Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine Ad Hoc Media Update (31)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

</end editorial>

A busy week for developments in Ukraine, major topics:

  1. Azov Sea blockade and harassment of traffic in Black Sea, Ukraine to collaborate with Turkey on patrols;
  2. Politics of the bogus Minsk agreements;
  3. Musical chairs in the Donetsk Puppet Republic, and speculation that Col. Girkin will be forgiven and promoted to new leader of the DPR, making him the fall guy for Muscovy’s folly;
  4. Donbass fires continue, Russian body counts and Ukrainian KIA detailed for 2018 – Russia sustained 570 KIA so far this year, versus 80 AFU KIA, yielding a kill ratio of 7:1 and showing the Russians are slowly improving after 3 years at 10:1;
  5. Reports suggest Ukraine may tap directly into FMS and bypass domestic RFP requirements; speculation Ukraine may be manufacturing SCARAB TBM reloads;
  6. Political reports, Norway FM visit, Church matters;
  7. Much on Crimea including major environmental disaster claimed to be result of Russian practice arty shots landing in a Titanium plant and perforating chemical tanks, now damage as far as Kherson in Ukraine;

Ukraine Reports

Ukraine to equip coastal defense units in Sea of Azov with latest weapons | UNIAN

The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) on Thursday, September 6, passed a decision to equip the Ukrainian coastal defense units in the Sea of Azov with the latest high-precision missile weapons. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has been tasked to urgently adopt the Maritime Doctrine of Ukraine.

UAWire – Ukraine decides to strengthen naval presence in the Sea of Azov

The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) decided to strengthen the naval presence in the Sea of Azov, reported the press service of the NSDC following a meeting. “The NSDC of Ukraine approved a set of measures aimed at protecting national interests in the southern regions and waters of the Azov and Black Seas, in particular, strengthening the naval presence in the Sea of Azov, creating a naval armored group of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, as well as developing an appropriate infrastructure, units of coastal defense with the latest high-precision missile weapons, etc.,” the report said. It is noted that the Cabinet of Ministers is instructed to urgently adopt the Maritime Doctrine and improve the legal framework for protecting national interests in the waters of the Azov and Black Seas, to work out a common position of Ukraine and international counterparts in counteracting anthropogenic catastrophe that occurred in the north of the Crimea annexed by Russia and provide measures to counteract its spread to the southern part of the mainland Ukraine.

UAWire – Expert: Ukraine capable of repelling Russian attack in Azov Sea

Ukraine is not ready for a full-scale military encounter with Russia, but is capable of repelling an attack by sea, as was demonstrated in the recent military exercises, analyst Nikolai Beleskov from the Institute of World Politics told Radio Krym.Realii in an interview. According to him, the situation in the Kerch Strait started to deteriorate in April 2018, but “significant information work has not been carried out”. “We did not raise the alarm, did not say, did not speak, because, to a large degree, the responsibility lies with us. Of course, the US was supposed to monitor this situation, independently of what Ukraine says. The first American experts drew attention to this only in July 2018 – which is very telling… On the whole, we effectively lost the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait already in 2014, when Crimea was occupied. Another matter is that Russia has only now decided to utilize this potential for intimidation, to create problems with trade,” Beleskov commented. Since the second half of April, Russian border guards have started inspecting foreign ships traveling to or from Ukrainian ports. According to Ukraine’s Ministry of Infrastructure, by July 16 the number of ships detained by Russian border guards for inspection was 148. Earlier National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov said that Russia’s military and political leadership sees the Azov-Black Sea region as an important bridgehead for further expansion. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko gave orders to convene a session of the NSDC on the situation in the Sea of Azov. The US has condemned Russia’s inspections of international ships in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, citing this as another example of Moscow’s attempts to destabilize Ukraine.

Ukraine army training to repel attacks along Azov coast (Video) | UNIAN

The Ukrainian Air Force has worked out strikes against enemy landing forces along the coasts of the Sea of Azov. The Armed Forces worked out radar recon, penetration of the enemy air defense system, airstrikes on surface and sea targets, interception and destruction of air targets by fighter aircraft. The Ukrainian Air Force has worked out strikes against enemy landing forces along the coasts of the Sea of Azov. Fighter jets, bombers, and transport aviation of Ukraine’s Air Force, as well as aviation of the Land Forces, anti-aircraft missile forces, e-warfare unit, and aerial reconnaissance were involved in the training spree, the press service of the Joint Forces Operation wrote on Facebook.

Russia’s moves in Azov Sea show aggressor readies to also block Ukrainian ports in Black Sea – expert | UNIAN

Russia could repeat in the Black Sea its scenario of the blockade of Ukrainian seaports, now being worked out by Russian coast guard vessels in the Sea of Azov, according to an expert on international relations, Andriy Karakuts, According to the expert, Russia is now working out the algorithm of further aggression against Ukraine’s interests in the Black Sea. Russia could repeat in the Black Sea its scenario of the blockade of Ukrainian seaports, now being worked out by Russian coast guard vessels in the Sea of Azov, according to an expert on international relations, Andriy Karakuts, The expert believes such step by the Kremlin would entail serious consequences, according to Obozrevatel. “Russia in the Sea of Azov is in many ways working out options for blocking the Black Sea, precisely the part controlled by Ukraine. Unlike in the Sea of Azov, where large warships can’t enter because of its status, and because it’s a small sea, such scenario unfolding in the Black Sea would cause much more serious consequences,” the expert stressed.

On the night of August 31 to September 1, the coast guard of the Russian Federation detained the Ukrainian bulk carrier Amadore in the Azov Sea on its way from Mariupol –

On the night of August 31 to September 1, the coast guard of the Russian Federation detained the Ukrainian bulk carrier Amadore in the Azov Sea on its way from Mariupol. This was announced by the editor-in-chief of BlackSeaNews Andriy Klimenko on Facebook. He noted that at 10:00 a.m. Saturday the ship was still stopped. He stressed that such detentions usually last about 3 hours. On the way to the Azov Sea, this vessel was waiting for permission in the Kerch Strait for 119 hours. The owner of Amadore is a company from Odesa. This is the 99th detention (directly in the sea, not counting the checks before and in the Kerch Strait) since May 17, 2018. Earlier Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia’s navy in 2018 will receive 26 new ships and vessels, four of which will be equipped with the Caliber missile system, reports. “In total, in 2018 the fleet should receive 26 new ships, boats and vessels, including four ships with the Caliber missile system,” Putin said. According to the president of the Russian Federation, in 2018 the Russian fleet has already received four surface ships, one anti-sabotage boat and three supply vessels. Earlier Kremlin offered the White House to consider a possibility of the referendum in the occupied Donbas. The idea is that local residents, who live in could the militant-controlled areas could vote for the status of this region. That was the offer of Russian president Vladimir Putin, which he voiced out during the recent meeting with his U.S. colleague Donald Trump in Helsinki, Bloomberg wrote.

UN Convention on the Law of the Sea: Kyiv ready to address Russia’s objections before tribunal – 01.09.2018 12:18 — Ukrinform News

Ukraine&rsquo;s Foreign Ministry considers Russia's objections to the jurisdiction of the Tribunal hearing Ukraine&rsquo;s case against the Russian Federation under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea unfounded and is ready to address them before the Tribunal.&nbsp;

