#RussiaFail · Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (85)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

This video is beyond shocking.  The move the Russian plane does is obvious, it’s very dangerous, and downright provocative. If the F-15 pilot had not immediately reacted, a tragedy would have occurred. Video Showing Russian Su-27 Flanker Turning Into A U.S. Air Force F-15C Emerges – The Aviationist

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INF appears dead following further obstinance by Muscovy. Muscovy howls about the symmetric play with the low yield W76-2. The Vozhd calls for a national AI strategy. Russians release footage of Su-27 near-collision with F-15C. Threats against the Beeb continue. More on the Wagner PMC expose. Interesting arguments by Ryklin  and Schullman. Apple being harassed to violate user privacy. Major MH-17 class-action lawsuit launched against the Russian Federation and Russian President.

Amb Volker briefs Ukrainian media on multiple issues. Ukraine’s constitution to be amended next week to add goals of NATO and EU entry. Kerch / Black Sea and Donbas updates. New military procurement legislation becomes law. Updates on election, politics and economy.

Mike Pompeo expected to announce US suspension of INF treaty on Friday – CNNPolitics

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to announce Friday that the US will suspend participation in an arms control treaty with Russia that has been a centerpiece of European security since the Cold War, according to two US officials and multiple diplomatic sources familiar with the matter.

U.S. Set To Suspend Obligations Regarding INF Treaty In Dispute With Russia

The United States is expected to announce it will suspend compliance with a key Cold War weapons treaty, most likely on February 1, over its accusations that Russia is not meeting its obligations.

INF Treaty talks between Russia and the U.S. fail at summit

The INF Treaty was designed to keep ground-based nuclear weapons out of Europe. The U.S. accuses Russia of violating it with its Novator 9M729 missile.

‘No Progress’ In Talks On Saving Russia-U.S. Missile Pact As Deadline Looms

Russia and Washington have failed to bridge their differences over a key Cold War-era arms control treaty at last-ditch talks in Beijing, Russian and U.S. officials say.

With Trump Set To Exit The INF Treaty, We’re Headed Toward A New Nuclear Arms Race

Trump’s security Svengali John Bolton is betting that the U.S. can out-compete Russia in an unfettered arms race. Don’t underestimate the Kremlin’s ability to overspend on missiles and the instability this will create.

Expect a Missile Race After the INF Demise – Defense One

If the Trump administration withdraws, experts see rapid development of new missiles

UAWire – Russia accuses US of escalating risk of nuclear conflict

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that there will be a greater risk of nuclear conflict if the US begins to produce W76-2 warheads. “ …

Trump, Nukes, and No First Use – Defense One

Two bills aim to enact a long-overdue policy that will make the world less dangerous.

Putin Orders Up a National AI Strategy – Defense One

The Jan. 15 instruction follows a year of efforts to better unify public and private AI research.

Video Showing Russian Su-27 Flanker Turning Into A U.S. Air Force F-15C Emerges – The Aviationist

‘Cold peace’ unnecessary because of no war between Ukraine and Russia, – Kremlin responds to Poroshenko

30.01.19 17:17 – ‘Cold peace’ unnecessary because of no war between Ukraine and Russia, – Kremlin responds to Poroshenko Kremlin says that there is no war between Ukraine and Russia, only “civil war” in the territory of Ukraine. View news.

Russia’s Media Watchdog Accuses BBC Of ‘Violations’

Russia’s media regulator says the BBC World News channel has committed “certain violations” while operating in Russia.

