Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (220)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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An excellent essay by Prof Blank that hits on some key realities understood by the knowledgeable, but not understood by far too many in Western politics and media. Russia trails a P-8A LRMP over the Black Sea. NATO update. The Vozhd visits Rome. More on Russia’s descent.

The Vozhd makes pronouncements on Ukraine that will not sell outside Russia. Amb Volker tweets. Bloomberg on the meltdown of pro-Russian politics in Ukraine. EU-Ukraine summit in Kyiv next week. Sea Breeze 2019 EX, Kerch, Crimea updates.

Donbas update. Ze announces multiple senior appointments and visits Donbas. SBU bags another Russian asset. More on the extraction of the MH17 suspect. Industry update.

Politics and economy updates.


Stephen Blank | Russia’s attack on democracy shows the value of Independence Day | TheHill

Liberalism and democracy are under serious assault — particularly by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s relentless campaign against the West.

Russia fighter jet reportedly intercepted U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol plane near Crimea – Defence Blog

Russian Sukhoi SU-27 fighter jet was sent to intercept a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol plane flying close to borders in the Crimean peninsula, a spokeswoman from the Ministry of Defense said. Russian air defense systems detected the U.S. Navy patrol plane it was flying over neutral waters parallel to the Russian border and sent a Sukhoi SU-27 jet to intercept it, the Russian Defence Ministry said in a statement. “The Russian SU-27 crew, having approached at a safe distance, identified the aircraft as an American P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft which immediately changed the direction of flight from the state border of the Russian Federation,” the Defense Ministry said. It is worth noting that this incident, apparently, occurred on Wednesday, July 3, off the coast of Crimea. At least, the data of the specialized portal PlaneRadar indicate that on this day the Boeing P-8A Poseidon of the United States Navy with the board number 169328 was carrying out a reconnaissance mission in the specified area. The P-8A Poseidon is the U.S. Navy’s multi-mission maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft. The P-8A efficiently conducts anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and humanitarian response. These capabilities are enhanced through secure, interoperable, net-ready systems. While the aircraft is also equipped with high-quality weapon systems, it also has an open architecture to allow for expansion. The P-8A Poseidon incorporates the 737-800 air frame, -900 wings, a weapons bay and pylons, and operates with a smaller crew. However, it delivers an extended global reach, greater payload capacity, higher operating altitude, and state-of-the art sensors, radars and open-systems architecture. Later was released footage showing incept of U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol plane.

Intercepting US reconnaissance aircraft over the Black Sea – YouTube

TV channel Zvezda. news Published on Jul 4, 2019 The Russian Defense Ministry has published a video of the interception of a US US intelligence aircraft by a Russian Su-27 fighter over the Black Sea Details: https: //tvzvezda.ru/news/forces/conte … Subscribe to us in social networks:

Russia readies S-400 missiles for Turkey amid warnings of U.S. sanctions on NATO ally – The Washington Post

But the tough U.S. warnings contrast with President Trump’s apparent bonds with Turkey’s leader.

NATO Considers Missile Defense Upgrade, Risking Further Tensions With Russia – The New York Times

Some alliance officials think the move is needed to counter Russia’s new cruise missiles, but it could be “a point of no return with the Russians,” one expert said.

No breakthrough with Russia on INF treaty dispute: NATO’s Stoltenberg – Reuters

NATO and Russia did not make significant progress on saving the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in talks at the alliance headquarters on Friday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

Putin says he’s ready to start talks with US on arms control | TheHill

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he’s ready to restart arms control negotiations with the U.S. after both Washington and Moscow announced their withdrawal from a landmark nuclear missile treaty.

Putin Looks To Italy To Help Mend EU Ties, Bring Sanctions Relief

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he hopes the leadership of the populist government of Italy will help persuade the European Union’s new chiefs to ease their policy towards sanctions imposed…

Vladimir Putin shows up late for meeting with Pope Francis

Authoritarian Russian President Vladimir Putin and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio have something in common: both men have met Pope Francis and both seem to have trouble showing up for important meetings on time.

Putin, after three days, says fire-hit Russian submarine was nuclear-powered – Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin disclosed on Thursday for the first time that a secret military submarine hit by a fatal fire three days ago was nuclear-powered, prompting the defense minister to assure him its reactor had been safely contained.

