Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (81)

Unian: OSINT expert: Allegedly “Made in Ukraine” containers in Syria aimed at discrediting Ukrainian leaders (Russian False Flag)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

The Unian article about a pitiful Russian attempt to blame Ukraine for a chemical attack in Syria is damning.  Expect similar manufactured ‘evidence’ in a similar event in Donbas.

</end editorial>

What started as an unusually slow day for Russia and Ukraine reports gathered a lot of momentum as the day progressed.

Muscovy loudly objects to Israeli air strikes in Syria – evidently the mix of S-300PM2 and S-400 is not performing as advertised, and the 96K6 Pantsyr S1 is equally not delivering, exactly why remains to be explained (Hint: most experienced Syrian IADS personnel defected to the rebels six years ago). Russia may have copied or cloned the RQ-170 Sentinel RPV under the label of Sukhoi/NAPO Okhotnik B (Hunter B), although until we see better images, we will not know how original the NAPO article is.

Russia violates Swedish airspace again, putting a FLANKER escort on a COOT sortie. Russia attempting a false flag in Syria now blaming Ukraine.

A major Russian outburst over US support for the Venezuelan opposition – Medusa explains Russian agendas eloquently (money of course). Russia’s ability to stop any US intervention in Venezuela is very limited, making their posturing appear to be mostly bluster and bluff.

Ukraine’s ex-President Viktor Yanukovych, that nation’s Quisling, found guilty of high treason and complicity in the Russian invasion and sentenced in absentia to 13 years of imprisonment. The only circumstance where he might serve his sentence is after the Putin regime departs this world.

Ukraine a major theme of the PACE meeting, and an active topic at Davos. Updates on Kerch and Donbas. Joint Forces Commander Gen Serhii Naiev briefs on Russian preparations for major offensive operations in the East of Ukraine. This is suggested to be a fallback strategy if Russian meddling fails to install a pro-Russian candidate in the March election.

Head of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine Yehor Bozhok briefs media on known Russian agendas and planning, recent FIS accomplishments, and the active collaboration of the FIS with US agencies, MI6 and other NATO intelligence agencies. Russia is investing immense effort in trying to destroy Ukraine and pull the remnants back under Russian control.

An election update, which is dominated by intensive competition between incumbent Pres Poroshenko and frontrunner Tymoshenko, former PM, and often criticized for populism and no-holds-barred politics. Excellent analysis by Prof Motyl. Also updates on economics and policy.

Russia Says ‘Arbitrary’ Israeli Air Strikes On Syria Should Stop

Russia has called on Israel to stop carrying out “arbitrary’ air strikes on Syrian territory, days after the Israeli Air Force targeted what Israel said were Iranian forces in the war-torn country.

Russia says ‘arbitrary’ Israeli air strikes on Syria must stop | Reuters

Russia said on Wednesday that Israel should stop carrying out what Moscow called arbitrary air strikes on Syria, days after the Israeli air force targeted what Israel said were Iranian forces there.

UAWire – Media: Russia agrees to tolerate Israeli attacks in Syria

After the most recent consultations to prevent conflicts in Syria, which the Russian and Israeli military delegations held last Thursday, the Israeli army’s press service released a generic statement on the “positive and professional atmosphere” in which the meetings took place and their “agreement to continue working together in the spirit of mutual understanding”. During the talks, the two sides agreed on the new “rules of the game” which are based on the agreements on the mechanism of Russian-Israeli coordination from September 2015. The new rules, which allow Israeli planes to carry out their military operations safely in Syrian airspace, were discovered by the Lebanese newspaper Al-Joumhouria in diplomatic and military reports leaked from Moscow. According to the news outlet, “any Israeli military operation in Syria can only be held after informing the Russian base in Khmeimim about its times and routes, which Israel must adhere to. Furthermore, the informing must be done an adequate time interval before the start of the operation, in order to prevent any encounter between both sides’ aircraft including that which took place in September last year”. Russia has also reportedly agreed to wait a while before activating the S-300 system. Despite the fact that officially these systems have been handed over to Syria, for a certain period they will be controlled by Russian operators. The article says that “in so doing, Russia has tacitly acknowledged that the 44th division of the Syrian missile forces which operates the S-200 missile system in the vicinity of Latakia, made a mistake by shooting down the Russian plane, which was revealed in the investigation conducted by Russia and Israel”. Another innovation of the Israeli-Russian “deconflicting” mechanism is that the aviation routes in range of the Russian S-400 system at the Khmeimim airbase north of Homs will no longer be used. In this way, the airspace closed off to the Israelis could stretch all the way to Turkey to the north, eastern Iraq, and the Syrian territorial waters to the west, as far as the territorial waters of Greece and Cyprus. As a result, during the three Israeli attacks in Syria after the incident with the Russian Il-20 surveillance aircraft, the Israeli Air Force made its attacks by flying into Lebanon from the Mediterranean Sea in the region south of Beirut, instead of the routes from Keserwan to Baalbek and the Syrian territorial waters bordering on Tartus and Latakia that were used in the September raid. Another new aspect of the conflict prevention mechanism is a term that restricts Israel’s choice of targets for missile strikes. According to this point, Israel may only attack bases and facilities belonging to Iran and its allies in Syria (e.g. Hezbollah) within 85 km of the Israeli-Syrian border. Moscow has also agreed to play a mediating role between Israel and Iran in arranging the withdrawal of Iranian and pro-Iranian forces from the Israeli border.

UAWire – Syria threatens to attack Tel-Aviv airport in response to Israel’s air strikes

If the UN Security Council does not take measures in reponse to Israeli attacks on Syria, Damascus can launch a symmetrical strike against Tel-Aviv airport in response, stated Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari, RIA Novosti reports. “The time for the UN Security Council to take measures necessary to stop regular Israeli attacks against Syrian territory has come, or Syria should draw the attention of those who make war in this Council by implementing our legal right to defend ourselves and responding to the Israeli attack against the international airport of Damascus symmetrically, hitting Tel-Aviv airport,” the diplomat said. On Monday night, Israel attacked the Iranian weapons storage facilities in Syria. Several antiaircraft batteries opened fire on Israeli bomber aircraft. In total there were three attacks from the west, south-west and south. Syrian media reported that four Syrian servicemen died and six were injured.

UAWire – Syrian Pantsir-S aerial defense system destroyed by simple Israeli drone

One of Syria’s Pantsir-S1 missile defense systems was destroyed by an Israeli SkyStriker drone, military expert Vladislav Shurygin told the Russian newspaper Izvestia. The specialist noted that the SkyStriker, a so-called kamikaze drone produced by Elbit Systems, is a small, slow (up to 190 kph) unmanned aerial vehicle with a pusher propeller and an electric engine. The drone ways a mere 35 kg, of which the payload accounts for 5-10 kg. It has a maximum flight time of two hours, and is controlled remotely by an operator who can view what the drone is seeing. According to Shurygin, using the drone in daylight is problematic, since it is vulnerable even to small arms fire, but at night time “flocks” of these “kamikazes” moving towards the aerial defense position “can pose a serious problem to the enemy”. On the night of 20 January, Israel attacked several Iranian military targets in Syria. A video of the attack, published by the Israel Defense Forces, shows A Russian-made Pantsir-S1 missile system being destroyed.

Skystriker – Elbit Systems

Elbit Systems’ SkyStriker is a cost-effective loitering munition that is capable of long-range precise tactical strikes. The technology-enabled SkyStriker improves performance, situational awareness and survivability by providing direct-fire aerial-precision capabilities to maneuverable troops and Special Forces. SkyStriker is a fully autonomous UAS that can locate, acquire and strike operator-designated targets with a 5kg warhead installed inside the fuselage, enabling high-precision performance. The UAS’ electric propulsion offers a minimal acoustic signature, allowing covert operations at low altitude operations. As a silent, invisible and surprise attacker, SkyStriker delivers the utmost in precision and reliability, providing a critical advantage in the modern battlefield.

Russia Shows Off Parts Of Its Treaty-Busting Cruise Missile System, But Not The Missile Itself – The Drive

Treaty-busting or not, the missile presents a nightmare for anyone trying to verify that the Russians are meeting their international obligations.

Russia Shows Off New Cruise Missile and Says It Abides by Landmark Treaty – The New York Times

American officials, who say the weapon violates the 1987 I.N.F. treaty, argued that inspection of a stationary missile would not prove compliance.

Steve Trimble on Twitter: “The US still doesn’t acknowledge operating a stealthy strike UAV, but it appears Russia’s version of a flying wing UCAV just broke cover during runway testing in Novosibirsk. Behold, the unofficial first image of the Okhotnik (“Hunter”).…”

New Photo May Reveal Russian Unmanned Strike Aircraft | Defense content from Aviation Week

A grainy picture that surfaced Jan. 23 on a Russian web site for aviation enthusiasts purportedly reveals the Sukhoi Okhotnik-B, a new, stealthy unmanned strike aircraft now undergoing runway testing in Novosibirsk. The image reveals a flying-wing aircraft design with a trapezoidal engine inlet and studded by multiple devices that may include auxiliary inlets and radar reflectors. The aircraft is shown on a runway surrounded by snow. While no official confirmation was immediately available, the new image appears as state news media report that the flying wing Okhotnik is being tested at the Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Organization (NAPO) in central Russia. NAPO manufactures aircraft, such as the Su-34, that are designed by Sukhoi.

Sweden Says Russian Military Planes Briefly Violated Airspace

The Swedish military says a Russian reconnaissance plane and two fighter jets briefly violated Sweden’s air space on the country’s Baltic Sea coast. The Swedish military says a Russian reconnaissance plane and two fighter jets briefly violated Sweden’s air space on the country’s Baltic Sea coast. The liyushin Il-20 plane and two Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker aircraft flew on January 19 south of the southern Swedish town of Karlshamn, some 135 kilometers northeast of the coastal city of Malmo, the Swedish Armed Forces said in a statement on January 24. It said the planes entered Swedish airspace without permission, and that the episode had been reported to the Swedish government. In a statement, the Russian Defense Ministry denied the incident. “All flights take place in strict accordance with the international rules governing the use of airspace, without violations of the borders of other states,” the ministry said. The incident comes at a time of growing military activity in the Baltic Sea region, with several reports of airspace violations by Russian military aircraft and an increased presence of Russian military vessels.

Russians’ Confidence in President Vladimir Putin Drops: Poll | Politics | US News

A struggling economy and domestic distress contributed to a sudden drop in trust in the Russian leader’s government. Russians’ confidence in President Vladimir Putin has plummeted, according to a new poll, as the country’s economy continues to struggle and domestic unrest persists regarding highly unpopular government reforms. New data by the state-run Public Opinion Research Center show public trust in Putin’s government fell 33.4 percent last week – its lowest level since 2006, according to Al Jazeera. Putin maintains a relatively high popular approval rating of 60 percent, and the new data do not pose a particular problem for him after securing a landslide election victory last year for another six-year term.

The top 1% controls a third of the wealth, and the poor are getting poorer. How Russia became one of the most unequal places on Earth. — Meduza

According to January 2018 research by Oxfam, the richest one percent of people worldwide “bagged 82 percent” of the wealth created in 2017, while the poorest half of humanity “got nothing.” Since the 1980s, inequality has been growing everywhere on Earth, except in Western Europe. The rich own more and more, while the working class and middle class own less and less. This process is especially pronounced in Russia. Meduza breaks down these trends into graphs and takes a closer look at how Russia became a world leader in social inequality.

UAWire – Putin: Russia and Japan will continue negotiations on the Kuril Islands

Russia and Japan will continue negotiations on the peace treaty, stated Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe …

OSINT expert: Allegedly “Made in Ukraine” containers in Syria aimed at discrediting Ukrainian leaders (Photo) | UNIAN

Dmytro Tymchuk, the coordinator of the Ukrainian-based Information Resistance OSINT community, says that containers for hazardous materials spotted in Syria with allegedly “Made in Ukraine” markings is an act of provocation aimed at discrediting Ukrainian leaders. The objects are not industrially produced containers. Dmytro Tymchuk, the coordinator of the Ukrainian-based Information Resistance OSINT community, says that containers for hazardous materials spotted in Syria with allegedly “Made in Ukraine” markings is an act of provocation aimed at discrediting Ukrainian leaders. The containers with markings that indicate they are allegedly originating from Ukraine were spotted at some military formations in Syria, Tymchuk wrote on Facebook on January 22.

Moscow warns Trump against military action in Venezuela | News | The Times

Russia warned the United States against any military intervention in Venezuela today after Washington gave its backing to opposition forces trying to topple the president, Nicolás Maduro. President Trump said yesterday that the US recognised Juan Guaidó, the leader of the opposition-controlled nati

Russia Slams U.S. Backing For Venezuela Opposition Leader

U.S. President Donald Trump has said he recognizes Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president, leading the South American country to break off diplomatic relations with bitter ri…

Interview: Russia’s Ties To Venezuela Give It ‘Nuisance Power’ Over The U.S.

RFE/RL spoke with Mikael Wigell about the “strategic partnership” between Moscow and Caracas and Russia’s interests in the unfolding political crisis in Venezuela.

What does Russia stand to lose in Venezuela? — Meduza

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has once again slammed “progressive Western society” for flouting “international law, state sovereignty, and the principle of noninterference.” The latest catalyst for these truth bombs is the presidential crisis in Venezuela, where the U.S. and others have recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the new acting leader, following protests that have already killed more than a dozen people. Moscow’s support for President Nicolás Maduro, whose landslide 2018 reelection is now in question, is no surprise, given Russia’s massive loans to Venezuela. What does the Kremlin stand to lose, if Guaidó comes to power? The website The Bell studied this question, and Meduza summarizes that report.

Kateryna_Kruk on Twitter: “Court: #Yanukovych is guilty in high treason. Sentenced for 13 years in prison.… “


