Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
Acronym: MAP = Membership Action Plan
With Ukraine’s presidential election campaign ramping up, Muscovy’s campaign to disrupt it, and promote their own proxy Boyko, supported by Putin acolyte Medvedchuk also ramps up. Krutikov on how Naryshkin is publicly promoting the SVR. Kotsyubinsky on how the propaganda myths Muscovy propounds are being increasingly rejected by the Russian populace. More on the Soviet mass murder of the Cossacks, descended from Ukrainian Cossack hosts who migrated to Russia to serve the Tsars as irregular forces. In Russia, The Bell publishes an essay on how Prigozhine formed the Wagner PMC at the behest of the Russian General Staff, who were sold on a pitch by LtCol Eben Barlow SADF (Rtd) founder of now defunct Executive Outcomes PMC.
An update on Facebook’s concessions to regulators, and more on the Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDoSecrets) release of a large cache of hacked Russian documents, emulating Wikileaks, other than the latter’s reluctance to embarrass Muscovy.
Ukraine’s DEFMIN Poltorak comments on changing attitudes toward Ukraine inside NATO, and states: “At the latest meeting I attended, nearly all alliance members insisted that Ukraine’s accession should be fast-tracked.” Sadly, we have yet to a MAP. Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Defense for European Integration, LtGen Petrenko, briefs German MoD on Russian buildup, and also meets with FRG FO and political leadership, the report suggesting that Bundesmarine surface combatants may be deployed to the Black Sea. Czech and Danish FMs visit Mariupol. Reports on the DNI WTA assessment on Ukraine (p38). Discussions continue on UN/OSCE peacekeeper mission.
Donbas update, Russians took more losses yesterday. Ukrainian hostage Hryb, abducted in Belarus by the FSB as a teenager, reported near death due to denial of medical care.
Update on the first prototype of the LSARP MiG-29MU2 9-13 FULCRUM C Mod equipped with a glass cockpit and smart munitions capability absent in the baseline FULCRUM C. UDR #4/2018. Third Super Puma delivered to Ukraine.
Updates on economy, elections, and the Russian proxy side of the election.
The Kremlin has reacted to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s statement about the possibility of “cold” peace with Russia. Peskov insists there is no war between Ukraine and Russia. The Kremlin has reacted to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s statement about the possibility of “cold” peace with Russia. “There is no war between Ukraine and Russia. There is civil war in Ukraine and there are developments in Ukraine that were triggered by the authorities in Kyiv and that resulted in the formation of those two republics in the country’s southeast region,” Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists, answering a request from an UNIAN correspondent in Russia to comment the Ukrainian president’s words. According to Peskov, such developments lead to escalation along the contact line in Donbas and there are consequences for the socio-economic situation in the two “republics” associated with “Kyiv’s policy of alienating these two republics from Ukraine.” “That is what is de facto and many other events that were the result of a coup that took place in Kyiv. There is no war between Ukraine and Russia, these are two neighboring countries, these are two fraternal peoples, but at the same time, we cannot to give a positive assessment of what I have just said,” Peskov said. He said there are events that cannot be assessed at all. “These are discriminatory measures against our companies, this is an encroachment on the property of our companies, which is nothing but an encroachment on the property of foreign investors, there is an encroachment on our media, an encroachment on freedom of the press, an encroachment on the lives and safety of our journalists… Of course, most of all we would like not to have all these negative manifestations, so that our bilateral relations are free from such ugly manifestations,” Peskov added. As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Ukraine needs peace with Russia even if it is “cold.” “Of course, we need peace with Russia. Cold yet peace. People are tired of war. Russian propaganda and its liars in Ukraine tirelessly play with this painful emotion,” he said. “Peace is the complete restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the undeniable recognition by Moscow of our right to walk our own path. Even if this path is the path away from Moscow,” Poroshenko said.
Paul Goble Staunton, January 29 – Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, the SVR, is undergoing a fundamental change under its director Sergey Naryshkin: it is now talking about itself via its press office, something that would have been unthinkable only a few months ago, according to Yevgeny Krutikov. Last week, Naryshkin visited Saudi Arabia, an entirely ordinary event in today’s world, the Vzglyad commentator says. But what was surprising was that this visit was reported by the SVR’s press bureau on its official site and signed by Sergey Ivanov, the head of the press bureau and formerly of Komsomolskaya pravda and Tribuna (vz.ru/politics/2019/1/23/960702.html). In the past, not even a mouse escaped from the SVR’s press office, Krutikov says. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t busy. It assisted in books by veterans of the intelligence service, interacted with writers on intelligence questions, “but on the whole beyond the framework of the corporate culture, their activity never went.” But now the SVR and its press office are changing. Last year, the commentator says, “we unexpectedly found out about the trip of Sergey Narushkin made to the United States.” And just before New Year’s, there was a television documentary on the SVR and Naryshkin, something that had not happened before. Taken together, Krutikov continues, this suggests “a change of the internal corporate culture of intelligence.” Last year too, Naryshkin “for the first time in history,” acknowledged the intelligence officers serve in Russian embassy. He said they were there for security, but the acknowledgement represented a clear break with the denials of the past. Naryshkin himself is a very public person, head of the Russian Historical Society and a frequent guest on Russian television. That alone sets him apart from his predecessors who were typically completely hidden figures. But both Naryshkin’s approach and the new openness of the SVR public affairs office in fact helps increase rather than decrease the protection of secrets. By talking about what can’t be avoided, the press office effectively blocks speculation of all kinds about many things, including about things that shouldn’t be discussed, Krutikov argues. Moreover, it makes the SVR more like the intelligence services of other countries rather than something mysterious. And perhaps most important, it allows the SVR to be more open and to have a more open corporate culture. “The complete self-isolation of ‘the intelligence society’ never led to any good.” Indeed, it often contributed to mistakes that a more open testing of the waters would have prevented. No one should conclude from this that Naryshkin and his agency intend to become like the CIA whose officers engage in all kinds of public activities. That would be completely out of character and even harmful. But some carefully considered steps to greater openness will help preserve rather than to undermine the traditional intelligence culture. It is, of course, possible, Krutikov concludes, that what has been on public view is not the result of an intentional plan by the SVR leaders. “But the role of political intelligence in our time has sharply grown.” And the population needs to know more about it than the images provided by TV serials and movies. After all, the GRU has already taken steps in this direction. (See vz.ru/society/2018/12/29/956130.html.)
