Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
Some good observations by Petraeus and Whitehouse. Felgenhauer and Gogun on Putin’s preparation of the Russian public for a major war. Atamanenko, Vedayev, and Fedorov on how espionage paranoia in Russia now parallels the pre-WW2 Stalin period, and use the term “war psychosis”. The regime is trying to distract the public from its own escalating domestic political woes, following a similar pattern to the NSDAP in Germany during the late 1930s, or Stalin at that same time.
AW&ST on US preparations to likely convert existing cruise missiles for the nuclear role – Russia’s INF play was foolish as the US can outproduce Russia in cruise missiles very easily. Multiple articles on NATO and Russia. RAND EX shows US capability deficits (that strategists have now complained about for over a decade).
Major protests in Russia over new Internet censorship laws – the posters and placards are a must read, this regime is trying as hard as it can to destabilize the country. Update on Russian fake news and trolls. Update on NATO debate and Russian meddling in Europe.
More Ankara statements on the S-400 procurement.
In Ukraine, Pres Poroshenko makes a major public statement on the INF, or rather its absence: “We also got rid of certain restrictions and obligations, which were observed earlier. We are no longer bound by any restrictions on the flight range of our missiles or their capacity. And let the enemy know about it. We need precision-guided missile weapons. We are no longer going to repeat the mistakes of the Budapest memorandum. Precision-guided missile weapons of a high radius of action, capable of striking targets far in the rear of the enemy occupying our state. This will make the aggressor more restrained, and our defense will become more reliable. For me, the security of Ukrainians is above all”. Put differently, Ukraine will push ahead with its deep strike focussed GLCM and TBM programs, allowing them to inflict damage on critical assets deep inside Russia – the Soviets’ best hardened facilities all ended up outside Russia when the USSR folded.
Crimea and Donbas updates – Col. Girkin is going broke having criticized Putin over Donbas. Updates on defense programs and the corruption debate.
Election update – a great many articles by Western MSM, some very good, some less so. Politics and economy updates.
An excellent digest by Prof Goble on the repression of traditional Orthodox believers in Russia, and their underground“Catacomb Church” – this is so like the Oprichinina period.
Corruption is not only one of the most potent weapons wielded by America’s authoritarian rivals, it is also their Achilles’ heel.
Russia’s new military doctrine, presented by Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov on 2 March, stipulates that the country must strive to be superior “to any potential enemy”, according to an article by the Russian military analyst and columnist Pavel Felgenhauer for Novaya Gazeta. “We must make every effort to ensure our technical, technological and organizational superiority over any potential enemy,” Gerasimov said during a speech at the Academy of Military Science in Moscow. The Russian general explained that “the difficulty with modern weaponry is that to start producing it on short notice when the fighting begins is unlikely to succeed, and so everything that is needed must be produced in the required quantity and delivered to the troops already in peace time”. The article’s author notes that Gerasimov also presented a report on “the wars of the future” at a session of the Academy of Military Science in January 2013. “The report was sealed, and within a year or two, it became known in the West as ‘Gerasimov’s doctrine’ on so-called ‘hybrid war’ after the successful special army operation to annex Crimea, the war in the Donbas, and other dramatic developments of the ‘Russian spring’,” Felgenhauer writes. The report spoke about ‘asymmetric actions’ and the use of both military and non-military information methods to destabilize the enemy. The columnist observes that the new “Gerasimov’s doctrine” of 2019 has changed its tone, using terminology from the peak of the Cold War. “Now the US and its allies are termed ‘aggressors’, prepared to attack treacherously at any moment, using the ‘technology of the color revolutions and mild force’, as well as ‘probable enemies’, just like fifty years ago,” the author writes. Gerasimov’s doctrine also refers to the Pentagon having a new “Trojan horse” strategy: “using the protest potential of the fifth column, the US is destabilizing the situation, for example in Russia, and simultaneously using high-precision weaponry to attack the most important facilities”. “It is clear that now civilian protests, and any dissatisfaction in general, can be categorized if desired as treason and collusion with the aggressor, just like it always was during the Soviet government,” the author notes. Gerasimov claims that the basis of Russia’s “response” to threats is “a strategy of active defense… a system of proactive measures to neutralize threats to the state security”. “It is clear that comparatively, the moderate previous ‘Gerasimov’s doctrine’, with its emphasis on hybrid activity, is no longer suitable. Of course, any ‘asymmetric, political, economic, information and other non-military measures’ remain in the arsenal, but preparation for warfare with the Armed Forces comprises the primary content of the military strategy,” Gerasimov argued. The author of the article believes that it is a large-scale war that the Russian general has in mind. Felgenhauer interprets Gerasimov’s statement about Russia’s “supremacy over any potential enemy” to mean that Russia wants to surpass the united forces of the rest of humanity. This was the goal held by the General Staff of the Soviet Union, which collapsed in 1991. “The new Gerasimov’s doctrine 2.0 has been amended significantly towards intensification compared to the 2013 model of Gerasimov’s doctrine, and the General Staff, as during the Cold War, is imagining external threats or exaggerating them tenfold in order to justify Russia’s rampant militarization. The end result of the new attempt to attain supremacy ‘over any potential enemy’ will probably be just as deplorable as it was in 1991,” the expert concludes.
Paul Goble Staunton, March 9 – Two out of three Russians now believe that their country will be involved in a major war (a-nalgin.livejournal.com/1661358.html), the result of a concerted effort by Vladimir Putin and his regime to convince them of that, an effort that in many ways resembles the one Stalin engaged in during the late 1930s. Just how close the parallels are is suggested by historian Aleksandr Gogun in an article describing the Soviet dictator’s declarations in 1938 and 1939, parallels that are not only for other countries that may be the victims of Moscow’s aggression but also for Russian elites (svoboda.org/a/29806629.html). There were two key events in those years which followed the end of the Great Terror, the historian says, the appearance in 1938 of the Short Course of the History of the VKP(b) which articulated the idea that the USSR could engage in an aggressive war and not just a defensive one and the 18th Congress of the Bolshevik Party in March 1939 which emphasized this point. Just before the Short Course was released at the end of 1938, Stalin declared: “Bolsheviks are not simply pacificists” who fight only if attacked. “That is untrue. There are cases when Bolsheviks themselves will attack if the war is just, if circumstances are suitable, and if conditions favor the outcome … When we speak about defense this is a veil.” We use it because all governments do, Stalin said. “When ‘you live with wolves, you have to howl as they do.’ But it would be stupid” to act according to one’s words rather than one’s interests. Shortly thereafter, Gorgun points out, the 18th congress assembled, a meeting to which “historians up to now have not devoted attention to even though undoubtedly it was even from the formal side of things, the main political event in the USSR in the year of the start of World War II.” Its stenographic record shows that Stalin’s argument about war was at the center of it. In his speech to the congress, Stalin said that the Soviet Union must avoid being drawn into major conflicts but should be open to the possibility that its forces could be successfully deployed in smaller ones, a message that was echoed by all speakers at the meeting, as Gorgun details. But more than that, this message guided Moscow’s policies in 1939-1940, with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact keeping Moscow out of a major conflict with Germany while allowing Moscow to occupy portions of Poland, seize the Baltic countries and western Ukraine and Belarus, and launch a war against Finland. “The speeches and atmosphere of this congress,” the historian continues, allowed Stalin and his minions to send a clear message to the Soviet population: war was coming, and Moscow would exploit that development as best it could, not simply defend against possible attacks – a message Putin has made delivering in recent months as well.
