Information operations · Information Warfare · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (138)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Solovey analysis is interesting – he argues an Able Archer 83 style scenario where the Russian leadership delusionally believes that the West is preparing to strike Russia, leading to sustained preparations for war, draining the economy and causing loss of public support. Bugayova has produced a nice summary of Russian leadership beliefs and behaviors. Arctic update. Inozemtsev on Russia’s cyclic behaviors. Shimer on Stasi subversion of Germany, AfD MP suspected of being a Manchurian candidate, and SDP using NATO disagreements to destabilize Merkel’s coalition. Hunt, Trudeau, and Freeland warn about Russian meddling.

Sen Inhofe publishes Ukraine OpEd in Politico, arguing strongly for more military aid. NATO Black Sea EX. Donbas update. Much more on the Neptun SLCM/GCLM and Vilkha GMLRS – both major headaches for the Russians. Political news.

Another deluge of election reports – curiously there is more coverage of the Ukrainian election in Western than in Ukrainian media. While this may appear whacky in terms of Western politics, this style of posturing and one-up-man-ship is very common in their culture, and often seen in their politics. It also shows how fundamentally different Ukraine is to Russia. Also, the fact that Zelenskiy is Jewish sinks 5 years of Russian propaganda and covert mischief trying to convince the world that Ukraine is deeply anti-Semitic and run by a Nazi junta. Whatever the outcome of the election, its peculiar nature is producing media visibility in the West of a very different Ukraine to the often clueless stereotypes Western media love to embrace, and Russian propaganda tropes so many in the Western media have gullibly swallowed, hook, line and sinker.


Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russians, Kremlin Divided on Moscow’s Military Course, Setting the Stage for Conflict, Solovey Says

Paul Goble Staunton, April 5 – “Russians don’t want war and don’t want to prepare for one,’ Valery Solovey says. But the Kremlin both believes that the West is threatening it, feels compelled to prepare in response, and is convinced that war or at least the threat of war is in Russia’s and its own best interests as the country heads into a leadership transition. The MGIMO professor and frequent commentator on the Moscow political scene says that there is no question that “Russia is preparing for war,” in response to what the country’s leadership believes are a growing even existential military threat from the West both to Russia and to Vladimir Putin personally (republic.ru/posts/93460). It is irrelevant as to how real or how fantastic these notions are, Solovey says. “For the Kremlin mind, they are incontrovertible reality” and as such they are the basis on which “real strategy” is designed. “This is a classic illustration of the Thomas theorem in sociology: if people accept a situation as real, then it is real as far as their behavior is concerned.” Given that this is how the Kremlin views the world, its policies are “logical, consistent and purposeful.” If war is increasingly likely and the world is becoming more dangerous, then preparing on a forced basis for conflict and seeking to occupy the best initial positions in advance of it makes perfect sense. Moscow’s policy of using or threatening to use force is “still not war,” the MGIMO analyst says; “but rather a public demonstration of readiness for it,” something that the Kremlin believes will lead the effete and hedonistic West to back down “in the face of unceasing Russian decisiveness.” It even expects to win victories this way at “a small price.” “However,” Solovey continues, such use of a force strategy is effective “only for the short term” and may not always be effective then. The Kremlin expected the West to surrender Ukraine after Moscow unexpectedly seized Crimea, but instead, the West responded with a new toughness and imposed serious costs on Russia. It turned out, to Moscow’s surprise, that “hybrid war led to the mobilization of the West and not its discouragement.” “Nevertheless, from the Kremlin’s point of view, the potential of this playing at sharpening conflict is far from exhausted,” a strategy designed to irritate the West but not to provoke a major conflict. Thus, the American and Russian military have learned how to avoid having things spin out of control, while some political leaders make radical pronouncements. That reflects the fact that at present, there is a generation of politicians in office “who have not had any personal experience with the horrors of war and therefore are all the more interested in turning to military methods of conducting policy,” Solovey argues. They are encouraged in that by the new weapons which promise to avoid mass deaths. For them, but not for those in the military who do have experience with war, all of this is “something like a computer game.” Since 2014, the commentator says, Moscow has pursued a policy of military mobilization, involving among other things building up its gold reserves, extracting more resources from the population, intensifying government control of the economy, engaging in import substitution, working to ensure the loyalty of the bureaucracy, and using propaganda to promote militarism and patriotism. “In general,” Solovey continues, “this is a quite systematic and consistent strategy of semi-autarchy,” one that looks out to the 2030s and that is “semi” rather than total. And what is especially important to understand is that there is “a very important domestic goal” behind this strategy as well. And that is this: it is intended to ensure that the upcoming transition at the top will allow the beneficiaries of the Putin regime to benefit, something the Kremlin is convinced will be easier to do “under conditions of controlled isolation.” That isolation will only increase if Moscow is able to shut off the Runet from the world wide web in 20221-2022 as many expect. Such a policy line, however, will hurt many and annoy still more in the broader population, Solovey says. Judging from recent polls and protests, “the limits of social patience have practically been reached. Propaganda is ever less capable of compensating for the growth of tension.” The MGIMO scholar points to the findings of sociology Sergey Belanovsky in particular. (On them, see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/04/tired-of-strong-hand-ever-more-russians.html and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/07/can-putin-or-anyone-else-govern-russia.html.) Belanovsky reports, Solovey says, that “a year ago, people in the major cities ahd a positive attitude toward Putin’s foreign policy … but people in the provinces and especially women were negative. Now, however, negative ratings … dominate everywhere. Moreover, militarist propaganda is one of the factors provoking this anger.” This growing divide between the Kremlin and the population is likely to provoke a clash, the only question being when, where and in what forms. In two other comments this week, Solovey suggests that Ingushetia events may be a harbinger of broader popular unhappiness (mk.ru/politics/2019/04/04/politolog-valeriy-solovey-predskazal-rossii-potryaseniya.html and activist.msk.ru/2019/04/spiski-tekh-kogo-nuzhno-zaklyuchit-pod-strazhu-byli-gotovy-v-2012-godu.html).

