $470 billion, which amounts to approximately double the Gross Domestic Product of Cyprus during the same period” (p. 77). If this is true, this is the biggest case of money laundering in history, and it has been perpetrated by one single group.
This is a civil suit, so PrivatBank’s investigators have provided all the materials. All the accusations, however, are of a criminal nature. PrivatBank investigators have done extraordinary detective work, and this is probably the most detailed study of large-scale money laundering into the United States that runs 104 pages, though it has not been proven in court yet. This case shows how money laundering from Ukraine to the United States allegedly takes place.
Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov, both from Dnipro in eastern Ukraine, have been business partners since 1992. They established PrivatBank that accounted for one-fifth of Ukraine’s banking assets, but in December 2016 it was nationalized by the Ukrainian government, which alleged that the two co-owners had given 97 percent of its loans to themselves through various offshore companies, usually in Cyprus. The Ukrainian government took over the bank and recapitalized it with $5.5 billion.”