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Scoop of the weekend: Ukraine celebrates volunteers, army

Scoop of the weekend: Ukraine celebrates volunteers, army

Ukraine marks Volunteers Day on 5 December and Armed Forces Day on 6 December.

Ukrainian army

In his congratulatory speech on this occasion, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said: "Ukrainians are a peaceful nation. We really want an honest end to the war in Donbas, the return of all our temporarily occupied territories and people. But we have no illusions that after that you can relax and not worry about defence. We also have no illusions about the real intentions of the aggressor state, "he said.

Zelenskyy named the 44th detached artillery brigade of the Ground Troops after Hetman Danylo Apostol; the 27th rocket-propelled artillery brigade of the Ground Troops after Hetman Petro Kalnyshevskyy; the 12th detached army aviation brigade of the Ground Troops after Gen-Khorunzhyy Viktor Pavlenko; the 18th detached army aviation brigade of the Ground Troops after Igor Sikorsky; the 169th training centre of the Ground Troops after Prince Yaroslav the Wise; and the 1st radiotechnical brigade of the Air Force as Halytsko-Volynska.

Zelenskyy also visited the front-line area in Donbas to meet servicemen deployed there. He brought along state awards and presents.

On 5 December, Zelensky praised volunteers for making a decisive contribution to the defence of Ukraine from Russian aggression.

Speaker Dmytro Razumkov said that MPs would do their best to uncrease funding for the Ukrainian army in the 2021 draft budget. He said that he was "concerned" that the it is lower than last year.

A low-key event in solidarity with servicewomen against sexual harassment has been held in central Kyiv. It was organised by Amnesty International Ukraine. One of the organisers quoted results of an anonymous survey according to which 70% of respondents experienced or witnessed sexual harassment in the Ukrainian army.

NATO

Ukraine is ready to increase its national contributions to NATO-led operations and make additional forces available to the Alliance in order to receive full membership in the future, the government newspaper has quoted Defence Minister Andriy Taran as saying.

Antonov deal

By the end of 2020, Ukraine will, for the first time over its independent history, will order three An-178 short-range medium-airlift military transport aircraft from the state-owned Antonov company, Minister for Strategic Industries Oleh Uruskyy told Radio Liberty.

Coronavirus

President Zelenskyy has said in a video address that the number of coronavirus patients has stopped growing "as rapidly and geometrically as Roshen stores across the country once did" in a reference to the Roshen confectionery corporation associated with ex-President Petro Poroshenko. Zelenskyy added that Ukraine has "enough beds, enough oxygen. In general, the situation is under control and does not require a lockdown".

Chief Sanitarian Officer Viktor Lyashko has said that the Cabinet of Ministers may introduce a lockdown in early January 2021. In his words, hotels, ski resorts and churches are unlikely to be affected. The exact date of the lockdown is to be announced at a government meeting on 9 December.

On the morning of 6 December, Ukraine reported 11,590 new Covid-19 cases, 6,048 recoveries and 167 fatalities. The case total since the start of the pandemic has reached 813,306.

On 5 December, the Ukrainian Armed Forces reported two more coronavirus deaths among servicemen in Chernihiv and Khmelnytskyy regions.

Russia

Russian rock musician and actor Petr Mamonov has been denied entry to Ukraine at Kyiv Boryspil Airport because he illegally visited occupied Crimea in the past. He is barred from visiting Ukraine for three years.

Incident

A light training plane has crashed down near the village of Hoholiv, Brovary District, Kyiv Region. A pilot and an instructor got injured.

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