Ukrainian interest. Klimkin's landmarks, Mogherini's support, and new State Secretary in Washington
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, in an interview with the BBC Ukrainian Service, outlined goals and priorities of Ukrainian diplomacy. Illegal elections in the occupied Crimea are a litmus test of Kyiv-Moscow relations. Federica Mogherini visited Kyiv. Donald Trump replaced his top diplomat. Robert Fico gave a kind of a lesson to Ukrainian politicians.
Week's milestones. Terrorist threat, Kobzar and bloggers, and Magnificent Seven in Forbes list
Volodymyr Ruban has turned from a negotiator beloved by some media outlets into a major terrorist threat. Petro Poroshenko promised a decade of the rise of Ukrainian language and chatted with a group of loyal bloggers. Mikheil Saakashvili is trying to sit on two chairs, engaging in politics in two different countries. Seven Ukrainian nationals are part of the Forbes billionaire list.
Russian opposition's Leonid Gozman: The Russian regime today is similar to that of Mussolini. We must make sure that, after Putin is replaced by someone else, this will not be Hitler
Exactly four years after Crimea's illegal annexation, Russia is holding yet another so-called presidential election. Artists diligently play their roles in a play called "election race", while the final is evident to all - the tsar retains his seat in the Kremlin for at least another six years. UNIAN spoke with a Russian opposition politician Leonid Gozman to hear his views on how this will all go down what is likely to follow.
Federica Mogherini: We would like OSCE SMM to have full access to Ukrainian territory, incl. along Ukraine-Russia border
Prior to her visit to Ukraine, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini has told UNIAN what messages she will communicate to the Ukrainian authorities, whether the EU's more active participation in the settlement of the Donbas crisis is possible and whether the EU is considering proposals concerning the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission to Donbas.
Week's milestones. Anticipation of Euro-Atlanticism, #turnitdown, and Constitutional Court's resonant ruling
Petro Poroshenko outlined the tonality of his future presidential campaign, of which he has not yet spoken out loud. Yulia Tymoshenko called the huge price of the Ukrainian GTS a couple of days before the new round of gas war with Russia. The nationwide #turnitdown campaign helped Naftogaz while running the risk of getting lost in a series of similar appeals. Viktor Yanukovych resurfaced in Moscow. Protesters' tent camp outside the Verkhovna Rada has been dismantled. The Tripartite Contact Group in Minsk announced a general truce starting March 5. The Kivalov-Kolesnichenko language law was declared unconstitutional.
Yanukovych resurfaces at Moscow presser: Main comments on "masters", assets, and return to Ukraine
Ukraine's former president complained to journalists about his difficult life, commented on his letter to Vladimir Putin and relations with Paul Manafort.
Life is no sugar: Main messages of Poroshenko's big presser
A rather rare occasion, the big press conference of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has over the four years turned from a platform for broad discussions into one of the many PR events for the head of state.
Candidates in search of allies ahead of upcoming elections in Ukraine
Disastrously low ratings of all key players who will next year try to compete both for presidency and parliament seats are forcing them to feverishly seek allies and merge. But it remains unclear whether any of them will manage to find common ground and come up with a "single candidate".
Week's milestones. Zealous testimonies, new format for Donbas, and irrepressible Moskal
The anniversary of the Maidan deadly shootings became another occasion to recall the impunity of murderers. Presidential testimony in the Yanukovych treason case was accompanied by excessive zeal by law enforcers. Law "On special aspects of state policy to ensure state sovereignty over the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine in Donetsk and Luhansk regions" came into force. Polls of presidential candidates by "Rating" pleased Yulia Tymoshenko. Rada Speaker Andriy Parubiy promised to enhance parliament's performance. Gennady Moskal did not choose words too carefully.
Operation "Crimea is Ours"
The Yanukovych trial was anticipated for these four long years only because everyone wished to hear the truth about how the Russian annexation of Crimea had actually taken place since high-ranking witnesses are likely to voice facts under oath rather than some speculations.
Week's milestones. Forced departure, counterattack in court, and anti-corruption turbulence in Odesa
Mikheil Saakashvili's experience shows that the readmission deal between Ukraine and EU is fully functioning. NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov battled in court a rather confident group of Viktor Yanukovych lawyers in a high-profile treason case against the former president. The situation in Donbas remains complicated. Odesa Mayor Gennady Trukhanov is safely back in office despite an ongoing investigation of his alleged complicity in embezzlement.
