Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Night-vision goggles for the National Guard of Ukraine has arrived from Canada

April 29, 2015 Today, a new batch of non-lethal equipment was transferred to the Ukrainian National Guard during a media event in Kyiv, Ukraine. The Honourable Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, attended the event on behalf of Canada, in the presence of Lieutenant-General Mykola Balan, Commander of the National Guard of Ukraine. 

The shipment of night-vision goggles is part of an $11‑million Canadian assistance package announced in November 2014. Canada’s assistance is aimed at enhancing the capabilities of the Ukrainian armed forces in their fight to defend their country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Putin-backed bikers begin controversial ride to Berlin

April 25, 2015 (An ultra-patriotic Russian bike club has begun a controversial ride to Berlin, even though Poland says it will not allow them to cross the country. The Night Wolves want to retrace the route of the Red Army in World War Two, and visit memorials to the Soviet troops who died fighting the Nazis. But Poland's prime minister called the trip a provocation. The bikers are renowned for their staunch support of President Putin, particularly his policies in Ukraine. The US has put the club on its sanctions list. The group heading for Berlin joined a large crowd at the Night Wolves' headquarters in Moscow on Saturday for the annual launch of the season.

 Their leather jackets were newly embroidered: "Routes of Victory, 1941-45". "I don't think visiting war graves is provocative or aggressive," one of the men, Vladimir, told the BBC as a rock band played on stage. "Ours is a friendly visit, and we're unarmed. The most important thing is to visit the graves and do something to tell our grandchildren about." Another biker already has a Polish visa and says he informed the embassy of his plans when he applied. "So what basis does the Polish government have for denying me entry now?" Viktor Keller wanted to know. The official reason is that the Polish authorities were not given sufficient notice of the trip and cannot guarantee the bikers' safety.
Read the full story and see the video at 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Ukraine’s Kharkov region to build three lines of defense in the face of a possible new Russian invasion

April 25, 2015. As it was broadcasted by many Ukrainian news agencies, three lines of defense will be built in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region along the border with Russia and close to the combat area in the Eastern Ukraine. 

These lines will represent the system of dugouts connected with trenches. Besides there is a hill near the crossroad of Kharkiv beltway and the highway connecting Kharkiv and Russian city of Belgorod which cannot be bypassed by a potential enemy. So the Kharkiv local authorities decided to build a reliable concrete defensive installation there. The fort has already got the name Fort Solnechny (Sunny), and it is about to be completed soon after April 25. There is a government resolution to allocate 900 million hryvnias ($42.7 million under the current exchange rate) to fortify in a proper way a border with Russia and the temporary occupied territories.

Friday, April 24, 2015

France to supply helicopters and radio systems to Ukraine

April 24, 2015 (UNIAN News Agency). Leading French companies are to supply helicopters and radio systems to the Ukrainian armed forces, the press service of the Ukroboronprom state concern reported on Wednesday. Thales Communication & Security S.A.S will deliver tactical radio communications systems, while Airbus Helicopters S.A.S will sell its H125 single-engine helicopters to Ukraine. In addition, experts from Ukraine’s Ukrinmash state enterprise have signed a memorandum on cooperation with Thales Systems Aeroportes S.A. on a joint project to create a modern patrol aircraft. The strategic agreements in the sphere of military-technical cooperation between Ukraine and France came during a working visit of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to France. As UNIAN reported earlier, French President François Hollande and Poroshenko held a meeting in Paris on April 22.

During the meeting, the two leaders discussed the implementation of the Minsk agreements and the possibility of the deployment of an international peacekeeping mission in the Donbas conflict zone in eastern Ukraine. Hollande said during the meeting that he wasn’t sure about the need for the deployment of a peacekeeping mission in the Donbas. He also said that France would this month ratify the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

US starts training Ukrainians to fight pro-Russia forces

April 20, 2015 (AFP News Agency) US paratroopers Monday began training Ukrainian government forces who will fight pro-Russian separatists in the east, angering Moscow as the deadly conflict rumbles on in the ex-Soviet country. Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko welcomed troops from the US 173rd Airborne Brigade in a rain-soaked ceremony at a military base in Yavoriv, western Ukraine, to launch Operation Fearless Guardian.

"We are the eyewitnesses and direct participants in forming the new Ukrainian military, which like the phoenix is rising again after years of decline," Poroshenko told the assembled troops. "This is not only a war for the independence of Ukraine, but also a war for freedom and democracy in Europe and the whole world."
Officials said some 300 US troops will train 900 members of Ukraine's National Guard, which is deployed in the east where heavy artillery fire can still be heard despite a February ceasefire. The United Nations says more than 6,000 people have been killed in the conflict in the past year and more than a million civilians have been displaced. US Army Major Michael Weisman told AFP the mission would provide training in individual and medical skills and defence manoeuvres with the kind of weapons already used by the Ukrainian forces such as AK-47 assault rifles.

As the US brigade arrived in Ukraine last week from its base in Italy, Russia warned the move could "destabilise" Ukraine and said it was a step towards the United States arming Ukraine.
The full article is available at

Monday, April 20, 2015

Israel reportedly may start sending arms to Ukraine in response to Russia’s decision to lift its embargo on the delivery of the S-300 missile system to Iran

As it was reported by SPUTNIK news agency Israel may start sending arms to Ukraine in response to Russia’s decision to lift its five-year embargo on the delivery of the S-300 missile system to Iran. Israeli government has not made any decisions yet on sending weapons to Ukraine. Last week Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian president in a phone conversation that the planned delivery of the S-300 missile systems to Iran will undermine stability in the Middle East and increase Tehran's belligerence.
The deal between Russia and Iran on the delivery of five S-300 PMU-1 systems worth $800 million was agreed on eight years ago, but was suspended by then President Dmitry Medvedev after the UN Security Council slapped Iran with an arms embargo over concerns that Tehran was making weapon-grade uranium to use it in warheads. Russian top diplomat Sergei Lavrov said earlier that the ban had become obsolete, citing progress in the nuclear talks between Iran and the six world powers that will eventually see UN sanctions phased out.
Read more at:

Friday, April 17, 2015

Russia moves 2,000 troops, 50 armored vehicles to Russia-Ukraine Border

April 15, 2015 (Ukraine Crisis Media Center.) Ukrainian Armed Forces have observed that Russian military deployed 2,000 servicemen and 50 armored vehicles in 10 kilometers from the Ukrainian-Russian border near Veydelevka, Belgorod region, Russia, said Colonel Andriy Lysenko, ATO spokesperson, at the press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
Col. Lysenko reported that Russia-backed militants instigated armed provocations against Ukrainian troops, using small arms, grenade launchers and mortars. They have also fired from tanks twice in the area of Pisky village. Militants did not use cannon artillery over the last day. “Shyrokyne and Chermalyk at the Mariupol direction, areas around the Donetsk airport and towns close to the Bakhmutska road in the Luhansk regions were the hotspots of the conflict,” noted Colonel Lysenko.

Ukrainian servicemen spotted 22 enemy UAVs yesterday, downing one of them that was flying from Starobilsk towards Lyman, Luhansk region, at the height of 3,000 meters. “These towns are 30 kilometers away from the demarcation line,” the ATO spokesperson emphasized.
One Ukrainian serviceman was killed in action and two got wounded in the last 24 hours.
Col. Lysenko also told that members of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission and of the Joint Coordination and Control have visited Shyrokyne village. The monitors urged for a bilateral stage-by-stage withdrawal of forces in order to demilitarize the region.
The ATO spokesperson noted that Russia-backed militants have started to issue temporary IDs to be later replaced by “DPR passports”. “No country in the world will recognize them, they will not be valid when crossing the state border and cannot be counted as a proper document during any kind of legal operations,” Col. Lysenko added.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Poltava inhabitants collect money for the needs of counter-terrorist operation

A charity fair dedicated to the Orthodox Easter have taken place on April 12 near the Assumption Cathedral. Local inhabitants and guests were given a unique opportunity to purchase works of craftsmen in many fields - artists, potters, engravers, weavers, embroiderers, blacksmiths etc. Ceramics is one of the oldest and typical crafts in Ukraine. Majolica, the most popular branch of pottery in Ukraine, has developed in many regions of the country. The village of Opishnya in Poltava region has been recognized as the capital of pottery in Ukraine. Today Ukrainians still like to adorn their homes with majolica ceramics made of colored clay, glazed and decorated in genuinely Ukrainian style.
Ukrainian pysanky is painted eggs prepared as Easter presents for relatives and friends together with good wishes. Clothes as well as works of crafts are connected with its making: weaving, embroidery can be justly regarded as objects of art which play an important part in national culture. Weaving and embroidery are ages-old and traditionally women's crafts. Items of national clothes feature national traditions, taste, imagination and wisdom of people.
It is planned that proceeds from the sale of works of craftsmen will be utilized for the needs of counter-terrorist operation. Part of this money will be transferred to the wounded soldiers who are undergoing medical treatment in Poltava military hospital.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Ukraine MPs back ban on Nazi and Communist propaganda

April 9, 2015 (BBC News Europe) The Ukrainian parliament has voted to ban propaganda and symbols for "totalitarian Communist and Nazi regimes" in the former Soviet republic. The list of prohibited items includes street names, flags and monuments commemorating Communist leaders. A total of 254 members of Kiev's 450-member parliament voted in favour of the propaganda ban.