Russia is paranoid about propaganda – To Inform is to Influence

Before the 2016 election, Western nations’ worst cyberattack nightmare involved sabotage of the electric grid. Meanwhile, the top digital fear among Russians was propaganda campaigns, according to Lincoln Pigman, an Oxford postgraduate researcher who studies the history of Moscow’s political posture on cybersecurity. Why it matters: The idea for the online information campaign that rolled out against the U.S. in 2016 wasn’t a stroke of genius out of nowhere. In many ways, it was Russia’s worst fears manifest into a weapon.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘The Bell’ Traces Russia’s ‘Private Army for the President’ Back to 2004

Paul Goble Staunton, January 29 – Three journalists for The Bell trace the murky history of Russia’s private military companies, their relations with the Kremlin and the Russian military, and their various deployments and costs back to events in 2004 when tree Russian soldiers were caught in the course of liquidating a Chechen militant in Qatar. Because the men were uniformed soldiers of the Russian Federation, their capture triggered an international scandal and their release was secured only after the very public intervention of Vladimir Putin, something he clearly did not want to have to do again and thus set in train the creation and rise of the private military companies. Irina Malkova, Anton Bayev and Anastasiya Yakoreva pull together what is known about this nearly two decades-long history and the role of Yevgeny Prigozhin, known as “the cook” for his role as a supplier of food to schools, the military and the elite, in the rise of the Vagner private military company (thebell.io/41889-2/). After 2004 when Putin was embarrassed the idea of creating such forces to allow Russia to act abroad in deniable ways was discussed in military circles, and th e use of military retirees in such “private” units received support from General Nikolay Makarov, then chief of the Russian General Staff. But the breakthrough appears to have come in June 2010 when Eben Barlow, a retired South African general, made a presentation on the growing role of private military formations in Africa to a military roundtable in St. Petersburg. In addition to speaking about such groups in Africa, he made specific proposals on how Russia could create its own. At that time, The Bell journalists say, the main debate was whether such sgtructures should be legal given that some siloviki were “categorically against” the appearance of such groups given the difficulties Moscow could expect to have in controlling their operations and ensuring security. This was four years before Moscow moved into Ukraine, and so most of the focus in the discussions at that time was about how to use “’illegals’” for operations where maintaining deniability was essential, the journalists continue. In 2012, Valery Gerasimov, who replaced Makarov as chief of the general staff, supported the idea and discussed it with Putin. Putin’s friend, Yevgeny Prigozhin, was brought into these discussions early on. He was close to Putin but not so close that that could present a problem, The Bell says. He began to be involved at least as early as 2011 and was certainly part of the general operation of Vagner and other groups, despite his denials, in the years after that. In 2013, a year before the Ukrainian moves, the private military companies in Russia took shape, and Prigozhin was heavily involved, although most of this activity took place out of public view. Indeed, the Vagner group was mentioned in the Russian and international media only in the fall of 2015. The role of private military companies was quite restricted in the Crimean operation but rather larger in the Donbass. Even there, however, these units took a back seat to other groups that the Russian military organized thereor brought in from Russia itself. When the initial phase of that operation wound down, Vagner and other private military companies were sent to Syria. There, these groups achieved their greatest successes and their greatest failues. They were the land forces in Syria Moscow said it didn’t have; and they were responsible for many of the victories ascribed to the Asad government. But they had their greatest failure when they were attacked by US forces and Moscow was unable to come to their defense as some had hoped. Prigozhin faced real problems in convincing Putin that what had happened was an accident and that measures had been taken to ensure it would not happen again. He must have succeeded because Russian private military companies connected to Prigozhin have since been used throughout Africa and now apparently in Venezuela. All these operations beginning with Syria have been very expensive and have involved as many as 10,000 mercenaries. The Bell article provides details that give credence to its history of these units; it will certainly be the basis for all future studies of what have become Vladimir Putin’s “personal private army.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: With Kremlin Backing, a New Journal ‘Questions of Ethnopolitics’ Launched in Russia

