Thursday, November 7, 2019

President Poroshenko starts re-registration of confectionery assets to his eldest son's name


November 7, 2019 (UNIAN) The fifth president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, has started the process of re-registering confectionery assets to the name of his eldest son, Oleksiy Poroshenko. The change in the Central European Confectionery Company (CECC) beneficiary ownership was recorded in the open register of national public figures, the Anti-Corruption Action Center said. As of November 6, Oleksiy Poroshenko was listed as the CECC's beneficiary. The data is also confirmed by Ukraine's State Register of Legal Entities, Individual Entrepreneurs and NGOs. It states that control of the company was transferred to Oleksiy Poroshenko as a result of obtaining corporate rights of Dutch-registered Roshen Europe B. V., which owns an 85% stake in the CECC. Roshen did not deny the report, saying that only the beneficiaries knew about the reasons for the change of ownership, the Ukrainian media outlet Novoye Vremya said. 

The CECC is one of the key assets in the structure of Roshen Corporation and is the founder of a number of other enterprises. Simultaneously, there is a change in the beneficiary ownership of the following CECC-founded enterprises: LLC Roshen De Luxe, LLC CC Roshen, LLC Roshen-Volyn, LLC Roshen Svit, and others, which until recently had been declared by the fifth president. Petro Poroshenko remains the beneficiary of a number of other enterprises controlled by the CECC. As UNIAN reported earlier, Roshen Corporation, the largest confectionery manufacturer in Ukraine, reduced production at its factory in Lithuania and laid off two-thirds of workers.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

A new book on Poltava's history has been issued

November 1, 2019 My new book "Poltava in the time of the German-Russian war 1941-1945. View through the lens of camera" written in co-authorship with famous Ukrainian historian Viktor Reveguk was presented yesterday in Poltava Regional Museum. Poltava Regional Council decided to time the publication of the book to coincide with the celebration of the 75th anniversary of liberation of Ukraine from the Nazi invaders. 

The book is dedicated to the insufficiently known period of Poltava's history when the city was under German occupation from September 19, 1941 till 23 October 1943. The main feature of this book is more than 250 photos taken during 1941-1944 that were found in many archives of Russian Federation, Germany, and United States. 

Many of these pictures were purchased due to financial support of Svenskt Militärhistoriskt Bibliotek. Unfortunately this book was published  in a small print run but nevertheless all who attended the presentation were able to purchase this undoubtedly interesting book.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Day of liberation of Ukraine from Nazi invaders marked on October 28

October 29, 2019 (112.UA) On October 28, Ukraine marks a memorable event in its history – the Day of liberation of Ukraine from fascist invaders. It is a national holiday dedicated to the removal of German Nazi forces and their allies during World War II out of the territory of modern Ukraine. This day was chosen because it is believed that the last Nazi Reich soldier was expelled from the territory of Ukraine on this day in 1944. According to the official statement, the holiday was introduced “for the nation-wide celebration of the liberation of Ukraine from fascist invaders and to honor heroic act and sacrifice of Ukrainian people during World War II.” During World War II (1939-1945), the battles significant for the liberation of Europe from fascism took place in Ukraine. On October 27, 1944, Uzhhorod was retaken from the Germans, and Soviet troops arrived at what would be the modern western border of Ukraine. On 28 October 1944, the last territory of current Ukraine (near Uzhhorod, then part of the Kingdom of Hungary) was cleared of German troops; this is annually celebrated in Ukraine on 28 October) as the “anniversary of the liberation of Ukraine from the Nazis.” In total, the Armed Forces of the USSR held 15 assault operations involving half of all Soviet forces – 2.3 million people – on the territory of Ukrainian SSR in 1943–1944.
After the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine, the name “Day of the liberation of Ukraine from fascist invaders” is considered inaccurate. Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance (UINR) insisted on using the term “expulsion of Nazi occupants from Ukraine” instead of “liberation from fascist invaders.” “The term “liberation” means freedom, but in 1944 Ukraine did not become free. With the expulsion of Nazi occupants, it did not gain freedom, but found itself under the other rule which resulted in mass repressions and deportations, including hounded thousands of Ukrainians, Poles, and the whole Crimean Tatar people,” then head of UINR Volodymyr Viatrovych said.
Liberation of Kyiv from fascist invaders in WWII, Kyiv

