Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
NATO repeats its plea on INF. RF MoD pushes more assets forward. Felgenhauer remains off the air following the removal of his article on Russia scamming China. LtGen Lyaporov announces 2020 IOC for new S-350 Vityaz (9M96 series) and S-500 Prometey / Triumfator M SAM/ABM systems. Prigozhin’s Troll Factory claims US cyber attack was ineffective. Another Russian covert operator bagged, this time in Sweden. Kiselyov’s nephew will spend more than two years behind bars. Luzin comments on the internal schism in Russia over global satellite carrier Internet services, that govt agencies want to use, but the regime wants to deny to the public. Nevzlin on the Vozhd’s personality cult. Shelin’s essay on Russia’s inability to separate from Ukraine psychologically is very revealing, and focuses on the imperial mindset that still permeates much of the country, a de facto “Golden Horde Syndrome”.
Salisbury declared free of Novichok, after almost a year of multiple poisonings, one death and expensive cleanup, .
Azov / Kerch / Black Sea reports mostly political, and presidential front-runner Zelensky weighs in – bluntly commenting on the Donbas conflict that “We have a war from the very first day, a real war between Russia and Ukraine”. Donbas update – another Russian RPV killed.
T-80BV upgrade detailed, based on the 2017 T-64B upgrade. Harza Counter RPV surveillance systems. Political, election, economic updates – Tymoshenko in increasing difficulty with claims of donation violations.
UOC report now 400 parishes defected.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has urged Russia to return to compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a cornerstone of arms control for decades.
Russia will continue to increase and strengthen its army stationed in the Western Military District near the borders of the NATO European …
In his annual State of the Nation address, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his government is preparing a response to the possible transfer of American missiles to Europe, where “their flight time to Moscow could be as low as 10 – 12 minutes.” Putin said a symmetrical response would not only target rocket launchers; it would target “the territories where decisions are made to deploy missile complexes that threaten us.”
Last week, Meduza summarized a column by Pavel Felgenhauer that appeared in Novaya Gazeta on February 21 where the defense analyst accused Moscow of sabotaging a shipment to China of 40N6 very-long-range missiles for the S-400 air-defense system. (Felgenhauer believes the weapons aren’t ready yet.) That text has since disappeared without explanation from the newspaper, though it’s been republished at several other websites. (You can still read it here, for example, but the original hyperlink leads to a “404 Not Found” error, and Novaya Gazeta’s most recent published article by Felgenhauer is currently from February 9.)
The Zhukov Air-Space Academy, Lieutenant General Vladimir Lyaporov, announced on Friday that the new modern S-500 and S-350 air defense systems will enter service with the Russian armed forces soon. Speaking to newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda, Vladimir Lyaporov said: “I would like to note that in 2019, the first group of officers will complete the academy’s course to use the S-500 systems. The systems are yet to enter service, but we expect them to do so in the near future”. “At the end of the year, the center is expected to receive first S-350 Vityaz systems,” the general added. According to several media reports, Russian armed forces will receive modern S-500 surface-to-air missile/anti-ballistic missile systems and S-350 medium-range surface-to-air missile systems by 2020. Earlier, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the delivery of S-500 systems to Russian troops will begin in 2020. Depending on the type of missiles it is equipped with, the system will be able to shoot down both air-breathing targets, such as planes and drones, and ballistic missiles. According to earlier Western media reports, Russia’s advanced system hit a target a distance of 481.2 km, exceeding the previous record by 80 km. S-350 Vityaz is designed to defend important administrative and military facilities from airstrikes. It operates automatically and the team deploys and controls the weapon. S-350 includes command post 50K6E, multifunctional radars 50N6E and launchers 50P6E with 12 9M96E2 missiles each. It can simultaneously fire at 16 air or 12 ballistic targets. The maximum range is 60 km and 30 km in altitude. The deployment time is five minutes. The crew comprises three men.
