Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
The situation is Turkey is confusing, what does Erdoğan hope to gain by partnering with Russia? Is Erdoğan and his team that corrupt? Is Erdoğan only thinking short term or long term as well?
Russia’s online presence appears to be exposing Russian Reality in the form of Nazi Germany reincarnated. Total control of the media a la Goebbels, promoting extremism (in this case neo-Nazis on VKontakte), suppressing and effectively attacking a named enemy (any religious group not the ROC), absolute control of elections – barring no real opposition, and annexing neighbors and their territories at will.
Watch out, post-election in Ukraine, for a Russian invasion. Russia may take advantage of a change of leadership similarly to Yanukovich’s sudden departure, leaving a vacuum and a lack of an effective government. The only question would be “how much punishment is Russia willing to endure”?
The first major NATO / Russia topic is the statement by the Erdogan regime that Russian Su-57 PAK-FA and / or Su-34 FULLBACK will be procured if the F-35 is blocked. Notably, media reported last year on Turkish leaders speculating publicly on the procurement of the Sukhois as alternatives to the F-35, so this whole game has been carefully planned for at least 12 months. Erdogan needs to show his followers that he can confront the US head to head and win.
RuNet bill in Duma. Russia threatens to block VPNs. US neo-Nazi groups purged from Facebook migrate to Nazi-friendly Vkontakte in Russia, making them more accessible to the GRU and SVR. Orban digs in deeper. Poland update.
The second major NATO / Russia topic is the Russian Federation Council (Senate) threatening war with Ukraine – likely the game will be an escalation or full-scale invasion after the election to take advantage of the political situation in Kyiv, especially if Zelenskiy wins. Turchenov elaborates. Russia’s large scale all arms EX near Ukraine detailed. Western vs. Ukraine political updates. Two Russian law enforcement officers arrive in Ukraine pleading for asylum. Ukraine-NATO ANP for 2019 signed.
Donbas update. Three nice HD clips of Army PVO and PSU 7th TAB EX. Capability updates.
Much on the election. Latest Razumkov poll claims a landslide for Zelenskiy, but director Razumkov is himself part of Zelenskiy’s team. Zelenskiy is claiming a very strong cabinet lineup of reformers, but it is not stated whether they have agreed to participate. The argument over debates continues. Pres Poroshenko strongly criticizes Zelenskiy, labeling him a “virtual candidate.”
As NATO celebrates its achievements over the past 70 years, the establishment of the Partnership for Peace deserves to be recognized as one of the most
RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin has revealed disturbing plans to dominate the Arctic by revamping defect Soviet Union bases in the sub-zero polar region.
This should be interesting… I hope the framework also addresses the authorities, is systemic, engaging, and absolutely not mostly tech-centric. </end editorial> APRIL 9, 2019 WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the U.S. Agency for International Development said on Tuesday the agency would soon unveil an effort to try to use U.S. assistance to counteract…
Turkish leaders on Wednesday said they would look to Russia for fighter jets and air defense systems if the United States will not sell Ankara the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the Patriot anti-missile system.
Lawmakers also pushed back at the idea of State Department budget cuts.
Ankara will find a substitute for the US F-35 fighter jets if the United States refuses to deliver the aircraft to Turkey over the purchase of the Russian
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the delivery of a Russian missile-defense system scheduled for July could be advanced due to “provocations from the U.S.,” even as his foreign minister said Washington had come forward with new proposals on selling its Patriot alternative.
After U.S. Senate passed a defense spending bill last month, seeking to prevent Turkey from getting the 100 F-35 fighter jets it had ordered, Turkey could turn to Russia’s Su-57 “stealth” jet killer in what would be a nightmare scenario for NATO, says Alex Lockie in article he penned for Business Insider. The U.S. bill would end the sale of F-35 jets to Turkey due to the arrest of American pastor Andrew Brunson and Turkey’s purchase of Russian S400 air defence systems. Brunson has been imprisoned in Turkey for more than 18 months charged with backing terrorist groups. ‘’The US and Turkey have a number of ongoing diplomatic beefs, including Turkey claiming that the US is harboring clerics that urged a 2016 coup and detaining US citizens, and the US is claiming Turkey is a hub of illicit financing,’’ Lockie points out; however, on the military side of things, NATO-member Turkey poses another threat by buying Russia’s S-400 missile defense system. ‘’If Turkey owned the F-35 and the S-400, it would give Russia a window into NATO’s missile defense network and the F-35’s next-generation capabilities,’’ Lockie says.
Tentative reports emerge in Turkish press that Turkey is looking at buying Russian Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jets if the US follows through on threats to not deliver Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets to Ankara.
The Sukhoi Su-57 (Russian: Сухой Су-57) is the designation for a stealth, single-seat, twin-engine multirole fifth-generation jet fighter being developed for air superiority and attack operations. The aircraft is the product of the PAK FA (Russian: ПАК ФА, short for: Перспективный авиационный комплекс фронтовой авиации, translit. Perspektivny Aviatsionny Kompleks Frontovoy Aviatsii, lit. ”prospective aeronautical complex of front-line air forces”), a fifth-generation fighter programme of the Russian Air Force. Sukhoi’s internal name for the aircraft is T-50. The Su-57 is planned to be the first aircraft in Russian military service to use stealth technology. The fighter is designed to have supercruise, supermaneuverability, stealth, and advanced avionics to overcome the prior generation fighter aircraft as well as ground and naval defences. The Su-57 is intended to succeed the MiG-29 and Su-27 in the Russian Air Force. The prototypes and initial production batch are to be delivered with a highly upgraded variant of the Lyulka AL-31 engine used by the Su-27 family as an interim powerplant while an advanced clean-sheet design engine, the Saturn izdeliye 30, is currently under development. The aircraft is expected to have a service life of up to 35 years. Its first flight took place on 29 January 2010.
“In accordance with Russia’s State Armament Program for 2018-2027, Su-57 jet fighters will be equipped with hypersonic missiles. The jet fighters will receive missiles with characteristics similar to that of the Kinzhal missiles, but with inter-body placement and smaller size,” says a defense industry insider.
