Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (128)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Russia’s FM Lavrov suffering geographic confusion. GMD salvo test from Vandenburg. Arctic air ops items. Russia ramps up Su-57 PAK-FA export campaign. Eidman points out the disparities between Chekist regime interests and Russia’s national interests. Shelin on how the regime is diverting all funds to security programs. CBS on Russia media attitudes to POTUS. Frolov’s optimism on US-Russia relations, while Prof Goble comments on how unfounded Russian optimism is. Russia blames “autonomous Internet” on the US. Russia expanding canal system. HoR votes against Nordstream 2. NATO reports.

Lithuania convicts former Soviet DEFMIN and Senior KGB commander of war crimes and crimes against humanity, for actions in 1991. Soviet Baltic deportations detailed. Rapid Panther EX has Beagles deploy from LN to Powdiz AB in Poland. Polish media report that UK lab tests found explosive residue on wreckage from Polish presidential transport that crashed in Smolensk in 2010. Holland and AUS initiate talks with Russia over MH17. Facebook delete more Russian fake accounts over meddling in Moldova and Ukraine.

Hurska on Ukraine’s post-INF missiles. Hryb update. Crimea update – Russia arresting Tartars and raiding houses. Donbas update – good commentaries by LtGen Nayev COMJFO. The 107th Rocket Artillery Regt expanded and reformed as Bde. NGU event.

Russians try to smuggle 36 SA-3 GOA reloads via Odesa, these are found and impounded. 1L220UK Counter-Battery Radar undergoing OPEVAL. Sapsan TEL being adapted for transloader and transporter roles. An-178 in pre-production build. MT-LB-S medevac track  production.

Politics and economic updates – Poland rejects Muslim immigrants but invites Ukrainians, Karl von Habsburg argues case for Ukraine in EU, WW2 veterans of anti-Soviet insurgency granted war veteran status and benefits.

A very extensive update on the election, including many Western analyses (some weak), and analysis of the pro-Russian party leadership trip to Muscovy, expected to result in criminal charges. Polls suggest comedian Zelensky will defeat Poroshenko. Haring on Lutsenko.

Bannon confuses ROC with Western-style churches. More on JW persecution in Russia.


UAWire – Lavrov: NATO bombed Yugoslavia to get closer to Russian border

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 was needed by NATO in order to move east, closer to the Russian border. Lavrov also said that, at the time, Washington was tempted to take control of the entire world situation and to stop being guided by the UN Charter when dealing with international problems. The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry is convinced that western countries will go to any lengths to prevent new investigations into possible crimes by NATO in Yugoslavia. Sergey Lavrov believes that at the end of the 90s, the US decided that it had won the Cold War. “The US suddenly had the temptation to take complete control of the situation in the whole world, to depart from the principles of coordinating approaches to international problems on the basis of the UN Charter, and to deal with all the emerging problems in such a away as to dominate in all the regions of the world. Without a doubt, Yugoslavian history was connected to the desire to move NATO to the east, closer to Russia’s border,” he said in an interview with NTV that was published on the Foreign Ministry website. The Russian Foreign Minister added that, at the time, Russia did everything in its power to stop the bombing of Yugoslavia. “It was largely at our initiative that the OSCE mission that was deployed in this region, primarily in Kosovo and the adjacent regions, was formed,” he remarked. Lavrov is convinced that western countries will obstruct an investigation into possible violations of international law by the NATO command when it bombed Yugoslavia. “It seems to me that the West is doing and will do everything to prevent this [investigation] from taking place,” he said. The minister added that the Serbian government is carrying out its own investigation into NATO’s use of prohibited munitions. “Based on its results, we will see what can be done to ensure that this crime does not go unpunished,” he promised. “The North-Atlantic Alliance’s operation was carried out with the grossest violations of the principles of international humanitarian law, because the bombs detonated on civilian facilities,” Lavrov stressed. As examples, he cited incidents in which a passenger train and a broadcasting center were attacked by NATO aircraft. In October 2018, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Yugoslavia was bombed in order to protect the civilian population and to overthrow president Slobodan Milosevic. March 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the start of the bombing of Yugoslavia – airstrikes by NATO between 24 March and 10 June 1999 in order to prevent a genocide of the Albanian population in Kosovo.

Pentagon touts ‘critical milestone’ after successful missile defense test with interceptors

The Pentagon celebrated the first successful salvo test of an anti-missile defense system designed to shoot down nuclear-armed intercontinental missiles from enemies such as North Korea.

Pentagon: ‘Milestone’ ICBM missile intercept test a success | TheHill

Pentagon officials on Monday announced the success of a first-of-its-kind missile defense test in California.

Pentagon: missile defense test succeeds in shootdown

In the first test of its kind, the Pentagon on Monday carried out a “salvo” intercept of an unarmed missile soaring over the Pacific, using two interceptor missiles launched from underground silos in southern California.

US Missile Defense Agency successfully tests interceptors – CNNPolitics

The Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency successfully launched two ground-based missile interceptors in rapid succession Monday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California against a simulated intercontinental ballistic missile launched from a test site on the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific, according to a statement by the US Missile Defense Agency.

U.S. Missile Defense Agency complete historic missile interceptors test – Defence Blog

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency and aerospace giant Boeing for the first time launched two Ground-based Midcourse Defense system interceptors to destroy a threat-representative target, validating the fielded system protects the United States from intercontinental ballistic missiles. According to a statement by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, two ground-based missile, or GMD, interceptors in rapid succession Monday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California against a simulated intercontinental ballistic missile launched from a test site on the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific. In the test, one interceptor struck the target in space. The second interceptor observed that intercept before destroying additional debris to ensure missile destruction. The test is known as a “two-shot salvo” engagement. The target launched from Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean while the interceptors launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. “The data collected from this test will enhance missile defense for years to come and solidify confidence in the system,” said Paul Smith, Boeing vice president and program director, Ground-based Midcourse Defense. “We continue to increase the system’s reliability as the U.S. government plans to expand the number of interceptors protecting the country.” GMD interceptors are located at Vandenberg Air Force Base and Alaska’s Fort Greely. The system is an integral part of America’s layered ballistic missile defense architecture. Boeing has been the GMD prime contractor since 2001.

Two Dozen F-22 Raptors Perform “Elephant Walk” As Part Or Readiness Exercise at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. – The Aviationist

Some really cool photographs of two dozen F-22s from the 3rd Wing and 477th Fighter Group taxiing in close formation with an E-3 Sentry and a C-17 Globemaster III during a Polar Force exercise at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, were posted online on Mar. 26, 2019. Both types are based at JBER. The aircraft staged what is known as an “Elephant Walk”, a kind of drills during which combat planes (including tankers) taxi in close formation in the same way they would do in case of a minimum interval takeoff, then, depending on the purpose of the training event, they can either take off or return back to their parking slots. What is particularly interesting in the photos of the exercise at JBER, is the fact that, along with the Raptors, also a Sentry took part in the “walk”. 3rd Wing’s F-22s and E-3s often team up during QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) launches triggered by Russian long-range bombers flying in the vicinity of the Alaskan ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone). This is what we wrote in 2017 about such “combined scrambles”:

Here Are The First Shots Of The Russian Navy Tu-142MK ASW Aircraft Escorted By The Italian Typhoons Off Iceland – The Aviationist

As already reported, on Mar. 18, 2019, two Italian Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon jets deployed to Keflavik, Iceland, to support NATO’s Air Policing operations, were scrambled to intercept and escort two Russian Tu-142 Bear F aircraft flying in the vicinity of the Icelandic borders. The intercept was the first carried out since the F-2000A jets (as the Italian Typhoons are designated in accordance with Italy’s MoD Mission Design Series) arrived in Iceland for a 4-week deployment on Mar. 11, 2019: the Typhoons, at the fourth rotation in support of NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing (the previous ones were in 2013, 2017 and 2018), undertake QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) duties, providing intercept capabilities for Iceland, a NATO ally that does not have a full range of air defence assets; a task periodically carried out also by fighter aircraft from Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Portugal and the United States. With the help of NATO Allied Air Command, we have obtained two images (courtesy of the Italian Air Force) taken by the Italian pilots as they shadowed the pretty rare aircraft: these allow the identification of at least one of the two maritime patrol and ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) as a Tu-142MK (NATO reporting name Bear-F Mod. 3). Considered that Russia’s Naval Aviation operates just one squadron of Tu-142MKs, it’s safe to assume the aircraft belonged to the 2nd Guards Aviation Group with the 403rd Independent Composite Aviation Regiment, based at Kipelovo-Fedotovo in the western part of Russia (northeast of Moscow).

Russian military to receive first Su-57 stealth fighters in 2020 – Defence Blog

Russia’s Southern Military District is to receive new Su-57 stealth fighters to bolster its capabilities in 2020, Commander of the Fourth Air and Air Defense Force Major General Nikolai Gostev said on Monday. No further details on the Su-57’s orders have been adduced. The Su-57 is a Russian-made fifth-generation stealth fighter designed to destroy all types of air targets at long and short ranges and hit the enemy ground and naval targets, overcoming its air defense capabilities. Vladimir Putin said that Russia’s Su-57 stealth fighter jet is the world’s best plane “by all its operational characteristics and by its armament”. “This is the best plane today, the world’s best aircraft,” Putin said at a meeting with the winners of the Russian Leaders contest. This is the world’s best plane “by all its operational characteristics and by its armament,” the Russian leader added. “No other aircraft can fly as well as our plane,” the head of the Russian state stressed. The TASS news agency says that the Russian Defense Ministry and the Sukhoi company signed a contract on the delivery of the first two Sukhoi Su-57 aircraft at the International Military and Technical Forum on August 22, 2018. Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko said then that the military would receive the first Su-57 out of the planned 15 aircraft in 2019.

Russia To Showcase New Su-57 Fighter Jet At LIMA-2019 Arms Exhibition – UAC – UrduPoint

The press service of the Russian United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) said on Monday that UAC would present the Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jet, as well as a range of other new vessels, at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) in Malaysia

UAC President Shows Russias Su-57 Fighter To Malaysian Prime Minister – UrduPoint

Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) President Yuri Slyusar showed the fifth-generation Su-57 fighter jet to the Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the scene LANGKAWI (Malaysia) (UrduPoint news / Sputnik – 26th March, 2019) Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) President Yuri Slyusar showed the fifth-generation Su-57 fighter jet to the Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the scene. The prime minister carefully examined the entire exposition of the UAC at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA). During the tour, Slyusar commented on the exhibits. “We, of course, offer all those new products associated with the modernization of current aircraft, our new aircraft. We showed Mr. Mahathir the Su-35, which is replacing the Su-30SM, the MiG-35, which we hope will be delivered to many countries, including Malaysia. And, of course, our brand new fifth-generation aircraft [Su-57], which we have not delivered to anyone yet, but I hope that this awaits us in the future,” Slyusar said.

