Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
I am officially confused by the outcome of Ukrainian election polling about Poroshenko vs. Zeklenskiy.
A friend said to me, “Polling suggests Zelenskiy will win which is bizarre. But a Ukrainian friend said much the same to me last week, how it felt embarrassing to be a Ukrainian”.
Another friend, “We don’t know who will win for sure, but it looks like Poroshenko is going to lose. This is sad, because in my personal opinion Zelenskiy is Kolomoiskyi’s puppet and is deeply incompetent for such a job.”
Yet another quote, “I have no sense of what is going on in the heads of voters – a lot of Ukrainian analysts are calling Ze the “virtual candidate” and commenting that he has no policies and clearly he keeps backflipping on anything once it is criticized. This is essentially a voter rebellion wanting the unobtainable instantly – a Western democracy, a booming economy, and no war. Ze promises this and they lap it up and care not whether he can explain how he will get it. Portnikov described this as wanting the candidate with the magic wand. People comparing this to 2016 are very wrong – Trump had specific proposals and policies and executed them in office whether they were good ideas or not. Ze simply backflips to align with whatever seems most popular on the day.”
Another, Tetyana Stadnyk, said,
“To be honest, I don’t know if P is losing and Z is winning. A lot of people are waiting for presidential debates to finally see what Z has to offer. But we still know almost nothing about his program. People appreciate what P has done in terms of foreign policy & army, but he has failed on internal reforms a lot and now before 2nd round is working on his mistakes.
Zelensky is seen as a “new face” and in some terms he is, but he is in the hiding and no one likes it. A lot of people I know, who have been active since Maidan & start of the war almost all claim that Z brings them all feelings we all had on the eve of the invasion. People in occupied Crimea tell the same. To be honest I am afraid again. Z supporters are violent and spread nothing but hate in their social media groups. Like Russian trolls back then.”
Based on negative media coverage, Tetyana Stadnyuk shared the following figures.
Media monitoring before the second round. Negative coverage of the candidates in the media: 77,7% Poroshenko 22,3% Zelensky.
We have seen the same intensely negative media coverage of Trump since mid-2015, continuing through today. In light of those numbers, the negativism shown towards Poroshenko makes more sense.
Piontkovsky again warns about Russia’s first use nuclear warfighting doctrine and its false assumptions about de-escalation, and has some choice words for Western commentators showing even the slightest weakness to Russia – he is right, as this regime will exploit any opportunity it sees without any hesitation. Su-57 update. Frolov on Turkey, this is Russian gloating over the impending schism in NATO. Amb Huntsman interviewed on Russia. Arctic updates. Russia’s conscription debate – this may become moot as the demographic collapses and money runs out. Blogger comments on the collapse of Russia’s aerospace industry, mostly as a result of losing access to Ukrainian industry. Russia to punish companies complying with Western sanctions. Podobed on the 1991 ‘Chicken Kiev’ speech. Kirillova on the demographics of Putin’s support base. Mausoleum debate again. Macierewicz on the Smolensk disaster and Russia’s duplicity. India as a NATO ally – Russia destroyed its “special relationship”.
Some interesting samples of Russian propaganda and its support in the West.
More reports on Poroshenko visits to Germany and France. Crimea and Black Sea updates. Donbas updates. LtGen Romanenko on Russia’s three axes of advance on Ukraine. Update on US military aid. Politics and economic news.
Pres Poroshenko arrives at the stadium to debate Zelenskiy, who refuses to attend. The debate becomes a one-sided 90-minute election pitch by Poroshenko, well worth watching, possibly one of his best performances to date, and multi-lingual as well. He invites Zelenskiy to attend a talk show event and explain his policies. Many analytical articles on the election, especially by Euromaidan authors. Ben produces a razor-sharp critique of Zelenskiy, pointing out his track record of mocking Ukrainian nationalism and religion in his comedy (that may not reflect his actual views). More on the hacked data suggesting possible Russian funding for Zelenskiy. Four Kyiv MPs pressure MoD for Zelenskiy’s military records, a summary of which was released by the MoD on Saturday, reluctantly, as it appears that Zelenskiy ignored four military reserves call up notices sent in 2014 and 2015, yet inexplicably was not prosecuted for evading his reservist call up. Butusov lambasts the Military Prosecutor’s office for dereliction of duty in not charging Zelenskiy with avoiding his compulsory military call up – which a great many others were jailed for. Zelenskiy complains about Poroshenko supporters labeling him a junkie, and attributes this to Poroshenko, Poroshenko at today’s non-debate pointed out he had no evidence of this and never claimed that Zelenskiy was a junkie, for the fourth time.
Most notable analysis item on the election is by editor in chief of LB.ua, Koshkina, who cites inside sources in Poroshenko’s team who are convinced, based on polling data, that Zelenskiy will win the second election round in a landslide, as Poroshenko had not attuned his advertising and campaign focus to Russian speaking Ukrainians in Southern, Central and Eastern Ukraine, and did not appeal to younger audiences. Her analysis includes a long list of things Poroshenko should do before the final vote.
While the polls were dead accurate on the first round of the election, we have seen much less polling data on the second round, so it is unclear whether Zelenskiy’s position is as unassailable as claimed, and whether he can afford to thumb his nose at debates and other political activities that are usually expected by voters before they make up their minds.
Paul Goble Staunton, April 14 – “Even the toughest authoritarian regime cannot operate on force alone,” Andrey Piontkovsky says, noting that the collapse of public support for Vladimir Putin and his regime means that the Kremlin leader is now considering what he must do to restore that support. Tragically, among the most probable options is the Russian use of nuclear weapons. In an analysis to be published tomorrow, the Russian commentator says that this outcome reflects the coming together of three things: the collapse of support for Putin and his regime, the unlikelihood that any other steps will win back support and allow him and it to survive, and the Kremlin’s view that the West will back down in such a confrontation before mutual annihilation. “The entire political construction of Russia now hangs by the thin thread of the Putin myth,” Piontkovsky begins; but that myth has been largely dissipated by his pension reform policy. Nonetheless, Putin and those around him want “the banquet” to continue, especially as they recognize the growing chaos beneath their feet. According to sociologists, he says, “the length of the interval between the demise of a structuring myth and social revolts is approximately a year.” That means that the situation in Russia could become go out of control by this fall, and that in turn, the Russian commentator continues, means that “decisions must be made already today.” Some individual members of the Putin “elite” can simply leave the country, but neither the leader himself nor most around him have that option. “The ruling kleptocracy must find a strategy for transit after the death of the Putin myth,” and they must do so “here and now,” not over the next few years as many imagine. Those around Putin could seek to remove him now that he has lost his magic, or more likely they and he could come up with some action that would restore the sense in the population that Putin is a miracle worker and thus deserves their support however angry they may be about his policies. Such “a reset” will require some “extraordinary means.” Putin foresaw those possibilities at least as early as 2015, Piontkovsky says; and that is why he created the Russian Guard to protect himself against any effort to remove him. But he still has a problem. None of the steps some have suggested will restore his standing is likely to work. “’Crimea is Ours’ already isn’t working,” and “neither the Anschluss of Belarus nor the annexation of the Donbass will generate enthusiasm,” the commentator says. Instead, they are likely to make Russians even more angry and suspicious. What Putin needs is something extraordinary that will “completely change the agenda.” To remain on the Russian throne, he will have to “commit some bestial crime” that will force his opponents to avoid criticizing him lest they threaten the Russian state in the process. That is what Putin himself did in 1999 when he organized the explosions in the Russian apartment houses and then blamed the Chechens for it. According to Piontkovsky, those who carried out those actions and especially the failed attempt in Ryazan did so with the cynical understanding that they not only could get away with this but would benefit: “’Yes, we were the ones who did this for victory in the elections. But you won’t be able to say that aloud … You will forever remain accomplices of our crime.” And Putin was correct in that assumption: His opponents in Russia did not raise this issue and not simply out of cowardice but “out of statist, if you will, motives” because “there are issues which nations out of a sense of self-preservation avoid raising precisely because subconsciously they know the answer” and because that would “destroy the state.” “To speak the truth about the apartment explosions would for the responsible politicians of the Russian Federation would be to declare aloud that ‘the Russian Federation doesn’t exist; there is only a band of criminals acting on a specific territory.” That is something they weren’t prepared to risk. “Twenty years have passed,” Piontkovsky continues, but Putin has not changed and his calculations are the same. He needs to commit a crime of such horrific dimensions that Russians at least in his entourage will have no ability to dissent from it lest they challenge the existence of the Russian state itself. His current “Putin Plan of Victory,” the Russian commentator says, has been taking shape at least since the start of 2014 and now involves the use of nuclear weapons against the West, a plan Piontkovsky says many find “paradoxical” but that has real chances for success in keeping Putin and his regime in power. Unlike the West which believes that any use of nuclear weapons will escalate into mutual annihilation and that therefore neither side will start that process, Putin is convinced that he can and indeed in the current situation must fight a limited nuclear war, one in which the West will blink first and back down, giving him the victory he needs. “The Kremlin rulers are convinced that victory in the fourth world war will come to them” not via some new super weapons but rather by “a more refined and bold strategy of the use of existing weapons” in which psychological factors can yield a victory for Russia against the West. To say that the Kremlin is now contemplating the use of nuclear weapons is not to say that it has put as its goal “the physical destruction of the hated US.” Any attempt at doing so would inevitably lead to the mutual destruction that has constrained both sides for a long time, Piontkovsky continues. Rather, the Kremlin “agenda” is “significantly more modest: the broadest possible extension of ‘the Russian world,’ the breaking apart of NATO given the incapacity of the US to fulfill its obligations under Article Five of the Charter, the discrediting of the US as the guarantor of the security of the West and the humiliating exit of the West from world history.” Piontkovsky says the Kremlin strategy anticipates the following course of developments. Russia will use conventional forces to attack a country linked to the US such as one of the Baltic countries. Moscow will enjoy initial success but then lose as NATO brings its conventional forces to bear raising the prospect of a Russian defeat. To prevent that, the Russian analyst says, Moscow will then employ what one Russian military expert has called “de-escalation through nuclear escalation” (nvo.ng.ru/concepts/2015-11-27/1_stairway.html), demanding that NATO stop opposing the Russian advance and then launching one or two nuclear strikes at targets in Europe if the West refuses. At present, the Kremlin is convinced that faced with that prospect, NATO will back down, giving Putin the victory he needs. That is all the more likely, the Moscow rulers believe, because if NATO did launch a limited attack on Russia, Russia would respond with a massive attack on the United States. According to Piontkovsky, the Kremlin is “absolutely convinced” that won’t be necessary because the West will blink first to avoid Armageddon. The possibility that Putin might take that course has been clear for the last five years, he continues, but several factors have increased the probability of such a conflict. “The death of the Putin myth has changed the time horizons of the plan,” bringing them far nearer, he argues. Moscow has been deploying forces in various places to show that it won’t back down and daring the West to respond forcefully, something the West hasn’t done. And Putin controls the nuclear weapon – and believes he can and must use it. The recent comments of three people with contacts in the Kremlin, Aleksey Venediktov, Valery Solovey, and Grigory Yavlinsky, all confirm that a real catastrophe is ahead and that Putin and his team are scrambling to figure out what to do. The nuclear option is clearly on the Kremlin’s table, a major reason for their concern and for the concern of everyone else. Piontkovsky ends his essay with a postscript: Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid will be in Moscow to meet with Putin later this week. She has just come back from Washington where quite possibly she met with President Donald Trump’s “foreign policy guru,” Newt Gingrich,” the former speaker of the House of Representatives. Gingrich has said in the past that “Estonia is the backyard of St. Petersburg, and I do not intend to risk a nuclear war with Russia for it.” Such words must be music to the Kremlin’s ears and certainly make it more rather than less likely that he will go forward with a nuclear-based “Putin Plan of Victory.”
Here’s what we know.
Moscow in a couple of months will be able to break the unity of the North Atlantic alliance. Absolutely free.
Ankara and Washington are on collision course with only weeks left before delivery of Russian missiles to Turkey amid US warnings of sanctions and rupture in ties
Strains in U.S.-Turkish relations are leading Erdogan into Putin’s embrace. Smart diplomacy and defense assistance can bring America’s NATO ally back into the fold.
The U.S. ambassador to Russia said Washington was committed to defending Ukraine’s territorial integrity, saying the issue of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine was “a core part of our estrangement with Russia.”
Jon Huntsman, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, spoke to Irina Lagunina of RFE/RL’s Russian Service in Prague on April 12. Huntsman raised concerns about the recent arrests of members of religious minorities in Russia, and shared hopes for the democratic outcome of the presidential election in Ukraine.
Maintaining sanctions against Russia is one of the matters on which both major U.S. political parties agree. — Ukrinform.
Moscow is moving to claim Arctic territory as barriers between Russia and North America melt. Yet still bitter temperatures pose an immediate threat to NATO troops defending icy waterways.
Around 300 people are stranded in Svalbard, after the North Pole was closed to visitors for the first time in 18 years over tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
Maybe the Cold War never really ended?
British Army on Twitter: “The United Kingdom’s Iron Fist, standing alongside our allies from Canada, Germany, Poland, and Spain, as part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence in Eastern Europe. How many different types of Main Battle Tank can you identify? #NATO70… https://t.co/AYrU25FscP”
Moscow’s Basmanny Court has approved a petition for Michael Calvey, the founder of the investment firm Baring Vostok, to be placed under house arrest after spending almost two months in a pretrial detention center. Calvey has been charged with embezzling 2.5 billion rubles (almost $38,775,000). Interfax reported that Calvey was released from the control of his guards on the spot in the courtroom.
On April 12, Russian president Vladimir Putin announced that the time has come for Russia’s nationwide draft to end, though “time and suitable funds will be necessary” to carry out the move. Many media sources quoted Putin’s statement. However, the president has been discussing a transition from mandatory to contractual military service in Russia since the beginning of his regime. In 2001, he even approved a government plan to shift to a contract army by 2010. Here’s what Putin has said about that option at various stages in his presidency.
