Saturday, August 24, 2019

Celebrations of Ukraine's Independence Day held with participation of president

August 24, 2019 (UKRINFORM) Official celebrations of the 28th anniversary of Ukraine's Independence have begun in Kyiv on the Alley of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes. 

The celebrations are held with the participation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Independence Day was usually celebrated with a military parade held in Kyiv. However, President Zelensky decided to celebrate Independence Day in a new format. Instead of holding a military parade, the state allocated UAH 300 million in bonuses to servicemen. On July 30, Head of the Presidential Office Andriy Bohdan informed that the traditional parade would be replaced by a March of Dignity. A separate march, known as the March of Defenders, would be also held by Ukrainian war veterans.

The flag seen in today’s Doodle - with colors representing peace and prosperity, a bright blue sky, and golden wheatfields - will fly throughout Ukraine today in honor of the Eastern European nation’s 28th Independence Day. The national holiday marks Ukraine’s emergence as a sovereign state. On this day in 1991, a coup attempt in Moscow inspired Ukraine’s declaration of independence, leading to a referendum in which Ukrainian citizens voted to cut ties with the Soviet Union and elect a new president. Living in the second largest country in Europe aside from Russia, Ukrainians have their own rich language and culture. Many time-honored traditions are celebrated on this day. At festive concerts and fairs, many participants wear the vyshyvanka, an embroidered shirt popularized nearly 1000 years ago, during the days of the Kievan Rus.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has accepted congratulations on the occasion of the 28th anniversary of Independence of Ukraine, the president’s press service reports. In particular, President of the United States Donald Trump emphasized that the U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within the internationally recognized borders remained unchanged.
“Over the next year, the United States of America will work in partnership with the government and people of Ukraine to advance reforms that are critical to Ukraine's success, including reform of the rule of law and the fight against corruption, strengthening democratic institutions and promoting economic growth. The Ukrainian nation should fulfill its enormous potential, and the United States is proud to be a partner and support Ukraine on this path of change,” the U.S. president said in his congratulation.
Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom also congratulated Ukraine on Independence Day.
"It is with great pleasure that I extend to Your Excellency my congratulations on the occasion of your national holiday, together with the best wishes of happiness and prosperity to the people of Ukraine in the coming years," the letter reads.
President of France Emmanuel Macron stressed in his greetings that France kept standing side-by-side with Ukraine in order to restore peace in the east of the country.
"I applaud your initiative and determination to make concrete progress quickly for the benefit of the people affected by the conflict. I would like to assure you of my aspiration to reach tangible results in the Normandy format negotiations and in the negotiations with Russia,” the French president said.
"I am convinced that the sooner Ukraine implements ambitious reforms, in particular in the fight against corruption, and creates favorable conditions for realizing its exceptional economic potential, the sooner peace returns to Ukraine," Macron added.
Congratulations were also received from a number of other state leaders of the world.

Ambassador Melnyk: 131 wounded Ukrainian soldiers treated at German hospitals

August 23, 2019 (UNIAN) The Federal Republic of Germany provided medical assistance in its hospitals to 131 soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who were wounded or injured in the Donbas war, that's according to Ukraine's Ambassador to Germany Andrij Melnyk

"On the eve of Independence Day, we visited four of our wounded heroes of the ATO/JFO who are being treated at the Bundeswehr hospital in Berlin: in recent years, German funds — tens of millions of euros — have literally put 131 Ukrainian soldiers back on their feet," Melnyk wrote on Twitter. The ambassador has thanked Germany for the assistance provided.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Blast at Russian nuclear testing ground: FSB, Kremlin to look into doctors who spoke up about radiation

August 22, 2019 (UNIAN) Medical staff from the Arkhangelsk Regional Hospital in Russia were not initially warned that following an incident at a military site near Severodvinsk, three patients were brought in, affected by radiation. Vladimir Putin's Press Secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said it was necessary to identify the doctors who complained that they had not been warned about radiation-affected patients following the explosion at a military base near Severodvinsk. "It is necessary to establish which doctors claim they were not informed that the victims had been exposed to radiation after the explosion near Severodvinsk," Peskov told journalists Thursday, while commenting on the relevant reports in the media, Interfax reports. As UNIAN reported earlier, doctors working at the Arkhangelsk Regional Hospital in Russia were not initially warned that three patients were exposed to radiation following a blast at a military base near Severodvinsk on Aug 8. Hospital staff were told to sign non-disclosure agreements, reports said.

