Category Archives: Politics

Current politics that may be unethical and or damaging to the majority or minority population

#Ukraine: Parties plan to include fighters, Maidan activists to boost election lists

by Oksana Grytsenko.
Ukrainian Colonel Yuly Mamchur salutes soldiers of the Belbek military base. After Russian troops stormed the base on March 22, they kidnapped Mamchur.Ukrainian Colonel Yuly Mamchur salutes soldiers of the Belbek military base. After Russian troops stormed the base on March 22, they kidnapped Mamchur. © Anastasia Vlasova

Crimean colonel Yuly Mamchur, who impressed many with his bravery when he marched unarmed with his men Ukrainian flag in hand through Russian ranks in March, is likely to be included in President Petro Poroshenko’s party list, party head Yury Lutsenko announced on Sept. 12. 

“We want to emphasize the importance of the regular Ukrainian army for Ukraine’s future,” Lutsenko wrote on his web-page.

With parliamentary elections scheduled for Oct. 28 coming closer political parties are rushing to pack their lists with popular Ukrainian heroes who rose to prominence during the Euromaidan Revolution and the ongoing war with Russia.  The trend, however, is likely to lead to radicalization of the Verkhovna Rada according to experts.

The Petro Poroshenko Bloc is planning to reinforce its ranks with prominent journalists Sergiy Leshchenko, and Mustafa Nayem,  as well as Svitlana Zalishchuk, head of the Chesno civic movement, a Kyiv Post sources said.

Leshchenko neither confirmed nor denied this information, but Zalishchuk told the Kyiv Post she had discussed this issue, but that there was no final decision so far.

By law political parties must submit their full party lists by Sept. 15.Kyiv Post+ offers special coverage of Russia's war against Ukraine and the aftermath of the EuroMaidan Revolution.Kyiv Post+ offers special coverage of Russia’s war against Ukraine and the aftermath of the EuroMaidan Revolution.

The People’s Front Party headed by Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk and parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Turchynov is expected to include the names of several military commanders and prominent EuroMaidan activist Tetiana Chornovol.

At the party congress held on Sept. 10 Chornovol was chosen as a member of the party’s Coordination Council along with prominent military blogger Dmytro Tymchuk.

Since soldiers are banned from being members of political parties the People’s Front formed a special party Military Council to get around the restriction that includes commanders of six volunteer battalions, including Andriy Biletsky from Azov and Yury Bereza from Dnipro 1 and also Sergiy Sydorin, commander of special brigade of National Guard. Many of these people are also likely to appear on the party list.

Party Union Samopomich led by Lviv mayor Andriy Sadovy will reinforce its list with Semen Semenchenko, head of Donbas battalion, in the second spot on the list after a decision made at the party’s conference on Sept. 12.

“There were many aims and tasks realized and announced recently. To implement them I took a decision to run for parliament with Union Samopomich,” Semenchenko wrote on his Facebook page.

Other member of Donbas battalion responsible for the “information war” will also appear on the list. Pavlo Kishkar was announced as seventh on the party list, and the tenth place will be given to Natalia Veselova, head of charity foundation supporting the battalion.

Oleksandr Chernenko, head of Committee of Voters of Ukraine, an influential election watchdog, said that is was not a bad sign for a country fighting a war on its soil to have people with military experience in the new parliament.

“They will be better than actors, singers, drivers and massage therapists,” he said, alluding to the notorious tradition of putting people from those fields on party lists to grab votes.

Political consultant Taras Berzovets said the trend will help parties to lure in the so called “patriotic electorate” while “leading to a radicalization of the new parliament.”

It will be hard for people with war experience to sit patiently and work at the main legislative body. Many of them will probably decide to leave Verkhovna Rada and go back to the war zone, he said.

Berezovets is also cautious concerning how effectively civil activists will be able to work in the new parliament, even if they are in opposition and not the ruling coalition.

“In 90 percent of cases when journalists showed up in parliament it was a failure,” he said. “But maybe this generation of young journalists will be better able to resist the temptations of power,” he added.

(Kyiv Post staff writer Oksana Grytsenko can be reached at

Kyiv Post.

#Russia wins concessions by getting #Ukraine, #EU to delay start of free-trade pact until 2016

by Katya Gorchinskaya.
European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso speaks to the press following talks with the Ukrainian president in Kyiv on Sept. 12.European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso speaks to the press following talks with the Ukrainian president in Kyiv on Sept. 12. © AFP

In a concession to Russia, Ukraine and the European Union agreed delay implementation of a major trade agreement until the start of 2016, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said. They also appeared to be preparing to make more concessions after the ratification of the agreement, scheduled for next week.

EU Trade Commissioner Karl de Gucht said in Brussels that Ukraine, Russia and EU also agreed on extending unilateral trade preferences for Ukraine until the end of 2015 as well. They allowed Ukraine to boost exports to EU by 14 percent in the first half of this year, Barroso said.

De Gucht said these measures “give breathing space to discuss whatever problem may arise and then it will be up to the three parties concerned to see what they do after Jan. 1, 2016. I hope by then we come to a solution,” Reuters quoted him as saying.

The EU member states are yet to agree to the delayed start, which Barroso called “a compromise” among Ukraine, Russia and EU during trilateral consultations.

The three sides also agreed to continue discussing Russia’s complaints about the effects of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement on its markets on Nov. 17, President Petro Poroshenko said in Kyiv. He said the issues will be raised at the Association Council, the only body that can amend the text of the agreement after it is ratified and comes into effect. It was originally designed to fine-tune such agreements.

Both the Ukrainian and the European Parliament are preparing to ratify the Association Agreement, an overarching political agreement, on Sept. 16 in a synchronized session, which will be broadcast via video links, President Poroshenko announced at Yalta European Strategy conference in Kyiv.

“I am sure that will be one of the most important historic moments,” Poroshenko said.Kyiv Post+ offers special coverage of Russia's war against Ukraine and the aftermath of the EuroMaidan Revolution.Kyiv Post+ offers special coverage of Russia’s war against Ukraine and the aftermath of the EuroMaidan Revolution.

The delays are part of Russia’s campaign to thwart Ukraine’s democratic progress and aspirations for closer EU integration, a drive that began after the EuroMaidan Revolution forced President Viktor Yanukovych out of power on Feb. 22. The most extreme aspects, of course, are Russia’s military invasion and annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and the Kremlin’s backing of a separatist war in eastern Ukraine. But Russia has also used trade as a weapon and cut off supplies of Russian natural gas to Ukraine while imposing import bans on many Ukrainian products.

The EU-Ukraine trade agreement was signed in June, and the technical preparation for its ratification by the European parliament is being done in record terms – 10 days instead of the usual three months. Its provisional application was supposed to start on Nov. 1, but after the new deal only the political part of the deal will start to work on that date.

A part of the reason for the rush with ratification was to cut time for Russia to bully Ukraine into backing out of the agreement, or amending the text to incorporate Kremlin’s suggestions.

Russia has been trying to derail the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union for years, using increasingly more aggressive tactics, from trade wars to real war in Donbass. It has also threatened to impose additional tariffs and other barriers on Ukraine, allegedly to protect its markets from illegal European goods. Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said on Sept. 12 Russia was preparing a response in case the trade deal comes into effect.

In the meantime, Russia also rolled out close to 2,400 objections and suggested amendments to the Association Agreement, which was initialed and sealed by the government of President Viktor Yanukovych.

Poroshenko said that there will be no changes to the text of the Association Agreement before ratification. However, this might change soon after ratification once the Association Council starts its work.

Although Ukraine’s foreign ministry said that the decision to postpone application of DCFTA was a “gesture of solidarity with Ukraine,” many in Ukraine and abroad saw it as another diplomatic victory by Russia, and feared that more is yet to come at the Nov. 17 Association Council, the body that typically starts to tweak association agreements to fix parts that prove dysfunctional after a year or more in operation. In Ukraine’s case, the first meeting is set just 17 days after the Association Agreement comes into effect.

“We tried to do our best to prevent this scenario, but couldn’t, ” one EU country diplomat said in Kyiv.

(Kyiv Post deputy chief editor Katya Gorchinskaya can be reached at

Kyiv Post.

#Ukraine: #Yatseniuk struggles to explain government achievements in half a year #Politics

by Katya Gorchinskaya.

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk. © Courtesy

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk struggled to explain the achievements of his government to an international audience of a high-key conference in Kyiv on Sept. 13. He admitted that few vital reforms have been completed in the past half a year, and said that the war undermines further prospects for quick change.

“In the past six months we have (had) a revolution, we’re still in war, and there are two elections,” he said at Yalta European Strategy conference in Kyiv. He said that making any radical changes is difficult under current circumstances, but the energy to do it comes from people’s “strong desire to live in another country.”

Yatseniuk said that his government, which was brought to power after the EuroMaidan revolution that thwarted corrupt former President Viktor Yanukovych, failed to tackle corruption, overhaul a fundamentally flawed legislative system and judiciary system full of “corrupt judges and prosecutor,” and fix the Soviet-style police system.

“This is our agenda,” he said.

Yatseniuk is running for parliament in the Oct. 26 snap election at the helm of his newly created People’s Front party, who is planning to bring to the legislature a number of commanders from the front lines and revolution activists on their party list. Half of the 450-seat parliament is elected though party lists, and the rest through majority constituencies.

Yatseniuk, however, said that the government can boast a number of achievements. “After we took over the office of the prime minister, our key task was to resume the IMF program,” he said. Ukraine managed to do it in a short time, and received the second tranche of the Stand-By Arrangement from the IMF earlier this month, which has helped the government to plug the budget hole.

Yatseniuk also said that his government managed to also adopt two austerity packages, cut down public spending by more than 10 percent, as well as cut privileges, and hike housing bills and taxes to be able to fill the budget. “The majority of Ukrainian accepted those austerity measures,” he said.

He also said the government started a pro-transparency and anti-corruption campaign by passing a vital new public procurement law, eliminating a handful of controlling agencies and inspections, and cutting the number of various licenses from 143 to 84.

