Interfax: Ukraine’s western partners to decide next steps on Donbas settlement based on Volker’s trip results

File Photo of Kurt Volker and W. Bruce Weinrod, adapted from image at defense.gov with photo credit to Senior Airman Nathan Lipscomb

KYIV. July 24 (Interfax) – United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker has told Ukrainian parliamentarians that the results of his trip to Donbas will be reflected in western partners’ decision on further steps towards peaceful settlement. At the start of their meeting Volker, who had just returned from the armed conflict zone in Donbas, shared his impressions […]

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U.S. should be more involved in settlement of crisis in eastern Ukraine – Department of State

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

KYIV. July 23 (Interfax) – Washington wants to be more involved in the settlement of a crisis in eastern Ukraine, United States State Department’s Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker said. Volker said at a press conference in Kramatorsk on Sunday that the U.S. saw how this conflict had begun and understood how it had been managed now. He […]

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How the Ukraine War Spilled Into the U.S. Election; Foreign meddling in campaigns may be the new normal

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – July 13, 2017) Leonid Bershidsky is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru. U.S. politics as an extension of the Russian-Ukrainian war theater sounds mildly ridiculous — but, as partisan U.S. forces push competing stories of the post-Soviet nations’ […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Intel Report: Kremlin Sees U.S. Urging Regime Change in Russia” – AP

DIA Headquarters file photo, adapted from DIA Public Affairs photo at defense.gov

[DIA report here dia.mil/Portals/27/Documents/News/Military%20Power%20Publications/Russia%20Military%20Power%20Report%202017.pdf] “Kremlin leaders are convinced America is intent on regime change in Russia, a fear that is feeding rising tension and military competition between the former Cold War foes, the Pentagon’s intelligence arm has assessed. The unclassified report by the Defense Intelligence Agency … portrays Russia as increasingly wary of the United States. It cites Moscow’s ‘deep and […]

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Ukraine Says There’s No Evidence of Illicit Payments to Manafort

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Volodymyr Verbyany – June 27, 2017) Ukrainian prosecutors said they’d found no proof of illicit payments to U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager from his work for the party of the nation’s ousted leader. Anti-corruption investigators in the ex-Soviet republic said last year that they’d found ledgers showing $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments between […]

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NEWSLINK: “Kiev Is Fueling the War in Eastern Ukraine, Too; A muted White House isn’t just emboldening the Kremlin — it’s inciting the politics of war throughout Ukraine.” – Foreign Policy Magazine/ISAAC WEBB

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“… Beginning Jan. 29, rockets rained down on residential and military positions along the front line, killing civilians and soldiers alike. One 60-year-old woman was killed in separatist shelling as she walked from her home to a nearby market; a 24-year-old medic was killed when a shell exploded next to the ambulance she was driving. The fighting decimated local water […]

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Ukraine’s Survival Strategy for the Trump Era

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – January 17, 2017) For Ukraine, Jan. 20 is a scarier date than perhaps for any other country: It may be about to lose the U.S. support that has allowed it to stay afloat in the face of #Russian hostility and economic disaster. The Ukrainian elite is divided between two competing strategies in response. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Turchynov hopes Trump’s administration approves lethal weapon provision to Ukraine” – Interfax-Ukraine

“National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov said he hopes that the new U.S. administration will make a decision on granting lethal weapons to Ukraine. ‘I do think that Ukraine has a chance to get lethal weapons. … The position of the Republican Party towards Ukraine is sufficiently clear and consistent. All their votes in the Congress and […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine turns to Tampa group for help setting up new commando HQ” – Tampa Bay Times

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Commando forces in … Ukraine were decimated … against pro-Russian insurgents and … “little green men” — masked Russian commandos in unmarked army uniforms. … when it came time to rebuild and adjust … Ukrainian officials turned … to the non-profit Global SOF Foundation, a Tampa-based special operations advocacy group. … credited with helping put Ukraine on the right footing […]

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NEWSLINK Transitions Online: “Russia’s Donbas ‘Buildup’: Threat or Bargaining Chip?”

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Ukrainian leader warns of possible Russian invasion, while the Pentagon tries to inject a note of realism into increasingly tense debate

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NEWSWATCH: “No evidence so far to corroborate Russia allegations over Crimea: U.S.” – Reuters

Geoffrey R. Pyatt file photo

The United States has seen nothing so far that corroborates Russian allegations of a Ukrainian incursion into Crimea … U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, said …. [along with promises that] U.S. sanctions in relation to Russia’s annexation of Crimea would remain in place until the territory was returned to Ukraine. … Putin accused Kiev … of … terrorist tactics […]

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U.S. Official: Annexing Crimea, Russia Broke All Rules of ‘World Order’

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Voice of America – voanews.com – August 5, 2016) Russia’s actions against Ukraine and the potential threat it poses to other countries in its neighborhood has become an issue in the U.S. presidential race, thanks largely to comments made by Donald Trump. The Republican candidate told a U.S. television interviewer late last month that the people of Crimea, which Russia […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Pyatt: High hopes, some regrets, one big question” – Kyiv Post/Brian Bonner

