Friday, April 14, 2017

How well you know Ukrainian traditions of Easter celebration?

April 14, 2017 (KyivPost) This year the Orthodox Christians, who are the majority in Ukraine, celebrate Easter on the same day with Protestants and Catholics. Monday, April 17 is a public holiday. The Easter traditions are quite different in Ukraine and in the West. This quiz will help determine how well one knows Ukrainian traditions of celebration. When done, don’t forget to share the results and challenge others to take the quiz.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Tillerson meets Putin - and leaves without even a snapshot to show for it: Kremlin snubs U.S. as relations freeze

April 13, 2017 (Dailymail) Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is leaving Moscow empty-handed following two hours of frosty talks with Vladimir Putin - without even a snapshot with the Russian president to show for it. Instead he got a public lecture on America's past actions in the Middle East from Putin's foreign minister, and reminded of Sean Spicer's Hitler gaffe by a Russian reporter. And he could not even get agreement that Bashar al-Assad's used chemical weapons, with the Kremlin insisting that the Syrian dictator did not gas his own people and the Trump official asserting that he did.

FROSTY START: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov welcomes US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson before their meeting in Moscow
At a joint news conference after the meeting Putin's foreign minister demanded evidence of the assault - and of Russian's meddling in the American election - as he reminded the world of the United States' rocky record with regime changes, using Iraq and Libya as examples. The deepening split between the Trump administration and the government the Republican politician had been accused of colluding with to win his election was on full display Wednesday as the diplomats made a host of conflicting claims about current affairs. Tillerson frankly told reporters that US-Russia relations were at a 'low point' while he issued a Cold War-style warning that the nuclear powers could not have have a bitter relationship.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4405926/Tillerson-DOES-meet-Vladimir-Putin.html#ixzz4e7R07RTO

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tank collector shocked to find £2million gold bullion hidden in the fuel compartment of his £30,000 vehicle

April 9, 2017 (The Sun) Nick Mead, 55, discovered the five gold bars in the Russian T54/69 while restoring it to add to his collection of 150 military vehicles. He and mechanic Todd Chamberlain were filming themselves prising open the diesel tank in case they found munitions and needed to show it to bomb disposal crews. Instead, they pulled out the bars, weighing up to 12lb - 5kg - apiece. Todd, 50, said a quick calculation suggested they were worth in excess of £2million. He added: “We didn’t know what to do. You can’t exactly take five gold bullion bars down to Cash Converters without questions being asked, so we called the police.” Nick runs Tanks-a-Lot, giving petrolheads the chance to drive any of his tanks on his farm in Helmdon, Northants. He traded in an Army lorry and an Abbot self-propelled gun for the T54/69 in a deal worth about £30,000 after seeing it advertised on eBay. Todd and Nick had already found machine gun ammunition while stripping down the tank and were worried they would find guns. The tank restorers believe the gold was looted by Iraqi soldiers in Kuwait during the Gulf War.

Nick Mead, left was shocked to discover a gold bullion worth £2million in the fuel tank of a tank he was restoring 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

European Parliament approves Ukraine visa waiver

April 6, 2017 (European Parliament News) Ukrainian citizens will be exempted from EU short-stay visa requirements, after Parliament endorsed an informal deal with the Council on Thursday. Under the new law, Ukrainians who hold a biometric passport will be able to enter the EU without a visa for 90 days in any 180-day period, for tourism, to visit relatives or friends, or for business purposes, but not to work.

The exemption applies to all EU countries, except Ireland and the UK, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. “Ukraine has achieved all the benchmarks, so the visa requirement should be lifted”, noted rapporteur for the proposal Mariya Gabriel (EPP, BG), adding that the visa waiver will be “another very strong message that Ukraine is a key partner for the European Union in the Eastern Partnership”. The legislation, approved by 521 votes to 75 with 36 abstentions, still needs to be formally adopted by the Council of Ministers. It is likely to enter into force in June, 20 days after it is published in the EU Official Journal.

