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  • Halya Coynash: Russia jails Ukrainian for Maidan, denies right of appeal
    HUMAN RIGHTS IN UKRAINE Sep. 22, 2016 07:02

    The court in Russian-occupied Crimea which handed down a surreal 10-year sentence against Andriy Kolomiyets over an alleged event during Euromaidan is blocking an appeal against the sentence. The 23-year-old Ukrainian is being held in appalling conditions, with his family unable to visit him.

    Kolomiyets’ lawyer Mikhail Kushpel explained at a recent press conference that Russia is obstructing the appeal, and said that he has made repeated attempts to move the situation on, but with no effect. He had to approach the High Court in Crimea three times and Russia’s Supreme Court twice just to get a copy of the actual sentence. The official appeal was sent on June 17, shortly after the sentence was passed, however it was returned, without the envelope even having been opened, on some formality. The very indictment has proven difficult to obtain, though it appears that Kolomiyets himself has finally been given a copy.

    All of this is dragging out the appeal, with Kolomiyets in the meantime held in the same overcrowded Simferopol SIZO [remand centre] as the large number of other Crimean political prisoners. His parents live in the Kyiv oblast and are unable to visit their son. His common law wife Galina Zalikhanova is facing enormous hurdles against organizing the legal marriage without which they will not allow her to visit Andriy.

    Kolomiyets is one of two Ukrainians so-far sentenced by courts in Russian occupied Crimea to terms of imprisonment on astoundingly lawless charges. He and, earlier, Oleksandr Kostenko were accused of events that could not be proven but that categorically do not fall under Russian jurisdiction, pertaining as they do to Euromaidan in Kyiv which took place before Russia invaded and annexed Crimea.

    Like the other equally lawless prosecution of Crimean Tatar leader Akhtem Chiygoz, Ali Asanov and Mustafa Degermendzhy and others, the courts under Russian occupation are openly using criminal prosecutions as revenge, without any regard for fundamental principles of law.

    Kolomiyets was charged with what was qualified as the attempted murder of two Ukrainian Berkut riot police officers during Euromaidan in Kyiv and with transporting hashish. The first charges pertained to the allegation that Kolomiyets had thrown Molotov cocktails at the two men and came under Article 30 § 3 and 105 § 2 of the Russian Criminal Code, namely “attempted murder of 2 or more people in connection with their official activities … out of motives of political and ideological hatred”. He was charged also under Article 228 § 2 with transporting “a large amount” of narcotics.

    The only thing that was true in any of this was that Kolomiyets was on Maidan. In fact, human rights activists have suggested that a photo of the person on Maidan may well have been enough to prompt the trial.

    Neither of the two alleged ‘victims’ had ever reported any injuries at the time, and even in court could only speak of having “felt pain”.

    Kolomiyets has given a harrowing, and unfortunately familiar, account of the torture he was subjected to in order to extract a ‘confession’.

    The renowned Russian Memorial Human Rights Centre almost immediately declared Kolomiyets a political prisoner. It slammed the main indictment as grotesque since a court under Russian law has no jurisdiction over events between Ukrainian nationals in Ukraine. It stressed that the fact that the two officers later took Russian citizenship is immaterial.

    Since the charges linked with Maidan were by definition lawless, Memorial only examined the second part of the indictment. They believe it likely that the drugs were planted. This was very similar to the prosecution of Kostenko, where a second charge was ‘thrown in’, also based on highly dubious items supposedly ‘found’ during a search carried out with multiple irregularities.

    Kolomiyets’ case added a new chilling element to the lawlessness, since there is nothing at all to link the young Ukrainian with Crimea. He was arrested in the Northern Caucuses on May 15, 2015, where he was living with his partner and her four children.

    He was sentenced to 10 years’ maximum security prison on June 10 on charges whose cynicism defy belief. Although there is no reason to believe that a higher court would fairly assess this case, it is telling that even his right of appeal is being flouted.
    Russia jails Ukrainian for Maidan, denies right of appeal ::

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    Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


    • 16:34 23.09.2016 INTERFAX-UKRAINE
      Kyiv expects swift decision on visa-free regime with EU – Presidential administration official

      The Ukrainian presidential administration expects the European Parliament to approve granting Ukraine a visa-free regime with the EU soon.

      "We proceed from the fact that Ukraine has met all of the 144 necessary criteria and we look forward to a swift decision of the European side to fulfill its obligations," Deputy Head of the presidential administration Kostiantyn Yeliseyev said at a briefing in Kyiv on Friday.

