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Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Friday 04 December [Ukrainian sources]

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Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Friday 04 December [Ukrainian sources]

Post by Nelson on Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:45 am

FRIDAY

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News -
Russian terrorists attack Ukraine 14 times yesterday evening.
Update - sadly, again, one soldier killed, five wounded. Understand vehicle hit a mine.

Weather -
A little warmer today. Already +1. May get up to 4 or 5. Any remaining snow should disappear off the fields.
Forecast is for similar. Cloudy but +5 or so. Good for December.
With temperatures like this, expect no snow for the next week or more.


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Terrorists have struck in Novgorod with mortars, shelling lasted two hours - HQ (Tyzhden.ua)

Post by Nelson on Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:50 am

http://tyzhden.ua/News/153125
Overall yesterday pm there were 14 provocative attacks.
From 1800 hours to 6 am on December 4, terrorists have continued our Ukrainian provocative positions. The press center ATO.
As noted, the fire was in Donetsk, Mariupol and Artemivsk directions.
"With the grenade and small arms, mercenaries fired Avdiivka, Opitnoe, Novgorod and Pisky. In Novgorod night invaders almost two hours hatyly with grenades, small arms and 82 mm mortars. Also, terrorists fired from grenade launchers of various types and small arms Lugansk, Zaitsev and Shyrokyne "- said in a statement.
Overall, during this period there were 14 attacks.
Terrorists during the day on December 3 fired at Pisky, Luhansk and Mayorsk.

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More than fifty settlements - without electricity due to bad weather (Ukrinform)

Post by Nelson on Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:58 am

7:37
http://www.ukrinform.ua/rubric-regions/1925108-ponad-pivsotni-naselenih-punktiv-bez-svitla-cherez-negodu.html
===
Squally wind and wet snow. 14 in Kharkiv area.

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The "Humanitarian-convoy" consists mainly of weapons from Russia - video interview (Magnolia-TV)

Post by Nelson on Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:00 am

7:23
In "humkomvoyah" comes mainly from Russia weapons - evidence of the detained militants. VIDEO (Magnolia-TV)
http://magnolia-tv.com/video-news/2015-12-04/66170-u-gumkomvoyakh-z-rf-perevazhno-nadkhodit-zbroya-sv-dchennya-zatrimanogo-
Also, the so-called fighter spoke about the "Humanitarian convoy" of the Russian Federation, where, according to his testimony, was weapons and ammunition to terrorists.
====
Humanitarian aid from Sarah Rainsford's "Action man", her beloved Mr Putin. You won't get this story in the bbc. That's for sure.

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The Burning Road to Mariupol: Attacks from Russia during the Novoazovs’k Offensive of August 2014 [Engl]

Post by Nelson on Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:12 am

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2015/12/03/the-burning-road-to-mariupol/
This report investigates the claims of Russian involvement in the attacks leading up to and during the assault on Novoazovs’k between 23 and 27 August 2014. The report analyzes open source evidence to determine the source of artillery fire on Ukrainian units, as well as the origin of armored vehicles sighted inside Ukraine in the Novoazovs’k area.
===
Short but clear. Direct involvement of the Russians and equipment from Russia in attacking Ukraine in 2014. As if we didn't know.

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UEFA EURO 2016 final tournament draw details [Engl]

Post by Nelson on Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:36 am

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/finals/draws/
===
Draw takes place on December 12 at 1800 cet.
Note that both Ukraine and Russia are in Pot B, so then cannot be drawn to play each other. Unless both proceed through. Unlikely.
Also, R of Ireland, N Ireland and Wales are all in Pot D, so cannot be drawn together. But close on 50% chance England might get one of them!



See also
Ukraine factbox for Euro 2016 finals draw
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-3345441/Ukraine-factbox-Euro-2016-finals-draw.html

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Ukraine!? What Ukraine? [Engl]

Post by Nelson on Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:50 am

http://www.rferl.org/content/ukraine-what-ukraine/27405286.html
What Vladimir Putin didn't say may be just as important as what he did say.
In a one-hour speech to a joint session of the Russian parliament, Vladimir Putin did not utter the word "Ukraine" once....
Just for for a bit of perspective, in his 2014 state-of-the-nation speech, Putin mentioned Ukraine 18 times, including four references in the first five minutes. ...

