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Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (150) – Election Endgame


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting/

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Turkey-NATO update – Muscovy could not have scripted it any better, like Hungary, Turkey is being subverted from the top. Russia and NATO updates.

More on Russian POL embargo, Kerch, LtGen Romanenko on Belarus as a staging area for invasion. Midttun on hybrid war. Donbas update. National Security and Defense Council Chair Turchynov meets with Boeing to discuss upgrades on the Ukrainian fighter and strike fleets. More on hardened depot upgrades.

Final day of election campaigning with two debates on between Zelenskiy and Pres Poroshenko, the first started forty minutes ago (19:00 and 20:00 hours Kyiv time). Ukrainian and Western media have mostly decided that Poroshenko is lost, despite his very strong campaigning and well targeted effort over the last three weeks.

Excellent demographic analysis by Shandra – Zelenskiy voters are mostly less educated and younger. Mycio critique of Western muddling (not meddling) in Ukraine is on target – Poroshenko has had to deal with an incessant 5 year running barrage of toxic media coverage in Ukraine and in the West, feeding each other, in addition to Russian propaganda. Many Ukrainians who should see him as the hero who rallied the nation and saved it, instead revile him completely. Muscovy is already publicly dangling deals over Donbas for Zelenskiy, hoping to ensnare him – if he wins the election the best place for him to go for advice is his rival.

Much written on Zelenskiy and his campaign staff – many are unknowns, some are former Poroshenko appointees. What little policy he has described is mostly like a thinned out facsimile of Poroshenko’s policy platform.

The first debate is interesting to watch, many more Poroshenko supporters at the stadium, at the 30 minute point Poroshenko has presented far more forcefully and intensively – he is very adept at classical debating and Zelenskiy is a novice, and it shows (Zelenskiy will get a sympathy vote). Notably the debate is very civil and well mannered, even if they do not like each other at all. If Russians are watching this they will be cringing. Democracy in action

Also some good coverage of Poroshenko’s afternoon rally in Kyiv, and the ongoing mayhem over Privatbank.


As Turkey drifts away from the US, will Russia give it what it wants?

Both Turkish and Russian analysts believe Putin has been successful in using President Erdogan to drive a wedge between NATO members.

As Turkish-US Tensions Escalate, Ankara Looks to NATO

As Washington warns of repercussions over Ankara’s Russian missile purchase, Turkey is emboldened by NATO’s nuanced approach to the controversy

NATO approached Turkey’s joint S-400 working group proposal positively, FM Çavuşoğlu says – Daily Sabah

NATO has positively approached Turkey’s proposal to form a joint working group to ease concerns over its purchase of Russian S-400 missile systems but…

Turkey understands NATO’s concern on Russian S-400s – Turkey News

Turkey understands NATO’s concern on the procurement of the Russian S-400 air defense system, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on April 19.

Turkey mulling options to resolve ‘unprecedented’ S-400 crisis with US | Middle East Eye

Source tells MEE that one option is to receive the Russian missile system and never actually unpack or activate it

Turkey pins hopes on Trump to avoid sanctions over Russia missile deal – Reuters

Turkey’s hopes of avoiding punishing U.S. sanctions over its purchase of a Russian air defense system appear increasingly pinned on intervention from Donald Trump, but the president has little leeway to counter Ankara’s many critics in Washington.

Patrick Shanahan dangles F-35 fighters to Turkey in bid to end Russia S-400 missile deal – Washington Times

Washington and Ankara are inching closer to holding senior-level, bilateral talks over Turkey’s plans to buy the Russian-made S-400 missile system — a deal that U.S. officials say would force the cancellation of planned sales of the advanced F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to the NATO ally.

Soner Cagaptay on Twitter: “Ankara buying S-400 system from Russia & storing it in Qatar/Azerbaijan would eliminate one set of sanctions, Congress’ veto to transfer F-35 planes to Turkey lest they be co-located with the S-400s, but not CAATSA that would be triggered soon as Turkey took delivery of the S400s”

 

james gibney on Twitter: “NATO should call Turkey’s bluff on its plans to purchase Russia’s S-400 air defense system. Erdogan is turning Turkey into a Trojan Horse within NATO’s gates. https://t.co/YyJhtTDFTo via @bopinion”

 

ilhan tanir on Twitter: “”The Oval office between Trump and Albayrak seems not to have opened the door to any compromise on the part of either Trump or Erdoğan.” Trump is in a locked-in position to respond in some way if Turkey goes forward w acquisition of S-400 system. https://t.co/11JBWaPT7w”

 

The limits of U.S. influence on Turkey | Ahval

Edward G. Stafford 2019-04-18 David Satterfield’s testimony last week in Senate Committee hearings to assess his nomination as the next U.S. ambassador to Turkey highlights the issues most important to U.S. officials with regards to Turkey, and the limitations they face in pursuing those interests when Turkey’s leadership does not share the same views. In Turkey’s March 31 municipal elections, a number of victorious Kurdish candidates in southeast Turkey were disqualified last week and replaced with candidates who had come in second, all of whom hailed from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). In Istanbul, the new mayor was finally inaugurated on Wednesday, but the AKP continues to cite fraud and has called for the vote to be annulled and held again. But more important to U.S.-Turkey relations are American efforts to influence President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s decision to buy Russia’s S-400 air defence systems, which could have severely negative consequences to Turkey’s security relations with the United States and NATO. The dust-up reveals just how little sway Washington has with Turkey’s president. Even the “positive” meeting that Erdoğan’s son-in-law, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, had with President Donald Trump this week has done little to weaken Turkey’s resolve to proceed with the S-400 deal. Unlike his predecessors, Trump cares little for the internal political affairs of other countries unless they directly affect U.S. citizens or interests. Thus, Trump has focused on relations with Turkey to secure the release of American pastor Andrew Brunson and to encourage Turkey to distance itself from Iran. The use of sanctions against ministers of Erdoğan’s government underlined the seriousness Trump attached to Brunson’s release. It must not be read, however, as concern for human rights or the rule of law as a pillar of U.S.-Turkey relations. Trump used sanctions to secure Brunson’s release because Brunson was a U.S. citizen, and one with a vocal and politically influential group backing him in the United States. Trump has shown no similar inclination regarding the incarceration on spurious charges of countless journalists, politicians, and academics. Trump has had less success inducing Erdoğan to curb ties with Iran, for the obvious reason that they share a border, with all the economic, cultural, and political links that implies, along with Turkey’s ongoing need for Iranian energy resources. Developing alternatives to Iranian oil and natural gas is not as easy as releasing a single detainee. Regarding the municipal elections, both in Turkey’s southeast and in Istanbul, Trump views the matter as a purely Turkish affair. Also, Trump advisors surely know that even if the United States wished to affect events regarding the election results, the resentment in response to any indications that Washington sought to influence Erdoğan’s or the election commissions’ decision making would be counter-productive. The website of the U.S. embassy in Turkey, with its silence on the elections outcome, testifies to this. In his testimony, Satterfield reiterated the U.S. position that “by moving ahead with its purchase of the Russian S-400 defence system, Turkey puts its participation in the F-35 programme at risk and faces potential sanctions under CAATSA.” These remarks, delivered on April 11, seemed to have engendered an April 15 response from Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, who reportedly stated that U.S. comments about terminating Turkish participation in the F-35 programme were unhelpful and not to be expected from an ally. Turkish presidential advisor Ibrahim Kalın went even further, saying, “rather than using the language of threats from sanctions against Turkey, I think the people here in Congress, as well as this administration, should understand Turkey’s security concerns.” Satterfield’s testimony was of course noted in Ankara and did little to shift Turkey from its planned course of action regarding S-400s. In the same way, the April 16 meeting in the Oval office between Trump and Albayrak seems not to have opened the door to any compromise on the part of either Trump or Erdoğan. Of course, given his history of blindsiding his senior advisors and even cabinet secretaries, the possibility that Trump will not allow the termination of Turkey’s participation in the F-35 programme or the imposition of sanctions under CAATSA remains. If Trump were to do that, however, it would put him at odds with many in his own party and the recent testimony of his nominee as U.S. ambassador to Turkey – testimony certainly cleared by the White House. More likely, Trump will not stand in the way of Senate action against Turkey if Erdoğan goes forward with acquiring the S-400, though he could limit the actions to suspending Turkish participation in the F-35 programme and not support the imposition of CAATSA sanctions. Finally, Trump is now in a locked-in position to respond in some way if Turkey goes forward with acquisition of the S-400 system. He would look weak if he did nothing; he would also be accused of helping Russia access U.S. technology. Yet the Turkish attitude, as expressed by Kalın, remains that the United States cannot afford to lose Turkey. Certainly the United States does not wish to lose Turkey as a friend and NATO ally. That said, if Erdoğan and his advisors dismiss U.S. concerns and show no willingness to work out a mutually satisfactory arrangement within the context of their defence and security partnership, we could see a sharpening of Erdoğan’s determination to exit the Atlantic alliance in fact if not by formal declaration.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russian Identity without Stalin Possible; Soviet Identity without Stalin Not, Savvin Says

Paul Goble Staunton, April 18 – “To imagine Russian identity without Stalin is easy,” Dimitry Savvin says, because “strictly speaking Stalin has no role there. But Soviet identity without Stalin is simply unthinkable. He is its founding father, the creator of all victories and in general everything around.” In reaction to the Levada Center poll showing that ever more Russians have a positive view of the Soviet dictator, the editor of the Riga-based Russian conservative Harbin portal argues that the new figures are no surprise but must be clearly understood rather than continue to be misunderstood and misused (harbin.lv/stalinskiy-renessans-kak-logicheskaya-neizbezhnost). The Putin regime has pursued a policy of “open re-sovietization” for more than a decade, Savvin says, and thus it is no surprise that Russians have come around to a more positive view of the man who dominated so much of the Soviet period. And thus it is a mistake to write this off as some do to a rise of stupidity among them. According to the Russian commentator, “every state and nation has its own myths, its own heroes, and of course its own founding fathers.” These things are selected from various possibilities, and consequently, it is only necessary to specify what identity is connected with Stalin and what his role was in the formation of this identity. That isn’t too difficult. But getting in the way of doing so, Savvin says, are “two old errors.” On the one hand, some people want to exclude Stalin from their understanding of the Soviet system. And on the other, some want to take him out of the Soviet context and insist he is one of a long line of Russian leaders. Neither is appropriate. Many who make the first error are representatives of “so-called ‘Russian liberalism’ of the 1990s” who are “a genetic continuation of the Soviet generation of the 1960s” and who believe that Lenin’s project was good and that Stalin perverted it – and consequently, the Soviet system can be treated as everything minus Stalin. But anyone who is honest can see that Stalin continued what Lenin began and that if one has sympathy for the revolutionary romanticism of Lenin one is driven to accept Stalin whatever one claims, the Russian nationalist commentator argues. The second error, prominently associated with Vladimir Putin, is to think of Russian history as one continuous stream and thus to treat all of its rulers as manifestations of that continuity from Ivan the Terrible to Peter the Great to Aleksandr III to Lenin to Stalin and “to Comrade Putin” himself. But Stalin, like the other Soviet leaders, was not a Russian leader, and his system was not a Russian system, Savvin says. And insisting on his deification and that of his system is to celebrate Sovietism but not Russia and its history. The Soviet system was alien to Russia, and those who want to go back to it want to restore an alien system not a national one. “Soviet identity is not a form of Russian identity,” Savvin continues. “There are completely different phenomena. More than that, Soviet identity was always constructed on a denial of Russian identity.” Promoting the one is thus to undermine the other, and that must be understood. According to the Russian commentator, “the Soviet system was a Stalinist system and not anything else. Stalin really was the continuer of Lenin. But if Lenin only sketched the main parts of communist totalitarianism, Stalin developed and strengthened them.” Still worse, instead of breaking with Sovietism, Russia still lives “within the coordinates laid down in Stalin’s time.” The state and administrative borders which were marked out by Stalin’s hand, the hand of a genuine Russophobe,” Savvin says, remain in place. As do the education al system … the entire system of state administration … and of course, the cadres which ‘decide everything’ are themselves the products of the system which Stalin and no one else built.” It is thus no surprise that Putin is restoring Stalin and Sovietism, but no one should confuse this with Russia and Russian national identity. Those two sets of things are antithetical.

