Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (109)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

Quick translation: Генштаб РФ рассказал о разработке США стратегии цветных революций с использованием оружия – Армия и ОПК – ТАСС [Original Russian Language Article] = The General Staff of the Russian Federation spoke about the development of the US strategy of color revolutions using weapons

</end editorial>



Russia seems to have an almost inexhaustible supply of bizarre explanations for the inability of their Soviet era ideology to explain how the world works. Gen Gerasimov’s latest is a case study – population revolts due to social inequity (actually in Soviet doctrine a fundamental cause of revolutions) are now a US staged destabilization operation, used as a preamble to a deluge of PGMs – foreign conspiracy displaces domestic inequity as the cause. Gerasimov then articulates separately how Russia uses IW/IO to pursue its ends. Grachnikov commentary on regime saber-rattling hits a key point – worth noting that it emulates the Wunderwaffe rhetoric of their icons, the NSDAP in 1944. INF observations by Vershbow and Pres Lukashenko.

Russia restricts access to satellite Internet services in a scheme that will across much of remote Siberia be unimplementable, and will not prevent people from using black market acquired terminals – Soviet thinking and the digital world are not compatible. Troll factory claims elicit mirth in the US cyber community. KHPG observe that Kiselyov’s bragging on Rossiya-1 is what landed his nephew in jail. Estonian election updates. Poland ramps up defense appropriate to record levels. Shtepa on the new meaning of Russophobia – foreign critics of Russian policy are Russophobes, but Russian critics of Israel are not anti-Semites. Some fascinating comments by Lukashenko on the potentially fatal consequences of Russia annexing Belarus, and great commentary by Prof Goble on the discord between Lenin and Stalin over the annexation of culturally incompatible nations into the new look Russian Empire i.e. USSR, and the eventual collapse of the USSR due to this incompatibility. Popkov and Shtepa on Russian Imperial thinking. FSB to combat Pan-Turkism in formerly Ottoman territories of Russia, which is much of the Caucasus (Erdogan might be flattered, Huntington would chuckle). TNI detail the long expected Russian effort to migrate advanced technology from the new Su-35S into the Su-30SM series FLANKERs, based on the export models developed for India and Malaysia. Spalding on the risks of 5G – if implemented wrongly, a bonanza for hostile nation states.

Updates on CW in Salisbury and Syria.

Amb Volker in the fundamental changes Russia has forced on the way the West relates to it since 2014. Some apt even if unwanted in Europe observations by LtGen Hodges – he is as frustrated as many others with this situation. FM Klimkin observations on Russia in the Black Sea, some quite notable. Multiple analyses on the Russian buildup and prospects of a full-scale invasion. Portnikov’s essay hits the core issue in this war – it is a war between two peoples over fundamental differences and does not fit many of the naive templates or narratives so many Western amateurs try to fit it to – it is a continuation of a war that has flared up repeatedly over an 800 year period.

Extensive update on Donbas and AFU. Pres Poroshenko on military component smuggling from Russia. Chmut eviscerates prosecutors over the lame case against Col-Gen Zamana (is somebody in the prosecutor’s office on the GRU payroll?).

Election update, Tymoshenko in genuine trouble, and Russians preparing for major mischief. Gas war update. Politics and economy updates.

ROC producing major mayhem in attempting to disrupt migration of parishes to OCU (and some Western media simply do not understand). In Crimea, the Russians arrest Archbishop Klyment of the OCU and later produce a lame argument as to why. Ukraine’s chief mufti Said Ismagilov describes this as the Russian regime “sinking through the bottom” – in Ukraine the OCU and mufti maintain a mutually supportive relationship. Russians launch full-scale effort to destroy the OCU in occupied Donbas. More on the ROC choir performing Soviet nuclear attack songs.


The RF General Staff spoke about the development of the US strategy of color revolutions while using PGMs – Army and military-industrial complex – TASS

MOSCOW, March 2. / TASS /. The Pentagon began to develop a new strategy of warfare “Trojan Horse”, the essence of which is to actively use the protest potential of the “fifth column” to destabilize the situation while simultaneously striking with Precision Guided Munitions (PGMs) on the most important targets. This was announced on Saturday by the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces – First Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, Army General Valery Gerasimov at a conference on the development of military strategy. “The Pentagon has begun to develop a fundamentally new strategy of warfare, which has already been dubbed the Trojan Horse. Its essence lies in actively using the protest potential of the fifth column in the interests of destabilizing the situation while simultaneously attacking the PGMs on the most important targets,” he said. . “I would like to note that the Russian Federation is ready to prevent any of these strategies. In recent years, military scientists, together with the General Staff, have developed conceptual approaches to neutralize the aggressive actions of potential opponents,” Gerasimov said. According to him, the basis of the response of the Russian Federation is an “active defense strategy,” which, taking into account the defensive nature of the Russian military doctrine, provides for a set of measures to anticipate neutralizing threats to the security of the state. “It is the justification of the measures being developed that should constitute the scientific activity of military scientists. This is one of the priority areas for ensuring state security. We must be ahead of the enemy in the development of military strategy, go one step ahead,” the chief of the General Staff added. “Aggressive vector of foreign policy” The chief of the General Staff emphasized that the United States, instead of the Allies, had determined the aggressive vector of its foreign policy. “They are working on offensive military actions, such as“ global strike ”,“ multi-sphere battle. ”He also noted that the US uses the technology of“ color revolutions ”and so-called soft power. Gerasimov said that the purpose of such actions is to eliminate the statehood of unwanted countries, the change of the lawfully elected bodies of state power, as well as the undermining of sovereignty. He pointed out that this was happening in Iraq, Libya, and also in Ukraine. According to the Chief of the General Staff, similar actions are being observed now in Venezuela.

Генштаб РФ рассказал о разработке США стратегии цветных революций с использованием оружия – Армия и ОПК – ТАСС [Original Russian Language Article]

Россия готова этому противостоять, отметил глава Генштаба Валерий Герасимов

Russian General Pitches ‘Information’ Operations as a Form of War – To Inform is to Influence

Gen. Valery V. Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian general staff, yesterday, published an article that has pundits scrambling to explain how the modern Russian military operates. My interpretation is that Russia, as a nation, uses Information Warfare during peace and war. The difference is the intensity and acerbity. This is being applied to the situation in Venezuela by Russia, their propaganda machine has reoriented, using Venezuela as a leverage point against the West, mostly towards the United States as being Russia’s great external enemy and the instigator of everything that goes wrong in Venezuela. The only other codification appears to be that warfare is a whole-of-nation effort in Russia, the difference is which tools are used. Classic, conventional military weapons will be used to threaten nations like Ukraine, but are only actively engaged in a more conventional conflict like Syria or a more conventional invasion that is being threatened across Eastern Europe. Gerasimov’s article introduces nothing new, it only appears to codify what Russia has been doing since shortly before their 2014 invasion of Crimea. </end editorial>

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Soviet Leaders Engaged in Far Less Sabre Rattling than Putin Feels Compelled to, Grachnikov Say

Paul Goble Staunton, February 28 – Unlike Vladimir Putin who talks about weapons all the time now, Ryazan blogger Valery Grachnikov says, Soviet leaders generally limited the display of the country’s military might to the annual parades on Red Square. They didn’t need to do otherwise to gain popular support for belt tightening to pay for weapons. Stalin didn’t announce the Soviet Union’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. He left that to Voroshilov. The only “exception” to that reticence by the longtime Soviet leader involved Moscow’s breakthrough in building a hydrogen bomb, Grachnikov says (valerongrach.livejournal.com/827630.html reposted atnewizv.ru/news/society/28-02-2019/privivka-raketami-chem-razlichayutsya-sovetskiy-i-rossiyskiy-patriotizm). Brezhnev too didn’t talk about new weapons. Instead, he answered all queries about them by saying that “the USSR has everything needed to repel aggressors.” Nor did Andropov, Chernenko, Gorbachev or Yeltsin talk about new types of weapons,” the blogger says, picking up on comments on telegram channels. But Putin has taken a different approach, regularly talking about new weapons and even giving details about them. The question must be asked: why is the current Kremlin ruler doing what his predecessors did not? Russia’s potential opponents abroad don’t need his words: they have other means of knowing what Moscow has or doesn’t have. That means that Putin’s comments are directed in the first instance at a domestic audience, Grachnikov says, and that they have two purposes. On the one hand, they are intended to distract attention from the economic problems the Russian people have by suggesting these are the result of the actions of foreign powers. And on the other, the blogger says, they are intended to show that not all the money the Kremlin and its cronies are extracting from the people is being sent abroad. Some of it, Putin’s words suggest, is being spent at home, not on the people’s needs but on the weapon systems he says are required. Why didn’t Brezhnev and the other Soviet leaders not use this kind of rhetoric “if it inspires the public?” The answer, Grachnikov says, is “simple. Then there was ordinary Soviet patriotism.” People who had experienced the war and did not want a repetition were prepared to sacrifice to ensure that it would not be. But now the situation is different. Most who experienced the war have passed from the scene, and capitalism in a version even harsher than in Europe come to Russia, snapping many of the things that bound the people to the regime In this situation, Putin feels the need to sabre rattle, something Soviet leaders almost never did.

David A. Wemer | US Withdrawal from Nuclear Arms Control Treaty Could Give Russia ‘Free Rein’

The Atlantic Council promotes constructive leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the central role of the Atlantic Community in meeting global challenges. Founded in 1961, the Council provides an essential forum for navigating the dramatic shifts in economic and political influence that are shaping the twenty-first century by educating and galvanizing its uniquely influential, nonpartisan network of international political, business, and intellectual leaders. Through the papers we write, the ideas we promote, and the communities we build, the Council’s ten regional centers and functional programs shape today’s policy choices and foster transatlantic strategies to advance international security and global economic prosperity.

UAWire – President of Belarus warns Ukraine against deploying NATO missiles in its territory

President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, at the press conference in Minsk, advised Ukraine not to think about deploying medium and short-range missiles on its territory after the collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) between the United States and Russia. “Now they began to disseminate the idea of medium and short-range missiles in Ukraine. Let alone that the Poles are begging:let us have them [the missiles]. It is obvious that Romania and Poland have installations for launching target missiles. The moment a nuclear warhead is placed on the missile, consider it deployed. The Poles want it to be even more widespread, and they have already started talking about Ukraine, “said Lukashenko. According to him, such a move could be disastrous for Ukraine. “If such missiles are deployed in Ukraine, it will be a catastrophe. You know, we must understand that the Russians cannot allow these missiles to be placed there. We will stand united with the Russians. Therefore, in no case should Ukraine take these steps as this could turn into a catastrophe for the statehood of Ukraine, “said President of Belarus. General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) Central Committee, Mikhail Gorbachev, and the United States President, Ronald Reagan, signed the INF Treaty in 1987. Medium and short-range missiles pose the greatest threat to the world, since they can reach targets within a few minutes and leave no chance to prepare for the strike and repel the attack. In February 2019, this treaty was suspended due to the Russian 9M729 missile, capable of hitting targets more than 500 kilometers away. In December 2018, the United States threatened to withdraw from the agreement if Russia did not return to the fulfillment of its contractual obligations within 60 days. At the end of two months deadline, Washington suspended the U.S. participation in the INF Treaty. The next day, Russian President, Vladimir Putin, announced Moscow’s “mirror response” and instructed the Russian Foreign Ministry and the country’s defense ministry to stop further attempts to initiate negotiations on this agreement.

Russia limits operations of foreign communications satellite operators – To Inform is to Influence

All foreign satellite communications into (and out of) Russia must now pass through a Ground Station before being passed to customers. This allows Russia to monitor satellite communications to and from Russians or others inside Russia. Russia is cracking down on all forms of communications. This just means there is one less conduit for free communications in Russia. </end editorial>

When the bits hit the FAN: US military accused of knackering Russian trolls, news org’s IT gear amid midterm elections – To Inform is to Influence

*snicker* </end editorial> Despite fried RAID and deleted hard drives, Federal News Agency calls US Cyber Command attack a failure By Thomas Claburn in San Francisco 1 Mar 2019 at 21:05 A Russian news service is claiming that US attacks on it and an organisation accused of state-sponsored trolling has left storage systems damaged and international servers wiped after multiple malware…

Russian propaganda chief Kiselyov gets his nephew jailed in Germany for involvement in war in Ukraine – Human Rights in Ukraine

48-year-old Sergei Kiselev has been jailed by a regional court in Germany for training to fight in the war in Donbas, with the evidence of his active part in fighting against Ukraine currently being studied by Germany’s Prosecutor General. –

Alleged Russian Spy Arrested In Stockholm : NPR

The suspect was allegedly recruited by a Russian intelligence officer and engaged in criminal activity since 2017, the Swedish Security Service says.

