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August 1, 2014

Moscow Purges Rebel Leadership in Donbas, Not about to Back Down

As pro-Moscow gunmen continue to lose territory in the face of a Ukrainian military offensive, the Russian government has been tightening its grip over the anti-Kyiv forces fighting in the Donbas. As an extension of Russian policy toward Ukraine, the pro-Russian fighters have always towed the Moscow line. Despite the proclamations of some in the Ukrainian government, pro-Russian militants have always had sizable portions of local Ukrainians in their ranks. Over the past several weeks, however, Russian fighters with close ties to the Kremlin have been purging the militant leadership of locals.

July 30, 2014

Are Moscow-backed Fighters Terrorists?

Appearing on CNN last week with Christiane Amanpour, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko urged his host to refer to anti-government fighters in the Donbas as “terrorists” instead of “separatists,” the label commonly applied to pro-Moscow fighters in the Donbas. “Please, Christiane, don’t name these separatists. There is [sic] no separatists there. They are terrorists, they are killing innocent people, and I think that their attempt to destroy the evidence were useless,” Poroshenko said.

July 29, 2014

Human Rights Watch Should Not Stoop to Russia Today’s “Standards”

On 24 July 2014 Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a report, the opening paragraph of which read: “Unguided Grad rockets launched apparently by Ukrainian government forces and pro-government militias have killed at least 16 civilians and wounded many more…” The fact that the later paragraphs of the same report reproof “insurgent forces” for “deploying forces and weapons in densely populated areas” is irrelevant. In the context of all-out information war waged by Kremlin against Ukraine, the damage to global efforts aimed at restoring peace and justice in Ukraine, has already been done.

July 23, 2014

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko Establishes the National Council of Reforms

President of Ukraine has just signed a Decree №614/2014 "On ensuring the implementation of unified state policy of reforms in Ukraine," which effectively creates the National Council of Reforms (NCR), as reported by the website of the president. The Council maintains the status of a special advisory body under the President of Ukraine on issues of strategic planning, coordination and implementation of Ukraine’s unified state policy of reforms based on international best practices.

July 18, 2014

Malaysia Airlines Crash: Pro-Russian Terrorists Caught Red-Handed

Boeing 777 of Malaysia Airlines was hit and crashed in Donetsk region near Ukraine-Russian border after 4 p.m. Kyiv time (GMT +2 – ed.). Reportedly, all 295 people on board, including 80 children, have died. According to a 4:50 pm post in a social network Vkontakte by the known pro-Russian terrorist Girkin-Strelkov the downing of the plane was a “successful operation” against the Ukrainian Armed Forces. At the time Girkin-Strelkov didn’t realize that this was an international passenger plane travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala-Lumpur through the territory of Ukraine.

July 15, 2014

Weighing Far-Right Movements in Ukraine: How a Minor Factor is Turned into a Bogeyman

The non-ostracism of far right movements from the political scene in Ukraine risks having serious repercussions on its democratic transition and national unification. Paradoxically, the danger does not stem from the ability of radical right-wing parties to drive Ukraine toward a nationalistic authoritarian drift; conversely, it is generated by the fear and divisiveness driven by the far right. Since the overthrow of Yanukovych’s government last February, alarmist statements from many commentators, in many cases neither experts nor those particularly knowledgeable about Ukraine, have promoted the idea that the leading force in EuroMaidan protests was right-wing extremism.

July 9, 2014

Russia’s Undeniable Role in the Proxy War Against Ukraine

Most of the world may well be tolerating Russia’s actions in its ongoing proxy war against Ukraine, but the catalogue of damning evidence against the Kremlin’s role in the crisis continues to grow almost on a daily basis. There are undisputed facts, and then there are lies and propaganda in the middle of the information war. Let’s take a look at the evidence.

