Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (170)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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SECSTATE to meet with the Vozhd. RuMoD on A-100 AWACS – this is modelled on the Indian A-50I AESA system by Elta. Operation Atlantic Resolve and Northern Edge 2019 EXs. Medvedev’s wishful thinking. Khots on Muscovian mirroring, and Savvin on the use of mythology as a substitute for Marx-Leninist ideology in the new-age Soviet lookalike Empire. Five items on WW2 related topics, three of which explain Muscovy’s hypocrisy on WW2 (myth vs fact applies). Six items on GRU / SVR FUBARs – the Russians will not live down the defector Beluga. Turkish S-400 update – claims of bailout and then denials. Lukashenko exploits Russia’s blunder with the contamination of the Druzhba pipeline. Concerns over Orban’s visit to the US.

Giuliani cancels his planned visit to Ukraine and claims “There was a great fear that the new [Ukrainian] president would be surrounded by, literally, enemies of the president [of the United States] who were involved in that and people who are involved with other Democratic operatives”– if his claim were true then his duty would surely be to put his client’s case to Ze, rather than run for cover. Socor, Hurska and Aparshyn on dealing with Russia. IR update, Crimea and Kerch updates.

Donbas update – Russians are forcing all Donbas resident mercs in the proxy force to take Russian passports, while also putting restrictions on movements of the passport holders to Russia. Novaya Gazeta interview with a very bitter 2014 VDV veteran is reverberating in the Russian media – they were sent to Ukraine as “tourists”, promised big bonuses and got stiffed. Butusov reviews Pres Poroshenko’s round of General List promotions and concludes that most were appropriate, and some overdue with many promoted officers serving in acting roles above their rank. Island cutter update.

Ze commits his first major political blunders. In a video address he tries to shame the parliament into agreeing to an early inauguration date that would allow him to call an early election, while the parliament wants an inauguration date after the cutoff for calling an early election, as mostly they are not ready for an early vote. He compounded this by criticising Pres Poroshenko for his recent round of AFU General List promotions, eliciting a very sharp retort from the President’s office. Hromadske interview the new Head of the Anti-Corruption Court, Judge Tanasevych. Economy updates. Some history, and the trailer for the new HBO miniseries on Chernobyl that at least one Ukrainian claims is highly accurate.

OCU update.


Mike Pompeo to meet with Vladimir Putin in Russia next week

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia next week, according to the State Department.

Mike Pompeo to meet with Vladimir Putin in Russia – CNNPolitics

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week as the Trump administration sends mixed messages about the state of relations with Moscow.

UAWire – Kremlin: Putin has no plans to meet Trump in Osaka

Responding to a question from journalists about a possible meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump in Japan, the Press Secretary of the …

Moscow claims new A-100 superior to E-3 Sentry

The Russian defence ministry made the claim in a recent release about the type’s launch of preliminary flight tests pending acceptance by the country’s military. “The A-100 was developed in connection with the advent of new classes of targets and the creation of new generation fighter aircraft,” says the defence ministry. “Its capabilities far exceed both domestic and foreign counterparts, including the [Boeing] E-3 aircraft of the US Air Force.” During an 8 February flight, says state-owned arms company Rostec, the crew assessed several flight and technical parameters, including navigation, airframe stability, and “communications algorithms between the flight crew and ground control station”. Asset Image Rostec The aircraft, which performed its first flight in late 2017, is equipped with an active electronically scanned array radar produced by Russia’s Vega Radio Engineering Corporation. The type has digital flight controls and uses glass cockpit avionics. “On board this aircraft are about 20 tons of unique electronic equipment,” says Anatoly Serdyukov, director of Rostec’s aviation cluster. “The new generation of flying radar combines the most advanced developments in the field of aviation, radar and information technology. Only a few countries in the world produce this kind of aviation equipment, while the level of the newest Russian complex can be considered unsurpassed.” The A-100 is derived from the Ilyushin Il-76-based MD-90A transport. It will replace Moscow’s fleet of Beriev A-50s and the upgraded A-50U; also based on the Il-76. Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that Russia operates 15 Il-76s in the AEW&C role, with these aged between 26 and 35 years. In late December, the Russian air force took delivery of a first upgraded A-50U.

U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcons to take part in joint exercises with Romanian MiG-21 fighters – Defence Blog

U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces has reported that F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft and Airmen assigned to the 301st Fighter Wing, Naval Air Station Joint Base Fort Worth, Texas to take part in joint exercises with Romanian MiG-21 fighters under Operation Atlantic Resolve. F-16C Fighting Falcons, deployed earlier this month to Câmpia Turzii, Romania, as the 457th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, marking the start of Theater Security Package 19.1, a deterrence and partnership-building rotation under Operation Atlantic Resolve. The U.S Airmen are expected to support the mission – also known as “Dacian Viper 19” – from Câmpia Turzii through the end of July. “The Theater Security Package here in Romania has three primary functions,” said Lt. Col. Josh Padgett, 457th EFS commander. “One, we are here to deter any regional aggression; two, we are looking to strengthen our NATO alliances; and three, we want to build relationships with our local hosts here in Romania.” The F-16 aircrews flew their first training sorties over Câmpia Turzii Wednesday. In the coming weeks, collaboration with Romanian Air Force counterparts — who pilot MiG-21 fighters — is expected to intensify with an ongoing battery of tactical scenario drills.

Largest military training exercise hosted by U.S. Pacific Air Forces kicks off in Alaska – Defence Blog

Approximately 10,000 U.S. military personnel will participate in exercise Northern Edge 2019, a joint training exercise hosted by U.S. Pacific Air Forces, scheduled for May 13-24, 2019 on and above central Alaska ranges and the Gulf of Alaska. Northern Edge 2019 is one in a series of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command exercises in 2019 that prepares joint forces to respond to crises in the Indo-Pacific. The exercise is designed to sharpen participants’ tactical combat skills, to improve command, control and communication relationships, and to develop interoperable plans and programs across the joint force. Personnel from U.S. military units stationed in the continental United States and from U.S. installations in the Indo-Pacific will participate with approximately 250 aircraft from all services, and five U.S. Navy ships. For the first time in 10 years, a Pacific Fleet aircraft carrier will be participating in the exercise. Participants will serve as part of a joint task force, which will help enhance multi-service integration and exercise a wide range of joint capabilities. Major participating units include: U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, U.S. Pacific Air Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Marine Corps Forces Pacific, Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, Air Force Materiel Command, U.S. 3rd Fleet, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and U.S. Naval Reserve. Northern Edge 2019 is the largest military training exercise scheduled in Alaska this year with virtual and live participants from all over the United States exercising alongside live players.

U.S. Air Force tested Minuteman III missile twice in a week – Defence Blog

The U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command has announced that for the second time in just over a week, was conducted unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test. A team of Air Force Global Strike Command Airmen from the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile equipped with a test reentry vehicle on May 9, 2019 at 12:40 a.m. Pacific Time from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The test demonstrates the United States’ nuclear deterrent is modern, robust, flexible, ready and appropriately tailored to deter twenty-first century threats and reassure our allies. Test launches are not a response or reaction to world events or regional tensions. The ICBM’s reentry vehicle, which contained a high-fidelity package used for operational testing, traveled approximately 4,200 miles to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. These test launches verify the accuracy and reliability of the ICBM weapon system, providing valuable data to ensure a continued safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent. “These ICBM professionals always make the difficult look easy! This culminates months of effort that began in the missile fields where they removed this hardware from its alert mission, cataloged every piece and part, and shipped it to California for this test,” said Col. Dave Kelley, 576th Flight Test Squadron commander. “This wouldn’t have happened without the tireless efforts of personnel from the 90th Missile Wing, the 576th Flight Test Squadron, the 30th Space Wing and the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center.” F.E. Warren AFB is one of three missile bases with crew members standing alert 24 hours a day, year-round, overseeing the nation’s ICBM alert forces. “The opportunity for a Task Force to execute multiple launches in a week doesn’t happen very often, and this has been a tremendous experience for our team,” said Maj. Travis Hilliard, 90 MW Task Force Commander. “Ultimately, these launches demonstrate America’s capability to deter our adversaries and assure our allies through a safe, secure and effective ICBM force.” The ICBM community, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and U.S. Strategic Command uses data collected from test launches for continuing force development evaluation. The ICBM test launch program demonstrates the operational capability of the Minuteman III and ensures the United States’ ability to maintain a strong, credible nuclear deterrent as a key element of U.S. national security and the security of U.S. allies and partners. The launch calendars are built three to five years in advance, and planning for each individual launch begins six months to a year prior to launch. As a prime systems integrator and original equipment manufacturer, Boeing created, tested and deployed every Minuteman ICBM for the U.S. Air Force – over 1,800 Minuteman-series missiles. This, while beating accelerated schedules to deliver an ICBM that has far exceeded its expected lifespan of 10 years. Decades later, Boeing remains integral to keeping the Minuteman III going strong, with an average alert rate of 99.7 percent.\ Boeing announced on its Twitter account that: “We were there to support both tests, just as we’ve supported every Minuteman flight test in the last 58 years.”

 

UAWire – Russian Prime Minister Medvedev wants to make Russia world’s 5th largest economy

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree confirming a plan to make Russia into one of the world’s top five economies, finanz.rureports. According to the plan, which was published on the official government website on Wednesday, Russia is expected to oust Germany from 5th position by 2023. “At present, Russia holds the 6th position for GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) according to the IMF’s assessment. In 2017, the lag behind Germany (which holds 5th position) on this indicator was 4.4%, whereas Russia’s GDP was bigger than Indonesia’s, which holds 7th position, by 19.1%,” Medvedev’s plan states. According to the Russian government’s estimates, the country’s GDP will grow by only 1.3% in 2019 (compared to 2.3% last year), but the following year it will start to accelerate, first to 2% (in 2020), and then to 3.1%, 3.2% and 3.3% in the following years respectively. “Such growth rates will be enough to close the gap between Russia’s GDP at PPP and that of Germany, which holds the 5th position in the world, and will make it possible to maintain the positive lead compared to Indonesia, which is in 7th position. It will also be above the predicted growth rate of the world economy,” the document states. However, the Russian government’s predictions of a glorious growth rate are not shared by a single major investment bank or international organization. The IMF, for example, predicts that Russia will continue to lag behind the world growth rate, with its proportion of the world GDP shrinking from 3.12% to 2.79% by 2024. In a survey of professional forecasters performed by the Moscow Higher School of Economics in October last year, not a single respondent expected the Russian economy to grow by even 2%. Oxford Economics predicts a slowdown from 2.3% last year to 1.4% this year and 1.2% in 2020. The Economist Intelligence Unit expects no more than 1.6-1.8% over the next few years. Although the government plans to invest nearly 25 trillion rubles (around $384 billion) in the economy for national projects, the problem is that this “acceleration” will be financed through raised taxes and pension growth, which will hit businesses and consumers, explains Natalia Orlova, chief economist at Alfa-Bank. Orlova predicts that the net effect of all the planned measures will be no more than 0.1% of the GDP, and the threshold growth rate by 2024 will be only 1.6%.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Reflecting Others Back at Them One of Putin’s Special Skills, Khots Says

