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  • Saakashvili needs to respect the country that gave him shelter
    EUROMAIDAN PRESS Vitaliy Portnikov 2017/08/03 - 03:29

    Saakashvili has every right to defend his political reputation and rights, but he needs to learn to place the interests of the state above his personal ambitions and to respect the country that gave him shelter at a difficult time for him.

    The former president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili has every reason to be indignant at the revocation of his Ukrainian citizenship. Citizenship in a civilized country can never be an instrument in political games. And this applies both to the process of its granting as to the process of its revocation.

    The decision by Georgian authorities to strip the former Georgian president of his Georgian citizenship, as well the decision by the Ukrainian leadership to strip the former head of the Odesa Oblast administration of his Ukrainian citizenship, should be considered not only from the legal but also from the political point of view. As should the well-known attempt by Saakashvili himself to deprive Bidzina Ivanishvili of his Georgian citizenship, a decision that was later annulled by the Supreme Court of Georgia. Passport manipulations are unattractive always and everywhere.

    However, Saakashvili’s indignation must not be transformed into attempts to harm the country whose citizen he wishes to remain and which he claims to love. There is no other way to portray the statement of the former Georgian president that Donald Trump is right on the question of Ukraine’s alleged interference in the US presidential elections.

    Saakashvili even speaks of “dirty games begun by certain Ukrainian oligarchic circles.” At the same time, he cannot fail to know that the only politician who, during the US election campaign, revealed really significant information about bonuses paid by the Party of Regions to Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort was Saakashvili’s closest ally Serhiy Leshchenko.

    And the only agency that has confirmed this information was NABU (Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine)– an agency headed by Artem Sytnuk, who has been repeatedly supported by Saakashvili and where Saakashvili’s associate Gizo Uglava also works. Are these people really pawns in “dirty oligarchic games”? And if such a statement is not treasonous then what is treason?

    Saakashvili probably thinks that this way he gets even with Poroshenko — but he takes his revenge on Ukraine. Saakashvili probably thinks that this way he will draw Trump’s attention — but in his egocentrism he threatens American support for Ukraine.

    When he speaks about the price that Ukraine supposedly must pay for the “incompetence of its leaders and dirty games” does he know that this price will be paid not by Poroshenko and not even by Leshchenko. It will be paid by ordinary Ukrainians who are defending their country and who need support — first of all, military support.

    Saakashvili has every right to defend his political reputation and rights — both in the courts and the media. But he needs to learn to place the interests of the state above his own ambitions and to respect the country that gave him shelter at a difficult time for him — even if he has quarreled with the president of that country.
    Saakashvili needs to respect the country that gave him shelter -Euromaidan Press |

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    • Putin elites want ‘Stalinism without Stalin’ and ‘repression with a human face,’ Rubtsov says
      EUROMAIDAN PRESS 2017/08/03 - 11:10

      Russians do not, by their nature, “love Stalin,” Novaya gazeta commentator Aleksandr Rubtsov says; instead, they “are being taught to love Stalin because the [Putin] regime really is functioning according to this regime prototype and has not found any other legitimization for itself in history.”

      This becomes obvious, he says, if one considers that “genetically and functionally, the Russia of the 2000s arose out of the 1990s” and that Putin and his team “assert that everything good that began in [the first decade of this century] is in no way obliged to Yeltsinism.”

      As a result, the Putin regime has had to look past “the pit of the 1990s” to a more distant past, but the question has been to just which past. “As far as ‘cadres’ are concerned, all the persons of the post-Stalin era – Yeltsin, Gorbachev, Andropov, Brezhnev and Khrushchev have been stricken from the record.”

      “Stalin is the first with whom Putin meets in this retrospective toward the past. And the past: before him is again a fiasco. Lenin and the great tsars, the victors and the reforms fall away. Somewhere in the shadow of the mustaschioed one looms Ivan the Terrible but only as ‘the Stalin of his day.’” As a result of this subtraction, Putin is left alone with Stalin.

