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Scoop of the day: Russia blocks sea along Ukraine coast for navigation

Scoop of the day: Russia blocks sea along Ukraine coast for navigation

Maritime security

The National Security and Defence Council will discuss risks to Ukrainian maritime navigation due to Russia's closure of the Azov and Black Seas on 11 February, its Secretary Oleksiy Danilov has said.

"One of the main issues to be considered at a visiting meeting of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine in Kharkiv on 11 February will be the issue of risks to maritime navigation in Ukraine due to the intentions of the Russian Federation to close off areas of the Black and Azov Seas under the pretext of conducting naval exercises. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has identified this issue as urgent," Danilov said.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has strongly condemned Russia's blockade of the sea.

"In essence, this is a significant and unjustified complication of international shipping, especially trade, which can cause complex economic and social consequences, especially for the ports of Ukraine. Such aggressive actions of the Russian Federation, which fit into the concept of its hybrid war against Ukraine, are unacceptable. This is a manifestation of open disregard for the norms and principles of international law, including the UN Charter, UN General Assembly resolutions and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea," it said in a statement.

Cost of Russian aggression

The conflict with Russia has cost Ukraine US$280 billion in lost GDP between 2014 and 2020, new research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) for the Ukrainian Government finds.

The conflict, which effectively started in 2013 with severe political and economic pressure on Ukraine around its EU Association Agreement, has been costing Ukraine annually 19.9% of its pre-conflict GDP since 2014, with the impact in Donbas, where there is an ongoing conflict, amounting to US$102 billion cumulatively, or up to US$14.6 billion a year. The 2014 annexation of Crimea alone is costing Ukraine up to $8.3 billion in annual terms.


The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has exposed a group of Ukrainians who had been recruited by Russia's special services to carry out provocations against the Russian population. Such actions could be used by the aggressor country as another reason to justify further pressure on Ukraine.

The recruited individuals are trainers in martial sports clubs. They have been repeatedly engaged by pro-Russian forces to carry out provocations and hold rallies in various regions of Ukraine, including by vandalising diplomatic institutions and monuments. According to preliminary reports, with the help of the mercenaries, the Russian special services developed a plan of provocations and sabotage against their own population, but were going to blame it on Ukraine.

SBU exposes provocateur

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has conducted a special operation during which it exposed a Kyiv resident who was preparing an act of terrorism on the order of the Belarusian state agencies. The man purchased a vehicle, flammable materials and pyrotechnics to carry out the attack.

He was detained attempting to set fire to a car near the building of one of the capital's NGOs. Investigators learnt that he had also intimidated media representatives and foreigners.


Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has thanked visiting Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė for help in strengthening Ukraine's defence capabilities, rehabilitation of wounded Ukrainian servicemen and reconstruction of the affected regions of Ukraine.

Shmyhal, in particular, thanked her for Lithuania's readiness to supply Ukraine with Stinger man-portable air defence systems, portable thermal imagers and other equipment.


Health Minister Viktor Lyashko has said that Ukraine is now at the peak of the current wave of COVID-19.

"We already have a peak of morbidity because we record 41,000 cases a day," Lyashko said on Rada TV.

He also added that during this wave the number of cases is growing, but not the number of hospitalizations, which in turn reduces the burden on inpatient medical care.

Traffic accident

Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyy has dismissed Kharkiv Region's police chief Stanislav Perlin over an attempt to falsify the case of a traffic accident involving businessman Oleksandr Yaroslavskyy's motorcade.

Ukrayinska Pravda earlier reported that Yaroslavskyy's motorcade hit a man and drove off. The website said that a number plate from the businessman's motorcade was found at the scene.

The Kharkiv regional police said that they would summon Yaroslavskyy for questioning as a possible participant in the fatal accident. The businessman said that he did not know about the accident. "I was sleeping at home and only found out in the morning," he said.

Yaroslavsky's company, DCH, the number plate found at the scene was from a car driven by one of its support staff. The driver allegedly handed himself to police and is cooperating.

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