Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
In Russia, the Yekaterinburg revolt is now being compared to the 1905 revolution against the Tsar, who also near bankrupted the nation with foreign wars.
NATO / EU update: US to offer discounted military equipment to allies who renounce Soviet / Russian equipment, which will put a major dent into Russia’s earnings. Austria calls election after key coalition party compromised by Russia. Lithuania objects to Russian return to CoE.
Ukraine reporting dominated by the inauguration of President Zelensky, and his excellent address (transcript below), best described by US SECENERGY Perry thus: “President Zelensky’s speech was impressive and very powerful in what kind of vision for Ukraine’s future there is presented. The bottom line is that the elections were for the people of Ukraine, not for him”.Ze has called for an early election and the two largest parties have agreed not to contest the decree. Muscovy has responded with toxic and sarcastic commentary.
Donbas update. AFU to upgrade its fleet of 9P149 Sturm S tank destroyers with the new Barrier V long range ATGW.
A quite rare variant of the Il-22 Coot-B was intercepted by the Royal Air Force Typhoon jets supporting NATO Baltic Air Policing. According to the UK Ministry of Defence, on May 14, 2019, two Typhoon jets supporting NATO Baltic Air Policing mission from Ämari Air Base, Estonia, were scrambled to intercept two Russian Su-27 Flanker fighter aircraft and one Ilyushin Il-22 (NATO reporting name Coot-B) aircraft that were flying (in international airspace) along the Baltic coast heading towards Kaliningrad. On the following day, May 15, Typhoon FGR4s were launched again to intercept “another two Su-27 aircraft and an Il-22 and escorted the formation towards Russia” (the public statement seems to suggest different airframes were intercepted on the second day, suggesting a rotation of aircraft deployed to the Kaliningrad Oblast). These are the first QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) scrambles since the RAF took over the mission from the German Air Force last month and they were pretty much routine. Still, they are worth of note because one the Russian aircraft intercepted by the Typhoons was a particular variant of the baseline Il-22 Bison (Coot-B) Airborne command post (VzKP): the Il-22M11-RT, an upgraded Il-22M11 Zebra equipped with the SURT (Samolotnyi Uzel Re-Translatsii, airborne relay hub) “Sokol” (“Falcon”) radio relay system. This variant can be recognized by two large L-shaped antenna on the upper side of the fuselage. This kind of aircraft was rarely seen in the Baltic area, at least based on the images frequently released by NATO air forces supporting BAP mission from Lithuania and Estonia. The last time an Il-22M11-RT was intercepted was about 3 years ago.
Navy Beats Air Force with First Legacy Hornet in Su-57 Livery, Russia is Confused, Troll Party Ensues. Photos taken by an amateur aviation photographer in the U.S. emerged on Facebook early this week of a new U.S. Navy F/A-18D Hornet two-seat aggressor aircraft painted in a unique pixelated aggressor color scheme that mimics Russia’s new, advanced Sukhoi Su-57 fighter. The photos were initially posted privately by the Facebook user who took them. From there, the Russian social media outlet LiveJournal found them, likely in a Facebook group where they may also have been shared by the original photographer. Once the Russian blogosphere got hold of the hapless amateur photographer’s photos, the party really started. Now the photos are appearing in Russian Facebook groups and pages and in the Russian media- and the Russians are loving them- even if they are a little confused.
The State Duma of Russia introduced a bill softening restrictions on the possession of weapons. According to the Parliamentary Gazette, the …
Paul Goble Staunton, May 19 – As one would expect, the Moscow media and the international media in its wake have given enormous attention to and even praise for Vladimir Putin’s apparent willingness to meet the protesters in Yekaterinburg part way by holding a poll to determine whether the cathedral they oppose will be built. But they have devoted far less attention to three real developments over the last ten days which suggest that the Kremlin leader expects more protests against his regime and is taking steps to ensure that in that event, he will have all the resources and loyalty he needs to crack down hard on the population. That pattern, playing “good cop” for the media and acting as “the bad cop” on the ground has long been Putin’s modus vivendi. But it seems to be intensifying in recent days, perhaps because of his fears about what may happen now that warmer weather will allow even more Russians to take to the streets against him. The three developments are these: First, the interior ministry has purchased at auction a record quantity of crowd control shields for the police, 13,000 in all, almost twice as many as it purchased during last year or in 2017. In reporting this, the Forbidden Opinion telegram channel says “the closer to the end of the ruling chekist-oligarch regime, the more it spends on its defense. Will this help? We don’t think so” (t.me/TheForbiddenOpinion/3434, at kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5CE04B5373C21). Second, in a transparent move to ensure the loyalty of those in the force structures, Putin has signed a new law that will allow those who work for the police and other control groups to retire as early as 45, a move that will make them happy but offend many Russians who face the prospect now of having to work to 60 if they are women or 65 if they are men (sobkorr.org/news/5CD01B82E0E3A.html). And third, in yet another move designed to boost support for the Kremlin among officers in the organs but certain to offend many Russians, the finance ministry is calling for cutting the pensions of ordinary people still further in order to boost spending on the police and officials (finanz.ru/novosti/aktsii/minfin-predlozhil-porezat-pensii-i-uvelichit-raskhody-na-policiyu-i-chinovnikov-1028206672). Some Russian commentators warn that Putin is devoting every bit as much effort to the war against his own people that he is for his war against the West, but they concede that the full extent of both is largely hidden from view because so much spending in this area has been classified (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/04/putins-preparation-for-war-against-west.html). But the signs are clear, and they shouldn’t be ignored just because Putin on occasion talks nice.
