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LGBT groups are expected to march in Kharkiv today. (file photo)

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-- The instruction of the Ukrainian language has been virtually wiped out in areas that Moscow-backed separatists control in eastern Ukraine where an armed conflict has simmered since April 2014, the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) says.

-- Leonid Kuchma, the Ukrainian president’s envoy for peace talks with Russia-backed separatists, has stressed that Kyiv should not make unacceptable concessions to Russia.

*Time stamps on the blog refer to local time in Ukraine

19:23 11.9.2019

19:22 11.9.2019

19:08 11.9.2019

Time now for another news item from RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service:

Freed Ukrainian Journalist Sushchenko To Auction Prison Artwork

Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko speaks during a press conference in Kyiv on September 11.
Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko speaks during a press conference in Kyiv on September 11.

KYIV -- Ukrainian journalist and former political prisoner Roman Sushchenko says he plans to organize an auction to sell pictures he drew and painted while imprisoned in Russia for almost three years on a spying conviction activists have called fabricated for political reasons.

Speaking at a news conference on September 11, four days after his release in a prisoner swap between Moscow and Kyiv, Sushchenko said he would use the proceeds from the auction of dozens of works he created while in prison to support other Ukrainian citizens held in Russia on politically motivated charges.

Sushchenko, a Paris-based correspondent for the Ukrinform news agency, was detained during a visit to Moscow in 2016 on suspicion of collecting classified information.

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed that Sushchenko works for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and that he gathered information about the Russian military and National Guard.

"Regarding the further fate of these works, I have an idea to hold a charity auction and use the funds accordingly to support our political prisoners and their families, their children," he said.

Sushchenko, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison in Russia in June last year, was released from Russian custody in a prisoner swap between Kyiv and Moscow on September 7.

The two countries exchanged 70 prisoners in total in the first major prisoner swap between them since 2017.

Sushchenko told reporters he was grateful to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his predecessor, Petro Poroshenko, for their contributions to his release from Russian custody, as well as to French President Emanuel Macron and Ukrainian and international diplomats for their efforts.

Relations between Moscow and Kyiv have been tense since 2014, when Russia took control of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and began backing separatists in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which has left more than 13,000 people dead.

Sushchenko said that he plans to continue working as a journalist.

18:27 11.9.2019

RFE/RL's Kyiv correspondent has more on Volodomyr Tsemakh and his daughter's social media post regarding his curreny whereabouts:

16:33 11.9.2019

16:29 11.9.2019

15:51 11.9.2019

15:50 11.9.2019

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15:45 11.9.2019

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