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Scoop of the day: Parliament commission releases Wagner probe report

Scoop of the day: Parliament commission releases Wagner probe report

Wagner probe

The parliamentary ad hoc investigation commission has released a preliminary report on the attempted detention of Russian private military company Wagner mercenaries in the summer of 2020.

According to MP Maryana Bezuhla, there were several scenarios for the detention of the Wagner members. Some envisaged their arrest in Turkey with subsequent extradition, others involved landing the plane in Ukraine (under the pretext of health problems of one of the passengers or the threat of a terrorist attack; a forced landing was also considered).

The operation was planned for 25 July, but was postponed until 30 July. The commission failed to establish who made this decision. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy did not do it and the head of the President's Office, Andriy Yermak, had no authority to do so, Bezuhla said.

She admitted that Russia and Belarus might have known about certain activities of Ukrainian intelligence activities, but the commission failed to ascertain the leak from the Ukrainian side.

Nato warns about military buildup near Ukraine border

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the military alliance is closely monitoring large concentrations of Russian forces close to Ukraine's borders and is urging Moscow to be "transparent" and "prevent escalation" in a bid to reduce tensions.

"What we see is a significant, large Russian military build-up, we see an unusual concentration of troops and we know Russia has been willing to use these types of military capabilities before to conduct aggressive actions against Ukraine," Stoltenberg after a meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, as quoted by Bloomberg.

Coal shortage

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has spoken about the measures being taken to counteract the energy crisis in Ukraine.

"The state will not leave anyone without light and heat," Zelenskyy said this in a video message shared on Facebook.

He noted that in recent weeks two additional units have been launched - at the Rivne and Zaporizhzhya NPPs. Another unit at the Zaporizhzhya NPP will be launched by the end of November.

"In addition, the state is successfully addressing the challenge of coal shortage. There will be no shortage. In addition to our Ukrainian coal, there will be seven Panamax ships which are already on their way and will arrive at Ukrainian ports in the near future. The coal that we deliver by sea fully covers the needs of the energy sector by the end of this year. If necessary, actions will be taken to meet the demand for coal by the end of the heating season," Zelenskyy said.

Coronavirus

On 13 November, the number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus dropped in Ukraine for the first time in recent days, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video message shared on Facebook.

According to the president, Ukraine has seen a 13% drop in Covid hospital admissions. For the first time in the last three months, the number of people discharged from hospitals is higher than the number of the hospitalized. There has also been a 6% drop in coronavirus cases over the week.

Bonus for the vaccinated

Citizens of Ukraine who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 with two doses will be able to receive 1,000 hryvnyas each through the Diia app. This money can be spent on sports, entertainment or travel within Ukraine, Zelenskyy in a video address.

Gas pipeline

Naftogaz of Ukraine will take part in the certification procedure for the operator of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Naftogaz CEO Yuriy Vitrenko has said. The decision was taken by German regulator BNetzA.

"We are ready to provide our arguments why Nord Stream AG cannot be certified without full compliance with European energy legislation," Vitrenko said on Facebook.

He added that the regulator should now take Ukraine's position and arguments into account in the certification process.

Party

The pro-presidential party Servant of the People has elected MP Olena Shulyak as its head instead of Oleksandr Korniyenko.

Media

Former Kyiv Post journalist Anna Myronyuk has said that the publication had allegedly faced pressure from Prosecutor-General Iryna Venediktova and Servant of the People MPs. Venediktova, for her part, flatly denied the allegations.

New media project

The dismissed team of the Kyiv Post English-language newspaper will launch a new edition. It will be headed by former deputy editor-in-chief of the Kyiv Post Olha Rudenko, according to a post in the Save the Kyiv Post Facebook community. For the time being, the team will distribute a newsletter, Ukraine Daily.

Coronavirus

Vinnytsya Region will join the red coronavirus zone as of 18 November.

Bank deal

The Ukrainian postal service Ukrposhta has reached an agreement to buy Alpari Bank. The price of the deal is UAH 260m, Liga.net has reported, citing sources in the Cabinet of Ministers and Ukrposhta. The purchase is yet to be authorized by the National Bank of Ukraine.

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