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Scoop of the weekend: Coronavirus "red" zones, Donbas ceasefire week

Scoop of the weekend: Coronavirus "red" zones, Donbas ceasefire week

Coronavirus

The coronavirus mortality rate is 2.4%, according to the Public Health Centre. The highest regional rates are in Kirovohrad, 5.1%, Cherkasy, 3.9%, and Transcarpathian, 3.8%, regions. According to Health Minister Maksym Stepanov, 2.4% is one of the lowest mortality rates in Europe.

Ternopil has refused to step up quarantine measures as of 3 August despite the Health Ministry's recommendations and the fact that the state commission has put the city in the so-called red zone, which foresees the cancellation of public transport, closure of cafes, shops and social institutions. The city authorities said that the coronavirus numbers had been going down in recent days.

Lutsk, which was also put in the red zone, has also decided against stopping public transport, closing kindergartens and meeting other relevant requirements.

By the morning of 2 August, Ukraine has registered 1,112 new coronavirus cases, according to the Monitoring Centre of the National Security and Defence Council. The total count has now reached 72,168 cases, including 30,900 active ones.

Donbas

Russia-backed militants have carried out 14 provocative shooting attacks over the week of ceasefire introduced on 27 July, the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) HQ has reported. The Joint Forces have sustained no casualties.

The OSCE has registered 225 ceasefire violations along the line of contact in Donbas since 27 July. Its report lists 44 explosions, 180 bursts and shots made from small arms and one unidentified shell.

Three cases of random fire by pro-Russian militants were registered on 1 August, the JFO HQ has said. One Ukrainian serviceman got shrapnel wounds after tripping an unidentified explosive device and one had his injured at one of the strongpoints.

Speaking on Ukrayina 24 TV, the head of the Ukrainian delegation to the trilateral contact group on Donbas, Leonid Kravchuk, suggested that the USA should be involved in the Donbas talks "because the strongest and wealthiest country of the world can have the biggest impact".

The commander of the 8th detached battalion Aratta of the Ukrainian Volunteer Army, Andrut Gergert (Cherven), died because of an oncological disease. He was 42 years old.

Military

The Foreign Intelligence Service does not rule out that Russia may further attack Ukraine but this is unlikely to happen this autumn, its chief Valeriy Kondratyuk said in an article for Dzerkalo Tyzhnya. He accused Russia of carrying out special operations in Ukraine, aimed at fueling more conflicts, splitting and polarising Ukrainian society.

As part of its reform, the State Border Service of Ukraine will rearm its units in line with EU and NATO standards. The service plans to replace Kalashnikovs with UAR-15 assault rifles.

Belarus

Failed Belarusian presidential hopeful Valeryy Tsapkala (Valeriy Tsepkalo), who recently went to Russia to escape a possible detention, is now in Kyiv, his press secretary Aleksey Urban has told Interfax-Ukraine. Belarus will go to the polls to elect president on 9 August.

UIA crash

Iran is prepared to deliver on its international commitments and pay the compensation to the families of passengers and staff who were killed onboard the Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 which was shot down near Tehran on 8 January 2020, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Yevhen Yenin has told Ukrayina 24 TV. Payments can be done after the investigation is complete and the perpetrators are brought to account.

Crime

A police sniper shot dead Roman Skrypnyk, who took a policeman hostage during a botched car theft and had been on the run for several days. During the attempted detention, Skrypnyk took another policeman hostage and threatened to blow up a grenade, therefore the shoot-to-kill decision was made, according to Deputy Interior Minister Anton Herashchenko.

Police have detained a man who attacked a female passenger onboard the Kyiv-Mariupol train on 1 August, the press service of the Ukrainian railway company Ukrzaliznytsya has said.

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