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Scoop of the day: contingency plans for coronavirus

Scoop of the day: contingency plans for coronavirus

Coronavirus

Exclusive: Up to 52,000 hospital beds in Ukraine can be made available to coronavirus patients, Health Minister Maksym Stepanov has said in an interview with LB.ua. Some 36,000 beds are already available. If the country runs out of beds, additional ones can be installed at stadiums as a "very temporary measure", he added.

Stepanov, who is running for the Odesa regional council on the list of the pro-presidential Servant of the People party, has said that he would not step down as health minister if he got elected.

Ukraine has registered 2,884 new cases of the coronavirus by 22 September, with the case total now reaching 181,237. Currently, there are 97,694 active cases.

Donbas

Parliament speaker Dmytro Razumkov has ruled out any change to the resolution on local elections as this, in his opinion, would undermine their legitimacy as the election campaign is already underway. Russia and separatists have been demanding that Ukraine change the parliament resolution which stipulates that elections in occupied areas can only be held after they are de-occupied, paramilitary groups and foreign troops leave and Ukraine restores control over the state border.

Controversial remarks by a deputy head of the Ukrainian delegation to the trilateral contact group on Donbas, Vitold Fokin, mean that the authorities have no strategy or tactic on the liberation of occupied Donbas, MP Iryna Herashchcenko has suggested. The fact that Fokin has not been dismissed means the authorities share his views, she added.

According to the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, since the Donbas conflict started, the total death toll for civilians has reached at least 3,367, and more than 7,000 civilians have been injured. From 1 January to 31 July 2020, the Mission recorded 107 civilian casualties: 18 killed (ten men, seven women and one boy) and 89 injured (49 men, 30 women, six girls and four boys).

Visit

European Commission Vice-President Josep Borrell has arrived in Ukraine and has already met representatives of civil society and parliament. Anti-Corruption Action Centre NGO said that it had provided Borrell with a "detailed description of pro-Russian and pro-Kolomoyskyy forces in parliament who attack Ukraine's pro-Western choice".

Military

Presidential chief of staff Andriy Yermak has described as "ethically dubious" the reduction of budget spending on the army in 2021 by 127m hryvnyas. However, he insists that other defence-related expenses have been increased.

Crimea

Ukraine's Permanent Representative to the UN Serhiy Kyslytsya has said that the resumption of Dnieper water supplies to Russia's annexed Crimea may be discussed only if Russia officially makes such a request to the Ukrainian authorities and declares itself an occupier. "They should contact the Ukrainian authorities with an official request, not threats, hysteria, you see. And then we will see, relevant ministries and offices will see what our reaction should be," he told Krym.Realii.

Appointments

Oleksiy Sukahchov has become new acting director of the State Investigation Bureau. He was selected in an open competition for the job in August 2020.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has appointed Volodymyr Khomanets and Valeriy Kirdoda as ambassadors to Tunisia and Nigeria respectively. Khomanets headed the economic cooperation department of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry while Kirdoda was ambassador to Algeria and Mali.

Local elections

Pro-Russian Opposition Platform-For Life has nominated Oleksandr Popov for Kyiv mayor. He headed the Kyiv city state administration from 16 November to 14 December 2013, when he was suspended on suspicion of violating citizens' constitutional rights in the early hours of 30 November 2013. He was also a member of Viktor Yanukovych's Party of Regions.

Digitalisation

The Ministry of Digital Transformation and the Ministry of Social Policy have presented a Strategy for Digital Transformation of Social Services, as a result of which Ukraine will have a single social register of all recipients of social services and improve automation of social payments.

Information security

The National Coordination Centre for Cyber Security at the National Security and Defence Council is working with international partners on blocking the app of the Russian social network VKOntakte in Ukraine. The network, which is banned in Ukraine, became available through its mobile app after a change of proxy servers.

Crime

The State Border Service has detained 11 Hasidic pilgrims who tried to cross the border in Odesa Region outside the checkpoints. Border guards found out that all of them had violated the rules of stay in Ukraine and that they were returning from Rosh Hashanah celebrations in Uman.

The National Police have detained a man who tried to deliver narcotics to the infamous Lukyanivske remand centre in Kyiv using a quadcopter.

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