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Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Monday 6 February. [Ukrainian sources]

on Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:18 am
MONDAY

Please scroll to view news items added during the day

NEWS:
Trump Tells Poroshenko U.S. Will Work To Restore Peace In Ukraine.  The Kremlin responded to the words of American journalist "Putin assassin". Trump’s Russia-U.S. Comparison Rejected by Democrats and Republicans.  Stoltenberg, Trump discuss Ukraine's Donbas amid their second phone call.  Kremlin: No conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

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The Kremlin responded to the words of American journalist "Putin assassin"

on Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:21 am
The Kremlin responded to the words of American journalist "Putin assassin"

A spokesman for Russian President Dmitry Peskov called the statements of leading US TV channel Fox News Bill O'Reilly "unacceptable and offensive", calling on the company to apologize.

It is reported by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

"We believe these words from broadcaster Fox News correspondent unacceptable, offensive," - said Peskov.

Recall that the American journalist Bill O'Reilly during an interview with US President Donald Trump named head of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin a murderer.

Leader of US journalist countered these words, saying: "There are many killers. We have many murderers. You, I think our country has such an innocent?"

As reported, "Apostrophe" before Russian expert estimated the probability of early military aggression of Russia against the Baltic States.

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


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Trump’s Russia-U.S. Comparison Rejected by Democrats and Republicans

on Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:25 am
Trump’s Russia-U.S. Comparison Rejected by Democrats and Republicans

Some Republican and Democratic lawmakers have rejected President Donald Trump's most recent notion that the United States government is morally equivalent to Vladimir Putin's Russia.

The most recent controversial claim took place during the president's interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, which aired Sunday before the Super Bowl. During the discussion, Trump defended his decision to criticize longtime allies instead of the Russian authoritarian regime.



"I say it's better to get along with Russia than not," Trump said.

O'Reilly pushed back. "He's a killer though. Putin's a killer," the host said, referring to Putin's critics who have been found dead and Russian military tactics in Syria and Ukraine.

"There are a lot of killers. We got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country's so innocent?" the president responded.

Trump's unexplained defense of Russia, which has he sustained since the campaign, continued to stump some lawmakers who appeared on network news shows Sunday.

"I'll be honest, I don't know what the president is trying to do with statements like these," Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) said on ABC's "This Week."

The Nebraska senator then described the rights provided by the First Amendment, making it clear that Putin and Russia's government do not provide those freedoms to its citizens.

"There is no moral equivalency between the United States of America — the greatest freedom loving nation in the history of the world — and the murderous thugs that are in Putin's defense of his cronyism," Sasse added.

On CNN's "State of the Union," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) shared Sasse's view of Russia, though he refused to criticize the president for his conflation of the United States and an authoritarian regime.

"Well, Putin is a former KGB," McConnell said. "He's an agent. He's a thug. He was not elected in a way that most people would consider a credible election. The Russians annexed Crimea, invaded Ukraine, and messed around in our elections. No, I don't think there is any equivalency between the way the Russians conduct themselves and the way the United States does."

The dismissal of a moral equivalency went beyond television appearances, as a number of noteworthy Republicans sounded off on Twitter.............

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


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Trump Tells Poroshenko U.S. Will Work To Restore Peace In Ukraine

on Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:26 am
Trump Tells Poroshenko U.S. Will Work To Restore Peace In Ukraine

The White House says President Donald Trump told Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko the United States will work to end the deadly conflict near the Russian border in eastern Ukraine.

"We will work with Ukraine, Russia, and all other parties involved to help them restore peace along the border," Trump said in a statement issued on February 4.

The statement added that the two leaders discussed the possibility of meeting in the near future.

A statement by Poroshenko's office said the two leaders "noted the urgent necessity of establishing a complete cease-fire" in the region.

The Ukrainian president thanked Trump for his "strong support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine," the statement added.

