Editor's Note: The Justice Ministry on Nov. 26 suspended the aviation regulation that is the target of this criticism. However, VoxUkraine leaders say they will be on the watch for its reappearance after public attention has shifted.
Ukraine's new parliament was sworn in on Nov. 27. More than 400 members took their oaths, but 27 seats remain vacant – the annexation of Crimea, plus the war in eastern Ukraine, prevented deputies being elected there.
US President Barack Obama dare not utter the word 'invasion' and asks his advisers why Ukraine is so important. Russia denies it has troops in eastern Ukraine while Ukraine itself describes its own military actions there as an "anti-terrorist operation". In reality, Europe is witnessing a war that is producing casualties for the Russian army on a scale not seen since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. It is time to recognise it as such.
Recently, Wizz Air announced that it may have to leave Ukrainian market, due to recent regulation of State Aviation Service of Ukraine No. 686 (the "Regulation"), registered by the Ministry of Justice but not yet officially published. There are a number of provisions in the Regulation of questionable policy value (for the related discussion please see  and also ), significantly limiting competition on the market and imposing higher burden on smaller airlines. The post, however, addresses the issues faced now by foreign airlines, and related implications for the market.
A brief search of the Internet found no opinion polls taken to find out how many Germans wanted Kaliningrad, until 1945 Konigsberg, to be returned to Germany. That subject and probably others are almost certainly taboo for the German media. Unlike recognition of Russia's annexation of the Crimea.
The occupation regime in the Crimea, together with the FSB (Russian security service), are waging a witch hunt against all but one religious group in the Crimea, with the situation in Donbas under Kremlin-backed militants similar in many ways.
Four members of a Slovyansk evangelical church murdered after being abducted by Kremlin-backed militants
Adept at tit-for-tat diplomat expulsions, Moscow has tried the same strategy with allegations of religious persecution, and done a rotten job of it.
Vladimir Putin, by his own reckoning, has never made a "global or strategic" mistake during his 15 years in power. That's because "I never take arbitrary decisions, decisions that may entail consequences I don't foresee," the Russian ruler confided in an interview released this week by the Tass news agency. What's more: "When a Russian feels he is right, he is invincible."
Last Friday,Nov. 21, a video deemed offensive to the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church was ruled "extremist" by a city court in Vladimir. While Alexander Soldatov - chief editor of Credo.ru, the website that posted the offending video - now could also be tried for extremism, the real defendants should be Russia's extremism law and the officials who are helping expand its reach and influence across the country.
Prior to the Russia-Georgia War in 2008, when four regions in the former Soviet space - Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transdnestr and Nagorno-Karabakh - still lacked official recognition, their leaders would occasionally meet under the informal moniker of the CIS-2. Some refer to the group as the Second Commonwealth of Independent States, others as the First Alliance of Unrecognized States. Either way, the CIS-2 plays an increasingly important role in Russian foreign policy.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is apparently fed up with Vladimir Putin. The most frequent conversant with Putin among the Western leaders, Merkel has purportedly decided that the Kremlin chief cannot be trusted and that a near-term political solution of the Ukraine crisis is not in the cards. After Brisbane, Merkel decided to stick with sanctions and make it clear to Putin publicly exactly how his conduct is viewed in the West and what is at stake. The West must speak Klartext to a negotiating partner who "lives in another world."
The recent announcement of further joint Russia-China military exercises scheduled for 2015 has fueled fresh speculation about the possibility of a growing alliance between the two countries.
Russia's competition with China for dominance in Central Asia has long appeared to be doomed due to the asymmetrical relationship between Russian and Chinese economic power. The already strong Chinese economic position in the region has grown even stronger recently with Beijing's announcement of large initiatives that are to pour billions of dollars of aid into the region, further tying it to China.
French President Francois Hollande announced on Nov. 25 that, due to the ongoing situation in Ukraine, France is indefinitely suspending the planned shipment of two Mistral-class helicopter carrier ships to Russia. The decision could be a costly one - Russia will likely sue over the breach of the $1.6 billion contract for the ships - but it still seems like a no-brainer that a European country shouldn’t be selling military hardware to Russia at the same time that Russia is under EU sanction for military activities.
President Vladimir Putin has reestablished dictatorship in Russia with a veneer of legality. The veneer doesn't fool anyone who pays attention, nor is it really intended to do so; Mr. Putin prefers to rule through fear. But the pretense gives some cover to Mr. Putin's apologists in the West and provides material for his increasingly surreal and aggressive propaganda campaign.
On Ukraine, the economists are declaring an emergency. Ukraine is bleeding cash in its war against Russian and Russian-proxy forces in the Donbas region. With its industrial heartland shattered by the war, the country's economy is shriveling. And the warnings from economists are growing that Ukraine will need a big increase - and quickly - in international financial support, if it is to avoid an economic collapse.
One year ago this week, the EuroMaidan protests began in Ukraine, with a few hundred people taking over the central square in Kyiv. Since then, Ukrainians have withstood: mass-violence used against the protesters; a regime change and two national elections; the annexation of Crimea; a conflict in a significant portion of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts (the Donbass region); and a serious and on-going economic crisis.
Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Kyiv last week for his third visit to Ukraine's capital in the past seven months. He arrived bearing gifts: additional nonlethal military aid for the embattled Ukrainian government, including body armor, helmets, night-vision goggles, and countermortar radar. The first three of 20 promised countermortar radar systems were flown to Ukraine aboard a cargo plane accompanying Air Force Two the day the U.S. vice president arrived.
The official Kremlin narrative on the war in eastern Ukraine is clear and simple: after seizing power in February, a Western-backed "junta" in Kyiv sent neo-Nazi gangs - then tanks and warplanes - to stamp out peaceful protests by the Russian-speaking community. The locals who took up arms are freedom fighters, and the only help they get from Russia is humanitarian aid. For the past six months, Russian state television has carpet-bombed its viewers with this message, day in and day out.