Hello,

As Kyiv sizzles in the summer heat and dozens of thousands demand an end to the authoritarian regime of Lukashenko two hours away from Kyiv, we continue providing you with the latest news from Kyiv and the rest of Ukraine.

Cool news from this week:

  1. A number of demonstrations took place in Kyiv in support of Belarus protests against Alexander Lukashenko’s regime. Some 200,000 took to the Minsk streets in protest yesterday, while thousands have been detained in connection to the anti-government rallies so far. Numerous reports of violence and brutality on the Belarusian streets and in prisons have been made. The Ukrainian government has released a number of supportive statements for the protesters who fight for democracy and fairness. 
  2. Shakhtar Donetsk has qualified for the semi-final of the UEFA Europa League. Now they’re facing a much tougher face-off with the Inter Milan FC tonight. Shakhtar is the only Ukrainian football team that has gotten through to the semi-finals and it’s the third time the team has reached that far albeit, in the 2008-2009 season they won the championship. 
  3. A Ukrainian flag that is 25 metres wide is believed to be flying over Russia-occupied Crimea after a group of volunteers raised with the help of balloons. It is expected that it will fly all over the occupied peninsula. 
  4. A Ukrainian photographer from Lviv has won the National Geographic Traveller India in the category of World Public Transport. His winning photograph depicts a Mukacheve-Lviv train (pre-pandemic). Some passengers read books, some play board games. 
  5. The tallest blueberry plantation in the world has been created in Zakarpattya. 

Uncool news from this week:

  1. The number of coronavirus cases in Ukraine is still rising rapidly. We’ve had another week full of 1000+ daily cases with a new daily record set on Friday 1847 new cases. Ukraine now has more total cases than China (where the pandemic came from). 
  2. Four Ukrainians have been detained at the anti-Lukashenko protests in Belarus. Two of them (who were there as journalists) have already returned home and reported being beaten inside Belarus’ detention facilities. Two supposedly remain in Belarus (nothing about their return has been said by the authorities). 
  3. Speaking of Belarus, the country’s acting president Lukashenko has accused Ukraine (along with Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania) of the mass protests there. They also handed over 32 members of Russia’s infamous Wagner Group…to Russia. Earlier, Ukraine has proved that 28 of them took part in the war in the Donbas on Russia’s side. Therefore, Ukraine hoped that they would be extradited to Ukraine to be brought to justice. Now they’re in Russia, there’s zero to none chances this will happen. 
  4. Ukrainian economy keeps going down. The real gross domestic product in the second quartal of 2020 has decreased by 11.4% compared to the same period of time in 2019.
  5. A car belonging to the investigative programme Schemes by RFE/RL has been set on fire. The chief editor of the programme Natalie Sedletska suspects Yanukovych-era official Andriy Portnov’s involvement in this. Portnov who returned to Ukraine after Zelenskyy became president denies this.