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http://www.ukraineenglishnews.com
20170106
FRIDAY

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NEWS:
No facts found indicating attempt to assassinate Yanukovych.  Def. Ministry comments on Russian hackers' 'attack' on AFU artillery.  Pinchuk selling out country not owned by him.  USA Today Parrots Kremlin Propaganda on Crimea.  Putin’s most likely next anschluss – a united Ossetia within the Russian Federation.  

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Trump calls leak investigation on "Russian secrets"

Trump was referring to reports that US intelligence has information that the Russians who was involved in the leak of letters Clinton

US President-elect Donald Trump appealed to heads of committees of the US Congress with a request to investigate the question of how NBC News Channel could disclose sensitive information about Russia.

He wrote on Twitter.

"I ask the leaders of the House and Senate to investigate how top secret materials were distributed to TV channel NBC before I saw them," - said Trump.

He made this entry Friday morning - before meeting with the heads of US intelligence agencies to obtain clarification on the role of cyber attacks in the United States and distribution of stolen information in the public domain. These findings formed the basis of intelligence solution Obama administration to introduce sanctions against Russia.

Apparently, Donald Trump was referring to reports that US intelligence has information that the Russians who was involved in the leak of letters of the National Committee of the Democratic Party during the elections.

glavcom.ua, In Ukrainian / на українській мові
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on Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:42 pmAdmin
Ukraine ports to set record for grain handling

Ukraine’s sea ports handled 35.7 million tonnes of grain for the 11 months of 2016, or up 6.7% from a year ago. The handling volume for the full year is going to hit a record high, UkrAgroConsult reported on Jan. 5.

Exports represent the bulk of grain cargo traffic in Ukraine’s sea ports, accounting for 34.8 million tonnes, or 97% of its volume. Export shipments of grains via the sea ports increased 6.1% in the 11 months of 2016. Grain transits gained 74%, while cabotage shipments were up 22.5% from a year ago.

In 2016, the top grain handling ports in Ukraine included Yuzhny, Odessa, Mykolaiv and Chornomorsk (Illichivsk). It should be noted that the Chornomorsk sea port boosted handling by 60% against the same time last year. Among companies, the January-November 2016 leaders in grain handling were TIS, Brooklyn-Kyiv located in the Odessa commercial sea port, and Nibulon in the Mykolaiv port.

world-grain.com
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Militants shoot at Ukraine troops in all directions

The Donbas invaders continue shelling positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the ATO zone in all directions: 21 attacks were recorded in the past day, leaving two soldiers wounded the press center of the ATO Headquarters reported.

"In the pre-Christmas day, Russian-occupation forces have continued shelling our positions in all directions. In Mariupol direction, they mortared Pavlopil and shot from grenade launchers and small arms on Talakivka, Maryinka, Hnutove, Vodiane, Shyrokine, and Pavlopil. Snipers were shooting at Shyrokine and Talakivka," the report says. In Lugansk direction, militants fired grenade launchers at Stanytsia Luhanska, Novotoshkovske and Novozvanivka.........

unian.info
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Several probes preceded new sanctions against Russia, - Kerry

Prior to deciding on the launch of new sanctions against Russia, the U.S. administration several times rechecked the intelligence reports about the involvement of Russia's leadership in cyber attacks on America and the publication of stolen information.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said at a final press conference, Censor.NET reports.

"The combined expertise of all of that [intelligence] community, probed and re-probed and re-probed-probed, has come to a common assessment that the government of Russia engaged in a concerted effort to influence and interfere with the integrity of our electoral process. Now, that's the conclusion," Kerry said.

He agreed with Senator McCain's sharp rhetoric against Russia's hostile actions.

"It obviously is a very serious event," the secretary of state noted, expressing belief President Obama "has responded to it accordingly."

Kerry also said that both the president and he personally raised this issue with the Russians last summer.

"We engaged, very personally and privately, with the Russians. And I'm not going to say more about it, except to say that a lot of judgment and consideration went into how that would be handled at that moment," he explained.

censor.net.ua, In Russian / На русском
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Trump to pose major future threat for Ukraine – Anders Aslund

Ukraine’s economy has stabilized and is ready for growth. There are many threats for Ukraine but the prospects are good, Anders Aslund, the chief associate for the Atlantic Council writes in an article translated by NV.ua.

According to Aslund, over the past 3 years Ukraine managed to reduce its budget deficit from 10% to 3% by cutting expenditure by the state. The country’s state debt stabilized at 80% of GDP, against IMF fears that it will spin out of control. The wage tax has been decreased from the abominable 45% to 22%.

Ukraine’s international payments have been balanced following the imminent currency devaluation. Ukraine’s gold and currency reserves are up from $5 bn as of Jan. 2015 to $15 bn.

The nationalization of PrivatBank has ended the cleansing of corrupt and undercapitalized banking system. Due to harsh monetary policy, the Central bank cut the inflation from 61% as of April 2015 to 12% today.

Ukraine has implemented serious structural reforms. The unification of energy prices removed corrupt gas schemes costing the country 8% of its GDP.

Electronic income declarations dealt a heavy blow to corruption. The ProZorro public system of tendering has improved corporal management.

Ukrainians pin large hopes on 2017. The civil service reform is under way. Bureaucracy must modernize and become transparent. 

Ukraine’s major challenge is the upcoming reform of judiciary and courts.

However, there won’t be any substantial improvement of the customs and tax systems. Their reform will probably take another year.

However, the projected 2-3% growth of the economy is not sufficient. By invigorating export to Europe, China and Middle East Ukraine can secure a much bigger growth.

