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Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Thursday 9 March. [Ukrainian sources]

on Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:27 am
THURSDAY

Please scroll to view news items added during the day.

NEWS:
Precipitation 2%
Mild with periods of sun and clouds.  Russia does not deny it is supplying arms to attack civilians in Ukraine’s east.  Putin dismissed 10 senior security officials.  The decision to introduce interim measures to Russia can be made by the International Court of the UN by the end of April.  Lavrov required to remove a transport blockade ORDLO.  The International Court of Justice in The Hague, the Russian side has rejected accusations of MH17. US House of Representatives voted to ban cooperation with the "Rosoboronexport".

WEATHER:
Kyiv, Ukraine
10c / 50f HI | RealFeel® 51c / 43f
Precipitation 2%
Mild with periods of sun and clouds
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Pro-Russia MPs push for poll to keep Nato out of Montenegro (Financial Times)

on Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:30 am
Pro-Russia MPs push for poll to keep Nato out of Montenegro (Financial Times)

Pressure for referendum in Balkan state reflects Moscow’s strategy in Crimea

Pro-Russian politicians in Montenegro accused of attempting a failed, Kremlin-backed coup to stop the country joining Nato are planning an unauthorised referendum to rally public hostility to the alliance.

The attempt will add to fears that Russia is backing attempts to turn parts of the Balkans away from greater integration with the west, in part by supporting ideologues and militant nationalist groups.

Montenegro has become a “testing ground for a geopolitical confrontation” between Russia and the west, Milan Knezevic, an MP and one of the alleged plot leaders, told the Financial Times.

Mr Knezevic and Andrija Mandic, another opposition MP, are accused by Montenegro’s state prosecutor of forming a criminal group linked to the plot to stage terrorist attacks on election day last October.

“We will organise a popular, consultative referendum that will show most people oppose Nato,” Mr Knezevic said at his party offices, adorned with Orthodox icons and oil paintings of Marshal Georgy Zhukov, Josef Stalin’s military chief.

Instability in the country of fewer than 1m people is one of a number of security concerns in the Balkans preoccupying EU leaders as Moscow steps up its efforts to regain influence in the region. The situation is “fragile”, said Donald Tusk, president of the European Council. “The EU will remain engaged in the western Balkans and stand by its commitments.”

Montenegrin prosecutors say they have evidence that Russian “nationalistic structures” — including officials — orchestrated October’s attempt to provoke street clashes, storm the parliament and assassinate Milo Djukanovic, the former prime minister...............

Access complete text of the editorial:   (Financial Times) In English


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Moscow recognizes the decision of the International Court of Justice at the suit of Ukraine to Russia - Peskov

on Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:32 am
Moscow recognizes the decision of the International Court of Justice at the suit of Ukraine to Russia - Peskov

Today is the last day of hearings in court.

Russia recognizes the decision of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, whatever it was, as a party to the proceedings. It said a spokesman for the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, reports Tsenzor.NET with reference to Interfax-Ukraine .

"The Russian side is a party to that proceeding. That is, if Russia does not recognize the decision of the court, accordingly, it would not be a party to this consideration," - said Peskov, when asked whether the Russian Federation recognizes the judgment.

On Thursday, March 9, at the International Court of Justice at The Hague continues last day of hearings on the suit of Ukraine against Russia, a statement made by Russian delegation. Then the judge will decide.

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


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US House of Representatives voted to ban cooperation with the "Rosoboronexport"

on Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:36 am
US House of Representatives voted to ban cooperation with the "Rosoboronexport"

US House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill to finance military expenditures in the amount of 578 billion dollars.

As Tsenzor.NET with reference to the Voice of America, a document that will allow US forces to operate until the end of September, contains wording that prohibits cooperation with the "Rosoboronexport" - a leading Russian company engaged in the arms trade.

The bill was approved on Wednesday 371 votes "for" with 48 votes "against" and now will go on trial in the Senate.

Administration Donald Trump is preparing amendments to the bill, which provides for the cost of 30 billion dollars. The event will serve as a first contribution to the promises the president to restore "exhausted", he said, the armed forces.

The bill includes expenses amounting to 516 billion dollars to finance the basic needs of the military - from the procurement of bombs and bullets to military training. About 62 billion allocated to finance ongoing military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries.

"None of these funds can not be used for the minister of defense contracts from the" Rosoboronexport "," - noted in the document.

It also states that the ban should operate as long as the Russian corporation does not stop "supply of lethal military equipment Syria, and until Russian forces did not leave the Crimea."

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


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The International Court of Justice in The Hague, the Russian side has rejected accusations of MH17

on Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:39 am
The International Court of Justice in The Hague, the Russian side has rejected accusations of MH17

Also, the Russian side during the meeting of the International Court of Justice in The Hague called on Ukraine to articulate their claims in the case of whipping MH17.

The representative of the Russian side rejected accusations of supplying systems "BUK", which was shot down aircraft flight MH17, reports Tsenzor.NET referring to "112 Ukraine". It is on the International Court of Justice in The Hague said the lawyer Samuel Wordsworth.

"There are no grounds for evidence to seriously accuse Russia supplied arms, knowing the intent. Anyone who may have supplied the weapons, acted for the purpose of defense against military attacks by the Ukrainian air force," - said Vordsvord.

"There should be awareness that the" Buk "it comes to attacks on civilian aircraft. But Ukraine argues only that it was made from, and nothing more," - said he.

Also, the Russian side during the meeting of the International Court of Justice in The Hague called on Ukraine to articulate their claims in the case of shooting down a Boeing MH17:

"Ukraine should articulate their claims to the Russian Federation of whipping Boeing MH17," - said the representative of the Russian side.

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


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Lavrov required to remove a transport blockade ORDLO. VIDEO

on Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:43 am
Lavrov required to remove a transport blockade ORDLO. VIDEO

Lavrov said that the blockade was organized by "nationalist battalions."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called unacceptable the transport blockade of Donbass, reports Tsenzor.NET with reference to the Mirror of the Week .



"The blockade of Donbass, which satisfied the nationalist battalions unacceptable. We call on the Ukrainian authorities to use all the levers to stop this blockade," - Lavrov said after talks with his German counterpart, Sigmar Gabriel in Moscow.

As reported, Veterans and ATO MPs January 25 blocked the railway branch Lugansk-Lysychansk Popasna the section Mining-Gold to cease trade with the occupied territories. Subsequently blocked the other rail crossings with ORDLO.

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


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The decision to introduce interim measures to Russia can be made by the International Court of the UN by the end of April

on Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:45 am
The decision to introduce interim measures to Russia can be made by the International Court of the UN by the end of April

Deputy Foreign Minister Alain Zerkal predicts that the decision to introduce interim measures to the International Court of the United Nations (UN) will make the end of April.

She told reporters, reports Tsenzor.NET with reference to "Ukrainian News".



"It (the decision) we expect to be in April for sure" - said the mirror.

She did not predict what decision the court decides - in favor of Ukraine or not, but expressed hope that the decision will be fair.

According to the deputy minister, the whole world now holds the position of Ukraine.

She added that Russia must answer for their actions, and the International Court of Justice is the only authority that can bring Russia to account.

As reported, January 16, 2017 Ukraine filed a lawsuit in the International Court of Justice for bringing Russia accountable for acts of terrorism and illegal discrimination during its aggression against Ukraine. The lawsuit filed under the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The hearing in the International Court of Justice in The Hague (Netherlands) at the suit of Ukraine to bring to responsibility for acts of terrorism and discrimination during its aggression against Ukraine will be held on 6-9 March 2017. Ukraine will present arguments 6 and March 8, Russia - 7 and 9 March. The lawsuit by 45 pages published on the website of the court.

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


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Putin dismissed 10 senior security officials

on Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:47 am
Putin dismissed 10 senior security officials

Russian President Vladimir Putin took office with 10 security officials, senior officials, including members of the Ministry of Interior (MOI), the Investigative Committee (IC), Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN).

As the Tsenzor.NET , reported a decree published in the official legal information portal of the Russian Federation.

In particular, their jobs lost senior investigator for particularly important cases at the head of TFR Alexander Filin, the head of the (GU) MVD in the Samara region Sergey Solodovnikov and head of Research Affairs in the Nizhny Novgorod region Ivan Shayev.

Putin also dismissed the prosecutor's office of the Jewish Autonomous Lydia Diakonov and Chuvash prosecutor Sergei Legostaev.

The reasons for dismissal are not reported.

