Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
October 2019 - Ukraine Special Weapons News
- Ukrainian Lawmakers Approve Bill Criminalizing Illicit Enrichment RFE/RL 31 Oct 2019 -- Ukraine's parliament has approved President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's bill that criminally punishes state officials for illegally enriching themselves.
- Ukrainian President Says Nord Stream 2 'Strengthens Russia' RFE/RL 31 Oct 2019 -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has used Denmark's approval for a controversial pipeline to pump more Russian gas into Europe as an occasion to reiterate Kyiv's position that the project "strengthens Russia and weakens Europe."
- Statement of the NATO-Ukraine Commission NATO 31 Oct 2019 -- "The NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC) met in Kyiv today in the presence of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to discuss the security situation in and around Ukraine, the reform process within the country, as well as progress in the NATO-Ukraine partnership."
- NATO-Ukraine Commission meets in Kyiv, addresses security in eastern Ukraine NATO 31 Oct 2019 -- The NATO-Ukraine Commission met in Kyiv on Thursday (31 October 2019) to address the security situation in eastern Ukraine, the country's reform process, and progress in the NATO-Ukraine partnership.
- Speech by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to the Parliament of Ukraine NATO 31 Oct 2019
- NATO Chief Demands Russia Get Out Of Eastern Ukraine, Stop Supporting Separatists RFE/RL 31 Oct 2019 -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has demanded that Russia end its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine and called on it to withdraw all Russian forces from Ukrainian territory.
- Ukraine Vows To Protect Minority Rights Amid Spat With Hungary RFE/RL 31 Oct 2019 -- In a joint statement with NATO, Ukraine vowed to respect minority rights and implement a set of recommendations regarding an education law that Hungary opposes.
- Senior U.S. Diplomat Calls Russia 'Malign Influence' That 'Occupied Ukraine' RFE/RL 31 Oct 2019 -- Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker says the citizens of both Russia and Ukraine are "paying a price" for Russia's "malign influence."
- Hungary Vetoes NATO Statement On Ukraine Over Kyiv's Education, Language Laws RFE/RL 31 Oct 2019 -- Hungarian officials have vetoed a joint NATO statement about Ukraine because it didn't contain language criticizing Kyiv for its education and language laws that Budapest says deprive the rights of the Hungarian minority in the neighboring country.
- Ukraine's State Gas Company, Struggling To Reform, Is Pulled Into U.S. Impeachment Politics RFE/RL 31 Oct 2019 -- Not long ago, Ukraine's state-run natural-gas company was considered a monopolistic cesspool of corruption, "the poster child of inefficient and nontransparent state monopolies bearing high credit risks," as one think-tank report put it in 2010.
- North Atlantic Council arrives in Odesa, demonstrating NATO's support for Ukraine NATO 30 Oct 2019 -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Ambassadors from the North Atlantic Council arrived in Ukraine on Wednesday (30 October 2019) for a two-day visit, demonstrating the Alliance's continuing support for Ukraine.
- OSCE Representative: Troop Withdrawal In Eastern Ukraine A 'Big Step Forward' RFE/RL 29 Oct 2019 -- Kyiv and Russia-backed separatists have begun withdrawing troops and weapons from a front-line area in eastern Ukraine, as part of a plan to end the Donbas region's five-year conflict.
- Ukrainian President Signs Law Ending Ban On Privatization Of State Companies RFE/RL 28 Oct 2019 -- Ukraine has taken another step towards privatizing state assets as it seeks to attract investment and reach lofty economic goals set by the new administration.
- Fresh EU-Russia-Ukraine Gas Talks To Take Place In Brussels RFE/RL 28 Oct 2019 -- The ongoing Ukrainian-Russian geopolitical tussle once again enters the realm of energy as trilateral gas-transit talks are set to resume in Brussels on October 28 between Moscow and Kyiv.
- No Grounds To Return PrivatBank To Ex-Owners, Ukrainian President Says RFE/RL 24 Oct 2019 -- Ukraine's largest lender, PrivatBank, should not be returned to its former owners in any scenario, according to a statement on the presidential website.
- Ukraine's Zelenskiy Wants Polygraph Tests For Party Members Amid Bribery Allegations RFE/RL 23 Oct 2019 -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has urged members of parliament's Finance Committee to take a polygraph test in the wake of bribery allegations.
- Russia Sets Out Conditions for Maritime Border Talks with Ukraine Sputnik 22 Oct 2019 -- Crimea reunited with Russia after nearly 96 percent of voters supported the move in a March 2014 referendum. Moscow has repeatedly stated that Crimea's residents decided to rejoin Russia through a democratic procedure, and that the referendum was conducted in compliance with international law.
- Top U.S. Diplomat In Ukraine To Testify Before Congressional Impeachment Panels RFE/RL 21 Oct 2019 -- As the U.S. Congressional impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump surpasses a month, the country's top diplomat in Ukraine is set to be deposed on October 22 behind closed doors in front of three panels as this week's key witness.
- Ukraine Court Orders Former Security And Defense Official To 60-Day Pretrial Detention RFE/RL 21 Oct 2019 -- Ukraine's High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) has remanded the former deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council to 60 days in pretrial detention on abuse-of-office charges and for allegedly submitting an erroneous asset declaration to authorities.
- Visiting Zelenskiy Discusses Infrastructure Projects In Ukraine With Japan's Abe RFE/RL 21 Oct 2019 -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has kicked off a four-day working visit to Japan during which he'll attend Emperor Naruhito's enthronement ceremony.
- Can Renewable Power Reenergize Ukraine? RFE/RL 21 Oct 2019 -- Chernobyl is again churning out energy - not nuclear, but solar power.
- The Politics Of Memory: A Struggle For An Institute And What It Means For Ukrainian Identity RFE/RL 20 Oct 2019 -- The building housing the official Ukrainian institute in charge of "national memory" has seen happier days - and darker days as well.
- Ukraine Legal Experts Question Back-Channel Bid for Burisma Probe VOA 18 Oct 2019 -- Ukrainian legal experts say they are bemused by reports of American back-channel pressure to pursue an investigation of an energy company linked to the son of U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden, pointing out the Trump administration could have easily achieved its goal through established legal channels.
- Former Ukrainian President Ally Arrested On Abuse Of Office Charges RFE/RL 17 Oct 2019 -- Ukraine's National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) has arrested a longtime business associate and political ally of former President Petro Poroshenko on suspicion of abuse of office.
- Ukraine Court Halts PrivatBank Hearing RFE/RL 17 Oct 2019 -- KYIV -- A Ukrainian court has suspended a hearing on whether to return share ownership of PrivatBank to its previous owners, in a case that is being closely watched by Ukraine's international lenders and foreign investors as a litmus test for commitments to genuine reform.
- Ukrainian Deputy Prosecutor Says No Foreign Assets Recovered By Predecessors RFE/RL 17 Oct 2019 -- Ukraine's first deputy prosecutor-general, Vitaliy Kasko, has said that in the 3 1/2 years since he left his post, the authorities haven't provided convincing evidence to recover frozen assets abroad that allegedly belong to former President Viktor Yanukovych and his inner circle.
- First Ukraine-UK Joint Military Exercise Starts in Mykolaiv - Ukrainian Navy Sputnik 17 Oct 2019 -- The first joint military exercise between Ukraine and the United Kingdom, dubbed Warrior Watcher, began on Thursday in the city of Mykolaiv, the Ukrainian Naval Forces said.
- Ukraine's Chief Prosecutor Could Be Pivotal in Trump, Biden Standoff VOA 16 Oct 2019 -- Ukraine's new prosecutor general has only been in office since the end of August, but he will likely be central to the future course of any investigations relating to the impeachment proceedings against U.S. President Donald Trump and the conduct of his possible rival, Joe Biden, in the 2020 presidential election.
- Ex-Ukraine Top Prosecutor Lutsenko Probed For Abuse Of Power RFE/RL 16 Oct 2019 -- Ukraine's former Prosecutor-General Yuriy Lutsenko is being investigated on suspicion of abuse of power, local online news website Ukrainska Pravda reported, citing a response to an inquiry it received from the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU).
