Children killed during fire at a youth camp in Odessa. Civillians kidnapped by Secutrity Service. New Ukrainian military drone successful tests. Ukrainian labour workers in Poland. US shipping cole to UA. And more...
16 September, Odessa region
Protests in front of Odessa town hall involving clashes with police took place as people gathered after deaths of 3 children during fire in a local camp. On the night of September 16, a massive fire occurred in «Victoria» municipal children camp in Odessa. The two-storey wooden camp building with 42 children sleeping inside caught fire killing 3 girls aged 8, 9 and 12 years. The first blaze broke started in the room belonging to camp artistic director Tatiana Yehorova, rapidly spreading through the building. The firefighters first discovered two dead children and remains of a third unknown person, which were later attributed to one of the children. Due to fire alarm malfunction, rescuers came too late to prevent the tragedy. Due to camp fire hydrant also being out of order, the fire brigade had to supply water from another street 1,2 km away using additional equipment. Fire was extinguished around 2:15 AM, burning down about 1000 m2. Two other children were hospitalized.
"Victoria" camp children`s dormitory on fire
During police interrogation, Yehorova (director of «Adeli» dance group to which the dead children belong) suddenly felt ill and was taken by the ambulance. Parents believe she was saving their children by helping to evacuate them from the building. An earlier information about her possibly being under suspicion was denied by the police. At the same time, Odessa Prosecutor`s Office started preparing a case against earlier hospitalized camp director Petros Sarkisyan (currently under arrest) based on fire security measures violation. Children from «Adeli» ensemble have also complained about electric discharges during bathing in showers, but were advised to "wear rubber slippers". During an interview by «Dumskaya», one of camp builders confessed that the construction process featured numerous deviations from technology, while the costs were overestimated.
Wooden camp building view before fire
«Victoria» was opened in 2014 as a resort for unprivileged and talented children. During his Spring visit along with President Poroshenko, Odessa mayor Hennadiy Trukhanov said that the camp is equipped with all necessary facilities and is a safe place for children.
Regional government declared a day of mourning, promising to conduct an independent investigation. Parents of dead and injured children will receive money compensations (200 thsd and 100 thsd UAH respectively).
President Petro Poroshenko and Odessa mayor Hennadiy Trukhanov visiting "Victoria" in 2017
14 September, Chernihiv region
Ukrainian army successfully tested the new combat drone system «Sokil», created during a recent military collaboration between «Chezara» Ukrainian public corporation and their colleagues from Poland. The new UAV system consisting of one reconnaissance and three strike drones and carrying different types of munitions (high-explosive, blast-fragmentation and thermobaric) was design to seek and hit targets with high accuracy. Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council O. Turchynov, also present on the training ground, expressed his satisfaction with new military unit tests under challenging weather conditions, proving it appropriate for further production and use.
"Sokil" drone system test
15 September, Dnipropetrovsk region
Human Rights Watch reports illegal detention and torturing of Daria Mastikasheva, a Ukrainian woman living in Moscow. As Mastikasheva was leaving her mother and son after her visit from Russia on August 15, she had been dragged out of her car by four men wearing black face masks calling themselves police and Security Service (SBU) workers, who handcuffed and beat her, also putting a mask over her head. After driving in a car for several hours, they took her to a basement, where she was further tortured and forced (threatened by kidnappers to hurt her family) to make a filmed statement about her cooperation with Russia`s Federal Security Service and recruiting Ukrainian anti-terrorist operation veterans for terrorist activities on the territory of Russia. On August 16, Mastikasheva was moved to Security Service Dnipro headquarters. In a while, she was taken to her car, which was then searched. After finding explosives, documents and other articles not belonging to her (and not present in the car before her kidnapping), she was returned to SBU office and held overnight in detention. Currently Mastikasheva is held under arrest facing charges of treason and illegal use of weapons. An investigation is being carried out. Her previous lawyer allegedly quit after threats from SBU, says her current attorney.
On August 17, held of SBU Vasyl Hrytsak showed a video with Mastikasheva and another man describing their illegal actions (prospective terrorists recruiting) on the territory of Ukraine.
Daria Mastikasheva on the Security Service recording
15 September, Kyiv
During the 14th YES (Yalta European Strategy) conference, President Petro Poroshenko expressed his satisfaction with the fact that Ukrainian partners in EU and USA support the idea to introduce peacekeeping missions on the whole territory of conflict zone in Donbass. «It is not because they want to see more armed people in Donbass, it is an absolutely integral part of the „road map“ of Minsk Protocol», said Poroshenko. The statement followed his earlier dialogue with US Defense Secretary James Mattis in August.
17 September, Vinnitsa
During a meeting in Vinnitsa organized by Mikheil Saakashvili, Ukrainian deputy Victor Chumak said a protest demonstration will be held on Maidan Nezalezhnosti (the central square of Kyiv) on September 20, where three demands to the government concerning changes to electoral legislation, cancellation of parliamentary immunity and creation of effective anti-corruption courts will be presented. Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroysman previously said that he «does not know what to do» with Mikheil Saakashvili, who illegally returned to Ukraine on September 10 after being stripped of Ukrainian citizenship by President Poroshenko.
Mikheil Saakashvili in Vinnitsa
17 September, Kyiv
Thousands of people gathered for the 500th Reformation anniversary («Thanksgiving day»), which was celebrated in Kyiv. Part of Khreshchatyk, the capital`s main street, was blocked between evening 16 and morning 18 of September. Organized by Evangelical Baptist Union of Ukraine, the celebration featured worship services, festival of social projects, street cinema and a concert, as well as appearance of Nick Vujicic, an Australian Christian evangelist and motivational speaker.
Nick Vujicic on stage in Kyiv
13 September, Odessa region
First anthracite coal shipment of 62 000 tons from Pennsylvania (USA) arrived at Yuzhnoe Merchandise Maritime Port near Odessa. A total of approx. 295 000 tons of American steam coal was assigned for Ukrainian enterprises Centrenergo, DTEK and Euroreconstruction LLC, according to Vitaliy Zhukovsky, the current head of Yzny port. Commenting on the event, President Poroshenko wrote in Facebook that it «leaves Russia without another source of energetic blackmail, despite of its treacherous coal stealing from Ukrainian Donbass».
Coal barge reception ceremony at Yuzhnoe Merchandise Maritime Port near Odessa
15 September, Ukraine
A study by the National Bank of Poland and University of Warsaw shows that the number of labour migrants from Ukraine has almost quadrupled during the period between 2013 and 2016, when it had reached about 770 000 people (starting with 204 000 in 2013), continuing to grow this year. The amount of work visas issued in 2016 was 127 000 against 94 800 visas only during the first half of 2017. The majority of migrants come from western and central Ukraine, but since 2013 their share has increased from 6,3% to 28,4%. The study also shows that 38% of migrants (mostly women) work in the household, another 24% (mostly men) are builders (who also have the biggest wages). Another 13% of men and 7% of women work in the agriculture. 26% of total workers have free accommodation and catering. On the average, Ukrainians working in Poland spend 34,6% of their income, transferring the rest back home.
15 September, Ukraine
IMF First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton thinks gas prices in Ukraine «are too low compared to its peers». He says necessary investments into infrastructure are only possible if gas prices resemble the market development. He also notes that in this case country`s poorest households are protected by utility subsidies, while the overall wage increase exceeds prospective extra gas expenses.