#Dutch PM says will push for ‚yes‘ in #Ukraine #vote


Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he would argue for a „yes“ vote in an upcoming referendum on a treaty on closer ties between the European Union and Ukraine which threatens to overshadow his presidency of the 28-member bloc.

Rutte’s remarks came a day after European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker warned that a rejection of the treaty by Dutch voters could lead to a „continental crisis“.

While the vote, on establishing an association agreement between the EU and its troubled eastern neighbor, is not binding, most Dutch parties have said they would feel bound to take a „no“ into account.

„I will vote ‚yes‘ in the referendum,“ Rutte said on public television’s Buitenhof show. „And I and my colleagues will explain why we are doing so. It’s about free trade … not an accession treaty as its opponents say.“

Anti-European website GeenStijl collected 430,000 signatures to trigger the plebiscite, claiming an association agreement with Ukraine would lead eventually to full membership for the war-torn country of 45 million.

Juncker warned that a Dutch rejection of the treaty would play into the hands of Russia, which is backing separatist rebels in a war in eastern Ukraine and annexed its Crimean peninsula in 2014.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is an unpopular figure in the Netherlands, where he is widely blamed for the 2014 downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine, in which 298 died, two-thirds of them Dutch.

While Rutte said Juncker’s remarks were over-the-top, a „no“ vote would also evoke memories of the Dutch rejection in a 2005 referendum of a proposed EU constitution, which threw the continental body into a year-long crisis.

„It’s the 2005 trauma. I have an incredible feeling of deja vu,“ said one government official who campaigned on the losing side of that vote.

While most Dutch parties are pro-European, the anti-EU, anti-Muslim Freedom Party of right-wing populist Geert Wilders is leading in polls.

A Maurice De Hond poll on Sunday showed the Freedom Party would win 41 seats in the 150-member parliament in elections now, more than the two coalition parties combined.

(Reporting By Thomas Escritt; Editing by Ros Russell)

#OSCE helps #Ukraine to introduce information management system for mine action


PRESS RELEASE

OSCE helps Ukraine to introduce information management system for mine action

MEREFA, Ukraine, 4 December 2015– A first group of 12 Ukrainian emergency personnel officers completed a four-day training course today on operation of an information management system for mine action (IMSMA), organized by the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine at the State Emergency Service training facility in Kharkiv oblast .

Developed and delivered by the expert hub Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining (GIHDC), the system helps to systematize and store gathered data on specific geographic areas contaminated by explosive hazards. The IMSMA is used in many post-conflict countries to ensure effective clearance of areas affected by military actions, enabling decision-makers to plan, implement and monitor humanitarian demining operations in line with international standards.

“Ukraine’s history demonstrates that explosive remnants of war threaten people’s lives even decades after the conflict. You can still discover unexploded mines and shells from the Second World War here,” said Jeffrey Erlich, Deputy Head of OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine.  “The introduction of IMSMA will help Ukraine to respond to old challenges and deal with the consequences of the recent hostilities in Donbass.”

Since June 2014, Ukraine’s State Emergency Service deminers disposed of 195,000 unexploded munitions, including old ones and those discovered in the conflict-affected areas of Donbass. The OSCE Project Co-ordinator provided equipment and trained personnel to help streamline operations and to introduce IMSMA in four regions of Ukraine, where it was successfully piloted this year. The new target is to expand the use of this system in six more regions, including Donetsk and Luhansk early next year.

For PDF attachments or links to sources of further information, please visit: http://www.osce.org/

Contacts:
Andrii Dziubenko
16 Striletska Street
01030 Kyiv
Ukraine
mobile: +380506767734
andrii.dziubenko@osce.org

#OSCE helps develop standard for #legal education of #bachelor degree-students in #Ukraine


OSCE.1

KYIV, 9 November 2015 – A draft state standard for legal education at bachelor degree-level, developed with the help of the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine, was presented to the legal community and handed over to the Education and Science Ministry at an event in Kyiv on Monday.