Russia Stable Runet law will further separate country from internet

A new law that passed Russia’s parliament this week could further separate Russia from the internet. It is ambiguous, but also appears to give the Kremlin greater control of communication flows in the country. Russia is positioning the law as a necessity to maintain the country’s security from cyberthreats.

‘In a perfect world, we just wouldn’t exist’ How Roskomsvoboda became the primary force standing between the Russian government and Internet censorship — Meduza

In the last seven years, the Russian government has drastically tightened its regulation of the Internet, and it has shown no signs of slowing down: on April 16, 2019, the State Duma passed a new law enabling the isolation of the Russian segment of the Internet from the World Wide Web. Opposition to the government’s onslaught of new laws has come primarily from small organizations and individual activists, and Roskomsvoboda has emerged as the most prominent group among them. The small-scale project, which was founded in 2012 by activists from the Pirate Party of Russia, has transformed itself alongside the growth of Russian censorship into a full-blown advocacy group. Now, Roskomsvoboda fights to unblock websites, soften the language of new bills, and beat back criminal cases against Web users. Meduza special correspondent Pavel Merzlikin took a look at how Roskomsvoboda is structured and asked whether the organization has a chance against the Russian government in the struggle for a free Internet.

Russia’s federal censor reportedly says it’s now illegal to call Putin a ‘thief’ in the news media — Meduza

According to a report by the BBC Russian Service, federal officials recently met with leaders of Russia’s mass media. Representatives of the federal censor, Roskomnadzor, reportedly said that they consider the two phrases listed above to constitute illegal offensive speech. The agency’s spokesperson clarified, however, that each instance of either phrase appearing in the media will be considered in context, and the Attorney General’s Office will be responsible for this evaluation. The government-media meeting took place after Roskomnadzor blocked two news websites in Yaroslavl after they published photographs of graffiti reading, “Putin is a faggot.” The Russian authorities determined that this phrase constitutes an illegal insult directed at a state official.

Inside The Wagner Group, Russia’s Semi-Official Guns For Hire

The Wagner Group has ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle but blurs the line between what is and isn’t happening on Moscow’s orders.

Role of Cryptocurrencies in Financing Russia’s ‘Hybrid’ Wars – To Inform is to Influence

Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 16 Issue: 55 By: Maksym Bugriy April 17, 2019 06:06 PM Age: 2 days Myrotvorets, a controversial independent Ukrainian website that claims to track persons threatening Ukraine’s security, has called on the authorities in Kyiv to investigate Russia’s alleged use of cryptocurrencies (via the WEX digital currency exchange platform) to fund…

The Maddening Limbo of Paul Whelan – Foreign Policy

Four months into the former U.S. Marine’s detention in Moscow, Washington is struggling to help free him—or even get him answers.

Putin’s Military-Patriotic Youth | RealClearDefense

In 2014, the dramatic deterioration of political relations between Russia and the West resulted in the Kremlin’s growing emphasis on military-patriotic upbringing of Russian youth. However, in spite of certain seemingly noble goals (e.g., elimination of youth criminality, the integration of less fortunate children and young people into Russian society, and the nurturing of patriotism and affection for the Fatherland), this program simultaneously appears to reflect a desire of Russian siloviki (security services) to increase the number of potential recruits for military and paramilitary units (see Part One in EDM, April 10). In 2014, the dramatic deterioration of political relations between Russia and the West resulted in the Kremlin’s growing emphasis on military-patriotic upbringing of Russian youth….

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Anti-Belarusian Sites Grow More Numerous and More Vitriolic Over Last Two Years, New Study Says

Paul Goble Staunton, April 18 – The International Strategic Action Network for Security (iSANS) says in a new 35-page report that the number of anti-Belarusian websites and portals has increased dramatically over the last two years and their tone has become far more vitriolic (east-center.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Belarus-Disinformation-Propaganda-2019-RU.pdf). Prepared by iSANS East Analytic Center under the direction of that body’s head, Andrey Yeliseyev, says that the sites not only operate in Minsk but in the regions and increasingly “call into question the sovereignty and independence of Belarus and its territorial integrity as well” (cf. review at reform.by/kolichestvo-saytov-s-antibelarusskoy-propagandoy/). There are now “about 40” such sites and portals which have significant audiences. (There are many others which have failed to attract much of a following, the report says.) The study divides the sites into four groups: 1. The most aggressive (Ross-bel.ru, Teleskop, Sozh, Vitbich, Berestje-News, GrodnoDaily, Mogilew.by, Podneprovie-Info, Imhoclub.by, Dranik, Politring) 2. Sites with High Levels of Disinformation ( 4esnok, Sonar2050, Друзья-сябры, Sputnik Беларусь, Belvpo, Vesti24, EADaily, Regnum) 3. Sites with moderate levels of disinformation (РИА ФАН, ИА REX, Politnavigator, Oko-Planet, News-Front, Ukraina.ru, Materik, Topwar, Ruskline, Cont.ws, Fondsk.su, Rusvesna, Rubaltic) 4. Less Active sources of disinformation (Rosbelsoyuz, Inspect.by, Vitrusdom, Soglasie, Mogilew.net, Mogilew.org, Mogilew.com, ImperiyaNews). What is especially worrisome, the report says, is that anti-Belarusian sites have been set up in the regions of Belarus. This network was completed last year and covers all Belarusian oblasts. Among its most important sites are Teleskop-by.org, Sozh.info, Vitbich.org, Berestje-News.org, GrodnoDaily.net, Mogilew.by, Podneprovie-Info.com, and Dranik.org. The study also documents the links of many of these sites to the Russian Embassy in Minsk and to Russian personnel with a long history of involvement in disinformation.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin-Linked Research Firm Names Russians’ Fears as Guide for Election Strategy

Paul Goble Staunton, April 18 – A Moscow research firm, the Company for the Development of Social Links (KROS), that is headed by Sergey Zveryev, a former deputy head of the Presidential Administration, has identified five major fears Russians have, something that experts say will be used to guide the Kremlin’s election strategies. Analyzing the media and Internet, KROS listed the top five fears Russians have: gas explosions, inflation, an arms race, terrorist actions, and tied for fifth environmental degradation and the cutting off of the RUNET from the world wide web, Svobodnaya pressa’s Andrey Polunin reports (svpressa.ru/politic/article/230470/). The analyst points out that the KROS list is in sharp contract to polls by the Levada Center and VTsIOM which point to economic and health concerns as being at the top. But he suggests that the KROS findings, even though they appear to be driven by what the media covers, may be more important because of Zveryev’s links to the highest levels. Polunin spokes with two sociologists about the KROS study, Leonty Byzov of the Moscow Institute of Sociology and Aleksandr Shatilov, dean of the sociology and political science department at the government’s Finance University. Both were dismissive of the KROS list, but each made some important comments about phobias and how the regime can use them. Byzov says that studying phobias is extremely difficult because the answers one gets depends on the way one asks the questions and because people rarely are willing to share their deepest fears, preferring instead to offer those which they think are held by many people and thus are acceptable. He argues that politicians “undoubtedly can play on social phobias.” But for that to work, Byzov continues, it is important that those organizing the campaigns know what these phobias really are and that voters believe the candidate can do something about them. Given Russian attitudes about the authorities, it will be difficult to play with the fears of the population. Shatilov says the KROS list is “quite strange” and says Russians are most concerned about economic issues such as pay and employment. Many do fear that the country could return to the wild 1990s. They also fear being able to live in retirement, having good relations with their children or parents, and having to live with more immigrants. Asked which phobias are “key for the Kremlin,” the sociologist says that at the top of this list is the fear among Russians that the government does not have any strategic plans for the development of the country and that it will carry out more unpopular reforms as a result of which they will suffer. But “at the same time,” Shatilov says, “the demand for a strong hand is intensifying in Russian society; and this is reducing fears about the excessive centralization of power.”

Russia’s ‘Silent’ Occupation and Georgia’s Territorial Integrity – To Inform is to Influence

Natia Seskuria Commentary, 18 April 2019 International Security Studies, Russia, Georgia, Global Security Issues, Information Russia’s pressure on Georgia continues, both through the gradual seizure of more territory and through massive propaganda campaigns. It’s been more than a decade since Russian forces invaded Georgia and occupied 20% of the country’s territory. But Russia continues to violate Georgian sovereignty and territorial integrity…

Leaders of Russia, Estonia sit down for talks | Fox News

The presidents of Russia and Estonia have sat down for talks at the Kremlin for the first time in nearly a decade.

Estonian President Meets With Putin On Rare Visit To Russia

Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid held talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 18, the first visit by an Estonian leader to Russia in eight years.

UAWire – Estonian President meets with Putin

Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, who arrived in Moscow for the opening ceremony of the Estonian Embassy in Moscow after its renovations, met …

Deterring Russian Aggression in the Baltic States Through Resilience and Resistance – To Inform is to Influence

by Stephen J. Flanagan, Jan Osburg, Anika Binnendijk, Marta Kepe, Andrew Radin The authors of this report assess how unconventional defense plans and capabilities — to include total and comprehensive defense, societal resilience, and resistance strategies — being pursued by the governments of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania (referred to as the Baltic states) can deter and counteract Russian hybrid aggression…

UAWire – Russia bans export of oil and oil products to Ukraine

The Russian government has banned the export of Russian oil and oil products to Ukraine. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev issued the announcement on April 18 at a government meeting, reported the Russian media. Dmitry Medvedev noted that “a ban is being placed on the export of Russian oil and oil products to Ukraine” and said that he had signed the relevant decree. “A few days ago, The Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers took another unfriendly step in relations with our country, expanding the list of Russian goods prohibited for import into Ukraine. Under these conditions, we have to defend our interests and take retaliatory measures,” said Dmitry Medvedev according to TASS. He also added that Russia is expanding the ban on the import of certain Ukrainian goods. “We are expanding the ban on the import of certain types of goods into Russia. This measure will affect Ukrainian engineering products, light industry, metalworking, amounting to a value of nearly $250 million over the past year,” the Russian Prime Minister said.

Ukraine’s Economy Ministry comments on Russian ban on supplies of crude oil, fuel – news economics | UNIAN

Ukraine’s Economic Development and Trade Ministry says Moscow’s introduction of the ban on exports of Russian oil and oil products to Ukraine was an expected move, but the issue requires additional discussion in the part of measures to minimize negative consequences. The Ukrainian government has made significant efforts to gradually replace Russia’s goods imports by boosting domestic production. Ukraine’s Economic Development and Trade Ministry says Moscow’s introduction of the ban on exports of Russian oil and oil products to Ukraine was an expected move, but the issue requires additional discussion in the part of measures to minimize negative consequences. “On April 18, 2019, the government of the Russian Federation introduced new economic sanctions against Ukraine, that is, a ban on imports from Ukraine to Russia of such goods as paper products, light industry goods, metallurgical and engineering products, as well as supplies of oil and oil products from Russia to Ukraine. We stress that such steps on the part of the Russian Federation have been expected,” the ministry’s press service said in a statement April 19. The Economic Development Ministry and other government bodies shortly plan to conduct an additional assessment of the measures introduced by Russia, as well as to discuss additional priority actions to minimize possible negative consequences for Ukraine’s economy, it said. The Ukrainian government has made significant efforts to gradually replace Russia’s goods imports by boosting domestic production, reorienting exports to the domestic market, and diversifying supply lines from other countries, in particular, from the European Union. “Exports of goods from Ukraine to Russia in 2018 shrank by 7.2%, or by US$282.4 million to $3.7 billion. Russia’s share in total exports of goods from Ukraine decreased to 7.7% compared with 9.1% in 2017,” the report said. “Russia’s share in the total revenue from imports to Ukraine is gradually shrinking as well: from 14.5% in 2017 to 14.2 % in 2018.”

