Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (87)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

This one paragraph in the anonymous expert’s summary should grab your attention.  A 10:1 loss ratio is unacceptable in any professional army, but Russia has glorified these sacrificial warriors as heroes. My contention is it is really bad leadership, systemic incompetence, and a lack of accountability reinforcing bad generals.  Russia, quite obviously, does not have an equal value for human lives as does the West. Russia’s soldiers have always been and will continue being expendable, otherwise, why glorify the loss of millions in the Great Patriotic War?

Russian losses in Donbas appear to follow past 10:1 kill ratio pattern – this is more expensive than Muscovy would ever admit, even if Russian troops are expendable.

We in the West greatly mourn the loss of even one soldier. 

</end editorial>



Missile defense report importantly identifies ballistic and cruise missiles as threats, departing from past focus on ballistic threats. Much argument over the INF – China predictably objects as no INF allows the US and Russia to symmetrically counter China’s large IRBM and GLCM forces. Most curious is the theatre in Muscovy over this move, despite it doing exactly what Muscovy asked for. Three digests on Russia’s internal meltdown. Estonia wants Russia to compensate it for the Soviet occupation, Russia wants the CoE to pay back past Russian contributions, and a major scandal over faked aviation Titanium parts exported from Russia.

Four interesting essays on the Vozhd and his successful seduction of foreign and domestic players, and the Russian public. Seven reports on social media, from the bizarre to the welcome.

Schindler on Russia’s obsession with false flag operations, while Russia brags about equipping its surface combatants with blinding laser equipment – the illegal and collectively rejected means seem to be Russia’s first choice to gain an advantage.

The Head of Ukraine’s Foreign Intelligence Service, Bozhok, briefs on the effectiveness of Ukrainian sanctions on Russia, that just forced the sale of several incomplete surface combatants to India, as Russia cannot source the Ukrainian gas turbine engines, but India can.

Updates on Azov / Black Sea / Crimea – Western analysts arguing Russia will not attack, Ukrainian FIS more conservatively assessing that it is one of Russia’s options if their other strategies fail, which they appear to be doing. More environmental problems in Crimea following past Russian practices.

Donbas update, while the US continues aerial surveillance of Transnistria. Russian losses in Donbas appear to follow past 10:1 kill ratio pattern – this is more expensive than Muscovy would ever admit, even if Russian troops are expendable.

An interesting report from Chinese sources repeated by French media, claiming the Israeli AF used the Ukrainian Kolchuga emitter locating system they recently bought to geolocate Syrian radars and SAMs during the last major raid, and attack them. Update on Ukrainian-Polish Narva short-range SAM system.

Updates on politics and economy – Ukrainian railways very pleased with GE locomotives. Election update – Russian  “observers” will be banned.

OCU/ROC update: more than 200 parishes have already defected from the ROC. More on the survey showing the percentage of public loyal to the ROC is almost exactly the percentage of the population who are self-identified ethnic Russian. Russia attempts to cause mayhem in Georgian church to prevent it from recognizing the OCU. AI on Russian persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses.


Missile Defense Alert – WSJ

As global threats grow, the U.S. needs space-based sensors.

Trump’s Missile Defense Review: Russia expanding strategic offensive missile systems – Defence Blog

The Trump administration on 17 January unveiled itsMissile Defense Review (MDR), which said Russia is expanding and modernizing its strategic offensive missile systems, including the development of advanced technologies. According to the review, Russia is enhancing existing offensive missile systems and developing advanced sea- and air-launched cruise missiles as well as hypersonic capabilities. Russia considers the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to be the principal threat to its contemporary revisionist geopolitical ambitions and routinely conducts exercises involving simulated nuclear strikes against the U.S. homeland. Russian strategy and doctrine emphasize the coercive and potential military uses of nuclear weapons, particularly including nuclear-armed, offensive missiles, and has sought to enable this strategy through a comprehensive modernization of its strategic and theater missile arsenals. As counted under the 2010 New START Treaty, Russia is permitted a total of 700 deployed ICBMs, sea-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM), and heavy bombers, and 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear warheads. Russian leaders also claim that Russia possesses a new class of missile, the hypersonic glide vehicles (HGV), which maneuver and typically travel at velocities greater than Mach 5 in or just above the atmosphere. Moscow is fielding an increasingly advanced and diverse range of nuclear-capable regional offensive missile systems, including missiles with unprecedented characteristics of altitude, speed, propulsion type, and range. These missile systems are a critical enabler of Russia’s coercive escalation strategy and nuclear threats to U.S. allies and partners. It is developing a new generation of advanced regional ballistic and cruise missiles that support its anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) strategy intended to defeat U.S. and allied will and capability in regional crises or conflicts. Since 2015, Russia has demonstrated its advanced cruise missile capability by repeatedly conducting long-range precision strikes into Syria, and has fielded a ground-launched, intermediate-range cruise missile, the SSC-8, in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. These highly effective land attack cruise missiles (LACM) fly at low altitudes below a radar’s line-of-sight, which presents a potentially major threat to U.S. regional military operations and deterrence goals. While the majority of LACMs presently fly at subsonic speeds, in the future it appears that some will be able to reach hypersonic speeds. Russia also has long made substantial investments in its own missile defense systems. Russia and China are also developing Adversary Missile Defense and Antisatellite (ASAT) capabilities that could threaten U.S. space-based assets. For example, Russia maintains and modernizes its longstanding strategic missile defense system deployed around Moscow, including 68 nuclear-armed interceptors, and has fielded multiple types of shorter-range, mobile missile defense systems throughout Russia. In addition, Russia is developing a diverse suite of ground-launched and directed-energy ASAT capabilities , and continues to launch “experimental” satellites that conduct sophisticated onorbit activities to advance Russian counterspace capabilities.

Pentagon Studies Post-INF Weapons, Shooting Down Hypersonics « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary

The Pentagon has almost completed a study of how to shoot down hypersonic missiles. It’s also developing new offensive weapons — conventional, not nuclear — whose deployment will become legal with the end of the INF Treaty.

Beijing: No expansion of INF treaty to cover China

Chinese President Xi Jinping doesn’t want to negotiate expanding a landmark Cold War nuclear arms control treaty to cover Beijing’s military, a top Communist diplomat said Saturday.

China opposes US withdrawal from INF

China on Saturday said it opposes the US decision to withdraw from a landmark Cold War nuclear missile treaty and urged Washington and Russia to hold “constructive” discussions. Moscow and Washington have long accused the other of violating the key Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces agreement

UAWire – Russia accuses the US of producing medium-range missiles, publishes satellite images of missile manufacturing facility

Russian Defense Ministry stated that the USA government is allegedly going to manufacture medium-range missiles in the state of Arizona. The …

Russian efforts for disarmament unsupported by ‘partners’ for years – Putin — RT Russia News

Moscow tried to arrange “substantial” disarmament talks for years, but ‘partners’ didn’t support this initiative, the Russian president said while announcing the suspension of the INF Treaty in a ‘mirror’ response to US steps.

After killing INF US has ‘free hand’ to reassert ‘supremacy in the world’ with ‘new arms race’ — RT World News

The collapse of the INF Treaty, conceded by the Kremlin on Saturday, is the result of decades-long “strategic destabilization of the nuclear balance” by the US, which wants a new international order, and perhaps a fresh arms race.

TASS: Russian Politics & Diplomacy – Russia’s cabinet to fund R&D of new weapons following US withdrawal from INF Treaty

«This will not be left without an efficient response,» Dmitry Medvedev said

Vladimir Putin threatens to revive arms race as US abandons treaty | World | The Sunday Times

Russia has vowed to develop a new range of missiles — including a hypersonic weapon able to travel at five times the speed of sound — after announcing yesterday that it was following America and pulling out of an arms treaty signed in 1987 in the dying days of the Cold War.“We will come up with a ti

Vladimir Putin demands production of more nuclear warheads after Donald Trump abandons treaty – NY Daily News

vladimir putin orderse russia to develop new nuclear warheads

Putin RAGES at ‘immature’ Trump after pulling out of nuclear treaty | World | News | Express.co.uk

VLADIMIR Putin has raged at “immature” Donald Trump after following the US by withdrawing Russia from a Cold-war era missile treaty.

Cold War has not been renewed despite breakdown of arms treaty, Russia says

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov played down the possibility of renewed Cold War-era hostilities after the breakdown of an arms control treaty between Washington and Moscow.

Analysts Call Scrapping INF ‘Strategic Catastrophe’ for Kremlin

Arms control outlook appears especially bleak from Russia, but some experts see a pathway to resolving INF debacle

Why Putin won’t be mad about Trump pulling out of the INF Treaty – The Washington Post

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from the treaty; now Trump has done it for him.

Russia suspends nuclear missile treaty – CNN

Russia has announced it is suspending participation in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty — one day after the US declared it would pull out of the agreement.

Trump Administration Downplays Fears of Post-Treaty Arms Race – Defense One

\”Nothing the U.S. is currently looking at is nuclear in character,” a senior administration official says, after announcing INF withdrawal.

Jens Stoltenberg on Twitter: “Russia is in material breach of the #INFTreaty & must use next 6 months to return to full & verifiable compliance or bear sole responsibility for its demise. #NATO fully supports the US suspension & notification of withdrawal from the Treaty: https://t.co/VOhUB0HoAd… https://t.co/ldI96A2QgJ”

 

RIP INF: China, Russia, and America May Enter into a Deadly Arms Race | The National Interest

What happens now?

Democrats warn of “arms race” after Trump pulls out of nuke treaty with Russia | Salon.com

Administration is likely to cancel a 1987 nuclear arms treaty with Russia. Democrats say it’s a “gift” to Putin

Welcome to the new nuclear arms race | TheHill

We have seen this movie before, and it does not end well.

U.S. Is ‘Destroying the Entire Arms Control System,’ Russia Warns After Trump Withdraws From Nuclear Treaty

The Russian foreign minister raised concerns that Washington was “dramatically” lowering the “threshold for the use of nuclear weapons” while increasing “the risk of a nuclear conflict.”

INF folly: Leaving landmark arms control deal is bad for US security

Arms control treaties, like all diplomatic relations, require work and continued negotiations. The INF is no different.

