Shaky alliance in support of Ukraine
The more time passes since the start of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the more our international partners, demonstrating in words their support for Kyiv, are trying to flirt with Moscow. Each EU country has its own reasons. But these “personal ambitions” can play a cruel joke on them, and on us.
Kurt Volker: Russia has a 100% command and control of the forces... it has control of the so-called people’s republics. So, this is a 100% Russian-led operation
Special Representative of the U.S. Department of State for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker in an exclusive interview with UNIAN explained why Ukraine needed to retain the special status of Donbas, told about the progress in negotiations with Russia on the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission, and revealed why he had met with Ukraine's opposition leaders during his latest September visit.
Autumn of chances and populism
Exactly one year ago, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Andriy Parubiy called the fall session of the parliament "autumn of reform." The current session, according to him, is the "autumn of chances." But it is unlikely that people's deputies will be able to resist populism on the eve of two election campaigns. UNIAN learned which bills would become a litmus test this political season.
Hundred days of hunger strike: "Sentsov case" timeline
Ukrainian political prisoner, film director Oleh Sentsov is on the brink of life and death. He was illegally imprisoned in the Russian colony in Labytnangi and has been starving for 100 days already.
Suing Russia: New twists and turns in legal battle
Ukraine authorities plan to create an interdepartmental body to consolidate claims against Russia for compensation of damage over the Kremlin's aggression in Donbas and Crimea annexation. Experts consider the move to be timely, although warning that hearings in international courts will be lengthy, while Russia will not pay off its debts voluntarily, so Ukraine needs to be strategically prepared for foreclosures.
Kremlin's backdoor diplomacy
The latest meeting of the Normandy Four at the level of foreign ministers was held early June. It was announced that the Quartet's leaders would meet "in the near future." Now, almost two months since the top diplomats met, Russia is claiming there are no conditions for this. At the same time, Russia continues to discuss Ukraine behind its back, offering its own, peculiar vision of the Donbas "settlement."
MH17: Four years after tragedy
Four years after the deadly shooting down by Russia of the Malaysian Airlines Boeing flight MH17, killing 298 people on board, the world is still far from punishing the perpetrators. Despite the fact that this year the Joint Investigation Group officially established that the passenger jet had been downed by the Buk anti-aircraft missile system owned by one of the Russian army units, Russia still has not admitted its guilt.
Ukrainian interest. Success in Brussels, Procrustean bed for Trump, and surprise in Greece
Brussels has hosted the Ukraine-EU and the NATO summit, and Ukraine can be quite pleased with the outcome of both. Donald Trump taught another lesson of attracting all media attention, but saw an unexpected "postcard greeting from Homeland." Greece is expelling two Russian diplomats.
Taking back Donbas: Will Columbia experience fit Ukraine
Armed conflict in Colombia between the government and militants of the paramilitary organization FARC lasted more than fifty years and ended only in 2016 with the signing of a peace treaty. UNIAN tried to figure out from the former head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Colombia how this experience could be useful to Ukraine.
Ukrainian interest. Relapses of Stalinism, meetings in Belgrade, and Polish diversity
The Russian government cynically combines in its policy certain relapses of Stalinism and Putin's willingness to join the EU in countering cyber threats. Petro Poroshenko paid a visit to Serbia, the country traditionally looking up to Moscow. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew noted that the Russian Orthodox Church has no right to consider Ukraine its canonical territory. Representatives of the Polish government on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the Volyn tragedy sent a number of varying signals to Ukraine.
Ukrainian interest. Battle of ombudswomen, European values, and geopolitical czardas
Trajectories of the efforts of Liudmyla Denisova and Tatyana Moskalkova almost don't intersect while Ukrainian political prisoners continue their hunger strike. PACE adopted a resolution calling for the release of Ukrainian political prisoners, while its Bureau scheduled for October an attempt to return to the Assembly the suspended Russian delegation. The EU Council approved allocation of another financial assistance package to Ukraine, coordinated actions against illegal migrants, and extended sanctions against Russia. Moscow and Washington agreed on the date and venue of the Trump-Putin summit. The Polish Sejm amended the law on the national remembrance institute but left the "Ukrainian" article intact. Hungary continues its geopolitical czardas with Ukraine.
