Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (146)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Outgoing SACEUR on Russia risks, Russia severs cooperation with NATO and blames the West for Russian sins. Shevtsova aptly discusses Russia’s detachment from reality, lambasting an analytical community “who have chosen the path of propagandists. The analytic field must be weeded and the reputation of the profession restored,” something that will be “a difficult task.” “For the time being, we have what we have: a whole class of people who have made their profession that of escort services.” [some in the West would say the same of many Beltway Bandits]. NATO and Belarus updates.

Black Sea and Crimea updates – USN DDG71 enters Black Sea, more threats from Muscovy. Donbas update – more fire exchanges, more KIA. JFO conducts major IADS EX. An excellent debunking of Russian ethno-nationalist propaganda on Crimea and Donbas by the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group. Lt Gen Romanenko argues against an offensive to retake Crimea and Donbas.

40th Tac Air Bde is testing French LA100 bonedomes, apparently the two hundred Gentex HGU-55/E bonedomes provided by the ANG were too bulky for the tight Soviet fighter canopies. New BTR-3KSh C3 vehicle disclosed. Politics update.

Again, a deluge of election reporting. Zelenskiy produces another Youtube video lambasting Pres Poroshenko over criminal cases now in the courts, calling upon him to violate the independence of the judiciary, and falsely claiming Poroshenko has made no effort to get the captured sailors back. Some of the Zelensky comments are painful to read – moreso given how well they sell to voters. Multiple reports on weekend election developments.

The Head of the OCU Epiphanius calls upon the public to do their duty and vote, and calls for unity to prevent a Russian invasion. Germany returns to Ukraine Tsar Peter I’s Manifesto on the Ukrainian Church issued in 1708, that proves Russia usurped Constantinople’s powers to illegally annex the Ukrainian Church. More on Russian religious intolerance.


The chill in US-Russia relations has some worried about stumbling into a military conflict

The deep chill in U.S.-Russian relations is stirring concern in some quarters that Washington and Moscow are in danger of stumbling into an armed confrontation that, by mistake or miscalculation, could lead to nuclear war.

US-Russia chill stirs worry about stumbling into conflict

WASHINGTON (AP) — It has the makings of a new Cold War, or worse. The deep chill in U.S.-Russian relations is stirring concern in some quarters that Washington and Moscow are in danger of stumbling into an armed confrontation that, by mistake or miscalculation, could lead to nuclear war. American and European analysts and current and former U.S. military officers say the nuclear superpowers need to talk more. A foundational arms control agreement is being abandoned and the last major limitation on strategic nuclear weapons could go away in less than two years. Unlike during the Cold War, when generations lived under threat of a nuclear Armageddon, the two militaries are barely on speaking terms. “During the Cold War, we understood each other’s signals. We talked,” says the top NATO commander in Europe, U.S. Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, who is about to retire. “I’m concerned that we don’t know them as well today.” Scaparrotti, in his role as Supreme Allied Commander Europe, has met only twice with Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian general staff, but has spoken to him by phone a number of other times. “I personally think communication is a very important part of deterrence,” Scaparrotti said, referring to the idea that adversaries who know each other’s capabilities and intentions are less likely to fall into conflict. “So, I think we should have more communication with Russia. It would ensure that we understand each other and why we are doing what we’re doing.” He added: “It doesn’t have to be a lot.” The United States and Russia, which together control more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons, say that in August they will leave the 1987 treaty that banned an entire class of nuclear weapons. And there appears to be little prospect of extending the 2010 New Start treaty that limits each side’s strategic nuclear weapons.

Top US general: ‘I think we should have more communication with Russia’ | TheHill

A top U.S. Army general said in an interview published Sunday that the U.S. “should have more communication with Russia.”

Top U.S. General Calls for ‘More Communication With Russia’ to ‘Ensure’ Better Understanding

“During the Cold War, we understood each other’s signals. We talked,” U.S. Army General Curtis Scaparrotti said. “I’m concerned that we don’t know them as well today.”

US Military, Lawmakers Say Communication with Russia Needed to Avert Nuclear War – Sputnik International

According to a number of military officials, politicians and experts, a lack of communication between Moscow and Washington could potentially devolve into a nuclear conflict.

Russia breaks military and civil cooperation with NATO

Russian authorities reported about the cessation of the cooperation with NATO on military and civil lines. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Grushko, as Vidomosti reports. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs stated, “The Atlantic Alliance has gone too far in confrontation with Russia”. “NATO refused from the positive direction of the relationship with Russia. It just does not exist. Yet, until there are no hints that NATO knows how to solve this issue…NATO has gone too far in inciting confrontation with Russia. It is unclear where and when common sense will rule again. The paradox is that today’s relationship between Russia and NATO reminds greatly the ‘common’ state of affairs, when NATO was founded, during the cold war,” Grushko said.

Russia stops cooperation with NATO

15.04.19 15:20 – Russia stops cooperation with NATO Russia currently does not cooperate with NATO in any sphere. View news.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin Increasingly Detached from Reality as Moscow Analysts Act as Its Escort Service, Shevtsova Says

Paul Goble Staunton, April 14 – The Russian expert community which services the Kremlin is playing a much-underrated role in helping the powers that be to continue to operate, albeit in increasingly inadequate ways, on the basis of an upbeat view of Russia and its place in the world that is very much at odds with reality, Liliya Shevtsova says. In Russia today, the political analyst says, “an analytic ‘escort service’ has taken shape, whose role in the functioning of our system is still underrated.” It includes not only TV talk show performers but even “solid analysts, who have been able to create their own ‘narrative’ with pretensions to academic standards” (echo.msk.ru/blog/shevtsova/2407425-echo/). In fact, however, by carefully selecting what they say and don’t say, this “high class of experts” works more as propagandists than as analysts. They did not predict the consequences of raising pension ages. They did not talk in advance about the reaction of regions to the appointment of outsiders, Shevtsova says. And she then asks pointedly: can anyone point to “any of the respected experts with close ties to the regime who foresaw that ‘strengthening’ the border between Ingushetia and Chechnya could spark the explosion of the North Caucasus?” The answer to that question is no just as it is to the existence of such near-Kremlin experts on other sensitive issues. As a result, the Kremlin remains satisfied, convinced by such people that its vision of the world is correct, that it is not making any mistakes, and that there is no place for criticism or pessimism, even as a more objective view would suggest that the powers that be are making mistake after mistake after mistake. Like their Kremlin clients, Shevtsova continues, “our analytic gurus keep talking about the rotting of the West, about the disintegration of the liberal order, about the crisis in Europe, about NATO’s loss of mission, and, of course, about how the West humiliates us and doesn’t want to see Russia as a country with equal rights.” Such “songs,” of course, are music to the ears of the Kremlin clients of such analysts who are servicing those paying the bills with exactly what they believe those above them want to hear. But how much evidence is there for the opinions they offer? And how many problems are the experts avoiding talking about all together lest their clients turn elsewhere? What is particularly disturbing, Shevtsova suggests, is that “the conformism of our experts is their voluntary choice.” The Kremlin has not forced them to lie; it has only made it easier for those who do, an ever-growing number, and harder for those who don’t, an ever-smaller one. But by serving the Kremlin bosses in this way, she says, the expert community is harming Russian society not only by ensuring that the powers that be will continue to make the wrong choices but also by denying larger groups in the population the information they need to challenge those in power. In sum, Shevtsova argues, the powers that be aren’t the only ones responsible for their growing inadequacy. Responsibility falls on the experts “who have chosen the path of propagandists. The analytic field must be weeded and the reputation of the profession restored,” something that will be “a difficult task.” “For the time being, we have what we have: a whole class of people who have made their profession that of escort services.”

Piontkovsky: To save his regime, Putin preparing to use nuclear weapons convinced West will blink first | Euromaidan Press |

“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 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 Donbas 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 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,” 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.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘Russia’ vs. ‘Russian Federation’ — Two Projects in Conflict with One Another, Goryunov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, April 14 – The struggle over languages is “not a conflict between Moscow and Kazan but rather one between Russia and the Russian Federation as two models for the organization and development of the country, Maksim Goryunov says. The terms must not be used interchangeably because in fact, they are in near total conflict with one another. Although the Russian Constitution specifies that the two terms mean the same thing, the Moscow commentator says, people on both sides of this divide know that isn’t the case. Those who want Russia to be the model for the future may be called “the Russian party;” those who support the Russian Federation, “the non-Russian” one (business-gazeta.ru/article/420740). The Russian party thinks, Goryunov says, that the non-Russian party is “guilty of everything” because of its unjustified aspirations. “If it weren’t for the ‘extraordinary’ ambitions of non-Russian elites,” the Russian party believes, “the country would be united, powerful and rich.” The non-Russian party, in contrast, he argues, blames the Russian party for “’great power chauvinism.’ If it weren’t for ‘the imperial habits,’ the country in fact would be more powerful and richer.” But this argument over “who is guilty,” he says, “is similar to arguments about the chicken and the eff. Without a chicken there wouldn’t be an egg; without an egg, there wouldn’t be a chicken.” Unpacking this is impossible, and there must be a recognition that both play a role over all, although one may be more important than the other in specific cases. This dispute is no mere academic one, Goryunov continues, because it is part of the debate about whether the country can avoid losing its borderlands for a third time and what it must do to prevent that from happening. (It has already done so twice in the past century, in 1918 and 1991.) The two “parties” have very different answers. According to the Russian party, “the asymmetrical federation as any federation at all is the path to a new catastrophe. If not today, then certainly tomorrow.” For this side, “a federal presupposes the dividing up of the territory on an ethnic basis.” This party wants to eliminate federalism and ethnic diversity on which it is based. The non-Russian party is convinced that “the Russian Federation is the only means of preserving the territorial integrity of the country. Movement toward a unitary state is itself a movement toward catastrophe, which so frightens everyone.” This party says the essence of the task is making staying in the country attractive. Unlike the Russian party, the non-Russian party believes that individuals, groups and nations are always making decisions on whom to form a union with. When they have the chance they will choose the union which they believe gives them the greatest advantage – and they will certainly want to leave one that doesn’t give them as much or any at all. If Moscow wants to hold the non-Russians, the non-Russian party says, it needs to offer them incentives to remain, not try to hold them against their will – ultimately that won’t work – or suppress their national identity altogether, also something the non-Russian party believes is a fool’s agent. Goryunov points to the experiences of the three Baltic countries as evidence for his argument. Because conditions in the USSR were not favorable to them, they wanted to leave, not to remain in splendid isolation but rather to combine in a new group, the European Union, which offered them more. “Hence their choice.”

Norway Cannot Be Defended, Top Brass Admits – Sputnik International

Citing an “increasingly complex” security picture, the Norwegian operational headquarters has admitted a drastic lack of resources and called for at least two additional battalions and more submarines. Lieutenant General Rune Jakobsen, the head of the Norwegian Armed Forces’ operational headquarters (FOH), has warned of dramatic consequences if the armed forces are not significantly upgraded. “We now have a new global and regional security picture that is more uncertain than before”, Rune Jakobsen told the NRK national broadcaster, citing a “more self-asserting Russia” as one of the challenges. “If there is an attack in the classical sense, then we won’t have the robustness that is necessary”, he added. Jakobsen admitted that reaction time and endurance in all branches of defence were too low, given Norway’s land size. “To be more concrete, the army is too small in relation to the tasks it has and what is expected of Norway and NATO”, Jakobsen said. Jakobsen also complained that not all resources are available as quickly as needed. He stressed the need for an emphasis on maritime surveillance aircraft to better follow what’s happening in the High North.

Belarus Could Be Russia’s Next Big Geopolitical Target

Russia’s geopolitical projection has shifted over the past two decades. The country has tried to reverse its losses in Ukraine and the South Caucasus, but it is in Belarus that Moscow will most likely try to further extend its leverage to keep the EU and NATO at bay.

Lukashenko: Belarus ready to strengthen its role in Minsk process

Belarus is ready to strengthen its role in resolving the conflict in Ukraine if Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko reach appropriate agreements. — Ukrinform.

UAWire – Media: Russia behind cyberattack on the Spanish Defense Ministry

The Russian cyber espionage group Fancy Bear is behind a cyber-attack on the internal network of the Spanish Ministry of Defense, which was …

UAWire – Ukraine thanks Poland for refusing Russia’s sailboat Sedov entry into its waters

Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Pavlo Klimkin, in his microblog on Twitter thanked Poland for the decision to ban the Russian training sailboat …

Russia not interested in resolving Transnistrian conflict — ambassador

He stated this at the Kyiv Security Forum, Ukrinform’s correspondent in the Republic of Moldova reported. “There is no progress in the political settlement of the Transnistrian conflict. For Russia, it is important to maintain a focus of tension in the region,” the diplomat said. According to the ambassador, Russia while maintaining this focus is hindering the normal development of the region. He also stressed that Ukraine was doing everything possible to resolve the situation, including by creating joint control points with Moldova on the Transnistrian part of the Moldovan-Ukrainian border. Moldova and Transnistria (parties to the conflict), Ukraine, the OSCE and Russia (mediators), the EU and the U.S. (observers) participate in the negotiations on the Transnistrian settlement process in the 5+2 format.

Ex-NATO Deputy Secretary General hopes NATO to boost security in Black Sea

Ex-NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow has said he hopes NATO will continue to seek unimpeded navigation of Ukrainian ships and entry of ships into Ukrainian ports.

US navy destroyer USS Ross DDG71 enters Black Sea. PHOTOS

15.04.19 12:45 – US navy destroyer USS Ross DDG71 enters Black Sea. PHOTOS US Navy destroyer USS Ross DDG71 has entered the Black Sea. View photo news.

U.S. Navy destroyer enters Black Sea

U.S. Navy destroyer USS Ross DDG71 has entered the Black Sea, Bosphorus Naval News posts on Twitter. — Ukrinform.

U.S. Navy destroyer enters Black Sea, monitored by Russian ships (Photo) – news world | UNIAN

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross has entered the Black Sea. The U.S. destroyer is being monitored by the Vasily Bykov patrol ship and the Ivan Khurs reconnaissance ship of the Black Sea Fleet.

UAWire – Russia promises to respond to NATO actions in the Black Sea

Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alexander Grushko, told journalists that Russia has a negative perceptioinof NATO’s increasing …

US concerned about unjust imprisonment of growing numbers of Ukrainian activists

The United States is concerned about the unjust imprisonment of growing numbers of Crimeans and other Ukrainians. — Ukrinform.

Denisova in Moscow meets with relatives of captured Ukrainian sailors

Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada Human Rights Commissioner Liudmyla Denisova has arrived in Moscow to participate in “court hearings” in the case of the captured Ukrainian sailors. — Ukrinform.

Ambassadors of EU states to Russia will attend court hearings in trial of Ukrainian sailors

The ambassadors of the EU member states, who currently stay in the Russian Federation, will attend the court hearings in the trial of Ukrainian sailors – prisoners of war. — Ukrinform.

Russia starts railway construction on Kerch Strait Bridge – news economics | UNIAN

Russian occupation administration in Crimea has started the process of laying rails on the railway part of the Kerch Strait Bridge. The opening of rail traffic is scheduled for December 2019.

Russia to turn former Ukrainian shipyard in Crimea into major repair base for Black Sea fleet – news politics | UNIAN

Vladimir Bazhenov, CEO of Crimea-based Sevastopol Shipyard (“Sevmorzavod”), which previously belonged to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, says the shipyard located in the Russian-occupied peninsula should become the major base to repair vessels of Russia’s Black Sea fleet. The first warships of the Black Sea Fleet could be repaired at the shipyard’s docks within a year.

10 attacks against JFO positions yesterday: no losses among Ukrainian soldiers, four terrorists destroyed

15.04.19 10:29 – 10 attacks against JFO positions yesterday: no losses among Ukrainian soldiers, four terrorists destroyed April 14, the Russian occupying forces attacked JFO positions 10 times, using Minsk-proscribed weapons once. View news.

Donbas warzone update: Ukraine reports 10 enemy attacks in past day – news war | UNIAN

Russia-led forces mounted 10 attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, in the past 24 hours. There were no casualties among Ukrainian troops.

