Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (213)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

My belief that heavy corruption  resulted in Russia’s return to PACE is in line with today’s reaction across Eastern Europe. 

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NATO update. PACE sellout to Russia is still producing shockwaves across Eastern Europe – seven Eastern European nations walked out over Russia. Words like corruption and bribery are appearing in the media now – European political structures appear to be very cheap to buy compared to other developed nations. Russia update – most interesting report on Polish meeting with Lavrov.

Ukraine IR, EU, and Crimea updates.

Donbas update – fires continue, AFU withdraws near Luhansk. Industry update – it appears there is paralysis in the flow of funding to key weapons programs since the inauguration.

Politics update – some items border on the comical. The OCU update almost qualifies as a politics update.


UAWire – NATO states agree to respond if Russia abandons missile treaty

“NATO will continue to urge Russia to return to full and verifiable compliance with the INF Treaty,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after a recent alliance meeting. “But we must also prepare for a situation without the INF, and today the defense ministers of alliance countries have agreed that NATO will respond if Russia does not return to compliance,” he continued. According to the secretary general, the member countries have agreed to maintain a “considered and defensive approach”. The alliance has no intention of deploying new land-based nuclear missiles in Europe, Stoltenberg assured. NATO has decided to guarantee the “effectiveness and reliability of its nuclear deterrence systems”. The member states agreed on potential measures that could be taken, including training programs, intelligence gathering, the development of anti-air and anti-missile defense, and the use of regular weapons capabilities. At present, both Russia and the US have suspended their compliance with the Intermediate-ranged Nuclear Forces Treaty. Both countries announced this at the start of February after reciprocal accusations of non-compliance. The US was the first to announce its withdrawal, and Moscow responded in kind shortly thereafter. US President Donald Trump said that unless Russia returns to compliance with the terms of the treaty within six months, Washington will withdraw from it for good. Moscow believes that the US has already had plans to withdraw from the treaty for a long time.

Jens Stoltenberg on Twitter: “Just out: first #NATO defence spending numbers for 2019. The real increase across Europe & Canada is 3.9% – the 5th consecutive year of increases in defence budgets. The trend is good: https://t.co/8wuiR2OMO3… https://t.co/foxV7YvUz4”

Jens Stoltenberg on Twitter: “Today, #NATO has taken another important step in our adaptation, by approving our first #SpacePolicy. This will guide our approach to both opportunities & challenges.… https://t.co/P5xecqOE15”

Jens Stoltenberg on Twitter: “⚠️ LIVE SOON⚠️ ️ Press conference after the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in #DefMin session  #NATO HQ, Brussels https://t.co/UH4W5HzTmF”

Royal Air Force jets scramble to intercept Russian planes | Fox News

Royal Air Force jets in Estonia took to the sky to intercept Russian military aircraft for the second time in one day, the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense said.

RAF Typhoons are scrambled twice in ONE DAY to intercept Russian planes | Daily Mail Online

RAF fighter jets stationed at Amari Air Base, Estonia, were sent out to escort a Russian AN-12 transport plane on Tuesday, before being scrambled again to escort SU-27 fighters and another transport.

U.K. PM To Meet Russian President At G20, First Time Since Novichok Scandal

British Prime Minister Theresa May and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet in Japan this week for the first time since the two countries’ relations soured over the poisoning of a former doub…

Return of Russia to PACE is step for recognition of Crimea as Russian,- Russian official

The result of the voting of the members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which confirmed the authorities of the Russian delegation in full is a step to recognize Crimea as Russian as TASS reported citing Leonid Slutsky, the Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs. “By its voting on amendments (on status of Crimea as occupied Ukrainian territory, – 112.international) to the approved report, which were qualified by the majority by two thirds of votes of the PACE were failed, in fact, the first landmark step is made on the recognition of Crimea as Russian by the states of the Council of Europe,” Slutsky said.

UAWire – US: Russians under sanctions should not be allowed to PACE

During the press conference in Kyiv, United States Chargé d’Affaires to Ukraine William said that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of …

Was Council of Europe Bribed to Restore Russia’s Voting Rights? – Bloomberg

The Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly shouldn’t have allowed financial concerns to drive its decision to reinstate Russia’s voting rights.

When corruption penetrates the very marrow of European institutions |Euromaidan Press |

Article by: Raphaël Glucksmann Let’s start with the bad news that has completely fallen off our radar, another example of this slow poisonous corruption that undermines our institutions and doesn’t necessarily refer to bags of criminal money exchanged in dark strip clubs or in obscure train stations filmed in low-angle shots with eerie background music. Today, everything’s happening in broad daylight… but, it’s still a story of gross corruption. Indeed, a more dangerous form of corruption. Corruption as an integral part of our institutions. In 2014, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe suspended Russia after the occupation and annexation of Crimea and the invasion of eastern Ukraine. Eastern Ukraine is still occupied and Crimea still annexed, yet Russia has just been reinstated in PACE. Unconditionally, with no questions asked! And, at the request of the French Presidency. Our Secretary of State for European Affairs Amélie de Montchalin even had the gall to address the opening session of the Assembly with the following words: “Here, we do not deal with geopolitics; here, we defend such fundamental values as human rights.” Really? Have we missed something somewhere, namely Vladimir Putin’s great advancements in human rights that justify such sudden indulgence on the part of the French government? Moreover, the Crimean Tatars will be delighted to learn that their right to live in their country and not in an empire that has constantly persecuted them is referred to as a “geopolitical” situation and not a “human rights” affair.

Seven countries take joint action over Russia’s return to PACE – LB.ua news portal

Seven countries take joint action over Russia’s return to PACE. Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine issued a joint statement. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

UAWire – Seven delegations leave PACE to protest Russia’s return

Representatives of seven member states of the Council of Europe have jointly announced their intention to protest Russia’s unconditional reinstatement in the organization, reports Eurointegration. “The unconditional reinstatement of the Russian delegation’s rights without them meeting even one of the assembly’s numerous requirements is contrary to the fundamental values of the Council of Europe and its charter. This step sends a very wrong signal to a country that has resorted to armed aggression, to poisoning, does not respect the rights of its citizens and is striving to destabilize democracy in Europe,” states the document that was read aloud in the hall after the debates had concluded. The statement, which was jointly signed by the delegations from Ukraine, Georgia, Poland, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, was read by Linda Ozola, a member of the Lithuanian delegation. “The future of the Council of Europe as a whole is under threat, because the Council of Europe is losing the trust of the people whom it protects,” she said. The seven countries announced that they intend to take joint action in the parliamentary assembly during the “unprecedented crisis of confidence”. “We will return home in order to consult with our parliaments and governments on joint actions in the assembly in the following sessions,” the joint document states. “We wish the newly elected secretary general success and hope that she will find a way to deal with this unprecedented crisis of confidence that was created this week,” the statement reads. The Ukrainian MPs had announced their intention to remain absent until the end of the present session at least, but not all other parliamentarians agreed to take such a step, due to an important resolution that will be considered on Thursday. “We considered the option but decided to stay in order to vote on the Boris Nemtsov resolution,” one source explained. On Wednesday evening, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted to reinstate the rights of the Russian delegation without any limitations, despite its violations of the organization’s principles.

Kurt Volker: Sad that PACE abandoning its own principles on human rights

U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker expressed regret that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) forgot about its principles. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine Officially Leaves PACE, Calls it a “Discredited Organization”

The Ukrainian delegation has now officially left the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the delegation’s head Volodymyr Ariev announced

European Solidarity party: We are witnessing the destruction of the Council of Europe

European Solidarity party is concerned about the threat of “destruction of the Council of Europe” in connection with the attempt to lift sanctions against Russia. The party said Ukraine’s delegation to Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has remained without political support from the head of state. “Serious concern is caused by the fact that today, during the PACE session, there were attempts to lift the sanctions imposed on Russia’s delegation in response to the annexation of Crimea and military aggression in eastern Ukraine,” the party’s press service said on Monday. “The Council of Europe is called the conscience of the continent. Today we are witnessing the destruction of a respected institution and the emasculation of the continent’s conscience,” the press release said.

PACE ratifies credentials of Russian delegation

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has ratified the credentials of the Russian delegation. — Ukrinform.

Council of Europe readmits Russia, five years after suspension over Crimea – Reuters

Europe’s main human rights forum on Tuesday approved Russia’s readmission, the first time that an international sanction imposed for its seizure of Crimea in 2014 has been reversed, despite a stalling protest from Ukraine and Georgia.

Russia Seeks Information From Network Providers Ahead Of Sovereign Internet Launch

Russia’s communications watchdog has instructed internet service providers in several regions to provide operational information as it prepares for the November launch of a law allowing Russia to i…

Poll Shows Every Tenth Russian Has Been Tortured; Kremlin Skeptical

One in every 10 Russians has experienced torture at the hands of law enforcement, according to a new poll released to coincide with the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on June 26.

U.S. Embassy Formally Protests Alleged Mistreatment Of Jailed American Accused Of Spying

Whelan was arrested in a hotel room in Moscow in December and accused of receiving classified information. He was charged with espionage, which carries up to 20 years in prison.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Zyuganov Says He’s Loyal to Putin Out of Fears of Disorders

Paul Goble Staunton, June 25 – In an interview in advance of his 75th birthday, KPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov says he has been loyal to Putin for the same reason he did not challenge the results of the 1996 election: he fears disorder in Russia now just as he feared war in 1996 — with all the negative consequences these could have for Russia and the Russian people. Zyuganov, perhaps the most “systemic” of the systemic politicians who nominally head opposition parties but in fact support the regime, uses this interview to make the point that he has had experience with war and fears being more openly oppositional could spark one within Russia (mk.ru/politics/2019/06/25/zyuganov-obyasnil-loyalnost-k-putinu-boyaznyu-besporyadkov.html). On the one hand, this helps to explain why he has been so unwilling to challenge the Kremlin since 1991. But on the other, it suggests that his vision of Russia is of a country that is so inherently unstable at the present time that almost anything could send it spinning out of control and into the abyss. What happened in 1996 was not simply an election but a race “organized according to their rules and their laws,” Zyuganov says. In the first round, he continues, he won the south from the Quiet Don to the Pacific but the millionaire cities voted for Yeltsin. At the start of the second, he had 35 percent and I 32, he says. Given this situation and the fraud the Yeltsin team engaged in, “it would have been possible to provoke a war between the North and South.” But had that happened, Zyuganov says, there was an enormous risk that the country would have been “lost forever.” Consequently, he refrained from mobilizing his supporters after his loss. The danger is less now than it was, the KPRF leader suggests, but if disorders were to break out, the risks that they could grow out of control are all too real. And thus caution is again called for and has been his guiding principle, Zyuganov continues. In the course of his 2800-word interview with Aleksandr Melman, Zyuganov repeats many things that are well known, including his hostility to Gorbachev and Yeltsin, his belief that a Russian Communist Party if formed a year earlier than it was could have saved the USSR, and his assumption that Stalin would have valued him much as the dictator valued Kosygin. But he makes a number of side comments, two of which are perhaps worthy of note. On the one hand, he says that Raisa Gorbacheva was “much smarter than Gorbachev: She always led him by the hand and he took no decisions without talking to her. This disgrace was thus complete.” And on the other, he suggests that opposition figure Aleksey Navalny is “like Yeltsin but sober,” an especially damning description given what Zyuganov thinks of Yeltsin whom he did not speak to for five years after the shelling of the parliament in October 1993 – but did speak with again when Yeltsin called at the time of default.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Militant Underground in North Caucasus Becoming More Active, Russian Military Experts Say

Paul Goble Staunton, June 25 – After six months of relative quiescence, two violent clashes between armed civilians and the siloviki in the North Caucasus suggest the militant underground there is becoming more active. But one Daghestani observer says that in his republic, the siloviki may have orchestrated things to suggest that the militants are more threatening than they are. In Grozny yesterday, an armed man attacked a police post near the residence of Ramzan Kadyrov, just two days after police in Daghestan exchanged fire with the driver and passengers of a car they were seeking to stop. ISIS has claimed they were its militants, but no one has provided evidence of that (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/337074/). Three Russian military experts – Serge Goncharov of the Alpha Veterans Association, Aleksander Perendzhiyev, a military-political analyst, and retired FSB general Gennady Gudkov – agree but say that these two events do suggest that the militants in the region are becoming more active for one or another reason. Goncharov says the two incidents are not connected but do indicate “the activation of militants in the North Caucasus, a position the other two agree with, suggesting that it may reflect the return of militants from Syria and Iraq, fights among clans, or the deteriorating socio-economic situation in the region at large. A more intriguing observation comes from Magomed Magomedov, a political observer with Makhachkala’s Chernovik online newspaper. He says that he “does not exclude that the arrest of Chernovik editor Abudlmumin Gadzhiyev, protests about that and succeeding incidents are links in one chain.” “First, the siloviki accuse a journalist of terrorism, then occur spontaneous mass actions in his defense. Afteer that, numerous reports in Telegram channels of the siloviki that in the near future the activization of militant bands is possible, and at the end, shootings in two Caucasus republics.” If so – and available evidence doesn’t allow one to confirm or deny such suspicions –then, Magomedov says, “the force structures, having announced a serious activation of militants may justify Gadzhiyev’s detention in the eyes of the public.” Were the siloviki to say there are no militants, their case against Gadzhiyev would look even more implausible than it does.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Yet Another Benefit from USSR’s Disintegration – Large Reduction in Release of Greenhouse Gases

Paul Goble Staunton, June 25 – The end of the Soviet Union brought many benefits, but one that has not attracted much attention up until now is that its demise has resulted in a significant decline in the release of greenhouse gases as a result of changes in post-Soviet food systems, a new study by Russian and Western scholars says. Published in the Environmental Research Letters series and available online at iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab1cf1, the study says that as a result of the decline in agricultural production in the former Soviet space, the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere between 1992 and 2011 was some 7.61 billion tons. To get some idea of how large that figure is in terms of its impact on global warming, the scholars say, it is roughly “comparable to the destruction by man of the forests in Latin America.” The study has attracted some attention, but it deserves to be more widely known given many believe that the demise of the USSR had a largely negative impact on the environment. (For examples of coverage in the post-Soviet space, see charter97.org/ru/news/2019/6/25/339097/and kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2019/06/24/118243/raspad-sssr-okazalsya-blagom-dlya-vsego-mira-zayavili-uchenye.shtml.)

