Sunday, July 21, 2019

Ukraine President's Party Leads in Parliament Election-Exit Poll


July 21, 2019 (Reuters) President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's party led Ukraine's snap parliamentary election on Sunday with 43.9% of votes, an exit poll showed. The Opposition Platform was in second place, former President Petro Poroshenko's party was in third place, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's party was in fourth place and rock star Sviatoslav Vakarchuk's party in fifth.


Ukrainian electoral system.
Under current law 225 members of the Verkhovna Rada are elected by nationwide closed party-list proportional representation with 5% electoral election threshold and the other 225 seats elected in constituencies with a first-past-the-post electoral system in one round (candidate with the highest vote total wins).21 parties take part in the election in the nationwide party-list. 26 constituencies from 225 are suspended due to the March 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia and the occupation of parts of Donetsk Oblast and Luhansk Oblast by separatists (since April 2014), because of then roughly 12 percent of voting-age citizens cannot participate in the elections.
Candidates had until 20 June to submit documents to the Central Election Commission of Ukraine to register as candidates for the position of deputy of the Verkhovna Rada. On 25 June 2019, the Central Election Comission ended its registration process. It registered 5,845 candidates for the elections: 3,171 candidates in the single-member constituencies and 2,674 candidates in the single nationwide constituency with 22 parties.  

Friday, July 19, 2019

Poland says Putin's presence on WWII anniversary inappropriate


July 19, 2019 (UNIAN) Deputy Prime Minister of Poland Jacek Sasin has said Polish authorities consider inappropriate the attendance by Russian President Vladimir Putin of commemorative events on the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II, which will be held in Warsaw in September 2019. "I think it would be inappropriate to mark the anniversary of the beginning of the armed aggression against Poland with the participation of a leader who today treats his neighbors using the same methods," he told Polskie Radio 24, according to Deutsche Welle's Russian service. He stressed Putin is "the leader of a country that is carrying out armed aggression against its neighbors."
At the same time, the politician said U.S. President Donald Trump would most likely arrive at the ceremony in Warsaw. According to Sasin, the report suggesting that Trump will attend the event is still unofficial. "However, we can say with a high degree of confidence that this visit will take place," he said.
Answering a question about a possible visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Sasin said Warsaw is "optimistic about this." According to the politician, the invitations have already been sent to a wide circle of world leaders, and Poland expects the commemorative events on the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II will be held at an international scale. It became known in March 2019 that Poland would not invite Putin to commemorative events. Paweł Mucha, Deputy Chief of the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland, said only partners in the European Union and the countries of the Eastern Partnership program would receive invitations from Warsaw. In response, representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry said they "were perplexed" with such a decision on the part of Warsaw.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Ex-chief of Ukraine's foreign intel: Army equipped to repel invasion, strategy needs improvement

July 8, 2019 (UNIAN) Ex-chief of Ukraine's Foreign Intelligence Service, General Mykola Malomuzh says that the army has weapons to repel an open full-scale invasion of Ukrainian territory by Russian troops, however, strategic preparations for this scenario are insufficient. "Strategically, we can involve allies. In addition to building up our weapons and preparedness for hostilities, we need to pursue a very effective policy with our partners, which, unfortunately, has not happened either now or earlier. Only scheduled meetings that do not form any potential from the economic or security point of view have been held so far. A team of professionals who would help [President of Ukraine Volodymyr] Zelensky in the system of security, economy, defense and the creation of innovative formats has not been formed yet," Malomuzh told the Ukrainian news outlet Apostrophe. Read also Ukrainian Army gets over 3,500 units of weapons, military equipment in 2018 (Photo) According to him, tactically, Ukraine has some groundwork allowing to respond to Russian aggression.
A Ukrainian-developed Korsar system / Photo from ukroboronprom.com.ua

As for weapons, Ukraine is better prepared here, but new developments must be introduced into the Armed Forces of Ukraine. "There are such systems as Korsar [anti-tank missile system developed by Kyiv-based Luch design bureau], Skif [Ukrainian-Belarusian anti-tank missile system]. They are comparable with [U.S.-made] Javelins and even better in some respects. [There are also] Oplot tanks. New tactical complexes, equipped with radio devices, better than the European ones. And in radio intelligence systems, our country even beats Britain, France, Germany, and Russia. We all have all this, but do not use it effectively. In many line-ups we have extremely powerful developments that can be put into service for the armed forces of Ukraine in a year and a half," the general said. 

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.