In Abu Kemal, after several days of heavy artillery preparation and bombing conducted by the Russian Air Force, last night the government forces proceded to active phase of operation — attack units entered the city in the south-western part of it. The militants of the «Islamic state» are repelling the attack using a large number of ATGMs and suicide bombers on mined vehicles.
Russia again vetoed in the UN Security Council and blocked uncoordinated US resolution on the investigation of the chemical attack in Syria. At the same time, the project, developed jointly by Russia and China, did not gain the necessary 9 votes. The Russian Federation, China, Bolivia and Kazakhstan spoke in favor. Seven countries, including the United States, Britain and France — «against». Egypt, Senegal, Ethiopia and Japan abstained from voting.
A construction of a 50 km fence on the Crimean- Ukranian border is planned to be completed by July 2018. The regional department of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation emphasized that the state border is equipped with the most advanced engineering facilities and equipment for ensuring the safety of Crimeans and all holidaymakers, which at the moment is a priority.
In Kiev, the journalist of the Georgian TV channel Rustavi-2, Tamaz Shashvishvili, was abducted, ex-governor of the Odessa region Mikhail Saakashvili said. According to the politician, Shashviashvili had accreditation and all documents for working in Ukraine. «He was handcuffed, he got a bag put on his head and they took him to an unknown destination,» Saakashvili wrote in Facebook. According to the ex-governor, Shashviashvili was kidnapped along with two of his friends.
The former head of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont arrived at the Belgian court for the first hearing on his possible extradition to Spain. Several former members of the Catalan government also appeared in the court.
The OSCE representatives believe there can be a new escalation of the conflict in the territory of Donbass. This was announced today by the deputy head of the monitoring mission, Alexander Khug. According to him, the parties do not comply with the terms of the agreement on the withdrawal of troops, ceasefire and demining. He also added that he sees the need for a «political decision», the work towards which is already under way.