Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

21 April 2019 – Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (152) – Election Outcome


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Exit polls released shortly after voting ended at 20:00 hrs Kyiv time indicate that comedian Zelenskiy won around 72% of the votes, setting a record for a presidential election in Ukraine. As a number of Ukrainian analysts observed, this is a rebellion by the voting public against the existing political class – Poroshenko despite his achievements is being punished for the slow pace of social and domestic reforms, and a parliament that seldom agreed to presidential requests. It is a leap into the unknown given that Zelenskiy has no prior experience in politics, and little demonstrated understanding of Ukraine’s strategic and foreign policy situation. If he follows the Reagan model and recruits the best talent in the country this gamble might pay off. If he does not, his administration will make many mistakes and all Ukrainians will pay for it dearly.

While Muscovy will be cracking open bottles of champagne to celebrate the departure of the much hated Poroshenko, as they did when Hillary Clinton lost in 2016, their glee may be misplaced, as it was in 2016. Russia’s complete propaganda narrative around Ukraine has collapsed – and the Russian public has watched it unfold on TV, web and social media over recent months. Even the dopiest Russian will know that Ukraine is free, and sufficiently, free that the public put into the presidency a novice comedian, who is Jewish, an unforgivable sin in anti-Semitic Russia. And that may present a new propaganda narrative on Ukraine’s failings.

The main risk in the near future will be Russia trying to exploit the new leader’s lack of experience to roll back the gains made by Poroshenko since 2014, or even topple the government, something they have tried to effect repeatedly since 2014. Zelenskiy is stepping into a snakepit where most fear to tread. We can expect most cabinet posts to be changed over coming weeks, although in the Ukrainian system the president must rely on the parliament to appoint cabinet members, presidential executive powers are mostly constrained to the armed services and security forces.

Ukraine’s brave new political experiment. Let us all hope that the new leadership are open to advice from experts and allies, and do not weaken the good measures Poroshenko put in place over the last five years.

Other developments? More on neo-Stalinism and the revival of  “Homo Sovieticus” in Russia. TASS interviews head of Rubin bureau Villnit who admits construction of the Borei (Dolgorukiy class) SSBN is being capped at four hulls, none of which are considered combat capable.  More on Belarus meddling. Reports Israel used the Rampage supersonic ASM to bypass Russian S-300PM2 / SA-20B defenses in Syria. Tartus may be leased to Russia for 49 years.

Ukraine – SECSTATE Pompeo assured both presidential contenders that support for Ukraine would continue. Foreign Ministers of Turkey, Poland and Romania publicly advocate Ukraine’s accession to NATO. UK SECDEF Williamson interviewed on Ukraine. LtGen (Reserve) Romanenko warns of the risks of large scale Russian offensives this year (i.e. full scale invasion), but more importantly in a Q&A blog points out that Russia’s disintegration is inevitable, and that in the future Ukraine may need to intervene militarily to protect ethnic Ukrainian minority regions inside Russia. These include large chunks of South-Western Russia, the Kuban and much of the Northern Caucasus, but also a large part of South-Western Siberia and the Far East including the Japanese Kurile Islands settled mostly with ethnic Ukrainian immigrants (see 1918 map below). It will be interesting to see whether Muscovy bites on this one.

Donbas update, politics update – Manafort’s effort to co-opt POTUS into gifting Ukraine to Russia. Finally, a deluge of media on the election, that will likely explode this week as Western media feed on the Zelenskiy win (and mostly get it all wrong).


Window on Eurasia — New Series: Even More Russians Support Stalinism than Back Stalin, Pavlova Says

Paul Goble Staunton, April 21 – Many have been shocked by recent polls showing that 70 percent of Russians now have a positive opinion about Joseph Stalin, Irina Pavlova says; but if Russians were queried about the fundamental strategies the Soviet dictator pursued, the share of Russians supporting those would be far greater, perhaps 90 percent. Stalin as a name is polarizing even for Russians, but Stalinist values are widespread, the US-based Russian historian says, as would be obvious if Russian sociologists were to ask not whether respondents have a positive image of Stalin but rather whether they support what were his most central ideas (ivpavlova.blogspot.com/2019/04/blog-post.html). Such questions would include ones like the following: “Do you share the idea of Russian great power status, that is, do you consider that the powers must ‘hold the country together,’ not allowing it to disintegrate and to assert its influence in the world by all available means, thus strengthening the status of the country as a great power?” Other questions that would get at this might be: “Do you consider a strong Russia can exist only as a unitary state?” “Do you support a policy of nationalization or statification not only of the country’s natural resources but its industry as well?” “Do you think the state must have the decisive role in the development of industry, science, culture, the social sphere and health care?” And still a third group might be formulated by Russian pollsters in the following way: “Are you a supporter of the development of military industry as a priority?” and “Do you allow for non-legal means of struggle with corruption in the pursuit of ‘the cleansing’ of the country of ‘crooks and thieves’?” Were those the questions Russians were asked, Pavlova continues, “I assure you that you would get not 70 percent but 90 percent of Russians giving a positive assessment to Stalin as a state actor” because they are “the direct result of the special operation at his elevation which began in the mid-1990s” as part of the program to find a successor for Boris Yeltsin. The Levada Center and its team of people who spring from the generation of the 1960s is far better positioned to discuss Stalin and Stalinism than is the new generation now in their 40s who in their rush to use Western terminology are inclined to insist that Russia today lives in “’a completely different political regime with completely different problems and challenges.’” Those who think that way, Pavlova argues, ignore the continuities in Russian political life and argue that Russia has “a normal personalist regime little different from ones in other countries.” They think that its “hybrid” institutions are capable of “waking up” and becoming real, and they are certain that Russia has a civil society which only needs to be modernized. This generation of 40-year-olds rejects any historical analogies, refuses to see in Russian history any cyclical patterns, and argues, just like the Putin regime does, that there is only “DEVELOPMENT” – and development just like the kind that is taking place in other countries around the world. “Undoubtedly,” Pavlova continues, “such talk allows this generation to feel itself to be real progressives in comparison with ‘the Yury Levada generation’ and to look to the future of Russia with optimism,” something entirely understandable in human terms “but absolutely baseless from a scholarly point of view.” “The true cause of such a position is not only in the inability to understand and analyze Russian reality but in the lack of any desire to do so.” Unlike the Levada Center, this generation isn’t capable of calling the Putin system what it is “modernized Stalinism” or understanding why such a system has reemerged in Russia today.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘Homo Sovieticus’ Not Only Lives But is Reproducing Itself in Younger Generations, Experts Say

Paul Goble Staunton, April 20 – Many people expected that with the collapse of the communist state, the kind of subject it produced and required known then and now as homo soveticus would disappear, Lev Gudkov says; but after some encouraging signs in the early 1990s, it has reemerged and even is spreading to generations born after 1991. The Levada Center director’s comments came at a meeting at Moscow’s Jewish Museum of experts on Russian society, each of whom shared his general conclusion but who offered intriguing details on how and why this has occurred, what signs exist that it may pass, and what Russians should do to overcome this Soveit legacy (rosbalt.ru/moscow/2019/04/20/1777015.html). During the period of the existence of the USSR, Gudkov says, “we obtained an individual who had adapted himself to a repressive state,” someone who “on the one hand, identified with the imperial state but at the same time understood that the state always deceives him and sought to escape from its control.” Such an individual, Gudkov continued, was “extraordinarily cautious” and “oriented to physical survival and concerned about the well-being of only himself and his family,” characteristics which remain widespread among Russians to this day including those born after the USSR ceased to exist. Anatoly Golubovsky, a specialist on the history of culture at the Free Historical Society, added that “our society which declared collectivism as its ideal was in fact extremely atomized. The chief moral imperative was the imperative of the camps: you die today,” and I tomorrow,” something that made spontaneous cooperation almost impossibl He suggests that this continuity has been partially obscured by the Kremlin’s talk about “’traditional values,’ when already at the start of the 2000s, the need arose to define somehow the succession of the present-day powers that be in relationship to those which went before them.” It became clear that “an authoritarian regime was gradually being built, where the chief value, moral or spiritual if you like, is the state. Such a system beyond doubt must be based don something. The conception arose that we have here a special Russian civilization which has its own special values.” Not since Stalin’s time, Golubovsky continued, had the state “devoted such attention to culture which became the main instrument in this work” as outlined in a strange document called the Foundations of State Cultural Policy, a document composed not by cultural specialists or sociologist but by bureaucrats. What that document did, he said, was to imply that there was a list of these values and that “everything that didn’t correspond to them was immoral and lacking spirituality. But what they were remains a secret.” Gudkov added that “the present-day regime is seeking to legitimize itself via an appeal to an invented path which never existed. Its chief thesis is the unity of the powers and the people with priority for state interests.” And as Golubovsky noted in such a system, the state and its institutions turn out to be “the sources of spirituality, morality and essentially values.” In other comments, Gudkov stressed that “the Soviet man is not an ethnic characteristic. The same things have been found by sociologists in East Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic” because in all there was a socialist system but the impact of this system was greatest in Russia. These values have left society “very fragmented, full of apathy and an unwillingness to participate in public officials, a tribal consciousness,” to put in simplest terms, Gudkov says. And whenever there are signs that people may come together as in the growth of voluntary organizations, the state works to coopt or shut them down viewing them as a threat to itself. The Levada Center director says that the main question is why was the Soviet system able to “create a new type – the Soviet man – over the course of 30 years” but after a similar period following “the counter-revolution of 1991, this didn’t happen?” The reason, of course, is that “no counterrevolution occurred.” The collapse of one institutional system “does not mean that all the rest fell apart as well,” he said. Education, the courts and the military have all remained “practically unchanged.” And that has allowed the re-emergence of what one can call “secondary totalitarianism.” Today, “we have the very same Soviet hymn, Lenin monuments stand on the main streets of the city and alongside administration buildings. Five years ago, ‘Heroes of Labor’ awards returned. All this is an important symbolic milieu which the individual sees every day but doesn’t even recognize,” Gudkov says. But that milieu is “returning us to the Soviet man,” homo soveticus. To change this, Golubovsky added, “one must acknowledge the totalitarian Soviet system as criminal and put is monuments in museums.” Russians today should not be surrounded by memorials to people who “subjected the country to a bestial civilizational catastrophe” – and yet that is exactly the case now.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Totalitarianism of the Left and of the Right Denies the Individual by Elevating a State-Defined Group, Gozman Says

Paul Goble Staunton, April 20 – The coincidence of the birthdays of the two founders of the archetypical totalitarian regimes of the 20th century – Germany’s Adolph Hitler on April 20 and Russia’s Vladimir Lenin two days later – is an appropriate occasion for thinking about how their systems were similar and different, Leonid Gozman says. “For all the differences between Nazism and communism,” the Russian opposition politician says, “their incarnation was based on a single premise: the need to manage the individual for his own good and to impose on people of very strict ideas about their own identity and the rights connected with it” (snob.ru/entry/175786). Nazism was judged at Nuremburg, Guzman says; but judgment about communism has not yet occurred in an equally definitive way. Instead, and for Russia in particular, “the question of the similarity (coincidence) of the two ideologies is not an idle one.” It is about how Russians assess themselves. “Were we a criminal country under the power of criminals or something else which went along a road not yet marked out, committing particular mistakes and allowing certain ‘excesses’?” Between communists and Nazis, of course, there are “obvious differences in their basic principles, Guzman says. Nazism was criminal from the outset because of its ideas about racial supremacy. “The ideas of the communists in this sense were not criminal;” and at least in principle might be applied in ways consistent with generally accepted moral norms. “But from the very first steps of the practical application of Nazi and communist ideas, these distinctions disappeared: the leaders began to take nearly identical steps.” The Nazis began, slowly at first, to kill those they wanted to exterminate. The Leninists began to kill them immediately on taking power and continued to do so until 1953. None of those exterminated remains around to answer the question as to whether it was “important” to them whether they were “killed under the black swastika or the red star,” the Russian politician says. The two systems ran their economies differently but they resembled one another in the political structures they put in place. They also shared a common distain for the individual and his rights and a distrust of his judgment, convinced in both cases that they and not those being ruled knew how best those under their control should live. “The military fraternity of the USSR and Germany on the eve and during first period of World War II as based not only on pragmatism but also on this closeness which was sensed by both sides,” Gozman says. Moreover, he continues, “they longer they existed, the more alike they became and the further removed from one another were their initial differences.” As a result former communists in the former GDR vote for extreme right parties, and “our palace political analysts [Andranik Migranyan in particular] declare that up until a certain time, Hitler was not all that bad.” But one similarity between the two, increasingly important for the present and the future is that “both systems denied individuality consider an individual a direct function of his group membership, Ethnic as in the idiotic racial theories of the Nazis or class as with the communists.” Both regimes, Gozman points out, “suppressed not simply external freedom … but also hated internal freedom and its chief aspect – the freedom of choice and the freedom to decide who you are and, having decided that, to decide what this means.” The Nazis defined this racially; the communists in terms of class. But both insisted that the state did the deciding. This matters not only historically but now and in the future, he says. “Nations, classes and typically confessions do not have clearly expressed status as subjects. This distinguishes them from individual people, the subjectness of which is precisely in themselves and from states in the name of which speak their legitimate leaders.” “The spread of such tight definitions about who is a real American, Pole, Christian, Jew and so on down the list is the basis of a new Nazism or communism which is being reborn today in various countries” to the detriment of individual rights and freedoms. Some of this, he says, is by evil design; but much of it, as in the past, is the result of ignorance. Both things need to be fought.

stailker | RF = DPRK has already come to fruition.

There are no new orders for the Borei-A SSBN. As Igor Villnit, head of the Central Design Bureau of Marine Equipment “Rubin”, will later install submarines of more advanced projects MOSCOW, April 17. / TASS /. Nuclear missile submarines of the “Borei-A” type will no longer be built. This was announced on Tuesday by TASS Head of the Central Design Bureau of Marine Equipment “Rubin” Igor Villnit. “Borea-A” will not be laid down more, “said Vilnit. He made it clear that later on submarines of more advanced projects will be laid. “Everything will go according to plan,” concluded the head of the bureau. At present, Sevmasha ships (included in the United Shipbuilding Corporation) built and handed over three nuclear missile submarines of the “Borey” type to the fleet. The first boat type “Borei-A” – “Prince Vladimir” – is undergoing tests. Another four hulls are in different stages of construction. Projectors 955 and 955A (“Borey” and “Borey-A” respectively) have been developed by the Rubin Central Design Bureau of Marine Engineering. The differences between projects 955 and 955A are unknown, however, according to open sources, on the Boree-A, compared with the predecessors, the case designs have been modernized, new electronics are being used, and the 955A boats are distinguished for better stealth.

Let’s summarize the fiasco of another cybercafe:

– the SSBN is not accepted yet.

– a SLBM is not accepted.

– The triad is broken. the triad has been torn apart and ruffled.

– in essence we observe a failure in the naval strategic forces of the show.

– a fiasco with constructive miscalculations for ttr and a thermal gap, without increasing the size we do not solve constructively.

– 4 SSBN worth 5-7 billion dollars fit for scrapping. That is, the amount of spending from 20 to 40 billion with the development.

– their repair is not possible because of the critical Ukrainian components.

– 4th generation has not been created. – RF lost the competence to build SSBNs.

– RF lost its competence in a number of technologies – launchers, submarines, torpedo weapons, missile, targeting, guidance, life support, lubrication, ventilation, air conditioning, navigation, radar, etc.

I recall that the “recovery” of the Tu-160 is close to the problems with the program of the SSBN. – Another collapse of Russia. Another branch and cluster of weapons.

Borei-class submarine – Wikipedia

Project 955 or Borei (Boreas) alternate transliteration Borey (Russian: Борей; NATO Reporting Name: Dolgorukiy class, after the name of the lead vessel, Yury Dolgorukiy) is a class of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine produced by Russia and operated by the Russian Navy. The class is intended to replace the Delta III, Delta IV and Typhoon classes in Russian Navy service. The class is named after Boreas, the North wind. Despite being a functional replacement for many types of submarines, the Borei-class submarines are much smaller than those of the Typhoon class in both volume[6] and crew (24,000 tons opposed to 48,000 tons and 107 people as opposed to 160 for the Typhoons), and are in terms of class more accurately a follow-on to a replacement for the Delta IV-class SSBNs.

