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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: NOVEMBER 15 – 19

Source : 112 Ukraine

Check out this week's news from Ukraine: Donbas conflict, Covid -19, Wagnergate, migrants, and others
22:33, 19 November 2021

112 Agency

Donbas conflict

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry sent a protest note to the Russian Federation due to the recent decree issued by President Vladimir Putin. The document provides for simplified shipment of goods from the occupied Donbas. According to the Ukrainian authority, the respective document contradicts Russia's commitments according to Minsk agreements and the arrangements agreed upon in the Normandy format negotiations.

German and French Foreign Ministers Heiko Maas and Jean-Yves Le Drian warned Russia about the consequences of the invasion of Ukraine.

Hollywood actor, director and producer Sean Penn cooperates with Ukrainian producer group, as they plan to shoot the documentary about the armed conflict in Ukraine. Press office of the Joint Forces Operation HQ reported that on Thursday evening. "The two-time Oscar holder plans to shoot a documentary about Ukraine in a creative cooperation with Ukrainian producer group. The main idea is to tell the wide audience about the events that are now taking place in our country", reads the message.

Russian occupants keep using Minsk-banned mortars and artillery when attacking Ukrainian positions in Donbas. On Thursday, the illegal armed formations opened fire from 152 mm cannons in the area of Muratove, Luhansk region. On November 19, one of the Ukrainian servicemen was killed in action.

Covid-19

This week, scientists from the Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics conducted research and identified 11 different variants of the Delta strain in Ukraine. Even so, 39.4% of citizens have already been vaccinated with one dose of Covid vaccine, and 28% of Ukrainians have been fully vaccinated. The regions in Ukraine may begin to leave the red zone of epidemic danger, starting next week. At the same time, Healthcare Ministry wants to increase the quarantine measures in the yellow zone.

Despite that, when EU refreshed the green list of countries whose citizens can freely enter the bloc's territory, Ukraine was not on this list now. Still, some countries’ borders remain open to Ukrainians.

The number of Covid-19 deaths continues to rise in Europe, reaching about 2.5 thousand deaths per day. Even so, Ukraine became the third country in the world in number of Covid deaths on November 15.

Israel approved giving the Covid-19 vaccine to children between the ages of 5 and 11, quarantine restrictions have been tightened in Belgium, Greece introduces new quarantine restrictions for unvaccinated people, Austria has become the first Western democracy to resort to mandatory vaccination and Sweden introduces a digital certificate for people vaccinated agaist Covid.

The creators of the Comirnaty coronavirus mRNA vaccine from BioNTech have won one of Germany's most prestigious scientific awards, the German Prize of the Future.

Assassination attempt on Ukrainian minister

An assassination attempt on one of the ministers of the Ukrainian government took place on November 18. Police have detained suspects in the assassination attempt on Minister of Agrarian Policy Roman Leshchenko. The two were a US citizen and a citizen of Ukraine. They were detained for two months.

Wagnergate

Earlier, The Insider together with Bellingcat investigated the circumstances of the interception of the plane with Wagner militants.

It is said that more than 30 mercenaries of the Wagner PMC were detained on July 29, 2020 near Minsk. At the time, Belarusian law enforcement officials reported that mercenaries had allegedly arrived in the country to destabilize the situation ahead of the presidential election. Two weeks after the Wagner militants were detained, they were returned to Russia, although Ukraine requested extradition. It later turned out that the Wagner militants, some of whom had taken part in the hostilities in Donbas, were going to be detained by Ukrainian special services. But the operation failed. According to a number of media outlets, this happened after the leak from the President's Office.

However, the Temporary Investigation Committee of the Verkhovna Rada, judging by the conclusions previously voiced by its Chairman, MP from the Servant of the People Mariana Bezugla, did not find Ukrainian officials guilty in disrupting the operation or a confirmation that President Volodymyr Zelensky personally ordered the postponement of the operation.

Investigators from the Main Investigation Department of the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) are verifying the information over the publication of an investigation into a special operation with the Wagner fighters.

Ukrainian prosecutor's office will also study Bellingcat materials on special operation to detain Wagner fighters

Migrants 

On November 13, Belarusian MFA reported that Belarus returned home about 2,000 migrants.

Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine said that Belarus has to accept migrants back if they break through to Ukraine. Ukrainian Internal Minister also asked EU to strengthen Ukraine's support in protecting against influx of migrants.

At the same time, Polish media said that Belarus security forces pushed migrants to cut Polish border fence and move on. Migrants also attacked Polish security officers with stones, grenades, and one serveceman was seriously injured.

Later, Merkel and Lukashenko discussed migrants near EU borders. Both sides agreed that humanitarian aid should be provided to the illegal migrants. EU allocated € 700,000 to help migrants on Polish-Belarusian border. On Thursday, Lukashenko proposed European Union to create humanitarian corridor for migrants to Germany.

Lithuania returned over 200 illegal migrants. And 430 migrants flew from Belarus to Iraq.

Sports

Ukraine’s national team made its way to the qualification playoffs of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. In the decisive game played on Tuesday night, Oleksandr Petrakov's squad overmatched Bosnians in the away game (0-2). Thanks to the result in the other match that night (the French defeated Finns), the Yellow Blues managed to join the other teams in the qualification playoffs.

As the qualification ended, 10 teams received the right to go to the World Cup directly, without the necessity to compete in the playoffs. These are the national teams of England, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Serbia, France, Croatia, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The qualification playoffs will involve 12 teams, 10 of which came second in their respective groups, and Austria and Czechia that made their way through the UEFA Nations League. The squads will be divided into three groups, with semifinals and finals to be played. Thus, Ukraine is to play against either Italy or Portugal.

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