The Russian Federal News Agency (FAN), which is believed to be connected to Yevgeny “Putin’s Chef” Prigozhin, has published its response to a reported US military cyberattack against the Internet Research Agency (IRA, a.k.a. the “Troll Factory”) on US Congress election day. The FAN claims the Americans were “unprofessional” and that their attempts were “unproductive”. The Russian propagandists say that there is “neither official confirmation nor any other reasons” to believe that the IRA and FAN are connected to Prigozhin as asserted by western media. They claim that they do not interfere in elections or engage in any illegal activities, and yet regularly find themselves subject to information and cyberattacks. Furthermore, they say that they have received threats in broken Russian from African cellphone numbers and through emails. For this reason, the attack in November last year did not surprise them, although the method used to penetrate the office’s local network differed from previous attacks. They believe the US military was behind the attack. The US was supposedly trying to “utilize the budget increase” and avenge itself for the FAN’s involvement in US elections and their “unflattering comments” about their legitimacy. However, the FAN claims that the attacks were “futile”, and that the editorial staff and daughter project USAReally were able to continue operating as normal. The propagandists claim that one of them received an email which unleashed a Trojan virus on the editorial system when opened, a type of attack which “can hardly be considered a special operation”. After the supposed failure to shut down the USAReally website, the FBI had to get involved, the Russians claim. USAReally’s director-in-chief, the Russian citizen Alexander Malkevich, was arrested at an American airport on 8 November 2018. A search of his devices failed to reveal any secret information. “Later, attempts were made to stop the site from operating by revoking the HTTPS certificate issued for the usareally.com domain,” the article states. However, the attacks were unable to stop the site from operating for a single day. Its director-in-chief was placed under US sanctions in December last year, possibly in order to limit the project’s ability to make progress in US territory. Previously, The Washington Post reported that the US military had carried out a cyber operation against the Russian Troll Factory (IRA) on the day of Congress elections and successfully disconnected it from the internet.
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.
Deutsche Welle reports that the Swedish State Security Service (SEPO) detained a man suspected of spying for Russia in Stockholm. SEPO …
Suspected in spying for Russia was arrested in Swedish Stockholm
A court in Munich has convicted Sergey Kiselyov (the nephew of pro-Kremlin TV pundit Dmitry Kiselyov) of undergoing military training in St. Petersburg in August 2014 and planning to join separatist combat operations in eastern Ukraine, and sentenced him to two years and three months in prison. Sergey Kiselyov was found guilty of threatening state security and illegally possessing weapons — crimes punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
A trainload of tanks, guns, and other military hardware that Russia says it seized from Islamic State is travelling from Moscow to Vladivostok in an effort to promote the Kremlin’s military campaign to shore up the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Paul Goble Staunton, February 28 – Direct access to satellite-based Internet distribution is still expensive and relatively rare at least in Russia, but the prospect that prices will fall and use expand threatens the Kremlin’s “information centralism” and has prompted the regime to take new measures to counter this threat, Pavel Luzin says. “Free satellite Internet,” the Perm specialist on information security says, “is in fact the liquidation of Russian information centralism.” And thus it is no surprise that the powers that be are seeking measures to counter this emerging challenge to their authority and ensure that most Russians remain cut off from the rest of the world (region.expert/satellite/). Last week, Luzin points out, the Russian Duma adopted amendments to the 2014 law governing satellite-based Internet (government.ru/docs/35851/), amendments that appeared to change only terminology but that in fact open the way to new restrictions against satellite-based Internet delivery. Under the terms of the old law, Moscow required satellite Internet services to maintain a facility on Russian territory so that the Russian government could regulate them. Now, it is extending its reach as far as restrictions go from the distributions of such programming to those who consume it. This step is part of the implementation of the 2016 Russian government doctrine on information security (rg.ru/2016/12/06/doktrina-infobezobasnost-site-dok.html) which put in simplest terms require that “all information systems in the country be put under Kremlin control and that any horizontal communications must be sanctioned from above.” According to Luzin, the earlier requirement that foreign companies involved in the delivery of satellite-based Internet maintain offices in Russia was never about “the development of infrastructure but rather exclusively about control.” It is a step that China has already taken, but now Russia, like China, is taking another in anticipation of technological breakthroughs. At present, there are only “a few tens of thousands” of Russians receiving satellite television. It is far too expensive especially in comparison with cable. But the price difference is falling, and ever more Russians are using it, especially as Moscow moves to impose tighter controls on cable delivery. Something similar is happening with the Internet more generally. Moscow’s fears have been heightened by global satellite delivery systems like OneWeb (rbc.ru/technology_and_media/26/02/2019/5c73f8109a79470cf4ea49c2?from=from_main), Luzin continues, systems that will allow Russians and everyone else direct access to the Internet unmediated by the state. Russian government moves to require the registration of smartphones, he says, can easily be expanded to computers, even if this is likely to be a case of defense rushing to try to deal with new advances in the offense (rg.ru/2018/12/06/registraciia-mobilnogo-telefona-budet-stoit-100-rublej.html). Moscow’s task is complicated by the fact that it wants to make use of satellite-based Internet delivery for its own officials while cutting off the population’s access to it. Its progress in the first direction helps to explain its fears of the second and also suggests that the regime is likely fighting a losing battle on this front as well as on others.
