Sunday, September 23, 2018

Today Poltava celebrates the Liberation Day

September 23, 2018 On September 23, 1943 the Red Army liberated the city of Poltava, that has been turned by German army into a powerful defense center in the Ukraine to the east of the Dnieper. In the fighting for the liberation of the town of Poltava, troops commanded by Lieutenant General Zhadov, Lieutenant General Managarov and airmen commanded by Lieutenant General of Aviation Goryunov, distinguished themselves, especially the 9th Guards Airborne Division (Colonel Sazonov), the 13th Guards Red Banner Infantry Division (Major General Baklanov), the 66th Guards Infantry Division (Major General Yakshin), the 95th Guards Infantry Division (Major General Nikichenko), the 97th Guards Infantry Division (Colonel Antsiferov), the 84th Kharkov Infantry Division (Major General Bunyashin), the 42nd Light Artillery Brigade (Colonel Skorodumov), the 301st Anti-tank Artillery Regiment (Lieutenant Colonel Vlassenko), the 57th Tank Regiment (Lieutenant Colonel Federov), the 431st Engineering Battalion (Lieutenant Colonel Boltusevich), the 294th Fighter Aviation Division (Lieutenant Colonel Taranenko) and the 266th Attack Aviation Division (Colonel Rodyakin). 
An unique picture below was taken by the Soviet press photographer Yakov Ryumkin during the fighting somewhere near Poltava in late September 1943. As you can see the master had no time to adjust his camera during such a quick advance of the Soviet combat group. On the background you can see battered German self-propelled gun.

 It was very dangerous to shoot such photos when bullets whistled over his camera but nevertheless many military press photographers risked their lives to capture WWII as it really was.

Photographer Yakov Ryumkin near the Brandenburg Gate (Potsdam). The photo was taken in 1945.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Stepan Poltorak: Modern boats will strengthen combat capabilities of the Ukrainian Navy

September 21, 2018 (Ministry of Defence of Ukraine) Minister of Defence of Ukraine General of the Army of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak stressed it during an official ceremony of launch of Kentavr boat ordered by the defence ministry. National industry responds to military threats. Over the past two years the private company Kuznia Na Rybalskomu has constructed and transferred the Ukrainian Navy six armoured artillery boats. They have been already executing assigned tasks. We are increasing our strength. Today we have a new victory. We launch the first Kentavr boat, Stepan Poltorak said.

Kuznya na Rybalskomu is a ship building and armament company, that indirectly belongs to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. Although situated in Kiev, on the Dnieper River and presently concentrated on river ships, the company is able to produce and repair small sea vessels (both civil and naval), as well as various military equipment. According to the Minister of Defence, modern boats will strengthen combat capabilities of the Ukrainian Navy and the priority is to construct modern ships and boats, special boats and support vessels.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

U.S. Air Force to join Clear Sky drills in Ukraine

September 19, 2018 (112.UA) Combat aircraft of the U.S. Air Force will participate in the Clear Sky military drills that are to be hosted in Ukraine soon. Stars and Stripes reported that; the Ukrainian defense ministry also confirmed this information. The large-scale aviation exercise is to involve the vehicles and crews from nine countries - Ukraine, the U.S., Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom.

'Announcement of the Clear Sky multinational exercise comes days after Ukraine said it would establish a new naval base along the Sea of Azov to counter a more assertive Russia. The U.S. plans to send about 450 personnel from bases in the States and in Europe, a U.S. Air Forces in Europe spokesman said Tuesday. About 250 will participate in the exercise, including pilots and maintainers; the remainder will be in support roles', reads the story. Clear Sky 2018 will be held mostly in the area of Starokostyantyniv air base, central Ukraine; it is scheduled for the middle of October.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Ikea plans to open its first store in Ukraine next year

September 13, 2018 ( Swedish furniture giant Ikea said it was finally bringing its Scandinavian home design to Ukraine after years of delays. The announcement came during a meeting between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and the company's CEO in south-east Europe in the capital Kiev. "It's the right moment for Ikea to be here, when we look at the business climate and the opportunities," Stefan Vanoverbeke told the Ukrainian leader. Poroshenko called the agreement "a good signal for global brands" which he said meant that his country had made progress in the fight against corruption. The opening of an Ikea store in Kiev, said Poroshenko, was the culmination of 13 years of negotiations. "Unfortunately, it could have happened at least ten years ago," he said. "But the investment climate did not allow Ikea to make the right decision at the time."

In 2009, the world's biggest furniture retailer said it would open an outlet in Ukraine and went on to buy a plot of land near the south-west port city of Odessa, but it abandoned those plans a year later, saying the market was not strong enough. Ukrainian and Swedish media reports suggested the real reason it pulled out was that Ukrainian officials demanded kickbacks. The company itself hinted at the problem, with a senior executive saying in 2010 that "Ikea does not have money" to pay bribes.
Ukraine, a country of more than 40 million people, is battling a Russian-backed separatist insurgency in the east. The conflict – which broke out after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 – has claimed more than 10,000 lives. In 2015, Aivaras Abromavicius, Ukraine's economy minister at the time, visited Stockholm and pleaded with Ikea to set up shop in his country. He argued that "it would be an important symbol" of Kiev's anti-corruption fight. Ukraine ranked 130 out of 180 countries assessed by Transparency International's corruption perception index in 2017. Ikea has stores in more than 50 countries, including post-Soviet Latvia, Lithuania and Russia. In August this year, Swedish fashion retail group H&M opened its first store in Ukraine.