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  • Seven messages from Mustafa Dzhemilev on his 75th Birthday
    EUROMAIDAN PRESS 2018/11/15 - 22:06

    Seven messages from Mustafa Dzhemilev on his 75th Birthday
    Mustafa Dzhemilev (Photo: Stanislav Yurchenko, RFE/RL)

    Mustafa Dzhemilev (Photo: Stanislav Yurchenko, RFE/RL)

    2018/11/15 - 22:06 Crimea, Russian Aggression

    Mustafa Dzhemilev, who has been fighting for the rights of the Crimean Tatar nation for six decades against occupiers old and new, turns 75 today. He has lost none of his ability to diagnose the problems his nation faces or to inspire its members and all people of good will with his pointed observations and actions.

    Despite being forced to grow up far from his homeland as a result of Stalins deportation of the Crimean Tatars in 1944, being compelled to spend decades in prison where he still holds the record for the longest hunger strike in history 303 days and being exiled again by the Putin regime, Dzhemilev remains an optimist about the future.

    Now at an age when many are taking their rest, Dzhemilev has lost none of his commitment, insight or energy, and perhaps the best measure of the man on this round birthday are the seven observations he made in the course of an interview given to Ramazan Alpaut of Radio Libertys IdelReal portal.

    They include:
    --First, Putin may call himself a nationalist but he is in fact a fascist, Dzhemilev says. He does not respect international law and considers it his right to invade and occupy neighboring countries and killing people. Well, perhaps, the Crimean Tatar leader allows, this is a form of Russian nationalism. But he continues, not one enemy of Russia has been able to inflict such harm on the Russian Federation as have Putins policies, policies whose errors he should admit but that would take courage and a sense of responsibility, things he doesnt have.
    --Second, Ukraine for all of its difficulties is not Russia, and not Russia in positive ways. In Ukraine, Dzhemilev says, there exists the concept of national minority for whom instruction in a native language until the fifth class is obligatory in Ukraine, there is the concept of indigenous people for whom there are even broader rights. In Russia, this situation is completely different. In Russia open and forced Russification is taking place.
    --Third, the Volga Tatars like the Bashkirs although the Bashkirs and Tatars are from [Dzhemilevs] point of view, part of one and the same people and the peoples of the Caucasus must get themselves prepared for independence if the current policy of Russia continues, then that country will face inevitable collapse and certainly the disintegration of this state.
    --Fourth, what the Russian occupiers are doing in Crimea is not pressure but the most genuine terror. The situation has become so bad, Dzhemilev says, that this isnt life; this is some kind of hell.
    --Fifth, there has been no mass exodus from Crimea because Dzhemilev and the other leaders of the Crimean Tatars have urged them to remain. If they left, that would give Moscow a victory it doesnt deserve by allowing the Russian government to send in Russians to change the ethnic composition of the Ukrainian peninsula.
    --Sixth, while the Mejlis of Crimean Tatars cannot formally meet because it is impossible to hold sessions in a place where a quorum could be assembled, the alternative Crimean Tatar organization that Moscow has established is a fake, wholly controlled by the FSB, just as is the case of the Crimean Muslim Spiritual Directorate.
    --And seventh, our people puts all its hope in liberation from occupation. But when this liberation will come, it is impossible to predict. Such totalitarian bandit regimes [as the one Putin has organized and heads] sometimes fall apart instantly and in a completely unexpected way. http://euromaidanpress.com/2018/11/1...75th-birthday/


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    • Ukraine-Russia clash: Nato's dilemma in the Black Sea
      BBC Jonathan Marcus 4 December 2018

      Does crisis beckon in the Black Sea? Could Russia and Nato even come to blows?
      That - at least for now - is probably unlikely. But the recent seizure of two Ukrainian gunboats and a tug in the approaches to the Kerch Strait, by vessels of the Russian Border Guard, has inevitably brought security in the Black Sea to the forefront of Nato's agenda at their meeting in Brussels on Tuesday.

      The Black Sea has long had strategic significance.

      It was, after all, the theatre for a major conflict between the Western powers France and Great Britain and Imperial Russia in the mid-19th Century. During the Cold War, it was the Soviet Union's shortest route to Iran and the Middle East. Turkey - a Nato ally - stood astride the Black Sea's southern exit to the Mediterranean, facing Russia across the Black Sea to its the north.

      For the Russians this was always seen as their "back yard". And the end of the Cold War and the break-up of the Soviet Union greatly complicated relationships.

      Incursion, or deterrence?
      Russia has engaged in armed conflict against two independent states that were formerly part of the Soviet Union - Georgia and Ukraine. It has annexed Ukrainian territory - Crimea - and continues to support armed rebels in eastern Ukraine. And it backs separatist enclaves that have broken away from the Georgian government.

