No announcement yet.

Ukrainian roots are being uprooted -

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • PACE has not recognized elections in Crimea, called for extension of sanctions
    UAWIRE ORG October 14, 2016 10:33:00 AM

    The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has condemned Russia’s State Duma elections, which were held in the annexed Crimea on the 18th of September.

    A resolution titled ‘The political consequences of the Russian aggression in Ukraine’ was adopted on the 12th of October. It states that the act of holding these elections grossly violates international law and also calls into question the legitimacy of those elected to office.

    The resolution also includes an amendment proposed by the Ukrainian delegation. It is a recommendation for the EU countries to not lift any sanctions against Russia until Ukraine regains control over certain areas in Donetsk, Luhansk and the Crimea.

    On Wednesday, PACE also adopted a resolution on human rights issues in the Crimea, in the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and in the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR). The resolution assigned responsibility to Russia for the observance of the human rights in these areas as Russia “actually controls these regions”. In addition, the resolution discussed the need to respect the rights and freedoms of the Crimean Tatars. UAWire - PACE has not recognized elections in Crimea, called for extension of sanctions

    æ, !

    Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


    • Ukrainian Ministry of Defense confirmed the deteriorating situation near Mariupol
      UAWIRE ORG October 14, 2016 11:27:16 AM

      In his interview to journalists, the Ukrainian Minister of Defense, Stepan Poltorak, confirmed that hostilities in Shyrokyne in the direction of Mariupol are the most active on the demarcation line in eastern Ukraine.

      “The situation in Shyrokyne has deteriorated considerably. There was an attack by the enemy's reconnaissance and sabotage group took place in this village a few days ago. Two attackers were killed and two others blew themselves up on the minefield when they left Shyrokyne; one was captured and one managed to flee. After these events, the situation has become worse there,” Poltorak said. According to him, the escalation is connected with the militants’ attempts to get revenge for losses and also a personnel rotation.

      “As of today, this area is the most troublesome,” the minister added. On September 21, the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine signed a framework agreement on the withdrawal of troops and weapons of the sides involved in the conflict in the Donbas along three areas. The observance of a seven-day ceasefire in these areas was one of the terms of this agreement.

      The withdrawal of troops suggests that both sides withdraw from their positions to a distance of no less than two kilometers. However, despite the agreements, the separatists continue to shell the positions of the Ukrainian Forces using heavy weapons. The Ukrainian Army Headquarters has recorded the greatest number of shelling and armed provocations in the direction of Mariupol.
      UAWire - Ukrainian Ministry of Defense confirmed the deteriorating situation near Mariupol

      æ, !

      Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


      • U.S. officials find growing evidence of connection between Russia and WikiLeaks
        UAWIRE ORG October 14, 2016 9:27:47 AM

        There is mounting evidence that the Russian government is supplying WikiLeaks with hacked emails belonging to Democratic Party officials, namely those of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, CNN reported, citing officials familiar with the investigation.

        The way in which the emails are leaked "suggest Moscow is at least providing the information or is possibly directly responsible for the leaks," one U.S. official said.

        U.S. intelligence agencies are continuing their investigation into the cyber-attacks against the Democratic Party that happened earlier this year, and while they are confident that the Russian government is involved in WikiLeaks’ release of information, the exact connection between the whistle-blowing organization and Moscow has not yet been determined.

        Investigators believe that, at the very least, Russia is delivering the hacked emails to WikiLeaks, which has been releasing batches of emails every day, some of which are damning to Hillary Clinton.

        According to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, "The kinds of disclosures that we've seen, including at WikiLeaks, of stolen e-mails from people who play an important role in our political process is consistent with Russian- directed efforts.”

        Russia has denied the allegations. "If they decided to do something, let them do it," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told CNN. "But to say that Russia is interfering in the United States domestic matters is ridiculous."

        WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has also denied accusations that he is a political agent of Russia.

        Last week, U.S. intelligence agencies formally accused Russia of being behind the cyber-attacks against the Democratic Party earlier this year.
        UAWire - U.S. officials find growing evidence of connection between Russia and WikiLeaks

        æ, !

        Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


        • Rally against war in Ukraine held in Brussels (Photos) StopPutinsWarinUkraine rally was held in Brussels Friday, with its participants calling to stop the war in Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to an UNIAN correspondent.
          UNIAN 14 Oct 2016

          The rally took place in the heart of the European Quarter, at the Schuman Square, where the offices of the European Commission, the European Council and the EU External Service are located.

