Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (137)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

Some serious Choke On Coffee Warning content!

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Russian arctic base presented. Gorenburg on Baltics strategy. Russian MoD journal Armeisky Sbornik publishes article on Russia’s  “combat psychics”, claimed to have capabilities akin to protagonists of many X-files episodes. Kuznetsov CV likely to be decommissioned. Interesting essays by Kartsev and Bugajski on Russia’s “forever war” against the West (it actually began when Muscovy joined the Golden Horde, mainly aimed against Scandinavia).

Much on the NATO summit, especially on VP Pence chastising Germany and Turkey, and the toxic reactions that ensued. An excellent essay by Kagan on Germany and its possible futures – the Schuldkult (cult of guilt) is discussed as anti-Western sentiment, but its corrosive effect in appeasement of Russia is not discussed. YouGov poll shows European public less interested in NATO, especially in Germany (Russian propagandists can take credit for that). Much on Turkey’s intransigence over the S-400 – Turkish policy is now mostly what is good for Erdoğan rather than Turkey. Some samples of propaganda from Muscovy (who really do like this disagreement), and their little helpers.

MH17 lawsuit. More on GPS spoofing. Two reports on Russian espionage. Gallup poll shows almost half of young Russians would emigrate if they could. Mayvin is priceless. Russia’s disappearing language.

Excellent interview with Amb Volker. Update on NATO support for Ukraine and Black Sea exercises. Crimea update. Donbas update. Ukraine tests the Neptun ASCM, presenting a whole battery for the first time – this will make life very complicated for the Russian V-MF surface fleet in the Black and Azov Seas.

Excellent article by Brown on the Chernobyl disaster, and how the Soviet Dalnaya Aviatsia conducted the classified Operation Cyclonedropping silver iodide from BADGERs, to force the radioactive fallout to rain down on Belarus before it reached Russia (now producing glow in the dark mushrooms).

A deluge of election reports, especially the play around the first debate between Zelenskiy and Poroshenko. Poroshenko will not be the pushover many imagine him to be.

Finally two OCU reports.



Russia Stakes Its Hold on Arctic with Military Base

Base is strategically located on Kotelny Island, between Laptev Sea and East Siberian Sea on Arctic shipping route, and permanently houses up to 250 military personnel

Inside Russia’s new Kotelny Island Arctic military base – CNN

The Kotelny base is one of three new Russian bases above the 75th parallel, part of a larger push by Russian President Vladimir Putin to flex his country’s military muscle across its massive Arctic coastline.

Russian Strategic Culture in a Baltic Crisis – To Inform is to Influence

by Dmitry Gorenburg As part of a collaborative project on Russian strategic culture and leadership decision-making, organized by the Marshall Center with support from the Russia Strategy Initiative, I have published a policy brief on Russian strategic goals in a Baltic crisis. Here is  the executive summary and some highlights. The full brief is available through the Marshall Center…

According to magazine operated by Russia’s Defense Ministry, Moscow trains paranormal soldiers — Meduza

The February edition of Armeisky Sbornik (Army Collection), the Russian Defense Ministry’s official magazine, features a strange article titled “Super Soldier for the Wars of the Future” that describes the military’s work with “combat psychics.” The magazine RBC noticed the text, which says the Russian military supposedly uses paranormal tactics to help soldiers learn foreign languages, treat wounded troops in battle, detect ambushes, hideouts, and weapons caches, crash computer programs, burn crystals, eavesdrop on conversations, and disrupt telecommunications, including television and radio waves. Russia also apparently has specialists who use telepathy to question prisoners and give orders to dolphins.

UAWire – Russian Defense Ministry claims to possess ‘mind reading’ technology

While the US is developing laser anti-missile defense systems, the Russian army is apparently preparing for psychic warfare. The official Russian Defense Ministry magazine Armeisky Sbornik recently published an article which claims that the Russian army has a method of “combat parapsychology” that makes it possible to hack computer programs, disrupt radio communication and read other people’s thoughts using willpower alone. “A person’s psychic reserves, even a soldier’s, can readily be identified and utilized for clairvoyance, telepathy and several other hidden functions,” writes the article’s author, reserve Colonel Nikolay Proskin. The so-called “Metacontact technology”, he claims, was developed by the Soviet military in the 1980s and used by Russian special forces in Chechnya. “Someone in possession of metacontact technology can perform, for example, non-verbal interrogation. He can ‘see through’ a captured soldier, and can detect enemy ambushes, caches, depots, and stashes,” he claims. “It has been shown to be possible to influence even equipment. Using willpower, one can, for example, make computer programs crash, burn the crystals in generators, eavesdrop on conversations or disrupt TV or radio transmissions and communications,” the colonel explains. According to the article, the Russian specialists learned about telepathic contact by working with dolphins: “They would mentally give the animals commands, which they would carry out. The famous trainer Durov practiced something similar. As it turns out, the method can also be used on humans”. “There have been a number of successful experiments, such as: reading a document in a safe, even if it’s in a foreign language we don’t know; identifying people who belong to a terrorist network,” the article boasts.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia’s Only Aircraft Carrier May Never Return to Active Service, ‘Izvestiya’ Says

Paul Goble Staunton, April 4 – Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the much-troubled Admiral Kuznetsov, that even now cannot go to sea without the accompaniment of tugboats capable of pulling it back to port, may never return to active service because, after the drydock disaster of last October, Moscow doesn’t have the capacity to refit it anytime soon, Ilya Kramnik of Izvestiya says. In an article in the Moscow paper today, Kramnik says that it is possible that the ship will have to be written off entirely or reduced to serving as a training center for new recruits but not be capable of playing any serious military role (iz.ru/863860/ilia-kramnik/chto-delat-s-avianostcem-admiral-kuznetcov-mozhet-ne-vernutsia-v-stroi). To avoid that outcome would cost enormous sums to develop new yards in which the ship could be refitted, money that many in the Russian defense ministry believe, the Izvestiya journalist continues, could be better spent on building several smaller ships or even a nuclear-powered submarine. At present, Kramnik says, the troubled carrier is docked in yards on the Kola Peninsula, its screws and other portions of the vessel damaged by the accident at the end of October 2018 in which the floating dry dock in which the ship was being worked on sank. There is currently no adequate replacement for that facility, at least in the Russian North. Some naval officers and shipbuilders have made promises that everything will be solved and that the Kuznetsov will be returned to service by the end of 2021; but an examination of the wharves and dry docks capable of handling a ship of that size suggest that such predictions are wildly and impossibly optimistic, the journalist continues. As a result, he continues, ever more voices within the defense establishment are suggesting that it would be better not to try to refit the Kuznetsov but instead spend the money on a pair of frigates of an atomic-powered submarine. And such people say that even if the ship does go to sea again, it will be only as a training site and not a combat-ready vessel. If their views are correct – and Kramnik strongly suggests that they are – Russia will no longer have an aircraft carrier in service, a development that will further undercut its claims to be a military superpower, limit its ability to project power far from its shores, and, at the same time, put more pressure on the Kremlin to seek to open bases it can use in lieu of such a ship.

Dmitry Kartsev | NATO was born 70 years ago today. Moscow has always viewed it as a threat, but that hasn’t prevented three attempts to join the alliance. — Meduza

On April 4, 1949, representatives from twelve countries in North America and Western Europe met in Washington, D.C., to sign the North Atlantic Treaty, giving rise to the NATO military alliance. From the very beginning, the organization was designed to defend against a potential conflict with the Soviet Union. As the center of both the USSR and the Russian Federation, Moscow has viewed NATO as a major national security threat. Nevertheless, the possibility of Russia joining the military alliance has surfaced multiple times throughout NATO’s 70-year existence.

Janusz Bugajski | For Russia, war with the US never ended — and likely never will | TheHill

During peacetime, war is simply conducted by non-military means through clandestine influence.

