Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (195)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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The Vozhd on arms control. Su-35S Med harassment incident persists in media. More on Russian GPS spoofing. Strange Turkish proposal on Patriot. US Amb Hoekstra chastises Dutch govt over Nordstream 2. Fifteen reports on Russia’s descent – some most interesting.

A new MH17 disclosure out of Russia that leaves Muscovy and Kuala Lumpur looking very foolish indeed.

Sixteen more reports on Ze’s visit to Brussels – and Sen Portman’s brief to the Senate. Ze did well on his first foreign trip – despite the controversy over his use of Poroshenko’s line – he would not have used it if he did not agree with it. More on Russia’s use of anti-Semitism to cause mayhem in Ukraine. The descent of Transnistria.

A debate breaks out over some well meaning but misguided policy initiatives on Donbas. Donbas update. Parliament passes bill mandating adoption of NATO standards for military and industry. A two part review of Ukraine’s space industry.

In politics, a survey shows up to one third of Ukrainians are still not convinced Russia attacked Ukraine, pro NATO numbers increase. Parliament refused to accept resignations of FM Klimkin, DEFMIN Poltorak and SBU Head Hrytsak – likely all will remain in office until after the election. Handziuk killers get light sentences, likely to create an major upheaval. Economics update.Russia plays one-up-manship games over Vatican.

Putin Says Russia Prepared to Drop Arms Control Treaty

There is uncertainty over the fate of two U.S.-Russia arms-control treaties, including New START, the only bilateral pact limiting deployed strategic nuclear weapons

Russian Intercept over Mediterranean Sea > U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa / U.S. 6th Fleet > News

On June 4, 2019, a U.S. P-8A Poseidon aircraft flying in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea was intercepted by a Russian SU-35 three times over the course of 175 minutes. The first and third interaction were deemed safe. The second interaction was determined to be unsafe due to the SU-35 conducting a high speed pass directly in front of the mission aircraft, which put our pilots and crew at risk. The crew of the P-8A reported wake turbulence following the second interaction. The duration of the intercept was approximately 28 minutes. While the Russian aircraft was operating in international airspace, this interaction was irresponsible. We expect them to behave within international standards set to ensure safety and to prevent incidents, including the 1972 Agreement for the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas (INCSEA). Unsafe actions‎ increase the risk of miscalculation and potential for midair collisions. The U.S. aircraft was operating consistent with international law and did not provoke this Russian activity.

Russian SU-35 fighter jets: 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 put US airmen at risk with an ‘irresponsible’ intercept over the Mediterranean Sea, US Navy says | Business Insider

A Russian fighter jeopardized the safety of the airmen aboard a US Navy surveillance plane during an “unsafe” intercept over the Mediterranean Sea late Tuesday, 6th Fleet said in a statement.

What’s up with a Russian jet buzzing a Navy patrol plane again?

The latest incident occurred in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea, 6th Fleet announced.

Did Russia spoof coastal GPS to protect Putin from drones?

Multiple spoofing incidents showed ships unusually close to airports.

UAWire – Ankara: Turkey is ready to purchase US Patriot system after acquiring S-400 systems from Russia

Russia offered Turkey a better deal for the sale of its anti-missile systems than the United States, said Turkish leader Redep Tayyip Erdogan. “There can be no talk of Turkey withdrawing from its deal with Moscow. We are in agreement, we are determined,” the newspaper Haberturk quoted Erdogan saying. He added that Turkey would be ready to purchase US Patriots if the United States was able to offer a deal as lucrative as the one offered by the Russian Federation. According to Reuters, Turkey’s deal to acquire Russian S-400s has long been troubling Washington and its other western NATO allies. They claim that the Russian system is incompatible with the Alliance’s defense system and poses a threat to the US F-35 fighter jets that Turkey is also planning to buy. On May 22, the US government gave Turkey a choice between the Russian missile defense systems or the American aircraft. The ultimatum will expire soon. However, according to a representative from Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “at the official level, there have been no discussions on the topic.” The ministry added that in March the United States renewed the deal to supply the Patriot missile systems, but the terms of the deal did not suit Ankara.

REFILE-U.S. disappointed by Dutch role in Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline -ambassador – Reuters

(Trims part of quote in paragraph 6)

As Russia’s Premier Investment Forum Opens, The Kremlin Faces A Tougher Sell

It’s Russia’s biggest, oldest, and arguably best-known gathering for global investors, a conference in Vladimir Putin’s hometown aimed at selling the world on investing in the world’s large…

St. Petersburg Economic Forum Opens Amid Worrying Signs For Russia’s Economy

The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum opens in Russia’s second-largest city on June 6, with President Vladimir Putin, Chinese leader Xi Jinping, and several other leaders scheduled to a…

Russia’s Former Finance Minister Links Cash Outflow Increase With American Investor’s Arrest

Aleksei Kudrin, Russia’s former finance minister and a close confidant of President Vladimir Putin, says tens of billions of dollars in cash outflows from the country can be traced to the arrest of…

UAWire – Chinese investors flee Russia

China is continuing to reduce its investments in Russia, despite Russian officials’ attempts to bring the country’s economic policy back to the East, reports. By the end of 2018, China’s total direct investments in Russia had fallen by 24%, from $3.59 billion to $2.62 billion, according to statistics published by the Bank of Russia on 30 May. Over the year, Chinese investors withdrew another $969 million from the real sector of the economy. 80% of this amount, $774 million, resulted from the wrapping up of joint enterprises: Chinese investors’ involvement in the capital of Russian companies dropped by 40%, from $1.93 billion to $1.16 billion. The remaining $195 million was withdrawn from debt instruments. The flight of Chinese capital began in April, when the US hit Rusal with sanctions, and continued relentlessly each quarter, the Bank of Russia’s data shows. In the second quarter, Chinese investments dropped from $3.58 billion to $3.13 billion, to $2.87 billion in the third, and by another $245 million by the end of the year. As a result, on 1 January the total was just over half of what it had been before the annexation of Crimea ($4.54 billion). The Kremlin is gradually being forced to acknowledge that switching its economic policy to the East has reached an impasse, and that contrary to its expectations, China will not become a source of long-term, cheap money for Russia. “It cannot be said that China is investing a lot in the Russian economy,” admitted Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov in an interview with RT on 3 June. China has de facto joined the sanctions imposed on Russia by Washington. “Not one country is free in its movements and decisions. Each government has to balance and adjust its activity in the economic area, because we are all dependent on each other. In this area – yes, of course, in our bilateral relations (with China), we feel the effect of American sanctions,” lamented Peskov (as cited by TASS). Not a single project offered to Chinese investors has been accepted. China declined to finance the Power of Siberia gas pipeline, giving Gazprom the opportunity to pay $9 billion out of its own pocket for the megaproject. China also declared the Beijing-Moscow high-speed railway project unprofitable, crushing Russian officials’ hopes to include it in the new Silk Road. The Chinese government was also unwilling to invest in the construction of a large gas refinery in the Amur province in the Russian Far East. Three years of negotiations to “de-dollarize” reciprocal trade have been fruitless: China has refused to sign even a framework intergovernmental agreement to abandon the dollar. Peskov says that the Kremlin will continue to hope that “with time” the Chinese investments will increase. However, “under conditions of persisting sanctions, deterioration of Russia’s investment image, which is also influenced by the arrest of Michael Calvey, significant growth of direct investments in the Russian economy still appears unlikely,” wrote experts from RANEPA in the June edition of its “Monitoring” report. In 2018, the Central Bank of Russia recorded an all-time record outflow of investments from Russian companies’ capital ($6.46 billion).