Russia should ensure unhindered access to Ukrainian ports in Sea of Azov – EU

The European Union has expressed concern about the deliberate prevention of passage of ships to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov, and said it expects Russia will ensure unhindered access. “Over the past months, Russia has increasingly and deliberately hindered and delayed the passage of vessels, including vessels from EU Member States, transiting through the Kerch Strait to and from Ukraine’s ports in the Sea of Azov. We expect Russia to ensure unhindered access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov. The European Union fully supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and continue to condemn and not recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol,” the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine told the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency on Wednesday.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Ukraine has Law but Not Force on Its Side in Sea of Azov, Polyakov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, September 4 – Leonid Polyakov, a former Ukrainian defense minister now at the Center for Research on the Army, Conversion and Disarmament, says that in the conflict with Russia over shipping on the Sea of Azov, Ukraine has law on its side but lacks both the military capacity and international support to respond adequately. There is no basis for optimism at least in the short term, he tells Kseniya Kirillova of Radio Svoboda. “Despite Ukraine’s obvious legal correctness, we are not in a position to do something by ourselves. Moscow traditionally manipulates the legal field and misuses its force” ( Vladimir Putin isn’t going to be constrained by the moral support of Ukraine’s international partners or the judgments of international bodies unless and until that support and those judgments entail real consequences for the Russian side, Polyakov says. And as a result, Ukraine must prepare for the worst. Already, he says, “given the ever more aggressive behavior of Moscow, Ukraine has begun to consider possible redirection of its shipping from the ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk” and strengthening its naval presence in the Sea of Azov. But these measures so far “are clearly insufficient.” But Polyakov adds, no one is thinking about making concessions to Russia over water and electricity for Crimea, as Moscow wants. And consequently, in the immediate future, the situation in and around the Sea of Azov is only going to deteriorate, possibly opening the way to expanded Russian aggression against Ukraine. Valentin Badrak, the head of the Kyiv Center for Research on the Army, Conversion and Disarmament, agrees but if anything is even more pessimistic about Ukraine’s situation. Russia is ready for a conflict, he says; but Ukraine is not. Nonetheless, he argues, “we must defend ourselves and our interests.” “We must be concerned in the first instance about coastal defense” by creating rapid reaction marine units that can be shifted as needed and by arming these units with Neptune rockets which could make a serious contribution to redressing the current imbalance, Badrak says. At the moment, he continues, there is no indication that Moscow is about to launch a full-scale invasion; “but the problem is that the Russian army in any case is prepared for [that] while the Ukrainian army is not.” Ukraine needs to use the present time to develop its forces rather than wait until the Russian armed forces do in fact move. “We have still not created a professional army,” Badrak says. “In units we have lost 50 to 70,000 motivated and experienced soldiers who could form the nucleus of a new professional army. Many have left because of insufficient financing and the absence of social guarantees.” And the order of battle on the Ukrainian side is in many cases hollow. Some units currently, he says, have only 40 percent of the personnel they are supposed to have. The situation with regard to military equipment is if anything even worse. Much of it is out of date and many units have far less than they are supposed to have. A few marine units are coming up to standards, but there is a serious shortage of these and of ships. Ukraine is slated to get two cutters from the US, but it needs a minimum of 20 to 30. Because of these military shortcomings, Badrak says, Kyiv must consider “complex measures” for resolving the conflict on the Sea of Azov, including involving more international players. He suggests that Ukraine should seek to involve Turkey in negotiations over that body of water given its location and relatively good relations with Moscow.

UAWire – Russia detains Ukrainian vessel in the Black Sea

On August 28, Representatives of the border office of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) in the Crimea detained Ukrainian fishing boat …

Ukrainian border guards, Turkish coast guards to jointly patrol in Black Sea | UNIAN

Members of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine and the Coast Guard of Turkey will jointly patrol in the Black Sea. The sides are working on the format of joint actions.

Ukraine, Turkey to jointly patrol Black Sea – 07.09.2018 10:35 — Ukrinform News

On September 6, Interior Minister of Ukraine Arsen Avakov and Commander of the Turkish Coast Guard Ahmet Kendir held a meeting and agreed on joint patrolling of the Black Sea, the Communications Department of the Interior Ministry reports.

Commanders of Ukrainian and Turkish naval forces discuss situation in Black Sea region. Photos – 04.09.2018 10:24 — Ukrinform News

The delegation of the Commander of the Naval Forces of the Turkish Republic met with the representatives of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine during their visit to Ukraine.

UAWire – Ukrainian President proposes to prohibit Russian Black Sea Fleet from staying in Crimea

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has submitted a bill on changing the country’s constitution to the parliament. This bill bans military bases from hosting military groups within the international treaties framework, said representative of the Ukraine President in the Verkhovna Rada, Irina Lutsenko , reports news website. According to her, this bill proposes to exclude constitutional provisions that allow leasing of the military bases in the territory of the country. “It concerns the presence of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the territory of the Crimean peninsula, which is Ukrainian. Accordingly, the President will make such proposals, “she said. In addition, Poroshenko decided to consolidate the European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Ukraine in the constitutional provisions. In March 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted the bill on the denunciation of the agreements with Ukraine regarding the Black Sea Fleet to the Russian State Duma. In April of the same year, this document was approved by the Russian Duma signed by Putin. In March 2014, after the annexation of the Crimea, the main base of the Black Sea Fleet on the peninsula was transferred to Russia.

Ukrainian-Romanian drills Riverine-2018 begins in Odesa region –

On September 4, in Izmail, Odesa region, the joint drills of the soldiers of Ukraine and Romania Riverine – 2018 has started as the press service of the Command of the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported. The drills will last three days. The Navy and border guards of Ukraine and Romania will master the tactical elements in accordance with the NATO standards as a part of the boat task forces and will improve the interaction of the Coast Guards in the covering of the above-water situation at Danube River, tactical maneuvering and holding of the surveillance operations.

UAWire – Another marine brigade to be established in Ukraine in October

Another marine brigade will be formed by the end of October 2018. The brigade’s commander and his deputies have already been appointed, stated the Commander of the Ukrainian Naval Infantry, Major General Yuriy Sodol, Radio Svoboda reports. Sodol explained that a commander has already been chosen for the brigade and he is now at the permanent base of the brigade at Dachne village of the Bilyaivsky district, which is about 30 kilometers from Odessa. “The modern military camp with a dormitory for officers, improved dormitory for contracted soldiers, sports and healthcare center, and medical unit has been established in Dachne specially for the marines,” Sodol said. According to the reform plan of the Ukrainian naval forces, the division of the naval forces into naval command and naval infantry was made at the beginning of 2018 to optimize its management. Commander Sodol is under direct responsibility of the Commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine, Ihor Voronchenko. Naval infantry is a universal branch of the military that can fight on the water, on the ground or in the air, independently or in conjunction with another unit.

Poroshenko: Almost 90% of Ukrainians ready to take up arms to defend Homeland | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said 89% of Ukrainians are ready to take up arms to defend their Homeland. Only a few years ago, only 20% of Ukrainians expressed willingness to do so in case it is needed. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said 89% of Ukrainians are ready to take up arms to defend their Homeland. “Imagine, only a few years ago, only 20% of Ukrainians were ready to take up arms to defend our land. And today, it’s 89%,” he told a student government’s debate club at the Naukova Zmina (Scholar Change) lyceum in Kyiv.

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in Washington met with the delegation of the US Congress and discussed international efforts to de-occupation of Crimea and Donbas –

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in Washington met with the delegation of the US Congress and discussed international efforts to de-occupation of Crimea and Donbas. This is stated on the website of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine. “Further steps were taken to strengthen the international efforts to de-occupation of the Ukrainian Crimea and Donbas.” The head of state drew attention to the illegal activities of the Russian Federation in the water area of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait and exchanged views on the threats to energy security in Europe due to the Nord Stream-2 project “, the report says. In addition, Poroshenko expressed gratitude for the support of providing Ukraine with lethal defensive weapons and increased sanctions pressure on Russia. Also Ukraine’s progress in implementing reform programs and developing cooperation with the IMF was discussed. Earlier we reported that President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko will pay a private visit to the U.S. on August 31 – September 1 to participate in the ceremony of commemoration of Senator John McCain, as the President’s Administration reports. “On the behalf of the Ukrainian nation and me personally, I want to give the last tribute to an eminent personality and big friend of Ukraine. The strength of his spirit motivates. His feeling of a historic moment amazes. His vision of the future inspires,” the Head of the State noted. The visit is private, so Petro Poroshenko will go to Washington by a scheduled flight. “Senator McCain will remain our close friend forever, who stood for the democracy on Kyiv Maidan and a loyal comrade who shared a New Year dinner with the Ukrainian soldiers on the battle line. His faith in the Ukrainian nation cannot be overestimated, his contribution in counterwork of the Russian aggressor. The authoritative voice of John McCain in support of the independent, democratic and prosperous Ukraine will remain one of the greatest ones forever,” the President stressed.

President Poroshenko thanks U.S. Congress for supporting Ukraine – 01.09.2018 12:59 — Ukrinform News

“Petro Poroshenko expressed gratitude for the important role of the U.S. Congress in protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including consistent support for granting defensive weapons to Ukraine and stepping up the sanctions pressure on Russia,” the press service of the Head of State reports. As noted, the further steps were coordinated to strengthen international efforts for the de-occupation of Ukrainian Crimea and Donbas. The President of Ukraine drew attention to the illegal activity of the Russian Federation in the water area of ​​the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait. In addition, the parties exchanged views on the threats to Europe’s energy security posed by the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project. Ukraine’s progress in implementing the reform programs and developing cooperation with the IMF was also discussed. The President of Ukraine expressed his hope that the members of the U.S. Congress would support Ukraine’s efforts aimed at the official recognition of the Holodomor of 1932-33 as the genocide of the Ukrainian people in the United States.