Paul Goble Staunton, April 13 – Vladimir Putin has once again declared Russia must move from a draft-based army to a professional one, winning plaudits from experts and the Russian people — just as he has ever time he has repeatedly made exactly the same declaration in the past (meduza.io/feature/2019/04/12/putin-skazal-chto-prizyva-v-armiyu-ne-budet-nuzhny-tolko-vremya-i-dengi-on-uzhe-eto-govoril). And while most experts say that Russia is and will continue to move toward a professional army, they say that the shift is unlikely to be rapid or complete given the imperatives of geography – its size means it must have a far larger army than many think — and the high costs of doing so, costs now too high for Moscow to pay (ura.news/articles/1036277915). Igor Korotchenko, editor of Moscow’s National Defense journal, says that the draft won’t completely disappear, but it will “simply be minimized” as an element of the formation of the army. Russia needs “the mobilized reserve” that draftees can serve in the event of a military conflict. That requires a draft as well as professionals. “We have too large a territory” to defend by a professional military alone. And therefore, he argues, Russia must have a military based on both the draft and the recruitment of professionals. Over the next several decades, Korotchenko says, this principle will not be changed fundamentally. Instead, “the number of draftees will simply be reduced to a certain figure which will be defined by the General Staff of the Russian Federation. Over the next 30 to 40 years, the draft will not disappear.” But geography and tradition are not the only reasons the draft will continue. Viktor Baranets, a retired colonel who serves as a military commentator for Komsomolskaya pravda, says that shifting to an all professional army is “impossible because of Russia’s weak economy.” Draftees simply cost less. A draftee who is paid 2,000 rubles (30 US dollars) a month is a lot less expensive than a professional soldier who must be paid 25,000 to 35,000 rubles (400 to 600 US dollars) a month, the military commentator says; and that doesn’t include the additional supports and benefits the latter must receive in order to make such service attractive. According to Baranets, Putin likely has in mind retaining a “symbolic” draft of about 50,000 a year, a number that would be about a sixth of the current call up. The General Staff could tolerate that if it received enough money to fund the professionals who would be needed as replacements. The Russian military has already made progress in that direction, the commentator says. Before 2016, the number of soldiers and officers who were draftees was about the same as the number of contract professional. Now the balance has shifted to 260,000 draftees as against 370,000 professionals. But at some point in the future, probably not very soon, Viktor Litovkin, a retired colonel, tells the URA news agency, the draft in Russia will disappear. But that will happen only once the Russian economy turns around and there is enough money to pay for the far more expensive professional force.
The Russian aircraft industry has lost its competitiveness and is spending “insane money” on the import substitution technology of half a century ago, not paying due attention to maintaining current production and maintaining existing technology. With such a statement at a working meeting of the State Duma on the legal support of the development of organizations of the military-industrial complex (UIC), Anatoly Serdyukov, who oversees the integration of UAC (United Aircraft Building Corporation) in Rostec, was made, RBC reports. “Crazy costs are borne by a small amount of products that we produce. Our cost is immediately [more] inflated than foreign ones. I’m not even talking about quality, because it’s practically impossible to work out qualitatively on small volumes. I can say that Airbus launched a new project, the A-350, produces 16 jets a month. We do not do even ten percent of this, ”said the manager. The former Russian defense minister noted that there are practically no bearings in the Russian aviation industry. “Here is a market for you. One bearing on the engine costs 50 thousand dollars – a huge figure. Does it make sense to invest there? Of course have. Without this, we will not go anywhere, ”said Serdyukov. In January, the head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, explained the failures of the Khrunichev Center, which is the most problematic enterprise of the state corporation, a consequence of the reforms of the military-industrial complex, initiated by Serdyukov. In July 2018, Roskosmos responded to the statement by the director of the Rostec aviation cluster, Anatoly Serdyukov, who was Russia’s defense minister in 2007-2012, about competition for the production of Soyuz-2 engines.
MOSCOW, Apr 9 – RIA News. The Prosecutor General’s Office did not allow the Ministry of Industry and Trade to replace the Ukrainian Be-200 amphibious aircraft with Ukrainian-made engines for engines with components from NATO countries, according to the report of the Prosecutor General Yury Chaika on the state of law and order in the Russian Federation in 2018. “The Ministry of Industry and Trade, within the framework of development work for the needs of the Defense Ministry, costing about 13 billion rubles to remotorize the Be-200 amphibious aircraft, planned to replace Ukrainian-made engines with engines that use components from a number of NATO member countries. The Prosecutor General’s Office informed the Ministry the risk of disrupting the defense order due to the imposed sanctions, “the report says. The position of the supervisory authority was taken into account, the decision to actually replace one foreign engine with another has been canceled, the prosecutor general said. On the whole, the measures taken by the department, the Chaika report notes, made it possible to reduce the dependence of defense companies on foreign components when implementing the state armament program until 2027 and to create an effective system for monitoring the implementation of a set of import-replacement plans by these enterprises. Comments Engine replacement has always existed only in the inflamed embryo of the Katsapsky brain. The engine is half the aircraft. New engine is a new aircraft, new work, new certification, new spending, new time, new deadlines. If it weren’t for the French SaM-146, then the Katsapa state services would not fly on choosing An-148, or rather flew and fly. And this will remind the special squad of power (two dwarfs), FSB, MO, MIA, MSS. Further – CaM is not suitable, since 436TP is special technologies with protection against sea water. Further – for the sake of the Russian Federation, it is not rational to make a new plane. It does not pay off ever, from the word at all. We are already silent about the fact that the Be-200 is generally a failed project, created by another scoop. All the fables about replacing the engine is trolling. Like everything else, Katsapov has a rejection of Ukrainian engines, turbines, rockets, x-35. s300 / 400, aircraft, rvsn, sea launch. The same trick is happening now 4 times with the “rejection” of Zenith missiles, the only one suitable for a sea launch, which is built strictly for Zenit-3SLB. The logic of the Katsap, is described by them – “to the evil of my grandmother, frost my ears,” and “I ran after you for three days to tell you how much I dislike you and how you are indifferent to me.” Conclusions that we have in fact. The Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation recognized the fiasco of the Russian Federation: – Ukraine multiplied by 0 the production of the half-dead Be-200. – Ukraine killed another aircraft factory and a design bureau in the Russian Federation. – Ukraine, having replaced the Russian Federation in its aviation, responded permanently to industrial cooperative terror in all sectors – destroyed the aircraft industry in the Russian Federation – the Russian Federation was transferred to the status of an aviation pariah level of the projects of the Russian Federation – Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba. – Ukraine, having carried out the replacement of the Russian Federation in its aviation, responded permanently to industrial cooperative terror in all sectors – destroyed the aircraft industry in the Russian Federation – Ukraine has lowered morph. – Ukraine lowered morph before the French. – “Corruption in the WOB”, well, although it is not. And for that you need to give medals to the organizer of the scheme in Ukraine. But the Russian Federation was not able to organize the delivery of critical components from Ukraine with gray schemes. – Set off to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Security Service of Ukraine and something else. – Glory to Ukraine.
Vladislav Reznik, a member of the United Russia party, has proposed amendments to legislation that would effectively force out of the Russian …
The network has a video on which Russian soldiers are trying to place a tank on the pontoon, and it drops. A roller on Facebook has been published by the coordinator of the “Information Resistance” group, Dmytro Timchuk, according to Tsensor .NET .
Maks Prydko Published on Apr 12, 2019
Paul Goble Staunton, April 12 – The West and Ukraine continue to support the Russian opposition rather than the national movements inside the current borders of the Russian Federation, thus repeating the mistake the United States made in 1991 and one exemplified by US President George H.W. Bush’s infamous “Chicken Kiev” speech. On August 1 of that year after meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow, the American leader told Ukrainians that “the pursuit of independence is a form of suicidal nationalism,” a reflection of the West’s approach to the Moscow-centered state then and to the Moscow-centered state now, Ukrainian commentator Pavel Podobed says. In the weeks that followed Bush’s remarks, the national movements in the USSR proved to be far stronger than the democratic opposition. The Soviet Union crumbled and despite the hopes of the West, neither Russia nor most of the successor states became democratic in more than name only. Unfortunately, Podobed continues, this tradition continues and not just in the West. “Up to now, even Ukrainian politicians link the future of Russian-Ukrainian relations with Aleksey Navalny and not with the supporters of independence” in various parts of the Russian Federation (zn.ua/history/tatarstan-molchit-terpit-zhdet-udobnogo-sluchaya-314647_.html). There are at least three reasons why this is the case, he suggests. First, Ukraine like the West in 1991 and now overrates the possibilities of the democratic opposition in Russia. It is not nearly as strong as many want to believe; and despite Putin’s campaign against the non-Russians, the latter have greater potential than most think. Second, when Ukraine or the West think about the nationality issue in Russia, they focus on the North Caucasus, which puts them off. On the one hand, the region is violent; and on the other, it is Islamic. And for both of these reasons, neither Kyiv nor Western capitals shy away from giving it support. And third, Moscow has successfully presented itself as a defender of national rights by a clever strategy of appearing to support the micro-nations under its control, peoples like the Saami or Izhors, while it does everything in its power to assimilate and weaken larger nations like the Tatars that might threaten its control. Ukraine needs to focus on the Middle Volga (Idel-Ural) and especially on Tatarstan which despite the weakening of its national movement still represents a serious “headache” for Moscow given its central location and the continued influence of Tatar nationalists both at home and in emigration. Most people assume that Idel-Ural cannot go anywhere because it does not border on a foreign state, but that is a mistake because the fact that none of its component parts does is the product of Moscow’s imperial strategy rather than some natural phenomenon, Podobed suggests. And thus one can imagine that this will change. He thus focuses on “the Orenburg corridor” that the Soviet state created and that the current Russian regime has continued (jamestown.org/program/the-orenburg-corridor-and-the-future-of-the-middle-volga/,windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/11/orenburg-corridor-threatens-russia-more.html, andwindowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/03/moscow-analyst-denounces-kazakh.html). Podobed’s summary of this issue is especially useful. He writes: “In the period between 1919 and 1925, Bashkortostan and then all Idel-Ural had a common border with the Kyrgyz ASSR as Kazakhstan was called at the time. However, already in 1925, the Bolshevik leadership took the Orenburg Gubernia out of Soviet Kazakhstan and transferred it to the RSFSR.” “The capital of Kazakhstan was shifted from Orenburg to Kzyl-Orda (up until 1936, the republic had another name, the Kazakh ASSR. Thus arose the Orenburg corridor which divided the two republics” from each other, the Ukrainian commentator continues. “At first the corridor separating Kazakhstan from Bashkortostan was only 30 kilometers in width. Worries about the excessive ‘friendship of the peoples’ between the Bashkirs and Kazakhs forced Moscow several times ‘to clarify the borders.’ As a result, the corridor was widened to almost twice its original size.” “Today, the Republics of Idel-Ural do not have a way out to foreign borders, but the distance between the southern border of Bashkortostan and northern Kazakhstan is about 50 kilometers.” What Podobed doesn’t mention but that may matter a lot is that northern Kazakhstan is becoming ever more Kazakh and Orenburg is becoming ever less Russian.
According to a poll by the Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM), which was published in late January, the trust rating for Vladimir Putin has reached its lowest level in the last 13 years. Currently, only 33% of respondents express trust in the Russian president. At the same time, sociologists predict that Putin’s rating will continue to decline, primarily due to the decline in the standard of living and the popular disappointment with the “pension reform.” The number of Russians supporting Putin’s foreign policy also fell in 2018, but a number of Russian opposition politicians warned that the polls do not show sharp changes in the Russians’ opinion of the president’s foreign policy. Indeed, many commentators point out that the majority of Russians are tired of aggressive militaristic propaganda. However, at least several groups of people who support Russia’s aggressive foreign policy can still be identified. They can be divided into several categories, each of which expresses direct or veiled support for the current foreign policy course. I will try to analyze these categories, identifying possible pros and cons in working with these groups of people.
A court in Moscow has fined Facebook for failing to tell authorities where it stores Russian user data, a ruling that highlights wrangling between tech giants and Russia as it tightens Internet con…
A small claims court in Moscow’s Tagansky District has fined Facebook 3,000 rubles (roughly $47) for failing to store Russian users’ personal data on servers located inside Russia.
Representatives for the Yaroslavl-based news site Yarcube wrote on the site’s Telegram channel that the site has been blocked in Russia. The country’s censorship agency, Roskomnadzor, added the site to its blacklist, the journalists wrote.
Paul Goble Staunton, April 12 – Debates about whether to remove the embalmed body of Vladimir Lenin from the mausoleum on Red Square and buy him as Russian Orthodoxy requires typically ignore the fact that the structure is not Russian, Christian or even a mausoleum, Maya Novik says. Instead, it is a Middle Eastern ziggurat and an altar. That is striking because the mausoleum was in fact designed by a Russian architect who had made his name building churches before the revolution and might have been expected to keep the structure at least within Russian if not Orthodox traditions, the journalist says (russian7.ru/post/zikkurat-pochemu-mavzoley-lenina-v-pos/). According to Novik, the use of a pyramid or ziggurat as a model, however, is not that surprising. On the one hand, the early Soviet state viewed Lenin almost as a new divinity; and on the other, Russia like much of Europe at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century was much influenced by what came to be known as “the Egyptian style.” That style emerged as a result of the numerous archaeological discoveries at that time, Novik continues, discoveries that sparked enormous popular interest and affected architecture and other forms of art. The Bolsheviks exploited this interest to signal their break with Christianity. The decision to build the mausoleum was made four days after Lenin’s death, she says. The Bolshevik leaders had two proposals before them and chose the one that was then realized first in wood and then several years later in stone. It is based on the towers of ancient Babylon and on several pyramids in Egypt. Soviet commentators sought to integrate the mausoleum by insisting that it repeated the crenellations of the Kremlin wall and the design of the Museum of the Revolution, but those efforts ultimately failed because they were so transparently obviously not the real reasons for the construction. According to more recent commentators, she says, there is widespread recognition that “this is not a mausoleum” at all. Rather it is “an altar” for the worship of something other than the Christian God. It is even possible, Novik suggests, that the Bolsheviks “used or would like to have used [the mausoleum for occult goals.” Indeed, some writers have suggested that the mausoleum in fact represents the Throne of Satan referred to in the Book of Revelations (chapter 2, verses 12-13). Others connect it with the cult of Asclepius where the snake symbolizes the devil. And they point out the strange asymmetry of Lenin’s mausoleum, where leaders stand not at the center but to one side. Novik says that the architect because of his Christian background and the Bolshevik leaders with their religious educations would have been aware of all this; and thus, they erected at the walls of the Kremlin “a ziggurat symbolizing the worship of demonic forces and built it specially in the form of a sacrificial altar on which an entire Christian country was brought.” She concludes her essay with the observation that some have even suggested that within the mausoleum there was some kind of “’energy antenna’ which controlled the consciousness of the masses.” But that is obviously “a fiction” given that while the mausoleum still stands, “the USSR has fallen.”
Lenin’s Mausoleum / Мавзоле́й Ле́нина Mavzoléy Lénina. Lenin’s Mausoleum is located in Central Moscow. Dedicated to Vladimir Lenin Lenin’s Mausoleum (formerly Lenin’s & Stalin’s Mausoleum (1953–1961)) (Russian: Мавзоле́й Ле́нина, tr. Mavzoléy Lénina, IPA: [məvzɐˈlʲej ˈlʲenʲɪnə]), also known as Lenin’s Tomb, situated in Red Square in the centre of Moscow, is a mausoleum that currently serves as the resting place of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin. His preserved body has been on public display there since shortly after his death in 1924, with rare exceptions in wartime. Alexey Shchusev’s diminutive but monumental granite structure incorporates some elements from ancient mausoleums, such as the Step Pyramid, the Tomb of Cyrus the Great and, to some degree, Temple of the Inscriptions.
The findings of the UK Forensic Explosives Laboratory confirmed those of the Polish Sub-Commission on the Investigation of the Smolensk Plane Crash, where on April 10, 2010, President of Poland Lech Kaczynski and about a hundred high-ranking Polish officials died. Head of the Sub-Commission, Antoni Macierewicz, citing the study’s findings, says the cause of the crash was a series of explosions as traces of TNT were discovered.
