Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (229)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Geneva arms control talks. Finns harassed by VKS while Gen Goldfein visits. Greece threatened over S-300PMU1 / SA-20A disclosures. Baltics update. Schmitt on US SOF training to defeat LGMs.

Much on Turkey, again. More bluster from Erdogan who appears determined to separate from the West – his notions of alignment with Russia are delusional as Muscovy is even more duplicitous than he is himself. WSJ argues the case for outlasting Erdogan – expediting his departure from office would help Turkey and the West.

EU/NATO update.

Ze – POTUS meeting update. IR update – diplomatic reshuffle, POW/EPW swaps, Klimkin comments. Russia again raises language law in UNSC while Budapest continues its blackmail campaign inside NATO.

Italy is in deep political trouble in Ukraine now over the Markiv case – the Ambassador labelled it a Russian “special operation” i.e. jargon for a contrived deception. Whether the Italian court was gullible, influenced, or simply bribed, the issue is now a major international spat and the Italians look very very bad in this matter.

Crimea update. Donbas update – evidence the Russians deployed Zoopark-1 CBRs from the very outset in 2014.  PSU trials Turkish Aselsan radios in an L-39 trainer. More on the Chinese play to buy out Motorsich.

Politics update.


Trump Sends Negotiators to Geneva for Nuclear Talks With Russians and Also Seeks to Limit Chinese Warheads – The New York Times

President Trump has discussed his idea with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, and has indicated interest in a three-way accord with China to cap nuclear arsenals.

U.S., Russia to discuss nuclear arms limits in Geneva on Wednesday: officials – Reuters

Representatives from the United States and Russia are set to meet in Geneva on Wednesday to explore the concept of a new accord limiting nuclear arms that could eventually include China, senior U.S. officials said on Monday.

Ilmavoimat on Twitter: “Finnish Air Force F/A-18s on #QRA were scrambled on 15 July to identify Russian Tu-160, A-50 and Su-35 aircraft in international airspace above the Gulf of Finland and the northern part of the Baltic Sea. The airspace of Finland was not violated. #FINAF #readiness https://t.co/uCt3GNO8YO” / Twitter

 

Finland scrambles combat jets to identify three Russian military aircraft (Photo) – news world | UNIAN

Finland has scrambled its F/A-18 combat jets to identify three Russia military aircraft above the Gulf of Finland. The Finnish Air Force says the country’s airspace was not violated.

The US Air Force’s top general gets a taste of Finnish fighter tactics

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein got up to speed on the Finnish air force’s newest capabilities before getting to see some of them in action.

UAWire – Russian media: Kremlin will punish Greece if Athens provides information about S-300 missile systems to Israel

Athens could suffer if it gives Israel information about S-300 aerial defense systems and lets the Israeli Air Force practice against such systems, writes the Russian site Avia.pro. “If the key problem of the S-300s is the difficult attacking conditions for Israeli fighters, which are still taking cover behind civilian aircraft, then Iran will certainly be willing to act, attacking any hostile objects without restraint. Obviously, Israel is aware of this, which is why this country’s air force has carried out combat tests of the systems against its own planes,” the site remarks. The site refers to information published previously by news outlet Tsargrad according to which the Israeli aircraft had practiced bypassing S-300s and attacking during drills over the Mediterranean Sea. Military analyst Aram Shabanyan said that an Israeli plane had made a night-time training flight over the Mediterranean Sea, and that the distance flown by the plane was identical to “potential military targets in Iran”. Shabanyan believes the crew may have been rehearsing an attack against the heavy water plant in the city of Arak. Avia.pro does not have information on how successful the Israeli Air Force’s drills against targets in Greece were, but considers it a dangerous thing for Athens to have allowed. “Russia has enough levers to exert pressure on Greece, whose economy is steadily sinking. Today Greece has a new problem – the Turkish S-400s, which have already been transferred by Russia, but Russia could create far more serious problems for Athens if it starts to act against Moscow,” one of the site’s experts observed. In October 2018, a little-known media outlet reported that Israel had practiced fighting against S-300s in Ukraine. In 2007, Greece installed an S-300 system which it received from Cyprus, which had in turn obtained it from Russia in 1999 as protection against Turkey. As a member of NATO, Greece gave permission for the US, British and Israeli air Forces to practice opposing S-300 systems in its airspace.

Estonian defense policy official on alliance relations and Russian stability

On the front line of any conflict with Russia sits the Baltic nation of Estonia.

A necessary rise: Lithuania bolsters its cybersecurity, catching the attention of other nations

Lithuania’s recent efforts to build up cybersecurity are catching the attention of the international community and putting the country at the forefront of cybersecurity development.

Do the Baltics need more US military support to deter Russia?

Lithuania is calling for more U.S. military presence in its borders, but how realistic is the prospect of getting more American flags flying in the Baltics?

With an eye to Russia, Europe focuses on hybrid warfare response

With potential attacks against Baltic nations by Russia fresh in the minds of European allies, both NATO and the European Union are focusing on strategies to either prevent or respond to “gray zone” warfare.

American Commandos Gear Up for New Shadow War With Russia – The New York Times

Even as President Trump courts Russia, Special Operations forces are teaming up with partners on Europe’s eastern flank to counter a mix of subterfuge, cyberattacks and disinformation.

