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Ukraine News in brief. Thursday 15 February. [Ukrainian sources]

on Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:17 pm
THURSDAY HEADLINES:
The US Treasury Department announced new sanctions against Russia. In Russia, blocking the site of Navalny due to the demand of the oligarch Deripaska. The Russian Army is responsible for the cyberattack of NotPetya in June 2017: its purpose was a violation of the work of the government of Ukraine. MFA of Britain: Attack of Russian virus NotPetya was organized against Ukraine.  US airstrike in Syria kills retired Russia’s GRU member previously fighting against Ukrainian forces in Donbas.  Four marines found murdered near Shyrokyne, military prosecutors say their fellow soldiers involved.  Behavior of the Russian Federation is unpredictable. An example of "Iskander" missiles shows that we have to be ready for everything.  In Syria, as a result of an explosion in the stock ammunition killed 15 mercenaries of the RF.  As for the topic of Ukraine, we do not have a common position: without changing Russia's attitude, there will be no good relations, NATO.  "This is a good news" - NATO on the approval by the Cabinet of the Annual Program of Ukraine's Cooperation with the Alliance.  Russia will stop gas extraction in the largest deposit in Crimea due to Ukraine's lawsuit.  The Americans defeated the Russians in their first match at the Olympics.

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The US Treasury Department announced new sanctions against Russia

on Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:24 pm
The US Treasury Department announced new sanctions against Russia

The administration of US President Donald Trump "is actively working" on new sanctions against Russia through interference in the US elections in 2016.

US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said this during a budget hearing in the Senate Finance Committee, reports CNN.

According to him, information on the Sanitary will be published shortly.

"We are actively working on these sanctions. You can expect them in the near future, "he said.

He stressed that the ministry fully supports the introduction of restrictions. The minister also added that he will discuss this issue at a closed briefing with bankers, which will provide them with sensitive information.

Earlier in the United States, three senators from the Democratic Party introduced a draft resolution calling on President Donald Trump to introduce new sanctions against Russia.

Recall that on August 2, 2017, Trump approved a document that provides for new sanctions against Russia . It was reported that US sanctions would apply to all those who cooperate with Russia. Therefore, a number of countries have criticized this document.

On January 26, the United States expanded the sanctions list of individuals and companies from Russia and the occupied Donbas due to aggression in Ukraine.

In particular, the United States imposed sanctions against a company through which the Russian Federation legalized trade with the DPR and LNR.

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In Russia, blocking the site of Navalny due to the demand of the oligarch Deripaska

on Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:40 pm
In Russia, blocking the site of Navalny due to the demand of the oligarch Deripaska

Roskomnadzor began to block the site of Russian oppositionist Oleksiy Navalny through an investigation into the oligarch Oleg Deripaska and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko and Nastya Rybka.

This is referred to Twitter Navalny.

"Roskomnadzor has started blocking https://navalny.com/ on Demand Deripaska. Due to some providers, the site is still open, but it is temporarily", - said in a message.

The day before, it was reported that YouTube requires the removal of Navalny 's broadcast of the investigation into Deripaska, Prikhodko and Rybka.

On February 8, Navalny presented a new investigation in which Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prykhodko was accused of corruption. The investigation was about the fact that an official in August 2016 spent three days on a yacht of the oligarch Deripaska near the shores of Norway, along with "girls from escort agencies".

Bulk says that about "girls from escort agencies" learned from Instagram and the books of one of these girls - Anastasia Vashkevich, known as "Nastya Rybka".

Bulk considers "a bribe" that Deripaska "rides on his own yacht official of the highest rank."

In addition, as claimed by the opposition, Prikhodko for bribes acquired in Moscow and Moscow real estate for a total of almost a billion rubles. Deripaska, in turn, according to Navalny, could have been one of the mediators of the Kremlin in Russia's intervention in the US presidential election in 2016. It is this topic that the oligarch and Prikhodko allegedly discussed when sailing on a yacht.

Deripaska promised to go to court through the investigation of Navalny. Subsequently, the Russian edition of RBC reported that after the suit of the oligarch Deripaska, the court ordered the blocking of the investigation of Navalny.

