Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (130) – Election Update


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and compilation.

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Russian PM Medvedev laments sanctions, ignoring the reality that there would be none if Russia knew how to behave itself in a civilized manner. Su-57 PAK-FA export effort gathers momentum. Russia proved to be highly active in GPS spoofing. Sixth upgraded A-50U MAINSTAY AWACS delivered to VKS. Nordstream dispute Danish reports. Butina update. Turkey doubles down on S-400 buy. Reports on MH17 negotiations. Pocheptsov on Russian public exodus from propaganda saturated TV to the Internet.

NATO deploys three surface combatants to the Black Sea, Russian VMF attaches escorts. Bulgaria backs Ukraine on NATO/EU – likely the suspected Novichok attack has shifted attitudes. Hryb update. Crimean Tartar arrests produce much criticism of Russia. Donbas update – reports AFU troops have pursued creeping counter-offensive into the suburbs of Horlivka. SBU rolls up Russian covert operations team in Odessa, run out of Russian held Transnistria. NABU head Sytnyk under investigation for leaking Manafort ledger during US election.

Final day of election campaigning in Ukraine – the weekend first-round vote will result in two finalists in a later runoff vote unless one gets a majority of votes. Final polls put novice comedian Zelenskiy ahead of Pres Poroshenko and former PM Tymoshenko by 10%. Surprisingly intensive Western media coverage of the campaign of widely varying quality, much of it laced with Russian propaganda tropes. The leading position of a comedian who plays a president and is standing for that office has produced a lot of mirth in the Western media, but some of the serious analysts assess Poroshenko’s difficulties as arising from his low key campaign to defeat corruption, and his success in containing the Russian invasion, creating the illusion of normalcy but with economic hardship.

The outcome of this election is important as a poor choice of future president will open opportunities for Russia to further destabilize Ukraine. The risk Pres Poroshenko confronts is that a protest vote could see him replaced.

Recent events include a large number of Poroshenko’s allies being charged, and subsequent reports the charges are unlawful, over a Yanukovich era money laundering scheme. The Beeb will pay libel damages to Pres Poroshenko over a fake news report they ran.

Finally an update on Russian persecution of churches other than the ROC.


U.S. will never lift anti-Russian sanctions – Medvedev

The United States will never lift its sanctions against Russia, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said. “I can answer directly: they [the States] will never lift the sanctions against Russia because their whole policy of the past hundred years has been built on the endless application of sanctions against our country, whatever it was called; the Soviet Union or the Russian Federation,” Medvedev told users of social-networking site VKontakte on Friday.

LIMA 2019: Russia set to clear Sukhoi Su-57 for export | Jane’s 360

The Russian government is set to grant authorization for the export of the Sukhoi Su-57 PAK FA fifth-generation fighter aircraft, a senior Russian defense industry official has revealed. Viktor Kladov, the director for international co-operation and regional policy at Russia’s Rostec defense industrial holding company, said the version of the aircraft promoted to international customers will be named Su-57E (Export). He added that he expects the aircraft to be a competitive bidder for programmes in the Middle East and some parts of Asia Pacific. Speaking at a media briefing at the 2019 LIMA exhibition in Langkawi, Kladov said that “all the necessary documentation” to support the approval of exports of the Su-57E has been submitted to the Russian government by UAC and its parent company, Rostec. Final export approval is expected to be provided by Russian President Vladimir Putin in a few weeks. According to Kladov the Su-57E could be officially unveiled at the Dubai Air Show in November 2019, and this unveiling would reflect the target export market of the Su-57E. “We believe that the Middle East is an attractive market for this aircraft,” said Kladov. In Asia Pacific, countries likely to be interested in the Su-57E include China and India. “China has recently taken delivery of 24 Su-35 aircraft,” said Kladov, “and in the next two years [China] will make a decision to either procure additional Su-35s, build the Su-35 within China, or to buy a fifth-generation fighter aircraft. This could be another opportunity for the Su-57E.” In marketing the aircraft for export, Kladov said customers are unlikely to be dissuaded by the US Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). This legislation, introduced in August 2017, proposed sanctions on Russia’s defense customers in response to Moscow’s alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election and the annexation of Crimea.

Report deems Russia a pioneer in GPS spoofing attacks | ZDNet

Russia has become the de-facto expert in GPS spoofing attacks, which it uses both internally and outside its borders. Russian military and intelligence operations are increasingly using GPS spoofing as a way to protect sensitive locations and cause disruption outside the country’s borders or in military zones, a report published this week has revealed. The report, authored by the Center for Advanced Defense (C4ADS), analyzed 9,883 incidents of GPS spoofing incidents in and around Russia from the past three years. C4ADS concluded that GPS spoofing attacks are emerging as a viable disruptive strategic threat and are now at high risk of proliferation among other belligerent nations, and the current 9,800+ incidents where Russia has deployed GPS spoofing equipment now stand as evidence to its effectiveness.

Russian Air Force receives sixth A-50U long-range radar surveillance aircraft – Defence Blog

“Vega” and Taganrog Aviation Scientific-Technical Complex n.a. G.M. Beriev, a subsidiary of the United Aircraft Building Corporation, delivered sixth modernized A-50U long-range radar surveillance aircraft to the Russian Air Force. “The A-50U long-range radar surveillance and control plane has been modernized as part of the large-scale program of renewing long-range radar surveillance aircraft stipulated by the defense procurement plan,” the Rostec press office said in a statement. The A-50U, which made its maiden flight in 2011, is a further derivative of the A-50, which has been in service since 1989. The A-50 can spot targets at a distance of 800 kilometers and has an operational range of 7,500 kilometers. In contrast with its predecessor, the A-50U is “sharper-sighted,” can transfer data better and fly farther. Its exact characteristics are kept secret. “Long-range radar surveillance aircraft are flying radars with the functions of the command and control post. Their technical equipment, the efficiency of installed radio-electronic systems and flight characteristics are crucial for the speed of detecting and countering a potential enemy’s airborne weapons, which has been proven by the combat experience that has been gained,” the Rostec press office quoted Vega CEO Vyacheslav Mikheyev as saying. The A-50U is designated to detect, track and determine the affiliation of air, large ground and naval targets, transfer data to command posts, guide fighter jets towards air targets and frontline aircraft towards ground and sea targets.

UAWire – Nord Stream 2 AG: Denmark has not refused to authorize pipeline route

Nord Stream 2 AG, the company operating the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, has refuted Naftogaz’s claims that Denmark has issued a negative decision on the pipeline route, RIA Novosti reports, citing a company spokesperson. “The Danish Energy Agency (DEA) has not declined even one of Nord Stream 2’s two applications to receive authorization [for the construction project]. Both of them are still valid,” the Nord Stream representative stated. According to the spokesperson, the DEA has asked the company to include in the project’s environmental impact assessment an optional route for the pipeline in the Danish exclusive economic zone to the south of Bornholm island. Andriy Kobolyev, CEO of the Ukrainian company Naftogaz, previously said that Nord Stream 2 had received “yet another refusal from Denmark”. He wrote on Facebook: “They will once again need to look for a new route. And the Baltic Sea is not that big. There are enough people who want to lay or bury something”. The Nord Stream 2 project will be the second gas pipeline spanning from the Russian coast to Germany along the bottom of the Baltic Sea after the already operational Nord Stream. The pipeline’s length will exceed 1,200 km and it will cost an estimated € 9.5 billion. Denmark is the only country from which Nord Stream 2 still requires authorization. The Danish government has been considering the application since April last year, and has proposed to escalate the discussion to the level of all Europe. To date, Nord Stream 2 AG has received national authorization from all the other jurisdictions that the future gas pipeline will pass through: Russia, Germany, Finland, Sweden.

Unraveling the Putin Enigma – The New York Times

“Putin’s World,” by Angela E. Stent, seeks to put Russia’s relations with the West into long-term perspective.

U.S. Judge Sets Sentencing Date For Maria Butina In Russian ‘Secret Agent’ Case

A U.S. judge says Russian citizen Maria Butina will be sentenced in April after admitting she was a secret agent for the Kremlin who tried to infiltrate U.S. conservative political groups as Donald…

Turkey: Air-Defense Purchase from Russia ‘Done Deal’

Turkey will honor its air-defense deal with Russia despite warnings from Washington, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said following talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.