Eric Schmitt | American commandos gear up for new shadow war with Russia

President Trump made light of Russia’s interference in American elections during a meeting last month with President Vladimir V. Putin, teams of Army Green Berets and Navy SEALs were practicing support missions for local resistance forces in Eastern Europe and the Baltics should they have to confront Russian commandos without insignia, the so-called little green men who helped Moscow seize Crimea in 2014. SZOLNOK, Hungary — Secretive, behind-the-lines mission rehearsals and other operations by 1,400 American and allied commandos to combat shifting Russian threats have laid bare a fundamental tension in the Trump administration: While the president courts Moscow, much of his government considers it an increasingly dangerous foe. Just days before President Trump made light of Russia’s interference in American elections during a meeting last month with President Vladimir V. Putin, teams of Army Green Berets and Navy SEALs were practicing support missions for local resistance forces in Eastern Europe and the Baltics should they have to confront Russian commandos without insignia, the so-called little green men who helped Moscow seize Crimea in 2014. Under a revamped Pentagon strategy to counter growing threats from Russia and China, American commandos are teaming up with partners on Europe’s eastern flank to thwart Russia’s so-called hybrid warfare, which allied officials say increasingly involves manipulating events using a mix of subterfuge, cyberattacks and information warfare. The threats hark back to Cold War-era intrigue, but so far are being fought with bytes and bandwidth, not bombs and bullets. “This is back to the future,” Gen. Richard D. Clarke, the head of the Pentagon’s Special Operations Command, said in an interview. “Special Operations forces have to work on the edges to counter Russian aggression.” The two-week exercise in Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania offered a window into shadowy so-called gray-zone operations, which are meant to stay below the threshold of inciting open conflict but always run the risk of touching off exactly what both sides are trying to avoid: a shooting war. But in an unexpected geopolitical twist, American and Hungarian officers here at the headquarters of this country’s special operations forces 60 miles east of Budapest sought to stay far away from domestic politics in their countries, and from questions about the close links with Moscow that their commanders in chief have embraced. Mr. Trump gave Viktor Orban, the authoritarian prime minister of Hungary and one of Europe’s leading nationalists, a warm welcome in May despite concerns about Mr. Orban’s rollback of democratic institutions and warming ties with Russia. Once a leader in the move to adopt Western values when the Soviet bloc collapsed three decades ago, Hungary has charted a different course since Mr. Orban assumed office in 2010. Even though Hungary is a North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally, Mr. Orban’s government has pressured nongovernmental organizations, brought most of the news media under control of his allies and upended the electoral process to favor his party. During Mr. Orban’s visit to Washington, Mr. Trump made no mention of the fact that Hungary spends only 1.15 percent of its economy on defense, one of the proportionately lowest in NATO, even though he routinely criticizes other leaders for not meeting the 2 percent goal set by the alliance. Likewise, Mr. Trump said nothing about Hungary’s growing energy ties with Russia, unlike his repeated criticism of Germany on the same issue. Meantime, Mr. Trump has dismissed bipartisan concerns about Russia, most recently last month when he warmly greeted and joked with Mr. Putin on the sidelines of an international summit in Japan. When asked about these seeming contradictions, the top Hungarian and American officers overseeing the commando exercise exchanged glances and, after an awkward silence, chose their words carefully. “Military-to-military relations are really resilient to what’s going on in the political environment,” Brig. Gen. Tamas Sandor, the head of Hungary’s 1,000 special operations troops, said in an interview in his office. “I’m staying in my professional lane.” In many ways, General Sandor’s personal journey tracks the evolution of Eastern European militaries to NATO allies and post-9/11 comrades in the battlefields of Afghanistan from Cold War rivals. General Sandor, 52, joined the army as a cadet in the late 1980s, when Hungary was still part of the Warsaw Pact. He later trained at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., Fort Bragg, N.C., and the National Defense University in Washington. He served three tours in Afghanistan alongside American forces. The general is a rabid fan of the New Orleans Saints football team, born from his admiration of the city that struggled to cope with the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the year he lived in North Carolina. Sitting across from him was Capt. Mark Schafer, 47, a member of the Navy SEALs who is heading the American-led exercise here and in neighboring Bulgaria and Romania. “We hear the background music; we’re not deaf to it,” Captain Schafer, a native of Utica, N.Y., whose first taste of European conflict came when he deployed to Bosnia in the late 1990s, said of the highly charged political discourse. He now commands 600 Navy SEALs on the East Coast, and has deployed to war zones more than 15 times since Sept. 11, 2001. “But as the operational commander,” Captain Schafer said, “I’m focused on our partnered capabilities. That’s my mission.” The Special Operations exercise came at the same time as one of the largest United States-led exercises since Russia invaded Crimea. It involved thousands of other conventional American and European troops and some 50 ships staging a mock assault on the Baltic coast near Russia. And it is not just in Eastern Europe and the Baltics where American commandos are gearing up to counter Russia. Swedish and Norwegian special forces have passed along tips on having the right gear not just to survive in the increasingly contested Arctic region, but to operate effectively and improve tactics there as well, said Maj. Gen. Kirk W. Smith of the Air Force, an Afghan war veteran who is the commander of several thousand American Special Operations forces in Europe. In their efforts, the United States and its allies must overcome one natural disadvantage: Authoritarian powers, like Russia, have an easier time with hybrid conflicts built on deceptions and falsehoods. In the run-up to elections in Ukraine this year, American officials said Russian-backed social media twice targeted American Special Operations forces and conventional troops in disinformation efforts aimed at sowing distrust between the two countries. An article on March 5 by Novoros, a Russian-sponsored site, falsely claimed that the Ukrainian government had issued United States service members Ukrainian passports, which would purportedly allow American forces to infiltrate Russia. The article was shared over multiple Russian social media platforms, American officials said. The second instance was a mysterious mass text that the Ukrainian border service, and presumably wide sections of the Ukrainian public, received on March 25. These texts stated that American Special Forces were going to start a “Maidan 3.0 protest” before the election, a reference to street protests five years agothat evolved into a revolution that deposed a widely despised, Russian-aligned leader. The texts also discouraged Ukrainians from military service. Ukrainian authorities acted quickly to debunk the bogus information, and urged the public to report messages that they found suspicious, American officials said. “This is going to be a very long, sustained campaign,” General Smith said, referring to countering Russian efforts. “They are trying to get through the seams. Our job is to recognize that, and compete with, counter and disrupt them.” At a training range a few miles from the Hungarian headquarters, and at sites in Bulgaria and Romania, commandos practiced scenarios in which their high-tech equipment guided by satellite communications and precision strikes had been foiled by a Russian cyberattack. “It’s back to a compass and maps, and nothing else. It’s old school,” General Sandor said. “We hope for the best and prepare for the worst.” Small teams of commandos from 10 countries rehearsed clandestine reconnaissance missions, sneaking up on potential targets and passing along information to local forces. Other predawn operations practiced slipping commandos in behind enemy lines or pulling them out without being detected. Commanders honed their ability to coordinate rapidly developing, simultaneous stealthy activities across several countries. In a recent early morning training exercise, two dozen Hungarian commandos armed with M4 rifles and gas masks conducted a mock raid on an abandoned building where authorities suspected that notional Russian-backed Hungarian separatists were making a dirty bomb out of chlorine and other hazardous chemicals. With a Cougar helicopter whomp-whomping overhead, the commandos stormed up two flights of stairs, seized the bomb-making materials and captured the terrorist leaders. On today’s battlefield, the soldiers carried cellphones. And in a nod to the new dangers they face in this age of cybersecurity, instructions emblazoned on cellphone pouches tell their comrades: “If found dead, delete my browser history.”