Paul Goble Staunton, January 27 – Russians increasingly angry at the Putin regime are ever more prepared to reject the myths from the Soviet past on which it rests, and having rejected those myths are becoming even more prepared to reject the current powers that be, according to Daniil Kotsyubinsky. That is why the current regime in Moscow cannot allow an honest discussion of events like the Leningrad blockade to occur, the Russian historian and commentator continues, because such a discussion would spark questions it cannot answer and ultimately find its own legitimacy and power called into question (rosbalt.ru/piter/2019/01/27/1760257.html). Since World War II, there have been two kinds of memory about past conflicts, Kotsyubinsky says, the “sacrificial” which focuses on the heroic nature of those who died, a kind of memory that dominated Europe before 1939 and that continues in Russia to this day, and a day of sorrow which focuses on the victims of these conflicts rather than their heroic nature. Chief among the victims so remembered with sorrow are the Jews who suffered in the Holocaust, “by its size, the greatest humanitarian tragedy of the 20th century,” the historian continues; but “here it is important to recognize and stress that the blockade of Leningrad was after the Holocaust the second humanitarian catastrophe of World War II.” According to Kotsyubinsky, “it was in fact a genocide of Leningraders who fell victim to inhumanity of two totalitarian systems at once, who were indifferent to the fate of people and left them without assistance and hope for salvation.” On one side were the Nazis who were quite prepared to starve the city’s residents into submission. “On the other was the Soviet leadership,” which withdrew those who could help the war effort but left most of those who couldn’t to suffer and die. “In Leningrad, this in essence was no different from the Jewish yellow star because if meant a certain horrific death” since “such people de facto were not fed or evacuated over the course of several months.” “The Leningrad holocaust is the most important guilty verdict about totalitarianism as such, not only to Nazism but also to communism which treated people as expendable in exactly the same way, Kotsyubinsky says. Any honest discussion of this in Russia today is impossible because if there were innocent victims, there were executioners who must be held responsible. As long as the commemoration of the Leningrad blockade remains in the heroic mode, he continues, there are no problems for the regime. But shift to a focus on the victims would quickly lead to demands for a reassessment not only of Stalin’s responsibility but also to that of the current rulers who continue to praise him. Russians in that event would begin to ask their rulers why they do not distance themselves from the crimes of their Soviet predecessors and why they continue to take pride in calling themselves Chekists. Such questions have answers and those answers are a threat not only to the regime but to the state as such. It would be “’the beginning of the end’ of the entire authoritarian Russian state model. And Russia in the past has not had another and hardly is it going to appear in the future. As the experience of the 20th century shows, as soon as authoritarianism collapses in Russia, the demolishing of the Russian state as a whole follows.” In the Russian Federation now, however, the two forms of memory exist and are developing in their own directions. Memory of loss exists, “but it isn’t supported ‘from above.’” Instead, the powers that be continue their “officious heroic-patriotic holiday format.” And there is thus “’a war of two variants of memory about the war.” The official side still appears dominant, but things are changing fast, Kotsyubinsky says. The regime’s peak of popularity “has passed, and the more people are dissatisfied with the power that rules them, they more reason they will have to dispel the myths it asserts and the more they will demand a memory which will compromise” those in power. As a result, “the conflict of ‘the two memories’ will not weaken but on the contrary will grow;” and the heroic approach will ultimately give way to the other. “Grieving recollections about the victims of war cannot and must not be eternal,” of course. “They are too traumatic. In essence, such a memorial policy is justified as long as the children and grandchildren of the immediate participants of the events which suffered trauma remain alive. They need moral compensation.” But, Kotsyubinsky concludes, “the memory of the victims of war and totalitarianism will continue to remain important as long as the state which in the past committed crimes against humanity continues to exist. Such a state needs a regular ‘dose’ of grieving memory about the war just as a diabetic needs insulin.”
Paul Goble Staunton, January 27 – Some genocides either because of the way they are carried out or because of the obvious innocence of their victims quickly gain recognition. Hitler’s killing of the Jews is the archetype and indeed for many around the world the case which defines what a genocide is. Other genocides, the mass murder by government officials of an ethnic community, have attracted less attention or are even denied either because those attacked are somehow assumed to have acted in ways that deserve such “punishment,” the people involved are not viewed as an ethnic group by some, or because the killing is carried out in ways different than many expect. And there is yet another reason why many genocides are not recognized: those in power don’t want them acknowledged lest questions be asked about predecessors on whom they base their legitimacy and against whom the current rulers are not prepared to go after the perpetrators or failing that because of the passage of time to condemn such crimes against humanity. One of the clearest examples of a genocide many refuse to see as such is the systematic destruction of the Cossacks by Lenin’s regime. Many accept the Hollywood version of the Cossacks, reject their status as a nation, and somehow believe that all people in that category were brutal defenders of the tsarist regime and thus “had it coming.” The Bolshevik genocide of the Cossacks was highly decentralized and relied on mobilizing local populations with grievances against their neighbors. Thus, it rarely looked like the institutionalized mass murder that most people have come to expect as characteristic of a “real” genocide like Hitler’s or Pol Pot’s. And the Putin regime isn’t interested in denouncing the Soviet moves against this opposition group as a genocide lest questions be raised about the legitimacy of the Soviet system and hence of its successor or about who is guilty of crimes against humanity, given post-Soviet crimes against the Chechens and other “peoples of Caucasian nationality.” (The Putin regime has an additional reason for not wanting to talk about this genocide. It is organizing its own pocket Cossacks that are intended to be little more than servants of the state and has no interest in attracting attention to the vibrant and varied life of the Cossacks it does not control and is not interested in seeing revived.) But the genocide of the Cossacks which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children of that community must be remembered. After all, as the great Russian memoirist Nadezhda Mandelshtam said, “happy is that country where the despicable will at least be despised.” Sometimes despising evil is all that one can do; but not despising evil when it exists is to fail as a human being. This month marks the centenary of the Leninist degree falling for “de-Cossackization,” a horrific Bolshevik euphemism for the mass murder of that community. Russian officials have mostly ignored this event: the problems of doing otherwise for the current regime are simply too great. But there are genuine Cossacks and good Russians who paused to remember this most neglected of genocides. In cities and towns in the southern and eastern portions of the country where the Cossack hosts once were extremely numerous, they held services, marched, and demonstrated against this crime against humanity (nazaccent.ru/content/29101-pamyat-zhertv-raskazachivaniya-pochtili-v-regionah.html). Cossacks and their supporters have been holding such commemorations since the 1990s – earlier the Soviets prohibited any such actions – but it is an indication of the problem this genocide presents that there are not only disputes about whether it was a genocide but even whether only a few tens of thousands were killed or several million.
The name of Yevgeny Prigogine has become synonymous with Russia’s informal presence in conflict points where its interests are, from Syria to West Africa and Venezuela. The Bell found out that a risky assignment – to take part in the creation of a private army – “Putin’s chef” at one time could have been received from the top military leadership, and the idea was born at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum back in 2010. Prigogine himself persistently denies his participation in the creation of PMCs, and calls the size of his business greatly exaggerated. the main report: · The idea of creating PMCs came up with the General Staff · Consultant became the creator of the world’s first legal PMCs Eben Barlow · Prigogine outlined his version of events for The Bell
- The private army was invented by the military “It all started when our generals met Eben Barlow,” recalls one of The Bell’s interviewees with good contacts at the Ministry of Defense. “He gave a short lecture on the benefits of mercenaries right on the St. Petersburg forum.” In the official program of the forum in St. Petersburg in June 2010, Barlow was announced as a participant in one short session – on how the military to establish cooperation with the private sector and whether it is possible to “privatize” the army at all. But the main purpose of his visit was a closed presentation for the small delegation of the General Staff. [Eben Barlow, founder of the South African PMCs Executive Outcomes. Photo: Wikipedia] The staff of the main operational department, which is responsible for the plans for the use of the army, was also present, and three sources close to the Ministry of Defense shared with The Bell.
The Bell has released an extensive report that aims to document the rise of the private military company (PMC) “Wagner,” in which the caterer and restaurateur Evgeny Prigozhin reportedly plays a leading role. Prigozhin’s ties with the Russian president have earned him the nickname “Putin’s Chef,” and multiple journalists have confirmed that the Wagner PMC has been involved in conflicts from southeast Ukraine to Syria.
According to an investigation by the Bell newspaper, Evgeny Prigozhin, a Russian businessman known as “Putin’s chef”, created the private military company (PMC), the Wagner Group following the orders of Russia’s high-ranking military leaders. The very idea of creating a PMC was born at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum in 2010. Eeben Barlow, the founder of Executive Outcomes, the world’s first legal private military company, was also present at the forum. Barlow told the military about the PMC creation model and even offered options for adapting such a company to Russian conditions. By that time, the creation of a “retirees” detachment in Russia had been discussed for about a year. The plan was supported by the Russian Army General, Nikolai Makarov, Head of the General Staff of the Russian Federation. Vladimir Putin’s castling move with Dmitry Medvedev, the scandal around the resignation of Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, and the retirement of Nikolai Makarov, the head of the General Staff, put off the implementation of the PMC idea for a few years. The recruitment of the PMC team started in 2013. The work was carried out by Prigozhin, a businessman from St. Petersburg, who had been receiving contracts from Russian military for cleaning, heating, the construction of military camps, waste disposal, and food supply in the Russian Army. Nevertheless, Prigozhin not only denies his involvement, but also the very existence of the PMC. “The fact of linking my name to the PMC is a consequence of information originally presented to public through the Security Service of Ukraine,” he said. In February-March 2014, Wagner mercenaries were spotted in the Crimea and later in the Ukrainian Donbas. However, they did not play a leading role yet. For the purpose of “teambuilding”, they chose a site near the GRU (Main Directorate of the General Staff of Russian Armed Forces) base in southern Russia around mid-2015. In August 2015, the PMC Wagner gathered mercenaries and began preparing them for their first foreign trip, a trip to Syria. The capture of Palmyra in 2016 became the peak of the operation, in which Wagner fighters played a decisive role. However, the victories were soon greatly overshadowed. In February 2018, the private army suffered significant losses in a battle against Americans in Deir ez-Zor. Prigozhin caused the wrath of the military command. The attack was allegedly not sanctioned by the command of the Russian group. After the battle in Deir ez-Zor, there has been no information about the participation of the PMC in military hostilities. Nevertheless, PMC mercenaries have been seen in a dozen of other countries, mainly on the African continent. According to the sources of the Bell, a total of 7,000 to 10,000 mercenaries could have passed through PMC since 2014.
