Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
ILW analysis draws sobering conclusions about relative capabilities of US and Russian ground forces. Franzman analysis undervalues disruptive impacts on NATO, highly valued in Muscovy. Update on growing US LNG exports to EU – ideally US and Middle Eastern gas should displace Russian supplies. Belanovsky analysis is fascinating – if he is correct, the Ukrainian election has already started a further destabilization process in Russia, piling on top of other regime-induced destabilisation. RuNet and Russian cyber updates (authors mislabel them as separatists). Belarus update. Russia’s cetacean defector remains the lead Russia topic in Western media.
Zelensky Administration delegation in Brussels. OSCE debates Ukraine. International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea hearing on Kerch. Hague Tribunal case on Russian sponsorship of terrorism.
Donbas update – Russian body count for April is 90 or more KIA, at least 130 WIA – sustained this would be around 1,000 KIA annually that is not a negligible loss rate even for Russia. The cumulative tally for 5 years would now clearly challenge the Soviet Afghan campaign. PSU 40th TAB eval of French bonedomes. LSARP update. Obolon A geolocation system. More industry deals with Turkey.
Much political reporting, especially to do with Zelensky Administration planning and agendas.
Ze meets Muslim clerics, and more on religious repression in Russia.
Russia could “physically defeat and logistically exhaust” the U.S. Army in a European war, concludes a new Institute of Land Warfare paper that examines the Battles of the Donetsk Airport in the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War. The Russian military’s combat operations prove that land-centric warfare is still relevant and has taken place on a scale that is not able to be replicated at the U.S. Army’s combat training centers, author Maj. Amos C. Fox writes in his paper, “Cyborgs at Little Stalingrad: A Brief History of the Battles of the Donetsk Airport, 26 May 2014 to 21 January 2015.” The paper was published as part of the Association of the U.S. Army’s ILW Land Warfare series. “The Russian military threat, while not as dangerous as that of the Red Army during the Cold War, possesses the ability to physically defeat and logistically exhaust the U.S. Army,” writes Fox, a 1st Armored Division operations officer at Fort Bliss, Texas. Fox points out that while the U.S. Army has 31 brigade combat teams, Russia has rotated 27 brigades and regiments through the Donets River basin in the ongoing war. The Army, he writes, “has arguably not fought an opponent that can make it pay for poor or untimely operational or strategic decisions in over 60 years.” Admonishing against a “naivete or hubris” that dismisses the Russian capacity for significant combat, Fox writes that Russian ground forces and their combat experience “need to be respected.”
Trump’s proposed pact is likely a pipe dream — or a smoke screen for scuttling yet another arms-control agreement.
Moscow must recognize that it has allowed Ankara to have more leverage in Syria.
The United States, working with its allies and democratic partners, can push back against Russian aggression, which has been marked by interference in elections in the United States and Europe; the harassment, invasion, and annexation of neighbors; and the propping up of despots in places such as Syria and Venezuela, Atlantic Council Distinguished Fellow Daniel Fried told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on May 1. “The world’s great and emerging democracies have the power and political legitimacy” to not only push back against Russia, but also “to maintain a rules-based system that favors freedom and advances our nation’s interests and other nations’ interests,” Fried said at a hearing on “Countering a Resurgent Russia.” Fried, who spent forty years in the Foreign Service and played a key role in designing and implementing US policy in Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union, told lawmakers that a wise US response to the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin would contain three pillars: bolstering NATO’s eastern defenses, defending against disinformation using democratic means, and employing sanctions tools effectively. Harden the Line in the East While Fried said he understood the desire of many to enjoy a “peace dividend” after the conclusion of the Cold War and a drawdown of military forces in Europe, he applauded the efforts of the United States and European NATO allies to increase their presence in Eastern Europe following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014. “The Obama administration deserves credit for leading NATO to make this shift and the Trump administration deserves credit for continuing, and even strengthening, it,” Fried added. While US President Donald J. Trump has often complained about the lack of defense spending by the United States’ NATO allies, Fried said “our allies stepped up” in Eastern Europe. “The British lead NATO forces in Estonia, the Canadians in Latvia, and the Germans in Lithuania,” he said. On top of that, Fried reported, “the United States leads NATO’s battalion in Poland and has stationed an armored brigade in Poland on a rotational basis. These deployments seek to deter, to show Russia that they cannot mount a sudden assault on NATO countries, conventional or hybrid, without triggering a wider conflict.” Despite this new commitment, Fried argued that “more needs to be done. That means strengthening NATO and US capacity for rapid reinforcement, through additional forces military infrastructure in Europe. It means strengthening NATO and US cyber defense and deterrent capacity, now underway.” Fried specifically underscored an Atlantic Council recommendation to put a mix of rotational NATO units, standing deployments, and permanent military infrastructure in Poland. Defending Against Disinformation The non-military threat from Moscow also requires urgent attention, Fried maintained. Russian efforts to interfere in elections and divide democratic societies through online disinformation and manipulation may tempt some policy makers to adopt the draconian content controls and censorship favored in authoritarian regimes, but Fried assured lawmakers that “as we learned in the Cold War, we need not become them in order to fight them.” Fried argued that “the US government should support transparency and authenticity on social media, not content controls.” Measures could include requiring the disclosure of funders for political and issue advertisements, requiring or assisting social media companies to remove inauthentic or impersonator accounts, addressing