About Donbas conflict
Some 14,000 people lost their lives since the beginning of Donbas conflict; this is the data voiced out by the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of UN General Assembly Resolution No. 3314 (XXIX) "Determination of Aggression".
A civilian deceased in the gunfire near Mariinka, Donetsk region.
Local elections in the occupied Donbas must be held within the Ukrainian legal framework. Tony Frisch, the Coordinator in the OSCE humanitarian subgroup in Donbas said so in an interview.
Dmytro Marchenko, the Head of the Chief Department for Development and Material Security of Ukraine's Armed Forces is out of the pre-trial detention center in Kyiv. Marchenko was released on bail in the amount of UAH 20 million (USD 803,000). Interestingly, most of the bail's sum was imposed by President Petro Poroshenko (UAH 19 million, or USD 790,000). The rest of the sum necessary for a bail was collected by volunteers and the caring fellow citizens. Previously, the sum of the bail made UAH 76 million, or 3.16 million U.S. dollars; however, the court cut the sum to 20 million.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemns the attempts of any contacts with the so-called republics of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. This was stated by the Ministry's Press Secretary Kateryna Zelenko regarding the pronouncements about the involvement of Temporarily occupied and uncontrolled territories of Ukraine in the Normandy Format.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky signed a law that prolongs the existing special status of Donbas for another year, until December 31, 2020.
The negotiations of trilateral contact group in Minsk are due to take place on December 23. The sides will try and agree on another round of prisoners exchange.
About land sale in Ukraine
On December 16, members of the far-right party National Corps, National Guard, and farmers blocked the highway Kharkiv – Chuhuev.
The next day, Ukrainian farmers came to a protest against the land sale near the building of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. The pepper gas was sprayed during the protest and clashes took place between the law enforcers and protesters. Law enforcers started to use force and kicked down the tent of the protesters. Totally, 17 police officers suffered and 26 people were detained in the result of the clashes near the Verkhovna Rada.
Later, the police released all 26 people detained during the rally. Besides, the police urged all protesters to hold peaceful rallies, observe the norms of the current legislation.
On December 20, activists blocked Kyiv’s main street Khreshchatyk protesting against the land sale.
Ukraine and the Russian Federation have made a preliminary deal on the gas transit. European Commission Vice President Maros Šefčovič reported this after the negotiations in Berlin were over. The German capital hosted the talks of Ukraine, EU and Russia where the sides tried to find a way to extend the gas transit to Europe across Ukraine. The parties discussed the agreement on the longevity, volumes and tariffs of the further gas contract that is supposed to be valid until December 31, 2020.
About prisoner exchange
On December 16, three Ukrainians captured by the so-called Donetsk Peoples’ Republic were shown in the program on Russia-1 TV channel.
Later occupied Luhansk stated Ukraine tries to avoid the commitments on the judicial clearance of prisoners. Besides, Ukraine was accused of delaying prisoner exchange negotiations.
However, Ukraine’s Representative in Minsk Talks Leonid Kuchma stated that the negotiations on the exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and the self-proclaimed republics of the occupied Donbas continue.
The video conference of the Trilateral Contact Group on the prisoners’ exchange between Ukraine and occupied Donbas is appointed for Monday, December 23.
Moreover, a few dozens of people prepared for the return to occupied Donbas by Kyiv asked to exclude them from the exchange list due to the different reasons.
About Sheremet case
On December 16, it was reported that suspects in the murder of journalist Pavlo Sheremet, Yulia Kuzmenko and Yana Duhar did not know each other at the moment of his death.
Later, police pledge absence of contradictions in conclusions of the expert from Great Britain Ivan Birch and experts of Kyiv Research and Development Institute of Forensic Analysis.
On December 18, the lawyers for suspects in Sheremet case appealed against arrest. Consideration of appeal against detention in custody of Antonenko, Kuzmenko was postponed.
National police detained the persons of interests in case of the murder of journalist Pavlo Sheremet. They also notified on suspicion. Totally, there are five main suspects in the murder of the journalist.
Oleksandr Usyk might face Anthony Joshua in his next bout. The Briton showcased his interest in a potential title defense against Usyk, which also could take place in April 2020.
Ukrainian athlete Oleksiy Torokhtiy is forced to give up his gold medal that he won in the Summer Olympics in London, which took place in 2012. The reason is a positive test result for the prohibited substance - Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone.