Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (166)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting

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NATO update – new SACEUR, A2/AD bubbles, Turkey, Romania, procurements, Transnistria, and Nordstream 2 – the latter is played to exploit anti-US sentiment in Germany. Arctic meeting. SSJ update – this really does highlight problems pervasive in Russia’s aerospace sector. Facebook purges more Russian propaganda accounts, especially targeting Ukraine.

Some excellent observations by Kirillova and Fukuyama on Ukraine. 2014 report on Russian intimidation of ethnic Ukrainians. Ze advisor Aparshin criticises underinvestment in the defense of Azov region. Russia vs. CoE. EU’s Hahn meets with Ze. Updates on POL embargo, Crimea.

Donbas update – buildup continues, much on JFO Commander rotation, senior PSU officer investigated for possession of Russian money and unauthorised classified docs, SBU busts Russian covert ops team preparing another ammo storage depot fire. Western volunteers in Donbas. Aerospace industry update.

Economy and politics updates – anti-corruption court head elected. Post election reports. Ze meets with Catholic church and rabbis.


US Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters sworn in as NATO commander

U.S. Air Force Gen. Tod D. Wolters has been sworn in as the top military officer of the 29-nation NATO military alliance.

Here’s how improving enemy anti-aircraft threats put pilots and crews at risk | Air Force Times

The Air Force will not be able to roll over a peer adversary’s air defense network in a matter of days. But the service must still be prepared to provide close-air support on Day One of the campaign.

Russia pitches Turkey the Su-57 fighter jet if F-35 deal with US collapses

Washington has threatened to expel Ankara from the Joint Strike Fighter program if Turkey deploys the Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile system on its soil.

Stoltenberg ‘Concerned’ About Turkish Plans To Buy Russian Missile System

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has expressed concern about the potential consequences of Turkey’s plans to purchase Russian air-defense missile systems.

Italian Typhoons Deploy To Romania To Augment Romanian Air Force MiG-21 Jets under NATO’s enhanced Air Policing – The Aviationist

Four Italian Air Force F-2000A jets are deploying to Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base tomorrow. The Italian Air Force is scheduled to deploy Eurofighter Typhoon jets to Romania under NATO’s Enhanced Air Policing Area South (EAPAs) flying alongside the Romanian Air Force. Indeed, from May 3 to Aug. 28, 2019, as part of the “TFA (Task Force Air) 4th Wing” four F-2000As (as the aircraft is designated in Italy) will be deployed to Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in south east Romania, providing QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) duties over the country adjacent to the pretty “hot” Black Sea area, in support of the Romanian Air Force MiG-21 jets. The detachment of four aircraft (2x belonging to the 4° Stormo from Grosseto; 1x from the 36° Stormo from Gioia del Colle; 1x with the 37° Stormo from Trapani) and 130-strong detachment will be led by Colonel Andrea Fazi. The aircraft will fly to the airbase near Costanta from their respective airbases, with no tanker support. According to NATO’s Allied Air Command, “the deployment will take place within the framework of NATO’s enhanced Air Policing, which was introduced to the northeastern and southeastern Allies as an element of the Alliance’s Assurance Measures in 2014 responding to Russia’s illegal activities in Ukraine. The joint Allied missions have demonstrated collective resolve of Allies and NATO’s flexible capabilities and readiness.

U.S. State Department approves sale of AH-1Z attack helicopters to Czech Republic – Defence Blog

The U.S. State Department approved the sale of four AH-1Z attack helicopters to Czech Republic to use these helicopters to modernize its armed forces and strengthen its homeland defense, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency said. “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a NATO partner that is an important force for ensuring peace and stability in Europe. The proposed sale will support the Czech Republic’s need for its own self-defense and support NATO defense goals,” the DSCA said in a statement released late on Friday. The Czech Republic has requested to buy four AH-1Z attack helicopters, eight T700-GE-701D engines (installed), eight Honeywell Embedded Global Positioning Systems with Inertial Navigation (EGI) and Precise Positioning Service (PPS) (installed), and fourteen AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. The total estimated program cost is $205 million. The purchase of the AH-1Z attack helicopters and related equipment, estimated to cost around $205 million, is part of Czech armed forces upgrade. The Bell AH-1Z is built to meet the expeditionary requirements of the United States Marine Corps. With virtually identical front and rear glass cockpits, fully integrated weapons, avionics and communications systems, the marinized Bell AH-1Z flies with the most advanced aircraft weapons and survivability equipment in the world. The Zulu is the only attack helicopter in the world with a fully-integrated air-to-air missile capability. Target identification is crucial in the modern battlefield. According to Bell Helicopter, the Bell AH-1Z’s Target Sight System provides the longest range and highest accuracy of any helicopter sight in the world. Also, the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Czech Republic of twelve UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters and related equipment for an estimated cost of $800 million.

UAWire – Moldovan Defense Minister: United policy needed to get Russian troops out of Transnistria

In order to force Russia to fully withdraw its troops from Transnistria, Moldova must maintain a consistent state policy, said Moldovan Defense Minister Eugen Sturza, as reported by Ukrinform. “Unfortunately, we keep to the traditional game: one step forward, two steps back. In other words, today some politicians advocate the withdrawal of Russian troops, but tomorrow, so to speak, the government changes, and other politicians claim that they want to make friends with Russia, and push to maintain the status quo of the Russian troops in Transnistria. From this perspective, we have to have a united government project, the primary goal of which is the full and unconditional withdrawal of the Russian troops,” Sturza remarked. The minister added that Moscow will only withdraw its troops from the unrecognized republic if there is coordinated international pressure on Russia and the Moldovan government implements a consistent policy. On 22 June 2018, the UN General Assembly ratified a resolution which calls on Russia to withdraw its troops from Moldova. The Russian soldiers are stationed in the territory of the so-called “Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic”. The resolution was supported by 64 states, including Ukraine. Chisinau wants to reach an agreement with Kyiv for the Russian troops to pull out through a corridor in Ukrainian territory. Kyiv has expressed its willingness to provide such a corridor. However, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said that Russia will never agree to wrap up its “peacekeeping mission” in Transnistria. Transnistria, where the Russian-speaking population is the majority, declared independence from Moldova in 1990. Russia supports the separatist regime in the region, and refers to the presence of its troops as a “peacekeeping operation”. However, the international community recognizes Transnistria as part of Moldova. At the OSCE Istanbul Summit in 1999, Russia undertook to withdraw its troops and weapons from Transnistria, but did not follow through with it.

Nord Stream-2 in Germany is positioned in the public sphere as a project directed against the US, not Ukraine – Yuri Vitrenko

The Russian Nord Stream 2 project is positioned in the German information space as an opportunity to compete with the influence of the United States, but such a position poses a great danger to Europe. This was stated in an interview by Ukrinforma executive director of the Naftogaz Group Yuri Vitrenko, reports Tsensor. NET. ‘In Germany (which should become the ultimate point for delivering Russian gas – Ed.), They do not say in the public domain that this is an anti-Ukrainian project. From a public opinion, people in Germany are still aware that Ukraine is a victim of Russian aggression, and therefore’ Nord Stream-2 ‘is positioned there as a project against America,’ said Vitrenko. He noted that in Germany, such a position, unfortunately, has public support, ‘since many Germans believe their country can compete with the United States, to resist America.’ And this is very dangerous for the whole of Europe, he stressed. At the same time, he said, America is a partner of Europe. ‘And without US support, first of all military or security, Europe will be much more vulnerable to the challenges of Russian aggression,’ said Vitrenko. He stressed that it was understood in the United States. ‘But I always explain that Gazprom’s partners in Germany actually fuel anti-American sentiment, and this argument is very resonant in the United States,’ said the executive director of the Naftogaz Group.

Pompeo Warns Arctic Nations About Russian, Chinese ‘Aggressive’ Behavior

The United States is beefing up its presence in the Arctic to keep Russia’s and China’s “aggressive” behavior in check in the resource-rich region, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said.

Pompeo says shrinking Arctic sea ice presents ‘new opportunities for trade’ | TheHill

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that the Arctic, a region that has been significantly impacted by climate change, presents “opportunity and abundance” when it comes to economic opportunity.

US warns China, Russia over Arctic amid environmental shifts | Fox News

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the Trump administration is moving to assert America’s presence in the Arctic.

Pompeo: Russia is aggressive in Arctic, China’s work there also needs watching – Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that Russia is behaving aggressively in the Arctic and China’s actions there had to be watched closely as well, amid growing divisions in the polar region over global warming and access to minerals.

NORTHCOM: Arctic now America’s ‘first line of defense’

New business opportunities in the Arctic also invite new strategic competition, U.S. defense officials say.

Plane Crash in Russia Exposes Post-Soviet Weakness – Bloomberg

The Sukhoi Superjet that crashed on Sunday was an assertion of post-Soviet industrial might. It ended up exposing Putin-era weakness instead.

Industry Observers: Sukhoi Superjet Crash No Surprise

KIEV, Ukraine—An Aeroflot-operated Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional passenger jet crashed and burned in a “hard landing” at Moscow’s Sheremyetevo airport on Sunday, killing 41 of the 78 passengers on board. Flight 1492 took off on schedule for a two-hour trip to the northern port city of Murmansk, but returned only a few minutes after take-off, having reported an in-flight technical failure. Original reports were of a lightning strike, but an on-board electrical short circuit is now being examined as the cause for the aircraft catching fire. Aviation observers are not surprised by the crash. The Superjet has a history of numerous safety problems that have caused emergency landings. One aircraft was completely lost and all on board killed in 2012 when it flew into the side of a mountain in Indonesia because the flight crew ignored the terrain avoidance warning system (TAWS). It has had little commercial appeal and its developmental cost ended up being almost four times the manufacturer’s estimate.

The Turbulent Journey Of Sukhoi’s Superjet

A crash that killed 41 people when an Aeroflot flight burst into flames during an emergency landing in Moscow is among four major incidents involving the Superjet 100.* Issues have plagued the Russian jet since its inception.

How the airline, the airport, and the authorities refrained from naming the number of fatalities in Moscow’s airplane fire: A timeline — Meduza

A Sukhoi Superjet 100 airplane owned by the Russian airline Aeroflot makes an emergency landing immediately after taking off at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. The plane catches fire.