The call came as an upsurge in fighting has killed at least 35 in a week of escalated fighting between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine has expressed concern that Trump could roll back some sanctions imposed on Russia after its illegal 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and in retaliation for Moscow's military, economic, and political support for the separatists in eastern Ukraine...............

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


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The Briefing By Brian Whitmore (PODCAST report): Here Comes The Navalny Verdict

on Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:29 am
The Briefing By Brian Whitmore (PODCAST report): Here Comes The Navalny Verdict

Stand by. The verdict in Aleksei Navalny's retrial in the KirovLes embezzlement case is just days away.

And what the Kremlin decides to do with Navalny will tell us a lot about the Kremlin's political strategy going forward.

On this week's Power Vertical Briefing, we look ahead to this week's verdict and what it will mean.



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Russia’s collapse not far off if sanctions not lifted, Dzhemilev says

on Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:31 am
Russia’s collapse not far off if sanctions not lifted, Dzhemilev says

The sanctions imposed against Russia over Crimea annexation will inevitably cause collapse of the Russian Federation even without their stiffening.
As reported by Censor.NET, Ukrainian MP, leader of the Crimean Tatar people Mustafa Dzhemilev said in an interview to Apostrophe news outlet.

"Putin made strong propaganda while seizure of Crimea which he used to raise this immense pseudo-patriotism. And if Putin disowns Crimea, this will be similar to political suicide for him. Although the sanctions daily hurt the Russian economy so badly, that if they are maintained, and we actually hope that they will be strengthened, but even if not, even this level will remain in place, the collapse of Russia is not far off," Dzhemilev stressed.

Read more: EU to extend sanctions against Russia in March, - Bloomberg

Dzhemilev earlier said that the only way to protect the Crimean Tatars is to make Russia leave Crimea by means of sanctions.

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


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Stoltenberg, Trump discuss Ukraine's Donbas amid their second phone calls

on Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:35 am
Stoltenberg, Trump discuss Ukraine's Donbas amid their second phone calls

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and U.S. President Donald Trump have discussed the war in Donbas, the east of Ukraine, among the issues on the agenda of their second phone conversation on Sunday evening, according to NATO's statement.

"They also discussed the uptick in violence in eastern Ukraine, and prospects for a peaceful settlement," NATO reported in the readout of the conversation. The Secretary General recalled NATO's consistent policy of strong defense and dialogue with Russia, it said.

"The Secretary General and President Trump looked forward to the upcoming NATO Summit in Brussels in late May to discuss these issues," the readout said......

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Kremlin: No conflict between Russia and Ukraine

on Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:37 am
Kremlin: No conflict between Russia and Ukraine

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov says the Kremlin disagrees with the definition by the White House about the "long-running conflict" between Russia and Ukraine, as referred in the readout of the U.S. White House after a telephone conversation between U.S. President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, according to an UNIAN correspondent in Russia.

"With regard to the wording as for the conflict, there is no conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Donbas is exclusively an internal Ukrainian conflict," he said, answering a question on how the Kremlin views such terms by the White House.....

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In Germany no doubt that the Kremlin is responsible for the situation in the Donbas

on Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:07 am
In Germany no doubt that the Kremlin is responsible for the situation in the Donbas

Steffen said Zaybert Berlin knows that militants in the Donbass receive assistance from Russia

In Berlin, no doubt that the root cause of the current situation in the Donbass and its continuation is Russia.

On Monday at a briefing in Berlin, said officials of the Federal Government of Germany Steffen Zaybert and Foreign Ministry, Martin Schaefer.

"There are indications that the main responsibility for the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which is an essential integral part of the territory of the Ukrainian state, lies on the separatists, which are now getting massive support from Russia", - said Zaybert.

Schaefer added that "there is no doubt including the new minister, responsible for the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine, responsibility for the annexation of the Crimea, the responsibility for the situation in eastern Ukraine is definitely in Moscow."