Russia’s nuclear-armed underwater drone may be ready for war in eight years: CNBC – news world | UNIAN

An underwater drone armed with a nuclear warhead is slated to join Russia’s arsenal no earlier than 2027, people familiar with a U.S. intelligence assessment told CNBC. The Russians have yet to successfully test the system’s nuclear propulsion heart, which guarantees the device’s everlasting power.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Propaganda Tries to Hide that Kremlin Interests and Russia’s are Antithetical, Eidman Says

Paul Goble Staunton, March 26 – Russian sociologist Igor Eidman has posted the second in a promised series of articles exposing the falsehoods contained in Kremlin propaganda. In the first, he discussed the contradictory messages Moscow sends to marginal groups in the West to win them over (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/03/putin-winning-support-from-far-right-as.html). In the second, posted online today, he examines the myths the Kremlin uses to try to win over the majorities in Western countries by suggesting that Putin and Russia are the victims of Western aggression, that the Kremlin and the Russian people are totally united, and that resistance to them is both futile and wrong (blog.newsru.com/article/26mar2019/myth2). Eidman examines five key myths the Kremlin propaganda promotes among the core majorities of Western countries: According to the first myth, the sociologist says, “President Putin (and his regime) are legitimate and supported by the people of Russia. One must reach agreements with him as with any other leader of a civilized state.” But all elements of that assertion are false, Eidman says. “Putin is not a legitimate president but a dictator who usurped power.” His elections, like all others in Russia, have been falsified. The top leadership of the country “consists of corrupt secret policemen, sell out bureaucrats and Mafiosi oligarchs.” Moreover, he continues, “this is a band of criminals which constantly violates both the domestic laws of the country and international agreements. They look on foreign partners as suckers who must be deceived” and any agreement with them as something that can be dispensed with whenever it suits Moscow’s purposes. According to the second Kremlin myth, “the Putin regime is Russia. It is impossible to ignore the interests of such a big country and that means it is necessary to cooperate with Putin.” That too is false because “the interests of the Kremlin and the interests of Russia are antithetical.” “The present-day regime is leading [Russia] toward a catastrophe. The sooner it falls, the better it will be for the country. To reach agreement with it means to help it survive and thus not only to ignore the interests of the residents of Russia but openly harm them. If Western countries want to help [Russia], they must harshly isolate the criminal group in power.” According to the third myth, Eidman continues, Russia is treated badly, even offensively by the West. It isn’t shown the honor it deserves or shown the deference due a great power. (This myth, the sociologist says, is designed to make Westerners feel guilty before the Putin regime. Not surprisingly, it is especially popular in Germany.) Again, the reality is exactly the reverse of what the Kremlin claims. It is Moscow that offends others by ignoring the international rules of the game and seeking too rebuilt an empire without freedom for its own people. It is wrong to talk about phobias and complexes when one is really talking about a naked power grab by a criminal group masquerading as a state. According to the fourth myth, “economic cooperation with Russia is very important for the economies of Western country. One must reach agreement with Putin in order not to lose suitable partner” for trade and economic development. The reality gives the lie to such outrageous claims. “Russia is not in even the first ten foreign trade partners of the leading Western countries. The chief direction of Russian business activity in the West is not trade and legal cooperation but the export of many billions of dollars of shadow capital which are used among other things to buy off local elites, the media, and the expert community.” “This money,” Eidman says, “is a delayed action bomb under Western democracy.” And according to the fifth myth, one that the sociologist says has become especially widely promoted in recent months, “Russia has powerful advanced arms and a military. Peace must be made with it or things will become much worse.” Again, the reality is just the opposite of the claim. “Behind the cartoons about rockets intended to frighten Western politicians is concealed the impoverished situation of the Russian military-industrial complex, science and technology. All military ‘know how’ which the Kremlin possesses was created already in Soviet times.” Few other countries want to purchase its arms – unless they have no choice – and Russian rockets have been failing for much of the last decade. The new arms race that the Kremlin has unleashed, Eidman says, “is dangerous above all for itself. Russia has no economic, financial or scientific and technical resources to compete on an equal basis with NATO.” If it pursues this course for very long, it may end as the Soviet Union did when it tried and failed to keep up with the West.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin Economizing on Everything but Security (to Defend Itself) and Giant Projects (to Feed Its Wealthy Allies), Shelin Says

Paul Goble Staunton, March 26 – Preparing for even greater isolation, Russian powers that be are “now economizing on almost everything and particularly on programs” that are for ordinary Russians, Sergey Shelin says. But they are not reducing spending on security because that is about self-defense or on giant projects, the easiest way to give money to their rich allies. Spending on social services will continue to fall, while funds for the military and security services will continue to rise but at a slower rate than over the last seven or eight years. The exception to this pattern will be the continued use of giant projects of one kind of another so that the Kremlin can give money to its friends (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2019/03/26/1771835.html). That reflects a careful calculation of its needs and threats, Shelin continues. The moneyed friends of Putin need to be kept happy to prevent them from opposing the Kremlin leader; but the population as a whole can continue to see its taxes and fees go up while its benefits are continually and, in some cases, dramatically cut. “It is often said,” he observes, “that the simplest way to find money for social needs is to stop spending it on foreign friends from Bashar to Maduro. Of course, it would be good and correct to do that. But neither the Syrian war [nor the spending on Venezuela] plays a decisive role in Russian financial balances.” “For the last several years, approximately ten or so billion dollars have been spent on these things – an amount somewhere on the level of the planned estimates of the 80-kilometer road from Tuaps to Sochi.” In sum, not enough to solve the problem. And ignore reports that the government is spending more on social needs. They aren’t true. The amount supposedly diverted to social needs is far less than any one of the giant projects that the regime is involved with. That has been obscured by a propaganda campaign consisting of three elements: the announcement of a large number of relatively small shifts, the suppression of statistics showing how bad things are for the population, and deceptive plans about retirement savings that will take money from the population but not give it back at least anytime soon. Instead that money and much else is being diverted to 12 or 14 “national projects,” giant spending programs. A few of these may tangentially benefit the population; but that isn’t the primary goal. Instead, such giant projects are useful to the regime because they allow it to pass tax moneys into the hands of its friends. Not only do all of these projects carry a price tag far in excess of what they will actually cost, thus allowing the wealthy friends of the Kremlin to get even wealthier via government subsidies, Shelin says; but they are not scheduled for completion until years from now, an arrangement that may mean they will get the money but the country won’t get the results. From the point of view of the Kremlin and its allies, that is a wonderful arrangement; from the point of view of the Russian people, it is a disaster.

How Russian state TV has changed its tune on Donald Trump – CBS News

From early embrace to a mournful acceptance of reality — tinged with hope — the Kremlin mouthpiece has offered a shifting portrayal of President Trump

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Mueller Investigation Result Opens Way for a Putin Visit to Washington This Year, Frolov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, March 26 – Many Russian commentators have suggested that the findings of the Mueller investigation may be good news for Donald Trump but will do little to affect US-Russian relations. But Vladimir Frolov, who is well-connected with the regime, says that Mueller’s findings open the way for Vladimir Putin to visit the US before the end of 2019. Because the investigation ended the threat of Trump’s impeachment, a visit by the Kremlin leader to Washington “before the end of this year is completely possible,” he says (republic.ru/posts/93376?utm_source=republic.ru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=morning). Other investigations into Trump’s activities may go forward in the House of Representatives but “politically they will have ever less effect,” Frolov argues. “Trump will continue to accuse of the Democrats of “’a witch hunt’ and ‘harassment of the president’” and those arguments will in fact work to his benefit. If such a visit occurs or in order to make it more likely, Moscow could perhaps make “a gift” to the new Ukrainian president by releasing the Ukrainian sailors, the Moscow commentator says. But his further comments are even more interesting and important: Frolov says that “of course, there couldn’t have been collusion between the Russian intelligence service and Trump and his closest entourage. Those working in the Russian agencies aren’t fools and understand the risk of that kind of influence operation.” “Cyber spying and active measures involving the publication of compromising information are one thing; an operational deal with the immediate entourage of a candidate for US president are quite another. Of course, any intelligence service will seek and establish ties with the command of a future president … but influencing the results of elections is not their business.” According to Frolov, “Russian cyber-interference was done deliberately and in direct pursuit of the goal of harming Clinton. To a certain extent, it recalled the KGB operations intended to ‘harm Ronald Reagan’ and not allow his election as US president. Simply in 016, the social networks gave new possibilities for this.” “Was the game worth the candle?” Frolov asks rhetorically. “In the short term, no: Russian-American relations only got worse. Trump was tied hand and foot, sanctions against Russia intensified and haven’t been weakened it.” And Russian interference in the US elections has been shown, even if there was no “collusion with Trump.” “But in the longer-term perspective,” he suggests, “everything worked out” as Moscow hoped. “Trump, not without our help, became president; and Clinton didn’t. And today, after bein cleared by the investigation, Donald Trump, as Vladimir Putin does not tire of reminding him, can finally fulfill his most important campaign promise – improve ties with Russia.” A summit meeting in Washington would be a great place for that to start.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Overreads Mueller Report Just as Some in US are Inclined to Do

Paul Goble Staunton, March 25 – US President Donald Trump and his supporters are claiming that the Mueller report completely exonerates him because it did not find evidence that there was a direct conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian authorities during the 2016 election. As many have pointed out, that overstates what the report says. Even more at variance with the report itself, some in Moscow are saying that the report “did not find any evidence of Russian interference in the [US] presidential elections” (e.g., politikus.ru/events/117794-blef-myullera-ssha-ne-nashli-sledov-rossiyskogo-vmeshatelstva-v-vybory-prezidenta.html). In fact, the Mueller report’s most important finding in the longer term may prove to be the laying out of what can be known about Moscow’s interference in the US, something that will make it far more difficult for anyone to dismiss that reality however often they cite the report as providing evidence that there was no “collusion” between Trump and Moscow. Some Russian commentators are already coming to recognize that reality. In a quick-reaction piece for Yezhednevny zhurnal, Aleksandr Ryklin says that the release of the US Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the Mueller report may contain some good news for Trump, but it is “definitely bad” for Russia (ej.ru/?a=note&id=33581). If Trump can read the report as ensuring that he is no longer threatened with impeachment for “colluding” with the Russians during the election, Ryklin says, Russians and everyone else cannot fail to see that the report “precisely establishes that Russia made efforts to influence the course” of those elections. Now, he says, “these aren’t guesses, hypotheses, or suspicions, this is a fact established by an investigation.” Over the course of two years, the Mueller investigation established that Moscow not only undertook a massive campaign on social networks to disinform American voters but also offered “the Trump team ‘various proposals’ with goal of achieving victory over Hillary Clinton” – even if it did not find that Trump or his associates made use of these on the basis of an agreement. And that finding, documented in the Mueller report, will continue to cast a dark shadow on relations between the US and Russia, leading to more sanctions and more caution in the development of relations, whatever comfort it brought Trump by not suggesting that he was a participant in a criminal conspiracy with Russia to achieve Moscow’s ends.

RUSSIA’S VIEW OF THE WEST: IT’S COMPLICATED – US Army War College War Room

A BETTER PEACE welcomes AMB John Tefft to the studio to discuss Russia — its strategic interests, motivations, and relations with the U.S. and NATO

UAWire – Kremlin: Sovereign Internet Act was forced on Russian by the West

Russia had to adopt the law on “autonomous Internet” because of the cyber threats from the West, said Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev. “We are not speaking about restricting the work of the World Wide Web. Russia is not going to disconnect itself. Nevertheless, there is a threat that external forces may disconnect Russia from the Internet,” Patrushev said in an interview with Izvestia. “It is necessary to create an infrastructure that would allow us to ensure the operability of Russian Internet resources so that our citizens can use the Internet even if domestic operators have problems connecting to foreign servers or if there is a targeted large-scale external influence,” Patrushev said. According to him, the adoption of this law was “forced on [Russia] to counter the doctrine of “maintaining peace by force declared in the National Cyber Security Strategy of the United States”. “Unfortunately, such an aggressive approach is practiced not only by Washington but also by its closest allies. The threat of British Prime Minister Theresa May to subject our country to cyber-attacks is a clear confirmation of it,” Patrushev added. “Russia should be ready to protect national interests in the information sphere, as well as the interests of its citizens. Therefore, attempts to present the initiative of legislators in the form of a prohibitive measure aimed at isolating our state do not reflect its essence,” the Security Council Secretary stressed.

