Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (160)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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There appears to be growing fear in Russia that the regime will engage in pre-emptive limited nuclear war to improve its strategic position, believing that there will be no retaliation or escalation – Pointkovsky sounds a warning, and former Pres Gorbachev writes an OpEd in the WSJ pointing out that deterrence is failing, but not pointing the finger at the Kremlin. Ushakov’s comments on Russia being ready to negotiate may or may not be genuine. SIPRI report indicates Russian recapitalisation program is failing, consistent with reports in Russian media.

Erdoğan escalates his S-400 / F-35 game. He knows that NATO will be reluctant to cast Turkey out. This is a dangerous personal self-interest driven game where Turkey becomes the ultimate loser, and Russia the winner.

NATO starts Spring Storm EX in the Baltics. Russia deploys Murmansk-BN EW system to Kaliningrad. Five reports on Russia’s decline. Belarusians report 5 million tonnes of contaminated Russian crude are now stuck in stopped pipelines. Media infatuated with Russia’s military cetaceans.

A superb analysis by Prof Blank on the Vozhd’s political self-entrapment, and why he now has no choice than to continue invading neighboring nations. The Russian offer to provide passports to all Ukrainians, and Ze’s response, has sparked a very lively argument in Ukrainian and Western media. The Vozhd poured more kerosene on this fire by yet again propounding the Muscovian delusion that Ukrainians and Russians are “one people”, something that will sell in Russia but not in Ukraine. Outgoing Pres Poroshenko contests Ze’s offer of citizenship to Russians, pointing out that “And we will not accept that someone will now hand out holy Ukrainian citizenship to Russians. Because all of the 140 million will accept it. Because it is better here. Because Ukrainian citizenship is a high honour.”Ponomarev elaborates on Muscovy’s confusion on how to deal with Ze – he has again energized Russia’s dissenters, evident from Milin’s commentary. Should Russia continue down the Golden Horde path or revert to the earlier European Novgorod model?

Donbas update. Debate over the future of UkrOboronProm. Discussions with Boeing continue. A Youtube clip showing hundreds of Ukraine’s 2016 Mad Max vehicles. Language law argument continues – Pastukhov may be over-estimating the level of loyalty in the ethnic Russian minority, most of whom are in Crimea and Donbas and thus already part of the Russian World (Russkii Mir). Notably so many ethnic Russians joined the militias in 2014 to fight against the Russians that the militias had to use Russian language to maintain internal communications, and surveys indicate increasing reluctance to admit Russian heritage – ethnic Russians are self-assimilating.

CEC officially declares Ze the winner. Ze posts a thank you address to the public and quotes none other than President George Washington, which will no doubt send Muscovy apoplectic – the US is now the cultural beacon, not Russia. Multiple analyses and reports on the election. Russia attempts to ridicule Ze by rerunning his cancelled 2011 TV magic show.

Ze meets with OCU head Epifaniy – outcome yet to be reported. Multiple reports on the ROC and religious repression in Russia, plus Russia’s program to export Orthodoxy.


Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin’s ‘Mobilization Party’ Believes Limited Nuclear Strike Would Save Its Power at Home and Boost Russia’s Abroad, Piontkovsky Says

Paul Goble Staunton, April 27 – A newly coalescing “Mobilization Party” in the Kremlin is convinced that it can only save its own position and boost that of Russia internationally by shaking up the political board in radical ways and that the most effective way to do that is via a limited nuclear strike, Andrey Piontkovsky says. This “party” which the Russian analyst describes in detail in a new commentary believes that the West would in 19 cases out of 20 back down rather than counter with a massive counter-strike, allowing those who orchestrated this move to remain in office for the rest of their lives and Russia to dominate half the world or more (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5CC4589A8C134). And its members are convinced, Piontkovsky continues, that even if they do turn out to be wrong in this game of “Russian roulette” and the West does respond, they will go out in glory and ascend to heaven while the Western leaders will go directly to hell, a point of view that Vladimir Putin has even presented in public. His new article builds on arguments he made two weeks ago in a Radio Liberty essay (svoboda.org/a/29879125.html, discussed at windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/04/to-save-his-regime-putin-preparing-to.html). But this time, Piontkovsky focuses less on what he calls “Putin’s Plan for Victory” than on the coalescence of Russian leaders behind it. According to the Russian analyst, many in and near the Kremlin are worried about two things: the collapse in public support for Putin that has kept the current regime in place for so long and mounting evidence that any repetition of actions that helped him in the past will in fact hurt him and them now. Consequently, Piontkovsky continues, they believe they need to do something not by 2024 but this year and that they need some “unbelievable means which will completely change the agenda.” Their choice, he argues, is the use of a limited nuclear strike, one the West likely wouldn’t respond to and the Russian people would view as validation of Putin’s regime. “Within the Putin bureaucracy is forming and strengthening a political party which has a vision of the present day and future of Russia.” It can be called “a mobilization party.” At its head stands Nikolay Patrushev, the secretary of the Security Council; and its members include Igor Sechin, Yury Kovalchuk, Sergey Ivanov and Yevgeny Prigozhin. “Naturally,” the Russian analyst continues, “Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin in part belongs to it.” According to Piontkovsky, “this party is growing in strength because the transit of power is turbulent.” Recent high-profile cases like Abyzov and Ingushetia are “the product of this party. But not all siloviki have joined it and not all who are in this political party are siloviki.” It draws support from the LDPR and KPRF. The unifying ideas are the need to shore up the current system at home and restore “an enormous powerful revanchist Soviet country which will control half the world” and make the other half afraid of it. This is not really “a party of war.” For it, “war is only a means of achieving its goals.” If it can achieve them without a war well and good but if not, it is ready to roll the dice. Patrushev has been pushing for a doctrine of first use of nuclear weapons for almost a decade. He appeared to be rebuffed, but in fact, he has picked up support and continues to press the idea. He is setting himself up to become “under Putin in the fourth world war what Ludendorff was under Kaiser Wilhelm in World War I – that is, a military dictator.” And he has picked up support from Putin in this because Putin is increasingly concerned about his standing in the country and is pleased to have someone work to solidify it in this way. “When the head of a nuclear power seriously proposes using nuclear weapons not to oppose an aggressor who threatens the very existence of the state but for the achievement of some ambitious geopolitical goal, there are only two possible explanations for such behavior,” Piontkovsky says. The first is that he is a fanatic prepared to die in the pursuit of his goals, “but the second is that he is an adventurer-player, which is much closer to the truth in our case.” He will threaten to use nuclear weapons and then, if that isn’t enough, actually use them in a limited way that he believes will cause the West to back down rather than escalate. Piontkovsky says that many in response to his suggestions that this is the Kremlin’s strategy like to point out that the people in the Kremlin have children, wives, mistresses palaces, yachts and billions in the West and aren’t likely to be willing to see all this become “radioactive rubble.” “Of course, they can’t. But Patrushev, Putin, Kovalchuk and their mobilized party comrades do not intend to die or give up their lives as dollar multi-billionaires or destroy the Western civilization” which makes this all possible for them, the Russian analyst says. Instead, they want it all – victory over the West and “political immortality” at home. The members of this party, he continues, believe there is only one chance in 20 that the West won’t back down and will instead escalate to mutually assured destruction. But in that off chance, they are sure they will go to heaven and everyone else will simply burn in hell, a victory of sorts in their mind. Piontkovsky concludes his essay by quoting his own words of 20 years ago when Putin came to power: “Putinism is the highest and concluding stage of bandit capitalism in Russia. Putnism is war, ‘the consolidation’ of the nation on the basis of some ethnic group, isolation from the outside world and further economic degradation.” “Putinism is,” he says, “a control shot at the head of Russia.” Everything else has happened. Only that remains to happen before the mobilization party will test its calculation that it has a 95 percent chance of winning at home and abroad with a limited nuclear first strike.

Kremlin’s ‘Mobilization Party’ believes limited nuclear strike would save its power at home and boost Russia’s abroad, Piontkovsky says | Euromaidan Press |

A newly coalescing “Mobilization Party” in the Kremlin is convinced that it can only save its own position and boost that of Russia internationally by shaking up the political board in radical ways and that the most effective way to do that is via a limited nuclear strike, Andrey Piontkovsky says. This “party” which the Russian analyst describes in detail in a new commentary believes that the West would in 19 cases out of 20 back down rather than counter with a massive counter-strike, allowing those who orchestrated this move to remain in office for the rest of their lives and Russia to dominate half the world or more. And its members are convinced, Piontkovsky continues, that even if they do turn out to be wrong in this game of “Russian roulette” and the West does respond, they will go out in glory and ascend to heaven while the Western leaders will go directly to hell, a point of view that Vladimir Putin has even presented in public. His new article builds on arguments he made two weeks ago in a Radio Liberty essay (discussed at Piontkovsky: To save his regime, Putin preparing to use nuclear weapons convinced West will blink first). But this time, Piontkovsky focuses less on what he calls “Putin’s Plan for Victory” than on the coalescence of Russian leaders behind it. According to the Russian analyst, many in and near the Kremlin are worried about two things: the collapse in public support for Putin that has kept the current regime in place for so long and mounting evidence that any repetition of actions that helped him in the past will in fact hurt him and them now. Consequently, Piontkovsky continues, they believe they need to do something not by 2024 but this year and that they need some “unbelievable means which will completely change the agenda.” Their choice, he argues, is the use of a limited nuclear strike, one the West likely wouldn’t respond to and the Russian people would view as validation of Putin’s regime. “Within the Putin bureaucracy is forming and strengthening a political party which has a vision of the present day and future of Russia.” It can be called “a mobilization party.” At its head stands Nikolay Patrushev, the secretary of the Security Council; and its members include Igor Sechin, Yury Kovalchuk, Sergey Ivanov and Yevgeny Prigozhin. “Naturally,” the Russian analyst continues, “Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin in part belongs to it.” According to Piontkovsky, “this party is growing in strength because the transit of power is turbulent.” Recent high-profile cases like Abyzov and Ingushetia are “the product of this party. But not all siloviki have joined it and not all who are in this political party are siloviki.” It draws support from the LDPR and KPRF. The unifying ideas are the need to shore up the current system at home and restore “an enormous powerful revanchist Soviet country which will control half the world” and make the other half afraid of it. This is not really “a party of war.” For it, “war is only a means of achieving its goals.” If it can achieve them without a war well and good, but if not, it is ready to roll the dice. Patrushev has been pushing for a doctrine of first use of nuclear weapons for almost a decade. He appeared to be rebuffed, but in fact, he has picked up support and continues to press the idea. He is setting himself up to become “under Putin in the fourth world war what Ludendorff was under Kaiser Wilhelm in World War I – that is, a military dictator.” And he has picked up support from Putin in this, because Putin is increasingly concerned about his standing in the country and is pleased to have someone work to solidify it in this way. “When the head of a nuclear power seriously proposes using nuclear weapons not to oppose an aggressor who threatens the very existence of the state but for the achievement of some ambitious geopolitical goal, there are only two possible explanations for such behavior,” Piontkovsky says. The first is that he is a fanatic prepared to die in the pursuit of his goals, “but the second is that he is an adventurer-player, which is much closer to the truth in our case.” He will threaten to use nuclear weapons and then, if that isn’t enough, actually use them in a limited way that he believes will cause the West to back down rather than escalate. Piontkovsky says that many in response to his suggestions that this is the Kremlin’s strategy like to point out that the people in the Kremlin have children, wives, mistresses palaces, yachts and billions in the West and aren’t likely to be willing to see all this become “radioactive rubble.” “Of course, they can’t. But Patrushev, Putin, Kovalchuk and their mobilized party comrades do not intend to die or give up their lives as dollar multi-billionaires or destroy the Western civilization” which makes this all possible for them, the Russian analyst says. Instead, they want it all – victory over the West and “political immortality” at home. The members of this party, he continues, believe there is only one chance in 20 that the West won’t back down and will instead escalate to mutually assured destruction. But in that off chance, they are sure they will go to heaven and everyone else will simply burn in hell, a victory of sorts in their mind. Piontkovsky concludes his essay by quoting his own words of 20 years ago when Putin came to power: “Putinism is the highest and concluding stage of bandit capitalism in Russia. Putinism is war, ‘the consolidation’ of the nation on the basis of some ethnic group, isolation from the outside world and further economic degradation.” “Putinism is,” he says, “a control shot at the head of Russia.” Everything else has happened. Only that remains to happen before the mobilization party will test its calculation that it has a 95 percent chance of winning at home and abroad with a limited nuclear first strike.

Mikhail Gorbachev | The Madness of Nuclear Deterrence – WSJ

The dangers have only become more acute in the decades since I tried to convince Thatcher. ‘Deterrence cannot protect the world from a nuclear blunder or nuclear terrorism,” George Shultz, William Perry and Sam Nunn recently wrote. “Both become more likely when there is no sustained, meaningful dialogue between Washington and Moscow.” I agree with them about the urgent need for strategic engagement between the U.S. and Russia. I am also convinced that nuclear deterrence, instead of protecting the world, is keeping it in constant jeopardy. I recall my heated discussions of this issue with Margaret Thatcher. We argued…

Gorbachev: Nuclear Deterrence Puts World ‘in Constant Jeopardy’ | Newsmax.com

Mikhail Gorbachev, former president of the Soviet Union, said the dangers of a nuclear deterrence policy are putting the world at risk. Gorbachev made his comments in a column posted by The Wall Street Journal on Monday. He said he was “convinced that nuclear deterrence, instead of protecting the world, is keeping it in constant jeopardy.” “Yet nuclear weapons are like a rifle hanging on the wall in a play written and staged by a person unknown,” Gorbachev said. “We do not know the playwright’s intent. Nuclear weapons could go off because of a technical failure, human error or computer error. The last alarms me the most. Computer systems are now used everywhere. And how many times have computers and electronics failed — in aviation, in industry, in various control systems?” He said nuclear weapons might “also be launched in response to a false alarm.” And he raised the possibility they could fall into the hands of terrorists. Gorbachev maintained the 1962 missile crisis only was diffused by “the sobering up” of President John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union. He noted they “reached agreement on ending nuclear tests in the atmosphere, in outer space and under water.” But he added: “Today, the U.S. and Russia are at a perilous crossroads. They must stop and think. The veterans of the Cold War have spoken. It is now up to our nations’ leaders to act.”

Globalizing the INF Treaty | The National Interest

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is worth preserving and expanding.

UAWire – Kremlin: Russia is ready to negotiate nuclear disarmament

Russian Presidential Aide responsible for international affairs, Yuri Ushakov, commented on the United States President Donald Trump’s statements, who urged Moscow and Beijing to abandon nuclear weapons, and noted that, the U.S. themselves would like to reach such agreement. “First of all, it is necessary to carry out what remains (the existing agreements),” RIA Novosti quoted Ushakov’s view expressed in the program “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin “on the TV channel Russia 1. According to the representative of Kremlin, Russia is also ready for the new agreements in this area. “But this requires serious negotiations, which unfortunately no one has yet begun,” he stressed. On April 26, U.S. President Donald Trump spoke in favor of nuclear disarmament. “We all have to [do this]. Russia must get rid of it, China must get rid of it,” noted the United States leader.

Report Finds Rising Military Spending In Europe Amid Russia Fears

Military spending in Ukraine and several other Central and Eastern European countries rose sharply in 2018, largely in reaction to perceived threats from Russia, a leading research institute says i…

U.S. And China Spend As Much On Military As Rest Of World Combined : NPR

The world is spending more on the military since global figures became available in 1988. Together, the U.S. and China make up half of the world’s military spending.

Russia drops out of top 5 global military spenders

Russia has dropped out of the top five countries with the largest defense spend for the first time since 2006, according to new international data Monday.

 

Turkey Interested in Other Russian Weaponry Apart From S-400s – Official – Sputnik International

The contract for Turkey to procure Russian air defence systems has been vehemently opposed by Washington, who is trying to convince Ankara to ditch it threatening the country with sanctions and freezing deliveries of F-35 fighters.

F-35 project is bound to COLLAPSE without Turkey – Erdogan — RT World News

The F-35 fighter jet project is doomed to fail if Washington keeps blocking the delivery of the promised aircraft to Turkey over its refusal to back out of an arms deal with Russia, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

F-35 project without Turkey bound to collapse, Erdoğan says – Daily Sabah

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized the U.S. for threatening to stall the delivery of F-35 fighter jets over Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400…

Erdogan warns F-35 project would collapse without Turkey – Middle East News – Haaretz.com

The United States and NATO allies wary that the Russian S-400 missile defence systems that Turkey plans to buy will learn how to spot and track the stealth F-35

Erdogan says F-35 project would collapse without Turkey – Reuters

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that an F-35 fighter jet project without Turkish participation was bound to collapse and would be an injustice to exclude Ankara over its plans to buy Russian air defense systems.

F-35 jet program will fail without Turkey, President Erdogan says

NATO member Turkey is attempting to buy Russia’s S-400 missile system as well as the U.S. F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Erdogan will give up the S-400 on one condition – Opinion – Jerusalem Post

Erdogan wants American’s to move out of the way in Syria so he can have his way with the Kurds, with an intent to slaughter them.

Russia’s Questionable S-400 Turkey Deal | The National Interest

Moscow must recognize that it has allowed Ankara to have more leverage in Syria.

White House makes no mention of S-400 ‘working group’ in Trump-Erdogan call | News | ekathimerini.com

The statement released by the White House on onday’s phone call between US President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes no mention of a “working group” that’s to be set up to discuss Turkey’s acquisition of S-400 antiaircraft missile system from Turkey.

Turkey will end purchase of S-400 if U.S. lets it attack Syrian Kurds – columnist | Ahval

Turkey would give up obtaining Russian S-400 air defence missiles if the United States gave President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a free hand to mount an operation against the Syrian Kurds, columnist Diliman Abdulkader said in an analysis for the Jerusalem Post on Sunday. “Erdoğan wants American’s to move out of the way in Syria so he can have his way with the Kurds, with an intent to slaughter them,” said Adbulkader, director of the Kurdistan Project at the Endowment for Middle East Truth, a pro-Israeli think tank in Washington. Turkey’s December 2017 deal to buy S-400 missiles from Russia has angered Washington, which says the weapons are not compatible with NATO systems and could be used to collect sensitive data that would undermine the defences of F-35 advanced fighter jets that Ankara also wants to buy from the United States.

Is Israel behind the S-400 conflict? – Yahya Bostan – Daily Sabah

There are serious tensions between Turkey and the United States over the former’s decision to purchase the S-400 missile defense system. In recent years,…

Trump, Erdogan discuss working group on Russian S-400 | USA News | Al Jazeera

Turkey’s President Erdogan says he won’t step back from deal to acquire missile defence system despite US pressure.

US, Turkey play chicken over Russia | TheHill

The U.S. and Turkey are playing a high-stakes game of chicken over Turkey’s plan to buy a missile defense system from Russia.

Ankara’s realignment with Russia will cost Turkey more than it thinks | TheHill

There are major indirect costs that Turkey will have to bear.

Asia Times | Biggest loser from US-Turkey defense spat will be EU | Opinion

If bluster between Trump and Erdogan over the S-400 deal pushes Turkey out of NATO, that will be very bad news for Brussels

Erdogan Is Writing Checks the Turkish Economy Can’t Cash – Foreign Policy

The president’s stimulus programs may help him stay in power, but they will cost his country in the long run.

Will Turkey’s Erdogan Era Come Crashing Down? | Jewish & Israel News Algemeiner.com

The result of the recent municipal elections in Turkey represents a major shift in public sentiment toward Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It is true that an economic crisis, and the ineptitude he exhibited in dealing with it, played an important role in the election and his AKP party’s devastating losses in the largest cities, especially Erdogan’s hometown of Istanbul. There are, however, other major factors that have directly contributed to public disgust with Erdogan’s ruthless one-man rule. The local elections provided the first expression of the public outrage that has been building for the past several years, during which he reversed the country’s most significant socio-political and judicial achievements, while systematically dismantling what’s left of Turkey’s democracy. For Erdogan, a democratic form of government could not serve his ambition to become the absolute leader who can both shape Turkey’s destiny as an Islamic state and serve as the head of the Sunni Muslim world. As he once stated: “Democracy is like a bus, once you reach your destination, you get off.”

 

NATO launch exercise “Spring Storm” in Estonia as part of plan to “contain” Russia – media – news world | UNIAN

On Monday, April 29, Soldiers of the North Atlantic Alliance countries officially began the annual exercise Spring Storm. This year’s training involved approximately 10,000 soldiers and hundreds of combat vehicles and aircraft.