Estonia general election: Polls point to tight vote – BBC News

Estonia’s centre-left coalition faces a strong challenge from the Reform party and from eurosceptics.

Estonians Head To The Polls In Tight Vote

Estonians have begun voting to choose the Baltic nation’s 101-seat legislature, with Prime Minister Juri Ratas’ pro-Russia Center Party likely to receive the most votes.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Estonia to Open First International Victims of Communism Museum

Paul Goble Staunton, March 2 – The Estonian government has announced plans to open an International Museum for the Victims of Communism in Tallinn’s Patarei fortress. Used as both a coastal artillery facility and a prison, the museum, already familiarly referred to as the Red Terror Museum, is to become a center for research on the subject. Martin Andreller, its curator, says that the museum will host “international research into the fates of the countries that were occupied and whose peoples suffered as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and then making this research available to the public” (rus.err.ee/916049/v-batarejnoj-kreposti-budet-mezhdunarodnyj-muzej-pamjati-zhertv-kommunizma). What makes this development intriguing is that it not only is in addition to the Occupation s which already exist in Tallinn and other Baltic capitals but also represents part of an international effort to open victims of communism museums in various countries so that no one will forget what the communist regimes did. Among the capitals where such a museum is being planned is Washington, D.C.

Czechs form wall in protest against Russian influence – The Globe and Mail

Activists in Prague build a wall outside the Czech president’s office on Sunday, to demonstrate against Russia and China’s influence in the country.

UAWire – Poland to spend record $48.9 billion on army upgrades

The technical plan to modernize the Polish army will require 185 billion Polish złotys (around $48.9 billion) in financing for the several programs it includes. The relevant document has already been signed by Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, the Polish government website reports. “This is a record plan in terms of the amount of financing,” Błaszczak observed. According to the minister, the programs included in the plan reflect the army’s current objectives. One of them is to “reinforce NATO’s eastern flank”. In order to achieve this, a new, fourth division of the Polish army will be formed. “We are decisively and effectively changing the image of the Polish army,” the minister said. The plan will involve the purchase of short and intermediate-range anti-air missile systems, attack helicopters, airplanes, drones, and coast guard ships and submarines. “We want to purchase 32 multipurpose fifth generation aircraft,” Błaszczak noted. Poland intends to spend 3 billion złotys ($790 million) on its cybersecurity program, acquiring instruments and software that will enable it to carry out “effective operations in cyberspace”. In 2019, Warsaw will allocate $2.91 billion to the implementation of the aforementioned plans. In future, the financing for the army upgrades will increase, and by 2025 it is expected to be $6.85 billion. According to the defense minister, the government is already working on an upgrade program that extends to 2034. In mid February, Poland acquired 20 US-produced HIMARS artillery rocket systems which have a range of 300 km. The deal will cost Warsaw $414 million. Polish President Andrzej Duda said that the systems will help not only to modernize the Polish army, but also to improve security on NATO’s eastern borders. In 2018, Warsaw bought a US-made Patriot aerial defense system in a deal estimated at $4.75 billion.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Regime Redefines Russophobia Even as It Uses the Term More Often, Shtepa Says

Paul Goble Staunton, March 2 – “From Tyutchev to Shafarevich, “Russophobia” referred to those who “do not like Russians as a people,” an analogy with words like Judeophobe for those who do not like Jews and Polonophobe for those who do not like Poles, but the Putin system has shifted the term “from an ethnic to a state level,” Vadi Shtepa says. But despite this deceptive sleight of hand, Moscow still expects the term to have the same psychological punch it had earlier when it was about hostility to Russians rather than primarily about hostility to the Russian state, the Tallinn-based Russian regionalist and editor of the Region.Expert portal says (facebook.com/vadim.shtepa/posts/2282946065089704). An example of this shift is provided by Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova who labels “anyone who does not like Kremlin policy ‘a Russophobe,’ even though there are many Russophiles in the world – and in the academic milieu particularly – who do not like the present-day Kremlin.” But according to Zakharova, “they are all now ‘Russophobes.’” This is not simply playing games with words, of course. By redefining Russophobia in this way, the Kremlin has reinforced the notion that the Russian state rather than the Russian people is what matters and that Russians are a state nation rather than a nation that has the right to articulate its own state. Unfortunately, because the Putin regime has changed the definition rather than the word, many do not see what is going on and reject the application of the emotionally-loaded term to themselves, something that also serves the Kremlin’s purposes particularly well because it leads some to back away from their criticism of the Russian state lest they be denounced in this way.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Annexations Can have Unanticipated and Even Fatal Consequences, Lukashenka Reminds Putin

Paul Goble Staunton, March 1 – Alyaksandr Lukashenka says that 98 percent of Belarusians would vote against having their country become part of Russia. Given that, he suggests that Russia should join Belarus, the latest move in the dance the Belarusian leader and Vladimir Putin have been engaged in. The Belarusian president’s remarks on these two points come in the course of a meeting he had with representatives of the Belarusian people and media outlets (tvr.by/news/prezident/aleksandr_lukashenko_vstrechaetsya_s_predstavitelyami_obshchestvennosti_i_smi/). His statement that Belarusians are almost unanimously opposed to having their country absorbed by Russia is both true and welcome as yet another signal that however much the two countries may integrate, there will be strong resistance in Belarus to having this process ever reach the point where their country and probably their nation would be put at risk. But Lukashenka’s suggestion that Russia should join Belarus, an idea most in Russia and the West will view as ludicrous, is in fact an even more important negotiating point in this process. Many in Russia would like to have the Soviet-style social and economic system Lukashenka has maintained, and he is reminding Putin of that fact. What the Belarusian leader’s words on this point mean, if translated from his archly worded comment, is that if Moscow moves to incorporate Belarus, it will not only face serious opposition from the Belarusians but also unwittingly add supprt to those inside Russia now who are against Putin’s dismantling of state supports for the population. Annexations can thus be extremely dangerous, Lukashenka is suggesting. And while he does not mention it, one of the most important causes of the demise of the USSR was Stalin’s decision to annex the Baltic countries, Western Belarus and Ukraine, and portions of Romania into Moldova. Those were precisely the places where anti-Moscow national movements emerged 40 years later to challenge and then overthrow the Soviet Union. And by making the comment he has, Lukashenka is reminding Putin of this: Stalin violated his own convictions at the ultimate cost to Moscow and its empire. The late Soviet dictator believed non-Russians who had not lived under the Empire would not tolerate being part of a Russian-dominated state for long. As a result, he did not move to include within the USSR countries that had gone socialist in Eastern Europe, Asia or Latin America (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2015/12/if-lenin-had-had-his-way-ussr-might.html).Stalin violated his principled position on this point only when he occupied Western Ukraine, Western Belarus, and parts of what is now Moldova and, when after a gap of 25 years, re-imposed Russian rule in the Baltic countries. And it was these violations that contributed to the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991. Had Stalin moved the USSR’s borders further outward, the Soviet Union likely would have exploded even earlier; but if it had survived in the form Lenin wanted, it would not be a Russian-dominated system but rather one in which the majority of its population would be speaking Chinese, certainly something that would give even the most pro-Soviet Russians pause. The fight between Lenin and Stalin took place largely out of public view. In his draft theses on the national colonial question for the second congress of the Communist International in 1920, Lenin outlined his view that as the revolution spread, so too should the borders of the Soviet state, an idea that the Red Army’s invasion of Poland may have made appear plausible. Stalin registered his objections in two code cables, one of which was published in Soviet times but only once and by someone who did not die in his sleep as a result as a footnote in the third edition of Lenin’s collected works and one of which remained otherwise unpublished until after the demise of the USSR. In both, Stalin made clear that national identities would remain powerful even after a socialist revolution and that trying to impose Moscow’s control on those who had never experienced Russian rule before would be a mistake. He said that the Poles would never accept Soviet RUSSIAN rule and that the same would be true elsewhere. In the event, Lenin was incapacitated and died not long after the USSR was formed, and Stalin was able to put his ideas into practice, ideas that gave birth to a world socialist system in which there were many states not one with the kind of diversity that he had no intention of allowing within the Soviet Union.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin’s Russia isn’t an Empire and Won’t Become One, Popkov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, March 1 – Despite what many of Vladimir Putin’s backers hope and many of his opponents fear, the current Kremlin leader’s country is not an empire and won’t become one because it has not had the revolutionary developments that are the precondition of any imperial project, according to MBKh commentator Roman Popkov. Empires, he argues, are “the evil and ambitious daughters of progress,” typically, “the direct descendant of a revolution and even a republic,” born where there are “great dreams and great talents, a meritocracy, competition and a passion for development,” none of which exist in Russia (afterempire.info/2019/03/01/popkov_ne_imperiya/). When such impulses run out of steam, Popkov argues, “an empire necessarily degenerates and dies. The [Russian] empire died in 1991,” and analyzing its “corpse” should be left to “professional historians.” And consequently, despite its territorial aspirations, Putin’s Russia is not an empire and isn’t going to become one. Instead, having fallen into barbarism and cargo cults, into a comic retelling of former eras and as a result of negative selection, he continues, the country Putin heads is at best “a caricature of an empire,” not a real one. His opponents must understand that and fight not imaginary enemies “like ‘Zalessia Rus’ or invented ‘Ingermanland.’” Instead, they must fight “for a great, strong, European Russia, against thieves, idiots, and obscurantists and for a genuine Republic.” Such people must not be distracted by anything else, including not unimportantly the image of empire and its supposed colonies, the Moscow commentator continues. To think that Putin’s Russia is or is about to become an empire represents an obstacle to progress, Popkov says. It is to give that entity too much credit and even to show it too much respect. “The empire has gone, finally destroyed in August-December 1991; and on its ruins have emerged a clutch of comic things but not emperors or their centurions.” Russia after 1991 is simply the largest of “the barbaric kingdoms” the empire fell apart into. “Barbaric” here refers to “a certain backwardness technologically, archaic on the cultural and social plane,” and to a situation in which the successors to empire ever more fall back from the achievements of the empire from which they sprung. Of the former parts of the Soviet empire, he continues, “only Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have been able to get out from under the imperial ruins without serious losses and return to Europe in a civilized state. Ukraine, Georgia and possibly Armenia with temporary success are also trying to pursue that path.” All the others, including Russia are “gradually degrading.” Indeed, the only thing that sets Russia apart is its size, its resources, its “quasi-imperial” rhetoric. But Popkov argues that these are differences in degree rather than differences in kind. Russia too is a “barbaric” remnant of an empire that no longer exists. Putin’s Russia won’t become one, Popkov says, because at least in modern times, “a state transforms itself into an empire by means of an effort to be advanced, open to talent and the passionate, with functioning social lifts and … by breaking with its patriarchal past and undergoing a revolution.” Russian history makes this clear: “The Russian empire arose thanks to the cultural revolution of Peter the Great, a half-hearted, uncompleted, but all the same radical step for wild Muscovite Rus,” the MBKh commentator says. “Before Peter, the geographic expansion of Rus was not so much the result of intentional state policies as of the mass flight of Russian people as far from the tsar and his bandits as they could get. Peter’s Westernizing cultural revolution drove out the archaic, foolishness and aging idiotism of Moscow and made the empire possible.” When Peter’s impulse faded, the Russian empire began to disintegrate, only to be saved by the Bolshevik revolution which led to the formation of “a red empire,” which then as its impulse receded collapsed as well. Without such an impulse, Russia will not become an empire again – and Putin shows no sign of being able to provide that. In short, the current Kremlin leader can occupy territories; but he can’t create an empire because an empire is about far more than that.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: A Free Russian Empire is a Contradiction in Terms, Shtepa Says