UAWire – Russian pharmaceutical companies told to prepare for war

The Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade has prepared a strategy to develop the country’s pharmaceutical industry by 2030. The relevant …

Nataliya Bugayova | How We Got Here With Russia: The Kremlin’s Worldview | Institute for the Study of War

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Kremlin’s increasingly assertive foreign policy, including its illegal occupation of Crimea in 2014 and its intervention in Syria in 2015, came unexpectedly to many in the West. These events were nonetheless mere extensions of the worldview held by Russian President Vladimir Putin. This worldview was built on more than two decades of compounded dissatisfaction with the West as well as Putin’s cumulative experiences in his ongoing global campaigns to achieve his core objectives: the preservation of his regime, the end of American hegemony, and the reinstatement of Russia as a global power. Some of these ambitions were tamed, and others expedited, by external events, yet their core has remained the same and often at odds with the West. The U.S. believed that a brief period of non-assertive foreign policy from the mid-1980s to mid-1990s had become the new norm for Russia. This period was not the norm but an anomaly. Putin’s foreign policy has always been assertive, similar to Russia’s historic foreign policy. The U.S. may thus find itself once again surprised by Putin. This paper examines the evolution of Russia’s foreign policy worldview since the collapse of the Soviet Union to help understand the likely next priorities of the Kremlin. INTRODUCTION The U.S. has routinely attempted to reset relations with Russia since the rise to power of Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2000. The Soviet Union’s collapse led legions of scholars and policy-makers to pivot towards the new issues of a post-Soviet Middle East, Europe, and Asia. An entire generation of Americans hardly thought about Russia. The Russian Federation was seen as a former foe that could be integrated – albeit uneasily – into the international system led by the U.S. Yet Russia did not view the slate as clean. The Kremlin’s foreign policy narrative, by contrast, soon focused on America’s disregard for its interests and the need to achieve a multipolar international system free of U.S. hegemony. Putin has remained clear on these goals since his ascent to the Kremlin. Russia needed to recover from its weakened state, reestablish itself as a global power, and achieve a new world order that held up the Kremlin as an equal – not a dependent – to the U.S. Click image to enlarge. Putin’s twenty-year tenure in power has had a cumulative effect on his worldview. His assertiveness has grown in step with his strengthened grip on domestic power and his growing perception that he faces only limited international pushback. His personal resentment of geopolitical slights has grown and fed back into Russia’s national security dialogue. The influence of other forceful national security leaders has also grown. Putin has responded to internal challenges by seeking foreign policy distractions. The direction of his aims has always been consistent even if the vigor and rancor with which they are pursued has increased.

Russia Stakes Its Hold on the Arctic With Military Base | RealClearDefense

SEVERNY KLEVER MILITARY BASE, Russia (AP) — Missile launchers ply icy roads and air defense systems point menacingly into the sky at this Arctic military outpost, a key vantage point for Russia to…

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Close to UN Recognition that Its Continental Shelf Extends Far into the Arctic

Paul Goble Staunton, April 5 – After almost 20 years of Russian lobbying, a subgroup of the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf has declared that much of the Arctic seabed is an extension of Russia’s continental shelf. If that is confirmed by the entire commission, Moscow’s claims to the Arctic will have gained significant international recognition. Russian officials are jubilant. Yevgeny Kiselyev, who heads the Russian agency that oversees questions of natural resources and territorial arrangements about them, told TASS that the decision was “extraordinarily important for us” (tass.ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/6290153). If he is right that the full commission will soon follow suit, that will mean that the UN will have given new weight to Moscow’s argument that its continental shelf extends under an additional 1.2 million square kilometers in the Arctic. And that in turn will give it a much stronger claim for controlling access to natural resources and the passage of ships even far from its coastline. Russian commentator Aleksandr Dubrovsky is equally excited about the consequences. In an article entitled “The Arctic is Returned Home,” he says that what the sub-commission has done works to Moscow’s advantage even if the full committee eventually decides not to include all the territory that the sub-commission has (iarex.ru/articles/65623.html). “Already now,” Dubrovsky argues, “independent of the final result, this event testifies to a triumph of Russian fundamental science which has been capable of carrying out work” that no one else could do and “the strategic thinking of the Russian authorities” about the Arctic basin and how to struggle for it. But Western experts say that the Russian enthusiasm may be overstated: Michael Byers of the University of British Columbia says that the UN commission is not in the business of defining borders but rather ruling on the validity of geological data presented to it (thebarentsobserver.com/en/arctic/2019/04/russia-scores-scientific-point-quest-extended-arctic-continental-shelf). That suggests the issue is far from resolved, although there is one reason Moscow may have for thinking it has made progress toward achieving its goal in this region. Defining the borders does come under the international Law of the Sea Convention, something Moscow is a signatory to but the US has not ratified. Consequently, resistance to what Russia hopes to get from this decision will have to be led by other countries which may have more immediate interests in the Arctic but do not have the equivalent geopolitical clout, especially after the decision by the sub-commission tilts the discussion in Russia’s favor.

Russian Navy may scrap its only aircraft carrier – Defence Blog

Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, may be decommissioned if the Ministry of Defense and industry wouldn’t resolve the question of the replacing the PD-50 floating drydock needed to complete the repair of the ship hull, was reported by newspaper Izvestia, citing a source in the Russian Navy. Russian Navy is considering prematurely decommission of its only aircraft carrier after then the PD-50 floating drydock that housed it sank. In last year, a floating drydock holding the Admiral Kuznetsov sank following a power supply failure, causing one of the dock’s cranes to fall onto the carrier’s deck, leading to warship repair plant workers being injured. The incident left a 4×5-meter hole in the vessel’s flight deck. Now the largest Russian Navy surface combatant ship is waiting for the decision of its fate near the wall of the 35th Repair Plant in Kola Bay near Murmansk. Russia does not own a suitable replacement for PD-50 built-in 1980 in Sweden for the Soviet Navy. Moreover, the project of the Russian aircraft carrier and before the tragedy caused a lot of controversies. According to Popular Mechanics,over the last several decades, the Kuznetsov had already been beset by fires, budget cuts, and busted steam boilers. It’s so unreliable that a tugboat has been following it around on long voyages like a shadow. Even before the PD-50 accident, a number of observers questioned the utility and expense of refurbishing the Kuznetsov. “In general, we need to critically review the domestic concept of the employment of carrier strike groups since Russia has undertaken to use the Admiral Kuznetsov to accomplish such missions,” Oleg Vladykin suggested in Nezavisimaya Gazeta. Editor of the Moscow Defense Brief journal Mikhail Barabanov was dismissive of Kuznetsov’s upgrades. “Since Kuznetsov is not so much a combat platform as a training platform, deep modernization for her is an obvious excess.” The Admiral Kuznetsov (heavy aircraft cruiser in Russian classification) was commissioned in 1990 and inherited by Russia upon the breakup of the USSR. The initial name of the ship was Riga; it was launched as Leonid Brezhnev, embarked on sea trials as Tbilisi, and finally named Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Kuznetsov after Admiral of the fleet of the Soviet Union Nikolay Gerasimovich Kuznetsov. In the immediate post–Cold War years, it rarely went to sea—conducting only six patrols between 1991 and 2015. In 2009, an electrical accident killed a crewman off the coast of Turkey. But Russia has repeatedly pushed the ship into service, and a 2016 mission off the coast of Syria saw the ship lose two jets in just three weeks. At the moment, Russia does not have the technical and financial possibilities to restore its old aircraft carrier and also to build a series of new ones. Tags: Russia

