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Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Tuesday 27 October [Ukrainian sources]

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Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Tuesday 27 October [Ukrainian sources]

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:10 am

TUESDAY

Please scroll down to view news items added during the course of the day.


NEWS:

President Poroshenko stated that visa-free regime will be affective as of January 1st, 2016.

One ATO soldier was killed near the Doentsk airport. Terrorists are still breaking the cease-fire. Terrorist leaders aren't allowing humanitarian aid from outside Ukraine, including denying access to OSCE. They call it a possible cause for "social disorientation". They don't want for the humanitarian aid
to change the thoughts of the pro-Kremlin civilians. The west in the minds of the terrorists leader should be shown as the enemy, not helping them.  

Although there were issues with the opportunity to vote in Mariupol, it seems the election went well, but not for the Reigions Party. The road towards democracy in Ukraine seems went well in the elections.

WEATHER:

Plenty of sunshine throughout Ukraine, with temperatures in Kyiv around +4c and +8c in the south.


Last edited by Admin on Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:44 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Elections: Ukrainians confirm their democratic choice – Serhy Taran

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:11 am

Former Regions party have support in some areas, losing their grip over entire regions of the country, political expert Serhy Taran writes in Facebook Oct. 26
“Speaking about the ideological dimension, the Ukrainians have confirmed their choice made during the 2014 revolution, with the voter support of pro-European parties heavily outweighing their support for pro-Russian ones,” Taran writes.

“The civilization borderline has been moved further east. Former Regions members have control in separate areas, losing their predominant influence over entire country,” Serhy Taran says.

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Russian Finance Minister Says Reserve Funds Running Out

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:13 am

Speaking to reporters in Moscow on October 27, Siluanov said the budget shortfall for 2015 is expected to be 2.6 trillion rubles ($41 billion). He predicted the budget shortfall for 2016 at 900 billion rubles if oil prices remain around $45 per barrel and a ruble exchange rate of 62 rubles to the dollar.

"This means that 2016 is the last year when we are able to spend our reserves in this way," he added. "After that, we will not have such resources."

Siluanov said that as a result of the dwindling reserves, "the matter of consolidating the budget must be the No. 1 task on our agenda."

The Russian economy has been hit hard by sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union, and other countries because of Moscow's 2014 annexation of the Ukrainian region of Crimea and its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

In addition, Moscow has spent billions on projects such as the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, the reconstruction of Crimea, and its military campaign in Syria.

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Ukraine to receive visa-free regime effective Jan. 1, Poroshenko believes

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:15 am

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko believes Ukraine will be granted visa-free regime with the EU in January of 2016.

As reported by Censor.NET citing Ukrainski Novyny, he said this during joint press conference with Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis.

"I am grateful to President Vejonis for support of the reforms, as well as for backing Ukraine's European aspiration and granting of visa-free regime for Ukraine effective Jan. 1, 2016," he said.

According to Poroshenko, Ukraine and Latvia plan fruitful cooperation in the security domain.

Poroshenko also informed Vejonis about reforms Ukraine plans to implement after local elections, including those on the Constitutional reform in decentralization part, as well as in judicial sector.

As reported, Poroshenko believes that reluctance to lift judicial and deputy immunity will ban Ukraine from visa-free travel with the EU.

censor.net.ua In Russian


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One Ukrainian soldier killed in ATO area over past day, - ATO spokesperson

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:22 am

One armed incident occurred yesterday in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) area, claiming life of one Ukrainian soldier.

As reported by Censor.NET, this was announced by Presidential Administration speaker on ATO matters Colonel Oleksandr Motuzianyk.

"Yesterday, an armed incident took place at the demarcation line - militants deployed in the territory of the destroyed Donetsk airport opened fire on the ATO forces' positions near the village of Opytne and Pisky. As a result, one Ukrainian soldier was killed," he said.

Read more: Cease-fire disrupted in Donbas, OSCE SMM Deputy Chief says

At the same time, Motuzianik noted it was quiet yesterday in other sectors of the contact line.

censor.net.ua In Russian


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US Department of State allowed import of military sniper bullets in Ukraine, - Chief Editor Butusov. PHOTO

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:28 am

The U.S. Department of State allowed Ukrainian company "Taktychni Systemy" to import military sniper patrons in Ukraine.

