Civil War in Ukraine: Western Empire vs Russia

angelburst29

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Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has picked as a top security chief a man who Reuters has reported as having ties with tycoon Ihor Kolomoisky, an appointment that underscores links between the two.

Ukrainian president appoints man with ties to oligarch as security chief
FILE PHOTO: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy delivers a speech during an IT conference in Kiev, Ukraine, May 23, 2019. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy delivers a speech during an IT conference in Kiev, Ukraine, May 23, 2019. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/File Photo

Maksym Donets was appointed head of the president’s personal bodyguard team, as well as deputy head of Ukraine’s department of state protection, according to a decree published on the president’s website on Thursday evening.

It gave no further detail and did not say why he had been picked for the post. Zelenskiy’s spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.

Last week a lawyer with links to Kolomoisky, Andriy Bogdan, was appointed as head of the presidential administration.

Ukraine's president asks parliament to sack foreign, defense ministers, SBU head
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has asked parliament to sack the foreign and defense ministers and the head of the security service SBU, the presidential press service said on Thursday.

Ukrainian parliament rejects prime minister's resignation
Ukraine's Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman delivers a speech during a session of parliament in Kiev, Ukraine May 30, 2019. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

Ukraine's parliament voted to reject Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman's resignation on Thursday, with the largest faction arguing his resignation would lead to "chaos" before a snap election due in July.

Zelensky's actions show that he did not have a well-developed program — Russian official
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky

First actions of new Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky after the inauguration confirm that he did not have a well-developed program for governing the country and solving its problems, chairman of the Russian Federation Council's International Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev told Izvestiya daily on Friday.

"The more time passes since the inauguration of the new president, the stronger suspicions are confirmed that he did not have a well-developed program and a consolidated team of like-minded people. The election was mostly against Poroshenko, not for Zelensky.
We are now starting to observe the consequences of that,"
Kosachev said.

He stressed that Russia is ready for dialogue with Ukraine but Kiev should make the first step toward normalizing the relations between the two countries. "First of all, Kiev should recognize the crisis in Ukraine's south-east as an internal conflict, created and provoked by its policies, having nothing to do with Moscow. When this happens, Ukraine will see Russia as a constructive partner, in search for solutions to problems that will in the end restore the country's territorial integrity, but most importantly, will be accepted by residents of the south-eastern regions," Kosachev added.


Poroshenko in hot seat, as investigators launch probe into usurpation of power claims
Pyotr Poroshenko


As a result of a claim filed by attorney Andrey Portnov, Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) has launched an investigation against ex-President Pytor Poroshenko over accusations that he attempted to usurp power.

"My friends, I’d like to inform you that the SBI has begun a probe into Poroshenko’s seizure of power and refusal to obey court decisions in appointing members of the Supreme Council of Justice," Portnov said on his Telegram channel on Friday.
He also published a document saying the SBI had included his request in the unified register of pre-trial investigations.

"I am certain that if the SBI acts at a steady pace, Poroshenko may be sent to a detention center by the beginning of July," Portnov said.

On May 20, lawyer Andrei Portnov, a former member of the Viktor Yanukovich team, first deputy chief of Yanukovich’s staff, said he had filed several statements at the SBI to accuse Poroshenko of committing several crimes, including high treason, attempting to seize power and abuse of office.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Two days ago ... May 30, 2019
Four killed in Ukrainian military helicopter crash
A view shows the crash site of a military helicopter Mi-8 in Rivne Region, Ukraine in this handout photo released by State Bureau of Investigation May 30, 2019. Ukraine's State Bureau of Investigation/Handout via REUTERS

A view shows the crash site of a military helicopter Mi-8 in Rivne Region, Ukraine in this handout photo released by State Bureau of Investigation May 30, 2019. Ukraine's State Bureau of Investigation/Handout via REUTERS

A Ukrainian Soviet-designed military helicopter Mi-8 crashed late on Wednesday in western Ukraine, killing all four crew members, Ukrainian land forces said on Thursday. It gave no reason for the incident.

