Sunday, July 29, 2018

Boeing stepped in to rescue the Ukrainian plane maker Antonov, known for producing the world's largest aircraft

June 28, 2018 (UKRINFORM) The firm had ceased production because of its heavy reliance on Russian imports, which had collapsed after Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014, CNBC TV Channel reported. But, Boeing's parts, equipment and services unit, Aviall, is set to now provide the components and Antonov plans to build eight aircraft a year from the end of next year. The deal, which was signed at the Farnborough International Airshow, was confirmed to CNBC via email on Friday.

President of Antonov, Oleksandr Donets, told Reuters in an interview that the next step is to build a storage facility with Aviall. "This warehouse will deal with products, materials, metals, non-metals — with all components we are not able to get from our former partner, the Russian Federation," he said. Donets added that the warehouse would be funded by the Boeing subsidiary.
Antonov builds a range of passenger, cargo and transport aircraft. The latest under development is the An-132, a twin-engined turboprop used for military transportation which is being jointly developed with Saudi Arabia.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

1030 years of Christianity in Ukraine

July 28, 2018 ( In 2018 we mark the 1030 year of Ukraine accepting Christianity. In 988 Prince Volodymyr, the medieval ruler of Kyiv Rus (the state which grew to encompass modern day Ukraine, Byelorussia and north-western portions of Russia) Volodymyr decreed that paganism be abolished and all citizens be baptised and introduced to the Byzantine-Slavic form of Christianity to his land. It is not surprising that Christianity grew very quickly within the territory of Kyiv Rus.
Within the space of 100 years the Kyiv Rus state created some of the most beautiful artistic and architectural monuments of medieval Christianity in Europe, such as the St. Sophia Cathedral or the magnificence of the church-monastery complex of the Kyiv Caves Monastery. Although Kyiv was ravaged many times through the ages by the Tatars, the Muscovites and the Germans during World War II, many monuments have survived to this day.
One thousand and thirty years ago Prince Volodymyr directed his people to be baptised by immersion in the River Dnieper and accepted the Christian faith. This dramatic conversion reaffirms the faith and religious beliefs to this day. Following the conversion, the early Ukrainians developed into strong believers and proponents of their faith. The rich legacy of Ukraine’s Christianity is evident in the culture and customs of the Ukrainian people as well as in the faith of believers, in Ukraine and in the Diaspora. This is evident in the Byzantine rite, the church traditions, in the Slavonic liturgical language, the church music and in various other forms of devotion, which have taken such deep root in the life of the Ukrainian people.

The Saint Vladimir Monument is a monument in Kiev, dedicated to the Great Prince of Kiev Vladimir the Great, built in 1853. It is the oldest sculptural monument, a dominating feature of the Dnieper's banks, and one of the city's symbols.
The seeds planted in 988 bore great fruit over the centuries. The Ukrainian Church became a spiritual haven for its people during the times of national strife and enslavement; guiding them to great aesthetic achievements in times of freedom and statehood. Prince Volodymyr’s single act brought Christianity to Ukraine and Christianity has made a tremendous impact on the historical evolution in Ukraine and abroad.
After the breakup of the Soviet Union, however, the issue of an independent Ukrainian church became front and centre. Some Ukrainian religious leaders broke away from the Moscow Patriarchate and created their own independent body, which they called the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate.
Currently, three major Ukrainian Orthodox Churches coexist, and often compete, in the country: the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kiev Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.
In April this year Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko Ukrainian has petitioned Orthodox Christian leaders to allow them to create a national church independent from Russia — in a bid to end more than 300 years of Moscow’s influence over religious affairs in their country.
This is a matter of national security and our defences in a hybrid war,” said Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. “Because the Kremlin regards the Russian church as one of the key instruments of influence on Ukraine.” He met with Constantinople Patriarch Bartholomew in April and announced that Ukraine would present yet another application for autocephaly. The idea would be to create a separate national church, which the two breakaway churches, and possibly parts of the Moscow Patriarchate, would join. Without control over Ukraine, the Moscow Patriarchate wouldn’t be the biggest Orthodox church. And the Russian Church would lose the basis of its vision to be the center of world Orthodoxy.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

US won’t recognize Crimea annexation; Trump-Putin II delayed

July 26, 2018 (The Washington Post) President Donald Trump’s top national security aides sought to fend off accusations the president is too soft on Russia by declaring Wednesday that the U.S. will never recognize the annexation of Crimea and by postponing a second proposed summit between Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prepared to face questions about last week’s Trump-Putin meeting from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the White House said Trump had opted against trying to meet with Putin this fall, as had been announced, and would instead wait until 2019. National security adviser John Bolton cited special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election as the reason for the delay.
“The President believes that the next bilateral meeting with President Putin should take place after the Russia witch hunt is over, so we’ve agreed that it will be after the first of the year,” Bolton said. The White House said last week that Trump had directed Bolton to invite Putin to Washington for a meeting in the fall. This came amid the backlash over Trump’s performance at a news conference with Putin following their Helsinki summit, and many members of Congress had objected to them meeting again in the fall.
In the meantime, Pompeo issued a statement titled the “Crimea Declaration” in which he said the U.S. will continue to insist that Ukraine’s territorial integrity be restored. He said the U.S. would hold to its long-standing principle of refusing to recognize Kremlin claims of sovereignty over territory seized by force in violation of international law. And he called for Russia to respect principles it claims to respect and “end its occupation of Crimea.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, during a hearing on diplomacy and national security. (Susan Walsh/Associated Press)
In concert with allies, partners, and the international community, the United States rejects Russia’s attempted annexation of Crimea and pledges to maintain this policy until Ukraine’s territorial integrity is restored,” Pompeo said in the declaration, which was released by the State Department shortly before he was to testify.
Pompeo is expected to face tough questioning from committee members about Trump’s summit with Putin. Trump has suggested that U.S. opposition to Russia’s annexation of Crimea could be reconsidered.
In the declaration, Pompeo took Russia to task for it actions in Ukraine, particularly the 2014 annexation of Crimea. Russia has defended its move, saying Crimean voters approved the annexation in a referendum. The U.S. and its European allies have said the referendum was illegal as it was held without the consent of the government in Kiev and was conducted in a highly flawed manner.
“Through its actions, Russia has acted in a manner unworthy of a great nation and has chosen to isolate itself from the international community,” Pompeo said in the statement.
Even before the statement was released, Pompeo was taking a tough line on Russia and defending the Trump-Putin meeting as he prepared for his Senate testimony.
In an interview transcript released ahead of the Crimea statement, Pompeo said Trump and Putin “didn’t find much place to agree” on Ukraine when they met in Finland last week. He said Trump made clear to Putin that the so-called Minsk Accords to settle the Ukraine conflict is the right path forward.
He also reiterated U.S. support for an investigation that held Russia responsible for downing a Malaysian airliner over east Ukraine in 2014. Pompeo said that what the Russians did was “deeply immoral” and that those responsible for the MH17 disaster should be held accountable.
Pompeo made the comments in a Tuesday interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in California, where he and Defense Secretary James Mattis co-hosted meetings this week with their Australian counterparts. The interview was a likely preview of his Senate testimony, which comes as lawmakers are seeking answers on what the two leaders may have agreed to in Helsinki. The White House and State Department have been vague when pressed for specifics.
In the interview, Pompeo acknowledged that he was not in the room when Trump and Putin met for nearly two hours in Helsinki. But he said he had a “good understanding” of what took place based on his presence at a larger meeting between the two sides as well as conversations with Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The Nuremberg Palace of Justice

This building was the location of the Nuremberg trials that were held from 1945 to 1949 for the main surviving German war criminals of World War II. The Palace of Justice was chosen as the site of the trials because it was almost undamaged, offered sufficient space and included a large prison complex. The choice of the city of Nuremberg was symbolic as the Nazis had held large Nuremberg Rallies in the city.

The trials took place in courtroom number 600, situated in the eastern wing of the palace of Justice. The courtroom is still used, especially for murder trials. At the end of the Nuremberg Trials the courtroom was refurbished, and is now smaller. A wall that had been removed during the trials in order to create more space was re-erected. In addition, the judges’ bench was turned 90 degrees and is no longer situated in front of the window, but stands where the witness box was placed during the trials.

After 2000, Courtroom 600 could be visited by tourists, during weekends. On December 2008, the courtroom was closed to the public due to construction works creating a permanent exhibition. The Nuremberg Trials Memorial hosted by the Nuremberg Municipal Museums was opened in November 2010.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk beats Russian boxer Murat Gassiev to unify cruiserweight division

July 24, 2018 ( boxer Oleksandr Usyk has unified the cruiserweight division by beating Russian Murat Gassiev by unanimous decision on Sunday morning. Despite facing a hostile crowd in Moscow, Usyk controlled the fight with his jab to add Gassiev’s WBA and IBF titles to his own WBC and WBO belts. After just 15 fights he has become the first fighter in boxing history to hold all WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine world cruiserweight world titles.
Gassiev landed some heavy body shots when he got inside Usyk’s reach, but started to tire and the Ukrainian was utterly dominant in the later rounds as Gassiev swung wild haymakers. Usyk, a former Olympic gold medalist, holds all major titles after just 15 professional fights — the majority of which he travelled abroad to take on rivals in their own backyard. “Moscow, 2018. Bang! Daddy’s in the building,” Usyk said.
Usyk added that he could move up to heavyweight to fight the experienced British fighter Tony Bellow. He called out the British star straight after his victory — putting the entire heavyweight division on notice. “If he doesn’t want to drop down (to cruiserweight), I’ll happily go up to meet him,” Usyk said. “I’ll just eat extra pasta.”
Olexander Usyk was born in Crimea and has said he was forced to leave the peninsula after Russia annexed it from Ukraine in 2014. Despite the tension between the two countries, Usyk and Gassiev embraced warmly after the fight with broad smiles. You may see all 12 rounds of this fight in the window below.