According to him, the thesis of more than 70 years of liberation “is a continuation of Soviet propaganda clichés that Russia still uses in the war against Ukraine.” The UINR emphasized that during the Second World War, the Soviet Union set the goal not to liberate Ukrainian people, but to restore the totalitarian regime on the territory of modern Ukraine. Ukrainian people regained freedom on August 24, 1991 - the liberation of Ukraine happened only with the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, the name of the holiday has not been changed on the official level and remained the Day of the liberation of Ukraine from fascist invaders.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

MINISTER OF DEFENSE OF UKRAINE HAS STARTED A WORKING VISIT TO NATO HEADQUARTERS

October 24, 2019 (Defence Express) On October 24, delegation of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine has started a working visit to NATO Headquarters to participate in a meetings of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) at the level of Defense Ministers of the contributor states to NATO’s “Resolute Support” training and advisory mission in Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The Minister of Defense of Ukraine Andriy Zagorodnyuk is scheduled to hold meetings with the Ministers of Defense of the United Kingdom, Canada, Lithuania, Poland and the United States in QUINT format. Bilateral meetings with the NATO Secretary General (in short format), the Executive Director of the European Defense Agency as well as with the Heads of Delegation of the other contributor states to the NATO’s “Resolute Support” training and advisory mission in Islamic Republic of Afghanistan are also scheduled to take place during a visit.
The QUINT is an informal decision-making group consisting of the United States and the Big Four of Western Europe (France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom). It operates as a "directoire" of various entities such as NATO and the G7/G20

Friday, October 18, 2019

The letter written by the little Ukrainian girl to defenders of Ukraine who’re fighting in the Eastern Ukraine


October 18, 2019 (UNIAN) This touching letter was written by Ukrainian girl and enclosed to the parcel containing some candies and clothes. The parcel was sent to the Eastern Ukraine that is suffering Russian aggression.


Hello, My name is Marja, I am 8 years old. Please hand over enclosed clothes to children who are living in the combat area. They hardly can buy any cloths there. Please give enclosed candies to soldiers who are sad and miss their folks so much. I wish them to return home with victory as quick as possible. I and my mom prayed for them and lit candles in the church. Glory to Ukraine! Please spend my money as you think best.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Stoltenberg believes Ukraine's further integration with the Alliance will depend on reform progress.

October 15, 2019 (UNIAN) NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, speaking at the meeting of the organization's Parliamentary Assembly in London, has called on the European Union to provide a more practical support to Ukraine. In a few weeks, "the whole North Atlantic Council will go to Ukraine, visit Ukraine, and express our strong political support, and I urge also NATO Allies to provide even more practical support to Ukraine. They need our support. This is about supporting Ukraine, but it is also about upholding and supporting a rules-based order, which is of great importance for all of us," Stoltenberg said in his address.


Foto REUTERS

The secretary general added that on the path of Ukraine's further Euro-Atlantic integration, including membership, "the focus should be on reforms, on how to modernize Ukraine's defense and security institutions". As UNIAN reported earlier, NATO officials will visit Ukraine Oct 31. During their stay, the delegation will visit Kyiv and Odesa. Ukraine's Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko expressed hope that NATO leaders would get a clear picture of the developments in the Black Sea area and approve a corresponding aid package, also called "Black Sea Package" that the Alliance had earlier offered Ukraine.