Servers of Ukrainian security council removed to cover up tracks — Russian diplomat
The new secretary of Ukraine's security council earlier said that servers and other equipment with classified information had disappeared from the presidential administration’s situation room.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova © Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, May 31, 2019 - The team of Ukraine's ex-president Pyotr Poroshenko has removed the servers of the country's National Defense and Security Council - possibly to cover up certain tracks, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman wrote on her Facebook page on Friday.

"Western sponsors provided Poroshenko and his team with vast funding to finance their efforts to build a ‘new Ukraine,’ including projects in defense and information security. And now, the [new] ‘unmercenary’ president has to finance the new equipment on his own. I think this charity stunt was carried out with an eye on covering up tracks later," Maria Zakharova said.

The spokeswoman said she was surprised by the fact that the country’s national security service, the SBU, had turned a blind eye to Poroshenko’s decision to lease equipment for the national security council from a private firm, to finance it out of his own pocket and to install it without proper checks.

"How could equipment be brought and installed at the presidential administration building without proper checks and cataloguing and then subsequently be dismantled and taken away in the same manner?" she asked rhetorically.

On Tuesday, the new secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, Alexander Danilyuk, said that monitors, servers and other equipment with classified information had disappeared from the Presidential Administration's Situation Room. He said the disappearance took place when the power transition process was in full swing. The ex-president’s spokesman, Svyatoslav Tsegolko, replied that the lease of the equipment was financed out of Poroshenko’s own pocket, and it was returned to the legitimate owner when Poroshenko lost his post.

Loss of gas transit, ban on oil export from Russia to spell trouble for Ukraine — official
On April 18, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at the government meeting that he had signed a decree on Moscow’s tit-for-tat measures following restrictions imposed by Ukraine.

Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council Secretary Alexander Danilyuk

Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council Secretary Alexander Danilyuk © Mikhail Palinchak/Ukrainian president's press service/TASS

Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council Secretary Alexander Danilyuk believes that the loss of gas transit through the country’s territory and the ban on oil exports from Russia pose the biggest risks for Ukraine.

"There are problems that create the biggest risks, which is the problem of the loss of gas transit through the territory of Ukraine starting January 1, 2019. There are problems related to Russia's restrictive actions that will come into force starting June 2, which will restrict supplies of diesel, oils and ban oil supplies, he said.

On April 18, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at at the government meeting that he had signed a decree on Moscow's tit-for-tat measures following restrictions imposed by Ukraine.


Particularly, the issue is about expanded ban on supplies of Ukrainian engineering products, consumer goods, metal products to Russia, as well as the ban on exports of the Russian oil and petroleum products to Ukraine. Moreover, starting June 1, 2019, coal, oil and petroleum products will be only supplied to Ukraine in case there are special permissions.

The contract on gas transit from Russia to Europe through Ukraine expires on December 31, 2019. The latest trilateral ministerial meeting in Brussels on formation of a new agreement between Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission held on January 21 yielded no results.
 

Aeneas

The Living Force
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For people who are anti-Russian, with no or little conscience, who cheers Nazis on and cheers or at least excuses the murder of civilians, then the doors are wide open for jobs in NATO aligned think tanks, newsmedia, governments and social media. The following is an example of this.
Euromaidan activist who cheered Odessa massacre joins Facebook as public policy manager
Published time: 4 Jun, 2019 06:43
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Euromaidan activist who cheered Odessa massacre joins Facebook as public policy manager

A protester throws a petrol bomb at the trade union building in Odessa May 2, 2014 © Reuters/Yevgeny Volokin

A Ukrainian activist who rejoiced at the sight of 48 anti-Maidan protesters burning to death in Odessa in 2014 has been hired by Facebook ostensibly to combat Russian ‘disinformation’.