The European Union has called on social-media giants to intensify the fight against disinformation ahead of EU-wide elections this spring.
Publicly and privately, Facebook has sent two very different messages about how it feels about regulation.
Europe warned the world’s biggest tech and advertising companies that they need to intensify efforts to combat disinformation on their platforms ahead of European elections, or face regulation.
Move over WikiLeaks, there’s a new leaks site on the scene. On January 25, Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDoSecrets), launched a few months ago by a group of
A new website features documents pilfered from Kremlin officials and agencies.
This spring, a new channel is scheduled to be added to Russian cable and satellite television packages. The “Pobeda” (“Victory”) channel will be distributed by the international branch of the state-owned Pervy Kanal (Channel One). Its purpose will be to display films and television shows related to the Second World War. That war is known in Russia by a term that translates roughly as “the Great Patriotic War”; simply saying “the war” in Russian without additional context refers to World War II as well.
Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak has stated that the North Atlantic Alliance supports the need to accelerate Ukraine’s entry into NATO. — Ukrinform.
Poltorak: NATO insists on Ukraine’s fast-tracked entry. The minister says Ukraine plans to join the alliance and learn how to fight. Defence Minister Stepan Poltorak has said that NATO insists that Ukraine’s accession to the alliance should be fast-tracked. “What changed in 2018 and even earlier, in 2016-2017? At first they observed us. Then they helped us. At the latest meeting I attended, nearly all alliance members insisted that Ukraine’s accession should be fast-tracked. And this is the answer to all the allegations that ‘no-one wants us there and no-one needs us,” he said in the interview with Pryamyy TV. He said Ukraine plans to join the alliance and learn how to fight. “We need to reach standards, we need new weapons, new methods and a new system which will meet our interests,” he added.
Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Defense for European Integration, Lieutenant-General Anatoly Petrenko has informed his German counterparts that Russia has been building up offensive forces near the Ukrainian border and deploying missile systems in temporarily occupied Crimea. Petrenko informed the German side about the security situation. Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Defense for European Integration, Lieutenant-General Anatoly Petrenko has informed his German counterparts that Russia has been building up offensive forces near the Ukrainian border and deploying missile systems in temporarily occupied Crimea. “The head of a Ukrainian delegation has given a detailed answer to a questions from German delegates, in particular, about the situation in Donbas and the Azov-Black Sea region, which is seeing the build-up of offensive groups near Ukraine’s state border and the militarization of the Crimean peninsula, including the deployment of missile systems. This poses a threat to Eastern European countries,” the ministry’s press service quoted Petrenko as saying during his visit to Germany. In Germany, the Ukrainian delegation met with Director for Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany Michael Siebert and Parliamentary State Secretary, Federal Minister of Defence of Germany Thomas Silberhorn. Petrenko briefed the German side on the situation related to the security policy around Ukraine, the status of defense reform, main achievements and priorities of cooperation with Germany, NATO and the EU in the short term. In addition, Petrenko informed about the act of open military aggression of the Russian Federation near the Kerch Strait and the introduction of martial law in certain regions in Ukraine and its results.
Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister for European Integration Anatoliy Petrenko discussed this during a meeting with the Director for Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, Michael Siebert, and the Parliamentary Secretary of State of the Bundeswehr, Thomas Silberhorn, the Defense Ministry of Ukraine reported. “During the meeting, the sides discussed the prospects for deploying a peacekeeping mission in eastern Ukraine and the OSCE observers in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov to prevent an escalation of the armed conflict, as well as measures taken and a common strategy for the release of Ukrainian sailors who were illegally arrested by the Russian Federation and whose health has recently deteriorated and causes concern,” the report says. The German side assured its readiness to continue supporting Ukraine in de-escalating and deterring Russia’s armed aggression, including by ensuring the military presence of the Bundeswehr’s naval ships in the Black Sea, and seeking the release of Ukrainian sailors and supporting reforms in the security and defense sectors of Ukraine. The parties considered the prospects for expanding military and technical cooperation between the two countries and building up Ukraine’s naval capabilities. During the meetings, the sides emphasized the importance of further support for Ukraine on the path towards Euro-Atlantic integration, and strengthening its partnership relations with the Federal Republic of Germany and other members of the Alliance. The results of the meetings will be used to prepare the military and political dialogue at the level of the defense ministers of Ukraine and Germany during the Munich Security Conference and the official visit in Kyiv.
Foreign ministers of Ukraine, Denmark and the Czech Republic together with representatives of the EU mission discussed with the leadership of the port of Mariupol Russia’s blocking of Ukrainian ships. — Ukrinform.
Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček and his Danish counterpart Anders Samuelsen have called on the European Union to consider targeted measures against Russia if Moscow fails to release captured Ukrainian sailors. Russia must ensure unhindered and free passage through the Kerch Strait to and from the Azov Sea and must halt its harassment of ships on their way to Ukrainian ports, according to the joint statement. Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček and his Danish counterpart Anders Samuelsen have called on the European Union to consider targeted measures against Russia if Moscow fails to release captured Ukrainian sailors. The two top diplomats’ Tuesday visit to the Ukrainian frontline city of Mariupol “sends a signal of the two countries’ strong support for Ukraine,” reads the joint statement published on the Czech foreign ministry’s website. “It provides an opportunity to get a first-hand impression of the human and economic hardship caused by the conflict with Russia-backed armed formations in Eastern Ukraine,” the statement reads.
