Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
The “dirty oil” crisis refers to the tainted oil delivered by Russia to Belarus, FYI.
Prof Blank on the latest bizarre proposal emanating from Muscovy – trade away industrial powerhouse Ukraine for basketcase failed state Venezuela, a deal only the dumbest of the dumb could see as politically or strategically profitable for the US. Reps Fitzpatrick and Boyle to visit Kyiv to argue for closer engagement with the US. Some nice Nellis footage.
Now being labeled by media as“Russia’s Dirty Oil Crisis”, the self-inflicted mess is proving bigger, messier and more expensive that anybody expected. The Vozhd’s public trust rating nosedives to an all time low. More on the Stalin cult, and the “Soviet Citizen”movements in Russia. Whelan and Calvey hostage cases updates. Another failed Russian espionage case. More Skripal propaganda. More meddling in Africa.
Russians make more threats over the AN/FPS-129 Globus II / Have Stare MASINT radar on Vardø Island in Norway. NATO update – NATO to revise its strategy to deal with Russian threat.
UN ITLOS rules against Russia in Kerch Strait case and demands the 3 vessels and 24 crew-members be returned to Ukraine. Much unhappiness about an Italian court initiating trial of a Ukrainian officer, alleged by Russia to have killed an Italian journalist during a 2014 battle in Donbas, this despite evidence by senior Ukrainian govt officials who traveled to Italy showing he was not where the Russians alleged him to be. In Crimea, public sentiment turning against Russia.
Donbas update, Meduza report on Russian passports. Air Force ground defense and CSAR EX photos – note the HIP turned into Spooky-Lite. Gen Khomchak comments on Ilovaysk envelopment – he points out that as a participant in the battle, his sin in the eyes of the media was not being KIA in battle. Vilkha GMLRS and Neptun GL-ASCM trials, and a nice history essay on Ukraine’s possibly most successful emigre – Igor Sikorsky.
Politics update – with election campaigning gathering momentum, we are seeing increasing cattiness.
OCU and ROC updates.
Russia is peddling a dangerous new narrative: Washington should trade Ukraine for Venezuela. This is Moscow’s most recent front in its war against Ukraine. Wolodymyr Zelenskii’s inauguration as Ukraine’s new president has not stopped Russia’s attempts to destroy Ukraine’s independence, democracy and integrity. Now it’s playing out in Washington. The narrative goes that Washington should give Moscow a free hand in Ukraine — in return for Moscow supposedly giving Washington a free hand to unseat Venezuela’s venal and criminal Maduro regime. This narrative also argues that Washington should simply extend the New START Treaty for five years, while resuming arms control talks with Moscow. The Russian narrative contends that President Trump, believing himself exonerated by the Mueller report, can now freely improve relations with Moscow. Not coincidentally Vladimir Putin shares this narrative. Therefore, Washington should seek to improve these relations and retrieve them from the supposedly dangerous impasse into which they had fallen. Allegedly, only churlish members of the media, unregenerate Russophobes and foreign policy commentators oppose this development. Unfortunately, this approach is morally indefensible and strategically disastrous. Let us remember that Russia’s armies (including so-called separatists, who are really Moscow’s auxiliaries in Ukraine) invaded the Crimea and the Donbas and committed the most naked aggression since Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990. Putin would also undoubtedly try to leave these “separatist” forces in the Donbass and Crimea to destroy any basis for independent Ukrainian statehood. Second, Moscow unilaterally and knowingly broke the INF treaty. Meanwhile, Ambassador Antonov in Washington (who negotiated the New START Treaty) claims, that all the new nuclear weapons Putin has displayed to threaten the U.S. and its allies circumvent the New START Treaty and are therefore non-negotiable. Simply extending what has proven to be a one-sided and poorly drafted treaty will gain neither security nor arms control. Instead it will further weaken our own deterrent with nothing to show for it in return. Third, in Venezuela, the issue is not so much Russian forces but Cuban forces, which are not bound by any bilateral Russo-American agreement. Thus, this narrative essentially represents a weakening of U.S. security and America’s global position. Fourth, whatever one thinks of Mueller’s report, its conclusions do not provide grounds for improving ties with Moscow. Quite the opposite. Conclusively proving Russian interference in our elections, it instead justifies American retaliation. This administration has rightly increased defense support for Ukraine, expanded and extended sanctions upon Russia, challenged Russia on energy, exercised its legal right of withdrawal from the INF treaty that Moscow broke, launched a robust military rebuilding process, and is fighting Moscow and Havana’s stooge, Maduro, in Venezuela. Indeed, Maduro’s policies amply justify a humanitarian intervention in Venezuela to rescue its people who are trapped there by a government of surpassing venality. Indeed, the Trump administration should intensify pressure upon Maduro by targeting the huge drug trade that sustains Maduro’s racketeering enterprise that masquerades as a government. In any case, U.S pressure will likely grow beyond Maduro’s ability to withstand it. We have already seen that his own ranks are increasingly restless, disloyal and contemplating defection to the other side. Moscow may push this narrative because destroying Ukraine shatters U.S. credibility across Europe and NATO. At the same time Russia would negotiate for itself a financial parachute if it left Venezuela. Neither would it lose much by doing so. Furthermore, trading Ukraine for Venezuela undermines both Ukraine whom we have pledged to support and European security while also explicitly recognizing Russia’s right to intervene in Latin America. That admission legitimizes further Russian-backed threats to Latin American countries from insurgents and narco-traffickers that Moscow supports. Venezuela has long served as a base for threatening our ally, Colombia, for over a decade. Those threats would not cease if Moscow moved its base to Nicaragua, Moscow’s other Latin American client. Consequently, this trade gains little or nothing for Washington and loses an enormous amount. Advocates of this cynical deal, like Putin, believe that the great powers can simply dispose of states like chess pawns. This belief, of course, contravenes everything the U.S. stands for. Moreover, such deals legitimize naked aggression, imperialism in the form of spheres of influence, and the untrammeled use of force. Those phenomena have mostly been conspicuously absent in our policy towards Venezuela. “Trading” Ukraine for Venezuela also undermines U.S. security guarantees to our allies. It also does nothing to stop Moscow’s long-standing campaign of information warfare to suborn and corrupt our own and our allies’ democracies here, in Europe and Latin America. While Putin might well benefit and even gain more ill-gotten lucre from this “trade,” the U.S. and its allies would only lose. The disinformation inherent in this proposed deal might play well in Moscow and among people who are either too cynical or naïve to care about these issues. But we must reject them and their advocates who are ultimately wolves in sheep’s clothing, whose proposals are truly bad ideas whose time should never come. Stephen Blank, Ph.D., is a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council, focused on the geopolitics and geostrategy of the former Soviet Union, Russia and Eurasia. He is a former professor of Russian National Security Studies and National Security Affairs at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College. He is also a former MacArthur fellow at the U.S. Army War College.