Russia: Nuclear Reactor Safe on Fire-Damaged Submarine | Time

The nuclear reactor on a Russian navy research submersible wasn’t damaged in the fire that killed 14 seamen onboard.

UAWire – Israeli media: Russian and US submarines clash in Alaska

Russia and the US are holding urgent consultations due to an encounter between their submarines, according to a report by the Israeli military …

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Despite Kremlin Claims, Moscow hasn’t Moved Russia toward Soviet-Style Isolation, Shelin Says

Paul Goble Staunton, July 3 – If one listens to senior Russian officials, one would think that the Kremlin is working overtime to promote import substitution, restrict the importation of food from abroad, and keep Russians from travelling abroad, Sergey Shelin says; but statistics show that it hasn’t moved the country much in those directions at all. And that in turn means, the Rosbalt commentator continues, that “it hasn’t been able to drive the country into real isolation of the Soviet model – and that it is hardly likely to be able to do in the future.” Russia is too integrated in the international market, and Russians are too interested in travelling abroad for that (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2019/07/02/1789995.html). In 2018, Russia imported 249 billion US dollars’ worth of goods, “not radically less than in 2013, the last pre-Crimea and pre-sanctions year (341 billion US dollars),” and in the first quarter of this year, Shelin continues, it imported only one percent less than it did in the first three months of 2018. Very little of this has had to do with import substitution. Far more important has been the decline in the price of oil and Russia’s ability to purchase goods because of that. When oil prices rose from 2001 to 2008, Russian imports rose along with them from 51 billion US dollars to 289 billion US dollars. During these “’fat years,’” Russians became accustomed to buying foreign goods, something they have not lost to this day. By 2008, they were buying an average of 27 billion US dollars in imported goods. A year later, that figure fell to 14 billion. Between 2011 and early 2014, they purchased every month about 28 to 30 billion US dollars’ worth. Then, together with oil prices, it fell to 15 billion a month in early 2016 before rising to 22 billion a month in 2018. Throughout this period, the chief driver of changes in imports was the price of oil, not efforts by the powers that be to restrict imports. There is no sign that there has been or will be any return to the asceticism as far as foreign goods are concerned that was on display before the oil price boom of the early 2000s. That pattern is also on display with regard to the purchase of food from abroad. The embargo on food products from the EU, Canada and the US “has not been converted into food isolation.” Russians continue to import more than they export, and to do so in large amounts. The only difference is what they buy and where it comes from. “If product import substitution were seriously working,” Shelin continues, “then the size of imports of food from year to year would have fallen. But instead, they fell together with the exchange rate of the ruble” and then have stabilized when the ruble stabilized, a pattern that suggests government policies have had a minimal effect in this sector as well. And in a third sector, Russian tourism abroad, the same pattern has held. Their spending on foreign travel rose from 9.5 billion US dollars a year in 2001 to approximately 25 billion in 2008 as oil prices rent up. In 2013, they spent 60 billion, before falling by half and then recovering last year to 40 billion US dollars annually. Russians have become accustomed to travelling abroad despite all the government bans on countries they can visit, restrictions on government employees’ travel, and limits on flights. Russians have acquired the habit of travelling to other countries, and there is little evidence to suggest that the regime has been able to limit it, despite official claims.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Decade of Relative Stability in North Caucasus Coming to an End, Neroznikova Says

