Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (194)


Anonymous xpert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Felgenhauer concludes Russia is planning for a regional war with NATO with Belarus as the battleground – for Russia is this is a race against demographic and fiscal bankruptcy. Belarusians not buying into offered Russification. A USN P-8A harassed by an Su-35S over the Med. Second Fleet achieves IOC. More saber rattling by Muscovy. A truly bizarre reaction to RAND’s recent report on Russia options (that demonstrably did not go far enough). Prof Blank on European security. Updates on Nordstream 2, dirty oil calamity, social media censorship, protests (must read is RFE/RL’s “The Whole Hog”). NATO update, including Su-57E pitch to Turkey.

Over thirty media reports on Ze’s visit to Brussels, and some of it is fascinating reading. Yes, there will be apoplexy in Muscovy when Ze is heard:  Ukraine in the EU is the death of the Russian imperial project. Moreover, it is a powerful blow to Russian authoritarianism, a path towards democratic changes in Russia and the whole post-Soviet space”. Cheeky Ukrainians observed he is quoting his predecessor, Pres Poroshenko. Observation: if Muscovy hated Poroshenko, they will hate Ze a lot more. Interfax also report Ze met with Kushner at a US EU Mission event and held discussions on “a wide range of issues, ranging from security to energy”. Updates on IR, ICJ, Crimea and POL embargo.

Donbas update – Russians hit field kitchen 4WD with ATGW killing two troops. Russian false flag attack on Donetsk mosque. Serdar tested in Turkey.

Ze’s press secretary Ms Mendel becomes a hit in the US mainstream media. Facebook hires the very competent Kateryna Krukas Public Policy Manager for Ukraine – Russia’s trolls are in for a very bad time. Ze proposes retaining Klimkin as FM – whether Klimkin agrees is another matter. DB on Mykolaiv.

Five reports on Chernobyl – apparently HBO has created much angst in Russia, as survivors mostly praised the series.

OCU update – the sad story of the forgetful retired patriarch. ROC update – as always a disturbing read.


Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Preparing for a Major Regional War with the West on Belarusian Territory, Felgengauer Says

Paul Goble Staunton, June 4 – Pavel Felgengauer, the independent military analyst for Novaya gazeta, says that the risk of a major war between Russia and the west is greater today than even during the Cold War, the result of Moscow’s military buildup and the West’s response, with a major regional war being fought in and around Belarus being the most likely scenario. The analyst presented that disturbing conclusion at a conference organized by the Belarus Security Blog, the fifth such meeting and held in honor of the former defense minister of the BNP Kiprian Kondratovich (thinktanks.by/publication/2019/06/04/pavel-felgengauer-belarus-mozhet-stat-peredovym-rubezhom-protivostoyaniya-mezhdu-rossiey-i-zapadom.html). The probability of such a major war, Felgengauer said, is increased by the fact that both sides are now preparing for its outbreak. He noted that in 2015, Vladimir Putin signed a defense plan for 2016 to 2020, one that remains classified and thus about which many things are not known. But one thing is clear: it assumes that Russia must prepare for a major war in the 2020s. Under the terms of this plan, he continued, Moscow has spent a trillion US dollars for rearmament and war preparations. It has increased the number of tactical battalion groups from 68 in 2016 to 126 at the end of 2018. NATO in contrast has only four tactical battalion groups in Poland and the Baltic countries. (The military expert noted that NATO battalion groups are slightly larger than the Russian ones, with 1,000 men as opposed to 700 to 800 in the Russian case, but that difference is more than compensated for by the difference in the total number of such groups between the two sides.) Of equal or greater concern, Felgengauer said, Russia has been carrying out exercises testing its ability to move massive numbers of men and materiel into forward battle zones. According to the Moscow analyst, the roots of the war danger lie in economics: The Russian economy is in trouble now and is likely to get worse with additional sanctions. There is a sense in the Russian capital that something must be done to get out from under this situation. He suggested that there are “two paths.” “One could begin a strategic withdrawal following the path of Gorbachev and Shevardnadze, leaving the Donbass, Crimea, Syria and so on,” Felgengauer says. But “there is a second variant – a strategic advance,” based on creating a situation that will “balance on the edge of a nuclear war,” counting on the West to back down and make concessions. “The next two or three years according to the thinking of most will be very, very hot. Tensions will grow” and “Belarus could be transformed into the front line of a conflict between Russia and the West,” the Moscow analyst told his Belarusian audience. If Felgengauer is right, Putin’s moves to absorb Belarus into the Russian Federation are analogous to Stalin’s moves via the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact to move the borders of territory controlled by Moscow farther away from the Russian heartland, yet another reason why Moscow may have just published the facsimiles of that pact and of its notorious secret protocols.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Belarusians Aren’t as Interested in Taking Russian Citizenship as Moscow Claims

Paul Goble Staunton, June 4 – Yury Baranchik, a Regnum news agency journalist notorious for his anti-Belarusian reporting, says that new polls show that half or more of Belarusians are interested in acquiring Russian citizenship, a clear indication of the success of Moscow’s “soft power” in their country. But the data he offers in support of that claim (regnum.ru/news/polit/2641522.html) do not in fact support it. First, he cites what he calls a poll but which in fact was a self-selected group of Belarusian young people who visit a pro-Moscow Internet portal that shows 40 percent want Russian citizenship but 60 percent don’t. If even those who visit such portals and show their willingness to interact with it are so negative to the idea, that is hardly the demand for Russian citizenship he suggests. Then, he cites another study, this one done in Minsk, that shows only 22 percent of young Belarusians are interested in Russian citizenship. But from that he “extrapolates” to the entire republic, arguing that these surveys mean that 22 to 40 percent of the population of Belarus are ready to become “new citizens of Russia” and suggests that the figures may be even higher because, according to Baranchik, older people in Belarus are even more interested in becoming Russians than young ones. The Regnum journalist also misuses a study prepared by the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. That study, which resulted in a new book A Socio-Cultural Analysis of Belarusian Society, found that large shares of Belarusian students identify themselves with Russians. But it does not find that they want to become citizens of Russia. Baranchik’s work is likely to be republished or cited by other Moscow outlets as yet another reason why the union state should deepen to the point of the extinction of Belarus as an independent country. (It has already been reposted by the pro-Kremlin commentary outlet Rex News (iarex.ru/articles/66920.html).) But it is critical to keep in mind just how much he has abused the data he employs to make his point and to recognize that the real picture in Belarus, however many problems with identity there are there, is both more complicated and far different from what he suggests.

Navy plane buzzed by Russian fighter over international waters – ABC News

A Russian fighter flew in front of a U.S. Navy P-8A reconnaissance plane over the Mediterranean Sea.

Russian jet conducts unsafe intercept of U.S. Navy plane – CBS News

A U.S. plane was intercepted three times by a Russian fighter jet over a 175-minute period while in international airspace

Russian jet conducts unsafe intercept of U.S. Navy plane – news world | UNIAN

A U.S. aircraft flying in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea was intercepted three times by a Russian fighter jet during a 175-minute period Tuesday, according to the 6th Fleet. One of the interactions – the second — was deemed to be unsafe by the U.S. because the Russian SU-35 passed at high speed directly in front of the U.S. P-8A Poseidon plane. The last unsafe intercept by Russia occurred late last year, in November 2018, over the Black Sea.

Moscow Rejects U.S. Accusations Of ‘Unsafe’ Aircraft Interception Over Mediterranean

Russia’s Defense Ministry has rejected a statement by the U.S. Naval Forces’ 6th Fleet regarding the interception of a U.S. aircraft over the Mediterranean, which was deemed unsafe.

2nd Fleet re-emerges to face growing military competition from Russia in the Atlantic – Stripes

The U.S. Navy’s answer to increased maritime competition with Russia is the re-establishment of its 2nd Fleet, which declared initial operational capability this week, meaning it can start commanding and controlling forces in the Atlantic Ocean.

SEE IT: Russia claims to test fire new hypersonic interceptor missile | Fox News

Russia’s defense ministry on Tuesday said it had successfully test launched a new hypersonic interceptor missile system with a precision unmatched by other countries.

UAWire – Russia conducts nuclear submarine drills in Arctic

Three Russian nuclear submarines investigated the possibility of using weapons under the ice in the Arctic, announced Vadim Serga, spokesperson for Russia’s North Fleet. “The North Fleet’s nuclear submarine crews rehearsed preparing to operate under the Arctic’s icy conditions. The nuclear missile cruisers ‘Tula’, ‘Novomoskovsk’, and ‘Severodvinsk’ were given objectives to complete under the ice,” Interfax cites the spokesperson as saying. Serga added that the submarines had practiced surfacing in the ice and searching for openings. The exercise was conducted in May as part of the fleet’s combat training in the winter training period, he noted. In August 2018, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said that several governments had become interested in the Arctic, and that this could provoke conflicts in the region.

Russian Perspective On RAND Recommendations On How To Deal With Russia Ignores Reality – To Inform is to Influence

A posting on Facebook by Dr. Igor Panarin of the Russian Foreign Ministry illustrates the Russia perspective on US plans to counter Russian plans, practices, and policies against the US and the West.   “In the US, unveiled a plan for the “funeral” of Russia” is a fairly objective article that says Russia may be…

Stephen Blank | How to advance European security against Russia | TheHill

New pipelines and interconnectors also facilitate increased U.S. LNG exports to Europe, a key U.S. priority.

Have Strategists Drunk the “AI Race” Kool-Aid?

Has global strategic competition become a race for dominance in artificial intelligence (AI) between the United States and China? Versions of this claim

 

Russian gas pipeline divides the West and ‘punishes’ Ukraine | News | Al Jazeera

Germany wants cheap Russian gas via Nord Stream 2, while Ukraine fears economic ruin.