          Participants of the rally were holding placards, chanting in English: "Stop Putin, stop the war!", "More sanctions!", "Your country could be next!", and "Freedom for Roman Sushchenko!", "Freedom for all illegal prisoners!", "Putin is a terrorist!".

          The rally was also attended by MEP Marc Demesmaeker, who believes that the EU should strengthen its sanctions against Russia for its actions in Ukraine and Syria.

          "It is important because we want peace, we can see that Ukraine is a victim of foreign aggression, the Kremlin's aggression. Similar aggression we also see in Syria. What is happening in Aleppo, proves that if we we don’t defend our principles, if the European Union does not stand up its their principles, it will be a weak union, and we will be victims of this type of aggression anywhere in the world. It is therefore important to say - stop this aggression in Ukraine. We need to maintain and even strengthen our sanctions. against all countries that do not comply with international principles, rules and international agreements," said Demesmaeker.

          More than 30 people took part in the rally, among them Ukrainian journalists, diplomats, activists and friends of Ukraine.

          As UNIAN reported earlier, rallies are scheduled in more than 30 countries around the world for Oct 14-15 to show solidarity with the Ukrainian people, under the slogan StopPutinsWarinUkraine.
          Rally against war in Ukraine held in Brussels (Photos) | UNIAN

          æ, !

          Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


          • Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister: West does not want Putin cornered Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Olena Zerkal has said she believes the West is afraid to have Vladimir Putin cornered because the Russian president has nuclear arms at his disposal, reported Thursday.
            UNIAN 14 Oct 2016

            "They are very afraid that Putin, once cornered, could use something they would have never used," said Zerkal, according to

            According to the Ukrainian official, switching off SWIFT is not yet considered as a sanction against Russia.

            "Back in 2014, when we were moving to the latest wave of sanctions, we were discussing with our European partners this possibility and left it as a last resort type of pressure. But we can’t rule out today that such possibility exists.

            The deputy foreign minister admitted that this summer, Ukrainian diplomats were not confident in maintaining sanctions against Russia. Now, according to Zerkal, Vladimir Putin with his actions in Syria gives Ukraine extra leverage for negotiations with the Western leaders on the prolongation and strengthening of sanctions against Russia.

            As UNIAN reported earlier, there have already been calls in the European Union and the United States to impose new sanctions against Russia because of its actions in Syria - in addition to those already imposed on Moscow for its aggression against Ukraine.

            Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister: West does not want Putin cornered

            æ, !

            Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


            • Oct. 14, 2016 UT UKRAINE TODAY
              ‘Russia not a bear, but ‘black swan' committing crimes' – analyst on Putin's failed blackmail

              Ukrainian political expert Alexander Khara talks PACE pro-Ukraine resolutions and how they could affect Russia

              The latest PACE resolutions on Russia's involvement in Ukrainian conflict have been named essential by international community, meaning the organization has adopted a much harsher approach towards Moscow.

              The documents not only reiterate condemnation of the annexation of Crimea, slam Russian Parliamentary elections there, and call on the Kremlin to cease violations of human rights, they also acknowledge ‘the crucial role of Russian military personnel in taking over' the areas in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

              ‘Regarding the ‘DPR' and the ‘LPR', effective control is based on the well-documented crucial role of Russian military personnel in taking over and maintaining control of these regions, against the determined resistance of the legitimate Ukrainian authorities and on the complete dependence of the ‘DPR' and ‘LPR' on Russia in logistical, financial and administrative terms', one of the resolution says.

              The documents arrived at the times, when it seemed almost inevitable Moscow would regain its positions at PACE, as even the organization's President evidently supported the return of the Russian delegation, which had been excluded from PACE over the Kremlin's actions in Ukraine.

              ‘Russia was trying to employ the power of all its proxies within the organization to change the rules and to get back to PACE. The two resolutions could be considered as a sign of the failed Russian blackmail diplomacy towards this important body', Ukrainian political expert Alexander Khara said.

              Mr. Khara praised the resolutions as organization's move in the right direction, adding that PACE had made more progress even than Ukrainian government, calling Russia the aggressor in Crimea and, especially, in Donbas.

              The Parliament Assembly rapporteurs pointed out that according to the international law it is Russia that is responsible for protecting the human rights in the territories it seized within Ukraine. They also said that any elections in militant-held Donbas are not possible due to the many factors, including security situation and a lack of freedoms.

              It remains to be seen whether the resolution will have any effect on the Kremlin. Khara says, in the meantime Moscow is gambling and raising stakes in Ukraine and in Syria, but it's unlikely to achieve what it wants.

              ‘Russia now is not a bear, but rather a black swan. It's making a lot of mistakes, committing a lot of crimes that the Free world (the West – UT), cannot just turn a blind eye on', the analyst said, apparently referring to the black swan theory, which is a metaphor that describes unexpected events of large magnitude and consequence and their dominant role in history.

              'Before the PACE vote, Russia did a lot of bad things in Syria, Putin is not fulfilling his promise, and this is the reason why the West has no choice but to step up the pressure'.

              Putin, in turn, has repeatedly denied Moscow's responsibility for the rift in the relations with the West, dismissing the accusations as ‘anti-Russian hysteria'. He would often say that the US acted unilaterally, avoiding consultations with him on the key issues.

              As Khara emphasized, both Washington and Berlin have always stressed they were open to dialogue with the Kremlin, combining deterrence and diplomacy in their approach. But Putin often makes the latter impossible, which was clearly demonstrated by the failed meeting of the Russian and French Presidents.

              ‘Because of the rising violence and crimes committed by Assad and Russian air force, bombing hospitals, Mr. Hollande decided to step away from the talks. And it was right after the Russian delegation voted for the fifth time against a UN resolution on ceasefire and a no-fly zone in Syria, because peace is not in Russia's interests, escalation is, to push the West to negotiate with Assad', Ukrainian analyst said.

              Still, Khara says he believes that the increasing pressure and possible stronger sanctions will eventually push Putin towards fulfilling his obligations in Minsk and other international agreements.
              PACE Resolutions: ‘Russia not a bear, but ‘black swan' committing crimes' – analyst on Putin's failed blackmail

              æ, !

              Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


              • Putin likely to expand Russian invasion of Ukraine in January, Felgenhauer says
                EUROMAIDAN PRESS Paul A. Goble 2016/10/14

                Rumors and fears about the possibility of a third world war between Russia and the West have become so overwhelming that many have begun to forget that Vladimir Putin is still involved in an aggressive war in Ukraine and that it is far more likely that he will expand that conflict than that he will risk a nuclear exchange with the West.

                The ceasefire in eastern Ukraine is anything but holding, and consequently, it is useful to consider what Putin, the Russian military and the Moscow-controlled hybrid troops in the occupied portions of Ukraine, including Crimea, might do next lest Ukraine get lost in the noise of Moscow’s rhetoric about World War III.

                Independent Russian military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer thus makes an important contribution with a discussion today of when and where the Kremlin leader is likely to direct his forces in Ukraine in the near future.

                “Before the New Year or more precisely before the middle of January, a major war [in Ukraine] is improbable.” That doesn’t mean that there won’t be more local clashes intended to put pressure on Ukraine and that doesn’t mean that these actions are “the independent actions of the local militants.”

                Opposite the areas controlled by Ukraine, Moscow has been forming a tank army consisting of two corps under Russian command. That is a major change from “’the Cossacks and brigands’” who were there before. This is “now something quite serious” that Kyiv and the West need to take into consideration.

                Felgenhauer says that he doesn’t think that attacks in the Mariupol direction are possible now, given the weather and the constraints Moscow faces given its recent military exercises and the change out of one group of draftees who are finishing their service with another cohort who are beginning theirs.

                Moreover, the Russian army is reorganizing its forces. General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Staff, has said that

                “the number of tactical battalion groups in these fall months will be sharply increased from 66 to 96. In the course of 2017, they will increase further to 115 and by 2018 to 125 — that is twice as many as now.”

                For comparison, Felgenhauer continues, Moscow sent 10 to 12 such groups across the Ukrainian border in August 2014, and NATO now has four such groups in Poland and the Baltic countries.

                “Such a concentration of forces and resources in World War II fashion against the West is dangerous and against Ukraine as well,” the analyst argues. That will create a situation where the forces will be two to one or “even three to one.” Russia’s goal in this “is by any means not to allow the Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine and to achieve regime change in Kyiv.”

                In the course of a new round of aggression, Russia is unlikely to choose Mariupol as its goal. Laying siege to that city, he says, would be “a long, bloody and difficult story because it is already prepared for defense. But Odesa is not very well prepared, nor are Kherson and Mykolaiv.”

                That makes an attack on Odesa more likely especially since “many in Russia consider it a Russian city” and because its “’liberation’” would trigger a patriotic explosion much like the annexation of Crimea. But the most compelling reason for thinking Moscow will move in that direction is that it can use its fleet and can achieve a link up with Transdniestria.

                Another reason for thinking Moscow won’t move until January and then will move toward Odesa is to be found in the words of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov who has suggested to Western diplomats that there is a short-term “window” for talking about Ukraine but that it won’t remain “open” forever.