This was announced by Censor.NET Chief Editor Yurii Butusov on his Facebook page.

Read more: Political base for promotion of pro-Russian interests in Ukraine destroyed, - Censor.NET's Chief Editor Butusov

"The U.S. Department of State allowed Ukrainian company "Taktychni Systemy" to import military sniper patrons of 12.7-mm caliber in quantity of 5,000 items, 8.6-mm - 40,000 items, 7.62-mm - 40,000 items, and even yet exotic Chey Tac of 9.3-mm caliber (never thought there was demand for those here, I only saw Chey in the Sniper movie)," he noted.



Butusov calls this an important precedent, for the U.S. used to sell only regular patrons to Ukraine earlier. There has been a ban on sniper and anti-armor patrons. He said Ukraine hoped to import the latter as well.



"The patrons have arrived in Ukraine. The price is high. Part of them will be directed to state authorities. Most of them will be bought by hunters. Hunters are very active here, buying rifles and patrons even at high prices," Butusov commented.

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Ukraine local elections comply with international standards: EU observers

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:34 am

The European Network for Election Monitoring (ENEMO) reports that Ukraine's local elections on October 25, complied with international standards.

"The October 25 elections were held in a calm atmosphere and in accordance with international standards", reported the head of the ENEMO mission Zlatko Vujovic at a press conference in Kyiv on October 27.

He noted that rare occasions of violations were recorded, 'mainly related to the lack of information about some procedures.'

The local elections held in Ukraine last Sunday are another important step in the consolidation of the country's democratic governance, following the presidential and parliamentary elections of last year, reads the statement of the European Union External Action.

As stated in the OSCE/ODIHR's preliminary report, the elections were competitive, well organized overall and the campaign generally showed respect for the democratic process. Nevertheless, additional efforts are needed to further enhance the integrity of and public confidence in the electoral process.........................

To read further go to this link: uatoday.tv


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Kremlin proxies expel aid organizations to prevent ’social disorientation’

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:41 am

Almost exactly a month after the so-called ‘Luhansk people’s republic’ [‘LNR’] ordered all but one western aid organization to leave the Luhansk oblast, the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ [‘DNR’] has thrown out Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and refused to allow UN agencies such as the World Food Programme to work on ‘DNR’-controlled territory. There is also news, thus far reported only in the state-controlled Russian media that ‘LNR’ has asked to representatives of the OSCE Monitoring Mission to leave territory under its control.

The militants used the same allegations against MSF as did their Luhansk counterparts, and even provide a photo of a supposed protest similar to those staged in Luhansk. They do, however, add some allegations, though if they hoped that the quantity would add credibility, they were seriously mistaken. The official ‘explanation’ on Oct 25 claims that the Nobel prize-winning NGO was banned “because of its participation in gathering defence date and illegal supplies of psychotropic substances”. They are also alleged to have carried out “psychological training among the population of front-line regions knowingly causing social disorientation. “.

MSF has warned that this is leaving thousands of people without healthcare. Its statement says that they were told to leave on Oct 19, without being given any reason why, and ask the ‘DNR Humanitarian Committee’ to reconsider this move without delay.

"We are almost the only organization providing treatment for tuberculosis in prisons, insulin for diabetic patients, and hemodialysis products to treat kidney failure. With the termination of our activities from one day to the next, thousands of patients suffering from chronic, potentially fatal diseases will now be left with little or no assistance."

The ban on UN humanitarian aid was claimed by militant leader Denis Pushilin to be “due to their refusal to correctly fill in the relevant documents.” Pushilin asserted that the UN organizations “want us to redo all our laws and documentation”. They sought to use the term ‘register’, not ‘give accreditation’, and to use forms with the Ukrainian emblem on them. He says that the International Red Cross Committee used the ‘DNR’ forms and immediately received accreditation.

These are the excuses provided for exacerbating an already grave humanitarian crisis in Donbas just as winter is approaching.

