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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: MARCH 8 – 12

Source : 112 Ukraine

Donbas conflict, coronavirus, sanctions against Kolomoysky, Black Sea, and other news of the week
22:33, 12 March 2021

112 Agency

Donbas conflict

Ukraine's Chief Intelligence Department reports that illegal armed units in Donbas are deploying extra firing positions for machine gunners and anti-tank missile launchers. They also increase the number of snipers to be involved in combat.

On the other hand, the OSCE mission reported that Ukraine moves missile systems, howitzers, and tanks by railway in Donbas.

If Russian mercenaries deny the peace plan in Donbas offered by Ukraine's delegation in Minsk group, Ukrainian military will switch to more active resistance to Russian aggression. Leonid Kravchuk, the Head of the Ukrainian delegation and the first president of this country said so in a recent commentary.

In summer 2020 – winter 2021, at least eight civilians lost their lives having contracted explosives in Donbas combat area.  Matilda Bogner, Head of UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine said so in her report.

A new peace plan on Donbas offered by Germany and France will be presented until the end of March. As of today, the details of this initiative are not disclosed.

Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Andrey Rudenko stated that the Kremlin knows nothing about the plan of peaceful settlement of Donbas Conflict announced by the Ukrainian side.

Coronavirus

The week started with the temporary stop of use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in a number of countries. Particularly, the issue is about Denmark, Austria, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia Cyprus and Norway. Later Bulgaria, Thailand and Romania also reported stop of the drug’s use. Amid this fact, the EMA considers the reports on side effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

U.S. Novavax vaccine shows 96.4-percent efficiency against the basic strain of Covid-19. Meanwhile, the expiry date of the Indian CoviShield vaccine received by Ukraine on February 23 ends on June 23, 2021. At the same time, Ukrainian medics held a flash mob “I am doctor, I vaccinate’ aiming to dispel myths about vaccination by CoviShield drug. Besides,

The new Covid-19 strain – VUI – was reported in the UK.

This week, it was announced that Italy will be the first EU country to produce the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. Meanwhile, the Slovakian Healthcare Minister resigned due to the official procured Sputnik-V, the Russian vaccine from Covid-19 - secretly, without informing his partners in the parliamentary coalition. 

Sanctions

This week, EU supported the U.S. sanctions against Ukrainian oligarch Kolomoysky. Zelensky's press secretary Mendel believes that the U.S. sanctions against Kolomoisky is just the beginning.

EU also started preparing fourth package of sanctions against Belarus.

In addition, U.S. State Secretary Blinken at Congress expressed readiness to discuss new sanctions against Nord Stream 2.

Black Sea vessel and pirates

Pirates attacked the Dutch tanker off the coast of Benin. There are Ukrainians among the crew members; the culprits captured 15 people.

Volgo Balt 179, the motor vessel sunk in the Black Sea, not far from the coastline of Romania. The accident took place on the night of March 11. Most of the crew members were rescued, but captain and electrician deceased. Captain’s senior assistant is missing.

The Commercial Court of Odesa region looked into the civil case under the appeal filed by the Administration of Sea Ports of Ukraine. The organization sued the owner of Delfi tanker and asked for compensation of the damage done to the maritime environment, as Delfi sunk in the Black Sea near Odesa. The court ruled that the ship's owner company, the UK-based Mister Drake PS must compensate USD 96,000 so that the aftermath of the disaster could be removed.

Cinema

Ukrainian movie Earth Is Blue As An Orange won Cinema Eye Honors 2021 award.

Earlier it was reported that Ukrainian film Stop-Zemlia was selected for Berlinale-2021.

Eurovision

This week, the organizers presented the format of the Eurovision song contest. It will take place with the observance of the social distance. Besides, the Go-A band presented a video and revamp of Shum song, with which it will represent Ukraine at Eurovision 2021. The song of Ukrainian participant already gained more than a million views on YouTube.

Meanwhile, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) did not allow the song of the participant from Belarus - Galasy ZMesta band to participate in the Eurovision - 2021.

Sports

The round of the last 16 in UEFA Europa League is underway; on March 11, Ukrainian teams played first legs in the fixtures with their opponents at this stage of the competition.

AS Roma devastated Shakhtar Donetsk (3-0) at Stadio Olimpico in the Italian capital. The Romans took the initiative in the first half, and chose the right strategy for the game. Though the Mountaineers fought back they could not keep the home team away from their goals.

At the same time, Dynamo Kyiv played a home game against Villarreal. The Kyivites could count at least on a draw, if it wasn't for lost opportunities; they put a lot of pressure on the Spaniards but their fairly decent shots never hit the target. Villarreal, on the other hand, were faster in their rival's penalty area, and managed to land two successful goals.

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