“Recognizing the fundamental role of legal professionals and lawyers in strengthening the rule of law in the country, I believe that ensuring high-quality legal education in law schools is an investment in youth, as quality education in this sphere remains an essential precondition for the further democratic development of Ukraine,” said Vaidotas Verba, the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine.

The draft was developed with the prominent role of the Law Faculty of Ivan Franko Lviv National University and representatives of other law schools from across Ukraine. Before finalization, the draft was widely discussed at nationwide events with the involvement of officials from the Education and Science Ministry, and was also analysed by international experts.

The presentation of the draft state standard was supported by the USAID FAIR Justice project.

The OSCE Project Co-ordinator has been co-operating with laws schools and assisting the government of Ukraine in improving legal education on various levels since 2006.

#OSCE supports discussions on #Ukraine’s national strategy for developing #civil society in 2016- 2020


KYIV, 6 November 2015 – An OSCE-organized conference in Kyiv brought together representatives of the government and civil society to discuss the national strategy for developing civil society over the next four years.

OSCE- Ambassador Vaidotas Verba, the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine

Ambassador Vaidotas Verba | OSCE

That Time #Jimmy Carter Emailed #Putin About #ISIS


Given that their country’s humor is so steeped in subtle and sophisticated irony, Russian officials’ frequent inability to get a joke can be pretty mind-blowing. And it appears that former U.S. President Jimmy Carter just had a good laugh at Moscow’s expense.

Speaking this weekend, the 91-year-old Carter said he had offered to provide Russia with accurate maps of Syria so its pilots could actually target Islamic State positions in the country—rather than U.S.-backed opponents of President Bashar al-Assad. Carter, who was among a group of prominent former global leaders who met Putin this past spring, said the Russian president had provided him with an email address.

“I sent him a message on Thursday [October 15] asking him if he wanted a copy of our map so he could bomb accurately in Syria,” Carter saidHe added that the next day the Russian Embassy “called down and told me they would like very much to have the map. So in the future, if Russia doesn’t bomb the right places, you’ll know it’s not Putin’s fault but it’s my fault.”

The maps Carter spoke of are publicly available on the Carter Center’s website, which on October 8 published a report saying that the vast majority of Russian airstrikes in Syria were not hitting Islamic State targets.In the video of Carter’s remarks posted in YouTube, it is clear that the 39th U.S. president, who is known to have a playful sense of humor, was just having a little fun. But it appears that Moscow didn’t pick up on the joke. The Interfax news agency flashed the following: “RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY CONFIRMS THAT EX-U.S. PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER HANDED MAPS INDICATING ISLAMIC STATE’S CURRENT LOCATIONS IN SYRIA TO RUSSIAN EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON.”

Russian news sites followed up with stories citing Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying that “it was with a big thanks that we accepted this gesture by the former U.S. president who obviously is sincerely calling for joint efforts in the fight against terror and is concerned about the fate of the Syrian people.”

Zakharova added that she hoped that another Carter—U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter—would continue this spirit of cooperation. Perhaps Zakharova was joining in on the joke. But history suggests otherwise.

The Foreign Ministry is far from the only part of official Russia that has trouble understanding contemporary humor. Back in May, prosecutors in Rostov questioned the organizer of a local spelling bee about whether he has any connections to so-called “grammar Nazis.”

Grammar Nazi, of course, is a slang term for somebody who habitually—and often annoyingly—corrects other people’s grammar. In recent years, it has developed into a satirical Internet meme, which uses imagery that vaguely resembles swastikas. But prosecutors in Rostov didn’t get the joke. They interrogated spelling bee organizer Aleksei Pavlovsky, asking him whether he believed people who make spelling and grammatical mistakes should be exterminated.