Pompeo Tells NATO Members To Adapt To Emerging Threats Like Russia, China, Iran

The United States has renewed calls for NATO allies to increase their military spending so the alliance can adapt to new challenges, including a more aggressive Russia.

Mike Pence: ‘Turkey must choose’ between NATO and Russia

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s determination to purchase Russian anti-aircraft missile systems could cripple his country’s participation in the NATO alliance, Vice President Mike Pence warned Wednesday.

Pompeo calls on NATO to adapt to new threats from Russia, China

Pompeo issued the warning during a meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organization foreign ministers in Washington marking the transatlantic military alliance’s 70th anniversary. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Pompeo said NATO members had agreed Russian troops needed to withdraw from Venezuela

Mike Pompeo appeals for unity to confront Russia, China and Iran on Nato’s 70th anniversary

Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, has appealed for unity to confront &quot;great power&quot; challenges from Russia, China and Iran on the 70th anniversary of Nato.

NATO At 70: How A Cold War Survivor Redefined Itself

It’s 70 years since the North Atlantic Treaty Organization came into being when 12 countries agreed to come to each other’s defense should any of them come under attack. RFE/RL takes a look at its Cold War origins, its first battles in the Balkans, and its latter embrace of former foes.

NATO plans for Russian ‘aggression’ on 70th anniversary

NATO said Thursday it was taking new action to counter Russia’s “aggression,” finding a united message amid other differences within the Western alliance on its 70th anniversary. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance approved new surveillance measures and naval exercises

Pompeo, Stoltenberg, and NATO ministers speak after meeting – YouTube

Washington Post Streamed live 16 hours ago Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and others hold a news conference. Subscribe to The Washington Post on YouTube: https://wapo.st/2QOdcqK

Blueprint For A More Effective NATO « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary

More ruthless prioritization, a laser focus on filling key capability shortfalls and better alignment of national, regional, and NATO plans will allow the alliance to solidify its place as the alliance of choice for decades to come.

A rousing case for NATO (opinion) – CNN

A day before NATO’s 70th anniversary, the secretary general of the organization, Jens Stoltenberg, gave a speech to a joint session of Congress, emphasizing the importance of the organization and the support of our allies, writes Jonathan Cristol

NATO turns 70 — and this year might be its most crucial (Opinion) – CNN

Seven decades after the founding of NATO, the anniversary year might be the most important one for the alliance, William Inboden says, as President Donald Trump questions its value. But adversaries such as Vladimir Putin don’t doubt what the alliance means.

As NATO Turns 70, Survey Shows Frayed Bonds | RealClearPolitics

April 4 is the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which began with the signing of the so-called Washington Treaty by 12 founding nation-states, mostly Western European…

As NATO Envoys Celebrate, Signs of Fracturing From Within – The New York Times

One European diplomat compared the celebration of the alliance turning 70 to showing up at a birthday party and discovering you were attending a wake.

On Wednesday, Congress cheered NATO. But applause is not enough

Speaking before a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg had a message for Washington: allies matter, and they’re good for the U.S.

Pompeo calls for unity at NATO meeting, but resentments quickly flare – The Washington Post

Tensions resurfaced over defense spending. Canada complained about being called a national security threat, and Turkey accused the State Department of being untruthful.

How President Trump shattered the bond between Republicans and NATO – The Washington Post

The unmaking of the world Ronald Reagan made.

World War 3 news: Mike Pence warning at NATO Engages conference – US China Russia latest | World | News | Express.co.uk

US OFFICIALS have warned China is NATO’s biggest threat and not Russia after the superpower launched its 5G technology.

NATO at 70: Is the Alliance Finished? | theTrumpet.com

At look back at NATO’s history on its 70th birthday.

Turkey and Germany defend Russia ties

Turkey and Germany have defended their arms and energy deals with Russia following strident criticism by the US at a Nato event in Washington.

Robert Kagan | The Return of the German Question in Europe

The failure of the European Union, if it occurs, will bring back what used to be known as “the German question”—how to deal with a country at the heart of Europe that is too powerful, too populous, and too rich to be effectively balanced by its neighbors. Many have been lamenting the dark path that Europe and the transatlantic relationship are currently on, but there hasn’t been much discussion of where that path leads. European weakness and division, a strategic “decoupling” from the United States, the fraying of the European Union, “after Europe,” “the end of Europe”—these are the grim scenarios, but there is a comforting vagueness to them. They suggest failed dreams, not nightmares. Yet the failure of the European project, if it occurs, could be a nightmare, and not only for Europe. It will, among other things, bring back what used to be known as “the German question.” The German question produced the Europe of today, as well as the transatlantic relationship of the past seven-plus decades. Germany’s unification in 1871 created a new nation in the heart of Europe that was too large, too populous, too rich, and too powerful to be effectively balanced by the other European powers, including the United Kingdom. The breakdown of the European balance of power helped produce two world wars and brought more than ten million U.S. soldiers across the Atlantic to fight and die in those wars. Americans and Europeans established NATO after World War II at least as much to settle the German problem as to meet the Soviet challenge, a fact now forgotten by today’s realists—to “keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in, and the Germans down,” as Lord Ismay, the alliance’s first secretary-general, put it. This was also the purpose of the series of integrative European institutions, beginning with the European Steel and Coal Community, that eventually became the European Union. As the diplomat George Kennan put it, some form of European unification was “the only conceivable solution for the problem of Germany’s relation to the rest of Europe,” and that unification could occur only under the umbrella of a U.S. security commitment. And it worked. Today, it is impossible to imagine Germany returning to any version of its complicated past. The Germans have become arguably the most liberal and pacific people in the world, everyone’s choice to take on the now unclaimed mantle of “leader of the free world.” Many on both sides of the Atlantic want to see more assertiveness from Germany, not less, in the global economy, in diplomacy, and even militarily. As Radoslaw Sikorski, then Poland’s foreign minister, noted in 2011, “I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear German inactivity.” It was a remarkable thing for a Polish leader to say, and it rested on the widespread assumption that what the Germans have done in transforming themselves can never be undone. Is that true? Is this the only conceivable Germany? With the order that made today’s Germany possible now under attack, including by the United States, the world is about to find out. History suggests it may not like the answer.

POLL: Germans Unwilling to Defend U.S. from Russian Aggression

Germans are more unwilling than willing to defend NATO ally the United States should she be attacked by Russia, according to a YouGov survey.

Support for NATO falls in key European nations | YouGov

Europeans remain more enthusiastic about NATO than Americans despite falling support for membership among public in Britain, France and Germany. Europeans remain more enthusiastic about NATO than Americans despite falling support for membership among public in Britain, France and Germany The results of a new international YouGov study could make worrying reading for the leaders of NATO nations as the alliance celebrates its 70th anniversary today. The survey, conducted in key NATO nations, finds that support for membership has fallen in several European countries over the last two years. While in 2017 almost three quarters of Britons (73%) approved of membership, this has since fallen to 59%. Likewise, in Germany support has fallen from 68% to 54%, and in France from 54% to 39%. Nordic nations Denmark and Norway experienced drops from 80% to 70% and 75% to 66% respectively.

NATO’s Germany hatefest – POLITICO

Donald Trump uses alliance anniversary event to again shame Berlin on defense spending.