Paul Goble Staunton, January 29 – The first number of Voprosy Ethnopolitiki (“Questions of Ethnopolitics”) has appeared in Moscow. It has the backing of the Presidential Administration which wants it to be directed at both theoreticians and practical workers in this area and is edited by Magomed Omarov of the Russian State Humanities University. According to Nazaccent, the formal presentation of the journal will take place on February 1 (nazaccent.ru/content/29137-novyj-etnopoliticheskij-zhurnal-poyavilsya-v-rossii.html), but the 128-page first issue has already been posted online (ethnopolitics.ru/wp-content/uploads/ethnopolitics_magazin_1.pdf). Some idea of the focus of the journal can be gleaned from the table of contents for the first issue, and in the coming weeks, many of these articles will be the subject of Windows. But for those who read Russian, there is a rich offering of essays to be considered even before that happens: V.A. Achkasov, “Problems of Interpretation of the Basic Terms in Russian Ethnopolitical Science and Ethno-Politics” M..A. Omarov, “The Institutions of Civil Society and Their Role in the Maintenance of Inter-Ethnic Peace” L.M. Drobizheva, “Dynamics of Non-Ethnic Russian Identity” Yu.P Shabayev, “Historical Roots of Contemporary Finno-Ugric Pan-Nationalism” V.A. Avksentyev, “Ethnopolitical Processes in the North Caucasus: Stabilization, Factors and Risks” D.S. Dzhanteyeva, “Communication Strategies of Ethno-National Policy in the North Caucasus” A.G. Bolshakov, “The Language Problem in Tatarstan: Tension without Conflict” N.M. Mukharyamov, “Language Policy and Nation Building in Changing Circumstances” O.B. Yanush, “The Official Status of Languages of Minorities: The Experience of Finno-Ugri c Regions of Russia” V.K. Shabelnikov, “Psychological Problems of the Reformation of the Non-Ethnic Russian Nation” A.K. Magomedov, “The Russian North Faces Real and Deferred Ethnic Problems”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Corruption in Putin’s Russia Ever More a Form of Governance, Ryklin Says

Paul Goble Staunton, January 29 – Proposed amendments to Russia’s anti-corruption law show that the powers that be want to limit the application of that law to lower-level officials so as to allow them to profit by taking bribes without risk of punishment when tough economic times prevent them from making money in other ways, Aleksandr Ryklin says. Specifically, the commentator says in Yezhednevny zhurnal, the changes free individuals from having to observe the basic bans of the law and be subject to the penalties it establishes if “objective circumstances” force such individuals to act in ways that would otherwise appear to violate those bans (ej.ru/?a=note&id=33376). In short, Ryklin suggests, officials can no take bribes without fear of punishment if they can argue that they had no other choice but to do so in the performance of their jobs, an arrangement that allows those who do to serve as judge and jury to themselves and find themselves innocent. Significantly, he continues, the authors of the amendment don’t specify just what those circumstances might be, opening the way to the invocation of almost anything to justify taking a bribe or extracting money from others by one kind of a threat or another. Corruption, of course, is a major concern for the authorities. On the on hand, even official statistics indicate that it continues to grow. And on the other, combatting it is at the base of Aleksey Navalny’s opposition challenge to the regime, a challenge that has gained traction because most Russians don’t believe the authorities are really engaged in fighting corruption. There can be no doubt, Ryklin says, that most Russians will be extremely critical of these new amendments because they send a message to officials that the powers that be will do what they have to to ensure that those who work for the regime won’t suffer for what they do unless they run afoul of the top for other reasons. Like the recent restrictions on traffic police over when and where they can stop cars, “the upper ranks of state administration,” in this case, “are saying as it were to the lower ranks: ‘Times now are tough, there isn’t enough money in the budget for all, but we remember and are concerned about you so we are giving you the chance to take care of yourselves.’” While it may be interesting or even amusing to see what officials will come up with to excuse bribery, Ryklin says, we can already see that “the term ‘corruption’ when applied to relations between the domestic bosses and the population … has exhausted itself in principle.” It no longer has any meaning.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Are Hybrid Regimes Stable? Schulmann Thinks So