China’s Huawei to develop 5G with Russia’s MTS

BEIJING — Huawei Technologies has signed an agreement with the Russian telecom company MTS to develop next-generation “5G” networks.

Huawei: Russia asks embattled Chinese company to build its 5G network – CNN

Embattled Chinese tech company Huawei has struck a deal to build Russia’s first 5G wireless network.

UAWire – Putin will be able to monitor Russia from space in real-time

Russian President Vladimir Putin will be able to use the “Gosudaryevo Oko” (Sovereign’s Eye) space monitoring system to see in real-time “what is really going on with construction sites, facilities, people, sowing and roads” in the provincial regions, announced Dmitry Rogozin, director of the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, which is developing the system. “The president will have complete access to this system. I think that when contacting the regional governments, this data can be used when the regions are giving reports, but the president has the ability to instantly see everything in real-time. What is really going on with construction sites, facilities, people, sowing, roads and much, much more,” Interfax cites Rogozin as saying. The head of Roscosmos referred to the Sovereign’s Eye system as “good sight, which penetrates all the government infrastructure”. The cabinet of ministers should also have access to the systems. In January, Rogozin announced that Roscosmos would be realizing the Sovereign’s Eye project. At the time, he explained that the system would make it possible to see the dynamic changes of any processes on earth through satellite images. He noted that such a system would also be of interest to the Ministry of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM). “For example, fires – in the interests of EMERCOM – through thick smoke we can bring firefighting aircraft to an area of 25 square meters. So, go find the epicenter of the fire, everything can be seen from space,” he said. It will also be possible to monitor the condition of arable lands using the system. In May, Roscosmos spokesperson Vladimir Ustimenko said that Sovereign’s Eye is in the initial stage of implementation, and has not yet been assigned to a specific department.

Russian censorship agency threatens to block VPN services ‘within a month’ if they do not comply with its website blacklist — Meduza

Roskomnadzor head Alexander Zharov said in an interview with Interfax that nine VPN services may be blocked on Russian territory “within a month” if they do not comply with the federal censorship agency’s demands. Roskomnadzor contacted each of the VPN providers in question at the end of March 2019 to demand that they subscribe to its registry of banned websites within 30 business days. Only one, Kaspersky Secure Connection, has complied, Zharov said.

Putin’s Spies Want to Know What Russians Do on Yandex and Tinder – Bloomberg

Russia’s largest internet company, Yandex NV, pushed back against government demands to turn over encryption keys that would allow the security services to monitor users’ private data.

Ex-Associate Of Jailed Russian Scientist Charged With Treason Arrested

Authorities in Russia have arrested the former associate of a researcher at a Russian rocket- and spacecraft-design institute who had been in detention for almost a year on treason charges, his son…

Four men reportedly arrested, following murder of former Russian military intelligence officer — Meduza

Federal investigators in Russia have arrested another two suspects in a mass brawl outside Moscow that claimed the life of Military Intelligence Directorate veteran Nikita Belyankin. According to officials, one of the two men is responsible for inflicting the fatal blow.

Russian space agency tightens regulations for foreign travel following high-ranked employee’s permanent ‘business trip’ to Europe — Meduza

Roscosmos director Dmitry Rogozin has released an order enacting stricter regulations for employees of the state-owned corporation who travel abroad, RIA Novosti reported.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Ordered Publication of Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact to Show Boldness and Sow Discord in West, Eggert Says

Paul Goble Staunton, June 5 – Vladimir Putin ordered the publication of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact this year to “whitewash Stalin’s policies” so as to “troll” Western public opinion in the year of “the tragic anniversary of the beginning of the war unleashed by Hitler with Stalin’s support,” according to Konstantin Eggert. Unlike in the last “round” anniversaries of 1939, the Russian commentator continues, the Kremlin leader feels he has nothing to lose because comparisons between his aggressive and repressive policies with those of Stalin have become “practically a commonplace” across Europe (комментарий-пакт-молотова-риббентропа-факт-признанный-москвой/a-49049863). Unlike his post-Stalin predecessors who felt that the less said about such things the better, Putin has acted in his own characteristic way: “You say that we did this! We respond without reservation: yes, we did. We divided Europe with Hitler and we will continue to call black white when this is in our interests. And if need be, we will repeat what we have done.” “Be afraid, be very afraid.” With the publication of the facsimiles of the pact and its secret protocols, Eggert argues, “the Russian leadership has asserted for both internal and external consumption a new version of the history of a key event of the 20th century, significantly more radical than the version of the Khrushchev-Brezhnev ‘collective leadership.’” From the death of Stalin until perestroika, the Soviet leadership denied that there had been any secret protocols. Molotov went to his grave denying them. But gradually after the late 1980s, the fact of them proved too difficult to deny, and Moscow fell back on saying that if they existed, it couldn’t find them in the archives. Now, 30 years later, “a pseudo-research center financed by the Kremlin, the Institute for Foreign Policy Research and Initiatives” suddenly came up with them and published them. That couldn’t have happened with Putin’s clearance, and he certainly was pleased with the defense of what Stalin had done in 1939 as a forced measure that his critics had done even worse. In contrast to the late Soviet version which essentially was based on the principle “’the less said, the better,’ the new Putin version which now will be made official and obligatory presupposes pride for the wide Stalin, hatred for Western democracies … and the assertion of the right of the strong regarding neighboring countries.” “All this is not so much about the past as about the present,” Eggert continues. In Putin’s mind, there are precise analogues to the foreign governments Stalin had to deal with. The US and NATO are the “’hypocritical’ Chamberlains,” and the Baltic countries, Poland and Ukraine are the “Russophobic” threat, one that can only be dealt with by military means. When the news came that the secret protocol had been published, Eggert says, he called his friend, British historian Roger Moorhouse, the author of the most complete history of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, The Devils Alliance: Hitler’s Pact with Stalin, 1939-1941 (London, 2016). “On the one hand, this is a good thing,” Moorhouse said; “but on the other, Russia following the USSR continues to deny the obvious. It is still afraid of looking at its own history with clear eyes.” Eggert says that the situation is even worse: Putin and his people in the Kremlin “think that they are speaking the truth.” “They very much want to ‘repeat’ all this. The question now is will they take the risk?”

‘This isn’t a panic — it’s a catastrophe’ As Saratov Region runs out of insulin, ‘Meduza’ discovers medicine shortages all over Russia — Meduza

On May 21, a photograph appeared on the Russian social media site VKontakte in a group called “Typical Saratov.” It depicted a long line in one of the city’s major hospitals: diabetes patients had been waiting for several hours to receive insulin, and the photographer himself said he was forced to go to a private clinic to purchase the lifesaving drug. The photograph’s caption pleaded, “Saratov is tolerating disaster. How many more diabetics will die?” A year earlier, a nonprofit organization that provided aid to people with diabetes closed in Saratov after it was declared a “foreign agent.” Then, local diabetes patients began facing obstacles to insulin access thanks to new Health Ministry regulations. Meduza discovered that not only Saratov but a range of Russian cities are currently “tolerating disaster” when it comes to insulin access.