algorithmic bias toward sensational or extremist content, and potentially re-assessing online anonymity. “Angry Bob from Boise may in fact be Ivan from the St. Petersburg troll farm and we shouldn’t let Ivan get away with it,” he said. “Legislation and regulation do have a place.” In addition to these new requirements, the US government “needs to get organized to fight disinformation,” Fried argued, suggesting that Congress designate a lead agency or interagency body to lead the country’s counter-disinformation efforts. Fried added that the United States also “must work with our friends” and take a page from the European Union, which “is way ahead of the United States in addressing Russian disinformation.” He suggested the creation of a “counter-disinformation coalition,” which could connect allied and partner governments, social media companies, and civil society groups to share information, skills, and techniques. Use Sanctions Wisely Fried freely admitted that sanctions are becoming the default tool of the US government to counter Russian aggression. “We are using sanctions a lot to deal with a lot of Russian misbehavior. There is a lot of Russian aggression around. But sorting out our options is a challenge,” he said. Fried told lawmakers that they need to clearly “decide what we are trying to achieve, and with what priority,” rather than trying to implement sanctions on the whole array of Kremlin misdeeds. “We should focus our best sanctions options on key goals,” he argued, adding that he thinks “we ought to save our best sanctions escalatory options for Ukraine-related and election-related [actions].” “Get them ready,” he instructed the legislators, because “if the Russians act, we need to be able to respond promptly and the Russians need to know that we are prepared to act.” He also cautioned that sanctions need to be implemented in coordination with US allies to have the maximum effect and should “maintain operational flexibility” so that they can be reversed if behavior changes. “We need to be able to remove sanctions if Russian behavior improves,” he explained. “Sanctions work if they are embedded in a policy that makes sense. The administration needs to articulate a Russian policy and mean it,” Fried argued. “But there is more,” he added. “A Russia policy should be linked to an American grand strategy that recognizes that a rules-based world that favors freedom is in our national interest. At our best, America has recognized that our interests and our values advance together or not at all.” While Putin and other authoritarian leaders believe that their obsession with power and control will win the day over democracy, “we saw the results of such thinking in the first half of the 20th century,” Fried said. “America can do better.”
Europe is making good on a promise to buy much more American natural gas as it seeks to ease transatlantic trade tension and reduce its reliance on Russian energy.
The European Union announced Thursday that its imports of U.S. liquefied natural gas have climbed 272% since 2016, with the steepest increases occurring after President Trump met last July with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to hash out a trade deal.
Paul Goble Staunton, May 1 – Sergey Belanovsky, who attracted attention for predicting the anti-government protests of 2011-2012, now says that participants in focus groups in Moscow, Yaroslavl, and Gus-Khrustalny show that Russians reject Vladimir Putin’s policies and rule, want an end to a militarist foreign policy and seek a parliamentary democracy. The sociologist says that he was “personally shocked” by what Russians in these focus groups said. He hadn’t expect such radical shifts in opinion and “apparently processes are moving very quickly,” although he added that he wouldn’t risk making any predictions (activist.msk.ru/2019/04/sergey-belanovskiy-v-rossii-vnov-narastaet-trebovanie-radikalnoy-demokratii.html). His research, conducted in March, showed that “the speed of change in the consciousness of Russians in comparison with April 2018 is growing. The most obvious indication is the opinion of the overwhelming majority that the tough presidential power over almost the last 20 years has not justified itself.” Moreover, Belanovsky continues, “in comparison with focus groups held in April and October 2018, the negative trend toward the powers in general and V. Putin personally have intensified.” Participants denounced growing social inequality, the increasingly hereditary nomenklatura and the ever more impoverished population. These attitudes would not be “so serious,” he says, “if society had an answer to the question ‘Where are we going and why should be put up with all these inconveniences?’ But there is no answer to this question among respondents nor in their opinion among those in power.” “In this,” the sociologist says, “consists the main problem and the main source of the crisis.” He continues: “the militarist policy abroad, which as recently as a year ago was approved by a significant share of respondents now is not approved by almost any of them.” Instead, they are “nearly unanimous” that “Russia needs a peace-loving foreign policy” so that sanctions can be lifted. Moreover, they say, given its nuclear arsenal, Russia doesn’t face any military threats. “Television propaganda is ceasing to have an impact,” Belanovsky says. Indeed, Russians are now suspicious about shows put on given that the regime adopts the most repressive laws while covering major sporting events. Consequently, whenever one of those occurs, Russians worry about what the regime will do to them. According to Belanovsky, “respondents see as the main cause of such a development of events the taking of decisions by one man, the behind-the-scenes nature of their adoption, and the unanimous support of them by parliaments at all levels. As a result, they demand openness in the powers, discussion, and a public procedure of taking decisions and control over their execution.” A growing number say that “the political system of Russia must be radically restructured in the direction of democratization,” with “a majority now calling for a parliamentary republic because it is more open and there are real discussions in it,” the sociologist continues. Belanovsky ends by saying that “the Russian people is seeking a way out of its current situation, and these searches recall a sine curve: demand for democracy in the late USSR, then demand for ‘a firm hand’ after the riot of democracy in the 1990s, and now, on the brink of the 2020s, there again is a demand for radical democracy.” The sociologist appends to his comments a 5,000-word transcript of his focus group in Moscow, a document that fully supports all of his conclusions.