NATO launch exercise “Spring Storm” in Estonia as part of a plan to “contain” Russia – Defence Blog

On Monday, April 29, Soldiers of the North Atlantic Alliance countries officially began the annual exercise Spring Storm. During exercises from April 29 to May 17, servicemen at different levels will work on techniques for synchronizing combat plans, cooperation in management, and increased readiness for tactical tasks. The Spring Storm is a large-scale live exercise of the Estonian Defence Forces, with participation from NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence and other Allied forces. This year’s training involved approximately 10 thousand soldiers and hundreds of combat vehicles and aircraft. “The Spring Storm exercise this year will be held in northeastern Estonia.Nearly 10,000 troops will take part in them, including the military contingents of Great Britain and Belgium from the NATO international battalion stationed in Estonia and the soldiers of the Estonian Defense Forces, ” the press service of the Estonian Armed Forces said. Combat aircraft and helicopters of the Estonian Air Force and allies will take part in the exercise in Estonian airspace. Among them are the Eurofighter fighters of the German and British Air Forces, the Polish Su-22 attack aircraft, the British and US Air Force helicopters Wildcat, Apache and Pavehawk. The exercises will be attended by warships of the Estonian Navy and allies. According to preliminary plans, the military personnel of Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Georgia, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the USA, Ukraine, Finland, France and Estonia will take part in the present exercises “Spring Storm”. It is assumed that this technique will be in the Baltic republic for about three months. The helicopters arrived at Emari airbase in the military town of Tapa, located just 150 km from the Russian border. The heavy machinery of the Armed Forces of France, including five tanks and more than ten infantry fighting vehicles, were also transferred there. NATO exercises in the Baltic near the Russian borders negatively affect relations between Russia and the countries of the alliance, experts warn. “Despite the fact that the number of military men involved in these exercises is relatively low, maneuvers create military tension on the borders of Russia. Moscow is forced to take this into account in its plans for the country’s defense. When tanks drive and planes fly near the borders of the Russian Federation, various kinds of incidents can occur. Even if they are unintentional, they can still be quite dangerous for the Russian side, ”said Viktor Murakhovsky, editor-in-chief of Arsenal of the Fatherland, in an interview with RT. In his opinion, the measures of the North Atlantic Alliance to prepare the theater of military operations in the Baltic States pose a potential military threat to Russia. As Viktor Murakhovsky notes, the North Atlantic Alliance exercises in the Baltic are becoming annual, the number of participating countries is constantly growing, and the reflection of the “Russian aggression” is being worked out, as a rule. “A whole series of NATO exercises are being held as part of a plan to“ contain ”Russia,” the expert stated.

Ukraine to participate in NATO military exercises in Estonia

The Ukrainian troops will take part in the multinational exercises in Estonia, which are to kick off on Monday. — Ukrinform.

UAWire – Russia deploys electronic warfare systems in Kaliningrad region

Russia is deploying a Murmansk-BN electronic warfare system in its Kaliningrad province, Izvestia reports. According to the Russian Navy Command, the system was acquired at the end of 2018 by the Baltic Fleet’s 841st electronic warfare center. Sources claim that the system has already been successfully tested in exercises there. Military expert Anton Lavrov believes that the Murmansk-BN’s stated capabilities would allow it to cause interference in an extremely large area. “Its operation could impair the communication of combat ships, aircraft and infantry divisions in countries in Eastern and Central Europe and the Baltic region. First and foremost, it would affect Scandinavia, as well as the waters of the Baltic Sea and the north-western part of the Atlantic Ocean,” the specialist explains. In February it was reported that Russia’s “Okno” space surveillance station in Tajikistan can detect near-earth objects more than 50,000 km away. The Murmansk-BN automated radio interference system operates on short wavelength military communications. It can jam radio signals (from military vessels, aircraft, drones and other infrastructure) within a radius of 8,000 km. The mobile variant of the system, deployed on seven Kamaz multi-axle trucks, includes telescopic antenna masts (up to 32 m) and low frequency antennas.

UAWire – Most Latvian parties support sanctions against Russia

The majority of Latvian parties running in the European Parliament elections are in favor of maintaining the sanctions on Russia, according to a survey conducted by the LETA news agency. The parties New Unity, the Union of Greens and Farmers, the Progressives, the Latvian Association of Regions, Who Owns the State, and “Development/For!” believe that “the sanctions must be maintained in the current form and amendments to them can be made depending on changes for the better or the worse in Russian politics”. The National Bloc and New Conservative Party (JKP) think that “the sanctions should be intensified, since Russian politics is not changing”. The JKP also believes that “we need to fight fiercely against the channels of Russian propaganda”. The opposition party “Harmony” believes that “new sanctions should not be imposed and changes could be made to the existing regime”. Only the Latvian Russian Union (not represented in parliament) advocates lifting the sanctions.

Alliance for Securing Democracy: Securing Democracy Dispatch – To Inform is to Influence

Our Take Foreign trolls continue to target social media platforms: ASD Non-resident Fellow Clint Watts joined NPR’s Sacha Pfeiffer to discuss the various manipulation tactics used by Russian trolls to sow discord within the U.S. in the lead-up to the 2016 election. Watts emphasized the need for bipartisan cooperation to remedy the polarization that agents of interference exploit.…

 

Standing Against Putin’s Tyranny – WSJ

The ranks of political prisoners grew fivefold in four years.

New Report Documents ‘Ever-Increasing Array of Laws’ Used In Russian Political Repression

The number of political prisoners in Russia has reached above 230 as President Vladimir Putin’s government implements an “ever-increasing array of laws specifically designed to criminalize acts of …

Five mln tonnes of dirty oil has accumulated in pipelines in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland

The total volume of Russian oil contaminated with organic chlorides in Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, and Polish pipelines is estimated at 5 million tonnes, said Andrei Verigo, first deputy head and chief engineer at Gomeltransneft Druzhba, told journalists in Gomel on Tuesday. The total volume of Russian oil contaminated with organic chlorides in Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, and Polish pipelines is estimated at 5 million tonnes, said Andrei Verigo, first deputy head and chief engineer at Gomeltransneft Druzhba, told journalists in Gomel on Tuesday. According to Verigo, preliminary estimates put “the total volume of substandard oil in in Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, and Polish pipelines [at] approximately 5 million tonnes,” the state news agency BelTA reported.

Russia has nothing to offer China except raw materials and empty words, Russian analyst says | Euromaidan Press |

Vladimir Putin’s flatfooted offer to China to combine Beijing’s plans for an east-west transit network with Russian hopes for the development of the Northern Sea Route called attention to the reality that “Russia has nothing to offer the Chinese Peoples Republic except talk about friendship, oil and forests,” Andrey Ivanov says. And that in turn shows that Beijing at the present time “considers the Russian Federation not so much as a partner in its global projects,” the Svobodnaya pressa commentator says, “but rather as a supplier of raw materials” that China’s growing economy needs. Despite Moscow’s appeals, China has decided to focus on the development of transportation links with Europe that bypass Russia in large part because of fears about sanctions and the deteriorating relations between Moscow and Brussels but also because of the weakness of Russia’s transportation links and specific Russian policies, Ivanov continues. And underlying that is the fact that Russia is simply not that important a trading partner for China. Moscow has been celebrating its record trade exchange with China last year – 108 billion US dollars. But this is deceptive: 85 percent of Russian sales to China are raw materials, and the total in bilateral trade is far less than that between China and Vietnam (148 billion). “In principle,” he says, “given such a disbalance, China could dictate to Russia its conditions for trade operations,” demanding lower prices for raw materials because Moscow under sanctions has few options to buy manufactured goods from other than Chinese sources – and Beijing knows that. But instead of working to avoid that, Moscow is compounding the problem by failing to invest in infrastructure projects on its own territory. Andrey Ostrovsky, deputy director of the Russian Institute for the Far East, says Moscow doesn’t have the money to develop even the Northern Sea Route. Indeed, it hasn’t even maintained the Trans-Siberian Railway to the point that it is economically viable for producers in the Far East. Chinese passenger trains now travel at speeds as high as 350 kilometers an hour, while freight train speeds were increased to 100 km per hour. Russian ones travel on average 35 to 40 km per hour – and “on certain parts of the TransSib in Siberia, the speed doesn’t exceed 10 km per hour.” Moscow could change this if it was willing and able to get loans to improve things, but so far, experts says, it isn’t willing and is increasingly less able. Not surprisingly, China and others in Asia are looking around Russia rather than through it, however often Putin suggests that they should be “partners” with Moscow.

UAWire – Kremlin: China is interested in increasing gas supplies from Russia

The Chairman of the Management Committee of Russian energy company Gazprom, Alexey Miller, on the air of the program “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin &quot; …

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Didn’t ‘Feed’ the USSR: the Entire USSR ‘Fed’ the Nomenklatura, Mirovich Says

Paul Goble Staunton, April 27 – One of the most widespread myths in Russia today is that in Soviet times, Moscow took care of everyone, Maksim Mirovich says; but in fact, Moscow didn’t “feed” anyone. Instead, “the entire country worked for the Soviet nomenklatura” which distributed scraps to the population at its discretion. In short, the situation now is not much different than it was then but it involves only the Russian Federation and not the USSR which no longer exists except in the dreams of some regime propagandists and those who believe them, the Belarusian blogger suggests (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5CC3F4177E264). If one uses UN figures of GDP per capita in the union republics in 1990 and compares that with the pay Soviet citizens received, it becomes clear that the nomenklatura took 90 percent or more for state purposes and itself and paid the population only about 10 percent of what the people produced. In short, the regime got fat while all the people were kept poor. The average Belarusian, for example, produced more than 1300 US dollars a month for the state but got back only a tenth of that in pay. The rest was taken by the state for its purposes, including supporting dictators abroad and conducting wars of one kind or another. The state didn’t “feed” its own people then either. The fallback myth about the USSR is that the RSFSR supposedly “fed all the rest.” That is based on the fact that GDP per capita in the RSFSR was more than three times that of the similar measure in Tajikistan. But what is offered as evidence of Russian assistance isn’t in fact evidence of that. Rather everyone was kept poor by the state, Mirovich says. One reason the mythology of Moscow or Russia “feeding” everyone else lives on, he continues, is that much that was produced in one place was shipped to others without anyone who produced it benefitting. Thus meat products produced at a factory outside of Minsk were dispatched to places beyond the borders of Belarus. But these things didn’t go to the Russian people or to the Tajiks: they went instead to the nomenklatura or were sold abroad to raise money for what the nomenklatura wanted. What makes Mirovich’s article worthy of note is that it suggests that the debate about the Soviet past is heating up and that class analysis which drives much thinking about injustice under the Putin system is now being extended back in time to the Soviet system out of which the Putin regime came and to which it would like it certain respects to return.

 

The Russian Navy Might Be Recruiting Whales as Spies

A group of fishermen in Norway found a whale wearing a harness from St. Petersburg. It wouldn’t be the first time a navy relied on animals for reconnaissance.

Beluga Whale With Russian Harness Raises Alarm In Norway

Norwegian officials say they are concerned that a harnessed beluga whale found in the Arctic Sea may have come from a Russian military facility.

Beluga whale discovered with harness, could be from Russian military

A whale  has been discovered in waters near Norway with tight harnesses on it, which could have been attached by the Russian military.

Norwegian Fishermen discover beluga whale ‘trained by Russian Navy’ and wearing a harness | Daily Mail Online

Fisherman have freed a beluga whale wearing a tight harness of the coast of Norway. The strap was branded with ‘equipment of St. Petersburg’ and featured a mount for an action camera.