This post appears courtesy of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

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We can choose to alleviate suffering. We can choose to work together for peace. We can make these changes — and we must.
Jimmy Carter, Nobel Lecture

#Odessa verwandelt #Lenin-Statue in Denkmal an #Darth Vader


Die ukrainische Faszination für Darth Vader ist ungebrochen – eine Fabrik in Odessa hat nun das weltweit erste Darth-Vader-Denkmal enthüllt. Die Figur ist das Werk des lokalen Künstlers Alexander Milow, der vorher eine gigantische Roboterstatue in der Stadt Juschne, außerhalb von Odessa, errichtete.

Milows Statue ist mehr als Kunst: In Vaders Kopf ist ein Router eingebaut, der WLAN in die Umgebung des Sith Lords ausstrahlt.

Darth-Vader-Denkmal des Künstlers Alexander Milow

Milow schuf die Vader-Statue, indem er eine existierende Leninstatue umwidmete, die vorher an der Fabrik stand. Die Statue sollte abgerissen werden, im Einklang mit dem neuen ukrainischen Dekommunisierungs-Gesetz, welches die Entfernung aller geographischen Namen vorsieht, die Lenin oder anderen kommunistischen Führern gewidmet sind. Die Arbeiter der Odessiter Fabrik jedoch bestanden darauf, dass die Statue umgestaltet, und nicht abgerissen werden sollte.

Herr Lenin

“Alles fließt, alles ändert sich, alte Figuren müssen neuen weichen, so dreht sich die Welt,” sagte der Lagerverwalter der Fabrik.

Designers from #Spain, #Morocco and #Ukraine win #OSCE competition highlighting #security risks of #climate change


VIENNA, 14 October 2015 – The OSCE is pleased to announce the winners of its visual design contest to help raise awareness about the security risks linked to climate change. Co-sponsored by eYeka, a global community of creative designers, the OSCE competition attracted 125 entries from 22 OSCE participating States and Partners for Co-operation.

First prize went to Alvion of Spain, whose powerful illustration entitled ‘Dangerous Deals’ depicts an ominous handshake between parched land and bullets, capturing the link between climate change and conflict. He said he wanted to create an image which “stays in the memory of whoever sees it.”

Dangerous Deals by Fran Hdez from Spain

Samira from Morocco, who won second prize for her striking visual of the planet Earth draining away through an hourglass, with communities destroyed and families displaced due to climate change. She emphasized that she wanted to “show through the symbolism of the hourglass the urgency and the time factor that we must act quickly.”

We can't ignore climate change by Samira from Morocco

Aghidel from Ukraine, who won third prize for an image of an innocent child surrounded by environmental destruction, wanted to juxtapose the “defencelessness of a child with the ravages of the insatiable consumption of resources, air and water pollution, deforestation, and more.”

Earth Shields US by Aghidel from Ukraine

The competition was held in the run-up to an OSCE Security Days event devoted to climate change and security, which will take place on 28 October 2015 in Vienna. The event, which is open to the public, will bring together senior representatives of governments, regional and international organizations, NGOs, academia, philanthropy, business and entrepreneurs for an open, interactive discussion on the most effective approaches to counteracting the security risks of climate change.

#Literaturnobelpreis 2015 für #Swetlana Alexijewitsch


Literaturnobelpreis 2015 für Swetlana Alexijewitsch

Der diesjährige Literaturnobelpreis geht an die weissrussische Journalistin und Schriftstellerin Swetlana Alexijewitsch und damit zum 14. Mal an eine Frau.

Literaturnobelpreis 2015 für Swetlana Alexijewitsch

Nach Worten des Nobelpreiskomitees erhält sie die Auszeichnung «für ihr vielstimmiges Werk, das dem Leiden und Mut in unserer Zeit ein Denkmal setzt».

Weltweit berühmt wurde sie 1997 mit «Tschernobyl. Eine Chronik der Zukunft». In akribischer Arbeit eignete sie sich die Fakten rund um den Supergau an, fand hier aber nur bedingt zum Verständnis. Als sie den Ort des Geschehens sah, die tote Erde, als sie mit den Menschen in den verlassenen Dörfern sprach, erkannte sie: «Wir Weissrussen sind die ersten Menschen, die eine ganz einzigartige Erfahrung haben. Wir brauchen das, was Apokalypse genannt wird, nicht mehr zu erproben.»