US-Turkish Tensions Rise Amid Warnings of a Rupture

US and Turkish vice presidents warn of a break in ties between the NATO allies as the number of crises between them grows

U.S., Turkey Intensify War Of Words Over Syria, Russian Missiles

A war of words between NATO allies the United States and Turkey intensified, with the sides disputing the readout of a meeting of the countries’ foreign ministers regarding Syria

FM Çavuşoğlu meets NATO counterparts in Washington – Daily Sabah

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu addressed bilateral relations with a host of NATO allies Thursday during a gathering of the alliance’s top diplomats in…

Turkey may turn to Russia for help after U.S. cancels F-35 parts delivery | War Is Boring

The Pentagon has suspended the delivery of F-35 Lightning II aircraft to Turkey, following Turkey’s decision to purchase Russian S-400 missiles. In what has become another point of contention between the U.S. and Turkey, the “black sheep” of NATO has enlisted the help of the Russians for their defense needs- something the United States isn’t happy about. “Pending an unequivocal Turkish decision to forgo delivery of the S-400, deliveries and activities associated with the stand-up of Turkey’s F-35 operational capability have been suspended while our dialogue on this important matter continues with Turkey,” Lt. Col. Mike Andrews told CNN. “We very much regret the current situation facing our F-35 partnership, but the DOD is taking prudent steps to protect the shared investments made in our critical technology.” Given the international nature of the F-35 and its role to defend allied nations against threats like Russia and China, “The U.S. continues to warn Turkey of the negative consequences of its announced procurement of the S-400. We have, however, been clear that the acquisition of the S-400 is not compatible with the F-35 and Turkey’s continued participation in the F-35 program is at risk,” Andrews said.

Turkey says US distorted meeting, but Pompeo stands by it

Turkey on Thursday accused the US State Department of making false claims about rows during a meeting between the top US and Turkish diplomats, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he stood by the account. The NATO allies are at odds over issues including US support for a Syrian Kurdish militia viewed

Turkey criticizes State Department over description of Pompeo meeting – CBS News

Turkey and the U.S. disagree about what came up in their discussions at the State Department this week

Turkey criticizes U.S. readout of foreign ministers’ meeting – Reuters

Turkey’s foreign minister on Thursday criticized a statement from the U.S. State Department about his meeting with his U.S. counterpart, saying references to Syria and detained U.S. consular staff did not reflect the truth.

How a Russian S-400 Could Shoot Down an F-35 (Thanks to Turkey) | The National Interest

Russian and American technology don’t mix.

Pence’s S-400 ultimatum to Turkey is Pastor Brunson redux | Ahval

At a celebratory NATO gathering on Wednesday meant to highlight solidarity in the face of a resurgent Russia, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence took direct aim at NATO ally Turkey. We need to think a little bit about why Turkey is in the vice president’s sights. In late July 2018, Pence threatened to place sanctions on Turkey if U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson was not released. A few days later, President Trump attacked Turkey on Twitter, saying Brunson had been taken hostage, and levelled sanctions. The Turkish lira hit seven to the U.S. dollar, its highest point in history, and Brunson was set free in his first hearing not long afterwards. This week, Pence again felt the need to send Turkey a warning. His statement came not an hour after Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu spoke to the group of nearly 30 top diplomats gathered at a Washington D.C. think tank to mark NATO’s 70th anniversary. The topic of the warning was, unsurprisingly, Turkey’s troubling arms deal with Moscow. “Turkey’s purchase of a $2.5 billion S-400 anti-aircraft missile system from Russia poses great danger to NATO and to the strength of this alliance,” said Pence. “If Turkey completes its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system, Turkey risks expulsion from the joint F-35 program.” Reminding Turkish manufacturers about the more than $12 billion of revenue expected from producing F-35 parts, he added that if the purchase of the S-400 goes through, it would harm Turkey’s defence capacity, and could “cripple” many of the Turkish component manufacturers that supply that program. Pence’s warnings did not end there. “Turkey must choose. Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in history or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our @NATO alliance?” he said in later tweets directed at Çavuşoğlu and other visiting Turkish officials.

Removing Turkey from F-35 jet’s supply chain could slow work on 75 jets: Navy officer – Reuters

If Turkey were removed from the F-35 jet supply chain amid a dispute with the United States over its planned purchase of a Russian missile system, it would impact the production rate for up to 75 of the fighters, a Pentagon official said on Thursday.

Removing Turkey from F-35 supply chain could slow work on 75 jets – Business Insider

Amid a dispute over Turkey’s planned purchase of a Russian missile system, the US is considering whether Ankara can be cut from the F-35 program.

Lockheed Martin, Raytheon prepare big changes amid US dispute with Turkey on Russian arms deal

As it stands, Turkey faces removal from the F-35 program, forfeiture of 100 promised F-35 jets, cancellation of a Patriot missile deal and imposition of U.S. sanctions as well as potential blowback from NATO if the deal with Russia is completed.

US fails to address Turkey’s security concerns in plans for Syria – Daily Sabah

In the face of terror threats posed against its NATO ally Turkey, the U.S. has remained unfazed, even voicing opposition to Ankara’s possible steps to eliminate terrorists in Syria

US transfers Turkey’s F-35 jet to Arizona base – Turkey News

Pentagon said on April 4 that it transferred one of Turkey’s two F-35 jets to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.

Turkey’s loss of F-35 is Israel’s gain – Jerusalem Post | Ahval

The U.S.’ decision to halt delivery of F-35 fighter jet equipment to Turkey due to Ankara’s purchase of the Russian-made S-400 air defence system has enabled Israel to maintain aerial superiority in the Middle East, the Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday. Tensions between NATO allies the United States and Turkey have spiked in recent weeks over Turkey’s planned purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile system, which Washington views as a move that would jeopardise the secrecy of its own and NATO technologies. The U.S. Congress blocked the transfer of equipment related to the F-35 to Turkey on Monday, and a bipartisan bill introduced last week will ban the transfer of the jet if the S-400 purchase goes ahead. Israel has 14 custom-built F-35I Adir jets and expects to have 50 by 2024, the Jerusalem Post said. Israel’s joint drills the Greek Air Force over the island of Crete where one Russian air defence system is stationed have enabled the Israeli military to gather data on how Russian equipment might be blinded or fooled, it said. According to the Jerusalem Post, there are fears that Turkey’s purchase of S-400 systems could provide an opportunity for S-400s to learn the weak spots of F-35 fighter jets. Turkey-Israel relations have also been strained in the last month, as the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exchanged insults as they sought to consolidate their bases ahead of elections.

Russia ‘confident’ of Turkey’s commitment to S-400 deal – Turkey News

Turkey is committed to its deal with Moscow to purchase S-400 missile defense system, a senior Russian official said on April 3.

Russia ‘counts on Erdoğan’ on S-400 purchase: Ambassador – Turkey News

Moscow counts on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on a smooth finalization of the S-400 missile system purchase, the Russian ambassador to Ankara has said, downplaying recent U.S. statements against the agreement.

Nothing short of total obedience? Pentagon rejects any talks with Turkey in S-400 vs F-35 row — RT World News

The Pentagon has firmly rejected Turkey’s offer to create a bilateral working group that would ensure that no military secrets of the US are compromised once Ankara deploys the Russian S-400 air defense systems.

This is How Important Turkey is to NATO as US Steps Up Pressure – Sputnik International

US Vice President Mike Pence issued an ultimatum to Turkey earlier this week: either Ankara remains a critical NATO partner or it jeopardises the alliance by going ahead with the purchase of Russia-built S-400 air defence systems.

US-Turkey F-35 Row Over S-400s: Is Erdogan Checking Trump, NATO’s Strength? – Sputnik International

The US is trying to prevent Turkey from purchasing Russia’s advanced missile defence systems by banning the delivery of F-35 parts to Ankara. Speaking to Sputnik, scholars and political strategists have shared their views on the US-Turkey F-35 row and the future of Ankara’s NATO membership.

Ex-US Intel Analyst EXPLAINS Why US Chooses Bullying Tactic With its NATO Allies – Sputnik International

As NATO marks 70 years since the military alliance was established, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says that the organisation has no intention of isolating Russia.

TASS: World – Turkey unlikely to be expelled from NATO over S-400 purchase, says Russian senator

US Vice President Michael Pence said earlier that Turkey must make choose if it wants to remain «a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in history» or to make «reckless decisions»

TASS: World – Trump admits US made mistake not selling Patriots to Turkey, says Turkish foreign minister

The top diplomat meant a certain telephone conversation between Trump and Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan but did not elaborate when this conversation took place

The Outdated Alliance? – Foreign Policy [pro-Russian]

On NATO’s 70th anniversary, it is time for burden shedding—not burden sharing.