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The Russian Army is responsible for the cyberattack of NotPetya in June 2017: its purpose was a violation of the work of the government of Ukraine - the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Great Britain

on Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:43 pm
The Russian Army is responsible for the cyberattack of NotPetya in June 2017: its purpose was a violation of the work of the government of Ukraine - the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Great Britain



The British Foreign Ministry officially recognized the Russian authorities responsible for the massive cyberattack using the worm virus NotPetya, which infected hundreds of thousands of computers around the world last June.
In general, a few weeks before this other virus-extortionist, WannaCry, has massively hit British hospitals and other institutions of the National Health System (NHS), reports Tsensor.NET with reference to the Air Force.

"The Government of the United Kingdom came to the conclusion that the responsibility for the devastating cyberattack of NotPetya in June 2017 lies with the Russian authorities, namely the Russian army," said Deputy Foreign Minister of the United Kingdom Tariq Ahmad on Wednesday evening.

Dozens of organizations have been affected by the virus in Britain, including postal services, as well as advertising, legal, logistics and financial companies. However, almost three quarters of the cases of infection were recorded in Ukraine.

According to the ministry, the cyberattack was only equipped as an extortion, but the real purpose of the virus was not to obtain a ransom, but a violation of the work of Ukrainian state institutions, the financial and energy sectors of the economy.

As a result, the virus spread further, infecting businesses and organizations across Europe, including Russia.

"This attack showed a serious neglect of Ukraine's sovereignty. The foolish launch of the virus has led to a breach of the work of organizations across Europe and damaged hundreds of millions of pounds," the British official said.

"The Kremlin has put Russia in direct opposition to the West, but this should not be the case. We appeal to Russia to become the responsible member of the international community, which she positions herself, rather than trying to destroy it secretly," he added.

The assumption that the Russian intelligence agencies are behind the NotPetya virus were earlier. In particular, such statements were made by the Security Service of Ukraine and the American company FireEye, which provides cyber security.

In the same vein, however, the representatives of the NATO Cybersecurity Agency (CCDOE), however, were not so rigorous. They stated that the creation of NotPetya is a "state actor", not specifying what exactly is meant.

"The Russian company Rosneft has also been infected," the statement said. "But the infection had little effect and little harm."

With the hypothesis about the Russian virus should not all agree. However, it is possible to establish the authorship of the virus, only by catching the hacker on the hottest.

Recall that on June 27-29, the servers of many state institutions and commercial structures in Ukraine experienced a large-scale cyberattack . Petya virus encrypts all files on a computer and requires a ransom for decryption.

It should be noted that the SBU declared involvement in the cyberattacks of special services of the Russian Federation.

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MFA of Britain: Attack of Russian virus NotPetya was organized against Ukraine

on Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:48 pm
MFA of Britain: Attack of Russian virus NotPetya was organized against Ukraine

The British Foreign Ministry accused Russian authorities of a massive cyberattack directed against Ukraine using the notopetya worm virus that struck hundreds of thousands of computers in June 2017.

This was stated by the Deputy Foreign Minister of Britain Tariq Ahmad, the Air Force reports.

"The Government of the United Kingdom comes to the conclusion that responsibility for the devastating cyberattack of NotPetya in June 2017 is borne by the Russian authorities, namely the Russian army," said Ahmad.

In Britain, dozens of organizations have been affected by the virus, including postal services, advertising, legal, logistics and financial companies. At the same time, almost 75% of cases of infection were recorded in Ukraine.

The ministry argues that the true purpose of the virus was not to obtain a ransom, but a violation of the work of Ukrainian state institutions, the financial and energy sectors of the economy.

"This attack showed a serious neglect of Ukraine's sovereignty. The foolish launch of the virus has led to a breach of the work of organizations across Europe and damaged hundreds of millions of pounds, "said the British diplomat.

The assumption that the Russian intelligence services are behind the NotPetya virus have already been spoken. In particular, they said about it in the Security Service of Ukraine and the American company FireEye, which is engaged in providing cyber security.

Recall, the attack on the NotPetya virus began on June 27, 2017. In Ukraine, ministries, banks, transport companies, mobile operators, energy companies and mass media became victims.

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US airstrike in Syria kills retired Russia’s GRU member previously fighting against Ukrainian forces in Donbas, - Russian propagandist

on Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:55 pm
US airstrike in Syria kills retired Russia’s GRU member previously fighting against Ukrainian forces in Donbas, - Russian propagandist



Russian terrorist Zakhar Prilepin openly admits that the Russian “volunteers” receive salary for fighting against the Ukrainian government forces in the Donbas but many hired guns left for Syria when they were offered larger "fees" there.
Journalist Denys Kazanskyi wrote on social media citing Prilepin’s post, Censor.NET reports.

"Zakhar Prilepin writes: "Many our guys left the Donbas for Syria. It is usual practice for them to come back and continue serving here. One of the reasons is that they are fighting here for peanuts contrary to popular belief. Their salary here is 15,000 – 16,000 or a maximum of 20,000 rubles while it is much bigger in Syria. But our Donetsk, Russian, Tatar, Ossetian, Buryat guys pull both wars as their own. Both of them are ours," the journalist quoted Prilepin’s post.

"That’s how it is! It turns out that they do it for money rather than on some ideological grounds. Why not? This is pretty convenient. It was profitable to fight in the Donbas "militia" while there was a possibility to grab cars of locals and loot mansions. But when the shutters were put up, it definitely became more profitable to go to Syria. And Bandera supporters aren’t going anywhere after all. They appear not that bloodthirsty, if you look more closely. It is not very comfortable to defend the Russian language for 15,000 rubles. Assad pays much better, sorry," Kazanskyi said.

In his post, Russian propagandist Prilepin also confirmed that Igor Kosoturov, a retired captain of Russia’s military intelligence directorate (also known as GRU) who had previously fought in the Donbas, was recently killed in Syria.



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Four marines found murdered near Shyrokyne, military prosecutors say their fellow soldiers involved

on Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:08 pm
Four marines found murdered near Shyrokyne, military prosecutors say their fellow soldiers involved

The Military Prosecutors Office initiated criminal proceedings into murder of four members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine whose bodies were found in a house near Shyrokyne village today, Feb. 15.

A spokeswoman for the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine Larysa Sarhan wrote on social media, Censor.NET reports.

According to her, the experts examined the scene and found gunshot wounds on the bodies of the soldiers while the room where they were allegedly murdered bore signs of crime concealment (someone tried to set it on fire and planted explosives inside). The law enforcers carried out operation to locate and detain the suspects.

After collected evidence was examined, the investigators made a conclusion that the marines were murdered by two their fellow soldiers who were subsequently detained. The investigators re-enacted the crime with participation of the detainees’ defenders. During interrogation, the suspects plead guilty of committing murder which they said was provoked by the acts of harassment against them.

The investigation is ongoing. The prosecutors will soon charge the soldiers with murder and file a motion to impose pre-trial restriction against them.

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Behavior of the Russian Federation is unpredictable. An example of "Iskander" shows that we have to be ready for everything - Grybauskaite

on Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:10 pm
Behavior of the Russian Federation is unpredictable. An example of "Iskander" shows that we have to be ready for everything - Grybauskaite



The placement of the Iskander operational-tactical missile complexes in the Kaliningrad region of Russia last week means that security challenges today are no less than in 2014.

According to Cenzor.NET, with reference to the League, Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaitė stated in an interview with the EPP.

According to her, the Russian-Belarusian military exercises "West-2017" have shown that Russia is ready even within 48 hours to launch an attack on the border with NATO countries and the Baltic states, Poland and even in the Arctic region.

"This shows that the security challenges are even bigger than in 2014," Gribauskaite emphasized, clarifying that the threat affects half of the European capitals.

The President of Lithuania noted that the country is the object of "a kind of direct attack" on the part of the Russian Federation, and it can sometimes be equated to a "military situation".

"We are witnesses to cyberattacks, only in Lithuania we experienced 50,000 cyber attacks last year, we are witnesses to information attacks, interference with our policies, attempts to influence our media groups, so from this point of view, we feel that in the non-traditional field we are already we are in a state of serious confrontation between the eastern flank of NATO and Russia, "said Grybauskaite.

She called the behavior of the Russian Federation unpredictable.

Grybauskaitė believes that the immediate military threat from the RF is not very real now, but "we must be ready for everything."

"Let's consider what Russia is doing, and not what it says." The example of the Iskanderov proved very well that we must be ready for everything, we must be ready for defense, "the President of Lithuania emphasized.

On February 5, Russia placed missile complexes "Iskander" in the Kaliningrad Region, capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

Lithuanian intelligence reports that this step has been made to be able to hit NATO's goals in the region.

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In Syria, as a result of an explosion in the stock ammunition killed 15 mercenaries of the RF

on Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:12 pm
In Syria, as a result of an explosion in the stock ammunition killed 15 mercenaries of the RF

In Syria, 15 Russian mercenaries of a private military company were killed as a result of an explosion in the stockpile of ammunition.

