Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
The Vozhd’s saber-rattling was further amplified by Kiselyov, Russia’s answer to Streicher, on Rossiya-1 TV – look at all of the things we could plink in the US using Zirkon hypersonic cruise missiles. Russian analyst Sivkov does a reasonably decent job explaining the absurdity of these propaganda phantasms. The oversized Kalibr M is to be adapted as a GLCM. TNI speculates on the adaptation of the Status 6 / Canyon nuclear-powered suicide UUV as a nuclear torp for attacking CVBGs. Sweden calls in the Russian ambassador to explain yet another instance of aerial harassment over the Baltic. Felgenhauer comments in Novaya Gazeta on Russia’s growing dependency on China, and his essay is promptly removed from the website.
Russia is hoarding gold. Amb Herbst and Erofeev produce a very nice study on Russia’s catastrophic brain drain to the West. Peskov’s daughter employed in the EP as an intern. Two interesting digests on Russia’s descent.
Russia’s hoped-for political win in Moldova turns into custard, with the two competing pro-EU parties winning many more seats than Dodon’s Putinists.
An excellent essay by Shelin on how Ukraine has broken from Russia, but Russia is unable to break from Ukraine, clinging to delusions they can somehow return it to the fold (Sergey Shelin | Five years without Ukraine – Rosbalt.ru). Some very accurate observations by Pres Poroshenko on Russia, Ukraine and the war. USS Donald Cook in Odessa. Crimea update – some of it is very ugly. Soltys argues the case for Ukraine’s military. Donbass update.
Capability update – Elbit pitching for rotary wing upgrades. Election update – Zelensky still leads creating much mirth in Western media -the sitcom star President. Politics/economy update – Eurovision winner bumped due to involvement with Russia. Mr. Jones Holodomor epic to premiere.
Tally of defected ROC parishes approaching 400. Russians to confiscate OCU churches and expel clerics from occupied territories. More on Russia’s faked ROC statistics.
When asked about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s missile threat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he sees it as bluster aimed at covering up the U.S.’s decision to withdraw from the INF Treaty.
Russia’s Zircon missiles cannot cause serious damage to the US, even though they are presented as an unstoppable weapon, claims Russian military expert Konstantin Sivkov. In an interview with the Vzglyad news outlet, Sivkov said that it is “utter folly” to think that two or three Russian vessels in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific could destroy America’s military headquarters with Zircon missiles. “These ships couldn’t even come within 500-1000 kilometers of the US coast. A powerful system for monitoring the above-water and submarine situation is deployed there,” observed the Russian expert, who is also president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems and a doctor of military sciences. “This is a failure to understand what we are talking about. The Zircon is an anti-ship missile, designed to destroy groups of ships. It can also be fired at ground targets, but for all its speed advantages, it carries a normal warhead. And to destroy command centers, especially underground ones with powerful defenses, a large weapons discharge is needed. I can’t imagine which three ships are being referred to,” Sivkov remarked. When assessing the theoretical likelihood of carrying out the task at hand, Sivkov said that it would be advisable to use submarines that can launch missiles with a range of 12,000 km. Retired Rear Admiral Vsevolod Khmyrov said previously that Zircon missiles would be guaranteed to destroy the US’s decision-making centers. “A hypersonic system such as the Zircon will effectively penetrate any anti-air and anti-missile defense systems. Nothing can protect against it,” Khmyrov observed. During his annual address to the Federal Assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the work to develop the Zircon is proceeding successfully and on schedule. He said that the missile will have a speed in excess of Mach 9 and a range of more than 1,000 km. During the speech, he also said that he is prepared to attack the US’s “decision-making centers” if necessary. When ready, the Zircon missiles will be deployed on new and existing naval ships and submarines. Sivkov said previously that the destruction of the US could be guaranteed if Russia were to launch a strike against certain geographical zones of North America, namely the Yellowstone and Pacific faults. In such a scenario, the Russian military expert believes that “the destruction of the US and the entire transnational elite would be guaranteed”.
Russian state television has listed U.S. military facilities that Moscow would target in the event of a nuclear strike, and said that a hypersonic missile Russia is developing would be able to hit them in less than five minutes.
Yesterday 11:42 PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, Feb 24 – RIA Novosti. The TV channel “Russia 1” (included in the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company) in the program “News of the Week” called possible targets for the Zircon rocket in the United States in the event of a threat to Russia. Among such targets on the East Coast of the United States are the Pentagon building in Washington, which houses the highest command and control structures of the Armed Forces and the Chiefs of Staff Committee, Camp David – government control center, Fort Richie (Maryland) – control center of the American President and command center Headquarters Committee. Among the targets on the West Coast is McClellan (Calif.) – managing strategic offensive forces, and Jim Creek (Washington) – nuclear command and control center. “If we, without disturbing anything and not disturbing anyone, simply place our submarines with Zircon missile launchers in the oceans – 40 pieces on each submarine, then the very same decision-making centers, right there, are within reach of the Russian hypersonic weapon. which Putin said. <…> Our boats are outside the exclusive US economic zone 200 miles wide. Two hundred miles is 370 kilometers. We set up quietly at a distance of 400 kilometers from the coast. All these decision-making centers from the coast are also wrong far away let’s say 400 more. Total 800. “Zircon flies at a speed of 11 thousand kilometers per hour. If so, then covering 800 kilometers Zircon will spend a little less than five minutes. A problem for a third grade student. Here it is, flying time,” the broadcast said. News of the week. ” As Vladimir Putin stated in his address to the Federal Assembly, the Russian hypersonic sea-rocket “Zircon” will have a speed of nine Machs and a range of more than a thousand kilometers. She will arm surface and submarine ships, both promising and under construction. If there is a threat to Russia, Zircons will strike at American decision-making centers, from where they manage missile defense systems in Europe. As is known, in their launchers there may be short- and medium-range missiles intended for striking Russia. Washington has already deployed Mk41 installations in Romania, similar systems are being deployed in Poland. They are adapted to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles. According to Rear Admiral and Hero of Russia Vsevolod Khmyrov, every Russian ship is capable of releasing about 40 Zircon missiles at once in American command centers. He stressed that the carrier with missiles, located at a distance of 500 kilometers from the coastline, will be able to hit objects in the coastal strip at a depth of at least 500 kilometers in five minutes. At the same time, the missile defense system will only have time to detect the missiles, but will not hit them, Khmyrov summed up.
