This week, Russian mercenaries used Minsk-banned 120 mm mortars to shell Ukrainian positions in Donbas. The mines hit vicinities of Zaitsevo, Luhansk region.
Serhiy Harmash, the representative of Ukrainian delegation in Minsk talks claimed that pro-Kremlin mercenaries have captured more territory in Donetsk and Luhansk regions that the area envisaged in the text of Minsk agreements. "We've been trying to sort out the way Russian envoys treat the territory of temporarily occupied districts of Donbas. Because the territory that the Russian illegal armed formations de-facto captured is 1,400 kilometers bigger than that prescribed in Minsk agreements", Harmash posted on Facebook.
One of leaders of the self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic suffered an injury, as a homemade bomb exploded under his car. The militant survived the blast and underwent a surgery.
Leonid Kravchuk, Head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group appeared on the Russian TV and spoke to Denis Pushylin, the Head of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). Many Ukrainian citizens protested against this move, pointing out that Ukraine is at war with DPR, and there should be no negotiations; Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry claimed it was Kravchuk’s right to do so, as his ”historical status, his role in the obtaining of independence of Ukraine allows him to do more than any other official”.
Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration of the Occupied Territories Oleksiy Reznikov claimed that Ukraine does not intend to derogate from the Minsk format of settling the conflict in Donbas and abandon the Minsk agreements.
Ukraine extended quarantine and emergency situation until the end of April. Meanwhile, the vaccination has not started in Ukraine yet as the vaccines supply is expected later. The first makeshift hospital for Covid-19 patients was established in the Ivano-Frankivsk region of Ukraine.
The WHO stated that Covid-19 circulated in China long before late 2019. Besides, the organization reported that South African strain is much more contagious than others.
Pfizer Company started clinical trials of vaccines against Covid-19 among pregnant women.
Constitution Court of Ukraine
On February 18, the Verkhovna Rada appointed a new judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.
Viktor Kychun took the seat of Mykola Melnyk, who resigned in December 2019.
Kychun works as a senior lecturer at the department of the constitutional right of National University «Yaroslav the Wise Law Academy of Ukraine»
Situation in Crimea
13 sentences were delivered in Crimea due to the evading military service at the Armed Forces of Russia by the local citizens. Besides, since the annexation of Crimea in March 2014, the number of Russian soldiers and military vehicles on the peninsula increased three times.
This week, the Russian FSB searched houses of Crimean Tatars in annexed Crimea; at least six people detained. Ukraine protested against the illicit actions of Russia. Besides, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv blamed Russia for searching and detaining Crimean Tatars.
Ukraine reported its intention to complete the dam on the North Crimean Canal so that water does not reach the occupied peninsula.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg believes that it is time to update the Alliance's Strategic Concept with an emphasis on strengthening ties between Europe and North America and deterring Russia and China. This was stated during his speech following a meeting with NATO defense ministers, the NATO's press service reports. "At the same time, we need to enhance our political and practical cooperation with like-minded democracies around the world. So we can protect the rules-based order, which is undermined by countries that do not share our values, like Russia and China," he stated.
Prosecutor’s Office asks eight years in jail for activist Sternenko. The delivery of the sentence will take place soon.
Ukraine’s Security Service served charges in state treason to blogger Anatoliy Shariy. Zelensky "banned" Shariy's Facebook account right after that. Anatoliy Shariy commented on serving charges in state treason saying he actually believes that Ukraine is a colony. Ukraine's Security Service summoned Shariy for questioning on February 22.
Yanukovych accused Poroshenko, Turchynov, Yatsenyuk in loss of Crimea by Ukraine, Donbas Conflict.
This week, Ukraine’s Security Service inspected 1+1 TV channel.
Results of National Security and Defense Council meeting
The meeting of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) chaired by President Volodymyr Zelensky has ended.
- Sanctions were imposed against 19 legal entities and eight individuals, in particular against the Chairman of the Political Council of the Opposition Platform - For Life party and MP Viktor Medvedchuk and his wife Oksana Marchenko. Vatskovsky Konstantin, a citizen of the Russian Federation; Donchenko Vitaly, the citizen of the Russian Federation; Lavreniuk Natalia, citizen of Ukraine; Lisogor Sergey Viktorovich, the citizen of the Russian Federation; Maslyuk Alexander, the citizen of the Russian Federation and Popov Mikhail, the citizen of the Russian Federation included in the list of sanctions. Sanctions were imposed on all property owned by these individuals.
- Decision concerning aggravation of the situation in Donbas was made. It was not reported what this decision was. As the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov said at the briefing, it is classified.
- The Cabinet of Ministers has been instructed to take the necessary measures for the preservation and exploitation of part of the oil pipelines with a total length of 1,433 km, passing through the territory of Ukraine. In particular, it was instructed to return the oil pipeline Samara-Western direction to state ownership.
WBO has officially ordered a bout between Oleksandr Usyk and Joe Joyce, which will determine the next WBO interim champion in the heavyweight division. It is reported that the fight is heading to purse bids.
Dynamo Kyiv FC and Shakhtar Donetsk FC had their first matches in the 1/16 finals of the UEFA Europa League: The Kyivites hosted Club Brugge KV, and the Miners played in the backyard of Maccabi Tel-Aviv.