Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (107)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Kiselyov’s nuclear rant is proving to be one of those gifts that just keeps giving …. while his nephew gets thrown in jail for volunteering to join the Russian mercs in Donbas. The bipartisan Vladimir Putin Transparency Act is introduced in Congress. Cohen and Radin on active measures. More on the cyber operation to cripple the Troll Farm during the midterms. More on the FSB treason trial. More on meddling and corruption. Assad’s troops tell media ‘We will go to kill Ukrainians as soon as our war will be over’.

OpEd by 10 European and 1 Canadian foreign ministers on Crimea and Ukraine. State doubles down on Crimea. Amb Volker on Ukraine. Polozov on Russia’s invasion agenda. Kerch update.

Ponomarenko on legislative blundering in Kyiv – two critical bills for military reform to meet NATO entry requirements are rejected. Donbas update. The scandal over the import of Russian military spare parts continues and Peskov responds. Election and politics updates.

UOC / ROC updates – Politico correctly observe this is an inevitable result of events over three centuries ago.


‘Is This What You Want?’ Russia’s Bombastic TV Threats

One of Russia’s most powerful media bosses, Dmitry Kiselyov, has used his show on state TV to demonstrate how Russia might destroy the United States. It’s not the first time Russia has made slick presentations of nuclear war on American territory.

 Russian State TV Lists U.S. Targets for Putin’s New Nukes—But the List Makes No Sense

Although menacing, some of the targets are so outdated they are no longer military targets. Our latest glimpse at Russia’s hit list reveals a batch of targets that’s decidedly weird. On Sunday, February 24 Russian state television broadcast a map of targets it said could be hit by the new nuclear weapons President Vladimir Putin is threatening to bring online. The report mentioned several facilities, some very small and manned by less than two dozen people, in isolated areas near U.S. coastlines. On the outside, some of them have no apparent military use, but Popular Mechanics has uncovered the role of at least one of them in American nuclear war planning. The reason behind this posturing is the impending possible end to the U.S.-Russian INF Treaty that bans certain nuclear weapons. Putin, concerned that the United States could reintroduce intermediate-range ballistic missiles into Western Europe that could strike Moscow in minutes, threatened to counter any such deployment with a Russian deployment of cruise and hypersonic missiles. These missiles would be based nearby or on submarines cruising off the North American coastline.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin has Three Far-Reaching Goals in Playing Nuclear Card Against West Now, Kirillova Says

Paul Goble Staunton, February 26 – Vladimir Putin’s new round of sabre rattling against the United States is not simply an extension of what he and his propagandists have been doing from the times of the 2016 US elections when Moscow outlets repeatedly warned that the election of Hillary Clinton would lead to war, Kseniya Kirillova says. Instead, the new wave of such comments reflects three specific Kremlin goals as tailored to the current situation. According to the US-based Russian journalist, the first of these involves the Kremlin’s domestic audience. Putin wants to show himself only as the defender of the Russian people and to ensure that Russians continue to view the US and not him as the source of threats (usa.one/2019/02/tri-celi-novogo-yadernogo-obostreniya-v-otnosheniyax-ssha-i-rossii/). Second, Putin wants to create “the illusion of confrontation between Russia and the US.” that is useful to both him and to Trump. For Putin, “it becomes the ideal justification for a renewal of an arms race and the placement of rockets targeted on Europe. For Trump, it undermines the position of those who talk about his collusion with Moscow. And third, it is likely, Kirillova says, that Moscow’s messages in this regard “are addressed not so much to Donald Trump as to his opponents” in the US. Relatively few people in the US and even in the Trump Administration support the White House leader’s decision to pull out of the intermediate range missile accord. Putin is sending a message by his sabre rattling that such opponents are right and that Moscow would welcome a new treaty on this subject. Given that “in the American establishment, there is a large group of people who are prepared to forgive Moscow any actions as long as cooperation in the nuclear sphere continues,” that is a powerful argument. The Kremlin leader clearly calculates that if Trump is impeached or otherwise weakened or if he is defeated in 2020, his opponents will want to stress how different they are than he as far as relations with Russia are concerned and will rush to offer a new intermediate arms control package, one that will be far more favorable to Putin and Russia than the current one. Because of that possibility or even likelihood, Kirillova says, Putin’s words about the use of nuclear weapons are even more dangerous, not because they necessarily point to war but rather because they open the way for Russia in that not distant future to escape from its current isolation and project even more power in Europe and the West.

Information on Vladimir Putin’s personal wealth is the target of a new House bill – ABC News

New bipartisan legislation aims to solve an enduring mystery surrounding Russian President Vladimir Putin: Just how rich is he? New bipartisan legislation aims to shed light on an enduring mystery surrounding the Russian president: Just how rich is Vladimir Putin? The legislation, introduced on Wednesday by Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., and Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-NY, is called the Vladimir Putin Transparency Act and would, in part, require the U.S. intelligence community to provide Congress detailed information on Putin’s personal assets or assets believed to be under his control. The lawmakers, both of whom sit on the House intelligence committee, indicated that the bill was in response to what the U.S. intelligence community said was continuing attempts by Russia to undermine American democracy.

Raphael S. Cohen and Andrew Radin | Russia’s Soft Strategy to Hostile Measures in Europe

They’ve been called political warfare, measures short of war, gray zone warfare, and a host of other terms. Whatever the preferred term of art, Russia has

Donald Trump authorized military cyber campaign against Russian trolls: Report – Washington Times

President Trump personally authorized a U.S. military operation that resulted in Russian internet trolls being unable to get online during the 2018 midterm elections, a report said Tuesday.

The Cybersecurity 202: CyberCom sent a message by taking down a troll farm on Election Day. Was Russia listening? – The Washington Post

It may not be enough to change Russian behavior.

Russia Says U.S. Cyberattacks Show A Need For Its Own Internet : NPR

Spokesman Dmitry Peskov links the attacks to Russia’s need for its own Internet. It is a “geopolitical angle to try to defend their own steps,” says Internet freedom expert Sanja Kelly.

Was Russia Treason Trial About U.S. Election Meddling or a Convict’s Revenge? – The New York Times

Two of Russia’s top cybersecurity officials were arrested soon after the 2016 election, and speculation swirled they had helped the F.B.I. crack the electoral hacking case. But key questions remain.

Russian treason convictions raise questions over US election hack – CNN

Convictions handed down this week in a high-profile treason case in Russia have reopened questions about the Russian hacking of the 2016 US presidential election.

Daughter of Putin’s spokesman takes E.U. internship, startling lawmakers fighting Kremlin influence – The Washington Post

Elizaveta Peskova is working for a French far-right member of the European Parliament.

German Court Sentences Nephew Of Russian Propagandist Kiselyov Over Ukraine War

A nephew of Dmitry Kiselyov, a Russian state media boss known for fiery anti-Western diatribes, has been sentenced to two years and three months in a German prison on charges of planning to take pa…

Nephew Of Russian Propagandist Kiselyov On Trial In Germany Over Ukraine War

A nephew of Dmitry Kiselyov, a Russian state media boss known for fiery anti-Western diatribes, is on trial in Germany on a charge of planning to take part in military activities alongside Russia-b…

Investigation Charts Massive Haul For State Deals By Companies Linked To ‘Putin’s Chef’

Current Time shows how the politically connected catering empire of a Putin crony has used opaque ownership structures and the illusion of competitive bidding to tap into billions of dollars’ worth…

UAWire – Head of EU Delegation to Kyiv: Ukraine is the biggest target of Russian disinformation

The head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, Hugues Mingarelli stated at the conference in Kyiv that Ukraine is the largest target of Russian …

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Late Putinism Could Be Succeeded by Early Putinism after Its Author Exits, Ikhlov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, February 27 – Many fear that after Putin, there will be either a continuation of his system or its destruction by a revolutionary dictatorship that will take the country back to what it was before 1991, Yevgeny Ikhlov says; but there is a third category of possibilities arising out of the nature of Putinism itself which has evolved over the last two decades. There have been many Putinisms, the Moscow commentator says; and the one on offer now is not at all like the one Vladimir Putin sought to implement at the state of his reign. It is certainly true, Ikhlov continues, that “the current system is impossible” without Putin in place (vestnikcivitas.ru/pbls/4207). None of those in the current political firmament have his “revolutionary (counter-revolutionary) charisma” to do that or to dismantle the entire system. But that doesn’t mean that Putinism of the kind on display in the earlier years of his presidency may not be exactly the half-way house that many will want, authoritarianism in the service of positive changes. The appearance of a younger and more energetic authoritarian leader cannot be excluded especially if he or she seeks to “reanimate Putinism in its initial form,” including strategic partnership with the US, a genuine fight against corruption, and moves to expand federalism and local control. Putin as many have forgotten including perhaps the man himself began that way, and if a new leader returned to that approach and even called it the continuation of Putinism, Ikhlov suggests, it could garner a great deal of support from the currently angry and disaffected population who would also be pleased by the apparent call for continuity. This is possible, the Moscow commentator says, because “Putinism is by its nature a regime of the Bonapartist type, which presupposes some Napoleon if not the First then at least the Third.” Making this transition would not be easy, of course, and it might not happen. But it would be both more consistent with Russian political folkways than any other and certainly less costly to both the regime and the people.