On Defenders Day, President Zelensky congratulates troops in Donbas

October 15, 2019 (UNIAN) President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky during a visit to Donetsk region congratulated Ukrainian military servicemen on Defenders Day. Addressing the troops, Zelensky noted that "there were times when the whole country lived too carelessly," Donbas News reports. According to the president, then it seemed that the war was something very distant. "At that time, the state either didn't care much, or at all, about its own army," he added. Zelensky emphasized that in order to realize that “shortsightedness and naive childish gullibility,” Ukraine pay a "too high a price", including the loss of a part of territories and thousands of people. 


The president explained that meant the Russian annexation of Crimea and the war in Donbas. Zelensky stressed that Ukraine managed to "be reborn", "get on its feet, wipe off the dust and say: 'You wish'." After addressing the military, Zelensky presented a number of state awards.

Friday, October 11, 2019

President Volodymyr Zelensky meets the press Thursday — all day long.

October 11, 2019 (Youtube) A press-marathon was held by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky all day yesterday (Oct. 10), in central Kyiv. The goal was to have a new and open format where journalists can ask the president all of their questions. Three-hundred journalists met with the president in the Kyiv Food Market, a popular newly opened food hall.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Estonia not to accept even one asylum seeker, enough problems with Ukrainians – Interior minister


October 9, 2019 (UNIAN) Estonian Interior Minister Mart Helme has said Estonia will not accept asylum seekers, as the country has enough problems with immigrants coming from Ukraine. At a meeting of interior ministers in Luxembourg on Tuesday, he said Estonia was currently facing very strong immigration pressure from former Soviet Union countries, ERR News reported. "When we look at it, asylum seekers do not come to us from the Middle East or Africa, but from Ukraine. Second place was Georgia, then Moldova, and only then came Afghanistan and such countries," Helme said. Helme said that Estonia currently has enough problems with immigrants coming from Ukraine.

"We are still struggling with this immigration pressure, and we don't see much understanding for us. Ukrainians tend to integrate into the Russian-speaking community and for us, it's a cultural and demographic problem, and if someone says it's not a problem, [for us] it's a very serious problem. And if we start opening second and third fronts to take Latin America, Venezuela, the Middle East, and then sub-Saharan West Africa, we have no power," he said. The interior minister said Estonia needs to make its position very clear to everyone. "In order to prevent the arrival of people whom we cannot accept and those we do not want to accept, we must take this position. We have long stated our position. As long as we, that is EKRE [the Conservative People's Party of Estonia], are in government, Estonia will not accept immigrants," Helme said.
He did not expand upon what the problems with Ukrainians were or what problems have been raised. Last month he suggested an inquiry should be launched to stop Ukrainians moving to Estonia under the European Union's Schengen agreement. Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu quickly said this would not be possible. Helme also believes Ukrainians who move to Estonia for work, which the vast majority do rather than seeking asylum, should face "systematic scrutiny."

Sunday, October 6, 2019

U.S. clears $39 million sale of Javelin missiles to Ukraine


October 6, 2019 (Defence Blog) The United States is set to sell more military equipment to Ukraine, according to a statement issued Thursday by the Department of Defense. Earlier this year, the Defense Department made plans to provide some $250 million in aid to Ukraine, with the goal of transitioning that aid before the end of the fiscal year. The department was largely successful in that goal, a Pentagon spokesman said. As of today, the bulk of this $250 million is on contract, the rest should be out soon,” Jonathan Rath Hoffman, the assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs, said during a news conference at the Pentagon today. The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in its statement that the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Ukraine for one Javelin missiles and related equipment and support.

The approval, which was announced by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency on 03 October, covers the one hundred fifty Javelin missiles, ten Javelin Command Launch Units, training devices, transportation, support equipment, technical data and publications as well as other equipment and support for an estimated cost not to exceed $39.2 million. This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of Ukraine,” the DSCA said. “The Javelin system will help Ukraine build its long-term defense capacity to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity in order to meet its national defense requirements.” The United States has been one of Kyiv’s staunchest supporters since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the subsequent outbreak of fighting in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region that has killed more than 10,000 people.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Seven dead after WWII B-17 plane crashes, erupts into flames at Bradley Airport


October 3, 2019 (NBCNews) Seven people aboard a vintage World War II plane were killed Wednesday when it crashed shortly after takeoff, erupting into flames at Bradley International Airport, just outside of Hartford, Connecticut, authorities said. State Police Commissioner James Rovella told reporters at an evening news conference that the families of all but three of the victims had been contacted. The flight took off at 9:45 a.m. before reporting five minutes later that it was having difficulties, authorities said. "We observed that the aircraft was not gaining altitude," Connecticut Airport Authority Executive Director Kevin Dillon said. The plane tried to return to the airport when it crashed at 9:54 a.m., officials said.