Hollande reveals memoirs, says Putin threatened to ‘smash Ukrainian army’ while signing Minsk agreements in 2015 – Signing Minsk agreements in 2015, Putin threatened to ‘smash Ukrainian army’, – Hollande’s memoirs –

Hollande reveals memoirs, says Putin threatened to ‘smash Ukrainian army’ while signing Minsk agreements in 2015

Merkel personally supported Ukraine’s NATO prospects – Ukraine envoy | UNIAN

Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk has said German Chancellor Angela Merkel personally voted to support Ukraine’s NATO prospects at a historic Bucharest summit. The vast majority of Ukraine’s success stories on its path toward European integration is due to Angela Merkel’s stance the diplomat said. Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk has said German Chancellor Angela Merkel personally voted to support Ukraine’s NATO prospects at a historic Bucharest summit. According to the diplomat, who spoke in an interview with Europeiska Pravda, the vast majority of Ukraine’s success stories on its path toward European integration is due to Angela Merkel’s stance. “It was she who was the engine of sanctions when she realized that Putin couldn’t be stopped with words. It was she who initiated the Normandy format and held tough negotiations with the Russian president in Minsk,” Ambassador Melnyk said.

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko met with US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker –

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko met with US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker. This is stated on the official website of the head of state. “The interlocutors discussed the security situation in the East of Ukraine and coordinated further steps for de-occupation of Donbas,” the report said. In addition, Petro Poroshenko and Kurt Volker talked about sanctions against the Russian Federation and the strengthening of the defense capacity of the Ukrainian army. “The sides discussed issues of strengthening cooperation between Ukraine and the United States to prevent Russia from interfering in the Ukrainian elections,” the press service said. US is ready to increase arms supplies in Ukraine to strengthen the Navy and Air Defense. This was reported by the US special representative for Donbas Kurt Volker, reports The Guardian. “They are losing soldiers every week defending their own country,” said Volker, a former US ambassador to Nato. “And so in that context it’s natural for Ukraine to build up its military, engage in self-defense, and it’s natural to seek assistance and is natural that other countries should help them. And of course they need lethal assistance because they’re being shot at.” Kurt Volker added that to this day between the United States and Russia there is a “gap” in the issue of the UN peacekeeping mission for the cessation of hostilities. He also predicted that Russian President Vladimir Putin would expect presidential and parliamentary elections in Ukraine before reconsidering his negotiating position. He added: “We can have a conversation with Ukraine like we would with any other country about what do they need. I think that there’s going to be some discussion about naval capability because as you know their navy was basically taken by Russia. And so they need to rebuild a navy and they have very limited air capability as well. I think we’ll have to look at air defence.”

Lavrov accuses Volker of supporting “harmful whims of Ukrainian authorities” | UNIAN

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker of “supporting harmful whims of Ukrainian authorities.” At the same time, Lavrov assured that Russia was ready to establish relations with the United States.

Lavrov: Russia played “decisive role” in drafting Minsk accords | UNIAN

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said Russia played a decisive role in drafting the Minsk agreements on Donbas settlement and is waiting for a change of power in Ukraine to ensure their implementation. The diplomat stressed Russia was ready for “compromises” on Ukraine and Syria.

Gerashchenko explains how Ukraine quit from Treaty of Friendship with Russia | UNIAN

First Deputy Chair of the Verkhovna Rada Iryna Gerashchenko has explained how the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership with the Russian Federation will be terminated. The official stressed that denunciation and non-prolongation were not synonymous terms. First Deputy Chair of the Verkhovna Rada Iryna Gerashchenko has explained how the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership with the Russian Federation will be terminated. Speaking during the meeting of the Conciliation Council of faction leaders and chairmen of parliamentary committees, Gerashchenko said there is a big difference in the concepts of denunciation and non-prolongation of the agreement, an UNIAN correspondent reports. “I would like our respected politicians, especially where it comes to future presidential candidates, to know the difference, because it is their duty if this choice is precisely Ukraine’s foreign policy. It’s not about any denunciations, because we will demand from the Russian Federation in all international courts – in The Hague and in other courts – to bear responsibility for violating the agreement,” she said. Gerashchenko said the president of Ukraine had instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs “not to prepare documents for the prolongation of this agreement, which comes automatically.” Gerashchenko once again stressed that denunciation and non-prolongation were not synonymous terms. “It’s only about non-prolongation,” she said. UNIAN memo. The Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Russia and Ukraine, dubbed the “Great Treaty,” was signed by the presidents of the two countries on May 31, 1997. The two states officially recognized each other’s borders and consolidated the principles of strategic partnership and respect for territorial integrity. After the annexation of Crimea and the beginning of Russian aggression in Donbas, calls were repeatedly made to terminate the Treaty because of Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

“Deliberate dismantling”: Minister Klimkin on Russia’s plans for Ukraine | UNIAN

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin emphasizes that the Russian Federation seeks and takes steps to ensure that Ukraine ceases to exist as an independent state. The Foreign Minister is convinced that Russia is striving for dismantling the Ukrainian state rather than for the revenge of the pro-Russian forces in the upcoming elections.

Poroshenko to notify Russia of termination of friendship agreement by Sept 30 | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says he is going to inform Russia about the termination of the 1997 Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation, and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation by the end of the month. Poroshenko will hold consultations on the subject with parliamentarians.

Klimkin says treaty and legal basis with Russia to be revised, – Ukraine to reconsider treaty and legal basis with Russia, – Foreign Minister –

Ukraine to reconsider treaty and legal basis with Russia, – Foreign Minister

UAWire – Ukrainian President: Friendship treaty with Russia is expiring, not being broken off

During a meeting with Verkhovna Rada party leaders in the Presidential Administration, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that the Treaty …

Ukraine intel: Kremlin to eventually replace assassinated Zakharchenko with Girkin | UNIAN

Representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Vadym Skibitsky says the Kremlin is preparing to replace the recently assassinated so-called “leader” of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) Alexander Zakharchenko with Igor Girkin aka Strelkov. “According to the military intelligence of Ukraine, the FSB is directly behind Zakharchenko’s assassination,” Skibitsky told TV Channel 5. According to the intelligence official, Moscow is considering the possibility of returning the former terrorist leader, Russian Igor Girkin, back to eastern Ukraine to have him “lead” the occupied territories. Alexander Zakharchenko was killed on August 31 in an explosion in a Donetsk restaurant.

FSB preparing Girkin’s return to Donbas – expert | UNIAN

Igor Girkin aka Strelkov, the long-forgotten “hero” of the failed “Novorossia” project, who has been sharply criticizing the Russian government and the Kremlin’s policy on Donbas (without any consequences, which is important to note) ever since he fled eastern Ukraine for Moscow, may see a sharp “career turn” soon. Girkin is an “FSB guy,” and now it is now the moment the agency sees it possible, and necessary, to promote him to succeed the late Zakharchenko.

Separatists In Ukraine’s Donetsk Choose Zakharchenko Successor

Denis Pushilin, the chairman of the “people’s council” of the Russia-backed separatist formation called the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) in eastern Ukraine, has been selected as the acting head …

Another reshuffle in occupied Donbas as Denis Pushilin appointed acting “DPR” head | UNIAN

The so-called “People’s Council of the Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) has appointed Denis Pushilin acting head of the unrecognized “republic.” The relevant document was backed by the majority of local “deputies.”

Ukraine’s intel explains why Russia’s FSB behind assassination of “DPR” leader Zakharchenko | UNIAN

Ukraine’s intelligence service has explained why Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) is behind the assassination of so-called leader of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) Alexander Zakharchenko – Russians are getting rid of whose who could be witnesses to Russian aggression against Ukraine in international courts. Ukraine’s SBU Security Service was unable to plant explosives in that cafe.

UAWire – Kyiv: Russia refused to provide information about investigators it sent to Donbas to find Zakharchenko killers

At the meeting in Minsk, Ukraine demanded that Russia provide full information regarding media reports that Russia sent investigators to the  …

UAWire – Media: Putin sent Russian investigators to Donetsk to find Zakharchenko killers

A group of Russian investigators arrived in Donetsk at the request of Russian President Vladimir Putin,  Rosbalt news outlet reports, citing a …

UAWire – Ukraine asks Russia to provide information on the fate of former LPR leader Plotnitsky

During the talks in Minsk in the light of the murder of Alexander Zakharchenko, the leader of the DPR, the Ukrainian side of the Tripartite …

NSDC approves defense budget for 2019 – 07.09.2018 09:12 — Ukrinform News

“Following the discussion, the NSDC of Ukraine adopted the main parameters of the defense budget for 2019. In general, over 5% of GDP will be directed to the needs of the security and defense sector of Ukraine,” reads the report. According to NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov, one of the main priorities of the next year’s budget is a significant increase in the monetary support of servicemen. He also said that among the priority areas of financing for the next year are the implementation of measures for the development, preparations of production and procurement of new types of weapons and military equipment, in particular, modern high-precision missile weapons (missile systems and complexes, particularly, cruise missiles); strengthening the state air defense system and capabilities of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine; the implementation of state policy in the cyber security sphere, measures for the development and modernization of special communication and information security; implementation of the National Intelligence Program for 2016-2020; strengthening counter-intelligence, counter-terrorism and anti-sabotage activities, etc.

