Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
March 2020 - Ukraine Special Weapons News
- Donbas Development: Will 'Advisory Council' Unlock Door To Direct Talks Between Kyiv and Russia-Backed Separatists? RFE/RL 30 Mar 2020 -- No talks with Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine: That has been a mantra for leaders in Kyiv throughout the six-year war that has killed more than 13,000 people in the Donbas and displaced more than 1 million.
- Ukrainian Lawmakers Fire Finance, Health Ministers, Fail To Approve Replacements RFE/RL 30 Mar 2020 -- Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, has approved the firing of Finance Minister Ihor Umanskiy and Health Minister Illya Yemets just weeks into their mandates, but failed to approve new candidates to the posts.
- Ukraine's Parliament To Hold Special Session On IMF Bills Amid Coronavirus Pandemic RFE/RL 30 Mar 2020 -- Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, has scheduled an extraordinary session for the afternoon of March 30 to adopt legislation that would protect the Eastern European country during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Pray For Rain: Crimea's Dry-Up A Headache For Moscow, Dilemma For Kyiv RFE/RL 29 Mar 2020 -- After Russia cut Crimea off from the rest of Ukraine by seizing control of the Black Sea peninsula in 2014, Kyiv cut off the water supply to Crimea with a grand-scale equivalent of a twist of the wrist: It shut down a 400-kilometer canal whose construction decades ago had been hailed as a Soviet feat of man mastering nature.
- Ukrainian Cabinet Submits IMF-Required Bill On Banks To Parliament RFE/RL 25 Mar 2020 -- Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers has submitted to parliament a revised bill on banking regulations needed to meet requirements set by the International Monetary Fund for a new lending package as the country's feeble economy braces for the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.
- Coronavirus Further Complicates Life At Line Of Contact In Eastern Ukraine RFE/RL 24 Mar 2020 -- The global crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has been acutely felt in eastern Ukraine, where the line of contact between government-controlled territory and regions held by Russia-backed separatist formations has become even more complicated than usual.
- MH17 Case Hearings Postponed Until June 8 to Give Defense More Time - Dutch Court Sputnik 23 Mar 2020 -- Court proceedings regarding the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) have been suspended until June 8 following a brief Monday hearing that was limited due to COVID-19 novel coronavirus-related restrictions.
- MH17 Trial Resumes Briefly Amid Coronavirus Restrictions RFE/RL 23 Mar 2020 -- The trial in absentia of three Russians and a Ukrainian charged with multiple counts of murder over the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014 resumed briefly at The Hague on March 23 amid coronavirus restrictions.
- Zelenskiy, IMF Director Hold Talks On Greater Financial Support Amid COVID-19 Crisis RFE/RL 22 Mar 2020 -- Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy spoke with International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva about greater financial support as the eastern European country faces a possible crisis due to the coronavirus.
- Out Went The Cabinet, In Came The Coronavirus: Pressure Mounts For Reforms In Ukraine RFE/RL 22 Mar 2020 -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had the wind at his back last year.
- U.S. Senator Criticizes Russia For Rights Abuses in 'Occcupied Crimea' RFE/RL 18 Mar 2020 -- U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (Democrat-New Jersey) has criticized Russia for what he called "serious human rights" abuses in Crimea during the six years since Russia's "illegal occupation and annexation" of the peninsula from Ukraine.
- EU Slams Russia For Militarization, Human Rights In Crimea, Six Years After Referendum RFE/RL 16 Mar 2020 -- The European Union has slammed Russia for its increasing militarization of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and human rights transgressions six years after its "illegal" annexation.
- COVID-19: Ukraine Reports First Death; Iran To Empty Streets; Kazakhstan Announces First Cases RFE/RL 13 Mar 2020 -- Ukraine has reported its first novel coronavirus death. Authorities said on March 13 that an elderly woman died after being hospitalized a day earlier in a western region of the country, prompting security officials to announce a border closure to foreigners within 48 hours.