Ukrainian troops come under mortar, antitank missile system fire in Donbas

Russian occupation forces launched 10 attacks, using weapons banned under the Minsk agreements once, on positions of Ukrainian troops in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in Donbas over the past day. — Ukrinform.

Ukrainian Army boasts of another successful strike on enemy position in Donbas – news war | UNIAN

Officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Anatoliy “Shtirlitz” Shtefan has shared a video of Joint Forces’ strike on the position of Russian occupation forces in Donbas, eastern Ukraine. The projectile, which appears to be an anti-tank guided missile, was fired straight into the occupiers’ dugout.

Ukraine conducts large-scale air defense drills (Video) – news politics | UNIAN

On Saturday, April 13, Ukraine’s Joint Forces conducted massive air defense exercises, the JFO Staff reported on Facebook. According to intelligence reports, last week, Russia held strategic aviation exercises in Rostov region, near the Ukraine border, practicing strikes on ground targets.

Expert explains timing of Poroshenko’s move against Medvedchuk – news politics | UNIAN

Former deputy chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lt Gen (Reserve) Ihor Romanenko has commented on the recent developments around, a Ukrainian politician with ties to Vladimir Putin, Viktor Medvedchuk, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The president earlier instructed the SBU to report on further feasibility of Medvedchuk’s participation in detainee swap talks. Former deputy chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lt Gen (Reserve) Ihor Romanenko has commented on the recent developments around, a Ukrainian politician with ties to Vladimir Putin, Viktor Medvedchuk, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The president earlier instructed the SBU security service to report on further feasibility of Medvedchuk’s participation in the Minsk talks on the release of Ukrainian hostages from Donbas and political prisoners – from Russia, as reported by the Ukrainian news outlet Glavred on April 15. “I think that such a belated reaction of the Ukrainian authorities is connected with Putin’s demand for the Ukrainian side that Medvedchuk participate in the negotiation process. Ukraine was forced to comply with this condition, because, in fact, it was clearly stated: if Medvedchuk is part of the negotiations, Ukrainian prisoners will be freed, and if not, prisoners won’t be swapped. They had been working by this scenario,” the expert said.

Canada rotates its soldiers in Ukraine within Operation UNIFIER. Photos

Members of the seventh rotation of the Operation UNIFIER have started to perform their duties in Ukraine. — Ukrinform.

Rights watchdog debunks Donbas “separatism” myth – news politics | UNIAN

The West, as well as very many Ukrainians, have been all too ready to swallow Russia’s line about the supposedly overwhelming support for ‘joining Russia’ in Crimea and for ‘Russian world’ / ‘Novorossiya’ ideology in Donbas. The narrative fails to address Russia’s very direct role at all stages of the war in Donbas, but it also, as political analyst Yevhen Sereda has pointed out, ignores the results of numerous opinion polls taken before and immediately after the beginning of the supposed ‘separatist’ uprisings in the Spring of 2014, according to the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group. All such surveys from February to April 2014 indicate that there was no majority support for ‘joining Russia’ anywhere in Ukraine. The last survey into Ukrainian attitudes to Russia and vice versa came just days before Russia’s invasion of Crimea. In Ukraine, it was carried out by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation and the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology on Feb 8-18, 2014, with results compared to those obtained by the Levada Center in Russia. Some 12% of respondents throughout all parts of Ukraine wanted to form a single country with Russia. This had fallen over recent years from 20%, but increased by 3% in connection with Euromaidan. The figures are undoubtedly higher in Crimea (41%); Donetsk region (33%) and Luhansk region (24%), but still far from even a simple majority. A poll on Ukrainians’ attitude to the status of Crimea and to whether Ukraine should remain a unitarian country was carried out by the Rating Sociological Group March 1-7, 2014, i.e. between Russia’s invasion and the pseudo-referendum it used to claim justification for annexation. The results directly refute key assertions made by Russia during annexation and since. Some 61% of all Ukrainians wanted a unitarian state, with this having risen from 50% in 2011. The percentage of supporters of a federal system had remained almost unchanged (25% in 2011 and 24% in 2014), although a majority (59%) supported this in Donbas. On 5% of Ukrainians (including respondents in Crimea) though that Crimea should be separate, or handed over to Russia, with a large majority (77%) believing it should retain its autonomous status within Ukraine. That percentage had risen from 60% three years earlier. Most of those who supported Crimea’s separation and ‘joining’ Russia were in the south, however there was still only 19% support. 87% of the respondents were against Donbas seceding from Ukraine (with 9% in favor). Russia’s claim that it was ‘defending’ Russians and Russian-speakers was made without checking what those groups actually wanted. Sociologists, on the contrary, asked and found that no more than a quarter supported Crimean or Donbas secession, with around 70% against. A survey was carried out by the Ukrainian Sociological Service for the Democratic Initiatives Foundation and Civic Watch on March 16-30, 2014. The questions were aimed at determining whether Ukrainians had separatist leanings, and found essentially that they did not. An absolute majority (89% both in Ukraine as a whole, and in Donbas) view Ukraine as their motherland. Only a small percentage supported separatist ideas – 8% for the country as a whole, and 18% in Donbas. Only 6% of all respondents would want their region to form its own independent state, with the greatest percentage, again in Donbas, being 17%. Only 9% of all respondents, and 24% of respondents in Donbas would like their region to join another country, with this wish in Donbas much higher among people over 55 than those under 30. Those actively supporting the so-called ‘Russian world’ were in the absolute minority, and even if you add those passively supporting it, there was still never more than a third who would have supported seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia. While Russia has certainly expended considerable effort and vast amounts of money on pushing the idea that Ukraine is a hotbed of ‘separatism’ and that Donbas was fully behind the Russian-armed and led militants, there are also other reasons for the widespread view that separatist moods were so much more prevalent. One is the role played by the Ukrainian, and, to a lesser degree, the western media. Put most brutally, the seizures of administrative buildings, the aggression and violence were more eye-catching than pro-Ukrainian unity demonstrations. It also very rapidly became too dangerous to demonstrate pro-Ukrainian sentiments, and, in Donbas, to be an independent journalist. The chronology of events in Donbas is of vital importance, KHPG notes. There had been attempts from early March by pro-Russian locals to seize official buildings in Donetsk, Kharkiv, Odesa and other cities. Even after they received backup from athletic ‘tourists’ from across the border, such protests still failed to spark ‘people’s uprisings’. It was on April 12 that Igor Girkin [Strelkov], officially an ex-Russian military intelligence officer, and 51 other spetsnaz officers seized control of Sloviansk in the Donetsk region. Russian historian Boris Sokolov notes that Girkin himself has admitted that he traveled to Sloviansk from the already occupied Crimea through Russia. “It is absolutely impossible to conceive of several dozen armed men just wandering through Russian territory without being asked any questions by the enforcement bodies. There can be no doubt that Strelkov carried out all these movements on orders from Moscow”. It was that which brought war to Donbas, with the deaths and suffering still continuing.