Russia poses a threat to Ukraine, the entire region, and directly to the United States, so Congress would like to make sure that the new president of Ukraine will develop a partnership with Washington. — Ukrinform. “Russia poses a huge threat to Ukraine, the whole region, a threat to the United States, and we want to make sure that the new president develops partnership relations with America, not Russia,” Brian Fitzpatrick, the Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives, said in a commentary to reporters, including an Ukrinform correspondent. The Congressman, who is the Ukrainian Caucus co-chair, added that he and Congressman Brendan Boyle intended to discuss this issue “very frankly” with President Volodymyr Zelensky during their forthcoming visit to Kyiv. “Our goal is to strengthen ties between Ukraine and the West. This is what the vast majority of people, with whom I worked and communicated in Ukraine, aspire to. And I sincerely wish to see that [President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky] will work in their interests,” Fitzpatrick explained. The American congressman added that in spite of any vivid statements of some American figures or internal political struggle, support for Ukraine in no way diminishes because its heart is in Congress.
Let us know if you caught a glimpse of the #Ghost on its first flight today! Here are some highlights of all the action! #PaintTheViper #F16 #64AGRS #MiG #AirPower #NellisAFB 57th Wing Commander
Nellis Air Force Base has released video showing the first flight of the F-16C fighter jet painted in a unique digital pixelated camouflage paint scheme that mimics Russia’s next-generation Su-57 jets. The fighter jet, called the Ghost and assigned to the U.S. Air Force’s 64th Aggressor Squadron, is specifically painted to “realistically simulate” air combat against probable enemies. According to The Aviation Geek Club, the Ghost project started on Apr. 22 once the F-16 was towed into the corrosion shop from Viper Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU). With a seven-man team on days and a six-man team on swings for M1, the jet was finished in just under one month. Once the jet was finished, it was towed back to Viper AMU and back in the hands of its crew chief. The design was chosen by a poll held by Brig. Gen. Robert Novotny, 57th Wing commander, on his social media account to add a new look to the 64th Aggressor Squadron (AGRS). “I love this job, and I love what we do at Nellis Air Force Base, so I want to take any opportunity to boast about our fine men and women who do great work for their nation,” said Novotny. “Social Media gives me a chance to connect directly with the folks who have a similar passion for military aviation.” Novotny decided to take a non-traditional route of determining a new paint scheme for the F-16. Facebook and Novotny’s followers would be the deciding factor for the new Ghost scheme. Once the poll was concluded, the idea of the Ghost jet was handed off to the Mission First (M1) crew at the corrosion shop to make it a reality. “We want a good product just like the commander does,” said Troy Blaschko, an aircraft painter with M1 assigned to the 57th Maintenance Group. “It means just as much to us as it does to the pilots and we’re really glad to be a part of it.” M1 was tasked to take the idea from a two-dimensional graphic to a three-dimensional 20,300-pound fighter jet. From there they had to mask, sand, wash, prime, paint and apply stencils to the aircraft for it to be completed. The project started on April 22 once the F-16 was towed into the corrosion shop from Viper Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU). With a seven-man team on days and a six-man team on swings for M1, the jet was finished in just under one month. Once the jet was finished, it was towed back to Viper AMU and back in the hands of its crew chief. “It’s quite an honor [being the crew chief for the first Air Force Ghost paint scheme],” said Master Sgt. Corey Cain, 926 AMXS dedicated crew chief. “Once I learned about the crowd sourcing for the paint scheme, I was very excited for it. I knew an aircraft was going to receive this paint job but when they said it was going to be my jet, I was pumped.” The Aggressors Squadrons F-16 liveries replicate the paint schemes, markings, and insignias of Su-57 fighter jet of Russian Air Forces. The color design, inspired by the Russian Su-57 allows pilots in training who come within visual range of these adversary jets get the same sight they would see if they were engaging an actual threat. Painting aircraft to look like potential Russian, Chinese, Iranian and other adversaries is not uncommon for the US Air Force.
For almost four weeks, the tanker Mendeleev Prospect has been anchored idly off the Polish port of Gdansk unable to discharge a $50 million cargo of crude oil.
For almost four weeks, the tanker Mendeleev Prospect has been anchored idly off the Polish port of Gdansk unable to discharge a $50 million cargo of crude oil. After any normal voyage the tanker would quickly deliver its 700,000 barrels of Russian crude into a refinery for processing into gasoline, diesel and other petroleum products. But the Mendeleev Prospect is in limbo, the victim of Russia’s unprecedented contaminated crude crisis that’s been spreading chaos though the European oil market for a month.
Russia will pump dirty crude oil back from Belarus as it tries to clear a major pipeline of the contaminated oil that has caused the worst ever disruption to its oil exports, sources and officials said on Friday.
Exclusive: Russia to take back dirty oil back from Belarus – sources
Russia plans to take back around 1 million tons of contaminated oil from Belarus, cleaning up the Druzhba export pipeline section leading to Poland and Germany, four industry sources familiar with the plan told Reuters. The plan was discussed at talks in Warsaw on Thursday between Russian, Belarussian and European companies. Another roughly 1 million tons stuck in Poland and Germany will be left there to be dealt with by these countries, the sources said. “The Russians are open to agreeing to take back the polluted oil from the Belarus section which has not come to Poland yet, but there is no agreement on compensation,” a source who was attending the Warsaw meeting told Reuters.
Russia halted exports via the Druzhba pipeline to Poland and Germany over contaminated oil.
The spokesman for Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said that Russian oil supplies will resume «no later than mid-June»
The confidence rating of Russian President Vladimir Putin fell to 31.7%, according to a VTsIOM poll conducted from May 13 to 19. This is the minimum figure since the publication of relevant data on the website of the sociological center in 2006. At the same time, the president is still trusted more than other Russian politicians. The second place in the VTSIOM trust rating is held by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (14.8%), and third by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (13%). Putin’s approval rate remains stable; according to the results of the last poll by VTsIOM, it was 65.8%. The previous record drop in the rating of trust to Putin by the VTsIOM was recorded in January 2019; then this figure was 32.2%. It began to decline from June 2018, after the announcement of the increase in the retirement age . As of May 27, 2018, Putin was trusted by 46.9% of the participants in the VTsIOM survey. The first data on the trust rating of politicians on the VTsIOM website is dated January 2006. In 2015, the director of the sociological center, Valery Fedorov, said that at that time the historical minimum of the Putin rating of trust was 45%. It was recorded in March 2005 after replacing in-kind benefits with cash compensation.