Paul Goble Staunton, May 10 – “Only the lazy” haven’t pointed out that the new Russian-made Aurus car for Vladimir Putin is a copy of Britain’s Rolls Royce, Aleksandr Khots says. But the Russian commentator says that, in both small ways and large, this reflects the fact that copying, even mirror-imaging, others is at the core of the Kremlin leader’s personality. “The virtuoso system of imitations which has become our national idea (from democracy, parliament and elections to automobile design, hasn’t been news for a long time,” the Russian commentator says. “Much more interesting is ‘why was the Rolls Royce chosen” in this case (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5CD43C32B66F6). Obviously, the makers of the car were pursuing British respectability, suggesting by copying the Rolls that “we also are respectable and solid, that we are part of Europe, and that our Russian ‘monarchism’ is worthy of the same honors as yours.” After all, this project was begun well before the Crimean Anschluss. “But,” Khots continues, “there is yet another reason for this choice of design,” one that journalist Yelena Tregubova described in her 2003 book, Tales of a Kremlin Digger” where she talks about Putin’s mastery of mimicking or copying those he interacts with as a means to their manipulation. “The ability to ‘mirror’ an interlocutor is a variable habit for a manipulator,” Khots agrees. And Putin’s skills in that regard help to explain why he copies so many others so precisely, a copying that gives him an advantage even as it puts others on the defensive just as he intends. “I understood,” Tregubova wrote, that Putin is simply a brilliant ‘reflector,’ that he like a mirror copies his interlocutors in order to force them to believe that he is just the same as they are.” Her experience showed her that he was able to do this quickly in both small ways and large “with frightening exactitude.” And what is most important the journalist said is that Putin “does this so cleverly that his interlocutor doesn’t notice” and accepts the mirror image as being what Putin really is. According to Khots, “it is clear that in ‘the kingdom of curved mirrors,’ the type of automobile of the first person must correspond to ‘the portrait’ of its owner. Even more because Putin as the one who ordered it confirmed the design.” The car even looks like him: narrow eyes and all. And it is noteworthy, the commentator continues, that increasingly Putin chooses for key posts people who not only think as he does but look like him as well. Such resemblances “seem to the leader an additional guarantee of reliability,” Khots continues, at a time when his system is clearly in trouble. One way or another, he concludes, “the design of Putin’s car is no accident. It is a reflection of ‘the master,’ but it is also a reflection of Russia at the same time: uncertain in its self, derivative in its approach, and full of complexes about both.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Wants to Form a New Soviet People but Without Marxist-Leninism, Savvin Says

Paul Goble Staunton, May 10 – Much that Vladimir Putin is doing makes no sense unless one understands that he is trying to create a new Soviet people but one not limited by Marixst-Leninist ideology and thus a new ethnicity rather than an ephemeral political community that could disintegrate as quickly as the original version did in 1991, Dimitry Savvin says. On no other occasion has the Kremlin leader’s progress been more obvious than on Victory Day, an event that provides the basis for forming a new ethnic community that cuts Russians and others off from their past in order to render them permanently subservient to the Kremlin, the editor of the Riga-based Harbin portal says (harbin.lv/tarzan-raspravil-plechi). The May 9 “carnival” looks absurd only if one fails to recognize what Putin is trying to do. Once one does that, the conservative Russian nationalist commentator says, everything makes sense, although it is no less disturbing for those who would like to see the Russian nation flourish and integrate into Europe. For Putin, Savvin argues, May 9 is “not connected with the Russian people or with Russian culture” but rather is a kind of “mass folkloric manifestation whichhas given rise to an extremely primitive ethno-cultural community, the Soviet,” but the Soviet without the limitations and distortions introduced by Marxism-Leninism. Dressing everyone up into military uniforms of the World War II period “seems strange only if one considers this as a military dress. But if one considers it as a traditional ethnic garb of Soviet values, then the picture becomes clear and logical.” The same is true if one views fake veterans and young people dressed up in such uniforms as Soviet in the old sense. “And even the phenomenon of the eternally young veterans who become more numerous from year to year becomes natural and logical if one considers them not as real veterans but as a necessary function of any primitive or archaic ethnic culture,” the Russian émigré commentator continues. “In general,” Savvin argues, “everything becomes logical, natural and understandable but only if we recognize that the soviet is a recently born and extremely weakly developed ethno-cultural community at the basis of whose identity lies the epic myth about ‘the Great Fatherland War.’” What we are watching then, he insists, is an effort to create a new “’ethnicity’” which isn’t limited by either Russian identity from the past or by Marxism-Leninism but is defined instead by a single event that the Kremlin believes can create new nation subordinate to itself and one that justifies the kind of regime Putin wants to have. This is many ways is a far weaker basis for the development of a new ethnic identity than exists in many other places, but it is in some ways stronger than the one, Marxism-Leninism, which underlay Soviet efforts to create “a new people.” That identity, thanks to this ideology remained “in the first instance a worldview and political identity and not an ethnic one.” It was thus extremely weak and disintegrated into thin air in 1991. What Putin wants to do, however, could be longer lasting because it draws on Russian identity but ultimately works to destroy that distinctive identity more thoroughly than even the Soviets succeeded in doing and thus is for Russians an even greater threat. In principle, creating such a new ethnic identity is not impossible; but Putin faces both objective obstacles and the opposition of those who want to see Russian and other national identities survive and flourish. And consequently, in the coming decades, there will be an intense struggle between this new ethnicity and the Russian one. “If the Soviet in this race overtakes the Russians, then there will not be any chances to reverse it. Then Russia will face its final degradation and disappearance,” Savvin says. “And Russians if they survive will be approximately like what the Byzantine Romans were, small communities spread about across the space of their former Empire.” A group known if at all and of interest only to ethnographers, the Russian commentator says.

If 52.8% don’t fit into the story about 10.3%, Russian propaganda just ignores them |Euromaidan Press |

On April 28th, RT wrote: “A Bertelsmann Foundation study found that right-wing parties with a populist, nationalist or Euroskeptic bent received the highest level of voter approval of any single political grouping. 10.3 percent of voters said they would cast their ballots for right-wing parties, while only 6.2 percent said they positively identified with left-wing groups, and 4.4 percent with a Green party.” But there is more to the story here, which RT did not trouble itself with addressing. The Bertelsmann Foundation study also found that “The two-party groups on the left and right margins not only face relatively high levels of positive party identities but at the same time also have a particularly high level of negative party identities (52.2 and 52.8 percent respectively).” The study shows that while only 10.3% of respondents positively identify with populist or far-right parties, as RT selectively reported, a majority of respondents – 52.8% – negatively identify with these parties, meaning that they would explicitly vote against them.

 

Soviet soldiers who were shot by their own people recalled |Euromaidan Press |

Hundreds of thousands of Soviet soldiers did not take Berlin because they died in battle against the Germans, but a large if yet unknown number failed to do so because they were shot by Soviet security agencies before they could make a contribution to that victory, Pavel Gutyuntov points out. The Moscow commentator says that the number of Soviet officers and men who were shot during World War II is unknown but that the figure must be staggeringly high given the very partial data that do exist and have been released over the last decades. An effort by the General Staff in 1949 to get officers to recall events in the war for which documents had been lost or never prepared and partially published beginning in the late 1950s provides frightening pictures of what went on when senior Soviet officials descended on military units and ordered the execution of officers who had failed to hold the line against the Germans. Recent studies of this source say that they can come up with no figures about executions ordered against junior officers or draftees during the first year of the war, but admittedly incomplete data about the execution of senior officers during that time of retreat are staggering enough, Gutyuntov says. According to the studies, 107 senior officers, including a marshal, 72 generals, six admirals and commanders of divisions and head of political staffs were arrested during those 12 months. Forty-five of these were sentenced to be shot, including 34 generals. Ten more died while under arrest. Another study found that during the course of the war, 458 Soviet generals and admirals were killed. More than 90 of these were the result of political repressions, 48 were shot and six died under torture. These losses represented 12 percent of the total loss and cost the Red Army a large number of experienced commanders. In many ways, the fullest and most damning report on these self-inflicted losses at the top of the Soviet military was provided by Col.Gen. A. Muradov in the August 1995 issue of Gosudarstvo i pravo. He reported that at least 157,593 Soviet military personnel were shot by Soviet organs during the war. This figure too is incomplete. To put it in context, Muradov notes that during World War II, Britain executed only 40 of its soldiers, France 102, the US 146, and even Germany 7810. And the Soviet figure was dramatically higher as well than the one for tsarist military executions between 1906 and 1917. During those 11 years, the imperial authorities executed only 3087. Another way to think about the Soviet executions, Gutyuntov says, is to realize that their total amounted to the strength of approximately 15 divisions. Overall Soviet losses, of course, are several orders of magnitude greater. Stalin said seven million Soviets had lost their lives. Khrushchev raised the figure to 20 million; and under Gorbachev, some boosted it to 27 million. And two years ago, at a Duma hearing, one official testified that 42 million had been killed. These figures aren’t complete either, the Moscow commentator says. But they must lead people to ask “’can we repeat this?’”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Thousands of World War II Memorials in Russia Neglected and Falling Apart

Paul Goble Staunton, May 10 – Given the supposed outpouring of popular support among Russians for memorializing the Soviet victory in World War II, it is somewhat shocking to discover that there are thousands of World War II memorials of various kinds around the country which are completely neglected and have fallen into disrepair, Anastasiya Olshanskaya says. Exactly how many of these there are, the journalist continues, is unknown but it is staggeringly large. She notes that in Novgorod Oblast alone, officials acknowledge that there are “more than 700” monuments which are in trouble (mbk-news.appspot.com/suzhet/snos-i-zabyte-kak-v/citing vnovgorode.ru/obshchestvo/566-granitsy-territorij-200-pamyatnikov-velikoj-otechestvennoj-vojny-budut-utverzhdeny-v-novgorodskoj-oblasti.html). “If in cities people do look after monuments to fallen Soviet soldiers, in villages and rural areas, many monuments continue to decay. The problem is,” Olshanskaya says, “all the monuments of regional significance must be restored by regional officials – and they often do not have any money to do so.” Sometimes local residents take things into their own hands (vladtv.ru/society/97227/), but the tasks are sometimes too large and they face opposition from officials who hope to get their hands on the land on which the monuments or even cemeteries are located. As a result, many projects are started but don’t end with restoration. Instead, such projects often are hijacked in one or two ways. On the one hand, businesses often use these efforts as an excuse to highlight their high costs and work to destroy what they are supposed to be saving. And on the other, and more horrifically, officials divert funds into their own pockets, leaving the monuments in no better way than they were. Olshanskaya gives numerous examples of both kinds of things, adding that “if you think that such an attitude to memorials to the fallen in war is possible only far from Moscow and St Petersburg, you are very much mistaken.” Exactly the same approaches are to be found in the two capitals. She gives as an example the case of one in St. Petersburg. There, officials in Soviet times built a theater over part of a war cemetery. In 2006, some business people wanted to tear down the theater so as to build a shopping center. That sparked resistance, but the businessmen have gone ahead anyway (cogita.ru/grazhdanskaya-aktivnost/precedentnye-pobedy-ngo-v-sudah/reshenie-suda-po-farforovskomu-kladbischu-vstupilo-v-silu). But Olshanskaya saves her greatest anger for officials who get government money to restore war memorials and then pocket it for themselves, leaving the monuments to continue to decay, a practice that should not be allowed to continue if Russia is to honor both its war dead and its own laws (v102.ru/news/78980.html).

