Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
NATO / INF update – Russia remains intransigent. AS-12 Losharik accident update. Turkey update – S-400 delivery, US parts buying spree, Russian SSN/SSK treaty breaches. More on Russia’s descent. Russian media finally discover that the earth is not flat. Libya meddling. NATO capabilities update.
Ze publicly pleads for help from POTUS in killing off Nordstream 2. Amb Volker interviewed on Ze’s planned meeting with POTUS. NATO SECGEN on Ukraine vs. Russia. Most bluster from Muscovy’s Budapest proxies. Update on July 8 EU-Ukraine summit in Kyiv. Blck Sea / Russia update.
Donbas update – fires continue. Marines exact payback. More on Ze’s Donbas visit. More on capture of MH-17 witness Tsemakh – the first participant to be caught. Defense industry update.
Portnikov and Euromaidan critique Ze and spell out multiple policy and staffing mistakes. Election update.
Pontiff meets with Ukrainian bishops. Euromaidan critique Patriarch Filaret’s attempted and failed schism of the OCU.
Earlier on Friday NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance would respond with coordinated “defensive” measures in the event of the termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
On Friday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg assured Moscow that the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defence system installed in Romania in 2016 and a similar system set to be built in Poland next year were “not directed against Russia.”
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States and Russia are headed towards a nuclear confrontation in the heart of Europe unless they reaffirm or amend the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, former European Union (EU) consultant Paolo von Schirach told Sputnik.
The NATO-Russia Council, which brings together all 29 NATO Allies and Russia, met in Brussels on Friday (5 July 2019) to discuss Ukraine, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and transparency and risk reduction. This was the second meeting of the NATO-Russia Council this year. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who chaired the meeting, said: “Our discussion was frank but necessary. Allies and Russia hold fundamentally different views but we are committed to continuing our dialogue.”
13:30 – Press point by the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg following the meeting of the NATO-Russia Council
NATO’s secretary-general said Russia has shown no signs of complying with a key Cold War-era arms-control treaty, amid years of accusations from Washington and European allies.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says Russia is showing no sign of respecting a major Cold War-era missile treaty.
There is little hope a key nuclear arms treaty can be saved, as Russia refuses to come back into compliance, says NATO’s Jens Stoltenberg. He spoke after a NATO-Russia Council meeting on the INF arms control treaty.
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.
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.
AFP news agency Published on Jul 5, 2019 NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warns that the chances of saving a landmark Cold War arms treaty were decreasing day by day after talks with Russian officials failed to yield any breakthrough.
Secretary-General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg warned Russia that the Alliance would take defensive measures if Russia does not return to compliance …
NATO chiefs are meeting their Russian counterparts today in a last-ditch bid to keep a key nuclear arms treaty alive.
The submersible in which a fire recently claimed 14 Russian lives may be designed to damage underwater internet cables, the Russian media reports. Vladimir Putin, president of the aggressor state, has described the incident as a “major loss”, but Moscow has been unwilling to divulge any details about the vessel or its purposes, which has aroused considerable suspicion. Citing their own sources, the Russian news outlets RBC and Novaya Gazeta claim that the incident took place on the AS-12 nuclear deepwater station, which is believed to have been developed to damage underwater internet cables. According to Radio Liberty, the Russian Navy obtained the AS-12 in 2003. Since then, virtually nothing has been reported about its capabilities. At the same time, western countries have repeatedly reported that Russian vessels are highly active around underwater fiber-optic cables cables. The Russian Defense Ministry claims that the submersible was designed “to study the near-bottom space and the bottom of the World Ocean in the interests of the Navy”, and that it caught fire during bathymetric measurements. The Norwegian government has reported that the radiation levels in the region of the accident are normal. The Bell has remarked that the secrecy that the Russian government is trying to maintain around the submersible incident is comparable to the efforts made by the Soviet Union in 1986 to cover up the Chernobyl disaster. Previously there were reports that US intelligence is concerned that Russian submarines and spy vessels are carrying out aggressive activity around important communication cables which provide nearly all of the world’s internet connectivity.
Paul Goble Staunton, July 4 – The death of naval personnel in the latest submarine disaster is a human tragedy and should not be transformed into a political battle between those who believe in the government and those who don’t, Vladimir Pastukhov, a London-based Russian political commentator. But that doesn’t mean that the event and the way it is being handled by the powers that be is not an appropriate time to focus on another tragedy, the absence of divisions of power which ensure that more than one side will investigate what happened and report accordingly, he continues (echo.msk.ru/programs/personalnovash/2456323-echo/). Instead, in Russia, where there is no division of powers, the Kremlin is in a position to insist on its point of view without any possibility that there will be any independent investigations. And because an increasing number of Russians do not believe whatever the government says, that transforms what should be viewed as a human tragedy into a political one. Those who support the government will insist that whatever it says is true; and those who oppose it will argue that the government is lying and, more than that, is guilty of everything that has gone wrong, an attitude that means that events like this one are a political tragedy not just for the country as a whole but for the regime itself. Over time, some but likely not all information about the tragedy will leak out, but because it will do so in that way, those on these two sides will choose from it what they want, thus reinforcing their positions rather than leading to any willingness to recognize the complexity of the case. In normal countries, Pastukhov continues, the executive may want to keep things secret; but the parliaments will hold hearings and more will get out in a way that will contribute to the formation of a common opinion about the tragedy rather than the tragedy growing worse because it will cause those favoring the regime and those opposing it to move ever farther apart.
Six of the 14 officers killed in a fire on a secret Russian submersible are now state heroes.
ALL those who died on board a Russian nuclear submarine devastated in an underwater blast are to be buried in secret funerals, it has been reported. The shock news comes after Russia denied the nuclear power plant on board the “spy submersible” had been damaged in the horror blaze.
The family, friends and comrades of the 14 elite officers killed in a fire on board a nuclear powered submarine attended the private funerals in St Petersburg, Russia, on Saturday. The coffins of 14 elite officers killed in a fire on board a nuclear powered submarine arrived in St Petersburg Private funerals were held for the family and close friends of the elite officers at Serafimovskoye cemetery The submarine surfaced on Monday night and was spotted by a fishing boat in the Barents Sea A fisherman said they saw people running around on the deck of the submarine as two tugboats arrived
The crew of a Russian fishing boat have told how they were heading for Kildin Island, in the Barents Sea, around 9.30pm on Monday when they saw a submarine suddenly surface.
The fire started in the battery compartment but did not affect the reactor, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to Vladimir Putin.
A RUSSIAN submarine which recently caught on fire killing 14 sailors was one of Vladimir Putin’s deadliest vessels.
THE Russian navy submarine which caught fire leading to 14 deaths has been linked to spying and nuclear drones.
Shortly after Commodore David Russell of the Royal Navy came into work on the morning of Monday August 14, 2000 he received a phone call from an anxious colleague. “The Russians had a problem. It looked like a submarine was in trouble.” You could say that. The Kursk, the most advanced submarine in t
But the tough warnings contrast with President Trump’s apparent bonds with Turkey’s leader.
The first of the Russian S-400 defence systems that Ankara has purchased will be loaded on to cargo planes on Sunday and arrive in Turkey some time next week, privately-held broadcaster Haberturk reported.
Ukraine has recorded the activity of Russian submarines in the Bosporus and notified Turkey about Russia’s violation of the Montreux Convention, Leonid Zaliubovskyi, a representative of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and an assistant to the Ukrainian Navy commander in charge of legal work. Censor.NET reports citing Ukrinform. Ukrainian military provided relevant data to the Turkish side through the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry. “We note the activity of Russian submarines that, under the pretext of undergoing repairs, actually violate the Montreux Convention concerning the passage of the Bosporus, for which Turkey is responsible. We informed the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry that we see some problems. In fact, this is a violation. As far as I know, the ministry sent inquiries to the Turkish Republic. They know about this situation and are studying it,” Zaliubovskyi said. In addition, he said in a report during an international scientific conference on maritime law that over the past two months, Ukrainian troops recorded Russia’s increased activity both in the Mediterranean Sea and in the Black Sea. “In accordance with this [Montreux] Convention, the states of the Black Sea region may send their submarines beyond the Black Sea for the sole purpose of their maintenance. But the Russian Federation, under the pretext of technical maintenance, actually organizes a full deployment of submarines in the Mediterranean. This is an obvious violation of international law,” Zaliubovskyi said. He also said that over the next three to four years, Russia plans to build a further 14 warships and station them in the Black Sea. Source: https://censor.net.ua/en/n3135871
Ukraine has recorded the activity of Russian submarines in the Bosporus and notified Turkey about Russia’s violation of the Montreux Convention, Leonid Zaliubovsky, a representative of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and an assistant to the Ukrainian Navy commander in charge of legal work, has told an Ukrinform correspondent. — Ukrinform.
Turkey has been stockpiling parts for F-16s and other military equipment in anticipation of a U.S. sanction for acquiring the Russian S-400 SAM.
Turkish policy makers presented their final blueprint for economic policies and priorities over the next five years to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday, two officials with knowledge of the matter said.
The president had called for lower interest rates, calling them the “mother and father of all evil”.
Turkey on Saturday fired its central bank governor and replaced him with the bank’s deputy governor, a presidential decree published on the official gazette showed.
At a press conference after the meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in Rome, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia hopes that the new EU leadership will be interested in restoring full-fledged relations with Moscow. “About the assessment of Ursula Von der Leyen (the candidate for the post of the European Commission President) … We do not know how she will present herself,” he said as quoted by RBC news agency. “We have been used to the fact that Russia should take steps forward. We treat others with patience, with understanding. We see the efforts of Italy in this direction, and we know about their obligations within the EU and NATO,” the Russian President added. On July 2 during a summit in Brussels EU leaders have put forward German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen to the post of European Commission President. She can replace Jean-Claude Juncker from Luxembourg in this position. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, became a contender for the post of the President of the European Central Bank.