‘Everyone’s trying to believe that their friends and relatives are still alive’ How passengers’ relatives coped in the hours following Sunday’s catastrophic airplane fire in Moscow — Meduza

On the evening of May 5, a Sukhoi Superjet 100 airplane bound for Murmansk from Moscow turned back and made an emergency landing: the plane, owned by the Russian airline Aeroflot, had lost its radio connection. A fire soon broke out on board, though its cause has yet to be determined: some have suggested that a lightning strike sparked the fire while the plane was still in the air, while others suspect that the fire was triggered by landing gear components that flew into the engine during an unsuccessful landing. 78 people were on board the flight. Russia’s Health Ministry announced that 38 survived; the country’s Investigative Committee put that number at 37. Meduza special correspondent Kristina Safonova spent the night in Sheremetyevo with the passengers’ relatives. Some of them waited several hours for news about their loved ones but ultimately received the information they needed only from the media.

Aeroflot jet was heavy with extra fuel before deadly crash landing

Passengers aboard the Aeroflot jet included included a recent college graduate from Santa Fe, New Mexico, who was on his way to serve as a fishing guide.

Aeroflot plane crash: Pilot error theory probed – BBC News

The deadly inferno at Moscow’s main airport came after a very rough landing.

Facebook Removes More Pages, Accounts Linked To ‘Inauthentic’ Russian Operators

Facebook said it has removed more pages and accounts that are believed to have originated in Russia and were involved in “coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

As Zuckerberg promotes Facebook Groups, Russians target them – CNN

Facebook said Monday that it had removed a network of fake Russian accounts that were using what it termed “deceptive tactics” to join Facebook groups.

Facebook removes multiple accounts from Russia that spread fake news about Ukraine

The social media company Facebook has deleted multiple pages, groups and accounts that originated in Russia and that were used to spread misleading information, in particular, about Ukraine. — Ukrinform.

Facebook deletes 97 pages with Russian propaganda

07.05.19 14:28 – Facebook deletes 97 pages with Russian propaganda In total, 62 accounts, 10 pages, 25 groups were deleted. View news.

Facebook deletes some 100 pages with Russian propaganda

Facebook Administration deleted 97 Russia-controlled accounts, pages and groups which focused on Ukraine and distributed misleading information, as Facebook blog reported. “In each of these cases, the people behind this activity coordinated with one another and used fake accounts to misrepresent themselves, and that was the basis for our action. We had already disabled many accounts run by the people behind this operation for various violations, including impersonation, and some of the activity we found was linked to accounts we removed in prior enforcement actions,” the message reads. 62 accounts, 10 pages, 25 groups were deleted. Some of the accounts had 34,000 followers. One of propaganda group had 86,000 readers. “They frequently posted about local and political news including topics like the military conflict in Eastern Ukraine, Russian politics, political news in Europe, politics in Ukraine and the Syrian civil war,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy, wrote.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Zelensky Playing on Putin’s Fears Ukraine Could be an Alternative Russia, Kirillova Says

Paul Goble Staunton, May 6 – Even before his inauguration, incoming Ukrainian president has launched an information war against Moscow, calling on others in the post-Soviet countries to see what is “possible” if one does what Ukraine is doing and offering Ukrainian citizenship to those, including Russians, who are struggling against authoritarian regimes. To the extent he follows through on these words, Kseniya Kirillova says, he will be conducting “an active information war” against the Kremlin and “will be struggling not so much for territory as for the hearts and minds of those who live there” (qha.com.ua/po-polochkam/igra-na-chuzhom-pole-smozhet-li-vladimir-zelenskij-perejti-v-nastuplenie-v-informatsionnoj-vojne-s-kremlem/). “If current President Petro Poroshenko has placed the accent on the strengthening of the defensive capacity of the state including in the cultural sphere by creating an independent church, strengthening the Ukrainian language and banning Russian films and even social networks,” the US-based Russian journalist says, Zelensky is doing something even more threatening to Moscow. He is showing is readiness to “’open’ Ukraine’s cultural and information space by giving the opportunity to translate the example of Ukrainian democracy not only to the Donbass but also to the pot-Soviet countries.” How far Zelensky will be and how effective this strategy will work remains to be seen. As Kirillova points out, “already at the very beginning of the Ukrainian-Russian war, many analysts noted that Putin’s real fear was not that the post-Soviet countries would full away from ‘the Russian world’ but that they would establish a version of ‘the Russian world’ independent from Russia: the phenomenon of Russian culture free from imperial propaganda.” Today, Russian officials in expressing their concerns that Ukrainians are not commemorating Victory Day are in fact displaying much greater fears of something else: the appearance in Ukraine of “an ‘alternative’ Victory Day,” one that shows that it is possible to feel very different about that conflict than the Kremlin wants people to. As Kirillova puts it, “the chief fear of the denizens of the Kremlin is not the rejection of the former Soviet republics of reading Pushkin but that in them will appear a different reading of familiar works, the same poems and books in Russian but in ways that do not support Russian imperial aspirations but work against them.” And that is true of the Moscow Patriarchate as well, which is less worried about the attacks on Christianity in Ukraine it claims to see than on “a demonstration that there exists ‘a different Christianity,’ not connected with Russian ‘hurrah patriotism’ and emphasizing the messianic role of Moscow.” In short, although the Russian journalist does not use these terms, Muscovy today fears the rise of a new Novgorod just as it did five centuries ago, an alternative Russia that is more dangerous to the Kremlin’s imperial aspirations than any foreign enemy because it strikes at the heart of Moscow project from the inside. The case of Crimean Tatar poetess Alie Kenzhaliyeva is instructive. “In her verses, she writes about how the pathos and militarist ideology and cult of war propagandized in contemporary Russia desecrates the real tragedy and memory of those who died,” an attack that Moscow propagandists cannot tolerate. “It is possible,” Kirillova writes, “that had this history not attracted attention, a criminal case would have been launched against her. Kenzhaliyeva’s case thus shows something important: “the potential for destroying” Moscow’s pretensions by undermining its claimed monopoly on culture, history and language.” There are, of course, real risks to such an approach by Kyiv. As some analysts have noted, Kirillova continues, there is the danger of playing on the Russian cultural field in this way because Moscow can more easily work against it and will be inclined to do so because of the greater threat it poses than that posed by Poroshenko’s approach. In the wake of Zelensky’s election, Putin has taken steps that suggest he has concluded that the incoming Ukrainian leader is not “a serious opponent” and that the Kremlin can work against him far more effectively than it has against Poroshenko, viewing the new man not as “absolute evil” but as “a parody” of that. And some in Ukraine are now worried, Kirillova concludes, that Zelensky’s “attempts to compete with Russian propaganda on the same field will succeed only in undermining the measures of information security that Petro Poroshenko introduced.” That may be true, but clearly a new battle line has been drawn – and one potentially more dangerous to Moscow.

Francis Fukuyama | Why We Can’t Get Enough of Ukraine

The impact one can have on building institutions like the modern state, the rule of law, and democracy is limited. The area where it’s easiest is the third category, building democracy. The first two, building the modern state and building a real rule of law, are much harder, and those are the areas that have been the real obstacles to the modernization of the political systems of many countries, including Ukraine. The reason that those are particularly difficult is that they’re essentially about power. If you hold an election, the old guard can think we will win the election. We know how to run candidates, we can contest things, we can protect our interests. If you want to build a modern state, it’s a different task. If you want to have a rule of law that applies to powerful people in a society, that is much harder because one is basically forcing them to give up power. A lot of the well-meaning efforts of outside donors and governments to influence that process has been quite disappointing, especially in the area of corruption, which is the area I have looked at most closely. Corruption exists because it’s not in the self-interest of existing elites to have things change. Elites like the status quo. Therefore, changing that system is a matter of power. It’s a matter of gaining power on the part of people that are not corrupt and want a modern system. One can help that along by creating the proper kinds of incentives; one can do things like create special prosecutors, anti-corruption courts, and the like, which Ukraine has been involved in. One can try to pay people better in the bureaucracy so that they’re not as tempted to take bribes. So there some short-term things in terms of people’s incentives. But fundamentally good government is not simply this incentive structure. It’s also a matter of human capital. And this is why modernizing the state in so many countries has taken a long time, because it is basically an educational project. It’s a matter of the skills and knowledge and the level of education that’s carried around in the heads of the people that run the government or that come in to the government and that is a long-term project. Every effective modern bureaucracy, in Britain, in France, in Germany, in the United States, in Japan, was also connected to a big educational project in which the educational system was renovated in order to provide a whole class of people that could enter the bureaucracy, that could go into politics, and would be able to govern the country. For example, the Stein-Hardenberg reforms in Prussia after their defeat by Napoleon was connected with Wilhelm von Humboldt’s reform of the German university system. The Trevelyan Northcote reforms in Britain were connected to reform of Oxford and Cambridge. The American progressive movement was built on the back of the Morrill Act creating a network of land-grant universities that trained agronomists and other people that could go into a much more professionalized American bureaucracy. This observation about the connection between education and state modernization has guided my understanding of what possible role I as a researcher could play in this process. I have watched external donor organizations try to affect the short-term incentive structure in different countries. Empirically if one steps back from two decades of trying to fight corruption, one will see certain local victories, but in the aggregate the results have been less than transformational. On the other hand, one thing we can do is help build a new generation of professional, modern people. So, I have been going to Ukraine a lot. In addition to this Emerging Leaders Program, I have a program called The Leadership Academy for Development, which has been supported by the Center for International Private Enterprise, where we are training people to be policy reformers. We hope to build a network and a a new generation of reform-minded younger Ukrainians. And the single thing that makes me very optimistic every time I go there is that I meet a lot of young people that really do want a different kind of country. It is going to take a lot of time but when these people come into their own and run the country, it’s going to be a completely different place. Last thing I will say is why this is important, why Ukraine. At Stanford, we receive lots of requests from different countries. As soon as Brazilians found there’s a Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program, they said how about a Brazilian Emerging Leaders Program, and you know Brazil is an important country. Of course it is, but Ukraine plays an outsized role in Europe as a whole. It’s both a symbol and also a geopolitical role that is much more important than other countries, other post-Soviet or post-communist countries. It has twice now made an effort to break with its Soviet past, with its authoritarian, kleptocratic neighbor. That neighbor does not want this to happen. The Russians understand fully well how important it is that Ukraine not succeed. Ukraine’s success, that it can be a democracy with real competition in politics, that it can clean up its act in terms of the way its governed, is really the critical battlefront in a global situation that in the last years has not looked good for democracy. We have seen a huge amount of backsliding in Eastern Europe. The most disappointing things have been the fate of Hungary and Poland and the Czech Republic and Romania and a lot of other countries that still seem very much mired in corruption but also tempted by their own domestic forms of Putinism. And in that respect Ukraine is doing better because it still believes that Europe and the European Union and the idea that liberal democracy coupled to an open capitalist economy is still the wave of the future and the way to go. In many ways, the way to counter Russia and Russia’s long-standing imperial ambitions is to make Ukraine succeed. That’s the single thing Western powers can do that’s going to make a big difference in Ukraine’s struggle. Francis Fukuyama is Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) and the Mosbacher Director of FSI’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University. Editor’s note: This essay was a speech that Fukuyama gave at the Atlantic Council on April 18. It has been edited with the author’s permission. Atlantic Council intern Katherine Hewitt transcribed Fukuyama’s remarks.

