Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Oleksandr Turchynov: The first test of the Ukrainian cruise missile has been carried out

January 31, 2018 (National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine) The first successful flying tests of the new missile technology - the Ukrainian ground-launched cruise missile, which can accurately hit ground and naval targets, have been carried out today. This was reported by Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov after the tests. According to him, this is a solely Ukrainian development completed by designers of the State Enterprise "State Kyiv Design Bureau "Luch" in cooperation with other state and private defense enterprises of Ukraine. "During the successful tests, the flight characteristics and operation of the missile systems were checked", - he explained.

Mr. Turchynov also informed that the NSDC of Ukraine, which coordinates the national missile program, set the task "to develop not only ground-launched cruise missile systems but also sea- and air-launched". "The range of our cruise missiles and their combat equipment do not contradict the international agreements signed by Ukraine for such type of weapons", - he added. 
 "This is a crucial event for Ukraine, because after the total disarmament of the Ukrainian army in accordance with the Budapest Memorandum, not a single missile was left in the Armed Forces of Ukraine", - Mr. Turchynov noticed. "Today's tests have opened a new stage of the missile program, according to which our Armed Forces must receive powerful high-performance cruise missiles that can accurately strike hostile targets at great distances", - Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine emphasized summarizing that missile systems of such class "are an important deterrent against the aggressor".

Monday, January 29, 2018

U.S. preparing to supply Javelin systems to Ukraine - Volker

January 29, 2018 (Ukrinform)  The United States has started preparations for the transfer of the Javelin anti-tank missile systems to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker has said in an interview with Radio Liberty. It takes time to prepare everything - the facilities where everything will be stored, the ways of transfer. We are working together on how to transport them and involve them in the work of the Armed Forces, he said.

We only hope to fill some "white spots" in Ukraine's defensive capabilities so as to prevent the further escalation of the conflict, Volker said. 
I want to emphasize that this is defensive equipment. It is useful only when there is a tank attack. Then it can be neutralized. So this is precisely a defensive weapon, not for attack and not for use on the contact line. I think that Ukraine largely shares this position, Volker said.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak has recently stated that the specific date for Ukraine's receiving the Javelin anti-tank missile systems would be known early next month - after his visit to the United States on February 2.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Unsettled By Russia, Sweden Revives Pamphlets On What To Do 'If War Comes'

Janyary 28, 2018 (BBC World Service) In the depths of World War II, Swedish authorities decided their citizens needed to know what to do if the fighting finally arrived on their doorstep. Though they maintained neutrality, it was hard to believe they could continue to do so — especially as, one by one, their Nordic neighbors got caught in the tides of violence. So they decided on a handy pamphlet, delivered to households across Sweden. Roughly translated to "If War Comes," the pamphlets offered tips for how to interpret sirens and what to take along in the case of evacuation.

The pamphlets didn't end with the war. For more than four decades, Sweden distributed these little bits of instruction on catastrophe — until, that is, the end of the Cold War seemed to diminish their usefulness and they were discontinued. Now, Sweden is bringing them back. The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency is organizing a reboot of the pamphlet, this time augmenting its advice on conventional warfare with tips on how to grapple with threats of this era: terrorism and cyberattacks, pandemics, misinformation campaigns and crises related to climate change.

The agency expects to deliver these pamphlets to 4.7 million Swedish households beginning in late May. "Back then the focus was only on war; today society looks totally different. There are considerably more complex threats," Christina Andersson, spokeswoman for the Civil Contingencies Agency, told Sweden's Aftonbladet newspaper. "People need to learn more and know more about how to handle it." In comments quoted by The Associated Press, Andersson added that the decision to revive the pamphlet after all this time was inspired by the "current security situation" around the Baltic Sea, referring to recent Russian movements in the region. This is far from the first move recently undertaken because of such concerns.

Sweden, which remains officially neutral, staged a massive collaborative military exercise with NATO powers last fall on Gotland, a large island just off the country's southeastern coast where it has begun to garrison troops in recent years. The weeks-long drills included troops from the U.S., France and Denmark, as well as non-NATO neighbor Finland. The exercise arose from worries about "a new security environment in this part of Europe with the annexation of Crimea (by Russia), war in Ukraine and pressure on Baltics," Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist told Britain's Sky News during the drills. Hultqvist cited similar reasons last year when the country declared it would be bringing back military conscription. The draft had been discontinued since 2010, but as troop levels declined, and Swedish authorities observed more Russian "exercise activities in our neighborhood," Hultqvist said, "we have decided to build a stronger national defense." And should that defense fail in a time of hypothetical crisis, Swedes will find advice in their soon-to-be delivered pamphlets — which have the same guiding principle they have always had, Andersson said. "When society is experiencing severe disruptions, or is being completely interrupted, people have the responsibility to handle their own and their nearest relatives' fundamental needs for a while."

Saturday, January 27, 2018

A giant Putin portrait is on display and it's made from bullet shells

January 27, 2018 (CNN) It's a striking image. A 7-foot-tall portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin made from bullet shells. The piece is on display as part of an exhibition that opened in New York on Thursday -- and it's meant to be a sobering reminder of the horrors of war. 

The shells are all from the 2014 Ukrainian uprising known as the Maidan Revolution, one of the bloodiest European conflicts since the early 1990s. And the two Ukrainian artists who created the portrait fiercely believe Putin is to blame for the violence that tore apart the eastern part of their country. "Russia tried to pull us into the USSR," Daniel Green, one of the artists said. "It was a line between democracy or totalitarianism." 

Both Green and his fellow artist, Daria Marchenko, took part in the uprising. Green said several of his friends were killed in the fighting. That's what gave him the idea of using spent bullets to symbolize what was happening.
The full article is available at

Friday, January 26, 2018

Live design collection with ethnic motives FAINA by Ukrainian architect and designer Victoria Yakusha will be presented for the first time at Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair in the capital of Sweden in February 2018

January 26, 2018 ( FAINA collection was born in 2014 as an artistic reflection on the Revolution of Dignity in Kyiv and desire of the whole nation for self-identification. In quest of inspiration Victoria conducted a study of household traditions of our ancestors back to 5-3 millennium BC since the time of Trypillya civilization – the shapes, materials and craft technics. 

Clay, felt, linen, wool, solid wood are the key elements of the ethno-style artisan furniture collection FAINA that represents concept of «live design». Hopefully, FAINA collection will attract attention of minimalism lovers and fans of modern Scandinavian interiors in the framework of Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair to be held on 6-10 February 2018. Further information on FAINA collection can be found under the following link: