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ISSUE 4

APRIL 17-MAY 21, 2014


International Stakeholders: Russian Military Provokes Conflict in Eastern Ukraine Kyiv, April 17, 2014. The political and military tension at Ukraine’s Eastern border reached a new high when Russian special forces were caught instigating a series of conflicts in a number of Ukraine’s Eastern cities, namely in Donetsk, Horlivka (Gorlovka), Luhansk, Kramatorsk, Chervony Lyman and Slovyansk. While the pro-Russian media continue to present an image of ‘Donetsk self-defense units fighting for their freedoms and liberties’, the facts on the ground present an altogether different reality: Russian special forces - Spetsnaz - have invaded Eastern Ukraine, marking a serious escalation in the conflict.

On April 12, 2014, with no insignia to identify them and with no explanation of who they were, people in green uniforms carrying firearms and military ammunition simultaneously poured into the streets of Eastern Ukrainian cities with the distinct aim of seizing administrative and governmental buildings. Using widely accessible photographs and video footage, international politicians, military experts and the media started analysing the unmistakable facts, which confirm Russia’s military involvement in the Eastern Ukrainian upheaval. According to a recent statement of the Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius, the insurgents all had the same assault rifles - AK100 - which are manufactured for the Russian military and are not available in Ukraine. Additionally, the shoe type and model worn by the armed insurgents was manufactured by Butex, a Russian enterprise that has been supplying Russian security agencies and military units for the past several years, as reported by Ukrainian journalist Roman Nedzelskyi. Numerous videos depicting the armed military personnel feature officers speaking native Russian; one of the officers, when speaking to local civilians, even used the word “porebrik”, which is not used in Ukraine and is specific to the region around

St. Petersburg in Russia.

Earlier, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU, or Sluzhba Bezbeky Ukrayiny) released a tape of an intercepted conversation between several people, including one who was later identified as one of the interlocutors - Igor Strelkov - staff of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) of the General Staff (GSh) of the Armed Forces (AF) of the Russian Federation (RF) under a call sign “Strelok” (“Shooter”). According to Ukrainian intelligence sources, he has been in the city of Slovyansk, Donetsk region, since April 12, 2014. On April 13, 2014, Strelkov was personally in charge of a raid during which personnel of the antiterrorist center of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) who were coming to perform an operation in Slovyansk were attacked and fired upon. As a result of the attack, one officer of the SBU was shot dead and three others wounded. The ambush was confirmed to have been organized by the raiding party of the GRU GSh of the Russian Federation. Additionally, NATO Secretary General Anders V Rasmussen reported that Russia was at fault in instigating separatism in Eastern Ukraine. “Russia should stop making up conflicts; it should rather look for solutions,” commented Rasmussen at the April 15 session the Council of Europe. At an extraordinary session of the Security Council of the United Nations, held on March 14, 2014, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power announced that “these events in Ukraine are neither protests, nor demonstrations. They are professionally fabricated military operations planned in Russia.” Reportedly at this session of UN Security Council, none of its members believed Russia’s myth of supporting the Russian-speaking population within the borders of allegedly “neo-fascist” Ukraine. The situation and possible resolutions of the military confrontation in Ukraine will be discussed at the meeting between Ukraine, Russia, the US and the EU scheduled for April 17, 2014.


Ukraine’s Interim President: Russia Seems Reluctant to Follow Up on Geneva Agreements Kyiv, April 22, 2014. The deal aimed at mitigating tensions between Russia and Ukraine and suspending Russian involvement in Eastern Ukraine seems to be resulting in nothing more than empty promises on the part of Russia. Five days after the agreement was reached in Geneva, Russian troops remain at Ukraine’s Eastern border, armed insurgents hold positions in seized buildings, and reports of new Russian provocations continue to reach media sources. In the meantime, Ukraine’s parliament started fulfilling its obligations and announced a draft law which guarantees amnesty to all activists who surrender weapons. After seven-hour talks on April 17, 2014, the negotiating parties agreed that in the next few days all illegal groups must be disarmed and all buildings seized during the crisis must be vacated; in return – all activists will be granted an amnesty. The enforcement of these measures demands that all Russian military units must withdraw from Ukraine’s territory; however, a number of national and international officials have expressed doubt that Russia will make good on the deal. Shortly after the treaty was signed, Ukraine’s interim Prime Minister Yatsenyuk said: “I do not have high expectations from the talks in Geneva, simply because I am not confident that Russia will follow the deal.” Despite the agreement, armed insurgents and pro-Russian separatists still continue to occupy public buildings in ten Eastern Ukrainian cities, calling for local referendums that would decide the fate of these regions vis-a-vis their relationship with the Russian Federation. “None of those at the talks directly represented those on the ground, particularly those occupying the buildings,” reported Katie Stallard, reporter of Sky News, located in Donetsk. In addition, international politicians, military experts and the media have caught the Kremlin fabricating a shooting on April 20, 2014. The Ministry of

Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation reported that Ukraine’s right-wing organization “Pravyi Sektor” (the Right Sector) had allegedly opened fire at a checkpoint manned by pro-Russian activists near Slovyansk, where three people were shot dead. Russian media reported that investigators allegedly retrieved a business card of Dmytro Yarosh – leader of the Right Sector - from the remains of a completely burned down vehicle. Analysts say that provocations such as this are targeted at escalating the conflict in Eastern Ukraine and at labeling Ukraine’s government as an aggressor who “does not adhere to the Geneva agreement”. “Unfortunately, neither Russian officials, nor their special forces, adhere to the Geneva deal,” said Ukraine’s interim President Oleksandr Turchynov during a meeting with the Vice President of the United States Joseph Biden. “Instead of disarming and vacating the seized public buildings, insurgents again occupied the police station in Kramatorsk; therefore violating all measures agreed upon in Geneva,” concluded Turchynov. Currently, a number of Russian officials are facing sanctions by the EU and the US. In case the Geneva agreement is violated or ignored, a third - and most severe - series of sanctions targeted at Russia’s energy sector will be imposed. Many believe that those sanctions may force Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin to adhere to the Geneva agreement. Notably, on April 17, 2014, representatives of the European Union, the United States, Ukraine and the Russian Federation reached an agreement on the following: “All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions.” The participants strongly condemned and rejected all expressions of extremism, racism and religious intolerance, including anti-Semitism. “All illegal armed groups must be disarmed; all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners; all illegally occupied streets, squares and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated. Amnesty will be granted to protesters and to those who have left buildings and other public places and surrendered weapons, with the exception of those found guilty of capital crimes...”


Interim Ukrainian Government Presents Tangible Achievements After 60 Days in Office


Kyiv, April 25, 2014. The signing of Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, removal of EU tariffs on imports of Ukrainian goods, streamlining of the licensing process in the agricultural sector – these were just some notable accomplishments of Ukraine’s interim government in the past 60 days. Other achievements included the reduction of taxes on medicine, the establishment of the National Guard, reform of the judicial sector, strengthening of anti-corruption policy, introduction of new decentralization policy, and negotiation of energy reform. Remarkably, on March 21, 2014 Ukraine and the European Union signed an Association Agreement which had been in the works for the past three years but had not been finalized by the Yanukovych administration. In addition, Ukraine and the European Union have agreed to remove all tariffs applied on Ukrainian goods which are exported to Europe. This measure creates a better environment for the turnaround of goods and is expected to result in an extra economic benefit of about EUR 500 million, as reported Ukraine’s interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Ukraine’s interim government has conducted financial aid negotiations with the US, Japan, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The total amount of the loan from helping states is estimated to reach USD 20 billion. The IMF is still in the process of deciding upon the loan amount. The new economic policy of the interim Ukrainian government has been focused on reducing government spending, lowering the number of public servants, shrinking the size of the state carport and lowering additional payments to governmental officials. Within the past 60 days the state budget has received more than UAH 16 billion in taxes, which is UAH 203.4 million more than during the same period last year. To address the business and agricultural sectors Ukraine’s Parliament adopted the law “On amendments to several legislative acts of Ukraine to reduce the number of permit documents”. This policy aims to simplify the licensing process and establishes transparent and fair rules for business operations, and aims to improve the investment climate in agricultural sector. Reforms in human rights protection and the judicial sector are emphasized in the new law “On restoring trust in the court system of Ukraine”. This law introduces the means and mechanisms for enabling lustration of judges in Ukraine. The government of Ukraine has unanimously voted in favor of establishing of a Special Commission within the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine which would conduct monitoring missions to ensure that human rights of all prisoners and detained persons are ensured in all respective institutions. The Ukrainian Parliament has also adopted laws for starting the process of eliminating the need to receive EU visas

for Ukrainian citizens. Those include laws on “Anti corruption policy strengthening”, “Public procurement”, amendments to the Customs and Tax Codes on tax reduction for medicine (from 20 percent to 7 percent), as well as laws on the EU visa liberalization system. The social security and education systems have been upgraded with a new social protection program for refugees and a new law on “Higher Education”. The new law provides universities with more autonomy and more advanced mechanisms for preventing corruption. A gradual cancellation of subsidies, which has a great impact on Ukrainian budget, has been one of the IMF’s conditions for providing the next tranche of loans and for improving the gas market sector. Therefore Ukraine’s newly-introduced energy reform is designed to gradually increase gas tariffs for the households. Additionally, Ukraine and Poland have agreed on simplifying the reverse supply of natural gas. Ukraine is also involved in ongoing negotiations with the U.S., the EU and other countries on how to improve its energy efficiency. The government presented a new concept of decentralization of the regions and local authorities in the bill “On the cooperation of local communities” and agreed with the EU about cooperation at all stages of local government reform and the introduction of the effective regional policy. The situation in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine forced the Ukrainian government to start reforming the military sector. In light of the military threat initiated by the Russian Federation at Ukraine’s eastern border, Ukraine’s government has decided to reform its military sector, increase its budget, open donation accounts and establish a National Guard. The current government, led by the interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was appointed by the Ukrainian Parliament on February 27, 2014, after the dramatic Euromaidan events that drove ex-President Viktor Yanukovych from office. Since then, Ukraine’s interim government has been working intently to adopt new political and economic reforms aimed at European integration.


