Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (97)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Courtney and Shatz articulate very nicely what many Russian diaspora analysts have argued – the Chekist regime’s Make Russia Great Againcampaign is rapidly exsanguinating the Motherland. The new package of sanctions being prepared in the Senate has produced a strong reaction from Muscovy, indicating that it was well targeted. Surkov’s bizarre essay verbatim, and the reactions it elicited. Muscovy tries to rewrite the history of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, while Meduza attempts the opposite. Duma passes bill to ban Russian military from social media. Updates on NATO meeting and Munich Security Conference.

Salisbury/Bulgaria update – still producing a lot of media interest.

A fascinating essay by Ikhlov in which he explains the war between Russia and Ukraine as a Huntingtonian “clash of civilisations” between the inheritors of the political culture of the Golden Horde in Muscovy, and the inheritors of the European cultural tradition of the Kyivan Rus in Ukraine. Ikhlov of course drifts off on a nationalistic if not ethnocentric tangent putting the start of the conflict into the period of Muscovy’s conquest of ethnically Norse Holmgarðir (Now Novgorod) by Ivan III in 1478AD, but the reality is that this “Forever War” as some Ukrainians have labelled it started with Yuri Dolgorukiy’s Muscovian campaign against Kyiv in 1147-49AD – Dolgorukiy was one of the first Muscovian rulers to born from, and later married outside the European nobility of the period. That is the point of initial cultural divergence of Muscovy, from whence it continued to drift apart from its Varangian progenitors.

A great many reports on Ukrainian engagements at the NATO meeting and the Munich Security Conference, involving US, UK and EU nation leaders and senior political players. POTUS signs off on US$700M of aid to Ukraine. NATO navies to deploy a warship monthly to a Ukrainian port. Donbas update. KB Luch to present the Neptun GL-ASCM at Idex – it appears they have opted for a new 8×8 TEL.

Politics, economics and election updates. ROC/OCU – mostly Western analyses of widely varying quality.

William Courtney and Howard J. Shatz | Putin’s Plan to Double Down on Venezuela, Syria and Ukraine Could Be Sending Russia Into Bankruptcy

Russian involvement in Venezuela, Syria and Ukraine could bankrupt the country.

Bipartisan Senate bill aims to punish Russia for ‘Kremlin aggression’

A bipartisan group of senators reintroduced a bill Wednesday to increase pressure on Russia through strong sanctions in the face of what they call “Kremlin aggression” toward the U.S. and its allies.

Real-Estate Deals Targeted Again in Renewed Russia Sanctions Bill – WSJ

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators reintroduced sanctions legislation this week targeting Russia that also includes a provision tackling money laundering in all-cash purchases of real estate.

Senators Publish New Russia Sanctions Bill Targeting Debt – Bloomberg

A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation to punish Russia for interfering in U.S. elections, and for exerting “malign influence” in Syria and aggression in Ukraine, setting up a potential clash with President Donald Trump.

Bipartisan Senators reintroduce legislation to slap new sanctions on Russia | TheHill

A bipartisan group of senators is renewing their effort to slap new sanctions on Russia over its 2016 election interference and activities in Ukraine and Syria.

Russians told to ‘prepare for the worst’ as US proposes new sanctions | The Independent

Moscow has reacted to a proposed new package of United States sanctions with of mix of anger and resignation. As an influential former minister urged Russians to prepare for the worst, the Kremlin accused the US of “racketeering”.

Bill from hell: New sanctions against Russia make Kremlin walls tremble – YouTube

Pravda Report Premiered Feb 14, 2019 The Kremlin believes that new possible sanctions against Russia may lead to disastrous consequences, as Washington’s actions will come contrary to the generally accepted rules of international trade. According to Putin’s official spokesman Dmitry Peskov, “one always needs to hope for the best but be prepared for the worst at the same time. “As for the sentiments both in the US Congress and in the Senate, one does not have to hope for the disease of Russophobia to fade away,” he said. On February 13, 2019, a group of Russophobic US senators submitted a bill that provides for additional sanctions against Russia for the alleged Russian interference in the work of democratic institutions abroad. The bill includes sanctions against Russian banks that support Russia’s attempts to undermine democratic institutions in other countries, sanctions against investments in Russian liquefied natural gas projects outside Russia, sanctions against politicians, oligarchs and members of their families who contribute to illegal or corrupt acts in the interests of Vladimir Putin, as well as sanctions against the Russian government debt and the cyber sector.

Russia’s Economy Can Weather New U.S. Sanctions, Kremlin Says

The Kremlin said on Thursday that Russia’s economy could cope with any new U.S. sanctions, adding that it had demonstrated macroeconomic stability and even achieved growth while facing punitive measures from the West.

‘Insane, Ridiculous’: Russian Lawmakers React to New U.S. Sanctions Bill

U.S. senators introduced a bill on Wednesday that would impose stiff new sanctions on Russia over suspected meddling in U.S. elections and aggression against Ukraine. Targets of the sanctions would include: Russian banks that support efforts to interfere in foreign elections; the country’s cyber sector; new sovereign debt; and individuals deemed to “facilitate illicit and corrupt activities, directly or indirectly, on behalf of” Russian President Vladimir Putin.

TASS: Russian Politics & Diplomacy – Lawmaker blasts Washington’s newly-proposed, ‘insane’ sanctions on Russia

Earlier, a group of US legislators put forward a new bill, obliging the Trump administration to slap new restrictions on Moscow

Russia calls latest US sanctions ‘just another schizoid story’ — RT Business News

Russia is not afraid of sanctions and new penalties won’t hugely harm the economy, according to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. However, he added that the measures may slow development.

Russia will launch Arctic LNG 2 project even if US sanctions scare off investors – Finance Ministry — RT Business News

The US bill introducing new sanctions against Russia aims to sabotage the Arctic LNG 2 project, according to Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov. But Moscow will launch the project even if it has to do it on its own, he added.

Putin Spokesman Says U.S. Sanctions Are ‘Racketeering,’ Slams ‘Aggressive Trading Approach’

Vladimir Putin’s government has already taken steps to protect the Russian economy against such “racketeering attacks,” Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, said.

Russia’s reactions to tougher US sanctions bill

Russia has rebuked proposals from U.S. senators for tougher sanctions on its banking and energy sectors, with Kremlin officials calling them “insane”, “reckless” and tantamount to “racketeering.”

Russian markets flinch at prospect of tough new U.S. sanctions | Reuters

The threat of new U.S. sanctions rocked Russian markets on Thursday, as investors were left wondering whether they had been getting too complacent about what had been a long-expected move.

Marc Champion | Will Putin’s Empire Strike Out?

In the fall of 1991, as republics from Armenia to Ukraine were declaring independence from the Soviet empire, an adviser to Mikhail Gorbachev tried to persuade him to adopt the approach of his rival Boris Yeltsin, president of what was still called the Russian Soviet Fede

The Week In Russia: ‘Putin Lived, Putin Lives, Putin Will Live’

Last spring, longtime Kremlin aide and “managed democracy” architect Vladislav Surkov said Russia faces 100 years or more of geopolitical solitude — and suggested that’s a good thing. Now he…