Paul Goble Staunton, May 1 – Since 2004, Russians have made fun of official May Day parades by taking part in alternative marches they call “monstrations,” having dropped the “de” and carrying slogans deliberately absurd, thus challenging officials to find them guilty of violating anything. Not surprisingly, officials lacking a sense of humor have again arrested many of them. This year, the monstrations, an idea that arose in Siberia almost two decades ago, has spread to the capitals and 30 other cities across the country. The numbers of people taking part is relatively small compared to the officially sponsored May Day parades – in Moscow the ratio was 100,000 to 3,000 – but the absurdists may matter more. Many of the slogans that participants carry or shout are so absurd as to defy any effort at translation, but that is just the point. And officials not surprisingly recognize that such absurdist actions are a greater threat to their power than more normal protests because they call into question the entire governmental enterprise. Moreover, authoritarian rulers can survive almost anything except being laughed at in public; and so the rise and spread of “monstrations” is a measure of the weakening of the Putin regime. What one can no longer believe in because of its absurdities one can only laugh at by offering absurdities of one’s own. Among the most useful articles covering these alternative demonstrations today are to be found at newizv.ru/news/society/01-05-2019/monstratsiya-shagaet-po-strane,fedpress.ru/news/77/society/2229591,themoscowtimes.com/2019/05/01/russia-celebrates-the-absurd-and-illogical-at-annual-monstration-a65460,sibreal.org/a/29913914.html,kommersant.ru/doc/3961398, and zamanho.com/?p=7138).
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a controversial measure into law enabling the creation of a national internet network that would be able to operate independently from the rest of the world.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has signed a bill which gives government the go ahead to develop a unique isolated internet only accessible within the country. Russia wants to develop a new domain name system (DNS) to protect it from cyber-attacks and make it independent of the world wide web. The bill says the government will “exercise centralized control over the communication network of general use.” Rights groups fear the plans could see Russia follow China into implementing a highly censored internet which is also used to surveil citizens.
The proliferation of cyberespionage tools empower even small breakaway regions to run digital intelligence operations.
Putin steps up pressure on Ukraine and Belarus, and Moscow’s man in Caracas holds on to power amid a standoff pitting the United States against Russia in the Western Hemisphere.
Paul Goble Staunton, May 1 – The replacement of the brash Mikhail Babich by the more diplomatic Dmitry Mezentsev will not bring any fundamental change in Vladimir Putin’s drive to absorb Belarus into the Russian Federation, according to an iSANS expert. The public discourse may become more polite but Moscow’s policies toward Minsk are not going to ease up at all. The expert of the International Strategic Action Network made these points speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issues involved (reform.by/jekspert-isans-novyj-posol-tochno-ne-budet-drugom-belarusskogo-suvereniteta/). For additional background on the change and on Mezentsev, see jamestown.org/program/putin-sacrifices-babich-to-keep-his-plans-to-integrate-belarus-on-track/). Given Babich’s undiplomatic style, the expert says, his departure had been expected for some time. His replacement may appear to be less “the bad cop” Babich has been, but he will pursue exactly the same goals. This shift is thus neither the turning point some think or a victory for Minsk some are giving it. Clearly, he continues, “the Moscow attack on Belarusian sovereignty in the form of a blitzkrieg didn’t achieve its goals.” In fact, his very offensiveness may have set Moscow’s timetable back. But Babich reflected the Kremlin’s goals and impatience and Mezentsev will as well, albeit in more diplomatic tones and behind the scenes rather than in the media. It is unfortunately the case, the iSANS expert says, that “those who are making decisions about Belarus in Moscow have a distorted idea about Belarusian realities” and think Belarusians want what Moscow wants, recognition of the Belarusians and Russians as one people and a desire for the unity of the two countries. That is not the case. “Now, Kremlin sources and commentators linked to the Kremlin are trying to make the best of a bad job by saying that Lukashenka got the departure of Babich and peaceful elections by offering in exchange deeper integration.” That isn’t what happened: there was no deal, or at least no deal that will hold. It is “very improbable” that Moscow’s pressure on Belarus will cease or even weaken,” the expert says. Instead, the pressure may even increase but in a less public and more sophisticated way, one that Belarus may find it harder to counter or to gain foreign support against. The latest “trial balloon” in Moscow’s drive is its call for a single parliament of the Union state. But “undoubtedly economic pressure will only intensify. We do not know at what stage the discussions about the possibilities of the incorporation by Russian business of Belarusian enterprise, but we know very well there is such interests and talks are taking place.” To describe what has happened in simplest terms, he says, “Moscow’s new man in Minsk will not be a friend of Belarusian sovereignty even if stylistically the means of ‘resolving issues’ will be different now from what they were.”
Poland’s energy ministry has decided to release mandatory oil reserves to secure output at domestic refineries after the suspension of contaminated oil deliveries from Russia in April.
Vladimir Putin recalled Mikhail Babich from his post as the Russian ambassador to Belarus “in connection with plans to transfer him to another position.” Senator Dmitry Mezentsev, who has sat on the Federation Council as a representative of Sakhalinsk Oblast since 2015, has been appointed to replace Babich. Mezentsev’s term on the Council was already set to end in September 2019. He had previously worked as the general secretary of the Shanhai Cooperation Organization and served as the governor of Irkutsk Oblast.
The Belarusian energy conglomerate Belneftekhim has reported that the country’s petroleum imports from Russia now meet industry standards, Interfax wrote. Petroleum contaminated with organic chloride compounds was removed from the Druzhba oil pipeline to enable renewed imports.
An alleged Russian spy appears to have defected to Norway and officials there don’t know how to handle with the situation — because the accused spy is also a whale.
The whale was first spotted by Norwegian fishermen last week.