Also, security agents have seized all hospital paperwork regarding the victims of the accident. The blast at the training site brought casualties and a short-term increase in the background radiation levels. Regional authorities in the immediate aftermath of the accident assured that there were no emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere, also claiming that the radiation level at the scene of the accident remained within the norm. However, the sensors of the automated radiation monitoring system recorded an increase in the background radiation in the Russian city of Severodvinsk (Arkhangelsk Region). Also, the Dvina Bay area of ​​the White Sea was closed for free navigation for a month.

Kremlin comments on possible Putin-Zelensky meeting, Normandy format summit

August 22, 2019 (UNIAN) Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said there are no specific plans so far for a new Normandy format meeting and a possible date for contacts between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky. 

 "No, there is no date yet," he said when asked about preparations for new Normandy talks, according to Russian news agency TASS.  Speaking about the dates for a possible meeting between Putin and Zelensky, Peskov said: "So far, there are no specific plans for a possible meeting with Mr. Zelensky." The Kremlin spokesman said there were "more questions than answers" regarding possible negotiations between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents. "Work is in progress. We will inform you when there are specific agreements," he said.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

"River tram" service re-launched in Kyiv

August 19, 2019 (UNIAN) A new Kyiv "river tram" route has been launched along the Dnipro River between the city's Podil and Obolon areas. The route was officially launched on August 10, according to an UNIAN correspondent. Several dozen people have already made their first voyage. 

Kyiv's "river tram" resumed its service after a six-year break, according to the TV news service TSN. It will offer three voyages a day in the form of a city tour, which will be available on the weekend only and will be themed to Kyiv's history.

 "The service has been resumed in a trial mode. If there are people, more routes will open," captain of the vessel Viktor Hrekh said. A two-way ticket for a 90-minute voyage costs UAH 150, or about US$6.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Vladimir Putin joins bikers for a ride in Crimea

August 11, 2019 (Reuters) Russia's President Vladimir Putin attended a biker show organized by the Night Wolves motorcycle club on the peninsula of Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, amid vast protests in Moscow and several Russian cities on Saturday (August 10). Russian state television showed Putin in a leather jacket shaking hands and hugging with Russian biker club leader Alexander Zaldostanov and riding a Ural motorcycle near the Crimean city of Sevastopol, while tens of thousands of Russians staged what a monitoring group called the country's biggest political protest for eight years, defying a crackdown to demand free elections to Moscow's city legislature.

Police rounded up scores of people after the demonstration in Moscow and at another rally in St Petersburg, and detained a leading opposition figure before it began. But the response from the authorities was milder than the previous week when more than 1,000 protesters were detained, sometimes violently. The White Counter monitoring group said up to 60,000 people had attended the Moscow rally, describing it as the biggest in Russia for eight years. Police put turnout at 20,000.

Russian liberal opposition gather for a rally protesting against unfair Moscow State Duma elections in the center of Moscow, Russia, August 10, 2019. The liberal opposition called their supporters to continue their protest actions against rejecting their candidates for Moscow City Duma elections, which are scheduled for September. (Photo: Yuri Kochetkov, EPA-EFE)

A month of demonstrations over elections for the Moscow city legislature have turned into the biggest sustained protest movement in Russia since 2011-2013, when protesters took to the streets against perceived electoral fraud. Crowds at the rally in Moscow roared "down with the tsar!" and waved Russian flags. They were demanding that opposition-minded candidates be permitted to run in a city election next month after they were not allowed onto the ballot. Putin and the Kremlin have so far avoided commenting on the unrest over the Moscow city elections.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Chernobyl's 'Sarcophagus' Is Being Taken down Due to Fear of Collapse

August 9, 2019 ( The Chernobyl nuclear disaster is the worst power plant disaster in history. Just 2 months after the disaster, roughly 600,000 Soviet cleanup workers were given the deadly task of covering the plant's exposed reactor with a massive 'sarcophagus' encasing. Now, it has emerged that, 33 years later, the sarcophagus has to be dismantled before it collapses. Thankfully, this was known ahead of time and an impressive undertaking in precise engineering is making sure that the existing structure is safely replaced.
The 'sarcophagus' encasing the contaminated site of Chernobyl reactor 4 was made in order to lock in radioactive materials like corium, uranium, and plutonium. It was erected only two months after the disaster occurred on April 26, 1986.

