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Scoop of the day: Ukraine denies Putin's allegations on Donbas operation

Scoop of the day: Ukraine denies Putin's allegations on Donbas operation

Denial of Putin's allegations

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has said that Russian President Vladimir Putin's statement that Ukraine was allegedly preparing a "military operation" in Donbas was untrue.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko said: "Ukraine seeks peace only. The Ukrainian leadership's constant efforts to move the peace process forward, primarily in the Normandy format, clearly illustrate Ukraine's commitment to the political and diplomatic path to resolving the armed conflict. Moreover, the head of the presidential office and our delegation in the trilateral contact group did a Herculean job yesterday to achieve the resumption of the ceasefire."

Donbas

The Ukrainian Armed Forces will strictly abide by the ceasefire in Donbas and agreements of the trilateral contact group, Commander Valeriy Zaluzhnyy has said, as quoted by Interfax-Ukraine. He noted that the agreements "clearly regulate the formats of response to any actions of the parties to the conflict", in particular how fire can be returned in response to provocative shelling.

According to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, 65 Ukrainian servicemen were killed and 263 wounded in hostilities in Donbas in 2021.

Russian convoy

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has strongly protested against the continuation by the Russian Federation of its unlawful practice of sending so-called humanitarian convoys to the territory of Ukraine.

"On 23 December, the Russian Federation ignored Ukraine's earlier repeated reservations and illegally sent the 105th so-called humanitarian convoy to the temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions without its official consent, in violation of Ukrainian legislation, conditions and modalities of humanitarian aid delivery," the statement said.

Russian link

Opposition Platform-For Life MP Oleksandr Ponomaryov has held Russian citizenship for at least 18 years, journalists from the Skhemy investigative project have found out. They added that some of the companies associated with him or his family may have a significant influence on the combat ability of the Ukrainian army.

Embargo extended

The Cabinet of Ministers has extended the trade embargo on Russian goods by one year, up to and including 31 December 2022.

The Ukrainian government made the relevant decision at a meeting on 23 December.

The ban on imports of goods originating from the Russian Federation into the customs territory of Ukraine has been in place since 2016.

Wagner PMC

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has issued a notice of suspicion in absentia for the head of the Russian private military company Wagner. He is suspected of encroaching on Ukraine's territorial integrity and inviolability, as well as waging aggressive war.

He is a Russian citizen who led the PMC to carry out covert military operations of the Russian Federation, the SBU press service said.

"It was established that between July 2014 and March 2015 he was in the temporarily occupied territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. And the perpetrator acted in prior collusion with and under the control of officials of the Russian Armed Forces," the statement reads.

Appointment

The Cabinet of Ministers has appointed the deputy head of the State Tax Service, Tetyana Kiriyenko, as its acting head. Her predecessor Yevhen Oleynikov was dismissed on 25 November.

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