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Ukraine Daily: Weekend news round-up

by The Kyiv Independent January 17, 2022 9:43 AM 3 min read
Russian candets train with gas masks. Donbas rebels released toxic ammonia gas in the Donbas on Jan. 14, sparking fears of a potential "red-flag" attack by Russian forces. (Yevgeny Kel/Russian Ministry of Defense)
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Editor’s Note: The following is the latest edition of the Kyiv Independent’s newsletter, Ukraine Daily. If you would like to receive news about Ukraine in your mailbox six days a week subscribe here. It’s free.

Russia’s war against Ukraine

Russian-led militants release toxic ammonia in eastern Ukraine on Jan. 14.According to Ukrainian intelligence, the release of chemicals could be part of a false-flag operation – a pretense for a further Russian invasion of Ukraine.

275 of Russia’s military vehicles and artillery systems placed at front lines in eastern Ukraine so close to Ukraine’s forces that it violates the Minsk agreements, according to Ukraine’s military. The vehicles include tanks and missile launchers.

Evidence implies Russia behind last week’s cyberattack. Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation pointed the finger at Russia on Jan. 16, accusing it of being responsible for the massive cyberattack that crashed many government’s websites on the night of Jan. 13-14. The Kremlin denied Russia’s involvement. Meanwhile, Microsoft released its own report about the attack.

Ukraine’s FM Dmytro Kuleba makes harsh remarks about Russia in interviewwith Bild: “Putin only stops only when he’s stopped. He understands only the language of force. (...) If Putin wants to know why his neighbors aspire to join NATO, all he has to do is look in the mirror.” At the same time, Kuleba said that the West’s “strategy of containment” of Russia was working.

Business

U.S. chipmaker giant Qualcomm acquired Ukrainian startup Augmented Pixelsfor an undisclosed amount. Qualcomm is one of the most valuable tech companies in the U.S. with a market capitalization of over $211 billion. Augmented Pixels develops virtual and augmented reality software.

Ukraine expects a good winter crop harvest in 2022. The forecast is based on the weather Ukraine has seen so far, as well as on tests run by agronomists. The cold winter might help produce yet another good harvest for the country after last year’s record-breaking numbers.

2021 was the worst year for Ukraine’s dairy industry in the last six years. Milk producers earned 14% less in 2021 than in 2020. Despite a steadily growing global dairy market, experts believe Ukraine is unlikely to reap the benefits due to mismanagement and low prices of raw materials.

Government raises price of fuel by Hr 1 per liter starting Jan. 15. This means the prices of gasoline and diesel fuel used in agricultural machinery will now reach up to Hr 30-31 ($1.2) per liter at Ukrainian gas stations.

Economy Ministry looking for 5 new board members for Ukrposhta, Ukraine’s national postal service. Candidates must submit their applications before Feb. 14.

In other news

Poroshenko to return to Ukraine on Jan. 17, likely to be arrested. Ex-President Petro Poroshenko, who left Ukraine in December after investigators tried to subpoena him in a high treason case, is returning to Kyiv – and will likely be arrested. He would be the first ex-president in Ukraine to be arrested. Poroshenko denies all charges and says that the case against him was ordered by President Volodymyr Zelensky and is politically motivated.

Print newspapers and magazines in foreign languages now have to run Ukrainian versions of their stories next to the original content, according to a law that came into force on Jan. 16. Exclusions apply to media that prints in Crimean Tatar, English, and official languages of the European Union. Local media outlets that publish locally only in one oblast have until 2024 to adjust.

Football star Andriy Shevchenko fired as Italian club Genoa’s head coach after just 11 games. President Volodymyr Zelensky posted a message of support, calling upon him to return to Ukraine.

Woman killed ascending Mount Hoverla. Three hikers slid down a cliff while ascending Hoverla, the highest mountain in Ukraine, and a relatively safe one to ascend. A woman, 57, was killed. Another woman, 32, and a man, 34, were injured. All three were visiting from Odesa Oblast.

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