Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (106)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

Russia released a US “target list” which includes at least two bases that have been closed for years. Obviously, this list is very old, over ten years old, and is being used purely for propaganda purposes.  

S.482 – 116th Congress (2019-2020): Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act of 2019 is interesting. It creates a National Fusion Center for countering hybrid threats, focusing on Russia (at least initially).  It’s supposed to be a whole-of-government effort, leaning heavily on the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and the US Agency for Global Media.  There’s even an outreach to global partners…  It appears to be a good starting effort but still falls way short of a comprehensive effort.

The Kremlin is publicly acknowledging planning for an invasion of Ukraine. Where actual or real, it appears like a huge propaganda effort until they actually decide to launch.  The implication is to send fear throughout Ukraine, a form of strategic psychological warfare, as it were.  

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S.482 progressing in the Senate – sure to elicit more invective from Muscovy. Kiselyov’s outburst on Rossiya-1 has been a hot seller in the West in all the ways Russia does not need to sell itself. Johnson comments on the intent behind the capability, while Rogan points out some of the inherent absurdities in the propaganda rant. Media did notice two of the named DMPIs are long closed down facilities.

The Vozhd’s TV event was a flop, ratings lowest for 6 years confirming other polling data – Krymnash euphoria has dissipated. FSB/Kaspersky trial and huge sentences for the two accused. Some interesting analyses by Bershidsky, Nemtsova, Hepburn, Oreshkin, Shiropayev, and Shelin – the four latter point to a dysfunctional and frozen society, that may have exhausted its capacity for adaptive change.

Gen Muzhenko briefs on Russia’s systematic preparations for a major land campaign against Ukraine. Amb Volker in Odessa. Black Sea, Crimea and Donbas updates. Two defense procurement scandals in the media. Politics and election updates.

More on Russian religious intolerance – and inappropriate (i.e. sick) use of ROC assets.

Text – S.482 – 116th Congress (2019-2020): Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act of 2019 | | Library of Congress

Text for S.482 – 116th Congress (2019-2020): Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act of 2019

U.S. Senate publishes bill on new sanctions against Russia – news world | UNIAN

The U.S. Senate has published a bill to strengthen the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, to combat international cybercrime, and to impose additional sanctions with respect to the Russian Federation, and for other purposes. The bill also includes sanctions for violations by the Russian Federation of freedom of navigation.

Reuben F. Johnson | Russian Statements on New Cruise Missile Indicate First Strike Intentions

The hypersonic cruise missile highlighted in President Vladimir Putin’s Feb. 20 state of the nation address is being contemplated for use in a first strike.

Tom Rogan | Russian nuclear threats, and how I learned to love Dmitry Kiselyov’s stupidity

On Sunday, Russian state television offered an absurd argument as to how Russia would destroy the U.S. in a nuclear war.

America must not idly stand by as Russia builds nuclear capabilities | TheHill

The policy of reducing stockpile to encourage others around the world to do the same has not worked.

Russia releases American nuclear target list, including two bases that have been closed for years | NEWSREP

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a nuclear warning to the United States, saying Russia’s nuclear arsenal would target the U.S. if

Russian State TV: If Putin Strikes America With Nuclear Weapons, These Are His Targets

Whoa. Whoa. Whoa..02/27/2019 6:33:00AM EST.

Russian State TV: Pentagon, Camp David Are Hypersonic Missile Targets

Russian TV lists a number of potential U.S. targets for a hypersonic missile attack, including the Pentagon and Camp David.

World War 3 REHEARSAL: Russia releases CHILLING nuclear hit-list – including Trump retreat | World | News |

RUSSIA has drawn up a chilling hit-list of US military facilities Moscow would target in the event of a nuclear strike including the Pentagon and Donald Trump’s Camp David presidential retreat.

Russia Names U.S. Targets of Nuclear Retaliation – WSJ

A top Russian state television broadcaster held out the possibility of a nuclear exchange with the U.S., boasting that the Kremlin could retaliate with strikes on the Pentagon and Camp David.

Russian State TV Lists Possible Nuclear Strike Targets in US: Report

Russian state TV apparently listed potential targets in the United States if nuclear war broke out

After Putin’s ‘Missile Crisis’ Threat, Russian TV Lists Nuclear Targets in US

MOSCOW–Russian state television has listed U.S. military facilities that Moscow would target in the event of a nuclear …

Zircon missiles to be aimed at Pentagon and a few other East Coast targets – New weapons – YouTube

Pravda Report Premiered Feb 25, 2019 Russian President Vladimir Putin did not specify where exactly the Zircon hypersonic missiles are going to be targeted in the event medium-range and shorter-range missiles are deployed near Russian borders.

Russian TV lists US targets it can hit with HYPERSONIC nuclear missiles in just FIVE mins | Daily Star

RUSSIAN state television has listed US military targets Moscow could hit within five minutes with hypersonic nuclear missiles.

