Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (54)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

Open Skies aircraft sent to Ukraine as a “Warning to Russia”. 

Three things occurred and should be seen in context. 

  1. The U.S. formally accused Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
  2. The US announced a naval “Freedom of Navigation” exercise in the Black Sea. 
  3. The OC-135B “Open Skies” aircraft flew to Ukraine.

To some this may appear as a full court press of tough talk being sent to Russia. To Russia, however, accumulatively, this is neither disconcerting or high pressure. It is likely viewed as “meh?” It will most likely be the cause of many derisive remarks.

I wonder if the US has ever flown an Open Skies aircraft up the Kerch Strait and on into Russia?  That would be provocative, most certainly.

Most of the heaping helpings of Russian propaganda are intended for Russian citizens, the Russian diaspora, and pro-Russians. Unless it gets picked up by someone foolish enough to believe it…  

Russia’s Putin and Ukraine’s Poroshenko trade barbs.  Poroshenko appears cultured and prepared. Putin appears juvenile and almost foolish. 

In yet another jab in Russia’s eye, the Holodomor is remembered by 38 nations at the UN.  

</end editorial>



Russian propaganda now focussing on the USN DDG sortie to the Peter the Great Gulf in the Far East, the intended DDG sortie into the Black Sea, Kerch, Salisbury, and INF – the immense conspiracy of the inostrantsi against helpless Mother Russia. Shevtsova labels Kerch as turning point for Russia in both foreign and domestic policy, inevitably driving Russia into Soviet-like isolation. Ikhlov argues Muscovian propaganda about impending CW attacks in Donbas suggests an intent by Russia to employ CW in theatre.

The US flies an unarmed OC-135B Open Skies observation aircraft in Ukraine, that is curiously described by Western media as a “Warning to Russia”, “Message to Russia”“flexing of [military] muscles”. These descriptions would be valid had the US deployed a FW of F-22s or F-15s into Ukraine, or other credible assets that the Russians would find intimidating, but an OC-135B is likely to produce a tirade of ridicule from Russian propagandists in coming days. To a culture as deeply steeped in the admiration of raw unadulterated military power as Russia has become, an OC-135B sortie will be seen as an absurd gesture. Bones and Buffs with fighter escorts over the Black Sea would be understood in Muscovy, even better a Black Sea LFX with JASSM-ER and LRASM they could observe live. A big part of Russia’s delusion stems from a widely held conviction in Muscovy that such capabilities are somehow unusable against Russian assets in wartime. The US has many non-nuclear capabilities Russia would not cope with, and Muscovy needs periodic and graphic reminders to ensure they do not forget this as they indulge in propaganda fed delusions of grandeur.

More on INF, US insisting Russia scrap or rebuild its stock of 9M729 GLCMs. C-JCS Dunford states no military response to Kerch attack is under consideration. Dickinson on Russia’s slow and quiet effort to strangle Ukraine’s economy. Bildt and EU on Russia’s disinf campaign over the Azov Sea.

Pres Poroshenko’s NYT editorial propagates, and he follows up with multiple and appropriate public statements, highlighting Russia’s military weaknesses, and the risks to NATO nations as Russia militarises the Black Sea. AFU airlifts VDV Bdes to most problematic areas along the Russian border. Ukrainian DEFMIN Poltorak says Ukraine has no choice than to continue deploying naval assets via the Kerch Strait as anything less would legitimise Russia’s claims to the Azov Sea.

Multiple updates on Kerch fallout and politics in Ukraine.


Russia laughs off US navy ship near its Pacific coast amid Black Sea tensions

Russia has laughed off a US warship’s &ldquo;challenge&rdquo; to its territorial claims in the Sea of Japan as &ldquo;unsuccessful&rdquo; while reacting angrily to reports that US ships could also enter the Black Sea. Russia has laughed off a US warship’s “challenge” to its territorial claims in the Sea of Japan as “unsuccessful” while reacting angrily to reports that US ships could also enter the Black Sea. The US naval activity comes less than two weeks after Russia seized three Ukrainian ships off the coast of Crimea in the Black Sea last month in an escalation of existing tensions there. The guided missile destroyer USS McCampbell “sailed in the vicinity of Peter the Great Bay to challenge Russia’s excessive maritime claims” in a demonstrative “freedom of navigation” operation on Wednesday, the navy said. But the Russian defence ministry claimed on Thursday that the McCampbell had not come closer than 100 kilometres (62 miles) to its territorial waters and was currently “demonstrating its bravery” 250 miles from Russian shores. A destroyer and several warplanes nonetheless followed the US ship, which tried to “get away at maximum speed,” the ministry said in a sarcastic statement carried on state television. Moscow has since Soviet times maintained that the entire Peter the Great Bay, which includes the home base of its Pacific fleet in Vladivostok, is historically Russian territory. Washington on the other hand argues that Russian waters extend only 12 nautical miles from shore as per international law.