A Boeing B-17 used by the U.S. military during World War II. Many such heavy bombers were deployed in Poltava during the operation “Frantic Joe” 
There were 13 people on board the Boeing B-17, two pilots, one attendant, and 10 passengers. Another person on the ground was injured when the plane slid off the runway and slammed into a building used to house the airport's deicing equipment, officials said. Witness Brian Hamer, who lives in Norton, Massachusetts, was less than a mile away from the airport when he spotted the B-17, “which you don’t normally see,” flying low overhead. Hamer saw smoke coming from the back of the craft and heard one engine sputter. “Then we heard all the rumbling and the thunder, and all the smoke comes up and we kind of figured it wasn’t good,” Hamer said. Another witness, Antonio Arreguin, was parked at a construction site 250 yards from the crash site when he heard an explosion — and felt the heat from the ensuing fire. “In front of me, I see this big ball of orange fire, and I knew something happened,” Arreguin said. “The ball of fire was very big.” Hartford Hospital received six patients from the crash, three were initially listed in critical condition, two in moderate condition and one with just minor injuries, doctors there said.



Monday, September 30, 2019

Ukrainian Army Inducts Turkish Combat Drones


September 30, 2019 (DefenceWorld.net) Turkey’s Bayraktar TB2 combat drones were pressed to service by the Ukrainian Army, the country’s defense ministry announced on Saturday. Ukraine announced the deal for the purchase of Turkish combat drones for its army in mid-January. Turkish UAV manufacturer Baykar was to produce six Bayraktar TB2 and deliver them to Ukraine in a year. Along with the UAVs, three ground control station systems and equipment was also mentioned to be delivered.The value of the contract is not known.

The TB2 armed UAV, was developed for tactical reconnaissance and surveillance missions and it can also carry ammo, do assaults, and has laser target acquisition. It has a service ceiling of 8,239 meters (27,030 feet) and a flight endurance of 24 hours. It can carry 150 kilograms (330 pounds) of payload and can be operated day and night.

One of Ukraine's largest exhibitions on Donbas war opens in Kyiv


September 30, 2019 (UNIAN) One of Ukraine's largest exhibitions on the war of Donbas has opened in Kyiv. The Ukrainian East project features real artifacts collected not only by museum workers, but also by the military, the families of victims and journalists, the TV news service TSN reported.

On display are over 10,000 items collected during the war. These are documents, and personal belongings, Ukrainian flags, uniforms, books, weapons, eyewitness evidence, traffic signs, and even a piano. The National Museum of the History of Ukraine in World War II (27 Lavrska Street) houses the exhibition. The Ukrainian East project has been implemented with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, Amuseum, and the Luhansk Regional Museum.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Zelensky, Trump holding bilateral meeting in New York (video)

September 29, 2019 (UNIAN) Presidents Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine and Donald Trump of the United States are holding a bilateral meeting in New York City. This was reported by the Office of the President of Ukraine. The negotiations are taking place on the sidelines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly. Prior to that, Zelensky and Trump met at an official reception organized by the U.S.President and First Lady on September 24. As UNIAN reported earlier, Zelensky on September 24 attended the opening of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. 
On the sidelines of the session, he held a series of meetings with heads of state and international organizations, and also communicated with members of business circles and investors. On September 25, Zelensky delivered a speech during the high-level General Debate of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

PARTICIPATION IN TEKNOFEST ISTANBUL AEROSPACE AND TECHNOLOGY FESTIVAL 2019 BECAME A NEW STEP TOWARDS COOPERATION WITH TYURKEY IN AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY

September 24, 2019 (antonov.com) Within a period between 17th and 22nd of September 2019, ANTONOV Company took part in TEKNOFEST ISTANBUL Aerospace and Technology Festival 2019. The Company’s delegation was headed by Oleksandr Donets, President of ANTONOV Company.