Julia Davis on Twitter: “#Russia’s state TV: Host Dmitry Kiselyov boasts that Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile “won’t allow Americans to sit it out across the ocean,” names potential targets: ▪️Pentagon ▪️Camp David ▪️Fort Ritchie (Maryland) ▪️McClellan (California) ▪️Jim Creek (Washington State) ©️…″

U.S. Army estimates Russian capability will peak in 2028, China’s in 2030 | Reuters

The U.S. Army estimates the Russian army’s military capabilities will peak in 2028, closely followed by the Chinese around 2030, giving the United States almost a decade to prepare for those threats, a senior Pentagon official said in an interview on Monday.

TV ratings for Putin’s annual speech dip to lowest since 2013 | Reuters

The number of Russians who tuned in to watch President Vladimir Putin’s annual address on television last week slipped to its lowest level since 2013, nationwide data from market research firm Mediascope showed on Monday.

Putin popularity PLUNGE: TV ratings for Russian leader’s annual address drop to 6-YEAR LOW | World | News |

VLADIMIR Putin’s annual address to parliament was watched by the lowest number of viewers since 2013, new data has revealed.

Report: U.S. Cyber Force Cut Internet Access To Russian ‘Troll Factory’

U.S. cybersecurity agents blocked the Internet access of a Russian firm that intelligence agencies believed was trying to influence the 2018 U.S. midterm elections, The Washington Post reported on …

U.S. Cyber Command operation disrupted Internet access of Russian troll factory on day of 2018 midterms – The Washington Post – news world | UNIAN

The U.S. military blocked Internet access to an infamous Russian entity seeking to sow discord among Americans during the 2018 midterms, several U.S. officials said, a warning that the group’s operations against the United States are not cost-free. The operation marked the first muscle-flexing by U.S. Cyber Command, with intelligence from the National Security Agency.

Two Russian Cybersecurity Figures Convicted Of Treason, Sentenced To Long Prison Terms

A Russian military court has convicted a former Federal Security Service (FSB) officer and an expert at the cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab of treason and handed them long prison terms in a case that is reportedly linked to the United States.

Russia’s ex-cybersecurity chief gets 22 year sentence in jail

Moscow’s District Military Court heard several months of evidence and arguments behind closed doors before it found Col. Sergei Mikhailov, an ex-officer at Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), and Kaspersky Lab executive Ruslan Stoyanov guilty.

In Moscow Treason Trial, A Major Scandal For Russian Security Agency

It’s not the prison sentences handed down to an FSB colonel and a former Kaspersky Lab researcher that really matters. It’s the intrigue surrounding what information was passed to whom — and wheth…

So Long, Selfies! Russia Bans Smartphones In The Military

A new law passed by the Duma bans Russian soldiers from taking their smartphones into service, posting anything military related on social media, or talking to journalists. What’s behind the latest move?

U.S. Urges Russia To Bring ‘Those Who Ordered’ Nemtsov’s Killing To Justice

Marking four years since the killing of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, the United States reiterated its call on President Vladimir Putin’s government to “identify publicly those who o…

U.S. Judge Delays Sentencing Of Russian Woman Who Admitted To Foreign-Agent Charge

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan made the decision on February 26, after prosecutors cited Butina’s ongoing cooperation with unspecified investigations.

Leonid Bershidsky: Vladimir Putin Can’t Get Matteo Salvini to Take His Money – Bloomberg

For Italy’s Matteo Salvini and politicians like him, it’s just not worth taking Russian money.

Anna Nemtsova | Here’s How Putin’s Russia Is Rebuilding the Iron Curtain

Hardliners in the Kremlin and the military imagine they can return to the supposed glory days of the Soviet Union by trapping people and money inside Russia’s borders.

Oksana Bashuk Hepburn: The Putin Gospel, according to Vladislav Surkov | KyivPost

Russia’s Communist U.S.S.R. state model and attempts to export it worldwide crashed. The U.S.S.R. satellites and republics found it too repressive.  It was dumped unceremoniously by some half-billion people by 1991.  The model was too authoritarian, unjust, riddled with corruption, poverty, wars, and murders.  It was dangerous; dismissed by all except dictators.  One of the latest to embrace it, Venezuela, now finds itself in economic and political ruin while it’s substantial energy wealth is sequestered, conveniently, in Russia. True, China’s Communist model works, but to succeed it adopted a healthy dose of western elements. Now the Kremlin is trying again. In a Feb. 11 piece in Nezavesymaja Gazeta, President Vladimir Putin’s ideologue and aide, Vladislav Surkov, offers the world the “new Russia model.” He claims it is gaining acceptance because Putin has averted ‘the impossible, unnatural and counter-historical disintegration of Russia” brought about by democratic “tricks.”  Now, Russia has returned to its “natural and only” state of government, “the Putin state.” Many Russian’s say: “What Surkov speaks, Putin thinks.” His strength lies in understanding its people, says Surkov. Russians accept strong central power because they trust the state: it’s transparent.  Unlike the West – envious, mistrustful, anxious and critical — Russia is not a “deep state” — a favorite slur Russia uses against democracies– it is, however, a “deep nation…not influenced by social surveys, agitation, threats or even historic trends.” This is a clear reference to the U.S.S.R.’s collapse and Ukraine’s categorical turn to democracy; both serious threats Russia’s global aggrandizement. As the West has no “prophets of its own,” says Surkov, it turns to Russia; to “inevitable Putinisms…not just for internal use… but for export… and for all eternity.” The Putin state already attracts followers as there is understanding that democracy’s experiments with “choice” and “elections”- are “tricks…an illusion requiring no further discussion.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Collapse of Putin Regime is Still Far Off, But It is Coming, Oreshkin Says