DIRECT TRANSLATION: Ukrainians’ Fears of Russian Violence Straddles Their Border [2014]

Why are Russia’s nearly 2 million Ukrainians silent? That is the question of Ukrainian educator Iryna Kluchkovska asks in the mainstream daily broadsheet Den (The Day). Russia’s annexation of Crimea and sponsorship of violent uprisings in Ukraine’s east have mobilized Ukrainian communities to protest in New York, Sydney, Munich and elsewhere, she writes. But the expatriates of Ukraine’s single biggest diaspora – the nearly 2 million (or 1.35 percent of the total population) living in Russia – have been silenced by fear, writes Kluchkovska. She recounts the stories of four Ukrainian community leaders killed or attacked in cities across Russia during the past decade – cases in which Russian officials have made no arrests and no convictions. This violence has delivered a message to Russia’s Ukrainians that they are vulnerable and have no recourse to law. As Vladimir Putin’s government declares itself the protector of rights for ethnic Russians in Ukraine, it systematically represses Ukrainians in Russia, terrorizing them into a deafening silence, Kluchkovska concludes. Thank you for the reality check, writes Denys Kazansky, 30, a Russian-speaking journalist from Donetsk, at the center of the Russian-backed uprising by masked gunmen demanding secession. On the news website Livyj Bereg (Left Bank), Kazansky says the Russia-Ukraine crisis has led him to some personal historic re-assessment, beginning with the 1932-1933 famine in Ukraine, which Ukrainians and prominent historians say emerged from the deliberate policies of Stalin’s Soviet government in Moscow. “I never thought the Holodomor (the famine) was a genocide against Ukrainians, I was always very open minded towards Russia, I never thought Russia wanted to wipe us off the face of the earth,” he writes. Kazansky changed his mind after seeing the violence in his hometown April 28, when pro-Russian gangs attacked a peaceful march by demonstrators urging a united Ukraine. His article, “Thanks for the lesson,” is Kazansky’s light-bulb moment. “Can a Russian beat a Ukrainian for his language, his flag, because he loves his country? Yes he can and he has,” Kazansky writes. “Now I see Ukrainian-Russian historic relations in a completely new light. After what I have seen in Donetsk over the last few days, I have no doubt that Russia has always wanted to destroy us physically.” Even the editors of the Volyn Post, a western Ukrainian newspaper and web site, are uncertain just what to make of a series of dispatches sent by their correspondent, Serhiy Shapoval, from Slaviansk, the city at the center of the uprising in eastern Ukraine. On April 26, the newspaper lost contact with Shapoval when he stopped answering calls to his cellphone. Two days later his family reported that Shapoval called his sister, told her he was with the separatist militants in control of Slaviansk and was well but could not leave. A day later, with Shapoval still in the militants’ custody, the newspaper received several articles from him via e-mail. The editors published the stories with a caveat that they are not sure whether the dispatches were written under duress or not. One article describes the provincial capital of Donetsk, which seems a normal city until he gets to the provincial government building, Shapoval writes. Among the masked militants behind the barricades there, he meets a separatist field commander nicknamed Vedmid (Bear). They speak for a long time, and Vedmid suspects that Shapoval is an agent of the Ukrainian Security Service. “They don’t trust Ukrainian media here,” he writes. “They think we are all propagandists. They only trust Russian media.” Shapoval shows Vedmid his articles in the Volyn Post and finally Vedmid is convinced that he is dealing with a real journalist, and not a secret agent. “What you write is interesting,” says Vedmid, “but it’s not completely true.” After a short discussion about journalistic ethics, Vedmid proposes that Shapoval write a series of stories about the separatist militias. Shapoval is driven north to Slaviansk in the company of five militants. His stories from there vary in several respects from those filed by journalists operating more independently. Shapoval specifies that he saw no weapons at the road checkpoints into Slaviansk, and he mentions nothing of the masked militants being armed or aggressive. “I did not feel any hostility from them,” he writes. “Quite the contrary, they were interested in me being from western Ukraine, and asked me questions, asked for my opinion.” He writes of their extremely high regard for the Russian military, and says that, that after long discussions, the Slaviansk militia has given him journalistic accreditation. “The people must have a monopoly right to influence government” Ukraine’s official newspaper Uriadovyi Kurier (The Government Courier) proclaims in its headline on the parliamentary debate over proposed changes to the Ukrainian constitution. For the third time in a decade, Ukrainians are rewriting their constitution in an attempt to devolve power from the presidency and create a system of greater accountability and balance. An independent judiciary is a key objective, says interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, The constitution must ensure that the president no longer can appoint judges by executive order, he says; this must done through the country’s Judicial Council. It is important that the role of the presidency be clearly understood by all on May 25, when Ukrainians are to elect a president. “The people must know what kind of powers the person they are voting for will have,” says Yatsenyuk.

In the Sea of Azov, we are not able to withstand Russia today – military adviser Zelensky Aparshin

Advisor to the winner of the presidential election of Vladimir Zelensky on security and defense, Ivan Aparshin, believes that Ukraine is not able to withstand the offensive on the part of the Russian Federation in the Sea of Azov. This is reported by Tsensor.NET with reference to the Apostrophe. Answering a question about a possible Russian offensive on Azov, to create an ‘underground corridor’ in the occupied Crimea, Aparshin said that in the Russian Army ‘there is no such opportunity’. ‘Even when I was serving in the Soviet Union, we never paid much attention to the Crimean peninsula as a territory to be protected by some very powerful forces, where the 32nd Army Corps was once stationed and already in 1991-1992 we took it off. That is, the Crimea has always been seen as a base. Today, Crimea is used as an infrastructure where huge reserves are accumulated, and I do not think that there can be a breakthrough ‘, – Aparshin believes. ‘Today it is impossible to transfer troop troops overnight. There is also a warning system: the brigade went to study – and we know it, it’s delayed – too, we know about it, filed the stocks – the question is, why have the stock been supplied, maybe the hospitals have already begun to deploy? There are thousands of indicators by which the situation is monitored daily, and there comes a moment when we say that the point of non-return has been passed. Therefore, it is most important for us not to miss this point, and in order not to miss this, we have to respond adequately, ‘said Zelensky’s adviser. ‘However, we must realize that in the Sea of Azov, we are not able to confront Russia today. And here I would not want our experts to demand immediate renewal of the Navy by the new president, for example, they began to build two new bases there, for which you. Do they think they can stop the aggression of Russia by building these bases on the seafront? It’s like a ‘wall’ on the border with Russia – it will not help anything, ‘said Aparshin. ‘Any military programs will be approved by a new president, since he does not have profile education, it is very important to tell him, to explain to him so that he understands, for example, if an offensive is carried out through the territory of Belarus, and we have nothing there. And why not? For no one has planned anything, and here we have to foresee such an opportunity. The President of Ukraine must hear different points of view and assess the risks, and more importantly – the consequences, ‘summed up the military adviser Zelensky.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia May Leave Council of Europe, Moscow’s Representative Says – Costing Russians ‘Court of Last Resort’

Paul Goble Staunton, May 5 – In the latest example of Moscow’s brinksmanship, its representative to the Council of Europe, Ivan Soltanovsky, says that Russia may leave the body if the latter doesn’t “compromise” with Moscow. The Russian Federation in fact under Council rules is slated to be dropped at the end of this year for non-payment of dues since 2017. The Russian representative says that being a member of the Council has been useful to Russia modernizing its legal system, but he adds that the group is now “not in the best situation” because members are whittling away at “the principle of sovereign equality of sates and using it for selfish goals (vesti.ru/doc.html?id=3144194). In fact, what Moscow objects to is that the Council now as it has throughout its 70 years of existence upholds the principles of democracy and freedom, things the current Russian government is less than fully committed to, and is the sponsor of the European Court of Human Rights which serves as the court of last resort for Russians and often rules against the Kremlin. Opposition politician Gennady Gudkov notes that this possibility has attracted little notice in the Russian media, “but in fact, it is the main news of the day” as it represents “the final return of the country to the shameful slavish past” and “the end of the survivals of human rights” in Russia (echo.msk.ru/blog/gudkov/2420477-echo/). Moreover, he continues, it is “the logical completion of the process of the transformation by Putin’s regime of the courts, investigators, and procuracy into a political machine of repression and jails into a new edition of the GULAG with tortures and abuses.” Such a transition affects everyone in Russia even if not everyone recognizes it. “The exit of Russia from the Council of Europe and the jurisdiction of international organizations is an escalation of the self-isolation of the country and its actual preparation for military confrontation with the entire civilized world and a rejection from the basic principles on which the entire progressive world stands,” Gudkov says. According to the opposition figure, “Russia is in a deep systemic crisis, the exit from is practically inevitable but not without serious conflicts, numerous victims, and the throwing the country back along the road of world development. But this will not be tomorrow: serious political processes at times lag far behind.” Moscow’s troubles with the Council of Europe are not new, Yekaterinburg commentator Fyodor Krasheninnikov notes on the anniversary of that body’s founding in London on May 5, 1949. As he points out, “this was the first structure of post-war Europe called to work for uniting the continent around the principles of democracy, freedom and unqualified respect for human rights” (dw.com/ru/комментарий-зачем-россии-нужен-совет-европы/a-48562339). “Many considered,” he continues, “that the fall of the iron curtain had resolved all the political problems of Europe. But it has faced new challenges and tests. And on its 70th anniversary, the Council of Europe again has turned out to be at the avant garde of the struggle for European values and freedoms.” The Soviet government viewed it as a hostile organization. And Russia joined only on February 28, 1996. Both Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin at first used membership to promote Moscow’s position and to signal that Russia is part of Europe. But since Putin’s Munich speech in 2007 and its Anschluss of Crimea in 2014, it has not fit in to the organization’s values. Indeed, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Russian delegation has not had a vote in the Council. But as angry as it is about the Council’s declarations and the use of Russian citizens of the European Court for Human Rights, Moscow has at least two reasons for not wanting to withdraw, Krasheninnikov argues. On the one hand, the Russian government for all its complains welcomes the possibility of being in an institution where it can present its own views and talk to others, especially at a time of international isolation. And on the other, Moscow welcomes the chance to send people to work abroad in places of its greatest strategic interests. The big losers of a Russian withdrawal would be Russian citizens, especially at a time “when the Russian judicial system is being used for the persecution of the opposition.” Unfortunately, the prospects that this is about to change are extremely remote, the commentator says. “Sometime in the future, a time will come when citizens of Russia will be able to turn to local, regional or federal judicial organs and find justice and the defense of their rights and Russia will be represented in the Council of Europe by deputies chosen in free and fair elections,” he continues. But for the present, “the European Court of Human Rights remains the instance of last hope for many of our fellow citizens, and the Council of Europe an organization membership in which creates certain conditions for the struggle against arbitrariness and the diminution of human rights in Russia.” What may be especially tragic is that those are the very reasons Putin and his regime may want to take the country they now control out of these institutions.

