About Donbas conflict
Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine has notified a Russian citizen of suspicion of torturing Ukrainian servicemen in Donbas. The Russian mercenary served with the so-called DNR, Donetsk People's Republic. The man is known by the callsign "Moscow". In 2014-2015, he was directly involved in military actions in the combat zone in eastern Ukraine. Joining efforts with regular Russian military units, he participated in the 2015 battle for Donetsk airport. It appeared that the individual tortured fighters of the Ukrainian military, the Prosecutor General's Office reported.
More than 80,000 dwellers of Luhansk region are cut off from the regular water supplies. This is due to fact that Luhansk Energy Union cut the water utility company, Lysychansk Water Channel, off the grid because of the debts.
The Ukrainian military is getting ready for the possible full armistice in Donbas combat area since January 1. Andriy Zahorodniuk, Ukraine's Defense Minister said so at a briefing. He also reported that the new points of disengagement of forces and military vehicles are already known to the parties of Minsk trilateral group. Respective issues are now being discussed.
About gas transit
Kyiv and Moscow refused from mutual claims in terms of gas negotiations. Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak said that the sides agreed to zero these claims on January 1. Gazprom also agreed to pay Naftogaz 2.9 billion dollars under the decision of Stockholm arbitrary court. The sides will sign a peace agreement, which foresees that the anti-monopoly claims worth 7.4 billion dollars will be lifted.
Negotiations on the gas transit between Ukraine and Russia took place in Vienna on December 26. In the view of this event, Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation said it expected to sign the gas transit agreement between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on the upcoming weekend.
About Sheremet case
On December 23, the Appeal Court upheld the arrest without a right for bail of Andriy Antonenko, the suspect in the murder of journalist. The same day, it was stated that the substance similar to the mine found during the search of Andriy Antonenko was used for the detonation of the car of journalist Pavlo Sheremet.
Another suspect Yulia Kuzmenko, who was arrested until February 8, 2020, appealed to the court with the request to change the restrictive measure. However, the court upheld the remand in custody of Kuzmenko. Later, she filed a lawsuit against the Ministry of Internal Affairs and its head Arsen Avakov.
On December 23, the occupants finished building of the railway part of the Crimean Bridge. Besides, the train passed the Crimean Bridge for the first time and Ukraine’s representative called such actions of the Russian Federation illegal.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Lithuania's Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu and U.S. Embassy to Ukraine condemned the launch of the railway link.
On December 26, Infrastructure Ministry of Ukraine condemned the launch of the railway traffic between Russia and annexed Crimea through the bridge over the Kerch Strait.
About prisoner exchange
At Normandy Four meeting in Paris, Ukraine and the Russian Federation, Volodymyr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin have so far agreed to hold another round of prisoners’ exchange. The deadline would be until December 31, 2019. President promised that by the end of 2019, 72 political prisoners could return to Ukraine.
Prisoners’ exchange was hampered by refusal of some detainees to return to Donbas, as media reported. A few dozens of people prepared for the return to occupied Donbas asked to exclude them from the exchange list due to the different reasons. So-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics accused Kyiv of delaying prisoner exchange negotiations.
The Council of Europe welcomed the agreement between the participants of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk on the exchange of prisoners between Kyiv and the occupied territories of Donbas in the "all-for-all" format.
On December 23, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko claims that Minsk talks group has agreed on one group of prisoners to be exchanged between Kyiv and the self-proclaimed republics of Donbas.
Lomachenko shared his opinion on Teofimo Lopez, who he is expected to fight against in mid-April 2020. Ukrainian boxer was not impressed by Lopez’s last performance, but showcased desire to fight him for the last missing title.
Oleksandr Usyk will not fight Anthony Joshua in his next bout. The Briton is expected to face mandatory IBF challenger – Kubrat Pulev, while Usyk and Chisora will be facing each other in WBO eliminator.
Ukrainian singers and bands have released several music videos this week. Kazka continues to post songs from her new album Nirvana, Jamala and Ukrainian rapper Alyona Alyona released a song about haters, ONUKA released a music video to her song ZENIT and orchestra version of Mоzaїka album.