- Ukraine To Shut Schools, Universities To Prevent Coronavirus Spread RFE/RL 11 Mar 2020 -- The Ukrainian government has decided to ban mass gatherings and to close schools and universities for three weeks in a bid to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
- Two Ukrainian Troops Killed, Eight Wounded In East Part Of Country RFE/RL 11 Mar 2020 -- Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and eight wounded from projectile fire on March 10 in the eastern part of the country where a war has raged since 2014 with Russia-backed separatists.
- Iran Agrees To Hand Over Black Boxes From Downed Ukrainian Plane To Kyiv RFE/RL 11 Mar 2020 -- The Iranian Civil Aviation Organization has agreed to send the flight recorders from a downed Ukrainian passenger plane to Kyiv for analysis, an Iranian diplomat said.
- Ahead Of MH17 Trial, Russians Appear Skeptical But Open To Its Findings RFE/RL 08 Mar 2020 -- For almost six years, Russia's most respected pollster has tracked public opinion about the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which killed all 298 people on board and further damaged Russia's badly frayed relations with the West months into the war in eastern Ukraine.
- Trial of Four Suspects in MH17 Case US Dept. of State 08 Mar 2020 -- "The United States welcomes tomorrow's commencement of the criminal trial in the Netherlands of four individuals indicted for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17."
- Zelenskiy Defends Cabinet Shake-Up, Gives Peace Ultimatum To Russia RFE/RL 07 Mar 2020 -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has defended a major shake-up of his cabinet, which has rattled investors worried that his government is backing away from major economic and structural reforms.
- More Nord Stream 2 Sanctions On Horizon? U.S. Senator And Ukraine's Naftogaz Discuss Ways To Halt Controversial Gas Pipeline RFE/RL 07 Mar 2020 -- U.S. and Ukrainian efforts to stop Russia's Nord Stream 2 project from being completed have not ended with the December passage of U.S. sanctions that have effectively prevented vessels from laying the final stretch of the natural-gas pipeline.
- Statement by the NATO Secretary General on MH17 criminal trial NATO 06 Mar 2020
- Zelenskiy's Big Move: Will 'New Brains And New Hearts' Revive The Same Old Problems In Ukraine? RFE/RL 06 Mar 2020 -- When Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a popular comedian with no political experience, won Ukraine's presidential election in April, many questioned whether he could stand up to the powerful oligarchs that have wielded power in Kyiv from behind the scenes for decades.
- Ukraine Parliament Passes Vote Of No-Confidence In Top Prosecutor Amid Government Reshuffle RFE/RL 05 Mar 2020 -- The Ukrainian parliament has passed a no-confidence vote in Prosecutor-General Ruslan Ryaboshapka, the latest move in a reshuffle that saw the prime minister and most of his government ousted.
- Ukraine's Government Reshuffle Raises Concerns Over Reform Agenda RFE/RL 04 Mar 2020 -- President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has abruptly reshuffled the Ukrainian government, putting the country's commitment to reforms into question at a time when Kyiv is seeking to finalize a new loan program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
- One Ukrainian Soldier Killed, Four Wounded In East Of Country RFE/RL 04 Mar 2020 -- One Ukrainian soldier was killed and four were wounded during an artillery attack on March 3 in the eastern part of the country, where a conflict with Russia-backed separatists is in its sixth year.
- Pentagon Signs Contract To Produce More U.S. Javelins For Ukraine RFE/RL 03 Mar 2020 -- The U.S. Defense Department has signed a new contract for the production of Javelin anti-tank missile systems for partner countries, including Ukraine, Ukrinform reported on March 3.
- First Case of Coronavirus Confirmed in Ukraine - Health Ministry Sputnik 03 Mar 2020 -- The day before, Saudi Arabia's health ministry confirmed, as quoted by the state-run news agency, the first case of coronavirus after an infected person had arrived from Iran through Bahrain.
- Shmygal Set To Replace Honcharuk As PM Amid Ukraine Government Shake-Up RFE/RL 03 Mar 2020 -- Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk has submitted his resignation as the government prepares for a major reshuffle, lawmakers in President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's ruling Servant of the People party tell RFE/RL.
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