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.
Week's balance: 4G licenses worth UAH 5.4 billion, Gazprom's Stockholm syndrome, and hryvnia ascent
Mobile operators will pay UAH 5.4 billion to the state budget for their 4G licenses, Russia's Gazprom informed Naftogaz of their intention to terminate gas contracts, prompting the European Union to reflect on its energy security, while the hryvnia continues strengthening against higher foreign currency earnings of exporters - these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
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.
Crime without punishment: Why corruption is flourishing in Ukrainian universities
The public has been raging in social networks throughout the weekend over the court ruling lifting a suspension from post head of a Kyiv-based medical university Kateryna Amosova. At the same time, cases are not uncommon in Ukraine when courts take the side of rectors, deans and professors who were not just involved in scandals and fights with government officials, but were caught red-handed in blatant corruption acts.
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.
Week's balance: Stockholm victory for Naftogaz, Gazprom's new gas war, and major aid from EU
Naftogaz claimed a resounding victory in the Stockholm Arbitration over Gazprom, in response to which the Russian gas monopoly decided to go for a despicable revenge in contravention of the Swedish court decisions, but Ukraine holds its ground and intends to seek penalties. The National Security and Defense Council extended sanctions against Russian banks, while the European Union promised a new program of macro-financial assistance worth EUR 1 billion - these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
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.
Week's balance: American locomotives to get on Ukrainian tracks, IMF demanding anti-corruption court, inspections of Ukrainian businesses returning
Ukraine plans to purchase several hundred American diesel locomotives over the next decade, the IMF insists that the country create an Anti-Corruption Court and implement reform of the energy sector, while the government unexpectedly lifted the moratorium on business inspections, and the NBU reported on disappointing performance by banks in 2017 - these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
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.
Ukraine and IMF: Critical point
Without external financial support, Ukraine will in the coming years not be able to pay back its debts. UNIAN clears up why the country's key creditor, the International Monetary Fund, insists on raising gas prices and creating an independent anti-corruption court in order to continue providing assistance to Kyiv.
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 balance: IMF mission's visit, government report, Ryanair's second coming
The IMF technical mission visited Kyiv, the Cabinet of Ministers reported on its performance in 2017, while the European discounter Ryanair announced its intention to undertake a second attempt to enter the Ukraine market - these are the key economic news of the past week.
Same-sex marriage in Ukraine: accept or deny?
When on Valentine's Day the Minister of Justice personally greets Ukrainian newlyweds who decided to bond on this romantic occasion, perhaps it will also be great to recall that there are also many same-sex couples in Ukraine who, unfortunately, are deprived of the right to create a formal family.
No investment boost for Ukraine despite interest
The investments so necessary for the stable growth of the Ukrainian economy leave much to be desired. Investors are in no hurry to enter the Ukrainian market, and it’s not so much because of the situation in the east of the country, but because of corruption, poor business climate, and a slowdown in reform. Experts are convinced that if nothing changes in the near future, no investment growth is to be expected.
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 balance: IMF is back, Naftogaz announces gas purchase from Gazprom, hryvnia growing
IMF’s technical mission is expected to arrive in Kyiv on Feb 12, Naftogaz reported it would soon start purchasing gas from Gazprom, the Verkhovna Rada resumed its work after the New Year holidays, adopting a number of important laws, while the hryvnia rate pleased with the latest strengthening - these are the main economic developments of the outgoing week.
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.