Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (244)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

My apologies for the mixup on the previous ‘244’.  I deleted the ‘fake’ 244. 

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Vale INF – Muscovy gets what it wants, freedom to threaten everybody with GLCMs and IRBMs. Ryabkov already threatening deployments close to the US.

More on Russian aerial and naval provocations. Nordstream 2 and Turkstream – maybe the Nordstream 2 bill should be amended to include the latter.

POTUS signs EO to sanction Russia over Skripal attack in the UK.

Much on Russia’s escalating protests and civil disobedience. Good analyses by Shelin, Shevtsova, Stolyarov, Mukhametshina and Prokhanov. Whether the unrest can be contained, and whether it spreads to regional centres, remains to be seen. We can reasonably expect to see the regime escalate the violence further in turn accelerating the self-inflicted schism between the regime and population. Given the extent to which the regime has deliberately destabilised the country since 2014, and psychologically traumatised the population with incessant toxic propaganda, it is unclear whether this unrest will subside eventually, simmer or expand. Earlier assessments by Russian analysts that this is a pivot point, where the public loses confidence in the regime, may indeed be correct.

Ukraine IR and Black Sea / Crimea updates.

Donbas update. InformNapalm volunteer group claims the JFO is under-reporting Russian attacks to create the illusion that Russia is behaving better than it really is. SBS in difficulty due to funds starvation, now being blamed on previous administration. PSU is flying many more FENCER bomber and recon training sorties than in previous months. Defense industry update – impounded Russian owned SA-3 GOA SAMs transferred to PSU warstock.

Politics update – a scathing critique of Ze’s Russia policy by the very adept Kirillova in the US – she is not cutting Ze any slack.


UAWire – Kremlin threatens to deploy nuclear missiles near the US

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov assumed possibility that Russia can deploy missiles banned by the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) closer to the United States. In this way, reports Interfax news agency. According to Ryabkov, the critical point in the decision will be the flight time of the missiles. He added that this decision is “speculative-abstract.” The representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry referred to the Caribbean crisis, but noted that the analogy is not geographical, “and it’s not referring to any specific coordinates on the globe.” “But still, I hope that the harsh reality of the future will bring these people [ the US authorities] to an understanding. In my opinion, they think that they are playing games with European and global security,” said Ryabkov while answering the question about the Russia’s actions if the US uses the ground-based missiles prohibited by the Treaty in Europe. The United States will withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) on Friday, August 2. The reason for the withdrawal from the agreement for the American side was the development of a 9M729 cruise missile by Russia. The US believes that the range of its flight exceeds the permitted range of the Treaty. Moscow denies it. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow is also withdrawing from the INF Treaty in response to the actions of the United States. Later, US President Donald Trump said that Washington will conclude a new deal with Moscow in the field of arms control.

Fears Of New Arms Race As U.S., Russia Let Historic INF Treaty Lapse

A landmark nuclear agreement that eliminated an entire class of land-based missiles is set to lapse on August 2 as both the United States and Russia officially withdraw from the 31-year-old deal.

US pulls out of Reagan-era arms treaty, saying Russia ‘made no efforts’ to comply | Fox News

A historic arms control treated signed between President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev three decades was scrapped after President Trump decided to withdraw on Friday.

INF nuclear treaty: US ends Cold-War pact with Russia – CNNPolitics

The United States announced Friday it has formally withdrawn from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Moscow, putting an end to a landmark arms control pact that has limited the development of ground-based missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.

INF nuclear treaty: US pulls out of Cold War-era pact with Russia – BBC News

The US withdrawal from a Cold War intermediate nuclear missile pact raises fears of a new arms race.

US withdraws from nuclear treaty with Russia | World | The Times

A key missile treaty agreed in the twilight of the Cold War has been declared dead by Russia and the US, raising fears of a new arms race between the nuclear powers.Washington and Moscow today announced the formal end of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, signed by Mikhail Gorbachev

The Guardian view on arms control treaties: how we started worrying again | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian

Editorial: The end of the INF nuclear treaty is a bad step that could be followed by a worse one

U.S. pulls out of Cold War-era nuclear pact with Russia – news world | UNIAN

The U.S. is set to formally withdraw from a nuclear treaty with Russia, raising fears of a new arms race. Earlier this year the U.S. and NATO accused Russia of violating the pact by deploying a new type of cruise missile, which Moscow has denied.

A Russian-American Missile Treaty Dies. That May Be Bad News For China

August 2 is the official date for Washington’s withdrawal from the 1987 INF Treaty. The demise of the treaty could end up being problematic for one country that never was party to the it: China.

What the demise of the INF Treaty can teach global leaders – The Washington Post

Arms negotiation has always been about political will.

Pentagon to test new missile as US pulls out of nuclear treaty – CNNPolitics

The US military is set to test a new non-nuclear mobile-launched cruise missile developed specifically to challenge Russia in Europe, according to a senior US defense official.

 

Latvia Armed Forces on Twitter: “08/01 patrol aircraft over the Baltic Sea neut. waters at LV terit. sea border identif. Russian BS lidm.2 x Su-24” / Twitter

UAWire – Two Russian bombers spotted near Latvian border

The fighters of the NATO air policing mission detected two Russian bombers near the Latvian border, reads the message of the Latvian National Armed Forces on Twitter. NATO’s fighters confirmed that these were Su-24 fighter jets. “On August 1, air policing aircraft identified two Russian Su-24 fighter jets over the Baltic Sea near the territorial waters of Latvia,” reads the message. Russian bomber was also seen over the Sea of Japan at the end of July. It violated the Japanese airspace twice. In this regard, on July 23, the Japanese authorities filed an appeal to Moscow because of the violation of their airspace.

Two Russian bombers detected near Latvian border

NATO air patrol mission fighters spotted two Russian bombers off the coast of Latvia. The press office of the Latvian military reported that on Twitter on August 1. The incident occurred on Thursday; two Su-24s approached the country’s state border over the Baltic Sea. Earlier, Russian military aircraft violated South Korea’s airspace above the East Sea twice on July 23, prompting the Air Force to scramble fighter jets and fire warning shots. According to the South Korean news agency, the Russian bomber trespassed in the territorial sky above the East Sea near South Korea’s easternmost islets of Dokdo earlier in the day in a three-minute flight twice each in breach of international treaties.

UAWire – Russian warships and submarines spotted off Estonian coast

53-year-old Finn Jari Muukkonen, who sailed from Tallinn to Helsinki, spotted off five warships and a submarine in the Gulf of Finland near Estonian territorial waters, reports Elu24 news outlet. The man said that the ships belong to Russia, and he also made photos of them. “When our ship approached them, it became clear that these are warships,” Muukkonen explained and added that he could not see the distinctive signs of the ships, but he is sure that most of them are Russian, and others belong to Estonia. According to the man, he also saw a submarine, which is a direct indication of the Russians. “The Russians are those who invade the territorial waters of other countries,” added Finn, who often makes trips from Finland to Estonia and back because of his work.

Putin and Xi’s Buddy Act Could Blow Up East Asia – Foreign Policy

A tense aerial standoff is the latest sign of growing Chinese-Russian military ties.

UAWire – Head of OMV: Nord Stream 2 launch depends on Denmark

The first gas to be transported through the Nord Stream 2 pipeline should arrive at midnight on 31 December 2019, said Rainer Seele, CEO of the Austrian company OMV in a press conference, a video of which was published by the company on Twitter. “We expect that the first gas will come through this pipeline by the end of the year – before midnight on 31 December. And we have not given up on this plan. But one thing is also clear: the commissioning of this pipeline depends very highly on when Denmark issues the final authorization,” Seele explained. According to the CEO, 70% of the pipeline has already been laid along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, and there have not yet been any delays in construction. Last weekend the Financial Times said that August would be a “critical month” for the construction of Nord Stream 2. Citing anonymous sources, the newspaper wrote that if in the next three or four weeks Denmark does not give consent for the pipeline to pass through its territorial waters, it will not be possible to complete the pipeline before the end of the year. Copenhagen is currently considering applications for three different routes. On 1 January, Gazprom’s contract to transit Russian gas to Europe through Ukraine will expire, and no new contract has been signed. If Nord Stream 2 is completed on time, it will coincide with the end of Gazprom’s current contract with Ukraine. Nord Stream 2 comprises of two pipelines that will span from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany alongside the existing Nord Stream pipeline. The pipe is being laid by Gazprom’s subsidiary Nord Stream AG. The Austrian company OMV is one of the primary investors in the pipeline’s construction. If completed, the pipe will have a total length of more than 1,200 km and cost an estimated 9.5 billion euros.

TurkStream: Russian Trojan Horse to Europe – KAFKASSAM – Kafkasya Stratejik Araştırmalar Merkezi

Gazprom, Russian state-owned natural gas company has long maintained efforts to protect its share on the European and Turkish natural gas market. Along with Nord Stream 2 project, Gazprom’s TurkStream pipeline could strengthen Russia’s influence in the European energy market, as well as could cement Turkey’s status as a lead recipient of Russian gas, at a time of relatively strong Turkish-Russian relations. Unlike the case of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Gazprom has not encountered any major obstacles while constructing TurkStream. In 2018, Russia had supplied approximately 40% of the EU natural gas import and about 53% of Turkey’s. Turkey is the second biggest market for the Russian gas after Germany. However, some Western experts believe that excess gas capacity can be used as a geopolitical lever in dependent countries. Turkey’s business circles has welcomed the positive atmosphere of the meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump held on June 28 in Osaka on the sidelines of G20 summit. Trump gave a clear sign that his administration will not seek the path of any sanctions against Turkey. Tensions between the U.S. and Turkey have escalated in recent months over the contradictions between the course of Turkey to win the status of regional leader and the opinion of Washington on this issue, as well as over the Russian S-400 air defense systems purchase, which Washington said will jeopardize Turkey’s role in the F-35 fighter jet program and could trigger sanctions. Trump added, they have been working on a roadmap for a while which will be presented to both presidents during Trump’s Turkey visit in July. During the meeting of two presidents another main issue remained disregarded – realization of the TurkStream pipeline, a Russian-led export gas pipeline stretching from Russia to Turkey across the Black Sea with capacity of 31.5 bcm of gas per year from which 15.75 bcm through the first string is intended for the Turkish consumers and another 15.75 bcm – for Southern and Southeastern Europe.

TurkStream Russian “Trojan Horse” to Europe: media – news world | UNIAN

Along with Nord Stream 2 project, Gazprom’s TurkStream pipeline could strengthen Russia’s influence in the European energy market, as well as could cement Turkey’s status as a lead recipient of Russian gas, at a time of relatively strong Turkish-Russian relations. Unlike the case of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Gazprom has not encountered any major obstacles while constructing TurkStream. In 2018, Russia had supplied approximately 40% of the EU natural gas import and about 53% of Turkey’s. Turkey is the second biggest market for the Russian gas after Germany, according to an oped published by Kafkassam, a center for strategic studies in Turkey. However, some Western experts believe that excess gas capacity can be used as a geopolitical lever in dependent countries. Until recently, Donald Trump Administration in the U.S. and some congressmen positioned themselves to be opponents of the Russian pipelines, trying to limit Russian gas dominance in Europe. The latest Trump-Erdogan meeting showed that Trump chose to leave some space for maneuvre. It remains an open question whether Trump will impose sanctions over the TurkStream pipeline.

 

Trump To Impose Fresh Sanctions On Russia Over Skripal Poisoning

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on August 1 that indicates he is imposing a fresh round of sanctions on Russia for its involvement in the March 2018 nerve agent attack on Serg…

Trump Adds to Sanctions on Russia Over Skripals – The New York Times

It is the second round of sanctions by the United States in response to a botched attempt in March 2018 to fatally poison a former military intelligence officer.

Trump imposes new sanctions on Russia over chemical weapons use | TheHill

President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday imposing a second round of sanctions on Russia over the Kremlin’s involvement in the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter living in Britain.

Trump to sanction Russia over chemical weapons use – POLITICO

Trump has been loath to antagonize Russian president Vladimir Putin, but was moved to action by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

 

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Foundations of Putin Regime Crumbling ‘One after Another,’ Shelin Says

Paul Goble Staunton, July 30 – The foundations of the Putin Regime – managed democracy, effective propaganda, foreign policy successes, and fear in the population of repression – are crumbling “one after another,” Sergey Shelin says, leaving only two props in place: the personalist dictatorship backed by force and the apathy of the masses afraid of any change. The regime thinks it can compensate by increasing repression, the Rosbalt commentator continues. That may be true but only if it increases it by an enormous amount given that for an increasing number of people, especially among the young, being subject to repressive actions by the authorities has become a way of proving oneself (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2019/07/30/1794795.html). Moreover, the Kremlin can’t increase by much money going to the population as a result of stagnation without redirecting it away from those who are its primary supporters, the wealthy industrialists and officials Putin has counted on to back him because he is making them rich and protecting their ill-gotten gains from attack. And Putin has discovered that there can be only one Crimea. “Organizing it in the Belarusian case, for example, is complicated and by many signs does not promise any special popular delight.” Moreover, smaller dustups with the neighbors as for example with Georgia are viewed as intentional distractions from Russia’s domestic problems rather than a source of pride. As a result, Shelin says, “the reserve of suitable positive signals for the people has run out, not only objectively but subjectively.” The Kremlin simply has nothing to say to the people, and the people can see that that is the case. What remains is only “the inertia of personal power and the apathy of the masses,” but “almost no one considers our regime just.” As polls show, Putin is increasingly disliked and distrusted. His only salvation is that up to now, those around him are even more disliked and distrusted, a situation that may continue for some time but not forever. That is something both Putin and the people now understand, and it will define developments in the coming weeks and months.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: No One Can Maintain Any Longer Cooperating with Kremlin Benefits Russia, Shevtsova Says

Paul Goble Staunton, July 30 – Until the suppression of the protest in Moscow last weekend, Liliya Shevtsova says, many opposed to the policies of the Putin regime believed that “’we can do more good if we are inside’” the charmed circle of the power vertical than if we remain outside. Now such faith is becoming impossible for all but the most slavish servants of the Kremlin. Until last weekend, the Kremlin’s efforts at creating a system which imitated legality were successful in convincing many that they could work with the regime, pushing it toward something better by means of small steps, steps that required they remain inside the regime rather than its unqualified opponents (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5D3EEB694625E). But the use of force in the name of destroying the law and the electoral system means that such a position is insupportable. Many who had accepted that idea earlier are clearly in shock and struggling to find some way to justify themselves and thus continue to feed at the regime’s trough at the expense of the population. “It is of course possible to affirm that in the violence of July 27 ‘both sides’ are guilty, that one must follow ‘the law,’ and that in the beatings of peaceful citizens are guilty the Navalny supporters who provoked the siloviki. But it is clear that these arguments mean that those who make them have passed over into the category of the open apologists.” Some nominal opponents of the regime may be willing to do so, Shevtsova says; but most will not because now “’to be inside’ is a black mark” on their reputations. All those who continue to take part in the simulacra of a legal state will show themselves to have become apologists of the regime rather than defenders of the people and the Constitution. The mascaraed “has ended,” the Russian commentator says. There is no room left either for “more post-modernism” or for “a change of masks.” And the regime isn’t going to allow for that either: it could recover its standing only by retreating, and it can’t retreat from its use of force or it will lose power. It remembers all too well what happened to Gorbachev. It will take some courage for those who have been willing to be part of the charade to walk away. Those who do will be welcomed by the Russian people; those who don’t will be remembered precisely for their failure to do so in the new reality of post-July 27 Russia.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: New Civic ‘Activism without Leaders’ Challenges Putin Regime’s Ability to Cope, Stolyarov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, July 30 – Since at least the time of Lenin, Russian leaders have operated on the assumption that no significant civic action is possible without the presence of leaders and that such activism by the population can be stopped by arresting, killing or otherwise isolating those key figures. On the one hand, this reflects the contempt for the population that guides the current Russian regime in particular, a contempt that holds that the people are incapable of any serious action unless they are led by someone either on the scene or abroad, be it a Boris Nemtsov or the US State Department. But on the other, it is important as a guide to the Russian government’s actions. Throughout the entire period of Putin’s rule, the Kremlin has sought to deal with popular anger by decapitating any social movement or isolating the population from those who might provide such leadership. But now the regime is confronted by something new, Rosbalt commentator Andrey Stolyarov says, civic activism without leaders that has nonetheless worked out “a culture of peaceful protest” and against which the authorities find it very hard to struggle (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2019/07/29/1794564.html). After 2011, Stolyarov continues, the authorities made it clear that they would allow and might even respond to the demands of social protesters but that they would crackdown hard on any political demands. That position had served the regime well until recently when those who took part in any protests social or political gained experience and the nature of the protests changed. As Russians participated in protests even on the most anodyne subjects, they acquired a new culture and have become less fearful of the police and less needful of leaders. Instead, using social media, they have come together on their own, something the authorities had not counted on given they assumed that they could instill fear at low cost and decapitate political protests. This is a recapitulation of what happened 30 years ago in Eastern Europe, when the powers that be discovered that the “surgical” use of force or removal of leaders was insufficient to stop the growth of protests, ultimately forcing the powers to choose between increased repression or concessions. Now it is Russia’s turn to experience this, Stolyarov says. The country has something of “a popular militia,” one that isn’t yet at least involved in “direct revolutionary action, an uprising or street battles, but all the same is exerting growing civic pressure on the decaying powers that be,” powers that are confronted by a choice they had sought to avoid and don’t want to make.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘Is a Russian Tiananmen Possible?’ Prokhanov Asks

Paul Goble Staunton, July 30 – Sometimes to ask a question is to answer it. That appears to be the case with Aleksandr Prokhanov, the Russian imperialist writer, who like many believes the Soviet Union could have been saved by a Tiananmen-style crackdown and who now thinks that the Russian regime faces a similar threat to its existence and should respond as Beijing did. The editor of Zavtra asks in the wake of the crackdown of July 27 and in advance of plans for a massive protest on August 4 whether “a Russian Tiananmen” is possible. He suggests the threats the Russian state faces now are a repetition of the first color revolution that destroyed the USSR and that the regime must respond harshly (zavtra.ru/blogs/vspomnim_tyan_an_men). According to Prokhanov, last Saturday, “the liberals attacked the powers.” They didn’t want a protest, he continues; they wanted a clash with the police. And they got one, thus giving them and not the authorities “a victory” on which they hope to build just as they did at the end of Soviet times. “August is approaching,” he writes, when people will remember what happened in 1991, when “the first color revolution” brought down the Soviet Union because of the cleverness of the opposition and the weakness and indecisiveness of the powers that were. Tragically, Prokhanov suggests, the entire scenario is repeating itself. “Then and now the well being of people is rapidly getting worse and protests of the toilers are beginning. Then and now, technogenic catastrophes are weighing down public consciousness with a sense of no exit. Then it was Chernobyl. Now, it is the catastrophe of SuperJet, flooding in Irkutsk oblast.” And then and now, the power elite has assisted in the destruction of the state,” the writer continues. The power structures then and again now have shown themselves to have been seriously weakened or even “paralyzed” to the point of doing nothing, thus leaving the field open to their opponents. In this situation which could have even more fateful consequences for Russia than did the one in 1991, Prokhanov concludes, one is compelled to ask “is a Russian Tiananmen possible?” Can the regime use the resources it has to crush its opponents rather than allowing them to defeat Russia? Prokhanov’s question has been picked up by various nationalist sites – see for example ruskline.ru/news_rl/2019/07/30/vozmozhen_li_russkij_tyananmen/— and other commentators are suggesting that the Kremlin’s repressive actions last Saturday are a signal to other members of the elite that moves to crush the opposition may soon be taken (ura.news/articles/1036278568 and svpressa.ru/politic/article/239489/). And in what could be a signal that this Saturday’s planned protest may be the occasion for “a Russian Tiananmen,” the Moscow police have warned people to stay away lest there be violence, precisely the kind of media preparation one might expect if the Kremlin has indeed decided on a Beijing-style move (politikus.ru/v-rossii/121392-policiya-predupredila-3-avgusta-buyanit-v-moskve-ne-dadut.html).

The number of Russians ready to protest in Moscow keeps rising — Meduza

Moscow city officials refuse to issue permit for Saturday’s picketing along Boulevard Ring — Meduza

The Moscow Central Administrative District’s Prefecture has refused to permit picketing on Saturday, August 3, along the Boulevard Ring, rejecting a petition from several municipal deputies. Officials told the news agency Interfax that the permit applicants violated the city’s statutory deadlines for submitting notifications to the city.

Moscow City Hall says it has issued a permit for 100,000 people to protest on August 10; protest organizers say otherwise — Meduza

Moscow City Hall representatives told the state-owned wire service Interfax that they have granted a permit for up to 100,000 people to protest on Moscow’s Sakharov Prospect on August 10. Regional security official Vasily Oleynik claimed that the details of the event had been negotiated with “a group of citizens and with Elena Rusakova, one of the [protest’s] organizers.” Rusakova, who serves as a municipal deputy and whose application to run for the Moscow City Duma was denied, wrote that Oleynik was not telling the truth. Rusakova said she “did not receive any documents” regarding a permit for an August 10 protest and had instead visited City Hall to attempt to negotiate a permit for August 3 (without permits, Russian protesters are vulnerable to violent mass arrests). Noting that she was “not entirely satisfied” with the results of the conversation, Rusakova insisted that “there can be no discussion of August 10 without a guarantee of safety for [protesters on] August 3.” She subsequently called City Hall’s announcement “a naïve attempt to play at political strategy.”

Russian police are reportedly planning felony charges against top anti-corruption activists — Meduza

Russia’s Investigative Committee is preparing to charge top executives at the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) with money laundering and tax evasion, according to a new report by the website Proekt, which cites a source in law enforcement and internal police case files. Journalists say the authorities have examined the bank accounts of Leonid Volkov, Alexey Navalny, former FBK director Roman Rubanov, Ruslan Shaveddinov, and other staff at the foundation.

