Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (231)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Muscovy ramps up Su-57E PAK-FA export campaign, no doubt aiming to entice Erdogan into another self-serving executive decision to display his pique, this time over being cast out from the F-35 program. Incoming EC President Dr von der Leyengives Russia the bad news – no more Juncker niceness. Chancellor Merkel criticises Russia’s support of the various quasi-Nazi parties across Europe. Kent at State comments on Ukraine vs. Russia (very good observations).

Turkey update – the Erdogan-induced mess seems to have drawn out all manner of commentary, from the sensible to the Erdogan proxies.

Russia and meddling update: Shevtsova as always on target, three nice digests on Russia’s widening internal schisms, Poland does not invite the Vozhd to WW2 commemorations, Belarus annexation campaign continues, and Olena Zerkal spells out some ground truths on why Nordstream 2 is a political rather than commercial project (not that bought off European politicians will care).

Ze / POTUS meeting debate, bipartisan Congressional Ukraine Caucus drafts SAILORS Act that sanctions 24 senior FSB officers and associates over the capture of the Ukrainian boats in the Kerch Strait, diplomatic shuffles, passportization debate, EU engagement. POW and Kerch hostage update.

Donbas update, Motor Sich Group in trouble over funds transfers to Russia. Industry update – a lot of naval reports, AFU looking at mothballed Polish 42 knot Tarantul I corvettes, not a bad choice given these are available from other NATO nations and elsewhere surplus, and Ukraine used to operate them until Russia annexed Crimea and stole them. Ukraine’s Coast Guard operates three sibling Pauk class corvettes.

An extensive politics update given the election in two days.

ROC update and Russia’s planned propaganda offensive.


Russia May Sell Its Own Fighter Jet to Turkey after U.S. Cancels over Missile Sale and Considers Old Rival

Turkey lost out on the F-35 when it chose to go through with its purchase of Russian S-400 surface-to-air missiles, now Greece may get the advanced jet as their longstanding rivalry heats up.

Indian Military to Reconsider Joint Creation, Purchase of SU-57 Jets With Russia – Sputnik International

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia’s Sukhoi Su-57 (also known as the PAK FA and the T-50) fifth-generation jet fighter now has an export permit, and the Russian government is reportedly reviewing documents to officially rename the aircraft from its T-50 internal designation to Su-57, according to a source in the Russian aviation industry.

U.S. Air Force deployed F-35 and F-15 fighters to Lithuania – Defence Blog

The U.S. Air Force has confirmed that F-35A Lightning II stealth fighters with F-15E Strike Eagles were deployed to Lithuania. According to a statement, F-35A jets arrived at Siauilai Air Base, Lithuania, as part of Operation Rapid Forge, along with F-15E Strike Eagles and C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. Rapid Forge is a U.S. Air Forces in Europe-sponsored training event designed to enhance interoperability with NATO allies and partners, improve readiness and sharpen operational capabilities. Fighter and mobility aircraft also deployed to bases in Poland and Estonia as part of the exercise. At Powidz Air Base, Poland, F-35A Lightning II fighter jets, F-15E Strike Eagles, and C-130J Super Hercules aircraft and multifunctional Airmen conducted rapid refueling and re-arming using inert munitions. This exercises the Air Force’s ability to rapidly deploy in smaller, more efficient and agile teams to austere and potentially contested areas. Under the multifunctional Airman construct, Airmen are able to perform multiple roles – e.g. weapons loaders could drive a refueling truck, security forces defenders could refuel a jet, and avionics specialists could provide airfield security while also performing their primary duties. Later, F-15E Strike Eagles and MC-130J Commando II aircraft arrived at Amari AB, Estonia, to conduct refueling operations. C-130J Super Hercules aircraft arrived at Powidz Air Base, Poland. The ability to operate at forward locations enables collective defense capabilities and provides the U.S. and NATO allies the strategic and operational breadth needed to deter adversaries and assure our allies and partners. The F-35s are deployed from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings at Hill AFB, Utah. F-15E Strike Eagles are deployed from the 4th FW, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. Both squadrons of fighter jets are operating out of Spangdahlem AB, Germany. The MC-130J aircraft are from the 352nd Special Operations Wing at RAF Mildenhall, England, and the C-130J aircraft are from the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein AB, Germany, and from the 317th AW deployed to Ramstein from Dyess AFB, Texas.

New Eurocommission chief says tough course toward Russia to be maintained – news world | UNIAN

The newly elected European Commission President, Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen, says the EU should uphold sanctions imposed on Russia. “We have witnessed hostile behaviour for quite some time now. It ranges from breaching international rules, like annexation of Crimea, to trying to divide Europe as much as possible,” von der Leyen told Italy’s Repubblica. “The Kremlin doesn’t forgive any kind of weakness,” she said. “From a position of strength we should uphold the current sanctions and keep offering dialogue at the same time.” She added that Europeans are also “getting better at dismantling disinformation plots and social media campaigns with fake news”. “It is our privilege as democracies to answer with transparency, free press and an open debate,” the official stressed. She urged “our American friends to never forget that we are sitting at the same side of the table”, and called for the U.S. and the EU to “unite and deal with common opponents rather than fight each other”. Ursula von der Leyen will take up office on Nov 1, 2019. The European Parliament approved her nomination on July 16 with 383 votes (327 voted against and 22 abstained).

Links between Russia and EU’s right-wing parties cause for concern, says Merkel – World – TASS

The German chancellor also mentioned the scandal regarding the alleged financing of Italy’s Lega party by Russia

Merkel: Links between Russia, EU’s rightist parties “cause for concern” – news world | UNIAN

Relations between Moscow and EU’s right-wing political parties are a cause for concern, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday during a press conference in Berlin. The German chancellor also mentioned the scandal regarding the alleged financing of Italy’s Lega party by Russia.

US forces have much to learn from Ukraine’s fight with Russia, says State Department official

“Ukraine is a laboratory of techniques and procedures,” George Kent, deputy assistant secretary in the European and Eurasian Bureau at the U.S. Department of State, told Military Times Tuesday afternoon

US forces have much to learn from Ukraine’s fight with Russia, says State Department official

tate Department official tells Military Times that the ongoing battle between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists serves as a potential harbinger for the U.S. military in any conflict with Moscow. “Ukraine is a laboratory of techniques and procedures,” George P. Kent, deputy assistant secretary in the European and Eurasian Bureau at the U.S. Department of State, told Military Times Tuesday afternoon. “The Russian military runs a sniper training school there. Instead of doing it on a range in Russia, they just do on the front lines with Ukraine. Much of the equipment that they are developing that shows up elsewhere, including in Syria, they try out first in Ukraine.” The “full spectrum” of Russian military doctrine has been on display in Ukraine for the last five years, since they took over the Crimea, assisted rebels in the east and in November captured 24 Ukrainian sailors and three vessels after opening fire on them in the Kerch Strait, linking the Black Sea and Sea of Azov. Those sailors remain captives. That doctrine includes the use of conventional forces like mechanized infantry backed by armor and artillery, special forces, assassination and bombings, electronic warfare, cyber attacks, and the weaponization of information. It is a combination of efforts often referred to as “hybrid warfare.”

 

NATO Secretary General: Alliance, Turkey Still Friends Despite S-400 – Defense One

“I’m not underestimating the difficulty related to the S-400, but I’m saying that Turkey as a NATO member is much more than S-400,” Jens Stoltenberg said.

Where Can the US and Turkey Go From Here? – Defense One

The battle to save the relationship will not be an easy one, but we have not lost it just yet.

Ejecting Turkey from the F-35 Effort Will Cost At Least Half a Billion Dollars – Defense One

That’s the Pentagon’s low estimate for replacing Turkish suppliers of more than 900 parts.

Ted Galen Carpenter | It’s time to expel Turkey from the Western alliance – The Washington Post

The U.S. and NATO must reconsider their alliance with Ankara.

Why the S-400 and the F-35 Can’t Get Along – Defense One

Today\’s radar systems and aircraft need to share a lot of information. That\’s a problem when the countries that produce them aren\’t on the same side.

Turkey’s S-400 could give F-35s and F-22s a major advantage in a fight with Russia | Business Insider

Turkey’s purchase of Russia’s top-of-the-line S-400 missile-defence system has caused a diplomatic spat between Ankara, Turkey’s capital, and Washington and led NATO’s southernmost member to miss out on the F-35 stealth fighter jet, but it could actually prove fatal to Moscow’s plans to take on US F-22s and F-35s.

 

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin has Decided to Drop All Pretense of Democracy, Shevtsova Says

Paul Goble Staunton, July 15 – The powers that be in the Kremlin would be far better off allowing a small number of opposition figures to be elected to various representative bodies, Liliya Shevtsova says, but they “have made a different choice – to do away with the imitation of elections and any playing at democracy” and to do so “openly and convincingly.” What is happening in St. Petersburg and Moscow shows that Moscow has decided to drop any pretense not only in the two capitals but throughout the country, the Russian political commentator says. “Undoubtedly, this is a transition to a new quality of rule” (echo.msk.ru/blog/shevtsova/2464009-echo/). “Elections in Russia, with all their falsifications and manipulations were the only means of legitimating the powers that be. We have no other. The authorities pretended that elections were occurring and the population pretended that it was participating in them,” Shevtsova says. But now that pretense is gone. “The powers that be have in effect said: I don’t need the legitimation elections provide anymore. We don’t need the reputation that they give us, we spit on your support, we will change people as we see fit without reference to you.” The decorative features of elections have fallen away, and what remains is “the naked force of an iron and concrete vertical.” Apparently, the Russian commentator says, “the Kremlin having weighed the alternatives came to the conclusion (and this happened not now!) that the risk of destabilization from allowing extra-systemic elements inside was much greater than the threat of political protests” that would surely arise if these elements were kept out. Consequently, “those running ‘the vertical’ decided that they must at any price maintain the monolith of power: any cracks in the system in which already are taking place destructive processes can entail uncontrolled consequences. The inner space must be kept clear for direct rule, especially given the growing dissatisfaction of the population.” Not only is the extra-systemic opposition to be excluded, but the room of maneuver for the systemic opposition is to be shrunken to nothing, Shevtsova continues. And “all this means that the path for the peaceful evolution of the system in Russia have been blocked.” The people have only the streets. The authorities have prepared for that, of course, she says. But whether they can contain the situation forever is very much an open question.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Would Disintegration of Russian Federation be a Blessing for Russians Just as That of USSR Was?

