Fragile Truce| Ukraine ceasefire comes amid reports of separatists’ breach.
RT Jul 27, 2020
A ceasefire has come into effect after six years of conflict in eastern Ukraine, but the country’s military chiefs claim the peace has been broken already after Ukrainian soldiers were shot at by forces from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. The separatists deny the claims.
Post by TsarSamuil on Aug 20, 2020 12:10:08 GMT -5
FSB arrests 7 mafia-linked Russians it says were paid by Ukraine to kidnap leader of East Ukrainian rebel militia.
RT.com 20 Aug, 2020 14:08
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has detained seven Russian citizens suspected of attempting to kidnap one of the leaders of the Donbass militia in Eastern Ukraine. The agency says they were promised a cash reward by Kiev.
According to Russia’s Investigative Committee, in July the group, acting on behalf of Ukraine's successor to the KGB (the SBU), posed as interested buyers of real estate. They lured an unnamed victim to Moscow’s suburbs, where he was given an electric shock. The seven involved in the plot planned to take the man, a Russian citizen, to Ukraine, but he resisted and fled.
Russian authorities believe that Ukrainians Andrey Baidala and Igor Mishchenko, who work with the SBU, had offered $200,000 to members of the Russian criminal underworld to kidnap the militia leader. They were allegedly paid an advance of $50,000.
“The FSB uncovered and suppressed an illegal action by the special services of Ukraine,” a statement from the agency’s press service said, explaining that the victim “took an active part in hostilities against the Armed Forces of Ukraine (during the civil war).”
According to the FSB, Baidala is a freelance employee of the SBU, and is well connected within Ukraine’s intelligence community. In the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), he is implicated in several criminal cases, including terrorist attacks and the murder of the former head of DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko.
The war in Donbass began in April 2014, and the rebel forces currently control large swathes of Ukrainian land. The area is now split into two unrecognized states, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, supported by Moscow.
Post by TsarSamuil on Oct 12, 2020 17:13:38 GMT -5
EU says ruling Ukrainian party 'knee-deep' in corruption: MEPs threaten Kiev with cuts to financial aid & visa-free travel.
RT.com 7 Oct, 2020 13:33
Three MEPs have threatened Ukraine with cuts to financial assistance and access to the EU visa-free travel regime, accusing Kiev of failing to deal with widespread corruption and of "spreading Kremlin-backed disinformation."
The threat was included in an open letter to the parliamentary faction leader of Ukraine's ruling Servant of the People party, David Arakhamia, who had previously rubbished the prospect of losing such privileges.
"[The] president himself envisaged the 'Ukraine of his dreams' where 'teachers receive real salaries – and corrupt officials real jail time,'" the letter read. "17 months later, we cannot but see that the dream is showing cracks and many of those cracks are knee-deep in your party, Mr Arakhamia."
The letter was cosigned by Viola von Cramon, vice-chair of the European Parliament delegation to the Ukraine-EU Commission, as well as MEPs Michael Gahler and Rasa Jukneviciene. It went on to accuse Kiev of "orchestrating well-organized attacks on independent institutions," such as the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), while ruling party members rub shoulders with oligarchs.
"We cannot but see that the corruption perception in Ukraine in 2020 fell back to the 2017 mark," the letter read. "The praised reforms are backsliding."
In July, the European Commission inked a €1.2 billion ($1.4 billion) financial assistance deal with Ukraine, in return for guarantees from Kiev that it would fight corruption and "avoid politicization of the work of all law enforcement agencies." According to the letter's signatories, Ukraine is failing to keep its end of the bargain.
In particular, the three MEPs have an issue with the independence and integrity of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO). This is currently looking to hire a new boss, after former chief Nazar Kholodnytsky resigned after "systematically facing political attempts to encroach on [SAPO's] independence and manipulate the results of [its] work."
The epistle also stated that the EU intends to keep the visa-free regime with Ukraine, but reserves the right "to impose the specific denial of such freedoms" to certain individuals.
"Dear Mr Arakhamia, come by the European Parliament next time you and President Zelensky are in Brussels. You have friends here," it concluded.
Speaking on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the press in Brussels that "nothing threatens the visa-free regime between Ukraine and the EU," and that the country "clearly fulfills all the necessary criteria."