                But there are two more compelling reasons to think Moscow will move in January, Felgenhauer says. On the one hand, such a move unlike doing something against the Baltic countries would not involve Russia in a suicidal clash with NATO. And on the other, many in Moscow now feel that things are so bad in relations with the West that they have nothing to lose.
                Putin likely to expand Russian invasion of Ukraine in January, Felgenhauer says | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press |

                æ, !

                Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


                • Vietnam refused to allow Russia to reestablish military base on its territory
                  UAWIRE ORG October 14, 2016 12:29:00 PM

                  Vietnam refused to provide its territory for deployment of a Russian military base. A statement from the Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued on Thursday, October 13th reads that Hanoi’s policy "is not to make military alliances and not to unite with any country against a third country.”

                  "We will also not allow any State to deploy a military base on our territory,” stressed Lê Hải Bình, an official representative of the Ministry.

                  In early October, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation stated its willingness to reestablish military bases in Vietnam and Cuba. Russia had already established military bases in both countries that lasted from the Soviet era to 2002. They had a radio-electronic center in Lourdes, Cuba and a naval base in Cam Ranh, Vietnam.

                  Vietnam’s neutrality policy makes it possible for warships of foreign countries to enter its ports; however, such visits are extremely rare and limited in time. Cam-Ranh has recently played host to U.S., Japanese and French naval forces, Reuters reports.
                  UAWire - Vietnam refused to allow Russia to reestablish military base on its territory

                  æ, !

                  Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


                  • Ukrainian Nationalists March In Kyiv As New Far-Right Party Is Born
                    RADIO FREE EUROPE Christopher Miller Oct 14, 2016

                    KYIV -- Thousands of nationalists have marched through Kyiv in a procession to celebrate Ukrainian fighters past and present on a day that saw a fearsome far-right military force formally enter the country's political fray.

                    As dusk fell on the second annual Day of Defenders on October 14, a holiday established following Russia's seizure of Crimea and interference in eastern Ukraine, marchers lit torches that illuminated the flags of the far-right Azov and Right Sector parties and filled the sky above them with smoke.

                    The march coincided with traditional nationalist events marking the creation of the controversial World War II-era Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and to celebrate Ukrainian Cossacks.

                    The far-right activists chanted "Glory to the nation!" and "Death to enemies!" as they wound their way from the capital's towering Mother Homeland statue to St. Sofia Square.

                    It was a show of force for the ultranationalist groups, in particular for Azov, whose ranks have served as perhaps Ukraine's most formidable fighting force in the war against the separatists that has killed more than 9,600 people since April 2014.

                    The march under torchlight capped a day in which Azov, formerly a volunteer militia but now included in the National Guard, officially became a political party.

                    Credited with recapturing the strategic port city of Mariupol from separatist forces, the Azov battalion has also been accused by human rights groups of torture and even war crimes during the conflict. Other detractors believe the group's far-right ideology and militancy could pose a threat to President Petro Poroshenko and the stability of the state.

                    Some of the marchers wore facemasks adorned with skeletons and the Azov symbol -- an emblem similar to the Nazi Wolfsangel that the group claims is actually comprised of the letters N and I, meaning "national idea."

                    "Putin's a d***head!" some chanted, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose military and security services clandestinely seized and annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and have backed the separatists in the east of the country.

                    'Several Ways Of Coming To Power'

                    At an inaugural party congress earlier in the day, Azov's new political leaders told some 400 delegates and attendees -- many dressed in military fatigues -- that the party would work to defend Ukraine against Russian aggression. They also elected parliament member Andriy Biletsky as party leader for the next four years.

                    Azov's platform calls for amending Ukraine's constitution to expand presidential powers, allowing him or her to serve as commander in chief of the armed forces as well as head of state.

                    It also backs the restoration of Ukraine's nuclear power status, the nationalization of companies that were owned by the government when Ukraine gained independence in 1991, and the legalization of firearms for personal protection.

                    "All citizens who receive permission will be allowed to own and carry pistols," the party platform states.

                    Its foreign policy seeks to sever cultural, diplomatic, and trade ties with Russia while building a Baltic and Black Sea Union comprised of other neighboring nations.

                    The party also urged a public discussion about restoring the death penalty in Ukraine for crimes such as treason and embezzlement of government funds.

                    Nazar Kravchenko, an Azov party leader, told the Hromadske news site that he hopes the party will give the group greater political influence.

                    "There are several ways of coming to power, but we are trying something through elections," he said. "But we have all sorts of possibilities."

                    Azov is not the first far-right group to enter Ukraine's fractious political arena. Both the Right Sector movement and the nationalist Svoboda party have tried their luck in politics but failed to reach the 5-percent threshold needed to enter parliament in October 2014 elections.

                    In May 2014, the parties' presidential candidates finished near the bottom of the polls.

                    The Fatherland party of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is currently the country's most popular political party with the support of 6.3 percent of Ukrainians, according to a recent poll by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology.

                    Fatherland is followed by the ruling Petro Poroshenko Bloc at 5.9 percent.

                    Azov was not included in the poll because it had not yet been established as a political party. Ukrainian Nationalists March In Kyiv As New Far-Right Party Is Born

                    æ, !

                    Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


                    • The Education of Mikheil - The governor of Ukraine’s bucolic Odessa region wanted to take on the corrupt system. Now he’s realized he has to work with it.
                      FOREIGN POLICY Ian Bateson Oct 14, 2016

                      Just last week, former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili was confidently predicting his imminent return to his home country. Anticipating that his old political party would triumph in the Oct. 8 parliamentary elections — and that corruption charges the current government instigated against him would be dropped — he seemed all but to have packed his bags. Instead, his party suffered a major defeat. It looks like, at least for now, he will remain where he is — as governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region. But governing Odessa isn’t what he once hoped it would be.

                      When Saakashvili called a press conference one day this August, no one could have guessed who would be standing next to him. For months, he had lambasted Odessa’s mayor, Gennady Trukhanov, as a corrupt mafioso who was draining the city dry. But suddenly, the hulking governor and the lean, Thai-boxing Trukhanov were standing shoulder-to-shoulder as if nothing had happened.

                      For Saakashvili, the event was part pragmatic politics and part admission of defeat. He had called the press conference to show Ukraine’s leaders that the region’s two leading politicians could work together, and that Odessa deserved to host the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. But it was also an acknowledgement that, after more than fifteen months as governor, he is unable to enact any major projects without Mayor Trukhanov, who has his roots in the criminality that ravaged Odessa in the ‘90s. In that way, Saakashvili’s troubles in Odessa represent the painful compromises of trying to advance reform in a country where some things have changed — but where most of the old system’s apparatchiks haven’t really gone anywhere.

                      When Saakashvili was first appointed governor in May 2015, the Odessa region, which hugs the coast of the Black Sea, appeared to be a leading front in Ukraine’s war on corruption. Saakashvili brought an international media spotlight and new team of young reformers. Locals hoped that he would soon begin enacting the decisive reforms that had made him famous in his native Georgia (and that their own leaders had been unable to deliver). But more than a year later, Saakashvili has few accomplishments to boast of. His time in Odessa has been a humbling experience for the young and tremendously energetic former Georgian president.

                      Saakashvili had come to Ukraine looking for a new career after facing politically motivated charges of abuse of power and corruption in Tbilisi. But he soon found that replicating the fast-track reforms he had pushed at home was impossible. “In Georgia, Saakashvili was a kind of tsar, able to make what he wanted happen,” said Ghia Nodia, his former education minister in Georgia. “But in Ukraine he’s only a governor. He’s much weaker and he’s forced to make compromises he would rather not.”

                      Initially, the ex-president was reluctant to learn that lesson, hoping he would be able to thrust aside any members of the local elite who stood in his way. For months after arriving in Odessa, Saakashvili waged a furious PR war with Trukhanov. Social media became a key front, with each politician attending an extraordinary number of events and publicizing them online. Trukhanov’s Facebook page, written in the third person and exclusively in Russian, showed him opening a never-ending procession of sports facilities, overseeing children building a giant paper boat, and wishing athletes from his network of Thai boxing gyms luck in their international competitions. Saakashvili’s Facebook page, written in the first person in both Ukrainian and Russian, showed him in a traditional embroidered shirt dancing with older Ukrainian women, moving his office to a tent at a stalled construction site, and celebrating with newlyweds at a new twenty-four-hour wedding center.

                      The two men seemed to represent two parallel Odessas. Saakashvili looked to the future, to a post-Euromaidan Odessa that would finally root out the corruption of the past and build a modern city. Trukhanov, on the other hand, is the master of an Odessa where Ukraine’s 2011 revolution never happened, and where cronies of the deposed President Viktor Yanukovych would be free to continue business as usual.

                      They even observed different holidays. Saakashvili marked the end of World War II on May 8, the European day of remembrance, while Trukhanov celebrated it on May 9, the Soviet Victory Day. But the clash wasn’t just about corruption or ideology — it was also about who would be the real head in the region and have the right to imprint his vision on it.

                      With control over the legislature in Odessa, Trukhanov was often in the position to deny Saakashvili his vision. One of the early reforms, a sleek new citizens’ service center, floundered as funds ran dry. Technically it was under the authority of the city — and Trukhanov refused to fund the project.

                      Over time, however, the conflict became less pronounced. According to Saakashvili’s advisor Maria Gaidar, things began to change after the October 2015 local elections, when Trukhanov defeated Sasha Borovik, Saakashvili’s close ally, in the race for mayor. Saakashvili also failed to win a supportive majority in Odessa’s Regional Assembly. The episode made Saakashvili realize that he wouldn’t be able to crush Trukhanov and his friends.

                      “Now he knows that even to build a library in Odessa he needs to talk to these guys,” Borovik says. A Harvard-educated former Microsoft executive, Borovik had been a member of Saakashvili’s team of reformers, but made a quiet exit in June and now lives between New York and Munich, working for a technology start-up.

                      Before leaving, Borovik says, he read about how the United States cooperated with the Italian mafia during World War II to advance the war effort against Mussolini. He was trying to understand when it could be morally acceptable to collaborate with criminal elements. In the end, he says, it was more of a compromise than he could make.

                      But, according to Borovik, Saakashvili has no problem cutting the sort of unsavory deals needed to get things done. “Misha is being a Lyndon Johnson,” he said, referring to Johnson’s ability to play dirty politics and push through progressive legislation where the idealist John F. Kennedy could not.

                      One of the bigger projects Saakashvili has pushed is the Odessa-Reni highway, which is meant to replace the current dismal road between Odessa and Romania with a modern four-lane road at a cost of $4.6 billion.

                      But all of the early tenders for building the highway have gone to the city construction empire dominated by Trukhanov, according to Arkadiy Topov of a local anti-corruption watchdog. The companies linked to the mayor are known to build roads at up to four times the comparable rate in other parts of the country.

                      When asked by Foreign Policy, Saakashvili insisted that the tender process had been transparent, but had no direct response to concerns that the costs of building the highway would likely be inflated to maximize graft, creating new fortunes and perpetuating Odessa’s reputation as a hotbed of corruption.

                      Moments before, Saakashvili had addressed the audience at a major conference, blasting former President Leonid Kuchma, who was seated in front of him, for creating today’s corrupt elite. But even as Saakashvili has made a career of calling out the failings of Ukraine’s leaders and their propensity to collaborate with the old system, he conveniently sidesteps the fact that he has done the same thing.

                      But Saakashvili’s tactics only point to the larger problem. Nearly three years since the Euromaidan revolution, Ukraine’s reformers have failed to break the back of the corrupt structures that still grip the country. As a result, providing tangible signs of change — even something as simple as new roads — means collaborating with the very system the revolution was supposed to uproot.
                      The Education of Mikheil Saakashvili | Foreign Policy

                      æ, !

                      Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


                      • The last Herostratus
                        UNIAN Taras Sydorzhevsky 14 Oct 2016

                        In 356 B.C., the Greek city of Ephesus on the territory of present-day Turkey suffered a major fire - the pride of the city, the famous temple of Artemis, has burned to the ground. A local man named Herostratus plead guilty to committing an arson. As he was tortured, he told the authorities that he went for it in order to be remembered by his descendants. And, in fact, that’s how it all went down after all: 23 centuries have passed but his name still lives on. Of course, no one really calls their kids in his honor and no one worships him in church. Rather, the world remembers him with a slight smile as some Greek fool, with a note that this fool was an ambitious one. However, the important thing here is that he is still remembered. Actually, there have been plenty of such “heroes”. And the more power they had, the larger the temples they burned, taking millions of lives along with them. Of course, we are familiar with the other reasons to launch wars - political, self-serving ones. But still, I dare to suggest that plain selfishness of rulers was one of the motives - they were just too narcissistic. After all, to remain in the memory of future generations and to influence their destiny is the only thing they are left to do when they feel their journey is over. Generations pass, the names of millions killed in wars are gradually forgotten, their graves are long covered with grass, their descendants live their own lives, thinking more about their children than about their ancestors. But the names of conquerors live on. "He was a bad person, but certainly a great one," people use to say about them. And today, 70 years after the last mass grinder, the question lingers of the ambition of today’s conquerors.