July 7, 2014

It is High Time for Italy to Step Forward in the Ukraine Crisis

While the terrible unrest in eastern Ukraine continues to claim many victims and afflict thousands of people, the grief of Ukrainians who are living in Italy loudly resounds across the nation. This expatriate community is doing what it can from a distance, raising money and sending it back home to Ukraine. Some individuals are even training and organizing themselves to help in the event of war with Russia. With approximately 225,000 people living and working all over the peninsula, from Lombardy in the North to Campania in the South, Ukrainians form in Italy their largest foreign community than in any other European Union country, according to Eurostat data.

July 4, 2014

Why We Can’t Let Ukraine Lose Donbas

Just a few days ago Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, told his nation that they were at war. The Ukrainian government, after attempting peace talks for several days, was ending its unilateral ceasefire with pro-Russian forces in the Donbas region, which it has been fighting for over two months. “They have publicly declared their unwillingness to support the peace plan as a whole and particularly the ceasefire,” he said. Militants violated the truce for more than a hundred times, reported Kyivpost. Thus Ukrainian forces, including the army, National Guard, Ministry of Interior forces, and paramilitary battalions have officially renewed the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO).

June 27, 2014

Ukraine Takes Huge Leap toward the EU

Ukraine and the European Union signed the final, economic part of the Association Agreement (AA), forging closer ties between the signatories with a long-term perspective of closer political association and economic integration...

June 27, 2014

Finnish Model is Not a Solution for Ukraine

They obviously believed that Russia would be trustworthy negotiating partner and that an escalation of the crisis was preventable.

June 18, 2014

Yanukovych, Then Putin, Violated the Donbas’ Trust

Viktor Yanukovych, then Vladimir Putin, betrayed the residents of the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. First, Yanukovych’s misrule, empty promises, and cowardly departure from Ukraine undermined the Donbas’ people. Then, Putin’s deceitful propaganda machine, support for armed thugs, and public abandonment of pro-Russian separatists left the Donbas in the crossfire and at the mercy of armed gangs. The Donbas is increasingly unlikely to continue to blindly trust pro-Russian separatists, especially as the rest of Ukraine moves forward and starts the painful process of eliminating corruption and building a modern democratic state.

June 17, 2014

Russia’s Double Standards Conflict with Reality

In a political and economic race for power, the Kremlin seems to be following a particular Machiavellian principle found in The Prince: “Keeping and expanding his power is the prince’s goal, his virtue, and therefore any means necessary to achieve that goal becomes justified.” Russia is using double standards while justifying its involvement in Ukraine. President Putin claims to be “protecting the rights of Russians” to justify the annexation of Crimea, while in Turkmenistan he ignored human rights violations against Russian citizens because natural gas was a top priority.

June 4, 2014

Recent Polls Show that Ukrainians Support Politicians with Track Record of Success

When it comes to selecting their political leaders, Ukrainians no longer seem to believe in empty promises. The latest poll data by the group Rating shows that following the Euromaidan protests, in recent Presidential, Kyiv mayoral and city council elections, Ukrainian voters have clearly expressed their will to keep authorities accountable. According to the election results, citizens of Ukraine no longer support politicians who have demonstrated poor leadership skills, and instead prefer pro-European candidates who can point to tangible accomplishments in business, politics or sports.

May 29, 2014

Is Russia a State Sponsor of Terrorism?

A citizens’ petition on the United States White House website calls for the American government to include the Russian Federation as a “State Sponsor of Terrorism.” Currently, more than 100,000 people have signed the petition, which is above the threshold that mandates an official response from the Obama Administration. The petition claims that Russia’s support for armed separatism in Ukraine fits the necessary criteria to designate it a state sponsor of terrorism, and calls on the Obama Administration to follow American law accordingly.

May 28, 2014

Early Presidential Elections Consolidate Ukrainians

With over 54 percent of Ukrainians casting their votes for Petro Poroshenko in the early Presidential elections, the Kremlin’s myth of ‘separated Ukraine’ fell apart. Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, U.S., and former economic adviser to President Putin, Andrei Illarionov commented that by all of the Ukrainian regions giving their preferences to a pro-Western candidate, Putin’s favored theory on Ukraine being separated into west and southern-east cannot stand any formal and legal argument.

