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An explosion was heard in the Russian-occupied city of Luhansk in Ukraine’s east on the morning of June 8, Ukrainian news outlet Suspilne reported citing residents. Smoke is rising in several areas of the city, in particular, over the Luhansk locomotive plant, as well as a food factory, Suspilne wrote.
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The home of famed Ukrainian painter Polina Raiko is under water as a result of the Kakhovka dam destruction, the project manager of the Polina Raiko Kherson Oblast Charitable Foundation Semen Khramtsov reported on Facebook.
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Yevhen Ryshchuk, the exiled mayor of the Russian-occupied Oleshky, Kherson Oblast, reported on the first victims of the Kakhovka dam disaster on June 7. According to the latest information, three people drowned.
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In its June report, the World Bank set Ukraine's GDP forecast for the following year at 2%, compared to 3.3% in January. The forecast reportedly worsened due to Russia's attacks against Ukraine's energy infrastructure at the end of 2022 and the departure of a significant part of the country's working demographic abroad.

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European Commission expects Ukraine to follow Venice Commission recommendations on Constitutional Court bill

by The Kyiv Independent news desk December 23, 2022 12:08 PM 1 min read
This audio is created with AI assistance

The European Commission (EC) expects that the Ukrainian authorities will fully take into account Venice Commission’s recommendations to the law on the Constitutional Court, Ana Pisonero, the EC spokeswoman, told Suspilne media outlet.

The law was signed into law by President Volodymyr Zelensky in a version that ignores the recommendations.

The law regulates the selection of judges into Ukraine’s Constitutional Court, which has been entangled in corruption scandals and controversies.

The reform of the Constitutional Court is one of the seven recommendations outlined by the European Commission as conditions for Ukraine’s accession to the EU.

According to Pisonero, the EC is particularly urging Ukraine to increase the number of experts who will approve or reject the judge candidates from six to seven, making sure that the seventh expert is foreign.

“The additional member (of the expert panel) should be based on the international quota to prevent a stalemate in decision-making,” she told Suspilne, adding that it is essential for strengthening public confidence in the new process of selecting judges.

Deputy PM in charge of Ukraine's EU accession: 'A decade is far too long'

Under the current Constitutional Court bill, the expert panel will have three Ukrainian and three foreign members.

It will give the President’s Office full control over choosing candidates and the ability to handpick loyalists, according to legal experts and anti-corruption activists.

“The European Commission will closely monitor this process. Progress in judicial reform remains vital for strengthening Ukraine’s stability,” said Pisonero.

The bill was adopted by the Parliament on Dec. 13 and signed into law by Zelensky on Dec. 20. Ukraine’s civil society has criticized the move.

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