The cause of ex-Polish President Lech Kaczyński’s plane crash near Smolensk was an explosion, said the chairman of the subcommittee on the re-investigation of the Smolensk disaster Antoni Macierewicz. He confirmed once again that the crash of the Tu-154M in April 2010 was not caused by a pilot error or the actions of other people on board. Doing so, he referenced the British Forensic Explosives Laboratory experts who had analyzed more than 200 samples given to them by the Polish National Prosecutor’s Office. According to Macierewicz, in Britain, it was established that TNT was used in the explosion, traces of which were found in the rubble. “It was not the pilots or anyone on board whose actions resulted in the tragedy, but an explosion. Today, thanks to the British, we know that. We have not defined the nature of the explosion,” he was quoted as saying on Polish Radio. The announcement was made on the basis of previous research and the conclusions of the sub-commission, Macierewicz added. The Tu-154 crashed while coming in to land at the North Smolensk airport, leading to the deaths of 96 people: Polish President Lech Kaczyński, the crew, and members of the official delegation traveling to an event commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre. In January 2011, the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC),, published a report on the crash investigation, according to which the pilots were responsible for the catastrophe, since they rejected the advice to go to an alternate airport, despite the unfavorable weather conditions. The inadequate qualification of the crew is stated to be the indirect cause of the crash. A commission led by former Polish defense minister Antoni Macierewicz refuted the theory that the pilots were to blame. According to a report presented in the Polish Sejm, there was an explosion in the plane’s left wing at an altitude of roughly 900 meters. Just before the landing strip, there were several emergencies, and then, while the plane was still in the air, an explosion in the aircraft’s fuselage. Furthermore, the commission determined that the operators in Smolensk gave the Polish Tu-154 crew incorrect information for landing. The commission also ruled out the possibility that Polish Air Force General Andrzej Błasik was in the cockpit during the landing approach. Macierewicz said that the technical report, which, according to him, does not yet reflect the official stance of the Polish government, has been given to the Prosecutor General’s Office, which is conducting its own investigation into the aviation catastrophe. Russia has been unwilling to send the aircraft fragments and other physical evidence to Poland, claiming that the Russian investigation is not yet complete.
For many years, Poland has been buying gas from Gazprom for higher prices than it would have paid its European suppliers and, as a result, has …
Nation aims to double military spending as it negotiates a bilateral defense accord with Washington
US lawmakers seeks to advance the US-India strategic relationship.If enacted, the legislation would ensure that the US State Department treat India as a ‘NATO ally’
Sometimes you realize it’s time to pack up and go home. Why attempt to counter pro-Kremlin disinformation and malign influence when Russia now openly declares a capacity to hack computers and eavesdrop on secure telecommunications through mind control? Colonel Nikolay Poroskov explains it all in the February issue (we also thought it was the 1 April issue, but no) of the Russian Armed Forces monthly journal for research and discussion, the Armeyskiy Sbornik. The Soviet military developed the concept of “metacontact” in the mid-’80s and it has since been successfully used in combat in Chechnya: Anyone mastering the means of metacontact can, for instance, perform a non-verbal interrogation. He sees right through the Prisoner of War: what kind of person he is, what his strong and weak points are, would he be susceptible for recruiting. The accuracy of such an interrogation is 100 percent. It is impossible to hide. Colonel Poroskov describes how the method was fine-tuned on dolphins, which eventually yielded to the willpower of the Russian soldiers. But the ambitions went further than taming glorified fish: But the technology proved applicable also on humans, and even on machines. With the willpower it is possible to, for instance, hack computer programmes, burn crystals in generators, eavesdrop or jam radio signals or telecommunications. Experiments demonstrated successfully the possibility to read documents in locked safes, even in foreign languages we don’t know. It was possible to identify members of terror groups and discover whoever was considering joining a terrorist organisation. So here we are, facing a Russia that can read minds and hack, for instance, elections, using super-secret parapsychic superpowers? Psycho-Warriors of the Kremlin! Is this what the Kremlin aide Vladislav Surkov was referring to, when he wrote that “Russia is interfering with the West’s minds”? Be afraid, be very afraid!
Every now and then Russian propaganda is so bad that Russia officially denies it. </end editorial> 2019/04/12 – 22:45 • HYBRID WAR Sometimes you realize it’s time to pack up and go home. Why attempt to counter pro-Kremlin disinformation and malign influence when Russia now openly declares a capacity to hack computers and eavesdrop on secure…
The week around 1 April, the pro-Kremlin disinformation machine churned out enough material for us to register almost 50 cases which we’ve divided into seven categories showing how certain narrative templates are used and reused for different stories and adapted to different audiences. These categories range from the usual – “The West did it!” and “It wasn’t us!” – to the outrageous “I can’t believe I’m reading this”, which contains lies so blatant that even the most hard-boiled disinformation aficionado might need to take a seat.
by milnews.ca “Canadian MP Calls on NATO to Send More Subs to Black Sea” (RUS state media) “Canadian MP: NATO submarines may ‘unexpectedly’ appear in Black Sea” “NATO Holds Navy Drills In Black Sea Amid Russia Tensions” (USA govt funded media) “A summary of the situation in the area of the operation of the Joint forces…
The West’s way of doing things is “losing its attractiveness and is no more viewed as a perfect model for all,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
This text prepared in the context of the April 7 2019 Florence International Conference: No War, No NATO will centre on the key relationship between US-NATO military operations directed against targeted countries and the imposition of far-reaching neoliberal economic reforms both before and in the wake of US-NATO military interventions. This article will also address the dangers and consequences of a Third World War as well the nature of advanced weapons systems deployed by the broader US-NATO coalition.
Europeans should not rely on Americans to spend, fight, and die for them. Washington’s preferences have had little impact on Europe’s behavior. For years presidents, secretaries of defense, secretaries of state, and other officials have demanded, begged, insisted, requested, whined, and urged NATO’s European members to do more. Nevertheless, as a percentage of GDP, the continent’s military expenditures remain below those of seven years ago. That number fell to 1.4 percent in 2014; it was only slightly higher 1.47 percent last year. Primary responsibility for that increase is Russia’s aggressive behavior toward Ukraine, which sparked a slight bump in allied expenditures. Additionally, that increase started well before President Trump took office. But, as in the case of Germany, it is unlikely to go much higher. The only policy change which would make a difference is for the United States to end Europe’s military dependency and turn responsibility for Europe’s defense over to Europe. With ten times the economic strength and four times the population of Russia, the continent is well able to defend itself. European governments then could spend as much or as little as desired on the military, free of hectoring by Washington. America and Europe still could cooperate militarily on shared interests. Should an unexpected hegemonic threat arise, the United States could reengage. But after seventy years of NATO, the American people should declare their work in Europe done. It is time for the Europeans to take over responsibility for their security. Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. He is a former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan and the author of several books, including Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire.
The presidents discussed the row of key issues during their meeting
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko stated that at a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron he had discussed the issue of Ukrainian political prisoners held in Russia and in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and also announced a new initiative to free Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko convicted in Russia.
During the meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President of France Emmanuel Macron on April 12, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko raised the issue of release of Ukrainian sailors – prisoners of war, political prisoners and violation of rights of Crimean Tatars. — Ukrinform. “The issue of 24 Ukrainian sailors, who are prisoners of war and who are beyond Russia’s jurisdiction, was raised. They must be returned home immediately and unconditionally along with the military property. The freedom of navigation in the Kerch Strait must be restored,” Poroshenko said in an interview with Ukrainian TV channels. The Head of State also raised the issue of the release of political prisoners, who are currently held in prisons in Russia and in the occupied territories. The President also informed that he, Merkel and Macron touched upon the protection of the rights of the Crimean Tatars, which are “brutally violated precisely on the eve of the elections.” The issue of Paris-based Ukrinform correspondent Roman Sushchenko was also discussed during the meetings with the European leaders, Poroshenko noted. “I separately raised the issue of our journalist, Mr Roman Sushchenko, during the conversation with President of France Emmanuel Macron. You know that he worked in Paris. The First Lady of France cared about his fate. And Emmanuel clearly stated that in the near future we would come up with the initiative again for Putin to keep his word, release Ukrainian Sushchenko so that he can return home as soon as possible,” Petro Poroshenko said. “We have clearly coordinated these steps – the relevant instructions were given in both Berlin and Paris. We resolutely start to prepare for the summit in the Normandy format, and these issues will definitively be on the agenda,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized. More than 70 Ukrainian political prisoners are being held in Russia and in the occupied Crimea, including Ukrinform journalist Roman Sushchenko, who was sentenced to 12 years in a maximum security penal colony for alleged spying. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has already sent about 300 notes to Russia demanding the release of Ukrainian political prisoners.
Ukraine continues its struggle to halt the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline said President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, at a briefing with Angela Merkel, reports Interfax-Ukraine. The President of Ukraine noted that the Nord Stream 2 is not a new topic in discussions between the European Union, Germany and Ukraine. “We firmly declare that we continue our fight to halt the construction of Nord Stream 2 inviting German companies to participate in the management of the Ukrainian gas transportation system,” said Poroshenko at a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. On April 1, Moody’s rating agency confirmed the Chief Executive Officer of Ukrainian state energy company Naftogaz, Andriy Kobolyev’s statement about the delay in the Nord Stream gas pipeline construction due to Denmark’s position. In addition, the Danish Energy Agency asked Nord Stream 2 AG to prepare an environmental assessment of an alternative gas pipeline in the Danish exclusive economic zone. Previously, Denmark refused to agree on the Nord Stream 2 route, which was supposed to pass through its territory. The construction of this gas pipeline has been at the center of international attention since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. Germany is trying to convince other countries to support Nord Stream 2, since it will pass through the Baltic Sea, connecting Russian suppliers with consumers in Europe.
“There are certain concerns about a possible change in the path of Ukraine and not only at the level of European leaders. If Ukraine stops and raises the issue of developing our European and Euro-Atlantic integration depending on what the Kremlin says, or we delay it somehow through a referendum… The referendum will be held when the European Union doors are open and Ukraine delegates part of its sovereign powers to the EU. As each country, claiming to become a member of the European Union, did,” President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said upon the meeting with President of France Emmanuel Macron, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. He noted that suspension of the process of European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine now would be unconstitutional. “Nobody, no official has the right to violate the Constitution and stop this process,” the President underscored. Petro Poroshenko stressed that he would do everything in his power to continue the European path of Ukraine. “A great price was paid for this. The sacrifice paid by the Ukrainian people must not be in vain,” he said. ol
He made a corresponding statement during a working visit to the French Republic, the press service of the Head of State reports. “Of course, everything is possible, including the change of attitude, if Ukraine behaves irresponsibly and if the decisive direction of our path to the EU and NATO is questioned, delayed through certain steps, including through referendums. When Ukraine itself does not demonstrate the resolve of its move forward,” Petro Poroshenko said during a live broadcast on Inter TV channel, answering the question whether things could change in the relations between Ukraine and the EU after the elections. “As of now, I can emphasize that during all the meetings, the leaders of Europe thanked me as President for the brilliantly organized election process during the first round,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized. According to him, the number of foreign observers in the elections, including from France and from Germany, exceeded 2,300 people. “And the general report on the results of the elections was that those were exemplary elections, that Ukraine never held elections with such a level of democracy, that they are completely satisfied with the protection of the will expression of the citizens and hope that it will be possible to hold the elections on April 21 at the same level,” the Head of State noted. At the same time, Petro Poroshenko noted that during the campaign there were tough discussions and expressed hope that we would manage to avoid provocations. “This causes indignation, including of our international partners, if provocateurs try to disrupt holding of certain election events,” he said. “I firmly believe that we will have an opportunity to inform Ukrainian citizens of the candidates’ programs, so that they have all the conditions for a clear definition of the future for Ukraine, the future for themselves, the future for their children… I firmly believe that this future lies in the European vector of development of our state. That we will not stop halfway. No one will turn us back and return to the previous conditions when we were a colony of the Russian Federation. A free Ukraine will certainly not allow doing that,” Petro Poroshenko summed up.
Possible attempts to stop Ukraine’s entry into NATO and the EU would violate the Ukrainian constitution, considering that such membership is formalized by the fundamental law and is mandatory for all power branches, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told the press during his working visit to France.
During their meeting in Berlin on Friday, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel coordinated actions on the possibility of the prompt return of 24 Ukrainian sailors who had been captured by Russia in the Black Sea neutral waters near the Kerch Strait in November 2018. Also, the German Chancellor stressed the need to ensure free navigation through the Kerch Strait.
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, during his working visit to Germany, met with chairman of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, and discussed issues on the bilateral agenda.
The European Union has removed nine persons close to fugitive ex-President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych from its anti-Russian sanctions list. In total, there are currently 170 people and 44 organizations on the European Union’s sanction list, as they damaged Ukraine’s territorial integrity and fueled the conflict in the country.
Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the European Union Mykola Tochytskyi has denied information about the lifting of sanctions by the European Union against persons close to fugitive ex-President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and involved in the violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty. Tochytskyi says that, on the contrary, the EU has significantly expanded the sanctions list for five years.
Ukrainian ships will continue navigation through the Kerch Strait, stated Ukrainian Defence Minister Stepan Poltorak during the 12th Kyiv Security Forum. The Defense Minister stated that abandoning the navigation through the Kerch strait would mean that Ukraine surrenders the Sea of Azov and its territory. “We will carry out the navigation through the Kerch Strait, because if we abandon such voyages, it will mean that we abandon the Sea of Azov and our territory,” said Stepan Poltorak. According to him, Ukrainian vessels will pass through the Kerch Strait when the Navy and the international partners of Ukraine are ready for this. “We will do it when our Navy is fully ready, and we have support of our partners. I hope that the safe passage will be ensured exactly this way,” said Poltorak, as quoted by UNIAN news agency. On April 10, the Russian Federation Council urged Ukraine to follow the Russian procedures for passage of ships through the Kerch Strait. “Ukraine’s attempts to bypass these procedures carry the risk of a military conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation in which NATO may also be involved,” reads the statement of the Russian Federation Council.
Sea Shield 2019, an annual Romanian-led naval exercise, continued in the Black Sea on April 12. The exercise, which began on April 5, involved more than 20 ships and crews from Romania, Bulgaria, Canada, Greece, the Netherlands, and Turkey. Five ships from a standing NATO maritime group participated in the exercise. The exercises took place amid increased tensions in the Black Sea region after Russia’s capture of three Ukrainian naval vessels in November.
FOREST DALY (Moscow region), April 13 – RIA Novosti. The increased activity of NATO in the Black Sea undermines regional stability, Moscow will react “accordingly”, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told the journalist. “We, of course, will take all the necessary measures to neutralize the threats associated with NATO’s increased activity in the region, are closely watching how the alliance’s planning to strengthen its presence in the region will evolve and respond accordingly,” Grushko said on the margins Council on Foreign and Defense Policy. The Foreign Ministry is deeply convinced that security in the region should be ensured primarily through the cooperation of the Black Sea countries. “There are all the necessary ingredients for this. This is also the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, in the military sphere – this is a document about confidence-building measures on the Black Sea,” Grushko added. The diplomat expressed hope that the activities of the Black Sea Four group (Black Sea Naval Operational Interaction Group. – Ed.), Which was created for the interaction of the Black Sea coastal fleets, would be resumed. Earlier, NATO countries agreed on measures to support Ukraine and Georgia in the Black Sea. The document, adopted at a meeting in Washington, provides for exercises, exchange of information and calls at ports in the water area. In recent years, Russia is facing the unprecedented activity of the alliance near its borders. NATO calls it “deterring Russian aggression.”