NATO’s Stoltenberg to stay in top job until 2022 – news politics | UNIAN

NATO allies extended on Thursday Jens Stoltenberg’s term as secretary-general until late 2022, putting the former Norwegian prime minister on course to become one of the Western military alliance’s longest-serving leaders. Stoltenberg is popular with allies, particularly U.S. President Donald Trump, who credits him with helping increase European defense spending, diplomats have said.

UAWire – Russia and Europe negotiate deal on MH17 air disaster

Russia, the Netherlands and Australia have begun confidential negotiations on the catastrophe in which a Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) from Amsterdam to Kuala-Lumpur was shot down over the Donbas in 2014. The first round of trilateral consultations, without announcement or PR accompaniment, took place earlier in March, announced Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok at a press conference in Australia after placing a wreath on the memorial of the tragedy that claimed 298 lives. Russia’s Foreign Ministry also confirmed the start of negotiations. Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told TASS that the negotiations will be “confidential in nature” according to the agreements that have been signed. However, the Netherlands has decided to unveil some of the secrecy. The goal of the negotiations is to discuss the matter of Moscow’s legal responsibility for what happened, Blok said on Thursday while addressing parliament. “We cannot go into the details of the process, because confidentiality plays an important role here. But I can say the following: We are still committed to the quest for truth, justice and accountability,” the minister stressed. This does not mean that Russia has admitted its responsibility for the catastrophe, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in February when announcing the upcoming negotiations. She added that Moscow had agreed to take part in the meetings only if Europe and Australia confirmed their willingness to discuss “the entire set of questions related to the case investigation”. However, there can be accountability without an admission of guilt. The crash of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988 resulted in a potentially similar deal. The passenger plane was destroyed by a bomb, which the British investigation traced back to Libyan intelligence agents, including a cousin of Muammar Gaddafi. In 1991, the UN imposed sanctions on Libya, and 8 years later Gaddafi agreed to hand over the suspected terrorists for trial. In 2003, Libya paid out $10 million in compensation to the families of each of the 270 casualties, but never officially admitted its responsibility for the incident. The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flight MH17 was shot down on July 17, 2014 over separatist-held territory of the Donetsk region. All 298 people on board were killed. Passengers of the flight included citizens of 10 countries. The majority of the victims (196 people) were citizens of the Netherlands.

UAWire – UK decides to stop providing Kremlin financial data of wealthy Russians

The UK Government has stopped automatic exchange of financial information with Russia. Russian news outlet The Bell writes that this decision …

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Internet Users Latest and Largest Form of Russian ‘Internal Emigration,’ Pocheptsov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, March 26 – At the end of Soviet times, a small number of Russians didn’t watch television lest they be drawn into the official version of life in the USSR. Some labelled those who did so “internal emigrants.” Now, a much larger share is ignoring television and using the Internet, and they deserve the same designation, Georgy Pocheptsov says. But their isolation from the official version of life is even greater because of changes in the nature of information and controls over it, the Moscow specialist on information technology says; and that makes their integration into the life of the broader society even more problematic (ng.ru/stsenarii/2019-03-25/9_7539_tv.html). Such individuals “try to escape from the space in which television carries out its political function of creating a collective identity,” Pocheptsov says. “In Soviet times, such work with the masses as much easier: everyone read and watched one and the same thing. Then no one had to speak about ‘bindings;’ absolutely everything bound people together.” Now, things have changed. Television has continued to take on the old functions it had, “but here is the guarantee that it can recover under the conditions of the new life of the country the old Soviet interest?” People not only view different things in different channels but view them in a new way because “today we have post-truth,” or what is the same thing, personal truth. The Internet is playing a major role in this transformation, Pocheptsov says, because it “has separated news from its sources” and thereby allowed its consumers to decide about it for themselves. That means the media work for the consumer rather than the producer of content, something that challenges and undermines television further. While it is still the case that a large portion of the population still gets its news from television, ever more people, especially younger people don’t; and television is changing as well. But at the same time television is becoming “a secondary source of information,” it has become “the primary source of post-truth since various political talk shows have played this role.” TV, especially given the increasing dominance of talk shows, the analyst says, “like other forms of media has become an instrument of cognitive war,” one that identifies and then reinforces views about who is an enemy and who is a friend, intensifying positions rather than clarifying them and playing to the emotions of viewers rather than to their minds. When television functions as intended, Pocheptsov says, “it creates a collective identity and directs it. People must see and distinguish good and evil from a single point of view.” And it continues to play that role to an extent because once such positions are established, it is difficult for anything to change them. But television is being challenged in many ways, some of which are taking place within the TV world itself. Many serials do not echo the views of the news, people binge watch programs rather than others that do. And even if they do not want to, talk shows put on alternatives to make things interesting – and some people pick up on these alternatives. Indeed, psychologists have shown that when people see a point of view they identify with, they become more attached to it even if and perhaps especially if it is attacked by others they do not accept as authorities – and when they can get reinforcement elsewhere as the Internet provides in opposition to television. Television in response, Pocheptsov says, is countering this trend by becoming the pre-eminent voice for post-truth, playing on emotions rather than facts and seeking to mobilize people around those emotions rather than to convince them. That makes it important for some; but it alienates others who now have somewhere to go.

UAWire – Group of NATO ships enters Black Sea

Two frigates from the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) have entered the Black Sea – HMCS Toronto of the Royal Canadian Navy and Santa Marí …

Three NATO vessels enter Black Sea. Russian guard escorts them

29.03.19 10:46 – Three NATO vessels enter Black Sea. Russian guard escorts them The ships of the Black Sea Fleet of Russia escorted NATO frigates entering the Black Sea. View news.

Russian Navy escorts NATO ships in Black Sea on way to Ukraine – news politics | UNIAN

Two Russian naval vessels are closely escorting NATO warships in the Black Sea that are headed toward Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry said Thursday. The commander of a NATO maritime group said Dutch, Spanish, Canadian, Turkish, Romanian and Bulgarian frigates entered the Black Sea on Thursday.

Bulgaria supports Ukraine’s aspirations for joining EU and NATO

Bulgaria confirms the inalterability of its support for the European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine and its state sovereignty and territorial integrity. — Ukrinform.

Bulgaria supports aspiration of Ukraine to join EU and NATO, – Foreign Ministry

29.03.19 11:26 – Bulgaria supports aspiration of Ukraine to join EU and NATO, – Foreign Ministry Bulgaria reaffirms the invariance of its support for the European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine and the state sovereignty and territorial integrity. View news.

Bulgaria supports Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration, continuation of EU sanctions policy against Russia

Bulgaria confirms the consistent support of the state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, said Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria Yuri Sterk during the Ukrainian-Bulgarian political consultations held in Kyiv on March 28, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.

EU once again calls on Russia to release Ukrainian political prisoner Hryb – news politics | UNIAN

The European Union has once again called on the Russian Federation to immediately release the illegally sentenced Ukrainian citizen Pavlo Hryb. It is stressed that the Ukrainian national was sentenced without substantiated charges.

OSCE: Ukrainian doctors must be allowed to see Pavlo Hryb

29.03.19 13:50 – OSCE: Ukrainian doctors must be allowed to see Pavlo Hryb The European Union Mission to the OSCE on March 29 expressed concern over the sentencing of Ukrainian political prisoner Pavlo Hryb. View news.

U.S. reveals volume of assistance to Ukraine Army over past five years – news politics | UNIAN

Since the beginning of the Donbas war in 2014, the United States allocated over $1.3 billion to strengthen Ukraine’s defense capability, that’s according to spokesman for the U.S. Department of Defense, Eric Pahon. The Pentagon official confirmed that Washington supported Kyiv’s aspiration to join NATO.

U.S. State Department Condemns Arrests Of Crimean Tatars By Russian Authorities

The U.S. State Department has condemned the arrests of 23 Crimean Tatars in Russian-annexed Crimea.

U.S. State Department condemns actions of Russian occupation authorities in Crimea

The U.S. Department of State condemned Russia’s actions in Crimea, which turned into intimidation and repression of Crimean Tatars, and called on the Russian Federation to release all illegally detained citizens. — Ukrinform.

EU calls on Russia to stop putting pressure on Crimean Tatars

The European Union is concerned by reports of searches and arrests in Russian-occupied Crimea and calls on the Russian authorities to stop putting pressure on the Crimean Tatar community. — Ukrinform.

UK calls on Russia to stop reprisals against Crimean Tatars

The United Kingdom is concerned about the unlawful searches and arrests of Crimean Tatars by Russian occupation authorities in Crimea and calls on Russia to release the detainees immediately. — Ukrinform.

UNESCO condemns repressions in Crimea – Oleh Shamshur

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has condemned the deterioration of the human rights situation in annexed Crimea, according to Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Ukraine in France Oleh Shamshur. — Ukrinform.

Yelchenko: Russia discrediting international efforts to counter terrorism

Russia discredits the international efforts to counter terrorism by producing fake accusations of terrorist activities and resorting to reprisals against the Crimea Tatar population of Crimea. — Ukrinform.

Russia-controlled “court” in occupied Crimea rules to remand all detained Crimean Tatars in custody until May 15 – news politics | UNIAN

All Crimean Tatar activists earlier detained by occupation authorities in Crimea following mass searches of their homes within the so-called “Hizb ut Tahrir case” will be remanded in custody pending trial, at least until May 15, that’s according to a ruling handed down by a Russia-controlled “court” in the occupied Simferopol Thursday. The hearings have been held behind closed doors.

Pro-Russian court arrests 11 Crimean Tatar activists – LB.ua news portal

Pro-Russian court arrests 11 Crimean Tatar activists. The court met behind closed doors. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Russia arrests 23 Crimean Tatars after largest raid ever in occupied Crimea |Euromaidan Press |

At about 6 AM on 27 March, Russian security forces raided more than 20 houses of Crimean Tatars in occupied Crimea. At least 20 men were arrested and accused of participation in the pan-Islamic organization Hizb ut-Tahrir. The next day, three more Crimean Tatars were arrested in Rostov-on-Don. Hizb ut-Tahrir advocates for the expansion of Islam but rejects violent measures. It was criminalized by Russia in 2003 as a “terrorist group” despite none of its members ever having committed terrorist acts; it is legal in most countries, including Ukraine. After occupying Crimea, Russia enforced its criminal code on the territory in violation of the Geneva Conventions and used this ban as an excuse to persecute the Crimean Tatar ethnic minority of the peninsula. But the evidence presented as proof of the Crimean Tatars’ involvement in Hizb ut-Tahrir is often falsified. The raid on 27 March was no exception.

Emil Kurbedinov on Twitter: “ACCORDING TO PRELIMINARY INFORMATION-ALL ARRESTED CRIMEAN TATARS REMOVED FROM CRIMEA!!! WE ASSUME THAT IT IS ROSTOV-ON-DON!”

The wooden anniversary of Crimean Annexation: Five years of lies, deception, abuse |Euromaidan Press |

When it comes to weddings, a five year anniversary is associated with wood, and it is certainly a rather woody feel to the disinformation on the fifth anniversary of the illegal annexation of Crimea on 18 March 2014. A couple of French tourists travel to Crimea, and, lo and behold, suddenly we hear that this confirms that Crimea isn’t occupied at all. And the old claim that the 2014 referendum was held in accordance with the democratic procedure? Well, it wasn’t. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution, stating that the referendum was NOT VALID. Even Russian President Putin has publicly declared that the plans on annexing Crimea were launched weeks before the so-called referendum. Russian troops were deployed to “help the people express their opinion.“ Repeating lies year after year doesn’t make them suddenly true. The Collins Dictionary suggests the following synonyms for “wooden, in the sense of awkward”: awkward, stiff, rigid, clumsy, lifeless, stilted, ungainly, gauche, gawky, inelegant, graceless, maladroit. Well, it is certainly rather maladroit to claim that the so-called referendum was held in accordance with the Ukrainian Constitution. The Constitutional Court of Ukraine takes another view, judging the referendum a violation of Ukraine’s Constitution. The illegal annexation of Crimea is still a violation of International Law, of the European Security order and, last but not least, of Russia’s own declarations of respect for Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

 

Seven attacks by Russian proxies yesterday: no losses among Ukrainian soldiers, three terrorists wounded

29.03.19 07:15 – Seven attacks by Russian proxies yesterday: no loses among Ukrainian soldiers, three terrorists wounded March 28, Russian occupying forces violated the cease-fire seven times, while four of them involved the use of 20- and 82mm mortars. View news.

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

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

Russian proxies open fire from banned arms in Donbas on Thursday: Report – news war | UNIAN

On March 28, Russian occupation troops seven times opened fire at the positions of Ukraine’s Joint Forces in Donbas, including four times with the use of 120mm and 82mm mortars that are proscribed by the Minsk agreements, the press service of JF Operation reports. Joint Forces have delivered an adequate response to fire provocations.

Securing new ground: Ukraine Army in Horlivka – news war | UNIAN

Ukraine’s Joint Forces entered the outskirts of the occupied Horlivka and reduced the distance to militants’ positions to just 350 meters, according to a Ukrainian volunteer Yuriy Mysiahin. The volunteer explained how the Ukrainian troops advanced in the area. Ukraine’s Joint Forces entered the outskirts of the occupied Horlivka and reduced the distance to militants’ positions to just 350 meters, according to a Ukrainian volunteer Yuriy Mysiahin. “Media wrote that the Army advanced and the units entered the outskirts of the occupied Horlivka. And that the distance with the enemy was reduced to 350 meters. Look at the weather. The frost is gone. The land is already soft, there is no problem digging in now. It’s easy. And no pickaxes are needed. This is what many units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are doing on the front line now. Small groups advance, secretly digging, and strengthening their positions. Distance to the enemy is being reduced to a few hundred steps, and not only in Horlivka. It’s all across the map. The warmer it gets, the further they’ll advance,” Mysyahin wrote on Facebook. As UNIAN reported earlier, Andriy Shor, a mine clearance specialist and a Ukrainian serviceman who participated in battles for Donetsk Airport and the village of Pisky, has said the Armed Forces of Ukraine have reportedly crossed the border of the Russian-occupied town of Horlivka in Donetsk region.

Ukraine’s Armed Forces reportedly cross Russia-occupied Horlivka’s border – Donbas veteran – news war | UNIAN

Andriy Shor, a mine clearance specialist and a Ukrainian serviceman who participated in battles for Donetsk Airport and the village of Pisky, has said the Armed Forces of Ukraine have reportedly crossed the border of the Russian-occupied town of Horlivka in Donetsk region. The Joint Forces Operation’s press center told UNIAN they were checking this report. Andriy Shor, a mine clearance specialist and a Ukrainian serviceman who participated in battles for Donetsk Airport and the village of Pisky, has said the Armed Forces of Ukraine have reportedly crossed the border of the Russian-occupied town of Horlivka in Donetsk region. “Has anyone already written about the fact that the Ukrainian Armed Forces were entrenched in the town of Horlivka? Don’t ask about sources,” he wrote on Facebook late on Wednesday, March 27. “I may have written too much. But let it be as it is,” Shor added in the comments. The Joint Forces Operation’s press center told UNIAN they were checking this report. In addition, the press service of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry told UNIAN they could neither confirm nor deny this information, since “they are not aware of the situation, which is now in the area of Horlivka.”

Ukrainian Armed Forces’ combat experience even surpasses armies of NATO countries in some issues – Nayev

Today, Armed forces of Ukraine, in terms of combat experience, even surpass the armies of the NATO countries in some issues, but a certain path must be passed by Ukraine for accession to the North Atlantic alliance, Joint Forces Operation Commander Serhiy Nayev has said. “Украина давно и последовательно держит курс на вступление в Североатлантический альянс. Всю предыдущую, до 2014 года, историю независимой Украины это тоже делалось, но делалось медленно и неуверенно. Последние же пять лет это – как стремительный рывок вперед”, – рассказал С.Наев в интервью газете “Голос Украины”, опубликованном в среду. “Ukraine has long and consistently headed for joining the North Atlantic Alliance. During the history of independent Ukraine some part of work had also been done until 2014, but in a slow and uncertain way. Over the past five years, we can observe a rapid leap forward,” Nayev said in an interview with the newspaper parliament’s newspaper Holos Ukrayiny, published on Wednesday. In particular, according to him, active promotion is observed in everything that concerns joint exercises and joint actions in the composition of peacekeeping units, training with instructors from the armies of different countries, military science, logistics and other areas. “The Ukrainian army today is not much different from the armies of the NATO countries, and in combat experience, it even goes ahead in some issues. But to join NATO you have to go a certain way. And the steps along this path are clearly defined by the relevant doctrines and legal documents of the government and the Armed Forces. I believe that the date of Ukraine’s entry into NATO is not so far from us,” said Nayev. He noted that the reform of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is a positive and irreversible process.