Exclusive: Kids’ camp on a defense base? How Russian firms masked secret military work – Reuters

Behind the perimeter of a defense ministry base in southern Russia stand three barrack buildings where two witnesses say they have seen private fighters being billeted before they are dispatched to fight in Syria for President Bashar al-Assad.

Family Of U.S. Teen Killed In Downing Of MH17 Sues Russian Banks, U.S. Money Firms

The family of the only American killed when Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down in 2014 have filed suit against two Russian banks and U.S. money-transfer firms for allegedly providing serv…

Family of American Killed in MH17 Crash Sues Russia Banks, Money-Transfer Firms

American Quinn Schansman was aboard MH17 when his flight was shot down over territory held by pro-Russian separatist forces in eastern Ukraine

Reuters: Family of American killed in downed MH17 jet sues Russian banks

05.04.19 14:26 – Reuters: Family of American killed in downed MH17 jet sues Russian banks Under the US Antiterrorism Act, the Schansman family are suing Sberbank of Russia, VTB Bank, Western Union Co and Western Union Financial Services, MoneyGram International Inc and MoneyGram Payment Systems Inc for providing services to the… View news.

Russia Is Tricking GPS to Protect Putin – Foreign Policy

The Kremlin’s manipulation of global navigation systems is more extensive than previously understood.

UAWire – Russian spy sentenced to seven years in prison in Lithuania

Lithuania has sentenced Lithuanian citizen Roman Sesel to seven years in prison on charges of spying for the Russian Federation, DELFI reported. …

My Father and Me: A Russian Spy Story – GQ

It was just a favor to dear old dad. But the next thing Nathan Nicholson knew, he was jet-setting around the world under cover and selling state secrets to the Russians. You know what they say: Like father, like spy

Gallup Poll Shows One In Five Russians Would Migrate West If Possible

One in five Russians say they would leave their country if they could, according to a new poll by Gallup.

Poll: Almost Half of Young Russians Want to Emigrate

Young people of working age were most keen to leave, something that Gallup said threatened Russia’s future economic position and political influence

Window on Eurasia — New Series: One in Five Russians Wants to Emigrate ASAP – and Seven Other Putin ‘Achievements’

Paul Goble Staunton, April 4 – A record 20 percent of all Russians and 44 percent of those in younger age groups say they want to emigrate as soon as possible (rusmonitor.com/chego-dobilsya-putin-kazhdyjj-pyatyjj-rossiyanin-khochet-ehmigrirovat-iz-rf-pri-pervojj-vozmozhnosti.html and thebell.io/rekordnye-44-molodyh-rossiyan-hotyat-emigrirovat-gallup-svyazal-eto-s-putinym/). These figures are an indictment of Vladimir Putin’s leadership, but they are far from the only dubious achievements he has on his record over the last two decades, according to Russian blogger Abrakham Mayvin who lists seven more reasons for “respecting but despising” Putin (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5CA505862F9CE). These include:

  1. Putin has “breathed new life” into NATO, the Western alliance that before the Kremlin leader appeared has been on a course of “slow degradation.”
  2. “Putin has revived the Ukrainian nation and its self-consciousness.” A few years ago, Ukrainians protested against the presence of NATO vessels in the black sea. Now they want them there “on a permanent basis.
  3. “As a result of Putin’s efforts, Russia has thrown off the mask of a civilized state and shown the world the bestial grin of a political impotent suffering from resentment.”
  4. Putin together with the Moscow patriarch have managed to alienate a “significant” share of the population by their “propaganda” of obscurantism and medieval ignorance.
  5. “Putin has led the advanced Russian economy to such a point of development that it has to fight off the overproduction of goods with the help of bulldozers,” a reference to the destruction of Western foodstuffs banned by his counter-sanctions regime.
  6. “Putin has liquidated all unnecessary state institutions leaving only the department for stealing and the handing out of loot.’‘
  7. But when Putin destroys the Russian Empire, Mayvin says, then “no one will be interested in why I despise him.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘No Language has Disappeared as Quickly as Russian’ over Last 25 Years, Duma Deputy Says

Paul Goble Staunton, April 4 – Vladimir Putin has made the survival and growth of the use of Russian a key element of his promotion of “the Russian world,” but Leonid Kalashnikov, chairman of the Duma committee which focuses on compatriots abroad, says that over the last 25 years, “no language in the world has disappeared as quickly as Russian.” He told a hearing that 80 million fewer people speak Russian now than did in 1991 and that only 12 million out of the 30 million Russian speakers abroad are able to get educations in the language, the result of discriminatory policies by other countries and the failure of Moscow to support Russian speakers abroad adequately (ng.ru/politics/2019-04-03/3_7547_rusworld.html). Kalashnikov called for the elaboration and implementation of as strategy that would support Russian speakers more adequately against the governments of the countries in which they live, possibly by extending Russian citizenship to Russian speakers on a simplified and expedited basis. It is far from clear that Kalashnikov’s ideas have much support in the Russian government, Konstantin Zatulin, a United Russia deputy, said at the hearing that representatives from various government agencies and ministries had been invited but few of them had even bothered to attend. The Duma must take the lead in changing that, he said. One expert who did take part, Aleksandr Brod of the Presidential Council on Human Rights said that his body had sent the government a memorandum calling for the provision of free legal assistance to Russian speakers abroad who are suffering from discrimination. But all the senior officials said is that there is no money for such a program.

As NATO turns 70, alliance increases aid to Ukraine to confront Russia [Amb Volker interviewed] | PBS NewsHour

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization turned 70 years old Thursday. As the the foreign ministers of its member nations gathered in Washington, one their actions was to endorse a support package for Ukraine, now in the fifth year of a war with Russia. Nick Schifrin sits down with Kurt Volker, special envoy to Ukraine and former ambassador to NATO, to discuss how best to engage with Russia.

Ukraine, NATO will strengthen military presence in Black Sea, conduct exercises independently of Russia’s opinion – Klimkin

Ukraine and NATO will carry out joint actions to strengthen the military presence in the Black Sea region, as well as monitor freedom of navigation through the Kerch Strait, regardless of the opinion of the Russian Federation, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said.

UAWire – NATO promises to strengthen support for Georgia and Ukraine in the Black Sea

NATO will increase its ships presence in the Black Sea and will conduct joint exercises and information exchange with Georgia and Ukraine, …

Russia cannot decide whether Ukraine and Georgia can join NATO – Stoltenberg

Just the idea that the aspirations of Ukraine, Georgia or any other country to join NATO “provokes” Russia to greater aggression is wrong and dangerous as it is not up to Moscow to decide who can and should get membership of the Alliance. — Ukrinform. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said this at a final press conference at the U.S. Department of State on Thursday, April 4, according to an Ukrinform correspondent. “Georgia and Ukraine are independent sovereign nations, which have the sovereign right to choose their own path,” he said when asked by a BBC journalist whether it would be right to publicly announce open invitations for Georgia and Ukraine to NATO since it provokes Russia to create more tension. Stoltenberg said that just the idea that membership of Georgia or Ukraine in NATO is a “provocation” is really dangerous. “Then you accept that Russia has the right to decide what neighbors have to do,” he said. He recalled that his native country, Norway, is “a small country bordering Russia.” In this regard, it is hard to imagine that the Soviet Union in 1949 dictated whether Norway could be a member of the Alliance, Stoltenberg said. “In exactly the same way, both Georgia and Ukraine have the right to choose their own path. […] It’s only for the aspirant countries and NATO to decide whether or when they can become members,” Stoltenberg said.NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said this at a final press conference at the U.S. Department of State on Thursday, April 4, according to an Ukrinform correspondent. “Georgia and Ukraine are independent sovereign nations, which have the sovereign right to choose their own path,” he said when asked by a BBC journalist whether it would be right to publicly announce open invitations for Georgia and Ukraine to NATO since it provokes Russia to create more tension. Stoltenberg said that just the idea that membership of Georgia or Ukraine in NATO is a “provocation” is really dangerous. “Then you accept that Russia has the right to decide what neighbors have to do,” he said. He recalled that his native country, Norway, is “a small country bordering Russia.” In this regard, it is hard to imagine that the Soviet Union in 1949 dictated whether Norway could be a member of the Alliance, Stoltenberg said. “In exactly the same way, both Georgia and Ukraine have the right to choose their own path. […] It’s only for the aspirant countries and NATO to decide whether or when they can become members,” Stoltenberg said.

