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Scoop of the weekend: Crackdown on smugglers

Scoop of the weekend: Crackdown on smugglers

Anti-smuggling campaign

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has enacted the 2 April decision of the National Security and Defence Council (NSDC) on personal sanctions against the "top 10" Ukrainian smugglers, under which their accounts and property will be impounded. The sanctions concern 79 legal entities, including 11 Russian companies, one of them being Rossotrudnichestvo. Earlier, Zelenskyy said that the state had incurred 300bn hryvnyas worth of losses due to smuggling.

Over 100 employees of the State Customs Service, including 17 managers, got suspended as part of the crackdown on smuggling, the service has said.

Coronavirus

President Zelenskyy has enacted the 2 April NSDC decision on the national Covid-19 vaccination plan. It is planned to determine the minimal required monthly amount of vaccines, sources and deadlines for vaccine supply with a view to vaccinating the majority of adult population in Ukraine by December 2021 in order to form herd immunity.

On the morning of 4 April, Ukraine reported 13,738 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours. There were 258 fatalities and 4,657 recoveries.

Another Ukrainian serviceman died of the coronavirus, bringing the death toll in the Armed Forces since the start of the pandemic to 66.

Donbas

A Ukrainian serviceman died after tripping an IED near Shumy in Donbas.

Russia-backed militants launched a toy plane packed with explosives which was brought to Shyrokyne by the wind, the Joint Forces Operation HQ has said. It detonated when Ukrainian servicemen tried to pull it over with the help of a hook.

The Ukrainian delegation to the trilateral contact group on Donbas settlement will not take part in meetings of the political subgroup for as long as so-called separatist "civic expert" Maya Pyrohova is involved in them, top negotiator Leonid Kravchuk has said. The political subgroup adjourned in March after Russia had proposed to involve Donetsk-based "expert" Pyrohova in its work.

By-elections

The Central Electoral Commission has declared a representative of the pro-presidential Servant of the People party and athlete, Vasyl Virastyuk, the winner in the parliamentary by-election in constituency 87, Ivano-Frankivsk Region. Virastyuk received 31.25%, followed by local businessman and ex-MP Oleksandr Shevchenko and Freedom party member and ex-MP Ruslan Koshulynskyy.

Crime

According to European Solidarity MP Oleksiy Honcharenko, the State Investigation Bureau has opened criminal proceedings over high treason by Opposition Platform-For Life MPs Viktor Medvedchuk and Taras Kozak.

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