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Scoop of the day: MH17 anniversary; reshuffle of Ukrainian districts

Scoop of the day: MH17 anniversary; reshuffle of Ukrainian districts

MH17 anniversary

On 17 July 2014, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was brought down over the territory in eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists.

"Nothing will bring back lost lives and alleviate the grief of relatives and friends whose parents, children and friends died in the #MH17 catastrophe. But justice must prevail. In the name of peace and memory of all who died in that terrible crash," President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has tweeted on the occasion.

Commenting on the downing of the MH17 Flight, ex-President Petro Poroshenko said that Russia, which is to blame for the tragedy, must bear the full brunt of international law.

Army

Separatists have handed an unidentified body over to the government-controlled territory, the Joint Forces Operation HQ. At the moment, there is no proof that it is the body of the army medic killed by separatists as he was trying to evacuate the wounded from the battlefield.

For three days now, separatists have been preventing the Ukrainian side from searching the wounded serviceman who is still in the gray zone near the village of Zaytseve.

Three Ukrainian servicemen got wounded and one injured as a result of 13 attacks by the Russian occupying troops which used 122-mm artillery, 82-mm and 120-mm mortars banned by the Minsk agreements, in addition to heavy machine guns and small arms.

According to Defence Minister Andriy Taran, currently, there is no threat of Russian offensive from occupied Crimea. However, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are ready to repel it, should it happen, he added.

Administrative reform

Parliament has adopted a draft resolution under which the current 490 districts of Ukraine will be disbanded and 136 new, "bigger" ones will be formed. Every district must have at least 150,000 residents. Fatherland said that it would challenge the resolution in the Constitutional Court.

Kyiv elections

Voice leader Kira Rudyk has said that her party has two candidates who can potentially run for Kyiv mayor. She did not name them but said that the party would select its candidate at an assembly in mid-August.

Sheremet's case

Kyiv's Pecherskyy district court has extended by another two months the arrest of musician Andriy Antonenko, children's surgeon Yuliya Kuzmenko and army medic Yana Duhar, who are suspected of killing journalist Pavel Sheremet on 20 July 2016. Their arrest based on highly questionable evidence has prompted numerous protests.

Parliament

Parliament has held the last meeting of the third session. It plans to hold an extraordinary session next week. The fourth regular session will begin on 1 September.

MPs did not discuss the controversial language bill tabled by pro-Russian pro-presidential MP Maksym Buzhanskyy who wanted to delay the transfer of Russian-language schools to the Ukrainian language of study until 2023. A protest rally against the bill was held outside parliament.

Crime

A student got injured as an unidentified explosive device went off in a litter bin outside the entrance to Kyiv's Shulyavska subway station. He was rushed to hospital with fragmentation wounds to his legs.

The National Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine has declared the head of Kyiv's district administrative court, Pavlo Vovk, his deputy Yevhen Ablov, five judges and the head of the State Judiciary Administration, Zynoviy Kholodnyuk, suspects in the case on the creation of a crime ring and seizure of power. The suspicions are based on the secret recordings made in Vovk's office, on which he is allegedly heard discussing ways of putting pressure on various government offices with the help of judicial rulings.

Three senior customs officers in Odesa Region have been caught red-handed.

Social media

The Ukrainian segment of Facebook includes 15m users and there are 13m users on Instagram. The latter's audience has been growing 50% faster than that of Facebook. Around 40% of Internet users in Ukraine use Facebook Messenger.

Coronavirus

Ukraine has registered 809 new Covid-19 cases over the day. Overall, there have been 57,264 coronavirus cases since the start of the epidemic, including 1,456 fatalities and 29,769 recoveries.

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