At least 31 of the workers who constructed the encasing died of acute radiation sickness. The danger of the construction zone is partially responsible for the deterioration happening today. Though the covering was made from 400,00 cubic meters of concrete and approximately 16 million pounds of steel, the conditions meant that it was hastily built, leaving the building's joints unsealed, and openings in the ceiling, as Science Alert reports. Now, 33 years later, the covering has to be replaced: SSE Chernobyl NPP, the company that manages the nuclear plant site, has released a statement online saying the probability the structure will collapse is "very high" if it is left in its current state.
Read the full article at

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Time travel to "post-war Poltava"

August 6, 2019 Please do not think that these two photos were found in some archive. In fact, they were made a few days ago in the center of Poltava. The city authorities have not been able to demolish these buildings for several years, because the issue of ownership of this property has not been resolved.

Probably some local inhabitants, whose documents confirm that they live in these dilapidated houses, are still alive. This means that before demolishing these houses, their residents must obtain new housing. All this led to the existence of such “post-war ruins” in Poltava.

When I pass these buildings, it seems to me that the Second World War ended just a few days ago. At the end of this post, I would like to show you a third photo that was found in one of the German archives several years ago. It was made by a German officer in 1942 on one of the streets of Poltava. 

Don't you think that these three photos look alike?

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

President Zelensky cancels Independence Day military parade, gives money to soldiers

July 31, 2019 (Kyiv Post) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has announced that he will cancel the country’s tradition of holding a military parade on Independence Day on August 24. Instead, the money will be spent on bonuses to Ukrainian soldiers. In a July 9 video message published on social media, Zelensky termed the traditional parade “grandiose and clearly not inexpensive.” “It seems to me that, this year, instead of a parade it’s better to allocate that money for our heroes,” he said. Zelensky said that the Ukrainian government would spend Hr 300 million ($11.7 million) on bonuses for Ukrainian servicepeople, both those serving in Donbas and those farther from the frontline. Zelensky said that Independence Day celebrations will take place, but in a “new format.” 
Tanks pass by during the military parade on Aug. 24, 2018, marking Ukraine's 27th Independence Day.
Photo by Oleg Petrasiuk

Before his election as the president of Ukraine in April, Zelensky established himself as a television producer of entertainment shows and a comedic actor. The Independence Day military parade has not always been a tradition in Ukraine. It was held for the first time in 1994 under the presidency of Leonid Kuchma. In the following years, parades were held irregularly or without military equipment. When ex-President Viktor Yanukovych came to power, he canceled the parades entirely. 
It was ex-President Petro Poroshenko who turned the Independence Day parade into a massive annual show. After Russia invaded the eastern Donbas region in 2014, the parade took on a new meaning. It became an occasion to showcase the country’s military power, to commemorate soldiers killed in action, to give awards to heroes, and for the president to address the nation with a patriotic speech. Over the past five years, Ukraine’s allies have sent high-level officials to attend the parade and soldiers from allied countries have marched along with Ukrainian servicepeople. Last year’s Independence Day saw a record number of 4,500 troops marching down Kyiv’s central Khreshchatyk Street. For the first time, servicewomen also took part in the parade. 
Around 250 military vehicles drove down the avenue, including Javelin missile system received from the United States earlier that year. However, the cost of the grand military show has always been concealed. In 2014, the last time Ukraine’s defense ministry reported on the parade’s cost, it amounted to Hr 80 million. Zelensky’s announcement comes just days after the United States held a parade featuring military vehicles in Washington, DC to mark American Independence Day. 
That celebration was criticized as a show of military force more common in authoritarian states. On July 2, Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia, wrote on Twitter that the sight of tanks being towed into Washington reminded him of “parades I used to attend in the Soviet Union. Not the right look for the 4th.”

Corgi appears as Kyiv guide in city’s new promo video

July31, 2019 (Kyiv Post) For a corgi named Loyd, living in Kyiv isn’t such a dog’s life. Loyd is the star of a promotional video about Kyiv, published on July 29 by the city administration’s tourism department. In the video, Loyd serves as a guide to Kyiv. The naughty, English-speaking corgi escapes his owner to show the viewer around town. “I’m going to show you the best city in the world! Follow me, my long-legged friends,” Loyd says in the narrator’s voice.
A corgi named Loyd is the star of the new promotional video about Kyiv by the city administration’s tourism department.