Paul Goble Staunton, March 1 – Russia cannot be free as long as it remains a centralized empire, Vadim Shtepa says, because “’free’ empires do not exist.” If Russia is to become free, it must either move toward a federal or confederal system or dissolve into a multiplicity of Russias that will then decide what their relations with each other may be. The regionalist theorist, who edits the Tallinn-based Region.Expert portal, makes these points in the course of a critical commentary on three recent articles by Dimitry Savvin, a Riga-based Russian nationalist, who argues that a unitary Russia based on Russian nationalism is in fact a precondition for a Russian nation state (region.expert/no-empire/). In the first of the three articles Shtepa considers, Savvin argues that Russia needs “exactly the same synthesis of democracy and nationalism as the East Europeans … employed at the end of the 1980s” (afterempire.info/2019/01/28/savvin-svobodnaya-russia/, discussed at windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/01/free-russia-will-be-national-russia-or.html). If the East Europeans, Georgia and Ukraine have been able to use this combination, so too Russia should as well, Savvin continues. All of these countries were able to achieve “independence from the Moscow empire,” but that was a different challenge than Russia faces “qualitatively rather than quantitatively.” In opposition to Savvin, Shtepa cites my 2004 article, “Russia as a Failed State” (bdcol.ee/files/docs/bdreview/bdr-2004-12-sec3-art3.pdf) in which I argued that “the Russian state became an empire before the Russian people became a nation As a result, Russia has never been a nation state, based on a contract between the people and the government. Instead, the Russian people always has been a state nation whose interests are defined not by itself but by those in power.” That situation and practice continues, Shtepa says, and it is that relationship rather than just the Soviet experience that is at the root of the problems Russia faces, problems different in kind from those the Baltic nations and the others faced and responded to. That alternative Russian experience was described by Alexander Etkind in his 2011 book, Internal Colonization: Russia’s Imperial Experience, the regionalist continues. There, the Russian writer argued that various Russian governments have colonized “not just ‘the national borderlands’ but essentially Russian territories as well.” That did not begin in Soviet times, Etkind says, but rather with the destruction of the Novgorod Republic by the Muscovite tsars. “It is indicative,” Shtepa says, that Savvin doesn’t mention federalism. Instead, he treats the free Russia he wants to see established as a unitary and centralized state. But that is to ignore the fact that “the East European peoples typologically correspond not to ‘Russians in general’ but to Russian regionalists from Koenigsberg to Vladivostok.” Savvin argues that Russians are the same on the basis of his own experiences in various parts of the empire, but Shtepa says that his own, which also involved living and working in Karelia, Crimea, Krasnoyarsk Kray, the Komi Republic and Moscow, has led him to be impressed by and to value “the multiplicity of regional distinctions.” “From the point of view of a regionalist,” Shtepa says, “all regions have the right to political status, to the status of sovereign and equal republics which if they do desire can conclude among themselves a (con)federal agreement.” Those like Savvin who want a single unitary state give them no such rights. In Savvin’s second article, “Regionalism vs. Neo-Soviet Separatism” (afterempire.info/2019/02/08/regionalizm-neosovetskit-separatizm/ discussed atwindowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/02/regionalism-separatism-not-same-thing.html), the Riga-based commentator says that regionalists in effect work for “the present local quasi-elites.” That is simply not the case, Shtepa says. “Regionalists in fact are simply incompatible with the current ‘power vertical’ because their thinking is completely different. Most of them suggest that the rebirth of politics as such will occur only with the holding of free elections in all regions with the participation of all regional parties.” Such elections have never happened in post-Soviet Russia; and as a result, Shtepa says, no change of elites has occurred: “the former members of the CPSU have simply transferred into United Russia.” No genuine regionalists are to be found among them because regionalists start with democracy as a goal rather than the maintenance of a centralized and unitary state. Savvin does not recognize this. Instead, he creates the scarecrow of regionalists as the ideological backers of existing regional elites, arguing that there is a great danger of a repetition of 1991 and “the rise on the territory of the former empire of new states,” something he and others, including most regionalists, do not want to see happen. The Riga-based Russian nationalist like Aleksey Navalny does favor giving municipalities more power. So too do regionalists, but unlike Savvin and Navalny, regionalists recognize as Tatyana Vintsevskaya says (region.expert/navalny) that the subjects of a federal should be regions. Like Navalny, Savvin does not accept federalism. “Fearing ‘the separatism’ of the regions, the [Russian] opposition proposes to delegate authority to the municipalities as more secure in a political sense.” That is because for them “the only political subject is ‘All Russia,’ in the name of which ‘Moscow speaks.’” And in his third essay, Savvin addresses a problem which may seem far distant from questions of federalism but in fact is central, Shtepa says. Talking about nation building in Russia (afterempire.info/2019/02/20/saavin-rysskiy-nacbilding/ discussed at windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/02/to-form-nation-state-russians-must-use.html), he urges that Russia today reach back to the tsarist system in order to oppose the Soviet one. To do so, Savvin argues, Russia should follow the Greek approach which appealed to Byzantinism with its combination of church and state in order to overcome the consequences of the anti-Christian impact of the Soviet system. He says explicitly: “the USSR is our Ottoman yoke. The Russian Empire is our Byzantium.” “It is possible that this opposition was still important for emigres in the 1920s and 1930s,” Shtepa says, “people who saw this contrast with their own eyes. But today it no longer works – or more precisely works in a sense completely different than the one recalled by those who speak about ‘the Russia which we have lost.’” In fact, it is a variant on the theme promoted by Russia’s culture minister Vladimir Medynsky who wants to promote the idea of “the succession of historical development from the Russian Empire through the USSR to present-day Russia,” by combining the ideas of the Bolsheviks, the Whites, and the tsars into one single pastiche. (That Savvin is reaching back to the pre-World War II emigration for inspiration is suggested, Shtepa argues, by the fact that he has named his portal in Riga “Harbin,” a city in the Far East where the Russian Fascist Party was established in 1931. (On this, see John Stephan’s 1978 study, The Russian Fascists.)) What is especially strange, Shtepa says, is that Savvin’s centralist and authoritarian articles have appeared on a site, After Empire, which until recently had been informed by a very different set of ideas. Now, it offers Savvin’s which are not far removed from the imperialists in Moscow and in the central Russian opposition. It and they somehow assume as did their predecessors in 1991 that Russia can be both unitary and free. That is why both the putschists and the democrats in that year did not want to see a new union treaty signed. Both wanted to build “’a Free Russia’ which would become an even more aggressive and repressive state than the USSR of perestroika times.” As a result, Shtepa concludes, “instead of liquidating the empire, its reset happened. And today the Russian opposition again dreams of ‘entering the Kremlin.’ But this will be only a new spiral of the empire” unless and until there is either a federal system, a confederal one or the appearance of multiple Russias. Both the current powers that be and the mainstream opposition talk about a free Russia, but there will only be freedom for “the post-Russian republics” when the empire no longer exists.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Is Pan-Turkism Again on the March in the North Caucasus? Some Russians Think So

Paul Goble Staunton, March 1 – Two weeks ago, some well-connected Moscow commentators said that the FSB was planning to set up special offices to track and counter the spread of pan-Turkist ideas among Russia’s Turkic nations (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/02/fsb-reportedly-setting-turkish.html). Now Igor Leonidov argues that there is a compelling need for this step. In an article entitled “Nostalgia for Pan-Turkism?” on the Russian nationalist portal Stoletiye, the Moscow commentator says that it now appears that “certain politicians in the North Caucasus are supporters of pan-Turkism at least within the framework of its historical-geographic context” (stoletie.ru/vzglyad/nostalgija_po_panturkizmu_687.htm). That bitter reflection is prompted, Leonidov says, by the opening at the end of December of a monument near Makhachkala to the soldiers of the Caucasus Islamic Army, a force in which fighters from Turkey, Azerbaijan and Daghestan fought against what it called “’the occupation forces’ of General Lazar Bicherakhov who supposedly was ‘helping the Bolsheviks.’” The three-meter-tall monument was financed by Kamil Aliyev, a Kumyk activist. It specifies that this unit consisted of “’soldiers of the Ottoman army’” and thus expresses “solidarity with the military-political or more precisely geopolitical plans and actions of the Ottoman Empire in the North Caucasus.” According to Leonidov, those who erected this monument don’t know that Lazar Bicherakov (1882-1952) commanded a force organized by the British and which fought against both the Caucasus Islamic Army and Bolshevik units in the region at one and the same time, displaying, the commentator says, “unusual military capabilities.” The Russian nationalist commentator says that those who have erected this monument ignore this history and seek to “convince the population in the justice of the supposedly liberating but in fact expansionist pans of the Ottoman and also post-Ottoman Turkey regarding the entire Caucasus.” The Caucasus Islamic Army, Leonidov says, did not lay down its arms on November 11, 1918, despite the end of World War I. Instead, it occupied Port Petrovsk (now Makhachkala) on that day and renamed it Anzhikale, an indication, he says, that Turkey’s expansionist plans for the region didn’t end then. (On this murky history, see A.Yu. Bezugolny, General Bicherakov and His Caucasus Army (in Russian, Moscow: 2011, 416 pp.) The Caucasus Islamic Army was disbanded only in February 1919, but many of its officers and men were shifted to the Turkish coast where they fought against the Greeks. Bicherakov himself emigrated to Great Britain but later was involved with North Caucasus emigres in Germany and himself died in Ulm. The Kumyk monument to the Caucasus Islamic Army, Leonidov says, is part of an effort by Turkey and the West to stir up trouble against Russia in the North Caucasus. But what is worrisome is that militants in this region continue to lookback to the ideas of the 1910s and 1920s when they are planning for the future.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: What ‘Pravda’ Would have Said on Gorbachev’s 88th Birthday had He Not Changed Russia and the World

Paul Goble Staunton, March 2 – Today, on Mikhail Gorbachev’s 88th birthday, Russian commentators, politicians and people are remembering him, with their assessment of the man positive and negative in correspondence with their views about the enormous changes his actions made possible or at least did not prevent. (For a selection of this rich variety of commentary, see among othersecho.msk.ru/blog/v_inozemcev/2380941-echo/echo.msk.ru/programs/observation/2380629-echo/,facebook.com/vadim.shtepa/posts/2283767975007513 and especially the large selection at business-gazeta.ru/article/415444.) But perhaps the most useful remarks are those of St. Petersburg economist Dmitry Travin who imagines in a Rosbalt article what the still-Soviet Pravda would have written on this day had Gorbachev not acted or not acted in the ways that he did while still CPSU leader (rosbalt.ru/posts/2019/03/02/1767285.html). “On this day,” Pravda would have written, Travin suggests, “our entire multi-national Soviet people and all progressive humanity mark the 88th birthday of the outstanding statesman, true Leninist, and tireless fighter for peace, Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev. For 34 years the general secretary of the CPSU and chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet Comrade M.S. Gorbachev has been leading us along the path of the perfection of developed socialism.” As Travin puts it, “it is horrifying even to think that this lead article could have been today’s Russian reality. It is horrifying to think that instead of an open conversation about our life, we would have to fill it with ritual phrases, thus leaving serious issues for kitchen conversations.” For that, the economist continues, he is “grateful to Gorbachev,” but at the same time, his view like those of most thoughtful Russians and others is more complicated. Gorbachev did not intend to produce the changes that have occurred good and bad; he had other goals – and in many respects, Russians can be glad that he failed to achieve them. He did not plan to give rise to a market economy, and he did not want to give anyone liberal freedoms. Instead, he wanted “socialism with a human face. Russia has not had socialism or a human face for a longtime, “but that process which Gorbachev set in train gave us freedoms which still haven not been entirely taken away.” Gorbachev did not know what his policies would lead to. He expected one thing but discovered others. But instead of trying to go backwards, at least most of the time, he allowed the results to set the stage for yet additional moves. And the result of that approach is what we have now. “It is difficult to be grateful [to Gorbachev] for the mistakes and failures” he was responsible for and “for the political manipulation” he engaged in. But one can only be grateful beyond measure to Gorbachev “for what occurred as a result of his activity.” There isn’t the old Soviet Union with its repression but a new Russia with its possibilities. Gorbachev has lived through these changes and may he continue to live for many years, Travin says. “But already today we can say that this is not so much an individual with his weaknesses, mistakes and misconceptions as a great era which overturned our world despite the weaknesses, mistakes and misconceptions of the specific individual.” That of course is how history always is made, a path in which “the changes which devour their creators nonetheless give new life for their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren,” Travin concludes.