France and Germany are currently studying a proposal to deploy a joint UN and OSCE mission in Donbas, French Foreign Ministry reported on Tuesday.
Ryszard Terlecki, deputy speaker of the Polish Sejm, says Warsaw has long supported EU enlargement. At the same time, old integration patterns are not working these days. Today, in Eastern Partnership countries, the greatest geopolitical clash of our time is under way. Ryszard Terlecki, deputy speaker of the Polish Sejm, says Warsaw has long supported EU enlargement. At the same time, old integration patterns are not working these days. He recalled Montenegro, which has already become a NATO Ally, while being far from securing EU membership. “Speaking about the challenges for integration processes, we should mention not only the problems of countries aspiring to membership, but also the Union itself,” he said, speaking at the XII Europe-Ukraine Forum, Rzeczpospolita reports. “This year will be a special year: this spring, Ukrainians will be electing the president, and parliament – in autumn, while the EU will hold elections to the European Parliament. For many months, Europeans will be absorbed in building up own institutions, not their foreign policy.” He added that the recent problems, such as Brexit, the migration crisis, and disturbances in European procedures, have given rise to the groups questioning further enlargement. “The current situation in the EU does not indicate there will be any radical changes this year,” the official said. Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/politics/10426269-europe-needs-ukraine-to-win-in-geopolitical-game-rzeczpospolita.html
Polish Radio reports that during a meeting of ministers from European countries members of the UN Security Council with the head of the EU diplomatic department Federica Mogherini, the Polish Foreign, Minister Jacek Czaputowicz called on the participants to consider sending a UN peacekeeping mission to Ukraine. “It is important for us to keep the issue of aggression against Ukraine on international forum agendas, including the UN. It would be good to consider new initiatives that will bring us closer to the resolution of this conflict, such as establishment of a UN peacekeeping mission in Ukraine, or also appointing a special representative of the UN Secretary-General envoy for Ukraine,” Czaputowicz emphasized. During the Polish presidency in the UN Security Council in May 2018, there was a criticism against Russia’s aggressive behavior. Minister Czaputowicz stated that next month, debates regarding territories of Ukraine which are not under Kyiv’s control are scheduled at the meeting of the UN General Assembly, Earlier, the OSCE outlined the details of the new peace plan for Donbas. Its author is the Special Representative and OSCE Chairperson in Ukraine Martin Sajdik. In addition to the joint mission of the UN and the OSCE (with military, police components and international administration in the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics), the new plan also provides for an independent agency organized by the European Union on the restoration of Donbas.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman has said from January 27 until February 2 a mission from the European Union will be in Ukraine to evaluate the possibility of joint use of a number of infrastructure projects in the Azov Sea region, the so-called Pryazovia.
Russia is strengthening its forces near the Ukrainian border and preparing a large-scale offensive, stated joint Forces Commander Serhiy Nayev …
Russia seeks to meddle in the upcoming Ukraine elections, that’s according to the U.S. national intelligence report on this year’s global threats. However, it is unlikely to take place, intelligence experts believe.
ItaMilRadar on Twitter: “⚠️Intensive military activity over Black Sea: USNavy Boeing P-8A (168857) from NAS Sigonella, #USNavy Lockheed EP-3E (157316) and #USAF Boeing RC-135V (64-14841) from Souda Bay AB are making surveillance missions. First time that we track 3 #US planes off #Crimea simultaneously… https://t.co/A9APygmiZw”
Russia seeks to influence the elections in Ukraine. This is stated in the report of the American intelligence, devoted to world threats this year. A comprehensive US intelligence community report on major threats facing the world was presented by US National Intelligence Director Dan Coats to the US Senate intelligence committee hearing on January 29. In the section “Russia and its neighbors”, the US intelligence service notes that Russia is taking steps to influence the Ukrainian presidential election in March 2019 and parliamentary elections to be held in the fall. “In hopes of removing Poroshenko and bringing to power a less anti-Russian parliament, Russia wants to take advantage of such problems in Ukraine as an unstable economy, widespread corruption, vulnerability in cyberspace, and public discontent,” the report said. The Ukrainian election race does not have a clear favorite, the report says. “A large number of presidential candidates, a high level of distrust of political elites and a lack of a clear leader can give opponents of the Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, and less well-known candidates and beginners in politics, an opportunity to turn to Ukrainian voters, most of whom have not been determined.” But Russia’s large-scale attack on Ukraine, US intelligence considers “operationally possible, but probable.” “We estimate that a massive attack on the part of Ukraine or Russian formations is operationally feasible, but unlikely in 2019,” says Coates. The US intelligence services include increased tensions in the Azov and Black Seas. “The tension in bilateral relations will continue to grow in the Black and Azov Seas, as each of the parties will confirm the sovereign rights and capabilities of the sea,” the report said. “Russia will continue military political and economic destabilization of Ukraine in order to undermine Kyiv’s efforts to integrate into the EU and strengthen its ties with NATO,” the document says. “The interception of Russian ships in the Kerch Strait and the arrest of ship commands in November 2018 demonstrates Russia’s readiness to restrict Ukraine’s freedom of navigation in the region and to exert political pressure on the country’s leadership, especially on the eve of the elections in Ukraine this year. ” “The Kremlin will try to withstand and, if possible, expand its influence in the countries of the former Soviet Union, which he believes belongs to his sphere of influence,” the US intelligence agencies state.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin states that the plan for the Donbas settlement recently voiced by Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas, Martin Sajdik, is the latter’s personal vision, while it is worth talking about real things after the “LPR” and “DPR” disappear. The top diplomat said that Sajdik’s proposals do not represent any fundamentally new plan, but show progress in the context of the need to introduce in Donbas some international component. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin states that the plan for the Donbas settlement recently voiced by Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas, Martin Sajdik, is the latter’s personal vision, while it is worth talking about real things after the “LPR” and “DPR” disappear. Speaking in Mariupol, Klimkin said: “First of all, there is no fundamentally new plan. Mr. Sajdik presented his vision late last year. These are suggestions that need to be worked on. I have already said that in form, and only in form, is there some progress because it is very important that at least Mr. Sajdik and his colleagues understood that an international component is needed – an international military component, a police component, and an international administration are needed. This is already a good thing.”
