ISSUE 28 - DECEMBER  20, 2018
In Ukraine, a Seismic Ecclesiastical Shift
By George Weigel, National Review, Dec 18, 2018 

Independence from Russian Orthodoxy could have serious geopolitical implications.

The creation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) on December 15, at a Unification Council in Kyiv attended by representatives of three previously divided Orthodox jurisdictions in Ukraine, is a seismic event in world Christian history that could also have significant geopolitical repercussions.

The head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine conducts a liturgy at the St. Michael's Golden-Domed Cathedral in Kyiv,  December 16, 2018.  Valentyn Ogirenko, Reuters.

For centuries, Orthodoxy in Ukraine was subordinate to the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church, as Ukraine itself was subjected to Russian suzerainty (sometimes under the guise of Soviet "republicanism"). After the Soviet crack-up, Ukrainian Orthodoxy fractured into contentious, rival churches. Now, an independent Ukraine insisting on cultural as well as political independence from Russia will have an "autocephalous," nationwide church independent of the Moscow Patriarchate. That new reality will be formalized once the "first among equals" in world Orthodoxy, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, grants the OCU what is known as the "tomos of autocephaly" - a kind of ecclesiastical diplomatic recognition of the OCU's self-governing status and its independence from Moscow.

Speaking to a large crowd in Kyiv's Sofiivska Square after the Unification Council created the new, unified church and elected 39-year-old Metropolitan Epiphanius as its leader, Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko said that the establishment of the OCU was as significant an event in modern Ukrainian history as the ...  CLICK to read more

Note:  Author George Weigel is the distinguished senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Ukraine Announces Creation Of Independent Church, Selects Leader
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Dec 15, 2018

Watch the video  ... Click on the image   below:


Ukrainian Orthodox leaders have agreed on the creation of a new national Orthodox church and elected a leader to head that church, a move that Ukraine's leaders say is vital to the country's security and independence but could raise tensions further with Moscow.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said 39-year-old Metropolitan Epifaniy of the Kyiv Patriarchate church had been chosen as head of the church by a council, comparing the move to Ukraine's referendum for independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

"This day will go into history as a sacred day  ...   Read More


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How Far Can a Rogue Kremlin Push International Law?
By Anders ├ůslund, Just Security, Dec 13, 2018

The ongoing Russian-Ukrainian drama at the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov shows that the Kremlin attitude to international law has changed. Russia used to be legalistic but not legal. Now it is just ignoring international law. Has Russia become a rogue state? The United States and the West need to adjust accordingly.

Under Leonid Brezhnev, the Soviet Union was surprisingly legalistic. The essence of the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 among European and North American nations was based on the West's official recognition of the post-World War II borders while Brezhnev made certain commitments to human rights. The human rights commitment in the pact ultimately facilitated the collapse of the Soviet Union...

CLICK to read more 

Anders ├ůslund is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC.   He is also a member of the Economy and Energy Task Force of the Friends of Ukraine Network, an initiative of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation.   

Russia pays no price for piracy in Kerch Strait
By Stephen Blank and Debra Cagan, The Hill, Dec 16, 2018 
The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill

It would be easy to dismiss Russia's latest ploy: The recent actions of Russian brigands and pirates masquerading as sailors, FSB troops, and air forces on the high seas, in the tiny Kerch Strait.

Why should the Europeans or Americans care about this small parcel of water? It connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, separating the Kerch Peninsula of Crimea in the west (which is international recognized as part of Ukraine) from the Russian Taman Peninsula in the east. Why should the rest of the world care about Russia breaching another treaty - one that ensures the strait and Azov Sea are shared territorial waters of both Ukraine and Russia? Why get involved in yet another "food fight" between those pesky Ukrainians and bulldozing Russians?

The reason is actually quite simple ... CLICK to read more

Stephen Blank, Ph.D., is a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council, focused on the geopolitics and geostrategy of the former Soviet Union, Russia and Eurasia. He is a former professor of Russian National Security Studies and National Security Affairs at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College. He is also a former MacArthur fellow at the U.S. Army War College.  Dr. Blank is also a member of the National Security Task Force of the Friends of Ukraine Network, an initiative of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation.   

