Crucial EU Initiative that Outs Kremlin Lies Under Fire

A crucial program that identifies Kremlin methods of disinformation has come under attack. Alarmingly, one of the key accusations is that its activities constitute an attempt to restrict freedom of speech. The situation could not be more absurd.   | детальніше

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Political Shenanigans to the End: Ukraine’s Parliament elects their own MP as ‘Human Rights Ombudsman’

“The Ombudsman is not a commodity and parliament is not a bazaar!”. That was the message from Ukrainian rights activists this week, and one that Ukraine’s parliamentarians have now ignored. On March 15, a politician was elected to the post by her colleagues through procedure in open breach of the Law on the Human Rights Ombudsperson | детальніше

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The Truth Behind Ukraine’s Language Policy

On February 28, Ukraine’s Constitutional Court ruled the bill "On the principles of the state language policy” unconstitutional and rendered it invalid. The law in question, adopted back in 2012 and known as the “Kivalov-Kolesnichenko language law,” granted Russian the status of a “regional language.” | детальніше

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Yanukovych switches story about letter Putin used to justify Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was pulled out of Russian hiding on March 2 for a press conference seemingly aimed at denying that he had ‘really’ asked for Russian troops to be sent into Ukraine.  His rather confused denial follows the about-face by Russia regarding this same letter which was used quite unambiguously back in March 2014 to justify Russian military intervention in Ukraine. | детальніше

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Ukraine: the perennial disinformation target

Four years have passed since the protests and subsequent violence on Maidan square in Kyiv, and also another anniversary is soon upon us; that of the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia. It is therefore no surprise that we see a focus on these events in pro-Kremlin disinformation this week: anniversaries are often used as a hook to reinforce the disinformation narratives constructed to obscure the facts about what happened | детальніше

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Siemens is not alone in helping Russia to breach sanctions over Crimea

Siemens is continuing its attempts to present itself as the aggrieved party over the delivery of Siemens gas turbines to Russian-occupied Crimea.  The grounds for disbelieving them are strong enough to make it critical that both the German prosecutor and the EU respond.  It is also vital that the loop-holes in sanction documents or deliberate sanction-bypassing methods, used by major companies, such as Adidas, Metro Cash & Carry,  Auchan, Volkswagen, DHL, Visa and Mastercard are also challenged. | детальніше

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Fake Crimean Tatar pro-Putin propaganda stunt uses the wrong language

Russia cannot even fake a Crimean Tatar ‘rally in support of Russian President Vladimir Putin without getting it wrong.  Not only was the event very obviously orchestrated for the cameras, but they hadn’t even bothered to get the language right.  According to Refat Chubarov, head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, the words which were supposed to mean ‘Putin forward!’ in Crimean Tatar were, in fact, in the Tatar language | детальніше

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Ukrainian MP caught in scam to bypass sanctions on Russian-occupied Crimea

Skhemy investigative journalists report that Ukrainian MP and wealthy businessman Oleksandr Hereha has effectively retained his business in Crimea despite Russia’s occupation and in breach of both Ukrainian and international sanctions.  Hereha and his wife Halyna are using the same implausible denial and tricks used by Siemens and other international firms breaching sanctions.  | детальніше

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Saakashvili was illegally stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship. Formal grounds for deportation are mere cosmetics

Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili is now in Warsaw, having been forcibly detained and deported from Ukraine on February 12.  He was not arrested, and not sent back to Georgia to face imprisonment on charges which many suspect are politically-motivated.  That makes the cosmetics of the situation a touch better, but is still very far from being, as Ukrainian Border Guard spokesperson Oleh Slobodyan claimed, “in compliance with all legal procedure”.  | детальніше

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How can OSCE observe Russian ‘elections’ that are being illegally held in occupied Crimea?