From Athens to AI: The Return of History, the Revenge of Rivalry, and the Resurgence of Great Power Competition

Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it is time to admit a controversial truth: great power competition is back. The U.S. foreign policy

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia Makes Progress When It Looks Outward and Suffers When It Turns in on Itself, Inozemtsev Says

Paul Goble Staunton, April 5 – Yezhednevny zhurnal offers another chapter from Vladislav Inozemtsev’s new book, An Uncontemporary Country, a chapter that demonstrates that whenever Russia has turned outward and involved itself with the rest of the world, it has made progress but that when it has turned in on itself, it has not only failed to do so but regressed. “Over the last three centuries of Russian history,” the Russian economist says, “two tendencies have constantly struggled against each other: on the one hand, a striving to openness and ‘internationalization’ and on the other a desire to shut itself off by its own distinctive nature” (ej.ru/?a=note&id=33613). Despite all the differences one can observe in the first trend, Inozemtsev argues, efforts in that direction “put economic or ideological considerations above cultural and historian ones.” Further, when this trend was dominant, Russia achieved its greatest success be it in the 18th century or in the 20th. And despite the commonalities of the second trend, it has had negative consequences of various kinds, sometimes shutting Russia off from the rest of the world and keeping it background and sometimes contributing to the disintegration of the state because of the multi-national population of the empire.are There is currently an enormous community, perhaps as many as 37 million people, living abroad who might constitute “a Russian world,” depending on how it is defined. It consists essentially of two groups of people, who may be called “Russian professionals” who have pursued individual goals and “professional Russians” who are in the former Soviet republics. These groups are so different that appealing to one may alienate the other and that while one may help Russia by offering a network of people inclined to be sympathetic to Russia and possibly even interested in returning with their skillss, the other will put it at increasing odds with the country’s neighbors and lead to its isolation and degradation, Inozemtsev continues. “The idea of ‘the Russian world’” now on offer, he says, “is the most particularistic of all that Russia has advanced over the last 300 years. It is directed not to be n ‘aggressive’ but rather is a deeply ‘defensive’ political strategy,” one based on the idea that Russia has a zone of exclusive interests behind a line which the West must not cross. “Russia’s behavior may appear aggressive,” the economist argues, “but this aggressiveness points not to some far-reaching strivings and the possibilities of the country but to an obvious exhaustion and inability to offer any really universal idea” to others or to its own population. In reaching out to “the professional Russians” in the former Soviet republics, Russia has focused on territory. What it should be doing, Inozemtsev suggests, is reaching out to “Russian professionals” elsewhere who should be encouraged to view Russia positively and even consider returning. That would help Russia escape its current problems rather than add to them. Such an approach, he says, would lead to “the enrichment of the country through the attraction to it of new citizens” with Russian roots “and not the expenditure of new resources involved in unifying territories” or attracting people from them who are not culturally similar to the Russians. Unfortunately, Moscow today is pursuing exactly the opposite approach. “The present Russian authorities cannot formulate any ideas capable of resonating beyond the limits of the community which speaks Russian, remembers or recognizes all the insanity of Russian history and relates with understanding to the political ‘uniqueness’ of their own land.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russian Liberalism Ends Far Before Ukraine: It Ends inside Russia, Shtepa Says

Paul Goble Staunton, April 5 – Many Russian commentators and politicians are convinced that the chief threat to the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation are the asymmetrical federal arrangements under the terms of which the non-Russian republics and districts have more powers on paper than do the predominantly ethnic Russian oblasts and krays. Some have urged that the Russian regions be raised in status so that they will have powers equal to the republics; but in the era of Vladimir Putin, far more want the republics to be suppressed in the name of the power vertical, the formation of a single civic nation, and the defense of the territorial integrity of the country. That Russian nationalists and imperialists should take such a position is hardly surprising: such people believe that the USSR came apart only because Lenin and Stalin divided Russia up into union republics. If the Soviet leaders hadn’t done that, “the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century” would have been avoided. But what is disturbing, regionalist commentator Vadim Shtepa says, is that some liberals who appear to believe that the federalization of Russia is necessary are now proposing “a federation without republics,” one that in fact would set the stage for even more hyper-centralization than Russia has now (region.expert/no-republics/). The latest demonstration of the fact that Russian liberalism stops long before reaching the Ukrainian issue, the Tallinn-based regionalist says, is an article by Alekandr Vvedensky on the Kasparov portal (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5CA65CC28CCDE) that argues for federalism but whose proposals in fact reflect the Moscow-centric approach of most liberals. Vvedensky quite sensibly argues that only federalism will allow Russia to become a law-based state guaranteeing its population rights and freedoms and living as a country at peace with the rest of the world. But “in the middle of the article,” he suddenly begins to sound like “an imperial-centralist” thinker, Shtepa says. “The transition to a single civic nation and the replacement of national republics via the establishment of super-national states (subjects of the federation will,” in Vvedensky’s view, “liquidate the ethnic tensions which exist in Russia, including separatism,” Shtepa continues. But two things mean that the state he wants to create won’t be a genuine federal system at all. On the one hand, Vvedensky wants to make all the natural resources of the country, its chief source of wealth, the common property of all rather than of those on or under whose territory they are found. In reality that would mean that Moscow and no one else would have full control over them. And on the other, the Russian liberal author does not say how this new federalism would be realized. If it were based on the agreement of the component parts as federal systems normally are, the non-Russian republics would not be suppressed. Clearly, he intends it to be introduced top-down from Moscow and thus imposed on the country. Again, this will subvert any positive meaning that federalism might have. It would in fact make the current situation worse, the editor of Region.Expert argues. Thus, “in his demand to ‘do away’ with national republics, the liberal Vvedensky is in no way distinguished from the liberal-democrat Zhirinovsky.” Indeed, “Zhirinovsky looks in this case even more honest – he doesn’t mask his imperial centralism by beautiful rants about ‘a new federalism.’” Real federalism in Russia would require raising the rights of the oblasts and krays to those of the republics, and allowing all these entities to decide on what relationships they will have with each other and the center. Otherwise, Shtepa concludes, “the liquidation of the national republics which [Vvedensky] proposes, won’t be capable of extinguishing [ethnic tensions]. On the contrary, it will raise such tensions to the level of inter-ethnic wars” without giving anyone in Russia the rights and freedoms federalism could. “This Moscow-centrism today united the Kremlin powers that be and the ‘federal’ opposition, the majority of liberals, communists and Russian nationalists,” the regionalist writer says. “Just like in the old anecdote, whatever they intend, they end by coming up with a machine gun.”

