NEWSFEED 28 AUGUST - 3 SEPTEMBER 2017 UKRAINE

18:45 4/9/2017
Key news from Ukraine 28 August - 3 September 2017. With the beginning of a new academic year on the 1st of September, Ukrainian school system is facing new reforms. On the same day, Association Agreement between EU and Ukraine takes full effect. Ukrainian economy is struggling to keep a profitable pace. Street art confrontation in the centre of Kyiv leads to a major media scandal. Ukraine`s US Open and FIFA World Cup qualification success brings new hopes for country`s sports.

#Education

 

1 September, Ukraine

New academic year started in Ukrainian schools. Currently there are about 16 900 schools across the country, which is 5000 less than in 1991. More than 200 schools per year were closing since 2013, with only a few opening annually. Number of teachers has decreased from 543 to 438 thousand along with the average amount of pupils per teacher`s seat: 15 pupils in 1991 (7,102 mln total) against 8 pupils in 2016 (3,846 mln total).

Village schools (2/3 of the total amount) are closing due to school system reforms that give priority to new hub schools, which are believed to solve numerous primary education problems. The idea of uniting numerous unprofitable village schools into a single hub school belongs to former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. According to Ministry of Education statistics, in 2016 there were 613 schools of 1st and 2nd levels (1st-9th grades) with less than 25 pupils. Hub schools will take in pupils from distant villages who have completed their 4th grade. By August 1 Ukraine had 338 hub schools with 744 branches. In 2016, government spent 600 mln UAH on school busses. A similar amount was expected from local budgets. Although more time will be spent on pupils` transportation, officials call it a justified sacrifice.

Also, about 700 schools were damaged during the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, only 89 of them have been restored with support from UN Refugee Agency.

#Economy

 

28 August, Ukraine

Ukraine`s electricity exports have increased by 43% in the last 7 months. Primary export directions are Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Poland, together with restarted in April commercial exports to Moldova. Total electricity export amount is 355,074 mln kWh. No supplies to Russia and Belarus were made this year. At the same time, natural gas imports have been raised by more than 90% with a total of 9,377 bcm supplied from Slovakia, Hungary and Poland.

 

31 August, Ukraine

Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelyan announced EasyJet, Eurowings and Ryanair low-cost airlines to enter Ukrainian market next year. Ryanair had previously refused to do business in Ukraine due to a disagreement with Kyiv Airport officials.

31 August, Ukraine

According to the National Bank of Ukraine, country`s imports in July amount to 4 bln USD and exports to 2.9 bln USD. Compared to June, imports have slowed down from 30,1% to 22%, and exports from 13,6% to 9,9%.

 

31 August, Ukraine

Ukrainian Ministry of Energy and Coal Mining recommends to increase coal price for industries up to 2200 UAH/ton. Such measures are introduced to «neutralize the threats to Ukraine`s energetic security».

1 September, Ukraine

Association Agreement between European Union and Ukraine entered into full force. «These are irrevocable processes of Ukraine`s economy integration into European market», says President Poroshenko`s Facebook page.

 

#Society

 

29 August, Krasnohorivka

Local government cut water supplies in Krasnohorivka (Donetsk region) by 80% due to utility bill debts, says local administration`s Facebook page. Gas supplies in the city were stopped in 2014 due to the general military situation in Donbass.

1 September, Ukraine

National Union of Journalists of Ukraine reports five attacks on journalists in Rivne, Zhytomyr, Mykolaiv, Vinnitsa and Odessa region in August 2017. All assault victims link their pursuit with their professional activities. One of them currently remains in the hospital.

 

1 September, Ukraine

Human Rights Watch condemns foreign journalists detaining and expelling by Ukrainian Security Service during last several weeks. Namely, Anna Kurbatova working for Russia`s Channel One was apprehended on August 30 and deported to Russia with a three-year entrance ban for calling Independence Parade a «sad celebration» due to the military conflict on the east of Ukraine.

3 September, Kyiv

A group of radicals broke windows and blocked the doors of «Emporium» luxury furniture shop with burning tyres in the capital centre reacting to the shop administration`s decision to remove the Maidan-era street art from its facade. Graffiti featuring famous Ukrainian writers Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Franko and Lesya Ukrainka dressed as protestors were created in 2013-2014 during the Euromaidan. Intruders wearing camouflage clothing, as well as C-14 and «National Corps» T-shirts pasted signs «Here was Maidan and it will remain here forever», «You cannot erase us» and «Get out to lubok Moscow» on shop windows. Head of Ukrainian Institute of National Memory Volodymyr Viatrovych says the Institute is preparing an appeal to Prosecutor`s General Office and police based on the vandalism act. Ukrainian Minister of Culture Yevhen Nyshchuk points out that art objects like this have to be preserved. As for the destroyed graffiti, restoration options will be carried out.

The removed Maidan-era graffiti

Nationalist radicals at the doors of "Emporium" shop

#Sports

 

2 September, Ukraine

Football: Ukrainian national football team won the 2018 World Cup qualification game against Turkey with 2:0 result. Both goals were scored by Andriy Yarmolenko.

Ukrainian national football team

3 September, Ukraine

Tennis: Ukrainian number one tennis player Elina Svitolina made it through to the fourth round of US Open tennis championship after her victory over Shelby Rogers. On September 5 she will be playing against Madison Keys (USA), who has defeated Russia`s Elena Vesnina on the same day.

Elina Svitolina
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