UPDATE

                                                                                                                     ISSUE 23 - NOVEMBER 2, 2018
UPCOMING ELECTIONS 

Russia, Western Powers Clash At UN Over Elections In Eastern Ukraine
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, October 31, 2018 

Russia has clashed with the United States and European powers at the United Nations over the legality of elections in areas of eastern Ukraine held by Moscow-backed separatists.

During debate on the planned elections in Donetsk and Luhansk on November 11, the UN's political chief said she backed the Western view that the votes would violate a 2015 accord laying out steps for settling the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The position taken by UN political chief Rosemary DiCarlo left Russia isolated at the UN Security Council meeting. Western allies also blocked Russia from bringing a Luhansk separatist official, Olena Kravchenko, before the council to provide a briefing on the elections.

In a vote called by Western states on whether she could speak, Russia was the only one in favor, with seven countries against and ... CLICK to read more 


How Ukraine's Presidential Race Is Shaping Up 
By Mykola Vorobiov, Atlantic Council, Oct 29, 2018  
On October 9, DemAlliance chairman Vasyl Gatsko and Lviv Mayor and head of the Samopomich political party Andriy Sadovyi agreed to join forces in advance of the 2019 presidential election. Courtesy: DemAlliance

Ukraine's presidential race is in full swing, even though the official campaign period has not yet begun. 

At this point, incumbent President Petro Poroshenko and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko may make the second round; no candidate is expected to take 50 percent in the first round. If elections were held now, Tymoshenko would take 12.9 percent while Poroshenko polled second at 8.4 percent. Interestingly, Ukrainian comedian Volodymir Zelensky and rock star Svyatoslav Vakarchuk would receive 7.9 and 7.6 percent respectively, which points to society's deep fatigue and distrust of the old faces.

For Poroshenko and Tymoshenko, it's a do-or-die race. Both have been in politics nearly twenty years and the loser will find it difficult if not impossible to recover.

Poroshenko hasn't yet announced that he will seek a second term ... CLICK for more 


Bolton Tells Russia To 'Get Out' Of Ukraine, Stop Election Meddling 
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Oct 26, 2018 

U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton has told Russia that it should "get out" of Crimea and eastern Ukraine and "stop interfering" in U.S. elections, warning that Washington could impose further sanctions on Moscow.

"It will be helpful if they stop interfering in our election...get out of Crimea and the Donbas in Ukraine," Bolton told Reuters during a stop in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, on October 26.

He also urged Moscow to "stop using illegal chemical weapons to conduct assassination attempts against Russian exiles in the West and...be less intrusive in the Middle East."

Such actions had prompted Washington to impose sanctions on Moscow in the past  ... CLICK  

 
HUMAN RIGHTS

EU rebukes Putin with human rights prize to jailed Ukrainian film-maker 
European parliament gives award to Oleg Sentsov, 
who has been described by Vladimir Putin as a terrorist
By Andrew Roth, The Guardian, Oct 25, 2018

A Crimean dissident sentenced to 20 years in Russian prison has been awarded the European parliament's prestigious Sakharov prize in a sharp criticism of Russia's human rights record likely to provoke anger from the Kremlin.

Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian film-maker vocally opposed to Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, was convicted on terrorism charges in 2015 and sentenced to two decades in prison.

He held a 145-day hunger strike earlier this year to ... CLICK to read more

 

Ukrainian farmer Volodymyr Balukh was falsely accused of illegally storing ammunition and explosives, while his real crime was refusing to take Russian citizenship and raising the Ukrainian flag above his house. He was sentenced to three years in a medium-security prison colony in Crimea. 
Credit: RFE_RL
Since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, Moscow and its proxies have put dozens of Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar political prisoners behind bars. However, there are many other people in Russian prisons who have been incarcerated for their unwillingness to bow down to Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime.   

The fabrication of these cases has been  refined in Russia's courts. There a court   does not need real evidence, just an order   from above. The evidence and all other case-related elements can be carelessly thrown together, as the details don't matter. Moreover, Russians can hold people in pre-trial detention centers for years without trial. 

