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  • Oct. 17, 2016 UT UKRAINE TODAY
    Hope amid destruction and death


    New mural in Ukraine's frontline town purports to attract attention to human suffering in country's war-ravaged east

    Australian artist Guido van Helten has spent two days in Ukraine's frontline town of Avdiivka - a place he has chosen to create his new mural.

    His new artwork is a portrait of a local woman named Marina Marchenko. She works as a teacher of Ukrainian in a local school. Her husband was severely wounded when a shell landed just 20 meters away from the apartment building now decorated with her portrait.

    The building faces the front lines and bears many scars of war.

    The fighting between Russia-backed separatists and government troops, which claimed almost 10, 000 lives since 2014, still takes place in the town.

    More than 100 artillery attacks took place in the area during 2 days of van Helten's work.

    The artist says he did not intend to send some political message, he just wanted to attract attention to the human suffering in the war-torn eastern Ukraine. Frontline Art: Hope amid destruction and death

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      • UKRAINE CRISIS MEDIA CENTER
        Colonel Lysenko: Situation is the most difficult in Mariupol sector

        Militants launch over 200 missiles in the “hotspot” areas, in other areas militants now attack Ukrainian positions 24/7 while a popular militant leader dies in a blast.

        Kyiv, October 17, 2016. The most difficult situation is in the Mariupol sector. The situation in Mariinka – Krasnohorivka frontline area remains the most restless. Militants launched 225 missiles from heavy armor at Ukrainian positions and residential quarters in 90 minutes. Eight buildings were damaged in Mariinka, five of them residential.mThe situation is the same in Talakivka – Shyrokyne frontline area. Lebedynske sustained the biggest damages yesterday, as several hundred mines and shells were launched at the town, said the spokesman of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine on ATO related issues Colonel Andriy Lysenko at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Caliber of heavy armor used by militants is 82-152 mm. Enemy’s tactics is total ruin of inhabited localities and our strongholds in this frontline area which would facilitate further militants’ aggressive actions on the “burned land”,” he said.

        http://uacrisis.org/wp-content/uploa...snzFs6EiJA.jpg

        According to the spokesman, militants attacked in Novotroitske, Hranitne and Pavlopil. In total, 23 militants’ attacks took place in this sector and 15 of them involved use of heavy armor. Moreover, six flights of militants’ unmanned aerial vehicles were registered. Ukrainian troops destroyed two of these drones. Col. Lysenko also informed that militants deployed additional artillery subdivisions at the frontline and intensified attacks at Ukrainian positions in the Popasna district.

        Combat activity in this area gradually change to 24/7 mode. The enemy is shooting from heavy armor from two directions – east (Pervomaisk) and south-east (Kalynove). Furthermore, artillery batteries of large caliber are deployed on the second line near Irmino and Stakhaniv,” said the spokesman. According to him, militants are opening fire from mortar launchers and cannons during the hours of darkness, using small weapons the rest of the day. They launched approximately 120 missiles at Ukrainian positions. Militants conducted two mortar attacks in Krymske. In total, 29 militants’ attacks took place in the Luhansk sector, and 13 of them involved use of heavy armor. “Troitske incurred the biggest number of attacks, as the enemy launched 10 mortar shells and 10 missiles at our positions there. Moreover, the adversary used mortar launchers in Luhanske, Novhorodske, Verkhniotoretske and the Avdiivka industrial area,” explained Col. Lysenko.

        In total, militants conducted nine attacks in the Donetsk sector, and five of them involved use of heavy armor.
        One Ukrainian serviceman died in combat yesterday and seven were wounded. The spokesman said that another batch of reinforcement came for militants from Russia. These were six tanks with combustible and lubrication materials and two railroad cars with unidentified freight. 12 units of armor came to Ilovaisk station and 11 tanks with combustible and lubrication materials arrived at Luhansk.
        Col. Lysenko informed that a notorious militants’ commander, a Russian citizen Arsen Pavlov with nomme de guerre ‘Motorola’ died in Donetsk yesterday night as a result of a blast in an elevator of a residential building. “Pavlov did not occupy any high commander positions in militants’ hierarchy, as the command consists of Russian officers. He was mostly known as a “PR-militant” decorated with dozens of “awards”. It made common militants furious, as this war had brought them nothing but poverty and injuries,” said the spokesman. He reminded that ‘Motorola’ will be remembered for his inhuman cruelty and looting. He is responsible for a number of military crimes, namely murdering a defenseless Ukrainian prisoner, a Donetsk airport defender, the Hero of Ukraine Ihor Branovytskyi. Colonel Lysenko: Situation is the most difficult*in Mariupol sector | UACRISIS.ORG

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        • ATLANTIC COUNCIL Ashish Kumar Sen October 13, 2016
          The Rise of the Strongman - US official cites challenges to making the case for internationalism, free trade, open borders

          In the prevailing atmosphere of growing nativism and xenophobia, the phenomenon of the strongman is on the rise across the globe, said a senior US official, and this will be the case as long as people believe that the world will continue to be chaotic.

          As a result, the challenge of making the case to citizens for the benefits of internationalism, free trade, and open borders will only get more difficult, Thomas Melia, assistant administrator for Europe and Eurasia at the United States Agency for International Development, said at the Atlantic Council on October 13.

          “The forces of nativism, of xenophobia, of hysterical illiberalism are not going away anytime soon, regardless of the outcome of a particular election” in the United States or in Europe, he said. “Indeed, as we are seeing, this phenomenon of the appeal of the strongman…is on the rise worldwide.”

          Melia delivered the opening remarks at a conference—“The Illiberal Turn: Reasserting Democratic Values in Central and Eastern Europe”—jointly hosted by the Atlantic Council, the International Republican Institute, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and the Center for International Private Enterprise.

          Anti-establishment candidates such as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the United States, and far-right political parties and ideologies such as Marine Le Pen’s National Front in France, are on the rise in the West.

          Crises—in governance, the economy, and security—have fueled these trends. In Germany, for example, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s welcome to migrants fleeing wars in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan resulted in historic setbacks for her political party in state elections.

          These developments do not just affect the domestic politics of a country, but the international arena as well, said Melia, noting: “Personalist dictators pursue aggressive foreign policies. They make difficult and unpredictable partners because they have no constraints in their own systems on whims and emotions and appeals to popular emotions.”

          “If we think that the world is going to continue to be chaotic and violent and difficult then I think we are going to continue to see an appeal in our politics, here and in Europe, to leaders that try to simplify and explain that the enemy abroad and the enemy within must be vanquished,” said Melia, “and the temptations to short circuit civil liberties and due process and proper democratic debate will only grow.”

          Damon Wilson, executive vice president for programs and strategy at the Atlantic Council, introduced Melia. He described a “concerted strategy by Moscow to roll back the gains” made in Central and Eastern Europe over the past quarter century. Noting the crisis in confidence in the West in “what we believe,” he added: “The corollary of that is that if we go wobbly as a core community, the fragmentation begins to happen in the core, it has an outsize impact in the periphery.”

          Melia said those who believe in the possibility of an inclusive world order governed by rule of law and liberal values have done a poor job explaining this international global order “so that it would make sense to enough of our compatriots.”

          “I think we have gotten lazy at that in our domestic politics and in our explanations of our foreign policy,” he said. “We are seeing some of the consequences of that today, not only in the United States, but in kindred democracies in Central and Eastern Europe.”

          Referencing calls for greater US engagement around the world, Melia noted that despite a recent increase in USAID resources for Ukraine and its neighborhood, it is still less than half of what was available to the agency six to eight years ago for a wide range of assistance programs, including supporting democratic voices, in Eastern Europe.

          “If we…think that more ought to be done in America’s engagement in this region, then we are going to have to build a broader, deeper consensus that we are willing to put our resources where our policy intentions take us,” he said.

          Melia said the next US administration must continue to support democratic processes and good governance while at the same time thinking harder about what the content of those processes ought to be.

          “Going forward we need to think…more about what are the implications of tolerating illiberal values, illiberal sentiments, illiberal political movements and forces and leaders, and think about whether there is a way for us to be more clear about the kind of policies and values and principles that we want to see embodied in our partners,” he said. The Rise of the Strongman

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          • Russian Foreign Ministry: Moscow will respond to U.S. sanctions
            UAWIRE ORG October 18, 2016 2:30:00 PM

            The possibility of U.S. sanctions against Russia due to the situation in Syria will not go without a response. The response may be symmetrical, the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, Sergei Ryabkov, told reporters. "Any hostile actions against Russia will not be left without a response," Ryabkov said, as quoted by Interfax.

            Ryabkov also said that "at different stages of the current sanctions policy (against Russia) Moscow has repeatedly warned that they will be answered though they may not be retaliatory, but will be symmetrical."

            He also added that Americans will have to face a new reality, different from that in which they are used to living.

            "At yesterday's meeting of the International Affairs Committee of the State Duma, a bill was considered that would suspend the agreement of excess weapons-grade plutonium. This would be included in the response to sanctions from the United States," the Deputy Minister said.

            He also added that if the U.S. does not understand the obvious logical connection, it can only be explained by "a general decline in their political culture and their professionalism."

            "If the U.S. does not listen to what Moscow says in a calm manner to such threats, then that's their problem," the Deputy Minister concluded.
            UAWire - Russian Foreign Ministry: Moscow will respond to U.S. sanctions

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            • Experts: Lifting sanctions on Russia would bring serious consequences for the EU
              UAWIRE ORG October 18, 2016 6:30:00 AM

              The sanctions introduced against Russia have given a very clear signal to the Russian Federation and the rest of the world that its violation of the rights and territorial integrity of other countries would lead to an appropriate response. Their removal would have serious implications for the EU, says an expert report of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, published with the support of Rasmussen Global.

              "Removing the sanctions without serious political concessions will have serious long-term consequences for the EU and its allies,” the authors of the report believe. They warn that the unjustified lifting of restrictions against Russia may in the long term lower the strength of the EU and its allies. To improve the situation, all partners need to act in concord, the researchers think.

              According to them, despite the fact that international allies were able to stand their ground, the power of sanctions diminished slightly. The reason for this was the weak coordination policy, including visits of some European leaders to Moscow. Thus, while Germany, Poland and the Baltic countries firmly stand for the preservation of the sanctions against Russia, Greece and Slovenia, on the opposite, are actively against them. These countries have lost much less in absolute terms.

              Now, the sanction list of the EU includes more than 200 individuals and 70 companies from Russia.

              The issue of new sanctions will be discussed before the EU summit, which will take place in Brussels on October 20-21. If the Foreign Ministers approve the new sanctions list, it will be submitted to the EU summit.

              UAWire - Experts: Lifting sanctions on Russia would bring serious consequences for the EU

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              • World Bank approves allocation of $500 mln for Ukraine’s gas purchases The World Bank's Board of Directors decided to grant Ukraine’s state-owned energy holding Naftogaz of Ukraine the $500 million loan guarantees that will allow attracting loan resources for the purchase of the necessary volumes of natural gas for the passage of the 2016-2017 heating season, Ukraine’s Finance Minister Oleksandr Danyliuk wrote on Facebook.
                UNIAN 18. Oct 2016

                "I welcome today's decision of the Board of the World Bank to provide guarantees to Naftogaz [of Ukraine] for a $500 million loan for the purchase of gas, " Danyliuk wrote. "This will allow us to safely get through the heating season. Together with my colleagues from Naftogaz, we’ve been working on this project for several months. We also discussed the issue actively with the World Bank leaders during my visit to Washington last week. Now the Ukrainian households will be provided with heat in the winter."

                As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukraine this spring had begun negotiations with the World Bank on providing Ukraine with a loan for the purchase of gas. The main stage of negotiations has been completed by summer but the decision on the allocation of loan guarantees was tied to Kyiv’s performance within the IMF cooperation program. In mid-September, after a more than a year pause, the Fund resumed lending to the Ukrainian economy, allocating its third loan tranche worth $1 billion under its four-year Extended Fund Facility, approved in March 2015.

                World Bank approves allocation of $500 mln for Ukraine’s gas purchases

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                • The Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine: The fate of more than 4000 orphans remains unknown
                  UAWIRE ORG October 17, 2016 5:35:36 PM



                  The fate of more than 4,000 orphans and children deprived of parental care remains unknown after the annexation of the Crimea. Krym.Realii reported that this was said by Ukraine's Deputy Director of the Department for Adoption and Protection of Children's Rights of the Ministry of Social Policy, Vladimir Vovk. He said this at a round table meeting in Kyiv.

                  "On the 1st of January 2014, which is the beginning of the annexation of the Crimea, 4,323 orphans and children deprived of parental care were reportedly living in the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea. A total of 672 orphans and children deprived of parental care were living in Sevastopol. There are currently only 60 children registered on the Ukrainian mainland," Vovk said.

                  According to him, two family-type orphanages and three foster families moved to the mainland. However, the majority of these children remain in the occupied territory, but all of them are still registered in the Ukrainian register and databases.

                  "The operation of the electronic databases in this territory [the Crimea] was temporarily suspended. This is why there is no information on the whereabouts of these children. We don't know whether they are staying in the boarding schools or with foster families," Vovk concluded.
                  UAWire - The Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine: The fate of more than 4000 orphans remains unknown

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                  • OSCE Monitor Says 70 Percent Of Restrictions In Ukraine Are In Separatist-Controlled East
                    RADIO FREE EUROPE 10/18/2016

                    A senior member of the monitoring mission in Ukraine from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) says 70 percent of the restrictions imposed on the free movement of monitors since May has been in areas outside of the control of Ukraine’s government.

                    Alexander Hug, deputy chief monitor of the OSCE's Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, made the remark in an October 18 interview with RFE/RL.

                    Hug said the restrictions imposed in parts of eastern Ukraine under the control of Russia-backed separatists usually occur in one of three ways.

                    "We are either stopped and blocked from proceeding further, we can only continue further under certain conditions, or we are delayed over hours at a certain checkpoint before we then can go further," Hug said.

                    Hug also said drone planes used by monitors are shot at or have their transmissions jammed, or have their cameras sabotaged.

                    About 700 OSCE monitors have been active in Ukraine since March 2014.

                    They have a mandate to observe the security situation across all of Ukraine. OSCE Monitor Says 70 Percent Of Restrictions In Ukraine Are In Separatist-Controlled East

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                    • Ukraine imposes sanctions against Putin's in-law, almost 700 other individuals The sanctions list against those involved in the Russian aggression against Ukraine includes 682 individuals, according to Annexes 1 and 3 to the Resolution of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine from September 16, 2016 "On application of special economic personal and other restrictive measures (sanctions)," posted on the website of the President of Ukraine.
                      UNIAN 18 Oct 2016

                      The NSDC resolution introduced in 2015 initially put 347 individuals on the list, with 347 people added this time.

                      Now the list includes the founders of Open Joint Stock Bank Rossiya Nikolay Shamalov (according to the media, he is the father of Kirill Shamalov, the husband of Russian president’s younger daughter), Gennady Timchenko, Ivan Mironov, Alexei Mordashov, Yury Kovalchuk, Tatiana Mirovaya; founders of Commercial Bank Financial Standard Vadim Pristupa, Sergei Galchenko, Viktor Belyanin, Kirill Zagaynov, and Andrei Ispolatov.

                      Also the sanctions list covers the founders of a number of other banks: Russian National Commercial Bank, PJSC Agroinkombank, JSC CB Severniy Kredit, JSC Genbank, JSC Fia-Bank, JSC BaykalBank, CJSC IS Bank, and JSC Sevastopol Morskoy Bank.

                      In addition, the sanctions were imposed against Chairman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly Valentina Matvienko, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, deputies of the State Duma Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Elena Mizulina and several other members of the Council of Federation and Duma deputies.

                      The sanctions list includes a Representative of the Russian president in the North Caucasian Federal District Oleg Belavenetsev, Permanent Representative of the Russian president in the Siberian Federal District Sergei Menyaylo, the Russian president’s envoy to the Southern Federal District Vladimir Ustinov, deputy commander of the Russian Black Sea fleet Vice Admiral Alexander Nosatov, deputy commander of the Black Sea fleet of the Russian Federation Denis Berezovsky, Deputy Secretary of the Russian Security Council Rashid Nurgaliyev, Russia's Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, and others.

                      In addition, the sanctions were imposed against Chairman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly Valentina Matvienko, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, deputies of the State Duma Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Elena Mizulina and several other members of the Council of Federation and Duma deputies.

                      The sanctions list includes a Representative of the Russian president in the North Caucasian Federal District Oleg Belavenetsev, Permanent Representative of the Russian president in the Siberian Federal District Sergei Menyaylo, the Russian president’s envoy to the Southern Federal District Vladimir Ustinov, deputy commander of the Russian Black Sea fleet Vice Admiral Alexander Nosatov, deputy commander of the Black Sea fleet of the Russian Federation Denis Berezovsky, Deputy Secretary of the Russian Security Council Rashid Nurgaliyev, Russia's Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, and others.

                      Sanctions were also imposed against citizens of Ukraine who hold leading positions in the Russian-occupied Crimea and in Russian-controlled terrorist organizations "DPR" and "LPR".

                      The Ukrainian authorities introduced sanctions against Russian citizens who hold senior positions in the enterprises of the occupied Crimea, people related to the self-proclaimed authorities in the peninsula, the command of the Russian Black Sea fleet of the Russian Armed Forces or representing the FSB. Russian military who were or continue to be in command of the Russian forces and armed gangs in Donbas were also sanctioned.

                      In addition, the sanctions list includes a number of citizens of France, Greece, Italy, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Israel.

                      Ukraine imposes sanctions against Putin's in-law, almost 700 other individuals

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                      • Russia is losing the ‘real’ World War 3, Varlamov says
                        EUROMAIDAN PRESS Paul A. Goble 2016/10/18

                        Historically, wars were fought over territory; in the 20th century, they were mostly about resources; today, they are about brains, Ilya Varlamov argues, adding that Vladimir Putin doesn’t understand this, that he is fighting with the wrong goals and means, and that as a result, his Russia is already losing the real third world war.

                        The Russian blogger says: “Let us be honest: it is completely unimportant whether Crimea returns or not. It is unimportant whether Putin gives up or doesn’t give up the Kuriles. And even if tomorrow we took back Alaska, nothing would change on the global scale.”

                        As the more recent crisis has shown, having oil or other natural resources is “not so important” either, Varlamov continues.

                        But there is one resource that matters now above all: the brains of its citizens. The country “which creates good conditions for work and life” for the most talented people is “going to win.”

                        People today are “mobile and educated. Cultural barriers are ever lower.” In the past, moving to another country “was a serious step” that imposed real problems for individuals. Today, however, “this is not such a big deal and for young people, it is a new normal because present-day technologies allow us to feel ourselves at home almost anywhere in the world.”

                        “For young people,” Varlamov writes, “there are in general no borders. For them, it is simpler to fly to London than to Omsk, and they will choose where things are better.” Of his own class, “the cleverest and most talented ones” have already gone to Europe, the US, or Israel. “This is a problem: they could have remained in Russia, but they have left.”

                        “They have left because there are more possibilities for them abroad, because there are fewer risks, because there is less arbitrariness and chance of losing one’s business, because there is a court which won’t simply impose the decision it is instructed to take via the telephone” from the bosses.

                        The departure of such people is a defeat for Russia, he says. It may not be as immediately obvious as the loss of territory. That can be shown on a map. But even if these losses can’t be shown that way, they are “much more serious for the country than they may appear to many.”

                        What is especially distressing is that Russia is making the situation worse for itself by the adoption of laws and the taking of steps which convince ever more of the most talented that they have no future in Russia, he says; and they are thus voting with their feet, against Russia and for other countries where their possibilities are greater.

                        Indeed, the Russian blogger says, “every one-way ticket they buy is a defeat for Russia,” even if the Kremlin doesn’t see this.

                        That has been clear to the most thoughtful for some time, but the ways the regime has chosen to fight it aren’t working. Rather they are making the situation worse. And “even if tomorrow the FSB took away all passports, introduced exit visas, and closed the borders, nothing of a principled nature would change.”

                        That is because, Varlamov says, “for a strong country now, what is important is not only what its citizens can achieve themselves at home but whether the country can attract an influx of fresh blood.”

                        The countries that are going to win in this war are going to be those who “attract the best” by creating conditions so that the best will come to them. “Any successful project in the US, Europe and China is the work of an international team of the best, by it an IT start-up or the Large Hadron Collider.”

                        In this respect, “Russia in general cannot offer anything,” and Varlamov says that he “does not see what [his] country could do in order that talented and intelligent young people would want to live and work here.” Others including China are competing for these people; Russia is driving them out.

                        “Does the third world war frighten you?” he asks rhetorically. “How do you imagine it will look? Will it involved radioactive rubble, cosmic lasers or robots? No. The Third World War has already begun. This is a war for brains. And [Russia] so far is losing it.”
                        Russia is losing the ‘real’ World War 3, Varlamov says | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press |

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                        • UT UKRAINE TODAY Oct. 19, 2016
                          Russian propaganda trying to connect Syrian and Ukrainian issues

                          Russian media spreading the 'reaking' info that "Syria recognizes Crimea as part of Russia"

                          Today Russian state media shared the information that one more country officially recognized Crimea as part of Russia. The international community almost unanimously (except Armenia, Kazakhstan and North Korea) condemned Russia's actions on Crimea and refused to consider as legitimate pseudo-referendum and his "legal" fixing of a treaty of accession. Only 11 states of 193 voted against UN General Assembly resolution "The territorial integrity of Ukraine" on March 27, 2014 (Belarus, Bolivia, Venezuela, Armenia, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea, Russia, Syria, Sudan), six of which came up with the pro-Russian statements.

                          Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was the first to support Russian invasion to Crimea already on March 4 in his telegram to Putin even before the so called ‘referendum' and official recognition of annexation. But since then Damaskus made no official state-level recognition of the new status of occupied peninsula.

                          So this morning ‘Sputnik' news agency (international multimedia platform operated by the Russian government) shared the info as a ‘breaking news' that ‘Syria Recognizes Crimea as Part of Russia'. The text of the report reads, that "Speaker of the People's Council of Syria, the country's legislative authority, Hadiya Khalaf Abbas, told Sputnik she considered Crimea an integral part of Russia which rejoined the country following expression of free will in referendum."

                          "Due to the events which unfolded after the collapse of the Soviet Union until present times, this subject returned to its roots after an expression of free will of the people at the Crimean referendum… We accept that Crimea is an integral part of Russia," ‘Sputnik' quotes Abbas. The correctness of the citation is unable to prove because of absence of the video record of the alleged interview on ‘Sputnik' website. But still, the information is actively shared by Russian media and/or propaganda resources.

                          The ‘breaking news' on Syria's support of Russian aggression appeared right before the Berlin meeting of the Normandy Four on the highest level to discuss the situation in Ukraine. Ukrainian President already stated he ‘is not optimistic' regarding the meeting. The Normandy Format is also called ‘impotent' by Ukrainian media.

                          As reported, this spring Latvia blocked Russian ‘Sputnik' site as Kremlin ‘propaganda tool' Russian propaganda: Russian propaganda trying to connect Syrian and Ukrainian issues

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                          • Syrian Parliament recognizes Crimea as part of Russia
                            UAWIRE ORG October 19, 2016 8:07:51 AM

                            The Syrian government has recognized the Crimea as part of Russian territory, as stated by the Speaker of the Syrian Parliament, Hadiyeh al-Abbas, in an interview with Sputnik.

                            “We recognize that the Crimea is an integral part of Russia,” al-Abbas said, stressing that relations between Damascus and Moscow continue to be strengthened in all areas, especially political, economic, and social ties.

                            According to al-Abbas, the Crimea was part of the Soviet Union, and "because of the events that developed after the collapse of the Soviet Union and up to the present time, this area has returned to its roots after the free will of the people was expressed in a referendum in the Crimea. They decided to unite with the country. That's what happened.”

                            The internationally recognized Ukrainian territory of the Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation in March of 2014 in the wake of the Ukrainian revolution. The Kremlin has faced international condemnation for its annexation of the Peninsula, leading many western countries to impose economic sanctions against Russia

                            Syria, Afghanistan, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela now recognize the Crimea as a legitimate federal subject of Russia.
                            UAWire - Syrian Parliament recognizes Crimea as part of Russia

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                            • UT UKRAINE TODAY Oct. 19, 2016
                              Ukraine's parliament asks Netherlands to compromise on Ukraine-EU Association deal

                              All the other 27 EU member states have already ratified the agreement

                              Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada has appealed to the government and parliament of the Netherlands to find a way to complete the ratification of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU.

                              Some 235 MPs voted for the corresponding decision at the parliament session on Wednesday.

                              "Verkhovna Rada calls upon the government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in cooperation with the European Union's institutions to work out a balanced decision that will equally consider the interests of the population of the Netherlands, Ukraine and the EU," says the appeal.

                              The Dutch parliament is asked "to avoid making a discriminatory decision" that will jeopardise the implementation of the Association Agreement.

                              Ukrainian lawmakers also called on both the upper and lower houses of the Dutch parliament to confirm their decision made at the end of 2015, when the Dutch Senate and the House of Representatives approved the EU-Ukraine partnership deal.

                              The Netherlands is now the only member of the 28-nation bloc not to have ratified the agreement.

                              Ukrainian deputies asked the Netherlands' authorities to take into account that "the result of the consultative referendum held on April 6, 2016 to reject ratification of the Agreement reflects the opinion of only 0.6% from the 500-million population of the European Union."

                              The EU-Ukraine deal was rejected by 61.1% of votes, compared with 38.1% in favour. The turnout was barely above the 30% threshold needed for the vote to be valid. Fate of EU-Ukraine Deal: Ukraine's parliament asks Netherlands to compromise on Ukraine-EU Association deal

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                              • Ukraine set to boost its nuclear and hydropower generation - PM Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman has stated that Ukraine plans to boost generating capacities of its nuclear and hydroelectric power plants.
                                UNIAN 19 Oct 2016

                                "I would like to emphasize that we will increase nuclear energy and hydropower generation capacities. This task belongs to the scope of our national security," the prime minister said at a government meeting.

                                As UNIAN reported earlier, on July 13, 2016 the Cabinet of Ministers approved a program to support the development of hydropower generation in Ukraine until 2026. The program provides for that the share of hydropower generation in the country's energy system should be doubled – to 15.5%, and generation capacities increased by 3,500 MW (current generating capacity of HPPs is about 5,000 MW). In this regard, state-owned company Ukrhydroenergo plans to invest about UAH 90 billion to reach the objective.

                                In January 2016, the Ukrainian Energy Ministry addressed state companies Energoatom and Ukrenergo with a request to analyze the feasibility of building two new power units at Khmelnytskiy nuclear power plant. In early August, Energy Minister Ihor Nasalyk said that in October his ministry planned to present a program to investors concerning the completion of power units No. 3 and No. 4 at Khmelnytskiy NPP, with the aim of enhancing generating capacity of the plant.
                                Ukraine set to boost its nuclear and hydropower generation - PM

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