      According to him, last Saturday Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had a telephone conversation, during which Poroshenko raised the issue of Germany's support for Ukraine's getting the visa-free regime as soon as possible.

      "We have received the undeniable support of the German side in this matter, but you know that the EU, in particular in the European Parliament, is currently holding a debate on the terms of the suspension of the visa-free regime in the event of threats of increasing the number of refugees and asylum seekers," he said.

      At the same time, Yeliseyev said that this was in no way Ukraine's problem, but a general problem of illegal immigration and the EU security. Kyiv expects swift decision on visa-free regime with EU – Presidential administration official

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      • Ukraine intelligence says Russian high-ranking official killed in Donbas
        UT UKRAINE TODAY Sep. 23, 2016

        Kremlin sends new armour to Donbas and investigates the death of Russian officer in Luhansk

        Ukrainian Military Intelligence reports about an investigation conducted by Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) on militant-held territory of Donbas. They investigate the murder of senior Russian officer in Luhansk on September 21.

        He was reported to perform an unofficial "service-combat" job on the militant-held territory of eastern Ukraine as deputy commander of "2nd army corps" of Russian-backed forces in Donbas He served in Luhansk under the command of Center of territorial troops of Southern military District of Russian Armed Forces. Intel doesn't mention his actual rank and name, just that he served in militant forces as "Colonel Alexander Borisovich Orlov".

        Also Intel reports new facts of regular supply of arms and military equipment from Russia to militant forces in Donbas. Near the town of Torez Ukrainian recon spotted the arrival of 15 tanks (five T-80, 10 T-72) plus trucks; near the town of Rovenky – nine rail fuel tankers (450 tonnes); plus in the town of Shakhtarsk – 18 trucks with ammunition.

        As reported earlier, another Russian 'aid convoy' invaded Ukraine, namely Donbas districts held by Kremlin-controlled forces. Russian military in Donbas: Russian high-ranking official killed in Donbas – Military Intel

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        Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


        • Russia’s 2016 Election: Despair, Apathy—and Hope?
          WORLD AFFAIRS Vladimir Kara-Murza 21 September 2016

          MOSCOW, RUSSIA—The biggest winners in Sunday’s election for the Russian State Duma were despair and apathy. The years of manipulated elections and overwhelming government control over politics and media under Vladimir Putin have convinced most Russians that voting is meaningless. The turnout on September 18 was the lowest on record: the official (and likely inflated) figure was 48 percent, with the turnout in Moscow and St. Petersburg—the most politically active parts of the country—at a dismal 35 and 33 percent, respectively.

          On the one hand, the results of Sunday’s vote put to rest the myth of “90 percent support” for Putin: even according to the official results, the ruling United Russia party received 54 percent of the vote on a 48 percent turnout. But mass abstention also hurt opposition candidates, who were allowed on the ballot as part of the regime’s efforts to render the vote some legitimacy and avoid a repeat of mass protests that followed the blatantly rigged election in 2011. No party except United Russia and the three Kremlin-controlled “opposition” groups made it past the five-percent threshold required to enter the Duma. In single-member districts, reinstated in response to the 2011 protests, opposition candidates fared better, but still won no seats. The young democratic activists supported by Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s Open Russia movement polled on average 4 percent of the vote, with those in Moscow and St. Petersburg at 8 percent. “Our candidates managed to attract more than 100,000 votes and to compel the electoral commissions to reflect these in their final reports,” Khodorkovsky observed. “I believe that this is a worthy result for new political names and a good indication of future possibilities.”

          The biggest disappointment to opposition supporters came in Moscow’s Tushinsky district, where Dmitri Gudkov—the only independent legislator in the outgoing State Duma—came just six percent short of victory. In the face of persistent attacks by state television, Gudkov ran a vigorous grassroots campaign, holding more than 250 face-to-face meetings with voters in his district—and won 20 percent of the vote, to 26 percent for United Russia candidate Gennady Onishchenko, Russia’s former chief sanitary inspector best known for his warnings that attending opposition rallies carries a high risk of respiratory infections, and his assertion that pigs are closest to humans in the line of evolution. With Gudkov out, the new Duma will be totally opposition-free.

          Still, there were some small pockets of hope in the overall gloom—all of them in Russia’s northwest, a traditional democratic support base. Yabloko, a liberal party that opposes both the domestic and foreign policies of Putin’s Kremlin (including the war on Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea,) returned to the legislative assemblies in St. Petersburg, Karelia, and the Pskov region. In Pskov, Lev Shlosberg, a crusading opposition leader, won back the seat from which he was expelled last year by the assembly’s United Russia majority.
          Russia’s 2016 Election: Despair, Apathy—and Hope? | World Affairs Journal

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          Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


          • Ukraine says peace process at risk without EU sanctions
            REUTERS Robin Emmott Brussels Sept 23, 2016

            Loosening the European Union's economic sanctions on Russia would wreck the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, because the measures are the West's only leverage over Moscow, Kiev's deputy foreign minister said on Friday.

            Next month, EU leaders are set to discuss the sanctions on Russia's energy, financial and defense sectors, which were imposed after Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014. Countries with closer ties to Russia, including Cyprus, Italy and Hungary, are pushing to lift some measures or even allow them to expire in January.

            "The Minsk peace deal is under threat. If there are no sanctions, there is no way to pressure Russia to respect the process in any way," Vadym Prystaiko said of the accord sealed in 2015 in the capital of Belarus.

            The Minsk peace agreement, brokered by France and Germany and signed by Russia and Ukraine in February 2015, calls for a ceasefire between Ukrainian forces and separatists backed by Russia, the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line and constitutional reform to give eastern Ukraine more autonomy.

            "For now, Russian-backed separatists have agreed to a ceasefire. But with one telephone call, Moscow can reverse the situation," Prystaiko told Reuters.

            A September truce in eastern Ukraine has raised hopes for peace, although it failed to stem all the violence in the region. Shellings in the east of the country dropped to 246 in the first two weeks of September from more than 2,000 in August, Prystaiko said.

            The conflict has killed over 9,600 soldiers, civilians and pro-Russian rebels since April 2014.

            "There is no mechanism to prove that this peace process is working. The only way is for the EU to stick to what it has said: we lift the sanctions when Minsk is fully implemented," said Prystaiko, who met NATO envoys during a visit to Brussels.

            Moscow's allies in Europe, including Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico, say Russia is doing more than Ukraine to meet its obligations under the Minsk agreement. Fico told Reuters this month that the sanctions had not changed Russian policy in the east.

            Prystaiko said that was because Russia was determined to hold sway over Ukraine by pressuring Kiev to adopt a federal system, in which each state would have a veto over Ukraine's hopes to join NATO and the EU.

            Reforms tied to the Minsk accord include changing Ukraine's constitution to decentralize government. Prystaiko said that Russia was seeking to distort that to achieve its own ends.

            "The Russians want a new constitution, they want to embed a foreign body in Ukraine," he said. "But we can only have elections when the separatists stop shooting." Ukraine says peace process at risk without EU sanctions | Reuters

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            • Young scientists from Ukraine impressed European experienced physicists
              UT UKRAINE TODAY 11:56 Sep. 23, 2016

              Ukrainian children get internship at the world's largest particle physics laboratory

              Ukrainian schoolboys and girls take part in an internship at the world's largest particle physics laboratory CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research where the Large Hadron Collider is situated and Higgs boson was discovered.

              The program primarily designed mainly for teachers and college students. However, Ukrainian children managed to impress European scientists so much, they are now the only children around Europe that can take a look backstage at the center.

              Ukrainians have been facilitating the work of the center for years. One of the main breakthroughs of Ukrainian scientists became the essential part of the collider.

              CERN representatives were initially confused by how much knowledge the Ukrainian children had, and thought they were college students. However, they later figured out they were still young pupils, although, extremely talented. Making an exception and admitting them to an internship.

              Starting from October, Ukraine plans to become an associate member of the European Organization for Nuclear Research. The Minister of Education, Liliya Hrynevych says it's important for both scientists and education.

              see video : Ukrainians a Cern Ukraine's got talents: Young scientists from Ukraine impressed European experienced physicists

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              • Four Ukrainian universities ranked amongst world's best
                UT UKRAINE TODAY 15:28 Sep. 222, 2016

                The University of Oxford was named the world's number one.

                Four Ukrainian universities were included into the list of world's best higher education institutions, compiled by The Times Higher Education.

                International experts ranked 980 top universities in the world in 2016-2017, judging them by the performance of their core missions – teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

                This year's list of the best universities in the world is led by a UK university for the first time in the 12-year history of the table. The University of Oxford became the world's number one university, knocking five-time champion the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) into second place.

