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Scoop of the day: US sanctions on Kolomoyskyy; third coronavirus wave

Kolomoyskyy under US sanctions

The US State Department on Friday said it designated former Ukrainian public official Ihor Kolomoyskyy as ineligible to enter the United States, accusing him of involvement in significant corruption during his time in office.

Commenting on the news, the Ukrainian presidential office said:"For economic prosperity and Euro-Atlantic integration, proclaimed not only in the constitution but above all in Ukrainian society, Ukraine must overcome a system dominated by oligarchs." The president's office said that they are grateful to international partners for their support on this path.

Coronavirus

Ukraine has entered the third wave of the coronavirus, with a surge of infections expected in late April, Health Minister Maksym Stepanov has said. He confirmed that the British variant of the coronavirus had been identified in Ukraine.

A strict quarantine has been introduced in Transcarpathian Region, meaning schools will close and move lessons online, eateries and non-food markets will also close. The region last registered 748 new Covid-19 cases in one day.

On the morning of 5 March, Ukraine registered 10,155 new Covid-19 cases after running 40,393 tests. Most cases were registered in Kyiv (910), Vinnytsya Region (816), Transcarpathian Region (748), Ivano-Frankivsk Region (727) and Zhytomyr Region (695).

Security

The state defence concern Ukroboronprom is checking its deputy director for marketing and distribution Mykhaylo Morozov for connection to Russian special services, as MP Andriy Kot alleged on 4 March.

In an interview with Ukrinform, the secretary of the National Security and Defence Council, Oleksiy Danilov, has compared the operation of pro-Russian TV channels in Ukraine to "weapons of mass destruction".

Donbas

One Ukrainian serviceman was heavily wounded near Maryinka in Donbas amid three ceasefire violations by the Russian occupying troops, the Joint Forces Operation HQ has said.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said that meetings of the trilateral contact group on Donbas increasingly look like a "theatre of the absurd" due to Russia's "absolutely destructive" position.

Human rights

Kremlin political prisoner Hlib Shabliy, who has served a full term in occupied Crimea and Russia, has returned to Ukraine, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said. Russia convicted him in the case of so-called "Crimean saboteurs" in November 2016.

Economy

Presidential adviser Tymofiy Mylovanov, who was an economy and trade minister, has said on Ukrayina 24 TV that land reform was not among the IMF's requirements to a loan programme in 2019.

The IMF mission may return to Ukraine in April after the government cap on gas prices for households expires, Servant of the People party leader Oleksandr Korniyenko has told Suspilne.

Rating

A survey by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology has found that Ukrainians have the highest trust in President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (39.5%) and Kyiv mayor Vitaliy Klitschko (33.8%).

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