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Scoop of the weekend: Ukraine remembers famine victims; journalist under fire over howitzer video

Scoop of the weekend: Ukraine remembers famine victims; journalist under fire over howitzer video

Deadly blast

Two people got killed, three injured and 54 had to be evacuated after a blast, possibly of household gas, ruined a part of a five-storied residential building in the southern town of Nova Odesa in Mykolayiv Region.

Famine victims remembered

On 27 November, Ukraine remembered millions of victims of the Holodomor, the 1932-33 famine organized by Joseph Stalin's authorities. Across the country, people lit up candles in tribute of people who starved to death.

Journalist's video

The State Bureau of Investigation has said that it will check the legality of journalist Yuriy Butusov's actions in a video he posted on his Facebook page. Criminal proceedings have already been launched.

"On 28 November (actually 27 November - ed.) 2021, the journalist posted a video in which he fires shots from a 152-mm howitzer D-20. He accompanies his shot with the words "fire at the occupiers". Later, Butusov added that the video was shot during training a long time ago, but the publication of such materials damages the information security of the Ukrainian state and allows representatives of the aggressor state to increase pressure on Ukraine," the Bureau said.

The Ukrainian delegation to the trilateral contact group on Donbas talks also criticized the journalist, condemning "the publication of any materials that may imperil the process of peaceful settlement, the life of our servicemen and information security of Ukraine".

Butusov described the opening of the proceedings as "the president's revenge for his shameful press conference".

Alleged coup preparations

The coup plot alleged by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on 26 November was being planned by an FSB officer and three defectors of Ukraine's Interior Ministry who are based in Crimea, Buzzfeed journalist Christopher Miller tweeted, quoting "sources close to the Ukrainian leader" who spoke with him.

"Source close to Zelensky made clear the evidence Ukraine has does not show the direct involvement of oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, but that he is mentioned by the four alleged coup plotters who say they "need to be ready to move in and work with Akhmetov," according to the transcript," he added, noting "it was going to use a protest planned on 1 December as cover".

The former head of the Interior Ministry's directorate in Poltava Region, Eduard Fedosov, whom BuzzFeedNews journalist Christopher Miller named as one of the organizers of a possible coup, has denied any involvement in any illegal actions. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on 26 November he had information about an attempt at state coup being plotted for 1-2 December with Russia's help.

Fedosov told Ukrayinska Pravda that he was surprised to learn about his alleged involvement in the coup preparation from his friends who read the news in the media. He also said that since he was dismissed from the Interior Ministry in February 2014 (at his own request), he has stayed in Kyiv and last visited Crimea in 2012.

Former State Migration Service chief and former Interior Ministry senior official Vasyl Hrytsak also denied his involvement in preparations for a state coup. Hrytsak, who was also named by Miller as a possible coup participant, told Obozrevatel that he had not left Ukraine after 2014, he lives in Kyiv Region and last visited Crimea in 2005.

Petition

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has responded to activist Serhiy Sternenko's petition to restrict the right to enter Ukraine for Russian citizens.

According to Zelenskyy, the introduction of additional changes to the travel regulations between Ukraine and Russia requires a thorough study and analysis of all possible development scenarios, in particular in terms of security and possible social consequences. Thus, he asked Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, National Security and Defence Council Secretary Oleksandr Danilov and the head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Ivan Bakanov, "to analyse whether the current regime of entry to Ukraine for Russian Federation citizens meets the needs of Ukraine's security and interests protection".

Ex-president

Viktor Yanukovych has not challenged the parliamentary ruling which established his self-withdrawal from exercising the constitutional powers of the Ukrainian president, parliament's representative at the Constitutional Court, Olha Sovhirya, said on Telegram.

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