Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (240)

Dog of Ukrainian sailors, Jessi Source: Facebook Nikolai Polozov

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

First, when dealing with anything Russia does, ask why.  Why did Russia return the dog taken with the 24 captured Ukrainian sailors first? 

Certainly the dog does not exceed Russia’s capacity to house dogs as Moscow is overrun with dogs. There is plenty of room, food, and water.

Perhaps removing the dog from near the sailors would remove a cherished companion. That just does not seem a valid reason.

The reason, I believe, is pure propaganda.  Described as ‘scruffy’ by our anonymous expert, Jessi is cuteness personified. Jessi’s image is endearing to the heart.  By releasing the dog first, Russia scores a propaganda coup, plain and simple. “Perhaps the Russian bear isn’t so bad after all.”

Kudos, Moscow.  Well done.

</end editorial>

Russia update – START, PMCs, Caracas debt, naval review, and more. Muscovy protest update – payback begins, while domestic schisms widen. Gas wars and meddling in Serbia. Fabulous East Berlin retro photoessay.

Ukraine’s outgoing DC Amb Chaly provides long and candid interview to the Beeb. Much on Ukraine-Russia relations. “Govorit’ Kiyev”:Ukraine to launch global Russian language media channel to win over hearts and minds in both occupied territories and Russia proper – this will send Muscovy ballistic for sure as this is extremely toxic to Muscovy’s domestic propaganda effort. First Kerch POW released – the tugboat Yana Kapu’s mascot, the scruffy canine, Jessie. Ukraine to retender Black Sea gas leases. Russian passports to expat Ukrainians. Crimea/Kerch updates. Zelensky Administration tells Russia that water canal to Crimea will remain closed. Gas wars.

Donbas update. Industry update.

UOC update, and ROC update – the toxicity of Russia’s play against Constantinople defies belief.

If New START Dies, These Questions Will Need Answers – Defense One

There’s little public indication that the Trump administration is thinking about several things that will happen if the last strategic arms agreement is allowed to expire. The Trump administration has articulated an ambitious new vision for nuclear arms control, one that includes China and seeks to limit more types of Russian systems. This vision appears to have little room for the New START agreement, which helped to cap U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals and which is due to expire in 2021. And yet there is little in the public record to indicate how the administration would deal with various problems that would surface if New START is left to die.

Three Russian mercenaries are killed in Syria, and they’re not from the PMC you’ve heard of — Meduza

The Russian private military company “Shchit” (Shield) suffered its first losses last month in Syria. According to a new report by the newspaper Novaya Gazeta, three Shield mercenaries were killed on June 15. Journalists have identified two of the men as 32-year-old Alexey L. from Perm and 42-year-old Pyotr Sh. from Khakassia.

Geopolitical debts Why Russia is really sending military advisers and other specialists to Venezuela — Meduza

In late June 2019, Venezuela averted another coup. The government also nearly fell in the spring, on April 30, when opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself the country’s lawful president and tried to overthrow the acting head of state, Nicolás Maduro. Protesters clashed with police in the streets, hoping for the army’s support, but the soldiers ultimately remained loyal to Maduro. In those days, when the U.S. recognized Guaidó as Venezuela’s sole legitimate president, Moscow sent military advisers to Caracas. To learn more about the exact nature of “Russia’s support for the Maduro regime” (which attracted a great deal of attention abroad), Meduza sought out Russian army and intelligence agency veterans who previously served in Venezuela, and discovered that they mainly guarded Russian business interests, not the local authorities.

UAWire – Putin: Russian Navy is ready to ‘fight against any aggressor’

During the Navy Day parade held in St. Petersburg Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Russian Navy can respond to the actions of any …

Putin Observes Annual Russian Naval Parade

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu attended an annual Russian naval display on July 28. The Navy Day parade on the Neva River in St. Petersburg featured both historic and modern Russian vessels. Smaller naval parades were held in other Russian port cities.

FSB colonel who worked for the Kremlin is sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for large-scale fraud — Meduza

Russia’s 235th Garrison Military Court has convicted FSB Colonel and former Kremlin official Mikhail Gorbatov of large-scale fraud, and sentenced him to four and a half years in prison, according to the newspaper Kommersant. Gorbatov was also fined 250,000 rubles (almost $4,000) and prohibited from holding state office for two years.

Communications official says limits on foreign ownership in Russia’s Internet industry would be a nightmare — Meduza

Konstantin Noskov, Russia’s minister of digital development and mass communications, says he opposes draft legislation that would limit how much foreigners can own in “significant information resources.” He told the news agency Interfax that he only knows of the draft law from media reports, but he “categorically doesn’t support” it, arguing that the initiative is directed against Yandex and Group, which he says are “Russia’s national treasures.”


Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin Regime has Decided to Dispense with ‘Ritual’ of Elections, Shelin Says

Paul Goble Staunton, July 26 – The Putin regime “has come to the conclusion that customary rituals and distracting ceremonies” like the fake elections is has organized for more than a decade “have served their purpose,” Rosbalt commentator Sergey Shelin says, and is going to attempt to rule without them.” What is now on view in the case of blocking all but regime candidates for the Moscow city council is not some local development, he argues, but rather a change of course for the regime as a whole. “Our vertical as a whole has matured to the point that it is dispensing with the rituals of elections” ( “Administered democracy with its elements of popular involvement in the appointment of officials ended with us 15 years ago, when gubernatorial elections were cancelled,” the commentator continues. Their restoration, the result of popular anger and official concerned, was “almost immediately” reduced to “a fiction” by the so-called “municipal filter.” Many could see that this was the case but surmised that the Kremlin was maintaining the election system to give it at least the simulacrum of legitimation. However that may be, Shelin says, “the authorities in the most serious way consider that the people owe them for these voluntary efforts.” “Therefore, any signs of ingratitude and disobedience are treated as acts of betrayal.” In many ways, the bosses have shown that they believe they have the right to ignore laws and lie and so holding elections at all is increasingly something that they view as an unnecessary distract for their own ranks. “The accustomed election rituals could be observed only as long as all the participants kept to their assigned rules. Those at the bottom almost always obeyed. ‘The systemic opposition’ carefully followed orders. And the vertical invented ever more devices to exclude the un-systemic and semi-systemic opposition figures.” The un-systemic “year by year” treated these as hoops through which it had to jump, and at the same time, the hoop began narrower and higher to make that impossible, Shelin says. “But for a very long time they all jumped and jumped, quietly fulfilling the obligation of those who will always lose.” Now, “this harmony has ended. The prestige of the powers that be has fallen, and the masses have begun to use any occasion to speak of their dissatisfaction, including even elections.” Some in the systemic parties have recognized this and that accounts for the victory of some of their numbers in last gubernatorial elections. And some in the un-systemic opposition in Moscow are seeking to do the same thing in city council elections – and their actions have led the authorities to adopt new strategies that close the hoop such people had been willing to try to jump through in the past. But more than that, it has led the Kremlin to rethink its whole approach to elections. “The news from the capital as well as from other regions is convincing our bosses at the top that they no longer enjoy any respect and that election rituals as a result are ceasing to work. The country is turning away from them. But if the powers that be have to choose between themselves and the country, the system will choose itself.” According to Shelin, “the Manichean spirit of our regime” which views itself as “the only source of good” and its opponents inevitably as “forces of evil” has decided it doesn’t need to go through the exercise of having the people demonstrate their love and support especially when such love and support are no longer present. Russia is thus approaching to a new experiment on it by those in power, one that doesn’t use elections or other rituals but relies simply on the use of force. “Even those at the top dimly recognize that the cost of this step for itself will be high, and that success is not entirely obvious.” But they have decided to try and that will have enormous consequences until they decide or are compelled to stop.

Podcast: A Big Protest, A Big Crackdown, And Some Scary Symptoms

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty broadcasts in 28 languages. Most of our programs are available on FM and medium-wave frequencies of local radio stations in the countries of our broadcast area.

