Monday, May 25, 2020

The far echo of WWII has been sent from the bottom of the Black Sea (photos, video)

May 25, 2020 (Ukrinform) Mykolaiv rescuers have lifted 63 shells and air bombs from the bottom of the Black Sea, the press service of the main office of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in Mykolaiv region has reported.
"Planned demining work in the Black Sea, within the Kinburn Spit, began on May 11 and lasted until May 22. The territory was examined on a total area of 2.97 hectares. All dangerous finds were transported to land, to a specially designated place, and disposed of. In total, a bomb disposal group of the special-purpose emergency rescue detachment of the main office of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in Mykolaiv region destroyed 63 explosive objects," the report reads. In particular, 55 artillery shells of various calibers, seven detonating charges and a FAB-50 air bomb were lifted from the seabed.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Another treason case opened against President Poroshenko amid audio recording leak – media

May 20, 2020 (UNIAN) A flash drive with recordings of phone calls between President Poroshenko and the two former high-ranking U.S. officials was added to the materials of the case. The Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine has opened another case against former President Petro Poroshenko on charges of treason amid the leak of audio recordings made public by Ukrainian MP Andriy Derkach. The information was included in the Unified Register of Pretrial Investigations. The probe began under Part 1 of Article 111 (high treason) and Part 2 of Article 364 (abuse of power or official position) of the Criminal Code, the Ukrayinska Pravda online newspaper reported citing its sources. A flash drive with audio recordings of phone calls between Poroshenko and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State John Kerry was added to the materials of the case.
Photo from UNIAN

As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukrainian MP Andriy Derkach on May 19 made public leaked audio recordings of phone conversations held by Biden, Kerry, and Poroshenko. In particular, the then Ukrainian president Poroshenko discussed a lot of issues of domestic politics with the U.S. politicians, such as tariffs, the nationalization of PrivatBank, the dismissal of the then Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, and the appointment of Yuriy Lutsenko to the post of prosecutor-general, etc.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Ukraine to allow operation of subway, kindergartens from May 25

May 19, 2020 (UKRINFORM) Ukraine will introduce from May 22 a flexible lockdown that can be intensified locally if there are outbreaks of coronavirus disease, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has said. "Lockdown will be extended but, as we promised, we will move to adaptive lockdown. Therefore, a number of lockdown relaxations will be adopted as early as the 22nd of May ",  Shmyhal said live on the ICTV channel on Monday, May 18.
According to him, the government will make a decision this week, which will help ease lockdown conditions for public transport from May 22, allow the holding of sports competitions, as well as the operation of hotels, but without the operation of swimming pools and restaurants. In addition, there will be a relaxation of church services, he said. "From the 25th of May, i.e. we take the time for technical preparations, the government will allow the work of kindergartens, as well as the work of the subway," Shmyhal added.
He said that the central government, as part of the flexible lockdown, is easing restrictions at the state level but is constantly working with the city authorities that will monitor the situation. The government introduced lockdown in Ukraine on March 12 to combat the spread of COVID-19. In particular, shops were closed, except for grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and banks. The lockdown was extended until May 22, but some restrictions were lifted on May 11.

Monday, May 18, 2020

The monument to Lybid and her brothers who founded Kyiv was planned to be dressed in an embroidered shirts.


May 18, 2020 Vyshyvanka Day, sometimes referred to as World Vyshyvanka Day, is a Ukrainian holiday celebrated on the third Thursday of May. On this day, thousands of Ukrainians across the world wear vyshyvankas (traditional embroidered shirts) to demonstrate their national identity and patriotism.