Paul Goble Staunton, July 4 – From the very beginning of the oblastniki movement in the19th century, Siberians have viewed themselves as having the potential to be another United States or Canada; and so it was no accident when 101 years ago today, the Siberians declared their independence on July 4, America’s Independence Day. Under the leadership of Petr Vologodsky, a Siberian native and national democrat, the Siberian people rose against the Muscovite Bolsheviks and proclaimed the independence of the Siberian Democratic Republic, an action that did not lead to the statehood they hoped for – the Bolsheviks suppressed it — but to this day remains the embodiment of the Siberian dream. Siberian activists now carry a flat that resembles that of the US, but with snowflakes instead of stars; and as Siberian activist Yaroslav Zolotaryev notes in an appreciation of the movement on this anniversary, the Siberian independence declaration forced the Soviets at least initially to treat Siberia as a whole (region.expert/siberia100/). The July 4, 1918, declaration led even Stalin to “describe Siberia as one of the subjects of the planned RSFSR.” And more immediately, it laid the ideological foundations for the eventual creation of a truly legitimate Russian state by insisting that no final decisions be made about state structure until constituent assemblies at both the all-Russian and Siberian levels were held. Tragically, Zolotaryev says, other Russian groups did not act on those ideas; and “the situation of illegality of the central authorities remains in general the same up to now.” Moscow didn’t convene a constituent assembly in 1991, and what that means, he says, is that all Putin’s talk notwithstanding, today’s Russia is linked only to the illegitimate USSR and not to Russia. More than a century ago in its declaration, “the Siberian government expressed the hope that a legitimate Russian statehood would at some point be restored after which ‘the character of future relations between Siberia and European Russia will be defined by an all-Siberian and an all-Russian constituent assembly.” Whether those would be federal, confederal, or complete independence was left often, but, as Zolotaryev notes, “at the moment of the adoption of the Declaration [of Siberian independence, Russia did not exist but Siberia did.” Siberians have held fast to those ideas, in emigration and now in Siberia itself. “The dream of the Siberian people about freedom was reborn again during Perestroika when again arose a massive oblastnik and at the same time democratic movement. The Russian government of Vladimir Putin has done everything it can to suppress the movement and even achieved a certain success in that. But the dreams of 1918 have not gone away; and the fact that they were so clearly declared a century ago gives today’s Siberians hope that in the future conditions will evolve so that they can achieve their goals which include freedom and democracy not only for themselves but for all the peoples within the current borders of the Russian Federation.
Paul Goble Staunton, July 4 – Many have been struck by Gideon Rachman’s argument that countries can be classified as either nation states or civilization states (ft.com/content/b6bc9ac2-3e5b-11e9-9bee-efab61506f44), but Vladislav Inozemtsev says many, including Russia and a large number of other post-Soviet states, are neither. Instead, he argues, they are “business states.” These states, the Russian economist writes on the Snob portal, are not so much like former empires as “trading corporations of Modern times, many of which fulfilled the fucntions of states like the British East India Company, for example” with one major distinction (snob.ru/entry/179441/). That distinction is that “in the role of the denigrated and exploited are not residents of overseas territories but rather all the subjects of this or that national leader.” According to Inozemtsev, “a business state is a system in which the formal instruments of state administration are completely subordinate to the tasks of the increase of the wealth of its leader, persons close to him, their friends and relatives and also all those whose political loyalty is needed by ‘the big boss’ for the support of his power and provision of his own security.” In a state of this type, it is “senseless to speak about corruption in the usual sense of the word” because the personal enrichment of the members of the political elite is “the highest goal of the system and extracting profit from their positions on the hierarchy is its fundamental imperative.” In a business state like Russia today, Inozemtsev continues, “the powers that be de facto control public wealth … but de jure only fulfill standard administrative functions – and precisely that situation defines the most important characteristics of the business state.” And over time, this state looks at the population only as “a bio resource” whose support it wants to keep to a minimum. “This corresponds to the logic of any business corporation,” he says. The difference is only that the usual corporation has to live with the power of the state, while the state doesn’t have to be concerned about or feel limited in any way by anything. Thus, what appears from other perspectives as a violation is in fact absolutely logical and consisten. Such systems have three basic characteristics. First, they are ineffective. Because the rulers want to extract ever more profit from the population, they do not invest in it or in its future and thus eventually find themselves in a dead end. Competition and innovation decline, and the systems themselves decay. The only thing that acts to restrain that decay is some external source of money such as rents from the sale abroad of raw materials like oil and gas. Second, such systems are ruthless. They do not need to satisfy the population but to exact resources from it; and in their competition among themselves, they feel no constraints either. And third, such systems are open. “The Soviet Union of the Brezhnev era could not become what Putin’s Russia or Yanukovich’s Ukraine became.” Under Brezhnev, “immigration was almost impossible,” information was tightly controlled, and Moscow sold abroad only 17 percent of the oil it pumped, not the 62 percent it sells now. The business state has to be open in this way for the same reason a declining corporation must: it is the only way to ensure it will continue to make money. “The business state is similar to a company whose owners are ready to sell to anyone who offers an unexpectedly high price, but if a buyer isn’t found, then the goal becomes the extraction of the maximum possible current income when there is a complete lack of any strategic goals and tasks.” But just as corporations that land in this state eventually fail so too do business states, Inozemtsev says. Because power is invariably monetarized in these states, the siloviki integrate with the state and become wealth and try to keep it going so that they can continue to enjoy the wealth it provides them. “A business state of course can be destroyed in the course of a popular uprising or as a result of the interference of external forces, but it is naïve to hope that its formal collapse will destroy all its structural elements.” They are likely to continue far after the founder of the business state leaves the scene as has happened in Ukraine. According to Inozemtsev, “the most probable” way for the Russian business state to end is bankruptcy. That is because its rulers being businessmen are rational. “They will hold on to power as long as the profits of doing so exceed the risks” just as businessmen of all kinds tend to do. That could have happened in Russia after the 1998 default, Inozemtsev said, had Boris Yeltsin not found Vladimir Putin as his successor, someone who is quite prepared to ensure the survival of his system by harsh and brutal action, something not everyone in the Russian political elite has been or is willing to do.
Paul Goble Staunton, July 3 – If a nation loses its traditional language and adopts another, that may or may not lead to a loss of ethnic identity, Nikolay Vakhtin, a specialist on the peoples of the Russian North who heads the Center for Social Research at St. Petersburg’s European University (nazaccent.ru/content/30255-ne-povod-zaciklivatsya.html). Language is an important ethnic marker, but it is far from the only one, he says; and the loss of a traditional language may not be the end of the nation. Instead, it may give the nation additional bases for defending their identity because their interactions with other peoples will intensify, a situation that often gives rise to more intensely held national feelings. And if those feelings intensify to a certain point, a group that has lost its traditional language at one point may or may not take steps to recover it, yet another finding that challenges both the language-centric definition of nationality among Russian officials and the focus on language retention among many non-Russian groups. Vakhtjn’s arguments, based on his research on the numerically small peoples of the Russian North, who because they constitute only seven percent of the population of that enormous region and are undergoing intense pressure from the influx of Russian speakers, is not going to go unchallenged either by Moscow officials or non-Russian activists. The St. Petersburg scholar says that he tries to “avoid catastrophic discourse” about the disappearance of indigenous languages. The reason, he says, is simple: “Linguists took note of the problem of disappearing languages only in the 1990s. Of course, languages had disappeared earlier but unfortunately scholars did not devote particular attention to that.” “When we speak about the disappearance of languages, we of course do not have in mind that people disappear or grow mute or that some people disappears. In history tehre have been many cases when a people shifts from one language to another and despite that continues to exist quite well. Language is an important sign of ethnicity but no the only one,” Vakhtin says. According to the scholar, “the situation in Russia in this regard is no different from the situation in the entire world. And as far as the documentation of languages which are in the danger zone, we have even a somewhat better situation than in many other countries because we simply began doing so earlier,” in the 1920s and 1930s rather than in the 1990s. Vakhtin also observes that in many cases, people do not simply shift from one language to another or adopt pure bilingualism in which both languages remain what they were. Instead, in the cases of those who speak two or more, the languages tend to interact with one another and both change. The Russian language too is affected by these processes. There is of course standard Muscovite Russian but there are many regional dialects, some quite distinct and vital. Vakhtin tells of a student from Vyatka who spoke the regional dialect to such an extent that when she came to Samara, people there could not initially understand her. Sometimes these dialects can even be the basis for regional identification, especially if the regional media make use of them, Vakhtin says. But there is a danger that if these dialects become too distinct, those who speak them will need translators to deal with people from other parts of the country.
Russia’s main security agency detained an aide to a Kremlin-appointed envoy on treason charges, in what appeared to the first such case targeting a government official since the Soviet collapse.
According to information from the Russian The Federal News Agency citing military experts, newest Sprut-SDM1 125 mm self-propelled anti-tank gun, or also know as light-tank, will be better than newest American combat vehicle that developing under the Mobile Protected Firepower program. The U.S. Army seeks to receive as soon as possible the new combat vehicle, commonly known as a light tank, to provide the Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) with a protected platform capable of delivering overwhelming precision firepower combined with the ability to move rapidly in a variety of terrain conditions. According to a recent report released by Army News Service, the Mobile Protected Firepower vehicle, part of the Next-Generation Combat Vehicles suite, is currently in the competition after two vendors were chosen in December to each build 12 prototypes for under $376 million. Beginning in March, those prototypes will be put through the wringer in a series of lethality, survivability and mobility tests. A light infantry unit at 82nd Airborne Division will also conduct an assessment later next year to gain Soldier input. Russian news agency claimed that the Russian Armed Forces already have this type of combat vehicles and said that called the Sprut. Also added that now is developing upgrade variant of Sprut-SDM1 125 mm self-propelled anti-tank gun for use in Russian Airborne Troops (VDV). The new version of the Russian ‘light tank’ is fitted with the Sosna-U multichannel gunner sighting system (like the T-72B3 main battle tank). The Sprut is armed with a 2A75M 125 mm smoothbore gun, the specifications of which are almost identical to those of the 2A46M5 gun. The Sprut-SDM1 carry an ammunition load of 40 rounds, including 20 high explosive fragmentation rounds and 14 armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabots, as well as six anti-tank guided missiles. The Sprut-SDM1 is officially referred in Russia as a self-propelled anti-tank gun, or tank destroyer. Though it is a light tank by its function. According to the current information, under the State Armament Programme, the Russian Airborne Troops is set to get its first Sprut-SDM1 light tank in 2020.
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As a month has passed since the beginning of the scandal involving former vice-chancellor of Austria Heinz-Christian Strache, it’s time to have a look at the narratives used by pro-Kremlin outlets to describe the events. Just as with the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, pro-Kremlin outlets have also disseminated numerous narratives and conspiracy theories suggesting a variety of explanations about the scandal in Austria.