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia Far Less Generous to Its Veterans on Victory Day than are Other Post-Soviet Countries

Paul Goble Staunton, May 11 – No country has spent more than the Russian Federation on public spectacles on the occasion of Victory Day this year or proclaimed more loudly its support for those who contributed to the defeat of Hitlerism , but many post-Soviet states have been far more generous financially to their veterans – including many which are far poorer than Russia is. Journalists at Radio Liberty have compiled a list of cash awards post-Soviet countries gave to surviving World War II veterans this year. As can be seen below, Russia stands far from the top and gave only one-eighth as much as the most generous country, Kazakhstan, did (rus.azattyq.org/a/infographic-rewarding-war-veterans-in-post-soviet-countries/29932777.html). The Radio Liberty list, with local currencies converted into US dollars at official rates of exchange, is as follows: Kazakhstan gave 1336 US dollars to each veteran, Uzbekistan 888, Azerbaijan 587, Moldova 558, Kyrgyzstan 215, Tajikistan, 159, Russia 153, Ukraine 20, and Turkmenistan 11. These figures need to be put in context, of course. Some of these countries, including Russia, provide far more to veterans in the form of pensions than do those making such one-time payments. But such payments on holidays, a long-standing Soviet tradition, are a measure, at least in the eyes of the population of just how much a particular government really cares. From that perspective, the amounts given by the governments of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Moldova are impressive, especially given that per capita incomes in most of these countries are lower than in the Russian Federation. And the figures for Russia, Ukraine and Turkmenistan are especially low, even insulting in the Russian case, given Moscow’s hype.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘Dedovshchina’ in Russian Army Being Displaced by Something Worse: Clashes Along Regional and Republic Lines

Paul Goble Staunton, May 11 – For decades in Soviet times and post-Soviet ones, the military was plagued by “dedovshchina,” the brutalization of soldiers beginning their service by those who were nearing the end, a phenomenon that undermined unit cohesion and thus the combat readiness of many units. With the reduction in the Russian draft to only one year of service, “dedovshchina” has almost completely disappeared: there simply isn’t enough difference between those just coming on board and those who have been in the ranks for six months. (Russia drafts young people twice a year.) But today, soldiers say, “’dedovshchina’ is already a thing of the past and in its place are groups formed on the basis of place of origin, regions or republics, who organize in order to defend themselves against officers, a development that has the potential to be even more destructive of good military order than “dedovshchina” ever was. Indeed, Maksim Mamedov, a Radio Liberty journalist, says, “’dedovshchina has been something archaic for a long time. As former draftees say, in its place has come groups of soldiers from particular places.” And such men aren’t afraid of anyone, including officers, and live by their own rules (kavkazr.com/a/dedovshchina-i-zemlyachestvo/29932922.html).-On the basis of interviews with former soldiers of the Russian army, the journalist says that “dedovshchina” has declined, largely because of the shortening of the length of draft service, and given way in some units but hardly all to clashes between groups based on where the soldiers are from. When they’re from the republics, these groups are largely based on ethnicity. Mamedov’s interlocutors are not that forthcoming, perhaps because this is a subject few want to talk about. But his article is important as an indication that this problem is more widespread than many in Russia and the West have thought – and that it may be more serious as well.

The Soviet Blockade Of Berlin: A Cold War Chapter Closes

Seventy years ago — on May 12, 1949 — the Soviet Union ended its 11-month-long blockade of Berlin. The blockade had begun on June 24, 1948, amid a currency dispute with the Western Allies. Moscow cut off road, rail, and water access to Berlin’s Western sector. Food and electricity would soon run out. The solution? The Allies set in motion a massive undertaking that would become known as the Berlin Airlift. (Originally published on June 24, 2018)

 

Russian agent Butina: I don’t know if there’s ‘one grand giant plan’ by Russians in US | TheHill

Russian agent Maria Butina denied this week that she was part of “one grand giant plan” orchestrated by Russia to interfere in U.S. politics.

Maria Butina Says She Was A ‘Peace-Builder.’ That’s Not How The Feds See It : NPR

The Russian agent gave an interview to NPR from the detention center where she has been in custody since last summer. She denies being a spy or taking part in election interference.

Russian Agents Alexander Torshin, Maria Butina Met With Treasury, Fed In 2015 : NPR

Alexander Torshin and Maria Butina met in 2015 with top leaders in the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve, according to materials obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Montenegrin Coup Verdict A Wakeup Call To EU On Russia’s Rising Role In Balkan Instability

The Kremlin’s audacious role in the Montenegro coup at the center of this week’s convictions highlights the European Union’s lack of focus on a region hoping for accession.

Two Suspected Russian Agents Among 14 Convicted in Montenegro Coup Plot – The New York Times

The Russian suspects, believed to be back in Russia, were tried and sentenced in absentia in a plot to prevent Montenegro from joining NATO.

Russian spies sentenced in Montenegro coup plot

Two Russian military spies have been given prison sentences after being convicted of trying to overthrow Montenegro’s government in a bloody coup to stop the Balkan nation joining Nato.

 

Turkish lira surges 3% after Erdogan reportedly cancels S-400 purchase from Russia – MarketWatch

The Turkish lira on Friday rose more than 3% after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the country would not buy the Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems, according to German newspaper Bild. The U.S. had said it would hold delivery of its F-35 fighter jets and impose sanctions had President Erdogan gone ahead with the deal with Russia, lumping further pressure on the struggling economy. The lira USDTRY, -3.3667% hit a session high at 5.9599 versus the greenback and in most recent trade a single dollar fetched 6.0072 lira.

Presidency comms director Altun refutes Bild report claiming Turkey scrapped S-400 deal – Daily Sabah

Presidency Communications Director Fahrettin Altun on Friday refuted a report by a German daily claiming Turkey has decided against the purchase of the…

Turkey says S-400 procurement ‘done deal’ – Turkey News

Turkey on May 10 denied a German newspaper report claiming that Turkey will no longer buy the S-400 air defense systems from Russia. Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said the S-400 procurement was a “done deal.” “Dear Julian, your sources are mistaken. Take it from me: The S-400 procurement is a done deal,” Altun tweeted, responding to claims by Julian Ropcke, editor in chief for foreign policy, at tabloid Bild. Earlier on May 10, Ropkce tweeted: “Diplomatic sources tell Bild, Erdoğan will not buy the S-400 from Russia.” Tensions between the U.S. and Turkey have reached a fever pitch in recent months with Turkey set to begin receiving the advanced S-400 surface-to-air missile system. Washington maintains the move will jeopardize Turkey’s role in the F-35 fighter jet program and could trigger congressional sanctions. Turkey decided in 2017 to purchase the S-400 system following protracted efforts to purchase air defense systems from the U.S. with no success.

Is Erdogan’s trust in Trump in the S-400/F-35 standoff misplaced?

Turkish government officials believe that if Trump was not hamstrung by Congress and the Pentagon, he and Erdogan would have solved this matter by now.

The U.S. Air Force Fears for Its F-15s and F-35s vs. Russia’s S-400. But . . . | The National Interest

Moscow isn’t so confident. Here’s why.

 

Belarusian President Says Damages From Contaminated Russian Oil ‘Enormous’

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has said that the cost of damages from contaminated oil received via the Russian Druzhba oil pipeline was “enormous” and that Belarus expects compensation…

Belarus not to block Russian oil transit via Druzhba pipeline – Lukashenko

Belarus is not planning to block Russian oil transit via the Druzhba pipeline, according to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Ukraine resumes oil transit to EU

JSC Ukrtransnafta has resumed transit of oil to European consumers, the company’s press service has said in a report obtained by Ukrinform. — Ukrinform.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Neither Moscow nor Russian Embassy in Minsk has Changed Course with Babich’s Departure, Yeliseyev Says

Paul Goble Staunton, May 10 – It has been widely reported that Vladimir Putin promised Alyaksandr Lukashenka that following the recall of Russian ambassador Mikhail Babich, Moscow would give Minsk a year of quiet to consider how best to integrate with the Russian Federation, Andrey Yeliseyev says. But the director of the EAST-Center says that he doesn’t believe this promise will be kept if it in fact was made. The same implementers of the Kremlin’s policies are still in place in Russia and at the Russian embassy in Minsk, and there is no indication that they have changed course at all in what is the most febrile area – Internet operations. Yeliseyev’s observation comes in the course of an interview with Sergey Zaprudsy of the Belarusian ThinkTanks portal concerning the former’s new report for International Strategic Action Network for Security on the evolution of Moscow’s use of social networks over the last three years (thinktanks.by/publication/2019/05/10/andrey-eliseev-rossiyskaya-propaganda-skontsentriruetsya-v-sotssetyah.html). On the basis of that 35-page report, “Cardinal changes in Anti-Belarusian Disinformation and Propaganda” (east-center.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Belarus-Disinformation-Propaganda-2019-RU.pdfb), the researcher says he “does not see any signals that the Kremlin will change its policy toward Belarus.” The number of Russian-controlled sites directed against Belarus has grown dramatically over the last several years, he continues; and while they seldom attract large numbers of visitors, that is not Moscow’s primary goal. Instead, they become the basis for penetration into Belarusian social networks. What happens is this, Yeliseyev says. Those relatively few people who visit Russian sites then make comments about them on Belarusian social media, thereby hiding the origins of their ideas even though they are directed in what they say by Moscow-controlled outlets. Such social media comments have far more influence than any Moscow site ever could. This is part of Russia’s “hybrd” approach, one that also involves posting on its sites nominally neutral information in order to gain the reputation for accuracy and the seeding it with disinformation that is the real purpose for the sites’ existence and that is often accepted as true because so much else on the sites is. Yeliseyev does not mention her, but Nathalie Grant Wraga, the great American specialist on disinformation, often observed that the power of disinformation is that it is embedded in content that is 99 percent true. (For an appreciation of her contributions in this regard, see economist.com/obituary/2002/11/21/natalie-wraga.) Nor does Yeliseyev mention in his interview what may be even more significant: Moscow employed exactly the same strategy in the lead up to its invasion of Ukraine in 2014 (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2014/05/window-on-eurasia-despite-its-crudeness.htmland windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2017/02/moscow-deploys-most-dangerous-kind-of.html.)

UAWire – Estonian Prime Minister willing to discuss border treaty with Russia

Estonian Interior Minister Mart Helme said that the border treaty with Russia cannot be ratified until Moscow recognizes the provisions of the 1920 Treaty of Tartu, which stipulates that Russia’s Pechorsky District is actually a part of Estonia. Commenting on Helme’s statement, Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas said on Thursday that in the current coalition government there are various perspectives on this matter. He also emphasized that if Russia wants to discuss a border agreement, Estonia will support the initiative. According to Ratas, Estonian politicians need to take into consideration the real foreign political situation. “Of course we must respect the Treaty of Tartu, but we must also take into account the fact that it is now 2019,” he added. The prime minister acknowledged that the existing disagreements have prevented the signing of a border treaty for many years. He stressed that the matter nevertheless does need to be resolved. This year Estonia commemorated the 99th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Tartu with Soviet Russia, one of the first acts granting Estonia international recognition as a sovereign state. The treaty was signed after the Estonian War of Independence that was fought between November 1918 and December 1919. The Estonian Armed Forces, with support from the British Navy and the armies of Finland, Sweden and Denmark, resisted Soviet Russian forces in the north-western territory of the former Russian Empire. Russia’s Pechorsk District, home to the Izborsk Fortress and the Pskov-Pechory Monastery, was part of Estonia, and later the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic between 1920 and 1944. It was annexed by Soviet Russia in accordance with a ruling by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet in January 1945. In 2014 after lengthy negotiations, Russia and Estonia signed a border agreement that did not mention the Treaty of Tartu. However, it was ratified only in its first reading, and Estonian parliament has delayed the ratification due to a deterioration in bilateral relations.

U.S. Senators Express Concerns Ahead Of Orban Visit, Citing Democracy Worries, Russia Ties

Top Republican and Democratic lawmakers have expressed concerns to U.S. President Donald Trump ahead of next week’s visit by nationalist Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

EU elections update: Russian propaganda’s long game |Euromaidan Press |

With the European parliamentary elections approaching in less than a month’s time, EU vs Disinfo devotes this week’s Disinfo Review to a brief summary of the ongoing disinformation trends surrounding the elections. First, a reminder: Russia’s disinformation campaign against the EU – and by extension, its electoral process – has been underway for five years. It is not a new feature of the European political landscape. The Kremlin’s efforts to undermine public support for the EU, promote populist and Eurosceptic parties and candidates, increase polarization and fragment European unity began in earnest in 2014, and have not relented since. Russia is playing a long game in Europe: its objective is not merely to influence the outcome of any particular election, but rather to broadly subvert the efficacy of our democratic institutions, fuel widespread social fragmentation, and mistrust, and ultimately paralyze our ability to act in our own self-interest and to defend our values.

How a pro-Kremlin disinformation outlet tailors content to different European audiences |Euromaidan Press |

One frequent “guest” on EU vs Disinfo’s database of disinformation is News Front – a Russian site, established in November 2014 as a mouthpiece for the self-proclaimed “People’s Republics” of Eastern Ukraine. According to media reports, it’s financed by the Russian state security services, the FSB. It is published in eight languages and has a large audience. First the hard data: News Front was established in November 2014 at the web host reg.ru. It was visited by slightly below 5 million in March 2019. Half their audience is in Russia, 22% in Ukraine, 4.6 in Bulgaria and 3.11 in Germany. The site is published in eight different languages: Russian, German, English, Serbian, Spanish, Bulgarian, French and Hungarian. The site’s Mission Statement (in Russian) declares a bold vision: News Front – is an information agency of the people, crafted manually by volunteers, who wish to show and tell you the truth from the source. Reportage from combat areas, live coverage of key events of the world, expert opinions and analytical shows – that is News Front. News Front’s working principle is based on documentary journalism: in an era of technical progress, live broadcast from a telephone tells more than any news anchor in a fancy and expensive studio, and an expert airing on Skype always tell more important things than in a noisy talk show. The Russian version of News Front is very much devoted to events in Ukraine. The self-proclaimed “People’s Republics” of Eastern Ukraine are massively represented on the site, very often with, just as the mission statement suggests, appearances on Skype. The section for International News is dominated by content from Russian state media outlets RT, Sputnik, and RIA Novosti.

 

Trump’s Personal Lawyer Cancels Plans To Visit Ukraine

U.S. President Donald Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, says he is canceling plans to visit Ukraine to encourage investigations by the country’s incoming government that he thinks would help Trump…

Giuliani cancels Ukraine trip, says he’d be ‘walking into a group of people that are enemies of the US’ | Fox News

Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney, said Friday on “Fox News @ Night” that he will not be traveling to Ukraine as previously announced. Giuliani, a former Republican mayor of New York City, said that he believed he would be “walking into a group of people that are enemies of the president, and in some cases, enemies of the United States and in one case, an already convicted person who has been found to be involved in assisting the Democrats with the 2016 investigation. “There was a great fear that the new [Ukrainian] president would be surrounded by, literally, enemies of the president [of the United States] who were involved in that and people who are involved with other Democratic operatives,” he told host Shannon Bream.

Giuliani cancels Ukraine trip, says he’d be ‘walking into group of people that are enemies of U.S.’ – NYT – news world | UNIAN

U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph Giuliani said Friday on “Fox News @ Night” that he will not be traveling to Ukraine as previously announced. Giuliani said that his decisions had nothing to do with the upcoming 2020 U.S. presidential election.

Trump’s lawyer cancels visit to Kyiv, meeting with Zelensky

U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, has canceled his visit to Kyiv where he was to meet with Ukraine’s President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky, according to Fox News. — Ukrinform.

Giuliani cancels trip to Ukraine to press Biden investigation | TheHill

President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani changed course late Friday, declaring he would no longer go on a planned trip to Ukraine to press for an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Giuliani announced the decision Friday night during an appearance on Fox News, saying “I’m not gonna go,” and blaming Democrats for trying to “spin” the trip. “I think I’m walking into a group of people that are enemies of the President, in some cases enemies of the United States and, in one case, an already convicted person who has been found to be involved in assisting the Democrats with the 2016 election,” Giuliani said, without clarifying to whom he was referring. ADVERTISEMENT The news came hours after Trump told Politico in an interview that he planned to speak with Giuliani about his trip and the investigation. “I will speak to him about it before he leaves. I’m just curious about that,” he told the outlet, saying that he has “not spoken to him at any great length” about his attorney’s trip. Giuliani first revealed his plans to travel to Ukraine in an interview with The New York Times on Thursday. The president’s lawyer said he hoped to meet in the nation’s capital, Kiev, to ask the country’s president-elect to pursue inquiries that could yield new information about the origin of the Russia investigation and former Vice President Biden’s past influence in the country.

Giuliani reverses course, says he’s no longer going to Ukraine to press Biden investigation – CNNPolitics

President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani reversed course late Friday night and said he will no longer travel to Ukraine to push for that country to investigate Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden.

Giuliani will travel to Ukraine, saying country’s probes may be ‘very, very helpful’ for Trump | Fox News

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said in an interview Thursday that he plans to travel to Ukraine to push the country’s leadership on several probes that may prove “very, very helpful” to President Trump, as Republicans continue looking to turn the tables on Democrats and prove that they — not the GOP — were the party that improperly conspired with foreign actors.

Rudy Giuliani Plans Ukraine Trip to Push for Inquiries That Could Help Trump – The New York Times

The president’s personal lawyer is stepping up efforts to urge the Ukrainian government to wade into United States politics by pursuing investigations that touch on Joe Biden and Paul Manafort.

Biden brought his people in Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s office to cover his son’s business, – Shokin

With the onset of spring and the beginning of preparations for the U.S. pre-election race, the Capitolium plays “Ukrainian card.” U.S. ex-Vice President Joseph Biden is at the epicenter of this scandal, the most likely main Donald Trump’s opponent in the upcoming 2020 elections. One of the pillars of the Democratic Party and the “curator” of Kyiv during the times of the Barack Obama administration, the media is charged with a direct intervention into Ukrainian politics, as well as possible corruption. Allegedly, “Uncle Joe” was convicted of blatantly lobbying the interests of the business of ex-minister of ecology Mykola Zlochevsky. And he had some interest in this – soon after Euromaidan the son of Biden was included in the board of directors of the ” Zlochevsky’s Burisma company, as well as former President of Poland Alexander Kwasniewski, and Devon Archer (a close friend of the stepson of the former US Secretary of State John Kerry). Their work was generously paid. Biden Jr. denies all claims, calling them insinuations of his father’s opponents, which appeared “for transparently political purposes.” But supporters of the opposite interpretation insist: “Uncle Joe” from the height of his powers really blackmailed official Kyiv by non-lending, if the criminal prosecution of Zlochevsky in Ukraine is not stopped. American journalists are unraveling this story today. Numerous materials on this subject quote the statements of prosecutor Konstantyn Kulik and the head of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, Yuriy Lutsenko, they report on the reincarnation of criminal complaints against Zlochevsky. But nevertheless, the main trump card against Biden is in the hands of former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. Ex-vice-president of the United States publicly called the “son of a bitch” and boasted that he had managed to achieve the dismissal of this official. Shokin asserts that his disgrace with an influential representative of the Democratic Party was precisely caused by the activity of the Prosecutor General’s office in the investigation of the “Zlochevsky case.” It was this story that became the watershed of his work as prosecutor general, but even after several years, the media still actively exaggerate the issue. Briefly about Shokin: he was a member of the investigation teams for cotton and fish affairs in the late Soviet Union, he investigated the stories of a pedophile teacher from a boarding school for mentally retarded children, and the “Kovalev gang.” During Ukraine’s independence, Shokin oversaw the case of the White Brotherhood and set up an investigation team that managed to get out and detain the murderers of journalist Georgiy Gongadze. After Euromaidan, Shokin was appointed first as deputy and then as prosecutor general (he has spent a year in office). Speaking before his dismissal from office, President Petro Poroshenko declared that Viktor Shokin was able to implement those innovations that his predecessors hadn’t decided for decades. In particular, he reduced the staff of the supervisory authority by a quarter, initiated the creation of bodies of prosecutorial self-government and the General Inspectorate, gave the green light to the launch of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAP).

“Giuliani became a target for manipulation and lies by Lutsenko” – Leshchenko

People’s Deputy Sergei Leshchenko claims that the head of the Prosecutor General’s Office, Yuriy Lutsenko, systematically misunderstood the lawyer Trump Juliani in order to save his post. This Sergey Leshchenko said in a comment Tsensor.NET . “I believe that Giuliani unknowingly became the target of manipulation and lies on the part of the Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko. Juliani, as an American politician, can not imagine that the Attorney General could be so misleading, maybe if it is the Attorney General without higher education and moral frameworks – Yuriy Lutsenko” , – said Leshchenko. The People’s Deputy claims that Lutsenko is deceiving Giuliani in order to keep his post. “Lutsenko does not want to lose the post of Prosecutor General, whose resignation was announced by Zelensky, and invented the legend, which is now” selling “to Americans. It seems that Biden defended the interests of his son in the company” Burysma “and sought the dismissal of the Prosecutor General in cases against” Burysma “and Zlochevsky. it was Lutsenko who closed the case! “- stressed Leshchenko. According to the People’s Deputy, the lie from Lutsenko is systematic. Lutsenko systematically disinforms Giuliani in order to maintain his office as the Attorney General, for example, Lutsenko lies in his assertions that the “black bookkeeping” of the Party of Regions is rigged. “Instead, the examination and questioning of the persons involved in this document confirmed its truthfulness, and in America, the truthfulness of black bookkeeping was proved by a verdict in the case of Manaforth, since Manaforth’s bookkeeping transactions were documented, which eventually led to Manaforth’s evasion of tax and led to his conviction in the United States, “said Scala the head of Leshchenko “In addition, Lutsenko misinformed that someone was convicted in Ukraine for interference with the American elections. But in reality, the decision of the District Administrative (not a criminal!) Court of Kiev, filed by the corrupt Rosenblatt, was revised by the Bank, and this decision did not come into force. , an appeal was scheduled for Monday on this suit “, – added the deputy. Leshchenko assumes that Giuliani canceled his trip to Ukraine, when he realized that he was being deceived. “Now, as Ukrainians, we need to give a moral and political assessment of the actions of Lutsenko, who, in order to save the post, dragged Ukraine into a conflict between two political parties in America, systematically resorting to lies and manipulations in dealing with Julian,” the politician said. “I am worried that, as a result of the mercantile actions of the Prosecutor General, the shadow for the reputation of Ukraine, which the American press will discuss in a negative context, is another argument in favor of the dismissal of Lutsenko from office,” the People’s Deputy summed up. Recall, US President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudolf Giuliani was scheduled to arrive in Ukraine to meet with newly elected President Volodymyr Zelensky . But after the visit became known, American policy-democrats threw themselves at Giuliani with fierce criticism. He decided to cancel the visit.