      There are, of course, important distinctions between the two: Today, “there are no mass purges and bloody rotations, not to mention incidents of sadism … the purge of the political field [under Putin] has become incomparably more humane.” There are “show trials” but they don’t end in shooting or torture.

      Moreover, Rubtsov says, “the techniques of neutralization of hostile classes have been significantly softened.” Small and mid-sized business “like the middle class as a whole” is gradually squeezed but it isn’t suppressed. And the peasantry isn’t facing wholesale expropriation and dekulakization.

      The methods of “’soft terror’” are employed, but to the same ends: the isolation and ultimate nullification of those the regime objects to. And this process now is much more severe than it was during Brezhnevite stagnation, Rubtsov argues. Indeed, one can only call it “Stalinist.”

      “History is like a pendulum,” the commentator continues. “Under Stalin, the class struggle sharped; the enemy was everywhere. In the period of ‘stagnation,’ on the contrary, the internal enemy became ‘ideologically non-existent,’ and prison was replaced by punitive psychiatry with the deportation” of the especially recalcitrant.

      Now under Putin, “the domestic enemy is growing more active with each new victory of ours in the world. Therefore, a new political geography has been established. The state border has been imposed within the country: the opponents of the regime are ‘deported’ politically and broadcast as it were from beyond that border.”

      Putin moreover is “re-Stalinizing branch by branch.” The regime is increasingly hostile to science, art and culture. “The authorities have always viewed scholars as suspicious ‘specialists,’ but now they threaten the scientific community as a class. The professions are being neutralized and people will say: Putin received a Russia with a hydrogen bomb and left it without an academy and without science. [stress added] The same is true for artists and cultural figures.

      Putin’s siloviki “also are reviving traditional values” not in pursuit of blood as under Stalin but for money. Reversing the events of two decades ago but recalling Stalin’s destruction of NEP, they are dragging back into the state sector all that was productive when it was in the private ownership.

      There has been a similar return to Stalinism as far as the relationship between domestic and foreign policy is concerned, Rubtsov says. “In personalist regimes, foreign policy is subordinate to the main goal of the consolidation and strengthening of personal power.” Anything that doesn’t do that is quickly jettisoned.

      The big difference here, the commentator continues, is that “now the status of power and the meaning of ‘influence’ are much closer to ritual symbolism and the simulacra of propaganda” than to actual events and real power. And this pattern highlights something else, Rubtsov argues.

      If one examines the situation case by case, Russia under Putin is closer to Brezhnevite stagnation than to Stalinism; but if one considers the direction in which things are moving, then “the vector is closer to Stalinism” than to that of Leonid Brezhnev.

      But this is “not the most evil irony: the lightened version of Stalinism in a number of regards is turning out to be freer and softer even than in comparison with the era of the 20th Congress. At least so far.” But if things continue in the direction the Kremlin leader has indicated, that will not long remain the case.

      “Putin needs a dictatorship to prepare for war with America just as Stalin did for the preparation of war with Germany.” The model must be repeated step by step in its latest incarnation. That requires moral re-Stalinization and making the original model more attractive in the eyes of the population. Putin elites want ‘Stalinism without Stalin’ and ‘repression with a human face,’ Rubtsov says | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press |

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      • REUTERS Devika Krishna Kumar August 1, 2017 / 9:03 PM
        Oil prices rise amid record U.S. gasoline demand

        NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices edged higher on Wednesday, as surging U.S. fuel demand and strong refinery runs offset data from the Energy Department that showed crude inventories did not fall as much as expected last week.

        Crude inventories in the United States USOILC=ECI fell by 1.5 million barrels in the week to July 28, the Energy Information Administration said, about half the decline analysts had expected.

        However, the report also showed estimated weekly gasoline demand at a record high 9.842 million barrels. [EIA/S]

        Brent crude futures LCOc1 ended the session up 1.1 percent, or 58 cents, at $52.36 a barrel after hitting a session low of $51.18.

        U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 rose 0.9 percent to settle at $49.59 a barrel, after falling to a low of $48.55 earlier in the session.

        Strong refinery runs continued to boost demand for crude. Refinery crude runs USOICR=ECI rose by 123,000 barrels per day last week, EIA data showed.