Long Under Attack, A Russian History-Essay Contest Now Draws Scrutiny From FSB

The essay competition run by one of Russia’s oldest and best-known rights organizations has been attacked by nationalists and pro-Kremlin politicians for years. Now it’s drawing scrutiny from the s…

Official records reveal that 170 Russian soldiers were deployed at the Ukrainian border on the day MH17 was shot down — Meduza

More than 170 soldiers from Russia’s 53rd Air Defense Missile Brigade, which was based near Kursk, were located near the Ukrainian border on July 17, 2014, the day Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down outside Donetsk, according to unclassified Russian Defense Ministry documents obtained by the newspaper Novaya Gazeta.

Russian air defense units officially deployed at border with eastern Ukraine on day of MH17 crash  – Russian media – news war | UNIAN

A batch of documents has been published showing that more than 170 servicemen of Russia’s air defense units were deployed near the border with Ukraine in Rostov region on the day when a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet flight MH17 was shot down with a Buk missile, with all 298 passengers and crew being killed in the crash. Another piece of evidence has surfaced pointing at signs of Russian army’s involvement in the tragedy. A batch of documents has been published showing that more than 170 servicemen of Russia’s air defense units were deployed near the border with Ukraine in Rostov region on the day when a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet flight MH17 was shot down with a Buk missile, with all 298 passengers and crew being killed in the crash. A Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta got hold of unclassified documents on providing safety on public roads during the deployment of Russian troops in June 2014. Also at the journalists’ disposal are extracts from army orders on food provision for said personnel, including field rations. “Documents show that more than 170 servicemen of Russian air defense units were near the border [with Ukraine] in Rostov region on the day when flight MH17 was attacked from the Buk air defense system. And on July 15, two days before the Boeing tragedy, they received 5-day field rations,” the newspaper writes. The International Investigation Team (JIT), which is probing the tragedy, concluded that Boeing was attacked from the Buk launcher, which was in possession of pro-Russian militants in Donbas. The launcher, investigation says, was transferred from the Russian territory and belonged to the 53rd Air Defense Brigade (military unit 32406) based near Kursk. JIT experts researched witnessed testimony and amateur photos and videos shot on June 23-25, 2014, namely, those showing the movement of convoys of Russian military equipment on public roads in proximity to Russia’s western border. On the footage, the “Buk” missile launcher is seen with a partially readable registration number 332.

Soon we will hear the news, – Zerkal about the investigation of the tragedy of the Boeing MH 17 | Цензор.НЕТ

New evidence made public in the media about Russia’s involvement in knocking out a Malaysian Boeing in the Donbas, in particular, data on the movement of the Buk missile system, is indeed in the case, which is conducted by an international investigation team. According to Tsenzor.NET, this was stated by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for European Integration Elena Zerkal, reports Ukrinform. “I think that for open access this is new information. It really was already in the case that investigators here in the Netherlands are doing as part of the investigation into the case of the shooting down of the Boeing. This is very useful work that journalists have done because only open sources can now be used while there is an investigation, while there is no trial. At the same time, I think that we will soon hear the news from the Joint Investigation Team, “said Zerkal. Read on “Tsenzor.NET”: Before the date of the shooting down of the Malaysian Boeing MN17, 170 Russian rocket soldiers received dry rations for 5 days and were near the border with Ukraine – an investigation by Novaya Gazeta Earlier, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands said that in the near future, Russia would sit down at the negotiating table on the issue of recognizing responsibility for the 2014 MH17 crash on Boeing. Recall, the Malaysian Airlines Boeing-777 aircraft, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down on July 17, 2014 in the area of ​​Torez (Donetsk region). As a result, 298 people died. “Censor.NET” has repeatedly reported on the progress of the investigation into the causes of the crash of the Boeing flight MN17, and also released exclusive photos of the hangar and photographs of the striking elements “Buk-M1-2” that appear in the materials of the criminal case. Prosecutors of the Netherlands and Australia have prepared an evidence base. In particular, it was found that the striking elements that hit the Boeing coincide exactly with the stuffing of the warhead of the latest Russian anti-aircraft missile Buk-M1-2. The Buk-M1-2 complex was developed in 1997, put into service with the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in 1998, and was never delivered to Ukraine. Also, independent experts from Germany, England and Poland studied fragments of debris and made up their own opinion: these are parts of the Russian Buk missile. Modern chemical examination absolutely accurately established the composition of the metal, found particles of the plating material and glass of the deceased liner, who pierced these elements before hitting people. In November 2015, President Petro Poroshenko during his visit to the Netherlands said that Ukraine is using the membership in the UN Security Council in investigating the tragedy of the Boeing flight MN17. In May 2016, the Australian law firm LHD filed a lawsuit against Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on behalf of the relatives of the victims of the Boeing “Malaysian Airlines” flight MH17, shot down on July 17, 2014 over the eastern territories not controlled by Ukraine parts of the country. The lawsuit, in which the Russian Federation and Vladimir Putin are indicated as a defendant and which demands compensation in the amount of $ 10 million for each passenger, was filed on May 9. Last fall, the International Investigation Team (JIT) presented the findings according to which the Malaysian Boeing was hit by a ground-to-air missile from the Buk installation, firing from the Donbass town area of ​​Snezhnoye (at that time was under the control of the “DPR”). The investigation team is represented by five countries: Malaysia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, Ukraine. Russia refused to participate in a joint investigation of the group. On May 24, the International Joint Investigation Group informed that the aircraft of flight MH17 over the occupied territory of Donbass on July 17, 2014 was shot down by the Buk anti-aircraft missile system, which belongs to the 53rd air defense missile brigade of the Russian Armed Forces from Kursk.