Moscow Plans to Expand Canal System Between Caspian and Azov Seas – Jamestown

Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 16 Issue: 42 By: Paul Goble March 26, 2019 05:48 PM Age: 17 hours Russia surprised many last year when it used its internal canal system to shift military vessels from the Caspian Sea to the Sea of Azov in order to ramp up pressure on Ukraine (see EDM, May 31, 2018; November 27, 2018). But in fact, river and canal traffic has always played an enormous role in Russian history and Moscow’s plans. And now, the Russian government has announced a new project to expand its internal transit links between these two bodies of water, not only for security reasons but also, and perhaps equally important, to be in a position to expand east–west trade in a way that will compete with the rail systems China and the West have been promoting. Building a new, larger canal system across the North Caucasus has been on Moscow’s agenda on and off since at least 1932; but its security interests, budgetary stringencies and geo-economic goals make it more likely to be carried out now. First of all, Moscow has shifted its main Caspian Flotilla naval base away from Astrakhan in the north, down to Kaspiysk, on the outskirts of the Dagestani capital of Makhachkala, where it is in a position to more readily project power around the Caspian (Pravda.ru, April 2, 2018; Windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com, April 4, 2018; see EDM, May 31, 2018 and November 27, 2018). The prospects of a new canal directly between the Caspian and the Sea of Azov are now sufficiently bright that it has sparked competition between Dagestan and Kalmykia over its proposed route (Regnum, March 16; Chernovik, March 17; Casp-geo.ru, March 22).

U.S. House of Representatives backs bill to oppose Nord Stream 2 – news economics | UNIAN

The U.S. House of Representatives has supported the bill to oppose Russia’s Nord Stream 2 project, a gas pipeline to Europe bypassing Ukraine. Russia has used natural gas to coerce, intimidate, and influence other countries, authors say.

UAWire – NATO Secretary General notes Georgia’s progress in integration to alliance

On Sunday, Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg discussed issues of integrating the country into …

Ukrainian president, Swedish prime minister discuss strengthening of ‘Azov sanctions’ package

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven discussed the strengthening of the sanctions policy against Russia, the release of Ukrainian political prisoners and the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission in Donbas. — Ukrinform.

UAWire – Vucic: Serbia is not going to join NATO

Serbia is not going to join the North Atlantic Alliance, said Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić on March 24, speaking at the ceremony commemorating the victims of the NATO attack on Yugoslavia in 1999. “The Serbian people do not wish to join the North Atlantic Alliance. Military neutrality is a natural choice by the Serbian state,” he said, stressing that the Serbian people do not want NATO membership. Serbian protestors have been demanding the resignation of President Vučić, fair elections and free media for months. The protests started after an opposition politician was beaten in November. According to a parliamentary resolution from 2007, Serbia adheres to neutrality with respect to military alliances; however, on February 12, 2016, the country’s parliament ratified a document on diplomatic immunity for NATO representatives and logistics support on the territory of the Republic. The Individual Partnership Action Plan between Serbia and NATO (IPAP) came into force in March 2015; the document defines educational and technical cooperation, joint exercises and the creation of a positive image of the Alliance within Serbian society. At the same time, in 2013, the Serbian Parliament received observer status in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). CSTO is an intergovernmental military alliance that was signed on 15 May 1992 by six post-Soviet states: Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

Serbian Accusation Lingers Of Link Between NATO Bombing, Health Woes

Darko Laketic says the Western military alliance’s use of depleted uranium remains a growing concern 20 years after the bombing of Yugoslavia.

Stoltenberg: Georgia Will Join NATO, And Russia Can Do Nothing About It – To Inform is to Influence

Clearly, Georgia will be entering NATO. A few questions come to mind. How will Russia react to what they clearly will say is a provocation? What will NATO and Georgia do about Russia already having invaded Georgia twice, and de facto absorbing Abkhazia and South Ossetia? Is this considered another hit to Russia’s manhood that another former Soviet state is now joining NATO and how will Russia react? Is this another hit to Russia’s manhood that NATO is seemingly increasing its encroachment on Russia and how will Russia react? Expect gnashing of teeth, loud Russian protests, and shaking of fists. I don’t expect any shoe-slamming, however. </end editorial>

Lithuanian Court Convicts Former Soviet Officials Of War Crimes In 1991 Crackdown

A Lithuanian court has convicted a former Soviet military chief and a senior KGB officer of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity during Moscow’s 1991 crackdown on the country’s indepen…

 

 

‘Undesirable Elements’: How Stalin Deported Nearly 100,000 From The Baltics In Operation ‘Priboi’

 

On March 25, 1949, the Soviet government deported nearly 100,000 people from occupied Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to Siberia.

U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle fighter aircraft deploy to Poland – Defence Blog

The United States Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA) has announced that F-15E Strike Eagle fighter aircraft, aircrew and support personnel from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, deployed to Powdiz Air Base, Poland, to participate in exercise Rapid Panther. According to a news release, the flying exercise demonstrates the 48th Fighter Wing’s ability to forward deploy rapidly with few aircraft and personnel to execute flying training with the Polish air force. Exercise like this sharpen collective readiness, strengthen relationships with NATO allies and partners, and underscore U.S. commitment to regional security. This exercise is not related to any real-world events. U.S. Air Force aircraft and personnel routinely deploy throughout the European theater to train with and support NATO allies and partners. For reference, the F-15E Strike Eagle is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. An array of avionics and electronics systems gives the F-15E the capability to fight at low altitude, day or night, and in all weather. The aircraft uses two crew members, a pilot and a weapon systems officer. Previous models of the F-15 are assigned air-to-air roles; the “E” model is a dual-role fighter. It has the capability to fight its way to a target over long ranges, destroy enemy ground positions and fight its way out.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: British Lab has Found Residue of Explosives on Parts of Plane Whose Crash Killed Kaczyński, Polish Radio Says

Paul Goble Staunton, March 25 – Polish news outlets are reporting that the Forensic Explosives Laboratory of the British Defense Ministry found residue of explosives on the vast majority of the 200 parts of the remains of the plane whose crash near Smolensk in 2010 killed Polish President Lech Kaczyński and members of his party. Polish radio says that the materials the British have concluded were affected by an explosion were given to London already in May 2017. Many Poles have long suspected that Moscow was behind the crash and have talked openly about the possibility that Russia’s special services placed a bomb on board (http://www.polradio.pl/5/38/Artykul/412476). This report will exacerbate not only the already tense relations between Russia and Poland but also those between Russia and Ukraine whose media are playing up this story. Moreover, they will raise new questions about why the West if it had this evidence did not bring it forward and demand an explanation from Moscow. Polish and other commentators have suggested that NATO countries knew the truth about the 2010 plane crash long ago but did not say so because an attack that killed the president of Poland and his closest aides could lead to a demand by Warsaw that the alliance invoke Article 5 which specifies that an attack on one member constitutes an attack on all.

‘Traces of explosives’ in samples from Polish president’s jet – media – news world | UNIAN

A British laboratory has found “traces of explosives” in samples from a Polish presidential plane that crashed in Russia in 2010, according to a report. The findings by the Forensic Explosives Laboratory (FEL) appear to challenge official reports by Russian and Polish investigators. A British laboratory has found “traces of explosives” in samples from a Polish presidential plane that crashed in Russia in 2010, according to a report. The findings by the Forensic Explosives Laboratory (FEL) appear to challenge official reports by Russian and Polish investigators that blamed pilot error for the crash, which killed 96 people, including then-Polish President Lech Kaczyński, near Smolensk, western Russia, in April 2010, Poland’s Sieci weekly has reported, according to Radio Poland. In an article entitled “The British Have Found TNT,” the weekly’s Marek Pyza and Marcin Wikło say they have established that the Forensic Explosives Laboratory, a unit overseen by the UK Ministry of Defence, a few weeks ago sent a letter to Polish prosecutors in which it said that most of the samples it had received for testing contained “traces of substances used for the production of explosives.” These substances included TNT, according to Sieci. Around-the-clock channel Sky News last year quoted a British air accident investigator as saying that he believes there were explosions on board the Polish president’s Tu-154M plane before its fatal crash in 2010. Poland’s ruling conservatives have long challenged an official report into the causes of the disaster issued by the previous Civic Platform-led government, which cited a catalogue of errors on the Polish side, while also pointing to errors made by Russian staff at the control tower of Smolensk Military Airport. A Russian report placed all the blame on the Poles. A new commission to probe the crash was set up by the Law and Justice (PiS) party, which came to power in Poland in 2015. The party is headed by Jarosław Kaczyński, twin brother of the late President Lech Kaczyński. The commission said in January last year that the jet’s left wing was destroyed as a result of an explosion on board. The commission said that the explosion had “several sources” on the plane. In April 2017, the Polish commission said that the presidential plane was probably destroyed by a mid-air explosion and that Russian air traffic controllers deliberately misled Polish pilots about their location as they neared the runway.

Australia, Holland, Russia start talks over downed MH17 | Fox News

The Netherlands and Australia have confirmed three-way talks with Russia have begun over the ongoing criminal investigation into the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in 2014.

Australia, Netherlands start talks with Russia over MH17 downing – Dutch minister | Reuters

Dutch and Australian government officials have met their Russian counterparts to discuss who is responsible for the 2014 downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said on Wednesday.

Facebook Removes Hundreds Of Accounts From Russia, Iran, North Macedonia, Kosovo

Facebook says it has removed more accounts from Russia, Iran, Macedonia, and Kosovo, citing what it described as “coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

Facebook removes accounts from Russia, Iran for ‘coordinated inauthentic behavior’ | Reuters

Facebook Inc said on Tuesday it has removed more accounts from Iran, Russia, Macedonia and Kosovo, citing what it described as “coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

Facebook bans thousands of pages to fight ‘misinformation’

Facebook said on Tuesday that it removed more accounts from Iran and Russia citing “coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

 