Минобороны России on Twitter: “#Видео Personnel of takeoff and landings of crews of operative-tactical aviation within the framework of control check of subdivisions of the 4th Army #ВВС and #ПВО Southern Military District Together with the Black Sea Fleet https://s.mil.ru/2IelEix #ЮВО #ЧерноморскийФлот #Авиация #БоеваяПодготовка forces https://t.co/aKu1fixQ47”
The peninsula had disappeared from the first pages of international media outlets long ago. Ukrainian journalists rarely travel for stories from Crimea. The only ones who stir up the information wave come from inside the occupied peninsula – a group of civic journalists who put themselves on the line to prevent their homeland from becoming an isolated island of lawlessness. Just after Crimea was annexed by Russia, the peninsula became more and more isolated and information became nearly inaccessible. The Crimean Tatar TV channel ATR worked under the blows of security officials for several days and then its newsroom was forced to move to Kyiv at the end of spring 2014. The stifling of media pluralism, the closure of Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar media, and criminal cases launched against Ukrainian journalists make information from Crimea completely inaccessible. The only journalists who can work freely in Crimea are Russian. But, with rare exceptions, their information follows the narrative “happy return of Crimea to the homeland. However, for many in Crimea, life is not so happy. Every Thursday, law enforcement raids the homes of Crimean Tatars, the indigenous population of Crimea which overwhelmingly opposed Russian occupation. Over fifty people have been arrested because of disagreeing with the regime. Thanks to some voices, especially those broadcast through social networks, it’s possible to seek out a more complex picture of the situation in the peninsula and at least partially break the silence. We collected the voices of our colleagues – civil journalists in Crimea. On 27 March at 6 AM, hundreds of armed police operatives parked their cars near some 50 houses in a Crimean Tatar village. Masked men with dogs barged inside kitchens and bedrooms, searching for banned literature in houses of the ethnic Muslims. As a result, during the first day, 20 people were arrested, and the next day, three more Crimean Tatars were arrested and beaten during an FSB operation in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don. The whereabouts of one man who disappeared that day are still unknown.
Over the past day, April 13, Russian proxy forces in eastern Ukraine fourteen times violated the ceasefire. The enemy four times used f weapons banned by the Minsk agreements.
Russia-led forces on April 13 mounted six attacks on the Ukrainian army’s positions in Donbas, including once with the use of weapons proscribed by the Minsk agreements. No Ukrainian army casualties have been reported from the start of the day.
Poroshenko suggests Easter ceasefire as of 18 April. The sides support the idea. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
Occupation forces fired on the Armed Forces’ positions in Donbas 14 times over the past 24 hours, one soldier had been killed, two more wounded, the press center of the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) has reported.
Russia’s hybrid military forces in the past 24 hours mounted 14 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas, with one Ukrainian soldier reported as killed in action, and another two as wounded in action. Two invaders were killed and another three were wounded on Friday, intelligence reports say.
On April 12, Russian occupation forces launched 14 attacks, using weapons banned under the Minsk agreements seven times, on Ukrainian troops in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in Donbas. One Ukrainian soldier was killed and two more were wounded. — Ukrinform.
Ukraine is set to build a military base on the Azov Sea and has sent more forces to the area to counter a worsening Russian threat
Haaretz.com Published on Apr 14, 2019
Four trucks crossed the Novotroitske checkpoint today on April 13
The Armed Forces of Ukraine have recently received 120 new types of equipment that were not previously in service. — Ukrinform.
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, who is now running for re-election, signed a decree dismissing first deputy head of SZRU, the Ukrainian Foreign Intelligence Service, Serhiy Semochko. The official has long been in public focus over journalists’ allegations of illegal enrichment and possible connections with Russia. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, who is now running for re-election, signed a decree dismissing first deputy head of SZRU, the Ukrainian Foreign Intelligence Service, Serhiy Semochko. Poroshenko made the announcement as he spoke in front of journalists and supporters at the Olimpiyskiy Stadium.
The aggressor country has increased its military potential in the occupied Crimea and has launched its troops into Belarus. Thus, Moscow has the potential to attack Ukraine from the south-east and from the north. According to former deputy head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Lieutenant-General of the stock Igor Romanenko, says Tsensor. NET with reference to “Glavred” . According to him, Russia substantially increased its military potential in Crimea, bringing it to a strategic level. “There was an increase in all forces: land, air, sea – and, surface and submarine, the potential was raised to a strategic level,” Romanenko said. “In addition, now Russian troops are brought to Belarus. As a result, if you look at the map, you can see that Ukraine is actually surrounded by Russia on three sides,” Romanenko added. According to the former chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Russian troops were brought to Belarus last year on the pretext of establishing a common air defense system in Russia and Belarus. “Then troops were partially withdrawn, but there were enough troops left to make a corridor, if necessary, and I do not think that Belarus has enough strength to resist Russia’s plans. This corridor will be necessary for Russia to allow Russian troops to enter Ukraine from In addition, for Russia this is a strategic direction, because it is the shortest distance to the capital of Ukraine – Kiev “, – warned Romanenko. He also reminded that although the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in 2014 promised that Russia would return Ukraine all military equipment from the occupied Crimea, neither the ships nor the airplanes returned. “And if they give it, then the broken and unsuitable for the further exploitation of equipment, for example, tanks without engines. As a result, the fact that we were returned was suitable except for dismantling for spare parts”, – summed up the expert.
Some 35 Hummer combat vehicles have arrived in Odesa from the United States, they will be sent to combat units on the collision line, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak has said.
The United States recently provided Ukraine with military aid worth more than US$400 million, according to Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak. It’s about Javelins, modern communication systems, artillery recon tools, e-warfare equipment, anti-sniper systems, and unmanned aerial vehicles. The United States recently provided Ukraine with military aid worth more than US$400 million, according to Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak. “Recently, the level of military-technical assistance has increased significantly. This applies to all of our partners, primarily the United States. Now, a batch of 35 Hummer combat vehicles has arrived in Odesa. Of these, 20 are armored, which will go to combat units, and 15 are medical support vehicles,” Poltorak said during his Saturday visit to the 58th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade base in Konotop, the ministry’s press service reported. All assistance provided is immediately sent directly to the combat units on the line of contact in Donbas
Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak says the Armed Forces of Ukraine have recently received 120 new types of equipment that were not previously in service. According to the military official, this year inspires optimism regarding the fulfillment of the state defense order.
Vizar in Ukraine were manufacturing subassemblies for the 48N6 SAM (SA-20A/B GARGOYLE) until June 2014, and also overhauling and repairing up to dozens of R-27 AA-10 ALAMO AAMs for Russian defense contractors.
The court is being set up before a presidential poll runoff as part of Ukraine’s $3.9bn loan programme with IMF.
Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman considers inadmissible the presence and participation of representatives of the aggressor country, the Russian Federation, in any institutions that advocate international law.
Germany decided to allocate 85 million euros to help internally displaced persons in Ukraine, announced President Poroshenko at a joint briefing …
Ukrtransgaz deals with the gas export from Ukraine to Hungary
The high-voltage cable has torn near the embassy
A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempting to murder police officers after a car was allegedly driven straight at them outside the Ukrainian embassy. Armed officers were responding to reports the Mercedes had repeatedly rammed into the Ukraine ambassador’s official vehicle in Holland Park.
No one was hurt in the incident; the suspect, believed to be in his 40s, was arrested; police are investigating
Shooting began near the Embassy of Ukraine in London
Ukrainian ambassador’s car attacked in London. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
London police have fired gunshots at a man who rammed into a diplomatic car parked outside Ukraine’s Embassy, and then tried to drive into officers.
Scotland Yard said a vehicle was driven at police when they arrived at the scene in west London.
Get breaking national and world news, broadcast video coverage, and exclusive interviews. Find the top news online at ABC news.
The Ukrainian embassy in London says police detained an individual who rammed the ambassador’s car.
President of Canada-Ukraine International Assistance Fund Antonina Kumka says the Ukrainian Cultural Center, located in the city of Hamilton, near Toronto, has been destroyed as a result of the fire. No casualties have been reported.
His challenger Volodymyr Zelenskiy may not be there, but Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has announced he will be at the Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kyiv on April 14 for a presidential election deb…
The Ukrainian presidential administration is accrediting the press to cover presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko’s attendance of the debate at the Olympiysky Stadium in Kyiv on April 14.
The Presidential Administration of Ukraine has announced presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko’s attendance of the debate at Kyiv’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium on April 14, ahead of the second round of the elections. Accreditation is granted until 14:00, April 13.
Today, April 14, the fifth Ukrainian President and presidential candidate for the second term in office Petro Poroshenko will arrive at NSC Olympiysky. The visit of the President is connected with the pre-election debates with presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky. However, most likely, the debates will be the monologue of the President, as the candidates have not reached an agreement concerning the date of the debates. The headquarters of candidates for presidency Volodymyr Zelensky and Petro Poroshenko did not come up with a compromise on the holding of the debates at Olympic Stadium. On April 3, Zelensky replied to Poroshenko’s invitation to participate in 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 changed his mind and agreed to participate in the debates. On April 7, Poroshenko stated that he waits for Volodymyr Zelensky on April 14 at Olympic Stadium. In his turn, Zelensky reported that he wants to hold the debates with Poroshenko on April 19 at Olympic Stadium. On April 10, Olympic Stadium reported that it got two applications for holding debates from two presidential candidates Volodymyr Zelensky and Petro Poroshenko.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has arrived at Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kyiv for a presidential election debate even though his challenger, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has said he will only agree to spar with Poroshenko at the stadium five days later. Poroshenko is to face Zelenskiy in Ukraine’s presidential runoff on April 21. Zelenskiy won the first round earlier this month by a large margin, and most, if not all, opinion polls put him well out in front of the incumbent ahead of the final vote.
Incumbent President Petro Poroshenko is to face Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Ukraine’s presidential runoff on April 21
Zelinskiy no show at Presidential debate. He just abandoned any serious chance of election as Ukraine’s President.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxGqjxN46KA
Radio Liberty Started streaming 48 minutes ago On April 8, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko invited Volodymyr Zelensky, as well as spectators and journalists to debate on the NSC “Olympic” – on April 14. In response Zelensky said that the meeting should take place on April 19. #RadioSvoboda #RadioFight Subscribe to our feeds Radio Svoboda Ukraine: http://goo.gl/Dtm6O3 Radio Liberty (programs and broadcasts): https://goo.gl/POE6AY
President Petro Poroshenko, who came to the presidential debates at the NSC “Olympic” , agreed to wait for his competitor Volodymyr Zelensky, who did not appear before them, until 15:00. He said this at the beginning of the event. “Today, the Republican stadium from anywhere in Kiev can be easily reached in 40 minutes. Here we will agree that 40 minutes, even 45. We wait for Mr. Zelensky, Volodymyr Alexandrovich, till 15 o’clock, I firmly believe that you are watching us now. You, I hope, have already returned from Paris, have rested and, with new forces, are ready to embark on a key element of democracy – debate, until 15:00, “Poroshenko said. Update 15:20. Volodymyr Zelensky was not expected to appear at the press center of the NSC “Olimpiyskiy”. Instead, Poroshenko held a press conference responding to journalists’ questions. “It is a pity that at the Republican stadium, where Volodymyr Alexandrovich invited me, he was not there. I’m sorry that the journalists were not able to ask questions. I’m sorry that people in this area also did not answer these questions,” – said Poroshenko. Poroshenko expressed hope that the debate that Zelensky’s headquarters intends to organize on the NSC “Olimpiyskiy” on April 19 will be canceled and instead he will come to the TV debates on the Public TV channel. He also proposed to meet on April 15 at the studio ICTV. Update 16:32. After communicating with journalists, Poroshenko went to his supporters and invited them to be photographed at the stadium. “We go to the stadium, we make a general photo and let us see the whole country and the whole world: that Poroshenko with the people, that we fight for the future of Ukraine,” he turned from the scene near the NSC “Olimpiysky”. After that, Poroshenko sang together with the soloist “Kozak Systems”: “You said on Sunday we go up to the debate. I came – you do not have. “Maybe so, Vladimir Aleksandrovich will hear us” – joked Poroshenko.
Presidential candidate and incumbent head of state Petro Poroshenko said that if, “God forbid”, showman Volodymyr Zelensky, will be elected president of Ukraine, he will respect the people’s choice. “I think that parliamentarians and future members of parliament will make up their minds when they hear at least something from Mr. Zelensky,” the president, speaking at the Olympiyskiy Stadium in Kyiv in front of journalists and supporters. “To the debates where we have gathered today and where Mr. Zelensky has not yet come, he was invited to tell at least something – how he sees European integration, Euro-Atlantic integration, the first steps in reforms, continuation of the reform course of President Poroshenko… If, God forbid, he is elected, it will still be a choice of the Ukrainian people, and I will respect it,” the head of state added, noting that Ukraine is a democratic state, and there is no doubt about that. As UNIAN reported, Poroshenko arrived at the debate on the Olympiyskiy Stadium.
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko made a corresponding statement, speaking from the stage on the square in front of the National Sports Complex “Olimpiysky” in Kyiv, where he arrived to participate in the pre-election debate, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. “We are not afraid of anyone. We are doing everything possible for the country to find out the truth. The country does not want to elect a pig in a poke. Ukraine should elect a real president, a real Supreme Commander-in-Chief, who will continue to lead our country on the path towards the EU and NATO,” the Head of State stressed. At the same time, another candidate for the post of the President of Ukraine, showman Volodymyr Zelensky did not come to the NSC “Olimpiysky” to participate in the debate. The President proposed to wait for presidential candidate Zelensky until 15:00. “I think that today the Olimpiysky stadium can be easily reached in 40 minutes from any location of Kyiv. Let’s wait for Mr Zelensky for 40 minutes, even 45 minutes, until 15:00. Volodymyr Oleksandrovych, I am convinced that you are now watching us. I hope you’ve already returned from Paris and had a rest,” Poroshenko said. As reported, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko announced his intention to come to the NSC “Olimpiysky” to participate in the debate at 14:14 on April 14. At the same time, Volodymyr Zelensky refused to come to the stadium on April 14 and said that he would come there to participate in the debate at 19:00 on April 19. However, according to the law on the presidential election, the debate on April 19 should be aired at the Suspilne TV channel (national public broadcaster).
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko made a corresponding statement at the National Sports Complex “Olimpiysky” in Kyiv, where he arrived to participate in the pre-election debate with presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. “I’m concerned about a proposal that we have to stop the Euro-Atlantic integration now to hold a referendum [proposal of Volodymyr Zelensky to put an issue of Ukraine’s joining the EU and NATO to vote on a referendum]. People have already made up their mind. Over half of the population support joining NATO, and almost two-thirds support accession to the EU. I believe that this is a deliberate delay of our return to the family of the European nations. I want to inform you that the referendum will still be held. Someone may not know this, but the accession to the EU is impossible without a referendum,” Poroshenko said. The Head of State stressed that an application for accession to the EU is submitted first, and the accession itself is possible only when the country meets the criteria, and also when the people decide on the referendum whether they are ready to delegate part of the powers to a supranational body. At the same time, Poroshenko noted that one should not “deceive people” regarding the determination of the Euro-Atlantic direction of Ukraine’s movement, because it is the “Putin’s scenario.”
The incumbent head of state and the presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko said that he would respect any choice of the Ukrainian people, whoever they would vote for in the second round of elections on April 21. He said this speaking to journalists at the NSC Olimpiyskiy, reports 112 Ukraine. “If, God forbid, he (showman Volodymyr Zelensky, – ed.) will be elected (president – ed.), and it will be the choice of the Ukrainian people, I will respect it. Why? Because we are a democratic state, and there is already no doubt about this, “he noted. At the same time Poroshenko added that he was concerned about the likely presidency of Zelensky. “He was invited to the debates so that he could at least say something. How he sees European integration, Euro-Atlantic integration, how he sees the first directions of reforms … For example, I’m concerned that we should now stop European, Euro-Atlantic integration in order to go for a referendum again. The people now have more than half of NATO’s support and almost 2/3 of EU support. I think this is a deliberate delay of our way to return our people to the family of European nations, “he said. Earlier presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko promised to learn the Hungarian language if necessary. He said this during the debates at the NSC Olimpiyskiy stadium, for which his opponent, presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky, did not appear, reports 112 Ukraine. Poroshenko made a statement in response to a question from a Hungarian journalist about the next steps of Ukraine on the path to European integration. The President noted that he was confident in Hungary’s support and support of Ukraine’s aspirations to join the European Union. “First of all, the implementation of our legislation, accession to the EU and NATO – I think this is an absolutely realistic roadmap. And I named a specific year – 2023nd, when we must sign a membership action plan and when we must fulfill the criteria to apply for EU membership. And I’m absolutely convinced that Hungary together with other EU member states will support Ukraine just as it was promised many times a few years ago. We are open to compromises on the rights of the Hungarian minority, their right to education. They have absolutely all rights to learn Hungarian. As a guarantor of the Constitution and the rights of Ukrainian citizens, I also support the rights of Ukrainian citizens of Hungarian origin to study in Ukrainian schools, Ukrainian universities, work in Ukrainian companies. And you know that this is impossible if you do not know the Ukrainian language in Ukraine”, the president stressed.
President of Ukraine and presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko promised to learn the Hungarian language if necessary. He said this during the debates at the NSC Olimpiyskiy stadium, for which his opponent, presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky, did not appear, reports 112 Ukraine. Poroshenko made a statement in response to a question from a Hungarian journalist about the next steps of Ukraine on the path to European integration. The President noted that he was confident in Hungary’s support and support of Ukraine’s aspirations to join the European Union. “First of all, the implementation of our legislation, accession to the EU and NATO – I think this is an absolutely realistic roadmap. And I named a specific year – 2023nd, when we must sign a membership action plan and when we must fulfill the criteria to apply for EU membership. And I’m absolutely convinced that Hungary together with other EU member states will support Ukraine just as it was promised many times a few years ago. We are open to compromises on the rights of the Hungarian minority, their right to education. They have absolutely all rights to learn Hungarian. As a guarantor of the Constitution and the rights of Ukrainian citizens, I also support the rights of Ukrainian citizens of Hungarian origin to study in Ukrainian schools, Ukrainian universities, work in Ukrainian companies. And you know that this is impossible if you do not know the Ukrainian language in Ukraine”, the president stressed. He clarified that Ukraine is ready to invest for children of national minorities learning two languages, Ukrainian and native – in particular, Hungarian. Poroshenko expressed confidence that citizens of the European Union should know several languages. “From the rostrum of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, I said that I was born in the south of the Odesa region, where the Bulgarian minority lives, and I can speak Bulgarian, I fully understand Bulgarian language. I understand Romanian, I lived in the place where the Romanian minority lives, for more than two years. When I was at university, I learned Polish, I speak English, Russian and other languages fluently. This is the future of a European nation – a European country, when EU citizens should know a lot of languages. And if it was absolutely necessary, I promise, I would have learned the Hungarian language – at a low level, of course”, the president promised.
The election campaign headquarters of Ukraine’s incumbent President Petro Poroshenko no longer believes its candidate can win and is ceasing its efforts, an inside source told Ukrainian news outlet LB.ua. In an article by the newspaper’s editor-in-chief Sonia Koshkina, the situation ahead of the second round of voting is described as candidate Volodymyr Zelensky’s blatant mockery of topics that should be treated seriously, constructively and in depth, whereas Poroshenko has launched himself into an aggressive attack. But it is too late for anything to help Poroshenko. “The gap between the favorites – in absolute figures – is 2.7 million votes. Objectively, such a significant gap cannot be eliminated in three weeks. At most, it can be reduced (with a view to the upcoming parliamentary elections), but even then, only insignificantly,” the article states. The article’s sources claim that, although they did not expect such results in the first round, after the initial shock, they accepted the failure with relative equanimity. “In the second round, Petro will gain more [votes] in absolute figures, but the percentage gap is unlikely to shrink much. Furthermore, if we were to beat Zelensky, it would have to be done with a significant lead. 55 to 45, for example. But definitely not 51 to 49 – many would struggle to believe, and thus to accept that,” one of the insiders explained. Volunteer activity is already being wrapped up, and the team members are preparing to leave their offices and even planning a holiday. As for short-term priorities, they have three: to reduce the gap in the second round, prepare for parliamentary elections, and unite their support in the Verkhovna Rada, in order to prevent it from disbanding prematurely. Several people in Poroshenko’s entourage believe that he should focus on diplomacy, even if he does not obtain any official position in the new government. “He knows, is capable, and loves it (diplomacy). He is effective at it. Even for the country, there will definitely be a benefit,” a source commented. Recent opinion polls have shown that the actor Volodymyr Zelensky is likely to beat incumbent Poroshenko by a significant margin in the second round of presidential elections.
“Why did Georgia succeed?” – the name of a well-known book, which has long been a kind of memoir. Paraphrasing it in the context of the results of the first round of the race, as well as preparing for the second one, I would like to ask: “Why did not Poroshenko succeed?”. “I did not lose a single campaign ,” he confidently said at a press conference a little over a year ago when the question of the prospect of non-re-election for the second term was raised for the first time. By the start of the race – came in complete confidence in being able to win. Let not immediately, but still. However, on March 31, 2019, this loss has happened. Almost a two-fold lag from a comedian actor, Vladimir Zelensky, will not be called otherwise. Almost immediately, Petr Alekseyevich stated: “The caught was one of the most difficult lessons in life.” Lessons, from which he is determined to draw the substantive conclusions. There is a week before the second round. Two of the past two, instead of competition, pursued the goals, programs, and development strategies of the country into a base-guilty party with analyzes , video contests , and a tug of debate. One candidate, having already heard the smell of triumph, frankly favors over all who call him seriously, in depth, and constructive; he will be supported and so – he knows that. Like the fact that special efforts can not be applied now. The second, aware of the prospect of losing, rushed into an aggressive attack – appealing to common sense, intimidating Putin , without deflection of black technology. Both, regrettably, remind Yanukovich. Poroshenko – in 2010, when Viktor Fedorovich, pushing his opponents with his elbows, gazted fiercely for power, striving to catch up in 2004 (few people remember, but at that time he looked rather respectable and almost decent, and gave many confidence). Zelensky – in 2012, when the parliamentary triumph of white-blue persuaded Victor Fedorovich in his exceptional righteousness, eternity and infallibility. He allowed himself to focus on “time for pleasure,” and to transfer things to his son. What is over – it is known. In 2019, between the two rounds, and in the case of Poroshenko, and Zelensky form won a victory over meaning. This is a distinctive feature of the current campaign. What should not be so much the “sharply green” elector, but – in many respects – the current power. Power in the broad sense. Yes, headed by the incumbent President. In this regard, the question of why “Poroshenko did not succeed” implies not only his own (although the main claims, of course, personally to him), but also the era he had constructed, the actual rules of “political culture”, new traditions, etc. . Including the frustration and fatigue of people from “progressive expats”, the crowds of “young democrats”, “progressive public” and so on. How and why – find out in the text. It’s time. Two. The gap between the favorites – in absolute numbers – 2.7 million votes. Objectively, eliminating such a significant gap in three weeks is impossible. The maximum is to cut (with a focus on the subsequent parliamentary), and even then insignificant. Sociology is not definitely the truth in the last instance, but the latest figures (the “Rating” group , not published after my “illumination” of Razumkov, my own measurements of the Bank) do not leave hope for Petr Alekseyevich. From the word at all. Of course, theoretically, chances always exist. And the fall of the meteorite to the ground, and the victory of Petro Poroshenko. However, on the sidelines of power – from Bankova and to the most remote OGA; in the offices of large businessmen; the offices of economists, activists, and even Western diplomats are already thinking about what “Ukraine will be under Zelensky.” The question is important, there is no dispute. But it’s equally important to figure out which path the fifth President of the country has been in for five years and what mistakes were made already at the final stage – during the electoral race. Understand to avoid repeating. Let’s try.
Part one Poroshenko between the two tours
“Of course, we did not expect such a big break, I thought that there were six percent, well, ten, but not twice. It’s just amazing that the turnout did not play a role for us, but a competitor,” says a close associate of the President, not wanting to accept the obvious : the phenomenal figures of Zelensky are not so much his merit as hatred of power. The already mentioned sociology of “intellectuals” testifies: the opposition of Poroshenko is one of the most common motives behind the support of people of Zelensky (37.5%, in fact, the third position after “Ze is a representative of the younger generation” and “disappointment in professional politics”). When the shock went, it turned out that the core of the team Poroshenko took the failure quite calmly. “The main task was to bring Peter to the second round and to bring him there with Zelensky. We managed to do this,” says our interlocutor. “16% is a great deal for the parliamentary ones, and in the second round, Peter will increase in absolute terms, but the percentage gap is unlikely to be greatly reduced.” Moreover, if we assume that we are defeating Zelensky, this must be done with a serious overvaluation. But certainly not 51 against 49 – in such a lot it will be hard to believe and, therefore, to accept, “- adds. Perhaps this is precisely why there was no special mobilization on the Bank on April 1.
Thief, where ideas were collectively formulated and discussed, “tasks” “cut”, were not created. “All these years we had a thief in only in exceptional cases. Very exceptional,” one of the senior officials of the AP comments ironically, browsing the books in the office (what to pick up what to leave). The failure of the first round in the list of “exceptional cases” is obviously not included. And it’s not just the inclination of the President to make all decisions on his own. “Kovalchuk is still at the headquarters, and it is important to keep Berezenko up to parliamentary ones, but volunteers involved in door-to-door campaigning are simply not needed, they are turned off in the second round. Gryniv literally a few days after March 31 gave his suggestions “how to live next” – only five points. Do you think they were actively discussing inside us? If, in a word, everyone would be as if in fact, but in and of itself, in his sandbox “- describes the insider LB.ua. In the light of the foregoing, to ask the question: “What exactly to take in order to replay Zelensky?” Is somehow silly. Nevertheless, the calculations – both experts, and own estimates of AP – indicate: “zader” votes Poroshenko in the second round is (according to various estimates, it amounts to up to ten percent). And not using them – at least just to strengthen their own positions – is even more dumb. Well, the main task is to “climb” to the southeast, “explains one of the guarantor staffs (as the” clapping “to the south-east agrees with the absurd dismissal of Maxim Stepanov – a rhetorical question, – SK) .
Methods for this Bankova are as follows:
- “Poroshenko repeated several times: he” heard “Zelensky’s voters and those who voted for other candidates. Now he has to show this” heard “in concrete cases, like the President, he has an instrument.
- “Pear from third parties”. The fact that “the country needs the Powder” must be told by its supporters, the leaders of the opinions, it is not he himself. This approach is more trustworthy. “Ideally, if the intelligentsia, people who are thinking, are afraid of the possible consequences of the presidency of a comic and will talk about it as loudly as possible.”
- The date of the second round coincides with the Catholic Passover. These days in Europe traditional holidays and many Ukrainian “zabotchane” return home. Guarantine supporters are for some reason certain that people who have left the country because they can not make decent money here will still vote for the current government. However, even if so, more than three percent (with the most optimistic outline) to Petr Alexeiyevich this will not add.
- “Squeeze” appearances. For example, “pulling out” a competitor off-line, so that he , simply showing off his face without scenarios and banners, simply beat off his desire to support him. The lower the turnout, the more likely it is to successfully exploit the thesis: “Zelensky is a president with very low legitimacy, less than half of Ukrainians have been elected to him.”
Part Two How did you reach such a life?
“We fought with Tymoshenko, she was the main enemy. She did not pay attention to Zelensky’s attention, firstly, because she did not consider him a serious opponent, and secondly because it was thought to be young for him, and it was unwise for the youth to conflict “- says our interlocutor-staffer guarantor. “Over one million people went through Poroshenko’s Open Offices, these people were our supporters, they simply could not lie to everything in common.” The answer is different: citizens wanted to send politicians to the figures, all politicians of the old formation, “-” extends the frame “of his elder a colleague. “We did everything we needed and everything we could.” None of the “old” politicians took 16 percent of them – they simply got fed up with people. The best results are Zelensky and Smyshko, and they are not politics at all, “adds. Indeed, Ukrainians today hate power. Anyway In any of its manifestations. She simply does not trust. Unfulfilled promises, frank lie, juggling the obvious, aggressive rhetoric of pro-presidential “LOMs” (from deputies and officials to FB trolls) – all of this was accumulated as if it were a snowball. Unsold Roshen , the Maldives , a general business with Medvedchuk, Rotterdam + , an enthusiastic pursuit of opponents instead of a real constructive (Yatsenyuk and Saakashvili are just the most “convex” examples), a sudden martial law, theft in the defensive … It was simply impossible not to notice all this to a sane person. But he did not even try to explain the p-o-th-e-m-so happens, what’s the point, and the more so – how to fix the situation. Personnel findings? No, I have not heard. Honest dialogue with the people? Why? After all, many who come to Bankova seem to be there forever. And infallible. Who does not agree is Putin’s agent. Only people – ordinary Ukrainians – do not really like when they are considered fools. That and proved on March, 31st. “We had a lot of Fakapov, and they needed to” work out “, try to” shut “,” squeeze out “, and instead to” squeeze out a positive one. “Instead, the process started on” maybe. “It’s time.” Two – modern politics are built on trust. There is no confidence in Poroshenko now and for a couple of weeks he does not get it “, – the quoted columnist says. All these are global mistakes, strategic. Below is a list of tactical. Again: how they are seen on Bankova (no matter how strange they seemed). “It was not necessary to start the campaign” in the quarry “- to prepare in advance. Again: to” clean “the environment, to test the key points. But for some reason we thought that with the head of the state the demand was not the same as with the other candidates – a multiple of The result is that when he today promises radical transformations, nobody believes him. For why, if asked, was it not necessary to realize them – at least in part – in these five years? ” Lack of a large channel. “Well, if we had” Pros “or” Ukraine “, they would have produced their audience over the years,” they say in the AP, stubbornly refusing to admit:
- TV – only a channel of delivery of meanings, and if there is nothing to deliver, then even the media empire will not help.