Paul Goble Staunton, May 24 – For almost two decades, Igor Eidman says, Moscow has promoted three interrelated “cults” as Russia’s “civic religion, “the cult of Stalin, the cult of Victory and the cult of Putin.” But if earlier they were reinforcing, now there is evidence that they are coming apart with ever more Russians expressing support for Stalin and ever fewer for Putin. The reason for this trend, the Russian sociologist and commentator argues, resides in the social structure of the overwhelming majority of Russians who are not part of the richest one percent or the 12 percent who want to be part of the Western world and reject both Stalin and Putin (openmedia.io/exclusive/pochemu-stalina-lyubyat-vse-bolshe-a-putina-vse-menshe). These people, which Eidman called “Russia-3,” are the “unprivileged and un-Europeanized ‘deep people’ and ‘the Crimean majority’ (86 percent supported the annexation of Crimea).” They still live in the main by traditional values which divide the world into “us” and “them” and have a particular view of what those in charge should be like. For them, “a good correct master – the husband in a family, the landowner, the officer in the army, or the tsar in the state must be strict to the point of cruelty,” Eidman says. “His task is not only to defend against ‘the others’ but to punish his ‘own,’ including his immediate entourage, to keep them in line.” This “deep people,” he suggests, view as their “main enemy not the liberals and opposition figures but the overreaching bosses” who oppress them by their arbitrariness, cruelty and corruption. For them, Stalin is “the model” of such a leader. But Putin “obvious is not inclined to ‘beat his own’” and thus maintain order. Polls show that significant majorities of Russians believe that harsh punishment of all corrupt figures is the most important means of “strengthening legality.” They are pleased by the arrest of some of these but do not believe that what has happened so far marks “the beginning of a serious struggle with corruption.” For most of his rule, Putin has been able to distract ordinary Russians from his failure to impose order in this way by his attacks on Chechens, Georgians, Ukrainians and Islamists. But now that tactic, which worked well, is becoming ever less effective. Russians want him to go after the corrupt figures around him. The one percent, which Eidman calls Russia-1, want the system to remain stable. Russia-2 wants a transition to European political and legal standards. “But Russia-3 above all is concerned with the problem of social justice” which in their minds means coming down hard on the corrupt elite. “Seeing that the current president cannot or does not want to bring to heel the thieving bosses, ‘the deep people’ is turning its affections toward the most evil figure of Stalin.” That is underlying reason why Stalin’s approval rating is going up, and Putin’s is going down, the sociologist says. Eidman says that it is worth recalling that “on the eve of Gorbachev’s perestroika, when the need for change was already obvious, in ‘the deep Russia’ also arose a renaissance of the cult of Stalin … [reflecting] the demand of simple people angry at the privileges of the nomenklatura for justice.” The exposure of Stalin’s crimes during perestroika, he continues, undermined that cult but clearly “only for a time.” And the reason “the deep people” looked to Stalin 30 years ago is behind his recovery. History “now is repeating itself,” Eidman concludes. According to the commentator, “European and ‘deep’ Russia are natural allies in opposition to ‘the country of the bosses.’ They in equal degree are not interested in the continuation of what is in essence its colonial rule” over them. For that reason if no other, Aleksey Navalny is on to something. The leader who will prove successful in the future, Eidman concludes, will be “one who while retaining the support of the Russian Europeans is able to convince ‘the deep Russia’ that he will become a severe judge of the thieving oligarchy now in power.”
A loose network of Russians is using quasi-legal arguments to evade laws and taxes. At banks, police stations, and inside courtrooms across the country, people calling themselves “citizens of the U…
The arrest of Calvey and four others stunned many Western investors and drew complaints from high-level Russian business leaders and government officials, who questioned the motivations of the cour…
Venezuela’s example of trying to bypass US sanctions using its own national cryptocurrency, the “petro”, has proved to be contagious. The Russian government is now prepared to consider creating a national gold-backed cryptocurrency, said Elvira Nabiullina, head of the Central Bank of Russia, during a meeting of several parliamentary committees, reports finanz.ru. Such a cryptocurrency is needed for BRICS countries to make payments on arms contracts, explained Vladimir Gutenyov, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Economic Policy. Due to the sanctions, which the US State Department estimates to have blocked at least 20% of Moscow’s defense deals in 2018, “there is the problem of settlement payments,” Gutenyov observed. The countries in question are India, China, and other countries that buy weapons from the Russian state defense export agency, Rosoboronexport. Attempts to transition to national currencies with these countries have been fraught with difficulties, Gutenyov admitted. The intergovernmental agreement to de-dollarize reciprocal trade with China, discussed in 2014 and considered a “done deal” by Russian officials several years ago, has also not materialized. The agreement had to be abandoned “at China’s initiative,” announced Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov in December last year. A cryptocurrency, on the other hand, would be able to bypass technological restrictions, Gutenyov explained. “In order to implement the national projects, we need to purchase certain equipment in order to localize them within the country. But here too, there are restrictions not only on dual-use technologies, but also on high-tech products,” he said. “Don’t you think it would be reasonable, perhaps, as part of BRICS, for Russia to be the initiator and to discuss the launch of national cryptocurrencies, nominated in gold, for such settlement payments?” asked Gutenyov, directing the question at Nabiullina. “The Central Bank of Russia is still opposed to standard cryptocurrencies, which it considers a monetary surrogate,” the head of the Central Bank responded. “If this is a different project, we are prepared [to consider it],” she added. “The project is truly different,” remarked Anatoly Aksakov, a member of the financial market committee. “These would not be cryptocurrencies, perhaps, as much as so-called stablecoins,” he explained: unlike standard cryptocurrencies, they are backed by physical assets, in this case gold. The petro, the Venezuelan cryptocurrency which President Nicolas Maduro planned to use to circumvent sanctions, was meant to work in the same way. It was supposed to be backed by oil, gold, iron and diamonds in a 5:2:2:1 ratio. At the start of February 2018, Maduro claimed that the petro had raised $735 million in investments, although this could not be verified.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo should summon Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov and issue him a warning: unless Paul Whelan is immediately provided with better treatment, and regular consular access to U.S. diplomats, President Trump will cancel his planned meeting with Vladimir Putin at next month’s G-20 summit in Japan.
Paul Whelan claims he is “constantly subjected” to abuse and harassment in jail in Russia.
