Ukraine’s ministry of digital transformation hopes its Diia.city project will help create a Ukrainian-style Silicon Valley and the most powerful IT hub in Central and Eastern Europe.
2021/04/16 – 18:56 •
Article by: Kiev not Kiev
This week’s news summary from Kiev and not Kiev covers the hottest news from Ukraine, such as Russian troops buildup near Ukrainian borders, new evidence in the case of the MH17 disaster, Ukraine as an IT hub for developers around the world.
🔶 Russian military reinforcement
Russia pressures Ukraine and Western allies and continues its military build-up near the Ukrainian border, provocations along the line of contact in eastern Ukraine and occupied Crimea. Ukrainian intelligence reports that Russia is preparing for actions that should provoke Ukraine’s military response in the Donbass. They do not rule out attempts to advance Russian occupation troops deep into Ukraine.
CIA Director William Burns said Moscow’s maneuvers near Ukraine could be aimed at trying to scare Ukrainian authorities and send a signal to the United States. The buildup of forces has reached a point where it can become the basis for military invasions.
This week has been full of news regarding this bold provocation: President Zelenskyy and other Ukrainian officials held a series of consultations with European partners and the United States regarding this escalation of the conflict. During Dmytro Kuleba’s visit to Brussels, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on Moscow to reduce the situation immediately and vowed to further support Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity. Joe Biden and Angela Merkel called on Russia to withdraw troops from the Ukrainian border.
Foreign ministers of Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia urged Moscow to ease tensions in the region and resume negotiations. “We call on Russia to cease its provocations and to allay all concerns by being fully transparent in accordance with the risk reduction mechanism foreseen in the Vienna document and to uphold the OSCE principles and commitments,” the joint statement said. Foreign ministers of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia praised Ukraine’s commitment to finding a political solution to the conflict.
However, it does not appear to have stopped Moscow’s aspirations to reach all advantageous negotiating positions. The US president has already said he is ready to hold a meeting with Putin in the near future. Turkish diplomatic sources say the US has canceled the deployment of two warships in the Black Sea.
All of Russia’s threats, pressures and blackmails aim to create permanent instability in Ukraine. It is not the first time that Russia has created regions of crisis in the world that constantly “bleed”. The Kremlin has fruitful places of influence on the international community: Transnistria, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh.
The current deployment of troops near the Ukrainian border is among the attempts to achieve its goal. Either Putin is staging a victorious war show for the Russians on the eve of the Duma elections, or he is provoking the reaction of the new US president and wants to strengthen his positions on negotiations with the West. One thing is clear: the entire civilized world must show its resilience, determination and consolidation in the face of this bold provocation.
🔶 New evidence in the case of the MH17 disaster
On April 15, the Netherlands held a court hearing in the MH17 case. Previously, Dutch reporters published recordings of conversations between anti-Ukrainian militants about the downing of an MH17 passenger airliner. These conversations demonstrate the transport to Ukraine from Russia of the Buk anti-aircraft missile launcher that shot down the plane. Furthermore, the talks show that Russian hybrid forces in occupied Donbass acted on direct instructions from Moscow.
Recordings are essential for countering Russia’s disinformation and manipulation; their publication will certainly shed light on what happened in 2014 and will again draw a lot of attention to the judicial process. However, an American lawyer in The Hague, Jerry Skinner, believes it will be difficult to use these materials as evidence in court.
In 2019, the joint investigation team named four suspects believed to be involved in the transportation and use of Buk. This is Igor Girkin (former FSB officer); Sergey Dubinsky (formerly GRU); Oleg Pulatov (formerly GRU) and Leonid Kharchenko (Ukrainian, who fought alongside the “Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR)”).
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 flying MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in the occupied part of the Donetsk region in July 2014. On board were 283 passengers and 15 crew members, all dead.
The Joint Investigation Team concluded that the aircraft was shot down by the Buk anti-aircraft missile system, which belongs to the 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade of the Russian Armed Forces, in Kursk.
🔶 Adoption of the law in support of DIIA City
On April 15, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted a law at first reading in support of the DIIA City project. The Ministry of Digital Transformation develops the DIIA City project – as a special legal and tax regime with favorable conditions for the development of the IT sector in Ukraine. The Ministry intends to raise Ukraine’s image on the international stage by creating a Ukrainian-style Silicon Valley and the most powerful IT hub in Central and Eastern Europe.
The Ministry of Digital Transformation expects that thanks to DIIA City, the revenues of the IT sector in Ukraine could increase significantly in 3-5 years, from $ 6 billion to $ 16.5 billion. The growth in the number of jobs – from 200,000 now to 450,000 in 2025.
Nowadays, Ukrainian companies face obstacles to rapid development, such as high taxes, low levels of intellectual property protection, and education that does not meet business needs. Highly qualified specialists go abroad, the judicial system does not provide adequate protection of property rights. All of this creates serious concern for foreign investment.
There will be no limits on investment, job creation or the development of new technologies. Ukrainians and entrepreneurs from all over the world will have the opportunity to quickly implement the most ambitious innovative and business ideas and effectively implement them thanks to low taxes, favorable investment conditions, effective mechanisms for the protection of investor rights.
Tag: digitalization, war in Donbas, MH17