UAWire – Ukraine hopes that the Council of Europe will not make unreasonable concessions to Russia

Ukraine hopes that the Council of Europe will continue to be a model of democracy, and will not make unjustified concessions in favor of the largest violator-state of its principles and norms, according to the statement issued by the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the 70th anniversary of the Council of Europe. The Ministry noted that the Council of Europe is in crisis because of the actions of the Russian Federation. “We should note with sadness that Organization came to the 70th anniversary in crisis, which is caused primarily by the destructive actions of the Russian Federation, its aggression against Ukraine and direct financial blackmail of the Council of Europe to achieve its anti-democratic foreign policy goals,” the report says. The Foreign Ministry recalled that Ukraine is a member of the Council of Europe since 1995, actively works in the statutory and working bodies of the Organization, joins the formation of a common European legal space, joining more than 90 treaties of the Council of Europe. The Foreign Ministry noted that the action plan of the Council of Europe for Ukraine is an instrument of practical cooperation in carrying out legal reforms in the country by European standards. “Ukraine and the entire European continent need a strong Council of Europe,” the commentary notes. The Russian delegation did not participate in the winter session of PACE in January, and refused to pay membership fees in 2019. At the same time, the PACE Bureau made changes to the rules of formation of committees, depriving Ukraine of a place in the regulatory committee, which is considering the possibility to lift sanctions against Russia.

Johannes Hahn on Twitter: “Today I congratulated Volodymir #Zelenskiy personally in #Kyiv to his impressive victory to become President of #Ukraine which gives him a very strong mandate to fight against corruption + for „de-oligarchisation“. 1/3… https://t.co/3PCaLBNCPm”

Hahn offers Zelensky assistance in gas talks with Russia

European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn has offered at a meeting with Ukraine’s President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky assistance in negotiations on gas relations with Russia in the context of the gas contract that expires at the end of the year, Zelensky’s press service has told Ukrinform. — Ukrinform.

EU Commissioner Hahn offers full support to Ukraine’s President-elect Zelensky

The Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, met with Ukraine’s President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv. — Ukrinform.

Zelensky has strong mandate for fighting corruption, ‘de-oligarchisation’ – EU commissioner Hahn

European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn has met with President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.

UAWire – Russia may refuse to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights

Russian permanent representative to the Council of Europe Ivan Soltanovsky said that Moscow could not only refuse membership in the Council of Europe but also withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights. According to RIA Novosti, the diplomat did not exclude such a possibility if the parties will not come to a compromise. “We are considering all possible scenario, keeping in mind foreign policy consequences for both Russia and international relations on the European continent,” he said. Three years ago Russia, after the Council of Europe did not recognize Peninsula of Crimea integration into the Russian Federation, refused to participate in the Parliamentary Assembly of Europe (PACE). The country, in particular, has ceased to pay membership fees; the amount of debt has already equaled 60 million euros.

UAWire – Georgian minister on Russian passport aggression in Donbas: Kremlin used same methods in Georgia

Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, Georgian Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, said that the methods Russia has been using in Ukraine are …

Kremlin mulling easier rules for granting temporary residence to Ukrainians in Russia – news politics | UNIAN

The Kremlin has proposed a draft law to simplify the procedure for granting temporary residence and residence permits to certain categories of foreign citizens and stateless persons. The provisions of the law will apply to citizens of Ukraine and stateless persons permanently residing in Ukraine.

Russia to broaden range of foreigners qualifying for permanent residence – Medvedev

Russia will broaden the range of foreigners qualifying for permanent residence without obtaining a temporary residence permit first, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a government meeting on Tuesday.

UAWire – Medvedchuk: Zelensky could have Ukrainian prisoners in Donbas released within 5 days

Viktor Medvedchuk, head of the Ukrainian political party “Opposition Platform – For Life” and a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, told 112 Ukraine in an interview that since May 2018 he has not been involved in the humanitarian subgroup for the Donbas. Medvedchuk said that the day before the last prisoner exchange (27 December 2017), President Petro Poroshenko have him a guarantee that the next stage of the exchange would be done in the format “all candidates for all candidates”. However, Medvedchuk said that Poroshenko later refused to go ahead with the “all for all” approach. “I said: If we depart from our agreements, I don’t want to go to the humanitarian subgroup session in Minsk. Especially since exchange matters are not decided there. The matters of preparation for exchanges have been decided there,” Medvedchuk said. The opposition politician said that he is willing to organize a prisoner exchange within three to five days if Ukraine agrees to the demands of the DPR and LPR, which include on their lists Russian citizens and persons not involved in the Donbas conflict. “In light of the fact that the situation has not changed, since May I have actually not traveled to Minsk, and in this case there were no exchanges because Poroshenko did not demonstrate political will,” Medvedchuk remarked. “If Mr. Zelensky has the political will to release our boys in Donetsk and Luhansk, 62 identified people, he could do this within 3-5 days. However, he must give the go ahead for the release of everyone that Donetsk and Luhansk want in Ukraine,” he added.

TASS: Business & Economy – Ukraine should brace for fuel shortages following Russia’s oil export ban — analyst

KIEV, May 7. /TASS/. Ukraine should brace for fuel shortages following Russia’s introduction of a ban on the export of oil and oil products, economic analyst Alexander Okhrimenko has said. “The ban will take effect on June 1. Fuel shortages will follow,” he said on the 112 Ukraine TV on Tuesday.

Ukraine’s Embassy in Britain condemns opening of ‘passport office’ in Luhansk

Ukraine’s Embassy in Britain has condemned the opening of an office receiving documents to obtain Russian passports in the occupied city of Luhansk. — Ukrinform.

Poroshenko, Trudeau discuss issues of bilateral relations in phone call

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko had a phone conversation with Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau. — Ukrinform.

Ukrainian commissioner, French ambassador discuss human rights situation in Donbas

Ukrainian Parliament Human Rights Commissioner Liudmyla Denisova and French Human Rights Ambassador François Croquette discussed the observance of human rights in Ukraine. — Ukrinform.

Representatives of Ukrainian Naval Forces meet with Royal Navy delegation

Representatives of the Navy Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Royal Navy of the British Armed Force have held a meeting to discuss the current security situation in the Black Sea region. — Ukrinform.

Two Ukrainian fishermen freed in Russian-occupied Crimea

Ukrainian fishermen Ruslan Kondratiuk and Andriy Morozov, who were detained by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) in September 2018 and held in Russian-occupied Crimea, have been released and are heading to Kherson. — Ukrinform.

Russia begins 15th Ukrainian ‘spy’ or ‘saboteur’ trial in occupied Crimea based on televised ‘confessions’ – Human Rights in Ukraine

The trial of 32-year-old Kostyantin Davydenko will take place behind closed doors before ‘judge’ Andrei Paliy, who earlier sentenced political prisoner Yevhen Panov to 8 years’ imprisonment despite the lack of any evidence to back extremely implausible charges –

12 attacks by Russian proxies yesterday: no losses among Ukrainian soldiers, five terrorists destroyed

07.05.19 07:14 – 12 attacks by Russian proxies yesterday: no losses among Ukrainian soldiers, five terrorists destroyed May 2, the Russian occupying forces attacked JFO positions 12 times, three times using Minsk-proscribed weapons. View news.

Ukrainian soldier wounded amid four enemy attacks in Donbas since Tuesday midnight – news war | UNIAN

One Ukrainian soldier has been wounded in action on Tuesday, May 7, as Russia’s hybrid military forces have already mounted four attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas, eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian intelligence reports say five enemy troops were killed on Monday, May 6.

Ukraine army hits enemy ammo depot near Zaitseve: Blaze continued all night long (Photo) – news war | UNIAN

Ukrainian volunteer activist Yuriy Mysiahin has reported about a new, successful hit by the Ukrainian army on an enemy ammunition depot in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, on May 3. The ammunition depot was destroyed by the 1st Battalion of the 53rd Brigade of Ukraine’s Armed Forces.

OSCE spots Grad multiple rocket launchers in occupied area in Luhansk region

07.05.19 11:01 – OSCE spots Grad multiple rocket launchers in occupied area in Luhansk region The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine has spotted 20 Grad multiple rocket launchers from May 3 to May 5, which are located in Russia-occupied areas in Ukraine’s Luhansk region. View news.

Troitske in Donbas comes under mortar attack in past day

Russian occupation forces launched 12 attacks, using weapons banned under the Minsk agreements three times, on positions of Ukrainian troops in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in Donbas over the past day. — Ukrinform.