The beluga has defied the species’ normal behavior by engaging with people.
As experts fear for its survival, Tufjord residents told not to feed beluga so that it can learn to forage
A famed beluga whale — found in Arctic Norway wearing a suspicious camera strapped to its head — has been joyously seeking out human contact.
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Kateryna_Kruk on Twitter: “Nothing special, just Ukrainian president inviting Russian politicians to register in @Facebook if they want to talk to him. Also, Zelenskiy reminds that the only common things between UA and RU is a border line control over which RU must return to us.… https://t.co/P5KlgT5YIu”
Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said that current ties between Kyiv and Moscow cannot be called “brotherly,” and the two countries now have little in common outside a shared border.
Advisors to Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky, Oleksandr Danyliuk and Ruslan Riaboshapka, while speaking at the EU Political and Security Committee, have briefed partners on Zelensky’s first steps as head of state. The advisors also met with the American side to discuss issues of Ukraine’s energy security. Advisors to Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky, Oleksandr Danyliuk and Ruslan Riaboshapka, while speaking at the EU Political and Security Committee, have briefed partners on Zelensky’s first steps as head of state. “We are very busy with meetings with both European partners and U.S. colleagues during these two days,” Danyliuk told journalists in Brussels. “Yesterday there was a conference on energy security… We met with the American side, discussed issues of Ukraine’s energy security, looking for possible solutions. There were high-level meetings held with our delegation’s participation,” Danyliuk said.
Advisors to Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky have met with representatives of the European Commission and ambassadors of the European Union member states in Brussels. Danyliuk is responsible for international relations, economics, financial and banking policies, while Riaboshapka – for law enforcement oversight and anti-corruption policies.
03.05.19 11:13 – Zelenskyi’s advisers make good impression on EU ambassadors, – journalist Jozwiak May 2, two people from the team of president-elect Volodymyr Zelenskyi held a two-hour meeting with the EU ambassadors in Brussels. View news.
The resumption of the talks on settlement in Donbas in the so-called Normandy format (Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany) is a key priority for the team of Volodymyr Zelensky, who has been elected president of Ukraine, his adviser Oleksandr Danyliuk has said.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin has announced it will be possible to discuss a new Normandy format meeting after Ukrainian president-elect Volodymyr Zelenksy assumes office. “We need to wait for the inauguration and then think about a Normandy format meeting in practical terms,” he said on May 3, as reported by the Russian news agency TASS. Karasin added that the dialogue should be held at various levels, that is, at the expert level, at the ministerial level, and at the top level.
Dmitry Balakin, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the OSCE, stated that Moscow decided to simplify the issuance of the Russian citizenship to Donbas people because Ukrainian authorities deprived them of the legitimate rights as TASS reported. “Under the circumstances, the Russian Federation guided by only humanitarian considerations made a decision to provide the possibility to the citizens of particular areas of Donbas to obtain the Russian citizenship in the simplified order, at the territory of the Russian Federation without a refusal from the present citizenship,” Balakin stated. He noted that there is no issue about the forcible passportization. Balakin said that Russia observers with regret how Kyiv deprived the citizens of Donbas of almost all legitimate rights, excluded them from the political and social and economical processes in Ukraine and made them powerless people at the territory of their state de-jure.
Dmitry Balakin, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the OSCE, stated that adoption of the law on the Ukrainian language affects the right of the national minorities in Ukraine and contradicts the international law as TASS reported. “This act, which aims for the total Ukrainization, does not contradict only point 11 of the Minsk measures, which provides the right for the language self-determination but it also contradicts the international law and human rights commitments of Ukraine, including within the OSCE,” Balakin said.
State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality in Georgia Ketevan Tsikhelashvili says that Georgia is well familiar with a scenario of issuance of Russian passports and her country knows what it may lead to. — Ukrinform.
The Kremlin’s decision to expedite Russian citizenship procedures for the residents of occupied Donbas is an attempt to drive a wedge between Ukrainian citizens and government. — Ukrinform.
03.05.19 11:58 – US representative in OSCE: Russia thrusting to drive wedge between Ukrainian citizens and government The Kremlin’s decision to expedite Russian citizenship procedures for the residents of occupied Donbas is an attempt to drive a wedge between Ukrainian citizens and government. View news.
Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Vasyl Bodnar called on the Czech Republic to support the extension of sectoral sanctions and increased international pressure on the Russian Federation in response to its illegal decision to issue Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens. — Ukrinform.
Russia has said that it will not attend a hearing of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in the case on the application of provisional measures concerning the immunity of three Ukrainian naval vessels and their crew members, Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Olena Zerkal has said on Facebook. — Ukrinform.
Russia’s refusal to attend the hearing of the lawsuit filed by Ukraine with the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea on the use of interim measures in the case involving the Ukrainian sailors detained in the Kerch Strait will not lead to the cancellation of the hearing, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said.
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has composed a delegation to participate in hearings on Ukraine vs. Russian Federation regarding the immunity of 24 crew members and three Ukrainian naval vessels seized by the Russian Federation in the Azov-Black Sea basin.
The International Court of The Hague has scheduled for early June public hearings on Ukraine’s claim vs Russia. Ukraine claims Russia violated two conventions: on combating the financing of terrorism and the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination. The case has been under consideration by the Hague Tribunal since January 2017. In April of that year, the court only partially upheld Ukraine’s request for interim relief measures against Russia – the measures concerned only the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. There is little public information on the case’s progress at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. After Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky takes up his post, we can hope that more information will be available on the topic. So far, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine is not too eager to inform the public about what’s actually happening in this regard. We have only heard predictions that two years will be enough to complete this case, but more time has already passed… After seeing a more accurate picture of developments at the Hague trial, it is likely that Ukraine will have to revise certain approaches. After all, the claim was filed in conditions of complete terminology chaos. In legal terms, President Poroshenko was wary of declaring war, completely avoiding the move to recognize it as a fact. That is why, for several years, it was exclusively about an “anti-terrorist operation” on the territory of Ukraine and the fight against terrorism. In fact, from the point of view of international law, what is happening on the territory of Ukraine is an international conflict. And it’s very easy to establish. Therefore, I believe the court will not take into account the arguments of Ukraine on Russia’s financing of terrorism in our country. But it’s not because Russia is good, it’s because all the legal grounds for this claim could be considered inappropriate and untrue. Therefore, we should treat calmly the possible outcome of this trial in the Hague, harboring no undue expectations and hopes. There is a bit bigger chance for Ukraine of bringinf Russia to account for racial discrimination. After all, in Crimea, there were many facts of persecution against the Crimean Tatars on ethnic grounds, as representatives of a certain nation, and facts of hindering the activities of Crimean Tatar structures. There are dozens of cases of pressure on Crimean Tatar activists on the part of the occupation authorities, and that on Crimean Tatar bodies (the ban on the Mejlis). But as for the attempts to bring Russia to responsibility for financing terrorism, I believe this case has very uncertain prospects. I emphasize, this is not because the court admits that Russia acted correctly. It’s not the case. It’s because the context in which Ukraine has put forward its claims seems artificial and not corresponding to the realities. So, prospects for obtaining a court decision in favor of Ukraine remain vague. Russia does not finance terrorism on the territory of Ukraine – Russia finances the war and wages this war against Ukraine. This is quite different in the legal sense of the concept; it’s completely different circumstances. In the framework of financing and waging the war against Ukraine, Russia, indeed, resorts to methods that resemble terrorist attacks. Assassinations of and attempts on Ukrainian intelligence operatives are acts of war. It’s just that they are simply carried out by the state against the state, and on behalf of the state. These are not terror acts. They are classified otherwise. And here’s where the big problem lays. Therefore, whatever Ukraine does now, it will be very difficult for the government to prove that the “LPR” and “DPR” are terrorist groups or organizations.
It’s estimated that tens of thousands of people have left Crimea for the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, since the 2014 annexation of the peninsula by Russia.
03.05.19 07:29 – 15 attacks by Russian proxies yesterday: three Ukrainian soldiers wounded May 2, the Russian occupying forces attacked JFO positions 15 times, four times using Minsk-proscribed weapons. View news.
Russian occupation forces violated ceasefire 15 times, using weapons banned under the Minsk agreements four times, in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in Donbas over the past day. — Ukrinform.
On May 2, the Armed Forces of Ukraine conducted a successful mission near the village of Novozvanivka, having advanced 1 km forward and gained favorable positions. Three servicemen were wounded in hostilities. On May 2, the Armed Forces of Ukraine conducted a successful mission near the village of Novozvanivka, having advanced 1 km forward and gained favorable positions. “Three battalion servicemen were wounded in hostilities. They received emergency medical treatment and were evacuated to a military hospital,” Commander of the Donbas-Ukraine Battalion’s unit Viacheslav Vlasenko wrote on Facebook. According to intelligence reports, on May 2, nine occupiers were wounded as Ukrainian forces returned fire amid shelling by Russian-backed troops. In total, Russia’s hybrid military forces on May 2 mounted 15 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas.
03.05.19 12:35 – Ukrainian soldiers conduct successful operation, moving one km forward, – battalion commander Commander of the battalion of the Armed Forces of Ukraine “Donbas-Ukraine” Viacheslav Vlasenko (nickname “Filin”) reports on the successful operation near Novozvanivka in Donbas. View news.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine conducted a successful operation in Novozvanivka village in Luhansk region and moved one kilometer forward. — Ukrinform.
Russian-backed forces have shelled the residential quarters of Maryinka, a frontline city in Donetsk region, damaging six houses, the press service of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry has reported. — Ukrinform.
Members of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine have reported that they spotted a build-up of Russia-led forces’ heavy weapons near the ruined airport in the occupied city of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine. There were multiple launch rocket systems among the weapons.
Officer of the 53rd Separate Mechanized Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Anatoliy Shtefan has disclosed the enemy death toll in Donbas in April 2019. “In April, some 90 occupiers who had been part of the units of Russian occupation forces of the so-called ‘Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics’ were killed in action, while about 130 mercenaries sustained injuries of varying severity,” the officer wrote on Facebook.
The exercises were aimed at further enhancing aerial defense capabilities.
Tactical air defense exercises have taken place in the area of the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) in Donbas according to the decision of Ukrainian Joint Forces Commander Serhiy Nayev, the press service of the JFO headquarters has reported on Facebook. — Ukrinform.
03.05.19 17:49 – Ukrainian army holds air defense exercises in JFO area. VIDEO Tactical air defense exercises have taken place in the area of the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) in Donbas. View video news.
On May 1, the United States Air Force strategic unmanned aerial vehicle RQ-4B Global Hawk conducted long reconnaissance flight along the …
Ukrainian rights activist Andrey Yarovoi (Andriy Yarovyi] has become the laureate of the 2019 Carol and Travis Jenkins Award for his outstanding contribution to reducing drug-related harm, although he is imprisoned in the so-called ’Luhansk people’s republic’ and could not receive it himself. –
A Brazilian citizen has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for fighting for Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Rafael Lusvarghi, a 34-year-old Brazilian citizen living in Ukraine, was sentenced on May 2 to 13 years in prison for fighting against Ukraine for Russian-led separatist forces in the Donbas. Lusvarghi came to the Donbas by way of Russia in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and started a war in eastern Ukraine that has taken over 13,000 lives in the last five years. He fought against Ukrainian forces in several of the war’s major battles. He frequently appeared in Russian and separatist propaganda, at one point promising to “march to Kyiv and end the war.” He left the Donbas a year later, in 2015, and went to Brazil. After that, his story got quite bizarre. Lusvarghi returned to Ukraine in 2016, allegedly lured by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), and was arrested at the airport upon arrival. He was accused of terrorism and sentenced to 13 years in jail in January 2017. However, the Kyiv court soon overturned its own verdict. Lusvarghi disappeared for a while, until he was discovered living in an Orthodox monastery in Kyiv in spring 2018. Angered that a known separatist fighter was living freely in Kyiv, activists from an ultra-nationalist group captured him and brought him to the SBU headquarters by force. He was then re-arrested. A year later, Lusvarghi was once again sentenced to prison. On May 2, a court in Pavlograd, a city in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, sentenced Lusvarghi to the same prison term he received two years earlier: 13 years. He was found guilty on two charges: fighting for an illegal militant formation and participating in terrorism. Lusvarghi pleaded guilty on the charges of fighting for an illegal formation, but denied the terrorism charges. Apart from the prison term, Lusvarghi also has to pay Hr 15,000 ($560) to the state to cover court expenses. The year he spent in pre-trial detention will be included in his prison time. According to Ukrainian law, it will count as two years of prison, bringing his term down to 11 years. Share Tweet Pocket Add to Bookmarks Advertisement Get daily news updates Breaking news about Ukraine Most read — Rammstein rock band use video footage of Ukrainian … April 20, 7:00 pm Zelenskiy reveals plans to end war with Russia, … April 08, 3:26 pm LIVE UPDATES: 97% of ballots counted; Zelenskiy … April 21, 8:48 am US Army 101st Airborne soldiers deploy to Ukraine May 02, 5:59 pm Allegations of vote fraud emerge in Donetsk Oblast April 03, 6:25 pm Poroshenko, Zelenskiy hold presidential debate at … April 19, 6:41 pm UPDATE: Exit polls show landslide win for … April 21, 8:04 pm
From the beginning of the Russian occupation of the Donbas, Ukraine lost a significant net share of its industry. In 2013, the regional enterprises generated nearly 16% of the national GDP, or 240 billion UAH a year ($28.6 billion). What has the Ukrainian economy lost from the occupation of its easternmost region and how much would the restoration of the Donbas cost?
President Petro Poroshenko granted the title of Hero of Ukraine and the Gold Star order to Major General Ihor Momot (posthumously). The ceremony took place during the President’s working visit to Cherkasy region, central Ukraine. As he arrived to the State Border Guard Training Centre of Junior Specialists, the head of the state handed the decoration to Momot’s daughter Mariya. The press office of the president explained that Momot was awarded for his exceptional courage, heroism, and self-sacrifice that he exacted while protecting the state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Poroshenko said he knew Momot in person; he was among of the first ones to face the Russian aggression in Donbas in spring 2014. After the officer’s death in combat, the Ukrainian leader ordered to name the State Border Guard Training Centre of Junior Specialists after Momot. In July 2014, Russian occupants launched an attack from Grad MLRS, shelling positions of Ukrainian tactical unit in Luhansk region, on the border with Russia; Ihor Momot, who at the time served as Colonel of the State Border Guard of Ukraine was killed in action.
In the Kyiv region, the military pilots of the tactical aviation brigade completed their first flights in the new French helmet LA 100. After using the equipment in practice – the aviators’ impressions are very positive. The helmet is tested, “adjusted” for all parameters, and in parallel – the adaptation of the technical documentation to Ukrainian standards is completed. This equipment is not the first year used by NATO pilots, including French ones. – One of the main advantages of LA 100 is its weight. If the Russian analog Zsh-7 weighs about 2 kilograms, then the “Frenchie” is half as much. That is, in case of ejection loading the cervical spine of the pilot will be no longer 40, but 20 kilograms. Despite its low weight, the LA 100 is durable and easy to wear. The cost of French helmets is much lower, – said senior engineer of the aircraft operation department, Lt. Col. Oleg Naumuk. Within three months the novelty will be tested in the tactical aviation team. After that, the Air Force command will appeal for the purchase of an even larger batch of French helmets. – LA 100 of French production is not cheap, but it is even more expensive to set up such equipment in Ukraine from scratch. It requires complex and cost-effective equipment, as well as certification in accordance with international standards. So, at present, the best option is the import of such products, “said Oleg Naumuk, Senior Engineer of the Aircraft Operation Division.
The Minister of Defense of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak said Ukraine is already repairing and modernizing the Ukrainian Armed Forces aircraft at the expense of its own components. Censor.NET reports citing Ministry of Defense press service. He stated this at the Lviv State Aircraft Repair Plant, which is part of the State Concern “Ukroboronprom”. He also admitted that the plant had made significant steps forward in its development. “Now we are not only repairing our aircraft, we have learned how to modernize at the expense of our components – this is a very important element in increasing the combat capabilities of the Air Force. And today the plant is working It is in this mode – repair and modernization of the components that are manufactured in Ukraine,” said the Minister of Defense. Watch more: Neptun cruise missile complex tested in Odesa. VIDEO&PHOTOS “Today we have reached the final stage of agreements on the complete modernization of aircraft with the help of foreign partners on the basis of the Lviv State Aircraft Repair Plant. Now we are working to fully determine the priorities and the necessary scope of work on the modernization. we will start this work, I have no doubts,” Poltorak added. Source: https://censor.net.ua/en/p3125294
The Armed Forces of Ukraine started testing the Obolon-A artillery fire control system, as the press service of the Ministry of Defense reported. “Today we are starting the state testing of the unique Obolon-A artillery fire control system. The Ukrainian Armed Forces need this very much, as it will increase the opportunities of our artillery subdivisions up to 30-40%. The control system will be more mobile and efficient, it will increase the possibilities of defeating the enemy with fire, as well as keep more curfew alive,” Defense Minister Stepan Polorak stated this on the Lviv State plant LORTA, which is the part of the Ukroboronprom. Related: Testing of armored car Bars-8 successfully finished in Ukraine According to the Minister, the artillery fire control system was made without any spares from the aggressor state. “The spares produced in Ukraine in your plant and the spares from our foreign partners were used in the Obolon-A artillery fire control system,” Poltorak stated.
Ukraine will purchase 24 modern light patrol helicopters for the State Border Guard Service, President Petro Poroshenko has said. Censor.NET reports citing Interfax. He said this at the personnel training center of the State Border Guard Service in the village of Orshanets near Cherkasy on Friday. “Twenty-four modern light patrol helicopters will be purchased for the border service. The country is implementing 18 joint international projects concerning the improvement of border protection,” said Poroshenko. In addition, Poroshenko said, a regional directorate of maritime security will be set up, and a new UMC-1000 speedboat will be purchased. “This year, we are waiting for the conclusion of contracts for the construction of 22 modern patrol ships,” he said.
Defense Minister of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak, who is on a working trip to Lviv region, has visited the state defense plants to get acquainted with their capabilities. — Ukrinform.
Ukraine’s Ukroboronprom State Concern and Turkey’s ASFAT Corporation have signed a memorandum on exports of weapons and technologies, according to the Ukroboronprom website. — Ukrinform.
The Ukroboronprom state concern and Turkey’s ASFAT (Military Factory and Shipyard Management Inc.) within the body of Ministry of National Defense of Turkey have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) seeking to develop defense cooperation, the press service of the concern reported on Thursday. The document was signed by the parties during the 14th International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF 2019) held in Istanbul from April 30 through May 3, 2019. According to the report, the memorandum defines the principles of exporting the products of the Ukrainian defense-industrial complex to Turkey, as well as the transfer of Ukrainian defense technologies for the development and creation of high-precision weapons. “It also provides for the possibility of joint action for the production of precision weapons and other types of weapons and military equipment,” the concern said. During the negotiations held with ASFAT during the fair, the Turkish side voiced interest in the purchase of Ukrainian gas turbine engines produced by the Ukroboronprom state enterprise Zorya-Mashproekt for combatant surface ships of the national Navy. “We also discussed joint projects for the supply of Turkish Ukrainian gas units to Turkey,” the press service said. According to the Turkish side, as of today, 30 Turkish national defense and shipbuilding enterprises are ASFAT participants. The meeting was attended by Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Serhiy Kryvonos, Head of Ukroboronprom Pavlo Bukin and Chairman of the parliamentary committee on national security and defense issues Serhiy Pashynsky.
The Ukrainian company SpetsTechnoExport has signed an agreement to sell Turkey 120 mm Konus guided tank missiles, Ukrinform reports. Production …
During the second day of the IDEF’19, the SE SFTE “Spetstechnoexport”, that is a part of the State Concern “Ukroboronprom”, has signed a series of contracts with the Turkish company Aselsan. The Ukrainian side is planning to import cooling thermal imagers for installation on guided anti-tank weapon systems, as well as to receive the next batches of secured UHF radio communications means. The Turkish company has been the main supplier of UHF radio communication means for the Armed Forces of Ukraine since 2017. Also, in 2018, for the first time in Ukraine, SpetsTechnoExport concluded the offset contract with foreign company Aselsan, which provides a number of compensations by the purchase of Turkish military communications means. Thus, in addition to the counterpart trade, according to which Aselsan purchases products and services of Ukrainian defense industry, the Turkish side provide to Ukraine the transfer of technology of radio encryption, battlefield management system and creates a service center in Ukraine for servicing military radio communication systems.
Ukrainian businessman Ihor Kolomoisky says that the Russia-orchestrated “civil war” in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, will immediately end after the Russian Federation stops supporting fighters. The cold phase of the conflict manifests itself in killings of civil activists and journalists. Ukrainian businessman Ihor Kolomoisky says that the Russia-orchestrated “civil war” in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, will immediately end after the Russian Federation stops supporting fighters. “Maidan was no good, a revolution is always no good,” he told Bihus.Info, a project of investigative journalism. “Because [it is] eventually minus 13 million people, minus Crimea, minus Donbas. [Ex-president of Ukraine Viktor] Yanukovych, Russia and the revolution are of course [to blame]. Mutual hatred, internal civil conflict, internal civil war. Thank God it has not spread to the whole territory, but it has a hot phase in Donbas and a cold phase in the rest of the country.” Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/politics/10537008-kolomoisky-civil-war-in-donbas-to-immediately-end-after-russia-stops-supporting-it.html
Stepan Poltorak, Ukraine’s defense minister expressed surprise at the recent statement by oligarch Ihor Kolomoysky, who described Donbas conflict a ‘civil war’. He said this on air of Pryamyi TV channel on May 3. ‘Frankly speaking, I was surprised. I thought there’s not a single man in Ukraine who would think so’, Poltorak said. Related: Donbas conflict is civilian one, among Ukrainians, – Kolomoysky He expressed confidence that all Ukrainians understand who’s behind the military aggression in Donbas, as well as who fights whom and what kind of weaponry is used in the conflict. The minister stressed he would not like to evaluate Kolomoysky’s actions, considering the fact that the oligarch contributed to the development of the Ukrainian army in 2014.
Ambassador acknowledges an American tied to Democratic Party sought Ukraine’s help in finding dirt on Paul Manafort.
Ambassador Valeriy Chaly’s office says DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa in 2016 was gathering information that might compromise U.S. President Donald Trump, The Embassy representatives unambiguously refused to get involved in any way, as “we were convinced that this is a strictly U.S. domestic matter.” Ambassador Valeriy Chaly’s office says DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa in 2016 was gathering information that might compromise U.S. President Donald Trump, In written answers to The Hill’s questions, Ambassador Valeriy Chaly’s office says DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa sought information from the Ukrainian government on Trump’s former campaign chief Paul Manafort’s dealings inside the country, in hopes of forcing the issue before Congress. Chalupa later tried to arrange for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to comment on Manafort’s Russian ties on a U.S. visit during the 2016 campaign, the ambassador said.
A lawyer of U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly met with Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko to discuss an investigation into the case of the Burisma Group, where Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, worked. The Trump team’s effort to draw attention to the Bidens’ work in Ukraine has been led partly by Rudolph W. Giuliani, who served as a lawyer for Trump in U.S. Special Counsel Muller’s probe.
As vice president, Joe Biden played a key role in the dismissal of a Ukrainian prosecutor who had opened an investigation of a company employing Mr. Biden’s son.
03.05.19 14:15 – Kolomoiskyi says Surkis brothers to sue Poroshenko Brothers Hryhorii and Ihor Surkis are preparing a lawsuit with the English court against President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. View news.
The SBU Security Service of Ukraine states it does not interact with Viktor Medvedchuk, who is Vladimir Putin’s closest political ally in Ukraine, on the issue of the release of Ukrainian hostages and political prisoners from Russia. It was Former SBU Chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko who attracted Mr Medvedchuk to such talks back in 2014, security officials say.
03.05.19 13:48 – Zelenskyi wants to meet with business representatives Ukraine’s president-elect Volodymyr Zelenskyi has invited business representatives to meetings and stated that relations with entrepreneurs will be transparent during his presidency. View news.
Ukraine’s President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky has invited business representatives to meetings and stated that relations with entrepreneurs will be transparent during his presidency. — Ukrinform.
Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky’s advisor for law enforcement oversight and anti-corruption policies, Ruslan Riaboshapka, has said that criminal liability for illegal enrichment will be restored in Ukraine. The corresponding article of the Criminal Code was earlier canceled by the Constitutional Court.
Advisors to Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky, Oleksandr Danyliuk and Ruslan Riaboshapka, have said the key priority in the president-elect’s foreign policy will be the revitalization of the Normandy format to settle the Donbas issue and the return of prisoners of war (POWs), hostages and political prisoners illegally held in the temporarily occupied territory and the Russian Federation. Danyliuk stressed Ukrainian voters expect that “we gradually find a solution to the war in the east of our country.”
CEO of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine Andriy Kobolyev says Russia will try to create an artificial gas crisis in Ukraine in January 2020. Kobolyev notes high likelihood of such a crisis, which could be branded a new “gas war.”
Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip was instrumental in having the Ukrainian sanctions lifted from the Moldovan Metallurgy Plant (MMP) in …
The Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic overruled the verdict of the country’s Supreme Court, ruling that the Brioni Boutique Hotel in Ostrava’s decision to refuse accommodation to Russians approving of Russia’s annexation of Crimea is not an act of discrimination. As reported by Echo24, in April 2014, the hotel administration announced that it would not accommodate Russian tourists who would not denounce the seizure of the peninsula in writing. The hotel owners’ demarche did not escape the notice of Czech Trade Inspection Authority which fined Brioni Boutique 50 thousand koruny, accusing them of discriminating against patrons. Later, the Supreme Court agreed with the supervisory authority, rejecting the hotel’s claim.
Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan met with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea to Ukraine, Mr. Lee Yang-goo and suggested considering the possibility of placing capacities of Hyundai in Ukraine. — Ukrinform.
A residential yard in Lviv is gaining fame as a haven for lost and abandoned toys.
The wife of Ukrainian president-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy bought a luxury apartment for less than half the market rate from business tycoon Oleksandr Buryak, according to official income and property records.
Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s wife purchased a luxury apartment on favorable terms from business tycoon Oleksandr Buryak, Reuters reports, citing official income and property reco…
For 20 years, Ukrainians voted largely by region. Not this time.
Ukrainian president-elect meets Muslim leaders. He speaks for peace among believers of different religions. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
A Jehovah’s Witness who fled Russia and sought refuge in Germany says he won’t return until he can freely practice his religion in Russia, something he doesn’t think will happen soon.