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Editor’s Note:

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu has ordered that President Putin’s new article “On the historical unity of Russians and Ukrainians” be mandatory study for military-political training of Russian Army soldiers. Putin, who turns 70 next year, may pass from the scene in 10 or 15 years. But if a new generation of Russian military men and women are to be inculcated with his warped, hyper nationalist view of Russia-Ukraine relations, his 7,000 word essay is worth reading. With Best Regards

Nathan’s Famous, the New York hot dog brand, has arrived in Ukraine.

From this week, the all-beef, smoked sausages – with secret seasonings – are on sale at six of the SOCAR gas stations in Kyiv. SOCAR, officially the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic, has bought Ukraine franchise rights and plans to soon expand the Coney Island hot dogs to its other 50 gas stations in Ukraine. For Nathan’s it is a bit of a homecoming. The first Nathan’s hot dog stand was opened just over a century ago by Nathan

In a first step, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will launch Abu Dhabi-Odesa flights in September.

 “There are several airlines that were waiting for a new runway to recommence flights,” Semenchenko told reporters. Replacing a runway built in 1961, the new runway can handle medium and long-range aircraft Boeing 737 and Airbus A320. It helps to boost the airport’s rating by the International Civil Aviation Organization to ‘all weather.’ Sergey Grinevetsky, the Head of the Odesa regional administration said: “The airport is a magnet that can attract investment.”

Culminating three years of work, Odesa Airport’s new 2.8 km cement runway opened on Friday.

With Ukraine’s first new runway in a decade and a new, 30,000 square meter international air terminal, the director of Odesa airport, Volodomyr Semenchenko, believes that the terminal can double passenger traffic from pre-pandemic levels, to 4 million in 2025. He has predicted that passenger traffic will reach 1.4 million this year, double last year’s level and 85% the level of 2019.

Up to 40% of Ukrainians are now immune to Covid-19,

said Oleksiy Danilov, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, on Friday. He referred to a national survey indicating that one third of Ukrainians have had Covid. As of Friday, 4 million vaccinations have been administered. A total of 2.6 million Ukrainians have received the first vaccination. In addition to this, 1.4 million have been fully vaccinated. Danilov concluded: “If we take into account vaccinated people, we believe between 38% and 40% in our country are now immune.”

Yesterday, Ukraine received 2 million doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine from the US government.

 Due to be distributed to all regions by Wednesday, the US-made vaccines are to be distributed to companies with more than 50 workers and to essential personnel including teachers and police officers. This month Ukraine will also receive from the US 1 million doses of the German-American Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine.

With the summer slipping away, the realistic scenario for Ukraine’s relationship with the IMF might be to convert Ukraine’s frozen Stand-By Arrangement into an Extended Fund Facility

, wrote Timothy Ash, a veteran observer of Ukraine’s IMF deals. The IMF may “look to roll the monies into a new EFF to be negotiated towards year end – maybe that should now be the focus,” Ash writes from London. “Any such EFF would then roll in much needed structural reform conditionality. Arguably the problem with the current SBA was that it lacked any real structural benchmarks.”

Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation says Kostyantin Zhevago, controlling shareholder of London-listed iron pellet producer Ferrexpo, had been put on an international wanted list

. Zhevago, a former lawmaker and former beneficiary owner of Finance & Credit Bank, is wanted on suspicion of embezzlement and money-laundering in connection with the disappearance of $113 million from the now bankrupt lender. Zhevago’s press service denies that he is on the wanted list, saying Interpol has not acted on a petition it received last October.

By 2025, the EU plans to make batteries for 6 to 8 million electric cars per year.

 To build this industry, “investments in the sector reached more than €120 billion in 2019 and 2020 alone – that is three times more than in China,” Maroš Šefčovič, the European Commission’s Vice-President for International Relations, told Interfax-Ukraine last week during his 2-day visit to Ukraine. “So there is a huge dynamic. We are your neighbor.”

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