Yatseniuk said that the achievements of his government should not be under-estimated considering that it also has to cope with a war raging in the east. “This government is a war-time government. The key aggressor is the Russian Federation. Until we get peace it will be really difficult to get real change,” he said.

He said that a constant flow of news from the frontlines is in no way helpful. He said when people switch on the TV and see that the Russian tanks invaded, they “rush to the banks to get out deposits” and change them to hard currency, further escalating economic problems. Fear, he said, drives their moves.

On this background it’s a “key priority to deter Russia and start reform,” Yatseniuk said. “If we stop the war, if we contain Russia, we will get a chance to attract international investors. It’s not easy to attract investors when you have Russian tanks and Russian artillery in your country.”

Moreover, Russia is waging war on more than one front in Ukraine. One of the toughest is the energy. Russia stopped supplying gas to Ukraine in June because of an ongoing dispute over price for gas and Ukraine’s debt.

Yatseniuk’s government filed an arbitration claim against Russia’s Gazprom in Stockholm and started shipping gas from Europe through the so-called “reverse flow.” However, Russia made a new move in the past few days, cutting gas supply to some EU member nations who have been selling gas to Ukraine. “The idea was to stop the reverse flow,” Yatseniuk said. He also added that the Russian army has deliberately targeted coal mines with their strikes, and “a number of coal mines were entirely demolished and dismantled.”

“We have a problem with coal supply,” Yatseniuk admitted, saying that Ukraine started importing coal from other countries, including South Africa, “for the first time in two decades.”

“These are tremendous challenges. We have huge problems, but also huge opportunities,” Yatseniuk said.

(Kyiv Post deputy chief editor Katya Gorchinskaya can be reached at

Kyiv Post.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation #Russia #RussiainvadedUkraine

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian FederationComment by the Information and Press Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the conclusions of the European Council regarding Ukraine.

1 September 2014

The analysis of a new series of “conclusions” adopted by the European Council on 30 August has shown yet again that EU member-states are still persistently and unconditionally backing the Kiev authorities.

The hysteria whipped up in the run-up to European Council’s meeting around the mythical “Russian aggression in Ukraine” has yielded fruit. Building on absolutely groundless allegations regarding the presence of Russian military forces on the Ukrainian territory and unreasonably laying the blame on Moscow for the developments on the ground, Brussels refuses to acknowledge the true causes behind the dramatic developments in southeastern Ukraine instead of promoting an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and comprehensive national dialogue between the conflicting parties.

At the same time, it is striking that the assessment of the humanitarian situation in this Ukrainian region, where the actions of the Kiev authorities resulted in a full-fledged humanitarian disaster, the number of civilian casualties is growing and the number of refugees arriving in Russia is approaching one million, is practically absent from the European Council’s conclusions.

It is regrettable that the European Council, in spite of the interests of its member-states, takes its lead from the countries seeking to implement geopolitical schemes aimed at making confrontation with Russia increasingly acute. Russia still hopes that the EU will be able to gain an independent perspective on the situation free from 20th century stereotypes and engage in constructive efforts to facilitate a settlement of Ukraine’s internal conflict.

If new anti-Russian sanctions are adopted, Russia reserves the right to take retaliatory measures in order to protect its legitimate interests.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Official site.

NATO Summit Wales 2014 #NATOSummitUK #NATO

10 Downing Street, LondonOn 4 to 5 September 2014, Wales will host the largest gathering of international leaders ever to take place in Britain as the UK hosts the NATO summit. President Obama, Chancellor Merkel, and President Hollande are expected to attend along with leaders and senior ministers from around 60 other countries.

The summit comes as NATO draws down from its longest ever mission in Afghanistan and against a backdrop of instability in Ukraine. It is an opportunity to ensure that NATO continues to be at the forefront of building stability in an unpredictable world.

This will be the first NATO Summit since Chicago in 2012, and the first NATO summit in the United Kingdom since Margaret Thatcher welcomed NATO leaders to London in 1990.

During working sessions at the Celtic Manor and more informal events in Cardiff, world leaders will look to address issues which threaten NATO countries’ national security, from fragile states to piracy, from terrorism to cyber attacks.

As a strong player in NATO over the last 65 years, the UK continues to provide forces for NATO operations around the world today. Beyond Afghanistan, there are British service personnel serving in the Baltic Air Police mission and on counter-piracy operations.

Bringing the summit to Wales is an opportunity to shine the global spotlight on this corner of the United Kingdom, highlighting its strong commercial sector – from manufacturing to innovation, life sciences to cyber, and its academic excellence. And showcasing the tremendous potential in Wales for investment and business, tourism and study.

Announcing that Wales would host the NATO Summit 2014, the Prime Minister said:

It’s a great moment for Wales to advertise its modern and economically brilliant face to the world. We are going to have up to 60 world leaders coming to Wales for this vitally important NATO conference, so I think it’s a very good moment for Wales to put its best foot forward.

We had the G8 in Northern Ireland, we had the Olympics in London, we’ve got the Commonwealth Games in Scotland – it is Wales’ turn for one of these big events, a great showcase for Wales and a great opportunity and I’m really pleased that we are going to be doing that.

Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street – GOV.UK.