Navalny Demands Official Probe Into Possible ‘Poisoning’ In Russian Custody

Jailed opposition leader Aleksei Navalny has filed an official complaint with Russia’s main investigative authority in connection with an unexplained physical reaction that required his hospitaliza…

Leading opposition activist Alexey Navalny requests investigation, saying skin injuries were caused by chemical attack in Moscow jail — Meduza

Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny has submitted a request to the country’s Investigative Committee saying that he was poisoned while serving a 30-day jail sentence for administrative violations. On July 28, Navalny was transported from his jail cell to a hospital due to what law enforcement officials initially called “an acute allergic reaction.” Doctors who had previously treated Navalny for injuries related to his activism said they struggled to gain access to their former patient but suspected at first glance that he may have been exposed to an unknown chemical substance. The physicians said Navalny was suffering from itching, lesions, and eye discharge but had no known allergies.

Four Russian Activists Sent To Pretrial Detention Over Moscow Rally

A court in Moscow has sent four activists to pretrial detention for taking part in an unsanctioned rally.

Jailed Chief Of Navalny’s Anticorruption Foundation Begins Hunger Strike

Ivan Zhdanov, the jailed chief of Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, has gone on a hunger strike.

Navalny’s Group Says Family Of Moscow Deputy Mayor Owns $102-Million Property

Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s anti-corruption watchdog has revealed that the family of one of Moscow’s deputy mayors owns property worth 6.5 billion rubles ($102.3 million).

Opposition activists find that vice mayor in charge of Moscow elections had public property sold for cheap so her family could make millions — Meduza

Moscow Vice Mayor Natalya Sergunina made her family billions of rubles by allowing public property to be sold to companies controlled by her relatives, a new investigation has found. The investigation was produced by the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), an organization led by opposition politician Alexey Navalny.

Journalists say patterns in candidates’ financial records suggest Moscow’s City Duma elections have been fixed — Meduza

Journalists at the newspaper Novaya Gazeta have discovered patterns in several Moscow City Duma candidates’ financial statements that only make sense if they were prepared by the same people. A new investigative report looks at paperwork submitted by 282 of the 290 candidates registered for September’s elections. (The documents were published on the City Election Commission’s website.)

Musicians Balk At Performing At Moscow Festival Set To Coincide With Opposition Rally

Several popular Russian musicians say they will not perform at a free concert and food festival in Moscow scheduled this weekend by the city’s mayor and set to coincide with a rally planned by op…

Moscow Authorities Deny Soccer Match Postponed Over Planned Rally

Moscow authorities have rejected allegations that a soccer match scheduled for later this week will be postponed due to a protest rally planned in the Russian capital on the same day.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin’s Remaining Authority Based on Inertia, Sociologists Say

Paul Goble Staunton, July 30 – Thirty-eight percent of Russians say they do not want Vladimir Putin to remain in power after his current term ends, eleven percent more than a year ago, but not a record: In October 2012 and October 2013, the shares against his continuing in office were 40 and 45 percent respectively, the Levada Center says. In reporting this, Vedomosti journalist Elena Mukhametshina cites Levada center director Lev Gudkov who argues that Putin retains what support he has because people cannot imagine anyone else in the office. His authority is thus “to a large degree the result of inertia rather than new achievements” (vedomosti.ru/politics/articles/2019/07/30/807570-pochti-rossiyan). Gudkov says, however, that there is another development the new polls show that is worrisome for the authorities: the share of Russians who find it difficult to answer questions about support for Putin is growing smaller, an indication of polarization and of the increase in the number of Russians who are dissatisfied with Putin and the current situation. “We are approach the situation of 2011-2013,” Gudkov continues, “when there was a peak of anti-Putin attitudes. But now the social base of dissatisfaction is much broader: it includes not just ‘the creative class;” poorer groups of the population have allied themselves to it because the current situation has hit them harder.” But up to now, he says, this larger group has not found a leader around which to consolidate its dissatisfaction with the current situation. What is most important, Gudkov argues, is that Putin is no longer viewed “as a leader who defines the process but as a routine figure who isn’t capable of improving the situation.” He will thus continue to enjoy support by inertia as long as the authorities use force to ensure that no opposition figure can emerge. Dmitry Badovsky, the head of the Institute for Social, Economic and Political Research, adds that the share who want to see Putin continue in office has fallen from 60 percent in 2016. People then didn’t see an alternative but hoped that Putin might be able to get the country out of its current difficulties or prevent its slide back to the 1990s. Now, because of the pension fund fiasco and continuing even deepening economic problems, Russians no longer have that confidence in him, Moscow political scientist Nikolay Petrov says. Even in the 2018 elections, Putin could offer “no real achievements besides Crimea” and Russians had little reason to hope. Russians understand full well, he says, that Putin’s rating “exists not in a competitive system but is the rating of someone who isn’t being compared with someone else … But he can’t avoid comparisons with himself of ten years.” They he was viewed positively for what he had done; now he is viewed less so because he hasn’t followed up on that. “Today,” Petrov continues, “Putin’s base of support consists of ‘rationally conservative citizens’ who think about whether they are ready to experiment with a replacement of Putin by someone unknown.” Such people will vote for Putin despite everything until an alternative is on offer, someone the Kremlin leader will do everything to prevent emerging.

Russia To Amend Law In Order To Fine British Media

Russia’s media regulator says it will amend existing legislation in order to impose fines on British and other foreign media organizations working in Russia for breaking impartiality standards in r…

Yekaterinburg’s Mass Burial Site And Shooting Range

A memorial to the victims of the Soviet secret police in Yekaterinburg, Russia, would be a place of quiet reflection if it weren’t for the sound of gunshots from a nearby shooting range. Activists say the planned expansion of the sporting facility will encroach on an unknown number of mass graves.

 

Ukraine’s border policy towards Russian citizens remains unchanged

The policy of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine towards Russian citizens remains unchanged. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine’s border with Russia should be impregnable for enemies, transparent for friends – State Border Service head

02.08.19 12:53 – Ukraine’s border with Russia should be impregnable for enemies, transparent for friends – State Border Service head Head of the State Border Service of Ukraine Serhiy Deineko is in favor of transparency of the Ukrainian border for citizens of the Russian Federation who come from Ukraine and are friendly to the Ukrainian state. View news.

UAWire – Lobbyists in US report on Zelensky’s spending to improve his image

The lobbyist company Signal Group Consulting has published a report on the work that it did for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in …

Naftogaz CEO says gas talks with Russia set for September – LB.ua news portal

Naftogaz CEO says gas talks with Russia set for September. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

UAWire – Russian Transneft pays compensation to Ukraine for contaminated oil

The Russian oil company Transneft paid the Ukrainian oil pipeline company UkrTransNafta a compensation in the amount of €2.3 million for the poor-quality oil supplied through the Druzhba pipeline, reads the statement of the UkrTransNafta on Facebook. Such compensation will cover the company’s lost earnings due to the temporary suspension of transit in April, the company stated. The company specified that the amount of payment is determined under an additional agreement to the current transit agreement with Transneft. At the end of July, Transneft approved the amount of payments for dirty oil in Druzhba pipeline. The company said it is ready to pay oil companies up to $15 per barrel as compensation. In mid-April, the export of oil through the Druzhba pipeline was suspended due to the increased concentration of organochlorine compounds in the oil. Poland, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, and Ukraine suspended the purchase of Russian oil. From May 21, the Ukrainian operator has resumed the transit of Russian oil to Europe, and on July 1, Transneft fully resumed the supply of oil through the Druzhba pipeline.