Alexei Navalny: Poisoning fears grow as jailed Putin critic is treated in hospital | World | The Times

A doctor who suspects Russia’s chief Kremlin critic may have been poisoned with a toxic substance will get access to examine him today. Alexei Navalny, 43, was moved from jail to a hospital yesterday morning, having suffered a swollen face and what officials described as an “acute allergic reactio

Alexey Navalny released from hospital back to police detention as doctors investigate mysterious skin condition — Meduza

Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny has been discharged from Moscow’s Hospital No. 64 and returned to a special detention center, his doctor Anastasia Vasilyeva told the independent TV station Dozhd. Navalny was hospitalized on July 28 with an official diagnosis of a severe allergic reaction, but Vasilyeva and another physician, Yaroslav Ashikhmin, noted symptoms so severe that they became convinced Navalny may have been affected by hazardous chemicals. The doctors faced significant resistance as they attempted to gain access to their former patient, but they managed to collect Navalny’s t-shirt and hair samples for analysis before he was released. As of July 29, the opposition leader’s official diagnosis was reportedly contact dermatitis.

Discharge, itching, and lesions Doctors disagree about why Russia’s jailed opposition leader needed to be hospitalized — Meduza

On July 24, a few days before opposition demonstrators staged a mass unpermitted rally in central Moscow, the city’s Simonovsky District Court sentenced Alexey Navalny to 30 days in jail for illegal protest advocacy. (This was already Navalny’s second “administrative arrest” in July: he previously served 10 days behind bars for joining a march on June 12 in support of journalist Ivan Golunov.) On the evening of July 28, Anti-Corruption Press Secretary Kira Yarmysh revealed on Twitter that Navalny had been moved that morning from his detention facility to a city hospital, where he was supposedly diagnosed with an “acute allergic reaction.”

Russian Protest Leader Navalny Returned To Prison As Speculation Over Illness Continues

Speculation continues to swirl over the health of Russia’s most prominent opposition figure, Aleksei Navalny, despite his release from a Moscow hospital due to an unspecified illness.

Following July 27 protest in Moscow, Russian investigators open criminal case charging protester with assaulting police — Meduza

Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case accusing a civilian of using violence against a National Guard officer during Saturday’s rally for fair elections in Moscow, TASS reported.

Moscow Courts Begin Sentencing, Fining Demonstrators From Mass Rally Against Municipal Election Irregularities

Russian courts have begun sentencing politicians and demonstrators who were detained during a mass rally against the exclusion of opposition candidates from the ballot for Moscow city council that …

Germany Condemns ‘Disproportionate’ Use Of Force Against Moscow Protesters

Germany has joined the United State, the European Union, and human rights groups in condemning what it called the “disproportionately tough police action” against weekend demonstrations in Moscow.

Ukraine calls on UN Secretary-General to respond to violence in Moscow

Ukraine has called on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to respond to massive human rights violations during protest rallies in Moscow last weekend, the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations has reported on Twitter. — Ukrinform.

UAWire – EU condemns detention of protesters in Moscow

A spokesperson for EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Maja Kocijančič commented on the arrest of more than a thousand participants of the …

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Illegal Convictions, the Exception in Soviet Times, Now the Norm, Kostanov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, July 26 – “Illegal sentences occurred in Soviet times too, but if then such sentences were more the exception to the rules, today they have become the norm, including those supported by the falsification of the most varied pieces of evidence,” according to Yury Kostanov, a lawyer who is a member of the Presidential Council for Civil Society. The lawyer began his career as an investigator for the procuracy in Soviet times. Then, if an investigator did not agree with the written guidance of a procurator, he could protest and the guidance would either be reversed or the case handed overto another investigator. That arrangement significantly limited violations of the law by investigators ( Today, Kostanov says, this arrangement no longer exists. And one consequence of that has been a wave of suicides by investigators who are directed to violate the law by their superiors who often are acting on behalf of one or another group with the powers that be and see no way out except to end their lives. Two additional reasons for the growing number of cases where the outcomes violate the laws are that investigators are evaluated in terms of the number of convictions their work leads to and that the courts will accept almost anything the investigators submit however improbable. Investigators thus know they will get preferment by violating the laws. Many reforms are needed to change this situation, Kostanov says, beginning with better judges who feel empowered to challenge evidence that is manufactured or otherwise faulty, with better supervision of investigators by the procuracy as they once were, and with better quality investigators who know the law. No many do not and just follow orders.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Duma Set to Make Anniversary of Russia’s Defeat of Mongol Horde a State Holiday

Paul Goble Staunton, July 26 – The Duma plans to discuss a new law setting November 11, the anniversary of the defeat of the Mongol Horde at the Ugra River a public memorial day. Plans to do so have been backed by a 100,000-signature petition and are already sufficiently advanced that regional governments are preparing for the day ( Anatoly Artamanov, the Kaluga governor who is an enthusiastic proponent of the idea, says that the defeat of Khan Akhmat by the forces of Ivan III of Moscow in October-November 1480 is generally viewed by Russian historians as the end of the Mongol Horde’s dominance over Russian lands. “At present,” he says, “the Duma is considering a draft law about establishing an all-Russian memorial day to coincide with the anniversary of the end of the Great Stand on the Ugra.” He says he is confidence this will be adopted at the start of the legislature’s fall term given how much support it has in the regions. The text of the bill has already been approved by the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Russian State Archive, the ministries of culture, defense, justice and the Institute for Legislation and Comparative Law in the Russian government. Russians began pushing for this holiday in April 2017, but many people pointed out that the battle was less conclusive that Moscow is accustomed to think and that people from the same ethnic communities were on opposite sides of the fight, thus making any commemoration potentially explosive. Rafael Khakimov, director of the Kazan Institute of History, says that while Russian historians earlier accepted that the Ugra battle was “the date of the liberation of Rus from ‘the Mongol yoke,’ now these views have been revised.” In fact, no battle at that time took place on the Ugra River. “The events of 1480 were only an episode in the struggle for supremacy in the Horde and not an act of liberation of Moscow from the power of the Tatars. From a scientific-historical point of view, the stand at the Ugra River must not be considered as an especially significant historical event linked to the liberation of Rus from the power of the Horde.” But there is a bigger question, Khakimov says, and that is this: “why in general should residents of the multi-national Russian Federation in our time regardless of region mark a medieval date connected with the freeing of a single pro-Russian ruler from vassal dependence on another?” What is going on with this proposal, the Kazan historian says, is an effort to force the Tatars and other peoples of Russia to “mark the victory of a Russian Orthodox prince over Muslim Turks,” something that is consistent with Putin’s approach but not conducive to good relations among the nations of the country.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Muslim Conflicts with Authorities Escalating in Yekaterinburg and Kazan

Paul Goble Staunton, July 26 – Conflicts between the Muslim communities of Yekaterinburg and Kazan and the authorities are escalating, in the first case over whether the Islamic community will ever be allowed to build a mosque as it as long been promised and in the second over whether Muslims will sit still for the installation of monitoring equipment in mosques. The situation in Yekaterinburg is the direct result of the controversy over whether to build an Orthodox cathedral in the center of the Urals city. After protests, the authorities backed down but immediately offered five other locations where such a church facility could in face be erected. That has sparked anger among the Muslim community there which has been promised land for a mosque since the 1990s only to have its requests for the allocation of such property rejected again and again. If it is so easy to find space for another church, why can’t there be found land for a mosque? As a result of that and the failure of the city authorities to agree to enter into negotiations with the umma, Muslims in that Urals city have begun a series of unsanctioned meetings to make demands, meetings that copy those the opponents of the Orthodox cathedral used with such success ( There is no sign of movement by the authorities yet, but Sergey Aksyonov of Svobodnaya pressa suggests that “the consequences of the inability of the local authorities to conduct a dialogue with citizens in this instance can be tragic,” given that the Muslims will seldom have a clearer indication that they are second class citizens as far as the authorities are concerned ( Meanwhile, a Russian call to install monitoring devices in mosques in Tatarstan has led to an unsanctioned protest there will activists of the All-Tatar Social Center (VTOTs) organizing a meeting denouncing that idea and carrying posters declaring that “a mosque is not a prison” and “Tatarstan is becoming Xinjiang” ( the authorities do move ahead with the installation of monitoring devices in the mosques of Tatarstan in the name of national security, the result almost certainly will be more anger and more protests against this violation of the religious rights of Muslims – and an expanded conflict between the Islamic community and the Russian state. In addition, such protests are already seeking to force the government of Tatarstan to choose between being supportive of their own Muslim citizens or obeying the demands of Moscow. If Kazan does the former, there will be one kind of conflict; if it does the latter, there will be another, perhaps even more serious in terms of stability in the Middle Volga.

‘You Look Asian’: Russian Activist Seeks Justice For Racial Profiling

Aleksandr Kim, a Russian rights activists, intervened when he saw Moscow police stopping migrants for identity checks and refused to comply when officers demanded his documents based solely on his appearance. He escaped with a small fine, but Kim hopes to appeal the case against him in order to shed light on police officers’ use of racial profiling.

Shaman On 8,000-Kilometer Trek ‘To Topple Putin’

This March, 51-year-old Aleksandr Gabyshev left Yakutsk in Russia’s Far East to walk 8,000 km to Moscow and rally opposition to President Vladimir Putin, who he calls a demon.


Danish delay threatens Nord Stream 2 progress – Financial Times – news world | UNIAN

Russia could miss the deadline to begin pumping gas to Europe through the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, unless Denmark approves construction in its waters in the next few weeks. Gazprom had been pumping record volumes of gas into underground storage tanks in Europe, which signaled that the company would enter the peak demand period without either the Ukraine transit route or Nord Stream 2.

UAWire – Gazprom’s LNG ship for Kaliningrad moves to Europe instead

The regasification ship Marshal Vasilevsky, owned by Russia’s gas monopoly Gazprom and responsible for ensuring Kaliningrad’s gas security, is off the coast of Denmark and heading for the Port of Rotterdam, RBC reports, citing the Marine Traffic database. In February 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin commissioned a coastal terminal to accept liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Kaliningrad. The new terminal can meet nearly all the gas demand of the Russian exclave. At the end of last year, the South Korean-built vessel Marshal Vasilevsky docked in Kaliningrad. The alternative gas supply system cost Gazprom roughly $1.34 billion. Sources in the gas sector and close to Gazprom said that the ship was being moved for testing or to be leased out to reduce losses during downtime. One source speculated that Gazprom could be using the vessel as an LNG tanker.

Serbia Receives 10 Russian Armored Vehicles

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic inspected a shipment of 10 armored vehicles donated to his country by Russia on July 29.

Vucic Praises Putin For ‘Strengthening’ Serbia’s Military

Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic has thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for “strengthening” the combat capability of the Balkan nation’s armed forces.

Serbian Protests Continue As Ruling Party Marks Seven Years In Power

Thousands of Serbs protested against the government in Belgrade on July 27 for the 34th weekend in a row. Some protesters filled public places with stickers featuring controversial quotes by President Aleksandar Vucic, while others threw mock ballots outside the presidential palace to mark the date that Vucic’s ruling Serbian Progressive Party ascended to power in 2012. Another flank of the march headed to the headquarters of Serbia’s public radio and television broadcaster RTS. The protesters removed the station’s flag from a flagpole and replaced it with their own flags bearing the slogans “Free Elections” and “Free Media.”


Communist Berlin: Then And Now

To mark 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, we revisited the precise locations of 14 memorable photos taken when half of the city lay behind the Iron Curtain.


Ambassador: Zelensky should discuss with Trump issues of military and technical, energy, space cooperation

To ensure the continued and effective support to Ukraine from the United States, it is necessary to solve a number of urgent issues of bilateral cooperation at the planned meeting between the two presidents. “They [the urgent issues] concern our further cooperation in military and technical field, including the purchase of weapons, cooperation in the energy sector. Some problematic points in the space industry also need to be addressed,” Ukrainian Ambassador to the US Valeriy Chaly, who will soon complete his mission, said in an exclusive interview to Ukrinform. He noted that further provision of bipartisan support for Ukraine from Republicans and Democrats is also important “given the rather difficult period before the presidential elections in the United States.” The questions related to the prospects of the US-Ukraine Strategic Partnership Commission should be touched upon as well, the ambassador noted. Chaly informed that he had shared his ideas with President Zelensky personally, so that the Ukrainian side could have a “strong negotiating position” before the meeting in Washington, D.C.

Zelensky and his diplomacy: replacing ambassadors, meeting with Trump and Donbas | BBC Ukraine

President Volodymyr Zelensky has been in charge of the country for more than two months, during which time he made several international visits, returned Leonid Kuchma to Minsk talks and began updating Ukrainian embassies abroad. Zelensky does not have any tangible victories on the international front yet, but little time has passed. But the “pain points” that may weaken Ukraine’s support in the West and strengthen Russia’s negotiating positions have already been revealed. The new president has not yet formed a team of strong internationals, lacks a holistic vision of Donbas actions, and has a serious distrust of the Foreign Ministry and diplomats. Why it happened and what it threatens – BBC News Ukraine has understood. Team of Diplomats In a famous video behind the wheel of a car that has already been dubbed the “Tesla interview”, Vladimir Zelensky said: “I thought that no one could be trusted, but it happened that more than anyone.” This principle is applied by the President’s team including to diplomats, although it is almost impossible to win at international venues without their help. Vadim Prystayko is the main and almost the only diplomat in the team of Vladimir Zelensky. The presidential nomination for the foreign minister was introduced in parliament in mid-June, but MPs failed to release the current Foreign Minister, Pavel Klimkin, and appoint him a successor. So this issue will be decided by a new Council. Mr Prystayko is a staff diplomat, under President Petro Poroshenko was first deputy foreign minister and then went to NATO as ambassador to NATO. He is a professional and professional man, and his colleagues in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Western partners are positive about it. Today, he is the engine of the international direction of the presidential team. Zelensky can improvise on negotiations, and in this situation it is important to have a professional diplomat near you, who will soften the corners and give advice on time. Diplomats who have managed to work with Zelensky say that he has his own style of negotiation. “First of all, he listens a lot. It allows you to not just sell the unpowered, but to respond in the course of the conversation. In addition, it just makes a good impression on the interlocutors,” – said Ukrainian Ambassador to Canada Andriy Shevchenko. The President has recently been visiting. “His strong point is the ability to easily make human contact. He had about 10 hours with Trudeau in Toronto (Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister – Ed. ). This proved to be enough to work through difficult topics and humanly to feel for each other – they also talked about the war, the elections, and the kids, and the skis and snowboards, which in itself is not enough for state results, but at the same time it is extremely important to work with world leaders for whose credibility he will have to compete “,” says the ambassador. As for Prystayka, he may soon go to the Foreign Ministry, and then there will be a question who will replace him in the President’s Office. After all, the strong diplomat Olena Zerkal, whom Zelensky invited to his team, refused to work under the direction of Andriy Bogdan. Oleksandr Danyliuk is attracted to international issues, but with the transition to the secretariat of the National Security and Defense Council, his participation significantly weakened. The current Assistant to the President, Andriy Yermak, can replace Pristaika. According to BBC News Ukraine, he travels with Prystayk on a business trip, participates in Norman talks at the advisory level, involved in the preparation of the forthcoming meeting of leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France. From open sources, it is known that he graduated from the Institute of International Relations of the Shevchenko University, and holds a Master’s degree in International Private Law. Mr. Ermak is a member of the Ukrainian Bar Association and actively participated in the development of legislative acts in the field of commercial law and intellectual property. He also produces films and is a member of the Ukrainian and European Film Academies. Its downside is the lack of diplomatic experience. Ermak himself avoids answering questions about his possible appointment, but confirms that he is involved in international meetings. “I have an assistant position and the way the president decides. Today, I’m getting involved in issues that need assistance to the president,” he told BBC News Ukraine. Zelensky’s weak international team can be reinforced by a well-known diplomat, Bohdan Yaremenko , who went to parliament on a majority vote from the “Servant of the People”. In 2013, he publicly endorsed Euromaidan, for which he was fired from the post of Consul General in Istanbul. This situation has resonated and Mr Yaremenko has since become a symbol of the diplomats’ struggle for Ukraine’s European path. The pro-presidential party is said to be a good candidate for the head of the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs, although it is possible that he will join the team of internationals of the president. Stripping or updating? In mid-July, Vladimir Zelensky announced his intention to release a number of ambassadors. Among them are Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, Valery Chaly. And on July 19, there were corresponding decrees. In addition to the US , ambassadors were released in several African countries, Cyprus, the Vatican, as well as Armenia, Turkmenistan and others. According to BBC News Ukraine, the next batch of those who fall under it is still preparing. Some diplomats, on condition of anonymity, claim that the new team is “sweeping Poroshenko diplomacy”, though Andrei Ermak refutes everything and asserts that there are no clean-ups, and personnel decisions are made solely because of the diplomats’ effectiveness. The assistant of the President approves of the work of ambassadors in France and Canada, where Vladimir Zelensky has already been able to go. “We very much hope that these people, who are very professional today, will receive new energy, new breath, will begin to represent Ukraine’s interests with greater motivation,” Yermak said. Valery Chaly is often called a political figure and a person of Petro Poroshenko, so it may seem logical and understandable to want to put his ambassador in this direction. Although Zelensky explains the replacement of this diplomat’s unprofessionality. “I believe that this is a very important decision that was made in time. After all, we need to translate our relations, to lift them, to become truly strategic partners from the USA. And this cannot be done without an ambassador who would represent Ukraine today, represent the president and answer unfortunately, the ambassador who was, did not cope with this function, “he explains the president’s decision. Personnel reshuffles may affect several other key areas for Ukraine – Germany, Britain and the EU. What is more important here is how quickly dismissed ambassadors will be replaced, because the appointment of a new ambassador to the United States, for example, has unexpectedly delayed and become a problem for the presidential team. “Impatient” visit to the United States BBC News Ukraine sources say that Chaly has been accused of delaying Zelensky’s visit to the United States, which was planned at the President’s Office by the end of July. For this purpose, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Alexander Danylyuk, Andrey Yermak, and even the head of the SBU Ivan Bakanov also went to Washington. According to our data, some meetings of representatives of the Ukrainian authorities with the Americans were held without diplomats from the embassy, “to avoid unnecessary ears.” The Office of the President does not explicitly say whether the diplomats participated in the negotiations, but they say that mistrust of all diplomats is a fabrication. “During my visit, I talked to some of the embassy staff, but I did not communicate with the ambassador, because my personal opinion is that, unfortunately, this person could not help me in preparing for President Zelensky’s visit. Unfortunately, she is working somehow today. so that we do not have the sense that the state’s interests are represented in the United States today, “says Andrei Ermak. In response, Valery Chaly says he is surprised by such criticism in his address. “On the one hand, there is nothing unforeseen that the new government wants rotation of ambassadors who should use the confidence of the President of Ukraine. Moreover, if they replace ambassadors who have already served their terms. On the other – to evaluate how effective the embassy and, above all, the ambassador for the last four years, defended Ukraine’s interests in the US, it would be correct, having received comprehensive information, “he explains in a comment to BBC News Ukraine. According to Mr. Chaly, Ukraine-US relations have already reached the level of strategic partnership, at least in the field of security and defense. “It was impossible to get anti-tank and anti-sniper systems and achieve a unified bipartisan policy of Congress and the US government in support of Ukraine, including sanctioning pressure on Russia,” the diplomat emphasized. “It is no coincidence that the ambassador of Ukraine to the United States is the only one of our diplomatic corps who has come under Russia’s sanctions,” he adds. Commenting on information that he allegedly failed to organize Zelensky’s visit to the US, Valery Chaly says: “I also know that there was an attempt to persuade the President of Ukraine to hang up his visit to the US embassy and blame the ambassador. who really know the details of diplomatic work well understand the situation. And rightly so, they gave up. ” According to him, even during Ermak’s visit to the US, the embassy organized and provided meetings at the White House in a “short time” under conditions where his official visit to the US had no official signals. Finally, Chaly reminds Mr. Ermak: “Well, I still hope that Andriy Borisovich has not yet forgotten his appraisal of the ambassador’s efforts in promoting the Ukrainian-Slovak film” Border “, which he is the producer of.” Zelensky’s visit to the US is unlikely to take place in the summer, but in the autumn the leaders of the two countries have every chance to communicate in the fields of several international events. For example, on September 1, Poland will host events to mark the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II. Vladimir Zelensky is going to Warsaw these days, and US President Donald Trump is going there. And in the second half of September there will be a traditional session of the UN General Assembly with the participation of world leaders. The president’s office is considering several candidates for US ambassador. According to one report, several of them refused to go to Washington, while another states did not agree with them. So the process dragged on. Now, the possible ambassadors are Ukrainian ambassador to Israel Gennady Nadolenko – he is a diplomat and worked at the Ukrainian Embassy in the United States, as well as Ukrainian Ambassador to France Oleg Shamshur , who already headed the Ukrainian Embassy in the States. The first in the comments BBC News Ukraine called this information “rumors”, and the second, according to our data, is just in Kiev these days. It has never been easy to agree on a visit with the US side – the US president’s schedule has been approved for years to come. In addition, Washington wants a substantive conversation with Kiev, and for that there needs to be some specificity, a holistic vision of reforms, a strategy for the Donbas. The United States has repeatedly voiced concern over the appointment of President of the Office of the President Andrei Bohdan, who worked with oligarch Igor Kolomoisky. And that cast a shadow on the new president’s team. Foreign Minister Paul Klimkin explains that the timing of the visit to the US is not really critical. The main thing is that this visit has real content: “A week earlier, a week later – in fact it is not so important. The main thing is that the talks are filled with real content, not” for a tick. According to him, the presidential meeting should give impetus for practical interaction and certainly establish personal contact. Donbass line The most questions for the President’s team are about Donbass. Immediately after taking office, President Vladimir Zelensky returned Leonid Kuchma to the Minsk talks, declared the existence of a “road map” for resolving the conflict, and also aimed at resuming the Normandy negotiations. He visited Berlin and Paris, spoke with Putin on the phone, and hinted at a meeting with journalists to promote the release of Ukrainian sailors. “We have very cautious optimism after meeting at the Normandy format in Paris (July 12 – Ed.) At the level of advisers on international issues, we were there with Mr Prystayk,” – says Andrey Ermak. He did not elaborate, but noted that another such meeting is planned in August, and after that the parties may enter the negotiations of the leaders. Zelensky and Putin first spoke on the phone Zelensky: “We are not ready for dialogue with separatists” During this conversation with the Assistant to the President (it was July 19 – Ed. ) It became known that Zelensky left Ruslan Demchenko as his adviser and he continues to participate in the Minsk negotiations. Under all previous presidents, Demchenko oversaw Ukraine’s relations with Russia; he is well known in the Kremlin. At the same time, Mr. Demchenko’s figure is somewhat “demonized” in Ukraine because of his loyalty to the Yanukovych regime while working in the Foreign Ministry. The road map that Zelensky spoke of has never been seen before. The president’s office announced its release after June 19, but it never happened. Because of this, many people ask the question: is there a document at all? It is noticeable that the team of the new president, compared with Petro Poroshenko, changed the rhetoric about the Donbas – it became softer about Russia, more rarely the word “aggression”, no words at all “return control of the border” and “withdrawal of Russian troops from the Donbass “. Instead, we often hear about the armistice and the release of hostages. The president’s team explains that this is their approach in negotiations with Russia: to soften the rhetoric for the sake of results. Whether the soft rhetoric about Russia will produce the result is a question. Diplomats cite the situation with sailors as an example. The president’s team hinted that there were positive signals from Russia about their release, and Ombudsman Lyudmila Denisova also spoke about it. But experience has shown that such “positive signals” often lead to nothing. President Poroshenko repeatedly waited in vain for Oleg Sentsov’s release. There is another risk: if Ukraine begins to treat Russia more loyally, how will the West respond to this, where many are willing to lift sanctions and resume full cooperation with Moscow. Pavel Klimkin warns against any illusions of an agreement with Vladimir Putin. “I considered and believe that with Putin it is impossible to agree on the most important global issue – the existence of Ukraine outside the Russian influence zone.” However, according to him, situational arrangements are quite possible.It is important, he says, to prevent the scenario when Russia reaches certain decisions with the West, and they will impose them on Ukraine. To do this, the Minister is sure, we need to take a proactive stance in talking with our Western partners and finally show them our strategy.

