Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (185)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reportig.

This most important line in our anonymous expert’s editorial: “Yanukovich’s former chief of staff Portnov files multiple criminal complaints against Poroshenko – why Portnov is not being investigated himself is an open question.”

Why isn’t Portnov being investigated? 

This is a huge compilation, well worth picking through! 

</end editorial>



Russian capability update plus the suspected GEO ASAT. Five reports on Russia’s domestic woes – Gudkov’s commentary on the failure of “Homo Sovieticus”to properly vanish three decades after the unravelling of the USSR reflects the sad reality that the brutal dog-eat-dog serfdom system of the Tsars produced the template for“Homo Sovieticus”in the first place, and healing this cultural injury will not be easy or quick. Turkey update – Erdogan really is playing both sides both ways. EU / US meddling update – until European nations get their legislation on political donations and advertising right, Russia will be able to cause mayhem without hindrance.

In Ukraine, some concern that a large influx of pro-Russian MEPs in the EP might put their EU entry at risk. Giuliani restarts his campaign to find kompromatin Ukraine. UN ITLOS ruling produces much rejoicing in Ukraine, and some optiimistic comments by Ze, almost immediately dashed by a deluge of toxic comments and outright rejection of the UN ruling by Russia. Ukraine calls for sanctions, eliciting more toxic commentary from Muscovy. Former PM Yatsenyuk publicly commented to Ze: “Call for the immediate convening of the UN Security Council and the reaction of the members of the Group of Seven and the EU. … The decision of the International Court of Justice on the Law of the Sea to release our sailors and ships requires a global response. I must say to the member states of the Organization: if such decisions of Russia are not decreed, they will also seize your citizens, property and vessels. … Russia does not care about international law. It remembers it only in its own interpretation. Demand the world to say its word. Because the voices of those who want to return Russia to the PACE, to lift the sanctions or to be friends with it – this word is not that of friends and is not right. This is an echo of the collapse of the world order.” He does have a point.

More on Glazyev’s 2014 campaign to destabilise Southern and Eastern Ukraine, to create Novorossiya – sadly ignored by Western media.

Donbas update. Good JFO clips on ADA EX and demining. Also a superb photoessay on the long running UN peacekeeping deployment in the DRC. Ukrainian Embassy in DC reports Senate has approved NDAA 2020 aid for Ukraine including “means of coastal defense and anti-ship missiles”– Kyiv media interpreting this as supply of AGM-84 Harpoons (which defeat most of the lame ASMD systems deployed by the V-MF Black Sea Fleet).

A more detailed update on the R-360 Neptun GL-ASCM, detailing ongoing design evolution – Zgurets reports enlarged wings and control surfaces to increase endgame manoeuvre performance, a new radalt for lower sea skimming altitude, new IMU for better accuracy, and a jam resistant satnav receiver. He also reports a newly designed and locally manufactured launch booster, which imagery suggests is also a liquid propellant design like the early prototypes, which appeared to use the SA-2 GUIDELINE sustainer that he misreports as the SA-3 GOA solid propellant booster. Ukraine pitches the Oplot BM MBT in Latin America to replace Russian MBTs.

A deluge of political news and analysis, some of the latter is very good, some less so. Ze’s “Servant of the People” sitcom is a recurring theme, used to praise him or lambast him.  Contrary to US media assertions, the sitcom is very different to “The West Wing” , but is no less sophisticated in its portrayal of wicked political, ethical, and cultural problems, and much funnier. It is also laced with American cultural icons, as well as less flattering Russian ones. It repeatedly alludes to Ukraine’s Scandinavian heritage, very uncommon in Ukrainian media. DW analyst Eidman is very positive about Ze, unlike most Ukrainian analysts.

Yanukovich’s former chief of staff Portnov files multiple criminal complaints against Poroshenko – why Portnov is not being investigated himself is an open question.

The sorry saga of the former head of the UOC-KP, Patriach Filaret, continues – he refuses to accept the new OCU and is in effect aiding and abetting the Russian propaganda campaign, as gently pointed out by one of Constantinople’s Exarchs.

In Russia, Yekaterinburg fallout continues. ROC zealots plan to launch an Orthodox political party to counter minorities.


Russia Launches New Icebreaker As It Seeks To Dominate Arctic

Russia has launched a nuclear-powered icebreaker as it looks to strengthen its position in the Arctic Ocean to capitalize on its growing commercial potential.

Russia Launches Nuclear Icebreaker 

Ural is part of an ambitious program to renew and expand Russia’s fleet of the vessels in order to improve its ability to tap the Arctic’s commercial potential

Russia’s TERRIFYING military strength revealed: Could they defeat Donald Trump’s US? | World | News | Express.co.uk

VLADIMIR Putin’s arrival for his recent meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, escorted by six Su-57 fighter jets, invited comparisons with the USA’s F-35s – especially as Russia thought to be keen to sell a fleet of the planes to Turkey.

UAWire – Russia intends to use a ballistic missile Satan for space launches

The head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin during his speech at Moscow State University said that missiles R-36M, also known as Satan after their conversion will be used for placing a payload in space, reports RBC news agency. He explained that the missiles will be repurposed as part of the “major process of rearmament of strategic nuclear forces”; during that process, several new heavy missiles will be produced. R-36M is a system with a heavy Intercontinental ballistic missile. After the elimination of other systems of RS-20 family, Russia, in cooperation with Ukraine, created a Dnipro launch vehicle. The vehicle has been used to launched into orbit several dozens of satellites, and the first launch took place in 1999.

Unusual Behavior in GEO: Olymp-K – Aerospace Security

This data repository accompanies Space Threat Assessment 2019, a featured report from the CSIS Aerospace Security Project. This data repository visualizes the orbital position of Russian satellite Olymp-K—also referred to as “Luch” by the Russian government—from July 2017 to November 2018, relative to other satellites currently in the GEO belt. Unlike most objects in the geostationary belt, Olymp-K made a series of orbital maneuvers after it reached its destination orbital regime, varying its position relative to the Earth and neighboring satellites and spurring several accusations of Russian misbehavior by other satellite operators. From July 2017 to November 2018—the time period depicted in the interactive diagram—Olymp-K occupied nine distinct orbital positions. In 2015, an essay published in The Space Review documented early movements of the Russian satellite, noting its close proximity to two Intelsat satellites.1 Later, Space News reported an Intelsat executive’s response to the close approach, which suggested that Olymp-K‘s behavior was “not normal” and “concerned” Intelsat.2 Years later, the French Minister of the Armed Services made similar statements about the Russian satellite’s behavior as it related to the French-Italian satellite Athena-Fidus.3 A table highlighting a portion of Olymp-K’s movements—including the actions that likely spurred the accusations by Intelsat and the French government—appears below.

 

Russians’ Trust In Putin Sinks To New Low

Public trust in Russian President Vladimir Putin has fallen to its lowest level in 13 years, according to a Russian state pollster.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘The Soviet Union is Dead but “Homo Soveticus” with Its Deeper Roots Lives and Continues to Oppress, Gudkov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, May 25 – Sociologist Lev Gudkov says that when he began to investigate homo soveticus in 1989, he had a very different and what has now been shown to be a mistaken view of what this category of people consisted of, how it was produced, and how it would pass from the scene. In a presentation to a meeting at Moscow’s Jewish Museum, the Levada Center director says he and his colleagues initially assumed that homo soveticus was a personality type that arose in Soviet times in response to extreme repression and that it would disappear when that generation died out (lenta.ru/articles/2019/05/24/homo_soveticus/). “Our hypothesis,” he continues, was partially confirmed by the events of the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the individuals of this kind were passing from the scene along with the Soviet Union. Such individuals were “adapted to a repressive state and had learned to live with it.” But what became obvious with each passing year, Gudkov says, is that the values of homo soveticus were reproducing themselves in new generations and in new circumstances because those new circumstances were not as completely new as many assumed and because especially after 2000 many of the old circumstances were being recreated. Homo soveticus both Soviet and post-Soviet, he says, identified and identify “themselves with the state and empire but at the same time understand that the government always deceives them and will exploit them. They recognize that this is a system based on force and therefore they always seek to get out from under its control.” They were and are clever and duplicitous and “extraordinarily cautious because this system affected their entire lives” and was quite capable of destroying them. Thus, the homo soveticus was and is “quite cynical, trusted only those near him … feared everything new and at the same time was internally aggressive.” Among the chief values of this kind of person, Gudkov continues, are “the unity of the powers and the people and the priority of state interests. As a result, the powers are not responsible to the population or represent his interests; they are concerned [only] about the greatness of the state.” That leads to “a devaluation of individual life,” to the promotion of self-sacrifice, asceticism, devote and a special kind of spirituality, but spirituality is needed here in order to justify this self-sacrifice in the name of the state or of some fictional values,” the sociologist says. That is why the state inevitably appeals to “’the bright past’” because it legitimates the current powers that be and the existence of a society under their control. And this in turn means that any self-assertiveness or claims of rights is viewed as an unacceptable challenge not only to the state but to the society of homo soveticus. Gudkov stresses that “the Soviet man was not an ethnic characteristic.” People in the non-Russian republics and the Eastern European countries display these as well. But – and this is a point often neglected – “all the same there are certain distinctions” between the Russian case and the others. “Even in certain parts of Western Ukraine which were under the control of the Russian Empire, everything is arranged somewhat differently; and the same thing is true in the Baltics as well.” From this it follows that homo soveticus has its roots in the Russian model of statehood long before 1917 – and it is no surprise that it has continued and reemerged since 1991. In his remarks, Gudkov makes three additional important points. First, the sociologist says, this pattern has left Russian society far more fragmented, atomized and distrusting than others and left the society far less capable of organizing itself to defend its rights especially against the deified state. Second, has meant that even now Russians find it difficult if not impossible to honestly evaluate the past of their country. The reaction to Stalin and his crimes highlights this. Russians can’t deny that he killed millions of people, but they can’t admit it fully either because that undermines “the sacred nature of the state.” As a result, most Russians want to avoid focusing on this issue because when they do, they feel a sense of “intellectual prostration.” And when they are forced to consider the issues involved, they typically choose to minimize the size and scope of Stalin’s actions and the number of his victims. And third – and this may be the most fundamental observation he makes in this context – the end of one aspect of the Soviet system did not mean that everything changed. Much has “remained practically unchanged, and this gives stability and guarantees a certain continuity and reproduction of ideological stereotypes and repressive and legal practices.” To say as many often do that at certain moment everything changed was and is “an intellectual error.” The continuing vitality of homo soveticus is clear evidence of that.

Russia’s NTV Routinely Uses ‘Abusive Tactics’ To Target Activists

Human Rights Watch (HRW) says the recent arrest of a Russian activist shows the authorities’ unwillingness to rein in “abusive tactics” by the state-affiliated television station NTV.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Every Month, One or Two Languages are Disappearing, Russian Rights Activist Says

Paul Goble Staunton, May 25 – Andrey Babushkin, a member of the Russian Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights, told the Democratic Congress of the Peoples of the Russian Federation, a group set up last year to defend languages, that at present “one or two” languages are dying out every month. That is a very sensitive issue because Russian officials and scholars, like Valery Tishkov, have repeatedly said that no languages have disappeared in Russia and that the government is doing everything it can to ensure that all of them survive, a claim many non-Russians and others dispute. But his comment made at two-day meeting of the Congress in Moscow was not the most apocalyptic. Ruslan Aysin, the coordinator of the meeting, said that its participants agreed that the situation with regard to federalism is not just “far from ideal but is in fact close to a critical level” (business-gazeta.ru/news/425685). “The federal powers that be,” he says, “today are too far from the regions. The latest protests in various federal subjects also show that there is a demand for a regional policy. Ordinary people do not like the fact that they are kept out of decision making. And if nothing happens, the crisis will only grow.” According to Aysin, “the institutional arrangements of federalism must be strengthened; only by so doing can the territorial integrity of Russia be maintained. There is no other path,” all the participants in the meeting said. And some went even further than that. Maksim Shevchenko, a commentator and political activist, called on republics to “more actively demand their rights since they are the spine of the Russian Federation. And while the powers that be in Moscow do not devote attention to regional problems, it nevertheless must resolve them.” Just how sensitive the problems of federalism have become was shown in the run-up to this meeting. On May 16, Circassian scholars held a roundtable on this subject in preparation for the Moscow meeting (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/05/circassians-must-govern-themselves.html). In its wake, officials in the North Caucasus have persecuted participants. The officials say that the meeting at which Circassians called for expanded self-government was “an anti-government act.” That has sparked complaints by Circassians and other nations who are calling on the authorities to stop their persecution of people who are only using their constitutional rights (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/335881/). Martin Kochesoko, a Circassian leader who is the target of these attacks by the Kabardino-Balkaria authorities, says “we have shown that we are open and conceal nothing. We are for observing the Constitution of the country and the principles of federalism. We have only pointed to certain more important problems in our view and discussed how to solve them” (kavkazr.com/a/29962670.html).

