The state did not pay for the evacuation of Ukrainians and foreign nationals from Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said. He explained that the Ukrainian authorities contacted the owners of a Ukrainian private plane which was in Kabul airport at the time who agreed to cooperate and bring people out of the Taliban-captured country.
"We would have taken more Ukrainian nationals out but they simply could not reach the airport at the time. Physically. The plane had to fly out. Otherwise it would get stuck there for good," he added.
Kuleba earlier said that 153 Ukrainians requested help getting home from Afghanistan. "These are Ukrainian nationals who are located in a military base where they did contract work; Ukrainians of Afghan origin who visited their families; business people and other Ukrainian nationals. The most difficult problem is for them to get to Kabul airport," he said.
Attempts to install Soviet-style props as part of preparations for Independence Day festivities were derailed after National Corps and other activists interfered and tore them down. The props being installed in Kyiv's Instytutyska Street in the area where most Euro-Maydan protesters were killed in 2014 caused massive public outrage. Scuffles with police broke out and eight activists were briefly detained.
Ukrayinska Pravda's sources in the presidential office said the concept of the installations, which were to be used for TV filming, would be reviewed.
According to presidential spokesman Serhiy Nykyforov, they were to be installed temporarily to show different periods of life in Ukraine before independence.
The Kyiv city state administration said that it had not authorised the installation of these props.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has expressed a resolute protest over yet another series of searches and detentions carried out by the Russian occupying authorities in various parts of Crimea on 17 August. It accused Russia of "suppressing the freedom of religion and squeezing out aboriginal Crimean Tatars from the occupied peninsula".
Coat of arms
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy convenes an extraordinary parliament session to discuss the bill on the big coat of arms of Ukraine, Voice MP Yaroslav Yurchyshyn has said. The session should be held by 23 August and would require 300 MPs to pass the bill. The sketch of the coat of arms in the bill tabled by the president differs in many ways from the one that won the competition last year.
One Ukrainian serviceman was wounded amid five ceasefire violations in Donbas on 17 August, the Joint Forces HQ has said. The Joint Forces returned fire.
Five ceasefire violations were registered in Donbas on 16 August. One serviceman was fatally wounded.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has held an anti-terrorist drill in Uman, Cherkasy Region as part of preparations for the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah (6-8 September). According to the legend, terrorists planted explosives in a nine-storied hotel in the area of Rabbi Nachman's cultural centre and got barricaded in one of its rooms. SBU officers stormed the hotel and detained the notional terrorists.