The Week In Russia: Boris Nemtsov And The Russia That Might Have Been

Thousands of people in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other cities honored the memory of slain Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov, and in doing so mourned the loss of a Russia that might have been.

Turkey Says Talks To Buy U.S. Patriot Missiles Continue, Despite Spat Over Russian System

Turkey says it is holding talks with the United States on the purchase of Patriot antiaircraft systems.

How Russia Wants to Transform Its Deadly Su-30 (Thanks to Some Su-35 ‘DNA’) | The National Interest

The Su-30 could benefit from many of the systems that manufacturer Sukhoi developed for the newer Su-35.

Russian soldiers to receive next-gen ammunition with enhanced piercing power – Defence Blog

Russian soldiers will receive next-generation small arms ammunition within the Ratnik soldier system, the TASS news agency reported on 2 March. Russia’s TsNIITochMash (part of the state hi-tech corporation Rostec) has developed more powerful 5.45mm rounds and their version with the increased density of fire during its work on the next-generation Ratnik soldier gear, TsNIITochMash General Designer for the Ratnik Outift Igor Nekrasov said on Friday. “As part of the Ratnik experimental design work, the 7N39 and 7N40 rounds have been developed: one with the increased density of fire and the other with the enhanced piercing power,” Nekrasov said. As the chief designer of the Ratnik combat gear specified, “the new 7N39 cartridge pierces the 2P armor plate at a range of 50-70 m while the 7N40 round has increased the density of its fire by 1.5 times compared to the traditional round.” According to the current information, the 7N39, know as ‘Igolnik’, is a newly developed cartridge with an armor-piercing bullet. The core of the bullet is peaked from an alloy of tungsten carbide (92%) and cobalt (8%), produced by pressing metal powders, followed by sintering. Sources familiar with the matter say the 7N39 ‘Igolnik’ capable of punching a 5 mm steel armored plate at a range of 550 meters. It is a new generation of Russian small arms ammunition considerably excel available Soviet-era munitions. The Ratnik is a system of advanced protective and communication equipment, weapons and ammunition. It comprises around 40 protective and life support elements and allows a soldier to get continuously updated information about the situation in the combat area. In addition, the Ratnik includes a self-contained heater, a backpack, an individual water filter, a gas mask and a medical kit.

Why Did the CIA Classify the Soviet Army’s Recipe for Borscht? – Pacific Standard

The problem for people who care about government transparency is that the CIA’s efforts to conceal history go far beyond soup.

Robert Spalding | To prevent lethal 5G, we need a digital Second Amendment | TheHill

Without change, the 5G environment will become deadly. The entire wireless world descended on Barcelona this week for the annual Mobile World Congress. Amidst the fancy new gadgets like folding phones it is important we maintain perspective on the forthcoming transition to 5G. The convergence of big data, AI, and 5G brings benefits, but the societal costs may be steeper than at any time in the history of communications. On Page 19 of the National Security Strategy (NSS) there is a single line – “We will improve America’s digital infrastructure by deploying a secure 5G Internet capability nationwide.” This has been misinterpreted to mean we just wage war on Chinese telecom manufacturers. Such a plan would have been foolhardy. Instead, the line was meant to rediscover the principles that led to our unprecedented success as a nation, imbedding those characteristics into a redesigned Internet. 5G has been completely misconstrued through telcos marketing campaigns. The smart phone is arguably the least affected by 5G, but that seems to be the focus. Instead, 5G will be a redesign of the Internet, not for people, but machines. Internet 1.0 led to an explosion in the software industry. Internet 2.0, or 5G, will lead to a similar explosion in the hardware industry as wireless connectivity, robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and artificial and virtual reality animates the world around us. From a societal standpoint, technology has already outpaced our ability to comfortably prevent bad side effects. The loss of as much as $600 billion in intellectual property annually in the United States is accompanied by automated bots that implement targeted influence campaigns to undermine our confidence in society. 5G will be accompanied by machines that have the capacity to kill if similarly compromised (like self-driving cars or remote medical devices). Yet, the U.S. government has taken a hands off approach. The EU has attempted to deal with some of the Internet governance issues by implementing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Recently Google was fined $57 million for violating the regulation, but the fact remains that enforcement must come from outside the digital domain. The organic development of computing and networking technology has led to a virtual world that cannot be governed.

Chlorine Used In Attack On Syria’s Douma, Watchdog Says

The global chemical weapons watchdog said March 1 that chlorine was used against the rebel-held Syrian town of Douma last year, in a long-awaited final report on the attack that killed 43 people.

Chlorine likely used in attack on Syria town Douma, says OPCW | News | Al Jazeera

Investigators have documented systematic use of the banned nerve agent sarin and chlorine in Syria’s civil war.

House in Skripal Nerve Agent Attack Declared Safe, Ending 13,000-Hour Clean-Up – The New York Times

The home where Sergei and Yulia Skripal were poisoned was the last of 13 sites said to be clean after an attack for which Britain has blamed Russia.

Salisbury: Novichok cleanup complete nearly a year after nerve agent attack – CNN

The English city of Salisbury has been declared free of the nerve agent Novichok, nearly a year after the poisoning of the Russian former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.

UAWire – Volker: Our perception of Russia is completely different than 5 years ago

US State Department Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker told Voice of America in an interview that the US has already worked out a system to respond to challenges from Russia. Five years ago, when the “green men” captured Crimea, the West reacted too slowly, Volker admitted while speaking at an international forum in Kyiv. Today, the situation has changed, and if there is escalation, the West will not take its time. “We now perceive Russia completely differently to five years ago. We have seen the Russian aggression in Crimea and in eastern Ukraine. And now we understand well what is going on. We have already worked out a system to respond to these challenges. We have imposed sanctions, we are backing the reforms in Ukraine, and helping you to increase your defensive capabilities. We are coordinating our efforts in this area much more closely with the EU. That is, we now have far more resources and a better understanding of the situation. Hence my optimism that today we have both the will and the ability to respond much more quickly,” Volker said. When asked how the US would respond if the Russians once again attacked a Ukrainian ship passing through the Kerch Strait, Volker responded that the primary task is to prevent this kind of thing from happening. “The key objective is to prevent something like that from happening again. It is not in the interests of either party for Ukrainian vessels to be captured and sailors arrested, as it happened this time. We need careful coordination, clear communication and a practical understanding of what is taking place in the Kerch Strait. We proceed from the basic principle that Crimea is Ukraine; Russia and Ukraine have the right to shared usage of the strait and Sea of Azov. This is the starting point for us, and we completely endorse it,” said the State Department special representative. Volker stressed that the US would do everything in its power to ensure the release of the imprisoned Ukrainian sailors.

Retired U.S. army officer Hodges criticizes NATO states for ships’ visits to occupied Crimea (Video) – news politics | UNIAN

Retired United States Army officer who served as commanding general of United States Army Europe (USAREUR) Lieutenant General Frederick B. (Ben) Hodges says that visits of NATO member states’ commercial ships to ports in Russian-occupied Crimea are “unbelievable.” He says Ukrainian officials do not look to be really concerned about the war in Donbas. Retired United States Army officer who served as commanding general of United States Army Europe (USAREUR) Lieutenant General Frederick B. (Ben) Hodges says that visits of NATO member states’ commercial ships to ports in Russian-occupied Crimea are “unbelievable.” “Number one: we should reject everything that looks even remotely like, we, the West, have acknowledged Russian sovereignty over Crimea. The fact that commerce ships from NATO countries, like Turkey, go into Sevastopol – it’s unbelievable to me. How can we – when Ukraine has said these ports are closed – have shipping from NATO countries or other countries to go in and out these ports as if it’s normal business?” he said in Odesa on Saturday, March 2, at the first international conference ‘The Odesa Debate: Uniting Ukraine, the Black Sea Region and the Transatlantic Partners,’ according to an UNIAN correspondent. He added that he did not see Ukrainian officials were really concerned about the war in Donbas. “I probably will say a few things today that may result in me never being invited back to Ukraine. I have to say I don’t see anger in Ukraine. In the five years it doesn’t feel – at least you get very close to it – it doesn’t feel like Ukraine is at war. I’m talking about the leadership, in Rada [Ukraine’s parliament],and in social life. It doesn’t feel that people are angry, that thousands of Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in the last five years. Obviously, thousands of Ukrainians have been displaced, there are millions of Ukrainians living outside of Ukraine. I don’t feel anger coming from the leadership. Otherwise, there is no way you would have the delivery of unsatisfactory equipment to soldiers at the front, you would not have soldiers standing in trenches like this was 1915 or 1916 with no hope for an end to what’s going on. Twenty-four Ukrainian sailors are sitting in a jail in Russia. I don’t feel the anger,” Hodges said. In his words, transparency of the military budget is necessary. “Without transparency nobody has any confidence that the huge amount of money that Ukraine spends on defense actually ends up with quality equipment and conditions for your soldiers. Your soldiers stop the Russians. They deserve better than that,” he said. As UNIAN reported earlier, the two-day first international conference “The Odesa Debate: Uniting Ukraine, the Black Sea Region and the Transatlantic Partners” opened in Odesa on March 1.

UAWire – Kremlin tells OSCE that Russia has completed integration of annexed Crimea

Dmitry Balakin, Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the OSCE stated at the meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council that the Crimea has completed its integration into Russia’s society, reported the press service of the Russian Permanent Mission to the OSCE. “Life has proven that the Crimea’s residents made the right choice. Now, we can say for sure that its integration into Russia’s common political, legal, social and economic space has been completed,” he said. Balakin added that the statements on the Crimea’s “annexation” and the need to return it to Ukraine are “extremely disrespectful” towards the population of the peninsula. According to the permanent representative of Russia at the OSCE, residents of the Crimea are being punished by other countries for their political choice. In particular, he noted, western countries deny their visa applications and there are restrictions for international business on the peninsula. “The will of the Crimea’s people expressed in 2014 made it possible to avoid the horrors of civil war that the Ukrainian authorities have been conducting in the Donbas for five years already,” Balakin stressed. The internationally recognized Ukrainian territory of the Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation in March of 2014. The Kremlin has faced international condemnation for its annexation of the peninsula, leading many western countries to impose economic sanctions against Russia. In the United Nations, only Afghanistan, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Syria recognize the Crimea as a legitimate federal subject of Russia.

The Black Sea is a space of interaction, not a “puddle” of the Russian Navy, – Klimkin

Black Sea security is an integral part of effective transatlantic cooperation and Euro-Atlantic integration. As informs Tsensor.NET, this was stated by the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin on the results of the Odessa forum #OdesaDebate. “Over the past few days, Odessa has become a focal point for discussions on Black Sea security, and this should continue. The Black Sea should become a space of interaction, values ​​and rights, and not a” puddle “for the furious maneuvers of the Russian Navy,” said Klimkin. He added that the forum Ukraine “has gathered friends and associates ready to talk about joint challenges and jointly counteract them, because we can only build plans for the future, peace and security that we all need.” Джерело:https://censor.net.ua/ua/n3114643

UAWire – Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Black Sea will become a ‘Bermuda Triangle’ for Russia

At the international security conference “The Odessa Debate: Uniting Ukraine, the Black Sea Region and the Transatlantic Partners” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin announced that the Black Sea “will never belong to the Russian regime” and that it would become a “Bermuda Triangle for Russia,” Interfax quotes Klimkin as sayinng. “We will definitely reclaim the Crimea. To do this, we must have a strong economy and security… The possibility is only in complex opposition to Russia. It cannot be only economic, military or information opposition. We must do this together,” explained Klimkin. “Russia interferes with our freedom of navigation in the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov. All that we are doing and must do is to focus on the release of our war prisoners, as well as other political prisoners and hostages,” the Minister emphasized. Earlier, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko stated that it was necessary to increase the presence of NATO military ships in the Black Sea due to Russia’s actions in the Black and Azov Seas and the seizure of Ukrainian Navy ships and sailors.

