Tag: migrated 20211202

ZELENSKY FACES PIVOTAL MOMENT IN CONFRONTATION WITH CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

Ukraine’s leader Volodymyr Zelensky will this week seek to clear out his country’s constitutional court and reboot his drive to tackle corruption in what allies and analysts described as a pivotal moment for his troubled presidency. Mr Zelensky was forced to confront judges at the court after they struck down a compulsory asset register for public servants, a cornerstone of anti-graft efforts put in place following the Maidan revolution of 2014 at the behest of western donors. Activists say the ruling is part of a systematic attempt by the court to dismantle anti-corruption institutions driven by pro-Russian politicians and lawmakers allied to powerful oligarchs who want to wreck Kyiv’s relations with the IMF and EU. Draft legislation presented to parliament by Mr Zelensky to replace the entire constitutional court will be debated as soon as Tuesday, but the…

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МАРКІВ НА ВОЛІ

Вітаємо Віталія на Батьківщині та хочемо сказати «ДЯКУЮ!». За те, що на увесь світ продемонстрував, хто такі українці. Не секрет, що для Росії «справа Марківа» та його засудження італійським судом були принциповими: великі гроші й зусилля були кинуті на формування громадської думки італійців. Росіянам важливим було встановлення юридичного факту (рішення суду) щодо незаконності дій наших добровольців на прикладі Віталія на Сході України в 2014-му. І їм це вдалось: італійська журналістська спільнота волала «розіпни!», а місцевий суд виніс вирок як для жорстокого вбивці — 24 роки в’язниці. Адвокат Марківа зомлів прямо в залі суду. Але Віталій тримався. Не істерив, не волав «зрада!» протягом цих більш як трьох(!) років за ґратами. Вірив в Україну, своєю вірою…

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KYIV POST: SOURCES – JUDICIAL CONSPIRACY LAID GROUNDWORK FOR CONSTITUTIONAL COURT'S REBELLION

The Kyiv Post reported on November 2, “In the last two weeks, Ukraine’s Constitutional Court has rebelled against the country’s anti-corruption institutions, threatening to eliminate years of progress in battling graft. Now, new information shows how compromised judges likely laid the groundwork for this judicial insurrection. Pavlo Vovk, one of Ukraine’s most controversial and influential judges, charged with corruption, allegedly coordinated with top power brokers to replace the chairman of the Constitutional Court in May 2019. The incumbent chairman, Oleksandr Tupytsky, spearheaded the court’s recent campaign against anti-graft institutions that put the country on the brink of a political and constitutional crisis. Vovk discussed appointing Tupytsky in tapes recorded by the…

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RUSSIA’S EXPANSIONISM THREATENS GLOBAL PEACE – THEN AND NOW

Presidential elections come and go but Russia with its adventurism, aggression and subversion certainly remains the same. Preparing the December 2020 edition of The Ukrainian Quarterly, I came across another salient article from the inaugural edition of 1944 about the detrimental absence of an understanding of the essential mutual relationship between global peace and security and Ukraine. That gap existed then and sadly it still does today. The Ukrainian Quarterly was launched by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America toward the end of World War II, at a fateful time when the allies, confident in their victory over Nazi Germany, were wrestling over plans about a post-war global arrangement that…

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UKRAINE’S GEOPOLITICAL SUCCESSES BECOME RUSSIAN DEFEATS

In the first half of October, the Ukrainian leadership concluded a series of important international agreements, with significance not only for Kyiv itself but also for buttressing regional security more broadly. First, during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s October 7–8 visit to London, Ukraine’s Minister of Defense Andrey Taran and State Secretary for Defense of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Ben Wallace signed a memorandum on strengthening cooperation in the military and military-technical spheres (President.gov.ua, October 7). Reportedly, the deal will cover production of missile patrol boats for the Ukrainian Armed Forces that will be compatible with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) standards (Pravda.com.ua, October 7). Additionally…

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UKRAINE COURTS CANNOT BE ALLOWED TO THROW OUT ANTI-CORRUPTION GAINS

Ukraine is under attack. Not just at its borders, but also at the heart of its democratic institutions. I want to reassure our international partners that we will fight back and prevail. Last week, Ukraine’s constitutional court issued a destructive ruling in an effort to dismantle our anti-corruption architecture. The judges declared that the National Agency on Corruption Prevention had no constitutional right to review and reveal the asset declarations made by public servants, and that filing false information would no longer be a criminal offence. The 2016 introduction of compulsory electronic declarations and liability for illicit enrichment were the first, and most important, steps in building a framework to eliminate corruption in Ukraine. It was…

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RUSSIA’S WAR AGAINST UKRAINE, US ELECTIONS AND MORE

The Torn Curtain • Russia’s invasion and occupation of eastern Ukraine have caused a great deal of civilian death and destruction. Not only have residential buildings and churches been targeted by Russian artillery, but intense collateral damage has been experienced by the civilian population. This has only been exacerbated by covid-19. UN Human Rights Coordinator in Ukraine Osnat Lubrani earlier this month drew attention to the problems of 1.2 million vulnerable residents of Donbas who have been facing a lot of adversity due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic. On International Day of Peace, Lubrani said in a statement: “I want to draw attention to the unnoticed suffering of 1.2 million vulnerable residents of Donbas who cannot get their pension payments, travel in order to take care of sick relatives, or reunite with their loved ones. How will they, those who have almost…

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TURKEY ON COURSE TO STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP WITH UKRAINE

While the Turkish military was testing Russian-made S-400 missiles at the Black Sea coast on Oct. 16, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was hosting his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in Istanbul for talks on advancing defense industry collaboration. A fresh set of accords signed at the meeting underscore how Turkey’s defense ties with Ukraine have flourished in recent years against the backdrop of its uneasy relationship with Russia that has alternated between cooperation and rivalry. Speaking after the signing ceremony, Erdogan said, “Turkey sees Ukraine as a key country for the establishment [of] stability, security, peace and prosperity in the region.” Zelensky said the agreements paved the…

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UKRAINIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS: STABILITY OF LOCAL ELITES AND ZELENSKYY’S CRUSHING DEFEAT

On October 25, Ukrainians voted in local elections for city mayors, heads of village municipalities, local and regional councils. These elections were important for two reasons. First, they were the first ones to be held under the new Election Code, which made these elections a de facto test for long-awaited electoral reform in Ukraine. And second, the elections revealed that Zelenskyy’s approval rating has drastically fallen, while the local elites managed to retain their power. In addition, they showed that the ghost of a pro-Russian comeback in the country’s east exists, but stays stable, as the pro-Russian Opposition Platform for Life mostly came in second or third place in the town and regional councils closer…

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INSIDE A UKRAINIAN TROLL FARM

Ukraine’s young new president Volodymyr Zelensky — hailed in the West as an ambitious reformer — is an enthusiastic social media user, deploying his popular Instagram and Facebook accounts to reach large audiences during his recent election campaign. He hasn’t stopped there. Months since his landslide election in April, Zelensky’s Facebook posts are still receiving tens of thousands of reactions and thousands of comments. His chief of staff even said that the president’s team “doesn’t need journalists” to communicate with citizens, because they can do so directly. The word “bot” is sometimes used to refer to inauthentic social media users, though the term should technically refer to automated accounts. In this story, the phrases “hired account,” “fake account,” or “troll” are used to refer to inauthentic accounts, since there are real human beings behind them. But according to a…

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UKRAINE COURT STRIKES BLOW TO ANTI-CORRUPTION EFFORTS, RULING IS PART OF SYSTEMATIC EFFORT TO UNDERMINE ANTI-GRAFT BODIES, SAY CAMPAIGNERS

Ukraine’s constitutional court has ruled that basic powers of one of the top anti-corruption bodies are illegal, in a significant blow to Kyiv’s western-backed efforts to crack down on widespread corruption. In its ruling made public on Wednesday, the court said the National Agency on Corruption Prevention had no constitutional right to punish public servants for filing false information in their asset declarations or to review their declarations. The court also ruled that the declarations are not to be available to the public, prompting the agency to remove them from its website. The compulsory electronic asset register was set up in 2016 under pressure from western donors and was deemed an essential tool to combat bribery and…