Russian-led forces mounted eight attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, in the past 24 hours. There were no Ukrainian army casualties.
30.01.19 10:15 – Eight attacks against Ukraine army in past day: no losses, four terrorists destroyed, – JFO center Jan. 29, Russia occupation forces violated the ceasefire eight times. View news.
Ukrainian troops took no casualties in Donbas on January 29. The HQ of the Joint Forces Operation reported that on Wednesday morning. On that day, the Russian armed mercenaries violated the ceasefire mode eight times. The enemy used Minsk-banned weaponry three times. In Donetsk region, the militants shelled Novomykhailivka, Hnutove and Bohdanivka, using grenade launchers of various kinds. Small arms and grenade launcher fire was reported in Avdiivka. In Luhansk region, the hostile units attacked Krymske, Katerynika, Luhanske and Khutir Vilny. In these areas, they widely used 82 mm mortars and heavy machineguns. The Ukrainian military intelligence reported that four Russian militants killed, and the other six were wounded in Donbas over day. The Ukrainian forces also destroyed an enemy transport that carried weapons; KamAZ truck was blown up to pieces. Besides, another group of enemy forces was eliminated in the vicinities of Dokuchaivsk, Donetsk region. No attacks by Russian mercenaries have been observed since the beginning of January 30.
The Ukrainian military spotted and prevented an enemy ambush attack during a reconnaissance operation near the town of Dokuchaievsk in Donetsk region on January 29, 2019. The Ukrainian servicemen have been nominated for an award for the successful combat operation. The Ukrainian military spotted and prevented an enemy ambush attack during a reconnaissance operation near the town of Dokuchaievsk in Donetsk region on January 29, 2019. “Thanks to skillful actions of a reconnaissance group, enemy troops were neutralized and the weapons left by the enemy were seized. Our recon troops’ trophies are the following: a 120mm 9K111 Fagot anti-tank missile system, an RPG-18 anti-tank rocket launcher, and a 12.7mm NSV (Utyos) heavy machine gun,” the press center of Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation wrote on Facebook on January 30. The Ukrainian servicemen have been nominated for an award for the successful combat operation.
Ukrainian journalist Denys Kazansky has reported that co-founder of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) terrorist organization Andrey Purgin, 47, has been denied “citizenship” of that self-proclaimed republic. He chaired the so-called “DPR” parliament until his removal in September 2015.
Ukrainian political prisoner Pavlo Hryb, illegally held by Russian authorities, is on the verge of life and death, as reported by the Verkhovna Rada’s human rights envoy Liudmyla Denisova. A 20-year-old Ukrainian requires urgent heart surgery, the Ombudsperson stresses. Ukrainian political prisoner Pavlo Hryb, illegally held by Russian authorities, is on the verge of life and death, as reported by the Verkhovna Rada’s human rights envoy Liudmyla Denisova. “Ukrainian citizen Pavlo Hryb, held Russian dungeons, is on the verge of life and death! The 20-year-old political prisoner needs urgent heart surgery because his state of health is supercritical,” Denisova wrote on Facebook. In particular, she stressed that as a result of Hryb’s medical exams, doctors diagnosed a number of serious diseases.
Young Ukrainian political prisoner in Russia said in critical condition. The ombudsman says he needs an urgent heart surgery. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
The Russians that are convicted in Ukraine for participating in the war in Donbas are asking that they be swapped for Ukrainian prisoners kept in Russia and have written letters with relevant requests to Russian President Vladimir Putin. In total, 22 swap petitions have been handed over to the Russian side.
Resource MilitaryAviation.in.UA has published at its Facebook page the first image of the upgrade of the tactical fighter MiG-29 to the version of MU2 made at the shop of the Lviv Aviation Plant This is reported by the Ukrainian Military Portal In the version of MU2 the fighter received a modernized weapon management system, in particular a weapons control computer, which will support electro-optical seekers. The combat machine has the capabilities of military applications for land-based purposes. It is possible to install missile and bomber weapons with TV seekers of type Kh-29T [AS-14 KEDGE] and KAB-500Kr. Earlier, the MiG-29 could with little success work on targets on the ground only unguided missiles and guns of the aircraft. The new upgrade has received a “glass cockpit”, that is, analogue indicators have been replaced by digital, as well as modernization includes the possibility of the use of air-ground, air-to-air missiles and guided aerial bombs. The MiG-29MU2 aircraft is equipped with VOR, ILS, DME – on-board equipment, which will automatically control aircraft landing and flying on international routes. Material on the topic: MiG-29MU2 – upgrade of the fighter 4+ The aforementioned works were carried out at the Enterprise State Enterprise “Lviv State Aviation Repair Plant”, which is part of the State Concern “Ukroboronprom”.
Issuu is a digital publishing platform that makes it simple to publish magazines, catalogs, newspapers, books, and more online. Easily share your publications and get them in front of Issuu’s millions of monthly readers. Title: Ukrainian Defense Review #4 [October-December 2018] , Author: Defense Express, Name: Ukrainian Defense Review #4 [October-December 2018] , Length: 56 pages, Page: 1, Published: 2018-11-07
The third Airbus military helicopter has arrived in Ukraine and is intended for the needs of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, the Center for Transport Strategies (CTS) has reported. — Ukrinform.
The Supreme Court of Ukraine has given the green light to the seizure of shares of Russian banks’ Ukrainian-based subsidiaries to compensate for “nationalized” assets during the Russian annexation of Crimea. The applicants requested the seizure of registered shares of Sberbank, Prominvestbank and VTB Bank.
Approximately 90 percent of the unemployed Ukrainian citizens have higher education. This piece of statistics was revealed by Valeriy Yaroshenko, the Acting Head of the State Employment Service of Ukraine, as UNN news agency quoted him. The blue-collar jobs remain the most popular in this country. This is quite the opposite of how things are in Europe’s developed countries. About 30 percent of graduates go for higher education, and the rest get either professional or technical education’, he said. ‘There are issues on the job market. The most burning problem is the disproportion; I mean, 75 percent of school graduates go for higher education; the rest either go for the professional education or stay without it at all’, the official stated. Implementing the program to fix that issue, the Service created 11 centers of vocational education. The centers are implemented in Sumy, Kharkiv, Kherson, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk Ivano-Frankivsk, Luhansk, Lviv, Odesa, Poltava and Rivne regions – mostly, northern, central and eastern Ukraine. The education process involves 88 various jobs; 147,000 Ukrainians completed the training programs in 2018, Yaroshenko said, adding that 90 percent of graduates were employed successfully.
Ukraine presented the investment potential of the domestic mining industry at the Ukrainian Gas E&P Forum, which took place in London on January 29, the Energy and Coal Industry Ministry reports. — Ukrinform.
The winners of the Real Innovation Award 2018 were announced November 1 in the UK. Among them was the Ukrainian company WOG, who beat such transnational giants as Enel, Bauer, Nintendo, Benivo.
Ukrainian citizens most of all trust people living nearby (68%), volunteers (63%), church (51%), and the Ukrainian Armed Forces (51%), according to the results of an opinion poll conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology.
A U.S. intelligence report devoted to worldwide threats this year shows that Russia wants to influence the elections in Ukraine in order to remove Petro Poroshenko and bring a less anti-Russian parliament to power. — Ukrinform.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has announced he will seek reelection in the March presidential election, and vowed to press for European Union and NATO membership.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has named five strategic priority sectors of the economy which could attract billions investment and create hundreds of thousands jobs.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and his wife, Maryna Poroshenko, have laid flowers at the Memorial Cross to the Kruty Heroes in Kyiv. — Ukrinform. The Battle of Kruty is one of the most heroic and tragic pages in the history of Ukraine, which took place on January 29, 1918, between the towns of Nizhyn and Bakhmach in Chernihiv region, 130 kilometers north-east of Kyiv during the onslaught of Bolshevik forces led by Colonel Mikhail Muravyov. The five-hour battle between 4,000 servicemen of the Russian Red Army and a small Ukrainian unit of 400 soldiers of the Bakhmach garrison, which consisted of a Student Battalion of Sich Riflemen, a unit of the Khmelnytsky Cadet School, and a Free Cossacks company. The battle lasted until evening, several attacks were repulsed, and combat losses included up to 300 of those killed, wounded, and captured. Commander Averkiy Honcharenko gave orders to retreat to the echelon, which was waiting at a distance of two kilometers. Retreating, some students were surrounded and offered resistance, but the forces were unequal. One group of students got misplaced and came to the Kruty railroad station, already occupied by the Red Army. Twenty-seven captured students were shot dead. The youngest of those killed were 16 years old.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has noted the historical significance of the events that took place 100 years ago, while marking the 101st anniversary of the Battle of Kruty.
29 January 1918, a historical battle between Bolshevik forces and small Ukrainian unit took place near Kruty railway station in 130km from Kyiv
On Wednesday, January 30, at 12.30, the press center of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency will host a press briefing by candidate for president of Ukraine Ihor Shevchenko on the subject: “Blue Bobble Hats from Davos: Why, What for, and Most Importantly, What’s Next?” The launch of the “National Movement of Blue Bobble Hats” will be announced at the event along with the goals and objectives of the movement. Participating will be candidate for president of Ukraine Ihor Shevchenko (8/5a Reitarska Street). Registration requires press accreditation. Details by phone: (093) 966 7595, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ukraine’s Central Election Commission (CEC) has registered Osnova Party member and MP Serhiy Taruta as a candidate for the post of Ukraine’s president. — Ukrinform.
Ex-NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is confident that in order to preserve the freedom and sovereignty of their country, Ukrainians must continue to resist Russia’s aggression, and also not stop the implementation of reforms begun in 2014. He said the alternative is to roll back to the path of corruption and limited state sovereignty.
