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Ukraine News. Monday 13 August. [Ukrainian sources]

on Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:14 pm
MONDAY HEADLINES:
Mothers helpless as Russia risks the life of three Ukrainian political prisoners on hunger strike.  Began to threaten: Russia has resorted to radical measures across the US.  Russian Federation is consistently blocking the extension of the OSCE mission to the Donbas, while the forces under its control hinder OSCE SMM from monitoring abroad.  The ruble is rapidly depreciating: for the first time in two years, the dollar at the auction exceeded 68 rubles.  "I appreciate president pushing back," - US Senator Graham on newest sanctions against Russia.  The American destroyer Carney DDG 64 entered the Black Sea.  In Syria, they attacked Putin's military base: the first details appeared.

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Mothers helpless as Russia risks the life of three Ukrainian political prisoners on hunger strike

on Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:17 pm
Mothers helpless as Russia risks the life of three Ukrainian political prisoners on hunger strike



Three Ukrainian mothers are watching, totally powerless, as their sons, imprisoned illegally in Russia or Russian-occupied Crimea, become dangerously weak on hunger strike. The world knows mainly of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, however the danger to the life of 47-year-old Volodymyr Balukh, after almost 150 days of total or near total hunger strike makes intervention critical. 28-year-old Oleksandr Shumkov has been on hunger strike in solidarity with Sentsov since 24 May, and is very evidently weakened.

Brutality in full view

A day after Sentsov’s cousin Natalya Kaplan and his lawyer Dmitry Dinze warned that the situation was “catastrophically bad”, Russia produced photos of Oleg Sentsov, claiming them to be very recent. Since it has systematically lied about Sentsov’s state of health, his citizenship and the charges against him, it seems much safer to believe Dinze who saw Sentsov very recently

Disinformation can be a weapon, and Kaplan issued a plea on 12 August to all those who, during the previous night, believed a Facebook post suggesting that Sentsov “was saved” and on a plane out of Siberia. The author of the report, a journalist, was seemingly deceived, and believed what she was writing. It is harder to understand those who shared the information as though it were fact, and impossible to fathom how anybody could have phoned Lyudmila Sentsova in the middle of the night with the false news about her son’s release. The 74-year-old is already living in terror that she will not live to see her son, whom Russia sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment on fabricated charges, because of his opposition to its invasion and annexation of Crimea.

Kaplan also stresses that even if, as we hope, there should be genuine news of Sentsov’s release, nothing should be said until he has safely left Russia. Any premature reports could cause harm.

Skeletal and in danger away from the cameras

78-year-old Natalya Balukh saw her son for the first time in eight months on 9 August. She told the Crimean Human Rights Group of the shock of seeing him so desperately thin. He’s just a skeleton, she said, adding that 47-year-old Balukh looks like an old man. She stressed that Volodymyr himself does not say anything about his health so as not to worry her, however his very appearance cannot fail to frighten her. She too fears that she will not live to see her son released.

There are strong grounds for concern. Although, from his mother’s words, it is clear that he is on nearly full hunger strike, he is taking the absolute minimum needed to prevent the occupation authorities using force-feeding. On 19 March, he went on total hunger strike, but was persuaded after 25 days to take what is essentially a bare minimum to slow down the collapse of his organs. He had then resumed the full hunger strike on 23 June in protest at a second fabricated ‘criminal case’, initiated while he was already imprisoned.

During that ‘trial’, he looked dangerously frail, and that was almost two months ago.

Balukh has long complained of chest pain, and is currently held in a police holding centre in Razdolne without even minimal medical care.

Russia has already imprisoned Balukh for the Ukrainian flag he refused to remove from his home, and his unwavering loyalty to Ukraine. It is now risking his life.

Oleksandr Shumkov

The 28-year-old from Kherson is currently on ‘trial’ in Russia, charged in all seriousness with alleged involvement, while in Ukraine, in the Ukrainian Right Sector party and specifically in protests against Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Shumkov has been on hunger strike since 24 May and is looking very thin. He mother, Lyudmila, says that he is feeling very weak and cannot cope when there are three or four hearings in his ‘trial’ in a week. He pleads for a break, although his request is only sometimes heeded.

Oleg Sentsov; Volodymyr Balukh and Oleksandr Shumkov have all been recognized as political prisoners by the authoritative Memorial Human Rights Centre.

khpg.org  In Ukrainian/український


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Began to threaten: Russia has resorted to radical measures across the US

on Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:20 pm
Began to threaten: Russia has resorted to radical measures across the US

In response to new sanctions, the United States will continue to get rid of US securities and increase payments in national currencies.

According to First Deputy Prime Minister of the RF, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, contributions to the US economy are already reduced to a minimum, Kommersant reports.

"We have reduced to a minimum and will continue to reduce our contributions to the US economy, in US securities, we will make more payments not in US dollars, but in the national currency and in other currencies, in particular in the European currency," he said.

According to him, the possible introduction of sanctions against Russian state-owned banks will not create serious problems for the economy.

"We see that the next sanctions package that deals with Russian enterprises, the Russian economy is now being prepared. The most sensitive points of this package are the introduction of certain restrictions on state-owned banks or on one state-owned bank... This is, of course, unpleasant, but not deadly, "he said.

As of Monday morning, August 13, the dollar exchange rate at the opening of trading on the Moscow Stock Exchange exceeded the mark of 68 rubles and reached the maximum level since April 2016.

As reported by OBOZREVATEL , earlier experts called the current Russian ruble "fair" and indicated the reasons for its collapse.

At the same time, the Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska provided the US Ministry of Finance with a plan to remove the company from sanctions.

As of August 10, the official exchange rate of the Russian currency against the euro has lost three rubles, against the dollar - two rubles 69 cents. It should be noted that the new US sanctions against Russia are expected from August 22.

obozrevatel.com  In Ukrainian/український


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Russian Federation is consistently blocking the extension of the OSCE mission to the Donbas, while the forces under its control hinder SMM from monitoring abroad, - Volker

on Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:24 pm
Russian Federation is consistently blocking the extension of the OSCE mission to the Donbas, while the forces under its control hinder SMM from monitoring abroad, - Volker



The US State Department spokeswoman for Ukraine, Kurt Volcker, said that Russia consistently blocks the expansion of the OSCE mission in the Donbas.

As informs Censor.NET, he wrote about this on his page in Twitter.

"Russia consistently blocks the enlargement of the OSCE mission at the border, while the forces under its control hinder SMM to be reliably monitored abroad as it sends troops, weapons and materials to Ukraine, while it claims that it is an" internal "conflict and gives hypocritical arguments against the Minsk treaties"- wrote Volker.

He noted that Russia is using an uncontrolled border to support the conflict in the Donbass, and stressed that if Russia wanted peace for Ukraine, it would have demonstrated goodwill in this way through cooperation with the international community for overseas control.

"This is permitted under the Minsk agreements. Article 9 relates to the restoration of Ukraine's overseas control the day after the local elections, not international monitoring or attempts to prevent the illegal supply of troops and equipment (to be reserved under the Minsk)", - wrote Volker.



ua.censor.net.ua  In Ukrainian/український


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The ruble is rapidly depreciating: for the first time in two years, the dollar at the auction exceeded 68 rubles

on Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:26 pm
The ruble is rapidly depreciating: for the first time in two years, the dollar at the auction exceeded 68 rubles



In the course of trading on the Moscow Stock Exchange, the dollar exceeded the mark of 68 rubles for the first time since April 2016, according to data exchanges.

As Censor.NET informs, Gazeta.ru reports.

At the beginning of the trading the dollar to the ruble increased by 72 kopecks. To 68.4 rub., The exchange rate of the euro against the ruble grew by 65 kopecks. Up to 77.9 rub.

During the electronic trading on the London and New York exchanges, world oil prices are falling.

September futures for oil WTI fell by 0.16%, to $67.52 per barrel.

Futures for Brent crude oil delivered in October fell by 0.32% to $72.58 a barrel.

Earlier, First Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister of Russia Anton Siluanov did not reject the refusal of the dollar in payments for oil supplies.

ua.censor.net.ua  In Ukrainian/український


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"I appreciate president pushing back," - US Senator Graham on newest sanctions against Russia

on Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:32 pm
"I appreciate president pushing back," - US Senator Graham on newest sanctions against Russia

U.S. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, Armed Services Committee, "applauds" the Trump administration for hitting Russia over election meddling and involvement in the nerve agent attack in the U.K.

"I applaud the administration for hitting Russia based on what they did in Britain," he said on air of FOX News Sunday, Censor.NET reports citing RealClearPolitics.

"They're directly involved in killing the British citizen, the poison that was used in Britain to kill this former Soviet spy -- Soviet member who became a spy, came from Russia. They are meddling in the 2018 election. I'm 100 percent certain that they are continuing to meddle in our election. They intend to disrupt the 2018 election," Graham said.

However, the American politician says he does not mind trying to have a better relationship with Russia. "They just need to act better to achieve that goal," he stressed.

In 2014, both the U.S. and European Union introduced sanctions that restricted Russia’s access to global financial markets and to equipment for new energy projects. Those measures were punishing, but the sanctions announced by the Trump administration this past week could be even worse.

The restrictions were triggered under U.S. law on chemical weapons following a formal U.S. determination that Russia used the Novichok nerve agent to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury in March.

The first tranche, due to take effect Aug. 22, will deny export licenses to Russia for the purchase of many items with national security implications. Existing sanctions already prohibit the export of most military and security-related items, but now the ban will be extended to goods such as gas turbine engines, electronics and calibration equipment that were previously allowed on a case-by-case basis. The State Department said it could potentially affect hundreds of millions of dollars in trade.

Russia has 90 days to "provide assurances" that it will not use chemical weapons in the future and allow inspections. If Russia does not comply, Trump will be obligated to impose a second set of sanctions, applying restrictions on at least three from a menu of options: opposing multilateral bank assistance to Russia, broad restrictions on exports and imports, downgrading diplomatic relations, prohibiting air carrier landing rights and barring U.S. banks from making loans to the Russian government. That could do significantly more economic harm and have a lasting, destabilizing effect on the currency and stock markets.

ua.censor.net.ua  In Ukrainian/український


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The American destroyer Carney DDG 64 entered the Black Sea

on Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:34 pm
The American destroyer Carney DDG 64 entered the Black Sea



The destroyer of the US Navy Carney DDG 64 (Karni) entered the Black Sea. The purpose of the visit is to interact with allies and partners in the region.

As informs Censor.NET with reference to the " Correspondent", this is reported on the site of the Sixth Fleet of the United States Navy.

"Destroyer Karni entered the Black Sea to conduct operations to ensure safety at sea," the statement said.

In particular, the purpose of the arrival of the destroyer is to interact with allies and partners in the region. The Navy emphasized that the arrival of Karni in the Black Sea demonstrates the continued commitment of the United States to security in the region.

Karny belongs to the early type of destroyer such as Arli Burke and carries a standard for such ships of armament, in particular, 96 launchers for different types of missiles, including Tomahawks, Standards and Ascoccus. Also, the ship is equipped with the only system of missile defense "Idzis".

Earlier, in Odessa, six NATO ships arrived.

ua.censor.net.ua  In Ukrainian/український


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In Syria, they attacked Putin's military base: the first details appeared

on Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:36 pm
In Syria, they attacked Putin's military base: the first details appeared

In Syria, for the fourth time in a week, attacked the Russian air base Khmeimim .

This was reported by the head of the Russian center in Syria, Major-General Alexei Tsigankov, reports Interfax.

According to the publication, control facilities of Russians found two unmanned pilots, which were launched in the direction of the air base from the province of Idlib. Given the fact that UAVs, in addition to intelligence functions, can also drop bombs, Russian troops destroyed the objects.

In addition, according to Tsigankov, during August 12, a number of shelling of the positions of the forces of Bashar al-Assad was recorded. At the same time, government forces attacked Idlib, killing 40 people, including 20 children.

It should be noted that 60% of the province of Idlib is currently controlled by the coalition of anti-government factions Hayat Tabir Ash-Sham.

apostrophe.ua  In Ukrainian/український


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