Paul Goble Staunton, February 26 – It is still a long way to the collapse of the Putin regime, Russian commentator Dmitry Oreshkin writes in Yezhednevny zhurnal, but the process toward that end is in train, “more slowly than the opponents of Putin would like but more rapidly than its supporters can be happy with.” This can be seen in how the powers that be handled the demonstrations on the occasion of the assassination of Boris Nemtsov. In cities far from the capital, they did not give permission for such meetings, and people did not challenge those decisions but did with one-person protests show how they felt ( In Moscow and St. Petersburg where there is “a more independent socio-cultural milieu,” the authorities avoided the potentially serious consequences of a harsh crackdown by seeking to restrict the demonstrators in various ways to discourage people from taking part but not by dispersing those that did with arrests, Oreshkin continues. Here it is important to understand “one thing: civil society come from the word ‘citizen,’ but ‘citizen’ comes from the word ‘city.’ The same thing is true in many other languages. The basis here is the presence of private property and the legal basis for its defense,” the commentator observes. “But after the pseudo-slave-holding Soviet society, the Russian Federation passed to a pseudo-feudal one where people like Ramzan Kadyrov rule and call themselves ‘the new nobility.’ In comparison with the USSR, this is of course progress but it is still a long way to the level of bourgeois freedoms” which exist in Europe. Moscow and St. Petersburg have made the most progress in that direction. “In these cities, if you go to a meeting and lose your job, you will be able to find another.” Elsewhere in Russia, you likely won’t – and that represents an even more powerful constraint than other punishments. In the long-term perspective, Oreshkin continues, “everything is proceeding along the European path. ‘Feudalism’ is showing its economic ineffectiveness and cities are adopting a liberal politics … But one must not expect rapid changes. In the 1990s, there were such changes; now, people are tired, disappointed and want the stability they have acquired.” Now that stability is beginning to dissolve, “but the process is only beginning.” The authorities understand that. They know they remain in firm control in the smaller cities, but in the capitals, they can only isolate the leaders of protests, some permanently like Nemtsov, others on a temporary basis like Aleksey Navalny. But conditions are developing in such a way that “people are becoming disappointed in the powers that be, including even Vladimir Putin. Sooner or later this will lead to a crisis and to some kind of revolution, possibly even in our lifetimes.” For now, “legal political protest is concentrated in the two largest cities” and will remain so for a long time to come. The authorities understand this, but the opposition doesn’t. Its members “sincerely believe that in the provinces, society is just the same as it is in Moscow. But even if people individually really are the same, the milieu is different, and people prepared to fight for their rights there are more the exception than the rule.” Unfortunately, Oreshkin continues, “Moscow analysists live in their own milieu and underrate the inert quality of ‘greater Russia.’ And all talk about how the bloody regime will fall apart right now are based on a mistaken idea about Russia.” They forget that Russia is not like Moscow, and Moscow is not like Russia. The Russian commentator does note the fact that foreign analysts and diplomats typically make the same mistake Moscow opposition figures do, extrapolating from the only Russians they do know, the ones, often English-speaking, in the capital to those in “the provinces” they don’t – and thus drawing conclusions and making predictions that aren’t likely to be true. Such people typically would not make the same mistake in their own countries conflating Washington, D.C., with West Virginia or Burgundy with Paris; but because most foreigners who visit Russia remain in the capitals, just as the authorities want them to, they typically do so in Russia, setting themselves up for the same mistakes Russian opposition figures make.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russians Displaying ‘Voluntary Neo-Stalinism,’ Shiropayev Says