Black Sea will become a ‘Bermuda Triangle’ for Russia – Klimkin

The Black Sea will never belong to Russia, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said. The Black Sea will never belong to Russia, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said. “The Black Sea will never belong to Russia. In fact, it will become a Bermuda Triangle for Russia,” he said during the ‘The Odesa Debate: Uniting Ukraine, the Black Sea Region and the Transatlantic Partners’ conference held in Odesa on Friday. According to him, the only option is to oppose Russia from many sides. “We will definitely return Crimea. To do this, we must be strong from the economic point of view and in terms of security … There is only a comprehensive response to handle Russia… We must do it all together,” he said. “Russia blocks our freedom of navigation in the Kerch Strait, the Sea of Azov. It attacks our ships, captures our sailors. Everything we do and must do – should be focused on freeing our prisoners of war, as well as political prisoners and hostages.”

Oleksii Makeiev 🇺🇦 on Twitter: “.@PavloKlimkin at #OdesaDebate suggested to #EU & #NATO creating BlackSeaMonitoringMission #BlackSeaMoM to establish facts and make Russia stop undermining UKR sovereign rights and limiting freedom of navigation in the Kerch strait counter to Russia’s commitments under UNCLOS.… https://t.co/CTfZAeFhg8”

There is now one Russian Federation ship for every 350 square km in the waters of the Azov Sea, – Voronchenko

Russia is expanding its forces around the occupied Crimea. Now in the waters of the Azov Sea, 105 ships, performing tasks allegedly “protect” their border, which is not. This was stated by the commander of the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Igor Voronchenko during the first international conference “Odessa Debates – the Association of Ukraine, the Black Sea Region and Transatlantic Partners” in Odessa, and, Censor .NET with reference to UNN . “As regards the establishment of military capabilities, we see the strength of the Black Sea Fleet and the group that is deployed in Crimea, primarily the carriers of the Caliber cruise missiles, which is now a total salvo of 86 units of shipbuilding, and by 2020 they will try, according to our data, to increase this potential to 168 missiles in a salvo launch “, – said Voronchenko. According to him, Russia, in addition, creates a strong group in the Azov Sea. “This is a total of 105 ships, ships that carry out tasks like” protecting “their border, which is not. We calculated the density of the ship on a water area in Azov, which is one on 350 sq. Km. In the Caspian, the density of the Russian ship is 1 in 4 thousand. sq km, “he said.

Volodymyr Horbulin | If Kremlin fails to bring pro-Russian politicians to power, Ukraine should brace for radical scenarios – Horbulin |Euromaidan Press |

Article by: Volodymyr Horbulin “There will be no veterans of World War III.” Walter Mondale, former U.S. Vice-President Events in 2018 have confirmed the fears and predictions of both pragmatists and realists: Europe continues to bury its head in its own affairs, the Minsk process has retreated far to the background and Russian pressure (in particular, military) is increasing on the borders of Europe. The Kremlin’s actions and operations have reached a particularly serious level, indicating Moscow’s systematic preparations for a possible war where Ukraine may not be the only target. So far, most of the pressure has been aimed at Ukraine, where two national election campaigns are scheduled in 2019. Russia will try to resolve its strategic mission with “as little blood as possible” by bringing to power “negotiable” politicians or pro-Russian agents. However, if this fails, Ukraine should be ready for more radical scenarios.

Are the Russians Coming?: Russia’s Military Buildup Near Ukraine – Foreign Policy Research Institute

Long before the Kerch Strait incident in October 2018, Russia had already begun to strengthen the forces in its Southern Military District, which spans from near Volgograd to Russia’s border with Georgia and Azerbaijan. Naturally, that has caused concern in Kiev, since the district also abuts the restive eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas and is responsible for Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. One of Ukraine’s biggest worries has been Russia’s reactivation of the 150th Motorized Rifle Division in late 2016. Posted only 50 km from the border between Russia and Ukraine, it is equipped with an unusually large number of tanks. Its force structure includes two tank regiments, rather than the standard one; and each of its two motorized rifle regiments has an attached tank battalion.[1] Russian media refers to the division as the “steel monster.”

EU considering concrete options for supporting Azov Sea region – Poroshenko

Following a visit of the assessment mission to Donbas, the European Union is considering options for specific measures to support the Sea of Azov region. — Ukrinform.

Lukashenko: I know Putin does not want escalation of Donbas conflict

The President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko assured that the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin does not want the escalation of the Donbas conflict. The president stated this on the press conference in Minsk, broadcasted by 112 Ukraine. “I told both presidents: “You two decide in what direction to go with the agreement, and we will go this way if it is acceptable for the both of you”. But if they both do not reach an agreement, it will be no use to interfere. It will be in vain. That’s why it’s crucial for them to come to an agreement. Everything depends on both presidents, maybe, on the Ukrainian one a little bit more”, – Lukashenko said.

Lukashenko on Normandy format: If USA takes part in negotiations, progress will be much faster

The President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko believes that the progress of the negotiations between the Normandy format on settling down the Donbas conflict could be reached provided the USA take part in the negotiations. The president stated this on the press conference in Minsk, broadcasted by 112 Ukraine. “Concerning the Normandy format, I already told that till the American authorities do not take part in this process and do not support the existing format and negotiations that have already taken place – nothing will change. Exactly this happened. What role do Americans play? Well, I think you know better. I am afraid this role to be the aggressive one. Very afraid. That’s why I openly urged to invite Americans to the negotiations to the meeting of Normandy contact group. I’m sure that, if they supported this process, the progress would be seen much faster. However, now it’s far from being successful, actually, it’s quite the opposite, as for me”, – Lukashenko said.

Ukraine signs protocol on fish catch in Azov Sea with Russia

Ukraine signs protocol on fish catch in Azov Sea with Russia

Ariel Cohen | As Russia Closes In On Crimea’s Energy Resources, What Is Next For Ukraine?

Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, the Kremlin moved aggressively to seize and reappropriate Ukranian offshore oil and gas operations in the Black Sea. Ukraine’s loss of these valuable resources is a major setback to a country in an already perilous economic and security position. If you ask Stepan Kubiv, Ukraine’s Energy Minister, what the long-term economic losses will be as a result of Crimea’s annexation in 2014, he’ll tell you to look towards the sea. The Ukrainian Energy Ministry reports that “Ukraine has lost 80% of oil and gas deposits in the Black Sea and a significant part of the port infrastructure due to the annexation of Crimea.” The announcement comes on the heels of a continuing standoff in the adjacent Sea of Azov, where 24 Ukrainian sailors and three navy ships were seized last November by the Russian coast guard. Moscow’s brazenness in Ukraine’s territorial waters since 2014 serves as a reminder that the Kremlin views these areas and their associated hydrocarbon resources as its exclusive war booty. While Ukraine has made an effort to resist Russia’s irredentist aspirations – at the cost of more than 10,000 soldiers and civilians since 2014 – her strategic position continues to deteriorate. Western military support has been muted and economic sanctions against the aggressor are proving an inadequate means of deterrence. Meanwhile, the little leverage Ukraine does enjoy as a transit hub for Russian natural gas is fading fast. The controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Russia’s latest attempt to strengthen its grip over Europe’s energy supplies, has received approval from Paris and Berlin and may be launched as early as December 2019. The subsea pipeline entirely bypasses Ukraine and would deprive the country of $3 billion in annual transit revenues – almost 3% of the country’s GDP.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Conflict over Crimea Between Two Peoples, Not Just Two States, Portnikov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, March 1 – When the history of the 21st century is written, Vitaly Portnikov says, Russia’s occupation of Crimea “beyond any doubt will be among the most important,” not because of the Ukrainian peninsula itself but because of two other factors that seldom get the attention now they will in the future. According to the Ukrainian commentator, Crimea is sacred ground for only one people, the Crimean Tatars. “For Ukraine, it is a symbol of territory torn away from it; for Russia, it is a demonstration of the right of force and its own ability to act without punishment” (obozrevatel.com/politics/2364-russkie-i-ukraintsyi-chuzhie-narodyi.htm). The first thing historians will take note of in the case of the Crimean Anschluss is this, Portnikov says. “Never in the 21st century before Crimea and not in the last decades of the 20th did any state dare to annex the territory of another.” Russia did and undermined international law as such. Whether Russia succeeded in destroying this law altogether and thus return the world to the law of the jungle will depend on whether the international community is able to hold Russian accountable and force Moscow to withdraw and return Crimea to Ukraine, the commentator continues. But the second result of Russia’s Anschluss is likely to be almost as important. The annexation of Crimea was “not simply the beginning of ‘a hybrid war’ between Russia and Ukraine but a conflict of the Russian and Ukrainian peoples. This is a real civilizational shift in the history of the Russian people itself and its empire.” The Russian state became an empire and not simply a remnant of the Golden Horde, precisely after it joined the Ukrainian lands to it, Portnikov argues. Indeed, “the ideology of empire, its apparatus, its new church after the Nikonian reforms, and its economy were the result of the inclusion of Ukrainian lands and the cooperation of Russians and Ukrainians.” By invading, occupying and annexing Crimea, Putin has destroyed that basis for empire. But he has done more than that. Just as the defeat of Russia in the Crimean War 160 years ago allowed Italy to unite and join the concert of European powers, so now, Russia’s self-defeating actions in Crimea and elsewhere in Ukraine are helping Ukrainians to achieve the same. Five years ago, Putin was able t achieve this. If on February 28, 2014, it was almost impossible to imagine that Russian and Ukrainian soldiers would be shooting at one another, “today this is something quite ordinary, a part of our lives,” Portnikov says. And while it is true that there are not a few people in Russia who still love Ukraine and “not a few in Ukraine who love Russia, some the Russia of Putin and others the Russia of Herzen, Sakharov and Nemtsov, this does not mean that the following simple fact is not true,” Portnikov says. “Five years ago, Russia and Ukraine became hostile states.” But more than that, the Ukrainian commentator says, Russians and Ukrainians became hostile peoples, each viewing the other as alien. That changes the course of history not just in Eastern Europe but more broadly and is a shift that even now everyone must acknowledge and take into account. Because whatever happens to Crimea and one very much hopes Russia will be forced to return it lest international law be left in tatters, this change in the attitude of Russians and Ukrainians toward one another is not going to be reversed, even if eventually the two countries can live in peace as neighbors.

JFO: One Ukrainian soldier wounded in action in Donbas March 2 – news war | UNIAN

Russia’s hybrid military forces mounted five attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas on March 2, with one Ukrainian soldier reported as wounded in action. The situation in the area of the Joint Forces Operation remains under control of Ukrainian troops.

Russia-led forces mount seven attacks on Ukraine army positions in past day, one soldier wounded – news war | UNIAN

Russia-led forces mounted seven attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, on March 2, resulting in one Ukrainian soldier wounded in action. According to Ukrainian intelligence reports, one invader was killed and another one was wounded.

Russian-backed forces launched four attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas in last day

Russian occupation forces launched four attacks, using weapons banned under the Minsk agreements three times, on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in eastern Ukraine over the past day. — Ukrinform.

UAWire – Media: head of LPR is terminally ill and Kremlin is already looking for a replacement

Liga.net citing anonymous sources reported that the head of the LPR (Luhansk People’s Republic) Leonid Pasechnik is terminally ill and, based on …

Rogues’ Gallery: Whatever Happened To The First Separatist Leaders In Ukraine?

In 2014 when pro-Russia separatists made their grab for power in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, these were some of the faces grabbing headlines. But, five years later, where are they now?

In Rostov-on-Don detained “Tashkent”, who survived Zaharchenko’s assassination – “Tashkent”, who survived Zaharchenko’s assassination, detained in Rostov-on-Don – 112.international

The former so-called prosecutor of Donetsk People’s Republic is suspected in seizing of an agro-industrial enterprise in Russia

Russia sells stolen Donbas coal as its own to Turkey, Europe without latter’s knowing that – Ukraine’s minister – news economics | UNIAN

Coal produced in Russian-occupied Donbas, eastern Ukraine, is shipped not only to Russia but also to Turkey and countries in Europe, namely the European Union member states, without the latter’s knowing that, as shipping documents are falsified to show that the coal is of allegedly Russian origin. South Ossetia and other unrecognized quasi-state entities are widely involved in the scheme.