====
Excellent, as ever from American reporter Whitmore.
He describes Russia as a kleptocratic autocracy.
I had to look that up - in wiki -
Kleptocracy, alternatively cleptocracy or kleptarchy, (from Greek: κλέπτης - kleptēs, "thief"[1] and κράτος - kratos, "power, rule",[2] hence "rule by thieves") is a term applied to a government seen as having a particularly severe and systemic problem with officials or a ruling class (collectively, kleptocrats) taking advantage of corruption to extend their personal wealth and political power. Typically this system involves the embezzlement of state funds at the expense of the wider population, sometimes without even the pretense of honest service.
An autocracy is a system of government in which supreme power is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control (except perhaps for the implicit threat of a coup d'état or mass insurrection).[1] Absolute monarchy and dictatorship are the main historical forms of autocracy.

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Motorola terrorist suddenly called "DNR" and "LC" to be a part of Ukraine

Post by Admin on Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:41 am

Notice it this afternoon. I actually went on twitter and mentioned it and tweeted it both to @godaddy and @godaddyservice or support. I didn't tell them what the issue was, I just wanted to put them in the limelight, which isn't good for them. They asked me what the issue was, which they can find out, as I gave them the address link.

On this question in circulation militants, reports SobiNews.

According to Motorola, "DNR" and "LC" have become part of Ukraine, to "free her from the pro-fascist government of terrorist groups."

"I was in the Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporozhye, where the percentage of people who support the current government, miserable. While acceding to the Russian thinking early. That's when Ukraine will join us, then it will be easier to talk about some accessions need it at all or not "- said the gunman.

obozrevatel.com In Russian


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Journalists videotaped illegal traffic of coal from "LNR" to Russia (Tyzhden.ua)

Post by Nelson on Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:25 am

http://tyzhden.ua/News/153132


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Turkey row leaves Russia stuck with abandoned gas pipes worth billions [Engl]

Post by Nelson on Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:24 am

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/12/03/us-mideast-crisis-russia-turkey-pipes-idUSKBN0TM20M20151203
...Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on Thursday work on Turkish Stream, a pipeline intended to pump Russian gas into southeastern Europe via Turkey while bypassing Ukraine, had been suspended.
Shortly afterwards, the head of Italian oil major Eni (ENI.MI), slated as one of the main buyers for the pipeline's gas, said the project was dead in the water.
The decision leaves Russian energy giant Gazprom (GAZP.MM) with miles of pipes only useable in the Black Sea....

====
Putin - the master of Russian self-destruction.

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Tsar v sultan [Engl]

Post by Nelson on Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:34 am

http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21679486-russia-does-not-want-shooting-war-turkey-trade-war-maybe-tsar-v-sultan
Russia does not want a shooting war with Turkey. A trade war, maybe....
Now, Turkey has suddenly become Russia’s main enemy. The Kremlin’s chief propagandist, Dmitry Kiselev, spent most of his Sunday night broadcast slamming the country, accusing Mr Erdogan of complicity with terrorists and fascists. Turkey “is now truly dangerous,” he warned viewers.

===
Article dated Dec 5th. !
Reminds me of -
Think, in this batter'd Caravanserai // Whose Doorways are alternate Night and Day,
How Sultan after Sultan with his Pomp  // Abode his Hour or two, and went his way.
Omar Ky.
I wish Putin would go on his way...

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Inoculated Against Russian Propaganda [engl]

Post by Nelson on Fri Dec 04, 2015 5:11 am

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/inoculated-against-russian-propaganda/551475.html
..."Nowadays production of false information [in the media] in Russia is almost an industry. It's not a case of casual inaccuracies or distorted perceptions, it's a deliberate process of creating fakes, and it's only gaining speed," said Alexei Kovalyov, ...
He himself used to work at a state-owned media outlet — the RIA Novosti news agency — but was dismissed,...


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Yesterday in the area ATO killed one soldier, wounded 5 - Staff

Post by Nelson on Fri Dec 04, 2015 5:59 am

http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2015/12/4/7091336/
===
Understand vehicle hit a mine. I think relates to this - Mariupol.
http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2015/12/4/7091330/

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Chubarov, in the Crimea there is electricity, but it goes to the military, not to the people - UP

Post by Nelson on Fri Dec 04, 2015 6:07 am

http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2015/12/4/7091334/
Friday, December 4, 2015, 12:42

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"Belavia" opens a fourth daily flight Minsk-Kyiv

Post by Nelson on Fri Dec 04, 2015 6:10 am

11:47
http://www.epravda.com.ua/news/2015/12/4/570822/
According to the "Belavia" flights will be from the National Airport Minsk International Airport in Kyiv (Juliani).
Flights will be departing daily from Minsk at 13.30 from Kyiv - at 14.20 local time. Travel time - 1 hour.
Earlier, Belarussian airline "Belavia" has introduced a third daily flight on the route Minsk-Kyiv, opened a flight Minsk-Odessa, is also preparing to open a flight Minsk-Kharkov.
In addition, the airline JSC "Motor Sich" (Ukraine) opened in late November a new regular flight on the route Minsk-Zaporozhye, Zaporozhye.