        "I would expect the bulls to re-assert control over the market after the initial knee-jerk lower," David Thompson, executive vice president at Powerhouse, an energy-specialized commodities broker in Washington.

        "Despite the week-to-week move lower in distillate demand, comparing the rolling four-week average of this year to last, distillate demand is running a whopping 14.5 percent over the same period last year."

        HollyFrontier Corp (HFC.N) said it plans to run its five refineries at or slightly above their combined capacity of 457,000 barrels per day (bpd) in third quarter.

        Petromatrix strategist Olivier Jakob said Wednesday's price rise had more to do with technical trading than fundamentals.

        "We are trading around the 200-day moving average and I think that is where a lot of the action of the last two days has been," Jakob said.

        Brent futures fell below their 200-day moving average on Monday, but by Wednesday managed to vault above this trendline, last around $51.84 a barrel.

        Oil prices fell sharply on Tuesday, and have come under pressure in recent sessions on news top oil producing countries may be boosting output.

        OPEC oil output rose in July to a 2017 high, a Reuters survey found, led by a further recovery in supply from Libya, one of the countries exempt from a production-cutting deal. Iran's oil exports also increased.

        Russia's oil output stood at 10.95 million barrels per day (bpd) in July, unchanged for a third month and in line with its pledge to curb production, government data showed on Wednesday.

        Energy consultancy Douglas Westwood predicted that the oil market glut will return next year and last until 2021.

        "Oversupply will actually return in 2018. This is due to the start-up of fields sanctioned prior to the downturn," said Steve Robertson, head of research for global oilfield services at Douglas Westwood.

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        • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 09:16 03.08.2017
          Ukrainian blogger suspected of high treason

          Officers of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) branch in the Zhytomyr region say they have suppressed activities of a local blogger and journalist who was allegedly preparing and disseminating materials that the special service believes were anti-Ukrainian and produced 'as directed by Russian handlers'.

          The journalist was updated on the scope and desirable content of the materials he should prepare by mail or via an online messaging service, the SBU press center said on Wednesday. Sometimes he was allowed to pick up a topic by himself, the SBU said. He received the money for his publications via international systems of online payments, it said.

          The journalist published his articles on six websites which were administered from Russia and those Ukrainian territories not controlled by Kyiv, the SBU said.

          The experts that studied the texts by the Zhytomyr journalist have "exposed their manipulative influence on the consciousness of readers and the fact that they incited the audience to commit specific actions to the detriment of the sovereignty and independence of the Ukrainian state", it said.

          SBU officers searched the blogger's home, where they seized copies of some contracts on the fabrication of articles, alongside acts of acceptance of the works in exchange for the agreed remuneration and the bank cards to which the money was transmitted, the SBU said.

          "The blogger-journalist was told that he is suspected of committing the crimes specified in Article 111 Part 1, Article 110 Part 2, Article 161 Part 2, and Article 258-3 Part 1 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code. The question of selecting the measure of restraint against him is under consideration. The pretrial inquiry is ongoing," the SBU said. Ukrainian blogger suspected of high treason

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          • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 09:15 03.08.2017
            Ukraine expands gas production 3.2% in Jan-July

            Natural gas production in Ukraine rose 3.2% in January-July 2017 year-on-year to 12.044 billion cubic meters (bcm), Ukrtransgaz has said in materials.

            Ukrgazvydobuvannia increased gas production 3% to 8.777 bcm, Ukrnafta reduced production 9.2% to 0.694 bcm and other companies increased production 7.9% to 2.573 bcm, according to Interfax-Ukraine calculations.

            In July alone, gas production was up 4.8% year-on-year to 1.746 bcm, including 1.3 bcm at Ukrgazvydobuvannia (up 7.1%), 0.082 bcm at Ukrnafta (down 25%) and 0.364 bcm at other companies (up 6.2%). Ukraine expands gas production 3.2% in Jan-July

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            • Trial Of Crimean Journalist Semena Set To Resume In Simferopol
              RADIO FREE EUROPE Aug 3, 2017


              Russian-appointed judges at a court in Ukraine's occupied Crimea region are scheduled to conduct a new hearing on August 3 in the trial of Mykola Semena, an RFE/RL contributor who is fighting what he says is a politically motivated separatism charge.

