Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (168)


Anonymous expert compilation,  analysis, and reporting.

</end editorial>



TASM lives again! During the Reagan Administration era the US almost deployed a GL TASM to close all Soviet chokepoints. Russia finalising its LEO ISR constellation. MQ-9 harassed by FLANKER. V-E parade in Muscovy, and the Vozhd reiterates that Ukraine is a province of Russia, and that Russia’s enemies are “Nazis” – as always Russia mirrors its sins upon others. The architect of the 2014 invasion of Ukraine, Dr Sergei Glazyev, has incurred the ire of Israel’s Foreign Ministry for publishing an essay in which he alleges that Ukraine will ethnically cleanse occupied Donbas of Russians and repopulate it with Jewish immigrants from Israel. This is the very same Glazyev who has been prone to label Ukrainians as Nazis. Nordstream 2 update, and several interesting digests and articles on Russia’s ongoing descent. Two reports on the massive fraud that led to the Druzhba pipeline contamination. Russia agrees to Polish inspection of presidential jet wreckage. SSJ-100 reports.

In Ukraine, Adm Kabanenko chastises Ze’s spokesman Aparshin. NSDC 2IC Kryvonos on Russian IW. Amb Volker comments and interview – he states the US will send a high level delegation to the inauguration. IR update, Crimea update – notable comments by fmr Pres Kravchuk. USIP essay on Ukraine.

Donbas update – it appears Surkov will remain in charge. Israel discussing co-production of RPVs with Ukraine. DE on the Su-24MR FENCER E upgrade.

Many reports on this year’s V-E commemorations in Ukraine, statements by Pres Poroshenko and Pres-elect Zelenskiy, and many barbs for Muscovy to chew on. Politics update – inauguration may be delayed.

Finally, ROC update, both very interesting reports – what in Russia isn’t a fake these days?


Raytheon announces development of advanced version of Tomahawk cruise missile – Defence Blog

Tomahawk missile maker Raytheon Co on Monday announced plans to develop a new variant of Tomahawk cruise missile. Raytheon Co. announced on its Twitter account that: “We are working with the U.S. Navy on a new seeker that would enable the Tomahawk cruise missile to strike moving targets at sea.” Currently, the Tomahawk cruise missile can be launched from a ship or submarine and can fly into heavily defended airspace more than 1,000 miles away to conduct precise strikes on high-value targets with minimal collateral damage. U.S. and allied militaries have used the highly accurate, GPS-enabled precision weapon more than 2,300 times in combat, and flight-tested it 550 times. In April 2018, U.S. Navy warships and submarines launched 66 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Syrian chemical weapon facilities. A year prior, 59 Tomahawk missiles hit a Syrian airfield where a chemical attack was launched. A U.S. Navy destroyer fired five Tomahawk missiles into Yemen in 2016 to take out a coastal defense cruise missile site that had been targeting merchant and warships in the Gulf of Aden. As the battlespace and needs of the warfighter evolve, Raytheon is planning to create new seeker for Tomahawk cruise missile that will hit moving targets at sea, in darkness and all kinds of weather.

UAWire – Russia to monitor entire planet with radar surveillance system

In 2019 Russia will finish establishing the Liana radar surveillance system, which will give it coverage of the entire planet, the Russian Defense Ministry told Izvestia. According to Russian media, two Pion-NKS satellites are scheduled to be launched into orbit before January 1, 2020. In conjunction with a pair of Lotos-s satellites, they will reportedly enable “the Russian General Staff to observe even small objects throughout the world”. With its satellites orbiting at an altitude of 100 km, the Liana system will be capable of “observing objects the size of a car and, if necessary, guiding precision weapons to it”. The Liana system is based on the Legenda (Legend) Soviet-era satellite targeting system, whose satellites were placed in an orbit at an altitude of 25 km. “In recent years, the line between civilian and military satellites has become increasingly blurred. For example, even a normal satellite can provide an army connection on closed channels. But radar surveillance is such a specific field that only a military satellite can handle this task. In the civilian sector such technologies have started to be developed only recently – for example, to monitor street traffic,” observed Ivan Moiseyev, scientific director at Russia’s Space Policy Institute. The US has three Lacrosse radar reconnaissance satellites that are similar to the Liana system. In April it was reported that the European company Thales Alenia Space France had finished building the most powerful Russian communications satellite, the Yamal-601. In April 2018, it was reported that nearly 40% of the components for GLONASS, Russia’s satellite navigation system that serves as an alternative to GPS, are not produced by Russia.

Russian fighter jet made a dangerous pass ahead of U.S. MQ-9 Reaper aircraft – Defence Blog

An Instagram account claiming to be of a Russian pilot posted a video showed a dangerous pass ahead of a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft flying above Syria. The video appears to show a Russian fighter jet (probably Su-30SM) in flight turning in front of the remotely piloted aircraft. It should be noted that MQ-9 Reaper is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that has turboprop engine. Russian fighter can produce “jetwash” or wake turbulence that that poses a serious risk to nearby aircraft and especially for remotely piloted aircraft. The MQ-9 aircraft operates from standard U.S. airfields with clear line-of-sight to the ground data terminal antenna, which provides line-of-sight communications for takeoff and landing. The PPSL provides over-the-horizon communications for the aircraft and sensors. The remotely piloted aircraft can be disassembled and loaded into a single container for deployment worldwide. The entire system can be transported in the C-130 Hercules, or larger aircraft. The primary concept of operations, remote split operations, employs a launch-and-recovery ground control station for take-off and landing operations at the forward operating location, while the crew based in continental United States executes command and control of the remainder of the mission via beyond-line-of-sight links. Remote split operations result in a smaller number of personnel deployed to a forward location, consolidate control of the different flights in one location, and as such, simplify command and control functions as well as the logistical supply challenges for the weapons system. During the warfare in Syria, several such aircraft were lost.

End Of WWII Commemorated By Victory Parade In Moscow’s Red Square

Russia is commemorating the 74th anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany with a major military parade in Moscow’s Red Square on May 9.

Massive Moscow March Marks 1945 Victory

Hundreds of thousands marched through Moscow on May 9 with portraits of relatives who fought in World War II, as Russia commemorated the defeat of Nazi Germany. Russian President Vladimir Putin also took part in the massive Immortal Regiment march, holding a portrait of his father, who was wounded in the war. Critics accuse the Kremlin of hijacking the marches, which emerged several years ago as a grassroots movement, and turning them into a nationalist event.

Putin adds Kyiv to list of ‘Russian old capitals’

President of Russian Federation Volodymyr Putin named Kyiv in the list of ‘one of the Russian capitals’. He stated this during delivering his speech on congratulations on Day of victory over Nazism on May 9, as TASS reported. “The victory won by the courage of the participants of the defense of the old Russian capitals – Kyiv and Novgorod Veliky, by the fearlessness of the defenders of Smolensk, Odesa, Sevastopol, and by the resistance of the inhabitants of Leningrad during the blockade,” Putin said. According to the Russian President, the feat of veterans from different countries cannot be divided. “Today, we can observe how a number of states deliberately distort the events of the war, how they commemorate those who, forgetting the honor and human dignity, served the Nazis, shamelessly lying to their children, betraying their ancestors,” Putin added. He assured that the Russian Federation will continue to develop its defense potential, but it will remain open to cooperation with other countries in the fight against terrorism, extremism, and neo-Nazism.

Putin vows to strengthen Russia’s armed forces against ‘Nazi’ enemies | World | The Times

Vladimir Putin promised to build up Russia’s armed forces during the country’s annual Victory Day parade as he claimed that foreign states were making heroes of Nazi collaborators. Speaking in Red Square today, he said that “every year we feel more sharply the moral power of that unparalleled victory” over Germany in the Second World War. Soldiers marched with a goose-step across the cobbles in front of the Kremlin, followed by columns of tanks and missile launchers. Mr Putin said that Russia would “do everything necessary to ensure the greatest combat effectiveness of our armed forces, and to ensure defence potential at the highest contemporary level”, as well as “reinforcing the prestige of military service”.

Israel slams Putin adviser for claim Ukraine to move Jews into ‘cleansed’ area | The Times of Israel

Israel on Tuesday criticized an article authored by a close adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, which claimed that Ukraine’s president may want to move Israeli Jews into parts of his country, as “conspiratorial and anti-Semitic.” Jerusalem was “puzzled” by Sergey Glazyev’s article, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon told The Times of Israel. “The conspiratorial and anti-Semitic style of his words is inappropriate and does not reflect the positive nature of Russia’s relations with Israel,” Nahshon added. In the lengthy article posted on the nationalist blog Zavtra (Tomorrow) and on his personal website, Glazyev describes new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is Jewish, as a puppet of the US administration, which is doing the bidding of the Israeli right. “I don’t rule out, for example, the possibility of a mass movement into southeast Ukrainian land ‘cleansed’ of the Russian population by the inhabitants of the Promised Land tired of permanent war in the Middle East,” Glazyev wrote. Glazyev, who was born to a Russian father and a Ukrainian mother in an area of the Soviet Union that today is part of Ukraine, is one of Putin’s closest economic advisers. He is a former legislator and unsuccessfully ran for president in 2004. Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesperson, said Tuesday that Glazyev was expressing his “personal opinion” that may be “incorrect,” stressing that the president had nothing to do with. Later that day, Glazyev said his statement did not refer to Jews only but to all residents of the area, including Palestinians, Syrians, Lebanese and Jordanians, all of whom live in volatile areas. His article appeared on the same day that Zelensky met with Ukrainian Chabad rabbis.

U.S. and UK jointly oppose Nord Stream 2

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States will not allow Moscow to use energy as a lever of pressure on Europe and, together with Britain, will try to prevent further expansion of the Nord Stream-2 project. This is reported by Voice of America. “After using chemical weapons in Salisbury, we, along with our other allies, fought back, we punished Russia with sanctions. We wanted the world to know that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable, and our countries that value the rule of law will not tolerate this”, said Pompeo. During a lecture given by the Secretary of State at the Center for Political Science at Lancaster House, Mike Pompeo said that London and Washington considered the construction of the Russian Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline “to use energy as a lever of pressure on Europe.” He stressed that the United States and Great Britain “should not allow this to happen.” The head of the State Department called on the British allies “for close cooperation in this direction.” Pompeo arrived in London today to discuss with Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt and Prime Minister Teresa May the development of ties between the United States and Great Britain after the kingdom left the European Union. U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell has resumed sanctions threats against German companies that are participating in the construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline across the bottom of the Baltic Sea. FOCUS reported that. “From the American point of view, the gas pipeline will provide not only gas, but also an increased risk of sanctions,” Grenell said. He warned that European countries would become dependent on Russia because of the pipeline. Among the German companies participating in the Nord Stream-2 project are the Uniper energy group and the oil and gas producer Wintershall Dea. It is not the first time that Grenell has publicly demonstrated the position of the United States regarding the Nord Stream-2. In January, he even sent a letter to a number of German companies, in which he declared “a significant risk of sanctions” in connection with the implementation of the gas pipeline project.

Russia Expels Two Swedish Diplomats In Retaliatory Measure

Sweden’s Foreign Ministry says two of its diplomats have been expelled from Russia following a move by Stockholm to deny visas to two of Moscow’s envoys.

Montenegrin court convicts all 14 defendants for plotting pro-Russia coup – media – news world | UNIAN

Montenegro’s High Court has convicted a group of 14 Russians, Serbs, and Montenegrins on terrorism charges and creating a criminal organization as part of an October 2016 attempted coup aimed at derailing the country’s NATO membership bid. Montenegro’s High Court found that the group had plotted to occupy the country’s parliament during the 2016 parliamentary elections, assassinate then-Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, and install a pro-Russian leadership.

Russian government sets five-year plan for center that would control an isolated RuNet — Meduza

The Russian government has approved regulations that allocate funds from its budget to create and operate a Monitoring and Direction Center for Public Online Networks. This Monitoring Center would be responsible for the operation of the Russian Internet were it to be isolated in case of an external threat. A budget of 1.8 billion rubles ($27.6 million) over the next three years has been proposed for the creation of the center. The new regulations will enable the center to rely primarily on contract labor until 2022, with contractors completing 95 percent of all tasks related to developing software and hardware for the center. The center itself is set to include no more than 70 employees whose average salary will not exceed the average salary in Moscow.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia, a Fake Democracy, Rapidly Becoming an Even More Fake Federation, Inozemtsev Says

Paul Goble Staunton, May 8 – According to the 1993 Constitution, Russia is both a democracy and a federal state, but most people have long recognized that it is not a democracy – and it is no longer a federation either but rather an ever more highly centralized imperial state, according to Russian economist Vladislav Inozemtsev. That makes all the talk in Moscow about “’a new wave of regional elections’” provoked by Vladimir Putin’s replacement of numerous governors absurd. “There are no elections in empires: they appear only after such states fall apart and then not everywhere and not immediately either (t.me/kremlebezBashennik/6894). “Russian democracy has long been considered in the world as fake – and there exists every reason for that (in contrast to many of our neighbors, since 1990, a democratic change of the power group in Russia has not occurred even once). However no less important is another issue: the issue of the fake character of Russian Federalism.” “For the country to be considered a federation, it is quite insufficient to send to Buryatia a Buryat and to Bashkiria a Bashkir,” Inozemtsev says. “The mark of a federation is self-administration of territories and their chance to exert a significant influence on the federal center.” If those things don’t obtain, he continues, then “the state is unitary; and if to this is added a powerful center with a dominating ethnos surrounded by a multi-national periphery, then this, forgive me, is an empire.” From its very beginning, the Putin regime was driven by a desire to maximize the imperial elements of the Russian state. Among its early steps were the creation of federal districts and the appointment of officials from the center to head them in 2000 and then the elimination of elected governors in 2004. But Inozemtsev says, even that early Putin system was less unitary and imperial than it has become in recent years. The Kremlin now ignored the terms of governors and appoints or fires them with “kaleidoscopic speed,” something that makes a complete mockery of the idea that Russia is or under Putin is ever likely to become a federal state.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: After Much Controversy, Stalin Statue Goes Up on KPRF Property in Novosibirsk

Paul Goble Staunton, May 8 – After many years of controversy, a bust of Stalin has been erected in Novosibirsk but not in the prominent place his backers wanted but rather on land belonging to the local organization of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, a compromise often made in Russia today but one that is tilting toward Stalin and the KPRF. Stalin’s supporters began pushing for a monument to him two years ago, but they faced opposition from the population which launched a petition drive against the idea and organized protests and from within the city administration which feared that the statue would attract vandals and lead to controversy (sibreal.org/a/29928271.htmland news.ngs.ru/more/66081385/). But now by majority vote in city agencies and in an experts commission, the city has agreed to the erection of a statue but only on land owned by the KPRF, which presumably would be responsible for dealing with any acts of vandalism directed against it, thus getting the city off the hook (/kprfnsk.ru/inform/press_office/35933/). When the Stalin bust is dedicated tomorrow, it will add to the number of statues there – one was pulled from a dump and put back up earlier in Novosibirsk in a more prominent place (newsru.com/russia/08may2019/stalin_open.html) – and elsewhere. Three, for example, have gone up in Stavropol Kray in recent months as well (kprf.ru/party-live/regnews/184887.html). Not everyone is pleased by this development. Aleksandr Rudnitsky, head of the Memorial office in Novosibirsk, says that putting up any monument to Stalin “mocks the memory of the millions of victims of Stalin’s terror and of the people whose fates were crippled as a result.” The Memorial activist points out that surely such statues are a violation of local ordinances: Novosibirsk prohibits putting up any memorials which offend human dignity and public morality. Stalin certainly fits into that category, Rudnitsky suggests.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Number of Births in Russia Falls by 9.1 Percent Over Last Year, Accelerating Overall Demographic Decline

Paul Goble Staunton, May 8 – The number of births in Russia fell from 390,200 in the first quarter of 2018 to 355,200 in the first three months of this year, a 9.1 percent decline; and the falloff was across the board: in all but three federal subjects – Moscow city, Magadan Oblast and Karachayevo-Cherkessia, the number of newborns either fell or remained constant. The biggest declines were in Moscow Oblast, Oryol Oblast, Krasnodar Kray, the Chukchi Autonomous District, and Amur Oblast, all of which saw declines of more than 15 percent and all but the Chukchi AD are overwhelmingly ethnic Russian. The three with gains increased only two percent (Karachayevo-Cherkessia) to 5.1 percent (Moscow city). Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova released these figures at a meeting of the Presidential Council on Strategic Development and Priority Projects (rbc.ru/economics/08/05/2019/5cd2d5399a79475a79899e11?from=from_main). She did have some good news: infant mortality fell by 15.7 percent to a historic low of 4.3 deaths per 1,000 live births, a figure that the authorities had projected to be achieved only in 2024. But that wasn’t enough to stem the decline in Russia’s population, which fell in the first quarter of 2019 by 106,700, far more than the fall of 87,300 in the first three months of last year. Immigration did little to compensate for this domestic decline, and the overall population fell in the course of 2018 by 99,700 to 146,780,720, including occupied Crimea and Stavropol. Golikova said that officials expect that “the negative trend f natural loss of population will begin to change in 2023-2024.”

30 Years On, Film Exposes Russia’s Divisions on Afghanistan

This year, Russia marks 30 years since Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan. The nine-year long military campaign that claimed the lives of nearly 15 thousand Soviet servicemen even today is the subject of a heated debate in Russian society. The upcoming release on May 10th of Russian director Pavel Lungin’s Leaving Afghanistan, a film on events the end of the Soviet-Afghan War, are adding to the controversy. VOA’s Igor Tsikhanenka in Moscow reports.

EU East StratCom Task Force: The Half-Truth, a Little of the Truth and a Lot of Stuff Besides the Truth – To Inform is to Influence

Share Tweet Forward 9 May 2019 *TRENDS OF THE WEEK* The Half-Truth, a Little of the Truth and a Lot of Stuff Besides the Truth Sometimes facts can be disinformation. Taken out of context, a quote, a number, a statement or a picture can be deceiving, while factually correct. Lies work more effectively, when they…

UAWire – Russian investigation: Oil contamination incident resulted from multi-million dollar theft

On Tuesday Russia’s Investigative Committee released the first results of its investigation into the incident where the contamination of Russian oil led to the temporary suspension of oil transit through the Druzhba pipeline, which accounts for around 20% of the country’s oil exports. According to the investigation, the oil with organic chlorine compounds capable of “eating” pipes and refinery equipment ended up in Transneft’s system as the result of an embezzlement scheme. The six suspects, which include Nefteperevalka CEO Svetlana Balabay, her deputy Rustam Khusnutdinov, Petroneft Aktiv CEO Vladimir Zhogolev and Magistral deputy director Sergey Balandin, are believed to have repeatedly stolen oil between August 2018 and April 2019. In order to cover up their theft, the criminal group replaced the stolen oil with a blend that did not meet GOST standards through the node in Nikolayevka. From there, the oil with high chlorine content ended up in a reservoir in Lopatino, and then in the main pipeline. As a result, eight of the reservoirs in Lopatino were damaged to the point where they cannot be used. Four of the suspects have been arrested and the other two have been placed on the wanted list. They have been charged with theft, damage to an oil pipeline, and involvement in a criminal association. The investigation is still underway and is being overseen by the Federal Security Service offices in the Samara province. The transit of proper quality Russian oil through the Druzhba pipeline is expected to return to normal in the second half of May, once all three pipelines have been cleaned, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak announced on Tuesday during a session of parliament. He clarified that clean Russian export oil will reach the Ust-Luga port on the Baltic Sea by 8 May, and that oil transit to the Ukrainian station in Brody resumed on 6 May. “This is a bad incident, which to some extent undermines trust in how the system works,” remarked Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. In order to prevent a repeat occurence, the Ministry of Energy proposes to take samples every day (instead of every 10 days) and to increase the fines to 2% of a company’s turnover (instead of the present 300,000 ruble fine), Novak noted.

Who contaminated the petroleum supply in the Druzhba pipeline and caused Russian oil exports to be unusable for weeks? ‘Meduza’ investigates. — Meduza

On May 7, a court in the Russian city of Samara ordered four suspects in the contamination of the Druzhba oil pipeline to be jailed for two months. The transport of petroleum through Druzhba for export out of Russia was practically brought to a halt on April 20 due to a large batch that was contaminated with organic chloride compounds. Russia’s losses are estimated at half a billion dollars, and energy companies have been asked to decrease their petroleum production by 10 percent until May 7. The head of Transneft, the state-owned monopoly in charge of the Russian portion of the pipeline, told Vladimir Putin that the contamination was a result of “diversion”: in other words, that a private company in Samara Oblast intentionally transferred contaminated petroleum into the pipeline. Meduza learned that Transneft itself evidently allowed a situation to take shape in which unknown manufacturers have been able to add petroleum to Druzhba by the cistern. Since the end of 2018, one junction in the pipeline system has been entirely uncontrolled because its previous owner was largely bought out by Absolut Bank, which divided the property among multiple nominal owners. Those owners were ultimately the ones who landed in a pretrial detention center in the contamination case.

Russia To Allow Polish Investigators To Examine Debris From 2010 Plane Crash

Russia said it would allow Polish investigators to examine the wreckage of a Polish plane that crashed in 2010, an incident that killed Poland’s then-President Lech Kaczynski and 95 other people.

Aeroflot Cancels, Delays Some Superjet Flights In Wake Of Deadly Plane Crash

Aeroflot has canceled or delayed more than a half-dozen flights that used the Sukhoi Superjet, days after 41 people were killed in a crash-landing at a Moscow airport.

Crashed Russian plane communication transcript leaks: ‘The plane is burning in lightning’ – ABC News

Russian media published a transcript of audio between the pilot of the Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet 100, which burst into flames in Moscow, and controllers.

Plane Crash Survivor: ‘I Was the Last to Walk Out. No one Else Followed’

Oleg Malchanov, who survived the Moscow jetliner crash on Sunday, said he could see the plane windows melting before his eyes.

Kabanenko replied to Aparshin on the restoration of the Navy

Admiral Igor Kabanenko replied to the theses voiced by Ivan Aparshin, an adviser on military issues of Vladimir Zelensky, concerning the refusal of the rapid restoration of the domestic navy. Recall that Ivan Appashin, Colonel of the Reserve (62 years old, served in the armed forces of 1977-2008), stated in particular: “… we are not able to withstand Russia today. And I would not want our huge experts here to demand that the new president immediately restore the Naval Force “, meaning the Azov Sea and the coast. Aparshin “And I would not have our huge experts here demand that the new president immediately restore the Naval Force. They started building two new bases there, why are you doing this? Do you think that if you are there on the seafront, then you will build those bases and you stop it from aggression? Igor Kabanenko, Admiral of the reserve (58 years old, in the Armed Forces until 2013), former Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine (2014), First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (2012-1013), on the proposal, Aparshina responded with a comment on Facebook: Kabanenko “As to the statement about the Naval Forces in the interview (from 12.44 to 12.56 min): 1. The Sovereign Marine Aquatorium of Ukraine is an exclusive maritime economic zone, areas of maritime business and sea transport corridors. This is what nourishes the so-called Blue Economy – a huge advantage of the development of any country that owns the sea and reliably protects this possession. 2. Marine States spend enormous resources on their own Navy to protect sovereign rights at sea, because it is worth it. At the same time, coastal countries are beginning to understand the benefits of the sea when they lose it. 3. During the war, though unpublished, an open flank is always a weak flank, especially at sea. No Navy has no sea victories – only losses. 4. There are no examples of successful anti-missile operations at sea on the ground, based solely on the coastal land-based grouping of the land by the Coast Guard. Moreover, all successful amphibious operations preceded the achievement of domination at sea. That is, from the coast, sea problems will never be solved – reliable protection against aggression from the sea requires reliable IMS. 5. Ukraine is able to construct, in the first place with the help of partners, a group of deterrence and response forces on the Azov and the Black Sea in the short historical times. But, you can not waste time and resources further. That is, it is necessary to require the newly-elected President to begin the restoration of the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in an uncertain manner – the formation of a package of appropriate capacities for asymmetric containment / adequate response to threats from the sea. Priorities are high-speed naval platforms. Marine aviation and search and rescue is also in the trend. But, first of all – these are highly maneuverable combat platforms. Again, historical experience: if the country has no Navy, it has no sea. There is no sea – there are no coastal areas. There are no coastal territories – there is no maritime state …

Armed Forces ready to resist Russia’s attempts to worsen situation in eastern Ukraine – Deputy NSDC secretary

The Armed Forces of Ukraine is ready to resist Russia’s attempts to worsen the situation in eastern Ukraine, Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Serhiy Kryvonos has said. “The Ukrainian Armed Forces is ready to resist. It has great experience, it has a fairly high level of both professionalism and patriotism and is able to fight back Russia’s attempts to worsen the situation inside the country,” Kryvonos said on Wednesday on Voice of America TV, responding to the question whether the Ukrainian Armed Forces is ready for a possible deterioration of the situation in the east of Ukraine before the parliamentary elections. Kryvonos also said that the object of an information attack from the Russian Federation is the population of Ukraine. “We are considering… issues about overcoming the active information attack by the Russian Federation on the population of Ukraine. And the main task of the information attack is to deteriorate the situation in the country with the hands and brains of the Ukrainians themselves. And every Ukrainian should clearly understand this,” Kryvonos said. The deputy secretary of NSDC also did not rule out the possible interference of the Russian Federation in the work of the energy system of Ukraine with the help of cyber attacks. “We are still in the state when our energy dependence on Russia still exists and Russia can influence it,” Kryvonos said. According to him, measures have been developed that will significantly minimize these risks. “Certain steps have been developed that, when implemented by the new leadership, the new team can significantly reduce these attempts. Let’s hope that the selection of people for the team of the new president will be professional,” the deputy secretary of NSDC said.

Kurt Volker on Twitter: “U.S. cannot and will not negotiate away rights of Ukrainian people.  Only Ukrainians can decide their future, and they have made clear they want their sovereignty, their territory, and to be part of Euro-Atlantic structures.   They have full U.S. support.”

Volker: High-level US delegation to attend inauguration of Zelensky

High-level US delegation to attend the inauguration of newly elected President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky as Ukraine ranks among the friends of the United States. — Ukrinform.

U.S. delegation of high level to arrive at Zelensky’s inauguration, – Volker

The delegation of the high level will arrive at the inauguration of the newly elected president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky. The special representative of the U.S. State Department on Ukraine Kurt Volker stated this in the interview to the Russian BBC. “The delegation of the high level will visit the president’s inauguration in Kyiv, Ukraine. We are waiting for the announcement of the accurate date and then we will choose the accurate members of the delegation. At those days I will try to meet with him in order to discuss the Donbas conflict and the steps, which could be implemented in order to bring peace to these territories again,” Volker stated. Besides, Volker added that it will be “the highest level of delegates, which suits the status of the inauguration of the head of state, which is the friend to the USA. Earlier, the Verkhovna Rada registered the bill on holding the solemn session devoted to the President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky making an oath on May 19, 2019. The document was passed to the review of the parliament’s authorities.

US Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker: “Living poorly in Russia is not what the residents of Donbass dream of” | BBC

In the next month, a new president, Vladimir Zelensky, will take office in Ukraine. One of the main problems that he will have to tackle is the settlement of the conflict in the Donbas. Zelensky advocated the expansion of the “Norman format”, and members of his headquarters spoke about the possibility of calling the United States and the United Kingdom there. And although the next date for the meeting of the Norman Quartet has not yet been announced, and the United States is not determined to be able to participate in it, Washington, like Moscow, is trying to assess the chances of Ukraine’s future leadership in peace negotiations. We talked to US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Walker about how the US perceives the new president of Ukraine, how he sees the future of the peace talks under him and whether the US is preparing new sanctions against Russia. BBC: Acting President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko lost the election and leaves. Who is Mr. Zelensky? KV: I think we will find out with time. It is important that Zelensky is the one whom Ukrainians have chosen as their president. The elections were truly democratic, the Ukrainians had the opportunity to vote not only for the incumbent president, they had the opportunity to speak out for speeding up reforms, for changes in the country, for peace. They have made their choice, and I think we should treat it with respect. BBC: Was this choice a shock for you or at least a surprise? KV: Not really. I closely followed public opinion polls. Vladimir Zelensky enjoyed great support both before the first and before the second round. So this is not a surprise. BBC: How independent is he? The media wrote that he was behind the Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky. What do you think? KV: I don’t know a single democratic state in the world where politicians would not have patrons, sponsors, supporters, political parties. But the main thing is still a politician, a candidate who is ultimately elected. It is he who makes the final decisions. We will see how it will be in the case of Mr. Zelensky. He has not even taken office. After the inauguration, he will have powers, albeit limited (Ukraine – parliamentary-presidential republic – approx. BBC), and we will see how he uses them. The minimum that we can do is allow it and the Ukrainian people to move together towards the further development of democracy. Zelensky vs Putin: what happened after the elections in Ukraine When is Zelensky’s inauguration and will he be able to dissolve the Rada? Ukraine may deprive the pensions received passports of Russia BBC: Soon Zelensky will be inaugurated soon. When will you meet him? KV: I met him in February during the election campaign. At the inauguration of the President of Ukraine, a high-level delegation from the United States will arrive in Kiev. We expect when the exact date will be determined, and then we will determine its composition. Around those days, I will try to meet with him to discuss the conflict in the Donbas and the steps that could be taken to bring peace and peace back to this land. BBC : Who will directly enter the US delegation for the inauguration? KV: So far it has not been announced, but it will be the highest level of representation that will correspond to the inauguration status of the head of state who is among our friends. New approach to Donbass BBC: Mr. Zelensky has already announced that he intends to find a new approach to the problem of Donbass, and that he will seek the exchange of prisoners on the principle of all for all. Do you think these plans are feasible and, if so, how soon? KV: That would be awesome. This is the step that Ukraine has consistently proposed under President Poroshenko. The Russian side never wanted to carry out a full exchange of prisoners. For their part, there have always been a lot of formalities that were in reality impossible. The last major exchange of prisoners occurred about a year and a half ago. I think that from the Russian side it would be a good gesture to release the Ukrainian sailors detained in international waters in the Kerch Strait (Russia insists that the Ukrainian ships were in its internal waters – BBC comment) in November 2018. Then a contractual exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and Russia could follow. I think that would be a great idea. There are a number of proposals, in particular, a prolonged cease-fire, which would have lasted longer than anything that had existed until now. Further withdrawal of heavy weapons would also be a very good step. Another step forward would be to ensure a truly safe passage to several existing checkpoints across the demarcation line. And much more that was discussed earlier, but never performed. Perhaps now there is a chance to return to this. BBC: President Putin signed a decree simplifying the acquisition of Russian citizenship for residents of the self-proclaimed DNR and LNR. Is Washington considering the possibility of imposing new sanctions as an answer to this? KV: We are concerned and see it as a provocation, which is precisely contrary to the plan for the reintegration of these territories back to Ukraine, as stated in the Minsk agreements. It is necessary to talk about the implementation of these agreements. I think President Zelensky made it clear. Obviously, life is poor in Russia – there are not too many people in the Donbass who exactly represent paradise to themselves. And so I do not think that we should expect a mass resettlement of people from Ukraine to Russia. Zelensky reacted very calmly and with humor. And I hope that this will cool this problem so that we can return to talking about the actual implementation of agreements that are already in place and which will require the withdrawal of foreign forces, disarming illegal formations and taking steps to cease fire, such as withdrawal of heavy weapons, and steps in the political sphere. And all this will subsequently lead to the restoration of an internationally recognized border. BBC: And yet, once again, is the possibility of introducing a new package of sanctions being considered due to President Putin’s decree on the simplified issuance of Russian passports? KV: You know that over the past few years the United States imposed many different sanctions against Russia: because of the annexation of the Crimea, which took place five years ago, because of Russia’s failure to comply with the Minsk agreements regarding Donbass, because of the seizure of Ukrainian sailors in the Kerch Strait, due to the attempted assault on Skripal in Salisbury. I do not exclude anything in the future, but so far no decisions have been made on this issue. “I have seen many like Surkov” BBC: In an interview with BBC about your Russian counterpart at the talks, Vladislav Surkov, you said that he is an intellectual and that he surprised you with his knowledge of heavy metal and in Western culture in general. Are you impressed with him as a person? KV: Surkov is a curious person, thinking about the nature of things, he is a political adviser and consultant in political campaigns, which we also have in the United States. So I have seen such people in many places, and he is a favorable conversationalist. I think that he is also a very reliable interlocutor in the sense that he knows that he does not make decisions about what is happening in the Donbas. And me too. I am not President Trump. I do not make decisions regarding US policy in Ukraine. But I think this is an effective means of communication. So one of the reasons why we have not met with Surkov lately is for a number of reasons that Russia felt that the time was inappropriate and that they could not move on. They very clearly stated that they could not do anything during the presidential campaign in Ukraine. KV: I think that he accurately conveys what he wants to convey, or what his authorities want him to convey; what President Putin wants him to express. I think, he precisely informs that we transfer from our side. This is his task, I think he is quite reliable in this regard. Influence of Russia BBC: Surkov recently published an article about Putinism as the ideology of the future in Russia, about the attractiveness and honesty of the Russian management system, which is of interest to foreigners. He wrote that Russia did not intervene in elections abroad, but was able to change the minds of foreigners. What do you think of it? Do you feel the influence of Russia on your mind? KV: Firstly, there is no doubt that Russia has taken action to influence the democratic processes in the United States and in many other countries. Differently. These could be cyber attacks on electronic electoral systems, as well as through funding, propaganda and disinformation from abroad. I believe that democracies have resisted these attempts. In the case of the United States, I do not believe that these actions somehow influenced the outcome of the 2016 elections. This does not mean that there were no attempts, but it means the strength of American democracy. In some countries of Europe they could have greater success. Surkov announced a course on “Putinism.” What is he driving at? Surkov opened a monument to the “heroes of Donbass” in Rostov to the songs about the motherland Surkov spoke about the pleasure of reading obituaries about himself As for the public administration system, I personally do not see that in Russia it is aimed at the benefit of people. If you look at the economy, income distribution, welfare, security, stability, infrastructure development, health care. I think there is a lot that is missing. I think that an open society that encourages people’s autonomy, expands freedoms, could more effectively fulfill this role — benefit people. BBC: So how about your mind? Has it changed? ChV: No, absolutely not. I watched what was happening in the information sphere, the disinformation campaign, tweets, articles, statements, reports on attempts to interfere in electoral processes, the financing of parties in Europe. But this had no effect on our work. BBC: Is there an agreement to meet with Surkov in the near future, or can it take place only after the elections to the Rada? KV: There is no solution yet. As for the Ukrainian side, President Zelensky noted that he needed a certain time to join the work, for example, the Norman format. Therefore, we do not want to be ahead or step over the head of the elected president of Ukraine. We need to make sure that we are synchronized, and we will also be in touch with Mr. Surkov to decide when it would be reasonable to meet. BBC: Already more than one year from time to time rumors about Surkov’s impending resignation. In this sense, do you treat him as a serious negotiator or a lame duck? KV: I think it is important here to rely on the word of President Putin. He called Vladislav Surkov his representative in these negotiations. We accepted it and we work with it. If something changes, we will be informed about it and we will adjust accordingly. We have no reason to guess. “Medvedchuk’s proximity to Putin causes great concern within Ukraine” BBC: Viktor Medvedchuk, who represents Ukraine in the negotiations, is called Putin’s godfather. How do you see his role? What does he do? KV: The only thing I know, and this is an important area, he was a negotiator between Presidents Putin and Poroshenko at the time when the last exchange of prisoners took place. The release of people and their return home to their loved ones is an important matter. And that’s all. He, apparently, is unusually close to President Putin, and therefore causes great concern within Ukraine as to what interests he represents as a Ukrainian. Therefore, in some ways it is kept at a distance. He is a negotiator who can communicate with President Putin, but not the one whom in Ukraine is necessarily perceived comfortably. Copyright Holder Illustration Sergei Bobylev / TASS Image caption Viktor Medvedchuk was appointed as the representative of Ukraine at the talks in Minsk by President Petro Poroshenko. Zelensky’s campaign headquarters criticized Medvedchuk for inefficiency BBC: It is assumed that Medvedchuk should represent the interests of Ukraine, but at the same time he is close to Putin. You do not find it strange? KV: I do not see why this should be strange. All people are different, each has their own connections, their own goals and in general all their own. BBC: But is there a conflict of interest specifically in the case of Medvedchuk? KV: Just look around, look at any country, you will find people who may have some strong beliefs and they work on them, and others who work somehow else. I think that Ukraine is not a perfect country in the field of the rule of law, but ultimately it is a country of the rule of law, and therefore Medvedchuk is free to have his own views and conduct his activities. “Good with fists” BBC: The Hill’s publication some time ago came out with material in which Ukrainian Prosecutor General Lutsenko said that Ukrainians helped Hillary Clinton’s headquarters during the election campaign against Donald Trump. How do you assess this? KV: Well, I saw these articles, we are talking about a period of time before my work on Ukrainian issues begins. This clearly plays along with a number of political plots inside Ukraine, as well as here in the United States. We are watching these publications, but I have no understanding of what is behind this. BBC: But how do you think this is something serious? Can this topic become important? Q. V .: The context is that here, in the United States, there was an investigation by Muller that lasted for years, included hundreds of interviews, and it could not detect the facts of President Trump’s collusion with Russia. But now there is another movement in our domestic politics: what about the other side, did Hillary Clinton try to find compromising material on Trump? And because of the huge appetite in our media for news on this topic, these circles continue to diverge in the water. BBC: Now, after the publication of the dossier of Special Prosecutor Muller, are the hands of President Trump in respect of Russia untied? He is no longer constrained by the possibility of communication and meetings with Putin, including on the Ukrainian settlement? Or is he still not free? KV: The only thing that prevents the presidents Trump and Putin from improving relations between the countries is Russia itself. Russia violates the treaty on the elimination of medium-range and short-range missiles (PRSMD), sends our diplomats, engages in espionage, attempts at Skripal, annexes the Crimea, continues the war in eastern Ukraine, in Syria, chooses radically opposite approaches to the problem of denuclearization of the DPRK and so on. (Russia denies accusations of violating the INF Treaty, an attempt on Sergei Skripal, annexation of the Crimea, as well as direct participation in hostilities in Ukraine – BBC comment) Much of what Russia is doing is of great concern to the United States. This is a given. We would like our relationship to be better. We would like at least some of these problems to be solved. I would first of all want us to resolve the conflict in the east of Ukraine. But we did not even have such an opportunity, because the positions held by the Russians are too far away. BBC: Well, it’s not a secret that during the Muller investigation, President Trump was very limited in his policy choices. And it, at least, and looked. KV: I doubt very much that President Trump would agree with you. I believe that he has repeatedly demonstrated and declared that good should be with his fists. He always takes a strong position, and we have seen this more than once in the trade negotiations with China or the DPRK. And on the other hand, he is ready for negotiations. We saw it in the Ukrainian direction: we imposed sanctions against Russia, we lifted the embargo on the supply of arms to Ukraine, we help in carrying out reforms, we did not allow the occupation of Donbass by Russia. And at the same time we are ready to discuss with Russia a possible solution to this conflict. And there is already such a solution, Russia has even agreed with him – the Minsk agreements, they just need to be implemented. “Putin wanted to test Zelensky for strength” BBC: There is a version that Putin’s simplification of the procedure for obtaining citizenship for the irreconcilable opponents of Ukraine will allow them to be taken to Russia, and the Donbass reintegrated back. How do you feel about this version? KV: I do not think that this was the initial motive of President Putin. Rather, there was a desire to try to test the strength of President Zelensky. But on the other hand, if it really will be that way and will help to fulfill the Minsk agreements, I do not think that anyone would object. Ultimately, we want the residents of Donbass to live in safety, that the economy is restored there, that they have the opportunity to take care of themselves and their families, that the state provides all the necessary services, and that people return to normal life. BBC: Do you believe this will happen under President Trump and Putin? KV: This can certainly happen, there is no doubt about it. But this will require Russia to withdraw its troops and that the so-called self-proclaimed republics cease to exist so that the normal work of the Ukrainian municipal structures will be restored. Ukrainians have to do their part, which implies respecting the truce, although now it’s difficult for them to do it, because Russia is at the front of the front line; to grant an amnesty to those who committed crimes that are part of this conflict; must pass local elections; and the territories should be given a special status, as stated in the Minsk agreements. I hope we will return to the issue of the UN peacekeeping mission. Because it could become a necessary transit mechanism, allowing to guarantee the implementation of the Minsk agreements from all sides.