Vladislav Surkov: Putin’s Long State |

“It only seems that we have a choice.” Striking in depth and boldness of the word. Said a decade and a half ago, today they are forgotten and not quoted. But according to the laws of psychology, what we have forgotten affects us much more than what we remember. And these words, going far beyond the context in which they sounded, became as a result the first axiom of the new Russian statehood, on which all theories and practices of topical politics are built. The illusion of choice is the most important of illusions, the main trick of the Western way of life in general and of Western democracy in particular, which has long been committed to the ideas of Barnum rather than Cleisthenes. Rejection of this illusion in favor of realism of predestination led our society first to reflect on its own, special, sovereign version of democratic development, and then to the complete loss of interest in discussions on what democracy should be and whether it should be in principle. The paths of free state-building were opened, directed not by imported chimeras, but by the logic of historical processes, thereby the “art of the possible.” Impossible, unnatural and counter-historical disintegration of Russia was, albeit belatedly, but firmly stopped. Having collapsed from the level of the USSR to the level of the Russian Federation, Russia stopped collapsing, began to recover and returned to its natural and only possible state of a great, increasing and gathering land community of nations. The immodest role assigned to our country in world history does not allow us to leave the stage or keep silent in the crowd, does not promise peace and predetermines the uneasy character of the local statehood. And now – the state of Russia continues, and now this is a state of a new type, which we have not yet had. Formed as a whole by the middle of zero, it is still little studied, but its originality and viability are obvious. Stress tests, which it passed and pass, show that just such an organically formed model of political structure will be an effective means of survival and elevation of the Russian nation for the next not only years, but also decades, and most likely for the whole coming century. Thus, the Russian history is known for four main models of the state, which can be conventionally called by the names of their creators: the state of Ivan the Third (Grand Duchy / Kingdom of Moscow and the whole of Russia, XV – XVII century); the state of Peter the Great (Russian Empire, XVIII – XIX centuries); the state of Lenin (Soviet Union, twentieth century); Putin’s state (Russian Federation, XXI century). Created by people, to put it in Gumilev style, “long will”, these big political machines, replacing each other, being repaired and adapted as they went, century after century, provided the Russian world with a stubborn upward movement. Putin’s big political machine is only gaining momentum and tuning in for a long, difficult and interesting job. Its output at full capacity is far ahead, so that after many years Russia will still be Putin’s state, just as modern France still calls itself the Fifth Republic of de Gaulle, Turkey (despite the fact that the anti-antiqualists are in power there now) still relies on Atatürk’s Six Arrows ideology, and the United States is still addressing the images and values ​​of the semi-legendary founding fathers. It is necessary to understand, comprehend and describe Putin’s system of government and the whole complex of ideas and dimensions of Putinism as the ideology of the future. It is the future, since the real Putin is hardly a Putinist, just as, for example, Marx is not a Marxist and is not a fact that he would agree to be if he knew what it is. But this must be done for everyone who is not Putin, but would like to be like him. For the possibility of broadcasting his methods and approaches in the coming times. The description should not be executed in the style of two propaganda, ours and ours, but in a language that both Russian officialism and anti-Russian officialdom would perceive as moderately heretical. Such a language can become acceptable for a fairly wide audience, which is required, since the political system made in Russia is suitable not only for a home future, it clearly has significant export potential, the demand for it or for its individual components already exists, its experience is being studied and partially they adopt, they imitate both ruling and opposition groups in many countries. Foreign politicians ascribe to Russia interference in elections and referendums across the globe. In fact, the matter is even more serious – Russia interferes in their brains, and they do not know what to do with their own altered consciousness. Since, after the failed 90s, our country abandoned ideological loans, began to produce meanings and switched to the information counteroffensive to the West, European and American experts began to err in their forecasts more and more often. They are surprised and enraged by the paranormal preferences of the electorate. Confused, they announced the invasion of populism. You can say so, if there are no words. Meanwhile, the interest of foreigners in the Russian political algorithm is understandable – there is no prophet in their homelands, and today everything that is happening to them has long been predicted by Russia. When they were still crazy about globalization and making noises about a flat world without borders, Moscow clearly reminded that sovereignty and national interests matter. At that time, many people accused us of a “naive” attachment to these old things, supposedly long gone out of fashion. They taught us that there is nothing to hold on to the values ​​of the nineteenth century, but we must bravely step into the twenty-first century, where there would supposedly be no sovereign nations and nation-states. In the twenty-first century, however, it was our way. The English brexit, the American “#greatheyne”, anti-immigration fencing of Europe are only the first items of an extensive list of ubiquitous manifestations of de-globalization, re-sovereignty and nationalism. When at every corner the Internet was praised as an inviolable space of unrestricted freedom, where everyone supposedly can do everything and where everyone is supposedly equal, it was from Russia that the sobering question to the fooled humanity sounded: “And who are we in the world wide web – spiders or flies?” everyone rushed to unravel the Network, including the most freedom-loving bureaucracies, and to accuse Facebook of indulgence in foreign interventions. Once free virtual space, advertised as a prototype of the coming paradise, captured and demarcated by cyberpolice and cybercrime, cyberweights and cyberspies, cyberterrorists and cybermoralists. When the hegemony of the “hegemon” was not contested by anyone and the great American dream of world domination was almost fulfilled and the end of the story with the final remark “peoples are silent” was imagined by many, the Munich speech suddenly sounded in the ensuing silence. Then it seemed dissident, today everything expressed in it seems to be taken for granted – everyone, including the Americans themselves, is dissatisfied with America. Not so long ago, the little-known term derin devlet from the Turkish political dictionary was replicated by American media, translated into English as deep state, and from there it was distributed to our media. In Russian it turned out “deep” or “deep state.” The term means the rigid, absolutely undemocratic network organization of the real power of power structures hidden behind the external, exposed democratic institutions. A mechanism, in practice, acting through violence, bribery and manipulation and hidden deep beneath the surface of civil society, verbally (hypocritically or ingenuously) manipulation, bribing and condemning violence. Having found an unpleasant “deep state” inside, the Americans, however, were not particularly surprised, because they had long been aware of its presence. If there is a deep net and dark net, why not be a deep state or even a dark state? From the depths and darknesses of this non-public and non-publicized power, the bright mirages of democracy made there for the masses emerge – the illusion of choice, the feeling of freedom, the feeling of superiority, etc. Mistrust and envy, used by democracy as priority sources of social energy, necessarily lead to an absolutization of criticism and an increase in the level of anxiety. Hayters, trolls, and evil bots that joined them formed a shrill majority, displacing from the dominant position the honorable middle class that once set a completely different tone. Now no one believes in the good intentions of public politicians, they are jealous of them and therefore are considered to be vicious, crafty people, or even bastards. Famous politographic series from “Boss” to “House of Cards” respectively draw naturalistic pictures of the dull everyday life of the establishment. A bastard should not be allowed to go too far for the simple reason that he is a bastard. And when the circle of (presumably) some bastards, to deter the bastards have to use the bastards same. A wedge wedge, a scoundrel is kicked out by a scoundrel … There is a wide choice of scoundrels and intricate rules designed to reduce their struggle among themselves to a more or less tied result. Thus arises the beneficent system of checks and balances – the dynamic equilibrium of baseness, the balance of greed, the harmony of trickery. If someone still flirts and behaves disharmoniously, the vigilant deep state hurries to the rescue and with an invisible hand drags the apostate to the bottom. There is really nothing terrible in the proposed image of Western democracy, it is enough to slightly change the angle of view, and it will again be scary. But the sediment remains, and the westerner begins to twist his head in search of other patterns and ways of existence. And he sees Russia. Our system, as well as our whole, looks, of course, not more elegant, but more honest. And although not for all the word “more honest” is synonymous with the word “better”, it is not without appeal. Our state is not divided into deep and external, it is built entirely, all its parts and manifestations out. The most brutal designs of his power frame go straight along the facade, not covered by any architectural excesses. The bureaucracy, even when cunning, does not do it very carefully, as if on the assumption that “still everyone understands everything.” High internal tension associated with the retention of huge heterogeneous spaces, and constant stay in the thick of the geopolitical struggle make the military-police functions of the state important and decisive. They are not traditionally hidden, but on the contrary, they demonstrate, since Russia has never been ruled by merchants (almost never, exceptions – a few months in 1917 and several years in the 1990s), which consider warfare less than trade, and the accompanying merchants liberals, whose teaching is on denial of everything at least some “policeman.” There was no one to drape truth with illusions, shyly pushing into the background and hiding deeper than the immanent property of any state – to be an instrument of defense and attack. There is no deep state in Russia, it is all in sight, but there is a deep-seated nation. The elite shines on a glossy surface, century after century, it is active (we must give it its due) involving people in some of its activities – party meetings, wars, elections, economic experiments. The people participate in the events, but are somewhat detached, they are not shown on the surface, living in their own depths with a completely different life. Two national lives, superficial and deep, sometimes live in opposite directions, sometimes coinciding, but never merge into one. The deepest people are always on their minds, inaccessible to sociological polls, campaigning, threats, and other methods of direct study and influence. Understanding who he is, what he thinks and what he wants, often comes suddenly and late, and not to those who can do something. Rare social scientists will take to determine exactly whether a deeper people is equal to the population or it is part of it, and if so, which part? At different times, it was taken for him by the peasants, then the proletarians, the non-partisan, the hipsters, and the state employees. He was “searched”, “went” to him. They called God-bearer, and vice versa. Sometimes it was decided that he was fictional and did not exist in reality, they began some galloping reforms without looking at him, but quickly broke his forehead on him, coming to the conclusion that “there is something after all”. He repeatedly retreated under the pressure of his or other invaders, but always returned. With its gigantic super-mass, deep people create an irresistible force of cultural gravity, which connects the nation and attracts (presses) to the earth (to their native land) elite, from time to time trying to soar cosmopolitanly. Whatever the meaning of the nation, it precedes statehood, predetermines its form, limits the theorists’ fantasies, and forces practitioners to certain actions. It is a powerful attractor, to which all political trajectories inevitably lead. You can start in Russia with anything – from conservatism, from socialism, from liberalism, but you will have to finish with about the same. That is, what, in fact, is. The ability to hear and understand people, see through them, to the full depth and act accordingly – the unique and main advantage of the state of Putin. It is adequate to the people, along the way, which means that it is not subject to destructive overloads from the oncoming currents of history. Therefore, it is effective and durable. In the new system, all institutions are subordinated to the main task – trusting communication and interaction of the supreme ruler with citizens. The various branches of power converge to the personality of the leader, not being considered a value in and of themselves, but only to the extent that they provide a connection with him. In addition to these, informal ways of communication work around the formal structures and elite groups. And when stupidity, backwardness or corruption interfere with communication lines with people, vigorous measures are taken to restore hearing. The multilevel political institutions adopted from the West are sometimes considered partly ritual, instituted more so that it is “like everyone else”, so that the differences in our political culture do not so much strike our neighbors, do not irritate and frighten them. They are like a dress, in which they go to strangers, and at home we are at home, everyone knows about himself in what. In essence, the society trusts only the first person. Whether it’s a matter of pride of a never-subdued people, it’s hard to say whether it’s a desire to straighten the paths of truth or something else, but this is a fact and a fact is not new. Newly, the fact that the state does not ignore this fact takes into account and proceeds from it in undertakings. It would be an oversimplification to reduce the topic to the notorious “faith in the good king.” The deepest people are not at all naive and hardly consider good nature to be royal dignity. Rather, he could think of the right ruler as Einstein said about God: “Sophisticated, but not malicious.” The modern model of the Russian state begins with trust and holds on to trust. This is its fundamental difference from the Western model, cultivating mistrust and criticism. And this is her strength. Our new state in the new century will have a long and glorious history. It will not break. It will act in its own way, receive and retain prizes in the major league of geopolitical struggle. Sooner or later, all those who demand that Russia “change behavior” will have to accept it. After all, it only seems that they have a choice.