Stoltenberg: NATO coordinates efforts to support Ukraine in Black Sea

NATO Allies agreed a package of measures to support Ukraine and Georgia in the Black Sea amid Russian aggression with the aim of enhancing security in the region. — Ukrinform.

NATO approves measures to counter Russia amid internal rifts

NATO foreign ministers approved a series of measures Thursday aimed at countering Russia in the Black Sea region, an agreement that comes amid public rifts between the United States and several of the other 28 members on security and trade issues.

NATO Foreign Ministers agree to enhance security in Black Sea region – news world | UNIAN

NATO Foreign Ministers agreed a package of measures to improve NATO’s situational awareness in the Black Sea region and strengthen support for partners Georgia and Ukraine. Ministers also reiterated their call on Russia to release the Ukrainian sailors and ships seized near the Sea of Azov.

NATO countries begin joint exercises in Black Sea

NATO’s multi-national Sea Shield 2019 naval drills will be held from April 5 to April 13 in the Black Sea, the press service of the Mission of Ukraine to NATO has reported. — Ukrinform.

Presence of NATO ships in Odesa shows real NATO support in Ukraine in ensuring safety of navigation in region

Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak on Wednesday took part in a reception on boards of the Royal Canadian Navy and Spanish Navy frigates Toronto and Santa Maria, part of the NATO ships, moored in Odesa.

Major NATO exercises start in Black Sea – news politics | UNIAN

The Black Sea’s largest multinational naval exercise – SEA SHIELD 19 has been launched, set to be held from April 5 to April 13, involving Ukraine and NATO Allies. The scenario of the exercise is fictitious and aims at planning and conducting a Crisis Response Operation under the mandate of a UNSC Resolution, in the context of a security environment characterized by symmetric and asymmetric threats.

G7 foreign ministers to discuss Crimea, Donbas, fate of Ukrainian prisoners in Russia

The foreign ministers of the G7 countries will discuss Crimea, Donbas and the release of Ukrainian seamen and political prisoners at a meeting on April 5-6. — Ukrinform.

Berlin announces Poroshenko’s meeting with Merkel

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will arrive in Berlin next week to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine calls on Sajdik to pay more attention to release of Kremlin’s Ukrainian political prisoners

Ukraine has called on Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office to the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on the implementation of the peace plan in eastern Ukraine, Ambassador Martin Sajdik, to pay more attention to the issue on the release of Ukrainian political prisoners illegally convicted in Russia. — Ukrinform.

Ukrainian political prisoner Hryb taking necessary medications after stopping hunger strike: Consul – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian political prisoner Pavlo Hryb, whom a Russian court unlawfully convicted to 6 years in prison on trumped-up “terrorism promotion” charges, is now taking the required medications after ending his hunger strike, according to Taras Malyshevsky, a Ukrainian Consul who recently visited Hryb in the detention center. Hryb is waiting for a meeting with his lawyer to work out the defense position at Russia’s highest instance court.

“Do not forget about Crimea”. Ukrainian historian on Crimea five years since annexation | Hromadske Radio

Crimean native now PhD Student in Canada Maksym Sviezhentsev speaks to Alex Wishart: ‘Crimea is still occupied. The international community is accepting the annexation as the new status quo.’

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

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

Donbas warzone update: Ukrainian troops eliminate four invaders – news war | UNIAN

Russian occupation forces in Donbas over the past 24 hours ten times opened fire at Joint Forces’ positions, including eight times with the use of weapons proscribed by the Minsk Agreements. A Ukrainian soldier was injured as a result of the shelling.

Ukraine forces destroy enemy supply truck in JFO area. Two terrorists destroyed. VIDEO

05.04.19 12:01 – Ukraine forces destroy enemy supply truck in JFO area. Two terrorists destroyed. VIDEO Fighters of the K-2 group from the 54th mechanized brigade destroyed supply truck “Ural”, which delivered the ammunition to the position of Russian terrorists near Zolote. View video news.

Barracks for Russian mercenaries built under guise of kids’ camp – news world | UNIAN

Barracks in the village of Molkino in Russia’s Krasnodar Area, where mercenaries fighting for Russia’s private military companies are housed, were constructed as a children’s vacation camp, by a company affiliated with Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin aka “Putin’s chef”, the journliastic investigation revealed. The base near Molkino was a transit point for Wagner PMC fighters before their Syria deployment.

In the vicinity of the occupied Novoazovsk the EW system “Leer-3” has been spotted. | MIL.IN.UA

Posted by: Editorial April 05, 2019 Situation in the Donbass 0 Comments The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission recorded a complex of electronic warfare RB-341V “Leer-3” in the part of Donbass, occupied by Russia. This is stated in the published OSCE report He was found not far from the settlement of Konkovo, north of Novoazovsk, near Mariupol The complex of electronic warfare transported by highway T0508 “On April 2, the SMM team recorded a complex electronic warfare (RB-341В” Leer-3 “), which was transported on a military truck (KamAZ-5350) not far from the city. Mr. Konkovo ​​(not controlled by the government, 79 km south of Donetsk) in the southern direction by the road T0508 (in a zone where the location of heavy weapons and military equipment is prohibited in accordance with paragraph 5 of the Memorandum of September 19, 2014), “the statement reads. The system of REB RB-341B “Leer-3” is not the first time the OSCE is locked up in the occupied part of the Donbas, in September 2018, we already reported about their detection by the organization.

The Armed Forces and NGU trained in urban combat | MIL.IN.UA

Posted by: Editorial April 05, 2019 News 0 Comments On Yavoriv landfill there were joint training of guards with soldiers of the 72nd separate mechanized brigade This is reported by the press service of the National Guard of Ukraine The operational unit of the military unit 3028 of the Western Operational Territorial Alliance of the National Guards, together with the troops of the 72nd individual mechanized brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, repulsed an assassination of a conditional enemy during multinational training within the Joint Multinational Training Group – Ukraine (JMTG-U). The training took place at the International Center for Peacekeeping and Security of the National Academy of Ground Forces named after Hetman Petra Sagaidachnogo, in Yavoriv district of Lviv region. According to the legend, the company of the 72nd individual mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is strengthened by the platoon of the National Guard, takes up defenses in the conditions of urban development after the breakthrough by the enemy of the first line of defense and the destruction of checkpoints. The task of the reinforced unit to stop the enemy’s offensive and prevent further advancement.

Canada reaffirms commitment to eliminate landmines in Ukraine

Canada aims to eliminate landmines in the territory of Ukraine until 2025. — Ukrinform.

