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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: DECEMBER 21 – 24

Source : 112 Ukraine

Donbas conflict, coronavirus mutation, IMF and Ukraine, Belarus situation and Christmas - read the main news of the week here
22:10, 24 December 2020

112 Agency

About Donbas conflict

So-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) claims that the Ukrainian side is not interested in holding the exchange of prisoners. According to its ombudsman, Kyiv has not sent any lists and failed to provide information on any of the more than 100 detainees.

Nevertheless, Ukraine was able to return one of its servicemen back home. Junior sergeant Oleksandr I. Pupko, who disappeared back on December 17, successfully returned home.

The DNR also stated that it would detain people with Ukrainian passports during the upcoming New Year holidays. Such a decision was explained by the impossibility to ‘check the legitimacy’ of the Ukrainian document.

About coronavirus

This week, it was confirmed that the new strain of Covid-19 is spreading faster than the original version. The new variant is observed in the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Australia, Iceland, and Italy. Due to this fact, over 40 countries made a decision to close their borders for travelers from the UK, the country where the new strain was spotted for the first time. However, France opened its borders. Later, another Covid-19 strain was spotted in the UK. Ukraine decided not to ban UK travelers from entry to the country. However, it was reported that Ukraine has already faced a new variant.

It was also stated that Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and AstraZeneca vaccine are effective against the new virus.

Moreover, this week, the Covid-19 reached Antarctica, so, there are no more continents without coronavirus in the world.  

Ukraine’s Health Ministry approved the vaccination plan for the country. It was specified that the COVAX program might provide Ukraine with 16 million doses of vaccine. Besides, Poland might become a mediator for Ukraine in the provision of the vaccines from the EU. Moreover, France is ready to help Ukraine with supplies of the vaccine against coronavirus. It is noted that the EU might restore air connection with Ukraine in the first quarter of 2021.  

Besides, the EU approved the Pfizer vaccine this week. However, Interpol believes that coronavirus vaccines might cause a sharp rise in crime.

Meanwhile, U.S. President-Elect Joe Biden received the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine live on U.S. television. 

About IMF and Ukraine

This week, IMF mission started loan talks in Ukraine. Ukraine’s Acting Energy Minister and IMF mission head held online talks. The mission plans to resume meetings in January 2021, after the New Year holidays.

About Belarus

Unified database of protests’ members was created in Belarus. In addition, U.S. adopted Belarus Democracy, Human Rights, and Sovereignty Act of 2020. The document will allow stating that the U.S. does not recognize the results of falsified presidential elections in Belarus on August 9, 2020, and will not allow recognizing Alexander Lukashenko as the legitimately elected leader of Belarus.

At the same time, Ukraine decided to simplify the issuance of residence permits to Belarus citizens.

About Christmas

On December 24, all Christians who celebrate Christmas on the Gregorian calendar will celebrate Christmas Eve. Besides, we prepared information about the main traditions and attributes of the holiday. However, all countries around the globe introduced some restrictions on the celebration of Christmas.

Besides, a rare phenomenon called ‘Christmas Star’ was observed in the night sky. It is the unique conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s main Christmas tree will not be closed as it is not a danger. Besides, the raiding groups were created in Ukraine to prevent the illicit logging of the Christmas tree.

For a good mood during the holidays, we also present you the famous Ukrainian carol Dobryi Vechir in the form of the epic rock anthem.

About sports

Former unified lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko is now looking for a new challenge in his professional boxing career. According to his manager, Egis Klimas, the Ukrainian pugilist wants to make his return next spring, the weight category is yet to be decided on.

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