 

Vladimir Socor | Implacable Adversity: Moscow’s Response to Zelensky’s Election in Ukraine

Author : Vladimir Socor The Kremlin initiated the escalation several days ahead of Ukraine’s election date when Zelensky’s landslide victory over Poroshenko was already a certainty. Moscow is treating Ukraine and its newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, with the same implacable hostility as it did during Petro Poroshenko’s presidency. The Kremlin has not taken even a brief time-out that would have allowed it to assess Zelensky’s first decisions and the staffing of his administration in the wake of the April 21 presidential election (see EDM, April 25). Given the Kremlin’s demonization of Poroshenko and its “anybody-but-Poroshenko” line during Ukraine’s presidential election campaign, Moscow might have been expected to allow a respite at least as a tactical move in this long-term confrontation, perhaps to lure the inexperienced Ukrainian president into a dialogue on Moscow’s terms. Zelensky, after all, does not carry the baggage of the “Maidan coup d’état,” “fascist junta,” and “Donbas-suppressor,” nor (by any stretch) that of “Ukrainian nationalism.” Yet, instead of a wait-and-see pause, or at least maintaining the same level of confrontation, Moscow has actually escalated it. Mindful of Western admonitions against military escalation, it has escalated on the economic and political levels. The Kremlin initiated the escalation several days ahead of Ukraine’s election date, when Zelensky’s landslide victory over Poroshenko was already a certainty. The measures chosen are preemptive in their character and timing, designed to step up the various sources of pressure on the post-Poroshenko regime. Following the October parliamentary elections, there will also be a new government in Ukraine. But Russia’s latest measures are consistent with its long-term policy to thwart Ukraine’s economic growth, foment political instability, and manipulate the Donbas conflict with a view to obtaining Russian droits de regard over the country as such. On April 18, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced a set of decisions by the Russian government to ban or restrict exports of vital energy products to Ukraine. Effective from that date, exports of Russian crude oil and a wide range of oil derivatives and petrochemicals to Ukraine are banned outright. Effective from June 1, exports of gasoline, diesel fuel, liquefied gases, hard coal, and coke shall only be possible by permission of Russia’s Ministry of Economy and other government agencies, through special licenses on a case-by-case basis. In the same move, Medvedev announced a ban on Russian imports on a wide range of Ukrainian products in the heavy and light industries (Kommersant, April 18, 19; TASS, April 24). The export restrictions on liquid fuels and industrial coal should create wide scope for Russian manipulation and negotiating leverage. Supplies can be withheld, or, alternatively, be released in return for some Ukrainian concessions in other areas. With licenses to be approved on a case-by-case basis, Moscow could compel or tempt Ukrainian organizations, officials, or “oligarch” industrialists into bargaining to obtain the conditional release of supplies. Ukraine could resort to import substitution, first and foremost from Belarus for diesel and gasoline (unless Russia disrupts crude oil deliveries to Belarusian refineries). The re-routing of supplies from other directions will impose additional, transportation-related costs, and some new suppliers are likely to charge premium prices. On April 24 and May 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued decrees on granting Russia’s citizenship en masse to residents of the Russian-controlled territories in Ukraine’s Donbas. This move (“mass-passportization”) negates the legal status of Donetsk and Luhansk as Ukrainian territories and of their residents as Ukrainian citizens (see EDM, May 1, 2). Capping earlier moves to absorb this area de facto into Russia, the passportization represents a dramatic escalation of the conflict at the political level. Russia, in effect, annexes the population, still without acknowledging the territorial annexation, but cementing it. For the first time since the 2014 occupation, Russia creates a “legal” cover—namely, the conferral of Russian citizenship—to justify Russia’s military presence and political protectorate over this part of Ukraine. This fait accompli, ahead of a peace settlement, intends to render any solution impossible except on Moscow’s interpretation of the Minsk “agreements”: reinserting this territory into Ukraine nominally, under a Moscow-supervised and -protected special status, and (henceforth) with its “Russian” citizenry. The intention is to create an insurmountable bloc of pro-Russia voters in Ukraine’s elections and balance-holding factor in its parliament, so as to derail the country from its westward course. Moscow is thereby confronting the new Ukrainian president—and, soon, a new government—with the dilemma of either protecting Ukraine’s sovereignty and refusing to negotiate on such a basis, or, alternatively, facing a protracted military stalemate and forfeiting the occupied territories. Either course of action would saddle the new Ukrainian president and government with heavy domestic and international costs. Russia is still withholding an official acknowledgment of Zelensky’s election as president. The Kremlin has not taken even the routine step of releasing a congratulatory telegram or equivalent gesture through a spokesperson. Instead, the Kremlin and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have “taken notice of the election’s results” and will “respect the choice of the people of Ukraine” (Bloomberg, April 22) This stance is a part of Moscow’s preparations to influence Ukraine’s parliamentary election campaign, which will start shortly after Zelensky’s official inauguration as president. Russia’s hostile response to Zelensky’s election, and attacks on him on state television channels, aim to draw a deep wedge between the president’s Servant of the People (which will contest the parliamentary elections) and the voters in Ukraine’s east and south. Zelensky won overwhelmingly there (as he did throughout Ukraine) in the presidential election. Moscow, however, will try to reopen that fault line by mobilizing Ukraine’s east and south to vote for pro-Russia parties. Moscow is vested in the Opposition Platform–For Life party, led by Yurii Boyko (third-placed in the presidential election just held, first-placed in the Ukrainian-controlled part of the Donbas) and Viktor Medvedchuk (federalization proponent, and capitalizing on a personal relationship with Putin). The Kremlin’s goal in these elections is for this party to exploit the political fragmentation of the new Ukrainian parliament, bargain its way into a governing coalition and influence it from within.

Advisor to Zelensky: We do not change policies on NATO, war with Russia

Ivan Aparshyn, an adviser to newly elected president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky for security and defense, says that Zelensky team will not change the policies on Ukraine’s accession to NATO and the war with Russia. — Ukrinform.

Alla Hurska | Can the ‘Donbas Experience’ Help Kyiv Deal With ‘Hybrid’ Threats?

Author : Alla Hurska Ivan Aparshyn, a military advisor to Ukraine’s President-Elect Volodymyr Zelensky, spoke on the subject of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and touched upon three crucial aspects for their future development. In an April 23 interview on Ukrainian television, Colonel (ret.) Ivan Aparshyn, a military advisor to Ukraine’s President-Elect Volodymyr Zelensky, spoke on the subject of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and touched upon three crucial aspects for their future development. First, he claimed that the standing Ukrainian military should not exceed 200,000 personnel; but in cases of national emergency, it should have the capacity to rapidly increase to 1,000,000 personnel based on active reliance on a pool of reservists. Second, he mentioned that “territorial defense units” should have a more important practical role within the Ukrainian Army. Third, he implied that “rapid deployment forces” ought to become a reality, not just a rhetorical promise (see EDM, May 1; Telekanal ZIK, April 23). None of these ideas are particularly new to Ukrainian military thought; yet, the range of challenges faced by the country since 2014 (which are unlikely to disappear, if Kyiv proceeds on a Euro-Atlantic path) call for decisive steps by the incoming Zelensky administration. Specifically, the new president will need to reform and restructure the Ukrainian Armed Forces to meet the realities of, as Russian military experts say, “wars of the next generation” (voini novogo pokoleniia), i.e., New Generation Warfare (often erroneously referred to as “Hybrid Warfare” in the West). As the early stage of the conflict in Donbas vividly demonstrated (March–May 2014), the ability to maintain control over territory was a key factor that set the stage for further developments. In order to draw appropriate lessons from Ukraine’s experience gained during the Donbas conflict, it would be worthwhile to take a closer look at the paramilitary regiments Dnipro-1, Dnipro-2, Donbas, Azov, Shakhtarsk and Aidar, all of which took part in hostilities in southeastern Ukraine. It is worth mentioning that the idea to create “territorial defense battalions” was first voiced on March 15, 2014, by the Ukrainian oligarch and the former governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Ihor Kolomoysky (YouTube, February 18, 2016). (The billionaire businessman is known to be close to Zelensky and is widely suspected of having supported or possibly even financed the latter’s presidential campaign this year.) Two weeks after Kolomosyky’s remarks, on March 30, 2014, Oleksandr Turchynov (at the time acting president of Ukraine) tasked the heads of Ukraine’s oblast administrations to start creating such forces (UNIAN, December 6, 2014). Meanwhile, with growing instability in the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov issued a decree creating “special corps tasked with counter-terrorist and counter-separatist operations.” The first such special unit (spetspodrazdelenie) was “Vostok” (not to be confused with the Russian Vostok Battalion), which emerged in Luhansk (Zn.ua, April 13, 2014). According to Hennadiy Korban, a Ukrainian businessman and politician close to Kolomoysky who oversaw the organization of such structures in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, victories of these new paramilitary formation were mixed, with quite painful defeats (Iskra, Karlivka). Nevertheless, he added, if “those formations had not been enacted, we would be living in a different country… Dnepropetrovsk Oblast would have been lost… Ukraine would have ceded the Kherson, Nikolayev, Odesa and Zaporizhia oblasts.” Korban also claimed that these entities played a decisive role in “freeing Krasnoarmiysk, Dobropillia, Aleksandrivka, Velyka Novosilka Raion, [and] Mariupol” (Censor.net.ua, January 28, 2017). Reportedly, the cumulative number of irregulars used by the Ukrainian side in hostilities in the southeast “was nearly three times larger than the whole Estonian army” (Obozrevatel.com, August 29, 2014). While refraining from revealing specific numbers under its direct jurisdiction, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced there were 50 battalions, another 37 subordinated to the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), and 4 unit within the Ukrainian National Guard (NGU). Moreover, as noted by the MVD press secretary, Vladyslav Seleznev, several other units in the Anti-Terrorist Operation Zone (ATO) (including the Right Sector, the OUN and Chechen battalions of “Al-Imam al-Mansur” and “Dzhokhar Dudayev”) acted independently (Focus.ua, April 21, 2015). Even Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (despite already-visible signs of conflict with Kolomoysky) admitted, in 2015, the important role of these formations in “maintaining security and preserving the territorial integrity of Ukraine” (Gordonua.com, March 25, 2015). Indeed, leaving aside multiples points of contention, enacting these irregular formations (which were later partly merged with nascent “territorial defense units”) arguably allowed the Ukrainian Armed Forces, between 2014 and 2015, to maintain control and extinguish developing signs of separatism in major parts of the strategically important southeastern region. In practical terms, Ukraine implemented a thesis once put forth by the head of Russia’s General Staff, Army General Valery Gerasimov, who declared that maintaining “territory control” is one of the main antidotes against “hybrid threats” (Voyenno-Promyshlennyj Kuryer, February 26, 2013). Nonetheless, to be effective, some of the existing deficiencies with these forces need to be resolved. To begin with, the Ukrainian government will have to clarify the status of these irregular forces. It is an open secret that, aside from (para)military tasks, Ukraine’s irregular units have been widely employed by their patrons as a means of illegally seizing private property (corporate raids), de facto turning these forces into “private armies” that serve the interests of certain oligarchs (Gazeta.ru, January 14, 2018). On some occasions, actions of the Azov and Donbas battalions caused discontent between various oligarchs (Rinat Akhmetov, Serhiy Taruta and Vadym Novynskyi) who, in turn, formed de facto paramilitary “workers’ brigades” of their own as a counter-force. Some Ukrainian sources have argued that the activities of the Azov Battalion near Mariupol were nothing but “a corporate raid to hammer out their share of control, masked as an anti-terrorist operation,” since “the area contains two major metallurgical plants and a major seaport” (Capital.ua, accessed on May 4, 2019). These tensions, particularly visible in the past, have been partially alleviated by addressing the poor coordination and lack of unity previously experienced by Ukrainian irregular units (Lenta.ru, June 19, 2014). But at this stage, more clarity in terms of ties between “territorial defense units” and other irregular formations is required (Dsnews.ua, June 12, 2018). The other essential aspect is related to the level of professionalism and the necessity of engaging top-notch experts (including private forces) in training Ukrainian irregulars to increase the overall level of preparation for non-linear forms of confrontation. However, the prospect of using this method—which proved its effectiveness during the Yugoslav Wars, when Western private military contractors (PMC) trained the Croatian military (1991–1995)—has caused some disturbance among Russian experts (Conjuncture.ru, March 27, 2015).