This was reported by The Guardian, citing the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The incident occurred on the stockpile of weapons in Tabia Jazeera in the northeastern province of Deir-Ezzor.

According to observers, the company was responsible for "protecting oil and gas fields controlled by the Syrian regime."

"Russian mercenaries accompanied the regime's forces as they moved to oil and gas fields on the eastern shores of the Euphrates River, controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDS), backed by the United States," the statement said.

Observers assume that the regime's militants were trying to get into the weapons, but they launched a trap (stretch or other device). It is reported about 23 dead, among which 15 Russians.

Earlier, the RF Ministry of Defense said that the reason for the incident was "not coordinated with the command of the Russian intelligence unit intelligence-search operations of Syrian militias."

Recall that on February 7, an international coalition led by the United States attacked the grouping of Syrian troops supporting President Bashar al-Assad, which killed hundreds of soldiers.

First, the CBS channel said that, in addition to other military men, there could be Russian Wagner mercenaries in the air strike zone.

The number of killed Russian mercenaries is unknown. According to various data, it varies from a few military to "about 600 people". In particular, the Russian edition of Novaya Gazeta reported about 13 dead Russians as a result of the US air strike.

The group of independent investigators, the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT), named the names of several Russian fighters "PKC Wagner," who were killed in Syria on February 7 as a result of the strike by an international coalition headed by the United States.

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As for the topic of Ukraine, we do not have a common position: without changing Russia's attitude, there will be no good relations, NATO

on Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:14 pm
As for the topic of Ukraine, we do not have a common position: without changing Russia's attitude, there will be no good relations, NATO



Relations between NATO and Russia will not develop without changing Russia's policy towards Ukraine, the Alliance emphasizes.

"Without changing the attitude of Russia towards Ukraine, we will not have a good development of relations with us (NATO and Russia - Ed.)," The NATO representative said at a briefing on Thursday in Brussels, Cenzor reports, referring to Interfax-Ukraine.

She stressed that the illegal annexation of Crimea is recognized not only as a NATO issue.

"Sudan, North Korea and several other countries recognized the Crimea as part of Russia, but there were a number of resolutions that this is a general problem, not just a problem for NATO. The Alliance and the member states will never recognize the Crimea as part of Russia, this problem will remain. in our relations. There were a number of sanctions imposed by several institutions, the EU, seven countries. This is not limited to Crimea, the situation is destabilizing also in the Donbass, "she said.

According to the NATO representative, in the context of the Russian aggression, "this is a serious violation since the Second World War, that is, one country captures part of the territory of another country."

"We will continue to discuss the destabilization actions in Ukraine carried out by Russia: the illegal annexation of the Crimea and the militarization of the Black Sea region and other provocative activities ... We must reduce the number of risks to prevent accidents and incidents. Discussions within the framework of the Council of Russia - NATO is not easy. As for the topic of Ukraine, we do not have a common position, but we believe it is important to have a dialogue, "she concluded.

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"This is a good news" - NATO on the approval by the Cabinet of the Annual Program of Ukraine's Cooperation with the Alliance

on Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:16 pm
"This is a good news" - NATO on the approval by the Cabinet of the Annual Program of Ukraine's Cooperation with the Alliance



NATO welcomes the approval by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of the Annual National Program of Cooperation with the Alliance for the current year.

"I welcome this, it's good news. We need time to study this document," the NATO representative said at a briefing on Thursday in Brussels, Censor reports.NET with reference to Interfax-Ukraine.

As reported, on February 14, the government approved the Annual National Program for Cooperation with NATO, which, inter alia, took into account the recommendations of the Venice Commission on the law on education.

The Cabinet of Ministers also approved a plan of measures to implement the concept of informing the public about Euro-Atlantic cooperation for 2018.

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Russia will stop gas extraction in the largest deposit in Crimea due to Ukraine's lawsuit

on Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:19 pm
Russia will stop gas extraction in the largest deposit in Crimea due to Ukraine's lawsuit



The Russian authorities are going to stop mining at the largest gas field of the Crimean shelf zone - Odesa - through the interstate suit of Ukraine in international arbitration.

According to Censor.NET, this is reported by RBC , referring to the words of three unnamed Russian officials.

"The Foreign Ministry has decided: if we are not there (in the Odesa field - Ed.), We will not conduct activities, there will be no subject of dispute... There is no dispute about belonging (field - Ed.), There is a dispute over economic activity in the sea borders of Ukraine", - quotes one of the interlocutors of RBC.

Also, as the news agency reports, Russian officials close to the Russian Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Crimean Ministry of Fuel and Energy are assessing the position of Russia regarding the Odesa field in the framework of arbitration as "legally weak".

"On this issue, we have one of the most losing positions", - admitted one of the officials.

The media reports that production in the field is scheduled to be reduced to July 1. At the same time, two interlocutors of the RBC specify that the wells will be preserved there (now about 15 operational wells are operating in the Odesa field).

There are no official comments by the Russian and Crimean authorities regarding this article of the RBC.

In 2014, the drilling rigs, fleet and other property of the Ukrainian state-owned company "Chornomornaftogaz" were captured during the annexation of the Crimea by Russia. After that, NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine lost control of this Crimean enterprise. Later, Chornomornaftogaz was repatriated on the mainland of Ukraine.

On October 17, 2016, NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine and its six subsidiaries initiated an arbitration proceeding against Russia with the claim to compensate losses incurred by the seizure of the Group's assets in the Crimea. Naftogaz initiated proceedings in accordance with an agreement between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Government of Russia on the promotion, implementation and mutual protection of investments.

The representative of the occupation administration, the Kremlin puppet Konstantinov, called unreasonable claims by Naftogaz Ukrainy to Russia with the requirement to compensate 2.6 billion dollars for the assets remaining on the peninsula.

On February 7, People's Deputy of Ukraine from the Petro Poroshenko Bloc faction, Olga Belkova, reported that during the period of annexation, Russia extracted 7.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas, oil and 231 tons of natural condensate from the deposits on the shelf of the Black and Azov Seas.

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Russia raised air combat aircraft on the border with Ukraine during the exercise of the Armed Forces

on Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:43 pm
Russia raised air combat aircraft on the border with Ukraine during the exercise of the Armed Forces

Ukrainian air forces revealed the maximum approximation of Russian aviation to the eastern border and line of separation



This was stated by the command of the Army Air Force on the Facebook page.

On February 15, during the training on air defense by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, activation of Russian aircraft along the eastern air border of Ukraine was recorded.

It is reported that the aircraft of the aggressor countries carried out departures from the Kursk, Millerovo, Guards and Sake airfields with maximum approximation to the state border of Ukraine and the line of demarcation.

It is also known that a group of strategic Tu-95 bomber bombers, accompanied by a pair of Russian Su-30 fighter jets, carried out a flight in the airspace of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and worked out conditional launches of cruise missiles in the direction of the mainland of Ukraine.

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Russia recognized the deaths of Russians in Syria as a result of the US air strike

on Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:49 pm
Russia recognized the deaths of Russians in Syria as a result of the US air strike

An official representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, said that as a result of the US air strike in Syria, on the night of February 8, five Russians could really die

This is reported by the Air Force.

According to Zakharova, among the victims of the strike can be Russian, information about their citizenship is checked. At the same time, Zakharova said that there were no Russian personnel there.

On the night of February 8 in Syria, near the city of Deir-az-Zor, an international coalition led by the United States struck a squad that attempted to attack Syrian rebels. After the incident began to receive messages about the destruction of a detachment of Russians from a private military company Wagner. According to the media, there could be several dozens to several hundred Russians perished there.

Read also. Deir-az-Zor: how Russian concept of "green men" returned to Syria against Russia

The US Air Force command said it did not know if the Russians were among the attackers and the dead. An American official, on condition of anonymity, told Bloomberg that about one hundred people died as a result of the air strike and that Russians were among them. Unnamed Russian sources argued that the deaths could be over 200 and that Russians were the majority.

The Kremlin first refused to comment on the incident. The Russian Ministry of Defense stated that Russians were not among the dead. At the same time, the Russian defense department argued that no one was attacking US-backed insurgents, and the group that was attacked carried out an operation against the "Islamic state."

Read also. The EU does not consider the war in Syria completed, and the US is in no hurry to withdraw troops from there. Why

The research group Conflict Intelligence Team unveiled the names of 7 Russians who could be killed during a strike. The fact of death in Syria several of them to journalists confirmed by relatives. The date of death of Russians coincides with the date of the strike.

Recall that in December 2017, American fighters fired Russian combat aircraft in Syria.
The Russian general who was killed in Syria was the commander of the "DPR" fighters.

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