Military helicopter makes emergency landing in Chuhuyev – LB.ua news portal

Military helicopter makes emergency landing in Chuhuyev. The crew is safe. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

URARP won NARP in a tender for engine repairs

The aircraft repair company “URARP” on March 29 was recognized as the winner of the tender for the average repairs of ten engines D-30KP-2 for military transport IL-76MD. The State Enterprise “Nikolaev Aircraft Repair Plant” NARP “also participated in the tender for the command of the Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The winner of the bidding offered the cost of services 57 499 000 UAH, against 58 098 000 UAH from the state NARP. We remind that URARP Aircraft Repair Company previously performed repair of engines D-30KP-2 under the Air Force tender, then the state enterprise “Lutsk Repair Plant” Motor “was involved as a co-executor.

Ukraine will help Myanmar to deploy light tanks based on 2S1 Gvozdika

The Myanmar Defense Weapons page unveiled a photograph of a combat machine car on Facebook on the 2C1 self-propelled howitz maker, which is being set up in Myanmar with the help of Ukraine. The new combat vehicle is a lightweight 105-mm cannon in the tower from the Chinese fire support machine PTL02 / WMA301 Assaulter on the chassis of the amphibious self-propelled artillery unit 2C1 (which in turn is based on the MT-LB chassis). As Ukrainian Military Page was informed, at the end of January 2019 Ukrainian state-owned company Ukrspetsexport supplied to Myanmar a set of technical documentation for the technological project of assembly production of light-armored machinery (BTR-4U, 2S1U) and medium tanks MMT-40.

Security Service of Ukraine shuts down activity of extremist association (video)

The Security Service of Ukraine suspended the activities of an extremist group controlled by Russia, which, in order to destabilize the internal situation in our country, planned to use an increase in the political activity of the population during the electoral process. The SBU staff found that the group was coordinated by a US citizen, Rustam Tashbayev, a native of the Russian Federation, who was a cadet of the Kaliningrad High Naval College, who was expelled from Ukraine for disruptive activity in 2015. https://ssu.gov.ua/uploads/n_5912_32475645.jpghttps://ssu.gov.ua/uploads/n_5912_12641073.jpg According to the task of the Russian intelligence services, the members of the association were supposed to create their own military formations: the “Ukrainian Insurgent Army” (UPA – with the deployment abroad) and “Ukrainian National Army” (“UNA” – with deployment in Ukraine). On the territory of our country, the process of creation of the “Ukrainian National Army” was headed by a Ukrainian citizen Y. Zabolotny who was repeatedly detained by members of the National Police for the illegal storage of weapons and robberies and was prosecuted through appeals to overthrow the constitutional order in Ukraine. It was established that for a long time Zabolotny negotiated for receiving financial assistance for conducting extremist activity with a well-known agent of Russian special services M.Dulsky. Within the framework of criminal proceedings, the Security Service of Ukraine documented that, on the initiative of foreign curators during the declaration of military status in Ukraine, UNA’s leaders set up the collection of information about places of deployment and routes of movement of units of the Armed Forces in order to commit sabotage and disrupt the mobilization. The Russian trail in the “UNA” activity was confirmed by the results of searches conducted by members of this extremist organization in Odessa, two of which are citizens of the Russian Federation and the unrecognized Transnistrian People’s Republic, and the third is a citizen of Ukraine, a native of Transnistria. In particular, law enforcement officers seized the means of defeat and a thousand copies of newspapers that contained calls for joining UNA. https://ssu.gov.ua/uploads/n_5912_28241484.jpghttps://ssu.gov.ua/uploads/n_5912_50738691.jpg During the sixteen searches, firearms and cold weapons, improvised explosive devices and grenades, explosives, military equipment, communications equipment and internal documents of illegal military formation related to its illegal activities were also identified and seized. https://ssu.gov.ua/uploads/n_5912_88501152.jpghttps://ssu.gov.ua/uploads/n_5912_82616398.jpg As the SBU Chairman Vasyl Hrytsak noted, “All attempts to defuse the situation in Ukraine, including under the guise of patriotic slogans, are doomed to defeat. The Security Service of Ukraine will fulfill its tasks of ensuring the safety of our citizens during the election of the President of Ukraine. ” In the course of investigative actions, automatic fire and cold weapons, explosives, military equipment, communication facilities and documents confirming preparations for the overthrow of the constitutional system and the preparation of terrorist acts by the UNA members for this purpose were discovered and seized. In particular, at the address of residence and in the car of Y. Zabolotnyi, the following are detected and seized :

SBU stops activities of extremist group managed from Russia to destabilize situation in Ukraine

Ukraine’s SBU State Security has stopped the activities of an extremist association controlled from Russia. The group planned to take advantage of the increased political activity of the population during the electoral process to destabilize the internal situation in Ukraine. Ukraine’s SBU State Security has stopped the activities of an extremist association controlled from Russia. The group planned to take advantage of the increased political activity of the population during the electoral process to destabilize the internal situation in Ukraine. “SBU employees found that the group was coordinated by U.S. citizen Rustam Tashbaev, a native of Russia, a former cadet of the Kaliningrad Higher Naval School, who in 2015 was expelled from Ukraine for subversive activities. On the instructions of Russian special services, the participants of the association were to create their own military formations, called the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (deployed abroad) and the “Ukrainian National Army” (UNA – deployed in Ukraine),” the SBU’s press center said on Friday. The SBU said UNA was headed by a citizen of Ukraine Y. Zabolotny, who was repeatedly detained by the National Police for illegal possession of weapons and robbery and brought to criminal responsibility for appeals to overthrow the constitutional order in Ukraine. “It has been established that for a long time Zabolotny conducted negotiations on obtaining financial assistance for carrying out extremist activities with M. Dulsky, a well-known agent of the Russian special services,” the SBU said, adding that during martial law in Ukraine, the UNA leaders collected information on the locations and routes of movement of Ukrainian Armed Forces units in order to commit sabotage and disrupt mobilization. Russia’s involvement in UNA was confirmed by results of participants of this extremist organization in Odesa. Two suspects are citizens of Russia and the unrecognized Transdniestria People’s Republic. The third is a citizen of Ukraine – a native of Transdniestria. A thousand copies of newspapers calling for people to join UNA were discovered,” the SBU said. During 16 searches, firearms and edged weapons, improvised explosive devices and grenades, explosives, military equipment, communications equipment and internal documents about the illegal military formation and relating to its illegal activities were also found and seized, the SBU said. “All attempts to foment unrest in Ukraine, including under the guise of patriotic slogans, are doomed to defeat. The SBU will fulfill its task of ensuring the security of our citizens during the election of the President of Ukraine,” SBU Chief Vasyl Hrytsak said on Friday. The SBU said weapons, including guns and knives, ammunition were found at Zabolotny’s residence, along with flags and other paraphernalia.

Ukraine’s security operatives bust Russia-controlled extremist organization – news ukraine | UNIAN

The Security Service of Ukraine has effectively blocked the activity of an extremist organization controlled from the Russian territory, which was tasked with sowing destabilization, taking advantage of the increasingly pro-active stance of Ukrainians ahead of elections, the SBU press service reports. Leaders of the so-called “Ukrainian National Army”, founded on the instructions of Russian intelligence, organized massive data gathering on the locations and routes of movement of Ukrainian Army units to commit acts of sabotage and disrupt mobilization efforts. The Security Service of Ukraine has effectively blocked the activity of an extremist organization controlled from the Russian territory, which was tasked with sowing destabilization, taking advantage of the increasingly pro-active stance of Ukrainians ahead of elections, the SBU press service reports. Security operatives revealed that the group had been coordinated by U.S. national Rustam Tashbaev, who is a Russia native, a former cadet of the Kaliningrad Higher Naval School, who in 2015 was expelled from Ukraine for the acts of sabotage. On the instructions of the Russian intelligence, organization members were to create their own military groups of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), based abroad, and the Ukrainian National Army (UNA), based in Ukraine.