Week’s milestones. Ball in Austria, breakfast in U.S., and initiatives in Ukraine
Petro Poroshenko’s participation in the Vienna Ball sparked a harsh reaction in social networks. The overseas trip of dozens of parliamentarians to take part at a prayer breakfast in Washington complicated the operations of the Verkhovna Rada. PM Groysman tried on himself a toga of a constitutionalist. Mikheil Saakashvili lost the appeal for a refugee status. Ex-MP Oleksandr Shepelev returned to Ukraine rather unexpectedly. A number of politicians came up with a number of initiatives in the context of the presidential campaign. NABU Director Artem Sytnyk called his agency ineffective without an Anti-Corruption Court.
Week’s milestones. Groysman’s spring, renaming by Lutsenko, and Saakashvili return
Ukraine’s prime minister promised "a spring of reform", while his Cabinet laid off fiscal chief Roman Nasirov. The prosecutor general while in Brussels spoke about anti-corruption efforts and while in Kyiv – about the reasons to rename "Boyko’s drilling rigs". The NSDC secretary announced the creation of cyber warfare units and successful tests of Ukrainian-made cruise missiles. The newly-created "National Squads" caused quite a stir in social media. Mikheil Saakashvili, whom the court earlier put on a curfew, resumed mass rallies of his supporters.
Yuriy Lutsenko: I don’t support the "jail three of your friends" formula. I think it’s better to choose friends more carefully not to face the need to jail them
The Prosecutor General of Ukraine told UNIAN whether the PGO would be opening cases against Russian deputies and judges of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, whose actions led to the annexation of Crimea and Moscow’s subsequent aggression against Ukraine. He also spoke about the developments in the cases of Yanukovych allies Kurchenko, Klymenko and Stavytsky, and whether the prosecutors withdrew tax evasion claims to Finance Minister Danyliuk.
Week’s milestones. Significant anniversaries, revival of Central Election Commission, and updates from political parties
Ukraine marked the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of independence and the 99th anniversary of the Unification Act. Popular ratings don’t let any contestants in the upcoming presidential race relax. The president suggested that the composition of the Central Election Commission be renewed, forcing Yulia Tymoshenko to cut her winter vacation. The Yanukovych treason trial continues. Reshuffles stroke several parties at a time.
Week’s milestones. Change of approaches in Donbas, growth forecasts by Groysman, and "schemes" for President
The Verkhovna Rada this week adopted a law "On the special aspects of state policy to ensure state sovereignty over the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions." The prime minister believes that the average salary in 2018 will grow to UAH 10,000. The Prosecutor General reported to the Rada national security and defense committee on the Yanukovych assets seizure. Investigation journalists from Schemes TV show reported on the overseas vacation of the Ukrainian president.
Ukraine's key to NATO
When Ukrainian officials talk about possibilities for the country to join NATO, they mostly face criticism toward such an initiative. And this criticism is not unfounded as Ukraine has long lost its Membership Action Plan (MAP). However, Kyiv does have a key to NATO. It’s just that this key should be applied properly.
Reintegration for the sake of it
The further the discussions on the bill on the reintegration of Donbas go, the less understanding why it was at all necessary to submit the draft for the second reading in its current "finalized" form, especially if we take into account what risks it carries.
Week’s milestones. Breakthrough of National Police, Groysman’s economy, and elements of influence
The national police said they apprehended the suspect in the murder of lawyer Iryna Nozdrovska. Petro Poroshenko met with Ukraine’s delegation to the Tripartite Contact Group in Minsk. PM Volodymyr Groysman focused on the economy. Mikheil Saakashvili is changing tactics. Ukraine is attacked by “exposing” fake news.
Week’s milestones. Resonant murder, Themis’s stepson, and Orthodox trends
The murder of a Ukrainian lawyer Iryna Nozdrovska sparked public outrage. Mikheil Saakashvili resembles a stepson of Themis, which seriously limits the boundaries of his political activity. The behavior of representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Zaporizhia once again restarted the process of forming a separate Ukrainian Orthodox church. The government decision to impose a lower speed limit in populated areas has become a real test for the perception of transformations by Ukrainian society.