There are several reasons why the event on March 18 which will give Vladimir Putin his fourth official term as Russian President can only loosely be termed ‘elections’. There is one, however, that surely invalidates any outcome since Russia is insisting on holding the elections in illegally occupied Ukrainian Crimea. | детальніше

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What Lavrov’s Lies Mean for Ukraine

Voltaire reportedly said that those who can persuade one to believe absurdities will lead one to commit atrocities. In contemporary politics Russia’s stance on Ukraine represents a cardinal example of the enduring validity of his remark. | детальніше

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Nurse held prisoner for revealing the Russian soldiers Russia claims are not in Ukraine

Unlike other civilian hostages sentenced to 14 or 17 years for a pro-Ukrainian flashmob or critical blog entries, Halyna Hayeva, really did pass on information about Russia military men receiving treatment in her hospital. Since Russia continues to deny its active military involvement in the war in Donbas, this was enough for the Kremlin-backed ‘republic’ to ‘sentence’ her to 10 years’ imprisonment. | детальніше

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Donbas reintegration law poses human rights risks & doesn’t help hold Russia to account

A contentious bill on reintegrating occupied parts of Donbas could be passed by Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada on Thursday despite warnings from major human rights NGOs that it poses serious dangers unless important amendments are made | детальніше

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Freed Donetsk religious scholar: Many in Donbas want a return to Ukraine but are afraid

Renowned religious specialist and freed hostage, Ihor Kozlovskyy believes that many locals who once actively supported the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ [DPR] would now like a return to Ukrainian control, but fear that they could end up imprisoned unless an amnesty is passed.  Kozlovskyy was giving his first interview since his release almost two years after he was seized in Donetsk for his pro-Ukrainian views. | детальніше

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UN hammers Russia over human rights abuse in illegally occupied Crimea

The UN General Assembly has passed a vital resolution on the human rights situation in Crimea which recognizes that Russia’s illegal occupation is an international armed conflict and gives victims of abuse wider scope to defend their rights.  Ukrainian human rights organizations played a major role in drawing up the document which refers to binding international law and covers abuse that had previously received too little attention. | детальніше

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What Ukrainians Really Think: 10 Key Insights from Ukraine’s 2017 Opinion Polls

A close examination of a range of recent national opinion polls—on topics like corruption, the health care system, migration, and Russia—show that the Ukrainian public is less optimistic and West-centric than the country’s leaders. Additionally, there is a wide gap in opinions between the residents of different regions, and between various generations.  | детальніше

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Council of Europe will share responsibility for grave human rights violations if it gives in to Russia now

Crimean Tatar leaders, the sister of Russia’s youngest Ukrainian political prisoner and prominent Ukrainian human rights organizations have warned the Council of Europe against compromising its own values by giving in to pressure from Russia. There can be no grounds for reinstating Russia’s voting rights within the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe [PACE] while Russia continues its occupation of Crimea, military aggression in Donbas and escalating human rights abuse | детальніше

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Legal experts demolish the allegations against Mikheil Saakashvili as his associate jailed

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General cane up with apparently serious allegations on December 5, as well as some intercepted telephone conversations, to back the aborted attempt to detain Mikheil Saakashvili which made headlines throughout the world.  While Saakashvili remains at liberty, his close associate Severion Dangadze has been remanded in custody, without bail, for two months, with this only fuelling concerns expressed by legal specialists about the legal substance to the accusations. | детальніше

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Ukraine Politicians Embrace Extreme Rhetoric

Despite some major reforms, Ukraine still suffers from widespread corruption and a malfunctioning court system. In this environment, politicians on all sides have been rushing to claim that they are the true leaders in the fight for corruption | детальніше

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Council of Europe will betray its human rights mandate by giving in to Russia, Mr Jagland

The Council of Europe is considering reinstating Russia’s voting rights which were withdrawn after Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014.  Crimea remains under occupation  with ever-mounting human rights abuse, making the reference given to the Council of Europe’s ‘human rights mandate’ as excuse for removing sanctions seem particularly disingenuous. | детальніше

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