Paul Goble Staunton, July 15 – For more than a decade, Vladimir Putin has insisted that the disintegration of the USSR was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century and his supporters have argued that Putin himself is the basis for the continued existence of Russia. “If Putin is not present,” they say, “Russia won’t be either.” But Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, has now challenged those ideas. “The collapse of the Soviet Union was not the most important geopolitical catastrophe. Today … I want to say this loudly and clearly: the disintegration of the USSR was a blessing for Georgians, Poles, Ukrainians and all Central and Eastern Europe.” “And for Russians as well” (newsru.com/world/11jul2019/ussr_putin_tusk.html). Tusk’s challenge is of more than historical interest. On the one hand, much of Putin’s authority and support rests on the fact that he argues that he and he alone has kept Russian from following the path of the USSR into the dustbin of history and even has taken steps to reverse the settlement of 1991. But on the other, there are increasing indications that ever more people living within the current borders of the Russian Federation are coming to believe that while the disintegration of that country would not be good for Putin and his entourage, it might very well bring benefits to others just as 1991 has. In two important LiveJournal posts, Moscow commentator Andrey Nalgin discusses this possibility (a-nalgin.livejournal.com/1716730.htmland a-nalgin.livejournal.com/1718222.html). He says bluntly that “not everything that Vladimir Putin considers to be a catastrophe is such for Russians and it may be that the situation is just the opposite, something good for them.” He takes as his point of departure the new study by economist Mikhail Dmitriyev and his team about the evolution of Russian attitudes in the direction of new protests, a study that has attracted attention because of his success in predicting the protests of 2011-2012. (For the new study, see ru.reuters.com/article/topNews/idRUKCN1U61WV-ORUTP.) Nalgin sums up Dmitriyev’s findings this way: “The single restraining factor which so far has not allowed local protests to grow into all-Russian ones is the absence of charismatic leaders and political forces capable of offering the population a consolidating idea and a positive agenda. But this is not a good thing for the powers that be but a bad one.” “In the absence of a positive agenda,” Dmitriyev and his team write, “the triggers for the activation of mass protests can be outbursts of negative emotions called forth by any actions or inactions of the powers that be. Such forms of protest activity can take on a clearly expressed irrational coloration and may assume an extremely destructive direction.” That creates a potentially dangerous situation, capable of leading to “the destabilizationo of the situation in the country,” Dmitriyev says. There is no doubt that those around Putin sense this danger, Nalgin continues; nor is there any doubt that at least some of them are now asking whether the disintegration of Russia would be a disaster for everyone even if it would be very much a disaster for the Kremlin leader and those who remain with him to the end. Dmitriyev’s arguments about the growing possibility for mass protests have attracted attention, “but many have left unnoticed that another, no less but rather more important transformation of public consciousness in Russia has taken place.” Indeed, Nalgin argues, this second development may be vastly more consequential than the first. “Its essence,” he says, “is a calm attitude toward the possible separation of the territories of Russia and the offering to the regions of greater authority. Such attitudes are manifested in regions where residents ae complaining about their low standard of living (Arkhangelsk, Magadan, Vladivostok) and also in national republics (Sakha-Yakutia).” Nalgin continues: “for the population of poor regions, ideas of separating from Russia are one of the paths of solving the problems of raising the standard of living while in the national republics such ideas can be used by regional elites in order to legitimate demands for self-determination.” And then he cites Dmitriyev’s conclusions again: “The data obtained show that the situation which exists at the moment is close to the critical point and the appearance of strong regional leaders inclined to separatism may destroy the existing status quo.” That is more likely, Nalgin says, because “the troubled but strong desire for change, the loss by the powers that be of moral authority and the outburst of regional fronts” could once again lead to the disintegration of the country. The situation, of course, is “not identical” to that in 1991 but it is “similar.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: For Third Time, Possibility of Federalism in Russia ‘Caught Between Two Fires,’ Shtepa Says

Paul Goble Staunton, July 15 – For the third time since the collapse of tsarism, the possibility that Russia could move toward genuine federalism, a contract among its component parts that is the basis for a modern society in any large and diverse country, is currently “caught between two fires,” each of which opposes such an evolution, Vadim Shtepa says. The Russian regionalist argues that the idea of a contract state among territorial units was rejected in Russia by both tsarist and communist groups in 1917, by the old nomenklatura and the new “Russian democrats” in 1991, and by the Putinist state and the Russian democratic opposition now (region.expert/treaty_state/). The 1918 Constituent Assembly, which met for only one day before being closed down by the Bolsheviks, did manage to proclaim the Russian Democratic Federative Republic; but the Bolsheviks having dispersed it imposed a system which was “much more totalitarian” and much less federal in practice than even the tsarist empire. (For those who find any reference to federalism in the tsarist past entirely inappropriate and thus view Bolshevism as far as federalism is concerned simply an extension of tsarist practice, see Georg von Rauch’s underappreciated book, Russland: Staatliche Einheit und Nationale Vielvalt (Munich, 1953).) “It is interesting,” Shtepa continues, “that in 1991, the situation to a certain extent repeated itself.” In opposition to Mikhail Gorbachev’s call for a confederal state, two otherwise opposed groups, the party nomenklatura, and “’the Russian democrats,’” aligned themselves against that possibility, the first via the putsch and the second by a whole series of actions. In March 1992, Boris Yeltsin did in fact proclaim “’a federative treaty,’” but in contrast to Gorbachev’s ideas, it was “limited to the territory of the Russian Federation,” but more than that it was federal only in name because of two features that ensured it would never become federal in fact. On the one hand, and in contrast to Gorbachev’s new union treaty, Yeltsin’s federative state was based not on an agreement among the subjects but rather on an agreement between them “with the Kremlin ‘center,’ which graciously shared with them certain particular authorities.” “In fact,” as Shetpa observes, “this was not a federation but rather an agreement of the metropolitan center with its colonies.” And on the other, Yeltsin’s federative state was not based on the equality of its components but rather offered the republics within the Russian Federation “essentially greater rights and authorities than the krays and oblasts.” That arrangement “undermined the federation from within by introducing national privileges which in reality made a treaty state impossible.” “But even from such an internally contradictory agreement, the Kremlin soon turned away,” Shtepa continues. “The 1993 Constitution in general abolished the treaty principle of statehood as such. The republic declarations about sovereignty were no longer mentioned’ from now on the federation was considered to be something created ‘from the top down.’” That is where Putin’s “’power vertical’” had its origins. For a time, it looked as if the Federation Council could become the seedbed of federalism in Russia because its members elected by the population and delegated to the center actively participated in the formation of state policy. Between 1996 and 2001, it “recalled a real Senate;” but that was too much for the Kremlin – and it has been reduced to a vestigial fifth wheel. Today, of course, Shtepa says, no discussion about a treaty state is possible as long as there are no free regional elections, something the center is not willing to consider. But even if one speaks about the possibility of federalism in the future, the idea is again caught “’between two fires.’” Genuine, contract-based federalism is equally unacceptable “both for the powers that be and for the ‘federal’ opposition. That the authorities should think this way is no surprise, but that their views should be reflected with “mirror-like exactitude” by the opposition which views sometimes with regret to be sure federalism as inconsistent with the Russian tradition. In almost all cases, the federal opposition doesn’t want federalism; it simply wants to be in charge of its own empire, replacing what they view as a bad tsar who opposes their agendas with a good one from among their own ranks.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Attitudes toward Stalin Divide Along Class Lines, Not Assessments of His Crimes, Historian Says

Paul Goble Staunton, July 15 – Many believe that those who oppose erecting statues to Stalin consist of those who condemn him for his many crimes and that those who support such statues either deny those crimes or excuse the Soviet dictator because of his other successes, Igor Pykhalov says. But in fact, the historian continues, the root of the division lies in “the objectively existing class division of society and discussions about whether monuments [to Stalin] should be permitted are only a reflection of this division.” The line between them is not defined by “who was subjected to repressions and who wasn’t” (nakanune.ru/articles/115310/). “The main cause,” he says, “consists in the following: After 1991 when socialism was destroyed in the country a society of injustice and a society based on theft from a large part of the population by a smaller one. We now have an elite which one way or another takes for itself the fruits of the labor of the main part of the population.” “Therefore,” Pykhalov says, “we have a really divided society, and this split ill continue until the current social order is replaced and we again return to a state of justice. One can ban putting up monuments [as the Presidential Human Rights Council wants to do] but this contradiction within out society isn’t going away on its own.” According to the historian, “the present elite simply hates Stalin because its members know perfectly well that if Stalinist times were to return, that it would be they who would be subjected to repressions.” Indeed, he says, “those in the elite who fight Stalin’s memory as a rule are those who project this historical situation on themselves and are afraid of its repetition.” Nakanune journalist Pavel Martynov who quotes Pykhalov also cites the words of Aleksey Denisyuk, one of the activists behind the erection of a monument to Stalin in Novosibirsk. Denisyuk says that of course there were innocent victims under Stalin but there were others as well. But then Martynov comes at the issue of monuments from a different perspective, asking Pykhalov about memorials to others including anti-Stalinists like Boris Yeltsin. The historian says that in his view, “the overwhelming majority” of the people of the city view Yeltsin with distaste even hatred but his “luxurious” center is still there because the elites want it to be. And he points out that some members of the elite are even prepared to celebrate those who worked against the USSR like Finland’s Marshal Mannerheim – even as they insist that any monument to Stalin is totally unacceptable.

Poland says Putin’s presence on WWII anniversary inappropriate

19.07.19 14:32 – Poland says Putin’s presence on WWII anniversary inappropriate Deputy Prime Minister of Poland Jacek Sasin has said Polish authorities consider inappropriate the attendance by Russian President Vladimir Putin of commemorative events on the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II, which will be held in… View news.

Poland says Putin’s presence on WWII anniversary inappropriate – news world | UNIAN

Deputy Prime Minister of Poland Jacek Sasin has said Polish authorities consider inappropriate the attendance by Russian President Vladimir Putin of commemorative events on the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II, which will be held in Warsaw in September 2019. At the same time, U.S. President Donald Trump will most likely arrive at the ceremony in Warsaw.

Putin, Lukashenka Meet Again To Discuss Integration Via Union State

Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks with his Belarusian counterpart, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, in St. Petersburg on July 18 to discuss further integration within the Russia-Belarus Union State…

Zerkal: Nord Stream 2 will never meet Russia’s financial and institutional expectations

Nord Stream 2 will never meet Russia’s financial and institutional expectations as the European Union’s legislation has been already extended to the gas pipeline. — Ukrinform.

 

Zelenskiy Won Ukrainian Voters Over With Ease; Winning Trump Over May Be Tougher

After parliamentary elections on July 21, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will take a big trip abroad: to Washington. Zelenskiy shares a common background with Donald Trump, but can he win …

U.S. Lawmakers Draft Sanctions On 24 Russians Over 24 Detained Ukrainian Sailors

A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers dedicated to Ukrainian issues has introduced legislation to sanction members of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) over their roles in taking 24 Ukrainia…

U.S. legislators draft sanctions on 24 FSB operatives over 24 Ukrainian POW sailors – news politics | UNIAN

Four co-chairs of the U.S. Congressional Ukraine Caucus has introduced legislation to sanction members of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) over their role in capturing 24 Ukrainian crewmen last November near the Kerch Strait. The U.S. “continues to strongly condemn Russia’s dangerous naval assault on the Ukrainian Navy and the illegal detainment 24 Ukrainian sailors,” legislators say.

Volker: Moscow’s Passport Move For Donbas Residents Diverges From Peace Plan

Kurt Volker, the special U.S. envoy to Ukraine, says Russia’s move to fast-track the granting of citizenship to all residents of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk runs counter to effor…

Pifer comments on Putin’s intention to restore relations between Ukraine and Russia

It is difficult to restore Ukrainian-Russian relations when the Russian Federation occupies a part of the territory of Ukraine and uses military force against it, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer has stated. — Ukrinform.

Zelensky dismisses Valeriy Chaly from post of Ukraine’s envoy to U.S.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has dismissed Valeriy Chaly from the post of Ukraine’s Ambassador to the U.S., as well as from the post of Ukrainian Ambassador to Antigua and Barbuda and Trinidad and Tobago, which he held part-time.

Zelenskyi dismisses Valerii Chalyi from post of Ukraine’s envoy to US

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi has dismissed Valerii Chalyi from the post of Ukraine’s Ambassador to the US, as well as from the post of Ukrainian Ambassador to Antigua and Barbuda and Trinidad and Tobago, which he held part-time. Censor.NET reports citing decrees №530/2019 – №540/2019. “To dismiss Valerii Chalyi Oleksiyovych from the post of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the United States of America, as well as from the posts of Ambassador of Ukraine to Antigua and Barbuda and Ambassador of Ukraine to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago,” the document says. Source: https://censor.net.ua/en/n3138532

‘Passportization’ of Donbas: Intelligence reports on decrease in interest

Interest in obtaining Russian citizenship among militants has decreased, according to Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Dmytro Hutsuliak. — Ukrinform.