A former U.S. Marine held in Moscow on suspicion of spying said on Friday he had been threatened by a Russian investigator and harassed in custody, accusations that added to strains in U.S.-Russian relations.
A U.S. naval seaman has been sentenced to three years in a military prison after admitting he sought to share classified information about U.S. nuclear-powered warships with Russia.
Russia is playing a juvenile game with Victoria Nuland, denying her a visa, according to RT, Victoria Nuland, US midwife to Maidan-2014, denied visa to Russia, without a stated reason. RT ends their article with: In another instance, the US denied a visa to the deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Information and Press…
Viktoria Skripal, whose uncle Sergey and cousin Yulia were poisoned in Great Britain last year, told TASS that she has released the audio of a voice message from her uncle to Russia’s Investigative Committee. Moskovsky Komsomolets first published and reported on the recording on March 23. Gazeta.ru wrote that the Investigative Committee branch for the region where Viktoria Skripal resides did not receive any communications from her, indicating that the former spy’s niece may have turned directly to federal-level investigators.
During talks held in Moscow, Vladimir Putin and President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Denis Sassou Nguesso agreed that Russian military will be sent to Congo, according to the contract published on the Kremlin’s website. RIA Novosti, citing Deputy Minister of Defense Alexander Fomin, reported that the two sides are also negotiating arms transfers. “We expect that we will be requested to supply new equipment. There is a need for it,” the official explained. The parties signed several more agreements, in particular, a letter of intent between the Russian oil giant LUKOIL and the Congo State Oil Company. Democratic Republic of the Congo is among the African countries where, according to Bloomberg, co-owner of the Concord group of companies and the close associate of Putin Yevgeny Prigozhin has business interests. The agency reported that Prigozhin seeks to expand his influence in the republic.
A second batch of weapons is scheduled to be delivered to the Central African Republic (CAR) over the next few weeks, Viktor Tokmakov, second secretary of the Russian embassy in the CAR, told the RBC news agency on 23 May. “We received authorization for the shipment already in January 2019, and now preparations are being made,” he said. The new shipment will be done “free of charge” and will include only firearms and ammunition, Tokmakov noted. The exact arrival date is not known. 30 Russian officers will also be sent to the CAR to join the UN mission there, reported RFI, citing the CAR’s president, Faustin-Archange Touadéra. The officers are expected to arrive in the coming weeks, the UN mission’s press service told RFI. Tokmakov was unable to confirm this, and claimed not to have specific information on the matter. An arms embargo was placed on the CAR in 2014 in order to prevent a new round of armed conflict in the republic. Any shipment of weapons to the region must be approved by the UN Security Council committee that was established to oversee the embargo. The committee consists of 15 Security Council member countries, and all decisions are made by consensus (not even one participant can be opposed).
When the American radar station has been completed on the Norwegian island of Vardø in the Barents Sea not far from the Russian border, Moscow will take retaliatory steps, promised Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova during a press conference, RIA Novosti reports. She noted that the Globus II station under construction on Vardø Island is only 50 km from Russia’s border, and will be used by Norway’s military intelligence. “It is not really a secret for anyone that the obtained information will be forwarded directly to the US… We have raised this issue regularly with Norway, but the Norwegian officials avoid explaining what purposes the upgraded station will be used for,” Zakharova observed. She stressed that Moscow has every reason to assume that the station will be used to monitor Russia. “It seems obvious to me that military preparations close to the Russian borders – whether the Russian border or another border – such preparations cannot be ignored by our country, just like any other country,” she concluded. The Globus II radar has prompted intergovernmental discussion before. In February, Morten Haga Lunde, Head of the Norwegian Intelligence Services, said that 11 Russian Su-24 fighters had scrambled in Russia’s Murmansk province, flown to the Barents Sea and simulated an attack against the military radar in the Vardø region. Lunde added that this had happened before, too.
For the first time in decades, NATO wants to present a new military strategy. “Our military experts have this week adopted a new military strategy for the Alliance,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg WORLD AM SUNDAY. Secretary-General Stoltenberg justified the step with the “nuclear threat” that Russia uses against the West. Germany urges him to higher defense spending. It is “not about appeasing US President Trump”. NATO intends to present for the first time after decades of a new military strategy. “Our military experts have this week adopted a new military strategy for the Alliance,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg WORLD AM SUNDAY. Since 2014, there has been a “new security environment” and new challenges in the East and the South, the head of NATO said. In addition, Russia is increasingly using the ” nuclear threat” against the West. “It’s about being fully defensible and capable of producing stability in the future. This sometimes requires new military concepts, “explained Stoltenberg. The strength of the alliance is “that we are able to change when necessary”. Stoltenberg explicitly welcomed the planned increase in defense spending in Germany to 1.35 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year. That was an “important contribution” to the defense capability of NATO. “I expect Germany to further increase its defense spending over the coming years. This has promised Germany, like all other NATO countries, “said the former Prime Minister of Norway. “And I am firmly convinced that the neighboring states of Germany would also welcome this commitment,” he added. All NATO countries jointly agreed in 2014 to “invest nearly two percent of GDP in defense. Stoltenberg: “This is not an artificial number, but reflects the need for military capabilities. And it’s not about appeasing US President Trump. “It’s about” significantly improving our military capabilities in difficult times. ”
Balkan nation’s long-standing bid to join military alliance would be blow for Russia, which opposes NATO expansion
Russia is actively “attacking” the country of Georgia, and has been for over a decade. In 2008 Russia seized and occupied both Abkhazia and South Ossetia and continues to occupy both to this day. Now Russia is actively seeking to block a strategic logistic hub of Georgia’s under construction in the Black Sea. Russia continues…
Estonia has become the last of the Baltic nations to sign a defense agreement with the Pentagon.
In a bipartisan fashion, the Senate Armed Services Committee is showing its support for the NATO alliance.
A United Nations tribunal is set to issue a ruling in the dispute over Russia’s detention of two dozen Ukrainian sailors and the seizure of three Ukrainian ships near Crimea last year.
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea has made a decision obliging the Russian Federation to release three Ukrainian vessels and 24 Ukrainian sailors detained in the Kerch Strait in November 2018 and allow them to return to Ukraine.
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) has obliged Russia to immediately release 24 Ukrainian sailors and three Ukrainian vessels captured near the Kerch Strait in November 2018. At the same time, the Tribunal failed to satisfy Ukraine’s motion to oblige the Russian Federation to stop criminal prosecution of captured Ukrainians.
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea has ordered Russia to immediately release Ukrainian military ships and return them to the custody of Ukraine and to immediately release 24 captured sailors. — Ukrinform.