In the course of presentation of modern ANTONOV’s aviation programmes the meetings at the high state level were conducted. Aivaras Abromavichius, director general of SC Ukroboronprom, Serhiy Kryvonos, Deputy Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine in the Republic of Turkey Andrii Sybiha took part in the negotiations from Ukrainian party. Suleyman Soylu, Minister of the Interior in the Republic of Turkey, together with Arsen Avakov, Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine visited AN-178 aircraft. “AN-178 is a very good airplane. Besides, our helicopters Mi-17 are being modernized in Ukraine. This is an example of very successful cooperation with you”, – quoted Mr. Soylu by press service of Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine. Summarizing results of ANTONOV’s participation in TEKNOFEST ISTANBUL Aerospace and Technology Festival 2019, head of the Company Oleksandr Donets noted: “This event was very important for us to provide manufacturers of Turkey with further information about modern ANTONOV’s projects. We had possibility to discuss directions of future cooperation. The key event of the negotiation process was meeting with Ismail Demir, President of Defense Industries in the Republic of Turkey, and Mustafa Varank, Minister of Industry and Technology in the Republic of Turkey. Aspects of strategic partnership in aircraft industry were set”.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Today Poltava celebrates the Liberation Day

September 23, 2019 On September 23, 1943 the Red Army liberated the city of Poltava, that has been turned by German army into a powerful defense center in the Ukraine to the east of the Dnieper. In the fighting for the liberation of the town of Poltava, troops commanded by Lieutenant General Zhadov, Lieutenant General Managarov and airmen commanded by Lieutenant General of Aviation Goryunov, distinguished themselves, especially the 9th Guards Airborne Division (Colonel Sazonov), the 13th Guards Red Banner Infantry Division (Major General Baklanov), the 66th Guards Infantry Division (Major General Yakshin), the 95th Guards Infantry Division (Major General Nikichenko), the 97th Guards Infantry Division (Colonel Antsiferov), the 84th Kharkov Infantry Division (Major General Bunyashin), the 42nd Light Artillery Brigade (Colonel Skorodumov), the 301st Anti-tank Artillery Regiment (Lieutenant Colonel Vlassenko), the 57th Tank Regiment (Lieutenant Colonel Federov), the 431st Engineering Battalion (Lieutenant Colonel Boltusevich), the 294th Fighter Aviation Division (Lieutenant Colonel Taranenko) and the 266th Attack Aviation Division (Colonel Rodyakin). A unique picture below was taken by the Soviet press photographer Yakov Ryumkin during the fighting somewhere near Poltava in late September 1943. As you can see the master had no time to adjust his camera during such a quick advance of the Soviet combat group. On the background you can see battered German self-propelled gun.

It was very dangerous to shoot such photos when bullets whistled over his camera but nevertheless many military press photographers risked their lives to capture WWII as it really was. 

Photographer Yakov Ryumkin near the Brandenburg Gate (Potsdam). The photo was taken in 1945.

The Memorial to the Soldiers' Glory in Poltava

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Following in the tracks of the Roos’ battalions

September 21, 2019 Today the Museum of the Battle of Poltava conducted for the first time a somewhat unusual excursion dedicated to the Via Dolorosa that the Dalarna regiment had passed during the Battle of Poltava on June 28, 1709. Most of Poltava inhabitants who attended this very interesting excursion learned about it from the Facebook social network. This is undoubtedly something new and fresh in the activities of this 110- year-old museum.