Stoltenberg to meet with Poroshenko in Brussels on May 13

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will meet with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at NATO headquarters in Brussels on May 13, the alliance has said in a press release. — Ukrinform.

Poroshenko to meet with Tusk in Brussels on May 13

A meeting between European Council President Donald Tusk and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will take place in Brussels on Monday, May 13, according to the website of the European Council. — Ukrinform.

Poroshenko calls on Merkel to support toughening of sanctions against Russia in response to ‘passport decrees’

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in a phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Berlin to support the toughening of the sanctions against Russia in connection with Moscow’s decision to issue Russian passports to residents of Donbas.

Zelensky meets with Chinese ambassador to Ukraine

Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky has met with China’s Ambassador to Ukraine Du Wei to discuss the development of cooperation between the two countries, according to a report posted on the Twitter account of Zelensky’s team. — Ukrinform.

Dzhaparova, Kent discuss Russian passportization in Donbas. Photos

First Deputy Minister of Information Policy of Ukraine Emine Dzhaparova met with U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent. — Ukrinform.

Volker accuses Russia of worsening situation in Ukraine’s Donbas – news war | UNIAN

United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker has accused Russia of worsening the situation in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, including the live of its Russian-speaking residents. Russia should end the fighting and implement Minsk agreements in Donbas, the official said.

Russia has made life worse for Russian speakers in Donbas – Volker

Russian fighters and proxies in Donbas have for the past five years worsened life for the people in Donbas and Russian-speakers they claim to care about, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker said. — Ukrinform.

Kurt Volker on Twitter: “For the last 5 years Russia’s fighters & proxies have made life worse for the people in Donbas including the Russian-speakers it claims to care about. 🇷🇺 should end the fighting, implement Minsk agreements, & allow reconstruction and reintegration of Donbas back to 🇺🇦 control.… https://t.co/JC28QOTaIL”

 

U.S. Mission to OSCE on Twitter: “Over past 5 years, #Russia has never accounted for: – presence of Russian forces in eastern #Ukraine – presence of Russian weapon systems that are not, & never have been, a part of Ukraine’s arsenal. https://t.co/6EhlGnrd5u”

 

HMS Echo on Twitter: “Sad to leave our friends in Ukraine but here are some highlights from a remarkable couple of days… @UKinUkraine @RoyalNavy… https://t.co/c8ol0XkhrK”

Russian warships block the maritime economic zones of Ukraine – the Ministry of Defense

The presence of foreign ships in Ukrainian ports is a deterrent to Russia’s naval presence in the Black Sea. This was stated by Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine on European Integration Anatoly Petrenko, reported on the website of the Ministry of Defense. “For the naval activity of Ukraine, it is important to increase the intensity of the presence of foreign ships in the ports of Ukraine and in the Black Sea area, which allows solving three main tasks: first, it is a factor in the deterrence of the dominant naval presence that the Russian Federation has in the Black Sea Secondly, it is the assistance of the domestic Naval Forces in education and training that allows them to improve their professional skills And thirdly, it concerns the actual implementation of the tasks of defense reform that to the deployment of new navy management bodies and the creation of those military-technical capabilities that will respond to threats from the sea in the early stages of their occurrence, “he said. According to him, the issue concerning the marine waters of the Azov and Black Seas is complicated. The Russian Federation permanently, under the pretext of exercises, blocks significant water areas, namely: around illegally captured Ukrainian oil and gas deposits on the underwater shelf, which are constantly guarded by the forces and means of the Black Sea Fleet. “And the fact that our exclusive economic zones are also constantly under the control of the warships of the Russian Federation,” Petrenko emphasized. He recalled that in order to protect the economic activity of the ports in Berdyansk and Mariupol, a set of forces and means of the Naval Forces of Ukraine was deployed, which is carrying out tasks that make it impossible to avoid the threats that may originate from the sea from the Russian Federation. According to Petrenko, it is also important to remember that for the sixth month in Russian captivity, Ukrainian soldiers are being held. And during the so-called “court session” that took place in Moscow in April, it was decided to extend the detention period until July. Thus, the Russian Federation continues to grossly ignore international law without recognizing the status of Ukrainian servicemen as prisoners of war, not allowing them to exercise their rights in this status, ignoring the appeals of the international community and the group that is carrying out an advocate’s request for the unconditional release of seamen and ships from the captivity of the Russian Federation , he stated. As the deputy minister emphasized, this case is being dealt with in five international legal institutions, together with Ukraine, and all measures are taken to ensure that Ukrainian servicemen return home as soon as possible. There is a lot of attention to the case from the side of the state’s leadership, in particular, for each family of military seamen, an additional social security package has been allocated, he added. As it was reported, on May 10, in Odessa, the naval vessel completed its stay in the United Kingdom, which has come to Ukraine for the second time during the last five months. Recently, Ukraine was visited by a permanent naval group of NATO consisting of two frigates of Spain and Canada, also a rocket destroyer of the United States.

Defense Ministry: Russian warships block Ukrainian maritime economic zones

The stay of foreign ships in Ukrainian ports deters Russia’s naval presence in the Black Sea. — Ukrinform.

 

Russian-led forces launch 12 attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas

The armed formations of the Russian Federation violated ceasefire 12 times, using the weapons banned under the Minsk agreements five times, in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in Donbas over the past day. — Ukrinform.

One Ukrainian soldier wounded in Donbas amid 12 enemy attacks in past day – news war | UNIAN

Russia’s hybrid military forces in the past 24 hours mounted 12 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas, with one Ukrainian soldier reported as wounded in action. Two invaders were wounded on Friday, intelligence reports say.

Russian invaders in Donbas force troops of army corps obtain Russian passports – Ukraine intel – news war | UNIAN

The Russian occupation forces’ command in Donbas has ordered personnel of formations and units of Russia’s army corps No.1 (Donetsk) and No. 2 (Luhansk) to obtain Russian passports. At the same time, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) is introducing additional restrictions on crossing the section of the Russian-Ukrainian border uncontrolled by Ukraine. The restrictions primarily concern persons related to the occupation administrations or those who are serving in Russia’s occupation forces and in the security forces of the so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics” (“DPR/LPR”), the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s press service said on May 11, referring to the Main Directorate of Intelligence. Crossing the Ukrainian-Russian border for the said category of persons is possible only, is they go for business trips having informed the Russian side of the time, place and purpose of the trip. If such persons attempt to enter the Russian Federation on their own, they are carefully examined at Russian checkpoints, after which, they are mostly banned from entering Russia. As UNIAN reported earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 24 signed a decree on the expedited procedure for the issue of Russian passports to residents of temporarily occupied Donbas. On April 27, Putin said Russia could simplify the procedure for granting Russian citizenship to all Ukrainians – not only to those who reside in Russia-occupied districts in the east of Ukraine.

Surkov seen remaining in charge of Kremlin policy on Donbas, Abkhazia and South OssetiaEuromaidan Press |

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 Donbas, Abkhazia and South Ossetia (charter97.organd iarex.ru), sources say Surkov will stay where he is (nakanune.ru). For background information about Vladislav Surkov, read “Despite rumors of resignation, Putin’s gray cardinal Surkov keeps job“ 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 Donbas 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 Putin 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 Donbas territories occupied by Russia “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. Mitina 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.

“I could have died for nothing. It was just an order”, – the Pskov paratrooper about the “assignment” to Ukraine

The Russian military, who was sent to the Donbass to kill the Ukrainians, promised to pay an additional $ 50 a day as a bonus, but in the end they were deceived. According Tsenzor.NET , this in an interview with Novaya Gazeta told Pskov paratrooper who did not want to give his name. So, the Russian military reported that his unit was ordered to storm the village of Novosvetlovka in the Luhansk region. At the same time, he was convinced that their actions on the territory of a neighboring state were official, and he learned the truth by returning to Russia. “We were told that we were not there. We lost our way. We were at the exercises and got lost. And we did not pay anything. It was not in our power to get paid. Then we were also deprived of bonuses, which is almost 20 thousand That is, we should have received $ 50 a day plus a bonus, and did not receive any of this, “he said. The paratrooper also noted that he did not like the “business trip” to Ukraine. “First, they didn’t pay. Secondly, I looked at death, and somehow I had enough for life. It’s scary, really. At that moment I was only 21 years old … I couldn’t to die. But I already only realized it. It was just an order. As a result, there was neither glory, nor “for the Motherland,” nor money, “he complained. Источник: https://censor.net.ua/n3126385

Sergey Krivonos received the title of Major General

Deputy Secretariat of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Serhiy Krivonos received the rank of Major General by secret decree of the President of Ukraine This is reported by the Ukrainian Military Portal Eve Sergey Krivonos was on a working visit to the United States where he participated in a series of meetings designed to expand support and cooperation with our partners. In March 2019, Sergey Krivonos was appointed Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine . Earlier, Oleg Gladkovsky was appointed Deputy Secretary of the NSDCU. The president dismissed him after disclosure by journalists of facts indicating the possible involvement of the ex-officer in corruption schemes in the procurement of defense enterprises. Before that, Sergei Krivonos had been the First Deputy Commander of the Special Forces Special Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. S. Krivovos, in his personal testimony, was in conflict with the Chief of the General Staff and the Commander of the SSO, since he defended his own concept of the development of the Special Operations Forces. In the end, as Krivonos himself said, she was supported by P.Poroshenko. In October 2014, he was appointed Chief of the Special Operations Department of the General Staff. On the network friends of Sergey Krivonos have already started to greet him with the general rank:

Yuri Butusov | 24 generals’ promotions from Poroshenko: who deserved it, and who was “rewarded”

