The week in numbers
The Verkhovna Rada voted for the arrest and taking into custody of three judges, 18 former Ukrainian officials remain under EU sanctions, while sanctions were lifted on four officials, 34 miners died in the Zasyadko mine in Donetsk in militant-controlled territory, and the gold reserves of the National Bank of Ukraine decreased to $5.625 billion
1st place was once again taken by Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, in the annual ranking of the richest billionaires, according to Forbes, with an estimated at $79.2 billion fortune. Christy Walton, co-owner of Wal-Mart is the highest-ranked among females. She ranked eighth in the list with a fortune of $41.7 billion. The list included 88 Russian billionaires - 33 less than in 2014. The richest Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov has lost nearly $6 billion in the past year and dropped from 88th to 201st place in the rankings.
2 months of arrest without bail is the preventive measure chosen by Kyivsky District Court in Kharkiv for three suspects in the terrorist attack that killed four people and left ten more injured on February 22.
3 so-called "humanitarian convoys" are due to be sent to the Donbas in March by Russia’s Ministry for Emergency Situations. The NSDC [National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine] declared that all Russian “humanitarian convoys” (the 16th of them crossed Ukrainian border on February, 27) provide support for the militants. The trucks mainly transport ammunition, rations, and weapons to the territory controlled by terrorists, the NSDC says.
3 judges of the Pechersk District Court in Kyiv - Serhiy Vovk, Oksana Tsarevych and Viktor Kitsyuk – were deprived of immunity by the Verkhovna Rada, and are due to be arrested and taken into custody. According to Ukrainian MPs, the Prosecutor General’s Office is preparing to file a submission to parliament for its consent to the detention and arrest of more than 100 judges.
4 candidates for head of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau - Viktor Chumak, Artem Sytnyk, Yakov Varichev and Mykola Siriy – have moved on to the next stage of selection – the special checks that precedes the final vote.
5 attempts were needed by the Verkhovna Rada to pass a bill limiting the payment of pensions to working pensioners by 15%. The document provides for payment of 85% of the pension’s amount to working pensioners, but the final amount paid cannot be less than the subsistence minimum for persons who have lost their ability to work.
18 former Ukrainian officials who were supporters of ex-president Viktor Yanukovych remain under the sanctions of the European Union. In particular, sanctions were extended until June 6 against four people - Yelena Lukash, the son of ex-president Viktor Yanukovych, Serhiy Klyuyev and Dmytro Tabachnyk. Sanctions against another 14 former officials were extended for a year. At the same time, the list of those on whom sanction were extended does not include former Yanukovych advisers Andriy Portnov and Ihor Kalinin, former head of the Ukraine’s Security Service Olexander Yakymenko and the son of ex-Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, Alexey.
20 Ukrainian citizens are being held in custody in Russian detention facilities. According to Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry – the number of detainees is not final, as Russia is not providing full information on the detention of Ukrainian citizens, despite being obliged to do so in accordance with international conventions.
25% is how high inflation could rise in Ukraine in 2015, according to the International Monetary Fund. However, a subsequent slowdown in price growth of 10% is expected in 2016.
34 miners died at the Zasyadko mine in Donetsk in a methane gas explosion. A total of 230 miners were on shift when the incident occurred. The prosecutor's office in the Donetsk region began a criminal investigation into the explosion under Part 2, Article 272 of the Criminal Code (Violation of safety regulations during hazardous activities).
40% of Russia’s budget expenditures in 2015 have been earmarked for the law enforcement agencies and defense. At the same time, according to the Ministry of Finance, the share of social expenditures is about 35%.
76 ex-deputies of the Supreme Council of Crimea have been issued by the Prosecutor General written notices that they are suspected of treason, in the form of providing a foreign state and its representatives with assistance in carrying out subversive activities against Ukraine, as well as public incitement to commit acts to alter the existing borders of Ukraine’s territory, in violation of the order established by the Constitution of Ukraine.
258 Ukrainian millionaires were registered in 2015, according to the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine.
280% is the size of the expected rise of the price of gas for residents in Ukraine from April 1, 2015, according to the National Commission for Energy and Utility Services. According to official assessments, nearly four million Ukrainian households will be due to apply for subsidies
1,541 troops have been killed and 6,226 Ukrainian fighters have been wounded since the beginning of the anti-terrorist operation in eastern Ukraine, according to the General Staff. The UN mission on Human Rights in Ukraine reports that in total at least 5,809 people have been killed and 14,740 people injured during this period.
12,000 Russian troops support the pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine, according to the commander of US forces in Europe, Lieutenant General Ben Hodges. He said Russian forces in Ukraine consist of military advisers, operators of advanced weapons and frontline troops.
17,000 draft dodgers have been brought to justice by the military prosecutor's office, according to the Prosecutor General’s Office.
250,000 may be the new sizeof Ukraine’s Armed Forces, as a corresponding bill to increase the army’s strength has been passed by the Verkhovna Rada.
5 million people need humanitarian aid in Ukraine, as estimated by the UN. These include both displaced persons and those who live in the territories occupied by the pro-Russian military units. The UN notes that it can provide aid for 3.2 million of these people.
$120 million was granted to Ukraine by the United States to strengthen the country’s security system, while other requests are being considered, according to the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
$5.625 billion in foreign exchange reserves was left in National Bank of Ukraine coffers as of February, 2015, according to the NBU Web site. Thus, foreign exchange reserves have hit a more than 11-year low after dropping to $6.218 billion in June, 2003.
UAH 9 billion in additional revenues is expected to be attracted to the budget according to the law "On Amendments to Articles 165 and 252 of the Tax Code of Ukraine" adopted by the Verkhovna Rada, which provides for an increase of rent payments rate from 20% up to 70%.
EUR 50 billion in aid could be given to Greece by EU states. The minimum package of aid could amount to EUR 30 billion.