Hello and welcome to yet another issue of State of Kyiv, a newsletter about the weirdest and most wonderful news from the Ukrainian capital and beyond. Here’s what we have for you today.
- Various cities around Ukraine held rallies to remind that there are still Ukrainians held in Kremlin prisons, as well as Ukrainians that went missing as a result of the Russian-Ukrainian war in the Donbas.
- The fires in the Luhansk region have finally been put out. 11 people died as a result of them and a further 19 were injured (including 3 rescuers).
- Italy has released its first Ukrainian dictionary that features 132,000 words and phrases. It includes the latest changes to the Ukrainian grammar and spelling that were imposed in 2019.
- The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife Olena Zelenska made an official visit to the UK, as a result of which Ukraine will receive 1.2 billion British pounds to improve its navy.
- A new mobile phone app, PolitScanner (available for the use on iOS and Android) allows Ukrainians to scan photographs of politicians to show various details about their political views and affiliation, their financial declarations, and more.
- Due to a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in Kyiv, the city’s back in the orange zone. This means that bars, cafes, and restaurants can only operate until 10 pm, while nightclubs and hostels can’t operate at all. Overall, Ukraine is seeing more and more daily records. On Friday, a record number of coronavirus patients died – 108. The government has started preparing temporary COVID-19 hospitals across the country. Kyiv predicts that Ukraine will return to a strict quarantine 2 weeks before all the hospital beds will be taken. Universities and colleges have now been moved to remote studying, while schools were forced to start autumn holidays earlier. Ukraine is also increasing the number of PCR tests it carries out on the daily.
- An investigation by Sky News has uncovered evidence that appears to show Russian special forces using British-made sniper rifles on operations in the past two years despite the British government saying it has never approved the export of these weapons to Moscow.
- An initiative by Gulliver shopping centre and Kyivpride displaying a rainbow flag light installation on the high-rise centre was stopped three days earlier due to protests and threats from far-right organisations.
- A big scandal happened in a state organisation that allocates money for the production of the Ukrainian films that win it. This year, it seemed like the films were chosen in secret and without any logic, other than that according to the executive producer of the Odesa Film Festival Yulia Sinkevych, all the victors have ties to the government.
- Ukraine’s pro-Russian politician, Viktor Medvedchuk, has boasted to Russian President Vladimir Putin that he got himself vaccinated with the Russian coronavirus vaccine. He allegedly managed to do that during his earlier visit to Russia-occupied Crimea. Medvedchuk’s daughter is Putin’s godchild.