US And Russia Potentially Re-Enter Nuclear Arms Race | The Daily Caller

Russia announced Saturday that they will be pulling out of the Cold War-era nuclear arms treaty, known as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

It probably doesn’t matter if Putin’s new nukes are going hypersonic

Blast from the past (hopefully not literally)

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Regime Uses Repression Because It has Nothing to Offer and Fears the People, Solovey Says

Paul Goble Staunton, February 2 – The Putin regime is increasingly applying repression because it no longer has anything else to offer and because it fears that the population, ever more of whom have nothing to lose, will only stay in line if its members fear the powers that be more than the powers that be fear the people, according to Valery Solovey. In comments to Ekho Moskvy’s Irina Vorobyeva of the Special Opinion program, the MGIMO professor says that the authorities are repeating the Bolshevik mistake of assuming that anyone who is not with the powers is against them, something that is forcing Russians to make a moral choice and one not in the Kremlin’s favor (echo.msk.ru/guests/9032/). The ongoing attacks on Open Russia are an illustration of this pattern, Solovey suggests. Significantly, they are taking place first in the regions so that some in Moscow will blame them on “’provincial idiotism,’” although in fact, “the situation in certain places is really becoming explosive.” By such actions, the authorities are unwittingly causing many Russians to assess what is going on from the position of morality. That had been absent in Russian politics in recent years, but now it has assumed “colossal importance” and appears likely to force even those who want to avoid taking a stand to do so. Those in the regime and in the media know that this could work against them, Solovey says; but they “hope that if the situation becomes critical, they will be able to leave the country. They show this by all their behavior” with their property and even families abroad. They will leave and “write their memoirs” while Russians who remain will suffer. The powers that be hope to push the date of their own departure off by instilling fear in the population, the traditional manner of building power in Russia. But fear only works if people feel they have something to lose. Given the economic crisis, ever fewer of them do unless the regime plans to jail or even kill far more of them as Stalin did. “But as soon as the powers that be encounter collective resistance, they will immediately pull back,” Solovey continues, “because those doing the frightening now are themselves very afraid.” They risk losing not only their comfortable lives but even their lives as such in the event of a popular rising. With Russians increasingly evaluating politicians in moral terms and seeing that the powers that be are enriching themselves at the expense of the population and offering only repression in exchange, this possibility is something no one in authority is prepared to discount entirely. It may not happen soon, but it may happen and that is increasingly defining the situation, Solovey continues, adding that there are two other reasons why repression is increasing and why ever more Russians are angry about that as well as about the inability of the powers that be to offer them anything else. On the one hand, people can see that “Stalin modernized the country at the expense of the peasants.” But now Putin is trying to do so “at the expense of the urban population,” a larger and potentially more dangerous group. And on the other, it is becoming obvious that there is no “power vertical” in Russia. That is “an enormous invention.” There is only the direct, authoritarian and increasingly repressive rule of a single individual who may intervene or not on any particular issue but who is not acting rationally in favor of the country but only in favor of himself.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russians Who Claim to be ‘Living Citizens of the USSR’ an Increasing Problem for Authorities

Paul Goble Staunton, February 4 – The Kremlin may be pleased that ever more Russians seem inclined to have a positive attitude toward the Soviet period of national history, but Russian officials are anything but pleased by the destructive consequences of those Russians who identify as “living citizens of the USSR” and refuse to pay bills or use Russian documents. In the regions, “the movement is rapidly gathering strength,” no longer just the actions of a few marginals but a real movement who are seeking to establish “their own state and consider residents of the Russian Federation and Russian officials as “’dead’” to them, one telegram channel reports (t.me/teory_elit/7338 as discussed at iarex.ru/news/64086.html). These “Soviet citizens” refuse to obey Russian laws, pay for communal services as required, and denounce all official documents such as passports as bearing “’the mark of slaves.’” They typically inundate companies and officials with letters and emails denouncing the latter as false and declaring that they will not pay their bills or have anything to do with them. In Kurgan Oblast, these people have even declared the formation of a Kurgan oblast executive committee and begun to try to correspond with foreign diplomatic missions, actions that have prompted the powers that be to intervene and bring charges against them (t.me/teory_elit/7882). The Kurgan activists are not alone. There are others in various parts of the country who argue that “the Soviet Union has not ceased to exist but is simply ‘temporarily occupied by private commercial enterprises,’” that were put in place by the United States. Some of these groups have existed for several years and have even established “soviets of peoples deputies.” Russian officials are especially concerned because these groups advocate not paying for communal services, something many Russians are not doing at present in any case because of poverty. But the authorities must also be concerned about yet another movement that denounces the current powers that be as fundamentally illegitimate. In the longer term, that may matter far more in terms of what happens next in Russia than the failure of a few people to pay their bills.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin’s War in Ukraine Looks Very Different in Pskov than It Does in Moscow, New Book Shows

Paul Goble Staunton, February 4 – A new book, entitled Russia and Ukraine. Days of Eclipse, which collects articles about Putin’s war in Ukraine that were published in Pskovskaya guberniya between 2014 and 2017 shows that that conflict looks very different in Pskov than it does in Moscow, a regional variation few have paid much attention to. The Russian-language book was presented at Moscow’s Sakharov Center, Aleksandr Semenova says, with some of those behind it fearful that the police might raid the place to stop this from taking place. Fortunately, that did not happen – or at least it hasn’t yet (mbk-news.appspot.com/suzhet/luchshe-by-etoj-knigi-ne-bylo/). Pskov opposition politician and commentator Lev Shlosberg said that it would have been better if this book had not had to appear because it would have been better if the tragic events in Ukraine had not occurred and those whose deaths are recounted were still alive. Historian Andrey Zubov agreed, noting that the war had “dehumanized” opponents. The book’s various authors said that they had been able to publish only a small part of the information which they had received from people in Pskov oblast alone, but even that much shows how false the accounts of the Russian authorities are and how efforts to classify everything ultimately fail. Ukrainian journalist Svetlana Prokopyev said that Moscow’s denial of its role in Ukraine reflected a kind of “shamanism: if one doesn’t pronounce the word ‘war, then it doesn’t exist and there are no losses” beyond those of a few “volunteers.” Of course, such things fool only a few people and only for a short time. “Despite the tragic nature of the events which were discussed at this meeting,” Semenova says in her report, “the session ended on a positive note: In their concluding speeches, the journalists for the Pskov newspaper and Lev Shlosberg expressed the hope that the war in Ukraine will soon end, “’a hope that unites all those gathered there.’” Shlosberg said that the new book will be given for free to all who want to read it. In Moscow, those who do can turn to the Sakharov Center or to the press secretary of the Moscwo branch of the Yabloko Party, Igor Yakovlev.

U.S. Congress looking into Deutsche Bank’s loan to Russian VTB – news economics | UNIAN

Deutsche Bank AG, seeking to slash its exposure to Russia in late 2016, scrambled to shed a $600 million loan it had outstanding to VTB Group, a large Russian state-owned bank, according to documents and people familiar with the funding. Congressmen suggest financial ties between the two banks could somehow be connected to the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

Estonia urges Russia to pay compensation for Soviet occupation – 112.international

Estonian Justice Minister Urmas Reinsalu demands compensation from Russia for the Soviet occupation. The minister stated this in an article in the Eesti Paevaleht newspaper, Interfax-Ukraine reports. “Those who today make celebratory speeches about the importance of the Tartu Peace should not forget that legal continuity cannot be selective. The Soviet Union occupied Estonia, violating Tartu Peace itself,” the minister said. According to him, “Russia, as the successor of the Soviet Union, must recognize this, and, on the basis of international law, is obliged to compensate for the damage it has caused.” The head of the Ministry of Justice previously spoke on this topic. The ministry headed by him estimated the damage from the Soviet occupation at 1.2 billion euros.

Russia plans to demand return of its contributions from Council of Europe – 112.international

Russian State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin proposed that the Council of Europe should return the fees that Moscow paid during its non-participation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. This is reported by Interfax. “This is about 10 billion rubles (152 million USD, – ed.), this is a large amount. Of course, we need it, the country needs it to solve the issues of its citizens. We want to start negotiations, to be heard, and to describe this issue,” Volodin said. When asked, what mechanisms Russia would use to return this money, Volodin stated: “We are conducting the dialogue. And I hope that the next negotiations (and we continue to negotiate) will include discussing this topic.” However, the procedure for the return of contributions paid by members of the Council of Europe does not exist today.

Russian industry used counterfeit metal to produce aircraft – To Inform is to Influence

This is truly scary news, and it has potentially global impact. VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation, a company which supplies critical titanium parts for the aerospace industry, including Boeing, The plane you may be flying in next trip could have counterfeit metal parts in critical areas. The investigation has just begun. More than 750 fake certificates were issued. What is unclear is the number of pieces each faked certificate might cover, their specific place in an aircraft, etc. This is a clear kick in the pants to the VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation, but if the fakery is taking place there, where else in Russia might it be taking place? How often are substandard parts manufactured in Russia and why did it take seven years to uncover? Who certifies the certifiers? </end editorial>

Russian industry used counterfeit metal to produce aircraft – Defence Blog

Russian industry has used a counterfeit metal by titanium giant VSMPO-Avisma while in produce and repair of aircraft. On 4 February, Russian media have reported that more than 750 fake certificates for titanium products manufactured by VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation were found at the Voronezh aircraft factory. All of them were delivered to the factory in 2011-2018, follows from the report of the Deputy Prosecutor of the region Yuri Nemkin. He presented this information at the board meeting on Thursday, January 31. Counterfeit metal was used for creation and repair of the aircraft. The prosecutors are sure, that after taking measures, this kind of actions are stopped. The company suffered damage more than 7.5 million rubles. A criminal case about abuse of authority has been initiated and is investigating now. (part 1 of article 201 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). The maximum sanction according to the article is up to 4 years in prison. VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation supplying its products to the aerospace, chemical industry, power engineering industries. VSMPO-AVISMA supplies Russian defense companies and also Boeing with titanium on long-term contracts. According to the Russian firm, it meets 35 percent of Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ demand for the metal. Besides, VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation became the first Russian partner of Airbus company, whom the aircraft building concern named the supplier of best quality products. It was stated by Mr. Orazio Lanzotti, the Airbus representative, on 6th February. The meeting of Mr. Orazio Lanzotti with the top management of Corporation represented by Oleg Leder, Marketing & Sales Deputy Director General, Mikhail Leder, Science & Technology Director, and Oleg Ryabov, Production Director, was held on 6th February in the VSMPO museum – exhibition centre. Mr. Orazio Lanzotti presented to the Corporation top management a delicate crystal-glass statuette as a token of recognition of the Russian enterprise as the supplier of quality products to the largest European aircraft manufacturer. Tags: Russia

