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Scoop of the day: Russian helicopter violates Ukraine's airspace

Scoop of the day: Russian helicopter violates Ukraine's airspace

Incident

A Russian helicopter has violated the state border, having entered Ukraine 50 m deep into Sumy Region, the State Border Service has said. The helicopter then made a U-turn and left Ukraine. The State Border Service has immediately requested information on the helicopter from Russia and informed the relevant Ukrainian ministries.

Coronavirus

The spring death rate from the coronavirus is already higher than the one in the autumn with a trend towards further increase at least until April, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine has said.

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church leader Svyatoslav (Shevchuk) has got vaccinated from Covid-19 along with several other religious leaders, including Kyiv Rabbi Yonatan Markovitch among others.

Ukraine reported 9,642 new Covid-19 cases on the morning of 16 March.

At an emergency briefing, Kyiv mayor Vitaliy Klitschko asked the government to allocate more beds to Covid-19 patients as available hospitals have been running out of space. He also asked the government to allow cities to introduce more Covid-19 restrictions.

Crimea

The Foreign Intelligence Service (FIS) of Ukraine has denied the Russian FSB's reports about the exposure of Ukrainian scouts in Crimea. The FIS said that the FSB was trying "to create a background for the 17 March informal meeting of the UN Security Council on Crimea, which was initiated by Russia".

Poll

Ukrainians mostly trust the Armed Forces (70%), volunteer organisations (65%) and church (64%), a poll by the Razumkov Centre has shown.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy (27.4%) continues to lead in the presidential rating, followed by ex-President Petro Poroshenko (19.7%) and Yuriy Boyko (17.1%), according to the poll.

Court

The chamber of appeals of the Supreme Anticorruption Court has rejected PrykarpatZakhidTrans's lawsuit which sought to overrule the arrest of a part of the Samara-Zakhidnyy Napryamok (Western direction) oil pipeline crossing Ukraine. The company is believed to be associated with pro-Russian MP Viktor Medvedchuk.

Defence

The state defence concern Ukroboronprom has commented on the Stockholm Institute for Peace Studies (SIPRI) report that Russia was among the three largest buyers of Ukrainian weapons in 2016-2020. The concern insists that since 2014, Ukroboronprom has not signed a single contract for the supply of weapons or military equipment to the Russian Federation.

Security

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has searched parliament, the National Security and Defence Council, the Foreign Ministry and the Cabinet of Ministers as these public offices were involved in the development and ratification of the so-called Kharkiv agreements under which the Russian Black Sea Fleet's stay in Crimea was extended until 2042 in exchange for gas discount.

The SBU has reported blocking a large-scale cyber attack by the Armageddon hacker team believed to be controlled by the Russian FSB against Ukrainian government offices. The SBU warned the government offices about the threat through the MISP-UA intelligence platform.

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