The number of political prisoners in Russia has been growing in recent years, and this is unlikely to change...  CLICK for more 


After almost 5 years of Russian aggression, Ukraine is still unable 
to prosecute for war crimes
By Halya Coynash, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, Oct 30, 2018 

Almost five years have passed since Russia launched its military aggression against Ukraine, yet in all that time only one person has been convicted of a war crime.  While catching some of the worst war criminals is difficult, the main problem lies in  glaring gaps in Ukrainian legislation which the government has been in no hurry to rectify. 

A bill, drawn up by lawyers for the Human Rights Agenda coalition of NGOs and the Justice Ministry would establish liability for crimes against humanity and war crimes, and make other necessary amendments to Ukraine's Criminal Code to bring it into line with international legislation.  It had been awaiting review by the Cabinet of Ministers for a year, however there is now hope since the relevant government committee endorsed the bill on 25 October, and will be passing it to the Cabinet of Ministers. 

The government should try explaining why even this first step has taken so long to people like Iryna Dovhan, who was bound to a post in Donetsk and tormented for her pro-Ukrainian position ... 

CLICK to read more 

THE WAR 

U.S. Mission to the OSCE
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 prepared for delivery by Chargé d'Affaires Harry Kamian
to the Permanent Council, Vienna - November 1, 2018

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

We, the participating States of the OSCE, responded to Russia's manufactured conflict in eastern Ukraine by creating the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) and charging it with gathering information on the security situation throughout the country. During the nearly five years of the conflict, the SMM has exposed numerous incidents in which Russia-led forces sought to undermine this mandate and neutralize the Mission's powers of observation. This happened again on October 27 when an SMM long-range UAV flew close to the internationally recognized Russia-Ukraine border near the town of Nyzhnokrynske and observed for the seventh time trucks violating the sovereignty of Ukraine and crossing the Russian border where no crossing facility exists.

Within moments, the UAV experienced jamming, lost contact with its control station, and it is now presumed lost. At this point, we know the following: 1) Russia-led forces shot down the SMM's last two long-range UAVs in 2016; 2) Russia-led forces targeted an SMM long-range UAV with a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system in June 2018; 3) on October 27, before it was jammed, the long-range UAV spotted a SAM missile system; 4) according to the SMM, the most likely cause of the loss was an impact to the airframe which "disrupted" its flight; 5) that eight individuals reported hearing an explosion in the area around the time of the incident; and 6) the forces that Russia arms, trains, leads, and fights alongside consistently attempt to render the SMM blind by restricting, threatening, blocking, and harassing patrols. In light of these facts, Mr. Chair, unless evidence comes forth to the contrary, the United States will expect Russia to account for the downing of the SMM's UAV on October 27.

Since August, Russia-led forces have become increasingly uncomfortable ... CLICK  to read more



Amid Increased Civilian Deaths, Planned Separatist Elections in Eastern Ukraine, Renewed Talks Key to End Fighting, Top Political Official Tells Security Council
Reliefweb.int, Oct 30, 2018 

Report  from UN Security Council

Reporting civilian casualties again on the rise and separatist elections planned outside of the long-stalled Minsk agreements in eastern Ukraine, the United Nations top political-affairs official today called on all parties to recommit to swift implementation of those agreements to end the conflict.

"It is time for renewed and constructive action by all concerned to overcome the apparent impasse in diplomatic negotiations," Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said this afternoon in a briefing to the Security Council in which she was joined by Ursula Mueller, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator.

With little progress in talks to end the fighting, Ms. DiCarlo said the conflict, now in its fifth year, remained explosive, with ceasefire violations increasing following a recent lull, resulting in over 20 civilian casualties. She called on the parties to immediately and strictly observe their commitments, cease fighting, ensure the safety of civilians and humanitarian workers, withdraw heavy weapons and protect civilian infrastructure. Paying tribute to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission, she reiterated the call for all to ensure its safety and freedom of movement.

Urging all parties to avoid any unilateral steps that diverged from the Minsk agreements ... CLICK



Non-Combat Losses in Ukrainian Military Equal or Exceed Those in Combat
By Paul Goble, Window on Eurasia - New Series, Oct 28, 2018

Staunton, October 28 - According to incomplete and sometimes contradictory statistics, Ukrainian soldiers are dying in roughly the same number during periods of relatively non-violent positional warfare from suicides and other problems as they do in combat during periods when the front heats up, with approximately 2800 deaths in each case.