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ВБИТИ БОРОТЬБУ З КОРУПЦІЄЮ. ЯК КОНСТИТУЦІЙНИЙ СУД ПОВЕРТАЄ БАНДИТСЬКІ 90-ТІ

Конституційний Суд України мав би захищати Конституцію, перевіряючи на відповідність їй закони та інші правові акти. Зараз судді КСУ захищають олігархів, корупцію та забезпечують кругову поруку. Зокрема, судді КСУ 2010 року дозволили узурпувати владу президенту-втікачу Віктору Януковичу; скасували у лютому 2019 закон про незаконне збагачення, внаслідок чого НАБУ було змушене закрити 65 кримінальних проваджень та винесли рішення на користь Запорізького заводу феросплавів, який належить олігарху Ігорю Коломойському. Останнім часом у ЗМІ неодноразово згадувалися наміри КСУ знищити антикорупційні інституції та інструменти. Сьогодні ці чутки…

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CONSTITUTIONAL COURT CANCELS PENALTIES FOR LYING IN ASSET DECLARATIONS

The Kyiv Post reported, “The Constitutional Court on Oct. 27 effectively canceled penalties for lying in officials’ asset declarations, according to the Kyiv Post’s sources in the court. This court’s assault on anti-corruption institutions may disrupt lending from the International Monetary Fund and lead to suspension of visa-free travel with the European Union. The court ruled that Ukrainian laws on penalties for incorrect information in asset declarations and illicit enrichment, as well as on the publication of asset declarations and the confiscation of ill-gotten wealth, were unconstitutional, according to the Kyiv Post’s sources. However, sources cited by other media said the court canceled criminal penalties for …

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IN RUSSIA, RADICAL REVANCHISM BECOMING MAINSTREAM

One of the most dangerous traps into which political analysts can fall is to dismiss as outrageous and therefore irrelevant extremist ideas expressed in crude and radical ways by political leaders as somehow unimportant and unworthy of attention except perhaps as “playing to the base.” Observers repeatedly and sagely observe that notions ranging from locking up the leader’s political opponents to killing all the Jews to reconquering former empires are so radical that even those who say these things don’t really believe them and, in the end, won’t act upon them. But again and again over the past century in country after country, such notions which started at the marginal have gone mainstream and led to…

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PANDEMIC WEAKENING ROC MP NOMENKLATURA AND STRENGTHENING COMMUNITY OF BELIEVERS, SITNIKOV SAYS

The coronavirus pandemic has weakened the church nomenklatura not only by infecting and killing so many of its members but by highlighting the sad reality that the Moscow Patriarchate has become little more than the branch office of the state and, unlike in Soviet times, has done so voluntarily, Mikhail Sitnikov says. In a commentary for Credo Press today, the religious affairs journalist says that many fundamentalists have drawn apocalyptic conclusions from the pandemic, seeing this plague as ushering in the last days, but far more Russian believers have come to recognize that they can be Christians without “the effective managers” of the hierarchy (credo.press/233657/). They have reached that…

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РЕПРЕСОВАНЕ МИСТЕЦТВО: ЯК УКРАЇНСЬКІ ДОСЛІДНИКИ ПОКАЗУЮТЬ КУЛЬТУРУ ЧЕРЕЗ ПРИЗМУ АРХІВІВ КҐБ

Як червоний терор вплинув на розвиток української культури та що нового про митців можна дізнатися з офіційних документів спецслужб, розповіли в.о. директорки Центру досліджень визвольного руху Анна Олійник та директор архіву СБУ Андрій Когут. Центр досліджень визвольного руху спільно з колегами з Грузії та Чехії готує онлайн-виставку “Репресоване мистецтво”, яка покаже життя митців через призму агентурних документів. Широкий загал побачить архівні документи навесні 2021 року, але підготовка до запуску проєкту вже ведеться. Проєкт “Репресованого мистецтва” має привернути інтерес до архівних документів через історії митців, які потрапляли у поле зору комуністичних спецслужб. З чого ж все…

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OPEN LETTER

I write to you as a American citizen registered to vote in the 11th Congressional district of New Jersey. I am a retired attorney at law and this matter concerns a professional colleague, Sergii Vynnyk from the Russian Federation. This matter is not only of personal concern, it is also of great interest to the global Ukrainian and the Ukrainian American community. This case which has been developed since the beginning of 2019 against Mr. Vynnyk by the Russian government appears to replicate the well known and tragic case of Sergei Magnitsky. As you know the case against Mr. Magnitsky involved an egregious abuse of human rights and resulted in his untimely death. The United States has passed two statutes in his name, one for…

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COURT LED BY GRAFT SUSPECT ORDERS DISMISSAL OF CHIEF OF NATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION BUREAU

The Kyiv Post reported, “The Kyiv District Administrative Court has ordered the dismissal of Artem Sytnyk, head of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), two sources familiar with the matter told the Kyiv Post on Oct. 26. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak with the press. One of the most controversial legal bodies in Ukraine, the Kyiv District Administrative Court is led by judge Pavlo Vovk, who is currently a suspect in a graft case investigated by NABU. It instructed the Ministry of Justice to register Sytnyk’s official dismissal based upon a Constitutional Court ruling according to…

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AS LOCAL ELECTIONS APPROACH, UKRAINE’S NATIONAL BATTLE FOR REFORMS CONTINUES

Just days before Ukraine held local elections experts gathered under the auspices of the Transatlantic Task Force on Ukraine for an online discussion on the state of Ukrainian reforms and politics. Experts stressed that the stakes are high in this local election, as oligarchs and pro-Russian forces are seen re-entering politics and while promising steps for reforms were made in the first months of Zelenskyy’s presidency, current prospects for such crucial sectors as the judicial and anti-corruption reforms are uncertain. Oligarchs re-entrenching themselves back into politics In his opening remarks, Jonathan Katz, a Senior Fellow and Director of Democracy Initiatives at the German Marshall Fund, said that “this is obviously a high-stakes election for…

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MI-6 HEAD WARNED UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT THERE’S A RUSSIAN MOLE IN HIS OFFICE, PIONTKOVSKY SAYS

When Vladimir Zelensky visited London earlier this month, he was met by Richard Moore, head of Britain’s MI-6 intelligence service. In that meeting, Andrey Piontkovsky says, the Ukrainian leader was told London has convincing evidence that the head of the Kyiv leader’s office, Andrey Yermak, is a Russian agent. The US-based Russian analyst who has warned about this danger for some time tells interviewer Kseniya Kirillova that the British would not have taken the unprecedented action of having an MI-6 chief brief a foreign head of state unless it wanted to warn about something as important as this (politua.org/politika/95781-andrej-piontkovskij-predatelskie-dejstviya-ermaka-stavyat-ukrainu-v-polozhenie-neradivogo-shkolnika/). Piontkovsky sees this meeting as confirmation of his warnings and…

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UKRAINE’S GAS MARKET REFORMS CAN FUEL CHANGE ACROSS EASTERN EUROPE

For many years, Eastern Europe has typically been singled out as the continent’s most difficult region in terms of liberalizing gas markets, establishing competition, and creating an integrated block of countries capable of trading with each other based on mutually accepted rules. There has been a range of reasons for these challenges. In some cases, they arose because individual states struggled to make a meaningful transition from centralised to deregulated economies. In other cases, energy sectors were simply too riddled with corrupt practices, often supported by Russia, which snuffed out any…

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UKRAINIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS: ZELENSKYY FAIRYTALE IS OVER

On October 25, Ukraine held nationwide local elections. The vote was important as an indication of the political climate in the country just over a year since President Zelenskyy acquired unprecedented power via landslide victories in Ukraine’s presidential and parliamentary elections. It also had considerable practical significance in terms of the enhanced power bestowed on local authorities thanks to a decentralization process that is widely recognized as one of the most successful reforms since Ukraine’s 2014 Revolution of Dignity. Based on exit polls released following the election, there are four major outcomes. First, this was a vote in favor of local strongmen. Incumbent mayors look to have won virtually everywhere, regardless of whether they are considered corrupt or not. Second, participation was very low…