U.S. Vice President Warns of Consequences If Russia Ignores Geneva Commitments

country’s regions while remaining a united and sovereign state. At the same time, Ukraine’s interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk stated that “No country should be able to behave like an armed bandit.” He also noted that Russia should stick to its international commitments and obligations and should not behave as a gangster in the modern century, as reported by The Telegraph.

Kyiv, April 23, 2014. U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden said that if Russia continued its support of masked persons who have taken over administrative buildings in eastern Ukraine, Russia would face even greater international isolation. His statement was released at a press conference following the Vice President’s meeting with the interim Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk on April 22 in Kyiv, as reported by Interfax. “No nation has the right to simply grab land from another nation,” said Biden during a press conference, emphasizing that the United States would never recognize Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea. In addition, the U.S. official called on Russia to “stop supporting men hiding behind masks and unmarked uniforms sowing unrest in eastern Ukraine.” The U.S. Vice President suggested that Russia should “stop talking and start acting” and stressed the importance of Russian representatives joining the OSCE mission in eastern Ukraine in accordance with the Geneva commitments. He also stressed the significance of Ukraine undertaking constitutional reform and decentralization of the state to protect the local government, language and ethnic traditions in the

So far, pro-Russian forces are occupying public buildings in about 10 eastern Ukrainian cities and are demanding a referendum to decide the question of joining Russia. Notably, a similar demand was orchestrated by pro-Russian forces in Crimea before the peninsula was illegally annexed by the Kremlin. The situation in Ukraine remains tense, especially since the pro-Russian militants have not taken any steps to leave the occupied administrative buildings in eastern Ukraine as agreed upon in the joint statement signed in Geneva, Switzerland. At the same time, the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov made it clear that Russia was ready for military action, stating that “Russian troops are on their territory”. “If the interests of Russian citizens are directly violated I see no other choice but to respond in accordance with international law,” he said, as reported by Ukrainska Pravda. Notably, on April 17, 2014, representatives of the European Union, the United States, Ukraine and the Russian Federation made a joint statement in which they agreed to refrain from violence, intimidation or provocative actions. They also agreed that all illegal armed groups should be disarmed, all illegally-seized buildings must be returned to their legitimate owners, and all illegally-occupied streets, squares and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated. In return Ukraine promised to grant amnesty to protesters. The government of Ukraine has already started to fulfill its obligations related to the Geneva commitments. The Ukrainian Parliament, or Verkhovna Rada, has announced a draft law which guarantees amnesty to those involved in the upheaval in Eastern Ukraine.


Russia lost $187 billion due to the Annexation of Crimea. This amount would suffice to load with gold ingots the entire railway train of 65 carriages and a locomotive also cast in gold‌


Crimean “Medal of Dishonor”: Putin’s Epic Blunder


Until recently, Vladimir Putin’s story of the Crimean crisis was one of an oppressed people breaking free, with the heartfelt support of a brotherly Russian army, from the clutches of a Neo-Nazi junta which allegedly seized power in Ukraine as a result of a coup d’état. The official Kremlin version of the story has cost millions of unofficial US dollars, which were spent on a gargantuan propaganda machine which has worked overtime to convince the international community of the authenticity of this perspective on Russia’s Crimean escapade. On April 10, 2014 in a four-hour televised heart-to-heart “chat” with the Russian people, Vladimir Putin personally reiterated this account of the struggle for Crimean “self-determination”. When asked about his decision to get involved in the Crimean crisis, he replied that “Russia has never planned annexation or military action in the Crimea, […], when Crimeans started talking about his desire of self-determination, then, of course, we started thinking what we should do. And it was then, but not some 5-10-20 years ago, when it was decided to support Crimeans”.

it seems, began one month before the Crimean people expressed their wish to rejoin Russia at a referendum, three days before President Yanukovych fled the country, and minutes before the mass murder of unarmed Euromaidan protestors. Looking at the dates on the medal through the prism of these facts, a judge at the International Criminal Court in Rome would be inclined to conclude that what Mr Putin called “an unexpected decision”, based on the freely expressed desire of the local population”, was, in reality, premeditated military aggression based on manipulative propaganda and brutal lies.

And Putin’s version of the Crimean story, thus told, would have remained – at least for those who generally tend to believe him – valid, had it not suffered a devastating blow from a completely unexpected turn of events. On March 25, 2014 the Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu presented the self-proclaimed Prime Minister of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov, together with the command of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, with a medal “For the Return of Crimea”. The award, as reported by the media, had been instituted by the Russian MOD to commemorate the reunification of the Crimean people with their historic motherland. While news of the medal “For the Return of Crimea” struck most pro-Ukrainian observers as yet another event in the Kremlin’s cynical neo-imperial farce, it soon disappeared from the headlines, overshadowed by concerns over growing separatism and instability in the East of Ukraine.

In strictly legal terms, according to the norms and conventions of international criminal law, the Russian Federation (and its leadership), stands suspected of committing a crime of aggression against a sovereign country on a false pretext. Over the last two months the Kremlin’s propaganda machine has gone out of its way to try to convince the world that the crisis in Crimea was the result of the coming to power of a Neo-Nazi Russia-hating junta. Yet as the dates on the medal show, the operation to annex Crimea in fact began three days before the new Ukrainian government was formed.

The story of the infamous medal was unexpectedly resurrected a week ago by a little-known Ukrainian activist, Vladimir Prosin, who posted on his Facebook page a photo of the award’s reverse side. To the shock of many observers and experts, the image showed an inscription of the exact dates of the Russian Federation’s campaign for the return of Crimea: 20 February – 18 March 2014. To appreciate the magnitude of this almost accidental discovery, one needs to recall the state of Ukraine on February 20, 2014 – the official date, according to the Russian MOD, of the beginning of its Crimea campaign. On that historical day, Ukraine’s now-fugitive President Yanukovych was still legitimately in power; the Crimean people were going about their daily businesses without a shadow of a thought about their urge for “self-determination”; and, what makes the story most sickeningly immoral and cynical, unarmed Ukrainian protesters were lying breathless in puddles of their own blood in the center of Kyiv, the majority shot in the head by Yanukovych’s snipers. Putin’s “historic mission” to bring Crimea back to Russia’s fold,

More importantly, by referring to February 20, 2014 as the date of the beginning of the Crimea campaign, Russia inadvertently confesses that the shooting of innocent people on Maidan was the first stage of the military aggression. This implies that the mysterious unidentified snipers behind the Maidan slaughter were Russian soldiers on a historic mission for their motherland. Alternatively, the coincidence of the date of the beginning of the Crimea campaign matching the date of the mass killing of the protesters in Kyiv indicate that Putin is a deranged sadistic psychopath who chose the date on the medal to deliberately insult the Ukrainian people. And considering that he took Euromaidan’s victory as his personal defeat, this line of reasoning seems entirely plausible. The Russian MOD, interestingly, has not yet commented on the scandal stirred up by the medal. On the contrary, it hastily removed from its website (and from Google’s cache) photos of the medal and the original press release which it had posted on March 24, 2014 to announce the granting of the award. This, however, is not a scandal that Putin should be allowed to just sit out. He should either present the world with a viable explanation of the Crimean medal epic blunder, or he should start contacting attorneys who would be willing to defend him at the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes of aggression and crimes against humanity.


Ukraine, Slovakia Strike Reverse Gas Supply Deal

rope to Ukraine. A joint statement on the project was issued by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the V4 Group during their meeting in Budapest, as reported by ITAR TASS. In January 2014, Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers signed an agreement with Slovakia on reversing natural gas supplies, reported the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine. The document ratified by the Ukrainian party has been signed by the Slovakian counterpart on April 28, 2014.

Kyiv, April 29, 2014. Slovakia’s Minister of Economy, Tomas Malatinsky, has confirmed that Ukraine and Slovakia have reached an agreement on reversing the flow of gas between the two countries, according to Deutsche Welle. The agreement stipulates that gas will now be supplied to Ukraine though the Voyany-Uzhgorod pipeline. The Slovakian gas transport company Eustream reported earlier that reverse gas supplies through this route could commence in October and could reach three billion cubic meters per year. Starting in March 2015, this figure could rise to 10 billion cubic meters annually, according to information posted on economics.lb.ua. Ukraine has been trying to secure the reverse of gas supplies through Slovakia for the past year and a half. Ukrainian experts believe that the route could provide the country with about 12 billion cubic meters a year, or about half of the annual volume of natural gas Ukraine currently imports from Russia. Notably, in February 2014, the Visegrad Four (V4 Group: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) expressed readiness to resume a project which involved reversing the supply of natural gas from Eu-

Ukrainian officials reported that the Slovak corridor for reverse natural gas supplies was the most promising for Ukraine, but that it had previously been blocked by Russia’s Gazprom, according to rbc.ua. Moreover, in 2013 Ukraine negotiated cheaper reverse gas supplies through the European countries’ territories, including Poland and Hungary, and is still working on reaching an equivalent agreement with Romania. In May 2012, Ukraine signed a framework agreement with German electric utilities company RWE regarding the supply of gas to the Eastern European country. The company agreed to sell Ukraine up to five billion cubic meters of gas annually. By the end of 2012, RWE had sold Ukraine 56 million cubic meters of gas. Interestingly, the majority of Russian gas flows through Ukraine to Slovakia. Eustream has been contracted by Gazprom to accommodate the transfer of 50 billion cubic meters of gas annually under take-orpay conditions. Slovakia has allocated 93 percent of its gas transportation system for the transfer of Russian gas but has been using only 75 percent of its capacity so far. Therefore it cannot accommodate the substantial reverse gas supply without a new pipeline. Nevertheless, for the plan to work, it is enough to build an additional section of the pipeline, or approximately 300 meters, which may cost up to USD 10 million, reported lb.ua.


Ukraine’s Attorney General: Ex-President Yanukovych Suspected of Laundering USD 100 Billion from State Budget

of the assets were registered in foreign banks under different people’s names, including Yanukovych family members and the former president’s closest partners. Reportedly, at least USD 32 billion was physically transported out on February 18-20, when President Yanukovych was forced to flee the country after violent clashes in downtown Kyiv.

Kyiv, May 6, 2014. Nearly USD 100 billion of Ukraine’s state budget was embezzled in the three years that Viktor Yanukovych was president, according to Ukraine’s interim attorney general Oleh Makhnitskyi, who released this information at the Ukraine Forum on Asset Recovery held in London. Currently, a special commission of Ukrainian and foreign experts is investigating 50 enterprises, banks and separate individuals indicted for money laundering. “All government functions were working solely to help specific individuals and officials to manipulate state-funded projects and launder money. Governmental officials used these mechanisms to pilfer the state budget and in the meantime, law enforcement representatives looked the other way as these financial crimes were committed,” said Mykola Holomsha, deputy attorney general of Ukraine. According to the first findings of the investigation, a major portion of the stolen assets were found in European banks, primarily in Austria and Switzerland. These bank assets have now been frozen and the commission is working on enforcing legal mechanisms to return the laundered funds to the state budget. Many

Asset freezes have also been applied to Viktor Yanukovych’s son Oleksandr – former director of MAKO holding, Andryi Klyuev – former First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, Serhyi Klyuev – former member of Ukrainian parliament, Mykola Prysyazhnyuk - former Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, Viktor Pshonka – former prosecutor general, and Eduard Stavytskyi – former Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine, as well as others. In total, asset freezes have been applied to nearly 20 Ukrainian officials who were involved in money laundering under the Yanukovych regime. “Until today, none of us realized how large an amount of money had been stolen in the past four years,” concluded Holomsha. Interestingly, the investigative commission found 42 kilograms of gold and USD 4.8 million in cash when inspecting the office of the former Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine after he was forced to resign and fled the country. Additionally, the commission uncovered 14 Ukrainian banks that had laundered USD 13,5 billion over the past four years. According to Ukraine’s attorney general, former President Viktor Yanukovych had been at the helm of an unimaginably corrupt network which was created with the aim of enriching himself and his closest counterparts. After Ukrainians ousted him in February, the mechanism collapsed and all who were involved in money laundering schemes will be investigated. To date, the government of Ukraine has opened 264 criminal cases on local businessmen and former high-ranking officials.

Photo courtesy of elise.com.ua


The Myth of Ukraine’s Language Divide One of the most pervasive arguments heard from Moscow to justify its intervention in Ukraine is the supposed need to protect ethnic Russians and Russian-speakers in the east and south of the country. This argument assumes that Ukraine’s population consists of two clearly separated linguistic groups, the Ukrainian-speakers of the west and center on the one hand, and Russian-speakers of the east and south on the other. This assumption often extends beyond linguistic groupings to equate them with identical ethnic ones, thus creating an image of the east and south of Ukraine as ethnically Russian and, by extension, proRussian and pro-Putin. In this way, Ukraine is presented as divided between the nationalist west and the pro-Russian east, the former instigated by NATO and the latter allegedly needing protection from Moscow.

Furthermore, while only one in six ethnic Ukrainians asserted in 2001 their linguistic identity as Russian-speakers, the share of those who speak primarily Russian in everyday life is much higher. According to surveys [V2], up to one third of ethnic Ukrainians throughout the country prefer to speak Russian, which makes the number of everyday speakers of each language within the country’s population roughly equal. In terms of the language people use in their homes, around 40 percent speak predominantly Ukrainian, a few percent fewer predominantly Russian, and more than 20 percent use both languages depending on the circumstances [V3]. In fact, many people, particularly in less educated rural areas of eastern Ukraine, mix Ukrainian and Russian together in what is known as surzhyk. The widespread use of both languages and mixed language means that the two linguistic groups overlap significantly, making their definitive distinction problematic.

This assumption is wrong. To begin with, linguistic identity (perception of a certain language as native) in Ukraine does not coincide with ethnic identity (perception of oneself as a member of a certain group, or nationality). This discrepancy is the result of large-scale Russification of Ukrainians under imperial and Soviet rule, which the current Russian “protection” seeks to build on. While only 17 percent of Ukraine’s population claimed Russian nationality in the latest census of 2001, 30 percent called Russian their native language.

Another important feature of the linguistic situation in Ukraine is that speaking a certain language does not necessarily mean supporting its use and promotion by the state. In pressuring for the elevation of the legal status of Russian in Ukraine, the Kremlin usually presents this demand as one that reflects the unanimous will of eastern Ukraine. This blatantly distorts what is in reality a much more complex picture of popular preferences. Russian-speakers do not necessarily support granting the Russian language the status of a second state language.

In the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where Kremlin-backed separatists are currently seeking to undermine the country’s integrity and stability, almost 60 percent of the population considers itself ethnically Ukrainian, even though more than 70 percent claim Russian as their native language[V1]. In all other eastern and southern regions, those who identify themselves as Russian or native Russian-speakers are in the minority. And regardless of whether ethnicity or language is being considered, the differences between particular regions of southeast Ukraine are significant enough to make the notion of a uniform pro-Russian area of Ukraine an illusion.

In a 2012 survey [V4] , this status was preferred by 55 percent of those speaking primarily Russian, while 18 percent opted for the status of Russian as a local official language. Remarkably, one in five Russian-speakers wanted the status of their language to remain unchanged, which at the time of the survey meant that Russian would retain the status of a national minority language, one that Russian propaganda has denounced as discriminatory.


The responses to this question illustrate radical differences between the preferences of what the Russian government refers to as a supposedly homogenous “east”, or “south-east” of Ukraine. While in Crimea and the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, 61 percent wanted Russian to be a second state language, in other eastern and southern regions this share was only 36 percent. That is, in these regions most people are ready to accept the status of Russian as a local official language, one that is already enjoys according to current law. Even those Ukrainians who want Russian as a second official language overwhelmingly prefer to live in Ukraine rather than in Russia. In the same survey, only a third of respondents in Ukraine’s eastern and southern oblasts agreed with the statement that “Russia justly protects the citizens’ interests” in their region and only 10 percent said they would greet or join the Russian army if it invaded Ukraine, half

the number of those who declared their intention to put up military resistance. There was considerable regional variation within southeast Ukraine, implying that Russian-speakers in Dnipropetrovsk and Mykolaiv would behave very differently from their linguistic “brethren” in Donetsk or Luhansk, and more like Ukrainian-speakers in Lviv or Poltava. In reality, lines of division in Ukraine today run not between those who speak Ukrainian and those who speak Russian, but rather between the majority who love Ukraine and the minority who do not.