The Russian Federation must immediately abide by the order of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea: to release Ukrainian sailors and ships captured near the Kerch Strait and return them to Ukraine. — Ukrinform.
The Russian Federation should immediately release Ukrainian sailors captured in November 2018, return vessels, and respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. — Ukrinform.
Former Ukrainian National Guard serviceman Vitaliy Markiv could be sentenced to 17 years in prison after Italian prosecutors charged him with the murder of
Paul Goble Staunton, May 24 – Residents of Russian-occupied Crimea are increasingly angry about rising prices, widespread corruption among the outsiders Moscow has sent in to rule them, growing official pressure on their lives, and the absence of any hope for improvement, Vladimir Mukomel says. As a result, the expert from the Federal Scientific Research Sociological Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences says, it is no surprise that some in Crimea are increasingly pro-Ukrainian in orientation, especially in the wake of the election of Vladimir Zelensky as president (ehorussia.com/new/node/18541). Mukomel who has conducted a series of polls in Crimea says that the people there are increasingly disappointed with Moscow’s approach. They had hoped for improvement with the construction of the Kerch Bridge, but that hasn’t happened. And now an increasing share of them have given up entirely. “Crimeans expect real and not propagandistic changes, changes which affect everyone individually,” he says. They are appalled by the growing level of corruption among officials, the unending change of those brought in to rule over them, and especially by the declining standard of living on the peninsula. According to Mukomel, “the standard of living rose sharply in 2014-2015 but then the situation became significantly worse,” as a result of the closing of the land links with Ukraine and the ensuring explosion of prices. “Prices now are higher than even in Moscow,” the Russian scholar says. And some of them are of much lower quality. Saying people are disappointed might be a stretch, he suggests, but there is a lack of understanding as to why this is happening and serious concern about how people will live in the future. “That is especially the case with young people. There is no work, and if it exists, it is poorly paid.” “Young people do not see any prospects and experts warn that financing of the peninsula from the federal center will fall an order of magnitude in the coming years. That is, the flood of money which was distributed with such publicity will cease,” the Moscow scholar says. As a result, few in Crimea see any chance for improvement. The Kerch bridge was supposed to help, Mukomel continues; but it hasn’t or at least it hasn’t to the extent that people were promised and had expected. Moreover, because of sanctions, people in Crimea have many fewer chances to do their banking with reliable outlets or to travel abroad. Many are especially upset that their football team, which once took part in all-Ukrainian competitions now can’t take part even in all-Russian ones. Instead, it must make do with local opponents and that has infuriated fans. At the same time, Mukomel adds, people in Crimea follow what is going on in Ukraine. Many of them have great expectations from the election of Vladimir Zelensky as Ukrainian president. And the Russian scholar cites with obvious approval but concern the conclusion of a pro-Moscow blogger in Crimea who says pro-Ukrainian sentiments in Crime are on the rise.
The armed formations of the Russian Federation violated ceasefire 17 times, using weapons banned under the Minsk agreements three times, in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in Donbas over the past day. — Ukrinform.
Russia’s hybrid military forces in the past 24 hours mounted 17 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, with one Ukrainian soldier reported as killed in action and another one as wounded in action. Each enemy provocation had an adequate response.
The enemy used the Minsk-banned weaponry
The 53rd separate mechanized brigade expressed an official position regarding the circumstances of the capture of the military personnel of our brigade on May 22 in the area of operation of the joint force. According Censor.NET , this is stated on the official page of the 53rd brigade on Facebook. The report says: “As mentioned earlier, eight soldiers on a truck followed in the direction of Konstantinovka. The planned route ran along a line of battle at a safe distance. The soldiers followed without weapons and in a sober state. According to preliminary information, as a result of an error in orientation, the vehicle with the servicemen crossed the line of contact in the area of the settlement of Novotroitskoye and hit the temporarily occupied territory. As a result, military personnel were detained by militants of illegal armed groups. The circumstances of the crossing of the line of demarcation are being clarified. An official investigation is underway. The bodies of the military prosecutor’s office began investigative actions, and made relevant information in the unified state register of pre-trial investigations.
Since April 24, residents of the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics have been able to receive Russian citizenship through a simplified process. On May 1, this option was made available to all Ukrainian citizens with Russian residence permits. A center for issuing Russian passports to DNR and LNR residents has already opened in Russia’s Rostov region. Since early May, people have flocked to these offices, hoping to lay their hands on a Russian passport, even though the process laid out by Moscow requires them to submit their paperwork where they live. Meduza special correspondent Kristina Safonova travelled to Luhansk and the Rostov region to learn more about this dash for Russian citizenship and why people in Ukraine’s Donbas want it so badly.
Running school In the air command “East” there were tactical and special classes with training and fighting shooting in the afternoon with the servants of the means of direct cover. Fighting firing from the anti-aircraft installation ZU-23-2 and DSHK carried out combat crews on fixed ground and air targets on the training material and technical base of the Ground Forces. The main purpose of engaging in tactical and special training of personnel with its weapons was the acquisition of assurance by the personnel of the service in the serviceability and performance of weapons, in the level of preparedness of the weaponry for the fight against air and land targets. On the eve of practical shooting in field conditions, on the basis of one of the units of the anti-aircraft missile brigade, regular servicemen conducted combat coordination. Under the guidance of experienced teachers of the Kharkiv National University of Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who have great combat experience in carrying out tasks in the area of the Operation of the Combined Forces, the military combatants improved knowledge of the security measures and the material part of the armament, studied the requirements of the guiding documents and rules of firing , worked out the actions of servicing teams “To battle”, “Vibiy”, “In the hide”, etc. In addition, the anti-aircraft gunmen worked out the transition from the original to the combat position, fixed the skills of proper targeting, practically equipped a trench for the ZU-23-2, and also conducted training on fire control and got permission to firing. During the exercise of practical shooting, the main focus was on the preparation of anti-aircraft equipment services to combat ground-based targets. Immediately during the SSC, in spite of heavy rain, the entire personnel of the anti-aircraft service missions worked out training exercises and firing exercises for a fixed purpose. The amount of ammunition that was determined for carrying out exercises of training and fighting ammunition allowed to effectively carry out individual training of personnel to combat ground targets, as well as to increase the dynamics of combat work of services, facilities of direct cover in general. Press center of the air command “East”
On the Kharkiv region a training-training fund for combat training of helicopter crews and specialists of search-and-rescue and paratroopers groups specially assigned to the Armed Forces of Ukraine took place. During the course, helicopters conducted training bombing and firing unmanned aerial missiles for ground targets, after which the special forces carried out practical guns from machine guns and machine guns from the side of a transport and combat helicopter. Under conditions of exercise, the servicemen should have identified the target and inflicted a fire damage on the conditional enemy, taking into account the speed and direction of the wind, as well as the altitude and speed of the helicopter. – All training exercises were carried out at extremely low altitude, in the range from 15 to 250 meters, – said the head of the Center for search and rescue of aviation aircraft of the Armed Forces Colonel Igor Bogushev, – In addition, the implementation of fire tasks constantly complicated – changed the angle of attack on the target, height and the flight speed. In such circumstances, successful implementation of the task requires rapid reaction, clear coordination and coherence of the actions of the crew of the helicopter and special forces. As the officer noted, the purpose of the training-training college is to prepare the personnel with the highest possible qualifications to perform tasks in different combat conditions, taking into account the experience gained during the tasks in the eastern part of the country. The information agency of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine in the city of Kharkiv
The newly appointed chief of the General Staff, General Ruslan Homchak, answered a number of questions from journalists. According to Tsenzor.NET , the general was interviewed by TSN. He said that his priorities are the value of the life of every military man and their well-being. He also spoke about personnel intentions, appreciated the actions of the previous command and expressed his point of view on the tragedy near Ilovaisk.