              The judge at the trial in the Crimean capital, Simferopol, agreed at the last hearing on July 18 to include the UN General Assembly's December 2016 resolution on human rights in Crimea -- which was seized by Russia in 2014 -- in the case documents.

              While testifying at the hearing, witnesses and experts called by the defense also sought to discredit the results of a linguistic examination conducted by Olga Ivanova of the Crimean branch of Russia’s FSB security service.

              The charge against the 66-year-old Semena stems from an article he wrote for RFE/RL's Krym.Realii (Crimea Realities) website in 2015.

              The Kremlin-installed prosecutor in Crimea charged that the article had called for the violation of Russia’s territorial integrity.

              But linguist Elena Novozhilova said that she had found many mistakes in Ivanova's examination of Semena’s article. She testified that, in her opinion, the article does not contain any calls for the violation of Russia's territorial integrity.

              Semena’s trial has been delayed several times since it started in late March.

              Semena faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

              He contends that the accusation is baseless and politically motivated, and that Russian authorities have based the case on an inaccurate Russian translation of his original Ukrainian text.

              Activists say Semena's trial is part of a systemic Russian clampdown on independent media and dissent in Crimea since Moscow's armed occupation and takeover of the Ukrainian region.

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              • Jailed Pro-Kyiv Russian Activist Starts Hunger Strike
                RADIO FREE EUROPE Aug 03, 2017

                A Russian activist in the southern region of Krasnodar jailed for propagating extremism and separatism online has started a hunger strike in custody, her mother says.

                Darya Polyudova's mother, Tatyana Polyudova, says her daughter started the hunger strike on August 2 to protest conditions in the penal colony.

                According to Tatyana Polyudova, other inmates in the penal colony constantly mistreat her daughter and provoke her into conflicts.

                She added that political prisoners should be kept separately from other convicts.

                Tatyana Polyudova said her daughter suspects the penal colony's administration is behind the pressure on her.

                Darya Polyudova was sentenced to two years in a minimum-security penal colony in December 2015, becoming the first person in Russia convicted under a law criminalizing calls for separatism on the Internet, legislation that came into force in May 2014.

                She was indicted in 2014 after she made pro-Ukrainian statements online critical of Moscow for its support of pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine, where fighting between government forces and the separatists has killed more than 10,000 people since April 2014.

                The Moscow-based Memorial Human Rights Center has added Polyudova to its list of political prisoners in Russia.

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                • Mother Hunts For Sons Missing In Action In Ukraine
                  RADIO FREE EUROPE Aug 03, 2017 VIDEO

                  The mother of two Ukrainian government soldiers is on desperate hunt to learn the fate of her sons who went missing in action in eastern Ukraine in 2014. Kateryna Khomyak's sons were among more than 400 soldiers the Ukrainian government says are missing after battling Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. (YouTube, RFE/RL's Current Time TV)

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                  • Russian Prime Minister calls new U.S. sanctions against Russia 'all-out trade war'
                    UAWIRE ORG August 3, 2017 9:05:40 AM

                    Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called President Donald Trump’s signing of sanctions against Russia an “all-out trade war.”

                    “First of all, any hope of improving our relations with the new U.S. administration is at an end. Secondly, an all-out trade war has been declared on Russia. Thirdly, the Trump administration has demonstrated complete impotence, in the most humiliating manner, in transferring executive powers to Congress. This changes the alignment of power in U.S. political circles,” Medvedev said.

                    According to him, the conditions of the sanctions will “last for decades unless some kind of miracle occurs,” and relations between Russia and the U.S. will be “extremely tense,” regardless of the makeup of Congress or who the president might be.

                    “It will take a long time to clear up the relations between international bodies and courts. There is further intensification of international tension. There is refusal to resolve major international problems. What does this mean for us? We will continue to work quietly to develop the economy and social sphere, we will find substitutes for imports and solve the most important state tasks, counting primarily on ourselves,” the Russian Prime Minister said.