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow’s Billion-Dollar Program to Save Company Towns has Failed Completely

Paul Goble Staunton, June 25 — The Russian government’s 57.3 billion-ruble plan (nearly one billion US dollars) to save Russia’s company towns, the monogorods based on a single often dying plant, has failed utterly, Nakanune experts say. Not only has it failed to produce new jobs in the crisis cities but, while it is been going on, the number of such cities has in fact increased. The news agency’s analysts drew those conclusions on the basis of statements Moscow officials made at a recent Duma hearing and of interviews with people in the company towns in various oblasts in the Urals region, and they argue that their findings explain why the current program must be replaced (nakanune.ru/articles/115259/). According to Nakanune, none of the goals for the company towns the government set earlier have been achieved. Employment in them has not risen, investment hasn’t grown, and infrastructure hasn’t improved. Moreover, the number of company towns in crisis has grown by almost a third from 75 to 93 since the program was announced in 2014. Someone has gotten the money, but it hasn’t been the unemployed workers and their families. And there are a lot of them: At the start of last year, there were more than 13.5 million people in company towns, some 9.2 percent of the population – “and ever third of those was a resident of a company town in crisis.” In the first six months of 2018, the last period for which statistics are available, the number of jobs in these crisis towns fell by 172,600 to 1,000,900. Of 13 cities studied, seven lost population, and eight lost workers actually employed. The auditors stressed that this was typical of monogorods across the country. When residents were asked what conditions were like overall, 65 percent said they were tolerable but difficult; but more focused questions found greater unhappiness: 72 percent are unhappy about medical care, 69 percent about the quality of roads, and 59 percent about the state of housing. These figures are significantly higher than for all Russians. The Russian government is currently trying to come up with a new program, but Nakanune expresses skepticism that it will in fact be able to change the trajectory of cities and towns that Moscow has increasingly allowed to die. The only thing that seems certain is that someone will be getting money but it won’t be workers or their families.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin Crackdown on Independent Thought in Universities Began on the Periphery but has Now Reached Moscow, Kynyev Says

Paul Goble Staunton, June 25 – Over the last several years, the Putin regime has been working to suppress independent thought in Russian universities, clearly fearful that professors who take a critical line will pass it on to their students who may then take part in anti-regime protests, Aleksandr Kynyev says. The Higher School of Economics instructor, whose own future is now very much in doubt, says that, as often happens, the Kremlin began this campaign in the periphery but it is now attracting attention because scholars in the capital are being hit as well (znak.com/2019-06-25/izvestnyy_politolog_rasskazal_chto_segodnya_ugrozhaet_gumanitarnymi_naukami_v_rossii) According to Kynyev, a political scientist, “all these cases do not represent a single plan but there is in all this a certain logic: the authorities are nervously reacting to dissent in direct proportion to the decline of their ratings,” fearful that independent-minded professors will lead to independent-minded young people. The powers that be have succeeded in forcing out a number of scholars but what they are doing will have “only a counter-productive effect.” Those who are fired acquire new status in their professions as independent-minded people and will get new positions if not in Russia than in universities abroad. That of course will lead to a further deterioration of intellectual life in the Russian Federation now and in the future, but that is not something that the Kremlin, for all its talk about innovation, appears to be concerned about, Kynyev continues. Unfortunately, many in universities aren’t either – and go along with the trend without direct FSB instruction. According to the political scientist, “the authorities in initiating cadre purges in the leading higher educational institutions of the country are trying to win yesterday’s war,” one they have already lost. And by firing professors, they are prompting students to ask more fateful questions than they would have as a result of the same professors’ lectures. The entire problem with the regime’s approach is that it is completely utilitarian in its outlook and concerned only about “the here and now.” It wants people who will obey its orders and isn’t interested in what will happen when they do or don’t. Political science and other social sciences can open a window on the future, but the authorities don’t want to look through it. Another indication of the Putin regime’s hostility to higher education and lack of concern for the future also came this week: Moscow announced that it plans to cut the number of scholarships for students by nearly a third, from 518,000 now to 432,000 then (nakanune.ru/articles/115260/).

Two Killed, Seven Injured In Russian Plane Emergency Landing

Authorities say two people were killed and seven injured on June 27 when a passenger plane made an emergency landing at a regional airport in Russia’s Buryatia republic, in southern Siberia.

A Russian Navy Warship Is Visiting Havana

The Admiral Gorshkov flaunts the Russian flag in America’s backyard.

UAWire – Poland: Russia helped unleash World War II

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz explained to his Russian colleague Sergey Lavrov why Russia has not been invited to the commemorative events for the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II in September. According to Czaputowicz, Russia has not and will not be invited, because they want to commemorate “in a European circle”. The Polish minister also remarked that in 1939, it was Russia that freed Adolf Hitler’s hands, Sieci reports. “States from NATO, the European Union and the Eastern Partnership have been invited. We want to commemorate this date in our European circle. The fact is, on 1 September 1939, Russia was not part of the war, except in the context of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which to a certain extent freed Hitler’s hands. Russia joined the war on 17 September as Hitler’s ally, committing aggression against Poland. In January 2020 we will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, and in this case, the Russian delegation’s visit will be acceptable,” Czaputowicz explained. He also noted that, during talks in May, Lavrov complained about the removal of Red Army memorials in Poland. “In response, I said that the soldiers’ graves, the cemeteries are being preserved carefully, and the idea arose that, perhaps, we should show this clearly to Russian journalists. As for the symbols of communism, we are entitled to get rid of them. I spoke about willingness to talk to Russia about historical topics, at least in the context of a commission for difficult issues, it hardly works. On Russia’s part, however, there is not enough openness on this matter. Minister Lavrov also touched on the matter of the lack of invitation to the September events for the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II,” the Polish Foreign Minister remarked. At the same time, Czaputowicz emphasized that “despite the differences, we need to talk,” and that “several issues could possibly be resolved”. Polish President Andrzej Duda invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to visit Warsaw on the anniversary of the start of World War II. Zelensky responded that he was “happy to accept President Duda’s invitation”. Duda said that it was his first meeting with Ukraine’s incumbent president, and expressed the hope that much could be achieved for both nations through joint efforts. Duda gave his assurances that Poland would continue to support Ukraine’s efforts to restore its territorial integrity, sovereignty and the borders recognized by the global community.

Moldova’s Entire Constitutional Court Resigns

All six judges on Moldova’s Constitutional Court have stepped down amid calls for their resignation after decisions made by the court fueled a political crisis in the ex-Soviet country.

Georgian Parliament Strips Opposition Lawmaker Of Immunity Over Violent Protests

Georgia’s parliament has voted to strip opposition lawmaker Nika Melia of his parliamentary immunity and agreed to his detention after violent protests last week.

EU Extends Ukraine-Related Sanctions On Russia For Another Six Months

European Union ambassadors have officially prolonged for another six months economic sanctions imposed on Russia for its actions in Ukraine.

EU prolongs Russia sanctions by six months – news economics | UNIAN

On June 27, 2019, the EU Council prolonged economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy until January 31, 2020. The measures target the financial, energy and defense sectors, and the area of dual-use goods.

NATO PA president assures that Alliance stands with Ukraine

President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Madeleine Moon has pledged full support for Ukraine and expressed a wish to visit the demarcation line in Donbas. — Ukrinform.

Zelensky, Moon discuss cooperation between Ukraine and NATO

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky held a meeting with President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Madeleine Moon, the press service of the head of state has reported. — Ukrinform.

NATO sees no direct link between support for Ukraine and pressure on Russia over INF Treaty (Video) – news politics | UNIAN

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says there is no direct link between the efforts to resolve the situation in Ukraine and the efforts to force Russia into compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty). NATO assures it will continue providing political and practical support to Ukraine.

Russia must withdraw heavy weapons from Stanytsia Luhanska – Volker

U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker has welcomed the disengagement of forces started by Ukraine in Stanytsia Luhanska and expects Russia to fulfill its part of the obligations. — Ukrinform.

U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee backs sanctions against Russia’s gas pipeline projects – news economics | UNIAN

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs has unanimously endorsed a bill to impose sanctions on Russian gas pipeline projects. The Act also provides a mechanism for guaranteeing the volume of natural gas transit through the territory of Ukraine.

Special envoy of OSCE Chair in Ukraine Sajdik welcomes disengagement near Stanytsia Luhanska – news war | UNIAN

Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group, Ambassador Martin Sajdik has welcomed the disengagement of Ukrainian troops and weapons near the village of Stanytsia Luhanska in Donbas, eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian troops on June 26 withdrew from its positions near the Stanytsia Luhanska checkpoint in Donbas as part of disengagement under the Minsk peace agreements.

Chrystia Freeland meets with Ukrainian community in Canada

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland has held meeting with representatives of the Ukrainian community. — Ukrinform.