Paul Goble Staunton, February 26 – The Soviet system committed an especially horrific crime against the Russian nation, Aleksey Shiropayev says. It brutally suppressed its will to freedom as shown by the fact that the last violent outburst of resistance among Russians was the Novocherkassk rising in 1962. The success the Soviet system had against Russians was not matched by a similar success in Ukraine, the Baltic countries or Georgia, the Russian nationalist writer says. There the spirit of resistance continued and flourished at least in part because those nations could focus their anger against not just the system but against an empire ( To achieve what it did with the ethnic Russians, the system “required a GULAG” because Russian resistance had to be wiped out. But “now this isn’t needed. THIS people loves its leader” even without that kind of repression, something that it many ways is even more horrific than a people who shows its love because it is forced to on pain of repression. In Soviet times, Shiropayev continues, “the powers that be required people to put out the red flag on holidays. If you didn’t, there would be bad consequences. Now, no one forces anyone to put a St. George ribbon on his car, but everyone does without noting how hypocritical and even comic this ‘symbol of victory’ looks on a Mercedes or Volkswagen.” “This present-day voluntary neo-Stalinism, this voluntary rejection of the possibility of being free is much more horrible than the atmosphere of the 1930s,” he says. “It marks the full degradation of the people and possibly is already irreversible. This degeneration is the result of a most powerful anti-selection” where the best were destroyed allowing the worst to flourish. Some will remember Tengiz Abuladze’s film Repentance which marked the beginning of perestroika and Stalinism. But most did not get or now have forgotten the chief scene and message of the film: the son has to disinter the body of the tyrant father and scatter his ashes to the wind. That is, the sons must reject the past if they are to go forward. That is what happened in Eastern Europe, Shiropayev continues. But it hasn’t happened in Russia. Instead, Russians now have rejected any call for repentance and rejection of the Soviet past as an attack on their dignity. “’We saved everyone from fascism’” and so have nothing to repent and no one to repent to. The crowning point of this was “’Crimea is ours,’” he says. It was marked by a film entitled The Path to the Motherland. With it, “we have returned as it were ‘to the motherland.’” And we have voluntarily invited the corpse of Stalin into our homes even if he is no longer in the mausoleum. In making this charge against his fellow Russians, Shiropayev follows in a long tradition, one that was most famously contained in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s GULAG Archipelago. In that work, the great Russian writer insisted that non-Russians resisted Soviet power but that from the beginning Russians did not. Both Solzhenitsyn and Shiropayev capture something important, but both overstate their case. Solzhenitsyn’s argument was counted by Russian émigré journalist Yuri Srechinsky in a 1974 pamphlet How We Submitted: The Price of October that deserves to be more widely known. In that work, Srechinsky pointed to something that helps to explain the conclusion not only of Solzhenitsyn but of Shiropayev” Russians resisted just as non-Russians did, but Moscow worked far harder and more effectively to suppress reports about Russian resistance lest Russians be inspired to continue to resist. Two years ago, Moscow economist and commentator Andrey Illarionov detailed 210 acts of resistance by ethnic Russians to the Soviet system ( That article too deserves to be better known to put in context Shiropayev’s disturbing conclusions. As Illarionov points out, “the theme of [these Russian] revolts undoubtedly deserves detailed discussion.” But for the moment, he suggests, his list provides six obvious lessons about these popular risings: · First, “there were a lot of them in the USSR: they took place much more often than in previous periods of Russian history, the number of participants was enormous” and this in turn means that this was in effect “a hundred-year-long war in Russia between the anti-human powers and the people.” · Second, certain periods, “the first half of the 1920s, 1928-32, and the 1940s” were “in essence a total war against the communist authorities and the state security agencies which defended it.” · Third, “all the post-October risings were suppressed by the authorities in the harshest manner,” far more harshly than any previous Russian government had done. · Fourth, “the hundred-year-long civil war in Russia and the loss in it of millions and tens of millions” of Russians is a bestial tragedy for our people.” · Fifth, the number of people taking part “to a large degree” depended on whether the population had arms or not.” When it did, there were many participants; when there weren’t, there were fewer. · And sixth, “the success of risings under a totalitarian regime and of course a harshly authoritarian one as well are determined not so much on the field of battle as in the heads of the leaders of the regime against which the rising is directed.” When leaders recognize that suppression is an anachronism and counterproductive, those who have risen have won.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin’s New Course: ‘Putinism with a Human Face,’ Shelin Says

Paul Goble Staunton, February 26 – Vladimir Putin has adopted a new program: he wants to have “Putinism with a human face,” Rosbalt commentator Sergey Shelin says, a system which looks more generous without costing the regime anything, more responsive without being such, and more humane and legal without in fact changing one iota. In short, Putin now wants “exactly the same system” that he had before “but with a human face,” the commentator says. Will that prove to be “a utopia” or at least a real change? Only the future will tell, but the initial changes in Moscow suggest that there is far less change on offer than the regime wants people to think ( In his recent address, as interpreted by both his supporters and his opponents, Putin appeared to move “from militarism to socialism,” that is to focus more on domestic needs than foreign policy, “from belt tightening to generosity,” and “from repressive severity to liberality.” The truth is not in the middle, Shelin says. Instead, it must be sought where it is in each case. And if one approaches the question in this way, the commentator continues, one sees that the Putin regime is not prepared to be all that much more generous to the population, all that much more tolerant to its complaints, and all that much less repressive to society as a whole or even to business which is what the Kremlin leader talked about. The promised generosity to the population in fact amounts to an increase in social spending of about one half of one percent, a tiny shift in resources, Shelin says. The promised greater responsiveness to the people is even more meaningless. Yes, officials have been told to be less offensive, but the means the regime is using are more of the same. Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin promises to shame deputies into avoiding outrageous remarks and proposals not by insisting that they consider the voters but rather further integrate themselves into the state administrative machine. For him and his bosses, the deputies are not representatives of the people but subordinates to him and them. In short, no change. And as far as a reduction in repression is concerned, Shelin says, there is little to indicate that is happening. Businessmen continue to be arrested, although the Kremlin denies it is involved. But such denials are neither credible nor an indication of change, however much the regime’s propagandists suggest otherwise. Consequently, Shelin suggests, the Putin system has put on a new face, but it hasn’t changed what is under the make-up.