Qualitative changes promote Ukrainian idea into occupied territories – president

Qualitative changes in life and economic growth of the state will be able to promote a Ukrainian idea into the occupied territories. — Ukrinform.

Poroshenko: Monetary support of soldiers on frontline to be raised from April 1 – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has announced the decision to raise monetary support for the servicemen on the frontline from April 1. The president also emphasized the importance of providing monetary support for the Ukrainian military seamen defending the Azov coast.

Poltorak signed an order for an increased allowance for JFO and introduced an allowance for seamen on Azov

The Minister of Defense signed an order to raise additional payments to the military in the area of JFO, as well as the introduction of an allowance for service in the Sea of ​​Azov. Stepan Poltorak said this on his Facebook page. ” According to the decision of the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko has just signed an order to increase the additional payments to the monetary support for the servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine located in the district of the OOS. Payments will be made from April 1, 2019. The servicemen who are on the first line of the clash will receive an additional payment of UAH2000 and the total will be 12000; on the second line of contact +1 000 thousand hryvnias; – and the total amount will be 5 500. In addition, monetary support for servicemen of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who perform combat missions and are in the waters of the Sea of ​​Azov, will receive an additional payment of 5,500 hryvnias, and 12,000 hryvnias during the withdrawal of duty duty. President Petro Poroshenko announced yesterday that on March 1, when he was staying at the base of our paratroopers in the area of ​​the operation of the United Force, the decision regarding the next increase in payments to the military in the OSH.

Almost 25,000 female officers serving under contract in Ukrainian army – Ukraine’s Mission to NATO – news ukraine | UNIAN

The Mission of Ukraine to NATO says almost 25,000 Ukrainian women are serving under contract in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In total, over 55,000 women are serving and working in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Crimea, Donbas strategies among key achievements of last year – Dzhaparova

The Information Policy Ministry called the approval of information integration strategies of Crimea and Donbas the past year’s key achievements. — Ukrinform. First Deputy Information Policy Minister Emine Dzhaparova said this at a press conference on Friday, an Ukrinform correspondent reported. “The key achievements of 2018 regarding the occupied territories are, of course, the adoption of two important documents – the Information Reintegration Strategy for Donetsk and Luhansk Regions and the Information Reintegration Strategy for the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol,” Dzhaparova noted. She noted that both strategies were fundamental documents, “which determine the semantic load of the communication campaigns of the Ministry.” “Within six months after the approval of these strategies, we must submit a draft plan of actions, which will be also coordinated. As for the strategy regarding Donbas – we have almost finalized the action plan. Now we are working on the action plan regarding Crimea,” she added.

Poroshenko wants law enforcers to disclose files on arms smuggling – LB.ua news portal

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called on law enforcers to investigate recent media reports about cases of corruption in the defence industry, including leaked information from law-enforcement agencies because this case has been investigated for several years. A statement to this effect was published by the president’s press service. “My principled position as president – I want to address the law- enforcement agencies, the Prosecutor-General’s Office, the National Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine and the Special Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office – if there are facts, neither surnames, nor posts will protect anyone […] If there are facts – to the prison. No facts – stop destabilizing the situation both in the army and in the state,” he said. Poroshenko added: “Today, politicians have flocked as vultures, including the politicians directly involved in plundering, sale and destruction of the army. Or corrupt officials who have already pissed everyone off. Let them see and ask us in what condition we accepted the army back in 2014, or rather the absence of the army.” On 25 February, the Bihus.Info investigative journalism project published results of its investigation, according to which Ihor Hladkovskyy, the son of the first deputy secretary of the National Security and Defence Council, Oleh Hladkovskyy, together with Vitaliy Zhukov and Andriy Rohoza allegedly bought smuggled Russian military hardware parts and resold them through straw companies to defence companies. Also, they allegedly sold overpriced parts to Ukrainian military units. Journalists claim that the three had embezzled at least 250m hryvnyas.

Stop destabilizing situation both in army and in state, – Poroshenko on Ukraine’s army smuggling scheme

The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko called for to stop attacking the Ukrainian army. Poroshenko stated this while commenting on the Ukrobonprom scandal, at the fortified tactical locality of the 79th separate assault brigade in Pryazovia, located 1800 meters from the enemy trenches. Sviatoslav Tseholko, the press secretary, reports this on Facebook. “The attack on the army that is currently being carried out – I will definitely do my best in order to prevent it. The army was created by the efforts of the Ukrainian people, Ukrainian soldiers, and volunteers. Today, politicians have flocked as vultures, including the politicians directly involved in plundering, sale, and destruction of the army. Or corrupt officials who have already pissed everyone off. Pardon my French,” the President said.

Money on blood: corruption in defense sector involves associates of Poroshenko

The team of investigators BIHUS.info unveiled the first part of a large-scale investigation of corruption and embezzlement in the defense sector of Ukraine, which involves associates of President Petro Poroshenko.

Poroshenko instructs to renew work of Mariupol airport

The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko instructed to work on the issue of launching Mariupol airport in Donetsk region. Petro Poroshenko emphasized during his participation in the Donetsk Regional Development Council, as Novyny Donbas reports. “I instruct the Chief of the General Staff, the Minister of Defense, the Minister of Infrastructure and the RSA Head to work on the issue of launching the airport of the city of Mariupol”, – the President said. “I see I am right”, – Poroshenko added answering on laud applause. The Mariupol airport stopped to have a regular flight in 2009 and in 2014 was shut down due to the beginning of the war. Earlier, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko called for to stop attacking the Ukrainian army. Poroshenko stated this while commenting on the Ukrbonprom scandal, at the fortified tactical locality of the 79th separate assault brigade in Pryazovia, located 1800 meters from the enemy trenches. “If there are facts – to the prison. No facts – stop destabilizing the situation both in the army and in the state,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized.

Chairman of the Board of the Ukrainian Military Center commented on “Zamana’s case”

The Chairman of the Board of the Ukrainian Military Center Taras Chmut evaluated the arguments that publicly voiced charges against the state treason of the former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zamani. Chmut provided comments to the Left Bank publication . According to him, the Ministry of Defense in 2012-2013 complained about the lack of funding. In 2012, the agency received UAH 14,761.9 million (0.98% of GDP), if needed, at UAH 21.8 billion per year (or 1.45% of GDP). In 2013, the Ministry of Defense received 15 160.2 million UAH (0.96% of GDP). Under such conditions, the Armed Forces were reformed on the principle of reducing the number – increasing quality, planned to reduce the army to 120 thousand personnel, and to save money by upgrading weapons, explained Taras Chmut. For example, reducing staffing by optimizing operational command. For this purpose, as Zaman explains, the brigades also contracted. On the armament of the 137th Brigade, there were three S300B1 RPMs developed in the Soviet Union. All components to them had to be bought in Russia or other countries of the former USSR. This was unprofitable, since in the other three dozen other armament units there were the C300PS complexes. “Accordingly, to contain three complexes, which are essentially artificial and which are not subject to unification, which we do not produce components, was costly. When you have a fleet of 20 cars of the same type, and on the other hand, there are absolutely two others that require other parts of separate training of drivers, then refuse these two, so that the remaining 20 work properly and qualitatively, “explains Chmut on this analogy. In his opinion, it seems logical and subordinate to the management of the tactical group “Crimea” of the Navy, since there were no land forces on the peninsula. “It’s very cool” to find now the extreme Zaman and to blame the fact that because of him lost the Crimea. And the fact that before that we have not properly repaired the equipment for 20 years, we had a demoralized personnel who, even at the time of occupation, had no communication without a commanding command, is it nothing? In order for the tank to go to Crimea in 2014, it was necessary to repair it in 2010-13. When the boxing tank is 10 years old and does not leave because there is no fuel, and fuel should be given by the Cabinet and the Council, then what would you want from the commander of the General Staff “, – explained Chmut. The chairman of the Ukrainian Military Center added: Zakhani recalls the dismantling of military units, forgetting to mention his achievements: “At his initiative, the 140th center of the forces of special operations was formed, which today is one of the most capable parts of our army. In the same Crimea, the 29th Marine intelligence station was formed to reinforce special forces. ” “It’s so primitive that it’s even funny, but this is a human fate of not the worst general of our army,” says Taras Chmut, a Zamani affair. There are some inaccuracies in the evidence shown by the prosecutor’s office. In the court lawyers cited a note from the SBU, which states that “Zamana periodically visits his parents living in the Chernihiv region.” However, according to the suspect, his mother died 20 years old, and his father – 35 years ago, and he visits their graves. The military prosecutor’s office claims that Zamana reformatted the 114th tactical aviation brigade from Ivano-Frankivsk into a squadron, but this brigade was not reformed, it continues to function. The pilots were involved several times in combat operations in eastern Ukraine. It can be said about the 39th separate squadron from Ozerny in Zhytomyr region, which until 2011 had the status of a brigade, suggests Chmut. However, that year, Zamana had not yet headed the General Staff. In 2018, the squadron again returned the status of the brigade. “At the same time, as if they did not name part – squadron, brigade, regiment, division, corps – the number of aircraft does not increase and does not decrease. The reduction to the squadron was expedient, because the brigade has more state, there are more colonels, people who do not do anything on one unit of working equipment “, – considers Chmut.

Testing of armored car Bars-8 successfully finished in Ukraine

This new armored car will be used for transportation of personnel and cargo in the battlefield

Leaders of election race in the spotlight of journalistic investigations exposing corruption | UACRISIS.ORG

Leaders of election race in the spotlight of journalistic investigations exposing corruption

Investigation Finds Suspicious Donations In Tymoshenko’s Presidential Campaign

The presidential campaign of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has registered numerous suspicious donations, repeating a pattern that journalists uncovered in her Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) pa…

Russian speakers in Donbas most affected by Putin’s aggression – Poroshenko – news ukraine | UNIAN

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said that it was the Russian-speaking population of Donbas who were affected the most by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans for the occupation of part of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The occupiers in Donbas had destroyed thousands of homes, roads, water and gas pipelines, and put to a halt dozens of industrial enterprises across the region.

Alexei Bayer: A strong case for status quo in Ukraine | KyivPost

Five years after the EuroMaidan Revolution drove President Viktor Yanukovych from power, Ukraine finds itself in a highly uncertain situation. It has made progress at home, but in terms of security along its borders, it is about where it was just after the Russian annexation of Crimea and the start of the invasion of Donbas. It is hard to see how its actions could’ve changed the equation, given that there is no appetite anywhere in the world for a direct military confrontation with Russia. Lack of progress on the Russian front and only modest progress at home make voters impatient. It would be a huge mistake, however, to fall for the illusion that things could be dramatically sped up or resolved. While it may well be true that better policies could be devised, trying them out now entails risks which in Ukraine’s current situation are simply unacceptable. Russia annexed Crimea and is occupying parts of the country’s east, waging a war in which Ukrainian soldiers and civilians continue to die. Vladimir Putin’s long-term aims are unclear. He clearly wants Ukraine to become Russia’s vassal once more. But how to get there is problematic. Military occupation may not work and will entail huge costs in a variety of ways. To get a Yanukovych II figure in power in Kyiv is not going to work either. But Putin is a tactician, not a strategist. Or rather his strategy is the old Soviet one from the Cold War – i.e., opportunism. He is playing the long game, hoping for a Ukrainian economic collapse or a burst of political discontent, or an understanding with Washington that would acknowledge Moscow’s “natural” dominance over the former Soviet Union. Meanwhile, he is keeping the conflict in the wast on simmer and stirring trouble elsewhere hoping to get an opening. The Soviet Union also hoped for capitalism to rot away, the way Marx and Lenin had predicted. Unfortunately, it was the USSR that rotted away first. The same may happen to the Putin regime, but Ukrainians can’t be betting on it.

Melinda Haring | Q&A: Will Scandal Sink Poroshenko’s Second Term Chances?