Donbas ‘separatism’: Myth, statistics and heavily armed Russian spetsnaz – Human Rights in Ukraine

It was probably the use of a Russian BUK missile to down Malaysian airliner MH17 over militant-controlled Donbas that prevented the West from quietly forgetting Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. The West, however, as well as very many Ukrainians, have been all too ready to swallow Russia’s line about the supposedly overwhelming support for ‘joining Russia’ in Crimea and for ‘Russian world’ / ‘Novorossiya’ ideology in Donbas. The narrative fails to address Russia’s very direct role at all stages of the war in Donbas, but it also, as political analyst Yevhen Sereda has pointed out, ignores the results of numerous opinion polls taken before and immediately after the beginning of the supposed ‘separatist’ uprisings in the Spring of 2014. All such surveys from February to April 2014 indicate that there was no majority support for ‘joining Russia’ anywhere in Ukraine. The last survey into Ukrainian attitudes to Russia and vice versa came just days before Russia’s invasion of Crimea. In Ukraine, it was carried out by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation and the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology from 8 to 18 February 2014, with results compared to those obtained by the Levada Centre in Russia. 12% of respondents throughout all parts of Ukraine wanted to form a single country with Russia. This had fallen over recent years from 20%, but increased by 3% in connection with Euromaidan. The figures are undoubtedly higher in Crimea (41%); the Donetsk oblast (33%) and the Luhansk oblast (24%), but still far from even a simply majority. A poll on Ukrainians’ attitude to the status of Crimea and to whether Ukraine should remain a unitarian country was carried out by the Rating [«Рейтинг»] Sociological Group from 1-7 March 2014, i.e. between Russia’s invasion and the pseudo-referendum it used to claim justification for annexation. The results directly refute key assertions made by Russia during annexation and since. 61% of all Ukrainians wanted a unitarian state, with this having risen from 50% in 2011. The percentage of supporters of a federal system had remained almost unchanged (25% in 2011 and 24% in 2014), although a majority (59%) supported this in Donbas. On 5% of Ukrainians (including respondents in Crimea) though that Crimea should be separate, or handed over to Russia, with a large majority (77%) believing it should retain autonomous status within Ukraine. That percentage had risen from 60% three years earlier. Most of those who supported Crimea’s separation and ‘joining’ Russia were in the south, however there was still only 19% support. 87% of the respondents were against Donbas seceding from Ukraine (with 9% in favour). Russia’s claim that it was ‘defending’ Russians and Russian-speakers was made without checking what those groups actually wanted. Sociologists, on the contrary, asked and found that no more than a quarter supported Crimean or Donbas secession, with around 70% against. A survey was carried out by the Ukrainian Sociological Service for the Democratic Initiatives Foundation and Civic Watch from 16 to 30 March 2014. The questions were aimed at determining whether Ukrainians had separatist leanings, and found essentially that they did not. An absolutely majority (89% both in Ukraine as a whole, and in Donbas) view Ukraine as their motherland. Only a small percentage supported separatist ideas – 8% for the country as a whole, and 18% in Donbas. Only 6% of all respondents would want their oblast to form its own independent state, with the greatest percentage, again in Donbas, being 17%. 9% of all respondents, and 24% of respondents in Donbas would like their oblast to join another country, with this wish in Donbas much higher among people over 55 than those under 30. Sereda spoke with Maria Zolkina from the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, who stressed that there was not one study carried out in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts from February to April 2014 which pointed to a separatist or pro-Russian majority. Those actively supporting the so-called ‘Russian world’ were in the absolute minority, and even if you add those passively supporting it, there was still never more than a third who would have supported seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia, she stresses. While Russia has certainly expended considerable effort and vast amounts of money on pushing the idea that Ukraine is a hotbed of ‘separatism’ and that Donbas was fully behind the Russian-armed and led militants, there are also other reasons for the widespread view that separatist moods were so much more prevalent. One is the role played by the Ukrainian, and, to a lesser degree, the western media. Put most brutally, the seizures of administrative buildings, the aggression and violence were more eye-catching than pro-Ukrainian unity demonstrations. It also very rapidly became too dangerous to demonstrate pro-Ukrainian sentiments, and, in Donbas, to be an independent journalist. The other problem is, of course, that the media go on to new subjects and look for easy, and often inaccurate, ways to describe what they did once cover more adequately. This is certainly true of the pseudo-referendum in Crimea, as well as of vital facts about the chronology of events in Donbas. The chronology is of vital importance. There had been attempts from early March by pro-Russian locals to seize official buildings in Donetsk, Kharkiv, Odesa and other cities. Even after they received backup from athletic ‘tourists’ from across the border, such protests still failed to spark ‘people’s uprisings’. It was on 12 April that Igor Girkin [Strelkov], officially an ex-Russian military intelligence officer, and 51 other spetsnaz officers seized control of Sloviansk in the Donetsk oblast, Russian historian Boris Sokolov notes that Girkin himself has admitted that he travelled to Sloviansk from already occupied Crimea through Russia. “It is absolutely impossible to conceive of several dozen armed men just wandering through Russian territory without being asked any questions by the enforcement bodies. There can be no doubt that Strelkov carried out all these movements on orders from Moscow”. It was that which brought war to Donbas, with the deaths and suffering still continuing.

Actual Surveys and Statistics Prove Russia Lied, Illegally Invaded Ukraine – To Inform is to Influence

Actual surveys from 2014, statistical analysis by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology and the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, and reporting by Pravda, Separatism in the Donbas, and picked up by the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KhPG), in Donbas ‘separatism’: Myth, statistics and heavily armed Russian spetsnaz, clearly show Russia lied about a majority of Crimea and Donbass residents wanting to be a part of Russia. Previously there was an article that showed that Glazyev lied, Glazyev tapes debunk Russia’s lies about its annexation of Crimea and undeclared war against Ukraine. These lies continue in 2019. </end editorial>

Ukrainian border guards detain Donbas militant at Crimea de-facto border – news ukraine | UNIAN

A man who took part in Donbas hostilities under the leadership of the so-called commander of the “Somali” battalion of the “DPR” Mikhail Tolstykh, nom-de-guerre Givi, earlier killed in an elevator blast in the occupied Donetsk, was detained on the de-facto border with occupied Crimea on April 13. The detainee was charged with terrorism.

Risk of losing independence: Expert on prospects for Ukraine’s offensive operation in Donbas – news politics | UNIAN

Former deputy chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lt Gen (Reserve) Ihor Romanenko has said Ukraine needs a certain military-political situation to be established both in the country and beyond to go for the liberation of Donbas by force. “At the moment, the balance of power between Ukraine and Russia is not in favor of our state. The size of forces differs a lot, by magnitudes. Not to mention the fact that Russia has at is disposal nuclear weapons, as well as a powerful advantage in missile weapons, aircraft, and armored vehicles,” he said, as reported by the Ukrainian news outlet Glavred on April 15. According to Romanenko, today Ukraine could with its offensive strike reach the Russian border, but the Kremlin would not maintain a waiting position and would rather provide a resolute rebuff. The expert said a similar situation had developed with the “Novorossiya” project, with Kyiv giving up on its nuclear potential, and the annexation of Crimea. “Russians had warned us that, if Ukraine tried to resist, every [weapon] would be used there, including air forces, and in the end, it would be a huge bloodbath. Meanwhile, our allies only assured they would resolve the issue, but later. Five years have passed, but nothing has changed,” he said.

The Ukrainian AF tests French protective aviation helmets

On the basis of Vasilkiv 40th brigade of tactical aviation of the Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine there is a test set of protective helmet for pilots of French manufacture. Military Aviation reports with reference to the press center of the Air Forces Command of the Armed Forces. The LA 100 model with an oxygen mask UA21S is tailor-made by the manufacturer for use on MiG-29 and L-39 airplanes, including for the use of a sloping target system. The intention to buy French equipment was announced in December 2017 . At the moment, Ukrainian pilots use different types of Soviet helmets (ZS-3, ZS-5, ZS-7), which expire in service life. In this case, 200 sets of aviation helmets from the United States in 2015, apparently, could not fit for our planes. The new helmet has a modular design, which allows, depending on the tasks, to place a variety of lightweight equipment on it. These can be targeting and display systems, night vision goggles and various light filters. One of the main advantages of a French helmet is weight. If Russian SS-7 weighs about two kilograms, then the “Frenchman” is twice less. This means that in case of catapult, when the overload reaches more than 20 g, the load on the cervical spine of the pilot will be no longer 40, but 20 kilograms, which significantly reduces the probability of injury.

French protective helmets are tested by the Armed Forces

In the next edition of the program of the Press Center of the Air Forces Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine “Bastions” on the basis of the Vasilkiv tactical brigade a test kit for a protective helmet for French pilots is being tested. This is reported by Military Aviation Tests take place in the 40th separate brigade of the tactical aviation of the Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This LA 100 model with an oxygen mask UA21S is tailor-made by the manufacturer for use on MiG-29 and L-39 aircraft, including for the use of a predetermined targeting system. The purchase of such equipment became known in December 2017. It is worth noting that the purchase of new aviation helmets is a very necessary step, since Ukrainian pilots currently use different types of Soviet-made helmets (ЗШ-3, ЗШ-5, ЗШ-7), in which the term of exploitation ends.