Paul Goble Staunton, July 3 – The decade of relative stability in the North Caucasus, a period during which the authorities were not able to resolve “the basic problem of the region,” the clash between Islamic fundamentalism and a corrupt and lawless civil power, is rapidly coming to an end, according to Yekaterina Neroznikova, a journalist who has long worked in the region. She tells Sovershenno Sekretno commentator Anton Krivenyuk that there are likely to be leadership changes in Daghestan and Chechnya as well as more corruption scandals and that these things will only exacerbate the underlying problems of a region that remains divided into “ethnic quarters” (sovsekretno.ru/articles/kto-mozhet-rabotat-toporom-/). According to numerous Moscow sources, Vladimir Vasiliyev, the head of Daghestan is ready to move on, acknowledging that he has made little progress against the corruption endemic there. But that should surprise no one because federal subventions to that republic and others create the conditions for corruption as Moscow tries to buy off the regional elites. There are also rumors that Ramzan Kadyrov of Chechnya will be shifted as well, but Neroznikova suggests that “it is difficult to imagine Kadyrov in another republic or another region.” Many places would resist having him because he would only work to suppress them rather than develop or represent their interests. At the same time, the journalist stresses, the region is increasingly diverse, making Moscow’s one-size-fits-all approach ever less appropriate and effective. North Ossetia “is becoming ever more modern,” she continues, while Daghestan is moving in the opposite direction especially outside of the capital. Chechnya is different as well because the rising generation is both more religious and more traditional, albeit traditional in a new way. There is a greater willingness on the part of men to impose their religious-moral views on others, there is a growing cult of personality, and there is a respect only for force. Because Kadyrov embodies all these values, many Chechens are drawn to him; and that is all the more so because he has been able to provide both jobs and a rising standard of living, as a result of the subsidies he gets from Moscow. To be sure, these improvements look more impressive because the republic started from such a low base. “Ingushetia, unfortunately, is a republic which has marched in place as far as development is concerned,” the journalist says. Its society is more traditional and religious than that of Chechnya – but at the same time, Ingushetia has more human rights activists ready to protest than does Chechnya. It is impossible to imagine Chechens protesting as Ingush do. Chechnya today, “exists completely autonomously” from the rest of the country, Neroznikova says. Kadyrov maintains tight control but only by asserting his ties to Islam and the Chechen nation even as he takes money from the center. But he recognizes that Islam is a threat to him as well not only because it alienates Moscow but because it challenges his pattern of rule. The journalist agrees that “while there is money [coming from Moscow], there will be stability” but says that “sooner or later,” it is going to run out and none of the republics in the region is going to be able to exist on its own. Their economies will collapse, and Islamism will increase – and tensions among them will grow because of border conflicts. Across the North Caucasus, albeit in different ways, Neroznikova says, “the ethnic is giving place to the religious, and the problem of the clash between Islam and traditional values is every more obvious. Islam, of course, is stronger, because the young are the bearers of its ideas, and the older people who are the bearers of adat are dying.” But at the same time, “the most interesting thing here,” she continues, is “the third factor,” the rise of secular features in portions of these societies. Thus is being formed “a triangle, religion, traditions, and the contemporary world,” something that “makes the Muslim Caucasus unique” but also promises to make it increasingly unpredictable and unstable.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Possible Muslim Boycott of Haj to Mecca Fraught with Significant Religious and Political Consequences

Paul Goble Staunton, July 3 – Angered by Riyadh’s policies, Muslim leaders in several countries are urging Muslims to avoid making the haj to Mecca, arguing that going to that Saudi site is “a sin” rather than a fulfillment of one of “the five pillars of Islam” that the faithful are required to perform (svoboda.org/a/30035223.html). It appears unlikely that many Muslims will follow this advice. But the fact that what would have been unthinkable only a few years ago is now being promoted by leaders as authoritative as Libya’s Grand Mufti Sadiq al-Gariani both reflects and intensifies centrifugal forces within the world of Islam. In few other places than the post-Soviet space are these likely to be as great. During most of the Soviet period, no Muslims from the USSR were able to make the haj to Mecca and both rising costs and such appeals may mean that fewer will do so in the future. But unwillingness or inability to go to Mecca did not and will not satisfy the demand for making a pilgrimage. In Soviet times, many Muslims, especially in the North Caucasus but elsewhere as well, who could not hope to travel to Mecca chose instead to make pilgrimages to local holy sites, sometimes the tombs of Sufi saints and others to shrines commemorating one or another historical event. That pattern gave those who controlled these saints, typically underground mullahs or Sufi adepts, far more influence than they might otherwise have had and meant that when the Soviet system disintegrated, these groups played a much larger role than might otherwise have been expected. Some of that interest in local pilgrimages fell as more and more Muslims from the post-Soviet states have made the haj, but now it again is on the rise, with various national governments hoping to profit from what they are already calling “an alternative to the haj” in public (fergana.agency/photos/108509/; cf. windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/12/tashkent-hopes-to-profit-by-promoting.html). To the extent that occurs, it would likely mean not a lessening of Islamic devotion but rather a shift from Saudi-promoted Wahhabism which many post-Soviet states view as an immediate threat to Sufi-linked or other traditional forms that almost certainly will pose a greater challenge over the longer term to governments interested in promoting secularism.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: More than One Percent of Russians Infected with HIV Virus in 13 Regions of the Country

