Ukraine Crisis | Updates & Discussions

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US Embassy in Kyiv:since 2014 Washington has provided 11 billion dollars for Ukraine's defense
May 25, 2019


Since 2014, the U.S. has allocated more than $1.1 billion for military training and equipment to help Ukraine boost its defense capability and protect its borders, reported the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv on its Facebook page.

It is also reported that Colonel Bob Peters on behalf of the U.S. Embassy and the United States European Command, along with the General Mykola Malkov who is a commander of the Ukrainian State Special Transport Service planted a tree in commemoration of a strong partnership between Ukraine and the United States in the area of defense.

The U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, during his visit to Kyiv, said that Washington is ready to assist Ukraine with the purchase of gas and provide two billion U.S. dollars loan guarantees for these purposes.

 

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Kyiv: U.S. Senate proposes increasing assistance to Ukraine in defense budget up to $300 million
May 24, 2019



The United States Senate proposes to increase aid to Ukraine up to 300 million dollars in the defense budget for 2020 and significantly expand the security assistance to Ukraine, reports the Embassy of Ukraine in the United States.

"United States Senate Committee on Armed Services approved the U.S. National Defense Budget proposal for 2020", which authorizes the allocation of 300 million dollars to the Pentagon to provide security assistance to Ukraine. The amount has increased by 50 million dollars compared to 2019. Of this amount, 100 million U.S. dollars should be directed exclusively to lethal weapons," reports the Ukrainian Embassy on their Facebook page.

According to the draft, it is proposed to expand the areas of U.S. assistance in strengthening the defense capability of the Armed Forces of Ukraine by including coastal defense and anti-ship missiles.

The US National Defense budget for 2020 will come into force after its adoption by the Senate and the House of Representatives and after the President of the United States will sign it.

The Embassy also expressed gratitude to the Senate's Committee on Armed Services "for an important decision aimed to strengthen the security and defense of Ukraine, as well as the U.S. assistance to Ukraine in the fight against continuing Russian aggression."

Earlier, U.S. President Donald Trump said that he will propose to Congress to increase the defense budget for 2020 to $750 billion.

In September last year, Trump signed the Pentagon budget, providing $250 million of assistance to Ukraine. Fifty million U.S. dollars of this amount should have been directed to lethal weapons.

 

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Kyiv reports that eight Ukrainian soldiers were detained in DPR
May 23, 2019


The Joint Forces Operation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that eight Ukrainian servicemen were detained near Donetsk, according a message posted to the Facebook page of the operation’s command.

This happened near the settlement of Novotroitsk in the early morning of May 22. The detainees were driving a truck near Novotroitsk, but, “deviated from the set route and entered the temporarily occupied territory.”

At the same time, People's Militia authorities in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) reported the detention of a group of “Ukrainian saboteurs”.

“Upon being detained, we seized the soldiers’ uniforms, license plates, government-issued documents as well as explosives similar to those used by the People’s Militia. The detainees are being investigated,” the statement reads.

The number of detainees was not reported. President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky, who took office on May 20, said earlier that peace in the Donbas can be achieved after both sides release all the Ukrainian prisoners of war. The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine started in 2014. According to the UN, it has taken the lives of 13 thousand people.



 

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Saakashvili asks Zelensky to restore his Ukrainian citizenship
May 23, 2019 12:00:56 PM



Ruslan Chernolutsky, the lawyer of Former President of Georgia and Chairman of the Odessa regional state administration Mikheil Saakashvili, claims that he sent a letter from Saakashvili to the Presidential Administration of Vladimir Zelensky in which Saakashvili asks to have his Ukrainian citizenship reinstated, as reported by Radio Svoboda.

“We are continuing the new phase and active defense of Mikheil Saakashvili’s return to Ukraine. A new era has come - a new president! Therefore, today I visited the Presidential Administration of Ukraine and, as his lawyer, filed an appeal to President Vladimir Zelensky to restore justice and return Saakashvili his Ukrainian citizenship. To be continued ... look out for what happens next and what new legal measures we will take,” Chernolutsky posted to Facebook on May 22.

The Presidential Administration has not commented on the situation.

Saakashvili said that after Vladimir Zelensky’s victory in the presidential election, he will try and return to Ukraine. On the day of the first round of elections, Zelensky did not object to Saakashvili’s return to Ukraine and said that he might need the former Georgian president’s help.

In 2015, Saakashvili was granted Ukrainian citizenship and President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, appointed him to the post of Chairman of the Odessa regional state administration. During his tenure, Saakashvili repeatedly criticized the Ukrainian authorities. In the fall of 2016, he resigned. At the end of July 2017, Poroshenko signed a decree revoking Mikheil Saakashvili’s Ukranian citizenship for consciously submitting false information when obtaining Ukrainian citizenship. On September 10, 2017, Saakashvili entered Ukrainian territory without passing through border control.

On February 12, 2018, Mikheil Saakashvili was detained in a restaurant in Kyiv’s center after which the State Border Service and the State Migration Service of Ukraine stated that he had been deported to Poland - the country from which he arrived in September 2017 “in violation of Ukrainian legislation”. From Poland, Saakashvili travelled to the Netherlands.


 

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Media: Kolomoisky fled Israel fearing extradition to the US

Sunday, May 26, 2019



The Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky left Israel in a hurry, fearing prosecution and subsequent deportation to the US, reports the Telegram channel The Newsroom.

“Two unrelated sources have told us that Kolomoisky returned because the FBI had him pinned in Israel. The amount of information on the oligarch’s schemes is supposedly so large that the local Mossad had already gladly made plans to hand him over to the Americans, despite the fact that Israel does not extradite its own citizens to anyone (which is why Kolomoisky went there from Switzerland),” the Telegram channel states.

In its post, the channel remarks that Kolomoisky returned to Ukraine in the hope that the newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, whose election campaign he supported, will not extradite him to the US out of gratitude.

“However, it is clear that this plan is not to the Americans’ liking. Especially since upon returning, Kolomoisky has already managed to kick two acquaintances of Trump’s friend Rudolph Giuliani, who tried to organize his meeting with Zelensky,” the Newroom writes.

Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, recently called on the new Ukrainian government to start investigating Kolomoisky, since he had allegedly threatened American citizens. Giuliani also advised Zelensky to rid himself of all the oligarch’s people in his close circle. Apparently he was referring to Kolomoisky’s lawyer, Andriy Bohdan, who has been appointed head of the presidential administration.

“The US continues to circle Kolomoisky, as if on a hunt, and this circle is constantly growing smaller. According to our information, two days ago Giuliani was in Paris discussing the oligarch not only with the head of the Ukrainian Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecution, Nazar Holodnitsky, but also with the French prosecutor. What he wanted to dig up on Kolomoisky in France is not known. It is possible that he discussed the details of the extradition agreement between the two countries,” the article continues.

Ihor Kolomoisky, who has both Ukrainian and Israeli citizenship, returned to Ukraine on 16 May. He denied that his return was linked to Zelensky’s victory in the elections.

 

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