      Russia is alarmed at what it sees as Nato's growing incursion into the region. Three nearby states, Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria, are members of the alliance. Nato conducts air policing operations out of Romania, helping them to defend their territory by intercepting Russian jets approaching their air space.

      Russia-Ukraine sea clash in 300 words
      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46345697

      Ukraine country profile
      https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cp..._snipimage.jpg

      Similarly, Nato warships have stepped up patrols in the Black Sea. Romania is hosting a US-built ballistic missile defence site. And Nato - along with individual Alliance members - is developing military ties with its partner countries Georgia and Ukraine.

      Viewed from the Nato headquarters in Brussels, this is simply helping to provide stability and a measure of deterrence in the face of a more assertive Russia. Ukraine, for example, is eager to ensure that the Sea of Azov does not become a Russian-controlled lake. And Nato as a whole is intent on challenging Russian dominance of the Black Sea itself.

      However, viewed from Moscow, this is all part of what they see as Nato's broadening land grab; its desire to push the borders of the Alliance ever closer to Russia. And given that this is an area of historic significance for successive Russian regimes, the stakes are very high indeed.
      Russia remains unmoved

      Nato has a problem.
      On the one hand, its member governments' rhetoric calls for stability and de-escalation while they take steps - such as military exercises and economic sanctions - that the Russians are bound to see as provocative. Judging the balance between deterrence and provocation is not easy, especially when pressure alone is often unlikely to change Russia's behaviour.

      Take the Ukraine crisis for example. Sanctions show no sign of changing President Putin's mind, nor are they likely to secure the return of Crimea any time soon. Russia appears willing to accept the pain of sanctions because its interests in the "near-abroad" matter more.

      This calculus makes Nato's response to the latest crisis between Russia and Ukraine more difficult. Analysts have called for a variety of measures, from the deployment of Nato vessels in the Sea of Azov - which would probably be illegal since it is an inland sea not an international waterway, and impractical because Russia could easily seal the Kerch Strait; to stepped-up economic sanctions; or even efforts to compensate Ukraine for the economic losses it is suffering from what is effectively a semi-blockade of its ports.

      https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cp..._624map-nc.png

      There will be those in Ukraine and among its more strident supporters in the US who see this as adding to the case for stepping up arms supplies to Kiev. While Nato countries do lots of training for the Ukrainian military, they have largely baulked at providing lethal weaponry. The Trump administration has supplied a limited number of Javelin anti-tank weapons to redress a significant defensive shortcoming in Ukraine's ground forces. But some experts have suggested, for example, that Kiev should be given shore-based anti-shipping missiles to help even up the naval balance in these enclosed waters.

      There is no perfect solution to this strategic stand-off separate from a more fundamental recasting of the relationship between Russia and the West. The immediate task is to ensure that things do not get worse.

      War is ever-changing
      And this raises another fundamental problem for Nato. Warfare is changing.

      Indeed, the once-clear boundary between war and peace is dissolving. We hear a lot about military demonstrations, exercises, cyber attacks and information operations. Traditionally, these have been seen as a prelude to conflict.

      But what if they are actually the war itself, as one senior US commander recently asked?

      In other words, you no longer have to risk full-scale warfare; you just use a variety of tools to apply pressure to achieve the same ends. In this light, Russia is already having some success against Ukraine.

      It has seized Crimea and shows no sign of relinquishing it. It is exacting an economic cost from Kiev by interfering with shipping in the Sea of Azov.

      It has, as it might argue, weakened the Ukrainian president at a time when he faces a difficult re-election campaign, by seizing three vessels and their crews. All at a price that Moscow seems willing to pay.

      This, then, is Nato's dilemma: how does it reassure friends and allies in the Black Sea region without simply making matters worse? https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46425777

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      • NATO recognizes Ukraine's aspirations to join Alliance Stoltenberg
        Ukraine has made progress on reforms, Stoltenberg says
        UNIAN 20:55, 04 December 2018

        Ukraine's aspirations to become member of the Alliance.

        "We also restated NATOs solidarity with Ukraine. We recognize Ukraines aspirations to join the Alliance," Stoltenberg told a press conference in Brussels following the meeting of the North Atlantic Council with Georgia and Ukraine in Foreign Ministers' session on Tuesday, according to an UNIAN correspondent.

        The NATO chief says "progress has already been made on reforms" in Ukraine, while "challenges remain."

        "[W]e encourage Ukraine to continue on this path of reform. This is crucial for prosperity and peace in Ukraine," said Stoltenberg.

        He also noted that the Allies "greatly value our unique partnerships with Georgia and Ukraine."