Monday, April 3, 2017

St Petersburg explosion: 10 killed and dozens injured in metro blast

April 3, 2017 (Thegardian) At least 10 people have been killed after a suspected bomb detonated on a metro train in St Petersburg. The blast occurred at the Sennaya Ploshchad station, in the centre of Russia’s second city, at about 2.30pm (11.30am GMT), reportedly as the train was pulling out of the station. Andrei Kibitov, spokesman for the St Petersburg governor, told Russian television that 10 people had been killed and 50 injured. Hours later a second device at another metro station was found and made safe, Russia’s national anti-terrorist committee said in a statement.

The news agency Interfax quoted law enforcement sources claiming the blast was caused by explosive material placed in the carriage. Photographs from the scene showed a metro train in the station with one set of doors blown out, and a number of people on the ground with injuries. Eyewitnesses said people had to exit the carriage through the windows as the doors did not work. Hundreds of people waited outside the station entrance at street level, along with fire engines and police vehicles. The whole of the city’s metro system was closed in the aftermath of the blast, and a number of streets at ground level were also shut off, as medical helicopters landed at the scene to evacuate the injured. Russian president Vladimir Putin is in St Petersburg, where he spoke at a forum earlier in the day. About an hour after the blast, Putin expressed his condolences to families of the victims before a meeting with the Belarus president, Alexander Lukashenko. He said it was “too early to say” what caused the blast but that it could be “criminal or terrorist”. Putin said he had already spoken with the director of the FSB security services and other law enforcement agencies.

An injured person is helped by emergency services outside the metro station. Photograph: Reuters
The British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, said he was horrified by news of the explosion. “My sympathies are with the victims and their families,” he tweeted. For many years, Russia suffered frequent terror attacks from Islamist groups based in the North Caucasus, including blasts on the Moscow metro in 2010. However, since a suicide bomber struck at Domodedovo airport in January 2011, attacks have largely been confined to the North Caucasus itself. 

Since Russia entered the war in Syria, a number of Islamic State propaganda outlets have said the country would be a target. However, there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosion.
Video is available at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/03/st-petersburg-metro-rocked-by-explosion-sennaya-ploshchad-station

Friday, March 31, 2017

An-132D: First aircraft without Russian components

March 31, 2017 The new multipurpose aircraft of Ukrainian production was designed through cooperation with world’s leading aviation concerns. Components for the new aircraft were supplied from Canada, USA, Great Britain and Germany, according to State ConcernUkroboronprom. An-132D was designed by Antonov State Company, which is part of Ukroboronprom, and was made without any components from Russian Federation.
The plane of such scale was designed in a record term — 1.5 years, which is considered almost impossible in the modern aviation. The production program of the aircraft was launched in 2015, the plane flew for the first time on March 31. Primarily, the program to create An-132D was made specifically for the organizations from Saudi Arabia and was the first stage of production of next generation An-132.
Airplane speed can reach 500 km per hour, maximum flight height — 9 thousand meters, carrying capacity — up to 9.2 tons. It is planned to produce the whole line of different planes on the basis of An-132. It is noteworthy that the new An-132D is the first aircraft which was created in the framework of new strategy to reform Defense sector of Ukraine.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Polish consulate in Ukraine attacked with grenade launcher

March 29, 2017 (UNIAN) Unidentified assailants attacked the Polish consulate in Lutsk, in western Ukraine on Wednesday, Radio Poland reported. “It was probably a grenade launcher,” Polish Consul Krzysztof Sawicki told local media. “The projectile hit the top floor, leaving a hole of about 70 centimeters.” No one was injured in the attack. The Polish foreign ministry summoned the Ukrainian ambassador to Poland, Andrii Deshchytsia, in response.


We expect and demand that the security of our institutions be improved across Ukraine,” a spokesman for the Polish foreign ministry said in a statement. He called on Ukrainian authorities to “explain the circumstances of the incident,” and to “identify and arrest the perpetrators.” Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko condemned the attack on Twitter, saying he had “urgently” ordered authorities to “take all reasonable measures to investigate this incident and the perpetrators.