Zelensky: Ukraine does not need mediators in prisoners swaps

Ukraine does not need mediators for exchanging and liberating captives in Donbas, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

Foreign Ministry: Russia puts unacceptable conditions to sailors’ release – LB.ua news portal

Foreign Ministry: Russia puts unacceptable conditions to sailors’ release. Ukraine is asked to guarantee the continuation of criminal prosecution. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Russian Security Service exposes illegal arms transfer channel from Ukraine and Lithuania

Russia exposed channel of illegal arms trafficking from Ukraine and Lithuania

Russia demands Ukraine guarantee its sailors will be punished under Russian law

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has received a note from the Russian Foreign Ministry with a proposal for the Ukrainian side to provide written guarantees of Ukraine’s participation in the continuation of criminal prosecution of Ukrainian sailors in accordance with Russian legislation. — Ukrinform.

Russian-led forces violated ceasefire in Donbas 39 times in last day

The armed formations of the Russian Federation violated ceasefire 39 times, using weapons banned under the Minsk agreements 13 times, in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in Donbas over the past day. — Ukrinform.

Russian-led forces use banned weapons in 13 out of 39 attacks in Donbas on June 26 – news war | UNIAN

Russian-led forces used proscribed weapons in 13 out of 39 attacks on Ukrainian positions in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, on Wednesday, June 26. Four Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action and another three sustained combat-related injuries.

Troop Pullback Starts At Eastern Ukrainian Flashpoint Town

Ukraine’s armed forces have begun to pull back from the town of Stanytsia Luhanska in the Luhansk region, one of only six civilian crossing points along the 450-kilometer line of contact in the Don…

Disengagement of forces in Donbas continues as Russian occupation forces pull back – news war | UNIAN

Russian occupation forces in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas have completed the first step of disengagement of troops and weapons in the area of Stanytsia Luhanska. Ukraine says that while disengagement is underway, reserve forces in the area will remain in full combat readiness, prepared to regain positions if the enemy fails to continue steps toward disengagement.

Disengagement of forces near Stanytsya Luhanska begins – LB.ua news portal

Disengagement of forces near Stanytsya Luhanska begins. Not a single shot has been made here over the week. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Ukrainian Soldiers obliterates unique Russian artillery reconnaissance complex – Defence Blog

Ukrainian Soldiers spotted and obliterated unique Russian missile and artillery ground reconnaissance complex, called the Zoopark-1, in eastern Ukraine’s separatist territories. The Ukrainian National Guard’s Azov regiment has announced that on 23 June it spotted modern Zoopark-1 radar complex near town Gorlivka seized by Russian-backed separatists in 2014 after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine. It was detected that the antenna of the complex is in a combat position, after which the means “Azov” was inflicted on the fire damage to the Russian radar complex. Footage has been released showing Zoopark-1 modern radar complex was seriously damaged after an artillery strike. Zoopark-1, or 1L219, is a counter-battery radar system developed jointly by Almaz-Antey for the Russian Armed Forces. It is a mobile Passive electronically scanned array radar based on a tracked MT-LBu chassis for the purpose of enemy field artillery acquisition. The system can detect moving ground targets at a distance of up to 40 kilometers.

Ukrainian MP Rabinovych gives names of four Ukrainian captives to be released from Donbas – news war | UNIAN

Ukrainian Member of Parliament (MP) Vadym Rabinovych has disclosed the names of four Ukrainian captives who are expected to be released by Russian-controlled forces in occupied Donbas. The four detainees are reportedly to be transferred to Viktor Medvedchuk in Minsk, Belarus, on June 28.

Mykolenko appointed as deputy commander of National Guard

President Volodymyr Zelensky has appointed Mykola Mykolenko as deputy commander of the National Guard of Ukraine. — Ukrinform.

Presidential Office holds meeting on economic problems of Donbas

The Presidential Office of Ukraine has held a special meeting to discuss economic problems of Donbas. — Ukrinform.

The construction of the Yagorlik test range will be completed by the end of 2020

In Kherson oblast, the construction of the State testing ground “Yagorlik” , which is intended for firing from the whole range of armament of the Ukrainian army, as well as the testing of long-range weapons of long range of impressions, is underway. This is reported by the Ukrainian Military Portal Already constructed a number of objects of the infrastructure of the landfill, which allowed the start of its operation. In particular, since the end of last year, already built: • control point • work is completed and the equipment of workplaces for managing aviation and conducting an air combat • The module of the training building is also installed • The land runway is equipped The installed modular premises at the “Yagorlik” landfill Photo: Army Inform By the end of 2019 must be completed: • solar power station • construction of an artesian well • Training classes with multimedia and interactive media Location of the new testing ground According to the project, it will build two and a half hundreds of advanced planning barracks, a 100-person dormitory, an educational building, baths, dining-rooms, parking lots, a control station, a polygon headquarters and a checkpoint. It is also foreseen to build a technical warehouse zone with food and industrial depots, a fire station, awnings for trucks, as well as two helicopter platforms. The size of the future landfill will be about 3.7 thousand hectares. Completion of the entire complex is expected by the end of 2020.