Western officials say new Ukrainian president poses threat to Putin

A political newcomer whose anti-corruption pledges won him the presidency of Ukraine in a landslide could weaken Russian President Vladimir Putin, Western officials say. Both Russia and Ukraine have been dominated by wealthy oligarchs since the collapse of the Soviet Union. If newly-minted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy can corral the tycoons, the officials believe, it would embarrass Putin and pressure him to allow reforms in his own country. “If he shows progress, Russian citizens would demand for their own government to change,” a European diplomat, speaking on the condition of anonymity, predicted to the Washington Examiner. An American official was even more emphatic. “I think he is an existential threat to the Putin regime,” the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly, concurred. The Trump administration is positioning itself to help Zelenskiy, a 41 year-old former comedian and actor who won the April elections with 73% of the vote. Trump signed a letter inviting him to Washington for a state visit last week, just days after his inauguration. The former actor and comedian has stoked misgivings by hiring advisers who could be a bad influence on his anti-corruption agenda, but the Trump administration sees his presidency as an opening to blunt Russian efforts to dominate Ukraine. “The future of Ukraine over the next five years is going to be determined in the next three months,” Special Representative Kurt Volker, the State Department’s point man for the crisis in Ukraine, told the Washington Examiner. The coming weeks are so crucial because Zelenskiy has sky-high popularity, but the legislature is dominated by his rivals. And, Western officials are troubled that he has at least one major oligarch friend. Zelenskiy has tapped a lawyer associated with Ihor Kolomoisky — the internationally-disdained founder of a bank that was nationalized in 2016 after receiving a multibillion-dollar bailout amid allegations of fraud and mismanagement — as his chief of staff. On the other hand, Kolomoisky also bankrolled a private militia that blunted Russia’s territorial gains in 2014, and backed Zelenskiy’s campaign. But the relationship feeds into skepticism that Zelenskiy will provide the kind of return on investment that Trump will seek from a political partnership. “Is the U.S. going to ratchet up its support for Zelenskiy or not?” asked Donald Jensen, a senior adjunct fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis. “It depends on the extent to which Zelenskiy can convince the administration that he’s aggressively pushing economic reform.” Zelenskiy is trying to assure the European Union and the United States that he has a sincere intention of reforming Ukraine and that Western powers have a stake in his success. “Ukraine in the EU is the death of the Russian imperial project,” he said Wednesday. “Moreover, it is a powerful blow against Russian authoritarianism, it is the path to democratic change in Russia and the whole post-Soviet space.” Russia annexed Crimea and invaded eastern Ukraine with unmarked forces in 2014 in an effort to stop the former Soviet vassal state from strengthening relations with the European Union. The conflict sent U.S.-Russian relations into a nosedive. A pair of cease-fire agreements provided only partial relief from the fighting, which Russia still portrays as an internal civil war. Zelenskiy campaigned on ending the war, but Putin responded to Zelenskiy’s win by offering Russian passports to Ukrainians who live in territory controlled by Moscow, maintaining that the two countries are “one people” and ought to have “common citizenship.” In fact, Ukrainian public opinion has turned sharply against Russia since the war began. But the historic affinity between the two societies is a key part of the reason that reform in Ukraine could be so troublesome for Putin. “This is another model for the Slavic world,” said the other U.S. official, who was not authorized to speak publicly. “If they can reform in Ukraine, people are going to be like, ‘why can’t we do that?’” Volker is doing what he can to stir the pot. He has touted publicly the idea of having the Ukrainian government work with the European Union to implement antitrust legislation that would pressure the oligarchs to relinquish control of major industries for amnesty from prosecution and a financial clean bill of health. “If you want to fix corruption, fix the oligarchic system so that you reintroduce competition across the entire economy,” Volker said. The Trump administration isn’t insisting on that specific idea, however, and Zelenskiy will have to gauge what kind of reforms he can call for during the elections. Jensen thinks that he’s “probably not” capable of winning a legislative majority without logistical help from his oligarch friend, and Ukraine has no shortage of other power brokers likely to see the parliamentary elections as an opportunity to advance their interests. “There are influences behind the scenes with lots of money that are very important,” Volker observed. “And it’s not only Kolomoisky, by the way. He’s got lots of people who will try to do this. And, he’s got to be the one to try to fight against that and be as successful as he can be.”

On Senate Floor, Portman Discusses Meeting with Newly-Elected Ukraine President Zelensky | Senator Rob Portman

WASHINGTON, DC – Today on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), the co-founder and co-chairman of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, discussed his recent visit to Ukraine to meet with newly-elected Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Ruslan Khomchak. Portman pledged continued support from the U.S. Senate for Ukraine’s self-determination, democracy, and freedom from Russian aggression while encouraging them to continue the anti-corruption efforts and structural reforms of the economy and the military. A transcript of his remarks can be found below and a video can be found here: “I would like to spend a few minutes talking about an important trip I took last week. After honoring our fallen soldiers here at home in Central Ohio, I traveled to Ukraine, where I had a meeting scheduled with Ukraine’s new President, Zelensky. On my way there, I stopped in London for trade meetings and briefings by the Ambassador and our excellent U.S. embassy personnel there. “I was very eager to meet President Zelensky. First of all, along with colleagues on both sides of the aisle, I have been a longtime supporter of Ukraine’s quest for self-determination, democracy, and freedom from Russian aggression. As co-chair and co-founder of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, along with my colleague, Dick Durbin from Illinois, I have been proud to take the lead since the Revolution of Dignity in 2014 in giving Ukrainians the lethal and non-lethal aid they need to defend themselves from aggression in Crimea and the Donbas region. “Second, I share the enthusiasm for Ukraine that is held by so many of my constituents, friends of mine, particularly in Cleveland and that area, who are proud members of the Ukrainian diaspora. “Third, I was very impressed with President Zelensky’s election victory, in part because he received a remarkable 73 percent of the vote. I also thought that his focus on reform and change was important for the country. I wanted to meet him and learn more about how and why his appeals for unity largely succeeded. “Fourth, I wanted to hear more about his plans to fight the aggression from Russia on his eastern border, fight corruption at home, and put in place the reforms that will make his country stronger. “Finally, I wanted to tell him we are with him. The United States stands by Ukraine. And our ties between our two countries can even deepen further. We want to help Ukraine succeed in this historic moment. “I can report to my colleagues that I come away from the meeting with President Zelensky impressed. I was encouraged. We talked for about an hour and covered a broad range of topics. He is smart, engaging, and determined. “We had a good discussion about Russian aggression in Crimea and in the Donbas region. President Zelensky has been out to the contact line, which is where the fighting is occurring. I was there last year. There is a real war going on – 13,000 people have been killed on the eastern border of Ukraine on that contact line. He spoke frankly about the bravery of his troops but also about their needs, in terms of weapons systems and basic conditions. We talked about Russian propaganda along the eastern border and efforts to jam Ukrainian TV signals to sow the seeds for dissension for the people of the Donbas region. We talked about some ideas that would help counter that propaganda, the jamming, and the disinformation, and I have already been in touch with the State Department about those ideas. “We also talked about the 24 Ukrainian sailors captured by the Russians last November 25th in the Kerch Strait in the Azov Sea. At that time, President Trump rightly refused to meet with President Putin at the G20 summit in Argentina until those sailors were freed. President Zelensky and I talked about how to keep the pressure on Moscow to do the right thing. I gave President Zelensky my commitment to do everything in our power here in the United States Senate to keep these 24 sailors front and center until the crisis is resolved. Recently, the United Nations issued a statement about these sailors, saying that they should be sent back to Ukraine, that their taking was wrong. “I told President Zelensky that he is now the face of reform in Ukraine and indeed for those of us watching around the world. He acknowledged that with a smile and said, ‘I know.’ He said that his commitment to reform is real, but he also had no illusions about how hard reform will be, and I am very hopeful he will have the continued courage to see it through, whether we are talking about fighting corruption, more transparency in government or civilian control of the military. He understands it is the only path forward and frankly a linchpin of the U.S. partnership with Ukraine, and as a matter of law, a condition of our future defense assistance. “Finally, we talked about the importance of the Ukrainian diaspora in the United States, about two million people strong, thousands of whom live in Ohio, my constituents, about how they are putting great hopes in his leadership and are willing to do all they can to help. “As I said, it was a very productive meeting, and I was grateful for his time. Of all of the messages of that discussion, the one that was most important to me, was when I asked him how he could win with 73 percent of the vote. He said, it wasn’t about me, it was about change and reform and betterment for the people of Ukraine. It was a modest and appropriate response. “The messages of our discussion were reinforced by my meeting afterward with Lt General Ruslan Khomchak — he’s the new chief of the general staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. A man with great experience and knowledge. He was confident and well-informed, and we had an open and detailed talk about how the United States can be helpful. I have already begun to talk to my colleagues on the Armed Services Committee and in the Trump Administration about those specifics and some of the requests that he had. “So, my colleagues, I return from this brief trip to Ukraine hopeful. Hopeful that Ukraine is ready to write the next chapter of its long history, and it will be a chapter of freedom with a government and society that benefits all its citizens. And the United States of America must continue to be a good friend and ally in that quest. I am certainly determined to do my part to make it so.” ###

U.S. Senator Portman elaborates on “frank” conversation with Zelensky – news politics | UNIAN

U.S. Senator Robert Portman (R-OH) has said he had a frank conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during his recent visit to Kyiv. Portman said he came away from the meeting with President Zelensky impressed and encouraged.