Kyiv Court of Appeal has decided to release former Chief of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Volodymyr Zamana from custody, according to a post on Zamana’s page on Facebook. — Ukrinform.
Tests were conducted at distances up to 125 km. Successful tests of Vilkha-M missiles with increased range capability and Vilkha-R missiles with dispensing warhead, took place in the Odesa region. Informed by Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Serhiy Kryvonos. “Taking into account Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine has defined tasks for the development and serial production of new missiles for multiple-launch rocket systems”, Mr. Kryvonos noticed. The Deputy Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine informed that the technical solutions for developing missiles and the results of hitting targets at maximum range were tested. “Firing operations were completed successfully, he said. – The missile tests have proved that the domestic defense indrustry is capable of developing, as quickly as possible, complex weapons and military equipment for the Armed Forces of Ukraine”. Tests were conducted at distances up to 125 km. Vilkha is a Ukrainian missile complex with an adjusted 300 mm caliber ammunition, developed on the basis of the missile rocket fire system 9К58 Smerch. In case of successful completion of all tests, it is planned to be accepted into the armament of the Armed Forces of Ukraine already in 2019.
Press Office of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Published on May 23, 2019 Today, on May 23, in the Odessa region, the stage of the test of the missiles of Vilkha M and Vilkha R. The tests were conducted at different distances and according to different parameters. Stepan Poltorak at the end of the test said that he was satisfied with the successful stage of the tests, as well as that the agency plans to enter the state test from August to October of this year.
The former Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) Oleksandr Turchynov reported on his Facebook page that the tests of the Ukrainian missile systems Vilkha took place at a military test site in the Odesa region. He noted that launches of long-range missiles Vilkha-M and missiles with a cluster warhead Vilkha-R were held. According to Turchynov, the tests will continue until the end of the week when the launches of cruise missiles of the mobile system Neptune are expected to take place. According to former Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak, the tests were carried out at different ranges and in various conditions. “I was satisfied with the successful stage of the tests. Therefore, the Ministry plans to start the final testing from August to October this year,” said Poltorak.
Today, May 24, the next stage of factory testing of the Neptune cruise anti-ship missile complex RK-360MC took place at the Alibei military training ground. About this on his Facebook page said military expert Sergey Zgurets who was present at the tests, informs Tsenzor.NET . The Neptune rocket has changed, in particular, it received a new starting engine (previously used from the C-125 anti-aircraft missile system). The new “starter” is designed and manufactured by Ukrainian enterprises. Also, the rocket received wings and rudders of a larger area, which provide better handling and maneuverability. Among the updates is also a new radio altimeter, which ensures the flight of a rocket above the surface of the earth or water at much lower altitudes. In addition, the rocket received an improved unit of gyroscopes and new satellite navigation system receivers capable of operating in more difficult conditions.
The Kyiv-born aviator who fled the Bolshevik Revolution and created the helicopters that have served U.S. presidents from Eisenhower to Trump, born 130 years ago. (Originally published on May 21, 2…
Ex-president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko believes that the decree of the new head of state Volodymyr Zelensky contradicts the Constitution of Ukraine. Poroshenko wrote this on Facebook. “The decree of the new President on the dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada is absolutely unconstitutional one!” Poroshenko stated. Besides, he pointed out that he sincerely tried not to criticize the work of the new president, but the events of the last four days left Poroshenko no choice. Earlier, the MPs appealed against the order of President Volodymyr Zelensky on the dissolution of the parliament; they turned to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. 62 MPs supported the Initiative of the National Front party. According to the report, the parliamentary coalition was formed in accordance with the current legislation, and it ceased its activities by the relevant application of the National Front spinster party on May 17, 2019. At that day, Spokesperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Parubiy announced that the European Ukraine coalition ceased to be. The 30-day term for the formation of a new coalition began, as defined by the Constitution of Ukraine. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky officially dissolved the Verkhovna Rada and appointed the snap elections for July 21. The Cabinet of Ministers should provide the financing of the elections.
The political party of former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has changed its name in a bid to rebrand itself ahead of key parliamentary elections.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Yakiv Smolii have discussed the macro-financial stability in Ukraine. The parties also talked about the current economic situation and banking system.
The resignation statement of Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman was registered in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. — Ukrinform.
NGO “Public Lustration Committee” filed a lawsuit over the appointment of Andriy Bohdan as the Head of the Administration of President of Ukraine. — Ukrinform.
Ukraine has possibilities to observe the conditions for receiving the next tranche of the loan of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the Stand By Arrangement, former finance minister, adviser of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Oleksandr Danyliuk has said.
The lawyer of Ukraine’s ex-president Viktor Yanukovych Vitaliy Serdyuk stated that the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine does not have evidence that his client was guilty of the massacre of mass demonstrations at the Maidan in 2014, as well as of his illegal enrichment during the presidency. Serdiuk wrote this on Facebook. “Yuriy Lutsenko, so where is the evidence of Viktor Yanukovych’s involvement in the massacre at the Maidan in the winter of 2014?! Where is the evidence that confiscated $1.5 billion as if belonging to the fourth president? Provide them to the people, provide them to the defense!” Serdyuk wrote. Related: Appeal against Yanukovych’ sentence to be considered on June 13, court rules According to the lawyer, the criminal proceeding against the fourth president of Ukraine has not been passed to the court and have not been closed, besides, the violation of the article 219, 283 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine took place. “We call on to drop all the charges of criminal cases immediately, to adhere to the principle of presumption of innocence, guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine, and to refute all false information that you have spread regarding Viktor Yanukovych,” Serdyuk added.
