Fridman forced to sell in UK, Moldova at risk in 2023, 300 days of war
Your slice of the top headlines in Ukraine. Daily. Wednesday, December 21st, 2022.
- The IMF Executive Board has adopted the Monitoring Program with Board Involvement (PMB) for Ukraine.
The Monitoring Program, based on the macroeconomic framework parameters agreed with the IMF, aims to assist Ukraine in maintaining macroeconomic and financial stability. The program envisages a number of measures to strengthen the mobilization of state budget revenues, revive the domestic debt market, strengthen the financial sector, and increase the transparency and efficiency of governance in the sector of state owned enterprises.
The amount of EUR 5 billion has remained almost unchanged since July, despite Germany having a sanctions law in place that obliges individuals subject to EU sanctions to declare their assets or face a fine or up to one year in prison.
This is the first time that Canada is using new powers that allow the government to confiscate the assets of certain persons. The foreign minister can apply to the courts for confiscation in favor of the state. In the case of confiscation, the received funds can be used to restore Ukraine and pay compensation to the victims of the Russian invasion.
- Russian pseudo-opposition journalist Ksenia Sobchak fled Russia due to a conflict with pro-Putin journalist Tina Kandelaki’s husband, Vasily Brovko.
Brovko, an employee of Rostec, one of Russia’s primary military-industrial concerns, was apparently set off by rising criticism of the company following claims of corruption appearing on Russian Telegram channels.
- Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman was able to dispose of his assets in Poland and Denmark even after being sanctioned.
According to an investigation by Radio Liberty’s Schemes investigative programs, journalists discovered that following the application of sanctions against him, Fridman first attempted to juggle ownership of several EU-based companies, but eventually sold his shares – allowing the companies to be removed from the sanctions list.
- Meanwhile, another Fridman-linked company, this one based in the UK, has been ordered to sell a broadband internet provider.
- Ukraine’s nuclear operator Energoatom and the UK Urenco Group have agreed that the latter would supply Ukraine with enriched uranium.
The sales will start in 2026, and will help Ukraine replace its former Russian suppliers. Currently, Ukraine says it has enough nuclear fuel for its plants for the next two years.
- President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has made an unannounced visit to the war-ravaged frontline city of Bakhmut.
Presidential spokesman Serhiy Nikiforov told public broadcaster Suspilne that Zelenskyy visited forward positions in Bakhmut, where he awarded soldiers with medals and presented them with gifts. In a comment to journalists, Zelenskyy said that he had decided to visit Bakhmut since “Ukrainian soldiers are protecting our lives, and we must at least sometimes risk our own (lives) to support our guys.”
The Russian Federation conducted the largest ever mass attack utilizing Iranian-made Shahed suicide drone on Dec. 19.
35 Shahed drones were launched at targets across Ukraine in total, with air defenses shooting down 30 of them. The drones are now being launched from Russia’s Krasnodar Krai, instead of occupied Crimea or Kherson Oblast.
- Ukrainian national fossil fuel company Naftogaz plans to restructure its debt at the beginning of 2023.
Following his appointment to Naftogaz head, Oleksiy Chernyshov concluded an agreement with the French financial advisory firm Lazard, which is assisting in restructuring two of Naftogaz’ Eurobond issues – covering issues of $350 million in 2022 and $500 million in 2026. “I expect that at the beginning of next year we will reach an agreement with the owners of the bonds on restructuring,” Chernyshov said.
- Czechia’s Foreign Ministry will create a special department to deal with the country’s own sanctions against Russia.
The minister said that a law recently adopted in Czechia will allow sanctions to be applied at the national level to persons who are not included in EU sanctions lists. They will be banned from entering the country, and their assets will be frozen.
That’s according to the director of the Moldovan Security and Intelligence Service, Alexandru Musteaţa. "The question is not whether the Russian Federation will launch a new offensive on Moldovan territory, but when it will happen: either at the beginning of the year, in January, February or later, in March, April," Musteaţa said.
The chief of the Personnel Department of the Ukrainian Armed Forces' Ground Forces Command Staff, Roman Horbach, said that the number of people called up for mobilization depends on the situation at the front. People with combat experience, in particular Anti-Terrorist Operation or Joint Forces Operation participants, will continue to be called up.
- Russian occupation authorities are destroying the Khan’s Palace in the Russian-occupied town of Bakhchysarai in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.
“The Khan’s Palace in Bakhchysarai is a unique Crimean Tatar single architectural monument, which is evidence of the existence, development, ethnogenesis of the Crimean Tatars in this territory,” Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko said. “The invaders are destroying it. They’re dismantling the roof and ensemble of colored stained-glass windows of the Golden Office, replacing the ancient roof with modern building materials. In other words, they’re erasing national memory with a new building.”
- The day’s long read: On 300th day of full war, NV quizzes experts for forecasts of future of war
NV asked five experts to opine on questions about surviving the winter, defending Ukraine’s infrastructure, and how Ukrainian society will adapt to these new challenges.
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