Alla Hurska | Liquidation of the INF Treaty and Ukraine’s Prospects – Jamestown

On March 16, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree on the “Reformation of the Defense Industrial Complex” (President.gov.ua, March 16). The document could have major implications for the development of Ukraine’s Armed Forces. The decree was initially approved on March 6, at a session of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC), during which Poroshenko expressed firm support for the United States’ decision to abandon the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and condemned Russia’s testing of the RS-26 Rubezh (Avangard) solid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missile (reported striking range of 2,200 kilometers). The Ukrainian president also criticized Russia’s actions aimed at expanding the military capabilities of the Iskander-M mobile, short-range ballistic missile system (with a reported striking range of 500 km). According to Poroshenko, Russian behavior “grants Ukraine the right to create weaponry of its own, indispensable for maintaining its military capabilities… including missile systems” (Mfa.gov.ua, March 7). Poroshenko also firmly stated that “Ukraine will not fall for the same mistakes committed with the Budapest Memorandum,” implying that creation of the most up-to-date missile systems will be one of the main priorities of the Ukrainian military-industrial complex (Interfax, March 13). Speaking at another event on March 20, Poroshenko reiterated that Ukraine’s top priority is its missile program as the only means that “could make a potential aggressor pay a high price for potential military escalation… Now the enemy’s territory will become endangered as well” (President.gov.ua, March 20). Based on Poroshenko’s speech, it is possible to infer that the following missile complexes could, under certain circumstances, form the new foundation of Ukraine’s missile program: – The Vilkha rocket complex, equipped with a 300-millimeter missile. This complex is reportedly said to have a strike range of up to 170 km; – The Neptun anti-ship cruise missile, which could be mounted on ship-, land- and air-launched platforms. In terms of technical characteristics, this missile is quite similar to the Russian Zvezda Kh-35 anti-ship cruise missile. According to available information, the reported strike range of this missile is up to 300 km, but it apparently can be extended further (Defence-ua.com, February 13); – The Hrim-2 mobile short-range ballistic missile system, which combines features of a tactical missile complex and a multiple rocket launcher. Developed by the Yuzhnoye Design Office and A. M. Makarov Southern Machine-Building Plant, the complex is reportedly capable of targeting land-, sea- and air-located objects. Importantly, the reported strike range of 280 km is said to be a “formality,” as the distance could be extended to 480 km. As noted by the leading expert of the military magazine Defense Express, Anton Mikhnenko, “For now, this complex is being produced for export, which might change in the near future” (Obozrevatel.com, February 11). Other sources show that research and development operations have been financed by Saudi Arabia. They claim that Saudi interest is primarily driven by the fact that the Hrim-2 could pose competition to the Russian Iskander-M, a weapon that Russia refuses to export except for a less advanced and shorter-range version (UNIAN, January 3, 2018). It is important to address the broad spectrum of assessments by Russian and Ukrainian experts. As noted by Ukrainian parliamentarian and military expert Dmytro Tymchuk, the current capabilities of Ukraine’s military-industrial complex have now reached the levels necessary for the creation of new missiles and missile complexes (Obozrevatel.com, February 11, 2019). From his side, NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov claimed several years ago that the Ukrainian Armed Forces had successfully tested intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBM) at a specially created military polygon. According to Turchynov, Ukraine wields the necessary potential to accomplish the goals of its missile program (Zaxid.net, August 26, 2016). However, this optimism is not shared by everyone. For instance, the deputy director of the Kyiv-based Institute of World Policy, Nikolay Bielieskov, writes that “Ukraine is incapable of engaging in a symmetric response to Russia” in the realms of missile-related initiatives. This is primarily stipulated by the lack of financial means. According to Bielieskov, a basic comparative analysis of the military budgets of countries that have similar missiles in their arsenals show that they spend no less than $10 billion per year (the only exception is Pakistan), whereas Ukraine’s military budget is only $3.5 billion. Bielieskov also argues that all related expenditures on advanced missile development will have to be financed “from Ukraine’s own pocket… not a single foreign investor will be willing to pay this kind of money.” Moreover, he expresses doubts that potential possession of these missiles would preclude Moscow from engaging in further aggressive behavior (Liga.net, March 12, 2019). On the Russian side, Major General Vladimir Dvorkin, from the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, at the Russian Academy of Sciences, stated that, de facto, “Ukrainians can produce excellent missiles with both conventional and nuclear warheads, but will they do it is a purely political matter.” He noted that, in solely technical terms, this is possible: after all “they have already produced mobile launchers with a striking distance of up to 500 km… but they can extend this distance, this is not a problem” (Rosbalt, March 4). At the same time, Major General (ret.) Pavel Zolotarev, a member of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (SVOP), expressed similar beliefs. He argued that when “it comes to Ukraine’s technical-scientific potential, production of such missiles is a trifle. As you all know, a sizable part of our weaponry, including strategic missiles, was created in Ukrainian factories… Even despite the fact that a considerable share of experts abandoned Ukraine, its potential is still sufficient… The rest will depend on the Ukrainian political leadership” (Rosbalt, March 4). In conclusion, it would not be superfluous to quote Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who has categorically argued against the emergence of missiles of this type on Ukrainian territory. Specifically, he stated earlier this month, “We need to understand that the Russians cannot allow these missiles to be deployed there [Ukraine]. We express full solidarity on this issue with the Russian side.” Lukashenka also expressed hope that “Ukraine will not become a playground for big nations,” because “Ukrainians do not deserve it” (Rosbalt, March 1). So while Ukraine likely has the know-how to begin arming itself with short- and medium-range missiles, not everyone in the region welcomes the potential implications of such a development.

Poroshenko, Nazarbayev discuss Ukraine-Kazakhstan relations

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko held a phone conversation with the First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. — Ukrinform.

Ukrainian Hryb convicted in Russia put in separate cell amid declared hunger strike – news ukraine | UNIAN

Ukrainian political prisoner Pavlo Hryb, who declared a hunger strike following a sentence in Russia to six years in a penal colony, has been put in a separate cell. On Monday, Hryb submitted an official letter regarding a hunger strike.

Ukrainian political prisoner Pavlo Hryb goes on hunger strike in Russia following effective death sentence – Human Rights in Ukraine

Pavlo Hryb, the Ukrainian student whom Russia abducted from Belarus, has been moved to a solitary ward with 24-hour surveillance and medical supervision after formally declaring a hunger strike.  –

MEPs again urge to step up pressure on Russia, demand to de-occupy Crimea

The overwhelming majority of members and political groups of the European Parliament once again spoke in favor of stepping up pressure on Russia and demanded that the Kremlin withdraw from the occupied Crimea and some regions in eastern Ukraine. — Ukrinform.

Crimean Tatars Said Detained After House Searches

Russian authorities who control Ukraine’s Crimea region have detained several Crimean Tatars after searching at least 25 homes, a Ukrainian human rights group says.

FSB conducts searches in houses of 25 Crimean Tatar families. Photos, video

On Wednesday morning, March 27, Russian security officials conduct searches in the houses of at least 25 Crimean Tatar families in Simferopol and Bilohirsk district in the occupied Crimea, ATR reports. — Ukrinform.

Raids in Crimea: Russia detains 20 Crimean Tatars

Russia detained 20 Crimean Tatars suspected of participating in Hizb ut-Tahrir

Russia’s FSB detains five Crimean Tatars in Simferopol

Russian FSB takes in five Crimean Tatars afetr searches conducted in Simferopol on March 27

United Kingdom calls on Russia to stop human rights violations in Crimea

The Ukrainian Embassy in the United Kingdom in connection with Russian FSB’s searches in the houses of Crimean Tatar activists called on Russia to stop violating human rights in Crimea. — Ukrinform.

EU urges Russia to stop searches in Crimea and release detainees

The European Union expects Russia to immediately stop searches in the houses of the Crimean Tatars and provide legal protection to all those, who have been detained illegally. — Ukrinform.

Foreign Ministry: Searches in Crimea may become new wave of reprisals

The mass searches in the occupied Crimea may become the beginning of a new wave of prosecution of Crimean Tatars. — Ukrinform.

UAWire – Ukraine’s Military Intelligence: Russia plans to deploy nuclear weapons in annexed Crimea

Russia plans to transfer nuclear weapons to the territory of the Crimea, announced the representative for the Main Intelligence Directorate of …

Nayev: Ukraine’s armed forces not much different from NATO armies today – news ukraine | UNIAN

Commander of Ukraine’s Joint Forces Serhiy Nayev has said the Armed Forces of Ukraine are not much different from the armies of NATO countries today. Nayev says Ukraine’s accession to NATO is expected in the not too distant future.

Ukraine’s army commander: Russian mercenaries shelling civilians cannot be called the military – news war | UNIAN

Commander of Ukraine’s Joint Forces Serhiy Nayev says that Russian mercenaries who are shelling and killing civilians in Ukraine’s Donbas cannot be called “the military.” The invaders understand the “language of Ukrainian weapons” very well. Commander of Ukraine’s Joint Forces Serhiy Nayev says that Russian mercenaries who are shelling and killing civilians in Ukraine’s Donbas cannot be called “the military.” “And on my own behalf, as an officer, I want to add that those Russian soldiers who have covertly dressed themselves in the uniform worn by the mercenaries of the 1st and 2nd Army Corps of the Russian occupation forces and begun firing at civilian settlements – women, children, old people – they have no right to be called the military,” Nayev said in an interview to the parliament’s bulletin Holos Ukrainy. “Because to be a soldier is to be a man of honor, have conscience, courage. To be ready to defend your country till the last breath and not to grab someone else’s, peaceful land. Otherwise, he’s not a soldier, but a plunderer, a criminal,” he said. Nayev adds the Ukrainian soldiers respond to enemy attacks and fire back. “A ‘conversation in the language of Ukrainian weapons’ with the Russian fighters who are directly involved in Russian aggression against Ukraine takes place every day. They understand this ‘language’ very well,” he added.

Russian-led forces launch 23 attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas

Russian occupation forces launched 23 attacks, using weapons banned under the Minsk agreements six times, on Ukrainian troops in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in Donbas over the past day. — Ukrinform.

23 attacks of Russian proxies yesterday: one Ukrainian soldier wounded, one terrorist destroyed

27.03.19 07:15 – 23 attacks of Russian proxies yesterday: one Ukrainian soldier wounded, one terrorist destroyed March 26, the Russian occupying forces attacked JFO positions 23 times, six times using Minsk-proscribed weapons. View news.

Ukraine says soldier wounded in yet another attack by Russian proxy forces in Donbas – news war | UNIAN

From day-start, the enemy fourteen times fired at the positions of Ukrainian troops, including four times with the use of weapons proscribed by the Minsk agreements, launching a total of thirty-one 120mm and 82mm mines. The enemy employed grenade launchers, large-caliber machine guns, anti-tank missile systems, 120mm and 82mm mortars, weapons installed on BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle.

Ukrainian officer posts raw video of another strike on enemy positions in Donbas – news war | UNIAN

Officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Anatoliy “Stirlitz” Shtefan has shared a video of a strike on the positions of Russian occupation forces in Donbas, eastern Ukraine. Three enemy fighters were killed, another four were wounded.

OSCE spots clusters of heavy weapons in Russia-occupied areas of Donbas – news war | UNIAN

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine has spotted clusters of heavy weapons in Russian-occupied areas of Donbas. The amassing of heavy weapons was recorded both in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Two Ukrainian soldiers wounded in Donbas in past day – news war | UNIAN

Russia’s hybrid military forces in the past 24 hours mounted seven attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas, with two Ukrainian soldiers reported as wounded in action. Three invaders were killed and another five were wounded on Monday, intelligence reports say.

Invaders violate ceasefire in Donbas seven times, two Ukrainian soldiers wounded

Russian occupation forces violated ceasefire seven times, using weapons banned under the Minsk agreements twice, in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in Donbas over the past day. — Ukrinform.

Volunteer shares footage of Ukrainian army’s successful hit on enemy post in Luhansk region (Video) – news war | UNIAN

Ukrainian volunteer activist Yuriy Mysiahin has posted footage showing a successful hit by the Ukrainian army on enemy positions in Luhansk region. The enemy lost six people killed and four wounded in the operation.

Border Guards detain militant of Russian Orthodox Army battalion

Ukrainian border guards detained a member of an illegal armed formation, battalion of the Russian Orthodox Army with a nickname Domovoy (“bogie” in English, – ed.) on the administrative border with Crimea on Chongar checkpoint, as the press office of Ukraine’s Border Guard Service reported. “Ukrainian citizen born in Kyrovograd region who lived in Crimea arrived from the temporary occupied territory to Chongar checkpoint,” the message reads. The officers of the operational units of Azov – Black Sea regional department, Ukraine’s Security Service and National Police in Crimea and Sevastopol defined that in 2014 this citizen participated in the illegal armed formations on the territory of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic. According to him, before 2014 he lived in Russia with his family. He used to visit Ukraine through Uspenka checkpoint, which was then opened. “During one of such crossings, he was recruited by Russian special services for participation in the combat actions in Ukraine in the “army” of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic. Then, he joined the battalion of the Russian Orthodox Army where he got a nickname Domovoy,” the border guards informed. It was noted that later, on one of the weekends the man returned to Russia with his family and decided not to come back to the militants.