U.S. to help Ukraine counter Russian propaganda — Senator Portman

The United States will help Ukrainian authorities in the fight against Russian propaganda in Donbas. — Ukrinform.

Portman, Zelensky talk about importance of Ukrainian diaspora in U.S.

U.S. Senator Rob Portman and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky discussed the important role of the Ukrainian diaspora in the United States. — Ukrinform.

UAWire – NATO confirms Ukraine could become a member state under President Zelensky

During a joint press conference with President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky in Brussels, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO’s decision for Ukraine to eventually join the alliance remains in effect, reports Evropeyska Pravda. In response to a question about Ukraine’s prospects for further rapprochement between Ukraine and the alliance, the Secretary General stressed that despite there being a new president in Ukraine, NATO’s approach remains unchanged. “We stand by the decision made at the Bucharest Summit and we have already confirmed this several times,” he said. The outcome of the Bucharest Summit held in 2008 was that one day Ukraine will become a member of the Alliance. Stoltenberg also discussed what was said during his meeting with Zelensky. “Our focus is on reforms. President Zelensky said, emphasized, that it is important for Ukraine to meet NATO standards and would therefore be implementing reforms,” he said, paying special attention to reforming the security sector and fighting corruption. At the same time, the Secretary General stressed that it is up to Ukraine to choose how far it will go. Earlier, it was reported that the President of Ukraine met with Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels. Zelensky told the NATO Secretary General that he is ready to enter peace talks with the Russian Federation.

Mogherini: Additional EU-supported actions to Azov Sea region expected in summer – news politics | UNIAN

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini has said the EU continues socio-economic support to the Azov Sea region and the additional EU-supported actions are expected this summer. The EU also continues to expect that Russia will immediately release the 24 detained Ukrainian servicemen and return to Ukraine’s custody the three vessels.

EU supports Zelensky’s idea of inclusive approach toward Ukrainians living in occupied territories: Mogherini – news politics | UNIAN

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, says the EU is ready to support Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s stated objective for an inclusive approach toward the Ukrainian citizens living in the occupied areas in eastern Ukraine. The high representative and the president discussed the possible way forward with the full implementation of the Minsk agreements by all sides, while recalling the responsibility of Russia in this regard.

New Ukraine Leader Heralds ‘Death of Russian Imperialism,’ Accused of Plagiarism – The Moscow Times

Ukraine’s new president has predicted the end of “Russia’s imperial project” if Kiev joins the European Union, drawing allegations that he had plagiarized his predecessor’s words. Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s administration quoted him as saying “Ukraine in the EU would be the death of the Russian imperial project” during talks with top European official Donald Tusk. news New Ukraine President Hopes EU Sanctions on Russia Remain Read more “Moreover, it [would be] a powerful blow to Russian authoritarianism and the way to democratic changes in Russia and throughout the post-Soviet space,” Zelenskiy said in Brussels on Wednesday. Shortly after, Zelenskiy was accused of plagiarizing “an entire paragraph” of his predecessor’s recent speech. Petro Poroshenko, whom Zelenskiy defeated in the country’s presidential elections this spring, used the same phrase in an address to his party members last Friday. “It’s nice that Volodymyr is listening to Petro Poroshenko. But, in addition to an editor, you should hire a speechwriter,” Poroshenko’s spokesman Svyatoslav Tsegolko wrote on Facebook Wednesday. Zelenskiy’s administration has launched an investigation into the mishap, accusing Ukrainian foreign ministry staffers who worked on parts of the speech of making a “diversion” and of “continuing to work for Poroshenko.”

Zelenskiy, Poroshenko, And The Curious Case Of The ‘Plagiarism’ In Brussels

Even his predecessor’s supporters seemed to think Ukraine’s new president said all the right things in Brussels. Perhaps that’s because they’d heard remarkably similar things from Petro Poroshenko …

UAWire – Ukrainian President Zelensky caught plagiarizing Poroshenko’s speech on ‘Russia’s imperialist project’

A spokesman for the former president of Ukraine, Svyatoslav Tsegolko, revealed that the current head of state, Vladimir Zelensky, “stole” a whole paragraph from one of the former president’s speeches. Tsegolko posted the revelation to Facebook. As proof, Tsegolko published a video fragment of Poroshenko’s speech with a statement that coincides exactly with what Zelensky said. Zelensky made the statement in question during a meeting with the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk. “Ukraine joining the EU will be the death of Russia’s imperial project. Moreover, it is a powerful blow to Russian authoritarianism and the way to democratic change in Russia and throughout the entire post-Soviet space,” Zelensky said. “It’s blatant plagiarism. Zelensky, the new president, stole a whole paragraph from Petro Poroshenko’s speech made during a congress of the European Solidarity party. It’s nice that Vladimir listens to Petro Poroshenko,” Tsegolko wrote, advising the current president to hire a speechwriter as well as a proofreader. The words, that Zelensky would later repeat, were first said by Poroshenko at the congress of the European Solidarity Party on May 31. The party was formerly called the Petro Poroshenko Bloc, changing its name on May 24. The Presidential Administration of Ukraine commented on the incident. It announced that an official investigation was being conducted. “It was preliminarily established that the staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine had prepared talking points to brief President Vladimir Zelensky while still working for Petro Poroshenko,” read the Presidential Administration’s statement published on Facebook. It promised to take “tough managerial, disciplinary and personnel measures” if collaboration between Ministry of Foreign Affairs representatives and Poroshenko was to be confirmed. “We view this as sabotage on the part of individual employees at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a deliberate provocation from Petro Poroshenko’s team,” the statement said.

New Ukraine president calls for tougher sanctions on Russia | Fox News

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is urging the European Union to step up sanctions against Russia amid continued tensions in the eastern Donbass region and Crimea.

Ukraine-EU summit in Kyiv to give powerful impetus to bilateral relations – Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he expects that the Ukraine-EU summit, to be held in Kyiv on July 8, will give a powerful impetus to the development of bilateral relations. — Ukrinform.

Zelensky believes that not only Ukraine needs EU, but also EU needs democratic Ukraine

President pointed out that the EU would remain the reliable partner to Ukraine “on its way of creating the stories about success”

Zelensky outlines his key tasks: Fighting corruption, countering Russian aggression – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says his key tasks will be the fight against corruption and countering Russian aggression. Zelensky met with Tusk in Brussels on June 5.