David Shimer | A Cold War Case of Russian Collusion

What the Investigation of a 1972 Stasi Operation Can Teach Us About the Mueller Report

German far-right MP ‘could be absolutely controlled by Russia’ – BBC News
AfD party member Markus Frohnmaier says documents suggesting this and seen by the BBC are fake.
German far-right MP “could be absolutely controlled by Russia”: BBC – news world | UNIAN
A German politician could become an “absolutely controlled” MP in the Bundestag, according to Russian documents seen by BBC Newsnight. The documents obtained by investigative journalists provide an insight into so-called “active measures” – Russian attempts to influence Western politics.

Could NATO Be the Downfall of Angela Merkel’s Government? – Foreign Policy

A fight over defense spending could soon split Germany’s ruling coalition.

Here’s how F-35 technology would be compromised if Turkey also had the S-400 anti-aircraft system

The U.S. Air Force was able to bomb Libya with impunity after knocking out its relic of an Integrated Air Defense System, but what if the country had actually maintained a competent IADS network?

Erdogan says Turkey continues S-400 payments, criticizes U.S. stance – Reuters

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that Turkey was continuing to make payments under its deal with Russia to buy S-400 missile defense systems and the United States had not presented the same terms when it offered to sell the rival Patriot missile system.

Western countries should learn how to stop Russia – Jeremy Hunt

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that it is important for Western states to find ways to stop Russia’s attempts to interfere in democratic processes. — Ukrinform.

Canadian PM Warns Of Russian Interference In Upcoming Parliamentary Elections

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has warned of the risk of interference by Russia and other foreign players in the country’s upcoming parliamentary elections.

Canada expects foreign meddling in October election, Chrystia Freeland says | CBC News

 

UAWire – Estonian President lists topics for upcoming discussion with Putin

Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid stated during a television broadcast that she wants to discuss with her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin …

Sen. Jim Inhofe | U.S. Has Done Much to Help Ukraine, But It Can Do More – POLITICO Magazine

Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine has now entered its sixth year. This is not a frozen conflict. More than 10,000 Ukrainians have been killed, and that number grows each week. And on Nov. 25 of last year, the Kremlin leader escalated his war of aggression, and even expanded it into a new domain by attacking and seizing three Ukrainian naval vessels and detaining 24 Ukrainian sailors in violation of international law. They remain Putin’s captives. Finally, more than 100 days since that attack, the free world has begun to respond. I welcome President Donald Trump’s recent decision, along with our Canadian and European allies, to impose additional sanctions on Russian officials. This is a powerful first step. But it must not be the only step. The free world must respond with urgency and strength — not just to a single attack, but to Putin’s broader campaign to undermine Ukrainian sovereignty and the free institutions the country seeks to join. Additional U.S. sanctions must be on the table to impose direct costs on Putin and his henchmen. We should also work closely with the NATO alliance to enhance our military presence and capabilities in the Black Sea region. Most of all, the United States should develop a long-term plan for security assistance to Ukraine — a plan that truly reflects the stakes of this conflict not just for Ukraine, but for the United States. Joe Biden on stage before speaking at Syracuse University in 2015. 2020 Joe Biden Created the Culture He Is a Target Of By Emily Yoffe Buttons of 2020 presidential candidates and possible contenders Political Science Too Many Democrats Are Running in 2020, According to Science By Lilly Kofler A man eats a cheeseburger. Wealth Of Nations Inside the Race to Build the Burger of the Future By Michael Grunwald Last year, Ukraine received its first lethal aid from the United States thanks to the Trump administration’s approval of a sale of Javelin anti-tank missiles — a critical step the Obama administration refused to take despite bipartisan support in Congress. The Trump administration also notified Congress in February that, for the first time since its creation in 2015, funds for the Department of Defense’s Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative will be used to provide lethal aid, including sniper rifles and shoulder-fired grenade launchers. I commend the administration for these two “firsts.” Now it’s time to increase funding for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, as well as the State Department’s security assistance programs. And a larger share of this funding should go to support defensive lethal aid that will make Ukraine a more difficult target for Putin’s aggression. After Putin’s Black Sea attack, Ukraine’s maritime capabilities must be enhanced by accelerating acquisition of coastal defense radars, patrol boats, coastal defense and anti-ship missiles and other systems. On the ground, Ukraine needs more Javelins, other anti-tank weapons, electronic warfare systems and advanced counterartillery radars. And in the air, we should examine how to assist Ukraine in improving its air defenses. Of course, the response of the free world to Putin’s aggression is not the responsibility of the United States alone. Canada, Lithuania, Poland and the United Kingdom have been providing security resources to Ukraine. We need more allies and partners to step up with action rather than talk. Our European allies and partners should ban all Russian Navy vessels from their ports. Many of these ships home-port in illegally annexed Ukrainian territory. These ships fire missiles into Syria to keep the murderer Bashar Assad in power. Putin’s warships do not belong in the ports of the free world. And until Ukraine’s sailors and ships are returned, our European allies should extend that ban to Russian commercial ships originating from the Black Sea. Perhaps the most powerful step our European partners could take would be to cancel the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will strengthen Russia’s grip on the European energy market and place Ukraine’s economic and physical security at greater risk. I hope this project will be stopped, but in the meantime, I urge European leaders to strictly apply European energy law to the pipeline, insist on greater transparency and demand the operation of the pipeline be truly independent of Gazprom, Putin’s corrupt gas syndicate. The Ukrainian people further turned their backs to Russia in their elections this past weekend, resoundingly rejecting the only candidate supporting a closer relationship with Putin. But the country can also do more to strengthen its own defense against Russian aggression and malign influence by staying on the path of reform and cleaning up corruption. Nothing, however, can diminish the sacrifices made by the people of Ukraine, nor the extraordinary courage and resolve they have shown through five difficult years of war. Ukrainians are fighting, as the beloved Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko once put it, to join “the family of the free.” In this fight, Ukraine needs and deserves our help.

NATO package to support Ukraine in Black Sea contains confidential provisions – Klimkin – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin says the package of measures agreed upon by NATO foreign ministers to support Ukraine in the Black Sea region contains confidential provisions. The foreign minister said that no one will be asking Russia what measures Ukraine and NATO may jointly carry out in the Black Sea. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin says the package of measures agreed upon by NATO foreign ministers to support Ukraine in the Black Sea region contains confidential provisions. “It’s very important to me since we’ve been discussed this with NATO for four months. NATO won’t be asking Russia what we should do together and what we should do in the Black Sea. We will just do it. No one will be asking and telling: this you can do, and this you can’t,” Klimkin told journalists in Kyiv on April 5. Klimkin recalled that the adopted package of NATO measures to support Ukraine in the Black Sea provides for the surveillance, military presence, as well as support for the Ukrainian Navy and coastal defense.