Paul Goble Staunton, January 31 – Speaking at the Sakharov Center, Ekaterina Schulmann of the Russian Academy of Economics and State Service argues that hybrid regimes in the world today may be ineffective as states but have a remarkable ability to remain in power for long periods of time (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5C5157A6E2BB1). Her comments were devoted exclusively to the situation in Venezuela, but it is certain that her listeners drew certain conclusions about Russia and especially about what can happen there if the opposition wins elections, the charismatic leader dies or passes from the scene, and a single opposition figure emerges. Venezuela is an obvious case of “a specific type of regime,” Schulmann began. It can be called “a hybrid regime” or alternatively “an electoral autocracy or competitive authoritarianism.” At present, it is “one of the most ineffective regimes in the world.” It is thus interesting to see whether it will be able to avoid complete collapse. According to the Moscow scholar, “the Venezuelan regime uses revolutionary-charismatic legitimation,” thus putting itself outside of the usual Weberian trinity of traditional, charismatic or rational legal legitimation. It thus rests on a charismatic leader and the distribution of resources from rich to poor. Until recently, elections in Venezuela were sufficiently honest that the opposition agreed to take part in them. The powers could agree to that arrangement because it had significant electoral support. But that began to collapse when oil prices did and when the founder of the regime, Ugo Chavez, passed from the scene. Without a charismatic leader and with ever fewer resources, the regime has been forced to shift from feeding the poor (its base) to feeding the security services (its last line of defense), Schulmann continued. It desperately needs resources and has sought them in China which has given up on the regime and in Russia, which hasn’t, because if the current regime falls, it will pump more oil to get more money and thus send the price of oil down further. She argued that one of the chief factors explaining why a regime like Venezuela’s has the ability to survive as long as it has is the existence of open borders. “In contrast to totalitarian regimes, which limit exit, hybrid regimes encourage it. The opposition leaves, and those on whom the regime can count remain.” A further source of strength of the Venezuela powers that be, Schulmann says, is the link between the regime and drug trafficking networks. Given all this, she said, what could bring down such a regime? Elections in which the regime won less than 50 percent of the vote but sought to cling to power, cutbacks in aid from abroad, increasing evidence of incompetent governance, the appearance of a single opposition leader, and the incautious use of repression. However, the Moscow scholar suggested, “a really serious shock to the stability of the regime” could come “only from “direct military aggression.” That seems unlikely. “We live in the most peaceful time,” something that is in contrast to the past and good in and of itself,” she said. But the flipside of this coin is that “such hybrid, authoritarian and ineffective regimes survive a long time since a revolution will hardly occur. No one is running to the barricades.” The regime in Venezuela will fall “quickly;” but “this ‘quickly’ may draw out for a long time.”

How Russia Is Strong-Arming Apple – To Inform is to Influence

Apple is being forced by Russia to store Russian users’ information in Russia. This elicits privacy fears, a real issue in Russia. Russia is cracking down on any and all means of communications, privacy is not an option. Potentially Apple’s iMessage service will be affected. </end editorial>

How Russia Is Strong-Arming Apple – Foreign Policy

Moscow is demanding control over users’ personal data.

How to Get a 146% Election Result – To Inform is to Influence

A new whistleblower has now emerged from inside a Russian state media organisation. This time it is Leonid Krivenkov, a former camera operator on the state TV channel Rossiya 24, who in an interview tells RFE/RL about how the propaganda output is managed by his ex-employer.

MH17 tragedy: Largest class-action lawsuit filed against Putin – news politics | UNIAN

Relatives of the victims of MH17, a Malaysian Boeing shot down by Russian-led forces in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, in summer 2014, have filed the largest class-action lawsuit against the Russian Federation and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The number of plaintiffs in the case is 291 people now.

UAWire – Once again a hole discovered in the booster block of a Russian rocket

On February 19th, a Russian rocket was supposed to bring a batch of internet satellites into orbit under a Roscosmos contract with the British …

Volker: Russia May Face More Action Over Detention Of Ukrainian Sailors

The U.S. special envoy for Ukraine says Washington and Europe are considering measures against Russia for its detention of 24 Ukrainian crew members captured in the Kerch Strait.