Kateryna Kruk will be working out of Warsaw in her new role as Facebook’s public policy manager for Ukraine. While Kruk’s immediate duties are not clear, the announcement was met with enthusiasm by her followers, hoping she would unleash a crackdown on ‘Kremlin trolls’. Kruk has an unequivocal anti-Russian reputation, having written for several international publications and on Twitter.
Kruk shot to prominence at the height of the mass protests that preceded the 2014 armed coup in Kiev, becoming a ‘spokesman for Euromaidan’ as she live-tweeted in English from the first days of the two-month protest. As the movement was hijacked by right-wing nationalists led by the Right Sector and the far-right, borderline neo-Nazi Svoboda party, the situation quickly spiraled into violence. Around that time, Kruk worked as a volunteer for Svoboda, praising the party for being “Ukrainian-focused,” while expressing some reservations about its hardline ultra-nationalist ideology.

Kruk might have had some concerns about the party, which embraced Ukrainian nationalist leader and Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera as a hero, but it did not deter her from gloating over the deaths of several dozen of her political opponents in Odessa’s trade union building in May 2014, which was set on fire by football hooligans as police seemingly stood by watching. The people who burned to death and suffocated inside the building were peacefully protesting the coup in the central city square before being attacked by the rowdy gangs.

“Odessa cleaned itself from terrorists, proud for city fighting for its identity. Glory to fallen heroes,” Kruk tweeted at the time.
#Odessa cleaned itself from terrorists, proud for city fighting for its identity.glory to fallen heroes..
— Kateryna_Kruk (@Kateryna_Kruk) 2 мая 2014 г.
Since then, she has briefly served as a spokesperson for Ukraine’s Ministry of Agriculture (2014) and the Ministry of Health (2017), and managed social media and international communication for the Ukrainian Parliament. She was one of the “leading analysts” of Stopfake.org, a site that purports to track Russian media “lies” about Ukraine.
Her controversial background and statements did not prevent her from being given a Freedom Award by the Atlantic Council in 2014 for her live-tweeting skills.
Посмотреть изображение в ТвиттереПосмотреть изображение в Твиттере

Christoph Germann@Ch_Germann

https://twitter.com/Ch_Germann/status/738695573876805633

White Helmets get Atlantic Council Freedom Award, following in the footsteps of Kateryna Kruk & the People of Maidan

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23 человек(а) говорят об этом

Информация о рекламе в Твиттере и конфиденциальность


Facebook has previously come under fire for carrying out a crusade against misinformation with questionable means. The ‘certified fact-checkers’ the company has cooperated with have been revealed to have links to the US government and Democratic Party mega-donor George Soros.
 

angelburst29

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Ukrainian police officers arrested for murder in death of 5-year-old boy
Women place candles during a protest outside the headquarters of the Interior Ministry following a recent incident involving Kyrylo Tliavov, a five-year-old boy who was allegedly shot by drunken police officers and later died in a hospital, in Kiev, Ukraine June 4, 2019. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

Two Ukrainian police officers were arrested on suspicion of murder on Tuesday, accused of fatally shooting a 5-year-old boy while drunkenly firing weapons at cans and bottles in the courtyard of an apartment building, officials said.

Party of Ukraine's new president well ahead in parliamentary election race
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attends a briefing in Kiev, Ukraine June 3, 2019.  REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Servant of the People, the party of Ukraine's new President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has increased its large lead over rivals ahead of a snap parliamentary election due on July 21, an opinion poll showed on Wednesday.
 

angelburst29

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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko proposed fresh legislation on Thursday aimed at fighting corruption, after the constitutional court threw out a previous anti-graft law, raising concerns that the country was backtracking on the issue.

February 28, 2019 - Ukraine President tries to salvage corruption law as tough election looms

Ukraine president tries to salvage corruption law as tough election...
June 6, 2019 - According to media reports, there were some hundred activists in front of Poroshenko’s home in the village of Kozin.

Nationalists hurl flares at Poroshenko’s home, demand his arrest for corruption

Pyotr Poroshenko

Pyotr Poroshenko © AP Photo/Michael Sohn

KIEV, June 6, 2019 - Nationalists are picketing the country home of Ukraine’s former president, Pyotr Poroshenko, in support of the demand for his arrest, the television channel 112 Ukraine said on Thursday.