Geoffrey R. Pyatt file photo

Pyatt is part a big turnover … coming in the Western diplomatic corps, as ambassadors who served during the EuroMaidan Revolution and the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine are being reassigned …. * * * It was in support of Ukrainians’ fight against their corrupt authorities that Pyatt took one of his stronger and more memorable stands. … * […]

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NEWSWATCH: “What to expect from next U.S. ambassador to Ukraine” [former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, Marie Yovanovitch] – Kyiv Post/Armine Sahakyan

Marie Yovanovitch file photo, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

Ukraine can expect Marie L. Yovanovitch, likely the next U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, to try to help achieve a political accommodation between Kyiv and eastern Ukraine’s separatists, to oppose corruption and political thuggery, and to defend human rights and journalist rights. * * * Yovanovitch, who was born in Canada into a family of immigrants from Russia, majored in history […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Remarks by Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland at a Press Availability in Kyiv

Victoria Nuland file photo

Embassy of the United States-Kyiv Remarks by Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland at a Press Availability April 27, 2016 Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv, Ukraine ASSISTANT SECRETARY NULAND: Good afternoon, everybody. Apologies for keeping you waiting. It is terrific to be back in Kyiv on this beautiful spring day, and on the eve of the […]

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Why Ukraine is at risk of forgetting the lessons of Chernobyl

Chernobyl File Photo

Thirty years after the explosion at the nuclear power plant in the Ukrainian city of Chernobyl, one Russian expert argues that, by using American fuel in Soviet-built reactors and pushing the power-producing capabilities of its nuclear plants, Ukraine is putting itself at potential risk of another disaster. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ANDREI RETINGER, SPECIAL TO RBTH – […]

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VIDEO & NEWSWATCH PBS: “Two years into new regime, grim realities persist in Ukraine”

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

Ukraine has faced many challenges in the two years since violent protests drove the country’s president from office. The Russian occupation of the Crimean Peninsula in particular sparked a military conflict between pro-Russian secessionists and Ukraine’s government. Correspondent Kira Kay and Producer Jason Maloney from the Bureau for International Reporting take us inside Ukraine to asses the country’s struggle for […]

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Interfax: Less than half of Ukrainians support NATO membership – poll

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Interfax – April 16, 2016) Only 45% of the population support the idea of Ukraine’s joining NATO, as is seen from a public opinion poll. Asked how they would vote if a referendum on Ukraine’s accession to NATO were held today, 45% of those polled said they would vote in favor of NATO membership, 30% would vote against it, 16% […]

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Ukraine Should Shift from Cyrillic to Latin Script, Former Verkhovna Rada Deputy Says

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 21, 2016) To solidify its break from a Russia-dominated space, Ukraine should shift from the Russian-based Cyrillic alphabet Moscow imposed on it to a script based on the Latin alphabet used by European countries, according to Aleksandr Donyi, the head of the Last Barricade social organization and a former deputy of […]

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TRANSCRIPT: “Ukrainian Reforms Two Years After the Maidan Revolution and the Russian Invasion” – Senate Testimony by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

(U.S. Department of State – March 15, 2016) Testimony of Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Statement Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Washington, DC As prepared Thank you Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Cardin, members of this committee for the opportunity to join you today and for the personal investment so many of you have made […]

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Top U.S. Official: Ukraine Reforms Endangered By Oligarchs Fighting Back

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – WASHINGTON, March 15, 2016) A top U.S. administration official has taken pointed aim at the wealthiest Ukrainian tycoons, known as oligarchs, accusing them of undermining the country’s anticorruption reform efforts. Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary of state for European аnd Eurasian Affairs, warned on March 15 that, if efforts to liberalize the economy and fight endemic graft […]

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‘We’re Not Giving Up on Crimea,’ US Defense Official Says

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Voice of America – March 2, 2016 – Carla Babb) Nearly two years after Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the territory remains under Russian control, and in the eastern part of Ukraine there has been an uptick in the fighting. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb discussed the issue with Michael Carpenter, deputy assistant secretary of defense with responsibilities for Russia, Ukraine […]

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Continuation of Western Sanctions on Russia Increasingly Depends on Ukraine, Ogryzko Says

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, February 29, 2016) The maintenance of Western sanctions is contingent upon Ukraine’s willingness to reform itself, according to former Ukrainian foreign minister Vladimir Ogryzko. If Ukraine does not act, the West will ultimately lift the sanctions; and Ukraine will have only itself to blame for its resulting isolation. In a commentary today, […]

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Second Anniversary of Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(US Department of State – February 20, 2016) US Department of State Press Statement Mark C. Toner Deputy Department Spokesperson Washington, DC February 20, 2016 Today, we join the people of Ukraine in honoring the memory of their Revolution of Dignity and those who gave their lives to build a more just, democratic, and European Ukraine. They braved sniper fire […]

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NEWSWATCH: “A Pyrrhic Victory for President Poroshenko” – Atlantic Council/Anders Aslund