===
Now there are no direct flights between Ukraine and Russia, this - one assumes - is an expanding route.
Russians and Ukrainians don't need visas, I think, to go to Belarus.
This route is not possible for most European passport holders. Alternative - via Vienna maybe, Warsaw, Prague.

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WTI oil at 40.01 dollars

Post by Nelson on Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:55 pm

Will it finally go below 40? www.bloomberg.com/energy/

Crude Oil & Natural Gas
INDEX UNITS PRICE CHANGE %CHANGE CONTRACT TIME ET 2 DAY
WTI Crude Oil (Nymex)
USD/bbl. 40.01 -1.07 -2.60% JAN 16 12:19:25
CO1:COM
Brent Crude (ICE)
USD/bbl. 43.21 -0.63 -1.44% JAN 16 12:19:21
Natural Gas (Nymex)
USD/MMBtu 2.17 -0.01 -0.41%
===
This has probably influenced the fall in price today -
Opec to keep pumping out record oil volumes despite growing global glut, sources say
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/12033737/Opec-to-keep-pumping-out-record-oil-volumes-despite-growing-global-glut.html
Whatever, Putin has more and more problems. And they will only get worse for him.
====
5 minutes later - 1957 here -
Crude Oil & Natural Gas
INDEX UNITS PRICE CHANGE %CHANGE CONTRACT TIME ET 2 DAY
WTI Crude Oil (Nymex)
USD/bbl. 39.94 -1.14 -2.78%
Below 40 dollars for West Texas Intermediate. This is really getting low.
The problem is, it could force some shale gas producers out of the market.
But they would return should the price go up again towards 45 or higher.

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Russia's Gazprom asks Ukraine for guarantee on volumes needed until end-March [Engl]

Post by Nelson on Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:05 pm

http://www.reuters.com/article/ukraine-crisis-russia-gas-idUSR4N13Q00Y20151204
Gazprom added in a statement after the two sides had met in Berlin that Naftogaz intended to ask for a gas price discount for the first quarter of next year.
===
The Russians always calling a reduction in price "a discount". The market price is falling. And falling.
Ukraine can now buy from Europe if cheaper. So far, winter has been relatively mild. Next week should be above average temperatures.

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Naftogaz expects a [price] proposal from Gazprom

Post by Nelson on Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:22 pm


"Naftogaz" expects "Gazprom" proposal
Friday, December 4, 2015, 17:13
"Naftogaz Ukraine" expects from the Russian "Gazprom" proposal for gas price for Ukraine in the first quarter of 2016.
Told the news agency "Interfax-Ukraine" Andrew chairman of the state holding Kobolyev.
According to him, the end of the year the price of gas, the proposed "Gazprom", is non-competitive compared with the proposals in the European market.
"Current quotations for January indicate a further decline in prices. We will consider the proposal of the Russian side in the first quarter," - he said.

====
Will Gazprom get real? Or still offer Ukraine an unrealistically high price? i.e. a Putin-Tymoshenko "discount"?

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Poroshenko apologized for the unfortunate phrase about volunteers

Post by Nelson on Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:37 pm

http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2015/12/4/7091420/
=====

Poroshenko made a big mistake in a speech yesterday, and this has lost him a lot of support. He has apologized, but ..
I notice Schuster is going to make hay - right now. He is having a special program at 2030 about volunteers, and about what Poroshenko said yesterday.
At least - it is good Poroshenko was strong enough to apologise. not easy for somebody is his position.
Actually - I just looked at tv. Schuster is on, but it says 03/12/2015. i.e. yesterday's date. But it says "live". But I think it is from yesterday. Channel 3S. Whatever that is!

Background -
As you know, speaking in the House of officers in Kyiv to mark the 24th anniversary of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Poroshenko said: "I want to thank the volunteers who in the first hours, days and months of the war, when it was the hardest, gave the latter. And without this contribution we would have won - it would not really matter, but it would have been much harder. "

Today he said -
"I want to stress that without volunteers, without all the Ukrainian people, our victory would be impossible. I bow and a great honor around volunteering" - said Poroshenko the National Council reform.

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Interesting online survey by somebody in Russia - via twitter

Post by Nelson on Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:53 pm



So over 50% belong to the 10% who disapprove of Putin?! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
Something wrong somewhere. !! ))) Clearly Putin's "approval" rating is not what it seems...

Not sure of source. Possibly rbc.ru.

