International Ukraine Genetic Diversity Project finds a quarter of the genetic variation in Europe, dramatically increasing information on population diversity and medical genetic variation



Jan 13, 2021


Today, the largest study of genetic diversity in Ukraine was published in the open science journal GigaScience. The project was an international effort, bringing together researchers in Ukraine, the US and China and is the first fruits of this collaboration to set up a new Central Europe Center for Genomic Research in Ukraine. Led by researchers at Uzhhorod National University and Oakland University in the US, the work provides genetic understanding of the historic and pre-historic migration settlements in one of the key intersections of human trade and migration between the Eurasian peoples as well as the identification of genetic variants of medical interest in the Ukrainian population that differ from other European populations.


Two decades ago, after the publication of the draft of the human genome, one of the largest exploration projects in the genomics era began: The Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP). This is an enormous international effort to map the entire pattern of human genetic variation across the world. To build this map, there have been numerous global surveys of individual genomes in a variety of geographic regions and populations, but crucial gaps still remain. One of the most notable is in Eastern-Europe and the Eurasian steppes.


Central to this is Ukraine, which is the largest country located fully in Europe. It is made up of a population formed via millennia of migration. This territory served as a key prehistoric and historic crossroads for the spread of humans across Europe and into Asia. Migration events here included modern human expansion into Neanderthal territory, the movement of nomads and early farmers just starting to domesticate plants and animals, the great human migrations during the Middle Ages, and the trade exchange routes of the Silk Road.


Lead investigator, Taras Oleksyk at Oakland University, says: “Our study shows there is significant genetic diversity in Ukraine, a country that had not been prioritized in genome surveys. We found more than 13 million genetic variants among the DNA samples — nearly 500,000 of which were previously undocumented.”


These variants, commonly known as mutations, are the result of evolutionary and demographic factors that have shaped Ukrainians’ genetic makeup throughout history.


Oleksyk explains: “As humans moved across the world over millennia, they gained genetic mutations, often due to adaptation to their specific environments. These mutations have been passed down through generations, so when we look at genomes of Ukrainians and other populations, what we see is a reflection of their unique evolutionary histories.”


The survey is an important part of understanding human diversity, as it shows the extensive breadth of genetic diversity in Ukraine — a nation that was once thought to lack genetic relevance.


Oleksyk highlights this, saying their study shows that “Ukraine accounts for roughly a quarter of the genetic variation documented in Europe. It’s a part of the world that cannot be ignored in future genetic and biomedical studies.”


Investigation of genetic diversity, in addition to providing insight into human history, also plays an important role in identifying medically relevant mutations that differ between populations. In this study, the researchers looked for variants in the Ukraine population whose prevalence differed significantly compared to other European genome sequences openly available through the HGDP.


In particular, the study identified medically relevant mutations whose prevalence in the Ukrainian genomes differed significantly compared to other European genome sequences that are all openly available as part of the HGDP and 1000 genomes project. Some of the mutations identified have been linked to conditions such as breast cancer, autism and Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA), a rare inherited eye disease.


Compared to the other Europeans, the Ukrainians in the study had far fewer carriers of a mutation linked to breast cancer and LCA. However, they more often held a mutation associated with autism. Another mutation, known to inhibit a drug used to treat bone disorders, was less prevalent in the Ukrainians compared to the other Europeans. These findings contribute to a growing body of knowledge that could revolutionize modern medicine and provide more informed assessment of the medical requirements and resources needed in different areas, populations and peoples.


“With a deeper understanding of how mutations factor into disease, doctors can tailor treatments to people’s genetic profile,” said Oleksyk. “That’s why it’s important to have detailed descriptions of the world’s genomes. This knowledge could profoundly impact human health, and even save lives.”


In addition, Ukraine survey identified mutations that were prevalent in disease-associated genes, but whose precise effect is unknown. These mutations could be prime candidates for future research.


With these data now available, in addition to the findings in this work, researchers around the world can now access these data to carry out their own studies in areas from human biology and medicine to unraveling human history and prehistory.



В рамках ініціативи було представлено базу даних осіб, причетних до політичних репресій. База розміщена на сайті

Засновниками “Правотворця” є ініціативи #FreeRiff, #FreeDrKuzmenko, Рух Опору Капітуляції, Фірма СЕНС Консалтинг, адвокатське об’єднання “OK LEGAL” і адвокат Тарас Безпалий.


На момент презентації в базі є інформація про 65 переслідувачів: прокурори, працівники поліції, слідчі, судді і т.д. Вони причетні до політичних переслідувань у справах Андрія Антоненка, Юлії Кузьменко, Яни Дугарь, Андрія Денисенка, Тетяни Чорновол, Сергія Стерненка, Сергія Тамаріна, Юрія Каплі, Олександра Демидова.


На розгляд “Правотворця” можна подати нову справу, нових переслідувачів або інформацію по наявних переслідувачах. Для цього треба заповнити анкету на сайті або написати листа на електронну пошту


Презентацію бази провели Петро Кіян, Сергій Пархоменко і Юрій Гончаренко. Також участь взяли переслідувані особи — Сергій Стерненко, Яна Дугарь, Сергій Тамарін, Тетяна Чорновол, Юлія Кузьменко (відеозв’язком), а також адвокат Віталій Коломієць і юрист Леонід Маслов, які підтримали ініціативу й висловили надію, що це починання дозволить покласти край переслідуванням патріотів.


“Кожен переслідувач повинен бути відомим широкому загалу українського суспільства і за кордоном. Хай люди знають, де і як він порушив закон. Такі особи дуже бояться публічного розголосу”, — відзначив Віталій Коломієць, адвокат.


Над поповненням бази працюватимуть волонтери, фінансування проекту здійснюється за рахунок благодійних пожертв громадян.




Kenneth P. Vogel and Pranshu Verma

Jan. 11, 2021

The New York Times


WASHINGTON — The Trump administration imposed sanctions on Monday against seven Ukrainians — including two who assisted President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani — for being part of what it called “a Russia-linked foreign influence network” that spread “fraudulent and unsubstantiated allegations” about President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. during the 2020 campaign.