Ukraine Sentences Ex-President Yanukovych To 13 Years In Prison In Absentia

A Ukrainian court has found former President Viktor Yanukovych guilty of high treason and sentenced him in absentia to 13 years in prison over attempts to quash a 2014 pro-Western uprising. KYIV — A Ukrainian court has found former President Viktor Yanukovych guilty of high treason and sentenced him in absentia to 13 years in prison over attempts to quash a 2014 pro-Western uprising. “Yanukovych committed a crime against the foundation of Ukraine’s national security,” Judge Vladyslav Devyatko said in Kyiv’s Obolon district court on January 24. Devyatko said Yanukovych’s conduct in office had opened the door to Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region in 2014 and conflict in the country’s east. Yanukovych was pushed from power in February 2014 by a protest movement known as the Euromaidan, which erupted after he scrapped plans for a landmark agreement with the European Union and said he would pursue closer ties with Moscow. The former president, who fled to Russia shortly after his ouster and has not returned, is charged on three counts — high treason, taking deliberate actions that violated Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and complicity with Russian authorities. He has denied all the charges, contending that the case is politically motivated, and in November refused to give testimony by video, citing recent surgery. Reading out the verdict, Devyatko said that the evidence presented to the court had proved Yanukovych’s guilt. “Although the defendant pleaded not guilty, the court, after listening to the evidence of witnesses, studying the conclusions of experts, documents, and material evidence, and hearing the conclusions of the prosecution and defense, considers the defendant’s guilt…to have been proved,” the judge said. The prosecution has asked the court to sentence Yanukovych to 15 years in prison. After Yanukovych abandoned his office and fled to Russia, Moscow moved swiftly to seize control over Ukraine’s Crimea region. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government sent troops without insignia to the peninsula, seized key buildings, took control of the regional legislature, and staged a referendum denounced as illegitimate by at least 100 countries at the United Nations. Russia also fomented unrest and backed opponents of Kyiv in eastern Ukraine, where more than 10,300 people have been killed in the ensuing conflict since April 2014. The International Criminal Court ruled in November 2016 that the fighting in eastern Ukraine was “an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.” With reporting by AFP, Reuters, Current Time, UNIAN, Meduza, AP, Kyiv Post, and TASS

Ukrainian Court Finds ex-President Guilty of Treason

The Kyiv court began reading out the verdict in Yanukovych’s case, a process that is expected to take at least the whole day

Ukraine Ex-Leader Viktor Yanukovych Found Guilty of Treason – Bloomberg

A Kiev court found ex-Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych guilty in absentia of treason in the wake of the country’s deadly revolution in 2014, sentencing him 13 years in prison.

Ukrainian court finds ex-president guilty of treason

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — A court in the Ukrainian capital Kiev on Thursday found former President Viktor Yanukovych guilty of treason and helping Russia annex the Crimean peninsula. The Kiev court began reading out the verdict in Yanukovych’s case, a process that is expected to take at least the whole day. The judge already declared Yanukovych guilty of treason and premeditated actions to alter the country’s borders, and will rule later on the other charges.

Former Ukraine president Yanukovych found guilty of treason | CBC News

A court in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Thursday found former president Viktor Yanukovych guilty of treason and helping Russia annex Crimea.

Guilty: Yanukovych sentenced to 13 years in prison for high treason, complicity in war | UNIAN

The Obolon District Court in Kyiv has found Ukraine’s former president Viktor Yanukovych guilty of high treason and complicity in aggressive war. The court handed down the verdict on Thursday, January 24.

Court sentences Yanukovych to 13 years in prison for high treason

Kyiv’s Obolonsky District Court has found former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych guilty in a high treason case and sentenced him to 13 years in prison. Presiding Judge Vladyslav Deviatko read out the verdict at a court session on Thursday, an Ukrinform correspondent said. “Given cumulative criminal offenses, by way of merging milder punishment into a heavier one, [the court] imposes the final punishment on Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych in the form of 13 years of imprisonment,” Deviatko said.

Russia used Yanukovych to try to legitimize Crimea annexation – judge | UNIAN

The document also stipulates Yanukovych was aware his actions were wrongful. A presiding judge of Kyiv’s Obolonsky district court, Vladyslav Devyatko, has said Russia used former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to legalize their annexation of Crimea. During the announcement of the verdict to Yanukovych who is being charged of high treason and other grave crimes, Devyatko said the Russian Federation had assigned Yanukovych the role, which was to commit illegal actions on his behalf, claiming he was a legitimate president of Ukraine to legitimize the invasion of the Russian armed forces into the territory of Crimea and to justify the occupation of this territory, an UNIAN correspondent reports. Read alsoCourt finds Yanukovych’s guilt of high treason, complicity in war proven “Acting as instructed by the Russian authorities, realizing the role assigned, on March 1, 2014, being in an unidentified location in the territory of Russia, contrary to the requirements of the articles of the Constitution of Ukraine, realizing the fact of the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine, in order to create a picture of legitimacy of the actions of the Russian Federation in Crimea and make sure the occupation of Crimea appears legitimate, Yanukovych provided representatives of the Russian authorities with a written statement from the allegedly legitimate president of Ukraine,” the verdict says. After that, the judge quoted Yanukovych’s letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, which is now the key evidence of the prosecutors in the high treason case. “By such actions, Yanukovych helped Russia conduct subversive activities against Ukraine,” the verdict says. The document also stipulates Yanukovych was aware his actions were wrongful.

Court finds Yanukovych’s guilt of high treason, complicity in war proven | UNIAN

Kyiv’s Obolonsky district court believes that there is sufficient evidence proving former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is guilty of treason and complicity in an aggressive war Russia has been waging against Ukraine. The verdict has not yet been voiced. Kyiv’s Obolonsky district court believes that there is sufficient evidence proving former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is guilty of treason and complicity in an aggressive war Russia has been waging against Ukraine. “Despite a not guilty plea by the person accused, the court, having heard the testimony of witnesses, examined conclusions of experts, documents and material evidence, assessed the arguments of prosecution and defense, considers that the guilt of the accused in committing the crimes under Part 1 Article 111 (high treason), Part 5 Article 27, Part 2 Article 437 (complicity in conducting an aggressive war) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine is duly proved by relevant and admissible evidence,” the judge said. The judges continue handing down the verdict in the courtroom. The court’s spokesperson Inna Svynarenko said that the admission of due evidence in the case of state treason does not automatically Yanukovych’s guilt under Article 111 of the Criminal Code (high treason), has been proven. “Now it is being proclaimed that evidence is appropriate and permissible, and each piece of this evidence is being described.” She added that the ultimate decision on finding Yanukovych guilty or not guilty will be announced at the final part of the verdict. Read alsoUkraine’s ex-defense minister charged with treason – PGO UNIAN memo. Yanukovych is charged with treason, complicity with the Russian authorities, and deliberate actions committed to alter the state border of Ukraine in violation of the Ukrainian Constitution. He is also accused of waging an aggressive war. These are the crimes stipulated in Part 1 of Article 111, Part 5 of Article 27, Part 3 of Article 110, and Part 2 of Article 437 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The judicial panel of Kyiv’s Obolon district court on June 29 granted the prosecution’s request for special judicial proceedings in the Yanukovych case. Ukrainian prosecutors request that the court sentence Yanukovych to a 15-year prison term.

Yanukovych contributed to Russia’s occupation of Crimea – court

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych helped representatives of the Russian authorities “conduct an aggressive war against Ukraine” and contributed to the attempt to legitimize the occupation of Crimea. — Ukrinform.

Yanukovych found guilty of urging Putin to deploy troops in Ukraine –

Ex-President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych was found guilty of addressing the Russian President Putin and asking him to deploy troops in Ukraine, as Vladyslav Devyatko, the judge of Kyiv Obolonsky Court, said while delivering the verdict, 112 Ukraine reported. In particular, the court ruled that on March 2014 deliberately and violating Ukraine’s sovereignty Yanukovych sent a statement to Putin requesting to deploy Russia’s Armed Forces. “Though the defence did not recognize guilt, the court considers that the guilt of the accused of committing crimes provided by Ukraine’s Criminal Code has been proved by appropriate and admissible evidence,” the judge said. The Main Military Prosecutor’s Office passed the indictment on Yanukovych’s state treason case to the court in March 2017. The accused himself did not participate in the hearings, he is not in Ukraine hiding in Russia.