Pryluky boat, NATO frigate hold joint drills in Black Sea

The Pryluky missile boat of the Ukrainian Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Toronto have conducted joint maneuvers in the Black Sea, the press service of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry has reported. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine’s permanent representative to OSCE: Mission may launch at least distance monitoring of situation in Crimea

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine may launch a distance monitoring of the situation with human rights and fundamental freedoms in Crimea despite the denials of the Russian occupation administration. — Ukrinform.

Providers of Crimea block 12 Ukrainian information websites

28 more websites are partially blocked

Russian-led forces launch 17 attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas. One soldier killed, two wounded

Russian occupation forces 17 times violated ceasefire regime, using ten times weapons banned under the Minsk agreements, on positions of Ukrainian troops in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in Donbas over the past day. — Ukrinform.

One soldier killed in action in Ukraine’s Donbas in sniper fire – news war | UNIAN

Over the past day, April 5, Donbas militants carried out 17 shellings of Ukraine troops, including 10 times with the use of weapons prohibited by the Minsk agreements. In response, Ukraine troops destroyed four militants and wounded another four.

JFO: Two Ukrainian soldiers wounded in action in Donbas April 5 – news war | UNIAN

Russia’s hybrid military forces mounted eight attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas on April 5, with two Ukrainian soldiers reported as wounded in action. The situation in the area of the Joint Forces Operation remains under control of Ukrainian troops.

Hnutove and Marinka checkpoints in Donbas temporarily closed

On April 6, the entry-exit Hnutove and Marinka checkpoints in Donbas are closed, according to the press service of the State Border Service of Ukraine. — Ukrinform.

Ukrainian servicemen capture Russian-backed militant

Servicemen of the Ukrainian Joint Forces have captured a private of the 100th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (military unit No. 08266), the press service of the headquarters of the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) has reported on Facebook. — Ukrinform.

Ukrainian troops boast of another successful strike destroying enemy hardware in Donbas (Video) – news war | UNIAN

Two militants of the Russian proxy forces were killed in the attack.

OSCE SMM Ukraine on Twitter: “SMM long-range unmanned aerial vehicle comes under fire from a heavy machine gun near non-government-controlled Dovhe on 20 March.… https://t.co/XnvJTVtBph”

 

Soldiers from 101st Airborne set to deploy to Ukraine

They will leave within days to develop a combat training center in Ukraine.

Winged Neptune. Team play – Сергій Згурець – Facebook [VIDEO]

Winged Neptune. Team play A brief video review of the factory tests of the 360MTs missile system with the R-360A version of the “Neptune” anti-ship missile. April 5, 2019. State testing ground of the Armed Forces of Ukraine “Alibey”. The tests of the main elements of the complex have been carried out. The rocket – in an updated form, it is no longer mock-up, but the first prototype. The main executor of the important experimental design work is the State Enterprise GosKKB “Luch”. The cooperation includes the enterprises of GK “Ukroboronprom” – GosKKB, “Orizon-Navigation”, “Impuls”, “Visar”, CCB “Arsenal” (NSAU), and private companies – “Radionix”, “Instrument”, “Ukrinmash” , “Ukrainian armored vehicles”, PJSC “Motor Sich”, KrAZ. Other details, photos and personal impressions – a little bit later.

Missile Neptune: The flight path unveiled

During a test on April 5, 2019, the cruise missile of the 360MTs “Neptun” complex held in the air 13 minutes 55 seconds. During this time she crossed the distance 225 km. In the flight, the rocket R-360 changed its height from 300 to 5 m. The missile flight trajectory “illuminated” on one of the photos from the command complex of the complex (on the screen in the middle to the right in the photo). On April 6, the adviser to the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Yuriy Biryukov presented his detailed path. Apparently, the rocket in flight four times strongly changed its course, which eventually allowed to turn around 180 degrees. During a test on April 5, 2019, the cruise missile of the 360MTS “Neptun” complex held in the air 13 minutes 55 seconds. During this time she crossed the distance 225 km. In the flight, the rocket R-360 changed its height from 300 to 5 m. The missile flight trajectory “illuminated” on one of the photos from the command complex of the complex (on the screen in the middle to the right in the photo). On April 6, the adviser to the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Yuriy Biryukov presented his detailed path. Apparently, the rocket in flight four times strongly changed its course, which eventually allowed to turn around 180 degrees.

Прес-служба РНБОУ on Twitter: “Video tests of the new mobile complex cruise missiles – https://t.co/57MRTXHE3i… “

Oleksandr Turchynov: A new mobile cruise missile system has been tested – National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine

A new mobile cruise missile system has been tested successfully. This was reported by Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov after the tests were completed in the Odesa region. According to him, this new mobile cruise missile system “was created by Ukrainian scientists, designers and manufacturers in record time”. “The system includes a universal self-propelled launch station, a vehicle for transporting missiles, a transport-charging vehicle, and a command-and-staff module”, – Mr. Turchynov said adding that all components of the system, as well as the high-precision cruise missile P-360, had never before been produced in Ukraine, “therefore these tests are of fundamental importance for strengthening the defense potential of our state”. The NSDC Secretary informed that during the tests, the work of all components of the missile system and flight characteristics of the missile were checked. “The cruise missile completed a flight task of a unique complexity: flying over 100 km in the direction of the sea, it turned 180 degrees, and on the way back, precisely hit the target”, – Mr. Turchynov noticed adding that flight and maneuvering of the missile were recorded by technical means of observation both on the coastline and on Snake Island. “The new mobile cruise missile systems can quickly be put on certain combat positions and be ready to conduct a missile strike in minutes”, – he said stressing that Ukrainian cruise missiles P-360 are capable of precisely striking surface and ground targets at distances of over 300 km”. According to Mr. Turchynov, all components of the system and the missile itself “perfectly worked out the tasks and proved their conformity to the given characteristics”. The NSDC Secretary said that an interesting feature of today’s tests was the involvement of cadets and officers from the Institute of Naval Forces of the National University “Odessa Maritime Academy” to participate in them. “Today, we are creating a fundamentally new weapon, which the Ukrainian army had never had, and therefore, yet at the testing level, we begin to prepare military professionals who should be prepared for the operation and combat use of modern and high-precision missile systems”, – Mr. Turchynov summarized.

Test of a new mobile complex of cruise missiles – YouTube

Turchynov Published on April 5, 2019 In Ukraine, successfully tested the new mobile complex of cruise missiles. This was reported by the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchinov after the end of the tests in the Odessa region.