Mr. Giuliani relied on two of the Ukrainians who were penalized — Andrii Telizhenko and Kostiantyn H. Kulyk — as he sought to gather damaging information and force government investigations into Mr. Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, related to Ukraine. That effort, which had the president’s backing, led to Mr. Trump’s impeachment in 2019 by the House of Representatives.


The sanctions announced on Monday stemmed from the Ukrainians’ work with Andriy Derkach, a member of the Ukrainian Parliament, who was the target of sanctions by the Treasury Department last year and was accused of being a Russian agent and spreading disinformation about Mr. Biden. Mr. Derkach had met with Mr. Giuliani in 2019.


The Ukrainians penalized on Monday were accused in a statement released by the Treasury Department of helping Mr. Derkach “spread misleading and unsubstantiated allegations that current and former U.S. officials were engaged in corruption, money laundering and unlawful political influence in Ukraine.”


The targets of the sanctions also included four media companies that the Treasury Department said were affiliated with Mr. Derkach and were involved in his efforts to spread disinformation.


The sanctions are the latest in a series of steps taken by the Treasury Department over the past few years to punish people and groups that it accused of involvement in Russia-linked election interference, even as Mr. Trump, an intended beneficiary of the interference, has continued to downplay Russia’s role.


“Russian disinformation campaigns targeting American citizens are a threat to our democracy,” Steven T. Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said in the statement. “The United States will continue to aggressively defend the integrity of our election systems and processes.”


Mr. Kulyk had worked in the office of Ukraine’s national prosecutor, where he helped lead an investigation into a Ukrainian oligarch who owned a gas company that had paid Hunter Biden as a board member when his father was serving as vice president and overseeing American relations with Ukraine. Mr. Kulyk discussed the subject with Mr. Giuliani, who was pushing the Ukrainian government to announce an investigation into the Bidens to damage the former vice president’s presidential campaign.


Mr. Kulyk, who has since been fired from the prosecutors’ office, was accused by the Treasury Department on Monday of forming “an alliance with Derkach to spread false accusations of international corruption.”


Mr. Telizhenko, a political consultant and former official in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, provided information to Senate Republicans for a report on the Bidens’ work in Ukraine, which was released weeks before Election Day in an apparent effort to

damage the Biden campaign. The report found no evidence of improper influence or wrongdoing by the former vice president.


Mr. Telizhenko assisted Mr. Giuliani during the 2020 campaign, arranging meetings with Ukrainians claiming to have damaging information about the Bidens. Mr. Telizhenko helped plan a trip for Mr. Giuliani to Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, in December 2019, during which Mr. Giuliani met with Mr. Derkach and recorded interviews with him and others that aired on Mr. Giuliani’s podcast and a special on the pro-Trump cable channel One America News Network.


The Treasury Department seemed to allude to this trip in explaining its sanctions of Mr. Telizhenko, noting in its statement that he “orchestrated meetings between Derkach and U.S. persons to help propagate false claims concerning corruption in Ukraine.” The statement did not explicitly name Mr. Giuliani or the Bidens, but it asserted that the sanctioned Ukrainians “leveraged U.S. media, U.S.-based social media platforms and influential U.S. persons” in their efforts to spread damaging allegations.  ”I will continue to fight for the truth no matter what lies are spread against me, as God is where the truth is,” Mr. Telizhenko said in an emailed statement on Monday. “I stood and will stand with President Donald J. Trump.”  Mr. Giuliani did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.


After the sanctions against Mr. Derkach were announced in September, Mr. Giuliani said in an interview that he “didn’t do much investigation” of Mr. Derkach but had “no reason to believe he is a Russian agent.”


In the interview, Mr. Giuliani said he knew Mr. Telizhenko “a lot better than I know Derkach,” adding he “looked into” Mr. Telizhenko “very carefully. I mean, look, I’m not a genius, but I would be shocked if he’s anything like a Russian agent.” He added: “I would vouch for very few Ukrainians. I’d come pretty close to vouching for him. I’m not sure I would completely vouch for him, but pretty close.”


The sanctions against Mr. Derkach stemmed from his release of audio recordings of Mr. Biden talking to Petro O. Poroshenko, the former president of Ukraine. Mr. Trump promoted some of the material released by Mr. Derkach, who claimed the recordings revealed corruption, though the conversations were mostly unremarkable.


Other Ukrainians targeted on Monday were accused of assisting in the efforts related to the recordings.


Oleksandr Onyshchenko, a former Ukrainian lawmaker and ally of Mr. Poroshenko, was accused by the Treasury Department of providing the recordings to Mr. Derkach. Mr. Onyshchenko fled Ukraine in 2016 after being accused of fraud and money laundering.

Oleksandr Dubinsky, a current member of the Ukrainian Parliament, was designated by the Treasury Department for joining Mr. Derkach in news conferences that highlighted the recordings. The Treasury Department said the news conferences were “designed to perpetuate” false narratives against “U.S. presidential candidates and their families.”


Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Monday that the Ukrainian officials facing sanctions “have made repeated public statements advancing malicious narratives that U.S. government officials have engaged in corrupt dealings in Ukraine.” He added, “These efforts and narratives are consistent with or in support of Derkach’s objectives to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election.”


Two of the media companies that were punished — including NabuLeaks, which posted the recordings of Mr. Biden and Mr. Poroshenko — are owned or controlled by Mr. Derkach. The other two, Only News and Skeptik TOV, are owned by Mr. Derkach’s media manager Petro Zhuravel, who was also penalized by the Treasury Department on Monday.


A number of Mr. Derkach’s allies were also targeted. They include Dmytro Kovalchuk, a member of his media team, and Anton Simonenko, a close associate who helped Mr. Derkach hide financial assets, according to the Treasury Department.




Euromaidan Press


The Ukrainian NGO “Security and Cooperation in Ukraine” has released a 225-page report titled Armed Aggression of the Russian Federation Against Ukraine, which offers the fullest-to-date compilation of the participation of the Russian army, irregulars, and paramilitaries in hostilities in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts during their hottest period, from March 2014 to February 2015.