Jump to navigation Jump to search Su-34 / Su-32 MAKS2015part1-10 (cropped).jpg A Russian Air Force Su-34 Role Fighter-bomber, strike fighter National origin Russia Manufacturer Sukhoi First flight 13 April 1990 Introduction 20 March 2014 Status In service Primary user Russian Air Force Produced 2006–present Number built 127 (7 test and 120 serial aircraft) Unit cost US$36 million Developed from Sukhoi Su-27 The Sukhoi Su-34 (Russian: Сухой Су-34; NATO reporting name: Fullback) is a Russian twin-engine, twin-seat, all-weather supersonic medium-range fighter-bomber/strike aircraft. It first flew in 1990 and entered service in 2014 with the Russian Air Force. Based on the Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker air superiority fighter, the Su-34 has an armored cockpit for side-by-side seating of its two-man crew. The Su-34 is designed primarily for tactical deployment against ground and naval targets (tactical bombing/attack/interdiction roles, including against small and mobile targets) on solo and group missions in daytime and at night, under favourable and adverse weather conditions and in a hostile environment with counter-fire and electronic Warfare (EW) counter-measures deployed, as well as for aerial reconnaissance. The Su-34 will eventually replace the Su-24 tactical strike fighter and the Tu-22M3 long-distance bomber.
The US-Turkey relationship is in shambles due to Erdogan and Trump’s Middle East (Kurd, ISIS) policies.
The lower chamber of Russia’s parliament has passed in the second of three votes a controversial bill that would effectively disconnect the country’s Internet from the global network.
Roskomnadzor, Russia’s federal censorship agency, wrote to the owners of 10 VPN services in late March to request compliance with the agency’s blacklist of websites that are blocked on Russian territory. Roskomnadzor threatened to block services that refused within the second half of May, and most of the VPN companies involved have already said they will not work with the agency. One of the companies on Roskomnadzor’s list is OpenVPN Inc., which has both its own paid VPN service and a VPN protocol that companies all over the world use to enable encrypted connections among devices. Meduza has learned that blocking that protocol might lead to broader disruptions in third-party services, somewhat like the agency’s efforts to block the messaging service Telegram in 2018. If Russian censors enforce their VPN blockage plan to the letter, areas from the banking system to the cellular service industry could experience unexpected technical issues.
Ihar Tsikhanenka contributed to this report WASHINGTON — Last month, Jeff Schoep, the self-styled commander of one of the largest neo-Nazi groups in the United States, took to VKontakte, Russia’s version of Facebook, to update his followers about a brewing scandal. Schoep’s group, the National Socialist Movement, was outraged over his bizarre decision to hand over the reins to a black civil rights activist, and Schoep wanted to set the record straight. Addressing “Fellow Patriots of the National Socialist Movement,” Schoep wrote in a March 2 post that he had been “deceived” by James Stern who had persuaded him to sign over NSM’s presidency to him in order to shield the group from a lawsuit. Schoep reassigned control to his chief of staff, Burt Colucci.
A Russian-controlled development bank steeped in Cold War history, and whose president has family ties to the Russian intelligence services, is relocating to Budapest with the blessing of the government of Viktor Orban. Jamie Dettmer reports Western security services and Hungarian opposition politicians are alarmed.
Paul Goble Staunton, April 10 – Moscow television over the last five years has devoted far more attention to developments in Ukraine than to developments in Russia, an obvious, much commented upon, and partially successful attempt to distract the attention of Russians from the problems in their own country, observer Yury Komarov says (publizist.ru/blogs/34/30433/-). But now that trend has been joined by another: Moscow television increasingly focuses not on Russia today when it does talk about the country but about its past and especially what is the keystone and ultimate moral solvent against any criticism of Moscow and its policies, the Soviet victory in World War II. Russia’s First Channel has announced the beginning of a new television channel, “Victory,” devoted exclusively to what Russians call the Great Fatherland War, World War II, and intended to help “preserve consensus in society,” according to its leadership (znak.com/2019-04-09/v_rossii_poyavilsya_telekanal_pobeda_posvyachennyy_voyne). The new channel will be directed primarily to the young and be available throughout Russia “except Chukotka, Kamchatka, Magadan oblast, part of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, Krasnoyarsk Kray and Novaya Zemlya” (on these exclusions, see the comment at region.expert/tv-pobeda/). It will also cover “almost all the republics of the former USSR, Mongolia, North Korea, part of China, Poland, Finland and all of Scandinavia. According to its organizers, it isn’t receiving any special government funding, but since First Channel does, the money can be passed through there. Aleksey Volin, the deputy communications minister who appears to be overseeing this effort, says that the new channel “must not be devoted only to the Great Fatherland War and other wars because there are Russian “victories, also in space, art, science and technology” which deserve coverage as well.
Paul Goble Staunton, April 10 – Nearly half of all books published in the Russian Federation in 2017 (47.3 percent of 117,000 titles), the last year for which there are official statistics, were issued in 500 copies or fewer; but an even more disturbing figure, Georgy Gupalo says, is the absence of books by living Russian authors. In one list of best sellers, there is only one Russian author in the top 28. The remainder consists of books reprinted from Soviet times or translated from other languages of authors living and working abroad, an indication of three disturbing trends, the Russian publisher says (facebook.com/gmgupalo/posts/10213766318731473 reposted atnewizv.ru/article/general/10-04-2019/uzhe-ne-samaya-chitayuschaya-kak-degradiruet-rossiyskaya-knizhnaya-industriya). First of all, Russians are “deeply conservative and don’t need new authors.” Second, “everything Soviet is now fashionable.” And third, there aren’t enough publications interested in new Russian books and capable of providing guidance to those who might buy them. As a result, Russians increasingly buy reissues of Soviet books or translations. “Several publishers,” Gupalo continues, “successfully work exclusively on the republishing of Soviet books. And if you look in at any central bookstore, what is the picture before you? 30 percent are reissues of Soviet classics, 30 to 50 percent are translations of foreign books, and the rest are new books.” This pattern, so very different than in other countries, both reflects and reinforces the current trend in Russia to avoid the new and innovative and to turn instead to the past, a pattern that holds for children books as well and thus may very well continue well into the future, the publisher suggests.
A court in Moscow ordered U.S. investor Michael Calvey to be released from pretrial detention and placed under house arrest instead.
