About Donbas conflict
Ukraine is not considering the deployment of UN peacekeepers in Donbas at this moment. In turn, the Ukrainian side suggests quadrupling the overall composition of the OSCE mission. Oleksiy Arestovych, the adviser of the Ukrainian delegation to the Tripartite Contact Group said so on December 11.
Representatives of the so-called Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) stated that the exchange of prisoners between Kyiv and some districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions was not going to take place by the end of 2020. The militants blamed the Ukrainian side. However, ambassadors of France and Germany noted that Ukraine was actually moving towards peace in Donbas. "This ceasefire mode has saved the lives of many soldiers and locals in eastern Ukraine. There have also been two exchanges of detainees, which is also important," said German Ambassador to Ukraine Anka Feldhusen.
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine could extend the law on the special status for the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions for another year - until December 31, 2021. The corresponding bill № 4467 was registered by representatives of the ruling party Servant of the People.
Ukraine’s government decided to introduce lockdown from January 8 until January 25. Besides, Ukraine asked the U.S. and Canada to facilitate in the purchase of the vaccines.
British scientists stated that hurting eyes and other symptoms of conjunctivitis can point out to coronavirus.
Meanwhile, 90-year-old British Margaret Keenan became the first person all over the world to get Pfizer vaccine against coronavirus. Germany plans to start the vaccination of population at the beginning of 2021. Ukraine expects vaccination’s start in March 2021.
It was stated that AstraZeneca will start the clinical trials to test a combination of its vaccine with the Russian Sputnik V. Besides, American company Moderna, Inc. decided to shape the test group from teenagers aged from 12 to 18 years old. Sinopharm, an experimental coronavirus vaccine that was developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group, has showcased 86% efficacy. However, British regulators warned that people who have a history of serious allergic reactions shouldn’t receive the new Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as they investigate two adverse reactions that occurred on the first day of the country’s mass vaccination program.
Meanwhile, Pfizer warned the U.S. it could not supply a sufficient number of extra doses of the vaccine against coronavirus until the end of June or July 2021. People's Vaccine Alliance stated that the world's stocks of promising vaccines are definitely not enough to meet the needs of all nations. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres claimed that the "vaccine nationalism", the desire of governments to provide their citizens with vaccines in first place, has been spreading all over the globe.
Ukraine is among countries that will lack Covid-19 vaccines.
Leaders of the EU member countries have reached consensus to extend the economic sanctions against Russia because of the Kremlin's part in the ongoing hostilities in eastern Ukraine. The agreement was reached during the summit in Brussels on December 10.
The Council of the European Union has finally approved a new sanctioning mechanism for human rights violations. The sanctions include the freezing of financial assets and a ban on visas. They will be imposed on individuals and organizations held accountable for genocide, crimes against humanity, torture, inhuman or degrading treatment, slavery, extrajudicial killings, disappearances, unjustified criminal prosecutions, and arrests. It is known that this sanctioning mechanism is similar to the "Magnitsky Act" that was adopted in the United States back in 2012. Initially, U.S. legislation provided that the restrictions would apply only to Russian officials, but later they were extended to other countries.
About climate and weather in Ukraine
Paris Climate Agreement five years on. Read about key messages and conclusions.
Speaking of climate, on December 11, ice rains in Ukraine caused major ice-slick, obstructing traffic and making people think of news ways to move around. Truth be told, some solutions were very resourceful and hilarious.
On December 7, Google celebrated Ukraine's Kateryna Bilokur's 120th anniversary with Doodle.
Top Google search requests in Ukraine in 2020: Coronavirus, US election, Google Classroom, Zoom.
In addition, Ukraine asked Google to include Crimean Tatar language in Google Translate.
Besides, State Environmental Inspectorate of Ukraine launched an environmental campaign "Christmas tree - 2021", during which the inspectorate, law enforcement bodies, and local governments will strengthen control over the legal sale of Christmas trees.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the situation with Nagorno-Karabakh during their recent phone conversation. The parties also expressed bilateral readiness for further cooperation within the OSCE Minsk Group.
Meanwhile, Armenia and Azerbaijan are getting ready for the exchange of prisoners.
The national football team of Ukraine will face France in one of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. The Yellow-Blues were drawn in Group D, also alongside France, Finland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kazakhstan.
Shakhtar Donetsk managed to get to the 1/16 finals of the Champions League. The Miners faced Inter Milan and successfully ended the match in a draw.