Russian-led forces amassing military hardware in occupied Donbas – JCCC | UNIAN

Ukrainian members of the Joint Center for the Control and Coordination (JCCC) of the ceasefire and stabilization in Donbas have recorded an unprecedented number of heavy weaponry being amassed in the occupied Donbas. The monitors say 472 units of Russian military equipment have been recorded in the occupied territories.

Russia sends “up to 1,000 tanks towards border with Ukraine” – media | UNIAN

Military boffins on social media claim to have spotted “1000” Russian tanks moving west towards Ukraine. Trackers of the Russian army have posted pictures of cargo trains carrying hulking Soviet-era war machines.

Russia sends ‘up to 1,000 tanks towards country’s border with Ukraine’ as tensions with the West continue to escalate

MILITARY boffins on social media claim to have spotted “1000” Russian tanks moving west towards Ukraine.

Ukrainian officer reveals enemy death toll in Donbas for 2018 (Photo) | UNIAN

Officer of the 53rd Separate Mechanized Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Anatoliy Shtefan has disclosed the number of enemy losses in Donbas throughout the eight months of 2018. “January: 47 KIAs (killed in action), 74 WIAs (wounded in action); February: 66 KIAs, 71 WIAs; March: 42 KIAs, 79 WIAs; April: 117 KIAs, 190 WIAs; May: 110 KIAs, 149 WIAs; June: 86 KIAs, 47 WIAs; July: 31 KIAs, 68 WIAs; August: 68 KIAs, 116 WIAs. In total: 567 KIAs, 894 WIAs,” Shtefan wrote on Facebook.

Poroshenko: 18 Ukrainian soldiers killed in Donbas in August – 06.09.2018 14:07 — Ukrinform News

In Donbas in August, 18 Ukrainian soldiers were killed by Russian occupation troops. &nbsp;

Donbas: 80 Ukrainian servicemen died, over 560 were wounded since beginning of year –

Since the beginning of the year, some 80 Ukrainian soldiers deceased and over 560 were wounded in Donbas combat zone. Lieutenant General Anatoliy Petrenko said that as quoted by the press service of Ukraine’s defense ministry. He added that the peacekeeping operation in support of Minsk agreements is absolutely logical initiative because people keep dying in Donbas. ‘Minsk agreements were signed in 2014-2015. We still observe the use of large caliber weaponry and drones, the mining of territories, and people die because of the mines. The civilian infrastructure gets destroyed, Russian troops stay on our territory. It’s all neglected…’, he said. According to him, the stable ceasefire and troops withdrawal may be reached through the enforcement of the international component of pressure on Russia. The official added that all provision of Minsk agreement, including the holding of the fair local elections, economic and humanitarian restoration of Donbas, can be implemented through peacekeeping operation under the aegis of the UN. ‘But there’s an important condition: there should be no Russians in the peacekeeping mission; there should be no Russian military in Donbas’, he stressed.

Militants increase number of attacks, – Militants reinforce front lines with artillery, – Defence Ministry –

Militants reinforce front lines with artillery, – Defence Ministry

Another Ukrainian soldier killed in Donbas despite “back-to-school” ceasefire | UNIAN

Russia’s hybrid military forces mounted 31 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas in the past 24 hours, with one Ukrainian soldier reported as killed in action (KIA) and another three as wounded in action (WIA) as the enemy once again violates the recently announced “back-to-school” ceasefire. According to intelligence reports, two enemy troops were killed and another five were wounded.

Russia turns down Ukraine’s offer to swap their convicts for Ukrainian political prisoners | UNIAN

Russian representatives in the negotiations of the Tripartite Contact Group in Minsk for the Donbas settlement have once again refused to exchange 36 Russian nationals – detainees and those convicted for crimes against Ukraine – on Ukrainian political prisoners who are illegally held by Russia in the occupied Crimea and across the Russian Federation, according to First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the country’s representative in the humanitarian subgroup in Minsk, Iryna Gerashchenko. Russian representatives stated that “Russia has nothing to do with the conflict, and that they are not there,” Gerashchenko said.

UAWire – Ukraine: Russia sends to Donbas weapons captured during the annexation of the Crimea

Russia is arming militants in the Donbas with captured weapons from Ukrainian military bases after the annexation of the Crimea, reported the Communication Department of the Ukrainian National Police, citing a statement of the Chief of the National Police, Serhiy Knyazev. “Firearms, which were captured from more than 10 military bases in annexed Crimea, are used on the territories of the Joint Forces Operation. They belonged to the Armed Forces of Ukraine until 2014 but the arms were stolen after the annexation of the Crimea by the Russian occupation authorities in 2014,” Knyazev emphasized. He noted that the police have recorded more than 60 incidents of seizing the weapons from the annexed Crimea. At the time of annexation, the weapons were stored at the Ukrainian Armed Forces bases in Sevastopol, Feodosia and Simferopol. “These facts show that the Russian Federation is arming militants, who kill civilians and Ukrainian soldiers in the east of our country every day,” the head of the National Police said. He stated that 51 machine guns, 15 pistols, two grenade launchers and one carbine were recovered in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Ukrainian police: Russia supplies Crimean weapons to its forces in Donbas | UNIAN

The Ukrainian police are investigating facts when weapons illegally seized by Russia amid the annexation of Crimea have been supplied to Russian-led terrorist groups in Donbas, the east of Ukraine. Ukraine’s police recorded 60 facts of the use by Russian-backed terrorists of Crimean weapons.

UAWire – Kyiv asks Ottawa to extend the stay of Canadian military trainers in Ukraine

Ukraine started negotiations with the Canadian Delegation on extending the UNIFIER operation training mission, said Ukrainian Ambassador to …

Yovanovitch: US takes part in Rapid Trident drills as it supports Ukraine’s territorial integrity – 03.09.2018 17:30 — Ukrinform News

The U.S. troops are participating in the Rapid Trident 2018 military exercises as America supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Ukraine-U.S. Rapid Trident 2018 drills start at Yavoriv training area Photoreport

Ukraine-U.S. Rapid Trident 2018 drills start at Yavoriv training area. UNIAN pictures

Ukraine-NATO Joint Military Exercises Begin In Lviv Region

Ukraine has begun joint military exercises with 10 NATO countries in western Ukraine amid ongoing tensions with Russia over Moscow’s illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and the ongoing conf…

Rapid Trident 2018 int’l drills in Lviv region move to practical phase (Video) | UNIAN

Rapid Trident-2018 international military drills, the largest joint land exercise of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and foreign army units, have moved to the practical phase. Ukrainian soldiers and military units of partner countries will train to counteract armed aggression in a hybrid war.

Ukrainian documentary “Myth” about opera singer killed in Donbas war wins at Portugal fest | UNIAN

“Myth,” a Ukrainian documentary by Leonid Kanter and Ivan Yasnii, has become a winner at the Figueira Film Art Festival, which took place from August 27 to September 2 in the Portuguese city of Figueira. “Myth” tells a story of life and death of Vasyl Slipak, an internationally-acclaimed opera singer, who volunteered to defend Ukraine from Russian aggression, and was killed in a Donbas war. “Myth,” a Ukrainian documentary by Leonid Kanter and Ivan Yasnii, has become a winner at the Figueira Film Art Festival, which took place from August 27 to September 2 in the Portuguese city of Figueira. “Myth” tells a story of life and death of Vasyl Slipak, an internationally-acclaimed opera singer, one of the world’s best baritones, who lived and worked in France for 19 years, where he was a soloist of the Paris Opera House, and who volunteered to defend Ukraine from Russian aggression, and was killed in Donbas. The film combines documentary footage and animation, created by Ukrainian cartoonist Yuri Zhuravel.

We are impressed by the results of reforms in Ukraine, – Norway Foreign Minister –

Ine Eriksen Søreide, the Foreign Minister of Norway, gave a positive feedback to the Ukrainian reforms and effectiveness of some commercial projects which can be implemented in Ukraine, as Government Portal reports. “We are impressed by the results of reforms already achieved by Ukraine. The improvement of the investment climate can already be felt. That is why the prospects of investment cooperation are quite optimistic”, Ine Eriksen Søreide said.