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


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Russia does not deny it is supplying arms to attack civilians in Ukraine’s east, - Ukraine’s representative in ICJ

on Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:50 am
Russia does not deny it is supplying arms to attack civilians in Ukraine’s east, - Ukraine’s representative in ICJ

The Russian side does not deny in the U.N. International Court of Justice that it is delivering lethal weapons to the eastern Ukraine as it obviously does not consider this to be a violation of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.

As reported by Censor.NET citing Ukrinform, Ukraine's representative in the UN International Court of Justice Harold Hongju Koh said Wednesday as he was delivering objections to the Russia's position voiced yesterday at the hearing of the claim Ukraine had filed against Russia.

According to the Professor of International Law at Yale Law School, Russia's representative Samuel Wordsworth has never denied in court the important fact that Russia is supplying lethal weapons to the armed groups committing attacks on civilians in eastern Ukraine.

Assessing Russia's explanation of "non-involvement" in the financing of terrorism in eastern Ukraine, Mr. Koh described the defendant's position as 'legal gymnastics'.

On Jan. 16, 2017, Ukraine filed a lawsuit at the International Court of Justice to hold Russian Federation accountable for acts of terrorism and discrimination in the course of its illegal aggression against Ukraine. The lawsuit is based on the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

The hearing is scheduled to take place from March 6 to 9 inclusively. Ukraine presented its position on March 6, Russia - on March 7. On March 8-9, both sides will present their objections to each other's positions.

Earlier, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko stated: "Ukraine will be presenting evidence of Russia's crimes at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The truth is stronger than weapons!" One day into the hearing, Poroshenko noted: "We expect rulings that will cut the supply of weapons to the occupied territory and stop reprisals the ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars are facing."

According to Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, Ukraine's main goal in The Hague is to protect the life and rights of the Ukrainians. Ukraine had held some 40 meetings with the Russian Federation before filing a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice.

The full text of the lawsuit is published on ICJ's official website.

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


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Police detains attackers of feminist rally held in downtown Kyiv. PHOTOS+VIDEO

on Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:03 am
Police detains attackers of feminist rally held in downtown Kyiv. PHOTOS+VIDEO

A feminist rally against “all forms of institutional abuse offered in state-run facilities from maternity homes to military enlistment offices” was held in downtown Kyiv March 8.

As reported by a correspondent for Censor.NET from the scene, the rally participants expressed their opinion on the "diversity and omnipresence of the institutional abuse".

"It manifests itself in reproductive abuse - enforcement to give birth, condemnation of being childfree, anti-abortion campaigns, cruelty in maternity hospitals, calls to sterilize transgender community members, and unauthorized surgical "sex adjustments" of intersex people," the rally organizers wrote on Facebook.



The protesters also dissatisfied with "the new state holiday policy that seeks to replace the International Women's Day by a Family Day.

Amnesty International Ukraine Director Oksana Pokalchuk said before the rally that it was critical for Ukraine to ratify the Istanbul Convention.

"The Convention obliges the governments to constantly monitor all forms of violence, imposes a duty on the state to prevent domestic violence and create a system of comprehensive and immediate assistance to victims of domestic violence, and ensures that those responsible are brought to justice," she said.

Similar rallies are planned to be held in Lviv, Kharkiv, Kherson and other major cities of Ukraine.








Kyiv's rally was reportedly not going smoothly. Several persons tried to swill out the rally participants with green paint and milk. According to Censor.NET correspondent, four attackers were detained.





MANY other photos at link click below
ua.censor.net.ua, Original in Ukrainian / на українській мові


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EU Committee approved visa-free travel for Ukrainian citizens

on Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:07 am
EU Committee approved visa-free travel for Ukrainian citizens

On March 9, the EU's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs voted in favor of visa liberalization for Ukraine.

This was announced by RFE/RL correspondent in Brussels Rikard Jozwiak in his Twitter, Censor.NET reports.



On April 5, the visa lib for Ukraine will be put on vote by the European Parliament. On May 11 it is to be considered by the EU Council. If approved, then starting June 11, citizens of Ukraine will no longer need visas for short-term travel to the EU.

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


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Russia to send less aid convoys to Donbas, - Russian Emergency Ministry

on Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:40 pm
Russia to send less aid convoys to Donbas, - Russian Emergency Ministry

Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations is going to half the number of the so-called "humanitarian convoys" it sends to the occupied Donbas.

Censor.NET reports citing RIA Novosti.

"Starting from April, there will be only one convoy per month, and not two, as usual," said Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation Vladimir Artamonov.

According to him, this is due to "the satisfaction of the needs in Ukraine's southeast. Basically, these are food products and medications."

The occupiers are planning to send two more "humanitarian convoys" on March 16 and 23.

As previously reported, Putin's 61st convoy arrived in the Donbas on Feb. 28.

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


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US House of Representatives approves allocation of $150M in defense aid to Ukraine

on Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:42 pm
US House of Representatives approves allocation of $150M in defense aid to Ukraine

The lower chamber of the U.S. Congress has supported the allocation of $150 million for Ukraine's security needs.

Censor.NET reports referring to the U.S. Congress official website.

The allocation of funds is stipulated by the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2017 that was adopted by a majority vote of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 8. The document was supported by 371 lawmakers, with 48 being against it.

According to the document, "the funds shall be available to the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, to provide assistance, including training; equipment; lethal weapons of a defensive nature; logistics support, supplies and services; sustainment; and intelligence support to the military and national security forces of Ukraine."

In total, the U.S. 2017 defense budget accounts for 578 billion dollars. The act is yet to be endorsed by the U.S. Senate.

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"Thank you, my toy," - Ukrainian fighter kisses his AK after elimination of Russian sniper. PHOTO

on Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:47 pm
"Thank you, my toy," - Ukrainian fighter kisses his AK after elimination of Russian sniper. PHOTO

An enemy sniper, who turned out to be a Russian mercenary, was destroyed in combat in the Donbas on March 9.

Censor.NET reports quoting journalist Andrii Tsapliienko as saying on Facebook.

"'Thank you, my toy, for the good job,' fighter with call sign Zver (beast) kisses his AK. Tonight he had a duel with an enemy sniper. Zver, an ordinary contract soldier, was faster and more accurate. This saved his life. The enemy, a thirty-three-year-old Russian, did not survive, although Ukrainian fighters tried to give first aid after taking him along with documents from no man's land. I regret that. The Hague need witnesses," the journalist wrote.



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


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Russia lawyer in ICJ: Buk launcher was intended to repel armed strikes by Ukraine's military aircraft

on Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:44 pm
Russia lawyer in ICJ: Buk launcher was intended to repel armed strikes by Ukraine's military aircraft

The Buk missile system, supplied to Donbas militants and used to shoot down passenger flight MH17, was intended to strengthen the air defense of the breakaway "Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics."

Censor.NET reports citing Australia's ABC quoting London lawyer Samuel Wordsworth who defends Russia against Ukraine in the International Court of Justice.

Wordsworth did not run the normal Kremlin defense. Instead he said there was no evidence of intent to provide weapons to shoot down a civilian aircraft.

"There is no evidence before the court," he told the judges, "plausible or otherwise, that Russia provided weaponry to any party with the intent or knowledge that such weaponry be used to shoot down civilian aircraft."

"Whoever was allegedly supplying this Buk was acting in response to a series of armed strikes by Ukraine's military aircraft," Wordsworth stressed, adding that Ukraine's prosecution allegedly lacks data about how the Buk could possibly be used.

He also noted that Ukraine had not provided any fundamental evidence of Russia supplying weapons to militants in the east of the country.

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


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Germany’s Gabriel to Russia’s Lavrov: Changing boundaries in Europe’s heart unacceptable

on Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:52 pm
Germany’s Gabriel to Russia’s Lavrov: Changing boundaries in Europe’s heart unacceptable

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel stresses that inability of the West and Russia to resolve Ukraine conflict lies in the core of turmoil between them.

He said at a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, Censor.NET reports citing UNIAN.

According to German top diplomat, EU is aware of Russia's stance regarding NATO's actions in its immediate vicinity, but with all due respect to Russia's position, altering boundaries in the heart of Europe is unacceptable. He added that the ongoing talks were aimed at solving this crisis.

Read more: Russia's Lavrov demands lifting trade embargo on self-proclaimed "DNR"/"LNR"

German foreign minister believes there is no other way out of it but to fulfill all entries of the Minsk agreements. Gabriel also stressed that the essence of turmoil between Russia and the West was that the parties were unable to approach the solution of the conflict in Ukraine's eastern.

He said that Europe was concerned about this conflict expecting that Russia was also interested in solving it by means of the Minsk agreements as a single option.

However, German diplomat said his experience told him that it was vital to realize own interests and motives, but in order to advance in a global context, it was necessary to understand Russia's aspirations as well.

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


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