US, EU might impose new sanctions on Russia for actions in Kerch Strait, – Volker

01.02.19 11:12 – US, EU might impose new sanctions on Russia for actions in Kerch Strait, – Volker Russia has extended the arrest of Ukrainian sailors at least until Ukraine presidential elections are finished. U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker says that the sailors might be used as a tool for political pressure. View news.

Volker: International observers needed in Sea of Azov, Black Sea

Washington considers it expedient to introduce additional international monitoring of the situation at sea amid the conflict of Russia against Ukraine. — Ukrinform.

Volker supports deployment of international monitors in “uncontested” Ukrainian territories along Azov coastline – news politics | UNIAN

Special Representative of the U.S. State Department for Ukraine Negotiations, Kurt Volker, has supported inviting international observers to monitor the Sea of Azov from the Ukrainian territory, which has not been occupied. According to the U.S. special representative, international monitors could help deter Russian violence in the area.

Volker: U.S. to work with any democratically-elected president of Ukraine – news politics | UNIAN

U.S. Department of State Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, Ambassador Kurt Volker, expressed hope that Russia would finally decide to stop the war in Donbas no matter who wins the presidential and parliamentary elections this year. He added that the United States continues to support Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, as well as safety and security for all Ukrainian citizens “regardless of ethnicity, nationality, or religion.”

Ukraine is finally moving in right direction, – Volker – 112.international

Over the past four years after Maidan, Ukraine succeeded much more in strengthening national identity, reforms, which led to economic growth, than over the past couple of decades, as the U.S. Special Representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker said in an interview for Pryamy. “I think that this is that important prospective which should be preserved and noticed. I know that the Ukrainians can’ wait for the state to develop. And the reasons for this are clear. This should be this way. People should demand more!” Volker believes.

Volker on Sajdik’s peace plan for Donbas: Russia has to stop war and accept UN peacekeeping operation into Donbas

31.01.19 12:28 – Volker on Sajdik’s peace plan for Donbas: Russia has to stop war and accept UN peacekeeping operation into Donbas Martin Sajdik does not suggest an alternative to Minsk agreements, but merely expresses some ideas regarding their implementation. Russia has to end the war and allow the UN peacekeeping operation enter Donbas. View news.

Gerashchenko: Sajdik has no mandate to draw up Donbas peace plans – news politics | UNIAN

First Deputy Chair of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Iryna Gerashchenko, believes that the “Donbas peace plan”, which was announced by OSCE Special Representative in the Tripartite Contact Group, Martin Sajdik, is his independent initiative. Earlier, a UN official said the organization had nothing to do with the plan, although noting that he supports proposals to achieve peace in Donbas.

US backs Ukraine’s future membership in NATO, – Volker

01.02.19 12:51 – US backs Ukraine’s future membership in NATO, – Volker The United States supports Ukraine’s future membership in NATO, said the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker on Jan. 31. View news.

Ukraine’s parliament to amend Constitution on entering NATO on February 7 – 112.international

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine intends to vote for the final amendments to the Constitution on the foreign policy on the entering the EU and NATO on the plenary session on February 7 as the website of the parliament reported. The draft law #9037 provides the amendments to the preamble of the Constitution, according to which, the parliament confirms the European identity of the Ukrainians and irreversibility of the European and Euro-Atlantic course of Ukraine. Related: Cabinet upholds Ukraine-NATO annual national program for 2019 The Verkhovna Rada, the president and the Cabinet of Minister should implement such a course. The norm, which allows the foreign military formations to use the working military bases on the territory of Ukraine on the terms of rent, according to the international agreements, is excluded from the transitional provisions.

Verkhovna Rada to formalize Ukraine’s course towards EU and NATO membership in amendments to constitution

01.02.19 13:59 – Verkhovna Rada to formalize Ukraine’s course towards EU and NATO membership in amendments to constitution Next week’s agenda for the new parliamentary session includes formalization of Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic course in the constitution. View news.

