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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: OCTOBER 4 – 8

Source : 112 Ukraine

Check out this week's news from Ukraine: Donbas conflict, Covid -19, gas, NATO and others
23:12, 8 October 2021

112 Agency

Donbas conflict

Since the beginning of Donbas conflict in 2014, almost 14,000 Ukrainian citizens deceased in the combat area in eastern Ukraine. Parliamentary Ombudsman Lyudmyla Denisova reported that on Facebook.

She also added that Ukrainians who are held in prisons of occupied Donbas are intimidated by pro-Russian militants; the inmates are kept in inhuman conditions.

Pro-Kremlin mercenary, the member of the so-called "Donetsk People’s Republic" was sentenced to eight years in the Ukrainian prison. The culprit joined the militants in 2016; he used to shell the Ukrainian military emplacements.

Covid-19

This week, Pfizer recognized the reduction of its vaccine’s efficacy up to 47% six months after the second dose.

Meanwhile, US pharmaceutical company Merck will pursue FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) “as soon as possible” for molnupiravir, the Covid-19 oral antiviral candidate.

In Ukraine, Healthcare Ministry approved the list of jobs where the workers are obliged to get vaccinated. Besides, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines against coronavirus can be produced in Ukraine.

New Speaker of Verkhovna Rada

Thursday, Ukrainian MPs recalled Dmytro Razumkov from the position of the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada by 284 votes. 215 votes for the resignation of Razumkov were given by Servant of the People, 20 – by Batkivshchyna, 19 – by For the Future, 6 - by Voice, 18 – by Dovira and 6 – by non-faction MPs. Opposition Platform – For Life and European Solidarity voted against.

In his last speech as the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Razumkov reminded the slogans from the election campaign about the inviolability of the Carpathian forests, pensioners who enjoy life and receive a decent pension, about corrupt officials who receive a real term; spoke very harshly about Zelensky’s offshore and said that "it is always difficult to get up and go against the system. " But if this is the only right choice, then it must be done. Read the full text HERE.

On October 8, Rusaln Stefanchuk becomes Verkhovna Rada Speaker replacing Razumkov.

Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the head of the President's Office, said in an interview that Razumkov had fundamental frictions with the Servant of the People party, which made him speaker. In addition, Razumkov "openly hampers the initiatives of President Volodymyr Zelensky."

NATO

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg claimed that Ukraine and Georgia are going to join the Alliance but that is not going to happen tomorrow. "I guess it's obviously not going to happen tomorrow but they will join. So this is my message to the NATO allies and what we discussed with the US President yesterday: we need to boost our efforts and do more for these countries that wish to join the Alliance", the official said at a press conference.

In turn, Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov accused the NATO of "supporting neo-Nazis" in Ukraine.

Moscow considers closing its mission in the NATO, as the Alliance dedided to cut the size of the staff that works there. According to Kommersant, which cites its sources, "respective measures are now being approved on the inter-agency level. However, they will certainly concern the Military Mission for Connection of the NATO in Moscow", reads the message. It's still not clear whether the restrictions would concern the NATO Information Bureau in Moscow. According to the outlet, the sources do not rule out that Russia would take action and close the mission all by itself. 

Attack on Schemes journalists

On October 4, reporters of the Schemes project were attacked in the office of Ukreximbank during the interview with the bank’s head Yevhen Metzger in his office. Later, Yevnhen Metzger resigned for the time of investigation. This decision was supported by the President’s Office. Besides, Metzger received the suspicion.

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General promised not to tolerate the madness of Ukreximbank workers. Besides, the EU expressed the concern over the situation.

Gas

This week, gas price in Europe surpassed 1,600 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters.

Commenting on the current situation with energy security, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal claimed that Ukraine and Europe have faced a difficult gas crisis, which could affect the whole world.

Meanwhile, the volume of gas transit through Ukraine decreases to minimum 109 million cubic meters. PM instructed Ukraine's largest gas producers to increase domestic extraction. In addition, GTS Operator head asked NATO to guarantee transit of Russian gas through Ukraine. At the same time, Ukraine does not plan direct negotiations with Russia on gas supplies.

Putin declared that it was unprofitable for Gazprom to increase gas transit volumes via Ukraine.

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