30 Years Later, Russia Aims To Rewrite The Soviet War In Afghanistan

Three decades after Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan, an effort to justify a military campaign condemned for years by the public is gaining traction in Russia.

The war to start all wars 30 years later, ‘Meduza’ answers key questions about the Soviet-Afghan War — Meduza

February 15 marks 30 years since the day the last Soviet soldiers were withdrawn from Afghanistan. The Soviet-Afghan War lasted nine years: it was Russia’s longest war in a century that also included a civil war, two world wars, and a number of international conflicts. Why did Soviet leaders decide to invade Afghanistan despite internal opposition? What role did the United States really play in the conflict? What do present-day Russian government officials think about the war? Meduza answers these and other questions below.

UAWire – Russia wants to cover up soldiers’ digital trail

Russia’s State Duma has passed a bill on the second reading which prohibits soldiers from sharing sensitive information online. The initiative was proposed after a number of cases where journalists used soldiers’ social network posts to discover details about Moscow’s secret role in foreign conflicts. The bill bans soldiers and reservists from publishing any information online which could be used to discover their whereabouts or role in the armed forces. The ban is extensive, applying to photographs, videos, geolocation data and other information. The law also bans soldiers from sharing information about fellow soldiers or the relatives of soldiers. Offenders will be faced with disciplinary measures. “Information placed by soldiers on the internet or in the mass media is used for information or information-psychological effect, and even in individual cases to form a biased appraisal of Russia’s state policy,” the bill’s introduction states. For several years, investigative journalists have been using information from open sources online to find out about Russia’s role in secret operations abroad. For example, the website Bellngcat used social network posts to compile reports about Russian soldiers’ involvement in the downing of the MH17 passenger plane over Ukraine in 2014. The criminal investigation in the Netherlands concluded last year that the plane had been shot down by a surface-to-air missile belonging to the 53rd Brigade of the Russian army. Moscow denies any involvement in the incident. Roman Dobrokhotov, editor-in-chief of the online news outlet The Insider, notes that social networks have been used in many other investigations into the wars in Ukraine and Syria. For example, journalists have been able to track posts made by fellow soldiers or relatives concerning the death of Russian soldiers in these conflict regions. The news agency Reuters used social networks to identify Russian citizens fighting in eastern Ukraine at a time when Moscow denied that there were any Russian soldiers there. According to the Russian newspaper “Izvestia”, Russia’s Defense Ministry gave similar instructions in 2017. The State Duma will consider a third reading of the bill, before passing it on to the Federation Council, and finally to President Putin for signing.

Belarusian Leader Skips Munich Conference Because Of Talks With Russia’s Putin

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka will not to take part in the February 15-17 Munich Security Conference because he is in Russia holding talks with President Vladimir Putin, Belarusian officials say.

Putin Confidant Disinvited From EU-Funded Conference After Report

A close confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin has been disinvited from a conference funded by the European Union hours after his participation was revealed.

Opinion | Munich or a Requiem for the West – The New York Times

It’s no longer worth pretending Trump is not in the authoritarian camp. The shock has passed. European powers are thinking again.

UAWire – Poland stops assistance to Belarusian opposition website Charter 97

On February 14, the Editor-in-Chief of the Belarusian opposition website, Natalya Radina was invited to the Polish Foundation for International Solidarity, where she was informed that the site could expect Poland’s support in 2019 to be reduced fivefold, as reported on the edition’s website. “Such a sharp reduction of the site assistance actually means its destruction. Poland helped us after the website editorial office was crushed in Belarus, our site’s founder Oleg Bebenin was killed, journalists were arrested, and I went to the KGB jail,” Radina said. “In 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland invited the site’s editorial office to work in Warsaw and, over the years, their main assistance was provided through the International Solidarity Fund. Today, we are demonstratively deprived of the support at a time when the Prime Minister of the illegitimate Belarusian ‘parliament,’ Mikhail Myasnikovich visits [Poland]” She also emphasized that Minsk’s authorities have long demanded that Warsaw stop supporting Charter 97.

UAWire – Erdogan complains that US puts pressure on Turkey because of purchase of Russian S-400 missiles systems

US authorities have been pressuring Turkey to refuse purchasing Russian S-400 missile systems, stated the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan before meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Everyone knows that American leadership puts a lot of pressure on us concerning this issue,” Erdoğan said, as quoted by RIA Novosti. Earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated that the Alliance is discussing alternatives to S-400 systems with Turkey. NATO has suggested Italian or French missile defense systems. Stoltenberg noted that NATO opposes the deal between Turkey and Russia because the S-400 cannot be integrated into the Alliance’s defense system.

Erdogan Says Turkey To Proceed With Russian Air-Defense Purchase

Turkey’s president has said his country will proceed with plans to purchase the advanced S-400 air-defense system from Russia despite pressure from the United States to scrap the deal.

Latest Suspect Accused In Skripal Poisoning Is Russian Intelligence Officer : NPR

The suspect is a high-ranking officer in Russia’s military intelligence agency, Bellingcat says. The group accuses the Russian government of expunging documents to conceal the man’s identity.

British investigators identify third man in Russian spy poisoning: sources | Reuters

British investigators have identified a Russian military intelligence officer as a third suspect in the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, two European security sources told Reuters.

