1. To the issue of the decision of the Russian occupation authorities in Crimea in the case of Volodymyr Balukh. 2. On the Law of Ukraine “On the peculiarities of State policy on ensuring Ukraine’s State sovereignty over temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions”. 3. Actual situation in the eastern part of Ukraine.
1. To the issue of the decision of the Russian occupation authorities in Crimea in the case of Volodymyr Balukh.
The “Rozdolnensky court”, which is liable to control of the Crimean occupation authorities, issued a verdict to the Crimean citizen Volodymyr Baluch who is accused of illicit purchase and storage of ammunition, sentencing him to 3 years and 7 months in the colony and a fine of 10 thousand rubles. The Crimean resident himself says that he is being persecuted for his pro-Ukrainian position: after the annexation of Crimea by a resident of northern Crimea, a farmer and activist Vladimir Baluch systematically hanged the Ukrainian flag in his house and house of his cohabiting partner. His house was repeatedly searched, resulting in removing the flag from the building by the security forces. During one of the searches the owner was beaten.
On December 8, 2016, Volodymyr Baluch was arrested in his house in the village of Serebryanka, Rozdolnensky district of Crimea and charged with the illegal storage of ammunition and explosives (70 cartridges from the Kalashnikov gun, 19 cartridges and 5 trotyl blocks) allegedly found in his cohabiting partner’s attic. In early October 2017, the case was sent for additional investigation, but on January 16, 2018, the court upheld the verdict. Previously, the evidentiary analysis proved the absence of fingerprints of the prisoner on cartridges and explosives or other traces of the fact that he had ever touched them.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses its resolute protest over the illegal and politically motivated decision of the so-called "court" of the Russian occupation authorities in Crimea in the case of citizen of Ukraine Volodymyr Balukh.
Sentencing Volodymyr Balukh to three years and seven months in a penal colony under absurd and fabricated charges the Kremlin has again testified to its unwillingness to give up the policy of targeted repressions and intimidations against the Ukrainian citizens in the temporarily occupied Crimean peninsula.
2. On the Law of Ukraine “On the peculiarities of State policy on ensuring Ukraine’s State sovereignty over temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions”.
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Law “On the Peculiarities of State Policy on Ensuring Ukraine's State Sovereignty over Temporarily Occupied Territories in Donetsk and Luhansk Regions” initiated by the President of Ukraine (as it is currently being prepared for the signature to the President of Ukraine).
The law creates a new legal basis for solving the problem of repulse of Russian aggression, protection of the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of citizens on the occupied territory, and also creates the basis for restoring the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.
The law clearly defines the armed formations of the Russian Federation (the RF Armed Forces, special formations, advisers, instructors, irregular armed formations, mercenaries) and the occupational administration of the Russian Federation (state authorities responsible for the management of the occupied territories and self-proclaimed organs) that carry out armed aggression against Ukraine.
Despite Russia's provocative policy, the law confirms the priority of a peaceful, political and diplomatic regulation, taking into account the right of Ukraine to self-defense in accordance with Art. 51 of the UN Charter.
The law draws the line in the debate on the state strategy regarding the Donbas – peace settlement/ reintegration/rehabilitation, since it:
The law provides for the creation of an interdepartmental coordinating body for the legal preparation of a consolidated claim of Ukraine in order to bring RF to international responsibility for armed aggression.
The law also confirms the sovereignty of Ukraine over the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, which is temporarily occupied by Russia.
3. Actual situation in the eastern part of Ukraine.
The situation remained tense in eastern Ukraine.
Russia-backed militants violated the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.
In mentioned period militants were shelling Ukrainian troops’ positions in Kamianka, Vodyane, Shyrokyno, Novotroitske, Dokuchaievsk, Nyzhnie, Lozove, Kalynivka, , Svitlodarsk, Luhanske, Troitske of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
As a result, 2 Ukrainian servicemen were killed and 1 wounded.
For all shelling Ukrainian troops responded with fire from weapons allowed under Minsk agreements.