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Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Friday 28 April. [Ukrainian sources]

on Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:13 am
FRIDAY

Please scroll to view news items added during the day.

NEWS:
Russia seeks Yatseniuk's arrest and extradition on charges of mass murder.  Russian General Staff claims US capable of carrying out covert nuclear missile strike against Russia.  MOGHERINI GOES TO MOSCOW BUT IS MISSING IN ACTION IN UKRAINE.  Macron's camp bans Russian propaganda media from its events.  People identifying themselves as Right Sector, Svoboda members prevented decoration of People’s Friendship Arch in downtown Kyiv.

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Russia seeks Yatseniuk's arrest and extradition on charges of mass murder

on Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:16 am
Russia seeks Yatseniuk's arrest and extradition on charges of mass murder

Ukraine's Interior Ministry has obtained a copy of a letter by Russia's law enforcement agencies to the Interpol General Secretariat in Lyon with a request to declare Ukrainian politician Arsenii Yatseniuk wanted for the purpose of his arrest and further extradition to Russia.

Censor.NET reports citing the Interior Ministry press service.

The request does not mean Yatseniuk has been formally put on the international wanted list and is subject to examination for compliance with the Charter and the Rules of the organization.

Russia suspects Yatseniuk of killing 30 and wounding 13 Russian servicemen with a Kalashnikov assault rifle during fighting in the city of Grozny, Chechnya, between Dec. 31, 1994 and Jan. 2, 1995, according to the statement.

On April 20, 2017, Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov sent an official letter to Secretary General of Interpol Jürgen Stock. The minister outlined well-known, conclusive facts and arguments proving the obvious inconsistency of accusations against Yatseniuk. He offered reassurance Yatseniuk has never been to Chechnya, and lived, studied and worked in Ukraine in the period specified by Russian investigators.

According to Avakov, Russia's legal stance is based on evidence obtained under torture from Ukrainian citizens illegally sentenced in the Russian Federation. Such an assessment of Russia's actions is the official public position of the Ukrainian state, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine.

The latter has formally appealed to all democratic countries and the European Court of Human Rights with a demand to refrain from recognizing decisions taken by the Russian authorities and courts regarding A. Yatseniuk.

The Interior Ministry hopes that Interpol will follow its own rules, take into account the position of Ukraine and prohibit the use of Interpol's possibilities and tools for Yatseniuk's further political persecution by the Russian side.

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


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Russian General Staff claims US capable of carrying out covert nuclear missile strike against Russia

on Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:21 am
Russian General Staff claims US capable of carrying out covert nuclear missile strike against Russia

Senior Officials of the Russian General Staff believe that capabilities of the U.S. Armed Forces allow intercepting Russian ballistic missiles, which capabilities will only grow in the future.

As reported by Censor.NET citing Newsru.com, the Russian General Staff officials also believe the U.S. is capable of carrying out covert nuclear missile strike against Russia.

"The U.S. missile shield is already capable of intercepting Russian and Chinese missiles and poses a threat to the strategic nuclear forces of Russia and China. These capabilities will continue to grow in the future," Interfax quoted First Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff's Main Operational Directorate Lieutenant-General Viktor Poznikhir as saying.

"The presence of U.S. missile defense bases in Europe, missile defense vessels in seas and oceans close to Russia creates a powerful covert strike component for conducting a sudden nuclear missile strike against the Russian Federation," he said at MCIS-2017 international security conference in Moscow.

Another speaker at the same conference Sergey Yagolnikov, who heads the Central Research Institute of the Aerospace Defense Forces of the Russian Defense Ministry, was equally pessimistic in his assessments. He actually confirmed the statement of Poznikhir and added that the U.S. missile defense system is capable of shooting down Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles starting from the 150th second of flight.

"It takes them 20 seconds to detect the launch, another 20 seconds for authorization, pre-launch preparation will take 45 seconds. Therefore, it is possible to destroy an intercontinental ballistic missile just 150 seconds after it was launched," Yagolnikov explained.

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


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Mogherini goes to Moscow but skips Ukraine

on Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:35 am
Mogherini goes to Moscow but skips Ukraine

The European Union is absent from diplomatic efforts to resolve the war in eastern Ukraine but obsessed with a misguided even-handedness.
Midway into her term, Federica Mogherini found herself in Moscow. The high representative had wanted to go to Moscow for some time to establish a dialogue with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. But there had been little enthusiasm for this idea among member states because of frosty relations with Russia and, in particular, Russia’s continued failure to deliver on the Minsk agreements. Scepticism about the high representative going to Moscow stemmed from a fear that such a visit could be interpreted – or spun – as a drive to normalise relations with Russia.

Ultimately, however, the visit only highlighted the minor role played by the high representative in dealing with the conflict in Ukraine. It is true that European Union member states have taken a firm stance against Russia’s action in Ukraine by imposing sanctions and taking other restrictive measures. The European Commission and a few member states have also provided substantial assistance for reform in Ukraine. Germany and France have taken it upon themselves to lead the diplomatic efforts on Ukraine. But the EU as such is not part of the diplomatic negotiations, nor has it used any crisis-management mechanisms to deal with the conflict.

The EU is not part of the Normandy Format or the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk. Neither is the EU present on the ground in the Donbas. The EU launched a Common Security and Defence Policy mission – the Ukraine Assistance Mission – in late 2014 to advise on reforming Ukraine’s security sector, but this mission has been blocked from having a role in the east. Instead, the OSCE has been given the lead in monitoring the security situation in the Donbas.

The EU’s absence from resolving this conflict stands in stark contrast to its role in dealing with the conflict between Russia and Georgia following the war in 2008. In that crisis, an EU special representative was appointed to facilitate the talks between the parties, and a ‘non-recognition and engagement policy’ was developed to deal with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The EU also deployed a CSDP mission to Georgia that monitors the situation and facilitates the resolution of incidents with Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

In Ukraine, the EU has done none of this. It has also been shy in taking positions on the Minsk agreements – besides calling for their implementation. These agreements are ambiguous, and Moscow and Kyiv interpret key provisions in different and incompatible ways. But the EU has been largely agnostic on how it sees the implementation of the agreements, such as the sequencing of security and political provisions, and key steps, such as the holding of elections in the Donbas. The EU has largely outsourced the task of interpretation to Germany and France but in doing so has diminished its own role and leverage vis-à-vis the parties to the conflict.

While it is hard to argue with calls for de-escalation, this even-handedness is misguided, since it draws equivalence between the sides when it is Ukraine that is fighting a defensive war against an external aggressor and its local proxies. By not naming Russia but instead calling on “all sides”, the EU tacitly accepts the Russian narrative that it is not a party to the conflict. This messaging is incongruous with the underlying rationale of the sanctions, namely that it is Russia that violated Ukraine’s territorial integrity.The EU’s lack of a role in dealing with the conflict in Donbas is also reflected in the even-handed approach the high representative and European External Action Service have taken in their declaratory diplomacy on Ukraine. Statements systematically avoid naming Russia as being responsible for the fighting or for supporting its proxy separatists in eastern Ukraine. Instead, the question of responsibility is side-stepped and fudged by calling on “all sides” to de-escalate and to implement the Minsk agreements. Even the recent statement on the killing of an OSCE monitor by a landmine in Donbas did not name Russia and the separatist authorities as controlling the territory where the monitor was killed. Instead, it skirted around the issue by using the linguistically imaginative “non-government controlled part of eastern Ukraine”.

Lavrov himself pointed to this inconsistency during the press conference with Mogherini when he asked why the EU had sanctions on Russia when the high representative suggested everyone was responsible for implementing the Minsk agreements. Lavrov is right in his analysis but wrong in his conclusion. The conclusion should be that the EU needs to be clearer on the question of Russia’s responsibility. This clarity would lead to the EU being more credible and taken more seriously over Ukraine. It is a mistake to believe that the even-handed approach can carve out space for a facilitation role in resolving this conflict. Rather, even-handedness is only seen as weakness by Russia, and confirms that Moscow’s obfuscation tactics in the Donbas are effective.

Three years after the start of the crisis, the EU’s absence from the efforts to resolve the conflict in Ukraine is remarkable. Russia continues to undermine and destabilise Ukraine. This poses a direct challenge to Europe’s security order and stability in its neighbourhood. There is considerable risk of spillover into the EU if Ukraine were to collapse under Russian pressure. As this is an issue that concerns all Europeans, the EU should have a seat at the table and be present on the ground.

Giving the EU a greater role is of course not the panacea that will unblock the negotiations and stop the fighting. Fundamentally, the lack of progress on Minsk has to do with Moscow’s objectives, which run counter to the obligations set out in the Minsk agreements. But it would provide more legitimacy to the diplomatic efforts and buy-in among member states. The high representative’s trip to Moscow accomplished neither.

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Macron's camp bans Russian propaganda media from its events

on Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:43 am
Macron's camp bans Russian propaganda media from its events

Russia accused French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron's campaign team of discriminating against its media on Thursday, saying it had trampled on the freedom of the press by banning Russian news outlets from its events.

In Paris, a Macron spokesman confirmed that the Russian state-funded Sputnik news agency and RT TV channel had been barred from having media access to him, describing them as a "two-headed entity" which issued Russian state propaganda and fake news.

Macron, a pro-European Union ex-banker and centrist, is widely seen as favorite to win the French presidency on May 7 by beating far right leader Marine Le Pen.

Macron takes a hard line on EU sanctions imposed on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis, whereas Le Pen, an admirer of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is a eurosceptic who backs the lifting of sanctions and takes Russia's side on Ukraine.

The Kremlin has been irritated by accusations from Macron's camp that its campaign's networks, databases and sites have come under attack from locations inside Russia, fueling suspicions that Russia is trying to undermine Macron's campaign in order to help Le Pen.

The Macron spokesman referred to the two news outlets' "systematic desire to issue fake news and false information."

"Spreading lies methodically and systematically - that's a problem," he said.

"If this creates problems with the Kremlin, it will be the subject of an open discussion in the event of the candidate (Macron) being elected," the spokesman said.

Moscow has rejected allegations of meddling, and on Thursday Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova dubbed "outrageous" the move by Macron's team to refuse accreditation to Sputnik, RT and the Ruptly video agency last Sunday.

Zakharova said Moscow viewed the ban as "deliberate and bare-faced discrimination against Russian media by the presidential candidate of a state that has historically been vigilant when it comes to free speech."

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


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People identifying themselves as Right Sector, Svoboda members prevented decoration of People’s Friendship Arch in downtown Kyiv

on Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:21 am
People identifying themselves as Right Sector, Svoboda members prevented decoration of People’s Friendship Arch in downtown Kyiv

Persons who identified themselves as activists of Right Sector and Svoboda parties prevented painting in colors the Peoples Friendship Arch in downtown Kyiv.

A correspondent for Censor.NET reports from the scene.




People identifying themselves as members of Right Sector and Svoboda parties forced the workers stop operations under the arch.



The contractor "customizing" the arch suspended work until tomorrow.

"We will wait for the decision of the Kyiv City State Administration," said the contractor's representative who refused to name his employer.

As reported, CFC Consulting,which won the tender for providing communication during the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv planned to create an art installation called the Arch of Diversity by decorating the Peoples Friendship Arch in downtown Kyiv.



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


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Merkel To Meet Putin In Sochi To Discuss Ukraine, Syria

on Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:43 am
Merkel To Meet Putin In Sochi To Discuss Ukraine, Syria

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Russia on May 2 for talks on the wars in Syria and Ukraine and other issues.

Merkel's trip to the Black Sea resort city of Sochi will be her first visit to Russia in two years.

It comes as tension between Moscow and the West persists.

Ties have been badly strained since 2014, when Russia seized the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine and fomented a revolt against the government in eastern Ukraine.

The ensuing war has killed more than 9,900 people and continues despite a cease-fire and peace deal that Merkel played a key role in brokering........................

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The Parliament of Montenegro voted for joining NATO

on Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:53 am
The Parliament of Montenegro voted for joining NATO

The Parliament of Montenegro voted for joining NATO.

This was reported by RTCG.

Over 46 MPs voted with 81.

Earlier it was reported that the US Senate voted by majority vote that an application to approve Montenegro's NATO membership .

Prior to that Montenegro opposition leaders suspected of involvement in the preparation of the coup in the country, appealed to US President Councilor Donald Trump called for to prevent the accession of Montenegro to NATO.

Recall, The Telegraph, citing sources in the British government released information that the Russian authorities involved in coup attempts in 2016 in Montenegro.