The report provides a legal assessment of the Russian aggression against Ukraine and outlines the organizational structure of the Russian military invasion force that had been involved in the fighting against Ukraine since March 2014. The force, the study shows, comprised regular and irregular units of the Russian Army, Don Cossack formations, and private military contractors.


Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula, which took place from 20 February to 18 March 2014, marked the initial stage of Russian aggression in Ukraine. The Kremlin eventually admitted the obvious – the Russian military and security agencies were behind the occupation of Crimea. This is the fact that in and of itself convincingly and irrefutably testifies to the Russian Federation’s armed aggression against Ukraine, according to the report.


Meanwhile, the expansion of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation to the Donbas region, the relatively latent stage of which continues to this day, was and has been accompanied by the Kremlin leadership’s denial of the participation of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in hostilities in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

The study reveals and names a number of direct participants and their membership in particular units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation or irregular units or the occupation administrations, which included “coordinators, commanders, instructors, and perpetrators of international crimes.”


“The materials of this report were presented in the first lawsuit of Ukraine against the Russian Federation, which was filed by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine to the ECtHR, as they prove that contrary to the official position of the Russian Federation and Russian propaganda, there was no internal conflict in eastern Ukraine in March 2014, and there was a continuation of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation, which continues to this day,” according to the NGO.


The data consolidated and systematized in the report shows that right after the annexation of Crimea in February 2014, the Russian Federation continued its armed aggression against Ukraine by using regular and irregular formations of its armed forces in eastern Ukraine. From March 2014 to February 2015, they managed to establish control and occupy certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.


According to the report, during this period, detachments of 52 military units of various branches of the regular troops of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation from its Southern, Central, Western, and Eastern military districts were deployed on the eastern borders of Ukraine and in the territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.


The identification of the particular units is based on open-source data. Among the 52 detachments of the Russian regulars, there are tank and artillery units, air defense, engineering troops, the infantry comprised of motorized rifle, airborne, marine, special action forces. The invasion force also included auxiliary and supply units.


From 2014 to 2015, Russia formed 53 tactical groups (39 battalions and 14 companies) numbering 50,500 people out of those regular army units, the report found. Additionally, a military reserve was created; it consisted of 21 tactical groups of Russia’s Armed Forces (15 battalions and 6 companies) numbering 9,000 people. During 2014-2015, the number of the Russian military contingent in eastern Ukraine increased to 80,000.


Russia had established at least 27 field camps of its armed forces along the Ukrainian-Russian border, which were also used to train its irregular units, according to the report.


The Russian Army conducted at least 149 cross-border rocket and artillery attacks from its territory targeting the Ukrainian positions in the Ukrainian territory, namely the near-border areas of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts.


Russia also engaged paramilitary formations of the Russian Don Cossacks in its aggression against Ukraine. According to the findings of the report, the Cossack formations operated mainly in Luhansk Oblast.


Another actor in the Russian aggression in the Donbas was the private military company (PMC) E.N.O.T. Corp. The PMC disguised its activities as providing humanitarian aid. However, among the tasks it performed in Ukraine’s occupied territory were delivering weapons and supplying irregular units of the Russian Armed Forces, protecting Russian-backed field commanders and the occupation administration leadership, liquidating field commanders of irregulars who showed signs of disobedience. The PMC also participated in hostilities directly.


The Russian Army’s multiple irregular military formations that it formed in the occupied Donbas were over 22,500 men strong in 2014-2015.


During the unfolding Russian aggression against Ukraine, the command of the Russian Armed Forces had created special military structures to manage its regular and irregular armed formations in the occupied territory. Following the massive offensive of Russian regulars in August 2014, Russia formed on the basis of irregular units the “1st Army

Corps” stationed in the occupied Donetsk oblast, and the “2nd Army Corps” stationed in Luhansk. To command them, Russia established the “12th Reserve Command” of its Southern Military District (military unit № 89462).


The report identified 154 people involved in preparing the armed aggression against Ukraine and participation in it. Among them are 37 senior Russian political and military leaders responsible for planning, launching, and carrying out armed aggression against Ukraine. There also are 117 field commanders and other combatants, including 37 Russian citizens, 1 German citizen, 1 Brazilian citizen, and 1 South Ossetian citizen, and 77 mercenaries from among the citizens of Ukraine.


The full text of the report Armed Aggression of the Russian Federation Against Ukraine is available on the website of the NGO Security and Cooperation in Ukraine (only in Ukrainian at the time of this article’s publication).


The armed conflict in Ukraine’s easternmost historical region of the Donbas made up of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts started in 2014 soon after Russia’s invasion and annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula. Since its beginning, the war claimed more than 13,000 lives and displaced almost 2 million people. Russia keeps denying its involvement in the conflict. The occupied territories of two Ukrainian regions are officially known as ORDLO or Certain Areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.





11 січня 2021

звернена до

Президента України,
Верховної Ради України,
Верховного Суду (в Україні),
Ради національної безпеки і оборони України


тих, що підписалися нижче, осіб з широким професійним досвідом і твердою відданістю інтересам України,

у зв’язку з



11 грудня 2020 р. апеляційний суд розглянув і залишив у силі вирок суду нижчої інстанції у справі відставного генерал-майора Віктора Назарова, який звинувачувався у службовій недбалості, виявленій ним у час його перебування на посаді начальника Штабу “антитерористичної” операції в Донбасі, у зв’язку зі збиттям 7 червня 2014 року українського транспортного літака ІЛ-76 військовими формуваннями під проводом росіян, яке призвело до смерті 9 членів екіпажу і 40 десантників.


Одразу після проголошення цього рішення одночасно і незалежно одна від одної з`явилися дві реакції на нього, в яких висловлювалося серйозне занепокоєння тим значенням, що його може мати це рішення для безпеки України. 19 грудня 2020 р. понад сто українських старших офіцерів і випробуваних битвою командирів поставили свої підписи (цимставлячи під загрозу свої кар’єри) під відкритим зверненням до керівництва країни, в якому попереджали що кримінальне переслідування невійськовою системою та ув’язнення генерала Назарова становить “загрозу національній безпеці України.”