Poland intends to demand reparations from Germany for the damage suffered during the Second World War in the amount of at least 900 billion dollars, stated the deputy of the Polish Sejm Janusz Shevchak, who is a member of the parliamentary group on the assessment of the amount of compensation. “As long as Germany does not pay off Poland’s debt for World War II, and we are talking about an amount of no less than $900 billion, it should maintain exceptional restraint when it comes to attacks on the Polish government,” Shevchak said in an interview to WPolityce magazine. He deemed it disgraceful that, for the past 30 years, Polish authorities have ignored the question of compensation for damages. Earlier, President Andrzej Duda stated that the question of German reparations is still open.
On April 8, the Polish Ministry of National Defence signed a package of offset agreements worth 395 million zlotys ($104 million) with the Italian aerospace company Leonardo, which preceded to the signature of the to purchase four Leonardo Helicopters AW101 Merlin helicopters for the Polish Navy to use as Combat search and rescue (CSAR). The contract for the purchase of four heavy CSAR helicopters must be signed later in April. The Polish Navy planned to acquire eight prospective coast-based anti-submarine and search-and-rescue helicopters to replace the 10 ageing Soviet-era Mi-14 helicopters currently in operation in naval aviation (eight Mi-14PLMKs and two search and rescue Mi-14PL / R) 14PL). However, in 2018, for financial reasons, the Ministry of National Defense of Poland reduced the number of naval helicopters planned for acquisition to four, postponing the purchase of another four for an uncertain future. The cost of the contract for the purchase of four AW101, according to Polish media reports, will be about 90 million euros. The contract valued for the purchase of four AW101, according to Polish media reports, will be about 90 million euros. The package of offset agreements signed on April 8 includes nine commitments, the main of which is the planned creation of a licensed AW101 helicopter maintenance and repair center jointly with Leonardo on the basis of the Polish aircraft repair plant Wojskowe Zakłady Lotnicze Nr 1 S.A. (WZL-1) in Lodz. Léonardo also pledged to provide technical support for the operation of the acquired helicopters for 10 years.
Russian officials publicly threaten Ukraine with “military conflict”, according to TASS. Russia’s Federation Council on Wednesday approved a statement saying that violations of the rules of navigation by Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait are fraught with a military conflict with Russia in which NATO may be involved. The Federation Council’s statement about NATO’s destructive policies being implemented since the alliance’s creation in 1949 was timed for the organization’s 70th anniversary. “The passing of Ukrainian ships through the Kerch Strait is not a question of the balance of force or of NATO’s presence in the Black Sea region. It is exclusively a problem of Ukraine’s compliance with the established procedures that are well-known to it and had been successfully used by it up to November 2018. Ukraine’s attempts to bypass these procedures are fraught with the risk of a military conflict between Ukraine and Russia in which NATO may be involved,” the Federation Council said. The senators pointed out that after stepping up activity in the previously calm Baltic Region NATO was now building up military presence in the Black Sea region. “NATO’s support for Georgia during the tragic events in August 2008 and now for Ukraine, in particular, on November 25, 2018 when Ukrainian naval ships illegally crossed the state border of Russia in the Kerch Strait area incites the leaders of these two countries, certain about their impunity, to carry out more adventures,” the statement runs. According to Deutsche Welle, Russia is now heavily militarizing Crimea and the Black Sea. Some 28,000 Russian soldiers are stationed on the peninsula. Russia has practically doubled its military budget over the past 10 years. The tensions between Russia and Ukraine are not part of a frozen conflict: they can flare up with very little warning. There have been growing tensions between the two sides over navigation in the Kerch Strait area and seized Ukrainian naval vessels. Ukraine has accused Russia of trying to occupy the Sea of Azov and damage Ukraine’s economy by hindering access its ports.
Today at a meeting, the Russian Federation Council approved a statement stating that violating the “procedures for passing” Ukrainian ships through the Kerch Strait could lead to a war with Russia. This is reported by the Russian edition of TASS The Russian senators also expressed dissatisfaction with NATO’s growing military presence in the Black Sea region as well. In particular, the Russians expressed their opinion on NATO involvement: “Passage of Ukrainian ships through the Kerch Strait is not a question of the balance of forces or the presence of NATO in the Black Sea region, but only the problem of the compliance of the Ukrainian party with established procedures that are well known to her and used successfully by November 2018.” Attempts by Ukraine to circumvent these procedures bear the risk of a military conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, which NATO may also be involved in, “the statement said. Also, there were no casts in the direction of Georgia, which at one time supported the North Atlantic Alliance “NATO’s support to Georgia in the days of the tragic events in August 2008, and now Ukraine, including on November 25, 2018, during the illegal crossing of the state border of the Russian Federation by the courts of the Ukrainian naval forces in the Kerch Strait, encourages the leadership of these two countries, confident in its impunity, on new adventures, “- said in a document. It will be recalled that on November 25, three naval navies of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were captured by Russian troops in the neutral waters of the Black Sea during the planned transition from the port of departure in the city of Odessa to the port of landing in the city of Mariupol. This Russia violated international maritime law and an agreement on the joint use of the Azov Sea between the countries, which was signed in 2003. Later, fearing the support of captured Ukrainian military sailors among the local population, they were transported to Moscow.
The Federation Council of Russia note that by increasing activity in previously Baltic region, NATO is increasing its military presence in the Black Sea region
“Russia is not just investing billions in the development of military infrastructure, it is preparing for large-scale military operations, large-scale continental war in Europe. And, of course, our country is the first bridgehead they will try to conquer,” Oleksandr Turchynov, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine said at the 12th Kyiv Security Forum, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. Turchynov noted that Russian Federation has been “the epicenter of the destruction of parity safety” over the past five years. In his opinion, the greatest danger lies in the fact that “the Russian Federation does not stop after occupying some territories.” “We see how the military infrastructure has been developing very rapidly in recent years along the Ukrainian border,” he added. In addition, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine noted that the Russian Federation was investing billions in the military infrastructure facilities: airfields for military ground attack aircraft, military bases and storages for weapons and equipment. “In the east of our state, we are opposed by the 8th Army of the Southern District of the Russian Federation, in the north – the 20th Army of the Western District of the Russian Federation. And the Russians consider this not enough as they keep the 1st Tank Army in reserve, the 49th and the 58th combined-arms army – and this is not enough. To ensure the offensive, which is being prepared by the Russian Federation, the 6th and the 4th aerospace armies will be used. They have deployed eight guided missile brigades along our border,” Turchynov said. He also said that the Russian Federation was preparing four divisions and five brigades of the airborne troops, five brigades and a regiment of marines to advance in the possible theater of military operations in Ukraine. However, Russia considers even such a resource to be insufficient, Turchynov noted. He also mentioned that, in particular, the formation of six reserve so-called Cossack divisions had begun in the Southern District. “It is Russia that has been waging war against our country for five years: the occupation of Crimea, the occupation of a part of Donbas. And, unfortunately, not a single day has passed without military operations and military provocations committed by the Russian military machine on the territory of our state. The members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are killed and wounded practically every day,” the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine said.
