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Scoop of the day: Zelenskyy's blunder adds to Ukrainians' concerns

Scoop of the day: Zelenskyy's blunder adds to Ukrainians' concerns

President's blunder

The Ukrainian presidential press secretary, Serhiy Nykyforov, rushed in to quell concerns caused by Volodymyr Zelenskyy's remark that Russia could occupy Kharkiv. Nykyforov told Radio NV that this was an example, a hypothetical scenario.

"I think those who spread this have not read the interview but pulled out this phrase. I think this paragraph is self-sufficient and needs no explanation," he said.

According to him, "the president was reflecting on escalation".

"But if you're asking, I think the president was pondering if, let's say, there was an escalation, what it could be. It was just an example, a hypothetical scenario. That is, he did not mean that Kharkiv would be occupied," Nykoforov noted.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Zelenskyy said that "Kharkiv, which is under Ukraine government control, could be occupied by Russia". He also noted that there are quite a few Russian-speaking citizens in Ukraine who support Ukraine - even those who had certain sentiments towards Russia after the occupation of Crimea and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The president is convinced that every citizen will stand up for their state.

Kharkiv city mayor Ihor Terekhov, for his part, called on the city residents not to panic. He said that Kharkiv has been and will be a Ukrainian city whose residents are citizens of united Ukraine.

Russia tension

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has briefed Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on the results of his meetings in Berlin and Geneva.

"Grateful for our continued close coordination. Discussed further strengthening of Ukraine’s defense capacities. Good to know that diplomatic track of contacts with Russia remains active," Kuleba tweeted.

Arms for Ukraine

Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have decided to provide Ukraine with Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and Javelin anti-tank missiles in response to Russia's aggressive actions, Yevropeyska Pravda has reported, quoting statements by the defence ministries of the Baltic states.

It is noted that the Baltic states decided to respond to Ukraine's needs and provide additional defence assistance due to Russia's increased military pressure on Ukraine and its borders.

Germany allegedly says no

Germany is blocking NATO's ally Estonia from giving military support to Ukraine by refusing to issue permits for German-origin weapons to be exported to Kyiv, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

Unlike the USA, Britain, Poland and other allies, the German government has declined to export lethal weapons directly to Ukraine.

Canadian loan for Ukraine

Ottawa is loaning up to $120 million to the Ukrainian government amid the ongoing crisis with Russia, Global News has reported.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: "Russia is aiming to destabilize Ukraine, including economically. This loan will help support Ukraine's economic resilience."


NATO has invited Ukraine, together with other partners, to join the formation of NATO's Strategic Concept 2030, the press service of the Cabinet of Ministers has said.

Hoax bomb alerts

Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyy has said that false bomb reports, which have mushroomed recently, are linked to the intensification of the hybrid war against Ukraine.

"Recently, there has been a significant increase in the number of reports about alleged bombs in public places. All of them turned out to be fake. And this is directly linked to the intensification of the hybrid war against Ukraine. We clearly understand that the vast majority of hoax calls comes from temporarily uncontrolled territories or directly from the Russian Federation," Monastyrskyy said.

He argued that such reports are made to spread panic.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) pointed the finger in the same direction.

According to it, the Russian Federation's special services are actively using the pseudo-mining of social facilities and critical infrastructure as one of the elements of hybrid warfare to increase pressure on Ukraine.

Whereas more than 1,100 deliberately false anonymous reports were recorded in 2021, more than 300 have been received since the beginning of 2022, the SBU said. None of them has been confirmed.

Poroshenko's case

The Prosecutor-General's Office filed an appeal against the ruling of Kyiv's Pecherskyy district court, which chose a measure of restraint for Petro Poroshenko in the form of own recognisance.

The PGO website said that prosecutors would insist on arresting the politician with the option of paying a 1bn-hryvnya bail.

Director's case

Ukrainian filmmaker Yevhen Lavrenchuk, who was detained in Italy on Russia's request, has been transferred from pre-trial detention to house arrest. His mother Iryna Lavrenchuk announced this on the morning of 21 January.

"This became possible thanks to the effective work of lawyers, the Foreign Ministry, the Consulate of Ukraine, your letters and support stunts, thanks to the activity of the Ukrainian diaspora, the media, all members of this group and like-minded people" she said on Facebook.

Women in military service

The Ukrainian Defence Ministry has shortened the list of professions whose female representatives have to register with military recruitment offices. The updated list should be approved by the Interior Ministry, the Security Service of Ukraine and the Foreign Intelligence Service.

The new order mentions 14 specialties and six professions. Previously, there were 35 professional areas, which included over 200 specialties.


The current wave of COVID-19 cases in Ukraine may peak in mid-February, Health Minister Viktor Lyashko has said.

Lyashko noted that the current wave of COVID-19 is moving from west to east and is very likely caused by the spread of the omicron strain.


President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has appointed Anatoliy Petrenko as ambassador to Saudi Arabia. His predecessor Vadym Vakhrushev, who was also non-resident ambassador to Oman and Yemen, was dismissed in April 2021.

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