About a hundred activists in front of Poroshenko’s home in the village of Kozin are chanting "Poroshenko - Behind Bars!" and demanding the former president and his close associates, the Gladkovsky family, be brought to justice for corruption in the state-run defense industry concern Ukroboronprom. The protesters carrying flags of Ukraine and nationalist organizations are burning flares and tires. Pickets have placed loudspeakers in front of the central entrance to Poroshenko’s estate. Ukrainian patriotic songs are being played.

The coordinator of the organization Civil Control - Honest Country, Vladislav Litvinchuk, has said the demonstrators will make the protest action open-ended, if the authorities delay the investigation of Poroshenko’s involvement in the embezzlement row in Ukroboronprom.

"We will stay here day and night," Litvinchuk said.He claims that during his presidency, Poroshenko increased his personal wealth 18 times.

"Very little time has passed after the election, but everybody seems to have forgotten who he is," Litvinchuk said. The protesters main demand is the Prosecutor-General's Office and the Interior Ministry investigate the Poroshenko case properly.

"Quite a few complaints have been lodged against him, but the civil servants take no action," he said.

The activists say they are going to stage a similar demonstration in front of the Gladkovsky family. The state concern Ukroboronprom was in the center of a corruption scandal last February, which resulted in a considerable fall of Poroshenko’s popularity rating ahead of the presidential election.

A media inquiry found that Igor Gladkovsky, son of the National Security and Defense Council’s secretary, who is a member of Poroshenko’s inner circle, had allegedly been involved in multi-million fraudulent schemes. The media says Gladkovsky and his partners had arranged for supplying smuggled Russian space parts to Ukrainian defense enterprises at grossly overcharged prices. After the scandalous report the Ukrainian government ordered international auditing of Ukroboronprom.

Top Ukrainian investigative office comments on cases against Poroshenko
Top Ukrainian investigative official comments on cases against Poroshenko

The cases include high treason, money laundering, abuse of power, tax evasion and attempts to usurp judiciary authority.

KIEV, June 3, 2019 - The criminal cases opened against former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko based on lawsuits filed by attorney Andrei Portnov could carry weight in court, Director of the State Investigative Bureau Roman Truba said.

"Lawsuits concerning crimes are registered automatically, this is what the law requires," he said, as cited by the Ukrainian News Agency. "I can’t talk about the conclusions that investigative teams have already drawn because the secrecy of the investigation must be maintained. However, in my view, given the arguments cited in the lawsuits, it is safe to assume that these cases have prospects in court," Truba added.

According to him, an investigation into the lawsuits is well underway.


FSB nabs Jehovah's Witnesses cell in Crimea’s Sevastopol


© Vitaliy Nevar/TASS

SEVASTOPOL, June 5, 2019 - Russia’s Federal Security Service announced on Wednesday it had quashed the Jehovah's Witnesses extremist religious organization (outlawed in Russia) in the Crimean city of Sevastopol.

"Russia’s FSB branch in the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol has thwarted the illegal activity of members of the Sevastopol cell of an international religious organization recognized as extremist on the territory of Russia," the FSB said.

According to the FSB, the Jehovah's Witnesses cell in Sevastopol had been started by a local citizen, who organized gatherings, religious speeches, promoted this religious group’s ideas and recruited new members.

A criminal case has been launched against the follower of the Jehovah's Witnesses into organizing this religious organization's activity. If found guilty, he faces up to 10 years behind bars.

The FSB, police and the National Guard conducted searches in the apartments of the group’s members and in their meeting places. They seized more than 70 items of extremist literature, 250 reports on collecting donations and holding religious services, Jehovah's Witnesses’ booklets, religious lectures, instructions on conspiracy measures and how to communicate with law enforcement agencies, in addition to documents on refusing blood transfusions as well as cell phones, laptops and electronic data storage devices.

Jehovah’s Witnesses is an international religious organization that supports offbeat views on the essence of the Christian faith and provides special interpretations of many commonly accepted notions.

In August 2017, the Russian Justice Ministry placed the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization and its 395 local religious branches on a list of organizations outlawed in the country. The Russian Supreme Court satisfied the claim of the Justice Ministry to shut down the organization on April 20, 2017.

Everything you need to know about Jehovah’s Witnesses
Everything you need to know about Jehovah’s Witnesses
Jehovah’s Witnesses are outlawed in many countries including China, North Korea, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Tajikistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
For people who are anti-Russian, with no or little conscience, who cheers Nazis on and cheers or at least excuses the murder of civilians, then the doors are wide open for jobs in NATO aligned think tanks, newsmedia, governments and social media. The following is an example of this.
Investigative report on Kateryna Kruk:
Kateryna Kruk Ukraine


Facebook’s new public policy manager for Ukraine Kateryna Kruk is a former government official, diehard nationalist, and anti-Russian jingoist who volunteered with the extreme-right party Svoboda during the 2014 US-backed coup.

Facebook’s new public policy manager for Ukraine is nationalist hawk who volunteered with fascist party during US-backed coup (tweets)

When Facebook hired a new public policy manager for Ukraine, the mega-corporation chose one of the most biased candidates possible: a hawkish jingoist who has worked extensively with the Ukrainian government and the European Union.

Kateryna Kruk, who has served as Facebook’s first public policy manager for Ukraine since late May, was an active participant in Ukraine’s 2014 US-backed coup, in which far-right ultra-nationalists violently ousted a democratically elected government accused by the West of getting too close to Russia and replaced it with a pro-NATO one.

During the coup, Kruk volunteered with the fascistic Svoboda party, and defended the extreme-right group from criticism. She is a nationalist hardliner who compares Russian President Vladimir Putin to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, reduces all pro-Russian forces in Ukraine to “terrorists,” and opposes any kind of negotiations with Moscow.

Facebook’s new public policy manager for Ukraine publicly cheered when Turkey shot down a Russian plane, has called for martial law, and claims that Russians are incapable of keeping promises. She has even gone so far as to refer to the Kremlin as a “terrorist organization.”

An investigation by The Grayzone found that Kateryna Kruk said she “thanked” and “blessed” a boy who joined the Ukrainian neo-Nazi militia known as the Azov Battalion. She also gloated over fascist violence against Ukrainian communist politicians, and repeatedly called for the Communist Party of Ukraine to be banned.

The fact that someone with these extreme political views will be policing content for Facebook is already troubling, and raises concerns about whether she will censor sources that she disagrees with. But Kruk’s recent work history presents even more questions about bias and potential conflicts of interest. (Article continues.)
 

Voyageur

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
When Facebook hired a new public policy manager for Ukraine, the mega-corporation chose one of the most biased candidates possible: a hawkish jingoist who has worked extensively with the Ukrainian government and the European Union.
Geez, angelburst29, very disturbing, yet fast on the rise these days are these twisted enforcers enabled by org's like Facebook. :nuts:
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Geez, angelburst29, very disturbing, yet fast on the rise these days are these twisted enforcers enabled by org's like Facebook. :nuts:
I have little doubt, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland had a heavy hand in that job placement, to shore up her ties to pro-Nazi Ukrainian counterparts? Kateryna Kruk's background sounds like she was groomed for the part? With Poroshenko facing several criminal
indictments, I'm looking for signs of Zelensky being ousted and replaced with Saakashili, to complete the Pro-Nazi-stronghold over Ukraine?

Poroshenko would then (probably) make some kind of deal with Saakashili - for immunity against prosecution? There's already two
petitions filed to get rid of Zelensky. Saakahili claiming - he's debating about getting into politics - is pure BS. He wants Zelensky's position.

 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Six people died in a fire in a municipal psychiatric clinic in the Ukrainian southern port of Odessa, Ukraine's emergencies service said on Tuesday.