Head Of Russian News Agency’s Office In Ukraine Goes On Trial For Treason

Prosecutors have accused Kirill Vyshinsky, the head of Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti’s office in Ukraine, of publishing “anti-Ukrainian” articles and materials at the beginning of his treason tria…

Poroshenko replaces deputy SBU head

President Petro Poroshenko has dismissed Serhiy Baziuk as deputy head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and appointed former head of the SBU office in Sumy region Vladyslav Kosynsky to the post. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine successfully tests Neptune anti-ship missile defense system – Defence Blog

Kyiv-based LUCH design bureau successfully test-fired the indigenously developed Neptune anti-ship missile defense system on 5 April. President of Ukraine, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the AFU Petro Poroshenko took part in the trials of the latest Ukrainian cruise missile complex for defeating the marine and coastal targets “Neptune”. All components of the complex were produced at Ukrainian defense enterprises. Another stage of the test, which took place at the State Testing Ground of the Armed Forces, was successful. A group of 11 ships of the Ukrainian Navy provided safety of the trials in the Black Sea. “Today, one of the final tests of a new cruise missile, which will be adopted by the Naval Forces, takes place in Odesa region,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized. According to him, it is an anti-ship missile, a shore defense missile that can be used by the Land Forces as well. “A huge contribution, including the possibilities to increase the radius of the given missile, the use of high-precision weapons, a more powerful warhead – all this is the achievement of the defense complex of Ukraine, the achievement of Luch design bureau, the achievement of our IT sector, the sector that develops armored vehicles,” the Supreme Commander-in-Chief noted. The President also says that the students of the Odesa Maritime Academy, who are currently studying, mastering the technology and will continue to work with this missile complex, also took part in the trial. “You see the cadets of our institutes behind me. At the stage of preparation for the adoption of weapons, they are already mastering the latest technologies,” he said. The Head of State remarked: “This is done to drastically shorten the period that will allow combat use in the event of expansion of aggression against our state by the enemy”. “I am convinced that the trial will be successful today,” the President said. Also, Petro Poroshenko stressed that the military attachés of the partner countries of Ukraine were invited to test the missile complex. At the same time, he noted that today the enemy had tried to hinder the trials of Ukrainian missiles: “It tries to block the sky. Uses the means of electronic warfare, tries to prevent our trials. But it creates real conditions for the combat use of these missiles”. “No mitigating conditions,” he added. “Today we are ready to complete the test and equip the Navy and the Land Forces on my command, in an extremely short period of time, in order to increase the potential, effectiveness of combat use of the Armed Forces,” he said.

Neptun Coastal Defence System Test | Генеральний штаб ЗСУ / General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – Facebook VIDEO

Successful trials of ground-based Neptun cruise missiles in the Odesa Oblast were carried out to defeat marine and coastal targets

A successful test of a missile “Neptune” | Peter Poroshenko – Facebook Video

Every day we strengthen the country’s defense capability. I congratulate everyone with the successful tests of the missile “Neptune”, which will be supplied to the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Юрий Бирюков – Neptun Battery

Here we are seeing the: Launch Control Center. Transporter Erector Launcher. Transloader vehicle. Transport vehicle. Ukraine, meet the Neptun.

Юрий Бирюков – Neptun Commentary

When only fanatics believe in success, and the vociferous choir of hecklers and “experts” predict a million reasons for the upcoming failure. Doesn’t it remind you of anything? For four years this work has been carried out. Collecting on bit – technology, materials, components, production. And now we can talk about the successful trials of the Neptune-Tonnage Complex “Neptune”. And the word “Complex” is written for a reason. The whole complex is created, including all vehicles. Created from scratch, from a clean sheet. When only fanatics believe in success, and you are one of them. Петро Porošenko is really a fanatic of the rebirth of the country

“Varta”: New Ukrainian MRAP | Association of Ukrainian Defense Manufactures

The armored vehicle VARTA is powerful, with excellent running characteristics and reliable level of anti-mine resistance and ballistic protection. It was allowed to release it to service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine last year, and it will be tested soon at the state trials. The hostile sabotage and reconnaissance groups constitute an extraordinary danger to personnel in the context of a hybrid war, when fighting is reduced to a positional confrontation. Therefore, the need for wheeled armored vehicles with a higher-level of mine defense and ballistic stability in the ATO area, known in the world as MRAP, is growing greatly. Such is a domestic specialized armored vehicle VARTA produced by the design and production enterprise Ukrainska Bronetekhnika LLC, which is a member of the Association of Ukrainian Defense Manufacturers.

UAWire – Ukrainian Armed Forces to test two missile systems in the Odessa region

Ukrainian Armed Forces are planning to test two missile systems in the Odessa region said Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak at a briefing in Odessa, as reeported on the website of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. “In the coming days, two missile systems will be tested in the Odessa region, and we hope that these tests will be successful, increasing the capabilities and effectiveness of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in protecting the coast and land territory,” said Poltorak. Poltorak attended a reception aboard the frigates of the Royal Canadian Navy and of the Spanish Navy, currently visiting Odessa. The Defense Ministry noted that frigates Toronto of the Royal Canadian Navy and Santa Maria of the Spanish Navy, belonging to the group of NATO ships, arrived at the port of Odessa on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty. “The vistit of the NATO Navy ships in Odessa demonstrates the Alliance’s real assistance to our country in ensuring the safety of navigation in the Black Sea-Azov region, and this is very important for us now,” said Poltorak.

Ukraine tests Vilkha-M multiple launch rocket system – LB.ua news portal

The Vilkha M high-accuracy multiple launch rocket system has been successfully tested in Odesa Region. “I congratulate Ukraine on the successful testing of the Vilkha high-accuracy multiple launch rocket system with an increased range of action, which is long-awaited by the troops,” President Petro Poroshenko said on Facebook. He noted that it is very symbolic that the tests took place on NATO’s 70th anniversary. He said that Ukraine would continue to move towards NATO, reform the Armed Forces and increase their combat capabilities. “Ukraine is in fact NATO’s eastern flank, trained and well-armed. We are going to NATO not as a beggar but as a full-fledged, equal partner defending democracy and freedom on the European continent, repelling the aggressor – the Russian Federation,” Poroshenko said.

Ukraine should increase resilience to external factors – World Bank

Ukraine should increase resilience to external factors and more sustainable economic growth is needed, which requires progress in such areas as improving the business environment, attracting investments, developing the agricultural market and privatization. — Ukrinform.

Kyiv Renames Street in Honor of Late US Senator McCain

John McCain, who died last year, backed Kyiv’s popular uprising which in 2014 ousted Ukraine’s pro-Kremlin president as well as supported sanctions over Moscow’s annexation of Crimea

The Guardian: Chernobyl’s disastrous cover-up is a warning for the next nuclear age – news world | UNIAN

In 1986, the Soviet minister of hydrometeorology, Yuri Izrael, had a regrettable decision to make. It was his job to track radioactivity blowing from the smoking Chernobyl reactor in the hours after the 26 April explosion and deal with it. Forty-eight hours after the accident, an assistant handed him a roughly drawn map. On it, an arrow shot north-east from the nuclear power plant, and broadened to become a river of air 10 miles wide that was surging across Belarus toward Russia. Before expanding nuclear power to combat climate change, we need answers to the global health effects of radioactivity.

Chernobyl’s cover-up is a warning for our nuclear future | Kate Brown | Opinion | The Guardian

Before expanding nuclear power to combat climate change, we need answers to the global health effects of radioactivity, says nuclear historian Kate Brown

Royal Canadian Mint releases pure gold Ukrainian Easter egg coin

The Royal Canadian Mint has released a pure gold coin in the shape of Ukrainian Easter egg (pysanka). — Ukrinform.

Volker: Elections in Ukraine similar to elections in France and US

Elections in Ukraine are similar to elections earlier held in France and the United States. — Ukrinform. “What we have now is an election in Ukraine similar to elections that we have seen in France or with the case of Brexit or even in the United States. It’s a candidate who has established himself as against the establishment vs. the incumbent president, who is saying that, you know, I have worked hard, I have made a lot of accomplishments, we have more to do,” United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker said in an interview with PBS. According to him, Ukrainian society is faced with a choice between two different candidates. “And now the Ukrainian public is faced with this choice. Do they want someone who is just going against the establishment, promising massive reform? Or do they want someone who maybe has been disappointing to them in some respects, but has done more on reform than anyone else has in Ukraine for the past 20 years and stood up to Putin?” Volker added. He called the ongoing election in Ukraine a truly democratic election. “And what’s great about this [elections in Ukraine] is, this is a truly democratic election. We don’t know how this is going to come out,” the diplomat underscored. Volker also noted that Russian president Vladimir Putin would continue to test whoever is the president of Ukraine. “I think we can assume, based on Russia’s behavior up to now, that they will continue to test whoever is the president of Ukraine,” the US Special Representative said. He recalled that Moscow used all kinds of propaganda, channels like Russia Today and Sputnik, cyber-attacks to influence Ukraine. The U.S. diplomat also expressed the conviction that Russia would not have an impact on the elections. “It’s very hard to mess with people’s own sense of their own interests. And I’m not sure they had an impact in the first round. I’m not sure they will have an impact in the second round,” Volker said. As reported, the first round of the presidential elections in Ukraine was held on March 31. After the Central Commission of Ukraine counted 100% of ballots, it became known that showman Volodymyr Zelensky and incumbent president Petro Poroshenko made it to the runoff.