UAWire – 291 people join the MH17 crash lawsuit against Russia

291 people have joined the lawsuit against Russia and President Vladimir Putin in connection with the crash of the MN17 flight in the European …

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russians have Turned on Putin Because They Never Identified with Him to the Degree People Thought, Polyakov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, February 4 – The speed with which Russians have changed their views on Vladimir Putin shows that they were never as attached to him as many had thought and therefore could turn on him when they became unhappy with the consequences his policies have had for their lives, Mikhail Polyakov says. Had they been as attached to Putin’s person as many believed, the Russian people might have become more negative about him when things went wrong but they would not have done so so quickly and so radically as has been the case in the last six months, the Moscow commentator says (publizist.ru/blogs/111086/29337/-). Russians related to him as a distant television personality rather than as someone intimately involved with their lives, Polyakov continues; and so, just as people are more inclined to turn on a time concerning something they don’t feel they know, Russians have proved more willing to turn on Putin. They related to him as a distant television personality rather than as someone intimately involved with their lives, the commentator says; and consequently, when they became upset by his actions, they changed their expressed positions about him far more quickly and dramatically than they would with someone they knew more directly. Many analysts, he points out, want to reduce the explanation of this to the pension reform; but while that might explain the trend away from Putin, it does not explain the speed at which it has happened. “Whom are we capable of falling out of love or coming to hate instantly? Those whom we do not know.” Russians of course know far more about Putin’s family, ties, friends, habits and tastes than they did about Stalin’s, “but all this is external and does not have any relationship to what is essential and genuinely important in a ruler for the residents of the country he rules.” They may be interesting but they seldom are the basis for the development of close ties. Unlike Stalin, Polyakov says, “Putin is not an inspiration for our labor achievements, not a military leader and not a wise leader who is guiding the country toward flourishing but rather a television personality like Kirkorov or Baskov.” He is thus someone on television rather than someone in one’s own life. That this is the case, the commentator says, is Putin’s own doing. Unlike Soviet leaders who involved people in the life of society in various ways, “from the very beginning, Putin preferred to keep society away from all main decisions. You can sit quietly and we will direct and decide everything that will be good for you” was his message. As long as things were going well, Putin could count on the nominal support of the population. Once things started going badly, he lacked the reserve of affection and loyalty that other leaders have had. “Television emotions,” unlike real ones, are lightweight and ephemeral: they can change overnight from love to hate. Putin for almost 18 years has operated as a television personality rather than a politician. That has been a source of his power. But now it is clear, Polyakov says, it may be the basis for his loss of power as people turn away from someone who isn’t delivering on his promises and for whom they feel no real affection or loyalty.

Franz J. Sedelmayer | The Putin I Knew; the Putin I Know – The New York Times

I met Vladimir Putin and trusted him in the early 1990s, when he was deputy mayor of St. Petersburg. Now that he’s Russia’s president, he’s different. He’s no friend of democracy.

Exclusive interview with Yushchenko – I did not know Putin, whom he has become today, – 112.international

Where is our country leading to? Yushchenko: I am a big optimist, to be frank. The time we are experiencing is a great time of national universal education or enlightenment. Over the past 4-5 years, we have seriously changed as a nation. We have become different: stronger, we respect our own, Ukrainian. And what we lacked most of all about five years ago, unity, today we have it. We have allegedly shown to the eastern part that Ukraine is an absolutely normal state, but still, there are those who are looking in Putin’s direction. Ten years ago, when a sociological survey was conducted, who would you like to see as president, 70% wanted Putin. Why so? Tell us more about him, you know him. Russians as a people do not like freedom by their nature; they love slavery. They want to have a king. They do not want democracy. Russia had too few Nemtsovs (Boris Nemtsov, Russian oppositional politician, murdered in Moscow, February 28, 2015 – ed.). Too few Basilashvilis (Oleg Basilashvili, Soviet/Russian film and theatre actor, political figure in the former Soviet Union and in the new Russia, – ed.), too few Makarevichs (Andrey Makarevich, Soviet and Russian rock musician and the founder of Russia’s oldest still active rock band Mashina Vremeni, – ed.). Alexei Tolstoy has said once that there are two Russias – the one, which is more Kyiv-like, and all that is inherent in Europe is there. This is Rus’, which has created the world culture, at least the European one. And there is Russia taiga. Here we are talking about this kind of Rus.

How the United States Got Russia Wrong | The National Interest

The West today is paying for its collusion with Russia in the 1990s.

Leonid Ragozin on Twitter: “*But of course Russophobia doesn’t exist. Anyone who claims it does, is a genetically impaired Homo Soveticus orc on Kremlin’s service.* [Sounds you hear whenever one complains about something as nauseating as this NYT op-ed]… https://t.co/I8OuQ4WPnA”

Joshua Yaffa on Twitter: “This @nytopinion piece contains both genetic *and* anthropological factoids about Russia, like how “corruption is in the Russian DNA” and “sharing’s not the Russian way.” Also, who knew, there is a Russian word that means “lying.” https://t.co/PYf3KHZJ5I”

CZ: For the deletion of the social network contribution up to three years in prison and a fine, Klaus et al – To Inform is to Influence

In one of the more ridiculous and offensive proposals for a law, we have this from the Czech Republic.   As was noted to me:  This fella seems to be gravely concerned about deleted posts on social media and wants to defend freedom of speech and expression by jail term and fines for those who delete…

Facebook, Google and Twitter are faster at removing hate speech: EU

Tech companies including Facebook, Google and Twitter remove 72 percent of illegal hate speech on their platforms, the European Commission said Monday.

EU applauds social media platforms for removing more illegal ‘hate speech’ – YouTube

euronews (in English) Published on Feb 4, 2019 The European Commission has praised the likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for their progress on the swift removal of illegal hate speech…

EU hails social media crackdown on hate speech | News | DW | 04.02.2019

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have streamlined their ability to respond and remove hate speech content on their platforms, according to EU officials. But some see the crackdown as an attempt at online censorship.

The EU’s approach to tackling hate speech might actually be working – CNET

Social networks now remove 72 percent of content reported as illegal hate speech. That percentage was 28 percent in 2016.

Facebook is doing much better at removing hate speech, says the EU – MIT Technology Review

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, has said social-media firms are doing much more to remove flagged illegal content more quickly.

Brussels: Facebook, Google, Twitter improved action against online hate speech – POLITICO

But the Commission says companies still needed to improve feedback to users.

Russian Spies Likely Undertaking Terrorist Attacks Under a False Flag | Observer

Spies have masqueraded as someone else during their secret operations for as long as there have been spies. In extreme cases, intelligence services have undertaken terrorist attacks under a false flag to smear opponents and fool the public.

In Moscow, There’s No Longer Any Line Between Spies, Lies, & Terrorists – To Inform is to Influence

By John R. Schindler • 02/04/19 11:56am These days there’s no term more likely to attract the nut fringe than “false flag.” Citing it is a surefire way to rally online monomaniacs who believe that nothing in the world is as it seems to be. The belief that nefarious secret forces pull the strings behind events is for…

UAWire – Russia claims it started equipping warships with blinding and hallucination-inducing systems

The Russian state-owned company Ruselectronics has equipped Russian naval ships with optical systems that can blind enemies and even cause hallucinations, a source in the company told RIA Novosti. The new “Filin” stations, developed by one of the company’s factories, have been installed on the frigates Admiral Gorshkov and Admiral Kasatanov. Each ship has been equipped with two such systems. There are also plans to mount the stations on two project 22350 frigates. The stations are designed to suppress the optical and optical-electronic channels of observation. In addition, they will be used for long-range weapons targeting. The Filin systems can cause temporary disorders in the eyes through light emissions. Volunteers who helped test the systems complained of hallucinations described as “a spot of light which floats in front of the eyes”. Most claimed to have experienced vertigo, nausea and symptoms of spatial disorientation. Ruselectronics added that the Filin’s radiation can suppress night-vision devices, laser rangefinders, as well as the steering systems of anti-tank guided missiles. As reported previously, the US Navy has begun developing hypersonic weapons in response to Russia’s latest weapon designs. In January, Donald Trump’s administration ordered the development of new nuclear weapons.

Russian warships to receive system for creating optical hallucinations – Defence Blog

Russian surface warships would be equipped with new visual optical interference station, called the Filin (eagle-owl), to confuse the enemy with visual “hallucinations”. The new Filin visual optical interference stations “blind” enemy troops and optoelectronic devices, such as night vision equipment, binocular glasses, and laser ranging devices with bright flares of light and created visual hallucinations to lend its troops a tactical advantage. The technology is said to be similar to a strobe effect that results in immobilization to those within the beam, according to Lenta.ru. Low-frequency fluctuations of light cause temporary disorders of the organs of vision due to excitation of the optic nerves. Human effects testing of the new visual optical interference stations took place last years, these showed promising results. The device developed by the Integral plant was tested on volunteers who were supposed to carry out shooting from small arms at targets. During the tests with Filin, they said that “the target is not visible.” “20 percent noted the hallucinogenic effect, described as” a spot of light floats before eyes, “and 45 percent complained of dizziness, nausea, signs of disorientation,” said in a report. The device is able to suppress visual-optical and electro-optical surveillance and targets enemy monitoring devices with a high-intensity radial light, “dazzling” the enemy. This ensures the protection of ships and personnel as they perform tasks at sea or in a coastal zone. In fact, it is a powerful non-lethal weapon, which allows ships to perform serious offensive and defensive tasks.

Russian Navy has new weapon that makes targets hallucinate, vomit: report | TheHill

The Russian Navy reportedly has a new weapon that can disrupt the eyesight of targets as well as make them hallucinate and vomit.