Six die in fire in Ukraine psychiatric clinic
A firefighter works at the scene of an accident, after the fire occurred in a municipal psychiatric clinic in the Black Sea port of Odessa, Ukraine June 11, 2019. REUTERS/Yevgeny Volokin

A firefighter works at the scene of an accident, after the fire occurred in a municipal psychiatric clinic in the Black Sea port of Odessa, Ukraine June 11, 2019. REUTERS/Yevgeny Volokin

The fire occurred on Monday evening, the service said in a statement giving no reasons of the incident.

Ukraine President asks MPs to sack Prosecutor, appoint foreign minister
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has asked parliament to sack General Prosecutor Yuri Lutshenko and to appoint a former Ukrainian envoy to NATO, Vadym Prystaiko, as new foreign minister, a presidential official said on Tuesday.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Zelensky is in Germany to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Merkel says recovered from shaking bout after drinking water
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy meet at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was seen shaking when she met visiting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy earlier on Tuesday, said she had since drunk water and was feeling better.

Merkel looked as if she were struggling to stand up while she and Zelenskiy listened to national anthems during military honors upon his arrival.

“Since then I have drunk at least three glasses of water - I obviously needed that and so I’m doing very well now,” Merkel said during a joint news conference with Zelenskiy in Berlin.

Merkel: Will only lift Russia sanctions if Ukraine's sovereignty restored
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Zelenskiy react during a news conference in Berlin, Germany, June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that western sanctions against Russia would not be lifted unless Ukraine's sovereignty was restored.

Putin knows we want Ukraine gas transit to continue, says Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a news conference in Berlin, Germany, June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed that he is aware of Germany's demand that Ukraine continues to transport gas to Europe after the opening of the Nordstream 2 pipeline, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Zelensky's rhetoric on Russia similar to Poroshenko, Kremlin says
Zelensky’s rhetoric on Russia similar to Poroshenko, Kremlin says

The rhetoric on Russia of new Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is similar to his predecessor Pyotr Poroshenko, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.

"We are carefully watching this and we tend to agree with the stance, which is now taking shape, that these positions are rather similar," Peskov said, when asked to comment on Zelensky’s statements on Russia.

Peskov also said that Putin will find the right words to say to Zelensky if their meeting takes place.

According to Peskov, he came across one of Zelensky’s interviews, in which he had said he already had a phrase to start a potential meeting with the Russian leader. "President Putin always starts his meetings with the most appropriate words. If such a meeting [with Zelensky] ever takes place, I have no doubt that he [Putin] will use the right words," Peskov noted.

During an interview with Germany’s Bild newspaper, Zelensky was asked what he would say to Putin if he held a meeting with him. The Ukrainian president said he would emphasize that Crimea and Donbass were parts of Ukraine.

"As for Donbass, he should speak about it with Donbass residents and not with Putin," the Kremlin spokesman noted. "As for Crimea, there is nothing to speak about," Peskov added.

He pointed out that the new Ukrainian president’s rhetoric was similar to that of his predecessor Pyotr Poroshenko. "We have been closely following the situation and we are inclined to agree that the similarity in their positions is becoming more and more clear," the Russian presidential spokesman said, commenting on Zelensky’s statements about relations with Russia.

Lavrov proposes Switzerland mediate talks on lifting Donbass blockade
Lavrov proposes Switzerland mediate talks on lifting Donbass blockade
Switzerland's Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov  Mikhail Metzel/TASS

Switzerland's Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, June 19, 2019 - Russia will welcome Switzerland acting as a mediator in lifting the trade and economic blockade imposed on the Donbass Region, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a press conference following talks with his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis.

"Speaking of practical participation in the Ukrainian settlement, then, firstly, Switzerland takes part in the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission," Lavrov pointed out, answering a TASS question on the Swiss mediation on Ukraine. "Bern, as Minister Cassis underlined, believes that it is vital to fully implement the Minsk Agreements, including the humanitarian provisions."

Moreover, the Russian minister drew attention to the fact that Switzerland, like Russia, provides assistance to the Ukrainian citizens, who find themselves in Poroshenko’s regime-imposed trade and economic blockade. "This blockade negatively and seriously affects the humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine," he said.

