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Scoop of the weekend: Donbas, Russia, fires

Donbas

Two Ukrainian servicemen got killed and four were wounded in two mine blasts in Luhansk Region, the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) HQ has said. Otherwise, the situation was calm, the HQ added.

Pro-Russian militants fired 120-mm mortars on the residential areas of the village of Pivdenne in Bakhmut District of Donetsk Region on 25 August, the JFO HQ said. The closest position of the Ukrainian army is 1 km away, the HQ said, which makes the attack on civilians deliberate.

The Mayorsk checkpoint on the line of contact, one of the busiest ones processing people and transport from and to both occupied parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, has been closed for four days because of shelling by pro-Russian militants, the State Border Service said.

Ukraine will ask EU states to take patronage of cities in Donbas, in particular Germany of Kramatorsk, Greece of Mariupol, the UK of Volnovakha and so on, President Petro Poroshenko said in Avdiyivka. According to Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, Lithuania is prepared to take care of Avdiyivka.

The Foreign Ministry has flown over 80 Ukrainian diplomats to Donbas for a meeting, Klimkin said on Facebook. They are to coordinate steps to restore Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and key priorities in foreign policy.

International agenda

In an interview with The Financial Times, President Poroshenko warned that the pro-Western reform process in Ukraine is in danger because of approaching presidential and parliamentary elections and what he said was Russian interference in the campaigns.

Ukraine has appealed a WTO panel report in the case brought by Russia in "Ukraine – anti-dumping measures on ammonium nitrate", which was circulated on 20 July 2018.

Russian rights activist Roman Udot was banned from leaving an airport in Kyiv during a long connection on his way from Tbilisi to Vilnius. The State Border Service said he could not justify the purpose.

Activists' cases 

Kateryna Handzyuk, a prominent Kherson activist who survived a bad acid attack, is feeling worse, her support group on Facebook has said. It took her friends two hours to find a medicine not sold in Ukraine.

Three individuals suspected of making an attempt on the lives of the Odesa leaders of the People's Movement of Ukraine by ramming their car with a lorry have been placed into custody.

Fires

French winemaker Christophe Lacarin complained on Facebook that his vineyard in Odesa Region was set on fire and accused Ukrainian authorities of inaction. Police checked the area and found no sign of arson. The photos posted by police show intact but unkempt vines and burnt grass.

A landfill of 1.5 hectares in Balakliya, Kharkiv Region is on fire, the State Emergencies Service said. Enhanced firefighting efforts are being taken because of the risk of spread.

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