        "In different ways, each of them contributes to our shared security. And NATO remains committed to strengthening our ties with both countries," Stoltenberg said.
        UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/politics/1036...oltenberg.html


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        • Russia turns down Ukraine's offer for hostage swap on Dec 27
          Humanitarian envoy
          Ukraine offered to hand over 23 Russian detainees in exchange for 23 Ukrainian political prisoners held in Russia, as well as to pardon 66 so-called separatists in exchange for the release of 19 Ukrainian military held by Russian-backed militants in Donbas.
          UNIAN 20:30, 04 December 2018

          Russian delegation at the Donbas settlement talks in Minsk refused Ukraine's offer to exchange hostages on December 27, according to first deputy chair of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's humanitarian envoy to the Trilateral Contact Group, Iryna Gerashchenko.

          "The Ukrainian side once again conveyed its proposal to release the arrested Russians in exchange for Ukrainians held in Russian prisons and to pardon separatists in exchange for Ukrainians held in the occupied territories. We passed specific lists and proposals in the format of 23/23 and 66/19 with a proposal to release our military and civilians from the occupied regions of Ukraine ahead of the New Year and Christmas holidays," Gerashchenko wrote on Facebook.

          "We are ready to repeat last years success and hold the next stage of liberation on December 27. Unfortunately, the Russian Federation and its puppets refused another initiative of Ukraine and thwarted the proposal to release Ukrainians. Responsibility for blocking hostage release lays completely on the Russian side," she emphasized.

          As UNIAN reported earlier, on December 27, 2017, a hostage exchange was held in Donbas. Ukraine handed over 233 convicts detained in connection with the war in the east who had been serving their sentences in Ukrainian prisons in exchange for 73 Ukrainian hostages. Among the released Ukrainian hostages were 32 military and 41 civilians.
          UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/society/10363...ian-envoy.html

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          • Ramps for people with disabilities to be a must in new apartment blocks built in Ukraine
            The relevant draft law aims to enhance protection of persons with disabilities and other people with limited mobility in urban planning.
            UNIAN 19:50, 04 December 2018

            On Dec 4, the Verkhovna Rada passed in the first reading a bill that provides for a ban on the commissioning of new houses and public facilities without arranging a barrier-free space.

            The relevant draft law aims to enhance protection of persons with disabilities and other people with limited mobility in urban planning, TV Channel 24 reports.

            Deputy head of the Ministry of Regional Development, Lev Partskhaladze, explains that the bill proposes to prohibit the commissioning of newly built residential buildings and public facilities if no ramps or other barrier-free spaces have been provided.

            The official announced the new state construction standards (SCS) Inclusiveness of buildings and structures already approved by the Ministry, which should come into effect in the spring of 2019.
            UNIAN: https://economics.unian.info/1036348...n-ukraine.html



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            • EU offering eurobond to provide aid to Ukraine, Georgia - Reuters 1
              The deal was connected to last weeks European Commission approval of EUR 500 million ($568 million) of aid to Ukraine.
              UNIAN 9:10, 04 December 2018

              The European Union has opened a tap of its outstanding April 2033 eurobonds to provide EUR 500 million of aid to Ukraine and EUR 15 million of aid to Georgia, an EU official told Reuters on Tuesday.
              The deal was connected to last weeks European Commission approval of EUR 500 million ($568 million) of aid to Ukraine, the official said, according to Reuters.

              When we go to the market to raise funds, we link it directly to the beneficiary, which explains why we are going to market now in the first week of December, the official said, asking to remain anonymous as the matter was not yet public.

              Initial marketing levels on the 15-year bond sale are at 4 basis points below mid-swaps, two banking sources said, suggesting a yield of around 1.18%, based on Tradeweb prices.

              The EU official said the lending terms to Ukraine and Georgia will have the same maturity and coupon as the EU bond deal.

              That would represent a substantial saving for Ukraine compared with its own borrowing costs in the bond market. A Ukraine September 2032 government bond, for example, was trading at a yield of 9.88% on Tuesday.

              The deal would bring the outstanding April 2033 bond up to EUR 2.615 billion. Settlement is due next Monday, Dec 11, according to the banking sources. That means the funds will be available to the EU as early as next week.

              The loan to Ukraine, the main cause for the bond deal, will come with economic policy conditions, but it is not restricted to a particular project or purpose, the official said.

              Last week, the European Commission said on its website it has approved the disbursement of the EUR 500 million of a new Macro-Financial Assistance programme to Ukraine.