In the USA, caution arose in assessing the actions of the new government of Ukraine, – Chaly

In the United States, caution has arisen regarding the new government of Ukraine after voicing political initiatives to lustration everyone who has held high government positions over the past five years, including Maidan activists and ATO veterans. As Tsenzor informs. NO , this was said in an interview with Ukrinform by the Ukrainian Ambassador to the US Valeriy Chaly, who will soon complete his mission in Washington. “Here (in the USA. – Ed.) There is such a vision that the results of the elections in Ukraine, the victory of the new President Vladimir Zelensky with the overwhelming support of the Ukrainians gave a new window of opportunity for the rapid advancement of joint initiatives. After the ruling party received a large mandate of trust, there were hopes that quick results could be achieved given the monopolistic presidential control over parliament and the government, ”the ambassador said in response to a question about how the United States assesses political changes in Ukraine. However, according to him, in Washington they began to pay more attention not so much to the form, but to the approaches of the new Ukrainian government. “If there is a big interest in the form in the United States, then there is an ambiguous attitude towards certain concrete steps and a certain amount of caution in assessments. Therefore, the task of the authorities and diplomacy in the United States is to remove this alertness,” the diplomat emphasized. According to him, one of the moments that caused such a reaction was the introduction of a bill on new lustration. “Here it was actually perceived as lustration of people who were on the Maidan, fought in the ATO, veterans who came to government posts in difficult times, and not just corrupt politicians and officials,” Chaly specified. He noted that in the United States “Yanukovych’s authoritarian regime is well remembered, and very wary of unreasonable attacks on those who stopped Russia’s aggression and, in fact, preserved the integrity of Ukraine in difficult times.” In order to remove such vigilance, appropriate actions and messages are needed by the President of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada and the government, the diplomat said. “I hope that further intensive contacts at different levels will contribute to this. The more contacts and meetings, the better to explain the situation and form joint actions,” the ambassador stressed. Источник:

Ukraine among priorities of Poland’s one-month presidency of UN Security Council

The issue of security in Ukraine is among priorities of Poland’s one-month presidency of the UN Security Council in August. — Ukrinform.

World-wide Russian-language channel to be created in Ukraine to ‘struggle for minds’ – Presidential Office deputy head

A world-wide Russian-language channel will be created in Ukraine to strengthen the position of the state in the informational struggle, said Deputy Head of the Presidential Office of Ukraine Kyrylo Tymoshenko in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine. According to him, such a channel is needed so that Ukraine could fight both for the minds of Ukrainians in the occupied territories of Donbas and Crimea, and for the minds of Russians in the territory of the Russian Federation. “We have developed a launch option for the Ukrainian Russian-language channel, with which we will be able to cover the Russian-speaking population all over the world,” said Tymoshenko. According to him, the team of President Volodymyr Zelensky wants it to be a state channel. “But we are negotiating with private channels about the handover of rights to use their coolest content,” Tymoshenko said.

Ukraine will create a world-wide Russian-language channel for “fighting for the minds”, – deputy head of the OP Tymoshenko

Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Kirill Timoshenko, said that a world-wide Russian-language channel would be created in Ukraine to strengthen the position of the state in the information struggle. According Tsenzor.NET , he said this in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine . According to him, such a channel is needed so that Ukraine can fight both for the minds of Ukrainians in the occupied territories of Donbass and Crimea, and for the minds of Russians in the territory of the Russian Federation. “We have developed a launch option for the Ukrainian Russian-language channel, with which we will be able to cover the Russian-speaking population all over the world,” said Kirill Tymoshenko. According to him, in the team of President Vladimir Zelensky they want it to be a state channel. “But we are negotiating with private channels about the transfer of rights to use their coolest content,” Tymoshenko said. Источник:

A dog from the captured tug “Yana Kapu” returned to Ukraine

Jesse the dog, who was captured along with 24 Ukrainian POWs, has returned home to Ukraine today This was reported by lawyer Alexander Yefimenko All the time, the crew of the captured raid tug “Yana Kapu” was taken care of by the dog, which along with them was captured by the Russians on November 25, 2018 in neutral waters of the Black Sea. However, the matter of her search and return was not easy. As it turned out after the seizure of ships, Russian border guards from the Russian-occupying contingent in the Crimea left Jesse to himself and did not report it. As a result of the search and negotiations, she was returned and now she is in the Kherson region in the family of a mechanic of the Yana Kapu raid tugboat Sergey Chuliba.

Dog of Ukrainian sailors detained in Russia returned

The dog of Ukrainian sailors captured by Russia was returned to Ukraine. This was reported by the coordinator of the group of lawyers of Ukrainian POWs Nikolai Polozov on his Facebook page. “Dog Jessi, which was taken together with 24 Ukrainian sailors, was returned home today! Sailors of the Yany Kapu crew told the lawyers about the dog almost immediately after the meeting and asked to find it and try to return home. It took several months to find it and reach an agreement with the FSB and Kerch border guards, who were keeping it,” Polozov wrote. “On the moment of capturing of Ukrainian ships and sailors, Jessi was 3 months. Sometime later, the border guards found it and kept it with them. The dog spent 8 months in Kerch, and today it arrived in Kherson region to the family of Sehiy Chuliba,” journalist Oleksandra Yefymenko wrote. As it was reported earlier, on November 25, 2018, Russian border guards seized the Ukrainian Yana Kapu raid tug and small armored artillery boats Berdyansk and Nikopol of the Naval Forces of Ukraine in the Kerch Strait area, using weapons. As a result of the incident, 24 Ukrainian sailors were detained and arrested. They were transported from Crimea to the Moscow Lefortovo detention facility. In addition, three Ukrainian sailors wounded during the shelling by the Russians were transferred to the Prison Hospital.

NSDC secretary backs PM’s initiative to announce new bid for shelf gas extraction – news economics | UNIAN

Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksandr Danyliuk has supported the initiative of Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman to announce a new bidding for gas extraction on the Ukrainian Black Sea shelf. According to Danyliuk, the key problem of the latest bidding was the artificial limitation of time for the players to analyze the site and prepare competitive offers.

NSDC Secretary supports PM’s initiative to launch new tender for PSA on Black Sea shelf

National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksandr Danyliuk has supported the initiative of Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, who intends to propose Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers review the possibility of announcing a new competition for developing hydrocarbon deposits in the Dolphin sector of the Black Sea shelf under the terms of a production-sharing agreement (PSA).

Russia issues almost 45,000 passports to Ukrainians in H1 2019 – news world | UNIAN

Russia has granted citizenship to 44,898 Ukrainians in the first half of 2019 (H1). Over 29,000 people received temporary residence permits.

Almost 248,900 Ukrainians in H1 enter Russia on private visit, another 213,200 for work

29.07.19 17:02 – Almost 248,900 Ukrainians in H1 enter Russia on private visit, another 213,200 for work Some 248,900 citizens of Ukraine entered the Russian Federation in the first half of 2019 on a private visit, some 213,200 came to Russia to work, another 20,600 arrived as tourists from Ukraine and 14,500 as students from Ukraine, according to… View news.


Ukraine, as a rule-of-law state, has allowed sailors from the Russian tanker Neyma to return home, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) reported on its Facebook page on July 25. “Today investigators of the Security Service of Ukraine and the military prosecutor’s office detained the Russian tanker Neyma that blocked Ukrainian warships in the Kerch Strait in 2018. It was established during the investigation that the crew of the tanker on board did not violate the norms of maritime law and the laws of Ukraine, so there were no grounds for their detention,” the report said. It notes that respecting Ukrainian laws, without violating the rights and freedoms of Russian sailors, they were allowed to return home to their families. The SBU said that Ukraine is a rule-of-law state that faithfully abides by the norms of international maritime law and the decisions of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. The Russian tanker Nika Spirit entered the Ukrainian port of Izmail on July 24, 2019. According to the Equasis international information system, the vessel was identified as a well-known tanker Neyma that was used to block the Kerch Strait in November 2018. Such unlawful actions contributed to the violent, with the use of weapons, stoppage and capture by Russian FSB border guards of three Ukrainian warships and their 24 crew members. On Thursday, July 25, the SBU, together with the Military Prosecutor’s Office, detained the tanker Neyma. The investigation established that Russian owners had renamed the tanker Neyma to Nika Spirit in order to conceal their involvement in unlawful acts and an act of aggression that occurred on November 25, 2018. Russian media reported that the Neyma tanker, detained by Ukraine, had a crew of about 15 Russian citizens.