Als 2011 die zweite Auflage des Buches erschien, war Alexijewitschs Untertitel «Eine Chronik der Zukunft» zur erschreckenden Realität geworden: Im März des Jahres hatte sich die Nuklear-Katastrophe im japanischen Fukushima ereignet.

Ihre Bücher sind inzwischen in 35 Sprachen übersetzt worden.

Swetlana Alexijewitsch, Jahrgang 1948, erhielt 2013 den Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels. Als Reporterin hat sie eine ganz besondere Methode entwickelt: Aus einzelnen Stimmen lässt sie einen Chor entstehen, aus dem sich der Cantus Firmus des Alltags erhebt, die Not der einfachen Leute, die Lügen des Jahrhunderts, das Elend der Sowjetunion und das noch elendere Elend das folgte.

To Keep #Ukraine Free, We Need to Keep the #Sanctions on #Putin


This article first appeared on the Atlantic Council site.

Ever since Moscow’s „little green men“ appeared in Crimea, the West has been anxious to provide Russian President Vladimir Putin an „off-ramp“ from his aggression in Ukraine. U.S., French, German and European Union diplomats have made numerous efforts to find a face-saving way for Putin to back off.

0930putinassad01

For the longest time, however, it seemed that Putin saw no need for an exit. After all, he took Crimea without paying any real price, and the sanctions imposed on Russia for „annexing“ Crimea were small. Furthermore, his hybrid war has yet to achieve its minimal objective: to either remove the pro-Western government in Kiev or compel it to reverse Western-oriented domestic and foreign policies.

This does not mean Kremlin diplomacy has been unwilling to feint in the direction of a peaceful settlement. For instance, after sending the Russian Army into the Donbass in August 2014 to crush Ukraine’s nearly successful counteroffensive against the Moscow-backed insurgency, Putin did sign the Minsk I cease-fire.

However, the Kremlin and its proxies in the Donbass violated that cease-fire so regularly that by February 2015 they had gained control of an additional 500 square kilometers of Ukrainian land. This led to the Minsk II cease-fire that month, but the same pattern persisted. Since then, regular small advances of the Moscow-backed forces have picked up an additional 200 square kilometers of Ukrainian territory.

Unlike in Crimea, Putin’s gains in the Donbass have come at a real cost. First, in the wake of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine in July 2014, Washington and Brussels imposed painful sanctions on Russia’s financial sector. Much to Putin’s surprise, the EU did not fall for Russia’s pseudo-compliance with the cease-fire, renewing sanctions this year.

What’s more, a revamped Ukrainian military is putting up stubborn resistance to the Kremlin-led military campaign, and the result has been slow, hard-fought advances for the „separatists“ and hundreds of dead Russian soldiers. Despite Putin’s massive propaganda campaign vilifying the Petro Poroshenko government in Kiev, the Russian people do not want their soldiers fighting in Ukraine, which is why Putin has resorted to hiding Russian casualties from his people.

Syria may be Putin’s rest stop—if not off-ramp—from the Ukraine crisis. Moscow has already acknowledged sending troops there to prop up the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. In the past few weeks, the Kremlin has flown dozens of transport planes loaded with military hardware to Syria, set up an air base south of Latakia, deployed hundreds of troops to guard that base and begun bombing operations against rebel groups.

Putin has not given up his objectives of reversing Ukraine’s westward course. Perhaps the lull will end after he returns from his trip to the United Nations, and after his expected October meeting with French President François Hollande, Ukrainian President Poroshenko and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

But it would be a mistake of historic proportions to indulge him. Sanctions relief should come only when the Kremlin fulfills its Minsk commitments: the withdrawal of all Russian military and heavy equipment and the re-establishment of Ukrainian control over its border with Russia.

Anything less offers Moscow the ability to resume hostilities at any time.

John E. Herbst is director of the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center. He served as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2003 to 2006.

The Real Reason #Russia Is ‘Helping’ #Syria / Confused about #Putin’s motives? Look at #Ukraine


Eighteen months ago, when Russia seized Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, confusion prevailed in the West. Today, as Russia sends troops, armor, and aircraft to Syria, we are once again perplexed. On Monday President Vladimir Putin provided the explanation: Russia’s intervention is aimed to defeat ISIS and reduce the flow of refugees to Europe. A review of the last major Russian intervention, in Ukraine, might help us to evaluate this claim.

snyder

The superficial links between the two conflicts are obvious. For the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine, a ceasefire is holding. This has allowed Moscow to send special forces from Ukraine to Syria. The naval base in Crimea is now used to project Russian power southwards.

From Moscow’s perspective, there is not much difference between university students protesting in Kyiv for closer ties with the European Union and Islamicist terrorists gaining ground in Syria. In both cases, Russian leaders can, quite understandably, see a coming domestic problem. If people can gather peacefully in Kyiv, why not in Moscow? If Islamic terrorism can work in Syria, why not in southern Russia?

But the more important factor is domestic public opinion. Russia is a television culture, and Russian television news is devoted almost entirely to the world beyond Russia. In the last few days, Russian television has completely changed the subject: from Ukraine to Syria. What must not be mentioned is that Russia has not achieved its goals in Ukraine. The Ukrainian war shows that Russia can fail even when the European Union pays only a very small amount of attention to the conflict. What Russian leaders seem to want in Syria is a war without EU sanctions, which they can win for the viewers at home.

The war in Ukraine was thus never about Ukraine alone. It was always about the destruction of the European project as such. If the European Union fails, then there is no danger that Russians will see Europe as an alternative. If Europe fragments into nation-states, Russia becomes a much stronger player. Thus Russia seeks to destroy the European Union by supporting radicals and populists who oppose European integration and seek a return to the nation-state. Although President Putin spoke of a revived “anti-Nazi coalition,” his friends in Europe include fascists.

So Ukrainian experience gives reason for skepticism about Putin’s claim that Russia is intervening in Syria to help Europe with its refugee problem. The politics might well be exactly the opposite. Having found a powerful ally in its quest to end European integration, the European far right has followed Moscow’s lead on the Ukrainian conflict. But the natural subject of Putin’s allies in Europe is immigration. By supporting the Assad regime, Russia helps to produce the refugees that drive European politics rightward.

President Putin spoke of the “universality” of international law regarding “sovereignty.” And here he was quite right. If Russia were serious about law and sovereignty, President Putin might have announced at the UN that Russia is withdrawing its support from its separatist clients in Ukraine and withdrawing its troops and armor from sovereign Ukrainian territory. If he had said these things, then the world would have had very good reason to listen.

Timothy Snyder is the Housum Professor of History and the author of Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning, released earlier this month.

#Russia Promotes Myths about #Ukraine – #Bernard-Henri Lévy


11 September 2015

The renowned French author and media personality Bernard-Henri Lévy joined a panel entitled “Truth Today. Information, Narratives, Media, Propaganda,” and spoke of his belief that Russia is promoting a number of myths about Ukraine.

Russia Promotes Myths about Ukraine – Bernard-Henri Lévy

Lévy was joined by Peter Pomeranzev, Senior Fellow to the Transitions Forum, Legatum Institute; Timothy Snyder, Bird White Housum Professor of History, Yale University; Oksana Zabuzhko, author; and moderator Stephen Sackur, Presenter, HARDtalk, BBC World News, in the discussion.

“Ukraine was trying to prove the opposite, that there were five million victims, that Ukraine was the goal and that it was Stalin’s deliberate plan. Very many scientists, including European ones, carefully checked the facts. The truth is that the Holodomor was the genocide and Ukraine’s story was closer to the truth.”