UAWire – Ukrainian Security Service officer defects to Russia

A self-professed “renegade from the Security Service of Ukraine” (SBU) named Vasyl Prozorov has shown up in Moscow, speaking at a press conference organized by the government news agency Rossiya Segodnya on Monday 25 March, the date on which Ukraine honors its security service. “My name is Prozorov Vasyl Nikolayevich. Between 1999 and 2018 I was an employee of the SBU. As of May 2014, I worked in the Central Apparatus, specifically in the headquarters of the SBU’s Anti-Terrorist Center. As of April 2014, absolutely voluntarily and for ideological motives, I collaborated with the Russian intelligence services, obtaining information on the activity of the Ukrainian security organizations, especially in the region where the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) was being carried out,” the man said. Prozorov claims to have had access to highly classified information concerning the ATO in the Donbas, and to have attended closed meetings of the National Security and Defense Council. “Vasyl Prozorov was fired from his position as senior expert consultant in a department of the SBU’s Anti-Terrorist Center headquarters due to unsuitability for duty – systematic abuse of alcohol at the workplace and discrediting the officer’s rank. Having squandered his officer’s dignity on drink, Prozorov decided to trade in his conscience and military oath by finding ‘worthy’ people in Russia’s FSB,” the SBU said on Facebook. In its Facebook post, the SBU called Prozorov a traitor who spouts “hackneyed fakes”, and advised him to “remember Judas’s fate”. In 2017, the SBU’s counterintelligence department arrested Stanislav Yezhov, an aide to Prime Minister Groysman, who had previously worked at his country’s embassy in the US and in the Ukrainian Presidential Administration. In his position as aide, Yezhov was responsible for interpreting meetings with foreign delegations, and frequently did the interpreting himself. Alongside Prime Minister Groysman, he began working even in the Verkhovna Rada and then in the Cabinet of Ministers.

Russian TV brandishes “SBU defector” – LB.ua news portal

Russian TV brandishes “SBU defector”. The SBU says he “drank his conscience off”. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Ukrainian army checking ex-serviceman for information disclosure – LB.ua news portal

Ukrainian army checking ex-serviceman for information disclosure. He has returned to his family in an occupied territory. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Ukraine’s border guard service denies U.S. special forces arrival

The reports that Ukrainian border guards have recently been getting messages from unidentified numbers warning about the arrival of American special forces in Ukraine are untrue, people should not yield to such provocations, Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service said. “Over the past few days many our borders guards, and possibly other citizens as well, have started receiving SMS-messages of a provocative content from unidentified people. The messages were referring to some secret arrival in Kyiv of ‘American special forces’ and claimed that the Maidan 3.0 issue had been solved and there was no point in [military] service because ‘everything has already been decided for you’,” the agency’s representative Oleh Slobodian wrote on Facebook on Monday. Neither the United States’ nor any other country’s special forces arrived in Ukraine, he said. “[Ukrainian] border guards at their workplace and positions, honestly and calmly fulfilling the duties vested in them by the people,” Slobodian said. The aim of such provocations is to “destabilize the domestic situation and disorient certain social groups and the society as a whole,” he said.

Turkish Diplomat To Take Over OSCE Ukraine Monitoring Mission

The United States has said a Turkish diplomat will be taking over the international monitoring mission in eastern Ukraine as the conflict there continues to fester.

Defense Ministry: 18,752 conscripts to be drafted into Ukrainian army this spring

As part of the spring conscription campaign, 18,752 people are to be drafted into the Ukrainian army, the press service of the Defense Ministry reported. — Ukrinform.

The 107th rocket artillery regiment was reorganized into the brigade

Ukrainian artillery builders build capacity – the 107th artillery regiment deployed in Kremenchug, reorganized into the brigade this year. It is worth noting that earlier part was already a brigade – the 107th missile crew was equipped with an operational tactical missile complex 9K72 Elbrus, which in 2003 replaced the 9K79 “Point-U” complex. In 2005, the brigade was re-armed with the rocket launch rocket systems (RZSV) 9К58 “Smerch” and transformed into a reactive artillery regiment. In 2014, the 1st Regiment Division participated in combat operations to repel the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. In particular, after the massive introduction of Russian regular troops into the territory of Ukraine, together with the 19 missile brigade, the “Smerchs” supported the Ukrainian units coming from the surroundings near Ilovajsky, creating a “fire corridor”. From January 1, 2019, the regiment was reorganized into 107th artillery brigade in accordance with the organizational directive of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Recall that on the basis of the launcher RSZV “Smerch”, testing equipment and missiles of the latest Ukrainian high-precision missile system “Velyka” , which will begin to receive troops this year.

Poroshenko greets National Guard on their professional holiday – news ukraine | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has greeted members of the National Guard on their professional holiday. Poroshenko thanked the guardsmen for serving the people of Ukraine.

Interior Minister Avakov thanks National Guard soldiers for service

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has thanked the soldiers of the National Guard of Ukraine for their service. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine’s National Guard born of Revolution of Dignity – Turchynov

The servicemen of the National Guard of Ukraine defend our state in the east as part of the Joint Forces Operation, and also discourage attempts of the enemy’s agents and saboteurs to destabilize the situation inside the country. — Ukrinform.

219 National Guard soldiers killed in Donbas over past five years

The personnel of the National Guard of Ukraine include 45,000 people, according to Interior Ministry Spokesperson Artem Shevchenko. — Ukrinform.

36 Russian [SA-3 GOA] surface-to-air missiles found in Odesa

Law enforcers found 36 Russian surface-to-air missiles for air defence systems “Pechora” in Odesa region, as Yuriy Lutsenko, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, said at the session of Ukraine’s Government broadcasted by 112 Ukraine. The law enforcers found 36 anti-aircraft missiles, which were supposed to be smuggled from Eritrea (East Africa) to the port. Chief Military Prosecutor Anatoliy Matios and Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko asked to pass these missiles to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. “On the basis of arrest the mentioned property, ammunition and missile system is proposed to be passed to the Armed Forces of Ukraine by sending a letter to the establishment on the necessity of such weapons for our army. I would like to stress that if the Government accepts this proposal, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will receive a modern air defence system “Pechora”, Matios noted.

Counter-battery radar is undergoing state trials [OPEVAL]

The newest Ukrainian counterbattery radar station with digital antenna array 1L220UK “Zoo-3” undergoes state testing at the landfill in Chernihiv region. This is reported by the Ukrainian military portal with reference to the military correspondent Oleksandr Shtupun , who unveiled photos of tests on Facebook. The counterbattery radar 1L220UK is intended for geolocation of enemy artillery positions and adjustment of own artillery fire. The radar detects the exact location of enemy guns, mortars, rocket artilelry systems, and air defense missile systems and tactical missiles at tens of kilometers. In addition, 1L220UK keeps track of airspace, with the ability to acquire RPVs of the enemy. Oleksandr Stupun also informed that specialists of the State Research and Development Institute for Testing and Certification of Arms and Military Equipment simultaneously conduct definitive departmental tests of a flame retardant for the anti-aircraft installation of the Khort-23-2-ZU of the Design Bureau “KHORT”.

Domestic counter-battery radar is undergoing state tests

Specialists of the State Research and Development Institute for the Testing and Certification of Arms and Military Equipment conduct state tests of the radar complex of counterbalanced combat 1L220UK “Zoo-3” This is reported by the Ukrainian Military Portal As the correspondent of Military TV Alexander Shtupun writes, “Zoo-3” uses the modern principle of radar – a digital antenna array. It has a number of significant advantages over analogue phase antenna arrays. – This product was manufactured by Zaporizhzhya NPK Iskra. It is intended to detect fire artillery positions and missile launchers of the enemy with the transfer of their coordinates to their artillery units for further destruction of the enemy, “said Sergei Tsilina, a member of the Test Commission. About the development of domestic counter-battery radar became known in November 2017, when at the training ground artillery center in the village. The girls were shown posters with new counter-radar radar stations . Work place of the counter-battery radar station operator Zoo-3 Photo: Alexander Stupun In June 2018, during the visit of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko to the “Iskra” plant, new Ukrainian counterbalanced radars were shot in the frame for the transfer of new radar stations to the servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Subsequently, a demonstration of the complex took place at the parade on the Independence Day of Ukraine . The counter-radar “Zoo-3” during the tests Photo: Alexander Stupun The general purpose of counterbalanced radar is to conduct artillery reconnaissance and adjust fire artillery. They detect artillery shells issued by one or more guns, a howitzy, a mortar, or a missile, and their trajectory calculates the location of weapons.

Special vehicles based on the “Sapsan” chassis. Illustrations from the departmental magazine

In the magazine “Armament and Military Machinery” published an illustration showing the intention to create a series of cars on the five-axle chassis of the OTPK “Sapsan” (the developer – the Kharkiv Design Bureau for the Machine Building named after Morozov). This is reported by the Ukrainian Military Portal In particular, this includes, in addition to a universal self-propelled launcher, a transport-charging car and a transport vehicle for the transport of missiles. Also on the slide are “medium-range ARCs”, “RSZV”, “complexes of cruise missiles” and “radars of various purposes”. It is worth noting that the magazine was published in 2018. In 2019, it became clear that the state plans to use the four -axle Chassis KrAZ-7634NE for VILK , the coastal complex of the NPP “Neptun” and the “Amber-1800” radar.

“Antonov” building five An-178 military-transports

At the State Enterprise “Antonov” simultaneously with the “import substitution” do not stop collecting the first batch of military aircraft An-178 – at different stages there are five new cars. This is reported by Defense Express with reference to Channel 5. Although nearly all flight design tests are already behind the pilot certification program, pilots will not go over yet. In front of the aircraft, the so-called “import substitution” – according to various estimates, the An-178 has from 40 to 60 percent of the components of Russian production. However, the production of the captured share of components for the aircraft is already in progress.

VK System VK delivered 45th MT-LB-S armoured ambulance

Research-and-production company VK Sistema has issued the 45th medical machine MT-LB-S and has executed the state defense order in order to provide the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This is reported by the press service of the Vasilkiv enterprise. VK System VK issued 45th MT-LB-S machine The armored medical machine MT-LB-S is intended for collecting and exporting the wounded from the battlefield and a cell of massive sanitary losses, with the provision of first medical care. The car was created in 2014-2015. The increased height of the landing compartment provides the placement of wounded two-tier stretchers. In the stern part a winch with an electric drive is installed – a cable can pull the wounded from hard-to-reach areas or from under the fire. MT-LB-C accepted for use by the Armed Forces of Ukraine on September 23, 2015. In 2016, a contract was announced for 120 such cars. According to the Ministry of Defense, for the 2016-2017 years, 30 units of MT-LB-C were purchased, and a certain number of vehicles was transferred in 2018. Last month – February 27, the company announced the release of the forty-fifth armored medical vehicle MT-LB-S and unveiled a photo transmission of the next party.

Two defense state enterprises join two produce automatic cannons in closed loop, – Ukroboronprom

Director-General of Ukroboronprom Pavlo Bukin made such decision to, particularly, decrease the administrative expenses at the enterprises. Besides, the National Council of the State Concern supported this ides. The proper appeal should be sent for the consideration of the government soon. Related: Testing of armored car Bars-8 successfully finished in Ukraine At the moment, 30-mm automatic cannons are the main products of Precise Mechanics Plant and Artillery Construction Bureau. They are the main weapon of BTR-3, BTR-4 and BMP-2. It is expected that the creation of the closed loop of the production will increase the efficiency and speed of the processes; extend the production of BTR-3 and BTR-4. The saved funds from the reduction of the management will be used for renewal of the production capacity and increase of the wages of the workers. “The union of the enterprises will allow to accelerate the processes of the creation of new weapon. Particularly, the issue is about the development of 30-mm and 40-mm automatic cannons, which will use the NATO standard ammunition. These automatic cannons aim for the armament of the existing armored hardware such as BTR-3 and BTR-4 and newly developed hardware,” the message said.

MP5 for the National Police: Will the Soviet weapon be replaced by German?

An agreement with Ukraine on the supply of automatic weapons of the type MP5 is virtually impossible . Commenting on a German wave, spokesman for the Heckler & Koch spokeswoman, Florian Bockermann, commented. Earlier, the head of the National Police Sergei Knyazev said in an interview with the publication “Segodnya” about the intention to replace 90% Soviet armament with pistols MP5. He shared plans to arm them with each patrol dress. From the response of the spokeswoman of Heckler & Koch, Florian Böckermann, it follows: • There is no negotiation now about the conclusion of a contract with the Ukrainian National Police; • The company supplies its products only to EU, NATO and others, which the German government defines as “green zone countries.” Ukraine does not belong to them.