Window on Eurasia — New Series: 30 Years Ago Today Competitive Elections Came to the USSR — and Destroyed It

Paul Goble Staunton, May 25 – On this date in 1989, the first Congress of Peoples Deputies of the USSR assembled, many of whose members were chosen in competitive elections. And even though it rejected Aleksandr Obolensky’s effort to be a candidate for its head in favor of Mikhail Gorbachev, the meeting ushered in a brief period of real elections that helped kill off the USSR. In an appreciation, Russian commentator Vladislav Inozemtsev notes that even though more than 1400 of the 2250 delegates were not willing to take even the slightest chance of a competitive vote on the country’s leadership, the fact that a deputy was prepared to run against Gorbachev changed the world (mbk-news.appspot.com/sences/vladislav-inozemcev-proekt-1989/). Over the course of the next two and a half years, he points out, “free elections took place for the parliaments of 15 republics and more than 120 oblast soviets and Soviets of autonomies, direct elections occurred for the heads of both capitals, as did popular votes on the heads of a number of republics, including the RSFSR.” As a result, “the communist party lost control over events.” The USSR had to “recognize the independence of a number of its former republics and then cease its existence entirely. Today, it is difficult to say what would have happened if Aleksandr Obolensky had been given the trust of the deputies, but one must not fail to recognize” that Gorbachev was more attached to democracy than his predecessors or successors. “The elite which replaced him in the Kremlin in December 1991 never again allowed the possibility of the appearance of new leaders as a result of free elections” and was prepared to use force, corruption and the misuse of the law to ensure that its members remained in power and could not be effectively challenged at the ballot box. According to Inozemtsev, “the several glorious years of Gorbachev’s policies became possible because with the return of democracy arose the chance to make society ‘more contemporary,’ one in which the political elite could separate itself from the entrepreneurial elite had perestroika been extended.” But those who came to power in 1990-1991, tragically, were “motivated not so much by political as by mercantilist considerations,” the economist says. They were quite willing to dispense with communist ideology – it only got in their way – but they weren’t prepared to give up the Russian tradition of authoritarian personalist rule. Already in the 1990s, it became “obvious” that the commitment of the elite groups to remain in power by any means necessary was “directly proportional to the possibilities of extracting rent incomes” for themselves. “Beginning in 2003-2004, when the Kremlin recognized how big ‘the pie’ to be divided was’ any doubts on that disappeared entirely.” “The personalist regime which exists in Russia today is not one of the cult or personality which the country suffered through 70 and 80 years ago,” Inozemtsev says. “It much more calls the Russia of the pre-modern period when the country was run by a narrow group of people in their own interests and above all in their material ones.” According to the commentator, “the legal defense of the subjects today is no higher than in Petrine times, the extent of theft of state property is much more significant, and interest in preserving this arrangement overwhelms any rational considerations which require democracy and modernization.” From where Russia was in 1989, it has “returned to its pre-communist traditions and become ever more archaic,” with power based on clans as is “completely natural in archaic societies.” And that provides the answer as to why: the current regime is the only kind “adequate to society where power and property are not divided and where state service is a business.” “In such a society, one should not expect a different political superstructure.” Unfortunately, Inozemtsev says, there is little reason to think that the perestroika period is relevant to Russia today. Indeed, he says, he does not “see many reasons for optimism except for the most general: Russian society of the 2010s is much more limited, cynical and indoctrinated than was Soviet society of the last period of stagnation.” Russians then were more educated than they are now, money was not “the absolute substitute for morality” as it has become, “and the ideology of the post-Brezhnev period was remarkably toothless.” In today’s Russia in contrast, it has proved easier to buy off people than it was earlier to convince them. As a result, he concludes, “the quantity of liberals and democrats in our day does not guarantee either a liberal order or democracy.” And while many might want to challenge Putin the way Obolensky did Gorbachev, “the likelihood they’lll get into the Great Palace of the Kremlin or the State Duma is very low.” Because that is the case, Inozemtsev suggests, “today the experience of perestroika should be remembered above all as an attempt at resistance which, having begun with small steps was able to destroy the system. But one shouldn’t hope that everything will occur so easily and simply.”

 

The Day After S-400: The Turkish-American Relationship Will Get Worse

For the 500 or so days since Turkey and Russia signed an agreement for the acquisition and eventual deployment of the Russian S-400 air and missile

Turkey sends weapons to Syrian rebels facing Russian-backed assault: Syrian sources – Reuters

Turkey has equipped an array of mainstream Syrian rebels it backs with fresh supplies of weaponry to help them try to repel a major Russian-backed assault, senior opposition officials and rebel sources said on Saturday.

 

The Real Threat Facing Europe Isn’t Russian Troops. It’s Oligarchs | Opinion

The greatest threat to Europe today is not a Russian land invasion of the Baltic states, nor is it a terrorist attack on a major European city. While these are genuine threats that need to be deterred and prevented, Europe’s existential threat is a matter of governance. It is the threat of the corrupt “oligarchization” of European politics. The dramatic revelation of a secretly-recorded video of Austrian Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache agreeing to implement various corrupt schemes with the purported niece of a Russian oligarch in Ibiza has shocked the conscience of Europe’s political establishment. However, these revelations should not come as a surprise to anyone because they are emblematic of a much broader trend of corrupt oligarchization sweeping across the continent. This wider phenomenon defies easy categorization and does not neatly fit into the narrative of left vs. right or populist outsiders vs. establishment politicians. In Romania, for example, the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD) is guilty of carrying out the same sort of democratic erosion as Mr. Strache’s far-right Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), though it is an establishment party on the left. In Moldova, the ruling “pro-Western” Democratic Party (PDM) is as guilty of perpetuating a corrupt, oligarchic system as its pro-Russian rivals.

Opinion | You Can’t Trust the Far Right – The New York Times

The latest scandal in Austria shows that extremists can’t be tempered.

Bullseye on Brussels: Can EU Defeat Disinformation in Parliamentary Elections?

The vast amount of foreign meddling in the 2016 US presidential election was a wakeup call for the European Union (EU). It was obvious the next big target of malign actors would be Europe, with twenty-eight countries electing more than 750 lawmakers in May 2019. Still, it took two more years for the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, to craft its “action plan against disinformation,” released just six months before the vote, which begins in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands on May 23, with all countries wrapped up by May 26. The plan created an EU-wide “rapid alert system” to keep member states apprised of potential cross-border disinformation threats. It also lassoed in the major tech platforms with a voluntary “code of conduct,” including pledges to take down fake accounts faster and increase transparency of advertising and financing of online content. Late date Were these measures too little too late? Was the lead time since 2016 squandered? The Atlantic Council’s own DisinfoPortal has documented ongoing disinformation campaigns on social media apparently aimed at influencing the European parliamentary vote. Sebastian Bay, a senior expert in disinformation with NATO’s Strategic Communication Center of Excellence (StratComCoE) in Riga, argues there have been plenty of improvements implemented in a timely way, even if it may not be obvious from the outside. Bay has co-authored a new report for the StratComCoE examining how four EU countries—Estonia, Finland, Latvia, and Sweden—prepared themselves to successfully combat potential efforts to disrupt their national elections. He said these four may be among the European governments with the best resilience against meddling but they are not alone. Bay’s report looks at the threats of hacking of election management systems, spreading disinformation about the reliability of the voting process, and attempts to discourage the will and ability of citizens to participate. He believes EU governments have secured the baseline on these issues ahead of the European vote. “I think we are in good shape,” Bay said. “There’s been substantial effort at the local, at [the] regional, at [the] national, and at [the] EU level. We have done substantial work for prevention, to plug the holes in the fences, to shore up our defenses, and to send a strong message against the antagonists that we are ready.” No bombshell on Brussels yet Ready for what is not yet clear. There has not been any huge trove of disinformation released, although experts say there may still be a last-minute blitz before polls close on May 26. But Bay said structural changes will help ensure election systems can withstand such attacks if they come. “Take, for example, the monitoring of impersonation of government or public accounts,” he suggested. “When we started discussing this problem some years ago, there were no institutional frameworks to reach out to the platforms to have them take swift action. Let’s say, for example, that the election commission in a country, their websites or their presence on social media platforms is hijacked. You need a direct way to reach the social media companies. So that exists now in the four countries we studied for sure, and in many of the other countries as well.” Bay gives social media giants a mixed review in battling disinformation. “It’s been a combination of stick and carrot to get the platforms to understand the problem,” he said. “I think they themselves have said several times that they didn’t quite appreciate [it].” At the same time, he said, Facebook, Google, and Twitter have greatly improved their performance in identifying and removing “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” networks that misrepresent the identities of their members and try to mislead people. “That doesn’t mean that that we are satisfied,” Bay said, “There is a lot more work that needs to be done to make social media platforms a safer place during elections and for the public as a whole.” But on the whole, he said, as a union “we have come a long way since 2016, that’s for sure” and he believes this has created a deterrent against potential bad actors. “There is a strong determination among many of the countries that we will point out any antagonists,” he underscored. “[I]nterference will not go unpunished. It will be pointed out; there will be consequences. And I think that message has been heard.” The European Commission plans to assess the vote almost immediately and release a report in mid-June gauging the impact fake accounts and false information may have had. Teri Schultz is a freelance journalist based in Brussels. Follow her on Twitter @terischultz.

The Elections That Will Decide Europe’s Future

Can the EU overcome its democratic deficit?

Voters Elect EU Parliament as Nationalism Mounts

The pivotal elections reach their climax Sunday as the last 21 nations go to the polls

Germany Sees Threats To World Alliances As Nationalism Rises Abroad : NPR

The worldview that nations should promote their interests over those of the international community poses a challenge for Germany, a country built on partnerships.

Report: Russians Outlined Plans to Foment Unrest Among Disaffected Black Americans, Create Pan-African State in the U.S. – To Inform is to Influence

Kiersten Willis | A series of documents obtained by a London-based investigative center reveals Russians who were allegedly tied to the meddling of the 2016 presidential election had developed plans by as late as 2018 — well after previous Russian interference efforts had come to light — to foster a Pan-African state in America. The findings, which were reported by NBC News May 20, were secured by the Dossier Center, an organization supported by Russian opposition figure Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The communications, deemed “Development Strategy of a Pan-African State on U.S. Territory,” appear to have been verified by forensic analysis from the Dossier Center.

Hate Speech on Social Media: Global Comparisons | Council on Foreign Relations

Violence attributed to online hate speech has increased worldwide. Societies confronting the trend must deal with questions of free speech and censorship on widely used tech platforms.

 

Vitaly Portnikov: Ukraine is slowly disappearing from the geopolitical chessboard |Euromaidan Press |

After a recent meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky, Vadym Prystayko, the new Deputy Chief of the Presidential Administration stated that he had one troubling and very important piece of news. Pristayko said that Ukraine “asked to be informed about the results of the recent telephone conversation between Vladimir Putin, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel”. In the recent past, Ukraine has never had to express such a demand. Any telephone conversations between the President of Russia, the French President and the Federal Chancellor of Germany were discussed directly with the President of Ukraine before such calls were initiated. Moreover, never did Ukraine’s President have to make public announcements about not being informed of such talks. After talking with Vladimir Putin, Merkel and Macron – and before that, Merkel and Hollande – usually contacted the President of Ukraine, or he contacted them. The change of presidents in France in 2017 did not affect the format of such diplomatic relations. It was considered perfectly normal to inform the President of Ukraine if the leaders of France and Germany communicated with Putin without the actual presence of the Ukrainian President. So, what do we see now? There have been no contacts between these European leaders and Volodymyr Zelensky regarding their talks with Putin. We see the Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration publicly announcing that the President of Ukraine would like to know the content of the conversation, although this should be done directly between the presidents, and not their advisers. Actually, it is not so serious yet. If it is a matter of establishing the right channels of communication between Volodymyr Zelensky and the Western leaders, I believe that Prystayko and other diplomats will be able to manage it sooner or later. Moreover, it is not even so worrisome to think that Merkel and Macron’s reluctance to inform Zelensky of their intention to talk to Putin is due to their distrust of the new President of Ukraine. Zelensky still has the opportunity to win their confidence through well-designed political actions and the dismissal of the most odious oligarchs in his administration. The most troubling fact is that our Western partners are now ready to talk about Ukraine without Ukraine, and to dictate conditions that might help them re-establish good relations with Russia. If this is the case, then the telephone conversation between Merkel, Macron and Putin is only a prelude to the ultimate disappearance of Ukraine from the international chessboard of politics and power, and the possible Trump and Putin meeting on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Osaka in June, 2019 will only confirm this fact. We cannot really put all the blame on former comic Zelensky for this omission, as he has yet to master the art of geopolitical diplomacy. But, it can be argued that the West has taken full advantage of the political transition in Ukraine and “war fatigue” that has spread among the civil population and many Zelensky supporters in order to resolve this war on their own, and with Russia at their side. And, what is most troubling is that they are proceeding to do so without much interest in what Ukraine might have to say in the matter. When they deem it necessary, they will probably notify, or even call us here, in Ukraine…

Will the EU Elections Change Anything in Ukraine?