PAVLO BUKIN: “VILKHA-R” IS READY FOR SERIAL PRODUCTION

The domestic missile project “Vilkha-R”, developed by the “Luch” DCCB, which is part of the State Enterprise “Ukroboronprom”, is already ready for serial production. This was stated by the Director General of the State Concern “Ukroboronprom” Pavlo Bukin in an interview with Tsensor. NO , says Defense Express . ” Vilkha-R” is ready for serial production. “Vilkha M” is still being tested , “he said, answering the journalist’s question. Also, the head of the State Concern said that the price of serial Ukrainian missiles will be less than the price of its analogues on the world market (up to $ 200 thousand – for example, DE). This leads to a certain interest in “Vilkha” from the side of foreigners .

The Ukrainian anti-ship missile system RK-360MTS “Neptun” will be ready for production in two years.

The coastal version of the Ukrainian anti-ship missile system RC-360MTS “Neptun” will be prepared for batch production in two years. Such an opinion was expressed by the Director General of the State Concern “Ukroboronprom” Pavlo Bukin in an interview with the publication Censor. NO , says Defense Express . ” Two years, I think ,” he said, answering a journalist’s question about the timing of the release of the PCR project in a series. He also said that the tests themselves of the cruise missiles R-360 and the complex are in the planned order and the only problem may be the lack of funding for the program.

“Artem”, which is part of “Ukroboronprom”, still has no orders for the manufacture of shells from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine

“There are negotiations with the Ministry of Defense on the price of the munitions. The Ministry of Defense compares its cost with the hypothetical possibility of alternative purchasing. I say “hypothetical”, since since 2015 nobody has been able to buy. All producer countries are known to us. There are restrictions, semi-official, regarding the delivery of lethal weapons to Ukraine. It’s all possible, of course, to buy guerrilla trails, personal relationships and trust. But in small quantities “, – noted the General Director of the Concern. “The Concern conducted a wide marketing work on the creation of ammunition production. For example, we provided the Defense Ministry with proposals for topics ranging from 9 mm to 30 mm. If the decision is made, the Concern is ready to join the process. For our part, initially, and later – in accordance with the decision of the National Security and Defense Council, we conducted marketing work with world producers. Received offers on the possibility of supplying equipment for the organization of such industries. All this has been transferred to the Ministry of Defense and the National Security and Defense Council. If there are solutions, if certain budgets are allocated for this, we will be ready to develop the process , “he emphasized. Recall that the first stage of the production of 152-mm projectiles for the artillery system “Hyacinth” (2C5 and 2А36) was solemnly opened on August 9, 2018. Prior to that, the 152-mm projectiles developed by “Artem”, in cooperation with other enterprises, successfully passed a number of tests on military training grounds.

NSDC holds session on effectiveness of the use of state funds use in defence sector

NSDC holds session on the sufficiency of the use of state funds in defence sector

NSDC secretary, Indian ambassador discuss cooperation in security and defense

Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) Oleksandr Danyliuk held a meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of India to Ukraine Partha Satpathy, the NSDC press service has reported. — Ukrinform.

Tesla considering Ukraine as another Eastern European country for expansion – media – news economics | UNIAN

Ukraine is now being considered as another Eastern European country Tesla Inc. plans to expand into as it seeks to establish itself in more geographical markets. Fast-charging stations are also being built at a rapid rate throughout Eastern Europe.

Consultations with IMF on new program may start after parliamentary elections: NBU – news economics | UNIAN

Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Yakiv Smolii has said consultations on a new program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may start after a new parliament in Ukraine is elected and a new government is formed. Ukraine’s central bank is in constant dialogue with the IMF.

Law enforcers held searches at office of MP candidate from European Solidarity party

26.06.19 17:34 – Law enforcers held searches at office of MP candidate from European Solidarity party Yurii Biriukov, the famous volunteer and public activist, was the advisor of ex-President Poroshenko; European Solidarity party considers these searches political pressure View news.

Former Kyiv SBU chief involved in crackdown on Maydan released from custody – LB.ua news portal

Former Kyiv SBU chief involved in crackdown on Maydan released from custody. He was placed under house arrest. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

A Dark Force (Re)Awakens As Darth Vader Seeks Ukrainian Parliament Seat

Darth Viktorovych Vader, director of Dark Side of the Force, LLC, has been appointed by the Bloc of Darth Vader party to run for a parliamentary seat in Odesa.