              Commerzbank, Goldman Sachs, LBBW and TD Securities are arranging the bond issue.
              UNIAN: https://economics.unian.info/1036346...a-reuters.html




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              • Lutsenko names key figure in organizing acid attack on activist Handziuk
                Lutsenko promised to disclose the identity of the mastermind behind the assassination as soon as the investigators had enough evidence.
                UNIAN 16:03, 04 December 2018

                Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has named a key figure in organizing a deadly acid attack on Kherson activist Kateryna Handziuk, having disclosed only his second name.

                "Another very important indictment has been brought against citizen Levin, who is known in the criminal world aka Moskal Jr. This man was [earlier] convicted along with his father. His father was sentenced to life imprisonment. And the son was sentenced to 15 years for organizing murders and attacks on drivers in Kherson region. The total number of proven killings was 15 people," Lutsenko said at a meeting of law enforcement chiefs in Odesa, an UNIAN correspondent reported.

                The prosecutor general added that Levin had been set free on parole under the so-called Savchenko Law," "but we suspect this was not justified."

                The Savchenko Law, developed by MP Nadiia Savchenko, provided that one day of pretrial detention had to be counted as two days of imprisonment. Later this rule was abolished in June 2017.
                Lutsenko noted that Levin, according to investigators, is a key figure in organizing the acid attack.

                As for the mastermind behind the assassination, the prosecutor general said the investigation had many theories, but most of them came down to specific individuals, however he promised to disclose their identities when the indictment was ready. "At the moment, the news is that another side of the attack on Handziuk was citizen Levin, in addition to the organizer who has already been indicted," Lutsenko said.

                According to him, Levin fled Ukraine on the day when the detentions in the Handziuk case began, and now measures are being taken to detain him abroad.

                However, he assured the absence of Levin in Ukraine would not affect the investigation, "which is close to provide legal grounds to convict the customer." Lutsenko also said the investigation had agreed on the key theory: "We see a motive that links both an assistant to an MP and a criminal boss, thus we see the one who ordered [the assassination]."

                Lutsenko promised to disclose the identity of the mastermind behind the assassination as soon as the investigators had enough evidence.

                As UNIAN reported earlier, Kherson activist, adviser to the Mayor of Kherson and acting manager of affairs at Kherson City Council's executive committee Kateryna Handziuk on July 31 survived an act of acid throwing. Handziuk's injury was over 30% of the total body surface area, and doctors assessed her condition as serious.

                She was transferred to a Kyiv hospital, where she died on November 4 after long treatment. She reportedly died of a blood clot.

                Police originally qualified the attack on the official as an attempted murder committed with extreme cruelty, then its status was changed to completed murder.

                Six suspects were detained, one of whom, Mykola Novikov, was later released from custody as charges against him were dropped.

                Three suspects Vyacheslav Vishnevsky, Volodymyr Vasyanovych, and Viktor Horbunov are now under house arrest.

                The alleged organizer of the assassination, Serhiy Torbin, remains in custody. His arrest has recently been extended until December 3. Mykyta Hrabchuk, another suspect in the case, is also under arrest.

                On November 5, the media reported that Torbin had allegedly received money for the attack on Handziuk from Ihor Pavlovsky, an assistant to Member of Parliament from the Petro Poroshenko Bloc parliamentary faction Mykola Palamarchuk.

                Palamarchuk in turn dismissed any accusations of his possible involvement in the assassination attempt on the activist. He also said he had dismissed Pavlovsky.

                On November 12, a court detained Pavlovsky until December 3. According to the SBU Security Service, he is suspected of complicity in the Handziuk murder. Lutsenko announced on December 3 that the investigators had identified all the individuals who had ordered the assassination.
                UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/society/10363...-handziuk.html


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                • SBU thwarts Russian cyberattack on telecom systems of Ukraine's judiciary
                  Compromised e-mails, infected with malware, had been sent to computers in various bodies of the country's judiciary system.
                  UNIAN 17:50, 04 December 2018

                  The security service of Ukraine successfully blocked an attempt by Russian intelligence to carry out a large-scale cyberattack on information and telecommunication systems of Ukraine's judicial authorities.

                  The SBU experts spotted that the cyberattack had begun by sending emails with malware-infected fake accounting documents attached to them. After the files were opened, malicious software penetrated the affected computers in a concealed way to ensure unauthorized interference with judicial information systems and theft of confidential information, the SBU press service reported.

                  According to the agency, the malware detected was connected to control and command servers, which, in particular, had Russian IP addresses.

                  "According to the experts, the plan of the Russian intelligence was to hinder the stable functioning of Ukraine's judicial information system. Thanks to joint efforts with the State Judicial Administration and the State Special Communications Services, we managed to localize the effect of the cyberattack and prevent its further spread," the report said.
                  UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/politics/1036...judiciary.html


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                  • INTERFAX -UKRAINE 18:44 04.12.2018
                    EBRD, IFC will provide financial aid to modernize Kyiv heating complex

                    The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) together with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) will provide financial support for the modernization of the Kyiv heat and power complex, the mayor's press service has reported.

