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Scoop of the weekend: Ukraine prepares for Defender Day protests

Scoop of the weekend: Ukraine prepares for Defender Day protests

Ukraine is preparing to celebrate Protection of Our Most Holy Lady Theotokos, Ukrainian Cossack Day and Defender Day on 14 October.

Major protests under the slogan "No to capitulation" against the authorities' policy on Donbas are planned to be held in Kyiv that day.

Calls for calm

President Volodymyr Zelensky has called on Ukrainians planning to hold protests in Kyiv on 14 October to act in accordance with the law, not to fall for provocation and not to create a "picture for Russian TV". For his part, he promised veterans to make sure that "what they fought for would not be in vain and that the memory of fallen brothers and sisters in arms would never be betrayed".

The Interior Ministry, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the National Security and Defence Council have issued a joint statement in which they said that they would be "strict and attentive" on 14 October to prevent any acts of provocation. "In the memory of heroes who sacrificed their lives for the freedom and territorial integrity of Ukraine, this day must be peaceful and dignified!"

Foreign policy

Former Prosecutor-General Yuriy Lutsenko has said that he was introduced to Soviet-born US businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who were arrested as part of the impeachment inquiry, by Rudy Giuliani. However, he told Ukrayinska Pravda that he had never had any business relations with them. 

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has protested against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's meeting with Russian State Duma "members" elected in annexed Crimea.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystayko has told Radio Liberty that he cannot see any reason yet to meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in person. He added that he was not involved in any negotiations with Russia apart from the Normany Four format.

Church

On 12 October, the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece decided to recognize the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

Army

The Ukrainian Armed Forces have opened a diving school for law enforcers in Odesa. The basic course will take eight weeks, include theory and practice. Every student will spend over 650 minutes under water.

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