20 грудня двоє американців, генерал-лейтенант (у відставці) Бен Ходжес і д-р Филлип Карбер, які мають широкий досвід і безпосередньо добре інформовані про семирічний перебіг захисту України від російської агресії і про поточний стан Збройних сил України, оприлюднили детальний аналіз цієї справи. Їхня незалежна оцінка, опублікована у газеті “Kyiv Post” 22 грудня 2020 р., вказує на небезпечні наслідки для національної безпеки України цього кримінального переслідування генерала Назарова.

23 грудня Верховний Суд України зупинив виконання вироку щодо ув’язнення генерала Назарова, а Президент Зеленський наказав начальнику Генерального штабу Руслану Хомчаку “працювати над системним вивченням бойового досвіду, отриманого з цієї та інших трагедій”. Це важливі кроки, але навіть якщо Назарова зрештою виправдають, структурні проблеми, які призвели до кримінального переслідування невійськовими органами рішень, що приймаються у ході бойової операції, залишаються. Більше того, офіс Генерального прокурора ініціював декілька схожих справ, в яких представники вищого командного складу звинувачуються у воєнних втратах.


Ми побоюємося, що продовження практики перекладення цих питань на цивільних прокурорів і суддів, які не мають ані досвіду, ані спеціальних знань для того, щоб оцінювати вагу прийняття рішень у бойових умовах, підриває безпеку України. Ані Сполучені Штати, ані решта західних держав, які надають Україні військову підтримку, ніколи б не дозволили, щоб з їхніми командирами обходилися так, як обійшлися з генералом Назаровим. У час, коли Росія продовжує війну на Донбасі, Україна має заохочувати відчуття відданості, бойового духу та ініціативи у своїх військовиків. Кримінальне переслідування генерала Назарова має прямо протилежний ефект.


Як зазначено в аналітичній записці Ходжеса — Карбера, Україна не повинна карати своїх військових командирів за “прийняття складних рішень в умовах високої непевності та у тяжких обставинах.” Це посилає дуже негативний меседж, вибиваючи грунт з-під ніг українських офіцерів, і може вплинути на те, як інші країни оцінюватимуть українську армію, коли прийматимуть рішення стосовно надання військової підтримки Україні.


Ми рекомендуємо, щоб Офіс Президента України, Верховна Рада України, Верховний Суд і Рада національної безпеки і оборони України:

  • Ретельно розглянули це питання на найвищому рівні, серйозно зваживши на вирази глибокого занепокоєння, висловлені такою великою кількістю українських високопоставлених та досвідчених бойових командирів, і, з огляду на заявку України про вступ до НАТО, переглянули його у відповідності з західною практикою.
  • Забезпечили щоб судовий розгляд справ військовослужбовців, звинувачення проти яких пов’язані з рішеннями, прийнятими в бойових умовах або загалом під час війни, здійснювався у військових судах, суддями-військовими та з залученням колегії присяжних, у складі  військових офіцерів які мають бойовий досвід.
  • Залишити у силі рішення про зупинення виконання вироку щодо ув’язнення генерала Назарова, і заморозити будь-які інші заходи проти нього, доки не буде завершено перегляд його справи на високому рівні, і передивитися спосіб, у який з ним обійшлися, і вирок невійськової інстанції щодо нього у світлі результатів такого перегляду.

Кримінальне переслідування Україною генерала Назарова та невійськова криміналізація рішень, прийнятих командирами у бойових умовах, є чимось, з чого може тішитися лише Росія. 


Із занепокоєнням,

д-р Стівен Бленк
старший науковий співробітник Інституту досліджень зовнішньої політики (Foreign Policy Research Institute)

генерал Филип Брідлав (ВПС США, у відставці)
почесний професор Інституту міжнародних відносин ім. Сема Нанна, Технологічного інституту Джорджії; колишній Верховний головнокомандувач об’єднаних збройних сил НАТО в Європі (SACEUR)

Александер Вершбоу 
колишній заступник Генерального секретаря НАТО; колишній Посол США в Російській Федерації

Дон Дженсен 
колишній американський дипломат

д-р Филлип Карбер
президент Потомакської фундації (Potomac Foundation); колишній радник зі стратегічних питань міністра оборони США

генерал Уеслі Кларк(Армія США, у відставці)
колишній Верховний головнокомандувач об’єднаних збройних сил НАТО в Європі (SACEUR) і кандидат у Президенти США від Демократичної партії 2004 року

Дейвид Креймер
колишній заступник державного секретаря США з питань демократії, прав людини і праці

Роберт МакКоннелл 
директор з питань зовнішніх зв’язків Мережі друзів України (FOUN); колишній заступник генерального прокурора США

Стівен Пайфер
колишній посол США в Україні

Роман Попадюк
колишній посол США в Україні

Віктор Рудь 
голова комітету закордонних справ Українсько-американської асоціації адвокатів

Уільям Тейлор 
колишній посол США в Україні

Мелинда Харинг
старший науковий співробітник Євразійського центру Інституту досліджень зовнішньої політики (Foreign Policy Research Institute); заступник директора Євразійського центру Атлантичної ради (Atlantic Council)

Глен Хауард
президент Джеймстаунської фундації (JamestownFoundation)

Джон Хербст
колишній посол США в Україні та Узбекистані

ген.-лт. Бен Ходжес (Армія США, у відставці)
колишній командувач Сухопутних військ США у Європі (USAREUR)



Eurasia Daily Monitor

By: Alla Hurska

January 6, 2021

On December 7, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA) adopted the resolution “Problem of the militarization of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine, as well as parts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov,” initiated by Ukraine (, December 16, 2020). The declaration indicates that the transformation of the peninsula into a huge Russian military base “represents a threat to peace and security well beyond the Black Sea region” (, December 7, 2020). This was the third year in a row that the UNGA raised such concerns; but this time, new key elements were included in the document. Solomiya Bobrovskaya, the secretary of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) Committee on Foreign Policy and Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation, mentioned that for the first time, the UN resolution includes information regarding the militarization of Crimean youth. From her point of view, this is extremely important for Ukraine since it will attract international attention to the problem (, December 9, 2020). Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba concurs and mentioned that “Ukraine now has a new strong argument to advance the de-occupation of Crimea” (, December 7, 2020).


The problem of the militarization of children and young people in Crimea is hardly a novelty. Soon after the Russian annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula, in 2014, the occupying authorities adopted Edict of the Head of the Republic of Crimea No. 522-U “On Approving the Concept of Patriotic and Spiritual-Moral Education of the Population in the Republic of Crimea” (December 18, 2014). One of the main tasks of the Concept is to improve military-patriotic education and form the foundations of patriotism and Russian identity among Crimean children (, accessed January 5, 2021). For almost seven years, numerous ministries, departments, public organizations and media controlled by Russia have been successfully implementing these tasks in Crimea, pursuing a purposeful and systematic policy of militarization of local youth. This established educational system promotes combat training among Crimean children in order to prepare them for military service in the Russian Armed Forces, cultivates a hatred toward Ukraine, as well as applies all methods of misinformation and ideological military propaganda. The head of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol, Ihor Ponochovny (a Ukrainian government official), stated that Russian actions aimed at promoting military service in the Russian army among Crimean children can be qualified as a war crime under Article 8 (2) (a) (v) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (, October 1, 2020).


Olga Skrypnyk, who heads the Crimean Human Rights Group (CHRG), asserts that the problem of the militarization of Ukrainian children in Crimea has both legal and psychological aspects. Both preschool and school curricula help to influence the worldview of Crimean children, promote the values of the Russian World (Russkiy Mir), and propagandize in support of service in the Russian Armed Forces. Such a system undermines the Ukrainian national identity of children and deprives them of the opportunity to freely choose their identity. Orphans and children from low-income families are particularly vulnerable. One of the examples of propaganda work targeting this category of children is a special “Yunarmia Mentoring” program launched by the eponymous Yunarmia (“Youth Army”) military-patriotic movement in Crimea. This project also aims to promote military service among these children (, December 20, 2020).


According to information collected jointly by the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and the CHRG, the Russian Federation introduces and implements complex compulsory programs of military-patriotic education in all educational institutions in occupied Crimea for children from preschool age to adults. In particular, Russia has established numerous paramilitary and cadet classes in secondary schools (including cadet classes of the Russian National Guard and the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation), cadet groups at kindergartens, Cossack detachments, branches of Yunarmia, as well as specialized military-patriotic camps. The CHRG has outlined that instruction within these organizations is usually conducted by regular (or former) officers of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (, October 1, 2020). The number of children participating in such organizations and movements has grown every year. In 2020, already 2,505 students in Crimea (excluding Sevastopol) were enrolled in 109 cadet classes (, December 5, 2020). The children participate in drills and special physical training, take classes on the history of the Motherland (Russia), learn the basics of military affairs, absorb “lessons in courage,” and visit Spetsnaz (special forces) training centers. Many students in these cadet classes are issued and wear camouflage uniforms (, September 4, 2019).


Television also plays an important role in anti-Ukrainian propaganda and the militarization of children in Crimea. TV and mass media shape the behavior of young minds, form their identity, engrain stereotypes, as well as contribute to anti-Ukrainian sentiments and the militarization of their consciousness. At the same time, freedom of speech in Crimea has become critically curtailed. As monitoring by the CHRG shows, Ukrainian websites, radio stations and some satellite TV channels are constantly blocked to the peninsula’s residents (, May 15). Propaganda and militarization are also promoted through military games. In May, Sevastopol hosted the Zarnitsa children’s military-patriotic games, organized by the Night Wolves Russian motorcycle club. About 300 schoolchildren took part (, May 19). Another way to influence the impressionable, developing minds of Crimean children is to involve the Russian Orthodox Church in the process of spreading ideological and military propaganda. For example, priests take the oath of allegiance to Russia from the cadets of Cossack classes in Crimea. For children, religion, patriotism and Russian identity are thus linked together (, May 15, 2020).


Despite numerous economic and ecological problems facing the annexed peninsula (see EDM, February 26, 2020, August 12, 2020, December 8, 2020), Crimea’s occupying authorities plan to continue to focus on this aggressive propaganda and the militarization of local youth over the coming year. Some of the children who are or will soon be exposed to these policies were already born under the Russian occupation; others, due to their age, were unable to decide whether to stay in Crimea or leave it following the annexation, and now they are unable to choose their educational system or language of instruction. Crimean schools today cultivate hatred toward Ukraine and love of Russia. From its side, Ukraine will have to continue to collect evidence of this militarization of childhood and appeal to the international community to take a stronger stand against such Russian policies.







Brandon Gage

January 10, 2021

Hill Reporter


If you thought this week’s news cycle could not get any crazier, 2021 has thrown us a curveball as a reminder that in the upside-down world of Donald Trump’s pitiful presidency, all roads inevitably lead back to Russian President Vladimir Putin.


A photograph was taken at Wednesday’s armed insurrection at the United States Capitol in which a notorious Ukrainian conspiracy theorist named Sergey Dubinin, who has deep ties to Putin and his billionaire henchmen, is captured elbowing with one of Trump’s sectarians – the dude donning Viking horns and furs, to be precise.


Michael MacKay, an internationally-renowned political pundit, whose niche is the complex relationship between Russia and Ukraine, started connecting the dots on Saturday.


“A tie-in between Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the insurrection in the United States, Sergey Dubinin, is an infowarrior for Inter TV, nominally owned by fugitive oligarch Firtash but beneficially owned by Putin’s pal Medvedchuk,” MacKay wrote on Twitter.