The Kremlin scores a big victory as Davos lets in sanctioned oligarchs 
By  Vladimir Kara-Murza, The Washington Post, Dec 18, 2018

Last week brought the Kremlin a major victory against Western sanctions. After an intense lobbying campaign by Vladimir Putin's regime, aided by the government of Switzerland, the Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) reversed its decision to ban three Kremlin-connected oligarchs from its upcoming meeting in Davos.

"I am pleased that after discussions with all relevant parties, careful consideration of international legal frameworks and strong support from the Swiss government, we are able to host business and political leaders from all G20 countries," said  Alois Zwinggi, the WEF's managing director. Translated from the euphemistic language of corporate press releases, this means that Russian oligarchs Oleg D eripaska, Viktor Vekselberg and Andrei Kostin will be invited to attend the Davos forum, the world's premier gathering of political and business leaders, held every winter in a small ski resort in the Swiss Alps.

Deripaska, Russia's principal aluminum magnate; Vekselberg ... CLICK to read more 

Ex-U.S. foreign policy advisor says Russia's attack on Ukrainian boats 
was 'pre-planned ambush'
By UNIAN, Dec  11, 2018

Russia's FSB reportedly instructed the Kerch Maritime Authority not to reply to the Ukrainian request for passage until the FSB boats were positioned to attack.

Senior Director of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement and a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council Michael Carpenter, who served in the White House as a foreign policy advisor to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden as well as on the National Security Council as Director for Russia, says that Russia's attack on three Ukrainian vessels near the Kerch Strait in the Black Sea on November 25 was a pre-planned ambush. "Russian perfidy in the Kerch Strait was even worse than I thought. Just met in Kyiv with Ukraine's Navy Commander, Admiral [Ihor] Voronchenko, who said the (Russian) Kerch Maritime Authority had radioed the Ukrainians ...  CLICK to read more

Michael Carpenter, who is referenced above, is also a member of the National Security Task Force of the Friends of Ukraine Network, an initiative of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation.   
Russia 'paved way for Ukraine ship seizures with fake news drive'
By Daniel Boffey, The Guardian, Dec 10, 2018
EU's security commissioner says Moscow spread false claims for at least a year before last month's seizures  

The Kremlin launched a year-long disinformation campaign to soften up public opinion before its recent seizure of three Ukrainian ships and their crews in the Sea of Azov, the EU's security commissioner has alleged.
Julian King said Russia had paved the way for its decision to fire on and board two artillery ships and a tug boat through the dissemination of fake news ... CLICK to read more

Russia's Ongoing Violations in Ukraine

Ongoing Violations of International Law and Defiance of OSCE Principles 
and Commitments by the Russian Federation in Ukraine
As delivered by Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Gregory Macris
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
December 13, 2018

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Last week we concluded the fifth OSCE Ministerial since Russia's illegal seizure of Crimea and its subsequent military incursion into the Donbas. In these five years, Russia has sought to systematically destabilize Ukraine through perpetual violations of its sovereignty and territorial integrity amid a massive disinformation campaign. Russia's mockery of our shared OSCE principles and commitments has extinguished more than ten thousand lives and left another forty thousand people wounded.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has strengthened the resolve of the trans-Atlantic community. Sanctions regimes have expanded. The Ukrainian public is more unified and European-oriented. Conversely, living conditions for Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the Donbas are undeniably worse than in the rest of the country.

By continuing on its path of aggression, Russia only further isolates itself and obscures the possibility of a better future for itself and its neighbors ... CLICK to read more

History in the making in Kyiv 

UGA ranks No. 1 in U.S. for new products to market
By Michael Terrazas, University of Georgia Research

Building on its continued growth in research and innovation, the University of Georgia ranked first among 193 U.S. institutions for the number of commercial products reaching the market in 2017, according to a survey released by AUTM, a nonprofit organization that tracks technology transfer among universities, colleges and other research institutions.

In 2017, 52 new products based on UGA research reached the market, outpacing the second-place institution (University of Michigan), which had 37. UGA also ranked fourth among universities for the number of new intellectual property licenses to industry, its 11th consecutive year in the top 10.