Zelensky’s roadmap for Minsk talks not to be made public yet

Ukraine has to agree on a roadmap with its European partners within the Normandy Format

Medvedchuk, Kremlin’s closest ally in Ukraine, wants to negotiate on Donbas with Russia – news politics | UNIAN

Chairman of the political council of the Opposition Platform – For Life Party Viktor Medvedchuk, the Kremlin’s closest ally in Ukraine, says that he will continue to negotiate with Russia on the situation in Donbas. He says he wants to justify Ukrainian citizens’ trust.

Ukraine should restore relations with Russia, CIS, – Medvedchuk

Ukraine should restore relations with Russia, CIS, – Medvedchuk

How Russia Has Used Anti-Semitism, and Fears of Anti-Semitism, in Its War on Ukraine » Mosaic

Since the ouster of Ukraine’s pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, Moscow’s propaganda machine has aimed to depict his successors as Nazi sympathizers and the country as rife with anti-Semitism. Sam Sokol explains: Just more than four years ago, Russia’s popular television news program Vesti ran a segment claiming that Ukrainian Jews were streaming out of the country in a mass exodus brought about by harsh government repression. The report cited a fabricated letter attributed to a senior Jewish figure in Belgium that described “cases of compulsory closures of Jewish organizations and schools” and alleged that Ukraine was experiencing an “outrageous revival of Nazi . . . traditions.” While many Jews were indeed fleeing Ukraine (more than 32,000 have moved to Israel since 2013), this migration was primarily due to damage caused by the Russian [invasion] of the country and the subsequent economic downturn. . . . It was a brilliant, if twisted and amoral, move on the part of the Russians. Anti-Semitism certainly isn’t an issue of concern to most Russians, but in a country in which the cult of Soviet victory in the World War II runs deep, [these] reports could be used to bolster the claim that a “fascist junta” had grabbed power in Kiev, increasing domestic support for Russian intervention. Parallel to this effort, the Kremlin also engaged in the promotion of theories about a Jewish conspiracy to control Ukraine, a move likely intended to sow confusion and whip up social unrest. . . . There is ample reason to believe that, just like in Ukraine, Russia will attempt to raise the specter of anti-Semitism in the United States during the 2020 [elections].

Transnistria Isn’t the Smuggler’s Paradise It Used to Be – Foreign Policy

The separatist territory sandwiched between Moldova and Ukraine has long thrived on porous frontiers and Russian backing, but Kiev has changed its tune and might be dragging it back toward the West.

Former U.S. State Secretary offered Russia to hold another referendum in Crimea, – Russia’s Foreign Minister

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that in April 2014 the former U.S. State Secretary John Kerry offered Russia to carry out another referendum in annexed Crimea in compliance with the international law, as he said in an interview for RBK. “It’s all clear. Everything happened as the Crimean people wanted. But you should conduct another referendum for order,” Lavrov cited Kerry. He noted that Russia rejected this proposal. “Why should we? If you understand everything, why should we make people vote again? I hope John won’t get offended. He also revealed some secret materials from our conversations,” Lavrov explained.

Ban on returning fire in Donbas “path to surrender”: Rada Speaker – news politics | UNIAN

Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Parubiy has said the idea of banning Ukrainian military from returning fire is a “path to surrender, rather than to peace.” Speaking at a meeting of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, on June 6, Parubiy added he was anxious about Zelensky’s instructions to announce the initiative restricting Ukrainian servicemen from opening fire in response to Russian-led militants’ attacks in Donbas, eastern Ukraine. “When our servicemen don’t respond to the aggressor’s fire, the death toll among our military rises,” he said. “We won’t allow Ukrainians’ surrender to the Russian aggressor,” the official stressed. “And I’d like to inform the newly elected President [Volodymyr] Zelensky that a ban on returning fire is the path to surrender, rather than the way to peace,” According to Parubiy, the president should “fix his position and respect Ukrainian soldiers, who defend Ukraine’s independence on a daily basis, risking their lives.” “We will not allow surrender,” he said. As UNIAN reported earlier, on June 5, the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on the peaceful settlement of the situation in Donbas agreed on a new ceasefire mechanism. Ukraine’s envoy to the TCG, former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma said that the parties had agreed, among other things, to set not only the start date for the new truce, but also the mechanism for its introduction, according to Zelensky’s press service.

Donbas ceasefire in response to enemy attacks possible only after deployment of UN peacekeepers – Poroshenko

Fifth President of Ukraine (2014-2019), leader of the European Solidarity Party Petro Poroshenko believes that Ukrainian army’s ceasing fire back in response to enemy attacks in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, is possible only after a UN peacekeeping mission is deployed in Russia-occupied districts in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

UAWire – At the next meeting in Minsk Ukraine to discuss lifting of economic blockade on LPR and DPR

At its next meeting, the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG), Ukrainian representatives will discuss lifting the economic blockade on territories of …

Trade with occupied Donbas without taxes, registration is financing of terrorism, – Prosecutor General Lutsenko

06.06.19 13:44 – Trade with occupied Donbas without taxes, registration is financing of terrorism, – Prosecutor General Lutsenko In June, the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas plans to consider lifting of the economic blockade from occupied Donbas. View news.

No need to respond to provocative attacks if carried out from civilian objects – Kuchma

Representative of Ukraine in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG), the second president of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma notes that the Ukrainian side should not respond to provocative attacks if they are carried out from civilian objects. “There is one more problem – it is provocative shelling, when some military object enters either a kindergarten, or some residential house, or even a settlement, and it is shelling our territory. Please, tell us if we see what is happening, for example, from kindergarten, can we give an answer?” he said at a press conference in the Presidential Administration of Ukraine on Thursday. Kuchma stressed that the return fire should always be given when hostilities take place in the relevant territory, where there are no settlements, etc. Answering the clarifying question from journalists about whether the Ukrainian side’s proposal not to respond to the shelling only when they are coming from civilian objects, Kuchma said: “Absolutely. When we clearly understand that this is provocative shelling.”

Ukraine’s envoy at Minsk talks proposes lifting economic blockade from Donbas – news war | UNIAN

The Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on the peaceful settlement of the situation in Donbas will consider the lifting of the economic blockade against Russia-occupied districts in Luhansk and Donetsk regions (the so-called ORDLO). The proposal will be considered at the next TCG meeting in Minsk.

UAWire – Poroshenko: Lifting economic blockade on Donbas would be a betrayal of Ukraine’s interests

Former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko said that lifting the economic blockade on the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics (DPR and LPR) as suggested by former president Leonid Kuchma and current President Volodymyr Zelensky would be a betrayal of Ukraine’s interests. “I am concerned by the unexpected news on the outcome of the Trilateral Contact Group session in Minsk, that Ukraine is supposedly willing to unilaterally lift the economic restrictions on the LPR and DPR… I demand that President Zelensky give a public response, on what grounds did he give such directives to Ukraine’s delegation? What then? Reparation from Ukraine’s budget to the aggressor? Autonomy with the right to veto sovereign government decisions on the course toward the EU and NATO?” Poroshenko wrote on Facebook. The former president noted that on 15 March 2017, the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine ordered the severing of economic ties with the occupied territories as a response to the arbitrary capture of Ukrainian government and private enterprises, the introduction of a ruble zone and the Russian tax system. “What has changed since then? On the occupier’s side, nothing. So, is Ukraine on its knees, as Zelensky said earlier?” Poroshenko asked. He added that the Ukrainian government has never been opposed to the restoration of economic ties, provided it is done “in strict accordance with the national interests of Ukraine, subject to the implementation of the said NSDC decision, and most importantly, the establishment of a stable and long-lasting ceasefire, and the return of the captured government and private enterprises to their Ukrainian owners”. Poroshenko remarked that implementing the “Russian script” in the Donbas is tantamount to a betrayal of Ukraine’s national interests and the memories of the thousands of Ukrainian patriots who died for their country’s freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity. The NSDC made the decision to impose a blockade on the occupied Donbas regions in autumn 2014, after Ukraine was invaded by the Russian army. The relevant decree halted the activity of all Ukraine’s government institutions and banks in the LPR and DPR territories and ordered the evacuation of their staff. In 2017, President Petro Poroshenko decided to cease all economic, trade and transport ties with the occupied territories.