                    On August 2, the White House reported that President of the United States Donald Trump signed into law the imposition of new sanctions against Russia.

                    President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko welcomed the signing by U.S. President Donald Trump of the new package of sanctions against Russia on August 2. He stressed that this “once again confirms the strategic direction of relations between Ukraine and the United States.”

                    Dissatisfaction was expressed in the European Union regarding the new sanctions package, which could hurt European companies dealing with Russia.
                    UAWire - Russian Prime Minister calls new U.S. sanctions against Russia 'all-out trade war'

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                    • Prosecutors call ex-envoy to UN Sergeyev as witness in Yanukovych case Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's lawyer asks for more time to get acquainted with the case, while the prosecutors ask to call former Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations Yuriy Sergeyev as a witness, according to an UNIAN correspondent.
                      UNIAN 03 Aug 2017

                      Lawyer Vitaliy Meshechek filed a motion at a recent hearing on former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's treason case for additional time to study the materials of the case.

                      The hearing took place in Kyiv's Obolonskiy district court on Thursday, August 3.

                      In turn, the prosecutors filed a motion to change the order of examining evidence so that to begin with the hearing of former Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations Yuriy Sergeyev (2007-2015), who now resides in the United States. According to the prosecution, Sergeyev will visit Ukraine in August. The prosecutors asked to call Sergeyev in court on August 15.Prosecutors opposed this, saying that he had already had time to examine the documents. Presiding judge Vladyslav Deviatko noted that one month was enough for that since the materials in the lawyer's unread volumes were duplicated.

                      The court has agreed to schedule the meeting at 14:00 on August 15 for Sergeyev's interrogation, as well as gave the lawyer a week to study the case.

                      The next court hearing is scheduled for August 10. The court will begin at 10:00 Kyiv time to examine written evidence of the case. The August 3 meeting was over.
                      As UNIAN reported earlier, the judicial panel of Kyiv's Obolonskiy district court on June 29 granted the prosecution's request for special judicial proceedings in the case of ex-President Yanukovych, who fled Ukraine to Russia after the Revolution of Dignity in February 2014.

                      UNIAN memo. Yanukovych is charged with treason, complicity with the Russian authorities, deliberate actions committed to redraw the borders of the territory and the state border of Ukraine in violation of the Ukrainian Constitution. He is also accused of waging an aggressive war. These are the crimes stipulated in Part 1 of Article 111, Part 5 of Article 27, Part 3 of Article 110, and Part 2 of Article 437 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.


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                      • Media: Russia freed separatist commander Pogodin out of fear that he could give evidence about those responsible for MH17 crash
                        UAWIRE ORG August 3, 2017 9:47:16 PM

                        Vadim Pogodin, a militant of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" (DPR) who has been released in the Crimea, could give evidence about the individuals involved in the crash of the MN17 aircraft in the Donbas in the summer of 2014, as reported by Novaya Gazeta.

                        Ukrainian authorities suspect Pogodin of the brutal murder of schoolboy Stepan Chubenko, and have demanded his extradition. However, deputies in Russia, as well as former militant leaders, including Sergei Dubinsky aka Hmuriy (“Gloomy") in particular, who played a role in the case of the MH17 crash and is allegedly responsible for moving the 'Buk', missile system, have spoken out against extradition.

                        The newspaper emphasizes that, in addition to the old friendship between these militants, they are united by their shared knowled of who, in 2014, got the Russian Buk missile system that shot down the plane.

                        "And of course, the extradition of any of them to Ukraine (under any pretext) could be a gift for investigators in the MH17 case (Ukraine is one of the five countries participating in the investigation under the leadership of the Netherlands)," the publication notes.

                        At the same time, the publication notes that the former leader of the DPR, Alexander Boroday, particularly highlighted Hmuriy’s concern about the possible extradition of Pogodin.