Anti-Russian sanctions have bigger effect, – Ukraine’s Spy Chief – 112.international

Yehor Bozhok, the Head of Ukraine’s Foreign Intelligence service told about the consequences of sanctioning Russia. Yehor Bozhok, the Head of Ukraine’s Foreign Intelligence service Ukraine’s Foreign Intelligence service Ukraine’s spy chief stated that anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the EU and the U.S. had a much bigger impact than previously thought, as EU Observer reported. “One of the estimates which we managed to learn, Russian internal estimates, is that Western sanctions … forced the Russian budget to lose $173bn [€151bn] already, which is quite a lot,” Yehor Bozhok, the Head of Ukraine’s Foreign Intelligence service, said.

Ukrainian sanctions: Russia sold its frigates to India

he Government of India has signed a contract with Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL), a shipbuilding company for the construction of the Indian Naval Frigates, a Russian project 11356 type Talwar. This is reported by Force India It is expected that the construction will be part of the transfer of technology from Russia. Earlier, we have already reported on the indefinite freeze by Russia of the construction of three watchdogs for the needs of the Black Sea Fleet at Yantar Shipyard, namely, these three ships will be implemented by India, two of which will be completed in Russia and two more in India. One of the planned to build in India is already ready for 30% so it is expected to be towed to a shipyard in Goa from Russia. The reason for the stopping of construction for Russia was due to the imposition of sanctions by Ukraine through the occupation of the Crimean peninsula, which made it impossible to supply power plants for the production of Mykolayiv NPP NWKG Zorya – Mashproekt to Russia. Earlier, the contract provided for the construction of a series of six ships of the project 11356, the first three – “Admiral Grigorovich”, “Admiral Essen” and “Admiral Makarov” were manufactured and handed over. Three more – Admiral Butakov, Admiral Istomin and Admiral Kornilov were frozen because of Ukraine’s dissolution of military-technical cooperation with Russia. Already for Indian frigates will be supplied power plants of Ukrainian production under the relevant agreements.

Contract for Two New Frigates Signed with Goa Shipyard

The two Talwar-class warships will be built with technological assistance from Russia and will be armed with BrahMos missiles and other advanced weapons. Also, India signed a contract with Russia for acquiring two stealth guided-missile frigates of Admiral Grigorovich-class (Project 11356) for USD 950 million in October 2018. The two frigates of the Project 11356 class will be bought directly from Russia, from the Yantar shipyard at Kaliningrad. Currently, the Indian Navy operates six of the Talwar-class frigates. The new frigates are expected to add more strength to the Indian Navy in the Indian Ocean Region.

Andreas Umland | Russia looks to strike at Ukraine’s south again? – 112.international

Four factors make further tensions between Russia and Ukraine along the shores of Crimea and mainland southern Ukraine probable. Moscow captured three Ukrainian navy vessels and arrested twenty-four Ukrainian sailors on November 25, 2018, near the Kerch Strait. The maritime clash indicates that the focal point of the Russian-Ukrainian military conflict may gradually switch from the Donbas to the Azov Sea and Crimean peninsula in 2019. More conflict in the south would further throttle Ukraine’s already battered economy. According to Vitaliy Kravchuk, senior researcher at the Institute of Economic Research and Policy Consulting in Kyiv, “If there are further marine incidents, it could mean the closure of the Azov ports for shipping.” Such a development would have grave economic repercussions for the port cities of Mariupol and Berdyansk, which handle approximately 5 percent of Ukraine’s foreign trade. Ukraine has only limited alternative transport infrastructure to redirect trade flows. An escalation at the Azov Sea will threaten social stability in southeastern Ukraine. It might also lead to a significant reduction or even curtailment of Ukrainian economic growth in 2019 and beyond. Four factors make further tensions between Russia and Ukraine along the shores of Crimea and mainland southern Ukraine probable. They include the West’s lack of reaction to the recent tensions, the absence of international organizations in the Azov Sea, the functionality of the Kerch Strait Bridge and its symbolism for Putin, and the unresolved issue of supplying fresh water to occupied Crimea. All four of these factors distinguish this area from the Donbas, where the OSCE is heavily present, a more or less stable front line has emerged, and the conflict has become partially frozen. Also, the EU’s most serious sanctions introduced in the summer of 2014 have later been linked to the fulfillment of the Minsk Agreements concerning exclusively the Donbas. A major factor currently enabling escalation in the Azov is the West’s lack of reaction to the November 2018 naval confrontation. The West has done little beyond condemning the aggression and such symbolic measures as US President Donald Trump canceling an official meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin (while still meeting him unofficially). The EU has not reacted and probably will not react materially, as it did after the shoot down of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 in July 2014 to the confrontation and capture of Ukrainian sailors either. Second, the absence of any relevant international organizations on the Azov Sea or on Crimea makes Russian actions against Ukraine there less risky and more likely. There are no international monitors, like the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in the Donbas, to alert the international community. Russia has been far more lenient in allowing international organizations, with their respective ties to the diplomatic community, into the Donbas. A third factor potentially motivating the Kremlin to behave more adventurously between the Azov and Black Seas could become technical malfunctioning or the economic ineffectiveness of the new Kerch Strait Bridge connecting Russia and Crimea. This prestige object has strong symbolic value for the legitimization of the Putin regime in the eyes of the Russian population. For one reason or another, this bridge might not provide a sufficient boost for Crimea’s social development or integration into the Russian economy, as promised. The Kremlin may start searching for excuses and try to stage an escalation that can be spun to explain a partial or full dysfunction of the bridge. This would be especially the case if the bridge starts to crumble. Since its opening in May 2018, there have been repeated reports in the Ukrainian media about the bridge’s engineering issues and geological challenges. A closure or even collapse of the bridge would be a catastrophic blow to Putin’s post-annexation image, and make deceptive maneuvers—including military ones—by the Kremlin more probable. A final urgent problem for the Kremlin is Crimea’s precarious situation with fresh water. In 2014, Kyiv stopped the delivery of water to the peninsula via the North Crimean Canal. Constantly declining aquatic reserves, in combination with a continuing dearth of energy supply, are a virtual time bomb with potentially far-reaching economic and social consequences for Crimea’s residents. In a surprising geoeconomic gaffe, Moscow has done little to resolve this issue, such a building at least one large desalination plant. Should there be no solution, Crimeans will soon experience insufficient water supplies, which complicates business and daily life. A rise of social tensions on the peninsula may provide yet another potential trigger for escalation between Russia and Ukraine. Moscow may try to capture the closed channel between Crimea and the Dnipro River. This would lead Russian regular troops deep into Ukraine’s southern mainland and start a second high-intensity and then official war between the two countries. These factors constitute only some of the possible scenarios for escalation between Russia and Ukraine. Yet, given that these four conditions are present in Crimea, the Kerch Strait, and the Azov Sea, they make rising tensions in this area likely. The Azov Sea ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk will continue to operate under various limitations and risks. Will Ukraine and its Western partners be willing to provide some plausible stability guarantees and security mechanisms to those businesses engaged in the region? If not, Ukraine as well as various national and foreign companies should start preparing for a gradual decline of Mariupol and Berdyansk as well as for the grave social and political consequences this will have for southern Ukraine and eventually the whole country.

Putin will not dare push for land corridor to Crimea – Stratfor – news politics | UNIAN

The scenario of Russia trying to force a land corridor to Crimea or Transnistria is extremely unlikely at the moment. At the same time, such developments cannot be completely excluded, Senior Eurasia Analyst at Stratfor Eugene Chausovsky said in an interview with the Radio Liberty’s Ukrainian Service. The number of troops Russia could potentially involve in the move would depend on the level of U.S. and NATO support for Ukraine.

Four Kremlin scenarios on Ukraine elections

The Kremlin envisaged three scenarios for Ukraine for the current year, Yehor Bozhok, Head of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine, says. Moreover, according to his estimates, Moscow intends to “close” the “Ukrainian issue” in 2019. The first scenario is bringing necessary people to power in the presidential and parliamentary elections. The second is “controlled chaos”, internal destabilization in the country and forcing Kyiv to accept Moscow’s conditions. And the third is a military action. Bozhok believes that it can be applied in case the previous two fail. Military columnist and blogger Alexei Arestovich added a fourth scenario to those.

Poroshenko: Ukraine to defend its right to free passage through Kerch Strait – news ukraine | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said Ukraine will defend its right of free navigation in the Kerch Strait. Ukraine would never recognize the fact of the occupation of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov.

Ukrainian POW Eyder has hepatitis – lawyer – 112.international

Injured Ukrainian sailor Andriy Eyder has hepatitis, as the lawyer Mykola Polozov reported on Facebook referring to the POW’s lawyer Oleksandra Makarova. “Andriy brought clinical report he received during convoy from “Matrosskaya Tishina”. Quote: “Anti-HCV – positive from November 20, 2018, HBsAg – positive from November 20, 2018”, the message says.

UAWire – Russia opens a military center for schoolchildren in annexed Sevastopol

The Russian military has opened a center in Sevastopol where they will teach schoolchildren how to handle weapons, reports news website Krym. …

School students in occupied Crimea trained to handle firearms – media – news ukraine | UNIAN

Russia-controlled “local authorities” in the occupied Crimea, in accordance with the decision of the Russian defense minister, have set up a Dom Yunarmii [literally, a House of Young army] “military patriotic center” for children. “First aid in combat” classes are also in the curriculum.

Vice-speaker urges to support draft law to consider Ukrainian sailors as combatants – 112.international

First Vice-Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Iryna Gerashchenko has urged the MPs to support the draft law #9478, which allows to provide 24 Ukrainian sailors with the status of combatants, as the basis as 112 Ukraine reported. “I kindly ask that we need to submit and consider in the first reading the draft law on the status of veterans #9478, which will allow us to provide 24 Ukrainian sailors with the status of combatants on the request of their relatives and blood brothers. Nobody doubts that these guys were at the front, when the Russians shelled them,” Gerashchenko said.

Animals are dying: Russian occupation authorities provoke new ecological disaster in Crimea (Photo, video) – news economics | UNIAN

Animals are seen dying near Kerch in the occupied Crimea after construction firms destroy part of the dam near the Lower Cherbush waste storage facility. Chemicals are drained directly into the canal connecting the site with the sea. Animals are seen dying near Kerch in the occupied Crimea after construction firms destroy part of the dam near the Lower Cherbush waste storage facility. Environmentalists and social activists raise alarm over the mining of construction sand near waste storage facilities, according to Kerch.FM. Chemicals are drained directly into the canal connecting the site with the sea. As a result, all the dirt from the washing and extraction of sand flows toward the city beach.

Engineer stresses violation of navigation norms during Kerch Strait Bridge construction – news economics | UNIAN

The author of two Ukrainian projects of the Kerch Strait Bridge, engineer and bridge designer Georgy Rosnovsky states that navigation standards were violated during the bridge construction of the bridge. The water area must be cleaned and deepened in the area of the Bridge, the expert believes.

Ukrainian Navy strategy elaborated in close cooperation with experts from NATO member states

The Ukrainian Navy Development Strategy is being elaborated in close cooperation with the experts from the United States, the United Kingdom and other NATO member states. — Ukrinform.

US reconnaissance flights near Transnistria occupied by Russians

US Airborne Force Beech MC-12W Liberty completes flight over the territory of Ukraine within 5 kilometers from the state border with Moldova near the so-called “Transnistrian Moldavian Republic” This is reported by the Ukrainian Military Portal The Beech MC-12W Liberty began its flight at about 12 o’clock and at 14:30 returned to Romania’s airspace. He made a similar flight on January 14, 2019 Subsequently, the Beech King Air 200T aircraft company Dynamic Avlease, a contractor of the US Department of Defense, on January 21, 2019, carried out a similar check in the Odesa region along the border with Moldova. Similar flights are also taking place over the territory of Moldova, in agreement with the government of the country, one of which was held on January 10, 2019:

Invaders kill Ukrainian soldier, suffer losses as Joint Forces return fire Jan 4 – news war | UNIAN

Russia’s hybrid military forces mounted eight attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas in the past 24 hours, with one Ukrainian soldier reported as killed in action and another one wounded. According to intelligence reports, six enemy troops were eliminated and another four were wounded.

Eight attacks against Ukraine army in past day: one Ukrainian soldier killed, six terrorists destroyed, – JFO center

05.02.19 10:04 – Eight attacks against Ukraine army in past day: one Ukrainian soldier killed, six terrorists destroyed, – JFO center Feb. 4, Russia occupation forces violated the ceasefire eight times employing weapons prohibited by the Minsk agreements four times. View news.

Militants launched nine attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas in last day

Militants launched nine attacks, using weapons banned under the Minsk agreements twice, on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in Donbas over the past day. — Ukrinform.

Operation Payback: Ukrainian volunteer tells of Ukrainian army’s crushing blow on enemy positions in Donbas (video) – news war | UNIAN

The enemy command post, an anti-aircraft gun, and a military KAMAZ truck were destroyed in a targeted hit. Ukrainian volunteer activist Yuriy Mysiahin has told in details about Ukraine army’s crushing blow on enemy’s positions, releasing the relevant footage showing an artillery strike. “Luhansk region. Operation ‘Payback.’ Full version. We didn’t start this. The brigade has just recently deployed on these positions. They hadn’t even studied the area. On January 25, 2019, the invaders blew up an Ural truck of the 54th Brigade, using an ATGM (anti-tank grenade launcher). A Ukrainian soldier was killed and another four were wounded,” he said. “The operation was carefully planned. The K-2 battle group from the 54th brigade carefully collected all the information about the site located near the town of Zolote… All the work went so quietly that the enemy felt no threat,” the volunteer said. Mysiahin noted the anti-aircraft gun was put in an “absolutely stupidly made” caponier installed on a truck. Camouflage nets were missing. “And their command post was located in non-reinforced trailers,” he said. The anti-aircraft gun and a military KAMAZ truck were destroyed in a targeted hit. “One of the security forces’ vehicles was completely destroyed by a direct hit. By the way, there were no reports on them being deployed for a long time. Two cars, most likely, cannot be restored either… The command post was annihilated, partly with personnel,” the volunteer added. Of 12-14 people who were there at that moment, only eight to nine people managed to cross into the shelter across the road. The rest remained inside. They will no longer be able to fight against Ukraine since the command post has been completely wiped out by two Ukrainian ‘birdies’,” Mysiahin said. “The operation took 10-12 minutes. The command post was completely disabled. Those eliminated and wounded were taken to the nearest morgue and hospital. All destroyed equipment was evacuated at night by tractors,” he said.

Russian court orders investigation into Ukrainian student Hryb’s account of torture – Human Rights in Ukraine

A Russian court has ordered a check to be carried out into Pavlo Hryb’s allegations of torture after viewing a video showing injuries which the 20-year-old Ukrainian student says were caused by having his hands bound for a long time in fishing line. –

Expert warns of separatism threats across Ukraine in case Donbas gains autonomy – news politics | UNIAN

Foreign policy expert Valeriy Kravchenko says Ukraine agreeing to grant autonomy status to the occupied areas of Donbas to resolve the crisis would cause a chain reaction with grave consequences for the country’s statehood. Introduction of a peacekeeping mission and an international interim administration should be part of a set of measures on Donbas, the expert believes.

Poroshenko comments on “Sajdik Plan” for Donbas – news politics | UNIAN

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko commented on the Donbas settlement plan put forward by Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Tripartite Contact Group, Martin Sajdik, by stating that the Minsk agreements had already spelled out such plan. The president stressed that the implementation of Minsk agreements provides for the restoration of Ukrainian sovereignty in and the Ukrainian control of the occupied Donbas.

Ukraine to get NATO decision on membership in next five years, – Poroshenko – 112.international

Over the next five years, Ukraine will get the NATO decision on its membership in the Alliance. Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine said this in an interview with one of Ukrainian TV channels. ‘We should be meeting the criteria of membership in the EU… and the criteria of membership in the NATO. I’m sure that, by that time, we’ll have the action plan on the NATO membership, we’ll have the decision on providing Ukraine with the membership’, the head of the state said. He pointed out that Ukraine should implement reforms and reach the criteria that meet the standards of the EU and NATO. Reforms and tasks that the country should take on this path are quite real, the Ukrainian leader said. According to him, the EU membership will considerably increase the standards of living and democracy in Ukraine. ‘NATO membership is safety. It’s security on the external borders; it’s a political and diplomatic way to restore the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country. For the average citizen, it also includes safety on the streets’, Poroshenko concluded.

Permanent Representative to OSCE: Russia unwilling to hold any talks until presidential election in Ukraine

Russia openly stated its unwillingness to reach any meaningful arrangements within the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk or in other formats prior to the presidential election in Ukraine, scheduled for late March. — Ukrinform.

Ukrainian “Kolchuga” helped Israel bring a powerful blow to Syria

Ukraine “showed” the positions of the Israeli Air Force in the Syrian air defense system. The success of the Israeli air strike in Syria was due to the fact that Ukraine had provided the electronic reconnaissance complex. Specialists in the Chinese Sina press release point out this, noting that it is thanks to the intelligence complex of mobile radio Kolchug that the Israeli Air Force has obtained accurate data on the location of all systems. Syrian air defenses, including the Tor system and the ZRPK. “Pantsir-S”, C-75 and radar JY-28. “Given the greater precision of the Israeli military strikes, it is logical to assume that this was achieved only through modern means of electronic recognition, in particular, it could also apply to the Kolchuga complex, which has was relatively recently transferred to the Ukrainian side for Israeli armaments ” , – analyst notes. The specialist also noted that before the transfer of the Kolchug electronic recognition complex, the Israeli army treated the new strikes against Syria with extreme caution, which could also indicate that it is thanks to “the help”. from Ukraine that the positions of air defense and radar systems have been known.

UAWire – Ukrainian electronic warfare systems helped Israel destroy Russian Pantsir in Syria

The success of Israel’s attacks against Iranian infrastructure in Syria was in many ways due to the use of a Kolchuga passive sensor, Avia-pro reports, citing Chinese experts. The Kolchuga sensor helped the Israelis to identify the location of all Syria’s aerial defense systems, which include a Tor surface-to-air missile system, a Pantsir-S surface-to-air missile systems, an S-75 surface-to-air missile system, and a JY-28 radar. The Chinese experts drew attention to the startling accuracy of the Israeli airstrikes, and observed that before acquiring the Kolchuga system, Israel had been extremely cautious about deciding to attack Iranian facilities in Syria. Israel acquired a Ukrainian-made Kolchuga-M passive sensor system at the end of 2018. In January 2019, a Russian-made Pantsir system was destroyed by an Israeli suicide drone.

The SAM System based on the P-27 is at an early stage of development [AA-10 ALAMO]

Ukrainian Defense Industrial Enterprise The state-owned joint-stock holding company “Artem”, together with Polish partners, is developing a missile defense system that will use Ukrainian-made missiles R-27 air-to-air. This was on the air of the Defense Line program , said Anton Karpenko, director of the ARKH “Artyom” The prospect of this complex is quite large: there are similar systems in the world that use aircraft missiles on various ground-based air defense systems, such as the Israeli system Spyder SR (English abbreviation S urface-to-air Py thon and Der by S hort R ange), using the Rafael Derby and Rafael Python air-to-air missile anti-aircraft guided missiles. Anton Karpenko on the development of an ARM on the basis of the R-27 air missile: Earlier this information during the scientific-practical conference dedicated to the problems of air defense of Poland told a representative of the industrial group WB Electronics. For the first time the project became known in 2017, then there was information about a joint proposal for the production of a promising ZRK “Narva”. The following elements should have been in the “Narva” MRK of Polish manufacture:

  • Search Radar,
  • Engagement Radar (RPN),
  • launcher installation
  • passive optoelectronic system for detecting and tracking targets,
  • Command Post (KP),
  • the communication system between the elements of the SAM system.

The P-27 is a medium-range air-to-air missile air-to-air missile. It provides for the interception and destruction of manned and unmanned aircraft, as well as cruise missiles in air combat at medium and large distances, with autonomous and group operations of carrier aircraft, day and night, in simple and complex weather conditions, in all directions, against the background land and sea, with active informational, fire and maneuvering counteraction of the enemy at speeds up to 3500 km / h.