Norwegian foreign minister visits Hnutove checkpoint and school shelled by militants – 05.09.2018 17:56 — Ukrinform News

Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen S&oslash;reide has visited a school in the village of Talakivka and the&nbsp;Hnutove checkpoint&nbsp;in Donetsk region.

Rada backs new army greeting – news about economy | UNIAN

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has adopted in the first reading Bill “On amendments to the charters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine” (No. 9036). The bill provides for the use in the army not only “comrade”, but also “pan”.

Rada supports equal rights for male, female troops in Ukrainian army | UNIAN

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has adopted the Law of Ukraine “On amending certain laws of Ukraine on ensuring equal rights and opportunities for women and men at military service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations” (No. 6109). The law specifies that women perform military services on a par with men.

Ukrainian parliament equalizes rights of women and men in army – 06.09.2018 12:32 — Ukrinform News

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has adopted the law &quot;On Amending Certain Laws of Ukraine on Ensuring Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men when Performing Military Service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and Other Military Formations.&quot;

bellingcat – Addressing the Aeroflot MH17 Conspiracy Theory – bellingcat

Ukraine will legally secure direct supplies of weapons from the United States

The Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security and Defense prepares a bill that will enable the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine to directly import weapons from the United States.It is reported by Interfax-Ukraine “A very important factor is the possibility of cooperation of the Ministry of Defense directly with the Pentagon with the US Department of State for the supply of military equipment, weapons and dual-use goods,” said Ivan Vinnik, a member of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defense, (the “Petro Poroshenko Bloc” ) on Monday in Kiev at a meeting of the Conciliation Council of Parliament. He said that in the implementation of the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, “we will introduce a bill that will enable the Ministry of Defense to be directly an importer of equipment and weapons from the United States, bypassing the special exporters, because this creates a certain obstacle to effective work” .

A small review of the equipment parade. Part 5 – Air Defense – Український мілітарний портал

On Parade, air defense was presented, and dear Internet users are right, models of Soviet production. Moreover, it was carried out in the RSFSR. Ukraine did not develop and did not produce anti-aircraft defense systems. Although the production of many of its elements: rockets, heads of self-study, radar we have.Therefore, while Ukraine is developing the new ARM, it uses the legacy of the USSR. It should be noted that air defense (which is divided into Air Defense Forces responsible for covering important civilian objects and Air Defense Ground Forces covering the troops) was deliberately destroyed by the pre-emptive government. For example, SOR “Tor” (SDP), SOR-S-300V1 (Air Defense Substation) were disarmed. ZRK S-300PT was recognized as hopeless and some of them armed were dispersed. Other RPMs, such as the S-300PT and the Buk-M1, were not in the best position. It should be noted that, for example, the reason for the withdrawal from the armament of the Torah and the S-300V1 was the lack of bases and experience of repair. This year they took part in the parade along with the S-300PS, the S-300PT and the Bukami-M1. The latter were distinguished by the fact that not only one enemy of the UAV had been shot down, which conducted reconnaissance activities on the positions of Ukrainian troops in the East. At the moment, the sky of Ukraine is protected by more than 40 divisions of the S-300PT / PS, “Buk-M1”. The emergence of the S-300V1 weaponry will significantly increase the air defense power of the PS.At the same time, returning to the air defense complex “Tors” will allow the formation of another anti-aircraft missile regiment in addition to four already existing armed Osa-AK missiles.

Has Ukraine mastered the supply of missiles for the Tochka-U [SCARAB]? – Український мілітарний портал

In the last issue of the transfer “On the Army” during the talk about missile weapons were shown Containers Tochek. What is very interesting and important in itself, as Ukraine did not have the opportunity to extend the resource. Prior to the war, work on the extension of the Resource was carried out in Russia, or by Russian specialists in Ukraine. The appearance of containers in Tochka-U at the Pivdennoe may indicate that Ukrainian specialists are studying the possibility of extending the life of these missiles. And it is possible that the work is already set up. A similar situation was with the missiles 9M83 anti-aircraft missile complex S-300V1. Before the war, Ukraine had no opportunity to service them on their own – only with the participation of Russian specialists. However, a few months ago the 9M83 rocket was taken off at the Vizar factory shop during O. Turchinov’s visit there.Our site then noted that the appearance of these missiles in the shops of the profile company can be a sign of the beginning of their repair and extension of the resource. A little later, information about the development of these works was confirmed officially. Is this story not repeated with the rockets of the family 9M79 of the Tochka-U complex: at first, containers of these missiles were shown to us, and then the plant’s management will report on the development of repair and continuation of the resource? It should be noted that the container is not one, but, therefore, it is a single instance to study the possibility of conducting such works. I am inclined to think, to all continuation of the resource is already carried out. The tactical missile complex “Tochka-U” is a Soviet tactical (divisive) rocket complex for the development of the Kolomensky KB engineering industry. In Ukraine, these complexes are armed with the 19th missile brigade consisting of four combat units and one training divisions that were deployed with the onset of Russian aggression against Ukraine. Prior to this, the brigade was armed with 12 complexes consisting of 3 batteries.

“Hrim-2” missiles, maritime defense, VIP guards and the most important news of August

Ukrainian military TV Published on Sep 1, 2018

Ukraine to repair torpedoes for Polish Navy – 07.09.2018 11:53 — Ukrinform News

“The state-owned enterprise ‘Promoboronexport’, which is part of State Concern ‘Ukroboronprom’, signed a memorandum with the Polish company SCAT. The document provides for the parties’ intentions to repair SET-53M torpedoes at the concern’s enterprises and also to organize the supply of spare parts for the needs of the Polish Navy,” reports the press service of Ukroboronprom, the association of multi-product enterprises in various sectors of the defense industry of Ukraine. In addition, the company signed with U. F. B Technologies LTD (Israel) the agreement on cooperation in the field of innovative production and distribution of polymer-based and composite material-based constituent parts. It aims to provide Ukrainian enterprises of armored vehicle-building, aircraft-building and missile-building industries with high-quality polymer and composite materials.

Ukraine wins $40 million tender for repair of Turkish Mi-17 helicopters – Defence Blog

Ukrainian companies have won the $40 million tender for the repair and upgrade of Turkish Mi-17 helicopters, said in the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine. According to the statement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, the Ukrainian SE “Konotop Aircraft Repair Plant “Aviakon” and aero-engine manufacturer ”Motor Sich” won a tender for the repair and modernization of 17 helicopters MI-17 of the Turkish Gendarmerie. “We have the agreements on the cooperation of the border guards, guards, police and rescuers. Also, I thank for cooperation in the military sphere. Now we implement the big project on the modernization of Mi-17 helicopters,” said Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov during his visit to Turkey.

US Army received radar system of the Iskra NSC

the U.S. Army Contracting Command received the 3D mobile air-defense radar system from Ukraine

Zgurovsky: A financial audit of Ukroboronprom will answer the question about the past, a strategic audit – about the future of the concern

Interview of the Head of the Supervisory Board of the state concern Ukroboronprom Mykhailo Zgurovsky by the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency

Parliament ratifies defense agreement with Poland – 06.09.2018 13:35 — Ukrinform News

A total of 230 MPs voted for the adoption of corresponding draft resolution No.0145, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. The agreement was signed on December 2, 2016 in Warsaw and envisages the legal basis for expanding Ukrainian-Polish cooperation in the defense industry in a number of areas, including military communication and information systems, conducting research works for the needs of the armed forces, defense policy and planning, logistic support of the armed forces, military engineering work, military infrastructure, development, modernization, manufacturing and supply of defense equipment, cooperation in the field of defense industry, operational special forces etc.

Antonov An-225: Enormous, unfinished plane lies hidden in hangar | CNN Travel

The world’s biggest unfinished airplane lies in a hangar outside Kiev, Ukraine, awaiting completion since the collapse of the Soviet Union decades ago. Will this enormous plane ever take off?

See a half-built aviation giant, the Antonov An-225 (photos) | CNN Travel

See photos of the Antonov An-225, conceived by Soviet engineers in the dying days of the Cold War as a gigantic, gravity-defying workhorse. It lies 70% built in a Kiev, Ukraine, hangar.

Poroshenko welcomes EU decision to prolong sanctions against Russia – 05.09.2018 14:04 — Ukrinform News

President Petro Poroshenko has welcomed the decision taken by ambassadors of the European Union regarding the extension of individual sanctions over the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine.

