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  • What will Barack Obama’s legacy be? | The Day newspaper
    Ukrainian political class By Valentyn TORBA The Day COMMENTARIES Hanna HOPKO chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada s Foreign Affairs Committee They tell us that Ukraine should remove any arguments which Russia might put forward by taking a political step that is discussing and passing in the parliament of the law allowing to hold elections in the temporarily occupied territories But these elections should be conducted with the involvement of the Venice Commission and the OSCE and we need to clearly insist on our vision We understand that the continuation of sanctions is a sensitive issue given the divisions within the EU and the desire of some countries to lift the sanctions because they harm their economies But we must see the difference between the actual conduct of the elections and the adoption of the law in the parliament That is Ukraine can make this political move if this election law meets all the standards of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights ODIHR Also we need Russia to create specific security conditions prior to the elections which should include true silence of the arms withdrawal and localization of heavy weapons and increased presence of international observers And here we emphasize very clearly without the implementation of these conditions no elections may be held in the occupied territories Which Ukrainian party s candidates will agree to participate in the elections while being fired upon by the terrorists Therefore we must first prepare the security conditions in the pre election period We can say dear friends the law has been passed but the elections will be held only after the abovementioned conditions are met And this was very clearly articulated during our meeting with Victoria Nuland We said that changes to the Constitution regarding decentralization cannot be approved before the implementation of all the security conditions that Russia has not fulfilled so far The West understands that it is very difficult to put pressure on Vladimir Putin that there is no progress that the terrorists continue to bombard Ukrainian cities And Director for European Affairs of the US National Security Council Charles Kupchan who had returned from Hanover said that Barack Obama wanted to see the Minsk Agreements implemented before the end of his stay in the White House According to Kupchan such is the ambition of the US president And it gives rise to a huge issue as they need to determine how they will pressure Russia into it One tool is extending the sanctions to January 2017 But how are they to get Russia to actually withdraw its troops given that its genuine interest is to imitate and hold some fake elections to finally legalize its representatives there Meanwhile fake elections without the participation of Ukrainian parties and politicians are absolutely not in the interest of Ukraine and this proposal will not pass the Ukrainian parliament Therefore we must make a distinction between the adoption of the law on the elections in the temporarily occupied territories meeting all the

    Original URL path: http://day.kyiv.ua/en/article/day-after-day/what-will-barack-obamas-legacy-be (2016-04-28)
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  • Nuland’s visit and Minsk 2 | The Day newspaper
    partition of the Czechoslovak Republic and grabbed a large part of its territory Leaving the Czechs in the lurch British Premier Neville Chamberlain said this would give peace to the next generations Less than a year later World War Two broke out in which the Nazis made wide use of Czech weapons and industrial facilities Now about victory thanks to reforms and loyalty The Arabs who are citizens of Israel or work on its territory enjoy incomparably higher living standards than the vast majority of the population in the neighboring Arab countries But everyone who has visited Medinat Yisrael could see that high living standards not always guarantee loyalty to those who have provided you with these standards Moreover there are South Korea with its undeniable economic successes and North Korea with its poverty and nuclear weapons Has the democratic and affluent South got the upper hand over the starving and totalitarian North in Korea Has the communist Korea become less aggressive Is its population striving for democracy Another historical excursus The Kremlin first withdrew its troops from foreign territories when Nikita Khrushchev was in power from the Porkkala Udd base Finland in 1955 56 and from Port Arthur China in 1955 The next withdrawals from Cuba Afghanistan and Central Eastern European countries were carried out owing to strong pressure of the US and other democratic states on Moscow It is no wonder that Putin s propagandists hate Khrushchev so much not only for Crimea in reality it was not he but Malenkov and Voroshilov who transferred it to Soviet Ukraine but also for departure from the traditions of Russian imperialism And now let us do some exercises in logic and political science Suppose Ukraine has amended its Constitution amnestied and legalized