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Scoop of the day: West further warns Russia against invasion

Scoop of the day: West further warns Russia against invasion

Western warnings

The US embassy in Ukraine has advised its citizens of "concerning reports of unusual Russian military activity near Ukraine’s borders and in occupied Crimea". It recalled that the security conditions along the border may change with little or no notice but has not changed the travel advisory level for Ukraine.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss warned Russia that it would be making a "grave mistake" if it attacked Ukraine and said London was working closely with its NATO allies to support Ukraine, Reuters has reported.

Ukrainian society must consolidate in the face of a possible threat of Russian invasion, ex-President Petro Poroshenko has said. "The crisis mechanism of urgent security consultations with NATO and the European Union, as stipulated in the Association Agreement, should be activated. Resume a permanent intelligence exchange with NATO countries. To this end, an agreement on mutual protection of confidential information should be concluded urgently," he noted.

Donbas

Since the start of the 27 July 2020 ceasefire, 66 Ukrainian servicemen have been killed and 275 wounded in Donbas, the Ukrainian mission to the OSCE has said.

Zelenskyy-Akhmetov standoff

Servant of the People MPs and first deputy speaker Oleksandr Kornienko have released a joint public statement about "oligarchic blackmail against the state" on tycoon Rinat Akhmetov's TV channels, which they described as "openly propagandistic".

The party announced that it would ignore the media "which the owner deliberately turns into his corporate loudmouth to blackmail the state and society".

In reply, Media Group Ukraine, in which Akhmetov owns a stake, has said that the party's statement was a "form of response" to journalists' statements about the leaders' role in the botched Wagner special sting. The party's decision may also complicate the situation with the freedom of speech in Ukraine.

Yermak's birthday

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy celebrated his chief of staff Andriy Yermak's birthday (21 Nov) for several days in the state-owned Carpathian residence in Huta, Ukrayinska Pravda has alleged. According to it, they used State Emergencies Service helicopters for their own and their guests' transport. The presidential office said Zelenskyy attended Yermak's party in Huta for a shorter period of time and that the helicopters were used in accordance with protocols.

IMF

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed today the first review of Ukraine's economic performance under the 18-month Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) that was approved on June 9, 2020. The completion of the review allows the authorities to draw the equivalent of about US$699 million (SDR 500 million), bringing total disbursements under the current SBA to about US$2.8 billion (SDR 2 billion).

"The authorities' strong ownership as well as full and timely implementation of agreed reforms is crucial to ensure the success of the program," the IMF said, highlighting the "paramount" importance of maintaining the effective autonomy and governance of the National Bank of Ukraine.

Coronavirus

The Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics has confirmed the spread of the highly infectious AY.4 variant of Covid-19 in Ukraine, in particular in Volyn Region.

Anti-vax protest

At an anti-vaccination rally held in central Kyiv on 24 November, some participants held posters with a QR code leading to the website of Russia's United Russia party. The protesters came to the capital to support Lviv anti-vax campaigner Ostap Stakhiv who was recently arrested. Stakhiv had announced the anti-vaccination rally in Kyiv even before his detention.

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