11.04.19 15:43 – Turchynov: Russia prepares for large-scale continental war Russia is building up a powerful military infrastructure on the border with Ukraine and is preparing for a large-scale continental war. View news.
NSDC Secretary Turchynov warns that Russia is preparing a large-scale war in Europe
Russia has been preparing for a full-scale war in Europe and Ukraine will be the first bridgehead, Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Oleksandr Turchynov has said. “Russia is not just investing billions of dollars in the development of military infrastructure, it has been preparing for full-scale military operations, a full-scale continental war in Europe. The first bridgehead they will try to take is our country,” he said, speaking at the Kyiv Security Forum on Thursday. Turchynov said it is necessary to prepare for the fact that sooner or later Russia will begin to use its military potential in a full-scale war. “And such an important factor of security as a strong Ukrainian army, a strong security and defense sector today is the most important factors for the protection of peace and security in Europe,” he said.
Russia launches massive military exercises in the Southern Military District all along the Ukrainian border. According to media reports in recent weeks, Russian Defense Forces held serial of tactical military exercises in the Voronezh, Bryansk, Rostov regions and in the illegally annexed Crimea. Amid tensions between Russia and Ukraine, the motorized rifle brigade units of the Southern Military District conducted a series of exercises at the Kuzminsky training ground, which is located 60 km from the Ukrainian border, runs through a range of scenarios, including simulating of the large-scale strike against potential enemy’s defense. In addition to motorized rifle brigade, tankers participated in the exercise, who conducted an offensive battle and fire reconnaissance of the area. At the same time, the engineering unit set up a minefield, and the drone operators found the positions of a conditional enemy and transferred the coordinates to the command post for aimed fire. At the same time, the Iskander-M tactical ballistic missile system units in cooperation with the counter-commando units at the Molkino test site in Krasnodar region conducted training launches. Combat outpost units that escorted the systems trained to set a smoke screen for disorientation of the adversary and camouflaging the convoy, and also practiced various tactical techniques to eliminate the adversary saboteurs. Also in exercises were involved the crews of Su-24MR reconnaissance aircraft, Su-24M tactical bombers, Su-30SM advanced fighters, An-26 aircraft, Be-12 anti-submarine aircraft, Mi-8, and Ka-27 helicopters, a total of more than 30 pieces from the Black Sea Fleet Naval Aviation. Pilots conducted air combat training at short and long distances performing aerobatic maneuvers and completed tasks of tactical and operational camouflage. Air defense systems S-400 Triumph stationed in Crimea have practiced elimination of air targets by conducting simulated electronic missile launches, the press-service of the Southern Military District said on Wednesday. “The fighter bombers were hypothetically eliminated by S-400 missiles before they could cope with their tasks,” the press-service said. The enemy air targets were simulated by a squadron of multirole fighter bombers Sukhoi-34, which flew from a base in the Rostov Region to a proving ground in Crimea where the crews practiced bomb drops. Furthermore, Russia’s Federation Council on Wednesday approved a statement saying that violations of the rules of navigation by Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait are fraught with a military conflict with Russia in which NATO may be involved.
British Parliament will debate on Crimea’s annexation
Russia spends $4 billion a year on maintenance of the occupation regimes in Crimea and Donbas. — Ukrinform.
The U.S., Canada and the EU condemned Russia’s policy in the Kerch Strait
The EU, Canada, the United States and a representative of the European Commission in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) condemned the inspection regime imposed by the Russian Federation and the obstacles to navigation caused by the illegal construction of the bridge across the Kerch Strait. — Ukrinform.
USA uses Ukraine to improve its cyber security
Ukraine manages to implement important reforms and maintain its commitment to democracy despite ongoing Russian aggression, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland has said. — Ukrinform.
Two Russian citizens have turned to the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service at the Hoptivka checkpoint in Kharkiv region, seeking political asylum in Ukraine. The agency says the citizens are Russian law enforcement officers who are being persecuted in Russia for their principled position on combating crime.
Two Russian citizens have turned to Ukrainian border guards at the Hoptivka checkpoint in Kharkiv region and asked for political asylum in Ukraine, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine has reported. — Ukrinform.
11.04.19 11:04 – Two Russian law enforcement officers ask for political asylum in Ukraine Two officers of the internal affairs agencies of the Russian Federation appealed to Ukrainian border guards for political asylum in Ukraine. View news.
Hubert Fayard, head of an organization that purports to be the official representation of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in Marseilles, has been arrested, RIA Novosti reports, citing its own source. “He lost his job some time ago and found himself in tight financial circumstances. At the same time, he met a woman, a Ukrainian. I can’t say what their relations were, I wasn’t there. But essentially, she offered to lend him a certain amount of money,” the source explained. The morning after the money was transferred, the police arrived at Fayard’s house. “They confiscated these funds and arrested him on charges of pimping. He is currently in custody in one of the communes in the Aix-en-Provence area,” the source added. Last year, the prosecution office in the French city of Aix-en-Provence filed a lawsuit against the “Official DPR Representation” in France, demanding its dissolution. The French media emphasized that France does not officially recognize the organization and that its activity is illegal.
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed a decree “On Approval of the Annual National Program (ANP) under the auspices of the Ukraine-NATO Commission for 2019”. The Head of State called the signing of the document a very important event, as it approves the plan of cooperation between Ukraine and the North Atlantic Alliance until 2020. “This is the first and extremely important road map that Ukraine has to make, a homework to fulfill, programs to be implemented in order to achieve the tasks that I, as President, have set, so that in 2023, the country would meet the criteria necessary for signing the NATO Membership Action Plan,” Petro Poroshenko said.