SBI starts investigation into Sytnyk’s possible involvement in U.S. presidential election – SBI head

The State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) has initiated investigative actions in the framework of criminal proceedings on the possible intervention of Artem Sytnyk, Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), in the election of the U.S. President, SBI Roman Truba has said. The State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) has initiated investigative actions in the framework of criminal proceedings on the possible intervention of Artem Sytnyk, Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), in the election of the U.S. President, SBI Roman Truba has said. “As for the possible influence of the head of the NABU in the presidential elections in the United States. Criminal proceedings on this fact have been recently registered by employees of the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine. We are just starting investigative actions in this criminal proceeding,” Truba said at a briefing in Kyiv on Thursday. At the same time, he added: “I can’t say anything more at this stage.” As reported, on March 15, 2019, Lutsenko said during the Right to Power program that he had received a statement from MP Borysav Rozenblat (unaligned) in which the latter alleged Director of the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) Artem Sytnyk had shared information from the so-called “black ledger” [of the Party of Regions] to support Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. On March 22, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) said its detectives did not collect and hand over to any party any proof of U.S. political consultant Paul Manafort’s illegal activities. In turn, Ukraine’s Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) head Nazar Kholodnytsky said, “If he (Sytnyk) really saw himself as a geopolitical figure and helped Hillary, then it is necessary to draw conclusions. This is wrong … I met with him [Sytnyk] in 2016 and talked with him at a conference in Panama. He also told me he wanted to help Hillary. He didn’t answer when I asked him where he was and where Hillary was.” The leak of the records kept by the Party of Regions was a reason for Manafort’s dismissal as Trump’s campaign manager and became one of the key accusations in the investigation of collusion [between Trump campaign officials] with Russia. The case has been under investigation for the last two years. According to The New York Times newspaper, Manafort’s name is mentioned 22 times in the “black ledger,” which indicates $12.7 million was paid to him from 2007 to 2012.

SBU refutes fake report on “Ukrainian PMC” operating in Syria – news world | UNIAN

The Security Service of Ukraine on Thursday released a report debunking a “journalistic investigation” that was published earlier the same day claiming a “Ukrainian PMC” is operating in Syria. The SBU sources had earlier tipped the agency, in January this year, about the fake piece being drafted, the press service wrote. After a series of revealing briefings by the SBU about clandestine activities and crimes of Wagner PMC, the special unit of the Russian military intel, in Ukraine, Syria, Sudan and Central African Republic, including about the involvement of mercenaries in the murder of Russian journalists, Russian secret services tried to fabricate an ‘adequate response’. To this end, the notorious Federal News Agency (FNA), controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, was tasked to prepare a fake investigation about “Ukrainian presence” in Syria.

Vega: New PMC in Syria with ties to Russia and Ukraine – CIT – news world | UNIAN

The Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) investigative group has said that recently surfaced photos and videos show a Russian-Ukrainian company training a pro-Syrian government Palestinian group “Liwa al-Quds.” Unlike the so-called “Wagner PMC,” this company better fits the description of a private military company, CIT said. On January 20, former pro-Kremlin ANNA News reporter Oleg Blokhin started posting photographs of military instructors wearing St George ribbons (a pro-Kremlin nationalist symbol) and Russian flag patches. Later he posted photos of the same instructors with patches of a private military company “Vegacy Strategic Services Ltd.” The photos and videos posted by Blokhin suggest Russian-speaking instructors have been training a Syrian Palestinian pro-Assad group Liwa al-Quds.

Naftogaz has ‘plan B’ if Gazprom stops gas transit via Ukraine

The Naftogaz group considers an option of complete termination of Russian gas transit via the territory of Ukraine and elaborates the measures that could ensure the energy security of Ukraine under those circumstances. — Ukrinform.

Campaigning Ends In Ukraine Ahead Of Presidential Vote

Candidates in Ukraine’s presidential election spent one final day campaigning on March 29 ahead of the crucial first round vote this weekend.

Pollsters post last ratings ahead of presidential election – LB.ua news portal

Pollsters post last ratings ahead of presidential election. The top three candidates remain the same. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Ukrainians Feel West’s Fatigue With Their Chaotic Country – Bloomberg

Frustration after two revolutions will play out at this weekend’s presidential election in Ukraine. We talk to people in different regions.

Want to know what’s next in Russian election interference? Pay attention to Ukraine’s elections

As Ukraine marks five years since its democratic revolution, Russia’s war against Ukraine has solidified the country’s path toward Euro-Atlantic integration.

How To Watch (And Understand) Ukraine’s Presidential Election

Some of the signposts to watch for when Ukrainians go to the polls on March 31 to pick a president or, more likely, at least narrow their choices.

Ukraine Warned Of Russian Cyberattacks Aimed At Presidential Vote

Ukraine is bracing itself for “unprecedented” cyberattacks during the first round of voting in the presidential election on March 31, Ukraine’s Foreign Intelligence Service has warned.

What’s at stake in Ukraine’s presidential election

Awash in corruption, plagued by a war with Russia-backed separatists, reliant on international institutions for billions of dollars in aid, Ukraine presents stern challenges for its next…

With Russian hawks circling, the west would be wise not to ignore this week’s elections in Ukraine | The Independent

The upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine attract fairly modest attention in the west. Perhaps there’s nothing strange in that because everybody is focused either on Brexit, or on the gilets jaunes protests in France, or the fallout from the release of the Mueller report in the United States. But however important all these issues might be, the future of Ukraine is not

Ukraine corruption crisis haunts president’s re-election bid | Elections 2018 News | Al Jazeera

Many say Petro Poroshenko failed to deliver promises to tackle graft, which is a key issue in the presidential vote.

Report: Ukrainian Presidential Front-Runner Failed To Declare 15-Room Italian Villa

Kyiv-based Slidtsvo.Info reported on March 28 — just four days before Ukraine’s presidential election — that the 41-year-old Zelenskyy paid an Italian company 3.8 million euros ($4.3 million) in 2017 for the luxurious home, which sits roughly 600 meters from the beach in Forte dei Marmi. In a post on Instagram, Zelenskyy’s campaign called the report “fake” and an attempt to “discredit” the candidate days before the election. The Tuscan seaside town has been dubbed Italy’s “Moscow province” by some Russian media for being a favored destination of such Russian oligarchs as Oleg Deripaska and Roman Abramovich, according to the Slidstvo. Zelenskyy’s public asset declaration says he is the owner of four apartments in Kyiv and a country home outside the capital, as well as apartments in Yalta, on the Crimean Peninsula that was annexed by Russia in 2014, and in the United Kingdom. But the declaration fails to mention the villa in Italy, which, according to the journalists, he owns with his wife, Elena.

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.

Last polls: Zelenskiy keeps 10-point lead over Poroshenko, Tymoshenko | KyivPost – Ukraine’s Global Voice

Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy has retained his commanding lead in the presidential race, with an almost 10 percentage point lead over his main rivals, President Petro Poroshenko and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko , according to polls published by two agencies on March 28. This was the final day polls can be published ahead of the March 31 vote, according to Ukrainian legislation. The Rating Group research center found that 26.6 percent of decided voters would support Zelenskiy, while Poroshenko and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko now share second place, both on 17 percent. Meanwhile, according to the research center, former Defense Minister Anatoliy Grytsenko of the Civic Position party will get 9.8 percent, pro-Russian candidate Yuriy Boyko 9.5 percent, Oleh Lyasko of the Radical Party 5.4 percent, Oleskandr Vilkul of the pro-Russian Opposition Bloc 4 percent, former SBU security service head Ihor Smeshko 3.5 percent, and nationalist Ruslan Koshylinskiy 1.9 percent . As for the expected runoff vote, which is scheduled for April 21: 41 percent of Ukrainians believe Zelenskiy will make it to the second round, while 38 percent think Tymoshenko and 37 percent Poroshenko will win through. The Rating Group also asserts that Zelenskiy has the strongest electoral base among the young and middle-aged males living in cities in the central and southeastern regions of Ukraine, while Tymoshenko is most popular among elderly women living in rural central and western Ukraine. Poroshenko is mostly favored by people of both genders living in central and western Ukraine as well. The polls predict a high turnout — according to the Rating Group, over 80 of respondents said they were willing to “participate in the presidential elections to some extent.”

What Ukraine’s comedian presidential candidate can tell us about the future of post-truth politics | The Independent

On Wednesday evening, tens of millions of Ukrainians tuned in to catch a glimpse of their political future. The premiere of the third series of comedy drama Servant of the People offered some immediately recognisable faces. There was “Dmitry Surikov”, a cynical, scheming milk-baron president (read: Ukraine’s chocolate-baron president).

Comedian emerges as leading candidate to win Ukrainian presidency – Daily Monitor

Actor Volodymyr Zelensky’s bid started as a long shot but he has leapfrogged establishment politicians amid public frustration over corruption and stagnating living standards

Frustrated Voters Could Elect Comic In Time of War – The American Interest

In Ukraine’s presidential elections, life is imitating Netflix | The Spectator

Servant of the People is a hilarious Ukrainian situation comedy currently running on Netflix. It opens with a young high-school teacher launching into a…

Why Ukrainians want to elect a comedian as president | Petro Poroshenko | Al Jazeera

The Ukrainian electorate has run out of patience.

Ukraine heads for the polls, with a comedian leading – Candyman v comic

THE MOST encouraging thing about Ukraine’s presidential election is that nobody knows who is going to win. In that sense, democracy in Ukraine is healthy—certainly more so than in its post-Soviet neighbours Russia and Belarus.

TASS: World – Comedian Zelensky continues to lead opinion polls ahead of Ukrainian presidential election

Zelensky is followed by incumbent President Pyotr Poroshenko and leader of the Batkivshchina party Yulia Timoshenko

Comedian Zelenskiy maintains strong lead in Ukraine presidential poll | Reuters

Comic actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a political novice who plays a fictional president in a popular TV series, has maintained a strong lead in Ukraine’s presidential election race, according to an opinion poll published on Thursday.

Volodymyr Zelensky: The showman whose next act may be taking the Ukrainian presidency | The Independent

Ukraine is the kind of place where the bizarre rarely has the capacity to shock.

Kolomoisky explains why Poroshenko should not become president again – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian businessman Ihor Kolomoisky does not consider Poroshenko a successful president, so he must give way to other politicians, according to an interview published by UNIAN. “I believe that if a politician isn’t successful, they should give way to others who will work for the benefit of the country. Had the country had 630 billion in GDP, as in Poland, not 116 billion, I would’ve said: ‘Let hem stay for another five years, maybe he will make it a trillion and two hundred.’ But when we got 116 billion from 220 billion (I’m not saying whether Yanukovych is good or bad, but we had 220 with him)… Yes, there’s aggression, yes, there’s war, yes, there’s separatism, yes, there’s Donbas, the loss of Crimea… But he knew where is going, right? And it didn’t get better. Therefore, it is necessary to give way to someone else, who is more capable,” believes Kolomoisky.

Kolomoisky included in Myrotvorets database

Ukrainian businessman Ihor Kolomoisky is included in the list of the Myrotvorets website (Peacekeeper) (in the Purgatory base). The reason for the appearance of Kolomoisky’s profile in this project is the following: “Violation of the legislation of Ukraine on citizenship by obtaining citizenship of other countries. Conscious participation in the destabilization of public and political life in Ukraine. Manipulation of socially important information. Organization of the distribution of deliberately unreliable information on the TV channel under his control.” The profile of a businessman contains information that he is an oligarch, a billionaire businessman, the founder of the industrial and financial group Privat, controls the largest media group in Ukraine, 1+1 media. It is noted that he has got the citizenship of Israel and Cyprus since 1995. Kolomoisky’s biography from open sources is also given. In early March, he was interviewed by BBC Newsnight in Israel. Myrotvorets was established in 2014 as an NGO for studying essential elements of crimes against the national security of Ukraine, peace, the safety of mankind, and international law and order.

Ukrainian tycoon listed in Myrotvorets database – LB.ua news portal

Ukrainian tycoon listed in Myrotvorets database. He is believed to have manipulated socially important information. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Prisoner To President? Ukraine’s ‘Gas Princess’ Aims For The Pinnacle Of Power

Yulia Tymoshenko was once one of the richest people in Ukraine, then a prison inmate. Now she’s making her third bid for Ukraine’s top job.

The Fall and Troubled Rise of a Ukrainian Populist

The country’s former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko is running to be president, but Ukraine’s allies worry she may endanger the country’s only plan for peace.

Andreas Umland | Some Things Never Change

Ukraine’s presidential election is less than a week away, and no candidate will win outright with fifty percent. Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy leads in the polls and will certainly be in the run-off election on April 21. The big question is whether he will face incumbent President Petro Poroshenko or former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Poroshenko leads Tymoshenko by less than 2 percent, so the race is tight. Poroshenko is counting on several things to put him into the run-off. One is the emergence of “technical candidates” meant to confuse voters. Two political nobodies—Yuri Tymoshenko, a volunteer soldier, and Yuliya Lytvynenko, a TV journalist—are meant to reduce Tymoshenko’s vote on election day. Of course, every Ukrainian citizen has the right to propose her or his candidacy in the elections, yet these two candidates are so marginal that they are not mentioned in most opinion polls, and do not have campaigns or political movements behind them.The appearance of these two names on the ballot is a plain attempt to mislead those who would like to elect Yulia Tymoshenko. A certain number of voters will mistakenly mark the wrong line, giving their vote to Yuri Tymoshenko or Yuliya Lytvynenko when they had intended to vote for Yulia Tymoshenko. The successful registration of Yuri Tymoshenko and Yuliya Lytvynenko would not have been possible without the silent approval from the very state that currently benefits from large-scale Western support. Ukraine’s president, parliament, government, general procuracy, and electoral commission are permitting this and other trickery in the run-up to the presidential election, in spite of their loud adherence to “Western standards” and “European values,” as well as pompous claims for speedy accession to the EU and NATO. That this deceit is still being actively used in a country with a ratified and far-reaching association agreement with Brussels and a strategic partnership charter with Washington should give Kyiv’s Western partners reason for pause. Poroshenko and Yuliya Tymoshenko are very close to each other in the latest polls. This means that the previous irrelevant candidacies of Yuri Tymoshenko and Yuliya Lytvynenko could cost Tymoshenko the presidency. Because of the technical candidates, Yulia Tymoshenko could come third in the first round, but may not be ready to accept such a result. An uncompromising stance by Yulia Tymoshenko would gain legitimacy if the difference between her voters’ support and Poroshenko’s winning result would be approximately similar or even smaller than the percentages acquired by Yuri Tymoshenko and/or Yuliya Lytvynenko. The outcome would be worse and indeed objectionable if Poroshenko would then go on to win in the second round. In such a case, it would become plausible to argue that Yuri Tymoshenko and/or Yuliya Lytvynenko stole Yuliya Tymoshenko’s presidency. To be sure, the probability of the above scenario is low. Most likely, Poroshenko will either come in third, or he comes in second and the margin of his lead, compared to Yulia Tymoshenko’s result, will be enough to avoid fundamental doubts. Technical candidates aren’t new to elections in Ukraine or the broader region. Subverting fair political competition by purposefully misleading voters through word games about the choices they are making on election day has been a staple of post-Soviet politics since 1991. Post-Soviet politics has a rich history of the creation of pseudo-parties associated with names and programs specifically chosen to confuse voters about the identities and ideologies of real competitors in elections. Perhaps the most infamous such example is Vladimir Zhirinovskii’s ultra-nationalist “Liberal-Democratic Party” that the Soviet ancien regime invented in 1990 to discredit and obscure the real liberal-democratic movement emerging at that time. Since then, there have been hundreds of examples of elections, in the post-Soviet space, muddled by the appearance of so-called “technical” parties and candidates the names and programs which sounded similar to those of some genuine political force whose electoral support they were designed to dilute. One would have hoped that Ukraine has overcome this pathology, at least on the national level, after almost thirty years of independence, and its three pro-democratic upheavals in 1990, 2004, and 2013-2014. The fact that the incumbent’s “political technologists” use such cheap tricks in order to preserve his power is not encouraging. It is a stark illustration of the continuing rapaciousness, immorality, and pseudo-patriotism of the loudly pro-Ukrainian clan that currently dominates in Kyiv. While most Western observers hope for a continuation of Poroshenko’s presidency after April 2019, their expectations of his second term, in view of the dubious tools his team has been employing, should not be high. Andreas Umland is senior non-resident fellow at the Center for European Security of the Institute of International Relations at Prague, principal researcher of the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation at Kyiv, and general editor of the ibidem­-Verlag book series “Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society” distributed by Columbia University Press.

Mingarelli on elections in Ukraine: Much is at stake

Ambassador Hugues Mingarelli, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, believes that the presidential elections in Ukraine will be competitive. — Ukrinform.

The Battle for Ukraine’s Presidency is Just Beginning | The National Interest

Allegations of vote buying, corruption, and Russian interference are clouding Ukraine’s elections.

Old Problems Await New Leader in Ukraine

Persistent problems that have plagued Ukraine for decades, including access to basic necessities, are among the many issues the country’s next leader will need to deal with.

Enemy will pay doubly for each provocation on front – Poroshenko

The enemy will double pay for each provocation on the front, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has said. “I, as commander-in-chief, want to declare that for every provocation taking place at the front, the enemy, including the regular forces of the Russian Federation, who have their mercenaries in the occupied territory, will pay twofold. This is happening now. Our fire in response is enough effective!” Poroshenko said during live broadcast from Lviv on the Inter TV channel on Thursday evening. He also said that not only the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but also territorial defense units, and the forces of the defense and security sector “will prepare a lot of surprises to the aggressor” in the event of its adventurous and irresponsible actions.

Poroshenko on Russia’s non-recognition of Ukraine’s election: Moscow’s scenario fails, that’s why they are screeching

The draft resolution on non-recognition of the results of the presidential elections in Ukraine, registered in the State Duma of the Russian Federation, indicates that the Kremlin is unable to carry out its scenario, said President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. “Yesterday, the State Duma of Russia registered a decree on non-recognition of the election results in Ukraine … Probably, they feel in the Russian Federation that their scenario is failing and that is why they are screeching in such a way. Calm down, nothing will come of it! The Ukrainians figured out what was up Russia sleeves. Ukrainians should vote the way the Kremlin would least like,” said Poroshenko at a meeting with voters in Lviv on Thursday.

Russian bill on non-recognition of Ukraine election results shows true intentions of Russian “observers”: Poroshenko – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that the Russian bill on the non-recognition of the presidential elections in Ukraine, submitted to the Duma, confirms Russia’s true position and shows why Moscow had tried to send their observers to the Ukraine elections. Amid the ongoing Russian aggression, Ukraine effectively banned representatives of Russian from becoming observers in the Ukrainian elections.

Moscow hopes to ‘Belarusianize’ Ukraine by dangling possibility of lower gas prices, Portnikov saysEuromaidan Press |

In January 1992, Moscow told Estonia that henceforth, the Baltic nation would have to pay Russia world prices for oil and gas and do so in hard currency. Tallinn did not have the hard currency to do so; and if it had to pay world prices, why would it ever buy petroleum from Russia? The next six months were very hard for Estonians; but thanks to their belief that independence was more important than low gas prices and to help in the first instance of Finland and Sweden, Estonia survived – and by the end of that period, it had separated itself from Moscow’s dominance, become part of the Western economy, and began its success story. The Russian government never made that mistake again, not under Yeltsin and not under Putin. Instead, it has used concessionary prices for oil and gas to try to hold all the former Soviet republics and the two other formerly occupied Baltic countries under its thumb by holding out the promise of low fuel prices, something populist politicians find it hard to reject. This policy has worked with varying degrees of success, but it has remained a bedrock of Moscow’s approach. And it should have come to no one’s surprise that the Kremlin would try it again even with regard to Ukraine which it has invaded, annexed part of the territory of, and is still waging war against. Last week, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Aleksey Miller of Gazprom met with Yury Boyko, an “Opposition Platform” candidate for president of Ukraine, and told him that Moscow was ready to extend the gas transit program with Ukraine, cut the price of gas for Ukrainians at least 25 percent, and enter into a consortium with Kyiv to manage the flow. Vitaly Portnikov points out that this program is intended to lead to “the Belarusianization of Ukraine” by the same “hybrid” means Moscow has used elsewhere, giving populist politicians something they and the population and thus allowing Russia take control of the country. This is exactly the strategy Moscow used earlier with Alyaksandr Lukashenka of Belarus. To boost Lukashenka’s standing with the population, the Ukrainian commentator says, Moscow offered low fuel prices and high earnings from transit – but then took control of the pipeline and thus gained control of Lukashenka and Belarus. The Russian government was able to do this because the paternalistic policies Lukashenka favored could only be carried out with Soviet-styled subsidized fuel prices. He could hardly say no to Moscow over those, and by agreeing to cede control of the pipeline to Moscow, he found himself on the hook just as much as any drug addict, Portnikov says. “At first glance,” he continues, the Belarusian and Ukrainian situations appear to be entirely different: At the time of the Belarusian deal, Minsk was already a “privileged ally of Russia.” The same can hardly be said of Ukraine against which Moscow is waging an undeclared war. “But on the other hand,” he continues, Ukraine today faces enormous losses if Moscow exports gas bypassing Ukraine and its economy is not so vibrant or so integrated into the West that its people and populist politicians seeking to appeal to them aren’t going to find it easy to avoid falling victim to such temptations. To make the deal more acceptable to them under the circumstances, Moscow is proposing to Ukraine not Russian control of the pipeline but rather a consortium, but that is a fig leaf that Moscow can be counted on to tear away at the first opportunity given the dependency relationship it is creating, Portnikov argues. “The Kremlin,” the Ukrainian analyst says, “is accustomed to dealing with the customers for its gas as with drug addicts, first extending the pipeline and then when dependence becomes critical demanding concessions for any new dose.” All too often the Kremlin’s strategy has worked. But people always have a choice if they are certain that “independence from Russia is more important than gas prices,” Portnikov says. And in Ukraine today, there are as before a large number of such people. That has blocked Moscow in the past and should be enough to block it in the future. But Moscow, which rarely gives up on a strategy that has worked before, can be counted on to keep trying.

Ukraine selects Russian gas, poses it as European with markup of Dusseldorf+ formula, – Medvedchuk

Russian gas transported through Ukraine and Europe, sold to Ukraine as European

Interior Minister Avakov meets with observers from UWC, NDI. Photos

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov held a meeting with international observers from the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) for the March 31 presidential elections in Ukraine, according to the Interior Ministry’s press service. — Ukrinform.

Until end of day, police to take all polling stations under round-the-clock guard

Until the end of the day, the National Police of Ukraine will take all polling stations under round-the-clock guard. — Ukrinform.

Expert explains Russia’s destabilization, interference strategy on Ukraine – news politics | UNIAN

Want to know what’s next in Russian election interference? Pay attention to Ukraine’s elections, Alina Polyakova, of the Center on the United States and Europe writes. The Kremlin seeks to prevent Ukraine from moving toward the West by keeping it in a permanent “grey zone.”

Russia to try influence Ukrainian elections by fake exit polls, provocations of radicals

Election process in Ukraine may suffer from Russia’s actions

Nationalists scuffle with police in Ukraine, 3 arrested | Fox News

Police in the Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia have arrested three people after nationalist demonstrators attempted to derail a campaign appearance by President Petro Poroshenko.

Inside the chilling rise of the far right in Ukraine

PROTESTS staged by ultranationalist groups are becoming more common and violence is breaking out across Ukraine as presidential elections draw near.

UAWire – Ukrainian Security Service deports Russian journalist from Ukraine

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has approved deportation of Russian journalist Margarita Bondar, who has worked in Ukraine for the Russian …

“Stranger things” at PGO: Spokespersons say charges against top officials brought illegally – news politics | UNIAN

Larysa Sargan, spokeswoman for Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, and PGO speaker Andriy Lysenko distributed an official statement of the PGO that suspicion notices against former NBU Governor Valeria Gontareva, former head of Presidential Administration Borys Lozhkin, co-owner of ICU Konstantin Stetsenko and deputy chief or Presidential Administration Oleksiy Filatov were announced in violation of law. The official statement of the PGO concludes that “election fever clearly spoils people”.

PGO completed investigation against Kurchenko. 98 persons served with charge papers

28.03.19 18:01 – PGO completed investigation against Kurchenko. 98 persons served with charge papers Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) has completed an investigation against Ukrainian oligarch Serhiy Kurchenko. View news.

Prosecutor Kulyk issues statement on Kurchenko case regarding Poroshenko’s entourage – news politics | UNIAN

Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) Department of International Legal Cooperation, Head of the Criminal Procedural Management Department Kostiantyn Kulyk says former head of the Presidential Administration Borys Lozhkin, NBU ex-governor Valeria Gontareva, odious ex-minister of ecology Mykola Zlochevsky, and other top officials, to whom on Thursday, March 28, he issued suspicion notices, are involved in the case of fugitive oligarch Serhiy Kurchenko. According to Kulyk, the suspicion notice against Kurchenko is 1,360 pages long. It includes episodes of conspiracy of various persons in the commission of various crimes.