Post by TsarSamuil on Oct 15, 2020 23:43:28 GMT -5
Paper publishes alleged emails, files of Biden’s son Hunter, claiming he peddled influence in Ukraine.
RT.com 14 Oct, 2020 16:31
Emails obtained by the New York Post suggest that Hunter Biden introduced a Ukrainian energy boss to his father, then-vice president Joe Biden. The former VP has insisted he knew nothing about his son’s dodgy dealings.
A year after Hunter Biden joined the board of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma in 2014, the then-vice president’s son’s family connections apparently paid off – at least that’s what the latest materials obtained by the New York Post claim to show. In a 2015 email published on Wednesday, Burisma adviser Vadym Pozharskyi thanked Hunter for an invitation to Washington, and for the “honor and pleasure” of meeting Joe Biden.
No details of the meeting are revealed, but a 2014 email between Pozharskyi reportedly shows the Burisma executive asking Hunter for “advice on how you could use your influence” to thwart a government investigation into the company, which hired him that year for a reported monthly salary of $50,000, despite Hunter’s lack of experience in the energy sector.
Joe Biden has repeatedly denied any knowledge of his son’s foreign business dealings, and has responded angrily when accused of peddling influence. Confronted by a voter at a town hall event last December, the Democratic nominee called the voter a “damn liar” and “fat.” Pressed by President Donald Trump in last month’s presidential debate, Biden replied that his son “did nothing wrong” at Burisma, and Joe has insisted since last year that he was uninvolved in Hunter’s work.
The emails seem to tell a different story. They do not, however, provide any more evidence that Hunter asked his father to have a Ukrainian prosecutor fired for investigating the firm, as President Trump and his allies have repeatedly claimed.
Joe Biden himself has claimed responsibility for the firing though, telling the Council on Foreign Relations in 2018 “I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,” referring to a billion-dollar Obama administration aid package to Ukraine. “Well, son of a bitch,” he quipped then, “he got fired.”
Biden’s supporters in the media have insisted that the former VP was just one of many international voices calling for the prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, to be fired for corruption, and that Shokin’s investigation into Burisma had gone “dormant.” Shokin himself told ABC News that he had six investigations into the company open at the time of his ouster.
Coming so close to next month’s election, the timing of the New York Post’s article has raised some eyebrows. According to the Post, the emails came from a laptop handed in to a repair shop in Delaware by an unnamed customer last April. When the store owner realized the laptop contained Hunter Biden’s emails and photos, he alerted federal authorities, who seized it in December. However, the owner copied the hard drive’s contents and gave them to Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s lawyer.
Curiously, among the photos obtained by the Post is a bill for computer repair work made out to “Hunter Biden,” despite the store owner not knowing who the customer was.
Also among these photos are seemingly incriminating shots of Hunter asleep with what appears to be a crack pipe in his mouth, and according to the Post, a video of Hunter smoking crack while having sex with an “unidentified woman.” Hunter Biden’s struggle with drug addiction is well documented, and he has been to rehab at least six times. Joe Biden has claimed that he’s overcome his addiction.
With just three weeks to go until the presidential election, Giuliani himself promised on Wednesday that he had “much more to come.” Asked by Los Angeles Times reporter Chris Megerian what this might mean, Giuliani reportedly responded: “Print a headline saying ‘Lyin’ Joe’ and we can talk.”
Joe Biden's campaign responded to the report later on Wednesday, with spokesman Andrew Bates saying that "no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place." Bates did not, however, deny that the photo of Hunter with the crack pipe in his mouth was genuine.
Twitter BLOCKS sharing links to NYPost’s Hunter Biden emails story, invoking ‘HACKED MATERIALS’ policy for first time ever.
RT.com 14 Oct, 2020 22:47
Twitter has one-upped Facebook’s censorship regarding a story based on alleged emails from Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter about his Ukraine dealings, blocking all users from sharing it via tweet or direct message.
Twitter users were blocked on Wednesday from sharing the New York Post story critical of the Bidens published just that morning. The decision was based on a never-before-invoked “hacked materials policy” that Twitter announced hours after Facebook had stomped on the same story.
The Post cited emails that appeared to show Joe Biden – then vice president to Barack Obama – had met with Ukrainian Burisma exec Vadim Pozharskyi at the behest of his son and Burisma adviser Hunter Biden, less than a year before the current Democratic presidential candidate allegedly demanded Kiev fire its top prosecutor.
Twitter “errors” started pouring in just a few hours after Andy Stone, a Facebook executive with a long history of working for the Democratic Party, warned Facebook was “reducing [the Hunter Biden story’s] distribution” on its platform and seemingly invited Facebook’s fact-checkers to tear the story apart.
While Twitter users were able to share the offending Post link for hours after Stone tagged it for destruction, what Twitter lacked in temporal primacy it made up in intensity.
Users who attempted to share the story on Wednesday afternoon were informed they could not retweet the “potentially harmful” link. Unlike typical Twitter warning screens that can be clicked through, the link to the Post story was not even allowed to be posted.
As speculation swirled regarding the Biden emails, Forbes reporter Jack Brewster posted a statement, allegedly from Twitter, reading that “in line with our Hacked Materials Policy, as well as our approach to blocking URLs, we are taking action to block any links to or images of the material in question on Twitter.”
While Twitter has outlawed entire domains in the past – most notably Bitchute.com, a YouTube competitor whose exile it partially walked back after widespread protest from users – nothing like the blanket ban on the Post URL has ever been seen before.
Many readers opined that by blocking the URL and deleting the Post’s tweet Twitter had inadvertently confirmed the authenticity of the Biden emails.
Others merely interpreted the secondhand missive as Twitter throwing its hat in the ring for Biden, deeming the act “brazen election interference.”
Meanwhile, Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) said he wrote to Facebook to complain about executive Andy Stone’s actions, asking if the preemptive shadowbanning pending fact-checking was “normal” and whether the Biden campaign had played some role in reducing the article’s reach.
Six years after MH17 tragedy, Russia withdraws from ‘pointless’ investigation consultations with Netherlands & Australia.
RT.com 15 Oct, 2020 09:01
Russia’s Foreign Ministry believes it’s “impossible” for Moscow to continue consultations with the Netherlands and Australia on the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, as they are not interested in uncovering the truth.
Instead, in a Thursday morning statement, Russian diplomats accused the two countries of seeking only to blame Moscow, and arriving at the process with a preconceived outcome.
It added that Russia agreed to trilateral consultations two years ago, hoping that these would help establish, based on hard facts, the true reasons behind the 2014 tragedy. The Boeing 777 crash, which occurred six years ago, during the hot phase of the war in Eastern Ukraine, took 298 lives, with 193 victims from the Netherlands and 27 from Australia.
But, according to the ministry, the Dutch and Australian governments had other goals in mind, as they only wanted “Russia to be declared the guilty party and compensation paid to the relatives of those that died,” the statement outlined.
In July this year, the Netherlands filed a suit against Russia at the European Court of Human Rights, alleging that Moscow had played a part in the downing of the Malaysia Airlines plane. Only three rounds of consultations had been held up to that point, but the Dutch authorities made the move without even waiting for the preliminary results from these.
“Such unfriendly actions of the Netherlands make trilateral consultations and our participation in them pointless,” Moscow insisted, adding that the blame for the failure of the process lay entirely with The Hague.
Russia is not curbing all contacts with the Netherlands on the issue, however. Its cooperation with Dutch officials on the MH17 tragedy will continue, but in other formats, the ministry said. Moscow denies any involvement in the downing of the plane, and regards the finding of the Dutch-led probe by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) into the incident as politically biased.
The JIT ruled that Flight MH17 was shot down by a Soviet-made Buk air defense system, and claimed that rebels fighting the post-Maidan government in Kiev, in the Donbass Region, had obtained the system from Russia. Moscow insisted that the probe ignored a large batch of data on the crash that Russia was eager to provide, instead relying largely on the evidence from Ukraine, and on ‘open-source’ information such as clips of purported evidence posted on social media.
The material in the JIT’s case also lacked crucial data from Ukrainian radars and from photos made by US satellites, which Kiev and Washington respectively said they couldn’t provide. Another question that had been raised by Moscow is why the Ukrainian authorities hadn’t moved to close the airspace over an active war zone in Donbass.