My task is to strengthen the defense capability of our state – President on the successful trials of new cruise missiles — Official website of the President of Ukraine

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko stresses that the Ukrainian army will continue to receive new modern weapons and equipment that will strengthen the defense capability of the state. “The post of the President and Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine provides for daily, hourly and every minute efforts aimed to strengthen the defense capabilities of our state,” Petro Poroshenko said in a meeting with the Naval Forces of Ukraine and the relatives of the captives. “Successful trials of the new cruise missile capable of hitting maritime targets was held at the testing ground here in Odesa region. Today, this particular option of specialization was tested. It has an increased range of action and increased warhead. And I’m pleased to inform you that the test of the new Ukrainian cruise missile has been successful. The missile, having overcome the distance of more than 250 km, successfully hit the target in the Black Sea area,” the Head of State said. “I emphasize that these are Ukrainian missiles made by Ukrainian designers and manufactured at the enterprises of the Ukrainian defense industrial complex. I emphasize that they will be adopted by the ships of the Naval Forces of Ukraine and the coastal guard units in December pursuant to my instruction,” the President stressed. According to him, representatives of countries friendly to us, military attaches, diplomatic representatives also watched the tests. At the same time, he noted that the aggressor “was also very closely monitoring the trials, trying to use the means of electronic warfare”. “And despite the counteraction, the tests were successful,” Petro Poroshenko summed up.

We are ready to arm the units of the Navy to increase the effectiveness of the combat use of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – President on the successful trials of the Neptune missile complex — Official website of the President of Ukraine

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. 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.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.

President: Maritime border of Ukraine is under the reliable protection of the Naval Forces — Official website of the President of Ukraine

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.

Президент про успішні випробування ракетного комплексу «Нептун» – YouTube

Адміністрація Президента України Published on Apr 5, 2019

Neptun missile complex tested in Odesa region. Photos, video

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko took part in the test of the state-of-the-art Neptun cruise missile complex for hitting land and naval targets. — Ukrinform.

NSDC of Ukraine on Twitter: “A new mobile cruise #missile system has been tested successfully in Odesa region. The system includes a universal self-propelled launch station, a vehicle for transporting missiles, a transport-charging vehicle, and a command-and-staff module. https://t.co/dMFIWIzmPD… https://t.co/oDrKsRSvoA”

Neptun cruise missile complex tested in Odesa. VIDEO&PHOTOS

05.04.19 17:25 – Neptun cruise missile complex tested in Odesa. VIDEO&PHOTOS President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko took part in the test of the state-of-the-art Neptun cruise missile complex for hitting land and naval targets. View video news.

Ukraine successfully tests Neptun missile defense system – news ukraine | UNIAN

Ukraine successfully tested the Neptun anti-ship missile defense system on April 5. Poroshenko said today the enemy had tried to hinder the tests of Ukrainian missiles.

A new mobile cruise missile system has been tested

Neptun system includes a universal self-propelled launch station, a vehicle for transporting missiles, a transport-charging vehicle, and a command-and-staff module

Kateryna_Kruk on Twitter: “Despite all the weirdness of today’s events, I hope that news about the test of a new mobile complex of cruise missiles P-360 will have a decent attention. It’s Ukraine first ever rocket of this type!… https://t.co/mLJf5hvcEY”

Ukrainian army received Airborne Systems parachutes

the paratroop systems manufactured by the Airborne Systems North America company will be used by the Airborne Assault Forces of Ukraine

‘ALDER’ THAT CAN LAUNCH DEADLY ROCKETS

In 2019, Ukrainian Armed Forces are going to field the new, fully indigenous, highly precise MLRS rocket and launcher system called Vilkha (Ukrainian for ‘alder’). The Vilkha is able to hit 12 different targets on land in a single salvo up to 130 km today and up to 200 km in the nearest future. The country’s military will thus obtain an adequate weapons deterrent capability that could help contain and deter Russia’s aggressive intentions. The Vilkha has been developed out of the legacy Russo-Soviet 300-mm Smerch MLRS technology. The State Enterprise SE KB Luch R&D Company, Kyiv, is the Designer Authority for the Vilkha MLRS launcher and associated rocket system. The Design Bureau Pivdenne (otherwise known as Yuzhnoye), Dnipro, partnered in the Vilkha project among other domestic companies. The Vilkha was developed within an extremely tight timeframe as short as 2.5 years. Only two years passed between first launches of full-size mock-up rockets in March 2016 and test salvo launches in April 2018. During a test firing session, two Vilkha rockets both hit a pole standing exactly at the target aim point. This high precision has been achieved particularly through the use of jet vents. The rocket should be put on a stabilized course at the initial phase of its flight, but trajectory corrections might be required at the end of the boosting flight trajectory. During the terminal flight phase, the Vilkha rocket is guided to its target using preloaded coordinate values. For this to be achieved, Ukrainian engineers developed a rocket nose cone of a unique design. Additionally, the launcher system was completely redesigned from the original Smerch prototype, and its electronic “stuff” was replaced with modern technology counterparts. The resulting benefits produced a precision attack MLRS capability and a possibility to distribute targets among rockets fired simultaneously in a single ripple. On May 26, 2017, the Vilkha was successfully test fired in a demonstration session attended by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Several rockets launched from a test range near Tuzla village, Odesa Region, successfully hit targets at a test site in Kherson Region, with an accuracy of 15 m or less. Vilkha stands out among same-class counterparts by the method of guidance used and an in-flight trajectory update capability enabled through the use of a pulse engine. It will employ a GPS-free guidance method to eliminate the risk of signal loss due to GPS jamming or spoofing attacks. The Vilkha rocket is virtually immune to air defense attacks. Its engine gives it a speed of 1.200-1.300 m/s during the active flight phase, which is a high speed exceeding Mach 3. All of the system’s components, including rocket control equipment, rocket fuel and warheads have been developed and produced domestically in Ukraine. The Vilkha launch platform is based on the KrAZ-7634 truck chassis (initial tests were carried out with a Vilkha launcher mounted on the MAZ-543 truck chassis).The Vilkha MLRS rocket and launcher system has been officially adopted by the Ukrainian Armed Forces and approved for full-rate production, as announced in October 2018 by Oleh Korostelev, CEO and Designer General at SE KB Luch. At a 2018 year-end press conference, Ukrainian Minister for Economic Development, Stepan Kubiv said that KB Luch had completed a production line for the Vilkha MLRS rocket and launcher system. Meanwhile, Luch has been working on an extended range Vilkha rocket that would be capable of ranges twice as far without compromising precision. In terms of terminal effectiveness, the Vilkha competes with tactical range counterparts. It far exceeds in precision the OTR-21 Tochka missile while competing with it in range performance. The Vilkha MLRS system is included in the Government Defense Procurement Contract 2019. It has already gone to full-rate production, with fielding due to begin by Q3 2019. The Ministry of Defense has paid an advance for purchasing hundreds of Vilkha MLRS rockets which are due for delivery during the second part of this year, Korostelev said. The Vilkha has already generated an interest among potential export customers. Potential contracts are currently being negotiated with two Middle East governments.