Paul Goble Staunton, February 28 – Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky has directed museums to devote more attention to the Putin period in Russian history, something Leonid Nevzlin says is part of the burgeoning cult of personality around the current incumbent of the Kremlin. But another commentator, Aleksey Chadayev, argues that technology, including television and I-phones, are undermining the possibility of having a single cult of personality as was the case under Stalin and making it ever more likely that Russians will have numerous more restricted cults of their own. Medynsky, Nezvlin says, has dispatched a directive to all Russian museums calling on them to devote greater attention in their exhibits to the Putin era, the latest indication that official promotion of a Putin cult of personality is going at full tilt (t.me/nevzlin/228 reposted atkasparov.ru/material.php?id=5C780529E51CF). The commentator says that the possibilities for exhibits about the last 20 years are “endless.” Among those he suggests but that few museums are likely to display are ones about the occupation of Crimea, Russian mercenaries in Syria and the Donbass, the holdings of the Ozero cooperative, and the musical instruments of cellist Roddugin. As Nevzlin puts it, “the entire history of Russia of the last 20 years is the history f the establishment of a mafia state. One could make films, write books, and organize exhibits about that,” and this would be more honest and more patriotic than what Medynsky is certainly proposing. Instead, the museums will do what Moscow wants and create analogies for Putin displays to “the red corners” in which Lenin and Stalin were celebrated, thus promoting one cult of personality in place of another that has not been fully condemned. But Chadayev says that reproducing a cult of personality like the one the Soviets had under Stalin will likely prove impossible. That cult emerged when there were far fewer kinds of media and where the ones that did exist could and did promote a single message (rosbalt.ru/posts/2019/02/28/1766986.html). Now, by turning to cable television, social media, blogs or selfies, every Russian is in a position to create “a cult of personality ‘at home by means at hand,” the commentator continues. As a result, “that which earlier was accessible only to the tsars, is now available to any for a modest price,” thus undercutting any message however much the powers that be want to send it. To a certain respect, all this recalls what happened in Rome when officials continued to offer devotion to the cults of Jupiter and Minerva but ordinary people erected their own “’household gods’ and prayed t them instead of the common official ones.” That led to the demise of the former even before Christianity became dominant.
Russia has not taken advantage of the time that has passed since the divorce, and it surprisingly strongly depends on the neighboring country. Imperial consciousness interferes with living your life.
The English city of Salisbury is to be officially declared free of the nerve agent Novichok on February 29, almost a year after the poison attack there that Britain and the West blamed on Russia.
Presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky, who ranks first according to various public opinion polls, says peace negotiations with Russia are inevitable. Zelensky says hostilities in Donbas should be called the war between Ukraine and Russia rather than the Anti-Terrorist or Joint Forces Operation. Presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky, who ranks first according to various public opinion polls, says peace negotiations with Russia are inevitable. “We will not be able to avoid negotiations between Russia and Ukraine,” he told the Pravo Na Vladu TV panel show, the TSN news service reported. “The main goal is to save people’s lives,” Zelensky said. He added he would like to see more international mediators at the negotiating table, including the United States and the United Kingdom. The peace talks do not mean that principled positions will be betrayed, he assured. “We do not sell our people out. Neither do we sell our territories,” he stressed. At the same time, Zelensky said the hostilities in Donbas should be called the war between Ukraine and Russia rather than the Anti-Terrorist or Joint Forces Operation. “We have a war from the very first day, a real war between Russia and Ukraine,” he said.
The United States intends to continue to provide powerful financial, military, security and other types of support to Ukraine amid the Russian aggression against the country. — Ukrinform.
Ukrainian ships currently do not cross the Kerch Strait, and foreign ships pass freely, Ukraine’s State Border Service Spokesman Oleh Slobodian has said.
The European Union does not and will not recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, which was a violation of international law and remains to be a direct threat to international security. — Ukrinform.