Russian media report that five military decision-making centers in the United States can become targets of Russian Zircon missiles if Moscow sees a threat coming from Washington. Moscow threatens to strike decision-making centers controlling the Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense system if U.S. deploys missiles in Europe. Russian media report that five military decision-making centers in the United States can become targets of Russian Zircon missiles if Moscow sees a threat coming from Washington. Among such targets on the U.S. East Coast are the Pentagon HQ in Washington, which houses the highest command and control structures of the Armed Forces and the Chiefs of Staff Committee; Camp David, the government command post; Fort Ritchie, Maryland, the command post of the American President and the command center for the Chiefs of Staff Committee. Among the targets on the West Coast is McClellan (California), a site where strategic offensive forces are managed, and Jim Creek (Washington), hosting a nuclear command and control center, according to RIA Novosti.
In response to the USA’s withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), Russia plans to develop a ground-based version of …
Belarus may employ reciprocal measures together with Russia if the USA deploys missiles in Europe in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear …
Or is this just fake news?
Russia’s ambassador to Sweden has been summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to explain why a Russian fighter jet flew within 20 metres off a Swedish aircraft last week, public broadcaster SVT reported.
Sweden says it will summon Russia’s ambassador on Monday to explain why a Russian fighter jet flew just 20 meters (66 feet) away from a Swedish reconnaissance plane in international airspace over the Baltic Sea earlier this week.
Russia’s ambassador to Sweden has been summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to explain why a Russian fighter jet flew within 20 metres off a Swedish aircraft last week. The Swedish armed forces reported the incident to the government, and now the foreign ministry said it wants answers.
Paul Goble Staunton, February 24 – Three days ago, Pavel Felgengauer published in Novaya gazeta an article headlined “The Dependence of Russia on China is Growing with Each Passing Day” (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2019/02/21/79636-gruz-400). It has now been taken down, something that only highlights its importance and does nothing to keep people from reading it. That is because in the age of the Internet, suppressing articles is typically a fool’s errand, given that most are reposted elsewhere as in this case (charter97.org/ru/news/2019/2/23/324628/ and censoru.net/33624-gruz-400-zavisimost-rossii-ot-kitaja-narastaet-s-kazhdym-dnem.html) and that suppression only encourages people to read what they might otherwise have ignored. Felgengauer is one of Moscow’s most respected independent military analysts, and this article is important not only for what it says about Russia’s increasing dependence on China for military technology, a reverse of what was true only a few decades ago, but also about the shifting geopolitical balance toward China at Russia’s expense. The military analyst devotes most of his article to the way in which Russian officials blamed their inability to deliver on a military contract by saying that the equipment had been lost at sea. But this is obviously a cover for something more serious – the inability of Russia to meet its obligations and deliver the most advanced systems. Claiming that equipment has been lost at sea, Felgengauer points out, was “a classic Soviet means” of dispensing with outdated products and escaping responsibility for meeting its contractual obligations. What is worrisome is that nearly three decades after the end of the USSR, Moscow continues to use the same means. “President Vladimir Putin,” the military analyst says, “publicly maintains the equal nature of Russian-Chinese interaction, but in reality, one can only dream about this today.” China has been living under sanctions concerning dual use goods since the Tiananmen Square bloodbath. That forced Beijing to move quickly toward import substitution. According to Felgengauer, “in the 1990s, a comparatively poor and backward China had to buy in Russia what it couldn’t get in the West,” although Moscow was not willing to sell everything Beijing wanted. Nonetheless, “much than came from Russia into China.” But today, Russia because of the sanctions imposed on it can’t provide as many high-tech items. In case after case, Russia can’t produce the military goods it would like to because many of the components it needs it can no longer obtain because of Western sanctions over Ukraine. Unlike China which has been largely successful in import substitution, Russia has not made much progress, Felgengauer says. And that has had another consequence that reflects the changing balance between Russia and China: Russia is now buying military equipment from China that it cannot now produce on the basis of its own resources. “China still needs Russia,” Felgengauer concludes, but talk about equality in their relations is “ever less” true, as the balance shifts away from Moscow.
Russia has effectively stopped exporting gold on the world market due to the Bank of Russia buying vast quantities of the precious metal for its …
Human capital is fleeing Russia. Since President Vladimir Putin’s ascent to the presidency, between 1.6 and 2 million Russians – out of a total population of 145 million – have left for Western democracies. This emigration sped up with Putin’s return as president in 2012, followed by a weakening economy and growing repressions. It soon began to look like a politically driven brain drain, causing increasing concern among Russian and international observers. In this pioneering study, the Council’s Eurasia Center offers a clear analysis of the Putin Exodus and its implications for Russia and the West. The study, which is authored by Ambassador John Herbst and Dr. Sergei Erofeev, examines the patterns and drivers of Russian emigration to the West since 2000 based on the findings from focused interviews and surveys with new Russian émigrés in four key cities in the United States and Europe.
The authors of Atlantic Council’s reports “Putin’s Exodus: The New Russian Brain Drain,” believe that a new wave of emigration from Russia is …
The Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation of Poland, Marek Grubarchik, expressed his opinion that protests against the construction of the canal through the Vistula (Baltic) Spit, which should connect the Baltic Sea to the Vistula Lagoon started because of Russia, reports Polish Radio. According to the radio station, the European Commission initiated a meeting with Poland’s representatives, after it announced the start of the shipping canal construction work. The European Union raised questions about cutting down trees within the framework of these works, as well as the soundness of the project itself and its possible environmental risk. Grubarchik stressed that the construction of the channel does not threaten nature, and the European Commission decided to intervene in the project only because of Russia. According to the minister, last year he asked the EC “not to succumb to the Russian narrative.” According to the politician, Russian authorities want to block the construction through the Vistula Spit. “The representative of Russia appealed to the European Commission, and it subsequently expressed caution based on Russian statements,” stated the Polish Radio. Earlier, the Greenpeace Polska Foundation representative, Magdalena Figura, said that the canal’s construction through the Vistula Spit would cause serious harm to the environment. Due to this, representatives of the organization sent a complaint to the European Commission, Polish newspaper Do Rzeczy reports. At the end of 2018, Poland announced a tender for the construction of a canal through the Baltic Spit, which separates the Kaliningrad Bay from the Gdansk Bay. The total length of the spit is 65 km, of which 35 belong to Russia. In the fall of 2018, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the chairman of the leading Law and Justice party in Poland, and Grubarchik placed a pillar on the spit, which became a construction start symbol. As the Polish news outlet reported, the preparation works started a few days ago, and now they are cutting down trees. The canal will allow Polish ships to bypass Russian waters when entering the Vistula (Kaliningrad) Bay port. The canal length will be 1.3 km, the maximum width – 120 m. Poland will cover the cost of works estimated at 880 million zlotych (more than 15.8 billion rubles).