May 28, 2014

Ukrainian Parliament Works to Build Dialogue and Peace

Ukraine’s will to build peace and find solutions to existing problems became even more evident after the Ukrainian parliament approved a Memorandum of Understanding and Peace last week. Reportedly, the initiative, which became possible due to the recent efforts of Ukraine’s Interim Government and the Parliament, as well as through the results of recent elections, aims to effectively encourage dialogue within society to solve the Ukrainian crisis.

May 26, 2014

CEC Preliminary Report: Petro Poroshenko to Become Ukraine’s Next President

More than 54 percent of Ukrainians cast their votes for Petro Poroshenko as their next new president, according to preliminary results reported by the Central Elections Commission (CEC) of Ukraine as of 17:00 on May 26, 2014. Poroshenko is followed by Yulia Tymoshenko with 13.13 percent of the votes and Oleh Lyashko who received the support of 8.48 percent of Ukrainians. So far the CEC has processed about 78.14 percent of voter bulletins. The total number of voters in Ukraine who participated in May 25th presidential elections was 15,071,544 people, reported the Commission on its website.

May 24, 2014

61 percent of Russians Think that Parts of Neighboring Countries Belong to Russia

A recent Pew Research Center poll in Russia shows that 61 percent of Russian citizens think that parts of neighboring countries rightfully belong to the Russian Federation. The results of the Pew poll, conducted in April of this year, were either directly or indirectly related to Russia’s March annexation of Crimea and support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. The poll, perhaps unsurprisingly, also showed that Putin’s popularity in Russia has increased by 14 percentage points since 2012, from 69 percent to 83 percent, in the wake of the Crimean crisis.

May 23, 2014

Ukraine’s Authorities Disclose Evidence of Russia’s Involvement in Eastern Ukraine’s Unrest

Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council as well as the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) disclosed details which confirm the involvement of the Russian Federation in the upheaval in Eastern Ukraine. In particular, Ukraine’s authorities affirmed that the terrorists who are operating in eastern Ukraine had been trained in the Russian city Rostov-on-Don; pseudo-Euromaidan activists were leaking information to their Kremlin collaborators and an already-detained Russian professional sniper was being deployed for a mission in the East of Ukraine.

May 11, 2014

Eastern Ukraine’s Pseudo Referendum Mocks Key Principles of Democratic Voting

Sponsored by the Russian Federation eastern Ukraine’s illegal referendum blatantly violates key principles of democratic voting, stated today the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine. Eyewitnesses and international journalists report of the scarcity of voting cabins, circulation of pre-voted plebiscite ballots, gun threats to local civilians, and blatant negligence of identity and document checks during the voting in the cities of Eastern Ukraine. Ukraine’s government and the international community have already declared the illegitimacy of the referendum, taking place on May 11, 2014, while the separatist leaders report about the 90 percent voting turnout, the establishment of the People’s Republic of Donetsk and the launch of Russian Ruble shortly after referendum.

May 10, 2014

Russia Continues to Blatantly Manipulate the West about Absence of Russian Troops in Ukraine

Officials of the Russian Federation continue to attempt to convince the West of the absence of Russian military involvement in Eastern Ukraine. In the meantime, Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) continue to uncover additional evidence of Russian engagement in fueling the violent confrontations on Ukraine’s eastern border.

May 9, 2014

Ukraine’s Anti-Terrorist Operation’s Death Toll Rises as Russia Violates Geneva Commitments

Since the beginning of the Ukrainian government’s antiterrorist operation in April, 14 Ukrainian soldiers, including SBU (Ukrainian intelligence) agents, have been killed and 66 have suffered injuries. The death toll is likely to continue to rise as the government of the Russian Federation appears to be ignoring the Geneva accords, issuing controversial or even false statements, as well as providing support to terrorists and separatists in the east of Ukraine. In contrast, Ukraine has been fulfilling its obligations under the Geneva Agreement, as numerous foreign officials have stated.