Whale in harness found in Norway Arctic waters may have been trained by Russia military, Norwegian fisherman and scientists say – CBS News

Norwegian fishermen and scientists say a white whale wearing a strange harness that harassed boats in the Arctic recently may have been trained by Russia’s military. Russia has acknowledged training sea mammals for special operations in the frigid Arctic, where the country has a major military base not far from the territory of key NATO member Norway. According to Britain’s The Guardian newspaper, Norwegian state broadcaster NRK reported the unusual behavior by the whale last week, and showed video of the beluga whale swimming alongside a fishing vessel and repeatedly nudging it. “We were going to put out nets when we saw a whale swimming between the boats,” NRK quoted fisherman Joar Hesten as saying. “It came over to us, and as it approached, we saw that it had some sort of harness on it.”

 

Stephen Blank | Vladimir Putin Does Shakespeare

Vladimir Putin’s newest display of talent is his excelling in theatrics. He recently elected to play Macbeth or Richard III. Having nothing left to offer Russia as the indices of immiseration pile up, Putin’s recourse to imperial theatrics has dramatically accelerated. But ultimately this performance, like those of his predecessors on stage and in reality, ends with the political or physical death of the tyrant and a new king or in Russia’s case, tsar. Specifically, we refer to the most recent example of Russia’s “passportization” strategy. On the heels of Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s election as president of Ukraine, Putin has enacted a new decree providing Russian passports to residents of Donetsk and Luhansk provinces. (A few days later, he said he is considering giving Russian passports to all Ukrainians.) This time-tested Putin strategy was connected to the instigation of hostilities in Georgia in 2008. Ostensibly solicitous about the humanitarian crisis in these provinces that his arms and soldiers have inflicted, Putin has now taken a major step toward including these provinces as part of Russia, like he did with Crimea. Second, as many have pointed out, this decree creates the legal basis for new invasions of Ukrainian territory allegedly to protect Russian citizens, an option we saw in Georgia, Crimea, Donbas, and Moldova and one that is actually enshrined in Russian law. Here Putin stands in a long line of Russian autocrats, including Stalin, who used this pretext to annex what is now western Ukraine in 1939 from Poland. And this was Hitler’s argument too, a comparison that undoubtedly enrages Moscow as an example of lese-majeste since it cannot come to terms with its own history. Third, this is a warning that despite five years of failure the dreams of the Russian World (Russkii Mir) and Novorossiia have yet to be buried for good. Indeed, for the last 6-12 months, Moscow has attempted to expand its territory and population further by making all kinds of economically if not militarily coercive moves against Belarus. Both Vladislav Surkov and Sergei Glazyev who played nefarious roles in the 2013-14 Russo-Ukrainian crises have now been moved to work on Belarus. We should expect consistent and expanding pressures upon Minsk in the immediate future. Fourth, although this decree constitutes a legal-political basis for another invasion, it also implicitly recognizes that if Putin is to stay in power he has no choice other than to incorporate these territories into the Russian Federation and keep proclaiming that Russia faces constant threats. If large-scale conventional war is no longer a viable option because the consequences are too unpredictable and potentially protracted, then this is the best Putin can hope for. Like those aforementioned Shakespearean monarchs, Putin is “in blood so steeped that sin shall pluck on Sin” or that it would be as tiresome to go “o’er as to go back.” He cannot renounce the occupied territories and Crimea and leave them to Ukraine as he would lose his job and the support of his entire entourage who would have been left to suffer the consequences of an outraged public that has had to suffer immeasurably for their fantasies of wealth and power. For Putin, there is no negotiated solution available and we and Zelenskiy should realize that. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has again voiced the idea that the West should forget about Crimea’s reversion to Ukraine. Like these ill-fated monarchs, Putin has no choice but to apply pressure and either threaten or launch a new war. This calculation should make Ukraine and NATO’s (not just Washington’s) policy decisions easier. While Ukraine must reform and strengthen its overall economic, political, and military capabilities, the West must not only maintain but increase its support, not least militarily. This does not mean merely reforming the defense establishment and providing weapons, but also supporting efforts to sustain Ukraine’s presence in the Sea of Azov (including the Kerch Strait). Ukraine and NATO should enter into a new Lend-Lease deal giving bases there to NATO in return for the transfer of usable but surplus naval and other capabilities that Ukraine’s armed forces can use effectively. Certainly this response to Putin’s new test of Zelenskiy to force him to address Moscow on its terms would demonstrate Kyiv, Brussels, and Washington’s resolve. Moscow will not attack NATO ships in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov for all its bellicosity. Besides those responses, we should further ratchet up sanctions on Russia to impose more costs on Putin and his regime. Existing sanctions have already forced a slowdown in defense spending and generated some unrest due to worsening economic conditions. Striking at Putin’s capacity to wage war and his pretensions to annex more territory and pose as a Tsarist-like gatherer of Russian lands must be stopped before it leads to a larger and more disastrous war for Russia and Europe. But even so, as Macbeth and Richard’s histories indicate, Putin’s enemies are steadily bringing Birnam Wood to Dunsinane or Bosworth Field and that Russia cannot continue to bear the burdens of his theatrics. Stephen Blank is a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council.

Leonid Bershidsky on Twitter: “Putin thinks Ukrainians will want Russia passports. I doubt it. https://t.co/ZYJY7nKH4B via @bopinion”

 

Thanks, Putin, But Ukrainians Won’t Want Russian Passports – Bloomberg

A provocative citizenship offer from the Kremlin challenges Ukraine’s new president to work on making all citizens feel welcome.

Thanks, Putin, But Ukrainians Won’t Want Russian Passports

A provocative citizenship offer from the Kremlin challenges Ukraine’s new president to work on making all citizens feel welcome.

Ukraine’s next president is already getting tough with Vladimir Putin – CNN

Ukrainian President-elect, Volodymyr Zelensky, might be a political novice, but he’s also willing to stand up to the most experienced geopolitical player on the block: Russian President Vladimir Putin.

There is no difference between Poroshenko and Zelensky, – Jean-Claude Juncker

Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, stated he saw no difference between the current President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and elected President Volodymyr Zelensky concerning the matter of Russia, as he said in an interview for Rzeczpospolita. “I was listening to the statements of the elected President and I did not find any significant difference between his and Poroshenko if we talk about Russia. The fact that he wants to end war in the east of Ukraine does not help Moscow,” Junker said. At the same time, he did not evaluate the future President. “We will see. We will be supporting Ukraine. I always stress that fight with corruption has to be enhanced,” the President of the European Commission said.

Michael McFaul on Twitter: “Clever response to Putin: Zelenskiy Vows Ukrainian Citizenship to Russians in Response to Putin Statement”

 

Telegram: Contact @Lshot

Vladimir Putin commented on Zelensky to a Life journalist about his readiness to issue Ukrainian passports to Russians: “I generally think that Russians and Ukrainians are one people, and it will be better if we have a single citizenship If they will give citizenship to the Russians, and we in Russia will give citizenship to the Ukrainians, we will gradually come to the general desired result, that is, we will have a common citizenship “

Telegram: Contact @tv360ru

Vladimir Putin – about the words of Zelensky about the issue of Ukrainian citizenship to Russians: “This suggests that we agree, we have a lot in common. Russians and Ukrainians will benefit from common citizenship. ”

UAWire – Putin: Russia and Ukraine could agree on joint citizenship

Commenting on journalists’ questions about Russia's plans to issue passports to the Ukrainian citizens and the response of the elected president …

Peskov: the Kremlin carefully records Zelensky’s statements

A spokesman for the president of the Russian Federation noted that correspondence discussion is now taking place between Moscow and Kiev There is an exchange of statements by correspondence between Moscow and Kiev, the Russian side carefully records them and takes them into account. So the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Peskov, answered the question of whether the Kremlin’s President Vladimir Zelensky’s rhetoric, who responded to the decision of Russia to grant residents of Donbas Russian citizenship in a simplified manner, was not disappointed with the Kremlin. “Now while there is such an correspondence discussion, I can only speak for President Putin. President Putin quite clearly in Beijing outlined his approach to the basics of dialogue. He said about the readiness to conduct a dialogue, said about the lack of understanding of how to try to solve this internal Ukrainian problem of the southeast, de facto refusing the basic provisions of the Minsk agreements, ”said Peskov. The representative of the Kremlin also said that the topic of the possible simplification of obtaining Russian citizenship for all citizens of Ukraine is only being discussed, no decisions have been made and there are no detailed parameters.

Kremlin takes note of Zelensky’s statement about Russian passports – Russian media – news politics | UNIAN

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said the Kremlin took note of Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky’s statement about issuing Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens. “We keep a record and take note of everything,” Peskov said.

Putin offers all Ukrainians a passport | World | The Times

President Putin has sought to ramp up pressure on Ukraine’s inexperienced president-elect by suggesting that Russia could provide fast-track citizenship to all Ukrainians, not only those living in areas controlled by Kremlin-backed separatists.Last week Mr Putin offered Russian passports to about 3

Simon Ostrovsky on Twitter: “Ukraine’s President-elect responds to Putin’s proposal of offering citizenship to all Ukrainians with a statement that is likely to make the Russian President very angry. Especially the highlighted bit. Putin has been in power for two decades.… https://t.co/4rqSF49Ace”

Morgan Ortagus on Twitter: “The U.S condemns today’s decision by President Putin to provide expedited Russian citizenship to Ukrainians living in Russia-controlled eastern Ukraine. Russia, through this highly provocative action, is intensifying its assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty & territorial integrity.… https://t.co/s7dSBLKVnr”

Putin says Russians and Ukrainians would benefit from shared citizenship: Ifax – Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Russians and Ukrainians would only benefit from sharing common citizenship, the Interfax news agency reported.

Russia TURNS SCREW on Ukraine with PASSPORT PLOT as Putin takes on comedian Zelensky | World | News | Express.co.uk

RUSSIAN president Vladimir Putin has suggested Russia could provide fast-track citizenship to all Ukrainians – putting pressure on Ukraine’s president elect.

Zelenskyy reacts to Russian plan to issue passports to Ukrainians – LB.ua news portal

Zelenskyy reacts to Russian plan to issue passports to Ukrainians. “You should not use the language of threats when talking to Ukraine.” Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Volodymyr Yelchenko on Twitter: ““What’s next? USSR revival?”: Ukraine envoy to UN on “Putin’s passports” for Ukrainians – news politics | UNIAN https://t.co/b1hzo3f969″

“What’s next? USSR revival?”: Ukraine envoy to UN on “Putin’s passports” for Ukrainians – news politics | UNIAN

Volodymyr Yelchenko, Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, drew parallels between Vladimir Putin’s desire to issue passports to Ukrainians with a novel by George Orwell. Russia seeks to “plant” its passports across Ukraine, Yelchenko says. Volodymyr Yelchenko, Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, drew parallels between Vladimir Putin’s desire to issue passports to Ukrainians with a novel by George Orwell. Taking to Twitter on Saturday, April 27, Yelchenko wrote: “This insanity continues as if in Orwell’s work. Another intention [of Vladimir Putin] is to plant Russian passports throughout Ukraine. What’s next? USSR revival? And the UN Security Council will continue to wait patiently while ‘calling for all sides’?” As UNIAN reported earlier, on April 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on simplifying the procedure for issuing Russian passports to residents of the temporarily occupied Donbas. On April 27, Putin went further, claiming Russia could begin to facilitate the procedure for acquiring citizenship to all citizens of Ukraine.

Poroshenko warns of danger for Zelensky from ‘ill-considered meeting’ with Putin

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has cautioned President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky’s team against meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin without prior consultations with Kyiv’s international partners.

Poroshenko opposes idea to grant citizenship to Russians – LB.ua news portal

President Petro Poroshenko has spoken against liberally granting Ukrainian citizenship to Russians. He made this statement at a meeting with researchers at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv on Monday, 29 April. “And we will not accept that someone will now hand out holy Ukrainian citizenship to Russians. Because all of the 140 million will accept it. Because it is better here. Because Ukrainian citizenship is a high honour,” Interfax-Ukraine quoted Poroshenko as saying. The president also stressed that he would not allow anyone to buy Ukraine for gas. “Because the main thing that they are now trying to offer is cheaper gas for Ukraine,” he said. Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin once again called Ukrainians and Russians one people and stated the need for common citizenship. He was commenting on Russia’s plans to issue passports to citizens of Ukraine and the reaction to this by Ukrainian presidential election winner Volodymyr Zelenskyy. “If anyone makes any decisions in favour of Ukraine, we will support them. If anyone needs advice, we will give it. But the risks facing the world and Ukraine are overwhelming,” the president noted. He added: “If you go to meet with Putin, nobody from the world coalition, which we’ve been carefully creating for five years, will come to you anymore. You will destroy it. And leave Ukraine alone with the aggressor. And then you will only have to kneel down and admit the capitulation.” “And this is precisely what we cannot allow,” he said. He aded: “We will tell you in a timely manner how not to kneel down. Because we know how. We will tell you in a timely manner how to keep our allies and partners. We will tell you in a timely manner how not to be sold for 30 silver pieces of gas, which is definitely a deception. Because we know that.”

Putin creating unfavorable background ahead of potential talks with Zelensky: Gerashchenko – news politics | UNIAN

First Deputy Chair of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s representative in the humanitarian subgroup of the Tripartite Contact Group on Donbas settlement Iryna Gerashchenko says recent statements by Russian President Vladimir Putin show an unfavorable background is being created for his first dialogue with the new president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky. Gerashchenko stressed that Ukraine should firmly hold on to its position on the implementation of Minsk agreements, hostage swap, the release of Kremlin prisoners, and the refusal to negotiate with terrorist leaders.

Putin confirms agreements reached by Medvedchuk and Boyko in Moscow

Ukrainian opposition Viktor Medvedchuk and Yuriy Boyko held talks on the transition to direct gas supplies from the Russian Federation to Ukraine

Russia wants to make Ukrainians its “new oil”: Zelensky on Putin’s “passport plan” – news politics | UNIAN

Ukraine’s President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky has commented on the move by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to simplify the procedure for issuing Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens. Zelensky noted that Ukrainian citizenship means freedom, dignity, and honor.

Kyiv expects int’l community not to recognize Russian passports issued to Donbas residents

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has protested the fact that centers for issuing Russian passports to residents of districts of Donbas not controlled by Kyiv have started operations in Russian territory and called on the international community not to recognize such documents. “Ukraine is urging its international partners not to recognize and not to accept documents issued by Russia in violation of the Ukrainian constitution and laws to citizens of Ukraine living in the territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine that are temporarily occupied by Russia, as well as any transactions carried out with such documents,” the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. “In taking such steps, Russia is manifestly demonstrating its absolute disregard for the norms and principles of international law, and having deliberately chosen a course toward escalation, it is also fundamentally undermining the Minsk Agreements, a party to which it is,” the statement said. Russia’s decision to issue its passports to Donbas residents is “legally null and void and will not be recognized by Ukraine,” it said. These decisions “can have no effect on the fact that the residents of the Donbas territories temporarily occupied by Russia are citizens of Ukraine, as is stipulated by the constitution and Ukrainian law,” the statement said. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry once again strongly called for “stepping up consolidated political-diplomatic pressure on the Kremlin to compel it to honor the norms and principles of international law; for instance, by expanding personal and sectoral sanctions against the aggressor country.”

Zelensky should improve relations with Russia, – Medvedchuk

Russia remains for Ukraine the main trade and economic partner and concerning the import and export as well, according to the results even of the last year

UWC urges international community to rebuke Russia for ‘passportization’ in Donbas

The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) condemns the provocative actions of the Russian Federation regarding the issuance of Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens in the occupied territories and calls on the international community to respond to this violation of international law. — Ukrinform.

Linkevicius to raise issue of Russia’s responsibility for facilitation of obtaining Russian citizenship by ORDLO residents at meeting of EU FMs

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius will raise the issue of Russia’s responsibility for the decision on the simplified granting of Russian citizenship to Ukrainians in certain regions of Donetsk and Luhansk regions (ORDLO) at the next meeting of the foreign ministers of the European Union.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: 60 Percent of 500,000 Azerbaijanis in Ukraine are Ukrainian Citizens, Leader Says

Paul Goble Staunton, April 29 – Sixty percent of the roughly half million Azerbaijanis living in Ukraine are citizens of that country and committed to its defense and well-being, Rovshan Tagiyev, the president of the Congress of Azerbaijanis of Ukraine and head of the Assembly of Nationalities of Ukraine. The other 200,000 Azerbaijanis in Ukraine have residence permits and many are working toward becoming citizens as well, the Azerbaijani leader says, taking pride in the fact that his community is “one of the most numerous diasporas in Ukraine” (yenicag.ru/rol-mesto-i-ves-azerbaydzhanskoy-dias/293866/). “Over the course of many years,” he continues, “Azerbaijanis were not very active in the social-political life of the country, but with the beginning of the formation of Azerbaijani pubic organizations, a development which began at the end of the 1990s, they have begun to display ever greater activity.” Tagiyev says that he can assert without any doubts that “the position of the Azerbaijani diaspora coincides with the interests of Ukraine since the integrity of the Ukrainian state is the main and key thing for it. In fact, we understand and feel all that is taking place now in Ukraine no less well than Ukrainians.” That is because “we dealt with the very same problems, the problems of separatism which grew into the occupation by Armenia with the help of the Russian Federation of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjoining districts.” Consequently, “we will never allow ourselves to assert that a civil war is taking place in Ukraine. This isn’t true: there is instead a direct invasion of Ukraine by Russia. The international community will never recognize the occupation of Ukrainian territories, and the Azerbaijanis will never recognize it as well.” “I am certain that a time will come and we will be able to restore relations between Russia and Ukraine,” Tagiyev says. “But only in the interests of Ukraine. The territorial integrity of our country must be restored, for any war sooner or later will end with a peace.” In his words, “Ukraine has enormous potential to become one of the leading states of Europe. We must simply today and say a clear ‘stop!’ to the chief internal enemy of Ukraine – corruption. Let us together defeat it and then in less then ten years Ukraine will be a flourishing state. I do not doubt that for a second.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Rarely Says He’s Good Only that All the Others are ‘Shits,’ Ponomarev Says

Paul Goble Staunton, April 29 – A key to understanding Vladimir Putin and his regime is that the Kremlin leader rarely says that he is good, Ilya Ponomarev says. Instead, he says that all the others abroad are “shits.” On the one hand, “if all others are that, then what difference do things” in Russia matter? And on the other, it leads Putin to try to make things worse in other countries. Ponomarev, a Russian opposition politician who now lives in exile in Ukraine, says that explains why Putin interferes in other countries: he is doing so to ensure they look bad to Russians and thus he by contrast looks if not good at least better. But that impulse carries the risk Moscow often makes mistakes that backfire (afterempire.info/2019/04/29/ponomarev-kreml-2/). But this vision of the world often leads the Kremlin to miscalculate as it has in the Ukrainian elections where it expected Poroshenko to win or at least finish close enough to create confusion and unrest in the wake of the vote. The massive vote for Zelensky that it didn’t expect has thus thrown the Russian political technologists into confusion. Moscow faces a young leader who is less predictable and ultimately less deferential than Poroshenko; and consequently, Russian policy makers are going to have to think long and hard about how to deal with someone who is not pro-Russian whatever they may have hoped and who is serious about protecting his country and himself. What has happened in Ukraine may have an even larger echo in the future than it does so. Some opposition groups in Belarus and Kazakhstan, for example, are now looking for “their own” Zelenskys (svaboda.org/a/29906276.html, charter97.org/ru/news/2019/4/29/332283/and fergana.agency/articles/106887/). It is not unthinkable that some Russians may do the same.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Remember Novgorod and Fight Putin’s Despotism, Milin Says

Paul Goble Staunton, April 29 – Vladimir Putin wants to convince Russians that they have always lived under despotism and that therefore they should accept his latest version as entirely consistent with Russian tradition, Dmitry Milin says. But in fact, Putin’s claims are not true. Russia has an ancient democratic tradition and it needs to remember it in order to revive it. That tradition rests in the Republic of Novgorod the Great, the Russian commentator says. It is republican and democratic and its existed for hundreds of years until Muscovy conquered and suppressed it, something the supporters of despotism now would like to “white out” of the history of the country (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5CC6963749B83). Indeed, Milin continues, “anyone who speaks about ‘the eternal slavery of the Russians’ is playing into the hands of despotism and Putin.” Those who support democracy and a republic form of government must remind everyone that “the history of Rus (both Muscovite and Kievan) is not only the history of despotism and monarchy.” It also includes “the history of the greatest trade and manufacturing republic which existed 342 years while surrounded by stronger despotisms.” Those who want to keep democracy in Russia suppressed want everyone to forget about that part of the nation’s history and celebrate only the despots like Putin. “Our duty,” Milin says, “is to oppose that.” “Genuine Russian traditions are the traditions of the democracy of the veche, and NOT of despotism. Do not forget about this however difficult it sometimes seems to be.” If one forgets this for even a minute, he suggests, one is unwittingly helping those who insist that “’Russians need a tsar’ or a supreme leader or a dictator.” In fact, in Russian history and Russia today, there are many people committed to freedom and equal treatment of all peoples; and they do not need to survive “any tsar, supreme leader, dictator or a president with dictatorial authority.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Should Use Citizenship Weapon in Belarus as well as in Ukraine, Baranchik Says

Paul Goble Staunton, April 28 – Providing a simplified path to Russian citizenship for people in the Donbas and indeed all Ukraine is a useful weapon for Moscow in its drive to recover its patrimony, Yury Baranchik says. And this tool should be used in Belarus as well, he continues (iarex.ru/articles/66163.html). Offering this path to people in the Donbas shows that Russia has “gone over to the offensive” there, the Rex news agency commentator argued in an essay posted on the Regnum news agency a few days ago (regnum.ru/news/polit/2618923.html). Now is no time to stop but rather the occasion to use the same tactic again and again. Vladimir Putin’s declaration that Russia is “ready to offer its citizenship to all residents of Ukraine has had the impact of a bomb going off,” Baranchik says. “It is a very strong move since one is speaking about the conclusion of the civil conflict in Ukraine.” “Kyiv has had five years to extinguish the flames of a civil war but nothing has been done to achieve that end. People are tired of this conflict that has been created by the authorities on the border of the Russian world.” And the commentator insists it’s reasonable to conclude that Ukraine stands on the brink of disintegration. An offer of Russian citizenship will accelerate that. But such a movement of people and thus of territory back to Russia will be even more appropriate and rapid in “the other half of the Union state since in Belarus, supporters of union with Russia are yet move than in Ukraine.” According to Baranchik, “about 80 to 85 percent of Belarusians today would be “happy to receive Union of Russian citizenship.” If the process takes off in the Donbas and then in Ukraine as it will, the commentator continues, Belarusians will soon be asking: “Why can residents of Ukraine become citizens of Russia but not us?” There is also no doubt lines at the Russian consulates in Belarus will be longer than those in Donetsk and Luhansk. That will give Russia and Russians a victory at far less cost than the one it is in fact winning in Ukraine, Baranchik suggests.

Gerashchenko assures German lawmakers of Ukraine’s commitment to Euro-Atlantic integration

“The other day I met with the members of the German Bundestag from the Free Democratic Party Renata Alt and Frank Müller-Rosentritt. It seems to me that was the first visit of a European parliamentary delegation after the elections, so we were talking about the results and the inalterability of Ukraine’s path towards Euro-Atlantic integration. I once again stressed that the path was wisely enshrined by President Poroshenko and the current parliament convocation in the Constitution, therefore no changes are possible,” Gerashchenko posted on Facebook following a recent meeting with members of the German Bundestag from the Free Democratic Party. At the same time, she stressed that the key topic of the meeting was the situation in Donbas and Crimea, the peaceful settlement. According to the First Vice Speaker of Verkhovna Rada, Germany has played an important role in settling the situation in Donbas in recent years. In addition, Gerashchenko and German lawmakers discussed the necessity of the implementation of the initiative of President Poroshenko regarding the deployment of UN peacekeeping mission in the occupied territory, which, in her opinion, will contribute to demilitarization and de-occupation. As reported, the faction of the Free Democratic Party in the Bundestag unanimously adopted a document, which outlines a new strategy regarding the situation in eastern Ukraine in twelve paragraphs. The strategy is expected to be submitted to the Bundestag for consideration soon.

Strategy for Donbas to be presented in Bundestag

The faction of the Free Democratic Party in the Bundestag unanimously adopted a document, which outlines a new strategy regarding the situation in eastern Ukraine in twelve paragraphs. — Ukrinform.

Russian Police Search Homes Of Two Crimean Tatar Activists

Police have searched the homes of two Crimean Tatar activists in Ukraine’s Russia-controlled Crimea region, a Ukrainian human rights group says.

Russia’s FSB conducts new raids on Crimean Tatar activists’ houses in occupied Crimea – news ukraine | UNIAN

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) on April 30 conducted new raids on Crimean Tatar activists’ houses in Russia-occupied Crimea. The activists were not detained.

UAWire – Former NATO Vice Secretary General explains why Ukraine is not accepted into NATO

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has not been willing to let Ukraine and Georgia become members due to their extremely confrontational relations with Russia, explained former NATO Vice Secretary General Alexander Vershbow in an interview with the publication Segodnya. The alliance has repeatedly emphasized that the countries in question could theoretically become members, he noted. However, it would be problematic in practice, because the matter is political and related to security. “You see, when NATO invites new members, it must have a response to the question: ‘Do you have a strategy to defend these countries?’. Could you apply article 5 of the NATO Charter on collective defense, if Georgia or Ukraine were attacked? I believe there are solutions, but right now NATO is not at a stage to discuss them,” he added. Vershbow said that, at present, due to Ukraine’s and Georgia’s relations with Russia, most NATO member states would prefer to “postpone the problem”. In addition, Ukraine is not yet ready to become a member, because it does not meet the alliance’s standards. “You still need to conduct reforms at home which, just like reforms in the defense sector, are necessary conditions for joining NATO,” he added. However, Vershbow believes that Ukraine will be ready for this sooner than the alliance, and so solutions to the issue should be sought now. Recently Anatoliy Hrytsenko, leader of Ukraine’s “Civil Position” party, remarked that if the only condition for joining NATO was the condition of the army, then Ukraine could have become a member 15 years ago.

 

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

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

Donbas war update: Number of Russia-led forces’ attacks in Donbas grows to eight on Monday – news war | UNIAN

Ukrainian Deputy Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons Yuriy Hrymchak says Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry should officially recommend that all Russian citizens leave Russian-occupied Donbas, also known as the ORDLO. “I think Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs should issue a security alert that it is dangerous for the life and health of citizens of the Russian Federation to stay in ORDLO territory and should recommend they leave the territory,” the official said on TV Channel Pryamiy. “It will be a safeguard measure so that Russian troops will not come to protect Russian citizens in ORDLO territory tomorrow,” he added. As UNIAN reported earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 24 signed a decree on the expedited procedure for the issue of Russian passports to residents of temporarily occupied Donbas. On April 27, Putin said Russia could simplify the procedure for granting Russian citizenship to all Ukrainians – not only to those who reside in Russia-occupied districts in the east of Ukraine.

UAWire – Russia begins opening passport issuance centers to service LPR and DPR residents

In the Russian city of Novoshakhtinsk (Rostov Oblast), a Russian passport center has been opened to service the residents of the territory of …

First center for issuing Russian passports to Luhansk residents opened in Rostov region

center for issuing Russian passports to residents of the occupied territories of Luhansk region opened in Novoshakhtinsk

German MPs offer to deploy UN civilian police mission in Donbas – media – news politics | UNIAN

Deputies of the Free Democratic Party of Germany (FDP) made a proposal to send an additional UN civilian police force to eastern Ukraine. Deputies also suggest dissolving the self-styled “governments” created in territories held by Russian proxy forces.

UAWire – Germany develops action plan for de-escalation in Donbas

The parliamentary Free Democratic Party unanimously supported the document “Peace in Ukraine needs a new impulse” which will be presented to the Bundestag in 2 weeks, reported the German publication Bild. “The government must recognize the political realities and accept our additional action plan as an opportunity to break the deadlock,” the document says. Bild published several of the 12 provisions in the document. In particular, the German government needs to draw up an additional action plan for implementing the Minsk agreements. It should clearly define a timeline for each step and introduce a system of “rewards and penalties” for the fulfillment or failure to fulfill the agreement’s obligations. Another provision details the creation of a new or additional civilian-police component of the UN mission which would work with local Ukrainian security agencies. In addition, EUAM Ukraine staff would be increased as “security forces will serve as a deterrent against external aggression”. At the UN Security Council, the German government is expected to call for withdrawal of combat units from the collision line and dissolution of the governing bodies of the self-proclaimed “people’s republics”. Control of LPR and DPR territories can be temporarily transferred to UN representatives so they could hold independent elections.

Ukraine ranks 39th in world military expenditure rating

Ukraine ranks 39th in the list of world countries on military expenditure, having climbed 4 spots compared with the past year. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine marks 101st anniversary of Ukraine’s Navy – news ukraine | UNIAN

Today, April 29, Ukraine marks the 101st anniversary since the foundation of Ukraine’s Navy. On April 29, 1918, Ukrainian flags were solemnly raised on ships and the Sevastopol fortress.

Poroshenko intends to visit Ukraine’s Armed Forces on May 6

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has said that he intends to visit the servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on May 6. “The army will increase its strength, and on May 6 I am going to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, because I am Commander-In-Chief. And we will continue the steps that we must take before the end of my term,” Poroshenko said during the meeting with representatives of the cultural, public and business areas of Lviv region in the Ukrainian Catholic University on Monday. He also recalled that he would sign the law on ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language, as soon as the document from the head of the Verkhovna Rada is tabled to him. “And our government, Ukrainian, and Stepan Kubiv [First Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Economic Development and Trade] remains a powerful and worthy representative of this government. And our team will be preserved,” Poroshenko stressed.

 

Ukraine planning to develop military, technical cooperation with U.S. in aircraft repairs

Ukraine is drafting plans to expand its military and technical cooperation with NATO members and is in talks with Boeing to develop partnership on aircraft repairs, Serhiy Kryvonos, the National Defense and Security Council’s (NDSC) First Deputy Secretary and Head of the inter-agency commission for military-technical cooperation and export control, said on April 26. Kryvonos told Channel 5 TV that Ukraine had already held the first round of talks over cooperation with the U.S. corporation, the NDSC press service said on Friday. Promising areas of partnership include setting up large-sized unit assembly and aircraft repair facilities in Ukraine for the United States and developing Ukraine’s manufacturing infrastructure to ensure maintenance of Boeing aircraft in Ukraine, Kryvonos said. The talks “set the general direction for mutually beneficial partnership with Boeing,” details will be discussed during next rounds in May and June, Kryvonos said. Kyiv hopes to set up industrial cooperation with Boeing, which should enable Ukraine to step up military and technical cooperation with NATO members and might send signals to potential Western investors in Ukraine’s defense industry, he said. “For us this means thousands of jobs, an opportunity to make our army stronger, strengthening positions on international markets,” Kryvonos said. For Boeing, strategic military and technical cooperation with Ukraine would be “quite a successful project allowing it to become stronger on its own market as well,” Kryvonos said. It was reported that the Kyiv-based Civil Aviation Plant 410, member of the Ukroboronprom state defense concern, in the wake of geopolitical changes had begun making plans with Western partners to set up in Ukraine repair and maintenance facilities for Airbus and Boeing aircraft and U.S. Robinson helicopters. According to earlier Ukrainian assessments, by 2024, such facilities would service up to 40 western aircraft per year. The Plant 410 was also reportedly planning to set up a certified maintenance center for Robinson helicopters. In 2017, the Plant 410 signed a memorandum of cooperation and upgrade with the U.S. company Rockwell Collins. According to Ukrainian data, alone with upgrading aircraft with modern onboard avionics, the Kyiv aircraft repair plant was planning to become the regional dealer for Rockwell Collins and perform warranty repairs on its own. Civil Aviation Plant 410 is the only Ukrainian enterprise which repairs Antonov aircraft and D-36 engines. In June 2015 the plant became a member of Ukroboronprom. The next month the plant received a NATO certificate of compliance of its services with NATO standards. At last year’s Farnborough airshow Ukroboronprom’s Antonov and Boeing’s Aviall Services, Inc. signed a General Terms Agreement on the joint production of upgraded An-148, An-158 and An-178 aircraft. In April, talks over Boeing’s potential involvement in a program to upgrade Ukrainian combat (fighter, attack) aircraft were held in Kyiv. Currently Ukraine and the United States are contemplating the possibility of developing bilateral military and technical cooperation, including boosting Ukraine’s air defense system and renewing its Navy.

Individual public body with extended powers could be created instead of Ukroboronprom – Deputy NSDC secretary

Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Serhiy Kryvonos has said that instead of the Ukroboronprom state concern an individual public body with extended powers will be created, the press service of the NSDC has reported.

SIPRI: Ukraine’s military expenditure grows by 21% in 2018 – news economics | UNIAN

Ukraine’s military expenditure grew by 21% to $4.8 billion in 2018. The five biggest spenders in 2018 were the United States, China, Saudi Arabia, India and France, which together accounted for 60% of global military spending.

Ukraine, Poland boost military expenditure in 2018, Russia cuts military spending – SIPRI report

Ukraine and Poland boosted military spending in 2018 by 21% and 8.9% respectively, while Russia cut it by 3.5%, according to a fact sheet on military expenditure in the world published on April 29 by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Second stage of US-Ukraine rocket Alpha successfully tested. Photos, video

On Thursday, April 25, the test of the second stage of the US-Ukraine rocket Alpha was successfully accomplished in the town of Briggs, Texas, USA. — Ukrinform.

Шушпанцери України. Частина 1 / Ukraine’s “Mad Max” cars. Part 1 – YouTube

Ukraine History Archive Published on Apr 27, 2019 Ukraine History Archive YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/UkraineHist… Facebook: https://fb.me/UkraineHistoryArchiveTelegram: https://t.me/UkraineHistoryArchiveTwitter: https://twitter.com/UkraineArchiveВконтакте: https://vk.com/ukrainehistoryarchive

 

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Ukraine’s New Language Law ‘Best Gift to Putin’ Since Russian Invasion Began, Pastukhov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, April 29 – Not because of its goal but because of its methods, Kyiv’s new language law does not serve Ukrainian national interests in unifying society or integrating with Europe, Vladimir Pastukhov says. Instead, it represents “the best gift to Putin” he has received since he launched his invasion of Ukraine in 2014. On the one hand, while it may cause 15 percent of Russian speakers in Ukraine to learn Ukrainian, it will lead another 15 percent to leave the country with the 70 percent remaining angry and thus available for mobilization as a fifth column against the regime, the London-based Russian analyst says (republic.ru/posts/93636). And on the other, it will anger the Europeans with whom Kyiv wants to integrate because EU countries today are committed to providing language rights to the minorities on their territories. They will not look kindly at what Ukraine has done not because it is done to Russians but because it is being done to minorities. And they will be less prepared to welcome Kyiv. In neither case will this new law contribute to the strengthening of the national security of Ukraine, Pastukhov says. Rather the reverse. Why then was it adopted? The Russian government by its actions certainly helped create conditions for that, but the real reason, the analyst says, lies in the set of ideas which one can designate as “’the Ukrainian dream.’” That dream, which has a history extending back far before 2014 is “the striving to the establishment of a Ukrainian state independent of Russia. In this phrase, ‘from Russia’ are the key words. “The most important part of this independence for many ideologues of the Ukrainian national state is cultural independence and freedom from the complex of ‘the younger brother.’” The informal hymn of the Maidan in fact was “Never will we be brothers” with its refrain “you are enormous [but] we are great.” The Russian invasion did not create this attitude: it simply made it possible for that attitude to achieve “its radical project” in the form of the Ukrainian language law, Pastukhov continues. That law must not be criticized from the point of view of the defense of the rights of Russian speakers or the pretenses of the residents of the former imperial center. Instead, it deserves criticism because the law does not promote “the achievement of the main goal – the construction of a Ukrainian nation state and the securing of its cultural independence.” Ukrainianization is “historically and politically justified. The entire question is in the choice of means and speed.” The current situation in Ukraine and many other “former Russian colonies” is anomalous: the universal language is not that of the titular nations but the language of a major ethnic minority, the representatives of the former empire. For these countries to become successful, that should and must change. The issue is how to do that. “The creation of a single language space on the basis of Ukrainian is possible either by stimulating its spread or by suppressing the spread of Russian. That is, there is a choice between non-discriminatory and discriminatory models,” Pastukhov continues. Promoting Ukrainian as the national language is appropriate and good, but discriminating against Russian speakers by limiting their access to Russian-language materials and activities is not. Instead, the new law by doing the latter offends, alienates and separates a community that should become part of the nation. “The deep causes of the popularity of the discriminatory approach to the resolution of the language question among a significant part of the Ukrainian intelligentsia are obvious and in no way connected with the war” and its impact, he argues. They are “impatience and a lack of readiness and an inability to wait.” The current linguistic situation in Ukraine wasn’t created overnight and won’t be changed overnight, but the supporters of this law don’t want to wait. As a result, this impatience has given rise to linguistic bolshevism with its philosophy of the great leap forward … [But] like any other great leap, this is a utopia.” Worse it will subvert its own goals.

UAWire – Hungary: Ukrainian language law is unacceptable

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said the language law which was approved on Thursday by the Verkhovna Rada is unacceptable, reported Evropeyska Pravda, citing the online news website, Hirado. According to Szijjarto, the Ukrainian language law violates Hungarian minority rights and reflects the vision of President Petro Poroshenko, who, according to the Hungarian minister, promoted anti-Hungarian policies. “However, an overwhelming majority of Ukrainian voters chose to elect another president, Vladimir Zelensky, to bring an end to the Poroshenko era,” Szijjarto said. “We hope that, driven by mutual respect and a desire to find a solution, we will receive clarification on the laws affecting the rights of the Hungarian community, with the new, widely-supported incoming president,” the minister said. He sees hope in the Ukrainian president-elects’s first statements. “Our goal is to rekindle the friendship between Hungary and Ukraine and the results of the last presidential election in Ukraine give us some hope,” Peter Szijjarto said. On April 25, 2019, the Verkhovna Rada adopted on second reading the law “On Ensuring the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as a State Language”. Revisions had begun on February 28. Bill №5670-d was supported by 278 deputies. The minimum number needed was 226. According to the bill, within six months the Cabinet of Ministers will introduce a draft law on protecting the languages of indigenous peoples and national minorities. It is known that Hungary is also unhappy about the new law on education. The country accused Ukraine of not respecting the rights of minorities and announced its intention to block Ukraine’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

Change of Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Ukraine – Summer 2019 – GOV.UK

Ms Melinda Simmons has been appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Ukraine in succession to Ms Judith Gough CMG who will be transferring to another Diplomatic Service appointment. Ms Simmons will take up her appointment in summer 2019.

Melinda Simmons (@melsimmons24) | Twitter

 

Ukraine, Israel ready to continue dialogue at all levels – Foreign Ministry

Ukraine and Israel are ready to continue the dialogue at all levels in the near future. — Ukrinform.

Klimkin calls on Ukrainians to support motion published on Bundestag website on recognizing Ukraine’s 1932-1933 Holodomor as genocide

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has called on Ukrainians around the world to support the petition, which appeared on the website of the German parliament, recognizing the Holodomor in Ukraine of 1932-1933 as the genocide of the Ukrainian people.

Klimkin doesn’t rule out discussing joint work with President-elect Zelensky

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin did not rule out the possibility of discussing joint work with President-elect of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, if principles and beliefs are the same.

Poroshenko appoints new Ukrainian representative to international organizations in Vienna

President Petro Poroshenko appointed a new permanent representative of Ukraine to the international organizations in Vienna. — Ukrinform.

Ukrainian political prisoner Bekirov receives no treatment for over week, under threat of diabetic coma – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian activist Edem Bekirov, who is being held in a pretrial detention center in Russian-occupied Simferopol, has not received any treatment for more than a week. The probability of diabetic coma is increasing every day.

Ukrainian-language music video hits over 200 million YouTube views for the first time

A music video for the song of Ukrainian band KAZKA “Plakala” (“She was crying”) has already got 204 million views on YouTube. — Ukrinform.

Zelensky in video address to Ukrainians: I promise not to let you down (Video) – news politics | UNIAN

Ukraine’s President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky has again thanked the Ukrainians for their support in the presidential elections and promised not to let them down. “Hello, Ukraine! Today, the CEC [Central Election Commission] has officially announced the results of the presidential election. I am grateful to everyone. Thanks again to everyone for their support,” he said in a video address posted on Facebook on April 30. Zelensky says he sees certain symbolism in the date. “Some 230 years ago, the inauguration of the United States’ first President George Washington took place. I do not compare myself with this great politician. It is still early, but if you do not mind, I will quote him: ‘Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience.’ This is what I promise to you, Ukrainians. Everyone, irrespective of who you voted for. I promise to work, I promise not to let you down,” Zelensky said.

What should we expect from Volodymyr Zelensky as President of Ukraine?

The second round of elections of the president of Ukraine ended, and we have got the winner – Volodymyr Zelensky. Many spoke and wrote about him, although, unfortunately, he preferred to keep silence until the debates. Thus, no one could predict what kind of policy Zelensky would carry out, one could only guess. So what should we expect from president Zelensky? Apparently, we should start from the presidential program of Volodymyr Zelensky, which begins with the words “I will tell you about Ukraine of my dreams”. He wants Ukraine to be a country where business “can be officially established in an hour, you can get a passport in 15 minutes, and vote in elections in one second.” According to Zelensky, doctors and teachers get real wages, corrupt officials – real penalties and retired people get a decent retirement. However, there is nothing about how he is going to achieve this. The president of Ukraine does not have the power to interfere directly to the payment process of pension and salaries. In Ukraine it is the presidentially-parliamentary form of government, in other words, the powers of the head of state are rather limited. The most important role of the president is foreign policy. Regarding that plank in the program, here are some main points: For instance, to finish the war in Donbas, to return the temporarily occupied territories to Ukraine, to make Russia compensate damages. Zelensky is not against NATO and the European Union, he believes in this, although this issue should receive confirmation through an all-Ukrainian referendum. Candidate’s first bill will be called “On power of people.” The essence of the draft law described in the program is as follows: consolidation of the mechanism by which “the people of Ukraine will form the main tasks for the government through referendums and other forms of direct democracy.” Besides, he promises to do everything with the maximum use of the latest technologies, but there are no details on how he is going to that. In addition, Zelensky promises to lift immunity from the president of Ukraine, MPs, and judges. You can read about the program more detailed here. Volodymyr Zelensky gave more information in his interview. For example, he said he was not against abortions, as everyone should decide by themselves. He is not against the legalization of medical marijuana. But the President does not support the legalization of weapons. Surely, no one can predict what will happen next. However, there are several variants of the turn of events, foreseen by analysts both Ukrainian and foreign ones. Those variants are completely different. Thus, some experts believe that Zelensky should start with: -Settling down the conflict in Donbas, returning Crimea, in particular, while strengthening the Normandy format with the accession of the USA and the UK. However, no one agrees to the direct dialogue with leaders of the temporarily occupied territories. – The reform of the Presidential Administration. Zelensky’s team believes that the Administration of the President should be an office of the body suggesting new ideas. – To conduct an audit of Ukraine with the help of international experts. Nevertheless, any bill risks being disapproved by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Whether Zelensky will gain a majority in the parliament is still a tricky question. Many questions appear concerning his foreign policy. Zelensky met with French President Emmanuel Macron, French Ambassador in Ukraine Isabelle Dumont and Resident Representative for Ukraine Goesta Ljungman. Zelensky claimed that all the meetings had been successful ones. However, only time will show how good Zelensky is in diplomacy. Besides, the head of state is not obliged to participate in all those procedures himself. Many tasks can be fulfilled by the good ministers and smart advisors provided Zelensky hires competent stuff. Nevertheless, the search of those brilliant workers is a rather difficult mission as well, which requires experience. And this is one more task Zelensky should do as the President of Ukraine. Obviously, there are absolutely negative predictions as well. In general, they all touch upon the fact that Zelensky is not only a political novice, but also that he depends completely on his patron billionaire Ihor Kolomoysky. Their claims that they have no relations to each other have not convinced skeptics at all. Some analysts believe that his coming in the office is far from cleaning Ukrainian politics from the systems of billionaires, as Zelensky’s ‘patron’ plays the big part in those systems. According to some experts, even if Zelensky wants to become an independent president indeed, he will have not enough power to do so. Without his own political power in parliament, which at present Zelensky does not have, he will need figures like Kolomoysky for making all important decisions. Related: Zelensky in world media: unexpected frontrunner, beloved comic, presidential favorite, showman In addition, some experts predict the step back in the economy of Ukraine, if the nationalization of the Privatbank to be canceled. There are even those, who think that Zelensky will be in the office not longer than a year and a half. Basically, the reason for this is that he has no experience in economics, diplomacy or military. Anyway, experts and analysts may dispute a lot, but only time will show who is right.

