Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine's president, has returned home after making emotional pleas for support to the Canadian and US legislatures, where he received sympathy and cash but no military assistance. Poroshenko faces deep-seated scepticism among western governments and experts over whether Ukraine's leaders can overcome their differences, fight corruption and move beyond rhetoric to action in implementing long-overdue reforms.
The EU suddenly and surprisingly changed its long and firmly held position that Russia has no right to interfere in its relations with Ukraine on Sept. 12. EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht announced that an agreement had been reached between the EU, Russia, and Ukraine to delay the implementation of a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement (DCFTA) between the EU and Ukraine.
The Sept. 5 Minsk cease-fire agreements and further memorandums adopted on Sept. 19, as well as certain provisions of laws adopted by Verkhovna Rada concerning special governance in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and on amnesty, are non-specific and allow for too wide an interpretation.
Lilia Shevtsova has an interesting comment in the Financial Times, and what she has to say doesn’t bode well for Ukraine or Putin. Putin has won but his victory is only tactical. According to Shevtsova, "tactical victories often end in strategic defeats" and Russian president Vladimir Putin, by turning Russia into a "war state," has "unleashed the process he cannot stop and made himself hostage to suicidal statecraft."
Distracted US and European policymakers may feel grateful that this month's truce has slowed the Russia-Ukraine war. The Obama administration is seized with the Syria-Iraq crisis and Congress has gone home to campaign for the Nov. 4 election. Europe faces an internal battle this week as its newly Euro-skeptic parliament grills nominees for the next European Commission.
Tactical victories often end in strategic defeats. That is what Vladimir Putin is in for. The Russian president's calculations appeared correct at first: the west swallowed the annexation of Crimea, and the Ukrainians did not resist for fear of all-out war. That put Russia on the path of military-patriotic mobilisation, enabling Mr Putin to claim absolute power without resorting to mass repressions. Yet by turning Russia into a war state, Mr Putin has unleashed the process he cannot stop and made himself hostage to suicidal statecraft.
In cooperation with the European Union, Ukraine is pushing ahead with a reform package designed to modernise the economy and prepare our country for eventual EU membership.
The turbulent Ukrainian economy is chillingly reminiscent of Russia's economy in 1998. Ukraine's president, prime minister and National Bank chief recently called on the country's largest exporters and banks to help stop the attack on the national currency, the hryvnia. According to one blogger writing for Ukrainian Pravda, President Petro Poroshenko told businesspeople that yes, he is a liberal, but the exchange rate should not exceed Hr 12.05 to the dollar.
It’s not only the actor Gérard Depardieu, his new residency in Saransk, Mordovia, where he benefits from a 6 percent income tax rate as a “private entrepreneur” and his antics about how proud he is to have become Russian. Less colorful friends of Russia have been quite vocal in France lately, in a sign of the divisions that the conflict over Ukraine has created among the French elite.
Editor’s Note: Kyiv public relations specialist Zhanna Kobylinska's “Good News Ukraine” blog sticks to uplifting news and steers clear of controversy. Readers can send news items to Kobylinska at email@example.com
Moscow, which has demanded 'special status' for so-called 'separatists' in Ukraine, as well as wide-reaching Ukrainian 'federalization,' is coming down hard on any activists seeking greater autonomy for regions within the Russian Federation.
It is over 24 hours since two young Crimean Tatars were abducted from Sary-Su near Belogorsk in the Crimea. At around 19.00 on Saturday evening, 19-year-old Islam Dzhepparov and his 23-year-old cousin Dzhevdet Islamov were forced into a dark blue Volkswagen Transporter by men in uniforms. The minivan then headed off in the direction of Feodosiya.
Writer Isaac Babel is known for two short-story collections: 'The Odessa Tales' and 'Red Cavalry Stories.'
A year ago this weekend, Maidan was empty. A few blocks away, on Hrushevskoho, the Party of Regions controlled the parliament.
In my previous column I pointed out that slowly, but surely, oil prices' fall since mid-June has been due to faltering demand, increasing supplies, dollar appreciation, the slowdown in European economy and the less than expected growth elsewhere.
When Vladimir Putin discusses the possibility of World War 3 he appears to be speaking out of both sides of his mouth.
President Barack Obama's speech at the United Nations Wednesday offered to roll back the U.S. sanctions if Russia takes the "path of diplomacy and peace." This overture comes on the heels of an emerging ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine and continuing discussions in Minsk to find a political solution to the turmoil in eastern Ukraine.
Two dramatic arrests, 11 years apart. Two mighty oligarchs fall out with the Kremlin - and take a steep fall. Two signals that an existing political era is coming to an end.
Russia's Internet group Mail.ru has acquired the remaining stake in VKontakte (VK), making it the sole owner of the country's largest social network.