UAWire – Belarus to finish pumping dirty oil back to Russia by August

All of the contaminated oil in the Druzhba pipeline will be pumped back to Russia by the middle of August, said Andrei Verigo, chief engineer at the Belarusian company Gomeltransneft Druzhba, which oversees the transit of Russian oil to Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Verigo says that since 24 May, more than 200,000 tons of oil contaminated with organochlorides has been pumped back to Russia, while just under a million tons remains in Belarus. 868,000 tons of oil will be pumped from Belarus’s Mozyr dispatcher station to Russia’s Unecha station, explains the Belarusian news agency Belapan. Once the dirty oil has been discharged, transit to Poland can resume, since it receives Russian oil through the Mozyr station. The 5,100 km long Druzhba crude oil pipeline passes through eight European countries and is considered the longest in the world. At the end of April, Russia had to suspend oil transit through the pipeline due to a serious contamination incident. Belarus temporarily suspended its light oil product exports (petrol and diesel fuel) to Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states due to the sharp decline in the quality of the Russian oil arriving at its refineries. Experts estimate that the chloride-contaminated oil has caused hundreds of millions of euros of damage to the refinery equipment in Belarus that it came in contact with. The Polish government insists that the northern line of the pipe, which passes through Poland and ends in Germany, will only resume transit once Berlin and Warsaw reach a compensation agreement with Moscow.

Tinder: ‘We have not given any data to the Russian government’ — Meduza

The mobile dating app Tinder has commented on its inclusion in a Russian government registry for “information-dissemination organizers.” While services listed on the registry are legally obligated to save their users’ correspondence for half a year at a time and yield that information at the request of Russian security agencies, a Tinder representative said the company does not intend to share user data with the Russian government.

Russia’s Yandex Reportedly Ordered By FSB To Hand Over Encryption Keys

Russia’s largest search engine has refused to turn over encryption keys that would give the country’s law enforcement the ability to decode its entire e-mail traffic, local media report.

Russian tech giant facing FSB requests for its encryption keys argues ‘law enforcement is possible without violating privacy’ — Meduza

On June 3, reports surfaced that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has repeatedly requested the encryption keys that the tech company Yandex uses to protect user data. The scope of Yandex’s services is similar to that of Google’s: it provides web search, email, advertising, and machine translation tools, among others. According to the news outlet RBC, the Russian company has not yet complied with the FSB’s demands.

Corruption contest A Russian TV anchor aired corruption accusations against regional government officials. They accused him of using the segment itself to demand bribes. — Meduza

On May 31, longtime TV anchor Andrey Karaulov posted an interview with Krasnoyarsk Krai Accounts Chamber Chairperson Tatiana Davydenko on his YouTube channel. In the interview, Davydenko described large-scale illegal logging in her region. She said local government officials have dealt poorly with forest fires and simultaneously facilitated lumber theft schemes. Davydenko also asserted that the has received threats of forced resignation and criminal charges due to her interest in the issue.

The Whole Hog: New Russian Law Aims To Put Kremlin’s Critics To Pasture

MOSCOW — In the village of Verkhovazhye, in Russia’s north, Yury Shadrin keeps a modest homestead. Oinking in his pigsty are the namesakes of Russian officials. Dima Rogozin, a skinny piglet with black spots, is named after the head of space agency Roskosmos; Valya Matviyenko, the other, after the chairwoman of Russia’s Federation Council. A hog christened with President Vladimir Putin’s patronymic, Vladimirovich, was eaten weeks ago. “Patriarch Kirill” suffered the same fate. Shadrin, who doles out dark humor like an inveterate dissident, says the names make the swine easier to butcher. “You grow close to them,” he told RFE/RL over the phone. “But when you give them such names, it’s less of a shame to stick the knife in.” Shadrin, needless to say, is no fan of the Kremlin. Since Russia annexed Crimea in the wake of a referendum the West declared a sham, he has relentlessly criticized its leadership. On June 7, he may finally be made to pay. The 44-year-old farmer is due in court to face charges under new legislation, signed by Putin on March 18, that forbids the spread of language expressing disrespect toward public officials, state organs, and symbols. He faces a fine of up to $1,500. On May 3, Shadrin had taken to VK, Russia’s Facebook equivalent, to write: “Putin is a real f***wit, not an incredible one.” Ten days later, police came to his home with a summons.

“Fabulous thief and a liar”: a gravestone to Putin was installed in Voronezh

In Russia, the next “tombstone” to Putin was established. In the inscription on the stone it is called “a fabulous thief and a liar” and a “political corpse.”Photo “gravestone” was posted on Twitter “Agit Russia”, informs Censor.net. On the epitaph it is written: “Putin V. A fabulous thief and a liar, political corpse. 1952-2019 “. Who put the” monument “is unknown.Earlier, “Putin’s tombstones” appeared in Yekaterinburg and St. Petersburg. The activists who installed them were fined (for participating in an uncoordinated group picket) and sent under arrest (for organizing an event without giving notice). The epithet “fabulous” in relation to Putin became popular after the Russians were fined the inscription “Putin is a fabulous dolbo # b” on the Internet. Now the word “fabulous” replaces the critics of the Russian president with obscene language in his address.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Shiyes Protests are What a Pre-Revolutionary Situation Looks Like, Dmitry Gudkov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, May 4 – As more details emerge about the protests in the Russian North against Moscow’s plans to build a dump for the capital’s trash, it is becoming obvious that the demonstrations were far more political and radical than even initial reports suggested. (For a useful roundup of the later reporting, see svobodaradio.livejournal.com/3993724.html.) Epitomizing this radicalism were the remarks to the demonstrators by lawyer Andrey Nikulin. He told the crowd that “we see that in Shiyes, the authorities have approved the use of force to disperse a peaceful protest. This means that Vladimir Putin, the supreme commander, has declared war on the Komi Republic. “It is [Putin] who is the biggest supporter of the construction of a trash dump at Shiyez. He initiated it. And we must demand in the first instance his departure from office. Without this, nothing will change. Look at how the authorities ‘respect’ us – they buy up newspapers so that no one will find out we are holding a meeting.” But in this, they have failed, Nikulin suggested. “The entire world and all of Russia is following today’s measures. I know that even here are present representatives of the Presidential Administration sent from Moscow, but they are afraid to come out here and speak about their real position.” In response to this protest and these attitudes, opposition political Dmitry Gudkov argues that the situation in Shiyes is what a pre-revolutionary situation looks like (t.me/DmitryGudkov/1628). “You know what a pre-revolutionary situation looks like?” he asks rhetorically. “Here is what it looks like: Its when people have been left with no way out. When either they be poisoned [by trash] or they will save their own lives. ‘No one will give us any relief, not God, not tsar, and not a hero. We must achieve liberation by our own hands.’ “Remember these lines? They come from a time of class struggle, but now they area about the struggle for one’s own life and the environment.” “Ninety percent of the protests in Russia now are green,” Gudkov continues. There may be enemies abroad and terrorists about. But trash dumps aren’t the work of the State Department or ISIS. They’re the work of “our very own powers that be, the friends of Vladimir Putin.” When these powers that be accuse those protesting trash dumps as being “hirelings of Washington,” the people can quickly and easily see what the truth of the matter is, the opposition politician says. In Shiyes, they have begun to take action. Others will follow in their wake because that is how revolutions begin – and how they develop.

 

Russian Su-57 Preparing to Compete with F-35 for Stealth Jet Market Share

While the US F-35 stealth aircraft has become one the fastest selling fighter jets in the world aircraft market, thanks to zero competition; that could be about to change with the Russian Su-57 fifth-geneation aircraft preparing to be offered for international sales. An export version of the jet, the Su-57E could be offered to prospective customers in the Middle East and Asia with the Dubai Air show in November this year becoming the likely international launch pad for the F-35 challenger. The Russian United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) which is flight-testing the plane is ready to commence supplies to the Russian Aerospace Forces (RAF) from 2020 onwards. In fact, the RAF is expected to order 76 of the new aircraft up from an earlier 16 due to a recent 20% reduction in the price of aircraft and its components. Russian media outlets reported on May 16 that Russian President Vladimir Putin had announced that 76 Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jets will be purchased for the RAF before 2028 and that a package contract will be inked in the near future. The Su-57 which had earlier been christened as the T-50 got its new name in 2017 which is said to have been derived from adding up 35 and 22 suggesting that its features are combination of the two US fifth generation planes (F-35 and F-22). Russia’s Sukhoi Su-57 incorporates the functions of the US F-22 and F-35 fighter planes but outperforms them, Chief designer and Director of the Sukhoi Design Bureau, Mikhail Strelets was quoted as saying on Zvezda TV in November 2018. “It so turned out and we didn’t choose this specially but if you sum up 22 and 35, you get the figure 57,” the Sukhoi chief designer said.

US NATO ambassador: Turkey must cancel Russia S-400 missile purchase

The U.S. ambassador to NATO told CNBC that Turkey’s purchase of a Russian missile system could help the Kremlin in its bid to weaken NATO. Turkish officials reportedly have until the end of this week to cancel the purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile defense system and instead buy Raytheon’s U.S.-made Patriot missile. U.S. officials see Ankara’s purchase of the missile system as a pivot toward warmer ties with Moscow. Turkey’s integration of the Russian S-400 system is viewed as a direct threat to the security of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet program which Turkey is a part of. Kay Bailey Hutchison, the U.S. NATO ambassador and former U.S. senator, told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble Tuesday that Russia is trying to “continue to probe ways” to disrupt and weaken the NATO alliance, adding that a Russian missile system under the same military control as an F-35 fighter jet was unacceptable. “You have to make a choice. You can have one or the other but not both,” she said, before repeating that Turkey stands to “lose association” with the F-35s that they have already ordered. If Turkey refuses to comply with Washington’s demands, it faces losing their supply chain position within the F-35 program. In April, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed the U.S. jet program would collapse without Turkey’s input. In late May, the Turkish lira saw a rare move higher after President Donald Trump spoke with Erdogan via telephone and set up a late June meeting. The currency had shed around 14% year-to-date amid the friction between the NATO allies.