Yanukovych’s lawyer explains why he was absent at hearing – Yanukovych had surgery, he is on rehab, – lawyer –

Ex-President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych, accused of state treason, had surgery. He is now on rehabilitation, as his lawyer Oleksandr Horoshynsky, told the journalists before the court hearing in Kyiv, 112 Ukraine broadcasted it. According to the lawyer, Yanukovych was not informed about today’s hearing.

Yanukovych to not participate in delivery of verdict, – lawyer –

Yanukovych to be absent during delivering of verdict

Yanukovych treason case defining for Ukraine future, – Lutsenko. INFOGRAPHICS

Ukraine Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko sees the treason case of Ukraine ex-President Viktor Yanukovych as defining for the country’s future. Censor.NET reports citing Lutsenko’s Facebook page. “The case of Yanukovych, who fled the country and called for Russian troops to invade Ukraine territory, is one of the most important for the future of the state,” – the message reads. He also mentioned that 20 months of the trial are now behind: “89 hearings, where 19 volumes of evidence were examined by the prosecution side, 37 witnesses from prosecution and 15 from defense were heard.” The Obolonskyi District Court of Kyiv is to pass a verdict in Yanukovych treason case today. Source:

TASS: World – Kiev court’s sentence for Yanukovich will be legally null and void, lawyer says

In late 2016, a criminal case was launched against the former president, who was accused of high treason

Ukrainian crime lord kidnapped in Moscow extorts millions from Yanukovich’s supporters who fled to Russia

The details of the criminal business of the Ukrainian crime lord Yury Vasilenko abducted on January 10 in Moscow have become known. The person involved in the cases of the murders of Denis Voronenkov and Yevgeny Zhilin, Yury Vasilenko, earned money in Russia on the withdrawal of assets from Ukraine from representatives of Viktor Yanukovych’s entourage, who fled the country after the change of power. According to Rosbalt, citing a law enforcement source, Vasilenko, together with his Russian partners, attempted to withdraw large sums from accounts in Ukraine, controlled by those who fled the country, offered assistance in selling real estate objects, enterprises, and transporting expensive cars and antiques to Russia. At the same time, according to the source of Rosbalt, only a tiny part of the assets and money, and sometimes nothing at all, often reached the fugitives. For example, from $10 mln, withdrawn from Ukraine, only $2-3 mln could reach a client’s overseas account. The same thing happened with antiques. The victims could not dispute the results of such transactions, firstly, because of the illegality of all operations, and secondly, because of the extremely influential Russian mafia behind them, the conflict with whom could lead to grave consequences. Earlier, Vasilenko had close relations with the thief in law Vladimir Tyurin (Tyurik) and representatives of the criminal environment in the Kursk region, and in particular with the thief in law Viktor Panyushin (Vitya Pan). It was through the Kursk region that a channel for the withdrawal of expensive cars and antiques from Ukraine operated. For several years, Vasilenko in Ukraine carried out tasks for his partners from the Russian Federation (according to the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office, Vasilenko was one of the organizers of the murder of ex-State Duma deputy Denis Voronenkov). And they helped him in Russia. This partnership reached a new level in 2014, when the former president of Ukraine had to flee to Moscow. After Viktor Yanukovych, businessmen and bureaucrats who fell into disgrace were drawn to Russia. One of them, notes Rosbalt, a Kharkov businessman, decided to bring $6 mln from Ukraine through Vasilenko, but as a result he lost the entire amount. It was on this basis that a quarrel between Vasilenko and the leader of the Oplot party, Zhilin, who stood up for his friend, “hit” Vasilenko, after which he was shot by the killers, the agency notes. After Vasilenko got among those accused of organizing the murder of Voronenkov, and his name often appeared in the media in connection with high-profile crimes, the Russian partners stepped aside from him. Vasilenko, who lived in Russia on forged documents with the surname Antonenko, tried to play an independent game, which the influential representatives of the criminal environment dislikes. After the New Year, he was called for a serious conversation. But the crime lord did not come to the meeting. Then they came for him to his headquarters – the restaurant Basilik. According to the main version of the investigation, visitors were Kursk gangsters, but they were not going to kill Vasilenko in a restaurant. But the crime lord resisted actively, after which he was shot from a TT pistol. Bleeding Vasilenko was pushed into the trunk and taken away in an unknown direction. Judging by the evidence found, including bone fragments, the injury was very serious. If Vasilenko was not immediately provided professional medical care, then he may no longer be alive, Rosbalt notes. The identity of most of the attackers are installed, they are being searched. It is possible that the attackers could hide in Ukraine, where, according to operational data, there is also the thief in law Vitya Pan, who in 2017 was wanted in the Russian Federation for the creation of an OCG. Yury Vasilenko was kidnapped by unknown persons from the Basilik restaurant located on Prospekt Mira in Moscow after a shooting bout. The wanted person in Ukraine for the murder case of former State Duma deputy Denis Voronenkov, allegedly wounded, was taken away in the trunk of a Mitsubishi Pajero car without a license plate in an unknown direction. Later, on the fact of the incident, the Investigation Committee opened a criminal case under articles 126 (Kidnapping a person committed by a group of persons by prior agreement) and 222 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Illegal arms trafficking).

Europe expects Russia to immediately free Ukrainian sailors | UNIAN

The Delegation of the European Union (EU) to the Council of Europe (CoE) says it expects that Russia will immediately free 24 Ukrainian sailors captured near the Kerch Strait on November 25, 2018. Relatives of the captured Ukrainian sailors met with EU Ambassador Meglena Kuneva.

PACE passes resolution on Russia’s aggression in Sea of Azov

24.01.19 14:23 – PACE passes resolution on Russia’s aggression in Sea of Azov Parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has supported the resolution on escalation in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait. View news.

PACE committee supports amendment to apply Geneva Convention to captured Ukrainian sailors – MP | UNIAN

Deputy Chairman of the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko faction, member of the Ukrainian delegation to PACE Oleksii Honcharenko says the PACE Political Committee has supported two of the three amendments to the draft resolution on the situation in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait related to Ukrainian sailors captured by Russian security forces on November 25. The amendment with regard to the term “prisoners of war” in relation to the Ukrainian sailors was replaced with one that requires treating them “in line with the requirements of international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Convention,” Honcharenko said.

PACE to consider status of Ukrainian sailors – Status of Ukrainian sailors in Russia to be determined by Geneva Convention, – official –

The status of the Ukrainian sailors detained in the Russian Federation after Kerch Strait incident will be determined by the rules of Geneva Convention as 112 Ukraine reported citing Oleksy Honcharenko, the representative of Ukraine in PACE. “The Ukrainian issue has been already considered. We filed three amendments. Two of them are supported. The issue is about the references to the UN Convention on the Las of the Sea; it is very important for us in the judicial procedures, courts, which we are going to have with Russia; we will sue them and it is a very important reference for us,” Honcharenko noted.

Herashchenko calls for introduction of ‘Azov package’ of sanctions against Russia

The Ukrainian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe called on European partners to strengthen sanctions against Russia over aggression in the Sea of Azov. — Ukrinform.

UAWire – Secretary General of Council of Europe speaks about the crisis in PACE due to the conflict with Russia

Depriving Russia of the right to vote in the Parliamentary Assembly neither improved the human rights situation in Russia nor made Russia to …

Denisova demands Russia send wounded Ukrainian POWs to neutral country for medical treatment — statement for EU diplomats

Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova has issued a statement addressed to the heads of the diplomatic missions of EU countries, in which she tells them about the situation involving the illegitimate detention, capturing and imprisonment of 24 servicemen of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, called on the EU to heighten pressure on Russia for their release, and also demanded that Moscow transfer the wounded sailors to a neutral country for medical treatment.