Ukrainian designer unveils next-gen armored combat vehicle concept – Defence Blog

Ukrainian professional designer with over 15 years of experience has unveiled a next-generation armored combat vehicle concept. Denis Silich design and development engineer has developed a new concept of a modular armoured combat vehicle. New combat vehicle represents a class of vehicles that are designed to feature a high degree of protection to enhance troop survivability. “The vehicle is designed for the transport of personnel, as well as for the installation of various target equipment or weapon systems,” – Denis Silich said. The concept of a new vehicle provides multifunction at the battlefield and can be configured in various models to support a wide range of military, counter-terrorism and police operations and has the off-road capability to cope with some of the most difficult terrains. The hull of the new vehicle consists of armor steel and combined armor increased mine protection. Future vehicle will give soldiers unrivalled tactical capabilities by being networked to other military assets while also being able to drive in all weather conditions, day and night. This is thanks to systems which give the warfighter real-time situational awareness on the battlefield and unrivalled command and control capabilities.

U.S. Embassy calls for immediate release of Bekirov, other Ukrainians

The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine has called on Russia to immediately release seriously ill Edem Bekirov and all other Ukrainian political prisoners. — Ukrinform.

Klympush-Tsintsadze announces creation of socio-political platform for Euro-Atlantic agenda for Ukraine

Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze announces the creation of a socio-political platform for the Euro-Atlantic agenda for Ukraine and calls for uniting efforts on its basis in the face of the growing threats of Ukrainian statehood. Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze announces the creation of a socio-political platform for the Euro-Atlantic agenda for Ukraine and calls for uniting efforts on its basis in the face of the growing threats of Ukrainian statehood. “Together with like-minded people who came into politics after the Revolution of Dignity from civil society, from business, from the media, we are initiating the creation of a socio-political Platform of the Euro-Atlantic Agenda for Ukraine … We call on all those who are not indifferent, aware of the challenges and threats, aware of everyone’s responsibility for our common tomorrow, to join the platform, step up their actions and together preserve the European Ukraine,” Klympush-Tsintsadze wrote on her Facebook page on Monday. According to her, the Ukrainian society entered “a difficult and turbulent period.” “Threats of statehood, the preservation of de facto independence are growing daily. Therefore, the main task of all progressive forces is the need to unite efforts for the sake of continuing to work together on the reforms begun, and most importantly – for the sake of maintaining the opportunity to become stronger, more confident, more successful in the family to which we belong, namely among the countries of NATO and the EU,” said the politician. She noted that “there are many attempts to turn the country’s movement in the opposite direction,” there is a dominance of populism. “But the struggle continues, and only attracting all public efforts can save our real choice. A choice that guarantees security, protection of the rights of every citizen and welfare,” Klympush-Tsintsadze said.

Mass exodus of Ukrainians abroad deemed biggest threat to Ukraine – poll

KYIV. Feb 4 (Interfax-Ukraine) – More than half of Ukrainians think the mass exodus of Ukrainians abroad and economic collapse is the biggest threat facing Ukraine, according to a poll conducted by the Sociological Monitoring Center, the Yaremenko Ukrainian Institute of Social Research, Info Sapiens and the Rating Group Ukraine. KYIV. Feb 4 (Interfax-Ukraine) – More than half of Ukrainians think the mass exodus of Ukrainians abroad and economic collapse is the biggest threat facing Ukraine, according to a poll conducted by the Sociological Monitoring Center, the Yaremenko Ukrainian Institute of Social Research, Info Sapiens and the Rating Group Ukraine. According to the results of the survey presented at the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency on Monday, 55% of respondents said the mass exodus of Ukrainians abroad is the biggest danger to Ukraine, with 52% saying economic collapse is a threat. Some 47% of respondents said the pauperization of the population is the biggest threat, with 39% saying devaluation of the hryvnia and inflation posed the biggest risk. Some 35% said full-fledged war with Russia posed the biggest risk, with 34% saying declining health of Ukrainians poses the biggest danger. Every third persons polled said the country’s collapse is the biggest threat facing Ukraine. The poll was conducted from January 19 through January 30, 2019. Some 10,000 persons aged 18 and older were questioned in all regions of Ukraine, except occupied Crimea and occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The margin of error of the survey does not exceed 1%.

U.S. now siding more with Hungary in dispute over Ukraine’s education law – Hungarian journalists – news politics | UNIAN

The United States is now siding more with Hungary in a dispute over Ukraine’s new education law. Hungary has been blocking meetings on Ukraine’s cooperation with the EU and NATO over a new education law. The United States is now siding more with Hungary in a dispute over Ukraine’s new education law. “In recent years, U.S. diplomacy has repeatedly criticized the Hungarian government for its position on the Ukraine. Due to the Ukraine’s new education law, which is detrimental to the Hungarian minority in Transcarpathia, [Viktor] Orban’s government started to block high-level Ukraine-NATO talks in autumn 2017. The situation has somewhat changed by now, the diplomatic cable reveals, as the U.S. is now siding more with Hungary on this topic,” Direkt36, a non-profit investigative journalism center in Hungary, reported. “In the case of Ukraine, the American side now agrees with the Hungarian position regarding Ukraine’s nationalist attitude and the dangerous precedent its education law could set,” Direkt36 quotes a Hungarian diplomatic cable it obtained. The cable was sent to Budapest by the Hungarian Ambassador to Washington DC, Laszlo Szabo, after a meeting held between Hungary’s Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Levente Magyar and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs on December 18, 2018. According to the Hungarian journalists, this document gives insight into Hungarian-American relations and shows how U.S. diplomacy is trying to put pressure on Hungary’s government on issues important to Washington.

Special investigator Horbatiuk says pretrial probe into Maidan killings not over – news ukraine | UNIAN

Chief of the Special Investigations Department of the General Prosecutor’s Office (PGO) of Ukraine Serhiy Horbatiuk says a statement made by Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko that a pretrial investigation into killings on the Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kyiv during the Revolution of Dignity is untrue. Earlier, Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said that the PGO had completed the pretrial investigation.

UAWire – Ukrainian Prosecutor General: around 160 people were involved in Maidan shootings

The Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Yuriy Lutsenko, announced that more than 160 people have been indicted in the case of the Maidan [ Ukraine’s revolution of Dignity] executions in February 2014, 150 of them are already in the dock. According to him, the pre-trial investigation of this case has been completed. “In addition to the 150 law enforcers, now tried for violence in the Maidan, another half dozen will be added and tried in absentia, headed by Yanukovych and the leaders of the security forces responsible for issuing a criminal orders,” said Lutsenko on the TV channel Pryamyi. He added that the charges against the former government leaders are punishable by life imprisonment. “We have all the evidence to take this case to the court, including a scientific independent examination stating that the teams of Yanukovych, former head of the SBU (Ukrainian Security Service), Alexandr Yakimenko, former head of the Interior Ministry, Vitaliy Zakharchenko and their subordinates led to the execution of civilians at the Maidan. The punishment for this criminal charge is a life sentence”, said the prosecutor general. During the unrest in the center of the Ukrainian capital on February 20, 2014, unidentified snipers began shooting at the protesters. In total, more than hundred people were killed during the protests on February 18-20 and hundreds were injured. The Ukrainian authorities accused the Berkut special police servicemen of crimes at the Maidan. In May 2015, the Kyiv court began to consider the case against the former Berkut employees, who are charged with the execution of a knowingly illegal order to use weapons, abuse of power, illegal handling of weapons, and the commission of a terrorist act ducing the Maidan in 2014.

Ukrainian envoy: Ukraine’s UPA did not wage war against Czechs in Volyn amid WWII – news politics | UNIAN

Ambassador of Ukraine to the Czech Republic Yevhen Perebyinis insists that the communists of Czechoslovakia distributed disinformation after World War II that the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) had allegedly waged a war against the Czechs in Volyn. The Volyn tragedy is a massacre during the Second World War when civilians of different nationalities were killed in the territory of Volyn. Ambassador of Ukraine to the Czech Republic Yevhen Perebyinis insists that the communists of Czechoslovakia distributed disinformation after World War II that the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) had allegedly waged a war against the Czechs in Volyn. Read alsoPolish Sejm labels Volyn killings “genocide” “The theme of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army in the Czech Republic was created artificially in a way. Of course, the history of the UPA is ambiguous and somewhat controversial, but the Ukrainian Insurgent Army did not fight with the Volyn Czechs – there is evidence in archival documents and historians’ research. So this is the disinformation created by the Communists in Czechoslovakia after World War II, and unfortunately, it is still alive today,” the diplomat told Radio Praha’s Russian service. The Volyn tragedy is a massacre during the Second World War when civilians of different nationalities were killed in the territory of Volyn. Historians disagree on who was the initiator and perpetrator of the mass killing of civilians.

Volyn Oblast – Wikipedia

Ukraine’s Foreign Trade Was $100 Billion 2018 With Exports Up 9 Percent to $43.34 Billion And Imports Up By 14 Percent To $56.3 Billion – Fryday™

Ukraine’s Foreign Trade Hits $100 billion. Tender terms for Ukraine’s first petroleum sharing agreements since 2012 will be released in two weeks. Tender terms for Ukraine’s first petroleum sharing agreements since 2012 will be released in two weeks, reports Drilling for the web site. Companies will have until mid-May to submit applications. The 12 PSAs are expected to be valid for 50 years. To stimulate investment, winners will have to spend $16 to $36 million in the first five years on seismic research and exploration wells. Foreign companies are encouraged to bid. Separately, the government puts up for auction on March 6, 10 blocks for production under a royalty formula. A second auction, of seven blocks, will be auctioned on April 29. Oleh Kirilyuk, director of Ukraine’s Geological and Mineral Service, described these seven blocks last week in London as “more than 2 thousand square kilometers, {with] the estimated resources of more than 2 billion cubic meters of gas.” By the end of this year, the government plans to auction off rights to 30 onshore blocks. Foreign companies can participate through Ukraine subsidiaries.