Our army and defense sector will meet the NATO standards – President approved the Annual National Program under the auspices of the Ukraine-NATO Commission for 2019 — Official website of the President of Ukraine
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed a decree “On Approval of the Annual National Program under the auspices of the Ukraine-NATO Commission for 2019”. The Head of State called the signing of the document a very important event, as it approves the plan of cooperation between Ukraine and the North Atlantic Alliance until 2020. “This is the first and extremely important road map that Ukraine has to make, a homework to fulfill, programs to be implemented in order to achieve the tasks that I, as President, have set, so that in 2023, the country would meet the criteria necessary for signing the NATO Membership Action Plan,” Petro Poroshenko said. The President emphasizes that the approval of the program is now taking place in a completely different environment, since the course for joining the Alliance is approved in the Constitution of Ukraine. “We already have a constitutional norm of Ukraine’s obligation to ensure that all necessary conditions are created. This is an obligatory norm of the Constitution of direct effect for the implementation by all branches of government: President, Parliament, Government,” he said and thanked the Parliament and the Ukrainian people for their support in this matter. The Head of State also says that over 70 years of the Alliance’s history, we have not seen any case where the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of NATO member states were threatened. The President also emphasized that with the illegal annexation of Crimea and the aggression against Ukraine in Donbas, Russia had actually destroyed the post-war model of global security based on the right to use force under the decision of the United Nations Security Council, subject to the consensus of five permanent members of the UN Security Council. “When a country-aggressor is a permanent member of the Security Council, the world is actually deprived of the opportunity to respond effectively to these things. This demonstrates the necessity of reforming the UN, reforming the UN Security Council,” the Head of State said. The President stressed that the annual program was an extremely important document. “This is actually our steps in each direction. This is not just a defense sector reform, but a profound reform of the security sector. This is the reform of the rule of law sector, the sector of protection of the rights and freedoms of citizens,” Petro Poroshenko noted. The President underscored the efforts of Vice-Prime-Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze in the preparation of the document. “This is no longer a form. This is content. This is a program designed and aimed at a specific result. I very much hope that by the joint efforts of the President, Government, Parliament, this program will be 100% implemented already in 2020,” he said. The President noted the role of each of the participants, as well as the work of the departments and central executive authorities in order to “make this comprehensive document a guideline, a roadmap”. “This comprehensive document means that our army will meet the NATO standards in terms of weapons, operational tactics and action strategies,” Petro Poroshenko said. “I firmly believe that we have de facto become the eastern flank of NATO today. I am happy because today in the training grounds, NATO officers are working with us to increase our defense capability. It is pleasant that in Lublin at the headquarters of the Ukrainian-Polish-Lithuanian Brigade, concrete combat coordination is being worked out today,” the President emphasized. At the same time, the Head of State stresses that what has been done over the last five years is very important, but that is not enough. “That is why the Annual Program sets absolutely clear and concrete tasks: what will happen to the army, what will happen to the security and defense sector, how the Ukrainian borders will be protected, how security will be ensured on Ukrainian streets, how the Ukrainian police will function, the Ukrainian National Guard , the Ukrainian intelligence services,” he said, adding that the security forces would be deprived of the opportunity to exert pressure on business and, thus, we will switch to a civilized European model. “I want to emphasize that the criteria necessary for joining NATO by 93% coincide with the criteria necessary for joining the European Union. And that is why this document is so important. That is why we are so resolutely moving forward,” the President said. Vice-Prime-Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze stressed the historic importance of this Decree. “In fact, this is the first time in the history of Ukraine when we have an annual national program that consists of strategic tasks aimed at reaching the criteria for membership in the Alliance,” Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze noted. “At last, we have strategic goals and objectives, and clear steps to achieve these goals,” she added. In his turn, Director of the Renaissance Foundation Oleksandr Sushko emphasized that the quality of the preparation of the Annual National NATO-Ukraine Cooperation Program had been improved significantly, and created some preconditions for “making this move towards NATO standards more well-coordinated and understandable to performers and society, which could see how the path of Ukraine to NATO is being paved”. Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (2007-2009) Volodymyr Ohryzko mentioned the history of the signing of the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between Ukraine and NATO, which took place in the mid-1990s. “I’m happy that I am still alive when the great idea that we dreamed about is being put into a practical angle,” he said and thanked President Petro Poroshenko for his consistent work. Head of the NATO-Ukraine Public League Serhiy Dzherdzh also thanked the President for his work on the preparation of the Annual National Program. “This is really a program for reforming the country. And those standards and criteria that we achieve in terms of NATO membership really bring us closer to the European Union … We are strengthening the security of the state and in the end we can expect an appropriate political moment when NATO member states will decide on Ukraine’s accession to this organization,” he said.
11.04.19 07:15 – Nine attacks by Russian proxies yesterday: two Ukrainian soldiers wounded, one terrorist destroyed April 10, the Russian occupying forces attacked JFO positions nine times, three times using Minsk-proscribed weapons. View news.
Russia’s hybrid military forces on April 10 mounted nine attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas, with two Ukrainian soldiers reported as wounded in action. One invader was killed and another six were wounded on Wednesday, intelligence reports say.
Russian occupation forces launched nine attacks, using weapons banned under the Minsk agreements three times, on positions of Ukrainian troops in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in Donbas over the past day. — Ukrinform.
Poroshenko orders SBU to probe Medvedchuk’s work in Donbas group. The SBU is to check whether his involvement is reasonable. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
Six masts in Luhansk Region, which broadcast Ukrainian TV and radio channels, have been cut off the grid, Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe has said. The stations are down in Lysychansk, Shyrokyne, Bilolutsk, Zorynivka, Svatove and Bilovodsk, the Radio Broadcasting, Radio Communication and Television (RRT) Concern has said. All the facilities are working in an emergency mode, using diesel generators. RRT Concern said that the facilities were disconnected from power over unpaid energy bills to the supplier. The National Public TV and Radio Company’s debt has exceeded 99m hryvnyas. “As a result of the disconnection from power, TV and radio analog and digital broadcasts were stopped in full, there were also disruptions in the work of radio broadcasting and devices of the Security Service of Ukraine, the Defence Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the Special Communications Service, Ukrtelekom, mobile and other communication operators all over Luhansk Region, including uncontrolled areas,” RRT Concern acting director Serhiy Mikryukov said. On 8 April, the acting board chairman of the National Public TV and Radio Company of Ukraine, Zurab Alasaniya, said that the company has no debt to RRT because it had not ordered this service, money was not booked in the budget for it. Broadcasting in most areas of Luhansk Region on 4 April. Pro-Russian militants’ replaced Ukrainian broadcasters on some frequencies in some areas.
President Petro Poroshenko has instructed the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) to check the expediency of controversial pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk’s involvement in the humanitarian subgroup of the trilateral contact group on Donbas settlement. “Medvedchuk had one function: to release hostages held in cellars in occupied territories and in Russian prisones. Last time it happened in December 2017. This cannot be called effective at all… If there is another complaint, or maybe it is enough already – I’m calling on the SBU to consider whether it is reasonable to continue to use Mr Medvedchuk in the format of the humanitarian group to secure hostages’ release if his functioning is ineffective. Report to me tomorrow,” Poroshenko said on the air of Novoye Vremya Radio. He recalled that Medvedchuk was appointed to the group because he is a “channel of communication with Russian President Vladimir Putin”. However, he added, Medvedchuk de facto represented Russia in the trilateral contact group and “proved ineffective for Ukraine”. In early December 2018, Ukraine’s representative in the trilateral contact group on a Donbas settlement, Yevhen Marchuk, said that Medvedchuk had not taken part in the work of the group recently.
The U.S. Army has announced that more than 150 Soldiers assigned to 2nd Brigade Combat Team “Strike,” 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) will deploy to Ukraine in mid-April for what is scheduled to be a nine-month tour. The Soldiers will advise and assist the Ukrainian Armed Forces with the continued development of the Yavoriv Combat Training Center in western Ukraine. This initiative, known as the Joint Multinational Training Group – Ukraine (JMTG-U), has been ongoing since 2015 and seeks to contribute to Ukraine’s internal defense capabilities and training capacity. 2BCT will replace the Tennessee National Guard’s 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, which arrived in Ukraine last summer. The 2BCT task force will be comprised of Soldiers from each of the brigade’s seven organic battalions and will deploy as “Task Force Carentan,” named in honor of the battle at Carentan, France, liberated by Soldiers of the 502nd Infantry Regiment following D-Day in June 6, 1944. This year is the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and the JMTG-U deployment marks the return of the 502nd Inf. Regt. to Europe. “The 502nd Infantry Regiment is the heart of this brigade, and from the Normandy Invasion to the Berlin Brigade, we share deep roots with our European allies,” said Col. Joseph E. Escandon, commander of 2BCT. “This mission plays an important role in contributing to the security of Europe as a whole. The Soldiers of Task Force Carentan stand ready to share their extensive knowledge and training experience, and we look forward to growing this strategic partnership with the UAF as we learn from their perspective and expertise.” During their deployment, TF Carentan Soldiers will lead the JMTG-U effort as well as assist in the development of Ukrainian Armed Forces cadre, ranges and training areas, and help provide realistic training under a NATO interoperable framework. These train-the-trainer efforts will allow Ukraine to assume full training responsibility at the Yavoriv Training Center sometime in 2020.
The sky of the east of Ukraine – under the protection of the united forces # OOS # operation_OS The United Airborne Force has been set up on a regular basis in the Joint Forces. The air defense system of the Joint Force has a multilevel construction, the methodology of which is the coherence of action on the importance of the goal, range, height and direction of action. Its place in the general system is also given to the units equipped with Arsenal-10 anti-aircraft missile systems. Every day, workouts, ambushes, and tasks performed as part of duty forces continue. High training of calculation – high accuracy of defeat of air targets. Moving on! Together to victory! Glory to Ukraine!
“Tunguska” – anti-aircraft cover above the first echelon of the defense of the United forces # OOS # operation_OS In the first decade of April, the United Force hosted a competition for the best unit, equipped with anti-aircraft self-propelled 2C6 “Tunguska” self-propelled units. The said anti-aircraft self-propelled unit is a powerful high-level armament of the units of the first echelon of defense to destroy the means of air attack. The installation has a fast-cannon and eight missiles. It forms a single intelligence and fire complex, capable of independently detecting, accompanying and destroying targets at various altitudes and distances. The competitions of the units that are part of the Joint Forces showed the training and coherence of combat settlements. None of the crews of anti-aircraft self-propelled installations “Tunguska” did not get a rating lower than “Good”. And the best anti-aircraft officers are in 30 separate mechanized brigades. The sky skies have been confirmed in practice – the airspeed violators will come back instantaneously. Moving on! Together to victory! Glory to Ukraine!
FOR TWO FUTURE DAYS – MAJORLY EXERCISE WITH A GENERAL PASSION 25-HOUR FLIGHT ON JETS SU-24M SU-24MR AND L-39.
Ukraine has begun testing high-precision cruise missiles with a flight range in excess of 1,000 km and a 150 kg warhead, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in an episode of “Freedom of Speech” on ICTV. “We have started the most important cruise missile tests… We now have a missile that has successfully passed the tests and which can shoot more than 1,000 km and can carry a 150 kg warhead. It is high-precision, and all of this was created by Ukrainian specialists. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are now learning how to use them,” observed the Ukrainian head of state. “We have acquired the capability to destroy any ship in a radius of 300 km that dares to approach and attack us, and a small or medium class ship will not withstand this missile. This is a drastic enhancement of our defensive capabilities,” Poroshenko added. The president pointed out that, in the past, Kyiv disposed of its cruise missiles with nuclear warheads, probably referring to the Budapest Memorandum of 5 December 1994. In the document, Russia, the UK and the US undertook to guarantee Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and in exchange Ukraine had to give up its nuclear weapons. Poroshenko also noted that the Vilkha-M missile system is in its final testing phase. “The ‘Smerch’ and ‘Urahan’ [rockets] we have today fly no further than 65-70 km, and now they will fly 130 km and with high precision,” Poroshenko said. Several days ago, Poroshenko attended the final testing stage of the Neptune cruise missile, which is designed to be used by Ukraine’s Navy.