Paul Goble Staunton, March 10 – Vladimir Putin announced last week that Russia’s security services had uncovered 594 spies during the course of 2018, “a colossal figures comparable to the number sent into the USSR by the Germans” in the spring of 1991, according to Igor Atamanenko, a veteran of Russia’s counter-espionage services (ura.news/articles/1036277694). Andrey Vedayev, a historian of the Russian and Soviet intelligence services, adds that the number Putin mentioned is far greater than at any time during the Cold War. “Counter-intelligence in our country,” he adds, “always was very powerful.” The large number of spies caught highlights the multitude of threats facing Russia. Talking about the number of spies one has caught is always a two-edged sword for governments. On the one hand, it highlights the vigilance of the government; but on the other, it shows that foreign regimes are ready and even able to penetrate these defenses at least for a time. Only if one wants to whip up a kind of war psychosis are such numbers an unqualified good. In reporting about this, Leonid Fedorov, a journalist for the URA.ru news agency, also addresses the issues of what foreign spies are looking for at present, what are the regions in which they are most frequently found, how they are identified, and what is done with them after they are caught. Regarding what the spies are looking for, Viktor Baranets, a military observer for Komsomolskaya pravda, says, that foreignspies in Russia at the present time are looking above all for compromat on key members of the elite, then economic problems, and only in the third place, military issues. As to where they are to be found, Atamanenko says that they are found most often in the north-west portion of the country, in areas bordering Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, while Baranets says they are also numerous in the non-Russian republics where the spies want to know how non-Russians will react to any Moscow decision. Concerning how spies are caught, Vedyayev reminds that this is “a state secret,” something no one is supposed to talk about in public because such talk would help foreign spies avoid detection. And as to what happens to spies after they are caught, the answer is simple: they get serious prison terms or, if they are foreigners, eventually exchanged.
The U.S. Defense Department will begin fabricating components for new ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) systems formerly banned under the terms of the now-suspended Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a spokesman confirms to Aviation Week. The move re-establishes U.S. manufacturing for a major class of weapons after a 32-year hiatus only weeks after the Trump administration announced on Feb. 2 a decision to suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty. The Defense Department also reveals to Aviation Week that research and development on non-nuclear GLCM concepts began in late 2017. Until now, that development work stopped short of fabrication activity, as building components for new missiles would have been “inconsistent” with the terms of the INF Treaty, a Pentagon spokesperson said. But the resumption of U.S. GLCM component manufacturing for the first time since the 1980s comes with two important caveats, the spokesperson said. The research and development work covers only conventional GLCM technology and excludes nuclear weapons, the spokesperson said. Secondly, the U.S. government remains open to canceling the GLCM development programs. “This research and development is designed to be reversible, should Russia return to full and verifiable compliance before we withdraw from the Treaty in August 2019,” the Pentagon spokesperson told Aviation Week. The U.S. and the U.S.S.R. signed the INF Treaty in 1987 to defuse a tense, decade-long standoff in Europe. It began in the late 1970s when the Soviet military deployed the road-mobile RSD-10 Pioneer (NATO designation: SS-20), an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) system, in Eastern Europe. The Carter administration responded by announcing plans to deploy medium-range Pershing II missiles and intermediate-range BGM-109G GLCMs in Western Europe.
Czech Republic Defense Minister Lubomír Metnar stated that Russia is a main threat to NATO, along with world terrorism and cyber-attacks. “ …
Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid stripped serviceman Denis Metsavas of all military ranks after he was convicted of spying for Russian …
Raimonds Vejonis is worried about ‘the powerful neighbor’
Paul Goble Staunton, March 9 – There are so many aspects to Vladimir Putin’s “hybrid” war against the West that it is remarkably easy for Moscow to hide what it is doing one place by doing something else elsewhere. That makes the annotated checklist of his “arsenal” of such measures provided by Tallinn’s International Centre for Defense and Security especially valuable. That listing, contained in a 3800-word article prepared by analysts at the Centre under the direction of Yevgeny Tsibulenko and Dmitry Teperik, focuses first on what Moscow has done in Ukraine, what it is doing elsewhere, and, importantly, on cases where foreign societies and governments have defeated it (icds.ee/ru/gibridnyj-arsenal-kremlja). The article takes the form of a list of 10 features of Putin’s arsenal of “hybrid” means: 1. “Ukraine is the polygon where Russia tests the weapons and tactics of hybrid aggression which it then applies to the destabilization of the situation in the US and the EU countries. The methods Russia uses are often the classic ‘active measures’ from the KGB handbook.” 2. “Russia can seek to destabilize the situation even before the conclusion of elections in Ukraine in order to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the newly-elected President.” 3. “Yet another Russian means to destabilize Ukrainian elections it eh creation of fake pages of oblast and district organizations, political parties and candidates for disseminating unreliable information over the course of entire campaign.” 4. Moscow can again as it did in 2013 force the Kyiv political leadership to take actions that will provoke popular reactions and then seek to exploit those reactions to its own ends. 5. Social networks can become the instruments of geopolitical influence which Russia fully used at the time of the annexation of Crimea and the unleashing of war in the east of Ukraine.” 6. “The Kremlin will use the religious factor in the presidential elections in Ukraine.” 7. Moscow will use similar hybrid tactics to undermine the unity of Europe, to destabilize the EU and NATO and to legitimatize and strengthen its authority on the international scene. 8. To that end, “Russia will use a very broad spectrum of levers for influence on European countries from harsh ones like military threats or economic and energy blackmail to soft including a network of Russian and pro-Russian agents of influence, and also hybrid ones, including influence via the spread of disinformation in the mass media and so on.” The authors list the following means: high level contacts, business and economic links, energy leverage, support for pro-Russian politicians, cooperation with and support for ultra-right groups, disinformation through mass media, espionage, the use of migrants from the former Soviet space, and any unique opportunities a country may present. 9. This arsenal of Russian hybrid war can and has been countered via the mass media and social media, the expulsion of Russian diplomats, and the identification and punishment of Russian spies. 10. Further, it can be countered by holding Russia accountable for its violation of international law in Ukraine and elsewhere.
Colonel of the Reserve Marek Wrzosek called the Kaliningrad region of Russia a “military scarecrow” because of the number of weapons deployed there. The Colonel noted that Moscow has recently been increasing equipment stationed near the western borders of the country. Earlier this week, air defenses in the Kaliningrad region were reinforced with a regiment of S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile systems. Wrzosek also referred to reports by Russian media in early March regarding the transfer of Su-27 fighter aircraft to the region as a response to NATO’s buildup of forces. “The Kaliningrad region represents sort of a defense border with the equipment of the last generation. Russians use it as a scarecrow,” the Colonel told Polskie Radio. According to Wrzosek, this territory has become not only a military base, but also Russia’s “eyes and ears.” He is convinced that Moscow seeks both to defend its regions and to control the territories outside. In May last year, the National Interest reported that Kaliningrad was “armed to the teeth” and that it was NATO’s worst nightmare. Commenting on the publication, Deputy of the State Duma Yury Shvytkin stressed that any of Russia’s actions regarding the deployment of weapons within the country were an internal affair. The parliamentarian also noted that all of Russia’s actions regarding the protections of its borders are performed in strict compliance with international law.
By Chriss Street The RAND Corporation’s annual ‘Red on Blue’ wargame simulation found that the United States would be a loser in a conventional confrontation with Russia and China. The RAND Corporation think tank in Santa Monica, California has hosted annual “Red on Blue” wargame simulations since 1952. The exercise purpose is to understand how the United States represented by ‘Blue’ can counter ‘Red’ adversaries. By modeling how adversaries could use of asymmetric strategies or weapons, Pentagon planners are forced to deal with unfamiliar threats. The goal is educating the military on how to formulate strategies for training and response for emerging threats and capabilities. But RAND analyst David Ochmanek told the Breaking Defense that with Blue representing the current U.S. military capabilities and Red representing the combined capabilities of Russia and China in a conventional war, “Blue gets its ass handed to it.” RAND’s ‘America’s Security Deficit’ released on March 7 found that despite spending $700 billion a year on an array of superweapons including stealth aircraft and 1,100-foot carriers, the U.S. forces “suffer heavy losses in one scenario after another and still can’t stop Russia or China” from overrunning U.S. allies in the Baltics or Taiwan. To counter President Reagan’s increase in U.S. defense spending to 5 percent of GDP in the 1980s to fund the launch of his Strategic Defense Initiative, the Soviet Union spiked defense spending to 20% of GDP. With the USSR suffering a financial collapse in 1991, the U.S. military was rated as omnipotent.
Paul Goble Staunton, March 10 – Fifteen thousand Russians in Moscow and hundreds more in cities and towns across the Russian Federation went into the streets to protest against the Putin regime’s plans to restrict Internet freedom. The placards they carried and the comments they made say everything about what they feel – and they should make the Kremlin nervous. Below is a selection of those reported by various Russian sites, which fortunately are still free to do so:
- “This is the weakest, more shameful and most petty power which ever existed in Russia.”