Ukrzaliznytsya receives all 30 General Electric locomotives

PJSC Ukrzaliznytsia (Ukrainian Railways) has already received all 30 General Electric locomotives. The last five arrived in Ukraine on February 1. — Ukrinform. Ukrzaliznytsia received all 30 contracted GE locomotives. The last five arrived in the port of Chornomorsk on Friday. The further route is already worked out. At first, they will be delivered to the Kryukov Railway Car Building Works,” Ukrzaliznytsia CEO Yevhen Kravtsov posted on Facebook. At present, ten more American locomotives are being upgraded at the Kryukov Railway Car Building Works, Kravtsov noted. Those locomotives, which have been already put into operation, he said, work very effectively. “As an example, we economize the fuel on the section Zaporizhzhia – Komysh-Zorya — Volnovakha by 30%. In addition, the cars of the old rail fleet run an average of 360 km per day, while GE diesel locomotives – 540 km,” the Ukrzaliznytsya CEO noted. As reported, in February 2018, PJSC Ukrzaliznytsia and U.S. company General Electric Transportation signed a $1 billion framework agreement on modernization and production of locomotives.

UAWire – France gives Kyiv grant for Ukraine’s first energy storage facility

France has provided Ukraine with a €560,000 grant in order to build the country’s first energy storage facility, Ukraine’s national energy company, Ukrenergo, announced. The project will be realized by Ukrenergo in partnership with the French Réseau de Transport d’Électricité (RTE) and a subsidiary of RTE International. Over the next six months, RTE International will work on the first stage of the project, the feasibility study and other technical preparation for the future operations. In the second stage, they will determine the cost of the battery and establish a model for future storage systems, as well as a roadmap with a list of all the steps required in the joint project. The goal of the pilot study is to test methods for balancing solar and wind power stations, the number of which is rapidly growing in Ukraine’s grid system. Three energy storage options are being considered. The first is to have a single 200 megawatt system in one location, the second is to several locations with 4-5 units, and the third is to have a decentralized system with dozens of low-capacity blocks. The last option could involve energy storage devices being deployed along the central motorways which run from Kyiv to Lviv, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Odessa and the border, in parallel with the establishment of charging stations for electric cars.

Ukraine wants to strengthen cooperation with Brazilian state of Paraná

The Lviv Regional State Administration wants to strengthen links with the Brazilian state of Paraná, which has the largest Ukrainian community in Latin America. — Ukrinform.

Who ordered attack on Kateryna Handziuk? Activists protested outside Presidential Administration. VIDEO&PHOTOS

05.02.19 11:31 – Who ordered attack on Kateryna Handziuk? Activists protested outside Presidential Administration. VIDEO&PHOTOS Feb. 4, activists protested outside Presidential Administration demanding information on the involvement of the officials Andrii Hordieiev and Yevhenii Ryshchuk in the murder of Kateryna Handziuk. View news.

Prosecutor General reports on investigation of property embezzlement in Ukrainian army – 112.international

The investigation is working on obtaining documents on the basis of which the lists of so-called “surplus assets” in the defence sector of Ukraine were formed, as Yuriy Lutsenko, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, said at the session of the parliamentary Provisional Investigatory Commission held for inspection of the theft in the Armed Forces of Ukraine in 2004-2017. 112 Ukraine broadcasted the session. “The investigation intends to get a couple of expert reports and we are now working on obtaining documents on the basis of which the lists of so-called “surplus assets” under the signature of the Defence Minister were created. Certainly, it is about the lists formed by the Defence Ministry surplus assets department, but also it is about the information they received from the various department of the General Headquarters,” Lutsenko said. He stressed that only after the information is analyzed, “we can make conclusions on who was the main generator of a thoughtless elimination of a military capacity of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and then estimate the situation in legal terms”.

Prosecutor General says property of ex-Minister Zakharchenko to be seized again – 112.international

The property of former Internal Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko will be seized again soon, as Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said after the provisional investigatory commission held for investigation of embezzlement of property in Armed Forces of Ukraine, 112 Ukraine broadcasted the event. Answering the question about lifting the seizure of Zakharchenko’s property, the Prosecutor General said: “We are analyzing the court’s decision and I am convinced that soon we will seize his property again. It will not escape – these mainly are apartments, parking lots, land parcels. Everything will be under investigation as it was”.

Poroshenko says he’ll order border guards not to let Russian observers in for elections – news politics | UNIAN

Poroshenko says he will order the Border Guard Service of Ukraine not to let Russian observers in Ukraine to monitor Ukrainian presidential and parliamentary elections in 2019. Ukraine’s Central Election Commission eliminated all Ukrainian polling stations in the Russian Federation.

Russian election monitors to be banned from Ukraine, – Poroshenko

05.02.19 12:14 – Russian election monitors to be banned from Ukraine, – Poroshenko President Petro Poroshenko will order State Border Guard Service not to let Russian monitors in Ukraine during presidential elections. View news.

Poroshenko names Putin’s mechanisms for undermining Ukraine’s stability – news politics | UNIAN

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko named the mechanisms Russian President Vladimir Putin seeks to apply to undermine Ukraine’s stability, among which are the media resources, financial intervention, organizational measures, and the so-called “fifth column”. According to the Ukrainian leader, interference in the Ukrainian elections is a key element of Russia’s hybrid war.

Poroshenko: Putin doesn’t need Crimea and Donbas, he wants entire Ukraine – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says he is convinced that Russian President Vladimir Putin does not need the temporarily occupied Crimea and Donbas – he wants to “put a Russian yoke back on entire Ukraine.” Putin needs the federalization of Ukraine to control the country.

Ukraine Election Commission Receives 83 Filings For Presidential Candidates

Ukraine’s Central Election Commission (CEC) has completed acceptance of registration documents for the March 31 presidential election, saying 83 candidates have put forth their names.

Eighty-three presidential candidates registered in Ukraine – news politics | UNIAN

Ukraine’s Central Election Commission (CEC) has completed acceptance of registration documents for the March 31 presidential election, saying 83 candidates have put forth their names. The CEC is to officially announce the final registered list of candidates no later than February 9.

Ukraine’s Poroshenko submits documents to be registered as presidential candidate – 112.international

Petro Poroshenko applied to the Central Election Commission (CEC) to participate in the presidential elections in Ukraine. This was announced by the presidential press secretary Svyatoslav Tsegolko on Facebook. “On this weekend, Poroshenko submitted documents to the CEC for registration as a presidential candidate,” Tsegolko wrote. He published the photo with a head of state and his wife, Maryna Poroshenko, who came with the president. January 29, President Poroshenko announced he would run for presidency for the second term. As of February 3, the CEC has officially registered 28 candidates for the presidential post in the country.

SBU: Russian special services not only possible source of provocation during elections in Ukraine – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian security agencies are ready for possible acts of provocation by Russian special services during the presidential vote in Ukraine; however, the Russian special services are not the only possible source of destabilization amid the elections. Violations of public order are expected during the elections.

Poroshenko: Ukraine will be energy independent

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has stated that Ukraine will be an energy independent state. — Ukrinform.

Yatsenyuk calls on president to ‘free Ukraine from Putin’s kum’

People’s Front party leader and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has called on President Petro Poroshenko to free Ukraine from Vladimir Putin’s kum, probably meaning Viktor Medvedchuk (the Russian president is the godfather to Medvedchuk’s daughter). — Ukrinform. Yatsenyuk said this after announcing a resolution of the congress of the People’s Front party on Saturday, February 2, an Ukrinform correspondent said. “I have a personal appeal to Petro Poroshenko. Mr. President, we call on members of the European Union to free Ukrainian hostages, and I call on you to free Ukraine from Putin’s kum. He does not free hostages. He takes hostages with the hand of his Putin’s and anti-Ukrainian element,” Yatsenyuk said. The parliamentary faction of the People’s Front initiates the creation of a temporary investigative commission in the Verkhovna Rada to investigate the interference of the Russian Federation and Ukrainian citizens related to the authorities of the aggressor state, in particular, Viktor Medvedchuk, in the electoral, political process and information space of Ukraine. Yatsenyuk said at the People’s Front party congress on February 2 that he would not participate in the presidential election on March 31, 2019, but intends to bring his party to victory in parliamentary elections this fall.

Nadiya Savchenko transferred to Lukyanivska Prison – 112.international

According to the information of the Red Cross, Nadiya Savchenko has been transferred to the Lukyanivska Prison. Her sister Vira Savchenko reported this on Facebook. “Nadiya Savchenko has been sent to the Lukyanivska Prison. In other words, they want to hide Nadia from Kyiv during elections”, – Vira Savchenko wrote.

Ukraine’s Central Committee refuses to register ex-fighter of Donbas as presidential candidate – 112.international

The Central Election Committee refused to register as a presidential candidate the ex-fighter of the “Donbas” battalion Taras Kostanchuk. The press-service of the Central Election Committee of Ukraine reports this. Related: Ukraine’s Parliament wants to ban Russian observers from attending presidential elections According to the report, the reason for refusal is the planks in Kostanchuk’s program, which “violate the Constitution of Ukraine” and suggest professional discrimination, propagate violence and encroach on the rights and freedoms established by the Constitution of Ukraine “. In particular, the program suggests a death penalty for civil servants for corruption, betrayal, and theft of state property, as well as the abolition of the presumption of innocence for civil servants.

President receives delegation of Ecumenical Patriarchate

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has received a delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which arrived in Ukraine to attend the liturgy and rite of the enthronement of the primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epiphanius, according to a statement posted on the website of the head of state. — Ukrinform.

Poroshenko receives delegation of Ecumenical Patriarchate – news ukraine | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has received a delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which arrived in Ukraine to participate in the liturgy and the ceremony of enthronement of a Primate of the newly created Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epifaniy (Epiphanius). The enthronement the OCU Primate is an important historical moment for Ukraine, Emmanuel, Metropoletan of France, has stressed.

Holy Synod of Ukraine’s new Orthodox Church to gather on Monday – news politics | UNIAN

The Holy Synod of the newly created Orthodox Church in Ukraine is to gather in Kyiv on Monday, February 4 and will be chaired by the church’s leader Epifaniy. There are many issues related to the functioning of the church.

Ukraine’s new Orthodox Church head Epifaniy: Our church open to cooperation – 112.international

The Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Epifaniy said that the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is ready for the cooperation. The Metropolian reported it after the enthronement ceremony in the St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv, broadcasted by 112 Ukraine. “We want those Orthodox Christians, who live in Ukraine and have not joined the Local Autocephalous Orthodox Church for many reasons yet, to joint it now. We call for the church unity of Orthodox hierarchs, clergy, monasticism, and laity. The doors of the Local Church and our hearts are open to you. Let’s bygones be bygones of those, who separated us, and we will work together for the benefit of Orthodoxy and Ukraine as the only Local Church… Our church remains open to cooperation and dialogue with other Christian churches and religious organizations in Ukraine and abroad,” Epifaniy said.