                        Let's assume that Putin wants to go down in history and is actually preparing for war. Let’s suggest he is not playing political games, rather wanting to fight and win (naturally, assessing nuclear warfare scenarios). Obviously, you cannot win alone, so firstly, you need allies. To get them, you need the ground for negotiations. You do not need order and peace to this end – you need problems, disaccord, intertwined interests, and of course, you need war – hybrid war, full of lies, waged on foreign soil, and - what would be a very "successful" case – religion-driven. In order to get involved in that kind of war and justify it before your own people, blowing up your airplane would be just enough. Then none of your compatriots would say a thing to contradict your agenda. Of course, no one even thinks about feeling sorry for several dozens of victims, including children. It’s not the Kremlin style. Then, of course, you blame it on the terrorists (no one is really going to fight them anyway). Remember, recently Russia deployed its S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Syria, despite the fact that the Islamic State has never had any air force whatsoever? Who are they going to shoot down? The bottom line is that the plane has been blown up, people have been buried, the grass is growing on their graves, while the reason for military involvement remains. It really is hard to believe in this scenario, but the timing is just a bit too perfect for these things to be pure coincidence...

                        Second, while preparing for war, you need to know the weaknesses of your adversaries - both military and political. For this purpose, you need to provoke them, making them grow accustomed to false alarms and watching their reaction – violate their air space, invade their land… Just a few days ago, two Russian Tu-160 bombers flew straight down to the northern parts of Spain and then returned back to their base on the same route. Air forces of four countries scrambled their jets to intercept Russian warplanes. Meanwhile, these interceptions have already become too commonplace... Also, one shouldn’t forget about the intensive military drills along the border with Ukraine over the past two years, where tens of thousands of troops and a large number of military hardware was amassed. Imagine the temptation to finally use it all! And third, in order to win, you need to weaken the enemy – create maximum disunity in their ranks, split the existing unions, slowly but surely warming up national chauvinism, supporting local and marginal populists, using blackmail and bribery. In short, first the enemies must be split, and then worked with, separately... At the same time, there is no real need to deal with the welfare of your own people. What you need is the nation’s loyalty (so that the people don’t interfere), and here is where propaganda kicks in. It is clear that these things are not done over the course of a month or even a year. But it seems that Putin is already playing this long game, and the question is, how far he is willing to go and whether he will eventually go all-in. At the same time, apparently, his opponents for some reason decided to play short games, without looking forth, beyond their term of office...

                        Now, let's throw this whole conspiracy thing aside, let’s smile and pretend that all will end well. In a few years, the sanctions finally crush the Russian economy, the West will mobilize, there will be no new "Exits", the Kremlin will have to reconcile with the United States and withdraw its troops from Syria and Donbas as well as de-occupy Crimea, and this new Cold War will die out. The aging Putin will hand over his power to some younger KGB (FSB) man and retire. Just like Buddha, he will be traveling between his palaces, shine with his wrinkled face on TV during some public events, sitting among the audience of “ordinary Russians" as the guest of honor. He may also keep flying with the Siberian Cranes, riding a horse, and going fishing. Then he will get ill and die in a warm bed, only to be mummified and buried in a mausoleum, according to a good old Russian tradition. It would be nice, wouldn’t it? But somehow it seems that he loves himself too much to hit the bucket so quietly...
                        The last Herostratus - news about politics | unian | UNIAN

                        æ, !

                        Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


                        • Russia’s largest problem: Permafrost lying beneath two-thirds of its territory will melt this century
                          EUROMAIDAN PRESS Paul A. Goble 2016/10/16

                          The Russian government says it will invest 80 billion US dollars in developing Russia’s Far North between now and 2030, money it does not yet have. But the biggest barrier to achieving its goals may not be financial stringencies but the impact of global warming.

                          According to Russian experts, permafrost underlies almost two-thirds of Russia’s territory. It is melting rapidly already. Twenty-five percent is projected to melt over the next 40 to 50 years and by 2100, a total of two-thirds, creating enormous problems for Moscow and Russia as a whole.

                          Already, melting has undermined almost all the buildings of the Taymyr Dolgano-Nenets Autonomous Okrug and almost 40 percent of the structures in Vorkuta and its mining industry. It has undermined the transportation network and pipelines. And it has led to outbreaks of disease not seen since World War II.

                          But as bad as the situation is now, it is going to get much worse; and yesterday, scholars and officials met in Moscow to discuss the problems of predicting the kinds of emergencies that may emerge in the Far North as a result of the melting of the permafrost and what if anything Moscow can do now to limit them.

                          Leonty Byzov of the Moscow Institute of Sociology notes that “eternal” permafrost now covers approximately 11 million square kilometers or almost 65 percent of Russia’s territory. But the area is home to only a few percent of Russia’s population, although there are some urban centers like Norilsk.

