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New Year Brings Uptick in Ukraine Fighting

Moscow slaps new sanctions on Kyiv, rejects Franco-German call to release detained sailors.

4 January 2019

Russia has added new products to its blacklist of banned Ukrainian imports.

 

Chocolate, beer, wine, wheat, and diapers made in Ukraine are among the products announced in the ban just before the New Year, Euronews reports.

 

Officials said the step was taken in response to "unfriendly acts by Ukraine."

 

Ukraine has imposed financial sanctions on Russia, including the blocking of Russian internet services and social media.

 

The value of the goods affected was about $510 million last year, the Economy Ministry said.

 

 

The new Kremlin sanctions were announced despite Kyiv’s ending the state of martial law it imposed in November after Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian military ships in the disputed Kerch Strait.

 

On 29 December, Russia rejected demands from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron for the release of the two dozen sailors held in detention since the incident, according to Euronews.

 

The sailors have been charged with illegally entering Russian waters.

 

In addition to lifting martial law imposed on parts of Ukraine, Kyiv also put an end to a ban on Russian men aged 16 to 60 entering the country, a step it imposed after the Kerch incident to prevent the formation of “private armies” on Ukrainian soil.

 

Ukrainian State Border Service spokesman Oleh Slobodian said Russian citizens may be required to produce documents confirming the purpose of their trips to Ukraine, the Kyiv Post reported.

 

 

  • Ukraine is expecting fresh U.S. arms deliveries in 2019, including lethal weapons, Kyiv’s ambassador to Washington, Valeriy Chaly, told the Voice of America’s Ukrainian service, Unian reports.

 

  • One Ukrainian soldier was killed on 1 January in fighting with separatists in the Donbas region, despite a ceasefire that took effect on 29 December, the Kyiv Post reported. Unian reports that more clashes occurred on 2 and 3 January.

 

  • Rebel forces captured a Ukrainian soldier on 29 December, the soldier’s unit said in a Facebook post, according to RFE/RL. The ceasefire is planned to last until 7 January. Around 10,300 people have been killed since the conflict broke out in early 2014.
Compiled by Ky Krauthamer
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