Paul Goble Staunton, July 3 – Over the last three years, Moscow officials say, the number of Russian regions where HIV infections have reached the level – one percent of the population – that the UN says constitutes epidemic level has gone up by 40 percent to include 13 federal subjects. In three — Irkutsk, Sverdlovsk, and Kemerovo — the share infected approaches nearly twice that. These figures, reported by the RBC news agency on the basis of information released by Russia’s consumer protection agency, Rospotrebnadzor, are particularly disturbing not only as an overall trend but for three additional reasons. First, they increasingly reflect the spread of the disease by sexual contact and are affecting ever older age cohorts. Second, the infections are shifting from ports and major cities, the traditional centers of HIV, to smaller cities and towns. And third, far fewer Russians who are infected know that and are being treated than is the case elsewhere. Consequently, far more will likely develop AIDS and die (rbc.ru/society/03/07/2019/5d1b2c2e9a7947c21fdabbe4). Not surprisingly, some conservative Russian commentators immediately blamed this development on what they label “disorderly sexual relations” and even suggested that this medical disaster is the work of Western advocates of LGBT rights who want to use HIV/AIDS to undermine Russia (rusk.ru/newsdata.php?idar=85126).

Pope and Putin discuss situation in Ukraine

Pope Francis and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the situation in Ukraine, according to Vatican News. — Ukrinform.

Putin wants Kyiv to end economic blockade of occupied Donbas

05.07.19 13:37 – Putin wants Kyiv to end economic blockade of occupied Donbas Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Minsk Agreement requires full restoration of relations between Donbas and the rest of Ukraine. View news.

Putin hopes Europe will refuse from anti-Russian sanctions

Putin expressed hope Italy would fight for restoration of relations with the EU and Russia

Once Russian forces leave, peace breaks out in Ukraine – Kurt Volker

U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker has said that as soon as the Russian Federation withdraws its forces, peace will come to Ukraine. — Ukrinform.

Kurt Volker on Twitter: “A clear reminder that the key to peace in Ukraine is the withdrawal of Russian forces. Once they leave, peace breaks out, and life is better for local residents.… https://t.co/6vP3qLFT57”

Kurt Volker on Twitter: “U.S. cannot and will not negotiate away rights of Ukrainian people.  Only Ukrainians can decide their future, and they have made clear they want their sovereignty, their territory, and to be part of Euro-Atlantic structures.   They have full U.S. support.”

Kurt Volker: Once Russian forces leave, peace breaks out in Ukraine

05.07.19 15:37 – Kurt Volker: Once Russian forces leave, peace breaks out in Ukraine US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker has said that as soon as the Russian Federation withdraws its forces, peace will come to Ukraine. View news.

Russia’s Bid to Win a Firmer Foothold in Ukraine Is Falling Flat – Bloomberg

Russian efforts to boost influence over Ukraine at its neighbor’s election this month are making little headway.

Russia’s bid to win a firmer foothold in Ukraine is falling flat – Bloomberg – news politics | UNIAN

Ties between the one-time allies remain at a nadir after protesters in Kyiv unseated the country’s Kremlin-backed leader in 2014 and Vladimir Putin illegally annexed Crimea before fomenting a war in which he still denies involvement. That’s left Ukraine focused on Western integration, and Russia still keen to derail it. Russian efforts to boost influence over Ukraine at its neighbor’s election this month are making little headway.

U.S. calls on Russia to free journalist Aseev

The United States shares the calls of OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir on Russia to release Ukrainian journalist Stanislav Aseev, who has been illegally detained in the temporarily occupied territories of the Donbas for more than two years. — Ukrinform.

Tusk says solidarity with Ukraine important for European unity

The European unity is important for the entire continent and solidarity with Ukraine is one of the manifestations of such unity. — Ukrinform.

Tusk, Juncker to take part in EU-Ukraine summit in Kyiv

President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker will take part in the 21st EU-Ukraine summit, scheduled for July 8 in Kyiv. — Ukrinform.

Georgiy Kuhaleyshvili | New EU leadership: What does it mean for Ukraine?