                        "The fact that Boroday has highlighted the anxiety of ”Hmuriy is the most noteworthy detail in his speech [in an interview with one of the editions]. The alarm of the most vilified figure of the MH17 case, voiced publicly, can be seen as a reminder of himself: do you confirm there (in Moscow) my immunity, and Moscow confirms…a few months before the Netherlands presented the final accusations and the disclosure of the names of all those involved in the tragedy. The sadist not only avoids extradition but is free as well. As is now becoming clear, there will be no suit against him, neither in Russia, nor even in the DPR,” summed up Novaya Gazeta.

                        Earlier it was reported that the General Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine (GPO) did not receive a response from the Russian Federation about the transfer of Pogodin suspected of killing a schoolboy in Donetsk.

                        "The Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine has not received an official response from the Russian Federation about the transfer to Ukrainian law enforcers of former head of the ‘Kerch’ battalion, Pogodin, who brutally killed Ukrainian citizen Stepan Chubenko in the Donbas and was subsequently detained in the Crimea," the GPO stated. UAWire - Media: Russia freed separatist commander Pogodin out of fear that he could give evidence about those responsible for MH17 crash

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                        • Kyiv: 18 people on Ukrainian prisoner-exchange list refuse to return to separatist republics
                          UAWIRE ORG August 3, 2017 8:17:48 PM

                          18 people included in the lists for the exchange of prisoners are categorically against being transferred to a territory beyond Ukraine's control, as stated by the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, Valeriya Lutkovska, UNIAN reports.

                          Lutkovska said that the exchange of prisoners within the framework of the Minsk process is now at the stage of clarifying the lists. She noted that 18 people who were included in the exchange lists "categorically refuse to be transferred to the territory which is not under control of the Ukrainian government."

                          She also added that the so-called LPR (Luhansk People’s Republic) and DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic) included people in the lists who were in no way involved in the events in the east of Ukraine. "For example, there is a person who committed a crime in the Kyiv region. Why should he be as a part of this exchange?"

                          Lutkovska maintained that representatives of the so-called DPR agreed with her position, and that the LPR separatists are still working and are not ready to confirm the lists.

                          “Now, the exact number of Ukrainian prisoners held by the separatists is unknown, since we can only talk about the list of prisoners confirmed by them. There are 70 such people now… They promise to confirm a couple more but we are requesting much more: 137 people who, according to our information, are in uncontrolled territory."

                          Lutkovska also added that the formation of the exchange lists is significantly hampered by the fact that Ukraine does not have access to the uncontrolled territories to find out exactly how many captured Ukrainians are there. In this issue she hopes for the help of the coordinator of the humanitarian subgroup in the Tripartite Contact Group, Toni Frisch.

                          "We are ready to open remand centers isolators for him [Frisch], but on parity conditions: confidential communication with prisoners. However, if he is accompanied by people with machine guns in Donetsk or Makiivka, what parity can we speak of?" the ombudsman asked. UAWire - Kyiv: 18 people on Ukrainian prisoner-exchange list refuse to return to separatist republics

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                          • Bill on sanctions against Russia signed by Trump envisages allocation of $30 million for Ukraine’s energy security
                            UAWIRE ORG August 3, 2017 2:00:00 PM

                            The bill on the new sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea, signed by US President Donald Trump envisages the allocation of funds to support Ukraine’s energy security, the Ukrainian embassy to the US announced.

                            “The legislative act envisages the creation of a fund to combat the Russian influence, and allocates $250 million to its budget for the 2018-2019 financial years. For the implementation of initiatives to support Ukraine’s energy security, an allocation of $30 million is envisaged,” the embassy’s post on Facebook states.

                            The embassy mentioned that according to the bill, the US policy is support for Ukraine in the restoration of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, condemnation and opposition of all Russia’s destabilizing efforts, non-recognition of the illegal annexation of the Crimea by the Russian government or the rejection of any part of Ukraine’s territory using military force.

                            Furthermore, the document envisages US aid in reforming the energy sector of Ukraine and reducing its dependence on Russian energy resources as well as continued opposition to the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project.