Vilkha M. The current launch is 130 km. Facebook

Ukraine loses dispute with Russian in WOT due to no listening to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, – Klimkin

Ukraine lost the dispute with Russia in the World Trade Organization (WTO) concerning the restrictions of traffic in transit because it had not listened to its own diplomats and their strategy. Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin posted on Twitter. “I ask myself why has Ukraine lost the dispute in WOT. Without praising our diplomatic team, I would like to say that sometimes one should listen to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning the strategy and the tactics as well”, – Klimkin wrote.

Ukrainian foreign minister calls on Parliament to adopt law on electronic voting

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin calls on the Parliament of Ukraine to pass the legislative amendments regarding the electronic voting that will help increase the voter turnout abroad. — Ukrinform.

UNICEF to assist Ukraine in carrying out reform of institutional care for children

UNICEF in Ukraine will support the process of carrying out the reform of institutional care and education system for children. — Ukrinform.

The US will cooperate with any president of Ukraine – Volker

The United States will work with any president of Ukraine, regardless of who will win the presidential election. This was stated in a comment to Gromadskyi by the Special Representative of the State Department for Ukraine Kurt Volker. “We will work with Ukraine over all these points. And we will work with any leadership that will come to power. Ukraine has done more in the last 2 years than in the previous 25 years. But there is still a lot of work ahead, “Volker said. He noted that the United States did not support any single candidate, but supported the principles. Senator Democrat Chris Murphy in a comment to Gromadsky added that the United States is obliged to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty, fight corruption and modernize the economy as long as Russia “does not emerge from the illegally occupied territories of Ukraine.” “And this obligation operates regardless of who is the president of the country. We do not interfere in the Ukrainian elections, we do not give any recommendations. We only make it clear: the United States will stand with the Ukrainian people and will stand with the country’s leadership, regardless of the way it chooses, “Murphy said.

UAWire – Volker: US will cooperate with any Ukrainian president

The United States will cooperate with any president of Ukraine, no matter who wins the elections in the second round, said US Special …

Poroshenko has done more on reform than anyone else has in Ukraine for the past 20 years, – Volker

The Ukrainian people faced with the choice in the presidential elections, according to Kurt Volker

Vakarchuk to voters: “Do not let essence be replaced by form” – LB.ua news portal

Vakarchuk to voters: “Do not let essence be replaced by form”. “There is a constant competition of colours and slogans. Big words against humour. Billboards against Instagram. Sermons against TV shows.” Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Law provides that presidential candidate has to speak Ukrainian, – CEC

The Law of Ukraine “On Election of the President” does not stipulate that candidates for the post of the president must have a good proficiency of Ukrainian language, it indicates as a necessary requirement for them to speak the state language. The Deputy Head of the Central Election Commission of Ukraine Yevhen Radchenko said during the briefing, as Interfax-Ukraine reports. “The law does not stipulate that the candidate “speaks well” Ukrainian. The constitution provides for compulsory proficiency (in Ukrainian, – 112.international),” Radchenko explained. He stressed that no law provides for any exams or other procedures to determine if the candidate has a “proper” or “good” state language proficiency. Radchenko also noted that the candidates submitted documents for their registration for presidential elections were in Ukrainian, and the commission took this into account. As it was reported earlier, CEC called the debates planned at Olympic National Sports Complex (Olympic Stadium) the form of the election campaigning. On April 3, Zelensky replied to the invitation for debates and put forward his conditions. He wanted to hold debates at Olympic Stadium. Poroshenko’s team said “the President does not perform at stadiums”. A few hours later Poroshenko agreed to participate in the debates. During the presidential campaign in 2014, Poroshenko himself refused from participating in the debates with another presidential aspirant Yuliya Tymoshenko, his key competitor. Poroshenko explained his unwillingness by the fact that Ukraine “is in a state of war. All people emphasize that the country needs unity. If we start quarreling now, our rivals would benefit from it.”

European Parliament Says OSCE Cut Critical Remark About Russia From Ukraine Vote Statement

BRUSSELS — The European Parliament has accused the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE) of whitewashing a press release about the Ukrainian presidential election by watering down critical wording about Russia, according to a sternly worded letter seen by RFE/RL. The letter, dated April 4 and signed by two senior members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on behalf of the European Parliament, describes “an unprecedented and unacceptable incident” involving the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODHIR), which monitors elections. According to the letter, ODIHR’s press service urged the head of the European Parliament’s delegation to the March 31 election, Polish MEP Dariusz Rosati, to tone down the delegation’s contribution to a joint press release by removing wording about “the ongoing Russia-waged war against Ukraine” and replacing it with a reference to “the ongoing conflict in the east.” “Rosati made it clear that he understood the constraints faced by the OSCE…but stressed he would not depart from his original text,” the letter said. “He therefore agreed that the European Parliament would not be quoted at all in the joint press release prepared by the ODIHR.” Despite reassurances from ODIHR, it said, copies of a joint press statement with the “unacceptable” watered-down wording were made available throughout the joint press conference by the monitors in Kyiv on April 1 and were “distributed to the numerous journalists present.” The letter was addressed to Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir, the director of ODIHR in Warsaw. It was signed by British Labour Party MEP Linda McAvan, who chairs the European Parliament’s Development Committee, and German center-right MEP David McAllister, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee. The “issue at stake is extremely serious. It infringes on the right of the European Parliament, as an independent and sovereign international organization, to express its own views on a specific topic,” the letter said. It asked ODIHR to provide an explanation ahead of the April 21 runoff vote between incumbent President Petro Poroshenko and comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Reached by telephone on April 5, ODIHR spokesman Thomas Rymer told RFE/RL the organization would respond directly to the European Parliament, saying that “the proper way is to respond to their concerns directly to them.” “As I understand we’ve received the letter, and in any case with any partner organization of course we would send a reply and we would…work with them,” Rymer said. He did not comment on the substance of the accusation.

Drug tests and dueling videos: Ukraine’s presidential election enters second, more surreal round – Los Angeles Times

Ukrainian comic and presidential front-runner Volodymyr Zelensky challenged his opponent, President Petro Poroshenko, to a debate … and drug testing.

Ukraine president passes drug test demanded by electoral challenger

Ukraine’s president has undergone drug and alcohol tests demanded by a comedian who is challenging him in a runoff election this month – passing both, according to preliminary results.