Paul Goble Staunton, May 18 – Many Russians mistakenly think a Maidan in their country can begin only in the capital and that what happens in “the provinces” is irrelevant unless it crosses the ring road, Moscow writer Natalya Yeliseyeva writes. In fact, as the Kremlin’s opponents understand all too well, “a rising in Moscow is starting in the regions” (realtribune.ru/news/people/2033). The events in Yekaterinburg, Arkhangelsk, and Ingushetia are prompting ever more Russian analysts to ask themselves whether their own Moscow-centric thinking has caused them to miss something fundamental that may lead to the political transformation or even disintegration of their country. Yeliseyeva is only one of them. Others and in a way flattering to the author of these lines are focusing on Russian regions rather than national republics as the greatest threat to Russia today. They are picking up on an idea I outlined more than two years ago: “regionalism is the nationalism of the next Russian revolution” (afterempire.info/2016/12/28/regionalism/). Without naming me, they are picking up on the argument I made then and observing that “many regionalist movements in present-day Russia are moving toward more radical separatist ideas than one can find among representatives of the non-Russian nationalities” (socportal.info/2018/10/05/pojavilas_versija_o_tom_kakie_dvizhenija_privedut_k_raspadu_rossii.html) They quote my December 2016 article to the effect that this has occurred, “besides everything else because of the development of the Internet which allows broad dissemination of ideas about a multitude of local and regional identities. It is not surprising that the Russian authorities are resisting this trend.” Further, as I argued then, “because the Soviet Union disintegrated along nationality borders, many Russian and Western analysts continue to focus on purely ethnic questions while the growth of regional movements and the efforts of Moscow to suppress them attract much less attention.” Indeed, as I pointed out, “regionalist movements look at the present stage as having more prospects than ethnic ones do because the Russian Federation is a more ethnically homogeneous country than was the USSR and the main contradictions between the regions have an economic and spatial character.” Over the last two years, the Sotsportal continues, “the significance of regional identities has significantly grown. In the Internet have appeared ever more texts about local differences, while Moscow has continued to disregard regional interests and problems.” What the center has done is close down regionalist websites, arrest regional activists or force them into emigration. “But,” the portal says, “regionalism cannot be suppressed that easily, and the network character of the Internet comes to its aid. Instead of one site that has been closed down, there may appear several on the same theme. Moreover, the state by suppressing regionalist movements is only radicalizing them.” This means that whatever tactical victories the Kremlin gains over regionalists, it is at the level of strategy “losing the war.” As Urals regionalist Andrey Romanov, who has been forced to emigrate, puts it, what is obvious to many does not seem to obvious to any in the current Russian government. Many now see, he says, that “Russia has no chances over the long term to remain in its current borders. Indeed, the main event of the 21st century will be the disappearance of Russia and the formation on this territory of new independent states,” not on ethnic lines alone but primarily on regionalist ones.
Paul Goble Staunton, May 19 – An unchanging characteristic of Russian life is the tendency to compare any new event to an earlier one and predict what will happen now on the basis of what happened then. That is occurring in Yekaterinburg where an historian says the ones now resemble those of 1905 and that the authorities will likely respond again with provocations. Many of those taking part in today’s demonstrations, Yevgeny Burdenkov of the Museum of the History of Yekaterinburg says, are already comparing Vladimir Putin’s promise to poll residents about the construction of the cathedral in the central square with Nicholas II’s October 1905 manifesto promising a Duma and civic freedoms (ura.news/articles/1036278087). After the manifesto was proclaimed, the historian recalls, students went into the square to celebrate. The tsarist police allowed them to do so, knowing that it was likely that only students would do so. And then their allies, the black hundreds were turned loose on the students and many were beaten. That radicalized rather than calmed the situation, Burdenkov says, because “provocations are always useful only to the most radical sides of a conflict.” Those who want a resolution are simply left out of the calculations of such people. “If something similar were to occur now,” he continues, “this would be a catastrophe worse than even in those years. Then in many respects, the value of human life was lower and the seriousness of clashes was thus higher.” There is one respect in which the situation would not be as bad: far fewer Yekaterinburg residents now have guns than did a century ago. Another major similarity between 1905 and now, Burdenkov says, is that both actions were spontaneous, reflecting the views of society rather than the work of a few leaders. But after the people went into the streets, political leaders then and now sought to exploit the demonstrations for their own purposes, with greater or less effect. But the biggest difference between the two years is that “in October-November 1905 there were in general no forces in the city which could resist the protesters. In our time, such a situation, of course, is impossible … [Moreover,] people have become less aggressive – education in this respect has given us a great deal.” “City residents now are less subject to manipulation and to various provocations,” Burdenkov continues. In contrast to 1905, Yekaterinburg residents today “understand that someone who throws a bottle at the police is not their supporter but an ordinary provocateur” working against them. The difficulty now is that many of those taking part are young people who do not reflect on what they are doing besides insisting that they “want what they want” and that many among the powers that be want discipline rather than agreement. That sets the stage for more clashes and increases the risk of provocations being tried even if they will not always work.
Paul Goble Staunton, May 19 – The success Yekaterinburg residents have had it getting the attention of Vladimir Putin and thus of the local authorities via their massive street protests against plans to build a cathedral in what has been a public park is convincing civic activists in ever more Russian cities that similar demonstrations are the only way they can win out. Groups opposed to church construction in Chelyabinsk, Ulyanovsk, Tambov and Nizhny Novgorod are among those who have drawn this conclusion, Darina Shevchenko of Radio Svoboda says, a development that threatens to spark protests in many more places if the authorities don’t listen to their demands or fail to keep their promises in Yekaterinburg. Denis Ibragimov, the Open Russia coordinator in Chelyabinsk, has already sent the mayor there an appeal saying that there could be a Yekaterinburg-style wave of protests in his city soon because what has happened in Yekaterinburg has “gone beyond the borders of the city and become federal” (svoboda.org/a/29949668.html). “I was in Yekaterinburg during the conflict over the construction of the church in the square and spoke with many city residents. I didn’t meet one who was for building the church. People either are actively resisting or are quietly angry” about the idea, Ibragimov says, adding that “in Chelyabinsk a similar situation is arising.” The local bishopric is going ahead with plans to build a church in public space, citing the results of public hearings. But these hearings, the activist says, were fake and should be ignored because city residents were not informed about them “in the required way.” When people found out what the city had done, they organized petitions and appeals. “I consider that officials have laid a mine under the situation,” Ibragimov says, “by ignoring the opinion of young people. We already are different and not a Soviet generation. Church people tell us to read the Old Testament, but what is the Old Testament to me if I live in the 21st century?” As for Vladimir Putin, the activist continues, he too is someone from the past rather than the future. In short, Ibragimov says. “Putin himself is a pensioner” and thinks like pensioners do, referring on one occasion to the Yekaterinburg protesters as “the godless,” something only a Soviet-thinking person would. Chelyabinsk residents are ready to take to the streets and the officials know it, he continues. Indeed, “I am certain that a conflict is inevitable if the authorities do not leave our square in peace.” That fact may explain why officials reacted so quickly to his appeal: they asked him to come in and promised a response within a few days. Meanwhile, in Tambov, Diana Rudakova, an architect who heads the Navalny staff in that city, said that the local bishopric has been pushing for the construction of a church in a major square. It has the right to ask for that but not to ignore the attitudes of everyone else in the city or play games with officials to hold hearings about this that people don’t know about. “We found out about the hearings late and acted quickly,” the activist says. We put out a video clip and posted it on line and at least for a time have been able to stop the actions of the Russian Orthodox Church whose behavior seems increasingly strange even though it has the support of the nominally secular officials. “No one understands the motivation of the church,” Rudakova continues. “I think that that the general policy of the ROC in Russia is to seize central social spaces as if the clericals are playing a computer game” rather than engaged in religious activities. The fight against them will continue. “If we aren’t listened to, then we will organize meetings and pickets,” she says. “Tambov residents are in no way worse than the residents of Yekagterinburg. I am certain that the residents of our city will demonstrate their position. Now, already, the entire city is talking about the ROC’s intentions.” According to Rudakova, “bureaucrats — and the metropolitanate includes the same bureaucrats — have entirely lost their links with reality. The authorities do not understand that people need parks and squares: they do not need churches.” “The events in Yekaterinburg and those which possibly will occur in other cities of Russia are the result of the general policy of the state, the lack of dialogue and understanding between society and the powers that be. We have no instruments of interaction,” and officials take decisions in secret and in isolation from the people. And she concludes: “the residents of Yekaterinburg tried first to defend the square in legal ways. They were not given that chance. This means that street protests will be repeated throughout Russia and are beginning to gather strength.”
“If we go for a referendum, the situation will be suspended for a year. It would mean really major preparations, really major costs. That’s why, right now, we have to put maximal efforts into making sure this survey is maximally correct in procedure, in form, and in representativeness,” Yekaterinburg mayor Alexander Vysokinsky said on May 17. After several days of protests against the city’s plans to build a cathedral for its patron saint that would replace a central square, he was explaining the local government’s decision to run a survey instead of a referendum to gauge public opinion on the project.
Paul Goble Staunton, May 19 – Many in Russia and the West view regionalism in the Russian Federation today as a way station on the road to the disintegration of the country; but it will become that if and only if the Putin regime continues to refuse to take the opinions of the people into consideration. Instead, regionalist movements today are primarily a display of popular solidarity against Moscow’s authoritarian and imperial rule by people who simply want to have a voice in what happens to them rather than be the objects of Kremlin policies. It is in short, a school for democracy rather than a conspiracy against the territorial integrity of the state. That is a message the Region.Expert portal, based in Tallinn and edited by Karelian regionalist Vadim Shteppa, have been delivering for a long time. It is reiterated in a new post today which argues that events in the Urals against the construction of churches and in the Pomor area against Moscow’s trash are “a school of regionalism” (region.expert/regionalism-school/). Moreover, the portal continues, ever more activists in one region are picking up on what activists in others are doing and voicing their support for each other, thereby creating the Kremlin’s worst nightmare and a possible matrix for a future treaty-based federation or confederation which could arise “on the post-imperial space” In Yekaterinburg, “imperial suppression has taken on clerical forms,” and people from various regions are picking up on that both via the Internet and direct popular participation and bring the lessons of that Urals city back to their own not only in campaigns against churches planned for public parks but also in efforts to advance other popular demands. “A similar inter-regional solidarity has arisen in the North as well, between residents of Arkhangelsk Oblast and the Komi Republic,” where one Komi deputy has even bluntly asserted tha the two give “enormous sums to the center in the form of taxes but in exchange they are sent Moscow’s trash.” What this means, Oleg Mikhaylov says, is that in Russia today, “there are first-class people [in Moscow] and second-class people [everywhere else]. That is a colonial policy.” The portal observes that his words “recall those of American fighters for independence from the British Empire.” But the very latest example of “inter-regional solidarity” is even more impressive because it links the trash protests of the North with the demonstrations against overreaching by the Russian Orthodox Church elsewhere, Region.Expert continues. Those in the Pomor region fighting against Moscow’s plans to dump the capital’s trash in their homeland have put out a video appeal to the people of Yekaterinburg and the Urals on their own telegram channel, Trash News (t.me/trashnews29/622). “We, the residents of Arkhangelsk and participants of an unlimited protest against the building of a trash dump at Shiyes, express our support to the residents of Yekaterinburg. You decisively and firmly are struggling against a building on the square beloved by those who live there.” “Such decisions,” the video continues, “are impermissible without the agreement of the people! We completely support the demands of the protesters about putting such construction plans on hold and about conducting public hearings about them. Don’t surrender! THE PEOPLE MUST DECIDE!”
The Russian defence contractor Rostec just showed off a stealth camouflaged helmet that they claim can change colours quickly and even display moving images to better conceal Russian troops.
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Maria Butina, the Russian gun-rights activist convicted in the United States for acting as an unregistered foreign agent, has issued a video appeal for financial contributions to help pay her legal…
The US Department of State is planning to expand the program, which now operates for countries of the so-called Warsaw Pact. According to the program, countries that buy American weapons for replacing weapons produced in Russia are entitled to a discount from the United States. The program of stimulating European recapitalization operates for six European countries. The State Department plans to extend its action to the whole world and include not only Russian but also Chinese weapons, the DefenseOne defense defense company wrote. “The purpose is to help our partners to move away from the Russian supply chain, which provides access to Russian manufacturers and service personnel, and also allows the use of Russian spare parts at the military bases of NATO and partner countries,” the representative of the US State Department said to the publication. The program does not provide full payment for the purchase of helicopters, or aircraft for US money, the partner country will also have to finance the deal. For the year of the program, the State Department has allocated $ 190 million to fund six programs in six countries, according to the publication. Now, according to the publication, the program’s money is intended to support the following deals: Albania’s $ 30 million, $ 30.6 million Bosnia and Slovakia’s 50 million helicopter purchase; 25 million for Croatia and Greece, and 30 million for Northern Macedonia for the purchase of infantry combat vehicles.
Storing nuclear weapons close to trouble is a bad idea, and giving Ankara a shared finger on the nuclear trigger is rapidly losing its charm.
Austria’s standing in the world has been “massively damaged” by the corruption scandal that has unravelled its right-wing government, the country’s chancellor said last night.Sebastian Kurz is striving to sack his far-right interior minister and stamp his authority on the caretaker cabinet after a s
Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has called an early election following the collapse of his coalition government over a corruption scandal.
Thomas Haldenwang, head of Germany’s counterintelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), said this week at the Parliamentary Oversight Panel that cooperation with Austria creates significant risks to German intelligence, Welt am Sonntag reported. The newspaper did not specify how it had obtained the information, but it noted that Haldenwang’s statement was based on the assumption that Austria could misuse and possible even pass on to Russia the information that it receives from partner states such as Germany. The BfV declined to comment on the report. Welt am Sonntag published the article amid a scandal involving Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, who resigned on 18 May after the Süddeutsche Zeitung and Der Spiegel published a video of him negotiating with a Russian lady in a villa on the Spanish island of Ibiza. The woman in the clip identified herself as Alena Makarova, the niece of a Russian oligarch. In the video, she explains that several Russians are willing to finance Strache’s election campaign in exchange for control of a high-circulation tabloid, the Krone Zeitung, and several state tenders. The video was taken ahead of the parliamentary elections in 2017. Strache himself insisted he was “the victim of a targeted political attack”. The scandal erupted shortly before elections in European Parliament. Before the incident, the Krone Zeitung published a story which alleged that a retired Austrian army officer had worked for Russian intelligence since the 1990s. The 70 year-old man in question was taken into custody shortly thereafter, but later released by the court. His attorney later explained that the Austrian did not consider himself a spy, and had not disclosed any state secrets. The Austrian government responded to the incident with a statement that it will not tolerate Russian espionage in Europe. Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl even canceled her visit to Russia that had been planned for December. In a comment on the situation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Vienna uses “megaphone diplomacy” as opposed to traditional diplomacy.
Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevicius said that by restoring Russia’s voting rights, the Council of Europe (CoE) risks losing …
Polish Deputy Minister of Defense Wojciech Skurkiewicz revealed plans to purchase two batches of American F-35 fighters. According to him, the first aircraft will enter the service of the Polish army by2026. The Minister called this decision a turning point and crucial for the Polish Air Force. “This is a crucial decision that will raise our Air Force to a higher level. The first squadron of F-35 aircraft will be purchased by 2026, the second squadron – after 2026,” — the PAP Agency quotes the Deputy Minister. Polish military also intend to buy a batch of 32 attack helicopters by 2026.
Editor’s Note: This is the address to the nation that President Volodymyr Zelenskiy gave in parliament at the ceremony of his inauguration as the sixth president of Ukraine on May 20. Dear Ukrainians, After (my) victory at this election, my six-year-old son said, “Daddy, I was watching TV, they say Zelenskiy is the president. So it means I’m the president too, right?” At the moment it sounded like a child’s joke. But later I understood that it was the truth, because every one of us is the president now. Not only 73 percent of Ukrainians who voted for me — all 100 percent. It’s not mine, it’s our common victory. And it’s our common chance for which we take shared responsibility. And now it wasn’t just me who took the oath. Each of us — each of us — put a hand on the Constitution, and each of us sworn loyalty to Ukraine. Imagine screaming headlines: “President doesn’t pay taxes,” “President drunk rushed through red lights,” “President steals a little.” But everybody does the same. You sure agree it is a shame. And this is what I mean when I say that every one of us is the president. Starting today, every one of us bears responsibility for Ukraine, which we will leave to our children. Each of us, in our places, can do something for the development of Ukraine. A European country starts with everyone. Yes, we have chosen a (political) direction to Europe, but Europe is not somewhere there, it’s here (points at his head). And when Europe is here (again points at his head), it will come to our country. This is our shared dream. But we have shared pains, too. Each of us has died in the Donbas. Every day we lose one of us. And each of us is internally displaced; those who lost their own homes and those who, in turn, opened the doors of their homes, sharing this pain. And each of us is a migrant worker. Those who didn’t manage to find their place at home but found earnings in a foreign country. Those who, fighting poverty, had to lose their dignity. But we will overcome all of this, for each of us is a Ukrainian. We all are Ukrainians. There’s no a less of a Ukrainian or a more of a Ukrainian; the right Ukrainian or wrong Ukrainian. We all are Ukrainians. From Uzhhorod to Luhansk, from Chernihiv to Simferopol, in Lviv, Kharkiv, in Donetsk, Dnipro, and Odesa — we are all Ukrainians. We have to be united, and only then we are strong. And today I address all the Ukrainians in the world. There are 65 million of us. Yes, don’t be surprised, there are 65 millions of us, who have the Ukrainian roots. Ukrainians in Europe and Asia, North and South America, in Australia and Africa, I address every Ukrainian on the planet. We need you very much! To everyone who is ready to build a new and successful Ukraine, I will happily give Ukrainian citizenship. You have to be coming to Ukraine like you’re coming home — not visiting as a guest. We are waiting for you. Don’t bring souvenirs from abroad, bring us your knowledge, experience, and values. All of this will help us start a new epoch. Skeptics will say, “It’s a fantasy. It’s impossible.” But maybe this is just our national idea: to unite and do something that’s impossible, in spite of everything. You remember the national football team of Iceland at the 2016 UEFA European Championship, when a dentist, a director, a pilot, a student, and a janitor fought to defend the dignity of their country? They did something nobody believed in. This is our way, too. We should become the Icelanders in football, the Israelis in defending our territory, the Japanese in technologies, the Swiss in the ability to live together despite all the differences. But our very first task is to make the fire stop in the Donbas. I was asked very often what exactly I am ready to do to stop the war. It’s a strange question. What are you ready to do, Ukrainians, for the lives of your relatives? What? I assure, for our heroes to stop dying, I am ready to do everything. I am certainly not afraid of difficult decisions, I am ready to lose my popularity, my ratings, and — if needed be — I am ready to lose this post without hesitation in order to bring peace. (Lawmakers give Zelenskiy a long round of stand-up applause.) But losing none of our territories by doing so. Never! (MPs give him a round of applause and stand up again.) History is unfair, it’s true. It wasn’t us who started this war, but it is us who will have to stop it. And we are ready for a dialogue, but (switches to Russian) I am sure that the first step to start this dialogue is to return all the Ukrainian hostages. Our next challenge is to return the lost territories (switches back to Ukrainian). Frankly, this phrase isn’t correct, for it’s impossible to lose something that is rightfully ours. Crimea and the Donbas — these are Ukrainian territories. But we lost not just territories there, we lost our people. (Switches to Russian again) And today we must — I am sure they hear us — to win back their minds. We have lost their minds. Over these years, the government hasn’t done anything so that they feel Ukrainians. They are not alien, they are ours, Ukrainians. (“They understand Ukrainian!” shouts from the hall Oleh Lyashko, leader of the Radical Party.) They do, thank you very much. And “thank you” for continuing to separate our people, Mr. Lyashko. We are all Ukrainians whenever we live. Ukrainian isn’t about the passport, it’s about what’s in the heart. I know this for sure from the fighters who defend Ukraine, our heroes — both Ukrainian-speaking and Russian-speaking. There can’t be a powerful army where those in power don’t respect the people who die for the country every day. I will do everything so that you feel respect: adequate and stable financial support, your housing, vacations after completing combat missions, rest for you and your families. One doesn’t have to speak about NATO standards, one has to create these standards. Of course, despite the war, there are many more woes, which make Ukrainians unhappy. There are shocking tariffs, humiliating salaries and pensions, prices that hurt and workplaces that don’t exist. There is the healthcare system, improving which is usually discussed by those who never had to take their child to a public hospital. There are mythical Ukrainian roads, which are built only in someone’s fertile imagination. Now let me — if I may — cite one American actor, who became a cool American president (Ronald Reagan): “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” I don’t understand our government which is just throwing up hands, saying, “We can do nothing.” It’s not true, you can. You can take a sheet of paper, a pen, and free up places for those who think about the next generations — not just about the next parliamentary election. I think that people will appreciate it. Such selective applause… I speak from the nation, thank you very much. My election proves, people are tired of experienced, systemic, inflated politicians, who for 28 years have created a country of opportunities… opportunities for kickbacks, money flows, corruption. We will build a country of other opportunities, where everyone is equal before the law, where there’s a level playing field. But before, people who will serve the nation should come to power. I would very much like for you to not have my portraits in your offices. No portraits! A president is not an icon, nor an idol. President is not a portrait. Put there photographs of your children, instead. And before making any decision, look them in the eyes. I can talk more. But Ukrainians want actions, not words. So, dear deputies, you yourselves set an inauguration date on Monday, a working day. I see a positive thing about this. It means there won’t be parties today — we will be working. So I ask you insistently to pass the law lifting the parliamentary immunity, the law on illicit enrichment, the long-suffering electoral law, and adopt open party lists. And also, I ask you to dismiss the SBU head, general prosecutor, defense minister. This is not all you can do, but it’s enough for the beginning. You will have two months for this. Do this and hang medals on yourselves, and win points before the snap parliamentary election, for I dismiss the 8th Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada. Glory to Ukraine! Dear nation, during my life, I was doing my best to make Ukrainians smile. I felt that it wasn’t just my job, it was my mission. In the next five years, I will be doing everything, Ukrainians, for you not to cry.
Dear Ukrainians! This is not just mine, this is our common victory. And this is our common chance that we are responsible for together.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky took part in the presentation of the commanders of the branches of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the heads of the security agencies. At the Mariyinsky Palace, the warriors of the Honor Guard solemnly marched before the Head of State. Then the heads of the security agencies and commanders were solemnly introduced to Volodymyr Zelensky. Minister of Defense of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak, Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Viktor Muzhenko, Commander of the Army Ground Forces Serhiy Popko, Commander of the Army Air Forces Serhiy Drozdov, Commander of the Army Naval Forces Ihor Voronchenko, Commander of the Army Assault Forces Mykhailo Zabrodsky, Commander of the Special Operations Forces Ihor Luniov, Head of the Security Service of Ukraine Vasyl Hrytsak, Head of the State Border Service of Ukraine Petro Tsyhykal, Head of the National Police Serhiy Kniazev, Head of the State Emergency Service Mykola Chechotkin and Acting Commander of the National Guard of Ukraine Mykola Balan.