Presidential repr: sanctions against companies involved in building Kerch Strait Bridge in occupied Crimea could be tightened

Anton Korynevych, the Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, has stated sanctions against the companies involved in the construction of the Kerch Strait Bridge in Crimea occupied by Russia could be tightened.

UAWire – Russia closes off more than a quarter of Black Sea for a month

Between 24 July and 19 August, purportedly for training purposes, Russia has closed off five regions of the Black Sea with a total area of 118,570 square kilometers, more than a quarter of the sea’s total area, the Ukrainian Military Portal reports. “The mentioned regions effectively close off the customary and advisable international shipping routes to Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania and Ukraine, virtually blocking maritime traffic with these countries,” the news outlet writes. Russia’s international navigation directives concerning the Black Sea regions will be in force until 19 August. No clear reason for the directives has been specified. Some of the sections are designated as territories that are “dangerous” to navigate, others are closed off for military training purposes. “It should be noted that the Russian Federation does not have as many ground or seaborne forces as would be needed to close off such an area in the relevant regions for carrying out military training exercises. It also lacks the necessary number of vessels to control and close off the relevant regions to ensure the safety of maritime traffic, and especially fishing and individual fishing sector companies, which may not always receive the relevant directives in time,” the article notes. The Ukrainian Military Portal says that these actions by Russia should be considered “yet another act of hybrid aggression at sea, now not only against Ukraine, but also against other countries in the Black Sea Region”. Previously, before the start of the Sea Breeze 2019 exercise between 1 and 12 July, Russia closed off an 8,000 km region in the Black Sea that included the proposed location of one of the international drills involving vessels from Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia, the UK and the US. A UN General Assembly resolution passed on 17 December 2018 in connection with Russia’s militarization of Crimea, the Black Sea and the Azov Sea, calls on Russia to withdraw its troops from Crimea and condemns the growing Russian military presence in the mentioned seas.

Kerch Bridge allows occupying power to maintain nuclear weapons in Crimea – expert

“In my opinion, this bridge [across the Kerch Strait] has not so much economic impact as the military importance since it is a part of Russian military infrastructure which regards Crimea as a military base. Even the railway line, which the Russians lay across the bridge to Crimea so persistently, concerns not so much tourists. It is well known in the expert environment that the movement and maintenance of nuclear weapons in the Russian Federation are carried out via the railway transport. Thus, Ukraine can say that this bridge creates opportunities for the maintenance of nuclear weapons in Crimea,” lawyer Boris Babyn, former representative of the President of Ukraine in Crimea, said in an interview with Ukrinform. In his opinion, the international community is particularly concerned about the militarization of the peninsula.

Presidential representative: Water won’t be supplied to occupied Crimea

Anton Korinevych, the Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, has stated that the refusal to supply water to the occupied Crimea is a right stance and it will not change in the near future. — Ukrinform.

Team Zelensky voice “unequivocal position” on water supplies to occupied Crimea – news politics | UNIAN

The position on ceased water supplies via the North-Crimean Canal to the occupied Crimea is right and correct, says the Ukrainian president’s permanent envoy to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Anton Korinevych. “It seems to me that this would be inappropriate,” the official told the Segodnya newspaper after being asked whether the resumption of water supplies to Russia-occupied Crimea was on the table. Read alsoKyiv court enacts recovery of US$1.3 bln from Russia for Oschadbank’s Crimea assets “The position on the ceased water supplies via the North-Crimean Canal to Crimea is right and correct. Ukraine must apply the mechanisms it has at its disposal to put pressure on the occupying state. For the occupying state, this question is certainly important, because it is, in fact, about economic activity on the territory of Crimea. But I believe that in the near future we won’t see any changes in this approach. We cannot be talking about water supplies. In the situation that we have, we can’t be talking about water supplies via the North Crimean Canal to Crimea. I believe that this position is unequivocal,” said Korinevych. He also stressed that the President’s Office shares the same position on electricity supplies from mainland Ukraine to the occupied Crimea.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: US Non-Recognition Policy Regarding Crimea One Year On

Paul Goble Staunton, July 27 – A year ago, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo issued its Crimea Declaration which referred to the Welles Declaration in 1940 regarding the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states and reaffirmed “the bedrock international principle shared by democratic states that no country can change the borders of another by force” ( The Declaration specified that the United States “rejects Russia’s attempted annexation of Crimea and pledges to maintain this policy under Ukraine’s territorial integrity is restored” and underscored that “through its actions, Russia has acted in a manner unworthy of a great nation and has chosen to isolate itself from the international community.” In discussing this at a hearing of the US Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relations, Secretary Pompeo said “there will be “no relief” from sanctions imposed by the United States after the attempted annexation “until Russia returns control of the Crimean Peninsula to Ukraine,” a position that if maintained would be far tougher than Baltic non-recognition policy. But precisely because it is tougher, it is entirely possible that it will be harder to sustain, both because there will be pressure to end the sanctions for other reasons that some will insist are more important than this principle and because the new policy lacks, for understandable reasons, many of the features of its Baltic predecessor. Consequently, it is important on this first anniversary of the US Crimea Declaration to welcome this restatement of a principle but also to express concern that it lacks many of the features of US non-recognition policy regarding the Baltic countries and indeed contains loopholes that Moscow might exploit. In March 2019, Gerald Connolly, a Democrat on the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced an amendment that would give more content to the Crimea Declaration and make American non-recognition of Russian aggression there more similar to US non-recognition of the Soviet occupation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The author of these lines and many others have pressed for such a measure since shortly after Putin’s Anschluss (,, and Consequently, we can only welcome this development, even though the resolution has not yet been passed. But it is critically important that everyone understands both what this latest legal initiative will mean and what is positive and negative implications may be for Ukraine, Crimea, and the future of US-Russian relations. The core text of the Connolly proposal says that “It is the policy of the United States not to recognize the Russian Federation’s claims of sovereignty over Crimea, its airspace, or its territorial waters.” And it requires that “no Federal department or agency may take any action or extend any assistance that implies recognition of the Russian Federation’s claim of sovereignty over Crimea, its airspace, or its territorial waters” ( This is, of course, a proposal and has not been approved even in committee, let alone by the House of Representatives or the Senate. Moreover, the amendment contains the standard national security waver that the President “may wave” the provisions of the law “on a case-by-case basis if the President determines that it is vital to the national security interests of the United States to do so.” That is troubling, but more significant perhaps are two things this language does not include: On the one hand, it does not specify that Crimea is part of Ukraine and that Ukrainian sovereignty over it must be restored if the reasons for the act are to be vitiated; and on the other, it does not specify exactly what measures anyone in the government might take that would “imply recognition” of Russia’s asserted claim. The first gap could allow the possible creation of a Russian client state in Crimea, separate from the Russian Federation but not part of Ukraine either, the kind of “unrecognized” entity that Moscow has sought to promote elsewhere on the former Soviet space to weaken its neighbors. And the second allows government agencies on their own to determine what they will have to do to meet the requirements of the act. Some are obvious, such as a near certain ban on showing Crimea as part of Russia on US government-issued maps, but others on investment, especially if US firms use foreign daughter entities to do so. How a more fully elaborated US non-recognition policy with regard to Russian claims about the annexation of Crimea might work can best be seen by an examination of past American policies on border changes and of its non-recognition policy regarding the occupation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Since at least 1932, it will be recalled, the United States has maintained as a matter of principle that it will not recognize changes in international borders achieved by the use of force unless or until they are sanctioned international agreement. That doctrine was enunciated by Henry L. Stimson, the US secretary of state at the time, in response to Japan’s seizure of China’s Manchuria province and subsequent creation of the puppet state of Manchukuo. The most forceful expression of the Stimson Doctrine was US non-recognition policy regarding the Soviet seizure of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in 1940 under the terms of the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Hitler and Stalin. On July 23, 1940, US Undersecretary of State Sumner Wells declared that the Baltic countries had been “deliberately annihilated by one of their more powerful neighbors” and that the US would continue to stand by its principle in their defense “because of the conviction of the American people that unless the doctrine in which these principles are inherent once again governs the relations between nations, the rule of reason, of justice and of law – in other words, the basis of modern civilization itself – cannot be preserved.” That declaration was given content by a policy that the United States followed until 1991 when Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania escaped from Soviet occupation and recovered their de facto independence, a policy that included the maintenance of ties with the diplomatic representatives of the pre-1940 Baltic governments, a ban on the production of any map by the US government showing the Baltic states as legitimately part of the USSR, and restrictions on travel to them by senior US officials. At the same time, it is important to remember what such policies did not mean. Neither the Stimson Doctrine nor Baltic Non-Recognition Policy called for American military action to liberate occupied territories, although both provided enormous encouragement to the peoples of these occupied areas that they would at some point once again be free and thus reflected the principles and values of the American people. Nor did the American non-recognition policy prevent Washington from cooperating with Moscow on other issues. Indeed, this policy remained in place even as relations between the US and the USSR warmed and cooled, and official expression of this policy waxed and waned along with that. There is no question that US non-recognition policy played a key role in the recovery of the de facto independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in 1991. But the policy by itself was neither the magic bullet that achieved that on its own or a serious constraint on what Washington wanted to do with Moscow. That track record in fact raises two important questions that many may not want to ask: On the one hand, other than maps and investments, what can the US actually do to give content to a non-recognition policy given that Crimea, unlike Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, is not a state on its own? The last year has not provided an answer. And on the other, could a US non-recognition policy, however important as a restatement of American principles, be at some point used as a justification for softening or even eliminating the sanctions regime against Moscow over Crimea that the US and other Western governments have pledged to maintain until Moscow withdraws? That is unlikely, but even the risk is an important sign that as welcome as this move is for all those who care about Crimea, Ukraine and international law, it is not a panacea. The struggle must continue. One can only hope that once adopted, such an American law will inspire those committed to this fight to remain so. One year after the promulgation of the Crimean Declaration, US policy regarding Russia’s forcible annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula is both tougher than its Baltic predecessor given the sanctions regime and weaker because it lacks many of the specific features that made the maintenance of that policy for 50 years possible. That is something the Crimean Tatars understand all too well – see Eskender Bariiev’s analysis at It is something everyone else concerned needs to keep in mind as well.