The corgi leads the viewer through several sights in Kyiv: Maidan Nezalezhnosti, Sofiiska and Poshtova squares, Andriyivsky Descent and the picturesque new pedestrian bridge. At the end of the video, Loyd is picked up by a police officer on an alley of Shevchenko Park and returned to his owner. The city’s tourism office previously published dozens of video guides with human actors but it’s the first time a dog took central stage. It will likely become their most popular video: just four days after uploading, it had 14,000 views on Youtube. Earlier videos with human actors got from 5,000 to 19,000 views.
Loyd also has a Facebook page administered in his name by the owners. There are pictures of Loyd in Kyiv and photographs from the set of his guide video.1

Monday, July 29, 2019

Svenskt Militärhistoriskt Bibliotek presented new gifts for Poltava Battle Museum

July 29, 2019.  The collection of the Museum of the Battle of Poltava was replenished with new exhibits that were presented by the Swedish Military History Society (Svenskt Militärhistoriskt Bibliotek - SMB). This is a small collection of coins from the time of King Charles 12, purchased by the SMB society for the Poltava museum, with which the Swedish Military History Society has a long-standing friendship. Due to the efforts of the Swedish Military History Society the “Swedish part of the museum’s collection” is getting bigger and bigger.”

Another valuable gift was delivered to the museum by SMB delegation that visited Poltava and Kyiv in mid May 2019. This is a bust of the Swedish king Charles XII created by Edmé Bouchardon (1698 – 1762), French sculptor best known for his neoclassical statues in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles, his medals, his equestrian statue of Louis XV of France for the Place de la Concorde (destroyed during the French Revolution; and for the Fountain of Four Seasons in Paris.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

By 2025, Ukrainian spec-ops forces will have 100% switched to NATO arms and gear standards.

July 25, 2019 (UNIAN) Full gear of each Ukrainian Special Operations Forces (SOF) serviceman costs US$15,000, that's according to SOF Commander Ihor Luniov, who compared it to the American analog costing up to $100,000. Speaking at a Kyiv briefing on Wednesday on the 3rd anniversary of SOF founding in Ukraine, Luniov noted that, as of today, the SOF had all Soviet-type SOF sniper rifles replaced with Ukrainian-made UR-10s, as well as foreign-made Barrett sniper rifles, and 338-caliber Savage, according to an UNIAN correspondent. Luniov added that a number of Ukraine-produced unmanned aerial vehicles were delivered, so the SOF is now fully equipped with drones required. Also this year, a separate nomenclature of armament and military equipment was introduced for the SOF.

By 2025, Ukrainian spec-ops forces will have 100% switched to NATO arms and gear standards, the commander noted. As of today, Luniov said, SOF troops have at their disposal special Humvee trucks and radios able to ensure encrypted communications. In contrast to their American counterparts, Ukrainian spec-ops forces lack means of navigation and space reconnaissance: "We can only use these data if they're provided to us." As UNIAN reported, for the first time in history, a Ukrainian unit passed NATO SOF certification despite being from a country which is not part of the Alliance.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

President of Ukraine met with Ambassadors of the G7 countries and Heads of the Missions to the EU and NATO

July 24, 2019 ( of Ukraine met with Ambassadors of the G7 countries and Heads of the Missions to the EU and NATO.President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with the G7 Ambassadors' Support Group for Ukraine and Heads of the Missions of Ukraine to the UE and NATO.
"I am extremely grateful to representatives of your countries for the constant support of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Today is a very difficult situation, but you have a powerful, constant "pro-Ukrainian" position", the Head of State stressed. The President thanked the diplomatic representatives for the participation of international observers in the work of the pre-term election to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on July 21, 2019.

"This is not the first elections in Ukraine that are held peacefully, democratically. And this is thanks, in particular, to international observers" Volodymyr Zelenskyy said. Foreign representatives expressed their readiness to provide broad support to the implementation of an ambitious reform program, which was announced by the Head of State earlier and should receive the necessary support for the new composition of the Ukrainian Parliament. Volodymyr Zelenskyy informed the participants of the meeting on the situation in the Donbas region  and the last steps for dividing  forces around Stanitsa Luganska. He stressed that strict compliance with the ceasefire regime is a prerequisite for further progress in conflict resolution. During the meeting, the main attention was paid to the reforms implemented by Ukraine and the support of the efforts of the President and his team from the international partners.

Ukraine population down to 42.04 mln. Stats say there are 49 newborns per 100 deceased.

July 24, 2019 (UNIAN) The population of Ukraine in January-May 2019 decreased by 122,400 against December 2018 and as of June 1, 2019 amounted to 42.038,000, the State Statistics Service of Ukraine reported. According to the agency, in January-May 2019, 126,700 children were born, while in January-May 2018 this figure was 137,800. In the first five months of 2019, a natural decline in the population was recorded at 260,900, whereas in the same period last year it was 254,200. At the same time, the number of newborns exceeded the number of those who died by 11,842, while in January-April 2018 the difference was 9,616. Read also Ukraine to conduct trial census in late 2019 – State Statistics Service In addition, there is a significant excess of the number of deaths over the number of newborns: 49 newborns per 100 deaths. The data cover all regions of Ukraine, except for the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. 

The data on the natural and migration movement of the population are formed without taking into account the temporarily occupied territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Sevastopol and parts of the temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. As UNIAN reported, citing the forecast of Institute of Social Research Demography of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, by 2030, the population of Ukraine will have decreased by 6.8% to 39.5 million, while the share of the working-age population will decrease by 12% to 24 million. The main reason is the outflow of the working-age population abroad. In the spring of 2014, after the annexation of Crimea and the formation of the Anti-Terrorist Operation zone in the east of the country due to the start of hostilities in the region, the population of Ukraine was significantly adjusted and reduced to 43 million from 45 million. This figure has been decreasing each month. The last time the census was held in Ukraine back in 2001. The United Nations recommends such an assessment be done at least once every ten years.

Ukraine army destroys enemy firing position in Donbas (Video)

July 24, 2019 (UNIAN) Members of the 93rd "Kholodniy Yar" separate mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have destroyed an enemy firing position near the Avdiyivka industrial zone in Donbas, eastern Ukraine. Read also Enemy howitzer destroyed in Donbas (Video) "Complete destruction of the enemy's firing position was caught on the video. The accuracy is breaking all records. We managed to direct 14 shells out of 19 to the target that morning," the brigade said in captions to the video posted on Facebook. However, it is not indicated when the strike occurred.

Snap from video
The video is available at:
 Read more on UNIAN:

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Ukraine President's Party Leads in Parliament Election-Exit Poll

July 21, 2019 (Reuters) President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's party led Ukraine's snap parliamentary election on Sunday with 43.9% of votes, an exit poll showed. The Opposition Platform was in second place, former President Petro Poroshenko's party was in third place, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's party was in fourth place and rock star Sviatoslav Vakarchuk's party in fifth.

Ukrainian electoral system.
Under current law 225 members of the Verkhovna Rada are elected by nationwide closed party-list proportional representation with 5% electoral election threshold and the other 225 seats elected in constituencies with a first-past-the-post electoral system in one round (candidate with the highest vote total wins).21 parties take part in the election in the nationwide party-list. 26 constituencies from 225 are suspended due to the March 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia and the occupation of parts of Donetsk Oblast and Luhansk Oblast by separatists (since April 2014), because of then roughly 12 percent of voting-age citizens cannot participate in the elections.
Candidates had until 20 June to submit documents to the Central Election Commission of Ukraine to register as candidates for the position of deputy of the Verkhovna Rada. On 25 June 2019, the Central Election Comission ended its registration process. It registered 5,845 candidates for the elections: 3,171 candidates in the single-member constituencies and 2,674 candidates in the single nationwide constituency with 22 parties.  

Friday, July 19, 2019

Poland says Putin's presence on WWII anniversary inappropriate

July 19, 2019 (UNIAN) Deputy Prime Minister of Poland Jacek Sasin has said Polish authorities consider inappropriate the attendance by Russian President Vladimir Putin of commemorative events on the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II, which will be held in Warsaw in September 2019. "I think it would be inappropriate to mark the anniversary of the beginning of the armed aggression against Poland with the participation of a leader who today treats his neighbors using the same methods," he told Polskie Radio 24, according to Deutsche Welle's Russian service. He stressed Putin is "the leader of a country that is carrying out armed aggression against its neighbors."
At the same time, the politician said U.S. President Donald Trump would most likely arrive at the ceremony in Warsaw. According to Sasin, the report suggesting that Trump will attend the event is still unofficial. "However, we can say with a high degree of confidence that this visit will take place," he said.
Answering a question about a possible visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Sasin said Warsaw is "optimistic about this." According to the politician, the invitations have already been sent to a wide circle of world leaders, and Poland expects the commemorative events on the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II will be held at an international scale. It became known in March 2019 that Poland would not invite Putin to commemorative events. Paweł Mucha, Deputy Chief of the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland, said only partners in the European Union and the countries of the Eastern Partnership program would receive invitations from Warsaw. In response, representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry said they "were perplexed" with such a decision on the part of Warsaw.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Ex-chief of Ukraine's foreign intel: Army equipped to repel invasion, strategy needs improvement

