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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: MARCH 29 – APRIL 2

Source : 112 Ukraine

Donbas conflict, coronavirus, corruption and other news of the week
22:37, 2 April 2021

112 Agency

Donbas Conflict

Russia has brought its tactical forces close to the Ukrainian border, posing it as preparation for large-scale military drills West 2021. However, the Ukrainian side and Western governments see it as an act of intimidation. Governments of Ukraine, U.S. and Canada condemn such actions of the Kremlin. Moscow, on the other hand, claims that the movement of its military forces should not bother other countries.

Ukraine offered Russian mercenaries an Easter truce. This proposal followed when Russia rejected the offer of full ceasefire starting from April 1.

OSCE SMM confirms the death of a civilian man who lost his life in Oleksandrivka, Donetsk region. This is mentioned in the report of the mission. The attack that took the man's life took place on March 22. However, the information on this particular incident and the victim of the shooting was released just now.

President of France Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered the solutions for the situation observed in the Donbas conflict zone during the joint videoconference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “The necessity was underlined that Russia should take firm responsibility on stabilization of the ceasefire regime in Ukraine and development of the ways for emerging from the crisis in accordance with the Minsk Agreements,” reads the message on the website of the Élysée Palace.

Corona news

The situation with Covid-19 continues to deteriorate in Ukraine. Thus, a number of cities has enhanced quarantine restrictions, particularly, Kyiv, Lviv, Zaporizhia and others. Besides, South Africa Covid-19 strain was found out in Ukraine. However, state power bodies specified that it is not planned to introduce all-national quarantine.

Meanwhile, the problems with AstraZeneca have also not stopped. Thus, Britain reported 30 cases of blood clots after the vaccination. German authority recommended people at the age of over 60 not to use AstraZeneca. Canada stopped the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for people at the age under 55. However, the EMA found no link between blood clots and the AstraZeneca vaccine. Noteworthy, the vaccine was renamed this week into Vaxzervia.

Besides, the WHO recognized the efficiency of Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines against coronavirus produced by Chinese pharmaceutic companies.

Situation in occupied Crimea

This week, Ukraine informed UNESCO about destruction of World Heritage sites in occupied Crimea.

On April 1, the Foreign Minister of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba held a phone talk with U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken and informed him about the escalation of the safety situation by Russia at the demarcation line with occupied Donbas and Crimea.

On the same day, OHCHR documented 43 enforced disappearances in Crimea since its occupation.

A retired resident of Crimea gets prison time under charges with “high treason.”

It was also reported that Russia was transporting armored vehicles to occupied Crimea.

Electronic declarations of Ukrainian officials

Zelensky filed his e-declaration, reporting his real estate in Crimea, UK and jewelry.

The 5th President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko declared 222 million UAH ($7.97 million) of income in 2020, 504,540 UAH ($18.1 thousand) was earned in the Verkhovna Rada.

ARMA case

Searches occurred at ARMA, the National agency for detection, search and management of corrupt assets. Law enforcers from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and State Investigations Bureau (SBI) also searched the apartments of top managers of this agency.

It appeared that a criminal case was opened on the fact of misappropriation of funds. According to the investigation, an organized gang that consisted of ARMA workers and lawyers pocketed the money in late 2020; 500,000 dollars were officially considered evidence in a number of criminal cases and handed over to ARMA department. By a number of faked court decisions, the money were wired to third bank accounts that belonged to people not involved in the criminal case.

On Friday, ARMA claimed that during the recent searches, law enforcers seized the critical documents. This makes it impossible for the authority to keep working to fulfill its tasks. 

Sports

Ukraine’s national football team is out of qualification of FIFA World Cup 2022. After two draws with France and Finland, the Yellow Blues hosted the national team of Kazakhstan. The guests won, leaving the home team no chances to proceed into the qualification stage.

Ukrainian tennis fans had their share of grief this week, too. Elina Svitolina left the WTA Miami Open after the face-off with the world’s No.1 Ashleigh Barty. In the semifinal of the tournament, the Ukrainian lost to the American in two sets (6:3. 6:3).

DPRK and South Korea expressed their wish to host the Olympic Games of 2032. In February, the International Olympic Committee decided that the 2032 competition will be held in Brisbane. It was a sudden decision, and the governments of both countries turned to the IOC, protesting against such move. Both North and South Korea ask the IOC to consider other venues.

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