Bill Browder on Twitter: “The Russian plot thickens in the European Parliament. Aymeric Chauprade, the far right MEP who hired Putin’s press secretary’s daughter has launched an initiative to keep Sergei Magnitsky’s name off the EU Magnitsky Act”

Kremlin Spokesman Peskov Defends Daughter’s Internship At European Parliament

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has defended his daughter’s internship with a lawmaker at the European Parliament (EP) after an RFE/RL report revealing that she works there prompted concerns among …

Russia planning offensive operations against Ukraine, General Staff in Kyiv says – news war | UNIAN

Viktor Muzhenko, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, says the analysis of the forms and methods of troops’ deployment, which Russia worked out during large-scale exercises, testifies to their actual plans to conduct offensive operations against Ukraine. According to the Chief of the General Staff, it is especially alarming that the main exercises for reserve troops will be held in Rostov and Voronezh regions both neighboring Ukraine.

U.S. experts not ruling out Russian military aggression during Ukraine elections

Russia’s open military aggression targeting the electoral process in Ukraine is unlikely but possible, according to a report published by the United States Institute of Peace, which was made available to Ukrinform. — Ukrinform.

UAWire – Poroshenko and Volker visit US missile destroyer in Odessa

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko met with US State Department Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker on board the missile cruiser USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), which had recently arrived at the Port of Odessa, the president’s website reported. Poroshenko remarked on the symbolism of the meeting taking place on board the Donald Cook, which is a frequent visitor to the Black Sea and Odessa. “It is a legendary ship, and it is an important signal to the Kremlin in the fifth year of occupation. Firstly, that Crimea is Ukrainian. Secondly, that freedom of navigation in the region will be ensured as guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and that the Ukrainian-American partnership is as united as ever. We are effectively cooperating in all spheres, including defense,” the Ukrainian president said. “I am extremely appreciative of the fact that our American partners have increased their military presence in the Black Sea in response to our request. This is an important response to the act of aggression against Ukrainian ships on 25 November last year,” Poroshenko emphasized. He also pointed out that the Kremlin’s aggression affects not only Ukraine’s vital interests, but also the EU and NATO’s security in the Black Sea. “I stress that the Kerch Bridge project has been used to attack Ukrainian ships. Perhaps tomorrow the Nord Stream 2 symbol will also emerge for an attack in the Baltic Sea, or in any other position… Today, investments in Ukraine’s security from the US are a clear confirmation of investment in the security of the whole region and the whole world,” the president added.

US set to have serious conversation with Russia on situation in Donbas

The United States is interested in continuing negotiations with Russia regarding the restoration of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine when the Russian Federation will be ready for a serious conversation. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine asks Canada to send message to Russia by extending military mission – media – news politics | UNIAN

Ukraine is asking Canada to send a “strong signal” to Russia by extending and expanding the Canadian military’s training mission there. The request for more assistance comes as Ukraine and Russia remained in a deadly standoff over Donbas, a region in eastern Ukraine that is claimed by separatist rebels backed by Moscow.

Russia talks about possible consequences of termination of Azov Treaty by Ukraine

Ukraine’s termination of Azov Treaty with Russia to harm navigation

24 Sailors Captured by Russia Need to Be Returned to Ukraine – US Envoy Kurt Volker

Speaking at a conference as part of the opening of the “Amazing Stories of Crimea” exhibition at Kyiv’s Mystetskiy Arsenal, U.S. Special Representative for

From ‘Not Us’ To ‘Why Hide It?’: How Russia Denied Its Crimea Invasion, Then Admitted It

Russia initially denied that its soldiers seized government buildings and other strategic facilities in Crimea ahead of its March 2014 annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula five years ago this week — despite obvious signs of its involvement. It took a year for Moscow to come clean.

Yuri Zoria: Russian propaganda concocts ‘moral migration’ from EU to Crimea | KyivPost

Ukraine’s Global Voice

Every fifth resident of occupied Crimea has no access to quality drinking water

Every fifth resident of the occupied Crimea has no access to quality drinking water. — Ukrinform.