terrorists and established an enclave that is in fact independent of the central government What will be the reaction of the absolute majority of Russians and pro Russian forces all over the world They will view it as a victory of great Putin a historic triumph of the Russian neo totalitarian model a defeat of the Revolution of Dignity and the proof that the Ukrainian state is not independent As a result this will incite Russia to further aggression not only against Ukraine Now let us imagine the opposite Ukraine has not amended its Constitution has not amnestied and legalized terrorists etc and thus provoked Western democracies to impose certain sanctions What will be the reaction of the absolute majority of Russians and pro Russian forces all over the world They will view this as proof that the great Putin is right as defeat of the Western values oriented Revolution of Dignity as proof that the current Ukrainian leadership is taking illegal actions which will also encourage further Russian aggression not only against Ukraine In other words any scenario of developments associated with observance of the Minsk Agreements which were squeezed out of Ukraine under totally different circumstances will lead to encouraging the Kremlin s aggression As for

    Original URL path: http://day.kyiv.ua/en/article/day-after-day/nulands-visit-and-minsk-2 (2016-04-28)
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  • “It is very bad, both for us and for Europe” | The Day newspaper
    prefers authoritarian policies that appeared in Hungary and Poland in recent years and include weakening parliament undermining the balance of power opposing the EU s directives and putting restrictions on press freedom a prominent Austrian journalist wrote in a comment for Der Standard Before submitting his candidacy for the election Hofer himself was little known outside the party An engineer by training he gained a reputation in the Freedom Party as the chief ideologist and the lead author of its platform Hofer who was partially paralyzed when paragliding attracted public attention as a defender of the rights of the disabled The success of Hofer and his statements as a possible future president of Austria on the need to lift the sanctions against Russia cannot but worry Ukraine It is very bad both for us and for Europe The EU is on the decline The European idea is going into oblivion leaving behind a vacuum that is filled with pro Putin pragmatists Hofer is very bad He is against the EU and for Russia Meanwhile Bellen is just for Russia a Ukrainian diplomat commented on the results of the first round for The Day on the condition of anonymity THE EU CANNOT BUT BE DISTURBED BY THE FAR RIGHT S GROWING POPULARITY IN AUSTRIA Daria HAIDAI analyst of the Institute of World Policy IWP Kyiv The Freedom Party has been steadily ascending in the polls over recent years so a high result of their presidential candidate was predictable What was unexpected was the huge lead achieved by Hofer in the race with his nearest rival the Greens leader Van der Bellen as he has 36 percent against the latter s 20 Austria is going through a critical period marked by the end of the so called era of grand coalitions which saw two political parties the People s Party and the Social Democratic Party ruling the country for half a century The Austrians are looking for an alternative and the Freedom Party is this alternative at the moment Having timely identified fears and preferences of the electorate the Freedom Party with its new leader Heinz Christian Strache began to appeal to traditional Christian values with the addition of the anti immigrant and anti NATO messages as well as harsh criticism of the EU Amid the migration crisis the Freedom Party is increasing its presence in local government bodies Let us recall that the far right gained more than 30 percent of the vote in Vienna s municipal elections in October 2015 As for their sympathy for Russia I must admit that no political force in Austria is critical of the Kremlin The only difference is in rhetoric but in practice all of them are in favor of dialog and an early normalization of relations the search for consensus which would take the interests of Russia into account The recent scandal with the chief of the General Staff of Austria was quite revealing in this context In early April he met and

    Original URL path: http://day.kyiv.ua/en/article/day-after-day/it-very-bad-both-us-and-europe (2016-04-28)
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  • Peacekeepers. Is their mission possible? | The Day newspaper
