Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (176)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Roskosmos classified data leak update. The Vozhd criticises inadequacies of Russian air power in Syria. Russia media report Iraq will procure the S-400 / SA-21 long range SAM. CoE versus Russia. Five items on Russia’s ongoing descent. NATO / Turkey updates – much on S-400 argument.

Debate over aborted Giuliani visit, Lutsenko absolves Bidens of any wrongdoing. IR and Crimea updates.

Donbas update. Russia ramps up ISR effort. DNR blames Ukraine for Zakharchenko hit. INTMIN Avakov travels to Italy over case against NGU soldier falsely blamed by Russia for death of Italian journalist. PSU gets another refurbished FENCER D. League of Defense Enterprises of Ukraine show update – Radionix active radar seekers, new domestic 120mm tank main gun, new 120mm mortar, and multiple ISR products.

While Pres Poroshenko signs inauguration documents, the parliament outmanoeuvres Ze by breaking the coalition, preventing the incoming president from calling an early election. Klimkin, Turchynov, Irina Lutsenko quit. Poroshenko’s last act as President is to grant Ilya Ponomarev, former Russian MP, Ukrainian citizenship. Politics/economy reports.

OCU update, and a large ROC update especially on the Yekaterinburg protests that produced an unexpected outcome.


UAWire – Classified information on Russian satellites leaked online

The administrative collapse of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, is gaining momentum. Following the theft of billions of rubles from construction projects and the disappearance of a senior manager abroad to avoid the consequences of an audit, classified information about the agency’s upcoming satellite launches has now been leaked on the internet. The leak was reported to RIA Novosti by Saturn, a Roscosmos subsidiary that develops solar and rechargeable batteries. The published information was taken from a company presentation that was given in Krasnodar in February. “It was a certain message at a conference that was not meant to end up in the public domain,” lamented Sergey Likhonosov, chief lithium ion battery engineer at Saturn. The leaked information includes the number of satellites, their names, the names of the companies designing them, and the launch dates. The company believes it was illegal to publish this information. “We will take appropriate action against whoever posted it,” Likhonosov said.

Russian website leaks classified data on Russian satellites

A Russian website published the classified information about satellites, the very existence of which was kept in secret. Meduza news agency reported that with the reference to RIA Novosti. A presentation was made public; it included the list of satellites’ names, launch times and the number of devices launched, as well as the data on research and construction works and enterprises involved in the development. Related: United Launch Alliance launches Delta IV Heavy with intelligence satellite According to Sergei Likhonosov, Saturn company’s Chief Constructor of Li-ion batteries, the man who designed certain parts of the satellites, the information was disclosed for a narrow circle of experts at a conference in Krasnodar, Russia in February 2019. ‘This should not have become a matter of public knowledge’, he said. Saturn claimed they would prosecute those involved in the release of the presentation.

UAWire – Putin points out shortcomings of Russian aviation in Syria

Russian aviation used during combat in Syria has a number of shortcomings when it comes to the technical condition of the airplanes and helicopters, said Russian President Vladimir Putin during a military meeting in Sochi as reported by RBK. “The same can be said about the direct fire weapons,” Putin added. He drew attention to the fact that “this would have been impossible to detect at a test site.” “Industrial enterprises are working routinely to eliminate the problems that have appeared. We were convinced of this when we visited the Kazan Aviation Plant and the 929th State Flight-Test Center of the Ministry of Defense,” the president said. He added that he was shown modern aircraft and helicopters with a lot of potential as well as unmanned aerial vehicles. The armed conflict in Syria began in 2011. Russia has been active in the Syrian conflict on the side of President Assad’s troops since 2015. As Putin stated, Russia agreed to enter the conflict to eradicate terrorism. In December 2017, he ordered the withdrawal of military troops from the Khmeimim base. However, there is still a Russian military presence in Syria. In Syria, several fifth-generation Su-57 fighter jets were tested in the field. RBC news agency reported, citing sources in the Ministry of Defense, that two planes had been transferred to the conflict zone. According to Sergey Shoygu, the fighter aircraft tests in Syria lasted only two days, but in that time the military succeeded in carrying out practical launches of cruise missiles from the Su-57. A source in the Russian Ministry of Defense told RBC that deploying these aircraft in Syria was done in response to American stealth fighter flights.

Russia looking for replacement for “troubled” Pantsir air defense system – Defence Blog

The Russian Armed Forces are looking more advanced and cost-effectivity air defense system to replace “troubled” Pantsir (SA-22 according to the NATO designation) anti-aircraft defense system. According to sources in the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the Russian Army and Navy are dissatisfied with Pantsir complex and looking on absolute new air defense systems. For the army, the Pantsir air defense system proved too heavy, complex and not effective to protect against most of the potential threats. To protect the ships in the coastal zone and in harbors, the naval version of Pantsir has also become too expensive and not very effective. Pantsir is a medium-range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system that has combined missiles and guns. But during a real operation in Syria was revealed a number of technical flaws of Pantsir system that designed to provide point air defense of military and industrial installations against aircraft, helicopters, precision munitions, cruise missiles and UAVs and to provide additional protection to air defense units from enemy air attacks employing precision munitions especially at the low to extremely low ranges. What’s more, Pantsir-S1 missile defense system took a direct hit during an Israeli airstrike in Syria. On 21 January, the Israeli military says it has hit Iranian and Syrian targets around Damascus, including advanced Pantsir-S1 air defense system. “During our strike, dozens of Syrian surface-to-air missiles were launched, despite clear warnings to avoid such fire. In response, we also targeted several of the Syrian Armed Forces’ aerial defense batteries,” the military statement said. Also, Israeli military released footage showing the several Russian-made Pantsir-S1 (SA-22 according to the NATO designation) missile defense systems took a direct hit during an Israeli airstrike in Syria. This is not the first case when the Israeli Air Force destroys the Pantsir-S1 system with impunity. On May 10, 2018, Israeli fighter jets struck several military targets in Syria, including Russian-built Pantsir-S1system. Radar of the air defense system can’t keep up with acquisition and tracking of small size targets, like as drones and precision munitions. During the defense of the Russian military base in the province of Latakia, most enemy targets were shot down with cannon weapons, which does not guarantee protection against high-speed attacks and creates a threat of concomitant destruction. Currently, attempts are being made to develop for Russian Air Force new advanced version, called the Pantsir-SM, with latest electronics, radar, and new missiles. A new project is being funded by selling the existing version of “troubled” air defense systems abroad at a low price.

TASS: Military & Defense – Iraq to purchase Russia’s S-400 missile systems

MOSCOW, May 15. /TASS/. The Iraqi government has made a decision to purchase the S-400 missile systems from Russia, Iraqi Ambassador to Moscow Haidar Mansour Hadi said at a press conference following the eighth meeting of the Russian-Iraqi intergovernmental commission on trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation held in Baghdad on April 23-25. “As for the missile defense systems, the government has made a decision, it wants to purchase the S-400,” he said. The S-400 Triumf (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) is the most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system that went into service in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range ones, and can also be used against ground objectives. The S-400 system can engage targets at a distance of 400 km and at an altitude of up to 35 km. More: http://tass.com/defense/1058382

UAWire – Iraq to buy S-400 missile systems from Russia

Iraq intends to buy S-400 anti-air missile systems from Russia, announced Iraqi Ambassador to Russia Mansour Hadi on 15 May at a press conference, DW reports. The decision was made during a session of the Russian-Iraqi Commission for Trade, Economic and Scientific Cooperation held in Baghdad on 23-25 April. Hadi noted that, although the Iraqi government has stated its intention to purchase S-400s, no concrete agreements have yet been reached with Russia. This step by the Iraqi government could lead to complications in Baghdad’s relations with Washington. When asked whether the US could force Iraq to back down from the deal, Hadi merely pointed out that “diplomatic channels exist for dealing with these problems with the Americans”. The US has opposed Turkey’s decision to buy Russian aerial defense systems. The US and NATO have repeatedly warned Turkey that the S-400 cannot be integrated into the alliance’s anti-air and anti-missile defense system. At the start of April, Washington announced that it would stop providing Turkey with equipment for F-35 fighters until Turkey pulls out of the S-400 deal. In November 2018, CNBC reported with reference to sources in US intelligence that several countries had expressed interested in buying S-400s: Algeria, Vietnam, Egypt, Iraq, Qatar, Marocco and Saudi Arabia. In February, US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said that a response from the US could be expected if Iraq or other countries decided to buy Russian weaponry.

Council Of Europe Marks 70th Anniversary With Russia’s Membership In Spotlight

The Council of Europe’s relations with Russia are in the spotlight as the Continent’s key human rights body celebrates its 70th anniversary at a gathering in Finland.

UAWire – Media: Council of Europe paves way for possible lifting of sanctions against Russia

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe supported the draft decision to change the imposing of sanctions against countries that violate the Charter of the Organization. According to Ukrayinska Pravda, this decision allows Russia to return to the Council of Europe under an emergency procedure. The Committee met in Strasbourg on Tuesday, May 14. According to sources, 39 of the 47 Member States supported the draft of Ministerial decision. The central idea of the decision is to introduce a new type of sanctions procedure against the offending States. The document, which was adopted to start this process, does not mention “Russia.” According to journalists, the final decision will be made at the meeting of Ministers of the Council of Europe in Helsinki on Friday, May 17. In June 2019 it will be two years since Russia stopped paying membership fees to the Council of Europe. Moscow’s debt to the Council of Europe is now 60 million euros. Under the CoE Charter, a Member State may be disqualified if it fails to meet its financial obligations for two years. Since 2015, the rights of the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe are limited due to the annexation of Crimea — they do not have the right to vote, they are also suspended from work in the governing bodies of PACE. At the same time, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin said, that the PACE member countries, which will support the resumption of the work of the Russian delegation in the organization without fulfilling the conditions, will be responsible for unraveling of the Minsk agreements.

Russia not yet returned to PACE, but situation is ‘disgusting’ – Ariev

The decision of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe does not return Russia to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), but the situation is risky. — Ukrinform.