Canada’s Ambassador to Ukraine Roman Waschuk says Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been invited to visit Canada on July 2. The date coincides with the conference that will be held in Canada to support Ukraine’s reforms.
Ukraine police have received three reports of violations of the election legislation, that is attempts to bribe voters, since May 24 when early elections to the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, began. Sugar was distributed free of charge among citizens in Luhansk region on behalf of one of the candidates.
The U.S-government-funded Russian-language television channel Current Time released a special feature on May 23 describing the unusual career of Stanislav Pushkar. Pushkar, an engineer from Kyiv, was recruited by North Korean agents while working in a government factory in the 1970s. Recently declassified documents in the Ukrainian KGB’s archives show that Pushkar sold secret documents and appliances to the agents before being arrested and imprisoned ten years later. In 1970, 32-year-old Stanislav Pushkar was an engineer in Kyiv’s Arsenal-2 factory. He lived happily with his parents and young son and enjoyed taking photographs and fishing in his spare time. When Pushkar was assigned to work with three North Korean interns who had arrived in the Ukrainian capital as military school exchange students, however, an unusual chain of events took shape that would ultimately end the engineer’s life. The three students had been assigned to the factory to learn about Soviet antitank missile systems that the USSR was set to export to their home country. They also spent time with Pushkar and his colleagues after work, taking them to restaurants and showing them North Korean films. Over time, the students began visiting Pushkar at home, bringing gifts of ginseng vodka for the engineer himself and ginseng extract to treat his mother’s heart condition. Then, in February of 1971, two of the students were celebrating the end of their internship at Pushkar’s home when they told him they hadn’t learned everything they had hoped their internship would cover. They asked him to go to the factory library and copy blueprints for the Phalange antitank missile complex. Those documents were well outside the internship’s purview — and they were classified as top secret. Whether Pushkar understood the nature of his friends’ request remains unclear. Regardless, he took them up on their offer. The North Korean students gave the engineer a small camera, which he showed off to his coworkers but did not use. Instead, Pushkar sniped the documents from his workplace without a hitch, photographed them at home, and put them back. By the time Pushkar brought the film to Moscow as requested, it was already the end of the year. He only delivered the blueprints after a visit from two other North Korean agents, who brought him gifts, 500 rubles in cash, and a letter from one of his former interns. Soon, the agents’ requests began to escalate: they wanted whole appliances and documents to which even Pushkar did not have access. The engineer decided to recruit a coworker, Gennady Naumov. After a tense meeting, Naumov agreed to cooperate with the North Korean spies despite his initial qualms. Pushkar assured him that there was very good money to be made in the deal.
The non-involvement of the head of the political board of Opposition Platform – For Life partyViktor Medvedchuk in the negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow is a very bad turn of events. Member of the European Parliament for Scotland constituency David Coburn stated this on the air of 112.Ukraine TV channel. “I think that this is a very bad turn of events. It will not help. It would be more useful if we had a peace decision so that everybody could get peace. This is what Europe aspires to, and it satisfies the interests of everyone – the interest of Ukraine, as well as Russia’s interest. I believe that more effort is needed in order to reach peace. That is in the interests of everyone,” the MEP said.
Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine, head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) Epifaniy has said Honorable Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Filaret on December 15, 2018 refused to sign the OCU’s charter, which was adopted during the Unification Council. The last decision was not signed only by the patriarch. Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine, head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) Epifaniy has said Honorable Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Filaret on December 15, 2018 refused to sign the OCU’s charter, which was adopted during the Unification Council. “The Synod witnessed that in its future life and activities, the Ukrainian Local Orthodox Church will be guided by sacred legends, scripture and the charter adopted at Kyiv’s St. Sophia Cathedral on December 15, 2018. Almost all of us were unanimous in previous decisions, but the last decision was not signed only by the patriarch,” Epifaniy said on Friday after the OCU Synod, Ukrainian TSN news service has reported. According to him, during today’s Synod, the parties discussed the situation that had developed in the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the statements that had been made over the past two weeks. But Filaret continued to insist that the Kyiv Patriarchate still exists and was not removed from registration. “Although we all tried to convince and prove that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate had no longer legally and actually existed, and the Kyiv Patriarchate formed the basis of the OCU,” the metropolitan said. “Therefore, to a certain extent, we discussed, talked, convinced, but everyone saw that His Holiness Patriarch Filaret, unfortunately, remained with his opinion,” Epifaniy added. As UNIAN reported, the Synod of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine was held at Kyiv’s St. Sophia Cathedral on May 24, 2019. The Synod was chaired by Primate of the OCU Metropolitan Epifaniy. Filaret was also present there. Earlier, Filaret refused to recognize the UOC-KP as “liquidated” as a result of the creation of the OCU. At the same time, the Ministry of Culture assures that the UOC-KP was dissolved on December 15, 2018, during the Unification Council.
Honorable Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) Filaret says that the tomos, a document granting autocephaly (independence) to the new local Orthodox church in Ukraine, was shown only after the church unification council had been held. According to Filaret, some of the provisions of the tomos cannot be accepted. Honorable Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) Filaret says that the tomos, a document granting autocephaly (independence) to the new local Orthodox church in Ukraine, was shown only after the church unification council had been held. “We didn’t know what was written there,” he said on Friday after the OCU Synod, according to the Ukrayinska Pravda online newspaper. “We accept the tomos and thank for it. But we accept the part where we are recognized as an autocephalous church,” he said. However, some of the provisions of the tomos cannot be accepted. “As it also says that, for example, we cannot take care of our Ukrainians abroad. I am against it, and the Ukrainians are against it,” Filaret added. As UNIAN reported, the Synod of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine was held at Kyiv’s St. Sophia Cathedral on May 24, 2019. The Synod was chaired by Primate of the OCU Metropolitan Epifaniy. Filaret was also present there. The church unification council was held in December 2018.