UAWire – Putin says he was not invited to the Normandy Four meeting in June

 Russian President, Vladimir Putin, said that nobody discussed the possibility of holding Normandy Four format leaders meeting in June with the …

Kremlin says Ukrainian POW sailors to be tried in Russian court “despite Medvedchuk’s efforts” – news politics | UNIAN

Press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that, despite the efforts by the head of the political council of the Opposition Platform – For Life party, Viktor Medvedchuk, regarding the release of Ukrainian POW sailors, they will be tried in in Russia, according to a UNIAN correspondent in Russia. According to Peskov, after the court ruling, various “legal procedures” are provided for their return to Ukraine.

Expert assesses threat of Russia’s invasion in Ukraine from Belarus direction – news politics | UNIAN

Former deputy chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lt Gen (Reserve) Ihor Romanenko has said thanks to the introduction of additional troops to Belarus, Russia has formed another direction with a possible threat to Ukraine. Russians are setting up in Belarus a common air defense system to deliver more advanced equipment in the region. ormer deputy chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lt Gen (Reserve) Ihor Romanenko has said thanks to the introduction of additional troops to Belarus, Russia has formed another direction with a possible threat to Ukraine. “The year before last, the Russian Federation was preparing a 250,000-strong grouping of troops and conducting training. To start a large-scale war, they need 240,000 troops and over. Last year they strengthened their grouping by introducing additional troops to Belarus. That is, another direction has emerged from which there is a possible threat to Ukraine, it’s the North,” Gen. Romanenko said in an interview to the Apostrophe online media outlet. The expert says Russians are setting up a common air defense system in Belarus to deliver more advanced equipment there, expand the range of aerial reconnaissance, etc. Under the guise of air defense, they brought everything they needed to Belarus. Later the Russian troops were partially withdrawn, but the weapons remained there. When there is a need, the Russians will quickly build up their troops, which are already there, the general said.

Hybrid War in Ukraine – predictions for 2019 and beyond |Euromaidan Press |

Article by: Hans Petter Midttun Does the Hybrid War actually work? In the aftermath of the first round of the presidential election in Ukraine, that question has become more relevant than ever. Additionally, it triggers the need for new predictions for 2019 and beyond. Basis for a prediction During the last decades, NATO has been an active and leading contributor to peace and security on the international stage. In the process, NATO has demonstrated its doctrinal and technological basis for both present and future operations. It is based on an effective combination of two key pillars: cutting-edge weapons systems and platforms, and forces trained to work together seamlessly. The validity of small, but technological advanced capacities has been demonstrated (in scenarios of our own choosing). The alliance has demonstrated its comprehensive approach to operations. This includes the parallel and synchronized use of both military and non-military means in order to influence, defeat, or stabilize an opponent. At the same time, both the conduct of operations as well as debates triggered by them, has fully demonstrated our core values. These include respect for human dignity and human rights, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, democracy, equality and the rule of law. Values we adhere to, uphold and protect, and consequently, are open for exploitation. The debates have simultaneously shown that NATO has grown wary of costly, complex and enduring operations. We have basically “shown our cards while continuing playing with the same hand”. On 27 February 2013 (barely one year before Russia started its military aggressions in Ukraine), General Valery Gerasimov, the current Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia, published his analysis of the last 10 years of conflicts. In the article “The value of science in prediction” (translated and analyzed by Mark Galeotti) he concluded, that:

10 attacks against JFO positions yesterday: Ukrainian soldier wounded, three terrorists destroyed

19.04.19 07:18 – 10 attacks against JFO positions yesterday: Ukrainian soldier wounded, three terrorists destroyed April 18, the Russian occupying forces attacked JFO positions 10 times, using Minsk-proscribed weapons twice. View news.

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

Despite the “Easter truce”, declared on a unilateral basis, the armed formations of the Russian Federation violated ceasefire ten times in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in Donbas over the past day. — Ukrinform.

Russia refuses to agree Easter ceasefire in Donbas – Herashchenko – LB.ua news portal

Russia refuses to agree Easter ceasefire in Donbas – Herashchenko. The talks which lasted for six hours brought no results. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Groysman: State guarantees support for project on drinking water supply in Mariupol

Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman has assured that the government guarantees support in implementing the project on drinking water supply in the city of Mariupol. — Ukrinform.

“Northern Falcon – 2019”: Ukrainian aircraft comes back home

Military-transport aircraft of Ukraine’s Air Force returned from Greenland to Ukraine. It participated in a joint Ukrainian-Danish operation “Northern Falcon – 2019”, as the press office of Air Force Command reported. Delivery of the fuel to Danish polar station “Nord” by Ilyushin Il-76 was the main task of the operation. As it was reported, Serhiy Artemenko, the chief inspector-pilot of the Aviation Administration, led the Ukrainian group this year. Military pilots spent over 100 hours in the air and performed 44 flights from Thule Air Base of the U.S. Air Forces to the Danish polar station “Nord” and backward. They transported over 600 tons of fuel and around 20 tons of another cargo.

President Poroshenko decorates 41 Ukrainian servicepersons

President Petro Poroshenko has signed a decree on state awards for 41 Ukrainian servicepersons. — Ukrinform.

Security measures at checkpoints strengthened due to elections – Interior Ministry

Security measures at Ukrainian checkpoints have been reinforced due to the second round of the presidential elections scheduled for April 21. — Ukrinform.

UAWire – Putin replaced overseer of Donbas, Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Russian President Vladimir Putin replaced the head of the presidential directorate, supervisor of the DPR, LPR as well as Georgian breakaway …

The Donbas Conflict – To Inform is to Influence

Sabine Fischer Opposing Interests and Narratives, Difficult Peace Process SWP Research Paper 2019/RP 05, April 2019, 35 Pages doi:10.18449/2019RP05 Regions: Russian Federation, Ukraine Issues: International law, Civil wars, Regional and interstate conflicts, Defence and security policy / Armed forces, Foreign policy of a country / a region, State and society of a country / a region, Defence and security policy / armed…

Ukraine reforms army (VIDEO)

The Ukrainian Armed Forces is the only European army at war

Ukraine Reforms Army – YouTube

UATV English Published on Apr 18, 2019 The Ukrainian Armed Forces is the only European army at war. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, the Ukrainian army is gradually switching to NATO standards. Along with rearmament and new provisions, Ukraine is improving military training.

Ukrainian Army: Rollin – YouTube

Military Division Premiered Oct 23, 2018 Here is my new moto video for Ukrainian army. Music: Crystal Lake – Rollin

Turchynov: Cooperation with Boeing to strengthen Ukrainian Air Force potential. PHOTOS

Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov held a meeting with Stanley Prusinski, the Director of the Boeing Defense, Space and Security for Central and Eastern Europe. Censor.NET reports citing National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine press service. During the meeting, the parties discussed cooperation between the Ukrainian enterprises of military-industrial complex and space industry with The Boeing Company, the prospects for military and technical cooperation, in particular the projects on modernization of the fighter and assault aviation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. As Turchynov noted, The Boeing Company is a leading enterprise in the aerospace industry, “and its military planes and helicopters outperform the Russian analogs.” “We are interested in effective military and technical cooperation with The Boeing Company, which will strengthen the capabilities of the Air Force of our state significantly,” the Secretary said. In addition, the parties also discussed cooperation in the field of aircraft and rocket production. Read more: Russia’s Security Service and General Staff should be recognized as terrorist organizations – Turchynov In his turn, Stanley Prusinsky expressed confidence in the prospects of promising cooperation. “I have always considered Ukraine an intellectual and technical engine in Eastern Europe,” he said adding that it would be absolutely logical to establish long-term cooperation with Ukraine.

Turchynov: Cooperation with Boeing to strengthen potential of Ukrainian Air Force

Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov held a meeting with Stanley Prusinski, the Director of the Boeing Defense, Space and Security for Central and Eastern Europe. — Ukrinform. “During the meeting, the parties discussed cooperation between the Ukrainian enterprises of military-industrial complex and space industry with The Boeing Company, the prospects for military and technical cooperation, in particular the projects on modernization of the fighter and assault aviation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” the press service of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine reports. As Turchynov noted, The Boeing Company is a leading enterprise in the aerospace industry, “and its military planes and helicopters outperform the Russian analogs.” “We are interested in effective military and technical cooperation with The Boeing Company, which will strengthen the capabilities of the Air Force of our state significantly,” the Secretary said. In addition, the parties also discussed cooperation in the field of aircraft and rocket production. In his turn, Stanley Prusinsky expressed confidence in the prospects of promising cooperation. “I have always considered Ukraine an intellectual and technical engine in Eastern Europe,” he said adding that it would be absolutely logical to establish long-term cooperation with Ukraine.

The “Boeing” company: the possibility of cooperation with the industrial complex of Ukraine | MIL.IN.UA

Author: Revision April 19, 2019 News, Military-Industrial News 0 Comments Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov met with Stanley Prusinsky, Director of Defense and Space Safety at Boeing. The press service of the National Security and Defense Council reports During the meeting, the interlocutors discussed issues of cooperation between the Ukrainian enterprises of the defense industry complex and the space industry with Boeing, as well as prospects for cooperation in the military-technical sphere, in particular, the projects of the modernization of the fighter and assault aircraft of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. According to O. Turchinov, the company “Boeing” is a leading enterprise in the aerospace industry, “and its military aircraft and helicopters far outperform the Russian counterparts.” “We are interested in effective military-technical cooperation with Boeing, which will significantly strengthen the capabilities of the Air Force of our state,” said the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine. In addition, the sides discussed cooperation in the field of aircraft and rocket science. In his turn, Stanley Prusinski expressed confidence in the prospects of long-term cooperation. “I have always considered Ukraine as an intellectual and technical engine in Eastern Europe,” he said, adding that it would be extremely logical to establish long-term cooperation with Ukraine. Boeing is one of the world leaders in the aerospace and defense industry. The company produces a wide range of civil and military aircraft, is the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world. In addition, Boeing produces a wide range of military aviation and space equipment (including helicopters and multipurpose aircraft), conducts large-scale space programs.

Ukraine’s Neptun missile complex to be tested again in May – news ukraine | UNIAN

In May, new tests of the Neptun mobile cruise missile complex will take place, according to the press service of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine. Turchynov stressed that the Neptun mobile cruise missile complex should become one of the main attack systems that will protect the Black and Azov Sea coasts. NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov held a working meeting with the developer of the mobile cruise missile complex, Oleh Korostylyov, chief designer at Luch Design Bureau. During the meeting, issues of preparing a mobile cruise missile complex for new tests and measures needed to prepare for their mass production were discussed. “The General Designer of Luch Design Bureau reported that the next test phase was planned for May of this year,” the NSDC said. “The Neptun mobile missile complex, which can destroy naval and land targets, after completing all tests and acceptance, should become one of the main attack complexes, to ensure protection of the Black and Azov Sea coasts,” Turchynov emphasized. The Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council expressed his gratitude to the management and engineering and technical staff of Luch Design Bureau, as well as to the staff of partner enterprises “for the quality implementation of a large-scale project in record time.” As is known, Neptune cruise missile was created by Kyiv’s Luch Bureau. In addition to the missile itself, the complex includes a self-propelled launcher, a transport-loading vehicle, and a transport vehicle. Earlier, successful tests of the Neptun cruise missile were carried out in Odesa region in the conditions of the Russian Federation’s e- warfare equipment operating in the area.

