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Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Wednesday 28 December. [Ukrainian sources]

on Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:54 am
WEDNESDAY

Please scroll to view news items added during the day.

NEWS:
Putin does not allow the Russians to see the terrible reality - Russian journalist. US accused Russia of violating WTO principles.  Trump’s pick of Tillerson for Secretary of State while dismissing CIA intelligence on Russia causes consternation.  Pope for Ukraine initiative expanding assistance to Ukrainians in areas attacked by Russia.  Chinese investors are interested in the development of seaports of Ukraine.

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Putin does not allow the Russians to see the terrible reality - Russian journalist

on Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:56 am
Putin does not allow the Russians to see the terrible reality - Russian journalist

Russians do not notice the growth of poverty and social problems created by the president, because the news is not talking about

It is unlikely that Russia in the international press and Russia in the eyes of its people can be more different, the editor writes the Russian newspaper "Vedomosti" Maxim Trudolyubov in the pages of New York Times .

He notes that, in the eyes of the world, Russian President Putin - is the one who destroys the balance of power in Europe after the Cold War, replacing the US sponsored Middle East and nationalist demagogues in the West. It affected the outcome of US elections and it is possible that will do the same in 2017 in Germany, the Netherlands and France. At least Putin following possibilities arising from the Western press publications. But in itself this little inherent internal image of the president.

The article says that most news in the Russian media controlled by the government relate not Russia, and world events. When hlyadcham and readers offer information about Putin against the backdrop of reports from Aleppo and Tokyo, it is seen as some foreign phenomenon that has nothing to do with the Russians and their lives. The author writes that in reality the situation is terrible. "The most recent nightmare occurred in the Siberian city of Irkutsk, where 71 people died of poisoning tincture of hawthorn. On the packaging it was stated that liquid can not drink because it contains methyl instead of ethyl. But still drinking alcoholic tincture. The problem is that it costs one dollar at a time as the cheapest bottle of vodka - $ 3. Alcoholics chain in the bottom income can not afford it even "Palenque" 1.6 dollar ", - stated in the material. Russian Research Center for Federal and Regional Alcohol Markets estimates that these "consumers" Russia 10-12 million. News about poisoning problem which it stands, could get more air time on television and cause serious public discussion. But instead channels show the war in Syria, the influx of refugees in Europe or elections in France. "If domestic issues were the focus of society, people would be faced with the reality of not only beggars and drunks. They have learned about children dying in orphanages because of underfunding, "- Russian journalist writes, recalling that last August in Irkutsk really three state orphanage inmates died of dyzentyriyi due to lack of funds for proper treatment.

Meanwhile, the Russians reduced income, poverty increases. The article states that the recession in 2014 hit the most vulnerable the Russians. From 2013 to 2016 the number of people living below the poverty line officially increased from 15.5 million to 21.4 million people. "At the same time, government officials hold the line on a monthly income of 160 dollars. If they posluhovuvalsya European model, which considers all the poor whose incomes are below 60% of the average wage, the figure would be much higher. All this - the ugly downside of unpredictable force that the world sees on television screens. Attribute it to costly military adventures in Moscow last years very attractive. But, according to the author, it may not be so "- the author writes.

"Annexation of Crimea and further aggressive moves of Moscow were not only a response to a specific event, such as pro-Western revolution in Ukraine. They may be a logical consequence of the Kremlin's decision to steer Russia into the way in which it is "- the article says.

Vydnnya writes that in Russian recession that slowly grew into stagnation, is the fall in oil prices, as well as some long-term factors, such as increased state intervention in the economy and worsening business climate. The decline of the Russian economy had begun to invade Syria or Ukraine. Even though oil prices to $ 50 per barrel, the Russian Finance Ministry sees no possibility of economic growth by more than 1.5% up to 2030. This situation is man-made, not plight. "Vladimir Putin during the years of his presidency made a priority control over key economic assets and social order. The economic basis for current foreign policy is no better than it was 100 years ago, before the October uprising. All the wealth today, as then, it is concentrated in the hands of a small circle of people. However, the present situation wherein the new king made himself popular, "- says the publication.

