Thursday, July 30, 2015

They were so close to Ukraine that needs help so much....(US soldiers arrested in Vienna airport on way to Ukraine)

July 30, 2015 (Axis of Logic) A few days ago, a group of American soldiers caused a security alert at Vienna’s Schwechat airport. The men were stopped while trying to travel with army weapons to Ukraine without any necessary permits, the newspaper wrote. The Austrian police had to intervene and remove the weapons. An investigation into the case was launched. The nine US soldiers were on their way from Washington to Ukraine, where they were to be deployed.

"However, since there were problems with their connecting flight after a stopover in Schwechat, they had to rebook their flight and, therefore, leave the transit area," Colonel Michael Bauer, Defense Ministry spokesman said. M16 assault rifles and pistols were discovered in the luggage of the American soldiers at a security checkpoint. The incident caused huge shock, because the weapons were not declared and registered and, thus, carried illegally.
The soldiers had not obtained the required transit approval by Austria. In special cases, the stay or transit of foreign military forces may be officially allowed after completing the application procedure, but the US soldiers did not send any required requests. The attempt by the American embassy to obtain the approval after the incident was rejected for legal reasons. Instead of going to Ukraine, the soldiers had to fly back home to Washington and were allowed to take the weapons with them.
This article is available at
Let us hope next time they will be not 10 but 1000 and they will reach Ukraine!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Why would Russia deploy bombers in Crimea?

July 24, 2015 (BBC News Europe) Russian defense ministry sources say a squadron of Tupolev Tu-22M3 long-range bombers will be based in Crimea - but experts question the strategic value of such a move for Russia. Russia's Interfax news agency reported the plan, quoting an unnamed ministry source, though it has not been officially confirmed. Other Russian media also reported it. Russia has previously pledged to beef up its military forces in Crimea, which has been internationally isolated since Russia annexed it from Ukraine in March 2014.

On 9 May the bombers were a highlight of Moscow's Victory Day flypast

Western nations imposed sanctions on Russia after the annexation and tightened them over Russian support for armed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Russian commentators see the Tu-22M3 bomber move as a response to US plans to deploy surface-to-air missile interceptors in Romania. Work at Romania's Deveselu airbase began in October 2013. It is part of a Nato missile shield plan to defend Europe from a possible "rogue state" missile attack. The US missiles are a ground-based version of Aegis, a system used by the US navy since 2004. The Russian bombers could be used against large surface ships, including aircraft carriers.

The Soviet-era Tu-22M3 bomber entered service in 1989 but has been modernised since then

However, military expert Viktor Murakhovsky argues that sending them to Crimea will only make them an obvious target in the event of an armed conflict, and they will do little to improve Russia's combat capability there. Russia also opposes the positioning of US missile interceptors in Poland. It threatened to put Iskander short-range missiles in its Kaliningrad region in response. However, despite reports of temporary deployments, Iskanders have not been moved there permanently.

Tupolev Tu-22M3
·         About 500 Tu-22Ms (various models) serving in Russian air force since 1989
·         Long-range strategic and maritime strike bomber - Nato codename "Backfire"
·         Max speed - 2,000km/h (1,200mph; Mach 1.88 - nearly twice speed of sound)
·         Length - 42.5m (140ft) and variable geometry wings
·         Four-man crew (pilot, co-pilot, navigator, weapon systems operator)
·         Two Kuznetsov NK-25 turbofan engines
·         Combat range - 2,200km (1,364 miles)
·         Max weight - 124 tonnes
·         Flight ceiling - 14,000m (46,200ft)
·         Carries missiles and bombs and has a cannon in tail turret

The full article is available at

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Moscow’s Ukrainian war again filling Russian streets with invalids

July 25, 2015 ( Moscow may be able to disown two of its soldiers who fought in its war in Ukraine, and it may even be able to convince many Russians and the gullible in the West that doing so is somehow appropriate. But as in Soviet times, it won’t be able to hide one of the most serious costs of that aggression: the increasing number of war invalids on Russian streets.
Almost 30 years ago and in response to the outrageous claims of Russian officials that “there are no invalids in the USSR,Valery Fefelov published a book with that title in London that documented not only how many invalids there were but how badly they were treated by the Soviet government even as they elicited sympathy from the Russian people.
Given how many wars declared and undeclared the Soviet Union was involved with, Fefelov wrote, there were an enormous number of invalids who suffered physical and mental traumas that did not end when the conflicts did. Instead, these victims of the regime returned home where all too often they were victimized again.