UAWire – PACE moves toward reinstating Russia’s delegation

During a session in Paris on 3 July, the Committee on Rules of Procedure of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) accepted a draft resolution titled “Strengthening the decision-making process of the Parliamentary Assembly concerning credentials and voting”. If the PACE members support the resolution on 24 June during the summer session in Strasbourg, the Russian delegation to the assembly could be unconditionally reinstated. Russia was deprived of its right to vote in PACE in 2014 due to its annexation of Crimea. Since Moscow failed to comply with any of the assembly’s resolutions on the matter, the sanctions on Russia have been extended several times. As a sign of protest, the Russian delegation has not participated in PACE sessions since 2016. According to current regulations, national delegations must be represented only at the start of the year, in January. Since in January 2019 the Russian government did not apply for its MPs to participate in sessions, officially no Russian delegation to PACE existed. The new draft resolution, authored by Belgian socialist MP and Chairperson of the Committee on Rules of Procedure Petra De Sutter, proposes to give the delegations not currently represented in PACE – those from Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina – the opportunity to apply to participate in the June session. The committee also proposes to add a new regulation that would prevent national assemblies from being deprived of their right to vote and participate in the assembly and its organs. Instead of imposing sanctions on the delegation itself, sanctions could be imposed on individual members. The committee bases its proposal on a decision made by the Committee of Ministers in May, which states that every country that is a member of the Council of Europe “has the right and obligation” to participate in the Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly. Volodymyr Ariev, head of Ukraine’s delegation to PACE and a member of the Committee on Rules of Procedure, wrote on Facebook that the committee has chosen a “bad version” of the resolution. However, he noted that it does not fully eliminate the sanction procedure “as Russia demanded”. “Even if they vote in favor of the resolution, the possibility of imposing sanctions nevertheless remains in the shortened version,” the Ukrainian representative pointed out. According to Ariev, those in favor of Russia returning to the assembly explain that this will give them an opportunity to criticize the Russian MPs “to their faces”. The head of Ukraine’s delegation said that, in the last three weeks before PACE’s June session, he and his delegation will work hard to persuade other national delegations not to vote in favor of the resolution.

Poles Mark Anniversary Of End Of Communism Amid Debates Over Legacy

The remembrances come even as the nation remains divided over the legacy of the end of communism in 1989.

Biggest Rally Since Communism Tests Czech Billionaire Leader – Bloomberg

Angered by the political gains made by populists across Europe, Mikulas Minar put a pause on his theology studies two years ago to pick an uneven fight with his country’s most powerful man.

Protesters Fill Prague Square Again, in New Struggle for Country’s Soul – The New York Times

A movement that started six weeks ago as a relatively contained protest has grown into something broader and possibly harder to control.

Zelensky spoke with Trump’s advisor Kushner, – AP | Цензор.НЕТ

President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky held a conversation with senior adviser to US President Jared Kushner, which took place on Tuesday in Brussels as part of the dinner at the Permanent Mission of the United States to the EU. About reported in the Administration of the Ukrainian president, reports Tsenzor.NET with reference to “Interfax-Ukraine”. “Yes, President Zelensky spoke with Kushner; they discussed a wide range of issues, ranging from security to energy,” the Interfax-Ukraine correspondent was told in the Administration of the Ukrainian President. The dinner was also attended by US Secretary of State for Energy Rick Perry, Polish President Andrzej Duda, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze.

Stable Ukraine capable of defending itself is an integral part of European security – Volodymyr Zelenskyy — Official website of the President of Ukraine

Ukraine should focus on the primary task of conducting the internal reforms that will bring our country closer to the NATO standards. It was stated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy during the briefing in Brussels.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the EU to intensify sanctions pressure on Russia in Brussels — Official website of the President of Ukraine

Ukraine must continue to move to the European Union, and European integration is a guarantee of the independence of the Ukrainian state. It was stated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a joint briefing with President of the European Council Donald Tusk in Brussels.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini — Official website of the President of Ukraine

On June 5, in Brussels, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Vice-President of the European Commission, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. The Head of State thanked Federica Mogherini for maintaining the constant attention of the European Council on Foreign Relations to the issue of supporting Ukraine, the security situation in the east of our country, supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and the policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Ukraine is grateful to Poland for supporting its interests in the European Union and NATO – President — Official website of the President of Ukraine

Ukraine is grateful for the continued support provided by Poland to protect Ukraine’s interests at the level of the European Union and NATO. It was stated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the joint briefing with President of Poland Andrzej Duda on June 4 in Brussels.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Vice President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis — Official website of the President of Ukraine

In the framework of the working visit to the EU and NATO institutions, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy had a meeting with Vice President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis.

Zelenskiy Calls For Referendum On Ukraine’s NATO Membership

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said Ukraine should hold a referendum on NATO membership, adding that the country is on a “course toward Europe.” He made the comments during an interview conducted at a gym in Brussels on June 5 with RFE/RL correspondent Gregory Zhygalov, which also aired on Ukrainian channel 1+1. Zelenskiy also commented on his decision to reinstate former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s Ukrainian citizenship after it was annulled by former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Ukraine’s President Promises NATO Referendum As Part Of Path To West

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has promised to hold a referendum on NATO membership — a move strongly opposed by Moscow — as the country embarks on a path of European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

Ukraine’s Zelenskiy Calls For Tougher EU Sanctions On Russia

On the second and last day of his visit to Brussels, Ukraine’s newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has called on the European Union to step up sanctions against Russia.

Zelensky sees countering Russian aggression, consolidation of international support of Ukraine among his priorities

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that one of his main priorities is to counter Russian aggression and consolidate international support for Ukraine, he is also is in favor of strengthening sanctions against Russia.

President: Ukraine in EU is death of Russian imperial project

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky is convinced that Ukraine in the EU means the death of the Russian imperial project and the path towards democratic changes in Russia. “Ukraine in the EU is the death of the Russian imperial project. Moreover, it is a powerful blow to Russian authoritarianism, a path towards democratic changes in Russia and the whole post-Soviet space,” Zelensky said during a meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk, the Presidential Administration posted on Twitter. As a reminder, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky makes his first foreign visit to Brussels on June 4-5.

Tusk says EU-Ukraine summit to outline priorities for further bilateral ties – news politics | UNIAN

President of the European Council Donald Tusk says that the EU-Ukraine summit, which is due to be held on July 8, will outline priorities for the development of bilateral relations for coming years. The summit will take place on July 8.

Zelensky in Brussels calls for increased sanctions pressure on Russia

President Volodymyr Zelensky has called on Ukraine’s European partners to continue consolidating international efforts and increase sanctions pressure on Russia because of its aggression in Donbas and the occupied Crimea. — Ukrinform.

Ukrainian President Says He’s Open To Peace Talks With Russia, Commits To NATO Membership

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said he is ready to negotiate with Russia to end the war in eastern Ukraine, but he also reaffirmed his country’s course toward NATO membership — a move strongly opposed by Moscow.

The course towards full membership in the EU and NATO remains the unwavering foreign policy priority of Ukraine – Volodymyr Zelenskyy — Official website of the President of Ukraine

The course towards full membership in the EU and NATO remains the unwavering foreign policy priority of Ukraine. It was stated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy during the joint briefing with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels. “The strategic course of Ukraine is aimed at full membership in the EU and NATO. This is enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine and remains our unwavering foreign policy priority,” the Head of State emphasized. Volodymyr Zelenskyy also emphasized that the movement of Ukraine to the high European standards of life and security was a requirement of Ukrainian society. “This is the goal of all our reforms – raising the living standards of Ukrainians, eliminating corruption and modernizing the entire state. This can only be done by providing national security,” the President said. He added that Ukraine was willing to fulfill the Minsk agreements. “However, first of all, we must be able to defend ourselves, to become stronger in economic, political and military sense,” he stressed. Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked for the political and practical support Ukraine receives from the North Atlantic Alliance and allies. “I want to give a new boost to our relations with the Alliance. Russia’s armed aggression remains a major challenge for Euro-Atlantic security. Stability and security in the Black Sea remains our common task, which requires additional efforts of the Alliance,” the Head of State emphasized. The President of Ukraine praised the decision of the allies to enhance the Black Sea security and help strengthen the capabilities of the Naval Forces of Ukraine. “We are hopeful to resume our regular dialogue in the framework of the Ukraine-NATO Commission at the level of heads of state and government, as well as ministers of defense and foreign affairs,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said. According to him, Ukraine expects the visit of the North Atlantic Council. “We will continue the European and Euro-Atlantic integration. We need all available mechanisms that will help us on this path,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed. For his part, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed that Ukraine was a reliable partner of the Alliance. “Ukraine is a valuable partner of NATO. You contribute to our missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo, even if you have problems at home. We carry out many exercises together. It shows Ukraine’s high commitment to national security,” Jens Stoltenberg said. He noted that during the meeting with Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the situation in the east Ukraine had been discussed, in particular, Russia’s attempt to give its passports to Ukrainian citizens. “The latest example of Russia’s attempt to destabilize the east Ukraine is a step in the wrong direction,” he said. Today, the Ukraine-NATO Commission will consider the security situation in Ukraine at its meeting. “I would like to hear your opinion. The conflict in the east Ukraine continues to take away lives. 13 thousand Ukrainian people were killed in battles. They deserve peace. I commend your commitment to resolve the conflict peacefully. NATO will support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. We will not recognize the illegal annexation. We condemn Russia’s aggressive actions in the Black Sea region,” the NATO Secretary General said. Jens Stoltenberg emphasized that the Alliance welcomed the decision of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, according to which Russia must release Ukrainian sailors and ships detained in November 2018. He reminded that in response to Russia’s aggressive actions, NATO had increased its military presence in the Black Sea region.

Zelensky’s speech at NATO Headquarters

Dear Secretary General, dear media representatives. I am grateful for the invitation to pay my first foreign visit to Brussels, and especially to NATO Headquarters. The strategic course of Ukraine [is] to achieve full-fledged membership in the EU and NATO we just secured in the Constitution of Ukraine remains unchanged. This is the priority of our foreign policy. Ukraine’s progress towards high European security and living standards

for the Ukrainian society. The goal to improve living standards of Ukrainians, root out corruption and modernize the state – it is possible to accomplish only by our national security. We’re ready to negotiate with Russia. We are ready to implement the Minsk agreements. However, we must first be able to protect ourselves and to become stronger – in economic, political and military terms. I am very grateful for political and practical support that Ukraine is receiving from the Alliance, as well as from individual allies. I’m eager to give [a] new impetus of our engagement in the Alliance. The ongoing armed Russian aggression remains a major challenge for Euratlantic security. Our common task is to ensure stability and security in the Black Sea region that requires [the] Alliance’s additional effort. We welcome two decisions endorsed by the Alliance in April in Washington – to strengthen the Black Sea security and to support the Ukrainian Navy. Ukraine, dear friends, is a unique partner of the Alliance in terms of intensity and variety of our interaction. We hope to renew our regular dialogue within the framework of the Ukraine-NATO commission at the level of heads of state and government, Defense and Foreign ministers. We look forward to welcoming the North Atlantic Council in Ukraine. We will keep the best of European and Euratlantic integration. We need all the existing mechanism[s] that will help us on this path, and any other that the Allies will be ready to offer. But at the moment we have to focus on our primary goal. The implementation of internal reform that will bring our country closer to NATO standards. Proper implementation of the law on national security is among my first tasks. By that, I mean the reform of the Security Service, reform of intelligence agencies, reform of defense industry, democratic civilian control over security and defense sector. Ukraine, which is stable, democratic and capable to defend itself is an integral part of the European security. I’m confident that our distinctive partnership with the Alliance will advance effectively. I hope that in the long run, we will be able to transform our partnership into a full-fledged Alliance. Thank you very much for your attention.

Stoltenberg: NATO to continue military support and cooperation with Ukraine

NATO will continue military support and cooperation with Ukraine. — Ukrinform.

Stoltenberg reminds Zelensky about reforms to bring Ukraine closer to NATO

NATO welcomes the intention of new President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky to look for a way to resolve the conflict in Donbas by peaceful democratic means and expresses willingness to continue to support Ukraine on the path of reforms. — Ukrinform.

Strategic direction of Ukraine to NATO remains unchanged, – Zelensky

The strategic direction of Ukraine on the membership to NATO remains unchanged. It is the priority of the foreign policy as 112 Ukraine reported citing President Volodymyr Zelensky in Brussels. “The strategic direction of Ukraine to get the full-fledged membership in NATO, it is evidenced in the Constitution, remains unchanged; it is a priority of our foreign policy. Ukraine aims to achieve high living standards of Ukrainians, root out corruption and modernize the state – it is possible to accomplish only by our national security. We’re ready to negotiate with Russia. We are ready to implement the Minsk agreements. However, we must first be able to protect ourselves and to become stronger – in economic, political and military terms. I’m eager to give new impetus of our engagement in the Alliance,” Zelensky noted. According to him, the key task is to provide the stability and security in the Black Sea region and it demands the additional efforts of the Alliance. Related: If Russia returns to PACE, Council of Europe to weaken and lose trust, – Klimkin In his turn, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg noted that Ukraine is a valuable partner for NATO. “Ukraine is a very valuable partner. You make a contribution in our missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo, even if you have issues at home. We hold a lot of drills together; it shows a strong commitment of Ukraine to the issue of the national security. We also discussed the situation in the east of Ukraine, including the attempts of Russia to provide the Russian passports to the Ukrainian citizens. It is the recent example of the attempt of Russia to destabilize Eastern Ukraine and it is a step in the wrong direction,” Stoltenberg stated.

Ukraine’s course for NATO remains unchanged – Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Ukraine’s strategic course for membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization remains unchanged. — Ukrinform.

Zelensky to NATO chief Stoltenberg: We are ready to negotiate with Russia – news politics | UNIAN

New Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says he is ready to negotiate a peace deal on Donbas, eastern Ukraine, with the Russian Federation and implement the Minsk peace agreements. The Ukrainian president says Russian aggression remains a major challenge to Euro-Atlantic security.

Zelensky calls for renewing dialogue within NATO-Ukraine Commission at all levels

Ukraine hopes to renew regular dialogue within the NATO-Ukraine Commission at all levels and invites the North Atlantic Council to hold a meeting in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky has said. — Ukrinform.

Zelensky: Course towards full membership of EU, NATO remains Ukraine’s priority – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says that the course towards full membership of the European Union and NATO remains Ukraine’s unwavering foreign policy. Ukrainian society demands high European standards of life and security.

Zelensky plans to put Ukraine’s joining NATO to referendum

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky plans to put the issue of Ukraine’s joining NATO to the all-Ukrainian referendum after the conduct of a broad information campaign. — Ukrinform.

President of European Commission about Zelensky: I have a new friend

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky met with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels. This was reported by the Ukrainian Presidential Administration on Twitter. “President Zelensky met with Jean-Claude Juncker to confirm the inalterability of the European and Euro-Atlantic course of Ukraine and to thank for the special role of the EU in holding off the Russian aggression,” the report said. According to Unian agency, broadcast of the start of the meeting between Juncker and Zelensky was held on the website of the European Commission. It is noted that when Zelensky and Junker shook hands, journalists asked Juncker if he missed the previous president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, his friend. “I have a new friend,” the president of European Commission said. “I am better. A new friend is better than an old one,” Zelensky added.

Zelensky, Juncker set date for Ukraine-EU summit – news politics | UNIAN

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky during a Tuesday’s meeting with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels expressed interest in holding the 21st EU-Ukraine Summit in Kyiv on July 8 this year. The Ukrainian president underscored the “immutable priorities set in the Constitution of Ukraine,” first of all, the strategic course of the state on acquiring full membership in the EU and NATO.

European integration guarantees Ukraine’s independence – Zelensky

European integration is a guarantee of Ukraine’s independence, welfare and economic growth. — Ukrinform.

Ukrainian, Polish presidents meet in Brussels

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has met with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda in Brussels, the Permanent Representation of Poland to the European Union has reported on Twitter. — Ukrinform.

Ukrainian, Polish presidents meet in Brussels. PHOTOS

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi has met with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda in Brussels. Censor.NET reports citing 24 Channel. Duda assured Zelenskyi of Poland’s unwaivering support for the pro-European course of Ukraine “I am happy today to shake hands with President Zelenskyi and start a new relationship for years to come. I hope that together we can do much for the common welfare of our peoples. I assure Mr. President that Poland constantly supports the pro-European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Ukraine. This issue is extremely important to us,” Duda said. He emphasized support for efforts to restore the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine within internationally recognized borders and liberate the occupied areas of the Donbas, which should logically lead to the de-occupation of Crimea. “Ukraine should be restored its natural borders. It is also very important to us,” Duda said. He noted that Ukraine is a good neighbor for Ukraine with which mutually beneficial and best relations are being built. According to him, many Ukrainian citizens now live in Poland, bilateral trade is developing well, and there is an opportunity to improve relations, because Ukraine is a big country with huge potential. “We also talked about important and difficult historical themes. I believe that a presidential team of experts, set up by the presidents of Poland and Ukraine, will be able to actively engage in studying the problems in our bilateral relations and restoring the spirit of truth. We hope for reconciliation and active cooperation between our countries. This is what also worries the president of Ukraine,” Duda said. He confirmed that Zelenskyi had accepted his invitation to come to Warsaw to mark another anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War. “I will be happy to welcome you to Warsaw and I want to congratulate you again on your election victory,” Duda added.

Ukraine and Poland to create success story together – Zelensky

Ukraine and Poland are developing a strategic partnership to create a success story in bilateral relations, as well as in the interests of the whole of Europe. — Ukrinform.

Zelenskyi reacts to escalation in Donbas, appeals to Putin

“I’d like to appeal to the leadership of the Russian Federation and the command of its occupation forces in Donbas. The escalation of the conflict is not the best background for resuming negotiations in Minsk. We don’t need to once again be reminded of the possibility of escalation of your aggression,” the Ukrainian president wrote on Facebook. Zelenskyi stressed, June 5, he would discuss with European colleagues an open demonstration by Russia of its aggression against Ukraine, while Ukraine’s delegation in Minsk will remind about the inadmissibility of attempts to hold dialogue with Ukraine from a position of strength. Source:

President Zelensky meets with EU representative Federica Mogherini

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky meets with Federica Mogherini High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, as President’s Administration reported on Twitter. At the meeting, Zelensky and Mogherini discussed plans concerning the reforms which settle the situation in Donbas. Besides, they talked about the imposition of restrictive measures against Russian officials suspected of issuing Russian passports to Donbas residents.

Zelensky to discuss in Brussels open demonstration of aggression escalation in Donbas by Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said intensified shelling of Ukrainian positions in Donbas during Tuesday and Wednesday night, as a result of which three Joint Forces Operation (JFO) fighters have been killed and another three wounded, is an open demonstration of the possibility of the conflict escalation by Russia, which will be the subject of discussion with European colleagues in Brussels. “Due to the intensified attacks of the JFO positions in Donbas, three Ukrainian servicemen have been killed and another three injured … I want to appeal to the leadership of the Russian Federation and the command of its occupying forces in Donbas. Aggravation of the conflict is not the best background for the resumption of negotiations [TCG] in Minsk. You do not need once again remind us of the possibility of escalating your aggression. Today we will discuss this with the European colleagues and the Ukrainian delegation in Minsk will remind you of the inadmissibility of attempts to conduct dialogue with us from a position of strength,” wrote Zelensky on Facebook on Wednesday morning. He also expressed condolences to the families of the killed Ukrainian soldiers and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded.