The legislation, which still needs to be signed into law by President Petro Poroshenko, makes it illegal to deny the "criminal" character of Nazi and Communist regimes. Items prohibited under the bill include the Soviet flag and hymn as well as monuments and historical plaques commemorating Communist leaders.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

UK to Increase Military Supplies to Ukraine – Defense Minister Fallon

Atril 11, 2015 ( The United Kingdom will increase the supply of non-lethal equipment to Ukraine, Defense Minister Michael Fallon said in London on Friday. According to Fallon, Britain also intends to assist NATO in strengthening its combat capability. In particular, the British armed forces will participate more actively in Alliance exercises and in patrolling Baltic airspace. On March 6, the United Kingdom pledged to provide to Ukraine a package of non-lethal military equipment, including helmets, night-vision goggles, GPS units, hardened laptops and first aid kits, worth nearly $1.3 billion. London has previously sent Kiev $1.8 billion worth of equipment, including personal protective equipment and fuel for the winter.
Last month, some 35 UK military instructors reportedly began training Ukrainian soldiers fighting against independence militias in the east of the country. UK instructors arrived in Ukraine's southern city of Mykolaiv and are expected to stay for two months, improving Ukrainian troop skills in defense and medical aid.

The military conflict between Kiev and pro-independence forces of the Donbas started April 2014 and has killed over 6,000 people, according to UN estimates. The warring sides have signed a ceasefire deal, on February 15.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

'Summary killings' of Ukraine soldiers in east - Amnesty

April 9, 2015 (BBC News Europe) Amnesty International has said it has evidence pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine summarily killed four Ukrainian soldiers in their captivity. Witnesses told the group that one government soldier was shot at point-blank range by a separatist commander. Amnesty also said it had videos of three others shown alive in captivity, then dead in a morgue with bullet wounds to their heads and upper bodies. A fragile ceasefire has been in force in eastern Ukraine since February. The killings are tantamount to war crimes, Amnesty said.
"These claims must be promptly, thoroughly and impartially investigated, and the perpetrators prosecuted in fair trials by recognized authorities," said Denis Krivosheev, Europe and Central Asia Deputy Director at the organization. The allegations come after one separatist commander told the Ukrainian newspaper Kyiv Post he personally killed 15 soldiers captured from the Ukrainian armed forces. An adviser to the rebels told the BBC last year they had carried out executions in one separatist-held area "to prevent chaos".
Rights groups have accused both sides in the conflict of abuses. Some 6,000 people have been killed since fighting broke out in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian government a year ago.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Ukraine Receives First Batch of US Humvees

March 25, 2015 (DefenseNews) Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday took delivery of 10 US armored vehicles, two days after American lawmakers voted to urge President Barack Obama to provide "lethal" aid to Kiev. Dressed in camouflage, the Ukraine leader thanked Washington for the 10 Humvees, the first of 30 promised by Washington, as they arrived at Kiev's Boryspil International Airport. In total, the US plans to send 200 regular Humvees, radios, counter-mortar radars and other non-lethal equipment worth $75 million.

The US House of Representatives on Monday voted 348-48 in favor of putting pressure on Obama to ship "lethal defensive weapon systems" to help Kiev forces defend against Russian "aggression". Obama has so far resisted calls to provide Kiev with weapons and other heavy military equipment, but House Democrat Eliot Engel, the lead sponsor of the resolution, told colleagues it was time to stop treating the Ukraine crisis "as just some faraway conflict."

The United Nations estimates that more than 6,000 people have been killed in fighting between Ukraine forces and pro-Russian separatists in the country's east since April. Kiev and its allies in the West accuse Russia of arming and spearheading the pro-Kremlin uprising, but Moscow denies the allegation. A ceasefire signed on February 12 has largely held despite sporadic fighting along the frontline.