On February 25, investigative journalists accused President Petro Poroshenko’s close associates of getting rich by smuggling spare parts for military equipment from Russia. The Bihus.Info report claims that the son of Oleh Hladkovskiy, deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, was the mastermind behind a scheme to buy spare parts from Russia in 2015. The year before, Russia annexed Crimea and occupies part of the Donbas. Bihus.Info alleges that Ukraine bought the goods from private companies linked to Hladkovskiy at inflated prices and that Ukroboronprom, the state company that oversees everything, knew the origin of the parts. Bihus.Info says that it received the information from anonymous sources. It was published weeks before Ukraine’s presidential election on March 31. Before the scandal broke, most polls put Poroshenko in second place. Support for the army has been one of Poroshenko’s main campaign themes, and he recently said that he wouldn’t allow anyone to steal from the army. We asked the Atlantic Council’s Ukraine experts and friends the following questions: How serious are the allegations? How will they impact the presidential race? Is it game over for Poroshenko? Should we be concerned about where the information came from?

Russian special services preparing fake exit polls in Ukraine – OSINT group – news politics | UNIAN

Ex-officer of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine, Colonel Yuriy Smishchuk and ex-officer of the Special Operations Department of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, retired Colonel Serhiy Lytvynenko have said Russian special services with the support of local groups of influence are preparing a campaign to spread false exit poll data to randomize the electoral process and create grounds for the Kremlin’s statement about the alleged illegitimacy of the election of the president of Ukraine. Stovepiping of fake exit poll data into the Ukrainian, Russian and Western media is planned in three stages.

Special services of the Russian Federation are preparing for the election campaign for the distribution of false exit polls in order to then declare the elections illegitimate, – IO

Russian intelligence services, with the support of local influential groups, are preparing a campaign to disseminate false expatrice data in Ukraine. The purpose is to announce elections illegitimate, and their results are false. This was stated by the former employee of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine Yuriy Smyshchuk, who was the former head of the Special Operations Department of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Sergey Litvinenko, reports Tsensor.NET with reference to ” Information Resistance”. “According to our data, political analysts from the Center for Political Conjuncture, Chesnakov, have developed recommendations for the Kremlin and pro-Russian forces in Ukraine to disseminate fake data of exit polls during the presidential election. It is envisaged to use false data of polling polls at polling stations to be announced in the evening March 31, in order to chaotize the election process and create grounds for the Kremlin’s statement that the president of Ukraine was illegitimate “, – said Smyshchuk. Джерело:https://censor.net.ua/ua/n3114660

Over 130,000 officers to secure order during presidential elections, – Avakov

According to the Minister, all the law enforcement officers are under great pressure from the politicians

UAWire – Ukraine’s Naftogaz achieves interim victory in the Crimean assets lawsuit against Russia

Naftogaz of Ukraine has achieved an interim victory in The Hague arbitration in its lawsuit against Russia regarding the seizure of assets in …

Naftogaz wins Hague Tribunal against Russia

The Hague Tribunal ruled for Naftogaz in case against Russia for lost assets after Crimea’s occupation

UAWire – Russia refuses to recognize the Hague Arbitration Court decision on Ukraine’s assets in Crimea

Russia does not recognize the decision the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague confirming Russia's liability for the loss of Naftogaz  …

Poland honors memory of Ukrainians killed in Pavlokom

On March 2, people honored the memory of the local Ukrainians who died at the hands of members of the Armia Krajowa, the dominant Polish resistance movement in Poland, occupied by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, during World War II, in the village of Pavlokom in Poland. This is reported by Ukrinform. About two thousand people arrived at the ceremony – members of the Ukrainian diaspora in Poland, Ukrainian diplomats, delegations from Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk regions, as well as representatives of local authorities. “Today at this place we ask ourselves the question: “Why did this happen?” And each of us knows the answer: because then there was no Ukrainian state, there was no unity. We are here today because we have a powerful state, we have a strong army, which protects the entire civilized world thousands of kilometers away from the invasion of the enemy so that it does not kill new and new generations,” said Oleg Synyutka, chairman of the Lviv Regional State Administration. He also stressed that Ukraine continues to take care of all Ukrainians who find themselves outside its borders, and also respects and preserves the memory of its people. Synyutka called on the Polish authorities to restore Ukrainian monuments destroyed in recent years. The tragedy in Pavlokom occurred at the beginning of March 1945. The units of the Armia Krajowa under the command of Yuzef Biss shot 366 villagers. The Communist government sentenced Biss to three years in prison.

UAWire – Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Constitutional Court ruling could lead to ‘crisis of trust’ with EU

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin believes that the EU will not revoke its visa-free regime with Ukraine in light of the Constitutional …

Ukraine rows back on anti-corruption law putting IMF aid in jeopardy

A decision by Ukraine’s constitutional court to row back on a key anti-corruption law may have repercussions for the country’s relationship with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

IMF technical mission to arrive in Kyiv on March 5

A technical mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will arrive in Kyiv on March 5 to discuss progress in the Ukrainian reforms under the Stand-By Arrangement. — Ukrinform.

Turkey expects to sign free trade deal with Ukraine soon – news economics | UNIAN

Turkey expects to sign a free trade area (FTA) agreement with Ukraine in the near future. Turkey is in talks on a free trade area with 17 countries now.

UAWire – Hungary plans to build a bridge to Ukraine

Hungary plans to build a new bridge over the Tisza River near the Transcarpathian city of Chop, stated the Embassy of Ukraine in Hungary. On Friday, March 1, the Deputy State Secretary for Regional and Border Cooperation of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry Peter Kiss and Hungarian Ambassador to Ukraine István Ijdyarto held a bilateral meeting at the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine. “The Hungarian side noted that a feasibility study will be conducted to build a new bridge over the Tisza near the city of Chop. Funding for the construction will be found after 2020,” the statement read. It is noted that efforts are currently made to reduce the transit time of the Mukachevo-Budapest train from seven to six hours.

President signs law declaring Kuyalnik Estuary of Odesa region a resort of state importance

During the working trip to Odesa region, President Petro Poroshenko signed the law declaring the natural area of Kuyalnik Estuary a resort of state importance. — Ukrinform.

Poroshenko: Odesa will be among leaders of tourism industry in Eastern Europe

Odesa will be among the leaders of tourist routes in Eastern Europe, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko believes.

Poroshenko expects number of Ukrainian-European projects to grow

The movement of Ukraine towards Europe will help increase the implementation of joint Ukrainian-European projects, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has stated.

Airport wars – LB.ua news portal

Airport wars. The problem of excessive airport border control of passengers has exacerbated to become a public problem between Ukraine and Israel. Israelis have long complained about Ukrainians posing as tourists while actually coming to work illegally, and Ukrainian border guards noticed an increase in the number of unscrupulous tourists from Israel. As usual, politicians benefited from this incident. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Uzhhorod airport to resume operation after three-year pause – LB.ua news portal

Uzhhorod airport to resume operation after three-year pause. The first flight to Kyiv will be made on 15 March. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

UAWire – London court seizes Firtash’s mansions as part of Russian VTB Bank lawsuit

The London court ordered to seize two of the businessman Dmytro Firtash mansions, reports the Russian newspaper Kommersant. Interim measures on …

Ugly poverty’s face: Over 40% of Ukrainians save on food

he savings rate on utility costs is the answer to a question why the utility debt is growing

English – Ukraine Global FDI Reports

Ukrainians will vote in national elections this March, and polls suggest all viable presidential candidates are vowing to carry out the westward-facing mission of the 2014 revolution In February 2014, thousands of Ukrainians took to Kiev’s Independence Square to demand change. They wanted a closer relationship with Europe, more economic opportunities, a non-corrupt state and freedom from Russian control. The protests toppled the pro-Russian administration, triggering elections that businessman Petro Poroshenko won on a platform of becoming a more integral part of the European community. Meanwhile, Russia illegally annexed and occupied parts of the Ukrainian territory. Ukraine made a sovereign decision to promote the free world based on democratic values and rules Petro Poroshenko President “Ukraine made a sovereign decision to live its way and promote the free world based on democratic values and rules,” said President Poroshenko at the 2018 United Nations General Assembly. “Russia punishes Ukraine for this decision.” Despite the reaction of its powerful neighbor, Ukraine continues to push on in its quest to create a better country. So far, the shift has quantifiably improved many aspects of Ukrainian life – including business and investment. In 2012, Ukraine was ranked 152nd in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ratings, now it is 71st.

Ukraine’s driving force of technological culture – Ukraine Global FDI Reports

Ukraine is now firmly established as a destination for technology companies, thanks to its convincing combination of top IT expertise and competitive costs Whatever the upheavals of the past decade, Ukrainian companies are swimming in the fast-moving stream of the technology sector. Founded in 2009 by two Kiev-based programmers, mistake-fixing application Grammarly is a world leader and the tip of a startup iceberg in today’s IT scene in Ukraine.

We see the insidious opposition of the Russian Orthodox Church to the recognition of the OCU, – Epiphanius

he head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Epiphanius (Dumenko), said that no local church still recognized the CPU because of Russia’s strong pressure. Moscow is struggling to disgrace the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, and does its utmost to prevent the Greek churches from recognizing the OCU. This was stated in an interview with the Air Force head of the local church metropolitan of Kiev Epiphanius, reports Tsensor. NET. “We are optimistic, it’s all a matter of time.” I talked to the hierarchs of various local churches, including the Hellas and the Cypriots, and therefore believed that this process would be faster. But, unfortunately, Moscow attaches a lot of effort to this They actually process every bishop of a particular local Orthodox church, convinced that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has no future, gathering various historical facts, scaring hierarchs of other churches, so that they would not be involved in the process of recognition of autocephaly of Ukraine nskoyi Orthodox Church. We now see a furious opposition at international level for the recognition of our autocephaly “- said Epiphanius. “I believe that gradually, with the help of God, will be the recognition that several churches will be recognized within a few months, but it will be. In March, the meeting of the Bishops’ Cathedral of the Ellada Church will take place, we will hear their answer, and then we will see how we to act in the future “, – added the Metropolitan. He noted that on February 18 the Synod of the Cyprus Church adopted a statement that practically recognized the autocephaly of the Ukrainian church and criticized the actions of the Russian Orthodox Church. “They criticize Moscow and its actions, clearly stating that one of the leaders has no right to exclude from the diptychs of another primate, this is not a manifestation of Christian humility. We must all cooperate in the spirit of Christian humility and love, and from Moscow this is now in the Orthodox world there is no, it opposes practically all, Moscow destroys unity! ” – emphasized Epiphanius. He said that PTSU conducts negotiations with other churches in a non-public plane, conveying true information about themselves. “Since Moscow pours a portion of its false information, we are also trying to convey our point of view: why we have the right (on autocephaly), who we are in Ukraine, that we do not seize the temples … For Moscow’s main argument is that the newly formed” the so-called church “captures the temples of the canonical UOC”, which is not really the case, it is an integral part of the Russian Orthodox Church. We dispel the myths that are now propagating among the Orthodox Russian Orthodox Church at the international level, “added Epiphanius. Джерело: https://censor.net.ua/ua/n3114401

Epiphanius: We will transition from the Russian imperial traditions of worship to the Greek tradition, but gradually

The Orthodox Church of Ukraine (PCU) will deviate from Russian imperial traditions and move towards the Greek “artificially taken away” in the Ukrainian Church. As informs Tsensor.NET , this was stated in an interview to the Ukrainian Air Forces Service on March 1, the head of the CPU, Metropolitan Epiphanius (Dumenko). “We have to move away from those Russian imperial traditions that have been imposed for a long time. When we visit the churches of the Greek tradition, we see that all those traditions existed in the Ukrainian Church during the time of Peter the Grave,” said Epiphanius. Read also: We can not call sin “good,” Epiphanius of Communion for representatives of the LGBT community. He noted that it is a question of Greek traditions in liturgical practice, theological education and the social service of the Church. “But everything will be done gradually so as not to resist the conservative part of the believers who do not perceive the reforms as such. We do not talk about changing the foundations of faith, dogmatics, we are talking about good reforms, we have to do enlightenment, explain to people that we must become the best that love should prevail among us “, – said the head of the PCU. Джерело: https://censor.net.ua/ua/n3114489