On the 5th of April 2019, the first operational prototype of the mobile anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) system ‘Neptune’ was first demonstrated to the public while performing initial test launches. Although the exact results of the tests are shrouded in secrecy thus far, there are still some insights into the new system’s configuration and capabilities. All of the system’s components was presented during the test: launcher vehicle, transporter/transloader vehicle, transporter vehicle, and a fire command and control post vehicle. This shore-based ASCM system has been developed by Ukraine with maximum reliance on domestic resources and capacities. It was necessary in view of the need to save resources that are nothing but limitless in a country at war, and to expedite development and production – this all in order to provide, within the shortest possible time, the Ukrainian Navy with a weapon capability needed for securing the country’s national interests. For Ukraine, the requirement to have an indigenous anti-ship missile capability is extremely urgent in view of the national security threats coming from the Russian Federation. The situation with Ukraine’s naval capabilities has worsened critically following the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the resulting loss of a major part of its naval fleet, along with shore-based ‘Rubezh’ missile batteries. The Ukrainian Navy, given its current poor condition, is unable to effectively counter Russia’s powerful Black Sea Fleet (BSF). Its capabilities are clearly insufficient to counter possible Russian offensive involving a Marine landing on the Ukrainian shore, or to face a threat of “sea denial”. Russia, following its annexation of Crimea in 2014, has significantly built up its offensive and defensive capacities. In Crimea, Moscow deployed an anti-ship defense system comprised of components for surface targets detection at ranges up to 500 km; automated control and generation of target data; target engagement at ranges up to 350 km (this component includes ‘Bal’, ‘Bastion’, ‘Klub’ and ‘Utes’ ballistic missile battalions, warships and submarines carrying ‘Kalibr’ SLCMs, as well as BSF’s airplanes).
The new Ukrainian counter-battery radar 1L220UK designed by Zaporizhia-based Iskra research center on April 8, 2019 passed successful tests by the state and exceeded the projected performance, it will be recommended to be introduced to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the press service of the Ukroboronprom state concern has reported. “On the basis of the test protocols, signed by members of the public commission, an act of state tests will be drawn up in which, according to available information, it will be recommended to adopt 1L220UK radar into service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” the Ukroboronprom’s press service said on Wednesday. During the tests, an experiment was carried out, if possible, that the 1L220UK radar is used at the theoretically maximum allowable range of its operation. During it, artillery and rocket systems were found at a distance, depending on the types of shells, 1.3-2 times more far away than those determined by the tasks of the tests. “Thus, the 1L220UK radar may be located at a greater distance from the frontline, covering a wide sector of enemy positions. This significantly increases its combat effectiveness and allows the newest counter-battery radar to be positioned outside of the enemy’s possible fire damage,” Ukroboronprom said. According to the concern, such high capabilities of the 1L220UK were achieved thanks to a powerful digital phased active grid that operates in the microwave range and “sees’ even small artillery shells, for example, mortar shells, in the distance of dozens of kilometers.
11.04.19 12:56 – US transfers medical equipment to Ukrainian army. PHOTOS US Army Colonel Robert Peters, chief of the Office of Defense Cooperation at the US Embassy in Ukraine, has transferred medical equipment to Ukrainian military. View photo news.
U.S. Army Colonel Robert Peters, chief of the Office of Defense Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, has transferred medical equipment to Ukrainian military, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv has reported on Twitter. — Ukrinform.
The indictment in the criminal proceeding on the accusation of MP Nadia Savchenko and ex-head of Center of Released Hostages “Officers Corps” Volodymyr Ruban was sent to Kyiv Appeal Court again
Since 2016, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has abolished 90% of the Soviet all-Union State Standards. Over 5,000 national standards have been elaborated and adopted instead, and the Government plans to add 3,000 more to them this year. — Ukrinform.
First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, Minister of Economic Development and Trade Stepan Kubiv says Ukraine in 2019 will continue terminating the Soviet-era state specification standards (GOSTs), replacing them with about 3,000 national standards harmonized with the European Union norms. Most of the Soviet specification standards, the so-called GOSTs (developed before 1992), became invalid in Ukraine on January 1, 2019.
Since 2014, the government of Japan has provided assistance totaling $47 million to Donetsk and Luhansk regions. — Ukrinform.
First Deputy Chief of Ukraine’s National Police Vyacheslav Abroskin has said police officers in Kyiv region have detained crime boss from Russia Botir Rakhimov, alias Batyr Bukharskiy, who, according to Interpol, is wanted by Spanish law enforcement agencies for committing crimes as part of a criminal organization. For a long time, he was an ‘authorized person’ of Moscow crime boss Vyacheslav Ivankov, alias Yaponchik.
Nowadays, the grain market determines the pace of development of the agro-industrial complex and the economy of Ukraine as a whole. — Ukrinform.
The resolution “Non-admissibility of using mercenaries as means of undermining peace and violating human rights”, prepared by the Ukrainian delegation, was adopted at the session of the 140th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. — Ukrinform.
China National Building Material (CNBM) has notified the Ukrainian Justice Ministry about an investment dispute surrounding the Voskhod Solar …
The first independent poll taken since the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election suggests that political newcomer Volodymyr Zelenskiy enjoys a commanding lead ahead of next week’s runoff a…
Ahead of a runoff against a rising political force, incumbent President Petro Poroshenko is drawing stark contrasts and pleading for another crack at reforms. Challenger Volodymyr Zelenskiy is call…
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says he has accepted challenger Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s suggestion to hold a debate at Kyiv’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium ahead of this month’s presidential runoff, but the two still appear divided on the date for the event.
KYIV. April 11 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Some 52% of Ukrainians hope that the situation in the country will improve somewhat after the presidential election, and positive expectations of Ukrainian citizens increased almost 1.5 times after the first round of the vote.
About 51% of Ukrainians say they would vote for presidential candidate, showman Volodymyr Zelensky in the April 21 runoff, while incumbent President Petro Poroshenko would gain 21%. The share of the undecided is 18%.
Some 51% of Ukrainians are ready to vote for showman Volodymyr Zelensky in the second round of presidential elections in Ukraine, 21% are ready to support incumbent head of state Petro Poroshenko, 18% are undecided, and 10% do not intend to vote, according to a poll conducted by the Rating Sociological Group. — Ukrinform.