"The success we are experiencing results from strategic decisions to support and encourage a wide-ranging culture of research and innovation that promotes economic development and helps elevate the University of Georgia to the top tier of research universities in the United States," said President Jere W. Morehead. "We are not only expanding the research activity on campus and our ability to attract sponsored research dollars but also expanding our partnerships with industry to make research-based products available to the world."

In 2018, UGA's  new products to market included a poultry vaccine;  eco-friendly charcoal lighter; soil remediation products; research and educational tools; and new peanut, pecan, soybean, wheat, citrus and ornamental plant varieties, said Derek Eberhart, associate vice president for research and executive director of Innovation Gateway, UGA's research commercialization office ... CLICK for more

Note:  It's this type of proven track record that the University of Georgia (UGA) brings to USUF's Biotech Initiative!  

Rusty Brooks, a member of USUF's Board of Advisors, is an affiliated faculty member for the School of Public & International Affairs at the University of Georgia and an Associate Director of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government and Director of the Institute's International Center.  

Through Rusty's leadership,  UGA and USUF have partnered together for two decades, through the 10-year USAID-funded U.S.-Ukraine Community Partnerships Project (1997-2007) and other collaborative, joint activities. 

Now, USUF is in discussion with UGA regarding the Biotech Initiative - so that members of Ukraine's biotech community can take advantage of training and start-up opportunities with USUF and  UGA!   


  MadeinUkaineTechStartupEdition  is a monthly podcast series produced and hosted by Mike Buryk, a member of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation's Board of Advisors, a long-time Foundation supporter and business development advisor.    Start listening today ... go to  https://soundcloud.com/ukrainetech/.

In 2016, Ukrainian tech entrepreneur Ivan Pasichnyk was included in the Forbes "30 under 30" in Europe list of top leaders and talented innovators. His startup company, Ecoisme, is a home automation and smart home company. Its product is an energy monitoring unit that is attached to the main electrical panel in a home where it can monitor and sense appliance use throughout the house and pinpoint how better efficiency can be achieved. CEO Pasichnyk talks about his company, some of its recent challenges and where it is heading.   CLICK TO LISTEN 

Salo: Saving Ukraine's National Obsession - One Pig Breed at a Time
By U.S.-Ukraine Foundation
When Myrhorod pigs started dying in large numbers last August in the Poltava region, Doctor of Agriculture, Oksana Shcherbak - a recipient of a U.S.-Ukraine Foundation Emerging Biotech Leader Award - was part of an initiative among Ukraine's agricultural institutes to try to save the breed.  Well- adapted to the Ukrainian forest-steppe and to pasture grazing, Myrhorod pigs are a breed with an unusual high percentage of fat which makes its meat tender and highly calorific.
Scientists at the Dekabrist Breeding Center of the Institute of Pig Breeding and Agro-Industrial Production within the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences of Ukraine (NAAS) examined samples from the dead pigs and identified the cause of decline to be DNA from the African swine fever virus. The infected animals were destroyed and the territory where the outbreak occurred was quarantined with measures taken to prevent the outbreak of a wider epidemic.
Through biotechnology measures, scientists in Ukraine attempt to artificially inseminate a Myrhorod sow in an effort to save the breed from extinction after an outbreak of African swine fever nearly infected all but roughly a dozen of the animals last August.

As a result, only about half-a-dozen sows, two boars and four piglets of the Myrhorod breed were left in Ukraine. The animals are related, and the remaining stock is too small to restore the breed. Therefore, NAAS breeders turned for help to their colleagues at the Bank of Animal Genetic Resources of the NAAS Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics. The problem of the breed going extinct was considered a serious enough issue that a workshop was convened where representatives from several institutes discussed "Implementing Biotechnological Techniques for the Breeding of Myrhorod Breed Pigs in Ukraine." The highlight of the workshop was the artificial insemination of a Myrhorod sow with cryo-preserved sperm from a pure-bred Myrhorod boar - encouraging news for salo connoisseurs everywhere.
Regrettably, as of December 17, the artificial insemination was proven to be unsuccessful. However, the scientists on the project plan to reconvene in the New Year to consider their next steps moving forward.
To learn more about Ukraine's love affair with salo:  CLICK HERE  
Veselka serves hundreds daily with Ukrainian cuisine in Manhattan

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