Chubarov: Crimean Tatars’ pro-Ukrainian position five years ago helped to preserve Ukraine – news politics | UNIAN

Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, Member of Parliament of Ukraine Refat Chubarov says that Crimean Tatars’ pro-Ukrainian position demonstrated five years ago when they gathered near the Crimean Supreme Council’s building on February 26, 2014, in support of Ukraine’s territorial integrity helped to preserve the Ukrainian state. Thousands of people gathered near the Crimean Supreme Council’s building in support of Ukraine.

Ukrainian journalist sees Crimea annexation as story about place in history rather than about money – news politics | UNIAN

Crimean-born Ukrainian journalist Pavlo Kazarin says that the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea by Russia is more a story about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s place in history textbooks rather than about money or economy. The journalist does not rule out that Belarus may be the next to be annexed – either through the creation of a union state or the deployment of additional military bases.

Uncomfortable human rights questions silenced on anniversary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea – Human Rights in Ukraine

Two Ukrainian human rights activists scheduled to speak at a high-level event marking five years of Russia’s occupation of Crimea were removed from the agenda after they sent details of their speeches –

JFO: Four Ukrainian soldiers wounded in action in Donbas since Tuesday morning – news war | UNIAN

Russia’s hybrid military forces on Tuesday, February 26, mounted 11 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas, with three Ukrainian soldiers reported as wounded in action; another one was wounded on Wednesday, February 27. Nine invaders were killed on Tuesday, intelligence reports say.

Ukrainian border guards detain militant who guarded MH17 wreckage

Employees of the Donetsk-Luhansk regional directorate of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine have detained a militant who had previously guarded the wreckage from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which was shot down in Donbas in July 2014, the State Border Guard Service has reported. — Ukrinform.

Preparations for Operation “Northern Falcon — 2019” (Greenland) are underway in Melitopol | Міноборони

Recently, representatives of the Royal Danish Air Force has visited Ukraine to take part in the practical Ukrainian Air Forces personnel training and aircraft equipment check in order to conduct a joint military transport fuel-delivery operation “Northern Falcon 2019”. In Melitopol, Zaporizhzhska oblast, Ukrainian and Danish Air Forces representatives discussed the main stages of the operation, safety issues and procedures in arctic conditions. In addition, the parties discussed the issues of the operation preparation, details of the search and rescue operation, loading and unloading procedures for the Ukrainian Il-76MD aircraft and a logistical support. “This year, five ground service personnel and four flight crew members will be involved in the assignment in Greenland for the first time. So the Air Force will get more servicemen experienced in extreme North conditions,” Sergei Artemenko, the Air Force Command Senior Aircraft Commanding Officer said. During the briefing the Danish side informed on the fuel tanks installation reconfigurations made on the basis of Ukraine’s proposals. “The fuel tanks installation for convenient usage on the US Thule Air Base has been already tested and appropriate conclusions have been made,” Colonel Sergei Artemenko added. Backgrounder: The joint Ukrainian-Danish operation “Northern Falcon — 2019” is scheduled for March — April 2019. Within the operation framework the military transport aircraft of the Ukrainian Air Forces will deliver more than 600 thousand liters of fuel and other cargo from the US Thule Air Base to the Danish Arctic Station “Nord” in Greenland.

The official delegation of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine visited Canada | Міноборони

On February 26, at the invitation of the Department of National Defense Assistant Deputy Minister (Policy) Mr. Peter Hammerschmidt the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense delegation, led by the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine for European Integration Anatolii Petrenko has started an official visit. The main purpose of the visit is to launch a Ukrainian-Canadian strategic dialogue in a form of bilateral consultations on defense and security issues at the Defnce Deputy Ministers level. On the first day of the visit, the Ukrainian delegation head took part in the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defense. Anatolii Petrenko briefed Canadian Parliamentarians on a current homeland security situation, strategic objectives of the Ukrainian defense sector reforms and prospects of the Ukrainian-Canadian defense sphere cooperation. In his speech, the Deputy Minister made a special emphasis on amending the Constitution of Ukraine regarding the direction on the NATO and the EU membership, the acceleration of which requires tripling of Ukrainian society’s and state authorities’ efforts, as well as coordinated and consistent support of the European and the Euro-Atlantic community. At the end of the briefing, Anatoly Petrenko answered the Canadian parliamentarians’ questions on the evolution of modern security threats resulted by Russia’s aggressive policy, and questions on perspectives of strengthening of the Canadian support for development of Ukraine’s defense capabilities. Canadian parliamentary representatives of different parties’ unanimously emphasized the support of Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence and expressed the need to increase aid for the further development of the capabilities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to curb the aggressor. On the same day, the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine for European Integration met with representatives of the Canadian Privy Council Office to exchange the views on security and defense matters of common interest. The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to Canada Andriy Shevchenko and representatives of the Embassy of Ukraine in Canada participated in the events of the official visit opening day.

Hromadske: How Ukrainian weapons kill Ukraine’s own soldiers (VIDEO) | KyivPost

Ukraine’s Global Voice

Probe into Poroshenko’s inner circle corruption with military buys from Russia in progress for long time, – Prosecutor General Lutsenko

27.02.19 12:28 – Probe into Poroshenko’s inner circle corruption with military buys from Russia in progress for long time, – Prosecutor General Lutsenko Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yurii Lutsenko said that the PGO “for a long time” has been investigating the embezzlement in the defense sphere unveiled in the journalistic investigation by View news.

Corruption scandal with Ukraine defense procurement: Top NSDC official suspended from office – news politics | UNIAN

“The president of Ukraine supported the move to suspend Oleh Hladkovsky from his duties as Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine pending the investigation,” oroshenko’s spokesperson Sviatoslav Tsegolko wrote on Facebook. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko suspended from office Oleh Hladkovsky, First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, pending the probe opened following a smashing journalistic investigative report on corruption schemes in defense procurement.

Poroshenko’s Associate Made Money Smuggling Weapons From Russia – Investigation

Igor Gladkovsky, 22 – the son of Oleg Gladkovsky, deputy secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council – is involved in large-scale embezzlement

Ukrainian plant to produce tracks for infantry fighting vehicles instead of their import

Ukrainian Malyshev Factory has mastered and begun the batch production of the new tracks for the infantry fighting vehicles from the special steels of the Ukrainian manufacturing within the program of import substitution as “Ukroboronprom” reported. For the launch of the production, Malyshev Factory mastered special technological processes in the closed cycle and created a new production line. The works lasted less than six months and the Ukrainian infantry fighting vehicles got new tracks. The first complexes have already successfully passed the testing in the military units of the Defense Ministry, during which the infantry fighting vehicles overcame over 1,000 km off-road and surfaced roads without breakages or failures. “Ukroboronprom” noted that Malyshev Factory also masters welding of the hulls of BTR-4 and BTR-3 for expansion of their production. These and other works held in 2018 allowed to broad the nomenclature of the factory’s production for the needs of the Ukrainian Army, increase the financial rates of the enterprise and increase the wage of all workers of the plant for 20% and hold the scheduled modernization of the production to increase the number of the manufactured products.

Poroshenko predicts IT sector’s share may increase to almost 7% of Ukraine’s GDP – news economics | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko predicts that in two years, the share of the IT sector may increase from 4% to 6.8% of Ukraine’s GDP and the number of IT specialists may grow to 200,000 people. The president is convinced that the IT sector is a priority industry, ensuring Ukraine’s competitive advantages in the world.

Number of registered IT entrepreneurs in Ukraine grows by 45% in past three years – news economics | UNIAN

The number of registered individual entrepreneurs in Ukraine’s IT sector increased by 45%, or 41,000 people, in the past three years. At the same time, the total number of entrepreneurs fell by 8%, or 164,000, to 1.8 million people.

Constitutional Court in Ukraine reportedly rules “illegal enrichment” Article in Criminal Code unconstitutional – media – news politics | UNIAN

The Constitutional Court of Ukraine has reportedly declared unconstitutional Article 368-2 of the Criminal Code, which provides for liability for illegal enrichment. The court’s official statement is supposed to be published Feb 27.

Andreas Umland: The ambivalence of the Zelenskiy candidacy | KyivPost

Ukraine’s Global Voice

Out Of Tune With Ukraine? ‘Unpatriotic’ Pop Diva Dropped From Eurovision

Ukraine is scrambling to find a singer to compete at the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest after pop diva Maruv was disqualified for not being “patriotic” enough.

Ukrainian band Kazka not to participate in Eurovision-2019 – Kazka refuses to represent Ukraine at Eurovision-2019 –

Ukrainian band Kazka refused from participating in Eurovision-2019

Vote of confidence of Ukrainian presidential wannabe Ihor Smeshko –

There a kind of electoral sensation in the second or even the third echelon of presidential candidates. Its, so to speak, mini-Zelensky (contestant for the presidency, leader of polls, – ed.), who would not overcome the electoral threshold, but would be a household name. This is Ihor Smeshko. According to a survey conducted by the SOCIS center, conducted from February 8 to February 18, Smeshko was supported by 3.1% of the voters. And this is despite the fact that his name did not appear in the earlier polls.

Andreas Umland | The ambivalence of the Zelenskiy candidacy – New Eastern Europe – A bimonthly news magazine dedicated to Central and Eastern European affairs

Could the jester become king?

Glen Grant: A letter to Ukraine’s future president | KyivPost

A year ago the Kyiv Post published an open letter from me to President Petro Poroshenko about defense reform. It created a stir simply because much of the contents had previously been kept from the public. Much has changed for the positive since then but also much has not changed, or in many cases things have got even worse. The Soviet climate of fear within the military system is still as strong and destructive as ever and is killing morale. Whilst working with the Ukrainian Institute for the Future I have been able to gain more understanding of what is important for defense and security reform. I have visited the front line and the regions, talked to many presidential candidates and members of the Verkhovna Rada, mayors and political influencers. Most importantly I have greatly widened my contacts with civil society especially those wonderful volunteers and activists supporting the armed forces. Much of what I now write comes directly from your own service people and volunteers, the men and women who fight daily in Donbas for your right to be president. I have put together their thoughts on defence and security because they cannot speak openly for fear of being punished. It also saves me saying the same thing over 40 times and tells the public what I am saying to each of you. You will be the supreme commander of the armed forces. But you will take charge of an organization split into very distinct parts.

Viktor Yanukovych used Swedbank in suspected bribery affair – SVT Nyheter

He plundered state coffers and was convicted of treason. Now SVT can reveal that Ukraine’s former president Viktor Yanukovych funneled EUR 3.7 million through an account in Swedbank.

Yanukovych laundered $4.2 mln through Swedbank – media

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych used an account at the Baltic unit of Swedbank AB to launder money, Bloomberg has reported, with reference to Sweden’s main broadcaster, SVT. — Ukrinform.

Swedbank accounts in Lithuania could be used to transfer money to Yanukovych

Some funds, which Ukrainian law enforcement agencies consider belonging to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, arrived to him through an account in the Lithuanian branch of Swedbank, the news portal reported on Wednesday.

Giacomo Sanfilippo: 3 weeks after the enthronement, what now? | KyivPost

Those who have read my previous articles for the Kyiv Post know that—as the grandson of a Ukrainian patriot and Orthodox priest born in Rohatyn in 1887 and a grandmother whose parents came from Lemkovyna—I support Ukraine’s political and ecclesiastical independence from Moscow unreservedly. I can barely contain my disbelief at seeing events unfold for the Church of Ukraine that must have seemed unimaginable in grandfather’s most cherished dreams until the day he died in 1972. Few things in my 64 years have moved me as deeply as the full video of the young Metropolitan Epiphanius’ enthronement at Kyiv’s St. Sophia Cathedral three weeks ago. Yet as an Orthodox Christian who has studied theology both independently and academically for well over 40 years, I do not shy away from offering criticism when I find it necessary to do so. This has generated a measure of animus toward me among some Orthodox Christians in Ukraine, namely, in the Мережа Відкритого Православ’я discussion group on Facebook (Merezha Vidkrytoho Pravoslav’ya, Open Orthodoxy Network), one of the places where I post my Ukraine-related articles. Some of the members there regard me as a foreigner and an interloper with no right to an opinion on what happens in the Ukrainian Church. That many people disagree with me comes as no surprise. This is a mark of healthy dialogue within the Church. That a brother Orthodox and fellow Ukrainian (despite my very un-Ukrainian name!) should be summarily dismissed because he lives outside of Ukraine is more worrisome—especially when he supports Ukraine’s political independence and the autocephaly of its Church as wholeheartedly as I do. In our effort to make the Church’s specialized language understandable to the general public, we reporters and commentators—myself included—often substitute “independence” for autocephaly. Yet I noted recently on these pages: “Autocephaly is often mischaracterized as ‘independence’ in a modern Western sense of the word; however, in principle if unfortunately not always in practice, every autocephalous Church remains accountable to the whole Orthodox Church for the correctness of its doctrine, worship, and governance.”

UAWire – Orthodox Church of Ukraine fears for property and priests in Donetsk

The Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine, the primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine or OCU is concerned about the total prohibition of OCU community activities and the deportation of priests from the territory of the Donetsk region that is not controlled by Ukraine. “From March 1, 2019, there will be a threat of total prohibition of activities of the communities and clergy of our Church, full confiscation of communities’ property and deportation from the territory controlled by the so-called DPR. The reason for this is the illegal requirement that all communities should register under the Republic’s law.’ Such a requirement cannot be implemented because no one recognizes the structure that adopted such a ‘law,’” the primate stated on the Church’s website. According to him, from March 2, thirty-six churches and premises and the Diocesan House of Mercy could be seized by the DPR, and the priests could be sent away to Ukraine-controlled territory. “Given this threat, we call on the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the countries of the Minsk group, the European Union and, in general, all democratic countries, international and interreligious institutions, asking to influence those responsible for the final decision in the given issue and to take measures [to prevent this] catastrophic scenario,” the OCU primate stressed.

Russian Church Fires Back After St. Petersburg Choir Draws A Nuclear Bead On Washington

A choral reinterpretation of a Cold War ditty depicting a Russian nuclear attack on Washington has variously drawn wild cheers, contrition, and ridicule for its glib message amid mounting nuclear t…