A one-armed Russian veteran of the Kremlin's invasion into Ukraine panhandling in a Moscow metro station. His sign says: "Help please on a prosthetic." (Image: Erich Hartmann on YouTube)

Now, like its Soviet antecedent, the Russian Federation of Vladimir Putin is again engaged in an aggressive war, a conflict that not only has resulted in an increasing number of dead but also in a rapidly growing number of wounded, many of whom will be physical or mental invalids for decades to come.
That cost of the war has not attracted much attention up to now, but Oleg Panfilov, founder of the Moscow Center for Extreme Journalism who now teaches in Tbilisi, has begun to fill this gap, one that the Kremlin won’t acknowledge just as it won’t acknowledge the presence of its soldiers in Ukraine.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Why Sweden and Russia are fighting over soil from Poltava region

July 22, 2015 (THE LOCAL) Both Russian and Swedish media have been debating whether the Nordic nation is set to seal a controversial deal to buy Ukranian soil. Russia analyst Elena Bazina shares her take on what the fuss is about.
While Ukraine is on fire, other countries are trying to benefit from it. Over the past week, Russian media sites have been discussing rumours that Swedes are set to buy a huge amount of Ukrainian black soil - a rich soil that contains a number of chemicals that help plants grow. It's been claimed that around 50-100 million tonnes of very fertile Ukrainian chernozem (the technical term for the soil) will be delivered to Sweden and used at a nature reserve in Dalarna.

The black soil in Poltava region
According to rumours, the soil will be taken mainly from Poltava region which is of historic importance when it comes to the relationship between the two countries. The area is well-known for hosting the Battle of Poltava, when Russia's Peter the Great defeated Swedish forces under Karl XII in 1709. So, the news that Swedes could end up possessing Poltava’s soil wounds the feelings of some Russians, who believe Sweden is still trying to get its revenge.
Read full article at

My brief comment: Poltava was under German occupation from September 18, 1941 until September 23, 1943. Within this term many hundred of railway cars full of Ukrainian black soil have been delivered to Germany. Dozen of them were deserted by Germans on Poltava local railway on the eve of liberation. As many old local inhabitants assert the soil was collected not far from Poltava including Poltava Battle field.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Ukraine Moves Toward Constitutional Reform

July 16, 2015 (ABCNEWS) Ukraine's parliament on Thursday gave preliminary approval to a bill that would devolve more powers to separatist-controlled areas in eastern Ukraine and sent it for review at the country's highest court. The conflict between Russia-backed rebels and Ukrainian government troops has killed more than 6,400 people since fighting there began last April. An armistice signed in February calls for a political resolution in the region including constitutional reform that will give all Ukrainian regions — and the east specifically — more powers.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko gestures as he speaks to lawmakers during a parliament session in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, July 16, 2015. Ukraine’s parliament, on Thursday sent to the Constitutional Court draft amendments to the country’s Constitution concerning decentralization. A total of 288 lawmakers, 62 more than the minimum required voted in favor of the decision. The Constitution is added by a provision that "the peculiarities of local self-government in certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions are defined by a separate law." (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Presenting the bill on Thursday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko insisted that the changes he is proposing would not turn Ukraine into a federation. He said that along with giving more powers to local authorities throughout the country, the bill allows broader autonomy in the areas the government is currently not controlling. "Ukraine will stay a unitary state," Poroshenko told the parliament.
Poroshenko stopped short of explaining the particulars of the self-governance in the east, but the details are expected to be released when the bill goes to parliament. Lawmakers on Thursday voted 228-58 for the bill, and it now goes to the country's Constitution Court. Once approved, it will go back to the parliament to be voted on again, and later to be signed into law by the president. Lawmakers were debating the bill in the presence of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who is in Kiev on a visit and was watching the vote from the public gallery.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

"No armed units will walk the streets of Ukrainian cities": Presidential Administration told ambassadors about investigation into Mukacheve incident

July 14, 2015 Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Andrii Taranov, Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine Vasyl Hrytsak held a meeting at the Presidential Administration with the heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Ukraine, where they reported on the actions of the authorities to ensure stability following the Mukacheve incident. Andrii Taranov noted that the growing tension in the Donbas was synchronized with the destabilization in the west of Ukraine. According to him, thorough and fundamental investigation of all circumstances of the incident and regarding all persons involved will be carried out. Corresponding staff decisions will also be taken. "No high-rank patronage or representative mandates will let anyone get away from responsibility," he stressed.

Taranov particularly noted: "Law enforcement bodies will use all means at their disposal to combat black market, smuggling and corruption." "No political force will have any armed branches. No armed units will walk the streets of Ukrainian cities," the deputy head stated. Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine Vasyl Hrytsak dwelt on the course of events in Mukacheve on July 11, law enforcement activities and the role of the Right Sector representatives in the incident. "In recent days, more than 40 searches have been conducted with firearms and other evidence of criminal activity having been seized. Four men involved in the incident have been detained. Prosecutor General's Office is investigating three criminal cases on the facts of the events," the SBU chairman stated.
"No one is allowed to walk with firearms across peaceful cities of Ukraine, open fire and justify it by saying they are at war with mafia. Criminals who have committed offenses have no right to hide behind the Ukrainian patriots, who took part in the conflict in the Donbas and the Revolution of Dignity," the SBU chairman stressed.

Government forces barricade bases of Right Sector, which has helped it battle pro-Russian forces, after gunfight reportedly killed two people

July 15, 2015 (Guardian News) Soldiers and police have been locked in a standoff with a nationalist militia in western Ukraine after a gun and grenade battle that left at least two dead. Tensions have been rising between the government and the Right Sector militia that has helped it fight pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country. A Right Sector spokesman, Taras Kuzyak, told Ukrainian media on Sunday that seven infantry fighting vehicles had blocked the entrance to Right Sector’s base near the town of Skole in Lviv region, adding that law enforcement was similarly cutting off access to other Right Sector bases in western Ukraine. The move came after a gunfight broke out on Saturday, when about 20 Right Sector gunmen arrived at a sports complex controlled by MP Mikhail Lano. 

They had been trying to stop the traffic of cigarettes and other contraband, a spokesman for the group said. Near the city of Mukacheve, the site of a fierce gun battle involving Right Sector fighters, private security guards and police on Saturday, Right Sector members were camped in the forest and did not plan to put down their weapons, spokesman Artem Skoropadsky said. It was previously reported that police had surrounded some gunmen in a wooded area and were attempting to negotiate their surrender. Lano said a Right Sector commander had met him to ask his help in arranging sanatorium stays for men who had fought in eastern Ukraine, during which time an unknown man was shot outside. According to local medical staff, nine people were wounded, including three passersby, in addition to the fatalities.  
A video published by journalist-turned-MP Mustafa Nayyem on Sunday shows Right Sector fighters firing Kalashnikov rifles and a heavy machine gun mounted on a pickup truck, apparently in the direction of police who had arrived on the scene. Another piece of footage shows a police car burning. 

About 200 people rallied in support of Right Sector outside the presidential administration in Kiev, many of them in military uniforms. Kiev has allowed nationalist groups including Right Sector to operate despite allegations by groups such as Amnesty International that Right Sector has tortured civilian prisoners. Despite an official ceasefire that started in February, the conflict in eastern Ukraine continues to simmer. Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and five wounded in the past 24 hours, a spokesman for Kiev’s “anti-terrorist operation” said on Sunday.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Ambassador to the United States of America Valeriy Chaly: A dozen European countries arming Ukraine now

July 13, 2015 (UNIAN News Agency) Newly appointed Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Valeriy Chaly says that Ukraine is being actively armed by Western partners, including with lethal weapons, according to Zerkalo Nedeli weekly newspaper.
We get weapons, including lethal ones, and nobody could ban this, as Ukraine is a sovereign state. Another thing is that it's not customary to name those countries, but this is a dozen states from Europe alone. We are at various levels of military and technical cooperation with them, and it is being developed at the moment”, Chaly told Zerkalo Nedeli in an interview, wrote.

What is more, he said, there is a broad support in the United States for providing more weapons to Ukraine. According to him, Ukraine now receives communications and night-vision systems, medical equipment, counter-battery radars, armored combat vehicles, robotic systems, including for mine clearance, and Imagery intelligence support from the United States. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko appointed Chaly as Ukraine's Ambassador to the United States on July 10. Prior to his appointment, Chaly was deputy head of the Presidential Administration.
Read more on UNIAN:

Friday, July 10, 2015

Europe’s Strategic Indifference Over Greece and Ukraine

July 9, 2015 (Carnegie Europe) The future of Europe’s security is being played out in Greece and Ukraine. The crises engulfing these two countries are not only economic, stemming from the failures over the years of Athens and Kiev to deal with the fundamental structural weaknesses of their state institutions. The two crises are also about Europe’s inability to recognize that if Greece quit the eurozone and if Europe backed away from giving Ukraine maximum political and financial support, Europe’s security would be at stake.

Because Europe has no real security and defense policy and, by implication, no strategy toward Greece and Ukraine, it has depended on NATO - meaning the United States - for its security. The basis of that security is now being challenged because the Europeans have not internalized the threats Greece and Ukraine pose to European security and to the transatlantic relationship.
The full article is available at

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Exhibition of icons painted on ammunition boxes delivered from the anti-terrorist operation area has been opened in Dnipropetrovsk

July 05, 2015 (CENZOR.NET) As reported by Censor.NETciting Radio Liberty, authors of the icons, a couple of painters Sofia Atlantova and Oleksandr Klymenko, presented about 30 icons painted in Byzantine style. According to Oleksandr Klymenko, all icons have been painted on wooden ammunition boxes’ covers which were delivered from the anti-terrorist area by Dnipropetrovsk volunteers and Dnipro-1 regiment soldiers, as well as on pieces of camouflage fabric.

The painters called their creations “art objects” and added that all wooden covers delivered from hot spots like Pisky, Debaltseve, Ilovaisk will be returned to peaceful life with images of the saints, Jesus, and Holy Mother. The icons are available for purchasing at the exhibition. Collected money will be transferred by the painters to military medics who save Ukrainian soldiers’ lives in the combat area. One icon costs from 700 to several thousands dollars.

As told by Klymenko, the exhibition has been presented in European cities, including Lublin, Berlin, Munich, Leipzig, Prague, Hanover, and The Hague where proceeds from sales of icons amounted to USD 31,800. All money has been donated to the Mykola Pyrohov First volunteer hospital in the Donbas region. Soon the exhibition will be shown in other cities of Ukraine.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Obama’s Plan to Send New Arms to Europe Isn’t Enough

July 3, 2015 (NATIONALREVIEW)We do not seek a cold, let alone a hot war with Russia. We do not seek to make Russia an enemy. But make no mistake: We will defend our allies, the rules-based international order, and the positive future it affords us all.
So said Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on June 22. Secretary Carter is on a dual-focus mission in Europe: He wants to deter Russian president Vladimir Putin from further military adventures, and to reassure American allies that President Obama is committed to NATO. Pursuing those ends, he outlined how the U.S. military will contribute to NATO’s new “Very High Readiness Joint Task Force” (VJTF). While America’s exact contribution to the VJTF isn’t yet clear, it will involve aviation-lift capabilities (which EU nations sorely lack), intelligence-gathering platforms (which EU nations sorely lack), navy and air-force assets (which EU nations sorely lack), and special-operations forces (which most EU nations sorely lack).

Read more at:

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Opishne - pottery capital of Ukraine

Opishne is an ancient Cossack town on the north of the Poltava region located 45km. north from Poltava. Its name is associated with pottery all over Ukraine. The craft has always blossomed there, thanks to the presence of fine clays in the area. That is why since centuries ago Opishne was regarded as a “capital” of Ukrainian ceramics. Potters throughout the entire Poltava region envy and try to follow all the Opishnian techniques in ceramics. There were about 280 potters in the town at that time. 

There is a National Museum of Ukrainian Ceramics there, founded in the beginning of the 1990's to save the national traditions and regenerate the old craft. It has several branches: an art school, a center dedicated to the study of the special methods of ceramics, a library, a publishing house, and audiovisual archives. Since 1997, the yearly congress of Ukrainian ceramists is held there. Wellknown potters (ceramists) compete during July. Their works can be seen in the yard of the museum or near the art school.