Volodymyr Kulyk, Head Research Fellow, Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

V1. http://2001.ukrcensus.gov.ua/eng/ V2: http://www.kiis.com.ua/materials/articles_ HVE/16_linguaethnical.pdf V3: http://www.i-soc.kiev.ua/institute/soc-mon-2013. pdf, p. 474. V4: Survey conducted for Volodymyr Kulyk by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology in February 2012 and not published in full. The figures provided are based on the author’s processing of raw data. The author’s popular publication of the survey data (but without these particular figures): http://gazeta. zn.ua/SOCIETY/yazykovaya_karta_i_obschestvennoe_mnenie.html (in Russian), http://www.telekritika. ua/daidzhest/2012-03-16/70480 (in Ukrainian) V5: http://zn.ua/UKRAINE/mneniya-i-vzglyadyzhiteley-yugo-vostoka-ukrainy-aprel-2014-143598_. html


The Kremlin continues to talk about alleged violations of the rights of the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine, particularly in reference to the Russian language issue. The infographic ...below shows that such a statement has nothing to do with reality


National Poll: Ukrainians Oppose Russia and Want to Join the EU

of Russian-speaking citizens - remain opposed to Russia’s intervention. Only seven percent of eastern Ukrainians answered “definitely yes” for a need to protect Russian speakers and ethnic Russians while 73 percent don’t think that the Russian army should protect them. On the question of national unity, two-thirds of Ukrainians think that Ukraine should remain a united, unitary state. Eastern Ukraine’s population does have a view slightly different than the rest of the country – 35 percent want to live in a federal state and 40 percent support a unitary Ukraine.

Kyiv, April 30, 2014.The vast majority of Ukrainians don’t support Russian intervention in Ukraine and think Ukraine should remain a united, unitary state with strong ties to the EU. These were the results of a recent survey conducted in Ukraine by the public opinion and market research company Baltic Surveys/The Gallup Organization on behalf of the International Republican Institute (IRI). Despite Russia’s claims to the contrary, almost two-thirds of Russian-speaking citizens and eastern Ukrainians don’t want Russian “protection”. More than half of Russian speakers strongly approve the interim government. According to IRI polling, there is a striking difference between the true opinions of Ukrainians and how they are being portrayed by Russian propaganda. The overwhelming majority of respondents - 85 percent of the national population - remain opposed to Moscow’s sending troops to “protect” Russian-speaking citizens in Ukraine. About 92 percent of Ukrainian-speaking citizens responded that they were against Russia’s decision to send military units to Ukraine. Moreover, a large majority of respondents in eastern Ukraine - 69 percent, and 68 percent

Interestingly, while 54 percent of all Ukrainians have a desire to join the EU, only 27 percent of eastern Ukrainians want stronger ties with the EU. However, 57 percent of all Ukrainians and 29 percent of eastern Ukrainians are opposed to Ukraine joining the Customs Union with Russia. This demonstrates the generally pro-European orientation of Ukrainian citizens. Despite the fact that Ukrainians remain very critical of politicians, more than half (52 percent) approve of the job of the Interim Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and 53 percent have a favorable opinion of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. In comparison to European states, such support is relatively high. According to the Eurocommission Report, the proportion of Europeans who tend not to trust national governments is about 72 percent [http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/eb/eb80/eb80_first_en.pdf]. Interestingly, no more than 15 percent of the population of southern European countries, including Portugal, Spain, Greece, and Italy, support their national governments [http://www.gallup.com/poll/165647/trustgovernment-sinks-new-low-southern-europe.aspx]. The arguments used by the Kremlin to justify its invasion of Ukraine do not reflect the reality of public opinion in Ukraine, as is demonstrated by the Ukrainian survey released by IRI. The data was collected throughout Ukraine between April 3–12, 2014 through face-to-face interviews at respondents’ homes. The sample consisted of 1,200 permanent residents of Ukraine aged 18 and older and eligible to vote.

Photo courtesy of news.gtp.gr


Eastern Ukraine’s Pseudo Referendum Mocks Key Principles of Democratic Voting Kyiv, May 11, 2014. Sponsored by the Russian Federation eastern Ukraine’s illegal referendum blatantly violates key principles of democratic voting, stated today the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine. Eyewitnesses and international journalists report of the scarcity of voting cabins, circulation of pre-voted plebiscite ballots, gun threats to local civilians, and blatant negligence of identity and document checks during the voting in the cities of Eastern Ukraine. Ukraine’s government and the international community have already declared the illegitimacy of the referendum, taking place on May 11, 2014, while the separatist leaders report about the 90 percent voting turnout, the establishment of the People’s Republic of Donetsk and the launch of Russian Ruble shortly after referendum.

.Photo courtesy of rt.com


Organized by the pro-Russian separatists, the referendum in Donetsk and Luhansk regions features one key question: “Do you support the establishment of the People’s Republic of Donetsk?” Eyewitnesses report numerous armed persons standing near the polling stations. Russia’s RIA Novosti explains the enforcement of such measure as that “for solely security reasons.” On the other hand numerous observers and press report that much of Donbass population remains at home, being frightened to go either to the polling stations or outside.

referendum; the organizers of the referendum launched only 371 voting stations.

“Interestingly, voters of the Donbass region are just not aware where the polling stations are,” reports journalist Oleksiy Burlakov for Hromadske TV. In some Donbass cities the polling stations are “mobile.” “We introduce the mobile polling stations. This way we try to engage the maximum number of respondents. For security measures, mobile stations will be convoyed by “the private security firms from Dnipropetrovsk,” reads the statement of the Central Elections Committee of Donbass.

Earlier the self-proclaimed city major of Sloviansk, Vyatcheslav Ponomarev forecast that the voting turnout would be over 90%. Additionally, if according to the outcomes of the referendum, people decide to establish the People’s Republic of Donetsk, Russian Ruble will become area’s main currency. “This is to express our close economic integration with the Russian Federation,” concluded Ponomarev.

Reportedly, voting ballots for the referendum were printed on a regular paper and do not have any watermarks or other counterfeit protection measures. In Luhansk region, respondents could cast their votes on behalf of their “neighbors and spouses,” reported Novosti Donbassa. Additionally, the system allows to vote multiple times; however those votes have to be cast at different voting stations. “I voted for the fourth time near the city council of Makeevka, Donetsk region,” reports activist Yevhen Semekhin via his Facebook account. Suffice it to say, the majority of voting stations do not have the official lists of respondents. To remedy this shortcoming, the pro-Russian separatists introduced a new policy – all voters, willing to cast their vote can register on the spot, by presenting their IDs or passports, reported Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. In addition to a key question, the poll in Donetsk features an extra question as to whether Donbass region should join the United Kingdom. “The city of Donetsk was founded by an Englishman John Hughes in 1869 and now people of the Donetsk Republic may demand the annexation to the UK,” reads Pravda.ua The overall number of voting stations in the Donbass region is reported to be extremely low compared to the population number. Thus, Donetsk has 3,35 million citizens, 706 thousands of whom were registered for the

Some polling stations have been intentionally closed, so that large groups of people had to go to the same polling station. This was done to create the false image of long lines of people who were allegedly desirous of expressing their votes at the so-called referendum. Experts say that such image may be easily picked-up by a number of Russian media, and “the necessary image” will be circulating on Russia’s TV screens by tonight.

On May 10, 2014 Ukraine military detained a group of armed men, who were transporting 10 thousand pre-voted referendum ballots to the Donbass region. Ukraine’s government and the international community, namely the US, Germany, France and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) expressed their deep condemnation toward the Russia-sponsored referendum. “The execution of the Kremlin sponsored May 11 referendum for the establishment of the People’s Republic of Donetsk is judicially poor. The backstage of this illegitimate plebiscite is manufactured by Russian-sponsored armed separatists and gangs,” reads the official statement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine. “Referendum, scheduled for May 11, 2014 in Eastern Ukraine is illegitimate, according to the law of Ukraine. It is aimed only on separating and raising the overall chaos in the country,” commented Jen Psaki, spokesperson for the United States Department of State. Additionally, the US government called on Russia to withdraw all its troops from Ukraine’s eastern border, which only provoke the military confrontation between the two neighboring states. Since March 2014, Russia started actively deploying troops to Ukraine’s eastern border. In the meantime, pro-Russian separatist units started calling for federalization of Ukraine and promoted separation from the Eastern European State.


Russia Continues to Blatantly Manipulate the West about Absence of Russian Troops in Ukraine Kyiv, May 10, 2014. Officials of the Russian Federation continue to attempt to convince the West of the absence of Russian military involvement in Eastern Ukraine. In the meantime, Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) continue to uncover additional evidence of Russian engagement in fueling the violent confrontations on Ukraine’s eastern border.


Organized by the pro-Russian separatists, the referendum in Donetsk and Luhansk regions features one key question: “Do you support the establishment of the People’s Republic of Donetsk?” Eyewitnesses report numerous armed persons standing near the polling stations. Russia’s RIA Novosti explains the enforcement of such measure as that “for solely security reasons.” On the other hand numerous observers and press report that much of Donbass population remains at home, being frightened to go either to the polling stations or outside.

launched only 371 voting stations.

“Interestingly, voters of the Donbass region are just not aware where the polling stations are,” reports journalist Oleksiy Burlakov for Hromadske TV. In some Donbass cities the polling stations are “mobile.” “We introduce the mobile polling stations. This way we try to engage the maximum number of respondents. For security measures, mobile stations will be convoyed by “the private security firms from Dnipropetrovsk,” reads the statement of the Central Elections Committee of Donbass.

Earlier the self-proclaimed city major of Sloviansk, Vyatcheslav Ponomarev forecast that the voting turnout would be over 90%. Additionally, if according to the outcomes of the referendum, people decide to establish the People’s Republic of Donetsk, Russian Ruble will become area’s main currency. “This is to express our close economic integration with the Russian Federation,” concluded Ponomarev.

Reportedly, voting ballots for the referendum were printed on a regular paper and do not have any watermarks or other counterfeit protection measures. In Luhansk region, respondents could cast their votes on behalf of their “neighbors and spouses,” reported Novosti Donbassa. Additionally, the system allows to vote multiple times; however those votes have to be cast at different voting stations. “I voted for the fourth time near the city council of Makeevka, Donetsk region,” reports activist Yevhen Semekhin via his Facebook account. Suffice it to say, the majority of voting stations do not have the official lists of respondents. To remedy this shortcoming, the pro-Russian separatists introduced a new policy – all voters, willing to cast their vote can register on the spot, by presenting their IDs or passports, reported Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. In addition to a key question, the poll in Donetsk features an extra question as to whether Donbass region should join the United Kingdom. “The city of Donetsk was founded by an Englishman John Hughes in 1869 and now people of the Donetsk Republic may demand the annexation to the UK,” reads Pravda.ua The overall number of voting stations in the Donbass region is reported to be extremely low compared to the population number. Thus, Donetsk has 3,35 million citizens, 706 thousands of whom were registered for the referendum; the organizers of the referendum

Some polling stations have been intentionally closed, so that large groups of people had to go to the same polling station. This was done to create the false image of long lines of people who were allegedly desirous of expressing their votes at the so-called referendum. Experts say that such image may be easily picked-up by a number of Russian media, and “the necessary image” will be circulating on Russia’s TV screens by tonight.

On May 10, 2014 Ukraine military detained a group of armed men, who were transporting 10 thousand pre-voted referendum ballots to the Donbass region. Ukraine’s government and the international community, namely the US, Germany, France and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) expressed their deep condemnation toward the Russia-sponsored referendum. “The execution of the Kremlin sponsored May 11 referendum for the establishment of the People’s Republic of Donetsk is judicially poor. The backstage of this illegitimate plebiscite is manufactured by Russian-sponsored armed separatists and gangs,” reads the official statement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine. “Referendum, scheduled for May 11, 2014 in Eastern Ukraine is illegitimate, according to the law of Ukraine. It is aimed only on separating and raising the overall chaos in the country,” commented Jen Psaki, spokesperson for the United States Department of State. Additionally, the US government called on Russia to withdraw all its troops from Ukraine’s eastern border, which only provoke the military confrontation between the two neighboring states. Since March 2014, Russia started actively deploying troops to Ukraine’s eastern border. In the meantime, pro-Russian separatist units started calling for federalization of Ukraine and promoted separation from the Eastern European State.


Ukraine’s Anti-Terrorist Operation’s Death Toll Rises as Russia Violates Geneva Commitments Kyiv, May 9, 2014. Since the beginning of the Ukrainian government’s antiterrorist operation in April, 14 Ukrainian soldiers, including SBU (Ukrainian intelligence) agents, have been killed and 66 have suffered injuries. The death toll is likely to continue to rise as the government of the Russian Federation appears to be ignoring the Geneva accords, issuing controversial or even false statements, as well as providing support to terrorists and separatists in the east of Ukraine. In contrast, Ukraine has been fulfilling its obligations under the Geneva Agreement, as numerous foreign officials have stated. On May 5 in intense fighting during which several hundred terrorists attempted to break out of Sloviansk in the Donetsk region, which is surrounded by Ukrainian troops, they were defeated and suffered substantial losses. Interestingly, a large quantity of advanced Russian-made weapons, which are used by Russian Spetsnaz GRU (Russian military intelligence), was recovered at the site of the battle. Ukrainian troops involved in the fighting included special forces of the Interior ministry “Omega” and “Jaguar” as well as a special squad of SBU “Alpha”, as reported by censor.net.ua. According to local residents, terrorists in Sloviansk have mined administrative buildings in order to blow them up as soon as Ukrainian troops start another offensive. This way the separatists are aiming to place the blame on Ukrainian authorities; this is a similar strategy to the one used by Russia in Abkhazia. Although the Kremlin insists that Ukraine should stop this operation in the east, Russia itself has conducted four counterterrorist operations since the beginning of this year. In response, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stated that Russia has neither a legal nor a moral right to make such a demand, because last month alone Russian special forces conducted at least three counterterrorism operations in the North Caucasus, including in Buynaksk (April 2), Makhachkala (April 16), and Khasavyurt (April 24). The operations were excessively brutal and the degree of violence was disproportionate, reported to Ukraine’s MFA. Russia seems to have widely adopted the practice of issuing false claims and assurances regarding its troops. On

Monday, April 28 the Russian Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu assured U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that Russian forces, which began training drills at Ukraine’s border last week, had returned to their permanent positions. Nevertheless on April 29, despite Russia’s statement, NATO officials stressed that there was no evidence of this, as reported by Reuters. “We currently have no information that indicates a withdrawal of Russian troops from the Ukrainian border. We continue to urge Russia to abide by the Geneva agreement and to pull back all its troops along the Ukrainian border in favor of diplomacy and dialogue,” a NATO official told Reuters. Less than a month ago Russia and Ukraine have agreed that in the next few days all illegal groups must be disarmed and all buildings seized during the crisis must be vacated; in return – all activists would be granted an amnesty. The enforcement of these measures demanded that all Russian military units must withdraw from Ukraine’s territory. Despite the agreement, armed insurgents and pro-Russian separatists still continue to occupy public buildings in some eastern Ukrainian cities, calling for local referendums that would decide the fate of these regions vis-a-vis their relationship with the Russian Federation.

Notably, the head of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Ertugrup Apakan considers the fact that pro-Ukrainian activists left the buildings of the Kyiv city administration as a sign of Ukraine’s fulfillment of its obligations and commitments made in Switzerland. In addition, in a recent telephone conversation with Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel Ukraine’s acting President Oleksandr Turchynov reiterated that the anti-terrorist operation is being conducted exclusively against armed terrorists and saboteurs who seize hostages as well as terrorize and kill civilians in the east. “Slow progress of the counterterrorist operation is related to our willingness to ensure the security of civilians and avoid victims among peaceful citizens,” he noted. On Monday, May 5th, the Foreign Minister of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he considers it necessary to organize a new meeting in Geneva to discuss ways to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine. Two days later UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that he was ready to be a mediator in resolving the Ukrainian crisis. Ukraine, the United States, the European Union, and Russia should again come to the table and outline the reasons for the failure of the Geneva agreements, he noted.


A Russian gambit for the EU

2016 on, American deliveries of gas could double. By 2030, deliveries of American shale gas on global markets could be up to 150 billion cubic meters and completely cover the necessary volumes currently coming from Russia. The two alternatives described here are completely realistic, although they will only have a real impact over the next five years.

There is a move in chess called the gambit, which is when a player deliberately goes for an acceptable loss in return for a greater gain. This is the tactic Europe needs right now, in order to stop Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, now that it is becoming a clear threat for the European Union as well. The EU needs to dare to sacrifice its consumption of Russian energy. In this way, not only will it stop Russia, but in another five years, it could completely rid itself of its addiction to the Russian oil and gas needle. Given that EU countries are among the largest consumers of Russian gas and oil—oil and gas constitute 93% of all Russian exports to the EU— they can gradually turn away from these hydrocarbons by looking at alternate sources. One alternative to Russian oil is oil from Saudi Arabia in the nearest 2-5 years, or from Iraq, Libya and the US in the nearest 5 years or more. If the West arranges for oil deliveries from Saudi Arabia, it could drop the price on world markets to USD 80, which will cause a major decline in Russia’s economy, whose growth projections for 2014 were based on an oil price of USD100-110. As to Russian natural gas, the only competitor in the short term is shale gas from the US, although even if we could assume that deliveries to Europe would start tomorrow—realistically we’re looking at 2015—they will still only cover about 32% of European demand: the EU consumes 135 billion cubic meters of Russian gas annually, while the US will be able to start delivering only 44 billion cubic meters in 2015. According to our calculations, it will cost no more than USD 400 per 1,000 cubic meters. In some EU countries, this will make it cheaper than the Russian gas. From

What can Europe do today? If EU countries make the political decision to cut back on their consumption of Russian oil and gas, taking advantage of accumulated reserves, they could cut down the need for deliveries by 20-50%, but not more. With petroleum, the US could do this by using its strategic reserves and causing an artificial temporary increase in the supply of oil on world markets or by increasing deliveries from certain OPEC countries, like Saudi Arabia or Iran. The EU gas market can increase supplies of liquid gas from the US and the Persian Gulf countries—primarily Qatar—, and refuse to sign any more long-term contracts with Gazprom, the price of its gas being tied in to the price of oil. The impact on the Russian economy of partial reductions in the consumption of oil and gas. According to our calculations, the most realistic option today is to reduce the consumption of Russian energy by 20%, while also reducing its price by 20%. Given that 28% of Russia’s budget is based on taxes received from export profits on the sale of energy, a partial reduction in its consumption will reduce the Russian budget’s revenues by 8% or USD 126 billion. Who will be hit hardest by this “smallish” reduction in revenues? Based on the breakdown of expenditures in the Consolidated Budget of the Russian Federation—federal budget+local/regional budgets—the social sphere will suffer the most, as it took 33.7% of the budget in 2013, and programs in support of individual branches of the economy, 13.2%, and education, 11.6%. Healthcare would be slightly less affected, taking as it does only 8.7% of the Consolidated Budget. The EU has already finished drawing up the third package of sanctions against Russia. We hope that the EU will be ready to take the risk of a temporary cut in the consumption of Russian energy, all the more so when there are real options that would allow this on the part of OPEC countries. By Liubov Akulenko, Dmytro Naumenko


There are politicians and economists who keep saying that the sanctions against Russia are going to hurt European and U.S. economies as well. Their statements makes sense, however, if you don't want to fight the aggressor with weapons, economy is your next best choice. The infographic below is to show who will suffer more


Ukraine’s Contribution to Victory in World War II Is Unsurpassed

Kyiv, May 15, 2014. Ukraine paid the biggest price for victory in the Second World War. As a vital contributor to the Red Army and a key provider of industrial resources in the USSR, Ukraine incurred the largest number of casualties during WWII. Russia has claimed the victory for itself and has officially denied the Ukrainian role in the fight against the Nazis.

The real number of victims during WWII is still not fully known. Some relevant data is still held in Russian archives and is not available for non-Russian researchers. However, of the 41.7 million people living in Ukrainian Soviet Republic before the war, only 27.4 million were alive in Ukraine in 1945. Official data says that at least 8 million Ukrainians lost their lives: 5.5 - 6 million civilians, and more than 2.5 million natives of Ukraine were killed at the front. The data varies between 8 to 14 million killed, however, only 6 million have been identified. Remarkably, in December 2010, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin mentioned in an interview that the Soviet Union could have won the Second World War without Ukrainian forces. “We would definitely have won without Ukraine as a member of USSR, because we are the “winner state.” The war was won because of Russian industrial resources” he claimed. Nowadays, the Kremlin does its best to ignore Ukraine’s contribution to victory in WWII and did not acknowledge Ukrainian army veterans on this year’s Victory Day on May 9. The contribution of Ukrainians to victory in World War II was not just limited to the 7 million Ukrainian soldiers in the Red Army. Hundreds of Ukrainians also served as generals and commanders. The flag of victory over the Reichstag was first raised by a Ukrainian from Sumy, Alex Berest, according to Rostislav Pyliavets, researcher at Ukrainian Institute of National Memory. In addition, about 2.5 million Ukrainians received commendations and were awarded with medals by the Soviet Union. Ukraine was also the largest contributor to the industrial resources of the USSR. Before the war, the Ukrainian SSR was a leading center for metals and mining, chemical production, tractors, and agricultural machinery. In 1940, Ukrainian mechanical engineers built 671 line-haul locomotives (73.4 percent of all-Union production) and 16 thousand tons of mining and metallurgical equipment (67.5 percent).

The share of industrial production in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic included 60 percent of coal, 67.6 percent of iron, 35 percent of manganese ore, 64.7 percent of iron, 48.8 percent of steel, 74.5 percent of coke, and 58.8 percent of steel pipes. In addition, Ukraine produced 43 percent of electricity in the Soviet Union. Ukrainian agriculture produced more than 20 percent of bread, 75.5 percent of sugar, 20 percent of meat and 15 percent of butter and oil of the Soviet Union. The Ukrainian republic was also the leading producer of aircraft, locomotives, turbines and diesel engines for the Soviet navy. The USSR’s shipbuilding factories were located in Ukrainian cities of Zaporizhzhia, Kerch, Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Odesa and Kherson. Ukrainian aircraft factories in Dnipropetrovsk , Kharkiv , Kyiv and Kharkiv produced combat aircraft and engines, as well as various units and spare parts for them. The general demographic loss of Ukraine including those killed, deported, evacuated, the victims of concentration camps, and those who went into exile along with the retreating Nazis add up to at least 14 million people. This is the greatest single loss compared with the losses of other countries and nations in World War II. The USSR lost about 26.6 million lives in World War II. In comparison, the total losses in Germany were about 6 million. In fact, the total Ukrainian losses likely vary between 40 to 44 percent of the total casualties of the USSR. Moreover, Russian historians often exclude the number of killed and repressed Ukrainians during the period of 19391941. During Stalin’s repression in the prewar years and the first months of the war in Galicia and Volyn, thousands of victims were killed, repressed, or deported to Siberia. Reportedly, from 1944 to 1953 between the three Ukrainian oblasts of Galicia, Volyn and Rivne more than 500,000 people were repressed, of whom 134,000 were detained, 153,000 killed and 203,000 deported from Ukraine.

As one of the epicenters of military battles, Ukraine suffered heavily and lost millions of lives; millions more were left disabled. From June 22, 1941, until October 28, 1944, out of 76 strategic and front-line offensive and defensive operations of WWII, 29 were held on Ukrainian territory. The war destroyed 720 Ukrainian cities and towns and 28,000 villages, 250 of which were completely burned down. In addition, in Ukraine more than 16,500 industrial enterprises, 18,000 medical institutions, 33,000 schools, universities, colleges and research institutes, and 33,000 farms and state farms were destroyed as a result of World War II.


Eastern Ukraine’s Pseudo Referendum Mocks Key Principles of Democratic Voting Kyiv, May 8, 2014. Today, a team of international lawyers will present their report, Crisis in Ukraine: Its Legal Dimensions and recommendations on the ongoing crisis and armed conflict in Ukraine at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Prepared for Razom, a Ukrainian-American human rights organization, the welldocumented 76-page report covers all the critical legal aspects of the conflict: legal conclusions on Eastern Ukraine, annexation of Crimea, Budapest Memorandum on international security guarantees, and human rights and humanitarian law at issue.


Organized by the pro-Russian separatists, the referendum in Donetsk and Luhansk regions features one key question: “Do you support the establishment of the People’s Republic of Donetsk?” Eyewitnesses report numerous armed persons standing near the polling stations. Russia’s RIA Novosti explains the enforcement of such measure as that “for solely security reasons.” On the other hand numerous observers and press report that much of Donbass population remains at home, being frightened to go either to the polling stations or outside.

launched only 371 voting stations.

“Interestingly, voters of the Donbass region are just not aware where the polling stations are,” reports journalist Oleksiy Burlakov for Hromadske TV. In some Donbass cities the polling stations are “mobile.” “We introduce the mobile polling stations. This way we try to engage the maximum number of respondents. For security measures, mobile stations will be convoyed by “the private security firms from Dnipropetrovsk,” reads the statement of the Central Elections Committee of Donbass.

Earlier the self-proclaimed city major of Sloviansk, Vyatcheslav Ponomarev forecast that the voting turnout would be over 90%. Additionally, if according to the outcomes of the referendum, people decide to establish the People’s Republic of Donetsk, Russian Ruble will become area’s main currency. “This is to express our close economic integration with the Russian Federation,” concluded Ponomarev.

Reportedly, voting ballots for the referendum were printed on a regular paper and do not have any watermarks or other counterfeit protection measures. In Luhansk region, respondents could cast their votes on behalf of their “neighbors and spouses,” reported Novosti Donbassa. Additionally, the system allows to vote multiple times; however those votes have to be cast at different voting stations. “I voted for the fourth time near the city council of Makeevka, Donetsk region,” reports activist Yevhen Semekhin via his Facebook account. Suffice it to say, the majority of voting stations do not have the official lists of respondents. To remedy this shortcoming, the pro-Russian separatists introduced a new policy – all voters, willing to cast their vote can register on the spot, by presenting their IDs or passports, reported Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. In addition to a key question, the poll in Donetsk features an extra question as to whether Donbass region should join the United Kingdom. “The city of Donetsk was founded by an Englishman John Hughes in 1869 and now people of the Donetsk Republic may demand the annexation to the UK,” reads Pravda.ua The overall number of voting stations in the Donbass region is reported to be extremely low compared to the population number. Thus, Donetsk has 3,35 million citizens, 706 thousands of whom were registered for the referendum; the organizers of the referendum

Some polling stations have been intentionally closed, so that large groups of people had to go to the same polling station. This was done to create the false image of long lines of people who were allegedly desirous of expressing their votes at the so-called referendum. Experts say that such image may be easily picked-up by a number of Russian media, and “the necessary image” will be circulating on Russia’s TV screens by tonight.

On May 10, 2014 Ukraine military detained a group of armed men, who were transporting 10 thousand pre-voted referendum ballots to the Donbass region. Ukraine’s government and the international community, namely the US, Germany, France and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) expressed their deep condemnation toward the Russia-sponsored referendum. “The execution of the Kremlin sponsored May 11 referendum for the establishment of the People’s Republic of Donetsk is judicially poor. The backstage of this illegitimate plebiscite is manufactured by Russian-sponsored armed separatists and gangs,” reads the official statement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine. “Referendum, scheduled for May 11, 2014 in Eastern Ukraine is illegitimate, according to the law of Ukraine. It is aimed only on separating and raising the overall chaos in the country,” commented Jen Psaki, spokesperson for the United States Department of State. Additionally, the US government called on Russia to withdraw all its troops from Ukraine’s eastern border, which only provoke the military confrontation between the two neighboring states. Since March 2014, Russia started actively deploying troops to Ukraine’s eastern border. In the meantime, pro-Russian separatist units started calling for federalization of Ukraine and promoted separation from the Eastern European State.