    anything Should we tell the world that thousands of Russian soldiers who died in Ukraine and military vehicles which were hit on our soil are the proof that Ukraine has been facing Russian aggression international missions will change their behavior accordingly Meanwhile as long as this conflict is labeled as an anti terrorist operation every Ukrainian soldier who hit an enemy tank while defending his country risks being accused of banditry himself In fact to send an armed contingent of the OSCE to the Donbas the organization requires the unanimous consent of its 57 members Of course even if it happens it will not necessarily mean that this contingent will reach its destination And Zakharchenko s words prove it But the main conclusion to be drawn from the statements that were made recently on this subject is that the world is really tired of the Donbas and Putin knows it That is why we see regular gangster attacks that kill Ukrainian soldiers almost daily and serve not only to squeeze our blood but also to exhaust the patience of the West THE WEST IS NOT PREPARED FOR THE RISKS BEING IMPOSED BY THE KREMLIN TODAY Valentyn BADRAK military expert director of the Center for Army Conversion and Disarmament Studies Any attempt to put the responsibility on the OSCE is a game that benefits Putin and the Europeans but not Ukraine Firstly the OSCE has demonstrated its inability to be an effective mediator in this situation Secondly a military mission of the OSCE is in fact hardly able to cope with the conflict settlement task Both the experience of the OSCE and the organization s own traditions prevent it Incidentally the OSCE s monitoring mission in the Donbas played a destructive role rather than a positive one So I do not believe that the idea to involve the OSCE can resolve the situation in this case Why is approaching this organization attractive to the Europeans Because they are ready to talk away the problem to freeze the conflict in this way Europe will thus actually agree to resolve it in the favor of the Kremlin and knows that compromises it will require from Ukraine will be much larger than expected Thus Europe will resume economic cooperation with Russia and the war being fought in eastern Ukraine will be simply frozen Unfortunately the West is currently led by weak politicians and has a weak political position in the international arena The West is not prepared for the risks being imposed by the Kremlin today Because of this the West will try to achieve a closure on the Ukrainian issue in any way so as to calmly move to solving its own pressing issues then In addition any mission s chief precondition is the silence at the front the absence of combat actions and bombardments However we are so far unable to achieve it because of the Kremlin s actions Using the OSCE Putin will be able to change the game in a

    Original URL path: http://day.kyiv.ua/en/article/topic-day/peacekeepers-their-mission-possible (2016-04-28)
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  • Coerced to peace again | The Day newspaper
    the legislation including a new election law which enables elections in the regions of eastern Ukraine said he as quoted by UNIAN In his turn Schetyna urged Ukrainian MPs to arrive at a consensus concerning such an election so that the Ukrainian parties agreed and reach a shared opinion of the situation This according to the Polish politician should become a starting point for the ceasefire in Donbas and the peaceful settlement of the conflict Guigou also noted that it is not in Ukraine s best interests to give reasons to believe that constitutional amendments could be postponed for a long time Answering the journalists question the German MP remarked that a line should be drawn between the passing of the law on election and the holding of an actual election Of course an election can only be held when peace returns to the region and when people can come and vote freely However none of the foreign guests explained how to ensure holding elections in the occupied territories according to Ukrainian legislation If held the election would resemble the Crimean referendum at best We would like to remind our readers that in January Nuland met Putin s aide Vladislav Surkov in Kaliningrad where the two discussed the Minsk agreements This prompted Mykhailo Basarab a political scientist to write the following Bad news from the MPs Nuland is launching a massive pressure attack on the faction leaders Elections in the occupied territories Who would doubt that But then a question suggests itself why Europe and America do not force Russia and its puppets the separatists fulfill the first two paragraphs of the Minsk agreements and then start pressurizing Ukraine Currently it looks as though our partners decided to pressurize the weaker one Moreover all experts share Ukraine s opinion that

    Original URL path: http://day.kyiv.ua/en/article/topic-day/coerced-peace-again (2016-04-28)
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  • Annexation of Crimea: how it all began | The Day newspaper