October 16, 2016 in Montenegro arrested 15 people for the preparation of terrorist attacks during the elections.

Later, the prosecutor's office of the country said that Russian nationalists wanted to kill the prime minister of Montenegro.

It was also reported that Russia apologized for the plans to kill the prime minister of Montenegro.

[url=https://hromadske.ua/posts/parlament-chornohorii-proholosuvav-za-vstup-v-nato ]hromadske.ua , Original in Ukrainian / на українській мові[/url]


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Interpol did not accept Russia's request for the arrest of Yatsenyuk Ukraine's objections

on Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:58 am
Interpol did not accept Russia's request for the arrest of Yatsenyuk Ukraine's objections

Interpol application from the Russian Federation to announce a search for former Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatseniuk has not passed through the filter supply Ukrainian party objections.

This was announced by Interior Minister of Ukraine Arsen Avakov, "Interfax-Ukraine".

Avakov said that he appealed to Interpol a few days ago.

"Once we saw that the Russian Interpol cast sheet of Essentuki, where local judges opivshis water offered to consider Arseny Petrovich combatants in Chechnya and killer 30 servicemen of the Russian Federation, we felt that the jokes are jokes, but all this insanity must answer adequately, "- said Avakov.

He stressed that the relevant letter was sent to the Ukrainian side in all instances Interpol.

"As we see today, Interpol - it is quite adequate organization and took note of our appeal," - said Avakov.

The head of the Interior Ministry said that a procedure for filing objections by the National Bureau of Interpol in this case the Ukrainian Interpol NCB.

"We sent these objections, and thus, the Russian proposal did not pass the filter," - he concluded.

[url=https://hromadske.ua/posts/interpol-ne-pryiniav-zapyt-rf-shchodo-areshtu-yatseniuka-cherez-zaperechennia-ukrainy-hlava-mvs ] hromadske.ua, Original in Ukrainian / на українській мові[/url]


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With the arrival of Trump in the US deteriorated freedom of expression - Freedom House

on Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:19 am
With the arrival of Trump in the US deteriorated freedom of expression - Freedom House

In comparison with 2016 year the situation with media freedom has deteriorated in the United States and Turkey.

World Press Freedom Index fell to a 13-year low, according to the annual report non-governmental organization Freedom House, based in Washington.

Compared to last year the situation with freedom of speech in the United States deteriorated (total score decreased from 21 to 23) and Turkey (71 to 76). In the first case complications associated with the coming to power of Donald Trump, the second - from cleansing after a failed coup in July 2016, the study authors explained.

Human rights activists are concerned about the attempts of political leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin's state propaganda to promote, introduce all kinds of restrictions and suppress freedom of speech in their own countries.

Concerns of Freedom House is also complicated relations between the American president Donald Trump and journalists who believe that it encroaches on their rights.

"Political leaders and other tendentious forces in many democracies, including the US, Poland, the Philippines and South Africa have questioned the veracity of independent and based on facts journalism, ignoring the role of human rights organizations dealing with freedom of the press", - said Jennifer Tungus, author of the study Freedom House.

hromadske.ua , Original in Ukrainian / на українській мові


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The famous financier said, why not Trump give Ukraine to Putin

on Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:49 am
The famous financier said, why not Trump give Ukraine to Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be able to conclude an agreement with US leader Donald Trump in Ukraine, as the US president does not have the authority to conclude such agreements. This opinion was expressed e comments "apostrophe" Russian financier and blogger Slava Rabinovich.

"There can not be any requirements of Putin regarding the exchange of Ukraine in exchange for something, by definition, and never could be." Trump could never satisfy these demands, "Rabinovich said.

According to him, the terms of the Russian president - the war in the Donbass exchange for the recognition of the Crimea under the jurisdiction of Russia can not fulfill neither Trump nor Merkel, nor Holland, nor the future president of France Macron.

"No other heads of state are authorized by definition to exchange which territories were annexed to the world on some other territories where Russia unleashed a war," Rabinowitch stressed.