Ukrainian interest. Kremlin's traditional cynicism, Zakarpattia optimism, and migration threat for EU
The Kremlin's stance toward hunger strikes of Ukrainian political prisoners is especially cynical. Moscow and Washington are increasingly discussing the future summit between Putin and Trump. Negotiations of the quartet of Ukrainian and Hungarian ministers in a Zakarpattia resort allow some optimism not only toward Ukraine's participation in the future NATO summit, which is timed with the adoption of the National Security Bill, but also toward the prospects for normalizing bilateral relations. The migration crisis risks becoming a serious problem for the European Union.
Ukrainian interest. Berlin talks, struggle for Sentsov, and Summit in Singapore
The Normandy Four foreign ministers made an attempt to resume discussion of the situation in Donbas. Petro Poroshenko and Andriy Parubiy urged Ukraine's Western partners to refuse from participation in the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 energy project, while the president also took part in the launch of the TANAP line. The European Parliament stood up for Oleh Sentsov and other political prisoners in Russia, followed by the Polish Sejm. The Trump-Kim Summit was a sweet deal for both leaders, while Paul Manafort was finally thrown behind bars in the U.S.
Ukrainian interest. Putin building up tension, Trump's impromptu, and inter-parliamentary trio
The Russian president is going on a counter-offensive in the international arena, trying to bring down the negative resonance surrounding the hunger strike of Oleh Sentsov and other Ukrainian political prisoners. Russia was on top agenda of the G7 summit. A new Italian government with Euroskeptic sentiments has begun its work. Sweden gave permission to the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in its territorial waters. In Kyiv, the creation of the Interparliamentary Assembly of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine was announced.
NABU Auditor Volodymyr Vasylenko: Very often, police and courts act not as law enforcers but as law violators... NABU is called to defend law; therefore, its activities must remain within the legal framework
Volodymyr Vasylenko, a NABU Auditor appointed today by the Verkhovna Rada, an expert in international law, honorary lawyer of Ukraine, Doctor of Law, told UNIAN about the purpose of the audit of anti-graft bodies and his mission as an auditor.
Worse than serial criminals: Why Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia receive huge terms
Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia face with "public flogging," being handed down verdicts on far-fetched charges way harsher than those to outright criminals or even serial killers. UNIAN tried to find out why Ukrainians in Russia face huge prison terms, and who else can be a "person of interest" to Russian security services and find themselves in a risk zone.
Ukrainian interest. Babchenko test, maneuvers around Nord Stream 2, and demonstrative visit
The Babchenko case attracted the attention of various world players to Ukraine. Sergei Lavrov in Minsk recalled the "Steinmeier formula," complete with various "horror stories" about Ukraine. Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Haiko Maas visited Kyiv. Ukraine-Poland partnership is reflected in their cooperation within the UN Security Council. Andriy Parubiy paid a visit to Israel.
"Urgent" anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine
The two-year saga around the creation of the High Anti-Corruption Court has reached the home stretch as last week the relevant bill was finally brought to the Verkhovna Rada's session hall for its final consideration. Although the deputies failed to pass the legislation from first attempt, they have gone through almost a half of some 2,000 amendments.
Ukrainian interest. Russia's aggression in Crimea, Black mark for Moscow, and President's bravery
Russia's moves in Crimea and the Sea of Azov are becoming increasingly provocative. The JIT probe into an MH17 crash gave Australia and the Netherlands an impetus to form their position. PM Groysman held talks in Brussels. Emmanuel Macron did not live up to general hopes during a St. Petersburg visit. In Italy, a Eurosceptic government is being formed. Hungary once again tried to use NATO to exert more pressure on Ukraine. Johannes Hahn sees no reason for abolishing the visa-free regime for Ukraine. Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid visited Donbas.
Ukrainian interest. Putin's tricks, tireless Volker and cold shower from Mingarelli
The Russian president demonstrated an arsenal of various moves to maintain the image of the "great and terrible." Ukraine's Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin quoted Ukrainian film maker Oleh Sentsov, who went on hunger strike in a Russian prison. U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker was persistently promoting a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbas. On the eve of Europe Day in Ukraine, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli disclosed several unpleasant facts for Ukraine.