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Ukraine News in brief. Tuesday 20 February. [Ukrainian sources]

on Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:18 am
TUESDAY HEADLINES:
The US is expanding its presence in the Black Sea to curb Russia.  Possible compromise: Russian forecast for peacekeepers in the Donbas region was voiced.  Not only on Earth: Putin made a loud statement about the global war.  Afraid to drive Russia to the corner: the West pointed to serious problems with Putin and weakness within the EU.  Russian sociologist stated "relapse of totalitarianism" in the Russian Federation.  Media reported that Gaddafi financed the presidential campaign of Tymoshenko.  Most Russians are counting on the normalization of relations with Ukraine.  Ukraine’s FM Klimkin says peacekeepers could be deployed in Donbas only after Russians leave it.  "The office has over 1,000 people. Most importantly, it's dirty to the United States," ex-employee of the "troll factory" in St. Petersburg.  The trial of the Russian mafia began in Spain.

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The US is expanding its presence in the Black Sea to curb Russia

on Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:19 am
The US is expanding its presence in the Black Sea to curb Russia

The United States is increasing its military presence in the Black Sea in response to Russia's similar actions.

This is reported by the CNN channel with reference to US military officials.

One of the military sources on the channel said that the recent US shipwreck of USS Carney and USS Ross in the Black Sea were part of the effort to "reduce the sensitivity of Russia" to the military presence of the United States in the region.

According to two US military sources, Russia is reacting particularly sharply to US military operations in the Black Sea, taking into account the recent militarization of the occupied RF of the Crimea.

In turn, NATO pays attention to the deployment of submarines by the coast of Crimea, stating that the Alliance, although not seeking a military race with the Russian Federation in the region, is strengthening its position in South-Eastern Europe.

Also sources of the TV channel indicate Russia's full deployment of armaments in Crimea, including coastal and air defense systems, as well as ground troops. According to sources, Russia fears that the US military presence in the Black Sea could undermine Russian preferences in the region.

In particular, says another US military source, Russia is scared of high-tech weapons by the United States, as well as their Aegis missile defense systems installed at Korny and Ross destroyers.

An American military officer has criticized Russia's attitude towards the Black Sea, noting that "NATO countries on the Black Sea coast have much more coastline than Russia, so this, of course, is not a Russian lake."

apostrophe.ua  In Ukrainian/український


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Possible compromise: Russian forecast for peacekeepers in the Donbas region was voiced

on Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:23 am
Possible compromise: Russian forecast for peacekeepers in the Donbas region was voiced

Discussions with the US State Department's Special Representative, Kurt Volker and Russian President's assistant, Vladislav Surkov, the possibility of introducing a peacekeeping contingent to the Donbas passes in a test mode and not the fact that this idea will be implemented.

Lilia Shevtsova, a Russian political scientist, told this "Apostrophe".

"And Americans represented by Kurt Volker, a very hard, capable person with an understanding of security problems and non-trivial thinking, a very experienced diplomat, came up with the idea of ​​trying to practice the idea of ​​a peacekeeping force. As we know, the understanding of peacekeeping forces between Washington and Moscow is fundamentally divergent, and we know why. I think Volker did not succeed in breaking the Russian position on "Minsk", Russian understanding of the priority of the events. Nevertheless, the last meeting between Volcker and Surkov seems to me that the Kremlin may be ready at least, to test the possibility of a compromise around the peacekeeping forces, and Kurt Volker has given us an idea of ​​where they will consider a compromise, which does not mean that he will succeed!"- says the political scientist.

She noted that the peacekeeping forces on the Donbas plan to deploy in stages.

"Kurt Volker says that one can begin with a Russian understanding of the role of peacekeeping forces, that is, a contingent that will be guarded only by the OSCE mission team. On the next stage, the field of activity will be expanded, a new contingent of peacekeeping forces will be located on a wider space. the activities of the peacekeeping forces, with which Russia must agree, will undergo political changes under the control of peacekeepers in this area, which are formulated in the political part of the Minsk treaties, "said Shevtsova.

"This platform, according to Kurt Volker, is a possible compromise. Will it succeed in it, depends on many factors. Suddenly Putin is offended at the next sanctions, and this process will be blocked? But at least Volker believes that this is a field where one can speak "- added the expert.

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Not only on Earth: Putin made a loud statement about the global war

on Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:28 am
Not only on Earth: Putin made a loud statement about the global war

Sergei Rudsky, the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff, said that in the modern world, the war will be held simultaneously in five spheres.

He wrote about this in his article for the newspaper of the Russian Defense Ministry "Red Star".

According to the Russian general, in today's conditions there is a radical change in approaches to the organization and conduct of wars.