Ukraine Reports More Casualties In Conflict In East

Ukraine says fresh clashes with Russia-backed separatists in the country’s east have claimed the life of one of its soldiers, raising to four the number of Ukrainian troops reported killed this week.

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

06.06.19 10:32 – 12 attacks against JFO positions yesterday: one Ukrainian soldier killed, another one – wounded June 5, the Russian occupying forces attacked JFO positions 12 times, using Minsk-proscribed weapons twice. View news.

Russian-led forces violate ceasefire in Donbas 12 times, one soldier killed

The armed formations of the Russian Federation violated ceasefire 12 times, using weapons banned under the Minsk agreements twice, in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in Donbas over the past day. — Ukrinform.

One KIA, one WIA amid 12 enemy attacks in Donbas in past day – news war | UNIAN

Russia’s hybrid military forces in the past 24 hours mounted 12 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, with one Ukrainian soldier reported as killed in action (KIA) and another one – wounded in action (WIA). Each enemy attack saw an adequate response, Ukraine’s Joint Forces report.

One Ukrainian soldier killed in Donbas on Wednesday – news war | UNIAN

One Ukrainian soldier was killed in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, on Wednesday. In total, there were five enemy attacks over the period under review.

The coast of Crimea was patrolled by three US aircraft | MIL.IN.UA

Posted by: Редакція June 06, 2019 Situation around Crimea, Black Sea Region 0 Comments Today, on June 6, 2019, during the day, three American planes – Boeing RC-135V Rivet Joint, Lockheed EP-3E Orion (ARIES II) and Boeing P-8A Poseidon – worked in the Black Sea area at once. This is reported by the Ukrainian Military Portal All of them were flying along the coast of the occupied Crimean peninsula The American Airborne Electronic Intelligence Unit Boeing RC-135V Rivet Joint, from the US Air Force, began patrolling around 11 o’clock in the afternoon: Route Flight Boeing RC-135V Rivet Joint June 6, 2019 Map: PlaneRadar The Boeing RC-135V Rivet Joint, with an onboard number 64-14846, is based at the Courtyard Bay on the island of Crete in Greece. The Boeing RC-135 is a family of large reconnaissance aircraft used by the United States Air Force and the Royal Air Force to collect, process and transmit intelligence information. The Lockheed EP-3E Orion (ARIES II) patrol aircraft of the US Navy began its flight an hour earlier: Lockheed EP-3E Orion (ARIES II) flight route June 6, 2019 Map: PlaneRadar The EP-3E Orion, with an onboard number 157316, is based on the Courtyard Bay airbase on the island of Crete in Greece. The Lockheed EP-3E Orion patrol aircraft was developed by the American Lockheed company based on the Lockheed L-188 Electra civilian aircraft. It is equipped with a powerful complex of modern equipment required for monitoring in the area of ​​patrolling. Combat aircraft Boeing P-8A Poseidon US Navy at 12:30 began working on the Black Sea: Flight route Boeing P-8A Poseidon June 6, 2019 Map: PlaneRadar Boeing P-8A Poseidon with an onboard number 168997 is based on the Sigonella Air Base in Italy. Boeing P-8A is a patrol anti-submarine aircraft designed to detect and destroy enemy submarines in patrolling areas. He can also conduct intelligence and participate in anti-ship and rescue operations. The general patrol route looks like this: The route of the American aircraft on June 6, 2019 Map: PlaneRadar

MPs relax citizenship rules for foreign volunteers in Donbas – news portal

MPs relax citizenship rules for foreign volunteers in Donbas. Foreigners and people without citizenship will not be required to live in Ukraine permanently for five years or speak Ukrainian. Political – news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Fifth anniversary of act of valor, tragic death of Ukrainian airmen over Slovyansk

June 6, 2019 is fifth anniversary of tragic death of Ukrainian airmen over Slovyansk

“Hryhoriy Kuropyatnikov” will undergo a dock refit

The ship of marine protection BG50 “Grigory Kuropyatnikov” project 1241.2 (“Lightning” code) entered the ship repair company “YSK Service” on June 6 for dock repair. This is reported by Nikolayev – the city of ships . It is planned to perform the following works: cleaning, defecting, repairing and painting the outer sheathing and editing, repairing the superstructure, replacing the treads, repairing the airborne system and crank shafts, the propeller-stern system, anchor-mooring device, docking-off valves, main engine systems, fuel systems, pipelines and tanks, fire protection systems, air conditioning and ventilation systems, fan systems and more. The preliminary repair of the ship took place in 2015 at the Nikolaev Shipbuilding Plant.

Parliament passes law on military standards

The Verkhovna Rada has adopted a law introducing amendments to certain laws of Ukraine regarding military standards. — Ukrinform. A total of 229 people’s deputies voted for the law at a parliament meeting on Thursday, according to an Ukrinform correspondent. “It supplements the law on Ukraine’s defense with new terms: military standardization, a military standard, a NATO standard and a standard in the sphere of defense of a NATO member state, as well as clauses on empowering the Defense Ministry to ensure normative and legal regulation in the field of military standardization and determine a military standardization body,” the first deputy head of the People’s Front faction, Andriy Teteruk, said while presenting the bill. The MP said that according to the law, the Defense Ministry will apply national standards directly, by referring to them in other documents, as well as on a voluntary basis, unless their mandatory application is established by regulatory legal acts.

US is interested in providing military assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine – Lt. Gen. Charles Hooper

Posted 1 day ago from June 5, 2019 From Oleksiy Washington is interested in providing military assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, helping the country to counter the Russian aggression from the east, said Lt. Gen. Charles Hooper, who heads the Pentagon’s defense and security administration, reported today’s edition. “We are very interested in helping the new authorities in Ukraine, like the previous ones, to support the aggression they face,” he said. In the fiscal year 2020, the US plans to allocate 300 to 450 million dollars in military aid to Ukraine in general. In general, since the beginning of Russian aggression in the Donbass, the Ukrainian armed forces have received almost ten thousand military equipment from the United States of America, and US military instructors are training Ukrainian servicemen.

Why Ukraine’s space sector is totally dilapidated

During Soviet times, Ukraine was famous for its rocket and space industry. After gaining independence, the country has retained the prestigious status of space power, but economic problems led to the fact that Ukraine began to move away from developing space industry. The enterprises of the space-rocket complex remained in state ownership, but the state does not finance them. And this is despite the fact that one dollar of investment in this industry brings 13-14 dollars of profit. As a result, the unique enterprises of Yuzhnoye and Yuzhmash design offices are forced to look for sources of financing, orders for their products in other countries. It’s a paradox, but Ukraine still has advanced technologies in the space industry, while not having a single satellite in orbit. And if everything remains in the same position, the technologies will soon become obsolete. While space is being explored by private “monsters” like SpaceX and Blue Origin, Ukrainian enterprises are stuck in the state captivity –no money and no particular prospects.