The “patriotic” Russian news site Reporter has published an article titled “Why Israel is bombarding Syria with impunity under the S-300s’ noses”. In the best traditions of Soviet propagandist rhetoric, the article purports to analyze the factors that have enabled the Israeli Air Force to attack targets in Syria with impunity. “The Israeli military has committed another crime” – with such a statement, the author introduces his further analysis. Next he mentions the recent airstrike against Syrian targets, noting that “more than a dozen IDF aircraft illegally invaded Syrian airspace through Lebanon and delivered several powerful airstrikes in the region of Damascus and Homs”. “We will leave the legal and moral aspect of what took place for the court of justice, which has long decried the Israeli aggression against the sovereign state, and we will attempt to deal with the military aspect. The problem is the fact that the sneaky attack took place within range of the Russian S-300 systems, which were sent to Syria specifically to prevent such airstrikes. Why do the ‘Favorites’ continue to remain terribly silent?” the author asks. Next, he cites the opinion of the “well-known Russian military expert” Alexey Leonkov, who believes that the aerial defense systems remained silent due to the “curvature of the earth”, because “the S-300s were unfortunately delivered to mountainous terrain”. “The radar antennas cannot see down. From the surface, five to ten meters are invisible – accordingly, if the antennas are raised on a mountain, then to these 5-10 meters you must add the height of the mountain. A so-called invisibility cone is formed,” Leonkov is cited as saying. The expert believes that this enables the Israeli aircraft to “hide at low altitudes and attack with air-to-surface missiles”. “Poor training of the crews” is identified as another reason for the ineffectiveness of the S-300s. “The Syrian army has been waging a long-term war, is taking losses and experiencing a shortage of professionals. Training our Arab allies to use complex equipment has its nuances. It is not yet known whether Russian instructors have been involved in the deployment of the S-300s, or whether it has been done exclusively by the Syrians themselves, but that would explain a lot,” Leonkov speculates. “It’s quite possible that the humiliating air raid under the Favorites’ noses was done as a demonstration of Israeli superiority over the Syrians in the area of military prowess,” the author concludes.
A Moscow organization with links to the notorious Russian “troll farm” said two of its employees have been arrested by Libyan authorities, and one news report said they were accused of trying to in…
Libyan security forces have arrested two men accused of working for a Russian troll farm seeking to influence elections in the oil exporter and other African countries.
Libyan security forces have arrested two men accused of working for a Russian troll farm seeking to influence African elections.
A Polish court has convicted a former government employee of passing classified energy information to Russian military intelligence.
The U.S. Army conducted a demonstration of its high-speed mine dispensing system, designation as the Volcano, during exercises in Poland. According to a statement released by the 358th Public Affairs Detachment, Engineers from Bravo company, 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division have demonstrated American mine dispensing capabilities for the Polish army using the M139 Volcano mine dispensing system at camp Karliki. The Volcano system provides U.S. forces with the capability to employ minefields rapidly under varied conditions. The Volcano can be used to emplace tactical minefields; reinforce existing obstacles; close lanes, gaps, and defiles; protect flanks. Volcano minefields are ideal for flank protection of advancing forces and for operating in concert with air and ground cavalry units on flank-guard or screen missions. A high-speed mine dispensing system can use onto helicopter or truck platforms. According to GlobalSecurity.org, the M139 dispenser consists of an electronic DCU and four launcher racks; each rack holds 40 M87-series mine canisters. The racks provide the structural strength and the mechanical support required for launch and provide the electrical interface between the mine canisters and the DCU. The operator uses the DCU to electrically control the dispensing operation from within the aircraft. The DCU provides controls for the arming sequence and the delivery speed selection, and it sets mine SD times. The DCU allows the operator to start and stop mine dispensing at anytime. A Soldier-selectable, self-destruct mechanism destroys the mine at the end of its active lifecycle – 4 hours to 15 days – depending on the time selected. Using a ground vehicle, a 1,000-meter minefield can be laid in 4 to 12 minutes based on terrain and vehicle speed. A helicopter can complete the mission in 20 seconds. Advantages of this system include faster response, increased lethality, greater efficiency and enhanced safety.
The Army News Service has confirmed that the U.S Army has plans to upgrade all its Avenger short-range air defense systems. The Avenger is a surface-to-air missile system often mounted on a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, commonly known as the Humvee. The combined weapon system provides mobile protection against missiles, low-flying aircraft and most recently – unmanned aerial vehicles. The Avengers have multiple optics, range-finders and a forward-looking infrared receiver or FLIR monitor. It’s difficult to see some of the smaller drones with the naked eye, Sgt. 1st Class Arianna Cook, senior career advisor for 14Ps at the ADA School said, whereas radars can pick them up and direct the Avenger turret to lock onto them. When the Avengers were pulled out of depot storage last year, some were modified with a new “Slew-to-Cue” Avenger Targeting Console. This enables the turret to automatically turn and lock onto targets provided by remote radars, Cook said. “A Soldier still needs to pull the trigger though,” she said. The remainder of the Avengers that didn’t get Slew-to-Cue last year will receive it as part of an ongoing two-phase Modification Service Life Extension Program known as SLEP, said Holler. All Avenger consoles should be upgraded by the end of September 2020, he said. The second phase of the SLEP upgrade includes installation of a Mode 5 Identification Friend or Foe, a new fire-control computer, and converting analog communications equipment in the Avengers to digital communications. It also includes a new air-conditioning and heating unit and a new .50-caliber machine gun. The Phase II upgrades are scheduled to begin in the 4th quarter of FY 2020 and continue through FY 2023, Holler said. Along with the battalion of Avengers that stood up last year in Germany, the active Army also has four separate Avenger batteries: one in Korea, one at Fort Sill, one at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; and one with the Global Response Force at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In addition to Avenger upgrades, proximity fuses are being installed in some of the Stinger missiles, Holler said. Stingers with proximity-fuse warheads will have greater lethality against small drones and unmanned aerial vehicles, he explained.
Completed in March 2018, the report by the U.S.-based corporate investigative firm Kroll is the second part of a detailed audit of how Moldovan banks distributed massive loans without adequate over…
The Telegraph on Friday has reported that Sweden will be first partner nation in the British Tempest programme to build a next-generation fighter jet. “Britain’s Team Tempest programme to build a new fighter jet has moved a step closer to getting into the air with Sweden poised to announce it has signed up as the project’s first international partner,” according to The Telegraph. A future combat air system, called the Tempest, is a joint project with British aerospace companies BAE Systems Plc, Rolls Royce Holdings Plc, MBDA UK Ltd and Anglo-Italian firm Leonardo SpA. The Tempest programme aims to harness and develop UK capabilities that are critical for Next Generation (NextGen) Combat Air capability and to retain the UK’s position as a globally competitive leader through understanding of future concepts, technologies and capabilities. A future combat air system must be able to survive the most challenging combat environments meaning that payload-range, speed and manoeuvrability will be key. Britain officials say that they expect that the system will be equipped with a range of sensors including radio frequency, active and passive electro-optical sensors and advanced electronic support measures to detect and intercept threats. The system is likely to operate with kinetic and non-kinetic weapons. The integration of Laser Directed Energy Weapons for self-defence and use within visual range combat is also highly likely. The ability to deploy and manage air launched ‘swarming’ Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV) through a flexible payload bay allows the system to address dangerous Anti-Access Area Denial environments. Air forces of the future will require a fighter system that is highly flexible and can be applied to a wide variety of military operations. Operators will have the ability to rapidly adapt the system to perform new functions or to change its performance. According to The Telegraph, next-generation jet – planned to be in service in 2035 – is aimed at maintaining Britain as a world power in military aircraft.
The only person capable of solving the problem of Nord Stream 2 in the interests of Ukraine is U.S. President Donald Trump, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has said. “The only solution to this issue is that I will have a meeting with the U.S. president. This is the only person who, I am sure, will resolve this issue in the interests of Ukraine,” Zelensky said, when introducing head of Lviv Regional State Administration Markiyan Malsky. According to him, neither German Chancellor Angela Merkel nor French President Emmanuel Macron will influence the continuation of construction of this gas pipeline due to pressure from the businesses of both countries. “Neither Merkel nor Macron will influence the continuation of the Nord Stream pipeline because their local businesses greatly influence them. They can do nothing with this,” Zelensky said. He added that only Denmark will oppose the construction of the gas pipeline, while the rest of Europe will support this project.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky stated he intends to discuss the construction of Nord Stream 2 with U.S. President Donald Trump during a working visit to America as 112 Ukraine reported. “What can we do? By the way, about President Duda (Polish President Andrzej Duda, – 112.international), I have an official meeting in September; we will raise this issue. But what really works, will really work?!… Because I think that Mrs. Merkel, Mr. Macron will not influence the continuation of the construction of Nord Stream. Because their local business strongly influence them; they can do nothing,” Zelensky said. The president thinks that Trump is the only person, who can help Ukraine to deal with the issue of Nord Stream 2 construction. “Because the only solution of this issue; I will have a meeting in the U.S. with the president. It is the only person, who, I am sure, will solve the issue in favor of Ukraine,” Zelensky stated. The date of the meeting of President Zelensky and American leader Donald Trump is not agreed yet. As it was reported earlier, Nord Stream 2 pipeline will run straight through the Baltic Sea, delivering Russian natural gas directly to Germany. For once, U.S. Democrats and Republicans in the US agree on that the project is a really bad idea.