NSDC deputy secretary, representatives of U.S. embassy discuss international audit of Ukroboronprom

Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) Serhiy Kryvonos held a working meeting with representatives of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, the NSDC press service reported. — Ukrinform.

Turning Muslims Away, Poland Welcomes Ukrainians – WSJ

Poland, while fighting European Union quotas for accepting Muslim newcomers, has readily taken in Ukrainians, in the biggest wave of migration into the European Union in recent times.

Ukraine plays key role for future of Europe – Karl von Habsburg

Ukraine is one of the countries that play a pivotal role for the future of Europe. — Ukrinform. Karl von Habsburg, the current head of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, said this in an interview with Ukrinform. “I consider Ukraine to be one of the countries that are crucial for Europe, for the future of Europe and for the concept entitled “Europe for the Future”,” he said. According to him, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) towards Ukraine is not quite what meets the requirements of the future. “We have to open up the prospects of joining the EU for Ukraine in the long term. I know that this will not happen quickly, but there must be a prospect that will provide such a result,” he stressed. “For me, Ukraine is an integral part of Europe. The European Union will not fully exist without Ukraine,” the head of the House of Habsburg added.

Karl von Habsburg – Wikipedia

SBU detains IS-linked foreigner with Ukrainian passport – LB.ua news portal

SBU detains IS-linked foreigner with Ukrainian passport. He fled from Syria. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Ukraine does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights

Ukraine is concerned about the recent escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and adheres to the resolution of the UN Security Council regarding the status of the Golan Heights. — Ukrinform.

Law recognizing Ukrainian Insurgent Army fighters as veterans enforced

The Law which recognizes those who fought for Ukraine’s independence in 20th century as veterans came into force on March 26. The changes to the ‘Law on Status of war veterans and their social guarantees’ include combatants of Ukrainian Insurgent Army. The changes are introduced to strengthen social security of fighters for Ukraine’s independence in 20th century. Individuals who fought for Ukraine’s independence in 20th century as part of: Ukrainian Insurgent Army, Ukrainian People’s Revolutionary Army of Taras Bulba-Borovets ‘Polissian Sich’ Ukrainian People’s Revolutionary Army, Carpathian Sich National Defense Organization or ‘Carpathian Sich,’ Ukrainian Military Organization (UVO), Armed units of Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), are recognized as veterans. The procedure for granting the status of the war veteran to designated individuals will be established by the Cabinet of Ministers. Earlier, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed a law, which expands the list of participants in combat actions by the warriors of a number of forces, which fought for the independence of Ukraine in the 20th century, including the members of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and armed units of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. The soldiers of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army who fought against the Nazi invaders in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine in 1941-1944 did not commit crimes against peace and humanity and were rehabilitated are recognized as combatants.

Law granting fighters for Ukraine’s independence in 20th century combatant status comes into force – news politics | UNIAN

The Law of Ukraine “On the Status of War Veterans, Guarantees of their Social Protection” regarding the enhancement of social protection of participants in the struggle for the independence of Ukraine in the 20th century came into force on March 26, 2019. The procedure for granting the combatant status shall be established by the Cabinet of Ministers. The Law of Ukraine “On the Status of War Veterans, Guarantees of their Social Protection” regarding the enhancement of social protection of participants in the struggle for the independence of Ukraine in the 20th century came into force on March 26, 2019. The final provisions of the law stipulate that the law shall come into force three months from the date of its publication, and it was published in the parliament’s bulletin Holos Ukrainy on December 26, 2018. According to the document, the list of combatants also includes those who took part in all forms of the armed struggle for Ukraine’s independence in the 20th century as part of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), Polissian Sich, the Ukrainian People’s Revolutionary Army (UNRA), the Carpathian Sich People’s Defense Organization, the Ukrainian Military Organization (UVO), and the armed units of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). In accordance with the law on the legal status and remembrance of the fighters for the independence of Ukraine in the 20th century, they are recognized “fighters for the country’s independence in the 20th century.” The procedure for granting the combatant status shall be established by the Cabinet of Ministers. As UNIAN reported earlier, the Ukrainian parliament passed the draft law on December 6. A total of 236 out of the 326 lawmakers registered in the session hall voted the document. According to the All-Ukrainian Brotherhood of the OUN-UPA named after General-Khorunzhyi Roman Shukhevych, the number of participants in the struggle for Ukraine’s independence in the 20th century from among armed units of OUN and UPA was estimated at 1,201 people as of May 23, 2018, an explanatory note to the law said.

Kyiv’s appeals court upholds decision not to return Akhmetov’s Ukrtelecom to state ownership – news economics | UNIAN

Kyiv’s Pivnicnyi Economic Court of Appeals has turned down an appeal filed by the State Property Fund (SPF) of Ukraine and upheld a decision of Kyiv’s Economic Court, which refused to satisfy the SPF’s lawsuit against Ukrainian businessman Rinat Akhmetov’s ESU company for cancelling the deal to sell a 92.79% stake in Ukraine’s telecoms giant Ukrtelecom and recovering US$81.9 million in penalty for late payment of the investment obligation. The relevant decision was made on February 26.

Ukrainian court extends Russian journalist’s arrest – LB.ua news portal

Ukrainian court extends Russian journalist’s arrest. The case will be heard per se on 4 April. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

UAWire – Ukraine offers third of its gas storage to European Union

According to the statement published on the Ukrtransgaz website, Ukraine is ready to lease at least a third of its gas storages to EU countries. …

Ukraine’s GDP growth hit 3.3 percent in 2018, but might slow this year | KyivPost

The growth of Ukraine’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018 reached a record level since 2011 – growing by 3.3 percent compared to 2.5 percent in 2017, the State Statistics Service of Ukraine reported on March 21. However, it still fell short of the 3.5 percent forecast figure given late last year by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Nominal GDP reached $131 billion in 2018, which is $19 billion more than for the previous year. The acceleration in economic growth was caused by a 7.8 percent jump in agricultural output following a record high grain harvest, while consumption (8.9 percent) and investment (14.3 percent) were the key underlying drivers, according to Olena Bilan, chief economist at Ukraine’s leading private equity firm Dragon Capital. Trade and construction together were responsible for near 11 percent of the growth, while manufacturing saw a paltry 0.6 percent growth, which acted as restraining factor. GDP per capita was also up reaching $3,098. However, this is still modest compared to other European countries, like Poland, where the figure is fives time higher, at $15,444, or Hungary, where it is $14,237.

Expert: Draft law on the Bar should be adopted to complete judicial reform

A draft law on the Bar, which introduces new views on a barrister in judicial proceedings, should be passed as part of the continuation of judicial reform in Ukraine. — Ukrinform.

Decentralization allows territorial communities to develop – Kuts

Thanks to the decentralization reform, the united territorial communities in Donetsk region received real financial opportunities for their development. — Ukrinform.

Who’s Who In Ukraine: In One Town, Most Names Are The Same

In the western Ukrainian town of Sernyky, more than two-thirds of the inhabitants share the same surname, Polyukovich. It could be cause for confusion, particularly in the upcoming elections, but locals say they’ve got everything figured out.

Comedian set to win first round of Ukraine presidential vote | Reuters

Ukrainians exhausted by five years of war and decades of official corruption look set to send a comedian with no political experience into a second round run-off against the incumbent when they vote in Sunday’s presidential election.

Ukraine election: Why vote matters and a comedian might win – BBC News

A comedian livens up Ukraine’s presidential election, as many voters feel let down by politicians.

Unpredictable election makes Ukraine’s friends wary | Reuters

Ukraine’s Western backers fear the country’s next president may prove unwilling or unable to accelerate reforms they have spent five years investing in, whoever it turns out to be.

No Joke: TV Comic Leads Ukrainian Presidential Race

The star of a Ukrainian TV comedy about a teacher who becomes president is leading opinion polls in the real-life race to become the country’s president.

Observers from Ukrainian Diaspora monitoring election process, media for disinformation spread outside Ukraine

The total number of short-term observers from the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) and the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America at the presidential elections in Ukraine will be 296 people, said head of the UWC mission Eugene Czolij.

Over 560 international observers arrived in Ukraine over past day

More than 560 international observers have arrived in Ukraine over the past day, according to State Border Guard Service’s Spokesperson Oleh Slobodyan. — Ukrinform.

Over 300,000 Ukrainians change polling place

A total of 315,725 Ukrainians have used the right to change polling place at the presidential election in Ukraine on March 31. — Ukrinform.

Zelensky leading in presidential polls, followed by Poroshenko, Hrytsenko, Tymoshenko – RAND poll

KYIV. March 25 (Interfax-Ukraine) – If the presidential election had been held next Sunday, 17.3% of those polled would have voted for showman Volodymyr Zelensky, incumbent President Petro Poroshenko would have been supported by 13.9%, Civil Position Party leader Anatoliy Hrytsenko by 13.2% and Batkivschyna Party leader Yulia Tymoshenko by 13%. Those are the results of a survey conducted by the Center for Social Engineering RAND presented at the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency on Monday. Some 8.5% of those polled said they would vote for Opposition Platform – For Life leader Yuriy Boiko, 3.6% for Opposition Bloc leader Oleksandr Vilkul, and 3.2% for Radical Party leader Oleh Liashko. Among respondents who have made their choice and said they would definitely vote, Zelensky leads with 22.5% of votes, followed by Poroshenko with 18.1%, Hrytsenko with 17.1%, Tymoshenko with 16.9%, Boiko with 11%, Vilkul with 4.7%, and Liashko with 4.2%. Some 8% of respondents said they still had not made up their minds, while 15.4% said they would not vote. If Zelensky and Tymoshenko make it to the second round of elections, the former would win 30.6% to 16.5%. A Poroshenko versus Zelensky race would see the latter win 29.4% to 21.8%. Zelensky would also defeat Hrytsenko in the second round by a slight margin, 27.9% to 27.8%, according to survey results. In a race between Hrytsenko and Poroshenko, the former would defeat the incumbent president 32.8% to 22.4%. Hrytsenko would also beat Tymoshenko, 32.4% to 21.1%. Tymoshenko would defeat Poroshenko in the second round, 23.7% to 21.6%, according to the poll results. The survey was conducted from March 16 to March 23. Some 1,800 respondents were polled in face-to-face interviews in all regions of Ukraine, except Russia-occupied Crimea and in Russia-occupied areas of Luhansk and Donetsk regions. The margin of error is not more than 2.5%.

Poroshenko: Ukrainians are my allies, Putin is my opponent

27.03.19 10:52 – Poroshenko: Ukrainians are my allies, Putin is my opponent President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko considers Russian president Vladimir Putin his political rival. View news.

Poroshenko: My ally is Ukrainian people, my opponent is Putin

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko considers President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin his political rival.

Poroshenko again says Russia attempting to disrupt presidential elections in Ukraine

National Guard members must prevent attempts by Russia to disrupt presidential elections in Ukraine, President Petro Poroshenko has said.

Poroshenko promises to take all measures for conduct of fair elections

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko assures that he will take all measures to ensure a transparent electoral process, which Ukrainians would trust. — Ukrinform.

Poroshenko: Kremlin has plan to disrupt presidential elections in Ukraine

The Kremlin has a plan to disrupt the presidential elections in Ukraine and turn them into an internal conflict. — Ukrinform.

UAWire – Ukrainian President: Russia will be forced to consent to UN peacekeepers in Donbas

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is confident that Russia will be forced to support the deployment of an international UN peacekeeping …

Last-Minute Lawsuit: Ukraine President Targets Oligarch’s TV Channel Ahead Of Tight Election

The election campaign of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accuses longtime foe Ihor Kolomoyskyy of seeking revenge for the nationalization of a major bank.