Drug tests then debate in Ukraine’s presidential runoff

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — The campaign for Ukraine’s presidential election has taken a turn for the strange, but voters may find it reassuring that the two candidates in the runoff apparently aren’t on…

Ukraine elections: rivals roll up sleeves for sobriety tests | World | The Times

Ukraine’s presidential candidates have undergone sobriety tests and challenged each other to a televised debate in Kiev’s Olympic stadium.President Poroshenko gave blood, urine and hair samples at the stadium after a challenge from his opponent, Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedian and TV celebrity, w

Presidential candidates undergo drug tests, taunt each other with videos (UPDATED) | KyivPost – Ukraine’s Global Voice

Ukraine’s already unusual presidential election campaign took a turn towards the absurd on April 5 as the incumbent president agreed to a demand from his rival that he undergo a drug test. Dozens of reporters flocked to Olympic Stadium in central Kyiv at 9 a.m. to film and photograph a video monitor showing President Petro Poroshenko undergoing the tests. The president submitted blood, urine and hair samples. Poroshenko’s rival for the presidency, the comedian and actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy, had made undergoing a drug test one of his conditions for debating with the president. Zelenskiy himself underwent testing at the Eurolab medical center in Kyiv at about 7:30 a.m. He took a blood test and talked to the press afterward. He said that he would get the results of the tests in three days and would publish them. Eurolab belongs to Ukrainian businessman Andriy Palchevskyi, who speaks critically of Poroshenko. Asked why he had chosen Eurolab to perform the tests, Zelenskiy said that he knows Palchevskyi, but he wasn’t his friend and that he suggested that he and Poroshenko take the tests at Eurolab because it had a suitable laboratory. Zelenskiy issued the challenge to Poroshenko to undertake the drug test, and to hold a live televised debate in Kyiv’s largest stadium in a video he released online on April 3. Poroshenko responded with a slightly menacing video of his own late on April 3, in which he looms slowly into shot against the background of the Presidential Administration, and unsmilingly accepts the challenge, while sarcastically chiding Zelenskiy for not observing the rules for holding presidential debates. According to Ukrainian law on presidential elections, a debate between the two second-round candidates is to be held on the Friday before voting – which in this presidential election will be on April 19. The second-round vote takes place on April 21. While the law stipulates that the debate should be televised live, it states that the venue should be the television studios of the national public broadcaster. There is also no stipulation that the candidates should undergo drugs testing. There is no explicit obligation in the law for candidates to take part in the debate. Zelenskiy responded to Poroshenko’s video on April 4, this time suggesting that the third-place candidate in the first round vote, Batkivshyna Party leader Yulia Tymoshenko, be an “independent referee” in the debate. Tymoshenko has been Poroshenko’s bitter political rival for years. Poroshenko responded with yet another video, released in the early hours of April 5. To a background of dramatic-sounding cinematic music (Zelenskiy’s videos have been backed by high-energy rock music), Poroshenko taunted his rival. “Volodymyr Oleksandrovich (Zelenskiy), again we address each other through a camera lens,” Poroshenko says in the video. “Don’t be afraid, debates aren’t scary – it’s an ordinary political tradition.”

Ukrainian presidential rivals take televised drug tests before debate – Daily Sabah

The two remaining candidates in Ukraine’s presidential race underwent televised drug and alcohol tests on Friday, capping a week in which they traded jibes…

Petro Poroshenko’s Last-Minute Nationalist Makeover – Foreign Policy

Ukraine’s president is making a desperate gambit to win re-election—and to remain politically relevant if he loses.

Asia Times | Moscow left friendless in Ukrainian presidential race | Article

As Ukraine seeks to shift westward and away from Russia, the April presidential run-off presents the Kremlin with few good options

Ukraine prepares for debate between president and comedian | News | DW | 04.04.2019

The incumbent has agreed to Ukraine’s first presidential debate since 2004. Both candidates must now undergo medical examinations to prove that they aren’t alcoholics or drug users and don’t have other conditions.

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

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

Comedian v president in rare stadium event – BBC News

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has agreed to debate rival candidate Volodymyr Zelensky in the country’s top sports venue.

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.

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.

Ukraine Presidential Candidates Poroshenko and Zelenskiy Take Drug Tests : NPR

It’s down to the incumbent president and a comedian who plays a president on TV. The two remaining candidates took alcohol and drug tests on Friday, and may debate each other in a stadium.

Ukraine’s Presidential Race Takes A Turn For The Nurse

Just President Petro Poroshenko and challenger Volodymyr Zelenskiy wading through a media scrum to get drug tested. For a debate.

Ukraine Presidential Rivals Take Blood Tests

Both candidates in Ukraine’s presidential election took blood tests in Kyiv on April 5, ahead of a live TV debate scheduled for April 19.

Zelenskyi replaced document with medical tests results and corrected date of submission

05.04.19 17:57 – Zelenskyi replaced document with medical tests results and corrected date of submission Presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskyi posted on Facebook the results of a medical test, where the date of blood collection is April 2. However, the document was later replaced by another one, where the date was April 5th. View news.

Zelenskyy posts medical test results with wrong date – LB.ua news portal

Zelenskyy posts medical test results with wrong date. The doctor’s signature is different on two documents. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Eurolab explains wrong data on document with analyses of presidential candidate Zelensky

The document with the wrong date of the collection of the biomaterial of candidate for the presidency Volodymyr Zelensky appeared due to the mistake of the worker

Poroshenko urges Zelenskyy to “man up” and hold debate – LB.ua news portal

Poroshenko urges Zelenskyy to “man up” and hold debate. “Do not look for reasons and set no conditions. Use no cover-up. This is not nice.” Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Our boys must know for sure that we are fighting every day to speed up their return – President met with relatives of sailors – prisoners of war — Official website of the President of Ukraine

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko assured that the Ukrainian authorities were doing everything possible for the prompt release of Ukrainian military sailors captured by Russian servicemen in the Kerch Strait. The Head of State told this during a meeting with the Naval Forces of Ukraine and relatives of the captive military seamen in the course of the working visit to Odesa region.

President considers demonstration of disregard for candidates who did not reach the second round of presidential elections disgraceful — Official website of the President of Ukraine

Tymoshenko refuses to become debate moderator – news politics | UNIAN

Leader of the Batkivshchyna party Yulia Tymoshenko has refused to become an independent moderator in the debates between presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky and incumbent President Petro Poroshenko ahead of the second round of the elections. The role of the debate moderator will be offered to “any other.”

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

Presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky has already received blood test results and made them public. No traces of psychoactive substances have been revealed, according to the documents.

The Week In Russia: The Long Ballot Next Door

Moscow watches as Ukraine holds a presidential vote that seems less like a Russian election every day, and the Kremlin gives an almost extravagantly modest reception to Kazakhstan’s new interim president.