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Critically large percentage:” Every third Ukrainian denied Canadian visa.

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Ukrainian Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Canada Andriy Shevchenko says that Canada denied a visa to 34% of Ukrainian applicants in the first three months of 2017, according to the Ukrainian portal Censor.net. “We now have a catastrophically large share of denials of Canadian visas to Ukrainians. [This is] a critically large percentage of denials. If last year the number of denials decreased to 24%, then this year 34% of Ukrainians were denied Canadian visas in the first quarter”, he told Censor.net. Shevchenko says this is connected with outdated assessments of Ukrainians and the associated migration risks prevailing in consulates and embassies. “And it seems to me that the visa-free regime with the European Union should encourage our Canadian friends to reevaluate this story. Ukraine is not currently among the countries with the highest migration risks”, the ambassador said. At the same time, he mentioned positive changes in the visa processing procedure. On June 16, Canadian MP from the Liberal Party Borys Wrzesnewskyj called for the abolition of visas for Ukrainians, following the EU’s example.

Ukraine reports 26 attacks on its troops in Donbas on Sept 2

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Russia’s hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian troops in Donbas 26 times on Saturday, September 2; there were no casualties among Ukrainian soldiers, according to the press center of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters. “Late last night, the enemy intensified shelling of Ukrainian positions in the ATO zone. After 18:00 local time, provocations with the use of small arms became more frequent both in the Donetsk and Mariupol sectors”, the ATO HQ said in an update on Facebook on Sunday morning. In particular, Ukrainian positions near Avdiyivka’s industrial zone came under fire four times – the militants used small arms and a grenade launcher. In the evening and at night, the enemy attacked Ukrainian troops stationed near the villages of Zaitseve and Kamianka twice, near the village of Mayorsk three times. Russian proxies also shelled Ukrainian positions near the village of Vodiane in the Mariupol sector four times, using a grenade launcher, a large-caliber machine gun and small arms, the ATO HQ said. Attacks on Ukrainian positons with the use of small arms were reported near the villages of Talakivka and Hnutove, while the village of Shyrokyne, which is about 23 km from the Ukrainian-controlled strategic port city of Mariupol, came under fire from a large-caliber machine gun twice. The situation in the Luhansk sector was relatively calm. However, at about 20:00 local time on Saturday, Russian-backed militants opened fire from a grenade launcher near the village of Novozvanivka, the ATO HQ said.

Ukraine tightens control over entry/departure of foreigners.

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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed Decree No. 256/2017 to enact a decision taken by the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) on July 10 to strengthen control over entry into Ukraine, departure of foreigners and stateless persons from Ukraine, their compliance with the rules of stay in Ukrainian territory, the presidential press service has reported. In order to ensure national security, the strengthening of control over entry into Ukraine, the departure of foreigners and stateless persons from Ukraine, their compliance with the rules of stay in Ukrainian territory, the NSDC instructed the Cabinet of Ministers, within a month’s time, to implement comprehensive measures with the participation of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine to tighten control over entry into Ukraine, the departure of foreigners from Ukraine, including citizens of the Russian Federation, and stateless persons, their compliance with the rules of stay in Ukraine. The government was also instructed to take measures to improve the legislation on the procedure for registration of residence/stay of foreigners in the territory of Ukraine, including Russian citizens, and stateless persons who come from migration risk countries or enter Ukraine from the territory of such states.

Russia voices concerns over Ukraine-Croatia contacts

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Moscow is concerned over contacts between officials of Ukraine and Croatia on “returning uncontrolled territories,” which run counter to the Minsk peace agreements, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday. In late August, Kiev hosted contacts of Ukraine’s authorities with Croatia’s Former Justice Minister Vesna Skare-Ozbolt, Former Deputy Interior Minister Yoshko Moric and ex-chairman of the government’s committee for refugees and displaced persons Lovre Peykovich. “Judging on the current information from mass media, the meetings discussed issues of “returning uncontrolled territories” based on Croatia’s experience in the 1990s,” the ministry said. This was “negative experience” as Zagreb’s military operations in 1995 resulted in 250,000 Serbian refugees and numerous deaths, it noted. “Any mentioning of “military scenarios” towards Donbass looks especially flawed and immoral now, in the first days of the school ceasefire approved in the Normandy format”, the ministry said. Russia seeks to foster friendly ties with Croatia and calls on Zagreb to “use all possibilities to encourage Kiev to consistently and fully comply with the Minsk agreements for the soonest settlement of the domestic Ukrainian crisis by peaceful means and ensuring sustainable stabilization of situation in Ukraine’s southeast”.

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