The proposed candidacies for EU leadership positions are the result of a difficult compromise between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron with leaders of other EU member states. On the evening of July 2, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, posted on his Facebook page a list of new candidates for key posts in the European Union. German Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen is now applying for the post of President of the European Commission. Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, wants to appoint the president of the European Central Bank. Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell might become new EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, while Prime Minister of Belgium Charles Michel will become President of the European Council. Tusk coordinated the nominations of these officials at an emergency meeting of the European Council on Tuesday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and leaders of other EU member states. Now the ball is on the side of the European Parliament, which must approve the candidacies of Ursula von der Leyen for the presidency of the European Commission and Josep Borrel – for the presidency of European diplomacy. Ukraine is closely following the personnel changes in the EU bodies, since they may affect the position of Brussels on the Ukrainian issue.

UK court rules to “freeze” $145 mln in dividends from Nord Stream when paid to Gazprom – Naftogaz – news economics | UNIAN

The UK Commercial Court of the High Court of Justice within the framework of the Naftogaz of Ukraine lawsuit ordered Russia’s Gazprom to pay $145 million to the court account as a guarantee of the court’s claims if dividends from the Nord Stream are received. The court made the relevant decision on June 11, 2019.

Zelensky demonstrated his foreign policy priorities in Toronto – ambassador

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has clearly outlined his foreign policy priorities during his recent visit to Canada, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada Andriy Shevchenko has said. — Ukrinform.

Ambassador sums up Zelensky’s visit to Canada

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has managed to reach a number of concrete agreements during his recent visit to Canada, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada Andriy Shevchenko has said. — Ukrinform.

Geneva International Airport starts using ‘Kyiv’ instead of ‘Kiev’

04.07.19 17:50 – Geneva International Airport starts using ‘Kyiv’ instead of ‘Kiev’ Geneva International Airport has started using the correct name for the Ukrainian capital in Latin – “Kyiv” instead of “Kiev.” View news.

Brussels Media Hub on Twitter: “.@ExSeaBreeze: #ExerciseSeaBreeze training done at sea by the mighty #USSCarney with the #Bulgarian corvette BuNS Bodri! #SB19 #SeaBreeze2019 #SeaBreeze #ReadyForces #VBSS #training #Bulgaria… https://t.co/BRvki3xJcr”

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet holds drills amid NATO Sea Breeze 2019

Russia holds drills in Black Sea at the same time as NATO

MFA Russia admits possibility of releasing POW sailors from custody before end of “trial” – news politics | UNIAN

The Russian Foreign Ministry has admitted that Ukrainian naval sailors captured by Russia near the Kerch Strait Nov 25, 2018, could be released from custody and returned to Ukraine before the court in Moscow hands down a ruling on charges brought before them, while this is not about lifting their “responsibility”. The note earlier sent to Ukraine “clearly states” that appropriate tools are available in Russian legislation, Zekharova claims.

MFA Russia admits possibility of releasing POW sailors from custody before end of “trial”

05.07.19 14:46 – MFA Russia admits possibility of releasing POW sailors from custody before end of “trial” The Russian Foreign Ministry has admitted that Ukrainian naval sailors captured by Russia near the Kerch Strait Nov 25, 2018, could be released from custody and returned to Ukraine before the court in Moscow’s hands down a ruling on charges… View news.

Ten providers in Crimea completely block 14 Ukrainian information websites

Ten providers in occupied Crimea have completely blocked 14 Ukrainian information websites and two social networks. — Ukrinform.

One KIA, six WIAs amid 30 enemy attacks in Donbas on July 4 – news war | UNIAN

Russia’s hybrid military forces on Thursday mounted 30 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, with one Ukrainian soldier reported as killed in action (KIA) and another six as wounded in action (WIA). Each enemy attack saw an adequate response, Ukraine’s Joint Forces report.

Terrorists attack OSCE SMM patrol near Zolote

05.07.19 10:26 – Terrorists attack OSCE SMM patrol near Zolote Militants attacked the patrol of OSCE Special Monitoring Mission with small arms near Zolote, Luhansk region. View news.

