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Scoop of the day: Ukrainian soldier killed in east; USA targets more in Derkach case

Scoop of the day: Ukrainian soldier killed in east; USA targets more in Derkach case

Donbas

A Ukrainian serviceman was killed near Pisky as Russia-backed militants fired a heavy machine guns, small and sniper arms in the area. Overall, there have been six ceasefire violations in Donbas on 11 January, according to the Joint Forces Operation HQ.

US sanctions

The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took additional action against seven individuals and four entities that are part of a Russia-linked foreign influence network associated with Andrii Derkach.

Derkach was designated on 10 September 2020 his attempt to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Since at least 2019, Derkach and his associates have leveraged U.S. media, US-based social media platforms, and influential US persons to spread misleading and unsubstantiated allegations that current and former U.S. officials engaged in corruption, money laundering, and unlawful political influence in Ukraine. Former Ukrainian Government officials Kostyantyn Kulyk, Oleksandr Onyshchenko, Andriy Telizhenko, and current Ukraine Member of Parliament Oleksandr Dubinsky have publicly appeared or affiliated themselves with Derkach through the coordinated dissemination and promotion of fraudulent and unsubstantiated allegations involving a US political candidate.

Coronavirus

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has instructed the Cabinet of Ministers to inform the public in detail on quarantine restrictions in effect during the 8-24 January amid much discontent in society over controversial regulations banning the sale of some convenience goods.

On the morning of 11 January, the Ukrainian Health Ministry reported 4,288 new Covid-19 cases, 68 fatalities and 4,819 recoveries in 24 hours.

PACE

Servant of the People MP Mariya Mezentseva has replaced Yelyzaveta Yasko as head of the Ukrainian parliament's delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The next PACE session is due on 25-28 January.

Economy

Amid public uproar over a surge in household gas tariffs, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has said there are two ways to have them decreased significantly: one is if the gas tariff is based on the formula "price at European hubs minus [the cost of] gas transport to Ukraine"; the other, which was suggested by Naftogaz, is to increase competition in the market by making all gas supplying companies disclose its annual gas tariff.

According to RBC-Ukraine, protests against the higher tariffs were held in Chernivtsi, Poltava, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Odesa, Kramatorsk, Kropyvnytskyy, Pryluky, Melitopol, Kherson and Vinnytsya.

Inflation in Ukraine sped up from 4.1% in 2019 to 5% in 2020, according to the State Statistics Service.

The IMF mission doing the first review of the stand-by programme for Ukraine has resumed its work remotely today, according to Interfax-Ukraine.

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