“One of the reasons the United States is faced with insurrection is its failure to understand and take seriously Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” MacKay added. “The U.S. has failed to declare the so-called ‘DPR’ and ‘LPR’ to be terrorist organizations, or Russia to be a regime of state terrorism.”


Curiously, five hours before MacKay shared his observation, Russia attacked several defensive military outposts in Ukraine.


“Today Russia attacked Luhanske and Vodyane in Ukraine. The foreign invaders struck at customary targets: the Svitlodarsk Bulge, north of occupied Debaltseve, and trenches on the perimeter of free Mariupol. (situation report from Joint Forces Operation, Armed Forces of Ukraine),” tweeted MacKay.


Given Trump’s corrupt relationship with Putin, and his wholesale indifference to upholding the presidential oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, was Dubinin’s presence at Trump’s pointless attempt at a coup a signal to Putin that he could launch a consequence-free invasion of Ukraine?


Would anyone actually be surprised?



Treasury Takes Further Action Against Russian-linked Actors


January 11, 2021


WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took additional action against seven individuals and four entities that are part of a Russia-linked foreign influence network associated with Andrii Derkach. Russian agent Derkach was designated on September 10, 2020, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13848, for his attempt to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election. “Russian disinformation campaigns targeting American citizens are a threat to our democracy,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “The United States will continue to aggressively defend the integrity of our election systems and processes.”


Since at least 2019, Derkach and his associates have leveraged U.S. media, U.S.-based social media platforms, and influential U.S. persons to spread misleading and unsubstantiated allegations that current and former U.S. officials engaged in corruption, money laundering, and unlawful political influence in Ukraine.

Former Ukrainian Government officials Konstantin Kulyk, Oleksandr Onyshchenko, Andriy Telizhenko, and current Ukraine Member of Parliament Oleksandr Dubinsky have publicly appeared or affiliated themselves with Derkach through the coordinated dissemination and promotion of fraudulent and unsubstantiated allegations involving a U.S. political candidate. They have made repeated public statements to advance disinformation narratives that U.S. government officials have engaged in corrupt dealings in Ukraine. These efforts are consistent with and in support of Derkach’s efforts, acting as an agent of the Russian intelligence services, to influence the 2020 U.S. Presidential election.

Kulyk, a former prosecutor for the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine, formed an alliance with Derkach to spread false accusations of international corruption. Onyshchenko, a fugitive from Ukrainian justice due to charges of corruption, provided edited audio tape copies of purported audio recordings of conversations between former Ukrainian and U.S. officials, which Derkach released between May and July 2020 to discredit U.S. officials and influence the U.S. elections. Telizhenko, a former low-level Ukrainian diplomat, orchestrated meetings between Derkach and U.S. persons to help propagate false claims concerning corruption in Ukraine. Dubinsky, who serves alongside Derkach in Ukraine’s parliament, joined Derkach in press conferences designed to perpetuate these and other false narratives and denigrate U.S. presidential candidates and their families.

Kulyk, Onyshchenko, Telizhenko, and Dubinsky are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13848 for having directly or indirectly engaged in, sponsored, concealed, or otherwise been complicit in foreign influence in a United States election.


NabuLeaks and Era-Media TOV are media front companies in Ukraine that push false narratives at Derkach’s behest. Derkach has been the de facto owner of Era-Media-related companies since the 1990s. More recently, Derkach created the NabuLeaks platform to disparage the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU). NABU was created in 2015 as one of three specialized anti-corruption bodies in Ukraine. Derkach and Dubinsky have lobbied against NABU in an effort to replace NABU leadership, discredit NABU as an organization, and deny their own corrupt practices.

NabuLeaks and Era-Media TOV are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13848 for being owned or controlled by Derkach.

Derkach has also used a network of media professionals and assistants to operate these entities, supporting his influence campaign centered on cultivating false or unsubstantiated narratives and spurring corruption investigations in both Ukraine and the United States.

Petro Zhuravel is a key member of Derkach’s media team. He acts as Derkach’s media manager, and serves as website administrator for NabuLeaks, a cornerstone of Derkach’s election influence platform. Zhuravel provides technological support that underpins Derkach’s online activities. Zhuravel owns Only News and Skeptik TOV, which are media front companies in Ukraine that spread disinformation. These entities host websites that are part of a network of news sites that are controlled by Derkach’s media team and that help spread Derkach’s disinformation.

Dmytro Kovalchuk is a long-time supporter of Derkach. Most recently, he served in the ranks of Derkach’s media team, where he provided profiles on U.S. political figures.

 Anton Simonenko served as Derkach’s assistant for nearly a decade and helped Derkach hide financial assets. Simonenko continues to be one of Derkach’s closest associates.

Zhuravel, Kovalchuk, and Simonenko are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13848 for having materially assisted, sponsored or provided financial, material or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Derkach. Only News and Skeptik TOV are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13848 for being owned or controlled by Zhuravel.

 The Treasury Department encourages the American people to confirm information received via social media intelligently by going to multiple trusted sources for news and information, particularly when the source or suspected source of the information is from outside the United States. More information specific to the U.S. 2020 election and disinformation campaigns can be found here:

As a result of today’s designations, all property and interests in property of these targets that are subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are

generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. Additionally, any entities 50 percent or more owned by one or more designated persons are also blocked.


The following individuals have been added to OFAC’s SDN List:

  1. DUBINSKY, Oleksandr (Cyrillic: ДУБІНСЬКИЙ, Олександр) (a.k.a. DUBINSKY, Alexander), Ukraine; DOB 18 Apr 1981; POB Kiev, Ukraine; nationality Ukraine; Gender Male (individual) [ELECTION-EO13848].


  1. KOVALCHUK, Dmytro Volodymyrovych (Cyrillic: КОВАЛЬЧУК, Дмитро Володимирович), Str. 9 A Grushevskogo Apt V 5 1, Kiev 01021, Ukraine; DOB 13 Jun 1987; POB Ukraine; nationality Ukraine; Gender Male; Identification Number 3194020675 (Ukraine) (individual) [ELECTION-EO13848] (Linked To: DERKACH, Andrii Leonidovych).


  1. KULYK, Konstantin (Cyrillic: КУЛИК, Костянтин) (a.k.a. KULIK, Konstantin; a.k.a. KULYK, Konstantyn Hennadiyovych; a.k.a. KULYK, Kostiantyn; a.k.a. KULYK, Kostyantyn), Ukraine; DOB 03 Nov 1977; nationality Ukraine; Gender Male (individual) [ELECTION-EO13848].


  1. ONYSHCHENKO, Oleksandr (Cyrillic: ОНИЩЕНКО, Олександр) (a.k.a. KADYROV, Aleksandr Romanovych; a.k.a. KADYROV, Oleksandr; a.k.a. KADYROV, Oleksandr Romanovych; a.k.a. ONISHCHENKO, Aleksandr Romanovych; a.k.a. ONISHCHENKO, Oleksandr; a.k.a. ONISHCHENKO, Oleksandr Romanovych (Cyrillic: ОНИЩЕНКО, Олександр Романович); a.k.a. ONYSHCHENKO, Oleksandr Romanovych), Germany; Redutnyi Pereulok 10A, Kiev, Ukraine; UL. Natalii Ushvii 4 G App. 36, Kiev 04108, Ukraine; DOB 31 Mar 1969; POB Russia; nationality Ukraine; Gender Male; Passport 2529210098 (Ukraine) expires 29 Mar 2021; alt. Passport EX600377 (Ukraine) issued 01 Oct 2013 expires 01 Oct 2023; National ID No. 2529210098 (Ukraine) (individual) [ELECTION-EO13848].


  1. SIMONENKO, Anton Oleksandrovych (Cyrillic: СІМОНЕНКО, Антон Олександрович), Mishugi 2 App 361, Kiev 02140, Ukraine; DOB 08 Jan 1987; POB Russia; nationality Ukraine; Gender Male; Passport FE229065 (Ukraine) (individual) [ELECTION-EO13848] (Linked To: DERKACH, Andrii Leonidovych).


  1. TELIZHENKO, Andrii (Cyrillic: ТЕЛІЖЕНКО, Андрій) (a.k.a. TELIZHENKO, Andrii Grygorovych (Cyrillic: ТЕЛІЖЕНКО, Андрій Григорович); a.k.a. TELIZHENKO, Andriy), 7 Koshytsa Street, Apartment 136, Kiev 02068, Ukraine; Stepana Rudanskogo 3A, Apartment 170, Kiev 04112, Ukraine; DOB 02 Sep 1990; POB Kyiv, Ukraine; nationality Ukraine; Gender Male; Passport DU000524 (Ukraine) issued 10 Nov 2015 expires 10 Nov 2020; alt. Passport ES505702 (Ukraine) issued 13 Nov


2014 expires 13 Nov 2024; National ID No. 3311706819 (Ukraine) (individual) [ELECTION-EO13848].


  1. ZHURAVEL, Petro Anatoliyovich (Cyrillic: ЖУРАВЕЛЬ, Петро Анатолійович), Kiev, Ukraine; DOB 04 Nov 1988; nationality Ukraine; Gender Male (individual) [ELECTION-EO13848] (Linked To: DERKACH, Andrii Leonidovych).

The following entities have been added to OFAC’s SDN List:

  1. ERA-MEDIA TOV (Cyrillic: ЕРА-МЕДІА ТОВ), Bul. Verhovnoe Radi 20, Kiev, Dniprovskyi R-N 02100, Ukraine; Website; Identification Number 37292551 (Ukraine) [ELECTION-EO13848] (Linked To: DERKACH, Andrii Leonidovych).


  1. INFORMATSIYNE AGENSTVO ONLI N’YUZ TOV (Cyrillic: ІНФОРМАЦІЙНЕ АГЕНСТВО ОНЛІ Н’ЮЗ ТОВ) (a.k.a. “ONLY NEWS”), Vul. Hotkevicha Gnata 12, Of. 177, Kiev, Dniprovskyi R-N 02094, Ukraine; Website; Identification Number 42283491 (Ukraine) [ELECTION-EO13848] (Linked To: ZHURAVEL, Petro Anatoliyovich).


  1. NABULEAKS, Ukraine; Website; alt. Website; alt. Website; alt. Website; Email Address; alt. Email Address [ELECTION-EO13848] (Linked To: DERKACH, Andrii Leonidovych).


  1. SKEPTIK TOV (Cyrillic: СКЕПТИК ТОВ) (a.k.a. BEGEMOT MEDIA), Vul. Harkivske Shose 201/203, Kiev, Darnitskyi R-N 02121, Ukraine; Website; alt. Website; Email Address; Identification Number 39988031 (Ukraine) [ELECTION-EO13848] (Linked To: ZHURAVEL, Petro Anatoliyovich).







11 січня 2021

Українська Правда


Низка експослів США, авторитетних військових та експертів звернулися до України зі спільною заявою, у якій закликають на найвищому рівні переглянути рішення щодо покарання генерала Віктора Назарова у зв’язку зі збиттям бойовиками Іл-76 в аеропорту Луганська.


Про це йдеться у тексті заяви, оприлюдненої 11 січня, інформує “Європейська правда.”


Серед 16 підписантів документа – генерал у відставці повітряних сил США Філіп Брідлав, генерали США у відставці Веслі Кларк та Бен Ходжіс, експосли США в Україні Джон Гербст, Вільям Тейлор, Роман Попадюк та Стефен Пайфер, Александр Вершбоу – колишній заступник генсека НАТО та експосол США у Росії.


Підписанти заяви зазначають, що практика залучення цивільних прокурорів та суддів, які не мають досвіду та еспертизи для оцінки умов прийняття рішень на полі бою, підриває безпеку України.


“Ані США, ні інші крани Заходу, які надають Україні військову підтримку, не дали б поводитися зі своїми командувачами так, як з генералом Назаровим. У час коли Росія продовжує війну на Донбасі, Україна має заохочувати бойовий дух та ініціативу військових. Судове переслідування генерала Назарова має зворотній ефект. Україна не повинна карати військових командувачів за ухвалення складних рішень в умовах великої невизначеності та за складних обставин. Засудження Україною генерала Назарова та криміналізація рішень бойового командувача у цивільному суді – це те, з чого може тішитися лише Росія”, – зазначають підписанти.


Вони пропонують, щоб  Офіс президента, парламент, Верховний суд та Рада національної безпеки й оборони розглянули це питання на найвищому рівні та переглянули його з урахуванням західних практик, враховуючи прагнення України до членства в НАТО, а до завершення процесу – залишати генерала під вартою та призупинити будь-які інші заходи щодо нього.


Також рекомендують, щоб надалі суди над військовими посадовими особами, що стосуються рішень на полі бою та інших рішень у воєнний час здійснювалися військовим судом, військовим суддею та журі військових з досвідом операцій.


Нагадаємо, у березні 2017 року генерала Віктора Назарова засудили до 7 років позбавлення волі за його рішення спрямувати Іл-76 в аеропорт Луганська, знаючи, що його регулярно обстрілюють і що противник має у своєму розпорядженні переносні ЗРК.


14 червня 2014 року в результаті падіння збитого бойовиками військово-транспортного літака Іл-76 над аеропортом в Луганську загинули 49 осіб.



 In Moscow in 1993, Eastern Ukraine in 2014, and now the U.S. Capitol, there have been a similar dress code and display of banners backing seemingly lost causes.


Andrew Higgins

Jan. 7, 2021

The New York Times


MOSCOW — For anyone who has covered political turmoil across the wreckage of the former Soviet Union over the past three decades, the mob that stormed the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday looked shockingly familiar, down to the dress code and embrace of banners trumpeting seemingly lost causes.

In fervor and style, the mob resembled the ragtag bands that seized control of the Parliament building in Moscow in 1993, clamoring for the revival of the Soviet Union. Much the same scenes unfolded two decades later, as self-styled militias stormed the regional assembly in Donetsk, a major industrial city in eastern Ukraine and now the capital of a secessionist, pro-Russian “people’s republic.”

Ersatz military gear — camouflage jackets, old boots, black wool hats and bandannas — were much in evidence back then, as were the flags of long-dead and, we all assumed, safely buried causes.

In Donetsk, these included not just the Red Flag of the defunct Soviet Union and the black-yellow-white tricolor of the long-gone Tsarist empire, but at times also the emblem of an even more distant, failed venture, the Confederate States of America. None of them knew much or really cared about the Confederacy, but they did know it was hated by the kind of people they hated.

But what was most familiar about the insurrectionists in Washington on Wednesday was their certitude, an unbending conviction that, no matter what anyone else or the law might say, right was on their side.

“Victory is ours. All we need is courage,” shouted a self-declared commander of the “army of patriots” who, in the fall of 1993, helped take control of the White House that at the time housed the Russian legislature on the banks of the Moscow River. He then led his followers on what turned out to be a suicide mission to seize the Ostankino television center. Scores died in a hail of gunfire from troops loyal to President Boris N. Yeltsin.

When insurrections began in Moscow in 1993, and then in eastern Ukraine in 2014, failure looked inevitable. The leaders, along with their followers, seemed deranged, intoxicated by nostalgia, wild conspiracy theories and fantasies about the depth of their public support.

But they believed. In eastern Ukraine, the people who took to the barricades outside the regional administration building were sometimes drunk, often belligerent and disconnected from reality. But all had no doubt that their cause was just.

A barrage of propaganda on Russian television, the main source of news for much of the population, spread fear and anger, embedding a conviction that anti-Russian protesters in the distant Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, would soon descend on Donetsk with guns and knives to wreak havoc.

I remember sitting in the parlor of a Donetsk economics professor, an earnest and mild-mannered man, who, in the middle of an interview, ran into the bedroom to comfort his wife, who had suddenly started shrieking. She had been watching Russian television while doing the ironing and, terrified by bloodcurdling reports of Ukrainian “fascists” on the march, was certain that “they are coming to slit our throats.” The couple, both nearing retirement age, rushed off to join the barricades.

The war that followed has now dragged on for six years, killing more than 13,000 people, nearly all civilians. People who wanted nothing to do with the “Donetsk People’s Republic,” who, according to opinion polls carried out shortly before its declaration, constituted a large majority, have mostly left the “republic” that no other country, including even Russia, recognizes. That has left only true believers, the elderly and those too poor to move.  In Moscow in 1993, the insurrection fizzled quickly, at least on the streets, though not in minds.

Aleksandr Rutskoi, a former Soviet bomber pilot who led the rebellion against Mr. Yeltsin, vowed to “fight to the end,” but barely 24 hours later he surrendered. Dressed in military fatigues, he was bundled onto a battered bus with his captured confederates and driven off to Lefortovo prison. Mr. Rutskoi, highly decorated for his service in Afghanistan, cut a pathetic figure. Defeated and dejected, he was unmistakably a loser.

But the winners squandered the victory, unleashing a wave of crooked privatizations and staging a deeply flawed presidential election in 1996 that kept an infirm and increasingly erratic Mr. Yeltsin in the Kremlin for a second term. When that was nearly done, he handed over power to Vladimir V. Putin.

A former KGB officer who believed in order above all else, Mr. Putin had no time for insurrection but he embraced the revanchist cause, reviving Russia’s ambitions as a global power, the reach of the security services, the music of the Soviet national anthem, Soviet-era emblems for the military and patriotism as a cudgel against his critics.

Two decades after he came to power, the word traitor has become one of the Kremlin’s favorite terms of abuse, democracy the butt of mockery. Commenting on the tumult in Washington, Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Russia’s upper house and a Putin loyalist, scoffed at American democracy as “limping on both feet.” “The celebration of democracy has ended. It has, unfortunately, hit rock bottom, and I say this without a hint of gloating,” he added, clearly gloating.


Andrew Higgins is the Moscow bureau chief. He was on the team awarded the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting, and led a team that won the same prize in 1999 while he was Moscow bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal.