Saturday, February 27, 2016

President Poroshenko ordered Defense Ministry to strengthen positions along Black Sea coast

February 27, 2016 (112 TV channel) President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko ordered the Defense Ministry to develop proposals to strengthen the military capabilities of Ukraine in the Kherson region, and along the Black Sea coast.

He stated this during his address on the occasion of the Crimean Tatar resistance to the Russian occupation anniversary. Poroshenko noted that the Russian military presence has increased significantly in Crimea region. “Crimean peninsula is transforming from the blooming international resort to a large military base, which creates the threats, including nuclear, not only to Ukraine but to all countries of the Black Sea region", - Petro Poroshenko said.

Friday, February 26, 2016

First shipment of Westinghouse fuel delivered to Ukraine’s Zaporozhye from Sweden’s Västerås.

February 25, 2016 (NucNet) The first shipment of Westinghouse-made nuclear fuel has been delivered to Ukraine’s Zaporozhye nuclear power station in the southeast of the country, Ukrainian nuclear operator Energoatom said. It was produced at Westinghouse Sweden Nuclear Fuel Factory, located in Västerås, Sweden. Energoatom said it plans to load the new fuel into the 1,000-MW Zaporozhe-5 reactor during a scheduled outage in May 2016. 

The company also said it expects to use the new fuel for Units 1, 3, and 4 if the results from Unit 5 allow for it. Westinghouse Sweden confirmed today that in 2016 it is delivering five reloads to nuclear power plants in Ukraine, a contract for which was signed in 2014. The South Ukraine-2 and South Ukraine-3 nuclear units already operate using Westinghouse fuel under a 2008 fuel supply agreement, which was extended to 2020 in April 2014. 

In June 2015, Westinghouse received a €2m ($2.2m) grant from a European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) funding programme for a Euratom project to establish security of supply of nuclear fuel for Russian-designed reactors in the EU.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Photoexhibition “Hello Georgia” in Poltava

February 19, 2016 Photo exhibition under the name "Hello Georgia" has been opened at the Poltava Art Gallery. Six photographers from Ukraine have been traveling through the sunny Georgis to create a set of 80 unique pictures shown at the exhibition.

The exhibition was opened by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to Ukraine Mikheil Ukleba. Many pictures were taken in cities of Tbilisi, Mtskheta and Kutaisi, alpine villages, old temples and mountain summits.

Many connoisseurs of photoart attended this event to get to know the country which fate is similar in many aspects to the fate of Ukraine. And of course such a wonderful event couldn’t go without refined Georgian cuisine and Georgian vine.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Royal Air Force jets sent to intercept Russian bombers heading to UK

February 17, 2016 (BBC News Europe) RAF Typhoons have been scrambled to intercept two Russian bombers heading towards UK airspace, the Ministry of Defence has said. The jets were dispatched from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire on Wednesday afternoon following the security alert. An RAF spokesman said the situation was "on-going" and was not uncommon. "We have Typhoons up on a quick reaction alert," he said. The UK's airspace extends 12 miles from the UK coastline. The RAF has intercepted Russian military planes six times in the past 12 months. In November two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack bombers were escorted by Typhoon jets after being detected flying over the Atlantic. Andrew Brookes, a fellow at the Royal United Services Institute and former RAF pilot, said there was no reason why the planes should enter UK airspace and the incidents were signs of "Russia flexing its muscles". "They are not trying to provoke a war," he said. "It isn't a Cold War... they are just using these tactics to poke us in the chest."

Read the full article at

Ukrainian government survives no-confidence vote

February 17, 2016 (Ukraine Today international information channel) Ukraine's cabinet has survived a vote of no confidence. 194 MPs voted yesterday in favor of ousting of Prime Minister Yatsenyuk's government from power, out of the 226 votes needed. Earlier Ukraine's President Poroshenko called for Yatsenyuk to resign.

The decision avoids government collapse and a snap election which would have created further uncertainty among the Western backers. Hundreds of people are gathered outside the parliament in Kyiv. Demonstrators are holding flags and banners calling on the resignation of Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. The rally comes as Yatsenyuk's government is facing a vote of no confidence. The premier's popularity dropped into the single digits after tough austerity measures and the slow pace of reforms.
Yevgeniy, pensioner: "Arseny (Yatseniuk) promised us that they would close illegal financial flows. Did they close them? Our lives are worse. So then where is the money which they promised to give to the people? They said that everyone would have better lives. It is very difficult to make a living. You understand this, right? There are no reforms, not in the police, not in the prosecutor general's office. Protection of corrupted people is everywhere. No one was put into jail."

Sunday, February 14, 2016

View on Ukraine through old drawings

February 14, 2016. This unique set of postcards was published in 1898 in France. They were designed using drawinngs of unknown artist that were made in Kyiv, Odessa, Kharkiv and some other cities. That time Frenchmen mostly perceived Ukraine to be a part of the huge Russian Empire. But what is undoubtedly true that these drawings were created by a gifted artist.

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Soviet flying tank A-40

The Antonov A-40  was a Soviet attempt to allow a tank to glide onto a battlefield after being towed aloft by an airplane, to support airborne forces or partisans. A prototype was built and tested in 1942, but was found to be unworkable. Instead of loading light tanks onto gliders, as other nations had done, Soviet airborne forces had strapped T-27 tankettes underneath heavy bombers and landed them on airfields. In the 1930s there were experimental efforts to parachute tanks or simply drop them into water. During the1940 occupation of Bessarabia, light tanks may have been dropped from a few meters up by TB-3 bombers, which as long as the gearbox was in neutral, would allow them to roll to a stop.

The biggest problem with air-dropping vehicles is that their crews drop separately, and may be delayed or prevented from bringing them into action. Gliders allow crews to arrive at the drop zone along with their vehicles. They also minimize exposure of the valuable towing aircraft, which need not appear over the battlefield. So the Soviet Air Force ordered Oleg Antonov to design a glider for landing tanks. Antonov was more ambitious. Instead of building a glider, he added a detachable cradle to a T-60 light tank bearing large wood and fabric biplane wings and a twin tail. Such a tank could glide into the battlefield, drop its wings, and be ready to fight within minutes.

One T-60 was converted into a glider in 1942, intended to be towed by a Petlyakov Pe-8 or a Tupolev TB-3. The tank was lightened for air use by removing its armament, ammunition and headlights, and leaving a very limited amount of fuel. Even with the modifications, the TB-3 bomber had to ditch the glider during its only flight, on September 2, 1942, to avoid crashing, due to the T-60's extreme drag (although the tank reportedly glided smoothly). The A-40 was piloted by the famous Soviet experimental glider pilot Sergei Anokhin. 

Sergei Anokhin, test pilot (1910-1986)
The T-60 landed in a field near the airdrome, and after dropping the glider wings and tail, the driver returned it to its base. Due to the lack of a sufficiently-powerful aircraft to tow it at the required 160 km/h (99 mph), the project was abandoned.
You may found more about A-40 in following books:
1. Gunston, Bill (1995). The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft 1875–1995. London: Osprey.

2. Zaloga, Steven J.; James Grandsen (1984). Soviet Tanks and Combat Vehicles of World War Two. London: Arms and Armour Press.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Ukraine's state-run Antonov aircraft company starts flight testing of engine for An-178

February 11, 2016 (UNIAN News Agency) Ukraine’s state enterprise Antonov has started flight testing of D-436-148FM turbofan engines created for the prospective user, transport aircraft Antonov An-178. On February 5, an An-178 prototype, with the new engine mounted on its wing, made its first flight, Antonov’s spokesperson told. As for the second engine in the power plant, engineers chose D-436-748, which powers An-148/158 aircraft. 

The new engine took to the skies two months after its first start on December 9 at the facility of Ivchenko-Progress, which designed the engine in cooperation with another Ukrainian engine-maker, Motor-Sich. The upgraded engine has increased take-off thrust: 7010 kg as compared to the predecessor, D-436-148, which has a take-off thrust of 6570 kg.  Because the fan casing was made larger, an increased volume of air passes through the engine. Additionally, a better noise insulation system was developed. The first An-178 prototype started a flight test program in May 2015. 

The second prototype is dedicated to fatigue testing. Serving as the transport version of the passenger An-148, the new An-178 aircraft is capable of carrying about 18 tons of cargo. Its launch customer is Azerbaijan cargo carrier Silk Way Airlines, which signed a letter of intent for 10 aircraft. A similar letter of intent for 30 aircraft was signed in December 2015 with a Saudi Arabian customer.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

NATO to help develop Ukrainian Special Forces

February 8, 2016 (UNIAN News agency) In the near future, Ukraine and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will reach an agreement that will see the creation of Ukrainian Special Operations Forces.  This was said by the Acting Head of the Mission of Ukraine to NATO, Yehor Bozhok, and was reported by the UNIAN news agency. “In the near future, I do not want to preempt this, but soon you will see concrete results and agreements regarding the establishment of the Special Operations Forces. We will sign this agreement with the Alliance based on the results of meetings held with the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko.  It will be signed at the headquarters of NATO and the headquarters of the Commander of Allied Forces in Europe in Mons,” Bozhok said.

Bozhok also stated that the document will be signed in the coming weeks in Ukraine.  “This will be the agreement on cooperation between Ukraine and NATO in the creation of the Special Operations Forces, which will identify a number of specific areas where we will receive advisory, training and logistical assistance from NATO," he said. According to Bozhok, cooperation between NATO and Ukraine in this sphere “would cover a wide range of issues from doctrinal basis to specific training and specific equipment of fighters.”
In addition, he stated that Ukraine and its allies in NATO had also reached an agreement to launch a project with NATO’s assistance to reconstruct the country's naval forces in the near future. “We’re talking about restoring older standards and implementing new standards, which actually means the formation of the new Navy Forces,” Bozhok said.  When questioned as to when this will be possible, he noted that these projects “focus on the summit” of NATO, which is planned to be held in July in Warsaw.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Russian menace pushes Sweden towards Nato

February 7, 2016 (BBC News Europe) No-one in Sweden believes that Russia would launch an unprovoked attack on a country outside the former Soviet Union, but Moscow is seen as increasingly unpredictable. "Did we understand, before it happened, the annexation of Crimea? Did we understand that they were very close to starting something in Eastern Ukraine?" says Michael Byden, Supreme Commander of Sweden's armed forces. 

"This is one of the great challenges right now: what are they up to and why do they do it?" Some analysts believe Russia's behaviour has more to do with shoring up Vladimir Putin's domestic support than probing Swedish defences. But whatever the rationale, it's already prompted the Swedish government to boost defence spending and shift the military's focus to regional security after two decades in which international operations took precedence.
The full article and video are available at: