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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: JANUARY 14 – 18

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112 Agency
About Donbas conflict
A fighter of Ukraine’s 72nd Detached Motorized Brigade deceased in action in Donbas. Mykola Semeniuk was killed in the battle on January 14. He left behind his wife and two little children; he also had a brother and parents.  
More infrastructure damage was reported in the combat area in eastern Ukraine; Horlivka-Toretsk water pipeline was fixed after the shelling that occurred earlier.
Russia’s loud statements about crushing Ukraine’s army are propagandist and groundless; Viktor Muzhenko, the Chief of Staff of Ukrainian Armed Forces said that as quoted by his press service. ‘There is no use in reacting to such statements, which are the propaganda. If they (Russian officials) could solve the Ukrainian issue as they see it, they would. They tried in 2014, and they understood it was not so easy’, he said.
70 soldiers of the Forces of special operations died in the Donbas Conflict zone since the beginning of the Russian aggression, President Petro Poroshenko reported.
Ukrainian border guards reinforced the on-duty units protecting the sections of Ukraine-Russia border in Sumy, Kharkiv and Luhansk regions.

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About Azov crisis
On January 15, Russian court judged Ukrainian sailors captured in Kerch Strait and ruled to keep twenty of them in the custody. However, the POWs refused to testify and left the courtroom amid the shouts “Glory to Ukraine”. The next day Lefortovo court extended the arrest of all 24 Ukrainian sailors.
In their side, the lawyers of the POWs stated to file the appeal against the court decision to the ECHR and filed them on January 18.
The EU calls on Russia to set the detained Ukrainian sailors free. Moreover, Ukraine's mission in the UN insists that Russia remains under pressure in the view of the illegal detention of Ukrainian sailors. 
Besides, Russia stated that President Putin agreed to allow French and German specialist to visit Kerch Strait. Ukraine welcomes this decision if Russia will not manipulate international commission.

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About elections in Ukraine
850 OSCE observers will work during presidential election in Ukraine. Later, Russian Foreign Minister claimed that OSCE had offer Russia to send its observes to Ukrainian elections.
Find out about the registered candidates running for president in Ukraine. What do Ukraine's presidential candidates compete for[/img]
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About Orthodox Church of Ukraine
On January 14, the activists seized Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Zhytomyr region. Later, some unknown tried to seize church of Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Chernihiv region.
Ecumenical Patriarchate publishes text of Tomos on autocephaly of Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Around 70 Moscow Patriarchate parishes come over to Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Whereas, Russian President Putin claimed that Orthodox Church of Ukraine is 'exclusively political, secular project.’
At the same time, it was reported that Head of Orthodox Church of Ukraine will be enthroned on February 3.
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About Nord Stream 2
The United States warns German companies that they can be fined for the involvement in the activity of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Besides, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stated that there is nothing that could cease the construction of Nord Stream 2 pipeline at this stage. On January 18, CEO of Naftogaz Ukraine claimed that Russian “Gazprom” can stop the transit of gas through Ukraine in 2020.

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About Ukraine and Russia on international arena
On January 17, Ukraine's president said the country confidently moves to membership in EU and NATO.
The Head of Ukraine’s Mission to NATO claims that the Alliance officials are glad that Ukraine is so serious about joining Alliance.
Poland recognizes terms “Ukrainian nationalists”, “Eastern Malopolska” unconstitutional.
At the same time, Russian Duma continues to boycott Council of Europe. In addition, Russia will not send its delegation to PACE in 2019.
It was also reported that Facebook had deleted 364 pages tied to Sputnik news agency.

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About sports
As far as Ukraine’s sports achievements are concerned, this week’s most notable developments took place in Australia, where Elina Svitolina, Dayana Yastremska and Lesya Tsurenko struggled their opponents in the Australian Open.
Yastremska, the 18-year-old talent and, apparently, the rising tennis star beat Samantha Stosur and Carla Suarez Navarro. She made her way to the Round of the Last 32; on January 19, she will stand against Serena Williams, the one and only.
Svitolina also defeated her rivals in the first two rounds. At first, she beat Viktorija Golubic from Switzerland; then, she outmatched Viktoria Kuzmova.
Lesya Tsurenko, on the other hand, was less lucky than her compatriots. The finalist of WTA tournament in Brisbane defeated Russia’s Ekaterina Aleksandrova in Round 1 of Australian Open; however, Amanda Anisimova shattered her dream to carry on – already in Round 2.
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