4 questions on NATO’s capability investments

During the last 100 years since NATO was formed, its primary goal has transitioned from collective defense to cooperative security to crisis management. Today, NATO is juggling all three.

Maybe alliance tensions could land us in a better place

The European Union is touting merits of its efforts to fund members in defense efforts, after NATO criticisms.

UAWire – Visa and MasterCard may leave Russia

The newly proposed provisions of Russia’s law “On the national payment system” could result in the international payment system (IPS) wrapping up its activity in Russia, and Russian citizens being unable to use their cards abroad, writes Kommersant. Within Russia, cards belonging to foreign credit institutions may no longer be accepted. Russia’s State Duma will consider the second reading of the law on 23 July. The amendments themselves are supposedly meant to maintain the continuity of card payments in Russia. They prohibit IPSs from suspending transactions involving the cards of Russian banks under international sanctions. The international payment systems will not be able to comply with this demand. The bill introduces the concept of the “foreign payment system” (FPS) in such a way that the IPSs registered with the Bank of Russia do not fall under it, and must consequently comply with the rules pertaining to normal payment systems. Currently, subsidiaries of Visa, MasterCard, China Union Pay, JCB and other systems are registered with the Bank of Russia. Unless the rules are amended, within half a year it will be illegal to suspend the transactions of any bank due to sanctions, for example. If IPSs fail to comply, they will be de-registered and effectively banned from operating in Russia. If the license of an IPS is revoked, all transactions on their cards within Russia will be suspended for a period, warns Dmitry Vishnyakov, an independent expert on the payment market. At present, Russia’s national card payment system has not signed contracts with banks, but with IPSs, which pay it for servicing their transactions within the country, and all of the settlement conditions are stipulated in the rules of the IPSs, he explains.

Walter Russell Mead | Don’t Let Turkey Defect to Russia – WSJ

NATO’s objective should be to outlast Erdogan and his provocative behavior.

Why is Turkey betting on Russia?

Turkey’s purchase of S-400 air defense systems from Russia is altering the U.S.-Turkey and Turkey-Russia relationships, writes Galip Dalay.

Russia Will Be Sending More Weapons to NATO Member Turkey, Senior Lawmaker Vows as S-400 Missiles Arrive

Turkey’s purchase of the Russian anti-aircraft system has opened up a rift with the U.S., which fears the deal could compromise American military secrets.

Russia eyes big picture with S-400 sale to Turkey

Russia’s controversial S-400 deal with Turkey is more about constructing a Middle East less dependent on the United States than direct competition.

Russian planes continue to deliver parts for missile defense system to Turkey

Turkey hopes to co-produce high-tech weaponry systems with Russia in the future, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, further defying its NATO ally the United States, which has warned the country of possible sanctions over its purchase of a Russian-made missile defense system.

Erdogan: Turkey hopes to co-produce weaponry systems with Russia | News | ekathimerini.com

Turkey hopes to co-produce high-tech weaponry systems with Russia in the future, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, further defying its NATO ally the United States, which has warned the country of possible sanctions over its purchase of a Russian-made missile defense system.

Erdogan says Turkey aims to produce S-400s jointly with Russia | USA News | Al Jazeera

President says S-400s will be ready in April 2020, making Turkey the first NATO nation with Russian missile system.

Russia’s S-400 is best missile system in the world: Erdogan

Russia’s S-400 is the best missile defense systems in the world, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday. “S-400 deliveries to Turkey have

Erdogan says Russia’s S-400 are “best” missile defense systems – Military & Defense – TASS

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that S-400 missile defense systems will be fully deployed on the territory of Turkey by April 2020

Turkey’s Erdogan: Russian S-400 Missiles To Be Deployed By April 2020

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said its Russian-made S-400 missile-defense system will be fully deployed in April 2020.

Turkey’s Erdogan says Russian S-400s will be fully deployed by April 2020 – CNA

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday (Jul 15) that the Russian S-400 missile defence system, parts of which have been …

Turkey’s Erdogan says Russian S-400s will be fully deployed by April 2020 – Reuters

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that the Russian S-400 missile defence system, parts of which have been delivered to Turkey over the past four days, would be fully deployed in April 2020.

Erdogan says Trump can waive sanctions on Turkey for Russian defence purchase – Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump has the authority to waive sanctions on Turkey for its purchase of Russian air defence systems and should find a “middle ground” in the dispute, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday.

Ankara must be wary of ‘Jewish forces influencing Russia’ despite S-400s – pro-gov’t columnist | Ahval

Turkey’s acquisition of the S-400 missile defence systems from Russia is an important step towards independence for the country, after decades under the thumb of western powers, said Turkish journalist Yusuf Kaplan in a column published on Monday by the Islamist pro-government daily Yeni Şafak. But Ankara must also be careful in its dealings with Moscow since “Russia cannot and will not take an inch of a step independently from Israel and the Jewish forces (in the United States), Kaplan said. The S-400 purchase, which U.S. and NATO officials have warned could create a security breach in NATO defence systems, has been received as a decisive turning point in Turkey’s relations with its Atlantic allies. The country is now almost certain to be expelled from the F-35 fighter jet programme, and faces the prospect of economic sanctions from the United States. But for Kaplan, this is a small price to pay for a foreign policy that promises Turkey independence. To achieve true independence, he said, Ankara will also have to watch carefully for traps from Russia, which could push it into a trap at any moment “through the directives of the lords of the global system”.

F-35 Program to Be at Risk if Turkey Removed Over S-400 Row – Former US Congressman – Sputnik International

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The entire F-35 fighter jet program could be at risk if Turkey is excluded following Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile systems, according to a Monday statement from former US congressman and co-founder of Turkish Caucus, H.E. Edward Whitfield.

US Could Use Turkish F-35 Parts Contracts to Entice New Customers – Defense One

Ankara is on track to forfeit work worth billions of dollars if it is booted from the F-35 program.

Washington to impose sanctions against Turkey

Turkey received the first shipment of an advanced Russian air defence S-400 Triumf system on Friday, paving the way for a clash with Washington. The first components of the system were flown by a Russian cargo aircraft to the Murted airbase near Ankara. This is the first delivery of the Russian system to a NATO member state. It remains unclear where Turkey plans to deploy the system. The S-400 system carries a price tag of $2,5bn, which compares favourably to a US offer for the Patriot System that would cost $3,5bn. But the opportunity cost for Ankara is already much greater. The Pentagon will halt the training of Turkish pilots on the US-led F-35 fighter jet programme by the end of July. In June, the US Senate moved to block the transfer of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey as it is feared that the radar of the S-400 air defence system will collect valuable intelligence about the F-35, undermining the stealth quality of the fourth generation combat aircraft.

Turkish S-400s Create ‘New Order’ In Mid East Airspace « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary

An Israeli expert said that the critical question is, where will the Turks deploy the Russian system. “If it is deployed near the border with Syria it may endanger air forces that will attack Iranian controlled militias in Iraq,” the Israeli source says.

U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo confident Trump will sanction Turkey | Ahval

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said U.S. law requires sanctions against Turkey for its purchase of Russian air defence missiles and expressed confidence the White House would comply with the law, the Washington Post reported on Sunday. U.S. officials have repeatedly stated that the S-400s pose a threat to U.S. and NATO defences, warning of sanctions as well as Turkey’s possible expulsion from the programme to build and operate F-35 stealth fighters. Turkey began taking delivery of S-400 systems on Friday, and as of Sunday had accepted seven shipments. U.S. law mandates sanctions against countries that make significant deals with Russia’s defence industry, but Trump has sent mixed signals about how he might respond to Turkey, according to the Washington Post.

E.U. Punishes Turkey for Gas Drilling Off Cyprus Coast – The New York Times

The measures stopped short of all-out sanctions against Turkish companies, but they come as the country’s economy is struggling.

Turkey says EU measures won’t deter it from drilling off Cyprus | Cyprus News | Al Jazeera

Statement by foreign ministry comes after EU takes punitive steps against Ankara’s activities in Eastern Mediterranean.

MH17 case: EU urges Russia to take responsibility, cooperate with investigation

EU urges Russia to take responsibility for downing of MH17

EU To Unblock Some Financial Aid To Moldova Due To Reform Progress

The European Commission has announced it will unlock millions of euros in financial aid to Moldova thanks to some progress on reforms made by the impoverished Eastern European country.

Bulgarian tax agency says hackers stole millions of financial records – Reuters

Hackers have stolen the personal and financial data of millions of Bulgarians by breaking into the tax agency’s systems, the government said on Tuesday.

Hackers leak Bulgaria’s data from Russian email, – government

Hackers stole millions of Bulgarians’ personal and financial data and spread it from a Russian-based email in an attack one minister linked to the purchase of new F-16 fighter jets from the United States, as the government said on Tuesday. This was reported by the Reuters agency. The hackers accessed a system at Bulgaria’s tax agency before sending an email from a Russian domain to some local media on Monday with links to data, officials said. Special anti-cyber crime teams were investigating the attack at the National Revenue Agency (NRA), which probably came from abroad and began at the end of June, they added. “Maybe this is the first case in Bulgaria which is successful and a lot of personal data has been stolen,” Interior Minister Mladen Marinov told local bTV channel.

The US State Department has agreed to sell Greece Seven MH-60R Seahawk

The US Department of State approved the sale of seven Seahawk multipurpose helicopters MH-60R and related equipment for a total of $ 600 million. This was announced by the United States Defense Department Defense Cooperation Agency. Earlier it was reported that the Greek Navy plans to purchase four MH-60R in addition to the 11 Sikorsky S-70B-6 Aegean Hawk helicopters to replace them with seven Agusta-Bell AB-212 antilaper helicopters that have exhausted their resources but are still in operation. . In addition to the 7 MH-60R helicopters, Greece will receive 10 multi-mode radars APS-53 (V), 100 high-precision missiles (APKWS), 30 lightweight hybrid torpedoes MK54, 12 universal M-240 machine guns, 12 machine guns GAU-21, 1000 hydroacoustic buoys AN / SSQ-6/53/62, four training missiles AGM-114Q and two AGM-114 M36-E9. There will also be 18 T700-GE-401C engines, night vision systems, navigation and communication systems, and other equipment and spare parts. In addition, construction of infrastructure, personnel training and other support programs is envisaged. Recall that in 2018, Greece acquired 70 lightweight reconnaissance helicopters Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, which were shot down by the US Army, for $ 44.156 million in the Excess Defense Articles Program.