- “The Internet is the Last Line of Defense.”
- “If they take away the Internet, what will be left?”
- “Hands off the Internet!”
- “You can’t block everyone!”
- “This is Our Country: Russia will be Free!”
- “Spring is inevitable!”
- “Are we going to catch up and surpass Belarus?”
- “Back to the USSR”
- “1937 is Returning”
- “Repressions Reflect Powers’ Fear of the People”
- “Comrade! Demand Internet Freedom!”
- “If They Hate a Free Internet, It Means We’ve Already Won!”
- “We need a new tsar”
- “I don’t respect [the government]”
- “The telephone is the weapon of the proletariat”
- “The Runet will not become a second television”
- “Today, the Runet with a Chinese firewall; tomorrow, Russia as a Chinese colony”
(rusmonitor.com/samaya-slabaya-pozornaya-i-zhalkaya-vlast-kotoraya-kogda-libo-byla-v-rossii.html,usmonitor.com/internet-poslednyaya-liniya-oborony-miting-protiv-izolyacii-runeta-10-marta-2019-14-00.html, belsat.eu/ru/news/esli-otobrat-internet-chto-ostanetsya-kak-moskva-protestovala-protiv-izolyatsii-runeta/, svobodaradio.livejournal.com/3887226.html, sibreal.org/a/29813071.html,dailystorm.ru/photo/miting-protiv-izolyacii-runeta, ehorussia.com/new/node/18066, and the-village.ru/village/city/gallery-city/343741-izolation-runet).
The government says the bill will boost security but activists say it will stifle dissent.
Thousands of activists have held protest actions across Russia against a new bill that its critics say is part of an effort by President Vladimir Putin’s government to increase state control over t…
Thousands rallied in downtown Moscow to protest an Internet bill on March 10. Similar rallies took place across Russia. Critics of the bill say it will increase state control over the Internet and facilitate censorship. Protesters in Moscow chanted slogans such as “Russia Without Putin” and “Russia Will Be Free.” The police detained several people, including RFE/RL’s Russian Service correspondent Andrei Kiselyov.
The Kremlin tries to take control of Russia’s internet traffic.
When policing online behavior in Russia, law enforcement agencies enjoy total compliance from the country’s most popular social network, Vkontakte, which coughs up users’ personal data whenever requested. This information — account registration times, linked email addresses and phone numbers, and IP addresses — constitutes sufficient evidence in court to prove that an individual is responsible for the content posted on their account. When it comes to Internet services based abroad, however, there’s no such cooperation, and Russia’s police have to get creative. In a new report for the website Mediazona, journalist Alexander Borodikhin summarizes 10 cases brought against individuals who allegedly violated Russia’s Internet laws by sharing illegal materials on foreign-operated social networks. Meduza summarizes this report.
With approval from Russian lawmakers Putin now expected to quickly sign new laws which many believe will help him further silence dissent
Russian internet trolls appear to be shifting strategy in their efforts to disrupt the 2020 U.S. elections, promoting politically divisive messages through phony social media accounts instead of creating propaganda themselves, cybersecurity experts say. While covert efforts to amplify divisive content originated by others isn’t a new technique, hackers and trolls seem to be embracing it heavily in advance of the next U.S. presidential election.
Putin’s trust rating has fallen to a new lower level. After the speech of the Russian president before the Federal Assembly in late February, his rating fell to 32%, reported Radio Liberty with a reference to the data of a poll conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM). The Vedomosti newspaper, in turn, reported that Putin’s message, according to the Kremlin, was expected to slow down the slide in Putin’s rating. According to the newspaper, that was why the presidential administration had initially planned to organize a meeting between the president and the deputies in March, which would coincide with the fifth anniversary of the annexation of the Crimea. But the plans changed. According to a source of the newspaper, the Kremlin had rushed “to stop the decline in ratings”. In January, the Russian Public Opinion Research Center already recorded a historic decline in Putin’s rating, in particular, people’s trust for Putin has fallen to 32.8%. According to a poll by the Public Opinion Foundation, in January, 54% of Russia’s citizens were “unhappy or outraged” by the Kremlin’s actions.
YouTube is trying to fight the deluge of misinformation on its platform by flashing up fact-checking information boxes when users search for topics “prone to misinformation,” a spokesperson told BuzzFeed.
Yle Kioski’s investigative journalist Jessikka Aro won the Bonnier Grand Journalist Prize this year for her work on exposing Russian trolls on social media. Here you can find all the articles in one place – in Finnish, English and Russian.
The press service of the Latvian Ministry of Defense announced that Latvia, Estonia and Denmark opened the Northern Division headquarters for …
Contractors have finished construction of 93 kilometers of wire fencing along the Latvian-Russian border, but it is not clear yet if the construction of the fence will continue also in other sections of the border. The total costs of the project are EUR 21.168 million.
One of the nice things about not having much of a reputation is you can’t ruin it by proposing something crazy. And I freely admit that there are aspects of what I’m about to propose that ordinarily…
An article recently published in these pages on NATO expansion suffers from common, but flawed, strategic reasoning regarding what the expansion of the
NATO should have learned from its 2004 inclusion of the Baltic states, militarily weak and exposed countries whose defense now constitutes a major,
The United States remained far and above the rest of the world as the globe’s leading arms exporter, with Russia a distant second, a leading research group says.
Kateryna_Kruk on Twitter: “Wait wait wait. Did I get it right that the former Austrian chancellor will be on board of Russian Lukoil? Russians have a special retirement program for politicians from German-speaking countries? Smells like corruption in here.”
The Austrian Foreign Minister, Karin Kneissl, in an interview published on Sunday evening on the Kommersant newspaper's website, announced that …
A Volkswagen Beetle signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the wedding of Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl has been sold at a charity auction.
The Turkish Defense Minister, Hulusi Akar said that Turkey would begin deploying S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems acquired from Russia in October 2019, and Turkish Armed Forces Command will later determine the locations, reports Interfax. According to him, Turkey is purchasing the S-400 due to “the urgent need to provide country security.” “The purchase of S-400 air defense missile systems is not a matter of preference, but an urgent requirement for national security. Turkey is obliged to protect its 82 million citizens,” said Akar during the round table of editors at the Anatolian News Agency. The Pentagon spokesman Charles Summers announced that Turkey would face “serious consequences” if it completes its transaction with Russia. “If Turkey takes the S-400s there will be grave consequences in terms of our military relations with them,” Summers told reporters. “If they acquire the S-400, they will not get the F-35 [fighter aircraft], nor Patriot [anti-aircraft missile systems],” he added. Earlier, the commander of the NATO Allied Armed Forces in Europe, General Curtis Scaparotti said in Congress that he opposes the sale of F-35 to Turkey if Ankara will begin using the S-400 missile systems. A representative for the US State Department, Robert Palladino, in turn, stated that the situation with the S-400 might result in the application of US sanctions in accordance with the law “On Counteracting America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” (CAATSA).
Speaking at the Cherkasy Regional Development Council, the Head of State emphasized the importance of the development of Ukrainian rocketry and the achievements of Ukrainian missile constructors over the past five years. “Our missile program can be a symbol of change,” the President said, stressing that “nothing has been done in 27 years”. The Head of State stressed that over the past five years the efficiency of using Ukrainian AT missile systems has increased significantly. In addition, new rocket systems, including Neptune missile and Vilkha high precision missile systems, have been tested and put into service. “I hope that in the coming weeks we will clearly demonstrate its success to society. Do not worry, it’s just about trials and training,” the Head of State said. The President also said that at the last meeting of the National Security and Defense Council devoted to the defense industry reform, the question was raised about the additional capabilities of Ukraine given the fact that “Russia de facto ruined the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and the United States withdrew from it legally”. “We also got rid of certain restrictions and obligations, which were observed earlier,” the Head of State emphasized. “We are no longer bound by any restrictions on the flight range of our missiles or their capacity. And let the enemy know about it. We need high-precision missile weapons. We are no longer going to repeat the mistakes of the Budapest memorandum. High-precision missile weapons of a high radius of action, capable of striking targets far in the rear of the enemy occupying our state. This will make the aggressor more restrained, and our defense will become more reliable. For me, the security of Ukrainians is above all,” the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine stressed. “As we strengthened our Armed Forces and their ability to respond to any threats, I, as President and Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, am guided by the defense context solely. There will be no Ukrainian soldier on the foreign land. But we will definitely not give up our land to anyone,” the Heads of State said. “That’s why I insist that Ukraine’s accession to the European Union and NATO is a key path. I consider it to be the main strategy for the next five years,” Petro Poroshenko summed up.