 

 

 

 

UAWire – Belarus accuses Russian ambassador of destroying relations during last several months

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus commented on the Russian Ambassador Mikhail Babich’s statements, who objected to the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko with regards to the cost of building the Belarusian nuclear power plant. External forces have previously tried to “destroy the close and friendly relations between two brotherly nations,” told reporters Anatoly Glaz, the head of the department of information and digital diplomacy of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry. The Belarusian Foreign Ministry stressed that what external forces “failed” to achieve during decades, Mr. Babich “successfully and effectively destroyed in just a few months”. According to the diplomat, Ambassador Babich “does not see any difference between the Russian federal district, where, as we were told, he liked to share his moral teachings left and right, and an independent state.” Glaz stressed that in his statement Babich absolutely “clearly expressed” his views on Belarus independence. On Friday, during the annual speech to the Belarusian people and the National Assembly the president Lukashenko and deputy Anna Kanopatskaya started a discussion. The MP drew attention to the Babich’s announcement that Moscow reduced the price for the construction of a nuclear power plant, which the subsidiary of Rosatom (Russian State Nuclear Agency), Atomstroyexport is building in the Grodno region. To this Lukashenko replied that he “hears about it for the first time.” “The ambassador probably does not know the math,” said the President of Belarus. According to him, Russia did not reduce the price, and if Babich makes such statements, he only “harms himself”. Lukashenko added that the cost of the project should not be disclosed since it is a commercial secret. At the same time, he added that the cost of the project has really decreased from $10 billion to $7 billion due to the stringent cost control during construction by the Belarusian side. Babich said that Lukashenko was misled by the opposition. He stated that neither he nor other Russian officials had disclosed the final cost of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. “Unfortunately, the history of our partners teaches nothing. We have to admit that the Belarusian president was deceived again,” said Babich. In his opinion, the Kanopatskaya’s questions could have been specifically “orchestrated”.

Inside The Soviet KGB’s Secret War On Western Books

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Israel is said to have used new supersonic rockets in Syria | Telepolis

April 19, 2019 Florian Rötzer Screenshot from Imisys commercials The new “Rampage” missiles are supposed to outsmart the Russian S-300 air defense systems and destroy super well-protected targets like bunkers On Saturday, a week ago, the Syrian news agency Sana reported that Israeli warplanes from Lebanese airspace had attacked a military base near the city of Massyaf. The rather inaccurate success message was spread that the air defense had recognized the rockets and shot down some. It had to be admitted, some buildings destroyed and 3 “fighters” injured. Israeli media reported that the Israeli Air Force deployed the newly developed Rampage air-to-surface supersonic rocket for the first time. A large hangar and three buildings had been destroyed, and more buildings had been damaged. Everything that has been inside the buildings has been completely destroyed. Allegedly it was an Iranian plant for the production of ground-to-surface missiles. Satellite imagery from ImageSat International (ISI) would show that the system has been completely destroyed. It has been shown to al-Quds that even the relocation of installations from Damascus to Massyaf offers no protection against Israel. The operation is described as a reaction to the Russia-upgraded air defense of Syria. Moscow has handed over Damascus S-300 systems to better defend itself against the numerous Israeli air strikes, but not the latest S-400 versions that Russia has stationed to protect its bases in Syria. Rampage should have properties that can outsmart missile defense systems. The messages are likely to be seen as an advertisement for the new armaments products, moreover, they should serve as a deterrent, if they actually apply. In May 2018, Israel reported that air strikes had destroyed almost all Iran’s military infrastructure in Syria during one of the biggest attacks in recent decades. Russian soldiers were also killed, forcing Moscow, which had previously tolerated Israeli attacks, to react, especially as a Russian military machine was accidentally shot down by the Syrian air defense during a renewed attack by the Israeli air force in September. In October 2018, Russia declared that S-300 air defense systems will be delivered to Damascus. The new super-missile was announced last June by Israeli Military Industries Systems (IMI Systems) and Israel Aerospace Industries. It is 4.5 meters long, 570 kg GPS-controlled precision rockets with a range of 145 km, which should be super-accurate. Supposedly, the missiles should also wait for launch in the air and can break off the attack. It was emphasized that the missiles are specially tailored to targets that are protected by air defense systems, but they can also penetrate deep into sheltered buildings such as bunkers, because they are so fast, they can fly on different lanes and have two warheads explode one after the other. And it has already been advertised that the new rockets are highly cost effective given the quantum leap in their performance. As export weapons, it is natural to test the missiles in Syria with impunity in actual use. According to a spokesman for the manufacturer, the rocket could indeed be discovered, but hard shot down. What is important is that it can attack targets without jeopardizing the warplanes they launch. The media also suggest that the deployment should also test out whether the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft systems can be tricked into being stationed near the attacked base and detect, track and shoot down aircraft or missiles within 300 km, which poses a threat to Israeli fighter planes and airstrikes. Allegedly, the S-300 systems were not operated by Syrian but by Russian soldiers. If the reports are correct, the Israeli missiles have outsmarted the air defense. In the logic of the arms race, Russia would now have to demonstrate that the new S-400 anti-aircraft systems can also launch such new supersonic rockets. So far, Russia and the US have shied away from testing their new and expensive systems under real conditions. One probably shies away from it, because a failure would be highly damaging to business and would also prevent other states from their own military technology and their supposed superiority dependent. (Florian Rötzer)

UAWire – Israel developed weapons capable of defeating Russian S-300 missile systems in Syria

New Israeli supersonic air-to-surface missiles Rampage cannot be intercepted by Russian S-300 missile systems, claims Florian Rötzer, a journalist from the German publication Telepolis . The Israeli military used new missiles last week during a strike in the Syrian province of Hama. During the attack on April 13, Israeli aircraft struck the Iranian facilities in the Syrian town of Masyaf from Lebanese airspace. Rötzer notes that Israel considers these missiles to be a response to the Russian S-300 missile systems that have been deployed in Syria. The Rampage missiles, developed by Israeli companies IMI (Israel Military Industries) and IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries), were presented in June last year. Russia compared it to its own Kinzhal missile, primarily due to its aero-ballistic trajectory that makes it difficult to intercept. One rocket is 4.5 meters long, weighs 570 kilograms and has a range of up to 150 kilometers. The missiles are designed specifically to attack targets that are well protected by air defense systems, as well as to destroy underground bunkers. In addition, the missile has two warheads that can explode sequentially. The Russian news outlet Avia.pro believes that the missile is the reason behind the success of the Israeli operation. Rötzer emphasizes that Russia will now have to show the effectiveness of the S-400 complexes, which have already been deployed in Syria to protect Russian bases. Earlier, military observer Babak Taghvaee wrote on Twitter that Israel used the Rampage missiles against the targets in Masyaf to avoid possible losses if Russian military were to use S-300 missile systems.

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

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

Moscow Close To Finalizing Deal To Lease Syria’s Tartus Port For 49 Years

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Pompeo in phone talk with Zelensky, Poroshenko says U.S. supports Ukraine’s integrity – Volker

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has held telephone talks with presidential candidates Volodymyr Zelensky and Petro Poroshenko and expressed willingness to work with the winner of the vote, Kurt Volker, the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, has said. “Secretary Pompeo called both candidates tonight to underscore support for Ukraine’s sovereignty & territorial integrity,” he wrote on Twitter. In addition, according to Volker, Pompeo “reiterated our commitment to working with whomever the Ukrainian people choose to ensure the success of a secure, prosperous, democratic, & free Ukraine.”

Foreign Ministers of Turkey, Poland and Romania argue for Ukraine’s accession to NATO

04/19/2019 19:15 Ukraine and Georgia should become members of NATO, which will help strengthen security in the Black Sea region, the foundations of which are being undermined by Russia’s actions. This was discussed at the trilateral meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Poland and Romania in Ankara, according to Ukrinform. “From the point of view of security, our countries of the Black Sea region – ed.) Face similar problems” … Countries such as Georgia and Ukraine should join NATO. We also note that we do not in any way recognize the annexation of Crimea, ” at the joint press conference the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania, Theodore Melescanu. In turn, Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputovich stressed the importance of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and Georgia and said that the actions of the Russian Federation in the Black Sea threaten the security of all of Europe. “Russia is a threat to European security, especially for its activities in the Black Sea region, so we support NATO’s military presence in this region,” said Chaputovich. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt авavusoglu assured Ukraine’s support on the way to NATO. “We especially strive to help countries in this region (Black Sea region – ed.). Ukraine is one of these countries. We are also supporters of the fact that Georgia should be included in NATO as soon as possible, ”Cavusoglu said. See also: The President spoke about the plans of the Kremlin regarding Ukraine The ministers also stressed the need to coordinate efforts in the fight against terrorism, coherence and effective preparation for the NATO summit in the UK at the end of this year. Responding to questions from journalists, the foreign ministers of Poland and Romania spoke in favor of Turkey’s accession to the EU, noting the importance of Turkey-EU relations and the role of Turkey in the issue of stability on the European continent. The foreign ministers of Turkey, Poland and Romania agreed to hold another meeting in a trilateral format on July 15.

