Ukraine: Daily Briefing
August 8, 2019, 5 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, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed or 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 10 times in total.
2. Zelenskyy appoints tainted officials to oversee judicial reform
The Kyiv Post reported on August 7, “As President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s team is announcing large-scale judicial reform, the people who will be entrusted to work on such reform include many tainted officials mired in corruption scandals.
Zelenskyy on Aug. 7 issued a decree to create a commission in charge of legal reform. The commission will be in charge of constitutional amendments, judicial reform, criminal law reform, legal education and re-integration of Russian-occupied territories.
Apart from a few reform-minded experts, the commission includes numerous controversial individuals who face accusations of corruption and other wrongdoing. Zelenskyy’s press office did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Roman Maselko and Mykhailo Zhernakov – members of the Public Integrity Council, the judiciary’s civil society watchdog – lambasted the commission’s composition, arguing it will not be able to reform anything.
The legal reform commission includes five judges who have been vetoed by the Public Integrity Council because they do not meet integrity and professional ethics standards. These include Supreme Court judges Bohdan Lvov, Stanislav Kravchenko and Mykhailo Smokovych, as well as lower-level judges Vadym Butenko and Roman Boyko.”
The full report from Kyiv Post is available here: Zelenskyy appoints tainted officials to oversee judicial reform
3. Zelenskyy: Ukraine to implement land reform by year-end; legalize gambling
Ukrinform reported, “Ukraine will implement land reform by the end of the year to create a 40 million hectare land market starting from 2020.
‘This year, we will definitely carry out a land reform which next year will allow us creating a 40 million hectares land market. It will be one of the highest quality in the world,’ President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy said at the Ukraine-Turkey Business Forum in Istanbul, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
The President added that some Turkish companies already owned the land in Ukraine and expressed the hope that the number of such companies would grow. […]
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy intends to legalize gambling, in particular, the casinos in five-star hotels.
‘We will legalize gambling, namely the operation of casinos in five-star hotels which would stimulate the development of the tourism cluster in the Black Sea region. We want to grow in this area together [with the Turkish business],” President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy said at the Ukraine-Turkey Business Forum in Istanbul.”