Following the withdrawal of Russia and the US from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Ukraine intends to develop new missile weaponry, announced Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at a session of the Cherkasy regional development council, Ukrinform reports. “Russia has de facto violated the INF Treaty, and the US has legally withdrawn from it, and we have also been relieved of certain obligations which we complied with previously. We are no longer bound by any restrictions with respect to the flight range of our missiles,” the Ukrainian president said. Poroshenko stressed that Kyiv does not intend to “repeat the errors of the Budapest Memorandum”. This agreement, signed on 5 December 1994 by the leaders of Ukraine, the US, Russia and the UK, guaranteed Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and in exchange, Ukraine had to sign the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty and dispose of its Soviet-era nuclear weapons. “We need high-precision missile weapons with an increased range in order to destroy targets deep in the enemy’s rear. This will make the aggressor more restrained, and our defense more reliable. For me, the safety of Ukrainians is of utmost importance,” Poroshenko remarked. Earlier in March, Poroshenko said that Kyiv is “understanding” of the US’s decision to withdraw from the INF Treaty. “We consider this decision justified in response to the current security situation, both on the European continent and in the world at large,” said Poroshenko, explaining Kyiv’s stance. In December 2018, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak announced that Kyiv intends to equip its army with domestically produced precision weaponry in the near future.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said Ukraine is not bound by any restrictions regarding the missile range after Russia’s withdrawal from the INF Treaty. According to Poroshenko, Russia has consistently destroyed this treaty by creating new threats to European security.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that Ukraine has not been bound with some limits regarding the missile range anymore and now the country seeks to develop high-precision missiles. “We are no longer bound by any limitations either on the range of our missiles, nor on their power – let the enemy know about it, too. We need high-precision missiles and we are not going to repeat the mistakes of the Budapest memorandum,” Poroshenko said at a meeting of the Regional Development Council in Cherkasy region on Saturday. He said that high-precision missiles of extended range are capable of hitting targets far behind enemy lines that occupied the Ukrainian state. “This will make the aggressor more restrained, and our defense will be safer,” the president said. The head of state recalled that Russia suspended the treaty on medium and shorter-range missiles, and the United States withdrew from it, “as we, Ukrainians, too who lost certain obligations that we adhered to before.” Poroshenko announced the tests of new missile military equipment in the near future. “I hope that in the coming weeks we will personally demonstrate to society the successes of our missile technologies. Do not worry, this is only about tests and exercises,” he said. According to the president, the missile program should become a symbol of changes in the country. He recalled that in recent years, the efficiency of using anti-tank missile systems has increased, tests of Neptun cruise missiles have been conducted. “Look at how high-precision Vilha (Alder) rocket launcher system significantly increased its range,” Poroshenko said.
Ukraine has got rid of some of the limitations on the range of missiles and plans to develop high-precision missile weapons. This was stated by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko during a meeting of the National Development Council, Interfax-Ukraine reports. “We are no longer bound by any limitations either on the range of our missiles or on their power – let the enemy know about it too. We need high-precision missiles and we no longer intend to repeat the mistakes of the Budapest Memorandum,” he said. Poroshenko stressed that high-precision missiles of increased range “will make the aggressor more restrained, and defense safer.” Related: Facebook sues two Ukrainian Facebook’s hackers He recalled that Russia suspended participation in the INF Treaty, and the United States withdrew from it. “We also lost certain restrictions and obligations that were adhered to earlier,” he concluded. Earlier the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stated that Ukraine reserves the right to create missile systems to ensure defense capability. The martial law in the country was canceled last July. Related: Rome tries to end sanctions against Russia, – Prime Minister of Italy In 2019, the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will conduct four military exercises with combat shooting from the Buk-M1, S-125, and S-300P / PT / V1 anti-aircraft missile systems. It is reported by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. “The divisions will be called up to the area of combat training tasks suddenly, with standard armament and military equipment. Of course, the situation will look more than realistic. And that is the main task, “said the head of the anti-aircraft missile forces of the Air Force Command Colonel Yuriy Stavsky. The first combat shooting of anti-aircraft missile systems will take place as early as this month at the Yahorlyk training ground in the Kherson region near the occupied Crimea. In addition, anti-aircraft missile specialists will take part in the testing of new missile weapons and will carry out research launches of anti-aircraft guided missiles as part of research projects.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says that Ukraine needs high-precision missiles that are capable of hitting targets far behind enemy lines that occupied the Ukrainian state. The head of state noted the need for the development of the national missile program, stressing that Kyiv would no longer repeat the mistakes of the Budapest Memorandum.
Former member of the Russian State Duma Ilya Ponomarev has said the situation in Donbas may be settled even during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime. However, Crimea is an issue that will be resolved only after change of power in the Kremlin. Former member of the Russian State Duma Ilya Ponomarev has said the situation in Donbas may be settled even during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime. Read alsoPoroshenko explains why war in Ukraine so critical for Putin “Putin does not want Donbas. And the settlement may occur even under Putin’s regime there. They would like either to exchange it for something, or take such steps that would allow the Kremlin to have its blushes spared during the settlement,” he told the Ukrainian online news outlet Obozrevatel. “I think an option with peacekeepers is absolutely realistic there, and if Ukraine needs it, it seems to me they can go all the way and engage the mediation of the United States, which shares the position. If we do not rest on these Minsk agreements alone, the war in that territory can be stopped,” Ponomarev said. The situation with Crimea is different, he said. “Crimea is an issue that will be resolved only when the Kremlin’s power changes. This will be a very painful topic, but I am sure we will solve it anyway,” Ponomarev added.
Russia enhanced its military presence in the occupied Crimea
The investigation department of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) on Thursday, March 7, handed out orders on scheduling an expert psychiatric examination (a kind of forensic test) to two more captive Ukrainian sailors Vasyl Soroka and Viktor Bespalchenko, defending lawyer Nikolai Polozov has reported.