Next stage of Neptun anti-ship missile system tests to be held in May

Neptun mobile anti-ship cruise missile system should become one of the main missile strike systems to protect the coast of the Black Sea and Sea of Azov. — Ukrinform. A corresponding statement was made by Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov during a working meeting with Oleh Korostyliov, the Neptun system designer, chief designer of the Design Bureau “Luch”. “The Neptun cruise missile system, which can hit land and naval targets, should become one of the main missile strike systems to protect the coast of the Black Sea and Sea of Azov after it undergoes all tests and is put into service,” Turchynov said, the press service of the Council reports. The preparation of the mobile anti-ship cruise missile system for new tests and batch production was also discussed at the meeting. The chief designer of the Design Bureau “Luch” informed that the next stage of tests was scheduled for May this year.

Next stage of testing Neptune mobile cruise missile complex planned for May 2019

The next stage of the test of the mobile cruise missile system “Neptune” is scheduled for May this year, developer of the mobile cruise missile system, general designer of the “Luch” design bureau Oleh Korostyliov said during a working meeting with Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov.

Over 130 ammo depots to be built across Ukraine – news ukraine | UNIAN

By the end of 2021, more than 130 protected ammunition storage facilities will have been built in Ukraine, says head of the Military Service Security Central Directorate at the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel Mykola Shvets. The construction cost the budget some UAH 4.3 billion.

The cost of IFV from the EU includes warranty service

warranty maintenance of all armored vehicles on the territory of Ukraine for a time of their operation

Parliament next week to decide on date for considering law on impeachment – Parubiy

Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Parubiy has said that the date for considering the bill on impeachment may be established next week. — Ukrinform.

Over 11,000 projects implemented in territorial communities for past 5 years – Zubko

More than 11,000 new projects have been implemented in the united territorial communities since the beginning of the decentralization reform. — Ukrinform.

London continuing to close borders to Ukrainians |Euromaidan Press |

London is maintaining a disproportionately strict visa policy towards Ukraine, causing serious difficulties, delays and disruption to travel, according to the Ukrainian outlet European Pravda. Ukrainians share their experiences in communication with the British Home Office, which sometimes shows really illogical arguments when refusing Ukrainians to visit London.

Court re-freezes Oleksandr Yanukovych’s accounts – LB.ua news portal

Court re-freezes Oleksandr Yanukovych’s accounts. It upheld a motion of the Prosecutor-General’s Office. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Exhibition ‘Prisoners of Kremlin’ opens in Kyiv. Photos

The exhibition “Prisoners of the Kremlin”, which displays portraits of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars, who have been convicted and detained in Russia, opened at the Institute of International Relations of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. — Ukrinform.

There’s One Far-Right Movement That Hates the Kremlin – Foreign Policy

Ukraine’s Azov movement is hostile to Russia, friendly to neo-Nazis, and inspired by France’s new right. It’s not running in Ukraine’s presidential elections because it plans to win power by playing a long game.

Alya Shandra | Sociology of Ukrainian elections: who votes for Zelenskyi/Poroshenko and why |Euromaidan Press |

By today, there is little doubt that Volodymyr Zelenskyi will win the second round of Ukraine’s presidential election on 21 April. The comic-turned-presidential candidate earned a little over 30% of votes in the first round on 31 March, compared to under 16% by his competitor, incumbent President Petro Poroshenko. The latest opinion poll by the Kyiv International Sociology Institute (KIIS) predicts that 48.4% will vote for Zelenskyi and 17% for Poroshenko in the second round. Some believe that Zelenskyi’s ratings testify that Ukrainians are tired of the old officials’ corrupt ways, while others stress that the choice tells abou the infantility of Ukrainian society.

Mary Mycio | How the West Helped Put a Comedian in Reach of Ukraine’s Presidency

With polls putting Ukraine’s incumbent president Petro Poroshenko far behind TV actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy ahead of Sunday’s run-off election, it is worth considering how the West helped put this secretive comedian, backed by oligarchs, on the cusp of becoming commander-in-chief of a country at war with the Kremlin. A case in point occurred in February, a month before the first round gave Zelenskiy 30 percent compared to Poroshenko’s 16 percent. When Denis Bihus, a muckraking journalist funded by the United States and the European Union, accused “the president’s friends” of smuggling Russian military parts in 2014, it seemed like a bombshell. In fact, it was a hatchet job. The alleged culprit’s father was a security official before Poroshenko fired him. They’re also business partners. But Bihus presented no evidence linking either man to the smuggling. In fact, when the same story aired two years earlier, it received little attention. During the Kremlin’s 2014 invasion, those desperately needed parts could only be bought on Russian black markets. This time, with unverified text messages that shed little new light, Bihus’ allegations generated a lot more heat. How and why it ignited a scandal this time remains murky. But the politics became clear a few days later when oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky’s TV channel featured Bihus on a two-hour talk show devoted to bashing Poroshenko. Currently living in Israel, Kolomoisky lost a fortune in Kyiv’s bank reforms. He’s also Zelenskiy’s hardly secret sponsor. He probably saved southern Ukraine from Russian invasion with methods that included bostering local militias and ensuring regional officials’ loyalty. But the price for Kolomoisky’s services was high. His crooked banking empire also despoiled the country of an alleged $5.5 billion, leading to the bank’s nationalization. That conflict is currently being litigated in London; Kolomoisky wants $2 billion back from Ukraine’s budget. His sneaky grab for the presidency surely can’t be what Ukraine’s Western supporters wanted when they demanded the oligarch’s divestiture as a condition for the Western aid that has poured into the country since 2014, including millions for anti-corruption projects. Bihus’s show, for example, received $150,000 in US grants between 2016 and 2018 from the US non-profit Internews, which is currently running a $35 million, five-year media program in Ukraine. Leaving aside the questionable practice of Western governments paying foreign journalists, these are not huge amounts. But they are parts of programs with disproportionate impact on public opinion. Bihus’s role as a prop in Kolomoisky’s blatantly partisan marathon vividly demonstrated how some of these well-intentioned projects have ended up reinforcing the already powerful anti-government messaging from the Kremlin and the deposed oligarchs who still own Ukraine’s most powerful TV channels. Given the dearth of competent alternatives in Ukraine’s political class, this has helped put Zelenskiy in reach of Ukraine’s presidency. It’s undoubtedly true that Ukrainians are in a foul mood. A 2018 poll funded by USAID, the United States’ foreign aid agency, showed that those believing nothing will change grew from 42 percent to nearly half in one year. What explains the dismal mood? While Poroshenko deserves blame for many mistakes and failures, he also deserves credit for leading the most competent, reformist government in Ukraine’s independent history. It’s a low bar, certainly. Yet none of the country’s real achievements received a fraction of the attention as corruption. These included structural reforms in banking, the gas trade, and public procurements that have saved $6 billion on costs previously lost to corrupt schemes. Of course, banking reforms are boring and technical. Yet, not even visa-free European travel lifted the gloom. The grinding war in the east looms in public opinion. Kept at a low simmer, the conflict has killed over 13,000 people since 2014. Few families are unaffected. Unfortunately, aspects of anti-corruption programs have amplified an already stressful atmosphere Acting on the never-tested assumption that their anti-corruption models are effective, much less universal, donors began funding a variety of activists, NGOs, and journalists after 2014 to expose corruption in Ukraine. In addition to “awareness raising,” this has primarily consisted of “naming and shaming” the powerful followed by demands for their prosecution and punishment. When the subjects of the various exposes never went to jail, the grantees, bolstered by donors and diplomats, accused the government of bad faith and stalling. Bad faith is a real problem. But even given political will, corruption in most of the world’s countries, including Ukraine, isn’t a flaw in the system that can be “fixed” by punishment. It’s the system itself. Moreover, it’s a system—defined broadly as favoring the powerful—which every country has had to one degree or another for most of history. That began changing minimally only two centuries ago. But even today, the exceptions are few, nearly all are in the West, and many are faltering. Witness the United States. Yet, rather than recognizing that “corruption” is a stage of social and political development, traditional corruption fighters see it only as a moral failing. The results, in the colorful words of Europe’s leading anti-corruption expert Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, “look much like an invasion of the temperance league in a pub on a Friday night: a lot of noise with no consequence.” Largely, that’s because journalistic exposes are a lot easier to do than successful prosecutions of high-level financial crimes. It’s also why dozens of books about the 2008 Great Recession haven’t put a single Western official in jail. Ukraine’s criminal justice system is a blunt instrument. It doesn’t prepare competent prosecutors able to win convictions against the top defense attorneys that the powerful can always afford. Add ill-trained, overworked and corrupt judges to understand why it has been nearly impossible to win convictions in high-level cases without eventually losing on appeal—or using authoritarian methods. But without bad guys going to jail or losing power, these approaches might be harmful. The almost exclusive focus on wrongdoing hasn’t created a “toxic atmosphere” for the corrupt. Instead, it seems to have created a toxic atmosphere for everyone, fueling such powerless outrage, anger and cynicism that vast swathes of the public are willing to vote for a virtual candidate who avoids questions, debates, and independent drug testing. However, proponents of these methods seem oblivious or indifferent to such predictable social and political consequences. Until recently, they didn’t consider the downsides of their policies at all, such as how anti-corruption drives have brought authoritarians to power or are used politically. As evident by the Kremlin’s gleeful support of Zelenskiy, it likes nothing more than seeing Ukrainians disaffected with their government. Western donors should stop helping. To reduce corruption, Ukraine needs a competent legal system that does not exist. Without it, the continued focus on exposes of alleged crimes that can’t realistically be punished seems irresponsible and counterproductive. Better to spend the money on an entertaining and educational series like a “CSI Kyiv.” Maybe that will produce a better TV hero for Ukraine’s next president. Mary Mycio is a lawyer who has worked on donor-funded media programs in Ukraine for two decade, including with Internews. She is also author of “Wormwood Forest: A Natural History of Chernobyl.”

Putin Ally Makes Pitch to Probable Next Leader of Ukraine

KYIV, UKRAINE — Ukraine’s new president could regain control over the separatist-controlled east of his country within months and get cheap gas and major investment from Russia if he does a deal with Moscow, the Kremlin’s closest ally in Ukraine said. Viktor Medvedchuk, a prominent figure in Ukraine’s Russia-leaning opposition, outlined the prospect in an interview before a presidential election runoff in Ukraine on Sunday, which polls show political novice Volodymyr Zelenskiy should easily win. He said the Kremlin was keen to know more about Zelenskiy, a 41-year-old Russian-speaking TV comedian who has no political experience, to understand if he is someone it could strike a deal with, something it failed to do with incumbent Petro Poroshenko. “They don’t have any expectations in Moscow,” he said. “They want to see what happens afterward, who will be in his [Zelenskiy’s] entourage, and what he will do and with whom.” A Ukrainian citizen, Medvedchuk does not represent Russia, but his words carry weight due to his close friendship with President Vladimir Putin and track record as a channel between the two nations. Medvedchuk said he had known Putin for 19 years, that the Russian leader is godfather to his daughter, and that he had held talks with Putin in Moscow as recently as two weeks ago. The Kremlin has made clear it will be glad to see the back of Poroshenko but has not commented on Zelenskiy, saying only that it is watching candidates’ statements closely and hopes any new president can implement a peace deal on Donbass, eastern Ukraine, which has been under separatist control since 2014. The Kremlin did not immediately respond when asked if Medvedchuk was acting on its behalf or if the outlines of his proposal were in line with its own thinking.