UAWire – Foreign ministers of Turkey, Poland and Romania advocate in favor of Ukraine joining NATO

Ukraine and Georgia should become members of NATO to help strengthen security in the Black Sea region which is being fundamentally undermined by Russian actions. The topic was broached at the trilateral meeting held in Ankara between the Foreign Ministers of Turkey, Poland and Romania, reports Ukrinform. “From a security point of view, our countries (located in the Black Sea region) are going through similar problems… Countries such as Georgia and Ukraine should join NATO. We also note that we do not in any way recognize the annexation of Crimea,” said Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Meleșcanu at a joint press conference. In turn, Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz stressed the importance of Ukrainian and Georgian territorial integrity and said that the actions of the Russian Federation in the Black Sea threaten the security of all of Europe. “Russia is a threat to European security, due to its activities in the Black Sea region especially, so we support NATO’s military presence in the region,” Czaputowicz said. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu reaffirmed support for Ukraine’s move towards NATO. In the spring of 2018, NATO recognized Ukraine’s intent to acquire full membership in the organization. President Petro Poroshenko said that Ukraine’s next goal is the Membership Action Plan (MAP). On April 10, President Petro Poroshenko approved the Ukraine-NATO program for 2019.

Poroshenko signs ‘Issues of European, Euro-Atlantic Integration’ decree

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has signed a decree “Issues of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration,” in which he approved an Action Plan for implementing the strategic course of the state, the press service of the head of state said. “The head of state approved a plan of measures to implement the strategic course of the state to acquire full membership of Ukraine in the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in order to ensure the irreversibility of the European and Euro-Atlantic course of Ukraine, according to the Part 3 of Article 102 of the Constitution of Ukraine,” the presidential website said on Saturday evening. According to the decree, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine is required to ensure that the Action Plan for the implementation of the state’s strategic course for the acquisition of full membership of Ukraine in the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization approved by this Decree is to be implemented with the relevant state bodies and inform the president of Ukraine on a quarterly basis as well as report on the implementation of the specified Action Plan in a timely manner. The Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine is charged to ensure that the National Security Council of Ukraine in May 2019 will consider the issue of conducting individual reviews included in the comprehensive security sector review and submit, following consultations with representatives of NATO and NATO member states in the second half of 2019, for the president’s consideration draft laws on the protection of classified information and on intelligence. The decree comes into force on the day of its publication.

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Ukraine is negotiating with NATO over the possibility of a deployment of NATO naval vessels to escor…

Gavin Williamson: Britain will remain a steadfast defense partner to Ukraine | KyivPost – Ukraine’s Global Voice

LONDON — That both the former and current U.K. defense secretaries are keen to talk about Ukraine, and that both have very recently visited the country’s war-torn, eastern Donbas region, goes some distance in highlighting Britain’s strategic commitment to the country. Gavin Williamson, the U. K. secretary of state for defense since 2017, told the Kyiv Post that visiting the country’s besieged east in September 2018 and then returning to the south-eastern port city of Odesa in late December, had clearly shown him the storm that Ukraine is weathering. “My visits… underlined the extent of Ukraine’s suffering at the hands of Russia and its proxy forces, since it first violated Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said. “I witnessed first-hand the personal cost of Russia’s unwarranted and illegal aggression when I met with the families of the detained Ukrainian servicemen in December.” On December 21, Williamson met with Ukrainian defense officials aboard the Ukrainian navy’s flagship, the Hetman Sahaydachniy. Two days earlier, a Royal Navy warship HMS Echo arrived in the country. At the same time, a small group of British lawmakers began a Christmas tour of the troubled Azov Sea region, where Russian forces had begun an effective blockade of the Ukrainian ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk. Aboard the Ukrainian navy’s flagship and with HMS Echo anchored nearby, the defense secretary had said that Ukraine does not stand alone. “This isn’t Russia’s sea — this is an international sea,” he said back then. “On each trip I’ve also been struck by the utterly resolute response from Ukraine and the dedication of the men and women who make up its armed forces to protect their homeland,” the defense secretary added in a recent interview.

Crimean man jailed for 6 years for “extremist” posts on Vk

A resident of Crimea has been jailed for six years for terrorism-inciting posts on the Russian social-networking site VKontakte, a lawyer from the international human rights group Agora told Interfax on Friday.

Expert says Russians ready to launch large-scale military actions this year – news politics | UNIAN

Former deputy chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lt Gen (Reserve) Ihor Romanenko has said Russians are ready to launch large-scale military actions this year. Despite the readiness for the offensive, the Russians still consider it inexpedient.

Igor Romanenko – ACTIVE CHAT – Главред

Igor Romanenko Lieutenant-General of the reserve, candidate of military sciences, doctor of technical sciences, professor, former deputy chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Banderovets: Do you think Russia could lose some of its territories, for example, Siberia, which is being flooded by the Chinese? Or is it a contrived threat? Answer Igor Romanenko: This is a real and very serious threat. Russia could lose not only Siberia, it could fall apart altogether. But for this to be certain conditions. Historical experience suggests that no empire has remained in the form to which it existed. Sooner or later, all empires fall apart or are reformatted. It is waiting for Russia. The only question is when.Ukraine, of course, will need to use this moment, as Russia did in 2014 in relation to Ukraine. And in Russia, the situation is much more complicated and difficult. But the tsars are not up to it, they have their own interests and concerns – how to enrich themselves and go down in history as a strong tsar, an alpha male.

Ukraine is obliged to retake its territory after the collapse of Russia says General

April 21, 2019 06:02 According to Igor Romanenko, disintegration awaits the Russian Federation. When China begins to seize Siberia, Ukraine needs to be active. This was stated by the lieutenant-general of the reserve and the candidate of military sciences Igor Romanenko during a chat at Glavred. “Russia can lose not only Siberia, it can collapse altogether. But for this, certain conditions must arise. Historical experience suggests that not a single empire remained in the form to which it existed. Sooner or later all empires collapse or are reformatted This is also waiting for Russia. The only question is when, “notes Romanenko. According to him, Ukraine will need to use this moment, exactly as Russia entered in 2014 in relation to Ukraine. “And in Russia the situation is much more complicated and difficult. But the kings don’t care for it, they have their own interests and concerns – how to get rich and go down in history as a strong king, alpha male,” the expert emphasizes. Earlier, doctor of historical sciences Georgy Kasyanov said that the collapse of the Russian Federation would be a disaster for Ukraine. A Russian political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin said Glavred that in the near future the collapse of the Russian Federation is unlikely, and in the future the next generation, that is, 25 years is almost inevitable.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: When Russia Falls Apart, Kyiv Must be Ready to Absorb Ukrainian Lands in Post-Russia Space, General Romanenko Says

Paul Goble Staunton, April 21 – A day doesn’t go by that some Russian official or politician talks about the need to promote the disintegration of Ukraine and then the integration of all or some of its land into the Russian Federation, a pattern that has become so normalized that it rarely attracts attention let alone the criticism it deserves. Periodically, Ukrainians remind the world that there are large territories within the current borders of the Russian Federation which are historically Ukrainian and which are populated by Ukrainians. Known as “wedges,” these exist not only next to the current borders of Ukraine but as far away as in what is now the Russian Far East. (For background on them, see https://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2014/06/window-on-eurasia-zelenyi-klin-isnt.htmlwindowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/08/kyiv-takes-up-cause-of-ukrainian-far.html and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/06/historical-memory-of-ukrainian-wedge-in.html, as well as the sources cited therein.) No one in Ukraine is seriously proposing that Kyiv launch a campaign to recover them, but now, Igor Romanenko, a retired general who used to be deputy head the Ukrainian general staff, says Kyiv must be ready to act when at some point the Russian Federation disintegrates (glavred.info/ukraine/10064759-ukraina-obyazana-zahvatit-chast-rossii-posle-ee-razvala-general.html). “Russia can lose not only Siberia [to China]; it can in general fall into pieces. But this to happen certain conditions must obtain. History teaches that no one empire remains in the form in which it had existed. Sooner or later, all empires fall apart or are reformed. This awaits Russia as well. The question is only when.” The general says that Ukraine must be ready to make use of this moment, “exactly as Russia acted toward Ukraine in 2014.” While many Ukrainian experts have argued that the disintegration of the Russian Federation would be “a catastrophe” for Ukraine (glavred.info/ukraine/10051421-razval-rossii-budet-katastrofoy-dlya-ukrainy-istorik.html), some Russian experts like Dmitry Oreshkin have said it is going to happen not soon but within 25 years (glavred.info/world/482087-rossiyskiy-politolog-sprognoziroval-neizbezhnyy-raspad-rf.html). Romanenko’s words suggest at the very least that some in Kyiv want to lay down markers given Moscow’s current aggressiveness and that they are thinking in longer terms than they often have been, recognizing that regardless of how the situation appears at present, it almost certainly will look very different in a few decades.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Window on Eurasia: ‘Zelenyi Klin’ isn’t Only Ukrainian ‘Wedge’ in Russia, and Some in Moscow are Nervous

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Historical Memory of Ukrainian ‘Wedge’ in Russian Far East Resurfaces

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kyiv Takes Up Cause of Ukrainian Far East – and Russians are Furious

JFO: Ukraine reports seven enemy attacks in Donbas April 20 – news war | UNIAN

Russia’s hybrid military forces mounted seven attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas on April 20. The situation in the area of the Joint Forces Operation remains under control of Ukrainian troops.