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According to Lévy, another failed Russian myth is that the First Ukrainian Front during the Second World War allegedly consisted mainly of representatives of other Soviet republics and was only formed on Ukraine’s territory.

„Western historians analysed and saw that the Ukrainian Front for the most part consisted of Ukrainians. The battalion that went to Auschwitz and liberated prisoners was led by a Ukrainian,“ he said.

„The idea is that the population in the east supports Russia and is ready to support President Putin. I myself was in Kramatorsk (a city in Ukraine’s Donetsk Region) and saw the reality – people welcome the president of Ukraine, and during a few hours of communications, I did not hear any anti-Ukrainian position… Then I stayed there to confirm it myself. I myself is a witness that information about Ukraine’s east is a myth, a legend,“ he concluded.

The 12th Yalta European Strategy Annual Meeting will be streamed live at yes-ukraine.org as well as web-sites of the Media Partners in English and Ukrainian.

The official Twitter of the 12th YES Annual Meeting is @yes_ukraine, and participants and followers can include the hashtag:#YESUkraine2015.

Sir Elton John YES Kyiv 12.09.2015

#Sir Elton John speech at the #12th Yalta European Strategy (#YES) Annual Meeting #Ukraine


12 September 2015

It is an honor to be here at the Yalta European Strategy meeting.

I’m indeed humbled to be included in the group of distinguished business and government leaders, diplomats and humanitarians who have addressed this important annual gathering. And especially so in speaking about building a more tolerant country, the subject of this session.

“Our principles are not platitudes. Our mission statements are not simply plaques in the lobby. Statements of principle are our agenda for success: born of experience, tested in laboratory, factory, and office, attuned to competition. Our principles reflect, in the truest sense, our business judgment.”

That business judgement is sound.  Laws which protect human rights are good for business. They promote diversity. They expand the talent pool. They allow employers to hire and retain the best and the brightest. They ensure a workplace where employees feel comfortable and feel valued. People are more productive. Diverse, open workplaces encourage creativity, innovation and new idea.
Recently studies by the USAID and others confirm this.  They show that emerging economies that protect more rights for LGBT people through decriminalization of homosexuality, nondiscrimination laws, and recognition of LGBT families have higher GDP per capita, even after controlling for other influences on a country’s economic output.  Each additional right is associated with a 3% increase in GDP per capita for those countries.

And we know that laws and policies designed to repress LGBT citizens and to keep people in the shadows hinder economic development. Such policies are detrimental to business and economic interests. They jeopardize the safety and well being of employees and workers.
Today some 78 countries make being gay a crime. It’s hard to imagine that something so personal and so key to one’s very essence and identity could be criminalized. I and others like me could be arrested.  Indeed we would be arrested in many of those places just for being who we are at our core. In some places we could be tortured or put to death for it. Such intolerance harkens back to some of the darkest times in history. It is beyond inhumane. Such policies are a disgrace. 
Many of you in the policy and business arenas are already taking steps to ensure and promote LGBT anti-discrimination measures, including Leshenko, Zalishuk and Naem.  To those of you doing so, I offer my thanks. I applaud you. To those of you who could do more, I beg of you, please protect the human rights and basic dignity of the people who show up to work for you. They deserve it.

So, being tolerant and inclusive is not only the morally right thing to do, for the new Ukraine it is the smart thing to do. Basic fairness is an investment in human capital, and human capital is what drives business.

You can choose to make this part of Ukraine’s future and change its legacy for generations to come. This is not a fantasy, recent events have shown it is a very real possibility.

The people in this room are among the most powerful in the Ukraine, and in some cases the most powerful anywhere in the world. You have the power to help bring about this new era. 
I’m asking you to use that power wisely, to seize this opportunity, and to guarantee human rights for all. And one day I hope to come back to this blessed nation and to extend my thanks to all of you for not only for beginning the dialogue, but for changing lives and ultimately changing the course of history.

Thank you.

National Flag Day on August 23, 2015

#Hanna Hopko: With help, #Ukraine will prevail in its fight for independence, liberty and dignity


http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/op-ed/hanna-hopko-with-help-ukraine-will-prevail-in-its-fight-for-independence-liberty-and-dignity-396378.html

„Mom, when Putin is gone, then the war will end and you’ll be home with me?“

The children of Ukraine know a lot about the war in eastern Ukraine, and understand what their parents are fighting for. The „peaceful” resolution of the situation in the east has cost Ukraine more than 7,000 lives. Among those, more than 70 children. Over 22,000 wounded. Over 1.4 million displaced persons, who are now adding their own efforts to nation-building.

More than 1,000 years ago on the banks of the Dnipro River, Knyaz Volodymyr the Great chose to baptize Kyivan Rus…This was a civilizational-political choice of a wise head of state.

Neither Catherine the Second, who destroyed the Cossacks, nor Joseph Stalin, who organized the famine – Holodomor – taking the lives of over 7 million people in the 1930s, could extinguish the flame of Ukrainian culture and identity.

The fate of the world in the 21st century will not be decided by oil. For this reason, the United States, a key strategic partner, especially given its commitments in the Budapest Memorandum, has to understand the importance and high priority of countering Russian aggression to secure democracy in the post-Soviet region.

Hanna Hopko: With help, Ukraine will prevail in its fight for independence, liberty and dignity Ukraine has to become a successful model of victory for democratic values. Ukrainians of the 21st century sacrificed their lives for dignity, for freedom! The Ukrainian people are celebrating their Independence Day with faith in a peaceful future!

Hanna Hopko is a member of parliament who chairs the Verkhovna Rada’s Committee on Foreign Affairs. She participated in the EuroMaidan Revolution and is co-founder of the Reanimation Package of Reforms.

When OSCE stops its silence about complete dead of Minsk ll?

Latest from #OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (#SMM) to #Ukraine 18 August 2015


http://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/178011

The SMM monitored the implementation of the “Package of measures for the implementation of the Minsk agreements”. Its monitoring was restricted by the parties and security considerations*. Ceasefire violations were recorded in numerous locations. The SMM verified a number of civilian casualties on both sides of the contact line.

*Restrictions on SMM monitoring, access and freedom of movement:

The SMM is restrained in fulfilling its monitoring functions by restrictions imposed by the parties and security considerations, including mine threats, and damaged infrastructure. The security situation in Donbas is fluid and unpredictable and the ceasefire does not hold everywhere. Self-imposed restrictions on movement into high-risk areas have impinged on SMM patrolling activities, particularly in areas not controlled by the government. Members of the “LPR” continue to prevent the SMM from monitoring most areas close to the border with the Russian Federation.

Denied access:

  • In Donetsk city, “DPR” “police” – explaining that they had received orders to do so – insisted that the SMM return to its residence.
  • On 16 August in government-controlled Zolote (60km north-west of Luhansk),  a Ukrainian Armed Forces commander refused to allow the SMM to proceed, initially citing security concerns and later giving the fact that Ukrainian Armed Forces positions were ahead as a reason. The following day, at the same location, the commander again denied passage to the SMM, saying he could not guarantee the SMM’s security.

When OSCE stops its silence about complete dead of Minsk ll?

When OSCE stops its silence about complete dead of Minskll?

Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 19:30 (Kyiv time), 9 August 2015


via Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 19:30 (Kyiv time), 9 August 2015.

The SMM observed continued ceasefire violations at and around the Donetsk airport and at various locations along the contact line in the Luhansk region, and noted a number of indications of renewed violence in the Shyrokyne area. Four SMM vehicles were destroyed by fire in Donetsk. A demonstration took place in front of the SMM office in Luhansk.

Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 19:30 (Kyiv time), 9 August 2015

Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 19:30 (Kyiv time), 9 August 2015

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