That pattern, Russian psychologists say reflects the fact that "soldiers of the Ukrainian armed forces simply do not understand why and for what they are fighting. And when soldiers do not have motivation, this leads to all the problems the Ukrainian army is encountering" ( svpressa.ru/war21/article/214368/).

"Non-combat losses arise wherever there are weapons, Aleksey Zakharov, a Moscow military psychologist says.  When soldiers understand why they are fighting, they hold up relatively well; when they don't, "this leads to a loss of ... CLICK to read more



SITUATION IN THE COMBAT ZONE
UKRAINE CRISIS MEDIA CENTER OCTOBER 22-28, 2018

Russia-backed militants made a series of precision attacks upon the positions of Ukraine's Joint Forces in the area of Stanytsia Luhanska, Avdiivka, Maryinka, Starohantivka, Pavlopil, Vodiane and Hnutove. 

Russian proxies fired upon the Ukrainian troops' strongholds near Avdiivka using 82-mm mortars, grenade launchers and small arms. They also fired upon the Joint Forces' positions outside Pavlopil and Vodiane from automatic and hand-held grenade launchers as well as from small arms.
 
On October 25, Ukrainian troops' positions near Svitlodarsk came under fire from the weapons mounted on infantry fighting vehicles and 120-mm mortars. Same weapons alongside 82-mm mortars were used in a hostile attack on Joint Forces' strongholds near Luhanske and Avdiivka. 



War-related environmental disaster in Ukraine
By Kristina Hook, Richard "Drew" Marcantonio, 
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, October 16, 2018

Yevhen Yakovlev sat in his Kiev office, some 700 kilometers from Ukraine's still-hot war with Russian-backed separatists, the room overcrowded by piles of paper containing primary data about the conflict. "Ukraine is standing before, first of all, an ecological catastrophe," he said, "more deep and dangerous than Chernobyl."

A geologist and now chief researcher at Kiev's Institute of Telecommunications and Global Information Space, Yakovlev has earned the right to reference Chernobyl, the 1986 nuclear accident in then-Soviet Ukraine that continues to haunt the country's physical, geological, and political landscape. In May 1986, one month before that nuclear disaster, Yakovlev was set to receive a reprimand from the Communist authorities in Moscow, who had reacted negatively to his reports of troubling irregularities at Chernobyl's ill-fated Reactor No. 4. Later, as a member of the Chernobyl response brigades, Yakovlev would be decorated for his role in the clean-up efforts.

Now, a review of Yakovlev's data and other environmental information regarding the active conflict in Ukraine ... CLICK to read more


NEW CRISIS:  SEA OF AZOV
Russia demonstrates readiness to undermine regional stability in 
Sea of Azov - U.S. envoy /  UNIAN, Oct 31, 2018 

The United States will continue to impose sanctions against Russia 
over aggression in Ukraine.  

Ukraine is facing Russian aggression in the Sea of Azov. 
Photo from UNIAN 

Russia demonstrates readiness to undermine regional stability in the Sea of Azov.

"Beyond eastern Ukraine, Russia's occupation of the Crimean peninsula and its aggressive actions in the Sea of Azov, where Russia is harassing and obstructing international shipping bound for Ukraine's ports, further demonstrate Moscow's blatant violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and readiness to undermine regional stability," U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, U.S. Mission to the United Nations, Ambassador Jonathan Cohen said in remarks at a UN Security Council briefing in New York City on October 30, 2018, on the situation in Ukraine.

He reiterated the U.S. condemns such destabilization activity of Russia in Ukraine ...  CLICK 


Situation in the Azov Sea: the European Parliament adopts a resolution
Ukraine Crisis Media Center, Oct 22-28, 2018

On October 25, the  European Parliament passed a resolution condemning Russia's actions violating the international law in the Azov Sea. The document calls on EU member states to clearly state that the targeted sanctions against Russia will be reinforced in case the standoff in the Azov Sea escalates further. One of the paragraphs of the resolution suggests introducing the post of the EU Special Envoy for Crimea and Donbas while the area of responsibility of the incumbent would also cover the Azov Sea. The European Parliament also "deplores the illegal extraction of oil and gas resources by the Russian Federation from Ukrainian territory; highlights the possible danger of Russia seizing existing Ukrainian oil and gas fields in the Sea of Azov once it achieves its aim of transforming it into an internal lake within the Russian Federation." 