At the Front in Ukraine’s War With Russia-Backed Separatists

The militarized border between government-controlled territory and Russia-backed separatists has created its own grim reality for those forced to cross.

Ukrainian army struggles to demine war-stricken Donbas region (VIDEO)

The Eastern Donbas region of Ukraine has become one of the most heavily mined in the world, according to the UN, as some 2,000 people have been killed or injured by landmines since war began. But demining is only possible in some areas. Every month, the Ukrainian army’s demining brigade comes to a disused quarry to dispose of explosive materials found along the frontline. There are anti-tank mines, anti-personnel mines, IEDs, unused ammunition – only a tiny fraction of what’s there.

The EU’s “concentration camps” in Ukraine: A сase of proactive disinformation |Euromaidan Press |

In April 2015, the message “Guantanamo Near Donetsk: Ukraine has been building a concentration camp for the separatists” headlined a story published by Zvezda, the official outlet of Russia’s Ministry of Defence. The story also told that “according to documents found at the facility, the construction was financed by the European Union.” Zvezda’s publication was not an isolated event. In a matter of one week in 2015, different Russian media outlets spread the same sensational message about the existence of EU-financed “concentration camps” in Ukraine. Now, four years later, the case remains a textbook example of how a proactive disinformation campaign works.

Professional Sergeant Corps of the Armed Forces to be

April 20, 2007 sergeants The head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine approved the programs of three-level instructors’ courses, which were developed with the help of experts from the armed forces of Lithuania, Latvia and Canada. The senior officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Kosinsky announced this. “I congratulate the sergeants and elders, another significant step on the way of professionalization is made. Chief of the General Staff – Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has approved three-level in-service training programs. Programs of undergraduate and advanced level instructors have been significantly improved, the course of the academic level instructor has been developed for the first time. The programs are developed with the help of experts of the Armed Forces of Lithuania, Latvia and Canada. Professional Sergeant Corps of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to be!

Did Ukraine Just Build a Cruise Missile That Can Stike 1000 Kilometers Away? | The National Interest

Or just a bluff?

Border Guard Technology (TOR) Helicopter H 125 mp4 – YouTube

State Border Guard Service of Ukraine Published on April 19, 2019 Border Guard Technology (TOR) – Modern Airborne Light Patrol Helicopter H 125 Let’s get acquainted with a wide range of equipment that are useful to # border guards in their everyday activities ⁃

Mueller: Manafort Discussed Enlisting Trump to Aid Russia in Ukraine – Mother Jones

A “backdoor” plan to help Putin.

How Joseph Stalin Starved Millions in the Ukrainian Famine – HISTORY

Cruel efforts under Stalin to impose collectivism and tamp down Ukrainian nationalism left an estimated 3.9 million dead.

Bombshell PrivatBank ruling and other disturbing moves on the eve of Ukraine’s presidential elections – Human Rights in Ukraine

Ukrainian legal watchdogs and civic activists had long questioned the integrity of all three of the judges involved in a highly controversial ruling on 18 April which found the nationalisation of PrivatBank to have been unlawful, and they have sounded their frustration that such concerns were never addressed. The ruling elicited fairly strong statements of concern from Ukraine’s western partners who supported PrivatBank’s nationalisation. It also raised eyebrows because of the link between Volodymyr Zelensky, the candidate ahead in the presidential elections on 21 April, and Ihor Kolomoisky, the oligarch who stands to win if the appeal against this ruling is unsuccessful. Nor was this the only court decision on Thursday that attracted attention, specifically in the context of the presidential elections.

Ukraine’s Constitutional Court opens proceedings on renaming former UOC-MP – news politics | UNIAN

The Constitutional Court of Ukraine has opened the proceedings on the proposal of 49 Ukrainian lawmakers regarding the law, which obliges the former Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) to change its official name. The lawmakers submitted the relevant appeal to the Constitutional Court on January 18, 2019.

Loznitsa’s film ‘Donbas’ triumphs at Ukrainian Film Academy Awards | KyivPost – Ukraine’s Global Voice

“Donbas,” a feature film about Russia’s war in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas, has won multiple awards at the Zolota Dzyga Ukrainian Film Academy Awards, the Ukrainian equivalent of the American Oscars, on April 19. The film received awards for the best picture, screenplay and directing. The Ukrainian Film Academy handed each award to Sergei Loznitsa, recognizing the achievements of the Ukrainian director who was born in Belarus. “This prize is special because the film is set in Ukraine,” Loznitsa told the Kyiv Post after receiving the final award of the evening on April 19. “But it’s not about the region. It’s about the monsters in people’s subconsciousness. I tried to catch them, define them and corner them back to where they belong – in fiction, fairy tales, hell.” “Donbas” consists of 13 vignettes about the grotesque and macabre reality of the Russian-occupied territories of eastern Ukraine. The stories are based on real life videos shot in the region that Loznitsa found on the internet. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2018 winning the Un Certain Regard prize for best directing. Over 20,000 people watched it in Ukrainian theaters after the October release. It will premiere on Ukrainian television on May 9, a national holiday in Ukraine that celebrates the victory over the Nazi regime during World War II. Another film set in the Donbas region “The Wild Fields” won five awards at the film festival, the most by prize count this year. The social comedy-drama adaptation of Serhiy Zhadan’s novel “Voroshylovgrad” won the awards for best actor and supporting actor, best cinematography, sound and production design.

Exit Poll Points To Landslide Zelenskiy Win As Voting Ends In Ukraine

KYIV — As voting ended in the second round of Ukraine’s presidential election, exit polling suggested TV comic and political newcomer Volodymyr Zelenskiy was headed for a landslide victory over incumbent President Petro Poroshenko. The National Exit Poll said figures two hours before the polls closed on April 21 showed Zelenskiy winning 73.2 percent of the vote to Poroshenko’s 25.3 percent. The survey, which will be updated with complete election results, was conducted jointly by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, the Kyiv International Sociology Institute, and the Razumkov Center think tank. Zelenskiy has described his candidacy as “a simple man who has come to destroy this system,” in a reference to public perceptions that post-Soviet Ukraine’s politics and society are mired in corruption and nepotism against the backdrop of a five-year war against Russia-backed separatists. Voters appeared unpersuaded by billionaire businessman Poroshenko’s appeals for a second five-year term to bring a more seasoned political and diplomatic hand to the country’s problems. Official preliminary results were expected around 10 p.m. Kyiv time. Zelenskiy won handily across the country, according to the National Exit Poll. He won 57 percent in western Ukraine, compared to Poroshenko’s 41.3 percent. In central Ukraine, the poll shows Zelenskiy with 70.3 percent and Poroshenko with 28 percent. In the south, Zelenskiy polled 85.4 percent and Poroshenko 13.4 percent. In eastern Ukraine, the preliminary exit poll gives Zelenskiy 87.7 percent and Poroshenko just 11.2 percent. Zelenskiy was expected to make a public statement shortly after polls closed. Polls in the run-up to the second round showed Zelenskiy with a mounting lead. A survey released on April 18 by the Rating research group found that 57.9 percent of those definitely planning to vote said they would support Zelenskiy, with 21.7 percent backing Poroshenko. Zelenskiy won the first round of voting on March 31 with 30 percent of the vote in a field of 39 candidates. Poroshenko took second with 16 percent. WATCH: Poroshenko And Zelenskiy Cast Ballots In Presidential Runoff Vote SEE ALSO: Live Blog: Ukraine Chooses A President A 41-year-old comic who shot to fame playing an accidental president in a TV sitcom, Zelenskiy joked with reporters as he voted in Kyiv early on April 21 that his wife had put him in a good mood ahead of time by playing him a song by American rapper Eminem. “Today will be a victory for Ukrainians, a victory for Ukraine,” he said, adding that he would hold a press conference in Kyiv at 8 p.m., immediately after polls closed. “We have united Ukraine.” Asked by RFE/RL what would be his first order of business if elected, Zelenskiy answered, “War and corruption.”