Implementation of Minsk agreements by Russia, Ukraine to bring peace in Donbas – Volker

U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker has said that re-integration of areas of Donbas to Ukraine could happen if the Minsk agreements are implemented by Ukraine and Russia, although it is hard for Kyiv to implement all provisions of the agreement due to Russia’s hostilities.

Ex-president of Poland Kwasniewski: Ukraine’s membership in EU is near-term prospect

Ukraine may gain membership in the EU in the near-term prospect but still has to perform its “home task.” — Ukrinform.

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State thanks Poroshenko and his team for cooperation

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent thanked for the efforts made by President Poroshenko and his team to strengthen the U.S.-Ukraine bilateral relationship. — Ukrinform.

Poroshenko, Freeland discuss release of Ukrainian prisoners, passportization in Donbas

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko discussed with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada Chrystia Freeland the situation in Donbas, toughening of sanctions against Russia over passportization of residents of temporarily occupied territories and the release of Ukrainian prisoners. — Ukrinform.

Zelensky, Freeland discuss plans to combat corruption in Ukraine, ways for peaceful settlement of Donbas conflict

President-elect of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has discussed with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, who arrived in the country on Wednesday, plans regarding the fight against corruption and the Minsk format for resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

UAWire – Kyiv: Ukraine will not recognize Russian passports issued to residents of DPR and LPR

Kyiv considers invalid the Russian passports which, according to Putin’s decree, can be issued to residents of a number of south-eastern regions …

UAWire – Congress urges Trump to reinstate Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch

The decision to prematurely recall US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch has been criticized by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which …

UAWire – Secretary of European Council hopes for Russia’s return to PACE before summer session

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, in an interview with AFP, once again criticized the possible withdrawal or …

UAWire – Former Ukrainian President Kravchuk: Ukraine was forced to take Crimea in Soviet times because Russia could not sustain it

The first president of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk, in an interview with the Ukrainian news outlet Apostrof, said that the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), Nikita Khrushchev forced the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic to integrate the Crimea, since Russia “could not sustain it (the Crimea).” “[Nikita Khrushchev] comes to Kyiv, comes to the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine and says: “You must take the Crimea, Russia cannot sustain it, “said Kravchuk. I will stop at this point because they say that they gave us the Crimea. No, we were forced to take the Crimea, and in all these years, it cost the country one hundred and ten billion dollars”. According to the former president, in the future, Russia will again not be able to sustain the Crimea, and the peninsula will return to Ukraine. “Even now I definitely have signals that the situation in Crimea is not so simple. There is no water, said the politician. They want to turn the Crimea into a military base. After all, the Crimea is not a high production place, but a more costly territory and a time when Crimea cannot live without Ukraine may come again. I believe in it”. Leonid Kravchuk added that for Crimea’s return it is necessary for Ukraine to pursue a “correct policy”. “If we carry out reforms at home and Ukraine will begin to live normally, as people live in Europe, without corruption, without such crazy scale of poverty, without war and so on, I am convinced that those people who maintain relations with us will see that Ukraine is a better place than any other. ” In 2017, Nikita Khrushchev’s son, Sergey Khrushchev, announced that the decision to transfer Crimea to Ukraine was made for economic reasons. “When they started dealing with the Crimea’s economy, and most importantly, build that [North-Crimean] channel, which now, unfortunately, was buried, the State Planning Committee said that it would be better to build it under one legal entity, and they transferred it to Ukraine”, said Sergey Khrushchev, stressing that there were no politics involved in this “structural and correct” decision. Until February 19, 1954, Crimea was part of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, after that it was part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. In March 2014, Russia annexed the Crimea. The internationally recognized Ukrainian territory of Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation in March of 2014 in the wake of the Ukrainian revolution. The Kremlin has faced international condemnation for its annexation of the Peninsula, leading many western countries to impose economic sanctions against Russia. In the United Nations, only Afghanistan, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Syria recognize Crimea as a legitimate federal subject of Russia.

UAWire – Russia sends imprisoned Ukrainian sailors for a new medical examination

Russia set a new technical examination for the detained sailors from the ships Berdyansk and Nikopol which were seized in the Kerch Strait, …

Two sailors return to Ukraine from Russian captivity – LB.ua news portal

Two sailors return to Ukraine from Russian captivity. They have the legal status of victims. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

U.S. Institute of Peace on Twitter: “#Ukraine’s election of Volodymyr Zelenskiy demonstrates that the country’s post-independence generation “will not accede to the Kremlin’s dream of restoring a corrupt and compliant Ukrainian satellite state.” https://t.co/cWlSciYJIJ”

William B. Taylor | Ukraine just held a political earthquake. Here’s how to respond. | United States Institute of Peace

In electing a political newcomer as president, Ukrainians have conducted their third revolution in 27 years of independence from Russian rule. Millions filled public squares to demand democratic accountability in the 2004 Orange Revolution and the 2013-14 Euromaidan. But last Sunday, Ukrainians overhauled their government through the ballot box—a consolidation of their maturing democracy. They elected television actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy with 73 percent of the vote, a protest against persistent economic and political corruption and disappointment with lack of progress ending the war in the east of the country. Like any sharp political turn, it raises uncertainties—but the international community should reinforce Ukrainian voters’ demand for truly effective anti-corruption reforms, and for continued –even expanded – pressure to counter Russia’s assaults on Ukraine’s independence.

 

One KIA, four WIA amid 11 enemy attacks in Donbas in past 24 hours – JFO HQ

Russia-occupation forces mounted 11 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas in the past 24 hours, including two attacks using 82mm mortars banned by Minsk agreements, with one Ukrainian soldier reported as killed in action (KIA), and another four as wounded in action (WIA), the press service of the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) reported on Thursday morning.

One Ukrainian serviceman killed, four wounded in Donbas – LB.ua news portal

One Ukrainian serviceman killed, four wounded in Donbas. Separatists carried out 11 attacks. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Russian-led forces violate ceasefire in Donbas 11 times. One Ukrainian soldier killed

On May 8, the armed formations of the Russian Federation violated ceasefire 11 times, using weapons banned under the Minsk agreements twice, in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in eastern Ukraine. — Ukrinform.

One Ukrainian soldier killed, four wounded in Donbas amid 11 enemy attacks in past day – news war | UNIAN

Russia’s hybrid military forces in the past 24 hours mounted 11 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas, with one Ukrainian soldier reported as killed in action, and another four as wounded in action. One occupier was killed and another five were wounded on Wednesday, intelligence reports say.

Ukraine accuses Donbas militants of unilaterally ending ceasefire

Kyiv has accused Russian mercenaries of unilaterally ending the ceasefire on Wednesday, the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) has reported.

DNR starts receiving application for illegal issuance of Russian passportsDNR starts receiving application for illegal issuance of Russian passports

In the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, the occupation authorities began to receive local residents’ applications for Russian passports. The press service of the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the International organizations in Vienna reports this. According to the report, the observers of the Special Monitoring Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE SMM) registered the fact of receiving applications for the passports of the Russian Federation in occupied Donetsk. Moreover, the observers noted the presence of the members of Russian media. “OSCE SMM confirms that Russian occupation authorities started receiving applications for Russian passports in occupied Donetsk. Monitors observed representatives of media present, which corresponds to Russia’s long-established practice of waging propaganda campaigns,” the report said.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Surkov Seen Remaining in Charge of Kremlin Policy on Donbass, Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Paul Goble Staunton, May 8 – After a media boomlet suggesting Mikhail Babich, the recently recalled Russian ambassador to Minsk, would replace Vladislav Surkov as the Kremlin’s point man on the Donbass, Abkhazia and South Ossetia (charter97.org/ru/news/2019/5/8/333386/and iarex.ru/news/66360.html), sources say Surkov will stay where he is (nakanune.ru/articles/115120/). The idea that Babich would replace Surkov began to circulate even before Babich was recalled as ambassador. The argument was, Ivan Zuyev of the Nakanune news agency says, that with the election of Vladimir Zelensky as president of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin wanted to take a tougher line on Kyiv and who better to do that than Babich given his actions in Minsk? The False Bottom telegram channel was one of outlets to make that argument. Another was Aleksandr Zhuchkovsky, the author of 85 Days of Slavyansk, who even suggested that Babich was working in or at least on the Donbass while still at the Russian embassy in the Belarusian capital. But sources near or in the Kremlin have told Nakanune that all this is “fake news” and that there is no truth in it at all, Zuyev continues. He notes, however, that journalist Konstantin Dolgov has added an additional twist: Surkov will remain as assistant to the president and so what his real role will be in the future isn’t clear. Darya Mitina, the former representative of the DNR in Moscow, provides partial support for Dolgov’s line. She points out that the curator over the Donbass republics “does not have official status.” Thus, the allocation of responsibilities within the Russian Presidential Administration may shift even if Surkov remains and Babich arrives. Indeed, she suggests, Zuyev says, that the Kremlin may change these responsibilities without making any announcement; and outsiders won’t know who is really in charge until a long time after the fact. To the extent that is the case, speculation about Babich and Surkov is likely to continue. The Donbass diplomat said that she expects Moscow to make some personnel changes now that the elections in Ukraine are over but that in her view, “they will involve the lower and middle ranks” rather than the top person. There is no basis to expect “global changes,” especially at the top. Moscow hasn’t made a final decision on what it will do next with regard to the DNR and LNR; and until it does, Mitina says, it would be strange to make a significant change at the top, something that might even make it more difficult for the Kremlin to maneuver on this issue in the future.

