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Scoop of the day: No lockdown until January

Scoop of the day: No lockdown until January

Coronavirus

On the morning of 4 December, Ukraine registered 15,131 new Covid-19 cases, 235 fatalities and 13,383 recoveries, Health Minister Maksym Stepanov has said.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said he has advised Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal against announcing a lockdown in December because he trusts and hopes that "we do not need it at the moment". He added that the conclusion was made after checking all the pros and cons. In his words, the coronavirus situation is controllable.

A quarantine is likely to be announced after 2 January, will be light on the economy but will let the health care system to catch its breath, according to Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers Oleh Nemchinov. Schools will be closed and entertaining outlets' operation will be restricted.

MPs passed the bill allowing the use of money from the coronavirus fund to be used to support business which can no longer operate or operates at loss.

Illegal enrichment

Parliament has passed the draft law which restores accountability for misreporting of income, which was cancelled by the Constitutional Court's scandalous ruling. It also foresees punishment for the deliberate non-submission of income statements.

Protest

The far-right National Corps rallied outside the presidential office in Kyiv's Bankova Street, demanding the dismissal of Prosecutor-General Iryna Venediktova, presidential chief of staff Andriy Yermak and his deputy Oleh Tatarov.

Premier

Parliament speaker Dmytro Razumkov considers the dismissal of Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal unlikely any time soon. Appearing on Nash TV, he did not rule out other reshuffles in the government in general. They recalled that at the start of his term President Zelensky promised he would dismiss anyone in his entourage if that person was engaged in corruption.

Donbas

A Ukrainian serviceman was wounded by a sniper near Luhanske, the Ukrainian delegation to the trilateral contact group has said on Facebook.

Speaker Razumkov has said on Nash TV that he expects MPs to extend the law on the special status of Donbas by another year during the 15-18 December plenary week. He does not expect other amendments to be made to the law.

Austria

Ukraine's ambassador to Austria, Oleksandr Shcherba, has accused Russian ambassador Dmitry Lyubinsky of hypocrisy after the latter accused Ukraine of disrespecting the Paris summit agreements on Donbas. "There are different types of hypocrisy. There is naive hypocrisy, there is audacious hypocrisy – and then there is incomprehensible, over-the-moon hypocrisy. For example, the hypocrisy of a state that promised to respect your borders, then annexed part of your land, and later decided to teach you the basics of international law," the Ukrainian ambassador said.

Ukraine will impose sanctions on the Austrian architecture bureau Coop Himmelb(l)au involved in the construction of an opera house in Russia-occupied Sevastopol, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry special officer in charge of sanctions policy Oleksiy Makeyev.

Russia

The State Border Service of Ukraine did not register any shooting incidents near the border with Russia in Sumy Region as was alleged by the Russian FSB yesterday. The State Border Service added that no facts of trespassing was registered either.

NATO

Ukraine's First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzheppar has suggested that Ukraine may become a NATO member by 2030. "In this context, the membership action plan will give Ukraine a new strong impulse to move further along the path of reform and mobilise efforts to achieve membership criteria," she said on Facebook.

Ukroboronprom

The Ministry for Strategic Industries is initiating the withdrawal of six aviation enterprises from the state-owned defence concern Ukroboronprom, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Strategic Indusris Oleh Uruskyy has said on Facebook. This decision seeks to speed up defence reform and improve the business standing of these enteprises.

Notorious cases

The customer for the murder of Kherson activist Kateryna Handzyuk, Vladsylav Manher, and his accomplice Oleksiy Levin will remain in custody at least until 1 February, according to a ruling by Kyiv's Dniprovskyy district court.

Ihor Redkin, who is suspected of killing a police officer and Donbas war volunteer Amina Okuyeva, will stay in custody at least until 15 January.

The Kharkiv district administrative court has reinstated a former commander of a Berkut special-purpose police company, Viktor Shapovalov, in his job. Shapovalov was accused of abuse of authority and office on 18 February 2014 during the protests in Kyiv's Independence Square, which resulted in grave consequences. The Interior Ministry has already said that it plans to appeal his reinstatement.

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