Donbas conflict situation
Andriy Mircha, the 19-year-old serviceman of the Ukrainian military lost his life in Donbas combat area. The official cause of his death is the mishandling of a weapon. The young man was born in Stepanivka, Poltava region, central Ukraine. On March 18, he would turn 20. Andriy was the elder son in the family with five children.
The occupation authorities in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions have stepped up the recruitment of new militants into illegal armed groups.
The Ukrainian court has declined the request of U.S. attorneys for extradition of American Craig Lang. The man fought in Donbas, serving on the side of Ukraine's government forces. The U.S. government put hom on the wanted list for murder that he allegedly committed back home, and for participation in right-wing paramilitary groups - including the military wing of the Right Sector, the famous Ukrainian far-right organization.
Chair of the OSCE and Foreign Minister of Sweden Ann Linde has urged to open all checkpoints in Donbas. “Concerned about recent reports of casualties in eastern Ukraine. Vital to consolidate and build on ceasefire to ease humanitarian situation. Welcome that aid convoy could cross in Shchastya on Monday. Need to open all crossing points on both sides also for civilians,” the message on her Twitter account says.
Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group Heidi Grau said that the considerable political will of the sides of the conflict is needed to reach the comprehensive ceasefire in Donbas conflict zone.
The illegal armed formations introduce the permits for crossing of entry-exit checkpoints in Donbas. The Ukrainian delegation in the Minsk talks group claims that the innovation could cause "further isolation of the temporarily occupied territories from the territory of Ukraine controlled by the government".
The Ukrainian delegation in Minsk talks group claims that the Russian militants are responsible for this escalation in Donbas, and the ceasefire is in danger. In turn, Boris Gryzlov, Russia's permanent representative in Minsk contact group blames Ukraine for violating the ceasefire and provoking escalation in Donbas.
As of the end of the week, over 12,000 Ukrainians got vaccinated from Covid-19. Meanwhile, the third wave of coronavirus is announced in Ukraine. Besides, the British strain of Covid-19 was spotted in the country.
It was mentioned that Ukraine will get Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines. Meanwhile, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, Health Minister Maksym Stepanov and Chief Sanitary Doctor Viktor Lyashko vaccinated from Covid-19 in public.
Ukrainian scientists announced the positive results of the first stage of clinical trials for the treatment of severe coronavirus pneumonia with stem cells. Besides, scientists are the first in the world to prove that the level of cell-free DNA might predict the progress of coronavirus disease.
The WHO stated that it is impossible to stop the pandemic of coronavirus by the end of the year. Besides, the organization believes it is too early to introduce vaccination passports.
Sanctions against Russia
This week, the United States imposed sanctions on Russian individuals and entities over Russia’s attempt to kill opposition figure Alexei Navalny with a nerve agent. Moreover, the U.S. imposed sanctions on six Russian research institutions, which are known to be involved in the development of chemical weapons program.
This week, Zelensky said at a joint press conference with European Council President Charles Michel he believed de-occupation of Crimea requires more effective international steps and sanctions.
Meanwhile, Ukraine's Parliament passes a law on alternative jurisdiction over cases of annexed Crimea residents.
Films and Music
Ukrainian delegation started working at Berlinale European Film Market. Four Ukrainian films will be screened during this edition of the European Film Market. Stop-Zemlia by Kateryna Hornostai is also on the contest program of Berlinale Generation 14+; the winners will be named on March 4.
In addition, Onuka's Zenit video, which previously appeared in the popular dance game Just Dance, became a nominee for ARFF Barcelona International Film Festival. The names of the winners will be announced on March 25.