NEWS | The Ukrainian weekly newspaper

Announcer calls Ukrainian medalists “Russian”
Tokyo Olympics organizers apologized after a spokesman mistakenly identified Ukrainian swimming medalists as Russian. Ukrainian couple Marta Fedina and Anastasiya Savchuk won bronze in their duet-free routine event on August 4th behind the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and China couples. However, Fedina and Savchuk were named as ROC competitors by a French-speaking announcer, which the organizers were embarrassed to see. “It was a purely operational mistake,” said organizing committee spokesman Masa Tanaka on August 4th in the Olympic pool about the mistake. The mistake is delicate because of years of diplomatic tensions between Ukraine and Russia. The Ukrainian region of Crimea was forcibly annexed by Russia in 2014. Fighting between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatists continues in eastern Ukraine near the common border between the countries. Announcements at Olympic venues are usually made in Japanese, English, and French. At this year’s Euro 2020, an outline of Ukraine’s national border, including Crimea, was woven into the national soccer team’s jersey. Russian football officials complained to UEFA, which allowed the map outline to be retained, while asking for a slogan to be removed from the shirt collar. For security reasons, the UEFA rules have prevented Ukrainian and Russian national and club teams from competing against each other since 2014. The show returned after the Ukrainian team was over. (RFE / RL, based on reports from AP and dpa)

Man threatens to blow up government buildings
Police in Ukraine arrested a man after an hour-long standoff that began when the suspect entered the Kiev government building with “an object resembling an explosive device” and threatened to detonate it. Ukrainian National Police chief Ihor Klymenko identified the suspect as a veteran of the war against Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. He said the suspect was wounded twice in those fighting, including a head injury. Mr Klymenko said an investigation was ongoing and the man’s motives were still unclear. At around 10 am on August 4, police special forces were called to the scene after “an unknown man broke into the building of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, took what looked like an explosive device from his pocket and threatened to detonate it “. said the police. Mr Klymenko said the suspect threatened two security guards and a government employee. (Ukrainian service from RFE / RL)

Russian court convicts Ukrainians
A court in central Russia has sentenced a Ukrainian citizen to more than three years in prison after attempting to smuggle parts of a Russian missile system into Ukraine. Ukraine is waging a seven-year war against Russia-backed separatists, and the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) alleged on August 2 that the man had “ties to the Security Service of Ukraine.” Russian media reports about the conviction by the Yoshkar-Ola city court in the Mari El republic on the Volga did not provide any information about the man’s identity. A court in the southwestern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don last week sentenced a Russian and an Armenian to 9 1/2 to 10 1/2 years in prison after attempting to smuggle parts of an S-300 missile system into Ukraine. Russia has arrested and convicted several Ukrainian and Russian citizens of espionage for Ukraine or divulging classified information to Kiev. Relations between Moscow and Kiev have been strained since 2014 when Russia forcibly captured the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea and armed, Russian-backed separatists ignited a conflict in eastern Ukraine that killed more than 13,200 people. (RFE / RL, based on reports from TASS and Interfax)

Belarusian athletes despise homeland
The Belarusian heptathlete Yana Maksimava says she and her husband, who is an Olympic champion, have decided to stay in Germany with their child, as the crackdown on pro-democratic groups and government critics continues in Belarus. Maksimova’s husband, Andrey Kraschanka, holds the Belarusian decathlon record and won a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. On August 3, Maksimava said on Instagram in connection with the worsening situation in Belarus and international isolation that “now you can lose not only your freedom, but your life”. Her announcement came when a Belarusian friend, Olympic sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, was trying to avoid being deported from Tokyo, and reports came from Ukraine of a murder investigation after a Belarusian regime critic was found dead in exile in Kiev. “Here it is possible to breathe freely and be one of those who fight for the freedom of their people, their relatives and loved ones; we will surely prevail, ”wrote Maksimava, who was born in Vilnius during the Soviet era. Tsimanouskaya is currently seeking asylum in Poland after reportedly refusing to be forced onto a plane to Minsk by Belarusian national team officials at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Belarusian activist Vital Shyshou, 26, was found hanged in a park near his home in Kiev on August 3 after going missing the day before. Ukrainian police and friends of the Kiev-based organization he runs to help persecuted Belarusians said he had shown signs of being beaten. This Olympic drama and the death of Mr Shyshou have shed further light on Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s ruthless behavior since protests broke out after he claimed victory in an August 2020 presidential election that the opposition and the international community believe to be fraudulent . Meanwhile, on August 3, the newspaper Nasha Niva reported on its Telegram channel that a coach from the Vitsyaz handball club in the Belarusian capital had fled Minsk to Ukraine. In June, coach Kanstantsin Yakauleu was arrested and held for 15 days for attending an unauthorized anti-government rally. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other outside agencies are investigating Tsimanouskaya’s claims that she was in danger after quarreling with Belarusian officials who criticized her for slipping at the Games. Tsimanouskaya was granted a humanitarian visa by Polish authorities after she said she feared jail if she returned to Belarus, and her Belarusian husband reportedly fled the country to eventually come to her. (Current time from RFE / RL)

Ambassador to Russia “suddenly” died
The Serbian Foreign Ministry announced on August 4 the sudden death of Belgrade’s ambassador to Russia, 71-year-old former military analyst and journalist Miroslav Lazanski. It only said that he “died suddenly,” but Serbian media cited officials blaming a heart attack in his Belgrade home for his death. “His commitment, commitment and dedication as ambassador for our country will be remembered as well as his numerous activities to further improve cooperation and friendship between Serbia and Russia,” said a statement by the ministry. Mr Lazanski was appointed Belgrade’s Supreme Envoy to Russia in July 2019. He was a longtime journalist for the prominent Serbian daily Politika and military analyst who reported from conflict areas in Iran and Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Africa and the Middle East. Mr. Lazanski had also reported during the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s from what is now Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia and Kosovo, as well as from the Ukrainian Crimea, which Russia annexed and annexed to Organization Sputnik in 2014. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, who along with his allies in the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) has maintained close ties and a strategic partnership with Moscow, expressed condolences. “Serbia has lost a great man, its ambassador to the Russian Federation, one of the best experts on geopolitical opportunities, military strategy and tactics, an exceptional journalist and publicist and, above all, a good man,” wrote Vucic. In a July 2020 report on “Russian interference” in North Macedonia, Bellingcat researchers linked Mr Lazanski to Moscow’s efforts to create “a strip of militarily neutral countries” in the Balkans. Bellingcat said Russian and Serbian intelligence officers had “established a connection” with Mr. Lazanski, claiming that “Macedonian counterintelligence also involved Mr. Lazanski as one of the main pro-Kremlin propagandists in the country.” In July, Mr. Lazanski was at the center of one unconfirmed Serbian report alleging that it accused neighboring NATO member Montenegro of preventing the delivery of arms that Russia had donated to Belgrade. The Montenegrin Ministry of Defense reportedly denied that such a permit had even been requested. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Mr Lazanski’s funeral would be held in Belgrade on August 6 (Balkan Service by RFE / RL, with reports from AP)

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