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#БОЙКОТЗЕ: ПІДСУМКИ ГРОМАДСЬКОГО МОНІТОРИНГУ ЗЕОПИТУВАННЯ

25 жовтня Рухом Опору Капітуляції було проведено всеукраїнську кампанію #БойкотЗе. Мета кампанії – документування фактів скоєння злочину у вигляді незаконного опитування, ініційованого Володимиром Зеленським, яке не регламентується жодним нормативним актом і суперечить Конституції та Виборчому Кодексу України. Для фіксації злочину було задіяно 25 автоекіпажів (мобільних груп) за участі активістів РОК та понад 1000 небайдужих громадян, що долучалися через соціальні мережі й особисто фіксували на фото та відео порушення та надсилали їх в чати у соціальних мережах, месенджерах і на електронну пошту. Загалом було…

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HOLD YOUR TONGUE: SCHOOL INCIDENT PLAYS INTO SENSITIVE ISSUE OF LANGUAGE IN UKRAINE

For a speaker of either language, it may be hard to listen to the recording without wincing: An elementary-school art teacher in Odesa berates a pupil for responding in Ukrainian, rather than Russian, quickly driving her to tears in front of her classmates. Speaking mostly in Russian, the teacher orders the girl to stand up and singles her out, rebuking her for “daring to speak Ukrainian here and putting herself above others.” A parents association posted the audio recording and identified the teacher as Rayisa Pirohova. She was fired on October 12 for “amoral behavior that is not compatible with professional duties.” The incident in the Black Sea port city, where Russian remains the predominant language almost 30 years after Ukraine gained independence in the Soviet collapse, revealed…

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HOW “THE NEW YORK TIMES’ HELPED HIDE STALIN’S MASS MURDERS IN UKRAINE

A short while into Mr. Jones, a film by the Polish director Agnieszka Holland, the protagonist, Gareth Jones, who has come to Moscow to learn about Soviet collectivization efforts, says he has no agenda other than finding the truth. It is 1933, and two totalitarian powers are unleashing their competing visions of the world on the Eurasian continent. Jones’ interlocutor, Ada Brooks, a Moscow-based foreign reporter, asks Jones, with not a small touch of cynicism, whose truth he is seeking to uncover. He says that he is looking for “the truth. There is only one kind.” The question of truth is at the heart of the story Holland tackles—the deadly famine, engineered by Stalin’s regime, that swept through Ukraine, the Volga Basin, the Kuban and Don regions of the North Caucasus, and Kazakhstan in the winter of 1932-1933. In Ukraine alone, where it is known by its Ukrainian name of Holodomor and often referred to as the terror-famine, it took an …

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IS UKRAINE SET TO CHANGE RULERS YET AGAIN?

With former-comedian-turned-president Volodymyr Zelensky losing support, oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky is well-positioned to assume political power. Ukrainians will go to the polls to elect mayors and city councilors on October 25. Normally this would elicit a shrug and a yawn from all but the most ardent of Ukraine nerds. But this go-around is different. Ukraine’s telegenic president Volodymyr Zelensky swept the presidential and parliamentary elections last year. Zelensky’s Servant of the People party is likely to be thrashed in the local elections. Of Ukraine’s four cities with more than one million people (Kyiv, Lviv, Odessa, and Dnipro), Servant of the People likely won’t take a single one. As my colleague Brian Mefford put it, 2020 will be a…

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ДОНАЛЬД ТРАМП І УКРАЇНА

Нинішній вільний світ – особливо т.зв. ліберально-демократичний захід – на жаль, не втішається великими провідниками. При помочі найновіших інформаційних і політичних технологій, до керівництва державами часто приходять негідні посади особистості, а радше пересічні політики, політикани, маніпуланти публічною опінією “популісти”, жадні влади різні негідники. А у деяких країнах “невільного” світу при владі сидять прямо бандити міжнароднього масштабу. Прикриттям для такого небувалого явища у політикумі світової арени слугують поняття “ліберальна демократія” (країни традиційного заходу), “народня демократія” (країни під комуністичним режимом) , а тепер ще й нове поняття “керована демократія” чи “неоліберальна демократія” (країни з авторитарним диктаторським режимом). Автором останньої концепції є ніхто інший як владар хижацької Московії – Владімір Путін. Тривожні прояви такого тривожно деградованого…

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ONGOING VIOLATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW AND DEFIANCE OF OSCE PRINCIPLES AND COMMITMENTS BY THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION IN UKRAINE

Earlier this year, in this Permanent Council, we marked the 45th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act. Its ten guiding principles formulated a ground-breaking approach to keep our populations safe—the concept of “comprehensive security.” Among these guiding principles are respect for sovereignty, the inviolability of frontiers, the non-use or threat of force, and the territorial integrity of states. For nearly half a century, the Helsinki Final Act has been our guide as we, collectively here at the OSCE, work toward advancing the goals of a peaceful, rules-based international order. Russia has repeatedly chosen to contravene foundational Helsinki principles, not least by its invasion and purported annexation of Crimea, and its ongoing aggression in eastern Ukraine. Russia’s contempt – or disregard – for the Helsinki Final Act principles has undermined security in Europe as a…

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RUMINATIONS

Evangelical preacher and erstwhile presidential candidate Pat Robertson recently revealed the content of his conversation with God during which God foretold that Donald Trump would be reelected president, chaos, civil disorder and even assassination would follow and then time as we know it would end. Given that Preacher Pat is 90 years old and probably somewhat hard of hearing, we can’t be sure if the preacher did not miss a simple word like “if” as in “if” Trump is reelected the following events would ensue. Either way the Robertson message, perhaps, contrary to his intentions, was subliminally more likely to encourage people to vote for Joe Biden if only to escape the chaos and continue our lives because life is the most precious gift from God. The final presidential debate was a…

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РУМІНАЦІЇ

Євангельський проповідник і колись кандидат у президенти Пат Робертсон нещодавно розкрив зміст його розмови з Богом, під час якої Бог сказав, що Дональд Трамп буде переобраний президентом, хаос, громадянський безлад і навіть вбивство буде слідувати, а потім час, як ми знаємо, закінчитьсяб тобто буде кінець світу. З огляду на те, що Проповіднику Пету 90 років і, ймовірно, дещо важко чути, ми не можемо бути впевнені, що проповідник не пропустив просте слово на кшталт “якщо”, як у “якщо” Трамп буде переобраним відбудуться наступні події. У будь-якому випадку послання Робертсона, можливо, всупереч його намірам, було підсвідомо більш імовірно, щоб заохотити людей голосувати за Джо Байдена, якщо б тількиб щоби уникнути хаосу і продовжувати наше життя, тому що життя є найдорожчим даром від Бога. Фінальні президентські дебати були…

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LEAKS, LIES, AND ALTERED TAPE: RUSSIA’S MATURING INFORMATION MANIPULATION PLAYBOOK

In 2016 the Russian government and its proxies interfered in the U.S. presidential election in a “sweeping and systematic” fashion.1 Thanks to multiple bipartisan investigations and the work of researchers and journalists, rich detail about that operation—and the tools Russia’s disinformation agents used to execute it—are available to the public. In 2020 Americans are again preparing to elect a president. As the U.S. intelligence community assessed, and FBI Director Christopher Wray confirmed in recent testimony before Congress, Russia is conducting a “very active” interference campaign.2 Since 2016, Russia’s interference activity in the United States, and elsewhere around the world, has not abated. That’s because elections are a flashpoint for Russian information operations, but not the start or endpoint of this…

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UNITED BY UKRAINE: MEET DR. OLEH ANTONYSHYN, A TORONTO SURGEON WHO SAVES UKRAINIAN SOLDIERS

Editor’s Note: United by Ukraine is a collaboration between the Kyiv Post and the Ukrainian World Congress. It offers special coverage that showcases the contribution of diaspora Ukrainians to their homeland. When Dr. Oleh Antonyshyn heard a story about a 15-year-old EuroMaidan volunteer whose face was badly injured as a result of a bomb blast, he knew he had to go to Ukraine to help. “He was a young patriotic boy with a devastating, life-changing injury. He was one of the main reasons that I decided I need to go to Ukraine to operate,” Antonyshyn said. The renowned Toronto surgeon was ready to put his life in Canada on hold to help his counterparts in Ukraine as they were dealing with the avalanche of patients with complex post-traumatic defects and…

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HOW ANTI-WESTERN ACTORS IN UKRAINE ARE USING PRO-RUSSIAN TROLL ARMIES TO PUSH THEIR AGENDA

Victor Medvedchuk, Vladimir Putin’s key ally in Ukraine and the leader of the pro-Russian “Opposition Platform For Life” party, has very likely been using a huge troll army on Twitter. UkraineWorld digs into his hidden brigades of online warriors. Victor Medvedchuk is a well-known name in Ukrainian politics. He was the head of the presidential administration (2002-2005) under President Leonid Kuchma. He is probably the closest Ukrainian to Vladimir Putin – in 2004, Putin became godfather to Medvedchuk’s daughter, Darya. His public life goes way back — in 1980, he was the state-appointed attorney of Vasyl Stus, a prominent Ukrainian dissident poet and a symbol of Ukrainian resistance during Soviet rule. In his book about the process, Ukrainian journalist Vakhtang Kipiani argues that…

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UKRAINIAN COURT BAN ON BOOK ABOUT STUS TRIAL GAVE MEDVEDCHUK MORE THAN HE ASKED FOR

The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) reported, “Controversial Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk cannot erase his shameful role as a Soviet state-appointed lawyer in the political trial of the great Ukrainian poet Vasyl Stus, but he is trying to silence those who write about the part he played. The startling ruling by the Darnytsky District Court in Kyiv on October 19, prohibiting circulation of the book ‘Vasyl Stus Case’ by Vakhtang Kipiani, probably demonstrated Medvedchuk’s considerable influence in Ukraine, but only increased interest in the latter’s treatment of Stus, with all copies of the book sold out within an hour and a further 3,500 print run announced. The lawyer representing Kipiani is also…

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CANADIAN PROFESSOR'S WEBSITE HELPS RUSSIA SPREAD DISINFORMATION, SAYS U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT

Michel Chossudovsky is a University of Ottawa professor emeritus whose website has a Facebook following of more than 275,000. But ahead of the U.S. election, his website has come under renewed scrutiny as a source of Russian-aligned disinformation. As U.S. authorities guard against dirty tricks from foreign adversaries in the run-up to the Nov. 3 presidential election, an unlikely source has come under new scrutiny as a major conduit of Russian-linked disinformation: a Montreal-based website run by a retired University of Ottawa professor. The platform, Global Research, features a Canadian domain name and offers an ever-expanding collection of conspiracy theories, such as the myth that the 9/11 attacks and COVID-19 pandemic were both planned in order to…

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DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE: SIX RUSSIAN GRU OFFICERS CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH WORLDWIDE DEPLOYMENT OF DESTRUCTIVE MALWARE AND OTHER DISRUPTIVE ACTIONS IN CYBERSPACE

On Oct. 15, 2020, a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh returned an indictment charging six computer hackers, all of whom were residents and nationals of the Russian Federation (Russia) and officers in Unit 74455 of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), a military intelligence agency of the General Staff of the Armed Forces. These GRU hackers and their co-conspirators engaged in computer intrusions and attacks intended to support Russian government efforts to undermine, retaliate against, or otherwise destabilize: (1) Ukraine; (2) Georgia; (3) elections in France; (4) efforts to hold Russia accountable for its use of a weapons-grade nerve agent, Novichok, on foreign soil; and (5) the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games after Russian athletes were banned from participating under their nation’s flag, as a consequence of Russian government-sponsored doping effort. Their computer attacks used some of…

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ПІДРИВНА МЕРЕЖА ПРИГОЖИНА: ПОЛІТТЕХНОЛОГИ, «ТРОЛІ», ВІЙСЬКОВІ НАЙМАНЦІ

До цього списку включені фахівці в області політичних технологій, які залучаються для реалізації різних завдань на кошти та з ініціативи Євгена Пригожина. Останні роки значна частина активності припадає на країни Африки, що знаходяться в зоні інтересів підприємця – зокрема, за наявними даними, пов’язані з ним компанії видобувають золото в ЦАР і ведуть його пошуки на території Судану. ЗМІ повідомляли, що Пригожин має інтереси як мінімум в 39 африканських країнах, при цьому принаймні в 20-и з них працюють пов’язані з ним політтехнологи. Серед отримавших найбільш широкого розголосу кампаній і заходів т.зв. «Африканського проекту» в першу чергу можна відзначити спробу впливати на…

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'ENEMY ALIEN': A GRAPHIC NOVEL ABOUT LIFE INSIDE AN INTERNMENT CAMP

Enemy Alien is an absorbing and revealing graphic novel looking at the daily life and brutal conditions inside one of Canada’s wartime internment camps where thousands of innocent migrants were placed during the First World War. Upon joining the war in 1914, the Canadian government quickly invoked the War Measures Act, and issued the Proclamation Respecting Immigrants of German or Austro-Hungarian Nationality. This legislation effectively suspended civil liberties and allowed law enforcement officials to begin arbitrarily arresting and detaining alleged “enemy aliens” — those persons of German or Austro-Hungarian descent who were suspected of aiding the enemy by way of espionage or…

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UKRAINIAN JURISPRUDENCE AND JUSTICE: THE CASE OF MEDVEDCHUK V. KIPIANI

The following material facts are not in dispute: The poet Vasyl Stus was arrested for the second time in 1980. His case was brought to trial in the same year. The Soviet Court appointed Soviet attorney Viktor Medvedchuk to defend him. Stus met with Medvedchuk and declined his representation. Nonetheless, the Court insisted upon Medvedchuk’s defense sometimes even in Stus’ absence. In his client’s defense Medvedchuk admitted all of the charges, but asked for clemency based on Stus’ productive work as a menial factory worker for the state in the period between his arrests. Stus died in prison in September 1985. In 2019 Ukrainian-Georgian journalist Vakhtang Kipiani specializing in history published a book entitled “The Case of Vasyl Stus Collection of Documents from the…

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УКРАЇНСЬКА ЮРИСПРУДЕНЦІЯ ТА СПРАВЕДЛИВІСТЬ: СПРАВА МЕДВЕДЧУКА ПРОТИ КІПІАНІ

Такі матеріальні факти є не суперечливими: поета Василя Стуса заарештували вдруге в 1980 році. Його справа була доведена до судового розгляду в тому ж році. Радянський суд призначив радянського адвоката Віктора Медведчука захищати його. Стус зустрівся з Медведчуком і відмовився від його представництва. Тим не менш, Суд наполягав на захисті Медведчука іноді навіть за відсутності Стуса. На захист свого клієнта Медведчук визнав усі звинувачення, але попросив помилування на підставі продуктивної роботи Стуса як працівника фабрики для держави в період між його арештами. Стус помер у в’язниці у вересні 1985 року. У 2019 році українсько-грузинський журналіст Вахтанг Кіпіані, що…

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DELIVERING PIZZA AND COFFEE TO THE FRONT LINES, ONE UKRAINIAN WAR VETERAN USES BUSINESS SUCCESS TO FIGHT FOR FREEDOM

Those who have been to war never truly leave it. Even in peace, the war is always there, like a chasing moon you can’t outrun. For some, the inescapability of war’s aftereffects leads to their destruction. For others, like Ukrainian veteran Oleksii Kachko, it leads to new heights they might not have otherwise achieved. “My dream was never to be a soldier, and I never imagined there’d be a war in my country,” Kachko, 25, says as we share a coffee in the back office of one of his six Veterano coffee shops in Mariupol, a port city about 10 miles from the entrenched front lines where Ukrainian troops have weathered Russian rockets, artillery, and sniper shots since 2014. “But war changed how I see life,” Kachko continues. “Before, I was just a normal guy. Now, I see that life is not black and white. I have so much experience now, and I understand that I have the power to change things and…

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HOW ING BANK IN POLAND HELPED RUSSIANS LAUNDER MONEY

The Polish unit of the Dutch bank ING, ING Bank Slaski, for years allegedly helped Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs move huge sums of money out of ex-Soviet Union countries, according to the US Treasury’s fraud investigation department, FinCen. FinCen files were leaked to and published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), BuzzFeed, and 110 journalists from 88 countries, including Gazeta Wyborcza in Poland. The context Russian money has since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 sought safe investment havens in the West such as in Swiss banks, London properties, and French yachts. With a deeply politicized legal process at home, and the tax office often used as a…

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THE GUARDIAN CENSORS ARTICLE ON UKRAINIAN HISTORICAL STAMPS

Oleksandr Kosmach, a photographer from Kyiv with a love for history, collects historical stamps issued by Ukrainian diaspora organizations in the XX century. A photo article about these stamps, which served as political propaganda for an independent Ukrainian state while it was part of the USSR, was published by The Guardian/The Observer, but subsequently deleted without explanation. Mr. Kosmach supposes that references to the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and accusations of “Russophobia” were the reason for the censorship. Here we bring you information about the stamps, and Mr. Kosmach’s investigation into the fact of the…

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PUTIN’S PIPELINE IS A STRATEGIC WEAPON AND MUST BE STOPPED

A cross-party group of 29 Ukrainian MPs has issued the following joint letter raising the alarm over the international security implications of Russia’s unfinished Nord Stream 2 pipeline project: The Kremlin is on a roll. So far this year, it has used dubious means to entrench its rule, likely poisoned one of its main critics, and now works to suppress protests in Belarus—all while gaslighting the transatlantic intelligentsia regarding the aims of its fledgling economic weapon – the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. Russia’s state-owned Gazprom owns 100% of the project. The company has dumped billions of dollars to build these unnecessary pipelines, placing lavish orders with European suppliers. Will Gazprom ever get the…

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AN AIDE-MEMOIRE FOR UKRAINIAN AMERICAN VOTERS

As the presidential election draws nearer, who will be the next president of the United States is on almost everyone’s mind, not only in the United States, but throughout the world, and, in particular in Ukraine. President Trump’s lack of vocal affinity for Ukraine and Ukrainians while heaping praise on Ukraine’s enemy during his term of office is well known emphasized best perhaps by his comment that he likes Putin and Putin likes him. Even his surrogates have been less than congenial towards Ukraine among them his chief diplomat who if nothing else should at least have learned to be diplomatic. Secretary of State Pompeo’s statement that nobody cares about Ukraine was disgraceful. However, lest anyone…

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ПРИГАДКА ДЛЯ УКРАЇНСЬКИХ АМЕРИКАНСЬКИХ ВИБОРЦІВ

Оскільки президентські вибори наближається, хто буде наступним президентом Сполучених Штатів, майже на думці кожного, не тільки в Сполучених Штатах, але і в усьому світі, і, зокрема, в Україні. Відсутність озвученої симпатії президента Трампа для України та українців та рівночасно похвали на ворога України під час його терміну повноважень добре відомі, а найкраще підкреслюється його коментарем про те, що йому подобається Путін і він Путіну. Навіть його сурогати не являються симпатичними по відношенню до України серед них його головний дипломат, який якщо ніщо інше повинен був хоча б навчитися бути дипломатичним. Заява держсекретаря Помпео про те, що…

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THE LEAGUE OF UKRAINIAN CANADIANS CONGRATULATES EUGENE CZOLIJ ON HIS NEW POSITION AS HONORARY CONSUL

The League of Ukrainian Canadians congratulates Eugene Czolij on his appointment as Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Montreal. Mr. Czolij signed the agreement to take on the role of Honorary Consul in an online ceremony. “It will be both an honour and duty for me to fulfill the obligations of Honorary Consul by promoting the interests of Ukraine in Canada and furthering the development of commercial, economic, cultural and scientific relations between the two countries,” stated Mr. Czolij. Eugene Czolij was an active member of the Ukrainian Youth Association of Canada (CYM) and the League of Ukrainian Canadians, and President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress from 1998-2004. He also was President of the Ukrainian World Congress from 2008 to 2018. Since 2019, he has been President of NGO “Ukraine-2050”. Mr. Czolij’s leadership, patriotism, experience and…

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TURKEY, UKRAINE SIGN MILITARY COOPERATION AGREEMENTS

Turkey and Ukraine signed military cooperation agreements in Istanbul on Friday, deepening a defense partnership seen as an effort to counterbalance Russia’s dominance in the Black Sea region. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan oversaw the signing of a “goodwill” agreement concerning the defense industry and a “military framework agreement,” officials said, although details of the agreements were not immediately known. “Turkey sees Ukraine as a key country for the establishment [of] stability, security, peace and prosperity in the region,” Erdogan said following the signing ceremony between the two Black Sea nations that have been enhancing military ties in recent years. Zelensky said the agreements pave the way for “new opportunities.” “Cooperation in the defense industry is important for the…

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THE LONG AND ARDUOUS ROAD: UKRAINE UPDATES ITS NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY

Ukraine’s latest national security strategy document is yet another step in the country’s decades-long struggle to uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity. October has already been a busy month for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. He attended an EU–Ukraine summit in Brussels (6 October), followed by a visit to the UK (7–9 October), including an interview with BBC HARDtalk, and hosted a visit to Ukraine of Polish President Andrzej Duda (12–13 October). Reforms, the rule of law, fighting corruption and national security dominated these meetings. The UK and Ukraine signed a historic ‘Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement’ based on the EU–Ukraine Association Agreement. The UK continues training Ukrainian forces and…

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UKRAINE AND TURKEY TOGETHER FOR A MORE ACTIVE MILITARY ROLE IN THE BLACK SEA

According to a statement by the Ukrainian government, Zelensky will sign a bilateral military cooperation agreement during his visit. This agreement aims to have a big impact on security and peace in the Black Sea region. Defense relations between the two countries have developed rapidly, with military-technical cooperation between Ukraine and Turkey’s defense industries carrying various mutual benefits. In early July, Ukraine’s National Defense Minister Andriy Taran voiced an interest in Turkish-made drones at a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar in Kyiv. Ukraine already purchased the combat drones Bayraktar Tactical Block 2 (TB2) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Turkey last year. The…

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PRO-KREMLIN DISINFORMATION IS OFTEN ABLE TO INFLUENCE PEOPLE’S OPINIONS, RESEARCH SHOWS

Disinformation works, and pro-Kremlin disinformation is often able to influence people’s opinions. This is the conclusion drawn from recent research on “online astroturfing”. The researchers investigated the psychology behind effective mitigation strategies and the effectiveness of three “vaccines” against online disinformation. The research by Thomas Zerback (University of Zurich) and Florian Töpfl (Free University of Berlin), shows that forged comments can change the political opinions of audiences online. Furthermore, it seems inoculation against manipulated messages only works when it debunks the exact fake argument. Sadly, the research also shows the effect only works for a short period and…

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WHITE HOUSE WAS WARNED GIULIANI WAS TARGET OF RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE OPERATION TO FEED MISINFORMATION TO TRUMP

U.S. intelligence agencies warned the White House last year that President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was the target of an influence operation by Russian intelligence, according to four former officials familiar with the matter. The warnings were based on multiple sources, including intercepted communications, that showed Giuliani was interacting with people tied to Russian intelligence during a December 2019 trip to Ukraine, where he was gathering information that he thought would expose corrupt acts by former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The intelligence raised concerns that Giuliani was being used to feed Russian misinformation to the president, the former officials said…

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THE FORGOTTEN POTENTIAL OF UKRAINE’S ENERGY RESERVES

Over the last several years, the future of the European energy supply has become an increasingly geopolitical topic. It has become more and more linked to the questions of security, competing gas transportation routes, and continuously tense Ukrainian-Russian relations. In late 2019, Kyiv concluded a new and beneficial transit agreement with Moscow for the transfer of Siberian gas to the EU, in part due to fresh US sanctions against Russia’s off-shore pipeline projects. This 5-year deal is currently securing the continued use of a part of Ukraine’s large gas transportation system, and as long as Gazprom’s Nord Stream II pipeline through the Baltic Sea does not go forward, the Ukrainian gas transportation system will have some prospect, use, and income. These well-known confrontations and…

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UCRDC INTERVIEWS LUDMILLA TEMERTEY, A CHILD OF HOLODOMOR SURVIVORS

The Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Center (UCRDC), which is involved in research on victims of the Holodomor and on the events of World War II in Ukraine, recently launched a new oral history project: interviews with the children of Holodomor survivors – persons who did not themselves live through the famine but experienced it through their family history. Something similar has been done in the Jewish community, where it has been established that trauma can be transmitted from Holocaust survivor parents to their offspring. Under the guidance of archivist Iroida Wynnyckyj, the project is ongoing at the UCRDC. Ms. Wynnyckyj and sociologist Vsevolod Isajiw developed a questionnaire and…

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RUSSO-UKRAINIAN WAR: TIME FOR ZELENSKYY TO TURN FROM POPULISM TO PRAGMATISM

Since taking office in spring 2019, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has made ending the Russo-Ukrainian War his top priority. However, almost one-and-a-half years later, he has little to show for his efforts. A ceasefire introduced in late July has succeeded in reducing the death toll in eastern Ukraine, but the Russian occupation continues and genuine breakthroughs towards a lasting settlement remain as elusive as ever. Zelenskyy’s commitment to peace was central to his success in Ukraine’s 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections. Despite this focus, his administration has yet to demonstrate a clear strategy for ending the six-year conflict. Instead, Zelenskyy has adopted a scattergun approach that…

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JAMES BEZAN ISSUES STATEMENT ON DEFENDER OF UKRAINE DAY

James Bezan, Shadow Minister for National Defence and Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman today issued the following statement on Defender of Ukraine Day: “Today, I join Ukrainian Canadians and Ukrainians around the world as we celebrate the fifth annual Defender of Ukraine Day. “Ukrainians have fought hard for their independence and sovereignty. To honour the contributions of every Ukrainian who fought for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the Government of Ukraine established this new holiday five years ago, following Russia’s illegal occupation of the Donbas and annexation of Crimea. “I offer my thanks to all who have stood on the front lines, protested on the Maidan, and supported democracy and the rule of law. These are the…

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THE RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL

The Council of Europe’s Venice Commission gave a pretty damning assessment of major elements in President Volodymyr Zelensky’s judicial reform bill last week, although many Ukrainians might be forgiven for thinking the opposite was true. Deliberate manipulation of the facts have prompted fears that plans are underway to push through the entire bill, claiming this to have received the green light from the European experts. In their report on the Venice Commission’s conclusions, Stepan Berko and Mykhailo Zhernakov from DEJURE, together with Halyna Chyzhek from the Anti-Corruption Action Centre, said that the first bill that Zelensky proposed almost a year ago on judicial reforms did raise some hopes, and…

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BRITAIN AND UKRAINE UNVEIL NEW STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s state visit to the UK in early October was probably the most consequential foreign relations act of his presidency to date. It resulted in a range of important agreements on trade, security and other areas, taking UK-Ukraine cooperation to a new and much higher level. “This is a new page for Ukrainian–British cooperation and an unprecedented event for Ukraine,” noted the Ukrainian leader. The visit began with an audience at Buckingham Palace, where President Zelenskyy and First Lady Olena Zelenska were met by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and his wife Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. President Zelenskyy next traveled to the…

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PORTNIKOV: POLLING FOR THE SAKE OF POLLING

Ukrainian political analyst, journalist and writer Vitaliy Portnikov wrote for espreso.tv, “Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that some sort of national polling will be held during the local elections on October 25. This is one of the strangest ‘polling’ of the population that one has ever heard of. The head of state announced a poll, but he doesn’t say what questions Ukrainian citizens will be asked to answer. It seems we are talking about polling entirely for the sake of polling, that Zelenskyy and his circle are creating an illusion of democracy in conditions of domination by populists and corrupt officials. And the President’s team isn’t even capable of explaining to citizens what they’ll be ‘voting’ on. To them, this is entirely…

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«РОСІЙСЬКИЙ СЛІД» У ФАЛЬСИФІКАЦІЯХ СПРАВИ ШЕРЕМЕТА І ЧЕРГОВА ДЕЗІНФОРМАЦІЯ ВІД МВС

Дисциплінарна палата Міністерства юстиції України винесла дисциплінарну догану експертам КНДІСЕ Ірхіну і Семенцю. Підставою стала так звана експертиза, на якій будувалися практично всі докази слідства у справі Шеремета. Дисциплінарна палата постановила, що методики, використаних експертами, не регламентуються жодним документом Мінюсту. Більше того, було визнано, що методики, використані в «експертизі» є особистою думкою Ірхіна. Сам експерт відкрито відзначив, що методики, якою він користувався… ще немає, вона в процесі створення. Разом з тим, МВС продовжує дезінформовувати та дезорієнтовувати суспільство, написавши, що…

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HISTORY LESSONS: WILDFIRE AS A WEAPON

For the past few days, Ukraine has been experiencing massive wildfires on its eastern border, particularly in Luhansk Region. The fire has already claimed the lives of dozens of people and destroyed many homes. The fires have covered an area of more than 100 sq km. There is direct evidence that these fires were the result of deliberate arson committed by Russian aggressors or their mercenaries. This is a well-organized military operation. The fires were started in the gray zone and then reached the frontline positions and nearby rear areas of the Ukrainian forces. History knows many examples when fire was used as a weapon against the enemy. After all, fire is not only an element that destroys material objects, it is also important as an instrument of psychological pressure, as something that…

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YURI DMITRIEV: HISTORIAN OF STALIN’S GULAG, VICTIM OF PUTIN’S REPRESSION

Western democracies have expressed concern and outrage, at least verbally, over the Novichok poisoning of Alexei Navalny—and this is clearly right and necessary. But much less attention is being paid to the case of Yuri Dmitriev, a tenacious researcher and activist who campaigned to create a memorial to the victims of Stalinist terror in Karelia, a province in Russia’s far northwest, bordering Finland. He has just been condemned on appeal by the Supreme Court of Karelia to thirteen years in a prison camp with a harsh regime. The hearing was held in camera, with neither him nor his lawyer present. For this man of sixty-four, this is practically equivalent to a death sentence, the judicially sanctioned equivalent of a drop of nerve agent. After an…

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UK WILLING TO PROVIDE UKRAINE WITH LETHAL WEAPONS, SAYS PRESIDENT'S AIDE

Andriy Yermak says unrest in Belarus means his country needs to strengthen defences. The UK is willing to provide a large lethal weapons contract to Ukraine and a £1bn loan to help Ukraine’s navy build new ships capable of use in the Black Sea, according to a senior aide to the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky. Andriy Yermak, the head of office to Zelenksy also warned that the suppression of post-election unrest in neighbouring Belarus posed a potential direct threat to Ukraine, and said his country was seeking assurances from the European Union and the UK about helping to safeguard its security. An EU or Nato centre to combat Russian disinformation and counter propaganda based in Ukraine was…

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ГРОМАДСЬКИЙ ПРИМІТИВІЗМ

Наспіває час, коли звичайна людина яка працює майже ціле своє життя в українській громаді у діаспорі приходить до сумного висновку, що дуже багато осіб котрі уважають себе громадськими діячами це фактично малі особи котрі керуються вузькими інтересами, а то і здебільша власними егоїстичними. Це явище фактично більш помітне сьогодні, тому що майже все наше “найкраще покоління” відійшло і залишилися здебільша маргінесові його представники та діти і онуки того покоління які в більшості позбавлені ідеології, а до принципів ставляться дуже гнучко. Мої батьки були зареєстровані американські виборці як Республіканці. Це були Республіканці Айзенгавера, Голдвотера і Рейгена. Їхня ідеологія яка керувала їхнім…

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PUTIN LOSES HIS FOOTING IN RUSSIA’S BACKYARD

A series of crises in Russia’s neighbors is upending the Kremlin’s plans for deeper economic and defense ties with the former Soviet republics, leaving a vacuum for regional competitors such as China and Turkey to exploit. Russian President Vladimir Putin has long tried to strengthen economic and defense relations across Eastern Europe and Central Asia, from Belarus in the west to Kyrgyzstan in the east. Russia still has military bases in Central Asia and the South Caucasus, and there are strong commercial and cultural ties with those regions. But the chaos encircling Russia—including an upsurge in fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan—together with subtle diplomatic and economic shifts is eroding…