Medvedchuk says Kremlin could strike deal with Zelensky on Donbas – media – news politics | UNIAN

Volodymyr Zelensky, if elected, could regain control over the east of his country now controlled by Russian proxy forces within months and get cheap gas and major investment from Russia if he does a deal with Moscow, the Kremlin’s closest ally in Ukraine said. Putin’s closest ally in Ukraine says the Kremlin is keen to know more about Zelensky.

Putin ally to Ukraine’s probable new leader: Do deal and get territory back – Reuters

Ukraine’s new president could regain control over the separatist-controlled east of his country within months and get cheap gas and major investment from Russia if he does a deal with Moscow, the Kremlin’s closest ally in Ukraine said.

Putin Should Fear Ukraine’s Russia-Friendly Front-Runner – Foreign Policy

The Kremlin will soon wish it were still dealing with a Ukrainian president who so much resembled its own.

Ukrainian presidential debate to be recorded for Putin to “watch later” – spokesman – news politics | UNIAN

The debates of presidential candidates in Ukraine will be recorded for Russian President Vladimir Putin, an UNIAN correspondent in Russia reports citing Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov. Putin’s press secretary suggests that Putin “will have time to watch it over the weekend”.

Ukrainian Presidential Contenders Rally Support On Last Campaign Day

KYIV — Debate day has arrived and the stages are set. That’s right. There will be two stages — one for each candidate — at the much anticipated Ukrainian presidential debate, separated by a security barricade and crowds of supporters who will pack into separated “fan zones” at Kyiv’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium on the evening of April 19. The bizarre arrangement is fitting for a nearly four-month-long presidential race to lead the country of some 40 million people that has been anything but orthodox. With “clone” candidates, live-streamed drug testing, and a front-runner whose only political experience is playing a fictional president on a TV sitcom, these elections are indeed one for the ages. And now it is coming to an end. Opinion polls suggest that in a life-imitating-art scenario comic actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy may very well deliver a devastating defeat to incumbent President Petro Poroshenko and become Ukraine’s sixth president in an April 21 runoff vote. Zelenskiy won the election’s first round on March 31, winning with 30 percent of the votes compared to Poroshenko’s 16 percent. A Rating Group poll issued on April 18 showed Zelenskiy with 52 percent of voters’ support compared to Poroshenko’s 19 percent. Some 19 percent said they were undecided and 10 percent said they would not vote.

Ukrainian Presidential Elections: Poroshenko to debate Zelensky tonight, online broadcast

Two candidates are expected to meet face-to-face first at Kyiv’s Olympic Stadium at 7 p.m. at unofficial debates, then on air of Suspilne (public) TV channel at 8 p.m. to debate officially

Presidential Debate 2019: Update on format, situiation around Kyiv’s Olympiyskiy Stadium (Photo) – News of Ukraine | UNIAN

Journalists Andriy Kulikov, proposed by Team Poroshenko, and Olena Froliak, nominated by team Zelensky, will be hosting the presidential debate set to be held Friday night at the Olympiskiy Stadium in Kyiv.  The format of the debate has also been announced.

Police, National Guard working to ensure public order at Olimpiyskiy stadium

Since Friday morning, Ukraine’s police and National Guard have been taking needed measures to ensure public order at the Olimpiyskiy stadium in Kyiv during the debate between presidential candidates Petro Poroshenko and Volodymyr Zelensky. — Ukrinform.

Debates day at NSC Olimpiysky in Kyiv: Stadium surrounded by police vehicles

The security measures in the area of NSC Olimpiysky stadium are clearly enhanced, as the day of presidential debates came. A lot of law enforcers gathered near the arena, guarding public order, a correspondent of 112 Ukraine reports. Cars with law enforcers surround the stadium; the reporter counted 20 vehicles by one side of the stadium alone. The National Guard recently arrived, too. Law enforcers do not let the car owners park on the adjacent streets. Those who come to watch the debates will be let inside after 4 p.m. Special filtration points with metal detector frames are being set. All items resembling weapons will be seized. Ploshcha Lva Tolstoho and Olimpiyska, the two stations of Kyiv underground will be temporarily closed for entry and exit on April 19. The reason is the presidential debates slated for late April 19. The press office of the underground reported that, explaining that the stations will be closed for entrance from 6 to 7 p.m. After the event is over, both will be closed for the exit.

Debates at Olimpiyskiy: Over 20 foreign TV channels to broadcast event

Chairman of the Board of National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine stated over 20 TV channels will broadcast Zelensky-Poroshenko debates

Debates at Olimpiiskyi: Over 20 foreign TV channels to broadcast event

19.04.19 16:11 – Debates at Olimpiiskyi: Over 20 foreign TV channels to broadcast event Yet there are still some difficulties with the broadcast from the stadium – such debates are considered as political campaigning and have to be paid by the headquarters of the candidates. View news.

Absence of serious debates in Ukraine is disrespect for voters, – European ambassadors

Debates at the stadium

Christopher Miller on Twitter: “Contrite Poroshenko makes last-ditch plea to voters on FB live: “I know how many complaints you have against me…how difficult it is for each of you to forgive me for my mistakes. I’m not perfect. But…we can’t undo everything that’s been achieved and abandon a European future”… https://t.co/vCIBjQA3hh”

 

Kateryna_Kruk on Twitter: “Poroshenko called. Well, it was a recorded message urging Ukrainians to vote on Sunday elections but it nevertheless felt so serious. Like I’m among shouting pupils at school and suddenly a principal enters a class “

 

Christopher Miller on Twitter: “Surreal. Zelenskiy finally goes on live TV (Kolomoisky’s 1+1 channel where his shows air, of course) but acts more as moderator than candidate, calling on members of his team to speak on his behalf one by one.

Oleksandr Danylyuk, Mikhail Fedorov, Rouslan Riaboshapka etc. 3 days… https://t.co/2NCnYVOqr8&#8243;

 

Christopher Miller on Twitter: “View from the Zelenskiy side of the field. 20 minutes until debate “kickoff.”… “

Poroshenko and Zelensky’s debates at the Olympic Stadium. April 19, 2009 Online broadcast – YouTube

112 Ukraine Started streaming 40 minutes ago Read more: https://go.112.ua/bdRTg The debates between the presidential candidates must be held on April 19 at 7:00 PM at the NSC “Olympic”. Teams of presidential candidates Petro Poroshenko and Vladimir Zelensky signed a tripartite agreement with NSC “Olimpiyskiy” on the lease of the stadium. Election debates are foreseen by electoral legislation. According to the law, the debate should take place on the last Friday before the election day. The official debate must take place at the studio of the public broadcaster at a strictly specified time.

The debate between Poroshenko and Zelensky at “Suspylnoe” Studio. April 19, 2009 Online broadcast – YouTube

112 Ukraine Scheduled for Apr 19, 2019 The exact time of the start of the debate on Suspilnom will be known later. The Central Election Commission considers the question of postponing the debate from 20:00 to 21:00. April 19 at 19:00 Planned Poroshenko and Zelensky’s debates on Olympics – see here:https://youtu.be/Ei1_hzGpBQc Follow the second round of 112 elections – on Sunday, April 21, at 5:00 pm we will start: https://youtu.be/_g3dzyB2Ank

Zelensky: I’m not hiding from journalists – this is my strategy

Presidential candidate of Ukraine, showman Volodymyr Zelensky has explained why he didn’t take part in talk shows. “I didn’t hide from anyone – this is such a strategy. I don’t go to talk shows. I respect experts, program hosts, journalists. I can’t go where the people of the old government sit and just quarrel with each other … I wanted to show them that without this populism we will defeat them and we did it,” he said on the talk show entitled The Right to Power on Thursday. He also added: “If you compare two candidates, it seems to me that it is better to have “a pig in a poke” than a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Zelensky explained that he works a lot in the studio Kvartal 95.

Team Zelensky: Who are they (Photo) – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian presidential candidate, showman Volodymyr Zelensky has introduced members of his team who will work alongside if he is elected president in the April 21 runoff. According to Zelensky, all these people are not candidates for ministerial positions, but they are responsible for various directions in his team.