May 8, 2014

UN Headquarters Reviews Legal Dimensions of Ukraine Crisis

Today, a team of international lawyers will present their report, Crisis in Ukraine: Its Legal Dimensions and recommendations on the ongoing crisis and armed conflict in Ukraine at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Prepared for Razom, a Ukrainian-American human rights organization, the well-documented 76-page report covers all the critical legal aspects of the conflict: legal conclusions on Eastern Ukraine, annexation of Crimea, Budapest Memorandum on international security guarantees, and human rights and humanitarian law at issue.

April 30, 2014

National Poll: Ukrainians Oppose Russia and Want to Join the EU

The vast majority of Ukrainians don’t support Russian intervention in Ukraine and think Ukraine should remain a united, unitary state with strong ties to the EU. These were the results of a recent survey conducted in Ukraine by the public opinion and market research company Baltic Surveys/The Gallup Organization on behalf of the International Republican Institute (IRI).

April 28, 2014

Interim Ukrainian Government Presents Tangible Achievements After 60 Days in Office

The signing of Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, removal of EU tariffs on imports of Ukrainian goods, streamlining of the licensing process in the agricultural sector – these were just some notable accomplishments of Ukraine’s interim government in the past 60 days. Other achievements included the reduction of taxes on medicine, the establishment of the National Guard, reform of the judicial sector, strengthening of anti-corruption policy, introduction of new decentralization policy, and negotiation of energy reform.

April 17, 2014

International Stakeholders: Russian Military Provokes Conflict in Eastern Ukraine

The political and military tension at Ukraine’s Eastern border reached a new high when Russian special forces were caught instigating a series of conflicts in a number of Ukraine’s Eastern cities, namely in Donetsk, Horlivka (Gorlovka), Luhansk, Kramatorsk, Chervony Lyman and Slovyansk. While the pro-Russian media continue to present an image of ‘Donetsk self-defense units fighting for their freedoms and liberties’, the facts on the ground present an altogether different reality: Russian special forces – Spetsnaz – have invaded Eastern Ukraine, marking a serious escalation in the conflict.

April 14, 2014

Ukraine Calls for New Security System in Europe – Interim Prime Minister Yatsenyuk

Ukraine is issuing an appeal to international partners to begin work on a new security system in Europe. This statement was released by the interim Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk during the Kyiv Security Forum, reported UNIAN. The statement of the Ukrainian politician echoes those made by James Sherr, a representative of one the world’s leading think tanks, Chatham House. According to Sherr, Russia’s actions in Ukraine pose the most direct challenge yet to the fundamental rules of the European security system established after the war with Russia’s direct participation.

April 9, 2014

PACE Looks into Revoking Russia’s Voting Rights

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will vote tomorrow on whether to introduce sanctions against Russia which may include stripping the Russian delegation of its powers in the organization and denying RF the right to vote, said Serhiy Sobolev, the head of Ukraine’s “Fatherland” (“Batkivshchyna”) party. This had been confirmed earlier by the head of Russia’s delegation to PACE Aleksei Pushkov. The last time a similar measure was introduced against Russia was during the war in Chechnya. The measures, if introduced, are a response to Russia’s military intervention in Crimea, followed by the illegal annexation of the peninsula, which was carried out in violation of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum.

April 7, 2014

Ex-President of Georgia: Situation in Eastern Ukraine Resembles Crimean Scenario

The violent seizure of administrative buildings, demand for a local referendum, and the Russian tri-color being hoisted on top of the city council – these were the preliminary acts of Russia’s military intervention in Ukrainian Crimea not so long ago. Today, the same actions appear to mark a new stage of the Kremlin’s aggression against Eastern Ukraine, namely in the cities of Donetsk, Kharkiv and Luhansk. The Crimean scenario is to unfold in Eastern Ukraine within the next 48 hours and Ukraine must react, warned former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili in a statement today.

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