The 40th Tac Air Bde conducts testing of a French protective air helmet

As reported in the next edition of the program of the Press Center of the Air Forces Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine “Bastions” on the basis of the Vasilkiv tactical brigade, a test kit for a safety helmet for French pilots is being tested. This LA 100 model with an oxygen mask UA21S is tailor-made by the manufacturer for use on MiG-29 and L-39 aircraft, including for the use of a helmet targeting system. The purchase of such equipment was announced in December 2017. It is worth noting that the purchase of new aviation helmets is a very necessary step, since Ukrainian pilots currently use different types of Soviet-made helmets (ЗШ-3, ЗШ-5, ЗШ-7), in which the term of exploitation ends. In this case, 200 sets of aviation helmets from the United States in 2015, apparently, could not fit for our planes. Also, LA 100 helmets are used by Azerbaijani pilots.

LA100 Helmet for Jet Aircraft Pilots in Head Protection | MSA – The Safety Company | Netherlands

UAWire – Ukraine receives a shipment of American Hummer trucks

A shipment of 35 Hummer combat vehicles arrived in Odessa from the USA, announced the Ukrainian Defense Minister, Stepan Poltorak at a meeting …

Ukroboronprom creates new command-and-staff vehicle

Kyiv Armored Plant has created a new command-and-staff vehicle BTR-3KSh, which has an automated combat control system and ensures the rapid transfer of combat tasks and control of their execution, the press service of the Ukroboronprom State Concern has reported. — Ukrinform.

In Ukraine, a new C3 vehicle was created on the basis of BTR-3

A state-owned enterprise “Kiev Armored Plant” created a new command-and-staff car BTR-3KSh, which is intended to control divisions under the conditions of the modern battlefield. It is reported by the press service of the State Concern “Ukroboronprom” The new BTR-3 based machine was developed jointly with other Concern companies and private companies. The “heart” of the BTR-3KSh is the latest automated battle management system that integrates all information on secured digital communications transmitted over the location of divisions, targets, and means of fire damage. This information can come from commanders of departments, individual combat vehicles, calculations, advanced gunner, unmanned aerial vehicle, counterattack radar, other combatants and surveillance equipment. In turn, an automated battle management system displays a coherent picture of tactical computers and allows the rapid transfer of combat tasks and control of their execution.

For the delivery of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the system of light-signal equipment of domestic production has arrived

The new system of light-signal equipment “Photon” of Ukrainian manufacture, which successfully passed state tests, was recently officially accepted for delivery by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Novelty has already been equipped with four military airfields. Recently, the system was deployed and in Cherkassy region. In the near future, light-signal equipment will also be installed at military airfields in Vinnitsa and Poltava regions. “Over the development of the kit, we have been working with the manufacturer for more than three years. Among the main requirements for it – the use of modern technology, compliance with international standards and, most importantly, independence from foreign suppliers. We managed to realize this, “said Volodymyr Manankov, a leading specialist of the Air Forces Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The system is completely made of LED lamps. The equipment has a warranty of 5 years or 5 thousand hours. At the airport in the Khmelnitsky region, where it was tested, the kit has been working smoothly for over three years. Volodymyr Manankov also added that there is an order for the supply of kits to the aviation part of the Land Force and the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

EU to help integrate Ukraine in the bloc’s gas market: official – news economics | UNIAN

The European Commission will work to ensure the integration of Ukraine in EU markets and support competition in eastern European countries as a means to minimize the impact of the NordStream 2 and TurkStream projects, an EU official told ICIS. Ukraine must also prepare for a future where Russian transit would be discontinued, a European Commission’s energy official warned.

Reverse in PrivatBank’s nationalization threats relations with IMF, – Poroshenko

15.04.19 16:45 – Reverse in PrivatBank’s nationalization threats relations with IMF, – Poroshenko According to the President of Ukraine, the IMF will respond to any attempts to undermine the independence of the NBU in a hard way. View news.

Poroshenko: Ukraine must avert another threat of default

Ukraine must avert another threat of default, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said at a meeting with business representatives. — Ukrinform.

39 Ukrainians fined for forging documents when obtaining Hungarian citizenship

district court of the Hungarian city of Nyíregyháza (80 km from the border with Ukraine) made a verdict in the case of Ukrainian citizens

UPDATE: Firearms incident in Holland Park – Metropolitan Police

A man who was arrested following an incident in Holland Park on the morning of Saturday, 13 April has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act. The 40-year-old man will be taken to hospital for treatment. Police attended at approximately 09:50hrs on Saturday, 13 April after reports of antisocial behaviour involving a car in Holland Park, W11. On arrival, the car was driven and was in collision with a number of parked vehicles near the Ukrainian Embassy in Holland Park. As part of the protective security arrangements for London, armed officers were deployed to this incident. On arrival at the scene, a vehicle was driven at police officers. Police firearms and Taser were discharged, the vehicle was stopped and a man was arrested on suspicion of the attempted murder of police officers and criminal damage. He has been taken to a central London hospital as a precaution and is now in custody at a central London police station. He was not injured. The investigation is being carried out by officers from the Central West CID. Enquiries continue. Chief Superintendent Andy Walker, from the Met’s Specialist Firearms Command, said: “As is standard procedure, an investigation is now ongoing into the discharge of a police firearm during this incident. While this takes place, I would like to pay tribute to the officers involved in this incident who responded this morning and put themselves in harm’s way as they do every day to keep the people of London safe.” The incident is not being treated as terrorist-related. The Directorate of Professional Standards has been informed.

Team Zelensky react to Poroshenko’s “campaign rally” at Olimpiyskiy – news politics | UNIAN

The team of Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky has said their candidate is waiting for his opponent in the runoff and incumbent President Petro Poroshenko at 19:00 on April 19 to hold a debate at Kyiv’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium and that he was not going to participate in his rival’s campaign rally at the stadium on Sunday, April 14. “When the discussion about debate began, Zelensky suggested that the parties hold it at the Olimpiyskiy Stadium on April 19. Petro Oleksiyovych [Poroshenko] accepted these conditions, but then some new conditions began to emerge, and this may go on indefinitely,” Zelensky’s press service said. Therefore, Zelensky will be waiting for Petro Poroshenko to hold a debate at the Olimpiyskiy Stadium at 19:00 on April 19, while it was a “campaign rally” of Petro Poroshenko that was held at the stadium on April 14, the team said. They stressed, “we do not participate in campaign events.” “The debate at the public broadcaster’s studio is not a requirement of the law, and our side has repeatedly spoken about this. The requirement of the law is to hold a debate on the eve of the silence day, i.e. on April 19. The legislation does not require holding a debate at the public broadcaster’s studio, this is a decree of the CEC, but this is not a requirement of the law,” the team added. As UNIAN reported earlier, a presidential candidate and incumbent head of state Petro Poroshenko on Sunday, April 14, arrived at the Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex in Kyiv, where he said he was waiting for his election rival, showman Volodymyr Zelensky, for a debate ahead of the election runoff. However, Zelensky did not show up. Earlier, he set another date for the two candidates to debate in public: April 19.

Zelensky releases new video with demands to Poroshenko

Ukrainian presidential candidate and showman Volodymyr Zelensky has released a new video to put forward several demands to another candidate – incumbent President Petro Poroshenko. — Ukrinform.

Zelensky records new video for Poroshenko urging him to put Handziuk’s killers in jail

Candidate for the presidency and comedian Volodymyr Zelensky has recorded a new video for President Petro Poroshenko, during which he, particularly, urges to arrest the killers of Kateryna Handziuk as Zelensky reported on Facebook. “Mister Poroshenko, I really want you to come from “I have heard” to “I will do”, particularly: to arrest the killers of Kateryna Handziuk, arrest Svynarchuk family and remember things, which you have forgotten about – our captured sailors, who are behind the bars now and wait until you will run enough at the TV channels in the search for Zelensky; will be tested and shout enough at the stadiums…the debates on April 19; the issues every days,” Zelensky wrote.