Last Edit: Oct 16, 2020 19:40:59 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Post by TsarSamuil on Oct 23, 2020 13:39:47 GMT -5
Former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko investigated for plotting coup.
RT.com 21 Oct, 2020 20:21
The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office has launched a criminal case into an alleged coup plot by former President Petro Poroshenko and his associates, an opposition MP has announced, publishing scans of the relevant documents.
“I publish documents … about launching an investigation into the facts of illegal seizure of state power, large-scale embezzlement and legalizing ‘dirty’ money by an organized criminal group” which Poroshenko was allegedly part of, Renat Kuzmin, an MP for the ‘Opposition Platform – For Life’ political party, wrote on Facebook.
The deputy listed Ukraine’s former Acting President Alexander Turchinov, former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, former Parliament Speaker Andriy Parubiy, former Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and former high-ranking MP David Zhvania among the other alleged plotters.
Kuzmin also attached scans of the response from the Prosecutor General’s Office to his enquiry on the launch of the criminal case. According to the papers, Poroshenko was investigated over coup attempts in 2013-2014 and in 2020.
The wealthy businessman became Ukraine’s president in 2014 after riots in Kiev saw the country’s previous leader, Viktor Yanukovych, ousted from power.
His presidency was marred by deadly conflict in Eastern Ukraine, the sharp decline of the country’s economy and accusations of corruption. Last year, Poroshenko failed to get reelected, losing to Volodymyr Zelensky by a landslide, but chose to remain in the Ukrainian politics as the head of the opposition European Solidarity party.
The 55-year-old is involved in multiple criminal cases in the country, both as a suspect and witness. Poroshenko’s lawyers earlier claimed that all the criminal cases against their client were “fake” and lacking any legal justification, insisting they were launched and investigated with the sole purpose of “pressuring the opposition.”
Zhvania himself came to the police, confessing to being part of a power grab in 2013-2014. The former MP earlier claimed that Poroshenko deliberately instigated tensions during the so-called Maidan protests in Kiev, being behind an attack on a prominent journalist and the kidnapping of demonstrators.
Post by TsarSamuil on Oct 29, 2020 15:30:39 GMT -5
YouTube mysteriously bans Ukrainian opposition leader just before crucial elections in Ukraine, US government blamed by party.
RT.com 24 Oct, 2020 14:05
The YouTube channel of Viktor Medvedchuk, co-chair of Ukraine's main opposition party, has been suspended just as the country holds crucial municipal elections. Medvedchuk is known for advocating improved relations with Russia.
A controversial figure in Ukraine, the opposition leader rejects the anti-Moscow line to which most other political forces in the crisis-ridden country adhere. For example, earlier this month he called on Kiev to purchase the Russian-developed vaccine against Covid-19, Sputnik V, which he claimed he had tested on himself.
The suspension of Medvedchuk's YouTube channel came out of the blue with no explanation from the video service, which now labels it with a generic message that it had violated terms of service. His party, Opposition platform – For Life, called it an act of political retaliation by the US government for his Russia-friendly, West-skeptical position. Officials didn't explain why they believe Washington was behind the move.
Before being banned, the channel had more than 70,000 subscribers, with some videos scoring over a million views. The party bragged that its co-chair was more popular on YouTube than any other major Ukrainian politician, including President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The ban was reported on Saturday, the day before Ukraine holds municipal elections throughout the country. Zelensky's Servant of the People party is fighting an uphill battle to produce a result even remotely comparable to the landslide victories it won last year in national contests.
During the July 2019 general election, the president's party secured a huge majority in the 450-seat Ukrainian parliament, taking 254 seats. Medvedchuk's party came a distant second with 43 seats. Recent opinion polls ahead of Sunday's vote suggest that the Servant of the People party could end up behind both Medvedchuk's grouping, and that of former president, Petro Poroshenko.
'Conspiracy of old elites and oligarchs': Ukraine's Zelensky accuses Constitutional Court of protecting country's 'untouchables'
RT.com 2 Nov, 2020 18:17
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has taken aim at the country's establishment, calling Constitutional Court decisions against anti-corruption legislation a "conspiracy of old elites" to help the nation's "untouchable caste."
On October 27, Ukraine's Constitutional Court struck down a law that would punish government officials for inaccurately declaring personal assets, meaning that civil servants can no longer be criminally prosecuted for lying about their income. Zelensky believes that the judges were acting in their own private interests.
"I know for sure that the demarche of the Constitutional Court is a public manifestation of a conspiracy of some of the old elites and oligarchs, against the president and the country," Zelensky wrote on his Facebook page. "Because a weak president and a weak state are the keys to preserving their corrupt lifestyle."
According to Zelensky, the court's judges, who were appointed "by the old system," are seeking to preserve the elites who "don't want to pay any bills" and "don't want to be responsible for their years of uncontrolled lifestyles."
Late last Thursday, Zelensky submitted a bill to the country's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, to break up the Constitutional Court and remove all its judges for acting "in its private interests." If passed, the bill would also declare the court's rulings "null and void." In response, the court's chairman, Alexander Tupitsky, accused the president of a "constitutional coup."
Aside from threatening the president's bid to open up financial transparency within the government, the court's decision also puts at risk billions of dollars in financial aid due to be received from the IMF, and could lead to cuts to aid from the European Union.
Elected in 2019, former comedian Zelensky ran on a platform of fighting corruption and ending the war in Donbass, which helped him defeat ex-president Petro Poroshenko.
Ukrainian opposition threatens possible impeachment of President Zelensky as constitutional crisis in Kiev deepens.
RT.com 5 Nov, 2020 13:54
A leading MP from Ukraine’s main opposition party, ‘Opposition Platform – For Life’, has indicated it may push for the impeachment of President Volodymyr Zelensky as Kiev’s latest political crisis becomes more divisive.
Ilya Kiva, one of the group's representatives in the Ukrainian parliament, raised concerns on Wednesday about Zelensky’s ongoing row with the country’s Constitutional Court over a package of new anti-corruption reforms. The Opposition Platform is regarded as “pro-Russian” by Western media, as it rejects Kiev's hostile stance toward Moscow.
Speaking to Ukrainian TV channel NewsOne, Kiva said Zelensky is “ready to wipe his feet on the Constitution for the benefit of third parties, spitting it out, flattening it out.”
“We are ready to talk about this issue [of impeachment]. I want to look at Parliament’s actions today, because whatever decision the Constitutional Court makes, we Members of Parliament cannot level the law just because someone likes it or not,” he added.
The growing political debate comes after Zelensky brought a new bill before parliament at the end of October, aimed at “restoring public confidence in constitutional proceedings.” The law would limit the powers of the Constitutional Court, and overturn a previous decision by judges to strike down parts of the president’s flagship anti-corruption laws. Zelensky has also called for the court to be disbanded, replacing its justices.
Ukraine’s anti-corruption drive results from commitments made to international partners, including the European Union. In return, Brussels has drafted a financial assistance package worth almost $1.5 billion (€1.2 billion). The failure to maintain the reform drive could threaten the visa regime for Ukrainian nationals in Schengen countries.
Kiva turned fire on the president’s motivations, arguing that Zelensky himself had said he was responding to requests from “G7 ambassadors and partners who allegedly help the country.” He also told journalists that Ukraine’s current parliament “does not defend the interests of the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian state, but acts as the president does, in the interests of third parties.”
“We are ready for dissolution of the parliament and re-election,” he added.
Last Edit: Jan 7, 2021 19:00:02 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Kiev calls for new sanctions against Russia as Kremlin recognizes passports of residents of breakaway East Ukrainian republics.
RT.com 7 Nov, 2020 17:52
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has lodged a diplomatic complaint with Moscow over President Vladimir Putin’s decision to recognize the documents of residents if the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.
In a statement on Friday, Kiev’s top diplomats called on its Western supporters to “condemn the actions of the Russian Federation and take the necessary measures to apply pressure, including sanctions.”
The new rule change means that residents of the two de facto autonomous regions, which Ukraine claims as part of its own territory, will have documents, such as passports and vehicle registrations, accepted in Russia. The validity of those documents won’t be dependent on the citizenship status of their owner.