"If Switzerland joins the efforts to lift this blockade, which violates the provisions of the Minsk Accords, and to convince the Ukrainian leadership to do so, then this mediation would be very welcome," Lavrov said. "At least among those interested in settling the Ukrainian crisis based on the existing agreements."

Ukraine's Constitutional Court backs decree dissolving parliament: Ukrinform
Ukraine's Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday that President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's move to dissolve parliament was constitutional, the Ukrinform news agency reported on Thursday.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
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Ukrainian gay couple hope Danish wedding will change mindsets at home
Gay married couple Roman Ivasiy, a 27-year-old doctor and Anton Pozdnyakov, a 32-year-old event manager, is seen in their flat in Kiev, Ukraine June 19, 2019. Picture taken June 19, 2019.   REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Before Kiev celebrates Pride on Sunday, Roman Ivasiy and Anton Pozdnyakov want to speak publicly about their wedding in the hope it will help change hostile attitudes toward same-sex couples in Ukraine and give courage to those "struck dumb with fear".

Ukraine hosts biggest ever gay pride parade
Police officers guard participants of the Equality March, organized by the LGBT community, in Kiev, Ukraine June 23, 2019.  REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Ukrainian politicians and foreign diplomats joined thousands marching in a gay pride parade in Kiev on Sunday, the biggest and most peaceful ever in the former Soviet country.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
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Ukraine president's party leads poll ahead of July election
A party set up by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who took office last month, continues to lead in an opinion poll published on Wednesday ahead of a snap parliamentary election due on July 21.

Austrian court clears way for U.S. extradition of Ukrainian tycoon Firtash
FILE PHOTO -  Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash arrives at court in Vienna, Austria, February 21, 2017. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

FILE PHOTO - Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash arrives at court in Vienna, Austria, February 21, 2017. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

Austria’s Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a decision granting a U.S. request to extradite Ukrainian tycoon Dmytro Firtash, paving the way for him to face trial in the United States over bribery allegations.

Firtash, who denies wrongdoing, is a former supporter of Ukraine’s ousted pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovich. Firtash made a fortune selling Russian gas to the Kiev government.

A U.S. grand jury indicted Firtash in 2013, along with a member of India’s parliament and four others, on suspicion of bribing Indian government officials to gain access to minerals used to make titanium-based products. Firtash denies wrongdoing.

The Austrian Supreme Court upheld a previous ruling by a lower court that he can be extradited despite his lawyers arguing that he is the victim of political “persecution” by the United States, which he has never visited.

Firtash made no comment as he left the court after the ruling. He is free on bail and, unlike after a previous extradition case, he was not arrested immediately after the verdict was handed down.

Austrian Justice Minister Clemens Jabloner, a civil servant who is part of a caretaker government in place until an election widely expected in September, must now decide whether to extradite Firtash. His ministry was not immediately available for comment.

Darth Vader stands for elections in Ukraine again
Darth Vader stands for elections in Ukraine again
© AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

KIEV, June 26, 2019 - Darth Vader, a Kiev resident, is running for a parliamentarian seat at the snap elections to the Verkhovna Rada from the electoral district №135 in Odessa, the Ukrainian Central Election Commission published the information on its website.

According to the official data, Darth Vader was born on October 4, 1987 in Kiev and is a Ukrainian national. He has lived on the Ukrainian territory for the past five years and holds a higher education degree. He is the director of the Dark Side of the Force company, a member of the Darth Vader Bloc political party and has no previous criminal record.

In 2015, the Darth Vader Bloc nominated 44 Darth Vaders and 1 Master Yoda to run for the Odessa City Council.

The Star Wars’ iconic character Darth Vader emerged on the Ukrainian political scene in November 2011. Since then, people named Darth Vader became the leader of the Internet Party of Ukraine, ran in Odessa and Kiev mayor elections, the presidential elections and the Verkhovna Rada elections in 2014.
 
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