Still, it is premature to make rosy predictions. The newly elected US president may pose a major threat for Ukraine as he seems eager to strike a deal with Vladimir Putin, with Ukraine likely to become a sacrifice,” Anders Aslund says.

zik.ua
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Russian military feign illnesses, not willing to join Donbas military units – Main Intelligence Department

Candidates for the command positions to the Russian military units and bases located in Donbas, often feign illnesses and draw up notes on family circumstances, not willing to go to the east of Ukraine, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense has said.

"Leaders of the Russian Armed Forces enhanced activities for the selection of candidates for the command positions to military bases and units: 1 (Donetsk) and 2 (Luhansk) of AK Center of territorial troops (Novocherkassk) of Southern VO (Rostov-on-Don) among officers of other military districts of Russia for rotary events in the winter-spring period in 2017," the Main Intelligence Department wrote on its Facebook page on Friday........

en.interfax.com.ua
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Def. Ministry comments on Russian hackers' 'attack' on AFU artillery

The information in mass-media that 80% of D-30 howitzers of the AFU (Armed Forces of Ukraine) have been destroyed by Russian hackers as a result of hacking software of Ukrainian artillery is not true, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry's press service reports.

According to the command of the missile troops and artillery of the AFU Land Forces, the losses of artillery weapons for the ATO period are much less than those mentioned and are not linked to the reason indicated.

"Now the military units of the missile troops and artillery of the AFU Land Forces are fully combat-ready, equipped and able to carry out tasks as directed," the Defense Ministry stated.........

unian.info
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on Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:36 amAdmin
Pinchuk selling out country not owned by him

The recent article in The Wall Street Journal by tycoon and Leonid Kuchma’s son-in-law Viktor Pinchuk proposing to appease Russia by ceding Crimea and Donbas as well as renouncing Ukraine’s NATO and EU aspirations is cynical, repulsive and can be regarded as a sell-out of Ukraine, renowned political expert Oleksandr Palij told ZIK TV Jan. 5.

Pinchuk’s ‘advice’ to Ukraine and the West to accept Russia’s grab of Crimea and, in fact, the military annex of a part of Donbas is nothing more than an attempt to appease the aggressor, Palij said.

It’s a sell-out of Ukraine, coming from the person who spends most of her time living in London.

Another Pinchuk’s ‘advice’ is for Ukraine to give up on its aspirations to join the NATO and European Union. It is worth saying here that Russia did not attack Lithuania, Latvia or Estonia because they are NATO member states, O. Palij noted.

zik.ua
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Putin’s most likely next anschluss – a united Ossetia within the Russian Federation

A Georgian political analyst has warned that Vladimir Putin’s most likely Anschluss in the coming year would involve the unification of South Ossetia (which Moscow illegally seized from Georgia in 2008 but did not absorb at the time) with North Ossetia (which is already part of Russia) and the inclusion of that new entity in the Russian Federation.

In a comment to Azerbaijan’s Haqqin news agency which ran yesterday under the title “A Threat to Georgia: The Two Ossetias Unite and Become Part of Russia,” Vakhtang Maisaya says that “the powers that be in Tskhinvali have thought up an absolutely new and more sophisticated geopolitical provocation.”

The goal of renaming South Ossetia ‘Alania,’ he continues, is to bring it into closer correspondence with North Ossetia which also uses that name and thus to make it easier to unite the two and then absorb the Georgian portion into the Russian Federation, “a classic case of irredentism” in this case directed at Georgia.............

euromaidanpress.com
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No facts found indicating attempt to assassinate Yanukovych

"As part of the official investigation that had been held before, no assassination attempts were uncovered. All military personnel at the State Protection Department were questioned. They were in the last cortege of Yanukovych and refused to leave the territory of Ukraine with him. No one has said anything about any assassination attempts," Heletey said in an interview with the Kyiv-based Today newspaper published on Friday.

At the same time he did not rule out that the chief bodyguard of Yanukovych Kostiantyn Kobzar could report him about any alleged attempts: "I do not exclude this. Being well aware of Yanukovych's character traits, his phobias, he [Kobzar] worked hard to instill fear in his chief's security detail. On the other hand, he tried to bolster his authority in the eyes of the person he protected."..........

en.interfax.com.ua
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on Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:31 amAdmin
USA Today Parrots Kremlin Propaganda on Crimea

Hopes are high in Russia that its investment in the US elections will pay off in the removal of economic sanctions and acceptance of Russia’s illegal invasion and annexation of Crimea. Since none of the conditions for waiving sanctions have been met, other methods to sell such an option are being applied. They include pushing certain ‘messages’ about sanctions, such as the untrue claims by Trump man Carter Page that the West has suffered most from the sanctions and that sanctions ‘don’t work’.

Another major component lies in repeating certain myths about Crimea, in distorting information about how the Ukrainian territory came to be under Russian occupation and in presenting the Crimean population as fully in support of annexation. The Kremlin is, of course, openly financing its own propaganda vehicles – RT (Russia Today) and Sputnik, however it prefers to encourage the publication of material in other media. While it is likely that money does sometimes directly change hands, it is also probable that simply oiling the wheels for ‘exclusive’ material is sufficient. Journalists visiting Crimea from Russia are almost certainly restricted as to who they see and who they don’t.

Kim Hjelmgaard, a Berlin-based journalist writing for USA Today, visited Russia soon after the US elections and Trump’s victory. Judging by his Facebook page, he does not appear to know much, if any, Russian which would certainly make it easy to influence the impressions he received. In St. Petersburg, for example, we are shown 3 young men, all speaking good English, expressing their hopes for a change in relations under Trump............

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