Thirty-one foreign companies keep gas in Ukrainian underground gas storages facilities

NJSC “Naftogaz of Ukraine” has contracts on gas storage in the underground gas storages facilities with 31 foreign companies. In total, 1.4 billion cubic meters of gas is stored in the Ukrainian storage facilities in the customs warehouse regime. — Ukrinform.

 

A Russian security service representative could have been onboard the NEYMA tanker

The military prosecutor’s office does not exclude the presence of a representative of the Federal Services of Russia on the captured tanker NEYMA, which operated undercover. This was stated in an interview with Radio NV by Chief Military Prosecutor Anatoly Matios It is now known that the tanker crew was recruited several days before the start of the transfer from Kerch to Ishmael. It was not possible to find their place of previous work and check the sailors’ agreement during this time “The team was recruited a few days before. There were Russian citizens, not from Crimea. They issued the books (passport – ed.) Of the sailors shortly before, we do not know their origin and their previous jobs. There was a fairly young contingent. We do not rule out a possible classified representative of the federal services of the Russian Federation, ”the military prosecutor said. According to him, when NEYMA was detained by the Ukrainian side, the ship was sent not by the Russian Federation, but by a new entity that owned the tanker. “The head of the law firm that owned the NEYMA vessel has been installed in Ukraine and has been interrogated by investigators of the Security Service and the Military Prosecutor’s Office. We have received a great deal of evidence that we admit to the evidence that intentional commands – direct commands, confirmed by official radio intercepts that occurred during the attempt of Ukrainian ships to cross the water area of Kerch Bridge – about giving commands by FSB representatives to the owner of this vessel not to be required this tanker under the Kerch Bridge, so that if Ukrainian ships passed the Kerch Bridge, they would rest on this barge, ”said Matios. We will remind, on July 24, the tanker NIKA SPIRIT with the number IMO – 8895528 entered the port of Izmail under the flag of the Russian Federation. Therefore, the ship was detained by Ukrainian law enforcement and arrested by the court for the duration of the investigation and further decision.

ITLOS appoints three arbitrators in Ukraine v. Russia case

President of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Judge Jin-Hyun Paik, has appointed three judges as arbitrators in the arbitration proceedings instituted by Ukraine against the Russian Federation. — Ukrinform.

UAWire – Russia not to appeal seizure of Neyma tanker by Ukrainian court

The Russian government does not intend to appeal the ruling by a Ukrainian court to seize the Russian tanker NEYMA, which was used to obstruct Ukrainian military vessels in the Kerch Strait. However, the Kremlin will monitor the situation closely, said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin in an interview on the Russian radio station Kommersant FM. Moscow’s official stance on the matter is that, since the ship is private property, the onus is on its owner to appeal the seizure. “For us, the most important thing was to have the people released. Our citizens, the sailors, have already been away from home for a long time,” explained Karasin. On 25 July, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) in conjunction with the Military Prosecution Office arrested the Russian tanker NEYMA, which was used to obstruct Ukrainian military vessels in the Kerch Strait in November last year. The tanker had entered the Ukrainian port of Izmail under the new name Nika Spirit. Ukrainian officers searched the ship and confiscated documents, recordings of radio communications during the conflict, and onboard journals. The Ukrainian authorities also questioned the crew and confiscated documents deemed necessary to establish the truth in the case. The SBU later stated that the ship’s crew had not violated any maritime or Ukrainian legislation, and that there was therefore no reason to detain the Russian sailors. On 26 July the sailors were allowed to return home.

 

JFO headquarters hides shelling by enemy, creating illusion of armistice by militants [InforNapalm]

Volunteers of the international community InformNapalm noted the differences in the calculations of shelling by the Russian occupation forces in the Donbass in the reports of the OSCE and the OOC press center. It turned out that the OSCE was recording more shelling by the occupiers than the OOC press center reported. And if the different numbers of shelling in the OSCE and OOS reports can still be explained by different methodology of calculations, then the lack of information about the shelling suggests that the OOC press center is trying to more positively assess the “ceasefire” than international observers. Based on the information collected by InformNapalm, the Journalists of the Texts have produced an infographic, which we also publish today for a visual demonstration of statistics. It should be reminded that on July 17, at a meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk, agreements were reached on a permanent ceasefire and ceasefire from 00:01 on July 21. Volunteers of the InformNapalm international community gathered information about violations committed by military units of the Russian hybrid army in the Donbass from press releases of the Operation Press Center (OOF) and reports of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Ukraine, as well as the situation of the OSCE Ministry of Defense in the area of the Joint Forces Operation in chronological order. While working out the reports, volunteers noted that the OOS press center did not report all the shelling from the enemy. InformNapalm asked the OOS Press Center to comment on the difference in messages, but did not receive any comments. They also received some unofficial comments from an OSCE representative, who noted that the methodology of calculations is different in the OSCE and the OSCE. For example, the CAB counts 1 fire (which can be many gaps) for 1 ceasefire violation, and the OSCE counts each individual incident of weapons use. But that does not explain, for example, why when the CABs reported that everything was quiet in general, the OSCE reports still indicated violations by militants.

Ukraine reports one WIA amid five enemy attacks in Donbas on Aug 1 – news war | UNIAN

Russia’s hybrid military forces on August 1 mounted five attacks on Ukrainian Army positions in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, with one Ukrainian soldier reported as wounded in action (WIA). Since Friday midnight, Russian-led forces haven’t attacked Ukrainian positions yet.

OSCE monitors spot banned heavy weapons amassed by Russia-backed forces in Luhansk region – news war | UNIAN

The OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine in their report said their monitors had recorded a number of heavy weapons, banned by the Minsk Agreements, in the area of Luhansk region controlled by Russian-led forces. Besides, the SMM noted indications of military and military-type presence in the security zone.

OSCE SMM says no casualties since start of “harvest” ceasefire – news war | UNIAN

Monitors of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine has said no civilians have been killed in the Donbas warzone since the latest announcement of the so-called “harvest” ceasefire.” A total of 98 civilians lost their lives amid hostilities from year-start.

Bomb experts find 31 mines near Stanytsya Luhanska bridge – LB.ua news portal

Bomb experts find 31 mines near Stanytsya Luhanska bridge. They have checked 0.13 ha of the area. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Over 30 mines found near destroyed bridge in Stanytsia Luhanska

Mine clearance work will be underway between August 1 and August 10, 2019, in areas close to the destroyed road bridge over the Siverskyi Donets River in Stanytsia Luhanska, the press center of the Joint Forces Operations (JFO) has reported on Facebook. — Ukrinform.

Bomb experts start clearing area around Stanytsya Luhanska bridge – LB.ua news portal

Bomb experts start clearing area around Stanytsya Luhanska bridge. Once it is cleared, it will be possible to repair the bridge. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Over 250 persons gone missing in Donbas over years of hostilities – SBU – news war | UNIAN

As of the end of July, 258 people are considered missing in the Donbas warzone, the press service of the Security Service of Ukraine says. The agency did not elaborate whether there are any minors among those missing.

U.S. military donates medical supplies, hospital furniture to maternity center in Ukraine’s Zhytomyr – news ukraine | UNIAN

The U.S. military has donated medical supplies, hospital furniture, and a generator to a maternity center in the city of Zhytomyr, Ukraine. The donation was made possible through EUCOM’s Excess Property Program.

