“Vilkha” missile test. Image – courtesy of Ukrainian MOD
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported that during the week of July 19-25, four Ukrainian service members were killed in action and eight Ukrainian service members were wounded in action. In the last week, Russia-led proxy forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions in the Donetsk and Luhansk sectors of the front 55 times in total, including at least 23 times with heavy weapons.
Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation headquarters reported that while returning fire, Ukrainian forces killed five and wounded at least 13 enemy troops in the last week.
2. Hromadske: Zelenskyy’s Servant of the People Set to Get Single-Party Majority
Infographics depicting preliminary results of Ukraine_s parliamentary election by Hromadske
With Ukrainian parliamentary elections having taken place on Sunday July 21 there is more evidence mounting that the Servant of the People party which is associated with the incumbent president will take the majority of the seats in the parliament.
“This result would translate into about 130 seats in the new parliament through party lists alone, which would allow the party to form a majority without creating a coalition with other political forces,” reads the article in Hromadske.
3. Parliamentary Election Sets Stage for Further Reform in Ukraine
Dr. Lloyd Axworthy_ Head of Mission Canada 2019
On July 22, Mission Canada 2019 issued its Preliminary Statement of Findings for the 2019 early parliamentary elections in Ukraine. The Canadian observers analyzed various aspects of the electoral process including the establishment of electoral commissions, printing of ballots, conduct of the vote, and counting procedures on election day.
“Ukrainians have affirmed their commitment to democratic development by electing a new parliament in an election that largely met international democratic standards. These early elections took place in a climate of increased expectations that the new parliament will deliver on voters’ desire for change,” the Honourable Lloyd Axworthy, Head of Mission said in his statement. The full press release is available here
Mission Canada 2019 Preliminary video report on the Parliamentary Election is available here
4. Video: Peliminary Conclusions of the Mission of the UWC to the Parliamentary Elections
Eugene Czolij, Head of the UWC on Election Observation of 2019 in Ukraine
Today, the Head of the International Mission of the Ukrainian World Congress on Election Observation of 2019 in Ukraine Eugene Czolij presented the preliminary conclusions of the Mission.
“Based on the monitoring results of the UWC Mission the 2019 Parliamentary Election in Ukraine has met international standards for the conduct of democratic elections,” said Eugene Czolij during his press conference at Ukraine Crisis Media Center in Kyiv.
The full video of the preliminary report is available here in English [translation] and Ukrainian [original].
5. Ukraine Election Results Home and Abroad, 7 “Firsts”, Brussels to Ban Russian Passport Holders, Open Skies Treaty
The Central Election Committee (CEC) has finished counting the ballots of the snap parliamentary elections that took place on July 21 in Ukraine. Thus, 43.16% of voters (6,307,097 votes) cast their ballots for the president’s Servant of the People Party. The Opposition Platform – For Life Party was supported by 13.05% of voters (1,908,087 votes), Yulia Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna/Motherland Party by 8.18% (1,196,258 votes). Petro Poroshenko’s European Solidarity was backed by 8.10% of voters (1,184,475 votes), and Svyatoslav Vakarchuk’s Holos/Voice Party secured 5.82% of votes (851,669).
Image by Radio Svoboda
According to CEC three parties gained more than 5% support among Ukrainians living abroad namely: the European Solidarity party – 29.6%, Servant of the People party – 28.1% and Golos/Voice party with 19.7% of the votes.
In the aftermath of parliamentary elections Hromadske gathered 7 “first time” facts about these elections. Read the article here
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.
Map of the countries that signed the Treaty of Open Skies. Image courtesy of enacademic.com
Ukraine and the European Union may sign a common aviation area agreement by the end of the year if the United Kingdom leaves the EU in October, said the EU Ambassador to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli in his interview with Ukrainian media.
The Russian authorities want to strike a short-term on-year deal with Kyiv on gas transit to Europe when the current agreement expires at the end of this year in order to buy time to complete pipelines that will bypass Ukraine, as reported by Financial Post (FP). Ukraine is looking for a long-term, 10-year deal according to FP sources.
6. The Wall Street Journal: Ukraine’s Reform Opportunity
Ukraine’s Parliamentary elections turnout results since 1994. Image by Hromadske
On July 22, the Editorial Board of The Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece about Ukraine’s parliamentary elections. While giving a brief overview of the top contenders it goes further into the election aftermath.
“The new political elite will have to move quickly to improve the rule of law, privatize more state-owned enterprises, and liberalize property law. Corruption retards growth more than the war does. One challenge is that few in Mr. Zelenskyy’s party have much policy experience. He may prefer ruling alone, but the country would be better off with veteran reformers and the Voice party, another insurgent political force, helping to run the government,” reads the article.
7. The Guardian: Ukraine Seizes Russian tanker in Danube Port City of Izmail
Image courtesy of Ukrinform
On July 25, Ukraine’s SBU Security Service, together with the Military Prosecutor’s Office, has detained the Russian tanker Neyma that reportedly blocked Ukrainian naval vessels in the Kerch Strait in November 2018, when three Ukrainian vessels were attacked, and 24 sailors were taken captive.
“Contrary to the norms of international maritime law, the servicemen of the Russian FSB border troops illegally, using weapons, blocked the movement of Ukrainian warships during their passage through the Kerch-Yenikale Canal in the Kerch Strait with the help of the Neyma tanker (IMO 8895528, MMSI 273347000, under the flag of the Russian Federation),” the SBU said in a statement on Thursday, July 25. The following day Ukraine released the Neyma’s crew allowing them to return home to Russia.
In addition, Ukraine’s State Security Service informed that it had seized documents from the ship and questioned its crew. It also released a video showing its officers and those from the military prosecutor’s office boarding the vessel, as reported by The Guardian.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry warned Ukraine on Thursday that “there will soon be consequences” if any Russian members of the crew of the tanker detained by Kyiv were “taken hostage,” as reported Global News quoting RIA news agency.
8. Ukraine Reports Progress in the Process of Returning of Ukrainian Sailors Detained by Russia
Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denysova. Image is the screen shot of the FB video
On July 25, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denysova has held a press briefing informing of the status of negotiations with Russia about the return of Ukrainian sailors who were illegally attacked during the attempt to cross the Kerch Strait last November and held captive ever since.
She remined that on May 25, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ordered Russia to immediately release three Ukrainian naval vessels and 24 captured sailors. On July 17, the Lefortovo District Court of Moscow extended the arrest of Ukrainian sailors until October 26. On July 18 Denysova filed a petition to release the sailors under her personal guarantee (commitment). On July 19 Denysova’s petition was transferred to the FSB investigative committee for review.
On July 25, Ukrainian Ministry of Defence issued the statement congratulating two Ukrainian sailors – Roman Mokriak (33) and Viacheslav Zinchenko (21) – who were among 24 Ukrainian seamen attacked in the Kerch Strait by the Russian FSB, declared prisoners of war by the UN and have been illegally held for eight months in Russian prison.
9. 2019 vs 2014 Parliamentary Election Results in Numbers
Number of women in the new parliament is estimated to reach 20.5% (87) which is the considerable increase compared to the last parliament 12.5% (53)