Key news of Ukraine in May-July of 2017.
1 May, Ukraine
International Workers’ Day demonstrations took place in a number of major cities of Ukraine. In Kyiv, almost 1000 people marched through the city center with music and dances. Several local provocations have been registered in Kharkiv, Dnipro and Kherson. In Vinnytsia, a group of about 20 nationalists from C14 (Sich) organization attacked the demonstrators, wresting their red flags, but were stopped by the police.
2 May, Odessa
Several hundred people gathered to commemorate the victims of the tragedy of 2 May 2014 on the Kulikovo field in Odessa. Despite several insult attempts by nationalists, no large provocations have been reported, although the police have received two mining alerts, closing the area twice. Security detectors were installed earlier in the morning to ensure the safety of visitors. A similar commemorative event took place in The Hague, Netherlands.
3 May, Ukraine
Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usik becomes the leader in his weight class according to Ring magazine.
3 May, Nizhyn
A monument to soviet actor and musician Marc Bernes was stolen in his home town Nizhyn, Chernihivs’ka region.
7 May, Kyiv
Eurovision opening ceremony was held in front of the Mariyinsky Palace with delegations from 42 countries.
9 May, Kyiv
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, about 1700 events with almost 600000 participants across Ukraine took place in honor of the 72 anniversary of the victory over Nazism in the World War II. 30 thousand civil guards and 1700 military were engaged in security measures. About 50 people were arrested. The annual commemorational “Immortal Regiment” march was held in several cities. According to the officials, Kiev march counted about 3000 people, whereas other sources report from 6 to 7 thousand. A drone video from the capital center gives a picture of event attendance. Several attacks were committed by nationalist radicals during the event. Sticks and other items were thrown into the crowd, injuring civilians and police workers. A number of conflicts were prevented near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Glory Park. Amnesty International issued an appeal to Ukrainian government demanding liberation of people that were arrested for peaceful utilization of the banned Soviet symbols.
16 May, Kyiv
President Poroshenko signed a decree banning Russian social networks VKontakte (with 3,8 million Ukrainian users) and Odnoklassniki (9,5 million users) along with other web-sites belonging to the Mail.Ru Group, Yandex services (11 million users), as well as IT-companies, such as 1C Softline Group (partially), Dr. Web and Kaspersky Lab among others, expanding the list of anti-Russian sanctions. Operation of all listed companies and products must be discontinued in Ukraine in fixed terms. New sanctions also affected several Russian machine building companies, mass media and banks.
11 June, Ukraine
Visa-free entrance to European Union officially started after all agreements have been signed by Ukrainian and EU officials in Strasbourg on 17 May.
12 June, Kyiv
KyivPride March with a motto “Country for everyone” started in the capital as a part of KyivPride festival running from 9 to 17 June. 2000 participants (instead of predicted 5000) from different countries were guarded by 6000 policemen. Part of the city center was blocked and the entrance equipped with security detectors. Access to two metro stations was temporarily restricted to let the partakers leave the occasion safely. At the same time, press secretary of radical nationalist organization OUN Volunteer Batallion Artyom Skoropadsky posted a threat on his Facebook page to turn the event into a “bloody mess”. A group of radicals made several attempts to attack the procession, but all of them were successfully prevented by the police.
12 June, Kyiv
President Poroshenko signed the law (approved by Verkhovna Rada on 16 May) prohibiting production and display of St. George’s ribbon that is currently viewed as “symbol of Russian aggression”. This military decoration has been used since the times of Russian Empire.
27 June, Kyiv
Ihor Guzhva, founder and editor in chief of Strana.ua news web-site was released from detention after being arrested for accusations in blackmail. A bail of 544 thousand hryvnia was granted. Guzhva declines the charge, claiming that the real ground for his arrest was his criticism towards government. Ihor Guzhva was arrested on 22 June after a sudden raid on Strana.ua office by unknown people who introduced themselves as police and would not wait until his attorneys arrived. During the search 10 thousand dollars were found, which are believed to be a bribe from a Radical party deputy Dmytro Lin’ko. However, there is no clear evidence proving this statement.
7 July, Kyiv
Supreme Court of Ukraine sent Ruslan Kotsaba’s case for reconsideration. Ukrainian Journalist Ruslan Kotsaba, sentenced in May 2016 to 3,5 years for “hindering the actions of Ukrainian Army”, was acquitted two months later after his appeal. Earlier this month, Kotsaba was attacked in Kyiv metro by a group of radicals from C14 nationalistic organization for his criticism against Ukrainian government.
27 July, Kyiv
Science Museum construction was commissioned by the government. It will be located in a building with the total area of 5000 square meters not far the from city center. Opening is scheduled for 2018.