Perspectives of Ukraine’s space sector

Yuzhmash: no orders – no missiles Currently, Yuzhmash design office is in a rather difficult economic situation. Its main products are the Zenit-2SL, Zenit-2SLB launch vehicles, the New Energy Alliance reported: “The plant was built as a serial plant for assembling launch vehicles and intercontinental ballistic missiles. During Soviet times, the plant manufactured up to 100 missiles a year. Ukraine abandoned its nuclear weapons, eliminated the intercontinental ballistic missiles.”

Russia seen as aggressor by 65% of Ukrainians

The poll shows that 65% of respondents see Russia as an aggressor with regard to Ukraine, 27% hold the opposite opinion, and 9% could not answer. Russia is considered an aggressor by 86% of respondents living in the western part of Ukraine, 36% in the eastern regions, 72% in the center, and 47% in the south. At the same time, 38% of respondents support the cessation of hostilities in Donbas and the freezing of the conflict, whereas 22% want these territories to be granted an independent or federative status within Ukraine. Only 5% support the full secession of occupied lands. On the other hand, 18% support the continuation of hostilities until the Ukrainian authorities fully restore control over Donbas. A total of 2,000 respondents aged over 18 years were polled during face-to-face interviews. The poll’s margin of error does not exceed 2.2%.

Over 60% of Ukrainians ready to vote at referendum for joining EU, 53% for joining NATO – poll

Some 62% of Ukrainians are ready to vote at a referendum for their country’s accession to the EU and 53% for accession to NATO, according to a survey conducted by the Rating group between May 29 and June 3, 2019. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine’s Parliament refuses to dismiss Klimkin, Poltorak, Hrytsak

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has not adopted a resolution on the dismissal of Stepan Poltorak from the post of defense minister of Ukraine. — Ukrinform.

Rada refuses to dismiss Foreign Minister Klimkin

06.06.19 15:15 – Rada refuses to dismiss Foreign Minister Klimkin There were 141 and 137 votes “for”, and the decision is made by 226 votes of the MPs. View news.

Verkhovna Rada refuses to dismiss Defence Minister Poltorak

06.06.19 14:37 – Verkhovna Rada refuses to dismiss Defence Minister Poltorak Ukrainian MPs rejected the presidential draft regulation. View news.

Verkhovna Rada refuses to dismiss Head of Security Service Hrytsak

06.06.19 15:51 – Verkhovna Rada refuses to dismiss Head of Security Service Hrytsak 78 Ukrainian MPs voted “for” the dismissal. View news.

Ukraine’s parliament fails to back Klimkin’s resignation – news politics | UNIAN

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, did not support the resignation of Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, who had earlier filed a relevant letter. The Ukrainian MPs voted two draft resolutions on the matter.

Ukraine’s Rada rejects resolutions to dismiss defense minister, SBU chief – news politics | UNIAN

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, has rejected the resolutions on the dismissal of Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak and SBU Head Vasyl Hrytsak (No.No. 10344, 10345, respectively). The motions were submitted by President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Parliament passes bill on investigative commissions – news portal

Parliament passes bill on investigative commissions. It includes provisions on the impeachment procedure. Political – news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Step toward impeachment legislation: Rada passes bill on interim investigation commissions – news politics | UNIAN

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, has passed a draft law on interim investigation commissions (IIC) and interim special commissions (ISC) (No. 1098), which refers to a special temporary investigation commission on the impeachment of a president. The special IIC investigates circumstances of state treason or another crime allegedly committed by a president, and verifies the availability, completeness, and validity of relevant evidence.

Opposition Bloc to run for parliament without Akhmetov’s wing – news portal

Opposition Bloc to run for parliament without Akhmetov’s wing. There are some odious personalities on the party’s list. Political – news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Dnipropetrovsk region’s court delivers verdicts on all five suspects in Handziuk murder case – news ukraine | UNIAN

Dnipropetrovsk region’s Pokrovsky district court on June 6 delivered verdicts on all five suspects in the case of Kherson activist, official of Kherson City Council Kateryna Handziuk’s murder. The verdicts were announced during a court session on June 6, according to an UNIAN correspondent. While making its decisions, the court took into account the sincere repentance of the accused and their positive characteristics. In particular, the organizer of the execution of the attempted murder on Handziuk, Serhiy Torbin, was sentenced to six years and six months in prison. The actual perpetrator of the crime, Mykyta Hrabchuk, will stay in prison for six years. Volodymyr Vasyanovych and Viktor Horbunov, accused of aiding the commission of the crime, were sentenced to four and three years in prison, respectively. In addition, the accomplice of the crime, Vyacheslav Vyshnevsky, will be imprisoned four years. UNIAN memo. Kherson activist, adviser to the Mayor of Kherson and acting manager of affairs at Kherson City Council’s executive committee Kateryna Handziuk, 33, on July 31, 2018, survived an act of acid throwing. She suffered burns to more than 35% of her body and underwent 11 operations in Kyiv. Handziuk died on November 4, 2018. The immediate cause of her death was a severed blood clot resulting from the acid attack. Six suspects were detained, one of whom, Mykola Novikov, was later released from custody as charges against him were dropped. On May 7, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine sent an indictment against five suspects – Hrabchuk, Vasyanovych, Vyshnevsky, Torbin, and Horbunov – to court. The indictment against five defendants was sent to Kherson city court. Later, the Supreme Court satisfied prosecutors’ petition to transfer the criminal case to Pokrovsky district court in Dnipropetrovsk region. Previously convicted citizen Oleksiy Levin, Chairman of Kherson Regional Council Vladyslav Manger and Ihor Pavlovsky, the then assistant to MP from the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko Party Mykola Palamarchuk, are also involved in the Handziuk case.

Across Ukraine, Calls Grow For Powerful Interior Minister’s Exit After Police Shooting Of 5-Year-Old

Since his appointment in early 2014, Arsen Avakov has survived changes of government and numerous calls for his resignation over perceived police botches.

Ukraine to order Naftogaz to cut household gas prices: PM – Reuters

Ukraine will order state energy firm Naftogaz to reduce household gas prices for the next two months, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said on Wednesday, citing a fall in import prices.

Ukraine Refrains From Lowering Interest Rates Amid IMF Delays – Bloomberg

Ukraine’s central bank, which trimmed borrowing costs for the first time in almost two years at its last meeting, held off from a further cut amid hold-ups in financial aid.

Former Ukrainian President Yushchenko Suspected In Corruption Surrounding Residential Complex

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has been served on charges of suspected abuse of power and possession of state property in what investigators call the illegal privatization of a residential complex near Kyiv.

Pope Francis to meet Vladimir Putin before Vatican Ukraine meeting

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next month. The meeting comes a day before Catholic leaders from Ukraine meet at the Vatican to discuss the fallout from the schism between the Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox Churches.

Pope Francis To Receive Putin At Vatican Next Month

The Vatican has announced that Pope Francis will receive Russian President Vladimir Putin for an audience next month.