Presidential Office: Zelensky’s visit to United States ‘being planned’

Deputy Head of the Presidential Office Vadym Prystaiko assures that Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to the United States of America is being planned. — Ukrinform.

Zelenskyi’s first meeting with Trump planned for summer

16.07.19 14:48 – Zelenskyi’s first meeting with Trump planned for summer President Volodymyr Zelenskyi will visit Poland on September 1, where the U.S. President Donald Trump is also invited, but their joint meeting is scheduled earlier – in the summer in the United States. View news.

Zelenskyy set to dismiss ambassador to USA, 11 diplomats – LB.ua news portal

Zelenskyy set to dismiss ambassador to USA, 11 diplomats. The president wants to update the diplomatic corps. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Zelensky decides to replace 12 Ukrainian ambassadors – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has initiated the start of diplomatic corps reshuffles and announced the replacement of 12 Ukrainian ambassadors around the world. The relevant presidential decrees will be published soon.

Zelensky initiates restoration of diplomatic corps in Ukraine

President of Ukraine began restoration of diplomatic corps

Advisers to Normandy four leaders to meet late in summer

16.07.19 13:17 – Advisers to Normandy four leaders to meet late in summer Advisers to the heads of state and government of the Normandy Four states (Ukraine, Germany, France, Russia) plan to meet at the end of the summer to discuss the implementation of the agreements reached in July, Deputy Head of the Presidential Office… View news.

U.S. against change of format of international talks on Ukraine

The U.S. does not support the ideas which provide changing of the formats of international talks on Ukraine’s situation, as TASS reported referring to the representative of the U.S. State Department. In particular, the diplomat commented on the offer of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky to extend the composition of the participants of the negotiations on Donbas conflict settlement by involving the Head of the U.S. Administration Donald Trump. “We fully support the efforts of President Zelensky aimed at recovery of Minsk (Minsk Agreements, – ed.) implementation,” she assured and added: “Ukraine is fulfilling its “Minsk” obligations in the fullest possible manner”. “Russia has to do the same. Yet, changing of the format will not eliminate the real obstacle to the progress in “Minsk” implementation. “Absence of Russian political will” is this obstacle,” the U.S. State Department representative said.

Russian, Ukrainian Officials Discuss Prisoner Swap

Russian and Ukrainian officials report talks on a major prisoner swap just days after their respective presidents discussed the conflict in eastern Ukraine and a possible captive exchange in their …

Denisova, Moskalkova to appeal to Ukrainian, Russian presidents with request to pardon number of prisoners 

Ukrainian, Russian ombudsmen to asks their president to pardon number of people

Ukraine, Russia to swap several held persons within month – Prystaiko – news politics | UNIAN

Deputy Head of the Presidential Office, Vadym Prystaiko, has said Ukraine and Russia will swap a certain number of held persons within a month. Prystaiko says the task is to unlock the “all-for-all” exchange process.

Russia could set up another gas crisis for Ukraine if no new transit agreement signed, Klimkin admits – news economics | UNIAN

Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin admits that the Russian Federation could try to set up a gas crisis in Ukraine if the sides fail to sign a new agreement on gas transit through the territory of Ukraine after the existing contract expires in late 2019. The foreign minister said Ukraine had warned international partners of Russia’s likely actions.

Ukraine names condition for Zelensky-Putin summit in Normandy format – news politics | UNIAN

Deputy Head of the Presidential Office Vadym Prystaiko has said a prerequisite for the holding of the Normandy Four (Ukraine, Germany, France and Russia) leaders’ summit would be progress in implementing the agreements reached by foreign policy advisers in July. The Russian side did not put forward a demand that Ukraine conduct direct negotiations with representatives of the “DPR” and “LPR” terrorist organizations as a condition for holding the summit of the Normandy Four leaders, Prystaiko said.

Klimkin to Zelensky: Team effort needed in negotiations with Putin – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin has voiced an advice to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin as part of the team. The minister is confident that Zelensky will be able to figure his way around regardless of the format of talks.

Klimkin: Ukraine had to negotiate on legal, not political security guarantees while giving up nuclear weapons – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said that, before signing the Budapest Memorandum, Ukraine had to negotiate on legal, rather than political, security guarantees while giving up on its nuclear arsenal. None of the Budapest Memo signatories did anything that should have been done in the context of protecting Ukraine’s national security.

Decision to release Ukrainian sailors depends on Moscow’s political will – Klimkin – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said the decision to release 24 Ukrainian sailors depends on Moscow’s political will. Political and legal constructions exist, allowing Russia to release Ukrainian sailors at any moment.

Ukraine to demand from Russia compensation for cost of destroyed houses in Donbas

Funds spent on compensation for destroyed houses in Donbas will be included in the consolidated claim of Ukraine to the Russian Federation for reimbursement of costs, the Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs of Ukraine has reported. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine to oblige Russia to pay money spent on compensation for destroyed houses in Donbas 

Ukraine wants Russia to repay for means spent on compensation of houses destroyed in Donbas war

Zelenskyi wants to hold Olympic Games in Ukraine

16.07.19 15:50 – Zelenskyi wants to hold Olympic Games in Ukraine President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky ordered to create a strategic plan to hold Olympic Games in Ukraine. View news.

