Zelenskyy’s chance

“Ukraine has an extraordinary chance to turn things around,” editorial, The Washington Post, July 26 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/ukraine-has-an-extraordinary-chance-to-turn-things-around/2019/07/26/e2dda3ac-ae2d-11e9-bc5c-e73b603e7f38_story.html?utm_term=.c24e3ccc1f8e):

Ukraine’s political elite has repeatedly blown chances to stabilize the country and ensure its independence from Russia. Now, a whole new group will have a chance. On July 21, frustrated voters replaced more than 60 percent of the Parliament, relegating the parties that have run the government in the past to the margins. The big winner was neophyte President Volodymyr Zelensky, who called the snap election after taking office in May. His party, stocked with first-time candidates, won an absolute parliamentary majority …

… Mr. Zelensky could transform his country and ensure its future if he uses his unprecedented authority to push through long-overdue legal, institutional and economic reforms. He should act quickly.

Kolomoisky, Zelensky and the West

“Oligarch’s Return Raises Alarm in Ukraine,” by Andrew E. Kramer, The New York Times, May 16, (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/16/world/europe/ukraine-zelensky-kolomoisky.html?smtyp=cur& smid=tw-nytimesworld):…The Ukrainian government took over … PrivatBank, [co-owned by Ihor Kolomoisky] in the course of a $5.6 billion bailout at a time when lending by the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the United States was propping up the government.

Ukraine’s election

… A monitoring report by the media watchdog Detector Media has found a high focus on Ukraine in over half of Russia’s TV talk shows, with most pushing the idea that the imminent presidential elections will be rigged.… DM journalist Yaroslav Zubchenko was able to report that Ukraine was discussed in 60 percent of three Russian mainstream talk shows between January 14 and March 17, 2019. Three messages were most often pushed:

The candidates on NATO and EU membership

“Why Do So Few Presidential Candida-tes Support NATO and EU Member-ship?” by Taras Kuzio, Ukraine Alert blog, Atlantic Council, March 4

Out of 42 candidates who are running for president in the Ukrainian elections on March 31, only 11 support NATO and EU membership. This represents a lower proportion of supporters than the over 300 deputies who voted on three occasions to change the Constitution to include those two goals. Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party and the Radical party voted for those constitutional changes, but neither Yulia Tymoshenko nor Oleh Lyashko – who lead these parties, respectively – include NATO and the EU in their election programs. …

Occupation of Crimea, supporting Ukraine’s reform efforts

This month marks five years since Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula was invaded and subsequently occupied by Russia. The occupiers who came from across the border would come to be known as “Putin’s little green men” — Russian troops with their military insignias hidden. Russian President Vladimir Putin at first brazenly denied his country’s involvement, then later admitted that he had lied to the world. The Kremlin held a sham referendum and installed a puppet government. It was the first time since the 1940s that a European country had dared to seize territory from a neighbor by force.


The creation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) …is a seismic event in world Christian history that could also have significant geopolitical repercussions. …

Russia continues its war against Ukraine

“Ukraine’s slow but steady strangulation is taking place in plain sight,” by Peter Dickinson, “Ukraine Alert” blog on the Atlantic Council website, January 25 (see https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/ukraine-s-slow-but-steady-strangulation-is-taking-place-in-plain-sight):

How to make Putin pay in Ukraine

“Cheap Ways to Make Putin Pay in Ukraine,” by John Herbst, “Ukraine Alert” blog on the Atlantic Council website, January 4 (see https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/cheap-ways-to-make-putin-pay-in-ukraine):

Save the Council of Europe

With the annexation of the Crimea and the unexplained war in eastern Ukraine, the Russian leadership has trampled on the principles of the European peace order. As a result, Russia was deprived of voting rights in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). This is a matter of self-respect for this body, which should ensure respect for human rights, the mutual renunciation of violence and the equal sovereignty of all European states. Now, the Kremlin, in association with its political friends, is trying to get rid of this sanction without in the least changing its policy. This would mean that the Council of Europe would give up its normative foundations. 

The following open letter was released on October 2. 

We, the undersigned, are strongly concerned about the possible demise of the Council of Europe, which can take place very soon.

Q&A with Poroshenko

“Russia is advancing on Ukraine again — and Ukraine isn’t going quietly,” interview with President Petro Poroshenko by Lally Weymouth, The Washington Post, September 13 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/russia-is-advancing-on-ukraine-again–and-ukraine-isnt-going-quietly/2018/09/13/90162764-b6cd-11e8-a2c5-3187f427e253_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.8e59aa372774):

Q: The latest Russian aggression appears to be in the Sea of Azov near Crimea. Are the Russians trying to slice off another part of Ukraine? A: Russia’s purpose is to occupy the Azov Sea, the same way it did Crimea. This is a brutal violation of international law, and we cannot accept it. We are strengthening our military there and launching a case against Russia in the international Permanent Court of Arbitration.