Strategic role of Ukraine’s gas transporting system should be defended, – Zelensky

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky thinks that it is necessary to defend the strategic role of the gas transporting system of Ukraine. Moreover, it is necessary to counteract Nord Stream 2 as Interfax-Ukraine reported. “One of the most important directions of our common interaction at the European level is the issue of the energy security, preservation of the role of the Ukrainian gas transporting system and counteraction Nord Stream 2,” Zelensky said. He also emphasized that importance of the interaction with Poland in issues of the energy security of Europe.

UAWire – Russia restricts supplies of diesel fuel and liquefied gas to Ukraine

Russia has imposed new restrictions against Ukraine from June 1, drastically reducing the supply of diesel fuel and liquefied gas to Ukraine. …

Limit of oil export from Russia not to influence Ukraine’s market critically

Representative of Ukraine’s President in the Cabinet of Ministers Andry Gerus assured that the limited export of the Russian oil product will not influence critically the state of Ukraine’s market. It has enough resources and there is enough time to find new sources of the supply as 112 Ukraine reported. “The beginning of June is surplus, in other words, there are enough resources on the market and June, from the point of view of the demand, it is not a peak month; we need to have prepared stock, when the harvesting will begin, in July-August. So, we have a few weeks, we need to prepare, diversify sources of the supplies of other sources. I think we will handle this situation,” Gerus commented.

“Finlandization” of Ukraine: Military expert names Russia’s main goal in Donbas war – news politics | UNIAN

For Russia, the war in the Donbas is a way to keep dealing with the issues related to its relation with the Western coalition, so Moscow does not intend to cease it, military expert Alexey Arestovich says. In his comment to Apostrophe, Arestovich has noted that Russia seeks to weaken Ukraine. “The process in political technologies is called ‘Finlandization’. That is, making [Ukraine] a dependent country with a weak army that would drop the idea of confrontation and, in the best case scenario, provide a guarantee of not joining the EU and NATO,” he said.

“Romanian threat”: Kremlin comes up with new scenario for Ukraine – OSINT expert – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian MP and coordinator of the Information Resistance OSINT Group Dmytro Tymchuk says a provocative video about the hypothetical seizure by Romania of Ukraine’s Chernivtsi region in 2022 is being actively spun by Russian propagandists, which may be part of the Kremlin’s plan to divert Ukrainians’ attention by creating a mythical “Romanian threat.” According to the OSINT expert, it makes no sense for official Bucharest, which earlier asked to strengthen NATO presence in the Black Sea to counter Russian aggression and condemned the actions of the Russian Federation in the Kerch Strait, to create a controversial video where Romania is shown acting just as aggressively as Russia, Fakty reports. “This is the idea of the Kremlin: to launder its image and divert Ukrainians’ attention to the mythical ‘Romanian threat.’ In addition, the Kremlin, as always, seeks to bring discord into the relations between Western countries supporting anti-Russian sanctions by ‘knocking out’ Romania from the ranks of the Western allies. A typical tactic of Russians – attempts to sow chaos and separation using information tools,” Tymchuk wrote on social networks. According to the expert, it is extremely important for Ukraine to analyze all Russian information attacks and each time let the Kremlin know that their plans will be harshly repulsed both by Ukraine and its international partners.

“Joke” suggesting Romanian-Ukrainian war: What stands behind it – news politics | UNIAN

A Facebook posting by Anatoly Matios, Chief Military Prosecutor of Ukraine, telling about an outrageous video where Romania is shown occupying part of Ukraine’s Chernivtsi and Odesa regions during a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, provoked a wave of information panic and, also, irony due to the unpredictability of Ukrainian officials’ moves. While top security officials were mulling a meeting to address the provocation, Chernivtsi journalists reached out to the man who created the clip. As it turned out, Dan Ionescu, a Bucharest-based science fiction writer, in an interview via Skype called his amateur video part of his new book on “alternative times”. He says he doesn’t support any territorial claims to Ukraine, instead backing Ukraine’s independence and inviolability of its borders. However, it is no secret that in Romania, there is a part of politicians and public figures who profess the ideology of “Romania Mare” (“Great Romania”), which envisages the return of Romania to the borders of 1940 (then the Soviet Union, under the secret protocol to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact , annexed Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina, which had been part of Romania after the First World War). These forces do raise this issue from time to time. However, neither the leading political parties in Romania nor the Romanian authorities share this position. As it turned out, Dan Ionescu, a Bucharest-based science fiction writer, in an interview via Skype called his amateur video part of his new book on “alternative times” In Chernivtsi region, the statements of the “Great Romania” supporters are carefully monitored and subjected to sharp criticism. Here, in turn, part of political forces not mind earning political dividends on the issue of “protecting the Ukrainian land from Romania’s attacks.” However, the very issue ends with the argument: “Romania is a NATO member, and therefore it cannot put forward territorial claims to neighbors.” And, moreover, “Romania is now an ally of Ukraine, which during the period of the political and military crisis of 2014-2015, was perhaps the first to provide diplomatic and political support to us.” Nevertheless, the Romanian authorities also sometimes make moves suggesting Bucharest’s actual interest in said territories. In the fall of last year, the National Bank of Romania introduced new numismatic commemorative coins on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the accession to Romania of Northern Bukovina and Bessarabia. The coins depict the image of the central building of Chernivtsi National University. However, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that “there are currently no territorial claims to Ukraine” in Romania, and at present, none of the influential Romanian political forces has the objective of reviewing the existing borders with our state. The position of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in the region raised some eyebrows – in fact, our government sought justification for Romania’s actions. “These days, the confrontation between the states less often involves a military component while more and more often envisaging what is called ‘soft power,’ which implies influence through such means as: culture or education. In the case of Romania, this is also about dual citizenship,” said Maksym Kyiak, a Chernivtsi-based political analyst. Regarding the provocative video, Ukrainian security forces should act more carefully, professionally, while keeping a low profile. After all, the “joke”, as the author called his amateur video, is far from being funny. What followed the said provocation was rather traditional for Ukraine. The military prosecutor raised the alarm via Facebook, calling for an urgent meeting of security officials, also on social networks. The de-facto new chief of the SBU, the security agency set to deal with such issues, responded through the media he would definitely attend such meeting. Meanwhile, the whole story boiled down to informational hysteria and PR attempts by certain Ukrainian officials on the issue of protecting Ukraine’s national interests. It is good though that the officials in Romania, whose diplomatic school is deemed one of the strongest and most professional ones in Eastern Europe, had enough wisdom and tactfulness not to raise any hype around the issue. However, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that “there are currently no territorial claims to Ukraine” in Romania, and at present, none of the influential Romanian political forces has the objective of reviewing the existing borders with our state As for the “joke”, it could have remained a “joke” had the problem not really exist. And it’s not so much the problem of a certain number of followers of “Great Romania” in Bucharest and their opponents in Chernivtsi region but as a somewhat different one. This problem is more serious. It’s deeper, older, and more systemic. Namely, it’s the efforts Russian intelligence and diplomats toward escalating Ukrainian-Romanian relations, especially in the context of the Romania’s consistent support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and anti-Russian sanctions over the illegal annexation of Crimea and the Donbas war. Attempts to undermine Romania’s clear position and to provoke confrontation with Ukraine have been made on a number of occasions. Therefore, this “joke” episode, most likely, is far from being the last one in the series. The arsenal of Russian intelligence services has not proved to be too impressive in terms of diversity. It includes informational provocations, statements by certain individuals about alleged “harassment of the Romanian community of Ukraine”, fake videos showing some obscure meetings discussing Romanian “autonomy” requirements, statements of marginal figures in Romania on the need to return to the borders of 1940, etc. Russian intelligence services do not lack performers for their tasks both in Romania and in Ukraine. And coordinating their activities is relatively easy and simple either through the so-called “KGB of the unrecognized Transnistrian Republic”, or through its half-criminal structures affiliated with it on the same territory. That’s for the “Russian ears” not to stick out too much. However, it is worth noting that it wasn’t yesterday when Russians started this work. In fact, it was launched far before the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian war in 2014. Russian intelligence services have been conducting a lengthy and systematic work on the destruction and exacerbation of Ukrainian-Romanian relations since the late 1990s. And judging by the more than restrained reaction of the Romanian side to the situation with the “language law”, neighbors have a clear understanding of who is interested in fueling the Ukrainian-Romanian confrontation. The same can’t be said about the Ukrainian side, unfortunately. In 2000-2010, the response to these developments remained at the level of amateur efforts by individual representatives of the Ukrainian intelligence services, who mere more inclined to the believe that Romania, even if it’s not interested in reviewing borders, has been dreaming of achieving the national-cultural autonomy of certain territories of Ukraine to ultimately strengthen their influence there. These conclusions (with a certain “evidence” base – mainly derived from newspapers and social networks) were reported to the government in Kyiv. Accordingly, intelligence chiefs and the top political leadership of Ukraine harbored a stereotype that Romania was either encroaching on our lands or trying hard to ignite ethnic conflicts in these areas. Russian intelligence services have been conducting a lengthy and systematic work on the destruction and exacerbation of Ukrainian-Romanian relations since the late 1990s It’s the effect of this very stereotype, multiplied by the local origin, that we saw in the reaction of military prosecutor Matios. This is the stereotype, created by Russian intelligence agencies and Ukrainian “fighters” with encroachment on our lands, that we’ve been observing after the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war, when it has already clearly become clear where the real enemy is, not the conditional military-political one. In this situation, provided that both sides, Ukrainians and Romanians, see the real threat, there should be some coordination of efforts and development of mechanisms and measures to confront it. However, we haven’t yet heard, and it is unlikely that in the near future we will, that Ukrainian and Romanian security officials have warned or exposed the actions of Russian agents, or simply “useful idiots,” aimed at the deterioration of relations between the two states and the incitement of the Ukrainian-Romanian confrontation. Instead, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine initiated criminal proceedings into the so-called “joke”. That is, Yuriy Lutsenko has joined the hype, hoping to earn some political dividends. How could he resist, really? Is he worse than Matios or what? Mykola Kobyliuk