Recently, the decree of the President of Ukraine No. 183/2019 on the assignment of generals to 17 officers and generals of the AFU officially was officially published, previously the decrees of 6 generals were assigned to the State Service of Civil Service and 1 rank – to the SBU. All appointments correspond to the official schedule – that is, the post involves a certain rank, and therefore the increase is justified. Most of the awarded titles are logical solutions, there are people with merits, and with real experience. But not everything. It should be noted that many of the general posts, where these promotions are newly created, and posts in them of a certain rank are created to encourage or promote specific people, rather than proceeding from some rational logic. Six Major-General Major-General of the Armed Forces became Lieutenant-General, two of them – at command posts in the troops, four serve in the structures of the rear and the administrative apparatus of the MO: 1. Oleg Vishnevsky – commander of the OK “Pivden”; 2. Vasily Chernenko – Commander of the Airborne Command “Pivden”; 3. Ivan Havrylyuk – Chief of the Main Department of Logistics-Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the SCU (in his hands the entire rear); 4. Sergey Korniychuk – First Deputy Chief Inspector of the Ministry of Defense (submits to the Minister, not the commander of the SCU); 5. Vladimir Rapko – Chief of the Armed Forces of the Armed Forces; 6. Nikolay Shevtsov – Chief of the Armed Forces of the Armed Forces. The stars of Lieutenant-General for Shevtsov are the biggest scandal and complete absurdity. The fact is that it is Shevtsov who is responsible for the safety of arsenals and ammunition depots in the SCU, it is the highest official who submits directly to the Chief of Staff. And during the time of his leadership, the Armed Forces had blown up the three largest stockpiles of strategic ammunition-Balakleya, Ichnia and Kalinovka-which was reported by Shevtsov in the reports of all commissions for checking the safety of arsenals as breaking plans that did not comply with orders. But Shevtsov is loyal to the Chief of General Staff of Muzhenko, and everyone forgave him. Those who were not involved in the bombings were the “shooters”, the deputy general of the General Staff of Khizh and another group of officers were taken off allegedly for the explosion of the warehouse sector in Svatovo, although he did not answer for that, answered Shevtsov. All the explosions of warehouses for which the bosses were judged – this is in fact the responsibility of Shevtsov. So, everything was in order in the warehouses, everything was done correctly by Shevtsov, Peter Alekseyevich shows with his decree. 11 Colonels of the Armed Forces received the rank of Major general, 6 of them – at command posts in troops, 5 – in administrative and rear positions: 7. Petr Romigailo – Chief of Staff – First Deputy Commander OK “Pivnich”. In the 14th – Chief of Staff of the “D” sector, he first handed over the report on the invasion of Russian troops in the morning of August 24 to the leadership of the Armed Forces, subsequently gave testimony about this military prosecutor’s office; on his testimony, an investigation into the investigation commission of the Verkhovna Rada of Ilovysk is under construction. Changing the testimony refused. Former commander of the “L” sector in 2016; 8. Andrei Sokolov, the commanding officer of OK “Pivden”, deserved a kind fame as a former Combine of the 72nd Brigade; 9. Yuri Stavsky – commander of anti-aircraft missile troops; 10. Nikolai Oleschuk – Chief of staff-first deputy of the air command “Shhid”; 11. Vasily Osipchuk – Deputy Commander of OK “Pivnich”; 12. Artem Luchnikov – Chief of Staff-First Deputy Commander of the Marine Corps of the Navy of the SCU (Creation of a new Marine Corps Command caused the creation of four new generals’ positions, so that the decision is regular); 13. Vladimir Mironyuk – commander of the reserve frame frame (the reserve body is also a new kind of ground forces, with new posts); 14. Gennadiy Dolgashov – Chief of Staff of the Army of the Armed Forces of the Armed Forces; 15. Dmitry Marchenko – Head of the Main Department for Development and Support of Material Support. The most enviable career in this general list at Marchenko. In 2015, he was appointed as a lieutenant-colonel for the newly created GURSMO, which is engaged in the organization of state procurement of the Armed Forces, and since this post was included in the schedule as Lieutenant-General, the rank of Colonel and Major General were assigned swiftly. Colonel in 2017 – and already Major-General in 2019, and this is not the limit of growth in this post. 16. Igor Khomenko – Chief of the Main Military Medical Department; 17. Igor Stupnitsky – Chief of Naval Logistics Logistics. In the State Border Guard, by Decree No. 178/2019, 6 General Rulings were granted: 18. Petr Tsigikal, the Chief of the General Staff, became General of the Army. Tsigikal made an impressive career – in 2015, the colonel, and in four years received all four existing generals’ titles. 19. Yuriy Gresko – First Deputy Chief of the GPU became Lieutenant-General; 20. Arthur Pimenov, Deputy Chief of the General Staff, became Lieutenant-General; Three border guard colonels became generals: 21. Leonid Kovalenko – Deputy Director of the Department of Internal Security of the State Tax Inspectorate; 22. Alexander Lebed – the head of the Donetsk-Lugansk administration; 23. Sergey Sharapa – director of department of hardware work of GPU; In the Security Service Decree No. 204/2019 has been assigned only one general rank: 24. Sergei Kovalenko – Deputy Head of the Main Department for Combating Corruption and Organized Crime of the SBU (the customs curator, and the head of the investigation in the case of Myroslav Prodan, ex-heads of the DFS). I’m not against generals, generals are needed, but the management structure should not swell. A series of generals Petr Alekseevich gave for the promotion and promotion of a career, a number of generals received a rank on the eve of a possible personnel replacements, as gratitude. The number of appointments is due to the desire to leave a good memory and political influence on yourself. But far from being for all generals, such attention will be growth – for some it will cause questions. In my opinion, according to the experience of the USA and Israel, career growth should be connected primarily with command posts in the troops, and not with hardware work, which is also needed, of course, but the general should grow not as a clerk – and above all as a military leader. Not for the control of the border, not for the distribution of material resources – the best career should be at those who serve in the troops. To do this, you do not have to figure out posts and high ranks, on the contrary, the structure of management should be reduced, to be more mobile and flexible, and by optimizing the structure, it is necessary to increase resources for the content. Officers and generals need to move not only vertically, but also horizontally. The problem is not in the increase of the number of generals – but in the increase in the number of management structures whose growth is not substantiated by the program of development of the SCU nor the objective problems of war. The general is one of the highest achievements in the military career and this should be a model of professionalism, experience and leadership qualities, such decisions should be flawless. Posted by Yuri Butusov

 

Island crews complete English courses

The Odessa Military Academy completes intensive linguistic training for servicemen from the crew of two Island-class patrol boats. Upon completion of intensive four-month courses, sailors will receive certificates of English language proficiency in CMP 2. The last phase of linguistic training is currently under way. – We work with listeners 6 days a week to 6 hours. Of these, 4 are practice. We improve colloquial English, study the new grammar material and learn to speak, and last 2 hours we work in specially equipped classes, where we work out listening and speaking. Tests are conducted every Saturday to determine the level of assimilation of the material. I note that most students of the courses are very responsible to study and show good results, – said the teacher of the foreign language course Natalia Todorova. Upon completion of the language training in Odessa, further training of the mariners will continue in Baltimore in the United States of America. Recall that it was previously reported that boats will undergo repairs to Odessa in the second half of 2019 after repairs, equipment and training of crews.

 

Zelensky urges Ukraine’s parliament to set inauguration date for May 19 (Video) – news politics | UNIAN

Ukraine’s President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky has urged the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, to set the inauguration date for May 19. Read alsoZelensky’s adviser Danyliuk doesn’t rule out inauguration in June “I appeal to the Ukrainian parliament. Dear lawmakers, I hope that in three weeks, while you were resting, you have not forgotten the words of the parliamentary oath: to fulfill your duties in the interests of all compatriots. So far, you are acting solely in your own interests, you are afraid of the dissolution of the [Verkhovna] Rada and are delaying the appointment date of inauguration,” Zelensky said in a video address posted on Facebook. Zelensky stressed [outgoing President Petro] Poroshenko “makes irreversible,” carrying out active changes in the high command of the army, appointing familiar judges to the Supreme Court, awarding titles, etc. “That is why I appeal to the Verkhovna Rada. You should set the inauguration date for May 19 at the next meeting. It is not I who demand this, the people of Ukraine demand this, in whose interests you swore to act. The country needs the normal work of all institutions, people should not wait until someone appoints everyone before a long vacation. Think, please, not about deputy cards, think about Ukraine. May 19. Vote,” he said. Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/politics/10545078-zelensky-urges-ukraine-s-parliament-to-set-inauguration-date-for-may-19-video.html

Zelensky addresses MPs: Inauguration should be held on May 19

Ukraine’s President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky has demanded that people’s deputies set the date of his inauguration for May 19. — Ukrinform.

Poroshenko’s administration to Zelensky: Ukraine is not a room in Egyptian hotel

The team of incumbent President Petro Poroshenko does not accept any claims regarding an alleged delay in setting the date of inauguration expressed in a video address by President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky, the press service of the Presidential Administration has reported. — Ukrinform.

Poroshenko’s office responds to Zelenskyy’s address on inauguration date – LB.ua news portal

Outgoing President Petro Poroshenko’s administration has issued an official statement in response to a video message by President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskyy. “President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko respects both the choice of the Ukrainians and the position of the top legislative body. Any date of inauguration that parliament will set is acceptable to him because it is within its competence. Until the new president is inaugurated, Petro Poroshenko remains the incumbent head of state and is responsible for the situation in the country, fulfilling his duties in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Constitution,” the statement reads. “Ukraine is not a room in an Egyptian hotel, as Mr. Zelenskyy seems to think. Transfer of power is a difficult and responsible process. And Petro Poroshenko seeks to implement it according to the European tradition, as is customary in democratic countries. Therefore, he confirms his invitation to Volodymyr Zelenskyu made back on 30 April, that is without waiting for the inauguration, to hold meetings in order to discuss the most important issues of the country’s life, as well as any other issues related to the transfer of power and responsibility,” the administration said. Consequently, the Poroshenko team rejects any allegations of allegedly delaying the inauguration. “It is a positive fact that the president-elect finally broke Ihor Kolomoyskyy’s monopoly on the public formation of the agenda of the new government and showed his position at least on something… Perhaps even without consulting with their shared lawyer,” the presidential administration said in response to Zelenskyy’s criticism. Earlier today Zelenskyy published a video address to parliament demanding that it schedule the inauguration for 19 May. The president-elect accused not only MPs, but also the incumbent president, comparing him with a tourist checking out of the hotel.

“The authorities should change everything,” Kravchuk gave three tips to Zelensky

The first president of Ukraine, Leonid Kravchuk, gave three tips to the newly elected President, Volodymyr Zelensky. According to Tsensor.NET, he made his recommendations on the air of ” 112 Ukraine ” TV channel. “First of all: the government should change everything, regardless of whether it is bad or good. A new president comes and forms a new government. It can not be that one president came, and all who remained were left,” said the first president . It is noted that the second advice from Kravchuk is not to take staffing decisions quickly. Read also “Tsensor.NET”: Kravchuk – Zelensky: Ukrainian people have expressed confidence and hope that in the end we will begin to live humanly “You can not do this. Only after deep and thorough processing can a person be appointed to the position,” Kravchuk said. “I would never allow and ask Volodymyr Aleksandrovich – he himself spoke about it, but I remind him again – there is no power in the courts, brothers, kumov, business partners, the authorities are loyalty to the people of Ukraine,” he summed up. . Джерело: https://censor.net.ua/ua/n3126339

Samopomich to support Zelensky’s inauguration on May 19

The head of the Samopomich faction in the Ukrainian parliament, Oleh Bereziuk, has said that he does not see the point in not supporting the decision on the inauguration of Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky on May 19. — Ukrinform.

On the balance of the Ministry of Defense, 530 thousand hectares of land, of which 270 thousand surplus, – adviser Zelensky Aparshin. VIDEO

Today, on the balance of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, there are a total of 530 thousand hectares of land, of which approximately 270 thousand are surplus. Such an opinion was broadcasted by Gromadsky ‘s advisor to Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky on security and defense, Ivan Apparshin, reports Tsensor. NET. “I bring clarity, I have never spoken on the sale of surplus military assets on any air . I said that today there are a lot of surplus land on the balance sheet of the Ministry of Defense, totaling 530 thousand hectares, of which about 270 are superfluous. in the list of surplus military property “, – said Aparshin. At the same time, Zelensky’s adviser argued against the Ministry of Defense being involved in the realization of these lands. Read also on “Tsensor.NET”: Advisor to Zelensky Aparshin showed a draft of a new military doctrine: NATO Standards, Motivated Army, Worthy of Provision of Military “We take all these lands and transfer them to the State Property Fund, we carry out an overview of them, I guarantee you, there are not half of the land there … When I was in the Cabinet, we initiated that all state enterprises engaged in forests and in the Ministry of Defense would be very So far, all this property must be taken, transferred to state institutions that are authorized to manage state property, does not mean to transfer someone there, carry out a recount ereotsinku. At that amount, and if possible, not to assess the residual value, and the commercial value guaranteed by the government to get a loan. 50% of the loan spent on weapons, 50% spent on apartments for military personnel, “- he said. Джерело: https://censor.net.ua/ua/v3126348

Groysman thinks early parliamentary elections are inexpedient

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman has said it is inexpedient to conduct early parliamentary elections.

