As much as all civilized people hate war, Russian President Vladimir Putin is agitating for conflict not just against Ukraine, but with the West as well. The time has come for the West to put up the defenses – starting with helping Ukraine to build a first-rate military. Appeasing Russian aggression, as the West has done in Chechnya, Georgia, Moldova and now Ukraine, has only encouraged more violence from Putin.
Ukraine’s political and military leaders have been slow to respond to the battlefield threat or mobilize the nation to defeat the Russian invaders. This must change. Every time Ukraine’s military has gained an edge against the Kremlin proxies on the war front, Russia sends its heavily armed regular army in to retake ground.
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The people of Krasnoilsk village in western Chernivtsi Oblast, many of them Romanian, celebrated a traditional Ukrainian holiday of Malanka on Jan. 14.
Both churches actually agree on the day of Christmas. The disagreement stems from the type of calendar being used. The Eastern Orthodox Church marks holidays using the Julian Calendar, introduced by Julius Caesar, while western Christians rely on the Gregorian Calendar, introduced in the 16th century. The difference between the two calendars is 13 days, which is why the date of the Orthodox Christmas shifted to Jan. 7.
Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine has began an investigation of the road accident in Donetsk Oblast that killed at least 12 Ukrainian servicemen.
Editor's Note: Below is the English-language translation of President Petro Poroshenko's speech broadcasted on the Dec. 31 as a New Year greeting.
Ukraine's deadliest year as an independent nation also claimed the lives of five journalists, more than any other year.
The Committee to Protect Journalists said on Dec. 23 that at least 60 journalists were killed globally in relation to their work in 2014, compared with 70 killed in 2013. The past three years are the most deadly period that the advocacy group has ever recorded.
“This is the most dangerous time to be a journalist we have ever seen,” said Joel Simon, CPJ’s executive director, according to a press release. “Historically, local journalists have always borne the brunt of the danger, and this is still the case. But the increased attacks on international journalists show that in the current environment, everyone is a target.”
Ukraine is to hike military spending and undergo further mobilization in 2015, according to President Petro Poroshenko.
Editor's Note: The following is the Kremlin's official English-language translation of Russian President Vladimir Putin's Dec. 18 news conference that lasted three hours. The event was broadcast live by Channel One, Rossiya-1 and Rossiya-24 TV channels, and by the Radio Rossii, Mayak and Vesti FM radio stations. Nearly 1,300 Russian and foreign journalists were accredited to cover the news conference.
As Russia’s economy took a blow in December with oil prices dropping and the ruble falling to new lows since the 1998 crisis, Prime Minister and former President Dmitriy Medvedev published an article that focused largely on Ukraine and its economic troubles while avoiding Russia’s problems.
Now that Russian President Vladimir Putin is reeling and taking his nation’s economic and political hopes down with him, the West should not let up. Easing up on Putin in response to Russia’s multiplying economic problems would be shortsighted. Appeasement is especially the wrong choice after Putin’s Dec. 18 press conference in which he gave no ground on the war he has been waging in Ukraine and no apologies for violating international law to steal Crimea. He remains dangerous, delusional and disturbed.
Ukraine’s top prosecutors, currently led by Vitaly Yarema, never fail to disappoint. This week we are astounded by their inability in the past 10 months to uproot evidence of corruption, embezzlement and other crimes perpetrated by fugitive former President Viktor Yanukovych and his closest cronies.
Editor’s Note: The Kyiv Post will be tracking the progress made by Ukraine’s new, post-EuroMaidan Revolution leaders in making deep structural changes in the national interest. The Reform Watch project is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation. Content is independent of the financial donor.
On Dec. 11, the Ukrainian parliament approved a plan to bring substantial changes to defense, energy, public administration, agriculture and other sectors. Some parts of the program, however, have received criticism for bringing nothing to the table, such as no plants to reform of Ukraine’s corrupt and ineffective police.