UAWire – Poroshenko enacts decision of National Security Council on strengthening Ukrainian defense capabilities

President Petro Poroshenko enacted by decree the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine dated May 7, 2019 “on measures …

UAWire – Israel considers joint production of military drones with Ukraine

It is possible that Israel and Ukraine will begin producing remotely piloted aircraft for military use, said the Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine, Joel Lion, as quoted by RBC-Ukraine. “We are in a state of war with another country. Therefore, it has been very hard for us to hold a shield with one hand and build our country with the other. This is know-how that we would like to share with Ukraine. And maybe there are other things apart from drones that we could work on with Ukraine,” Lion said in response to a question posed at the international Jewish conference about the prospects of cooperation between Ukraine and Israel in the field of military production. “In war, not only is military equipment important, but also the spirit of the people. So that when people return from serving in the military, they can readapt back into society. We are working to create a rehabilitation hospital in Dnipro to help rehabilitate soldiers”, Lion added. Previously, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Finance Serhiy Verlanov said that Kyiv intends to increase trade with Israel by 20 percent in the next 3-5 years.

Israel and Ukraine can begin joint production of drone weapons – MILITARY NAVIGATOR

Israeli ambassador to Ukraine Joel Lyon did not rule out the possibility of manufacturing drone weapons Israel and Ukraine can begin joint production of military unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This was announced by the ambassador of Israel to Ukraine Joel Lyon at a Jewish conference, the correspondent of RBC-Ukraine reports.  Answering the question about the prospects of cooperation between Ukraine and Israel in the field of military production, the ambassador did not rule out the possibility of manufacturing drone. “We are in a state of war with another country. Therefore, it is very difficult for us to hold a shield with one hand, and build one another for our country. This is a know-how that we would like to share with Ukraine. But perhaps there is something other than the drone that we could produce together with Ukraine, “said Lyon. The ambassador also said that now Israel is helping Ukraine to establish a rehabilitation hospital for the military in the Dnieper. “In the war, not only military equipment, but also the spirit of people is important. To enable people to adapt again to society when they return from the front. We are working on establishing a rehab hospital in the Dnieper in order to rehabilitate the military, “said Lyon. Recall that Deputy Minister of Finance Sergei Verlanov said that Ukraine expects to increase trade with Israel by 20 percent over the next three to five years.

OVER 2 YEARS IN UKRAINE PLAN TO CREATE A UPGRADED RECON AIRCRAFT WITH A SURVEILLANCE RANGE BEYOND 100 KM (VIDEO) – Defense Express

The State Enterprise “Odessa Aviation Plant”, part of the State Enterprise “Ukroboronprom”, modernizes the Su-24MR reconnaissance aircraft, which has never undergone major modernization since the Soviet era. This became known during a working visit to the enterprise of the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak, Defense Express reports referring to the press service of the Ministry of Defense. News on the topic: AFU received a new MODERNIZED STUROMOVIK SU-25 ” The plant has been working very hard on the development of technical documentation and is now ready to upgrade these aircraft. Upon completion of the modernization, it will be a completely different car – a reconnaissance machine that will enable the Commander of the Air Forces to clearly control the Armed Forces of Ukraine during the conduct of hostilities, will increase their effectiveness, and most importantly , that all the information necessary to make a decision in the course of the battle, the head of the management fighting will be received in online mode “, – said Stepan Poltorak. An upgraded airplane will significantly expand its capabilities and will be able to capture everything that is happening in a hundred-kilometer battle zone. News by topic: MODERNIZED MISCELLANEOUS MIG-29MU2 CAN RISK THE FUTURE PURPOSE OF THE CARRIED AVIAMBES (PHOTOS) ” It was decided to create on the basis of this aircraft (the Su-24MR) a new, reconnaissance aircraft, which would allow more than 100 kilometers from the side inspection station to record the entire front line ,” said the Director General of the Odesa Aviation Plant Vitaly Yuhachov . 190504 Su24MR 1 Corps of modernized reconnaissance aircraft Su-24MR in the shop of the State Enterprise “Odessa Aviation Plant” / Photo: Channel 5 This development is in common with the State Enterprise “Mykolaiv Aircraft Repair Plant” NARP “. Most of the new parts of domestic production (of course, the very foundation is the old Soviet body – note DE). News on the theme: “ORIZON-NAVIGATION” REPRESENTED NAVIGATION EQUIPMENT OF A NEW GENERATION FOR MODERNIZATION OF AFTER AIRCRAFT BOATS (VIDEO) ” The Su-24MR aircraft of the old version is about 3 generations. After that (modernization – note DE) it will become at least 4+ generations. That is, to approach the most advanced reconnaissance aircraft “, said Vitaliy Yukhachev , General Director of the Odesa Aviation Plant . 190504 Su24MR 2 Corps of modernized reconnaissance aircraft Su-24MR in the shop of the State Enterprise “Odessa Aviation Plant” / Photo: Channel 5 Work on a new modernization began about 2 years ago. At present, this is one of the main directions of work of the Ministry of Defense with the plant. Designers plan to submit an updated aircraft in 2 years.

OVER 2 YEARS IN UKRAINE PLAN TO CREATE A UPGRADED RECON AIRCRAFT WITH A SURVEILLANCE RANGE BEYOND 100 KM (VIDEO) – MILITARY NAVIGATOR

The State Enterprise “Odessa Aviation Plant”, part of the State Enterprise “Ukroboronprom”, modernizes the Su-24MR reconnaissance aircraft, which has never undergone major modernization since the Soviet era. This became known during a working visit to the enterprise of the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak, Defense Express reports referring to the press service of the Ministry of Defense. ” The plant has been working very hard on the development of technical documentation and is now ready to upgrade these aircraft. Upon completion of the modernization, it will be a completely different car – a reconnaissance machine that will enable the Commander of the Air Forces to clearly control the Armed Forces of Ukraine during the conduct of hostilities, will increase their effectiveness, and most importantly , that all the information necessary to make a decision in the course of the battle, the head of the management fighting will be received in online mode “, – said Stepan Poltorak. An upgraded airplane will significantly expand its capabilities and will be able to capture everything that is happening in a hundred-kilometer battle zone. ” It was decided to create on the basis of this aircraft (the Su-24MR) a new, reconnaissance aircraft, which would allow more than 100 kilometers from the side inspection station to record the entire front line ,” said the Director General of the Odesa Aviation Plant Vitaly Yuhachov . Fuselage of upgraded reconnaissance aircraft Su-24MR in the shop of the State Enterprise “Odessa Aviation Plant” / Photo: Channel 5 This development is in common with the State Enterprise “Mykolaiv Aircraft Repair Plant” NARP “. Most of the new parts of domestic production (of course, the very foundation is the old Soviet body – note DE). ” The Su-24MR aircraft of the old version is about 3 generations. After that (modernization – note DE) it will become at least 4+ generations. That is, to approach the most advanced reconnaissance aircraft “, said Vitaliy Yukhachev , General Director of the Odesa Aviation Plant . Corps of modernized reconnaissance aircraft Su-24MR in the shop of the State Enterprise “Odessa Aviation Plant” / Photo: Channel 5 Work on a new modernization began about 2 years ago. At present, this is one of the main directions of work of the Ministry of Defense with the plant. Designers plan to submit an updated aircraft in 2 years.

US “Safe Boat 27” vessels delivered to the Ukrainian Border Guard Service | MIL.IN.UA

Ukrainian Border Guard Service received two “Safe Boat 27” cutters under the auspices of the US Embassy to Ukraine reports Ukrainian Military Portal. These

Turkish tanks to be upgunned with Ukrainian Konus missiles | MIL.IN.UA

Representatives of the State Foreign Trade Enterprise “SpetsTechnoExport” and «Makina ve Kimya Endüstrisi Kurumu» (MKEK), Turkey have initialed a contract on

Ukraine marks Day of Victory over Nazism in World War II

May 9, Ukraine marks the Day of Victory over Nazism in World War II. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine marks Day of Victory over Nazism in World War II – news ukraine | UNIAN

On May 9, Ukraine marks the Day of the Victory over Nazism in World War II of 1939-1945. Now, May 9 is celebrated as the Day of Victory over Nazism in World War II, instead of the established Soviet-era Day of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.