The full text of the resolution is available  here.


RUSSIAN SANCTIONS ON UKRAINE 
Making Sense of Russia's New Draconian Sanctions on Ukraine
By Anders Åslund, Atlantic Council, Nov 1, 2018 

On November 1, the Russian government imposed severe economic sanctions on 322 Ukrainian individuals and 68 Ukrainian companies. These are the most extensive sanctions imposed by any country in the tit-for-tat confrontation between Russia and Western countries over Ukraine.

Curiously, these sanctions are explicitly only economic, declaring that any assets on the territory of the Russian Federation belonging to these individuals and enterprises will be frozen, though one would presume that none of these people will be allowed to enter Russia and no trade with the sanctioned companies will be possible.

The sanctions focus mainly on two groups, politicians and businessmen ...  CLICK to read more
 
Anders Åslund 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.   

RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION 

B y Dana Priest, James Jacoby and Anya Bourg, The Washington Post, Oct 28, 2018  


To get Zuckerberg's attention, the president posted a question for a town hall meeting at Facebook's Silicon Valley headquarters. There, a moderator read it aloud.

"Mark, will you establish a Facebook office in Ukraine?" the moderator said, chuckling, according to a video of the assembly. The room of young employees rippled with laughter. But the government's suggestion was serious: It believed that a Kiev office ... CLICK to read more

AUTOCEPHALY 
Moscow Sees Four Places It Can Exploit to Block 
Realization of Autocephaly in Ukraine  
By P aul Goble, Window on Eurasia - New Series, Nov 1, 2018 

Staunton, October 31 - The Universal Patriarch has made clear that he will grant autocephaly to Ukraine's Orthodox church, but neither the Moscow Patriarch nor the Russian state is prepared to accept that. Instead, both are considering ways that they can prevent the realization of autocephaly even if they can't now stop Bartholemew from offering it.

Irina Polyakova, a commentator for the Russian nationalist site Politikus, lists four things which she believes constitute "barriers on the path to the tomos" and which Moscow, religious and secular, can exploit to maintain Russia's position in Ukraine all the talk of the inevitability of autocephaly notwithstanding ( politikus.ru/articles/113314-chetyre-barera-na-puti-k-tomosu.html).

The first of these is the rumored corruption ... CLICK to read more 


EUROPEAN UNION 
EU8 members of the UN Security Council joint statement on Ukraine 
Gov.uk, Oct 30, 2018 



Statement delivered by Ambassador Karen Pierce, UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations on behalf of EU members of the Security Council.

I would like to make the following statement today on behalf of the five EU Members of the Security Council (France, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and the UK), and Italy, Belgium and Germany, as former and future EU Members of the Security Council, which demonstrates the continuity of the EU's position on Ukraine.

We as Member States of the European Union fully support the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within the internationally recognised borders.

We condemn the illegitimate "elections" planned for 11 November in the non-government controlled territories of the so-called "Luhansk People's Republic" and "Donetsk People's Republic". If held, these illegitimate "elections" would contravene commitments made under the Minsk agreements and violate Ukrainian law. Any such illegal elections would be incompatible with the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

We call on the international community to stand united in opposing these illegitimate "elections" that can only serve to undermine efforts to achieve peace in the region. We urge the separatists to abandon the plans for "elections" and call on Russia to bring its considerable influence to bear to stop the "elections" from taking place ...  CLICK to read more 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT  
Ivano-Frankivsk 'most transparent city for investors'
SUSTAINABLE ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS

News from the Ukrainian-American Environmental Association ...
UKRAINIAN SUSTAINABLE ENERGY and ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS HEADLINES
6930 Carroll Avenue, #340; Takoma Park, MD 20912 ...   301-270-6477 x.6
ua_ea@yahoo.com ... http://usukr-env.org/ ...  Twitter: Follow @UAEnvAssn



Ukraine's Green Business Startups Are Fixing the Grid, Empowering Mobility, and Reducing Waste:
CleanTechnica.com, by Julia Fedotovskykh, October 25, 2018
https://www.ubn.news/thursday-october-25