The United States recon aircraft flew along the border with the occupied part of Moldova

The US Airborne Force Beech MC-12W Liberty conducted surveillance flights over the territory of Ukraine 5 kilometers from the state border with Moldova near the so-called “Transnistrian Moldavian Republic” over the course of February 26-27. This is reported by the Ukrainian Military Portal Since the beginning of 2019, these flights have become regular and are also carried out over the territory of Moldova. Yesterday, on February 27, 2019, the Beech MC-12W Liberty with flight number 09-0654 flown from an airfield near the Romanian city of Constanţa entered the airspace of Ukraine and for several hours was in the sky in the Odesa region by flying along the border with Moldova, which controls the so-called ” Transnistrian Moldavian Republic “:

‘We will go to kill Ukrainians as soon as our war will be over,’ Assad’s army fighters say in Syria | KyivPost

Russia – the main ally of the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad – not only sends troops and planes to the Middle East country where at least 500,000 have been murdered in the civil war that started in 2011. The Kremlin is also enthusiastically exported vile anti-Ukrainian propaganda to Syria. Pro-government Syrian Facebook groups often publish texts or pictures, blaming Ukraine for supporting jihadist groups. Anyone can find cartoons with two figures hugging, one of whom impersonates Ukraine and the other – ISIS or al-Qaeda. Or people can read articles about rebel training camps somewhere near Lviv or Kharkiv, with combatants aimed at overthrowing Assad. These propaganda products are usually poorly made and contain many unsubstantiated or even conflicting facts. But they are, nonetheless, working. “We will join Russian troops in Ukraine as soon as our war will be over. I swear you, I’ll go there the same day we will win at home,” one weary, skinny soldier from the Assad army said as far back as the summer of 2014, when the government was launching its counter-offensive operation against rebel opponents in northern Syria. He asked not to reveal his identity for reasons of personal security. His comments came just as Russia launched its war in eastern Ukraine. Moscow officially denied (and still denies) involvement of regular Russian forces in heavy fighting in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, but even half-literate Syrian soldiers in their early 20s understand who is waging war in distant Ukraine. They not only understand, but many of them support it unconditionally. “What’s the reason for me and my comrades to go to the foreign war and kill Ukrainians? Because Putin does it – he is killing them. And I don’t think Putin would kill nice people, only bad persons deserve such a fate. That’s why we will help him to fight off bad people not only at home,” said one of the Assad army’s privates. Even before Russian planes and their crews arrived in the port city of Latakia in 2015 and Russia joined the Assad forces in long and bloody war against the rebels, Putin was glorified by state propaganda as one of the closest allies in the “Israeli- and US-backed rebellion aimed to overthrow the legal president,” as state media called it.

The west must not abandon Crimea and Ukraine to Russian aggression | Jeremy Hunt, Pavlo Klimkin and nine other foreign ministers | Opinion | The Guardian

Russia’s illegal occupation continues to jeopardise international peace, say 11 European foreign ministers. Signatories.

Edgars Rinkēvičs, minister of foreign affairs of Latvia,

Pavlo Klimkin, minister of foreign affairs of Ukraine,

Sven Mikser, minister of foreign affairs of Estonia,

Linas Linkevičius, minister of foreign affairs of Lithuania,

Jacek Czaputowicz, minister of foreign affairs of Poland,

Margot Wallström, minister of foreign affairs of Sweden,

Anders Samuelsen, minister of foreign affairs of Denmark,

Chrystia Freeland, minister of foreign affairs of Canada,

Teodor Meleşcanu, minister of foreign affairs of Romania,

Jeremy Hunt, Britain’s secretary of state for foreign and Commonwealth affairs,

Tomáš Petříček, minister of foreign affairs of the Czech Republic

‘Crimea Must Be Returned To Ukraine,’ U.S. Tells Russia

The United States has reaffirmed that it will maintain sanctions on Russia until it returns control of Crimea to Ukraine, nearly five years after Moscow annexed the peninsula.

US ready for serious talk with Russia on Donbas conflict, – Volker

27.02.19 17:10 – US ready for serious talk with Russia on Donbas conflict, – Volker The U.S. is interested in continuing negotiations with Russia regarding the restoration of the Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity when Russia is ready for a serious talk. View news.

UAWire – Volker announces plans to intensify anti-Russian sanctions

The US does not recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and believes that “words are not enough”, US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt …

NATO says militarization of Crimea, Azov and Black seas by Russia threat to Ukraine sovereignty – news politics | UNIAN

Head of the NATO Representation to Ukraine Alexander Vinnikov says militarization of Crimea, Azov and Black seas by Russia constitutes a threat to Ukraine’s sovereignty. Allies believe that Ukraine’s should use peaceful and diplomatic means in its long-term policy on Crimea reintegration.

NATO should strengthen presence in Black Sea region – MEP

MEP Rebecca Harms considers that NATO should strengthen its presence in the Black Sea region. — Ukrinform.

Russia wants to occupy Kherson, Mykolaiv regions for “land corridor” – Russian lawyer – news war | UNIAN

Russian lawyer and human rights activist Nikolay Polozov says Russia wants to occupy Kherson and Mykolayiv regions in Ukraine’s south to create the so-called land corridor towards Russian-occupied Crimea. After the occupation of Crimea, the Russian authorities decided the Sea of Azov could be turned into their territorial waters.

