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.