While Ukraine is in-between its two most important elections – presidential and legislative – another one, which can have implications for Ukraine, is taking place in the E.U. Called the most important European Parliament election in a decade (due to the E.U. being ravaged by far-right forces, populism, migrant crisis, Russian interference, and economic instability), it can result in a shift of the E.U.’s position on Russia and, subsequently, on the conflict in Ukraine. Hromadske takes a look at whether the outcome of the European Parliament elections can change anything in Ukraine and, most importantly, how.

Giuliani meets with former diplomat as he continues to press Ukraine inquiries – The Washington Post

President Trump’s personal lawyer has been seeking to sow doubts about the origins of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Giuliani reportedly met with a former Ukrainian diplomat amid push to gather information on Trump’s political opponents | Business Insider

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani met with a former Ukrainian diplomat , according to the Washington Post.

Russia Ordered to Release Ukrainian Sailors and Ships

Russian seizures were made during November confrontation in Kerch Strait

Russia must release detained Ukrainian sailors, UN tribunal rules – CNN

Russian authorities must release the 24 Ukrainian sailors who were captured last year after entering the Kerch Strait, a United Nations maritime tribunal has ruled.

Russia ordered to release Ukraine sailors – BBC News

The chances of Moscow complying with the UN tribunal’s ruling are thought to be minimal.

International tribunal orders Russia to release Ukrainian sailors – LB.ua news portal

International tribunal orders Russia to release Ukrainian sailors. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Yelchenko to Russia: “Still laughing? Go now, implement the decision of the UN Tribunal!”

Vladimir Yelchenko, the Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN, reminded Russia that “the one who laughs last is laughing well.” He wrote about this on Twitter , informs Censor . NO . “He who laughs last is laughing well. When in December the UN General Assembly, in its resolution of 2/3 votes, called on Russia to release our sailors and ships, their delegation called this decision a“ ridiculous attempt. ”They laughed? Go now, follow the decision of the UN Tribunal!” – wrote Yelchenko. Recall, on May 25, the UN International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea made a decision according to which Russia should immediately release the Ukrainian sailors captured in the Kerch Strait. The Russian Federation also obliged to return to Ukraine the captured ships . The Russian Foreign Ministry said it did not recognize the right of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to consider the seizure of seafarers . The decision of the court itself, obliging Russia to release the sailors and return the vessel, was not commented by Russian diplomats. But they promised to continue, unlike today’s meeting, to take part in the hearings. The case of the seizure of Russian Ukrainian sailors in the Kerch Strait will be considered an international tribunal , consisting of 5 arbitrators. It should be jointly formed by Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Источник: https://censor.net.ua/n3128919

Execution of the RF order of the International Tribunal of the United Nations … – Володимир Зеленський

Execution of the RF order of the International Tribunal of the United Nations on the release of captured Ukrainian sailors and ships may be the first signal from the Russian leadership of a real readiness to end the conflict with Ukraine. Thus, Russia can make a step towards unlocking the negotiations and solving its problems in a civilized way. Let’s see what path they choose in the Kremlin. But we are really waiting for our guys at home!

Sailors release could show Russia ready to stop “conflict” with Ukraine – Zelenskyy – LB.ua news portal

Sailors release could show Russia ready to stop “conflict” with Ukraine – Zelenskyy. Russia could make a step towards “unblocking the talks”. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Russia says it won’t abide by ITLOS decision to free Ukrainian sailors – news politics | UNIAN

Ruslan Balbek, a member of Russia’s State Duma who was illegally elected as a representative of Russia-occupied Crimea, says that the decision of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) to release 24 captured Ukrainian sailors means nothing to Russia. The International Tribunal on May 25 ruled Russia should immediately release three Ukrainian naval vessels, which were detained in the Kerch Strait in November 2018, and their crews. Ruslan Balbek, a member of Russia’s State Duma who was illegally elected as a representative of Russia-occupied Crimea, says that the decision of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) to release 24 captured Ukrainian sailors means nothing to Russia. “If a highly qualified judge of the International Tribunal has been entrapped in the papers and does not see anything except accusations against Russia, his words and sentences are not worth a penny for us,” the Russian news agency RIA Novosti quoted Balbek as saying in a comment to Russia’s RT. It says that Balbek was backed by Aleksandr Molokhov, the head of the working group on international legal issues under the permanent “Crimean Representative Office” under the President of Russia.

Not its jurisdiction: Russia reacts to decision of tribunal to release Ukrainian sailors

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs declares that the incident with the Ukrainian courts in the Kerch Strait region is not within the jurisdiction of the United Nations International Maritime Tribunal. The corresponding message is posted on the website of the Russian diplomatic department. “In the course of the subsequent arbitration, we intend to consistently defend our position, including the absence of arbitration jurisdiction to consider this situation,” it says. According to the Russian side, the statements made by Russia and Ukraine upon signing and ratifying the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 exclude the possibility of using the Convention’s dispute resolution procedures regarding the incident that occurred in November 2018 in the Kerch Strait. At the same time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia did not mention how it would act in connection with the demand of the International Tribunal for the release of Ukrainian sailors and naval ships.

“A limp and toothless statement” – Klimkin about the reaction of the Russian Foreign Ministry to the decision of the tribunal to release the sailors

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin called the reaction of Russian diplomats to the decision of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea on the release of Ukrainian sailors “sluggish and toothless.” He wrote about this on Twitter , informs Censor . NO . “Read the sluggish and toothless statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry about the decision of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, and understand the scale of our victory today. Russia must return the ships and, most importantly, release our sailors,” wrote Klimkin. “This is how simple diplomatic happiness looks. Congratulations, colleagues,” added the Foreign Minister, posting a photo of Ukrainian diplomats embracing in the courtroom after the verdict was announced.

Failure of Russia to comply with decision on Ukrainian sailors release could be reason for sanctions – lawyer

Failure of the Russian Federation to comply with the decision of the United Nations International Maritime Tribunal regarding the release of Ukrainian sailors may be the reason for the imposition of regular sanctions. About this stated lawyer Nikolai Polozov. “They must immediately release the sailors … Any delay in the implementation of the decision by the Russian authorities may be a cause for political and economic pressure from the civilized world,” he noted. According to the lawyer, now it’s advantageous for the Russians themselves to release the Ukrainian sailors, because the criminal case that was opened against sailors can be investigated without keeping people in custody. “It’s very difficult for the Russian authorities to come up with plausible explanations for why they are holding sailors. Naturally, the authorities of Ukraine and our team of lawyers in Russia will demand to release them. We will file a decision of the tribunal,” he added. Later in his Facebook Polozov posted the text of the court decision. He stressed that only Russian judge Kolodkin was against it. Related: Not its jurisdiction: Russia reacts to decision of tribunal to release Ukrainian sailors Today, May 25, the Tribunal demanded from Russia to immediately release 24 Ukrainian sailors and ships that were seized near the Kerch Strait in the fall of last year, and ensure their return to Ukraine. Only the Russian judge Kolodkin was against the decision. Russia did not send its official representative to the hearing, and also refused to provide materials, but according to the current international law, it is still obliged to comply with the decisions taken by the court. The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is awaiting the release by the Russian side of Ukrainian sailors na later than June 25, 2019. We recall, on November 25, 2018, Russian border guards seized the Ukrainian Yana Kapu raid tug and small armored artillery boats Berdyansk and Nikopol of the Naval Forces of Ukraine in the Kerch Strait area, using weapons.

Ukraine to urge Germany to impose “Hamburg sanctions” on Russia for violating UN Maritime Tribunal’s decision

Ukraine will call on Germany to implement “Hamburg sanctions” if Russia refuses to fulfill the decision of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea concerning the release of Ukrainian sailors. Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk said this to Ukrinform. “If Moscow decides to ignore the decision, we will support the idea of imposing new Hamburg sanctions on Russia,” the diplomat claimed. According to Melnyk, he urged Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany Heiko Maas to demand from Kremlin to implement the verdict of the International Maritime Tribunal immediately. The ambassador regarded the decision of the International Maritime Tribunal in Hamburg as the diplomatic victory and additional and very powerful bargaining chip in the case on the release of 24 Ukrainian sailors, who are being illegally kept in a Russian prison. Russia is obliged to implement the decision of the International Maritime Tribunal until June 25, 2019. The decision was made today, May 25, during a meeting in Hamburg. The International Maritime Tribunal today, on May 25, demanded from Russia to immediately release the Ukrainian sailors and ships and ensure their return to Ukraine. Ukraine is counting on Russia’s speedy implementation of the decision.

Russia responds to threats of Ukraine to attain Hamburg sanctions

Russia is skeptical about the statement that Ukraine would demand the imposition of Hamburg sanctions from Germany if Moscow refuses to comply with the decision of the UN International Tribunal regarding the release of Ukrainian sailors. This follows from the comment given by the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia Maria Zakharova to RBK. “As we already understood, there is no need for a reason for the sanctions – they are being stamped constantly,” she said. Earlier permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations Volodymyr Yelchenko recollected the times when Russia was laughing at the attempts of the international organization to force them to release Ukrainian sailors. Yelchenko urged Russia to fulfill the decision of the Maritime Tribunal. The diplomat wrote this on Twitter. “When the UN General Assembly called on Russia to release our sailors and ships in the resolution 2/3 votes, their delegation called this decision “ridiculous attempt”. Had fun? Implement the decision of the UN Tribunal now!” Yelchenko stated.

“They are stamped on the stream”, – the [Russian] Foreign Ministry responded to the words of a Ukrainian diplomat about “Hamburg” sanctions

The official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia commented on the words of the Ambassador of Ukraine to Germany, Andrei Melnik, that Ukraine is going to seek the introduction of new sanctions against the Russian Federation if it does not release the sailors. Zakharova voiced her position on the Russian edition of RBC , Tsenzor.NET reports. “As we already understood, there is no need for a reason for the sanctions – they are stamped on the stream,” she said. Earlier , Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andrei Melnik said that if Russia does not begin to implement the decision of the International Tribunal of the United Nations on the release of Ukrainian sailors, Kiev will seek the introduction of new “Hamburg” sanctions against Moscow. Recall, on May 25, the UN International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea made a decision according to which Russia should immediately release the Ukrainian sailors captured in the Kerch Strait. The Russian Federation also obliged to return to Ukraine the captured ships . Источник: https://censor.net.ua/n3128944

Russia’s aggression in Kerch Strait: Court allows to detain 15 Russian military – news politics | UNIAN

Ukraine’s chief military prosecutor Anatoliy Matios has announced the court has permitted to detain 15 Russian military in a criminal case related to 24 Ukrainian sailors captured by Russia near the Kerch Strait in November 2018. Four Russian general admirals, nine officers and two soldiers were charged with committing a crime in the case conducted by Ukrainian military prosecutors. Ukraine’s chief military prosecutor Anatoliy Matios has announced the court has permitted to detain 15 Russian military in a criminal case related to 24 Ukrainian sailors captured by Russia near the Kerch Strait in November 2018In particular, four Russian general admirals, nine officers and two soldiers were charged with committing a crime in the case conducted by Ukrainian military prosecutors, according to an infographic posted by Matios on his Facebook page. UNIAN memo. On the morning of November 25, 2018, Russia blocked the passage to the Kerch Strait for the Ukrainian tugboat “Yany Kapu” and two armored naval boats “Berdyansk” and “Nikopol,” which were on a scheduled re-deployment from the Black Sea port of Odesa to the Azov Sea port of Mariupol. The Ukraine Navy Command noted that the Russian side had been informed of the plans to re-deploy the vessels in advance in accordance with international standards to ensure the safety of navigation. The Russian coast guard ship “Don” rammed the Ukrainian tugboat, damaging the Ukrainian vessel. As the Ukrainian boats were heading back in the Odesa direction after being rejected passage via the Kerch Strait, Russian coast guards opened aimed fire on them.