    to get hold of their voting cards They tried to use the orange MPs working stations shares Oles Donii MP of the 6th and 7th convocations in his commentary to The Day The violence which was then used in parliament showed that the Party of Regions was in transition from competition to authoritarianism It was not merely dependence on the RF but also the employment of its methods The Kharkiv accords was just the tip of an iceberg for there were other clandestine agreements and not only between Yanukovych and Putin but also between business groups Today these groups are concentrated around the so called Opposition Bloc It is quite obvious that Putin s interest was not only to prolong the lease on the Black Sea naval bases The Russian Federation was preparing for the subsequent scenarios According to the newly appointed chief of Ukraine s Navy Ihor Voronchenko with whom I spoke in Crimea on March 9 2014 months ahead of Maidan he had warned of the increased supplies of fuel for the Black Sea Fleet and six divisions transferred from Central Russia to the North Caucasus This was the evidence that the Kremlin was ready for radical power scenarios Yanukovych was one of the direct agents of influence Yet we must realize that there still are a lot of agents of influence remaining in Ukraine and they are not only confined to the Opposition Bloc Putin s current plan is to maximally debilitate Ukraine and push it into chaos By Valentyn TORBA The Day Rubric Topic of the Day Issue 29 2016 Твіт Новини партнерів Recent headlines of the rubric Peacekeepers Is their mission possible Coerced to peace again Annexation of Crimea how it all began Barack Obama to Europeans stay united Between Putin and Macbeth A historic

    Original URL path: http://day.kyiv.ua/en/article/topic-day/annexation-crimea-how-it-all-began (2016-04-28)
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  • “See firsthand, experience with one’s heart” | The Day newspaper
    their worldviews and knowledge of the world HOW IMPORTANT AND HOW HARD IT IS TO REMAIN HUMAN UNDER THOSE CONDITIONS These pictures reflect real life 10th grader Oleksandr Marchuk told us Of course pictures from the frontlines of this undeclared war were a true discovery for me They show how important and how difficult it is to remain human under those conditions The series Political Thriller Minsk 2 is very impressive How telling are poses and facial expressions of people who decide the fates of others the fates of nations the fate of the world I have contradictory impressions because my emotions due to what I saw here are contradictory as well we heard from 10th grader Asia Shumuk It induced tears as well as joy the latter born by the fact that Ukraine has heroes and patriots Therefore I have a strong hope that everything will be fine and this is the most important conclusion we have drawn on seeing it I had never thought that pictures can be more eloquent than words Thank you Den for these discoveries IT IS IMPORTANT TO GO AND SEE THE PHOTO EXHIBITION IF ONE IS TO MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICES WHEN VOTING IN ELECTIONS Our exchange of impressions with the Lokachi gymnasium s history teacher Liudmyla Zinchuk turned into a long conversation about how our young people developed now and how they ought to develop how Ukraine had to look like and what the school could do to develop patriotism We meant true and genuine patriotism rather than one expressed by good photo opportunities and nice words She said that when selecting its field trips destinations the gymnasium too strived to focus on locations which wake up the Ukrainian soul and teach patriotism Whenever possible the field trips involve both parents and teachers When aged 14 to 16 years the kids were already very well versed in politics she said and they knew the composition of the new Cabinet and the actions of the president They also know what the goals of this undeclared war are and whose responsibility it is And they draw their own conclusions The teacher pointed out to several pictures which in her view reflected the current state of Ukraine the country that we have built Although of course we wanted to build a much happier and richer one She believes Oleksandr Klymenko s Sunflowers Minor to be the most telling photo as she sees it as showing the essence of Ukraine It pictures sunflowers these truly Ukrainian flowers which have mostly bowed their heads but some of them are still holding them up Artem Slipachuk s photo Father and Sons is a vivid illustration of sacrifice heroism people s readiness to defend their country their world Klymenko s The Nation s Gold showing tanks on a background of a ripe wheat field reflects the Ukrainian reality Of course people pictured in Mykola Lazarenko s photos from the series Political Thriller Minsk 2 make a major psychological impression

    Original URL path: http://day.kyiv.ua/en/article/society/see-firsthand-experience-ones-heart (2016-04-28)
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  • Can Russia be “re-educated”? | The Day newspaper
    Special operations bribery systematic funding of marginal parties in Europe often diametrically opposed on ideological allegiance all these are tools which Russia keeps using What do you think have the European public and elites learned to respond adequately to these challenges The Europeans are gradually coming to realize that Russia has established a network of agents of influence For example French scholar and analyst Cecile Vaissie recently published an interesting book on such networks in France It lists many important facts and describes specific mechanisms In particular they use the old Russian emigration whose members believe in the revival of the millennial Russia not realizing that it is actually a KGB production Many people in the right and far right circles as well as some representatives of the far left opposition in France influenced by