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Scoop of the day: Ukraine calls for prisoner exchange by 24 Dec

Scoop of the day: Ukraine calls for prisoner exchange by 24 Dec

Coronavirus

By the morning of 18 November, Ukraine has registered 12,496 new Covid-19 cases over 24 hours. There were 256 fatalities and 8,096 recoveries. The case total since the start of the pandemic has reached 570,153, including 259,079 recoveries and 10,112 fatalities.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces have registered the 25th coronavirus fatality. Currently, there are 2,443 active cases in the army.

A two-dose coronavirus vaccine which the Ukrainian authorities plan to buy will cost 14 dollars or around 400 hryvnyas, according to Chief Sanitarian Officer Viktor Lyashko. Some 2.6bn hryvnyas have been reserved in the 2021 draft budget for the purchase of coronavirus vaccines.

Donbas

Soldier Ivan Horoshko from the 80th detached assault brigade died while guarding a base camp in the Joint Forces Operation area in Donbas on 16 November, the brigade has reported. Investigation is underway.

Ukraine suggested holding a prisoner exchange with Russia-controlled separatists by 24 December, an adviser to the Ukrainian delegation to the trilateral contact group on Donbas, Oleksiy Arestovych, has said.

Crimea

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has thanked members of the UNGA committee who supported the enhanced draft resolution on human rights in Crimea. "Its adoption in the Assembly in December will further consolidate pressure on Russia as occupying power to uphold international obligations, international humanitarian law," he tweeted.

Reforms

The defence concern Ukroboronprom has issued a statement in which it expressed concern over attempts to stall defence reform and interfere in its economic activities by the Ministry for Strategic Industries. In particular, it accused the ministry of failing to start preparing a defence industry strategy, not approving the concern's property policy, etc.

The Digital Transformation Ministry (DTF) is initiating a reform of the State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection, DTF head Mykhaylo Fedorov has said on Facebook. He added the ministry is preparing special programmes for counteraction to technical intelligence, modernization of government communication systems.

Appointment

The Cabinet of Ministers has appointed Pavlo Ryabikin head of the State Customs Service. Ryabikin is the director-general of Boryspil Airport and a former MP.

The Cabinet of Ministers has approved the nomination of Serhiy Hamaliya for head of the Khmelnytskyy regional state administration.

Crime

The state budget would receive 4.5bn-5bn hryvnyas more each month if not for VAT scams in the tax, fiscal and customs services which have renewed again, according to former Finance Minister Ihor Umanskyy.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has exposed a scheme under which defect spare parts were supplied from Russia through occupied territories to the regional office of the Lviv Railway company in 2019-2020.

The SBU has prevented the smuggling of 20 kg of cocaine worth 4m dollars from South America through the Pivdennyy port. The drugs packed into kilogram bricks were found in a banana container.

The High Anticorruption Court has confirmed closing three cases on misreporting of income by officials after the Constitutional Court invalidated a number of provisions of the Law "On prevention of corruption". One of the cases concerned Odesa mayor Hennadiy Trukhanov.

The Kyiv city prosecutor's office suspects the former director of a contractor company of embezzling 9m hryvnyas of state funding during the supply of sand for the construction of the Kyiv-Boryspil railway link.

The Interior Ministry has dismissed the head of the property management department, Ivan Naumov, after his son's restaurant was found to stay open despite weekend quarantine arrangements, according to the Ukrayinska Pravda website.

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