In an article headlined “I Spent Two Terrifying Days Imprisoned In Belarus,” journalist Dan Peleschuk recounts his harrowing experience covering the opposition protests in Belarus following the rigged presidential election. The story appeared on BuzzFeed.News on August 20.

Mr. Peleschuk writes:

“For anyone on the streets of Minsk and other cities around the country, the sound of Alexander Lukashenko’s [Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s] Belarus has now become the roar of crowds demanding his ouster, fair elections and a freer country.

IN THE PRESS: Russia and the Human Rights Council

“Vladimir Putin’s Russia doesn’t deserve a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council,” by Vladimir Kara-Murza, The Washington Post, May 13:

Last month, U.N. Watch, a Geneva-based human rights group, released a report on the upcoming election to the United Nations Human Rights Council. According to the group, governments seeking a place on the top human rights watchdog at the General Assembly session in October will include some of the world’s worst human rights abusers – among them Cuba, Saudi Arabia and Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

…The government in Moscow has long been eager to return to the forum, from which it was dropped nearly four years ago. …

IN THE PRESS: MH17 case, Biden scandal in Ukraine

“New evidence reinforces the suspicion that Russia was behind the downed MH17 plane,” editorial, The Washington Post, May 4:

…Russia has for several years insisted it did not shoot down MH17. The Kremlin tried all manner of tricks to lay the blame on Ukraine. The body of evidence, however, clearly points to Russia, and now a new piece of evidence reinforces that suspicion. The open-source investigative group Bellingcat, along with its Russian partner the Insider and the McClatchy Washington Bureau, reports that a high-ranking official of the Russian Federal Security Service, or FSB, oversaw the separatists and deployment of the missile. They have identified him as Col. Gen. Andrey Ivanovich Burlaka, chief of the operational staff of the FSB’s Border Service and one of the most senior officers in the FSB…


In the May 8 article headlined “Veteran who helped bring 30,000 Ukrainian refugees to Canada to be honored in the U.K.,” Paul Waldie, Europe correspondent for The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, writes about Bohdan Panchuk and the Ukrainian Canadian Servicemen’s Association, an organization he co-founded at the time of World War II.

“… the former schoolteacher from Saskatchewan, who enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1939 and landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day in 1944, became a key figure in helping more than 30,000 Ukrainian refugees come to Canada after the war,” Mr. Waldie informed readers.

U.S. Mission to OSCE demands end to restrictions on movement of SMM

The following information was released on March 26 in Vienna by the U.S. Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

United States Ambassador to the OSCE James Gilmore expressed deep concern about Russia and its proxies denying access to and placing restrictions on the movement of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM). This is part of Moscow’s broader campaign against Ukraine, including in both the Donbas and Russia-occupied Crimea. On a weekly basis, the SMM’s work is inhibited by Russia and its proxy forces – which Russia arms, trains, funds, leads and fights alongside – limiting the SMM’s ability to fulfill its mandate and to provide OSCE participating states with the most accurate view of the situation on the ground.

Corruption is turning into an institution

“Corruption is turning into an institution” (in Ukrainian), by Vitaliy Portnikov, espresso.tv, March 26 (https://espreso.tv/article/2020/03/26/vitaliy_portnykov_korupciya_peretvoryuyetsya_na_instytuciyu), the translation that follows is by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Daily Briefing:

Experts from the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (known by the acronym GREC0) have concluded that Ukrainian authorities have thus far been unable to ensure the effective implementation of reforms aimed at combatting corruption among members of Parliament, judges and prosecutors.

Who rules Ukraine

“Putin’s coalition now rules Ukraine,” by Vitaliy Portnikov, Euromaidan Press, March 7:

Even before the beginning of Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s term, I assumed that the Kremlin was preparing a “Moldavian scenario” for our country, when at first – under the pretext of fighting oligarchy and corruption – a coalition of pro-Western and pro-Russian forces is created, and then pro-Western forces are expelled from it and Vladimir Putin’s supporters begin to rule alone. And they would rule with the support of the very same unprincipled corrupt government officials with whom they supposedly recently fought.

…The scenario was launched with the help of simple populist slogans that served to lure to vote for Zelenskyy and his party’s parliamentary candidates not only outright supporters of Ukraine’s surrender and rapprochement with Moscow, not only the indifferent and the ignorant, but also an unsophisticated fraction of Ukrainian patriots.

Endless imperial aggression

Putin forever: Ukraine faces the prospect of endless imperial aggression” by Taras Kuzio, UkraineAlert blog, Atlantic Council, February 13:

Vladimir Putin’s plans to change the Russian Constitution are not yet finalized, but few doubt that his true intention is to remain in power indefinitely. …

Putin’s plans for lifelong rule look particularly ominous when viewed from Ukraine, which faces the prospect of perpetual imperial aggression at the hands of an adversary who views much of modern Ukraine as historically Russian and continues to ask fundamental questions about the country’s right to exist. For Ukrainians, Putin forever means war without end.

PACE’s winter session

“PACE risks becoming a watchdog with no bite,” by Oleksiy Goncharenko, UkraineAlert blog, Atlantic Council, January 27:

The winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) got under way on January 27 in Strasbourg. The agenda includes a controversial resolution that would significantly complicate the body’s future ability to apply sanctions. With the scandal still simmering over an unrepentant Russia’s return to PACE in summer 2019, opponents say the move could further undermine the legitimacy of an organization dedicated to upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law across Europe. The Ukrainian delegation, which is returning to PACE following an autumn 2019 boycott, is leading calls to block the new sanctions regulations.

Congressional Ukraine Caucus resolution reaffirms bipartisan support for Ukraine

WASHINGTON – Congressional Ukraine Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Andy Harris (R-Md.), Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) on January 16 released a statement after introducing a resolution expressing bipartisan support for Ukraine and its people.
This vital and time sensitive measure reaffirms the United States’ strategic interest in strengthening liberty and democracy in Europe, a feat which is not possible without U.S. support for Ukraine in its fight to counter Russian aggression, said a news release from the Congressional Ukraine Caucus.