The fact that in the West took the position of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky concerning the Donbass, the preparations for Zelensky’s meeting with US President Donald Trump, the expectation of parliamentary elections in Ukraine, the dissolution of troops in Stanitsa Lugansk, as well as Russia’s troop build-up in the Donbass, said the US Special Representative for the Kurt Volker in an interview with the head of the Ukrainian service “Voice of America” Myroslava Gongadze. In the USA, Vladimir Zelensky is waiting for the visit of President of Ukraine. We look forward to President Zelensky’s visit. It does not yet have a designated date with the White House. It will depend on the schedule, however, we hope that this visit will take place in the near future. It is important for the presidents to have the opportunity to meet. Like at other meetings, we want to express our full support to President Zeleny in his actions for major reforms in Ukraine. This is a real opportunity. Zelensky’s peacekeeping efforts drew attention to Russia’s inaction It should be emphasized that President Zelensky made a decision to withdraw Ukrainian forces from Stanitsa Luhansk. I think this is a positive step. This was one of the difficult issues in the negotiations between Russia and Ukraine and prevented the security by crossing the contact line by local residents. Therefore, I think this is a positive step of the Ukrainian side. I hope that Russia will also bring strength and constructively cooperate with Ukraine and the international community by helping to build cities. Now Russia, I think, feels no more pressure, but a little more attention to its actions. President Zelensky speaks very much of the desire for peace. He visited the region. The leaders of the European Union will go with him there in a few days, when the EU summit in Ukraine will take place. He conducted the withdrawal of forces from Stanitsa Lugansk. I have the impression that President Zelensky knows very well that he can not control what decisions Russia will take. If they try to use the conflict to put pressure on him, that’s what Zelensky would not do, they will do it. He clearly positioned himself to demonstrate his aspiration for peace, to improve people’s lives, and to improve the humanitarian situation. In the end, this is all – the citizens of Ukraine who are suffering from this conflict. Thus, he demonstrates that the problem lies precisely in the actions of Russia. Russia’s troop build-up on the border with Ukraine is part of the rotation, Volker said Regarding the deployment of troops from the Russian side. They come and go. We have seen for several years that the number of troops is rising before rotation. In rotation, there is also an outbreak of violence, because they test the equipment and make sure they are comfortable there. I think we see exactly that. Again, this does not indicate any new advancements. Parliamentary elections in Ukraine will show if there is support for the implementation of the Minsk accord and reform When a new parliament is elected, some laws on the implementation of the Minsk Agreements will have to be reinstated. For example, the proposed decentralization within the framework of the Constitution, the question of special status and amnesty and the opportunity to hold local elections when it allows the security situation. All these things will need to be renewed and, of course, we support Ukraine in this. However, it is the Ukrainian side that has to lead this process. Aside from the topic, I note that President Zelensky has a significant credibility credit as shown by the presidential election, but this has not yet happened in the votes of the Council and the support of specific strategic legislation, and so on. We will learn only after the results of July 21, and whether he can form a working majority in parliament, which is necessary to support both the plan for the realization of Minsk and the reform plan in Ukraine. Volker discussed the next “Normandy meeting” with France and Germany Unfortunately, we have not heard significant news from Russia. They still say that Ukraine is responsible for everything and says that they have no responsibility and that Ukraine should hold talks with two separatist so-called republics that they have created in Ukraine. That’s why, from the Russian side, this does not look promising. However, the very fact of the meeting is perhaps useful. We (US-GA) are not part of the Normandy format and that is why we are actively consulting with Ukraine, as well as with France and Germany. I contacted my Russian counterpart Surkov, just to find out if he considered this time appropriate for the meeting. We do not know yet whether a meeting will be held or not. If so, it will be a bit later in the summer, maybe.
On the watch Time-Time. Live talk with the US State Department’s Special Representative for Ukraine, Kurt Volcker, on the prospect of troop breeding, waiting for talks in the Normandy format, and support by the United States of America. NATO-Russia meeting. What talked about Ukraine? Ukrainian geniuses in Washington are ready to help Ilona Mask
U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker thinks that Ukraine should play the role of a leader in the Normandy Format as Voice of America reported. “Ukraine should play the role of the leader in the Normandy process. At the same time, the U.S. will continue to support its actions,” Volker said. He noted that the decision of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on the disengagement of the forces was an extremely positive step, which draws attention to the inaction of Russia. Related: First working meeting in Normandy Format planned for July, – Zelensky Earlier Russian leader Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron discussed the renewal of the Normandy negotiations on settlement of the situation in Donbas under the Presidency of Volodymyr Zelensky so far. As it was reported earlier, US President Donald Trump at a meeting with Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of G20 Summit in Osaka raised the issue of Ukrainian sailors kept in a Russian prison. According to Trump, Putin gave the U.S. President “all the necessary explanations concerning Ukrainian sailors” detained by the Russian authorities in the Kerch Strait last year.
The situation in Ukraine remains the first item for discussion during NATO’s dialogue with Russian representatives, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said. — Ukrinform.
Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Jens Stoltenberg says that the Alliance and Russia still have fundamental differences over the situation in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, and 24 Ukrainian sailors captured by Russia. The NATO-Russia Council has already held its second meeting this year.
Kurt Volker, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine negotiations, points out that the key to peace in Ukraine is the withdrawal of Russian forces from Donbas. Earlier today, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky flew for a working visit to Donetsk region on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the liberation of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó has said his country will stop blocking Ukraine’s integration into NATO if amendments to education and language laws are adopted. Szijjártó said Hungary was pinning new hopes on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Hungary hopes that Zelensky will solve issues tied with educaiton, language law
British court makes Gazprom pay $ 145 mln if it receives dividends from Nord Stream shareholders
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk, as well as EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, will attend the 21st EU-Ukraine summit in Kyiv on July 8.
The European Council has named key issues on the agenda of the Ukraine-EU summit to be hosted by Kyiv on July 8. “At the summit, the EU will reaffirm its support to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and the implementation of the Minsk agreements. At the last European Council, EU leaders again decided to prolong the EU’s economic sanctions against Russia in the absence of progress,” the EC said in an announcement of the event. “The situation in the Azov Sea and additional support measures to the region are on the agenda. Leaders will also condemn the Russian measures on granting Russian citizenship to Ukrainians living in non-government controlled areas,” it said. Read alsoEU agrees to extend economic sanctions on Russia until 2020 – media Besides, EU and Ukrainian leaders will exchange views on the future priorities for EU-Ukraine relations. They will examine the next steps in the implementation of the association agreement. “Leaders will review progress on the Ukrainian reform agenda, especially in the fight against corruption, and the EU’s support for this process. Reforms in the energy sector, in the administration and the respect of the rule of law, are also on the agenda,” the announcement said. Leaders will discuss bilateral trade and the implementation of the deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA). According to the July 8 summit agenda posted on the European Council’s website, the leaders of the EU and Ukraine will meet at 14:00 Kyiv time; a plenary session of the summit will begin at 14:40 Kyiv time. A press conference by the presidents is to begin at 16:15 Kyiv time. The previous EU-Ukraine summit took place in Brussels on July 9, 2018. Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/politics/10608456-european-council-names-key-issues-on-agenda-of-ukraine-eu-summit-in-kyiv.html
Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman will hold a meeting with European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, according to the Government portal. — Ukrinform.
The EU leaders will present a package of extra measures of support for Azov, which is part of Ukraine’s Donetsk region. A high-rank European diplomat reported that as quoted by Interfax-Ukraine news agency. “Leaders will announce first certain support measures as results of this visit, while the opening of the office of projects in Mariupol is to increase the EU presence in the region”, he claimed. The diplomat added that humanitarian and economic assistance is already present in the area. “We will increase the targeted assistance in the region, specifically, in the area of the Sea of Azov, so as to solve the infrastructure issues on the roads, the railroads… the future of Berdyansk sea port. We’ll also try supporting economic diversification”, the diplomat said. The official also claimed that the mine-clearing mission would come to Azov region.
The fifth president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, believes that the upcoming Ukraine-EU summit should give the signal “No backsliding on Ukraine-EU integration agenda” to the new leadership of the country and the European Union.
Volodymyr Yelchenko, the Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN, has sent a letter to the chairman of the UN Security Council [Peru in July] stating that the law on ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as a state language does not threaten international security and is not within the competence of the Security Council.
The Russian vessels continue to observe the activity of the NATO vessels in the northwestern part of the Black Sea.
Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak has said the statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin at a news conference in Japan’s Osaka about the Ukrainian sailors detained by Russia in 2018 was another manipulation and misleading. “Putin once again confirmed the title of a large manipulator,” Khomchak said.
Putin lied about guilt of Ukraine in the Azov crisis
The United States plans to modernize Ukrainian naval bases and ship repair facilities in Mykolaiv region. — Ukrinform.
Paul Goble Staunton, July 4 – It has often been said Ukrainians cannot expect the West to be more ready to stand up to Russian aggression than they are, an observation particularly disturbing now that Igor Kolomoysky, Vladimir Zelensky’s prime backer, has accepted Moscow’s version of the conflict as a civil war (actualcomment.ru/kolomoyskiy-podderzhal-rossiyskuyu-versiyu-konflikta-v-donbasse-1907041321.html). But the problem in Kyiv may be even deeper than that because, as Aleksandr Tsipko of the Moscow Institute of Economics points out, the new Ukrainian president’s “absurd actions have had pro-Russian results,” ones that are even more subversive of Ukraine’s future than Kolomoysky’s words (mk.ru/politics/2019/07/04/absurdnye-deystviya-zelenskogo-dali-neozhidannyy-rezultat.html). “The main result of the crushing victory of Vladimir Zelensky in the presidential elections of 2019,” the senior scholar and commentator says, “is uncertainty in everything that concerns the future of still independent Ukraine.” Tsipko says that “it is indicative that in the West after the victory of Zelensky, Ukraine has been viewed by many as a country without a future.” Now, thanks to the victory of the comic, in fact, “Ukraine has become much more unpredictable than Russia” and as such less desirable as an ally. “I do not think that anyone now will decide to take Ukraine into NATO.” No rational European “will want too fight and die for a nation which makes a profane comic president of a many-million-strong nation under conditions of war.” And no one can take seriously a country where the courts, “without waiting for orders from above,” returns “old Soviet street names.” “The chaos in Ukraine comes from the reality that the new president cannot propose any alternative to the ideology of Poroshenko and his former domestic and foreign policy.” Having campaigned as an opponent of oligarchs, he has appointed them; and he has been incapable of coming up with any alternative to standing up to Russia. According to Tsipko, only Medvedchuk represents “a real alternative” to the foreign policy of Poroshenko – “the policy of integration of Ukraine into the present-day Russian world. “Zelensky and his command do not understand that he headed not only a revolt of the people against the emerging national elite but also the revolt of the population against its own state.” According to Tsipko, “the tragedy of Ukraine is that it is impossible to form a civic nation when the overwhelming part of the population is living in poverty. Zelensky still doesn’t understand that having overthrown by a democratic path Poroshenko, the articulator of ‘the national dream,’ he opened the way to power for the party of realists, those who do not believe in the existence of Ukraine independent from Russia or even more opposed to it.” Zelensky, the Russian commentator continues, “has opened the path to power for the pro-Russian party of Medvedchuk, the leaders of which … openly declare that ‘sovereign Ukraine doesn’t have any sense without the restoration of normal, fraternal relations with Russia’” and that “in fact, ‘the threat to Ukraine comes not from Russia but from the West.’” “The situation for national and patriotic forces of Ukraine is becoming ever more serious,” he argues. Those who say that Zelensky is preparing the war for the revenge of Yanukovich’s Party of the Regions do not recognize that Moscow no longer is interested in a Ukraine of the Yanukovich type. They forget as do many in Russia that “Yanukovich was an opponent of the inclusion of Ukraine in the Tariff Union, that in fact he was the initiator of negotiations about the association of Ukraine with the EU, and that the Yanukovich regme was categorically against the participation of Ukraine in any organizations” under Russian leadership. What Moscow wants now is far more than a return to that. The real question now, Tsipko suggests, is this: “what in fact are the chances of transforming the pro-Russian party of Medvedchuk into the ruling party which could in the end define the fate of Ukraine?” That party is certainly growing in strength but it isn’t going to be the winner in the upcoming elections. “But the very fact that Medvedchuk and Boyko have the chance to conduct direct talks with the leadership of Russia, without the sanction of their own national government … shows that today in fact there is no real, effective power in Ukraine.” And the more they attack Ukraine, the stronger they grow; while the more Poroshenko defends it, the weaker his party becomes. This is leading ever more people in Ukraine to ask why they should be fighting the war against Russia or making any sacrifice for Ukraine. “Some Ukrainian political analysts call the pro-Russian party of Medvedchuk ‘the party of traitors.’ But in my view,” Tsipko says, “this is unjust because you can only betray something you once loved.” “In 1991,” he continues, “the overwhelming part of the population of the Ukrainian SSR voted not for the independence of Ukraine but for a better life which they though the chernozem could give them. But if as it turned out an independent Ukraine gave them only poverty, then it is time to dispense with it and agree as quickly as possible to cut gas prices.” Unlike those around Poroshenko, Tsipko says, he “doesn’t believe in the possibility of a return of Ukraine to Yanukovich’s times … the pro-Russian party can come to power only as a result of a civil war” and thus, the more rapidly Medvedchuk’s popularity grows, the more often nationalist deputies of the Rada on Poroshenko’s TV channels will speak about the inevitability of armed resistance to pro-Russian forces.” People in Russia need to recognize that “by doing everything possible and impossible for the growth in the popularity of Medvedchuk’s party, we are not only broadening his electorate but are heating up hatred to the pro-Russian forces of Ukraine” and expanding the readiness of their opponents to fight them. Paradoxically, Tsipko concludes, Russia would have been better off with predictable Ukraine of Poroshenko’s kind than “a Ukraine of chaos and indeterminacy, a Ukraine heading toward civil war, that Zelensky’s victory has given rise to.