Groysman sheds light on future party – LB.ua news portal

Groysman sheds light on future party. His team will comprise “real faces”. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Groysman ready to head Cabinet of Ministers after parliamentary elections

Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman is ready to head again the Cabinet of Ministers after the parliamentary elections. — Ukrinform.

Special investigator Horbatiuk: Poroshenko interrogated as witness in Maidan case – news politics | UNIAN

Chief of the Special Investigations Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) of Ukraine Serhiy Horbatiuk has said outgoing Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on May 10 was interrogated as a witness in the Maidan case. The interrogation was agreed on the eve.

“Not a Privilege, But a Burden of Responsibility” – New Head of Ukraine’s Anti-Graft

Olena Tanasevych, the 37-year-old Ukrainian judge who was elected as the head of the newly formed Anti-Corruption Court on May 7, has many a reason to

“There is no amnesty for the Kremlin criminals,” the Russian embassy was reminded of the Kremlin’s war crimes and the lack of punishment for them. VIDEO + PHOTO report

On Saturday, May 11, under the Russian embassy in Kiev, an action entitled “No amnesty to the Kremlin criminals” was held, which demanded the imposition of criminal liability for war crimes. This is reported by the correspondent of Tsensor.NET . “In the sixth year of occupation and the war in the east, Ukraine has not yet given proper responsibility for the terrible torture, enforced disappearances, rape and assassinations that take place in the occupied territories of the Donbas, so criminals can easily be amnestied,” the organizers of the action said. According to them, the adoption of the Law No. 9438 on war crimes will allow the perpetrators to be punished in mass tragedies that occurred with our citizens during the Ilovaisky boiler, the fighting at Debaltsev, the shooting of residential neighborhoods of Mariupol, the bus near Volnovakha, the Donetsk airport, shot down planes with Ukrainian military and foreign citizens (MN17), torture and mistreatment of prisoners of war and hostages. Read on “Censor.NET”: Fifth Anniversary of Sentsov’s arrest: In Moscow, they arranged ten single pickets around Putin’s residence. PHOTO report Activists at the embassy told the stories of Ukrainian prisoners of war and hostages of the Kremlin. Джерело: https://censor.net.ua/ua/p3126381

Business Ukraine mag on Twitter: “Average salaries in Ukraine returned to pre-war levels in March 2019. The new average monthly pay of $385 still leaves Ukraine far behind the rest of Central Europe, but the growth rate is nontheless impressive: 21% up year-on-year and more than double the figure for 2015.… https://t.co/JjsAyY9SMl”

Fifth Anniversary Of Sentsov’s Arrest Marked In Ukraine

Activists in Ukraine have marked the fifth anniversary of the arrest of Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who is serving a 20-year prison term in Russia on charges of terrorism.

Ukraine’s finance minister meets with key partners in Sarajevo

The team of the Ukrainian Finance Ministry led by Minister Oksana Markarova actively worked with Ukraine’s key international partners as part of a working visit to Sarajevo that hosted the Annual Meeting and Business Forum of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the ministry’s press service has reported. — Ukrinform.

Ukrainian infrastructure minister: Railway connection with Russia unlikely to be closed

Infrastructure Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Omelyan supports the complete cessation of railway communication with Russia, but no trains will be canceled so far. — Ukrinform.

Omelyan says Ukrzaliznytsia could fail to fulfill capital investment plan due to eurobond payments

JSC Ukrzaliznytsia could fail to fulfill the plan for capital investments because of the need to pay more than $150 million on eurobonds in the second half of this year, Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan has said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.

Infrastructure minister Omelyan suggests building new airport in Zakarpattia region

The Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine considers the opening of the Uzhgorod Airport only a temporary solution to the problem of air traffic and plans to build a new airport in Zakarpattia region. — Ukrinform.

Most likely, there will be no cessation of rail link to Russia, – Omelyan

It makes no sense to carry air, according to Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister

Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to UN Yelchenko appointed Ambassador to Jamaica

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has appointed Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations Volodymyr Yelchenko as Ukraine’s Ambassador to Jamaica, who will now combine two posts. — Ukrinform.

They broke the Gulag: How Ukrainians overcame the Soviet repressive machine |Euromaidan Press |

UNR ministers, artists of the “Executed Renaissance,” “alien class elements,” “saboteur scholars,” members of the Ukrainian liberation movement, dissidents, and clergymen. In the times of the USSR, all of them were on a special account of Soviet authorities, and many of them had to go through the repressive hell of the Gulag – the system of special “corrective labor camps.” The Soviets attempted to “correct” them with hard labor and inhuman imprisonment conditions. However, they didn’t subdue and, having retained dignity, managed to break up this system through joint efforts. On 8 May, the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation, an open-air thematic exhibition opened in Kyiv to tell about the triumph of these people and their struggle against the Soviet repressive regime.

Video installation by Ukrainian artist Pashkovsky shown in New York’s Times Square

A video installation created by Ukrainian artist Oleh Pashkovsky is shown in Times Square in New York as part of the Decode Experiential contemporary art project. — Ukrinform.

Explore Ukrainian traditional culture with interactive site “Authentic Ukraine” |Euromaidan Press |

While traveling around the world (in reality or on the Internet) we, first of all, learn about the culture of the people living in various countries, their spiritual values. We try to understand the souls of the nations. The key to such understanding lies in the deepest layers of folk culture, preserved in the intangible cultural heritage of each nation. A new interactive web-source was created that helps you to expore Authentic Ukraine and its heritage. Intangible Cultural Heritage, as defined by UNESCO, is transmitted and perceived by living people, so it remains alive for centuries. Protection of the Intangible Cultural Heritage contributes to the enrichment of cultural diversity and stimulates creativity. The list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO includes such Ukrainian objects as Petrykivka painting and Kozak songs of Dnipro Oblast. Yet, much more are presented in the platform “Authentic Ukraine,” including performing arts, customs, rites, celebrations, knowledge and practice concerning nature and the universe, traditional crafts, oral traditions, stories, and legends. You can listen some Dumas as Kozak songs performed exlusevely by bandura’s players. To explore all this go to https://authenticukraine.com.ua/en.

Chernobyl (2019) | Official Trailer | HBO – YouTube

HBO Published on Mar 28, 2019 On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, Soviet Union suffered a massive explosion that released radioactive material across Belarus, Russia and Ukraine and as far as Scandinavia and western Europe. Chernobyl dramatizes the story of the 1986 accident, one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history, and the sacrifices made to save Europe from the unimaginable disaster. Chernobyl premieres May 6 on HBO.

 

Filaret calls Epiphany for a common worship: “For the sake of the unity and strengthening of our Church.” DOCUMENT

Honorable Patriarch Filaret invited Metropolitan Epiphanius to commemorate the holy Martyr Makarios on May 14, 2019. Filaret wrote about this on Facebook , reports Censor . NET . “I received information from the mass media that you expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that I did not invite you to commemorate the memory of the holy martyr Macarius, the Metropolitan of Kiev, because you, after your election as the Primate of the UOC, have never been with I did not celebrate the Divine Liturgy – for five months, I have a thought, maybe it’s a mistake that you consider to be humiliating yourself to serve with Patriarch Filaret? In addition, as you know, you are trying to serve the liturgy either in Dnipro, or in Mariupol and they gather the bishops of the Church as opposed to the celebration in Kiev Vladimir Cathedral, where the relics are Martyr Macarius, “- he said. Read on “Tsensor.NET”: UOC-KP and UAOC have not been eliminated as legal entities yet – the register “Because, because of your dissatisfaction, you have expressed the desire to take part in the celebration of the patron saint of our Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Sacred M. Macarius, Metropolitan of Kiev, I gladly invite you to His Holiness the Feast of St. Makarios in the Cathedral Patriarchal Council on May 14, 2019, where we meet annually to all bishopric to strengthen our unity and strengthen our Church, “- added Filaret. Філарет кличе Епіфанія на спільне богослужіння: Заради єдності й зміцнення нашої Церкви 01 It should be noted that the invitation to come to the general prayer is printed on the letter of the non-existent Kyivan Patriarchate. Recently, the honorable patriarch Filaret sent bishops an invitation to the feast also on behalf of the liquidated UOC-KP. Джерело: https://censor.net.ua/ua/n3126371

The UOC-KP and the UAOC have not yet been liquidated as legal persons – the register

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church are not yet legal entities in the process of liquidation. According to Tsensor.NET with reference to Lb.ua , this is evidenced by the data of a single register of legal entities. According to the register, the legal organ “Kyiv Patriarchate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate” is not in a state of liquidation. It exists in the organizational and legal form of a religious organization and its leader is Patriarch Filaret – Mykhailo Denysenko. He is also not in the process of liquidation of the legal personality “Patriarchate of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church”, headed by Nikolai Maletich (Metropolitan Macarius). Read also: The Fanari for the first time spoke an Easter message in Ukrainian. VIDEO May 8, Filaret invited the bishops for a holiday on behalf of the non-existent UOC-KP. On May 10, it became known that the honorable patriarch of the UOC-KP Filaret wants to restore the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, which at the end of last year entered the newly formed Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Epiphanius, stated that the return of the CPU to the structure of the Kyiv Patriarchate would mean the loss of Tomos and all the achievements of church independence. Джерело: https://censor.net.ua/ua/n3126327

Epiphanius: The return of the Ukrainian church to the “Kyiv Patriarchate” means the loss of Tomos

The head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Epiphanius, believes that the return of the CPU to the structure of the Kyiv Patriarchate will mean the loss of Tomos and all the achievements of Church independence. This was the head of the CPU Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epiphanius in an interview with LB.ua , reports Tsensor. NET. “In the aftermath of the unification and receipt of Thomas, the idea of the Kyivan Patriarchate in the form in which he was before the Cathedral (united – Ed.), Which at one time gave life and breath, can take this life and take away, split a local church. Today, the return to the previous structure of the Kyiv Patriarchate means returning to isolation, the loss of Tomos and all the achievements of church independence, “Epifaniyev said. Bishop stressed that if the decision of the Local Council of the Kyivan Patriarchate about the cessation of the activities of the religious association of the UOC-KP as a way of uniting and joining the created Orthodox Church of Ukraine, the termination of the Charter and all the statutory bodies of the UOC-KP would not have taken place, which united three branches of Ukrainian Orthodoxy into a single local church. Read also: Poroshenko spoke about it with all the world’s leaders – Kirilenko on providing Tomos “Therefore, to say that now, contrary to the decisions of the Local Council of the UOC-KP and the Unity Council on December 15, 2018, the Kyivan Patriarchate is structurally wrong, it is wrong in fact and even more legally,” he said. At the same time, he acknowledged as an indisputable fact that the Kyivan Patriarchate became the forerunner of receiving Tomas on autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and His Holiness Patriarch Filaret did a lot to make the Ukrainian church independent. At the same time, according to the Metropolitan, the Ukrainian church, according to all criteria, deserves the status of patriarchy in the future. Also read: The process of transition of parishes to the PCU slowed down before the elections, – Filaret “But to raise this issue before the Ecumenical Patriarch will be possible when the local church will unite if not all Ukrainian Orthodoxy, then its overwhelming majority,” – said Metropolitan Epiphanius, adding that this in his interview more than once he also said the patriarch Filaret himself. The head of the CPU also confirmed that he had not received from Patriarch Filaret an invitation to the solemn prayer service in memory of the holy martyr Macarius, scheduled for May 14. Later, Epifanius told LB.ua that the invitation came after the mass media disseminated the information. It is noted that Metropolitan Epiphanius received an invitation also on the letter of the UOC-KP, which does not legally exist. As previously reported, the honorary patriarch of the UOC-KP Filaret wants to restore the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate, which at the end of last year entered the newly formed Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

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