Head of State on the effectiveness of JFO: Ukrainian soldiers demonstrated heroism, high professionalism and selflessness in rebuffing the aggression | Міноборони

President of Ukraine, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Petro Poroshenko is convinced of the effectiveness of the decision to change the format of the antiterrorist operation in the east of Ukraine for the Joint Forces Operation. During the conversation with the officers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Head of State reminded that the JFO lasted more than a year in full compliance with the law on the peculiarities of the state policy on ensuring the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine in the territory of Luhansk and Donetsk regions. “This law changed the format of the antiterrorist operation. Life and this year have clearly demonstrated the correctness of the decision,” Petro Poroshenko said. According to the President, in the framework of the JFO operation, without violating the Minsk agreements, 24 square kilometers of Ukrainian land were released, in particular, three settlements — Vilnyi, Pivdenne and Shumy. The Head of State also notes that the format of the JFO provides for the implementation of law-enforcement, civil-humanitarian and other complex projects on the restoration of integrated infrastructure, creation of conditions for the restoration of peaceful life of the inhabitants of the region. “And I am pleased that during my last two arrivals, we clearly observe the improvement of the attitude of local residents to the servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” the President stressed. Separately, the President noted the work on mine clearance and legislative provision of this activity. He also reminded that in the framework of the “Help East” initiative, medical institutions in Donetsk and Luhansk regions received medical assets in the amount of almost six million hryvnias. In this context, Petro Poroshenko noted the effective interaction of the JFO Command with the Military Civil Administration of Donetsk region.

New Commander of Ukraine’s Joint Forces in Donbas appointed – news ukraine | UNIAN

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has appointed new Commander of the Joint Forces Lieutenant-General Oleksandr Syrskiy as part of rotation. The incumbent president says the new JF chief was nominated by the defense ministry and the general staff. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has appointed new Commander of the Joint Forces Lieutenant-General Oleksandr Syrskiy as part of rotation. Speaking at his Monday meeting with the Army officers in the town of Chasiv Yar, Donetsk region, Poroshenko said: “I’d like to inform you that, at the suggestion of Minister of Defense of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak and Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Viktor Muzhenko, it was decided to carry out a rotation of the Joint Forces Operation leadership and appoint Lieutenant-General Oleksandr Syrskiy to the position of Joint Forces Commander.” The video with the relevant statement was broadcast on Poroshenko’s Facebook page. As UNIAN reported earlier, on March 16, 2018, Poroshenko appointed Lieutenant-General Serhiy Nayev to the post of JF Commander. On April 30 of the same year, the President signed a decree on the completion of the Anti-Terrorist Operation and the order of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the start of the Joint Forces Operation.

President dismissed Serhiy Nayev from the post of the Commander of the Joint Forces and appointed Oleksandr Syrskyi | Міноборони

President of Ukraine, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko dismissed Lieutenant-General Serhiy Nayev from the post of the Commander of the Joint Forces and appointed Lieutenant-General Oleksandr Syrskyi. The Head of State announced the signing of the relevant decrees during a working visit to Donetsk region. Petro Poroshenko expressed conviction that the personnel under the leadership of Serhiy Nayev fulfilled his tasks successfully. “I am grateful to you, Serhiy Ivanovych, and to all the troops, involved in the Joint Forces Operation, for the courage, determination and endurance in rebuffing the Russian invaders,” the Head of State said. “I firmly believe that his level of training will allow to successfully fulfill the tasks and manage the Armed Forces, as well as other military formations and law enforcement bodies in the JFO area,” the Supreme Commander-in-Chief emphasized.

Poroshenko replaces Joint Forces Operation chief – LB.ua news portal

Poroshenko replaces Joint Forces Operation chief. The change has to do with the “rotation of Gen Nayev”. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

New commander of Joint Forces appointed: Who is Oleksandr SyrskyNew commander of Joint Forces appointed: Who is Oleksandr Syrsky

The headquarters of the Joint Forces with the participation of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has had an important appointment –General Oleksandr Syrsky became the new commander of the Joint Forces Operation. He took the position instead of Lieutenant-General Serhiy Nayev, who was appointed to the post a little over a year ago – on March 17, 2018. The replacement of the commanders was a planned one. Serhiy Nayev was the first commander after the change from the Anti-Terrorist Operation to the Joint Forces Operation, which took place on April 30, 2018. The Joint Nations was tasked with strengthening the Armed Forces of Ukraine: they were to be defensive, but also able to liberate the occupied territories. According to the law on the de-occupation of Donbas, the JFO headquarters is the only independent governing body over all power structures on the territory of Donbas. The JFO commander is subordinated to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief and the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces. Oleksandr Syrsky was the head of ATO’s headquarters in the rank of Major-General. He was the one who received the order on the night of February 16, 2015, “to ensure the exit of the formation from Debaltseve.” Related: Ukrainian soldiers retake control of almost 20 square km in Donbas during JFO By that time, Syrsky sector had about 4,500 Ukrainian soldiers who were facing 19,000 Russian-terrorist troops. “It was immediately found out that the headquarters of the sector had no analysis and prediction of the likely actions of the enemy, so the work of the leaders of the sector on planning of further actions was situational. On the first day in Debaltseve we conducted such an assessment. It turned out that the offensive threat from Horlivka was not even evaluated,” Syrsky told about the events of February 2015 and arrival in Vuhlehirsk. Under the control of Syrsky, the possible ways of crossing the river Karapulka were mined. However, the head of the sector, according to the general, did not allow to blow up all the mines, and because of that the enemy captured the passages. It was the group of Syrsky ‘Bars’ formed by him, which covered the withdrawal of the Armed Forces from Debaltseve.

Head of State conferred honorary names on three military units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine | Міноборони

President of Ukraine, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed the Decree “On Conferring Honorary Names on the Military Units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine”. The corresponding decree was announced during a meeting of the Head of State with the troops of the Joint Forces Operation on the occasion of the Day of the Infantry in the framework of the working visit to Donetsk region. The Head of State instructed to rename the three military units of the Armed Forces to restore the historical traditions of the national army regarding the names of military units and in view of their exemplary performance of tasks, high indicators in combat training. Petro Poroshenko handed over a battle flag with a ribbon with an appropriate honorary name to the 57th separate motorized infantry brigade whose soldiers are currently performing tasks at the forefront of the struggle against the Russian aggressor. “It is not a coincidence that our meeting is taking place today on the Day of the Infantry. Infantry that needs to be given maximum attention. If earlier our first priorities were assault troops, special forces, marines, assault squads, I firmly believe that today such brigades as the 93rd and 57th require my special attention,” the Head of State noted. “I want to thank you for the brilliant execution of combat missions. You are a real elite of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” the President emphasized. “In order to restore the historical traditions of the national army and in view of the exemplary fulfillment of the tasks, I signed the Decree conferring honorary names on the 57th individual motorized infantry brigade — the name of Kosh otaman Kost Hordiyenko, the 58th separate motorized infantry brigade — the name of Hetman Ivan Vyhovsky and 26th artillery brigade — the name of general-khorunzhyi Roman Dashkevych,” the Head of State stressed. Also, the President presented state awards to soldiers for a significant personal contribution to strengthening the Ukrainian state’s defense capability, courage and selfless actions demonstrated in the defense of state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, exemplary execution of military duty and on the occasion of the Day of Infantry.

Head of State conferred honorary names on three military units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine — Official website of the President of Ukraine

President of Ukraine, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed the Decree “On Conferring Honorary Names on the Military Units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine”. The corresponding decree was announced during a meeting of the Head of State with the troops of the Joint Forces Operation on the occasion of the Day of the Infantry in the framework of the working visit to Donetsk region. The Head of State instructed to rename the three military units of the Armed Forces to restore the historical traditions of the national army regarding the names of military units and in view of their exemplary performance of tasks, high indicators in combat training.

26, 57 and 58 brigades received honorary titles | MIL.IN.UA

May 06, 2019 Important, News 0 Comments 26 artillery brigades, 57 and 58 motorized brigades received honorary titles This is reported by the Ukrainian Military Portal The 57th individual motorized infantry brigade has been named the Kosh toyon Kostya Gordienko, the 58th individual motorized infantry brigade named after hetman Ivan Vyhovsky and the 26th artillery brigade – the name of the general-chorus Roman Dashkevich. The relevant information was posted by the press service of the President of Ukraine on the official channel in Twitter Portrait of Cossack Ataman Kostya Gordienko Kostya (Kostyantyn) Gordievich Gordienko (Golovko) is an ataman of the Zaporozhian Sich, a prominent military and political figure who, despite his personal dislike of Ivan Mazepa, supported the latter in the fight against Peter I. Created and headed Kamenka Sich. Prior to 1728 he was headed by Oleshkovsky Sich, associate and co-author of the P. Orlik constitution. Portrait of Ivan Vyhovsky Ivan Vyhovsky is a Ukrainian military, political and state figure. Hetman of the Zaporozhian Army, head of the Cossack state in the Dnieper Ukraine (1657-1659), Grand Duke Russky (1658-1659). Representative of the Orthodox noble family of the Vyhovsky Emblem Abdank. Ivan Vyhovsky was born at the beginning of the XVII century on Ovruchiny. He was descended from an ancient Ukrainian Orthodox gentry, a native of which was in Vigov, which was in the Korosten district of the then Kyiv Voivodeship. This branch of the genus was called Lucychi-Vyhovsky, since it was also connected with Lucychi. The photo of the general-chorus Roman Dashkevich Roman Ivanovich Dashkevich (December 6, 1892, village of Turstanovichi (now in the city of Borislav), Lviv region – † January 12, 1975, Kufstein, Austria) – Galician Ukrainian political and military figure, colonel of the army of the UNR (general-horunzhi in emigration ), a lawyer, one of the founders of Ukrainian artillery. Working from the autumn of 1917 in the Galician-Bukovina Committee, together with Eugene Konovalets, Ivan Chmola, G. Lysenko, Fedor Chernik and others, they have been active in creating the Galitsko-Bukovinsky Kuren of the Sich Riflemen in Kyiv. On December 18-19, 1917, 22 volunteers were selected from the Darnytsky prison for prisoners of war, which marked the beginning of the formation of the rifle unit. In January 1918, he was elected to the Streletskaya Council, with the end of February 1918 he was appointed commander of the 1st artillery battery Kuren Sichovyh Striltsev at the Sich Regiment of the Central Rada troops. January-February 1918, the battery of Roman Dashkevich participated in fierce battles with the Red Guard units that rushed to Kiev, in March 1918 – to liberate the city from under the Bolshevik occupation.

President instructed to increase the level of additional payments to the military on the first line of the Joint Forces Operation | Міноборони

President of Ukraine, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Petro Poroshenko instructed Minister of Defense Stepan Poltorak to increase the level of additional payments to the military on the first line of the defense. “I decided that we further increase the additional payments, the financial support of the troops on the first line of the Joint Forces Operation,” Petro Poroshenko said. According to the President, from now on the monetary support will be at least 10300 — 10400 UAH. In addition, 12000 UAH, which is now, plus 5000 UAH — it will be 17000 UAH. “This is an additional payment and we reach the amount that exceeds 27000 UAH for each military,” the President stressed. “As we emphasized, the Ukrainian soldier on the first line will receive almost 1000 UAH per day and more than a thousand dollars per month,” he added. Petro Poroshenko recalled his conversation at the beginning of the Russian aggression with the mobilized sniper of the 3rd Special Purpose Regiment from Kirovohrad, when the military said he received 600 UAH per month. “Today, it is 27000 UAH. This is the distance and the priorities that Ukraine has covered under my leadership. Due to the leadership of the Armed Forces, the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian Government, which made appropriate decisions in pursuance of the decisions of the Security and Defense Council,” the Head of State emphasized. The President added: “And this is a very powerful motivation along with patriotism, so that the enemy knows what to expect in the event of an offensive”.

President: The new Armed Forces of Ukraine is the guarantor of preservation of Ukrainian statehood and all transformations in the country | Міноборони

President of Ukraine, Supreme Commander-in-Chief Petro Poroshenko emphasizes that the new Armed Forces of Ukraine are the guarantor of the transformations that have taken place and are taking place in our country. “The new Armed Forces of Ukraine is the guarantor of preservation of Ukrainian statehood and all transformations in the country,” the Head of State said during his communication with the JFO servicemen in Donetsk region. “Today there is a mighty weapon in your hands. I know that you have mastered it well and you know how to use it skillfully. The enemy must know clearly that any attempts to undermine our frontiers will be doomed to failure, in spite of any of his attempts. We can rely on heroism, courage, endurance and high professionalism of a Ukrainian soldier,” the Supreme Commander-in-Chief said. “We are clearly aware that Russia has not abandoned its aggressive intentions, and our state, unfortunately, is still in danger. And in these incredibly difficult conditions, the soldiers of the Armed Forces heroically and consistently carry out combat tasks, defending our frontiers,” Petro Poroshenko added, noting that, unfortunately, we pay an unbelievably high price for it every day — life and health of our Ukrainian heroes. “During the Russian aggression in Donbas, we lost 2973 Ukrainian soldiers,” the President informed. The attendees honored the memory of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians who died in the war with the Russian aggressor with a moment of silence. The President noted that during almost five years, he had made almost 40 working visits to the east, 25 of which were on the frontline. “Today, this is probably my last visit as of President. I want to thank each soldier and bow to your great military work. Ukraine knows you as heroes, courageous, selfless, devoted to the country and people. As real sons of your Homeland, you volunteered to defend it and I sincerely thank you for this on its behalf,” the Head of State noted, addressing the military. The President urged his successor “not to repeat the mistakes of his predecessors and to take proper care of the Armed Forces of Ukraine”. “For a strong army will defend Ukraine under any circumstances,” he stressed. “I believe that we will restore peace in the entire territory of the Ukrainian state and our children will live in an independent, happy and prosperous European country,” the Head of State addressed the soldiers.

President: The new Armed Forces of Ukraine is the guarantor of preservation of Ukrainian statehood and all transformations in the country — Official website of the President of Ukraine

President of Ukraine, Supreme Commander-in-Chief Petro Poroshenko emphasizes that the new Armed Forces of Ukraine are the guarantor of the transformations that have taken place and are taking place in our country.

Head of State on the effectiveness of JFO: Ukrainian soldiers demonstrated heroism, high professionalism and selflessness in rebuffing the aggression — Official website of the President of Ukraine

President of Ukraine, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Petro Poroshenko is convinced of the effectiveness of the decision to change the format of the antiterrorist operation in the east of Ukraine for the Joint Forces Operation.

I am not ashamed to look into the eyes of the Ukrainian soldiers and have something to report to the Ukrainian people – President in Avdiivka | Міноборони

President of Ukraine, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko stated that the most important task for him in the beginning and during the entire cadence was to restore the Ukrainian army, so that the army could resist the aggressor. “My most important task on the post of President of Ukraine was to do everything in my power to change the critical situation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine at the beginning of the Russian aggression. And I want to emphasize that I am not ashamed to look into your eyes, Ukrainian soldiers. And there is something to report to the Ukrainian people. To report on what was done during my cadence,” Petro Poroshenko said during his communication with the JFO servicemen in Avdiivka. “The army has fully restored combat capabilities, acquired a unique combat experience, increased operational capabilities, improved technical equipment and security. We learned to repel the attacks of the Russian aggressor firmly. And our troops demonstrate the ability to set up an effective system of management and interaction,” he stated. The President recalled that a year ago, the transformation of the Antiterrorist Operation into the operation of the Joint Forces Operation took place. And although the submission to the Verkhovna Rada of the law on the de-occupation of Donbas had a number of critical remarks then, this document “provides new forces, new capabilities and new opportunities for the Armed Forces”. According to him, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in close cooperation with other components of the security and defense sector of the country, firmly rebuff the aggressor. “By joint efforts, we have increased the system of military command agencies, formed the command of the Airborne Assault Force, the command of the Special Operations Forces, the Joint Operational Headquarters, which have already acquired command capabilities for subordinate troops. A number of new brigades and military units of operational, logistic and technical support have been formed,” the President added. “In potentially threatened areas, an increase in the respective groups of troops was created and carried out, which made it possible to ensure readiness to repulse aggression not only from the east, but also from any other direction. Taking into account the available forces and means, the system of air defense of the state has been developed. The aircraft fleet and the combat composition of the anti-aircraft missile troops have been increased. Our aircraft acquires new skills,” the Head of State also emphasized. In addition, the Naval Forces and the Marine Corps Command, which are gaining new capabilities, are being rebuilt at new locations. “The number of servicemen-contractors reached 85% of the total number of the Armed Forces. The number of reservists was increased and now it amounts to 200 thousand servicemen,” Petro Poroshenko said.

Poroshenko praises effectiveness of JFO in Donbas – news war | UNIAN

President of Ukraine, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Petro Poroshenko is convinced of the effectiveness of the decision to change the format of the antiterrorist operation in the east of Ukraine for the Joint Forces Operation. The attitude of local residents to the servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has been improving, the president says.

An Air Force officer found with 2 million rubles and secret documents | MIL.IN.UA

May 06, 2019 News 0 Comments Law enforcers opened criminal proceedings against the first deputy chief of the command of the Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Alexander Astakhov and seized him open in February 2014 a savings book of 2 million rubles and secret military documents. This is stated in the materials of the court, according to Ukrainian News. It is noted that the Military Counterintelligence of the Security Service of Ukraine revealed the fact of unauthorized distribution of information by the Air Force personnel of the limited access information stored in their computers and on the carriers of such information. Thus, during 2014-2016, officials of the Kharkiv National University of Air Forces named after Ivan Kozhedub developed a project of scientific research (dissertation), which was given a stamp of restriction of access ‘secretly’. At the same time, in March 2016, the First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Air Forces Command Colonel Astakhov, without the permission of the head of the above-mentioned institution, copied the electronic version of this secret document to an unregistered media, and then kept it on his own laptop located at his place of residence living and connected to the Internet. In addition, on April 18, 2015, Astakhov unauthorizedly copied and stored at his computer a secret telegram from the command of the Air Forces. In mid-April, law enforcement officers searched the colonel’s place of residence and his office.

SBU foils plot by Russian intelligence to blow up ammo depot in Ukraine – news ukraine | UNIAN

Russian special services were preparing a terror attack at one of the Ukrainian arsenals, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) reported Monday. “The SBU’s military counterintelligence operatives foiled a terror plot by Russian intelligence at one of the arsenals of the Ukrainian Armed Forces hosting strategic stocks of the latest missiles and ammunition,” the report said. According to the SBU, in early 2019, the Russian intelligence recruited an arsenal employee using psychological influence and pressure, “threatening to hurt the employee’s family living in the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas.” Read alsoMassive fire at Ukraine’s ammo depot result of sabotage – prosecutors “The arsenal worker was tasked with collecting and handing over information about the military facility, in particular, security measures, weapons stocks and their movement. The aggressor state planned to use this information to carry out an act of sabotage at the strategic military facility to undermine Ukraine’s defense capability,” SBU said. The recruited Ukrainian was promised material assistance and Russian citizenship, along with a pension. He was also provided with communication means and electronic channels for data transfer. “The curators supported and coordinated his activities from the territory of the Russian Federation via the Internet. Thanks to the timely response of the military counterintelligence operatives, the SBU was able to prevent the Ukrainian citizen from being engaged in illegal activities to the detriment of Ukraine’s national interests,” the SBU emphasized.

UAWire – Ukrainian Security Service detains Defense Ministry arsenal employee recruited by Russian intelligence for sabotage

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has arrested a man employed at one of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s arsenals on suspicion of planning …

Prominent army support volunteer reportedly commits suicide – LB.ua news portal

Prominent army support volunteer reportedly commits suicide. He is survived by his wife and three children. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

War junkies: Why foreign fighters are flocking to Ukraine – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Ukraine is not the first place to come to mind when the term “foreign fighters” is used. But this Eastern European country has long been a destination for men from Western countries seeking the thrill of a battle they view as a fight for the future of Europe. As we saw in the wake of last month’s terrorist attack in Christchurch, these radicalised young men in the West are not just “keyboard warriors” but committed ideologues with increasing desire and means for violence. And like former Islamic State fighters and their families who hope to return to Australia after the fall of the caliphate, it is important to understand what motivates these young men to leave Australia to fight in a foreign conflict in Ukraine.

 

Stepan Poltorak: “By the end of this year, we plan to move to the third powerful stage – a complete modernization of the military aircraft”

The Defense Minister of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak said during a working visit to the Kharkiv National Air Force University named after Ivan Kozhedub today, May 6 . – If in 2014 we only repaired our planes, then we went to the second stage – partial modernization due to spare parts and components of Ukrainian production only, then by the end of this year we have to move to the third powerful stage – the complete modernization of the aircraft. Of course, we will do this with the help of our foreign partners, – said Stepan Poltorak. As the Defense Minister noticed, talks with our foreign partners are about to be completed, after which the process of modernization of aircraft with the newest technologies will be commenced.

“Today, the Air Forces determine the task of our manufacturers who are doing their best to fulfill these tasks,” – the Minister of Defense

On this today, May 6, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, during his working visit to the Ivan Kozhedub Kharkiv National Air Force University , emphasized. In particular, the Defense Minister noticed that last week he inspected production facilities and samples of equipment manufacturing aircraft factories of Lviv and Odessa for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Stepan Poltorak expressed confidence that Ukrainian enterprises of the defense-industrial complex have great potential and development prospects. We carry out modernization of combat, reconnaissance, training planes, air defense systems, and missile systems – a huge work and result of long-term work of scientists and practitioners. This is what awaits you literally at the end of the university, – the head of the defense department emphasized, referring to the personnel of the military high school. – Today, the Air Forces command sets the task for our manufacturers who are doing their best to fulfill these tasks.

“We are moving to a new stage of aircraft modernization for the Armed Forces of Ukraine”, – Stepan Poltorak

Today, on May 3, during the stay at the Lviv State Aviation Repair Plant, which is part of the State Concern “Ukroboronprom”, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak emphasized. During the conversation with the company’s team, the head of the defense department emphasized that the plant has made significant progress in its development. – In recent years, you have renovated and carried out partial modernization of almost 30 aircraft for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Now we not only repair our planes, we have learned to carry out modernization at the expense of our components – this is a very important element in increasing the combat capabilities of the Air Forces. And today the plant is operating in such a mode – repair and modernization of the components manufactured in Ukraine, – said the Minister of Defense. Stepan Poltorak also added: – Today we have come to the final stage of the agreement on complete modernization of airplanes with the help of foreign partners on the basis of the Lviv State Aircraft Repair Plant. At the moment, we are working to determine, by the end, the priorities and the amount of work required to upgrade. And from the beginning of next year we will start this work, I have no doubt, – Stepan Poltorak emphasized.

Strengthening defense capabilities of the state will remain my number one priority – Petro Poroshenko on re-equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine — Official website of the President of Ukraine

“I want to assure you that the issue of strengthening the state’s defense capabilities will remain the number one priority in my state and political activities, even after I soon step down from office of the President and Supreme Commander-in-Chief,” Petro Poroshenko said during his communication with the JFO servicemen in Avdiivka. He emphasized: “System measures for reforming the security sector, gradual approach of the defense forces to the standards of the NATO member states, planned arrival of new and upgraded weapons and military equipment greatly expand the combat capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine”. “I can surely say that Ukraine has an army that can protect our state today,” Petro Poroshenko noted. According to him, due to concentration of efforts, purposeful and persistent work of the enterprises of the defense industry of Ukraine during the year 2018, more than 3000 units of new or modernized armament and military equipment, about 500 thousand ammunition items, 2000 units of modern samples of small arms and anti-sniper complexes were provided. “Armored, naval, aviation technology, rocket-artillery armament, precision anti-tank complexes “Corsar”, “Stugna”, “Barrier”, missiles to them. We should not forget about Javelin anti-tank complexes, the newest anti-sniper equipment of American, Canadian and other our counterparts, the latest RPV-16 infantry flamethrowers, the new air defense system, electronic warfare system, communication facilities of Israel, Turkey,” the Head State noted. “I want to emphasize that we do not stop on this and continue to work providing defenders with new and more modern weapons and military equipment,” the President said. In particular, the renewal of armored weapons, serial production of modern models of domestic production – modernized T-64 tanks, new armored personnel carriers BTR-3 and BTR-4 – is continued. Modernization of domestic anti-tank missile complex “Stugna-M”, “Stugna-P”, which demonstrates high efficiency in the JFO area. “We continue to equip our combat units with modern unmanned aerial vehicles of domestic and foreign production. We received combat drones, the contract for the delivery of which was signed with my participation in Turkey,” the Head of State said. He reminded that the modernization of MLRS “Grad” and “Smerch” was held. The tests of modernized anti-aircraft missile systems “Cube” and “Thor” were finished. “The testing and adoption of the new missile complex of sea and land use “Neptune”, cruise missiles, landing boats, modernization of self-propelled howitzers and artillery systems is being completed,” he added. Petro Poroshenko said: “Ukraine finally starts mass production of MLRS “Verba” and a launcher for “Vilkha”. The first units armed with new systems will be formed already in 2019. Air defense control units are equipped with new automated control systems, domestic anti-aircraft missile systems are being developed”.

Ukrainian rescuers and national guards continue to master the H225 Super Puma helicopter. VIDEO

Another 2 DSNS pilots completed their retraining on the Super Puma H225 helicopter. In general, in France, 12 pilots have been trained. According to Tsensor.NET, in the Department of Communications of the Ministry of Internal Affairs are informed that the planned flight preparation is still 4 pilots of the DSNS and the National Guards. We remind you, the entire contract provides for the purchase of 55 new and old helicopters for the Ministry of Internal Affairs in France. Ukraine will have a center for maintenance of these helicopters, which will allow to serve not only their cars, but also to accept orders of European partners, to strengthen cooperation with the European Union.

Three candidates nominated for Ukraine’s High Anti-Corruption Court head

07.05.19 13:14 – Three candidates nominated for Ukraine’s High Anti-Corruption Court head Three candidates have been nominated for the post of head of the High Anti-Corruption Court at a meeting of judges that began in Kyiv on Tuesday. View news.

High Anti-Corruption Court judges fail to elect head amid repeat vote

Judges of Ukraine’s High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) have failed to elect the newly created court’s chief justice amid a repeat vote.

Judge Tanasevych elected head of HACC by secret voting

On Tuesday, a meeting of judges of the High Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine (HACC) has elected Head of the newly created court, the judge of the first instance, Olena Tanasevych. Censor.NET reported citing Interfax. Tanasevych was elected by secret ballot and received 23 votes of judges. This is approved by the protocol and the decision of the meeting of judges on the election of the head of the HACC, an Interfax-Ukraine correspondent reported. The second candidate, Judge Olha Salandiak, was supported by 10 judges. Three candidates have been nominated for the post of head of the High Anti-Corruption Court at a meeting of judges that began in Kyiv on Tuesday. Source: https://censor.net.ua/en/n3125742

Judge Kruk was elected Vice-Chairman of the Supreme Anticorruption Court

Judge Yevgeny Kruk was elected deputy chairman of the Supreme Anticorruption Court of Ukraine. Tsensor.NET reports citing Interfax-Ukraine. During the meeting of judges of VAKS on Tuesday judges were elected by secret ballot by the deputy head of the court Evgeniy Kruk. His election was supported by 22 judges, the second candidate – Viktor Maslova – 14 judges. Following this, the meeting of judges of the newly established court approved six investigating judges of the Anti-corruption Court with a term of office for a year.

Poroshenko appoints 75 Supreme Court judges (Video) – news politics | UNIAN

Outgoing Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has appointed 75 judges of the Supreme Court of Ukraine. Ukraine’s Supreme Court has started working almost in full assembly.

Ukraine Ex-Official Casts Doubt on Biden Conflict Claim – Bloomberg

President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer is raising the specter that Joe Biden intervened in Ukrainian politics to help his son’s business.

Groysman: European integration is key priority for Ukraine

The European integration remains a key priority for Ukraine, along with the continuation of reforms and the promotion of changes in the judicial system of the country. — Ukrinform.

Rzeczpospolita: Ukraine getting closer to gas independence – news economics | UNIAN

Ukraine is one of the few countries in Europe where natural gas production is growing, while in two years, Ukraine could become self-sufficient in terms of gas. To confidently get off the import hook, Ukraine needs investment.

Naftogaz files complaint to European Commission over Gazprom’s abuses of dominance in EU markets – news economics | UNIAN

National Joint-Stock Company Naftogaz of Ukraine has filed a complaint with the European Commission over anti-competitive actions of a Russian energy giant Gazprom. This is a new front of confrontation, Naftogaz CCO says.

Ukrtransnafta estimates weekly revenue loss from suspension of oil transit at EUR 1 mln

JSC Ukrtransnafta as of May 2, 2019 saw a revenue loss of UAH 29.2 million (around EUR 1 million) due to the suspension of transit of Russian oil to Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary since the evening of April 25, the company has told Interfax-Ukraine.

Ukrtransnafta starts paying to BelOil in oil pumping dispute

JSC Ukrtransnafta, the operator of the Ukrainian oil transportation system, has started paying to CJSC Belarusian Oil Company (BelOil) in a dispute over oil pumping in 2011-2012 using the Yuzhny-Brody-Mozyr pipeline and paid $1.37 million to the Belarusian company, according to an annual report of Ukrtransnafta for 2018 posted on its website. “In pursuance of the decision of the international arbitration court of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, taking into account the decision of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, the Belarusian Oil Company CJSC was paid $1.37 million,” the company said in the report. As reported, BelOil in 2011-2012 was supposed to supply at least 8 million tonnes of oil (4 million tonnes per year) of Azeri Light brand at Yuzhny oil terminal for subsequent pumping of this oil to the Mozyr refinery along the Yuzhny-Brody-Mozyr route in the “pump or pay” mode. Of the planned 4 million tonnes in 2011, only 0.9 million tonnes were delivered and pumped. At the same time, the contract of compensation for quality losses was additionally signed, as BelOil supplied Azeri Light to the Yuzhny terminal, while Urals oil was pumped via the oil pipeline to Mozyr, which is a cheaper grade of oil. The international arbitration court of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on September 1, 2017 ruled to collect $7.857 million from Ukrtransnafta in favor of BelOil in the litigation over pumping of oil via the Yuzhny-Brody-Mozyr pipelines. The Supreme Court of Ukraine upheld the decision.

U.S. Ambassador To Ukraine, Openly Criticized By Top Ukrainian Prosecutor, Departing Early

The U.S. ambassador to Ukraine is departing her position in May, two months ahead of schedule.

Washington recalls Yovanovitch as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch will complete her diplomatic mission in Ukraine on May 20, Ukraine’s Mirror Weekly newspaper has reported, citing U.S. diplomatic sources. — Ukrinform.

US ambassador to leave Ukraine on 20 May – source – LB.ua news portal

US ambassador to leave Ukraine on 20 May – source. According to sources, she has already left for Washington. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Yovanovitch to be recalled – media – news politics | UNIAN

Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the United States of America to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch will wrap up her deployment in the country on May 20. It is reported that the diplomat set out for Washington for consultations.

Ukrainian Police Investigating Attack On Reporter As Attempted Murder

Ukrainian authorities said a reporter has been hospitalized in a coma after a brutal attack, and the assault is now being investigated as attempted murder.

Ukraine’s antigraft bureau opens case against Parliament Speaker Parubiy – news politics | UNIAN

The National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) has opened proceedings against Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, Andriy Parubiy on suspicion of misuse of budget funds. A pretrial investigation is underway.

Poroshenko fails to come to PGO for questioning

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has not come to the department of special investigations of the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) for questioning as a witness in the case on the Maidan shootings. — Ukrinform.

Lutsenko: now I don’t see any moral or legal bases for submitting resignation letter, but ready for it

Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko has said that he still does not see the reasons for his resignation, but he is ready to leave his post.

Kharkiv airport increases international passenger traffic by 57 percent

In April, the international passenger traffic at the Kharkiv International Airport grew by 57 percent. — Ukrinform.

State Aviation Service allows Windrose to fly from Odesa to Tel Aviv

The State Aviation Service of Ukraine has allowed Windrose airline to fly from Odesa to Tel Aviv (Israel), according to a relevant decision posted on the website of the service. The agency allowed Windrose to fly from Odesa to Tel Aviv on a regular basis with a frequency of three times a week and an unlimited right to this route. At the same time, the regulator refused SkyUp and Atlasjet Ukraine flights to the specified direction with a frequency of two flights a week. The State Aviation Service also permitted Air Taurus to carry out air transportation to Zimbabwe.

Cyber police shut four popular video piracy sites in Ukraine (Photo) – news economics | UNIAN

Ukraine’s cyber police and investigators from the National Police have shut down four popular video piracy sites, the so called “online cinemas,” namely kinogo.co.ua, uafilm.top, ukrfilm.top, and kino-hd.top. Kinogo.co.uawas one of the busiest video piracy sites.

Ukrainian Voices From Abroad: Vera Avramenko’s advice for Zelenskiy | KyivPost – Ukraine’s Global Voice

Vera Avramenko, a native of Lubny, Ukraine, is a flight attendant based in Doha, Qatar. Kyiv Post: What do you hope for most from President Volodymyr Zelenskiy? Vera Avramenko: If there was such a thing as “Ukrainian dream,”even then I would not call it as such when it comes to Volodymyr Zelenskiy becoming a president. His motives and means are quite dubious, in my opinion. But what’s done is done and I hope his work will prove me wrong. Kyiv Post: What is the No. 1 priority facing Ukraine? Vera Avramenko: The No. 1 priority is for the Ukrainian people is to understand that what was going on for decades cannot be eliminated instantly or even within a span of five years and changing the priorities or experimenting may bring a lot of damage, if it hasn’t already. Kyiv Post: What is the biggest obstacle that the new president must overcome to achieve success? Vera Avramenko: The biggest obstacle is that he will be having hard time making people take him seriously, even though it is not funny anymore.

Ukraine’s Pig-Fat Chocolate

If life is like a box of chocolates, some Ukrainian confectioners are thinking well outside the box. Salo restaurant, in Ukraine’s western city of Lviv, has carved out a reputation for serving th…

Ukraine made a comedian its president. Here’s what US media can learn. – Columbia Journalism Review

On a recent spring evening in Kyiv, 22,000 people gathered under cotton-candy skies in the capitol city’s Olympic Stadium. Millions more watched at home. In the center of the sea of blue and yellow seats, which matched the Ukrainian flags many were waving or wrapped in, were a pair of opposing stages where two men were about to debate. One was the oligarchic owner of a chocolate empire and a television station. The other was a comedian and the darling of a rival TV network, Ukraine’s most popular. Both were candidates for the presidency of the country. Ukraine has become known in recent years as a laboratory for Russia’s experimentation with digital disinformation techniques. But television reigned supreme in a dirty four-month campaign that ended last week when comedian Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a crushing defeat to incumbent president and “chocolate king” Petro Poroshenko.

More younger voters support Zelensky, with older voters supporting Poroshenko

Incumbent Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko received the highest level of support among older voters in the recent presidential election, he also enjoyed more support of Ukrainians with higher education, while young people, as well as Ukrainians with incomplete secondary education, voted for Volodymyr Zelensky.

Zelensky met with Honorary Consul of Israel in Ukraine Vishnyakov: ‘There was a very constructive and fruitful conversation.’ PHOTOS

05/07/15 11:01 – Zelensky met with the honorary consul of Israel in Ukraine Vishnyakov: “There was a very constructive and fruitful conversation.” PHOTO Honorary Consul of Israel in the Western region of Ukraine Oleg Vishnyakov said that he spoke with the elected President of Ukraine Volodymyr … View a photo report.

Knesset Members vow Jewish continuity at conference in Ukraine – Diaspora – Jerusalem Post

Three Members of Knesset and the Knesset director traveled to Kiev to participate in a forum hosted by the Jewish confederation of Ukraine. Yoel Razbozov and Orly Fruman, both of Blue and White, Issawi Freij of Meretz and Knesset Director Albert Sakharovitz represented Israel at the conference. “We are in the capital of Ukraine, but our hearts are with the residents of the south, the families of the dead and the wounded in Israel,” MK Fruman stated during a panel on Jewish identity in the 21st century. Over 700 rockets were fired into Israel’s south over the past several days from Gaza. “It is important that the Jewish communities do not feel disconnected from the State of Israel,” Fruman added, “the unity of the Jewish people is not only something we talk about, it is our essence.” MK Razbozov and the Knesset Director Sakharovitz praised the good inter-parliamentary relations between the Knesset and the Rada, Ukraine’s parliament. Razbozov was born in the former Soviet Union and Freij, although not Jewish, participated in the conference as an Israeli member of Parliament as well. The Israeli delegation also met with President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky, Speaker of the Parliament Andrei Parubiy and Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman.

Ukraine may adopt IHRA definition of antisemitism – Diaspora – Jerusalem Post

The country is also applying for membership in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

Zelensky met with head of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

The president-elect of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky held a meeting with the head of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Svyatoslav Shevchuk. This was reported by the press service of Zelensky. Zelensky congratulated the Patriarch Svyatoslav on the occasion of his birthday and the head of the UGCC has congratulated Volodymyr Zelensky on his election win. “Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church for the spiritual support of citizens in this difficult time. The president-elect also noted the importance of divine service held by the Church on the occupied territories of Donbas and annexed Crimea,” the message says. During the meeting, the parties discussed the mission of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and religious organizations in preserving religious peace and public initiative to build a European Ukraine. They emphasized importance of Ukrainian World Congress and Ukrainian diaspora for support of Ukraine in the world and the necessity of adequate response to the challenges of the hybrid war.

President-elect of Ukraine meets with local chief rabbis – Diaspora – Jerusalem Post

The delegation of rabbis presented Volodymyr Zelenskiy with a Torah written in Russian.

UAWire – Zelensky asks chief rabbis to facilitate dialog with Donbas and Crimea residents

Ukraine’s President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky met with the Council of Rabbis of Ukraine on 6 May. “I have met with members of various religions …

Zelensky asks Rabbis to support his initiative on dialogue with residents of Russia-occupied Donbas, Crimea

President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky during a meeting with Rabbis from across Ukraine has asked them to support his initiative to develop a dialogue with residents of Russia-occupied territories in Donbas and Crimea. “I have met with representatives of various religions and cultures. And today I appeal to you to support our idea of fostering dialogue with residents of Russia-occupied territories in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. We don’t want to lose touch with these people, because all of them are Ukrainians, our fellow citizens,” Zelensky said. Zelensky’s press service said the president-elect on Monday met with representatives of the Council of Rabbis of Ukraine, including Chief Rabbi of Dnipro and Dnipropetrovsk region Shmuel Kaminetsky (central Ukraine); Chief Rabbi of Kharkiv and Kharkiv region, Moshe Moskovitz (eastern Ukraine), Chief Rabbi of Odesa and southern Ukraine Abraham Wolf, Chief Rabbi of Zhytomyr and western Ukraine Shlomo Wilhelm; Donbas Chief Rabbi Pinchas Vyshetsky, and Chief Rabbi of Ukraine and Kyiv Moshe Reuven Azman. Chief Rabbi of Donbas Vyshetsky, who lived in Donetsk for a long time, said the proposed initiative is correct and will be effective. “Even a little light drives away a lot of darkness. There are three main factors for the success of your government: justice, honesty, and peace. Never do what you do not want to be done to you. That is the main rule,” he noted. Participants of the meeting discussed the fight against anti-Semitism. They said today this problem is not acute as in other countries of the world. Every year more than 800,000 pilgrims come to Ukraine where 150 Jewish religious leaders were buried. “There are now at least half a million Jews in Ukraine, people for whom Ukraine is their native land, which they love. And we dream that life in Ukraine should be decent and happy for all people. There is no contradiction in being Jewish and being a patriot of Ukraine,” Rabbi Kaminetsky said. Guests at the meeting presented Zelensky with an exclusive edition of the Torah. As reported, on April 30, Zelensky met with head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epiphanius, Honorary Patriarch of Kyiv and All Russia-Ukraine Filaret and Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) Metropolitan Onufriy. On May 2, Zelensky met with the spiritual leaders of Ukraine’s Muslim community.

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