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Scoop of the day: Zelenskyy presses Budapest Memorandum case; coronavirus peaks further

Scoop of the day: Zelenskyy presses Budapest Memorandum case; coronavirus peaks further

Zelenskyy's interview

Tonight Ukrainian TV showed President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's pre-recorded interview with four TV channels.

In particular, Zelenskyy said that if international security guarantees such as the 1994 Budapest Memorandum are not fulfilled by their signatories, Ukraine has the right to do as it sees fit for its own protection and security.

Zelenskyy suggested that the introduction of a free economic zone in Donbas will facilitate investment in the region and bring closer the end to the war.

He did not rule out a government reshuffle following a performance evaluation. "The weakest will go," he said without calling the names.

According to Zelenskyy, if Prosecutor-General Iryna Venediktova does not show "normal serious results of fight against corruption", he can "exert influence and offer another candidate".

Coronavirus

Ukraine has registered another record-high daily increment of 7,053 coronavirus cases by the morning of 22 October, 116 people died and 2,679 recovered. Most cases were registered in Kyiv (631), Kharkiv Region (627) and Odesa Region (600).

According to the Kyiv School of Economics, one in five first-tier hospitals is critically filled to capacity with coronavirus patients. In particular, 54 such hospitals are 100% filled.

The development of a Ukrainian coronavirus vaccine will take at least a year, health expert Mykhaylo Favorov has said at a briefing. Health Minister Maksym Stepanov has added that the state will finance the project in full for at least 100m-150m hryvnyas.

According to Zelenskyy, despite 6,000-7,000 infections per day, Ukraine is not planning to introduce strict quarantine. These restrictions would bring the Ukrainian economy to a halt.

Donbas

Zelenskyy started a working visit to Donbas where he plans to check on the Big Construction project and attend the opening of a sports facility.

Russia-backed militants have violated the ceasefire four times since midnight, the Joint Forces Operation HQ said in the evening update. They fired with small arms near Artema, an automatic mounted grenade launcher near Novoluhanske and twice with small arms near Shumy.

Arms

The secretary of the National Security and Defence Council, Oleksiy Danilov, has named precision-guided weapons a priority. Other priorities include the reform of the defence industry "with maximum corporatization and involvement of NATO countries in the joint production of weapons on the territory of Ukraine".

Belarus

Dozens of Belarusian IT companies have relocated to Ukraine following the government crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Belarus, the Ukrainian Digital Transformation Ministry has said. One of them is Wargaming, the world-known developer of such games as World of Tanks and other. PandaDoc is opening its office in Kyiv too, according to Deputy Minister Oleksandr Bornyakov.

Economy

The National Bank of Ukraine has revised the inflation forecast, having decreased it to 4.1%.

Reshuffle

The Cabinet of Ministers has appointed Yevhen Yentis acting head of the State Customs Service instead of Andriy Pavlovskyy.

The head of the State Judicial Administration, Zenoviy Kholodnyuk, has tendered resignation.

Incident

Four employees got burnt as a result of the fire at a company which disposes chemicals and pharmaceuticals in Obukhiv, Kyiv Region.

Crime

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has discovered a large-scale arms cache in Rivne Region, containing four RPG-22 anti-tank grenades, 2 kg of plastic explosives, 0.5 kg of TNT, a DIY explosive device, 12 F-1 grenades with fuses and almost 1,000 cartridges of various calibres.

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