Zubko in Brussels discusses sanctions against Russia, situation in Azov Sea region and reforms

During a two-day visit to Brussels, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister Hennadiy Zubko held a series of bilateral meetings and talks in the European Commission and the European Parliament on major issues of bilateral relations. — Ukrinform.

UAWire – European Parliament Member Rebecca Harms calls for new personal sanctions on Russians for actions in Crimea

During a joint program by Krym.Realii and the TV channel UA:Pershyi titled “Crimea: 5 years of opposing the Russian occupation”, European …

Ukraine, Russia agree via diplomatic channels on fishing rules in Azov Sea – news politics | UNIAN

The Ukrainian and Russian sides have signed a protocol on catching of aquatic bioresources in the Sea of Azov. The protocol stipulates the transfer of detained fishermen to the side whose citizenship they have.

67 international ships detained for examination by Russia in Kerch Strait in 2019

All the detained ships stood for Ukrainian ports

Ukrainian ships currently not passing through Kerch Strait – State border service

Ukrainian ships currently do not cross the Kerch Strait, and foreign ships pass freely, Ukraine’s State Border Service Spokesman Oleh Slobodian has said.

Health of Ukrainian POWs satisfactory, no complaints about prison conditions – Ukraine’s foreign ministry

The health of Ukrainian sailors who are prisoners of war (POW) held in Russia is satisfactory, Serhiy Pohoreltsev, Directorate General for Consular Service of Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry, has said.

UAWire – Kremlin claims that gas transit through Ukraine is unprofitable

The Minister of Energy Alexander Novak, in an interview with Gazeta.ru, stated that gas transit through Ukraine to Europe costs Russia 2-2.5 …

Illia Ponomarenko | Rada wrecks army’s reform plans, threatens NATO cooperation | KyivPost

It took only a couple of hours to derail months, even years of painstaking work to reform Ukraine’s armed forces. Ukraine’s parliament on Feb. 26 rejected two bills vital for the military – one to introduce a new, NATO-style system of ranks, and another to make long-overdue amendments to outdated Soviet military service regulations. The setback came just 19 days after lawmakers voted to enshrine in the constitution Ukraine’s ambitions of joining NATO, the 29-nation political and military alliance started in 1949. Those same lawmakers have now made that goal much harder to achieve by rejecting laws that would make Ukraine’s army interoperable with NATO forces by late 2020. The military say the price of this defeat could be very high – if Ukraine misses its 2020 reform deadline, the alliance could drastically cut back its cooperation programs with Ukraine. Worse, the already-stumbling defense reform in Ukraine now faces real danger of failing completely, with very few chances to save the situation. Westernized force The first rejected bill on military ranks was registered in parliament in April 2017. Drawn up by Defense Ministry officials and the military, the draft law focused mainly on introducing a so-called “sergeant corps” consisting of non-commissioned officers or NCOs, similar to the system used by the U.S. Army. Under the bill, there would be a completely new chain of command, with seven new NCO ranks: sergeant, senior sergeant, chief sergeant, staff sergeant, master sergeant, senior master sergeant, and chief master sergeant. Each rank was to command personnel at a corresponding level, from squads, to platoons, companies, battalions, and brigades, all the way up to chief master sergeant – the highest NCO rank in the armed forces. The ranks of enlisted soldiers, officers, and generals remained the same. The same system, only with different rank titles, was to be used in the Ukrainian navy. Crucially, the new hierarchy was designed so that each rank had a direct NATO equivalent: Under the NATO Standard Agreement, STANAG 2116, all enlisted soldiers and NCOs are coded as OR (“other ranks”) from bottom to the top, OR-1 to OR-9. Officers are referred to as OFs, on the same principle from OF-1 to OF-10. A Ukrainian sergeant would have the code OR-5, and his rank, position, and role would immediately understandable to all NATO troops. Ukrainian forces could then be completely interoperable with NATO forces in joint combat operations and maneuvers – one of the 2020 reform program’s top goals. And crucially, the new system would sweep away the Soviet-era model, in which sergeants are a lowly rank in a single-strand military hierarchy. Instead, the Ukrainian army would switch to Western military tradition, in which commissioned and non-commissioned officers form two parallel strands of hierarchy. Oleksandr Kosinskiy, the equivalent in Ukraine’s Armed Forces of the most senior NCO, explained the proposed changes in an interview with the Kyiv Post in February 2018. “In NATO armies, a battalion commander and a battalion sergeant major are not a leader and a follower, but two equally weighted experts working in different ways. While officers take decisions and plan, sergeants take care of every soldier on a daily basis, maintaining proper discipline and morale. “There are people who tend to prefer brain work, who love planning, strategy-making, so they are natural-born officers,” Kosinskiy said. “However, others aspire to work with personnel, give training, directly lead soldiers into action, and so on. It is they who should become NCOs.” Killed by apathy But after almost two years of collecting dust in parliament’s defense and security committee, the carefully thought-out bill was voted down by lawmakers in about half an hour. The first vote to review the draft under a simplified procedure was endorsed by only 43 lawmakers, while 19 voted against; A total of 278 lawmakers didn’t vote. Prior to the voting, lawmaker from 135-seat Petro Poroshenko Bloc fraction Ivan Vinnyk expressed his indignation over the fact that much of the parliament did not even care to be present at their voting boards. He accused his absent colleagues, whom he did not name, of explicitly neglecting important military reform bills in favor of promoting themselves amid ongoing presidential campaign instead. “I can’t see any presidential candidates in the hall,” he said. “A lawmaker’s work as it defined by the constitution, is not only about giving fiery speeches to be widely quoted in media, but also about appropriate working with legislation, about conscious presence at the workplace, processing and criticizing draft bills.” Several attempts to approve the bill in principle or send it back for revision failed, amid overwhelming disinterest from lawmakers. Parliament speaker Andriy Parubiy eventually declared the bill dismissed. That was only the first disaster: later in the day, a second bill on modernizing military regulations, which had been submitted to the parliament in February 2018, was also killed off by lawmaker apathy. With its extensive amendments to army regulations dating from Soviet times, the bill was supposed to provide the complete legal basis for a Western-style sergeant corps in the army. It was to specify all duties and authorities of the new NATO-style military ranks and positions, and also launch a modern new military police force. But over a series of votes, the draft law garnered at most 171 votes in favor, with at least 262 votes needed for it to pass. After several failed attempts, the speaker dismissed it too. Spectacular failure While rejecting vital, nuts-and-bolts defense reforms, parliament earlier had no problem passing populist, declarative, and essentially cosmetic amendments to the constitution on Feb. 7 that made joining NATO a strategic goal of the state. The amendments passed by 334 votes, to loud cheers of the EuroMaidan Revolution slogan, “Glory to Ukraine – Glory to the Heroes!” in reference to the uprising that overthrew the president But that vote in fact did nothing to bring Ukraine any closer to joining NATO. In contrast, as lawmaker Ivan Vinnyk told the Kyiv Post, with the defeat of the defense reform bills on Feb. 26, the difficult process of bringing the regulations and practices of Ukraine’s armed forces into line with those of NATO has now failed spectacularly. That said, there is hope some of the reforms can be put back on track: Vinnyk and his fellow lawmakers designed a second draft law that also introduces a NATO-style army rank system, which he submitted to parliament in March 2018. The bill proposes a somewhat extended chain of command, adding the enlisted ranks of recruit (OR-1) and corporal (OR-4), which the Defense Ministry earlier rejected. But long and painstaking consultations with experts and military officers are still required before the bill can be put to the vote, Vinnyk said. “Maybe (it will work out),” the lawmaker told the Kyiv Post. “But then again, I’ve got the feeling that until the end of the presidential elections, let’s say late April, we won’t be able to work in parliament effectively. And this is really sad.”

Helicopter pilots train to destroy ground targets in Donbas

Ukrainian Armed Forces servicemen have conducted exercises on board Mi-2 helicopters destroying simulated ground targets, the press service of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry has reported. “A military airfield of the Joint Forces Operation hosted exercises involving officers of battle management groups of the North and East task forces. The military improved their skills on directing Mi-2 helicopters at ground targets, with the subsequent conditional destruction of a simulated enemy,” the statement reads. According to the report, such exercises are needed to extend the permits for fulfilling tasks in the area of the Joint Forces Operation, as well as increase the professional level of every officer of a battle management group.

Construction of the border with Russia will end in 2021

The assistant to the head of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, Oleg Slobodian, during a briefing at Ukrinform, said that the deadline for implementing the engineering development of the border with Russia was 2021. This is reported by the Ukrainian Military Portal In general, during 2015-2018, about 30% of the length of the Ukrainian-Russian border is equipped and equipped. This is: • almost 340 km of anti-transport ditches, • 250 km of highways • re-equipment of 5 border units In total, 1.3 billion hryvnias have already been spent on these works; in 2019 it is planned to attract another UAH 400 million. For these funds it is planned: • deploy a large number of video control and alarm systems; • arrange 50 kilometers of anti-transport ditches, • 9.5 km of mesh fence • almost 48 km of enclosures with “Jegaz” type spirals, • to lay 65.8 km of highways; • equip 40 transitions of rock roads through complex areas (ravines, ditches, etc.), • to carry out reconstruction works for the units for border guard units at 3 sites The works are carried out by the contracting organizations involved in the work in accordance with the terms stated in the law. Last year the work was completed on the state border in the Kharkiv region and this year it is planned to start construction in Sumy region. Recall that the project for the development of the border approved by the decision of the Government in May 2015 provides for the creation of a “intellectual border” system on the Ukrainian-Russian section, which combines technical, engineering and fortification innovations and will provide the opportunity to maximize control over the state border line and prevent its violation.

Russian Black Sea Fleet Officer, Partner Jailed As Spies For Ukraine

An officer of Russia’s Black Sea fleet and his partner have been imprisoned on charges of spying for Ukraine, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on February 28.

bne IntelliNews – Belarus exports of anthracite to Ukraine jump 340-fold in 2018 amid accusations of trading with Russia-backed separatists

Minsk is in hot water again for cheating on trade, but this time its not shrimps or apples being sent to Moscow, but coal allegedly&nbsp;mined in the …

UAWire – Kyiv: Belarussian coal exported to Ukraine was not from Donbas mines

Minister of Energy and the Coal Industry of Ukraine Ihor Nasalyk told journalists on Tuesday that he is convinced that the anthracite coal that …

Ukraine, Canada launch new format for bilateral cooperation between Defense Ministries

Delegations from the Ministries of Defense of Ukraine and Canada conducted extended consultations in the framework of launching a new format of Ukrainian-Canadian bilateral cooperation – a strategic dialogue on defense and security issues at the level of deputy defense ministers. — Ukrinform.

Will SAMs enhance the air defence of the Land Forces? #ЗРВ #ЗБРОЙНІ_СИЛИ #УКРАЇНА – Командування Повітряних Сил ЗСУ / Air Force Command of UA Armed Forces

Командування Повітряних Сил ЗСУ / Air Force Command of UA Armed Forces, м. Вінниця. 7.7K likes. Anti-air defense of the state will increase the MRK of the Land Forces? For the pilot tests of anti-aircraft guided missiles at the Yagorlik range, see the expanded plot of the Air Force Command’s press center.

Verkhovna Rada passes resolution to probe possible abuse at Ukroboronprom

The Verkhovna Rada has adopted resolution No. 201014 on holding an urgent investigation into facts disclosed in the media regarding abuse at the Ukroboronprom State Concern and the involvement of officials in this abuse. — Ukrinform.

Corruption in defense procurement: SBU says smuggling of spare parts not same as arms smuggling – news politics | UNIAN

Deputy Head of the Main Investigation Department of the Security Service of Ukraine, Vitaly Maiakov, says that it’s only arms smuggling that is punished by criminal law, while a journalistic investigation released earlier told about spare parts for military equipment. The senior security official says operatives had received, and forwarded to relevant law enforcement agencies information on financial wrongdoings in the sphere.

“Sounds ridiculous”, – Kremlin reacts on Russian involvement in Ukroboronprom scandal

Kremlin commented on the scandal with smuggling of military equipment to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The press secretary of the president of Russian Federation Dmitry Pesov claimed this to be absurd, as such equipment is under special control, as Unian reports. “Frankly speaking, I had no clue about this scandal at all, as our journalists do not work in Ukraine and we cannot obtain the objective information from there, unfortunately, I do not know all the scandal details, although it sounds ridiculous”, – Peskov said and asked to tell him about the scandal. At the clarification, whether the dual-use production could be smuggled from the Russian Federation, the press secretary of the Russian president claimed it was impossible.

NASA interested in involving Ukraine in lunar exploration projects – Chaly

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is interested in involving Ukraine in lunar exploration projects, Ukraine’s Embassy in the United States has reported on its Facebook page, following a meeting between Ambassador Valeriy Chaly and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. — Ukrinform.

NASA wants to involve Ukraine in Moon exploration projects, – Embassy

NASA considers involvement of Ukraine in its space projects in the future

UAWire – Poroshenko accuses Russia of cyber attacks on the Central Election Commission of Ukraine

The Russian Federation carried out DdoS attacks on the Central Election Commission (CEC) on February 24 and 25, said Ukrainian President Petro …

Kurt Volker, U.S. Ambassador Yovanovitch meet with showman Zelensky

The message states that during the meeting the parties reached a full understanding on all issues.

Ukraine election 2019 polls: Who is leading in the polls as Ukraine faces Russian THREAT? | World | News | Express.co.uk

UKRAINE will hold elections on March 31, as 44 candidates battle to win the presidential election race. But who is leading in the polls as Ukraine faces a ‘serious threat’ from Russia?

Tymoshenko Accuses Parliament’s Leadership Of Blocking Presidential Impeachment

Ukrainian lawmaker and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has accused the leadership of parliament — the Verkhovna Rada — of intentionally impeding an impeachment process against President P…

EU not to punish Ukrainians for Constitutional Court ruling – Foreign Ministry

The European Union will not punish Ukrainians for a Constitutional Court ruling lifting the Criminal Code article on liability for illegal enrichment, but Ukraine must look for ways out of the situation. — Ukrinform.

Ukrainian president submits new bill on punishment for illegal enrichment

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed and ordered the registration in the Verkhovna Rada of a bill regulating the legislation on criminal liability for illegal enrichment. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine’s Constitutional Court Annuls Legislation On Illegal Enrichment

Ukraine’s Constitutional Court has annulled legislation aimed at fighting against illegal enrichment among officials, in a move that was denounced by a Ukrainian law enforcement agency fighting aga…

Constitutional Court ruling on Criminal Code article on illegal enrichment final, cannot be appealed

The Constitutional Court has published a ruling declaring unconstitutional Article 368-2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, which provides for the criminal liability of officials for illegal enrichment. — Ukrinform.

Confirmed: Constitutional Court cancels Criminal Code article on illegal enrichment – news politics | UNIAN

The Constitutional Court of Ukraine promulgated its conclusion, adopted on February 26, recognizing as unconstitutional the article of the Criminal Code on illegal enrichment. On Feb 27, Iryna Lutsenko, a presidential envoy in parliament, said that the head of state would soon submit to the Verkhovna Rada a new bill on the punishment of illegal enrichment.

Poroshenko signs new bill on illicit enrichment

The President of Ukraine Poroshenko signed the draft law on illicit enrichment and assigned to register it in the Parliament

All criminal cases on illegal enrichment to be closed following Constitutional Court’s “political” move – NABU – news politics | UNIAN

The abolition by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine of the Criminal Code article providing for liability for illegal enrichment is a step backward in anti-corruption reform, the National Anti-corruption Bureau says. The anti-corruption watchdog raises alarm over the CCU decision’s consequences.

UAWire – NATO sides with Hungary in the dispute with Ukraine over the language law

NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller stated during a visit to Hungary that NATO has acted in line with Hungary’s interests when it …

Ukraine to build nuclear fuel production facility – LB.ua news portal

Ukraine to build nuclear fuel production facility. The project would cost at least $120m. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

UAWire – Ukraine to build nuclear fuel plant

In the second half of 2019, the Ukrainian Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry intends to initiate a tender for the construction of a nuclear …

President instructs ambassadors to promote Ukrainian business in foreign countries

President Petro Poroshenko has instructed Ukrainian ambassadors to apply more efforts to facilitate Ukrainian enterprises’ entry into foreign markets, primarily the EU markets. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine Pulls Out of Eurovision Song Contest | Hollywood Reporter

Ukraine has pulled out of the Eurovision Song Contest after winners of the national finals refused to sign deals with a local broadcaster.

Ukraine pulls out of Eurovision contest after Russia row – Israel News – Haaretz.com

Anna Korsun, 27, who goes by the stage name Maruv, was selected by a public vote on Saturday to sing at the contest in Israel

Ukraine to skip this year’s Eurovision contest: Official statement – news ukraine | UNIAN

National Public Television and Radio Company of Ukraine refuses to send any participant to represent Ukraine at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest that will be held in Tel Aviv, according to the official statement. The public broadcaster considers it necessary to start a public dilaogue through panel shows, forums, and discussions with the participation of leading experts in the field to formulate the position of Ukrainian society on the issue.

Ukraine Pulls Out Of Eurovision After Local Winner Rejects Conditions

Ukraine has announced it will not participate in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest amid a scandal in its national selection process.

Ukraine withdraws from Eurovision 2019 – Eurovision Song Contest Tel Aviv 2019

Ukraine withdraws from the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Ukraine Withdraws From Eurovision 2019

Ukraine’s Public Broadcasting Channel (UA:PBC) has stated that Ukraine won’t take part in Eurovision 2019. This comes after the singer MARUV who won the

Life inside a Kiev Khrushchyovka: Soviet architecture in Ukraine | Ukraine | Al Jazeera

An insight into one family’s everyday life in a Soviet-era housing block in Kiev.

Ukraine’s crisis of faith – POLITICO

The Kiev-Kremlin conflict catalyzes a religious schism centuries in the making.

On invasion anniversary, Ukraine prelate blasts Russian ‘great lies’ – news ukraine | UNIAN

Marking the fifth anniversary of Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine, the leader of the country’s Greek Catholic Church said Tuesday that while his people are suffering as a result, the world needs to shift from seeing Ukraine as a problem to seeing it as a solution. The war is ongoing between two different “ways of seeing the future,” between a “return to the Soviet past” and “authentic democracy and resistance to outside despotism,” the cleric says. Marking the fifth anniversary of Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine, the leader of the country’s Greek Catholic Church said Tuesday that while his people are suffering as a result, the world needs to shift from seeing Ukraine as a problem to seeing it as a solution. “You hear the word ‘Ukraine,’ and you immediately think of problems … humanitarian, socio-political, ecumenical, diplomatic, military, the list goes on,” said Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Patriarch of the Greek Catholic Church, the largest of the Eastern churches in communion with Rome, Crux reports. Yet, he said, “we’re convinced that in our people, our country, things are fermenting that are important for all of you, for the whole world.” In effect, Shevchuk said, Ukraine is striving to pass from a post-Soviet society marked by endemic corruption and violence to an “authentic, modern democracy” rooted in “European values.” That promise came with a warning: “The war in Ukraine is not a Ukrainian war,” he said. “It’s a European war, a war in Europe. Sooner or later, it will knock on your doors … it has global repercussions.”

