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.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Zelensky, Juncker set date for Ukraine-EU summit

June6, 2019 (UNIAN) The Ukrainian president underscored the "immutable priorities set in the Constitution of Ukraine," first of all, the strategic course of the state on acquiring full membership in the EU and NATO. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky during a Tuesday's meeting with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels expressed interest in holding the 21st EU-Ukraine Summit in Kyiv on July 8 this year. The presidential administration says Volodymyr Zelensky held the meeting with Juncker in the framework of the working visit to the EU and NATO institutions on June 4. "The negotiations on a wide range of issues of cooperation between Ukraine and the European Union confirmed willingness of the parties to further develop cooperation in all areas of mutual interest," reads the administration's statement.
The Ukrainian president underscored the "immutable priorities set in the Constitution of Ukraine," first of all, the strategic course of the state on acquiring full membership in the EU and NATO, as well as Ukraine's willingness to adhere to its obligations, in particular in relations with international financial institutions. In turn,  Jean-Claude Juncker reiterated EU's full support for Ukraine "in implementing its European integration choice on the path of democratic and market transformations."