 

A Look Inside a Bastion of Russia’s Far Right

Cossack region is a hotbed of Russian conservatism and nostalgia for an imperial past.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: One Aspect of Weimar Analogy Remains Tragically True in Russia, Savvin Says

Paul Goble Staunton, May 15 – It was fashionable in the 1990s and early 2000s to point to parallels between Weimar Germany and post-Soviet Russia, Dimitry Savvin says, but in most respects beyond the most superficial, the analogy broke down. The social, economic and political systems of the two countries are simply too different for anything else to happen. But there is one aspect of the Weimar analogy that holds, albeit it is one that few want to talk about, the Riga-based Russian nationalist says; and it is this, both in Weimar Germany and in Russia of the 1990s, at the end of the day, no one was prepared to live according to democratic rules and viewed them as dispensable (afterempire.info/2019/05/15/vebmarsjaya-bolezn/). In Weimar Germany, none of the conservative forces viewed democracy as anything but an obstacle to their goals. That is no surprise given their background in Imperial Germany, Savvin continues; but what is surprising is that none of the liberals acted as if democracy was important. Instead, they saw it as a means to take power, not as a system in and of itself. “In democratic Germany … democracy turned out to be something no one needed. For all, the Weimar regime was only an unwelcome and temporary stopping point, and all wanted to break everyone except themselves by making use of it, the Riga-based commentator says. And so “democracy died, quietly and unnoticed,” on its own rather than being killed by the Nazis. In that respect, the Weimar analogy first perfectly with what happened in Russia: Because no one viewed democracy and its rules as worthwhile in and of themselves, many came to view them as unnecessary and ultimately as dispensable. And once that happened, they were given up much as they were given up in Germany. “Just like in Germany of 1918, the late-Soviet fragmentary decracy turned out to be more a sum of historical failures and backlash and not the legitimate result of political evolution,” Savvin argues,, “and what is especially important, already in the very first years of the existence of the Russian Federation, it turned out that no one needed it.” No one can have any trouble understanding by the communists or various national patriots weren’t interested in democratic development, he says; and “no less logical also was the fact that the old nomenklatura wasn’t interested either and already by the beginning of 1992 it was beginning to return itself to power and begin the formation of a neo-Soviet regime.” But the way the so-called “democratic forces” behaved requires more comment because they behaved not as defenders of democracy but rather as the forces that helped destroy any chance that it could succeed in Russia. In 1993, they supported the shelling of the parliament; and then in 1996, they supported a faked result in presidential elections. And in 2000, they welcomed the anti-democratic appointment of a successor to Boris Yeltsin, although some of its members would have sacrificed democracy in another way by allowing Yeltsin to run for an unconstitutional third term. “It isn’t hard to notice that Russian society, with rare exceptions, dreamed throughout the 1990s about a dictator. But only one that each wanted.” Some wanted a Stalin, others a Che Guevara, still others, “’our Orthodox Russian Hitler,’” and liberal society about “its own Pinochet” who would put things in order the way its members wanted. “Precisely in this paradoxical societal consensus,” Savvin continues, “consists if you will the very clearest resemblance of Yeltsin’s Russian Federation and Weimar Germany.” And that in turn helps to explain why democratic ideas and democratic leaders remain so extremely unpopular in Russia to this day. Russians “do not view political confrontation as one between dictatorship and democracy,” he says. Rather, “they see only the competition of various models of dictatorship. And in a completely logical way, they give their preference to the one which seems the most ‘popular’ in shape.” The Kremlin understands this and presents Putin as one of the people and his opponents, including in particular those who proclaim themselves to be democrats, as “unsuccessful candidates for dictator who despise the people and fear it,” a presentation that works extremely well for the powers that be, Savvin argues. “What needs to be done? As always: before calling upon others to share your faith, you must test yourself by living according to your faith. If you want to attract people to the ideal of democracy, then first of all you must organize your own political milieu in a corresponding way.” Until that happens, Savvin concludes, the Weimar disease will continue to infect Russia. “And democracy just like in Germany of the 1920s, won’t be needed by anyone, including even the democrats.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin’s Totalitarianism Doesn’t Require Shootings, Ponomaryev Says

Paul Goble Staunton, May 16 – Some say that Russia is already approaching a new 1937, but others insist that “nothing very terrible is taking place” because “there are no mass shootings without investigation and trial and there will never be such things,” longtime human rights campaigner Lev Ponomaryev says. “But if there are no shootings,” he continues, “this doesn’t mean that there are no repressions” or that these repressions are not intensifying. There are, and they are; and this is worrisome because “the totalitarianism towards which Russia is lurching is dangerous not only for political opponents of the regime” but for ordinary people as well.” Moreover, the new totalitarian “machine” that the Putin regime is putting in place is incapable of stopping on its own, Ponomaryev argues; and worse, it has not intention of doing do. Instead, everything suggests that barring resistance, it will become ever worse (mk.ru/politics/2019/05/16/novoe-lico-totalitarizma-natisk-repressiy-v-rossii-usilivaetsya.html). The parallels with the onset of Stalinism are all too obvious. “Then during the struggle with opponents of the regime suffered ordinary people as well who in no way were opposed to the regime,” the human rights activist continues. “As a result, a repressive machine which could not and did not want to stop was created and millions of people fell under its millstones.” According to Ponomaryev, under Stalin in the 1930s, “the inertia of repressions was fed by fear; and envy, which acquired in the population a practical realization: banal denunciations on one’s neighbor with the goal of taking his room in a communal apartment—or simply for revenge.” “Now, 80 years later as then, the first to suffer are opposition figures, who in essence are accused of being enemies of the people.” They aren’t that numerous and many assume that what is happening to them can’t happen to anyone else. “But the repressive machine has been launched, and the moment when an ordinary person will be drawn in is a question of time.” Since the May 2012 protest against the regime arrogating itself unconstitutional powers, the Kremlin “began to fear any protest actions and developed standards of repression,” either refusing to approve applications for meetings or imposing administrative fines on participants. “Totalitarian practices were in this way being tested.” They rapidly spread and became massive, Ponomaryev says. “Over the last two years alone, already tens of thousands of people throughout the country have been illegally subjected to administrative punishments for peaceful political actions.” And the stage is being set for these administrative actions to be followed by criminal charges with real prison terms. Under new laws, “if an activist is subject to administrative punishment for participation in mass actions three times in the course of a year, then on the fourth occasion, he can be subject automatically to criminal punishment.” Given how easy it is for the authorities to impose administrative fines, this is not some distant prospect and has already been used. Another totalitarian instrument, Ponomaryev continues, is the use of the 2015 law against undesirable organizations, itself “anti-constitutional and illegal.” That measure specifies that if an individual is given administrative punishments for its violation twice in one year, he can be subject to criminal sanctions on the third. Yet a third such repressive instrument is government policy on the internet. Any citizen can be caught up in Internet crimes. “From the point of view of mass repressions, the internet is useful both for catching opposition activists and for intimidating those with no links to politics at all.” The regime has backed off on this measure because the absurdity of some of the charges its officials were bringing under Paragraph 282 were discrediting the powers that be. But that decision can easily be reversed once the authorities feel that they do not face any risk that their actions will have that consequence. In addition, “the FSB is opening ever more cases on terrorism and extremism with respect to youth organizations.” Many of them are not only absurd on their face but require the testimony extracted under torture of those who are charged – parallels with the 1930s that are too obvious not to be noticed. Such things represent a dangerous challenge to everyone because each time the powers that be get away with something, the country moves closer to the horrors of totalitarianism. “Just as was the case in 1937,” Ponomaryev says. And he calls for protests against them now before such actions themselves become impossible.

Putin ‘cheated’ him Police arrest retired army major seven times in two weeks for protesting outside Russia’s Presidential Administration Building — Meduza

On May 11, police arrested a retired soldier picketing outside the Presidential Administration Building. Vladimir Skubak, a former major who served in the Glukhov Rocket Division in Novosibirsk, demonstrated with a sign that read, “Putin cheated me. Hunger strike.” The website OVD-Info first reported the incident.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Raising Pension Age Ensures Russian Birthrate will Continue to Fall, Experts Say

Paul Goble Staunton, May 16 – The Putin regime’s decision to raise the age at which Russians can retire has put a delayed action mine under the country’s prospects: Without grandmothers healthy enough to look after infants, many potential parents will decide not to have any children at all, driving down the birthrate and contributing to Russia’s demographic decline. Gennady Alpatov, an economist at St. Petersburg State University, says that the pension reform has hit families with children most of all and will lead ever more potential parents to decide not to have children at all, exactly the opposite decision that the government wants them to make (svpressa.ru/society/article/232870/). In the past, the scholar continues, the pension system was designed in such a way that grandparents could play an important social role in looking after young children, allowing both parents to work and reducing the amount of money the government has to spend on kindergartens and day care of one kind or another. By raising the pension age to the point where many older people will not feel well enough to look after young children, the Putin regime has destroyed much of that valuable system and now faces costs far greater than any benefits to the budget it may calculate it has gained. Valery Koltashov, the head of the Center for Political-Economic Research at Moscow’s New Society Institute, agrees. He says that increasing the pension age will not only cause families to decide to have fewer children in the future but have extremely negative effects on housing and the economy now. On the one hand, if one parent has to stay home to take care of young children for seven to nine years, that family will not be able to purchase an apartment and will suffer deprivations as well. And on the other, the absence of that individual from the workforce will make it ever more difficult to maintain the number of workers the economy needs to function. As a result, Koltashov says, “the pension reform looks very harmful both from the point of view of the economy and from the point of view of social policy.” It was not carefully thought out, he continues, and “is generating serious problems for millions of families and not only for those the government simply stole several years” by forcing them to work longer.

 

EU Defends Military Reforms Against US Criticism

Skirmish over military spending comes as transatlantic ties are at a long-time low with fears running high that cooperation at NATO could be endangered

Germany informs NATO of huge defense budget increase: report | News | DW | 17.05.2019

Germany is set to significantly raise its defense spending, according to a news report. It would be the biggest increase since the end of the Cold War.

Turkey reconsidering S-400 purchase at request of U.S. – report | Ahval

Turkey is discussing a request extended by the United States to delay the purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defence system slated for delivery in July, Bloomberg reported on Monday. Turkish journalist Asli Aydintasbas was the first to tweet on the possibility of a delayed S-400 purchase. On Thursday, she said that Turkey may “indefinitely delay” the planned purchase or deployment of the S-400. On Friday, German newspaper Bild, citing its own sources who are Turkish authorities, reported that Turkey is changing its mind about purchasing the S-400. “The S-400 delivery is a done deal,” Turkish Presidential Communications Director, Fahrettin Altun wrote on Twitter Friday, quoting Bild’s tweet. “Take it from me: The S-400 procurement is a done deal,” he said. Bloomberg adds a new twist to this narrative on Monday by claiming that the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump asked Ankara last week to postpone receiving the advanced S-400 missile defence system and that the Ankara is weighing on the issue. The same report also suggests that both countries may be nearing a deal in which joint patrols from both countries’ military units monitor a proposed northeast Syria safe zone. Turkey has sent several emissaries to Washington to function as backchannels in recent months and test various options, led by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s close adviser Mucahit Arslan and former U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Matt Bryza.

TASS: Military & Defense – Turkey ready to accept delivery of Russia’s S-400 systems, says foreign minister

US officials warn that Turkey’s contract to purchase S-400 missile systems from Russia will severely damage bilateral relations

Russia says S-400 deal’s implementation in ‘full swing’ – Turkey News

Implementation of the deal for the delivery of Russia’s S-400 air defense system to Turkey is in full swing despite U.S. pressure, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said on May 14.

U.S. Air Force Chief Says It’s Still ‘Possible’ Turkey May Call Off Russian Missile Purchase

The chief of the U.S. Air Force says it is still “possible” that Turkey will decide against purchasing a Russian missile-defense system, a deal that has angered Washington and many NATO allies.

Washington says Turkey may change its mind on S-400 purchase | Ahval

A top U.S. official said on Thursday it was possible for Turkey to change its mind on purchasing Russian S-400 missile systems, which Washington says are incompatible with NATO systems and posing a security threat to the F-35 stealth fighter, Agence France Presse reported. Asked on Thursday if Turkey may ultimately change its mind on the S-400, the U.S. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson replied, “it’s possible,” adding that diplomats had been working on the issue. Wilson’s comments came amid heightened tensions between two NATO allies over Ankara’s planned S-400 acquisition. A bipartisan U.S. House bill submitted this week calling for the termination of Turkey’s participation in F-35 production and a halt to the delivery of F-35 aircraft to Turkey if Ankara goes ahead with its planned Russian S-400 purchase. The United States in April froze a joint F-35 manufacturing program with Turkey, which produces 6-7 percent of the parts of the fighter jets.

Turkey Struggles to Balance Ties With US, Russia

Analysts warn Ankara is running out of time and space to maneuver over its pending acquisition of a Russian missile defense system

U.S. terminates Turkey’s preferential trade agreement, reduces tariffs on steel – Reuters

The United States on Thursday terminated Turkey’s preferential trade treatment that allowed some exports to enter the country duty free, but it has halved its tariffs on imports of Turkish steel to 25%.

UAWire – US State Department prepares second package of sanctions against Russia for Skripal poisonings

The US Department of State sent a second package of sanctions related to the poisonings of a former officer of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Russia, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter which took place in the UK to the head of department, Mike Pompeo, and the president of the United States, Donald Trump. Deputy Secretary of State Andrea Thompson spoke on the issue at a Senate hearing, as reported by Radio Svoboda. Thompson called the new sanctions part of an expanded strategy towards Russia. It was reported that Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned in Salisbury on March 4, 2018 using the nerve agent Novichok, developed in the Soviet Union and then in Russia. London claims that the attempt was organized by the Kremlin and assigned direct blame to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Moscow denies the accusation. The first package of US sanctions related to the Skripal poisonings went to effect on August 27, 2018. The levied penalties include a ban on the sale of weapons, as well as dual-use goods and technologies, to Russia. The second package could include a total ban on the export of American goods to Russia, restriction of imports of Russian goods to the United States, decrease in diplomatic relations and ban on private company air operations.

 

It Was Unfair to Drag Zelenskyy Into American Domestic Politics – Former US Official

Since Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudolph Giuliani’s scheduled and then canceled visit to Ukraine, news and allegations on the matter have been coming thick and fast in the U.S. Equally fast have been the developments in Ukraine where the Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko and reformist MP Serhiy Leshchenko have exchanged a number of allegations against each other sparked by the U.S. visit story. To help make sense of this complicated story, Hromadske spoke with David Kramer, United States’ Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (2008-2009). We publish an excerpt of the interview. How should we understand Rudolph Giulliani’s allegations against former vice president Biden and his interference in Ukrainian internal affairs and how should we interpret them? I think that Ukraine is getting caught in the middle of American domestic politics. And I think that Mr. Giuliani is trying to change the narrative from what has been the case for the past 2+ years in the United States — allegations of collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign — and is now trying to argue that instead there was a collusion between Ukraine and the Clinton campaign. And on top of that, that there was some corrupt activity, in which former vice president’s son was engaged, Hunter Biden with his position on the board of Burisma.

Ukraine Prosecutor Says No Evidence of Wrongdoing by Bidens – Bloomberg

Ukraine’s prosecutor general said in an interview that he had no evidence of wrongdoing by U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden or his son, despite a swirl of allegations by President Donald Trump’s lawyer.

Ukraine prosecutor clears Joe Biden and son Hunter of wrongdoing

Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said Hunter Biden and Burisma, a Ukrainian private gas company of which the younger Biden served on the board, were not the targets of investigations by his office.

Ukrainian prosecutor shoots down Rudy Giuliani’s conspiracy theories about Joe Biden | Salon.com

“Hunter Biden did not violate any Ukrainian laws,” Yuriy Lutsenko, Ukraine’s prosecutor general, tells Bloomberg

NABU could not have influenced U.S. presidential elections, accusations part of political game – Sytnyk

The National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) could not have influenced the 2016 U.S. presidential elections and accusations that it could are part of a political game, NABU Director Artem Sytnyk has said. “Our position is consistent starting in 2016, when these accusations first were heard. NABU could not have meddled in the U.S. elections in any way. Therefore, these accusations are part of a political game,” he told journalists in Kyiv. Sytnyk said that, unfortunately, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko is playing a role in this game. At a briefing on May 14, Lutsenko said actions by NABU Director Sytnyk to meddle in the American elections constituted at least a violation of political ethics. “Despite a special warning from his procedural leader, who is Nazar Kholodnytsky (head of the Special Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office, SAPO), … despite legal requirements and elementary political ethics, Sytnyk then, during the middle of September 2016, told American media that [Paul] Manafort’s name was on the lists of the so-called ‘black ledger’ of the Party of Regions. He did this knowing that Manafort’s signature was not there,” Lutsenko told journalists. As reported, during the television program Pravo na Vladu (Right to Power) aired by the 1+1 television channel on March 15, 2019, Lutsenko said he had received a statement from non-aligned Member of Parliament of Ukraine Boryslav Rozenblat, who alleged that Sytnyk had transferred “black ledger” documents to the United States to support Hilary Clinton, a rival candidate to Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. Lutsenko said Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) would investigate. On March 22, NABU said its agents had not gathered or transferred any evidence of wrongdoing involving Trump’s ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort to anyone. NABU refuted Lutsenko’s assertion about the possible influence (by NABU) on the U.S. presidential elections, calling it absurd. In turn, Ukraine’s Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) head Nazar Kholodnytsky said, “If he (Sytnyk) really saw himself as a geopolitical figure and helped Hillary, then it is necessary to draw conclusions. This is wrong … I met with him [Sytnyk] in 2016 and talked with him at a conference in Panama. He also told me he wanted to help Hillary. He didn’t answer when I asked him where he was and where Hillary was.” The leak of the records kept by the Party of Regions was a reason for Manafort’s dismissal as Trump’s campaign manager and became one of the key accusations in the investigation of collusion [between Trump campaign officials] with Russia. The case has been under investigation for the last two years. According to The New York Times newspaper, Manafort’s name is mentioned 22 times in the “black ledger,” which indicates $12.7 million was paid to him from 2007 to 2012. Kyiv’s Pechersky district court on April 8, 2019, ordered a technical computer examination and analysis of audio records, on which a person with a voice resembling Sytnyk’s is heard talking about his role during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Ukraine needs all the friends it can get. So why did it boot the American Ambassador early?

Last week the Trump administration recalled US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch two months earlier than expected. Various forces within Ukraine’s presidential administration, including the attorney general, had been calling for her head after she gave a speech that pointed out Ukraine’s lackluster commitment to reform on Poroshenko’s watch. The lack of an ambassador puts the United States in a weak position with a new Ukrainian president about to take over and parliamentary elections in October. But let’s put aside the politics and focus on Ukraine’s domestic situation. It’s been nearly a month since Volodymyr Zelenskiy was elected and he still hasn’t been sworn in because of political games. Parliament finally agreed to hold his inauguration on May 20. According to Ukraine’s Constitution, a new president can call for early elections before May 27; after that date, the parliament can’t be dissolved and elections will be held on October 27. Early Rada elections would undoubtedly benefit Zelenskiy. Riding on the momentum of Zelenskiy’s electoral victory in April, his Servant of the People political party enjoys almost 28 percent support in the polls. On the other hand, being a newcomer without any previous political experience, Zelenskiy’s team lacks professionals and a clear strategy for its first steps in office. One Ukrainian scholar who visited Washington recently lamented that no one knows who Zelenskiy’s top candidates for the most important positions he appoints, including the Ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs as well as the head of Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU), will be. It’s also unclear who is advising Zelenskiy on national security and foreign policy. After Zelenskiy’s victory, power seekers moved to influence him, including those who don’t necessarily share Western values. A recent investigation revealed that there are four informal groups of influence in Zelenskiy’s team. One is led by Iliya Pavliyuk who, according to reporters, coordinates financial issues. Before the Euromaidan revolution, Pavliyuk served as an assistant to Ihor Kaletnik, a corrupt politician from the Communist Party who fled to Moscow after then President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted in February 2014. Another influential person in Zelenskiy’s team is Andriy Bohdan, who represents Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky as his attorney on matters related to PrivatBank. On May 16, Kolomoisky returned to Ukraine after falling out with Poroshenko. There are few doubts that Zelensky’s team which hasn’t been announced yet will contain more dubious individuals. The million dollar question remains: who will make up the Servant of the People party? No one knows. Some of their candidates may not be pro-Western, as the party has strong support in eastern and southern Ukraine. Given the absence of experienced members within Zelenskiy’s new party, a scenario of possible Russian revenge should not be excluded in the upcoming parliamentarian elections. Let’s not forget that Yuriy Boyko, a Kremlin’s loyalist and leader of the “For Life” political party, gained almost 12 percent in the presidential contest. The other pro-Russian candidate, Oleksandr Vilkul, received 4.15 percent. Together, pro-Russian forces could do well, especially if they unify. Ukraine’s politics are no picnic. Recalling US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is an untimely move. It may threaten the country’s European future by creating a vacuum of American leadership in the country. Without doubt the Kremlin will try to fill this gap by installing as many loyalists into Zelenskiy’s fragile team. Therefore, the next US ambassador should be a senior-level diplomat and he or she should be appointed and sent to Kyiv as soon as possible. This is not only a matter of survival for Ukraine’s Western path. US interests in the broader region could fall into the Kremlin’s sphere of influence under an unexperienced president. Kyiv needs all the support it can get, especially now.

 

Grybauskaite to attend Zelensky’s inauguration

President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite will visit Kyiv on May 20 to participate in the inauguration of Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky. — Ukrinform.