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Gruzomaidan? Russian truckers protest today

Post by Nelson on Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:05 pm

This is their website.
http://antiplaton.info/
Protests all around Russia.
Apparently the russian Rada changed the law today, but only partly, reducing the fine for non-payment of new fees.
The truckers don't want the new fees in the first place.
Website is here
Apparently serious problems on the ringroad around moscow - but mainly because police blocked the road - trying to stop the truckers entering the main city.

Photo from twitter. Moscow today!



Looks like Putin is going to back down. But he's sure short of money. Causing civil unrest.


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Protesting Truckers Cause Traffic Jam on Moscow Ring Road [engl]

Post by Nelson on Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:11 pm

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/protesting-truckers-cause-traffic-jam-on-moscow-ring-road/551796.html
===
This story from a few minutes ago.
===
see also
Truck Protests Signal New Kind of Social Activism
http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/truck-protests-signal-new-kind-of-social-activism/551488.html

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Moscow Government Blocks Opposition 'March for Change' — Organizers [Engl]

Post by Nelson on Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:20 pm

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/moscow-government-blocks-opposition-march-for-change--organizers/551758.html
Organizations including the Moscow-based Protest Action Committee and the Solidarity movement had applied for a permit for 30,000 demonstrators, hoping to hold a “March for Change” and rally in the centre of Moscow, the Interfax news agency reported Tuesday.
====
The pressure is growing on Putin. Can they just keep blocking all protests? It risks major revolution....

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In move to placate truckers, Russian parliament proposes lower fine for violating trucking law [Engl]

Post by Nelson on Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:25 pm

http://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2015/12/04/russian-lawmakers-amend-controversial-road-tax-bill
...The truckers' action, the most visible social protest in years, has shaken Russia's dormant political landscape and cast a challenge to the Kremlin.
The State Duma voted overwhelmingly on Friday to lower the fines for failure to pay a new road toll from 450,000 rubles ($6,670) to 5,000-10,000 rubles ($75- $150).
Lawmakers at a meeting with truck drivers earlier on Friday indicated they would be ready to make further concessions....

====
The truckers want the tax removed.

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Tim Ash - Ukraine Trip Notes, December 3, 2015

Post by Admin on Fri Dec 04, 2015 9:58 pm

In extensive notes from his latest trip to Ukraine, Tim Ash points out the immense progress Ukraine has made but also stresses the dangers posed by the oligarchic interests that are desperately attempting to regain power and stop any further reform efforts.

LONDON, Dec 4, 2015 (UBO) – After a busy few days on the firing line in Kyiv, Nomura International economist Timothy Ash returned to his home base in London where he worked well into the morning hours to complete trip notes that he provided at 03:23 today:

Summary view: The macro economy has stabilised, helped by an IMF programme which seems to be working, plus the valiant efforts of the dream team reform crew. This new found stability and potential for upside surprises to growth are now seriously under threat by populist forces in parliament and by foot dragging by oligarchic interests which are threatening to recapture political power in the country. Imposition of the Rule of Law is now the number one issue/challenge for reformers but resistance is intense and limited progress is being made. The risks of no agreement over a tax code and budget for 2016 are significant, and this could see resignations from the reform team, with frustrations building over the lack of high level support for the IMF programme and rule of law reforms. Visiting US VP Biden might have to read the riot act, but rather than address rule of law issues, oligarchic interests might prefer an IMF-free path. This would be acutely dangerous and might well end in further macro destabilisation. Russia at present appears happy to stand by the side lines, assuming that Ukraine's political elites will inevitably self-destruct, as in the past, but still waiting to bring Ukraine back within its sphere of influence. However, popular opposition to such an outcome remains strong and will be resisted fiercely at the civil society and grass roots levels. The risk of revanchist or populist forces emerging are nevertheless not insignificant and leaving room for unpredictable outcomes. Strong Western reform leadership and direction both within and without the country is now needed more than ever.

Introduction: I visited Kyiv this week to participate in the Kyiv Post Tiger conference and used this as an opportunity to meet the usual Kyiv political/policy "community" to better gauge the overall story. In the text below I present a review of key thoughts and impressions which will hopefully help investors better understand the investment environment.

Perhaps the easiest story to tell is the macro, which has significantly stabilised, helped by the orthodox reform agenda successfully rolled out of the NBU and the MOF.

But to understand just how far Ukraine has come (and achieved), it is worth perhaps going back and setting the scene a bit first. Just casting our minds back six months, the economy then was on the brink of collapse, running twin deficits, as a result facing rising indebtedness, dwindling FX reserves, and the risk of uncontrollable default, currency and banking collapse and a deep and prolonged recession with hyperinflation. The annexation of Crimea, and the Russian military intervention in Donbas accentuated these problems, carving off 8-10% of GDP, destroying and disrupting basic infrastructure, and acting as a distraction and shocking the policy elite into inaction and paralysis on the economic policy reform front.