NATIONAL EXIT POLL: ZELENSKY WINS AT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION WITH 73.2% SUPPORTING VOTES, POROSHENKO HAS 25.3% OF VOTER’S SUPPORT

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EXIT POLL PRESENTED ON 112.UKRAINE TV CHANNEL: ZELENSKY HAS 73.7% OF VOTER’S SUPPORT, POROSHENKO HAS 26.3%

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NATIONAL EXIT POLL: ZELENSKY WINS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS WITH MAXIMUM SUPPORT IN HISTORY OF INDEPENDENT UKRAINE WITH 73.2%, POROSHENKO GETS 25.3%

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EXIT POLL OF 1+1 TV CHANNEL: 72.7% VOTERS CAST VOTES IN FAVOR OF ZELENSKY, POROSHENKO HAS 27.3% OF VOTER’S SUPPORT

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ZELENSKY: WE MAKE IT TOGETHER

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Live Blog: Ukraine Votes

Follow all of the latest developments as they happen.

Poroshenko And Zelenskiy Cast Ballots In Presidential Runoff Vote

Incumbent Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and his political rival, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, cast ballots at Kyiv polling stations in Ukraine’s April 21 presidential runoff vote.

Femen Activist In Topless Protest Against Zelenskiy

A Femen activist staged a topless protest outside a polling station in Kyiv where candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy had cast his ballot in the April 21 presidential runoff vote. Zelenskiy is a comedic actor who portrays Ukraine’s president on TV but has no real political experience. The woman warned voters that a Zelenskiy presidency could end up being a “funny mistake.”

Ukrainians in Australia finish voting, most supported Poroshenko – embassy

Ukrainians in Australia have finished voting in the second round of the presidential election. Most supported the current president, Petro Poroshenko. “In total, 99 people took part in the second round of the presidential election in Ukraine. Petro Poroshenko was supported by 72 voters, Volodymyr Zelensky by 26 people. One ballot was declared invalid,” the Ukrainian Embassy in Australia reported on its Facebook page. As reported, in the first round of the presidential election, the turnout of Ukrainians in Australia was 7.2% – 125 of the 1,737 people on the list.

CEC updates: Turnout in runoff election grows to 45.32% as of 15:00 Kyiv time – news ukraine | UNIAN

The Central Election Commission (CEC) has posted an update on the turnout in a runoff election in Ukraine on April 21. Ukraine formed 199 constituencies and one more was opened abroad.

Ukrainians decide who will be their next president (LIVE UPDATES) | KyivPost – Ukraine’s Global Voice

On April 21, the final round of the presidential election is taking place in Ukraine. Ukrainians are casting their votes either for incumbent President Petro Poroshenko or comedian actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a newcomer in politics running his first-ever race for a public office. The first round of the presidential election took place on March 31 among 39 candidates, a record number. Of those who voted, Poroshenko got 15.95 percent of support while Zelenskiy – 30.24 percent. According to the latest poll by Rating sociological group published on April 18, the last day when sociological agencies are allowed by Ukrainian law to reveal their polls before the second round of the presidential elections, Zelenskiy got 72.7 percent of support among the decided voters who said they would vote, while Poroshenko received 27.2 percent. This post is being updated during the day, adding the latest developments.

Voters’ Committee in Ukraine reports extremely low number of election observers on April 21 – news politics | UNIAN

The Committee of Voters of Ukraine has reported an extremely low number of election observers at the polling stations during the runoff on April 21. The official number of registered observers is significant.

Ukrainians head to the polls for presidential elections with comedian on track for triumph – CNN

Volodymyr Zelensky is poised to claim victory over incumbent President Petro Poroshenko.

Number of bomb threats increases, most from Russia, Russia-occupied territories – Interior Ministry

Ukraine’s Interior Ministry has said the number of anonymous callers phoning in bomb threats at infrastructure sites in Ukraine is increasing and that most are coming from Russia and Russia-occupied areas of Ukraine.

“Stop raping the county!” Femen participant undresses at polling station, where Zelensky voted

The girl claimed she agitated against both candidates

Zelensky explains why he called Russia-backed militants rebels

Presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky explained why he called the occupants in Donbas “the rebels” during the presidential debates at NSC Olimpiysky. Zelensky commented to the question of the Radio Svoboda before voting in the second round of presidential elections. “It means rioters, girls, and boys. It was written on the website of the President of Ukraine. Rioters who are against Ukraine,” Volodymyr Zelensky said. Let us recall that during the debates at NSC Olimpiysky Zelesnky while reading the questions from Facebook users used the world ‘rebels’ referring to the militants on the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk. Afterward, the wave of condemnations began, including from President Petro Poroshenko. Besides, the similar expression the President used himself during delivering one of his speeches in January 2015. The Administration of the President changed the expression ‘rebels’ into ‘occupants’. The occupants are supported by Russia. This has begun since the annexation of Crimea and formation of the illegal forces on the temporarily occupied territories of Luhansk and Donetsk. Earlier, the turnout of voters in the second round of the elections of the president of Ukraine is 17.96% as of 11:00 AM, according to the data of the 191 constituencies out of 199 around the country.

Zelensky’s wife says her Facebook post in 2014 was repost of info from Russian propagandists that angered her

Olena Zelenska, the wife of Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky, has said her Facebook post in 2014 was a repost of information by Russian propagandists that angered her. She said the social media platform did not display her comment, only the link to Russian propaganda.

Poroshenko: Citizens freely exercise their right to vote, which marks Ukraine as European state

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has praised the organization of the elections of the head of state. “I am proud of how the elections have been organized this year. Citizens freely exercise their right to vote. We have a democratic tradition. This marks Ukraine as a European state,” Poroshenko told journalists after casting his ballot at the presidential runoff in Kyiv on Sunday. Over the past five years, Ukraine has made a tremendous progress in its integration and return into the family of European nations, the head of state said. “I firmly believe that during these elections we must do everything possible so that our European progress and, most importantly, Euro-Atlantic integration should not stop. We will not allow anyone to do this, not even to slow down us on the path of our European and Euro-Atlantic reforms,” the president said. He said Ukrainians should be guided by reason during the voting, because “it’s not funny”. “This may seem funny at first. But then it may hurt,” Poroshenko explained. According to the president, during the voting Ukrainian citizens should protect all the country has achieved over the previous five years. “Who will be elected is not important. What matters is the strategy and the path that the nation and the state should continue. And it’s crucial not to lose the country. Today’s choice is no less important than the one we made in 2014,” Poroshenko said.

Zelensky casts his ballot in presidential elections of Ukraine

Presidential candidate, showman Volodymyr Zelensky has voted in the second round in the presidential elections of Ukraine. He is convinced that democracy will win at election and promised to give a press conference. Zelensky came to the polling station with his wife. He congratulated the journalists waiting for him at the polling station, on Palm Sunday, and wished good mood, an Interfax-Ukraine correspondent reported. “Today, there definitely will be a victory for the Ukrainians, a victory for Ukraine … we have united Ukraine,” said Zelensky, promising that after the announcement of the results, he will hold a briefing. “All will be fine. We will do it together,” he said. Kvartal 95 studio artistic director Volodymyr Zelensky, nominated by the Servant of the People party, and incumbent President Petro Poroshenko, elected in 2014, are running in the second-round run-off on Sunday. Voter turnout in the March 31 first round of the presidential election stood at 63.52%.

Zelensky casts his vote in April 21 presidential runoff (Photos) – news politics | UNIAN

Presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky has arrived to cast his vote at a polling station in Kyiv in the presidential runoff on April 21. He admitted that he had not slept all night and felt as nervous as his entire team. “The morning was good. I know nothing about your mood, but ours was good. Children, fried eggs, coffee and also my wife turned on Eminem [tracks] for the mood,” he said. Zelensky said he was sure that Ukraine would win irrespective of the vote results. When he left the voting booth, his wife was standing next to him. She was the first to cast the ballot while Zelensky was trying to joke with those present. His wife asked him not to show whom he had voted for, and then she stepped aside. Yet, one could see a cross next to presidential candidate Zelensky’s name. Having voted, the showman went to his campaign headquarters, where members of his team were waiting for him. As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukrainians are now electing their president in the second round of the vote on April 21, 2019, as incumbent President Petro Poroshenko and showman Volodymyr Zelensky are competing for this post. Polling stations opened at 08:00 Kyiv time on April 21; they will work until 20:00 Kyiv time. The voting is under way in 200 constituencies where 29,982 election commissions have been created. In total, about 30.3 million people are on the voters’ lists.