Paul Goble Staunton, March 10 – Moscow has made a concerted effort to present the Crimean Tatars as simply a branch of Tatars who happen to live on the Russian-occupied peninsula and thus do not have the legitimate right to separate national self-determination, an approach that unfortunately is sometimes copied by international organizations. Many Crimean Tatars are uncomfortable with “Crimean Tatar” as a designator because it implies links to other Tatars that do not exist and are pushing for the self-designator Krymtsi, a term stressing their ties to their land but that leads to confusion with the Krymchaks, another minority there which speaks a related language but professes Judaism not Islam. All of this has given rise to debates among Crimean Tatars about what they want to be called and why (hromadske.radio/publications/krymcy-krymchaky-yly-krymskye-tatary-kak-pravylno-nazyvat-korennoy-narod-poluostrova) and to the appearance of an important book, Natalia Belitser’s Crimean Tatars as an Indigenous People (in Ukrainian, Kyiv, 2017). Belitser, an expert at Kyiv’s Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy, has now presented her arguments about the importance of the names given to the Crimean Tatars in detailed and heavily footnoted English-language article for the Washington, D.C.-based International Committee for Crimea (iccrimea.org/reports/ct-identity-2019.html). The key passages of this article are as follows: Crimean Tatars: who are they? Are they just a branch of the Tatar people, differing from the Kazan Tatars or Volga Tatars, only by virtue of the geographical location? Or, are they a separate nation with its own history, unique cultural, linguistic, and other characteristics? These questions are not just of interest for ethnologists, anthropologists or other academics; apart from addressing theoretical debates, the answers may impact perceptions and have possible legal ramifications for resolving a whole series of Crimean Tatar issues. Until the tragic events of the 20th century, ethnonym ‘Tatars’ was the widely used designation for Muslim residents of Crimea as well as all other Muslim groups and peoples in the Russian Empire. It did not conflict with Crimean Tatar self-identity and was not objectionable to them. But after the en masse deportation of the indigenous Crimean population under false charges of collaboration with the Nazis, the Crimean Tatars were flatly denied any mention of their separate ethnicity. To emphasize their distinctiveness from other ‘Tatars,’ Crimean Tatar intellectuals and politicians discussed for years the possible replacement of the ethnonym ‘Crimean Tatars’ with ‘Krymtsi (Kırımlılar in Crimean Tatar, which means Crimeans) and have also tried to revive and preserve their own language, cultural and religious traditions and social institutions. Fundamental differences between various groups of Turkic-speaking peoples, often artificially unified under the common name ‘Tatars,’ are confirmed by the modern science of molecular biology and molecular genetics which use DNA-analysis to clarify the genetic origins and genetic relationships within and between groups. Meanwhile, in English language literature the names ‘Tatars’ or ‘Tatars of Crimea’ are often used as synonyms for the ‘Crimean Tatars’, sometimes revealing a preference for the first option. Moreover, in some publications, a rather derogatory term ‘Tartars’ (from ancient Greek Tartaros thus assuming them to be ‘Barbarians’) can also be found. [Moreover,] the very term ‘indigenous people’ is usually avoided; the Crimean Tatars are designated instead as belonging to ‘vulnerable minorities’, or ‘national minorities’, or as a ‘Crimean Tatar community.’ Whereas for such categories, in contrast to indigenous peoples, any collective rights, first and foremost – the right for self-determination – are not foreseen in the international human rights and humanitarian law. This trend continues up to the present: for example, in a recent publication on the 5th anniversary of the annexation of Crimea, the author, while adequately assessing the whole event, wrote that “Furthermore, Russia has launched a campaign of persecution and intimidation of the ethnic Tatar community there.” But if the Crimean Tatars continue to be regarded as belonging to an undifferentiated Tatar ethnos or as a subjugated ‘minority’ or just a ‘community’ but not an indigenous ‘people’, it follows that their claims for self-determination in their homeland Crimea can be neglected, especially given the existence of a national Republic of Tatarstan – a subject of the Russian Federation. This interpretation has been applied by the occupational power in Crimea and the Russian central authorities. In order to prevent any possibility of providing ‘indigenous status’ for the Crimean Tatars, the Kremlin Presidential administration commissioned Sergej Sokolovskyj to undertake a special study to ‘prove’ that such a status is not justified not only by the national legislation but by the international law as well. [His report is discussed at khpg.org/en/index.php?do=print&id=1525533996.] In Ukraine, for a long time the efforts to ensure the rights of Crimean Tatars by providing them with the special status of ‘indigenous people’ remained, alas, unsuccessful. Legally they continued to be regarded as one of the numerous ‘national minorities’ based on the outdated law ‘On National Minorities of Ukraine’ (adopted in 1992, and still in force). Official recognition of the Crimean Tatars as indigenous people occurred only on March 20, 2014 – in other words, after the occupation and annexation of the Crimean peninsula by the Russian Federation. Nevertheless, in publications and public discussions, the Crimean Tatars have usually been addressed as the ‘Crimean Tatar people’ thus granting them recognition by default as a nation and distinguishing them from other ‘minorities’ – including Armenians, Bulgarians, Germans and Greeks, namely, those ethnic groups formerly deported from Crimea. There is a growing understanding of the major difference between ‘traditional’ national minorities having their own national states (‘kin-states’) beyond the borders of their country of residence and citizenship, and the Crimean Tatars with their history of former statehood (the Crimean Khanate) and the current situation of a ‘stateless nation’. Unlike national minorities enjoying various forms of the legitimate support provided by their ‘kin-states,’ the Crimean Tatars, being a numerical minority in any place of residence, have developed an acute sense of a constant threat of further assimilation and gradual ‘dissolution’ within the quite distinct, culturally and religiously, majority population. Indeed, the unique Crimean Tatar cultural identity – in the widest sense of the phrase – can be preserved and further developed only through the concerted efforts of the people themselves and the Ukrainian state and society, with the active support of the international community.
11.03.19 07:31 – Ukrainian army reports zero casualties in past day – JFO press center Combined Russian-separatist troops used no heavy weapons banned by the Minsk agreements against government forces in the Donbas over the past 24 hours. View news.
Russian-led forces mounted three attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, in the past 24 hours. There were no Ukrainian army casualties.
Another member of the Russian-led forces in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, Andrey Grishchenko aka ZAS, was eliminated in Luhansk region on March 7. Terrorists claim the man was killed on the front lines.
The press center of the Ukrainian Joint Forces Operation reported that another militant has defected to Ukraine. In Severodonetsk, Ukrainian …
The Armed Forces of Ukraine detained the fighter of the Luhansk People’s Republic on March 9, the detainee expressed willingness to fight for the Ukrainian army. The JFO (HQ) reports this. “On March 9, the soldiers of one of the units of the brigade of the Joint Forces operation, which carries combat missions in the direction of Severodonetsk, noticed a man heading along the forest line towards our position. When the four soldiers went closer to him and let him go down the trench, then our defenders detained the unknown”, – the report said. The detainee had a Kalashnikov AK-74 automatic machine, a military ticket to the Luhansk People’s Republic, made in the city of Alchevsk, as well as banknotes of the Russian bank, a vacation ticket, a certificate of medical treatment of the military unit L 74347 and other similar documents. “The detained man appeared to be a citizen of Ukraine, Y. was born in Mykolayiv in 1976, and his passport was issued in Stakhanov city in 1992. The registration of traitor’s passport is also Stakhanov city of Luhansk region”, – the report said. Currently, the officers investigate the case in order to determine his involvement in war crimes by armed groups of the Russian Federation and the details of participating in hostilities against the Ukrainian people.
The combat capabilities of the Ukrainian army grow every day. The army receives new units of weapons every week. — Ukrinform.
217 Ukrainian soldiers from Zhytomyr region were killed in Donbas since the start of Russian aggression. — Ukrinform.
Igor “Strelkov” Girkin, the former ringleader of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) militants, will be auctioning the gold medal he was awarded for his role in the occupation of Crimea. According to Novaya Gazeta, the auction will be held on 13 April on a Russian website. Girkin hopes to fetch at least 1 million rubles ($15,000) for his 79 gram, 18 karat medal. “Yes, it is my medal, a non-state [medal]. It was awarded to me by [Konstantin] Malofeev in the spring of 2014, before the start of the Donbas campaign. I’m selling it because there are financial problems that I can’t fix with the cash I have available,” Girkin wrote on the Russian social network VKontakte. Girkin, also known as Igor Strelkov, was the commander of the militants in Sloviansk for several months, led the so-called People’s Militia in Donetsk, and also acted as the DPR “Minister of Defense”. After Sloviansk was liberated from the separatists and Russian militants, Girkin fled Ukraine, and announced that he would not be returning to the DPR. Girkin was also the first to announce that DPR militants had shot down a Malaysia Airlines plane over the Donbas, believing it to be a Ukrainian military plane. After Girkin fled Ukraine, the Russian media reported that the Novorossiya project was completely closed, and that the other ringleaders of the Donetsk and Luhansk terrorist groups were also ready to flee to Russia. On 21 May 2014, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine opened a criminal case against Girkin, accusing him of creating a terrorist organization, organizing mass riots, and committing terrorist acts.
March 10, 19 A new regiment of operational support received special equipment The newly formed separate regiment of operational support received 25 units of restored special equipment from the 536th central facility for repairing and storing the equipment of the RCBZ in the Poltava region. According to the commander of the base, the special equipment of the Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Service has undergone the necessary diagnostics and recovery cycle. The check of operational parameters was carried out both on the bench equipment and in the course of running tests. New regiment of operational support received special equipment New regiment of operational support received special equipment New regiment of operational support received special equipment This was announced yesterday, March 9, the official site of the military department. Probably it is a question of the 16th regiment of operational support OK “South” whose formation was carried out on the basis of the 28th separate mechanized brigade, and after the formation of the military unit was moved to the Melitopol district for permanent deployment. The territory of this military unit also continues to build infrastructure, including the construction of hostels for increased comfort for military personnel.
