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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: JUNE 7 – 11

Source : 112 Ukraine

Check out this week's news from Ukraine: Donbas conflict, coronavirus, Nord Stream 2, UEFA Euro 2020, MH17 case, PS752 flight, bill on "indigenous peoples" of Ukraine and more
22:34, 11 June 2021

112 Agency

Donbas conflict

Russian mercenaries refused to pass Ukraine four severely ill prisoners. Oleksiy Arestovych, Speaker of the Ukrainian delegation at the Trilateral Contact Group said so in his commentary on June 11.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky came to Donbas with a working visit. He visited the frontline positions of Ukrainian government troops.

The hush at the front has to do with the upcoming meeting of U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Serhiy Harmash, the representastive of the same group claimed that during the broadcast at Ukraine 24 TV channel.

Coronavirus

On weekends, the mass vaccination centers opened in another seven cities of Ukraine. Besides, over 1.5 million people vaccinated against Covid-19 in Ukraine. It is specified that the next Covid-19 wave expected in Ukraine in autumn.

This week, the EU approved certificates on the anti-Covid-19 vaccination. Ukraine stated it will introduce the Covid certificates two weeks after the EU approval. Meanwhile, Ukraine and Hungary recognized each other's vaccination certificates.

The U.S. made a decision to purchase 500 million doses of the Covid vaccine for poor countries. Besides, U.S. reported found it plausible Covid-19 leaked from the Wuhan lab.

It was stated that every second adult EU citizen got at least one vaccine shot. Moreover, European Parliament demands the abolition of patents for coronavirus vaccines.

Besides, WHO warned of the spread of more contagious coronavirus strain in Europe.

 

Zelensky-Biden conversation, NATO

On June 7, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky held a phone talk with U.S. President Joe Biden. As a result of the talk, Biden invited Zelensky to the White House. You can read about the details of the presidential talk HERE. However, later, Zelensky's statement on Biden's words about NATO MAP was edited.

Meanwhile, Ukraine will raise the issue of its presence at the NATO summit.

 

Nord Stream 2

Last week, President of Russia Vladimir Putin stated that the laying of the first line of the Nord Stream 2 has finished.

As we reported, the Biden administration will waive sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and its CEO Matthias Warnig who controls the construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline into Germany. Biden said that sanctions would damage relations with Europe. In addition, Joe Biden in this decision was guided by considerations of national security. Sanctions against the pipeline were first imposed by the administration of Biden's predecessor, Republican Donald Trump, in late 2019.

Meanwhile, Germany does not intend to abandon Nord Stream 2 and considers it a business project.

Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State said that German government has been looking into an opportunity to compensate for possible losses that Ukraine may suffer after the launch of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

Russian MFA says that U.S. statements on compensating Ukraine for transit losses over Nord Stream 2 will not affect Moscow's position. 

Ukraine's Foreign Minister went on a visit to Germany for talks on Nord Stream 2. Merkel will go to the United States to resolve disputes over Nord Stream 2 in July or August.

MH17 case

The Hague court received materials that rejected the version provided by the experts of the Russian Almaz-Antey defense concern about the place of the launch of the missile that shot down MH17. Specifically, the jury received pieces of evidence that confirm that the civilian airplane was shot by the missile. In turn, that projectile was fired from the launch site located in the militant-controlled part of Donbas. 

Witnesses spoke before the jury, too, testifying in this case. Specifically, they shared the details of the launch of the anti-air missile from Buk SAM system. The witnesses were interviewed by investigating judge and representatives of the Joint Investigation Team. Eight people claimed who have seen or heard the flight of the missile not far from Snizhne village (militant-held part of Donetsk region, - 112 International). Another three said they were in the area of the launch site. 

In 2017, Cozy Bear hacker group that boasts ties with the Russian foreign intelligence conducted an attack on the server of the Police Academy in the Netherlands. The incident occurred during the investigation of the MH17 disaster. It remains unknown whether any documents were stolen during this breach. However, security agencies and police authorities did not comment on the incident.

PS752 flight

As for the PS752 crash: Iran promised Ukraine access to materials of the case.

Later this week, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau held the phone talk and agreed to enhance coordination in the case of the PS752 flight downing in Iran.

Bill on "indigenous peoples" of Ukraine

On May 18, 2021, bill No. 5506 on the indigenous peoples of Ukraine was tabled by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in parliament as an urgent one. The document defines "indigenous peoples," clearly separating them from ethnic national minorities, as well as defining the rights of such peoples (in particular, educational, linguistic or representative ones).

On June 9, Vladimir Putin criticized Volodymyr Zelensky's bill on the indigenous peoples of Ukraine calling it a "blow for the Russian people."

Council of Europe expert Francesco Palermo said that Russians are not indigenous people in Ukraine. 

UEFA Euro 2020

Quite a story occurred on the final week before the start of Euro 2020. As is known, it had to do with the jerseys of Ukraine’s national football team.

On June 7, the squad’s new official kit was presented. The design included the map of Ukraine with the occupied territories, namely Crimea and the militant-held Donbas, and the patriotic slogans – “Glory to Ukraine!” and “Glory to Heroes!”.  This caused a huge public reaction in Russia, an angry one. Russia turned to UEFA, demanding to take action. So, at first, before Russia’s request, UEFA approved that kit for use during Euro 2020; but then, the top football authority changed its mind, asking Ukraine to remove one of the slogans from the jerseys. The Ukrainian government reacted, of course; Office of the President claimed that the patriotic slogans could not be causing any limitations. And Head of the Ukrainian Association of Football Andriy Pavelko went to Rome for negotiations with UEFA to clean air on this issue.

June 11 marks the start of Euro 2020. On Friday, Rome’s Stadio Olimpico is to host the opener, where Italy crosses swords with Turkey. Ukraine, on the other hand, will play the first fixture against the Netherlands; but it’s scheduled for later, June 13.

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