Regaining positions in Stanytsia Luhanska following disengagement could be “complicated” – General Zabrodskyi – news war | UNIAN

The cost of regaining positions that the Ukrainian Army occupied before the disengagement of forces and weapons in Stanytsia Luhanska will be very high, said General Mykhailo Zabrodskyi, Commander of the Airborne Assault Troops of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. “As for the task that could be set, well, that’s the point of being in a military. If the order issued, everything will be done to fulfill it. However, in terms of the process and possible casualties, its implementation will be really complicated precisely by this disengagement,” the official told a panel show on 1+1 TV Channel. According to Zabrodskyi, after the enemy appeared on dominating heights, it will not be easy to play the situation back. From a tactical perspective, the withdrawal of troops in Stanytsia Luhanska has created many threats, the general said, referring to units defending their lines in the area of ​​Stanytsia Luhanska. As UNIAN reported earlier, on June 26-30, disengagement of forces was performed in Stanytsia Luhanska, which was confirmed by the OSCE SMM.

Russia amassing troops along border with Ukraine – JFO Staff deputy commander – news war | UNIAN

The Russian Federation has been increasing the number of troops deployed along the Ukrainian-Russian border. “This concerns both the Kharkiv sector and areas closer to [Ukraine’s strategic port city of] Mariupol. We see them deploying [their troops],” Deputy Commander of the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) Staff Major General Bohdan Bondar said on Hromadske. According to him, this has gradually been happening during the entire war in Donbas. “At first, let’s say, their capabilities were limited. And since then, they’ve built both training ranges and facilities to accommodate military units and subunits, and expanded those components that had already existed,” he said. “As the sector was not a priority to the Russian Federation, but now they have virtually rebuilt the railway, which no longer passes through the territory of Ukraine. That is, they’ve built military infrastructure able to transfer forces and equipment, including to certain areas, within a short period of time.”

Russia increases its presence along Ukrainian-Russian border

Number of Russian troops increases at

Information policy remains important in solving Donbas conflict, – Head of Servant of People party

Servant of the People party shared view of steps necessary to end Donbas conflict

Iuliia Mendel on Twitter: “Today is the 5th anniversary of the liberation of the 5 UA cities:Mariupol, Slovyansk, Kramatorsk, Bakhmut, Mariinka.“On behalf of all Ukrainians I express my gratitude to our Army & people, who risked their lives to reconfirm that Donbas is Ukraine!” @ZelenskyyUA in Kramatorsk”

 

Iuliia Mendel on Twitter: ““Our priorities in Donbas are: provision of a high quality sustainable water supply, renovation of Kramatorsk airport, payment of salary debts to the miners & construction of hospitals and roads,” said @ZelenskyyUa in Kramatorsk.… https://t.co/wKNudgpcxg”

 

President Zelensky leaves for Donetsk region

President Volodymyr Zelensky has left for Donetsk region on Friday, July 5, according to the president’s press service. — Ukrinform.

President appoints SBU head in Donbas

President Volodymyr Zelensky has appointed Volodymyr Petrychenko as head of the Main Directorate of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. — Ukrinform.

Zelensky appoints Tyvodar head of SBU’s Main Investigative Department

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has appointed Bohdan Tyvodar head of the Main Investigative Department of the Security Service of Ukraine.

Zelensky appoints Anatoliy Dublyk, Oleksandr Karpenko SBU deputy chiefs

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, by his decrees, appointed Anatoliy Dublyk and Oleksandr Karpenko as deputy heads of the Security Service of Ukraine.

UAWire – Prague investigates 20 Czech citizens who took part in the war in Donbas

The Ambassador of Ukraine to the Czech Republic Yevgeny Perebiynis, in an interview with Voice of Ukraine, said that the Czech Republic is investigating 20 of its citizens who were fighting on the side of the pro-Russian militants in the Donbas. “There is an investigation conducted against almost 20 Czech citizens who possibly participated in military operations on the side of Russia in the Donbas,” he stressed. When the Ambassador was asked about how these people were detained and whether the Czech special services cooperate with the Ukrainian, he said that this is a sensitive topic. However, Perebiynis confirmed that there is cooperation between the Czech and Ukrainian law enforcement agencies. According to him, the Czech law enforcement authorities don’t like to tell much about how the investigation is conducted. At the moment, only one Czech citizen was sentenced for taking part in military operations in the East of Ukraine. He was sentenced to probation. “But despite this, there is a precedent. Others are under investigation. A very complex issue in the investigation is proof of guilt. Many accusations are based on social networks or testimonies of individuals,” the Ambassador said. Also, he noted that the Czech Republic has a vast number of agents of Russian special services on their territory. “The Russian Embassy in Prague has almost the largest number of employees in comparison with other diplomatic institutions. There is information that more than half of these employees are representatives of the Russian security services,” said Perebiynis. He also said that in 2016 the first representative foreign office of the so-called DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic) was established in the Czech Republic. The Czech Foreign Ministry filed a lawsuit and last summer the representation was closed. The reason for the case was presenting itself as the center pretended to be an official diplomatic institution of a non-existent state. “At the moment this is the only such a decision in Europe, although Russia is trying to open such centers in France, Finland, and Italy. This case could be a precedent for other European countries,” said Perebiynis.

