“Five o’clock” — Ukrainian IT-news in English

As you know (maybe) the President of Ukraine declared 2016 to be a year of English in our country, so we decided not to wait till the next year and start right now.

Our new digest is called “Five o’clock”, it’ll be in English and will be devoted to key interesting IT, startup and tech news from Ukraine in the past 7 days. Since now we’ll publish such a digest daily at 5 PM Kyiv-time. So grab you cup of coffee or tea — and start reading.

The first interesting announcement was made by the President Petro Poroshenko. While addressing Ukrainian parliament, he declared that knowing English would be an obligatory requirement for getting a job at a state organization or ministry. He also remarked that 2016 would be the Year of English in Ukraine. We can only say “bravo, Mr. President” — it took 24 years to realize that English is a truly international language for civilized world, not a Soviet myth about “sputnik-balalayka”.

E-payment system WebMoney got an official status as an in-state official payment system and was registered by the National Bank of Ukraine since May, 21. Representatives of the company say that this will help providing guarantees to all the participants and users of WebMoney Transfer system according to the current Ukrainian law as well as syncing inside terms and conditions with NBU instructions and rules. WebMoney promises that no changes in the WMU cash-in / cash-out procedures will be made, hope this is good for average users.

And some more news from the National Bank of Ukraine. It explained the rules and terms of accepting e-documents from residents because there was a lot of cases when Ukrainian banks refused to accept them from citizens and organizations. Since June all the residents and non-residents of Ukraine have a right to provide e-documents for operations with banks as well as paper copies.

We’ve got more news in e-government system which is now implemented actively in Ukraine. Volodymyr Groysman, head of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament), showed a new online service which provides clear control on how members of the Ukrainian parliament work. This service is called “Electronic protocol” and shows all the working day of the Verkhovna Rada online as well as the results of voting for bills and laws, audio and video files, results of voting, e-documents etc.

E-government is not for government only, but for average citizens as well. That’s the reason why activists and journalists participated in “Kyiv as a Smart City” meeting which was held June, 5. Key priorities and possible trends in e-government and smart-city services which can be implemented in Kyiv were discussed during the meeting.

By the way, Switzerland is going to invest huge sum of money into Ukrainian e-government. In 2015—2019 Dnypropetrovsky, Odessa, Vynnytsky and Volyn regions will get e-government systems with the financial support from Switzerland — total cost of this program will be $4,5 mln.

During this period Kyiv will start using it’s new e-government service called “Open budget”, which Kyiv major Vitaly Klytchko showed last week. This online service will show each member of the Kyiv community why, where and how state spends money for citizens as well as it will be a tool for fighting corruption and bribes.

Implementing 3G national-wide was one of the hottest topics in previous 7 days in Ukraine. Petr Chernyshov, CEO Kyivstar, told journalists that in Kyiv 3G from his company would appear in the next 2 weeks. Design and logistics of Kiyvstar stores will be changed as well, the first new re-designed store and clients’ service center opened on Khreshchatyk str. in Kyiv.

While Ukrainian mobile network operators are involved in 3G races, Ukrainians can provide and sell sun and wind energy since June, 4. This is possible according to the new bill from our parliament. Since June you can mount sun batteries or wind generators up to 30 kWt and sell the “unnecessary” energy to the state without any special license. So if you always wanted to build your own small sun energy station and be a “green energy” billionaire — welcome to Ukraine.

Some more news about Ukraine as a land of freelancers and developers. DOU.UA editorial team gathered 3,5K+ sheets with answers from IT specialists — and got an interesting infographics about Ukrainian IT developers’ market.

Several interesting startups showed themselves the last week, so it’s natural we talk about them in our “Five o’clock” digest. The first one is a medical startup from the student of National university of medicine named by Bohomolets. This startup will be a part of Thiel Foundation Summit in San-Francisco, USA. Third-year student Andriy Maranov developed a project called Araned — and it helps to study anatomy not only by Grey’s book, but using AR. All the human bones are scanned and composed as an electronic book with an ability to print scans via 3D-printers.

Startups continue helping Ukrainian army fighting terrorists. Volunteer developers created “GIS ARTA” — first software which makes artillery 40 times faster and more accurate. It works like an “Uber for military” — calling fire support is automatically distributed between the nearest artillery weapons with accurate targeting.

It’s time for crowdfunding news from Ukraine. Ukrainian energy-management startup called Ecois.me made a successful campaign at Indiegogo by gathering $50K in 13 days (which is 17 days before the final term). Ecois.me provides and ability to make your house of apartment to be an energy-saving one via special smart-system as well as mobile an web apps to control light and electricity.

And finally, let’s turn to less serious news like the one about Kyiv ComicCon, which was held June, 6—7. The whole event was divided into 10 separate sections, devoted to cosplay, comic books, video games, IT inventions, tech, fan literature, anime and cinema for geeks etc. Ukrainian sci-fi writers and gamers as well as IT journalists were among the key guests of Ukrainian ComicCon. Besides Kyiv Maker Faire was held — so geeks had to choose which event to participate in.