Excursion started from the place where the column of the Swedish Army under the command of the Major General Carl Gustaf  Roos  was deployed early morning June 28, 1709. Here all participants of the excursion got a copy of the map, that was published in 1918 by the General Stuff of the Swedish Army, with highlighted route that the Dalarna regiment had passed during the Battle of Poltava. Besides all participants got a Swedish infantry uniform, musket’s replicas, and disguised themselves as a Swedish warriors.


First stop was made near the assumed place where the first Russian redoubt was built on the eve of the battle (although it was half-finished). It was pointed out that all archeological examinations of the battlefield carried out by Bo Krarrström and his team proved that this redoubt was located some other place. The next stop was near the second redoubt that was taken quickly by two battalions of the Dalarna regiment and all its defenders, except for those who fled were cut down to the last man. They didn’t know what is in store for them…

After that we headed for the third Russian redoubt where Swedish losses were very heavy. Roughly 1100 men were killed of the original 2600. Colonel Gustaf Henrik von Siegroth was deadly wounded there. Of the regiment's 21 captains only four survived. Here Major General Carl Gustaf Roos decided to gather up and ordered his force to march to the verge of the wood nearby.


The last place we visited today was the place where Roos’ detachment engaged in an unequal struggle against Russians.  In the summer of 1911 Carl Bennedich and Frei Rydeberg, two Swedish lieutenants from the Northern Scania Regiment, discovered a big burial ground here.


After that we returned to the museum where discussed what happened next to the Major General  Roos' force. Those survived on the battle field marched to the place where the Swedish infantry had been deployed on the eve of the battle. Finally they have found a refuge in an abandoned redoubt north of Poltava where they were in a short time surrounded by superior Russian detachment with artillery. After deliberating with his officers Major General Roos decided to surrender. Of the original force of 3,000 men only 400 survived.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Ex-president says Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons due to threat of US sanctions


September 20, 2019 (TASS). Ukraine had to renounce nuclear weapons complying with the demands of Western countries, former Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk told the Russia’s 24 TV. According to President Kravchuk, Ukraine had to destroy its nuclear arsenal under the threat of US sanctions. "We were presented with a challenge - either we lay down our nuclear weapons, or they will put economic pressure on us, including sanctions," the former president said. Kravchuk stressed that Western countries did not want to lose control of nuclear weapons and therefore exerted economic pressure on Ukraine.

 He added that he had no regrets about his consent to destroy his country’s nuclear arsenal. After the break-up of the USSR, Ukraine had an impressive nuclear capability. However, its nuclear arsenal was destroyed in 1994 after it joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Kravchuk earlier said that Ukraine would resemble "a monkey with a grenade," it if did not give up nuclear weapons.



Thursday, September 19, 2019

Zelensky-Trump meeting in New York is slated for next week


September 19, 2019 (UNIAN) An upcoming meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in New York City is slated for next week. "The Vice President spoke by phone today [September 18] with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to follow up on their productive September 1 meeting in Warsaw and discussed President Trump's upcoming meeting with President Zelensky next week at the UN General Assembly in New York," according to the readout of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's phone call with Zelensky, which was posted on the White House's website on September 18.
Zelensky is to meet Trump next week / Photo from president.gov.ua


The Vice President commended President Zelensky's administration for its bold action to tackle corruption through legislative reforms, and offered full U.S. support for those efforts, it said. What is more, Pence reiterated the United States' unwavering commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. As UNIAN reported earlier, the Ukrainian President's Office said that during the phone call with Mike Pence on September 18, Zelensky said he hoped for an increase in Ukraine security assistance.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Estonian president: War in Donbas cannot be over at cost of Ukraine’s sovereignty


September 14, 2019 (Kyiv Post) President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid has said that Ukraine and international society should search for a decision how to end war in Donbas, and a recent mutual release of hostages could be a remarkable step on the way towards this, as was reported on the president’s website.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky meets President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid in Kyiv on Sept. 13, 2019.