The daughter of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman works as an intern in the European Parliament in Brussels, and has unhindered access to various EU documents, RFE/RL has learned.
Paul Goble Staunton, February 25 – Ever more commentators as well as ordinary Russians via polls are declaring that the Russian state exists only to enrich its officials and that the supposed struggle against corruption is meaningless except as an attempt to distract the country’s attention from the real problems it faces. And at least one analyst has said what many others have implied: the only way to end this situation is via a revolution that will sweep away both the officials and the informal arrangements they have which allow this situation and the negative consequences it has on the country to continue, a logical conclusion but likely one few Russians are prepared to act on. In a oft-reposted commentary today, the SerpomPo telegram channel today argues that the near total corruption in Russia is a reflection of the fact that it is “an inalienable part of the Putin regime … as a result, nothing will come of ‘the struggle’ against it” as manifest in the continuing charges and convictions Moscow is pleased to announce (t.me/SerpomPo/2700). The reason is simple, SerpomPo says, “it is impossible to defeat bribes in a state where the entire sense of the work of the government apparatus, beginning from the very top is personal enrichment” rather than service to the people and where that enrichment becomes possible only by the massive corruption the regime will never address in a serious way. A new poll shows that Russians overwhelmingly agree with this: 70 percent say that bribes and corruption are evidence that the government is not doing its nominal job but instead is falling apart (novayagazeta.ru/news/2019/02/25/149520-levada-tsentr-pochti-70-rossiyan-schitayut-vzyatki-chinovnikov-i-ih-aresty-proyavleniem-razlozheniya-vlasti).Moreover, polls show that recent arrests an attempt by the regime too distract them from rea problems (meduza.io/news/2019/02/25/levada-tsentr-chetvert-rossiyan-nazvali-arest-arashukovyh-sposobom-otvlech-vnimanie-ot-realnyh-problem). And one in five think recent arrests have been really about fighting corruption (capost.media/news/society/tolko-chetvert-rossiyan-schitayut-arest-arashukovykh-borboy-s-korruptsiey/).Moscow commentator Dmitry Milin takes the next step: He argues that “once again nothing depends on ‘the state machine’” which operates for itself and takes from the society without giving back. “The Russian official produces nothing except corruption, theft, foolishness, disorganization and harm” (blog.newsru.com/article/25feb2019/marazm). “Unfortunately, this is our historical tradition,” he continues. And history shows that “the only hope for breaking the bureaucracy is revolution, historically the poorest method of changing rulers because of the risk that extremists will come to power. But we do not have any other means.” “Attempts to reduce the power of the bureaucracy by bureaucratic means are condemned to complete failure. The bureaucracy doesn’t work that way. Like bacteria, it spreads” until there is nothing else for it to infect. It can only be accepted with all the negative consequences or killed off with the risk that a new bureaucracy will arise.
Paul Goble Staunton, February 24 – Russians face a veritable “tsunami” of telephone bomb threats, Dmitry Glebov of the Rosbalt news agency says; but neither they nor officials know precisely what to do against threats that are sometime reported when Moscow feels it cannot do otherwise and often not when it thinks it can get away with that. But such on-again, off-again coverage does not accurately reflect either the continuing threats and evacuations Russians now face or do anything about the fears they have about who may be behind these threats, how soon it will be until one of these bomb threats turns out to be real, and what the authorities should in fact do (rosbalt.ru/piter/2019/02/23/1765856.html). Such “cyberterrorism is ever more often attacking Russian cities,” Glebov says; and his agency decided to try to calm the concerns Russians have especially as ever more of them are evacuated because of the threats but no further information is provided. Working with retired FSB Maj. Gen. Aleksandr Mikhaylov, he tries to answer the most important questions. “The first wave” of such telephone terrorism began on September 11, 2017. It hit facilities in 75 federal subjects and led to the evacuation of “about two thousand buildings.” More recent waves have been different only in that the threats are now made not by telephone in most cases but via the Internet. The targets in Russian cities continue to be hospitals, polyclinics, universities, schools, theaters, museums, parks, detention centers and, most prominently, shopping centers and entertainment facilities. Only some of these threats and evacuations are reported, apparently to avoid spreading panic but in fact leading to more suspicions. These false threats are costing cities “millions of rubles,” especially in larger cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg where the facilities have more people in them. And they create problems few report, like the return of money people have paid for tickets to watch films of perfomances. The retired FSB general says that “it is difficult to calculate the losses.” They involve lost time at work, lost production, and policing costs. “Don’t forget the service dogs” who sniff for bombs: they also are not an unlimited resource.” The total costs are “enormous” if one adds them up. While some say that the authorities should ignore the threats, Mikhaylov argues tha the authorities must respond to every threat because at one point or another, these threats could prove to be anything but fake. Indeed, he suggests, the fake ones may be a cover for a real one that could cost many lives. Mikhaylov says that the perpetrators can be found if they are on the territory of Russia, but many of the IP addresses are based abroad, often in Ukraine, Moldova or Syria, an indication that the task will be more difficult but certainly not impossible. If there was more international cooperation, things would be easier. At the same time, Mikhaylov says, “I do not exclude that we are dealing with an element of state policy – or the policies of some parties and movements which take anti-Russian positions. It is easy to blame the special services, but one must understand that they can’t block all hooligan actions.” New and tougher laws may help but only if those responsible are caught, tried and punished. Otherwise, they will only highlight the inability of the authorities to cope with a situation that is leaving ever more Russians worried about what will happen next.
The Russian company that gave the world the iconic AK-47 assault rifle has unveiled a suicide drone that may similarly revolutionize war by making sophisticated drone warfare technology widely and cheaply available.