Russia to “test” whoever is Ukrainian president: Volker – news politics | UNIAN

U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine negotiations Kurt Volker said in an interview with PBS News Hour said Russia will  keep testing whoever becomes president in Ukraine. The envoy says he is not sure Russia’s attempts to manipulate the election runoff will have any impact.

Media Circus as Ukraine’s Poroshenko, Zelenskiy Mull Stadium Debate, Drug Tests

The frontrunners of the first round of the presidential election may face off April 19, two days before the vote’s second round

Ukraine election: Rivals agree to a stadium face-off – BBC News

President Poroshenko will also take a drugs and alcohol test before a debate with rival Mr Zelensky.

In Dueling Videos, Zelenskiy And Poroshenko Debate A Debate. Can They Fill A 70,000-Seat Stadium?

Volodymyr Zelenskiy and incumbent Petro Poroshenko have egged each other on since they advanced to a presidential runoff. But in upping the stakes to an Olympic-sized event, they both may have bitt…

“Be a man”: Poroshenko addresses Zelensky in new video – news politics | UNIAN

Presidential candidate and incumbent head of state Petro Poroshenko, via a video address, has appealed to presidential candidate, showman Volodymyr Zelensky, proposing that he stop putting forward conditions for  participation in the public debate ahead of the election runoff where the two will face each other. The incumbent president urged the election’s first round frontrunner Zelensky to come to the debate and stop putting forward conditions.

Poroshenko campaign wants two rounds of debates, at NSC Olympiyskiy, UA:PBC on April 19

Advisor to President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko Rostyslav Pavlenko has spoken in favor of holding presidential debates both at NSC Olympiyskiy Stadium and at the National Public TV and Radio Broadcasting Company (UA:PBC) of Ukraine on April 19.

Poroshenko issues statement on debates with Zelensky – news politics | UNIAN

Presidential candidate and incumbent President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko says that ahead of the election runoff, he would like to participate in three-stage public debates with his rival Volodymyr Zelensky. Poroshenko believes it would be best to hold the debates in several stages.

Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko agrees to drug test before debate with TV comic | World news | The Guardian

Challenger and frontrunner Volodymyr Zelenskiy says he is ready to take on the president

Ukraine contenders take drug tests ahead of debate in national stadium – POLITICO

‘You want a stadium, you got a stadium,’ says Petro Poroshenko.

Poroshenko’s blood test express results made public – news politics | UNIAN

Chief doctor at the Kyiv City Narcological Hospital “Sociotherapy” Volodymyr Yary has announced no traces of psychoactive substances, that is alcohol or drugs, have been found in the body of Presidential candidate and incumbent Head of State Petro Poroshenko. No traces of psychoactive substances have been revealed.

Test shows no psychoactive substances in Poroshenko’s body

05.04.19 12:09 – Test shows no psychoactive substances in Poroshenko’s body The results of a quick test of analyses of Petro Poroshenko showed that there are no psychoactive substances in his body. View news.

Zelenskyy wants to take medical tests in his supporter’s lab – LB.ua news portal

Zelenskyy wants to take medical tests in his supporter’s lab. “There are many options where medical tests can be taken other than at the stadium.” Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

“I’m waiting”: Poroshenko passes blood tests, addresses Zelensky (Photo) – news politics | UNIAN

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko on Friday morning passed blood tests at the Olympiysky Stadium medical facility and published another appeal to his rival in the presidential election runoff, Volodymyr Zelensky. Passing a medical examination ahead of the election runoff was one of the conditions put forward by presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky.

Ukraine’s Poroshenko accepts challenge to debate in Olympic stadium | #TheCube – YouTube

euronews (in English) Published on Apr 4, 2019 It’s a presidential showdown — Ukrainian current president Poroshenko has accepted a challenge by his opponent Zelensky to debate.… READ MORE : https://www.euronews.com/2019/04/03/u

Zelensky proposes Tymoshenko moderate his debate with Poroshenko

Presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky has proposed that Batkivshchyna Party leader Yulia Tymoshenko work as a moderator during his debate with incumbent head of state Petro Poroshenko at the Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex. — Ukrinform.

Zelensky invites Tymoshenko to become debate moderator (Video) – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky has invited leader of the Batkivshchyna party Yulia Tymoshenko to become an independent moderator in his debates with incumbent President Petro Poroshenko ahead of the second round of the elections. Zelensky said he would wait for a response “within 24 hours.”

Poroshenko sharply responds to Zelensky’s proposal to have Tymoshenko as debate moderator – news politics | UNIAN

Presidential candidate and incumbent President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko believes that his rival Volodymyr Zelensky’s proposal to Yulia Tymoshenko to become a moderator at their debate ahead of the election runoff is disrespectful and lacks dignity. The head of state believes that such proposal means disrespect for the Batkivshchyna party leader and her voters.

Tymoshenko considering Zelenskyy’s invitation to moderate debate – LB.ua news portal

Tymoshenko considering Zelenskyy’s invitation to moderate debate. “We have watched the clip, we have time to think.” Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Zelensky’s headquarters speaker says debate to be held April 19 – news politics | UNIAN

Political scientist and Ukrainian election frontrunner Volodymyr Zelensky’s headquarters speaker Dmytro Razumkov has said the debate between presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky and incumbent President Petro Poroshenko will be held on April 19. The conditions regarding the debate, which Zelensky has previously voiced, remain in force.

🇺🇦 Will a comedian take centre stage in Ukraine’s next act? | The Stream – YouTube

Al Jazeera English Streamed live 15 hours ago In an example of life imitating art, a comic actor famous for playing Ukraine’s president in a popular TV series may just become the country’s real president – certainly if his commanding lead in Sunday’s first round of presidential elections is anything to go by.

Comedian rips up the play book in Ukraine election success – Reuters

As a comedian, TV host and actor, Volodymyr Zelenskiy knows how to start a show with a bang. He proved that by beating all comers in the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election.

Olimpiyskiy deputy director general: We still have not received any applications regarding debate

The National Sports Complex Olimpiyskiy has not received any official applications for hosting a debate between the presidential candidates at the stadium. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine TV is source number one for news, and unfortunately a source for fake news as well, – Taras Shevchenko | Hromadske Radio

Media component of the Ukrainian 2019 presidential election explained by media analyst Taras Shevchenko

Ukraine’s next president could be Jewish — and it is not an issue – The Jewish Chronicle

It sounds like the set-up for a joke. On Sunday, Volodymyr Zelensky, a Jewish comedian best known for playing the head of state in the satirical television programme Servant of the Nation, won the first round of Ukraine’s Presidential elections, defeating incumbent Petro Poroshenko by more than 16 points. A political neophyte accused by his critics of serving as a political pawn of Jewish oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, an expatriate and Poroshenko rival on whose channel the show airs, Mr Zelensky has expressed few firm policy positions beyond attacking the current political elite, which has been rocked by a series of corruption scandals. He is slated to go head-to-head with Mr Poroshenko in the second round of balloting at the end of the month. If elected, Mr Zelensky will be the first Jewish president of Ukraine, a fact that has left many in the former Soviet Republic deeply unimpressed. “Zelensky’s Jewish identity was not part of his campaigning,” noted Izabella Tabarovsky, a Ukraine expert at the Kennan Institute. The fact that the issue has not come up shows that, despite Russian propaganda to the contrary, antisemitism is “not a central or guiding ideology for the vast majority of the population,” added Matthew Kupfer, a journalist at the Kyiv Post. “It is a positive sign that exclusionary ethno-nationalism has not taken hold of the country politically.”