Zelenskyi presents his team two days before election

Presidential election frontrunner Volodymyr Zelenskyi has presented a team of experts who he says can receive posts in his future government and administration. Both supporters and opponents of Zelenskyi have long demanded to know the names of the people that the showman-turned-politician would bring into power with him if elected president. Zelenskyi finally presented the team on the Pravo Na Vladu political talk show on 1+1 TV channel on April 18. Censor.NET reports citing Interfax. Some of the names on Zelenskyi’s team were known to be members of his inner circle before, while others were new. The candidate presented each and briefly described their area of expertise. He said that they aren’t guaranteed government posts, but the best of them will get them. Here is the team Zelenskyi presented on April 18, in the order he presented them: Ruslan Stefanchuk is the team’s ideologist responsible for reforming the country’s legal institutes and developing legislation, “a man with big ideas and a big heart.” What we know: Stefanchuk is a distinguished Ukrainian scholar specializing in non-property rights, intellectual property laws, and civil rights. He is often called the ideologist of Zelenskyi’s campaign and one of the authors of Zelenskyi’s election program, which included ideas crowdsourced from social media users. He also manages Zelenskyi’s meetings with experts. He says he has known Zelenskyi for a good two decades: They met while performing KVN, a student comedy competition popular in Russian-speaking countries. But in the early 2000s their paths separated. Zelenskyi approached him in March 2018. Ivan Bakanov will be responsible for the future president’s relations with parliament. What we know: Bakanov is the CEO of Zelenskyi’s company Kvartal 95. He is in charge of the presidential campaign of Zelenskyi, who is also his childhood friend from the city of Krivyi Rih. He is the legal founder of Zelenskyi’s party, Servant of the People. Dmytro Razumkov will be in charge of the domestic policy. What we know: Razumkov is a political consultant and the managing director of the Ukrainian Politconsulting Group. Razumkov, 35, started his political career as the leader of the youth branch of the Party of Regions. In 2013–2014, he worked with the then governor of Kirovohrad Oblast, Andriy Nikolayenko, who now heads the Osnova political party. During the 2014 presidential election, he was an authorized representative of candidate Sergiy Tigipko, a prominent banker and politician, at the Central Election Commission. Oleksandr Danylyuk was presented as an expert in foreign relations, economics, and finance. What we know: Danylyuk was the Finance Minister of Ukraine in 2016-2018. Danylyuk was fired from the government after a conflict with Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman over reforming the state fiscal service. He accused Groysman of sabotaging the reform and covering up corruption. He and former National Bank chairwoman Valeria Gontareva steered the nationalization of PrivatBank from oligarchs Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Boholyubov in 2016. Ruslan Riaboshapka was presented as an expert in charge of law enforcement and anti-corruption policy. What we know: Ryaboshapka is a former member of the National Agency for Corruption Prevention. He served as a deputy to the justice minister focusing on the fight against corruption before his appointment to the National Agency for Corruption Prevention. He resigned from the agency in 2017 citing systemic issues in its work and officials’ indifference to fixing them. Halyna Yanchenko is as an expert in anti-corruption and digital policy. Denys Monastyrskyi will focus on law enforcement. Serhii Ionushas was presented as an expert on justice. What we know: Ionushas is a lawyer at the Gelon law firm and the patent and intellectual property attorney for Zelenskyi and Kvartal 95. He is Zelenskyi’s authorized representative at the Central Election Commission. Ivan Aparshyn is a defense and security expert. What we know: At 62 years old, Aparshyn is the oldest member of Zelenskyi’s team. He is a career military officer. Starting in 2000, he served in a series of significant, but not exceedingly public positions in the Ministry of Defense bureaucracy. Most recently, between 2011 and 2014, he served as top expert in security and defense for the Cabinet of Ministers. In the 2014 parliamentary election, Aparshyn was a member of the party list of former Defense Minister Anatoliy Grytsenko’s Civic Position party. Grytsenko, a presidential candidate in the 2019 race’s first round, wanted to appoint Aparshyn defense minister in his potential administration. “Ukrainian forces will be professional and voluntary. They will be strengthened with a modern system of territorial defense and an active reserve,” Aparshyn said during Pravo na Vladu. “We will bring into the management of the Armed Forces combat officers who are capable of victory and, most importantly, of protecting the lives of soldiers.” He also promised to make defense procurement and the defense ministry maximally open and transparent — a clear reference to the corruption scandal in state defense concern UkrOboronProm under incumbent President Petro Poroshenko. “In real time, you will be able to control the effectiveness with which each kopeck that you and I allocate for defense and security is used,” Aparshyn said. “I guarantee this to you.” Iryna Venedyktova is focusing on court reform. What we know: Venedyktova is a professor of law at Kharkiv National University; vice president of the Bioethics and Medical Law Foundation. Danylo Hetmantsev is in charge of economics, finances, and taxation. What we know: Honorary president of the Jurimex law firm; President of the Association of tax advisers Viktoria Strakhova is in charge of the bank sector. What we know: Strakhova was the corporate secretary at PrivatBank, a bank formerly owned by oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, Zelenskyi’s business partner. She participated in the nationalization of Privatbank in December 2016, and started working in the bank after it became the state property. She left the bank in 2017. Before that, she worked at the National Reform Council, an advisory body at President Petro Poroshenko’s administration. Mykhailo Fedorov is an expert in digital, e-government What we know: Founder of SMM Studio, head of the digital strategy of Zelenskyi’s campaign Oleksandr Merezhko is an expert in foreign relations and democracy. What we know: Head of the law department at the Kyiv National Linguistics University Oleh Bondarenko is in charge of environmental policies. What we know: Lawyer, leader of the public organization Green Fund, which protects the rights of citizens in environmental disputes Maryna Bardyna is in charge of securing equal rights for men and women. What we know: Bardyna previously worked as an assistant to reformist lawmaker and former investigative journalist Sergii Leshchenko, who is currently an adviser to the Zelenskyi campaign. At 26 years old, is likely the youngest member of Zelenskyi’s team. Serhiy Kalchenko is an expert in human rights and electoral legislation. What we know: Kalchenko is a partner at Hillmont Partners law firm and Zelenskyi’s authorized representative at the Central Election Commission. Andrii Herus is an expert on energy, utilities, and anti-monopoly policy. What we know: Herus, 37, is the director of the Association of Consumers of Energy and Utilities, a non-governmental organization that defends the rights of utilities consumers, and a frequent commentator on energy issues. In 2014-2015, he was a member of the National Energy and Utilities Regulation Commission. Before that, he worked in the Concorde Capital investment firm and the Galnaftogaz gas station chain. The homepage of Gerus’ organization features a meter of the “corruption rents from Rotterdam+,” a scheme that set coal prices artificially high and, its critics allege, gave unjustified profits to power companies. Serhii Babak an expert in education and science. What we know: Babak, 40, is an economist and an expert on education and innovation with over 20 years of experience in the academic world. Currently, he works as the director of educational programs at the Ukrainian Institute of the Future. According to his official biography, Babak spent five years as vice-rector of a private university, led a research center in the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences for seven years, and has served as a member of the National Agency for Ensuring the Quality of Education. Yevhen Komarovskyi was presented as Zelenskyi’s adviser on medicine. What we know: Komarovskyi, 58, is a pediatrician and the author of the popular health manual “A Child’s Health and the Parents’ Common Sense,” as well as many other books on pediatric and medical subjects. He is also the host of the television show “Doctor Komarovskyi’s School” on the Inter television channel. In his speech during “Pravo na Vladu,” Komarovskyi admitted that healthcare is not a central component of the president’s responsibilities unless medical issues threaten national security. Komarovskyi said he sees two health issues that threaten Ukraine’s national security: the current measles outbreak and the growing deficit of medical cadres in Ukraine. “A hundred thousand residents of our country have gotten sick with measles,” Komarovsky said. Thirty-seven years ago when he was a medical student, “they couldn’t show me a single person with measles,” he added.

Zelensky introduces his team

Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky has introduced his team with which, if he wins the second round of presidential elections, he plans to lead the country, according to an Ukrinform correspondent. — Ukrinform.

Zelenskyy presents his team – LB.ua news portal

Presidential election frontrunner Volodymyr Zelenskyy has presented the team with which he is planning to build a “new Ukraine”. The presentation took place on the air of One Plus One. “These are professional people, specialists, smart people who will join me in the presidential administration,” Zelenskyy said. His team includes: – Ruslan Stepanchuk, ideologist, in charge of reforming government and legal institutions, legislature, – Ivan Bakanov, head of the Servant of the People party, responsible for liaison with parliament, – Dmytro Razumkov, domestic policy, – Oleksandr Danylyuk, international affairs, economy, finance and banking, – Ruslan Ryaboshapka, anticorruption policy and digital solutions for public service, – Denys Monastyrskyy, law enforcement, – Serhiy Ionushas, judiciary, – Ivan Aparshyn, security and defence, – Iryna Venedyktova, judicial reform, – Danylo Hetmantsev, economy, finance and taxation, – Viktoriya Strakhova, banking, – Mykhaylo Fedoriv, head of digital, – Oleksandr Merezhko, expert in international relations and grassroots democracy, – Oleh Bondarenko, environmental policy, – Maryna Bardina, equal rights and opportunities, – Serhiy Kalchenko, election law, – Andriy Herus, energy, housing and utilities, antimonopoly regulation, – Serhiy Babak, science and education, – Yevhen Komarovskyy, healthcare. Ukrainians will go to polls to elect president on 21 April.

Zelensky presenting Ze!Team: They will come with me to Presidential Administration, later occupy official positions

Showman and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky has presented his team (Ze!Team) on Thursday evening on the Right to Power program aired by the 1+1 TV channel.

Zelensky calls for finding alternative to Russian oil

Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky has called for finding an alternative to Russian oil and petroleum products due to export restrictions imposed by Moscow. “I do not have a profound knowledge of this issue; I have yet to study it. I am not ashamed to say so. I believe it is always necessary to consider every option in every mission. As for this mission, I think we should find an alternative,” Zelensky said in the Pravo na Vladu (Right to Power) talk show on Thursday. “Perhaps, we should find it in Western countries,” Zelensky said in response to the question what Ukraine could do considering Russia’s restrictions on supplying oil and petroleum products to Ukraine.

Ukrainian Presidential Front-Runner Pledges To Hold Referendum On NATO

Ukrainian presidential front-runner Volodymyr Zelenskiy has pledged to hold a referendum on whether or not Kyiv should join NATO if he is elected president.

Zelensky reveals plans for Donbas – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky has said Donbas does not need to be granted any special status. If elected president, Zelensky is not going to sign the law on amnesty for the militants of the so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.” Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky has said Donbas does not need to be granted any special status. “I think this is a huge story, and it will take us long to get out of this criminal situation. Perhaps, it will be precisely information war that will help us here. I really hope to return these people information-wise to the state of mind of realizing that Ukraine needs them, they need Ukraine, and they are, too, Ukrainians. But a lot of humanitarian steps will have to be done, plenty of things. See, there’s a fence that has been set up. What do our politicians say? Build a wall, and so on… It was built, but of bricks. It’s even worse. It seems there is no wall, but it is scary anyway, information-wise. Those people in those territories who don’t receive pensions… And the fact that we don’t talk to them is the worst thing,” he said in an interview with RBC-Ukraine. Read alsoZelensky says coalition with ex-Party of Regions, Poroshenko off the table

Zelensky’s team to provide professional army, recruit combat officers to command it

The team of presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky will provide a professional voluntary army and will bring in military officers to the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, security and defense expert of Zelensky’s team, Ivan Aparshin, has said. “The security and defense sphere is the responsibility of the president. Security and defense decisions will be responsible and thoroughly substantiated. The Ukrainian army will be professional and voluntary. It will be strengthened by a modern system of territorial defense and an active reserve. We will involve those who are capable of winning and, most importantly, of preserving the life of a soldier,” he said during the presentation of the members of the team of Zelensky on the Right to Power talk show on the 1+1 TV channel. Aparshin stressed that the state defense order and finance of the Ministry of Defense will be as open as possible. “In real time, you will be able to control the use of every penny that you and we together allot to defense and security. I guarantee you that,” he said. Aparshin pointed out that the soldier would be “armed, motivated and prepared.” “The level of pay service for servicemen will be increased due to austerity of resources,” he said. Earlier, Aparshin was proposed for the post of Minister of Defense by presidential candidate of Ukraine, leader of the Civil Position Party Anatoliy Hrytsenko.

If elected president, Zelensky unready to use army to liberate Russia-occupied Donbas – news politics | UNIAN

Presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky says if elected president, he is not ready to use the army to liberate Russia-occupied Donbas, eastern Ukraine. Political consultant for Zelensky’s headquarters Dmytro Razumkov says that only diplomatic means should be used.

Zelenskyi: ‘If I fail, I will leave’

Comedic actor Volodymyr Zelenskyi is preparing for a major transition in his life: from being a popular television fixture to becoming the president of Ukraine. Censor.NET reports citing 1+1. “I’m having a hard transition period,” Zelenskyi said during a rare appearance on television after the first round of the election. On April 18, he came to the late-night political talk show, Pravo na Vladu (“Right to Power”) on 1+1, the channel for which he has produced a wide range of comedy shows and sitcoms for over six years. Leaving his production business is breaking out of his comfort zone, Zelenskyi said, but he felt it was his social mission. “I will do everything I can. I will bring in smart people. If I fail, I will leave. That is why I’m running only for five years (one presidential term), and one of my first bills will be a law on impeachment,” he said. In his campaign, Zelenskyi has chosen a strategy of communicating with his voters through short video messages and having his advisers speak on television on his behalf. He has not held a press conference and has given almost no interviews to media, drawing the discontent of journalists.

Zelensky voices Campaign’s key messages – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian presidential candidate, showman Volodymyr Zelensky, during the Pravo na Vladu (Right to Power) TV panel show on TV Channel 1+1 voiced a number of key points of his presidential campaign. Zelensky said he wants to “break the system” as president. “The system – it looks like a deck of marked cards, where the kings and sixes have been rotating all these years, and the stake is very high, the stake is terrible – it’s human life,” Zelensky said. According to the presidential candidate, one of his first initiatives will be the bill on impeachment. He said he had become popular and wealthy “thanks to this country, thanks to Ukraine.” “Therefore, this is a goal for me, I don’t see any obstacles, I’ll bring in smart people. If I fail, I’ll leave. Therefore, I’m running for president for five years and propose the law on impeachment as one of the first laws,” he said.

Zelensky says bill on impeachment to be one of first initiatives if he takes top office – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian presidential candidate, showman Volodymyr Zelensky has said he is running for president for a sinlge term, and that one of his first initiatives if he is elected will be the bill on impeachment. Zelensky noted his team had discussions on whether such legislation was feasible.

Presidential candidate Zelensky introduces his team – news politics | UNIAN

Presidential candidate of Ukraine, showman Volodymyr Zelensky has introduced members of his team for his presidency if elected president in the April 21 runoff. Zelensky described the members of his team as “volunteers in politics.”