Over the past day, the armed forces of the Russian Federation violated the cease-fire 28 times. Of these, 12 times – with the use of prohibited mortars of the Minsk Agreement, 120 and 82 mm. This is reported by the press center of the OOS headquarters, Censor.NET reports. “The enemy opened fire on our defenders from grenade launchers of various systems, weapons of infantry fighting vehicles, large-caliber machine guns, sniper rifles and small arms,” – said in a statement. In the area of responsibility of the operational-tactical group Vostok, the enemy fired at the positions of the combined forces 15 times: – twice near Water – from anti-tank grenade launchers, sniper rifles and small arms; – twice near Bogdanovka – from anti-tank grenade launchers, large-caliber machine guns and small arms; – not far from Novotroitsky – from an anti-tank grenade launcher and a large-caliber machine gun; – in the vicinity of Nikolaevka – from a large-caliber machine gun; – three times in the area of the settlement of Shirokino – from mortars of 120 mm caliber, anti-tank grenade launchers and small arms; – in the vicinity of Marinka – from a large-caliber machine gun; – near Novoselovka the Second – from grenade launchers of various systems; – next to Krasnogorovka – from a large-caliber machine gun; – not far from Novognatovka – from anti-tank grenade launcher; – in the vicinity of Pavlopol – from an automatic grenade launcher; – near Avdiivka – from an anti-tank grenade launcher and small arms. In the area of responsibility of the operational-tactical grouping “North”, the positions of the Ukrainian defenders were fired 13 times: – four times near the Crimean settlement – from mortars of 82 mm caliber, grenade launchers of various systems, infantry fighting vehicles, large-caliber machine guns and small arms; – in the Novotoshkovsky area – from grenade launchers of various systems and large-caliber machine guns; – five times in the vicinity of Novolugansky – from mortars of 120 and 82 mm caliber, grenade launchers of various systems, weapons of infantry fighting vehicles and small arms; near Gold-4 – from mortars of 120 and 82 mm caliber; – not far from Travnevoy – from a mortar of 82 mm caliber and an automatic grenade launcher; – in the area of the settlement Svetlodarsk – from a mortar of 82 mm caliber, large-caliber machine gun and small arms. As a result of enemy attacks, two Ukrainian soldiers were injured, another four – military injuries. For each attack, the enemy received an adequate response from weapons that do not contradict the Minsk agreements. According to intelligence data, on July 5, two invaders were killed and three were injured. See also: 87 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and wounded in June in the Donbass, – US representative to the OSCE From the beginning of the current day, the enemy twice shot at the positions of the united forces. In the area of responsibility of the operational-tactical group “Vostok”, the invaders made one shelling of the positions of Ukrainian defenders: near the settlement of Shyrokyne – with small arms. In the area of responsibility of the operational-tactical grouping “North”, the positions of the Ukrainian military were fired upon once: near the village of Khutor Volny – from a mortar of 82 mm caliber. “The combined forces reliably control the enemy on the line of collision, while adhering to the conditions of the cease-fire,” the report stresses.
The armed formations of the Russian Federation violated ceasefire 28 times in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in Donbas on July 5. — Ukrinform.
Russia’s hybrid military forces on July 5 mounted 28 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas, with six Ukrainian soldiers reported as wounded in action. Two occupiers were killed and another three were wounded, intelligence reports say.
Five Ukrainian servicemen wounded in Donbas . Militants carried out 14 attacks. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
Russia must start fulfilling its obligations under the Minsk agreements, including the opening of the Zolote checkpoint in Luhansk region. — Ukrinform.
An intelligence commander of the 5th Oplot separate motorized rifle brigade of the 1st Army Corps of the [Russian] occupiers, Yevgeny Novikov aka ‘Skif’ has been eliminated by the Joint Forces in Donbas. The man was a native of a mining village near the town of Makiyivka and fought for the terrorists from the first days of the war.
Not far from the occupied Dokuchaevsk, fighters of the 137th Marine Battalion succeeded in liquidating an officer of Russian-terrorist forces Novikova Yevgen. This is reported by the Ukrainian Military Portal It happened this morning in the course of a fighting clash. Russian-terrorist forces have already announced this on their page in the social network vKontakte: As part of the Russian-terrorist troops, he served as the commander of the detachment of the Howight Division of the 5th Motorized Brigade of the so-called “DPR” (1st Army Corps of the Southern Military District of the Armed Forces of Russia). This is not the first success of the Ukrainian division in the area of responsibility. Prior to this, on the same section of the front of our marines, the commander of the enemy battalion of the 5th separate motorized infantry brigade – Eugene Shabanov with a call of Lun: A little later, the enemy’s position was overcome where militants attempted to consolidate themselves for further sabotage against Ukrainian defenders:A little later, the enemy’s position was overcome where militants attempted to consolidate themselves for further sabotage against Ukrainian defenders:
on June 29, 2019, hit and destroyed two TORN-MD reconnaissance stations near the village of Maiorove
Pro-Russian militants in Donbas try to discredit Armed Forces of Ukraine as HQ of the Joint Forces Operation reported on Facebook. Particularly, the militants continue the attempts of the Ukrainian military in attacks at the settlement in the occupied territory of Donbas. The HQ provides an example at the suburb of Patriorychne. The OSCE SMM spotted two craters there on July 3. “Approximately in 300 m further, Mission’s team saw two broken windows at the rural construction, possible from the dispersion of fragments. According to their estimation, the craters from the damages appeared in the result of the explosion of 122mm artillery shell launched from the western, northwestern direction. Related: Hybrid war marked by lie, manipulation takes place in Donbas, – Pope Francis It is worthy to note that according to tactic and technical characteristics of 112mm artillery systems, their maximal range of use is 15,300 meters and it shows the impossibility of the use of the artillery of this caliber cannot be used from particular places of storage,” the message said. Moreover, the same day, OSCE SMM spotted two hull breaches, which appeared in the result of the explosion of 120mm mortar shells in occupied Azov. They were supposedly launched from the western direction. “The Ukrainian side of the Joint Coordination Center notes that the armament banned by Minsk Agreement stays near disengagement area #19, near Mariupol. Accordingly, this situation can be treated as another attempt of the Russian occupation troops to discredit the Armed Forces of Ukraine. All these attacks were performed by the enemy as a provocation”.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has reacted to the death of the two Ukrainian military in the past 24 hours. “Heroes did not die in vain: Ukraine will be united, there’s no doubt about that,” the president said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said it is important to ease the minds of residents of Russia-occupied territories of Donbas and making their lives easier.
High-quality infrastructure and timely payment of salaries and pensions are among the primary tasks for the newly appointed head of Donetsk Regional State Administration. — Ukrinform.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says that Donbas must be rebuilt simultaneously with the completion of the war. The president announced a big investment forum in Mariupol in autumn.
A lot of families were separated because of the war in Donbas and the occupation of Ukrainian territories. These territories will get back to Ukraine. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that during the briefing in Kramatorsk, Donetsk region on July 5; he came there with a working visit. The top official marked that Ukrainians are still in the occupied territories; they just did not wish to leave “their homeland”. “I urge you not to divide people into “us” and ‘them”, concerning the people that live in the temporarily occupied areas. They are Ukrainians, too, they have no flaws”, Zelensky said. He also added that the brother of the new Head of Donetsk regional state administration Pavlo Kyrylenko works in the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic”. Zelensky said that the brothers do not talk to each other anymore, because of different political views. Parents of Kyrylenko stayed in the occupied territories as well. “Pavlo himself left that territory, he is in Ukraine and he works in Ukraine from the first days of the occupation of our territories”, Zelensky said.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has presented the new head of the Donetsk regional state administration, Pavlo Kyrylenko, appointed today. Speaking in Kramatorsk, Donetsk Region, Zelenskyy started by saying he wants to deny rumours that it is forbidden to speak Russian in Donbas and “therefore one send tanks there to defend Russian speakers”. “To avoid any manipulations on the matter, I will continue in Russian,” the president said. The new head’s priorities, according to Zelenskyy, are to improve the infrastructure and ensure timely payments and pensions. “The whole world is keeping a close eye on Donbas – during my meetings abroad I raise this issue as a priority. And the main thing is that the whole of Ukraine is looking at Donbas. We have to show everyone clearly, especially Ukrainians in the occupied territory, that we are one country,” Zelenskyy said. The president commented on reports that Kyrylenko’s family members who live in the occupied territory and about his brother who has reportedly collaborated with the militants. “His parents consider themselves Ukrainians, they do not want to move anywhere. As for his brother, it is a sensitive issue for Pavlo, so I took the liberty to say this. He does not keep contact with his brother over political differences. Pavlo himself left the occupied territory and has worked in Ukraine since the first days of the occupation. Many families are split because of the war. I ask you not to divide us into “our” and “their”, people who live in the temporarily occupied territories today. They are Ukrainians,” Zelenskyy stressed. For his part, Kyrylenko thanked the president for his trust and promised that all the tasks would be completed.
