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Published in Stream:
Ukraine Liveblog Day 256
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Next Week's Preview: New Coalition Government And a Collapsing Ceasefire
6 years
After Crimea and Donbass, Is Abkhazia Russia's Next Target For Annexation

The Foreign Media Unit of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council has released this press release summarizing the news of the week and previewing next week. The main theme: as a coalition government is formed in Kiev, elections which the government consider to be illegal will be held on Sunday in areas of the Donbass occupied by Russian-backed militants, and fighting is on the increase.

Expectations for the next week: New coalition and peace plan jeopardized by the terrorists

1) The situation in DPR and LPR held territories is alarming again. The terrorists are systematically violating the ceasefire with an increasing number of attacks and shelling. Another attempt to disrupt the Minsk agreement - the so-called "elections", announced for this Sunday. These elections are considered illegal by Ukraine, condemned by the US, EU states and UN Secretary-General, and even caused a protest rally among the Donbas people who have left the territories (app. 400 000 officially registered DP's already). However, DPR and LPR leaders continued preparations, supported by Russia publicly and, as phone interception demonstrates, directly.

2) Those elections put in jeopardy not only the peace solution and rebuilding of the region, but also the area's civilians - Ukrainian intelligence reports that provocations are being prepared that will take place during the illegal elections: terrorist are painting Ukrainian army insignia on tanks, which, along with the increased number of Russian media coming to Donetsk, is a warning for the authorities. Media and artists from Russia continued to participate in the "hybrid war". Friday Ukrainian State Security Service initiated criminal proceedings against Russian film actor Mikhail Porechenkov. Actor was pictured shooting at Donetsk airport from the terrorists position to Ukraine's units. Porechenkov was also wearing "PRESS" helmet, that caused protest of OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media

3) The key issue for Kyiv politics next week will be the coalition negotiations. The preliminary results of the Parliamentary elections, held this week, demonstrated that pro-European and pro-reform parties led by the President, Prime-Minister and the mayor of the western-Ukrainian city of Lviv received a substantial majority, while the Communist Party and pro-nationalist Svoboda were unable to pass the election threshold. President Poroshenko already called this election as the "completion of the Re-load of power, and for the reforms". But the format of the coalition and its coordinating rules are highly important.

a) The parliamentary majority appoints the prime minister. According to the Constitution, the head of the government is a heavy, potent figure. Conflicts between the prime minister and president have caused huge losses for Ukraine in the past. Still, both President Poroshenko and current Prime Minister Yatsenyuk have declared their understanding of the urgent need to work together, and both called the EU Association agreement as the basis for the coalition and Government program.

b) The new parliament and new coalition will open the way to the comprehensive reforms urged by the majority of Ukrainians and western partners. Dozens of reform projects, draft laws and programs have been developed and announced by the president already, including the reforming of the State Judiciary system, law enforcement reform and transformation from a post-Soviet to a competitive, transparent economy. Still, some developments are still significant - President Poroshenko continued to fulfill lustration legislation, and dismissed 30 local administration heads from different regions.

4) Next week will also be less tensed in the energy part of the conflict with Russia. While Ukraine still expects the decision of the Stockholm Arbitration Court on the gas contract with Russia, Ukraine, Russia and EU reached temporary agreement on the price and conditions of the gas supply to Ukraine, that will allow Ukraine and EU to secure energy supply this winter.