Police hand over administrative offence report to Zelensky for showing his filled-out ballot paper

Law enforcement officers have handed over to presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky a protocol on administrative violation for showing public the filled-out ballot paper. Law enforcement officers have handed over to presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky a protocol on administrative violation for showing public the filled-out ballot paper. “New president means new rules. Everyone must abide with the law! Zelensky has been handed a report on administrative violation for showing his filled-out ballot paper,” Dmytro Razumkov, a spokesman for Zelensky’s election headquarters, wrote on Facebook. He illustrated his post with photographs showing police representatives filling out relevant documents in the presence of the candidate. During the voting, Zelensky demonstrated a filled-in ballot with a “cross” standing opposite his name to those present at the polling station.

Ukrainian election opens as voters choose between tycoon and a comedian with no political experience | Daily Mail Online

Polls ahead of the election in Ukraine have made comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who plays a fictitious president in a TV sitcom series, on track to beat incumbent president Petro Poroshenko.

Ukraine election: Comedian Volodymry Zelensky still holds the edge in polls – The Washington Post

Polls predict Volodymyr Zelensky will beat incumbent Petro Poroshenko in Sunday’s runoff.

As Ukraine votes in presidential runoff, a comedian looks to unseat the incumbent – The Washington Post

Polls show comedian Volodymyr Zelensky with a big lead over President Petro Poroshenko.

Ukraine election set to deliver damning verdict on traditional politics | World news | The Guardian

Likely election of comedian Zelenskiy will be the result of an anti-establishment vote

Putin’s big Ukraine win – POLITICO

Volodymyr Zelenskiy is not who many voters think he is for the simple reason that they don’t know who that is.

Alexander Baunov | Putin should fear Ukraine’s Russia-friendly front-runner

In Ukraine, life really does imitate art. Since 2015, a Ukrainian TV channel has broadcast a series depicting an earnest history teacher who, almost by chance, becomes a candidate in the presidential elections. To everyone’s surprise, this representative of the ordinary people wins. He goes on to dismantle the corrupt system from within, getting into both humorous and tragic situations along the way. Now Volodymyr Zelensky has gone from playing that accidental president to almost becoming him in real life, all the while staying diligently in his role and retaining the same intonation and facial expressions as his on-screen character. And just like his alter ego, he has promised to sever the unholy bond between the authorities and oligarchs in Ukraine, even though one of those oligarchs—that same TV station’s majority owner, Ihor Kolomoisky—is widely believed to stand behind the popular actor. Although Servant of the People was filmed and shown during the war in Donbass, the conflict—on which Zelensky’s rival, incumbent President Petro Poroshenko, has staked everything—barely features in it. Instead, it focuses on the embezzlement of state funds; abuse of authority; poverty and inequality; a nonindependent, biased justice system; and officials’ privileges and mansions. It’s not that Poroshenko has ruined the economy. Rather, he has failed to deliver the success that matches people’s hopes, which were inflated by the 2014 Maidan revolution. To get re-elected, he marginalized other nationalist candidates and is campaigning as the head of an unofficial party of war. In other words, Poroshenko is running as the head of the party of foreign achievements and Zelensky as the leader of the party of domestic issues. This difference is obvious in the behavior of the television characters. Oligarchs try to bribe the ministers freshly appointed by Zelensky’s young and honest president. The ministers accept the boxes containing millions of dollars in cash but then use them to pay backdated wages. The TV president forgoes an official residence, cortege, security detail, stylists, and personal psychologist-motivator and moves the government offices and parliament into a more modest location. Ukraine’s main enemy in the series is not outside but inside the country and does not constitute separatism or Russian influence but oligarchs, corrupt civil servants, and even the simple folk who don’t pay taxes. That change of mentality will be welcomed in Russia. Yet, in the longer run, Zelensky could prove a much less convenient opponent for the Kremlin than Poroshenko is. Putin projects himself as the leader of global populism, but at home he increasingly lacks the popular touch. Surrounded by circumspect technocrats and a close circle of billionaires, the president is the object of populist derision. Unknown spoiler candidates are already winning regional elections in Russia, and demand is building for a people’s candidate at the federal level. Poroshenko’s Ukraine, a hostile country that has turned its back on Russia to look toward NATO, was a useful bogeyman for Russian domestic politics, an example of what route not to follow. Under a President Zelensky, Ukraine would go from being a foreign-policy problem for Russia to becoming a domestic one. An amiable, fresh young president with a sense of humor, who is focused on domestic issues, would become—in the eyes of an indeterminately large proportion of Russians—an alternative to Putin. To ward this off, Putin will have to attack Zelensky from the same positions that his enemy Poroshenko has taken: as a comedian, the oligarchs’ stooge, an inexperienced politician. But attacking him won’t be so easy. After all, the man likely to be Ukraine’s next president is the favored choice of the Russian-speaking voters, who are tired of the enmity between Ukraine and Russia.

The 6 wackiest moments from Ukraine’s presidential race – POLITICO

Clones, drug tests, and a ‘bachelor’ candidate — the campaign was packed with the unexpected.

Ukraine is on the verge of a new political era but one question remains: What is it? | The Independent

There seems to be only one question hanging over Ukraine’s presidential election on Sunday: whether Petro Poroshenko can narrow the gap in any significant way so as to avoid complete humiliation.  Polls have consistently shown Mr Poroshenko – Ukraine’s president for the last five, often tumultuous years – far behind Volodymyr Zelensky, a comic actor whose only previous

Meet team Zelenskyi: who are the allies of comedian striving to become Ukrainian president |Euromaidan Press |

Earlier throughout his entire campaign, only several persons gave comments to the press and appeared on TV as members of the team of Volodymyr Zelenskyi while the comedian himself evaded most contacts with the press. On 18 April, at the evening TV show “Right to Power” on the 1+1 TV channel owned by oligarch Kolomoyskyi, Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskyi finally presented his team of 20 potential ministers and presidential aides. The presidential frontrunner didn’t mention the positions they could seat, but sight-read the activity areas they are going to oversee and mentioned that they would work in the administration of the would-be president. Two days before the election runoff, we finally have a longer list of those who will oversee the activity areas of Zelenskyi as a president and who may head the ministries of defense and foreign affairs, secret service (SBU) and defense council (RNBO), as well as who may become the prosecutor general under Zelenskyi. Here is what we know about the twenty in the order of their presentation at the TV show.

Ukraine election: Voters to choose between comic and tycoon – BBC News

A TV comedian is bidding to dislodge the sitting president in a dramatic run-off election.

Fed up with status quo, Ukrainians may elect comedian in presidential run-off – Reuters

Ukrainians vote on Sunday in the second round of an election that could thrust a comedian with no prior political experience into the presidency of a country at war and wanting transformational change.

Ukraine Election: Comedian Dismissed by President Is Favored to Get Last Laugh – The New York Times

Volodomyr Zelensky is blessed with the talents that seem to count in politics now: a flair for grabbing attention with little concern for the details.

Ukraine’s bruising presidential campaign ends with rowdy arena debate

Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy is tipped to oust Petro Poroshenko

Ukraine’s Runoff Election Is More Than a Contest of Personalities – Foreign Policy

It is hard for the country to move West with Russia on its back.

Ukraine: Zelenskiy outshines Poroshenko ahead of runoff vote | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 21.04.2019

Television comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy is on course to become president of Ukraine. His election campaign lacked substance — but it was both aggressive and successful. So what are his plans for the country?

Multiple lawsuits seek cancellation of Zelensky’s registration as presidential candidate – HQ coordinator

Coordinator of the Volodymyr Zelensky election headquarters Oleksandr Korniyenko said that there were nine lawsuits filed by an election observer from the Ukrainian Shareholders Association Andriy Khilko seeking to cancel Zalansky’ registration as presidential candidate. “This is already the ninth lawsuit by Mr. Khilko against us… It’s a complete nonsense,” he said at a briefing at the headquarters on Sunday. Early on Sunday, the Sixth Administrative Court of Appeal examined the lawsuit by Khilko about the cancellation of Zelensky’s registration as a presidential candidate and dismissed it. The plaintiff claimed the distribution of free tickets to the debate on the Olympiysky Stadium on April 19 by Zelensky’s team was an attempt “to bribe voters.”

