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Scoop of the day: Ukraine questions Lukashenka's legitimacy

Scoop of the day: Ukraine questions Lukashenka's legitimacy

Belarus

While on a visit to Slovakia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has commented on the Belarusian authorities' crackdown on protesters: "If the Belarusian authorities do not stop those actions, especially the actions of law-enforcement officers against their people, they will get a very powerful result and response from their own people. If the authorities do not build a dialogue with their own people, these authorities will no longer be."

Earlier, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted: "Ukraine has never interfered in internal affairs of Belarus & will always support the Belarusian people. Taking into account the election campaign & what followed, today's "inauguration" of Lukashenko does not mean his recognition as a legitimate head of Belarusian state."

Some 45.3% of Ukrainians support the actions of Belarusian protesters disputing the results of the 9 August presidential election, a survey by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology has found. There are 31.3% who support Belarusian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Belarusian protesters enjoy more support in western and central Belarus while Lukashenka is more popular in the south and east.

Ukraine has asked Belarus to reschedule the 3rd Ukrainian-Belarusian Forum of Regions, which was to take place in Belarus’s Hrodna on 8-9 October, until next year, Belarusian ambassador Ihar Sokal has told Ukraine Business Review. This would affect both countries’ economies and ties, the ambassador added.

Slovakia

Ukraine and Slovakia have signed a number of agreements on the use of airspace which will allow Uzhhorod international airport to resume operation. As it is located close to the Slovak border, aircraft need to use this country's airspace to land and take off.

Kosovo

Although Ukraine has not officially recognized Kosovo's independence, its ambassadors have been instructed to recognize Kosovo passports as valid travel documents, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Vasyl Bodnar has said in an interview with Albanian RTV Ora TV.

UN General Assembly

In a video speech to the UN General Assembly, President Zelenskyy has said that Kyiv is prepared to host a global office for counteraction to disinformation and fake news.

Donbas

Russia-backed militants violated the ceasefire on three occasions on 23 September by sending out two drones across the line of contact and making two shots from a grenade launcher near Popasna. The drones were jammed and immobilized.

An additional checkpoint on the line of contact is being built near the town of Shchastya in Luhansk Region, as decided at the 22 July 2020 meeting of the trilateral contact group, the Joint Forces Operation HQ has said. The new facility with the daily processing capacity of 10,000-15,000 people and 3,000-5,000 cars is expected to be opened on 10 November 2020.

A deputy head of the trilateral contact group on Donbas, Vitold Fokin, who has become known for his controversial remarks, has apologized for calling Russia-backed militants "insurgents" on the air of Ukrainian Radio.

Military

The Defence Ministry has foiled an attempt to sell a military compound in Odesa. It was illegally registered and put for sale as impounded property.

Russia

TV presenter Oksana Marchenko, the wife of pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, has recently become the owner of NZNP Engineering, a Moscow-based construction company, the Schemes investigative project has found out.

Local elections

The Central Electoral Commission has approved the form and six colours of ballot papers for different types of local elections due on 25 October.

Economy

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) expects the actual budget deficit in 2020 to make 6-6.5%, which is lower than a 7.5% projection.

Parliament may give the first reading to the draft budget for 2021 at an extraordinary sitting on 20 October, Voice MP Yaroslav Zheleznyak has said on Telegram.

The Kryvyy Rih iron ore mill will suspend operation after its management has failed to reach agreement with miners who have been protesting underground for 22 days now. The management said that there would also be layoffs. Further negotiations would continue if the miners, who have been demanding higher pay and better working conditions, got the surface, it added.

Healthcare

Exclusive: Since the start of the second stage of health reform, 3,815 specialised doctors 4,462 nurses who used to work in secondary care have resigned, the former head of the National Health Service of Ukraine, Oksana Movchan, has said in an interview with LB.ua. Thus she proved Health Minister Maksym Stepanov wrong, who repeatedly alleged that 50,000 doctors would lose jobs due to imperfect reform.

By the morning of 24 September, Ukraine has registered 3,372 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total to 188,106. Over the day, 1,788 patients have been reported to have recovered, which is a record-high figure. Currently, there are 100,891 active cases.

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