Yuriy Boyko, the presidential candidate from pro-Kremlin political force ‘Opposition Platform-For Life’, held a speech at this party’s convention in Kyiv. He voiced out some of the major provisions of his program, as he’s running for the presidency in March 2019. ‘I sincerely thank you for the given trust. I’ll apply all efforts to justify it, and I will see to it that you’d not be ashamed for our today’s decision so that we would win’. ‘The convention of the ruling party took place simultaneously with ours. It seems symbolic to me. But that’s all we have in common because we stand for peace while they’ve been promoting war for five years in a row. We stand for the unification of the entire country, and they divide our society by religion, language and war. We support reducing social tariffs, while they plan to increase the prices this spring. We are the only alternative to this destruction. We are the creators, and I congratulate you on that’, he said. Boyko stressed that his priorities would be ‘to stop the bloody opposition in eastern Ukraine’, ‘to stop the poverty’. ‘We will immediately go for direct negotiations [with Russia] for reaching peace in the state; that’s the first thing we do after the victory’, the politician claimed. He also added that another important provision would be canceling of the medical reform. ‘The government will provide the citizens of Ukraine with the accessible and high-quality medical service, according to the Constitution’, he said. Boyko also insisted on the revision of the pension reform. ‘The law enforcers will be protecting people instead of protecting the authority from its own citizens’, he added, speaking of the order and security issues. ‘We’ll implement a clear and solid action plan. We’re sure about our forces and assets (…) The future of our country and the fate of Ukrainians depend on all of us. We’ve got clear goals and tasks, and, most importantly, the support of millions of our citizens who trust in us. The future is ours. We will prevail!’, he said. Earlier, Boyko was officially registered as the candidate for the presidency during the upcoming election. He is a Ukrainian politician, former Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, and a former Minister of Fuel and Energy of Ukraine (in three Cabinets; in 2006-2007, 2010, and 2012-2014). He is well-known for his firm pro-Russian position, claiming that one of the key points of this electoral program would be ‘direct negotiations with Russia’, which he believes would help bring an end to the ongoing Donbas conflict. On 17 November 2018, ‘Opposition platform – For Life’ party nominated Boyko as its candidate in the 2019 Ukrainian presidential election. Because it was not yet registered as a party in January 2019 it could not nominate him as a presidential candidate. Hence on January 17, Boyko submitted documents to the CEC for registration as a self-nominated candidate. The voting day is scheduled for March 2019. Previously, Boyko belonged to the Party of Regions, the pro-Kremlin political force, which is currently disbanded. When the party lost the authority in early 2014, the politician joined the newborn ‘Opposition Bloc’, along with many of his allies from the Party of Regions. In late 2013, the-then Ukrainian president and the government decided to delay the signing of EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. That resulted in the birth of Euromaidan, the all-Ukraine movement for the integration with the EU and NATO. The brutal actions of the law enforcers that crashed down a peaceful rally eventually led to human casualties. Eventually, the Revolution of Dignity prevailed in February 2014, toppling the government. President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country. The former Cabinet and the leading political figures, including Boyko, stayed low-profile for a while. However, Boiko and other members of that party made it to the next roster of the Ukrainian Parliament, which created legal grounds for them to vote for the laws and to join the presidential election campaign.
Vadym Rabinovich, representative of the ‘Opposition platform – For Life’ party and Ukrainian MP, spoke about the plan of Ukraine’s economic rise at the All-Ukrainian Congress of the party. He also offered a Golden Key to peace and a crisis bailout plan. “I want the only thing to be remembered throughout the current presidential and parliamentary campaign – the Golden Key to victory, the Golden Key to peace, the Golden Key to the economic prosperity is in the ‘Opposition platform – For Life’ party. This is a symbol of our victory, with this key we will open the door that leads our country to prosperity, and then together we will sing and rejoice not in a destroyed country, but in Switzerland of Eastern Europe. We are for Ukraine, the real one, the strong one, and we will win!” Rabinovich said. According to Vadym Rabinovich, they need only one year to build Switzerland of Eastern Europe. “We have another offer – to build a neutral, strong and independent Ukraine, a Switzerland of Eastern Europe. We need only one year to get back to the normal situation, and the next years will be the years of rise,” he said.
Viktor Medvedchuk, the representative of the “Opposition Platform – For Life” talked about a peace plan and the ways to find “the keys to the peace” during the All-Ukrainian Congress of the party. “Our plan offers three sections: legislative, administrative and the one which concerns the order and the procedure of peace-enforcement. The plan provides for creating an autonomous region Donbas as a part of Ukraine. It proposes arrangement through the bodies of government, such as the Parliament, Government and others, which would be responsible for the functioning of the region. The third principle which is a basic one is that our plan is built on the Minsk Agreements confirmed by the UN Security Council resolution, complies with the Normandy format declaration and current legislation of Ukraine. We propose to introduce the relevant amendments to the Constitution,” he said.
The Chairman of the Council of the party “Opposition Platform – For Life” Viktor Medvedchuk claimed a need to create “autonomous region Donbas” and incorporate it in the Constitution. He said it during the All-Ukrainian Congress of the party, as Pravda reported. According to Medvedchuk, the majority of the presidential candidates raise Donbas issue now, yet they use it for publicity, and only the representatives of the “Opposition Platform – For Life” have a real plan to settle peace on the occupied territory. Related: Belarus’s Lukashenko, Ukraine’s Medvedchuk discuss settlement of Ukraine-Russia conflict He noted that the program of the candidate from his party provides the return of the “people, but not the territory”, through their consciousness, security assurances and then Donbas has to come back to Ukraine. Medvedchuk said that the peace agreements might be reached in a quadrangle Kyiv-Luhansk-Donetsk-Moscow. Related: Viktor Medvedchuk listed among top 10 most influential Ukrainians “The conception plan provides for the creation of an autonomous region Donbas as a part of Ukraine – with its parliament, government and other authorities,” he said. Medvedchuk added that the plan offers to introduce the relevant amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine. He said it did not contradict with the Minsk Agreements and Ukraine’s legislation.
Representative of the Ukrainian party Opposition Platform – For Life Viktor Medvedchuk said he is planning to create an autonomous region called “Donbas” in eastern Ukraine as part of the peaceful settlement plan of a crisis in the region, the 112. Ukraine TV channel said on its website on Tuesday.