The word “vyshyvanka” is derived from the Ukrainian word for embroidery, “vyshyvanka”. Embroidery has a rich history in Ukraine and occupies an important place among Ukrainian decorative arts. Ukrainian embroidery varies from region to region. Although red and black are the most common colors of Ukrainian embroidery, other color schemes such as red and blue, white on white and a combination of several bright colors are popular in specific regions.
According to Ukrainian tradition, vyshyvanka is more than just an embroidered shirt. It is a talisman that is supposed to protect the wearer from evil spirits. Historically, the embroidery was used in the places on the garment where evil spirits could potentially enter the person: back, hem, shoulders, cuffs, and neckline.

On the eve of the Embroidery Day 2020, activists decided to wear a monument to Lybid on Independence Square in Kyiv, Ukrainian News Agency reports. According to the organizers, at first they wanted to dress all the founders of Kyiv, but later it turned out that brothers Kyi, Shchek and Khoriv size are too big. Such a big embroidered shirt hardly could be found in the shop. That's why only Lybid was dressed in an embroidered shirt.


Thursday, May 14, 2020

Russia's social networks to remain blocked in Ukraine

May 14, 2020 (UNIAN) The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, has adopted a resolution supporting the extension of the blocking of Russian social media and networking services, namely Mail.ru, VKontakte (VK) and Odnoklassniki (OK.ru). Some 248 lawmakers voted for the No. 3319 resolution that approves proposals to extend special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions), according to UNIAN correspondent. Sixteen lawmakers voted against the decision, 17 abstained, and 52 did not vote. According to the explanatory note to the resolution, the goal and tasks of the adoption of the resolution is to prepare the grounds for a decision by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) to extend the targeted, special economic and other sanctions against Russian web resources. Before the vote took place, First Deputy Chairman of the parliament's Committee on Organizing State Power, Local Self-Government, Regional Development, and Urban Planning Roman Lozinsky from the Holos (Voice) parliamentary faction called on parliamentarians to support the resolution. Chairman of the parliament's Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence Oleksandr Zavitnevych added that his committee had recommended that parliament adopt the resolution as a whole.
The full article is available at: https://www.unian.info/politics/russian-social-media-ban-on-their-use-in-ukraine-extended-10995491.html

Monday, May 11, 2020

VE Day: Last Nazi message intercepted by Bletchley Park revealed

May 11, 2020 (BBC News) The last German military communications decoded at Bletchley Park in World War Two have been revealed to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. They were broadcast on 7 May 1945 by a military radio network making its final stand in Cuxhaven on Germany's North Sea coast. The message reports the arrival of British troops and ends: "Closing down forever - all the best - goodbye." After Germany surrendered, VE Day was declared the next day. In 1944, this German military radio network, codenamed BROWN, had extended across Europe sending reports about the development of experimental weapons. But a year later, as the Allies entered the town and closed in on his position, a radio operator at his post signed off to any colleagues who might still be listening.
At decoding center at Bletchley Park

His words - sent at 07:35 on 7 May - would be the last from the German military intercepted by codebreakers at Bletchley Park before the surrender. "British troops entered Cuxhaven at 1400 on 6 May. From now on all radio traffic will cease - wishing you all the best," the message from a Lieutenant Kunkel said. This was immediately followed by: "Closing down forever - all the best - goodbye". 
"Auf Wiedersehen," says the last message intercepted by Bletchley Park

The full article is available at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-52583322

Saturday, May 9, 2020

World War II and the battle over collective memory in Eastern Europe

May 9, 2020 (dw.com) Russia and Ukraine commemorate the end of the war in very different ways. While Moscow has continued to politicize the historic event, Kyiv has shifted toward an increasingly Western approach. Seventy-five years ago, Russian, Ukrainian and other Soviet Red Army soldiers took Berlin. Still, there has not been a common commemoration of that historic event for years. Recently, according to Berlin's Tagesspiegel newspaper, Ukraine's ambassador to Germany, Andrij Melnyk, turned down an invitation from Berlin Mayor Michael Müller to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony on May 2, alongside representatives from Russia and Belarus. Melnyk pointed to the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine, in which Kyiv views Russia as an occupying force, as the reason for his rejection. 
This year's commemorations have been upended by the coronavirus pandemic, and that is especially disappointing for Russia, the country that lost the most lives in the war. While the end of hostilities was never celebrated with pomp in the West, that was decidedly different in the Soviet Union and continues to be the case in Russia.
The full article is available at

