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Scoop of the day: Zelenskyy asks Venice Commission to assess "constitutional situation"

Scoop of the day: Zelenskyy asks Venice Commission to assess "constitutional situation"

Coronavirus

By the morning of 25 November, Ukraine has registered 13,882 new coronavirus cases , 8,240 recoveries and 229 fatalities, the Health Ministry has said. The case total since the start of the pandemic has reached 661,858, including 11,492 fatalities.

Speaking on the air of Ukraine 24 TV this morning, Health Minister Maksym Stepanov confirmed that a lockdown was possible. "There may be circumstances in which we will be forced to introduce it purely from the point of view of saving our lives," he said.

The Ukrainian government is preparing for all possible scenarios of the epidemic and a possible quarantine during the winter holidays, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has said. He added that further decisions would be taken based on the results of the weekend quarantine that are expected in early December. "As a result, we should reach a plateau in early December. There is already a certain improvement in terms of the number of occupied hospital beds," he added.

The city of Vinnytsya will not put up its main New Year tree to avoid crowds amid coronavirus concerns, its mayor Serhiy Morhunov has said on Facebook. Festivities will be taken online wherever possible.

Some 45% of Ukrainians believe churches must be open for services during the coronavirus pandemic but they must observe all sanitary rules, a survey by the Razumkov Centre has found.

Protest at violence against women

A naked activist climbed a granite sphere at the entrance to the presidential office, shouting "Away with violence", on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. She was promptly detained by security guards.

Constitutional crisis

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has asked the Venice Commission to assess the constitutional situation resulting from the Constitutional Court's 27 October decision to invalidate a number of key provisions of the anti-corruption legislation. In a letter to Venice Commission head Gianni Buquicchio, he said that the ruling caused a serious constitutional crisis which "the Ukrainian authorities are resolutely set to resolve and restore legislative mechanisms for the prevention of and fight against corruption".

Church

The Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus supported the decision of Archbishop Chrysostomos and recognized the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said on Telegram.

Donbas

The Russian delegation to the trilateral contact group is avoiding a conflict settlement plan for Donbas on its behalf and instead insists on adopting the document submitted by Donetsk and Luhansk separatists, a representative of occupied Donbas in the Ukrainian delegation, Serhiy Harmash, has said on Facebook. He described today's meeting of the contact group as "toughest he can remember".

Blogger's arrest

A former Russian national and Putin's opponent, who was granted Ukrainian citizenship in 2016, Mykhaylo Oreshnikov was detained in Indonesia on Russia's Interpol warrant and is about to be extradited to Russia, Ukrainian journalist Andriy Tsapliyenko has said. He noted that Oreshnikov's Ukrainian IDs were confiscated and he was logged in as a Russian national and denied any contact with the Ukrainian embassy.

Journalist's detention in Belarus

Belarusian journalist Ihar Ilyash (Igor Ilyash), a special freelance correspondent for LB.ua, has been detained and placed at the Akrestsina remand centre. He is the husband of Belsat TV journalist Katsyaryna Andreyeva during a live broadcast from a protest area in Minsk on 15 November.

Hungary

The Hungarian Foreign Ministry has summoned Ukrainian ambassador Lyubov Nepop after its representative István Grezsa was denied entry to Transcarpathian Region. Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said. He said on Facebook that he had informed the ambassador about Hungary's objections and handed over a note of protest. "It came like a bolt from the blue" that Grezsa, the ministerial commissioner in charge of cooperation between Hungary's Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County and Ukraine's Transcarpathian Region had been denied entry to Ukraine and was told that he was banned to enter the neighbouring country for three years, Szijjártó said.

Appointment

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has appointed Vitaliy Kim as head of the Mykolayiv regional state administration instead of Oleksandr Stadnik.

The Cabinet of Ministers has approved the nomination of Anatoliy Poloskov and Ayna Tymchuk for heads of the Transcarpathian and Kharkiv regional state administrations.

Ex-MP Mykhaylo Holovko of the far-right Freedom party has been elected head of the Ternopil regional council.

Economy

The Cabinet of Ministers has extended the suspension of a free trade area with Russia until the end of 2021.

Travel

Ukraine and St Vincent and the Grenadines have signed an agreement on visa-free travel, Ukraine's ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystayko, has tweeted. The diplomatic relations were established in September 2019.

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