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Scoop of the weekend: Armistice Day, separatist elections, Usyk's victory

Sunday, 11 November

President Petro Poroshenko took part in the Armistice Day celebrations in Paris.

He discussed the Donbas peacekeeping initiative and the illegal separatist elections with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron. "Only the peacekeepers can ensure the security component of the Minsk agreements and force Russia to honour its commitments," he said. They also discussed efforts to secure Ukrainian prisoners' release by Russia.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and US Secretary of State agreed to restore the bilateral commission of strategic partnership. They plan to attend its next meeting in Washington on 16 November, Poroshenko said.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry protested Russia's unlawful and illegitimate actions in occupied Donbas where it arranged the so-called elections of local leaders and legislatures on 11 November. It added its results would not be recognized by Ukraine and the world and would have no legal effect.

Ukraine demanded an emergency meeting of the trilateral contact group in occupied Donbas because of the illegal elections, Ukraine's first deputy speaker Iryna Herashchenko said.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said the separatist authorities sold cheap food at polling stations to ensure a higher turnout. Earlier, it quoted its sources as saying that the separatist election bodies had been instructed to make Denys Pushylin the winner in the self-proclaimed Donetsk people's republic with 55% of votes and Leonid Pasichnyk in Luhansk with 63%. The turnout had been planned at 70%. 

Twenty generals have been punished over massive fires at Ukrainian arms depots since 2015, according to Defence Minister Stepan Poltorak.

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk beat British Tony Bellew to remain the undisputed world cruiserweight champion.

Saturday, 10 November

President Petro Poroshenko called on Ukrainians in occupied areas of Donbas not to take part in elections organized by Russia.

Two Ukrainian servicemen got killed and two were wounded by tripping wire attached to an explosive device installed by pro-Russian militants at the Svitlodarsk salient in Donbas.

Ukraine will be pushing for more sanctions on Russia over the "fake" separatist elections in Donbas, Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said.

President Poroshenko dismissed the first deputy commander of the National Guard, Oleksandr Kryvenko, who was appointed to the post in spring 2014.

Under the law, the trespassing of state border is considered a criminal offence again as of 10 November. 

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