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 (www.army-technology.com) 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."

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

SMB 2019 Trip to Poltava

A regular delegation of the Swedish Society of the Military History (Svenskt Militärhistoriskt Bibliootek) visited the Museum of the Battle of Poltava on May 16. This time, our Swedish friends presented the museum with a bust of King Charles 12, a set of ancient coins, laser projector, antique engravings, and documents. I am very pleased to offer to your attention some photos taken  during the stay of the SMB delegation in Poltava.
Med länken nedan kan du få tillgång till många bilder som tagits i Poltava och Kiev.  

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

High fives, selfies and a snap election as Zelenskiy takes power in Ukraine


May 22, 2019 (Reuters) Television comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy took the oath of office as Ukraine’s new president on Monday, promising that as hard as he had worked in the past to make Ukrainians laugh, he would now work to keep them from crying. As his first act, he dismissed the parliament still dominated by loyalists of his defeated predecessor, setting up an election in two months in which his new party has a chance to win its first seats. The inauguration day was marked by informal moments that conveyed the outsider persona that helped carry the political novice to a landslide victory last month.

Ukraine's President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy takes the oath of office during his inauguration ceremony in the parliament hall in Kiev, Ukraine May 20, 2019. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

Zelenskiy high fived cheering supporters who held their arms outstretched outside the Soviet-era parliament building, and stopped for a selfie with the crowd. At one point he jumped up to kiss a man on the forehead. He later eschewed a motorcade to make his way to his new office on foot. “Dear people, during my life I tried to do everything to make Ukrainians smile,” he said in his speech to parliament. “In the next five years, I will do everything, Ukrainians, so that you do not cry.” But there were already signs of friction with a political class in which Zelenskiy has few allies. Parliament is still dominated by the bloc named for Zelenskiy’s defeated opponent Petro Poroshenko and smaller parties founded mostly as personal vehicles for political insiders. The decision to dissolve parliament prompted the resignation of Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, who came to power in 2016 as part of Poroshenko’s coalition. Groysman said he was stepping down to fight the upcoming snap election. “I proposed to the president, the parliament, that we together form a new agenda and very quickly begin to make decisions that would make Ukraine stronger. The president has chosen a different path,” Groysman said. Zelenskiy grew to national fame playing the TV comedy role of a schoolteacher who unexpectedly becomes president after a pupil films him making a foul-mouthed tirade against corrupt politicians and posts the video online. His campaign exploited the parallels with that fictional narrative, portraying him as an everyman who would stand up to a crooked political class. In his inauguration speech, Zelenskiy called on officials to take down the customary portraits of the president that hang in their offices, and put up pictures of their children instead.
Read the whole article and see a video at