"For example, in the event of a conflict with a high-tech enemy, the fighting will be deployed simultaneously in five spheres - on land, in the air, at sea, in space and in cyberspace," Rudsky said.

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Afraid to drive Russia to the corner: the West pointed to serious problems with Putin and weakness within the EU

on Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:30 am
Afraid to drive Russia to the corner: the West pointed to serious problems with Putin and weakness within the EU

Europe is at a disadvantage, which allows the Kremlin to maintain its balance on the international scene, despite its strategic failures.

This was stated in an interview with "Apostrophe" by Russian publicist and political scientist Lilia Shevtsova.

According to her, the European Union has lost the unity that existed for decades.

"Second, America, although not completely out of Europe, is no longer a guarantor of security on the European continent, but Europe still remains toothless, invertebrates, and is not ready to deal with its own security problems, that is, Europe needs America," says Shevtsova.

One of the problems the political scientist calls the likely change in Germany's position, which is associated with the weakening of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who acted as the guarantor of the sanction regime against the Russian Federation.

"But now, with the weakness of Merkel (Germany is tired of Merkel), after seeing the coalition government again in Berlin together with the Social Democrats, which will force Merkel to enter into agreements, and foreign policy will be in their hands, the Social Democrats will again I am looking at their current program, returning to the agenda the same hollow carpet Ostpolitik, partnership and rapprochement with Russia: coming closer, we will influence Russia and restore a sense of stability in Europe, "Shevtsov predicts.

Political scientist notes that in general, the West is in a state of disorientation and faces new challenges, some of which are connected not only with Russia but also with China. At the same time Shevtsova predicts the continuation of the dialogue with the Kremlin West.

"Europe and America will not leave the dialogue with Russia: the West is afraid to drive Russia to the corner or into a ghetto, leprosy, so the West will inevitably seek a balance between deterrence and dialogue, and Putin will also seek a balance between goping and attempts to return to the round table with the main Western partners. That's why these efforts will lead, it's hard to say, "she says.

Also, the political scientist notes that while the Kremlin manages to maintain visible activity in foreign policy and to reach agreement with individual players on the international scene. However, this is only due to the weakness of the West.

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Russian sociologist stated "relapse of totalitarianism" in the Russian Federation

on Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:33 am
Russian sociologist stated "relapse of totalitarianism" in the Russian Federation



Durman propaganda operates, - Lev Gudkov

The most famous sociologist of Russia, the leader of the Levada Center, is watching Russia slip into totalitarianism. All democratic ideas are discredited, says Lev Gudkov in an interview with Julian Hans, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

The most important sign of the upcoming presidential election, according to Gudkov," is their predictability." "Strictly speaking, this is not an election at all. Here it is necessary to pick up other definitions: plebiscite, maybe approval, a ritual of approval in the power of who is already there."

According to the SZ interlocutor, the elections would make sense in the case of oppositional Oleksiy Navvalny, who could count on 20% of the vote. Gudkov said: "If he had been registered as a candidate, he would have been able to speak on television and bring corruption charges to Putin and his entourage to a wider audience."

According to a sociologist, Putin's high rating reflects, as in all authoritarian regimes, the weakness of state institutions. "Police and the judicial system protect the state, and not the rights of individual citizens. Therefore, we are witnessing the transfer of hopes for the leader of the state", - he explained.

According to the head of the Levada Center, since December, Russians have been ready to go to the polls. "One can observe the growing pressure from the authorities and enterprises. 70% for Putin now seem real - none of the other candidates will step over the bar in 10%. This is exactly the effect that the Kremlin strategists are seeking: a sense of unanimous support and lack of alternatives."

The wave of protests against the falsification of the results of the election that swept the country in 2012 has come to naught: the demonstrations have not yielded any results, "people were disappointed, they were demoralized, apathy spanned them. And here came the annexation of the Crimea with the euphoria of the Chavinist echoing from it all. This led to a split among those who supported the protest movement. Putin's unexpected rise in popularity, says Gudkov, is a consequence of the split of the opposition, or rather, the group of those who were dissatisfied with the president. Part of this group joined the Putin majority. "

According to the sociologist, the decline in wages - today it is 15% lower than at the beginning of the recession - is not a disaster for the regime. "People are adapting," said Gudkov.

"Euphoria ( from the annexation of the Crimea," Glavkom " ) has passed, but the consequences of the annexation will be felt longer. The situation has radically changed. The state has considerably strengthened control of society and censorship, internal politics has become repressive. To some extent, we can talk about the relapse of totalitarianism. All democratic ideas are discredited - this was the essence of the anti-Western policy since 2012. It was not so much about confrontation with the West, but about the discrediting of Western-oriented liberals inside the country. We feel a sharp increase in artificial traditionalism, we can say, fundamentalism", - said Gudkov.

"Durman propaganda acts", - summed up Gudkov.

glavcom.ua  In Ukrainian/український


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Media reported that Gaddafi financed the presidential campaign of Tymoshenko - the "Motherland" refutes

on Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:37 am
Media reported that Gaddafi financed the presidential campaign of Tymoshenko - the "Motherland" refutes

Muammar Gaddafi's regime was likely to finance presidential campaigns in Ukraine, France and the United States.

This was reported by the Arab publication Asharq Al Awsat, headquartered in London, with reference to the assistant to the son of a former Libyan leader, Saif al-Islam.

According to the report, the government of Gaddafi has allocated $ 5 million for the campaign of the US candidate in 2004. Another € 4 million was spent on the campaign of Yulia Tymoshenko, who run for election in Ukraine in 2010.

The assistant son of Gaddafi described on anonymity terms that allegedly personally transferred funds to Tymoshenko's campaign.

"The money was ordered by Dr. Baghdad al-Mahmoudi, the prime minister of that time (now in prison in Tripoli), and were put in a bag with € 500 banknotes. We traveled on a private plane, they met us at the airport in Kiev, we spent there overnight and returned. The money was received by the then vice-premier of Ukraine", - he said.

The press service of the Motherland refutes this information. This, in particular, said the spokesman of Yulia Tymoshenko Marina Soroka in the commentary of Radio Liberty.

Also in the publication of Asharq Al Awsat, Gaddafi claims that he spent almost € 50 million on Nicolas Sarkozy's presidential campaign in 2007.

Sarkozy repeatedly denied having taken money from Gaddafi. However, the assistant son of Gaddafi claims to have been present at private meetings between French and Libyan officials.

The published article is one of the parts of the investigation into Gaddafi's regime and its cooperation with Western leaders.

hromadske.ua  In Ukrainian/український


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Most Russians are counting on the normalization of relations with Ukraine - social polls

on Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:47 am
Most Russians are counting on the normalization of relations with Ukraine - social polls

An absolute majority of Russians (78%) expect rebuilding relations with Ukraine.

This is evidenced by the results of the poll conducted by the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (HCTSI).

When asked about the future of Russian-Ukrainian relations, 40% of Russians expressed confidence that "friendly alliance relations will be restored sooner or later," while 38% answered that "relations are normalized, but friendly and fraternal, as before, will never be" Another 10% of respondents answered that "the relations will be constantly worsened as a result of Ukraine's desire to integrate more closely with the West."

Also, almost half of Russians (49%) believe that relations between Ukraine and Russia over the last year "are not getting better or worse, practically do not change", 34% of Russians say about this: "relations are becoming more tense, significantly deteriorating", and another 7% - "the relations are gradually normalized".

As for the Maidan, the vast majority of Russians (75%) are confident that Ukraine has "lost more than these", the option "they essentially did not change anything" was chosen by 13% of respondents, and 2% believe that Ukraine "has won more".

Relations between Ukraine and Russia reached a critical point in 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimea and supported separatist movements in the Donbas in the political, financial and military spheres. As a result of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, in which Russian soldiers were actively involved, at least 10,000 people were killed. At the same time, the Russian Federation declares that it is not going to recognize the independence of the territories under the control of the "DPR" and "LNR" militants, but in the Crimea issue not only does not recognize the fact of its occupation, calling it a "reunion", but also excludes dialogue regarding his return to Ukraine.

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Ukraine’s FM Klimkin says peacekeepers could be deployed in Donbas only after Russians leave it

on Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:56 am
Ukraine’s FM Klimkin says peacekeepers could be deployed in Donbas only after Russians leave it



It will take at least 6-10 months to deploy peacekeepers in the Donbas after this issue is agreed upon in the UN.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said on air of Freedom of Speech TV show, Censor.NET reports.

"Ukrainian breakfast was pretty nice in terms of the level of discussion. I and Kurt Volker tried to explain our logic that the problem is not that there should be 18,000, 20,000 or 25,000 peacekeepers. The problem is that Russia must leave the Donbas before the peacekeepers are brought there. I am talking about security as it is: the peacekeepers assume control over the situation after the fire is ceased, but it must be the entire occupied territory," the minister said.

He stressed that only in this case it would be possible to start disarmament and provide comprehensive security and later make preparations for the elections.

However, according to him, the peacekeeping mission deployment will take not 20-30 days, but 6-10 months and will be implemented in several stages.

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"The office has over 1,000 people. Most importantly, to throw dirt on the United States," ex-employee of the "troll factory" in St. Petersburg

on Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:59 am
"The office has over 1,000 people. Most importantly, to throw dirt on the United States," ex-employee of the "troll factory" in St. Petersburg

Lyudmila Savchuk, an ex-employee of the Russian Internet Research Agency, better known as the "troll factory", spoke about the secrets of Russian propaganda on the Internet.

According to Tsensor.NET with reference to DW , Savchuk received work at the "factory of trolls" two years ago. Her office was on Savoshkin St. in St. Petersburg. According to her, the "factory" employed more than 1000 people.

"When a person usually comes to work in the morning she already hangs a ready task on a computer - this is a list of topics on which" trolls "work every day. Irrigate the USA is the most important topic at any time," says ex- " troll".



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The trial of the Russian mafia began in Spain

on Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:02 am
The trial of the Russian mafia began in Spain



In Madrid, a lawsuit against the Russian mafia began.

As informs Tsensor.NET, this is reported by the Air Force.

Vladislav Reznik, a deputy of the State Duma from the "United Russia", and another 17 people, are charged with money laundering for a Russian criminal group.

Probably the leaders of the criminal group - Gennadiy Petrov and Alexey Malyshev, who are still at liberty, as it is believed - in Russia.

It is alleged that some of the suspects have ties to the Russian government.

Mr. Reznik came to court and said that he would prove his innocence.

His wife, Diana Gindin, is also in court among the accused.

Five defendants were accused of helping Russian criminals on the dock. Among them - Antonio de Fortune, accused of creating an opaque business network that sent money to mafia to offshore accounts.

What is known about Russian criminals in Spain. Money laundering by Russian criminals in Spain began in the 1990s, when wealthy Russians began to buy luxury villas in the Costa del Sol and the Balearic Islands.

Spanish prosecutors believe that more than 50 million euros of the Russian mafia washed away by the so-called Tambov-Malyshevsk gang, based in St. Petersburg.

In 2008, the Spanish police conducted Operation Troika and arrested 20 suspects belonging to the Russian mafia.

It took 10 years for this case to reach the Spanish national criminal court.

The prosecutor's office requires a majority of suspects to be sentenced to five and a half years and impose fines that may exceed EUR 100 million.

The prosecution's charges are partly based on the interception of telephone conversations that allegedly took place between suspects and mafia bosses.

One of the suspects, Michael Rebo, has entered into an agreement with prosecutors. He found guilty in exchange for a two-year prison term and a fine of 1,6 million euros.

Probably the head of the gang Gennady Petrov was arrested during the police raid in 2008, but later fled to Russia.

The indictment states that his gang "was clearly able to penetrate into the state apparatus" and "has ties to the Russian economic, political, judicial and police authorities."

It is believed that in Russia, the gang committed murders to order, traded weapons and drugs, engaged in racketeering and counterfeiting of money.

Former Russian intelligence officer Alexander Litvinenko, who was killed in London by radioactive polonium-210 in 2006, helped Spanish officials investigate the activities of the Russian mafia.

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In the United States, the Special Prosecutor Mueller has accused the lawyer in the case of Tymoshenko lies in the investigation: he admitted it

on Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:19 pm
In the United States, the Special Prosecutor Mueller has accused the lawyer in the case of Tymoshenko lies in the investigation: he admitted it

US Special Prosecutor Robert Muller, who investigates Russia's possible interference with the US election, has accused one of the lawyers who testified in the case of providing false testimony to his investigator.

This was reported by Reuters.

This is about the lawyer Alex van der Zwahan, who in addition, in 2012, worked in a law firm, which was hired by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine in the case of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

The lawyer was accused of having intentionally provided federal agents with false information about his contacts in November 2017 as an ex-counsel at Donald Trump's headquarters, Rick Gates, and another person who was not named.

Geist, who was also a trusted business partner for Trump Paul Manaforth Election Headquarters, was summoned last year to launder money.

According to Radio Liberty, the investigation found that Alex van der Zwahan had removed the electronic correspondence which indicated the connection with the aforementioned persons, instead of providing it to the office of the special prosecutor who made a corresponding request in this regard.

According to Muller, this document was just about the work of Van der Zwahan in 2012 as a representative of the Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom law firm in the case of Tymoshenko.

In 2011, the Minister of Justice Oleksandr Lavrynovych hired this firm to find out the role of Yulia Tymoshenko in signing the gas deal with Russia in 2009.

Zwahan, after Muller 's charges, admitted that he had lied to him as investigator in a case concerning a possible conspiracy of Trump's headquarters and the Russian Federation. The judge appointed a meeting on the selection of the penalty for a lawyer on April 3.

Van der Zwahan is one of several Skadden lawyers, who are questioned by the Ukrainian authorities in the case of a Tymoshenko report.

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