                However, the North American powerhouse still dominates the list with 148 universities in the top 980 and 63 in the top 200. The rest of the top five is filled by Stanford University in third, the University of Cambridge in fourth, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in fifth.

                Elsewhere in the West, Switzerland's ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, has cemented its position in the top 10, landing at ninth for the second year in a row; last year the institution became the first non-Anglo-American institution to make the world rankings top 10 for a decade.

                Lviv Polytechnic National University, National Technical University of Ukraine – Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, and Karazin Kharkiv National University got 801+ ranks.

                In May this year Ukraine's higher education system was included into the list of 50 strongest ones according to the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings. Education in Ukraine: Four Ukrainian universities ranked amongst world's best

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                • Huntington profoundly wrong about Ukraine, Kyiv historian says
                  EUROMAIDAN PRESS Paul A. Goble Sept 24, 2016

                  Samuel Huntington thought that Ukraine was a country divided by “the clash of civilizations,” and this notion lies behind both the actions of Vladimir Putin and the current understanding of many in the West. But it is profoundly wrong, according to Yaroslav Hrytsak, a historian at Kyiv’s Ukrainian Catholic University.

                  In an essay in Ukraine’s Novoye Vremya devoted to recent Western theories about the international system, Hrytsak says that Huntington in contrast to all the others is well known in Ukraine because his ideas continue to influence the thinking of so many non-Ukrainians about what Ukraine in fact is.

                  That unfortunate reality, the Kyiv historian continues, was very much on public view at the recent economic forum in Poland in the course of which one of the three panels devoted to Ukraine was “called in the Huntingtonian fashion – ‘The Clash of Values: The Battlefield of Ukraine.’”

                  Huntington viewed Ukraine as “a classic case of a date divided by civilizational conflict,” and many both inside Ukraine and outside of it have accepted that notion. But the critics of the Harvard historian have pointed out that Huntington’s ideas are not only overly simplified but in the case of Ukraine simply wrong.

                  First of all, Hrytsak points out, these critics have pointed out that in his work, Huntington mistakenly viewed the Catholic west of Ukraine as simply part of the West and the Orthodox east as simply part of the Orthodox world. But in fact, both parts were and are “hybrids” of east and west.

                  As Hrytsak notes, “the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church accepted the authority of the Vatican but retained its Orthodox liturgy and dogmatic teachings. And this hybrid formation survived all the repressions in the Russian Empire and the USSR, being one of the most dynamic Christian churches in the world.”

                  Second, a new and more powerful argument against Huntington’s view was “the defeat of ‘the Russian spring’ in Ukraine in 2014. Experts who know Putin suggest that he took the thesis about the clash of civilizations as the basis of his plan for Ukraine. His calculation was simple: as soon as Russian forces entered the country, it would split along the Huntington line.”

                  In that event, “Eastern Orthodox Ukraine would voluntarily unite with Moscow.” But as now is obvious, “this didn’t happen,” Hrytsak continues. And the reasons is simple:

                  “Today the civilizational line of Huntington passes not along the Zbruch but coincides with the line of the front” between Russian forces and Ukrainian ones.

                  And third, the Ukrainian historian says, Huntington made yet another mistake which has implications for Ukraine. He believed that the line of division would be horizontal, among regions and countries, rather than vertical within them. And thus he ignored the fact that many in one civilization looked to other civilizations for inspiration.

                  “Even in Western Europe,” Hrytsak continues, “many would like to see Putin as the leader of the world, while in the Muslim world, there are not a few supporters of Western democracy.” Indeed, he says, research shows that “now the chief ‘clash of civilizations’ has broken out around ‘eros’ rather than ‘demos,’” about the inclusion of women.

                  No society can flourish “if a significant part of its population – as for example the serfs in the Russian Empire of the black population in the US – is excluded from equal participation in public life.” And Ukraine in this regard is part of the West European civilization rather than the Russian one.

                  That was demonstrated at the Polish conference, Hrytsak says. Not only were there are large number of delegates interested in the West who came from the eastern portions of Ukraine, but “many of them” were women, yet another indication that the horizontal divisions Huntington talked about are not appropriate for talking about Ukraine.

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                  • Ukraine's Security Service says it found eight 'torture chambers' in the Donbas
                    UAWIRE ORG September 24, 2016 5:39:00 PM

                    The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) identified the addresses of eight alleged torture chambers in the territory of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, as was reported by the head of the SSU, Vasyl Hrytsak, 112 Ukraine news channel reports.

                    Two torture chambers were found in the Luhansk region and six in the Donetsk region.