UN officials reported on Sept 24 that the ‘LNR’ de facto authorities had ordered all UN agencies in Luhansk to get out by the following day. This followed the rejection of applications from all UN agencies and international NGOs, except the Red Cross, to work in the area. The Red Cross was untouched by the bans, yet its humanitarian convoy was forced to return on Sept 25 without being allowed to enter militant-controlled areas.

Calls then for “everyone with influence over the de facto authorities” were ignored in Moscow and the bans remain in place.

Both in ‘LNR’ and ‘DNR’ there have also been orchestrated protests against the OSCE Monitoring Mission, and the report on Oct 26 that two officials had been expelled is disturbing.

The militants are supposed to be holding elections ‘according to Ukrainian law’ and to OSCE standards in April 2016. The latest, aggressively anti-Ukrainian statements from militant leaders and deliberate exaggeration of the failings of Sunday’s local elections make optimism on that score difficult, but so too do efforts to expel international organizations in advance, regardless of the devastating humanitarian cost.

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The political scientist said the new technologies to bribe voters in this election

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:36 pm

Political analysts say that in these local elections, voters turned out to buy an order of magnitude better than the campaign. Officially, the Committee of Voters of Ukraine has registered more than 1.5 thousand violations of electoral law. Only in Kiev, observers counted 350 violations.

But, as said in the press-center of the "Commander" director of the Center "Third sector," Andrei Zolotarev, is just the tip of the iceberg. "The farther away from the capital and regional centers, the more frank and cynical character wore bribery", - says the expert.

According to Zolotarev, falsification become more inventive. For example, in Dnepropetrovsk actively booths photographed newsletters. "This is one of the new technologies, when you first come to the account 50 hryvnia, and on the voting day, if you send a picture of the bulletin, you get another 500 hryvnia" - explains the expert.

In Dnepropetrovsk, according to him, this technology was of a mass character.

"In Kiev have gone even further - says Zolotarev. - Sociologists who conducted the exit poll, noted the issue of chips to track the passage of the person on the site. This know-how in the field of political corruption."

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Klimkin denies conflict with Shokin

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:38 pm

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin stated that foreign policy between witchcraft and the Prosecutor General of the country there are no conflicts on the basis of the creation of anti-corruption prosecutors. He said this at a joint with Foreign Minister of Italy, Paolo Gentiloni briefing in Kiev.

"We have with the Attorney General's Office there is no conflict," - Klimkin said, quoted by the "Interfax-Ukraine".

Recall, today the media reported that the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Viktor Shokin refused to implement the Action Plan points on visa liberalization that now it disrupts the possible abolition of visas. This Shokin allegedly wrote in a letter to Klimkina

Moreover, he allegedly threatened to launch an audit of the prosecutor's Foreign Ministry, in the actions which, in his opinion, "seen signs of the offense, aimed at undermining the authority of state authority." It's about protecting the public prosecutor so-called "Quartet Shokina" - four notorious prosecutors who Shokin appointed to the commission, which is to select candidates for administrative positions in the special anti-corruption prosecutor's office.

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EU court lifts sanctions against key Yanukovych official

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:17 pm

Analyst: “…this ruling certainly has the potential to unleash a domino effect of Yanukovych officials becoming exonerated, which will harm the deteriorating political standing of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.”

The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled on Oct. 26 to lift its sanctions against Andriy Portnov, the former first deputy head of the Presidential Administration under Viktor Yanukovych, Concorde Capital informed clients in an online advisory today.

This action came in response to a complaint he filed that they were illegally imposed, reported the eurointegration.com.ua news site. The court determined that the single reason the EU imposed sanctions was a letter from the Procurator General of Ukraine that claimed that information gathered from its investigations allows it to claim that Portnov was among those responsible for embezzling a large amount of state funds and their illegal transfer out of Ukraine. Yet the letter didn’t offer any details of the alleged crime, which is not enough of a basis to impose sanctions, the report said.