Kremlin has working overtime painting a fake grotesque fascist image of neighboring Ukraine to justify their vicious military operations in the south-eastern part of the country. In the meantime, the inner policy of the Russian Federation was shaped exactly similar to that of the Stalin’s Soviet Union or Hitler’s Germany. The infographic below unveils key common characteristics of three dictatorship states and their difference with democratic .Ukraine


PEN Officials: Russia’s Media Rhetoric Fuels Ukraine-Russia Conflict

policy. There are seven officially registered TV channels, and as experts say, even more examples of media which are linked to the government or are beholden to governmental policies. Interestingly, one of the most-viewed channels in Russia and Eastern Ukraine is Russian 1 National TV Channel.

Kyiv, May 16, 2014. Moscow’s loud rhetoric, circulated via Russianbroadcast TV and radio channels both in Russia and in Ukraine provokes a deep conflict of interest, which leads to violent stand-offs in the eastern part of Ukraine. A statement on this conclusion was released on May 12, 2014 by a worldwide association of Poets, Essayists and Novelists – PEN International. “Today the Russian Federation uses the vehicle of language for manipulation and demolishing old linguistic notions. Firstly, this is a crime against language. Words used to voice Russian rhetoric, namely, “junta”, “fascism”, “Nazism” are powerful enough to evoke aggression and hatred,” reads the official PEN statement. The rhetoric used evokes strong negative emotions and is resulting in violent confrontations between pro-Ukrainian supporters and pro-Russian separatists on Ukraine’s territory, including in Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, Luhansk, Donetsk and Odesa, and exacerbated the military tension on Ukraine’s eastern border. In addition, PEN officials state, Russia has established a legal framework which is aimed at locally and internationally supporting the government’s media

PEN officials say that the same covert media strategy was used for the execution of the Crimean scenario – people were first brainwashed by Kremlin-generated information which resulted in the adoption of a strong Moscow-leaning perspective of Crimean residents. “The widely-aired Kremlin lies led to violence on the Crimean peninsula, and resulted in numerous casualties in Odessa as well as in the eastern part of the country,” the officials reiterated. On May 3, 2014 - World Press Freedom Day - Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin awarded journalists, reporters and editors for their contribution to communicating an allegedly “objective” reality. Thus, Russian media became a powerful weapon and journalists turned into full-fledged troops. “The blatant lies they spread led to bloodshed and deaths and their cynical reporting lethally damaged the viewpoints and perceptions of reality of ordinary Russian civilians,” reads the statement. Interestingly, in its annual Freedom of the Press report,the international watchdog organization Freedom House describes Russian media as “Not Free”, as Russia enforces legal limitations on printed, broadcast and web media agencies as well as on Internet blogs. As an example, the Russian State Duma has tried to legally shut down the blog of Russian activist Aleksei Navalnyi. Freedom House places Russia on the 81st position out of 197 evaluated countries. The Kremlin has been accused of using numerous means of instigating and exacerbating the confrontation between Ukraine and Russia, including through the use of covert actions of deploying pro-Russian separatists and extremists; overt military stand-offs at Ukraine’s eastern border and now – leveraging and co-opting the media in its propaganda campaign.


Putin’s Popularity Plummets Among Russian-Speaking Ukrainians Kyiv, May 17, 2014. According to the results of a recent poll conducted by the Ukrainian sociological organization Rating, as a result of Russian military intervention in Crimea and the country’s interference in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s popularity has plummeted drastically throughout Ukraine. Interestingly, the same poll shows that the vast majority of the regions where most of the population speaks Russian are now very hostile toward President Putin. This finding directly contradicts the Kremlin’s rhetoric about the existence of a besieged Russian-speaking population in Ukraine.


The poll compares Ukraine’s approval rating of Vladimir Putin in October 2013, before the start of Euromaidan and the political crisis in November to a follow-up poll conducted in April 2014, in the midst of turmoil in Ukraine’s Donbas region. Putin’s popularity has dropped drastically throughout all of Ukraine, with the notable exception of the Donbas region. The poll found a certain level of local support for the pro-Russian militants in the Donbas, despite noted hostility toward the Russian government in the rest of the Russian-speaking southeast. In October 2013, President Putin’s approval rating was 47 percent throughout Ukraine, with 40 percent of the population responding negatively to him. Respondents were most receptive toward Putin in Crimea and the Donbas, 74 and 63 percent of whom supported him respectively. Putin’s lowest approval ratings in October were in the western regions of the country, where only 22 percent responded favorably toward President Putin and 61 percent responded unfavorably. Six months later, following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its military support for separatists in the Donbas, Putin’s approval ratings diminished drastically across the country. In April 2014, approval for President Putin throughout Ukraine was only 16 percent, and more than three quarters of the population responded negatively to him. Perhaps most interesting among the poll’s findings are the regional breakdowns of Putin’s approval ratings. Unsurprisingly, approval for Putin is almost non-existent in the regions of east, central, and northern Ukraine. However, support for the Russian president has similarly plummeted in the regions of eastern and southern Ukraine. In the eastern regions of Kharkiv, Poltava, Dnipropetrovsk, and Zaporizhzhia, support for Putin has dropped more than three times from 62 percent in October 2013, to 19 percent in April 2014. More than two thirds of respondents had a negative opinion of the Kremlin leader. In the southern regions of Odesa, Mykolayiv, and Kherson, Putin’s approval dropped from 57 to 14 percent, whereas 71 percent of respondents in southern Ukraine opposes Vladimir Putin. However, certain areas in Donbas together with far eastern territories of Luhansk and Donetsk are the only ones in Ukraine that still hold somewhat positive views toward the Russian president, even as his support has plummeted in other Russian-speaking regions of the southeast. Support for Vladimir Putin

in the Donbas now stands at 66 percent of respondents, a 3 percent increase since October. Despite the overwhelming evidence of Russian military forces participating in, equipping, and leading separatist unrest, Putin’s continued popularity in the area suggests some level of broad-based support for the Russian government’s actions in the region, a fact which the Ukrainian government will have to take into account as it seeks to end the crisis and counter Russian hostility. Furthermore, the findings of this poll might help explain the Russian government’s inability to make separatist inroads into other regions of Russian-speaking Ukraine. Despite significant pro-Russian protests in the Ukrainian cities of Kharkiv and Odesa, armed militant actions of the scale seen in the Donbas have been extremely limited in these regions. Lack of popular support for separatism in these regions, if not outright hostility to the actions of President Putin, can possibly explain the absence of wider armed separatism in Kharkiv, Odesa, and other Russian-speaking cities. Remarkably, local support for President Putin in the Donbas area of Ukraine does not necessarily demonstrate local support for Russian annexation or an independent state in the Donbas. As demonstrated by polls recently released by the International Republican Institute (IRI), only five percent of residents in these regions claimed to support separatism from Ukraine or annexation by Russia. The plurality of eastern Ukraine, including the Donbas, supports a unitary Ukrainian state. According to IRI’s findings, 40 percent of the population of the eastern regions of Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Luhansk, and Donetsk support a unitary Ukrainian state, while 35 percent support a federalized country with significantly greater autonomy for local regions. Local support for Vladimir Putin in Donbas, as indicated by the Rating findings, are likely related to grievances with the central government in Kyiv, rather than to outright support for Russian annexation or an independent Donbas region. Local grievances, in all likelihood buttressed by Russian propaganda, are fueling a measure of popular support for pro-Russian militants that are vital for these forces to operate effectively. Putin’s plunging popularity in regions of Ukraine that formerly supported the Russian president indicate a backlash among Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine against Russia’s aggression in the country.


In response to ‘Six mistakes the West has made (and continues to make) in Ukraine’

Nicolai N. Petro: 8th May 2014 (Martin Nunn is a British journalist who has worked in the Former Soviet Union from 1986 to 1990 and for the past 21 years in Ukraine. He was a contributor and the editor of over 100 issues of ‘Democracy Watch’ an internet magazine focused on the reality of democracy in Ukraine.)