US Navy sends ship to Russia’s Far East, reportedly prepares to enter Black Sea — RT World News

An American destroyer sailed off the Russian coast, near the Pacific Fleet base in Vladivostok, in a first such stunt since the Cold War. Another US ship is expected in the Black Sea soon, amid tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

US, Allies Conduct Extraordinary Flight Over Ukraine Amid Kerch Row – Pentagon – Sputnik International

Russian President Vladimir Putin, while commenting on the naval incident that led to the detention of Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait, noted the attempt to breach the maritime border was a provocation prepared in advance as a pretext to introduce martial law in Ukraine.

Berlin, Other EU Members Oppose Slapping Russia With More Sanctions – Envoy – Sputnik International

Calls to impose new punitive measures and incentives, including ones on European-Russian projects upon Moscow, have resumed after the recent incident off the Crimean coast when Ukrainian vessels sailed into Russian waters. Moscow has slammed it as a provocation.

Ukraine Not to Prolong Friendship Treaty With Russia After April 1, 2019 – Sputnik International

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, voted on Thursday not to prolong the 1997 Russia-Ukraine Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership after it terminates on April 1, 2019.

Germany opposes new sanctions against Russia over Kerch standoff – ambassador — RT World News

Imposing more sanctions against Russia over the Kerch Strait incident would be counterproductive amid the existing high level of tension, the German Ambassador to Ukraine, Ernst Wolfgang Reichel, has said.

UAWire – Putin: Russia will produce banned missiles if the US withdraws from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia will build missiles banned under the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and …

UAWire – Putin explains his refusal to talk with Ukrainian President Poroshenko

Interfax reports that the President of Russia Vladimir Putin refuses to have telephone conversations with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko because he feels that it could be used for the Ukrainian President’s re-election campaign. “It is not that I am just avoiding or don’t want to talk to Petro Oleksiyovych [Poroshenko], that’s not it at all. The issue is that I do not want to take part in his election campaign,” said Putin, responding to journalists’ questions as to why there have been no telephone conversations with Poroshenko that the Ukrainian side has asked for. Putin stated that Poroshenko is creating provocative and crises situations and then shifts the responsibility for this to Russia “to demonstrate that he successfully solves any problems.” “It’s a clever tactic, and I do not want to take part in this tactic, and I will not,” stated Putin. On the morning of November 25, Ukraine informed the Russian port of its intention to transfer three ships through the Kerch Strait, as required by the Agreement on the joint use of the Azov Sea and Kerch Strait. However, at around 8:00 a.m., Russian ships carried out acts of provocation against the Ukrainian vessels, even ramming into the Yany Kapu tugboat.

Russia submarine rushed to Crimea amid World War 3 tensions with Ukraine | Daily Star

A RUSSIAN sub has been spotted leaving a port from the Crimea on its way “to the Kerch Strait” where tensions have reached breaking point between Russia and Ukraine.

Russian submarine dubbed the ‘Black Hole’ spotted at border as tensions with Ukraine escalate

A Russian Kilo-class sub has been spotted leaving a Crimean port and thought to be on its way to the Kerch Strait

U.S. Rules Out Military Response to Russia-Ukraine Naval Escalation, Official Says

The United States is not discussing the possibility of a military response to the recent naval flare-up in the Kerch Strait, the highest-ranking U.S. military officer said on Thursday. Russian vessels fired on and seized three Ukrainian naval ships on Nov. 25 as they attempted to pass through the narrow Kerch Strait into the Sea of Azov, which lies between Russia and Ukraine. Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump canceled his scheduled meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a G20 summit over Moscow’s actions in the Kerch Strait.

World War 3: RUSSIA prepares its TERMINATOR and HUNTER helicopters | UK | News | Express.co.uk

THE Russian Air Force used Mi-28N Night Hunters and Mi-8AMTSH Terminator helicopters during a large scale tactical manoeuvre in Krasnodar Territory.

Russian Submarines Could Suddenly Surface Off U.S. Coast to ‘Shock America,’ Analyst Warns

“We have the corresponding forces of our submarine fleet there,” the defense expert warned. But he argued that Moscow simply does not wish to “show off in such a silly way.”

TASS: Russian Politics & Diplomacy – British government classifies all circumstances of Skripal case, says Russian embassy

More than nine months have passed since the incident involving Russian citizens Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury

The head of MI6 says Russia broke one of the primary rules of espionage, and won’t be trusted again | Business Insider

The head of MI6 said Russia broke one of the primary rules of espionage and won’t be trusted again after it tried to assassinate a former Russian agent despite giving him away in a spy swap.