The article emphasizes that insecurity in society extends. And the realization that Russia with its nationalized economy and an aging population is no longer able to compete on equal terms in economic and political terms with other great powers might have led to the fact that the Kremlin considers the unconditional use of force only way to demonstrate their "greatness."

glavcom.ua , In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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US accused Russia of violating WTO principles

on Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:58 am
US accused Russia of violating WTO principles



Washington will continue to monitor compliance with Russia and, if necessary, will use all available mechanisms of regulation

During this year, Russia adhered to WTO rules only in certain areas. In general, it violated the principles of liberalization of trade, openness, predictability - "for the sake of domestic policy of import substitution."

This is stated in the report of the US Trade Representative (United States Trade Representative, USTR) , conveys the "Prime".

Washington, the document will continue to monitor compliance with the rules and if necessary will apply all mechanisms of regulation, including an appeal to the authority of the WTO dispute settlement.

Among the positive points mentioned in the document "rare" (according to the authors) cases of reduction of customs duties to the agreed levels, eliminating a number of protective measures, participation in the drafting of review of the trade policies of the WTO. At the same time, according to the compilers of the report, non-tariff measures "undermine" the expected benefits from tariff reductions. As an example, given the opacity of customs rules in assessing the value of imports, burdensome import licensing and import regulations of alcohol, causing concern in the US.

It also indicates that Russia applies discriminatory measures phytosanitary control. The country has imposed a ban on most of the agricultural imports from the US. In addition, the US will continue to monitor the situation in the area of ​​subsidies and price controls, especially in trade titanium and natural gas.

Also, the document referred to the law on personal data storage that is called "opaque and vague on many points."

"The United States continues to believe that Russia's participation in the WTO offers advantages US, Russia and the global trading system ... However, USTR will continue through WTO mechanisms to pay attention to the importance of compliance with the rules and participation in the global trading system," - said in a text.

"If Russia or YEAES adopt or apply measures that do not meet obligations to the WTO ... USTR will investigate and will use all available means to resolve the problem. These funds can, if necessary, include the entire spectrum of WTO mechanisms, including an appeal to the Dispute Settlement Body, "- said the drafters of the document.

glavcom.ua , In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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Trump’s pick of Tillerson for Secretary of State while dismissing CIA intelligence on Russia causes consternation

on Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:02 am
Trump’s pick of Tillerson for Secretary of State while dismissing CIA intelligence on Russia causes consternation

US President-elect Donald Trump hasn’t assumed office and his Electoral College vote has yet to be officially confirmed by the Congress, though he has already come into conflict with other branches of government regarding two important issues. One concerns his nominee for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, longtime president of Exxon-Mobil.

As noted by Voice of America, Tillerson has never concealed his ties with Russia. Speaking at the University of Texas at the beginning of this year, he admitted that he has known Vladimir Putin for more than 15 years, and that they have “a very close relationship.”

In 2011, Exxon and Russia’s gas giant “Rosneft” signed an agreement to jointly develop deposits on the Arctic shelf and in Siberia. The transaction is worth an estimated $300 billion. According to the Washington Post, the head of “Rosneft” Igor Sechin and Tillerson celebrated the massive deal with a black caviar dinner in the luxurious New York restaurant “Per Se.” Two years later, the Exxon president was awarded the Kremlin “Order of Friendship.” In 2014 the grateful American admitted to reporters in Texas that he is lobbying for the lifting of sanctions on Russia for violating international law in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea.

Democratic members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which will consider the nomination of the new Secretary of State before the full Senate takes up the nomination, have already announced that they are prepared to block Rex Tillerson’s appointment. Influential Republicans senators Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham and John McCain have also expressed concern.

The second conflict Trump has with the members of the federal government concerns the CIA’s conclusion that Russian hackers interfered with the 2016 US election not merely to undermine the credibility of American democracy, but to deliberately harm Hillary Clinton and assist in electing Donald Trump. Bipartisan US leaders have called for a more detailed investigation of Russian cyber-attacks, while Trump, on the other hand, called the findings of the CIA “ridiculous” and declared them “another excuse” for Democrats’ electoral defeat.

CIA veterans have expressed serious concerns about such a dismissive attitude toward the work of the intelligence community on the part of the country’s future leader.

“Trump’s comments are alarming, and certainly in the short term will have a definite psychological impact,” senior CIA officer John Sipher, who has nearly 30 years of investigative experience, told Euromaidan Press:................

Access complete text of the editorial:  euromaidanpress.com In English


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Pope for Ukraine initiative expanding assistance to Ukrainians in areas attacked by Russia

on Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:04 am
Pope for Ukraine initiative expanding assistance to Ukrainians in areas attacked by Russia

The Pope for Ukraine Humanitarian Initiative, which has already raised more than 10 million euro to help those affected by military action in the East of the country, has entered a new phase. Money raised under the initiative of Pope Francis at all Catholic parishes starting from April 24, 2016 has been delivered to Ukraine to help “poor among the poor” in the words of the Most Holy Father. The Head of Catholic Church prays for all the victims of war every day and follows the events in our country, particularly in the humanitarian sphere. Ambassador of the Holy See to Ukraine, Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, Apostolic Nuncio has been working in Kyiv for more than a year. He spends most of his time not at the Nunciary (Embassy) but in the East of country to inform Pope Francis about all the needs of internally displaced persons, residents of the grey area as well as those who cannot leave the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

At present the Technical Committee of Pope for Ukraine Humanitarian Aid Initiative, operating in Zaporizhia since September 2016, has finished reviewing applications of non-governmental, church and charitable organizations which help internally displaced persons and those affected by the military action in the East of Ukraine. The Initiative has now moved to project implementation and further monitoring.

We asked the Committee’s First Vice-President Ruslan Lavlinskyi to tell us about the first and quite complicated stage in the work of Technical Committee of Pope for Ukraine Initiative.

– Now, that you have stopped accepting applications, can you make any preliminary conclusions and give us the first figures

– First of all, on behalf of the Technical Committee I would like to thank all the organizations which applied. They do good deeds every day. The Technical Committee has been working for two months under the specifically designed procedure for project review. The criteria which the Committee applied to every project proposal is available on the web-site........

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Chinese investors are interested in the development of seaports of Ukraine

on Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:06 am
Chinese investors are interested in the development of seaports of Ukraine

Representatives of the Chinese company said they are interested in expanding its presence on the Ukrainian market

In December 2016, representatives of the dredging company "Tehmorhidrobud Nikolaev" met with Chinese state corporation «CCCC» (China Communications Construction Company). The company is engaged in construction of transport infrastructure around the world. Since the group is a world leader in the construction of ports, dredging and port machinery, the main theme of the meeting was cooperation in the system of Ukrainian ports.

Representatives of the Chinese company said they are interested in expanding its presence on the Ukrainian market, a few years ago tried to go with his offer, but soon abandoned this initiative because of problems with transparency business. This was stated by Director of "Tehmorhidrobud Nikolaev " Alex Bushtruk.

"Ukraine today, unfortunately, does not have its own fleet for maintenance dredging. Representatives of Chinese state-owned corporation, knowing about it, contacted us and offered to arrange a meeting. We discussed the situation on the Ukrainian market, shared their experience of functioning ports in Ukraine and China. Furthermore, direct, dredging, Chinese partners have expressed willingness to invest in various infrastructure projects, including the construction of facilities "- said Alexey Bushtruk.

Chinese investors are told about the difficulties with which they had to face before, and expressed the hope that we still going movement towards transparency in business.

"Following the meeting we agreed on further cooperation is in our industry - in dredging. Including, and the possible involvement of Chinese industrial fleet, "- he concluded.

glavcom.ua, In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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US Senator Graham says sanctions 'to hit' Russia

on Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:15 pm
US Senator Graham says sanctions 'to hit' Russia

U.S. might introduce sanctions against Russia and Putin over Russian involvement in the U.S. presidential election.

This was announced by Senator Lindsey Graham in the Latvian capital on Wednesday, Censor.NET reports citing Reuters.

Russia and President Vladimir Putin could expect sanctions after cyber attacks during the U.S. presidential election in November, the senator said.

"You can expect that the Congress will investigate the Russian involvement in our elections and [...] there will be bipartisan sanctions coming that will hit Russia hard, particularly Putin as an individual," Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said.

Russian officials have denied accusations of interference in the election won by Donald Trump.

ua.censor.net.ua , In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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White House to unleash new Russia sanctions Dec. 29, - CNN

on Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:18 pm
White House to unleash new Russia sanctions Dec. 29, - CNN

The Obama administration is preparing to announce on Dec. 29 a series of retaliation measures against Russia for meddling in the U.S. election.