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Ukraine is strengthening its missile shield

May 5, 2020 (mil.gov.ua) In the realm of the large scale missile testing, a second phase of the range testing of the Ukrainian missilesTyphoon-1” is taking place in the Odesa region. These 122 mm missiles are aimed to substitute “Grad” projectiles. According to the producer, the Ukrainian sample has enhanced performance.

The next stage of testing a missile systemNeptune” took place at the Alibey military range in the Odesa region. Flight tests were conducted in a condition of jamming for the missile’s target seeker device, as well as the involvement of Navy ships and Air Force aircrafts.  — This is Ukrainian capability to ensure its security, — noted Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine Serhii Kryvonos. Ukraine plans to have three platforms for cruise missiles. The first is mobile coastal systems which are undergoing testing at the moment, the second is missile boats and corvettes, and the third platform is aviation systems. One of the immediate expected results is the adoption and supply to the Ukrainian Navy of a new Neptune anti-ship system. One cruise missile from the Neptune system is enough to sink a ship with a tonnage of up to 5,000 tons. Combat deployment of the system is ensured in simple and complex weather conditions day and night with full autonomy of aiming after launch in conditions of fire and EW resistance of the enemy.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Forest fires destroy villages in Zhytomyr Oblast

May 3, 2020 (KyivPost) Forest fires that raged through Zhytomyr Oblast for two weeks wiped out several small villages, leaving dozens of people homeless at a time when most Ukrainians have to stay home due to the nationwide quarantine. Fueled by strong winds, the fires erupted on April 16 in the forests of the Chornobyl exclusion zone and the adjacent Ovruch district of Zhytomyr Oblast. For several days, acrid smoke from the fires blanketed Kyiv, making it difficult for residents to breathe.
In total, the fires destroyed 72 homes in five villages in the Ovruch district. Set in the middle of a forest that stretches across the border with Belarus, the villages of Lychmany and Magdyn suffered the most. Volunteers have been helping provide local residents with food and clothing. While fires are not a rare occurrence in Ukraine, extremely dry weather during the winter and spring have exacerbated the fire danger, leading to more blazes of a larger scale than usual. Magdyn, with a population of 38 people, burnt completely to the ground. All that remains are the frames of stone furnaces towering over piles of bricks and roofing.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Ukrainian firefighters continue extinguishing forest fires in Chornobyl zone

April 30, 2020 (UNIAN) Ukrainian firefighters continue extinguishing forest fires in the Chornobyl exclusion zone. "Units of the State Emergency Service, assisted by employees of the forestry and fire protection departments of state-run Specialized Enterprise Pivnichna Pushcha, continue extinguishing fires in the territories of Lubianka, Dytiatky, Kotovsk, Denysovychi, Kohorod, and Paryshiv forestry in the exclusion and mandatory resettlement areas," the press service of the State Agency of Ukraine for Exclusion Zone Management said in a statement.
In particular, work is under way to contain the burning of forest litter, stumps and wood. In Paryshiv forestry (the village of Kryva Hora) and Kotovsk forestry (the village of Poliske), Pivnichna Pushcha workers continue eliminating the burning of peat bogs with the use of pumping stations. Some 207 people and 64 pieces of equipment were involved in the extinguishing operations. As UNIAN reported earlier, first forest fires in the Chornobyl exclusion zone began on April 4, covering 20 hectares then. On April 7, the area affected by the fires expanded to 35 hectares. On April 14, they were reportedly extinguished but resumed on April 16. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky took a helicopter tour over the area damaged by the fires in the Chornobyl exclusion zone. According to him, over 11,000 ha of forests in the zone have been damaged by the recent fires.