About 700 000 people took part in more than 1400 memorial events in Ukraine, – police

More than 1,400 mass events, in which about 700,000 people took part registered in Ukraine today, May 9. This was announced by the Speaker of the National Police Yaroslav Trakalo, reports the press service of the Ministry. “Mass events in the country went smoothly and without gross violations of public order. The most massive ones were in Kyiv, Odesa, Dnipro and Zaporizhya. At the moment, memorable events have ended almost everywhere. Nearly 22,000 law enforcement officers were involved in guarding order. 19,300 policemen and 2,500 servicemen of the National Guard are among them,” the message says. According to Trakalo, the police opened three criminal proceedings under the article “hooliganism”. In the Dnipropetrovsk region offenders stoned buses with people who moved from Krivyi Rih to Dnipro. Then columns of people were poured with red paint.

Zelensky calls for unity on Remembrance and Reconciliation Day – news ukraine | UNIAN

As Ukraine marks Remembrance and Reconciliation Day, established in 2015 by the decree of President Petro Poroshenko on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazism in Europe and the 70th anniversary of the end of the World War 2, President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky, via a Facebook post, made a statement on the need to stay united and honor all those who fought for Ukraine against Nazism. Ukraine honors and bows down before all those who fought against Nazism and died for Ukraine during World War 2, Zelensky stresses.

Zelenskyy: Ukrainians’ contribution to Victory huge, not up to “privatisation” – LB.ua news portal

Zelenskyy: Ukrainians’ contribution to Victory huge, not up to “privatisation”. The president-elect congratulated Ukrainians on Victory Day. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Zelensky: Contribution to victory over Nazism by Ukrainians – enormous

President-elect of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky went to his home town Kryvyi Rih (the Dnipropetrovsk region) on the Victory day over Nazism. There he visited the grave of his grandfather, who served during the Second World War, as the press service of Zelensky reported. “Today, I am near the grave of my grandfather Zelensky Semen Ivanovych. He withstood the whole war, and I will always remember him as one of those heroes, who defended Ukraine from Nazi. Pity, that we recollect veterans so rarely, our grandparents. We should be very grateful to them every day,” Zelensky wrote. The newly elected president pointed out that May 9 today is ‘our Day of Gratitude’. “Gratitude for that they left the inhuman Nazi ideology in the past forever. Gratitude to those, who fought against Nazism – and won. And we should be grateful to everybody for the opportunity just to be born and to live,” Zelesnky added. According to the report, the war touched upon every Ukrainian family, and the contribution to the victory by Ukrainian people is enormous. “Nobody has the right to privatize this victory and to claim that it could have happened without Ukrainians. Let’s remember those, who perished away. Let’s commemorate those, who are still alive, there are only a few of them left. Congratulation on the Day of victory over Nazism! We will live!” President-elect wrote.

Володимир Зеленський

Ivan Aniseevich Zaluzhny. May 10 he will be 101 year old. The captain of the first rank of the Marine Corps of the USSR Navy, a participant in the Second World War. He has been awarded numerous orders and medals. Losing the only grandson – Ivan Gutnik-Zaluzhny during the war on the Donbass. Paraskeva Vasylivna Zelenchuk-Potyak. At the age of 13 he became affiliated with the UPA. Transmitted the information, the prompt, the sweatshirt. Today, on the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation, we honor and worship before all those who fought against Nazism and died for Ukraine during the Second World War. Before everyone who gave his life for peace. The world that Ukraine needs today. Peace, the key to which will be the unity of all Ukrainians. In order for us to unite in the future only victories.

Володимир Зеленський

Today I am at the grave of my grandfather Semyon Ivanovich Zelensky. He went through the whole war and remained forever in my memory one of those heroes who defended Ukraine from the Nazis. It’s a pity that we rarely remember veterans, their grandparents and grandparents. We have to be thankful to them every day. Today – May 9. This is our Thanksgiving Day. Thanks for the fact that the inhuman ideology of Nazism has forever gone into the past. Thanksgiving to those who fought with Nazism – and won. Just thanking everyone – for the opportunity to be born and live. The war has affected every Ukrainian family. The contribution of Ukrainians to victory is enormous. Nobody has the right to privatize this victory, to say that it could have happened without the Ukrainians. We remember those who perished. And we respect those who are still alive, there are very few of them. Happy Victory Day over Nazism! “Let’s live!”

Zelensky: We honor, bow before all those who fought against Nazism, died for Ukraine during World War II

Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky says that on the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation on May 8, Ukrainians honor and bow before all those who fought against Nazism and died for Ukraine during the Second World War. Zelensky posted on Facebook on Wednesday a photograph showing a decorated Second World War veteran wearing medals, USSR Marine Captain Ivan Zaluzhny (who lost his only grandson Ivan Hutnyk-Zaluzhny during the ongoing war in Donbas) and Praskovia Zelenchuk-Potiak, who at age 13 became a liaison for the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, transferring information and provisions. The veterans in the photograph are shown shaking hands in front of Zelensky. The president-elect said Ukrainians honor each person who gave their life for peace. “For peace, which today Ukraine needs. Peace, which the unity of Ukrainians will guarantee. So that in the future only victories would unite us,” Zelensky said.

BBC Monitoring on Twitter: “Ukraine is one of several former Soviet Union countries marking the occasion. Outgoing President Petro Poroshenko yesterday had pointed words for Moscow: “No-one has the right to monopolise the victory over Nazism, and even more so to use it for justifying its imperial policy.”… https://t.co/tN86hF7pCz”

President together with veterans honored memory of the victims on the occasion of the 74th anniversary of the victory over Nazism in the Second World War — Official website of the President of Ukraine

The Head of State together with the veterans and members of the Government laid flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The attendees honored memory of the deceased with a moment of silence.

Poroshenko: descendants of victors over Nazism now defending freedom, civilized choice of Ukrainian people against Russian aggression

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has addressed Ukrainians on the occasion of the Victory Day over Nazism in the Second World War. “Today we are proud to celebrate with all the older people who were destined to go through the deadly fire of the Second World War. The magnificent achievement and sacrifice of the Ukrainian people made a significant and victorious contribution to the defeat of the Nazis and their satellites, rightly recognized by history and the international community,” the head of state said in his official address. He said that it was precisely on the territory of Ukraine that the elite military units of the Nazis were defeated and the further fate of the war and the overall victory of the anti-Hitler coalition were finally decided. Poroshenko said that “the human dimension of the price of this victory is the millions of lives of our countrymen who have not returned from frontlines, concentration camps, hard labor, shot and tortured, died prematurely from wounds, hunger and repression in the postwar years. We remember those who had lost their lives.” “For five years in a row, the descendants of the famous victors over Nazism with arms defend the freedom and civilized choice of the Ukrainian people against Russian aggression. Eastern territories of Ukraine have become an outpost of a peaceful united Europe. I am sure that together with democratic nations we will win in the struggle for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state, we will not allow the repetition of another large-scale war on the European continent,” the head of state said. The president expressed deep gratitude for the great deeds and labor achievements of war veterans, wished them good health, family comfort and well-being. Poroshenko also noted the role of servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military units in the defense of the modern borders of the state. “Thanks to your patriotism and dedication multiplied by nationwide support, the enemy was stopped. A significant part of the native land was liberated. Ukraine is justifiably proud of its heroes. On behalf of the Ukrainian people, I thank you for the strong defense of the country. I wish everyone peace, well-being and new achievements. Congratulations on the Victory Day over Nazism! Glory to Ukraine!” the head of state said.

Poroshenko: Descendants of those who defeated Nazism protect Ukraine from Russia – LB.ua news portal

Poroshenko: Descendants of those who defeated Nazism protect Ukraine from Russia. The president congratulated Ukrainians on Victory Day. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Poroshenko: Ukraine has no intents to privatize common victory of anti-Hitler coalition over Nazism

Unlike Russia, Ukraine is not going to privatize the common victory of the nations of all countries of the anti-Hitler coalition over Nazism, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said. “Unlike Moscow, Ukrainians are not going to privatize the common victim of the nations of all countries of the anti-Hitler coalition. No one has the right to monopolize victory over Nazism, and even more so use it for the apology of its imperial policy. The victory over Nazism 74 years ago is not a reason to lead the disguised “immortal regiments” around the world,” Petro Poroshenko said during the First Minute of Peace action on Wednesday evening in Kyiv. He said that Ukraine distanced itself from the Kremlin’s “demons of the victory”. Over the past five years, we have developed our own scenario, our ritual for celebration of the Victory Day in the Second World War, close to the pan-European tradition.

War lessons give Ukraine grounds for fight against Russian aggression – Poroshenko

The lessons of the Second World War give Ukraine the ground for the fight against the Russian annexation of the Crimea and the occupation of part of Donbas, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said.

Poroshenko: Almost 10 million Ukrainians killed in World War II

65 million people, including up to 10 million Ukrainians, were killed in World War II. — Ukrinform.

Poroshenko, Groysman lay flowers at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Photos, video

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman took part in the ceremony of laying flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Park of Eternal Glory in Kyiv. — Ukrinform.

Hundreds march in Kyiv to commemorate soldiers fallen in Donbas. Photos, video

On May 8, a march to commemorate the defenders of Ukraine, who were killed in hostilities in Donbas, was held in Kyiv. — Ukrinform.

Woman detained during march Immortal Regiment in Kyiv

Olena Berezhna, a mother of Iryna Berezhna, a former MP from the Party of Regions (Yanukovych’s party at his presidency) before the beginning of the action Immortal Regiment was detained in the center of Kyiv. RBK-Ukraine reported this. The woman tried to enter the territory, where the march took place, in a T-shirt of colors of the St. George’s ribbon. The legislation of Ukraine equates it to the symbolism of totalitarian regimes. A public demonstration of such signs involves administrative liability. After a verbal dispute and refusal to stop the offense, Berezhna was arrested by the police.

End of WWII commemorated with First Minute of Peace event – LB.ua news portal

End of WWII commemorated with First Minute of Peace event . “We have distanced ourselves from the Kremlin victory frenzy.” Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Ukrainian state leaders, heads of churches lay flowers at Tomb of Unknown Soldier – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, ministers and heads of churches on May 9 took part in a ceremony honoring the memory of victims on the occasion of the 74th anniversary of the victory over Nazism in World War II of 1939-1945. The participants of the ceremony honored the memory of the victims with a moment of silence.