Over 200 parishes of former UOC-MP join new Orthodox Church of Ukraine – MP – news ukraine | UNIAN

Representative of the Ukrainian president in the Verkhovna Rada Iryna Lutsenko says over 200 parishes of the former Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) have become part of the newly created Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) since the unification council and the creation of the local OCU independent of Russia’s influence. Thousands of communities will become part of the OCU, the official said. Representative of the Ukrainian president in the Verkhovna Rada Iryna Lutsenko says over 200 parishes of the former Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) have become part of the newly created Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) since the unification council and the creation of the local OCU independent of Russia’s influence. “As of today, that is, literally within a six-week period, at least 204 parishes have joined the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” she said during the Conciliation Council of the chairs of factions and parliamentary committees on January 4. “According to statistics, and due to the communities’ willingness, thousands more parishioners and religious communities will have joined it by the end of this year,” she added.

Over 200 parishes join Orthodox Church of Ukraine

Over 200 parishes of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) have already joined the newly created Orthodox Church of Ukraine. — Ukrinform.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Ukrainian Church of Ukraine Won’t Be a State Church but It Will have the Support of the State, Poroshenko Says

Paul Goble Staunton, February 3 – On the day of the enthronement of the metropolitan of the Ukrainian Church of Ukraine, President Petro Poroshenko said that in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine, the church is and will remain independent of the state (president.gov.ua/ru/news/nezalezhnist-i-vzayemna-povaga-vidkrivaye-shlyah-do-spravzhn-52902). But the Ukrainian government has done everything it could to promote the achievement of autocephaly and believes that the church and the state will now be able to enter onto “a path toward genuine partnership of the church and state for joint work for the good of the country and the people.” At the same time, Ivanna Klimpush-Tsintsade, the deputy prime minister for issues of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, said that Ukraine is deeply offended by the presumptuousness of Russian President Vladimir Putin who has suggested that he will defend the rights of Orthodox believers in Ukraine (uanova.net/politic/7488-u-grojsmana-otvetili-na-zajavlenie-putina-o-zaschite-pravoslavnyh-v-ukraine.html). Such statements are a threat to Ukraine’s sovereignty, she continued; and “we will not allow the Russian Federation to use believers in the political goals of the Kremlin.” Metropolitan Epifany, the newly installed head of the UOC, was even more blunt: he said that “the Russian Orthodox Church is the last advance post of Vladimir Putin in Ukraine” and that the appearance of the UOC undercuts the imperial goals of the Kremlin leader (radiosvoboda.org/a/29746455.html). When Ukrainian Orthodox join together in the UOC, Epifany said, that will lead to the end of the war in the Donbass and the return of Crimea to Ukraine. “Putin is losing here in Ukraine the support which he had before because if he had not had this support, there would not have been a war in the Donbass.” “And therefore,” the Ukrainian church leader continued, “we will consistently maintain ourselves as a single church recognized and canonical in Ukraine. And gradually Russia will lose this influence through the souls of Orthodox Ukrainians here.”

UWC congratulates His Beatitude Epiphanius on enthronement as Primate of Orthodox Church of Ukraine

The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) congratulates His Beatitude Epifaniy (Epiphanius) on being inaugurated as Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine’s Orthodox Church Enthrones Metropolitan Epifaniy

Metropolitan Epifaniy was officially installed as the leader of the new Orthodox Church of Ukraine on February 3. President Petro Poroshenko attended the ceremony in a packed St. Sophia’s Cathedral in Kyiv. Epifaniy was elected to lead the church at its unifying assembly in December.

Majority of Orthodox believers in Ukraine identify with Ukrainian church, new poll shows Euromaidan Press |

A new poll conducted by the SOCIS Center, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology and the Razumkov Centre reports that a majority of those Ukrainians who say they are Orthodox identify with the new Ukrainian Orthodox Church rather than with the one controlled by the Moscow Patriarchate. According to the survey, 70.7 percent of Ukrainians identify as Orthodox Christians, with 43.9 percent saying they view themselves as part of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) and only 15.2 percent indicating loyalty to the Moscow Patriarchate church. The poll also found that 38.4 percent consider themselves Orthodox but do not affiliate themselves with either. Other findings of interest include that 6.9 percent of Ukrainians say they are Greek Catholics, 1.3 percent Roman Catholics, and one percent Protestants and Evangelicals. Just under ten percent said they were not affiliated with any church. That pattern suggests that ever more parishes will transfer to the OCU despite Russian efforts with flying squads moving from place to place to block that. As of yesterday, “close to 200” parishes in Ukraine had shifted to the national church. The tectonic shift this represents was highlighted by Archbishop Yevstraty of Chernihiv and Nezhinsk. He said that Moscow wants to maintain control of the Ukrainian church because only in that way can the Kremlin have any hope of regaining control of all of Ukraine. As long as Moscow controls the Ukrainian church, the archbishop declared, it could position itself as “the third Rome;” but without Ukraine it shows itself to be something else, “Moscow as the second Golden Horde.”

Ukrainian conflict is between ‘heirs of Kyivan Rus’ and ‘heirs of Golden Horde’ — EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press |

“The Ukrainian-Russian conflict is to a significant degree a conflict between the heirs of Kyivan Rus [Ukraine] and the heirs of the Golden Horde” [Moscow], according to Andrey Piontkovsky, and one of its key results will be “an intensification of the swallowing of Russia by China.” In the course of a wide-ranging interview yesterday with Artem Dekhtyarenko of Ukraine’s Apostrophe news agency, the Russian commentator argues that it is a mistake to see what is taking place in Moscow as “a strengthening of the ties of Russia and China.” Instead, he argues, it is part of a long ongoing process that has accelerated in the course of the Ukrainian crisis of “the swallowing of Russia by China.” At the recent Victory Day parade in Moscow, something “symbolic” happened that had never occurred “in the thousand year history of Russia:” three units of the Chinese military took part.

Ukrainian autocephaly destroys ideological foundation of Russian empire, Espresso saysEuromaidan Press |

Many are saying Ukraine’s receipt of autocephaly from the Universal Patriarch is for Russia an act equivalent to the demise of the Soviet Union; but in fact, the editors of Ukraine’s Espresso TV say, it is even more than that: it represents the destruction of the idea of Moscow as the third Rome on which the Russian empire has rested for centuries. “The strengthening of Constantinople” – the “second” Rome – and the departure of Ukraine from under the Russian Orthodox Church destroys one of the main ideologemes, on which the Russian Empire has rested, the thesis about ‘Moscow as the Third Rome.’” According to the station, “the theory of ‘Moscow as the Third Rome’ became the foundation of messianic ideas about the role and significance of Russia. It was first formulated in two letters in 1523-1524 by Filofey, an elder of Pskov’s Eleazor Monastery,” although there have been suggestions that it was first circulated several decades earlier. The elder “put the Muscovite prince on par with the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, identifying the latter as the ancestor of the prince.” Such ideas became possible after the Ottoman Empire seized Constantinople, the Second Rome, in 1453. As a result, Byzantium ceased to exist as a state and “as a center of world Orthodoxy.” Moscow thus presented itself as its successor civil and religious. In 1589, the idea of Moscow as the Third Rome became official policy and the basis for its imperial pretensions as unique and part of an apostolic succession. “Byzantium had fallen; Moscow took its place. As Filofey wrote, “Moscow is the Third Rome; a fourth there shall not be!”

Georgian theologian says ROC trying to discredit bishops who support Ukraine

The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) is trying to discredit Georgian bishops who support autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Georgian theologian Giorgi Tiginashvili made such a statement in a letter to Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church Hilarion Alfeyev, which was obtained by Ukrinform. “You are using the authority of the Catholicos-Patriarch [meaning the patriarch of Georgia] to neutralize and marginalize others, to discredit those who support the autocephaly of the Ukrainian church, to create insidious stigma, according to which those who support fraternal Ukraine may be accused of a confrontation with the Catholicos-Patriarch, which is an extremely insidious and brazen attempt!” the Georgian theologian wrote in a letter to Alfeyev, noting that “the purpose of the ROC is our isolation and weakening.” “But that is not going to happen,” Tiginashvili added. In December 2018, the coordinator of the Information Resistance group, Dmytro Tymchuk, said that the Russian Orthodox Church, as part of measures to prevent the recognition of autocephaly of the Ukrainian church by other Orthodox churches, was “seriously bargaining” with the supreme clergy of the Georgian Orthodox Church (GOC). According to Tymchuk, the head of the department of external church relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev visited Georgia on December 10 and transferred to the Georgian Orthodox Church a fraction of the relics of Venerable-Confessor Tamara Mardzhanova, which the GOC has been asking for many years. After the “gift” was presented and a joint liturgy was held, according to Tymchuk, Metropolitan Hilarion also submitted documents to GOC representatives expressing the persistent position of the Russian Orthodox Church on the issue of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, that is not recognizing its autocephaly. Tymchuk also said that Patriarch of All Georgia Elias II noted that the Georgian side would carefully study the documents submitted by Moscow and Constantinople and would make a final decision on this issue during a regular session of the Holy Synod. On December 27, a meeting of the Holy Synod of the GOC was held to discuss the recognition of the autocephaly of the Ukrainian church, but the Holy Synod then refrained from taking a specific decision until a resolution by the Ecumenical Patriarch was made public. It was also reported that the Georgian Orthodox Church is likely to support autocephaly of the Ukrainian church, but the final decision will be known later. On January 5, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew signed a tomos of autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. On January 6, the Patriarchal Church of St. George in Istanbul hosted a tomos handover ceremony and a divine liturgy that was concelebrated by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epiphanius. Subsequently, the tomos was signed by all members of the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The ceremony of enthronement of Head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epiphanius took place at Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv on February 3, and it completed all the procedures that affirm the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

Amnesty Calls For Release Of Danish Jehovah’s Witness Held In Russia

Amnesty International has called on Russian authorities to immediately free a Danish member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who was arrested in May 2017, a month after Russia’s Supreme Court ruled that …