                            US President Donald Trump signed a bill on new sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea. The American leader said that the US will not tolerate interference, and together with its allies it will oppose Russia’s subversive activity.
                            UAWire - Bill on sanctions against Russia signed by Trump envisages allocation of $30 million for Ukraine’s energy security

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                            • Poland intends to demand reparations from Germany for World War II
                              UAWIRE ORG August 3, 2017 1:00:39 PM

                              Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said that Germany should pay Poland reparations for material damage and crimes against Poles committed in 1939-1945, reported Radio Poland, citing an interview by Macierewicz on TVPInfo.

                              As noted by Macierewicz, Poland de facto never renounced its claim toward the Germany, which began on September 1, 1939 with military aggression against Poland, and which continued with the occupation of Polish territory for almost five years.

                              "It's not true that the Polish state refused the German military reparations. This was the Soviet colony, called the Polish People's Republic, that refused part of the reparations associated with a puppet state, also called the German Democratic Republic. In this fashion, the act never received formal legal registration, but rather was political and journalistic in nature, "the Polish minister said.

                              At the same time, a deputy from the ruling "Law and Justice" party, Arkadiusz Mularczyk, said that the Polish Sejm’s Bureau of Legal Analysis would publish a report in the coming days on international legal grounds for possible official claims by Poland against Germany. UAWire - Poland intends to demand reparations from Germany for World War II

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                              • Six characteristics define today’s Stalinists and explain their large influence, Pavlova says
                                EUROMAIDAN PRESS 2017/08/04 - 11:52

                                “Stalinist,” like many epithets, is not so much an explanation as something that needs to be explained, US-based Russian historian Irina Pavlova says; and in a new post, she argues that Stalinists are best understood as people who share five particular and interrelated beliefs.

                                First of all, she says, a Stalinist is someone who supports traditional Russian statehood and great power. Indeed, “the basis of Stalinism lies in Russian state traditions …as embodied in the rule of Ivan the Terrible.” During more liberal periods in Russian history, these ideas have receded into the background somewhat, but they have never disappeared.

                                “With Stalin, [these views] reached their logical end point,” with the state viewing itself as surrounded by enemies and having as its domestic task the establishment of tight control over the population so that the country will not fall apart and as its foreign ones increasing its influence and power and showing Russia to be a great power.

                                That means, Pavlova says, that “the state in Russia is not the civil service [as is the case in other countries] but [an independent] demiurge-power. Power itself is the highest value, it is always primary and the people are always secondary, even though formally the Stalinist declares the Russian multi-national people as the source of all power.”

                                Second, Pavlova continues, “a Stalinist is a supporter of ethnic Russian state nationalism. The ideal of the Stalinist is only a centralized and unitary state … [and] in this Russian picture of the world, federation as a system of government organization is alien both to the supreme power and to public consciousness,” whatever the country is called.

                                That view is widely shared in the population and even among “various representatives of the so-called elite and anti-Putin opposition,” the historian points out. Indeed, among both systemic liberals and nationalists, “the majority are supporters of the great power position and imperialists.”

                                Third, she says, “a Stalinist is a supporter of government ownership and control not only of natural resources but of industry and also of the active interference of the state in the development of science, culture, the social sphere and health care.” Often Stalinists criticize Putin for failing to carry out “a new industrialization of the country.”

                                Fourth, “a Stalinist is a supporter of the development of military industry which in his language is always called not military but defense. In reality, the purpose of this industry is entirely different: not defense against an external enemy but the affirmation of the status of Russia as a great power in the world by force of arms and the militarization of his own country.”

                                Fifth, a Stalinist is someone whose consciousness is opposed to law. “He may call for ‘the dictatorship of law,’ but the orders of the supreme power, as a rule, secret are for him always ‘higher than formal legality,’” and he is quite prepared to use “illegal methods” against corruption or other ills.

                                And sixth, “a Stalinist is a supporter of social projects introduced ‘from above,’ be it socialism, democracy or a legal state.” Thus, “calls to ‘build socialism in one country’” are for a Stalinist equivalent to “calls to ‘build a democratic legal state.’ In any case, this means actions ‘from above,’” and that inevitably involves “force and repressions.” Six characteristics define today’s Stalinists and explain their large influence, Pavlova says | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press |

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