Ukraine’s Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko had reason to cheer on Aug. 27 when she announced getting up to $3.8 billion worth of government debt written off, following five months of talks with private creditors. Coupled with pushing back principal payments by four years, the deal frees up money “for critical social spending and national defense,” the Finance Ministry said.
When the Ukrainian military reported on Aug. 10 that it had not only repelled Russian-separatist forces near the town of Starohnativka in Donetsk Oblast, but advanced to take control of territory held by separatists, many in Ukraine rejoiced.
This week, a collection of bona fide reformers presented a plan for a new agency that would help trace and recover money and assets allegedly stolen under ex-President Viktor Yanukovych’s reign. Nobody can give a precise figure for how much Yanukovych and his cronies took during their four years in power, but estimates are as high as $30 billion in a nation with an economy that might shrink to only $100 billion this year.
Every week there’s a new prediction of an offensive by Russian-separatist forces in eastern Ukraine. Suspicious troop buildups are pointed to, maps with red arrows slashing across them are presented, dates are given. Spring offensive. May offensive. July offensive.
Every day of life is a gift, even for newspapers. Those of us at the Kyiv Post this year are happy and humbled to be part of the newspaper’s 20th year of doing business – no easy task in Ukraine. Many great journalists have worked here since 1995 and it is the duty of those of us who remain here to carry the flame forward to future generations of our craft. While we make our share of mistakes, the record shows we get the story right most of the time.
Lawmaker and businessman Ihor Yeremeyev died on Aug. 12, two weeks after he received a head injury falling from a horse, according to reports in Ukrainian media.
Several media reported Yeremeyev's death, quoting their own sources. There has been no official announcement as of yet.
Historian Robert Conquest's numerous plaudits after his death on Aug. 3 at age 98 were well-deserved. Few historians did more for bringing to light the terror of the Joseph Stalin years through their work, especially his books, "The Great Terror" and "Harvest of Sorrow".
Editor's Note: U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and members of a congressional delegation held a press availability on Aug. 5 in Kyiv on Maidan Nezalezhnosti, where they placed flowers on a memorial for the Heavenly Hundred who killed in the EuroMaidan Revolution that prompted President Viktor Yanukovych to flee on Feb. 22, 2014. Focused on national, economic, and energy security, the delegation met with President Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, secretary of the National Security Defense Council Oleksandr Valentynovych, members of the Verkhovna Rada, Mayor Vitaly Klitschko, civil society nongovernmental organizations and business leaders. Below is a transcript of the press availability:
Editor's Note: The following is the transcript of an Aug. 4 briefing by U.S. Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs William R. Brownfield on U.S. support for reform and stronger civil institutions in Ukraine.
Russia continues to advance its status as a pariah state, vetoing on July 29 the United Nations Security Council resolution to establish an international tribune to prosecute those responsible for killing 298 people aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 last year.
In post-EuroMaidan Ukraine, investigative journalism has finally started to make its mark. Dirty deals uncovered by journalists are getting attention at high levels in government, with even President Petro Poroshenko issuing orders to underlings to “resolve issue X within Y weeks” when the latest scandal hits the headlines.
Editor's Note: The following is a transcript of the press briefing on July 28 by European Union Ambassador to Ukraine Jan Tombinski and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt. The event was hosted by the Brussels Media Hub.
Editor's Note: The following is President Petro Poroshenko's address on the anniversary of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 disaster.
Ukraine can expect to see more gangland-style clashes, like the one that took place in the western city of Mukacheve on July 11, if the government keeps allowing corruption to flourish and armed volunteer units to roam free. Two members of the Right Sector nationalist group were killed in a shootout with local police; the Right Sector said a private security guard of a parliamentarian was also killed.