                          Given that the permafrost, long thought to be a permanent feature, is melting, the question has arisen, the sociologist says, as to whether “it is necessary to continue at former rates to conquer the Russian North and North-East and how logical is it to organize permanent settlements there?”

                          Experts divide depending on how effective they think any steps can be and how much they believe Russia’s national security requires developing the area regardless of cost. Many think, Byzov says, that warming will make the lives of those living there easier. “But in fact, it is obvious that warming in the North creates more problems” than elsewhere.

                          The only reason more people aren’t leaving the area now, he continues, is that “all who could leave already did so in the 1990s.” Those who remain either have nowhere to go or have resigned themselves to living in ever more difficult circumstances.

                          According to Byzov, many exaggerate the possibility that China will move into the region. Beyond doubt, China will be exerting a greater influence than now along the route of the Trans-Siberian Railway in the south; but it is unlikely to be interested in making the investments that would be required to become a major player in Russia’s Far North.

                          What Russia should have done 20 years ago or more is what Canada has done and transform much of the High North into national parks and preserves. But Moscow missed that chance and now it is too late in many cases. The result: widespread fires that often burn out of control for weeks or more.

                          Nikolay Rybakov, an ecologist, pointed out that as the permafrost melts, there is an even greater danger than many now think.

                          In Soviet times, the military buried all kinds of dangerous materials in permafrost areas confident that what they put in the ground would stay there. But that calculation was wrong, and now many things are coming to the surface. Tragically, much of this was done secretly and so Russians today do not even know just where and just what is buried.

                          If they find out only after these things rise to the surface and spread their poisons, that will have horrific consequences not only for the region but for Russia and all countries with territories in the Far North.
                          Russia’s largest problem: Permafrost lying beneath two-thirds of its territory will melt this century | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press |

                          æ, !

                          Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


                          • Poroshenko introduces new Chairman of Kharkiv Regional State Administration Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has introduced new Chairman of Kharkiv Regional State Administration Yuliya Svitlychna at the meeting with leadership of the region, the president's press service has reported.
                            UNIAN 15 Oct 2016

                            The Head of State signed Decree No. 462/2016 on the appointment of Yuliya Svitlychna as Chairman of Kharkiv Regional State Administration, according to the press service.

                            The President noted that a "very strict and competitive contest" had been held under the new law on civil service in order to appoint a person to that post.

                            According to the Head of State, this fact brings in a serious adjustment to the gender content of the staffing policy of Ukraine.

                            Poroshenko emphasized that the given appointment symbolized the emergence of a new generation formed in times of Ukrainian independence.

                            The President added that the whole work experience of Yuliya Svitlychna had been related to Slobozhanshchyna. "She enjoys respect, knows the region and its problems well," he said.

                            Poroshenko introduces new Chairman of Kharkiv Regional State Administration

                            æ, !

                            Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


                            • Dear Hannia,
                              Thank you for all your help. I am looking for Igor (Ihor) Voronchak to do a search for me. I tried to contact him through this website but have not received an answer. How can I make contact with him. Forever grateful for all you do. I am very sorry about all the trouble in the Ukraine, and I will pray for the country of my ancestors. Sincerely, BMKozoway


                              • EU considers expanding sanctions against Russia
                                UAWIRE ORG October 15, 2016 1:12:00 PM

                                The European Union continues to discuss tightening of sanctions against Russia due to its actions in Syria although the EU countries have not reached a common position yet, Radio Poland reports. Ideas regarding tightening of the diplomatic sanctions against Russia emerged in discussions, particularly regarding the extension of a “black list” of people who would be prohibited from entering the EU and have their European financial assets frozen.

                                In particular, this is the view of Germany and Great Britain. There is also a proposal to tighten an export ban on technologies that can be used in arms manufacturing. But Radio Poland has learned from informed sources that such a restriction is unlikely because the EU countries have not reached a consensus.

                                The tone of the discussion has also changed after recent Syrian bombings. Until recently, there were doubts whether the European Union would reach a consensus regarding the extension of the current economic sanctions imposed after Russian aggression in Ukraine. Restrictions are set to terminate in January 2017, and several countries (Italy, Hungary, Greece and Cyprus) were of the opinion that the sanctions should be eased or lifted.

                                “Now, in the context of what is happening in Syria, these countries have lost their arguments in favor of improving relations with Russia,” European officials commented. Earlier, French President François Hollande criticized Russia’s policy in Ukraine and threatened new sanctions.
                                UAWire - EU considers expanding sanctions against Russia

                                æ, !

                                Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp