Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Russia’s first banknote to mark Crimea's annexation


December 23, 2015 Russians are to see a new banknote commemorating Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. The 100 rouble note ($1.50; £1) has appeared early December 2015 to mark the controversial Russian takeover of the peninsula in March 2014. 

Speaking to the official TASS news agency, Georgy Luntovsky, the deputy chairman of the Bank of Russia, said that the notes features "symbols of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol", just as soon as the final design has been discussed with senior officials in the region. One side of the note is devoted to Sevastopol, the other one – to Crimea. In the lower part of the Sevastopol side of the banknote in the green stripe there is a QR-code linking to the Bank of Russia webpage containing historical information relating to the commemorative banknote. While this is the first banknote to mark Crimea's annexation, Russians already have commemorative 10 rouble coins marking images of the annexation, carrying images of the Swallow's Nest castle in Yalta and Sevastopol's Monument to the Sunken Ships, Moscow Times says.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Ukraine intel reports about 7,700 Russian regular troops in Donbas



December 22, 2015 (UNIAN) The Ukrainian Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Department reports that there are about 7,700 Russian regular troops in the occupied areas in Donbas, eastern Ukraine.
"According to the data the Main Intelligence Department has obtained, there are about 7,700 regular soldiers of the Armed Forces of Russia in Donetsk and Luhansk regions," Main Intelligence Department Chief Vadym Skybytsky said on TV Channel 112 Ukraine. In his words, there has been no drastic change in the strength of Russian military personnel recently – their number remains steady, and redeployment and buildup, especially in the attacking echelon, are most active in the first and second army corps of Russia's armed forces.

The Ukrainian intelligence service also reports about the constant regrouping of the Russian forces, preparations, combat drills, and training on the shooting ground. Thus, Skybytsky said, the enemy continues its routine battle training and exercises possibly for a new offensive against Ukraine. "There is no direct threat as of today. But there is proof that the Armed Forces of Russia, the fighting units of the first and second army corps have been training, and this is their routine job. The situation [in the Anti-Terrorist Operation zone] remains tense. The enemy continues shelling the positions of the Ukrainian forces. In the past 24 hours, Ukrainian troops were attacked 57 times. What is more, Russia has been sending more and more weapons and fuel there," he said. As UNIAN reported earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged during his recent press conference in Moscow on December 17 that Russia had sent personnel to Donbas to "solve certain issues, including in the military sphere."

The Migration Service of Ukraine begins the process of introduction of new identity cards – plastic cards (Ukrainian plastic passport) with a contactless electronic chip



December 22, 2015 According to Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, registration of such plastic identity cards (Ukrainian plastic passport) will be possible beginning with January 1, 2016. Turnaround time of a new document is the same as of the old one- 10 working days. In addition, replacement of the old Ukrainian passports for the new plastic identity cards is voluntary; the law of Ukraine provides a five-year transition period.
A citizen can get a Ukrainian passport with contactless electronic chip in the department of the State Migration Service at place of residence when getting for the first time, and in any department when appealing next time. Your photo is not required; the SMS official will photograph you by registration. “The card chip can contain its owner’s biometric data – fingerprints and digital signature. But you can refuse this option; in this case a special mark will be made on the card. ID card does not contain any information about nationality, religious beliefs and residence place. The data about marital status is fixed on the electronic chip, but they are not written with the letters on the card.”

The President of Ukraine have announced December 15th, 2015 as a day of great importance in the history of Ukraine in view of production launch of the passports of the citizen of Ukraine in form of ID card with implanted contactless electronic carrier. He said about this during the visit to the State Enterprise “Polygraph Combine “Ukraina” for securities’ production”, at premises of which the new passports will be produced starting from 1 of January, 2016.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Putin admits to Russian military 'tasks' in separatist-held eastern Ukraine



December 17, 2015 (USA TODAY) After months of denials, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted for the first time Thursday that his country’s military is operating in separatist-held eastern Ukraine. "We never said there were no people there who were carrying out certain tasks," Putin said during his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow. Putin said Russia had no regular troop presence in eastern Ukraine but, in response to a question about Russian servicemen detained and injured in the fighting, he admitted that "certain matters, including in the military area" were being performed.

Full article is available at:

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Adolf Fredrik Children Choir from Stockholm has greeted internally displaced kids with traditional Swedish holiday – St. Lucia Day



December 16, 2015 (unhcr.org.ua) UNHCR together with Embassy of Sweden and pupils from Adolf Fredrik Music School Chidren Choir in Stockholm organize winter holiday celebration for displaced children in Kyiv. The Choir made its first, much-appreciated performance on December 16 at School No 104 in Pushcha Voditsya, not far from Kyiv. This is one of the schools that have received a lot of children from families which had to flee the conflict in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea during the year. In his speech before the performance, Ambassador Andreas von Beckerath pointed out that Lucia is a tradition that gives light and hope in dark and hard times.
«Saint Lucia is first and foremost a celebration of light and hope. Lucia is a bearer of light in the cold and dark Swedish winters. We celebrate it to remind ourselves that light will overcome darkness. By celebrating Lucia here in Kiev and by having the choir singing, we hope to send the same message to the Ukrainian people. A message of hope and faith for the future, and most importantly a message of solidarity and support during these difficult times», said Ambassador of Sweden to Ukraine, Mr. Andreas von Beckerath.

The choir performed traditional Swedish Lucia songs, a tradition which is similar to St. Nicola’s Day in Ukraine. For the event in Kyiv young singers were beautifully costumed in white dresses, flower wreaths and held lightened candles. The choir sang traditional songs, which, according to the beliefs, force dark spirits to step away after the longest winter night.

The speech of the Ambassador was followed by welcome words from UNHCR Regional Representative in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine Mr. Oldrich Andrysek:
«Especially this year, let us remember about the kids, who will not be able to celebrate these our favorite winter holidays at their homes with all the relatives and parent or will not celebrate them at all. I am talking about those children who had to flee their homes in Donbas or Crimea searching for more safe places in Ukraine for living. Here is what: let’s try to help these kids, maybe they are your classmates or you just know them, let them feel a bit happier and share our friendship and care which you receive daily from your fellows. When you grow up and become older I wish all of you to do all you can to make your country united and a real home for all who live here», commented UNHCR Regional Representative in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine Mr. Oldrich Andrysek.In November, the Government of Sweden has supported Ukraine with EUR 4.9 million euros for humanitarian assistance and early recovery. UNCHR is grateful for the generous donation of EUR 1.6 million provided by the Embassy for the needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the east of Ukraine and Crimea. This funding will help UNHCR to secure core relief items, winterization assistance, construction materials for repairs and address other immediate needs in the conflict affected areas.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Russia: UN's Ukraine Meeting Shouldn't Discuss Human Rights



Dec 11, 2015 (abcNews) A UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine was delayed for nearly an hour and a half Friday because Russia objected to discussing the human rights situation in the country's separatist-controlled east and Crimea. Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told council members that human rights discussions should take place in the U.N.'s Geneva-based Human Rights Council. He said raising human rights was "nothing more than an attempt to distract attention from the most important goal today," implementing the Minsk agreement that was intended to end the fighting. It was the United States that invited a senior U.N. human rights official to brief the council on Ukraine. The U.S. and the West have repeatedly accused Russia of supporting the separatists with troops and weapons, which Moscow has denied.

"One does wonder what Russia seeks to hide," said U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power, the current council president. "But we understand its very unfortunate desire to prevent the council from hearing inconvenient facts." Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic told the council that more than 9,000 people have been killed since the conflict began in April 2014. He called that a conservative estimate. Even with "relative military calm" in the east, Simonovic said, the lack of rule of law makes the human rights situation of the estimated 2.7 million people living in separatist-controlled Donetsk and Luhansk very difficult.
"Reports of human rights abuses on these territories persist, including those related to killings, torture and ill-treatment, illegal detention and forced labor," he said. "Local residents continue to remain without any effective protection of their rights, and there is a lack of accountability." Simonovic also said there has been no improvement in 2015 in Crimea, which Russia annexed last year. "Fundamentally, it is still not possible to express views that differ from those promoted by the de facto authorities and the Russian Federation," he said.
John Ging, the director of operations in the U.N. humanitarian office, told the council that 800,000 people live in "difficult and dangerous conditions" along the line between government and rebel areas. He strongly protested the recent expulsion of aid organizations in separatist-controlled areas, saying it has had "a devastating impact on an already vulnerable and suffering people." One alarming example, Ging said, was the end of a Doctors Without Borders program that was treating 146 multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis patients. He said this dramatically increases the risks of its spread.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

One more show in Ukrainian Parliament

December 11, 2015 All Ukrainans have already got accustomed to fighting in the Ukrainian Parliament. But today we got a new experience. One Deputy of Verhovna Rada of Ukraine being indignant that Prime Minister is unworthy to speak from the main stage of the state simply decided to take him out. To make Prime Minister’s hands busy he presented his a big bouquet of red roses following which he gathered him up and started to walk away. Soon after that a scuffle has started. This shameful show has been broadcasted by many TV channels. An original wrestler's hold has attracted a special attention of mass media.....