In the late 1980’s I was in Moscow having dinner with Victor Novikov the then deputy head of the TV broadcaster Ostankino when we got onto the subject of censorship and how writers at the height of Communist power got around state media laws. His response gave me a real insight into Professor Petro’s article. He told me that journalists had to learn to use facts wisely and to write so that the public could read between the lines. Do the same with Mr Petro’s article and it would appear that the author is also seeking to do more than just give us the benefit of his research and findings. 1. The Ukrainians are one people, united in their support for change: Professor Petro would like us to believe that the move to the West is in someway against the ethnic values of those living in the south and east of Ukraine… Ukrainians are one nationality just as the Americans, the French and the British are each ‘one’ nationality. There is a plurality of ethnicity and opinion in the country but so too is there in any free and democratic country. It’s what makes democracy work. America and Europe thrive on ethnic diversity so why should Ukrainian be any different? In the former Soviet Union you were first a citizen of the USSR and then you were a Russian or Ukrainian or Moldovan. Russia itself today is equally diverse, with less than 50% of the population of, for example, Moscow being ethnic Russians. At independence 98% (officially verified figure) of Ukrainians voted in favour of independence. Russians were given the opportunity to choose whether they wanted to live in an independent Ukraine or resettle to Russia. Less than 1300 families opted to move to Russia. Just prior to the November 2013 summit in Vilnius research indicated that over 70% of Ukrainians were in favour of closer links with the EU including those in the south and east. The east/west divide is one concocted by pro-Russian politicians principally from the Party of Regions who used the language issue to fight against the success of Yulia Tymoshenko and other Euro-centric politicians. In reality there is no more a language issue in Ukraine between Ukrainian and Russian than there is in the USA between English and Spanish. The interim Prime Minister has said that in future whilst the official language will be Ukrainian regional authorities can decide on whichever language they

prefer. Hence the language issue is now no longer relevant. 2. Supporting the Maidan’s ousting of President Yanukovych: Professor Petro would like us to believe that President Yanukovych was forced from office and that it was all some US inspired plot… President Yanukovych was not ousted. His exit was totally planned. Footage from his own security cameras at his luxury palace at ‘Mazhagira’ show the loading of crates of works of art onto vehicles on the days before he left, many were left awaiting transport. His vast wardrobes were completely empty as were those of his mistress… He was not planning to return. President Yanukovych made no attempt to fly back to Kyiv from Kharkiv on the day of his departure. The only flight plan lodged with Ukrainian Air Traffic Control was from Kyiv to Kharkiv and on to Donetsk where he was denied permission to fly on to Russia as the accompanying helicopters were Ukrainian government owned so he took a car to Crimea where a friendly boat was waiting to take him to Rostov on Don, Russia. Ukrainian Parliament has followed the Constitution and with the President having apparently abandoned his post, it elected a new Speaker who, according to the Constitution, also has to assume the post of the Acting President. An interim Prime Minister and Government were then approved by a clear parliamentary majority. All of which was only possible with the active support of the Party of Regions. There was no Western involvement. Ukrainian parliamentarians simply followed the law.


3. Failing to stand behind the February 21st Agreement: Professor Petro would like us to believe that the Geneva accord failed because the Europeans failed to stand by the terms of the accord… President Yanukovych signed the February 21st agreement the night before he absconded to Russia, therefore it was impossible for the agreement to be implemented because he was a key part of it. The interim Government and the Acting President took all the necessary action to secure the process of state management and control with the full consent of the Parliament and within the laws and Constitution of Ukraine. Subsequently the Party of Regions has since expelled former President Yanukovych. Moreover, the party has virtually imploded with more than 30% of its parliamentarians joining other political parties because they did not want to be associated with the apparent crimes of its former leader. The Party of Regions candidate in the forthcoming Presidential elections currently has less than 7% of the national vote despite the population of the East and South of Ukraine accounting for over 40% of the national total. A recent survey indicated that 70% of those living in the former Party of Regions strongholds want to live in a united Ukraine as part of Europe. In the Donbass less than 20% want to return to Russia and most of those are the elderly who reminisce for the past. As for the armed resistance. The “protests” in the Eastern Ukraine are a terrorist operation wholly funded by Russia and Yanukovych, using Russian weapons, mercenaries and Russian Special Forces. The local support base consists mainly from hired persons from the unemployed and criminal underworld. There is little public support and the recent referendum violated so many principles of a free and fair vote that it cannot be taken seriously. Crime in the regions of terrorist control has rocketed and the majority of the population live in fear. It is an artificially manufactured situation to give Russia an excuse to annex yet more Ukrainian territory and install yet another puppet government as they have done in Chechnya, Dagestan, Crimea, and regions of Georgia.

4. Ignoring the Radical Right: Professor Petro would like us to believe that the radical right are running amok in Kyiv and play a major part in the new government… ‘Right Sector’ suddenly appeared on the national stage just as EuroMaidan was starting. Today they do not have a viable political manifesto and it is unlikely that they will pass the 5% threshold in the next general election. Yet they attract a great deal of attention, especially from Moscow. Prior to the crisis the leaders of the Right Sector were a group of enforcers set up to protect west Ukrainian businesses from the Eastern underworld yet suddenly they are centre stage and accused of beating up old ladies in broad daylight on the streets of Kyiv. Right Sector has been disarmed and removed from the centre of Kyiv. Many of their members have been enrolled into the National Guard such that they are no longer a force of any concern. Kyiv today remains one of the safest cities in Europe. In the centre of the city street crime is virtually non-existent and you can walk about freely at any time of day and night. Right Sector is yet another pawn in the game of Ukrainian chess formed specifically to create a bogeyman to support the Russian cause. They have little or no influence in the politics of Ukraine. The other right wing political party ‘Svoboda’ will also not say where their funding comes from and again they rose to prominence at the right moment. Since EuroMaidan Svoboda’s support has fallen away markedly and experts predict a very grim and unpromising political future for this political force and its leaders.


5. Labelling protesters in the east and south as ‘pro-Moscow and separatists’: Professor Petro would like us to believe the protesters engaged in the South and East of Ukraine are not pro-Moscow separatists… Within a few hours of the results of the illegal referendum in Donetsk being announced, the self-appointed “government” asked Moscow to allow the ‘Peoples Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk’ to join the Russian Federation. “Pro-Moscow separatists” is, in fact, an unduly polite description of these armed groups of people. “State sponsored Russian terrorists” would be more accurate. Any attempt to justify the current status in these two regions as legitimate is a deliberate attempt to mislead and confuse. Considering that prior to the crisis the population of these regions has never expressed any demand for greater autonomy or greater regional rights, the whole affair appears to be yet another Kremlin’s ploy. During a long period of time the east and south of Ukraine were under the exclusive control of the Party of Regions at all levels of regional and local administration. These regions have some of the highest incidences of corruption and embezzlement in the country and those that benefited from it, including the former President, want to protect their corrupt revenue streams. In an alliance with Russia this would be possible, as almost all of Russian business operates under one ‘security umbrella’ or another. In a modern European Ukraine this would not be possible and many officials could face long jail terms. As for blaming the loss of Crimea on Kyiv. There was no solution without a considerable loss of life with little chance of success as Yanukovych and the previous Ministers of Defence had deliberately run the Ukrainian military down to a shell. It was a fait-a-compli and the same could well be true in the Donbass as the terrorists have no qualms about using human shields, just as President Putin predicted they would at a Kremlin press conference before the attempted annexation of Eastern Ukraine began. 6. Blaming Russia for Ukraine’s problems: Professor Petro would like us to believe that Russia is not to blame for the crisis…

Russia’s primary objective is to reclaim lands President Putin believes belong to Russia, including Ukraine. One only has to read his State of the Union address to understand exactly where he is coming from. Any attempt to whitewash this, especially by a University professor, is nothing short of lame appeasement or smacks of paid journalism. Russia has taken over Crimea and provided no humanitarian assistance whatsoever. The peninsular is now ruled by an unelected government supported by gun toting thugs. The tourist industry has collapsed, water and electricity supply are now spasmodic, agriculture is in severe difficulties, the banking system is failing and the only supply route into the country is based on a small car ferry across the Kerch Strait. The same happened in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and no doubt the same fate would befall an annexed eastern Ukraine. Putin is not interested in making new regions successful. He is interested only in his power over them as the rest of Russia testifies. What ought to be done Professor Petro’s views on what needs to be done are nothing more than a naïve capitulation to the Kremlin’s demands. They have no validity at all. Russia should: Start behaving like a 21st century State and stop interfering in the affairs of Ukraine or any other sovereign state Stop allowing Russia to be used as a base for terrorism in Ukraine and cut off the supply of money and weapons Return all its forces to their military bases Remove all its forces from Crimea with the exception of those allowed under the Sevastopol accord and assist the Ukrainian government in undoing the damage caused Stop seeking to “protect” Russian speakers who do not want and certainly do not need to be protected Recognise the interim Government and President in Ukraine and be supportive of the upcoming May 25th elections


Open negotiations with the new President and Government over protecting the rights of ethnic Russians in Ukraine accepting that they are, like many other nationalities in Ukraine, an ethnic minority Allow Ukrainians to freely decide their own destiny Return to Ukraine all those members of the former regime now subject to arrest warrants along with all their financial assets held in Russian banks Stop all the anti-Ukrainian propaganda on the Russian media Stop abusing the world’s political, financial, legal, educational and journalistic instruments Start engaging with the rest of the world to show what Russia is capable of contributing to the greater

good rather than seeking to turn the clock back to an outdated myth. The world community seems now to be acutely aware that you cannot negotiate with Russia when its leader and spokespersons lie with such regularity and ignore virtually everything that is not in their interests or in accordance with their vision. There can be no justification for the Russian activity in Ukraine which is a well planned operation designed to destabilise and annex Ukraine and other territories using methods that are nothing short of modern day Nazi Fascism. Sadly the world is waking up to the fact that Russia under its present government needs to be contained rather than appeased.



Ukraine Crisis Media Center Issue 4