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Scoop of the weekend: presidential election run-up

Scoop of the weekend: presidential election run-up

The One Plus One media group does consider the 30 March programming featuring presidential candidate and comedian Volodymyr Zelenskyy to be in breach of election silence ahead of 31 March election. Its TV listing for 30 March includes several comic shows featuring Zelenskyy and a film about Reagan which he lent his voice to.

US ambassador Marie Yovanovitch has urged Ukrainians to vote in the 31 March presidential election. "We urge the Ukrainian authorities, civil society and all citizens to play their part in Ukraine's democracy," she said in a video address on Facebook.

A rally held outside the Russian embassy in Kyiv demanded the release of Ukrainian national Pavlo Hryb convicted to six years in a Russian prison on charges of plotting a terrorist act, which are widely seen as trumped up. Protesters also demanded Russia release all other Ukrainian political prisoners.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the Prosecutor-General's Office (PGO) have busted a crime ring of up to 1,000 suspects who sold drugs online for cryptocurrency. PGO chief Yuriy Lutsenko described the operation as "the most effective". Law enforcers confiscated arms, drugs and $10m in cash from the suspects.

Health Minister Ulana Suprun has suggested drugstores selling prescription drugs without prescription should bear criminal punishment.

The far-right National Corps party held another protest against embezzlement in defence procurement on Saturday, 24 March. According to an correspondent, there were "many elderly and homeless people".

The National Energy Regulatory Commission has fined the Vinnytsya, Volyn and Kyiv regional gas distribution companies 850,000 hryvnyas each for charging households for extra volumes. They will have to recalculate the bills by 5 April.

The Zolote checkpoint on the line of contact in Luhansk Region has resumed its operation. However, the occupying authorities do not guarantee the security of Ukrainian nationals going through this checkpoint. Militants have blocked it since spring 2016.

A miner was killed by a rockslide at the depth of 500 m at the Nadiya mine in Lviv Region.

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