Poroshenko to sue 1+1 TV channel, – Petro Poroshenko Bloc

Presidential candidate of Ukraine and current President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko intends to sue 1+1 TV channel for spreading lies and disinformation. Artur Gerasimov, the Head of Petro Poroshenko Bloc’s fraction in the Verkhovna Rada, stated this. “Petro Poroshenko decided to sue 1+1 TV for systematic lies in particularly large amounts, for spreading absolute disinformation that violates honor and dignity of the presidential candidate and the current President,” Artur Gerasimov stated this, the claim was published on the official election campaign website of Petro Poroshenko. Poroshenko’s Bloc calls on Ukrainian citizens to treat news and other information products of a 1+1 TV channel with great caution, as there appears “more political orders from the owner.” “The information policy of one of the Ukrainian TV channels has changed a lot recently… The owner of the channel could not help but use his power… He turned the channel into a tool of dirty political tricks for bad fame against one of the political candidates, in particular, against Petro Poroshenko. Ihor Kolomoysky has destroyed the main principles of free journalism freedom of speech,” the report said. According to Gerasimov, Ihor Kolomoysky is guided by a sense of revenge to the state, taking into account the fact that the government was forced to nationalize PrivatBank, whose co-owner was Kolomoisky. “Besides, the Petro Poroshenko Bloc sincerely sympathizes the journalist team of the channel. Not every journalist takes part in this dirty work,” Gerasimov pointed out. According to the Head of Petro Poroshenko Bloc’s fraction, the bad fame, the severe violations of the elementary principles of journalism, which the channel has used for several months, “do not allow us simply to ignore this.” “1+1 TV channel strikes by the number of lies, bias attitude, disinformation and participation in the election campaign on the side of those candidates supported by the channel’s owner. This channel is not ashamed to borrow fake information spread by the Moscow press. They even let Russian propaganda into Ukrainian information policy,” Gerasimov added.

UAWire – Ukrainian President Poroshenko to aim for MP status if not reelected as president

If Ukraine’s current president Petro Poroshenko does not win a second term in the upcoming presidential elections, he will rename his party and …

UAWire – Tymoshenko claims that Donbas could be returned to Ukraine sooner than Crimea

The Ukrainian presidential candidate and leader of the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party, Yulia Tymoshenko, believes that Ukraine can take back …

Zelensky campaign ready for possible challenge of first round voting results, but hoping there will be no mass violations

KYIV. March 27 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The campaign headquarters of showman and presidential candidate Vololdymyr Zelensky has said it is ready to challenge results of the first round of the presidential elections, but hopes that there will be no widespread voting violations.

MP Berezenko sues Anatoliy Hrytsenko for slander – LB.ua news portal

MP Berezenko sues Anatoliy Hrytsenko for slander. The sum of the claim is 1 hryvnya. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

I will not swear in new president in case of election fraud, – Head of Ukraine’s Constitutional Court

Stanislav Shevchuk, the Head of Constitutional Court of Ukraine, declared about the intention to refuse from taking an oath to the newly elected president in case of vote falsification. Stanislav Shevchuk said in the interview with Strana.ua “According to article 104 of the Constitutions of Ukraine, the Head of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine has to swear in the newly elected president provided there are no obstacles. But I would like to outline that I will never swear in a president if the elections are falsified,” Shevchuk stated.

War-Weary Displaced Ukrainians Struggle To Register For Presidential Vote

War has driven more than a million people from their homes in eastern Ukraine since 2014. Many of them want to vote in Ukraine’s upcoming presidential elections, but it is not so easy.

British Fraud Investigation Office denies investigations launched against Poroshenko, – embassy

The British Fraud Investigation Office (SFO) has not launched any investigations against President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. The British Embassy in Ukraine reported this in its microblog on Twitter Taking into account the recent speculations, the British Fraud Investigation Office (SFO) confirms that we have not launched the investigations against President Poroshenko”, – the report said. On Saturday, the presidential candidate and the leader of the Batkivshchyna party, Yulia Tymoshenko, said that the British Office for the Investigation of Fraud, in cooperation with the OLAF, has launched investigations against Petro Poroshenko related to his corruption schemes. February 25, journalist investigations Bihus.Info, Nashi Hroshi program revealed a sensational investigation into Poroshenko’s and his close associates’ involvement in embezzlement in the Ukrainian defense sector. Igor Gladkovsky, the son of close Poroshenko ally Oleh Gladkovsky, deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, organized a corruption scheme to smuggle spare military-equipment parts from Russia in 2015. The corruption scheme participants were supplying smuggled Russian components and components from the Ukrainian military units through straw companies at prices 2-4 times higher than market ones. One of the straw companies was Poroshenko’s Kuznia na Rybalskomy enterprise. Ukroboronprom state concern, which supervises defense industry production facilities, bought smuggled spare parts from Russia. The journalists could prove the embezzlement of 9,25 million USD, but this was only the tip of the iceberg.

Ex-SBU officer names Ukrainian cities with highest level of terrorist threat before elections – news ukraine | UNIAN

Former officer of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Stupak has said the largest cities of Ukraine may become a target of terrorist attacks aimed at destabilizing the situation during the presidential elections. Stupak said dozens and hundreds of terrorist attacks were annually prevented in the country. Former officer of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Stupak has said the largest cities of Ukraine may become a target of terrorist attacks aimed at destabilizing the situation during the presidential elections. “Such megacities as Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Odesa, and Lviv are the most dangerous pending elections. Odesa is a serious port, money, people who may ensure the victory of a candidate. Dnipro is also a serious city,” he said, according to the Ukrainian online news outlet Obozrevatel. According to Stupak, smaller cities are not in such danger.

Poroshenko, Tymoshenko, Zelensky and Taruta have largest election funds – CHESNO movement

Incumbent Head of State Petro Poroshenko has the largest electoral fund among the presidential candidates of Ukraine, who is followed by leader of the Batkivschyna Party Yulia Tymoshenko, showman Volodymyr Zelensky, and parliamentarian Serhiy Taruta, according to the analysis of financial reports conducted by the CHESNO movement with reference to data from the Central Election Commission (CEC).

Vakarchuk urges Ukrainians not to vote ‘for fun’ in presidential elections

27.03.19 13:30 – Vakarchuk urges Ukrainians not to vote ‘for fun’ in presidential elections Rock musician, public figure Svyatoslav Vakarchuk has called on Ukrainian citizens to vote responsibly. View news.

Ukraine’s top cop walks thin blue line between Russian meddling, free election: National Observer – news politics | UNIAN

Serhiy Kniaziev is the chief of the National Police of Ukraine at a pivotal moment in his country’s history, and he is now responsible for protecting the integrity of Ukraine’s March 31 presidential election. Kniaziev and his Ukrainian colleagues describe their country as a petri dish for Russian cyberattacks — known in 21st Century military doctrine as “hybrid war” — and say the countries that partner with it, such as a Canada, have a lot to learn from them as well.

Interfax-Ukraine to host press conference ‘Know-How of Elections 2019: Promises, Manipulations, Psy-ops against the Voter’

On Wednesday, March 27, at 13.00, the press center of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency will host a press conference on the subject: “Know-How of Elections 2019: Promises, Manipulations, Psy-ops against the Voter.” Participants include: political analyst, head of political and legal programs of Ukrainian Center for Social Development Ihor Reiterovych, expert and political scientist of Ukrainian Center for Social Development Yaroslav Teleshun and expert of Ukrainian Center for Social Development on information and image-building technologies Tetiana Illyuk (8/5a Reitarska Street). Press accreditation by phone: +38 068 166 8659.

Anders Åslund | The Real Russian Candidate in Ukraine’s Presidential Race

On March 22, nine days before the Ukrainian presidential election, Ukraine’s pro-Russian presidential candidate Yuriy Boyko went to Moscow to meet Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev without prior announcement. It’s strange for a presidential candidate to visit a leader of a country with which it is at war, but that was only the beginning of this extraordinary meeting, much of which was broadcast on Russian state television. Everything was wrong with it. Boyko, a former minister of energy under President Viktor Yanukovych, did not go alone. He went together with the real leader of the pro-Russian “Opposition Platform for Life,” Viktor Medvedchuk, a renowned early gas trader and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest friend and representative in Ukraine, while Medvedev was flanked by Gazprom’s CEO Alexei Miller. The formal topic was the gas trade between Russia and Ukraine, the main source of corruption in Ukraine. Medvedchuk was one of the four first people that the United States sanctioned for Russia’s occupation of Crimea on March 17, 2014, one day before Putin annexed Crimea. Strangely, Ukraine has not imposed any restrictions on Medvedchuk. He represents Ukraine in the Minsk group on Donbas prisoner exchanges and he is regarded as the owner of two Ukrainian television channels, 112 and NewsOne, through a middleman. All participants in the meeting made clear that the Ukrainians took the initiative. Needless to say, opposition leaders do not travel to a foreign country, and certainly not to an enemy country, to negotiate a gas deal on behalf of their nation in the final days of an election campaign. Both Boyko and Medvedchuk said they regretted the bad relations between Russia and Ukraine. Neither mentioned Russian aggression against Ukraine. On the contrary, both blamed the Ukrainian authorities. Boyko did not mention the Russian sanctions against Ukraine as the reason for the sharp decline in mutual trade, but Medvedchuk even lied that the Ukrainian authorities had introduced Western sanctions on Russia and poor Russia had only countersanctioned. Neither Boyko nor Medvedchuk had a single negative word to say about Russia as if Ukraine were at fault for everything. Given that Boyko is a presidential candidate, one would presume that he would take the lead, but after a few sentences at the outset, Medvedchuk took over. Of the twenty-minute televised meeting, Medvedchuk spoke for twelve minutes, showing that he’s the boss and Boyko is the underling. His speech was a vicious condemnation of whatever the Ukrainian government has done in the last five years. Anybody who watches this video realizes that Boyko is not the real candidate. Medvedchuk’s long speech was more anti-Ukrainian, anti-Western, and anti-European than one can imagine. His bottom line was Russia and Ukraine must reestablish good relations. Apart from indulging in how terrible the Ukrainian authorities are, a possible gas deal between Russia and Ukraine was discussed, for which the Ukrainian participants had no mandate. Medvedchuk anticipated that both Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream would come on line in December 2019 so that transit through Ukraine would no longer be needed, costing Ukraine 5,000 jobs and $3 billion a year in lost transit fees. Medvedchuk returned to his old brief when he was a very powerful, independent chief of staff to Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, calling for a gas consortium between Russia and Ukraine. Gazprom’s Miller agreed. He claimed that Gazprom was ready to prolong the gas transit contract, which makes no sense with all the new pipelines. Therefore, the whole show did not hang together. If Gazprom has already built these two pipelines, Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream, to avoid any transit through Ukraine, why would it suddenly change course? Clearly, it will not. This was just for show to a slim pro-Russian electorate in Ukraine. The depressed face of Boyko illuminated how tiny that constituency is. At the end, the otherwise ruthless Miller tries to be nice. Although underlining that it is too early to say anything about the eventual price, he claimed Ukrainian consumers would pay one quarter less, which is a dubious claim at best. This painful and sad Kabuki theater suggests that Moscow has run out of steam in Ukraine’s politics and tries the simplest tricks in the absence of any sophisticated ones. Boyko, who is no fool, probably realizes that this video will offer Ukrainians no reason to vote for him. If this is not treason, what is?