Simon Ostrovsky on Twitter: “The lawyer who reportedly represents Ukrainian President Poroshenko and filed a lawsuit to cancel his opponent actor Zelensky’s candidacy just told me he doesn’t represent Poroshenko and it’s his own initiative. Court in Kiev is about to hear the case. Election is tmrw @euronews… https://t.co/HIILOHNgKB”

 

Court refuses to cancel Zelensky’s registration as presidential candidate

The Sixth Administrative Court of Appeal has refused to cancel the registration of Volodymyr Zelensky as a presidential candidate in Ukraine. The court made the corresponding decision at a meeting in the early hours of Sunday. Thus, the court rejected the lawsuit filed by election observer from the public organization “Ukrainian Shareholders Association” Andriy Hilko. It was reported that at 9 p.m. on Saturday the Sixth Court of Appeals would start hearing Hilko’s lawsuit seeking “recognition of instances of voter-bribing violation and the overturning of the CEC [Central Election Commission] resolution №153 of January 30, 2019, to register Zelensky as a candidate.” In his opinion, the distribution of free tickets to the debates at the NSC Olympiyskiy on April 19 by Zelensky’s team on a special website was a “voters’ bribing.” The court ruled that the claimant’s demands on the issue of free-of-charge tickets for debates, coordinated by the two presidential candidates, to be recognized as voters’ bribing, are unreasonable and cannot be allowed.

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine urges all eligible Ukrainians actively participate in their democracy today by voting

The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine hopes for the active participation of Ukrainian citizens in the second round of presidential election, which is taking place on Sunday. The message appeared on the U.S. embassy’s Facebook on Sunday, citing U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. “My colleagues and I at the U.S. Embassy join the people of Ukraine in expecting democratic and peaceful elections today that reflect the will of Ukraine’s citizens. I hope all eligible Ukrainians actively participate in their democracy today by voting,” Yovanovitch said.

Ukrainians should unite after election in order not to lose Ukraine – Poroshenko

Ukrainian presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko has confirmed that he will accept any result of the presidential election and has noted that the Ukrainians should unite around the goal of protecting the Ukrainian state already the next day after the election. “I will accept any choice, which the Ukrainian people will make on the 21st [of April] and the life will continue on the 22nd [of April]. And on the 22nd [of April] we should unite to protect our state together and, what is mostly important, not to lose our country,” Poroshenko said during a debate at the Olympiyskiy Stadium in Kyiv on Friday. He also urged supporters of another presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky to think about their choice on April 21 and about how to preserve the Ukrainian state then. “The renovation [of the Ukrainian authorities] is needed and can be carried out during a parliamentary election, but one cannot play with the country during the presidential election. The price can be extremely high, and an actor and a talented person without any experience cannot lead a war with the Russian aggressor. The price can be very, very high,” Poroshenko said.

Poroshenko Faces Tough Test As Ukraine Votes In Presidential Runoff

Voters in Ukraine are going to the polls on April 21 in a second-round presidential election that could seal the political fate of incumbent President Petro Poroshenko.

Ukraine election: Can a comedian unite a divided country? | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 20.04.2019

Many Ukrainians are tired of corruption and yearning for a fresh face. That’s why they’re pinning their hopes on comedian and political neophyte Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Incumbent Petro Poroshenko looks unlikely to win.

Ukraine’s long road to democracy

About five years ago, I found myself on the second floor of a rural school in northern Ukraine, about an hour from the Russian border. It was May 2014, and I was serving as an accredited election observer with the International Republican Institute, tasked with monitoring the Ukrainian presidential election.

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 about the infantility of Ukrainian society.

Ukraine elections marred by disinformation wars – Coda Story

Incumbent leader President Petro Poroshenko barred Russian social networks, the search engine Yandex and dozens of Russia-tied websites in Ukraine.

Russia Isn’t the Only Threat to Ukrainian Democracy: The Impact of Far-Right Nationalist Revolutionaries

In Ukraine, elections are not the only way to transfer power. In fact, elections have often been rigged farces, fomenting frustration among Ukrainians at

Court abolishes Kolomoysky’s surety for loans of PrivatBank

Pechersk District Court of Kyiv found invalid the contract on personal guarantee of Igor Kolomoysky for refinancing loans that were issued by PrivatBank before the state enters the capital. The press service of National Bank of Ukraine reports this. The National bank intends s to appeal against this decision, but at the same time, it points to a negative tendency in affairs of PrivatBank, because already the third court decision is not in favor of the state for the last three days. “One more court decision provokes legal uncertainty, and therefore, potential risks to Ukraine’s financial stability in the future. This court decision also complicates the protection of the interests of the state in litigation in other jurisdictions to reimburse damages to the bank and the state caused by the former owners of PrivatBank,” Viktor Hryhorchuk, the head of the juridical department concerning claims and litigations of the National Bank of Ukraine, said this.

Zelensky gaining 71.8 percent of the vote, the poll showed – РИА Новости, 21.04.2019

Vladimir Zelensky, presidential candidate of the Party of the Servant of the People, during a vote at one of the polling stations in Kiev on the day of the second round of presidential elections in Ukraine © RIA News / Stringer Go to the photo bank MOSCOW, Apr 21 – RIA News. Vladimir Zelensky gains 71.8% of the votes in the second round of the presidential election in Ukraine, it follows from the exit poll of the company New Image Marketing Group, which RIA Novosti has at its disposal. The current head of state, Petro Poroshenko, as of 12:00, has 28.2% of the vote. According to the NIMG, in the south of Ukraine 73.4% of citizens voted for Zelensky, for Poroshenko – 26.6%; in the east – 88.8% and 11.2%, respectively; in the west – 55.6% and 44.4%, in the central part – 72.9% and 27.1%. The company announced on its website, but did not publish the results of polls at the exit from the polling stations, as there is an embargo on their publication in Ukraine until 20:00. However, the requirement does not apply to other countries. RIA Novosti received the exit poll data provided outside the country. A resident of Lviv during a vote at one of the polling stations in the city on the day of the second round of presidential elections in Ukraine

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Ukrainian Presidential Debate Sparks Envy among Russians and Belarusians

Paul Goble Staunton, April 20 – Many commentators have suggested that the greatest threat to the authoritarian regime in Russia would be a Ukraine that successfully navigated the difficult passage to economic development and political freedom, but apparently even Ukraine’s moves in that direction are a problem for the Kremlin. That is because, as the SerpomPo telegram channel put it, the chief reaction of Russians to the debates between the two Ukrainian presidential candidates is envy, envy that each of those who watched as many Russians did could decide for himself or herself who won and how they would if they could vote, something not possible in Russia (https://t.me/SerpomPo/3041). This envy arises, the channel says, because Russians can’t imagine that “Putin would appear on the stage of a stadium with some little candidate and answer why duringhis watch people died in Syria and int eh Donbass, why with him three percent of the oligarchs own almost everything in the country and why 20 million, even by official data, live in complete poverty.” Moreover, Russians can’t imagine that Putin would ever fall on his knees in repentance or that the entire stadium would sing the Russian hymn because they know that “Putin unlike Poroshenko never would allow a real candidate to take part in a campaign. A Russian Zelensky would be eliminated at the stage of registration.” Radio Svoboda provides a selection of Russian reactions that confirm that SerpomPo conclusions (ru.krymr.com/a/ukrainskie-debaty-glazami-rossiyan/29892302.html), and the Charter97 portal suggests that Belarusians felt something very similar and perhaps even more intensely (charter97.org/ru/news/2019/4/19/331170/). Dmitry Bondarenko, the coordinator of the European Belarus civic campaign, for example, says that “the debates in Kyiv are simply fantastic. One can differ about the presidential candidates in Ukraine, but Belarusians can easily see how elections in a free counry are from elections in a collective farm dictatorship.” “Belarusians envy Ukrainians. Bravo, Ukraine!” he says, adding that he has “only one request for the future president Zelensky: don’t invite the departing dictator to your inauguration. Not only will you be happier as a result, but you will hear a bit Thank You from 99 percent of Belarusians.”

TASS: World – Ukraine’s election commission asks court not to sustain claim against candidate Zelensky

«The claim cannot be sustained,» the commission’s representative told the court

Ukraine election eve: Dozens of bomb scares & attempt to disqualify frontrunner — RT World News

On the eve of Ukraine’s presidential runoff, authorities have been overwhelmed by dozens of bomb threats, just as a court in Kiev was forced to hear a last-ditch lawsuit demanding that the frontrunner’s registration be annulled.

Seriously now: Weary Ukrainian voters face ultimate choice between comedian & politician — RT World News

After three weeks of flashy and outrageous campaigning, comedian Volodymyr Zelensky and incumbent president Petro Poroshenko are facing off in a battle for the country’s top job.

TASS: World – Poroshenko endorses plan for implementation of Ukraine’s course towards EU and NATO

The plan was endorsed in order to ensure the irreversibility of Ukraine’s European and North Atlantic course, presidential press service said