Friday, September 23, 2016

U.S. House Approves Lethal Weaponry For Ukraine

September 22, 2016 (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) The U.S. House of Representatives has backed legislation that calls for supplying Ukraine with lethal weaponry in its fight against Russia and separatists in the eastern Donbas region.
Тhe bill, which passed unanimously on a voice vote on September 21, is the latest effort by Ukraine's staunchest supporters in Washington to bolster its military forces. Kyiv has repeatedly requested from Washington more advanced weaponry - such as Javelin antitank missiles - to aid its fight against separatists. But President Barack Obama's administration has resisted, fearing it would escalate the fighting. Instead, the administration has limited its supplies to things like flak jackets, night-vision goggles, and radar that helps locate where mortars are fired from. The legislation, which goes to the U.S. Senate for consideration, also aims to increase funding to counter Russian propaganda.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Kremlin explains why it refuses from holding Normandy Four meeting

September 15, 2016 (UNIAN Information agency) Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the Normandy format meeting at the highest level would be held only when there were "real issues" to be discussed, an UNIAN correspondent in Russia reported.

When asked whether high-level talks in the Normandy format could be restarted in October, Peskov said: "We are not talking about how to restart. The idea is that if there are real prospects for discussing substantive issues, specific issues related to the implementation of the Minsk agreements, then it would make sense to hold a meeting at the highest level in the Normandy format. To this end, we need a situation when there are real issues to be discussed," Peskov stressed. According to Peskov, precisely this was stated by Russian President Vladimir Putin to leaders of France and Germany during meetings in China. Read also Russia blocks Normandy meeting at G20 summit, separate meetings scheduled As UNIAN reported earlier, on May 24, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a telephone conversation. After that, the Russian side has been avoiding negotiations in this format under various pretexts. Read also Europe's top diplomats at forefront of efforts to settle Ukraine conflict On June 21, Putin's press secretary Peskov said that the Kremlin was not ready to hold a meeting of leaders of the Norman Four just "for the sake of holding one". "Certainly, the Russian president and other members of Normandy Four are always ready to talk, hold meetings, and so on ... While we need significant advances to compensate the time lost, to demonstrate readiness to fulfill the Minsk agreements, particularly by Kyiv," Peskov said. On August 10, Putin attributed Russia's refusal to meet in the "Normandy Four" format in China to recent developments in Crimea, which were related to the Russian FSB accusations against the Ukrainian intelligence that had allegedly plotted terrorist attacks in the peninsula. On September 5, French President Hollande stated that a meeting of Normandy Four leaders would be held in the coming weeks. On September 14, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault stated that heads of foreign ministries of Ukraine, France and Germany were preparing for a highest-level summit in the Normandy format.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Fashion statement: Ukrainian troops debut post-Soviet uniforms

August 26, 2016 (The Washington Times) Ukraine’s military has taken its clash with neighboring Russia to a new level, debuting new “Western-style” uniforms that deliberately break with old Soviet sartorial motifs. The green camouflage uniform with a dark-green beret is modeled on British military styles. The cap includes an insignia of a Cossack, the traditional Ukrainian horseman, grasping a cross. The stars that traditionally adorn should straps in Russian and older Soviet uniforms have been replaced by diamonds.
Ukrainians got their first look at the new uniforms at this week’s Independence Day parade in downtown Kiev, a parade that marked a quarter-century of independence after the break-up of the old Soviet Union. The redesign also comes two years after the first clashes between Moscow and Kiev over Crimea and Russia’s continuing support for separatist forces in Ukraine’s east.

The uniforms reportedly also incorporate details from the uniforms worn by the Ukrainian Liberation Army, formed in the brief period of independence between the end of World War I and Ukraine’s absorption into the Soviet Union in 1919. Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko said in his address Wednesday that the redesign was part of a larger overhaul of the country’s military in the past two years, saying his government had to rebuild the army “almost from scratch” after a popular uprising drove former President Viktor Yanukovych from power and into exile in Russia. But military analysts say the uniforms are also a political statement in a country still deeply divided between Ukrainian-speaking western parts of the country oriented toward Europe and the West, and Russian-speaking eastern regions with cultural, religious and economic ties to Russia.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Ukraine celebrates 25th Independence Day, with an eye on Russia

August 24, 2016 (Politico) More than 200 military vehicles - including tanks and missile carriers - flanked by ranks of troops are being prepared for Ukraine’s largest-ever military parade on Wednesday.
The martial tone of Ukraine’s independence day celebrations isn’t unexpected. Two years ago, the date marked a large-scale offensive by Russian-backed forces in eastern Ukraine, while last year, late August saw another upsurge in violence. The worry is that the same thing will happen again this year.
In Kremlin-annexed Crimea, Russian forces conducted military exercises this week. Video footage showed soldiers and heavy machinery making amphibious beachhead landings.
Fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists has escalated dramatically in eastern Ukraine, and Kiev officials say that some 40,000 Russian troops have moved close to Ukraine’s borders. Last week, Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s president, warned of the possibility of a “full-scale invasion on all fronts.”
Poroshenko has placed Ukraine’s army on high alert and said he could introduce martial law if the situation worsens further. Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces reported their worst month of casualties in a year.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Today is the Day of the National Flag of Ukraine

23 August is celebrated as the Day of the National Flag of Ukraine; beginning with 2004. The first ceremonial raising of the yellow-and-blue Ukrainian flag in modern times took place on 24 July 1990 at the flagstaff of the Kiev City Council, two years later the flag was officially adopted as the National flag of the Ukrainian state (1992).

Monday, August 22, 2016

Families of killed Ukrainian soldiers made live map of Ukraine in Chernihiv

August 21, 2016 Families of killed Ukrainian soldiers made live map of Ukraine in Chernihiv. The event symbolizes unity for the sake of victory and peace. Hundreds of relatives of the soldiers killed in the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) gathered in Chernihiv to commemorate their loved ones. Wives, mothers and fathers of soldiers who gave their lives for the independence of our country came to Chernihiv from almost all regions of Ukraine for three days. The ceremony was organized by volunteers together with regional and city authorities. The full article and video is available at

Art Textile exhibition has been opened in Poltava Art Gallery

The exhibition “Art Textile 2016” has been opened in the Poltava Art Gallery on August 20, 2016. Many of presented works, mostly Gobelin tapestries and batiks were created by Ukrainian artists from Kyiv, Kherson, Lviv, and Poltava. Such an exhibition is a bit unusual for the city of Poltava which has earned an honorary title of the capital of Ukrainian folk carpet weaving. Nevertheless many visitors were satisfied with a unique opportunity to touch a modern weaving art.