One Ukrainian soldier, "cyborg" [defender of the Donetsk airport]  Andriy Hrechaniy (call sign "Rahman") has been released from captivity of the militants from the self-styled DPR in an swap, with the 18th attempt.

One new currency - the Chinese yuan - was included in the basket of key international reserve currencies, which includes the U.S. dollar, euro, yen and pound sterling, according to Ukrainian media citing the relevant decision of the IMF.

Petro Poroshenko named in an interview with foreign media three obstacles to reforming Ukraine - corruption, bureaucratized officials and oligarchs.

There will be three groups of single tax payers left in Ukraine, instead of four, in case the government-proposed draft tax reform is adopted, according to the Finance Ministry.

Three mosques were closed in France following the terrorist attacks in Paris, foreign media reported. The reason for the closure was the suspicion of "radicalization" of the population.

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk offers to set up seven holdings with independent management, in the framework of reform of the state-owned enterprises, taken out from under ministerial control.

A former employee of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Vladislav Nikolsky, was sentenced to eight years in jail for treason. The man allegedly transferred to the Ukrainian party documentation on a landing ship, Russian media reported.

14 bodies of the Russian troops killed in Syria were shipped to the Russian-occupied Crimea in November, according to Ukraine’s military intelligence.

REUTERS

15 Hungarian border guards working at the checkpoints at the border with Ukraine were arrested for bribery (taking bribes of up to EUR 1,500 a day), according to Ukrainian media reports referring to the Prosecutor General's Office of Hungary. If found guilty, corrupt officials can face up to 12 years in prison.

National football team Ukraine ranks 29th in FIFA ratings. The team rounds up the year 2015 with 841.58 points.

32 people died in a fire at the oil platform in the Caspian Sea, foreign media reported with reference to the union of workers of oil industry of Azerbaijan. 42 people were rescued.

42.2% of Ukraine's economy operated in the shadows in January-July, 2015, according to a report published on the website of Ministry of Economic Development.

45 of the 54 deputies of the newly elected City Council of the eastern Ukrainian strategic port city of Mariupol represent the [anti-Western] Opposition Bloc, local media reported, citing data from the local election commission.

71.8% of Ukrainians believe Russia is the aggressor state, according to a survey by Razumkov Center. At the same time 31.5% of respondents say that eastern Ukrainian conflict is in fact a separatist rebellion, backed by Russia; while 28% say this is a war between Ukraine and Russia. Popular support of the Minsk agreements has decreased from 34% in March, 2015, to 16.1% in November.

940 Ukrainian mothers, who raised five or more children, received the honorary title "Heroine Mother," as reported by the press service of the Ukrainian president. The honorees represent all Ukrainian regions except Cherkasy.

940 Ukrainian mothers received the honorary title

The Russian Air Force carried out 1,458 airstrikes in Syria over the last week, foreign media reported citing the Russian Defense Ministry.

NATO mission to Afghanistan in 2016 will total 12,000 troops, according to Ukrainian media quoting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg as saying.

40,000 servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine remain in the queue for housing, according to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. This year, the agency bought for Ukrainian military 1300 apartments totaling over $ 1 billion hryvnia.

UAH 98,000 (including all surcharges) will be the monthly salary of the head of the National Police of Ukraine, while the lowest ranking officers will get UAH 6,143 a month, Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov said. For every year of service, the police officers will get additional allowance.

280,000 households not equipped with gas meters may be left without gas supply from January 1, 2016, Naftogaz of Ukraine reported.

Ukraine suffers a 1.5 million-tonne shortage of coal, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk said.

Russia’s Investigation Committee is willing to pay RUB 2.4 million for the access to Internet surveillance system providing for tracking the messages in the media and social networks, storing them for the minimum of 1.5 years, Russian media reported.

The Ukrainian government laid UAH 5.7 billion in the draft state budget for 2016 for the Local Communities Development Fund, according to the Cabinet. These funds will be allocated for hospitals, schools and infrastructure.

Cabinet provides money to fund the development of local communities / Photo from UNIAN

UAH 45 billion is needed to ensure thermal insulation of Ukrainian households, as estimated by the Ministry of Regional Development.

The Pension Fund deficit in 2016 may amount to UAH 124.9 billion if the single social security tax is reduced to 20% in the framework of the tax reform proposed by the Finance Ministry, according to the Fund is UAH 7.5 billion.

Margarita Andreyeva