The video of the show is available at:   

Monday, December 7, 2015

Mashine gun magazine loader invented by Ukrainian soldier



December 7, 2015 Arabic blogger striked Facebook comunity by showing Ukrainian soldier loading his machine gun’s magazine using a unique implement that was invented by himself. This video has collected more than 4.5 million views in the social nets. Many users were amazed with simplicity and efficiency of this device. 

You may see this video at:

Sunday, December 6, 2015

From Crisis to Stability: How to Effectively Solve Crises and Conflicts to Foster Development?

December 6, 2015From Crisis to Stability: How to Effectively Solve Crises and Conflicts to Foster Development?” – it is the title of Carl Bildt’s lecture, which was held on 4th December in the University of Warsaw. This man is a famous Swedish politician and diplomat who was Prime Minister of Sweden (1991-94) and Minister for Foreign Affairs (2006-14). In his opinion carrying out of peacekeeping operation in Donbass region similarly to UN Mission to Eastern Slavonia (Croatia) in the course of Serbian-Croatian conflict could be an optimum alternative to resolve Russian-Ukrainian crisis.

According to Carl Bildt, peacekeeping mission to the Eastern Slavonia proved its value and 80% of the goals were fulfilled. He reminded also that the territory occupied by Serbia has been returned to Croatia and nowadays no one remembers this armed conflict anymore. "You also can act similarly and it will be in the interest of Ukraine, Russian Federation, and European security as well” stressed Mr. Bildt.
He also pointed out that in the April 2014 the President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin was absolutely convinced of being able by using Ukraine’s weakness and Russian propaganda machine to create so-called “New Russia” inside of Ukraine within 2-3 months. It did not happen, so President Putin lost.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia intend to form a consortium for the transport of goods from Asia to Europe bypassing Russian Federation



November 30, 2015 (Turan-BSPRESS) China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia intend to form a consortium for the transport of goods from Asia to Europe, said the JSC Georgian Railway. Istanbul hosted a presentation of the opportunities and prospects of development of the Trans-Caspian international transport route (TMTM) China-Turkey-Europe. The presentation took place at the annual International Transport Logistics Exhibition Logitrans. The event was attended by representatives of major transport logistics operators in Turkey, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Lithuania. 
"Trans Caucasus Terminals is already working with the co-founders of the international consortium that operates in all countries on this route, said the director Levan Sulaberidze. "As part of this project for the next year it is planned to pass several containers through the territory of Georgia. In this way in the near future, the goods will go to Turkey, and from next year they will begin to move to northern and eastern Europe through Ukraine," said Sulaberidze. 
Due to the project Georgia again will be on the historic Silk Road trade, he said. The sides reached an agreement on the organization of the first demonstration train from China to Europe and the launch of a regular container service in this direction.
Read more at http://news.az/articles/economy/103127

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Ukrainian engineers upgrade tanks for war (VIDEO)







November 29, 2015 (UATODAY) Advanced tank "Azovets" is ready for testing and battlefield. In this largely abandoned former industrial park in the Kyiv suburbs, a new weapon is being developed. It's one which could potentially revolutionize modern warfare. The Russian-led war in eastern Ukraine has sparked the revival of Ukrainian arms industry. This tank has been designed to be used for in-town operations. The tank is armed with twin quick-firing aircraft guns and equipped with an enhanced defense system.

See video at:

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Russian plane jet has been shot down by Turkish jets. Turkey says the plane, whose nationality has not been confirmed, violated its airspace



November 24, 2015 (www.independent.co.uk) A Russian aircraft SU-24 jet has been shot down by Turkey as President Francois Hollande prepares to meet President Barack Obama to discuss the international strategy against Isis in the wake of the Paris attacks. Rebels claim they shot both pilots dead as they parachuted to the ground.

The footage appears to show an aircraft bursting into flames as it plummets towards the ground in the Hatay province, near the Syrian border. It is believed to have been an SU-24 jet, operated by both Syrian and Russian forces in the area, but both forces have confirmed the plane was Russian. Turkey’s Dogan news agency claimed the pilot was given as many as 10 warnings as it entered the country’s territory before it was brought down by two Turkish F16 jets at an altitude of 6,000m.A Russian helicopter that was searching for the crew of the shot-down warplane has itself been shot down, hit by rebel fire in Syria. One serviceman was killed, Russia's military said. At another press conference, Nato general secretary Jens Stoltenberg has said "we stand in solidarity with Turkey" following the downing of the Russian plane. Speaking about whether the plane really did enter Turkish airspace, Stoltenberg said the intelligence provided by Nato members was consistent with what Turkey claim. Obama agreed at his press conference, saying: "Turkey, like every country, has the right to defend its territory and its airspace."

U.S. Begins Second Phase of Ukrainian Training, Equipping Mission



November 23, 2015 (US Department of Defense) The United States has begun the second phase of its Fearless Guardian mission to train and equip Ukrainian forces, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said today. The United States has committed more than $265 million in equipment and training to the mission, Davis told reporters at the Pentagon.

The effort, which Congress approved in 2014, is to help Ukraine better monitor and secure its border, operate more safely and effectively, and preserve and enforce its territorial integrity, the spokesman said. "This is part of our ongoing efforts to contribute to Ukraine's long-term military reform and professionalism, and to help improve Ukraine's internal defense capabilities and training capacity," Davis said.
The phase that began today will train up to five battalions of Ministry of Defense personnel and one battalion of special operations forces personnel, he said. U.S. forces just completed training Ukrainian national guard forces. About 300 U.S. soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade are participating in the training, which is taking place in western Ukraine. NATO allies and other U.S. personnel are participating as well.
Davis said that in addition to the training, the United States will be working with the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense on a training center and other institution-level development.The Ministry of Defense training will be conducted at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center at Yavoriv, and the special operations forces training will be conducted in Khmelnitsky.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Official visit of the head of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Vladimir Groisman to the Kingdom of Sweden and Republic of Finland

November 16, 2015 (The Voice of Ukraine) On Monday, Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman started his official two-day visit to the Kingdom of Sweden and Republic of Finland. He visited the National Archives and "future city" of Hammarby Sjostad in Stockholm.


The Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada looked through the progenitor of the Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk and studied conceptual and major principles of construction of modern cities using brand new technologies, energy saving concepts, and innovations in the field of provision of housing-public utility services.
"I'd like the decentralization constitutional amendments to be looked through the very same way in some 300 years," Groysman said during his visit to the National Archives. He also added that final voting for the amendments to the Basic Law "will be the last decision required to turn Ukraine into a modern European state."

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Antonov An-178 making its Dubai air show debut

November 15, 2015 Ukrainian manufacturer Antonov plans to display the An-178 twin-turbofan transport, making its Dubai Airshow debut. The aircraft, a derivative of the An-158 regional airliner, made its first flight on May 4. Marketed as a military airliner and commercial freighter, the An-178 is designed to replace the widely used An-12 turboprop transport.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Congress Passes Bill Giving Lethal Aid To Ukraine



November 10, 2015 (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)   US Congress has passed a defense policy bill that authorizes up to $50 million in lethal military aid for Ukraine and mandates a White House response if Russia is deemed to be violating a key arms control treaty. The White House said hours after the $607 billion bill was passed by the Senate on November 10 that President Barack Obama was likely to sign the legislation. The House of Representatives passed a similar version of the bill last week.
President Obama vetoed the previous bill over provisions that forbade the White House from moving the remaining prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay military base in Cuba to U.S. prisons. But he appears to not be threatening a veto on this bill over the Guantanamo prisoner issue this time.

Among other things, the package appropriates $300 million to help Ukraine in its fight against Russian-backed separatists. That includes $50 million for lethal weaponry such as antiarmor weapon systems, mortars, grenade launchers, small arms, and ammunition. The Obama administration has previously resisted calls to provide Ukraine with lethal aid, fearing that could provoke Russia.
The legislation also sets a deadline for the administration to tell Congress whether Russia continues to be in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, which eliminated an entire class of nuclear-capable missiles from Europe in the late 1980s. The State Department’s most recent arms control report released in June said Russia was testing a missile system that violated the treaty. Moscow, for its part, has denied the allegations and accused the United States of deploying banned weapons systems. The legislation also includes $715 million for Iraqi forces battling Islamic state militants.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Putin repeats promise to 'defend' Russians abroad while NATO prepares for worst



November 7, 2015 (UATODAY) NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says the military alliance is ready to defend its members against Russia's growing military threat to European and global security. Russia invaded Ukraine last year, sending Special Forces to seize Crimea and thousands of Russian troops also occupy eastern regions of the country.