Zelenskyi urges Poroshenko to handle Handziuk case, imprison Svynarchuks, free captured sailors

Presidential candidate of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi calls on President Petro Poroshenko to carry out his duties and promises, rather than running after them on TV channels, giving medical samples and performing at the stadium. Censor.NET reports citing Zelenskyi’s post on social media. “I want to appeal to a man who occupies a very serious post – the post of president of Ukraine. Mr. Poroshenko, I really want you to move beyond slogans to meaningful action. Namely, imprison the murderers of Kateryna Handziuk, the Svynarchuks and remember that you have forgotten about our captured sailors, who are behind bars now and waiting for you while you rush through the [TV] channels looking Zelenskyi, giving medical samples and shouting at the stadium,” Zelenskyi said in a video message that he posted on his Facebook page on Monday. “Please do it. This is your concern, since a showman can become president, and the president who became a showman is a shame. Debates are on April 19, duties are every day,” Zelenskyi said. As earlier reported, according to the official voting results, Volodymyr Zelenskyi got 30.24% of the vote, Petro Poroshenko – 15.95%. On April 3, Zelenskyi invited Poroshenko to a debate before the second round of presidential elections. Zelenskyi stressed that the debate should take place at the Olimpiiskyi stadium in Kyiv, in the presence of all interested journalists and television channels. Poroshenko, in his video address, reminded that according to the rules of the debate stipulated in the law on presidential elections, it can be held on public television and broadcast on all television channels. “But if it’s the stadium, let it be the stadium. I’m waiting for you, Volodymyr Oleksandrovych,” Poroshenko said.

Zelensky urges Poroshenko to handle Handziuk case, imprison Svynarchuks, remember captured sailors, not run after him on TV channels

Presidential candidate of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky calls on President Petro Poroshenko to carry out his duties and promises, rather than running after them on TV channels, giving medical samples and performing at the stadium. “I want to appeal to a man who occupies a very serious post – the post of president of Ukraine. Mr. Poroshenko, I really want you to move beyond slogans to meaningful action. Namely, imprison the murderers of Kateryna Handziuk, the Svynarchuks and remember that you have forgotten about our captured sailors, who are behind bars now and waiting for you while you rush through the [TV] channels looking Zelensky, giving medical samples and shouting at the stadium,” Zelensky said in a video message that he posted on his Facebook page on Monday. “Please do it. This is your concern, since a showman can become president, and the president who became a showman is a shame. Debates are on April 19, duties are every day,” Zelensky said.

Zelensky Campaign official voices presidential hopeful’s position on Donbas, NATO accession prospects – news politics | UNIAN

Today it is impossible to conduct a democratic election process in the occupied territories of Donbas. Meanwhile, Ukraine joining NATO is important, and there is no other alternative to the country’s movement in this direction. The speaker of the election headquarters also explained whether Zelensky would continue the Minsk process on the issue of Donbas and Crimea.

Zelensky demonstrates disrespect for voters not explaining his support from Russian politicians, Ukrainian politicians who fled to Russia

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko wants to hear from Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky why he is supported by a number of Russian and Ukrainian politicians who fled to Russia, including State Duma Deputy Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, former Prime Minister and former President of Ukraine, Mykola Azarov and Viktor Yanukovych. “I don’t like it when everyone from Zhirinovsky to Azarov, from Yanukovych to Zyuganov supports the president [presidential candidate] of my country. I don’t like it. But I don’t blame anyone – I think the candidate himself could explain this situation. But for some reason he doesn’t do that. I don’t think that it is very good. This is disrespect not for Poroshenko … This is disrespect for the people, for the voters,” said Poroshenko at the NSC Olympiyskiy in the center of Kyiv on Sunday, where he arrived for a debate with a presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky, answering journalists’ questions. The president considers it dangerous for the country when a virtual candidate participates in the election campaign. “I don’t like it when we have a virtual candidate instead of participating in the debates … Because when the candidate sprinkles on the screens, but doesn’t say anything, for the majority it’s just a plot from the movie “Servant of the People.” But we are not electing Holoborodko [the main character of the film acted by Zelensky] – we are electing the president of Ukraine,” said Poroshenko. Poroshenko said he wants to know Zelensky’s position on the most important areas of the implementation of the powers of the president of Ukraine, as Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and as a guarantor of constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens, and as a defender of Ukraine.

ZeTeam answers questions of Mustafa Dzhemilev

Crimea belongs to Ukraine, it is unacceptable to sacrifice the peninsula for peace in Donbas, as ZeTeam stated answering the question of Mustafa Dzhemilev, the Presidential Ombudsman on Crimean Tatars issues, Ukraine’s MP. “Crimea was, is and will be the part of Ukraine, which has to get it back with compensation from Russia for the damage done by the occupation including the compensation to the suffered families and families of those who died in Russia’s repressions,” the statement of Zelensky’s team says. “Exchanging Crimea for peace in Donbas is out of question. As is the separation of particular districts or regions of Ukraine,” the representatives of the presidential candidate stated. They also replied to the questions concerning talks on Crimea. “…Our official representatives will have to talk to Russia’s authorities. Yet, this has to be done along with our western partners, and not on the occupied territories of our country”. ZeTeam does not consider lifting the economic blockade from the temporarily occupied territories.

Poroshenko committed to win presidential election

The president says he is doing everything to achieve victory. Censor.NET reports citing UNIAN. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who is running for re-election, is committed to win the presidential election. “I have a firm intention to win the presidential election,” he said at a meeting with businesses’ envoys on April 15. The head of state added that he was doing everything to achieve victory. Read more: Poroshenko dismisses Kherson region governor Hordieiev April 3, Zelenskyi declared his readiness to come to the debate with Poroshenko ahead of the runoff, however, he voiced a number of conditions. In particular, he said, the debates should be held at Kyiv’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium, “before the people of Ukraine”, and with all TV channels being able to air the event live, while both candidates must undergo a medical exam and prove to the people that there are “no alcoholics or drug addicts” among them. Poroshenko agreed to hold the debate with Zelenskyi at the stadium. Although, the law provides for other conditions for holding debates, he said. On April 10, speaker of Poroshenko’s election headquarters, Oleh Medvedev, said that Poroshenko would definitely arrive for the debate at the Public Broadcaster’s TV studio at 20:00 on April 19. Moreover, he will arrive at Olimpiyskiy Stadium on the same day to hold debates with presidential candidate Zelenskyi provided there is no schedule overlap.

Poroshenko firmly intends to win presidential election – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who is running for re-election, is committed to win the presidential election. The president says he is doing everything to achieve victory. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who is running for re-election, is committed to win the presidential election. “I have a firm intention to win the presidential election,” he said at a meeting with businesses’ envoys on April 15. The head of state added that he was doing everything to achieve victory. As UNIAN reported earlier, on April 3, Zelensky declared his readiness to come to the debate with Poroshenko ahead of the runoff, however, he voiced a number of conditions. In particular, he said, the debates should be held at Kyiv’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium, “before the people of Ukraine”, and with all TV channels being able to air the event live, while both candidates must undergo a medical exam and prove to the people that there are “no alcoholics or drug addicts” among them. Poroshenko agreed to hold the debate with Zelensky at the stadium. Although, the law provides for other conditions for holding debates, he said. On April 10, speaker of Poroshenko’s election headquarters, Oleh Medvedev, said that Poroshenko would definitely arrive for the debate at the Public Broadcaster’s TV studio at 20:00 on April 19. Moreover, he will arrive at Olimpiyskiy Stadium on the same day to hold debates with presidential candidate Zelensky provided there is no schedule overlap.

With No Rival To Debate, Poroshenko Talks To Journalists, Supporters

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko arrived for a presidential debate at Kyiv’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium on April 14. His rival in the April 21 presidential runoff, actor and film producer Volodymyr Zelenskiy, did not show up after insisting that he would only debate on April 19. Poroshenko first addressed his supporters outside the stadium and then took questions from journalists in an improvised press center.

Ukraine’s Poroshenko Takes Supporters Into Stadium

After Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addressed supporters and responded to journalists’ questions on April 14, he took a crowd of supporters inside Olimpiyskiy Stadium, where his rival, actor and film producer Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has challenged him to stage a debate before the April 21 presidential runoff. The crowd was taking selfies with Poroshenko and then sang the national anthem.