Read more about the possibility of concluding an agreement between the US and Russia behind the back of Ukraine in the material "Putin will bargain with Trump Ukraine, but fail for a simple reason," published in the "apostrophe."

apostrophe.ua, Original in Ukrainian / на українській мові


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OPEN RUSSIA CALLS FOR NATIONWIDE DEMONSTRATIONS ON APRIL 29, 2017

on Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:53 pm
OPEN RUSSIA CALLS FOR NATIONWIDE DEMONSTRATIONS ON APRIL 29, 2017



On March 26, 2017 over 70,000 people, including young Russians, came out on to the streets in more than 80 Russian cities to protest against state corruption. Following these protests, the Open Russia movement has called for people around the country to express their dissatisfaction with Putin’s Russia and to support the #НАДОЕЛО (#ENOUGH) campaign, launched by the movement earlier this month in order to raise awareness of Kremlin abuses both at home and on the international stage.

The aim of the campaign is to officially submit a large-scale public demand for Vladimir Putin to abide by the constitution of the Russian Federation and refrain from standing for a fourth presidential term in the 2018 elections.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, founder of the Open Russia movement, stated: “The message is that Putin has done little in his 17 years in power besides establish an entourage of untouchable thieves. The point of the demonstrations is to show that Putin does not have the unconditional support of the Russian people, and that those who oppose his eternal rule are not just “American spies”, but have genuine concerns which for 17 years this government has refused to address.”

The Open Russia movement’s regional offices have applied to local authorities in over 30 cities across the country for permits to conduct street rallies. In Moscow, the demonstration is planned to take place on Slavyanskaya square and will end at 23/16 Ilyinka street where the reception of the presidential administration is located. In St. Petersburg, the meeting place will be the metro station Gorkovskaya and the procession will make its way to number 2 Petrovskaya Naberezhnaya. Demonstrations have also been agreed in Rostov-on-Don, Ufa, Krasnodar, Voronezh, Novosibirsk and Tomsk. Sample letters have been dispatched to over 30 cities across the country and will be distributed to the people in advance of April 29 by the Open Russia team on the ground.

Background

The Open Russia movement was founded in November 2016 by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who also became the movement’s chairman. On the 15th of April 2017 Khodorkovsky left his post, and while maintaining his right to vote as founder of the movement, a new chairman of the movement, Aleksandr Soloviev, was elected on the 16th of April during the movement’s conference in Tallinn.

Over the course of nearly five months, the Open Russia movement has managed to attract over 700 civil activists; a number which is growing by 20-30 with each week. The movement’s physical presence has also grown significantly. Offices have been opened in over 21 Russian regions: Moscow, Moscow region, St. Petersburg, Republic of Tatarstan, Republic of Bashkortostan, Republic of Chuvash, Tver, Irkutsk, Nizhegorodkaya region, Vladimir, Cheliabinsk, Rostov, Pskov, Kirov, Novosibirsk, Krasnodar, Republic of Udmurt and Tomsk.

Open Russia’s work consists of seven fundamental initiatives. Among them are: legal support to citizens (through the Human Rights and Open Rights initiatives), government watchdog, participation in elections (help in organising and conducting elections campaigns for independent candidates, as well as an election fraud watchdog). Open Russia’s Centre for Parent and Child Protection was opened in December 2016 with Maria Belova as its director. The “Open Law” initiative was also launched with Aleksandr Soloviev as its coordinator.

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"Victory over terrorism": Russian propagandists plan holding St. George ribbon rallies in Syrian cities they recently bombed. PHOTOS

on Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:31 pm
"Victory over terrorism": Russian propagandists plan holding St. George ribbon rallies in Syrian cities they recently bombed. PHOTOS

The Russian invaders plan to hold St. George's ribbon rallies in the cities of Aleppo and Latakia in the coming days.
As reported by Censor.NET citing Russian news outlets, the St. George ribbon campaign was launched at Damascus State University in the Syrian capital.

"The students of the Russian language department distributed outside the medical faculty for less than half an hour more than 1.5 thousand ribbons along with the memoirs in Arabic, which briefly explained the importance of the symbol for the history of Russia and its people," the propagandist outlet reported.



"The symbol of victory means a lot for us, and we know and honor it. Like you have the symbol of victory over fascism, we want to have our own symbol and a holiday of victory over terrorism... We will win with the Russian support," Head of the Damascus University's Russian Language Department Mamdouh Abu Al-Luway said.



St. George ribbon campaign is planned to be held outside the Syrian capital - in the cities of Aleppo and Latakia in the coming days, the Russian media reported.



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


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