Ukrainian Parliament to have enough votes to adopt law on Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations, – MP Ivan Krulko at ‘The Pulse’, the big political show at 112 Ukraine TV channel –

The Ukrainian Parliament will find 226 votes (the simple majority in the Verkhovna Rada, – 112 International) for the draft law No.9037 about this country’s European and Atlantic aspirations. Ivan Krulko, the lawmaker from Batkivshchyna party, said this during the second edition of The Pulse, the big political show at 112 Ukraine TV channel. ‘The President filed the draft law on submitting the changes to the Constitution. What is it for? Apparently, this bill can gain 226 votes in the first reading. But why the president only offers this now, not four years ago? Because this is a typical story before the presidential election. Nothing good to tell the society’, he said. According to him, Batkivshchyna will vote for Ukraine’s strategic course to the EU. However, this particular bill should be developed further, he said. The respective draft law, submitted by President Petro Poroshenko, was registered in the Verkhovna Rada on Monday, September 3. The text was uploaded and released via the official website of the Ukrainian Parliament.

Parliamentary faction of the Radical Party of Ukraine will support Ukraine’s strategic course on joining the NATO –

The pParliamentary faction of the Radical Party of Ukraine will support Ukraine’s strategic course on joining the NATO, and fixing the respective principle in the Constitution. Ihor Mosiychuk, the MP from the Radical Party of Ukraine said that during ‘The Pulse’, the big political show at 112 Ukraine TV channel. As the guests and experts discussed the bill submitted by President Petro Poroshenko, Mosiychuk claimed that it is clear that his party would support Ukraine’s NATO membership, adding that ‘this is a security matter’. ‘As for the EU membership, we have discussions and questions, like this one – what kind of Ukraine would join the EU?’, he said. The draft law on Ukraine’s European and Atlantic aspirations, submitted by President Petro Poroshenko, was registered in the Verkhovna Rada on Monday, September 3. The text was uploaded and released via the official website of the Ukrainian Parliament. The bill offers that the Parliament and the government achieve the authority to gain the membership of Ukraine in the EU and the NATO.

Ukraine parliament publishes amendments to Constitution on Ukraine’s path to EU, NATO | UNIAN

The bill on amendments to the Constitution concerning the strategic course of the state for obtaining full membership of Ukraine in the EU and NATO, submitted by President Poroshenko, has been published on the website of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament. “The proposed legislative initiative is aimed at making necessary changes to the Constitution of Ukraine to implement Ukraine’s purposeful pragmatic course toward obtaining full membership in the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as strategic foreign policy priorities of the state,” the explanatory note says, according to Europeiska Pravda.

Poroshenko convenes heads of parliamentary factions and groups on Monday evening | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has convened the leaders of parliamentary factions and groups to a meeting on Monday evening. According to Tsegolko, the meeting will take place in the Presidential Administration on Bankova Street.

UAWire – Norway to invest up to € 400 million in Ukrainian renewable energy

At a joint press conference with the Foreign Minister of Norway Ine Eriksen Soreide in Kyiv, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin said that …

Czaputowicz: Poland to defend Ukraine’s course towards EU and NATO – 07.09.2018 15:53 — Ukrinform News

“We want to be in the one family of free and democratic countries which belong to the EU and NATO. Therefore, we strongly support the territorial integrity of Ukraine, its right to self-determination, sovereignty and membership in the EU and NATO,” Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said in an interview with Ukrinform. Commenting on the initiative of the President of Ukraine to enshrine in the Constitution the course of Ukraine towards the membership in the EU and NATO, the Polish Foreign Minister noted: “If Ukraine makes such a choice, it has the right to choose its own political path. We will defend this choice.” In opinion of Czaputowicz, Ukraine cannot join the Three Seas Initiative now, because it is not a member of the EU. “If Ukraine joins the EU, of course, we will be glad to welcome it,” the Polish minister stated. The Three Seas Initiative (the Baltic Sea, the Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea) is the international political and economic initiative, founded in 2015, which includes 12 EU member states: Poland, Croatia, Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary.

About one million Ukrainians leave country every year – Klimkin – 05.09.2018 11:44 — Ukrinform News

About one million Ukrainians leave the country annually.

Ukraine has all the chances to win the cases in international courts, in which it sued Russia –

Ukraine has all the chances to win the cases in international courts, in which it sued Russia

Ukraine joins efforts to create “Carpathian Strategy” | UNIAN

First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine Stepan Kubiv has signed a declaration of intent to create a new macro-regional strategy of the European Union for the development of the Carpathian region of Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia. According to Kubiv, the macro-regional strategy will ensure compliance with priority areas of cooperation under the Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians.

Railway to link Ukraine, the Baltic states and Eastern Europe – 06.09.2018 15:00 — Ukrinform News

“The transport link with the EU is not just autobahns, but also the railway. In 2016, a brilliant idea was born to launch a direct railway link between Ukraine and Poland, between Kyiv, Lviv and Przemysl. We launched it. This year, I hope, we will launch a new direct route Mukachevo-Budapest. It is almost ready, it will be extremely successful and will have a demand in the market. Also, on September 28, we open direct link between Kyiv and Minsk, Riga and Vilnius. The railways of Ukraine and the EU countries create a single ring of the countries of Eastern Europe and the Baltic States. I believe that the countries of Europe and the Baltic States will be linked with rail in the coming years,” Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan said at the conference “Europe of the Carpathians” during the 28th Economic Forum in Poland’s Krynica-Zdroj on Wednesday, the Ministry’s press service reports. “The Ukrainian vector goes west. In 2015, we had come up with the idea of creating a transport corridor that would connect Ukraine, the Ukrainian Black Sea ports with the EU, and we began to implement this idea in 2016. We hope to finish all the works on a new transport corridor connecting Poland with Ukraine and the Baltic Sea with the Black Sea by 2020,” the minister noted.

UAWire – Media: Ukraine fails to sanction 40 Russian companies from the US and EU sanctions list

The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) &quot;forgot&quot; to include dozens of Russian companies that are included in the sanctions …

Groysman: Ukraine should refuse from anthracite and increase gas coal production – 31.08.2018 16:33 — Ukrinform News

Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman has said that Ukraine should fully refuse from anthracite and increase the production of gas coal.

UAWire – Ukraine classifies documents on the closure of railway traffic with Russia

Infrastructure Ministry of Ukraine has classified its proposals regarding the restrictions on the railway traffic from the Russian Federation. …

Expert estimates Ukraine’s loss over decline of Russia trade | UNIAN

Ukraine’s losses as a result of the reduction in trade with Russia cannot be estimated for sure, although they may amount to at least several billion dollars a year, that’s according to a managing partner at Capital Times investment company, Doctor of Economic Sciences Erik Nayman. Problems in foreign trade relations with Russia first emerged in 2011.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Ukrainian Publishers Now Beating Russian Ones in Bringing Out Translations of Books from the West, Vivat Head Says

Paul Goble Staunton, September 2 – Since 2014, there have been remarkable changes in the book publishing industry in Ukraine, Yuliya Orlova, publisher of Kharikiv’s Vivat House says. It is now bringing out translations of books from the West more rapidly than are Russian ones and overwhelmingly publishing only in the Ukrainian language. Those encouraging developments, Orlova tells, are unfortunately balanced by other less positive ones, including a decline in size of print runs by about 25 percent, widespread piracy and contraband, and the lack of a stable system of supporting library collections ( The Ukrainian government’s support for Ukrainian language has played an enormous role in the positive side of the ledger, the publisher says. Before 2014, publishers in Russia bought up rights for Ukrainian as well as Russian translations but then did not publish in Ukrainian. Now, that has changed, Ukrainian publishers are more active in international deals and insist on buying the Ukrainian rights, something that has helped ensure that books are translated and published in Ukrainian as is now the case. But prices remain too high relative to income and print runs too low – 4,000 on average compared to 10,000 in Germany and 3,000 in Latvia. Another major change is that Ukrainian houses now publish as many as 95 percent of the titles on their lists only in Ukrainian. Before 2014, most published far more in Russian. Government policy has promoted this, but so too have reader interests. Russian-language books now sell much less well than they did, Orlova says. She gives as an example a new book by Mustafa Dzhemilyev. The Ukrainian language version quickly sold old, but stocks of the Russian-language one, despite expectations that Crimean Tatars would prefer a Russian version, remain unsold. Another case involves the works of Nobel laureate Svetlana Aleksiyevich. Her books have been translated into Ukrainian and are selling well, despite suggestions by some that they should be issued in the original Russian. At the same time, Orlova says, “we have not ceased issuing books in Russian, but the print runs and assortment of books has been cut back.”