According to him, from extremely difficult to answer the question: who started the current armed clashes in the area Avdeevki who they said who and what is responsible. But while diplomat pointed to the well-known fact that the separatists are firing Ukrainian military from residential areas. "This of course means that people who live in this area beset by fighting, serve as a living shield. It has condemned in all its forms", - said the representative of the Foreign Ministry of Germany.

Schaefer said that Ukrainian theme is the focus of Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel. The question he raised during a recent visit to Washington, where he heard the new secretary of state and US Vice President expressed support mediation efforts of France and Germany in "Norman format". The US side thinks hard to continue to support these efforts, said a spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry.

As for the possible political meeting in "Norman format" that, according to Schaefer, can we assume that it will happen "in the near future."

Read also the article "Hlavkoma": " Gennady Moskal: Or are we at war, or we trade. One of the two, we have to choose!"

glavcom.ua , In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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Why are Ukraine’s borders not secure? (Financial Times)

on Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:05 pm
Why are Ukraine’s borders not secure? (Financial Times)

Western allies must meet their legal obligations to protect the country’s integrity

During the past few years we have seen a reset of the prevailing security paradigm with devastating consequences for international peace and for people’s lives. Almost every day, Ukraine is losing soldiers and civilians in the war in Donbas. Despite the Minsk agreements, we are constantly facing severe attacks on our cities from Russian fighters; the recent attack on Avdiivka, with weapons prohibited by the Minsk agreements, has created an emergency situation and threatens to create a humanitarian catastrophe.

Who could have predicted a few years ago that Ukraine would be invaded and part of our territory annexed? Since 2013 Ukraine has changed a lot: it has become stronger, rebuilt its army from scratch, enacted multiple reforms in a shot period and, more importantly, the mentality of its people has been transformed to become European.

Despite its massive security challenges, my country has moved closer to Europe than ever before. We are in the final stages of a visa-free regime with the EU and of our EU Association Agreement; we are a contracting party to the EU’s Energy Community Treaty, implementing the so-called Third Energy Package; we are signatories of the COP21 Paris Agreement on climate change; we have joined the Western European Nuclear Regulators Association. Ukraine is a member of the UN, the WTO, the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development; it works closely with the IMF, the World Bank, the EBRD, the European Atomic Energy Committee; we are a party in Nato’s “Partnership for Peace” programme and participate in most Nato-led schemes..................

Access complete text of the editorial:  Financial Times In English


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Is Ukraine a Priority For the Kremlin in 2017? (VIDEO)

on Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:37 pm
Is Ukraine a Priority For the Kremlin in 2017? (VIDEO)



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Hacker reveals dark arts of Russian blackmail and spies (Financial Times)

on Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:24 pm
Hacker reveals dark arts of Russian blackmail and spies (Financial Times)

Shaltai Boltai’s last member at large tells of shadowy handlers and stolen data

A few hours before Vladimir Putin gave his 2014 new year’s speech, a shadowy group calling itself Shaltai Boltai — the Russian for Humpty Dumpty, the nursery rhyme character — beat the Russian president to it by posting the text online.

“We’re always with you, even when you least suspect it,” the anonymous bloggers wrote.

Such audacious leaks used against the Kremlin itself made Shaltai Boltai one of the leading exponents of the peculiarly Russian dark art of “black PR”, a cottage industry mixing fake news and compromising material, or kompromat, used to blackmail politicians and businessmen.

“It’s a kind of anonymous celebrity. Nobody knows who you are, but everyone’s writing about it,” says Alexander, one of the members of the group.

Now, after years of sparking intrigue and gossip among Kremlinologists by leaking top officials’ correspondence, Shaltai Boltai has been thrust into a wider spotlight by the arrest of its ringleader, Vladimir Anikeev in a murky case tied to treason proceedings against officers of the FSB, the Russian intelligence service. Russian press reports claim the FSB officers were Mr Anikeev’s handlers.

