Government ousts Naftogaz chief, undermining corporate governance standards

KYIV – Ukraine’s government appointed Yuriy Vitrenko as the new CEO of state-owned giant Naftogaz on April 28, replacing Andriy Kobolyev, who had led the enterprise since 2014. The move, which occurred the day after the national oil and gas company reported a loss in 2020 of $684 million, was taken by Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers, which used a legal loophole to rid themselves of Mr. Kobolyev.

One-on-one with Putin: a reckless adventure for Zelenskyy

“We should not let Mr. Zelenskyy and his team off the hook, but let them twist [wriggle, squirm] there,” Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov recently told reporters (RIA Novosti, April 28). This is Mr. Lavrov’s own style of signaling to Ukraine that Russia holds the commanding position to set the agenda of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s ardently sought meeting with his Kremlin counterpart, President Vladimir Putin.

Euro-Maidan activist who fought against Russian aggression now fights to save his child’s life

NEW YORK – Imagine watching your baby struggle with each passing day to breathe and swallow food. Imagine knowing that your baby’s last breath is not far away, all while knowing that children afflicted with the same terminal genetic disorder can access a treatment that halts the illness, allowing them to not only live, but develop normally. This is the situation in which Ukrainians Mariia and Vitaliy Svichynsky find themselves. Their baby, Dmytro, is running out of time to receive a cutting-edge, though extremely expensive, medication that can treat his condition. Dmytro Svichynsky, now five-months-old, was born with Type 1 Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a variant of the disease that targets the body’s motor neuron cells, leaving them weaker by the day until they eventually stop working.

Blasts at arms depots in Bulgaria, Czech Republic part of Russian plot to thwart Ukraine

KYIV – A secretive Russian military intelligence unit has been implicated in a series of explosions at munitions depots in Bulgaria and the Czech Republic as part of a long-term clandestine operation to cripple the supply of weapons for Ukraine’s war effort.

A spokeswoman for the Bulgarian Prosecutor-General’s Office, Silka Mileva, said on April 28 that six Russian nationals are being investigated for their alleged role in blasts at four weapons and armament facilities between 2011 and 2020, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported in Sofia.

Ukraine elected to Executive Council of United Nations Women

KYIV – The United Nations Economic and Social Council elected Ukraine to the Executive Council of U.N. Women for 2022-2024. Beginning on January 1, 2022, Ukraine will be among 17 states leading the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (U.N. Women).

Russia’s bluffing, huffing and puffing: where do things stand?

While the tensions created by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s massing of military forces on Ukraine’s eastern border have temporarily abated, the uncertainty and apprehension continue.  Where do things stand at present?

Behind the intensive diplomatic activity of recent weeks, posturing and probing by all the actors involved have continued. On the surface no visible changes in the status quo have occurred, but in fact there are signs that new nuances and dynamics have been introduced with potentially significant implications.