Presentation of the book ‘To Hollywood from Ukraine’ | Media

Presentation of the book ‘To Hollywood from Ukraine’

Book about Ukrainians in Hollywood presented in Kyiv – 31.08.2018 17:15 — Ukrinform News

Book &quot;To Hollywood from Ukraine&quot; telling about Ukrainians in American cinema was presented in Kyiv.

Ukrainian spelling reform: Back to 1928? –

This eventful summer would be marked by one unforgettable event. In mid-August, the National Commission on Spelling has introduced a draft new edition of Ukrainian spelling into public discussion. By September 15, 2018, everyone can send his comments and propositions. Immediately, a wave of indignation, criticism, and luck has appeared. Someone believes that nothing needs to be changed because many still cannot learn the old rules; someone is defending the project. And, there are those for whom language issues are not on time. Iryna Farion (far right politician and philologist, known for her xenophobic calls, member of Ukraine’s far-right Svoboda party; Farion was involved in major scandal over language issues –as a regional Lviv deputy, she has criticized children in kindergarten for having “wrong” Russian-styled names – ed.) called this project “a project of compromise, dualism, full schizophrenic uncertainty.” In her opinion, it is necessary to return to the norms of 1928 (During the period of Ukrainization in Soviet Ukraine, the 1927 International Orthographic Conference was convened in Kharkiv. At the conference a standardized Ukrainian orthography and method for transliterating foreign words were established, a compromise between Galician and Soviet proposals, called the Kharkiv Orthography, or Skrypnykivka, after Ukrainian Commissar of Education Mykola Skrypnyk. It was officially recognized by the Council of People’s Commissars in 1928 and adopted by the Ukrainian Diaspora. – Ed.). Experts at the same time explain that the project was developed “on the basis of the tradition of Ukrainian spelling taking into account the latest language phenomena.” In general, again we face this language issue, the “stumbling block” and “rock of offense.” I have familiarized myself with this project and I can say that I 90% agree with it. I believe that the authors hold a reasonable compromise: on the one hand, much is taken from the Kharkiv spelling of 1928, and on the other hand, copying these rules completely, to put it mildly, is wrong. Even though this was the last purely Ukrainian spelling and it was concluded by eminent and respected linguists. After all, this is not a static phenomenon. She is constantly undergoing change. And it is not about a violent Russification here. For 90 years our country has witnessed many events that have somehow affected the language. It is impossible to neglect this in any way. There should be no compromises in the implementation of language policy, that is, one state language, no bilingualism, education only in Ukrainian. Germany, where more than one million Turks live, has no Turkish school. Children study in German schools and speak their own language at home. Some schools offer Turkish as a foreign language. In France, during the French Revolution, it was forbidden to keep records in French. Today, the fine for a song, documentation or signage is not in French, amounts to 750 to 570 thousand euros. We also have a lot of loopholes in order not to learn the language. It is important not to make any compromises. A girl from China, who decided to go to Kyiv for study, opened an encyclopedia, read that there is the Ukrainian language, which (logically!) is used in Ukraine. She was studying Ukrainian for a year she, and after she came here, it turned out that all the textbooks (Soviet-style textbooks, I mean) were published in Russian. And she did not understand Russian. She had a real cognitive dissonance!

Ukraine Jails Man Accused Of Plotting Babchenko Murder

Ukraine says it has imprisoned the man it accused of being recruited by Russia’s secret services to organize a murder plot against self-exiled Russian reporter and Kremlin critic Arkady Babchenko.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Universal Patriarch Says Moscow has No Right to Veto Ukrainian Autocephaly

Paul Goble Staunton, September 5 – Because Universal Patriarch Batholemew did not issue a tomos of autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church this week as some in Ukraine had expected, many in Russia are claiming that the patriarch has backed away from doing so, at least in part because of the opposition of the Moscow Patriarchate. But in fact, as Igor Yakovenko points out in today’s Yezhednevny zhurnal, Bartholemew rejected the pretensions of the Russian church that it has a right to participate in the decision and signaled that he is quite ready to give a positive answer to requests from the Ukrainian church and the Ukrainian government ( “To the extent that Russia, which is responsible for the current problematic situation in Ukraine, is not capable of resolving the problem,” Bartholemew said, “the Universal Patriarhate has taken on itself the initiative for resolving the issue in conformity with the authorities given to it by the holy canons and its jurisdictional responsibility over the eparchate of Kyiv.” Constantinople’s position, as defined by Bartholemew, is “100 percent anti-Moscow and correspondingly 100 percent pro-Ukrainian,” Yakovenko says. There are no half tones in the patriarchate’s declaration. And in a remarkable passage that must not be ignored, the Universal Patriarch directly attacked what Moscow has been doing in Ukraine. “The non-canonical interference of Moscow in the affairs of Kyiv and the willingness to tolerate this by the Universal Patriarchate in the past does not justify any church violations,” Bartholemew said. The Moscow Patriarchate remains totally opposed to autocephaly for Ukraine’s Orthodox, but it is now on the defensive, as its increasingly hysterical reaction to the developments in Constantinople suggest, reactions that have included threats of military force by the Kremlin against Ukraine if autocephaly happens. “One can understand the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church and their Kremlin masters. Autocephaly for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will essentially change the situation throughout all of Eastern Europe,” Yakovenko says. And it will mean that the ROC MP will lose its status as the largest Orthodox church in the world. After Kyiv gains autocephaly – and that is now almost certain to happen – “the share of Orthodox living on the canonical territory of the ROC MP will be reduced to 40 percent of the total number of followers of this religion in the world.” That will reduce the church’s influence and increase the influence of Constantinople. And Moscow religious and secular knows that. The person responsible for the decline of Russian Orthodoxy is Vladimir Putin, of course, Yakovenko says. His aggressive policies have alienated the former Soviet republics from Moscow and thus opened the way for those countries ever more frequently to achieve their goals in the religious as well as the political spheres.

How close is Ukraine to creating independent church following Synaxis in Constantinople | UNIAN

The main process in Constantinople on the Ukraine issue has actually completed at a time when no one paid real attention. The Ecumenical Patriarchate clearly stated that the mother-church for Ukraine is Constantinople, not Moscow. We were baptized by Byzantium, Constantinople, not by Moscow. It was Moscow who obtained baptism from us, and therefore we cannot be a daughter church for Moscow – we are a daughter church for Constantinople. This is the most significant and historic decision because it canceled a whole series of obscene acts, for example, the one when Moscow was granted priority over Kyiv for a bunch of sable furs. In church practice, this is called simony – that is, buying holy orders for money, or “church corruption.” So, the Ukraine issue was resolved when the Ecumenical Patriarch canceled the act of simony of the Moscow church. The methods of law applied in Orthodox churches suggest that the mother-church can itself establish certain rules by which it must independently decide on certain issues in each particular case. And in the case of Ukraine, the meeting of the hierarchs of the Church of Constantinople made a decision that has already been applied – there was a precedent. For example, the youngest Autocephalous Orthodox Church is the Albanian one. It is small church, but it enjoys full rights, being absolutely free and independent. And the decision on that church was taken on the same precedent, now set to be used on Ukraine. This is the method by which the decision to grant autocephaly does not provide for convening all patriarchs, even the Synod, while the latter delegates such right to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who is entitled to make that decision on his own. Therefore, the possibilities of decision-making on granting a Tomos on autocephaly are now reduced to a personal decision of the Ecumenical Patriarch. And the negotiations that Poroshenko had been holding with him for about two years cannot end with nothing. There’s no walking back. That is, the Ecumenical Patriarch will decide in favor of Ukraine. The first point of the Synaxis decision is just about that. The Ecumenical Patriarch will personally make the decision without agreeing with anyone else. The only thing is that he will consult with the Ecumenical Synod in an advisory capacity. This procedure is quite formal. The second point defines our further actions. It gives the right to the Universal Patriarch to remove any kinds of anathema, judicial internal church decisions regarding any of the churches that are daughters in relation to the Church of Constantinople. Moscow Church, after capturing the Ukrainian Church, imposing its influence over it, also cursed and excommunicated Patriarch Filaret and all those bishops who supported him and created the UOC of the Kyiv Patriarchate, recognizing them as non-canonical. The main thing that the ROC now emphasizes is that this church is non-canonical. And this, incidentally, holds back many of the Orthodox Ukrainian believers, priests, and even bishops from joining it.

Autocephaly for Ukrainian church could be considered along with Filaret anathema lift | UNIAN

The position of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople on granting of autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church remains unchanged. The final decisions are likely to be adopted at the Holy Synod in October.

Uncovering History: Russian Soldiers Destroyed Jewish Settlement – YouTube

UATV English Published on Sep 3, 2018 Ukrainian historians have revealed evidence of Russian soldiers destroying a Jewish settlement just outside of Kyiv some 99 years ago.

Ukraine court grants prosecutors access to investigative reporter’s phone records – Committee to Protect Journalists

New York, September 4, 2018–The Committee to Protect Journalists today condemned a Ukrainian court’s decision to grant the country’s prosecutor general’s office permission to access the phone records of Natalie Sedletska, a reporter, editor, and television presenter for Schemes, an investigative journalism project of the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio…

RFE/RL Investigative Journalist Targeted In Ukraine Data-Disclosure Order

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is calling for the nullification of a Ukrainian court ruling that gives authorities access to nearly 1 1/2 years of cell-phone data from an RFE/RL investigative repo…

U.S., EU Warn Ukraine Ruling Endangers Press Freedom, Corruption Fight

The United States, the European Union, and international media watchdogs have expressed concern over a Ukrainian court ruling that gives the authorities access to the cellphone data of an RFE/RL in…

Police Say Suspect Detained In Stabbing Of Ukrainian Historian

Ukraine’s national police say a suspect has been apprehended in the stabbing death of Ukrainian historian Mykola Shytyuk.

RFE/RL: Prominent Ukrainian historian found dead with stab wounds | UNIAN

Prominent Ukrainian historian Mykola Shityuk has been found dead in his home city of Mykolaiv, police said on September 2. Shityuk was known for his works on the Holodomor famine that killed millions in Ukraine in the early 1930s.

Did Russia Assassinate Mykola Shityuk? – To Inform is to Influence

When the dust settles, the murder of Mykola Shityuk will bear all the signs of a Russian assassination. Extreme violence, no witnesses, vanished assassins, and a highly influential victim with knowledge actively exposing Soviet and Russian atrocities. Russia has the motive and the weapons. Rewriting history, or revisionism, is currently fashionable in Russia. Russia has been denying the Holodomor was a Soviet planned and executed genocide of the Ukrainian people, even though all the evidence is in place. Mykola Shityuk was one of those people documenting the Soviet/Russian involvement. He was an obvious target for a Russian assassination. For shame, Russia. For shame. </end editorial>

Prominent Ukrainian Historian Found Dead With Stab Wounds

Prominent Ukrainian historian Mykola Shityuk has been found dead in his home city of Mykolaiv, police said on September 2.

Hit of shell during training of Russia’s Armed Forces caused chemical emission in Crimea –

The hit of the shells at the technological tanks during the training of the detachments of the Armed Forces of Russia became the reason for the chemical emission at the plant “Crimean Tytan”. Spokesperson of Ukraine’s Defense Minister Olexander Motuzianyk claimed this as the ministry’s press service reported. “On August 13-19, 2018, during the training on the cover of the administrative border with Kherson region, the detachments of the Armed Forces of Russia carried out the firing experience in the areas where the septic tanks with the chemical burdens of the titanium and sodium carbonate plants are placed. As the shells hit the mentioned objects, they were damaged and this led to the significant deterioration of the environment at the north of occupied Crimea,” the message said.

UAWire – Ukraine: Ecological catastrophe in Crimea caused by Russian military exercises

The Chief Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry believes that the recent chemical emissions in northern Crimea were caused …

Situation in occupied Armyansk “very depressing” following chemical spill – media | UNIAN

Crimean human rights activist Abdureshit Dzepparov has said the situation in the town of Armyansk affected by the mysterious chemical spill is now “very depressing.” Vineyards were affected as vine leaves were burned by acid emissions.

Border guards say Russia stages “queues” at de-facto border between occupied Crimea, mainland Ukraine | UNIAN

The queues on the de-facto administrative border with the Russia-occupied Crimea are artificially created by Russian border guards and military, to draw for the media the picture of a highly busy crossing. Russian military are also present at checkpoints.

Children evacuated from occupied Crimea town as panic rises over chemical leak | UNIAN

Photos and videos are emerging in social networks showing the ongoing efforts to evacuate children from Armyansk, a town in the northern part of the Russian-occupied Crimea, located close to the Crimean Titan plant where an alleged hazardous chemical leak caused environmental damage. Information about the signs of the environmental disaster has been forwarded to the UN and OSCE.

Mass evacuation of children from occupied Armyansk in Crimea – 06.09.2018 14:40 — Ukrinform News

Residents of the town of Armyansk in the occupied Crimea have been evacuated because of the deteriorating ecological situation.

Kids Evacuated After Crimea Chemical Leak

Russian authorities have evacuated children from part of Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, after a chemical leak. People in the area first reported breathing difficulties on August 23, but the evacuation only began on September 4 — with the authorities still insisting there’s no public health risk.

Russia takes 2 weeks to evacuate children after toxic chemical accident in occupied Crimea, – Russia takes 2 weeks to evacuate children after toxic chemical accident in occupied Crimea –

Russia takes 2 weeks to evacuate children after toxic chemical accident in occupied Crimea

Crimea disaster: Fifteen children in adjacent Kherson region hospitalized with suspected poisoning | UNIAN

The loud of hazardous chemicals coming from the occupied Crimea has allegedly reached mainland Ukraine as 15 children with suspected poisoning were hospitalized in Kherson region adjacent to the Russia-seized peninsula. The children were supposedly affected by the emissions from the Crimean Titan plant.

Ukrainian border guards in Kherson region affected by chemical emissions from Crimea | UNIAN

Thirty-seven Ukrainian border guards in Kherson region adjacent to occupied Crimea have been poisoned with harmful emissions from the Crimean Titan plant located on the occupied peninsula. Five border guards with more serious health issues were admitted at the Odesa-based hospital of the State Border Guard Service.

Cases of Ukrainian border guards complaining about poisoning symptoms are reported on the administrative border with Crimea –

Cases of Ukrainian border guards complaining about poisoning symptoms are reported on the administrative border with Crimea. Oleg Slobodyan, the assistant head of the State Border Guard said that in his commentary for 112 Ukraine TV channel. According to him, the complaints followed soon after the media reported an emission of an unidentified toxic substance in Armyansk in the occupied peninsula. ‘Our medics regularly check on the health conditions of our border guards serving not far from the factory. They reported dizziness, nausea, and headache, but after holding consultations and taking medications, these symptoms disappeared. These people get some time to rest and undergo careful checks’, Slobodyan said. He added that the emissions do not pose any threat for the Ukrainian citizens residing on the administrative border with Crimea.

UAWire – Ukraine accuses Crimean Titan factory of air pollution

On Monday, September 3, in the Kherson region, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (SBGS) detected chemical substances in the air …

Klimkin: Russians provoking environmental disaster in Crimea | UNIAN

Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin says that the Russian Federation is provoking environmental disasters in occupied Crimea. Ukrainian border guards recorded cases of toxic chemical emissions on the administrative border with occupied Crimea in the past week.

Emission of chemicals leads to evacuation of chilldren in annexed Crimea – Children evacuated in annexed Crimea due to emission of chemicals –

In Armyansk, the North of annexed Crimea, the evacuation of the children due to the emission of the unknown substance has begun. Refat Chubarov, the Chairman of the Crimean Tatars’ Mejlis claimed this as 112 Ukraine reported. In the response to the question about the toxic substances, Chubarov said: “Some experts do not exclude that the chemical warfare agents of the Russian Army could be stored at the territory of the Crimean plant “Tytan” or some kind of testing of these chemical warfare agents could take place there. We think that the most objective information can appear only if the representatives of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will be allowed there. We think that the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine should invite such organization.”

Avakov thanks Turkey’s interior minister for principled position on Crimea – 05.09.2018 13:45 — Ukrinform News

Interior Minister of Ukraine Arsen Avakov has thanked Interior Minister of the Republic of Turkey S&uuml;leyman Soylu for principled stance on non-recognition of&nbsp;illegal&nbsp;annexation&nbsp;of&nbsp;Crimea.

Ukrainian information policy minister writes a letter to BBC director-general over ‘Russian Crimea’ – 07.09.2018 16:30 — Ukrinform News

Ukrainian Information Policy Minister Yuri Stets wrote a letter to the Director-General of the BBC over a programme of Simon Reeve, who traveled to Crimea and presented the peninsula as Russian territory.

British brass brand sparks diplomatic row with Ukraine by performing concerts in Crimea – media | UNIAN

A brass band has sparked a diplomatic row by performing a string of concerts in Russian-occupied Crimea. A band spokesman says the negative comments have been mainly from Ukrainian journalists and bloggers.