- Zelensky's Idea to Dissolve DPR, LPR Unexpected for Other Normandy Four Participants - Kremlin Sputnik 16 Oct 2019 -- Kiev's idea about the dissolution of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics (DPR and LPR) is unexpected for other participants of the Normandy format, so it is yet difficult to comment on it, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday.
- Two Ukraine Soldiers Killed From Sniper Shots In Donbas Conflict Zone RFE/RL 15 Oct 2019 -- Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and one wounded in the war zone of eastern Ukraine in the past 24 hours, the Ukrainian military announced on October 15 during its daily briefing.
- Ukraine Fears Collateral Damage From Trump Impeachment Probe VOA 15 Oct 2019 -- Ukraine is at the center of the impeachment proceedings against U.S. President Donald Trump, as Democrat opponents claim he pressured Kyiv to investigate the son of his political rival Joe Biden. The web of allegations and counter-claims is rooted in Ukraine's efforts to clamp down on corruption following the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.
- Russian Court Cuts Prison Term Of Ukrainian Jailed For Spying RFE/RL 15 Oct 2019 -- The Russian Supreme Court has cut the prison term of a Ukrainian man who had been sentenced in Russian-occupied Crimea on espionage charges.
- Russia's Supreme Court Upholds 14-Year Prison Sentences For 'Ukrainian Saboteurs' RFE/RL 15 Oct 2019 -- Russia's Supreme Court has upheld 14-year prison sentences handed down to two Ukrainian men for plotting sabotage in Ukraine's Russian-occupied Crimea.
- Ukraine's PrivatBank Wins Key Battle Against Oligarch In London Court RFE/RL 15 Oct 2019 -- Ukrainian lender PrivatBank has won an appeal in a London court against one of the nation's most powerful tycoons as the Kyiv government seeks to break free from decades of oligarchic influence.
- Zelenskiy Visits Front Line On Ukraine's Defenders Day, As Tens Of Thousands Rally In Kyiv RFE/RL 14 Oct 2019 -- President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has marked Ukraine's Defenders Day holiday with a visit to troops deployed on the front line in the eastern region of Donetsk, where Ukrainian armed forces have been fighting Russia-backed separatists for more than five years.
- Ukraine Sees Hope For 'Last Chance' Peace Summit In Mid-November RFE/RL 14 Oct 2019 -- Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystayko says a peace summit could take place in Paris in mid-November if Kyiv and Moscow-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine can maintain a cease-fire in a conflict that has killed some 13,000 people since April 2014, Reuters reported.
- Ukraine's Zelenskiy Urges Defender Day Rally Goers To Not Give Russian TV 'Eloquent' Material RFE/RL 14 Oct 2019 -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has warned rally participants for the October 14 Day of Defenders holiday to not provide Russian television channels any material they could use to portray the country in a negative light.
- In A First, Greek Church Recognizes Orthodox Church Of Ukraine RFE/RL 12 Oct 2019 -- An extraordinary meeting of the leadership of the Church of Greece decided on October 12 to recognize the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), making it the first of the Eastern Orthodox churches to take such a step.
- A U.S. Indictment Draws Ukraine Further Into Washington's Impeachment Drama RFE/RL 11 Oct 2019 -- In April, two ambitious, politically connected U.S.-based businessmen traveled to Israel to meet with Ihor Kolomoyskiy, one of Ukraine's wealthiest tycoons and a man some consider to be a consigliere to newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
- Putin Questions Zelenskiy's 'Will' To Ensure Pullback In Eastern Ukraine RFE/RL 11 Oct 2019 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of lacking the "political will" to ensure a pullback of heavy weaponry in eastern Ukraine, in a swipe at the leadership in Kyiv amid recent signs of possible progress toward ending a five-year conflict between Ukrainian troops and Russia-backed separatists.
- After 14-Hour Media Marathon, Questions Remain For Ukraine's President RFE/RL 11 Oct 2019 -- In a 14-hour media marathon that left even the lengthy press conferences held by the leaders of neighboring Russia and Belarus seeming on the short side, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy fielded more than 500 questions.
- Ukrainian Foreign Minister Says Russia To Give Back Impounded Navy Vessels Soon RFE/RL 10 Oct 2019 -- Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystayko says he is in the "final stage" of negotiations to return three naval vessels that Russia impounded in November 2018 in the Black Sea after firing on them and taking 24 Ukrainian crewmen captive.