"NATO has to be able to defend any ally against any threat. We are able to do that today but we have also to recognize that the world is changing and therefore NATO has to adapt and now we are addressing the challenge of what we call long-term adaptation. We have also increased our presence in the eastern part of the alliance with more pre-positioning and also with the establishment of the small headquarters, the NATO force integration units and they are key because they are the link between national forces and NATO forces," Stoltenberg said.
Over the last two years Russia has conducted numerous large-scale military exercises.
Most recently in October Russian elite Special Forces carried out anti-terrorist operation drills in the southern Krasnodar region bordering Crimean peninsula, annexed from Ukraine.
In Moscow on Thursday, Russian President Putin vowed to protect Russians in conflict areas and said he would ensure Russians "living abroad" would always have "their interests" protected.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

President Poroshenko legalizes foreigners in Ukrainian Army




November 3, 2015 (UNIAN News Agency) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed the Law "On amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine concerning military service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine by foreigners and stateless persons," the presidential press service has told UNIAN. The Law, which was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on October 6, 2015 provides for foreigners and stateless persons to be liable for contracted military service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other ukrainian military formations. This will enhance combat capabilities of the Armed Forces and other military formations, as the country will receive more combat-capable, experienced and motivated battalion-level units totaling up to a thousand troops. Due to foreigners joining the ranks of the Ukrainian Army and other military formations, the need for conscription of the Ukrainian citizens during a special period mobilization will be also reduced.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Statement by Secretary Kerry: September 11 Anniversary

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
September 11, 2015

September 11 is a date seared into the minds of all of us at the U.S. Department of State and of citizens across America. Together, we honor the memory of the men, women, and children murdered in 2001. And we will never forget those who died three years ago in Libya: Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods. Each was a brave and dedicated professional; each was deeply committed to service on our country’s behalf; and each sought nothing more nor less than to help people overseas to live in freedom, dignity, and peace.  

Their example remains before us and – on this sad anniversary – our thoughts and prayers are with their families. This week also marks the opening to the public of the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset, Pennsylvania. The selfless heroism of the passengers on that flight saved many lives and serves as a permanent inspiration never to accept evil or to allow those driven by hate to achieve their goals. 

 For that reason, there is no better day than September 11 to continue fulfilling our responsibilities in the home, workplace, classroom, and community. There is also no better time to move ahead with the business of American diplomacy – the unrelenting pursuit of peace, prosperity, human rights, and security in all its dimensions. Friends and adversaries alike should understand: the United States will never be intimidated by terrorists.  Terrorists can cause tremendous suffering, but they can neither weaken our determination nor sway us from our purpose. For Americans at home and overseas, shared tragedy brings us together, adds to our vigilance, and strengthens our resolve not only on September 11, but every day of the year.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Ukrainian engineers upgrade tanks for war (VIDEO)



September 3, 2015 (UATODAY) In this largely abandoned former industrial park in the Kyiv suburbs, a new weapon is being developed. It's one which could potentially revolutionize modern warfare. The Russian-led war in eastern Ukraine has sparked the revival of the country's arms industry and in volunteerism. Both have led to the fighting machine we're about to see, being developed. We speed through this complex. Awaiting us - a breakthrough in engineering. We walk through the factory. Soviet-era machines and scraps of metal litter the floor. This new tank is not just a blueprint, it's almost ready for testing and use in the battlefield. The tanks name is Azovets.


Mykola Stepanov, engineering expert: "I'll do my best to drive it [back to the front line]. That's my aim. Why? Because my friends I was with in Skyrokyne (in east Ukraine) are waiting for me and I was working on this machine in order to return back with it."

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Arrival of Canadian troops for Operation UNIFIER signals start of training mission in Ukraine



August 31, 2015 (YAVORIV, Ukraine) - As Canadian soldiers stepped from the CC-177 Globemaster aircraft and onto the tarmac at the Lviv International Airport, they took the first steps towards starting what promises to be a busy autumn. The soldiers arrived in theatre in two groups on 25 and 31 August. The majority of the soldiers came from 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (2 CMBG) based at Garrison Petawawa, Ontario. They will spend the next few months at the Ukrainian Armed Forces International Security and Peacekeeping Centre in Yavoriv, roughly 30 km from the Ukraine-Poland border.

The troops are arriving in Yavoriv as part of Operation UNIFIER, Canada's military training mission in Ukraine, where they will focus on teaching vital skills in partnership with Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers. “In short we're here to pass on our knowledge to our Ukrainian partners to ensure they have the skills to survive and thrive on the battlefield,” said Lieutenant-Colonel (LCol) Jason Guiney, the commander of Canada’s Joint Task Force Ukraine. “Our soldiers are ready for this mission and we’re looking forward to being in the field and working on the fundamentals of soldiering.”
While the largest component of the mission will be the delivery of tactical training in Yavoriv, there are other key elements of the mission such as working on more specialized training with Ukrainian troops around the country and in Canada. One of the specialized training activities will consist of an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and improvised explosive device disposal (IEDD) program at the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence Demining Centre in Kamyanets-Podilsky. Canadian engineers will be partnering with Ukrainian soldiers to enhance their existing Counter Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) operations.
A team of eight CAF personnel in the field of EOD/IEDD pre-deployed on June 13 to liaise with Ukrainian military partners, observe training, and prepare training plans. “We’ve deployed extremely capable and operationally experienced C-IED instructors,” said the team leader for C-IED training. “We are going to partner with the Ukraine to enhance the capability of their C-IED teams and build on the extensive and impressive skills they already have displayed during our short time here.” Outside Kiev, Canadian Military Police trainers are delivering specialized courses on the use of force as well as investigation techniques to Ukrainian Military Police officers drawn from around the country.
Back in Yavoriv, LCol Guiney summarizes how the Task Force will approach the mission. “As the first boots on the ground we know we have to set the standard for future rotations of Canadian soldiers. I intend to work with our Ukrainian partners to ensure a suitable and sustainable training plan is established to help them succeed now, and in the future.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Ukraine crisis: Deadly anti-autonomy protest outside parliament



August 31, 2015 (BBC News Europe) One national guard member has been killed and over 100 injured in violent protests outside Ukraine's parliament, the interior ministry said. Clashes between nationalists and riot police erupted after MPs gave initial backing to reforms for more autonomy in the rebel-held east. Some in the crowd lobbed what police said were live grenades at officers protecting parliament. 

The reforms are part of a peace plan to end fighting in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, said the violence was "a stab in the back". Protesters led by the populist Radical Party and the ultra-nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) party - who oppose any concession to the Russian-backed separatists - gathered outside parliament early on Monday. After a rowdy debate, 265 MPs out of 450 backed the first reading of the decentralisation bill, granting more powers to areas of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Full article is available at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34105925

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Face of War



August 26, 2015 (Cenzor.net) Ukrainian artist Dariya Marchenko works on a portrait of Vladimir Putin made from empty bullet cartridges. The portrait - called The Face Of War - is made from 5,000 cartridges collected from the frontline of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The portrait is presented along with a novel which tells the personal stories of six people involved in the project, including Ms Marchenko's own story and those of people who helped her collect the shells. Ms Marchenko calls her art approach "philosophic symbolism", where every element has its hidden meaning. In her work, the cartridges are supposed to symbolize human life that has been brutally ended.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The US embassy in Ukraine released a video Sunday to wish Ukrainians a happy Independence Day

August 24, 2015 Independence Day



The US embassy in Ukraine released a video to wish Ukrainians a happy Independence Day. The video shows US embassy staff and NATO personnel sending their best wishes from various parts of this former Soviet republic. US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt is shown standing in front of a Donetsk Region monument in a sign of US support for Kiev’s bloody crackdown on the independence supporters in Donbass. Lower-ranking embassy staffers are seen sending their congratulations from Odessa, Chernihiv, Lviv, Kherson, Kiev, Poltava and Uzhgorod. Wrapping up the video are NATO soldiers training Ukrainians on their way to the frontlines in Donbass. Lined up in front of the camera, the NATO instructors cry out “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to Heroes!



The video is available at https://youtu.be/Dc1gqc69h8s