The latest modification of the T-80 tank will receive so-called ‘soft packages’ with explosive reactive armor, according to the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies. The improved version of the Soviet-design tank, known as T-80BVM, is reportedly fitted with the Relikt 3-rd generation explosive-reactive armor (ERA) in standard kits and also in soft or flexible packages. The new ‘soft packages’ offers major improvements in capabilities compared with standard bricks. The tank soft kit is a durable fabric package, attached by belts on the main side armor at a distance of 10-15 centimeters. Inside these ‘packages’ are exactly the same elements of explosive reactive armor as usual. Moreover, the soft ERA (exactly as it is called in Russia) is hung only on the sides of the armored vehicle, while all the same ‘bricks’ are used on the turret and frontal armor. The main reason for the use of soft ERA is that in urban environments, it is necessary for a tank to come into contact with any solid surface (a corner of a building, walls) the elements of a classic ERA are torn off the sides, leaving unprotected areas.
The pool of countries interested in buying Russias Su-57 fighter jets is not limited to India, Viktor Bondarev, the chairman of the Russian parliaments upper house Defense and Security Committee, said on Monday
Real Russian Club Premiered 13 hours ago Stalin Line was a line of fortifications along the western border of the Soviet Union. Work began on the system in the 1920s to protect the USSR against attacks from the West. The line was made up of concrete bunkers and gun emplacements, somewhat similar to, but less elaborate than the Maginot Line. It was not a continuous line of defense along the entire border, but rather a network of fortified districts, meant to channel potential invaders along certain corridors. I’ve made a little tour for you, showing Soviet military equipment. If you like Belarus, check out my other videos from this country: Apartment in Minsk for $18 – https://youtu.be/ywlHvW3r4HM Russians in Belarus –https://youtu.be/naySDY2-9hU
Paul Goble Staunton, February 25 – Because the pro-Western party that had dominated the Moldovan parliament lost support and a pro-Moscow one garnered the largest number of votes, some in Moscow celebrated the outcome of parliamentary elections in Moldova as a triumph for Russia. But even Russian analysts quickly pointed out that the elections did not represent the turning point in that former Soviet republic Moscow and pro-Russian Moldovan president Igor Dodon hoped for. Instead, the pro-Western parties, now in a coalition, will continue to dominate the situation there (nakanune.ru/news/2019/2/25/22534010/). As Russian political analyst Maksim Zharov pointed out, the socialists celebrated victory “too early” as the outcome of the vote “will not change the political course” in Chisinau. Instead, the standoff between the parliament, which has been looking West toward the EU and NATO, and the president who looks East toward Moscow, seems likely to continue. Konstantin Zatulin, the deputy chairman of the Russian Duma’s committee for CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Ties with Compatriots, was even more blunt: “The results of the elections in Moldova did not justify the hopes which a part of the Russian political elite laid on Moldovan President Igor Dodon (regnum.ru/news/2580031.html). The Russian deputy says that he has the impression that “some of us, I hope not at the highest level, have made of Dodon an idol. This must not be done in any case. In the past in other countries we have had our idols in which we have then been cruelly disappointed. The entire history of our work in Ukraine is a history of our fallen idols.” “Kravchuk and Yanukovich with a pause in the form of Yushchenko” shows this, as “we know how all these histories end. Dodon is no better and no worse than these.” Indeed, despite Russian hopes, his position on Transdniestria, which is so important to Moscow, is “no different from other politicians of Moldova. The crux of Zatullin’s argument is that Moscow assumes it can rely on the presidents of the former Soviet republics to do its bidding, forgetting that they in many cases operate in political systems that are far more dependent on the will of the people as expressed in competitive politics than is Russia. Such projections by Moscow of the Russian situation on others may be appropriate in some countries in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Belarus; but they get in the way of developing a more serious and long-term Russian policy everywhere else. The vote in Moldova yesterday is simply another confirmation of this.
No party has secured a majority in Moldova’s parliamentary elections, preliminary results show, as rival political forces are engaged in a tug-of-war between integration with the European Union and closer ties with Moscow.
Moldova Service correspondent Valentina Ursu spoke with political analyst Angela Gramada, president of the Experts for Security and Global Affairs think tank in Bucharest, about the campaign and th…
In September 2003, German political scientist Hanns Maull published an essay in which he postulated that Germany willfully neglected foreign and security
Paul Goble Staunton, February 23 – “The victory of the Kyiv revolution in February 2014 marked the final divorce of Ukraine and Russia and thus became one of the most important events of the 21st century, Sergey Shelin says; but in the five years since, Ukraine has made use of this new situation in positive ways while Russia has not been able to accept it. “The official dismantling of the USSR was conceived as far as these two countries are concerned as a formal event,” the Rosbalt commentator says, and for some time, it remained such in both countries. But the events of 2014 made the dismantling real, and Ukraine has acted on that (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2019/02/22/1765790.html). Today’s Ukraine, he writes, “is a poor but viable state, which over the past five years has shown its ability to live without Russia.” Personal ties have weakened, economic dependency has as well, and now Russia is viewed there as another country, hostile rather than part of some larger entity as Russians still continue to view Ukraine. Ukraine’s economy has “grown for the fourth year in a row, quite slowly but all the same faster” than Russia’s. Its people are no longer going to Russia to find work but rather to Europe. “And the Ukrainian army is not super-strong but is sufficiently capable, and there is not the slightest sign that it will throw down its arms and go home.” In short, Shelin says, “Ukrainians have left and are living their own life.” They don’t accept the idea anymore that they are anybody’s including Russia’s “younger brother” or “junior partner.” Unfortunately, Russians from top to bottom have not adjusted to this new reality. The Kremlin and the popular