Week's balance: Parliament greenlights land reform and adopts 2020 budget, while IMF mission returns to Kyiv
The second week of November became historic for Ukraine – the parliament passed land reform at first reading of the law on the land market, and the next day adopted the state budget. The IMF staff mission arrived in Kyiv to complete negotiations on a new EFF program, while the statistics agency announced a slight slowdown in GDP growth in 3Q 2019.
Unfair game: A professional gamer from Ukraine tells of conspiracy in e-sports, litigation with game developers and lie detector tests
The recent release on iOS of a card game called Gwent was overshadowed by rumors about a scandal with a Ukrainian professional gamer ProNEO3001, who this summer was suspended from tournaments for 12 months. UNIAN spoke with the gamer and found out about his allegations against the manager responsible for eSports, the future lawsuit against the developers, and lie detector tests.
"DPR" secret prisons employ torture experts, not random people: ex-captives
A secret "DPR" prison opened in the summer of 2014. It hosted those whom pro-Russian forces sought to break down to get guilty pleas. Often, people would tell on themselves, giving up to torture. Despite the fact that the "DPR" doesn't recognize the very existence of this "concentration camp", it is still operating. UNIAN sat down with former inmates to hear their stories.
Week's balance: Cabinet reduces government spending, PM vows not to raise taxes, and Naftogaz places $500 mln worth of securities
The government announced its intention to reduce government spending by 10% and cut thousands of jobs in regional state bodies, Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk promised not to raise taxes, while Naftogaz placed 7-year securities worth $500 million – these are the main economic news of the past week.
Week's balance: Ukraine calls for investment in Donbas, gas transit talks continue, while regional administrations face personnel cuts
The first investment forum was held in Mariupol, where President Zelensky called on businesses to invest in restoring Donbas, representatives of Naftogaz and Gazprom held another round of gas transit talks in Brussels, while the Cabinet announced personnel cuts in regional administrations as part of decentralization reform – these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
"NATO stands by your side": Stoltenberg addressed Ukraine's parliament
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg's speech from the rostrum of the Ukrainian parliament lasted a little over ten minutes, met with several rounds of applause from people's deputies. UNIAN made a short "summary" of his recommendations for Ukraine.
Gas talks in Brussels. Ukraine holding ground against Russia's ultimatum
In Brussels, another round of trilateral Ukraine-EU-Russia negotiations on gas transit via Ukrainian pipelines has completed without yielding any significant results. Once again, Russia put forward a number of ultimatum-type conditions, while the European Union expressed disappointment over such a stance. At the same time, chances remain for the sides to ultimately reach an agreement.
Week's balance: Cabinet upgrades economic outlook, PM declares war on smuggling, while NBU again lowers key rate
The Cabinet of Ministers improved the forecast for economic growth in 2020, Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk declared war on smuggling, while the National Bank lowered the key rate for the third time in a row this year and issued a new UAH 1,000 banknote – these are the main economic developments of this week.
Week's balance: Foreign lenders upgrade Ukraine economy outlook, exports to EU rise, while Rada adopted the 2020 budget in the first reading
Ukraine's key foreign creditors, the IMF and the World Bank, have issued updated forecasts for a higher growth of Ukraine economy, the State Statistics Service noted rising exports of Ukrainian goods to the EU, while the Verkhovna Rada approved in 2020 the country's budget at the first reading – these are the main economic developments of the outgoing week.
Billions for Donbas: How much reintegration costs and where to get the money
The territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions occupied by Putin's Russia will sooner or later return to Ukraine. Experts warn that the restoration of the region will require huge investments, at the same time considering such investments to be beneficial for the country and society and naming several of their possible sources.
Week's balance: Land to farmers, budget to deputies, and gas to Europeans
Finance Minister Oksana Markarova has presented to MPs the draft state budget for 2020, the government decided on the date of the long-awaited launch of the land market, while Naftogaz held in Brussels a productive round of negotiations on the transit of Russian gas – these are the main economic news of the past week.
Start of gas negotiations. First slap in Gazprom's face
The first round of gas talks in the trilateral Ukraine-EU-Russia format took place in Brussels. It did not yield any concrete results in terms of signing the relevant agreements. Nevertheless, for the first time in many years, Russia has backtracked, which confirms the correct strategy of Ukrainian negotiators.
Week's balance: IMF mission started to work, Rada postpones fines for owners of uncleared imported vehicles, while inflation sees decline
The review mission of the International Monetary Fund arrived in n Kyiv, the Verkhovna Rada liquidated the National Financial Services Commission and postponed the introduction of fines for owners of uncleared cars with EU plates, while the State Statistics Service reported on slower inflation in August - these are the main economic developments of the outgoing week.
Hryvnia setting records: Outlook for forex market for autumn 2019
Ukraine's national currency, despite the influence of a number of negative factors, has renewed its three-year high, again. Experts assess the prospects of the hryvnia quite optimistic, while allowing some devaluation and naming a number of threats.
Ex-POW Serhiy Popov: "Probably, I still haven't realized that I'm actually back home"
Former prisoner of war Captain Lieutenant Serhiy Popov in an interview with UNIAN told how he made dumbbells in the cell using water bottles, shampoo, and magazines; how with the help of sign language he looked at pictures of his family; memories of prison chow, and the "bath-count" of days in the Russian dungeons.
Former POW, sailor Andriy Eyder wounded in Kerch Strait incident: "There were a few seconds when life was supposed to flash before my eyes. Shells were flying. Tracers in the air and their reflection – on sea surface"
The youngest of Ukrainian prisoners of war, Andriy Eyder, 20, who returned home on Saturday, told UNIAN about the November naval battle where he was wounded, the level of prison health care in Russia, and how he had to help a Ukrainian interpreter in court.
First interview with released Kremlin prisoner Pavlo Hryb: "In Lefortovo, I was held in a single cell. They would not put Ukrainians together"
The former political prisoner, 21, told of the book he had been reading in the days before the swap, chant "Glory to Ukraine!" in prison corridors, and his refusal to write an appeal for pardon.
Ze-Economy: Priorities and deadlines
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has outlined for the Cabinet of Ministers and the Verkhovna Rada priority economic tasks that must be fulfilled in the near future. Proper implementation of the stated ambitious goals can significantly change the country's economic environment.
Week's balance: Rada appoints new government, new PM Honcharuk vows higher GDP growth and talks with IMF
The Verkhovna Rada of the ninth convocation at its first meeting formed a new government, while the newly appointed Prime Minister, Oleksiy Honcharuk, called his priority boosting economic development and continued cooperation with the IMF – these are the main economic news of the past week.
Independence Day = Freedom Day: Two processions instead of parade
Ukraine's twenty-eighth birthday demonstrated that Independence Day is equal to Freedom Day. Since, regardless of whether the company is with the president or with front-line comrades, Ukrainians sincerely congratulated their country.