Peak to trough real GDP had collapsed by up to 20%, the UAH lost two thirds of its value, USD dollar GDP dropped from USD178bn in 2003 to perhaps USD85bn on an annualised basis, and inflation had risen quickly to around 60% pa. NPLs exploded in the banking sector (~50-60%), wiping out much of the capital base, and imposing hefty costs on the sovereign balance sheet where it was forced to step in to recapitalise state owned banks and systemically important privately owned banks. Recession, and energy sector deficits, boosted the quasi fiscal deficit to 10-11% of GDP in 2014, and bank recapitalisation needs, plus FX depreciation boosted the public sector debt/GDP ratio to ~90% of GDP, and gross external debt to GDP to 140% plus. The situation was clearly not sustainable, and eventually the government and international community were forced to bite the bullet, agreeing in April 2014 to a new USD17bn IMF EFF anchored support programme for Ukraine, with total official support totalling close to USD25bn.

Since then there has been signs of meaningful and positive change:................

Highly recommend to read further go to this link:  ukrainebusiness.com.ua 


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Russia should withdraw troops from Transdniestria - Moldovan foreign minister

Post by Admin on Fri Dec 04, 2015 10:18 pm

Chisinau insists on full withdrawal of the Russian troops and weapons in accordance with international obligations, and on transforming the current peacekeeping operation on the Dniester River into a civilian, multinational mission with an international mandate, Moldovan Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Natalia Gherman told the Ministerial Council of the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Belgrade.

She expressed her "concern by the presence of the Russian military factor in the region and big stockpiles of Russian ammunition," a Moldovan Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

Speaking of the Transdniestrian peace process, Gherman noted that "the negotiating process is behind the schedule due to various factors."

Progress in the five plus two talks (Moldova, Transdniestria plus Russia, Ukraine, the OSCE, the European Union and the United States) is being thwarted, in particular, by "Transdniestria's tough approach and the preconditions it has constantly put forward," the minister said................

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


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16-year-old Ukrainian beaten to death by Russian prison staff

Post by Admin on Fri Dec 04, 2015 10:55 pm

16-year-old Vitaly P. died on Nov 25 from horrific injuries inflicted by staff of the Belorechensk prison colony [Krasnodar region] during an orgy of beating the previous night.  He was one of seven young lads who had just arrived at the so-called ‘educational’ prison colony.  All were beaten, but according to witnesses the prison staff showed particularly brutality to Vitaly whom they referred to as  “banderoviets” [from the name of the Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera and a term heard constantly in the pro-Kremlin media], as well as an insulting term for Ukrainians.  “One of them trod with his boot on his neck, another jumped on his head with full force”, another young prisoner reported.

All seven young lads ended up in hospital, where Vitaly died the next day.  According to human rights lawyer Alexander Popkov who is representing Vitaly’s family, had the hospital not become involved, it is likely that the prison administration would have tried to conceal the real cause of Vitaly’s death.

Reports in the independent Russian media all say that Vitaly’s parents have had enormous trouble getting any information and they were put under pressure to agree to Vitaly’s burial in Krasnodar.  It is probably thanks to Popkov’s presence and media attention that they were finally given his body and have left for Ukraine to bury him in his native Hrushove, in the Transcarpathia oblast.

Every aspect of this story is horrific, not least the indication from prisoners that such treatment of new arrivals is standard.  Popkov confirms that there have been reports for some time from prisoners of this monstrous “registration through beating”.  He had just been warned, he said, that the prison was planning to claim that Vitaly had died after jumping out of the window.

According to Novaya Gazeta correspondent Yevgeny Titov, Vitaly’s mother, Svetlana, is from Kuban, but married a Ukrainian, Ivan at the end of the 1980s and they lived in Hrusheve.  They were forced by poverty to move to Kuban five years ago, but Vitaly initially remained in Ukraine.  He joined them only last summer, and tried to help them make ends meet with their small tiling business.  His father became ill and needed an operation for which there was no money.

His parents say that they don’t understand how Vitaly who was a quiet young lad could have ended up involved in a robbery.  Neighbours suggest that he got in with a bad crowd, however what exactly is meant when they say that “he took the blame on himself” is worryingly unclear.

Even if he did commit the crime, he was 16 with no past record, and with a family situation which should surely have been viewed as extenuating circumstances.

It was not, and Vitaly was immediately sentenced to 4 years and 8 months prison colony.....................

To read further go to this link:   khpg.org


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