«Break on through to the other side»: Mikheil Saakashvili barges across the Ukrainian border. «And justice for all»: 2016 amnesty law enters into force. «Light my fire»: Ukraine as #1 cigarette smuggler to EU. «Welcome to the jungle»: a mysterious car explosion in the Kyiv centre. «The passenger»: a scandalous blogger`s colleague arrested in the capital.
7 September, Ukraine
State Property Fund of Ukraine announced plans to transfer three major national enterprises to the private sector. Estimated sale prices determined by the government are: 1 to 5 bln UAH for the Agrarian Fund, 1,5 bln UAH for the State Food and Grain Corporation and at least 2 bln UAH for the United Mining and Chemical Company.
8 September, Ukraine
State Statistics Service of Ukraine reports a 0,1% consumer goods price drop in August. At the same time, by August 2017 the average annual price increase amounted 8,1%, while the annual inflation has reached 16,2% due to a slower food price drop compared to 2016, caused by climate and market shifts.
9 September, Ukraine
According to Valentyna Khomenko, the head of «Ukrtiutiun» Association of Tobacco Producers, Ukraine has become the largest source of illicit cigarette trade in Europe (replacing Belarus, based on a study by KPMG), having smuggled about 5.8 bln cigarettes to EU. Meanwhile, the amount of seized products only counts millions of cigarettes. Though a large part of illegal trade consists of transit (from Belarus, China and United Arab Emirates), it also includes domestically produced cigarettes originally intended for the local market. A TNS study has revealed a 2,6% (more than twofold) growth of internal illegal market in Ukraine over the last year, says Khomenko.
4 September, Kyiv
A female journalist working for Anatoliy Shariy, a scandalous Ukrainian blogger popular on Facebook and Youtube and currently residing in EU as a refugee, was arrested by Ukrainian Security Service in Kyiv city centre. Authorities say they have invited the woman to provide official explanations concerning her work for Shariy, who was frequently accused of «anti-Ukrainian propaganda». Following the incident, Shariy posted a video promising to bring his colleague to EU for a press-conference and to arouse a huge feedback among the European press. In his other video he also provided several security camera recordings showing that the journalist was forced into a Security Service vehicle near «Dnipro» hotel on the European Square. However, after being interviewed, the woman was released with an official warning.
6 September, Ukraine
A monument to the people killed during Euromaidan («Heavenly hundred») will be erected in Odessa. The new project features a set of 25 reedpipes with attached birds that will perform the national anthem of Ukraine every six hours (four times a day). A rejected alternative design embodies two flames joining at the apex.
The approved monument project
7 September, Ukraine
«Amnesty law of 2016» entered into force in Ukraine. Published on September 6, it grants amnesty to people who have committed deliberate crimes of minor and average severity, as well as same category crimes caused by negligence. Citizens liable to amnesty fall under such categories: underage or pregnant convicts, parents of underage or disabled children (if parental rights are not terminated), persons proved disabled, convicts of pensionable age, war veterans, Chernobyl disaster liquidators, children of disabled people or parents older than 70 years with no other employable-aged children. People who were arrested for the specified crimes can be released if they have served less than a half ot their term, while sentences of the convicts not meeting these norms will be reduced by half.
8 September, Luhansk region
Water and electricity supplies were stopped in Severodonetsk and Lysychansk of Luhansk region. Locals say that both water and electricity were not available since 10 AM without any notifications. Operation of several industries was disrupted. Local administrations could not determine the reason of failure. According to the anti-terrorist operation press-centre, a bombing in the neighbouring conflict zone was detected at 10:20 AM on the same day.
8 September, Kyiv
Car bomb explosion in the centre of Kyiv killed Timur Makhauri, a Chechen national holding Georgian citizenship and allegedly a Ukrainian volunteer battalion member. A woman and a child also present in the car have survived (the woman being hospitalized with serious injuries). Ukrainian Interior Ministry spokesman Artyom Shevchenko described Makhauri as a person well-known in criminal circles that possesses a bad reputation. Timarhan Minayev, a man calling himself Makhauri`s battalion colleague, claims that assassination attempts on Makhauri have been committed before. In 2013, Makhauri was reportedly arrested in Turkey for charges of murder. At the beginning of 2017 he was apprehended in Kyiv for illegal weapon possession, being subsequently released after a deal with the authorities and receiving a suspended sentence. The current incident may be qualified as a terrorist attack.
The exploded Toyota Camry belonging to Timur Makhauri
Timur Makhauri during his arrest at the beginning of 2017
9 September, Donbass
During a recent visit to the military zone in Donbass, Ukrainian Minister of Defense Stepan Poltorak promised to increase anti-terrorist operation partakers` wages in September. Soldiers of the first line of defense will additionally receive 10 000 UAH, those of the second line — 4500 UAH.
10 September, Shehyni
Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Governor of Odessa region, returned to Ukraine via Poland after breaking through border security on Krakovets checkpoint with the help of his supporters, such as Yulia Tymoshenko, Mustafa Nayem, Serhiy Leshchenko and other Ukrainian politicians among thousands of other people. After a failed attempt to enter the country by train (which was stopped in Przemysl due to a sanction of unknown Ukrainian or Polish authorities demanding the politician to leave the train), Saakashvili switched to a bus, finally reaching the border and being escorted through it after a clash, during which several police and border guards were injured. He also brought an already invalid Ukrainian passport (after President Poroshenko abolished his citizenship) to «make a statement». Later in the night Saakashvili`s profile appeared in the Criminal section of Myrotvorets database.
Mikheil Saakashvili among his supporters at the Ukrainian border
9 September, Ukraine
Boxing: Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk defended his WBO title defeating Marco Huck in the 10th round during the World Boxing Super Series tournament. In the semi-final, Usyk will be fighting against Latvian Mairis Briedis or Cuban Mike Perez.