July 8, 2019 (UNIAN) Ex-chief of Ukraine's Foreign Intelligence Service, General Mykola Malomuzh says that the army has weapons to repel an open full-scale invasion of Ukrainian territory by Russian troops, however, strategic preparations for this scenario are insufficient. "Strategically, we can involve allies. In addition to building up our weapons and preparedness for hostilities, we need to pursue a very effective policy with our partners, which, unfortunately, has not happened either now or earlier. Only scheduled meetings that do not form any potential from the economic or security point of view have been held so far. A team of professionals who would help [President of Ukraine Volodymyr] Zelensky in the system of security, economy, defense and the creation of innovative formats has not been formed yet," Malomuzh told the Ukrainian news outlet Apostrophe. Read also Ukrainian Army gets over 3,500 units of weapons, military equipment in 2018 (Photo) According to him, tactically, Ukraine has some groundwork allowing to respond to Russian aggression.
A Ukrainian-developed Korsar system / Photo from

As for weapons, Ukraine is better prepared here, but new developments must be introduced into the Armed Forces of Ukraine. "There are such systems as Korsar [anti-tank missile system developed by Kyiv-based Luch design bureau], Skif [Ukrainian-Belarusian anti-tank missile system]. They are comparable with [U.S.-made] Javelins and even better in some respects. [There are also] Oplot tanks. New tactical complexes, equipped with radio devices, better than the European ones. And in radio intelligence systems, our country even beats Britain, France, Germany, and Russia. We all have all this, but do not use it effectively. In many line-ups we have extremely powerful developments that can be put into service for the armed forces of Ukraine in a year and a half," the general said. 

Sunday, June 30, 2019

USS Carney enters Black Sea waters for Sea Breeze 2019 drills

June 30, 2019 (112UA) U.S. missile-armed destroyer USS Carney passed the Bosphorus and entered the waters of the Black Sea. An informed source told that to Interfax news agency. Currently, the warship moves across the Black Sea towards Odesa; the warship that carries Tomahawk guided missiles is about to join the annual exercise Sea Breeze co-hosted by Ukraine and the U.S.

 Previously, U.S. 6th Fleet, based in the Mediterranean Sea reported that Carney was on its way to the Black Sea to join the drills. Sea Breeze 2019, the Ukrainian-American military drills will begin in Odesa on July 1. The State Border Guard reported this June 26. Traditionally, the drills will be held at sea, on the ground, in the air and under the water surface.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Seven delegations leave PACE session hall in demarche over Russia's reinstatement

June 29, 2019 (UNIAN) Delegations of Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe decided to cut short their participation in the summer session following the return to the PACE of Russian legislators. "The unconditional restoration of the Russian Delegation’s rights without the Russian Federation honoring any of the Assembly’s numerous demands runs counter to the core values of the Council of Europe and its Statute," reads a joint statement released by the group of delegations.

"This step sends a very wrong signal to the country that has resorted to armed aggression, poisoning of individuals, does not observe human rights of its citizens and does not promote but seeks to destabilize democracies throughout Europe," the delegates said. "The future of the CoE is under threat as a whole because the CoE is losing the trust of the people it stands to protect," the statement stresses. The delegates said they are returning home "to consult our Parliaments and Governments about the joint actions in the Assembly in the next sessions," adding that they "wish good luck to the newly elected Secretary General and hope she/he finds a way to solve this unprecedented crisis of trust which was created this week."

Friday, June 28, 2019

Ukraine-U.S. Sea Breeze drills to kick off in Odesa on July 1

June 28, 2019 (UNIAN) Ukraine-U.S. Sea Breeze drills will begin in Odesa, Ukraine, on July 1. The drills will include artillery firing, landing of inspection teams, as well as training to improve special units' interoperability, the press service of Ukraine's State Border Guard Service said. For the first time, members of the Dozor border unit will take part in specialized diving training. 

"According to the legend of the exercise, hostile formations will try to block the access to the sea from the Danube River. A Maritime Border Guard detachment will be tasked to escort civilian transport vessels through the mouth of the Danube to the Black Sea," it said.
This element will involve exclusively Maritime Border Guard forces. "This year we are offering a broader maritime security component. For the second year now, we are planning to hold international exercises on the Danube River together with our Romanian counterparts. We also plan to conduct several joint border patrolling drills with members of the coast guard of Georgia during their visit in the port of Odesa," Chief of the regional coastal guards Oleh Kostur was quoted as saying. 

A closing ceremony is scheduled for July 12. Exercise Sea Breeze 2019 brings together 19 nations, 33 ships, 26 aircraft, and over 3,000 troops to participate in a maritime, air, and land exercise that will enhance capabilities, improve interoperability and build upon decades of partnership and friendship. The 19th iteration occurs this year and is a field training exercise with a focus on protecting critical infrastructure, force protection, and maritime security operations.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Poltava marks the 310th anniversary of the main battle of the Great Northern war

June 27, 2019 Today many peoples who are fond of military history gathered in the Poltava Battle Museum to mark 310th anniversary of the battle of Poltava. For many visitors it was very interesting to meet for the first time those who are carried away by historical reenactment. Our local Great Northern war reenactor Mikhail Mellin and his colleague from Zaporizhzhya familiarized all spectators with typical commands that were used in the infantry units of the Charles XII’s army and fired a few shots from 3-pound gun. After that Mrs. Natasha Bilan, who is a director of the museum, invited all guests to the museum when a few new exhibits including those that were recently delivered to the museum by SMB delegations were presented to the attenders. Some photos taken today in the museum you may browse below.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

U.S. may provide extra lethal armament to Ukraine, - Senator Rob Portman

June 26, 2019 ( The U.S. may provide the additional lethal armament to Ukraine as soon as the Congress supports proper draft law as Voice of America reported citing Senator of the U.S. Republican Party Rob Portman. “I am pleased to see that Ukraine got lethal defensive weapons, which we provided to it in 2017. And soon it will get more. You will see it in the law for which we will vote in Congress soon; other ideas will be there. I will not specify because we work on it. But, I hope, good news will be heard soon,” Portman noted. U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker noted that Ukraine needs strengthening of the air defense and coast defense.

From the point of view of the priorities, the anti-sniper systems were very important as the anti-tank missiles Javelin. Now we should pay attention to the air defense, coast defense, sea and coastal abilities. All of this is very important,” Volker said. The formal process of approval of the draft defense budget for the next year which provides $250 million for Ukraine kicked off in the U.S. Congress. $50 million of the sum might be spent on provision of lethal arms of defensive nature.

Ukraine's National Bank showcases brand new UAH 1,000 banknote

June 26, 2019 (UNIAN) The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has showcased a brand new banknote worth UAH 1,000. "Beginning October 25, 2019, the NBU will put into circulation the 1,000-hryvnia note – Ukraine's highest face value banknote so far," the regulator said on its website on June 25. The front of the banknote features a portrait of Volodymyr Vernadskyi. "He was selected for his tremendous contribution to the history of Ukraine as a philosopher, naturalist and the founder of new scientific disciplines (geochemistry, biochemistry and radiogeology). He was also one of the founders and the first president of the Ukrainian Academy of Science established in 1918," NBU Governor Yakiv Smolii said when introducing the banknote.

The building of the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine is at the back of the banknote. The color and size of the banknote make it easily distinguishable from other denominations, which helps users recognize the denomination. The dimensions of the new banknote are 75 mm by 160 mm. The main color is blue.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

On June 22, the Day of Sorrow and Remembrance of Victims of War is marked in Ukraine.

June 22, 2019 (UKRINFORM) On June 22, 1941, in spite of the secret non-aggression agreement (the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939) and the close military and economic cooperation between Germany and the USSR, Nazi Germany attacked Soviet units along the entire border line from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. The German-Soviet war of 1941-1945 began as the main part of the World War II. It lasted from June 22, 1941 until May 8, 1945 and its battles were among the largest in the military history of the 20th century. The dependence of both warring parties on Ukrainian economic, raw material potential and human resources caused uncompromising combat operations in our territory. Hence, Ukraine suffered the most from both the Nazi aggression and the communist regime. In general, the confrontation between Germany and the USSR on the territory of Ukraine did not cease for 40 months, and 35 of them were marked with active military operations. A total of 29 out of 76 strategic offensive operations were conducted on Ukrainian land, during which more than 60% of the Wehrmacht forces were annihilated.

Ukraine suffered the greatest losses during WWII not only among the former Soviet republics but among all the world countries. According to various estimates, between 8 and 10 million people were killed in Ukraine, including 5 million civilians. 2.2 million people were taken to forced labor camps in Nazi Germany, and 10 million people lost their homes. More than 700 cities and towns and almost 30,000 villages were ruined completely. The German-Soviet war showed Ukrainians the destructive power of the two totalitarian regimes. The crimes of the Nazis in the occupied territories of Ukraine are well-known: the Holocaust, shooting of civilians, creation of death camps, burning villages. The crimes of the communist regime were no less cruel: shooting of political prisoners in western Ukraine in June-July 1941, destruction of Kyiv city center in the fall of 1941, blowing up of the Dnipro hydro-electric power station, deportation of the Crimean Tatars, forced eviction of autochthonous Ukrainians from their ethnic lands. Today, we commemorate all those whose life was crippled and destroyed during that terrible war.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Chernobyl: Ex-president tells who decided to build nuclear power plant near Kyiv

June 21, 2019 (UNIAN) The decision to build what was set to become the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, where a major nuclear disaster occurred on April 26, 1986, was adopted by the Kyiv regional committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Ukraine, said former President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk. "I'd like you to know how the decision of building a [nuclear] station was taken. Ukraine wasn't the very first and main territory where a nuclear power plant was set to be built. It was the Kyiv Regional Committee of the Party that insisted, and then decided, that it should be built in Ukraine. And the only person who protested against the construction of the station near Kyiv on the Dnipro River was Borys Paton, President of the Academy of Sciences [of the USSR]. All others agreed," Kravchuk told a TV panel show on 1+1, TSN reports.

In 1965-1966 the Kyiv branch of the Soviet Teploelektroproekt design institute examined 16 locations in Kyiv, Vinnytsia and Zhytomyr regions for the construction of a nuclear power plant. Eventually, a site was chosen in Kyiv region, near the village of Kopachi. It was approved by the Board of the planning watchdog, Gosplan, of the Ukrainian SSR on January 18, 1967. A few weeks later, on February 2, the Gosplan recommendations were also approved by a Resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the Council of Ministers of the USSR. The construction of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant began in 1970, and its first unit was launched in 1977.
At the beginning of 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was the most powerful one in the European part of the USSR. Over the years after the devastating explosion at the fourth reactor, power units were put into a halt one by one. Finally, the Chernobyl NPP was stopped only in 2000, after 23 years of operation. In Soviet times, five nuclear power plants were put into operation in Ukraine – the Chernobyl, Zaporizhia, Yuzhnoukrainsk, Rivne and Khmelnytsky ones. Projects of four nuclear power plants have not been completed – in Kharkiv, Odesa, Crimea and Chygyryn. The issue of the construction of the Zakarpattia (Transcarpathia) nuclear power plant was also considered.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Chernobyl: Russian communist party calls for ‘disgusting’ HBO show to be banned

June 15, 2019 (INDEPENDENT) A Marxist-Leninist political party has called for a ban of historical TV miniseries Chernobyl in Russia, dubbing the show “disgusting”. In a statement, party member Sergey Malinkovich spoke of the party’s intentions to lobby TV regulator Roskomnadzor about how the show represents Russia.
The party will request that the regulator blocks local access, stating that the series “turned a tragedy into an object of ideological manipulation,” “demonizing the Soviet regime and Soviet people”. The party has also called for a libel lawsuit against Chernobyl’s writer, director and producers. But, according to Roskomnadzor, a formal complaint has not been received as of yet.
Despite this, Malinkovich has conceded that the series correctly portrayed key moments of the nuclear disaster. This comes after the announcement that a Russian version of the series had been commissioned, partially funded by the culture ministry. Chernobyl – which stars Jared Harris and Stellan Skarsgård – tells the story of the 1986 nuclear disaster in Soviet Ukraine, and has been met with high acclaim. The show is the highest rated TV series of all time on Internet Movie Database (IMDB), beating out competitors such as Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Lithuania to donate Soviet-made light small arms ammunition to Ukraine

June 12, 2019 ( The Lithuanian Government has decided to donate Soviet-made light small arms ammunition to the Ukraine Ministry of Defence (MoD). Worth €255,000 and transferred on a non-reimbursable basis, the ammunition can be used in automatic rifles, machine-guns to ensure national security and defence. The Lithuanian Armed Forces is currently not using the munitions and is not planning to use them in future. Lithuania National Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis said: “The transfer of assets is a part of consistent and comprehensive Lithuanian support to Ukraine as it strengthens its defence capabilities in order to ensure independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of the country.

Lithuania donates ammunitions worth €255,000 to the Ukraine Defence Ministry Credit: MoD archive.

The Baltic state has been providing military aid, political support and legally permitted assistance to Ukraine since 2014 when Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula, an autonomous republic within Ukraine. Lithuania’s material assistance and weaponry element to the Ukrainian Armed Forces falls under all applicable international agreements and conventions, as well as European Union and national legislation. The transferred assets can also be used by the Ukrainian MoD’s subordinate institutions. They can be deployed during participation in regional and collective agreements, and activities in compliance with the Charter of the United Nations. In a statement, the Lithuania National Defence Ministry said: “The stance has the support of Lithuania’s population; 64% of respondents in a public opinion poll carried by request of the Ministry of National Defence late last year were in favour of Lithuania’s military assistance to Ukraine.” “Also, Lithuania and allies assist Ukraine in its reform, training and mentoring of its armed forces, Lithuania provides medical care for injured Ukrainian soldiers.