Russia’s fast-tracking of citizenship for Donbas Ukrainians signal to discuss federalization

Moscow’s initiative to extend its fast-track citizenship procedure to Ukrainians from any part of Donetsk or Luhansk region signals a desire to federalize Ukraine, the country’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said.

Trap for Ukrainian authorities. Why Putin simplifies naturalization of Donbas residents – news politics | UNIAN

Russian President Vladimir Putin has extended the decree on simplified access to Russian citizenship for all residents of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. We should recall that this is the third such decree over the past period. The first decree concerned the residents of the occupied Donbas territories who were offered to travel to Russia to obtain passports. This decree was not too dangerous for Ukraine, as Ukrainian citizens living in the said areas had to go to Russia and file documents there. And this, due to certain factors, does not happen so quickly. In late April, another decree was issued, which is much more threatening to Ukraine. In particular, it simplified the procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship by those citizens of Ukraine who have already left the occupied territories and reside in the territory of the Russian Federation in various temporary statuses. The number of such citizens, according to the most optimistic estimates, stands at about 600,000. Russia has already created a network of public associations of pro-Russian Crimean Tatars. And now, no matter how unpleasant it may sound to the Mejlis, there is a rather powerful network of pro-Russian NGOs in Crimea But this is not only about Donbas residents because the April’s decree extends to persons who had previously lived in Crimea or were deported from there. This point, first of all, is aimed at Crimean Tatars living in Uzbekistan (according to various estimates, there are 20,000 to 150,000 of them there). In parallel with this decree, Russia has already created a network of public associations of pro-Russian Crimean Tatars. And now, no matter how unpleasant it may sound to the Mejlis, there is a rather powerful network of pro-Russian NGOs in Crimea. If, together with these organizations, several thousand people emerge who will say that “we returned to Crimea and we thank Putin for that”, then this will be a big problem for Ukraine. In general, Vladimir Putin’s motives are quite understandable. They are aimed at depopulation of the liberated part of Donbas. The main objective is to provide Russian citizenship to the able-bodied population and to leave pensioners in the region. In such a scenario, the return of Donbas to Ukraine will be a headache, because without that able-bodied population, maintaining a huge number of people on social payments is quite problematic. This would mean serious problems for any Donbas recovery program. The worst thing is that Russia’s actions can hardly be influenced by international partners. The maximum that can be expected from Western countries is political condemnation, not real sanctions And if economic recovery is restrained in the region, public discontent with the authorities will increase automatically. That is a banal trap for the Ukrainian authorities. The worst thing is that Russia’s actions can hardly be influenced by international partners. After all, determining the procedures for granting citizenship to certain categories of citizens is the right of each sovereign state. And formally, Russia is doing it on its own territory – they physically issue passports in Rostov region. Therefore, the maximum that can be expected from Western countries is political condemnation, not real sanctions. Igar Tyshkevich is an expert of the “International and Internal Policy” program at Ukrainian Institute of the Future

Putin’s aide Surkov not allowed to stay in Paris for one more day after Normandy meeting – media – news world | UNIAN

France’s Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs has not reportedly allowed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aide Vladislav Surkov, who represented Russia at a recent meeting in the Normandy Four format in Paris, to stay for another day after the official event held on July 12. Surkov was placed on the sanctions list as one of the organizers of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Zelensky: Ceasefire in Donbas priority for Ukraine – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said a ceasefire and ending the war in Donbas remains the priority for the Ukrainian leadership. At the same time, Zelensky said it is necessary to improve the conditions for the military.

Dutch, Luxembourg courts reject Gazprom’s appeals in case of enforcement of Stockholm arbitration’s award – news economics | UNIAN

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal (the Netherlands) has rejected an appeal filed by Russian gas monopoly Gazprom regarding the court’s jurisdiction, thereby confirming its authority in the case on the recognition and enforcement of the Stockholm arbitration award in the Netherlands. The court handed down the relevant decision on July 8.

European Parliament’s resolution demonstrates Ukraine’s continued support in fight against Russian aggression

The resolution of the European Parliament, adopted the day before, demonstrates the unwavering support of the European Union of Ukraine, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine said.

Nathan Gill becomes member of delegation of Ukraine-EU Association Inter-Parliamentary Committee

Nathan Gill was included in the delegation of Ukraine-EU Association Inter-Parliamentary Committee

 

Zelensky issues statement regarding Ukrainian POW sailors – news politics | UNIAN

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky declares that Russia must return Ukrainian sailors, and that this should be done beyond the exchange schemes. Ukrainian sailors illegally held in Russia must be released, the Ukrainian leader stressed.

Russia must return, not swap arrested Ukrainian sailors to Ukraine

19.07.19 12:27 – Russia must return, not swap arrested Ukrainian sailors to Ukraine The exchange between Kyiv and Moscow of arrested or convicted citizens does not apply to the 24 Ukrainian naval sailors who were detained in the Kerch Strait area in late 2018 and are under arrest in Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi… View news.

Ukrainian President’s Office Proposes Sentsov, Vyshinsky Prisoner Swap

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office has proposed a prisoner exchange with Russia involving Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov, who is jailed in Russia, and Russian journalist Kirill Vysh…

Zelensky: We are ready to swap Vyshinsky for Sentsov, but want all our detainees back

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky sys that Kyiv is ready to release Kirill Vyshinsky, the detained editor-in-chief of RIA Novosti Ukraine, if the Russian Federation is ready to simultaneously free Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov.

Zelensky declares readiness to swap Sentsov for Vyshinsky – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has declared readiness to exchange Ukrainian film director and political prisoner Oleh Sentsov sentenced in Russia on trumped up terror charges for chief of Russian RIA Novosti’s Kyiv office Kirill Vyshinsky tried in Ukraine for subversion and high treason related to information warfare. The Ukrainian film director and Russian TV propagandist should be released simultaneously.