In 2019, Putin signed into law new processes to simplify citizenship for people living in the two republics, and it has been reported that more than one million Russian passports will be issued as part of the initiative by the end of 2020.
In response, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky offered citizenship to “all people who suffer from authoritarian and corrupt regimes and to the Russian people who suffer most of all.” It is unclear how many people across the world have taken him up on the offer and moved to Ukraine.
Moscow has already faced a package of sanctions over relations with Kiev, which have frayed further due to Russia’s support for the republics. In June, the European Union announced that it would renew measures targeting the Russian economy, including the financial, energy and defense sectors.
Post by TsarSamuil on Nov 17, 2020 19:36:46 GMT -5
‘It’s unrecognizable’: Booming Crimea better off in Russia as Moscow pours in cash, says ally of Ukrainian President Zelensky.
RT.com 16 Nov, 2020 18:48
A Ukrainian lawmaker from President Volodymyr Zelensky’s own ruling party has raised eyebrows in Kiev after arguing that her native Crimean Peninsula has changed for the better since returning to Moscow's control in 2014.
Elizaveta Bogutskaya, a member of the Ukrainian parliament for the governing 'Servant of the People', made the explosive claims as part of an interview with a TV news station. “A lot of people are satisfied and happy”, she said of those living in the region, many of whom had been Ukrainian citizens before Crimea voted to join Russia in 2014.
“Compared to here on the mainland... people are not as politically oriented as we are. For them, life is just about living. It’s about buying food, going to work, and they don’t care [about the political situation].”
The parliamentarian suggested that people were used to politicians in Kiev not playing a role in their life, saying “in the 30 years before, nothing had been done. When we don’t make any progress, we stand still.”
By contrast, she added, since the peninsula began to be administered by Russia, significant building works had been begun in cities such as Simferopol. Bogutskaya’s admission is all the more extraordinary given that she had been a resident of Simferopol until 2014, and she added that “Russia is building a lot. I saw a video of the place where I lived, I just did not recognize it at all … there are already high-rise buildings, and highways have been built there.”
Bogutskaya’s words are at odds with the actions of her party’s leadership. Over the past week, Ukrainian soldiers have reportedly staged a series of drills on the border with Crimea, in which they rehearsed an invasion of the region. While any such action is unlikely, given the lack of international support for a full-scale war with Russia, it demonstrates that Kiev is still unwilling to accept the results of the 2014 referendum in which 96.7 percent of residents voted for proposals to re-join Russia.
After decades of neglect by Kiev, Crimea was Russia’s poorest region when it re-joined the country. However, in 2019, the peninsula’s economy was named as the fastest-growing in the country, with Moscow spending more than $13 billion locally between 2015 and 2022.
'Get on your knees' before Putin: Ex-Ukrainian leader Poroshenko says Zelensky will humiliate country to end Donbass conflict.
RT.com 5 Dec, 2020 16:50
Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has sarcastically told his successor Volodymyr Zelensky to kneel before Russia’s Vladimir Putin, believing it is the only way to achieve peace in the country's eastern Donbass region.
According to Poroshenko, who was defeated by Zelensky in a landslide vote, advisers in the presidential office believe the conflict can be ended simply by stopping the shooting. These "big experts" are mistaken, he says, as he believes an end to the fighting is impossible unless Ukraine wants to be embarrassed.
"This can be done in weeks," Poroshenko claimed, speaking to Kiev-based internet TV channel Espreso on Friday. "You need to look Putin in the eye… get on your knees and ask for peace."
Poroshenko appears to be mocking what he sees as Zelensky's naivete. The president has long believed that sitting down with Russia is a good step towards ending the violence.
In the former head of state's mind, the only way to end the conflict is "at the cost of humiliation."
"There is no other way for him. After all, for almost two years of his presidency, the country's defense capability has been destroyed," Poroshenko claimed.
Also on Friday, Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador to the US, wrote on Facebook that Zelensky had failed in creating a "political environment that could contribute to a peaceful settlement of the intra-Ukrainian conflict in the South-East."
"For example, the authorities in Kiev continue to discriminate ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking citizens," Antonov explained. "The current language policy in the country that promotes Ukrainian at the expense of other languages - most notably, Russian - violates numerous international norms."