The European Union is ready to propose a package of projects for the development of the Sea of Azov region and will try to implement them as soon as possible. — Ukrinform.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has turned to Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis with the proposal that the EU develop a special package of social and economic assistance to the Ukrainian Azov Sea region, the presidential press service has reported. — Ukrinform.
NATO must strengthen its presence in the Black Sea region to show the readiness for protection against a potential aggressor. — Ukrinform.
The President of Poland Andrzej Duda wants NATO to strengthen its presence in the Black Sea
On Wednesday, at the international Forum in Kyiv, Fiona Frazer, the Head of the UN Human Rights Mission to Ukraine stated that efforts are being …
Today, two US aircraft were flown near the Russian-occupied territory of Moldova and Ukraine. This is reported by the Ukrainian Military Portal One of them is the US Navy Antarctic Patrol Boeing P-8A Poseidon, based on a military base on the island of Sinogel in Italy. Boeing P-8A Poseidon patrolled near the coast of occupied by Russia in 2014 in the Crimean peninsula. It is equipped with an onboard radar station AN / APS-137D (V) 5 and an AN / APY-10 radiotechnical intelligence system. In addition, the Boeing P-8A Poseidon can carry up to 9 tons of weapons, including Harpoon anti-ship missiles. Also today, in the sky over the Odessa region along the border with Moldova, on the site controlled by the so-called “Transnistrian Moldavian Republic”, conducted the flight of the United States Air Force reconnaissance aircraft Beech MC-12W Liberty. The Beech MC-12W Liberty aircraft is equipped with powerful radio-electronic equipment, as well as an opto-electronic system on the universal L-3 Wescam MX-15Di (AN-AAQ-35) hinge bracket, which includes the third-generation thermal imager with InSb 640 × 480 range matrix grill MWIR In addition, it is equipped with a laser range finder, laser bearer targets, a camcorder with a special lens and other special equipment that allows you to reconnaissance the area.
Russian-led forces mounted 13 attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, in the past 24 hours. There were no Ukrainian army casualties.
Ukrainian servicemen from a Joint Forces unit have shot down an Eleron unmanned aerial vehicle of the Russian occupation troops near Svitlodarsk in Donetsk region, the press service of the Joint Forces Operation headquarters has reported. — Ukrinform.”Today, on March 1, at a platoon strongpoint of a separate mechanized brigade holding the line in the Svitlodarsk area, servicemen of a battalion tactical group of the Azov special-purpose regiment of the National Guard of Ukraine spotted an unmanned aircraft of the enemy. National Guard servicemen let it fly over the first position and then opened fire on the UAV from regular small arms. The unmanned aerial vehicle was shot down at an altitude of 150 meters at 07:43,” the press service said. The report notes that the servicemen found the downed drone, which turned out to be a Russian unmanned aerial vehicle of the Eleron type. The UAV was passed to experts of specialized units.
A blogger whose pen name is Fashik Donetskiy has said leader of the so-called “Luhansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) Leonid Pasechnik is terminally ill. Doctors give Pasechnik three to six months to live.
Ihor Dzhyhrynyuk, the military man of 95th Detached Air Assault Brigade died in Zhytomyr Military Hospital
The press service of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) has denied rumors that NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov’s car was blown up, saying that he is working as usual.
Operatives of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) who are part of Ukraine’s Joint Forces deployed in Donbas to repel Russian aggression discovered in Donetsk region a cache full of weapons and ammunition n intended for the use in acts of sabotage and terrorist attacks. Russian-made submachine gun, automatic rifle, pistols, anti-tank grenade launchers, ammo, grenades, and explosives were seized.
KYIV. Feb 28 (Interfax-Ukraine) –Ukrainians complained most of all about the police on the “hot line” about illegal actions by Ukrainian security forces in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, according to an analytical survey conducted by human rights activists.