Zelenskyy’s office suggests Vyshynskyy-for-Sentsov exchange – LB.ua news portal

Zelenskyy’s office suggests Vyshynskyy-for-Sentsov exchange. Russia said Ukraine could release Vyshynskyy as a step towards normalising relations. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Zelensky’s office offers Kremlin to simultaneously free Russia’s Vyshinsky and Ukraine’s Sentsov – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Office offers the Kremlin to simultaneously free chief of Russian RIA Novosti’s Kyiv office Kirill Vyshinsky on trial in Ukraine and Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov imprisoned in Russia. Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov noted that the first step to start normalizing relations between Russia and Ukraine could be the transfer of Vyshinsky to Russia.

Russian ombudswoman reacts to idea of Sentsov-Vyshinsky swap – news politics | UNIAN

Russia’s Commissioner for Human Rights Tatyana Moskalkova says chief of Russian RIA Novosti’s Kyiv office Kirill Vyshinsky should be released unconditionally. Moskalkova said Vyshinsky should be released unconditionally.

Most Russians positive about Ukraine, one-fifth negative

More than three quarters of Russians (77%) are positive about Ukraine, according to the results of a Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCOIM) survey seen by Interfax.

 

10 attacks against JFO positions yesterday: Ukrainian soldiers killed, another two – got injured

19.07.19 10:09 – 10 attacks against JFO positions yesterday: Ukrainian soldiers killed, another two – got injured July 18, armed formations of the Russian Federation violated ceasefire 10 times, using weapons banned under the Minsk agreements three times. View news.

One KIA, two WIA’s amid 10 enemy attacks in Donbas on July 18 – news war | UNIAN

Russia’s hybrid military forces on Thursday mounted 10 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, with one Ukrainian soldier reported as killed in action (KIA) and another two as wounded in action (WIA). Each enemy attack saw an adequate response from Ukraine’s Joint Forces.

Invaders launch two attacks on Ukrainian troops near Shyrokyne

Today, July 19, the armed formations of the Russian Federation have already violated ceasefire twice. — Ukrinform.

Ukrainian soldier Bohdan Bihus died in Donbas. PHOTO

19.07.19 15:54 – Ukrainian soldier Bohdan Bihus died in Donbas. PHOTO July 18, Ukrainian soldier Bogdan Bigus died in the Joint Forces Operation zone. View photo news.

Rebels without a Cause: Russia’s Proxies in Eastern Ukraine – To Inform is to Influence

Teaser:   Russia and the separatists it backs in Ukraine’s east are no longer quite on the same page, especially since the Kremlin abandoned ideas of annexing the breakaway republics or recognising their independence. The rift gives the new Ukrainian president an opportunity for outreach to the east’s embattled population, including by relaxing the trade embargo. Related…

Motor Sich funded ‘DPR’ for two years – SBU

Employees of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) have stopped the illegal activities of Motor Sich Group that financed the terrorist organization “DPR” for two years, the SBU press center has reported. — Ukrinform.

We’ve always supported direct negotiations with DNR, LNR, – MP Boyko

Opposition Platform – For Life party supports the idea of direct negotiations between Ukraine and so-called republics in Donbas, Boyko says

Motor Sich Group sponsors ‘DPR’ terrorists for two years

Agents of Ukraine’s SBU State Security Service have said they thwarted illegal activity of PJSC Motor Sich (Zaporizhia), which for two years sponsored the activities of Russia-controlled terrorist organization “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”).

UAWire – Ukrainian Security Service classifies former DPR anti-air commander case

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has classified the criminal case against former Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) anti-air defense commander …

 

The Navy could be replenished with decommissioned Polish [Project 1241RE Tarantul I Class] missile boats

Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine consider the possibility of replenishing the combat personnel at the expense of the decommissioned Polish missile corvettes of the project 1241RE, 1988-89 years of construction. This is reported by the Ukrainian military portal with a link to its own sources. Corvette (according to the Soviet classification of boats) the 1241RE project was constructed in Rybinsk and Yaroslavl for export to the country’s socialist campus. In total 22 rocket boats were built: 5 for NDR India, 4 for Poland, 3 for Romania, 2 for Bulgaria and Yemen, 1 for Vietnam. Currently, there are Polish ORP Metalowiec (436) and ORP Rolnik (437) that were withdrawn from the Navy in 2013 and subsequently put up for sale at PLN 800,000 (UAH 5.4 million). During the parking lot at ORP Metalowiec, several currents were detected that were eliminated on the spot. In January 2019 the ships were towed to the shipyard Stocznia Remontowa Nauta. VMSU can be replenished by written off Polish ships ORP Rolnik Rocket Corvette (437) Basic armament: 4 launchers of the PKR P-15 “Termite” and 76-mm artillery AK-176. In addition, for self-defense, the ships have two 30-mm artillery units AK-630, 1×4 PU MTU-4C, ARM 9K34 “Arrow-3” (16 ZUR 9M36) and interceptor launchers PK-16. It is reported that the representatives of the Naval Armed Forces of Ukraine have previously examined the said ships to assess the technical condition and the feasibility of acquiring Polish corvets. The corpses were the corvette of the project 1241.1T-U155 “Pridniprovia” (captured by the Russian Federation in 2014) and U156 “Kremenchuk” (written off in 2012), as well as corvets of the similar project 1241.2 – U208 “Khmelnitsky” (captured by the Russian Federation in 2014 .) and U207 Uzhhorod (written off in 2012).