Investigative group names third suspect in poisoning of ex-Russian spy | TheHill

An investigative group based in the U.K. has identified a third individual it believes played a role in last year’s poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

Letter From Bulgarian Intelligence Refutes Talk That ‘Umbrella Murder’ Victim Georgi Markov Was A Spy

An archived document from Bulgaria’s spy agency contradicts an Eastern Bloc buzz seemingly aimed at discrediting assassinated journalist Georgi Markov.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russian War with Ukraine a Clash of Civilizations, Ikhlov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, February 15 – Russian aggression in Ukraine which is seeking to rejoin Europe is a clash of civilizations that has its roots in developments a half millennium ago when Muscovy destroyed Novgorod which like Ukraine today looked to the principles of European civilization rather than as Muscovy did and does toward those of the Mongol khans, Yevgeny Ikhlov says. Because Samuel Huntington stressed religions as the basis of civilizations, few have been willing to see that within those religious communities there can be significant civilizational conflicts. But even though both Russia and Ukraine are Orthodox, they are on two sides of a civilizational divide. According to Ikhlov, “the Russian-Ukrainian war is a typical civilizational conflict,” one in which an imperial center is seeking to take control or resume control over peoples on its borders who look not to it but to other civilizational centers, in this case to Europe ( Even though Russia is in part “’a daughter’” of European civilization, Ikhlov continues, its political system reflects not European values but those of the Mongol horde. Ukraine in contrast seeks to rejoin “’maternal’ European civilization.” As a result, “a battel has begun between two civilizational models on the territory of the former Ukrainian SSR.” Over the past five years since the Russian invasion, he argues, this civilizational divide has become even clearer. Central Ukraine “would never tolerate the kind of arbitrariness and illegality” which the Russians have introduced into occupied Crimea and the contested Donbass regions. In important ways, Ikhlov says, the conflict now is the same as the one at the end of the 15th century when “’Orthodox sultanism’” moved to suppress European values in the western borderlands Muscovy aspired to control. At that time, there occurred “the historic division of Rus into West and East,” with the former influenced by Europe and the latter by the Mongols. “Independent Ukraine today has become the embodiment of the heritage of Western Rus, including above all, the principles of municipal democracy and a rejection of the sacralization of power and of an imperially closed church,” the Russian commentator continues – the same conflict that existed between Muscovy and Novgorod 500 years ago. “It remains only to recall,” Ikhlov says, “that both attempts at the conquest of Belarus by Muscovy in the 16th and 17th centuries also were typical civilizational conflicts for the borderlands and bore an extremely sharp character as a result of the resistance of the local ‘Litvin’ population.” As a result, the conquerors used genocide to keep power.

Evgeny Ikhlov | Chrono-Civil War |

Evgeny Ikhlov: Russian-Ukrainian war is a typical civilizational conflict
update: 16-02-2019 (16:08)

These reflections may seem like one rubbish, offensively affecting their current ideas, others – commonplace, and the third – an unnecessary zaumyu. But still, I decided to systematize my repeated reflections on these issues, having chosen for the pretext the 5th anniversary of the final crisis during the Revolution of Dignity (Third Maidan [1] ).

The fact is that I consider the Russian-Ukrainian [2] conflict , which began then with the civil war, but not simple, but going on between the historical traditions of Russia, in other words – the Chronograzhannyy war.

To enter the topic, consider the events of the Second World War.

I try to avoid the expression of the Great Patriotic War, and – like many others – replace it with the expression “Soviet-German war of 1941-45” (it is possible – Second German).

Because inside the USSR (and Mongolian People’s Republic of unarmed “volunteers” ( Hilfswilliger – “Hiwi”) in the battle formations of the Wehrmacht. However, unlike the “white emigration” part that supported the Nazis, and part of the Cossack formations, these formations did not conquer the Civil War of 1917-22 for the Whites, but were the result of a split among the former winners, including split in the Soviet military and intellectual elite.

Relatively speaking, it was the “reincarnation” of the Tambov and Kronstadt uprisings.

This is nothing exceptional. In France and Italy in 1944-45, there were also internal civil wars (and in Serbia, in clashes between anti-Hitler guerrillas — the Communist Titos and the monarchists of the Chetniks). In France, in general, the battle of the Left Republicans against boulangists and anti-drifusars in the 80-90s of the 19th century was pre-war, it was also a “deferred” civil war of the Right against the Popular Front of 1934–37 [3] . In Italy, the battle of the communists with the Mussolians of 1922.

But the situation of the Russian-Ukrainian war is much more complicated.

First of all, I’ll immediately indicate that since May 2014, the armed conflict is not for the common future of <Ukrainian> nation (as it happens during civil wars), but for joining the east of Ukraine to Russia (perhaps through the intermediate stage of the temporary existence of several “independent “pseudo-states).

At the same time, in March 2014, the “Russian Spring” was a frank “vandeya” – speaking out for the return to power of the ousted Yanukovich and the pro-Russian forces, and from the beginning of April – a very short time – as an anti-oligarchic movement, i.e. as the left radical wing of the Maidan. However, the invasion of Cossacks, Russian volunteers from among left-wing nationalist-imperials, as well as proxy squads, swiftly turned it into a Russian-separatist movement, the support of which was already directed by the Russian army (“North Wind”).

It is also obvious to me that the Russian-Ukrainian war is a typical civilizational conflict, which I understand as the struggle for the “limitrop” – an intermediate inter-civilization zone, which in Moscow is commonly called the “Russian World”. A certain analogue of the battles of Macedonia with Persia for Ionia (the west coast of present-day Turkey) and Byzantium with Sasanian Iran for the South Caucasus, Mesopotamia and Syria.

Ukraine to the “maternal” European civilization, culturally independent Russia – the “daughter” of this civilization. And the battle began between the two civilization models for the territory of the former USSR. Saakashvili called it the First Geopolitical War. But this is because the word “geopolitics” is much more widely known than “civilization.” Although in Moscow, both Putin and the Patriarchate speak very honestly about the events in Ukraine in the context of a civilizational conflict.

And over the past five years, the civilizational border that passes through Ukraine has become even clearer – in “ nuclear ” [4] Ukraine would never have suffered such arbitrariness, lawlessness and unpunished harassment, which the inhabitants of the Peninsula and Lugandoniya suffer.

But let’s go further in the story …

Before the Moscow local civilization (subecumene) crystallized [5] at the end of the 15th century , it became the embodiment of “ Orthodox sultanism ” (the concept of Yu.S. Pivovarov and A.I. Fursov “ Russian system ” is usually used ) . This culture was formed by the simultaneous influence of the Byzantine civilization (according to GS Pomerantz ” Byzantine Civilization Knot “) on the combination of Scandinavian and Lithuanian cultural influences on the Slavs and Finno-Ugrians.

And then there was the historical division of Russia into Western and Eastern. Lithuanian and Polish influence westernized Western Russia. The encapsulated Horde dominant cultural Byzantine influence, as well as the Horde “social practices” that helped hypertrophy of the Byzantine despotic and mystical heritage, formed Eastern Russia.

However, the yin-yang principle has not been canceled, and within the East-Ruska, Moscow tradition, the West-Rus cultural reserve has been preserved. And this is not only the Pskov-Veliky Novgorod tradition of self-government and “polis democracy”, but also the role of a large aristocracy that was revived under Vasily IV Shuisky, Vladislav I Vas and the first Romanovs.

It so happened that independent Ukraine today became the embodiment of the heritage of Western Russia, above all, the principles of municipal democracy and the lack of understanding of the sacralization of power and the imperially closed nature of the church …

Therefore, we now see a confrontation between two cultural traditions that finally split in the XIV century, when historically almost simultaneously Lithuania smashes the Horde into the blue waters tract and includes the southern half of Western Russia (the northern half – Novgorod Land remains in the Juchi ulus), and the Moscow prince Dmitry returns under the rule of the Khan-tsar, bargaining for a high degree of autonomy and the actual status of the Horde satrap over Eastern Russia and Novgorod transferred to him in the “trust”, which he and his heirs consolidated comfort as Muscovy.

So it turned out that the Russian-Ukrainian confrontation is the battle of two alternative lines of the history of Russia, the struggle of the “Moscow present” with the “Kiev-Novgorod past.” From this and my term – Chronograzhskaya civil war .

It remains only to recall that both attempts by Muscovy to conquer Belarus – in the 16th and 17th centuries – were also typical civilizational conflicts for the “limitrop”, and were extremely fierce because of the resistance of the local “Litvinsky” population, and the conquerors took the path of genocide. That pretty soon was diligently taboo in Russian historiography.

[1] I consider the First Maidan to be the Revolution on Granite of the Fall of 1990 – a student hunger strike on Sq. The October Revolution (in honor of this revolution, it became the Independence Square), mass demonstrations of students and schoolchildren in support of the sovereignty of the Ukrainian SSR. The second is the Orange Revolution of November-December 2004.