their hatred and rejection of America and due to special French sovereignism support Russia in the mistaken belief that together with Russia France will be able to go ahead without the EU and America This of course is a mirage and a fiction which however is very skillfully supported Unfortunately such sentiments exist in the French military as well How will these trends affect the parliamentary and presidential elections is yet to be seen but they definitely do exist For example the Russian and French governments have lately announced the Cross Cultural Tourism Year to be held in 2016 17 Other similar projects were implemented in previous years Both houses of the French parliament include members who openly support Russia and oppose sanctions These people are there and today we are starting to publicly name them at least JUST SCREAMING IS NOT ENOUGH AS YOU NEED TO BE LISTENED TO AS WELL Do the results of the referendum in the Netherlands testify to the effectiveness of such a strategy In my opinion this is primarily a Dutch problem because each country has a different ratio between the right far right left liberals and others It so happened that the far right have for many years had a very strong position in the Netherlands As you know out of 32 percent who took part in the referendum more than 61 percent voted against the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine but in absolute terms it was less than 20 percent of the Dutch What the remaining 80 percent really think is not very clear Each country develops in its own way in relation to the context of European integration and the Netherlands as well as some other countries is quite unfavorable in this regard The No voters came primarily from the Euroskeptic electorate and I think that most of these people know little about Ukraine Unfortunately the same can probably be said of many EU citizens The idea of special historical closeness of Russia and Ukraine is still popular in the West even though if you look at the facts Ukraine has much more in common with Lithuania or Bulgaria Twenty five years ago this myopia was understandable but now It cannot be explained solely by impotence of Ukraine s information policy The blame should be shared perhaps by an internal European problem I mean the problem of education If I was to grade the European public s knowledge of history I would have graded it D at best One can see this for oneself by looking at the TV show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire People know about popular artists or TV anchors but if you ask them about the capital of Portugal never mind Ukraine most find it difficult to answer Or say classical literature people get asked who wrote Madame Bovary and options are Honore de Balzac Gustave Flaubert Guy de Maupassant and Marcel Proust It seems an elementary question but no people cannot solve it without calling a friend The general level of culture unfortunately is quite low Is it any wonder then that regarding Ukraine the average European is able to repeat only one or two commonplace cliches When watching the main French news channels I am stunned to see how much they are fixated on France Our national TV will rather talk about a minor incident in the French countryside while the momentous events in the outer world go not mentioned at all or mentioned in passing In addition Ukraine suffers from its anti Semitic image established during the Soviet era and this topic is still very skillfully exploited They say that Ukrainians exterminated Jews and were accomplices of the Nazis Of course there were accomplices of the Nazis here but unfortunately it happened everywhere Why then is this still hanging over the Ukrainians instead of the Lithuanians Belarusians Croats Norwegians The Russians Yes the Russians who incidentally had an entire Russian Liberation Army fighting for the Nazis under the command of Andrei Vlasov It is because this image has been cultivated since the immediate post war years when the Ukrainians strongly resisted the Soviet regime Even Alexander Solzhenitsyn in his book The Gulag Archipelago described the Ukrainian nationalism as a major force For the Soviet regime spreading the anti Semitic myth was a way of discrediting this force Of course the information policy of Ukraine could have been more active but just screaming is not enough as you need to be listened to as well and this is very difficult to achieve THE SECOND WORLD WAR IS THE SACRAL BASIS OF TODAY S RUSSIA Soviet ideology Stalinism autocracy Orthodoxy the modern Russian identity consists of many seemingly disparate fragments How is this possible I think the main fragment of the Russian identity is the imperial idea Over the past few centuries the very notion of Russia was equated with the territorial expansion Continuous expansion was seen not as a conquest but as a natural process that occurs under conditions of pseudo love The Third Rome the light from the East this messianic idea postulated that the whole world must be conquered by the Russian soul In the

    Original URL path: http://day.kyiv.ua/en/article/society/can-russia-be-re-educated (2016-04-28)
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