Rada File Photo

… February 16, the Ukrainian parliament deemed the performance of its government unsatisfactory with 247 votes, but only 194 parliamentarians voted for a no-confidence measure. The government did not fall … this strange vote may appear a victory for … Poroshenko, but it seems a Pyrrhic victory that may have broken the ruling coalition in parliament and brought Ukraine closer […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin must be stopped. And sometimes only guns can stop guns. The time for diplomacy will come again, but it is not now: Ukraine urgently needs military support, and a counter to Russian propaganda.” – The Guardian/Timothy Garton Ash

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US Appears to Have Accepted ‘Donbas Model’ Not Only for Ukraine but for Other Conflicts, Russian Analyst Says

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 20, 2016) Petr Iskenderov, a researcher at the Moscow Institute of Slavic Studies and a commentator for Russia Today, says that it now appears the US has accepted what he calls “the Donbas Model” for the resolution not only of the conflict in Ukraine but for similar conflicts elsewhere. That model, […]

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NEWSLINK The Guardian/Shaun Walker: “Caught between Russia and the US? The curious case of Ukraine’s Dmytro Firtash. Critics say the oligarch now living in exile pushed Putin’s agenda during Maidan revolution while a US arrest warrant appeared politically motivated.”

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Interfax: U.S. to never recognize ‘annexation’ of Crimea – Biden

Joe Biden Speaking in Front of U.S. Flags and Ukrainian Flag

KYIV. Dec 8 (Interfax) – U.S. Vice-President Joseph Biden has reaffirmed the unwavering position of his country and said the United States will never recognize Crimea’s accession to Russia. The United States will never recognize attempts to ‘annex’ Crimea, Biden said in Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada on Tuesday. [featured image is file photo]

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Biden Tells Ukraine to … Do Nothing

Joe Biden Speaking in Front of U.S. Flags and Ukrainian Flag

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – December 8, 2015) Vice President Joe Biden’s visits to Ukraine always are keenly anticipated: He is considered the voice of the country’s Western backers, the senior statesman who can resolve conflicts within the country’s ruling elite and push it down the path of reform. This week, however, Biden apparently sent conflicting signals to […]

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Lavrov: U.S. admits lack of prospects of restoring Ukrainian solvency

International Monetary Fund Logo Over Ukraine Flag

(Interfax – November 7, 2015) By having refused to guarantee Ukraine’s debt as part of Russia’s proposal to restructure it, the United States effectively admitted the absence of prospects of restoring its solvency, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Interfax. “We were ready to restructure Ukraine’s $3 billion debt at much more advantageous terms than those […]

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NEWSWATCH Washington Post: “On Ukraine’s front lines, U.S.-supplied equipment is falling apart”

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

The Washington Post reports on old, second-rate U.S. equipment being given to Ukraine. The United States has delivered more than $260 million in nonlethal military equipment to help the government of Ukraine in its fight against a Russian-backed insurgency, but some of the U.S.-supplied gear meant to protect and transport Ukrainian military forces is little more than junk. … for […]

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Congress Passes Bill Giving Lethal Aid To Ukraine

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – WASHINGTON – November 10, 2015) Congress has passed a defense policy bill that authorizes up to $50 million in lethal military aid for Ukraine and mandates a White House response if Russia is deemed to be violating a key arms control treaty. The White House said hours after the $607 billion bill was passed by the […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Russian Propaganda: Ways and Means – Leon Aron Senate Testimony

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

Statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation On “Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine and the Propaganda that Threatens Europe” Russian Propaganda: Ways and Means Leon Aron, Ph.D. Resident Scholar and Director of Russian Studies American Enterprise Institute November 3, 2015 The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) […]

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NEWSWATCH Stratfor: “A Grand Bargain remains elusive in Ukraine”

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Stratfor covers the Russo-Ukrainian War and prospects for a political and diplomatic solution.  While arguing that there are some signs of lessening conflict, a broader settlement does not seem imminent. After a year of slow-burning conflict in eastern Ukraine, the relationship between Kiev and Moscow seems to finally be improving. Fighting on the ground has dissipated, there have been positive […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Victoria Nuland Senate Testimony on Ukraine

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

(US Department of State – Testimony on Ukraine- Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs – October 8, 2015) Statement Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Washington, DC October 8, 2015 As prepared Thank you Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Cardin, members of this committee for the opportunity to join you today and for the personal investment so […]

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US-style cops win points in Ukraine’s regions while other reforms drag

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – KYIV BLOG: Sergei Kuznetsov in Lviv – October 5, 2015) After the successful launch of a new patrol force in Kyiv in July, the Ukrainian authorities have begun rolling out the initiative in the country’s regions. But while the new-look cops are receiving a cordial welcome, they are still the only visible result of […]

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[Ashton] Carter Reaffirms U.S. Commitment to Ukraine

Aerial Photo of Pentagon and Environs

(US Department of Defense – defense.gov – Terri Moon Cronk, DoD News – WASHINGTON, September 24, 2015) The United States will continue to back the Ukrainian military’s right to defend itself when Russian-separatist forces attack its positions, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said today. In a joint news conference with Ukrainian Defense Minister Col.-Gen. Stepan Poltorak following their meeting during Poltorak’s […]

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