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Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Friday 31 March. [Ukrainian sources]

on Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:48 pm
FRIDAY

Please scroll to view news items added during the day.

NEWS:
Signal Kremlin, Tillerson made an important statement about the aggression of Russia against Ukraine.  Obama can be satisfied: the Putin administration action after Easter Trump.  Top Regional Security Officer Killed In Ukraine's Troubled Donetsk Region.  Michael Fallon and James Mattis strike hawkish tone on Russia.  Restive young Russians challenge Vladimir Putin.

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Restive young Russians challenge Vladimir Putin (Financial Times) 

on Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:01 pm
Restive young Russians challenge Vladimir Putin (Financial Times) 

When Alexei Navalny entered the courtroom on Thursday, the Russian opposition politician was presented like a criminal: in handcuffs and chained to a beefy police officer.

The court was hearing his appeal against a minor administrative sentence — the sort of appearance that has become almost routine for the anti-corruption activist. Over the past six years he has faced three criminal trials for what he says are trumped-up charges and repeated arrests for organising demonstrations.

But for the Kremlin, Mr Navalny is quickly becoming a considerably more dangerous figure. Last Sunday, tens of thousands heeded his call to protest against corruption, a surprise display of huge dissent against the regime of President Vladimir Putin, which has spent so much of the past year sowing intrigue abroad rather than facing challenges at home.

These were the largest demonstrations in Russia in five years. It was also the first time during Mr Putin’s 17 years in power that protests reached across the colossal country from its European enclave of Kaliningrad to the Pacific port of Vladivostok. In the process, they have shattered the Kremlin’s confidence that it will turn presidential elections early next year into a triumphant endorsement of Mr Putin’s rule.

“I was there and it was so very cool,” says Marina Andreeva, a 21-year-old journalism student who participated in the rally in St Petersburg, her first demonstration. “It felt great to stand together with so many like-minded people,” she adds. “I went to show that I have a voice and I want answers.”.................

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


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Michael Fallon and James Mattis strike hawkish tone on Russia (Financial Times) 

on Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:07 pm
Michael Fallon and James Mattis strike hawkish tone on Russia (Financial Times) 

UK and US defense ministers accuse Moscow of a global ‘pattern of interference’

The UK defence secretary Michael Fallon and his US counterpart James Mattis have struck a hawkish tone on Russia, accusing Vladimir Putin’s government of a “pattern of interference” around the world.

Mr Fallon said on Friday that there could not be “any return to business as usual” with Moscow, while Mr Mattis said President Donald Trump’s administration had “very modest expectations” of the potential for co-operation.

“Right now Russia is choosing to be a strategic competitor,” said Mr Mattis, accusing Moscow of “mucking around” in democratic elections. He also expressed “concern” about links between Moscow and the Taliban, while declining to detail what they might entail.

The comments, made after a meeting between the two officials in London, came amid lingering questions about contact between some members of Mr Trump’s presidential campaign team and Russian officials.

The UK government has consistently taken a hard line on Russian actions in Ukraine, Syria and elsewhere. Boris Johnson is planning to visit Moscow, the first trip there by a British foreign secretary in five years, although he has promised not to soften his line on Syria and other issues.

At a Nato meeting in Brussels on Friday, Mr Johnson downplayed a scenario in which the UK would limit its security co-operation with the EU after Brexit, saying “the UK’s commitment to the defence and security of Europe is unconditional”.....................

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


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Signal Kremlin, Tillerson made an important statement about the aggression of Russia against Ukraine

on Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:34 pm
Signal Kremlin, Tillerson made an important statement about the aggression of Russia against Ukraine

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that he discussed with Allies Russian aggression in Ukraine, which was the signal for a tougher stance Administration Donald Trump towards Moscow.

Reported i24News .

"We want to conduct a discussion about the position of NATO in Europe, particularly in Eastern Europe in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine in other places," - said US Secretary of State.

Tillerson arrived in Brussels on March 31 to promote Trump demands to increase defense spending among NATO members.

As reported by "Apostrophe", March 30 in Brussels, held talks between NATO and Russia , which discussed the situation in the Donbass.

apostrophe.ua , Original in Ukrainian / на українській мові


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UEFA will not allow Ukraine and Russia meet in the League of Nations

on Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:37 pm
UEFA will not allow Ukraine and Russia meet in the League of Nations

Between Ukraine and Russia will not play against each other in the League of Nations UEFA official website of UEFA.

Despite the fact that Ukraine and Russia will likely find themselves in Division B, they are diluted to different groups. Similarly, UEFA will do in relation to national teams of Armenia and Azerbaijan are likely to fall in Division C.

"Russia and Ukraine may get into a league, but not in the same group. The same applies to Armenia and Azerbaijan, if the current decision of the Executive Committee of UEFA still will operate during the draw" - said the official website of UEFA .

Note that the composition of the division officially be announced after European qualification in November 2017.

UEFA League of Nations, which aims to replace the friendly matches, starting in September 2018.

Previously, "Apostrophe" reported that became known format UEFA League of Nations .

apostrophe.ua, Original in Ukrainian / на українській мові


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Daily Vertical By Brian Whitmore (VIDEO report): What Will Be Putin's New 'Crimea Drug'?

on Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:55 pm
Daily Vertical By Brian Whitmore (VIDEO report): What Will Be Putin's New 'Crimea Drug'?



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Secretary of State Tillerson says US sanctions to remain until Moscow reverses actions that triggered them

on Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:03 pm
Secretary of State Tillerson says US sanctions to remain until Moscow reverses actions that triggered them

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reaffirmed steadfast American and NATO support for Ukraine as he was delivering his speech at NATO-Ukraine Council meeting on Friday.

Censor.NET reports citing the press service of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.

"Three years ago, Russias aggression against Ukraine shook the very foundations of security and stability in Europe. Today, Russias ongoing hostility and occupation is compromising our shared vision of a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace.

"American and NATO support for Ukraine remains steadfast. As we have repeated at every Ministerial and Summit since Russia launched its campaign of aggression against Ukraine, NATO Allies stand firm in our support of Ukraines sovereignty and territorial integrity. We do not, and will not, accept Russian efforts to change the borders of territory of Ukraine.

"We thank Germany and France for their determination to find a diplomatic solution to the ongoing crisis in Eastern Ukraine under the Normandy format. We will continue to support their work to accelerate the implementation of the Minsk agreements. NATO solidarity is crucial to finding a political solution to this conflict.

"We will continue to hold Russia accountable to its Minsk commitments. The United States sanctions will remain until Moscow reverses the actions that triggered our sanctions.

"We note with alarm the escalating violence along the line of contact and the repeated targeting of civilian infrastructure by Russia-led separatist forces, which poses an elevated risk of humanitarian disaster.

"We call on Russia to exercise its influence over the separatists to put a stop to the violence, end the campaign of attacks and intimidation against OSCE monitors, and facilitate the access they need to do their job.

"The OSCE must be able to fulfill its mandate which included monitoring throughout the conflict zone and to the international border. And Russia must understand there is no basis to move forward on the political aspects of the Minsk agreements until there is visible, verifiable, and irreversible improvement IN the security situation.

"Crimea-related sanctions must remain in place until Russia returns control of the peninsula to Ukraine.

"Even in the face of Russias aggression, Ukraine has accomplished a great deal domestically. We applaud recent reform successes, including anti-corruption efforts and pursuing necessary reforms to meet IMF conditionality.

"The United States continues to urge Ukraine to redouble its efforts to implement challenging reforms, including uprooting corruption, increasing transparency in the judicial system, strengthening the banking sector, and pursuing corporate governance reform and the privatization of state-owned enterprises. We must continue to support Ukraine on its reform path.

"It serves no purpose for Ukraine to fight for its body in Donbas if it loses its soul to corruption. Anti-corruption institutions must be supported, resourced, and defended.

"Even in the face of ongoing Russian aggression, Ukraine is committed to an ambitious effort to reform and modernize its armed forces according to NATO standards by 2020.

"While Russian aggression makes reforms more challenging, it also renders them more urgent.

"We applaud the goals set out in the Strategic Defense Bulletin that President Poreshenko presented to Allies in Warsaw, and we look forward to its full implementation.

"The United States will continue to support Ukraine in this effort. Since the start of the crisis, the United States has committed over $600 million dollars in security assistance.

"In addition to our bilateral contributions, the United States committed $1.3 million to the Partnership for Peace Trust Fund on Small Arms and Light Weapons, and also contributed to the NATO-Ukraine Trust Fund on Countering Improvised Explosive Devises.

"Russian aggression in Ukraine has not abated. This meeting is a clear demonstration of NATOs political support for Ukraine. I encourage you to make that support tangible by maintaining solidarity on sanctions, and by contributing individually to NATO-Ukraine Trust Funds.

"Together we will stand by Ukraine as it defends its sovereign territory, strengthens its economy, and continues to implement reforms. As President Trump has said, every country has the right to chart its own future, and we must help the people of Ukraine maintain that sacred right," Tillerson said.

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


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"There is considerable evidence that it was Russia," - Kaczynski about attack on Polish consulate in Lutsk

on Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:14 pm
"There is considerable evidence that it was Russia," - Kaczynski about attack on Polish consulate in Lutsk

Russia was likely behind the terrorist attack on the Consulate General of Poland in Lutsk.

This opinion was expressed by Law and Justice (PiS) party leader Jaroslav Kaczynski on air of tvn24 TV channel, Censor.NET reports citing Ukrinform.

"Russia is likely to be behind this. There is considerable evidence while Ukrainians also point this out. The assumption that it was a Russian special operation is highly plausible. It is clear that another country has a hand in both Polish and Ukrainian organizations that may commit actions aimed at exacerbating the Ukrainian-Polish relations," Kaczynski said.

The PiS leader suggested that the terrorist attack in Lutsk and the rally in Hriada village near the Polish border allegedly held by Poles who were actually hired protesters were parts of the same operation. Kaczynski stressed that it was necessary to demand that the Ukrainian side provided enhanced protection of the Polish diplomatic and consular missions and monuments. "We must do our best to prevent provocations and deterioration of the situation," the Polish politician said.

As previously reported, the building of the Consulate General of Poland in Lutsk was attacked on the night of March 29. Deputy Consul Krzysztof Sawicki said it was a terrorist attack. Fragments of an RPG grenade were found at the scene. Ukraine's Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin called the incident "a vile provocation " and said the criminals must be punished. President of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance Volodymyr Viatrovych said the provocations against Polish-Ukrainian relationship are entering a new, much more dangerous phase.

Foreign Ministry of Poland has summoned Ukraine's Ambassador Andrii Deshchytsia in connection with the incident in Lutsk and is to send a protest note to Kyiv. Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) said the Consulate General of Poland in Lutsk came under grenade launcher fire. A terrorist attack is named among the scenarios behind the incident. SBU said the Russian Federation is the only actor interested in provocations against Poland in Ukraine.

In a phone call between President Poroshenko and Andrzej Duda, the former offered engaging Polish investigators to further the establishment of those behind the incident.

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


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In the US Congress made a bill on new sanctions against Russia

on Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:33 pm
In the US Congress made a bill on new sanctions against Russia



The bill is currently under discussion at the first

In the US Congress introduced a bill on the introduction of new anti-Russian sanctions. This was reported on the website of the congress.

The document provides for sanctions "in response to cyber threats by the government of the Russian Federation and other aggressive actions of the Russian Federation."

The document submitted by Senator Republican Alex Mooney.

The bill is currently in the first stage of discussion.

Earlier it was reported that the US will leave in place sanctions against Russia until Moscow does not comply with the conditions of the Minsk agreements, and until the return Crimea to Ukraine. This was stated by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who takes part in a meeting of foreign ministers of NATO member states in Brussels.

glavcom.ua , Original in Ukrainian / на українській мові


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EPP Congress supported the "Marshall Plan for Ukraine"

on Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:45 pm
EPP Congress supported the "Marshall Plan for Ukraine"

EPP Congress passed a resolution to develop a long-term plan to support Ukraine
Told to Facebook President Petro Poroshenko


"I sincerely thank the EPP family for the approval of the initiative of our Lithuanian partners are very important resolution on the development of long-term plan to support Ukraine, the so-called '' Marshall Plan for Ukraine," - wrote Poroshenko.

According to Poroshenko, the adoption of the resolution imply endorsement and support of the European integration course of Ukraine.

"The resolution - is proof of the determination influential political family in Europe in support of our country on the path of reform and seek all possible means to help Ukraine achieve compliance with the Copenhagen criteria for EU membership according to Art. 49 of the EC Treaty. In other words, the EPP recognized European perspective Ukraine ", - said the president.



Translation: "Great news from Malta on my visit to participate in the Congress of the European people's party.

Thank you very much family yenp for approval by the initiative of our lithuanian partners very important resolutions about developing dovhostrokovoho plan to support Ukraine, so-called "Marshall plan for Ukraine"!

http://malta2017.epp.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/EPP-Emergency-Resolution-Nr.-41.pdf

This resolution is proof determination nayvplyvovishoyi political families of Europe to our state on the path of reform and prahnenni possible resources to help Ukraine implement her yevrointehratsiyni ambitions and achieve kopenhahensʹkym criteria matching funds according to article 49 treaty on European Union. In other words, the European people's party of recognised European perspective of Ukraine and ready in a certain way to help us achieve this goal. Stratehichnoyi

Looking forward to the further steps on the European partners with the idea of creating a "Marshall plan for Ukraine" and I'll be ready to discuss this question during the following contacts with lead institutions and leaders in EU member.

I'm also thankful for chitke blame from the side of the European people's party tryvayuchoyi Russian aggression against Ukraine. Admire your a verified in resolutions tverdu support independence, sovereignty and integrity of our battalion of the state of the European people's party, as well as dedication keep politics nevyznannya trying to Crimea and consumed by sanktsiynoho pressure on Russia to complete the agreements and restore control over Ukraine Ukraine-includes public Boundary.

Fully share a definite obumovlenistʹ further normalize relations between the European Union and Russia with prypynennyam Russian aggression against Ukraine.

How I secretly during his performance at the Congress, " without the peace and stability in Ukraine can't go language about safe and protsvitayuche vision of Europe. We should combine our efforts for the return of donbas in Ukraine and Crimea and the exile of the Russian ahresora from Ukraine "."

espreso.tv , Original in Ukrainian / на українській мові


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What do Russian-Americans think of President Trump?

on Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:22 pm
What do Russian-Americans think of President Trump?



Brighton Beach, N.Y., home to one of the largest Russian-American communities, is known as “Little Russia.” What do local residents think of President Trump and his alleged ties to Vladimir Putin?

At Gourmanoff, a bustling market along Brighton Beach’s main drag, Yahoo News and Finance Anchor Bianna Golodryga finds a mixed (grocery) bag.

“We love him,” says Kzenia. “Because my parents are still in Russia, and we do think that he’s going to be better for the U.S.”

“He obviously hasn’t delivered on anything he’s promised so far, everything has been more of a show than actual governing,” Michael tells Golodryga.

And Russian president Vladimir Putin?

“He’s very smart,” says Lina. “He’s doing what he’s supposed to do.”

What about accusations that Putin has murdered journalists and stifled democracy?

Golodryga asks Alan, a lawyer. “I can only quote our president, who had an interview with Fox News, and when he was asked about Putin, he said that we are not so innocent either,” he responds.....................

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A source close to the first persons of Putin's entourage, says that Putin is terminally ill

on Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:58 pm
A source close to the first persons of Putin's entourage, says that Putin is terminally ill

Public activist lustration committee Carl Voloh said that Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle reportedly considering various options for a change of leader.

Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly terminally ill and his entourage looking for a replacement. This was said activists of the lustration committee Carl Voloh on his Facebook page, citing a source close to the Kremlin.
However, he warned that he had received the information from a person "who has taken his promise not to call," and stressed that has no way to verify it .

" How much would I have distanced himself from Zaporebrika, it is still up to me periodically comes Sometimes - as absolutely incredible insider So:., A source close to the first persons of Putin's entourage, says that Putin is terminally ill, and his entourage considers different. options, the leader of "change - he said.

According Volokha sources, among the options checked even opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

"I do not have any opportunity to verify this info It may be bullshit Although, frankly, I do not really understand why should they play me -... I'm too insignificant figure But some plausible explanation as to why this information is thrown due to Russians abroad, when trace the source is almost impossible, I myself built, "- he concluded.

Rumors of Putin's illness began to appear in the media in March 2015. Since March 6, the President of the Russian Federation ceased to appear in public. March 11 it became known that he had postponed his visit to Kazakhstan, to be held March 12-13. According to Reuters, this was due to the disease.

The Kremlin denied this information and assured that with Putin's health, "all right." President appeared in public only on March 16 .

Putin's disappearance gave rise to a lot of speculation in the media and social networks .

gordonua.com, Original in Russian / На русском


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Tillerson: Russian aggression is not weakened in Ukraine

on Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:01 pm
Tillerson: Russian aggression is not weakened in Ukraine

Anti-Russian US sanctions will remain in place until the official Moscow does not fulfill all the conditions of the Minsk agreements and does not return Ukraine, Crimea, said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

United States upheld the sanctions against Russia to the fulfillment of the Minsk Agreement and the return of the Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine, US Secretary of State said Rex Tillerson during a meeting of heads of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the countries - members of NATO, which took place in Brussels.


Tillerson statement published on the official website of the US State Department.

"We will continue to call on Russia to fulfill the Minsk obligations. The US sanctions will remain as long as Moscow does not cancel the action that caused our sanctions. We note with concern the escalation of violence along the line of contact and the repeated attacks on civilian infrastructure supported Russian separatist forces, which creates an increased risk of humanitarian catastrophe. We urge the Russian influence on the separatists to end the violence, stop the campaign of attacks and intimidation against the OSCE and observers oble chit them access to perform their work ", - said Tillerson.

The support of the US and NATO for Ukraine remain unchanged, he said.

"Russian aggression in Ukraine has not abated. This meeting is a clear demonstration of political support for NATO membership for Ukraine," - US Secretary of State said.
Tillerson also welcomed the success of reforms in Ukraine and encouraged the Ukrainian authorities to "redouble their efforts" in their conduct.

"We must continue to support Ukraine on the path of reforms", - he said.

With regard to Russia were involved economic sanctions by the United States, the European Union and some other countries in the spring of 2014, after Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea and the beginning of military aggression in eastern Ukraine. Sanctions package extends and tightened several times.
Today it became known that the US Congress introduced a bill on the new anti-Russian sanctions .

gordonua.com , Original in Russian / На русском


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