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Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Friday 24 February. [Ukrainian sources]

on Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:58 am
FRIDAY

Please scroll to view news items added during the day.

NEWS:
Firtash released on EUR 125 mln bail on Friday – media.  Russian militants attacked Ukraine’s Armed forces 83 times yesterday, used mortars, tanks, IFVs, AA guns, snipers.  Russia seeks Syria rebuilding at cost of world powers.  SBU detained a group of provocateurs that on the instructions of Russian curators prepared a series of propaganda campaigns in Odesa.  Netherlands rejects extra requirements on Ukraine-EU partnership deal. "Step in the right direction!" - EU's Hahn welcomes Dutch MPs' support of Ukraine-EU treaty.

WEATHER:
Kyiv, Ukraine
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Turning cloudy, breezy and not as cool with a couple of showers later this afternoon
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SBU detained a group of provocateurs that on the instructions of Russian curators prepared a series of propaganda campaigns in Odesa

on Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:04 am
SBU detained a group of provocateurs that on the instructions of Russian curators prepared a series of propaganda campaigns in Odesa

The Ukrainian Security Service has exposed in Odessa organized by a group of provocateurs that on the instructions of Russian curators prepared a series of propaganda campaigns during the commemoration of Heroes Hundreds of Heaven.

According Tsenzor.NET in the press center of the SBU, to destabilize the socio-political situation in the region, the attackers had planned to distribute printed materials provocative, aimed at manipulating public opinion and discredit the senior management of the state.

February 22 Odessa SBU officers seized two and a half tons of newspapers feykovye very similar to the official publication of the political parties represented in parliament. Fake contains output data and the circulation of the present printed edition. As established operatives of the secret services, the goods have been delivered to Odessa from Kiev. The main performers of the action (citizen of Ukraine - the capital of a resident and citizen of Russia - a resident of Odessa) should have received for their work 18 thousand hryvnia. They have already managed to pick up 30 distributors create fake editions and rented storage space for newspapers. Also read: The loudest "third Maidan" predicted Russian resources, - Poroshenko Urgent operational and investigative activities are underway. Security Service of Ukraine establishes all involved in the action of anti-Ukrainian propaganda.

ua.censor.net.ua, Original in Ukrainian / на українській мові


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Netherlands rejects extra requirements on Ukraine-EU partnership deal

on Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:06 am
Netherlands rejects extra requirements on Ukraine-EU partnership deal

The Netherlands' lower house of parliament did not support a proposal by Socialists commanding Kyiv to sign an additional political document that relates to the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.

As reported by Censor.NET citing UNIAN, a corresponding vote was held today in The Hague.

A proposal by Socialists, aimed to ensure an annex with Dutch explanations regarding the association deal will be signed by Ukraine, failed to score enough votes and was rejected.

As previously reported, on Feb. 23, the House of Representatives (lower house) of the Dutch parliament voted for the ratification of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, leaving the final word for the upper house - the Dutch Senate.

Earlier, media wrote the Socialists' proposal was not intended to affect Ukraine but rather to ensure that the government will control the implementation of the will of voters during the ratification of the agreement.

ua.censor.net.ua , Original in Ukrainian / на українській мові


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Russia seeks Syria rebuilding at cost of world powers - Financial Times

on Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:08 am
Russia seeks Syria rebuilding at cost of world powers - Financial Times

Russia is pressing world powers to provide Syria with billions of dollars for reconstruction.

As reported by Censor.NET citing Financial Times, European and Gulf states, angered by Russia's military intervention that tilted the war in favor of President Bashar al-Assad, will only contribute if Moscow secures a peace settlement that sets the terms for an eventual political transition.

"They [Russia] go in, they mess it all up, they break everything and want everyone to pay for it," a European diplomat said.

According to the article, Russia is the dominant foreign player involved in the war, but after helping broker a cease-fire between the warring parties in December, it has struggled to bring the adversaries closer to a political agreement.

Mikhail Bogdanov, Russia's deputy foreign minister in charge of Middle East issues, told a meeting of EU ambassadors in Moscow last week that the reconstruction of Syria would top the agenda very soon, European diplomats told Financial Times.

The Russian official said "tens of billions of dollars" would be needed, while warning that "nothing" should be expected from Russia.

"The Russians really do not want to inherit a completely destroyed Syria - that's a problem that would stick with them as long as Iraq has been haunting the Americans," a Middle East-based diplomat said.

But the Russian initiative could face resistance - particularly as Russian air strikes were responsible for destruction in cities such as Aleppo. The conflict has reduced entire neighborhoods across the country to rubble and forced millions of people from their homes.

Moscow used the war in Syria to expand its influence in the region. Meanwhile, EU member states have differed on whether to insist on Mr Assad's departure as an explicit condition for a settlement or back a transitional arrangement. Countries including the UK, France and the Netherlands believe the war will not end until he goes, but others argue that should not stop efforts to ease the violence.

ua.censor.net.ua , Original in Ukrainian / на українській мові


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"Step in the right direction!" - EU's Hahn welcomes Dutch MPs' support of Ukraine-EU treaty

on Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:11 am
"Step in the right direction!" - EU's Hahn welcomes Dutch MPs' support of Ukraine-EU treaty

The European Commission has praised the lower house of the Dutch parliament for the support of a bill to enact the country's ratification of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.

European Commissioner of European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn wrote on Twitter, Censor.NET reports.



"I welcome positive vote of the Dutch House of Representatives on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. Step in the right direction!" the EU commissioner wrote.

As previously reported, on Feb. 23, the House of Representatives (lower house) of the Dutch parliament voted for the ratification of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, leaving the final word for the upper house - the Dutch Senate.

ua.censor.net.ua , Original in Ukrainian / на українській мові


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Russian militants attacked Ukraine’s Armed forces 83 times yesterday, used mortars, tanks, IFVs, AA guns, snipers

on Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:13 am
Russian militants attacked Ukraine’s Armed forces 83 times yesterday, used mortars, tanks, IFVs, AA guns, snipers

The Russian occupying forces committed 83 attacks on the Ukrainian troops’ positions in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) area over the past 24-hour period.

Censor.NET reports citing the latest update by the ATO Staff press center.

The statement reads: "The militants repeatedly shelled Avdiivka in Donetsk direction with a tank. The enemy employed mortars of various calibers against Pisky, Zaitseve, Troitske, and Kamianka; grenade launchers, large-caliber machine guns and small arms - against Novhorodske, Pisky, Avdiivka, Verkhniotoretske, Novoselivka, Luhanske, and Zaitseve. A sniper committed attacks on positions in the vicinity of Novhorodske.

"In Luhansk direction, the militants shelled Popasna and Novozvanivka with mortars of various calibers. The invaders fired upon Troitske, Krymske, and Novooleksandrivka with grenade launchers and large-caliber machine guns. Novozvanivka also came under strikes with IFV weapons while Troitske was attacked with anti-aircraft guns.

"Krasnohorivka, Novotroitske, and Taramchuk in Mariupol direction were shelled with mortars of various calibers. The militants employed grenade launchers, large-caliber machine guns, and small arms against Vodiane, Pavlopil, Hnutove, Shyrokyne, and Novotroitske. Sniper attacks were recorded in Shyrokyne," the situation report reads.

ua.censor.net.ua , Original in Ukrainian / на українській мові


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In Russia anxiously Trump responded to the statement on the US nuclear arsenal

on Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:15 am
In Russia anxiously Trump responded to the statement on the US nuclear arsenal

Chairman of the International Committee of the Federation Council (upper house of parliament Code)

Konstantin Kosachev said that the statement of Donald Trump intends to build nuclear potential of the US is the "most alarming" in all his statements about relations with Russia.

It is reported by the Russian agency "Interfax".

According to him, the agreement between Russia and the US on measures for the further reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms (START-3) based on the absolute equality of the nuclear forces of the two states and its meaning is precisely to prevent the benefits in the nuclear industry any party.

In turn, the head of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security Viktor Ozerov said that Trump intends runs counter to international agreements.

"Starting presidential activities to substitute into question the international treaty that exists between the US and Russia, START-3, which determines the number of nuclear warheads and their means of delivery, not the best way to implement the law on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons", - said Russian senator.

According to him, US President intention to build a nuclear arsenal is not conducive to mutual understanding and security in the world.

As reported, "Apostrophe" on Trump's words about increasing nuclear arsenal responded another Russian senator - Alexei Pushkov.

apostrophe.ua, Original in Ukrainian / на українській мові


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Firtash released on EUR 125 mln bail on Friday – media

on Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:18 am
Firtash released on EUR 125 mln bail on Friday – media

A Vienna-based court has released Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash on EUR 125 million bail, according to the Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda, citing its own source close to the businessman's defense.

Firtash was detained on February 23 at the request of the U.S. authorities that demand his extradition, Ukrayinska Pravda wrote. Both the United States, where Firtash is accused of bribery, and Spain, where he is charged with money laundering, are seeking his extradition. Firtash has been indicted by U.S. prosecutors for allegedly offering a US$18.5 million bribe to Indian officials to secure a titanium deal...........

unian.info/politics


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Majority of Americans Say Congress Should Probe Contact Between Trump, Russia: Poll

on Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:22 pm
Majority of Americans Say Congress Should Probe Contact Between Trump, Russia: Poll

About half of Americans believe that Congress should investigate whether Donald Trump's presidential campaign had contact with the Russian government in 2016, while only a quarter say that lawmakers should not probe the issue, according to a new NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll.

The new poll, conducted February 18-22, shows that 53 percent of the American public wants Congress to look into the alleged communications, while 25 percent disagree and 21 percent say they don't have an opinion.

A similar share — 54 percent — believe that Congress should look into Russian interference in the election generally, while 29 percent disagree.

The findings come as Trump's administration battles leaks from the intelligence community that have pointed at contacts between Trump allies and Russians, some with links to the Kremlin. On Friday, the administration pushed back on reports that the FBI refused a White House request to publicly deny news stories about the alleged communications.

The FBI and CIA also assessed last year that Russia intervened in the 2016 election in part to aid Trump's campaign.

Those who advocate for a Congressional investigation of possible ties between Trump's team and the Russian government include 80 percent of Democrats, 55 percent of independents and 25 percent of Republicans.

The partisan breakdown is nearly identical among those who want Congress to probe Russian interference in the election more broadly. That includes eighty-four percent of Democrats, 51 percent of independents and 25 percent of Republicans.

Bipartisan members of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee have pledged to look into possible interactions between Trump associates and the Russian government, while the Trump administration and many Republicans in relevant Committees in the House have suggested that the probes should instead focus on rooting out the sources of the leaks.........

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


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SBU says Savchenko's trip to "DPR" unagreed, actions illogical

on Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:32 pm
SBU says Savchenko's trip to "DPR" unagreed, actions illogical

The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) did not agree the trip of independent Verkhovna Rada deputy Nadiia Savchenko to the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" on Feb. 24 and considers her actions to be illogical.

SBU Chief of Staff Oleksandr Tkachuk told Ukrainski Novyny, Censor.NET reports.

"I don't know anyone at the SBU who Savchenko has notified of her plans. By law, she is not obliged to do that, but she should have done it for the sake of elementary security, ordinary human logic," he said.

Tkachuk recalled Savchenko was once captured three years ago in the terrorist-held territory of the Luhansk region and taken to Russia.

"We are surprised by Savchenko's confidence that nothing will happen to her in the "DPR/LPR" territory and the previous scenario won't repeat. Perhaps she knows certain facts that she tells us nothing about, which give her reason to be so sure separatists won't act like before," he said.

The SBU is going to check information about Savchenko's reasons for travelling to occupied Donetsk on Feb. 24.

Earlier, militants of the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic" released information saying that Nadiia Savchenko and Volodymyr Ruban, the head of Officers Corps NGO engaged in the hostage liberation process, arrived in the occupied part of the Donetsk region.

On Jan.10, Nadiia Savchenko published lists of Ukrainian fighters captured or missing in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and Russian-backed separatists held in government-controlled territory - 524 persons in total. On Jan. 16, Savchenko published updated lists of Ukrainian POWs and captured separatists.

The SBU had opposed the Savchenko's move even before the publication of the lists and promised to talk to her on the issue.

On Dec. 7, 2016, Savchenko secretly visited Minsk to meet with "DPR/LPR" leaders Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky. The Security Service of Ukraine said this meeting was not agreed. Savchenko was summoned for questioning to the SBU, where she confirmed the fact of negotiations.

On Dec. 12, Savchenko said the meeting was held in the "trilateral Minsk format" in the presence of Russia's representatives, as well as "DPR" and "LPR" leaders Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky.

"I saw smart and sober people who are tired of war and deceived by Russia," Savchenko shared her feelings about the meeting later in Germany.

"LPR" leader Plotnitsky said Savchenko was a "voice" of the self-proclaimed republics in the Verkhovna Rada. After that, Savchenko was excluded from Batkivshchyna and the PACE delegation.

On Dec. 29, Savchenko announced her plans to again meet with Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky: "We can meet in Luhansk, Donetsk and then in Kyiv."

ua.censor.net.ua , Original in Ukrainian / на українській мові


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Ukrainians warned about a major war with Russia

on Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:59 pm
Ukrainians warned about a major war with Russia

Ukraine, together with Europe should do everything possible to Russia felt - continued aggression would be dangerous for the Russians themselves.

In an interview with ONLINE.UA he told the ex-Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Chairman of the Russian Research Center Volodymyr Ohryzko.

"A full-scale war with Russia - is dangerous for Ukraine and for Europe, but at the same time Ukraine has to be so strong, so well armed that it was a serious deterrent to Russia.", - He stressed.

The diplomat noted that, "on the other hand, sanctions should prove to Russia that it will be very painful, because the economy will begin to fall apart, and after it falls apart and the political system that the course of the continuation of the aggression it is dangerous for Russia."

Ogryzko said that calling Russia an aggressor, "we should not just talk about it, but also appropriate to fix: in the form of resolutions of the Verkhovna Rada, the laws, the relevant steps."



I believe that the aggressor should not have a visa-free regime at the border ... And when we do not call a spade a spade, we create grounds for corruption and abuse. And the blockade, which is now going on in Donbas, I think the objective of the public reaction to the blurring of state position, "- concluded the diplomat.

Most read in an interview ONLINE.UA: There are two ways to return to the Crimea and to achieve peace in the Donbas - Volodymyr Ohryzko.

news.online.ua , Original in Russian / На русском


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Poroshenko told when he can begin the liberation of the occupied Donbas

on Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:25 pm
Poroshenko told when he can begin the liberation of the occupied Donbas

Liberation of occupied territories of Donbass if sanctions will be extended, can begin from January 1, 2018
This is representative of the President in the Verkhovna Rada Arthur Gerasimov told in the "Answers" Olga Laziness at Espreso.TV .

He answered the question of when the elections could take place in the occupied territories of Donbass.

"When we talk about elections, we even look at whether Defused and territory or not. Because this is also a very important factor. I have already said that the beginning of the liberation of the territories if the sanctions will be extended, can begin from January 1, 2018 "- said Gerasimov.

According to him, during the preparations for the elections must be resolved important questions, including how the vote will be involved immigrants, who have residence stamp - Gorlovka Khartsyzk, Torez, Snowy.

"Besides, how there will be guaranteed security of our Ukrainian media, the way will be guaranteed safety campaign, how we will defend during the movement, even when we do not have maps of minefields, etc." - said the representative of the president.

espreso.tv , Original in Ukrainian / на українській мові


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DNR militants threatened OSCE members with weapons then confiscated their drone

on Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:35 pm
DNR militants threatened OSCE members with weapons then confiscated their drone

The statement released Apakan OSCE press service .

The incident occurred around 14:30 on February 24 under the control of "DNR" Yasinovataya north of Donetsk. The patrol tried to run the SMM UAVs to monitor the possible firing of Donetsk filtering station when armed men pointed their guns at them and captured drone, then one of the men opened fire near a patrol SMM.

"Shooting at unarmed civilian observers - is not only a direct threat to the lives of men and women who are doing everything possible to bring peace to Ukraine, but also a direct challenge to the collective will of the 57 OSCE participating States and the Minsk agreements," - said Apakan.

In this regard, the head of the OSCE mission, insists that those responsible for the incident should be brought to justice and that such actions should not go unpunished.

"Threats observers CMM and all possible interference with the SMM only delaying resolution of the conflict", - he added.

OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier said on February 21 that today the international efforts to resolve the situation in eastern Ukraine have not brought tangible results. At the same time the latest developments in the Donbas indicate a real risk of escalation .
In January, it was reported that a special monitoring mission of the OSCE does not have full access to the sites of breeding Golden-forces Pervomaisk, Luhansk and Cossack village of Peter-Bogdanovka due min.

bykvu.com, Original in Russian / На русском


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Re: Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Friday 24 February. [Ukrainian sources]

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