Czaputowicz: Normandy format doesn’t have desired effect

The Normandy format of talks on the settlement of the situation in Donbas does not have the desired effect and needs to be expanded, possibly by involving the United States and the United Kingdom. — Ukrinform.

Naftogaz has Plan B for Russian gas transit – Kobolyev

NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine has Plan B if negotiations with Russia’s Gazprom on natural gas transit are unsuccessful, Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolev has said in an interview with the KRYM channel. — Ukrinform.

Gerus: Ukraine getting ready for worst-case ‘gas scenario’

Ukraine plans to fill the gas storage facilities to capacity in order to be prepared for the worst-case scenario, namely the cessation of Russian gas transit through the Ukrainian territory. — Ukrinform.


Russian proxies shell Marinka entry-exit checkpoint in Donetsk region

29.07.19 10:11 – Russian proxies shell Marinka entry-exit checkpoint in Donetsk region July 28, the Armed Forces of Ukraine adhered to the sustainable ceasefire in the Joint Forces Operation area in Donbas. View news.

SBU double agent withdrawn from occupied territory

From the temporarily occupied territory of Donetsk region the agent recruited by the Security Service of Ukraine, who worked in the ranks of the “DPR” in the so-called military prosecutor’s office, was withdrawn This is stated in the Facts of the week program material Double agent Sergey Lukyanenko has already given important testimony about the Ukrainian hostages and the presence of Russian troops in the temporarily occupied territory of Donbass. As it is specified, his cooperation with the special service began a few months before fleeing from the occupied territory, where he worked as a convoy and was repeatedly questioned by Ukrainian citizens who became hostages of the occupation administration. Among the information provided by Lukyanenko was evidence of the involvement of personnel of the Russian military in aggression against Ukraine, in particular, the “internal security department”, under the jurisdiction of which the “DNR military prosecutor’s office where he worked” was headed by Russian Dmitry Shchedrinov. In 2014, Shchedrin directed the seizure of the Donetsk prosecutor’s office building. Russians Shchedrinov Dmitry Vasilyevich He was born in 1969, participated in the occupation of Crimea, where in March 2014 he was appointed to the position of “Deputy Reconnaissance” of the 1st Consolidated Regiment of the People’s Militia of the Republic of Crimea (Russian “of the 1st Consolidated Regiment of the People’s Militia of the Republic of Crimea”) . In May 2014, he arrived in Donbass, where on May 11 he received the position of commander of a reconnaissance company. Since May 23, 2014, he has been in the position of “Head of Special Operations Division of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the DNR”. Participated in hostilities at the Donetsk International Airport on May 26, 2014. Prior to the aggression against Ukraine, he participated in the fighting in Chechnya in 2000 as part of the 106th Airborne Division. After from August 2000 to April 2001 in Kosovo. In addition to information on the heads of the occupation administration, Sergei Lukyanenko confirmed the location of about a dozen Ukrainian prisoners of war who were considered missing. Lukyanenko also provided the investigator with a video of interrogation of cyborg Bohdan Pantyushenko. Bogdan Pantiushenko in the military uniform Bogdan Pantyushenko is the commander of the tank of the 1st separate tank brigade with the “Armor” call. From January 18, 2015, Pantyushenko’s tank, along with others, was supposed to enter the Putilovsky Bridge, secure and secure the passage of sappers. They planned to undermine the bridge where militants were moving from Donetsk to attack our positions in the new airport terminal.

Medvedchuk removed from Donbas settlement process in Minsk – news politics | UNIAN

Roman Bezsmertnyi, Ukraine’s representative in the political working group of the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas settlement believes that the Minsk process was successfully modified. Ukraine’s envoy to the political working group within the TCG has told about modifications of the Minsk process.

Luhansk cogeneration plant runs out of coal, switches to gas – news portal

Luhansk cogeneration plant runs out of coal, switches to gas. There is no access to the plant from the government-controlled territory. Political – news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Residents of Donbas, MPs should be involved in Minsk process – Bezsmertny

The head of the political subgroup at the Trilateral Contact Group on the settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine, Roman Bezsmertny, has said that representatives of the public and people’s deputies should be involved in the Minsk process. — Ukrinform.

Zelensky congratulates Special Operations Forces on professional holiday – news ukraine | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has congratulated the troops of Ukraine Army’s Special Operation Forces on their professional holiday. The president sincerely thanked all SOF servicemen and veterans for dedication to duty and their Homeland.


Pisky is a Donetsk suburb, which is located between the occupied city and the Donetsk airport. Despite the agreed summer truce, the situation nearby remains tense. In Donbas, veterans and volunteers marked the fifth anniversary of the liberation of Pisky. Pisky is a suburb of Donetsk located between the occupied city and the Donetsk airport. The village is still a main flashpoint in the war. In May 2014, after the so-called “referendums” on the sovereignty of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, it had been seized by militants. Ukrainian soldiers reclaimed Pisky two months later — at the end of July.

Serbian national charged in Ukraine with assisting Russians in Crimea occupation in 2014 – news ukraine | UNIAN

Ukrainian prosecutors have served a Serbian citizen with a suspicion notice, charging him with assistance to the Russians in their actions aimed at the occupation of Crimea in 2014. The man assisted the occupying authorities in establishing control over the strategic objects.

UAWire – Libyan government destroys two Ukrainian cargo planes, pilot killed

One or two Ukrainian Il-76 military transport aircraft have been destroyed in Libya by Government of National Accord (GNA) forces, Al Jazeera reports. Government aircraft attacked the Al-Jufra Airbase belonging to Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army. According to the GNA, a munitions depot and multiple aircraft belonging to Alfa Air were destroyed in the missile attack. Other sources report that the aircraft in question was an An-124 belonging to Libyan Arab Air Cargo or the Kyiv-based air cargo company Europa Air. The Ukrainian news agency RIA Melitopol reported that a contract pilot from the Ukrainian city of Melitopol was killed in the attack.