[2] I believe that soon the Security Service of Ukraine and the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine will thoroughly identify the role of Russian political and KGB agents, including such a Moscow proxy as the Crimean “Berkut”, in the decision on armed suppression of the Revolution of Dignity and the shooting of the Maidan.

[3] I am counting on the resistance to the “Battle Crosses” performance exactly 85 years ago.

[4] The term, introduced in relation to the territory of Georgia that was not occupied by Russian troops.

[5] True signs of this: the first Russian civilizational dispute itself – between the Osiphlyans and the non-besiegers, the abolition of the main feudal law – the change of overlord and the elimination of the beginnings of urban self-government (abortion of the Communal revolution).

Evgeny Ikhlov

British Defense Chief Tells Russia To Stop ‘Trying To Goad’ West

Britain’s defense minister has accused Russia of “trying to goad the West into a new arms race” and he urged Moscow to reset its relations with the West through dialogue.

Ukraine’s President Poroshenko to meet with U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence –

The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko will meet with the Vice-President of United States Mike Pence. The President said this to journalists after Munich safety conference in Germany. “The subject of our conversation will be the security, NATO, and reform supporting reforms. Tomorrow the important agenda will be discussed”, – Poroshenko said. According to the President, those issues will be discussed with the U.S. delegation, which is represented by a great number of delegates at the Munich security conference. Earlier, the meeting of the NATO Council will take place in Ukraine soon. The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg within the framework of Munich security conference in Germany.

Poroshenko, Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Risch discuss Russia’s aggression, continuation of sanctions

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko at a meeting with Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations James Risch at the Munich Security Conference stressed the importance of coordinated steps in countering the ongoing Russian aggression.

President met with the Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations –

n the framework of the Munich Security Conference, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko met with Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations James Risch. Poroshenko outlined the importance of coordinated actions in rebuffing the Russian aggression that is still ongoing. The press-service of the President reports this. Related: Trump declares national emergency in USA “The President Petro Poroshenko stressed the importance of coordinated actions in rebuffing the ongoing Russian aggression, the latest manifestation of which was the Russian attack against Ukrainian warships. Poroshenko also emphasized that it was time to introduce an “Azov package of sanctions” against Russia as a signal that the lack of changes in Moscow’s behavior would continue to increase the price for aggression”, – the report said.

Trump signs package of laws to provide USD 700 mln in aid to Ukraine

“The package includes Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act for the 2019 Fiscal Year. The estimate of aid to Ukraine under this law was increased and approved in the amount of USD 445.7 million,” the embassy wrote on Facebook. A significant part of additional funds will be used to increase the cost of providing military and technical assistance to Ukraine under the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program up to USD 115 million. The total amount of aid to Ukraine in the 2019 fiscal year, including USD 250 million previously allocated to the Pentagon for specified purposes, is almost USD 695.7 million.

Trump signs package of laws providing $445 mln for Ukraine – news world | UNIAN

U.S. President Donald Trump has signed a package of laws approved by the Congress, which significantly increases the assistance to Ukraine for this year. The total amount of funds to help Ukraine in the 2019 fiscal year is almost $695.7 million.

Sources Say EU Ready With Sanctions Over Russia’s Detention Of Ukraine Seamen

EU diplomats have agreed to impose asset freezes and visa bans on a number of Russians involved in the capture and detention of 24 Ukrainian seamen during an incident near the Kerch Strait in November, several sources told RFE/RL.

Poroshenko: UE to approve new “Azov package” of sanctions against Russia soon –

The European Union will approve the “Azov package” of sanctions against the Russian Federation. President Poroshenko said during his conversation with journalists following the security conference in Munich. The press-service of the President reports this. Related: Poroshenko: Ukraine to cooperate with EU and UK on mutually beneficial terms “I am sure that in the coming days, at the beginning of next week, sanctions in Brussels in coordination with Ukraine will definitely be adopted”, – the President outlined. The Head of State said that the issue of imposing “Azov package” of sanctions on Russia had been discussed during his meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations James Risch.

‘Azov sanctions’ package to be adopted next week – president

The package of the so-called “Azov sanctions” against Russia for its aggression against Ukrainian servicemen and the capture of Ukrainian sailors and several ships has been discussed and approved. — Ukrinform.

We will not leave countries attacked by Russia, including Ukraine, defenseless – Great Britain’s defence secretary

Russia’s crimes are going unpunished, but the United Kingdom will not leave without the defense of the country that Russia is attacking, said Great Britains’s Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson. Russia’s crimes are going unpunished, but the United Kingdom will not leave without the defense of the country that Russia is attacking, said Great Britains’s Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson. Russia carries out aggressive actions and attacks the West, interfering in the election process, directing trolls and committing cyberattacks. All these crimes prove unpunished, but as a nation for which the main values are democracy, tolerance, and justice, we do everything to protect our freedom and are trying to work together to expose the actions of Russia… We will not leave unprotected those countries Russia is attacking. This includes Ukraine and the western Balkans, Williamson said at the Munich Security Conference on Friday. Williamson said Russia uses espionage, military, political, cybernetic and criminal means in order to undermine the success of its competitors. Violating the INF Treaty, deploying more and more new missiles with nuclear warheads, Russia is increasingly pushing for an arms race, making the world less and less secure, the secretary said.

Poroshenko: Ukraine to cooperate with EU and UK on mutually beneficial terms –

The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko discussed with Chief Negotiator and Head of the Taskforce of the EC for the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the United Kingdom Michel Barnier the development of cooperation between Ukraine and the European Union, in particular in the context of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The press-service of the President reports this. Related: Poroshenko meets with creators of “Cyborgs” movie “The President outlined that the EU and UK were reliable partners of Ukraine and cooperation between the parties would be continued and develop on mutually beneficial terms”, – the report said. The President of Ukraine has informed Barnier on the developments in Donbas and the failure of Russia to comply with the Minsk agreements. The President urged him to support the introduction of a new “Azov package” of EU sanctions against Moscow.

Poroshenko, Merkel discuss ways to counter Russia’s aggression against Ukraine

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko held talks with Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel in the framework of the Munich Security Conference. — Ukrinform.

Poroshenko, Merkel in Munich discuss ways to counter Russia’s aggression against Ukraine – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel in the framework of the Munich Security Conference have discussed ways to counter Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. The parties coordinated actions aimed at introducing the “Azov package” of sanctions.

Poroshenko, Stoltenberg discuss Ukraine-NATO cooperation for coming years

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko held a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Munich on Friday, the press service of the head of state has reported. — Ukrinform.

Poroshenko thanks Stoltenberg for NATO’s support to Ukraine, condemnation of Russian aggression – news politics | UNIAN

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko on Friday met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Munich, thanking him for the Alliance’s consolidated support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as for a strong condemnation of Russia’s aggressive actions. The parties separately discussed the ways of strengthening Ukraine’s cooperation with the Alliance in response to the threats in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, in particular with a view to increasing capabilities of the Ukrainian Navy.

UAWire – Ukrainian Defense Minister: NATO ships to visit Ukrainian ports on monthly basis

After a visit to the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said that he expects NATO ships to visit Ukrainian ports nearly every month in 2019. “This year, NATO’s naval presence in the Black Sea will be significantly stepped up. Nearly every month, ships both from NATO’s permanent naval groups and those of key allies will visit Ukrainian ports, also for the purpose of conducting joint exercises with Ukraine’s Navy,” Poltorak explained. He noted that ships will come both individually and in groups. “They will carry out their assignments, but I would like to note that, during their visit in the Black Sea, in our ports, we also plan to use their experience, their presence, to carry out joint exercises in order to improve the capability of our naval forces,” he emphasized. “NATO firmly demands that Russia release our prisoners of war, our sailors, and condemns Russia’s aggression in the Kerch Strait,” Poltorak added. On 25 November last year, Russia attacked and captured the Ukrainian military boats Berdyansk and Nikopol and the tugboat Yany Kapu in neutral waters. All 24 Ukrainians on board were accused of violating the Russian state border, arrested, and transferred from Kerch to Moscow. Ukraine considered this an act of military aggression, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe recognized the captured sailors as prisoners of war. US President Donald Trump canceled his planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin because of the Kerch Strait incident. US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker similarly called off his scheduled negotiation session with Russian Presidential Aide Vladislav Surkov. Oleksandr Turchynov, Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said in December that Ukraine had invited its international partners to take part in a passage of naval ships from the Black Sea into the Sea of Azov through the Kerch Strait. The Russian media warned that this could “aggravate the situation”.

EU, U.S. discuss new Ukraine-related sanctions against Russia

An EU spokesperson said this ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers to be held next Monday. I am convinced that during the conversation Federica Mogherini and Mike Pompeo addressed restrictive measures due to incidents in the Kerch Strait and around the Azov Sea. I do not know anything about any joint decisions in this regard. We don’t normally do so – we make our decisions, they make their own. The process is currently underway in the European Council to determine the steps that the European Union can take in this regard. These proposals, as far as I know, will not be completed by Monday, but they will appear soon, the EU spokesperson said. As reported, on February 13, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced a bill to the U.S. Senate to strengthen economic, political and diplomatic pressure on Russia “in response to Russia’s interference in democratic processes abroad, malign influence in Syria, and aggression against Ukraine, including in the Kerch Strait.” On November 25, 2018, Russia in the Kerch Strait carried out direct military aggression against Ukrainian naval vessels and captured 24 Ukrainian military sailors. All seamen captured by Russia told investigators that they are prisoners of war. International organizations and governments of many countries condemned an act of Russian aggression and demanded that Russia release Ukrainian sailors immediately and unconditionally.

EU agrees sanctions against eight Russian citizens over Azov Sea incident – news politics | UNIAN

The European Union has agreed sanctions against eight citizens of the Russian Federation over a recent Russian attack on three Ukrainian navy boats near the Kerch Strait linking the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The sanctions include visa bans and asset freezes.

President of Ukraine had a meeting with NATO Secretary General – NATO summit to take place in Ukraine soon –

The meeting of the NATO Council will take place in Ukraine soon. The press-service of the President of Ukraine reports this. According to the report, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg within the framework of Munich security conference in Germany on February, 15.

Poroshenko thanks Montenegro’s president for supporting sanctions policy against Russia

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko thanked President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović for supporting the EU sanctions policy against the Russian Federation. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine’s election race top issue of Munich meetings – Klitschko

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko says that European and American politicians at meetings at the Munich Security Conference are interested in the situation ahead of the presidential elections in Ukraine. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko says that European and American politicians at meetings at the Munich Security Conference are interested in the situation ahead of the presidential elections in Ukraine. “Our international partners hope for stability in Ukraine and that the upcoming election will not bring on the turmoil and upheaval. The future development of Ukraine for the next five years will greatly depend on these results. My opinion is that the present constellation of candidates is somewhat unexpected for our partners. So, numerous questions about the chances and prospects of candidates arise,” Klitschko commented to the journalists on the sidelines of the 55th Munich Security Conference, the mayor’s press service informed. He also pointed out the emphasis that all policymakers whom he has met place on the interest of both Europe and the States in Ukraine being democratic powerful economy with stable political environment. “They voice the interest in exporting the stability into Ukraine rather than importing upheaval. The name of the winner is not so important today. What is more important is that who will be the president that defends Ukraine’s freedom and guarantees continuation of reforms as well as pro- European and pro-NATO course of the country,” stressed Klitschko. Klitschko attended the official opening ceremony of the conference and met with the EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker, Chairwoman of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union party Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Chairman of the Christian Social Union parliamentary group in the Bundestag Alexander Dobrindt, the press service said.

Russian-backed militants launched nine attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas in last day

Russian-backed militants launched nine attacks, using weapons banned under the Minsk agreements six times, on Ukrainian positions in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in Donbas over the past day.  — Ukrinform.

One Ukrainian soldier killed, two wounded in action today, – Ministry of Defense

15.02.19 16:46 – One Ukrainian soldier killed, two wounded in action today, – Ministry of Defense Feb. 15, Russia occupation forces violated the ceasefire five times. One Ukrainian soldier was killed, two were wounded in action. View news.

Donbas war update: One Ukrainian soldier killed, another two wounded in past day – news war | UNIAN

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

Kremlin hides its losses in Donbas and Syria as USSR did in Afghanistan – Poroshenko

Soviet propaganda concealed information about the casualties of the Soviet Union during the war in Afghanistan in the same way as the Kremlin now classifies data about its losses in Donbas and Syria, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine’s General Staff prepares several plans for counteracting special forces of Russian Federation

At the conference on the development of the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Ukrainian defence officials and their colleagues from nine countries discussed the counteraction to the special forces of the Russian Federation. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine to showcase Neptun coastal defense cruise missile at IDEX 2019 – Defence Blog

Ukraine defense industry to showcase its latest Neptun coastal defense cruise missile system during the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) 2019 in Abu Dhabi. Ukraine’s state-owned defense industrial group, UkrOboronProm, readies Neptun for Middle East opportunities and decided to showcase a model of new cruise missile system during IDEX 2019 land forces exhibition. The Neptun is a subsonic coastal missile system with cruise missiles designed to engage enemy surface fighting ships and auxiliaries vessels both single and belonging to Task Forces. Modern truck-mounted anti-ship missile developed by the Kyiv-based LUCH design bureau provides rapidly relocatable, vehicle-mounted capabilities to deny access to surface threats in littoral and strategic areas. The system will be used to guard straits and territorial waters, to protect offshore sea lines, naval bases, coastal infrastructure, as well as to defend the coast at amphibious landing threat directions within the missile launch range. A typical battery is composed of 1 command and control vehicles based on the KrAZ 6×6 truck, one support vehicle, four launcher vehicles based on the KrAZ-7634НЕ 8х8 chassis each operated by a 3-man crew and holding four missiles, and two loader vehicles. The missile system boasts high mobility, short deployment and combat readiness time, large missile load and organised salvo launch capability. It provides high combat effectiveness, reliability and comfortable conditions for the crew. Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council Oleksandr Turchynov confirmed on Twitter that new anti-ship cruise missile capable of hitting targets located as far as up to 300 km away. Also noted that the Neptune can sink warships with displacements of up to 5,000 tons.






Ukraine for first time presents Аn-132D aircraft and new weapon at Aero India Exhibition

A high-level delegation of Ukraine will visit the international specialized exhibition Aero India 2019, which will start in Bangalore, India, on February 20. — Ukrinform.

Failure of Russian import substitution: “Russian Railways” speaks for lifting ban on imports from Ukraine – news economics | UNIAN

Russian Railways (RZhD) are facing the lack of components for locomotives that Ukraine could provide. Today, Russia’s import substitution is a lame duck not only in the civilian sector, but also in defense industry. Russian Railways (RZhD) are facing the lack of components for locomotives that Ukraine could provide. Vice CEO of Russian Railways has sent a letter to the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation asking to cancel the ban on imports from Ukraine of electric motors and generators, electricity generating sets, and rotating electric converters, reported with reference to Starting in 2014, under the influence of Western sanctions, Russia has stepped up efforts to import substitution. Together with representatives of the EU and the USA, Ukraine then joined the sanctions regime. In 2018, the Russian Federation imposed its own sanctions in response. Among other things, Moscow introduced them against Ukrainian enterprises exporting their products to Russian territory. However, the effect of the Russian package turned out to be exactly the opposite. Vivid confirmation of this suggestion is the problems that have arisen for RZhD. Indeed, according to the decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of December 29, 2018, imports were banned of Ukrainian electric motors and generators, electricity generating sets, and rotating electrical converters. The problem is that Russia does not produce own equipment of the kind.

Court in The Hauge rules in PrivatBank’s favor in case against Russia over Crimea assets – news economics | UNIAN

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague today, February 15, officially announced its partial award in favor of PrivatBank and against the Russian Federation in a case on the expropriation of bank assets in Crimea after the annexation of the peninsula by Russia. The court is set to consider the issue of compensation amount at the next arbitration stage.

Ukrainian Official Charged With Ordering Anticorruption Activist’s Killing

A high-ranking regional official suspected of organizing the killing of Ukrainian anticorruption activist Kateryna Handzyuk last year has been arrested.

Lawyer of suspected organizer of Handziuk murder pays bail for his client’s release – news ukraine | UNIAN

Dmytro Ilchenko, one of the lawyers of Chairman of Kherson Regional Council Vladyslav Manger, who is suspected of organizing Kherson activist Kateryna Handziuk’s murder, has said he paid bail worth UAH 2.49 million, or US$91,981, for the release of his client. The lawyer posted a photocopy of a bank receipt with a stamp indicating the required amount of bail.

PrivatBank wins lawsuit in The Hague against Russia over Crimean assets

An arbitration court in The Hague has issued a ruling in favor of PrivatBank and against Russia regarding the expropriation of the bank’s assets in Crimea, the bank’s press service has reported. — Ukrinform.

Seized Boeing of Russian Transaero was sold in Ukraine – Ukraine’s auction sells seized Boeing of Russian Transaero –

The government enterprise “The system of electronic action of the seized property” sold Boeing B 737/524, which previously belonged to the Russian company “Transaero” and was seized due to debts. The press service of electronic auction reports this. The plain price reached $66,800 once the auction had ended.

FBI admit they could not return single dollar to Ukraine, – Karen Greenway

15.02.19 14:36 – FBI admit they could not return single dollar to Ukraine, – Karen Greenway American investigators admit they had not been able to recover assets stolen by the Yanukovych regime. View news.

83,000 Ukrainians became citizens of Russia – Over 83,000 Ukrainians got Russian citizenship in 2018 –

83,081 citizens of Ukraine got the Russian citizenship in 2018 as Interfax-Ukraine reported citing migration data of Russia’s Interior Ministry. In comparison, 85,119 Ukraine got Russian citizenship in 2017. Besides, 64,861 Ukrainians received the residence permit in Russia from January until December 2018. At the moment, 170,638 citizens of Ukraine live at the territory of Russia on the residence permit.

Rector of Donetsk Medical University removed from office for attempt to expel 850 foreign students – news ukraine | UNIAN

Rector of Kramatorsk-based Donetsk National Medical University (Ukraine) Petro Kondratenko has been removed from office for an attempt to expel 850 foreign students for the alleged failure to pay tuition fees. The students will continue their studies.

Russian State Media Decries Ukraine for Renaming Its Own Cities

On February 11, the Russian state-owned media outlet RIA Novosti published an op-ed criticizing Ukraine’s renaming of towns and other toponyms in accordance with the country’s law on de-communization. RIA Novosti’s headline read: “’Not Odessa, but Kotsyubeyev!’ Why does Kyiv erase the real names of cities.” According to the article, Alexander Vasiliev, a former deputy of the Odessa (Ukrainian: Odesa) city council and historian, implies “Ukrainian nationalists” would prefer Odessa be called Khadjibey-Kotsyubeyev, as it was known before the Russian empire conquered it from the Ottomans in the late 18th century. Although he admits that it’s unlikely that anyone will actually decide to change the name. Vasiliev does not identify the Ukrainian nationalists (or any Ukrainians at all, for that matter) who supposedly prefer the old name. found no indications that anyone in the Ukrainian media, or among Ukrainian politicians or government officials, have discussed such a proposal regarding changing Odesa’s name. In fact, the idea seems to have been absent from Ukraine’s public discourse. The changing of names is part of the Law of Ukraine No. 317-VIII “On condemning Communist and National-Socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes in Ukraine and banning propaganda of their symbols,” adopted in 2015. Under this law, the names of cities and other geographic features originating from the Soviet period must be changed. In some cases, the names have reverted back to their pre-revolutionary names, but in other cases new names have been devised, as the law does not require the new names to be historic names. For example, Dnipropetrovsk, named for both the Dnipro river and the Ukrainian Bolshevik leader Grigory Petrovsky, did not revert to its last pre-revolutionary name, Yekaterinoslav, which was in honor of Russian Empress Catherine the Great (Yekaterina in Russian) and thus reflected the legacy of Ukraine’s colonization by Russia. Instead, the city was simply renamed simply Dnipro. The RIA Novosti article also questioned a recent initiative to rename Dnipropetrovsk region — named after Dnipropetrovsk city — to Sicheslavska region. It noted that the Rada deputies who proposed the name change claimed that in 1918-1921, residents of then Yekaterinoslav intended to change the city’s name to Sicheslav — derived from the term “sich,” which denoted a military-administrative organ used by Zaporozhian Cossacks. The town of Komsomolsk in the Poltava region was renamed in 2016 because it was named after the Komsomol — the Communist youth league of the Soviet Union. In accordance with Law No. 317-VIII, it was renamed Horishni Plavni. In this case, the city had no pre-revolutionary name, given that it was founded in 1960 as a mining town. Incidentally, the same cannot be said for Odessa: while the city was renamed under Catherine the Great, the name derives from the ancient Greek city of Odessos, which is believed to have been located in that region. Ukraine’s decommunization law and many of its provisions have been criticized both inside and outside the country. Legitimate complaints tend to focus on its top-down implementation and the substitution of Soviet-approved history with equally distorted, politicized narratives. Still, it is ultimately up to each country to decide how it names its cities and geographic features. It’s also worth noting that Russia has also changed the names of many cities, particularly when they conquered them as the Tsardom of Moscow expanded and evolved into the Russian Empire. After the fall of the Soviet Union, some cities such as Leningrad and Sverdlovsk were changed back to their pre-revolutionary names of St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg. In the Soviet era, Stalingrad was given the generic name of Volgograd (city on the Volga) rather than its historic name, Tsaritsyn.

“Defend the white race”: American extremists being co-opted by Ukraine’s far-right – Bellingcat – news politics | UNIAN

Newly uncovered evidence going back to 2015 suggests that the Ukrainian white nationalist Azov movement has been systematically co-opting American right-wing extremists to advance the former’s own international agenda. Evidence uncovered by Bellingcat points to recent contacts between the National Corps and alleged former U.S. armed services members who are currently in Ukraine.

Ukraine Crisis Media Center: Killings on Maidan: what we don’t know five years after the tragedy – To Inform is to Influence

Killings on Maidan: what we don’t know five years after the tragedy On February 18-20 Ukraine remembers the three bloodiest days of Maidan protests. In those days dozens of Maidan activists later called “Heaven’s Hundred” were killed. Year after year these are the days when Ukrainian media interview Serhiy Horbatuyk, head of the Department for…

Ukraine SBU blocks Russian special services’ attempt to meddle into presidential elections – news politics | UNIAN

The SBU Security Service of Ukraine has blocked an attempt of Russian special services to meddle into the presidential elections in Ukraine. Russia-based supervisors hired residents of Dnipropetrovsk region to spread disinformation.

UAWire – Kyiv: absolutely no possibility that Russian observers can be allowed to monitor Ukrainian presidential elections

Martians have more chances to be present at the presidential elections in Ukraine than Russian observers do, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin wrote on his Twitter page. “Martians have more chances to observe the elections. Of course, if they manage to go through all the procedures and join the OSCE. But they will definitely better adhere to the fundamental principles of the OSCE,” the minister said. Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow would offer the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to send candidates as short-term observers for the presidential elections in Ukraine. The request was submitted by the OSCE ODIHR. The OSCE called the denial of Russian observers’ access to Ukrainian elections unprecedented. On February 7, the Verkhovna Rada voted for a bill prohibiting Russian observers from monitoring the presidential elections in Ukraine. The Kremlin called the restriction unacceptable and said that such measures lower the legitimacy of the elections. The OSCE also called the bill unprecedented and violating the obligations of all participants in the organization. OSCE Chairman-in-Office Miroslav Laichak suggested that Ukraine reconsider the decision to ban Russian observers from monitoring the elections in Ukraine.

Pavlo Klimkin on Twitter: “Someone will not be satisfied with 🇷🇺 the observers in the presidential elections in Ukraine. The Martian is more likely to observe the 🇺🇦 election. If, of course, will have time to pass all the procedures and connect to #ОБСЄ. But they are precisely better to observe her Fundamental Principles”

ENEMO to send over 300 observers to Ukraine

The European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO) will send 48 long-term and 320 short-term observers for the presidential election in Ukraine. — Ukrinform.

Chief prosecutor Lutsenko instructs SAPO to supervise probe into Tymoshenko’s illegal enrichment – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has instructed the Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) to supervise a probe into information about the illegal enrichment of leader of the Batkivshchyna Party Yulia Tymoshenko. On February 14, the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) received a claim stating that MP Tymoshenko has committed criminal offenses. Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has instructed the Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) to supervise a probe into information about the illegal enrichment of leader of the Batkivshchyna Party Yulia Tymoshenko. Read more on UNIAN:

Anti-corruption body states about illicit enrichment of MP Tymoshenko –

The Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) filed the statement about illicit enrichment and declaration of false information by MP Tymoshenko as the Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine reported. The statement does not specify the name of the MP; however, the surname is declined as feminine (there are two MPs with such surname Yury Tymoshenko and Yulia Tymoshenko in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine). It is noted that on February 14, Prosecutor General Yury Lutsenko “got the statement on the commitment of the criminal offenses by MP Y. Tymoshenko provided by Part 2, Articles 368-2, 366-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine”.

Peace and freedom in Ukraine can be guaranteed only by EU and NATO membership, – Poroshenko

15.02.19 15:47 – Peace and freedom in Ukraine can be guaranteed only by EU and NATO membership, – Poroshenko Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko said that peace and freedom in Ukraine, as well as in all countries neighboring with Russia, can only be guaranteed by EU and NATO membership. View news.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE Epiphanius of Kiev: Let’s build the future of Ukraine together

In a long interview, the new metropolitan traces his three main tasks: unity, formation, attention to the young. The Kiev autocephalous Church is not a “branch” of Moscow. Praise for President Petro Poroshenko and ambiguous characters. Already 150 parishes have already passed from the jurisdiction of Moscow to that of Kiev.

Russian Orthodoxy, a security issue in Ukraine –

The politico-spiritual move away from Russian Orthodoxy, presented by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko as a major national security issue, has deeply angered Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has political ambitions in the region, writes Willy Fautré. Willy Fautré is the director of Human Rights Without Frontiers. On 6 January, in Istanbul, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew handed the official decree of autocephaly (independence from Moscow) to the head of the new Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), Metropolitan Epifaniy (Dumenko). On 15 December, the election of Epifaniy as Metropolitan by the unification council finalised the merge of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyiv Patriarchate) and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) under the name of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU). The Ukrainian Orthodox Church that is in communion with the Moscow Patriarchate refused to participate in this process because of a longstanding dispute over legitimacy. Two months earlier, on 11 October, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople had announced he had decided to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyiv Patriarchate) which deemed itself to be the successor of the historical Orthodox Church, created in the aftermath of the conversion and baptism of Prince Vladimir of Kiev in 988, at a time when Moscow did not even exist. On 14 October, Ukraine’s President Poroshenko declared on television that the autocephaly of Ukrainian Orthodoxy is a question of national security. The date of his public announcement was a symbolic one as it is both a religious day (Intercession of the Mother of God) and an official holiday honouring Ukrainian armed forces. In the meantime, the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate had invalidated its decree transferring the jurisdiction of the Kyiv Metropolis from Constantinople to Moscow in 1686.

Bishop accuses Russia of ‘ecclesial colonialism’, ‘saber-rattling’ in Ukraine

A leading Ukrainian Catholic bishop has said a recent declaration of independence for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church amounts to a refutation of what he called Russia’s “ecclesial colonialism,” and roundly condemned efforts to placate Russian sensitivities as part of Catholic-Orthodox relationships.

Church and State in Ukraine and the Power Politics of Orthodox Christianity

On Feb. 3, 2019, the St. Sophia Orthodox cathedral in Kiev was surrounded by a heavy security detail. Inside, 200 invited guests witnessed the ceremonial

Ukraine annuls Bishop Gedeon’s passport

Bishop Gedeon of Makariv (Yuriy Kharon), a hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church who was barred from returning to Ukraine on Thursday, provided false information about his citizenship when submitting documents to receive Ukrainian citizenship, so his Ukrainian passport has been ruled invalid, the Ukrainian State Migration Service said. “The Migration Service’s department for Volyn region received certain information from the Ukrainian Security Service in 2018, conducted an inquiry, and determined the fact of the acquisition of Ukrainian citizenship in violation of the law by a citizen of the Russian Federation and a representative of a religious organization whom the media link to special services of the aggressor country. In particular, it has been determined that, when submitting documents to acquire Ukrainian citizenship, this individual provided false information about citizenships that he held,” the Migration Service said. Following an inquiry conducted based on the Ukrainian Security Service’s letter, the decision to register Bishop Gedeon as a Ukrainian citizen and issue him Ukrainian passports were canceled in June 2018. “In line with Ukrainian law, the said person’s Ukrainian passports (both the internal and the foreign travel ones) were rendered invalid and added to the relevant database of the State Migration Service,” it said. The State Migration Service restated that an attempt by a foreigner to cross the Ukrainian border with invalid documents was prevented on February 13, that this person’s invalid Ukrainian foreign travel passport was confiscated, and that the foreigner was returned to the country from which he attempted to enter Ukraine with invalid documents. It was reported earlier that at about 6:00 p.m. on February 13, while passengers who had arrived from Frankfurt at Kyiv’s Boryspil Airport were undergoing border-control procedures, border guards seized Bishop Gedeon’s Ukrainian foreign travel passport on the grounds that he had citizenships of several countries. An interview with him revealed that he “was engaged in anti-Ukrainian propaganda and was an active adherent to the ‘Russian World’ idea.”

‘God opened up America’ — How faith united Ukrainian immigrants | The Dickinson Press

Nearing the end of the nineteenth century, the steady trickle of eastern Europeans making their way to America turned into a full-on rush of eager immigrants seeking a new life abroad. While individual Ukrainians had come to the United States and the Dakota territories years earlier, the first mass wave immigrated to the Dakotas in the late 1880s. “God opened up America and the people came here. My uncle bought our place. Our departure made it easier for those remaining in Ukraine,” Pearl Basaraba, of Billings County, wrote in 1914. Many of those Ukrainians who first ventured into the frigid Badlands of North Dakota came as farmers and quickly adapted to life on the prairie—despite tremendous hardships. The Homestead Act gave each a quarter-section of land, or roughly 60 acres, which required that they improve the land and reside on the property to keep it. While the farmlands grew through the hard work and hearty spirits of the pioneers, so too did their faith. “Many Ukrainians settled in groups and populated Billings County in a town that no longer exists called Ukrainia,” Kate Kessel, executive director of the Ukrainian Culture Institute, said. “Deeply religious people, within five years of their arrival they turned to building a church.” Near the former town of Gorham, N.D., the St. Josephat Church—the first Ukrainian church—was built in 1912. The joys would soon turn to sorrow and ash, as the church burned to the ground during a nighttime fire in 1916. “We don’t know if it was a lightning strike, or what, but the church burned down,” Kessel said. “But, they rebuilt a new church in 1917.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Despite Official Harassment, UOC’s Only Church in Russia Holds On

Paul Goble Staunton, February 15 – Moves by the Russian occupation forces in Crimea to close down or transfer to the control of the Moscow Patriarchate of Ukrainian Orthodox Churches have attracted considerable attention and even provoked suggestions that Kyiv should respond by doing something similar to Moscow-controlled Orthodox churches in Ukraine. That makes the case of the only UOC church in existence in the Russian Federation especially intriguing and even instructive. That church, located in Noginsk, a city of 100,000 some 34 kilometers east of the Moscow ring road, has had a complicated history ( In 1993, Ukraine’s TV24 reports, Father Andrian was affiliated with the ROC MP. When his religious superiors wanted to push him out, he, who was born in Ukraine, and they decided to transfer their subordination to the Kyiv Patriarchate. Russian officials were not pleased, and they sent OMON officers to throw the church and its contents into the street. But Father Andrian and a small group of followers found a place to continue to hold services in Noginsk, an arrangement that he and they assumed was sufficiently low profile to allow them to practice their religion in peace. Until 2016, it was; but then a district court ordered that their church be torn down so as “not to disturb the local population.” “Every day we have waited for the arrival” of machines which will destroy “our church,” Andrian says. But so far, nothing has happened. In his view, “our church is not touched for the simple reason that in Ukraine, Russia has 12,0000 churches, cathedrals, monasteries and lavras … Therefore, they don’t touch some church in Noginsk in order not to lose a lot in Ukraine.” “If it weren’t for the references to Patriarch Epifanii in the services” of the Noginsk church, the Ukrainian television channel reports, “even parishioners would not know that here [in the middle of Russia] is an Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”

Don’t Blame the Orthodox Church for Nasty Political Games in the Holy Land – Foreign Policy

The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate is not deliberately selling off land to Israeli settlers. It has been the victim of fraud and attacks by Israeli extremists.