Security Council holds briefing on language situation in Ukraine, – LIVE

The session was organized based on a letter from the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation

Russia initiates discussion of Ukraine’s language law at UNSC to deflect attention from MH17 case – MFA Ukraine – news politics | UNIAN

The Russian Federation on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the downing of the Malaysian Boeing flight MH17 from the sky over Donetsk region is trying to deflect attention from the tragedy by initiating discussion of the Ukrainian language law at the UN Security Council. Ukrainian diplomats are confident that Russia will be punished for shooting down a Malaysian aircraft in 2014.

Law On Ukraine State Language Comes Into Force

The law on Ukraine’s state language came into force on July 16, two months after former President Petro Poroshenko endorsed it days before leaving office.

Language law comes to force in Ukraine – news politics | UNIAN

On July 16, the law on the state language came into force in Ukraine, two months after the legislation was published in the official press. No restrictions apply to the sphere of private communication and religion.

Szijjarto denies meddling in Ukraine’s elections

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto visited Zakarpattia region on July 16 where he had a meeting with representatives of local Hungarian NGOs. — Ukrinform.

Hungary puts forward conditions for abolishing veto on Ukraine-NATO talks

Hungary will abolish a veto on Ukraine-NATO talks and provide €50 million for border infrastructure development after Hungarians living in Zakarpattia region are returned the right to study in their native language. — Ukrinform.

Language law comes into force: Which spheres to be ‘Ukrainianized’

The law “On ensuring of the functioning of Ukrainian as a state language” came into force in Ukraine on July 16. Not all of the norm will take effect at once – the most resonant norms will come into force later. However, some spheres of social life will be Ukrainianized starting today: State authority and local government Meetings, sessions and working communication between state bodies and bodies of Crimea and local government, state and municipal enterprises should be carried out in state language. If another language is used – you need to have a translation. Paperwork and document circulation Regulations and formal notes of the state authorities, Crimea and local government are drawn up and made public in the state language. In Crimea, acts of individual action can also be published in Crimean Tatar language. Justice system The courts hold trials and make them public in the state language. The Armed Forces and other military formations The Armed Forces of Ukraine and other legal military formations use state language as the language of instructions, training, statutory communication, and service. Ukrainian must be used in normative acts, documentation, and paperwork. Law enforcement system Law enforcers must speak with the citizens in the state language and only in case a person cannot understand – in another language. The language of paperwork and document circulation is Ukrainian. Crossing the border The border guard officers must speak Ukrainian with citizens of Ukraine and with foreigners – in the language understandable to both. Elections and referendums Elections, referendums, ballots, election campaigns must be in the state language. In some regions, agitation materials can be written additionally in the language of indigenous people or national minorities of Ukraine. Working communication No, it is not obligatory to speak Ukrainian with the colleagues according to the new law. However, it is provided that the employer cannot make workers use another language, except for the state language. The exception is services to foreigners or stateless persons or drawing up materials for foreigners, foreign companies or organizations. Employment contracts must be drawn up in Ukrainian (could be additionally translated). Education The language of the educational process in educational institutions is the state language. Of course, with the explanatory note. If it is necessary, kindergartens and elementary schools create separate groups for teaching children in the language of national minority along with the state language. Separate groups and classes in kindergartens and schools are created for Indigenous people to study the indigenous language. It is provided that indigenous peoples will study their native language in national cultural communities. Pupils who went to school before September 1, 2018, until the fall of 2020 continue studying according to previous regulations – with the gradual increase of subjects taught in Ukrainian. For those who became a pupil before September 1, 2018 and study in one of the official languages of the EU, this term was extended until September 2023. In general, technical schools, pre-higher education and higher education should teach such a level of proficiency in the state language, that it can be used in profession. Science The language of science is the state language. The regulations on the language of scientific publications, defence of theses, etc. will take effect next summer. Culture Movie posters and cinema entrance tickets must be in the state language. And from July 2021, the rules on the language of events, language of posters, etc. will take effect. Television Everything remained as it was before – until 2024: broadcasting in Ukrainian according to quotas established by the law “On Television and Radio Broadcasting.” Now it is 75 and 60% of airtime on national and local channels, respectively; in five years, the quota will increase to 90 and 80%. Computer programs The user interface of computer programs must be in the state language. State authorities, state and municipal enterprises and educational institutions should use only programs with a user interface in the state language (with a compromise: English can also be used for creating such an interface). If it is about specific equipment used in information technology, an interface can be English. Mobile applications of state authorities, local authorities, and media registered in Ukraine and those of the companies must be in the state language. Announcements Announcements, directional signs, signboards, messages must be in the official language, although they can be written together with a translation in other languages. The rule does not apply to the ads on the Internet.

Ukrainian ambassador Perelyhin: Trial of National Guard member Markiv is Kremlin’s special operation

16.07.19 12:57 – Ukrainian ambassador Perelyhin: Trial of National Guard member Markiv is Kremlin’s special operation Ambassador of Ukraine to Italy Yevhen Perelyhin expressed his belief that the trial of National Guard member Vitaliy Markiv in Italy was the result of a Russian special operation. View news.

Ukrainian ambassador: Trial of National Guard member Markiv is Kremlin’s special operation

Ambassador of Ukraine to Italy Yevhen Perelyhin expressed his belief that the trial of National Guard member Vitaliy Markiv in Italy was the result of a Russian special operation. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine’s envoy to Italy says trial of National Guardsman Markiv result of Kremlin’s “special operation” – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian Ambassador to Italy Yevhen Perelygin has said the trial of Ukrainian National Guardsman Vitaliy Markiv was a result of “Russia’s special operation set up in Italy to discredit Ukraine’s resistance to Russian aggression.” Perelygin says Ukraine now has a political prisoner held in Italy in addition to political prisoners held in Russia.

