Thursday, June 21, 2018

Scary statistics: Death rate in Ukraine exceeds birth rate almost twice

June 21, 2018 (Reuters) In January-April 2018, the population of Ukraine decreased by 85,700 people, to 42.3 million. The State Statistics Service of Ukraine says the number of deaths in Ukraine as of late April 2018 exceeds the number of births almost twice. In particular, the rate is 100 deaths per 54 newborns, the Service said in its express edition on June 18. 

It is reported the population of Ukraine decreased by 85,700 people in January-April 2018, to 42.3 million people as of May 1. As UNIAN reported earlier, the population of Ukraine could decrease by more than 6 million people, to 36.4 million people by 2050.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

H&M to open first store in Ukraine, announces date, location

June 19, 2018 (KyivPost) Swedish brand H&M, famous for its fast-fashion clothing, has announced key details about its first Ukrainian store. H&M revealed on June 12 that it would open its Kyiv shop in the 140,000-square-meter Lavina Mall, the country’s largest shopping mall, in August. The shop will take up 2,900 square meters of space in the mall, and will sell homeware (under the H&M Home brand) as well as a range of clothes for men, women, and children.

H&M Ukraine CEO Dominik Fantachino, quoted in a company press release, said H&M is pleased to enter a new market. “It is a great honor for us to bring style and conscious shopping to Kyiv, and inspire fans of fashion to express themselves,” Fantachino said. Fantachino said the company is already proud of the new employees is has hired in Ukraine: “We’ve managed to gather the perfect team for the Ukrainian market.”
The Swedish brand plans to open two or three stores in Kyiv by the end of 2018. H&M has been one of the most anticipated international brands in Ukraine, along with another Swedish brand, IKEA. Rumors that it would come to Ukraine have been circulating for years, but the first official confirmation of its plans to come to Ukraine only appeared in a company six-month report for 2017. “The new H&M store markets planned for 2018 are Uruguay and Ukraine,” the report read.
H&M (Hennes & Mauritz AB) is now present in over 60 countries and is the second largest retailer in the world after Spanish Inditex Group. In addition to the H&M brand, the company consists of several individual brands like COS, & Other Stories, Cheap Monday, and others. At the beginning of 2018, property consultancy firm JLL stated that Ukraine would see an influx of new brands to the local market “due to the improving economy.”
At the time, some big brands confirmed they would enter the market in 2018. They included DeFacto, Decathlon, Koton, H&M, footwear retailer FLO, and interior furnishings store Zara Home. Swedish home furnishings retailer IKEA has also expressed interest in Ukraine.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Ukraine’s tankmen come last in Strong Europe Tank Challenge 2018

June 11, 2018 (KyivPost) After three days of intense exercises and competitions with top tank teams in the Strong Europe Tank Challenge 2018, Ukraine’s most distinguished armored platoon finished last.

Troops from NATO and its partner states compete during the Strong Europe Tank Challenge 2018 drills at the 7th U.S. Army Europe base in Grafenwoehr, Germany on June 4-7.

The event, which was held at the U.S. Army Europe 7th training center in Grafenwoehr near Nurnberg, included teams from Sweden, Germany, the United Stated, Britain, France, Austria, and Poland and Ukraine.

 The German team celebrates after winning the Strong Europe Tank Challenge 2018 drills

The teams competed in 13 disciplines, such as tank maneuvering, precise stationary gunnery, defensive and offensive operations, technical maintenance, combat reconnaissance, and medicine and evacuation amidst chemical hazard, as well as fitness and handgun shooting for personnel.

Purple smoke envelops a Ukrainian T-84U tank in a long-range firing competition 

The Germans, in their advanced Leopard 2A6 tanks were overall winners this year, taking the title of NATO’s best armored forces back from Austria. Sweden, a first-timer in the event, finished second, while the Austrian team took the bronze medal. The U.S. team, with their Abrams M1A2 SEP tanks, won a special prize for excellency in precise gunnery.

A team member competes in the handgun shooting competition

The Ukrainian team, commanded by Captain Roman Bagaev from the army’s 14th Armored Brigade, were let down by their T-84U tanks – a Ukrainian upgrade of the Soviet-era T-80. The tanks, which were overhauled and repaired specifically for the challenge by Ukrainian state-run defense holding UkrOboronProm, were hit by a series of breakdowns and failures.

Troops carry ammunition during the Strong Europe Tank Challenge 2018 drills

During the first round of firing and maneuvers exercises on day one, the Ukrainian team got only 208 points out of 500 due to technical failures of the new machines.Last year, Bagaev’s platoon, using older but more reliable T-64BV tanks, the army’s ubiquitous workhorse, took the 4th place at the challenge, beating the Polish team with its Leopard 2A4 machines.

A Ukrainian T-84U tanks fires a shell during the Strong Europe Tank Challenge 2018 drills

Tanks fire their guns during the Strong Europe Tank Challenge 2018 drills 

Swedish Wartofta Tank Company with their Stridsvagn 122 main battle tanks in Grafenwoehr