MainPolitical

Scoop of the day: raging wildfires in Luhansk Region kill 11

Scoop of the day: raging wildfires in Luhansk Region kill 11

Massive wildfires in Luhansk Region

Some 146 beds of fire were registered in Luhansk Region on 30 September. Fanned by strong winds, the fire covered a large territory, which included dozens of settlements.

According to the Prosecutor-General's Office, 11 people got killed and 250 houses damaged.

The Stanytsya Luhanska checkpoint on the line of contact had to be closed as fire came close and caused the detonation of explosives near the highway.

By the evening of 1 October, firefighters were still putting out fire at around 30 sites.

Investigators consider four main theories of what caused the fires: shelling by illegal armed groups from the uncontrolled part of Luhansk Region; arson; self-ignition of grass and woods due to weather; and careless handling of fire. Seven criminal cases were opened.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that he would not connect the fires with shelling by militants but "it is up to law enforcers to say whether it was an act of provocation or not".

Coronavirus

By the morning of 2 October, Ukraine has registered 4,069 new Covid-19 cases, the highest daily increase since the start of the pandemic. The case total has reached 213,028, including 4,193 fatalities.

According Chief Sanitary Officer Viktor Lyashko, there was no first wave of Covid-19 in Ukraine. He told Ukrainian Radio that Ukraine managed to prevent it at the time thanks to lockdown. There was no splash but a gradual increase with which the health care system is capable of coping.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has blamed a surge in coronavirus infections on the local election campaign. "These are games which increased the number of the sick by over 1,000%," he said.

The head of the Servant of the People party, Oleksandr Korniyenko, has said that he has tested positive for Covid-19.

Earlier, parliament cancelled all sessions but one for October due to an outbreak of the coronavirus among MPs.

Donbas

Exclusive: In an interview with LB.ua, Kharkiv mayoral candidate Mykhaylo Dobkin said that the Russian occupation of Donbas deprived Viktor Yanukovych's allies of hope for revenge after the Revolution of Dignity. He insists that Russians "rule there [in Donbas] and all others are absolute flunkies".

The Joint Forces Operation HQ registered 11 ceasefire violations in Donbas on 30 September. One Ukrainian serviceman was wounded.

Foreign policy

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has summoned the Belarusian embassy minister-counsellor to express protest against self-proclaimed Crimean speaker Volodymyr Konstantinov's participation in the Forum of Regions in Belarus. The Foreign Ministry said that Ukraine considers as unacceptable Belarus's steps undermining Crimea's Ukrainian allegiance.

A US military transport aircraft, which was on a scheduled flight from the Rammstein base, made an emergency landing at Odesa airport due to a technical failure, the airport said. No-one was hurt. Technical assistance was provided. According to Ukrinform, there was a problem with one of four engines.

Crime

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has exposed fraud in the stock market worth 2.8bn hryvnyas. A group of companies, including the Portfelni Investytsiyi and Novitni Tekhnologiyi investment funds, colluded to issue fake loans to associated companies to later illegally launder the withdrawn money.

Ihor Pavlovskyy, who is suspected of killing Kherson anticorruption activist Ihor Pavlovskyy, has confirmed that Kherson regional council head Vladyslav Manher order her murder, the Facebook community "Who ordered [the murder of] Katya Handzyuk?" Pavlovskyy also said that Manher had threatened him and his daughter, therefore he repeatedly exonerated him in his statements.

Border guards who detained and expelled Georgian ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili to Poland in 2018 will face trial for abuse of office, according to the State Investigation Bureau.

The High Anticorruption Court has suspended State Judicial Administration head Zenoviy Kholodnyuk for two months. He is suspected of meddling in the work of the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine.

Read LB.ua news on social networks Facebook, Twitter and Telegram