Donbas war veterans will hold own march in downtown Kyiv on Independence Day – News of Ukraine | UNIAN

Donbas war veterans who participated in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) and the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) to counter Russian aggression in the east of Ukraine will hold their own march in Kyiv’s center on Independence Day, August 24. Zelensky is not supposed to take part in this informal event.

Poroshenko says he spent UAH 2 bln in his own funds on Ukrainian army

Ask the Air Force that I equipped together with my Roshen partners

SBS-funded disaster, border guards freely released, Poroshenko guilty – Sergey Deyneko

Head of the State Border Service Serhiy Deyneko said that the situation with the department’s financial support is complicated, underfunding reaches almost one billion hryvnias. He told this in an interview with BBC News Ukraine . “At present, the accumulated debt for non-payment to the subscribed financial assistance amount to UAH 291.4 million. That is, border guards have not received this assistance since March. This situation has led to increased social tensions. Yesterday I said that no one would under any circumstances receive this assistance – neither in the administration, nor in the regional or border guards. Because there is no money. But the border service department that carries the service directly from the state border is unambiguous. Because to take from these people I will not raise a hand », – Sergey Deyneko noted. Interestingly, he sees the problem, not in the leadership of the service, which has a separate budget, or in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, whose structure includes the service, and that 2019 was an election year and was blamed for underfunding by former President Petro Poroshenko. ” We had two rounds of presidential elections, some politicians were counting on the support of the military. They chose the famous slogan “Army, Language, Faith”. Fifth President Petro Poroshenko has promised the border guards to raise their salaries by 30%, as well as to all other military personnel. Only in other structures was there a better margin of safety, such as the Ministry of Defense. After the decision of Stepan Poltorak (Minister of Defense – Ed.) Twice was rewarded for participation in the CAB. The Armed Forces serviceman receives a monthly surcharge of UAH 17,000 on the collision line. The border guard receives 10,000 UAH. On the second line, a serviceman of the Armed Forces receives 6,500 UAH, a border guard – 4,500. It is worth noting that the amount of remuneration for participation in the CAB for SPSU servicemen is determined by the Order of the Minister of Internal Affairs of March 18, 2016 No. 188. We will remind that in the Armed Forces of Ukraine since January 1, 2019 there has been an increase of money supply of servicemen on average by 30%. Also, the National Guard of Ukraine National Guard increased its money from the new year. «The arrears of remuneration for OOS to the personnel carrying out service in the area of OOS make from March 1 159 million UAH. And this amount is only accumulating, ”said Sergey Deyneko. He expressed respect for the Armed Forces soldiers and other military formations that bear the greatest human losses, but also recalled the 70 border guards who gave their lives for the independence of the state. “In my opinion, it is incorrect to divide the military,” the Head of the State Tax Service of Ukraine emphasized. In the course of the conversation, Sergei Deyneko also said that he bows his head in front of subordinates who serve with congestion but have not run away and continue to guard the border. ” This is a very difficult situation, because I bring to my subordinates the task and position of the President of Ukraine, who sincerely wants change in the country, to fight corruption at all levels, to stop the looting of the state budget, requires us to do everything to destroy smuggling as a phenomenon. Among the most pressing issues today is the provision of fuel and lubricants. Sergei Deyneko has already arrived in Turkey, Latvia, the head of the Lithuanian border department came to Ukraine, and he also saw a colleague from Belarus. ” And I ask them what bothers me the most. When I was in Latvia, I was brought to a section of the Latvian-Russian border. We were in a unit that covers 23 kilometers of the border area. And when I asked how many liters of fuel they spend per month to protect a 23-kilometer section, I got a response that was between 1 300 and 1 500 liters. For comparison, we unfortunately can provide as much as possible for the same unit of 300 liters. It is possible to protect the state border in different ways, but to be honest, it is necessary to either reduce the area four times or give people four times more. Or just my subordinates serve with such an overload that I bow my head before them that they are not running, but guarding the border. “This situation cannot remain the same. I try to solve all these questions in the Office of the President, in the Ministry of Internal Affairs which is the manager of funds », – he noted. It should be reminded that the Ukrainian Military Pages have already written about the catastrophic situation in the border service with the manning of contracted servicemen, who had to increase the number of conscripts in order to fill the shortage at the border. The leadership of the State Tax Service of Ukraine decided to send all contractors to the service for checkpoints and border guarding to be performed by soldiers of the conscript service, but as we reported, it was also not possible to recruit the required number of recruits, although all reported on the implementation of the draft plan for 100%.

German ambassador supports defense reform in Ukraine – NSDC

Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Oleksandr Danylyuk has met with German Ambassador to Ukraine Anka Feldhusen, the NSDC’s press service has reported. — Ukrinform.

Su-24M bombers and Su-24MR reconnaissance aircraft of the Ukrainian Armed Forces sortied 14 times in the last month (VIDEO)

For the last two days, flight crews on Su-24M, Su-24MR and L-39 training aircraft have honed their professional training at the Starokostiantyniv Tactical Aviation Brigade named after Peter Frank Air Forces of Ukraine. About it reports Defense Express with reference to ArmyInform . According to the planned flight schedule, crews of bombers and reconnaissance bombers performed group takeoff flights as a part of steam at low and extremely low altitudes in simple meteorological conditions during the day. The highlight of the flights were the first departures on L-39 aircraft of cadets-navigators cadets of Ivan Kozhedub Kharkiv National University of the Air Force, who are undergoing practical training in the brigade. Experienced instructor pilots performed with the cadets in the pilot area and on routes. It was already the fourteenth flight change of the month, once again demonstrating the professionalism of the flight crew and the high readiness of the crews’ units and services to provide flights.

 

Ministry of Defense receives arrested Russian surface-to-air missile system Pechora

Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) in collaboration with the Chief Military Prosecutor’s Office, SC Ukroboronservice, the Customs of Mykolaiv region passed Russian air-to-surface missile system Pechora to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. This the press service of the General Prosecutor’s Office reports. “The weapons are passed to the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) which will receive the modern air-missile defense system within the whole division for alert,” the message reads. The system is aimed at protecting of the most important administrative? Industrial and military institutions from all types of air attacks flying at extremely law and average altitudes. It provides with defeat of bombers, fighter-bombers, multi-purpose airplanes and some cruise missiles. As we reported earlier, law enforcers found 36 Russian surface-to-air missiles for man-portable air defense systems “Pechora” in Odesa region as Yuriy Lutsenko, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, said at the session of Ukraine’s Government Since then the SSU is investigating production under the article Smuggling under the procedural direction of the Military Prosecutor’s Office.

Coast Guard continues to repair small boats

The Mariupol detachment of the State Security Service of the State Tax Service of Ukraine has signed an agreement today for the current repair of the small boat of the 50030 Kalkan project for UAH 1.76 million with the completion of works in forty-five days. Three companies took part in the open electronic auction: Azov Ship Repairing Plant (SRZ LLC), LLC Liman Service Enterprise and KP COMMUNECOURSURS LLC, which won the tender for the repair of the Boat. №813. Earlier, in March-April, contracts were also concluded: from SE “Kharkov Engineer Bureau for Engine Engineering” for repair of four 457K engines for boats of 50000 for UAH 2.44 million and another for UAH 1.152 million. from SRZ LLC for the ongoing repair of the project boat 50030 lane. No. 811 for 1.426 million

Kalkan being repaired for Azov Sea

One of the small boats of Project 50030 Kalkan of the Maritime Security Service of the SSSU, based on the Sea of Azov, will undergo ongoing repairs. About it reports the Ukrainian Military Pages Yesterday, on August 1, 2019, the Mariupol Detachment of the Maritime Security Service of the SSSU concluded an agreement for the current repair of a small boat with the completion of works in forty-five days. The cost of the deal is 1.76 million hryvnias, although the expected cost of repairs was 2.25 million. That is, the savings due to the site Prozorro amounted to almost half a million hryvnia. Two enterprises from Mariupol participated in the open electronic auction: Azov Ship Repair Plant (LLC “SRZ”) and LLC “KP KOMUNECORESURSY”, as well as the Nikolaev LLC “Service Company” Liman “. According to the results of the bidding, the tender for the repair of the boat of Chief №813 LLC “KP COMMUNICATION RESOURCES”. KP KOMUNECORESURS LLC is part of the Azov Werf plant, which is located within the Mariupol city at the mouth of the Kalmius River, in the area of the old harbor fish factory (Schmidt Harbor). According to the official website , the plant has a floating dock with a capacity of 600 tons, as well as a boat with a capacity of 200 tons, with the ability to accommodate up to 6 ships. The small boat of the Sea Guard project 50030 “Kalkan” was mass-produced at the shipbuilding enterprise “More” in Feodosia. 457K engines were installed on the first boats, and foreign power plants also began to be installed on its further modifications. Short Specifications: Displacement : 7,8 tons Length : 10.6 meters Speed : 30 knots Crew : 2 people + 6 troopers

A SOURCE WITH MOD APPROVES ABOUT DISCONTINUATION OF ARRANGEMENTS OF TABLE OF AFFILIATES BY TEN COMPANIES THROUGH NOT CONTRACTING

As of early August, the Defense Ministry had not contracted several billion hryvnias under the state defense order. An unnamed representative of the Ukrainian military department told this in an interview with the Defense-Industrial Courier news agency, Defense Express reports. According to the source, it is about 8 billion UAH, which is why several dozen defense companies have stopped carrying out state defense orders for rearmament of the army. It is also reported that, under a number of agreements, OPK companies did not receive an advance for production of products for the Armed Forces. So, summed up the interlocutor of the agency , the situation with the execution in the year. the state defense order can be considered ” if not catastrophic, that threatens the fulfillment of rearmament plans in the current year “. At the same time, the head of the Social Payments Department of the Finance Department of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Vyacheslav Salakhov, during yesterday’s briefing at ArmyInform, claimed that the Ministry of Defense was provided with financial resources in full and there were no problematic articles.

 

Window on Eurasia — New Series: War Weariness Combined with Desire for Efficacy Explains Zelensky’s Appeal, Kirillova Says

Paul Goble Staunton, July 30 – For six years, Ukrainians have had to fight a war they did not choose but that arose as a result of Russian aggression. Understandably, they are tired of fighting but somehow want to win on the basis of their own actions without having to continue to fight the numerically stronger invader. That combination of victimhood and a desire for a sense of efficacy explains Vladimir Zelensky’s attraction to many Ukrainians and his victories at the polls, Kseniya Kirillova says. But its internal inconsistencies may very well undermine his standing in a relatively short time and even produce the kind of chaos Moscow will exploit (svoboda.org/a/30072888.html). “The desire of citizens of Ukraine for peace, on which Russian propaganda loves to play, really exists,” the US-based Russian journalist says; “and it is completely logical because the war was never the choice of the population of this country. Being the victim of aggression, Ukraine has been forced to defend itself.” Ukrainians have displayed their patriotism and entirely justified anger at what has happened, Kirillova continues; but their country lacks the power “to defeat the army of their opponent which is many times greater than their own unless they are ready to capitulate to the conditions of the aggression.” That situation, in which they are compelled to fight a war they did not want against an aggressor they cannot by themselves defeat has given rise to entirely unwelcome feelings of powerlessness, feelings that Moscow has tried to exploit and that Ukrainians have sought in various ways to overcome. “There is a natural temptation to believe that you are capable of influencing the situation, that your fate depends on your own actions. More than that, sometimes it is more comfortable for a victim to believe in his own guilt – and this means in the possibility that one can correct the situation – than it is to admit that you have been forced to suffer for years without guilt.” Nadezhda Savchenko played on these feelings in 2016 by suggesting that the problem lay less in the Russian invasion as such than in “’the crimes of Poroshenko.’” But “then,” Kirillova continues, “such attitudes were shared only by a minority.” Two years later, however, they “had become extremely popular.” “The conception of ‘Ukrainian guilt,’” the journalist says, “was formed in two steps.” In the first, the reality of Russian aggression wasn’t denied, but “the illusion was created that ‘the little key’ to the conclusion of the war was to be found in Kyiv,” in its corruption or incompetence, not in the capital of the country engaged in aggression. Those problems really exist, Kirillova acknowledges; but both the capacity of any new regime to solve them and the role that their solution would play in reversing Russian aggression are obviously things that many, including Zelensky, have clearly exaggerated. Even if these shortcomings were ended, no easy thing, that by itself wouldn’t reverse Russian agress-on. In the second stage of the formation of the conception of supposed “’Ukrainian guilt,’” she says, those who talk about these things stop talking about it, treating “ as a given that the Ukrainian ‘peace party’ by its own strength is capable of completing the resistance,” a position that even many Ukrainian patriots are willing to buy into. To say this, Kirillov says, is not to say that there are not many “sincere and competent people” in Zelensky’s entourage who really want to find a way to end Russian aggression, only that the proposals he has made for changing Ukraine are unlikely to do the job, opening the way either to disappointment or to demands for the adoption of another way. Put most bluntly, although Kirillova does not use these words, Vladimir Putin won’t be impressed by an end to corruption in Kyiv – especially given his own role in promoting it – and thus decide to withdraw. And the West won’t be sufficiently impressed to begin to fight for Ukraine. It will fight for Ukraine only if Ukraine fights for itself. Ukraine needs reforms to be sure, but it needs the defeat of the aggressor even more. And Ukrainians will be unlikely to make steps toward that goal if they continue to accept the comforting notion that they are somehow responsible for the aggression and that extirpating their guilt will be enough to reverse it.

The answer to powerlessness. Ksenia Kirillova – Peace on the terms of the Kremlin