State Enterprise Konotop Aircraft Repair Plant Aviacon performs major repairs of the illegal helicopter Mi-14PCh (Mi-14PL) of naval aviation of the Naval Forces for 24.2 million hryvnia. Bid checked on March 6 by negotiation procedure (in the absence of alternatives). The deadline for completion of works is November 20, 2019. The helicopter Mi-14PL board number 37 “Yellow” (factory number 78461) in 1979 at the 10th Naval Aviation Brigade of the Naval Forces of Ukraine based on the Nicholas Aerodrome Kulbakin. At the arms of the brigade, there are four helicopters type Mi-14 – three anti-submarine Mi-14PCh (onboard numbers 35, 36, 37) and one search and rescue Mi-14PS / 34 “yellow”. Mi-14PS Marine Aviation will undergo major repairs Mi-14 (Article “140”, type V-14, for the codification of NATO: Haze – “Imla”) – maritime multipurpose helicopter-amphibian coastal base, development of the State Customs Service of the USSR M. Mil. Serially produced since 1973 at factories number 387 in Kazan. During 1973-86, 273 MI-14 were manufactured. Main modifications: Mi-14PL – antisubmarine, Mi-14PS – rescue, Mi-14BT – minesweeper.
March 10, 2019 News 0 Comments At the Zaporizhzhya Aircraft Repairing Plant there is the disposal of IL-76TD transport aircraft. This is reported by the Ukrainian Military Portal with reference to the MilitaryAviationUA community. On March 8, the photo shows that at least 7 aircraft are at different stages of recycling. Airplanes belonged to the state enterprise “Ukrainian Aviation Transport Company”. At one time, the company received 98 IL-76 aircraft of various modifications. Restoring aircraft was considered inappropriate. It is worth noting that IL-76TD is a civilian version of the aircraft. On the site of the company UATC, the information is provided, according to which 2 IL-76TD and one Il-76TD, based in Boryspil, are leased to the lease. Also 27 Il-76MD, 13 Il-76TD and 2 Il-78 were put up for sale.
A Ukrainian company and the Myanmar military have signed a joint-venture agreement to build a plant capable of manufacturing armored personnel carriers (APCs) and self-propelled howitzers, the Myanmar website The Irrawaddy reports. Under the JV, the plant would reportedly be able to build APCs and self-propelled howitzers.
Private aerospace firm Firefly Aerospace has conducted a successful test of the engine of the first stage of the Firefly Alpha rocket at the test facility in Briggs, Texas, the United States, according to an Ukrinform correspondent. — Ukrinform.
Ukraine ranks 12th among the world’s 25 largest arms exporters, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Ukraine’s major clients in 2014-2018 were China (27%), Russia (23%), and Thailand (14%).
11.03.19 11:12 – Poroshenko: I guarantee zero tolerance for corruption President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said that more than a dozen cases related to Ukroboronprom were open View news.
11.03.19 00:41 – One of Big Four to audit Ukroboronprom, Poroshenko says The audit of state-run Ukroboronprom Concern will be conducted by a well-respected, trusted international company, said President Petro Poroshenko View news.
During the speech at the meeting of the Regional Development Council in Cherkasy region, the President of Ukraine emphasized the importance of counteracting the attempts of information attacks against the Ukrainian army. During the speech at the meeting of the Regional Development Council in Cherkasy region, the President of Ukraine emphasized the importance of counteracting the attempts of information attacks against the Ukrainian army. “We have created our army in a record-breaking time. Now it is among the best, most experienced and most capable armies in the continent. It freed two-thirds of Donbas, stopped the enemy and firmly hold the line on the eastern borders,” the President emphasized and thanked all Cherkasy citizens for their joint work on the revival of the Ukrainian Army. “But, unfortunately, attempts to hit it from the rear do not stop. Every “fake” news, which demoralizes the Armed Forces, sows mistrust towards the army and the entire defense complex, is a shot at the army and a shot at the state. On the eve of the elections, these shots became more frequent and grew into a heavy shelling,” the President said. “My task as of Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – while the army is holding the line on the front, we have to protect it in the rear,” Petro Poroshenko said. He stressed that this is an extremely important and complex task. “It is critically important to cover the army from state-mongers who dishonor the five-year achievements of the entire defense-industrial complex hoping to gain at least some pre-election points on bashing,” he added. “And protect it from the attempts of corrupt officials to profiteer at the expense of the military budget. I will not allow that. Everyone will be held accountable,” Petro Poroshenko said. “I emphasize that as Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, I am most interested in the effectiveness of the functioning of the entire defense industry of the country,” the Head of State said.
The information space of the country continue to spread the information with signs of manipulation, misinformation or obvious incompetence
Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) Artem Sytnyk predicts that manipulations against the bureau will appear due to abuse of office in the Ukroboronprom state concern based on information from Yevhen Shevchenko who was linked to NABU, but never was staff member of the bureau.
Kremlin’s efforts to derail Ukrainian president’s reelection bid spell trouble for country’s liberals. President Petro Poroshenko was no one’s idea of the face of Ukraine’s future. Now he looks like the last hope. As the date of the March 31 presidential election nears, Russia has upped its efforts to exert influence on the race. A recent report from U.S. intelligence services found that the Kremlin is seeking to apply “a range of tools” to “exploit Kyiv’s fragile economy, widespread corruption, cyber vulnerabilities, and public discontent.” The goal? Defeat Poroshenko and bring to power a less anti-Russian government. As a result, foreign diplomats and Western capitals are coming around to an ironic realization: Poroshenko, the leader whose slow pace of reforms has at times frustrated their hopes for rapid change, is now their best — and only — chance of keeping Ukraine from drifting back into Russia’s orbit of influence.
Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy tops the polls in Ukraine and may be the next president. Some argue that Zelenskiy is the country’s only shot at reform and that he might be able to break the old system. Could Zelenskiy be a reformer? The short answer is: No. Here’s why. The American political scientist, Samuel Huntington, once wrote that revolution is easier than reform. Revolution is about breaking things from the outside—and anyone can do that, from a peasant with a scythe to a worker with a hammer to an intellectual with a pistol. Reform is harder—much, much harder—because it’s about changing things from within. Reformers are people who want to improve a system of existing political, social, economic, and cultural institutions while being part of that same system. And radical reformers are people who want to modify existing institutions to such a degree that they alter the system of which they are a part. Neither reform, nor radical reform are easy. Both types of reformers need to have five qualities. First, they need to have an intimate knowledge of the existing system of institutions. In particular, they need to understand just how the system of government institutions works: which institution does what, how laws are made, how budgets are formed, how authority and power are distributed within the center, within the periphery, and between the center and periphery. Second, reformers and radical reformers need to know who the players are—both those individuals who hold positions of authority within the system of institutions they are reforming and those individuals who have power derived from their wealth, contacts, or positions of authority outside the formal institutions of government. Third, reformers and radical reformers need to have a clear understanding of which changes of which institutions they intend to bring about and they need to be able to specify how those changes will take place. They can’t simply promise to make “things better” and that they’ll do their utmost to make sure that positive change occurs. In contrast to revolutionaries, reformers need to have something like a blueprint detailing how they expect to get from point A to point B and from point B to point C. Fourth, reformers and radical reformers need to have something like a base that is more or less supportive of their vision. There has to be some constituency—preferably within the system—that wants the same changes. On their own, reformers can do nothing, no matter their possible brilliance. Finally, reformers and especially radical reformers have to be devious. They need to cut deals in smoke-filled backrooms, trade horses and camels, forge compromises with dubious players, make promises they cannot keep, break promises they can keep—because the process of changing institutions from within means continually negotiating with anybody and everybody who can serve your purposes while at the same time maintaining the support of your allies and your base. Reformers have to be quintessential politicians—just the sort of people who give politics such a bad name. How does Zelenskiy measure up? Not well, I’m afraid. He obviously has no intimate knowledge of Ukraine’s existing system of institutions. Nor does he understand how government institutions work. Mind you, that’s not his fault. He is, after all, a showman and comedian by profession, and I’m sure he knows the ins and outs of showmanship and comedy intimately. He obviously doesn’t know the players—for the exact same reason. He does know Ihor Kolomoiskiy, but Dnipro’s notorious oligarch (who did help save Ukraine from Russia’s aggression in 2014 and contributed greatly to the revival of Jewish life) is hardly the universe of Ukraine’s political players. In effect, it’ll be Zelenskiy against the system—or, to put it in more graphic terms, a comedian against Ukraine’s deep state. He obviously does not have a clear understanding of which changes of which institutions he intends to bring about and cannot specify how those changes will take place. To be sure, Zelenskiy could hire an army of consultants and self-styled reformers with the knowledge that he lacks. That would certainly help, but only up to a point. After all, a person who doesn’t know what he aspires to will have great difficulty determining just which advisors share his vision—or lack thereof. US President Donald Trump may be a case in point. Expect Zelenskiy’s advisors to become quickly disillusioned as they realize that their boss has no clue. Zelenskiy obviously has no base within the system—and, if he does, then it’s Kolomoiskiy’s, which hardly bodes well for Zelenskiy’s ability to combat oligarchs and corruption. Zelenskiy may have a base of sorts outside the system—his voters in the southeast and among the young. But Ukraine’s southeast is anti-reformist, while Ukraine’s youth are likely to head west as soon as their hopes for Ukraine’s immediate transformation are dashed. Zelenskiy may be devious, if only because actors and comedians have to be able to pretend. But is he ruthlessly devious? We don’t know. We do know that Zelenskiy’s chances of being any kind of reformer are nil. Unless you believe that absolutely nothing has changed for the better in Ukraine since 2014, then Zelenskiy can only make things worse. He will either stop reform altogether or throw the country into the kind of administrative chaos that only an utterly inexperienced president can bring about. Can Ukraine afford a chaotic Trump? Alexander J. Motyl is professor of political science at Rutgers University-Newark.