We are glad to welcome you on the Ukrainian land! Ukrainians are a very hospitable people. From time eternal we have always welcomed guests having good intentions with a sincere heart and open arms. Today, I have a lot of emotions, but there are two most vivid ones. The first one is gratitude. I am grateful first of all for the fact that you were able to come to Kyiv on such a short notice. I am grateful to all international partners for helping Ukraine conduct fair democratic elections. I am glad that together we have proved that Ukraine is a democratic state. Thank you for the assistance you have been providing us all these years: in combating corruption, in vitally important reforms, in supporting the economy and, most importantly, in the fight against Russian military aggression in the east of Ukraine and Crimea. My second emotion is hope. Hope that due to our joint efforts, peace will come as soon as possible to Ukraine. Hope that our cooperation will be continued, even more so – will be even closer and more productive. We hope that the number of our international partners will grow and people in every corner of the earth will know: one can deal with Ukraine – it is a good partner. I will try to do everything for the European family and the large world family to consider Ukraine not as an annoying distant relative who disappoints everyone, but as a reliable sister everyone will be proud of! And for “Glory to Ukraine!” to be heard not only here, but also around world!
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky had a meeting with heads of foreign delegations and ambassadors of foreign states. He said he was overwhelmed with gratitude and hope. “I appreciate the fact that you were able to come to us in a very short time. I am grateful to the international partners for helping us conduct fair elections. Together we have proved that Ukraine is a democratic state. Thank you for your help in combating corruption, economic problems and, most importantly, in the fight against Russian aggression,” the Head of State said, opening the welcome reception for the foreign representatives with his wife Olena. He is also hopeful that the number of international partners of Ukraine will grow, and “Ukraine in the international community will become a reliable sister whom everyone will be proud of”. Volodymyr Zelensky completed his speech in English, promising that Ukraine would enjoy glory throughout the world. The guests who attended the inauguration greeted the President of Ukraine. The inauguration of Volodymyr Zelensky was attended by President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili, President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis, President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of Hungary János Áder. Vice President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič, United States Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and United States Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker, Minister of National Defence of Canada Harjit Sajjan, Vice President of Turkey Fuat Oktay, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Jacek Czaputowicz, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova Tudor Ulianovschi, Chairman of the Milli Mejlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan Oktay Asadov, President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic Jaroslav Kubera and other distinguished guests.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky announced the dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada of the eighth convocation. He told this in the inaugural speech on May 20 in Kyiv, during the solemn session of the parliament.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry has said the United States will continue to support Ukraine.
Volodymyr Zelensky has called for cabinet resignations and the return of “lost” territories after being sworn in as Ukraine’s president. He said that he wants to negotiate peace in Donbass, even if it risks losing his post.
The Kremlin spokesman noted that Zelensky «can and should solve» this domestic Ukrainian problem based on the plan contained in the Minsk agreements
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said Ukraine is ready for a dialogue with Russia, but the release of prisoners of war should first take place. Zelensky is set to put an end to the war in Donbas.
Volodymyr Zelensky, a Jewish comedian who won a landslide victory in elections, dissolves parliament, urges ministers to resign and vows to solve Donbas crisis
Comedian-turned-politician Volodymyr Zelenskiy also promised to stop the war in the country’s east against Russian-backed separatists
At his inauguration on Monday Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said he would dissolve the legislature for early parliamentary elections that were scheduled for October.
At his swearing-in, Mr Zelensky also said achieving peace in eastern Ukraine would be his priority.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy took the oath of office as Ukraine’s new president on May 20 in Kyiv. In his inaugural speech, he announced that he is dissolving the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, and called for the dismissal of several top officials. Zelenskiy also said that he was ready for dialogue to stop the fighting with Russia-backed separatists in the country’s east.
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian TV star Volodymyr Zelenskiy has sought to capitalize on his huge popularity, dissolving the country’s parliament Monday minutes after he was sworn in as…
A 41-year-old popular television comedian with no previous political experience was sworn in as Ukraine’s new president today and immediately moved to dismiss parliament.Volodymyr Zelensky, who ousted Petro Poroshenko, a confectionary tycoon, in last month’s presidential elections, inherits a count
Ukraine’s newly appointed president immediately moved to dissolve parliament and call a snap election as he seeks to consolidate power following his rapid rise from TV comedian to the country’s top politician.
The Latest on Ukrainian politics (all times local): 11 a.m.
Ukrainian television star Volodymyr Zelenskiy has been sworn in as president and immediately disbanded the Ukrainian parliament
Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who had no political experience before being elected, has said Parliament members were only focused on enriching themselves
Ukrainian TV star Volodymyr Zelenskiy has sought to capitalize on his huge popularity, dissolving the country’s parliament Monday minutes after he was sworn in as president.
Television comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy took the oath of office as Ukraine’s new president on Monday, promising that as hard as he had worked in the past to make Ukrainians laugh, he would now work to keep them from crying.
Guardian News Published on May 20, 2019 Ukraine’s new President Volodymyr Zelenskiy took the oath of office on Monday and immediately announced he was dissolving parliament and calling a snap election, aiming to win seats in a legislature still dominated by loyalists of his predecessor.
President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky has sworn the oath of allegiance to the people of Ukraine and officially become president. Zelensky read out the text of the oath and received a presidential certificate.
Newly elected President Volodymyr Zelensky has announced that the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, will be disbanded. He announced the dissolution of the parliament in a speech after his swearing-in ceremony on Monday, May 20.
Speaker of Ukraine’s Parliament Andriy Parubiy concluded the swearing-in ceremony of new President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky by joking. Zelensky’s parents and wife were present at the event.