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A 3.6-MW Wind Turbine with the Largest Rotor Diameter (136 meters) in Ukraine Has Been Installed by Vindkraft Ukraina at the Overyanovska Wind Farm in the Kherson Region :   Ukrainian Wind Energy Association, October 30, 2018
http://uwea.com.ua/en/news/entry/na-hersonschine-ustanovlena-veu-s-naibolshim-v-ukrane-diametrom-rotora

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DTEK Renewables Is Developing a 246-MW Nikopol Solar Power Plant in the Dnipropetrovsk Region - Expected to Be the Biggest Solar Power Project in Ukraine
Energy Business Review, October 30, 2018
https://powerlinks.news/article/9bc34e/nikopol-solar-power-plant

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The Number of Ukrainian Households That Installed Solar Panels January-September 2018 Increased 2.5-Fold Year-Over-
Year to 3,000; Over 6,000 Families Now Have Rooftop Solar Systems Totaling 121-MW:  
Open for Business, October 29, 2018

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The 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Left a Ring of Ghost Villages as Residents Fled But Now People Are Choosing to Live in the Crumbling Houses on the Edge of the Exclusion Zone:   
Kyiv Ukraine News Blog, October 28, 2018
http://news.kievukraine.info/2018/10/the-people-who-moved-to-chernobyl.html

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Naftogaz Authorized to Raise $1Billion for Up to Five Years via Eurobonds -  One Focus Area Is Energy-Saving Projects to Cut Gas Consumption Among Low-Income Households:  
Ukraine Business News, by James Brooke, October 26, 2018
https://www.ubn.news/friday-october-26

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MAIN Group Ukraine Will Start Construction in 2019 of an 85-MW Solar Power Plant in Dnipro; Facility to Cost EUR 90 Million
Unian, October 26, 2018
https://ecology.unian.ua/alternativeenergy/10313727-u-dnipri-pobuduyut-sonyachnu-elektrostanciyu-potuzhnistyu-85-mvt-mayzhe-za-90-milyoniv-yevro.html  (in Ukrainian)  
and
https://ecotown.com.ua/news/U-Dnipri-pobuduyut-sonyachnu-stantsiyu-potuzhnistyu-85MVt  (in Ukrainian)

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A 25-MW Wind Power Plant Will Be Built in the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast by WES Prykarpatye; a 15 km, 110 kV Transmission Line Will Also Be Built:  EcoTown, by Natalya Yakovleva, October 25, 2018
https://ecotown.com.ua/news/Na-Prykarpatti-planuyut-pobuduvaty-vitrovu-stantsiyu-potuzhnistyu-25-MVt  (in Ukr)

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The First Energy Cooperative, Soniachne Misto, Plans to Launch a Pilot Project via Crowdfunding to Construct a 100-150 kW Solar Power Plant in Slavutych in 2019:   Open for Business, October 24, 2018

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Nearly 400 Pines 'Poisoned' Near the Lisova Metro Station in Kyiv:  
Хмарочос, October 23, 2018  (in Ukrainian)
https://hmarochos.kiev.ua/2018/10/23/nevidomi-otruyili-400-sosen-bilya-metro-lisova-foto-video




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OFFICE MANAGER/PROGRAM ASSISTANT - PROFESSIONAL OPPORTUNITY

  The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation seeks an Office Manager/Program Assistant to help with office management, communications, event planning, and other administrative functions.
 
The Office Manager/Program Assistant will work with Foundation staff in Washington, DC and Ukraine.
 
The Office Manager/Program Assistant will have wide ranging responsibilities, must be flexible and willing to assume varied duties and projects. Duties are primarily in-office and not tele-work.
 
Qualifications
Bachelor's degree
Ukrainian/English language skills very helpful
Effective oral, written and interpersonal skills to effectively interact with all levels of staff, U.S. and foreign government personnel, NGO community and the public
Capacity to work both independently and as a member of a team
Working knowledge of word processing and spreadsheet applications
Organizational skills and attention to detail
Ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks simultaneously
 
Send your materials to the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation at email: info@usukraine.org.
 
No phone calls, please.

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