Filaret does not agree with Synod’s decision on status of Orthodox Church of Ukraine, – Epiphaniy – Filaret did not sign Synod’s decision on status of Orthodox Church of Ukraine, – Epiphaniy – 112.international
The Synod of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine confirmed its intentions to use the status, which was adopted at the Unification council of the Orthodox churches of Ukraine on December 15, 2018. The only person who did not sign this decision is the Honorary Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Filaret. Head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Epifaniy (Dumenko) said to the journalists, as #Bykvu reported. “The Synod confirmed that in its further activity and existence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Autocephalous Church, it will be regulated by the Holy Transmission, the Holy Scriptures, and the status, which was adopted in the St Sophia’s Cathedral in Kyiv on December 15. We all agreed to the decision, but the last one (concerning the status and the support of Epiphaniy – red.) has not been signed by the only member of the Synod – patriarch Filaret,” Epiphaniy said. According to Epiphaniy, the members of the Synod of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine discussed the claims of Filaret that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate still exists. At the same time, they failed to persuade him. “What the Honorary Patriarch made public, he also said at the session of the holy Synod: that Kyiv Patriarchate still exists, and that it was not withdrawn from the registration, although we tried to convince him that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate legally and de facto doesn’t exist, and that Kyiv Patriarchate is the basis of the only autocephalous church. We debated, talked and tried to convince him, but we all understood that unfortunately, the Honorary Patriarch Filaret has not changed his mind,” the Head of Orthodox Church of Ukraine said. Besides, Epiphaniy confirmed that Filaret continues to control the Eparchy of Kyiv and all its funds. “There is no dual power in the church … It was agreed before the United Council that those eparchies and parishes, which were under control of some bishop would remain under his control. The Eparchy of Kyiv and parishes, which obeyed him until December 15, remain under his rule. Especially from these parishes, the monasteries receive its basic profits, “- Epiphaniy said. Epiphaniy added that he personally supported this decision. “I defended my position; I defended that he should control the parishes of the Eparchy of Kyiv, which are in the city of Kyiv. We did and we will do everything to ensure that the honorary patriarch Filaret, who made a lot of effort to build our autocephalous church, felt not only spiritually comfortable but financially as well “, – he said. According to the Head of the Orthodox Church, he will not punish Filaret for his position. Neither bishops nor clergy and Ukrainian people support Filaret’s position.
The honorable patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Filaret, came to the St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery for a common prayer to the Primate of the OCU, Metropolitan Epiphanius on the day of his namesake. This was announced on Facebook by the spokesman for the OCU, Ivan Sidor, reports Tsenzor . “Liturgy on the Day of Name and Memoirs (Angel’s Day) of the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Epiphany. Everything was gathered under the cover of the Mother of God: Ukrainian episcopate, clergy, honored guests from Constantinople and Holy Mount Athos, students of the Theological Academy, and believers. Patriarch Filaret, “- said the priest. Recall, on December 15, 2018, at the Unification Council, Metropolitan Epiphanius, a representative of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate, was elected head of the Ukrainian Local Orthodox Church in Pereyaslavl and Belotserkovsky. On January 6, 2019, during the festive liturgy with the participation of Patriarch Bartholomew, Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Epiphanius was presented to the Ukrainian Church in the Church of St. George at the residence of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople during the festive liturgy. On January 9 in Constantinople, members of the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate signed Tomos on the autocephaly of the Ukrainian church. However, in May 2019, Patriarch Filaret announced his intention to restore the UOC-KP and lead it instead of Epiphanius. In response, Metropolitan Epiphanius declared: “The return of the Ukrainian church to the” Kyiv Patriarchate “means the loss of Tomos .” In response, Filaret said: “The Kyiv Patriarchate was not liquidated, the unifying council in Sofia was not Ukrainian .” He also called Epiphanius “to do nothing inside the church” without his consent and promised to fight for the church, “independent of Moscow and from Constantinople . ” Meanwhile, Epiphanius declared: ” There is not and never will be a split in the PCV .” In response, Filaret said that Epiphanius , the head of the PCC, is pleasing to Moscow , and also that President Petro Poroshenko and Metropolitan Epiphanius deceived him, violating the agreements between them during the Unification Council: ” If I knew that it would be so, I would not have put Epiphanius at the cathedral “.
Paul Goble Staunton, May 24 – Poll results showing that 74 percent of Yekaterinburg residents opposed having their city park given over to the Orthodox Church for a cathedral show that city leaders either didn’t know what the people wanted or caused more of them to come out against the idea by their own actions, the editors of Nezavisimaya gazeta say. In either case, the paper says in a lead article today, this shows the importance of liberalizing laws and regulations governing social protests because they uniquely provide information on what the people are thinking and are in fact the norm of a healthy society rather than a threat (ng.ru/editorial/2019-05-23/1_7580_red.html). “Public demonstrations against decisions of the authorities occur throughout the world,” the editors say. “People may not like the building of a church or mosque, a trade center or elite housing, a trash dump, a highway or a factory that contaminates the environment. Their force isn’t an act of force-majeure. It is the life of a health social organism.” Unfortunately, this has been lost sight of in Russia today, the editors continue, because the powers that be are obsessed with the risk that social protests will grow into political ones and become a threat to their positions. Indeed, the Kremlin has made blocking that possibility a major item in its ratings of governors. “The border between social and political protests, and the interests of citizens, the authorities, and the opposition is subtle,” the paper concedes. “Social protest becomes political when citizens do not simply make demands but begin to think that they can fulfill them by replacing those in power.” Those in power see that as a constant threat whether it is or not. “The opposition of course has an interest in having demands for the replacement of the powers that be become as quickly as possible the leitmotif of any protest.” As for the citizenry, it wants the problems solved regardless of whether the powers that be are changed or not. What is dangerous, the editors suggest, is that officials who act repressively against social protests may be playing a major role in transforming them into political ones. In Yekaterinburg, those opposed to the construction of the church went into the streets even when they knew that there was a risk they’d be arrested. What that means, the lead article says, is that the regional leaders and the federal center need to recognize that a more permissive approach to social pressure is the best means of preventing protests from growing over from the social to the political, exactly what those in power say they are concerned about. Indeed, Nezavisimaya gazeta says, the authorities should recognize that listening to the population in the first place will keep them from taking actions that will spark even social protests. That is the real message of the 74 percent “no” vote in the Yekaterinburg survey this week. That may be a tough call for many in power to make. A new Public Opinion Foundation poll shows that in the regions, more than half of all residents (56 percent) are dissatisfied with conditions, the highest level in four years (actualcomment.ru/krizis-regionov-nedovolstvo-rossiyan-dostiglo-maksimuma-za-4-goda-1905241244.html). The poll found that popular discontent was lowest in Moscow and the North Caucasus Federal District and highest in the Far Eastern, Southern, and Volga Federal districts. And it further concluded that “regional problems are one of the chief drivers of the growth of protest attitudes among Russians.”
The showdown over plans to build a church on a rare green patch in Yekaterinburg presents a challenge for the Kremlin, but President Vladimir Putin may have something to gain. Plus, a comparative l…