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Scoop of the day: Normandy Four advisers commit to Donbas ceasefire

Scoop of the day: Normandy Four advisers commit to Donbas ceasefire

Donbas talks

Advisers to the Normandy Four (Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine) heads pledged their commitment to honour the full and comprehensive ceasefire, the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group has said. The advisers discussed steps to ensure this ceasefire. A proposal was made for the advisers to meet on the contact line. The security subgroup tasked with devising specific steps will meet on 20 April.

Russia should not expect to easily capture Ukraine as all of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's units have been training to repel its aggression since 2014, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has said.

Three ceasefire violations have been registered in Donbas since midnight, the Joint Forces Operation HQ has said. Separatists fired with 120-mm mortars, anti-tank missile systems near Pivdenne, 82-mm mortars, heavy machine-guns and small arms near Mayorsk. They remotely planted banned POM-2 anti-personnel mines near Zaytseve.

Coronavirus

The Ukrainian Health Ministry expects a new outbreak of the coronavirus three to four weeks after Easter and May holidays, its head Maksym Stepanov has said on the air of Ukrayina 24 TV.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged the government to set up a modern vaccine and medicine laboratory as soon as possible. Some 100m hryvnyas is reserved for this in the state budget, he added.

Ukraine registered 6,506 new Covid-19 cases on the morning of 20 April.

Drill

The Ukrainian Navy has held a joint passing (PASSEX) exercise with the Romanian Navy's Horia Macellariu corvette in the Black Sea. They practised interaction as part of a multinational tactical brigade in accordance with NATO standards.

Scandalous party

Pro-presidential MP Mykola Tyshchenko appears to have thrown a restaurant party for his wife despite a strict quarantine in Kyiv. According to Radio Liberty's Schemes project, around 30 businessmen and politicians attended the party. None of them wore face masks, journalists said.

Incident

Unidentified individuals have dumped around 3,000 plastic jugs with unknown chemicals in the Kizka River near the town of Bucha in Kyiv Region. Most of the jugs were sealed but some leaked into the river. Rescuers and green activists cleaned the river on 17 April.

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