Adrian Karatnycky on Ukraine election 2019, Ulana Suprun, IMF and presidential candidates | Hromadske Radio

Adrian Karatnycky’s hard talk: superficiality and reality in the election, media, and reforms

Michael Bociurkiw on Ukraine, Russian propaganda, corruption and independent media | Hromadske Radio

Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of Ukraine Calling. I’m Oksana Smerechuk for Hromadske Radio in Kyiv and we’re bringing you our feature in-depth interview followed by some new music from Ukraine. This week’s interview is with global political analyst Michael Bociurkiw. Bohdan Nahaylo talks to Michael on his take on the latest events in Ukraine. That will be a little further on, but first of all, this week’s news. FEATURE INTERVIEW: Global Political Analyst Bociurkiw: These Authoritarian Thug Regimes Can Get Away With It Nahaylo: I’m very happy to have in our studio for Ukraine Calling Michael Bociurkiw, who’s been a guest on our programme before. Michael is a very well known global affairs analyst, former spokesperson for the OSCE, for the Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine. He worked also for UNICEF. I congratulate you, Michael, that you have become one of the most prominent spokespersons on these broad-ranging global affairs issues, humanitarian issues, and also issues of concern to Ukrainians. Welcome to the programme!

From Potholes to Procurement: Ukraine’s Chronic Corruption Angers Voters

Tackling corruption is invariably among the issues Ukrainians cite as a top priority for the next president. Incumbent Petro Poroshenko and newcomer Volodymyr Zelenskiy face a final round runoff April 21. There are growing fears that government resolve is stalling after Ukraine’s Constitutional Court in February struck down a law against officials enriching themselves. The U.S. ambassador to Ukraine recently demanded the government get a grip on the problem. Henry Ridgwell reports from Kyiv.

A TV comedian wins the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election – Send in the clown

FEW COUNTRIES are as disposed to spectacle and phantasmagoria as Ukraine, the birthplace of Mikhail Bulgakov and Nikolai Gogol. Their shadows, surely, enveloped springtime Kiev on March 31st as a comedian who plays the president in a popular TV show “Servant of the People” emerged as the likely next president of Ukraine.

In Ukraine’s Election, Pro-Russian Candidates Can’t Win – Foreign Policy

By occupying the regions of the country that most favor it, Moscow has undermined its own position in Ukrainian politics. Here’s why it still won’t leave. Whatever happens in the second round of Ukraine’s elections later this month, a pro-Russian candidate will not become Ukraine’s next president. Five years after Russia annexed Crimea and launched a war in the country’s Donbass region, the Kremlin’s influence in Ukraine is at the lowest level in at least a century. True, Russia continues to control 7 percent of Ukraine’s territory, which neither incumbent Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko nor his second-round opponent, the comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, has a strategy for retaking. Even though the country’s military has improved since 2014, Ukraine can’t retake the territory by force given Russia’s massive military advantage. In the other 93 percent of Ukraine, however, things have not gone in the Kremlin’s favor. For Ukrainian politicians focused on consolidating their country’s independence and national identity—and that includes Poroshenko and most of the country’s political class—the status quo is tolerable. They would prefer to get Crimea and the Donbass back, yet Russia’s ongoing occupation has its benefits too. In seizing those areas, Russia chopped off the two regions with the least-developed sense of Ukrainian identity. And with them gone, no pro-Russian candidate could win a Ukrainian election. Long gone are the days when candidates such as former President Viktor Yanukovych, who was openly sympathetic to Russia, could win a majority of votes.

Vox Pop: Russians React to Comedian Leading in Ukraine’s Presidential Elections – YouTube

The Moscow Times Published on Apr 4, 2019 Ukraine held its first round of presidential elections on Sunday, March 31. Actor and comedian Volodymyr Zelensky cemented his lead with 30.3 percent of the votes — nearly twice as many as the current President Petro Poroshenko. We headed to the streets of Moscow to hear what Russians had to say about the elections in Ukraine. Find out what they told us in our video below. Produced by Olga Temryukova Music by Martijn de Boer // Real Time Madness (c)

After returning from Ukraine, ex-foreign minister warns Russian disinformation will be factor in Canadian election | National Post

OTTAWA — After serving as an official election monitor in Ukraine for the first round of that country’s presidential election, former Liberal foreign minister Lloyd Axworthy is warning Canadians will be vulnerable to Russian disinformation during the federal contest scheduled for this October. “There’s some lessons to learn for Canadians. I think Ukraine’s on the front line, and there’s a wake-up call that anybody’s election, including ours in six months, could be altered, disrupted or problems could be created in terms of disinformation if you’re not very watchful about it,” he said in an interview with the National Post on Thursday. “I can’t predict what would happen here. I just know that we’re vulnerable.” Axworthy, who served in the cabinets of Jean Chrétien and Pierre Trudeau and currently chairs the World Refugee Council, led a group of more than a hundred Canadian election observers funded by Global Affairs Canada to meet with Ukrainian officials and report on the integrity of its proceedings this week. “Even against the odds of Russian interference and the conflicts on the east side and so on, they did a very effective job and there weren’t a lot of disruptions,” he said. “There were small glitches but nothing affected the outcome.” Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan recently announced they were extending a training mission in Ukraine through 2022. About 200 Canadian troops are stationed in the country’s west assisting its military as conflict with Russia-backed separatists continues in eastern Ukraine. The federal budget released last month committed about $100 million to that cause over the next three years.

Orthodox Church of Ukraine established. First comments from a leading expert on Eastern Christianity | Hromadske Radio

Historical theologian Prof. Jaroslav Skira talks to Marta Dyczok about the background and significance of the newly created Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of Ukraine Calling. I’m Bohdan Nahaylo for Hromadske Radio in Kyiv and we’re bringing you our feature in-depth interview followed by some new music from Ukraine. This week’s interview is with historical theologian Prof. Jaroslav Skira. Marta Dyczok asks him about the background and significance of the newly created Ukrainian Orthodox Church. FEATURE INTERVIEW: Religion And Politics: How The Stars Aligned And The Ukrainian Orthodox Church Unified. Marta Dyczok Speaks To Historical Theologian Prof. Skira Dyczok: Ukraine hit the international headlines again, but with a good news story. It created an independent Orthodox Church on Sunday, the 15th of December. To explain how this happened and what it means, we have with us Professor Jaroslav Skira. He’s a leading expert on Eastern Christianity. He’s the acting director of the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptyts’ky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies, at the Faculty of Theology at St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto. And he’s also associate professor of historical theology at Regis College. Thank you very much for finding the time to speak to us, Professor Skira. Skira: Thank you very much. I’m glad to be on the radio with you and to make your acquaintance. Dyczok: Thank you. Now let’s start with the what. An event happened in Kyiv last Sunday that some are calling historic. Can you remind our listeners of Hromadske Radio’s Ukraine Calling exactly what happened?

Polish church supports Ukrainian autocephaly

The Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church fundamentally supports Ukrainian autocephaly, according to an official statement of the Chancellery of the Council of Bishops. — Ukrinform. “On behalf of the Council of Bishops of the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church, in response to letters in the case of the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, we clearly inform that the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church supported and supports the recognition of complete autonomy – autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine,” the statement reads. The chancellery also adds that “the provision of autocephaly should be done in accordance with dogmatic and canonical norms in relation to the whole church, not a group of schismatics.” According to the report, the Polish Orthodox Church is cooperating with other local churches in order to resolve the church issue in Ukraine. On January 5, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew signed a tomos of autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. On January 6, the Patriarchal Church of St. George in Istanbul hosted a tomos handover ceremony and a divine liturgy that was concelebrated by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epiphanius.