Prosecutor Kulyk claims part of documents in Kurchenko case gone – news politics | UNIAN

Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) Department of International Legal Cooperation, Head of the Criminal Procedural Management Department Kostiantyn Kulyk has announced that certain documents has disappeared from the Kurchenko case. The official also says law enforcers are planning to arrest him.

Blow to Poroshenko: Lozhkin, Gontareva, Paseniuk, Filatov served with charges over billion-worth fraud with Kurchenko – news politics | UNIAN

Papers with charges over laundering billions of hryvnias of former President Viktor Yanukovych’s “family” have been served by the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) of Ukraine to Ukrainian oligarch Serhiy Kurchenko’s accomplices: former head of the Presidential Administration Boris Lozhkin, former Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine Valeriya Gontareva, co-owner of the ICU investment company Makar Paseniuk, Deputy Head of Presidential Administration Oleksiy Filatov, and others. In total, 98 persons were served with charge papers, including 12 senior officials of ministries and departments, as well as the National Bank and six heads of regional state administrations in Ukraine, the Ukrainian news outlet Vesti reported with reference to the U.S.-based Russian-language website Forum Daily. “Judging from the documents available to the editorial office, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine has finally completed the investigation of the crimes of fugitive oligarch Serhiy Kurchenko. The member of the Yanukovych’s ‘family’ is accused of really huge theft: in particular, by forgery of documents and various financial frauds at NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine, Ukrnafta and Ukrgazvydobuvannia, he stole liquefied gas and money worth over UAH 2 billion (US$250 million at the then forex rate at about UAH 8 to the dollar), as well as from Naftogaz itself, according to the investigation, Kurchenko siphoned UAH 5 billion (US$625 million),” the report said. “Notorious ex-Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Mykola Zlochevskiy has also become a suspect of the investigation into the financial frauds of Yanukovych’s ‘family’ and the allies of incumbent President Petro Poroshenko. The prosecutor’s office charged him with ‘ assisting in a criminal organization and legalization (laundering) of funds in the amount of $36 million’ while implementing the purchase and sale of the Kherson oil transshipment, as well as while handling financial transactions involving the companies of Burisma Holdings Limited (whose members of the board of directors are Hunter Biden, the son of ex-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, ex-President of Poland Alexander Kwasniewski, Devon Archer, the stepson of ex-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, etc.), Wirelogic Technology A.S., Digitex Organization LLP, and Rosemont Seneca Bohai LLC, in which Hunter Biden is the beneficiary,” the journalists of the U.S. website said.

Prosecutor General’s Office in Ukraine confirms charges brought against Poroshenko’s allies – news politics | UNIAN

Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) Department of International Legal Cooperation, Head of the Criminal Procedural Management Department Kostiantyn Kulyk has confirmed reports about charges brought against incumbent president Petro Poroshenko’s allies. At the moment, the Kurchenko case has 3,000 volumes. Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) Department of International Legal Cooperation, Head of the Criminal Procedural Management Department Kostiantyn Kulyk has confirmed reports about charges brought against incumbent president Petro Poroshenko’s allies. “Yes, I confirm that such charges have been brought,” Kulyk told UNIAN. As UNIAN reported earlier, a U.S.-based website reported that the PGO charged Poroshenko’s allies with frauds related to Ukrainian oligarch Serhiy Kurchenko, which are estimated at billions of hryvnias. As reported by Forum Daily, referring to documents available to its editors, the Prosecutor General’s Office has already completed an investigation against Kurchenko. Papers with charges over laundering billions of hryvnias of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s “family” were served to Kurchenko’s accomplices: former head of the Presidential Administration Boris Lozhkin, former Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine Valeriya Gontareva, incumbent Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Oleksiy Filatov, and others. In total, 98 persons, including 12 senior officials of ministries and departments, as well as the National Bank and six heads of regional state administrations, were served with charge papers within the framework of the investigation. At the moment, the Kurchenko case has 3,000 volumes. It was opened in 2014.

Lutsenko elaborates on charges brought against senior officials in Kurchenko case – news politics | UNIAN

In his Facebook post on March 28, Lutsenko indicated the crimes Kurchenko is accused of, and also noted that in the course of investigation, other persons had been identified who were complicit in these crimes. “To date, charges have been brought against 98 individuals, including officials (12 of them are senior officials of ministries and departments, as well as the National Bank of Ukraine, six heads of regional state administrations, and 14 top managers of state-owned companies). Regarding those who were informed about the charges, cases into 42 persons were forwarded to court for consideration on the merits. Following court proceedings, 27 indictments were issued, four individuals were relieved from responsibility in keeping with court rulings in connection with the expiry of the statute of limitation. Trial in respect of 15 persons is under way,” Lutsenko said. The prosecutor general summed up that the total value of the assets seized is over UAH 5 billion (US$185 million at the current forex rate), while the total amount of losses compensated is more than US$1.5 billion.

BBC pays damages to Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko over report – BBC News

The corporation apologises over an incorrect report claiming a payment was made to arrange talks with Donald Trump.

BBC Pays Damages To Ukraine’s Poroshenko Over ‘Incorrect’ Report

The BBC says it has agreed to pay damages to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko over an “incorrect” report last year.

BBC to pay ‘substantial’ damages to Ukrainian president | Daily Mail Online

The BBC has apologised to Petro Poroshenko (pictured) over reports that he procured or authorised a corrupt payment to Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen.

BBC pays libel damages to Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko over Donald Trump claim | News | The Times

The BBC has agreed to pay “substantial” damages to the president of Ukraine after it falsely claimed a £300,000 payment was made on his behalf to secure him an extended meeting with President Trump.Reports on the BBC website and News At Ten last year wrongly claimed that a payment was made by interm

BBC to pay ‘substantial’ sum for story libelling Ukrainian president | Media | The Guardian

News report on TV and online claimed Petro Poroshenko had bribed Donald Trump’s lawyer

BBC agrees to pay damages to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko over ‘incorrect report’ | Euronews

The British broadcaster released an apology to the Ukrainian president, saying it had agreed to pay him damages over an “incorrect report.”

The BBC admitted botching a report that claimed Michael Cohen was selling access to Trump for $400,000 in Ukraine | Business Insider

The BBC said it will to pay damages to Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, to make amends for erroneously claiming in a report that he paid $US400,000 to President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, to secure access to the US president.

BBC will pay damages to Ukrainian president over false reporting

The BBC has agreed to pay damages to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for an erroneous report that Kiev had paid $400,000 to secure a meeting with President Trump in 2017.

Ukraine’s Orthodox Church Faces Eviction In Russia-Annexed Crimea

Ukraine’s independent Orthodox Church is facing eviction in Simferopol, the capital of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, which was seized by Russia in 2014.

Ukrainians trust volunteers, church and army most

According to the results of the poll conducted by the Razumkov Centre, Ukrainian citizens trust volunteers, church and army most. — Ukrinform. “Most often, the citizens of Ukraine confide in the volunteer organizations (68% of respondents trust them), the church (61%), the Armed Forces of Ukraine (61%), the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (57%), the volunteer battalions (56%). The institutions, which Ukrainian rather trust, are the State Border Guard Service (52% of respondents trust it, 33% do not trust it), the National Guard of Ukraine (49% and 35% respectively), the Ukrainian media (47% and 41% respectively), non-governmental organizations (46% and 39% respectively),” the statement reads. At the same time, it is noted that Ukrainians most often do not trust the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (82% do not trust it), the officials (81%), the Russian media (79%), the political parties (76%), the judicial system (75%), the Government of Ukraine (74%), commercial banks (72%), prosecutor’s offices (71%), President of Ukraine (69%), the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (69%), National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (68%), the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption (68%), the Supreme Court (67%), local courts (67%), Anti-Corruption Court (66%), the Constitutional Court (65%), the National Bank of Ukraine (63%). The poll was conducted by the sociological service of the Razumkov Centre on March 21-26, 2019. 2,017 respondents aged 18 years old and over were interviewed in all regions of Ukraine, except for Crimea and the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Russian Denials Of Abuse Of Jehovah’s Witnesses Dismissed As ‘Laughable’

Russian lawyers and rights activists have denounced the alleged torture of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Siberian city of Surgut, calling a Moscow press conference to present documentation of injuries…

 

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