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Scoop of the weekend: Ukraine on "weekend quarantine", repeat local elections

Scoop of the weekend: Ukraine on "weekend quarantine", repeat local elections

Elections

Repeat local elections were held in Kherson, Odesa, Lutsk, Sumy, Kramatorsk, Kamyanets-Podilskyy and Ukrayinka on 15 November. According to the Opora election watchdog, the turnout at 4 p.m. local time was 18.6%.

Human rights

Exclusive: A human rights event called "Empty chairs" was held in Kyiv's Sofiyska Square on 15 November to support Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia, occupied Crimea and Donbas. According to an LB.ua correspondent, it was organised by the Ukrainian PEN and the Civil Liberties Centre. Journalists, writers, musicians and actors told the stories of political prisoners behind a row of empty chairs.

Coronavirus

As of this weekend, Ukraine has introduced the so-called "weekend quarantine", during which cafes and restaurants may only offer takeaway services, shopping and entertainment centres must close, and only shops selling food, medicines or fuel (60% of the stock) may continue operation.

As of the morning of 15 November, Ukraine has registered 10,681 new Covid-19 cases, 2,633 recoveries and 95 fatalities. The case total since the start of the pandemic has reached 535,857.

Health Minister Maksym Stepanov has tested positive for coronavirus.

In a video from hospital, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has criticised mayors who refused to introduce the "weekend quarantine", accusing them of election campaigning. He called on Ukrainians not to be "Covid atheists".

The Ukrainian army has registered two more Covid-19 fatalities, one in Zhytomyr Region and another in Lviv Region. Thus, there have been a total of 23 deaths in the army since the start of the pandemic. There are 2,494 active cases at the moment.

A petition seeking to have the "weekend quarantine" cancelled, which was launched on the president's website, has been signed by over 25,000 people and will now have to be considered by the president.

Referendum bill

Exclusive: Parliament plans to consider a bill on democracy (government by people) by means of an all-Ukrainian referendum next Friday, deputy speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk has said in an exclusive comment to LB.ua. If there is not enough votes, it will be delayed until the next plenary week, he added. Both speaker Dmytro Razumkov and Stefanchuk are currently sick with coronavirus.

President's video

In a video address from hospital, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has sought to ensure residents of occupied Donbas that Ukraine is open to them, creates new checkpoints and builds infrastructure along the line of contact.

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