It’s Official: Zelenskiy Declared Winner Of Presidential Election In Ukraine

Ukraine’s Central Election Commission has formally declared Volodymyr Zelenskiy the winner of the country’s presidential election, releasing final results from the April 21 runoff vote.

Zelenskiy Officially Declared Winner of Presidential Election in Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelenskiy is expected to be inaugurated in early June

Ukraine’s Central Election Commission officially declares Zelensky as winner of presidential race – news politics | UNIAN

The Central Election Commission (CEC) has officially declared Volodymyr Zelensky as winner of the presidential race in Ukraine. There were only two lawsuits lodged with the Sixth Administrative Court of Appeals, but they were rejected.

Deadline for Zelensky’s presidential inauguration set for June 3 – media – news politics | UNIAN

The deadline for the inauguration of Ukraine’s President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky is June 3 after the Central Election Commission (CEC) announced the official results of the presidential vote on April 30. Under Ukrainian laws, April 30 was the deadline for the announcement of the official vote results, and thus May 3 is the deadline for the publication of the results by the newspapers Holos Ukrayiny (Voice of Ukraine) and Uriadovy Kurier (Government’s Courier), the news portal Strana said. Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/politics/10534926-deadline-for-zelensky-s-presidential-inauguration-set-for-june-3-media.html

Ukraine’s First President Kravchuk Praises President-Elect Zelenskiy

Leonid Kravchuk – the first president of Ukraine following the collapse of the Soviet Union – called President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy an “honorable” person

Entourage of Poroshenko cooperates with Russian media to discredit Zelensky – Zelensky’s team

The entourage of incumbent President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, who lost the run-off of the presidential election to Volodymyr Zelensky, is spreading fake news being actively spread, including by Russian media, which could be evidence of tight cooperation of the cronies of Poroshenko with Russian media, the team of Zelensky has said in a statement. “Despite the crushing defeat of Petro Poroshenko in the presidential election, the “fake library” of his name continues its dirty deed. For example, over the past few days, people from Petro Poroshenko’s entourage have fabricated several frankly false news that, nevertheless, went to mass media, including, the Russian ones. This pushes on the conclusion of close cooperation between Poroshenko’s inner circle and the Russian media in order to discredit the newly elected president of Ukraine,” Zelensky’s press service said on Monday. Zelensky said that People’s Deputy from the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko parliamentary faction Volodymyr Ariev, who “previously called Zelensky a drug addict in his social media pages, and who, by the way, personally encountered European law enforcement agencies smuggling drugs,” said the fact that on holiday in Turkey during a barbecue lunch, German politician Gregor Gysi, who lobbies for the interests of Russia in PACE in matters of sanctions against the Russian Federation, was seen next to Zelensky. “Then it turned out that this was an employee of a Turkish restaurant, the cook Firat was next to Zelensky. Fake newsmaker Ariev updated his Facebook post and even apologized, but his false message was spread in the media,” the press service said.

Ukraine elected a sitcom president. What can Western politicians learn from this script? – The Washington Post

Voters were drawn to Volodymyr Zelensky’s comedic wit — but also his flexibility.

Poroshenko thanks Ukrainians for support during his presidency

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko thanked Ukrainians for five years in office as the head of the Ukrainian state. — Ukrinform.

Ukrainian president-elect Zelensky to be a host of MAGIC SHOW on Russian TV — RT World News

“He always knew a thing or two about magic tricks,” a tongue-in-cheek ad of Russian’s NTV channel said as it announced its “new” show will be hosted by none other than comedian-turned-Ukrainian president-elect, Volodymyr Zelensky.

Insincerity and hypocrisy… Ukrainian style |Euromaidan Press |

Remove the Ukrainian flags, kalyna branches, flower wreaths, embroidery, and quotes by Lina Kostenko, Stepan Bandera and Taras Shevchenko from your social network pages! Not because you may soon have to hide them in the back closet, but because you are not worthy of these symbols! Remove the images of the Heavenly Hundred, which are portrayed on walls and stands around our churches and schools! Turn your faces away from the symbolic graves of the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen and the tombstones of Ukrainian partisans! Not because they may soon be erased from the face of the earth, but because you are not worthy of them! Turn your eyes away from the grieving faces of young widows, children and mothers whose husbands, fathers and sons have perished in the Russian-Ukrainian war! You are not on their side, but on the side of their murderers! You are not worthy of them, because, by choosing a pro-Russian marionette, you spit directly in our Motherland’s face. Hypocrisy is an unforgivable sin.

Zelensky, Metropolitan Epifaniy meet in Kyiv

President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky and the superior of Orthodox Church of Ukraine Metropolitan Epifaniy met in Kyiv. The press office of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine reported that on Facebook April 30. Zelensky and Epifaniy met at the Golden-Domed Monastery in the Ukrainian capital. No details of the meeting were disclosed immediately.

Zelensky visiting head of Orthodox Church of Ukraine at Kyiv monastery

Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky and head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epiphany of Kyiv and all Ukraine, are meeting at St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery in the Ukrainian capital. “Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky and the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Metropolitan Epiphany are meeting at St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery of Kyiv,” the Orthodox Church of Ukraine said on Facebook on Tuesday. The Church did not provide any details about the meeting. The post contained a photograph of Zelensky and Metropolitan Epiphany.

Patriarch Filaret not satisfied with status of Ukrainian Orthodox Church Metropolis

Patriarch of Kyiv and All Russia-Ukraine Filaret said that he was not satisfied with the status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Metropolis, reports Radio Liberty. “The Local Orthodox Church of Ukraine is officially recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarch. But in Ukraine the Kyiv Patriarchate exists. We are not satisfied with the status of the metropolis. We have existed as patriarchs for more than 25 years. And the people elected patriarchs. I am the third patriarch. Before me there was Patriarch Volodymyr, patriarch Mstyslav. And so for Ukraine we are the patriarchy. And for the outside world, that is, for the Orthodox world, we are the Kyiv metropolis, “said Filaret.

Russia’s Donbas proxy ‘republic’ seizes Ukrainian Orthodox Church for the Moscow Patriarchate – Human Rights in Ukraine

A Ukrainian Orthodox church in the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ [DPR] is to be forcibly taken from its congregation and handed over to the Moscow Patriarchate, with other Ukrainian Orthodox congregations also in danger of losing their places of worship –

Sacred Space: More Churches, Few Churchgoers in Russia

The Russian Orthodox Church has been building numerous places of worship in recent years, but some residents have objected to plans to place them in previously public spaces.

U.S. Religion Report Assails China Over Abuses Of Muslims, Calls Russia, Uzbekistan ‘Countries Of Particular Concern’

Members of China’s Uyghur Muslim population continue to be subject to “egregious abuses” but the government in Beijing has faced few, if any, consequences, a bipartisan U.S. federal commission says…

Russia violates religious freedom in Crimea and Donbas – USCIRF

The United States criticized the Kremlin’s persecution of religious minorities both in the territory of the Russian Federation and in the occupied areas of Donbas and in Crimea. — Ukrinform.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Eighty Percent of Russians Celebrate Easter, but Only Half Know What It is About, VTsIOM Polls Show

Paul Goble Staunton, April 28 – Eighty percent of Russians say they are celebrating Easter this year, according to new VTsIOM polls; but only 50 percent know that the holiday marks the resurrection of Christ, yet another indicator that many who identify as Christians in fact have little or no knowledge as to what that faith involves. A third of the Russians surveyed (32 percent) said they found it difficult to say what Easter was all about. Six percent confused it with Christmas and said Easter was the date of Jesus’ birth. Four percent said it is “simply a great Christian holiday” at which one remembers the dead. And three percent said it was the end of a fast (credo.press/224207/). It is undoubtedly the case that in many countries there is a gap between those who mark any religious holiday and those who know what it stands for, but in Russia it is likely larger than elsewhere because of the communist past – and should be kept in mind when political and religious leaders insist that Russia is a genuinely Christian or even Orthodox country.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Patriarchate Reviving Ilminsky System to Attract Non-Russians to Christianity

Paul Goble Staunton, April 28 – In the 19th century, Russian Turcologist Nikolay Ilminsky promoted the development of national languages and the spread of Orthodoxy by translating the Bible or parts of it into languages which in many cases had never had an agreed-upon alphabet. Now, the Moscow Patriarchate is using these translations to attract non-Russians to Russian Orthodoxy. Some of the translations are the ones Ilminsky and his colleagues prepared more than a century ago. Others are new, but both are being used in religious services which often involve having members of the language community represented from the pulpit dress in national costumes (nazaccent.ru/content/29786-pasha-na-yazykah-rossii.html). And just as in the 19th century, non-Russians both welcome the appearance of publications in their native languages but fear that they will lose more than they gain if members of their community reidentify in religious terms and thus lose touch with the values that define their nationality. Some translations of the Bible are the work of enthusiasts, but increasingly, they are the result of the work of the Institute for Translations of the Bible. On its website, ibt.or.ru/ru/projects, is a list of recent translations into the languages of the peoples in Russia. Particularly important are gospels translated into those who speak “disappearing” languages.

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