On 28 June Ukrainian troops abandoned their advanced positions near the urban-type settlement of Stanytsia Luhanska north of the occupied regional capital city of Luhansk and retreated closer to the town to create a disengagement area agreed back in 2016. The military formations of the Russian-run so-called “Luhansk people’s republic” (“LNR”) have reportedly pulled out too. Can creating a new “gray zone” area endanger Stanytsia Luhanska? On 28 June, Ukrainian top Minsk negotiator Leonid Kuchma visited the location to inspect the withdrawal and an army press officer told at a press briefing: “Today after we received guarantees from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) that the opposite side has pulled out its detachments outside the agreed area of the disengagement, we can finish the process of disengagement of our detachments and transfer our advanced detachment to another position.” The Ukrainian troops reportedly retreated by 500 meters away from the line of the contact, and the “LNR people’s militia’s” detachments by 1500-1600 meters. The OSCE welcomed the disengagement. So did Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his video address on 1 July and added, “This is, I guess, the first step towards the steadfast ceasefire along the entire delimitation line, which occurred thanks to unblocking the Minsk process.”
An agent of the Russian military intelligence was detained when he was crossing the state border. He was heading to Voronezh for a meeting with his curator. This was reported by the press-service of the Security Service of Ukraine. “The counterintelligence agents and Chief Investigative Department of the Security Service of Ukraine detained an agent of Russian military intelligence who was heading to Voronezh for a meeting with his curator,” the statement reads. It is reported that Zaporizhia resident, an employee of the enterprise of State concern Ukroboronprom was recruited by the General Directorate of the General Staff of Russian Armed Forces in 2014 on annexed territory of Crimea. He was motivated with money and his support of an idea of “Russian world.” It is noted that the offender was paid to collect information about functioning of Ukrainian defense industry enterprises and the social and political situation in Zaporizhia region for Russian intelligence. He sent collected data through electronic communications to Russian officer, and during personal meetings on the territory of Russian Federation, Belarus and temporarily annexed Crimea. Law enforcers arrested the agent when he was crossing the state border with intelligence materials and seized the hidden micro SD, which contained intelligence information collected for the transfer to the Russian side. Computer equipment and media used for the processing, storage and transmission of intelligence data, as well as means of communication with a Russian side were found during searches at offender’s place of residence.
The court in Kyiv arrested an employee of one of the state defense plants. The detainee is suspected of transferring military information to Russian intelligence, reports the Ukrainian Prosecutor General. “The investigation found that an employee of one of the state defense enterprises was recruited by an employee of the 316th intelligence center of the Main Directorate of the General Staff (GRU) of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation during his stay in the territory of Russia in 2014. His main task was to collect and transmit military information allowing to carry out destabilizing activities against our country” – reads the statement. According to the Agency, the detainee collected and transmitted information on the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of military equipment of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in exchange for payment. The detainee was also evaluating the equipment which came for repair to the defense plant, determined the state of its combat readiness, made completeness check and defined its belonging to specific military units and other military information that could harm the state security and defense capability of Ukraine. “On 3 July 2019 investigators and operational staff of Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) detained the suspect during an attempt to cross the state border of Ukraine in the direction of the Russian Federation. Investigators confiscated flash drives and mobile phones with the information that detainee was going to transfer to the employee of the Russian GRU during a regular meeting in the city of Voronezh of the Russian Federation” – reports the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine. On the same day, the suspect was informed about the pending high treason charges under the criminal code of Ukraine.
Does the Chief of the General Staff – Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak plans to persuade the president and parliamentarians to decide on cancellation of the prize in Ukraine? He answered this question in an interview with the ArmyInform Defense Ministry. ” Of course, it’s best to have a fully contracted, well-stocked army. This army has significant advantages, this is confirmed by world experience. But in the case when the reserve system in the state works effectively, which should work smoothly at any stage, starting with high school. There are many examples in the world. We study the most suitable for us. However, in the near future we will not abandon the current mixed manning system.
Ukrainian SOF servicemen demonstrated the full range of task execution capabilities
BBC News Ukraine has reported that at the end of June, Ukrainian special services conducted a special operation in the territory of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (“DNR”) and detained the former “chief of the air defense unit” of the city of Snizhne, Volodymyr Tsemakh, according to Tsemakh’s daughter and his attorney Roman Hontarev. Tsemakh’s daughter Mariia, who resides in the ORDLO (occupied part of Donetsk Oblast), speculates that Ukrainian operatives could be interested in detaining her father because he served in “DNR” armed formations in Snizhne at the time when the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down in the vicinity of the city. Meanwhile, Ukrainian special services have neither confirmed the information nor gave any comments on the topic. As per BBC Ukraine, Tsemakh’s daughter and his Kyiv-based attorney Roman Hontarev insist that former “DNR” operative, 58-year-old Soviet-Afghan war veteran Volodymyr Tsemakh, was detained on 27 June in his apartment in occupied Snizhne and then smuggled across the line of the contact in the Ukraine-controlled territory.
Volodymyr Tsemakh, an ex-commander of the anti-air defense brigade of the terrorist organization “DPR” from the city of Snizhne, Donetsk region, confessed in an interview that witnessed the fall of the Malaysian “Boeing” MH17 shot down by Russian mercenaries in July 2014. This is the current time Describing the events in an interview in 2015 related to the fall in the MN17 Snow Passenger Passenger, Shemakh says: “I took that guy out. I hid this “Beech”. I’ll show you even where he started and where he was picking up. ” More on video: Recall that the Security Service of Ukraine was arrested and the court arrested the former air defense chief of the Slavic brigade of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” Volodymyr Cemakh. Earlier, separatist media reported that at the end of June, Ukrainian special forces detained Tsemakh in the occupied Snezhnoye (Donetsk region), stunned him and took him under the guise of a paralyzed pensioner to a controlled Ukrainian territory.
Vladimir Tsemakh, the ex-head of the air defense brigade of the terrorist organization “DPR” from the town of Snezhnoye, Donetsk Region, admitted in an interview that he witnessed the fall of the Malaysian Boeing MH17, shot down by Russian mercenaries in July 2014. This is stated in the plot of “Present time” , reports Tsenzor.NET . Describing the events connected with the fall of the MN17 passenger airliner under the Sniznoye, Tsemachy says: “I pulled this kid out. I hid this Buk. I will even show you where he started and where he took it.”
Crews of Ukrainian patrol boats of the type “Island” – Starobelsk (P190) and Slavyansk (P191) arrived yesterday, at 14.30 on July 5, at Dallas International Airport, USA. This is reported by the press service of the domestic Naval Forces. The crews of boats were met by the Ukrainian diaspora of Baltimore, the apparatus of the Attache at the Ukrainian Embassy in the United States and officers of the group accompanying a contract for the supply of boats to Ukraine. The military sailors passed intensive four-month language courses in Ukraine on the level of CMP 2 in Ukraine, as well as various theoretical and practical training. From Monday, July 8, Baltimore will begin their final practical training phase on boats like “Island”. Recall that recently, a source at the headquarters of the Navy reported that the Ukrainian Navy will receive as assistance another four American patrol boats of the type “Island”.
Posted: July 06, 2019 190706 DPSU July 03 this year YuSK Servis, a ship repair company, went for a dock repair of the Naval Guard ship of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine BG-62 “Podillya”, a project 205P, the code “Tarantul”. This is reported by Defense Express with reference to “Nikolaev – the city of ships”. According to the repair information, the following works will be performed: cleaning, defect, repair and painting of the outer sheathing, repair of longitudinal editing, repair of the superstructure (AMG), replacement of tread protectors, repair of shaftwires, camshafts, propellers and a stern device, repair of anchor-mooring device, repair of the bottom-and-sea fittings, repair of refrigerators, gas spools, cooling systems, control systems, and so on. The preliminary repair of the ship took place in 2015. General characteristics of the ship BG62 “Podillya”, pr. 205P, the code “Tarantul”: Length, m – 39.80 Width, m – 7.91 Draft, m – 1.96 Speed, high school – 34-36 Range of swimming, moth – 1500 (11.5 high school), 800 (20 higher educational establishments), 500 (35 higher educational establishments) Autonomy, days – 10 Arms – 2×2 30-mm AU AK-230 Recall that there is a massive repair of ships of the Marine Guard of Ukraine. Thus, in accordance with the terms of the tender, the repair of the ship of marine protection of the SBGS “Grigoriy Kuropyatnikov” (project 1241.2, the code “Molniya”) should be completed shortly. Two more ships, such as 205P – BG57 “Nikolaev” and BG63 “Pavel Derzhavin” will also soon be renovated. In addition, the repair of the hulls of river boats for the project 1204 “Shmel” – BG84 “Ishmael”, BG83 “Nizhyn” and BG82 “Lubny”. Also, the repair of their weapons is close to completion.
In order to create the most comfortable conditions for the military in the OOS region, mobile mobile premises (containers), which should be air-conditioning and heating systems, are ordered. This was announced by the Chief of the General Staff – Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak in an interview with the Army Information Agency Defense Ministry. ” Already ordered production of field mobile premises. By size and shape, they resemble a large container. Indoors must have a system of air conditioning and heating. The head of state has set the task of creating the most comfortable conditions for our soldiers in the area of ecosystems. According to Ruslan Khomchak, these special containers will be installed where they can be buried in the ground and masked – “close” from hostile artillery. Also, in the framework of the reform of the logistics system, the Armed Forces of Ukraine provides for the establishment of units to be deployed by battalion mobile field camps. The first experimental mobile camp is scheduled to be procured in 2019. It is tentative, taking into account the cost of military and special equipment for the transportation of containers, land plots, water extraction and cleaning, etc. – UAH 300 million.
It is Ukrainian civil society’s right and duty to protest unacceptable behavior by their government in order to prevent the destruction of the Ukrainian state – political analyst Vitaly Portnikov. The protests on Maidan yesterday, as well as the outrage displayed outside the offices of Ukraine’s president, demonstrate that Ukrainian civil society is energetic and ready to defend the country. It is not simply because this is civil society’s right in the situation that has developed in Ukraine after the presidential elections and which inevitably will continue after the parliamentary elections. It is its duty. Protest is one of the most important levers for the preservation of the state. Because if electoral victory is used not to create an effective strong power but to strengthen the positions of populists and swindlers in order to create a climate of chaos and distrust in society, only permanent protest can save the country. We can see that the country’s problem does not consist simply of an inexperienced president. And by no means does it consist simply of his team, whose members often hold diametrically opposite views on the future of Ukraine. The country’s problem lies in inefficient institutions which often work not in the country’s interests but in the interests of the oligarchs and officials dating from before the past two “maidan” uprisings (2004, 2014 – Ed.). Zelensky did not appoint the current Ukrainian judges but the president’s weakness, inexperience and incompetence allow them to establish a regime of judicial arbitrariness in the country. Zelensky did not nominate the candidates to the Central Election Commission but their desire to join the new, still unclear, mainstream forces them to reach paradoxical decisions based on even more paradoxical facts. And now just try to imagine the chaos that will ensue in the country after the parliamentary elections. How many Ostap Benders (fictional con man in the satirical novel The Twelve Chairs — Ed.) with deputy badges, how many hastily discovered “new faces” from the nearest district will want to take advantage of new opportunities to improve their lives! Only control and protest can prevent the country’s descent into unmanageability, chaos, and the revenge of the pro-Russian forces. At the same time, this control and protest may prevent the likelihood of another national uprising that may be disastrous for the state and lead to the loss of another region in the east of the country. It is important to understand that today we are not dealing with the Yanukovych regime, whose representatives had clear and precise ideas about the architecture of power and its orientation towards the Kremlin. We are dealing with weak leadership without any understanding of its own intentions, actions, plans. In essence, we are dealing with a vacuum. Everyone tries to fill this vacuum of a disoriented state as best he can. Just look at the precise actions of those seeking revenge – from the purchase of TV channels to the registration in elections. And the duty of Ukrainian civil society is to fill this vacuum with Ukrainian content with the help of consolidation and permanent protest. They will not pass.
New facts about the fraudulent past of Andriy Bohdan, now head of the President’s Office, were presented in several journalist investigations by the Bihus.info project. Another journalist investigation by Skhemy discovered that some new heads of regional state administrations appointed by Zelenskyy are pro-Russian merchants related to the Russian-led separatists in Donbas. Andriy Bohdan, the current head of The Office of the President of Ukraine, had managed credit scams and worked for a number of oligarchs Claiming that he will fight corruption and launch proper social lifts, president Zelenskyy appointed a perfectly old face as Head of his Office. Andriy Bohdan has been networking with Ukrainian politicians and oligarchs at least from 2007, when he entered politics for the first time. The Bihus.info journalist investigation project claims that Bohdan’s most important connections include: A close affiliation with judges of Kyiv economic court through the owner of law firm Ihor Pukshyn. This court is currently considering several cases on Privatbank which oligarch Kolomoyskyi launched against the Ukrainian state following the bank’s nationalization in 2017; Bohdan worked for Andriy Portnov, an ally of disgraced ex-president Yanukovych, although this took place before Portnov became the head of a department in Yanukovych’s administration. Bohdan says he has no more relations with Portnov now; His brother works in the Supreme Court of Ukraine; Bohdan was a lawyer and consultant of current General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko; During 2010-2014, in Viktor Yanukovych’s time, Andriy Bohdan worked as the commissioner for the fight against corruption. After the Revolution of Dignity, Bohdan left politics and worked as a lawyer for oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi as well as for other oligarchs. During 2018-2019, Andriy Bohdan visited the General Prosecutor’s office 16 times to solve business issues of oligarch Kolomoyskyi. Particularly, the three last visits were conducted in the period when Bohdan already worked in Zelenskyy’s headquarters on the pre-election campaign. Such different experiences, with many clients and positions! It proves that Bohdan is a professional and highly qualified lawyer, one may say. It would be so if Bohdan didn’t use his many acquaintances for illegal enrichment through credit scams. His “business” is even more questionable as he completed the fraud while leading the commission to fight corruption in 2010-2014. Bihus.info describes Bohdan’s scheme in detail. In the interest of the Sygal brothers and other “businessmen,” Andriy Bohdan helped private firms avoid returning credits to private banks as well as to the state Deposit Guarantee Fund through offshore companies. The scheme is quite simple. When the time comes to return loans, companies for which Bohdan worked show that they already have larger debts to an offshore firm. This offshore firm, of course, belongs to the same owner as the main company. Due to Bohdan’s professionalism, the legal part of the “deal” was impeccable. Therefore, it was easy for courts affiliated with the same Bohdan to conclude that the main company should bankrupt in favor of the offshore company of the same owner, not in favor of bank or the state Fund. Andriy Bohdan was personally responsible for the fraud, for he acted from the name of those offshore companies, having a power of attorney from one of them and being a founder of the second one. That was documentally proved by the journalists of the Bihus project. Bohdan’s informal connections were important in all such cases. Usually, both the lawyers of the offshore firm, lawyers of the main company, as well as judges in the case were all related to Bohdan informally. However fraudulent the result, Bohdan’s actions were legal, as Ukraine does not have laws to punish such activities. “What’s wrong, what is illegal in it?” Bohdan answered to the accusations that he assisted as a lawyer in the fraudulent acquisition of the factory which was to be given to the state as a pledge. Nonetheless, Bohdan was subjected to the law on Lustration and could not enter any political position. President Zelenskyy broke the law in order to appoint Bohdan as Head of his Administration, which is now renamed into the President’s Office. Moreover, Bohdan has clearly pro-Russian views, as in his last interview he admitted that he supports the Russian language as a regional language for the eastern part of Ukraine, which many in Ukraine contend would secure the region in Russia’s mental grip. Language issues was always a political tool in Ukraine. Regional languages in times of Victor Yanukovych’s presidency were used for the policy of Russification and for pitting one part of Ukraine against another. Ukrainian activists have filed a petition to Volodymyr Zelenskyy in favor of Bohdan’s resignation but no action was taken by the president.
Clashing egos, infighting, and affiliations with establishment politicians may have spelled the demise of the liberal lawmakers once hailed as Ukraine’s political saviors. The July 21 elections may seal their fate.
05.07.19 16:58 – Ukraine’s CEC says won’t be able to print ballots on time if redraw takes place The Central Election Commission (CEC) of Ukraine says the redraw of parties at the snap elections to the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, will result its failure to print the required number of ballots on time and ensure their delivery. View news.
The Central Election Commission (CEC) has overturned its previous decision to register former First Deputy Prosecutor General Renat Kuzmin as candidate running for parliament in Ukraine. The relevant decision was taken at the CEC meeting.
The leader of the Strength and Honor Party, Igor Smeshko, is confident that it is not possible to create a political party quickly, especially in a month. As informs Tsenzor. NO, he said this in an interview with Gordon, criticizing the presidential political force “Servant of the People” “Do you really think that it is possible to create a party in a month? And what is the ideology of this party?” – Smeshko says, commenting on the high rating of the “Servant of the People”.
Former deputy prosecutor’s election registration cancelled. The electoral commission received a letter from the SBU. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
MP candidate Oleksandr Kunytsky possibly holds double citizenship, which is against Ukrainian law
The mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is likely to arrive in Ukraine after the parliamentary elections. — Ukrinform.
According to the pontiff, a hybrid war is under way in the Donbass, marked by the propaganda of lies and manipulation. At the meeting with the Ukrainian bishops, Francis did not mention Russia in this connection. The next day after a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pope Francis received on Friday, July 5, the Ukrainian bishops in the Vatican and condemned the war in the Donbass. A hybrid war is under way in this region, marked by the propaganda of lies and manipulation, and is accompanied by attempts to “draw into the work and the religious aspect,” said the Roman high priest. At the same time, the pontiff did not mention Russia. At a meeting with Putin on July 4, the pope also raised the issue of the war in eastern Ukraine. In the official communique on the results of the meeting on this topic, however, no details were given. Call for unity and vigilance Francis urged the Catholic Church in Ukraine for unity and vigilance. “On the night of the conflict that you are experiencing, the Lord calls his children, as in the Garden of Gethsemane, to watchfulness and prayer, not to self-defense and certainly not to attack. Jesus expects prayers and full commitment from his disciples. spiral of violence “, – said the Roman high priest. He urged the Ukrainian bishops not to get involved in the struggle for ecclesiastical, nationalistic or political interests. The meeting of the pontiff with the leadership of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was planned long ago and will continue on Saturday. Two months ago, Francis invited the Permanent Synod of the Greek Catholic Church, headed by Catholicos Svyatoslav Shevchuk, to the Vatican to discuss the situation in the east of Ukraine and search for ways of peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbass. In predominantly Orthodox Ukraine, almost every tenth resident is Greek Catholic. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is subordinate to the Pope.
The last months have been troubling for the six-month-old Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU). The 90-year-old bishop Filaret carrying the title of “Honorary Patriarch” despite the dissolution of his church structure to create the legitimate OCU independent from Moscow, had attempted a power grab and revoked the OCU’s very declaration of independence, or Tomos. Although initially appearing to have the potential for an explosive schism within the new Church, they appeared to fizzle out, with only three bishops of tiny dioceses supporting the plan of the elder. Despite this, the OCU still faces the same problems as six months ago, when Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew handed over the long-awaited Tomos to Ukraine’s newborn Orthodox Church. It is still not recognized by any other Church other than the Ecumenical Patriarchate and is still outnumbered by the parishes of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in union with Moscow in Ukraine (UOC MP). Euromaidan Press talked to Archimandrite Cyril Hovorun, PhD, Senior Lecturer at Stockholm School of Theology, former Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the UOC MP (pictured on the left), to understand how the OCU has been developing the last half a year and what impact Filaret’s actions could possibly have.