War won’t prevent Ukraine from completing army reform, adopting NATO standards – Turchynov

Oleksandr Turchynov, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC), has said that despite the war, Ukraine is reforming the security and defense sector according to NATO standards.

Poltorak discusses further cooperation with foreign strategic advisers

Defense Minister of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak has held a meeting with foreign high-level strategic advisers of the Committee for Reforms of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry and the Armed Forces, the Defense Ministry’s press service reports. — Ukrinform.

Tuka: Europe, U.S. use only 5-10% of potential sanctions against Russia – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian Deputy Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons George Tuka says that Europe and the United States use only 5-10% of potential sanctions against Russia. The Ukrainian official says that political and economic sanctions against Russia must be toughened. Ukrainian Deputy Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons George Tuka says that Europe and the United States use only 5-10% of potential sanctions against Russia. “The reason is that the civilized world is not ready for full-fledged war with the Russian Federation. It is not ready mentally and morally. What is why our partners in every possible way try to avoid the development of events towards military escalation,” he told Oboz TV. “Most of them are aware and realize which risks civilization is facing. And they don’t want to bother that ‘Russian bear’ for every little thing,” Tuka explained. Yet, he believes, political and economic sanctions against Russia must be tougher. In fact, the international community may exert greater leverage over the Russian economy that may turn to be very effective. “Now the United States has announced that another package of sanctions is in the pipeline, which will be the toughest one. Well, let’s wait and see,” he added.

NBU: Launch of gas pipelines bypassing Ukraine to halve gas transit revenue – news economics | UNIAN

First Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Kateryna Rozhkova says the regulator expects revenue from natural gas transit shipments via Ukraine to halve after the launch of gas pipelines bypassing the country. Proceeds from natural gas transit now total US$3 billion per year.

UAWire – Kyiv: Germany is ready to send warships to the Black Sea

During a meeting with the Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Defense, Anatoliy Petrenko, representatives of the German government assured their …

EU Again Urges Moscow To Release Ukrainian Sailors

The European Union has again called on Russia to immediately and unconditionally release the 24 Ukrainian Navy sailors seized along with their three naval vessels last year near the Kerch Strait, w…

EU increasing pressure on Russia to free Ukrainian sailors – media

Europe has stepped up pressure on Russia to free Ukrainian sailors, amid concern of a potential flare-up in the four-year old conflict, EUobserver has reported. — Ukrinform.

UAWire – Ukrainian Supreme Court allows seizing Russian banks assets to recover losses in Crimea

The Supreme Court of Ukraine allowed seizing shares of Russian financial institutions as compensation for the annexation of the Crimea, the …

Azov special forces unit returns to Donbas – news war | UNIAN

The Azov separate special forces unit, which is part of the National Guard of Ukraine (NGU), has returned to the front line in Donbas, eastern Ukraine. The Azov was withdrawn from Mariupol in the summer of 2016. “Fighters of our unit have returned to the front line to fight for the independence of Ukraine and, together with their swore brothers from the Armed Forces, are performing combat tasks in accordance with the orders of the high command,” the regiment’s press service said on February 1. This NGU unit has become the first one in recent years that was deployed along the front line in Donbas, it said. As UNIAN reported earlier, Azov was withdrawn from Mariupol in the summer of 2016, as was ordered by the NGU command. Read more on UNIAN:https://www.unian.info/war/10430781-azov-special-forces-unit-returns-to-donbas.html

‘Iron Lilya’: Human Rights Defender Challenges Authority In Crimea

Human rights lawyer Lilya Gemedzhi defends Crimean Tatars against persecution in Russia-annexed Crimea. Wearing a hijab in court, she is a rare sight, and a hero to her clients and her four children.

Russia’s illegal blockade of Azov Sea caused UAH 10 bln damage, – Omelian

01.02.19 15:31 – Russia’s illegal blockade of Azov Sea caused UAH 10 bln damage, – Omelian To avoid damage, shipowners redirect their cargoes to the Black Sea ports. View news.

Seven attacks against Ukraine army in past day: no losses, two terrorists destroyed, – JFO center

31.01.19 10:20 – Seven attacks against Ukraine army in past day: no losses, two terrorists destroyed, – JFO center Jan. 30, Russia occupation forces violated the ceasefire seven times employing weapons prohibited by Minsk agreements three times. View news.

Ukraine military destroy enemy’s ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft gun placed on MTLB, – JFO center. PHOTO

31.01.19 15:55 – Ukraine military destroy enemy’s ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft gun placed on AMPV, – JFO center. PHOTO The Ukraine military have destroyed an enemy’s armored multi-purpose vehicle (AMPV). View news.

OSCE spots amassing of heavy weapons in Russian-occupied Donbas – news war | UNIAN

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine has spotted the amassing of heavy weapons in Russian-occupied Donbas. Russian-led forces continue violating the withdrawal lines defined by the Minsk agreements.

UAWire – France provides Ukraine with a $64 million loan to upgrade water supply system in Mariupol

On Tuesday, Ukraine signed a contract with France for a line of credit to complete the project of providing water in Mariupol.  The loan in the …

Lie-Detector Loyalty Tests Proposed For Ukrainians In Separatist-Controlled East

Doubts have been raised in Ukraine about a prosecutor’s proposal for residents of the separatist-controlled east to face a loyalty lie detector test.

Over five million people affected by forgotten Ukraine crisis – NRC – news ukraine | UNIAN

Almost five years of conflict has affected 5.2 million Ukrainians. Despite growing needs, the conflict in eastern Ukraine continues to be a forgotten crisis. Today, humanitarian actors launched the 2019 Ukraine Humanitarian Response Plan requesting US$162 million to reach 3.5 million people in need.

Ukrainian army capable of repelling aggressor in Donbas – Joint Forces Commander – news war | UNIAN

Commander of Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation (JFO) Serhiy Nayev has said the Ukrainian Armed Forces are fully capable of repelling the aggressor. The Ukrainian army regularly conducts drills to maintain combat readiness.

57,000 women serve in Ukrainian army, – defense minister – 112.international

Currently, there are 57,000 women serving in the Ukrainian armed forces. Stepan Poltorak, the defense minister said that during the session of Committee for Reforms, which is a department of the Ministry on Thursday. ‘We stay loyal to the idea of gender equality; on the legal basis, we stated equal rights and freedoms of men and women during the military service. There are 57,000 female employees in the Armed Forces. That includes 26,000 service staff and 3,500 officers’, Poltorak said. In October 2018, President Petro Poroshenko said the number of women serving in the military was 55,000. In autumn 2018, the law on equal rights of men and women in the Armed Forces took effect. It stipulates that women can serve not until they turn 40 but until they reach the age limit of active duty in the military. That concerns both conscripts and those serving under contract. That makes 45 years for the privates and 60 for those from the high-rank officer corps.

242 children killed since start of Russian aggression against Ukraine

Since the start of Russian aggression against Ukraine, more than 2,500 civilians have been killed, including 242 children. — Ukrinform.

At least 2,500 civilians including 242 children died in Donbas since war started, – Ministry of Defense

01.02.19 15:57 – At least 2,500 civilians including 242 children died in Donbas since war started, – Ministry of Defense At least 2.5 thousand civilians have died in the hostilities in Donbas and another 10 thousand were injured, said the head of the Ukraine Defense Ministry’s environmental security and demining department Maksym Komisarov. View news.

Poroshenko signs law on direct purchases by Defense Ministry of imported military products

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has signed the law on amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine regarding the purchase of imported products, labor and services for defense purposes.

It’s ‘Me or Putin’: Ukrainians left confused over president’s campaign slogan | Euronews

Choose ‘either Poroshenko or Putin’: audience left confused after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko revealed his campaign slogan

Eleven assassination attempts on Ukrainian president prevented last year

Eleven assassination attempts on the President of Ukraine were prevented last year. “In 2018, about eleven assassination attempts on the President of Ukraine were prevented,” Chief of the State Guard Department Valeriy Heletey said in an interview with the UA: Ukrainian Radio. He noted that the State Guard Department staff works closely with the Security Service of Ukraine, the police and the intelligence in the process of preparing for any events involving a large number of people, especially with participation of the persons guarded. In addition, Heletey noted that the State Guard Department employees followed the assassination attempts, which are committed in foreign countries, on the leaders of countries, the persons guarded, political leaders, studying deficiencies in the guard of such persons and the mechanism of committing an attempt.

Preelection Dismissal At Ukraine’s Public Broadcaster Sparks Outcry

The supervisory board of Ukraine’s public broadcaster has fired the operator’s director without explanation in a closed-door decision just two months before a potentially divisive presidential elec…

Conditions Under Which Russia Will Cease Ukraine Aggressions – To Inform is to Influence

A Ukrainian political expert says two things will prevent Russian aggression in Ukraine. Create a strong Ukraine military International sanctions become strangling to Russia Ukraine has built up its military, nonstop, since early 2014. It is expensive, it’s a drain on the Ukraine economy, and all under the threat of an imminent Russian invasion. Many more years of this buildup would be needed. In the meantime, constant Russian aggression adds to the battle fatigue of the Ukrainian people. …to the Ukrainian people, it seems to be worth them sleeping more soundly and having peace of mind. International sanctions against Russia increase with each Russian crisis. The sanctions are having an effect, but they are not biting deeply enough and are not strangling Russia. Perhaps Russia recognizes that every action is met with something akin to Newton’s Third Law of motion: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Where this fails is in the application. Proportionality is not the same as equal and opposite. I have yet to understand how sanctions have been applied, to date, against Russia. Russia has to be stopped. </end editorial>

Ukraine to apply for associate membership in Horizon Europe programme

By the end of the year, Ukraine will apply for associate participation in the new “Horizon Europe” EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, which starts in 2021. — Ukrinform.

Ukrainian hostages, excluded from swap lists, could be tortured to death in occupied territories, – Iryna Herashchenko

31.01.19 11:01 – Ukrainian hostages, excluded from swap lists, could be tortured to death in occupied territories, – Iryna Herashchenko Ukrainian hostages whose names are not on the swap lists could have been killed or tortured to death in the occupied Donbas territories. View news.

Political prisoner Pavlo Hryb will die without surgery – father – news ukraine | UNIAN

Ukrainian political prisoner Pavlo Hryb, who is being tried in Russia for allegedly plotting a terrorist attack, urgently needs surgery since his state of health has deteriorated sharply. Pavlo is suffering from a new disease, such as cirrhosis of the liver.

Russia denies Ukrainian consul access to political prisoner Pavlo Hryb who needs urgent medical care – news politics | UNIAN

The Ukrainian foreign ministry says Russia has denied a Ukrainian consul’s an opportunity to visit the illegally detained political prisoner, Pavlo Hryb. MFA Ukraine has expressed strong protest to Russia over the fact.

Labour migrants transfer $11bn to Ukraine over year – LB.ua news portal

Labour migrants transfer $11bn to Ukraine over year. The inflow is expected to slow down in the future. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Ukraine pulls out of another CIS-related deal – news economics | UNIAN

Ukraine’s Economic Development and Trade Ministry says Ukraine has pulled out of a deal defining the general terms of commodities shipments between the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry will inform the CIS Executive Committee on withdrawal from the deal in the prescribed manner.

SBU blocks illegal sale of four aircraft engines

Ukrainian law enforcers have thwarted the illegal sale of four aircraft engines worth $28 million to a country in the Middle East, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office has reported. — Ukrinform.

Kick In The Grass: Fans Jeer Ukrainian Soccer Player’s Transfer To Russia

A top Ukrainian soccer player’s decision to move to an elite team in Russia has not only triggered anger in Ukraine, but highlighted the dire state of the game there.