                    Financing will be provided in the framework of the memorandum on the development of the Kyiv heat and power complex, which Kyiv City State Administration, municipal enterprise Kyivteploenergo and international partners will sign in mid-December.

                    "It is especially important for us that today we have the first results of joint work, embodied in the draft memorandum on the development of the Kyiv heat and power complex between Kyiv City State Administration, Kyivteploenergo, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the EBRD, and the IFC. In ten days we have to sign the memorandum between all the parties," Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.

                    According to the report, it is planned to invest funds in upgrading the infrastructure of the heat and power complex, improving the quality of services provided by Kyivteploenergo, as well as reducing the cost of these services.

                    It is also recommended to optimize the organizational and management structure of Kyivteploenergo, as well as to create a supervisory board, which will ensure the transparency of the enterprise's operations and prepare it to attracting private investment. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/economic/550769.html


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                    • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 16:46 15.11.2018
                      Polish Unibep S.A. could complete trade center in Kyiv

                      Unibep S.A., one of the largest construction companies in the Polish market, has signed a conditional agreement on completing the construction of a shopping and entertainment complex in Kyiv with the Ukrainian company Martin LLC (Kyiv), part of the Lithuanian investment group BT Invest.

                      According to a report by Unibep S.A. on the stock exchange, the contract was concluded on October 30, 2018. The condition for its entry into force is the receipt by Martin LLC of a loan from Poland's Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego S.A. (BGK) and the availability of a written confirmation of the entry into force of the loan agreement.

                      According to the report, the cost of the construction contract will be EUR34.6 million. At the same time, the customer makes an advance payment of 15% to Unibep S.A. at its own expense, while the remaining 85% will be financed by a loan provided by BGK.

                      The implementation period is 14 months from the date of commencement of construction.

                      BT Invest Group, in particular, Stolitsa Group investment and development company, which is part of it, is currently developing the project for the construction of the Retroville shopping and entertainment center at 47 Pravdy Avenue in Kyiv, whose commissioning was scheduled for 2019. The project partner is BT-Invest investment company, the exclusive broker is Colliers International (Ukraine). https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/economic/545396.html



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                      • INTERFAX-UKRAINE 13:47 14.11.2018
                        Moody's upgrades rating of Kyiv city to 'Caa2,' outlook remains positive

                        Moody's Public Sector Europe has today upgraded the City of Kyiv's issuer rating to Caa2 from Caa3; the rating's outlook remains positive.

                        Moody's said in a press release, the improvement, reflected in the upgrade of Kyiv's baseline credit assessment (BCA) to caa2 from caa3, stemmed from an expanded revenue base while the city contains growth in expenses.

                        The upgrade of Kyiv's issuer rating also reflects the city's successful completion of the exchange of $101 million of the remaining portion of $250 million Eurobond that was in default since 2015 for new loan participation notes due in 2022, which significantly relieves financial pressure from the city's budget.

                        As reported, Kyiv on November 23, 2015, offered to the holders of their eurobonds their exchange for the eurobonds of Ukraine with redemption in 2019-2020 and government derivatives. Per one eurobond with a nominal value of $1,000 two sovereign eurobonds with redemption in 2019 and 2020 were offered, each with a nominal value of $375 and a rate of 7.75% per annum and government derivatives with a conditional value of $250. The interest accrued on the bonds was planned to be capitalized and added to the principal amount of the new bonds.

                        The government of Ukraine on December 18, 2015, as part of the restructuring, allowed the transfer of Kyiv's debt on eurobonds 2015 for $117.394 million and eurobonds 2016 for $233.672 million into public debt.

                        Restructuring of eurobonds 2015 was supported by 59.51% of their holders, and eurobonds 2016 - by 90.9%. According to a source at Bloomberg, the 2015 eurobonds offer was rejected by Franklin Templeton Inv Mgmt Ltd., based in London, which owned 32% of the 2015 eurobonds. After that, according to the available information, there were negotiations with this creditor.

                        The restructuring mechanism for eurobonds 2015 provided that the papers that will not be converted will remain unpaid due to the moratorium imposed by Kyiv on making payments on foreign debts, and the possibility of transferring them to government securities expired in 2015.

                        Kyiv on September 4, 2018 completed the restructuring of outstanding debt on foreign borrowings by exchanging eurobonds with a yield of 8% and repayment in 2015 (eurobonds 2015) with a total nominal amount of $101.149 million for new bonds with a yield of 7.5% and repayment on December 15, 2022. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/economic/545012.html



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                        • The Former 'Killing Factory' For Ukrainian Strays That Became A Sanctuary
                          RFE /RL Christopher Miller Ukraine December 04, 2018 16:20 GMT

                          PYROHIV, Ukraine -- When Tamara Tarnavska peered through a hole in the fence surrounding a mysterious compound in this quiet neighborhood on the southern outskirts of Kyiv, what she saw horrified her.