Two priests in Bukovina fought because of the parish transition to the OCU

Most members of the church community voted for the transition to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. But the believers from the neighboring villages, who supported the former UOC-MP, came to the temple. The fight took place in the village of Berezhonka, Vyzhnytsya district, reports Tsensor.NET with reference to UNIAN. The faithful of the parish church of the holy apostle and evangelist John the Theologian decided to move from subordination of the former Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. At the meeting of the church community attended by 192 residents of the village Berezhonka. 164 of them voted for the transition to the CPC, 18 against, 10 abstained. Proponents of the former UOC-MP from neighboring villages – Zamosty, Milieva, Korytne – came to the church. They opposed the transition of the community to the CPC. During the meeting of the parish there was a conflict between the priest of the Church of St. John the Theologian, Father Nikolai, and the dean of the Vyzhnytsya district, Ilya Kninitsky. Father Nikolai accused the dean that he deliberately incited people and is a schisma. Later he struck Eliya Kninitsky, as a result of which he was injured in the face. The National Police of the Chernivtsi region informs that information on the controversy of the citizens was recorded in the Journal of Unified Accounting. Police check information, set participants and circumstances of the incident. This is the fourteenth church in the Chernivtsi region, which decided on the transition to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. In total in the region about 400 churches are subordinated to the former UOC-MP. Джерело:https://censor.net.ua/ua/n3114623

Priit Rohtmets | The Autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Future of the Eastern Orthodox Church – ICDS

The Ukrainian Church may have won a battle, but not the war

Bartholomew refused to hold the Synod of the Churches of Orthodox Church to discuss autocephaly of the OCU: “It will be in vain”

Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, refused to gather the cathedral of the primate of the Orthodox churches to discuss the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which insisted on a number of pro-Moscow Orthodox churches. According to Tsensor.NET , referring to the site of the Russian Orthodox Church, Bartholomew replied to the corresponding request of the primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Church, which does not recognize the autocephaly of the CPCU. Read on “Tsensor.NET”: Epiphanius: We will deviate from the Russian imperial traditions of worship to the Greek, but gradually In an appropriate letter, the Ecumenical Patriarch writes that in Constantinople “read carefully” the letter of the Patriarch of Antioch from December 31, 2018. “In response, we inform you that after the four Orthodox churches from the church and theological point of view refused to attend the Universal Ecumenical Council without reason, why there are no excuses, and your ancient church was one of them, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has a serious basis. refrain from such a cathedral at a general Orthodox level that would be in vain, because it would only lead to the agreement that the participants would disagree with each other “, – noted Bartholomew. He also added that all other newly created autocephalous churches were also approved without a general discussion by autocephalous churches. Recall that on December 15, 2018, at the Unity Council, the Metropolitan of Pereyaslavl and Bila Tserkva Epiphany, the representative of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, was elected as the primate of the Ukrainian Local Orthodox Church . Джерело: https://censor.net.ua/ua/n3114587

Serbian Orthodox Church doesn’t recognize new Church of Ukraine – statement — RT Newsline

The Serbian Orthodox Church has said in a statement that it does not recognize the new Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Serbia knows only the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate, the statement added.

How an Orthodox church provided shelter from the storm in Kiev

Matthew Brooks wins this week’s travel writing competition, and £250, for his account of escaping the bitter cold of Kiev in winter to a warm welcome in a Ukrainian Orthodox church. A block of ice the size of a microwave had just fallen off the adjacent roof, making a terrible thud on the bonnet of a parked Soviet banger. “Let’s get inside,” said Lili. For the first time that day, I agreed with her. Having just landed in Kiev, we had decided to walk off the post-flight bickering in the city’s backstreets; now, hugging the wall, clambering over piled-up snow studded with cigarettes, we joined a group heading inside. The monotony of the trashed banger’s car alarm was replaced by the monotony of a human voice. We had entered a dark wooden hallway and followed the others towards the sound; the sudden warmth and absence of light created a different anxiety.

Ukrainian Orthodox Archbishop Arrested In Crimea

Russian security officials have detained the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the Russia-annexed Crimean Peninsula.

De-facto authorities in Russia-occupied Crimea detain Archbishop Klyment of Simferopol – news politics | UNIAN

De-facto authorities in Russia-occupied Crimea have detained Archbishop Klyment, or Clement (Kushch) of Simferopol and Crimea at the central bus station in Simferopol. He was going to attend court hearings on the case of Ukrainian political prisoner Pavlo Hryb in Russia’s Rostov-on-Don. De-facto authorities in Russia-occupied Crimea have detained Archbishop Klyment, or Clement (Kushch) of Simferopol and Crimea at the central bus station in Simferopol. According to a recent update, he was on the way to a local police station, the website of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has said. Archbishop Klyment, who is the head of the Orthodox mission to help victims of human rights violations and persons deprived of their freedom, was already in a bus when he was detained. He was going to attend court hearings on the case of Ukrainian political prisoner Pavlo Hryb in Russia’s Rostov-on-Don.

Russian officers detain bishop of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church in occupied Crimea

The bishop intended to visit the hearing of Pavlo Gryb, the arrested in Russian Ukrainian political prisoner, in Rostov-on Don. The Russian fighters detained Klyment, the archbishop of the Crimean eparchy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, in Simferopol. The press service of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine reports this. “On March 3, 2019, the Crimean and Simferopol archbishop Klyment (Kushch) was detained by the Russian police at the bus station in Simferopol. The latest news – he is being brought to the Kyiv district police department”, – the report said.

Russian security officials voice official reason of Ukrainian Archbishop’s arrest

The archbishop of the Crimean Diocese of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine was detained in the occupied Crimea allegedly because of theft in the church

The occupants accuse Klyment of stealing from the church, but the real reason for the detention – a trip to see Hryb – Denisov

Ombudsman Lyudmila Denisova was able to contact Archbishop Simferopol and Crimean Klyment detainees in the occupied Simferopol. She wrote about it in Facebook , reports Censor. NET. “As soon as I was able to contact the archbishop of Simferopol and the Crimean Clement, who was illegally detained by the occupation police at the bus station in Simferopol, according to Clement, he is now in one of the police departments of Simferopol,” she wrote. Джерело: https://censor.net.ua/ua/n3114664

Occupants say they arrested Archbishop Clement in Simferopol because of theft in his church

Police in the occupied Crimea claim that they received a phone call about the theft in the temple, whose rector is Bishop Clement. According to the archbishop, they invented this version half an hour after they were taken to the department. About this, Archbishop of Simferopol and Crimea, detained in the occupied Simferopol, told the BBC’s BBC service, reports Tsensor . NET . “On Tuesday, considering that there is a court decision that I can visit Pavlo Mushroom in the SIZO, I decided to go to sacrament and confess. But after I got down to the bus, the police came from the next station of the bus station, asked to I got out of the bus. My bus was searched on the bus, “said the bishop. Already in the next part of the bus station began to find out his personality, called up an outfit police and sent to the central district parish. “A turning point for a 20-minute walk went out and said that I was waiting for the investigator, because a call came from an unknown man who said that he was robbing a church in Simferopol on Sebastopol Street, that is, according to their logic, someone called and said that they were abducting my church” , – said the archbishop. Now Bishop Clement is in the police station. A lawyer came to him, they reported in the Orthodox Church of Ukraine . Джерело: https://censor.net.ua/ua/n3114659

With the detention of Archbishop Kliment, the Russian regime has “sunk through the bottom” – Mufti Said Ismagilov

Mufti of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Ukraine Said Ismagilov commented on the detention of archbishop Clement in the occupied Simferopol. The mufti of the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of Ukraine Said Ismagilov called “another breakthrough in the bottom of the immorality of the Russian regime” the detention of Russian archbishop of the Crimean Eparchy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (CPC) Clement by the Russian law enforcers in Crimea. He wrote about this on his page in Facebook, reports Tsensor.NET . “The detention in Simferopol of the Archbishop of the Crimean and Simferopol CPC Clement is another” punching the bottom “of the immorality of the Russian regime. They can not frighten because of the removal of the temple, they decided to intimidate personally,” Ismagilov said.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Donbas Occupiers Now Doing to Ukrainian Church What They Accuse Kyiv of Doing to Moscow One

Paul Goble Staunton, February 28 – The so-called Donetsk Peoples Republic is preparing to liquidate all structures loyal to the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine by expelling its priests and seizing their churches, exactly the kind of actions Donetsk and Moscow without basis accuse Ukrainian officials of doing, Dmitry Kirillov says. The Radio Svoboda journalist says that at present there are 36 churches, a bishopric House of Mercy, and the bishopric headquarters in Donetsk. All are to be closed and their officials expelled from Donetsk as of March 1 because they have not registered with the powers that be there (svoboda.org/a/29792440.html). As of now, Kirillov continues, this policy of the Donetsk Peoples Republic has not been adopted by the Luhansk Peoples Republic despite the fact that both are controlled by Moscow. But both entities have a track record of banning churches, seizing their assets and expelling their leaders. Over the last year, for example, both the DNR and the LNR have done so against the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Baptists, and the New Life Church. The moves against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are an extension of what has been going on with regard to these Protestant groups. Archbishop Serhii who oversees Donetsk and Mariupol for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, says that the Russian occupiers are taking these steps despite the fact that there have not been any provocative actions by the Ukrainian church which simply continues to do its job of helping people and conducting religious services. But the occupiers don’t want any independent religious life there, the archbishop says, and they have already turned off the electricity, water and phone services to Ukrainian churches in preparation for closing them down entirely. Only three Ukrainian priests remain, but they are by super-human efforts continuing to serve 80 percent of the remaining parishes. What is in fact happening, Serhii says, is that the Moscow-organized DNR is “forcing us to go into the catacombs” as believers often had to do in Soviet times. What Russian officials are now doing is what they falsely accuse Ukrainian ones of, the archbishop continues. “As the leader of a bishopric,” he says, “I haven’t provoked a single act of seizure of a church of the Moscow Patriarchate” in Ukraine. Such thoughts have not even come into my mind, he continues. “On the contrary,” Serhii says, “I explain to parishioners all the time that … one must also understand the priests of the Moscow Patriarchate and that unity of the faithful is better than remaining on opposite sides of the barricades.”

Orthodox Official Compares Abortion Numbers in Russia to WWII Losses

“How many have we killed ourselves? More than in World War II,” the archpriest was quoted as saying. Russia’s population has suffered more from abortion than it did from its losses during World War II, a Russian Orthodox official in charge of family affairs has said. Russia legalized abortion in 1955 and has the second-highest abortion rate in the world after China. While Russia’s anti-abortion movement has largely failed to change the law, it has gained momentum in recent years, spurred by the rise of the Orthodox Church as a powerful political force.

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.

After Putin’s cartoons and Kiselev’s comments, the “playful” song became a completely official summary of the “Doctrine of Putin,” a deacon of the Russian Orthodox Church Kurayev regarding the words about the [nuclear] bombing of the United States

Performed by the Concert Hall of St. Petersburg at the St. Isaac’s Cathedral during a festive concert on February 23, the song about atomic bombing in the United States conveys the essence of potential Putin’s plans and ambitions and is not at all humorous. As the Tsensorz.NET reports , Andrei Kuraev, deacon of the Russian Orthodox Church, wrote about this in his blog. “They now claim backwardness that they were just joking, but while they were singing a humorous song – nobody in the room was laughing at. And after it, its cultural public applauded seriously and without mockery, and the silence of the federal media about the scandal is also very prominent,” he said. According to him, against the background of the rest of Russian propaganda, such a song is perceived as an outline of Putin’s Military Doctrine. “After Putin’s cartoons and Kiselev’s visual comments, after introducing to the Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation the thesis that the Kremlin considers it possible to respond to a non-nuclear attack by a nuclear attack, and even simply threaten its government (” when the very existence of the state is put at risk “) – the humorous song has become perceived as a completely official summary of the “Doctrine of Putin,” – wrote Kurayev. The deacon also noted that the song clearly shows the relationship between the standard of living of the population and their desire to kill. “That people would not mind to kill and die with jokes, as in this song – their salary should be equal to the same three rubles, and they should consider that the poor people who hate their slum dwellers are bombarded, as well as those in which they grew themselves Whoever does not value his life – will not appreciate and strangers. So, the worse in the country, the more “volunteers” are in the hired killer of the PMC, the more so on the pawns on the geopolitical board. “Someone is in the plus,” he summed up.

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.

 

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