Zelensky not planning to listen to Kolomoisky’s advice on state governance if elected president

Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky has said that he told the host of the Pravo na Vladu (Right to Power) talk show he would not be listening to Ihor Kolomoisky’s advice on state governance in case of his election president. He confirmed the existence of his media business partnership with Kolomoisky but said he intended to quit. “I am withdrawing from business. I am withdrawing from Kvartal 95 Studio. I will not be doing it for five years, unlike a certain person was withdrawing from a factory business. I will stop being anyone’s partner,” Zelensky said. He also pledged to resign as the president if he ever breaks the law. As reported earlier, the Ukrainian government backed the proposal of the National Bank and former PrivatBank shareholders and nationalized the biggest bank in Ukraine on December 18, 2016. Kolomoisky and Hennadiy Boholyubov had a majority of shares in PrivatBank as of that moment. Kyiv’s district administrative court proclaimed the bank’s nationalization illegal on April 18, 2019, as demanded by Kolomoisky. The National Bank and the Finance Ministry said they would appeal the ruling after it was officially posted and insisted on the correctness of the privatization decision.

Zelensky doesn’t plan to partake in budget-funded televised debate on UA:PBC – campaign HQ – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian presidential candidate, showman Volodymyr Zelensky’s participation in budget-financed televised debates on UA:PBC is not planned. The candidate’s team says that the only agreed format of participation was the debate on the stadium.

Ukraine’s fresh-faced Volodymyr Zelensky has some serious drawbacks | Financial Times

Voters must choose between an amiable novice and a veteran insider

Member of National Academy of Sciences calls on CEC to provide document proving Zelensky knows Ukrainian

Viktor Ohneviuk, the member of the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine, called on the Central Election Commission of Ukraine to provide the document, which proves that presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky knows the Ukrainian language. Viktor Ohneviuk wrote on Facebook. Ohneviuk reminded that according to the article 103 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the president can become a citizen of Ukraine aged 35, has the right to vote, has been living in Ukraine for the last 10 years and knows the state language. “I doubt that presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky knows the Ukrainian language. I call on the Central Election Commission of Ukraine to publish the document, which proves he knows the language, in order not to violate the constitution of Ukraine in case Zelensky wins,” the member of the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine wrote.

Who is Mr. Ze: All we need to know about Volodymyr Zelensky

The elections of the president of Ukraine comes to the end and the Central Election Commission will announce their results. Bu the main discovery of these elections is showman Volodymyr Zelensky, who announced on New Year’s Eve that he runs for the presidency. He was the leader of the presidential race for a few months and received the maximal support of the voters at the first tour of the elections. We introduce the possible new president of Ukraine to you. General information Volodymyr Zelensky was born on January 25, 1978, in Kryvy Rih to Jewish parents. He lived in Erdenet, Mongolia for four years before entering the gymnasium and later his family returned to Kryvy Rih. Father of the showman Olexandr Zelensky headed the CS Department at a local branch of Kyiv Economic University. He holds a PhD’s degree in economics. Volodymyr’s mother Rimma Zelenska worked as an engineer and does the housework currently. In 2003, Volodymyr Zelensky married Olena Kiyashko, his schoolmate. They have to children: daughter Oleksandra (born in 2004) and son Kyrylo (born in 2013). Zelensky graduated from Kryvy Rih Economic Institute based on Kyiv Economic University. He received a legal education bud has never worked on a specialty. Career Zelensky got involved with KVN (Club of the Funny and Inventive People, humor TV show) in college and created a theatre of miniatures Bespryzornyk (Guttersnipe). Meanwhile, he along with Olexandr Pikalov and Denys Manzhosov, created KVN team Molody Kryvy Rih. Later he was a member of Zaporizhia-Kryvyi Rih-Transit team. Kryvy Rih Tea was next stage in his life and in 1997, Kvartal 95 Studio was created and Zelensky became its captain, actor and author of many performances. Since 1999, the team participated in the Major League and the highest open league of KVN. However, the conflict between Kvartal 95 Studio and Amic Company, which ruled the KVN, took place in 2003. Zelensky was offered to stay in KVN as the author and editor but without his team. Volodymyr refused from the offer and left KVN along with his team. The Ukrainian TV channels showed an interest in KVN team and Kvartal 95 Studio began to prepare the number of the concerts consisting of the best acts of the team for 1+1 TV channel. In 2005, the first issue of Evening Quarter took place at Inter TV channel. Since December 23, 2010, up to September 3, 2012, Zelensky occupied the position of the Producer General of Inter. In October 2012, Zelensky and Kvartal 95 Studio entered into a contract with 1+1. Besides Evening Quarter, the studio released a number of the projects, including Biytsivksy Klub (Fighting Club), Ukrayino, vstavai (Rise up, Ukraine), Rozsmishy komika (Amuse a comedian), Kyiv Vechirny (Kyiv at night) and Liga smikhu (League of Laughter). Zelensky is also the screenwriter, producer and actor of a few films and TV series: Svaty (Matchmakers), Lyubov u velykome misti (Love in the Big City), Sluzhbovy roman: nash chas (Office Romance. Our Time), 8 pershykh pobachen (8 First Dates), Ya, ty, vin, vona (Me, You, He, She). In 2015, the first season of TV series Servant of the People was released. Zelensky played a role of the president of Ukraine there. Politics After the release of Servant for the People, Zelensky was associated with Vasyl Holoborodko, his character in the series. Due to this, showman was included on the lists of the potential candidates for the post of the president of Ukraine. In 2017, the lawyers of Kvartal 95 Studio registered political party Servant for the People. The statement of Zelensky that he decided to fight for the first post in the country was shown by 1+1 TV channel on New Year’s Eve on January 1, 2019. It was announced stroke of midnight, instead of the New Year greeting of President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. On January 21, 2019, political party Servant for the People officially nominated Zelensky as the candidate for the presidency. Almost immediately after the registration of Zelensky as the candidate for the presidency, he headed the election rating. However, many people criticized Zelensky for the absence of the political experience and holding of the closed election campaign. According to the results of the voting at the first tour, the showman occupied the first place with 30,24% of the votes. Current President Petro Poroshenko got the second place with 15,95% and entered the second tour along with Zelensky. Before the second tour, Zelensky offered Poroshenko to hold the public debates at Olympic Stadium and to be tested for the presence of alcohol and drugs in the blood and Poroshenko agreed. In the election program, Zelensky promised to turn Ukraine into the state, where business “can be opened during an hour, a foreign passport can be issued during 15 minutes and voting at the elections can take place on one second”. Besides, “the doctors and teachers get real payment and corrupt officials get real imprisonment” in “Ukraine of dream” of Zelensky. While “old people get decent retirement instead of a heart attack due to the payment for the utilities”. Zelensky is tied with oligarch Ihor Kolomoysky; however, both of them deny it. Related: Russian TV channels to broadcast Poroshenko, Zelensky debates Many Russian politicians support Volodymyr Zelensky during the elections. Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (who negatively spoke about Ukraine and Ukrainian people and also urged to hold a war with the neighboring country), Natalia Poklonska, the ex-prosecutor of Crimea and current lawmaker of the Russian State Duma are on this list. On March 28, 2019, odious Russian actors Ivan Okhlobystin and Mikhail Porechenkov expressed the support of Zelensky. They were put on the list of the anti-Ukrainian views, posting of the threat to the national security of Ukraine due to their anti-Ukrainian statements and support of the Russian occupation forces in Donbas. Zelensky reacted to the video and statements of the Russian actors and said that the video was made on purpose. According to the declaration, the general incomes of Zelensky made $178,471 in 2017. The main part of this sum is the incomes from the business owned by the showman. His wife earned $29,900. The family keeps $727,500, € 50,100 and 1,4 million of hryvnia in the bank accounts. Zelensky family owns a house and the land plot not far from Kyiv, three flats and three places for a car in Kyiv and occupied Crimea. Related: Zelensky in world media: unexpected frontrunner, beloved comic, presidential favorite, showman Showman drives Land Rover 2016 and his wife drives Mercedes-Benz 2014. High-profile scandal Zelensky and Kadyrov. In 2014, Kvartal 95 Studio released a video with crying head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov. The video with Kadyrov was mounted with a voice of the Ukrainian pensioner, who got upset due to the dismantling of Lenin monument in Kharkiv. Later Russian lawmaker Shamsail Saraliev recommended Zelensky on Twitter to “prepare for ground”. It turned out that the video with Kadyrov was shot during namaz (Muslim prayer). Shoman apologized for bad joke and added that the issue is not in the name of a person but in the things, which cannot be laughed. The car of Zelensky was burned in December 2014. At the beginning of 2015, Anton Herashchenko, the advisor of the Interior Minister reported on Facebook that the law enforcers detained the group of seven people. One of the detainees was tied to “head of Chechen Republic”. “This group gathered information about Volodymyr Zelensky and members of his family in Kyiv and Kryvy Rih for six months…To prevent the further destruction of the property and possible physical elimination of Zelensky and his relatives, we decided to detain this group,” Herashchenko reported. Related: Zelensky wants to legalize medical marijuana, prostitution “Ukraine reminds actress from German adult films”. In 2016, Zelensky compared Ukraine to “the actress of German adult film”, which “is ready to accept any number from any side” during the performance in Latvian Jurmala. t raised the displeasure of some TOP officials of the state and MPs. Thus, Oleg Lyashko described showman as “degenerate without roots and tribe”. Ban of Svaty series. In 2017, the broadcasting of Svaty series was banned. The participation of Russian actor Fedor Dobronravov became the reason for such decision as he supported the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 and illegally crossed the Ukrainian border visiting Crimea. Zelensky stood for the defense of the series and recommended the law enforcers to “defeat nepotism and only then fight against Svaty”. “You fight against thing, which unites people, united millions of viewers,” Zelensky stated. Offshores and business in Russia. In January 2019, the journalists found three Russian companies, which deals with the production of movies, video films and TV programs: Weisberg Pictures, Platinumfilm and Green Films. The founder of these companies is Green Family Ltd. the company from Cyprus. It was reported that this company is the co-founder of Kvartal 95 Studio in Ukraine and its ultimate beneficiaries are Volodymyr Zelensky, his business partners Andry Yakovlev, Borys and Serhy Shefir and Timur Mindich, the ally of Ihor Kolomoysky. The most successful company is Green Films. According to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, in 2014, the sum of the incomes of Green Films made $5,3 million, in 2015 – $3,25 million, in 2016 – $1,9 million. In 2017, Green Films got $547,000 from the state budget of Russia for the production of the film. Later Volodymyr Zelensky stated that he withdrew from shareholding of Green Family LTD. Mansion in Italy. The journalists of Slidstvo.Info (Investigation.Info) published the documents, according to which, Italian Company San Tommaso SRL declared by Zelensky, bought 15-rooms house in Forte dei Marmi, Tuscany in 2017. The Italian paid 3,8 million of euro for it. However, it is unknown, whether Zelensky visits Tuscany villa. It is noteworthy that Russian oligarchs Roman Abramovich, Oleg Deripaska and relatives of deceased Boris Eltsyn visit Forte dei Marmi very often. Related: 12,000 seats booked for Poroshenko-Zelensky debates as Olimpiysky stadium in Kyiv Conscription. The Defense Ministry of Ukraine stated that Volodymyr Zelensky ignored summons from the conscription office four times in 2014-2015. “For the conscription during the mobilization, he was delivered the summons on April 15, 2014, June 23, 2014, August 15, 2014, and May 10, 2015, at the address defined at his records. V. O. Zelensky did not come to the conscription office on the summon”, the message said. It is noted that Zelensky stays in the military register of the persons liable for military duty since December 22, 2008. His military rank is a soldier and specialty is an administrator. He is suitable for the military service but did not serve at the Armed Forces of Ukraine. it was reported that Zelensky and Kvartal 95 Studio transferred $37,100 for the Ukrainian military.