                          Dogs and cats -- hundreds of them -- were being rounded up and killed in such "brutal" ways that Tarnavska says she doesn't want to describe the disturbing scene again.

                          It was a "killing factory," Tarnavska says, where "animal hunters" had for decades taken strays to be "liquidated."

                          After she published a documentary film made using a hidden camera that exposed those activities (editor's note: Tarnavska worked for RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service at the time) Kyiv authorities shut the facility down and made the journalist-cum-activist an offer: she could lease the land free-of-charge for 49 years if she turned it into a sanctuary for strays.

                          That was 1997.

                          https://gdb.rferl.org/E7FC8D48-1B69-...w1023_r0_s.jpg

                          More than 21 years later, Tarnavska, a Kyiv-born Norwegian who says she's loved animals since she was a child, still heads the SOS International Animal Protection Society, an animal-rights group in the Ukrainian capital.

                          "I promised to close this place and build the shelter and stay with animals and protect them," she says of what became Ukraine's first such animal shelter.

                          Since then, she estimates she's saved more than 20,000 dogs and cats from the streets and the clutches of their would-be killers. All of them have been spayed or neutered in an attempt to help Ukraine get its stray-animal problem under control.

                          https://gdb.rferl.org/CBB9C4D1-6B07-..._w650_r0_s.jpg

                          Ukraine has long struggled with what to do with its strays. City programs aimed at sterilization and the creation of animal shelters have been introduced in the past, but they are rarely implemented in full and the funds for such programs often disappear.

                          In lieu of government programs, "animal hunters" have sometimes taken matters into their own hands.

                          In the run-up to the Euro 2012 soccer championship that Ukraine co-hosted, thousands of stray dogs were reportedly killed -- often with poison-laced meat or injections of illegal substances -- in an effort to clear the streets of host cities before the big tournament kicked off that June.

                          Some residents at the time openly admitted to shooting and otherwise killing stray dogs with impunity.

                          Such slaughters continued through 2013, reportedly targeting strays in Kyiv in the name of public health.

                          https://gdb.rferl.org/756EACF9-5E49-...w1597_r0_s.jpg

                          There were more reports of the same ahead of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. And while some claimed those reports were false, Tarnavska says her organization was aware of "thousands" of animals being killed, often with poisons that caused them to fall over, froth at the mouth, and shake violently until they died.

                          "Ukrainian authorities look at stray animals like they're rubbish," Tarnavska says.

                          At Tarnavska's shelter on a recent, snowy November day, she is housing 328 cats and more than 1,000 dogs that have been saved from such a fate. There is plenty of barking and tail-wagging, but no biting.

                          https://gdb.rferl.org/1D12447A-459F-...w1023_r0_s.jpg

                          Among them are more than 200 animals saved by Ukrainian soldiers from the war zone in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions after their owners left them behind when they fled.

                          One such dog is named Cyborg, after the nickname given to Ukrainian soldiers who fought Russia-backed separatists for control of the strategic Donetsk airport for 242 grueling days. Cyborg has been slow to open up, and is kept in a pen most of the time. But like the hundreds of other dogs and cats there, he is safe and well-fed.

                          A small group of volunteers and donations from Ukrainians and Western Europeans help keep them that way.

                          Volunteers deliver scraps of meat from supermarkets around Kyiv in a van donated to the shelter. Adorning its side are the words, in English, "Everyone should have a house."

                          Hanging on the walls of a small office on the shelter property are news clippings and photographs of Tarnavska alongside former Ukrainian presidents and Western ambassadors.

                          And there are letters from French film luminary and animal-rights advocate Bridget Bardot, this shelter's first donor who continues to support it through her own foundation.

                          https://gdb.rferl.org/3382D9C8-FBA4-..._w650_r0_s.jpg

                          While the shelter still exists rent-free, taking care of the animals requires a lot of help, time, food, and money. Those costs rise especially in winter, when temperatures are almost continuously below freezing and electricity bills are high.

                          Now Tarnavska faces yet another challenge. Animal hunters and other heavies whom she claims have been hired by politicians who want to see the land developed are visiting the shelter with greater regularity and harassing her and the animals.

                          In at least one instance, she says, men showed up with guns and began shooting at the dogs. RFE/RL could not independently corroborate her claim, but it aligns with previous reports.

