Ukraine: Daily Briefing
July 24, 2019, 8 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours the Ukrainian Armed Forces suffered no casualties. Yesterday, Russia-led proxy forces opened fire once on Ukrainian positions on the Luhansk sector of the front.
According to Ukraine’s military intelligence a mine blast has wounded one and killed three enemy troops in the last 24 hours.
2. DW (Opinion): Ukraine is Tired of Yesterday
The snap parliamentary elections are over, the votes are still being counted and DW’s Bernd Johann offers an overview of not just the top parties that made it through the 5 percent threshold but also of expectations they need to meet.
“For President Zelenskyy, his probation period is now about to begin,” reads the article. Ukraine’s president is expected to “introduce concrete steps to fight the corruption and nepotism of the extremely wealthy Ukrainian oligarchs. It is not just the voters are who expect progress on that front – Ukraine’s trade partners in Europe are also watching,” writes Johann.
3. 7 “Firsts,” Zelenskyy’s Coalition, Russian Aggression and Ukrainian Ports, IBAN, Brussels to Ban Russian Passport Holders, Next Prosecutor General
In the aftermath of parliamentary elections Hromadske gathered 7 “first time” facts about these elections. Read the article here
The head of the Servant of the People party, Dmytro Razumkov, has said that after the party gets over 250 seats on Ukraine’s parliament, it would be ready to talk about coalition “with political parties that are close… in terms of ideology and values” in the Verkhovna Rada. As of 10 am EST on July 24, 2019, the CEC has counted 99.6% of the votes; the Servant of the People party has 254 seats.
Ukrainian sea ports in the Sea of Azov have lost almost half of the cargo; the number of ship entries decreased by more than a half translating into approximately USD 232,7 million in income, because of the Russian aggression since 2014, as reported by the head of Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority Rayvis Vetskahans in the interview to Ukrainian media. The estimate “does not include losses and additional expenditures of exporters, connected to delays and re-orientation of cargo traffic,” he said.
Starting August 5, 2019, Ukraine is to introduce the International Bank Account Number (IBAN), reported the National Bank of Ukraine. The use of IBAN will become mandatory starting November 1 for the transfer of funds in both national and foreign currencies, as well as cross-border transfers.
The EU ambassadors in Brussels are discussing actions in response to Russia’s decision to issue Russian passports in Donbas reported RFE/RL’s Rikard Jozwiak. According to him the work to ban those passport holders to enter the EU will take time, with Crimea it was around 18 months, but it will happen.
Zelenskyy’s deputy chief of staff Ruslan Ryaboshapka could be next prosecutor general, as reported by the President’s Office. Read the full article here
4. Bloomberg: Wedding Photographer Ousts Tycoon as Ukraine Purges Oligarchs in Vote
In the aftermath of Ukraine’s parliamentary snap elections that took place last Sunday Bloomberg released an article highlighting the composition of the president’s party that has gained the majority of the seats in Verkhovna Rada [Ukraine’s parliament].
“Frustrated at a parliament stacked with millionaire businessmen, they backed little-known candidates from all walks of life — including a wedding photographer, a fitness-club director, an anesthesiologist and more than a dozen without stable work — to unexpectedly hand an anti-establishment party the country’s first-ever ruling majority.”
5. Washington Examiner: US Flexes Muscle in Ukraine Dispute, Warns of New ‘Conflict’ in Europe
Today’s opinion piece in WashingtonExaminer highlights the Trump administration’s attempt settle escalating tensions “over Russia’s effort to bully Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea.”
The former Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III has taken lead in the international dispute at the Vienna-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). “I think what’s on the U.S. mind at this point is working hard to preserve Ukraine’s sovereignty, because it’s under attack,” said Gilmore.