Key US lawmakers want to give Ukraine anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles to counter Russia

WASHINGTON — The U.S. could send Ukraine anti-ship and anti-aircraft weapons to defend against Russia if a bill from the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Democratic chairman and top Republican becomes law. Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., joined Michael McCaul, R-Texas, to propose the bill Thursday. It would also ask the president to determine whether Ukraine should be a major non-NATO ally, condemn Russia’s detention of 24 Ukrainian sailors and urge Russia to implement the Minsk II peace agreement. “By continuing to provide security assistance to Ukraine that furthers its implementation of defense reforms and achievement of NATO interoperability, we can better equip our ally with sophisticated lethal weapons to defend itself and deter Russian aggression,” McCaul said in a statement Friday. “As the world’s lead defender of freedom, the United States must employ all tools necessary to protect our shared values.” The bill comes days after the Senate Armed Services Committee advanced separate legislation, the draft 2020 defense policy bill, that authorizes up to $300 million for security assistance to Ukraine, making $100 million available for lethal assistance and adding coastal defense and anti-ship missiles as eligible categories of security assistance. A U.N. maritime tribunal ruled Saturday that Russia must immediately release three Ukrainian naval vessels it captured in November and free the 24 sailors it detained. The confrontation in the Kerch Strait, which links the Sea of Azov with the Black Sea, marked a flashpoint in the simmering conflict over Russia’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. Russia seized Crimea in a move that Ukraine and most of the world view as illegal. The Kerch Strait separates Crimea from mainland Russia. The Trump administration in March cleared a sale to Ukraine for 210 Javelin anti-tank missiles and 37 launchers worth $47 million. The U.S. has also reportedly supplied Kiev with Model M107A1 Sniper Systems. Through a joint commission and training group, there’s been an array of international aid to Ukraine, which has included electronic warfare equipment, counter-artillery radars and two 110-foot coast guard cutters.

Great Britain to support Ukrainian army in deterring Russian aggression

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported this on Facebook on Tuesday. “On June 4, 2019, Chief of the General Staff – Сommander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Lieutenant General Ruslan Khomchak held a protocol meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to Ukraine Ms. Judith Gough. During the meeting, the sides discussed the spheres of further military cooperation between Ukraine and Great Britain, in particular, on further reformation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, preparation of Ukrainian units within the ORBITAL program and the intensification оf language training for officers of the senior staffs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” reads the report. Also, Lt. Gen. Ruslan Khomchak thanked Ms. Judith Gough for the help and support and stressed that the leaders of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be set to continue cooperation in previously established directions. In turn, Ms. Judith Gough assured that Great Britain supported and will continue to support Ukraine in deterring Russian aggression.

British Embassy calls on Russia to release all Ukrainian political prisoners

The British Embassy in Ukraine has called on Russia to stop human rights violations in illegally annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine and immediately release all Ukrainian political prisoners. — Ukrinform.

Kyiv Tells ICJ Russia Failed To Stop ‘Terrorism’ In Eastern Ukraine

Ukraine has argued before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that Russia has failed to prevent “terrorist acts” by the separatists Moscow is backing in the country’s east.

Ukraine Argues Case Against Russia in UN High Court

The costs of Putin’s passports offer to separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine | Euronews

Vladimir Putin’s controversial move to offer fast-tracked Russian passports to residents of separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine sparked outcry in Kyiv and other European capitals. What are the costs of such a move?

Changing Kerch Strait status: Expert explains how Ukraine could pave way for NATO warships – news politics | UNIAN

Ukraine should withdraw from the agreement with Russia on the Sea of Azov to ensure unhindered access to the area of any third countries’ ships, suggests head of the Center for Military Legal Studies, Oleksandr Musienko, who commented on the possibility of changing the legal status of the Kerch Strait by the Ukrainian government. “The first thing that had to be done was to denounce the agreement with Russia on the joint use of the Sea of Azov. Such ideas were proposed in the summer and autumn last year, in particular by the then President’s Envoy for Crimea Boris Babin,” Musienko told Obozrevatel. At the time, the initiatives found no support, the expert adds. Musienko recalled that at a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council October 12, 2018, a decision was made to submit to the Verkhovna Rada a bill on internal waters, the territorial sea, with the definition of coastal and median lines, and other draft laws as well. “After that, the cooperation agreement with the Russian Federation on the Sea of Azov was to be terminated. And, of course, the Kerch Strait would have been recognized as international. According to the norms of international law, the straits are free for passage by any ships, including those of third countries. This mustn’t be discriminatory , as it is now, where we have to coordinate with Russia which ships can sail to the Ukrainian ports,” he said. According to the expert, Ukrainian diplomats and lawyers need to do their work and be prepared for fierce resistance on the part of the Russian Federation. Then, Russia “will sooner or later be forced to make concessions and start executing such decisions.”

 

16 attacks by Russian proxies yesterday: two Ukrainian soldiers killed, another three got wounded

05.06.19 10:48 – 16 attacks by Russian proxies yesterday: two Ukrainian soldiers killed, another three got wounded June 4, the Russian occupying forces attacked JFO positions 16 times, using Minsk-proscribed weapons three times. View news.

Escalation in Donbas: 16 enemy attacks, two Ukrainian soldiers killed, three wounded

The armed formations of the Russian Federation violated ceasefire 16 times, using weapons banned under the Minsk agreements three times, in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in Donbas over the past day. — Ukrinform.

Kyiv Says Three Ukrainian Soldiers Killed, Three Wounded In Fighting In East

Ukraine says three of its soldiers have been killed and at least three others wounded in clashes with Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

ATGM hits Ukrainian supply truck: Two Ukrainian soldiers killed, one injured – news war | UNIAN

Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and another one was wounded in the zone of the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, as an anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) hit a supply truck. The GAZ-66 was transporting food to the troops.

Donbas war death toll rises as three Ukrainian soldiers killed in action Tuesday – news war | UNIAN

Russia’s hybrid military forces in the past 24 hours mounted 16 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, with three Ukrainian soldiers reported as killed in action and another three as wounded in action. Another three servicemen were injured, the report says.

Three Ukrainian servicemen killed, three wounded in east – LB.ua news portal

Three Ukrainian servicemen killed, three wounded in east. The number of separatist attacks reached 16. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Militants attack Donetsk mosque, blame Ukrainian servicemen for that

Militants attacked a mosque in Donetsk, and then they blamed Joint Forces Operation unit for that, as Joint Forces Operation HQ reported. “On June 4, 2019 under the information received from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, Russia’s armed formations in Donetsk region accused Armed Forces of Ukraine of shooting at Donetsk mosque,” the message reads. As it was reported, on June 4 no attacks at Ukraine’s positions from Donetsk were performed. Ukrainian units did not respond. It is noted that if one analyzes it, the direction of shooting and actual distance from the mosque to the nearest position of Ukraine’s Armed Forces which was 5,5 km, and maximal distance of shooting from 82mm mortar (4 km), including existing dispersion during shooting, one concludes that it is impossible to hit the dome of the mosque with four mines. “Considering insolence of the occupants, there are reasons to state that another shooting was planned in advance, when a lot of people were in the mosque. As a result, one can conclude that Russian occupational administration tried to discredit Ukraine’s Armed Forces before the people of Donbas and its Muslim part,” the HQ informed.

Ukraine’s First Lady visits soldiers undergoing rehabilitation in Brussels. Photos

President’s wife Olena Zelenska met with Ukrainian soldiers who undergo rehabilitation in the Queen Astrid Military Hospital in Brussels. — Ukrinform.

Meeting of Trilateral Contact Group begins in Minsk

A meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on the peaceful settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine has begun in Minsk, Belarus. — Ukrinform.

Lukashenko meets with Kuchma in Minsk

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has met with Ukraine’s representative in the Trilateral Contact Group Leonid Kuchma, BelTA informs. — Ukrinform.

Deputy JFO commander Bondar to attend TCG meeting instead of General Staff chief Khomchak by Zelensky’s decision

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has decided that the participation of Ruslan Khomchak, the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, at a meeting of the security group of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) to resolve the situation in Donbas, in Minsk on Wednesday, is not relevant now, the presidential press service of Ukraine has reported.

UAWire – Kyiv: 120 Ukrainian citizens held captive in Russian, LPR, and DPR prisons

The representative of the Department for Operations of President’s Commissioner on the issues of rehabilitation of combatants Natalia Zaretskaya …

Ukraine taking part in Saber Guardian 2019 exercise in Romania – news world | UNIAN

Ukrainian paratroopers have joined the multinational exercise Saber Guardian 2019, which kicked off in five locations in Romania on June 3. The activities planned during the exercise include staff tactical exercises and firing exercises, forced river crossing, and specific medical activities.

 

Ukrainian-Turkish anti-tank missile launching system SERDAR successfully tested

Joint Ukrainian-Turkish anti-tank missile launching system “SERDAR” was successfully tested and is ready for serial supplies. — Ukrinform.

AFU to buy 120 anti-ship missiles “Neptun”

The state order for anti-ship cruise missiles R-360, which are part of the rocket complex of LCD-360 “Neptun”, will be 120 units. This was announced by director of corporate rights and investment projects of PJSC “Motor Sich” Volodymyr Semenov during the round table at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry on May 29, Defense Express reported. Volodymyr Semyonov also added that Motor Sich produces the main engine for these missiles. ” That’s what the Neptune rocket created. Fine shot … State order (on rockets R-360) today 120 pieces Earlier it was reported that one missile R-360 costs almost a million dollars . Recall that the anti-ship missile system of coastal landing and coastal mobile terrestrial detection of surface targets in 2018 were allowed to operate in the Armed Forces of Ukraine for a special period.

