On Monday, February 8, two civilians tried to break through a checkpoint near the settlement of Viktorivka (Donetsk region) by a car. Ukrainian servicemen opened fire and ended up killing the driver.
Sniper war in the combat zone continues, and this week, shooters of Russian occupants wounded several Ukrainian defenders. One Ukrainian serviceman was killed in action.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and ambassadors of G7 countries reached Donbas to inspect the combat area.
Representatives of France and Norway in the UN claimed their support of Ukraine's territorial integrity, and asked Russia to respect Minsk agreements. They said so during the video conference from the UN Security Council session, where the participants discussed latest developments in the war-torn Donbas.
Ukraine - NATO
Ukraine would like to receive the Membership Action Plan (MAP) in NATO together with Georgia. This was stated by the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmygal at a press conference after talks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on Tuesday.
"Today, of course, our short-term strategy is to obtain the Membership Action Plan. We want to keep up with Georgia and, ideally, get the MAP together with Georgia, and we are actively working on this. I believe that our meeting today is a rather positive and important sign and also it gives us a good charge, good hope," Shmygal said.
Replying to the statement of the Ukrainian Premier, Stoltenberg noted that Ukraine will approach to the membership in NATO with the progress in reforms.
“The door of NATO remains open…I believe it is necessary to focus on reforms…The more successful Ukraine is implementing reforms the closer it to meet NATO standards and the closer Ukraine comes to NATO membership,” the Alliance’s Secretary General underlined.
He could not specify a special date of Ukraine’s entrance to NATO but he assured that the alliance would support the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Kyiv and steps to membership. According to Stoltenberg, these goals might be reached by focusing on reforms and enhancing of democratic institutes in Ukraine.
This week, Ukraine banned the use of vaccines developed or produced in Russia. Meanwhile, Montenegro and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines approved the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine for use.
Besides, about 20% of Ukraine's population is immune to Covid-19.
The scientists made conclusions that the climate change could play a direct role in SARS-CoV-2 appearance.
Poland presented a device capable to detect Covid-19 in 10 seconds; while, Hungarian government introduces Covid-19 immunity certificates. Besides, UK government assumes need for annual Covid-19 vaccination.
EU resolution on implementation of the Association Agreement with Ukraine
This week, the European Parliament approved the resolution on fulfillment by Ukraine of the Association Agreement, criticizing Ukraine for corruption that slows down reform, absence of the political will to provide the independence of the judicial institutions. Ukraine praised European Parliament’s report, promises to consider all recommendations.
European Parliament resolution stated that Ukraine must fight impunity for crimes of violence against journalists, has to foster free and independent media and strengthen media pluralism and called for the de-oligarchisation of the country.
IMF and EU financial assistance for Ukraine
Ukraine and the IMF are going to sign the new Memorandum on cooperation. Besides, the European Commission will expand the program of technical aid for Ukraine by the sum of 800,000 euros.
Meanwhile, the European Union named main requirements that Ukraine must meet in order to receive the second tranche of financial assistance in the amount of 600 million euros.
Banned Ukrainian TV channels
The blocking of 112 Ukraine, Newsone, and ZIK TV channels still remains one of the top topics among the world community.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry believes that the Ukrainian government allowed an outraging assault on freedom of speech by letting Zelensky apply the decision on the ban of the abovementioned channels.
A number of media resources, including Reuters, Prensa Latina, Europa Press, also claimed their dissatisfaction with Zelensky’s decision, claiming that it would hurt the freedom of speech in the country.
Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina is on her way to winning Australian Open: he has already managed to win two matches, beating Gauff and Bouzkova.
It looks like Joe Joyce and Oleksandr Usyk will square off inside the ring this April. Joyce’s promoter, Frank Warren, believes that this fight will allow his fighter to get in the right spot in the heavyweight division.