Chief prosecutor Lutsenko to open criminal case against Boyko, Medvedchuk for “trip” to Moscow – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has said a criminal case will be opened against head of the Opposition Bloc, presidential candidate Yuriy Boyko and leader of the Ukrainian Choice organization, member of the Za Zhittia [For Life] Party Viktor Medvedchuk for an “unlawful trip” to Moscow on March 22. Lutsenko insists the two politicians crossed the Ukrainian border illegally.

Lutsenko: Criminal case on illegal border crossing in relation to trip of Boiko, Medvedchuk to Moscow to be opened today

Yuriy Lutsenko, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, has said that on Wednesday criminal case will be opened on illegal border crossing in connection with the trip of MP, presidential candidate Yuriy Boiko and leader of the Ukrainian Choice – The Right of the People movement, representative of the Opposition Platform – For Life Viktor Medvedchuk to Russia. “Dear Mr. Prime Minister, dear Mr. Interior Minister, with your permission, I will inform you that today criminal case will be opened on illegal border crossing. But the question is not only for aerial services, but also for the Border Guard Service, which let these persons pass the border contrary to the established procedure. However, the case will be opened and the corresponding reaction will not take long,” the prosecutor general said, speaking at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on Wednesday, responding to the relevant comments of Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov.

Ukrainian PM asks aviation service, border guard to check if Ukrainian laws violated when Boiko, Medvedchuk flew to Moscow

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman has asked the State Aviation Service of Ukraine, the State Border Guards Service of Ukraine and other agencies to check where Ukrainian legislation was violated when presidential candidate Yuriy Boiko and Leader of the public movement Ukrainian Choice – People’s Right, a member of the Za Zhyttia (For Life) party, Viktor Medvedchuk flied to Russia.

[Pro-Russia] MEPs about Medvedchuk’s visit to Russia: Ukraine has to become bridge between Brussels and Moscow

To have any deal between Europe, Ukraine and Russia to create a stable energy supply for each of those regions is very very important. The Member of European Parliament Steven Woolfe commented on the negotiations of delegation of political party Opposition Platform – For Life with the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev and the head of Gazprom Alexey Miller. The delegation was headed by the political council chairman of Opposition Platform – For Life Viktor Medvedchuk and supported by the presidential candidate Yuriy Boyko. “What we don’t want to see is the lights in people’s houses being turned out if no deal is arranged. So, my view is that Ukraine should be in a position to act as a bridge between Russia and that of the European Union, not act as a war between them.” At the same time, Woolfe noted that the European Union wished to become an empire. “And for them, there are many who would like to see it as a war, they would like to stop any negotiations or links between the Ukraine and Russia and this is a big mistake. The world is growing, population is growing, the need for energy sharing is growing. Cooperation is extremely important. The one-sided mentality of the European Union to say that we are right and Russia is wrong and there is no compromise will be a mistake historically,” he added. Earlier, some lawmakers in the European Parliament positively evaluated the latest visit of the delegation of Opposition Bloc – For Life to Russia. The political party’s leaders Viktor Medvedchuk and Yuriy Boiko held negotiations with Russian Premier Dmitriy Medvedev and CEO of Gazprom energy monopolist Aleksei Miller. The talks were focused on resuming direct supplies of the Russian gas to Ukraine and keeping the transit across the Ukrainian gas transport system.

Melinda Haring | Ukraine just showed us how a foreign power can play Trump to its own ends – The Washington Post

The Ukrainian president uses Hannity to get to Trump.

Washington Post: Ukraine just showed us how a foreign power can play Trump to its own ends – news world | UNIAN

Now, just as special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report appears to have cleared President Trump of conspiracy with Russia, the president’s supporters and son are pushing a new angle – the real collusion wasn’t between Trump and Russia but between Hillary Clinton and Ukraine. This bizarre narrative didn’t come from nowhere. Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko told the Hill’s John Solomon in an interview published March 20 that he will open a criminal investigation into an alleged attempt by a top Ukrainian law enforcement official to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Now, just as special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report appears to have cleared President Trump of conspiracy with Russia, the president’s supporters and son are pushing a new angle – the real collusion wasn’t between Trump and Russia but between Hillary Clinton and Ukraine. This bizarre narrative didn’t come from nowhere. It came from Kyiv, where Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is fighting for his political life in a hotly contested presidential election. The path it took to Fox News, the president’s Twitter feed and our broader national discussion gives us an eye-opening look into how foreign powers can play an obsessive president, a sycophantic television channel and a social media echo chamber, Melinda Haring, the editor of the UkraineAlert blog at the Atlantic Council and a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, wrote in an article for The Washington Post. Poroshenko, a businessman who made millions in the chocolate business before becoming Ukraine’s president, is behind in the polls with the first round of the presidential election less than a week away. He’s neither a hero nor a villain. He’s been leading his country since a 2014 revolution deposed a pro-Kremlin leader there; that was followed by Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and the start of a Russian-backed insurgency in eastern Ukraine that has claimed 13,000 lives. Even so, Poroshenko is also a fairly typical post-Soviet oligarch who has not reformed his country’s political, judicial or economic system in any meaningful way, the author said. What may have set Poroshenko’s people off was a speech on March 5 by U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who slammed corruption in a well-timed and entirely justified expression of U.S. concern in the lead-up to the election on March 31. What the president’s entourage did next showed just how easy it is for a foreign power with insight into Trump’s psyche and some media savvy to game the American media cycle. Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko told the Hill’s John Solomon in an interview published March 20 that he will open a criminal investigation into an alleged attempt by a top Ukrainian law enforcement official to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Lutsenko claims the head of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine intentionally leaked evidence that Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was paid off the books by former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych’s party in an effort to benefit the Clinton campaign. Manafort had previously served as an adviser to the pro-Russian Yanukovych, and the release of payment information to Manafort contributed to his resignation from the Trump campaign and gave credence to the Russia collusion charges. The Hill broadcast the interview and then published the sensationalist story. Sean Hannity made Solomon the star of his prime-time show that evening. Trump watches Hannity, reportedly speaks with him multiple times daily, and tweeted the title of Solomon’s story. More than 25,000 retweets later, the Ukrainian collusion narrative went viral. The depressing upshot of this sorry spectacle is that foreign powers can get into the president’s head by following a simple formula: find some way to connect your pet peeve to the president’s obsession with the 2016 election; find someone who can get on Hannity; hope that Trump is watching and tweeting; sit back and watch the fun. Haring said three additional points need to be made here. First, the Hill’s Solomon presents Lutsenko as an anti-corruption warrior, someone committed to the truth and totally unmotivated by politics. Nothing could be further from the truth. Ukraine’s prosecutor general is woefully unqualified (he doesn’t have a law degree), has dragged his feet on every serious anti-corruption case since being installed, and protected his friends, including Poroshenko. Second, the assertion of a “Ukraine collusion” angle is pure drivel. Lutsenko claims he has a recording that Ukraine’s National Anti-corruption Bureau – an office he has repeatedly tried to undermine – leaked Manafort’s off-the-book records to help Clinton’s campaign. Artem Sytnyk, the head of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, denies the charge. Sytnyk is one of Ukraine’s unknown heroes of the past five years; his agency has fought to put members of Ukraine’s corrupt elite behind bars. If Lutsenko has the tape, let’s hear it. Third, Lutsenko accuses the current U.S. ambassador to Ukraine of giving him a “do not prosecute” list and says the U.S. Embassy has interfered in his work. The U.S. Embassy vehemently denies Lutsenko’s absurd claim. Lutsenko’s unfounded allegation is clear retribution for the ambassador’s speech condemning the incumbent government for doing so little to fight corruption. The mechanics of the information operation that Poroshenko’s minions pulled off are obvious. Lutsenko used Solomon to get to Hannity to get to Trump, whose Twitter feed set thousands chattering about nonexistent collusion. The ensuing blather threatens to derail rational discussion, defame diplomats who are doing their job and distract us from far more important matters, the author stressed. The real question is this: If a bunch of obscure foreigners few Americans have ever heard of can play Trump so easily, and so obviously, what’s to stop others from doing the same?

Russia’s State Duma offered not to recognize Ukrainian presidential elections

Russian State Duma may adopt law, which aims for non-recognition of Ukrainian presidential elections’ results

 

 

Bannon: Russia probe set back efforts to work with Moscow | Fox News

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon said Tuesday that the “poisonous” atmosphere that built in Washington during the now-completed Russia investigation has set back efforts to work with Russia “to unite the Judeo-Christian West.”

Bannon: Russia Probe Set Back Efforts to Work With Moscow – Bloomberg

 

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon said Tuesday that the “poisonous” atmosphere that built in Washington during the now-completed Russia investigation has set back efforts to work with Russia “to unite the Judeo-Christian West.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses Say More Homes Raided In Central Russia

The group, which the Russian Supreme Court has deemed to be extremist, said that masked, armed officers raided an apartment in the central Chelyabinsk region, seizing a computer, tablets, books, an…

Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘I’m Not a Jehovah’s Witness: I Simply Don’t Want to Live in North Korea’

Paul Goble Staunton, March 26 – A group of demonstrators came out on St. Petersburg’s Nevsky Prospekt carrying signs declaring “I’m not a Jehovah’s Witness: I simply don’t want to live in North Korea” to protest the continuing repression of followers of that faith and expressing fears that the situation the Witnesses now face in Russia is like the one they faced in Nazi Germany. In addition, they told passers by that the Russian government’s actions, including torture, against the Jehovah’s Witnesses recall Stalin’s mass deportation of them to Siberia in 1951, a crime against humanity that few include in the usual list of the Soviet dictator’s many abuses of human rights (svoboda.org/a/29838109.html). In reporting this story, Tatyana Voltskaya of Radio Svoboda and others make reference to Vladimir Putin’s December 2018 statement that such actions against the Jehovah’s Witnesses were a mistake and needed to be looked into, exactly what the Kremlin leader hoped for, even though as Voltskaya at least points out, he has done nothing to rein in his officials. Instead, he has passed the issue off to the Russian Supreme Court which is supposed to come up with a ruling by July 1. Meanwhile, however, the repressions continue and, in some ways, appear to be growing worse, with entirely credible reports that police are engaged in brutal torture of the Witnesses. Some commentators have suggested that this shows that Putin isn’t in charge, but that is clearly absurd. It recalls the arguments of those who gave Gorbachev credit for anything they liked and blamed his opponents for anything they didn’t. Putin could stop this instantly if he gave the order. He hasn’t, a reflection of his priorities if not indeed his preferences. Vladimir Ryakhovsky, a member of the Presidential Council on Human Rights, tells the Znak news agency that he accepts everything the Jehovah’s Witnesses are saying about official abuses because lying is one of the greatest sins as far as they are concerned ((znak.com/2019-03-25/chem_meshayut_gosudarstvu_svideteli_iegovy_i_podobnye_konfessii_intervyu_s_chlenom_spch_vladimirom_r). He expresses the hope that the Supreme Court will do something to change the direction of official policy which since Putin came to power has been in every case in the direction of restricting the rights of believers especially among groups that Moscow does not consider Russia’s “traditional” faiths. If not, the European Court will certainly rule in their favor. Ryakhovsky reminds that the Witnesses “were the only religious confession which did not support the Third Reich” in Germany at any time. “They were the first the Nazis persecuted in the 1930s. And there were analogous persecutions of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Soviet Union under Stalin.” Now, tragically, these things are being repeated. There is a real danger that if the repression against the Jehovah’s Witnesses is not stopped, he says, it will spread to other faiths, “in the first instance against those who are not among the traditional religions or are somehow connected with Western countries, such as the Mormons, Baptists, Pentecostals and Adventists.” But everyone should be worried, “even non-believers,” Ryakhovsky says. “You must be upset that the Jehovah’s Witnesses are being persecuted. Because today, they are coming for them, and tomorrow they will come for you under some pretext. But possibly, there won’t be anyone left to defend you, as one German pastor said about the repressions in the Third Reich.”

 

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