                          Other times, Tarnavskas cars have been torched, and groups of men have shown up and threatened her, even blocking her vehicle and preventing her from leaving the compound.

                          Tarnavska says she's asked local police to investigate, but so far there has been no response. She speculates that it's because so many people are either indifferent toward the animals or want them gone.

                          "People don't understand why I'm helping animals, because it doesn't make me money," she says.
                          https://www.rferl.org/a/former-killi.../29637414.html













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                          • RFE/RL Ukraine December 04, 2018 16:36 GMT
                            Kyiv Says Russia 'Partially' Unblocks Ports On Sea Of Azov

                            Kyiv says Russia has "partially" unblocked Ukrainian ports on the Sea of Azov, allowing Ukrainian ships to pass through the Kerch Strait for the first time since November 25, when Russian forces seized three Ukrainian Navy vessels and detained 24 crewmen.

                            Berdyansk and Mariupol are partially unlocked, Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan said on December 4, as NATO reiterated its call on Russia to allow "unhindered access" to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov.

                            Vessels make their way to the entrance and exit through the Kerch Strait toward Ukrainian ports, Omelyan said.

                            The minister said that ships navigating through the Kerch Strait to and from Ukrainian ports are stopped and inspected by Russia as before, but the traffic has been partially restored."

                            Ukraine's Agriculture Ministry later said that the country had resumed grain shipments from the Sea of Azov.

                            "Passage of vessels with agricultural products through ports in the Sea of Azov has been unlocked," the ministry said in a statement.

                            "The loading of grain to vessels through the ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk is restored and carried out in regular mode," it added.
                            The naval confrontation between Russia and Ukraine topped the agenda of a NATO foreign ministers' meeting with their Ukrainian counterpart, Pavlo Klimkin, in Brussels.

                            After the talks, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the 29 members of the alliance called on Russia to "immediately release the Ukrainian sailors and ships it seized."

                            "Russia must allow freedom of navigation and allow unhindered access to Ukrainian ports," he added.

                            "In response to Russia's aggressive actions, NATO has substantially increased its presence in the Black Sea region over the past few years -- at sea, in the air, and on the ground," Stoltenberg also noted.

                            Russia continues to hold 24 Ukrainian sailors detained in the November 25 incident, despite demands from NATO for their release from detention centers in Moscow.

                            Moscow Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Potyayeva was scheduled on December 4 to visit three Ukrainian sailors who were injured in the November 25 incident, when Russian forces rammed a Ukrainian Navy tugboat and fired on two other ships before seizing the vessels.

                            The clash has added to tension over Crimea, which Russia occupied and illegally annexed from Ukraine in March 2014.

                            It also has raised concerns of a possible flare-up in a simmering war between Kyiv and Russia-backed separatists that has killed more than 10,300 people in eastern Ukraine since April 2014.

                            The Russia-backed separatists hold parts of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, including a piece of shoreline that lies between the Russian border and the Ukrainian Sea of Azov port city of Mariupol.

                            Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, on December 3 said concerns that Moscow could seek to create a "land corridor" linking Russia to Crimea were "absurd."

                            At their Brussels meeting, the foreign ministers "restated NATOs solidarity with Ukraine," Stoltenberg said.

                            "We recognize Ukraines aspirations to join the alliance, and progress has already been made on reforms. But challenges remain, so we encourage Ukraine to continue on this path of reform. This is crucial for prosperity and peace in Ukraine," the NATO chief said.
                            With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP https://www.rferl.org/a/kyiv-says-ru.../29636589.html

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                            • How Ukrainians are living under martial law
                              EUROMAIDAN PRESS Olena Makarenko 2018/12/03 - 23:14

                              On November 28, the final version of the Presidential decree on the imposition of martial law in ten oblasts of Ukraine was published. According to it, martial law came into force starting from 14:00 of November 26 and will last until 14:00 of December 26. So it will not change either the scheduled date of the presidential election campaign or the election day 31 March 2019.

                              The move came in response to a Russian attack on Ukrainian sailors in the Azov Sea, in the result of which 24 sailors were captured and transferred to Moscow, and are preparing to be put on trial.

                              So far, martial law was imposed only in ten oblasts located along the Russian border, Transnistria, and along the coast of the Black and Azov seas, which were said to be at greater risk of a Russian intervention. Despite martial law having been introduced only now, some of these regions have already experienced a state of war, which after an intense battles of Russian and Russian-led separatist forces against the Ukrainian government in the summer of 2014 had is in a smoldering state of frozen conflict, and the establishment of Russian-controlled puppet states, the Luhansk and Donetsk Peoples Republics.

                              https://i0.wp.com/euromaidanpress.co...ize=1024%2C593

                              Alla Morozova, a teacher from Mykolayivka in Donetsk Oblast, is confident that martial law is a helpful step for Ukraine. However, she admits that by far not everybody in her town would support this opinion. Mykolayivka is located about 15 kilometers from the city Sloviansk, a district center from which the Russian-separatist military campaign started in 2014. As well as Sloviansk, Mykolaivka went through battles between Russian-separatist forces and the Ukrainian Army and then was liberated by the Ukrainian forces.

                              There are negative attitudes to martial law because there is no understanding of the situation. This is the end, All men will be taken to the army, the Internet will be cut off, the borders will be closed, Poroshenko will stay in power forever, It was done to fail the elections,' Morozova describes the moods in the city.

                              The woman says that people in her town are scared of the war returning to their streets.

                              Similar moods are observed in Lysychansk, Luhansk Oblast. During May-July 2014, the city was also under occupation by the Russian-separatist forces and went through active warfare.

                              https://i2.wp.com/euromaidanpress.co...LNR2.png?w=910

                              If there is a real threat of seizure of sea and land routes, martial law is needed because no one can predict the actions of the aggressor country. However, the moods in the city are mostly negative. People do not understand that martial law does not mean a total mobilization. The media are trying to explain, but it doesnt help much. So far, ordinary civilians have not experienced any change, but there are talks every day on whether martial law is needed and its purpose is,says Olesia Dorofieieva, a teacher from Lysychansk.

                              According to President Petro Poroshenko, martial law would not affect the lives of civilians much, unless there was a direct military intervention by land. Oleksandr Burmahin, a media lawyer from the Human Rights Platform NGO, explains what it means.

                              The Law on martial law has two parts of restrictions. The biggest one is described in its Article 8. It foresees the confiscation of property, cars, civilians hosting soldiers in their flats, censorship taking down materials, soldiers using radio and TV stations, closing online media and introducing restrictions to the Internet. It all might be introduced only if there is a military operation of the aggressor country on territory outside of occupied Crimea or the territory of the Operation of the Joint Forces [the war zone in Donbas ed.]. So far the only restrictions which came into force are listed in the 19th article. In particular, referendums do not take place, there are no elections; also, there are restrictions regarding peaceful assemblies and protests.

                              Nevertheless, this short list already caused heated discussions.

                              Now lawyers are having arguments regarding the exact territories where these restrictions are enforced, says Burmahin.

                              The thing is that the Central Election Commission scheduled the first local elections in 125 united territorial communities for December 23.

                              The question is whether elections in the united communities can be held in places where martial law was not imposed. Another question is whether it is possible to have peaceful assemblies in a territory where martial law was not imposed, explains Burmahin.

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                              • Martial Law Pt 2
                                Dmytro Shevchenko, a journalist from Kharkiv, a city where martial law also has been introduced, is confident that the measure should have been taken in 2014 when the Russian aggression had just started and should apply to the whole country, not only ten oblasts.

                                It would give a push for the country which would help the majority of the population to understand that we really have a war and that we became a subject of the aggression of the Russian Federation. I think we lost the years without it. Those who didnt believe it would know more by now. Also, all the state institutions would have been working as if under conditions of war. The military structures and the law enforcement bloc would be tuned to respond if aggression would have started across the other borders.

                                If martial law doesnt affect civilians that much, what does it change then?

                                In general, martial law is applicable and introduces responsibilities only for the Armed Forces, police, law enforcement they were switched to the enhanced mode. They should relocate and create possibilities for a rapid reaction if Ukraine will be attacked. The law envisages a large number of mechanisms for this: it allows the armed forces to act quickly, introduces legal reasons for their fast reaction, and provides them with everything needed for defending the country. For example,confiscation of cars, providing them with apartments. So armed forces are given the priority. The management of the country and solving current problems are given to them, says Burmahin.

                                The lawyer goes on saying that from the international point of view martial law has both advantages and drawbacks.

                                One of the drawbacks is that martial law is an obstacle for entering NATO. On the other hand, it is an advantage from the viewpoint of calling everything by its name. It might turn into an advantage in terms of providing international support for the army from countries and alliances. Because it is clear on the official level that it is a pre-war state and the war can start at any moment.

                                The lawyer considers 30 days as a term which will avoid creating obstacles for the national election campaigns. Also, it allows estimating the level of Russian aggression and the potential severity of a future attack. Later, the decision on prolonging the martial law can be made.

                                Also on November 30, Head of the State Border Guard Service Petro Tsyhykal informed that Ukraine will restrict the entrance of Russian men aged from 16-60 years to Ukraine. As well, Ukraine has restricted the entrance of non-Ukrainians to occupied Crimea and the Peoples Republics in Donbas. http://euromaidanpress.com/2018/12/0...r-martial-law/


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