 “Though this cannot happen at the cost of Ukraine’s sovereignty,” she said at a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Sept. 13. The Estonian leader stressed that the war in eastern Ukraine and the occupation of Crimea were unacceptable things and it would be reiterated on the international level.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Ukraine-Russia prisoner swap


September 8, 2019 (UNIAN) The press service of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has posted a full list of Ukrainians who returned home on September 7, 2019 as part of a prisoner swap between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Read also Plane with Ukrainian political prisoners lands in Boryspil. The list includes 11 political prisoners: Roman Sushchenko, Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Volodymyr Balukh, Stanislav Klykh, Mykola Karpiuk, Oleksiy Syzonovych, Pavlo Hryb, Edem Bekirov, Yevhen Panov, and Artur Panov. In addition, 24 Ukrainians sailors captured by the Russian Federation in the Kerch Strait on November 25, 2018 were freed yesterday.

As BBC reported Russia has not yet confirmed the names of the prisoners who have been released by Ukraine. It arranged a low-profile arrival at Moscow's Vnukovo airport, with initial reunions kept behind closed doors. In Ukraine, the scene was very different. The prisoners freed by Russia reunited with their relatives on the tarmac at Kiev's Boryspil airport, surrounded by the press. The Ukrainian government has since published a list of the 35 prisoners released by Russia. It includes 24 Ukrainian sailors whom Russia detained off Crimea in November last year. But the most significant and controversial person Ukraine sent to Russia is Volodymyr Tsemakh, reportedly a commander of air defences for Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine. Mr Tsemakh, 58, is a "person of interest" in the Dutch-led investigation into the 2014 shooting down over Ukraine of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, which led to the deaths of all 298 people on board.

Monday, September 2, 2019

German President Asks for 'Forgiveness' as He Marks 80th Anniversary of WWII Start Date in Poland


September 1, 2019 (time.com) Germany’s president expressed deep remorse for the suffering his nation inflicted on Poland and the rest of Europe during World War II, warning of the dangers of nationalism as world leaders gathered Sunday in the country where the war started at incalculable costs. “This war was a German crime,” President Frank-Walter Steinmeier told Poland’s top leaders, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders at a 80th anniversary ceremony marking World’s War II’s outbreak.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks at the commemoration ceremony of the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II, in Wielun, Poland, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019.

Also in attendance were elderly Polish war veterans wearing military uniforms and a Holocaust survivor wearing a yellow Star of David and the striped clothes that prisoners wore at Nazi German death camps. Steinmeier expressed his sorrow over the mass killings Adolf Hitler’s regime committed in Poland, which paid a huge price for being the place war began on Sept. 1, 1939. The German president expressed gratitude to Poles for the gestures of forgiveness Poland has bestowed in return.
I bow in mourning to the suffering of the victims,” Steinmeier said. “I ask for forgiveness for Germany’s historical debt. I affirm our lasting responsibility.
Two weeks after the German invasion, the Soviet army invaded Poland from the east, putting the country under a dual occupation that came with atrocities committed by two invaders. By the war’s end nearly six years later, about 6 million Polish citizens had been killed, more than half of them Jews. Polish President Andrzej Duda recalled Poland’s immense suffering and he appealed to those assembled not to close their eyes now to imperial tendencies and border changes imposed through force. Duda cited aggression against Georgia and Ukraine, and though he didn’t name Russia, it was clear he found that country at fault as the aggressor. “Recently in Europe we are dealing with a return of imperialist tendencies, with attempts to change borders by force, with aggression against countries,” President Andrzej Duda said. “Turning a blind eye is not the recipe for preserving peace. It is a simple way to embolden aggressive personalities, a simple way to, in fact, give consent to further attacks.” German president had a modern-day warning of his own — about the dangers of nationalism — and described European unity as a guarantee for peace in the future.
Polish authorities didn’t invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to attend anniversary events because of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and support for separatist fighters in eastern Ukraine. Russia’s recent rehabilitation of the Stalinist era, and a pact Soviet leader Josef Stalin made with Hitler that led to Poland’s dismemberment in 1939, were apparently also behind the decisions not to invite Putin. That represented a change from 10 years ago, when Putin was invited amid attempts to thaw relations between the West and Russia at the time. 
President Donald Trump had originally been scheduled to attend the event, but canceled as Hurricane Dorian barreled toward the U.S. Pence spoke on behalf of the United States in Warsaw. “While the hearts of every American are with our fellow citizens in the path of a massive storm, today we remember how the gathering storm of the 20th century broke into warfare and invasion followed by unspeakable hardship and heroism of the Polish people,” he said. Pence said the Polish people “never lost hope” and “never gave in to despair.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Macron, Merkel to organize Normandy Four summit in coming weeks

August 26, 2019 (UNIAN) French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will organize the next summit of the Normandy Four (Germany, France, Russia, Ukraine) in the coming weeks.

That is according to G7 Leaders' Declaration published on August 26, following the summit of the G7 leaders: Macron, Merkel, U.S. President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Giuseppe Conte, the outgoing Italian Prime Minister. "France and Germany will organize a Normandy format summit in the coming weeks to achieve tangible results," the document said with regard to Ukraine. G7 leaders also expressed their position regarding the world trade, Iran, Libya and Hong Kong. As UNIAN reported earlier, on August 25, Merkel said German and French leaders were working to organize the summit of the Normandy Four at the highest level in Paris in the near future.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Success as Ukraine conducts first burn test of Cyclone-4 launch vehicle stage


August 25, 2019 (UNIAN) For the first time in recent history, Ukraine conducted burn tests of the Cyclone-4 class launch vehicle, Pivdenne Design Office reported. "On August 23, on the eve of the 28th anniversary of our country's independence, for the first time in its recent history, burb tests of the launch vehicle stage as a whole were carried out. It's the third stage of the Cyclone-4 middle-class launch vehicle designed by Pivdenne and manufactured at Yuzhmash," the report says.
It is noted that these are the final and most important tests before the first flight tests of the third stage of the Cyclone-4 launch vehicle, which will work directly in space, bringing satellites to the target point. "During the fire tests of all systems worked perfectly, the stage engine was turned on five times, as planned by Pivdenne designers. The tests were recognized successful!" the design office said in a statement, adding that a detailed report is yet to be published.
The third stage of the Cyclone-4 includes a liquid-propellant rocket engine RD-861K, designed to create traction and maneuver. Also, the main design decisions are incorporated the second stage of the new Cyclone-4M launch vehicle. According to UNIAN, this April, the Antares launch vehicle, which was designed with the participation of Ukraine's Pivdenne Design Office, was successfully launched from the Space Mission Center on Wallops Island (USA, Virginia).

G7 leaders believe it is too early for Russia to return

August 26, 2019 (belsat.eu) The leaders of the G7 countries discussed Russia’s return to the group during he recent Biarritz summit. According to the AFP, politicians came to the conclusion that it is “too soon” to do so, the agency reported with reference to diplomatic sources.
Meanwhile, BNN Bloomberg reports that Trump said in Biarritz that it is “certainly possible” to invite Putin to the summit next year.Earlier, U.S. President Donald Trump repeatedly spoke about the possibility of Russia’s return to the “Big Seven”. This week, in particular, he noted that Russia’s return would be an appropriate solution, as the group is discussing, among other things, issues related to Russia. On August 21, CNN reported, citing sources that Trump and French President Emmanuelle Macron had agreed to invite Putin to the G7 summit in 2020. Later, however, Macron denied saying this, noting that Russia’s return is possible only after the Ukrainian crisis is resolved. On the eve of the summit, European Council President Donald Tusk criticized Trump’s proposal to invite Russia to the G7. Tusk said he would try to convince the G7 leaders that it is better to invite the Ukrainian president to the next meeting instead.
The G7 includes the USA, Japan, Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy and Canada. Russia was expelled from the G8 after the annexation of Crimea and the beginning of the war in Donbas.


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.