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UKRAINE’S REFORMS IN DOUBT AS POLITICAL CLIMATE CHANGES

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hoped to use his October 6 summit with European Union leaders in Brussels to demonstrate his continued commitment to the reform agenda underpinning Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration. However, events in Kyiv on the eve of the summit will only have served to amplify concerns over the country’s direction under Zelenskyy, as was evident in an anodyne joint summit statement highlighting “the importance of accelerating and reinforcing reform efforts.” On the day before this year’s EU-Ukraine Summit, the Council of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) issued a reprimand and expression of no confidence in First Deputy Governor Kateryna Rozhkova and Deputy Governor Dmytro Sologub, who…

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THE CASE FOR SANCTIONING UKRAINE’S ANTI-WESTERN MPS – AN IMPORTANT STEP FORWARD

In early September 2020, the United States imposed sanctions against Ukrainian MP Andriy Derkach, who was identified as “a Russian agent for more than a decade, who coordinates his activities closely with Russian intelligence agencies.” Unfortunately, Derkach is far from the only Russian agent currently serving as a member of the Ukrainian parliament. There are dozens of MPs in today’s Ukrainian parliament who are actively spreading anti-Western propaganda and promoting Russian interests. They attack the independent state institutions that serve as pillars of Ukraine’s cooperation with the European Union and International Monetary Fund, while also working to discredit civil society activists and…

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ЗАЯВА ГРОМАДЯНСЬКОГО СУСПІЛЬСТВА СТОСОВНО ПРОЕКТІВ МЕМОРІАЛУ І МУЗЕЮ ГОЛОКОСТУ В КИЄВІ

В продовження публічної дискусії навколо проектів Меморіалу і Музею Голокосту на території Бабиного Яру в Києві, звертаємо увагу на Звернення української культурної та наукової спільноти щодо меморіалізації Бабиного Яру (травень 2020): https://cutt.ly/Df0hDT0 та Звернення українських євреїв до громадянського суспільства України (вересень 2020): https://cutt.ly/nf0h9Wh Йдеться про протистояння двох проектів вшанування пам’яті жертв Бабиного Яру: російського та українського. Відповідно російський проект в основному фінансується підконтрольними путінському режимові російськими мільярдерами, які також фінансують проекти, що сприяють зміцненню воєнного…

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KYRGYZSTAN IN CHAOS AFTER PROTESTERS SEIZE GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS

The Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan plunged into political chaos on Tuesday after opposition groups seized control of Parliament and released their imprisoned leaders in protests over parliamentary elections they called rigged. Under mounting pressure from the protesters, the country’s Central Electoral Commission annulled the results of the Sunday vote, a day after having awarded the majority of seats to two political parties with ties to the president, Sooronbai Jeenbekov. Overnight, a small group of protesters broke away from the main body and tried to gain entry to the White House, the main government building that houses the Parliament and the presidential administration in Bishkek, the capital. After the…

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OVER 10 THOUSAND UKRAINIANS DEMAND THAT ZELENSKYY DISSOLVE CORRUPTION-TAINTED KYIV COURT

The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) reported, “A petition calling on President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to help dissolve the notorious District Administrative Court in Kyiv (OACK) has already gained well over 10 thousand signatures, with the numbers in recent days rising rapidly. The President is the only person able to table a draft bill to dissolve a court which has lost any credibility following judicial corruption scandals and an endless stream of highly dubious rulings. The petition was initiated by journalist Danylo Mokryk on 30 July this year, following the publication by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau [NABU] of yet more compromising conversations held in the office of the head of the…

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JOINT STATEMENT FOLLOWING THE 22ND EU-UKRAINE SUMMIT, 6 OCTOBER 2020

Charles Michel, President of the European Council, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, and Josep Borrell, Vice-President of the European Commission on behalf of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, met in Brussels today for the 22nd EU-Ukraine Summit and issued the following statement. We gathered today to reaffirm our continued commitment to strengthening the political association and economic integration of Ukraine with the European Union, on the basis of the Association Agreement and its Deep and…

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В ІТАЛІЇ МИТРОПОЛИТУ АНДРЕЮ ШЕПТИЦЬКОМУ ПРИСВОЄНО ТИТУЛ ПРАВЕДНИКА

Комітет «Саду Праведників – Ґаріво» м. Мілан визнав митрополита Андрея Шептицького Праведником, вписавши його ім’я серед «Праведників Монте Стелла». Церемонія вручення відзнаки відбулась 7 жовтня у Саді Праведників Мілану. «Під час Другої світової війни український митрополит Андрей Шептицький прийняв в митрополичі палати та греко-католицькі монастирі сотні переслідуваних євреїв, рятуючи їх від смерті. Ризикуючи власним життям, він писав до Гітлера та Гімлера, завзято протестуючи проти винищення євреїв та забороняючи українцям брати участь в нацистських акціях», — йдеться в пергаменті відзнаки. Для отримання відзнаки Блаженніший Святослав, Отець і Глава УГКЦ, делегував владику…

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EU SANCTIONS RUSSIAN ENTITIES, INDIVIDUALS RESPONSIBLE FOR KERCH STRAIT RAIL BRIDGE

The European Union on October 1 announced asset freezes on four companies and two individuals responsible for the construction of the Kerch Strait railway bridge. It also imposed visa bans on the two individuals, Alekandr Ganov and Leonid Ryzhenkin. Ganov is the director of the JSC TC Grand Service Express, which operates the railway service between Russia and Crimea, and Ryzhenkin is the deputy director for infrastructure projects at Stroigazmontazh, the firm that supervised the construction of the bridge. The following entities will have their EU assets frozen: Crimea Railway, the owner and operator of the railway tracks on the bridge; the First Crimean Insurance Company, which insured the…

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BELARUSIAN MORTGAGE ON RUSSIA’S FUTURE

Imperial ambition could again cost Russia. On Sept. 14 in Sochi, Russian President Vladimir Putin signaled that Russia was throwing its weight behind embattled Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. But any move by Putin to enforce his will in Belarus with force could invite tougher Western sanctions and scare investors, exacerbating problems of the already flagging Russian economy. Since a fraudulent presidential vote on Aug. 9 which allegedly gave Lukashenko an 80% vote for a sixth term, hundreds of thousands of people have peacefully protested calling for an end to his 26-year dictatorship. Lukashenko appealed to President Vladimir Putin, who said he had created a police reserve in case…

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DUBINSKY DEVISED FAKE NEWS

The Kyiv Post reported on October 2, “After a wave of protests under the European Union and Ukrainian flags erupted on Kyiv’s Independence Square in November 2013, disinformation ran rampant about the motives and values of people who participated in the demonstrations. But in late December 2013, one piece of fake news particularly stood out. A video filmed on a mobile phone on Kyiv’s central Khreshchatyk Street, right next to the protesters’ camp, showed several women who presented themselves as sex workers and said they came to Independence Square to service clients among protesters. […] The story became memorable and was followed by a news article about thriving prostitution on…

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ILOVAISK: A BATTLE THAT CHANGED THE COURSE AND PERCEPTION OF THE WAR

The Battle of Ilovaisk lasted from August 7th to September 2nd, 2014, and six years later it remains the deadliest battle in Russia’s war against Ukraine in the Donbas. Ukrainian forces consisted of various volunteer regiments from different regions of Ukraine. Their mission was to capture and restore government control over the separatist-occupied city of Ilovaisk. Enemy forces were made up of various battalions from the Donbas People’s Militia supported by Russian ground forces and airborne troops, a fact which the Russian government continues to deny. The approximate number of Ukrainian troops deployed during the Battle of Ilovaisk was less than two thousand with hundreds of soldiers killed during…

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OPEN LETTER TO ARAKHAMIA – HEAD OF SLUHA NARODU

Dear Mr Arakhamia, We heard you only reply to letters, so we wrote you one. We also heard that you consider the danger of losing the Visa-Free regime and financial assistance to be only “rumors”. Allow us to explain why that is not the case: The people of Ukraine have many true friends in the European Union and this is important to remember. We, the handful members of the European Parliament, consider ourselves to be a few of that many. Since 2014 alone, the EU invested over €15 billion in Ukraine. We share this rather unknown fun-fact with you, not to solicit your gratitude but to reaffirm that the fate of your country is very dear to us and we deeply care about its future. We also share it to remind you that…

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RUSSIAN METHODS

Over the last decade Russia has managed to liquidate essentially any organized Ukrainian ethnic community in the Russian Federation, invade Ukraine, annex a portion of its territory by force and illegitimate referendum and forge a largely frozen conflict with only Russia disturbing the peace occasionally in two of Ukraine’s easternmost regions. The methodology employed in all instances has been quite simple. Lies, extortion, political pressure and overt fire accompanied by the willingness of some observers to believe have enabled Russia to proceed as planned despite pervasive global condemnation which Russia ignores. Russian lies are predicated on a disingenuous debate and the inability of Russia’s opponents to…

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РОСІЙСЬКІ МЕТОДИ

За останнє десятиліття Росії вдалося ліквідувати по суті будь-яку організовану українську етнічну спільноту в Російській Федерації, вторгнутися в Україну, силою анексувати частину її території нелегітимним референдумом і створити значною мірою заморожений конфлікт з тим лише, що час від часу Москва турбує мир у двох найсхідніших регіонах України. Методологія, що використовується в усіх інстанціях, була досить простою. Брехня, здирництво, політичний тиск і надмірний вогонь, що супроводжується з готовністю деяких спостерігачів вважати закономірним, дозволили Росії діяти так, як планувалося, незважаючи на всепоглинаючому глобальному засудженні, яке і так ігнорує…

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БЛАЖЕННІШИЙ СВЯТОСЛАВ ПРО БЛАЖЕННІШОГО ЛЮБОМИРА: «ЄДИНА КИЇВСЬКА ЦЕРКВА В ЄДИНОМУ ПАТРІАРХАТІ Є ЙОГО МРІЄЮ І ЗАПОВІТОМ»

Єдина Київська Церква в єдиному патріархаті, без взаємного поборювання, але з діленням тими дарами, які ми назбирали по дорозі до цієї єдності, є мрією Блаженнішого Любомира і його заповітом для усіх нас. Про це сказав Блаженніший Святослав, Отець і Глава УГКЦ, в рамках проєкту «Прилучитися до великого», розповідаючи про роль Любомира Гузара в розбудові УГКЦ та зміцненні Церкви в Україні. «Блаженніший Любомир назавжди увійшов в історію, як Глава Церкви, переслідуваної, гнаної, який повернувся зі своїм осідком до її витоків. Він повернув осідок Глави Української Греко-Католицької Церкви до Києва», – ствердив Блаженніший Святослав. Цей поворот…

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RUSSIA AS AGGRESSOR, NATO AS OBJECTIVE: UKRAINE’S NEW NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY

After many months of delays, President Zelenskyy finally approved Ukraine’s new National Security Strategy in mid-September. This is the fourth Ukrainian security strategy document to be produced during the country’s nearly thirty years of independence, and follows the publication of similar documents in 2007, 2012, and 2015. Ukraine’s new security blueprint has little of the ambiguity or euphemistic language often associated with President Zelenskyy. Instead, Russia is repeatedly identified as an aggressor and NATO membership is frequently mentioned as Ukraine’s key national security objective. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether the subsequent actions of the Zelenskyy administration will…

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ДОНБАСЬКІ БАНДЕРІВЦІ: ЯК НАЩАДКИ ДЕПОРТОВАНИХ ЛЕМКІВ ТА БОЙКІВ СТВОРИЛИ НАЙМЕНШУ ГРОМАДУ НА СХОДІ УКРАЇНИ

Україна у вересні відзначила 75-і роковини початку примусової депортації жителів Лемківщини, Надсяння, Холмщини, Південного Підляшшя, Любачівщини, Західної Бойківщини в 1944–1951 роках. Комуністичні режими СРСР та Польщі шляхом масштабниx репресій, терору та конфіскації майна виселили майже 500 тисяч жителів у різні регіони тодішньої УРСР. На Донбасі поблизу Бахмута в селах Званівка, Верхньокам’янське та Роздолівка оселилося 340 родин із Західної Галичини. За понад пів сторіччя вони зберегли культуру, віру та традиції. А нещодавно створили об’єднану територіальну громаду. Команда спільного проєкту Радіо Свобода та «Настоящего времени» в Україні зняла документальний фільм…

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ГРОМАДСЬКИЙ ПРИМІТИВІЗМ

Наспіває час, коли звичайна людина яка працює майже ціле своє життя в українській громаді у діаспорі приходить до сумного висновку, що дуже багато осіб котрі уважають себе громадськими діячами це фактично малі особи котрі керуються вузькими інтересами, а то і здебільша власними егоїстичними. Це явище фактично більш помітне сьогодні, тому що майже все наше “найкраще покоління” відійшло і залишилися здебільша маргінесові його представники та діти і онуки того покоління які в більшості позбавлені ідеології, а до принципів ставляться дуже гнучко. Мої батьки були зареєстровані американські виборці як Республіканці. Це були Республіканці Айзенгавера, Голдвотера і Рейгена. Їхня ідеологія яка…

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RUSSIA IS SPREADING LIES ABOUT COVID VACCINES, SAYS UK MILITARY CHIEF

Russia is seeking to destabilise countries around the world by sowing disinformation about coronavirus vaccines that is shared rapidly across social media, the head of the armed forces has warned. Gen Sir Nick Carter, the chief of defence staff, said the propaganda tactic reflected a strategy of “political warfare” aggressively undertaken by Beijing as well as Moscow “designed to undermine cohesion” across the west. The senior general accused “autocratic rivals” of “manipulating the information environment” to exploit the Covid-19 crisis for strategic gain – including “pro-Russian vaccine politics” – in a…

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RUMINATIONS FOLLOWING THE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

An elderly lady friend of mine, who was a medical doctor in Ukraine and immigrated to America some fifteen years, brought my attention to a particular moment during the recent presidential circus debate where Donald Trump’s behavior was anything but presidential. There was a point which particularly impacted my friend since she lives emotionally in the land she left, when Joe Biden accused Donald Trump of being Putin’s puppy. Trump did not deny the accusation. Instead he interrupted and tried to go after Biden’s son at which point the moderator stepped in. The lack of a denial was not an oversight nor…

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ПЕРШІ МІРКУВАННЯ ПІСЛЯ ПРЕЗИДЕНТСЬКИХ ДЕБАТІВ

Моя старша за віком і досвідом знайома, яка була лікарем в Україні і приїхала в Америку десь п’ятнадцяти років тому, звернула мою увагу на особливий момент під час нещодавніх президентських циркових дебатів США, де поведінка Дональда Трампа була чимось інакшим чим пасувало б президенту. В один момент, який особливо вплинув на мого знайому, оскільки вона живе емоційно далі на землі, яку вона залишила, Джо Байден звинуватив Дональда Трампа, що він немов цуценя Путіна. Трамп не заперечував. Замість цього він перервав і намагався вдарити по синові Байдена, в який момент модератор вступив і перервав. Відсутність відмови…

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TECH ARMY SET UP BY EUROPE’S LAST DICTATOR TURNS ON ITS CREATOR

One of the rare successes chalked up by the regime of Europe’s last dictator has been the establishment of a kind of East European Silicon Valley, which spawned a booming industry of Belarusian programmers and tech start-ups. The autocratic president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, now fears he has created a monster. An army of 30,000 tech-savvy professionals is turning against its creator. Coders and software engineers, many of whom are linked to the state-sponsored Hi-Tech Park in Minsk, have formed a hacking collective called Cyber Partisans which is wreaking havoc as Lukashenko tries to…

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RUSSIA JAILS HISTORIAN WHO UNCOVERED STALIN MASS GRAVES FOR 13 YEARS

A Russian court has sentenced a historian who helped uncover Stalin-era mass graves to 13 years in prison, abruptly increasing his sentence by 10 years, in a highly unusual step that rights groups said was revenge for his work and part of a broader campaign to whitewash the dark chapters of Russia’s Soviet history. The case of Yury Dmitriyev attracted international criticism when he was sentenced to three and a half years in prison earlier this year on charges condemned by human rights organizations as fabricated. He had, however, been due to be released within weeks because of time served in…

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