 

Co-author of controversial New York Times Biden-Ukraine story is hired as Ukraine president’s spokesperson – CNN

The New York Times reported last month that Joe Biden was facing conflict of interest questions for his role as vice president in ousting a Ukrainian prosecutor. Now, a little more than one month later, it’s The Times that is facing conflict of interest questions for that very story and another.

The co-author of a bombshell NYT story about Joe Biden’s ties to Ukraine just became the Ukrainian president’s new spokesperson | Business Insider

The New York Times is standing by a bombshell story about former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s ties to Ukraine after one of the authors recently became the Ukrainian president’s spokesperson.

Giuliani: Dishonest Media Covering Up Biden Scandal in Ukraine; Bribery, Extortion | Video | RealClearPolitics

Thursday night on FNC’s “Hannity,” President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani talked about accusations of corruption and bribery related to Joe Biden and his son with the Ukrainian government. He blasted the media for not covering the story: “If Donald Trump Jr. got $1.5 billion from the Chinese, you don’t think we’d be going crazy?” GIULIANI: You want to answer why they didn’t cover the retraction, which basically says just what I said? Because they are dishonest, because they are corrupt, and the President is absolutely right. And the people who do that are the enemy of the people, because what they are doing is they are perpetuating a complete lie. HANNITY: They’ve done it for two years. GIULIANI: It’s the reason why they won’t cover Ukraine. If Donald Trump Jr. got $1.5 billion from the Chinese, you don’t think we’d be going crazy? HANNITY: And Donald Trump is father, in this case, Joe Biden the father? GIULIANI: Well, Biden’s kid got $1.5 billion from China for a start-up private equity fund, while the old man was giving us away to China. HANNITY: He was flying in Air Force too. GIULIANI: He flew the kid there. HANNITY: Flew the kid. GIULIANI: He flew the kid there. (CROSSTALK) HANNITY: By the way, he had no background in that field. GIULIANI: Oh he just been tossed out of the military for being a drug addict and they give $1.5 billion in China because of his expertise? Did they give it to him because Joe had caved into them on the islands, on tariffs, sold us out, so the kid could get $1.5 billion? We’re not covering that? HANNITY: In the Ukraine as well. GULIANI: And you tell me these people are honest? HANNITY: Let me ask you. GIULIANI: They are covering – trying to figure out if Donald Trump got a parking ticket 20 years ago and they don’t want to cover $1.5 billion? How about the $5 million from one of the most crooked people in the Ukraine, while Joe is doling out the money to the Ukraine? And then Joe bribes the President of the Ukraine. HANNITY: He says, you have six hours, fire the prosecutor that’s investigating his son, or I’m leaving with America’s money. GIULIANI: The money that would have the country go under. Remember, it wasn’t just $1.2 billion, as if that’s not a lot of money, they were going to default, if they didn’t get $1.2 billion. They were desperate. Poroshenko didn’t want to fire the guy. He was the godfather of the guy’s kid. He did it because he was extorted. That’s the crime, Joe, extorted. And by the way, when he took the money for Ukraine, we call that under our laws bribery. Bribery, not some ridiculous obstruction, where there is no underlying crime, and no active obstruction. Here, we got the money, we got the pressure, we got the result, we got the official action, offering money or withholding money for an official action is the classical common-law crime of bribery. HANNITY: You said the word– GIULIANI: And the dishonest press will not cover it. And that’s why when the President says they are dishonest, when he says they are corrupt, and even when he says they are the enemy of the people, those aren’t words – they are proving it.

The Mysterious Trump-Biden-NYT-Ukraine Connection, Not Explained – Mother Jones

The timeline here goes something like this: Trump wants Ukraine to re-open investigation into Joe Biden’s son. New York Times obligingly writes long, detailed story about Hunter Biden’s Ukraine adventures. Co-author of story turns out to be so close to the new Ukrainian president that one month later she is rewarded with a job as his spokesperson. I dunno. Maybe this is all coincidence. But it smells a little fishy, doesn’t it?

Rudy Giuliani Steps Up Biden Attacks With New Ukraine Conspiracy Theory

Amid mounting calls for Trump’s impeachment, Giuliani again pivots to Biden, claiming he ‘extorted’ and ‘bribed’ the Ukrainian president.

 

Facebook appoints public policy manager for Ukraine – news ukraine | UNIAN

Facebook has appointed Kateryna Kruk as Public Policy Manager for Ukraine. Facebook has never had a public policy manager for Ukraine.

Ukrainian Court to Rule on Legality of President’s Snap-Vote Bid – Bloomberg

Ukraine’s plan to hold early parliamentary elections next month was thrown into doubt over an attempt by a group of lawmakers to derail them and hold onto their seats for longer.

Zelenskyi Suggests Klimkin remain Foreign Affairs Minister

President Volodymyr Zelenskyi has suggest that Foreign Affairs Minister of Ukraine, Pavlo Klimkin, remain on his post. Censor.NET reports citing NV.ua. The President of Ukraine has said this in an interview for Snidanok 1+1. He called Klimkin a project diplomat and said that Klimkin had decided to become a politician. Zelenskyi assures he does not have any political plans with former president of Georgia / former chairperson of the Odesa Regional State Administration / leader of the New Forces Movement political party, Mikheil Saakashvili. Source: https://censor.net.ua/en/n3130651

Zelenskyi’s party receiving nearly half of vote in Rada election – survey

05.06.19 17:10 – Zelenskyi’s party receiving nearly half of vote in Rada election – survey Главным мотивов выбора политической силы 47% опрошенных назвали способность партии принести изменения в страну. View news.

President denies rumors about declaring default in Ukraine

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky assures that the information about alleged declaring a default in Ukraine is just a rumor that has nothing in common with his official stance. — Ukrinform.

Reports on possible default in Ukraine “rumors”: Zelensky – news economics | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has dismissed as “rumors” reports about a possible default in Ukraine.      The head of state assures he intends to protect the interests of the state and Ukrainian citizens in the PrivatBank case.

Klitschko offers Saakashvili to head UDAR – LB.ua news portal

Klitschko offers Saakashvili to head UDAR. Klitschko plans to continue as mayor of Kyiv. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

How Kolomoisky Does Business in the United States

On May 21, the nationalized Ukrainian PrivatBank filed a remarkable civil case against its prior owners Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov in the state court of Delaware. The three co-defendants are US citizens in Miami and nineteen anonymous companies. The defendants are accused “for hundreds of millions of dollars of damages arising in connection with claims for…unjust enrichment, for fraudulent transfer under state laws (including Delaware and Ohio), for violations of Ohio’s [Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations] statute, and for civil conspiracy” (p. 2). The most striking statement is “From 2006 through December 2016, the total movement of funds (credits) into the [ultimate beneficiary owners’] laundering at PrivatBank Cyprus was $470 billion, which amounts to approximately double the Gross Domestic Product of Cyprus during the same period” (p. 77). If this is true, this is the biggest case of money laundering in history, and it has been perpetrated by one single group. This is a civil suit, so PrivatBank’s investigators have provided all the materials. All the accusations, however, are of a criminal nature. PrivatBank investigators have done extraordinary detective work, and this is probably the most detailed study of large-scale money laundering into the United States that runs 104 pages, though it has not been proven in court yet. This case shows how money laundering from Ukraine to the United States allegedly takes place. Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov, both from Dnipro in eastern Ukraine, have been business partners since 1992. They established PrivatBank that accounted for one-fifth of Ukraine’s banking assets, but in December 2016 it was nationalized by the Ukrainian government, which alleged that the two co-owners had given 97 percent of its loans to themselves through various offshore companies, usually in Cyprus. The Ukrainian government took over the bank and recapitalized it with $5.5 billion.

Death of boy shot by police sparks protests across Ukraine, protesters demand minister’s resignation (Video, photo) – news ukraine | UNIAN

The death of a five-year-old boy who was shot dead reportedly by two police officers in Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky, Kyiv region, last week has sparked protests across Ukraine, demanding the punishment of the accused and Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov’s resignation. Minister Avakov and Chief of the National Police Serhiy Knyazev met with the killed boy’s mother, Tetiana Tliavova, and his grandmother.

Interior Minister has no intention to resign amid Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky shooting incident – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov says he does not intend to write a resignation letter following the murder of a five-year-old boy, Kyrylo Tliavov, by police officers in the city of Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky. The death of a five-year-old boy should not be the reason for a step-down of National Police chief either, Avakov believes.

‘Drunk Ukraine police’ accused of killing boy, five – BBC News

Investigators say two officers were drinking off duty and firing at cans when they hit the five-year-old.

Five people should be held responsible for boy’s murder – minister – LB.ua news portal

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has said that five people should be held responsible for the murder of five-year-boy Kyrylo Tlyavov in Pereyaslav-Khmelnytskyy, Kyiv Region. He told journalists there were four drunk people who were adjusting a rifle in the back yard, including two civilians and two policemen. “In my opinion, there should be five suspects in this murder [case]: four men, an investigation will show who made a shot… and a wiman who hid this rifle and thus assisted in covering up the crime,” Avakov said. Beore this incident, both suspected policemen were dismissed from service but managed to get reinstated by court. According to the minister, the Pereyaslav-Khmelnytskyy police had staffing problems. Five-year old Kyrylo Tlyavov died in a Kiev hospital from a gunshot wound to the head on 3 June. The boy was in a grave condition after he was wounded outside his house in Pereyaslav-Khmelnytskyy on 1 June. The two policemen suspected of the crime were detained and arrested for 60 days. The boy covered in blood was found by his family and rushed to hospital. He underwent a surgery and was transported to Kyiv. Doctors have been fighting for his life for two days but could not extract a bullet from his head.