VIDEO: Poroshenko Rallies Supporters Ahead Of Presidential Debate

Trailing far behind in the polls, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko rallied his supporters in Kyiv’s Independence Square ahead of a debate with rival candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy. The April 19 gathering came hours before Poroshenko was to face Zelenskiy in a 70,000-seat stadium. Zelenskiy is a comedic actor with no political experience but has a big lead over Poroshenko in opinion surveys just two days before Ukrainians cast ballots in the April 21 presidential runoff vote.

Rally in support of Poroshenko begins in downtown Kyiv

A rally in support of presidential candidate incumbent Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is taking place in Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) in downtown Kyiv on Friday. About 1,500 people have gathered on the square and traffic on Khreschatyk Street has been partially blocked, an Interfax-Ukraine correspondent reported. Organizers have installed a stage with Poroshenko’s election slogan “We Are Going Our Own Way. Petro Poroshenko.” Many of the participants in the rally are carrying state flags. Ada Rohovtseva, Dmytro Pavlychko, Culture Minister Yevhen Nyschuk, and Andriy Parubiy spoke from the stage. Poroshenko himself arrived at the country’s main square, where he is expected to make a speech. Additionally, the procession, which began in Mykhailivska Square, is expected to arrive on Maidan.

Poroshenko comes to Independence Square in Kyiv, where ‘Protect Ukraine’ rally taking place. Photos, Video

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and his wife have come to the Independence Square in Kyiv, where the rally “Protect Ukraine” is taking place. — Ukrinform. “It is not a choice between Zelensky and Poroshenko. We all are aware of the real stake at these elections: whether our country will continue its path towards the EU and NATO, or everything will be put on the back burner. Another extremely important question is whether Ukrainians will allow revenge to happen, whether we will be able to resist the Kremlin’s attempts to conquer Ukraine again and make it a part or a satellite of the Russian Empire,” Petro Poroshenko said at the rally, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. “Despite the fact that Putin has a much larger military budget and Russia has much more resources, I guarantee you that if I am elected on April 21, Putin will suffer a defeat here in Ukraine in the next five years,” Poroshenko said.

Poroshenko comes to Independence Square in Kyiv to ‘Protect Ukraine’ rally. VIDEO

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and his wife have come to the Independence Square in Kyiv, where the rally “Protect Ukraine” is taking place. Censor.NET reports citing Interfax. The rally “Protect Ukraine!” has started in support of incumbent President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko as a candidate for the post of the Head of State in the Independence Square in Kyiv. “It is not a choice between Zelenskyi and Poroshenko. We all are aware of the real stake at these elections: whether our country will continue its path towards the EU and NATO, or everything will be put on the back burner. Another extremely important question is whether Ukrainians will allow revenge to happen, whether we will be able to resist the Kremlin’s attempts to conquer Ukraine again and make it a part of a satellite of the Russian Empire,” Petro Poroshenko said “Despite the fact that Putin has a much larger military budget and Russia has much more resources, I guarantee you that if I am elected on April 21, Putin will suffer a defeat here in Ukraine in the next five years,” Poroshenko said. Source: https://censor.net.ua/en/v3123222

Poroshenko believes Ukraine will pass point of no return, join EU

Ukraine is threatened by revenge, which will throw it into the past, incumbent President Petro Poroshenko and presidential candidate has said.

“Protecting Ukraine” Rally – Petro Poroshenko

I understand very well that you have received today information that you have found possible support to support Ukraine! For coming to the capital from different corners of our state in this important moment in its history. It is extremely important and hoped for your self-organization, bringing in the trust of those interlocutors who have made the nail of domestic television technologies, all these commercial clubs.

NATO, EU, poverty alleviation: Poroshenko’s election program

Ukraine’s President and current challenger Petro Poroshenko is believed to be among the top three in the upcoming presidential election, scheduled for March 31. Poroshenko promises to adhere to the previously chosen course for joining the EU and NATO, find diplomatic ways to return the occupied territories, and further develop the army, which sounds especially galling against corruption scandal with Poroshenko’s close entourage and embezzlement scheme involving the smuggling of military spare parts from Russia (fraudulent arms contracts that eventually cost the military 8,9 million USD). Let us take a closer look at these promises and other points of Poroshenko’s election program.

Poroshenko’s addresses Ukrainians ahead of debate with Zelensky: “I’m not giving up” – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who is running for re-election, has addressed the Ukrainians in a video published on his official Facebook page on the eve of the debate with Volodymyr Zelensky, his opponent in the presidential election runoff, at Kyiv’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium. Poroshenko says he uses his opponent’s tools for addressing the audience because he wants to be heard.

Five years of Poroshenko’s presidency: main achievements and failures |Euromaidan Press |

The tense political competition between Petro Poroshenko and Volodymyr Zelenskyi, two candidates for the presidency at the second round of Ukrainian elections, is not a discussion about two different policy agendas since Zelenskyi proposes few specific policies. However, the discussion between their supporters turns into juxtaposing the failures and achievements of the last five years. Poroshenko’s supporters, responding to the tremendous criticism by Zelenskyi voters, started to make extensive lists of the achievements of the last five years. We tried to analyze these lists critically and put together Ukraine’s main achievements and disappointments after the Euromaidan Revolution. Army capable of fighting, well-equipped, skilled, and experienced The corruption in the state defense industry scandalously exposed by the Bihus.info journalist investigation served a devastating blow to all the anti-corruption and military programs of the last five years. Nonetheless, the investigation itself is not yet properly investigated by law enforcement agencies and doesn’t point directly to Poroshenko who himself has donated 700 mn UAH for the army, in particular, for the installation of anti-aircraft warfare around Kyiv. The important thing is that, despite scandals in some 130 state defense enterprises, modernization of the Ukrainian army has been both rapid and successful over the last five years. In 2014, there was no modern individual equipment for soldiers, no adequate system of nutrition, no construction of new study centers and military accommodation. There was no professional training where soldiers were taught to shoot. The troops were curtailed nearly by half during Yanukovych’s presidency (2010-2013), so Ukraine entered the de-facto war with Russia with a lack of everything, from manpower to expertise to supplies. Despite the triple devaluation of the hryvnia in 2014, salaries of servicemen returned to the pre-2014 amount in USD in 2018 and grew in their purchasing power, with high premiums for those fighting in Donbas. The number of troops grew 150 to 205 thousand over 2014-2018.

Delegation of Canadian MPs leaves for Ukraine to observe presidential election

A delegation of Canadian MPs has left for Ukraine to observe the second round of the presidential election. — Ukrinform.

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Yovanovitch names three priorities after elections in Ukraine

The U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch named three priorities for Ukraine after the presidential elections. She delivered a speech at ENEMO briefing in Kyiv, as Hromadske reported. She noted that for the U.S., the following three things are at the top: the end of Donbas war, economic growth and government which treats Ukrainians with equality and sees every citizen equal before the law. The Ambassador added that the U.S. would work with any president the Ukrainians elect. Yovanovitch called the first round of the elections competitive, she noted it was held in compliance with the Ukrainian legislation and international standards. “In 2014 I have been to Berdyansk and I can compare that these elections differ from the others,” she said comparing the presidential elections in 2019 with special ones in 2014.

Russian influence on Ukraine’s presidential elections one of dominating themes of campaign – media monitoring

Russian influence on elections in Ukraine and on the candidates for the presidency of Ukraine has become one of the dominant topics in the preelection debate, according to results of media monitoring of the second round of presidential elections. “Elections were again a priority topic, which was covered by both TV channels and online media, and the second most highlighted topic was the issue of presidential debates and the non-participation of one of the candidates (for both TV channels and online media). The media also continued to highlight Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine,” says the report, titled “Who Ukrainian Media Elected,” presented in Kyiv on Friday. The report says showman and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky did not give interviews, communicate with the media or take part in televised debates. “Despite the fact that Petro Poroshenko received more coverage than his competitor on all but one channel and on all but one online media, the difference in the total amount of coverage between the two rivals was not significant,” the report says. TV channel 1+1 provided almost the same amount of coverage to candidates. According to the study, 15% of the channel’s coverage of incumbent President Petro Poroshenko was negative, and 85% was neutral, and on Zelensky, 98% was neutral and 1% was positive. The media monitoring project was conducted from April 1 to April 12 by the public organization Commission on Journalist Ethics, Platform for Human Rights, Ukrainian Institute of Media and Communications and StopFake, with the support of the Council of Europe.

Ukraine tycoon says ‘odious’ central bankers could go if Zelenskiy wins election – Reuters

Ukrainian tycoon Ihor Kolomoisky said on Thursday he expects some “odious individuals” at the central bank could be removed from office if presidential front-runner Volodymyr Zelenskiy wins Sunday’s run-off election.

Poroshenko convenes National Security and Defense Council meeting on PrivatBank – news economics | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine on the situation around state-run PrivatBank. The full text of the court’s decision is to be made public within ten days.

Poroshenko calls court ruling on Privatbank the first sign of revenge – LB.ua news portal

President Petro Poroshenko has called the ruling of Kyiv’s District Administrative Court on Privatbank the first sign of revenge. According to him, if Volodymyr Zelenskyy is elected president, it will only get worse. “For five years, Putin has not achieved a single strategic goal in Ukraine. He tried to attack from the front and undermine from the rear – he did not succeed. He is eager for revenge, he did not abandon plans to destroy Ukraine, deprive us of independence and blur our national identity,” Poroshenko said in his address to the people on 18 April. In his opinion, Putin hopes to get an incompetent newcomer, “whom he can easily outplay”, as president of Ukraine. Poroshenko considers himself a leader who is able to resist Putin. “My opponent’s programme does not contain a word about the European Union, so it does not surprise me that Moscow is campaigning for him – from Zhirinovsky and Zyuganov to our emigres led by Azarov, who have already packed their suitcases to return to Ukraine. Like a group of fugitive oligarchs. If Zelenskyy wins, one of them will reclaim Privatbank. And as you can see, they cannot wait, they have already begun to carry out this plan,” he said. In his opinion, vetting and electronic declaration of income statements are to be cancelled soon. “The revenge will not be a sharp U-turn. At first, it will be an unobtrusive, creeping but sure return to the sphere of Russian influence,” Poroshenko said. The president said that he would accept any result of the election on 21 April and begged Ukrainians’ pardon for the mistakes he made. “When you come to the polls, do not think about Zelenskyy or Poroshenko. Think about Ukraine, how to keep it. Just as in 2014 you stopped Novorossia, now I ask you not to allow Ukraine to turn into Malorossia [Little Russia],” Poroshenko said.

Poroshenko makes statement on PrivatBank at NSDC meeting

President Petro Poroshenko has said that he is concerned about connections between Ukrainian businessman Ihor Kolomoisky and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky before the elections and called for measures to be taken to prevent revenge and robbery of the state by oligarchs. — Ukrinform.

Poroshenko instructs NBU to provide Privatbank with cash, to prevent panic – LB.ua news portal

Poroshenko instructs NBU to provide Privatbank with cash, to prevent panic. The president suggested that the Prosecutor-General’s Office and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) consider a possibility of opening a case over the illegitimate decision on Privatbank. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

U.S. Embassy comments on issue of PrivatBank

The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine states that international partners supported the nationalization of PrivatBank in 2016 and will monitor developments in this area. — Ukrinform.

President on ensuring the smooth work of PrivatBank: Interests of people should not be affected. We must act quickly and efficiently — Official website of the President of Ukraine

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko appealed to the National Bank to ensure the smooth work of all branches of PrivatBank, to provide them with the necessary amount of cash and prevent any failures in the functioning of the bank. It was stated by the President following the meeting of the National Security and Defense Council as regards the situation with the court decision of the first instance, which could abolish the nationalization of PrivatBank.

We must protect the stability of hryvnia and prevent panic on the financial market – President in a meeting as regards the court decision on PrivatBank — Official website of the President of Ukraine

The Head of State noted:

 

 

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