Censor.NET reports referring to CNN quoting sources in the administration.

The actions are expected to include expanded sanctions and diplomatic measures.

U.S. officials have also said the federal government plans some unannounced actions taken through covert means at a time of its choosing.

Earlier, The Washington Post, citing sources within the Obama administration, reported the president was about to announce new sanctions on Russia for its alleged interference in the U.S. 2016 electoral process.

U.S. Senator from South Carolina Lindsey Graham, in turn, said Russia and President Vladimir Putin personally would be "hit hard" by new sanctions.

ua.censor.net.ua , In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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Russians evacuate 40 dead servicemen from Donbas

on Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:20 pm
Russians evacuate 40 dead servicemen from Donbas

To hide the presence of Russian regular troops in Donbas and their involvment in combat operations, the Russian army is using humanitarian assistance convoys that regularly come to Donbas.

“Trucks of the 59th humanitarian convoy were loaded with the bodies of 40 Russian regulars who had been killed in recent fighting in Donbas,” Ukraine army Dec. 28 intelligence report says.

The Russian propaganda describes its servicemen in Donbas as volunteers. However, there are many Russian army units deployed in the rebel-held terirtories.

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Russia's embassy in Damascus comes under shelling twice over day

on Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:25 pm
Russia's embassy in Damascus comes under shelling twice over day

The Russian embassy in Damascus has been shelled twice over the day, Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday, according to Russian news agency TASS.

"At 13:00 and 13:19 [Moscow time] on December 28, the Russian embassy in Syria was shelled by terrorists. One mine, which, fortunately, did not explode, fell in the courtyard of the compound of the Russian diplomatic mission's administrative buildings," the ministry said in a comment, TASS wrote. "The second mine fell in the close vicinity to its territory. Combat engineers have been involved in defusing unexploded ordnance," the comment said.

Moscow considers "this new provocation by extremists opposing the peaceful settlement in Syria as the confirmation of their intention to continue sowing terror and violence, support the atmosphere of fear among residents of the Syrian capital, delivering wicked blows from their hidden shelters under the cover of the 'human shield,'" the ministry said...............

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OSCE Says It Suffered Major Cyberattack

on Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:27 pm
OSCE Says It Suffered Major Cyberattack

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has suffered a "major" cyberattack, a spokeswoman has confirmed.

Ursula Froese told RFE/RL on December 28 that the attack, first reported by the French daily Le Monde, took place in early November.

She said in an e-mail that the Vienna-based organization "became aware of a major information security incident" that compromised "the confidentiality "of its IT network.

She said the attack did not disrupt the organization's operations.........

Access complete text of the editorial:  rferl.org In English


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Russians dismantle mining equipment, take it to Russia as scrap

on Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:41 pm
Russians dismantle mining equipment, take it to Russia as scrap

With the connivance from Donbas separatist republics authorities, Russian are dismantling mining equipment in Pervomajsk, taking it to Russia as scrap metal, Ukraine army intelligence says.

 “Local mines in the rebel-held territories do not work and are in a dilapidated condition. The Russian occupants are dismantling the mining equipment at Maria-Hlyboka coal mine in Pervomajsk and shipping it to Russia,” the report says.

The Russians earlier pulled down entire plants, mainly those using advanced technology, and evacuated them to Russia.

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Seven parties make it to Verkhovna Rada, - poll

on Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:47 pm
Seven parties make it to Verkhovna Rada, - poll

Batkivshchyna, Petro Poroshenko Bloc, Radical Party, Samopomich, Opposition Bloc, Za Zhyttia and Hromadianska Pozytsiia would enter the Verkhovna Rada if early parliamentary elections were to be held the nearest Sunday.

According to the results of a poll conducted by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation and Razumkov Centre think tank during Dec. 16-20, 2016, the initiative of early dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada and early elections is supported by 46 percent of respondents, while 36.6 percent decline the idea, Censor.NET reports citing Interfax-Ukraine.

Should early parliamentary elections occur, 63 percent of respondents would partake.

The respondents were asked to say who they would vote for if elections were to be held in late December.

7.9 percent of respondents would vote for Batkivshchyna, 7.3 percent for PPB, 6.7 percent for Opposition Bloc, 5.8 percent for Samopomich, 5.6 percent for Radical Party, Ukrainski Novyny news agency reports.

