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Scoop of the weekend: Three servicemen killed in Donbas

Scoop of the weekend: Three servicemen killed in Donbas

Donbas

A Ukrainian serviceman got deadly wounded when Russia-backed militants opened fire from small arms on the position of the Joint Forces near Prychepylivka in Luhansk Region. The Joint Forces returned fire, the HQ said.

Earlier today the militants opened targeted fire at the Joint Forces' positions near Krasnohorivka in Donetsk Region, having wounded a Ukrainian serviceman who was extinguishing a fire which broke out as a result of the shooting. The militants made three VOG-17 bursts from a grenade launcher. The Joint Forces Operation HQ accused the Russian armed forces of "deliberately disrupting the agreements reached by the trilateral contact group on 22 July 2020". This is the first wounded soldier since the start of the latest ceasefire on 27 July 2020.

Two Ukrainian servicemen got wounded after their ARS-14 decontamination vehicle hit an unidentified explosive near Novhorodske. They were going to join firefighting efforts near one of the smouldering sites.

The Ukrainian delegation to the trilateral contact group held an urgent meeting in Kyiv due to Donetsk militants' threats to open fire against the Joint Forces' positions on 7 September. Delegation head Leonid Kravchuk said that Ukraine would do its best to prevent a disruption of the ceasefire in Donbas. According to the OSCE SMM report, there has been no change in the Ukrainian Armed Forces' positions near Shumy since 5 July 2020.

On 5 September, Donetsk separatist chieftain Denys Pushylin said he had ordered his troops to open fire on Ukrainian engineering facilities near Shumy on the Horlivka suburbs on 7 September because the separatists consider these fortifications illegal and in breach of the ceasefire agreement.

Joint Forces Operation Commander Volodymyr Kravchenko dismissed Pushylin's allegations as "false, provocative and containing a political component aimed at disrupting the trilateral contact group's agreements of 22 July 2020 on additional measures to ensure a full and comprehensive ceasefire". He added: "In the event of the use of fire by the armed forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine, the Joint Forces Command reserves the constitutional right to protect the territorial integrity of Ukraine with an adequate response by all available forces and means."

Foreign policy

Contacts between Ukrainian and Belarusian officials have been put on hold but bilateral relations continue, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has told Radio Liberty. Ukraine is waiting for a solution to the political crisis in Belarus to see how these relations should further develop, he added.

Kuleba condemned Russia for banning Ukrainian NGO Seryy Klin pursuant to a ruling by the Omsk regional court, and accused Moscow of "purging its territory from independent Ukrainian organisations". Addressing the Ukrainian diaspora in Russia, he said: "We must say it loud and clear that these were Ukraine and Ukrainians who brought civilization to a large part of Russian territory, those who came there, built business, turned forests into settlements and cities, and built economy. And we must remember, and Russia must remember that this was done by Ukrainians, not Russians."

In an interview with the dpa agency, Ukraine's ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, has called for a three-month embargo on Russian oil and gas supply in response to the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. He added that abandoning the Nord Stream 2 project, as a number of German politicians have suggested, would not be enough.

Ukraine barred Hungarian State Secretary for National Policy Arpad Potapi from visiting Uzhhorod on the pretext of the coronavirus protection measures. He was to attend the opening of school No 10 on 3 September, whose reconstruction was financed by the Hungarian government. The Hungarian consul ridiculed the decision, saying "someone several hundred kilometres away decided that the arrival of the Hungarian government delegation is the biggest threat to the epidemiological situation". The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry described his remarks as "disrespectful and misleading the public".

Military

After completing the necessary tests, the small armoured artillery boat Kostopil was handed over to the Ukrainian Navy, the Defence Ministry has said. This is the seventh cutter of 58155 project manufacter at the Kuznya na Rybalskomu shipyard.

Ukraine and Romania have signed an agreement on military cooperation in the Black Sea during Defence Minister Andriy Taran's visit to Bucharest. The agreement is aimed at strengthening security in the Black Sea region.

Forest fires

Firefighters have extinguished the fire which has been raging near the village of Horobyivka in Dvorychany District of Kharkiv Region for four days.

Two servicemen who went missing during firefighting efforts near Verkhnyotoretske in Luhansk Region got killed when they stepped onto the enemy's minefield while trying to walk around the fire bed, the East Operative Command has reported.

Coronavirus

By the morning of 6 September, Ukraine has registered 2,107 new cases, 35 deaths and 578 recoveries. Since the start of the epidemic, Ukraine has logged in 135,894 coronavirus cases, including 2,846 fatalities.

Economy

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said on Facebook that Kharkiv should become "the capital of the defence industry, machine-building and IT, a Ukrainian sort of the Silicon Valley". He hopes that this can be achieved "in several years".

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