Blurring the lines even further, comedian Volodymyr Zelensky calls his party Servant of the People. That’s also the name of his show.
The surprise leader in polls before March’s presidential election in Ukraine is surrounding himself with a team that could help him achieve what only a matter of weeks ago had been seen as an unlikely triumph.
Ukraine is holding presidential and parliamentary elections at the end of March and the race is too close to call. CNBC has the lowdown on the vote and why it matters to Russia, Europe and the West.
There are forty candidates, and a comedian is leading in the polls.
Former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko is running in the presidential election scheduled for March 31 in her country, and director Mary Lambert (Pet Sematary) and producer Jerome Gary (Pumping Iron) are making a documentary about her.
The ballot for Ukraine’s presidential election will include 39 candidates, a marginally slimmer field after five contenders dropped out in recent days.
Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky leads Ukraine’s presidential candidate rating, followed by Batkivshchyna Party leader Yulia Tymoshenko and incumbent President Petro Poroshenko, according to a survey conducted by the Rating Sociological Group in early March. — Ukrinform. “The leader of the presidential rating is Zelensky, who is supported by 24.7% of those who have already made the decision and intend to vote. The second position is held by Tymoshenko (18.3%), and Poroshenko (16.8%) is third,” reads a statement posted on the group’s website. It also notes that 10.3% of respondents are ready to vote for Civil Position Party leader Anatoliy Hrytsenko, 9.9% for Opposition Bloc leader Yuriy Boiko, 5.7% for Radical Party leader Oleh Liashko, 3.3% for former SBU Chief Oleh Smeshko, 2.7% for Oleksandr Vilkul, and 2.7% for Yevheniy Murayev. The report also says that Hrytsenko and Tymoshenko strengthened their positions over the past week. According to sociologists, almost a quarter of respondents have not decided yet on who to vote for. “It is important that the highest number of such people is among the poorest voters, who are usually most active in the elections, respondents of the older and middle age, as well as among women in the center and west of the country,” the report reads. According to the report, Zelensky is the leader of sympathy among respondents who will vote for the first time (almost one in ten people supporting the candidate), as well as among respondents who do not often vote in elections. Among the respondents who always vote, Zelensky shares the leading positions with Tymoshenko and Poroshenko. Hrytsenko and Boiko also have relatively better positions in this category. According to the poll, 22% of respondents believe that Poroshenko will be the next president, while 20% believe in the victory of Tymoshenko and 18% in the victory of Zelensky. According to the report, Zelensky (43%) enjoys the highest level of confidence among presidential candidates, followed by Tymoshenko (28%), Hrytsenko (26%), and Poroshenko (24%). The survey was conducted by the Rating Sociological Group during March 1-7, 2019. A total of 5,000 respondents aged over 18 were interviewed. The poll’s margin of error does not exceed 1.5%.
11.03.19 11:38 – Zelenskyi, Poroshenko, Tymoshenko, Hrytsenko, Boiko among leaders in presidential race – sociological survey Volodymyr Zelenskyi remains the leader of the presidential rating, 10.3% are ready to give their votes for Hrytsenko View news.
The MP believes that the amendments to the Constitution should be made with the help of a referendum, but not the parliament
The MPs just live their lives. People want one thing; the parliament is occupied with other things
President Petro Poroshenko says that Ukraine, defending its independence and territorial integrity from the Russian aggression, has broken free of the long-standing cultural occupation. “We have broken free of cultural occupation, which is as dangerous as physical occupation. Over the past five years, the Ukrainian language, the Ukrainian-language song, the Ukrainian-language book, the Ukrainian-language cinematography gained a solid position in the cultural space and, most importantly, in our hearts, the hearts of all Ukrainians,” Petro Poroshenko said during the commemoration of Taras Shevchenko in Kaniv. The Head of State emphasized: “Over the last five years, the Ukrainian language has finally gained its place. And we achieved it wisely, without violating the rights of speakers of other languages”. “We stopped the long-standing humiliation when we literally had to save the Ukrainian language in Ukraine. Today, its position is stronger than ever. Today, we have a higher ambition – to present our culture and language to the whole world, so that it can properly evaluate its beauty and strength,” he said. Petro Poroshenko also emphasized that our nation, our people had gained the Tomos. Now the dream of generations of Ukrainians has finally come true – we have an autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine. “This event has already been called the geopolitical disaster of the millennium for Putin. Let it be so,” he said. According to him, having overcome the consequences of the economic and social crisis caused by Russian aggression and economic blockade, we are now opening the second front – the front of struggle against poverty. “We managed to stop the external enemy, I firmly believe we can overcome poverty as well,” he convinced.
The President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko stated that the country has been liberated from “cultural occupation.” According to him, since 2014, when “separatism” started in the southeast of Ukraine, the Ukrainian language strengthened more than ever.” “For the last five years, the Ukrainian language, songs, books, films, have taken a reliable position in the space around us, the President said. The same thing, he noted, happened “in the hearts of all Ukrainians.” Poroshenko concluded that Ukraine had put an end to years of humiliation in the language field. The head of state added that this process went without violating the rights of the other language groups, writes Interfax.
The President of Ukraine and his wife honored memory of Taras Shevchenko and laid flowers to the monument to the Great Kobzar on Tarasova Mountain in Kaniv. The President of Ukraine and his wife honored memory of Taras Shevchenko and laid flowers to the monument to the Great Kobzar on Tarasova Mountain in Kaniv. During the speech at the ceremony of awarding the Taras Shevchenko National Prize, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko noted that throughout the world the birthday of the genius of the Ukrainian people, the most famous and prominent Ukrainian poet is celebrated today. “We, Ukrainians, are used to open Kobzar in the days of anxiety or joy. We know that we will always find the lines giving strength and inspiration,” the Head of State noted. “For us, Ukrainians, Taras Shevchenko was the first in a series of heroes who paved the way for an independent united Ukrainian state. He led the heroes of the Ukrainian Revolution and the warriors who fought for Ukraine against two totalitarian regimes in the Second World War. And now “Kobzar” can be seen very often in the trenches on the frontline. This means that Shevchenko is our Ukrainian spiritual weapon, as necessary as tanks and cannons,” Petro Poroshenko said. The President recalled the words of Shevchenko told by Serhiy Nigoyan on Maidan: “Keep fighting – you are sure to win! God helps you in your fight!”. “Then these words were heard on the frontline of war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine. I am proud to report here to Taras as the President of a great nation, which is united in its aspiration to defeat the enemy and build a great successful country,” the President said. The Head of State stressed that due to the efforts of the authorities and the people of Ukraine, in a very short period of time, we had managed to create the “army that effectively defends our land, rebuffs the enemy who planned the Blitzkrieg and the seizure of Kyiv”. “Now we have a true guarantee of statehood – the army hardened in battles, one of the best in the world,” Petro Poroshenko said. “Army, language, faith is a solid foundation of the state we have laid. We are already building the walls of the future Ukraine on it – a country of free, happy and prosperous people,” the Head of State noted.
During the celebrations on the occasion of the 205th anniversary of the birth of Taras Shevchenko, the President emphasized that “we do not come empty-handed to this holy place on Tarasova Mountain in Kaniv today”. “Our most important achievement is unity. The Association Agreement, economic recovery, visa-free regime, Tomos, decentralization are a testimony of our strength acquired in unity. It wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been for unity,” the President stressed. “Nobody made better conclusions from Ukrainian history than Taras Shevchenko. Therefore, all his work is a detailed textbook where each paragraph teaches us to be united. “Send us like-mindedness and brotherly kindness,” he asks the Lord for Ukrainians,” Petro Poroshenko reminded the words of the Great Kobzar. The President called on all Ukrainians to unite, “to confront everything that brings us back to the past”. “We have a strong example of Shevchenko-fighter: to go the way of truth, to go the Ukrainian way and win even when victory does not seem possible,” the Head of State said.
Police in Ukraine say that 22 officers were injured in clashes with far-right protesters who tried to attack a presidential motorcade ahead of this month’s election.
Police and far-right demonstrators clashed in the Ukrainian capital on March 9 as several hundred people gathered outside the presidential administration building in Kyiv to call for the arrest of figures implicated in an alleged military corruption scandal. The clashes occurred after a media investigation last week detailed purported embezzlement schemes in Ukraine’s arms industry, including the apparent involvement of a factory controlled by President Petro Poroshenko.
Police and far-right demonstrators have clashed outside the presidential administration building in the Ukrainian capital and in at least one other city.
More than a dozen Ukrainian police officers were injured during a clash with far-right protesters at a campaign even for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Saturday
The party also demands to stop provocations against Ukrainian sovereignty
KYIV. March 11 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The National Corps Party has said it plans to continue holding protest rallies against corruption in the defense sector and calls on all Ukrainians to participate.
Commander of Ukraine’s Joint Forces Serhiy Nayev has said the Ukrainian military will vote only at the polling stations and no ballot boxes are supposed to be brought to the Joint Forces Operation zone during the presidential vote on March 31. Nayev also said the election campaign was not being conducted among the military.
Some 74% of Ukrainian citizens are ready to sacrifice their day off on Sunday, March 31, in order to come to the polling station and vote in the presidential election, according to a survey conducted by the Rating Sociological Group. — Ukrinform.
Political and economic expert Taras Zahorodniy predicts the Ukrainian gas transmission system (GTS) will suffer losses from a halt to gas transit shipments after the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, and Ukraine will face serious problems. Losses will be huge after the end of gas transit, as nothing has been done to integrate Ukraine’s GTS into Europe’s system.
Paul Goble Staunton, March 9 – A group of five activists held a demonstration today at the Russian consulate general in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv to demand the return of Crimea to Ukraine, freedom for Ukrainian political prisoners held in Russia, and the right of self-determination for the captive nations within the current borders of the Russian Federation. Vadim Poznyakov, the leader of the Svitanok group, said that “we are holding this action in solidarity with political prisoners of the indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation” (m.censor.net.ua/photo_news/3115704/aktivisty_trebovali_svobody_dlya_korennyh_narodov_rossii_u_genkonsulstva_rf_v_harkove_fotoreportaj). “We support their Free Idel-Ural Movement for the peaceful exit of the indigenous peoples from the Russian Federation, that is, for their full self-determination. Today their national interests are being infringed upon.” The only state language in Russia is Russian, and those who speak other languages are threatened with the loss of their national identities. The demonstrators carried signs reading “Russia is a Concentration Camp of Peoples,” “Free Idel-Ural,” and “The Kremlin Kills Native Nations.” No one from the consulate, which is behind concertina wire, came out to meet them, and the protesters left their signs against its walls. This event represents the convergence of three things,a development which must be worrisome to the Kremlin: increasing demands for the return of Crimea to Ukraine, Kyiv’s support for non-Russian nations in Russia, and activists supporting one group of non-Russians broadening their demands to include all non-Russians (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/03/ever-more-active-idel-ural-movement.html).
11.03.19 13:32 – SAP served charge papers to Odesa Mayor Trukhanov Specialized anti-corruption prosecutor’s office served charge papers to Odesa Mayor Hennadiy Trukhanov View news.
11.03.19 13:54 – Electronic tag removed and foreign passport returned to Kherson official suspected of ordering Handziuk assassination – lawyer The lawyers are preparing an appeal against the court’s decision to suspend Manger from the post of chairman of Kherson Regional Council for one month. View news.
Ukraine's Security Service stated that Christian Wehrschütz, head of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ORF) had been barred from entering …
Facebook has sued two Ukrainian men for allegedly using quiz apps to scrape Facebook users’ private data and inject advertisements into their News Feeds. The complaint says the hackers scraped public profile information and non-publicly viewable lists of friends, in addition to serving their own ads instead of official Facebook-approved ones.
The Revolution of Dignity ended five years ago, but new heroes still join the Heavenly Hundred. People suffer from terrible illnesses and die. Doctors are at a loss, and individual tests show significantly exceeded rates of heavy metals in the patients’ bodies.
A pair of Ukrainian hackers used seemingly innocuous online quizzes and surveys to gain access to private Facebook user data, a lawsuit alleges.
Editor’s Note: This is the fourth annual ranking by the leading Ukrainian news magazine, Novoye Vremya, of the 100 most successful women in Ukraine. The winners are chosen by its editorial staff. There is no numerical ranking of 1 through 100. The women are divided into categories: Politics, public servants, civil society, show business, sports, corporate sector, culture and media. They are listed in alphabetical order in each of the eight categories.
The Amsterdam Court of Appeal may deliver a judgment in the case of “Scythian gold” within the period from 2 to 6 months. — Ukrinform.
Paul Goble Staunton, March 10 – In Nevil Shute’s classic novel, A Town like Alice, the heroine explains that there is something worse than being a prisoner of war in a POW camp: it is being a prisoner of war but not being taken into a camp because none of the enemy wants to be responsible for housing and feeding such people. Something similar can be said about religious groups in the Russian Federation. It is bad enough to be a religious group other than the four “traditional” ones that operate in public but are routinely subjected to repression. It is worse to be part of one that from the outset operates underground. Some Christians do that because they do not want to have anything to do with official structures like the Moscow Patriarchate which they view as having been captured by the security services and other enemies of the church. Others do so because they believe that only by acting underground can they preserve the purity of their faith. Most people when they hear the term “catacomb church” think of Roman times when the imperial state sought to stamp out Christianity and Christians went underground, literally and figuratively to survive. Some who know Russian history know that a catacomb church came into existence with the appearance of the anti-religious Bolshevik regime. But few know that a catacomb church continues to exist in Russia and continues to be subject to the worst forms of persecution. Because the church is underground, information about it is both scarce and often provided only by its opponents, including in the emigration, who have their own reasons for presenting a distorted picture. Consequently, the number of people involved, the structures of their community, and their beliefs remain uncertain. Now, fortunately, more is coming to be known first and foremost about the catacomb church in Soviet times and also about its activities and persecution since the collapse of Soviet power. The full text of a book entitled Russia’s Catacomb Saints that was issued in the West in a small print run in 1982 and republished in 2017 is now available online (austroca.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/russias-catacomb-saints.pdf russia’s cataacomb saints). It has now been published in Russian (golos-epohi.ru/eshop/catalog/128/15508/). Its appearance is likely to spark more interest in and a greater number of reports about the catacomb church not only in Soviet times but more recently (rys-strategia.ru/publ/1-1-0-4800).. The best source of such information is a frequently-updated Facebook page devoted to the catacomb church (facebook.com/groups/2148461888754223/).