masses view Ukrainians as ungrateful traitors; and as it well known, traitors are hated more than enemies of other kinds. At the very least, it is harder to forgive them and move on. But Russians do not understand that “national independence is not treason. This is the right of a nation if a nation is conscious of itself.” The Russians remain “people of the empire” and expect others to continue to accept that arrangement, one that puts the Russians on top, forever. This is not the first time something like this has happened among Russians. “In the 1990s, the object of a quite strong and long dislike was little Estonia” and the reasons were more or less the same. The existence of that state as an independent one seemed to Russians both unreasonable and incorrect. This Russian hostility led to a growth of ethnic nationalism which has ebbed with time and to an explosion of “civic energy” which has transformed Estonia into a European country on its own as far as Russia is concerned. Because it is smaller and ethnically more distinct than Ukraine, the Russians have mostly come to terms with its separateness. What is distressing, Shelin continues, is that in the case of Ukraine, not only the powers that be and the masses are anti-Ukrainian but a large portion of Russia’s intellectual circles are as well. They too display emotions which can only be explained by the continuing power of imperialist ideas among Russians. Some Russian intellectuals say Ukraine shouldn’t go its separate way because the main vector in international life is toward cooperation and unity, but that isn’t true. And some complain that Ukraine hasn’t shown the way for Russia to change – but that is not Ukraine’s responsibility, the commentator argues. “Good or bad, Ukraine does not owe use anything,” Shelin says. “This is another country. It lives by its brains and for itself, not for us. I do not think that five years of life without Russia has passed for it in vain, but this is for its citizens to decide.” But can Russians say that they have changed in the five years they have lived without Ukraine? The answer is mixed. “One thing has changed for the better: the masses are tired of the hostility. They are fed up with focusing on it and want attention to be paid to their problems at home. And only our most senior people as before are not tired: for them, the empire has no alternative” that to proceed as before. That is their tragedy and Russia’s. Ukraine is moving on and ahead.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko sits down with ‘America’s Newsroom’ on the 5-year anniversary of the annexation of Crimea.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said a threat of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine is “quite real.” Poroshenko says preparations for war are under way near the border with Ukraine, namely in Russia’s Smolensk, Voronezh, Belgorod, and Rostov regions, as well as in Russian-occupied Crimea.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said the Russian Federation has been deploying attack missile units with Iskander tactical missile systems near the border with Ukraine. According to the president, the creation of attack forces in the western and south-western strategic directions has absolutely nothing to do with defense for the Russian Federation.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said Ukraine has built up the grouping of troops and air force on potentially threatening directions from the Russian Federation, as well as increased the combat strength of its anti-aircraft missile forces. Ukraine has also formed a number of new combat brigades and military units of operational, logistic and technical support.
“The strategy of our further counteraction to the Russian aggression must be based on the systemic and integrated response to the threats, in particular, through the rigid and active defense, which makes aggressive actions of the enemy pointless. The state’s defense potential must be increased,” he said at the opening of the operational-strategic meeting with the leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, an Ukrinform correspondent reported. According to the president, Ukraine also needs to introduce international monitoring in the areas of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. “It is important to establish and maintain cooperation with partners on all international platforms and to coordinate strategic communications. Also, international monitoring tools to control security situation must be introduced, especially in the areas of the Black and Azov Seas,” Poroshenko said.
Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze says Russia is blatantly blocking attempts to returen Ukrainian POWs till the presidential elections end
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko visited the US Navy destroyer Donald Cook in Odesa, where he met with U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker. — Ukrinform.
Russia has not given up the attempts to achieve its goals in Ukraine by military means, and the threat of a full-scale war remains real. — Ukrinform.
U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker, who arrived in Odesa on February 26, has expressed his support for Ukraine and the principles of freedom of navigation in the Black Sea. — Ukrinform.
The directorate of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) in Odesa region has approved notices of suspicion for seven Russian servicemen due to their attack on Ukrainian sailors in the Kerch Strait, Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) spokesperson Andriy Lysenko has reported on his Facebook page. — Ukrinform.
U.S. guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook, which entered the Black Sea last week to conduct joint exercises with Ukraine and other allies, has arrived at the port of Odesa, according to an Ukrinform correspondent. — Ukrinform.
The visit of U.S. guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook to Odesa symbolizes the strength of the partnership between Ukraine and the United States, according to U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. — Ukrinform.
This morning, a banner reading “Russia, push off! Crimea is our home” was hung over a road in Simferopol city in occupied Crimea. — Ukrinform.
In a recent ‘military game’ in occupied Crimea, Russia’s Defence Ministry had children pretending to be military intelligence agents and gathering information about ‘the enemy’ –
Over the last few years, Hromadske has systematically shed light on political repression in Crimea – in particular, the religious persecution of Crimean Tatars.
A mobile train exhibition featuring “trophy weapons and military equipment” seized from Syria will stop at Sevastopol and Kerch, reports the …
Some 13,000 people have been killed, a quarter of them civilians, and as many as 30,000 wounded in the war in eastern Ukraine since it broke out in April 2014, the United Nations says.
Last year Washington finally gave Kyiv the javelin missiles it had been begging for. But the javelins are mostly symbolic and won’t change much on the frontlines. For more than six months, Washington has been talking about giving Ukraine additional arms to improve its air and naval defenses. These arms are more likely after Russian ships attacked Ukrainian ones in November 2018. Some experts have put together lists of equipment that the United States could easily give or transfer. But before we get ahead of ourselves, Congress may wonder if the Ukrainian army is any good and whether the funds will go to waste. Is the Ukrainian army worthy of greater investment? In a word, yes. With a total of 250,000 personnel, Ukraine’s army is a strong fighting force, the third largest in Europe after the Russian and French militaries. Most military experts agree that the Ukrainian army could impose high costs on Russia in a defensive war. Simultaneously, however—and more important—Ukraine’s military is a “people’s army,” one that has the backing of civil society and is the most trusted institution. In many ways, it serves as a bridge between government and the public—and it is helping to keep the peace throughout Europe. None of that was true when the Russian army backed separatists in the Donbas in 2014. Back then, the Ukrainian army consisted of poorly equipped conscripts who had been demoralized after years of neglect by governments in Kyiv. At the time, hastily formed volunteer battalions took on some of the earliest fighting, until the regular army could find its feet. Field units fought essentially uncoordinated local battles against the separatist-Russian forces directly in front of them; casualties were unnecessarily high. Nonetheless, while accounts vary, it appears that the Ukrainians inflicted significant losses on the attackers. After the USSR imploded, Ukraine inherited some of the most modern segments of the Soviet military industrial complex, namely precision weapons, missile guidance systems, radars, and electronics. The ground forces are now at least adequately supplied with tanks and armored vehicles, and priority has shifted to air defense. Producing its own components, Ukraine has modernized or developed short and medium-range anti-aircraft systems, a tactical ballistic missile, and a multiple-use cruise missile. Serial production of these weapons is either just beginning or is one or two years away, but quantities will be constrained by lack of finances. Perhaps worse than financial constraints is an outdated military bureaucracy and culture that emphasizes force concentration and subordination rather than a flexible type of warfare that is possible with motivated citizen-soldiers. Symptomatically, as many as 80 percent of contractees do not renew their contracts, mostly out of frustration with the poor command. The upper command’s ability to coordinate forces over a large theater within high-intensity warfare is questionable. But Ukraine’s army is perhaps more interesting as a political institution than a combat one. It is composed mainly of ethnic Ukrainians, making the army more cohesive than the general population. Because the army is now largely a volunteer one, motivated recruits self-select into the ranks. A test of the military’s values occurred during the 2014 Euromaidan, when the army refused to support the authoritarian regime led by President Victor Yanukovych and suppress social dissent. Another test occurred that year when volunteer battalions and the army dared to defy the intimidating Russian forces, whose Soviet ancestors once rolled over countries in Eastern Europe at will. The army survived the early rounds of the war partly because the civilian population rallied to repair vehicles, provide clothing, and buy personal equipment for the soldiers such as armored vests and night-vision goggles. Civilian volunteers braved danger to transport the equipment to the front and arrange its distribution. To its credit, the Ministry of Defense was one of the first government ministries to participate in online procurement through ProZorro, which tracks the supply and feeding of the army. Of necessity, the largest proportion of NGOs and volunteer organizations in Ukraine are concerned in some way with defense issues. Most volunteer battalions have been integrated into the regular army, and relations between the army and civilian population in the liberated zones of the Donbas are good. The result is a cohesive front. The army and nation have sacrificed too much to watch the government give to the Kremlin at the negotiating table what was paid for on the battlefield. Ukrainian defense officials have estimated that in a full-scale attack by Russia, the Ukrainian army could lose 15,000 soldiers in three weeks; but the population is psychologically prepared for such a scenario. For its part, the Kremlin must realize that if it were to cause more destruction in Ukraine, it would utterly lose the affection of the population; at the same time, the Ukrainian army would draw the teeth of the Russian army and economy even in retreat. Nonetheless, there is no prospect of NATO membership in the near future. And given the West’s failure to enforce the Budapest Memorandum, whereby Ukraine forfeited its nuclear weapons for security “assurances,” NATO is not a credible ally in any case. NATO is useful, and essential, for joint weapons development and training, which are about as much as can be expected from it. Considering that the West declines to supply more than symbolic levels of lethal weapons, it is understandable that President Petro Poroshenko aspires to build his country’s military industry. Meanwhile, Europe gets a free ride on the Ukrainian army’s defense effort. Ukrainians have shown that Russia can be resisted; this is heartening to the Baltic countries and reduces defeatism more broadly in Eastern Europe. Western Europeans can have both economic relations with Russia and military security, for their security risks have been externalized to the Ukrainian army. This perhaps explains Western Europeans’ complacency in the face of Russian threats. In sum, the Ukrainian army enables a favorable situation in the region. Domestically, democracy continues its gradual development under this army’s protection. Internationally, Russia has been contained and would be weakened in a further war, and Western Europe may attend to its own affairs. The Ukrainian civilian population and under-equipped army conveniently guard Europe’s eastern wall. But such an effort cannot be sustained indefinitely by a poor country with a population less than one-third that of Russia’s. Thus Western military and economic aid is necessary. In the meantime, there have been no serious crises in Europe recently because the Ukrainian army has matters in hand. Militarily, politically, and economically, this army is good for all of Europe. Dennis Soltys is a professor in the Department of Public Administration and International Development at KIMEP University in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
One Ukrainian soldier killed, one wounded in Donbas. Militants used banned heavy weapons again. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
Russia’s hybrid military forces mounted 16 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas in the past 24 hours, with one Ukrainian soldier reported as killed in action and another two as wounded in action. According to intelligence reports, three enemy troops were eliminated and another four were wounded.
Two Russian snipers eliminated in Donbas combat zone
Servicemen of the Ukrainian Joint Forces have destroyed two enemy snipers in Donbas, the press center of the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) has reported on its Facebook page. — Ukrinform.
Residential houses and a car were damaged, while segments of brick fences were completely destroyed in a recent attack by Russia’s hybrid military forces on the town of Zolote in Luhansk region’s Popasna district. No civilian casualties have been reported.
The Russia-occupied town of Makiyivka in Donetsk region was shaken by an explosion on Monday morning. Propaganda channels reported it was “an assassination attempt on the ‘DPR Interior Ministry’s’ unit commander.”
According to monitoring data of the PlaneRadar aviation service on Twitter, on Sunday, February 24, the US Navy aircraft conducted …
Ukrainian journalist Denys Kazansky has said the so-called “council of commanders” of the “Union of Donbas Volunteers,” an organization in which Russian-led fighters fought for the so-called “Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics” (“LPR”/”DPR”) against Ukraine, took place in Moscow on February 15. The Russian authorities can no longer say that they have nothing to do with the militants in Donbas.
The SBU Security Service of Ukraine in Kharkiv region has blocked a terrorism sponsoring scheme used by the so-called “Luhansk People’s Republic” terrorist organization. Local pseudo-entrepreneurs regularly bought excisable goods, namely tobacco, in the Russian-occupied area of Ukraine’s Luhansk region and sold them in Ukrainian-controlled territory.
The President of Ukraine signed the bill on creation of the Unified registry of war veterans
A commander of a military unit in Ukraine’s western Rivne region was caught on receiving a $10,000 bribe from a local entrepreneur, the press service of the regional military prosecutor’s office reported. The official demanded and received the funds from an entrepreneur for signing contracts for procurement and installation of CCTV equipment at a military base.
Law enforcement officers detained a colonel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on suspicion of receiving a bribe
First Deputy Secretary of National Security and Defence Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleg Gladkovsky want to suspend his power
The Israeli defense company Elbit Systems Ltd intends to take part in the modernization of Ukraine’s helicopter fleet, in particular Mi-2, Mi-8, Mi-24 combat helicopters. The agency “Defense and Industrial Courier” reports with reference to sources in the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and the defense industry. It is about a certain range of equipment. A joint meeting of representatives of Elbit Systems Ltd, a number of Ukrainian enterprises and the leadership of the military department is scheduled for this week to determine the potential of military-technical cooperation. At the same time, the interlocutor of the IA “OPK”, tangent to negotiations with the Israeli side, pointed out not the ambiguous attitude of industrialists of the defense industry of Ukraine to the deployment of large-scale cooperation with Elbit Systems Ltd, in particular, because of fears that attracting foreigners can significantly reduce the potential of the domestic defense industry. ” The corresponding contract with Elbit Systems will surely hit the Ukrainian companies, – said the industrialist, adding that according to the industrialists, the Ministry of Defense’s leadership tends to support imports, despite the fact that Israeli weapons will cost 4-5 times more than Ukrainian
Ukrainian Foreign Trade Enterprise SpetsTechnoExport presented its Neptune anti-ship cruise missile during International Defense Exhibition and …
The radar station was mounted on the new KrAZ-7634NE 8×8 chassis , unable to get from Kiev to a testing ground in the Kherson region – broke through 200 km and then towed it up by a towtruck. Such information, as well as pictures of breakdowns, appeared today in social networks with reference to the representatives of the company “Aerotechnique-MLT”, whose radar “Amber-1800” and located on a new chassis from PJSC “AvtoKrAZ”. ” In Aerotechnique, they write that the truck went from Kyiv to Uman on its own course, then the shaft was torn out, a transmission and a gearbox broke. To the range was towed then …
The modernized Ukrainian-made Spectator-M1 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has been successfully tested at a test range of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The conditions of test flights of the Spectator-M1 were close to the combat ones.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said Ukraine is modernizing its Stugna-P anti-tank missile systems, which are effectively used in countering Russian aggression in Donbas, eastern Ukraine. The defense enterprises have also begun serial production of upgraded T-64 tanks.
State Enterprise “Production Association Pivdenny Machine-Building Plant named after O. M. Makarov” (Dnipro) initiates the construction of a floating platform for launching rockets in Ukraine. — Ukrinform.
In the run-up to the 2019 elections, the Kremlin is expected to stoke opposition against President Poroshenkoʼs government and pro-EU candidates. — Ukrinform.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has enacted a law that bans citizens of the Russian Federation from being hired as election observers for the presidential, parliamentary, and local elections in Ukraine. A citizen of an aggressor state cannot be an official observer at elections in Ukraine.
The President of Ukraine Poroshenko signed the bill which bans Russian observers from participating in presidential elections in Ukraine
Six parties would have the greatest chance of winning seats on the Verkhovna Rada if the parliamentary election were held in mid-February, according to a survey conducted by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS). — Ukrinform.
A comedian who plays Ukraine’s president on TV is running for president in the country and led in two polls conducted earlier this month.
A Ukrainian actor and comedian who portrays the country’s president in a television series is running to be Ukraine’s real president.
If the presidential election in Ukraine were held in mid-February, comedian Volodymyr Zelensky and incumbent President Petro Poroshenko would go to the run-off, with Batkivshchyna Party leader Yulia Tymoshenko staying in third place, according to a survey conducted by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS). — Ukrinform.
Leader of the Batkivschyna Party and presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko has announced plans to initiate the impeachment procedure of the president of Ukraine in connection with the results of a probe by journalists into the involvement of some Ukrainian officials in illegal army procurement schemes.
Ukrainian presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko has called for the impeachment of President Petro Poroshenko, accusing him of treason after a media outlet aired a program alleging that people clo…
After the session of the Oppositional platform “For Life” on January 29, Viktor Medvedchuk , the head of the political council, suggested the plan on settling the conflict on the East of Ukraine down (it is based on Minsk agreements, it includes the direct negotiation between Kyiv-Donetsk-Luhansk-Moscow, the return of people through real security guarantees, the consolidation of the autonomous status of the Donbas in the Constitution of Ukraine). The criminal proceedings were launched against the politician, in addition, there was information about the preparation of an assassination attempt. Related: Occupied Donetsk has information on assassination attempt on Medvedchuk These threats have attracted a number of foreign publications: Neue Zürcher Zeitung, France-Presse, France 24, Belsat, Newsweek, PAP, Confidencial, Daily Times, RTL, Fronda and others. Political repression against Viktor Medvedchuk was also condemned by representatives of the European Parliament. The European Parliamentarians supported him: David Coburn, William Dartmouth, Nathan Hill, Stephen Woolf, Jonathan Arnot from Great Britain, from Germany – Arne Gericek, and also from Latvia – Andriy Mamykin. This question was even discussed at the UN Security Council. However, important is not only the Ukrainian opinions but foreign as well.
Ukrainian Deputy Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons George Tuka has said some presidential candidates who have fears of not winning the presidential elections are preparing for staging mass protests. The presidential elections in Ukraine are scheduled for March 31.
Volodymyr Zelensky has become one of the most recognized faces in Ukraine’s entertainment industry. Now he’s running for president.
Candidate to the post of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and members of his team have made an arrangement on the possible further cooperation with representatives of the World Bank to ensure rule of law, independence of anti-corruption agencies, the creation of independent Anti-Corruption Court, the launch of the land market, healthcare and fiscal reforms, the real gas sector reform and the launch of affordable lending in Ukraine.
The end of the 1980s; a Soviet specialist and his family – wife and nine-year-old son – came back from Mongolia to one of Ukraine’s largest industrial centers for the construction of a mining and processing plant. No one could guess about all the consequences of this event. Soon the father became the head of an academic department of cybernetics and computing hardware at the Kryvyi Rih Institute of Economics. His son was an activist and class leader at the local school # 95. He loved sports, danced, participated in amateur panel games competitions. He was an almost high achiever at school. This boy was called Volodymyr Zelensky. Related: Oleh Lyashko suggests banning Ukrainian comedy actor Zelensky for a bad joke While being a schoolboy, Volodymyr dreamed of becoming a border guard or a diplomat. Subsequently, as he himself admits, he wanted to study for a stage manager, entered what he could – Kryvyi Rih branch of Economic University, where his father Oleksandr Semenovych, Doctor of Economics, was a professor. Volodymyr studied law. However, he has never worked in this field; when being a student, his life gradually turned into a Club of the Funny and Inventive (a humor competition, CFI). In 1997, he and his friends created their own project “Kvartal 95.” Two years later, Russian showman Alexander Maslyakov invited the team to Moscow to participate in the Higher League of KVN. It was a lucky ticket, which the team took advantage of. They quickly become famous. “I know how they appeared on the Ukrainian television; they have signed a long contract with the pro-Russian Inter TV channel,” says Ukrainian diplomat, showman Dmytro Chekalkin. Thus, the showman Zelensky made the first steps in politics.
The level of support for Ukraine’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration among youth is much stronger than on the average in the country, which means that the strategic course of the country is defined correctly. — Ukrinform.
The Petro Poroshenko Bloc faction in the Verkhovna Rada has demanded that the Ukrainian Interior Ministry refute statements on the bloc’s involvement in organizing voter bribery schemes or immediately provide evidence. — Ukrinform.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said he dreams of becoming a member of the European Parliament from Ukraine after his term or terms as president. — Ukrinform.
Ukrainians will be able to vote abroad in the March 31 presidential election at 102 polling stations in 72 countries. — Ukrinform.
SBU found out about Russia’s intentions to try and interfere in presidential elections in Ukraine
Group of provocators was detained in Odesa region, investigation is underway
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Bartosz Cichocki, who is soon to become his country’s ambassador to Kyiv, believes that Ukraine is forming its …
Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze in Brussels met with Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium Didier Reynders. — Ukrinform.
Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze will pay a visit to the Council of Europe on February 26-27, 2019. — Ukrinform.
If Ukraine creates favorable conditions for the development of creative business, the number of specialists in the IT sector in two years can grow to 200,000. — Ukrinform.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which is the organizer of the Eurovision Song Contest, has reacted to blocking controversial Ukrainian singer MARUV, who was previously announced the winner of this year’s national selection for Eurovision, from representing Ukraine in Tel Aviv, Israel, this May. The local broadcaster is currently in talks to announce another representative for this year’s contest.
Ukraine’s public broadcaster (PJSC National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine) and singer MARUV, who won the national election for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, have not reached agreement on participation in the international competition for a number of reasons, according to a statement posted on the website of the broadcaster. — Ukrinform.
MARUV, a winner of this year’s national selection for the Eurovision song contest, has not been allowed to represent Ukraine in Tel Aviv, Israel, this May, according to UA:PBC, a public broadcaster that is entitled to sign a corresponding contract with the potential participant. Her participation may escalate splits in the Ukrainian society, which contradicts the objectives of the public broadcaster.
Ukrainian singer Maruv stated that she was ready to assume all expenses related to participation in the contest
Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee of Ukraine on Culture and Spirituality Mykola Kniazhytsky has urged to ban Ukrainian performers touring in the Russian Federation from representing Ukraine at the international level. The official urged the government to pay attention to this issue.
Ahead of the film’s world premiere at the Berlinale, the U.S. magazine “Variety” released a never-before-seen excerpt of the film “Mr. Jones” directed by
Ukrainians in Australia represent Ukraine at Pako Festa 2019, the multicultural festival in Geelong (the state of Victoria, Australia), the Embassy of Ukraine in Australia has reported. — Ukrinform.
Orthodox Christian parishes in Ukraine’s Volyn region are most active in joining the newly created Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Almost over 400 parishes across Ukraine have decided to change their denomination.
Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine, head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Epifaniy said that the invaders in Donbas starting March 2 intend to “confiscate” 36 temples and the diocesan Mercy House and deport all priests of the newly created OCU. Epifaniy has appealed to the UN, OSCE, guarantors of the Minsk settlement process, the European Union, and all democratic countries, as well as international and interfaith institutions, with a call to influence ultimate decision-makers.
Paul Goble Staunton, February 23 – The Kremlin and the Moscow Patriarchate both regularly claim that despite their atheist past, almost all Russians say believers and that 80 percent or even more of the population identify as Russian Orthodox. But a new poll by the Public Opinion Foundation calls both of these assertions into question. It finds that 21 percent of Russian adults do not identify as believers and that only 65 percent say they are Orthodox. The survey also found that seven percent of the population identify as Muslims but fewer than one percent named any of the other religious groups in Russia (politsovet.ru/61898-kazhdyy-pyatyy-rossiyanin-ne-schitaet-sebya-veruyuschim.html). Women are far more likely to identify as Orthodox than men, 71 percent as against 57 percent; but even that 71 percent is below the share the powers that be secular and religious invariably claim. Moreover, as other polls have shown, the share of those who visit church regularly or otherwise practice their faith is microscopically small. These findings and especially their source, a polling agency with close links to the Kremlin, are intriguing because they cast doubt on Putin’s traditionalist agenda. Indeed, they suggest that there is far less support in the population for it that either he or Patriarch Kirill believe. And that in turn means that those political leaders who favor a more secular approach or at least one that does not tilt so heavily to Russian Orthodoxy may find more support among Russians than they and most commentators assume.
Paul Goble Staunton, February 25 – The Archbishopric of Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe by a vote of 119 to 15 rejected the call by the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople to subordinate themselves to it, but despite the calls of some and much pressure from Russia, they postponed any decision to join the Moscow Patriarchate (credo.press/223086/). There is no question that this is a slap in the face of Constantinople which increasingly has positioned itself as a kind of Eastern papacy, but the fact that it has not led the European archbishopric immediately to subordinate itself to Moscow suggests that any move in that direction is likely to be a long time in coming and may in fact never happen. What seems more likely is that the Orthodox Church in Western Europe will itself divide along national lines, something that may ultimately allow Moscow to gain some support in particular cases but that will work against the possibility of supra-national “canonical” territories of the kind Moscow talks about. That will likely put paid to Moscow Patriarch Kirill’s efforts to position himself as an alternative to Constantinople as the center of Orthodoxy and encourage other Orthodox communities to move in the direction of forming national churches as Ukraine has done rather that feel they must choose between Moscow and Constantinople. This decision in Paris is thus something that works for the Ukrainian church and for all the Orthodox churches in the former Soviet space as well as elsewhere and represents yet another defeat for Kirill, something he can ill afford after the debacle for Moscow in Ukraine, a debacle that has increased speculation in Moscow that Putin will replace him.