Mykolaiv, Ukraine: A Former Secret City That’s Still Confidential

NOTE: This is the latest installment of Beast Travel’s series on underrated destinations, It’s Still a Big World. If you had arrived in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv before 1992, you would have been met at the outskirts by machine gun-wielding military police intent on preventing you from entering. That’s because this former Soviet secret city was a key center of military shipbuilding, producing the submarines, aircraft carriers, destroyers, and battleships at the heart of Soviet naval power. The city was completely off-limits, not just to foreigners, but even to the extended families of local residents. Today, the shipyards produce more rust than military vessels. While Mykolaiv’s pivotal role in building the sea power of the Russian Empire and the USSR is openly accessible in its museums and monuments, it has yet to be discovered by most travelers from the West. It imbues the city with a ghostly resonance, as if the spirits of another era are always prowling around the corner. But the city harbors another scintillating secret that’s hiding in plain sight: an unexpected diversity in language and culture. When you first arrive in this city, about two hours east of larger and better-known Odessa, everyone looks the same—white, Slavic, speaking the Russian language that’s ubiquitous in Ukraine’s south. But Mykolaiv is home to more than 130 ethnic and religious communities that have lived together peacefully for generations. How was this mosaic created? In the second half of the 18th century Catherine the Great offered settlers incentives to move to the region, and in 1789 Prince Grigory Potemkin established Mykolaiv as a center of military shipbuilding. Jews and Muslims arrived promptly to support the nascent industry, Koreans sought agricultural jobs, and Germans helped create a commercial port.

Ex-Trump campaign chairman Manafort may soon end up in Rikers Island jail: lawyer – Reuters

Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for U.S. President Donald Trump who is serving time in a federal prison, is expected to be arraigned soon in New York on state charges and could end up in the city’s Rikers Island jail, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

 

Putin’s Media Struggle to Deal With HBO’s Chernobyl – The Moscow Times

Opinion | The fact that an American, not a Russian, TV channel told the story about our own heroes is a source of shame for pro-Kremlin media. It seems every major Russian media outlet had to chime in about the “Chernobyl” TV series by HBO. Although the foreign program airs only online to paying viewers, the show has become something of a national sensation in Russia where the pro-Kremlin media have launched a mini-crusade against it. Komsomolskaya Pravda (KP), Russia’s most popular newspaper, raised suspicions that competitors of state-atomic center Rosatom were using the series to tarnish this country’s image as a nuclear power. Argumenty i Fakty, a newspaper popular among the elderly, dismissed the show as “a caricature and not the truth.” “The only things missing are the bears and accordions!” quipped Stanislav Natanzon, lead anchor of Rossia 24, one of the country’s main news channels. He pointed to shots showing modern storm windows on a building in Pripyat — that are only visible if you greatly enlarge the image — as evidence of shoddy filmmaking. However, critics of the series found fault with more than just minor details. “The scientist Valery Legasov not only led the government’s response to the Chernobyl disaster, he was also openly critical of its management of the nuclear industry.” In his show, the Rossia 24 anchor pointed out a major article published by KP, arguing that the HBO series was wrong to suggest that the Soviet authorities were afraid to admit their mistakes and that this reluctance led to terrible consequences. Legasov’s article in the country’s leading newspaper, the anchor says, proves this was not the case, undermining one of the main theses of the show. Unfortunately, however, state-controlled media often tries unmask one set of lies with the help of another. It is true that Legasov did write such an article for KP in 1987, but the editors didn’t like it and refused to publish the piece.

Plenty of Fantasy in HBO’s ‘Chernobyl,’ but the Truth Is Real – The New York Times

Ahead of the series finale, a science writer who has toured the site of the 1986 nuclear disaster weighs in.

How Chernobyl Diaster Is Still Affecting Ukraine | PEOPLE.com

The HBO miniseries about the 1986 crisis aired its finale Monday

‘A Powerful Depiction’: Chernobyl Workers Reflect On HBO Series

The HBO miniseries, Chernobyl, dramatizes the world’s worst civilian nuclear accident. But how realistic is its portrayal of the 1986 disaster? Former Chernobyl workers weigh in with their reviews.

‘The pain doesn’t fade’ The widow of a Chernobyl engineer remembers her husband and describes returning to work at the power plant after the 1986 nuclear accident — Meduza

In 1985, Anatoly Sitnikov became the deputy chief engineer charged with operating the first and second reactors at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. During the accident in April 1986, Sitnikov examined the power station’s exploded fourth reactor, receiving a lethal dose of radiation. He died several weeks later in Moscow. Sitnikov’s wife, Elvira, accompanied him to the capital, where she also cared for other ailing “liquidators.” She spoke to Meduza about her late husband, how first responders were treated after the accident, and why she ultimately went back to work at the Chernobyl power plant.

 

Ukrainian church row: Video proves Kyiv Patriarchate liquidated at Council – news ukraine | UNIAN

The Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) has released a fragment of the video of the historic Unification Council, which took place on December 15, 2018, to refute the claim earlier voiced by Honorable Patriarch Filaret regarding the alleged continued operations of the “Kyiv Patriarchate.” Filaret is seen signing the relevant document, which debunks his claims the Kyiv Patriarchate never ceased operating. The Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) has released a fragment of the video of the historic Unification Council, which took place on December 15, 2018, to refute the claim earlier voiced by Honorable Patriarch Filaret regarding the alleged continued operations of the “Kyiv Patriarchate.” The video posted on the OCU’s YouTube channel shows the moment of the liquidation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate. “Audio and video that refute the claim that ‘there was no such Council,'” captions to the clip say. During the Council, a motion was put forward to vote for the cessation of the UOC-KP activities by having it merge with and join the new Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Filaret is seen and heard replying: “Well, let’s do it.” All attendees but one supported the move. The only clergyman who spoke against the initiative said he opposed the liquidation of the church because he did not believe [ex-President Petro] Poroshenko. Patriarch Filaret put his signature in the document voted.

Ukraine’s Filaret actually signed decision on disbanding Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate

Honorary Patriarch of Ukraine Filaret actually approved the decision on disbanding the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate. The video of the event that took place in December 2018 has been published on the Ukrainian Church YouTube channel on June 4. In the video, one can hear Filaret agreeing to vote for dissolution of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate. When the majority of the church officials approved the decision, he was the first to have signed the document.

Yekaterinburg cathedral protester faces criminal charges for insulting a police officer — Meduza

Yekaterinburg resident Stanislav Melnichenko, who took part in mass protests in the city of Yekaterinburg to prevent a new cathedral from being built in a central square, has been charged with insulting a government representative. Investigators claim that Melnichenko “used explicit language publicly and in an indecent manner and demonstratively, openly performed offensive gestures” toward a police officer. Legal penalties for insulting the government online were introduced in Russia only this year, but penalties of up to 40,000 rubles ($613), 360 hours of mandatory labor, or one year of corrective volunteer work were already in place for publicly insulting an on-duty government representative. Melnichenko has already faced a 12,000-ruble ($184) administrative fine for his participation in the protests and signed an agreement not to leave Yekaterinburg.

The Dukhobors, Georgia’s Pacifist ‘Spirit Warriors’

In Georgia, members of a small Christian sect called the Dukhobors preserve the faith they brought with them from Russia in centuries past. Their forebears were persecuted and exiled for their unconventional beliefs and refusal to serve in the army.

 

Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘We are an Orthodox State Not Arabistan,’ Moscow Officials Say in Rejecting Calls for More Mosques

Paul Goble Staunton, June 4 – The 1993 Russian Constitution may specify that church and state are separate in that country, but Moscow officials repeatedly have explained their rejection of requests to build more mosques in Moscow by saying “we are an Orthodox state, Russia and not some sort of Arabistan.” Bakhrom Khamroyev, a human rights activist who assists Central Asian immigrants, says he has heard that refrain repeatedly over the years whenever he or others have requested that Moscow build more mosques given that the four now in the city are far from sufficient to handle the several million Muslims there (mbk-news.appspot.com/suzhet/ne-kakoj-to-arabistan-a-rossiya/). And such attitudes are widespread even though some officials like Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin have issued positive statements about the role of Muslims in the capital (vm.ru/news/654472.html) and have closed streets and opened 39 squares for public prayer (moscow.sm-news.ru/otkroyut-39-ploshhadok-dlya-molitvy-v-moskve-ogranichat-dvizhenie-po-sluchayu-uraza-bajram-9335/). The shortage of mosques in the Russian capital is always underlined by the massive crowds who come to pray at the end of Ramadan. The four mosques now operating hold no more than 20,000, but the number who want to pray with others this year as in the past exceeded more than a quarter of a million. Over the last half dozen years, the civil authorities have allowed Muslims to rebuilt the Cathedral Mosque in the capital and expand its capacity. But Khamroyev says this is not to make things easier for Muslims there but to offer a positive image of Russian policy to the Muslim world. “This in essence is a state mosque and in fact only for show.” “If the authorities really waned to help Muslims, then they would build many more mosques,” he says. Khamroyev suggests that in fact the authorities want the Muslim crowds to spill over into the streets so as to suggest to other residents that Muslims are “somehow disorderly and abnormal,” thus mobilizing them against Islam. Russian media have trumpeted the fact that a new mosque, the fifth in the capital, will open next year (islamnews.ru/news-muftij-sobyanin-razreshil-postroit-mechet-v-novoj-moskve). But in reality, it will only be part of “the inter-confessional religious complex” that Sobyanin has planned for “New Moscow” (mbk-news.appspot.com/suzhet/ne-kakoj-to-arabistan-a-rossiya/). The fact that there are only four mosques now and that new ones are being opposed by the authorities at every step is especially offensive to believers because there are now about 1,000 Russian Orthodox churches there – and the Moscow Patriarchate is pushing to open more almost every day.