Vilkha-M MLR system tested in Odesa region – Land Forces – news ukraine | UNIAN

Ukraine has tested the Vilkha-M (“Alder”) multiple launch rocket system, a high precision upgrade of the Vilkha complex. The launches were carried out by the 107th Rocket Artillery Brigade.

Foreign interest in Ukraine’s Oplot main battle tanks given advantages over Russian models – news economics | UNIAN

Former CEO of Kharkiv-based Malyshev Plant Oleksandr Khlan has said the Ukrainian Oplot tanks have several advantages over the Russian models, while many foreign armies are interested in the Ukrainian MBT. The expert says it is necessary for own armed forces to also use Oplots.

NSDC secretary comments on defense reform prospects – news politics | UNIAN

Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, Oleksandr Danyliuk, said that the Ministry of Defense should deal exclusively with policy-making. The official is concerned over management quality.


Melinda Haring | His Star Is on the Rise | Atlantic Council

Two months after political novice Volodymyr Zelenskyy was elected president of Ukraine, we still do not know what to expect. His early appointments and decisions are a mix of good and bad. Critics point to the appointment of Andriy Bohdan as chief of staff. Bohdan of course was Ihor Kolomoisky’s lawyer and worked for disgraced former President Victor Yanukovych. Boosters point to outstanding technocrats being named head of customs and chairman of the supervisory board of the state-owned defense company, and a solid name being floated for prosecutor general. Another positive name that I have been hearing is 35-year-old Oleksiy Honcharuk, the deputy head of the presidential administration. “His star is on the rise,” former minister of economic development Aivaras Abromavicius told me in June. “Watch him.” Now, Honcharuk may be the next prime minister of Ukraine. Zelenskyy said he wants an economist and a technocrat as prime minister, and five highly qualified names were floated. Three days ago, an advisor to the president swatted them away and said that more names were being considered. On July 26, the head of the Servant of the People party confirmed that Honcharuk is being seriously considered. I have only met Honcharuk once, and first impressions are like first dates—memorable but unreliable snapshots—so I called half a dozen colleagues and former colleagues to form a bigger picture of the young lawyer. The same words come up again and again: Honcharuk is hard working, energetic, efficient, and ambitious. Andrii Osadchuk, an attorney and deputy with the Holos party who worked with Honcharuk before the 2019 elections said that Honcharuk is a good generalist who listens and learns quickly. “He’s really reform oriented. He’s really trying to do his best,” Osadchuk said. Max Nefyodov, the head of customs, worked with him for three years while Honcharuk was the head of the Better Regulation Delivery Office. “His impact was great. He’s a good person,” Nefyodov said. Others worry that Zelenskyy may choose him because Honcharuk has a “yes-man mentality” and can easily be controlled. “The key characteristic [of a prime minister] is to say no and he doesn’t know how to do that,” a colleague who spoke on the condition of anonymity said. Another source said that choosing Honcharuk would signal that the presidential administration values loyalty over independence and expertise. It’s also true that Honcharuk has never supervised a large team and that his legal experience is limited. He never practiced at an international law firm. I asked long-time Ukraine watcher Adrian Karatnycky what the choice of Honcharuk would mean. He praised Honcharuk as a “respected voice for liberal values, economic discipline, and regulation,” but noted that he lacks political and managerial experience. If Honcharuk is chosen, “…it will mean that all three institutions of governance, the presidency, the parliament, and the government will be led by neophytes with little or no political and administrative experience.” Whatever the president decides, the choice of prime minister matters a great deal and will be scrutinized in Kyiv and beyond. Stay tuned. Melinda Haring is the editor of the UkraineAlert blog at the Atlantic Council and a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. She tweets @melindaharing.

Servant of the People Party names possible candidates for parliament speaker, his deputy – news politics | UNIAN

Dmytro Razumkov, the leader of the Servant of the People Party, is most likely to become speaker of the newly elected parliament in Ukraine. The pro-presidential party’s team also confirmed that two candidates were being considered for the post of the Servant of the People Party’s parliamentary faction.

“Government must be compact”: Danyliuk stands for cutting number of ministries – news politics | UNIAN

Oleksandr Danyliuk, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, to enhance the Cabinet’s effectiveness, it is necessary to reduce the number of ministers. Some 12-13 ministers “will be enough”.

President’s representative: Talks with IMF to resume no earlier than mid-September

The talks with the representatives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be held no earlier than mid-September. — Ukrinform.

Propresidential party to consider Istanbul Convention – member – news portal

Propresidential party to consider Istanbul Convention – member. The previous parliament could not agree on such terms as gender and sexual orientation. Political – news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

SWAT incident: Police chief sacked – news ukraine | UNIAN

Vitaly Hlukhoveria was relieved of the post of chief of police in Dnepropetrovsk region amid a probe into the abuse of power following the release of bodycam footage shot by a patrol police officer showing a SWAT team detain him shortly after he stopped the police chief’s driver for a traffic violation. Artem Vasitsky has been appointed acting head of the police in Dnipropetrovsk region.

Dnipropetrovsk region police chief Hlukhoveria dismissed

29.07.19 15:15 – Dnipropetrovsk region police chief Hlukhoveria dismissed The head of National Police of Ukraine Serhiy Knyazev has fired the Chief of Police Department of Dnipropetrovsk region Vitaly Hlukhoveria. View news.

Former Deputy Chief Of Presidential Office In Ukraine Questioned Over Maidan Killings

Andriy Portnov, a former deputy head in the administration of ex-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, has been questioned as a witness by the Prosecutor-General’s Office involving obstruction of …

Russian national charged for offering bribe to Odesa border guards – news ukraine | UNIAN

A Russian citizen has been served with a suspicion notice after offering a US$1,500 bribe to border guards. The man attempted to “buy” his friend’s crossing of the Ukrainian border.

Over 3 million Ukrainians working abroad – Government – news ukraine | UNIAN

The number of Ukrainians who are permanently employed abroad stands at 3.2 million, which takes up an 18% share of the country’s total economically active population. However, the outflow of labor abroad contributed to the reduction of unemployment in Ukraine.


Over 500 parishes join Orthodox Church of Ukraine – Epiphanius

Over 500 parishes of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate have joined the Orthodox Church of Ukraine over more than half a year since its creation, Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epiphanius has said. — Ukrinform.

Church of Greece de facto recognizes Orthodox Church of Ukraine, – Epifaniy

The Orthodox Church of Ukraine is de facto recognized by the Church of Greece, a part of the wider Greek Orthodox Church. Epifaniy, the head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine said this after the religious procession in Kyiv, which was timed to the anniversary of the baptization of Kyiv Rus. “Representatives of the Church of Greece were already present at the divine liturgy (timed to the 1031st anniversary of the baptization of Kyiv Rus, – 112 International). Besides, our archpriest served with the members of the Church of Greece in Thessaloniki; it confirmed that de facto, the Church of Greece recognized the autonomy of our Orthodox Church of Ukraine”, Epifaniy said. Representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate joined the celebration. In January 2019, Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine did not recognize the Orthodox Church of Ukraine; it passed the issue for further consideration by the Council of the Hierarchy. Epifaniy was elected the Father Superior of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in December 2015. January 6, he received Tomos on the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, presented by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I.

1031st anniversary of the Christianization of Kyivan Rus. VIDEO&PHOTOS

29.07.19 14:21 – 1031st anniversary of the Christianization of Kyivan Rus. VIDEO&PHOTOS Ukraine marked the 1031st anniversary of the baptism of Kyivan Rus this weekend. Tens of thousands of Orthodox Christians took part in religious processions through downtown Kyiv. View news.


Amid Moscow Violence, Italian Priest Offered ‘Love To Everyone’

An Italian priest gave sanctuary in a Moscow church to protesters fleeing from riot police amid some of the worst police brutality the Russian capital has seen in years. Later, he allowed policemen to come in for water because, he says, the Orthodox Church must offer “love to everyone.”

UOC-MP Synod creates commission on prisoner exchange issues

The Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) has created a commission on issues involving the exchange and release of prisoners.

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