Ukrainian consul given first permission to visit Hryb in Russian detention. Russia restricted the prisoner’s contacts with diplomats. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
The state enterprise “Kharkiv Armored Plant” has modernized the T-80BV tank, which is already serially delivered to the tank units of the Airborne Assault Force and the Marine Corps of Ukraine. It is reported by the press service of the State concern “Ukroboronprom” The modernized T-80BV tank received a thermal imaging, a new dynamic protection, additional protection for the sides, a new digital radio station, modern night-time surveillance devices with a third-generation electron-optical transducer, as well as satellite navigation. New equipment T-80BV can significantly enhance the combat characteristics of the car. For example, the new navigation system allows online sharing of securely encrypted location data for each machine at all levels of control from the platoon commander to the management of the entire combat operation. New dynamic protection greatly enhances the level of defense of a combat vehicle and effectively counteracts all modern anti-tank means of defeat: cumulative and armor-piercing, as well as shock-cumulative ammunition such as the “shock core”. In this case it is installed in standard containers of dynamic protection. A sighting gunner complex with an integrated thermal imager provides the detection, recognition and destruction of the enemy with a 125-mm cannon fire at any time of day and in all weather conditions. In Ukraine, T-80BV tanks are armed with the units of the Airborne Assault Force and the Marine Corps of Ukraine. Modernization of the T-80BV was carried out on the experience of work carried out on T-64 tanks of the 2017 model, which also received thermal imaging, modern communications, navigation, dynamic protection, and more.
Low-RCS drones flying in the air, as well as targets on land and at sea are easily detectable with the mobile Perimeter Security Surveillance Radar (PSSR) system named ‘Harza’. The Harza PSSR is predominantly applied in – but not restricted to – perimeter control and security protection of strategic facilities like e.g. command and control headquarters, communication nodes, ammunition and equipment depots, and power plants — by way of detecting and alarming about subversive/recon intrusions and drone threats. The Harza PSSR is provided with the capabilities for the detection of (slow) moving targets against the background of stationary surroundings; detection of low-RCS aircraft in low-altitude airspace; finding out data of detected targets, including azimuth, range, radar cross section (RCS), radial velocity, and Doppler spectrum width, with a target height finding capability provided as an optional extra. The radar output data can be integrated with geographic information system (GIS) data to allow all weather, 24-hour security surveillance of a facility’s perimeter, territory, and approach routes. The Harza PSSR has been developed as an effective, adequate response to the most challenging threat posed by unmanned aircraft that are designed to deal with a wide variety of tasks ranging from reconnaissance, surveillance, and intelligence gathering to surface-to-ground attacks. A drone threat cannot be neutralized or destroyed before it is detected and its position is accurately localized. But this, as it turns out, isn’t so easy to achieve. The larger the RCS of a given target, the easier it is for a radar to detect the target. Relatively large aircraft have larger RCS and hence are more visible to a radar. But the threat detection problem is seriously complicated where the threats are modern, low-RCS combat UAVs and especially quadcopter drones built with an extensive use of plastic materials. Furthermore, targets like e.g. quadcopter drones are designed such as to fly at low speeds, making their detection even more challenging. The Harza technology team have been able to handle all the challenges pretty well. Having completed the required trials and evaluation cycle, the Harza PSSR has already found markets both in and outside of Ukraine, thus proving its high competitive ability. The new radar is effective against targets in the air, on the ground, and at sea. In particular, it can detect a small, 0.01 sq.m. RCS drone from 7 km, a human being from 18 km, and a vehicle-sized target from 30 km away while being able at the same time to automatically track up to 200 targets simultaneously.
The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, has authorized an interim commission of inquiry (ICI) to probe into a media report on army procurement fraud involving state-run Ukroboronprom Concern. The relevant decision was backed by 229 MPs registered in the session hall.
Next week, the Prosecutor General’s Office will make criminal suspects all those involved in tax evasion in the process of selling to the state-owned Ukroboronprom spare parts to military hardware. The Verkhovna Rada, earlier today authorized an interim commission of inquiry to probe into a media report on army procurement fraud involving a state-run Ukroboronprom Concern.
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has said that “neither surnames, nor posts” will save anyone and the guilty will be brought to justice if the facts of guilt are proved.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague ruled that Russia had violated an investment protection agreement by expropriating the assets of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine in Crimea. — Ukrinform.
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko on Thursday tabled in the Verkhovna Rada a new bill on punishment for illegal enrichment following a recent controversial decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine to exclude the previously adopted article on the issue from the Criminal Code citing its “unconstitutional” nature. The offense shall be part of corruption crimes. Investigations will be carried out by the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine.
RPC Radiy (Kropyvnytsky) and Curtiss-Wright Corporation (the United States) have signed a strategic partnership agreement, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said.
The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, has passed a bill to introduce the authorized economic operator (AEO) institution in Ukraine, which will allow Ukraine to bring its customs legislation closer to the standards of the European Union. The document is designed to introduce the authorized economic operator institution similar to that operating in the European Union.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has congratulated his Lithuanian counterpart Dalia Grybauskaite on her birthday. — Ukrinform.
Digitalisation of economy and society is an effective instrument of economic growth, which creates opportunities for the attraction of modern advanced technologies in all areas of economy and life. — Ukrinform.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said Uzhgorod International Airport will resume its work after a three-year break. The Kyiv-Lviv-Uzhgorod flight of the Motor Sich airline will be launched on March 15, 2019.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine allows for an option to abolish a visa-free regime with Israel if the rights of Ukrainian tourists are systematically violated at border checkpoints. On February 15, some 140 Ukrainians were held for hours at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport.
Ukraine suffered the world’s largest increase in the number of measles cases in 2018, some of them the result of the so-called “anti-vac” movement, the United Nations children’s agency says.
Swedish television SVT discovered in its investigation that former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych used Swedish bank Swedbank to get …
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine is convinced that the Russian Federation could resort to provocations at Ukrainian polling stations set up in Russia set up at diplomatic premises. Therefore, the move to shut them down was fully justified.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s campaign style, which amounts to posting videos on social media and touring with his comedy troupe, is highly unorthodox by Ukrainian Standards. But it’s helped him rise to th…
ElectraWorks Limited (Gibraltar), operating under the bwin sports betting brand and owned by GVC Holdings PLC, has over the past five days raised the odds on a victory by showman Volodymyr Zelensky in the upcoming Ukrainian presidential elections, for the first time evening his odds with incumbent President Petro Poroshenko.
Leader of the Samopomich Party Andriy Sadovyi has decided to withdraw his candidacy from the presidential race in favor of leader of the Hromadianska Pozytsia (Civil Position) Party Anatoliy Hrytsenko. Sadovyi is the first of the 44 candidates who decided to withdraw his candidacy amid the ongoing campaign.
Millions of hryvnias, which during the second half of 2018 flew to the account of the Batkivshchyna Party as contributions, turned out to have been transferred by front persons, according to a journalistic investigation released Thursday, Feb 28. The leader of the Batkivshchyna party, Yulia Tymoshenko, explains such payments with a provocation against her by the SBU Security Service, as well as the sincere help of citizens who are afraid to talk about it because of fear of persecution by the authorities. Millions of hryvnias, which during the second half of 2018 flew to the account of the Batkivshchyna Party as contributions, turned out to have been transferred by front persons, according to a journalistic investigation released Thursday, Feb 28. The law says political parties represented in the Verkhovna Rada receive state funding. This, in turn, obliges them to file financial reports quarterly and annually, where, in addition to information about the money received from the budget, they must reveal the funds received from individuals and legal entities, reads a report by Bihus.info about the investigation by their Nashi Groshi project, the same team that recently published the first two parts of their probe into corruption schemes in defense industry. In the second half of 2018, when the active phase of the election campaign of the Batkivshchyna leader and presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko began, the contributions to her party’s account jumped sharply. The report said that dozens of Ukrainians from small towns and villages donated to Tymoshenko’s political force sums up to UAH 150,000 and higher. While verifying this information, journalists found that among the largest donors of the Batkivshchyna is a supermarket cashier from a Kyiv suburb, an unemployed resident of Sumy, a car wash employee, and a fictitious enterprise registered on a kindergarten worker from Uman. Read alsoDouble standards of Ukraine authorities: Possible political consequences of defense corruption probe Most of the “donors” polled were amused to hear about the donations they “had made”. This indicates that the Party uses personal data of Ukrainian citizens to legalize funds received in an unknown way.
Almost 400 parishes of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) have decided to join the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epiphanius has said in an interview with BBC News Ukrainian. — Ukrinform. “As far as I know, there are already about 400 parishes that have not only expressed their desire but have held a general constituent assembly where the decision was made with a majority of votes to join the OCU,” Metropolitan Epiphanius said. Responding to the remark that 400 parishes are just over 3% of the 12,000 parishes of the UOC-MP, he expressed confidence that it was unnecessary to speed up the transition process. “This process is gradual, and I adhere to the position that we must not measure this with time and quantity. This process should be gradual, peaceful, voluntary. The basis is not quantity but the absence of conflict or war. We have no right to incite another religious front in Ukraine. We have enough war in the east. If we open the religious front inside the country, then this can end very sadly for the Ukrainian state. […] There is no need to take into account the figures and set chronological frames,” the primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine said.