                    "The data was collected gradually. I cannot say, I don’t know how many addresses are still unknown to us. Because we, by defining the legal status and detaining a person, inform the lawyers, then the lawyers inform the families so they know where their relatives are being held captive. Everything is proceeding within the rule of law," Hrytsak said.

                    "The SSU is collecting evidence from former hostages regarding torture and abuse by terrorists and Russian servicemen," Hrytsak added. He stated that Ukraine now has information regarding the location of 57 hostages.

                    "Out of 3,082 people 1,484 civilians, 1,589 servicemen, law enforcement officials, and soldiers from voluntary battalions were found and released.” Hrytsak reported.

                    "According to our data, we know about 111 hostages, nine of which are in Russia and are alive today. We identified places where 57 people are detained, as long as they have not since been moved," Hrytsak informed. UAWire - Ukraine's Security Service says it found eight 'torture chambers' in the Donbas

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                    • 17:19 24.09.2016 INTERFAX-UKRAINE
                      UN World Food Program to continue to support IDPs, help small farmers in Ukraine

                      The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) Representative in Ukraine Dorte Ellehammer has assured that the WFP will continue to support refugees from Donbas conflict zone in Ukraine, the press service of Agrarian Policy Ministry of Ukraine reported.

                      The assistance will be also aimed at the restoration of small agricultural units and support of small-scale farmers at the household level, Ellehammer said during a meeting with Agrarian Policy and Food Minister of Ukraine Taras Kutovy on Friday.

                      According to her, the organization continues to develop the project for the relief and rehabilitation of Ukraine for 2017.

                      The project envisages the implementation of programs aimed at the protection and restoration of funds for the elderly, the disabled and those who have not had the opportunity to leave the conflict-affected areas of Donetsk and Luhansk region on the temporarily occupied territories and along the line of contact, Ellehammer said.

                      The WFP in Ukraine guarantees that they will continue to respond to people's needs and take into account the development of the situation in the east of Ukraine.

                      For his part, Kutovy said that Ukraine supports the WFP in the fight against poverty and hunger in the world through increasing their capacity for food production.

                      "Ukraine has significant agricultural resources, which can help in tackling global challenges such as the fight against hunger and poverty, ensuring sustainable development of the poorest countries. The domestic agricultural sector is constantly strengthening its position on the world food markets," the agrarian policy minister said.

                      The ministry's press service recalled that the WFP was absent in Ukraine before 2014. Since November 2014, the WFP is the coordinator of the Food Security Cluster and is implementing the increased assistance program with a budget of $21.46 million in Ukraine. In 2015-2016, the organization has increased the budget for operations in Ukraine to $30 million.

                      "Since the beginning of the Emergency Operation in November 2014, WFP has assisted some 550,000 people in need: 370,000 beneficiaries through food parcels and 180,000 with cash-based transfers (cash or vouchers) where markets are still functioning well," the Agrarian Policy Ministry said. UN World Food Program to continue to support IDPs, help small farmers in Ukraine

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                      • 77 years ago, Nazi and Soviet forces celebrated their joint defeat of Poland
                        EUROMAIDAN PRESS 2016/09/24 Paul A. Goble

                        77 years ago, Nazi and Soviet forces celebrated their joint defeat of Poland
                        David Low named his political cartoon describing the German-Russian invasion of Poland that started the WW2 - "Rendezvous." The cartoon depicts a meeting by the two allied Nazi-Soviet dictators over the corpse of a Polish defender. Hitler says to Stalin while lifting his hat and bowing: "The Scum of the Earth, I believe?" and Stalin responds to him "The Bloody Assassin of the Workers, I presume?" while bowing and lifting his in kind. The secret agreement on the division of Poland that was part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was not yet known, but nonetheless, Low recognized what happened and drew it in this work. (Image: The Evening Standard (UK), September 20, 1989 issue)

                        Many people forget that Stalin’s Soviet Union and Hitler’s Third Reich were allies in the beginning of the World War II. This week includes an anniversary the Kremlin didn’t want anyone to mark or even remember: 77 years ago yesterday in Brest, soldiers and officers from Hitler’s Wehrmacht and from Stalin’s Red Army staged a joint victory parade following the occupation and dismemberment of Poland that marked the beginning of World War II in Europe.

                        As one Russian commentator put it, “in Soviet history there were many disgraceful and shameful ages, which Soviet historians never acknowledged officially. One of these shameful pages was the Soviet-Fascist parade in Brest after the joint seizure of Poland.”

                        That action became possible thanks to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact which made Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union allies in redrawing the map of Eastern Europe, an action that continues to cast a shadow on the continent regardless of whether the Kremlin is prepared to face the truth of the matter.

                        There are many ways in which this is so, but today, Ukrainian commentator Ihor Isayev points to one of the most important: moving Central Europeans away from viewing September 1939 as a series of individual tragedies dividing them and recognizing their common victimhood.

                        And now, he suggests, Ukraine has a chance to help promote that shift and introduce itself as a full-fledged member of “the Central European political discussion about the past,” something many in Kyiv have talked about for some time but that until two weeks ago, no one at the senior level had taken the necessary steps.

                        During a visit to Poland earlier this month, Andrey Parubyi, the speaker of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada called on the Polish and Lithuanian parliaments to join with the Ukrainian one in making a join assessment of the impact of Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and the division of Poland on all of them.

                        He said:

                        “When two imperialist regimes, Communist and Nazi, in fact unleashed a war in Europe, this war led to victims among Poles, Ukrainians and Lithuanians. There is no doubt that the very same aggressor who in 1939 carried out repressions against Poles, Ukrainians and Lithuanians is today with the same imperialist motives is attacking and conducting an aggressive policy regarding Ukraine.”

                        Although there was no immediate response, Isayev says that the speaker’s proposal was a good one because it “stressed the commonality of the fates of the peoples of East-Central Europe in the 20th century” and represented a clear effort by Ukraine to join the diplomatic and political efforts of Poland and the Baltic states that were behind the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism.


                        During the period of the Soviet occupation, Moscow and its communist allies sought to keep the peoples of the region from cooperating by pointing out that each had benefited in some way from Soviet actions. But now, Isayev says, “Poland and Lithuania have been able to stress not mutual problems but a common memory which gave them the chance” to work together.

                        “A common memory and a common wound are also an antidote to Russian propaganda” today which argues that “’if it weren’t for the USSR, Lithuania wouldn’t have received Vilnius and Ukraine would not have its current borders.” But in fact all three of these nations and others besides shared the status of victims of Soviet and Nazi cooperation and actions.

                        “This is a lesson for Ukraine,” Isayev continues. Like Poland and Lithuania, it should seek to stress the common features of the past of the three peoples rather than those things that have set them apart because there is still the risk that Moscow will try to play them off against one another to the loss of all.

                        And he concludes: “For Kyiv it is important together with its western neighbors to form a common historical discourse about the 20th century.”

                        First of all, this is a more effective approach internationally. Second, it helps bring the victims of Stalin and Hitler together. And third, it helps all these peoples to overcome the past that the two dictators inflicted on them. “This is a lesson for Ukraine,” Isayev continues. Like Poland and Lithuania, it should seek to stress the common features of the past of the three peoples rather than those things that have set them apart because there is still the risk that Moscow will try to play them off against one another to the loss of all.

                        And he concludes: “For Kyiv it is important together with its western neighbors to form a common historical discourse about the 20th century.”

                        First of all, this is a more effective approach internationally. Second, it helps bring the victims of Stalin and Hitler together. And third, it helps all these peoples to overcome the past that the two dictators inflicted on them. Analysis & Opinion Archives - Euromaidan PressEuromaidan Press |

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                        • Trump Advisor Under Investigation for Russia Ties: Report
                          FP Molly O’Toole, Elias Groll September 23, 2016

                          U.S. intelligence officials are investigating whether Carter Page, a businessman described by Donald Trump as a foreign policy advisor, has been making backroom promises to Moscow to lift some sanctions against top Kremlin officials if Trump is elected.

                          In recent briefings with senior members of Congress about apparent attempts by Moscow to influence the presidential contest between Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, intelligence officials have raised concerns about Page’s travels to Moscow, according to a Yahoo News report on Friday afternoon. Intelligence officials believe Page has had meetings with Russian officials currently sanctioned by the Treasury Department for involvement in Russia’s “illegitimate and unlawful actions in the Ukraine.” Many top Kremlin officials and business associates of President Vladimir Putin are in U.S. sanctions crosshairs.

                          The report is only the latest in a series to suggest that the Trump campaign, and especially his aides, have some bottom-line interest in boosting chummy ties with Moscow. But now, with an ongoing federal investigation, the Page revelations provide the strongest hint yet at negotiations with Russian officials, and drop a bombshell into the 2016 campaign just days ahead of the first presidential debate on Monday.

                          Trump’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment Friday and Page’s current role remains unclear.

                          On Thursday, the ranking members on the House and Senate intelligence committees, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D.-Calif.), sharply criticized Moscow for attempting to boost Trump’s fortunes.

                          “We have concluded that the Russian intelligence agencies are making a serious and concerted effort to influence the U.S. election,” they wrote. “We believe that orders for the Russian intelligence agencies to conduct such actions could come only from very senior levels of the Russian government.”

                          Their Republican counterparts in Congress have been far more quiet on Trump’s friendly stance toward Russia, even as evidence has piled up that hackers working on behalf of Moscow are infiltrating American political groups and posting stolen material online.

                          A spokesperson for Sen. Richard Burr, (R-N.C.), the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, suggested in July that the intelligence community should be allowed to complete its investigations into these incidents before any conclusions be drawn.

                          Burr, who has endorsed Trump, is currently battling for reelection in one of the most competitive races in the country as the Republicans fight to keep their majority in the Senate. Burr’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment Friday.

                          House Intelligence Committee Chair David Nunes (R-Calif.), did not deny the Russian interference, but downplayed its significance.

                          “Well I think Russia’s very good at influencing elections and they do it all over the world,” he told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “It wouldn’t surprise me that they’d try to do it here, it wouldn’t surprise me that they tried to break into the DNC and RNC — and think we just shouldn’t panic that the Russians would try to do this because they always try to do it.”

                          Russia has carried information operations aimed at influencing elections in its more immediate sphere of influence, but recent breaches in the United States have expanded such operations to American shores.

                          While the motive of the U.S. breaches remains unclear, American intelligence officials are reportedly investigating the scope of Russian information operations against the United States, and whether Moscow is seeking to influence the outcome of November’s election. Hackers linked to Russian intelligence have broken into the servers of the Demoractic National Committee, and emails from its servers later appeared on WikiLeaks.

                          Those emails revealed that party officials had attempted to undermine the candidacy of Sen. Bernie Sanders, (D-Vt.), and led to the resignation of DNC chief Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).

                          Stolen material from other American political groups, non-profit organizations, and officials have also appeared online. The targets have included the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, former NATO commander Gen. Philip Breedlove, and the philanthropic organization of George Soros.

                          Throughout the campaign, Trump has raised alarm both among U.S. officials and American allies in Eastern Europe. He suggested he may pull the U.S. military out of NATO, or refuse to defend penny-pinching NATO allies against Russian invasion.

                          Trump aides intervened in the drafting of the GOP’s policy platform this summer to minimize military assistance for Ukraine, pleasing Russia. And in the wake of the DNC leak in July, Trump asked Moscow to hack Clinton’s emails, a remark he later suggested was a joke.

                          Last month, Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort resigned after ledgers surfaced detailing that he had been paid millions in cash by pro-Russian Ukrainian politicos.

                          But Trump hasn’t backed off, repeating time and again his admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his leadership style, and suggesting the U.S. work more closely with Moscow.

                          Yet his coziness toward the Kremlin has split the party, already conflicted over his candidacy and concerned it could damage the chances of keeping control of the Senate.

                          Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Corker, (R-Tenn.), and Armed Service Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, (R-Ariz.), along with Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R-S.C.), who dropped out of the 2016 Republican primary, all recently expressed their concerns to Foreign Policy.

                          “I think one needs to be careful about responding to flattery,” Corker said of Trump’s compliments for Putin. “I mean, let’s just be honest.” Trump Advisor Under Investigation for Russia Ties: Report | Foreign Policy

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                          • Sep. 25, 2016 UT UKRAINE TODAY
                            Russian colonel killed in Donbas – Ukrainian police reveal details

                            The Interior Ministry of Ukraine revealed the details on the murdered in Luhansk Russian colonel. As Ministry's speaker Artem Shevchenko wrote on Facebook, Deputy Commander of Kremlin-sponsored ‘2nd Army Corps' of the puppet state ‘Luhansk Peoples Republic' Alexander Osipov (nicknamed ‘Orlov') previously served as a paratrooper commander in a Russian army unit in Anapa (Krasnodarsk region, Caucasus, Russia).

                            "Paratrooper, really big bump. He could serve way along in Anapa, now he is dead in separatists showdown in our land. Suicide of the "premier-minister" Tsypkalov – seems to be logical part of the same case," Shevchenko says in his statement.

                            Open sources say, that in the town of Anapa the base of Guards Artillery Regiment №1141 is placed. This unit is a part of 7th Airborne Assault Division of Russian Army. According to Ukrainian volunteers, units of this division took part in Russian invasion to Ukrainian Donbas in 2014 and 2015, in particular - during the battle of Ilovaysk.

                            Earlier Ukrainian Military Intel informed of Russian high-ranking official killed in Donbas. Kremlin' Secret Service started an investigation of his death is militant-held Ukrainian Luhansk. Also yesterday an information appeared on ex-Luhansk 'Prime Minister' - he was arrested by separatists, then allegedly 'committed suicide'. Russian military in Donbas: Russian colonel killed in Donbas – Ukrainian police reveal details

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                            • Ukraine reports 29 attacks on its troops in Donbas in last day Illegal armed formations in Donbas opened fire on Ukrainian troops 29 times in the past day, according to the press center of the Ukrainian Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) headquarters.
                              UNIAN 25 Sept 2016

                              In particular, 12 attacks were reported in the Donetsk sector alone.

                              "The occupiers used an 82mm mortar to shell the village of Pisky and the town of Avdiyivka, and a 120mm mortar was used to shell the Butivka coal mine. In addition, they used grenade launchers, machine-guns and small arms to fire on Avdiyivka, and the villages of Verkhniotoretske and Novhorodske. Avdiyivka also came under sniper fire," the ATO HQ said.

                              "There were five instances of the violation of the ceasefire in the Luhansk sector. "The enemy opened fire on the villages of Novozvanivka and Novo-Oleksandrivka, using grenade launchers and small arms. Under-barrel grenade launchers were fired on the village of Stanytsia Luhanska [which is one of the three points for recently agreed disengagement] to provoke backfire," the ATO HQ said.

                              Further, there were 12 attacks on Ukrainian troops in the Mariupol sector.

                              "Mercenaries used small arms, machine-guns and grenade launchers to shell the town of Maryinka, the villages of Novotroyitske, Taramchuk, Pavlopil, Starohnativka, and Shyrokyne. Maryinka also came under sniper fire," the ATO HQ said.

                              Two enemy drones were spotted in the ATO zone in the past day.

                              Despite the provocations, the Armed Forces of Ukraine strictly abide by the Minsk peace agreement, the HQ said.

                              Ukraine reports 29 attacks on its troops in Donbas in last day

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                              • New media platform for IDPs launched in Ukraine New media platform "Polilog" intended for internally displaced persons (IDPs) was presented in Kyiv on September 23, Crimean news portal Krym.Realii reported.
                                UNIAN 24 Sept 2016

                                The platform includes a website, official social media pages and a TV talk show planned to be launched on Channel 5 in October.

                                Pavlo Novykov, the curator of Polilog, says the platform's mission is about getting united in order to achieve common goals. Its motto reads: "Speak. Listen. Act."

                                "Our country has learned to pronounce monologues, bargain between the two, but the country has to learn to negotiate in communities, groups; learn to find compromises in these groups. The task number one pursued by our online platform for IDPs is to unite them around some problematic issues, find something in common, and later, for example, even launch group-buying services," Novikov said.

                                People displaced from Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk have contributed to the launch of the platform, it is reported.

                                "We want to see high quality, but we want to achieve this quality with the involvement of people who have gained first-hand experience," Novikov was quoted as saying.
                                Representatives of the Ukrainian government, media community and NGOs, as well as religious leaders were present during the launch of the platform.

                                "I want everyone to know: this is not about charity, it refers to investment. We invest funds, and this investment will have a return of 150% for the population. This is the most profitable investment ... When we talk about IDPs from Donbas and Crimea, we're talking about educated, intelligent and successful people, who have achieved something in their lives, had a good life, reached high results, but they have lost everything and they have to make a new beginning. Give them your support, and this start will help them get on their feet, be efficient not only for themselves but for the entire Ukrainian society," said Rabbi Pinchas Vishedsky, the exiled chief rabbi of Donetsk.
                                According to Ukraine's Social Policy Ministry, some 1.789,000 IDPs from the annexed Crimea and the country’s east were registered as of late June 2016. According to estimates, the number of Crimean residents who moved to Ukraine’s mainland ranges from 30,000 to 60,000 people, with a third of them being the Crimean Tatars. They mostly live in Kyiv, Lviv, Mykolaiv, Kherson and Dnipropetrovsk regions.

                                New media platform for IDPs launched in Ukraine | UNIAN

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