- “A film was knocked in the village,” they say, analyzing the will of the periphery. To say, the image of Vasily Goloborodko is simple and understandable to a simple person – there is nothing to counter here.
- Unresolved bet on the mayors of major cities. Yes, in the capital Poroshenko’s result is more or less decent, but Odessa gave a modest nine percent (third place), Kharkiv and a gifted guarantor of the Dnieper – eight. “People nauchylys deyanyya Section of Central and mestnoy power” – poyasnyaet in an interview LB.ua svezheuvolennыy head Odesskoy OGA Stepanov . “For example, we will take Mayor Trukhanov or mayor of Izmail Abramchenko (his rating is 94.8%), they have campaigned. But we see that the ratings of mayors do not always affect the rating of the President,” – specifies.
- Unresolved bet on the slogan “Army, Language, Faith” . That is, how it did not work. Well, that’s fine, let’s say, for Lviv, it’s totally unacceptable for Kherson or Nikolayev. It is appropriate to proanovat here: at the present time, I continue to work on a large text, the task of which is to analyze Poroshenko’s defeat in the southeast in more detail. Also – the metamorphoses that have occurred with the conventionally white-and-white electorate over the past five years. Expect to visit the site soon.
Part three What next?
The fact that Zelensky really defeats is not very believable in the president’s team. Someone, as was said, packs books, others – plan long-awaited vacations. Short-term priorities are three: minimize the gap in the second round; prepare for the autumn, for parliamentary; try to unite their supporters in the Rada, in order to prevent a scenario of its early dissolution (it is unlikely, but it is still possible. On this subject, we are also preparing a separate text for now), as well as blocking Zelensky’s staff initiatives (which he himself is very fond of. I wanted, but I was not given, look, what kind of bad parliament, its attitude, attu “). The first one we discussed quite thoroughly above, that to the second, here the degree of attention is shifted to the area of party-building. As you know, the President is an honorary leader of the BPP Solidarity. Structures, as well as many parties of power, are much ephemeral (although with absolute indicators there is everything okay, but also the Party of Regions, NDP, and SDPU (o), in due time, the number of members, too, did not complain). It is still headed by Vitali Klitschko . He has written an application for the addition of appropriate powers (in accordance with the requirements of the law on state service) more than two years ago. Only the Solidarity Congress has not been held since then, so the statement has not been considered. But now it will be: the intentions to conduct their “Beat” on parliamentary independently Vitaly Vladimirovich absolutely does not hide . It used to be careful before, now it’s gone. Given that Klitschko himself intends to re-elect in Kyiv in 2020, in 2019, he will simply formally head the “Dyorovsky” list, bringing to parliament the maximum of supporters. One more associate of the guarantor, whose cooperation with which in October 2019 in the AP was counted another six months ago – Vladimir Groisman. However, all these half a year he was a pressured “affair of the Prodan” – he remained in fact hostage in Bankova, forcedly obediently fulfilling all of his pre-election “wishbacks”: from monetization of subsidies to raising pensions. Moreover, “sharing” in the public plane, achievements, which they considered (often quite rightly) their own.
But after a week the shackles will be dropped. And does it make sense to further Vladimir Borisovich to put his shoulder to Peter, Alekseevich, who had begun his career? Moreover , he, Vladimir Borisovich, expects to head the Cabinet until December(when the new Rada will work). What already even said LB.ua. There are no votes to replace Zelensky with him. And it is not foreseeable. Yes, and he can be arranged, Vladimir Borisovich, he knows how. Even from a public point of view, the situation is good – the continuity of power, everything. At the same time – the Attorney General Lutsenko. He also plans to retain his post. Let’s go – let’s see. On the “NF” in all its manifestations (“wing” Parubiya, “Avakov’s group, supporters of Turchinov) little hope: they have their own way (and not the fact that they still have all together). And who then will remain near Petro Alekseevich? Same thing. Even the “rebranding” of the party, eliminating the “binding” of his surname will not help. Well and Poroshenko is touching personally. According to some of his current colleagues, in the future he should concentrate on diplomatic work. Maybe even without an official post. “He knows this, knows how to, he loves. He’s effective in this, and there will certainly be benefits for the country,” they explain.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko traveled on April 12 to Berlin and Paris to seek international support ahead of the April 21 runoff.
One step away from the final: for whom and why is Ukraine voting? On April 11 opinion-poll based ratings of the candidates for President were released for the first time after the first election round. In the second ballot 61 per cent of Ukrainians who intend voting are ready to cast their votes for showman…
In the first round of Ukraine’s 2019 presidential elections, over 30% voted for comic-turned-presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskyi, while under 16% supported the incumbent President Petro Poroshenko, who was elected after the Euromaidan revolution sent Viktor Yanukovych fleeing to Russia. This happened despite the fact that Volodymyr Zelenskyi has zero political experience, is struggling to put together a team and program, avoids live interviews and debates on political issues, and gathered his impressive popularity rating thanks to ample airtime of his comic group Kvartal 95 and the TV series “Servant of the People,” where he plays the president of Ukraine, on the wavelengths of one of Ukraine’s largest TV channels belonging to oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi. This is at least surprising given the fact that Ukrainian society was thought of having matured after Euromaidan. We met with Iryna Bekeshkina, a Ukrainian sociologist who directs the Ilko Kucheriv “Democratic Initiatives” fund, on the sidelines of the Kyiv Security Forum to understand the Zelenskyi phenomenon amid changes among regular Ukrainians after the revolution of 2013-2014. How has Ukrainian society changed after Euromaidan, and how does Zelenskyi fit in these changes? I would say that what happened now with Zelenskyi is also a result of Euromaidan. Because after Euromaidan there was a lot of optimism and hopes that didn’t materialize. Maybe they were inflated, maybe because the authorities didn’t do all they should. Now some of those hopes have been resurrected: it’s optimism, hope for the better, hope for a person not from the old politics… This is also a result of Euromaidan, in a way. After Euromaidan, people hoped that things would change; but were they ready to take up the responsibility to enact those changes? No. Some changes occurred after Euromaidan because of the war. Ukrainian civic society activated because of the war, because they needed to save Ukraine. The volunteers, the crowdfunding for the army, this all was there, and it activated civil society significantly. And the support of people for civil society grew, so this changed. Apart from that, we asked how many people donated money for different civic activities. Before the Euromaidan, it was 27%, now the number is stable – 40%. Well, after Euromaidan it was 47%, then 45%, 42%, but now it’s stable at 40%. But unfortunately, the people themselves have not become more active. They are hoping that civil society will make everything well, which will achieve everything, they idealize it to a great extent. And for them, Zelenskyi is from there.
In Ukraine, the debate heating up as the country prepares for the second round of presidential elections on 21 April. The two finalists to the second round, political novice, comic actor Volodymyr Zelenskyi who had taken the lead with over 30%, and incumbent President Petro Poroshenko who is trailing behind with under 16%, have camps of supporters who clash so severely that some fear Ukrainian society is getting irreversibly polarized. Although both candidates declare their pro-western course, the supporters of Poroshenko accuse Zelenskyi to be tolerant to Russian aggression and unable to withstand Putin, serving oligarch Kolomoyskyi’s interests. At the same time, Poroshenko is accused of corruption. Though the existing evidence of corruption incriminates Poroshenko’s close colleagues who, admittedly, still walk free, and not him directly, this cloud of corruption overshadows any other Poroshenko’s achievements of the last 5 years. To understand where the real division between two groups of voters lies, let’s look on the most important strengths and faults of candidates, to which their supporters and opponents appeal. Professionalism The pre-recorded interview of Zelenskyi with journalists of the ICTV channel started with the question “You are in politics already for three months. What are your impressions?” Zelenskyi’s opponents point to the irony in this question, arguing that a person with three months of political experience can’t be a president. Zelenskyi answered in the same interview: “Who is in our team? We are all not from politics. We are from TV, we’re artists, producers. How we will win the elections? We will. Isn’t it an example of how we can win without a professional team, without experience? It is.” Poroshenko is totally different in this regard. He is in politics since 1998. He was an MP in the Verkhovna Rada several times, the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (2005), and the minister of Foreign Affairs (2009-2010) during Yushchenko’s presidency. He also was Minister of Economic Development and Trade at the time of Viktor Yanukovych’s presidency. Being one of the Ukrainian oligarchs himself, Poroshenko is blamed to be from the old system, unable to break up old personal ties and implement reforms with required passion. Zelenskyi hints about Poroshenko in his presidential program. He writes: “For 28 years, Ukraine was managed by ‘professional state-makers,’ and today it is a simply uncompetitive state… Current politics are tied to old images, nepotism, business projects… My main task is to bring decent and patriotic specialists to power.” Indeed, if the goal is to change tge staff, not policies, three months of political experience may be enough for Zelenskyi. However, a candidate should have at least a basic understanding of presidential responsibilities and constitutional powers. For a long time, Zelenskyi’s opponents found it hard to accuse Zelenskyi of being ignorant about politics in a fact-based manner. According to the famous philosophical rule, there is no possibility to prove the absence of something and to speak in any way about nothingness. The same went for Zelenskyi — he hasn’t told much about his future policies and hasn’t shown many team members yet. It was hard to criticize him, unlike Poroshenko. However, after his political demands to Poroshenko on 3 April, a piece of strong evidence finally appeared. The candidate confused the key responsibilities of Parliament and President. The number of demands, among others, includes such things as: ensure adoption of the law on the cancellation of the declaration of incomes and expenses for public activists. HOWEVER, the president can’t ensure the adoption of any law, even by the influence of his party which doesn’t hold the majority alone. restart the NAZK (National Agency for Prevention of Corruption) by new staff appointments. HOWEVER, NAZK is an institution appointed by the Cabinet, NOT by the president. publish a list of Poroshenko’s offshore companies, banks in which these companies have accounts, as well as financial statements of these companies over the past five years. BUT all data about property, assets, and deposits of Poroshenko is already publicized. Poroshenko, obviously, is an expert in the field of international relations diplomacy, military, and security issues due to his experience, but his key problem seems to be with his team members. The candidates’ teams Loud scandals involving the top members of Poroshenko’s political team inflicted a devastating blow to the reputation of the incumbent president, especially against the backdrop of Poroshenko’s billions of hryvnias of wealth. These scandals created the image of Poroshenko as the chief of corruption in Ukraine, stealing even from the defense industry. Although there is still no evidence of Poroshenko trying to make illegal profits himself, his disregard of the violations of his colleagues as well as the reluctance of the NABU (National anti-corruption bureau of Ukraine), which is subjected to the President, to investigate loud cases made a bad reputation for him. Here are just a few cases: In 2016, Ihor Kononenko, former deputy head of the Poroshenko Bloc, was accused of lobbying the appointment of desired people to managing positions of the main state enterprises. According to Aivaras Abromavicius, Minister of economic development and trade of that time who now professes his support for Zelenskyi, Ihor Kononenko and other members of Poroshenko’s political party were blocking the work of the ministry and there were from the President’s Administration to appoint desired people. Finally, Aivaras Abromavicius resigned, willing “to simplify the task of Kononeko and his team.” Next to none of the policemen who killed 106 protesters during the Euromaidan revolution were punished over the five years after the uprising. Law enforcement agencies claim this to be a failure of the Prosecutor’s office, which is subordinated to the president. In 2016, Poroshenko made a scandalous decision to appoint Yuriy Lutsenko as Prosecutor General. Lutsenko is unskilled for this particular position, as he doesn’t have a law degree. However, he was a close ally of Poroshenko, never opposing the President’s will. Generally, 2016 became the year when Poroshenko tried to consolidate power around himself by changes in the government and a number of new appointments which were criticized by civil society. The latest corruption-related scandal in the Ukrainian state defense monopolist Ukroboronprom had hit Poroshenko especially hard. Oleh Hladkovskyi, the First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council appointed by the President, and his son Ihor Hladkovskyi were the main officials who managed purchases of the details for the military vehicles from fictitious companies by an overcharge. A Bihus journalist investigation claimed that President’s friends laundered at least US$9.2mn in state defense procurements. After the first round of elections, Poroshenko recognized that he made mistakes with staff appointments. He talked about this at the meeting with civil activists on 6 April and signed the resignation letter of Andryi Hordieiev, the Head of Kherson Oblast Administration who was possibly implicated to the murder of the journalist Kateryna Handziuk, a whistleblower exposing local corruption schemes. Oleh Hladkovskyi, accused of money laundering in the defense industry, was also dismissed by Poroshenko. However, when Poroshenko was asked in the ICTV interview to name all the team members whom he will dismiss and who are guilty, he shied away from the question, answering that “no business partners, no close people will be appointed by Petro Poroshenko anymore while he is president, including during the second term.” Volodymyr Zelensky’s team is still not completely known, but the personalities who have already been named are also not absolutely clean. “In the sphere of bills and ideology, we have about 50 people. These are serious practitioners, PhDs, professors, this is the level of people involved in lawmaking, the level of very powerful economists who have a good education, including Harvard University.” – Ruslan Stefanchuck, “the head in the sphere of ideology” from Zelenskyi’s team, explained. Yet, among the already known members of Zelenskyi’s headquarters, there are several persons linked to Russia or to oligarch Kolomoyskyi. Dmytro Razumkov, the main political advisor of Zelenskyi, gives rise to suspicions. He usually acts as the spokesman for Zelenskyi’s team. Yet, in 2006 he began his political career in the Party of the Regions, led by ex-President Yanukovych. Therefore, it’s no surprise that he is quite pro-Russian or, at least, indifferent to Ukrainian national identity. He commented that: “Questions about [the Ukrainian] language are raised before the elections, which is a problem. In fact, everything that can divide Ukrainians: faith, language, territory, some historical leaders – need to be taken out of the equation, at least until we finish the war.” The ties between Zelenskyi and oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi are quite obvious, despite Zelenskyi denying them. Kolomoyskyi supports the candidate by the media-coverage at his 1+1 channel, giving all the prime-hours to him, and even provides his guards for Zelenskyi. The recent Bihus.info journalist investigation revealed that Andriy Bohdan, Ihor Kolomoyskyi’s main lawyer, is usually present at Zelenskyi’s headquarters as a kind of “observer.” Also, he presents Zelenskyi at the most important official meetings. Finally, during the last three months, he had flown 20 times from Kyiv to Geneva – from Zelenskyi’s headquarters to Ihor Kolomoyskyi’s. Zelenskyi still didn’t name who will be appointed for the key offices in the case of his victory (such as Minister of the Foreign affairs, Minister of defense, Head of Security service). Yet, on 9 April, his team published an expanded list of experts who currently advise the candidate. The list contains some well-known and experienced politicians such as former Finance Minister Oleksandr Danyliuk and former Minister of Economic Development and Trade Aivaras Abromovicius, as well as former Deputy Minister of Justice Ruslan Riaboshapka. These skilled persons were among the reformers and members of anti-corruption initiatives in the governments of 2014-2018 but all left the government due to disagreement with particular policies of the prime minister. However, their role in the team of Zelenskyi is still not clear since they didn’t state anything publicly on this behalf. Moreover, Marta Bersh doesn’t know anything about her possible appointment as Prosecutor General, journalists uncovered. She is an American but used to work as a prosecutor in the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau for some time. Zelensky’s team included her to the list of their team members as a future Prosecutor General without notifying her. Moreover, they even mistakenly wrote her foreign surname in a Ukrainian manner – Borshch instead of Bersh, claiming she is a Ukrainian. Regarding the other members of the team, they’re rather unknown and come mainly from business. Oleg Bondarenko, head of the Green Fund, joined the team of Zelensky as an expert on ecology and law. However, leading Ukrainian eco-NGOs such as “Ecology, people, law” know nothing about this “Green Fund.” The web-page of the Fund started to be quite active only in 2019. Oleksandr Kharebin, Zelensky’s adviser on language and information policy, has been working for pro-Russian oligarch Kurchenko and Taruta. In an interview he expressed views which stand far away from Ukraine’s current policy of decommunization and support for national language and culture: “Ukraine, in my opinion, makes the greatest mistake in refusing the past heritage of the Soviet Union, that which is the basic value for Ukraine [emphasis ours – EP]. Why did we give the Great Patriotic War to Russia? In my opinion, it’s a mistake. Why do we not speak about the Russian language as an important part of the Ukrainian community?” Program and course for the next 5 years The difference in the programs of candidates is simply explained: Poroshenko appeals to the things which were already done, such as the visa-free regime with EU, international support for Ukraine, military improvement, new missiles, stabilization of economy, decentralization. Poroshenko emphasizes the need to continue and finish reforms as well as to overcome poverty. In his program, Poroshenko defines explicitly the course in international relations: International sanctions against the aggressor are firmly tied to the complete de-occupation of the Ukrainian Donbas and Ukrainian Crimea, and all our citizens and territories must return to Ukraine’s sovereignty.” “Peace is a complete restoration of the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence of Ukraine. Peace is Moscow’s undeniable recognition of our right to go our own way” Zelenskyi makes populist promises regarding the rise of economy and income. His program contains little explanation as to how goals like this one could be achieved: “The state budget must become a national treasury, not a system of interests of people’s deputies.” The other key point is the power of people through local and national referendums which should become a widespread practice in Ukraine. Zelenskyi promises a decline in taxes and the rise in social payments and salaries for teachers simultaneously. Zelenskyi also promises a free land market as well as the liberalization of the economy. However, whether this liberalization will facilitate large oligarchs’ or small enterprises, as well as how it should be implemented – this would be interesting to hear from Zelenskyi during debates. Once Zelenskyi’s team promised to raise salaries for teachers to $4000. They calculated that this would cost an overall $200 mn annually, but made elementary arithmetic mistakes – in reality, this could cost $2 bn per month to the state budget. When the mistake was pointed out, they simply edited the video. The first ten steps to be done were announced by Zelenskyi’s team, not himself. They include mainly the continuation of current reforms which already started. Among the novel proposals are economic laws on a tax amnesty in order to legalize the shadow economy. Another proposal outlines the possibility for citizens to solve their disputes not only in the courts but through mediation as well. Important points proposed by Zelenskyi are to clearly define the difference between General Staff and Ministry of Defense and to Invite the USA and Great Britain to the Normandy Group, a diplomatic group of senior representatives from Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and France to resolve the war in eastern Ukraine. However, security questions, and, particularly, the war in eastern Ukraine – the main responsibilities of the president – are not properly addressed. “National interests and territories cannot be the subject of any negotiations,” states Zelenskyi in his program. At the same time, his main goal is “that shooting stops” in eastern Ukraine. Zelenskyi told this in an interview with Ukrayinska Pravda and continued that “I think it’s possible to come to an agreement. The first is to stop killing. It is important to save our people. We have Minsk agreements today that do not work very well. Of course, I would really like them to work.” There are no details about how he plans to negotiate. Poroshenko didn’t announce any clear plan for the reintegration of Crimea and Donbas as well. His main point seems to keep the growth of Ukrainian military capabilities and keep international pressure on Russia. Pro-Russian and anti-Russian This division is not what candidates tell about themselves but how their opponents try to portray them. Yet, the logic of opponents has reasons. Some western media have praised these elections due to the absence of pro-Russian candidates among the leaders and quite low Russian influence. However, Russian media and politicians openly tell that Zelenskyi is their preferred candidate. Particularly, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a Russian far-right politician, the leader of LDPR party, radically spoke out in support of Zelenskyi: “There can be no talk about the victory of Poroshenko. But if Zelenskyi remains, then … Well, I like his name – also Vladimir, and Lenin was Vladimir. Vladimir is sitting in the Kremlin. And the map is great … [If it is Zelensky] then yes, I will recognize the elections… And he already drew a map. I dream about it. So that’s how Ukraine should be.” What is this map that Zhirinovsky mentioned? It comes from Zelensky’s film “Servant of the People,” where the candidate shows Ukraine as a number of separate territories, where each region has its own army and government. Zhirinovsky’s words gain greater importance in the light of documents of his LDPR party which were hacked in 2014. In them, hackers found a plan named “Pinocchio.” It describes a Russian political technology plan to bring a comedian into Ukrainian parliament, artificially support the discontent with the Ukrainian elites and in that way establish a pro-Russian and negotiable President. Indeed, since Zelenskyi tells little about his policies, the most promising way to understand his views is to analyze his film. Alexander J. Motyl, a professor of political science at Rutgers University-Newark, was among the first to use such an approach. He concluded that Ukraine is depicted almost completely Russian-speaking in the film, and most Ukrainians speaking Ukrainian look like radicals. In reality, Ukrainian is spoken at least as often as Russian in Ukraine and is used overwhelmingly within the government and state institutions. Ukrainian corruption is also significantly exaggerated and shown as the main problem in Ukraine, together with the complete absence of Russia, Russian aggression, or Putin in the film. In this alternative world, Crimea and the Donbas seem to be not occupied, and Ukrainian soldiers are not dying on a daily basis. Zelenskyi used to joke about Ukrainians and humiliate them in his shows. And now Ukrainian volunteers, priests, veterans and activists started to remind him about that and urge to apologize. The flashmob “I give you 24 hours” started in Ukrainian social networks, joking about Zelenskyi’s video where he gives Poroshenko 24 hours to accept his conditions for debates. What do people ask in their videos? Kseniya Klym, a warrior from Donbas, asked Zelenskyi to apologize for his cynicism at jokes about the Tomos, the bill of independence for the Ukrainian church which was obtained in January 2019. “In January of this year, you allowed yourself to ridicule the values that are sacred for me, my relatives and millions of Ukrainians. You laughed at Tomos and the Ukrainian Autocephaly. You are the descendant of the sons of Abraham and the representative of the Jewish people and know well what are the holy and untouchable topics. Why did you allow yourself to laugh at what is sacred to me?” A similar video came from the priest Oleksandr Dediukhin. Iryna Herashchenko, First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, asked Zelenskyi to apologize for his humiliation of disabled children and children with Down’s syndrome. “We have been working hard to implement inclusive education, and have fought for the rights of disabled children for employment and self-fulfillment. Europe is, above all, respect for human rights, respect for other people.” Ivan Lepich, a veteran from Rivne, appealed to Volodymyr Zelenskyi and asked him how a person calling Ukraine “an actress for German films for adults” and naming the war in Donbas as “moving borders aside” can aim for the position of President. He also gave Zelensky 24 hours. Poroshenko, on the other hand, is portrayed by his opponents as a Putin hater and even the President who suppresses Russian-speakers. There was no single fact of Poroshenko deciding to discriminate against Russian-speakers, but this is a message spread by Russian propaganda and, also, by people indifferent to questions of national identity which Poroshenko stresses in his speeches. This portrait of being a enemy of Putin is something which Poroshenko’s oppoarenents dislike. Poroshenko is blamed for speculating on the issue of war, especially against the background of economic problems and poverty. But Poroshenko’s pre-election strategy exploited this image – he was portrayed as the only president who can withstand Putin. The billboards put up around the country a few days ago are a good illustration: Poroshenko is shown facing off Putin. Poroshenko’s team says the boards suggest that the President should be powerful enough in order to withstand Putin’s aggression, including at the time of hard negotiations. However, Zelenskyi’s supporters, and, particularly, the former candidate for the Presidency Anatoliy Hrytsenko say that such boards imply Zelenskyi is pro-Russian and voters should choose between Putin and Poroshenko, which is a manipulation. However, the day before the boards were installed, Poroshenko told on TV that he doesn’t have any facts to accuse Zelenskyi of being pro-Russian. But he thinks that Zelenskyi has not enough knowledge, experience, and strength to withstand Putin.
After the results of the first round of Ukrainian elections were announced on 31 March, it seemed incumbent President Poroshenko with his 16% result has little chances of outrunning showman Zelenskyi, who has 30%, at the second round which will take place on 21 April. However, Zelenskyi’s first steps in the second round have now given reason for doubt, giving Ukrainian voters a glimpse into the real character of the virtual candidate best known for his role of president in the TV-series “Servant of the People.” Here is what took place in the first week after the first round. “I agree to debate, but…” When the results of the exit polls were announced after the first round, President Poroshenko declared that, prior to the final vote, a live debate must take place between the presidential candidates. Zelenskyi on that day hinted he might agree to it, but later backtracked with a frivolous declaration that he’ll come to the debates only if his comic troop’s schedule allows. According to Ukrainian law, debates must take place on the last Friday before the second round – that is, 19 April – in the studio of the public broadcaster. The broadcaster had sent invitations to attend debates to the three leading candidates prior to the first round, but both Zelenskyi and Poroshenko had ignored them. Only second runner-up Yuliya Tymoshenko had come, and was swiftly gone. During the campaign, Zelenskyi had avoided live broadcasts and had not showed up for at least two interviews he had promised to come to. So, naturally, the intrigue grew: would he muster the courage to show up to live debates and give audiences a whiff of Zelenskyi the politician-to-be, not the actor he is known as so far? Then, suddenly, the first video came like a bolt out of the blue.
Ukrainian volunteers of the Myrotvorets Center, a Ukrainian NGO running an online database of personalities linked to Russian aggression, have shared a dump of a hacked email box belonging to a former member of illegal military formations of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), who owns a cryptocurrency trading platform. One of the email messages sent by an FSB operative informs that they “have approved the budget for the actions of the comedian” and orders to withdraw 200,000 (the currency isn’t mentioned, allegedly US dollars) and “hand them over as we had agreed,” another confirms the plan to fulfill it on the next day, one more email informs a local office of Zelenskyi campaign on the amount. Euromaidan Press verified the information. It turns out that the hack is most probably authentic, but it is impossible to completely verify the most compromising messages. Hack and finds On 7 April, NGO Myrotvorets Center published the fourth part of their “Operation Regata” alleging they have discovered and confirmed the fact that the campaign of the leader of the Ukrainian presidential race, Volodymyr Zelenskyi, was partially funded by Russia via a cryptocurrency trading site owned by a former pro-Russian mercenary in the Donbas. The proof came from an e-mail box on the Russian webmail service mail.ru, which Myrotvorets hacked and monitored for an unknown period of time. The NGO shared the dump of the email account so that anyone can check and validate the e-mail messages. Moreover, Myrotvorets provided videos showing the process of the validation of the messages which contain a DKIM e-signature and explaining how to validate messages when the email body was reformatted during forwarding.
Ukraine’s presidential election, in which a popular comedian with no political experience is projected to beat a seasoned incumbent with considerable baggage, reflects global trends that continue to shake the global order. Across the world, economic stagnation, immigration, and other challenges are fueling disgust with traditional politics, leaving voters increasingly attracted to candidates who offer a fresh face and a new approach — even if (or especially if) the candidates are novices and their agendas are vague. The question is whether, over time, novice leaders (whether in the United States, Ukraine, or elsewhere) adapt to the post-war arrangements that have served the world well for three-quarters of a century, or those arrangements fall victim to unorthodox approaches that new leaders promise and voters seem increasingly willing to try. ADVERTISEMENT That’s a timely question as freedom and democracy are declining around the world, Washington is cooling toward its Western allies and eschewing multilateral trade opportunities, Beijing is promoting an authoritarian alternative to U.S.-led freedom, China and Russia are working more closely in an anti-U.S. axis, and nuclear weaponry threatens to proliferate and further destabilize the world. On April 21, Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedian who pretends to be President in a Ukrainian TV show, squares off against the actual incumbent President, Petro Poroshenko, who has served since 2014. In their battle, Zelensky and Poroshenko symbolize the unsettling global politics of our time. First, it’s a battle between old and new. Zelensky is what the ancient philosophers called a “Tabula Rasa” (a blank slate), for he has offered few ideas about what he would propose or whether he can work the mechanics of a parliamentary government. The same forces that may catapult him to victory, however, offer him a huge opportunity. Only 9 percent of Ukrainians express confidence in their government, which is the world’s lowest level for a second straight year, so the bar that he must clear to satisfy public thirst may be a modest one. To succeed, Zelensky would need an effective reform agenda that increases public confidence by reducing corruption, nourishing transparency, and addressing the country’s serious economic problems. Poroshenko is as experienced as Zelensky is green. An oligarch known as the “Chocolate King” for his great financial success in confectionaries, he was first elected to Parliament more than 20 years ago. He served in the governments of Presidents Leonid Kuchma, Viktor Yushchenko, and Viktor Yanukovych and helped establish different political parties between stints as a Parliamentarian. He won the Presidency in 2014 and, since then, has fought Russian-backed forces on the battlefield, sought a diplomatic solution to the conflict, and reoriented Ukraine away from Russia and towards the West. Now, however, living standards in Ukraine are falling, and despite Poroshenko’s promise to sell his business upon taking office, the “Panama Papers” revealed that he merely moved its assets elsewhere. The same public disgust with economic stagnation, population migration, and unresponsive government that’s boosting novice candidates all over the world could well catapult another one to the top spot in Kiev — especially one running against an incumbent who has profited so much from the status quo. Second, it’s a battle between stability and a roll of the dice. ADVERTISEMENT Even when fed-up populations aren’t changing leaders, they’re forcing radical change through other means in even the most traditional of countries, perhaps without fully appreciating the consequences. That, apparently, is what’s happened in Britain, where voters opted for a “Brexit” from the European Union in a 2016 public referendum but where Prime Minister Theresa May still can’t gather the votes in Parliament around a plan to leave the EU without sending Britain’s economy into a tailspin. Whether, in Ukraine, a projected new President will find less disruptive means to address economic concerns is anyone’s guess. Third, it’s a battle between hope and fear. That, in unsettled times, fear is an effective campaign tool is hardly breaking news. Donald Trump rode fears of lost jobs and falling wages due to immigration to victory, and Benjamin Netanyahu has long retained office by stoking Israeli security fears were his opponents ever to win. Well behind in the polls, Poroshenko is stoking fears about what Zelensky could mean for his besieged country. With Ukraine at war with Russia-controlled proxies, he’s calling for “a total mobilization of all Ukrainian patriots,” denouncing such adversaries as “pseudo-patriots” and “open agents of the Kremlin,” and warning that Zelensky will push Ukraine toward Russia and away from the West. To be clear, change is often necessary. The post-war global order was, in fact, a dramatic change itself when the U.S.-led West began laying the groundwork for it while the Allies were still fighting the Axis powers. For Ukraine, the question is whether a projected new leader can reassure a potentially skeptical West by taking reasoned and effective steps to address corruption, raise living standards, and keep Russia at bay. Lawrence J. Haas, senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council, is the author of, most recently, “Harry and Arthur: Truman, Vandenberg, and the Partnership That Created the Free World”.
ArianaGic/АріянаҐіць on Twitter: “#Zelensky is a draft dodger. #Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence sent him FOUR conscription requests in 2014-2015. All were ignored. He never served in the army, even when his country called upon him to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. https://t.co/ny0uZU08Gn… https://t.co/w0SuWv0g11”
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine conducted an inspection of the presence of Vladimir Zelensky on military records in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine on Facebook announces that V.O. Zelensky is in military registration of the military men in the Metallurgical-Dovgyntsy united regional territorial center for manning and social support of Kryviy Rih from December 22, 2008 and till now, the military rank is a soldier, a military -accounting specialty – clerk of office work, informs Цензор.НЕТ. It is noted that Zelensky was fit for military service, but she did not pass. “To summon a citizen during the mobilization Zelensky V.O. sent a summons dated April 15, 2014, June 23, 2014, on August 15, 2014, on May 10, 2015, at the address specified in his registration documents. Citizen Zelensky V. O. to the military commissariat did not arrive at the call “, – the Ministry of Defense reports. See also: Poroshenko invited Zelensky to debate tomorrow at the NSC “Olimpiysky”: “Come back, come and talk finally with people.” VIDEO Zelensky four times avoided calling for military service in 2014-2015 – Defense Ministry (updated) 01 Recall that People’s Deputy from the People’s Front fraction Tatyana Chornovil asked the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine to confirm or refute the information about the alleged evasion of the showman, and now the candidate for president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky from mobilization in 2014. Source: https://censor.net.ua/en/n3122139
Yesterday at 20:02 | ID: 49043 In connection with the numerous requests of journalists on the response to the petitions of People’s Deputies of Ukraine, Brigintsa O.M., Mamchura Y.V., Chornovil T.M., Bonadar M.L., the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine informs that the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine an examination was carried out on the residence of a citizen Zelensky Volodymyr Oleksandrovych on military records in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. We inform that a citizen Zelensky VO is in military registration of military personnel in the Metallurgical-Dovgyntsevsky united regional territorial center of manning and social support of the city of Kryvyi Rih from December 22, 2008 and to date, the military rank is a soldier, a military-account specialty is a clerk of clerical work. Fit for military service. Military service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not occur. For a call during the mobilization of a citizen Zelensky V.O. reminders were sent: 04/15/2014, 06/23/2014, 08/15/2014, 10/05/2015 at the address specified in his personal documents. Citizen Zelensky VO to the military commissariat did not arrive on this request.
If the Defense Ministry’s message of evasion is true and not an election PR, the following should be a statement by the military prosecutor’s office about when this information was received when the case was instituted, who was leading it, what actions were taken on Zelensky’s search in 2014-2019, why did not enter the search database and closed the exit. This was written by Chief Editor Tsensor.NET in Facebook. “It turns out that the Ministry of Defense has for four years been catching an evil deserter by Volodymyr Zelensky, who, as the MO informed, before the second round, evaded four times the mobilization summit in 2014,” he said. According to the journalist, if Zelensky really did so, the Ministry of Defense “had, under the law, been obliged to submit materials for the absence of a draft evader to the National Police for the purpose of providing a drive or delivery in the course of these five years, and in case of impossibility to reveal a deflector to apply to the Main Military Prosecutor’s Office , and about Zelensky had to apply the following actions:
- To impose a fine of 17 hryvnias for failure to appear in the military office – four times.
- To break the case under Article 210-1 of the Administrative Code (violation of the legislation on defense, mobilization training and mobilization), provides for a fine of 170-510 UAH for avoiding mobilization.
- Since the summons were four, then the repeated penalty for evasion – 510-1700 UAH.
- To break the case under Art. 336 of the Criminal Code (evasion from the call for mobilization) and condemn Zelensky for a term of two to five years imprisonment.
- Criminal case under art. 336 automatically would have made it impossible to conduct the Green tour, the election campaign, departures from Paris to Macron, since Zelensky would be wanted or detained at one of the public events until he was registered as a presidential candidate. “
“All this had to be done if the Ministry of Defense turned to the National Police and really looked for Zelensky, while Zelensky did evade mobilization,” adds the journalist. Butusov stresses that the limitation period has not expired, so the Ministry of Defense, the National Police and the Prosecutor’s Office can act directly now, because the case is resonant. “The main military prosecutor’s office is now to give a legal assessment and determine the extent of responsibility of the officials of the Ministry of Defense and the National Police, who, knowing about the absence of deviant Zelensky, have not been presented with a summons or have not taken measures to detain a malicious defector during his repeated visits to the ATO zone for conducting concerts, were not detained during concerts in military units, in particular in the 95th and 72nd brigades. There are no candidates for immunity. If the MOU is true and not the election PR, then we are waiting for an urgent statement from the Chief Military Prosecutor’s Office about when information from the Ministry of Defense or the state of emergency about the evasion of Zelensky was received when the case was initiated, who was leading it, what actions to pursue Zelensky in 2014-2019 it was made, why did not enter the search database and closed the exit. Now law enforcement agencies have to respond to all of this, so that it becomes clear who is responsible. I think that now Volodymyr Zelensky is obliged to define his attitude to the army and the war. Without a response to these key issues, it will not be possible to enter the second round, “the journalist stressed, adding to the post a photo depicting Vladimir Zelensky and” 95 quarter “with the commander of the VDV Mikhail Zabrodsky. Recall that People’s Deputy from the People’s Front fraction Tatyana Chornovil asked the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine to confirm or refute the information about the alleged evasion of the showman, and now the candidate for president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky from mobilization in 2014. Later , the Ministry of Defense said: “To call for mobilization of a citizen Zelensky VO sent a statement on April 15, 2014, June 23, 2014, on August 15, 2014, on May 10, 2015, at the address specified in his accounting documents Citizen Zelensky VO did not arrive at the military commissariat
Today Emmanuel Macron will meet with Petro Poroshenko and Volodymyr Zelensky at various times
Kateryna_Kruk on Twitter: “I never thought I’d share anything from Tymoshenko, but this time she is very right addressing Poroshenko and Zelensky, saying that Poro shouldn’t become part of someone’s show and that Ze acted very undignified and humiliated the presidency and the state. https://t.co/Ehf8oqScpU”
Leader of the Batkivschyna party Yulia Tymoshenko has called on candidates for the presidency of Ukraine, incumbent head of state Petro Poroshenko and showman Volodymyr Zelensky, not to demean the status of presidency. “I saw the destruction of the status of presidency, I saw the humiliation of the Ukrainian state. I think, just like me, millions of Ukrainians, did not want to see this,” she said in a video posted on her Facebook page. Turning to Poroshenko, the politician advised the current head of state to keep the presidential bar and not to become part of someone else’s show. “No matter how difficult it is, to protect the status of presidency and the status of state,” she said. “I want to appeal to Volodymyr Zelensky. If you want to hold this post, take care of the dignity and honor of this position. You do not need to organize battles around it and you don’t need to, leading the struggle for the right to become president, destroy the honor and pride of presidential status,” Tymoshenko said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyi on the TV channel 1 + 1 answered Petro Poroshenko “as he thought fit.” This is stated by the presidential candidate in the second part of the interview, published on the youtube channel and News of Ukraine, reports Tsensor.NET . “I do not like being offended. While I’m not a president yet, I can afford to be myself all the same, and I think that for the past five minutes, Mr. Poroshenko has done everything … This is another matter, as it relates to this society.For someone, he did everything to ensure that our country did not develop.Someone – he has his own supporters – believes that he has done everything he could for Ukraine.I do not undertake to evaluate his actions, I like to talk at all on an equal basis. Therefore, when I become president, if the people of Ukraine support me, and you would talk to me like and I was wrong, I would never have looked at the top because I am the president. Or, you know, I have been a very well-known person for many years, but I always photographed with people, I always communicate, I always hear, I speak about my shortcomings , do not crush anyone, “Zelensky said. The politician stressed that it is quite difficult to withdraw from himself. “I have been told so many times that I am a puppet and a drug addict that I have no respect for. I have respect for the presidential institution because it is a popularly elected president, but on a moral level, purely human, I believe that he is just insulting. Inside our company, Kvartal 95 studios, everyone knows that I have a fair amount of endurance. I forgive any human personally, not that I’m so upright: I forgive someone. I can offend a few times. I have no more cheeks, I have substituted the left, I have substituted the right. But I am alive. With me so much I responded as I could, as I thought fit, “explained the presidential candidate.
Volodymyr Zelensky did not want to go to the NSC “Olimpiyskiy” for delivery of analyzes, because on the eve he received a notification of the provocation that is being prepared there. This is stated by the presidential candidate in an interview published on the youtube channel of Ukrainian News, reports Censor . NET . ￼ “I know a couple of laboratories that take analyzes Eurolab I know just Palchevsky, that’s true. I know Boris, I know Misha Radutsky, I could go there or there I went to one of the two clinics I knew Misha Radutsky, incidentally, called then said: “Hear, I would come to us, we would not have been there, some strokes and mistakes in the certificates. Well, the girl was upset, I saw so many journalists, I can understand,” he said. Zelensky said he did not want to go to the NSC because he received a notification of a provocation that was being prepared. “All this is not a game and a serious decision for me. At stake, my fate, my children, my parents, my wife, so I did not play. Sometime after all these elections, information will be spilled on, as on the NSC” Olimpiysky “somebody was preparing I’m not going to go there, I’ll get this secret information, but now I’m not ready to talk about it. When you find out the information, you will understand me, “said the presidential candidate. “I really did not want to go to the NSC. The reason is very simple: I did not know what to do there with my analysis then. I do not blame anyone. See, maybe the information I received the day before is lying, so I do not blame anyone and did not turn to the police, “he said. When asked about the proposal for an independent laboratory proposed by Volodymyr Klitschko, Zelensky said: “Volodya Klitschko proposed it not as a great athlete, but as a person who suddenly began to participate in a political game. This is a bad story.” “I do not play speculation at all, I do not need to prove to society that I’m not a drug addict. See, I’m not him, and so it was all scary, painful, painful to me, but I’m a strong guy and not ready, you know, change in principle, the conditions and your positions. You decide, honestly, for me – or do not interfere, because at all I do not care only about my interests, therefore, I perceive so painfully, it offends me so, it is repeated analyzes or something else. I’m just such a person. I am a strong person, but sometimes it hurts me, so you have to understand me, I’m ready for anything. As journalists say, I hide, I do not hide when I’m humanly wanting to talk directly, as a husband and wife, I do not escape from anyone. When they are not attacking me, I never aggressively answer. I’m ready for everything. Ready to ride a bike, but in order to do this, we have to make our safe streets safe in our country. We want to do this. By the way, I’m not sure about a millionth that it will be tomorrow. I will not promise you anything, “said the presidential candidate.
The candidate for the post of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has revealed the details of the meeting with President of France Emmanuel Macron. — Ukrinform.
Ukrainian presidential election hopeful Volodymyr Zelensky shared his impressions following his Friday meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron. French media write that Paris sought to learn more about Zelensky’s views, therefore the meeting offer was accepted.
The presidential candidates to be on air on National Television Company of Ukraine and Radio Ukraine on April 17 and 18
The United States does not endorse any candidate in Ukraine’s presidential elections, but it supports certain principles, said US Special …
The Ministry of Internal Affairs asks the headquarters of presidential candidates Volodymyr Zelensky and Petro Poroshenko to refrain from radical appeals against each other in order to avoid artificial provocations. This was stated by the First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Serhiy Yarovyi, the press service of the department reports. According to him, the Interior Ministry will hold consultations with representatives of both headquarters on the eve of the debate between presidential candidates and before the second round of voting, and those wishing to watch the face-to-face meeting of Zelensky and Poroshenko at the NSC Olimpiysky should be ready for strengthened security measures at the site. “In addition, we will hold a series of meetings with representatives of both headquarters so that the” support groups “of candidates avoid offensive statements and provocative posters towards their opponents,” Yarovyi said He added that the Ministry of Internal Affairs will work closely with other law enforcement agencies. “We are approaching the final phase of the electoral process, and the atmosphere in society is tense. In the information space, the mood of open hostility between candidates is fueled, so our task is to prevent such situations. We call on both political forces to be loyal and tolerant to each other and swing the situation on the eve of the second round of elections”. He also urged the heads of law enforcement units to work closely with members of the public and explain to them the inadmissibility of violations of public order and the safety of citizens.
During the first presidential election round on 31 March, Ukrainians were impressed by photos from election points around the world. Hundreds of Ukrainians were photographed queueing to exercise their right to vote and select the country’s next president.
Why did Petro Poroshenko, Anatoliy Hrytsenko and Yulia Tymoshenko get more votes in Lviv Oblast, and Yuriy Boyko, Volodymyr Zelenskyi and Oleksandr Vilkul in Luhansk Oblast? Maybe we need to be more honest about these election results? Do Lviv residents really support corruption, general impoverishment, or populism? Do they want a man with an iron fist? Don’t they know how to organize their daily life? Do they live in the worst city in Ukraine? What’s been happening? Why did they support Chornovil against Kravchuk, Kravchuk against Kuchma, Kuchma against Symonenko, Yushchenko against Yanukovych, Tymoshenko against Yanukovych? Why have Luhansk residents always expressed diametrically opposite electoral viewpoints than their countrymen in Lviv? Whose choice is actually more promising? Today, everyone’s sayings that Poroshenko’s task is to convince Zelenskyi’s electorate. But, maybe Zelenskyi should try to persuade Poroshenko’s electorate? Or, persuade this electorate to listen to his arguments? Even if there are fewer of them… because they are part of the minority group that took part in the Revolution of Dignity. Actually, it’s not all these political figures that are so frightening, but Russia’s attempt to turn back the clock and push Ukraine back into a pro-Russian prison colony, where the Holodomor famine and the Great Terror have been duly justified and excused, where corruption has increased, where there is absolutely no future for the protection of Ukrainian culture and language, where Ukrainian media, radio and TV are humiliated and ridiculed on a daily basis. Do Ukrainians actually believe that that life was better in the Soviet Union than in France or Germany? More honest, more transparent? Easier? More comfortable? More democratic? Ukrainians want Poroshenko and Zelenskyi to explain their positions honestly and clearly, give open answers to journalists and society: what are we really going to do? With the Ukrainian language? With the fight against corruption? With the EU and NATO? With the tax system? With reforms of medicine, pensions, and local self-government? What will happen to the army? You can’t buy a pig in a poke at the expense of your own life, the lives of your children and the country. And, this applies equally and unequivocally to both candidates. People may object and say that some of these issues should not be addressed to the President, that they’re not within his competence. But, the President is a politician. He must have a vision for Ukraine’s strategic development. Of course, he won’t be able to implement everything unless he has a powerful faction in Parliament, but apparently both candidates plan to have such a faction.