Ukraine is considering getting Polish ships

Ukraine is considering obtaining two Polish missile corvets in the 1241 CE project, which included the ORP Metalowiec (436) and ORP Rolnik (437) as part of the Polish Navy. This is reported by the Ukrainian military portal with a link to its own sources They were withdrawn from the naval forces of Poland on December 3, 2013 and transferred to the Agency of Military Property (Polish Agencja Mienia Wojskowego), subsequently put up for sale at a value of PLN 800,000 (UAH 5.4 million). In January 2019, ORP Metalowiec (436) and ORP Rolnik (437) left the naval naval base of the Polish Navy in Gdynia, where they were all the time, and towed to the Stocznia Remontowa Nauta shipyard. During the idle time on ORP Metalowiec, several currents were captured that were sealed with special rubber and metal sealants: • January 2016 on the left side of the building’s engine room number 1 • In March 2018, three currents were discovered in compartment No. VI (engine room number 1) and number VII (engine room number 2) Former ORP Metalowiec (436) and ORP Rolnik (437) were built in 1988 and 1989 at the Vympel shipyard in Ribinsk (modern territory of Russia at the time of construction – the USSR). According to the information available to assess the expediency of acquiring Polish corvets by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, representatives of the Naval Forces of Ukraine have previewed the proposed ships. In the composition of the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, after the distribution of the Black Sea Fleet of the USSR, there were three corvettes of the 1241.1T project – Prydniprovia (U155) and Kremenchuk (U156) , as well as corvets of a similar project 1241.2 Khmelnytsky (U208) and Uzhgorod (U207) Brief technical characteristics of the 1241.1T missile corvette Displacement : standard 392 tons, total 469 tons Length : 56.1 m Width : 10.2 m Draft : on the body of 2.5 m, for screws 4.15 m Power plant : Dvokvalnaya, gas turbine – two marching tanks M-75 (10,000 hp), two free-running turbodiesel M-70 (24,000 hp) Speed : maximum 42 knots, economic 13 knots Range of navigation : 760 miles in full speed, 1,400 miles in economic progress Arms : • 4 launchers of the PKR P-15 “Termite”, • one 76mm AK-176, • two 30-mm AK-630, 1 • MANPADS “Strela-3” (combat missile 16 MANPADS), • Two launches of interference with PC-16 Radio-electronic equipment : radar detection of NC and target monolith, radar control of fire MP-123 “Vympel”, navigation radar “Kyvach-2”, system of emergency equipment “Vimpel-P2” Crew : 41 people Autonomy : 10 days On November 7, 2012 Kremenchuk (U156) and Uzhhorod (U207) were withdrawn from the fleet due to lack of repair for a long time. During the Russian aggression in Crimea, the corpses “Prydniprovia” (U155) and “Khmelnitsky” (U208) were captured by Russian troops.

Tarantul-class corvette – Wikipedia

The Project 1241 are a class of Soviet missile corvettes. They have the NATO reporting name Tarantul (not to be confused with the Stenka-class patrol boat, whose official Soviet name is also “Tarantul”). These ships were designed to replace the Project 205 Tsunami (NATO: “Osa”) missile boats.

 

The P191 “Slavyansk” [Island] boat completed its run tests

In the United States, the P191 “Slavyansk” patrol boat, one of the two “Island” boats, transmitted to Ukraine, has completed factory, mooring and run tests. During the running tests, the first acquaintance with the boat of two Ukrainian crews, who were convinced of the efficiency of the installed equipment and stable operation of the main systems, was reported by ArmyInform “Slovyansk” is currently the main platform for the training of Ukrainian sailors, who hold a 10-week training course at the Lintikum Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS). The second boat – P190 Starobilsk (pictured) is still undergoing pre-fitting and preparing for running tests. The arrival of both boats in Ukraine is expected this fall.

Ukraine’s Sloviansk patrol boat completes tests in U.S. – news ukraine | UNIAN

Ukraine’s Sloviansk patrol boat (Reg. No. P-191) has completed factory, mooring, and navigation tests in Arundel Bay, Maryland, USA. The Starobelsk and the Sloviansk boats are expected to arrive in Ukraine as early as this fall.

Zelensky showed accommodation modules for the military

The Ministry of Defense presented prototype prototypes of three housing modules based on containers intended for military placement in field conditions. The higher military leadership demonstrated modules to President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, who earlier, while at positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the village of Luhans’ka and Schasti, gave an assignment to create the most comfortable conditions for our soldiers in the area of the OOS. Experimental samples of three modules for accommodation of four and six persons, which contain sanitary knots, beds, cabinets and necessary conditions for the placement of military personnel, have been demonstrated. Sanitary modules with shower cabins, toilets and mobile laundry with the necessary equipment included in the mobile bath-laundry complexes (based on KrAZ with a trailer) that are supplied to the Armed Forces of Ukraine from 2015 will also be presented. Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said that depending on the place where they will be used, the module will change. If there is a danger, the modules will be buried in the ground and their design will change so that the personnel does not get defeated. “When they are used not on the first line, there are engineering facilities for protecting the container, which will protect the personnel even from sabotage groups that can enter our territory,” said Poltorak. It is reported that the modules are protesting in the area of conducting the ATM before launching in mass production, at the same time it was announced that “from Monday open tenders for the purchase of mobile complexes for 600 people, which can be used as headquarters, hospital, dining, laundry, etc.”, are announced. Zelensky presented pilot modules-containers for the military

 

KrAZ has put a lot of chassis for manufacturing of MLPK

Open Joint-Stock Company “AvtoKrAZ” has sent to the Kryukivsk carriage carriage the next party of the chassis for placing on them mobile bath-laundry complexes for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This is in particular the high-throughput car chassis KrAZ-63221 6×6, which is equipped with the Chinese engine WP10.380 (similar to those installed on Bogdan-6317 ) and the 9-speed manual gearbox, as well as KrAZ-A181 chassis trailers with a carrying capacity of 12.5 tons. Mobile bath-washing complex (MLPK) is produced by PJSC “Kryukov carriage plant”. The MLC is based on two containers on the car and trailer chassis. Delivered to the Armed Forces of Ukraine from 2015. mobile bath-laundry complex One of the containers is equipped with a laundry, drying and ironing unit for underwear and clothes, as well as two diesel generator sets for autonomous power supply and equipment for connection to the external power supply. mobile bath-laundry complex In another container is equipped with a mobile bath module, which provides for the possibility of heating water using both liquid and solid fuel. Recall that the same manufacturer also developed a simplified version – Mobile bath-washing module (MLPM) , which, unlike the complex, is located on one car and has more modest characteristics and is therefore designed to service small units in number.