Poroshenko, Merkel agree on further pressure on Russia for release of all Ukrainian hostages | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have agreed to continue putting pressure on the Russian Federation for the release of all Ukrainian hostages, including captive Ukrainian sailors. Poroshenko and Merkel met on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Poroshenko, Merkel agree to continue putting pressure on Russia to release all Ukrainian POWs –

Ukraine and Germany agreed to enhance pressure put on Russia

Poroshenko, Guterres discuss release of Ukrainian sailors, deployment of UN peacekeeping mission to Donbas

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and United Nationals Secretary General António Guterres have discussed in Davos the release by Russia of captive Ukrainian sailors, deploying a peacekeeping mission under the auspices of the UN in Donbas, ensuring free navigation in the Kerch Strait, providing humanitarian assistance to displaced people, demilitarizing the Crimea and freeing Ukrainian hostages, the president’s press service said.

UN General Assembly to discuss occupation of Ukrainian territories in Feb. – Poroshenko

The situation in the occupied territories of Ukraine will be discussed at the UN General Assembly on February 20, 2019, President Petro Poroshenko has said. — Ukrinform.

Poroshenko, Guterres discuss prospects for deployment of UN mission in Donbas

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko met with UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the World Economic Forum in Davos. — Ukrinform.

Canadian MP calls for imposing sanctions on Russian ports

The international community should impose restrictive measures against Russian ports in response to the de facto blockade of the Ukrainian port of Mariupol, Canada’s Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj has said. — Ukrinform.

Ukrainian delegation to PACE comments on meeting with Jagland

The Verkhovna Rada’s delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe held a meeting with Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland, but it was decided not to disclose details of the meeting. — Ukrinform.

German foreign minister in USA to discuss a wide range of international issues including Ukraine

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas intends to discuss with his American colleagues a wide range of issues, including Ukraine. — Ukrinform.

Turkey Gives Symbolic Political, Military Support to Ukraine – Jamestown

Turkey and Ukraine are boosting their strategic cooperation in the military sphere. Last week (January 12), Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko stated that he signed an agreement on the purchase of 12 Turkish Bayraktar Tactical Block 2 (TB2) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for the Ukrainian military (Hürriyet, January 12, 2019). The continued growth in bilateral military cooperation has attracted renewed attention since the “Kerch Crisis,” which arose between Ukraine and Russia on November 25, 2018. On that day, Russian naval and maritime border guard forces attacked several Ukrainian naval ships in the Black Sea, damaging and capturing the three vessels and their crews (see EDM, November 26, 28, 2018). Naturally, Ankara has viewed the Kerch Crisis with alarm, considering the negative impact it has on regional Black Sea security. As such, Turkey has encouraged both sides to focus on diplomatic talks to quickly resolve this issue and has expressed readiness to act as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine. Within days of the incident, on November 28, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke on the phone with both Vladimir Putin and Poroshenko. Discussing the escalation of the situation between Moscow and Kyiv, he stressed the importance of a diplomatic solution. Erdoğan also said that Turkey supports talks in the Normandy format, between Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany (Sputnik—Turkish edition, December 2, 2018). More recently, the leader of the Crimean Tatars (a Turkic ethnic group that has for centuries inhabited Crimea), Mustafa Cemilev, said in an interview to Ukrinform that Erdoğan backs Ukraine’s position on the freedom of navigation in the Kerch Strait (Ukrinform, December 31, 2018). Meanwhile, the Kerch Crisis has raised an uncomfortable question for Turkey and other Black Sea actors: Namely, should one now regard Russia and Ukraine as locked in an open conflict? Immediately following the incident in and around the Kerch Strait, the president of Ukraine declared martial law but allowed it to expire a month later—on December 26 (see EDM, December 12, 2018). Whereas, the commander of the Ukrainian Navy, Ihor Voronchenko, said that Kyiv wants to push for the closure of the Turkish Straits to Russian ships (YeniÇağ, November 29, 2018). Article 20 of the 1936 Montreux Convention states, “In a time of war, [with] Turkey being a belligerent… the passage of warships (through the Turkish Straits) shall be left to the discretion of the Turkish government.” Pointedly, the government in Ankara made no public statements in response to the exploratory demands coming out of Kyiv regarding the closing of the Straits. Nevertheless, a couple weeks after these events, the Turkish Navy announced it had begun construction on a new naval base in Trabzon, in the eastern part of the Black Sea (Milliyet, December 11, 2018).

Russia prepares for offensive as reconnaissance, troops and aviation build up, – Naiev

Russia has three times increased its reconnaissance capacities which suggests it is preparing a full-scale offensive against Ukraine. As reported by Censor.NET the Joint Forces Commander Serhii Naiev told Novoye Vremya. Several facts indicate Russia’s preparing for a large-scale offensive against Ukraine. “Firstly, they increased the number of troops in the conflict zone. For example, at the Ukrainian-Russian border, the number of tactical battalions has been increased from 8 to 12. And it is only in the territory I am responsible for,” said Naiev. “They have also strengthened a ready-for-action aviation positioned across the front line near Donetsk,” he added. The key evidence of Russia’s plans is that Russian sabotage-reconnaissance groups (SRGs) appeared in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which was discovered after the interception of their conversations. Ukraine military have discovered a special type of satellite communications used by the senior officers of the Russian army. The presence of Russian generals indicates that a rearrangement of Russian troops is taking place, which might be part of the preparation for an offensive. Naiev said that the incident in the Kerch Strait in November suggested the possibility of Russia’s invasion. Naiev argues that the Kerch incident is part of the Russian plan to take over the whole coast of the Sea of Azov and expand the territory of Russia’s presence in the western direction through Mariupol all the way to the occupied Crimea. He warns that Russian propaganda about the alleged use of chemical weapons by Ukraine’s military in Donetsk is a media support that might justify the need for an offensive. Source:

Russia triples recon activity in Donbas, preparing for offensive – Commander Nayev | UNIAN

Commander of Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation (JFO) Serhiy Nayev says Russians have tripled their reconnaissance efforts in Donbas, which indicates that they are preparing for a full-scale offensive in eastern Ukraine. Russia has massed up more troops in the conflict zone. Where there were eight tactical battalions near the Ukrainian-Russian border, now there are twelve. Commander of Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation (JFO) Serhiy Nayev says Russians have tripled their reconnaissance efforts in Donbas, which indicates that they are preparing for a full-scale offensive in eastern Ukraine. “First, they increased the number of troops in the conflict zone. For example, where there were eight tactical battalions near the Ukrainian-Russian border, now there are twelve. And this is only in my area of responsibility. They also significantly increased the number of aircraft ready to take off from air bases on the other side of the front line, near Donetsk,” he told the Novoye Vremya weekly on January 24. According to Nayev, Russian sabotage and reconnaissance groups became more active in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. This was established thanks to radio intercepts. The Ukrainian military revealed a special type of satellite communications used by Russian army’s senior officers. The presence of Russian generals proves an ongoing regrouping of troops, which most likely means a preparation for an offensive.

Almost quiet in Donbas warzone in past 24 hours | UNIAN

Ukraine has reported only one enemy attack over the last day along the entire frontline in eastern Ukraine. No casualties were reported among Ukrainian troops.

One attack against Ukraine army in past day: no losses, three terrorists destroyed, – JFO center

24.01.19 09:58 – One attack against Ukraine army in past day: no losses, three terrorists destroyed, – JFO center Jan. 23, Russia occupation forces violated the ceasefire ones. View news.

Member of Ukraine’s air assault brigade goes missing in Donbas | UNIAN

A member of Ukraine’s Air Assault Brigade went missing in action near an observation post outside the village of Pavlopil in Donetsk region in the early hours of January 23. The “DPR” said they had captured a Ukrainian soldier.

OSCE spots 26 Grad multiple rocket launchers in Russian-occupied part of Luhansk region | UNIAN

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine has reported its monitors spotted 26 Grad multiple rocket launchers in Russian-occupied part of Luhansk region, eastern Ukraine, on January 22. Five MLRS – two for the first time – were missing at a heavy weapons permanent storage site in a non-government-controlled area of Luhansk region on January 22.

UAWire – Ukrainian President signs draft law on mine clearance in the Donbas

On Tuesday, January 22nd, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko  signed draft law №9080-1 “On mine action in Ukraine.” Relevant information is …

Ukrainian Army’s helicopter pilots exercise in Poltava region (Photo) | UNIAN

The drills kicked off with commander flights.

Kremlin has three scenarios on Ukraine – chief of foreign intelligence service

“All Russian special services have a specific task of ‘closing the Ukrainian question’ in 2019. ‘Closing’ means returning Ukraine to the orbit of the Russian Federation and doing it so reliably that ‘no color revolutions’ could happen in Ukraine ever again,” he said. According to Bozhok, for this purpose, the Kremlin has already worked out three scenarios for the development of events in Ukraine. “The first one concerns revenge by pro-Russian forces following presidential or parliamentary elections,” he said. “In the event of the failure of pro-Russian forces or those suiting Russia in the presidential election, a second scenario will be used, namely internal destabilization or so-called ‘controlled chaos’ to make Ukraine accept the conditions imposed by the Kremlin,” he added. The third scenario is a military operation. “If it is impossible to apply the first two scenarios, the Kremlin does not rule out open military aggression against Ukraine,” Bozhok said. The probability that any of these scenarios can be realized is high, he said. “Nobody knows what [Russian President Vladimir] Putin plans, apart from Putin himself. The main task of the Foreign Intelligence Service this year is to prevent the Russian Federation from interfering in domestic political processes in Ukraine,” Bozhok said. The presidential election campaign began in Ukraine on December 31, 2018. The presidential election should take place on March 31, 2019. The election of people’s deputies of the Verkhovna Rada is scheduled for October 27 this year.

Ukrainian foreign intelligence cooperates with special services of NATO countries

Over the past year, the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine has established cooperation with the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States, the UK’s MI6, as well as with the intelligence services of Germany and France. — Ukrinform. “We establish cooperation with the intelligence services of the NATO member countries. Over the past year, the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine has developed partnership with the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States, the UK’s MI6, Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service, and the French intelligence,” Head of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine Yehor Bozhok said in interview with Ukrinform. “Pursuant to the law, we need to get permission from the president in order to establish cooperation with any foreign intelligence service. I have permission from the president for in-depth cooperation with the CIA, MI6, NATO intelligence committee, and therefore I can boast of results,” Bozhok noted. He added that the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine also cooperated with NATO Joint Intelligence and Security Division.

Bozhok: Ukraine needs to reform special services to get membership in NATO

“We need to carry out the reforms to establish trust and proper interaction with the NATO intelligence community. The real integration of Ukraine into the Alliance is impossible without the integration into the NATO intelligence cohort,” Head of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine Yehor Bozhok said in interview with Ukrinform. Bozhok said that he had been implementing the concept of reforming the Foreign Intelligence Service in accordance with NATO standards over the past year of his tenure. To this end, a draft law on foreign intelligence of Ukraine has already been elaborated together with Western partners. “On the instructions of the President, we elaborated together with our Western partners a draft law on the foreign intelligence of Ukraine, which, in particular, aims to prevent the use of the intelligence community of Ukraine – border intelligence, military intelligence and foreign intelligence – for non-democratic purposes,” the official said.

Alexander J. Motyl | Putin’s Dream Scenario for Ukraine | Atlantic Council

Ukraine’s problem is not that it hasn’t changed enough. It’s that it’s changed too much too fast, thereby raising popular expectations, undermining long-existing patterns of behavior, creating uncertainty, and thereby increasing the popularity of populists who argue that a return to the good old days is imperative. In fact, Ukraine has changed more in the last four years than in the previous two decades after independence in 1991. Consider the following eight impressive achievements: Ukraine has built a highly competitive army and military industrial complex and stopped Russia’s aggression in the southeast—a remarkable achievement in light of Ukraine’s having had some 6,000 battle-ready troops in 2014. Ukraine has moved decisively toward integration with the West and the world, as trade with Russia has fallen dramatically and foreign direct investment, much of which is Chinese, has grown. Ukraine is no longer Russia’s hinterland, especially as gas pricing has been rationalized and Ukraine’s dependence on direct imports of Russian gas have fallen dramatically. Ukraine’s economy has been growing at about 3.5 percent for the last few years. Agriculture and IT are booming. Investments in alternative energies are on the rise (renewables are projected to comprise 25 percent of Ukraine’s energy production in 2035), even as Ukraine has identified several huge gas fields that could make it an energy exporter within a decade. Billions have been dedicated to repairing and expanding infrastructure. The banking system is on the mend and macroeconomic stability has been by and large achieved. Local government has received greater authority and significant resources. In the meantime, local civic activism continues, sometimes leading to pushback by local powerbrokers, usually producing visible change. A much-needed reform is currently restructuring Ukraine’s dilapidated health care system, even as Ukrainians complain that the reform is misguided. Education has been reformed at all levels; universities and colleges have received greater autonomy. Ukrainian language and culture are currently experiencing a renaissance similar to the golden 1920s. Book publishing is rapidly expanding, the filmmaking industry has been revived, art, music, dance, and theater—both of a traditional and avant-garde variety—are as innovative as anything in the West. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has become autonomous, thereby solidifying the country’s move away from Russia. As exarchs and parishes of the church subordinate to Moscow increasingly jump ship, the pace of defections will rise after a certain tipping point is reached. Important steps have been taken to curb corruption. All functionaries must reveal their assets. An anti-corruption agency and Ukrainian equivalent of the FBI have been set up. An anti-corruption court is in the works. Business people report that it’s become easier to do business in Ukraine. Ukraine has managed to remain a vigorous, if imperfect, democracy, with a lively press reflecting all opinions, a strong civil society, and generally accepted democratic institutions and procedures. The far left and the far right are marginal phenomena in Ukraine and nothing like their equivalents in such established democracies as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands. Antisemitism is also marginal. Paradoxically, despite such impressive, and manifestly visible change, most Ukrainians will insist that “nothing has changed” and that the country is moving in the “wrong direction.” These views are contradictory—if nothing has changed, Ukraine can’t be moving in the wrong direction—but they reflect a widespread Ukrainian impatience fueled by exaggerated expectations in the aftermath of the 2014 Euromaidan Revolution. In fact, “everything has changed” and the country is moving in the “right direction.” Understandably, Ukrainians want to live like Western Europeans—not tomorrow, not the day after, but today. Naturally, that hasn’t happened, for the simple reason that it’s impossible. By the same token, the only way to get Ukraine to begin to approximate Western Europe is to continue to adopt extremely painful reforms. Just that has been done—and it’s been painful, as Ukrainians struggle to make ends meet while gas price increases have cut into their growing wages. At the same time, oligarchs appear to have suffered very little (in fact, the war with Russia has severely diminished their assets), corruption remains a problem, and the politicians responsible for the massive thefts of the Yanukovych era have either fled or remained unpunished. Unsurprisingly, populist appeals are not without resonance and could affect the outcome of the forthcoming elections. President Petro Poroshenko deserves to win the presidential ballot in March, but probably won’t, as people hold him responsible for the supposed fact that “nothing has changed” and that Ukraine is moving in the “wrong direction.” Yulia Tymoshenko, the fiery former prime minister, co-architect of the Orange Revolution, and political prisoner under the Yanukovych regime, is leading the populist charge, promising to reverse the reforms and institute “social justice.” She leads in all the polls. Second in most polls is the actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who’s rocketed to fame thanks to the television exposure he’s received from playing an average Joe who becomes Ukraine’s reformist president. Some polls suggest he would beat Tymoshenko in the second-round run-off. A Poroshenko victory would mean a continuation of Ukraine’s ongoing positive trends. A Tymoshenko victory could be destabilizing, especially if she decides to attack the “establishment” and seek a quick deal with Russia. A Zelenskiy victory could change “everything,” especially if he adopts incompetent policies that enable the oligarchs to retake control of the economy, fuels inflation by raising wages and pensions, and invites Russian invasion by neglecting security and defense. Not surprisingly, Russian President Vladimir Putin is hoping for, and may be committed to doing everything possible to bring about, a Poroshenko defeat—which may be the best reason for reelecting the incumbent president. Tymoshenko would be preferable to Poroshenko for Putin, but, being unpredictable, could be cause for concern. A Zelenskiy victory would be Putin’s dream scenario. Ironically, by failing to acknowledge that everything has in fact changed, Ukrainians could wind up with the worst of all possible worlds—a reversal to the status quo ante and a return to Russia’s embrace. Alexander J. Motyl is professor of political science at Rutgers University-Newark.