Showman Volodymyr Zelensky has become the favorite of the first round of presidential elections, which took place in Ukraine on March 31
11.04.19 12:09 – Zelenskyi leads presidential race, followed by Poroshenko, – Rating survey 61% of Ukrainians among those who are going to come to the polls on April 21 are ready to vote for Volodymyr Zelenskyi, 24% are ready to support incumbent president Petro Poroshenko. View news.
A fresh poll conducted by the Razumkov Center sets presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky as the winner of the April 21 runoff. He would have 49.3% of the vote.
Volodymyr Zelensky’s team spoke about the first decisions and appointments expected in the event their candidate wins in the second round of the Ukraine presidential elections. Zelensky Campaign HQ has refuted some of the statements mentioned in report.
The headquarters of the presidential candidate of Ukraine, showman Volodymyr Zelensky has reported that information in the media about possible personnel decisions after winning the presidential election is based on speculation and assumptions, and now there is a process of selecting candidates for appointment to the government positions.
The campaign headquarters of showman and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky has offered to hold debate with incumbent President Petro Poroshenko live via a video link.
11.04.19 12:28 – Zelenskyi team offers conducting debates with Poroshenko over telebridge The campaign headquarters of showman and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskyi has offered to hold debate with incumbent President Petro Poroshenko live via telebridge. View news.
The campaign headquarters of Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky has proposed holding a televised debate with incumbent head of state Petro Poroshenko via a live link-up. — Ukrinform.
Some 76% of Ukrainian citizens expect fraud in the April 21 runoff, according to a survey conducted by the Rating sociological group. Residents of the south and the east are among those who expect large-scale election fraud.
President of Ukraine Petro Porshenko called his opponent Volodymyr Zelenskyi “virtual” candidate. He said this during a speech at the Kiev Security Forum on Thursday, Censor.NET reports. “The virtual candidate addresses everyone with staged, learned words and remarks. From TV screens and smartphones. This remnids me Equilibrium movie. There, in a fictional city, its residents can see their leader only on huge screens … The outcome is very unexpected. There is no “leader.” In fact, there is only his image behind which there is a group of people with cynical interests, and many are eagerly awaiting the new series of Equilibrium, where there is a problem with the bright lights and the real world is not that complicated,” Poroshenko said, adding that sooner or later will go out soffits, but reality will remain. It is easy to be the president of a TV-series in the virtual world, but it is very difficult to be the leader of one of the largest European countries in the real world, Poroshenko stressed. Source: https://censor.net.ua/en/n3121728
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko emphasizes that Ukrainian servicemen cannot be left helpless and inactive in conditions of constant fire by the forces of the Russian aggressor in Donbas. The Head of State told that at NSC Olimpiyskyi answering the journalists’ question whether the quick recipe from presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky “to stop shooting” will help end the war in Donbas. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko emphasizes that Ukrainian servicemen cannot be left helpless and inactive in conditions of constant fire by the forces of the Russian aggressor in Donbas. The Head of State told that at NSC Olimpiyskyi answering the journalists’ question whether the quick recipe from presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky “to stop shooting” will help end the war in Donbas. The Head of State remarked that he had initiated the ceasefire regime 19 times already”. “For today, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are in such a regime. But there are absolutely clear directives for servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine when they are attacked, including with the use of weapons prohibited by the Minsk agreements,” the President said. The Head of State reminded that recently Ukraine had lost two of its heroes during the mortar shelling. Among them was a well-known Kharkiv volunteer, machine-gunner Yana Chervona with a code name the “Witch”. “In these circumstances, our servicemen have the right to open fire in response. And leaving our soldiers unarmed, with their hands bound by such orders (“stop shooting” – ed.) is completely incompetent, unprofessional and irresponsible,” Petro Poroshenko said.
In an interview with Radio NV, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko emphasized that he was not part of the recently uncovered corrupt schemes in Ukraine’s state-owned defense industry company Ukroboronprom. “I emphasize that President Petro Poroshenko has not been involved in any corrupt schemes. I assert and emphasize this. I was not aware of any corrupt schemes. And I tell you this today with a completely clean conscience, and I can honestly look even the law enforcement organs in the eye,” Poroshenko said. The president also expressed exasperation at the fact that the investigations into corruption in Ukroboronprom had been underway since 2016, the case had not yet been taken to court, and yet the information was leaked a week ahead of presidential elections. “What did you wait three years for? What did you still need, and why isn’t the case in court? This is a question for the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine, for the Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecution and for all the law enforcement organs,” Poroshenko remarked. On 25 February 2019, a team of journalists from Bihus.info published an investigative film which argues that Ihor Hladkovskiy, Vitaliy Zhukov and Andriy Rogoza used front companies to supply state defense companies with smuggled Russian components at inflated prices. The perpetrators are believed to have embezzled at least 250 million hryvnia ($9.32 million) through the scheme.
The nationalization of Privatbank is one of Ihor Kolomoyskyy’s main complaints about the current government. He will definitely try to settle the score in one way or another when power changes. Preparations for this began long ago. On 18 April, the District Administrative Court of Kyiv, chaired by controversial judge Pavlo Vovk, will probably announce a decision declaring the nationalization of Privatbank illegal. The case has been heard behind closed doors since June 2017. Judge Vovk’s call It is possible that the announcement of this verdict will be postponed until 22 April (the day after the election, which we will discuss later), but this will not change its essence. “Unfortunately for us, the decision will be absolutely legal,” says one of the members of the incumbent president’s team. “You can hardly find a single qualified lawyer who would say that it is fabricated, “far-fetched”. He explains: at the stage of nationalization, the National Bank of Ukraine often acted “on the verge of authority” (verbatim quotation – LB.ua). A good example could be its transactions to write off the accounts of “related entities”. To be more precise, $250m of the Surkis brothers in the Cyprus branch of Privatbank. The National Bank considered them “related” since the Surkis brothers — and this is no secret — are the beneficiaries in a number of Kolomoyskyy’s projects. However, European justice has its own opinion on this: if they were majority shareholders (in the same projects, for example), they would influence strategic decision-making – if this were the case, it would be alright, otherwise – go to court and cite the Ukrainian Constitution which expressly prohibits the seizure of property without a court decision.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin has said the future of peace talks on Donbas in the Normandy format depends on the outcome of the second round of the presidential election in the country. The result of the vote will demonstrate whether there will be a boost to the process.