SBU busts defense company employee spying for Russia – news ukraine | UNIAN

Counterintelligence operatives together with the Main Investigation Directorate of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine have apprehended an asset of Russian “GRU” military intelligence, who is an employee of one of Ukroboronprom’s defense enterprises. The Zaporizhia-based culprit was detained as he was traveling to the Russian city of Voronezh to meet with his supervisor, according to the SBU’s press center. Security operatives learned that the man had been recruited in 2014 in the temporarily annexed territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea by a GRU operative based on material interest and general support for the ideas of the “Russian world” concept. Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/society/10607589-sbu-busts-defense-company-employee-spying-for-russia.html

Ukraine’s special operations forces detain “commander” involved in MH17 downing (Photo) – news war | UNIAN

Ukrainian special operations forces late in June conducted a special operation in the Russia-occupied town of Snizhne in Donetsk region to detain ex-“commander” of Russia-led anti-aircraft forces Volodymyr Tsemakh. The operation was conducted in the Russia-controlled territory.

UAWire – Ukraine captures DPR anti-air commander in Snizhne near MH17 crash site

Ukrainian intelligence forces have captured Vladimir Tsemakh, a former air defense commander in the separatist-controlled city of Snizhne, which …

Ukraine elections: No special polling stations to be set up for military on Donbas frontlines – news politics | UNIAN

The Central Election Commission (CEC) will not be setting up special polling stations at military units deployed in Donetsk, Luhansk and Lviv regions during early parliamentary elections on July 21. The military will vote at regular polling stations in settlements if they get such opportunity.

Mountain assault troops from the 10th Brigade learn from British experience

At the Rivne military training ground, training units of the 10th separate mountain-assault brigade are being trained in the ORBITAL training mission. Informs the Army The training is carried out by Ukrainian military instructors assisted by British colleagues from the D-Regiment of the British Army’s palace cavalry Also, British troops evaluate Ukrainian instructors. Classes in different educational areas include training in modules: • weapons handling • fire training, • orientation on the ground, • military topography, • radio communication • tactical medicine • Survival, • moving in two, • tactical training, etc. British instructors have been working in Ukraine since 2015 under the ORBITAL operation, training Ukrainian military personnel with many defensive skills: mine detection and improvised explosive devices, medical assistance and logistics.

Canada will supply armored vehicles to Ukraine

During the negotiations between President of Ukraine and Prime Minister of Canada, a number of agreements have been reached as regards the support for Ukraine in the defense sphere. “I think we can frankly speak about it: we have agreed on the supply of armored vehicles and the development of cooperation in this area,” the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said during a conversation with journalists in Toronto. Volodymyr Zelensky noted that he did not want to reveal the details at the moment. “Let’s sign the deal. I’m sure it will happen soon. And then we will talk about this,” he concluded. Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, in turn, confirmed the progress in supporting Ukraine in the protection of its territory and sovereignty. “Yes, we are moving forward in discussions on the armed support for Ukraine. In addition to the military mission, in which Canada is involved, we also added Ukraine to the list for the purchase of Canadian weapons. And this is a positive decision,” he stated.

US Upgrades Ukrainian Ports To Fit American Warships

As tensions rise between Russia and Ukraine on the Black Sea, the US is upgrading several Ukrainian naval bases to give American and NATO warships the ability to dock just miles from Russia-controlled Crimea. That was reported by Breaking Defense.. Centered at the Ochakiv Naval Base and the military facility at Mykolaiv — 40 miles east of Odessa and less than 100 northwest of Crimea — the American-funded effort includes reinforcing and upgrading existing piers and adding a new floating dock, security fencing around the bases, ship repair facilities, and a pair of brand-new Maritime Operations Centers from which Ukrainian and NATO forces can direct exercises and coordinate activities. США модернізують українські порти для американських військових кораблів The upgrades come after last November’s incident where Russian warships fired on and seized three Ukrainian navy vessels in the Kerch Strait between Russia and Ukraine. Russia is still holding the crews. The new American effort in Ukraine will likely rankle Moscow. A majority of the effort is taking place at the Ochakiv, which has seen a series of visits from US Navy construction teams over the past few years. The work at Ochakiv won’t be wrapped up until August, Lt. Spencer Bull, operations officer for Underwater Construction Team 1 currently in Ukraine assessing the piers, told me. “The intent is to be able to use it for US and allied exercises,” he said, adding that his team of divers will work to reinforce existing piers, map out the seafloor to make sure bigger ships can dock there, and discuss where to place the planned floating dock.

Portnov complains to SBI about Parubiy’s delay in signing law on military standards for defense industry

Ex-Deputy Presidential Administration head under disgraced ex-President Viktor Yanukovych Andriy Portnov has sent a statement to the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) about the delay of Parliament Speaker Andriy Parubiy in signing a law adopted on strengthening criminal liability for corruption and embezzlement in the army.

Servant of the People leader Razumkov: Elections is Ukraine might be disrupted

05.07.19 11:27 – Servant of the People leader Razumkov: Elections is Ukraine might be disrupted The decision of the court on redraws, including Movement of New Forces in the lists, and reprint of the ballots might lead to the election disruption, as the leader of Servant of the People party Dmytro Razumkov View news.

Ratings change pending Rada elections: Poroshenko’s party climbs to 3rd place, Batkivshchyna slides – news politics | UNIAN

Five parties have every chance of reaching the 5% threshold at the early elections to the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament: the Servant of the People Party, the Opposition Platform – For Life Party, Petro Poroshenko’s European Solidarity Party, the Holos (Voice) Party, and the Batkivshchyna Party. The poll was conducted from June 29 to July 3, 2019.

Ukraine FM Klimkin says possible successor Prystaiko should become “organic part” of Team Zelensky – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has advised Vadym Prystaiko, whom President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky tapped for the top diplomatic post, to become an “organic part” of the new president’s team. “He was one of those [candidates] whom I advised that President Zelensky consider. He is a professional. It’s very important that he [Prystaiko] now become an organic part of this team in conditions where such important decisions are being made and will then be implemented. I wish him to be appointed [to the post],” he told Priamyi TV Channel on July 4. Klimkin says he has known Prystaiko for years.

Klimkin says hasn’t talked with Zelensky after inauguration

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said he has not talked with President Volodymyr Zelensky following the latter’s inauguration but communicated with Vadym Prystaiko deputy head of the presidential office, whom Zelensky has nominated for foreign minister.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry summons Hungarian ambassador over Szijjarto’s statement in Canada – news politics | UNIAN

Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Yehor Bozhok has invited Hungarian Ambassador to Ukraine Istvan Ijgyarto to “explain the logic behind Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto’s signals” at the Ukraine Reform Conference in Toronto, Canada. Szijjarto said that he hoped that Zelensky would not continue the “decidedly anti-Hungarian politics” in Zakarpattia.

UAWire – Ukrainian Foreign Ministry summons Hungarian Ambassador over Foreign Minister’s statements

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Yegor Bozhok summoned Hungarian Ambassador Istvan Iydyarto after the comments of the Hungarian …

Prominent IOC members, including Ukrainian Bubka, implicated in $2 mln Rio 2016 vote buying scheme – media – news ukraine | UNIAN

Former Rio de Janeiro governor Sérgio Cabral has implicated high-level government officials and two prominent International Olympic Committee (IOC) members, including Ukrainian Sergey Bubka, in a bombshell statement in a Brazilian federal court Thursday (July 4). The former Rio governor, who has been convicted, admitted to buying up votes.

Moody’s worsens outlook for Ukraine’s banking system – news economics | UNIAN

Moody’s Investors Service has worsened its outlook for Ukraine’s banking system from positive to stable, pointing out the risks associated with the growth in consumer lending. Further fast growth in consumer loans may hurt asset quality in the longer term.

Mrs. Universe 2018 Julia Gershun runs for Ukraine parliament

Mrs. Universe 2018, Top Model of the World 2017, a member of the UNICEF Commission for the Protection of Children’s Rights and Interests, a member of the Ukrainian delegation at the 57th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Julia Gershun, has decided to run for the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. — Ukrinform.