 

FT: Ukrainians must take stock as they vote on Sunday – news economics | UNIAN

Ukraine is entering a new phase in its development. Following the election in April of President Volodymyr Zelensky, who cleverly presented himself as being just as imperfect as his fellow citizens during his campaign, Ukrainians will on Sunday decide on a new parliament. The country needs reform-minded parties and policymakers to ensure progress.

Zelensky’s Office hopes to form coalition with Holos, possibly with Batkivschyna

The Office of the President of Ukraine has said it does not think that a coalition between the Servant of the People Party and the European Solidarity Party, led by former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, is possible, but does not rule out a coalition with Holos led by Svyatoslav Vakarchuk and Yulia Tymoshenko’s Batkivschyna.

Zelensky’s aide Yermak: President to soon surprise the most pessimistic skeptics

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Andriy Yermak, aide to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, elaborated on his visit to the United States and preparation for the president’s upcoming visit, prospects for the development of Ukrainian-American relations and his functions as an aide to the president.

Zelensky dismisses ambassadors to 11 countries, in particular, U.S., Armenia, Turkmenistan, Cyprus, Argentina and Vatican

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, by his decrees, has dismissed Ukrainian ambassadors in 11 countries.

Zelensky fires 11 Ukrainian ambassadors

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has dismissed 11 ambassadors of Ukraine. — Ukrinform.

Zelenskyi invites foreign investors to Ukraine. VIDEO

18.07.19 17:23 – Zelenskyi invites foreign investors to Ukraine. VIDEO President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi invited foreign investors to visit Ukraine and invest in its economy, and promised to contribute to the work of foreign investors. View news.

Team Zelensky reveal plans for leading party’s possible coalition in Rada – news politics | UNIAN

The Servant of the People Party seeks to create a coalition with Sviatoslav Vakarchuk’s Holos (Voice) Party and, possibly, with Yulia Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna, said Serhiy Shefir, chief aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. There will be no cooperation with the party of ex-president Petro Poroshenko, while it is possible with Yulia Tymoshenko’s Batkivschyna.

NABU raiding Bogdan Motors in defense embezzlement probe – news ukraine | UNIAN

Operatives of the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) are raiding the premises of PJSC “Automobile Company Bogdan Motors,” including 5th Element Club [on Kyiv’s Rybalskyi Peninsula], as part of their probe into a large-scale state property embezzlement by defense ministry and general staff officials. The investigation was launched in April 2018.

NABU conducts searches at ICU, investment group close to Poroshenko – news ukraine | UNIAN

Detectives of the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine conduct searches at the ICU investment group HQ in Kyiv. The investigation is related to the “Rotterdam +” coal pricing formula.

NABU, SAPO raiding Bogdan Motors premises as part of probe into Defense Ministry embezzlement

19.07.19 13:37 – NABU, SAPO raiding Bogdan Motors premises as part of probe into Defense Ministry embezzlement Детективы НАБУ под процессуальным руководством САП осуществляют обыски в помещениях ОАО “Автомобильная Компания “Богдан Моторс”,… View news.

No one sells his own land, – MP RabinovychNo one sells his own land, – MP Rabinovych

Lifting the moratorium on the land sale is so far the only available offer from the Servant of the People party, MP Rabinovich says

Servant of the People to hold parallel vote count in parliamentary elections

Observers of the Servant of the People party will hold a parallel vote count in Ukraine’s early parliamentary elections on July 21, the party’s press service has told Ukrinform. — Ukrinform.

Jared Leto gives surprise performance on ‘glass’ bridge in Kyiv. Video

30 Seconds To Mars frontman Jared Leto gave a surprise performance on a new pedestrian bridge in Kyiv. — Ukrinform.

Remembering Aleksei Marinat: ‘The Solzhenitsyn Of Bessarabia’

Soviet authorities sent a promising student writer from Moldova to the gulag in the 1940s, just for the critical thoughts they found in his personal journals. Aleksei Marinat’s story has echoes of the life of the late Nobel Prize winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Now Marinat’s son is preserving his father’s diaries.

 

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Readies Response to West’s ‘Morality Wars’ against Russia

Paul Goble Staunton, July 15 – The Federation Council’s Temporary Commission for the Defense of State Sovereignty has called for organizing NGOs to defend the Moscow Patriarchate at home and Russia’s “spiritual sovereignty” on the entire “canonical space” of the Russian Orthodox Church in response to the West’s “morality wars” against Russia. The West’s “morality wars” against Russia, members of the commission say, are being conducted within the canonical territory of the Russian church by “pseudo-religious organizations financed from abroad.” To counter this, the commission said Moscow must “fight fire with fire” by setting up NGOs of its own (kommersant.ru/doc/4027364). Over the two years of its existence, the temporary commission has compiled a “Black Book of Interference from the Outside in the Internal Affairs of Sovereign States” and now proposes to act on that in response to Western actions in Ukraine, Georgia, and other former Soviet republics which the Russian church and the Russian state view within its droit de regard. Three aspects of this discussion are noteworthy. First, this is perhaps the clearest indication yet that the Russian state is lining up with the Moscow Patriarchate on the question of canonical territory and putting the power of the government behind the church hierarchy to fight any move to undercut Moscow’s sway in neighboring countries. Second, the plan to create a network of NGOs – or in fact GONGOs – suggests how concerned both the church and the state are about Moscow’s loss of influence over believers in the former Soviet republics and its decision to take decisive action to try to hold on to its positions in these countries. And third, this focus on religion speaks volumes about how the Kremlin really views what it calls “the Russian world.” It is not just a matter of language, which in any case many who speak it no longer look to Moscow, but of culture defined in religious terms. Thus, despite its failures in Ukraine, Moscow and its church are clearly planning to go on the offensive.