The war in the Donbass has been ongoing for over six years. In 2014, parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in Eastern Ukraine unilaterally declared independence after the change of government in Kiev. Ukraine accuses Russia of occupying these territories – a claim Moscow rejects. Peacefully concluding the conflict was a staple of Zelensky's election manifesto. In late 2019, the Ukrainian president helped arrange the first ‘Normandy Format' dialogue of his presidency, the first movement towards a resolution after three years of stalled talks under Poroshenko.
Hat’s just not fair! Ukrainian teenager faces JAIL over Soviet ushanka he picked up at flea market.
RT.com 30 Dec, 2020 11:02
It was supposed to cover his cold ears, but a second-hand hat with a Soviet-era symbol has landed one 19-year-old Ukrainian in hot water, with police deciding that the Russian-speaking boy broke anti-communist measures.
Police in the Western Ukrainian city of Lvov reported on Monday that a criminal investigation has been launched after the teenager was detained for falling foul of strict local laws governing “the use of communist symbols on clothing.” Prosecutors say they will look to charge him under rules that ban both Nazi and Soviet iconography, with the maximum penalty stretching to five years behind bars.
According to local newspaper Dilo, ‘anti-terrorist’ operative Igor Sholtys apprehended the young man, whose name has not been revealed, while he was out walking with a friend. He was wearing a traditional Soviet ear-flap ushanka-hat, which bore the communist hammer and sickle crest.
Sholtys gave journalists details of the daring sting operation, in which he “asked where they got the symbol. They said they bought it at the flea market because it was cold, and did not know that symbols like these were forbidden.” When an “investigation” uncovered that the boy was a Russian-speaker from the capital, Kiev, the police were called.
However, much to the disappointment of militiaman Sholtys, the on-duty cop who showed up on the scene gave him short shrift, rather than just arresting the boy as he had hoped. “One of the patrol police officers had frankly non-Ukrainian views and began to be rude to us,” he said. Eventually, however, authorities confiscated the hat and took the boy’s details for charges to be prepared. Pre-trial investigations are ongoing.
The Ukrainian parliament moved to ban communist symbols like the hammer and sickle in 2015, but the city of Lvov had introduced similar measures of its own at least three years beforehand. As well as Soviet-era icons, citizens can face jail terms for singing or playing the former anthem of the USSR or any of its former republics.
However, as recently as 2018, a notorious Waffen SS division was celebrated in the western Ukrainian city, with swastikas on display to mark the 75th anniversary of the formation of a local Nazi-aligned partisan unit in WWII.
Lvov, once one of the cultural centers of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, has traditionally been a Ukrainian nationalist stronghold, with among the lowest numbers of native Russian-speakers in the country.
Slavatar: You're online every day, but you post nothing. You don't even delete the spam crap. I'm confused, brother.
Oct 10, 2020 4:12:53 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Browser is up, but I was doing other things..
Oct 12, 2020 18:58:52 GMT -5
Slavatar: OK.. Regards.
Oct 13, 2020 8:39:57 GMT -5
славянин: зиг хайль
Oct 22, 2020 15:41:37 GMT -5
славянин: дойчен зальдатен
Oct 22, 2020 15:41:56 GMT -5
Milo I.: Deutscher Sauerbraten?
Oct 28, 2020 9:59:34 GMT -5
White Cossack: Who's the best state leader currently?
Dec 6, 2020 8:57:53 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Viktor Orban?
Dec 8, 2020 5:55:50 GMT -5
Gopnik: from leader's POV, i'd say Kim Jong Un as in north korea he is not forcing any pics of himself nor making a shit ton of songs praising him unlike his dad and grandfather, but instead he is attempting to get the nation out of the shithole it is in today.
Dec 13, 2020 17:16:43 GMT -5
Gopnik: but 1000000% not kim from a citizen's point of view, the Camps in North Korea are horrible.
Dec 13, 2020 17:18:52 GMT -5
White Cossack: You're both right, fellas.
Dec 18, 2020 11:17:53 GMT -5
eternal jew: indeed goys
Dec 18, 2020 12:13:55 GMT -5