Yatsenyuk – Zelensky: Russia does not care about international law. Demand the immediate convening of the UN Security Council, the G7 and the EU | Political party “People’s Front”

“The decision of the International Court of Justice on the Law of the Sea to release our sailors and ships requires a global response. I must say to the member states of the Organization: if such decisions of Russia are not decreed, they will also seize your citizens, property and vessels, “Arseniy Yatsenyuk, leader of the People’s Front party, said in a statement on Facebook on May 26. “Russia does not care about international law. She remembers it only in her own interpretation, “he stressed. Arseniy Yatsenyuk appealed to President Zelensky: “Call for the immediate convening of the UN Security Council and the reaction of the members of the Group of Seven and the EU.” “Demand the world to say its word. Because the voices of those who want to return Russia to the PACE, to lift the sanctions or to be friends with it – this word is not friends and is not right. This is an echo of the collapse of the world order “, – said the leader of the People’s Front.

Yatsenyuk – Zelensky: Russia does not care about international law. Demand the urgent convocation of the UN Security Council, the reaction of the G7 and the EU

It should be made clear to the UN member states that if the decisions of the International Court of Justice for Russia are not decreed, then soon their citizens, property and courts will also be seized. According Tsenzor.NET , it is May 26, 2019, stressed the leader of the “Popular Front” Arseniy Yatsenyuk in his article on Facebook, reports the press service of his party. “Russia doesn’t care about international law. It only remembers it in its own interpretation,” he stressed. Arseniy Yatsenyuk appealed to President Zelensky: “Demand the immediate convening of the UN Security Council and the reaction of the G7 and EU members. Demand that the world has its word. Because the voices of those who want to return Russia to PACE, lift sanctions or be friends with it is the word neither friends nor rights. This is an echo of the collapse of the world order, “the leader of the Popular Front stressed. Recall, on May 25, the UN International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea made a decision according to which Russia should immediately release the Ukrainian sailors captured in the Kerch Strait. The Russian Federation also obliged to return to Ukraine the captured ships .

Glazyev tapes, continued: new details of Russian occupation of Crimea and attempts to dismember Ukraine |Euromaidan Press |

Bombshell details about Russia’s occupation of Crimea and attempts to break off south-eastern Ukraine have now been made public as Ukrainian prosecutors shared previously unknown telephone intercepts depicting who appears to be Putin’s top advisor Sergei Glazyev orchestrating and financing the Russian occupation of Crimea and pro-Russian uprisings in south-eastern Ukraine. Particularly, they provide further evidence that Russia’s “Novorossiya” project was first and foremost an attempt to provide resources for the newly-occupied peninsula heavily dependent on Ukraine – as well as proving that the occupation was planned at least from 2010-2011. When Ukrainian prosecutors released audio intercepts that appeared to show the direct involvement of Kremlin top advisor Sergey Glazyev in Russia’s takeover of Crimea and pro-separatist rallies in eastern Ukraine in August 2016, they served as a turning point in the discussion about the war in Ukraine. The Kremlin’s interference in the conflict termed the “Ukrainian crisis” became apparent, leading some analysts to insist the Minsk agreements to establish peace in eastern Ukraine should be reconsidered so that Ukraine’s fulfillment of their political part does not equal the country’s capitulation to Russia. Widely known as the “Glazyev tapes,” the recordings revealed that, apart from orchestrating the occupation of Crimea, Putin’s entourage called for popular uprisings in mainland Ukraine’s Kharkiv, Odesa, and Dnipro in February-March 2014 to create the preconditions for the puppet state of Novorossiya. At the time, Putin’s advisor Sergei Glazyev refused to comment on them, and Director of Institute of CIS countries Konstantin Zatulin said that it was indeed his voice in the recordings, but what was heard was a “compilation and manipulation.” But that was, apparently, only one part of the full Glazyev tapes. Between December 2017 and June 2018, Ukrainian prosecutors shared many more details from the intercepted phone calls between Putin’s advisor Sergei Glazyev and Director of Institute of CIS countries Konstantin Zatulin. They were played in Kyiv’s Obolon court as part of the case on the state treason of runaway ex-President Viktor Yanukovych. Both Glazyev and Zatulin are wanted by Ukraine’s Military Prosecutor’s Office and will be judged in absentia. Yanukovych’s treason trial had finished on 24 January 2019, he was sentenced to 13 years in prison. A transcript of the sessions in five parts was published on Censor.net by Ukrainian journalist Iryna Romaliyska. We bring you the most interesting information, which was, unfortunately, largely overlooked in the English-language press.

 

Russia-led forces mount six attacks on Ukrainian positions on May 25 – news war | UNIAN

Russia-led forces mounted six attacks on Ukrainian positions in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, on Saturday, May 25; no Ukrainian army casualties were reported. One enemy troop was wounded.

Marines eliminated the enemy’s position

Charitable Foundation “Return Alive” has published a video of the elimination of hostile blizzard in the area of responsibility of the 35th Marine Corps. This is reported by the Ukrainian Military Portal As indicated in the message, this position was arranged by the soldiers of the 5th Motorized Brigade of the 1 st AS of the so-called “DNR”. It was located in the Dokuchaevsky direction, where two scouts of the 137th Marine Corps Battalion of the 35th Brigade were recently killed. Information on eliminated militants is not provided, the video is visible after hits on a hostile position, fighters escape from it. Before that on the same section of the front by the Ukrainian marines, the commander of the enemy battalion of the 5th separate motorized infantry brigade – Yevgeny Shabanov with the call of Lun:

Names of Ukrainian servicemen captured in Donbas on May 22 became known

The names of the Ukrainian servicemen, who accidentally entered the uncontrolled Ukrainian territories and were captured on May 22, became known. The names of the military were published on Daria Andrusenko-Yakotyuk Facebook page. 8 military men were taken prisoner: Senior Sergeant Bespaly Roman (06/17/1981) Senior soldier Pundor Borys (03/03/1965) Senior soldier Goryainov Maxym (07.28.1984) Senior soldier Duvanov Kim (11/25/1971) Senior soldier Korsun Pavlo (06/21/1982) Warrant Officer Shaidov Victor (10/27/1970) Senior soldier Geymur Alexander (1994) Senior soldier Gordeychuk Yury (09/25/1982) On May 22, militants captured eight Ukrainian military. The soldiers, together with the foreman, moving in a truck near the village of Novotroitske, erroneously deviated from a certain route and got to the temporarily occupied territory, where they were detained by the militants. It is reported that the JFO HQ takes all possible measures to determine the place of stay and return of military personnel.

Генеральний штаб ЗСУ / General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine. [2S6 VIDEO]

The combined forces are improving the air defense control system An instructor-methodical lesson on the peculiarities of the organization of air defense defense control was held in the Donetsk region, in the area of operation of the United forces, with the commanding staff of the air defense units of the brigades and operational-tactical groups. During the event, the raid of the means of air attack on the objects of the military unit was simulated and conditional destruction was carried out. Also, the participants of the lesson practically demonstrated the complex of actions on management of air defense units during the actual raid of a means of air attack. The course of the exercises was verified by the Commander of the Joint Forces Lieutenant-General Alexander Syrsky. Upon completion of the event, he noted that the Brigade’s air defense units showed readiness and ability to carry out their assigned tasks, as well as acquired practical skills for actions to repel an airstrike attack. https://www.facebook.com/pressjfo.news/videos/852712018431002/

Генеральний штаб ЗСУ / General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine [VIDEO]

Much has been said about the units that carry out combat missions in the east of our country. Unfortunately, however, there are milopoly units of operational support, although no single task units are able to complete without engineering units. Press Service of the Operative Command West

Генеральний штаб ЗСУ / General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – Home [PHOTOESSAY – Congo UN Deployment]

Генеральний штаб ЗСУ / General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine. 41,937 likes · 7,839 talking about this · 107 were here. Офіційна…

Five years of the National Guard Rapid Reaction Brigade

The National Guard’s Rapid Response Brigade can quickly resolve low-intensity conflicts and protect the Ukrainian people, statehood in any region of Ukraine. Established in March 2014, part of the actual staffing was launched in October 2015. Applicants undergo a multilevel rigorous selection. Among the key principles of forming a unit of the new model – respect for the soldier, perfect professional training, combat experience, knowledge of foreign languages. The point of permanent disposition in Gostomel, which is in the Kyiv region, the use of the Kyiv-Antonov airfield allows subdivisions to arrive in any region of Ukraine as soon as possible. In the National Guard of Ukraine, the Rapid Reaction Brigade is considered as a unique part, whose experience will be the basis for reforming the whole military formation.

Italian Prosecutor demands 17-year prison term for National Guardsman Markiv |Euromaidan Press |

The Prosecutor’s Office of Pavia, Italy has demanded a 17-year prison sentence for Ukrainian National Guardsman Vitaliy Markiv for taking part in the “deliberate murder” of Italian photojournalist Andrea Rocchelli in Donbas five years ago. This was recently announced by Prosecutor Andrea Gianoncelli in his closing argument in the Pavia court of law. The Prosecutor declared that senior sergeant of the National Guard of Ukraine Vitaliy Markiv did not actually kill Rocchelli, but that he informed the National Guard Command about civilian movements near Zeus Ceramica factory, Donetsk Oblast. The Command then contacted a military unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which opened mortar fire on the foreign journalists. Chief Prosecutor Andrea Gianoncelli insisted that, as Vitaliy Markiv was stationed on Karachun Mountain, he could not help but know who would be targeted in the attack.

UAWire – US Embassy in Kyiv:since 2014 Washington has provided 1.1 billion dollars for Ukraine’s defense

Since 2014, the U.S. has allocated more than $1.1 billion for military training and equipment to help Ukraine boost its defense capability and …

OUN documents & first aid found in buried milk can |Euromaidan Press |

On April 27, 2019, the National Memorial Museum Tiurma na Lontskoho (Prison on Lontsky) in Lviv received historical OUN material found on the outskirts of the villages of Lanivka and Biynych, Stryy Raion, Lviv Oblast. In addition to invaluable documents, the milk can also contained interesting medical supplies. The milk can was accidentally found by local villagers on April 25 and, with the assistance of Galinfo journalists, was subsequently transferred to the museum for restoration. According to preliminary findings, the documents probably belonged to the Medenytsky District Command of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). As of 1945, the Medenytsky District Command was under the Stryy District Command, and later under the Drohobych District Command. The documents probably date back to somewhere between 1947 and 1950.

The US Senate Committee approved the transfer of coastal defense and anti-ship missiles to Ukraine

The United States plans to extend assistance to strengthen the Armed Forces of Ukraine by transferring coastal defense and anti-ship missiles. The US Embassy in the United States reports that the US Senate Committee on Armed Conflict has approved a bill on the “US National Budget for 2020 for National Defense Needs”, which authorized the allocation of $ 300 million to the Pentagon. to provide security assistance to Ukraine, which is $ 50 million. exceeds the appropriation of the current year. From the specified amount of 100 million dollars. should be directed exclusively to lethal weapons. According to the document, it is proposed to expand US assistance in strengthening the defense capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine by including its means of coastal defense and anti-ship missiles. The law will come into force after its adoption by the Senate and the House of Representatives and signed by the President of the United States.

Progress Testing of the Domestic RK-360MTs Anti-Ship Missile System “NEPTUN” (VIDEO) | Defense Express

Yesterday, May 24, a regular stage of factory testing of the coastal version of the anti-ship missile system RK-360MTs “Neptun” took place in Odesa region. The director of Defense Express Sergey Zhurets visited the tests of the newest domestic complex, which took place at the State Testing Ground of the Armed Forces of Ukraine ” Alibey “. ” During the whole time of the tests, the complex has been greatly improved, although we visually do not notice it, ” – said the military expert. He also told what exactly changed in the new missile R-360, which was developed by PKC “Luch”, which is part of the State Enterprise “Ukroboronprom”. ” First of all it is said that a new launch booster has been installed in the missile. Previously, it was an engine from the S-125 missile (a starter accelerator from the Soviet anti-aircraft missile complex of small radius of action, a significant number of missiles in Ukrainian warehouses, for example, means DE). Now it’s actually a new starter , which is designed and manufactured by Ukrainian enterprises with the new requirements “, – said Sergey Zgurets . ” The second indicator is that on the rocket there are different wings and different control surfaces. They have a larger area and provide better handling and maneuverability of the rocket first and foremost at the terminal flight stage [Ed: endgame] , “added Defense Express’s director. In addition, there were significant changes and electronic “brains” of the Ukrainian PCR . ” The third component, which has just undergone changes, is actually a new radio altimeter that provides flight over the surface of the earth or water. It has become more accurate and provides much lower altitudes at which our cruise missile can fly , “the expert said. ” The fourth difference is the new block of gyroscopes, which received other possibilities. Fifth – a new system of receivers of satellite navigation systems. It is such that it allows us to operate in more difficult [Ed: jamming] conditions , “he said. According to Sergey Zgurts , this year it is planned to leave the domestic complex for state tests. He noted that work on the Ukrainian complex is being conducted from 2014 (ie, 5 years), while the Soviet-Russian analogue X-35 was developed for more than 20 years (from 1983 to 2003 – the note DE) and is being modernized to this time. ” We, this way (development of the complex) went much faster, precisely because of the combination of both the political support of this project and the close link between the Ministry of Defense and the developer of the” Luch “, the SSC ,” said Sergiy Zhurets . Recall that the past trials of the Ukrainian complex of RK-360MTs “Neptune” took place on April 5 this year. Then the R-360 rocket spent 13 minutes 55 seconds in the air, and overcame the distance of 225 km with 4 times changing the trajectory of the flight.

In the Odessa region, they have tested the improved “Neptune” ASCM

Today, on May 24, a new stage of factory testing of the complex of cruise missiles RK-360 “Neptun” took place on the new military ground “Alibey”. Sergey Zgurets, a participant in the tests, told about this on facebook. The missile of the complex has changed, in particular, it received a new launch engine (previously used from the anti-aircraft missile SZRK S-125). The new “starter” is designed and manufactured by Ukrainian enterprises. Also, the missile received wings and rudders of a larger area that provide better handling and maneuverability of the rocket. Among the updates is a new radio altimeter, which provides rocket flight above the surface of the earth or water at significantly lower altitudes. In addition, the missile received an advanced block of gyros and new receivers of satellite navigation systems capable of working in more difficult conditions. Sergiy Zhuretz also said that this year the missile complex will have to undergo a state test. Earlier, the Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, announced the adoption of the Army and the first arrival of the complex in the troops in December this year.

Review Oplot BM main battle tank at SITDEF 2019

Malyshev Plant promotes its Oplot BM Main Battle Tank, a solution to replace the old T-55 MBT of the Peruvian Army

Review Oplot BM main battle tank at SITDEF 2019 Ukraine defense Company Malyshev Plant – YouTube

DefenseWebTV Premiered May 22, 2019 Under the umbrella of Ukroboronprom, the Ukrainian State Defense Company of army export, the Company “Malyshev Plant” promotes its Oplot BM Main Battle Tank, a solution to replace the old T-55 MBT of the Peruvian Army. The Oplot BM is an upgraded version of the T-84 Oplot MBT. Read full news about Malyshev Plant at SITDEF 2019 on this link https://www.armyrecognition.com/sitde

PJSC “Motor Sich” will for the first time overhaul the main helicopter gearbox for the Mi-8T helicopter of the National Guard of Ukraine.

Zaporozhye Enterprise PJSC “Motor Sich” will repair the main helicopter gearbox for the Mi-8T helicopter of the National Guard of Ukraine. The capital repairs of the main helicopter gearbox ВР-8А № СР8111095 for the military unit 2269 of the National Guard of Ukraine will be provided by Motor Sich in the absence of competition. The contract states that the repaired gearbox must meet the second category of technical competence and provide: Inter-repair resource is not less than 2000 hours; Inter-service lifetime – 12 years; Guaranteed service life and warranty resource – 4 years of operation and storage, of which at least 2 years of direct operation; The term of storage in the canning ( packing ) of the repair enterprise is 5 years. 190525 ReducerMi8 1 The total cost of repair works is UAH 5 413 078 and must be completed within 120 days. The agreement between the command of NMU and the Ukrainian producer was concluded on April 30, 2007 All necessary work must be completed by December 31, 2019. It is worth noting that earlier services for such repairs were provided at the enterprises of the Russian Federation or Azerbaijan.

 

60 satellites for global Internet project fly over Ukraine

Overnight from Saturday to Sunday, May 26, 60 Musk’s satellites will fly over Ukraine, they were launched into space for a global Internet project, as astronomy observation Astro Alert reported. It should be noted that the SpaceX Company launched 60 satellites on May 23. Each of them will fly around the planet at a distance of 550 km from the surface. These satellites will be able to provide internet connection around the globe with the help of solar energy. The company is going to add to these satellites many others soon and plans to launch thousands of such satellites into space.

SpaceX Launches 60 Starlink Satellites on Thrice-Flown Rocket, Sticks Landing | Space

SpaceX just took a giant leap toward making global internet coverage a reality as its fifth Falcon 9 rocket of the year took flight on Thursday evening (May 23), sending 60 internet-beaming satellites into space.

 

I moved to Kiev in 2003. In my self I know that in the capital special relations with those who came to conquer it…. – Володимир Зеленський

I moved to Kiev in 2003. In my self I know that in the capital special relations with those who came to conquer it. This is a proud and harsh city. Kyiv does not rush to open its hugs. He watches. He can crackle you, and may become a native. It takes a moment to fall in love with this city. And for a moment to be disappointed in it. But in Kiev there is one unique feature – it certainly does not leave indifferent. There is what makes Kiev – Kiev. It smells of flowering lilies and shawarma near the metro. This is the Saturday morning silence of the Podil and the tireless hum of the Victory Avenue. It is a view of the Vladimir Hill, the charming color of chestnuts and the “misunderstanding” of the building. Yes, this city is not everything perfect, but it makes Kiev alive. Not decorative, but real. For this we love him. In this city, there was a place on the map for our Quarter 95. In this city, my daughter went to the first class. My son was born in this city. And of course, freedom in the heart of this city is born. Kiev, I love you! Kyiv, I love you!

Ukrainian Parliament doesn’t support Zelenskyi’s bill to change election system |Euromaidan Press |

On Wednesday, 22 May, the first legislative initiative of the newly elected president Volodymyr Zelenskyi failed in the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament). It concerned changes in the election system. The MPs did not vote to include the corresponding bills in the agenda. The bill was submitted to the parliament just minutes before the beginning of the session on Wednesday. When the text appeared on the parliament’s website, it still had to be printed out to be given to the MPs to read as, according to the Parliament’s speaker Andriy Parubiy, it is abnormal to vote for a bill the MPs haven’t even seen. Reforming the electoral system has been a demand of society for five years after the Euromaidan Revolution, which led to the change of power in Ukraine in 2014. However, the bill suggested by Zelenskyi missed many of the demands of society. Instead of a proportional system with open party lists it suggested the opposite – closed party lists. The former foresees that voters chose parties and within it particular candidates from the party lists. The latter, suggested by the new President, envisaged that it was up to the parties to decide who in particular would enter parliament.

Prime minister resigns, Parliament is dismissed as Ukraine enters period of turbulence |Euromaidan Press |

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman resigned on 22 May. Previously, during the press briefing, he announced that he was ready to negotiate with the new Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyi in order to create a new working agenda. However, after Zelenskyi attacked the Ukrainian parliament and the Cabinet in his inauguration speech, Groysman decided to leave his office. Yesterday, Zelenskyi also signed his decree to dismiss the Parliament, opening the path to a period of turbulence in Ukrainian politics. Why does Zelenskyi need to dismantle the previous authorities in such a radical way and what is his goal?

Zelenskyi’s first appointments: Kolomoiskyi’s lawyer, cronies, experts |Euromaidan Press |

During his campaign, comedian Volodymyr Zelenskyi assured, “Don’t worry, we’ll have no cronyism!” Yesterday on 21 May, President Zelenskyi signed 12 decrees, ten of which appointed a new head of General Staff, presidential aides, and chiefs of the President’s Administration. Today he named three more persons to official posts. Most of the appointees belong to what was presented before the runoff round of the elections as Zelenskyi’s team with a few among them linked to Zelenskyi’s business projects. One new official was a lawyer by oligarch Kolomoyskyi who was a member of the campaign HQ but wasn’t officially presented as a team member. The appointee to the Army’s General Staff wasn’t mentioned as a member of the Zelenskyi team before. One more newly appointed official was incumbent deputy foreign minister Olena Zerkal, though later her nomination was revoked.

Dozens of Ukrainian lawmakers want embassy moved to Jerusalem | The Times of Israel

Nearly one-fifth of parliament signs resolution urging new Jewish president to follow Trump’s example by formally recognizing Israeli capital

Will Ukraine’s new government spend savings, or continue responsible economic policies? |Euromaidan Press |

Following the election of Volodymyr Zelenskyi, the resignation of the Ukrainian Prime-minister and government, dismissal of the Parliament, as well as uncertainty of new president and his team have swayed the hryvnia’s Forex rate and cheapened Ukrainian Eurobonds up to 1%. Such events are partially enabled by the successful work of the previous government, which has created a financial cushion that allows the new authorities to spend savings and play populist games with people and IMF, but only for two years. Yet, it’s feasible that, despite the radical political rhetoric, new authorities will continue previous policies, including the maintenance of macroeconomic stability in cooperation with the IMF.

Ukraine oligarch urges Volodymyr Zelensky to default on debt | Financial Times

Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email licensing@ft.comto buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found at https://www.ft.com/tour. https://www.ft.com/content/91df13ce-7d58-11e9-81d2-f785092ab560Ukraine’s new president Volodymyr Zelensky should follow Greece and reject the International Monetary Fund’s austerity programme or default on its external debt, according to his contentious oligarch supporter. Igor Kolomoisky’s comments in an interview with the Financial Times will ring alarm bells with Kiev’s western backers even though Mr Zelensky has said he would stick to the terms of Ukraine’s $3.9bn bailout. Concern among Ukrainians and western officials about Mr Kolomoisky’s influence over the novice president was heightened after the billionaire returned to Kiev this month after two years of self-imposed exile and his former personal lawyer was appointed Mr Zelensky’s chief of staff. “In my opinion, we should treat our creditors the way Greece does,” Mr Kolomoisky said. “That’s an example for Ukraine.” In its stand-off with creditors in 2015, Athens became the first developed country to fail to repay an IMF loan, albeit temporarily. Ukraine needs IMF loans, which come under a standby arrangement, to service its external debt that amounts to about 60 per cent of gross domestic product. With payments set to peak this and next year, Mr Kolomoisky also suggested Ukraine had nothing to fear if it defaulted. “How many times has Argentina defaulted? [ . . .] So what, they restructured it. It’s fine.” Mr Zelensky — a comedian who rose to fame on Mr Kolomoisky’s television channel playing a fictional president — won the presidency in a landslide last month despite his lack of political experience, shaky grasp of policy and widespread suspicions about his ties to the oligarch. Dressed in a T-shirt and blazer and talking in street slang, Mr Kolomoisky, 57, is a throwback to the early days of the oligarch caste that has called the shots in Ukraine for two decades. He made his start in business by enlarging photographs on collective farms during perestroika, then made his first million trading goods in the 1990s before acquiring billions in assets through rough-and-tumble takeovers.

As Ukraine’s New Jewish President Takes Office, Challenges Mount – Tablet Magazine

Yesterday, after an intensely hard fought and nasty presidential campaign that included accusations of drug abuse, treasonous corruption, and one candidate accusing the other of being a secret agent of Russian President Putin, Ukraine inaugurated 41-year-old Jewish comedian Volodymyr Zelensky as its sixth president. It was a stunning victory and augured a popular revolt against the professional political class. Zelensky had ascended to the presidency with about three-quarters of all votes cast, having defeated the sitting president in 23 out of Ukraine’s 24 regions, beating the fantastical score predicted in his fictional television show by several percentage points. The simulacrum of reality being overtaken by television had reached its logical denouement. Predictably enough, Russian President Vladimir Putin did not put in a congratulatory phone call to Kiev. Standing at the tribunal in the Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, Zelensky delivered a very strong and affecting inauguration speech, one which should be read by non-Ukrainians as well. He flirted with comparing himself to Ronald Reagan, and posited that Ukraine should attempt to emulate Iceland’s success “in football, the Israelis in defending their rightful land, the Japanese in terms of technology, the Swiss in terms of knowing how to coexist happily with each other despite any differences.” One line of his inauguration speech stood out in particular: “My whole life I tried to do everything to make Ukrainians laugh,” Zelensky said. “Now I will do everything to make sure Ukrainians at least won’t cry any more.”

Rally for Zelensky’s impeachment: Herashchenko outraged due detaining of juveniles in Rivne

Iryna Herashchenko, the First Vice-Spokesperson of Verkhovna Rada, is preparing a request to the National Police concerning detaining of two young people in Rivne, who came to the rally for the impeachment of President Volodymyr Zelensky. Herashchenko wrote this on Facebook. “I express my indignation at the detention of two juveniles in Rivne. I am preparing a request to the National Police,” Herashchenko said. At the same time, she reminded that during previous five years, “almost everyday people conducted demonstrations, hunger strikes, set up tents, broke toilets, hang panties, threw toys near the Bankova Street, the Verkhovna Rada, the Cabinet of Ministers and the regional administration. And sometimes it was quite aggressive and not quiet actions, but still, nobody was detained”. “The protesters behaved differently, but it was a democracy, “Herashchenko said. It should be noted that the police made administrative protocols for an improvised rally on the impeachment of President Volodymyr Zelensky against a 16-year-old girl and her boyfriend in Rive in the evening on May 25. The reason for this was they did not file the relevant application in advance, which violated the order and organization of meetings, rallies, street marches, and demonstrations.

“I am not afraid of critics”: Zelensky reacted to a picket against himself in Rivne

President Vladimir Zelensky called on policemen not to use measures against political protesters if they do not violate public order. About this head of state wrote on his page on Facebook , informs Censor . NO . “I found out the situation with the alleged detention of a guy and a girl who staged a protest against me in Rivne. There was no detention, but the police could act more gently. The police would conduct an official check,” Zelensky wrote. “I urge the Interior Ministry not to take action against political protesters if people do not violate the rule of law. I am not afraid of critics,” the head of state summed up. Источник: https://censor.net.ua/n3128941

Ukraine Considers Referendum on Possible Russian Peace Deal

Also on Tuesday, Putin spoke with Macron and Merkel in a phone call about Ukraine. Ukraine may submit any preliminary peace deal agreed with Russia to the Ukrainian people for a referendum, the new head of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s administration told Ukrainian television Tuesday. Ukrainian troops are fighting Russian-backed separatists in the Donbas region in a conflict that has killed 13,000 people since 2014. Ukraine also wants Russia to return Crimea, which Moscow annexed the same year. “On the question of reaching peace agreements with Russia, we are considering holding a popular referendum,” Andriy Bogdan, the newly appointed head of Zelenskiy’s administration, told the 112 TV news channel.

Vitaly Portnikov: The Game of Thrones is just beginning |Euromaidan Press |

As a TV showman, Volodymyr Zelensky chose not to be sworn in as President of Ukraine on Sunday, May 19, the day when the last episode of the popular series The Game of Thrones was aired on HBO. Why? Because everyone would be discussing the final episode of the most popular TV series in the world, and not the inauguration of the president of one of the poorest and most controversial countries in Eastern Europe. No slick tidbits or funny tricks would help Zelensky, the star of Ukraine’s popular TV series The Servant of the People, to compete with Jon Snow, even as the newly-elected President of Ukraine. Of course, this is all wrong! For others out there, The Game of the Thrones is over, but for us in Ukraine, it’s just beginning. Today, Ukrainians are not only spectators, but also participants of the most interesting political experiment of this century – when a citizen, who has never been interested in politics, has never been involved in public administration, will be entrusted with the fate of millions of people… and not in a television series, but in reality. As at the beginning of The Game of Thrones, we don’t know much about the plot and further developments. Nothing at all! What is the new president planning to do? Who are his ministers and advisors? What oligarchic clan will win in the fight for influencing the decisions of the new president? Will Volodymyr Zelensky really dissolve the Verkhovna Rada? (President Zelensky declared the dissolution of Parliament in his inaugural speech on Monday, May 20-Ed.) What will the parliamentary elections be like? Who will head the key positions in the country? What will this mean for relations between Ukraine and its main ally, United States? How does Zelensky intend to stop the war in Donbas? What will happen to Ukraine’s social policy? Will tariffs and prices be reduced? Will Ukraine default on its debt? Today, not one of the participants of the Ukrainian Game of Thrones knows what’s going to happen. Moreover, even Volodymyr Zelensky himself doesn’t know… he, and the millions of people that voted for him, have been taken hostage by this situation. In this sense, he actually reminds us of Jon Snow – with the only difference that Kit Harington as Jon Snow in The Game of Thrones and Volodymyr Zelensky as president Holoborodko in The Servant of the People could always rewrite a poor scenario and change stunts and scenes to their liking. President Volodymyr Zelensky will not have this opportunity. Every mistake made by the president of a country at war, a country that depends on foreign loans and is an arena for oligarchic clashes will lead to bloodshed, death and tears. It will lead to more poverty and more lost territories, new refugees and new disappointments. Of course, there will be people for whom what is happening is no different from the actual TV series – the oligarchs who will continue despoiling what’s left of Ukraine’s resources, politicians who realize that they must now compete in populist initiatives, and simple con men who will move closer to the new government and ready cash flows. But, for millions of other Ukrainians, the show will probably come to end…

Ukrainian civil society outlines “red lines” President Zelenskyi can’t cross |Euromaidan Press |

Over the past five years, we, the undersigned, members of civil society organizations, have been actively defending Ukraine’s sovereignty and national interests in global information space and counteracting the Russian information war. Each of our organizations works in a specific field to strengthen civil society and help build high-quality state institutions open to ongoing communication and dialog with our citizens, responsible for reforming our country and rendering it more stable and secure in the face of strong threats and challenges. Our principles and positions remain unchanged. Our mission is to protect the values that Ukrainians fought for during the Revolution of Dignity – freedom and dignity, the independence of Ukraine and protection of Ukrainian statehood, a democratic system of government, patriotism, courage, responsibility, and honesty as the fundamental qualities of all Ukrainian citizens. We remain politically neutral but are deeply concerned about the first executive decisions taken by the newly-elected President. Unfortunately, they demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of the threats and challenges facing our country. We strongly disagree with the President’s intention to appoint members of former President Viktor Yanukovych’s regime to key government positions, a move that contradicts the principles of lustration, as well as persons without relevant competencies and individuals sharing business interests with President Volodymyr Zelenskyi. Given the pain and troubles that our country has suffered in the past few years, such short-sighted measures are bound to have adverse effects on society… and the consequences could be devastating. As civil society activists, we present a list of “red lines not to be crossed.” Should the President cross these red lines, such actions will inevitably lead to political instability in our country and the deterioration of international relations:

Zelenskyi may turn out to be a better Ukrainian president than many expect, Eidman saysEuromaidan Press |

Many fear that the inexperienced Volodymyr Zelenskyi may prove to be a disaster as president of Ukraine, making the kind of mistakes that Vladimir Putin and others will exploit to undermine Ukraine’s territorial integrity and independence. But there are reasons to think that he may turn out to be far better than such people expect, Igor Eidman says. On Zelenskyi’s inauguration, the Russian commentator says that one should begin with the fact that “Ukrainians have elected as president a vital and contemporary individual, to the envy of neighbors who still have Soviet-style wax figures of former KGB officers and collective farm heads.” To determine what kind of a president Zelenskyi will be, Eidman continues, will require that he be given at least 100 days. That is what his predecessor Petro Poroshenko was given and the fact that people are drawing final conclusions about Zelenskyi already is both strange and more than a little suspicious. Those who think Zelenskyi will be a failure generally make one of two charges: he is someone who will capitulate to Putin or he is a puppet who will be manipulated by Kolomoyskyi. There are compelling reasons to think, Eidman argues, that neither of these predictions will prove true. Up to now, he continues, Zelenskyi has behaved toward Putin in anything but the manner one would expect of someone who will capitulate to the Kremlin. He uses tough language regarding Russia and has repeatedly declare that Crimea and the Donbas are Ukrainian, not Russian, and that he doesn’t intend to surrender them. “The Russian powers that be are trying to discredit the Ukrainian elections and their winner” for a very simple reason: Moscow has long insisted that “a democratic change of the powers in principle is impossible on the post-Soviet space and especially in ‘Banderite-fascist’ Ukraine.” If it turns out that Zelenskyi, who came to power by means of election, is a successful president, Eidman says, “this will become not only a great thing for his Motherland but the beginning of the end of Putin” who already is facing Maidan-like actions in Yekaterinburg. “If Ukraine becomes an example of a rapidly developing country which changed power by democratic means,” those will spread. As far as the charge that the new Ukrainian president is a Kolomoyskyi puppet is concerned, those who make it do not understand politics. If Zelenskyi in the past was only a successful showman and “Kolomoyskyi an all-powerful oligarch, “today everything is different: Zelenskyi is president of a country and Kolomoyskyi is a bourgeois on the run.” “I am not a Zelenskyi supporter,” Eidman says. “But I sincerely wish him success as president because his success will be the success of Ukraine and any failure will be the failure of a country, love for which I took in literally with my mother’s milk who having been born in Kyiv, spent her childhood in Odessa” and remembered fondly all her life. Moreover, if Zelenskyi is successful, it may very well become a victory for Russia as well, precisely because it will lead to the end of the Putin system.

Olena Makarenko | Power of TV still rules Ukrainian politics, presidential election shows |Euromaidan Press |