Britain threw out all the ‘Russian spies,’ now it wants to find some more — RT Op-ed

Britain spent part of the spring chucking out Russian diplomats it accused of being spies, of course that means all the known alleged spooks are no longer around, so the UK needs to find some more.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kerch Turning Point Both for Russia’s Relations with West and for Russia at Home, Shevtsova Says

Paul Goble Staunton, December 6 – The Kerch “’incident,’” Liliya Shevtsova says, represents “a change in monuments in our lives” not only in Russia’s relations with the West but also in the way in which the Russian powers that be now feel compelled to deal with the Russian population at home. It represents, the Russian commentator says, a decision by Vladimir Putin to shift Russia “out of a gray zone” in which it could be two things at once, a partner and an opponent of the West, and a democracy and a dictatorship at home. Now, he has made a choice and both relations with the West and Russians will suffer (echo.msk.ru/blog/shevtsova/2328493-echo/). Up to now, most attention has focused on the foreign policy dimension of this shift, including new tensions with the West and the certainty of more sanctions, developments that were entirely predictable but that the Kremlin has decided to accept as a cost of doing business while remaining in power, Shevtsova says. But this means that Russians will once again have to live “cut off from the world,” something that represents “a different life and a different trajectory” than the one they thought they were on, and that will involve a significant tightening of the screws at home lest they respond in ways that might threaten the regime. “Putin is creating his variant of Lenin’s Rabkrin, the workers and peasant inspectorate. The Putin ‘Rabkrin’ is intended to ensure the fulfillment of Putin decrees.” And his decision to take this step shows that “the Kremlin is worried about disorganization of the apparatus of the powers that be.” In many ways, this is “already a step of despair” because there is no trust. But such moves are not trivial: they represent a reversal of what Russia had achieved since 1991; and if Russia is going to live in isolation and rely on its own resources, the regime will need to put even more pressure on the population and engage in even more extravagant foreign actions in an effort to mobilize it. Indeed, Shevtsova says, the Kerch incident as Putin orchestrated it is forcing Russians to ask three critical questions: “Can one survive relying on one’s own strengths without shifting to a dictatorship and the building of a GULAG?” “Will the elite, integrated as it is in the West, agree to live in such a small closet?” And finally, “is dialogue with the West, which Putin seeks, in fact possible if the Kremlin isn’t prepared to make any concessions?”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow May be Preparing a Chemical Weapons ‘Provocation’ in Ukraine, Ikhlov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, December 6 – One of the clearest early warning signs of Moscow’s plans are suggestions in the Russian media that the country’s opponents are planning to do the same thing, a tactic that helps to distract attention from what Russia is doing and then helps to muddy the waters once the Russian move comes. Now, Russian commentator Yevgeny Ikhlov says, Moscow is ramping up suggestions that the West is preparing a chemical attack in the Donbass. Such suggestions, he continues, “as the experience of Syria shows, is a very bad sign” of what the Russian side itself may be planning (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5C07E9D8E1309). To be sure, Ikhlov says, “the version of a future ‘chemical attack’ [by the West] is split: According to one version, the chemical attack will be carried out against Ukrainian units as a provocation; according to the other, it will be ‘against the peaceful population of the Donbass.’” But this is easy to explain: it helps to divert attention and makes it less likely that the UN Security Council will take up the matter when and if the Russians use such weapons. And there is another plus in this regard for Moscow: a chemical provocation “of the Syrian type” would give a pretext for Moscow to send into the Donbass specialists in coping with chemical attacks. Such actions would put Kyiv in a difficult position. All too many would be inclined to blame Ukraine rather than Russia for what would be Russia’s actions, and any Ukrainian response other than doing nothing would be invoked by Russia and its supporters as evidence that the chemical attack was part of broader Ukrainian aggression. In short, such a “Syrian” option in Ukraine would work to Moscow’s advantage, thus making it more likely, with a singular exception: an attack of that kind could have the unintended consequence of further radicalizing Ukrainian society and leading it to mobilize fully to drive the Russians out, even if Moscow hopes that the West would work to restrain Kyiv in that regard.

In Show of Support, US Conducts Ukraine Fly-Over

Flight by Air Force observation plane comes in wake of Russian attack, seizure of Ukrainian navy vessels and their crews late last month

U.S. Military Plane Flies Over Ukraine in Warning to Russia – WSJ

The Pentagon said it carried out a rare flight over Ukraine under the international Open Skies Treaty to “reaffirm U.S. commitment to Ukraine” amid heightened Russia-Ukraine tensions.

US takes part in flight over Ukraine, sending message to Russia | TheHill

The U.S.

US military flexes muscles in message to Russia – CNNPolitics

The US military responded this week to what it calls Russia’s “unlawful and destabilizing actions” in Ukraine and elsewhere by pushing back against Moscow on the seas and in the air.

US conducts ‘extraordinary’ observation flight to reaffirm commitment to Ukraine – CNNPolitics

A US Air Force OC-135 observation aircraft conducted an “extraordinary flight” Thursday under the Open Skies treaty “to reaffirm US commitment to Ukraine” amid Russia-Ukraine tensions, the Pentagon said.

In warning to Russia, US flies Open Skies aircraft over Ukrainian territory

Technically, the flight was

USAF Flies Sudden Open Skies Recon Flight Over Ukraine As Russia And Ukraine Hold Missile Drills – The Drive

Fears of a major conflict persist nearly two weeks after a skirmish in the Kerch Strait left Ukranian sailors injured and in Russian captivity.

U.S. warns Russia with ‘extraordinary flight’ over Ukraine – Washington Times

Blasting Russia’s “dangerous escalation” in the region, U.S. planes on Thursday conducted an “extraordinary flight” over Ukraine in what Pentagon officials cast as a blunt warning to Moscow.

Russia-Ukraine Conflict: U.S. Military Sends Putin a Warning With ‘Extraordinary Flight’ Over Ukraine

“Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukrainian naval vessels in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait is a dangerous escalation in a pattern of increasingly provocative and threatening activity,” the Pentagon said.

U.S. Air Force sends ‘observation flight’ over Ukraine in solidarity and as a warning to Russia | Daily Mail Online

An unarmed U.S. Air Force plane with American and international observers flew over Ukraine Thursday in a show of solidarity after Russia’s Ukraine naval confrontation last month.

US conducts ‘Open Skies’ overflight of Ukraine, in message to Moscow

The U.S. has conducted an overflight of Ukraine, under the terms of a 16-year-old arms control treaty, aimed at sending a symbolic message to Moscow, the Pentagon said Thursday.

US military carries out ‘extraordinary’ flight over Ukraine in response to Russia’s ‘unprovoked attack’ | Fox News

The U.S. military flew an “extraordinary” Open Skies Treaty flight over Ukraine Thursday in response to Russia’s “unprovoked attack” on allied Ukrainian forces late last month in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait.

Open Skies Treaty: U.S. carries out flight over Ukraine amid tension with Russia – CBS News

U.S. carries out flight after Russia seized three Ukrainian naval ships off Crimea

US military observation plane flies over Ukraine in direct response to Russia’s actions in Kerch Strait – ABC News

A U.S. military observation plane flew over Ukraine Thursday in direct response to Russia’s actions in Kerch Strait.

Pentagon sends flight over Ukraine following Russian naval incident

A US Air Force observation plane flew over Ukraine on Thursday in a mission to show US support for Kiev following Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels in the Sea of Azov, officials said. The November 25 confrontation was the first open military incident between Kiev and Moscow since

US: Russia Must Scrap or Alter Missiles that Violate Arms Treaty

Without the changes, the United States says, it will begin the process of withdrawing from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty

U.S. Says Russia Must Scrap Or Modify Novator Missile System To Comply With INF

Russia must scrap its Novator 9M729 missile systems and launchers or reduce their range to comply with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and prevent a U.S. withdrawal from the Cold…

Russia′s controversial 9M729 missile system: A not-so-secret secret | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 05.12.2018

NATO and the United States have increased their pressure on Russia over its alleged violation of the INF treaty. What is known about the Russian missile at the center of the allegations?

UAWire – Berlin: fate of Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty depends exclusively on Russia

“The Intermediate-Range and Short-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) is of great importance for ensuring security in Europe, and the …

Top general: No discussion of military response to Kerch Strait incident | TheHill

The top military officer in the United States said Thursday there has been no discussion of a military response to Russia’s actions against Ukraine near the Sea of Azov.

Black Sea standoff reflects Russia’s disregard for global rules, top U.S. military officer says – The Washington Post

The Trump administration is not discussing a military response to seizure of Ukrainian ships, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. says.

US sends warship into Ukraine’s Black Sea crisis | World | The Times

The United States is preparing to send a warship into the Black Sea for the first time in four years, heightening tensions after the Russian seizure of Ukrainian sailors last month. The US navy sent notice to Turkey yesterday that the ship from the 6th Fleet, which is based in Italy, would pass thro

Ukraine Claims Russia Deployed Nuclear Weapon Carriers in Crimea

Ukraine’s Ambassador to the U.N. Volodymyr Yelchenko revealed on Thursday that Russia has deployed nuclear weapon carriers in Crimea.

Russia news: Embassy in bizarre assault on UK over Ukraine crisis – STOP STIRRING! | UK | News | Express.co.uk

BRITAIN has been accused of using the deepening crisis in the Ukraine as an excuse to stir up anti-Russian rhetoric in an extraordinary attack by Kremlin diplomats.

Pompeo: US Building ‘New Liberal World Order’

Both U.S. allies and rivals have reacted strongly to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s call Tuesday for NATO allies to pay more for defense in the face of Russian aggression. Speaking in Brussels, Pompeo’s also told allies that the United States is building a new liberal world order based on national sovereignty – remarks that brought a sharp reaction from Beijing Wednesday. More from Henry Ridgwell in London.

Peter Dickinson | Can the West Prevent the Slow Strangulation of Ukraine? | Foreign Affairs

Creeping Russian Aggression Cannot Go Unchecked. Recent events in the Black Sea have thrust Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine back into the international headlines, but for ordinary Ukrainians, it never went away. Over the past four and a half years, Ukrainian society has grown grimly familiar with a unique brand of creeping Russian aggression that has been carefully calibrated to cause maximum damage while avoiding the crippling costs implicit in a more conventional campaign. Russia’s hybrid hostilities have extended far beyond the country’s thinly veiled military intervention in eastern Ukraine, with Moscow also making use of targeted assassinations, cyberattacks, trade embargoes, and disinformation campaigns to keep Ukraine permanently destabilized and to prevent the country’s final escape from the Kremlin’s sphere of influence. Throughout it all, the one constant has been a desire to disguise Russian involvement. This emphasis on plausible deniability made Russia’s November 25 naval attack on three Ukrainian vessels a watershed moment. For the first time since the start of the conflict in spring 2014, Russian forces operating under the Russian flag had openly attacked Ukraine. The reaction in Kiev reflected the perceived broader significance of the incident. The immediate issue at stake was access to Ukraine’s Sea of Azov coastline, home to some of the country’s most economically important ports. Ukrainian officials also saw the naval attack as a deliberate escalation in the conflict and a potential precursor to a full-scale land offensive, coming as it did amid reports of a significant buildup of Russian army units along the Ukrainian border. The country’s National Security and Defense Council was duly convened and called for the imposition of martial law. A watered-down version of this proposal was then confirmed by parliamentary vote, allowing for martial law in ten border regions for a 30-day period. Ukraine has since barred most military-age Russian males from entering the country while martial law is in place. Inevitably, this interpretation of events has been vocally contested by Russia. Moscow has labeled ….

The Kerch Strait incident

Russia’s naval interdiction of three Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait suggests that Moscow will keep seeking to destabilise and weaken Ukraine. But a serious escalation is unlikely at present.

Carl Bildt on Twitter: “Massive Russian desinformation campaign on Ukraine and the Azov Sea. Astonishing falsehoods. Time after time. https://t.co/IoI7ttbWxB”

Jacek Saryusz-Wolski on Twitter: “„U.S. could disconnect Russia from SWIFT over aggression against Ukraine” https://t.co/Hr3jJKybGh”

Russia’s Long-Term Disinformation Plan For The Azov Sea – EU vs DISINFORMATION

The moment when the disinformation campaign around the Azov Sea started was not when Russia seized three Ukrainian vessels and their crews after opening fire at them on November 25. In fact the campaign had been launched much earlier. More than a year ago, Russian media started publishing claims of “Ukraine deepening the seabed for a NATO fleet at the Azov Sea”. In fact no evidence to any such “NATO fleet” can be found. During the last summer and autumn the disinformation campaign intensified. We heard that Ukraine had suddenly “infected the Azov Sea with cholera” (the World Health Organisation reported that they have no data of any cholera cases there). In September the messaging was already preparing the ground for later disinformation, forecasting “West-inspired provocations on the Azov Sea shore” and that the US has been “planning for clashes between Ukrainian and Russian naval forces in the Black Sea since 1990s”. The “evidence” is based on a video game a former Russian soldier claims to have seen 15 years ago.

Law on terminating Friendship Treaty with Russia submitted to president for signing

Verkhovna Rada Chairman Andriy Paruby has signed the law on the termination of the Friendship Treaty with the Russian Federation from April 2019 and submitted the document for President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko’s signing.

Ukraine MPs Vote to Pull Out of Russia Friendship Treaty

Move follows new escalation in tensions after Russia fired upon and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels and their crews last month

Ukraine’s Parliament Approves Bill To Terminate Friendship Treaty With Russia

Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, has approved a move by President Petro Poroshenko to terminate the country’s Treaty of Friendship with Russia.

Rada votes to scrap Ukrainian-Russian Friendship Agreement | KyivPost

Almost five years into Russia’s war against Ukraine, the Ukrainian parliament has adopted a bill to terminate the Agreement on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership with Russia on April 1, 2019. The bill was submitted by President Petro Poroshenko, and 277 deputies voted in favor. Seventeen members of Opposition Bloc and three independent deputies voted against it.

Ukraine votes not to prolong Treaty of Friendship with Russia – YouTube

AFP news agency Published on Dec 6, 2018 Ukraine parliament votes not to prolong Treaty of Friendship with Russia. IMAGES

Poroshenko meets Ukrainian soldiers preparing to head east – YouTube

AFP news agency Published on Dec 6, 2018 Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addresses soldiers as they prepare to leave their base in Zhytomyr region in the country’s north to take over from soldiers in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine deploys air assault divisions to Ukrainian-Russian border line – Defence Blog

The units of the Airborne Assault Forces have deployed to the most dangerous areas throughout the Ukrainian-Russian border line. During the working visit to Zhytomyr region, President, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko visited one of the military bases where the boarding of military units and equipment of the Airborne Assault Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine into the aircrafts was held for the redeployment of troops in the framework of the fulfillment of tasks determined by martial law. Upon completion of boarding, the flight of the Su-27 and Il-76MD aircrafts was conducted. Also, aerobatic maneuvers were demonstrated on Su-27 aircrafts. The Supreme Commander-in-Chief emphasizes that an important element in adequately responding to the actions of the aggressor is the build-up of troop groups, in accordance with the Strategic Concept for the use of the state defense forces approved by him. “Within this process, the combat units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are being re-deployed to the most dangerous areas along the entire line of our border in order to strengthen the defense capabilities and be prepared to stop the aggressor without wasting any second,” the President said. “From this military airfield, the elite of our troops – the units of the Airborne Assault Forces will be transported to important defensive regions and districts in accordance with the approved plans. As always, you are sent to the places with the most complicated situation, where there is a need to solve the most difficult tasks, where it is impossible to do without the soldiers of the Airborne Assault Forces,” the Head of State underlined. “It is a great honor, importance and pleasure for me to be here with you – the elite of the Ukrainian army, courageous and strong warriors on the Day of the Armed Forces,” President Petro Poroshenko addressed the paratroopers during the working visit to Zhytomyr region. “I am here to once again thank you for the selfless sacrificial service to the Homeland. Strength and will, courage and devotion to Ukraine, as well as self-sacrifice marked your battle course during the four years of Russian aggression against our state,” he said. “Looking at your hardened, courageous faces, I once again realize: nobody will overcome Ukraine. We are ready to protect our land with weapons in hands, to fight for each piece, we will not give it up to anyone,” the Supreme Commander-in-Chief noted. According to him, the first week of martial law has already shown how timely and correct the decision was. “It gives us an opportunity to further increase the combat capability of the Armed Forces units, strengthen our defense, check reserves, carry out redeployment,” the President said. He noted that the reservists’ training, taking place these days in the regions where the legal regime of martial law operates, demonstrated the high readiness and desire of our citizens to defend the state. “This is an indicator of the high authority of the Ukrainian Army. This is an indicator of its changes over the past years, an indicator of how much the spirit of patriotism among Ukrainians has increased,” the Head of State noted. The Head of State appealed to all the servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: “The Ukrainian Army has proved that it is and will be a solid foundation for our independence, that it is ready to respond adequately, quickly and effectively to any challenge, to take away any threat”. The Head of State separately thanked the veterans, those who already have military experience and are ready to stand up and support their brothers-in-arms at any moment. The President also stressed that the Ukrainian people will never forget those soldiers who sacrificed their lives for Ukraine. “And we will not forgive any drop of Ukrainian blood shed by the enemy,” he said.

Photo by Mikhail Palinchak

Photo by Mikhail Palinchak

Photo by Mikhail Palinchak

Ukraine reinforcing border with Russia – president – 07.12.2018 09:56 — Ukrinform News

Ukrainian military units are reinforcing Ukraine's border with Russia as part of the introduction of martial law in the country, President Petro Poroshenko has said in an interview with Polish TV channel TVN24.

Poroshenko: Putin “weaker than he would have the West believe” | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said Russian President Vladimir Putin is “weaker than he would have the West believe.” Poroshenko says Russia’s objective is obvious: It wants to return to an era where property and land are seized by force.

Putin is weaker than he wants to appear – Poroshenko – 07.12.2018 11:51 — Ukrinform News

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is weaker than he wants to appear, and the West can force him to fall back into line. He wrote this in his article for The New York Times, the press service of the head of state reported on Friday. “Despite Kremlin propaganda, Mr. Putin is weaker than he would have the West believe. The West can – by raising the cost of his aggression – force him to fall back into line. How much more hostility will it take before the West’s words of concern graduate into the hard currency in which the Kremlin trades – strength? Russia has deployed chemical weapons in Britain; undertaken cyberattacks and hacking attempts across the West; bombed civilians in Syria; fomented a war in Eastern Ukraine that has caused more than 10,000 Ukrainian deaths; and spread disinformation to confuse, anger and frighten citizens around the world. Is now not the time to act?” Poroshenko said. According to him, Russia wants to return to an era where property and land are seized by force. “It starts with Ukraine and continues westward as far as the democratic world will allow. Democratic countries must now make a choice: Stand up for what is right or continue appeasing President Vladimir Putin. If history has taught us anything, it is that appeasement has deadly costs,” Poroshenko wrote. He recalled that U.S. President Donald Trump showed true leadership by canceling his meeting with Putin at the G20 summit in Argentina over Russia’s seizing of Ukrainian ships and sailors. “We have enjoyed tangible support from the White House and Congress, including defensive weapons, stronger sanctions and more secure American energy supplies. Together, partners on both sides of the Atlantic can continue to raise the cost to Russia for threatening our collective security,” he said.

“Putin is weaker than he would have the West believe,” – Poroshenko | Censor.NET

In his piece in The New York Times, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says that Russia’s seeks to return to an era where property and land are seized by force. “Russia’s objective is obvious: It wants to return to an era where property and land are seized by force. It starts with Ukraine and continues westward as far as the democratic world will allow. Democratic countries must now make a choice: Stand up for what is right or continue appeasing President Vladimir Putin. If history has taught us anything, it is that appeasement has deadly costs,” the president said in his article in The New York Times released on Dec.5, Censor.NET reports. “Despite Kremlin propaganda, Mr. Putin is weaker than he would have the West believe. The West can — by raising the cost of his aggression — force him to fall back into line. How much more hostility will it take before the West’s words of concern graduate into the hard currency in which the Kremlin trades — strength? Russia has deployed chemical weapons in Britain; undertaken cyberattacks and hacking attempts across the West; bombed civilians in Syria; fomented a war in Eastern Ukraine that has caused more than 10,000 Ukrainian deaths; and spread disinformation to confuse, anger and frighten citizens around the world. Is now not the time to act?” the Ukrainian leader said. Poroshenko recalled that U.S. President Donald Trump “showed true leadership by canceling his meeting with Mr. Putin at the G-20 in Argentina over Russia’s seizing of Ukrainian ships and sailors.” “We have enjoyed tangible support from the White House and Congress, including defensive weapons, stronger sanctions and more secure American energy supplies. Together, partners on both sides of the Atlantic can continue to raise the cost to Russia for threatening our collective security,” the head of state summed up.

Poroshenko stresses need not to let Russia “spill its aggression into Azov Sea” | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has stressed the need not to allow Russia to spill its aggression into the Sea of Azov. Poroshenko stressed Russia’s attack in the Kerch Strait and the Black Sea on November 25 was not an isolated incident.

West must better coordinate their actions to rein in Russia – Poroshenko

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said Western countries should better coordinate their steps so that Russia could not attack non-threatening countries. According to the president, such steps could be a package of sanctions on Azov or a halt to the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said Western countries should better coordinate their steps so that Russia could not attack non-threatening countries. According to the president, such steps could be a package of sanctions on Azov or a halt to the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Poroshenko in an interview with Polish TV channel TVN24 stressed that the Polish leader Andrzej Duda is a lawyer and an important partner of Ukraine not only in the European Union, but also on the UN Security Council. “Poland, in coordination with our partners from the United States, France, and the United Kingdom, launched a special resolution of the Security Council, and we have absolutely firm words against Russia as aggressor country,” Poroshenko said, recalling the G7 statement and the statement of the European Union. “This is an act of aggression and it undermines the security situation in the whole world. But while Europe makes statements, Russia is attacking. In this situation, we need to better coordinate our steps so that Russia cannot attack a country that is fighting for freedom, democracy and does not create any problems for Russia and its territorial integrity,” Poroshenko said. Poroshenko said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin would attend a meeting of the EU Council at the ministerial level and other institutions to build up steps. “Steps are possible – a package of sanctions on Azov for those who participated in this provocation,” he said. The president stressed that Ukraine demands the immediate release of the ships and Ukrainian seamen without any conditions, since they are prisoners of war, and Russia has no jurisdiction over them. Poroshenko also called for a halt to the construction of Nord Stream 2, which is a tool for Russia to influence the security of the entire European Union and receive additional funds, as another option for sanctions. “I hope the EU will have enough political will to demonstrate unity and solidarity with Ukraine,” said Poroshenko.

Poroshenko sees threat to NATO in number of Russia’s naval ships in Black Sea | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said Russia now has a challenging number of naval ships in the Black Sea, meaning it can threaten NATO members. Russia also has a significant presence in the Baltic Sea.

Russia has challenging number of ships in Black Sea that can threaten NATO – Poroshenko – 07.12.2018 11:07 — Ukrinform News

Russia has a challenging number of ships in the Black Sea that can threaten NATO members Romania, Bulgaria&nbsp;and&nbsp;Turkey.

Russia lost right to deny that it is not part of the conflict in Ukraine, – Poland – 112.international

Foreign Minister of Poland Jacek Czaputowicz claimed that the legally proved status of Russia as the side of the conflict is the result of the attack of the Russian Naval Forces at the Ukrainian ships during the negotiations of the OSCE on the militarization of Crimea, Azov Sea and the Black Sea as European Truth reported. “Now, Russia cannot say that it is not a side of the conflict. Now, they cannot hide behind some “little green men”,” Czaputowicz said.

Ukrainian naval ships to continue passing through Kerch Strait, otherwise Ukraine will lose Azov Sea – Poltorak

Ukraine will continue sending its military ships through the Kerch Strait, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said, adding that the next such passage will happen when the country’s Navy is ready for it.

Ukraine’s Naval Forces to continue to use Kerch Strait for ships’ passage, – Defense Minister – 112.international

Defense Minister of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak stated that the Ukrainian Naval Forces will continue to use Kerch Strait for the passage of its ships as Pryamy reported. “When we will be ready to hold the next passage for the rotations of our detachments; we will carry out such passages with the fulfillment of all international norms and laws. By then, I think, the international pressure on Russia will send them a message that they do not fulfill the international commitments,” Poltora He emphasized that Ukraine cannot refuse from the right for a passage through Kerch Strait. “If we refuse from a passage through Kerch Strait, it will mean that Russia has completely occupied the Sea of Azov and we will lose one more territory. We cannot afford it,” the minister added.

Defense Minister Poltorak: Ukraine’s Navy to continue using Kerch Strait | UNIAN

Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak says ships of Ukraine’s Navy will continue passing through the Kerch Strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. If Ukraine’s warships stop passing through the Kerch Strait, “this will mean that Russia has fully occupied the Sea of Azov.”

Ukraine’s defense minister doesn’t rule out full-scale Russian aggression (Video) | UNIAN

Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak does not rule out full-scale Russian aggression against Ukraine. Russia has amassed almost 100,000 people on the border with Ukraine.

Finland considers Russia’s actions in Sea of Azov unacceptable – 07.12.2018 10:50 — Ukrinform News

The use of force by Russia in the Sea of Azov region was unacceptable.

Parubiy notes importance of expanding naval, air presence of NATO, U.S. in Black Sea

For Ukraine, it is very important that NATO and the United States boost their naval and air presence in the Black Sea region, Parliament Speaker Andriy Parubiy has said. “We do reckon upon American support, which we feel day by day – and we hope that it will be even more decisive,” said Parubiy during a meeting with Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Ukraine, Russia and Eurasia Laura Cooper. The speaker of the Ukrainian parliament thanked the U.S. for supporting Ukraine after the aggressive attack of the Russian Federation in the Sea of Azov. “This naval attack upon Ukrainian ships was not only an act of aggression. It has been the mere longing to show the whole world that the Sea of Azov is the inland waters of the Russian Federation, where nobody can enter. This is actually another step towards the annexation of Ukrainian territory and international waters,” he said. Parubiy also noted that it is “extremely important for Ukraine to return Ukrainian sailors home, to their families back to their homeland.” In her turn, Cooper once again assured support to Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity. The aggression of the Russian Federation is a violation of international maritime law … the Russian Federation carried out a provocation and can continue to act in this way, she said, adding that they saw a very balanced reaction from Ukraine. The participants of the meeting also discussed possibilities of further cooperation in the fields of cyber and information security, marine navigation and air control.

Ukraine calls for urgent action against Russian aggression

Speaking at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Ukraine foreign minister said that declarations are not enough. There must be action against Russia.

Putin may go for “military walk” to Kyiv – volunteer | UNIAN

Volunteer and blogger Yuriy Kasianov has said Russian President Vladimir Putin may mount a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and go for a “military walk” to Kyiv after a weak reaction of the international community to Russian aggression in Georgia, the annexation of Crimea and the occupation of part of Donbas. At the same time, the expert says he is sure NATO is not going to fight with Russia. Volunteer and blogger Yuriy Kasianov has said Russian President Vladimir Putin may mount a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and go for a “military walk” to Kyiv after a weak reaction of the international community to Russian aggression in Georgia, the annexation of Crimea and the occupation of part of Donbas.

At OSCE Meeting, Ukraine Pleads For Ramped-Up Russia Sanctions

Ukraine has used a gathering of foreign ministers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to call for increased sanctions against Russia, accusing Moscow of stepping up …

Ukraine comes up with idea of UN-OSCE peacekeeping mission in Donbas | UNIAN

Ukraine has come up with an idea of deploying a joint peacekeeping mission of the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Russian-occupied Donbas, eastern Ukraine. Ukraine’s foreign minister took part in the 25th OSCE Ministerial Council in Milan on December 6, 2018.

UAWire – Kyiv: Cargo traffic in the ports of Azov Sea decreased by half due to Russia’s actions

The Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure, Volodymyr Omelyan, stated on his Facebook page that cargo traffic in the ports of Berdyansk and …

Families of Detained Ukrainian Sailors Search for Answers

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has met with the families of Ukrainian sailors who were captured by Russia. One of them, Vasyl Soroka, was wounded during the capture and his family has been unable to communicate with him. For VOA, Oksana Ligostova met with Vasyl’s family in the Odessa region of Ukraine and has this report, narrated by Anna Rice.

One of captured Ukrainian sailors suffers heavy wounds to his legs, uses crutches to walk, – Ukrainian Navy – 112.international

The wounded Ukrainian sailors underwent surgeries in the detention center in Moscow

Ukraine’s martial law brings unease after Russian attack

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko imposed martial law last week in response to Russian ships ramming, shooting and then seizing three naval vessels.

Poltorak: Defense Ministry to number more civilians after reform – 07.12.2018 09:34 — Ukrinform News

After the carrying out reform of the Defense Ministry, not only the minister will be civilian, but all his deputies too.

UAWire – Ukrainian President promotes five colonels to the rank of General

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko promoted five Colonels of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to the rank of General and promoted two Major …

Poroshenko awarded Grybauskaitė the Order of Freedom

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko awarded the President of the Republic of Lithuania Dahl Grybauskaite with the Order of Freedom. The award ceremony took place before the start of the press conference of the leaders of the two states in Kyiv, the correspondent of Ukrinforma reports. According to the decree, the head of the Republic of Lithuania was awarded “for extraordinary personal merits in strengthening Ukrainian-Lithuanian intergovernmental relations and protecting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Declaration on 85th anniversary of Holodomor in Ukraine co-authored by 38 UN member states – 07.12.2018 12:37 — Ukrinform News

Thirty-eight UN member states have become the co-authors of the Declaration on the 85th anniversary of the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine.

Hungarian consulates stopped issuing passports to Ukrainians, – Klimkin – 112.international

Hungarian consulates in Ukraine have ceased to grant citizenship for Ukrainian citizens, – Pavlo Klimkin, the foreign minister of Ukraine

 

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