The EU imposed in March 2014 sanctions against top officials in the regime of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych after his flight, citing their role as suspects in the theft of funds from the Ukrainian government and illegally transferring them abroad. Portnov’s exoneration could lead to similar rulings in appeals of other Yanukovych officials, which totaled 18 when the EU disclosed its sanctions list that month. Among the measures were asset freezes in banks on EU territory.

Concorde analyst Zenon Zawada added: “It’s our view that the EU was well aware of the lack of evidence that existed at the time it imposed the sanctions, yet it was willing to give the Ukrainian government the benefit of the doubt in promptly gathering sufficient evidence in the subsequent weeks and months to justify the sanctions. We are confident that such a ruling would not have been reached if sufficient evidence was submitted in a timely fashion. Yet it’s also possible that any transferring of funds occurred within the bounds of Ukrainian law, which has been manipulated and abused by corrupt politicians and state officials. In which case, Ukrainian officials were helpless in gathering evidence...............

To read further go to this link: ukrainebusiness.com.ua


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Gazprom no longer among world's top 10 energy companies

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:21 pm

Russia's gas giant OJSC Gazprom has steeply fallen from last year's 4th to the 43rd place in Platts 250.

Gazprom was among the world's top 10 energy companies last year, but it has fallen to the 43rd place this year, according to the Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings in 2015.

Only one energy company, OJSC Rosneft Oil Co, managed to stay in the top 10 this year, being the last of them. Last year it ranked sixth.

The position of almost all the Russian companies has worsened in 2015 with OJSC Surgutneftegaz being an exception, as it climbed from the 18th to 12th place. OJSC LUKOIL Oil Co fell the 13th from 11th place, OAO Tatneft went down to the 64th from 48th, and Oil Transporting JSC Transneft declined as low as the 83rd from 29th.

U.S. Exxon Mobil Corp remains No. 1, U.S. Chevron Corp and Royal Dutch Shell plc came second and third, respectively..............

To read further go to this link: unian.info


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Russian proxies attack Ukrainian troops with grenade launchers, small arms

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:24 pm

Russian-backed terrorists have shelled the positions of the Ukrainian Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) forces near the village of Zaitseve, close to the militant-held town of Horlivka in Donetsk region, according to the ATO press service.

"It wasn't calm in the ATO zone on Tuesday, October 27 – terrorists opened fire on our positions near the village of Zaitseve, using grenade launchers and small arms," the ATO press service wrote on Facebook.

As UNIAN reported earlier, one Ukrainian soldier was killed in the Donbas conflict zone in the last day, presidential administration press secretary for ATO issues Colonel Oleksandr Motuzianyk said at a briefing in Kyiv on Tuesday.............

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Russian Military Spending to Increase by Less Than 1% Next Year

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:51 pm

Russia's defense spending is set to increase by a modest 0.8 percent next year, falling far short of the estimated 10 percent annual budget increases required over the next five years to hit equipment modernization targets mandated by President Vladimir Putin.

Russian military expenditure has been rising since 2011, when the government launched a massive 20 trillion ruble ($700 billion at the time) rearmament drive aimed at modernizing some 70 percent of the Russian armed forces by 2020. But amid an economic crisis that began last year, planned spending on the program has hit an apparent snag.

Going into this year, the State Duma budgeted around 3.3 trillion rubles ($52 billion) for defense. This figure was later curtailed by 5 percent, resulting in an actual 2015 military budget of just over 3.1 trillion rubles — despite the cut, a 26 percent increase in spending over 2014.

In 2016, the increase will be smaller. According to a draft of the 2016 federal budget, “the 2016 budget allocation for national defense is planned at 3.145 trillion rubles ($50 billion),” or about 4 percent of Russia's projected gross domestic product, news agency TASS reported Saturday.

Though this will put Russian military spending ahead of the United States' as a percentage of GDP, the 2016 U.S. National Defense Authorization Act is expected to stand at around $600 billion when approved.

Russia's 2016 budget marks the first time since 2011 that military spending will not drastically increase year-on-year. If the draft budget is approved, defense expenditure will rise by just 25.5 billion rubles ($400 million), or less than 1 percent, according to TASS.