Most Ukrainians get their information from TV, which, as this presidential election has shown, rarely plays by the rules. This means that to a great extent, Ukrainian politics is in the hands of TV channels, no matter whether it is election time or not, while the political landscape remains devoid of any true meaning. Independent media is one of the most important components of democracy, especially during the election period, when the journalists are called to help voters make the right choice. However, that is not how things work in Ukraine. For many years, TV remains the main source of information for Ukrainians and the main influencer during elections. During the elections, nationwide channels started behaving like football fans on a game, shouting out support for their candidate and booing their opponent. This campaign was special because entertaining shows entered the scene, which previously included only news and political talk-shows. The trend was obvious, but not regulated. And it is now under scrutiny because of the winner of the elections, President Volodymyr Zelenskyi. Officially, candidates should pay for campaign materials during the election period from their party funds. There is also a prohibition on campaigning in the news. As well the law stresses that the coverage should be balanced, impartial, and objective. However, candidates’ unofficial affiliation with channel owners allowed them to not limit themselves by these provisions. Ukraine’s new President Volodymyr Zelenskyi set a precedent for election campaigns in the country and raised the question of what can and what can’t be called a campaign. Numerous entertainment shows of his 95 Kvartal Studio were broadcast by one of the most popular TV channels during the pre-election period, 1+1. Some would call it a pure campaign; however, this has not been proven legally. On 20 May, the inauguration, Zelenskyi took the oath placing his hand on the Constitution and the Peresopnytsia Gospel. But he already did this three months ago, when the last season of the Servant of the People (Sluha Narodu) TV series was filmed. There, he played history teacher Vasyl Holoborodko who became president. In the third season, for the second time. The episode with the oath was broadcast just a few days before the first round. The shows of Zelenskyi’s Kvartal 95 studio were also broadcast during the whole evenings of the “days of silence” before the voting day in the first and the second rounds, when campaigning must cease. Zelenskyi’s campaign in social media was creative and innovative in terms of Ukraine’s elections – each stage in the campaign was maximized for engagement. However, experts say it wasn’t social media that led him to victory. The Center for Content-Analysis explored the campaigns of both, Petro Poroshenko and Volodymyr Zelenskyi in social media before the second round in their report. “Supporters of both candidates published an almost equal amount of posts – the proportion (50:49) differs dramatically from the voting results (24:73). This refutes two stereotypes about the role of social media in the current campaign. First, social media discussions had by far not the key influence on the result. And Zelenskyi’s 73% can be explained first of all by TV, not online influence,” says Artem Zakharchenko, the Head of the Center for Content Analysis. As mentioned, TV remains the main source of news for Ukrainians. According to the research of Kyiv International Institute of Sociology on behalf of the media watchdog Detector Media, in February 2019 the number of people who get their news primarily from TV fell by 12% compared to the previous year. Nevertheless, this amount is still at a dramatic 74%. According to monitoring carried out by the Commission on Journalism Ethics, the Platform on Human Rights, the Ukrainian Media Development Institute, and StopFake with the support of the Council of Europe, prior to the second round Zelenskyi didn’t get the most news coverage of the channels. Petro Poroshenko did. The monitoring revealed that Zelenskyi’s team made a conscious choice for their candidate to avoid TV broadcasts. Zelenskyi himself did not answer journalists’ requests for communication, which appeared because his position on key aspects remained unclear. It was mostly members of his teams who communicated with journalists, sometimes voicing contradicting messages. “In these circumstances, the media rather played the role of re-broadcasting [the messages],” said Olha Yurkova, StopFake co-founder. Between the first and the second round of elections, Zelenskyi gave only one proper interview (big and touching a large range of questions) to a journalist from RBK Ukrayina who won the right during a ping pong game with the candidate. Zelenskyi’s main TV appearances were in entertainment shows. Before the second round, the National Council on TV and Radio Broadcasting, a media regulator, voiced the data – between 31 January and 31 March 2019, the Council registered his presence in entertainment shows of Kvartal 95, which include the famous TV series “Servant of the people.” Their total duration was 203 hours and 35 minutes, which equals 14% of the total airtime on oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi’s 1+1 channel. Even before the pre-election premiere of the third season of the Servant of the People, this raised heated discussions on whether Kvartal 95 programs could be considered a campaign. The main argument against went that Zelenskyi was involved in his professional activity in them – he was an entertaining actor, not a candidate. “The Law on the Presidential Election says clearly that broadcasting of films is a form of campaign. Moreover, if talking about the series ‘Servant of the People,’ the name is similar to the name of the political party, which is a subject of the election process and which nominated Zelenskyi for president. So there can’t be ambivalent interpretations, suggestions. According to our expert conclusion, we consider it a campaign and insist that the video pictures with the participation of the candidate should have been paid from the election fund,” said Oleksiy Koshel, the head of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine. Other political experts noted that not only Zelenskyi should have been evaluated in this regard, but also Poroshenko, who used his status of the president for campaigning. Since the first round, the main channels friendly to Poroshenko were his 5th Kanal and Priamyi, which was unofficially considered to be affiliated with him. For example, the monitoring of the National Council on TV and Radio Broadcasting of the last pre-election period, from 15 April to 21 April, said a number of programs of the 5th Kanal covered only activities of Poroshenko, and they were all positive. The time dedicated to each candidate in news programs was unbalanced as well. The week before the elections, Poroshenko and his team were present in the news for 1 hour and 37 minutes, while Zelenskyi and his team – for 38 minutes. From 15 April to 21 April, Priamyi channel broadcast 4 hours and 43 minutes of coverage of Zelenskyi, while critical information about Poroshenko was absent. However, Poroshenko received disproportionately negative coverage from the 1+1 channel. Such coverage violates the Ukrainian legislature for presidential elections, which requires channels to be unbiased towards candidates and stick to the principles of objectivity, impartiality, balance, reliability, completeness, and accuracy of information. Not only 1+1, 5 Kanal, and Priamyi have been accused in violating the provisions. In the first round, all the main TV channels had their preferences, which were revealed by monitorings conducted by different organizations.Zelenskyi’s campaign in social media was creative and innovative in terms of Ukraine’s elections – each stage in the campaign was maximized for engagement. However, experts say it wasn’t social media that led him to victory. The Center for Content-Analysis explored the campaigns of both, Petro Poroshenko and Volodymyr Zelenskyi in social media before the second round in their report. “Supporters of both candidates published an almost equal amount of posts – the proportion (50:49) differs dramatically from the voting results (24:73). This refutes two stereotypes about the role of social media in the current campaign. First, social media discussions had by far not the key influence on the result. And Zelenskyi’s 73% can be explained first of all by TV, not online influence,” says Artem Zakharchenko, the Head of the Center for Content Analysis. As mentioned, TV remains the main source of news for Ukrainians. According to the research of Kyiv International Institute of Sociology on behalf of the media watchdog Detector Media, in February 2019 the number of people who get their news primarily from TV fell by 12% compared to the previous year. Nevertheless, this amount is still at a dramatic 74%. According to monitoring carried out by the Commission on Journalism Ethics, the Platform on Human Rights, the Ukrainian Media Development Institute, and StopFake with the support of the Council of Europe, prior to the second round Zelenskyi didn’t get the most news coverage of the channels. Petro Poroshenko did. The monitoring revealed that Zelenskyi’s team made a conscious choice for their candidate to avoid TV broadcasts. Zelenskyi himself did not answer journalists’ requests for communication, which appeared because his position on key aspects remained unclear. It was mostly members of his teams who communicated with journalists, sometimes voicing contradicting messages. “In these circumstances, the media rather played the role of re-broadcasting [the messages],” said Olha Yurkova, StopFake co-founder. Between the first and the second round of elections, Zelenskyi gave only one proper interview (big and touching a large range of questions) to a journalist from RBK Ukrayina who won the right during a ping pong game with the candidate. Zelenskyi’s main TV appearances were in entertainment shows. Before the second round, the National Council on TV and Radio Broadcasting, a media regulator, voiced the data – between 31 January and 31 March 2019, the Council registered his presence in entertainment shows of Kvartal 95, which include the famous TV series “Servant of the people.” Their total duration was 203 hours and 35 minutes, which equals 14% of the total airtime on oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi’s 1+1 channel. Even before the pre-election premiere of the third season of the Servant of the People, this raised heated discussions on whether Kvartal 95 programs could be considered a campaign. The main argument against went that Zelenskyi was involved in his professional activity in them – he was an entertaining actor, not a candidate. “The Law on the Presidential Election says clearly that broadcasting of films is a form of campaign. Moreover, if talking about the series ‘Servant of the People,’ the name is similar to the name of the political party, which is a subject of the election process and which nominated Zelenskyi for president. So there can’t be ambivalent interpretations, suggestions. According to our expert conclusion, we consider it a campaign and insist that the video pictures with the participation of the candidate should have been paid from the election fund,” said Oleksiy Koshel, the head of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine. Other political experts noted that not only Zelenskyi should have been evaluated in this regard, but also Poroshenko, who used his status of the president for campaigning. Since the first round, the main channels friendly to Poroshenko were his 5th Kanal and Priamyi, which was unofficially considered to be affiliated with him. For example, the monitoring of the National Council on TV and Radio Broadcasting of the last pre-election period, from 15 April to 21 April, said a number of programs of the 5th Kanal covered only activities of Poroshenko, and they were all positive. The time dedicated to each candidate in news programs was unbalanced as well. The week before the elections, Poroshenko and his team were present in the news for 1 hour and 37 minutes, while Zelenskyi and his team – for 38 minutes. From 15 April to 21 April, Priamyi channel broadcast 4 hours and 43 minutes of coverage of Zelenskyi, while critical information about Poroshenko was absent. However, Poroshenko received disproportionately negative coverage from the 1+1 channel. Such coverage violates the Ukrainian legislature for presidential elections, which requires channels to be unbiased towards candidates and stick to the principles of objectivity, impartiality, balance, reliability, completeness, and accuracy of information. Not only 1+1, 5 Kanal, and Priamyi have been accused in violating the provisions. In the first round, all the main TV channels had their preferences, which were revealed by monitorings conducted by different organizations. Another way Ukrainian channels neglected the principles of fair play was by airing “jeansa,” or hidden political advertising disguised as balanced coverage. “Unfortunately, media don’t work as journalists now. What they are doing now is called informational services for politicians. This is very far from the real meaning of journalism,” said Olha Herasymiuk, deputy head of the National Council to summarize the election coverage. But there was one exception to the total disregard for media standards. UA:Pershyi, the main channel of the Public Broadcaster was the only nationwide channel where experts showed no signs of hidden campaigning. However, the Broadcasters audience reach is meager compared to the main nationwide channels owned by oligarchs. Officially, before the first round, all the candidates spent 1bn ($41,7 mn) for advertising on national TV channels. But in reality, these numbers are thought to be larger, if hidden campaigns are included. As well, agreements between the TV channels owners and candidates remain unclear. This goes to show that in Ukraine, a candidate or a political force can’t expect to gain votes without the power of TV. For a number of candidates, this presidential race was just about gaining votes via TV campaigning for the future parliamentary elections which now will take place even earlier – on 21 July. It is expected that the coverage of parliamentary elections, as well as presidential, will be imbalanced, emotional, unobjective, and not the one which would help a voter to make a conscious choice. To a great extent, Ukrainian politics is in the hands of TV channels, no matter whether it is election time or not, while the political landscape remains devoid of any true meaning.

The three Ukrainian women breathing new life into ancient musical traditions |Euromaidan Press |

Pavlo Senchyna In and around the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, there has arisen in the post-Soviet era a trio of creative musical figures of an exceedingly singular character. All three, as it happens, are women. And though Ukraine is hardly known as a bastion of Feminism, these three Ukrainian women—Mariana Sadovska, Natalia Polovynka and Ulyana Horbachevska—have together forged such a distinctively innovative path (whatever their marked differences from one another), that they cannot be considered as anything less than crucial artistic groundbreakers, of the sort that not so long ago was quite rare for women from any nation.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Ukrainian Experience Useful for Kazakhs as They Confront Terror Famine They Suffered as Well, Kulchitsky Says

Paul Goble Staunton, May 25 – Ukrainians have struggled for decades to gain national understanding and international recognition of the Holodomor, the terror famine Stalin inflicted upon them in the early 1930s, Stanislav Kulchitsky says. Kazakhs can learn much from the Ukrainian struggle as they seek to recover the truth about the same horrors the Soviet system inflicted upon them. The senior scholar at the Institute for Ukraine of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences tells Central Asian Monitor’s Kenzhe Tatilya that Ukraine has pursued its efforts to secure international recognition of the Holodomor not to get compensation but to unite the Ukrainian nation (camonitor.kz/33066-golodomor-i-asharshylyk-chem-ukrainskiy-opyt-pouchitelen-dlya-kazahskih-issledovateley.html). “This too is important especially in the context of the current Ukrainian-Russian hybrid war,” the Ukrainian scholar says. Kulichitsky notes that “Russia considers itself to be the legal successor of the Soviet Union but isn’t prepared to accept guilt for the crimes of Stalin’s times, even though the Russian people too suffered as well.” But Ukraine and presumably Kazakhstan have an interest in getting international recognition of the terror famine as a genocide to undermine Russian propaganda. For Ukrainians, this is especially important because “the ruling circles of present-day Russia have revived the pre-revolutionary policy which includes the non-recognition of the existence of the Ukrainian nation” as separate and distinct. But achieving international recognition won’t be easy or quick as there is serious resistance internationally. Kazakhstan made enormous strides in the 1990s in the study of the Asharshylyk, as the analogue of the Ukrainian Holodomor is called. But then “at the demand of Russia,” almost everything stopped. In May 2013, for example, some at an Astana conference tried to raise the issue but the leadership cut them off. Kazakh historians face other challenges as well, Kulchitsky says. When the terror famine occurred there, Kazakhstan was an autonomous republic within the RSFSR and so presumably many of the archives that need to be explored are in Moscow and may be beyond the reach of Kazakh researchers. Ukrainian leaders have varied in their support for research on this question, the historian says. Viktor Yushchenko was committed to research on the Holodomor and even hoped to convince Israel to recognize the Holodomor as a genocide, “but Israel values the uniqueness of the Holocaust as a genocide and does not want to subject this term to any ‘inflation.’” A commission of the US Congress, headed by the James Mace, recognized the Holodomor as a genocide already in 1988, but the Congress as a whole did so only in 2018, 30 years later when American relations with Russia had deteriorated. Much of what has been achieved in the US is the work of the Ukrainian diaspora. Ukrainians in the US succeeded in getting historian Robert Conquest to do research on the question, attracting new attention to the cause, although he could not read Ukrainian and so was limited to materials supplied by others including Mace. A second breakthrough, Kulchitsky says, was the 2017 appearance of Anne Applebaum’s book on the Holodomor “Kazakhstan has its own diaspora,” the Ukrainian historian says, “which could support Kazakh scholars in conducting research on the Asharshylyk, although not in Russia and China.” In doing so, they need to keep in mind that there are many similarities but also important differences in the two events. That both acts were directed at the destruction of a human group, the peasantry, is fairly easy to show. That it was an act of genocide is more controversial. In the Ukrainian case, there is compelling evidence for that conclusion; in the Kazakh case, far more research is needed, Kulchitsky suggests. “The main thing for Kazakh and Ukrainian scholars is to create a real picture of what occurred. After that, others or the scholars themselves can draw legal and political conclusions.” Those will be controversial and acceptance of any one of them may take decades. “But they are in the interests of our peoples who suffered so horribly in the hunger years.”