Alexander, who met the Financial Times in Estonia where he intends to seek asylum, believes he is the group’s last member at large.

Asking only to be identified only by his first name, Alexander confirmed his identity by producing previous email correspondence between this reporter and an account Shaltai Boltai used to leak information, as well as photos of him alongside Mr Anikeev................

Access complete text of the editorial:  Financial Times In English


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Russia’s representative Chirkin stunned by US tough stance against Russian Federation at UN Security Council

on Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:09 pm
Russia’s representative Churkin stunned by US tough stance against Russian Federation at UN Security Council

Before U.S. President Donald Trump's envoy to the U.N. Nikki Haley voiced America’s firm and unwavering stance on the situation in eastern Ukraine, she had thoroughly explored the matter including through communication with the Ukrainian colleagues.

As reported by Censor.NET, Ukraine's Ambassador to the U.N. Volodymyr Yelchenko said in an interview with Ukrinform.

"In my opinion, the U.S. ambassador to U.N. is well-informed of the situation in the Donbas and knows the ropes about Crimea. The stance she has voiced confirms that the new U.S. administration is fully aware of Ukraine situation while its stance on this issue continues being tough," the head of Ukraine's Mission to the U.N. stressed.

He also said that he met with Nikki Haley before the Security Council meeting on Ukraine and briefed her on recent developments in the Donbas.

The Ukrainian diplomat also expressed confidence that the Russian representative was at least stunned by the U.S. tough stance amidst statements by the new White House Administration on possible improvement of ties with Russia.

"I saw the look on Mr Churkin's face at that moment. I think it came as a surprise for him. He definitely did not expect the new U.S. ambassador to get so tough on Russia," Yelchenko said.

According to the ambassador, Ukraine can count on further U.S. support within the U.N. and further international pressure on the Russian Federation.

"I'm dead certain of it," the diplomat said.

He added that the U.N. Security Council meeting reiterated support of the international community for Ukraine.

As reported, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Haley made a strong speech in the U.N. Security Council: 'The United States continues to condemn and call for an immediate end to the Russian occupation of Crimea. Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control over the peninsula to Ukraine.'

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


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Minister accused the UN flagrant interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine

on Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:13 pm
Minister accused the UN flagrant interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine

Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine Andriy Reva accused Coordinator of UN in Ukraine Neil Walker in flagrant interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine.

The Minister said commenting on the statement of the UN not to pay pensions to residents outside the control of the authorities Ukraine Donbas territories.

"This brazen interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine, I have not seen. He was concerned about the question of whether, for example, kill our soldiers, that there is a war, that foreign military are on our territory," - said Reva to broadcast Radio Liberty .

He noted that the restoration of pensions to residents of certain regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions (ORDLO) prescribed in Minsk II and, according to them, will be made only after the establishment of peace in Donbas.

As reported, "Apostrophe", Coordinator of UN in Ukraine Neal Walker said that the termination of social benefits and pensions to residents of areas outside the control of Kyiv Ukraine violates both Ukrainian and international legislation.

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


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Terrorists refuse to pick up dead fighters near Avdiivka

on Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:18 am
Terrorists refuse to pick up dead fighters near Avdiivka

Following the fierce fighting near Avdiivka, many dead militants were left lying on the battlefield.

Censor.NET reports citing the ATO Staff press center.

"The desperate attempts of Russian terrorist forces to take our positions in the area of Avdiivka led to numerous casualties among militants. The dead bodies of terrorists have not been evacuated through unilateral reluctance of occupants to negotiate a cease-fire.

"Over the past few days, the Ukrainian side has repeatedly proposed representatives of the enemy to cease fire in the vicinity of Avdiivka's industrial zone so as to enable the search of dead militants. However, no response followed.

"This demonstrates once again that the command of Russian terrorist forces places the escalation of hostilities over basic respect for its own people who have become victims of the Kremlin's reckless venture in Ukraine," the statement reads.

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


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