The Petro Poroshenko Bloc and People’s Front parliamentary factions say they accept Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s decision to dissolve the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament. According to First Deputy Chairman of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc parliamentary faction Ihor Kononenko, this is the president’s right to disband the parliament. “This is the right of the president, he took advantage of it, so we will prepare for the snap parliamentary elections,” he said, according to the Ukrayinska Pravda online newspaper. Read alsoZelensky takes command of Ukraine’ Armed Forces When asked whether he was going to run for another term as MP, Kononenko said: “I don’t know, I’ll see whether to run.” Answering a question whether the parliament was going to object with such a decision, Kononenko said: “Why? Let’s live in a law-abiding state.” In turn, member of the People’s Front parliamentary faction Ihor Kotvitsky said his attitude toward the dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada was “normal.” “The attitude is normal. We’ve got no options – we will run for [parliamentary] elections. That’s for sure,” he said. Kotvitsky also added the party would be “rebranded,” and the People’s Front will run for parliament with a new name. As UNIAN reported earlier, newly elected President Volodymyr Zelensky announced the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, would be disbanded and gave the lawmakers two months. Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/politics/10555644-disbanding-parliament-two-major-factions-react-to-zelensky-s-move.html
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has taken command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The official event took place in Kyiv’s Mariinsky Park on Monday, May 20. Read alsoZelensky sees Donbas truce as his No. 1 task The Ukrainian military swore allegiance to the new president of Ukraine as supreme commander. When speaking in his inaugural address earlier that day, he said: “There can be no strong army where the authorities do not respect those who lay down their life for the country every day. I will do everything to make you feel esteemed. This is worthy, and most importantly – stable financial support, your living conditions, guaranteed holiday after the fulfillment of combat missions, leisure for you and your families. We must not talk about NATO standards, but to create these standards. As UNIAN reported earlier, Zelensky on May 20 sworn the oath of allegiance to the people of Ukraine and officially became president.
Not one senior Israeli official was present when Volodymyr Zelenskiy was sworn in on Monday morning in Kiev; Ukrainian Israelis worry snubbing the new regime could harm bilateral relations in the future
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said his first decree will be to disband the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament. On May 20, Zelensky announced the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, would be disbanded.
Ukrainian MP Valeriy Karpuntsov has said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky may sign a decree on the dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, later today, on May 20, following consultations with parliamentary factions. The decree may be signed in the evening.
Newly elected President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has met with heads of foreign delegations and ambassadors of foreign states, promising that the world “will be proud” of Ukraine. The guests who attended the inauguration greeted the new Ukrainian president.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said at a meeting with the heads of foreign delegations and ambassadors of foreign states that he is overwhelmed with gratitude and hope, the press service of the head of state has reported. — Ukrinform.
20.05.19 13:39 – US counts on cooperation with Zelenskyi – energy secretary Rick Perry The United States is ready to continue to support the Ukrainian people and is looking forward to working with new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi. View news.
The United States is ready to continue to support the Ukrainian people and is looking forward to working with new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. This is stated in a message from the president of the United States, which U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry read out at a briefing in the Verkhovna Rada on Monday, according to an Ukrinform correspondent. The message from America is very clear, and the U.S. president asked us to convey it, Perry said. The United States supports the people of Ukraine and is looking forward to working together with the new president, and hopefully, with the new parliament, to see brighter days in the future, he added. At the same time, he stressed that Zelensky’s inauguration speech was impressive and very powerful in the context of what vision of the future of Ukraine was presented there. The point is that the elections, in fact, were for the people of Ukraine, not for him, Perry said. The United States will continue to support the people of Ukraine in defending independence, in aspirations for freedom, and one of the brightest demonstrations of freedom is manifested through economic freedoms, he said.
20.05.19 16:09 – Queen Elizabeth II congratulates Zelenskyi on inauguration Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom sent her best wishes to new President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi. View news.
Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom sent her best wishes to new President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky. — Ukrinform.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has congratulated Volodymyr Zelensky on the inauguration and expressed hope for further cooperation between the two countries. — Ukrinform.
President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite held a meeting with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and wished success during his presidency. — Ukrinform.
Kersti Kaljulaid on Twitter: “My congratulations to President @VoZelenskiy, the new president of #Ukraine. Our two nations have always been close. I’m looking forward to lots of cooperation! #EstUkr… https://t.co/nq3NB1nKBr”
UN Secretary-General António Guterres wrote a letter to Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he expressed support for the peaceful settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine and assured Ukraine of the UN support. — Ukrinform.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has no plans to congratulate Volodymyr Zelensky on his inauguration as the President of Ukraine yet. — Ukrinform.
Outgoing President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has wished a successful presidency to Ukraine’s President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky, pending the latter’s swearing-in ceremony on May 20. The president apologized to everyone whose expectations had not been met.
In an address to the Ukrainian nation on the eve of Volodymyr Zelensky’s inauguration, former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko wished his …
Fellow Ukrainians! Change of power is a sign of our belonging to European civilization. We have preserved democracy even in the face of Russian aggression. Tomorrow the power goes to the new President whom you chose at fair and free elections. First of all, I would like to thank the great Ukrainian people for the great honor to work for five years at the head of a great country. The country which impressed the whole world with the force of national spirit, dignity, perseverance and freedom-loving nature. I would especially like to bow to the defenders of Ukraine for the right, opportunity and honor to be the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. Now, when the emotions incited by the electoral campaign has not yet completely abated, it is difficult to expect an objective assessment of the path we have covered from the year 2014. Time will set everything in its places. Sooner or later it will separate the sinners from the righteous, the wheat from the chaff, the truth from the lie. The country did not just survive. It is in a better condition today than five years ago, and this is evidenced by the main statistical indicators. This was achieved by the joint efforts, due to the support of the active part of society and the understanding of the majority. We saved Ukraine and buried Novorossiya. We stopped the aggressor, which is much stronger than us. We created an army that became one of the strongest on the continent. Relying on the international pro-Ukrainian coalition, it firmly holds the line in the east. We won the diplomatic battle for the ratification of the Association Agreement and reoriented the economy to the European Union. The turnover between Ukraine and the EU increased more than twice. And in general, we have never been so close to NATO and the European Union. Including due to the visa-free regime launched on June 11, 2017. In parallel with the movement towards Europe, we also strengthened our Ukrainian identity. This is our own policy of historical memory, decommunization. This is the Tomos, which we received at the beginning of the year. This is the law on the Ukrainian language recently signed by me. Of course, there are areas with less success. And even in a short conversation, it’s worth paying attention because it’s an honest conversation. The thing I regret about the most is that we failed to establish peace and restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine. We started to restore the standards of living after the economic crisis, caused by Russian aggression, too late. I apologize to everyone whose expectations I failed to meet; for whom the reforms were particularly painful; who faced the untruth and did not find justice in those years. I already explained: even if one believes that the President can do everything, he cannot do all at once. I wish a successful presidency to Volodymyr Zelensky. A month ago, we were opponents in the elections. But it happened so that tomorrow he will be the President of my native country. The country I love and the European future of which I firmly believe in. May the Lord guard Ukraine and help its new leader in his work. Of course, I am worried that the positive changes have not become irreversible. Therefore, leaving the office of the President, I cannot leave politics. I remain not for any kind of post. In the end, I have already occupied the highest and most honorable of them and there is nowhere higher to move. My duty is to protect the achievements in the state building process relying on the support of the public… To prevent anyone from retreating from the course for membership in the European Union and NATO, or putting it on the back burner. Ritual pro-European and Euro-Atlantic declarations are not enough. We need everyday hard work that my team has been doing for five years. This is what I will demand from the new government as a citizen and where I am ready to lend a shoulder. And I will give no quarter in case of deviation from the defined course. Any attempts – drastic or creeping, explicit or concealed – to return the country into the sphere of Russian influence will get a decisive rebuff. The strategic goal I proclaimed during the election campaign remains in force – to apply for membership in the European Union and get a NATO Membership Action Plan by 2023. This will be the only guarantee of the independence of the country and the security of each of us. Achieving this goal is a task for every responsible citizen, including me. I believe in the success of our country and its European future. Thank you, fellow Ukrainians! Glory to Ukraine!
The press service of Ukraine’s President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky has announced the agenda of official events on May 20 on the occasion of his entry into the presidency. In the afternoon, the new president will be meeting with foreign guests.
Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who is concluding her diplomatic assignment in Kyiv on May 20, has hailed the progress Ukraine has made in the past few years and summed up her work. The U.S. diplomat mentioned education and health care reforms among Ukraine’s achievements.
USEmbassyKyiv Published on May 19, 2019 🇺🇦 Завершуючи свою дипломатичну каденцію в Києві, посол Йованович ділиться думками щодо прогресу, який Україна зробила за останні кілька років, та про її досвід роботи в Україні. 🇺🇸 As she concludes her assignment in Kyiv, hear Ambassador Yovanovitch’s thoughts about the progress Ukraine has made over the past several years and about her experience working in Ukraine.
The U.S. Department of State considers appointing a chargé d'affaires instead of ambassador in Ukraine, reports ZN.ua with reference to its own …
Today, on May 20, 2019, US Air Force and Navy aircraft patrolled along the coast of Russia’s Crimean peninsula occupied by Russia. This is reported by the Ukrainian Military Portal On the 10th in the Black Sea area, the American Airborne Electronic Intelligence aircraft Boeing RC-135V Rivet Joint entered. Subsequently, he completed refueling in the sky and began flying from the Black Sea coast of Russia near the base of the Russian Navy in Novorossiysk. Flight route RC-130 on May 20, 2019 Map: PlaneRadar The Boeing RC-135 is a family of large reconnaissance aircraft used by the United States Air Force and the Royal Air Force to collect, process and transmit intelligence information. Also, today, near the occupied Sevastopol, an anti-submarine US Navy P-8A Poseidon is flying: P-8A Poseidon Flight Route May 20, 2019 Map: PlaneRadar Boeing P-8A is a patrol anti-submarine aircraft designed to detect and destroy enemy submarines in patrolling areas. He can also conduct intelligence and participate in anti-ship and rescue operations.
20.05.19 07:22 – 11 attacks by Russian proxies yesterday: Ukrainian soldier wounded, one terrorist destroyed May 19, the Russian occupying forces attacked JFO positions 11 times, twice using Minsk-proscribed weapons. View news.
Military engineers of the State Emergency Service have cleared 55 hectares of land and disposed over 145 explosive objects in Donbas over the past week, according the Joint Forces Operation Headquarters press center. — Ukrinform.
The modernized ground-based anti-tank complexes “Shturm-S” of the Armed Forces will be equipped with the long-range anti-tank guided missile “Barrier-B” manufactured by the “Luch” DKBB. This was reported by the director of the information agency Defense Express Sergey Zhurets . According to him, from the following week tests of a long-range anti-tank guided missile (PTCR) “Barrier-B” will begin as part of a complex of weapons for helicopters of the Army Aviation. 190517 BarerV 3 After the adoption of this missile, it must become a “long-range arm” in the modernized ground-based mobile anti-tank complexes “Sturm-S”. Recall that the Soviet self-propelled anti-tank missile complex “Sturm-C” for the Land Forces was equipped with a supersonic missile 9M114 “Cocoon”, with a radio command command system. This missile was adopted in 1979, the range of defeat targets is up to 5 km and armor piercing 650 mm. 190517 BarerV 1 The anti-tank missile complex ” Sturm-S ” at the competitions of the best anti-Tankists of the United forces. August 1, 2018 Instead of the old overdue “Coconut”, the modernized anti-tank complex will receive Ukrainian R-2V missiles with a greater range (up to 7.5 km) and power (armor-piercing up to 800 mm for DZ ), with a new day and night target detection system and another missile system – by laser beam ” Modernized” Storm “with” Barrier-B “, as, indeed,” Jevelina “, and” Stugny “are considered as a means to stop the breakthroughs of tank parts of the enemy into the defense of our troops “, – said Sergey Zgurets . ” With clever use it will be a fully effective and oppressive enemy force. With good high-school personnel, anti-tank groups can cause significant or even unacceptable damage to the combat forces of the advancing enemy , “he stressed.
Ukraine’s Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak on May 20 tendered his resignation. Gen. Poltorak, 54, was appointed defense minister on October 14, 2014.
Former deputy head of the Viktor Yanukovych Presidential Administration Andriy Portnov, who returned to Ukraine on May 19, 2019, says he is going to sue outgoing President Petro Poroshenko and his allies. Portnov left Ukraine more than five years ago.
Outgoing Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a letter of resignation submitted by Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Oleksandr Turchynov. Turchynov on May 17 submitted a letter of resignation as Poroshenko’s presidency is expiring.
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.