 

All Poroshenko’s assets must be arrested, – Head of Yanukovych administration

Andriy Portnov, head of the Viktor Yanukovych administration, accuses the ex-president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko of high treason and an attempt to seize power. He stated this in the Big Interview show on the air of 112 Ukraine. Portnov says Poroshenko deliberately imposed martial law in Ukraine in order to disrupt the presidential election. The introduction of such a situation in the country, he considers an attempt to seize power. “What is high treason? The fact that by this action he gave the enemy of Ukraine the opportunity to influence our domestic policy. Moreover, negotiations were held to free Sentsov, and now there are 24 more sailors. He played for the sake of the Russian Federation, which worsened the defense capability of Ukraine and its authority in the international arena. This directly falls within the scope of Article 109 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine “Treason”, said Portnov. He also said that materials on the second case were sent to the State Bureau of Investigation. Portnov will insist that the court arrest all the assets of Petro Poroshenko. “There is a second case, we registered it with the State Bureau of Investigation. On this issue we expect a petition to the court for several weeks, we will insist on it, because I am an applicant on these issues. My petition will be about arrest of all assets – these are bank accounts, these are all stocks, government bonds, including offshore companies, including those issued for nominal people, “said Andriy Portnov. Earlier it was reported that Portnov’s statement on the laundering of funds by Petro Poroshenko was registered at the State Bureau of Investigation. In particular, the official of the times of Yanukovych accused Poroshenko of legalizing $300 million of revenues through offshore companies “by concluding a non-existent transaction at the expense of funds stolen from the Ukrainian army.”

TASS: World – New money laundering case against Pyotr Poroshenko registered in Ukraine

Earlier, the SBI launched a probe containing charges Poroshenko was responsible for high treason in connection with the Kerch Strait incident. KIEV, May 24. /TASS/. A statement containing charges of money laundering and legalizing assets in the process of acquisition of Ukraine’s television channel Pryamoi has been registered by the State Bureau of Investigation, lawyer Andrei Portnov, who under President Viktor Yanukovich held the position of deputy chief of his staff, said on Friday. “I have registered at the State Bureau of Investigation a third statement over money laundering, legalization of illegal incomes and tax evasion by the former president, Poroshenko, who together with an organized criminal group took over the television channel Pryamoi by registering it in the name of an offshore company fictitiously owned by a former member of the Party of Regions, Vladimir Makeyenko,” Portnov said in his telegram-channel. More: http://tass.com/world/1059993

 

Those who do not accept the provisions of Tomos, refuse to be in the bosom of the OCU, – Exarch of Constantinople Emmanuel

Metropolitan Emmanuel of Gallia stated that he did not agree with the statement by the Honorary Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Filaret, who, on May 24 after the meeting of the Synod of the OCU, said that the Primate of Metropolitan Epiphania is influenced by the pro-Moscow forces, whose main task is to destroy the Ukrainian Church. Reports Tsenzor.NET with reference to “24 channel” . The Orthodox metropolitan of France, subordinate to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, emphasized that Tomos, who was signed by the Ecumenical Patriarch and the priests of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, laid the foundations of the new autocephalous church. Also, the cleric noted that the text of Tomos is not the result of negotiations between the two parties, he tells how the Church should function. A similar text was provided by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to all local churches that received autocephaly in their time. “No one has the right to judge what is right and what is not in the text . And those who do not accept some of the provisions of Tomos refuse to be in the bosom of this Church. There is a great future for the Church, it stands on its own feet and chooses the path that it will take” – stressed Metropolitan Emmanuel. 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.

Filaret: Ukrainian Orthodox Church Synod tried to destroy Kyiv Patriarchate

The honorary patriarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Filaret, commented on yesterday’s Synod, which members could not convince him that the Kyiv Patriarchate no longer exists. According to Filaret himself, the sole purpose of this meeting was the desire to destroy the Kyiv Patriarchate. He stated this in an interview to 1 + 1 channel, reports Strana. “The Synod, which was held, was aimed at the destruction of the Kyiv Patriarchate,” said Filaret. “Now there is an influence on our primate of these pro-Moscow forces that have entered. And their task is to destroy the Kyiv Patriarchate.” He also added that in his struggle for the Patriarchate, he did not intend to surrender. “You’ll see! You’ll see what I will do! But I will defend the Kyiv Patriarchate to the end!” he stressed. Later on the Facebook page of the Honorary patriarch a message appeared that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church maintains internal unity. “The local Ukrainian Orthodox Church maintains internal unity and calls upon the episcopate, clergy and believers to discuss and resolve all issues in the spirit of brotherly love, bequeathed by our Lord Jesus Christ, avoiding incitement of hostility, opposition and separation,” the synod says. Related: Patriarch Filaret refuses to support Epifaniy at Synod meeting Earlier 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.

Philaret’s attempts to gain independence from Constantinople threaten with the loss of Tomos – Macarius

Metropolitan Macarius, who, before the formation of the local church, headed the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church, said that the UOC-KP and the UAOC have not yet been deleted from the state register. This Macarius said in an interview with “Apostrophe”, reports Tsenzor.NET . “Some government officials didn’t tell a lie when they publicly stated that the Kyiv Patriarchate had been liquidated. The fact is that the honorable Patriarch Filaret provided only copies, not the original documents, which are necessary for liquidation. When I was asked to submit the documents for liquidation, I replied that until I see the originals from the other side, I will not give up my people, “the metropolitan said. Macarius called meaningless the statements of Filaret about the intention to make changes to the Statutes of the CCI in order to get “independence” from Constantinople. In his opinion, it threatens to recall Tomos. “It is possible if such a disgrace continues, if the inactive patriarch continues in the same direction and some politicians support him, and the elected Primate, not acting, will be silent,” said Makariy. 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 “.

Half of Ukrainians identify with Orthodox Church of Ukraine; only one in seven with Moscow’s exarchateEuromaidan Press |

A new poll shows that 48.8 percent of Ukrainians identify with the Orthodox Church of Ukraine while only 14.2 percent say they are followers of the Moscow Patriarchate Church in Ukraine. 16.3 percent say they’re Orthodox without identifying a jurisdiction, 4.3 percent identify as atheists, and 4.9 percent are followers of other confessions. This poll reflects the fact that while the number of parishes still part of the Moscow Patriarchate’s organization is still very much larger than that of those affiliated with the OCU, the number of participants in the former is much smaller than in the latter. The survey also found that 64.5 percent consider the tomos or grant of autocephaly as sufficient for the development of an independent Ukrainian church and that the grant should not be rejected, while 8.8 percent disagree and call for restoring the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate. Perhaps significantly one in four did not answer this question. As to the impact of autocephaly, 50.6 percent of those queried said it unified society, while 30.5 percent said on the contrary that it is divisive. Again, a large share did not answer – 18.9 percent or nearly one in five. Yesterday, in another Ukrainian church development likely to have an impact on the shift of parishes and bishoprics from the Moscow church to the OCU, the Metropolitan Ioann of Cherkasy and Chyhyryn of the OCU announced that from now on each parish will keep a list of members on the basis of declarations by them. That list will not be used to exclude anyone who wants to take part in religious services, but it will, the metropolitan said, determine who will be able to vote on the affiliation of the parish. As a result, the compilation of these lists is likely to become a new flashpoint in the fight between the OCU and the Moscow church. In neighboring Belarus, there was also a development that will affect both church life and political affairs. A group of activists has prepared a recording of 150 religious songs in Belarusian and distributed it to the roughly 3,000 Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant parishes in that country. “In the majority of Orthodox and Protestant churches of Belarus and also in certain Catholic ones the Belarusian language is not heard,” the organizers who call themselves the Belarusian Christian Hit group say. “This makes the Christian community liable to be affected by Russian propaganda and weakens the independence of Belarus.” The group’s vice president, Pavel Severinets says that the idea for collecting, recording and distributing the songs in Belarusian arose because he and his colleagues had heard in many churches people say that “in Belarus there never was any order. European is anti-Christian. So let Putin come and establish order.” It is essential to counter this “dangerous tendency” and to show people that “80 percent of Belarusian history over a thousand years is Christian.” Moreover, he continues, they need to know that “Belarus built powerful states based on Christianity and that they do no need to seek salvation from any tsar Putin.” “This political aspect pushed us to carry out the project,” Severinets says. “There exists a danger not only in the Russian Orthodox Church. Even in Roman Catholic and Protestant churches today one can meet people who want the arrival of Russia. This is,” he concludes, “very dangerous.”

 

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Arkhangelsk Protesters Take the Next Step and On Their Own Destroy a Wall Officials Put Up

Paul Goble Staunton, May 25 – A turning point in the Yekaterinburg protests was when officials felt compelled to pull down a wall they had erected around what they expected to be the construction site of a new cathedral in the city’s main square. Now, the people of Arkhangelsk region have gone further: they’ve torn down such a wall on their own. Today, as they have for many days and especially on weekends in recent weeks, the people near Shiyes where officials want to establish a dump for trash from Moscow assembled to protest such plans (svpressa.ru/blogs/article/233591/). They have been especially outraged that Russian officials have put up walls around what is to be a trash disposal site. “Here such walls must not be,” local residents posted on social media (vk.com/wall-29913030_211622), and today, they acted on that conviction, tearing down the wall on their own while police stood by and watched, probably in horror that the population was taking such matters into its own hands (region.expert/shies-photo/). In reporting this watershed development, the Region.Expert portal includes what it describes as a new example of “Shiyes folklore.” “We are gaining in number every moment,” the people there are saying. “We steadfastly move toward victory in the struggle with the Moscow yoke. Pomorye [the name of the larger region] is not a cesspool.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Backers of Cathedral Project in Yekaterinburg Move to Form Christian Political Party

Paul Goble Staunton, May 24 – A group of Yekaterinburg activists who backed the idea of erecting an Orthodox cathedral in the city’s main square have not accepted defeat. Instead, they have announced plans to form “a Christian political party” to continue to fight for what they want, a plan at odds with Russian law and one likely to provoke inter-confessional conflict. Russian legislation does not permit the formation of political parties based on religion, nationality, or region, but it is entirely possible in the current environment that Russian officials will pay no more heed to that legislation as far as this proposed group is concerned than they do with respect to other laws and constitutional provisions. Perhaps even more serious, however, the formation of such a party could prove “an explosive mix,” some local observers say, creating a political group that like the Christian Democrats in the West might prove far more attractive to the Russian people than any of the current alternatives (ura.news/articles/1036278125). And it could certainly trigger or exacerbate conflicts between Orthodox Christians and Muslims not only in Yekaterinburg but elsewhere. The Muslim community in the Urals city has reiterated its demand that the city keep its promise to allow the Muslims to build a mosque in the center of the city (doshdu.com/2019/05/24/в-екатеринбурге-после-конфликта-с-хра/). Muslims elsewhere in the Russian Federation almost certainly would respond to the appearance of a Christian party with demands that they be allowed to form one or more Muslim ones. This risk of that could be enough to keep Russian officialdom from allowing this proposed party to take shape. Oksana Ivanova who emerged during the protests over plans to build a cathedral in the central park of Yekaterinburg as a leader of the pro-construction faction tells the URA news agency that “not all Orthodox” feel comfortable in expressing their views openly and her organization will help their voices to be heard (ura.news/articles/1036278125). She adds that she “studied the ideas of Christian socialism for many years while in the university, writing a diploma focused on an analysis of the social-economic appeals of Russian religious figures of the 20th century such as Sergey Bulgakov and Nikolay Berdyayev.” The time has come for their ideas to be pushed forward. Ivanova continues: “I think that Orthodox lay people have the right as citizens to unite so that their voice will be heard by society and the powers that be and allow us to better hear one another. To say what precisely that should be, a party or something else, I now am not prepared to say. I am not a political scientist.” She says that she expects the Church will bless such an undertaking. But if one of the hierarchs opposes it, Ivanova continues, she would have to rethink what she is doing because as an Orthodox Christian, she would not want to do something that would harm the church in any way. Ivanova says that she is guided by a vision. In her mind’s eye, the cathedral is already in the square, and that explains both her passion and the pathos of her public statements.