Associated Press says: No more K-i-e-v

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – The Associated Press Stylebook on August 14 notified users of its style and usage guide that the name of the capital of Ukraine would now be spelled Kyiv, not Kiev.
In a tweet and a post on Facebook, the AP Stylebook wrote: “AP has changed its style for the capital of Ukraine to Kyiv, in line with the Ukrainian government’s preferred transliteration to English and increasing usage. Include a reference in stories to the former spelling of Kiev. The food dish remains chicken Kiev.”

Zelenskyy decree fast-tracks citizenship for persecuted Russians, defenders of Ukraine

KYIV – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has simplified naturalization procedures for foreigners and stateless people who have “defended Ukraine” and for Russians facing “political persecution” at home.
In a decree published on the presidential website on August 13, Mr. Zelenskyy ordered the Cabinet of Ministers to “urgently” develop and draft a law “aimed at simplifying the procedure for acquiring citizenship.”

Zelenskyy meets with representatives of the Crimean Tatar people

KYIV – On August 9, the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine had a meeting with the representatives of the Crimean Tatar people.
The meeting took place on the joint initiative of both parties and was aimed at deepening the cooperation of the President’s Office, the President’s representation in Crimea and the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, and the coordination of efforts toward deoccupation of the peninsula and its reintegration.


New Rada to be sworn in August 29
Ukraine’s new Parliament will be sworn in on August 29, Kyiv-based Dragon Capital investment bank wrote in a note to investors, citing the national legislature’s website. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to deliver his first state of the nation speech to the 424 elected lawmakers that day. As required by law, the president addresses Parliament after it appoints the speaker and two deputy speakers. A plenary session will be held on the same day as well. Since Mr. Zelenskyy’s Servant of the People party won an outright majority of 254 seats on July 21, no delays are expected regarding the formation of a new Cabinet of Ministers. A new government will likely be formed by the first week of September, Dragon Capital said.

The Russia-Ukraine tanker incident and signs of a looming Black Sea crisis

A Russian commercial tanker named Nika Spirit entered the Ukrainian port of Izmayil on July 24. However, using the EQUASIS international information system, Ukraine identified the cargo ship as the vessel (at that point named the Neyma) that had blocked the Kerch Strait on November 25, 2018. During that incident, three Ukrainian Navy ships with 24 crew members on board were engaged and captured by Russian security forces off the coast of occupied Crimea; three Ukrainian sailors were injured during the Russian attack (see Eurasia Daily Monitor, November 26, 28, 2018). Following its arrival in Izmail, the Nika Spirit/Neyma was detained, on July 25, by the Security Service of Ukraine (known by its Ukrainian-based acronym SBU) and the Military Prosecutor’s Office. The SBU allowed the cargo ship’s crew to return home after conducting investigative actions.

EU is preparing to refuse recognition of Russian passports issued for Donbas

The European Union is reportedly drawing up plans for a coordinated EU policy of non-recognition of Russian passports issued to the residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of eastern Ukraine.
Lithuanian diplomats are involved in the work, with the Lithuanian government promising that if a united policy cannot be established, they will act unilaterally.

Quotable notes

“After the attack of occupation forces on Ukrainian positions and the death of four Ukrainian servicemen, President [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy called his Russian counterpart and asked him to ‘influence the other side.’ It’s time for the Ukrainian president to wake up and give up his dangerous illusion. There is no ‘other side’ – this is a fabrication of the Kremlin’s propaganda.

Kremlin spreads disinformation via many channels, not just media

The West is paying ever more attention to Kremlin disinformation but has focused almost exclusively on Moscow’s use of the media, classical and electronic. As a result, it often misses the other channels Russia uses to put out lies to muddy the waters and undermine truth as such, Tallinn’s International Center for Defense and Security says.
Among the most important of these additional channels, Yevgen Tsybulenko and Dmitry Teperik of the ICDS say, are international forums, such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the United Nations, and informal meetings of opinion leaders, experts and politicians.

“Fake news” part of Moscow’s modus operandi since 1923

Vladimir Putin’s regime is often presented as a pioneer in the production and use of “fake news,” but, in fact, historical writer Nikolay Syromyatnikov says, “fake news” under various names has been part of Moscow’s modus operandi since January 1923 – a tactic that Soviet leaders from beginning to end viewed as critical to their success.
On January 11, 1923, 13 days after the formation of the USSR, Iosif Unslikh, the deputy head of the NKVD, asked the Politburo to authorize the creation of a bureau of disinformation in the State Political Administration of his commissariat. The Politburo agreed and that agency was set up.