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Scoop of the day: Belarus 'expulsions', attack on Balukh, coronavirus death rate

Scoop of the day: Belarus 'expulsions', attack on Balukh, coronavirus death rate

Belarus

Exclusive: The authorities may try to force top opposition activist Mariya Kolesnikova out of Belarus again, another activist Maxim Znak has suggested in a commentary for LB.ua. A column of vehicles has left the Mazyr border detachment where she was allegedly held after the morning incident at the Belarusian-Ukrainian border.

Kolesnikova, who was seen grabbed off the street in Minsk and pushed into a minivan on 7 September, was reported detained in Belarus close to the Ukrainian border this morning. Allegedly, she tore up her passport to avoid being forced out of the country. Two Belarusian opposition activists Anton Rodnenkov and Ivan Kravtsov crossed into Ukraine and told a briefing how Kolesnikova defied attempts to expel her.

Attack on Balukh

A 49-year-old former political prisoner, Volodymyr Balukh, was admitted to hospital after he was badly beaten last night. He had a serious head injury and his arm and collarbone were broken. He was also robbed.

The president's office said that it was deeply concerned about the attack on Balukh and urged the police to conduct a fast and full investigation. It also noted that there is no evidence of political motives behind the attack.

Ex-President Petro Poroshenko's European Solidarity party has demanded a full investigation into the incident. Earlier, it included Balukh in its list of candidates for the 25 October local elections.

Human rights

Former political prisoners Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko and Volodymyr Balukh have recorded a video address to over 100 Ukrainian political prisoners still being held in Russia and occupied Crimea. On the video published by Krym.Realii, they say: "You are not forgotten either by those were behind bars or all Ukrainians. We have not forgotten about you. You are being awaited, you are being fought for."

Around 50 internally displaced persons protested outside the presidential office, demanding the launch of state support for providing IDPs with housing. In particular, they called for low-interest affordable loans.

Some 393 miners are protesting underground at the Kryvyy Rih Iron Ore Mill, demanding higher salaries and better working conditions, according to MP Mykhaylo Volynets.

Crimea

Russian pipeline troops have blocked the Biyuk-Karasu River in Crimea with an earth dam and are now pumping out its water for the needs of Simferopol residents. The dam was equipped below the Bilohirsk reservoir in the central part of the peninsula. There is almost no water left in the river beyond the dam, Krym.Realii said.

Donbas

Two Ukrainian servicemen got combat injuries as they set off a mine in Donetsk Region, the East Operative Tactical Command has said. They are in satisfactory condition.

Advisers to the Normandy Four (France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine) heads of state will meet on 11 September to discuss an escalation in Donbas, President Zelensky has said.

Military

The joint Ukrainian-Romanian naval exercise Riverine-2020 has begun in Izmayil, Odesa Region. For the third year, it is held on the Danube River.

Education law

Ukraine has heeded the recommendations of the Venice Commission regarding the law "On education", however it will no longer amend it at the request of other countries, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said at a joint news conference with his Romanian counterpart Bogdan Aurescu. "We respect Bucharest's position on the protection of ethnic minorities' rights. I see that Bucharest respects Kyiv's position on the matter and we are ready for dialogue," he said. Under the law, which came into effect on 28 September 2017, classes must be held in Ukrainian.

Chornobyl plant

The Chornobyl nuclear power plant has received a specific permit to commission a nuclear facility, the Interim Spent Fuel Dry Storage Facility (ISF-2). This permit opens the door for commencing "hot" tests at the facility, the plant said The tests provide for transportation of 186 real spent fuel assemblies into a new storage facility. The SFAs after their processing will be placed into the concrete storage modules. 

Coronavirus

By the morning of 8 September, Ukraine has registered 2,411 new cases, 57 deaths and 940 recoveries. This is the highest daily fatality rate registered since the start of the epidemic. Overall, Ukraine has logged in 140,479 coronavirus cases, including 2,934 fatalities.

 

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