Allocations for investment in infrastructure “for special and military purposes” will be reduced by 48.85 billion rubles ($775 million), but money for military salaries will increase by 40 billion ($640 million), the report said.

It was not clear how the changes will impact military operations such as the massive snap exercises and maneuvers seen since the start of the Ukraine crisis last year, or Russia's ongoing air campaign in Syria.

However, flat military spending is not likely to curtail Russia's intervention in Syria, which Moscow has presented as an anti-Islamic State campaign, but Western officials say is meant to prop up embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad.

That campaign, which features daily bombings by around 30 aircraft and military supply runs to Assad, has cost Russia anywhere from $95 to $140 million since bombing began on Sept. 30, according to data provided to The Moscow Times by defense consultancy IHS last week.

The TASS report did not specify how much of the proposed military budget would be dedicated to buying new military equipment, as mandated by Putin's 2020 rearmament and modernization program, but spending on new equipment is usually two-thirds of the budget.

This year, almost 2 trillion rubles ($32 billion) from the annual defense budget was allocated to military procurement, and IHS analyst Craig Caffrey told The Moscow Times in June that Russia would need to increase these expenditures by 10 percent every year in order to meet Putin's spending targets on new weapons.

If the overall defense budget is not raised, Russian spending on procurements of new weapons will likely remain flat — calling into question the government's ability to complete its 2020 program on time or in full....................

To read further go to this link: themoscowtimes.com


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EU ambassador demands Shokin’s protégés on commission be removed

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:13 pm

Ian Tombinski, the EU ambassador to Ukraine, in a strongly worded letter to the foreign ministry demands that the four odious members of the commission to select anti-corruption prosecutors appointed by Prosecutor General Shokin be dropped, European Pravda reports Oct. 27.
If they are not dropped, the influence of Shokin on the work of the commission will make it a party-affiliated organ, Ambassador Tombinski says.

Instead, the four should be replaced by the candidates put forward by NGOs, the EU official says.

He also said the law on the prosecution is to be changed to ensure its independence.

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Terrorists complain of Kyiv’s refusal to grant them amnesty and hold elections under their scenario

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:25 pm

Ukraine has put forward tough terms for holding of local elections in the temporarily uncontrolled territories of the Donbas.

The militants 'news agencies' report citing the press service of one of the leaders of the "DPR" terrorist organization Denis Pushylin, who heads the delegation of the "republic" in the Minsk talks, Censor.NET reports.

"The gap on all issues, which are relevant for the parties, remains. Moreover, the progress has returned to the initial position, which is the majoritarian electoral system, elections administration, eligibility criteria, the non-participation of political parties, media accreditation procedure," the press service said.

"Furthermore, there are frictions over the amnesty... the representatives of Ukraine insist on its granting after the elections," the 'agency's' source said.

According to the report, the understanding of the need to involve OSCE ODIHR observers in monitoring of the electoral process was the only indisputable issue.

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Suspended OSCE monitor confirms he's Russian GRU intelligence officer

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:02 pm

A monitor from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine in the town of Sievierodonetsk in Luhansk region, who has been suspended for misbehavior allegedly connected to alcohol abuse, has turned to be an officer from Russia's GRU Main Intelligence Directorate, according to Ukrainian TV news service TSN.

A TSN journalist once heard OSCE SMM monitor whose name is Maksim Udovichenko promoting Russian propaganda among locals in Luhansk region while being not on OSCE monitoring duty. "Don't worry. We'll fight in Syria for a while and come back here," he told the locals.

When caught on camera, he immediately changed his rhetoric, saying that he loved Ukraine, but later he tried to intimidate the journalists who were shooting him.

Half an hour later, his boss dismissed him allegedly for a drinking problem.

To cover up the scandal, his colleagues from other countries were even trying to hide the Russian monitor in a hotel room, and the senior officials from the OSCE's Luhansk branch called guards to keep the TSN journalists away.

"It would be unfair if an incident with one person cast a shadow on 590 international observers," Spokesperson for the OSCE SMM to Ukraine Michael Bociurkiw told TSN.....................

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Re: Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Tuesday 27 October [Ukrainian sources]

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