The other parties, according to the poll, would not be able to overcome the necessary threshold of 5 percent.

People's Front would score 1.4 percent.

19.2 percent of respondents turned unsure as to who they wanted to support. 17 percent of respondents would not participate in the vote.

The votes of those ready to take part in early elections would be enough for seven parties to deal with the 5 percent threshold.

Batkіvschyna would score 11 percent of votes, PPB - 9.9 percent, Opposition Bloc - 9 percent, Samopomich - 7.6 percent, Radical Party - 7.8 percent, Za Zhyttia - 5.7 percent, Hromadianska Pozytsiia - 5.4 percent.

An early termination of the president's powers and holding of early presidential election is supported by 47 percent of Ukrainians, while 37.9 percent are against it. 65% of respondents would participate in early presidential election.

If such an election were to be held next Sunday, the incumbent head of state Poroshenko would win 11.9 percent of votes, leader of Batkivshchyna Yuliia Tymoshenko - 11.1 percent, leader of the Opposition Bloc parliamentary faction Yurii Boiko - 8.4 percent.

2,018 respondents over 18 years from across Ukraine, except Crimea and the occupied territory in the Donbas, took part in the poll. The theoretical margin of sampling error does not exceed 2.3 percent.

At present, six parties are represented in the Ukrainian parliament: PPB, People's Front, Opposition Bloc, Samopomich, Batkivshchyna and Radical Party.

ua.censor.net.ua , In Ukrainian / на українській мові




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An influential Senator Lindsey Graham warned Putin tangible sanctions for cyber Russia

on Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:45 pm
An influential Senator Lindsey Graham warned Putin tangible sanctions for cyber Russia

According to him, this will be the sanctions that support both US parties

Influential Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said that Russia and President Vladimir Putin can expect harsh sanctions after cyber attacks, which took place during the presidential election to help Donald Trump win.

It is reported by Reuters .

It is time for Russia to understand - this means quite sufficient (enough is enough), - said Graham.

The senator said that sanctions support both major parties - Republican and Democratic. Sanctions will be very noticeable in Russia, including President Putin assured Graham.

News by topic: Foreign Minister: cyber stage-managed the White House will response
Earlier, the Ministry of Internal Security and National Intelligence accused the Russian Federation in organizing cyber attacks on servers Democratic Party. "We are confident, given the scale and complexity of attacks that authorize these actions could only senior Russian state officials," - said in a joint statement agencies.

In this regard, US President Barack Obama in an interview with NPR promised to take measures to Russia. "I think there is no doubt that in the event that any foreign government is trying to influence the purity of our elections, we must take action, and we will take," - said the US president.

Note that this is not the first sanctions imposed by the Obama administration against Russia. They were introduced in connection with the actions of the Russian government against the Ukraine in 2014. The first phase of the sanctions provided for limiting cooperation, the second - the restrictions on the supply of certain technologies, and the third directed against certain sectors of the economy. Sanctions supports 41 countries.

ua.112.ua , In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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Details have emerged of secret Russian-Turkish agreement on the division of Syria into zones of influence

on Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:07 am
Details have emerged of secret Russian-Turkish agreement on the division of Syria into zones of influence

It is reported that Syrian President Bashar Assad will be in power a few years

Agency Reuters has learned the details of the secret agreement between Russia and Turkey, with the participation of Iran.

According to her, Syria divided into zones of influence within the agreement on the settlement of the situation in the country.

This will allow the Syrian Syrian President Bashar Assad to remain in power for another few years before the next presidential election. After they change Assad "less controversial" candidate, the report said, citing sources.

The agency said that the scheme has yet to pass the agreement with Assad, the Syrian opposition, the Gulf countries and the USA.

Source Reuters the government of Turkey stated that the role of Assad - "a subject of discussion for the future." The official told the newspaper, Turkey attaches great importance to the establishment of a transitional government. "

Turkish Foreign Ministry announced on December 28 that Ankara and Moscow have agreed on a truce plan in Syria, as well as a document on political settlement in the republic.

If a truce is accepted by the parties of the Syrian conflict, the political process they will negotiate in Astana.

ua.112.ua , In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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Re: Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Wednesday 28 December. [Ukrainian sources]

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