French journalist ready to testify in Ukrainian guardsman Markiv’s case in Italy – news politics | UNIAN

France’s Moscow-based freelance journalist Paul Gogo, who was in Donbas together with William Roguelon, a key prosecution witness in the case of Ukrainian guardsman Vitaliy Markiv, jailed in Italy for 24 years on charges of killing an Italian photo reporter amid hostilities in eastern Ukraine in 2014, considers the Pavia court’s verdict politicized and says he is ready to testify for the appeal. “The decision of Italian justice was shocking for those who know this case at least a little. Since I was at the forefront of this drama, I would like to testify,” he said, according to the television news service TSN. Gogo said that the Italian prosecutor’s office had failed the investigation: “I was in Donetsk, I lived there with the injured Frenchman. He called me at the time of the shelling, I called the embassy [the Italian and French Embassy] to tell them that something was happening. His seriousness has never been questioned, although he clearly played a role in the course of this drama. But Italy seems to have completely failed the investigation.” Gogo noted that Markiv was convicted based on “false testimony” and under pressure from journalists’ trade unions. As UNIAN reported, despite the presence of convincing evidence that Markiv could not have been involved in the shelling, which became the cause of the death of Italian freelance photojournalist Andrea Rocchelli and his Russian translator Andrei Mironov in Donetsk region in May 2014, the court in Pavia sentenced the Ukrainian guardsman to 24 years in prison. A decision on the appeal against the verdict against Markiv could be taken next year, according to his lawyer Raffaele Della Valle, the Ukrainian media outlet Hromadske said. The court should make the statement of reasons of the sentence public within 90 days, according to which Markiv was sentenced to 24 years in prison, the lawyer said. After receiving the full text of the sentence, the defense will be able to appeal. The appeal is expected to be considered by the Court of Appeals in Milan, which will not hear witnesses, but will only work with the materials of the case. Appeals can last from one to several months, so a decision could be delivered in the spring of 2020.

Vitaliy Markiv’s case in Italy revealed issues of dual citizenship, legal status of troops in Donbas – news politics | UNIAN

Vitaly Markiv was detained in Italy on June 30, 2017. He flew there to visit his sick mother while on a leave. Prior to the Maidan events, Markiv had long lived in Italy, where he obtained citizenship. At the same time, he also had a Ukrainian passport. During the Revolution of Dignity, he returned to Ukraine and became a participant in the Maidan self-defense forces. Subsequently, the Kulchytsky Battalion, a unit of the National Guard where Markiv became a soldier, was formed from the Maidan self-defense activists. And it was the fighters of this battalion that in 2014 were holding positions at the foot of the Karachun Mountain, near Sloviansk, where the Italian journalist died. Last week, the cruel sentence of the Italian court for the Ukrainian National Guard, ATO veteran Vitaly Markiv, caused a real shock wave. He received 24 years of imprisonment instead of 17 for … possible complicity in the murder of the Italian photo reporter Andrea Rocchelli in Donbas. The verdict to the Ukrainian military will be appealed, but the Markiv case is not the only trial initiated against the Ukrainian military abroad.

Ukrainians held picket against Markiv’s sentence in New York

Markiv case; Ukrainians protest in U.S.

Dutch Appeals Court Postpones Verdict On Ownership Of Crimean Gold

A Dutch appeals court has postponed its verdict on the ownership of a collection of gold artifacts from Crimea that was on loan to a Dutch museum when Russia seized the peninsula in 2014, saying it…

‘Scythian gold’ collection to remain in the Netherlands until court delivers its final judgment

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal has postponed delivery of a final judgment in the “Scythian gold” case. — Ukrinform.

Zelensky’s rep in Crimea to focus on de-occupation, reintegration of Crimea, elimination of discrimination

Permanent Representative of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in Crimea Anton Korynevych intends to work on the strategy of de-occupation and reintegration of Crimea and the elimination of discriminatory norms in the legislation of Ukraine regarding Crimeans.

17 attacks against JFO positions yesterday: Ukrainian soldier killed, another three got injured

16.07.19 10:35 – 17 attacks against JFO positions yesterday: Ukrainian soldier killed, another three got injured July 15, armed formations of the Russian Federation violated ceasefire 17 times, using weapons banned under the Minsk agreements six times. View news.

Donbas warzone update: One KIA, three WIA’s amid 17 enemy attacks on July 15 – news war | UNIAN

Russia’s hybrid military forces on Monday mounted 17 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, with one Ukrainian soldier reported as killed in action (KIA) and another three as wounded in action (WIA). Each enemy attack saw an adequate response from Ukraine’s Joint Forces.

Invaders violate ceasefire in Donbas 17 times, one Ukrainian soldier killed

The armed formations of the Russian Federation violated ceasefire 17 times, using weapons banned under the Minsk agreements six times, in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) area in Donbas over the past day. — Ukrinform.

Russian Grads, as well as howitzers, tanks, mortars were detected in the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts

the Russian occupation forces are disrespectful to the Minsk agreements and don’t want to fulfill their obligations

OSCE spots train moving from occupied Donbas to Russia

An OSCE SMM spotted a train with at least 12 wagons, which was moving from the village of Kvashyne in occupied Donetsk region to the Russian Federation. — Ukrinform.

Two Donetsk region residents surrender to Ukraine’s Kramatorsk police

Two residents of Donetsk region who worked for illegal armed groups in eastern Ukraine have surrendered to police in the Ukrainian town of Kramatorsk, the National Police of Ukraine has said.

Russia has kept its Zoopark-1 recon systems in Donbas since 2014 (PHOTOS)

On June 26, InformNapalm issued an important report containing a video recording the presence of a Russian artillery reconnaissance and target designation radar station 1L259 Zoopark-1 near Horlivka. On June 23, 2019, this system was detected with the technical assets of the Azov regiment; the Ukrainian servicemen targeted and defeated the vehicle. Recently, we received new evidence indicating that the Russia has supplied and deployed these systems in the Donbas since 2014. New evidence was found on June 27 by the investigating blogger Askai. He published links to a photo album from a trip to Donbas of a Russian athlete Maryana Naumova, who openly supports Russian militants. Naumova posted a photo with a clearly identifiable part of the Zoopark-1 system on VK social network on November 4, 2014, along with other photos from the Donbas.

Ukrainian air-assault troops pass JMTG-U course with honors – Defense ministry

The closing ceremony of the 95th Independent Air Assault Brigade’s participation in training at the Joint Multinational Training Group – Ukraine (JMTG – U) has been held at the International Center for Peacekeeping and Security of Hetman Petro Sahaidachny Army National Academy. “Words of congratulations to the servicemen were spoken by the head of the Training Center for training units of the International Center for Peacekeeping and Security, Colonel Pavlo Rozhko, who said the unit had mastered the training program perfectly,” Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said on Facebook on Sunday. During his speech, JMTG-U Commander U.S. Lieutenant Colonel Robert Tracy said he was satisfied and impressed with the knowledge of each soldier. “The Ukrainian paratroopers are the elite who show their abilities not only performing tasks as intended, but also during study.”

Court postpones hearing on Russian journalist until 19 July – LB.ua news portal

Court postpones hearing on Russian journalist until 19 July. It was to select a measure of restraint for him today. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Ukrainian ombudsman arranges Russian editor’s meeting with detained journalist – LB.ua news portal

Ukrainian ombudsman arranges Russian editor’s meeting with detained journalist. The meeting took place on 10 July. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

President expands top security council – LB.ua news portal

President expands top security council. It now includes the heads of intelligence and financial monitoring. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

L-39 with an Aselsan radio system was tested

The training aircraft L-39M1 equipped with the Turkish radio stations Aselsan successfully passed the test, in particular under conditions of active radio-electronic counteraction. This is reported by Defense Express with reference to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. Tests were conducted on the basis of the Odessa Aircraft Plant. The 9681 V / UHF VHF radio board provided a range of 90 to 240 kilometers, depending on the altitude of the flight and demonstrated the ability to provide a stable connection in the work of the REB equipment. Also, the Aselsan radio station provided a collaborative work with the radio station of the old R-845 park. The 9681 V / UHF radio station operates in the following modes: data transmission at fixed frequencies with the provision of a PCR; open transmission of information (voice and parametric); closed data transmission (with cryptographic protection). The L-39 with the Aselsan radio station was tested Recall that according to the results of comparative trials, in 2017, the Turkish Aselsan are identified by the main VHF radio stations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Chinese company in bid to buy Ukrainian aeroengine giant

Offshore company Skyrizon Aircraft Holdings Limited, linked to China, renewed its attempt to acquire stakes in the Ukrainian company Motor Sich, which produces aircraft engines. Skyrizon Aircraft Holdings Limited (Rod Town, British Virgin Islands), which owns 9.99% of Motor Sich shares, plans to receive more than 50% by acquiring shares of other offshore shareholders of the company – Granum Corporation (Panama has 9.30% of shares), Likudron Enterprises Limited (Cyprus, 9.99%) and Reckoner Investment Holdings Limited (Cyprus, 9.99%). Skyrizon, also known as Beijing Tianjiao Aviation Industry Investment Company, is waiting for the result of an assessment by the Ukrainian antitrust authority. The new application was handed to the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine on June 7 and accepted on June 21.

Law on decommunization in line with Basic Law, Constitutional Court rules – source – news politics | UNIAN

The Constitutional Court of Ukraine has ruled that Law “On the Condemnation of Communist and National Socialist (Nazi) Totalitarian Regimes in Ukraine and Prohibition of Promotion of Their Symbols” is in line with the Ukrainian Constitution, a source in the Court told UNIAN. The court made the decision at a hearing held behind closed doors July 16.

Servant of the People may get over 50% in parliamentary elections – poll

If the elections to the Verkhovna Rada were held in mid-July, the Servant of the People party would garner 52.3% of the vote among respondents who will definitely go to the polls and have already decided on their choice, whereas Opposition Platform – For Life would garner 10.3%, European Solidarity – 7.9%, Batkivshchyna – 5.8%, Strength and Honor – 5.1%, and Holos – 4%, according to a survey conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS). — Ukrinform.

Fresh poll ahead of elections: Servant of the People Party remains in lead – news politics | UNIAN

The Servant of the People Party remains the leader in the upcoming elections to the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, scheduled for July 21. Vakarchuk’s Holos fails to overcome the 5% threshold, the survey says.

Zelensky calls on Ukrainians not to vote for fraudsters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has recorded a video behind the wheel of a Tesla and called on Ukrainians not to vote for fraudsters. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine warns Hungary against meddling into elections – news politics | UNIAN

Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed concern about the latest actions of Hungary’s authorities that have “clear signs of meddling in Ukraine’s domestic political life.” The Hungarian authorities have been recommended to refrain from further travel to Zakarpattia and other measures that can be considered as campaigning before the end of the electoral process in Ukraine.

Austria’s Justice Minister OKs Extradition Of Ukrainian Tycoon Firtash To U.S.

Austria’s justice minister has approved the extradition of Ukrainian tycoon Dmytro Firtash to the United States, where he has been charged as part of an alleged bribery scheme involving titanium su…

Austrian Justice Minister authorizes Firtash’s extradition to U.S. – media – news world | UNIAN

Austrian Minister of Justice Clemens Jabloner has greenlighted extradition to the United States of America of a Ukrainian businessman Dmytro Firtash. The defendant’s lawyers filed a motion to reopen the extradition proceedings.

British ambassador, Ukrainian education minister open new British Council office

British Ambassador to Ukraine Ms. Judith Gough and Ukrainian Minister of Education and Science Lilia Hrynevych opened a new office of the British Council in Kyiv, the UK Embassy in Ukraine has reported. — Ukrinform.