Ukraine’s president left to debate himself as comedian leading polls is a no-show

It was a one-man show for Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko Sunday as he showed up for a failed attempt to hold a presidential debate with top contender Volodymyr Zelenskiy at Kiev’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium ahead of next week’s runoff.

20 000 people attended Poroshenko’s meeting with Ukrainians

20 000 people came at the meeting of Petro Poroshenko with Ukrainians, which was originally scheduled as a debate with Volodymyr Zelensky. This was announced by the press secretary of the head of state Svyatoslav Tsegolko on Facebook. He noted that the event was “a real explosion of positive.” “This is a positive explosion at the Olympiyskyi Stadium. The atmosphere was incredible: families with children, tears in their eyes, embroidered shirts and incredible faith,” said Tsegolko. He also said that 20 000 people sang the anthem of Ukraine at the stadium. “Most of all I was struck by the anthem that 20 000 people sang right at the stadium (it’s a pity that the police are reducing the number of people gathered today). In fact, there are much more Ukrainians who demand debate from the candidate Zelensky.” Earlier it was reported that more than 40 thousand Kyiv residents came to the rally in support of Poroshenko, which took place on Mykhailivska Square. 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.

Debates at Olimpiysky stadium in Kyiv: Poroshenko’s key quotes

As presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky never showed up at scheduled time, the incumbent head of the state merely answered the questions of the press. Petro Poroshenko came for the presidential debates at NSC Olimpiysky on April 14. The head of the state entered the hall of Ukraine’s most famous sports arena, waiting for his opponent Volodymyr Zelensky to show up and join the discussion. Since the latter failed to appear at the scheduled time, the incumbent head of the state merely answered the questions of the press. Firing Serhiy Semochko from the office of First Deputy of Ukraine’s foreign intelligence service The President confirmed that Semochko was fired from his office on April 12. Semochko was charged with the illicit enrichment; in October 2018, the NABU (National anti-corruption bureau) opened a criminal investigation against him on this particular arcticle of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Incident with boards featuring Poroshenko and Putin Poroshenko explained that the idea of placing such boards was never about comparing Putin and Zelensky. ‘I’d like to stress this: I never said or will ever say that Putin and Zelensky were equal, that would be wrong. I just want to remind Putin’s words that he would be fine with any president of Ukraine but Poroshenko, – that’s his dream’, Poroshenko said. Related: 20 000 people attended Poroshenko’s meeting with Ukrainians Correcting mistakes The President assured the audience that he came to certain conclusions and corrected some of his mistakes. First of all, he promised that there will be a place in his team for the young enthusiasts who proved their worth in the implementation of decentralization program, for the leaders of united communities. Poroshenko also promised to change his approach to reforms. ‘Every reform, every step should be at first carefully discussed. That’s a preparation round so as to win hearts of the society in terms of conducting reforms. If you have no community [trusting you], half of the resources of the reform is doomed. So, we will, of course, walk quite a different path in terms of changes in offices and winning people’s trust’, the top-level official said. What would Poroshenko do in case of losing the election? The President said he would respect the choice of the Ukrainian people, whatever the outcome of the election will be. ‘If, God forbid, he (Zelensky, – 112 International) is elected, but it still would be the choice of the Ukrainian people, I would respect this choice – any choice. Why? Because we are the democratic state, and there is no doubts about it’, he stressed. Poroshenko, however, expressed concerns about possible presidency of Zelensky, as he avoids answering the questions, and it remains unclear what is his vision of the European and Antlantic integration of Ukraine, and what would be his first steps in conducting reforms. Debates at Suspilne TV channel on April 19 ‘I will do everything for the debates to happen. The only thing I’ll refuse is a law infringement. Because the law foresees that the candidates MUST – not ‘should’ but ‘must’ – participate in the debates that are supposed to take place at Suspilne TV channel on April 19. I will act by the law, and I assume that the candidates, as law-abiding citizens will show up at Suspline at 8 p.m. April 19′, Poroshenko said. After the questions from the press were over, the President gladly spoke with the voters and took selfies with them. Then, he eventually left the arena.

Poroshenko comments on billboards with him vs Putin – news politics | UNIAN

Presidential candidate and incumbent head of state Petro Poroshenko, speaking in front of journalists and supporters at Olympiyskiy Stadium in Kyiv on Sunday, explained why on one of his campaign billboards he was shown facing off Russian President Vladimir Putin. Ukraine needs a “strong president”, an “experienced president”, a “resolute president” and a president who enjoys people’s trust, Poroshenko believes.

Poroshenko holds press briefing as Zelenskyy fails to show up for debate – LB.ua news portal

Poroshenko holds press briefing as Zelenskyy fails to show up for debate. The president hopes to meet him for a TV debate on 19 April. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Poroshenko to remain in politics regardless of election results – Berezenko

Incumbent President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko will remain in Ukrainian politics regardless of the results of the presidential elections. — Ukrinform.

Poroshenko plans to cancel posts of regional governors in case he wins elections

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has said that if he wins the presidential elections, he will initiate amendments to the Constitution to eliminate the posts of heads of regional state administrations. — Ukrinform.

Political bride-show at Élysée Palace: Macron met Ukraine’s Zelensky and Poroshenko

If the molehill won’t come to Terrence, then Terrence will come to the molehill. The situation with the debates between Ukraine’s presidential aspirants Petro Poroshenko and Volodymyr Zelensky remains tensed and uncompromising – the candidates failed to agree on the date of the debates. But both of them have found a much more interesting platform for debating – the Élysée Palace of the French President. Emmanuel Macron had a meeting with Zelensky and after that, he met with Poroshenko. Before landing in Paris, Poroshenko has visited Germany; Chancellor Angela Merkel called his opponent a “non-system politician,” and explained his success with a pan-European trend. Related: Zelensky and Macron meet in Paris Hyped Interestingly, on the eve of the visit, the French Le Monde gave slightly different characteristics to Zelensky. Newspapers called him “young and inexperienced.” Petro Poroshenko was hinted at his secondary positions, the outlet also called him the one who is resigning. “Ukraine’s presidential candidates have both submitted to drug tests as the country’s elections increasingly resemble a political circus in the final weeks of the campaign,” writes the British The Guardian in an article “Ukraine president takes up comedian’s drug test challenge.” There are some foreign outlets that analyze the situation in more depth: “Poroshenko also has been repeatedly accused of turning a blind eye to corruption. In addition, the exposure of a military embezzlement scheme that allegedly involved top Poroshenko associates as well as a factory controlled by the president has badly dented his popularity. Poroshenko has denied any links to the scheme. In an apparent bid to deflect criticism, Poroshenko on Thursday signed a decree to appoint members of the High Anti-Corruption Court — a longtime demand of both the United States and the European Union,” The Washington Post explains. Related: Putin dreams of dismantling EU, – Macron And we go back to France, the already quoted Le Monde convinces: the meeting on the Élysée Palace was considered necessary in order to convey to both candidates about Europe’s continued support of Ukraine. April in Paris Meanwhile, the Ukrainian side is convinced that Macron needed a meeting with the candidates not only to swear allegiance to the chosen course. It was a kind of a “bride show” for Zelensky. The meeting of Macron and Poroshenko was held behind the closed doors, and its public part was a kind of a joint press conference. No doubt, Macron knows how to behave before the journalists, no matter how strong are the emotions are inside. As for the conversation between Macron and Zelensky, it was quite an informal meeting. Only half an hour was allotted to Zelensky and his team, but the meeting lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes. The press service of the candidate reported that they have discussed some nuances of the second round. Zelensky himself later said to Radio Liberty: “Very cool, warm atmosphere; our meeting was very productive. I have met with the real leader of a united Europe. And I liked it,” Zelensky stated. “What did we talk about? About life, about crucial things. We talked about ending the war in Donbas,” he added, answering questions from media representatives. It is noteworthy that both guests of the Élysée Palace interpret their stay there in their own favor. Petro Poroshenko needs to demonstrate that he is still a president, and Volodymyr Zelensky shows that he is already the president. Related: Ze! Team: Meet architects of presidential hopeful Zelensky’s 2019 insurgent race “The president of one of the advanced countries wants to personally meet Zelensky. Who is Zelensky? This is a surprise for the Ukrainian elections. He wants to personally shake hands with the winner in the first round. But this is just a friendly meeting, and Macron will not speak in support of Zelensky,” political experts Taras Semenyuk suggests “Sincere friendship” and “political tactlessness” In general, the experts emphasize: a double rendezvous with candidates who are at the forefront of the struggle for the presidency is something unusual for Western diplomacy. As a rule, Western politicians meet with the winner in order to define the relationship strategy. In such a format, a somewhat dismissive attitude towards Ukraine could be seen; being a third world state, it is unable to cope with its own elections on its own. Ukrainian experts are outraged by the order of meetings at the Élysée Palace. The fact that Poroshenko was hosted after Zelensky was the verge of “political tactlessness,” Viktor Nebozhenko, the director of the Ukrainian Barometer sociological service, is convinced. Related: Talks with Macron can be assessed as excellent ones, – Poroshenko The protocol filming on the porch of the Elysée Palace prompted the Ukrainian president to share a photo on Twitter with his French colleague: “I am pleased to meet with Ukraine’s sincere friend Emmanuel Macron.” About an hour later, Poroshenko’s meeting with Macron came to an end. “Took adieu,” Alla Lazareva, a journalist who lives and works in France, commented on Facebook. In her photo, you can see how two “sincere friends” hug before Poroshenko’s departure. At a joint briefing with Petro Poroshenko, which took place a few hours before the events in Paris, Angela Merkel has openly stated: “Regardless of the election result, I want to say that we will work for the positive development of Ukraine.” Did Macron think the same?