For many, the incredibly convincing victory of the Party “Servant of the People” in the elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has become a very disturbing sign: some commentators are afraid of individual power, in which both the parliament and the government actually act according to the will of one person, Vladimir Zelensky. Andrei Piontkovsky, for example, asserted before the elections that after July 21, the majority in the Rada would go to the “capitulary pro-Kremlin minority” and that this would be possible thanks to the operation “Collective Zelensky”. In particular, the political scientist drew attention to the accuracy with which the new president of Ukraine repeated the thesis of Russian propaganda about the existence of a “war party” in his country and about the fault of the Ukrainian side in seizing ships in the Kerch Strait. RS in Telegram RS in Vibera PC in mobile In the same vein, the Ukrainian website Strana.ua, which is famous for its pro-Russian publications, commented on the election results. In the very first editorial devoted to the elections, “Country” regarded as one of their main results “the defeat of the party of war and Poroshenko.” The authors of the publication’s “Servant of the People’s Party” expectations, however, are more moderate: they “only” predict that, since people with very different views have gathered around Zelensky, their policies over time “may change in terms of moving towards peace in Donbass and folding Ukrainization “, that is, in this context – to the world on the conditions of Vladimir Putin. Some authors have prepared entire lists of statements by Zelensky and his advisers in order to show that so far the new administration is not transparent. Journalists are disturbed by the behavior of the oligarch Kolomoisky, and the “revenge of the regionals”, and the “disturbing” statements and connections of some people close to the president. But Russian propagandists, who were happy to take Zelensky’s side in the fight against Petro Poroshenko, made it clear after the parliamentary elections: they did not hope that the new president would take a pro-Moscow position, but they considered his victory a clear plus for themselves, because, according to them opinion, Zelensky, with all his power, will lead the country to chaos, thereby clearing the path for the supporters of the “Russian World”. The guests of the next “Evenings with Vladimir Solovyov” blame the new Ukrainian leader and the desire to cooperate with “Golos”, and some “nationalist” remarks. Zhirinovsky, Shakhnazarov, Kurginyan, Solovyov himself are united in one thing: both the president and his party will quickly disappoint their supporters, and by then Moscow should prepare its own candidate, more powerful and charismatic than Viktor Medvedchuk or Yuri Boyko. “Then the political center will be destroyed … Meanwhile, pro-Russian power has appeared, but it cannot be Medvedchuk. It must be personified by a strong, charismatic person who will enclose the entire pro-Russian block. In the conditions of the collapse of the center and the consolidation of the right, anti-Russian block, the Russian block and its consolidation is the main task of the political moment … And then the fate of Ukraine will be decided in the conflict between these people and those who will consolidate to the right, “Sergey Kurginyan shared his plans. And Vladimir Zhirinovsky added in his usual style that the only way to “solve the Ukrainian question” should be the use of force: “First partition the Ukraine, and then its final liquidation.” However, some political scientists who sympathize with him say that Zelensky and the hastily party he created may disappoint voters, recognizing that the expectations of the population from the “servants of the people” are in any case higher than the potential of these “servants.” By betting on new faces, Ukrainian society is trying to find a solution not only to problems with corruption, high tariffs and a low standard of living, but also problems of war, the solution of which objectively does not depend on Ukraine. For the sixth year, Ukrainian society is in a state of war, which it did not want and which it was powerless to end The desire of the citizens of Ukraine for a world on which Russian propaganda loves to play, really exists, and it is quite logical, since war has never been the choice of the population of this country. As a victim of aggression, Ukraine was forced to defend itself. This compulsion was accompanied by a sincere patriotic impulse, noble anger, genuine sacrifice and a desire to protect not only the territory, but also the values and national identity. However, the confrontation itself, the military conflict itself was imposed exclusively by Russia, and Ukraine had no choice but to confront aggression. However, Ukraine is not able to defeat its enemy army many times superior to it, and therefore is not able to end the war if we do not consider the option of surrender on the terms of the aggressor. For the sixth year, Ukrainian society is in a state of war, which it did not want and which it was powerless to end. This state of impotence, stretching for years, can be a psychological torture for anyone. In such a situation, it is natural to be tempted to believe that you are able to influence the situation, that your fate depends on your own actions. Moreover, sometimes it is more comfortable for a victim to believe in his guilt – and therefore, in the opportunity to correct the situation himself – than to admit that you have to suffer without guilt for years. For the first time, by the way, Nadezhda Savchenko began to play on these moods, immediately after her release from a Russian prison. Formally, she did not deny the fact of the presence of Russian aggression, however, she emphasized that if you deal with “Poroshenko’s crimes”, then the war can be ended. However, then, in 2016, such sentiments were picked up only by a minority, but two years later they became quite popular. The concept of “Ukrainian guilt” is formed in two stages. Initially, the fact of Russian aggression is not denied, but the illusion is created that the key to the end of the war is in Kiev (they say, the whole thing is corruption, incompetence of officials, that Poroshenko’s circle is profiting from the war). Of course, all of these problems exist, but it is exaggerated both their scale and the ability of the new team to quickly solve them. And most importantly, the influence of these circumstances on the outcome of the war, which was unleashed with the participation of Russia and which can only be ended by it, is exaggerated. At the second stage, the factor of Russian aggression is safely “forgotten”, taking for granted that the Ukrainian “peace party” is capable of ending the confrontation on its own. This faith is desired, including for Ukrainian patriots. The very concept of what you, and not someone else, can change the fate of a country is the basis of democracy. And it is precisely on this desire to miraculously change what cannot be changed, and Vladimir Zelensky played. All of the above does not mean that there are no sincere and competent people in Zelensky’s party who really care about Ukraine. I would like to hope that the new president will find competent managers and will be able to correct the corruption legacy left from the previous elites. However, to achieve this goal, you should not use populist clichés that play into the hands of Russian propaganda. Under the Kremlin conditions, Mir canceled the very possibility of creating a strong and prosperous Ukraine, and its conclusion would make the deaths and sufferings of tens of thousands of people in vain. Ksenia Kirillova – journalist, lives in the USA Opinions expressed in the “Blogs” section may not reflect the views of the editorial staff

Dozens Of Activists Protest Ukrainian Anticorruption Activist’s Unsolved Killing

Several dozen people on August 1 staged a protest outside the building of Ukraine’s Security Service in Kyiv over the lack of progress in the investigation into the death of a Ukrainian anti-corrup…

Kyiv Mayor Klitschko, President Zelenskiy Battle Over City Management Rights

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko is heading for a legal collision course with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy over keeping his executive powers as the head of the city state administration.

Klitschko says President’s Office says he could remain head of Kyiv Administration on one condition – News of Ukraine | UNIAN

Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko has said the Office of the President of Ukraine set a condition under which he would be able to retain the post of head of Kyiv City State Administration. Klitschko must show effective anti-corruption efforts, the Office chief told him.

Intrigue As Zelenskiy Says He Has Not Signed Chief Of Staff’s Resignation Letter

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has confirmed that his chief of staff, Andriy Bohdan, has filed his resignation letter just two months after taking the post, but that the president has not …

Zelensky’s Press Secretary Mendel on Bohdan’s possible resignation: “I don’t comment on rumors” – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Press Secretary Yulia Mendel says reports about head of the Office of the President Andriy Bohdan’s resignation are rumors. Bohdan’s subordinate Riaboshapka considers such reports to be media hype.

Bohdan comments on letter of his resignation published on web

02.08.19 15:57 – Bohdan comments on letter of his resignation published on web Head of President’s Office Andrii Bohdan assumes that journalists published his letter of resignation or it was provocation made by special services, as he said during his visit to Ivan-Frankivsk. View news.

President confirms Bohdan wrote letter of resignation. VIDEO

02.08.19 12:37 – President confirms Bohdan wrote letter of resignation. VIDEO President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi confirmed that the Head of President’s Office Andrii Bohdan wrote a letter of resignation. View news.

President confirms Bohdan wrote letter of resignation

President Zelensky confirmed Bohdan wants to resign

President Zelensky demands probe into attack on Ukrinform’s press center

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky commented on the beating of Ukrinform workers during a news conference at the agency on July 30. — Ukrinform.

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.

EBRD provides US$150 mln to boost Ukraine’s transmission network – media – news economics | UNIAN

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has provided Ukrainian national energy company Ukrenergo with a loan of US$149 million to upgrade the country’s transmission network. The financing is expected to strengthen Ukrenergo’s capacity to accommodate the increasing share of renewables in the Ukrainian grid, with a growing share of solar and wind power.

Ukraine will finance construction of runway at Ivano-Frankivsk airport – president

Ukraine is ready to invest in the development of the Ivano-Frankivsk airport, but not immediately, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said. — Ukrinform.

US embassy in Kyiv issues security alert – LB.ua news portal

US embassy in Kyiv issues security alert. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today