Russia to interfere in Ukraine elections as part of ongoing hybrid war: Poroshenko | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says Russia will interfere in the Ukrainian elections as part of the hybrid war the Kremlin has been waging against the country. The president stressed the importance of combating Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Poroshenko criticizes populist promises to rapidly end Donbas war –

A lot of people promise to establish peace in Ukraine as it will be enough to know on the door of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, ask peace and get it immediately. But all it is the populist promises as presidential press service reported citing speech of President Petro Poroshenko during the Ukrainian Breakfast in Davos. “Many still do not draw conclusions and like to say that peace in Ukraine is around the corner. This is another populist promise: peace is around the corner; it is enough to knock on Putin’s door, ask for peace and get it right away. But around the corner is not peace, but an aggressor,” the President said. He emphasized that peace should be established only on the basis of the national interests, on the basis of the international law, only with the return of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. “We will bring peace if Russia returns to the situation at least of 2013. The keys to peace, unfortunately, are not in Kyiv, Brussels, Ottawa or Washington. The keys to peace are in Moscow. We must use every instrument at our disposal to make Putin sit at the negotiating table. Just as we did in 2014 and 2015 during the signing of the Minsk agreements,” Poroshenko noted. Earlier Petro Poroshenko stated that Ukraine is urged to find a compromise with the aggressor, but peace is possible only under Russian conditions. And the questions of sovereignty, territorial integrity can not be the subject of the compromise. “And meanwhile, our country is stick around with billboard which urges us to find a compromise with the aggressor. Doves of peace flocked almost every pole. Yet, their shadow, the doves’, is like from a two-headed (eagle – And may it not deceive us with a calming cooing. As in their nibs these doves they have seeds of peace under Russian conditions. Peace is a nice and attractive cover, which can have anything behind it,” Poroshenko said.

Poroshenko warns against threats of populism amid Russian meddling | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has warned against the threats of populism for both Ukraine and Europe in general, stressing Russia’s ongoing meddling in the electoral processes in European countries and Ukraine in 2019. The “best solution” to counter foreign meddling is “responsible voting,” the president believes.

Poroshenko: We are determined to continue reforms that bring results to Ukraine | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that reforms carried out in Ukraine have been boosting investment and confidence in the country. The president noted Ukraine had managed to achieve economic growth.

Zelenskyi to withdraw from Cyprus company owning his movie business in Russia

24.01.19 12:14 – Zelenskyi to withdraw from Cyprus company owning his movie business in Russia Showman Volodymyr Zelenskyi said he is to withdraw membership in Green Family LTD company, which is a founder of Russian motion picture company Green Films. View news.

Russia already interfering in Ukraine’s election – president

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has warned against the danger of populism for Europe and Ukraine and stressed that Russia is influencing the electoral processes in European countries and Ukraine in 2019. — Ukrinform.

“Battle” in Davos: Poroshenko, Tymoshenko exchange “pleasantries” at Ukrainian Breakfast event | UNIAN

Poroshenko compared Tymoshenko with Venezuela leader Nicolas Maduro, while she reminded him of public promises he failed to fulfill. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and presidential candidates Anatoliy Hrytsenko and Yulia Tymoshenko met at the “Ukrainian breakfast” in Davos.

Ukraine opposition leader Tymoshenko launches presidential bid as polarizing frontrunner | Reuters

Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko launched her bid for the presidency on Tuesday as the early frontrunner in opinion polls, pledging to fight corruption, increase wages and speed up integration with the West.

Russia to push for having own monitors observe Ukraine elections – To Inform is to Influence

This is probably the funniest thing I have read all day. The GUARANTEED outcome from any potential Russian observers: The Ukrainian election was rigged. Russia may apply but Ukraine will turn them down. In return, Russia will claim the election was unfair because Ukraine refused Russian observers. Everything about this is entirely predictable, like a really bad chess game. This entire scenario is ludicrous, but Russia seems to be addicted to ludicrous statements, logic, and television shows. The idiocy of this Russian ploy is confounding. Is their goal to just waste time? </end editorial>

SBU blocks attempts by Russian special services to meddle in Ukraine’s presidential election

“Operatives of the special service exposed a resident of Kyiv who, under the supervision of Russian special services, administered anti-Ukrainian Internet communities in social networks. He also received for a cash reward the access to so-called advertising cabinets of the accounts of Ukrainian users of social networks Facebook and Twitter. According to the plot of the customers, the culprit in this way had to manipulate the consciousness of Ukrainian voters in the interests of the Kremlin,” the statement reads. It notes that SBU officers detected over 300 accounts that were to be used during the presidential election campaign in Ukraine to promote targeted political ads advantageous to the Russian side. Through them, the organizers planned to influence the legal consciousness and personal choices of voters, as well as disseminate bias and fake information to discredit the Ukrainian authorities and law enforcement agencies. The SBU, in accordance with the established procedure, transferred to the Facebook and Twitter administration the information about the detected accounts that could have been used by Russia during the hybrid aggression against Ukraine. The agency said that in 2019, Facebook tightened its security policy regarding the use of political advertising in the Ukrainian segment of the Internet. For now, in order to prevent manipulative influence on Ukrainians, Facebook prohibits political advertising from accounts administered outside the Ukrainian segment of the Internet. Due to the measures taken by the administration, the interest of the aggressor country’s intelligence agencies in the accounts of Ukrainian citizens in social networks has increased. At the same time, users receive commercial offers from individuals controlled by a Russian “troll factory” – LLC Internet Research Agency. The Security Service of Ukraine once again appealed to Ukrainian users of social media to be attentive and, if they receive offers on the use of accounts in social media from unknown individuals, to contact the SBU’s hotline. In addition, the SBU paid attention to the fact that those responsible for possible illegal actions, under current law, will be the owner or the person who registered an account in social media.

Security Service exposes Kyiv citizen who administered anti-Ukrainian groups in Facebook, Twitter –

The officers of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) have exposed a citizen of Kyiv, who administered the anti-Ukrainian communities on the social networks. He was supervised by the Russian special services as SBU reported. “He got the access for the monetary reward to the so-called “advertisement’s cabinets” of the accounts of the Ukrainian users of Facebook and Twitter. According to the clients, thus, a perpetrator was supposed to manipulate the consciousness of the Ukrainian voters in the interests of Kremlin,” the message said. Related: Ukraine’s Security Service detains anti-Ukrainian propagandist It is noted that the SBU officers detected over 300 accounts, which could be used for the political targeted advertisements during the election campaign. “The organizers planned to influence the legal awareness and personal choice of the voters with their help and to spread the tendentious and fake information for the discreditation of the Ukrainian authority and law enforcement bodies,” the SBU noted.

Rasmussen does not support a particular Ukrainian candidate for the presidency –

ormer Secretary-General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen has denied information spread by mass media that he appealed to the Ukrainians on the occasion of the candidacy of “Batkivshchyna” (Fatherland) Party Yulia Tymoshenko for the post of the president of Ukraine as Pryamy TV channel reported. “No. It is not true; I do not support any of the candidates. I just appealed to the Ukrainians in the video with the statement that if a country chooses the way to the EU, it should hold the reforms. It is my message to all candidates. This video is available to all candidates,” he emphasized.

Leonid Bershidsky | Ukraine’s Presidential Race Will Be Fun – Bloomberg

The contest will tell whether a broad slate of candidates can overcome a post-Soviet legacy of valuing incumbency above all.

Oleksiy Kushch | Ukraine could disappear from economic map of the world –

In past times, the World Economic Forum in Davos pleased visiting journalists with delicious oligarchic breakfasts. But if Ukrainian oligarchs surprised guests with gourmet breakfasts, then Ukrainian officials regaled our distinguished guests with empty promises, flavored with salty tears asking to “provide for food” some billion loans. This year, you can also expect something enchanting in the Ukrainian section, including flags, anthem and a battery of “Dom Perignon” bottles at a price like ten average Ukrainian pensions for one. But if earlier oligarchic participation at least minimally supported the interest of Western investors in our country, now Ukraine’s participation in the Davos forum can be compared with the participation of “independent Mongolia” at the winter Olympics. Independent in the sense that nothing depends on it. In order for your presence or absence to have any effect anywhere, it is first necessary to return your subjectivity. Especially when it comes to international politics. “Object countries” are of no interest to anyone in the global world, because everyone is well aware that negotiating with them is a waste of time. It is better to directly contact the “owner”. In this regard, the presence of Ukraine on the forum will be perceived the same as our absence. No one will pay attention to this fact and, perhaps, it will not even be reflected in the official reports “from the fields”. In order to change the situation, our country must first show the world that the daily routine of the whole country is written not in the memorandum with the IMF, but in the internal intellectual environment. Only then the investors will accept the fact that the fate of Ukraine needs to be discussed with Ukrainians, since we still have an intellectual elite capable of developing new economic meanings. The request for subjectivity exists both within the country and in the external environment. Global capital has still not understood how the 40-millionth country in the east of the richest world economic conglomerate – the EU – could disappear from the investor radar. Related: Snow collapse in Ukraine: Regions struggling with bad weather The current Davos forum will be remembered for the fact that key world politicians, such as US President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May, will not attend it. Ukrainian officials, of course, would be interested to listen to the South Korean president and ask him a couple of questions, for example, on how to successfully complete the program of cooperation with the IMF for several years, become the most dynamic creative economy of the new type, take first place in terms of innovation and how to implement complex systemic reforms to get a vote of confidence of their own people. But the President of the Country of the morning freshness will not come either. He did not even give the reason, he simply refused and that was all. Ukrainian “elites” have always had somewhat inhibited trigger mechanisms: in 1917, the leaders of the Central Rada dreamed that Ukraine would become a member of the Entente, right before the collapse of this bloc. Similarly, attempts are now being made to “jump” literally into all transnational blocs, many of which are experiencing a growth crisis. The current Davos has shown that the globalism that irritated the left gradually transforms into a new multicellular organism. In the east, these are China and India, and each of these subglobal economies has its own pool of satellite countries. In the west – the traditional US and the EU, which economic roads diverge further and further, dragging along the complicated tangle of ambiguous political and military goals. In Latin America we can see Brazil and Argentina. And then there is a whole group of countries that are in ambush, waiting for their chance for an industrial leap. The world is entering the stage of defragmented globalism, when there appear not only new regional discussion platforms replacing Davos, but also regional financial centers that will replace the IMF: the Asian Monetary Fund and the Bank of Infrastructure Investments in Asia, the European Monetary Fund, initiated by Germany, system of swap agreements between the BRICS countries. But if the global world is being defragmented, where will Ukraine be? British financier, James O’Neal, who worked in Goldman Sachs, proposed several important classifications of countries that will participate in the future defragmentation of the global world. He introduced the concept of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), to which South Africa was later added and the group became BRICS. By analogy with the above cluster, the concept of MINT was introduced: Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey. But I find more interesting another typification of economies proposed by O’Neil – this is the so-called group of 11 countries or N-11 (Next Eleven). The following countries were included: Mexico, Nigeria, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Korea, Philippines. According to the analyst, these countries are very likely to become the new locomotives of the world economy and change the relief of the distribution of productive forces in the 21st century, even pressing the BRICS group. The future economic regionalization of the global economy will not develop according to the principle of raw materials or agricultural potential. And not according to the factor of innovation. All that matters is a possibility to pursue a new industrial policy. The fact is that innovations are derived from an effective industrial core of the economy, which allows for a sufficient level to finance science, education, medicine. In addition, the industrial core creates demand for innovations and an environment for their successful transfer to the real sector.

Europe-Ukraine forum kicks off in Poland

The 12th Europe-Ukraine Forum “Ukraine After 2019. A change or a Continuation?” begins in the city of Rzeszow, southeastern Poland, on January 24. — Ukrinform.

Germany ready to allocate EUR 20 mln for development of water sector in Dnipropetrovsk region

Germany’s KfW Development Bank is ready to spend EUR 20 million on the modernization and development of water supply sector in Dnipropetrovsk region. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine gets investment for construction of one of Europe’s largest wind power plants

An agreement between the Norwegian company NBT, the French company Total Eren and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on the Syvash project was signed in the presence of President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in Davos.  — Ukrinform.

Ukraine’s Education Ministry interested in cooperation with Microsoft in digitizing schools

The Education and Science Ministry of Ukraine is interested in cooperation with the Microsoft to develop a concept of digitizing Ukrainian schools. — Ukrinform.

Establishment of Anticorruption Court of Ukraine to be complete in Feb — Poroshenko

The establishment of the High Anticorruption Court of Ukraine will be complete in February, President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine has said.

Kateryna_Kruk on Twitter: “One day in #Ukraine’s history: 100y.a. two UA republics united in one; 29y.a. Ukrainians created hundreds kilometers long live chain uniting different cities across the country. 5y.a. first death on #maidan- Segiy Nigoyan today-youth symbolically unites Dnipro banks with UA flag…”