World Marks 74th Anniversary of V-E Day

Celebrations and solemn remembrances to mark Nazi surrender to the allies, ending World War II in Europe

Michael Shtekel on Twitter: “Shouting “Odesa is a Russian city”… “

Stopping Zelensky. What stands behind dismissal of Constitutional Court chief – news politics | UNIAN

The inauguration of Volodymyr Zelensky may actually not be held on May 19. And the reason may be the dismissal of the Chairman of the Constitutional Court, Stanislav Shevchuk. The Standing Commission on Rules and Ethics of the Constitutional Court found grounds for the move. This is allegedly about “disciplinary misconduct, gross and systematic neglect of duties,” reports said. And it seems that this situation is related to the desire of certain officials to gain control over the elections to the Verkhovna Rada. If Shevchuk s sacked, this will mean that the inauguration of the president-elect will be delayed. After all, it is the head of the CCU (nobody else, only him) shall be there to accept the new president’s oath. In addition, according to the law, the head of the CCU verifies that there are no barriers to the president’s taking office (for example, it is about his possible commercial activity, something the lawyers call incompatibility with position). It is possible that the dismissal of the head of the CCU may take place on May 14, when a special meeting of judges will consider the conclusion of the CCU Standing Commission on Rules and Ethics. But now the situation is gaining political colors. The Bankova has been searching for tools that would delay Zelensky’s inauguration. This is being done to prevent the dissolution of parliament by the new president after his inauguration. However, it is unlikely that Volodymyr Zelensky will be interested in dissolving the Rada ahead of schedule. To secure the victory in parliamentary elections (which is the key task of the ZeTeam), the current parliament is needed as a partner, an ally, not as an opponent, which practically can make it impossible for the president to implement legislative initiatives. And in this regard, Zelensky has major appetite: the return of the Criminal Code article on illegal enrichment, appointments, and so on.

Vice PM Klympush-Tsintsadze: Ukraine may get IMF tranche this year

Ukraine has every chance to fulfil the necessary conditions under the International Monetary Fund Stand-By Arrangement for getting the second tranche, but this requires the interaction of the government, the president and the parliament. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine’s new president to promote “State in smartphone” – news politics | UNIAN

During Volodymyr Zelensky’s meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland in Kyiv Wednesday, May 8, the Ukrainian President-elect said his team sought to create a “State in smartphone.” Team Zelensky will ensure that Ukrainians are in less contact with the bureaucratic machine.

Chargé d’affaires to head U.S. Embassy in Ukraine

Chargé d’affaires will head the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine instead of Marie Yovanovitch, as Josh Rogin wrote in The Washington Post. The columnist had access to the copy of the internal communication of the U.S. State Department. According to him, the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch will leave her post on May 20 without anyone replacing her and without nomination of candidates for the post. “We expect the Department to appoint a long-term Chargé d’Affaires to lead the mission until a new Chief of Mission is nominated and confirmed,” read the notice, which was sent to all mission personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. At the same time, it was added that Joseph Pennington will assume the responsibilities of chargé d’affaires and acting Deputy Head within the transitional period.

Ukraine assures Hungary language law does not limit minorities’ rights

Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasyl Bodnar has assured Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó that the law on the state language adopted by Ukraine’s parliament does not restrict national minorities’ rights.

Drunk Russian passenger subdued, deported after getting aggressive with border guards at Kyiv Airport (Video) – News of Ukraine | UNIAN

Ukrainian border guards at the Zhuliany (I. Sikorsky) Airport in Kyiv have banned a Russian national, 39, entry into the territory of Ukraine for a three-year term after he threw a drunk fit, verbally assaulting immigration officials and behaving threateningly, as reported by the press office of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine. Initially, the man failed to confirm the purpose of his trip, the report notes.

Father’s Day to be officially celebrated in Ukraine

08.05.19 17:49 – Father’s Day to be officially celebrated in Ukraine Father’s Day in Ukraine will be celebrated on the third Sunday of June annually. View news.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Despite Efforts, Russian Orthodox Church hasn’t Gained More Active Members since 1990, New Book Says

Paul Goble Staunton, May 8 – The Moscow Patriarchate likes to claim that 80 percent of the Russian population are Orthodox, but its own figures show that only about three percent attend church once a month or more let alone take part in other aspects of church life, according to a new book by Father Nikolay Yemelyanov, The Harvest is Plentiful but the Laborers are Few. The vice rector of the St. Tikhon Theological Institute devotes his study to why, over the last two decades of relative religious freedom, the church has not been able to increase the percentage of what the Orthodox call “churched” believers and to whether it may be able to do something about that in the future. In an interview published on the Pravoslavie.ru portal, Yemelyanov notes that while the percentage of Russians who identify as Orthodox has risen from 31 percent in 1990 to 68 percent now, the share who attend church at least once a month has risen above two or three percent only in one year (2013) (pravoslavie.ru/121035.html). Identifying oneself as Orthodox in most cases in Russia today, the priest says, “does not have any relationship to religiosity. Instead, people call themselves Orthodox in order to designate their ethnic and civic membership as a Russian and citizen of Russia.” But those who take part in religious life on a regular basis are quite different from those who don’t. They are more often in the villages than in the cities because in the former, the parishes are smaller and the priest has greater opportunities to work with individuals. They know him and he knows them. In the cities that is impossible. But there are not enough priests to keep the size of church communities at the desired level of 200 to 500 parishioners. In Russia, there is only one priest for every 6050 people, far fewer than in Europe or the United States where among Roman Catholics, there is one priest for every 1050 to 2688 nominal believers. It is unrealistic to think that the ROC MP will be able to boost the number of priests by three to five times; and it is important to remember that any increase might be a necessary condition for the growth of real believers but not a sufficient one, given that the number of priests in Russia has increased 500 percent but the share of “churched” Orthodox hasn’t budged. According to Yemelyanov, building new churches is a good thing; but building new congregations is far more important. And he urges as one of the means to do that to attract people from within congregations to train as priests and then be returned to the places from which they come rather than appointing them to somewhere else. He also suggests that it is necessary to enlist parishioners to help attract others to the faith and not leave the burden entirely on the shoulders of the priest as things generally stand now.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russian Christians Must Resist Cult of War, Mitrofanov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, May 8 – Ongoing Russian government efforts to make World War II the central event of Russian history in the 20th century violate the basic norms of Christianity and must be opposed by the church, according to Archpriest Georgy Mitrofanov, a professor of history at the St. Petersburg Spiritual Academy. His argument, made in the influential church journal Pravoslaviye i mir, merits particular attention because in the view of most observers, the Moscow Patriarchate and the church it heads have become little more than handmaidens of the Kremlin on this point (pravmir.ru/pochemu-my-hotim-povtorit-vojnu-protoierej-georgij-mitrofanov-ob-istoricheskom-bespamyatstve/). Mitrofanov says that as a historian and as a priest, he is “deeply convinced” that elevating World War II in the way that the Russian government now is doing is “a completely unacceptable approach. War is anti-natural from all points of view.” It not only kills and maims people during it but changes their attitude toward violence and oppression for all times. “Not one individual who has passed through this experience can be certain what will happen with his soul after the war” because “in war it isn’t glorious achievements that dominate but crimes. The Church does not know the definition of hero … it knows only the call for man to be holy.” Those who try to confuse this situation are undermining the capacity of people to remain human and Christian; and consequently, “to view war as the founding event of our history and life is impossible – we aren’t some wild nomadic horde or tribe of cannibals who survive by constantly fighting and killing someone.” “In our history,” the archpriest says, “there have been events and periods when we didn’t destroy but created; we had a culture and a spiritual life.” Why can’t the state and society point to those as “the most important things in our history?” Especially immoral are slogans like “’We can do this again!’” No one who knows about war either directly or from family members can want that. “I do not want to repeat that. I do not want to experience what my relatives experienced during the war. And this is the position of any normal person.” At the present time, “we lack an adequate understanding of war as sin and unhappiness, and this is really horrific because people who do not understand their own past risk experiencing it again … And it is sad that the Church on this has said practically nothing,” Mitrofanov continues. “One of the most horrific consequences of Soviet times,” the church historian continues, “is the breakdown in historical memory within families. ‘Better for children to know nothing about grandfather and grandmother who were nobility, merchants or priests, lest God forbid something should happen.’” Consequently, Russians lost that most important form of memory and learned about the past only from state-approved messages, and those have become in some respects worse in the last decade than they were even in Soviet times, in large measure because the current generation of Russian leaders has no direct or even indirect experience of war. For them and then for the people their propaganda is directed at, war has been reduced from a human tragedy to “a computer game” and thus become almost acceptable, especially when there is the notion from such games of multiple lives. People are freed from having to think seriously about their mortality. When the elites of the world consisted of people who remembers the war … there was a fear before war. I couldn’t bear Soviet propaganda when I was a child,” Mitrofanov says; “but such irresponsible and flippant attitude toward war [as now being disseminated in Russia] I did not encounter even then.” “Yes, we were prepared for war and attack but there was always the subtext that this would be a misfortune and catastrophe and must not be.” Now that subtext is gone and with it the constraints that existed in the past, the archpriest continues. Mitrofanov says that he does not really understand “why the theme of World War II is viewed as the basic theme of the Russian tragedy of eth 20th century. Our tragedy began with World War I, a conflict that made the revolution and all succeeding misfortunes of our country inevitable, including up to the 1990s, with the Afghan and Chechen wars.” “Now, having entered the 21st century, we of course should remember the 20th as one of the most horrible centuries of Russian history and perhaps the most horrible in terms of the number of victims which we suffered. But to speak about that requires an entirely different tone than the one that has been adopted.” “The theme of war is very important,” the church leader says; “but most important of all is the theme of peace.”

Advertisements