Ukrainian Authorities Investigate ‘Attempted Murder’ Of Politician

Police in the Ukrainian city of Konotop have launched an attempted murder investigation after the city’s former mayor, Artem Semenikhin, was brutally beaten in the early hours of June 27.

How the US Got Rich, and Ukraine Can Too

The United States invented many things, but anti-trust laws and competition policy was arguably the most profound. These laws establish fair rules for the marketplace, and are why the country became the richest and most powerful on the planet. Without these, the United States would look like Russia or Ukraine: An impoverished populace and a moribund economy and political system owned by a few dozen oligarchs. The most dramatic example of the wisdom of these laws occurred in 1904 when Rockefeller’s oil giant Standard Oil controlled 91 percent of oil production and 85 percent of final sales in the United States. Its dominance allowed it to increasingly abuse workers, competitors, suppliers, and consumers. But in 1911, the US Justice Department sued the group under the federal antitrust law to promote competition in the marketplace and ordered its restructuring into thirty-four companies to be sold to independent entities. This draconian measure was not undertaken out of spite or political revenge. It was in the name of fairness and it saved the United States. Without anti-competition restrictions, economies are like hockey games without referees so the goons control the ice, win all the games, and prevent smaller, swifter, smarter players from playing. Rampant concentration of power destroys any economy, enterprises, and opportunities. This is why Ukraine’s new President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and parliament must immediately set up an anti-trust regime. This is not rocket science, and the templates and experts exist that can facilitate Ukrainian efforts to finally wrest the iron grip of oligarchs from their economy in order to provide opportunities for the best, smartest, and fastest. An anti-trust regime must be in place before the government undertakes mass privatizations of inefficient and corrupt state enterprises—to prevent oligarchs or their allies from snapping all of these up and becoming even more powerful.

Ukraine decreases state debt by USD 1.43 bln in May – Finance Ministry

As of May 31, 2019, Ukraine’s state and government-guaranteed debt amounted to USD 78.39 billion, or UAH 2,106.49 billion, the Finance Ministry has reported. — Ukrinform.

Power struggle shakes new Ukraine’s Orthodox Church | KyivPost – Ukraine’s Global Voice

On Dec. 15, thousands braved the cold to gather at St. Sophia’s Cathedral in Kyiv and celebrate the creation of a new unified Orthodox church independent of Moscow and recognized by the world. And many of these believers thanked Patriarch Filaret for stepping for ceding power for the sake of the new church. Filaret didn’t appear before the crowd that day. Many felt sad about his absence. After all, he had created and governed the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate for 23 years. It had split from the Russian Patriarchate in 1992, a year after Ukraine gained independence. After that, Moscow effectively excommunicated him from much of the Orthodox world. But when Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians, agreed to recognize an independent Ukrainian Orthodox church in 2018, one of the conditions was that it not be led by Filaret. On Dec. 15, a special council elected Metropolitan Epiphanius, Filaret’s former secretary and protégé, to head the newly formed Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Meanwhile, Filaret received the title of the patriarch emeritus of Kyiv and all Ukraine and the right to be in charge of the church issues in Kyiv city and Kyiv Oblast. But six months later, it has become clear that symbolic power isn’t enough for 90-year-old Filaret, who has been one of the most influential Ukrainian clerics since the 1960s. He wants the real thing. On June 20, Filaret invited loyal bishops to Volodymyrsky Cathedral in Kyiv, where he usually conducts services and announced a split from the new Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the restoration of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchy. Only two bishops joined that meeting. Filaret claimed that former President Petro Poroshenko, who played a key role in the creation of the new church, and Metropolitan Epiphanius had fooled him, promising that he will de facto govern the new church inside Ukraine, while Epiphanius would just represent it abroad. As a result, Filaret decided to reverse the deal and leave the new church. “The church in Ukraine is experiencing very hard times,” Filaret told a press conference on June 25. But clerics and religious scholars say that it is Filaret who will soon encounter hard times. He has minimal support among clergy and parishes. He also risks eventually being expelled from the canonical church and losing any honorable place in history by provoking a split in the church. At the same time, experts say that, without Filaret, the church would see a boost in its development. With about 9 million believers, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is the largest in the country and the fifth largest Orthodox church in the world. But no foreign Orthodox church, other than the Ecumenical Church in Constantinople (Istanbul), has formally recognized it yet because it was unclear if Filaret would have an influence on the new church, said religious scholar Oleksandr Sagan. “The personality of Filaret is toxic for many foreign Orthodox churches,” he said. Now, when Filaret’s role is minimal, two or three churches will likely recognize the new Ukrainian church by the end of the year.

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