When on 6 January 2019, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) finally received the Tomos of autocephaly from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, securing a legitimate independence from Moscow, it faced many challenges. Internal unity was a major one, as the new church molded together representatives of three hitherto separate churches. International recognition was another one, as the powerful Moscow Patriarchate was predicted to use all its might to fight against this weakening of its ideological grip over Ukraine. Internal church reform and coming up to date was a third. But the real problems came from where nobody expected. The person who was seen as the main architect of the OCU’s independence, Honorary Patriarch Filaret, has now rebelled against the newborn OCU and after a period of attempting to lure bishops to his side, gone into schism with it, rebuking the Tomos that the OCU had so painstakingly sought out from Constantinople and announcing the restoration of his old structure, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC KP). Filaret, a 90-year old bishop, is a polarizing figure both inside and outside Ukraine. For the faithful of the Kyiv Patriarchate, he is the person who contributed the most to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s centuries-long quest for independence. For the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in union with Moscow, he is a pledge-breaking schismatic. For many Orthodox worldwide, he is the reason to refrain from recognizing the new UOC. So, who is Filaret and how serious is the crisis he caused in the OCU? Honeymoon period over Following the Unification Council on 15 December 2018, in which representatives of the hitherto existing Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC KP), Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC), and Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC MP) joined to create the OCU. The Council, insistently prodded forward by then President Poroshenko who later made the attainment of Church independence a cornerstone of his ultimately unsuccessful election campaign, resulted in the newly-formed church structure being based mostly on the UOC KP. From its schismatic formation by Filaret in 1992, it had grown to boast the support of the majority of Orthodox Ukrainians thanks to its pro-Ukrainian position amid Russian aggression. The UOC KP and UAOC dissolved their structures to create the OCU, while only two bishops of the UOC MP participated in the Council. Read also: Old wine in new bottles: how bad habits derailed Ukrainian Church unification – interview with Cyril Hovorun Thus, Ukraine found itself in a brand new church situation, with two legitimate, recognized Orthodox Churches, the newly-created OCU and UOC MP in union with Moscow, competing for the hearts of Ukrainians on its territory, as opposed to the previous decades when the UOC KP and UAOC were considered schismatic by the world Orthodox community. After an initial period of exhilaration and optimism, epitomized by Poroshenko’s nationwide pre-election Tomos-boasting tour, the church topic left news headlines, but problems remained. Former President Petro Poroshenko stands to the right the Tomos, or scroll with the “declaration of independence” from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and Metropolitan Epifaniy, who was elected to lead the newly-created OCU at the Unification Council. Photo: president.gov.uaAlthough hopes for the UOC MP parishes joining the OCU were initially high, at publication date, the transition rate had trickled down and only 537 had joined the OCU’s approximately 7,000 parishes – a fraction of the UOC MP’s 11,000. Moreover, the transition process, although facilitated by a law intending to make it as peaceful as possible, was marred by allegations of violence by both sides, and the UOC MP’s accusations that local authorities were abusing their resources in favor of the new OCU. At present, the OCU has been recognized only by one other Orthodox Church from the total 16 – the Ecumenical Patriarchate which granted it autocephaly in the first place, claiming to have rights to this territory which the Moscow Church had illegally usurped. This move by Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, who carries the honorary title of “first among equals” among the other primates of Orthodox Churches, precipitated what observers called the “largest schism in the Church since 1054,” with the powerful Moscow Patriarchate breaking off communion with Constantinople. Ukrainian church analysts contend that Moscow is now leading an international campaign to prevent the recognition of the OCU by other Churches, as well as a campaign to discredit the OCU within Ukraine. The interaction of the bishops of the church previously from three different jurisdictions has not been without friction. So much that, as Euromaidan Press’ sources told, any rapid modernization anticipated by a part of church civil society was unrealistic: maintaining unity is the number one goal at present. This unity was furthermore endangered by the untransparent election process at the Unification Council. Filaret finally conceded to holding the Council by Constantinople’s rules and removing his claims to primacy over the OCU in exchange for the election of his protege, Epifaniy, church sources say. Few expected any other scenario than Filaret continuing to govern the new Church structure through Epifaniy. But Metropolitan Epifaniy turned out to have a mind of his own. And the elderly bishop dubbed as the “creator” of Ukraine’s independent church went berserk. A lust for power Filaret (on the golden throne) sits, surrounded by bishops and clerics faithful to him, inside the St. Volodymyr Cathedral in Kyiv. Photo: UOC KP’s fb page The first signs of Filaret’s resentment appeared in May when it was rumored that he would convene a council changing the Statute of the Orthodox Church to transform it into a duumvirate where he would rule besides Metropolitan Epifaniy. This was preceded by interviews in which Filaret told that he was dissatisfied with the status quo of the OCU. It was, he contended, not fully independent: the Council was convened by the “Greeks” (meaning the Ecumenical Patriarchate), its democratic Statute was written by the “Greeks,” the OCU was granted not the status of a Patriarchate but merely a Metropoly (which, however, does not detract from its autonomy), and the UOC KP’s few overseas parishes were to go under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, not the OCU. In another, he said that, in fact, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate still existed, pointing to the title of “Honorary Patriarch” that the Synod of the OCU had allowed him to keep as an act of mercy. “If there is a Patriarch, there must be a Patriarchate,” the white-haired Gandalf-looking elder persuaded journalists, complaining that his protege does not communicate with him and never asks advice on managing the Church. In another interview, Filaret said Poroshenko had promised him that the OCU would, actually, be governed as a duumvirate, with Epifaniy for external representation and Filaret deciding on internal issues. Euromaidan Press’ church sources say that there indeed may have been such a promise, which could have been crucial for Filaret agreeing to not sabotage the Unification Council and creation of the OCU in the first place. Did Metropolitan Epifaniy indeed turn his back on his teacher, revered for his perseverance to build up the structure of the UOC KP after going into schism with Moscow? Not from the outset, it appears. But the demands of Filaret to violate agreements with the “Greeks” became too persistent, and at a certain moment a choice was to be made: either stay on course for integration into the world family of Orthodox Churches or follow the instructions of Filaret. Epifaniy chose the former. The old man wanted to regain absolute power over the Church, as he had had for many decades. Nothing else would suffice, said sources inside the OCU. Filaret had great influence over the bishops of the UOC KP, which was built up by years of authoritarian rule within a structure with a goal of surviving in a hostile environment. As well, he managed to keep control over the UOC KP’s coffers, leaving the OCU at financial ground zero. Some religious analysts began to fear that Filaret’s plan of a power grab could work. But when the time came, Filaret’s intentions were supported by three bishops. All of them were from tiny dioceses in Russia. It was with their support that on 20 June Filaret held a scarcely attended “Local Council of the UOC KP” which decreed that the UOC KP never ceased existing and laid claims to virtually all of the property of the OCU, as well as to the overseas parishes of the UOC KP which under the conditions of the Tomos should go under Constantinople. The “Local Council of the UOC KP” held on 20 June in the St. Volodymyr Cathedral in Kyiv. Photo: UOC KP’s fb page The “Council” was immediately followed by the ordination of two more bishops, all performed in the St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral, in line with Filaret’s plan to raise their number to 12, as required by the Statute of the UOC KP. [bishop] [zelensky] The ordination of two bishops by Filaret. Photos: UOC KP’s fb page These events elicited a response: the Synod of the OCU removed two schismatic bishops from their duties and issued a ban on the priestly duties of those who were ordained. However, Filaret got off easy – he still remains an acting bishop and member of the Synode, although being stripped of jurisdiction over any monasteries or parishes. This was too soft a reaction which encourages Filaret to further schismatic actions, believes religious expert Dmytro Horievoy, who wondered why the OCU wanted to avoid breaking relations with Filaret by all means, despite his obvious resentment for the new Church. And sure enough, on 25 June, Filaret announced that the UOC KP is breaking off from the OCU, accused the OCU of “raiding” its property, and promised to appeal to “European society” for protection. History repeating Filaret inside the St. Volodymyr Cathedral in Kyiv. Photo: UOC KP’s fb page Filaret’s schism was gleefully picked apart by Moscow Patriarchy resources. After all, there he is seen as an old, unrepentant schismatic. In Soviet times, he was an influential hierarch of the Moscow Patriarchate and worked closely with the KGB. In 1990, he was one of the candidates for the position of Moscow Patriarch but was not elected, being instead appointed as Metropolitan of Kyiv. In 1992, after Ukraine became independent, an assembly convened by Filaret adopted an appeal for autocephaly to Moscow, which resulted in Filaret being asked – and agreeing – to resign, but retracting the promise when he got back to Ukraine. That marked the beginning of the coexistence of the canonical, or legitimate, UOC MP in Ukraine, and the schismatic UOC KP led by the anathematized Filaret. The anathema was, essentially, reversed only by Constantinople’s preparatory actions for the granting of the Tomos. As some in Ukraine joked, six months without being in a schism was too much for Filaret. His desire for power triggered his fall from the position of “creator” of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and spiritual patriarch of the Ukrainian nation to a troublemaker making bizarre claims such as that Constantinople was guilty of extortion and demanding $28 mn annually from the OCU – a statement repeating the fakes Russian resources are spreading to discredit Ukraine’s new Orthodox Church. Yet others remarked that during the years of Ukraine’s independence, Filaret’s image was excessively and unnecessarily idealized, leading to the overlooking of his authoritarian style and hunger for power. Now, it appears that the elder is simply senile, raising the question of a maximum possible age for administrative positions within the OCU. How serious is this? Filaret’s actions, and possible legal charges against the OCU’s “raidership,” are sure to undermine the reputation of the new structure domestically and internationally. They are sure to divert the new Church’s attention away from more constructive issues. But they have not succeeded in breaking the internal unity of the OCU. His plan was supported by a minuscule portion of the clergy of the OCU, who weighed the perspectives of returning into a schism against those of growing within a structure with potential for universal recognition. Throughout the whole course of the conflict, Metropolitan Epifaniy had taken no rash steps, put forward no accusations, or otherwise exacerbated the situation, therefore mitigating the OCU’s potential discreditation within Ukrainian society. Moreover, this crisis could be for the better, Archimandrite Cyril Hovorun says. In an interview with Euromaidan Press, the internationally acclaimed theologian stated that the situation with Filaret will lead to the cleansing and renewal of the OCU.