There is broad agreement that Poroshenko has been giving a good account of himself so far. He gave an excellent inaugural speech; but has also been displaying the kind of behavior which might suggest he understands the idea of public service. This is in stark contrast to Yanukovich, who behaved like an oriental potentate – shutting down roads to speed around in convoys of black limousines; on one occasion Yanu’s security detail – the story goes – blocked off the public toilet on a visit to Brussels – denying access to bewildered Eurocrats, while the boss relieved himself. Continue reading →
In case there was still any doubt about the true nature of the war in Ukraine’s eastern regions, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov announced to the press this afternoon that several Russian tanks had crossed the border near the town of Snizhne (Donetsk Oblast). Amateur video footage of T-90 tanks has now been broadcast on all local newscasts, and has again catapulted the Ukrainian “crisis” to top story status on international networks. According to latest reports (10 pm), one tank was disabled during a battle with Ukrainian forces near the border, but three others have been filmed driving through Makiyivka en route to Donetsk, together with two trucks full of heavily armed men.
The Ukrainian armed forces do not possess T-90 tanks – this modernized version of the Soviet-era T-72 is deployed only in Russia.
Until today, the conflict in Ukraine’s eastern regions had involved mercenaries armed with Russian-supplied weaponry – including the ultra-modern “Stinger”-style missile that last week shot down a Ukrainian military transport aircraft at an altitude of over 4000 meters (approx. 12000 ft.). But tanks are not supplied to mercenaries. This type of equipment is always manned by army personnel.
It is safe to say that Russian troops (regulars – not hired mercenaries) have now invaded territorial Ukraine. This act has nothing to do with local separatism (or even state-sponsored terrorism): Russia has invaded the sovereign territory of Ukraine. This cannot be interpreted as anything other than an act of war.
Arkadiy Babchenko is a member of nearly extinct species – a Russian
journalist trying to make sense of situation in Eastern Ukraine without giving fan service to official position of Russian government. He is not afraid of asking honest questions and of being beaten up for it. Sticking to ethical principles made him a pariah of russian journalism. His work is published in his blog and is
supported by donations from the readers. Many used his blog for
reference; many others branded him a “national traitor” because
of it. Arkadiy kept us informed on Second Chechen War, war in
Georgia, revolution in Kyrgyzstan and protests in Turkey.
He also was at Maidan in 2013 and 2014.
(Interview via Anastasiya Ryngis)
Q: What is the difference between the situation in Slovyansk and the conflicts you have worked on before?
A: All wars are the same. Nobody notices how and when exactly they start. Nobody is taking it seriously and everyone is saying that the “shootings” will end very soon and the war will not really happen. And then the conflict spins out of control and a full-scale war is on our hands. The only thing that stands out in Slovyansk is the real effort Ukrainian Army puts into avoiding the civilian casualties. I saw this with my own eyes and it is really out of ordinary.
Anna Agafonova, economist, member of the business community IZOne, Donetsk
It seems to us that what we are living now has not been seen before, it seems that Donetsk’s case is unique. But other countries have already survived all this.
The reasons for what is happening in our country are the same as the reasons that led to World War II. In the beginning of the previous century, in Europe, as a result of instances of industrial monopoly the capital and power were concentrated in the hands of oligarchs and technocratic managers.
Liberal economies, oligarchy, corruption and lack of social lifts cost thousands of people their lives. The events in Ukraine can be easily compared with the police and private security service shooting of the peaceful demonstration “Hunger March” of the fired workers at the factories of a well-known figure, Ford.Continue reading →
Vitaliy Dudin, for the competition “Stop censure! Citizens for free states”
When shots are heard, the provision of human rights is always problematic. And the rights such as freedom of speech in our country are not considered rights at all. This is especially noticeable today, when perception only knows the difference between black and white.
Are Ukrainian mass media free? Their economical dependence on private owners seems critical. Oligarchs control up to 80% of the media market. Is there anything bad in this? I doubt that any national mass medium would even allow to begin a discussion on this topic.Continue reading →
Even though Russia is not unknown for producing world famous scientists (e.g. Lomonosov, Mendeleev, Butlerov, Markovnikov, Povpov, Sakharov) and doctors (e.g. Pavlov, Sechin, Mechnikov), these people can hardly represent the Russian Society that is hopelessly stuck in America of 1860, to say the least! Continue reading →
Vitaliy Klitschko has not even spent a week as mayor, but he has already discredited himself. He appointed as his chief advisor, or head of his advisors group, a certain Ihor Nikonov.
This person is not familiar to ordinary readers. I’ll explain: he is one of the most aggressive developers in Kyiv, someone who directly says that he dreams of building a skyscraper in Kyiv that he saw in New York some time ago. Moreover, Nikonov is a partner of Dmitriy Firtash and Vagif Akiev and the godfather and nearest neighbor to Serhiy Lyovochkin. The Klitschko brothers got acquainted with Nikonov since he worked together with Ihor Bakay and the brothers were under the roof of the gas oligarch. Continue reading →
Journalist Arkadiy Babchenko is one of the few colleagues from Russia who is trying to make sense of the situation in the East of Ukraine. Really make sense of it. He is not putting labels, he does not tolerate official definitions and he does not shy away from posing uncomfortable questions, which he is not scared to get a black eye for.
Babchenko is outside of official journalism. His work is his personal blog “Journalism without mediators,” which exists thanks to charitable donations of the readers. For many his blog has become as “coordinate system” of sorts. For others, an excuse to call him a national traitor. Continue reading →
It was noticed a while ago that the children of our patriotic governors live and study in the West. Parents send their children to live in the West, buy property there, send money there, and even have dual citizenship… All this happens for one simple reason: they despise Russia, her people, and they have long since given up on the country they rule. The list of Russian governor`s children who live practically permanently in the West is huge, and I will give just a few examples.
AT THE BEGINNING
I will briefly list the family members of Russian governmental officials and the places where they live.
Very little is known about the President`s family, considering their private lifestyle. He was married, then divorced. In the early 90s, Putin returned to Leningrad [St. Peterburg] and sent his daughters back to Germany to study in the prestigious German gymnasium Peterschule. They came back to Russia in the mid-90s, and moved to Moscow in 1996. But even here his daughters did not leave the German path. Their German School of Moscow is now situated in Embassy City on Vernadskiy Prospect, ringed by a fence and video cameras, with the inscription “Achtung!” everywhere. In the early 2000s, both of Putin’s daughters were officially registered as students of St.Petersburg State University, but no one ever saw them there. It is known that youngest daughter Yekaterina lives permanently in Munich, Germany. In 2013, Yekaterina Putina reportedly married Yoon Joon-won (a Korean).
According to some sources the wedding ceremony was held in a Morocco hotel, and was grand in scope. Older daughter Mariya lives in the Netherlands, in the city of Voorschoten, which is close to The Hague. She does not live alone, but with 33-year-old Dutchman Joritte Faassen. The couple lives in the Krimwijk Heet area. Mariya Putina lives in a luxury building, where she occupies the penthouse on the top floor. Both of Putin’s daughters often in Italy at the invitation of Silvio Berlusconi, Putin’s family friend. More about Putin’s family: http://echo.msk.ru/blog/expertmus/1197344-echo/
China didn’t have such an urgent need to sign the [gas supply] contract [signed on May 21]; but by signing it the Chinese got, as a bonus, access into those spheres of the Russian economy where previously they were denied such access.Continue reading →