NATO at the inauguration of Zelensky will be represented by the assistant secretary general Alvargonzales

At the inauguration ceremony of the newly elected President of Ukraine, Vladimir Zelensky, NATO will be represented by the assistant secretary general of the alliance, Ambassador Alejandro Alvargonzales. This was reported at the headquarters of the organization, informs Tsensor. NET with reference to “Interfax-Ukraine” . “At the inauguration of the President of Zelensky, NATO will be represented by Assistant Secretary General of the Political Affairs and Security Policy Division, Ambassador Alejandro Alvargonzales, while in Ambassador Alvargonzales, the ambassador will also take part in the 70th anniversary of the NATO Alliance,” the Alliance said. Today, on May 16, the Verkhovna Rada has decided to hold Zelensky’s inauguration on Monday, May 20. 315 people’s deputies voted for the relevant resolution. Источник: https://censor.net.ua/n3127280

UAWire – NATO representatives to attend Zelensky’s inauguration

Assistant Secretary General of NATO, Ambassador Alejandro Alvargonzalez will represent NATO at the inauguration ceremony of the newly elected President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, reports Interfax-Ukraine. “Assistant Secretary General of Department of Political Affairs and Security Policy Ambassador Alejandro Alvargonzalez will represent NATO at the inauguration of President Zelensky. During his stay in Kyiv, Ambassador Alvargonzalez will also participate in the reception dedicated to the 70th anniversary of NATO,” the representative of the Alliance said. Earlier, the head of the European Union Delegation to Ukraine Hugh Mingarelli said that Brussels has not yet decided which of the EU representatives will attend the inauguration of Volodymyr Zelensky. On May 16, Verkhovna Rada decided that the inauguration of the newly elected President Volodymyr Zelensky will take place on May 20.

House of Representatives’ Committee approves draft law on support of Ukraine

Appropriation Committee of the House of Representatives of the American Congress has approved the draft law, which provides $445,7 million for the support of Ukraine under the U.S. State Department, USAID and other structures as Ukraine’s Embassy to the U.S. reported on Facebook. “The draft law on the appropriation of the State Department, foreign operations and related programs for 2020 financial year establishes the estimation of the support to Ukraine under the U.S. State Department, USAID and other structures in the sum of $445,7 million,” the message said. The established sum provides the support to Ukraine in the sphere of defense in the sum of $115 million on the program “International military funding”.

EU may ban entry to Ukrainians with Russian passports – journalist – news politics | UNIAN

Brussels reporter for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Rikard Jozwiak has said the European Union may ban entry to Ukrainians with Russian passports. EU ambassadors discussed the issue of Russia handing out passports in east Ukraine.

Brussels reporter Jozwiak: EU may ban entry to Ukrainians with Russian passports

17.05.19 14:08 – Brussels reporter Jozwiak: EU may ban entry to Ukrainians with Russian passports Brussels reporter for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Rikard Jozwiak has said the European Union may ban entry to Ukrainians with Russian passports. View news.

UAWire – Mingarelli: Ukraine has not used €8 billion of EU aid

The head of the EU delegation to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli stated that Ukraine has not used 8 billion euros of aid that were allocated by the European Union, Ukrainsky Novyny News Agency reports. “The EU allocates significant amounts of money to Ukraine to support reforms, but this money is not always used in the best way. It is necessary to understand the fact that most of these funds are not used at all for several reasons,” he said at the conference “EU: Future Simple or Future Indefinite”, organized by the European Business Association. According to Mingarelli, the main problem is the lack of qualitative institutional capacity, and it is necessary to “put pressure” on local authorities to speed up the process. “We calculated that at this moment about 8 billion euros which were provided by the EU were not used… Before asking for additional money, first spend those funds that are available,” Mingarelli added.

Ukraine to change approaches to participation in Council of Europe due to attempt to return Russia to PACE

Attempts to return Russia to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) while Moscow continues to ignore the law are the result of departure from the CoE standards for the sake of current political goals. — Ukrinform.

No trust, no fear, no begging. A cheat sheet on Russia for Team Zelenskyy – LB.ua news portal

No trust, no fear, no begging. A cheat sheet on Russia for Team Zelenskyy. It is necessary to prepare for negotiations with Russians in advance. After talking to experts on Russia, LB.ua has come up with a list of old and new “wishes” of the Kremlin, as well as a reasonable line of conduct. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Muzhenko and chiefs of General Staff of Visegrad Group discuss ways to counter Russian aggression

Chief of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Viktor Muzhenko took part in an annual meeting of the Chiefs of the General Staff of the Visegrad Group states and Ukraine. — Ukrinform.

Canadian Parliament refuses to consider 1944 deportation of Crimean Tatars act of genocide

The Canadian Parliament could not vote for the resolution on the recognition of 1944 deportation of Crimean Tatars the act of genocide, Ukrinform news agency reported. Boris Wrzesniewsky, the lawmaker of the Ukrainian origin tried to put the respective resolution on the voting procedure; however, the opposition MPs protested loudly, and the Parliamentary Speaker had to decline it. ‘I offer the Parliament to consider that May 18, 1944, Crimean Tatar Surgunlik was deployed by the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, in order to perform an ethnic cleansing of Crimea from 200,000 Tatars, depriving them of their property, putting them on train wagons for cattle and sending them to the steppes of the Central Asia’, reads the document. If the MPs passed it, May 18 would have officially become the Day of Memory of Crimean Tatar people in that country. There was a Crimean Tatar delegation from Ukraine at the sesion hall; leader of Crimean Tatars Mustafa Dzhemilev and deputy Head of the Kemjlis Akhtem Chyigoz held a speech before the voting, updating the MPs on the situation with human rights violations in the Russian-occupied peninsula. Three years ago, the Canadian Parliament failed to support similar resolution; there were not enough votes to pass. The procedure demands a unanimous decision of all MPs to pass the document.

Crimean Kids With Kalashnikovs: Critics Warn Of Growing Emphasis On ‘Patriotic’ Education

Children carrying guns and flags or wearing Soviet-style uniforms have become a common sight at Victory Day parades and other events in Russian-controlled Crimea. Russian and Ukrainian human rights activists have warned that such displays point to a growing trend of promoting Russian patriotism among kids on the Crimean peninsula, annexed from Ukraine in 2014. Alongside public events, many schools offer paramilitary classes, and children from age 8 are invited to enroll in Yunarmiya, a Russian patriotic youth movement.

 

One KIA, one WIA in Donbas hostilities on Thursday – JFO staff

Since Thursday midnight, Russian mercenaries have mounted six attacks in the area of the Joint Forces Operation (JFO), with one Ukrainian soldier reported as killed in action (KIA), and another one as wounded in action (WIA), the press center of the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) has reported.

13 attacks against JFO positions yesterday: Ukrainian soldier killed, another one – wounded

17.05.19 07:22 – 13 attacks against JFO positions yesterday: Ukrainian soldier killed, another one – wounded May 16, the Russian occupying forces attacked JFO positions 13 times, using Minsk-proscribed weapons four times. View news.

One KIA, one WIA in Donbas amid 13 enemy attacks in past day – news war | UNIAN

Russia’s hybrid military forces in the past 24 hours mounted 13 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas, with one Ukrainian soldier reported as killed in action, and another one – as wounded in action. The Joint Forces’ report also specifies enemy losses.

Terrorists expanded scope of conducting aerial reconnaissance in the Donbass, – investigation

The command of the Russian occupation forces stepped up measures aimed at provoking an aggravation of the situation along the line of contact. According to Tsenzor. NO, the speaker of the Ministry of Defense, Colonel Alexander Motuzyanik, reported this during a traditional briefing, referring to GUR. According to him, the enemy is expanding the scope of conducting aerial reconnaissance using UAVs, incl. in the operational-tactical depth of our defense. At the same time, the intensity of training units of the enemy with their release on the front line. The number of provocative and chaotic attacks on the side of the positions of the united forces also increased. At the same time, the specified actions of the enemy lead to an increase in his losses, incl. in military technology. “On May 15, this year, in the area of responsibility of one of the individual motorized rifle brigades of the enemy, as a result of the discovery of the so-called” Friendly Fire “, its own UAV was shot down, which the enemy launched to detect targets in the positions of the combined forces. measures to conceal the incident and spread false information about the shot-up of the UAV, which allegedly belonged to the United forces unit, “said Motuzyanik.

Heavy bureaucracy frustrates applicants for Russian passports from occupied Donbas – OSINT expert – news ukraine | UNIAN

Ukrainian MP and coordinator of the Information Resistance OSINT Group Dmytro Tymchuk says residents of Russian-occupied Donbas, who are willing to obtain citizenship of the Russian Federation, are massively disappointed in a heavily bureaucratized procedure. The so-called “militia veterans” express particular discontent, the report says.

Terrorist Pushilin claims that the “investigation” found the organizers of the liquidation of Zakharchenko

The leader of the terrorist organization “DPR” Denis Pushilin said that his henchmen managed to establish the customers and executors of the liquidation of the ex-leader of the militants Alexander Zakharchenko. He stated this to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti , informs Tsenzor . NO . Pushilin claims that he managed to restore the whole scheme of the operation – from preparation to implementation – and find out that among the customers there are “high-ranking citizens of Ukraine”. “Very high-ranking. Also, citizens of other countries who support the Kiev regime,” said Pushilin. At the same time, Pushilin did not name specific names, explaining that “not all those involved were detained”. Recall, August 31 in Donetsk, an explosion occurred in the cafe “Separ”. As a result, the terrorist leader Zakharchenko received a mortal wound. The “head of the Ministry of Finance” of the self-proclaimed republic Alexander Timofeev (Tashkent) was also seriously injured. The SBU said that Zakharchenko was killed in Donetsk, either as a result of criminal fights among militants, or eliminated by the Russian special services. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, in turn, accused Zakharchenko of the “Kiev party of war” in liquidation. On September 27, the SBU published an audio recording of negotiations between Pushilin’s assistant Alexander Lavrentiev and two unknowns. Terrorists discussed the elimination of the leader of the “DPR” Alexander Zakharchenko. Источник: https://censor.net.ua/n3127419

Occupants in the Donbass block access to Ukrainian radio and TV for local residents – GUR

The Russian occupation administrations in the temporarily occupied territory in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions strengthen measures in the interests of implementing the so-called. the idea of “moving away from Ukraine in favor of rapprochement with Russia.” As Censor informs. NO , the speaker of the Ministry of Defense, Colonel Dmitry Gutsulyak, reported this during the traditional briefing, citing data from the GUR. “Intensive organizational and technical measures are being taken to increase the level of blocking access of local residents to the broadcasting of Ukrainian radio and television channels. of attracting the attention of local residents to anti-Ukrainian propaganda, there have been frequent instances of publicizing “sensations” about the successes of “republican security forces” in preventing the activities of Ukrainian sabotage the intelligence groups and the detention of citizens who were allegedly recruited by the Ukrainian special services to carry out terrorist acts, “he said. Источник: https://censor.net.ua/n3127224

Gerashchenko: 258 people considered missing in Donbas

According to the Security Service of Ukraine, 258 people are currently considered missing in Donbas. — Ukrinform.

Czech Soldier Gets Suspended Sentence For Joining Separatists In Eastern Ukraine

A court in the Czech Republic has handed a suspended three-year prison sentence to a soldier after finding him guilty of joining Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Avakov takes part in a court hearing on Markiv’s case in Italy. Photo report

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov arrived in Italy at a court hearing on the case of Vitaliy Markiv, a soldier of the National Guard of Ukraine, who is accused of the death of Italian photo correspondent Andrea Röckelli in 2014. As informs Tsenzor.NET , reported the Department of Communications Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine. According to the agency, the next court hearing on the case of an unjustly accused guardsman will be held today, May 17, in the city of Pavia (Italy). Avakov takes part in a court hearing on Markiv’s case in Italy 01 Witnesses for the defense will be questioned: Commander of the National Guard of Ukraine, Lieutenant-General Nikolai Balan and four fellow guardsmen Vitaliy Markiv. Also look at “Censor. NO”: The National Guard leadership is ready to testify in the Italian court in the case of Markiv, – Avakov. A PHOTO The Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arseniy Avakov will also be present in the courtroom in order to express support for the Ukrainian soldier and provide all the necessary evidence of his innocence. Источник: https://censor.net.ua/n3127398

And about. National Guard Commander Balan testified in court in Italy for Markiv. A PHOTO

And about. Commander of the NSU Nikolay Balan testified to the Italian court in defense of Vitaly Markiv. As informs Tsenzor.NET , this is stated in the message of the Department of Comm. MIA of Ukraine. The Interior Ministry recalled that Lieutenant-General Nikolai Balan in May 2014 was one of the commanders of the guard units in the ATO headquarters during battles with separatist militants in Slavyansk. At that time, he organized the service of his subordinates, in particular, the guardsmen of the 1st Volunteer Reserve Battalion, where Vitaly Markiv served. И.о. командующего Нацгвардией Балан на суде в Италии дал показания в защиту Маркива 01 Photo: MIA website Balan told the Italian court about the creation of the National Guard of Ukraine, its tasks and operations, in particular during the liberation of Slavyansk in May 2014. According to the testimony of the. Commander of the National Guard under the unit where Vitaly Markiv served, carried out the tasks of defending a television tower on Mount Karachun in Slavyansk. Look also at “Censor. NO”: Avakov takes part in the court session on Markiv case in Italy. Photo report “The fighters were armed with small arms and did not have heavy and long-range weapons, which could have been fatally wounded by Italian journalist Andrea Rokelle on May 24, 2014. Moreover, the position where, in accordance with the order of his commander, he served the surveillance sector Andreevka) is different from where the Italian photo reporter was killed (railway crossing in front of the ceramic factory). At that time, this position was occupied by separatist fighters headed by the Russian leader Hirkinim. From there the Ukrainian units in Karachun, “- said Balan. Recall, the Italian reporter Andrea Rokelle died on May 24, 2014 from shelling, while in the area of the ATO despite the recommendations of the Italian embassy not to go to Slavyansk at that time, due to the high level of danger to civilians. Источник: https://censor.net.ua/p3127446

SBU discovers illegal cache of aviation weapons – news politics | UNIAN

The Security Service of Ukraine, together with the police and prosecutors, have revealed in one of the private households in Kyiv region a batch of aircraft armament stored illegally. Perpetrators were plotting to traffick arms to UN-sanctioned African countries.

Counterintelligence of the SBU in the Kyiv region revealed an arsenal of aviation weapons prepared for export to African countries. VIDEO + PHOTO report

Employees of counterintelligence of the Security Service of Ukraine, together with investigators from the State of Emergency PrEP in Kiev, found a place for illegal storage of an arsenal of aircraft weapons. It is reported Tsenzor.NET with reference to the press service of the SBU. “Intelligence agents discovered that residents of the capital kept military weapons in one of the private houses in the village of Novoselki, Makarovsky district, Kiev region. During authorized investigative actions, the guards withdrew six unified UB-32 units for firing of unmanaged St-13 missiles from the territory of the household 5, designed for use on MiG-21 type fighters, MiG-27 type fighter-bombers and Mi-24 type attack helicopters, ”the message says. According to the latest information, the arrested persons involved in the case were planning to export in violation of the established procedure of export control to African countries for use in military conflicts. Источник: https://censor.net.ua/p3127290

The fighters of the 10th Mountain Assault Brigade “put on” embroidery on the combat vehicle. VIDEO

On the Day of Embroidery, the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Assault Brigade painted a fighting machine in Ukrainian patterns. According Tsenzor.NET , a short video with the process of “dressing” a combat vehicle in embroidery fighters posted on the brigade page on the social network . Источник: https://censor.net.ua/v3127202

The UAF received a repaired Su-24M bomber

The state-owned enterprise “Mykolaiv Aircraft Repair Plant” NARP “handed over to the 7th Battalion Petro-Frank Tank Brigade, a repaired bombarder of the Su-24M. Recall that the Su-24M aircraft itself was selected as an air carrier for the Ukrainian Neptune cruise missile. The airborne version of the PCR is the second in line after the development of the coastal complex, whose troop levels are expected in December 2019 or early 2020. The Commander of the Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that by the end of the year it is planned to receive several more units of repaired and modernized aviation equipment.

Tank gun, 120-mm mortar “Buchard”, radar, antidronovskie rifles and “digital soldier”: in Brovary presented new samples from the Ukrainian private defense companies. Photo essay

On May 16, the League of Defense Enterprises of Ukraine, which unites leading domestic private defense companies, presented its products to members of the Kiev Association of Military Attaches. 19 League companies showed their product line to representatives of 40 other countries. The event took place on the premises of the company Thermo Projects Ukraine LLC, in Brovary. Источник: https://censor.net.ua/p3127463As informs Tsenzor.NET , this was reported by military expert Sergey Zgurets on his Facebook page. “The event once again showed that private companies in Ukraine have already won their rightful place under the militaristic sun. It is believed that private owners perform more than half of the DOSED – that is, supplying modernized or new products (weapons and military equipment) to the Armed Forces and other security forces “It is interesting and important that companies continue to produce new solutions and create new samples,” he wrote. For example, Starokramatorsky Machine-Building Plant OJSC showed a tank gun of its own production. The gun went through a full test cycle, withstood 700 sub-caliber shells with confirmation of all requirements. The plant declares its readiness to produce the entire range of art-guns from 125 to 155 mm, both smooth-bore and rifled. Tank gun, 120-mm Butchard mortar, radar, antidronovskie rifles and digital soldiers: in Brovary presented new samples from Ukrainian private defense companies 01 “I think this is extremely important – given the need to replace the gun barrels both on our tanks and on the artillery systems,” Zgurets wrote. A new 120-mm “Buchard” mortar was also shown, which is starting state tests this week. One of the features of the mortar is a new design of the base plate, which allows you to fire 360 degrees without the need to change the position of the base plate. Tank gun, 120-mm Butchard mortar, radar, antidronovskie rifles and digital soldiers: in Brovary presented new samples from Ukrainian private defense companies 02 However, the manufacture of new barrels and mortars claim other private manufacturers. The company “Ukrainian mortar system” demonstrated barrels of 81 mm caliber mortars made of titanium. As an option, the manufacture of barrels of 60 and 120 mm caliber. The vitality of the titanium barrel is significantly higher than that of traditional steel, while titanium is 40% lighter than “conventional.” When asked about its price, I was convinced that titanium would not be more expensive. Tank gun, 120-mm Butchard mortar, radar, antidronovskie rifles and digital soldiers: in Brovary presented new samples from Ukrainian private defense companies 03 The company also mastered the new metallurgy and is able to manufacture parts from powder metal on a special ZD printer. Samples have been shown. The company also offers mines and detonators to mines. Another new product of the company – devices to reduce the sound of a shot. Samples for various calibers were presented, all of which are exported. According to the developers, their “silencers” in their performance characteristics surpass everything that has been presented on the Ukrainian market so far, ”the expert wrote. Tank gun, 120-mm Butchard mortar, radar, antidronovskie rifles and digital soldiers: in Brovary presented new samples from Ukrainian private defense companies 04 In addition, according to Zgurts, Tasco company offered a line of ammunition, which can be manufactured at the facilities of the enterprise, and HisArta recalled itself with a comprehensive solution to automate the process of using MFA weapons in combat. Also look at “Tsenzor.NET”: Turchinov checked the implementation of the main missile programs of Ukraine. VIDEO + PHOTO report The company Ukrspetstekhnika, which is well-known as the developer of new generation P-18 radar stations, also presented new items. In particular, it is a radar system for measuring the speed of a bullet or projectile. Such an example is necessary to increase the effectiveness of our artillery systems of various calibers. Tank gun, 120-mm Butchard mortar, radar, antidronovskie rifles and digital soldiers: in Brovary presented new samples from Ukrainian private defense companies 05 A new antidron rifle design was also presented, including a practical demonstration of its ability to counteract the quadcopter. This development complements the arsenal of “Ukrspetstekhniki” in the creation and manufacture of wearable and integrated systems of surveillance and combat drones. The company’s products “Share” – radio stations supplied to the Armed Forces and the National Guard, as well as various versions and ways to improve these tools. Tank gun, 120-mm Butchard mortar, radar, antidronovskie rifles and digital soldiers: in Brovary presented new samples from Ukrainian private defense companies 06 For the first time, the company Telekart-Pribor from Odessa presented its concept of a digital soldier, which should be integrated into the tactical system of the battlefield, relying on the technical achievements of Odessa citizens. The Ukrainian Agency for Advanced Scientific and Technical Developments UaRpa, in addition to the well-known ballistic helmets of its own production, also presented a whole range of technological products. Tank gun, 120-mm Butchard mortar, radar, antidronovskie rifles and digital soldiers: in Brovary presented new samples from Ukrainian private defense companies 07 “The Antisniper system is especially interesting, which allows detecting the enemy’s optics at a distance of up to 1500 m and determining the coordinates of the enemy’s identified optical facilities. The complex can operate offline. In the near future, the 2nd stage of departmental testing should begin to confirm certain technical characteristics of this system. In case of a positive completion, the system is proposed for procurement in the interests of the Armed Forces and the National Guard, “the expert noted. Tank gun, 120-mm Butchard mortar, radar, antidronovskie rifles and digital soldiers: in Brovary presented new samples from Ukrainian private defense companies 08 The Praktika company showed its already well-known 4×4 armored vehicle “Kazak-2m”, which can be considered the most advanced development of all domestic machines of this class: “The machine completes state tests. Also, Praktika demonstrated a multi-lift, which allows for quick loading and unloading from a mobile platform of various cargoes (this is especially relevant for ammunition packages), as well as evacuating armored vehicles of the corresponding weight category, which was demonstrated in time of the event in Brovary “. Tank gun, 120-mm Butchard mortar, radar, antidronovskie rifles and digital soldiers: in Brovary presented new samples from Ukrainian private defense companies 09 The expert also reported on a deep modernization of armored vehicles in the Techimpex projects: “The Radioniks company is active and passive homing heads for missiles. Infokom, Zaporozhye, showed the Laska 2.0 unmanned robotized platform, which significantly updated its appearance.” Chernihiv enterprise “Siverteks” provides the Ukrainian army with the latest tents. Tank gun, 120-mm Butchard mortar, radar, antidronovskie rifles and digital soldiers: in Brovary presented new samples from Ukrainian private defense companies 10 “The company has developed a special recipe for fabrics used in the manufacture of military tents. These tents can be equipped with air conditioning or heating systems, which are manufactured by Thermo Prodzhekis Ukraine LLC, and are also the exclusive distributor of the products of the German company Webasto, which is also used on vehicles in the Armed Forces Ukraine, “said Zgurets. New special generating units, which are installed on the anti-ship complex “Neptun”, at the station “Zoopark”, at the complex of sound reconnaissance “position”, on the radar station of the P-18 meter range – from the company MADEK.

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Ukrainian tank gun has passed a full test cycle

PJSC “Starokramatorsky Machine-Building Plant” showed a tank-gun own production during the “League of Defense Enterprises of Ukraine”, which takes place in Kyiv. Military expert Serhii Zhurets voiced relevant information The gun went through a full test cycle, withstood a shot at 700 rocket-propelled shells to confirm all other requirements. The plant declares its willingness to produce the entire range of artillery trunks from 122 to 155 mm, both smooth-bore and threaded. I think that this is extremely important – given the need to replace gun barrels on our tanks and on arts systems, – wrote Zgurets Presented at the exhibition, the KBA-3 gun is intended for installation on main battle tanks T-80UD, T-84, and BM “Oplot”. It is also used for the modernization of other tanks, in particular the T-64. It is she used on the export combat vehicles BM “Oplot”.

 

Ukraine’s Main Parliament Coalition Breaks Up In Apparent Blow For President-Elect Zelenskiy

Ukraine’s main coalition in parliament has broken up in what is seen as a possible setback for President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s plans to hold early general elections

Ukraine Ruling Coalition Breaks Up; Snap Elections Likely

Incoming President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is to be inaugurated Monday

No more coalition in Ukraine Parliament, Rada Speaker announces – news politics | UNIAN

Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Parubiy has announced there is no more coalition in the current parliament. Thus, a “European Ukraine” coalition of the eighth convocation of the Verkhovna Rada has ceased its operations.

People’s Front faction pulling out of Ukraine Parliament coalition in bid to hinder snap elex – news politics | UNIAN

People’s Front faction’s council has unilaterally adopted a decision for the faction to withdraw from a “European Ukraine” parliament coalition. As reported earlier, parliamentary elections have been scheduled for the end of October 2019.

Zelenskyi’s advisor Razumkov: coalition’s breakup linked to postponement of early elections

17.05.19 15:38 – Zelenskyi’s advisor Razumkov: coalition’s breakup linked to postponement of early elections The termination of the activities of the European Ukraine coalition in the Verkhovna Rada after the People’s Front faction left it, primarily due to the desire to postpone any actions related to the holding of early parliamentary elections,… View news.

Zelensky’s team comments on People’s Front withdrawal from parliament coalition – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky’s team have commented on the withdrawal of the parliamentary faction of the People’s Front political party from the coalition in the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament. “Today, one of the factions in the Verkhovna Rada decided to withdraw from the ‘coalition.’ But how can one get out of something that doesn’t exist?” the team told journalists. In fact, the coalition has ceased to exist three years ago when the factions of the Samopomich, Batkivshchyna, and Radical parties withdrew from it. “Therefore, the current game in parliament is another evidence that the deputies are indifferent to the people who elected them. It’s more important for them to extend their serene existence [in the parliament],” it added. “However, we’d like to remind you that the country needs changes and deep reforms, which are required by the Ukrainian people. To this end, we need a capable parliament,” the team summed up. As UNIAN reported, on May 17, leader of the People’s Front faction Maksym Burbak announced the faction’s withdrawal from the coalition. He said, “People’s Front calls on factions of the statist ideology to immediately begin consultations on the preparation of a new coalition agreement with the new action plan.” Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Parubiy has announced there is no more coalition in the current parliament.

ZeTeam on dissolution of Verkhovna Rada: “There might be a possibility”

Zelensky’s Advisor stated there is a possibility for dissolution of the Parliament

Zelensky may dissolve parliament despite People’s Front withdrawal from coalition – expert – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian political analyst and head of the Penta Center for Applied Political Research, Volodymyr Fesenko, has said Ukraine’s President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky may issue a decree dissolving the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, despite the withdrawal of the People’s Front faction from the parliamentary coalition. At the same time, the political analyst says, from a legal point of view, the withdrawal of the People’s Front faction from the coalition “significantly reduces the likelihood of the dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada.” According to Fesenko, this will effectively neutralize the dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada, since, according to Ukrainian legislation, after the announcement of the lack of a coalition, factions shall agree to create a new one within 30 days. In case of its creation, the president has the right to announce the dissolution of parliament and call early elections. However, six months before the next parliamentary elections [scheduled for October 27, 2019], the legislation introduces a moratorium on the early dissolution of parliament. Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/politics/10553196-zelensky-may-dissolve-parliament-despite-people-s-front-withdrawal-from-coalition-expert.html

This Time It’s Real: Ukrainian Comic To Take Presidential Oath

Actor and comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy first took the oath to become Ukrainian president in his fictional TV series Servant of the People. Now he’s doing it for real.

Poroshenko signs decree on Zelensky’s inauguration – news politics | UNIAN

Outgoing Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a decree on the inauguration of President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky. An organizing committee has been formed.

Poroshenko signs decree on inauguration of Zelensky

Incumbent President Petro Poroshenko has signed a decree on ensuring the conduct of events related to the inauguration of President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky. — Ukrinform.

Parliament, government “obviously” to work until parliamentary elections: PM Groysman – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman says it is obvious that the Verkhovna Rada and the government will keep working until the parliamentary elections. There must be unity around the changes to the electoral system, believes the government chief.

Groysman: New coalition can form its government

Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman has said that the current government will work until a new coalition is formed and a new composition of the Cabinet of Ministers is offered. — Ukrinform.

Zelensky turned for help in recruitment to international HR-agencies

The newly elected president, Vladimir Zelensky, met with representatives of major international recruitment and HR agencies and promised a transparent competition for the posts of heads of the RSA. The meeting was attended by Ilona Sharov (Hudson), Roman Bondar (Оdgers Вrndtson), Alexey Dolgikh (Bayden), Yulia Zgeeva and Igor Gabuzenko (Ward Howell). It is reported by the press service of Vladimir Zelensky, informs Tsenzor.NET with reference to “Interfax-Ukraine” . “We really want to find new talented people, good specialists who share our values. This is not populism, this is our goal. And we understand that finding the best specialists who have high competencies and result-oriented results is not very easy. Therefore We want to invite you to cooperate in this area “, – said Zelensky. According to the winner of the election, there are already a certain number of candidates, for example, at the head of the RSA in different regions of Ukraine. “But here we also need your help with the tools to adequately assess these people. Because, in general, we want to hold a transparent competition for these positions, find the best managers who are striving for positive changes in their regions, have development strategies and are able to attract local and foreign investments “, – said Zelensky. Read on Tsenzor. NO: “I hope that in the future the Verkhovna Rada will make decisions without such delays”, – Zelensky about the appointment of the inauguration for May 20 In addition, the meeting focused on the main criteria that applicants for heads of the RSA must meet: professionalism, knowledge of the region, authority in local communities, integrity, good reputation, experience in managing systems of this level. “All participants of the meeting supported the initiative of Vladimir Zelensky, related to personnel policy, and declared their readiness to cooperate with the team of the newly elected president,” the press service noted. Источник: https://censor.net.ua/n3127316

UAWire – Zelensky’s administration reports imminent resignations of Ukraine’s Foreign and Defense Ministers

Speaking on the air of NEWSONE, representative of President-elect Vladimir Zelensky, Dmitry Razumkov, said that he would not exclude the high …

Ukraine NSDC Secretary Turchynov reportedly set to step down – media – news politics | UNIAN

Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov intends to resign. He plans to announce the decision on Friday, May 17, sources say.

NSDC Secretary Turchynov wants to resign

The Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council Oleksandr Turchynov will announce that he leave the post

Ukraine NSDC Secretary Turchynov set to step down

Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov resigned. This is stated in his statement for dismissal, the press service of the National Security Council of Ukraine reported. Ukraine NSDC Secretary Turchynov set to step down 01 “In connection with the termination of the powers of the President of Ukraine, who appointed me to the post, I ask you to consider the termination of my powers as Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine in accordance with the legislation. Given the continuation of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, I am ready directly for military service in any military unit or military formation and to further defend our country,” the statement says. Oleksandr Turchynov served as Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine from January 2015 to May 2019, during this period significant steps were taken to strengthen the defense and security of the country. The Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine coordinated the reform of the security and defense sector of Ukraine. For the first time in the history of independent Ukraine, a comprehensive review of the security and defense sectors was conducted, and on the basis of its results, the system of strategic documents for security and defense planning was updated, taking into account the relevant principles and standards of the EU and NATO.

Pavlo Klimkin announces his resignation – Ukraine’s Foreign Minister resigns – 112.international

The Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin announced that he leaves is post

Klimkin drafts a letter of resignation

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has announced he has drafted a letter of resignation.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister to run in parliamentary elections

The Head of Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry Pavlo Klimkin who announced his resignation on May 17 wants to participate in the parliamentary elections in autumn, as he said in his video address posted on his Facebook. “I realize what Ukrainians want. But I also realize what the world expects from us. I have many different ideas, I hope to implement the. That’s why I am moving forward, to politics. I am going to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Of course, with a team which I share values, principles, emotions and vision with. The rest – later,” the official said.

Iryna Lutsenko submits resignation letter to president

The Ukrainian president’s representative in the Verkhovna Rada, MP Iryna Lutsenko has announced that she submitted a letter of resignation to President Petro Poroshenko. — Ukrinform.

Ex-MP of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, the only one who voted against the annexation of Crimea, Ponomarev received Ukrainian citizenship

Ilya Ponomarev, who in 2014 was a deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, voted against the occupation of the Crimea, received Ukrainian citizenship. About this Ponomarev wrote on his page on Facebook , reports Tsenzor.NET . “Finally, it happened! Today, the current president of Ukraine – Petro Poroshenko, on the last working day of his term, signed a decree on granting me Ukrainian citizenship, according to state interest. I told him and I want to repeat here: this will mean my new stage life, and a great honor, and a huge responsibility. I will use the new status in order to get new foreign investments for the country, create new jobs, increase the state budget – all this is for the welfare of Ukrainians I am confident that the prosperity of Ukraine is the key to changes in Russia, “said Ponomarev. Источник: https://censor.net.ua/n3127482

Poll reveals first five steps Ukrainians expect from new president – news politics | UNIAN

A recent poll has revealed the first five steps Ukrainians expect from the newly elected president. Almost 40% of those polled want the current parliament to be disbanded.

 

MFA Hungary hopes Zelensky to resolve “problematic issues” around language law – news politics | UNIAN

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary on May 16 issued a statement regarding the signing by President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko of Law “On the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as a State Language”. The diplomats reiterated their claim voiced earlier that the language law “narrows the rights of national minorities because it takes away the earlier granted right to use their native language.”

Police smash ‘GozNym’ cybercrime network that stole $100 mln – media – news world | UNIAN

Police in six countries have dismantled a complex cybercrime network that operated from Eastern Europe and fleeced victims – including small businesses and charities – of some $100 million, Europe’s police agency said on Thursday. Ten of the network’s members have been charged with conspiracy to steal online banking credentials and deposits under a U.S. grand jury indictment.

Dismissal of National Guard head Allerov: Poroshenko’s revenge or sanctions for corruption

There is also information that in April-July of the same year Allerov was a participant in the armed actions in Donbas, in particular in the battles for Slovyansk (Donetsk region). A few days ago, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) detectives detained and handed suspicion to the former head of the National Guard, Yuriy Allerov, and the court is about to elect a preventive measure. We have gathered the main things you should know about this case. On May 7, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko dismissed Colonel-General Yuriy Allerov, Commander of the National Guard of Ukraine, at his own request, and a week after the latter was detained by NABU detectives and handed over suspicion of misappropriation of property to a large department under his control amount of. Coincidence? Let’s figure it out. What do we know about Yuriy Allerov Yuriy Allerov is 55 years old. He was born on February 6, 1964, in Lviv. He obtained his first higher education at the Leningrad General Military School in 1985, and then he graduated from the Academy of the Armed Forces, where he studied at the operational-tactical faculty (1997). In 2011, he defended his Ph.D. thesis on “Military service activities of the security forces.” As for the military career, until recently, it looked quite successful. Related: Why Ukraine’s Poroshenko honored 273 people with state awards By 2010, Allerov had gone a path from a platoon commander to the head of the Western Territorial Command of the Interior Troops of Ukraine. In 2011, he became a major general. A year later, he was appointed a head of the Directorate of the Southern Territorial Command of the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine but subsequently returned to the Western sector, which in spring 2014 became a structural unit of the National Guard. Then, in April 2014, Allerov became known for convincing Jaguar special forces, demoralized by the events on the Maidan to go to Kharkiv, and there to fulfill an order to unblock state institutions seized by pro-Russian militants and separatists. There is also information that in April-July of the same year Allerov was a participant in the armed actions in Donbas, in particular in the battles for Slovyansk (Donetsk region).

Early coding in schools could be introduced after infrastructure improvement, teacher training – LB.ua news portal

Early coding in schools could be introduced after infrastructure improvement, teacher training. There are 400 schools in Ukraine which do not have computers for training at all. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Early coding to help children accept their mistakes – psychologist – LB.ua news portal

Early coding to help children accept their mistakes – psychologist. According to the expert, this course should be integrated into other subjects in a game format. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Sleeping Among Corpses: A Ukrainian Nationalist’s Lifetime Of Struggle

The incredible story of a 95-year-old resident of Crimea whose entire life has been dominated by the cause of Ukrainian independence. Teodozia Kobylyanska spent nine years in Soviet gulag prison camps and says she still fears arrest.

Lviv Keeps The Art Of Stove Tiles Alive

In the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, artisans have been making delicate ceramic tiles to cover household stoves for centuries. The tradition is going strong, with some homeowners finding new uses for precious old objects.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Zelensky’s Victory and Poroshenko’s Defeat Offer Three Unwelcome Lessons for Ukraine, Tsipko Says

Paul Goble Staunton, May 15 – Aleksandr Tsipko, one of the most senior and thoughtful Soviet-Russian commentators, argues that the victory of Vladimir Zelensky and even more the defeat of Petro Poroshenko in the recent Ukrainian presidential elections offers three important but unwelcome lessons about and for Ukraine. The first, he writes in Nezavisimaya gazeta, is that ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking Ukrainians may be against Moscow because of its aggression but they do not share the Ukrainian nationalism opposition to Russians and Russia as such. By acting if the this were otherwise, Poroshenko lost almost all their votes (ng.ru/ideas/2019-05-15/5_7573_ideas1.html). Poroshenko’s promotion of the Russian language at the expense of Russian offended them and his achievement of Ukrainian autocephaly and his work to create a Ukrainian army and state, two key Ukrainian nationalist goals of more than a century standing did not impress them, Tsipko continues. Ethnic Russians in Ukraine were thus united in their opposition to Poroshenko’s promotion of the Ukrainian language at the expense of Russian and they were anything but impressed by his achievement of Ukrainian autocephaly and his obsession with the construction of a Ukrainian army and state. “Today, when we analyze the causes of the defeat of the ideology of the second Maidan, which Petro Poroshenko embodied, we must not forget that in 1991, the overwhelming part of the population chose not an independent Ukraine but only independence from the empty shelves in the stores of Moscow.” Since then, Tsipko suggests, “a Ukrainian nation state is not yet a value not only for Russian-speaking Ukrainians but even for most ethnic Ukrainians, except for those in Lviv Oblast.” If people read the election returns, they will understand that “Ukraine can be preserved as an integral state only” if both Ukrainian and Russian languages are allowed to be used. Second, he continues, the instinctive opposition against Russia that Ukrainian nationalists have long assumed is at the basis of Ukrainian identity is not as powerful as many had thought; and as a result, Poroshenko was not able to make use of opposition to Russia as the foundation for victory because Ukrainians have not become what Ukrainian nationalists expected. “In the 1991 presidential election,” Tsipko recalls, “a quarter of the population of Ukraine voted for the nationalist dissident Vyacheslav Chornovil. Thirty years have passed, and in the 2019 presidential elections, the very same 25 percent voted for the nationalist Petro Poroshenko.” What this means, the Russian commentator argues, is that “Ukrainian national identity has not broadened or deepened and that all of Poroshenko’s attempt to introduce in the consciousness of Ukrainians the values of the second Maidan have not led to anything.” His opponent displayed no Ukrainian conservatism or any conservatism at ll. “In my view,” Tsipko says, “the unfinished quality of the new Ukrainian state born in the Beloveszhskaya agreements of 1991 is shown more by the indifference of the overwhelming majority of ethnic Ukrainians toward the values of language, faith and the army than the protest of Russian-speaking Ukraine against forced Ukrainianization.” “For millions of ethnic Ukrainians who voted against Poroshenko, neither the heroics of the Maidan with its ‘heavenly hundred’ not the acquisition by the Orthodox Church of Ukraine of autocephaly, not he active spread of the influence in society of the national language is significant and important,” Tsipko says. “This testifies,” he continues, “that in fact, the Ukrainian nation as something stable and integral doesn’t exist.” That is true not only among the population at large but also among political leaders who are more concerned with their individual agendas than with the nation. Otherwise, they would have united around Poroshenko in the second round. Tsipko quotes with approval the observations of Ukrainian commentator Nikolay Veresen who argues that “the Ukrainian nation is a nation of suicides” because “only the suicidal could make a comic president.” This outcome, Veresen continues, points to “the growth of unpredictability in the change of those in power, the fate of a weak and not fully formed state.” And third, Tsipko says, the Ukrainian elections suggests that poverty may play a role in the manifestation of national identity. When people are focused on survival, they are far less likely to think about big issues like national languages or church autocephaly. They want to know where their next meal is coming from. “The tragedy of Petro Poroshenko,” Tsipko concludes, “consists in the following: he didn’t recognize that all he had done for his state, for the strengthening of its authority and for the national Ukrainian idea turned out to be if not alien then absolutely unimportant for the overwhelming part of the population of his country, for those who voted not so much for Zelensky as against Poroshenko.”

 

Holy wars: Head of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate Filaret vs. Constantinople

The attempt of Filaret, head of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP), to enlist the support of the hierarchs of Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) in order to convene the Local Council was unsuccessful. On May 14 in the Volodymyr Cathedral, solemn prayer service was conducted to honor the day of the memory of Martyr Macarius; this event could start the revival of the power of the Kyiv Patriarchate, but only four OCU representatives came to Filaret, and only two of them had the right to vote. And this amount is clearly not enough to begin the process of amending the Statute of the chain-setting report, proposed by Filaret. But the head of the UOC-KP is not going to give up his plans and continues to form the front of his supporters within the OCU. The prayer celebration in honor of the Holy Martyr Macarius is one of the most important holidays for the Kyiv Patriarchate and its main church, Volodymyr Cathedral, where the relics of the martyr are kept. From year to year on this day, solemn services are ruled personally by UOC-KP patriarch Filaret. This year, Kyiv Patriarchate has sent invitations for 60 OCU bishops to hold a joint divine service at Volodymyr Cathedral. Only four of them responded. Two of them are important churchmen in OCU. First is Archbishop of Simferopol and Crimea Klyment (Kusch), who now heads the parishes in Kherson. Another one is Metropolitan Joasaph (Shybaev), whose parish is in the Russian Belgorod. Peter, Vicar of Joasaph, was also present there, as well as another bishop, Adrian (Staryna), who governs the branch in Noginsk near Moscow. This event was originally supposed to be a kind of “review of strength,” where Filaret himself could see his support. Those who were going to appear at this invitation were openly called “separatists.” “All the bishops understand that Filaret wants to restore the liquidated UOC (KP). They also understand that the restoration of the UOC (KP) is a split of the OCU. Therefore, only conscious “separatists” would arrive at the invitation of the honorary patriarch. Adrian Kulik-Bogdan, OCU Bishop, wrote on his Facebook page on May 8 (later, however, he deleted this message). However, the tradition of publicizing this position served a disservice to the OCU itself. Some OCU representatives positively perceive Filaret’s ideas, but they are afraid to state this openly. “The low public support of Filaret by OCU Bishops does not mean support of Epifaniy. OCU patriarchs are more oriented on Constantinople, not on Epifaniy, they want to have an opportunity to travel to Greece, Mount Athos,” political scientist Ruslan Bortnyk assures. There are quite a few bishops of OCU, who want to create a truly independent local church, whose rights would be broader than the Metropolitan Constantinople Patriarchate established in Ukraine, the main apologist of which is Patriarch Filaret. The changes to the OCU statutes proposed by Patriarch Filaret concern the autonomy of the newly established church. According to Filaret, this should be a church, which would not dependent on Constantinople. But such provisions are in direct contradiction with the text of Tomos, and, therefore, jeopardize its action. The Patriarchate of Constantinople has repeatedly demonstrated that Tomos could be easily taken away. One of the latest examples – last fall, the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate abolished the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox churches in Europe, abolishing Patriarchal Tomos of 1999. In Ukraine, the events are developing according to the Bulgarian scenario. In 1945, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church received Tomos and the status of a metropolis, and after a few years declared itself patriarchy, after which Constantinople withdrew Tomos. Therefore, supporters of the OCU believe that the actions of Filaret might provoke a complication of the relationship between their newly established church and Constantinople. But let us return to the dispositions of forces in the command post and the control system. So, according to the information of Strana.ua, the OCU hierarchs, loyal to him, can support Filaret’s proposals until the end of May. The next important date is May 25, the day of the memory of Saint Epiphanius, in whose honor the head of the PCU, Metropolitan Epifaniy, was tonsured as a monk. On this day, a large number of OCU Bishops will flock to Kyiv, who might initiate the holding of the Council and there declare their claims to change the Charter in the direction of expanding the authority of the church. In order to rewrite the OCU Statute, Filaret might find an ally in the person of Metropolitan Mykhail Lutsky (Zinkevich), who withdrew his candidacy during the election of the OCU head in December last year at the request of President Poroshenko and Filaret. Although Mykhail did not serve with Filaret in the Volodymyr Cathedral, he shares his position on changing the order of appointment of the members of the Synod of the OCU. The Charter states that there are three members of the Synod. Filaret believes that there should be 12 of them, for the rest of the bishops to leave the opportunity to be alternately temporary members of the Synod. Mykhail himself believes that he should be a member of the Synod, according to the principle of seniority ordination, but when the first Synod passed, he was not even invited there, which is why he harbored a grudge. On the other hand, active supporters of Epifaniy can crush the rebels of Filaret. However, even without Filaret, there is a lot of disagreement between OCU and Constantinople. According to sources of Strana.ua in the church circles, Constantinople is dissatisfied with at least two points. First, Ukraine has not yet transferred the foreign parishes of the UOC-KP to the administration of Constantinople (the bishops of the foreign parishes, including the three who responded to the invitation of Filaret, do not agree with these agreements and do not wish to go under the authority of the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew). Secondly, Constantinople opposed the adoption of laws in Ukraine that provoke religious strife. Including against the law, which obliges the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church to be renamed the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine (OCU itself believes there are no grounds for renaming and this requirement is disputed in the courts). Another thing is that in this situation the echoes of Filaret’s revolt can finally bury the plans of the OUC to receive recognition in world Orthodoxy. “Filaret can potentially reestablish the Kyiv Patriarchate, it will be a serious problem for the OUC,” political analyst Ruslan Bortnik believes. “Even if Bartholomew doesn’t recall Tomos, it’s still difficult for the OCU to be recognized in the world Orthodoxy.” In any case, the contradictions within the OCU raise the question of the transition from the UOC under the banners of the new parishes. And earlier, this process was carried out mainly under pressure from the authorities. And at the end of the election campaign, when it Poroshenko’s defeat became obvious, everything has stopped. Under the conditions of the actual split within the new church, there is no need to think about its further expansion (especially, under conditions of neutrality of President Zelensky).

Filaret was the first to sign the decree of the Local Council on the self-dissolution of the UOC-KP, – PTsU. DOCUMENT

The Orthodox Church of Ukraine announced the decree of the local council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate dated December 15, 2018 on self-dissolution with the signature of Filaret. Tsenzor reports this. NO with reference to the press-service of the PTsU. The local council was held in front of the unifying council of the UOC-KP, the UAOC and parts of the UOC-MP. The project was adopted unanimously. The first paragraph of the decision of the council says that the action of the religious association of the UOC-KP is terminated by merging and joining the newly-established Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The charter on the administration of the UOC-KP and the activity of all the statutory bodies of the church was terminated. “Thus, on the morning of December 15, 2018, by decision of the Local Council of the UOC-KP, it ceased its separate activities, and its entirety became part of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. First among the members of the Presidium, His Holiness Patriarch of Kiev and all Russia-Ukraine Filaret was the first to sign. Chairman of the Local Council “, – noted in the PCU. Источник: https://censor.net.ua/n3127319

Religious Freedom Roundtable Resolution

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Putin Calls for Compromise in Cathedral Standoff

Tensions have been rising over a plan by two local tycoons to build a cathedral in a popular park in Yekaterinburg, the nation’s fourth-largest city

Russian Officials Suspend Controversial Church Plan As Putin Suggests Polling Public

The mayor of Russia’s fourth largest city says construction work on a proposed new church, which sparked three days of protests, has been temporarily halted.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin’s Proferred ‘Referendum’ in Yekaterinburg May Be as Fake as Everything in His Russia but Potentially Far More Self-Destructive

Paul Goble Staunton, May 16 – Vladimir Putin’s proposal to conduct a survey of opinion in Yekaterinburg over controversial plans to build a cathedral in the middle of a park in that Urals city is both less and more than meets the eye, commentators are already suggesting. It is less, as Tatyana Vintsevskaya points out on the Region.Expert portal, because the authorities will decide how to conduct it, who will be able to take part, when it will occur, how much discussion about it will be allowed, and, most important, who will determine who wins, thus limiting its importance (region.expert/referendums/). But it is more, she and others are suggesting, because it is a concession by the Kremlin leader extracted by popular protests, an indication that the regime can be forced to change its policies if people go into the street in large numbers and refuse to back down when the authorities initially dig in and even use force (rusmonitor.com/valerijj-solovejj-opros-tak-opros-no-togda-povsyudu-gde-obshhestvo-v-konflikte-s-vlastyu.html). Indeed, MGIMO professor and commentator Valery Solovey says, the Kremlin’s response to the Yekaterinburg protests could become a precedent for everywhere the Russian people find themselves locked in conflict with the powers that be, including but not limited to in Arkhangelsk over trash, in Ingushetia over borders, and in Moscow over metro lines. To the extent that happens, any victory Putin wins in Yekaterinburg by using this offer to calm the situation there could prove Pyrrhic indeed, a victory that comes at a cost that those who “win” it can ill afford and that carries within it the seeds of their own subsequent and much more serious defeats.

The songs of a city in protest What Yekaterinburg and its musicians are singing and saying about the fight against a new cathedral — Meduza

Days of protests against the planned construction of St. Catherine’s Cathedral have not only put the social tensions of Yekaterinburg on display; they have served as a reminder that the city is one of the most musical places in Russia. Many of the locals protesting at the cathedral’s planned construction site have brought musical instruments along with them or blasted their favorite songs through Bluetooth speakers to get the crowd to sing along. Local musicians have also begun speaking out about plans to build the cathedral in place of a central square. Meduza collected the opinions of several of the city’s major artists alongside the songs they have dedicated to their hometown.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russian Law on Offending Believers Not as Disastrous as Many Feared, Agora Report Says

Paul Goble Staunton, May 15 – Despite widespread expectations to the contrary, amendments in 2013 to Russian law setting criminal punishments for offending the religious feelings of others have not generated a large number of cases or become an instrument of repression, according to the first-ever study of the law’s application. Compiled by the Agora Human Rights organization, the 13-page report which the group entitles “Liberalization Russian-Style” (docs.rferl.org/ru-RU/2019/05/15/2c34ddd0-e18a-479a-949f-9bef068e6cad.pdf) reports that despite or perhaps because of the publicity surrounding the application of this law, there have been few cases, especially over the last several years. Official Russian government statistics should there were 27 sentences imposed in 2014, the first full year of the law’s applicability. That number fell to 10 in 2017 and eight last year. Moreover, in contrast to the first years, most of the cases in the last two have involved Internet posts rather that personal interaction or the traditional media. Damir Gaynutdinov, one of the report’s authors, says that Agora decided to conduct this study for two reasons. On the one hand, many people believe that the peak of the law’s application has passed, something that the numbers do not confirm. And on the other, no such study had been prepared before (svoboda.org/a/29940416.html). He adds that one of the reasons that the number of cases brought under this paragraph of the criminal code is relatively small is that the judicial authorities have many other paragraphs they can use and are themselves more familiar with. If they knew more about this paragraph, there might be more cases brought under it. Fortunately, they don’t. But unfortunately, many of the other paragraphs impose even more lengthy sentences and thus are even more chilling in their application.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Yekaterinburg Part of Larger Fight between Moscow Patriarchate and Urban Russians, Soldatov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, May 14 – Clashes between Yekaterinburg residents who don’t want to lose a public park and thugs enlisted by local Orthodox church leaders and the city authorities are only the tip of the iceberg of a broader fight between an increasingly secular Russian urban population and the Moscow Patriarchate, Aleksandr Soldatov says. The church apparently decided to make a stand in the Urals city both because of the Moscow Patriarchate’s losses in Ukraine, the Moscow commentator says, and because of its recent losses in the two capitals where the authorities forced the church to change its plans for new buildings (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2019/05/14/80513-peredovye-otryady-hramostroya). In Moscow then as in Yekaterinburg now, the church recruited paramilitary groups incuding Donbass veterans and various pseudo-cossack organizations to fight to it, but the city authorities compelled the church to agree to move to an alternative construction site. In St. Petersburg, the same thing happened, but the Kremlin intervened with the same result. These problems have their roots in a program adopted by Patriarch Kirill in 2009. At that time, he called for the construction of as many new churches in cities as possible and the location of cathedrals in the most prominent places. Regional hierarchs were told that they would be evaluated by the Patriarchate on the basis of how many of these they erected. Shortly thereafter, Soldatov says, Kirill visited the Urals in order to press this cause. He has gone back repeatedly and demanded action. Last year, for example, he even hosted a session of the church’s ruling body, the Synod, in Yekaterinburg to stress its symbolic importance as “the place of the mystical sacrifice of Tsar Nicholas II.” “Such monarchist attitudes,” Soldatov continues, “enjoy understanding and sympathy from the ideologues of the current Russian regime which sees this as one of the ‘spiritual bindings’” holding the country together. But they do not enjoy similar support from urbanized and secularized Russians. According to the Moscow commentator, there is another factor at work as well – the financial. Enormous sums of money have flowed into the cathedral project in Yekaterinburg from companies that seek preferment or have been given no choice but to back what the Patriarch and the Kremlin want. “In the Yekaterinburg bishopric, this is a real ‘project of the century,’ on the realization of which depends the earthly wellbeing of hundreds of people. More than that, part of this money has already been received and spent; therefore, there is no room for retreat” even though it is obvious that few Russians would attend that or other churches if they are built. Everyone can see that the ROC MP is attracting ever fewer parishioners. At Easter this year, only half as many Russians attended services as did Ukrainians in Ukraine, despite the fact that the Russian population is more than three times as large. That means the rate of attendance in Russia is only one-sixth of what it is in Ukraine. While political slogans have sounded at these protests against church construction, most of the animus of those who do not want new churches to take over their parks and other public spaces is not directed against the regime, Soldatov says; but if the president gets in bed with the patriarch, that could change – and change quickly.