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Human rights activists call for social protection of civilians affected in Donbas

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Human rights activists have stressed the need for legislative regulation of the rights of all civilians affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The head of the board of the Luhansk regional human rights center “Alternative”, Valeriy Novikov, said at a briefing in Kyiv on Monday that servicemen injured as a result of hostilities in Donbas were very carefully counted, but civilians are not taken into account. “Many who were in captivity and were illegally detained by illegal armed groups have injuries and disabilities. They need help from the state in regulating their status. Today it can be said that at the legislative level the status of civilians affected by the conflict is not regulated. There is no law on compensation or social protection for such people”, he said at a briefing in Kyiv on Monday.

Volker talks about Donbass

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U.S. Special Representative on Ukraine Kurt Volker during a meeting with deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine said he thinks resuming pension payments to residents of areas controlled by Russian occupation forces in eastern Ukraine, as well as restoring mobile telephone communications, will help in during talks scheduled with Russian representatives, Rada human rights committee chairman and MP (Batkivschyna Party) Hryhoriy Nemyria has said. “Volker supported the position that defending human rights of persons living in areas controlled by Russian occupation forces is part of the solution to the problem, rather than a part of the problem. He supported my position and the position of the human rights committee on steps to pay pensions, restore communication and other steps because this will help him in his dialogue and talks with the Russian side”, Nemyria told the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency.

Ukrainian foreign minister vows to continue work on denunciation of bilateral documents with Russia

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Ukraine has denounced 35 of its documents with Russia and is about to denounce eight more soon, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said. “By the end of 2017, if I am not mistaken, we had denounced 35 various documents with Russia, including inter-state, intergovernmental and inter-departmental ones”, Klimkin told a press conference on Ukrainian diplomacy’s 2017 results and 2018 priorities in Kyiv on Monday. Eight more bilateral documents are on the way out, he also said, without specifying which. “We will consistently continue this work,” the minister said.

Court will study videos of officials’ interrogations as part of Maidan killings case

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Kyiv’s Pechersky District Court will study behind closed doors the videos of interrogations of high-ranking Ukrainian officials in the process on a motion from the Prosecutor General’s Office to conduct a special pre-trial investigation in criminal proceedings on the suspicion of former President Viktor Yanukovych in the crimes that led to the killings of Maidan activists on February 18-20, 2014, the PGO’s press service has reported.

At a meeting on Thursday, November 16, the court heard the testimony of Zakarpattia Regional Governor Hennadiy Moskal. Then the prosecutor in the case filed a petition to examine behind closed doors other statements of officials contained in 38 volumes of materials, with the goal of not disclosing the secrets of the pre-trial investigation.

Yanukovych’s lawyer, Vitaliy Serdiuk, in turn, said on his Facebook page that in this way the court had closed the possibility for the media and society to further examine the videos of interrogations of MP Serhiy Pashynsky, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, Deputy Prime Minister Viacheslav Kyrylenko and other witnesses in the “Maidan case.”

Freeland: Peacekeepers in Ukraine must become a guarantee

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Any peacekeeping mission in Ukraine should be in the interests of Kyiv and promote its restoration of the territorial integrity of the state.

This was stated by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada Chrystia Freeland, who emphasized that the Canadian government is in talks with other countries on the viability and benefits of peacekeeping and police missions in Ukraine. As we know, Ukraine has familiarized with the UN Security Council with its position on the introduction of peacekeepers in the Donbas and is ready for its own draft resolution on this. But before the launch of the international contingent, Russia insists on the withdrawal of its mercenaries and weapons from the east.

Special Representative of the US State Department for Ukraine Kurt Volker stated that Russians cannot participate in a peacekeeping mission in the Donbass.

Volker believes that the UN resolution on peacekeepers in the Donbass may be approved by the end of this year.

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