Poroshenko reveals details of his talks with Merkel and Macron

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko during the talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron discussed the issues of economic development of Ukraine. — Ukrinform.

Over 252 thousand Ukrainians temporary changed voting place

As of April 15, over 252 thousand Ukrainians used the right to temporary change their voting location in the second round of the presidential elections scheduled for April 21, 2019. — Ukrinform.

Ukrainian premier says ready for parliamentary election – LB.ua news portal

Ukrainian premier says ready for parliamentary election. “It does not matter if it happens a month earlier or later.” Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

CEC transfers over 436,000 ballots to overseas polling stations

The Central Election Commission of Ukraine (CEC) has transferred ballots to the overseas election commissions for voting in the run-off of Ukrainian presidential elections. — Ukrinform.

Provocative billboards with Poroshenko will be taken down

Provocative outdoor advertising in the style of campaigning by incumbent President Petro Poroshenko’s headquarters, has been posted in violation of the law, National Police Spokesman Yaroslav Trakalo has said. Provocative outdoor advertising in the style of campaigning by incumbent President Petro Poroshenko’s headquarters, has been posted in violation of the law, National Police Spokesman Yaroslav Trakalo has said. “According to a preliminary check, the outdoor advertising is placed in violation of the law. After all, it does not contain information about the entity responsible, circulation or the persons responsible, as well as the customer of the materials,” the Kyiv-based Ukrayinska Pravda ezine cited Trakalo as saying Police are now checking all regions where the placement of the billboards has appeared. “According to part 2 of Article 222-13 of Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses, distribution of outdoor advertising without information specified by legislation is punishable. Persons responsible for the political advertising will be liable,” Trakalo said, adding the billboards would be taken down.

Poroshenko considers plans on Rada’s dissolution after presidential elections illegal, threatening Ukraine’s stability

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko considers illegal the intention to announce early elections to the Verkhovna Rada. “Hints of an early and absolutely illegal attempt to dissolve the Verkhovna Rada in case of a change of president do not say about stability. Such appeals have already been made,” said Poroshenko at a meeting with business representatives in Kyiv on Monday.

Possible snap parliamentary elections to entail protracted political crisis – Poroshenko – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said possible early parliamentary elections would entail a protracted political crisis, which would affect the national economy. The next parliamentary elections should take place on October 27, 2019.

Head of Orthodox Church of Ukraine Epiphanius: Aggressor will have opportunity to seize Ukraine if we are divided

Head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epiphanius has said that Ukrainians should unite to resist Russia’s intentions to enslave them. Censor.NET reports citing Ukrinform. He said this during a solemn divine liturgy and a prayer service at the Temple of Holy Martyrs Borys and Hlib in Ternopil on Sunday “Now we are experiencing difficult times in the formation of our Ukrainian state. The war is ongoing in the east of the country. The aggressor is trying to enslave us physically and divide us within the state. And we must understand that if we are divided, then the northern neighbor will have the opportunity to seize our country,” the metropolitan said. According to him, now is the decisive time for Ukraine when everyone makes a serious choice in the presidential election. “This is the decisive time for Ukraine and each of us. We are choosing our future. The future for the years to come. This is the future that we outlined on Independence Square during the Revolution of Dignity. Then the Heavenly Hundred gave their lives for the European vector of development of our Ukrainian state, for which thousands of our heroes died in the east of Ukraine. We must remember that and be wise, alert, and honest, and feel the responsibility that lies on each of us,” Metropolitan Epiphanius added. Source: https://censor.net.ua/en/n3122243

Epiphanius: Aggressor will have opportunity to seize Ukraine if we are divided

He said this during a solemn divine liturgy and a prayer service at the Temple of Holy Martyrs Borys and Hlib in Ternopil on Sunday, according to an Ukrinform correspondent. “Now we are experiencing difficult times in the formation of our Ukrainian state. The war is ongoing in the east of the country. The aggressor is trying to enslave us physically and divide us within the state. And we must understand that if we are divided, then the northern neighbor will have the opportunity to seize our country,” the metropolitan said. According to him, now is the decisive time for Ukraine when everyone makes a serious choice in the presidential election. “This is the decisive time for Ukraine and each of us. We are choosing our future. The future for the years to come. This is the future that we outlined on Independence Square during the Revolution of Dignity. Then the Heavenly Hundred gave their lives for the European vector of development of our Ukrainian state, for which thousands of our heroes died in the east of Ukraine. We must remember that and be wise, alert, and honest, and feel the responsibility that lies on each of us,” Metropolitan Epiphanius added.

Germany delivers Tsar Peter I’s Manifesto on Ukrainian Church to Kyiv |Euromaidan Press |

A unique historical document recently arrived from Germany at Boryspil Airport, Kyiv – Tsar Peter I’s Manifesto on the Ukrainian Church issued in 1708. It recounts the appointment of Ioasaf (Joseph) Krokovsky to the position of Metropolitan of Kyiv and underlines the fact that the Ukrainian Church shall no longer be subordinated to Constantinople. This document actually denies the Russian fake story that the Ukrainian Church voluntarily joined the Moscow Patriarchate. The document is invaluable, both culturally and historically. The Minister of Culture of Ukraine Yevhen Nyshchuk explained that the official return of this historical document was the result of many years of hard work by the Intergovernmental Commission on the return of cultural property displaced during the Second World War. He noted that the handwritten document, which measures 80 cm by 58 cm and is dated 1708, had disappeared during the Second World War. In the late 1950s, it re-appeared in the library of the Institute of East European History and Area Studies at the University of Tübingen in the Baden-Württemberg Federal District, and was left there. It has never been properly examined, although it contains important information for Ukraine.

Russia raids mosque, imam’s house in Sevastopol

Russian Security Service raids the house of Sevastopol Imam Rustem Abilev

UAWire – Estonia cancels visas of Russian television journalists over a discriminatory film about Jehovah Witnesses

Estonia has banned two “Russia 1” journalists, Elena Erofeeva and Pavel Kostrikov, from entering the Schengen zone for the next five years because of a film about the religious organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses, reported the Estonian Public Broadcasting Corporation, referencing the annual report of the country’s security police. The report states that the journalists had obtained their visas at the Italian and French embassies. They first went to Finland and then took a ferry to Estonia to begin preparing an item for the program “Vesti” that “mocks and incites hostility towards the activities of this religious organization”. According to the Estonian special services division, the journalists had used hidden cameras to videotape the Jehovah’s Witnesses community in Kesklinn, Tallinn. The clip was used in a report that included shots of “a similar nature” taken in Finland. The Estonian police claimed that Erofeeva and Kostrikov’s activities could be interpreted as discrimination on the basis of religion and could lead to the incitement of hostilities