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Scoop of the day: Riffmaster to stay in custody

Scoop of the day: Riffmaster to stay in custody

Human rights

The Kyiv court of appeal has once again refused to release musician and servicemen Andriy Antonenko (aka Riffmaster) from custody. He is suspected of involvement in the murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet in July 2016 on what many see as slim, if any, evidence. He has been in custody since 12 December 2019.


On the morning of 7 December, Ukraine reported 8,641 new Covid-19 cases, 5,123 recoveries and 145 fatalities.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has signed the laws on support for citizens and business during Covid-19 quarantine restrictions.

Lviv mayor Andriy Sadovyy has said that he tested positive for the coronavirus.

President's office

President Zelensky has four advisers while his chief of staff Andriy Yermak has 19, according to the Committee of Voters of Ukraine. The NGO suggested that given the absence of expert meetings in 2020, it appears that the institute of presidential advisers is practically dysfunctional.


Ukraine's First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzheppar has invited Moldova to join the Crimean Platform international initiative at a meeting with the Moldovan ambassador to Ukraine, Ruslan Bolbocean. She also briefed him on human rights violations and militarisation of the peninsula by the Russian occupying authorities.


In the early hours of 4 December, the Russian FSB shot dead Ukrainian national Yevhen Volodymyrovych Holubyev (born 1993, resident of Sumy Region) near the border with Ukraine, a source in law enforcement has told Radio Liberty. He was allegedly a local criminal. Still, Russia has not provided any evidence of his wrongdoing or any information about the victim either.

The Moscow city court has sentenced Ukrainian national Vasyl Vasylenko to 12 years in a high-security penal colony "for spying". He was detained in October 2019. According to some media reports, Vasylenko used to play for some Ukrainian football clubs in the past.


Zelenskyy has invited Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda to visit Ukraine during a phone conversation. He also said that Ukraine has managed to slow down the Covid-19 infection pace thanks to the weekend quarantine.


In an interview with RBC-Ukraine, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has described Joe Biden as "the first US president who does not need to be explained what Ukraine is in his first year in office".


The 40th tactical aviation brigade of the Centre Air Command has received a modernised fighter jet MiG-29MU1 from the Lviv State-Owned Aviation Repairs Plant, the Defence Ministry has said. The plane has had new avionics installed and undergone the engine overhaul.

The Security Service of Ukraine has said that the raids at the state defence concern Ukroboronprom and the arms exporter Ukrspetseksport on 3 December were carried out as part of a high treason case. Defence officials are suspected of leaking confidential information to a South Asian company named "R".

The SBU counterintelligence has exposed the command of a military unit based in Poltava Region who allegedly embezzled over 1m hryvnyas during the purchase of military equipment.

Transcarpathian Region

The head of the Transcarpathian regional state administration, Servant of the People deputy Oleksiy Petrov, has chaired the regional council. In 2017-2019, Petrov was in charge of counterintelligence at the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

The Political Party of Hungarians in Transcarpathian Region has made a case by walking out of the fist plenary session of the Transcarpathian regional council in protest against "political persecution".


The High Anticorruption Court has refused to change a measure of restraint for National Guard ex-Commander Yuriy Allerov, who is now in custody. He is suspected of involvement in a construction scam.


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