Russian choir draws criticism over performance describing nuclear attack on U.S. | Fox News

The Russian Orthodox Church expressed regret over a choir performance that featured a satirical Soviet-era song depicting a nuclear attack on the United States in the midst of heightened tension between Washington and Moscow.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Orthodox Church Says Performance in St. Isaac’s of Song about Nuking US ‘in Bad Taste’

Paul Goble Staunton, February 26 – Few stories from Russia in recent times (other than anything connected with Vladimir Putin) have sparked a larger media firestorm than the report, including a Youtube video, of a Russian choir singing in St. Petersburg’s St. Isaac’s Cathedral a song celebrating the raining down of nuclear weapons on US cities. (For the text, links to the video, and initial reaction in Russia and the West, see echo.msk.ru/blog/day_video/2378351-echo/novayagazeta.ru/articles/2019/02/26/79693-navodi-na-gorod-vashington and ahilla.ru/i-na-samoletike-sverhu-drug-moj-vovochka-ne-s-pustymi-lyukami-v-gosti-priletel/.) Almost lost in the media firestorm is the fact that the St. Petersburg bishopric of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate issued, via its press office, a statement strongly condemning as inappropriate and in bad taste the song given where it was performed (interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=72100 and ahilla.ru/v-sankt-peterburgskoj-mitropolii-sozhaleyut-chto-pesnya-pro-podvodnuyu-lodochku-byla-ispolnena-v-isaakii/). Choral music is performed regularly in St. Isaac’s, Natalya Rodomanova, spokesperson for the bishopric said. But this song as performed by a quite well-known collective, of course, is surprising,” not only because of the venue but because of its timing on the Day of the Defender f the Fatherland. All that makes this “clearly inappropriate.” In the view of the church, she continued, it appears that a sense of taste deserted those who performed this song in this church “and we extremely regret that such an event took place in Petersburg and even more in St. Isaac’s Cathedral.” That may not be the sweeping denunciation the song deserves, but it is better than nothing.

Fact or Fake – Has the European Parliament put the Russian Orthodox Church on a terrorist blacklist?

This is a recurring piece of fake news in Georgia, where more than 80% of the population follows the Eastern Orthodox traditions. It seems to have originated on the Georgian news site Mediacity.ge in late 2016. Mediacity claims that the European Parliament’s foreign relations committee adopted a resolution equating the Orthodox Church with the Islamic State group. In reality, the resolution calls on EU institutions to beef up their responses to propaganda sponsored by the Russian government.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Stalin-Era Mass Graves So Ubiquitous Russian Officials Don’t Know What to Do with Them

Paul Goble Staunton, February 26 – The millions of people the Stalin system killed did not disappear into thin air: they were buried typically in mass graves that Russia today has inherited but whose people and officials do not know what to do with them. As a result, they remain a continuing wound on the body of the country, Anastasiya Platonova of Takiye dela says. The Soviet system has left behind “cemeteries of the victims of political repressions: mass burials of those shot as well as small cemeteries of the camps and special settlements,” she continues. Some have been studied, but most have not, despite the interests of relatives and society in dealing with this legacy (takiedela.ru/2019/02/smert-rastyanutaya-na-desyatiletiya/). Once people began to learn the details of the deaths of their ancestors, their first question in many cases she says was “where are they buried?” During the 1990s, some 120 mass graves were identified, Irina Fliga of Memorial says; but taking the next step of identifying individual victims was hampered by lack of records and the resistance of the authorities and the church. Moreover, many cases – and Platonova documents some of these – officials had already constructed buildings or roads over the sites, making it even more difficult to treat the victims of Stalin with the respect that they deserve. And things have only gotten worse in recent years with the FSB and the Russian Orthodox Church throwing up roadblocks of various kinds. Some other countries whose populations were victimized by Stalin’s system have shown that it is possible to address this problem more adequately, with Lithuania and Poland being two prominent examples where governments have taken active roles in protecting the graves and identifying as many of the bodies as possible, Platonova says. Unfortunately, in Russia, one can count on one’s hands the few cases of professional exhumation and personal identification. But what may be even worse, Flige adds, is that “in Russia, there is still no public demand for the personal identification of those who were shot.” There is no agreement among Russians even that every victim should have the right to a grave.