- Ukraine's Zelenskiy Seeks Peace Talks 'In Any Format,' Ending War In East A Priority RFE/RL 10 Oct 2019 -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said a formula proposed by Germany three years ago as a way of breaking the deadlock for achieving peace in the Donbas conflict would only be implemented once four-way talks take place with Russia, Germany, and France.
- Zelenskiy Says Didn't Know U.S. Was Withholding Military Aid Ahead Of Trump Call RFE/RL 10 Oct 2019 -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says he didn't know military aid from the United States had been held up before a phone call with President Donald Trump that is at the center of an impeachment inquiry.
- Ukraine's Zelenskiy Says No 'Formula' In Place To Free Russian-Annexed Crimea RFE/RL 10 Oct 2019 -- Bringing Russian-annexed Crimea back into Ukraine's fold is impossible without the help of international partners, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said during an interview with RFE/RL's Krym.Realii (Crimea Realities) television while visiting an arms show in Kyiv.
- International Warrant Being Drafted For Ukraine Billionaire Zhevaho RFE/RL 10 Oct 2019 -- An international arrest warrant is being prepared for Ukrainian billionaire Kostyantyn Zhevaho, who the newly created State Bureau of Investigations (DBR) suspects of large-scale money laundering and embezzlement of funds from a bank he formerly owned.
- Ukraine's President Says So Far No Alternative to Steinmeier Formula for Donbas Conflict Settlement Sputnik 10 Oct 2019 -- Earlier this month, the Contact Group on Ukraine signed an agreement on a peace plan called the "Steinmeier formula" which guarantees a special status for Donbas in exchange for local elections to be held under OSCE supervision.
- Kremlin Sees Role For U.S. In Helping Resolve Conflict With Ukraine RFE/RL 08 Oct 2019 -- The Kremlin says the United States could play a role in helping resolve the Russia-Ukraine conflict given Washington's influence in Kyiv.
- Ukraine Spy Agency Says Extracted 'Witness' Of Russian Army Presence In Donbas RFE/RL 08 Oct 2019 -- Ukraine's State Security Service (SBU) says it extracted a witness of Russia's military presence in the separatist-controlled parts of eastern Ukraine from the city of Sorokyne (formerly Krasnodon) in the Luhansk region into government-controlled territory.
- U.S. Lawyer Spent Nearly $100,000 To Boost Zelenskiy's Image In Washington RFE/RL 07 Oct 2019 -- An American attorney spent nearly $100,000 out of his own pocket to boost the profile of Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Washington shortly before -- and after -- he won the Ukrainian presidency in a landslide.
- Report: Trump Allies Pursued Management Change At Ukraine's Naftogaz RFE/RL 07 Oct 2019 -- Two Soviet-born businessmen whom U.S. Donald Trump's personal attorney has publicly identified as his clients sought to reshuffle management at Ukraine's state-owned oil and gas conglomerate in their favor as they pursued liquified natural-gas projects, AP reported.
- Thousands protest government's peace plan in Ukraine Press TV 06 Oct 2019 -- Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Ukraine's capital, Kiev, to protest a government peace plan that would grant broader autonomy to self-proclaimed, pro-Russia territories in the country's east.
- Thousands In Kyiv Protest President's Plan For Local Elections In Eastern Ukraine RFE/RL 06 Oct 2019 -- Thousands of demonstrators have rallied in Kyiv against President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's plan to hold local elections in eastern Ukrainian territory that is under the control of Russia-backed separatists.
- Around 10,000 Protesting 'Steinmeier Formula' for Eastern Ukrainian Peace in Kiev - Police Sputnik 06 Oct 2019 -- Thousands of protesters unhappy with a peace plan that seeks to give wider autonomy to parts of eastern Ukraine, known as the Steinmeier formula, gathered in Kiev's Independence Square on Sunday, police said.
- Kremlin Aide Sees Chances of Holding Normandy Format Summit in Near Future Rising Sputnik 06 Oct 2019 -- The Normandy Four format comprises France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine, who in 2015 agreed on a ceasefire deal between the warring parties in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Despite the agreement, sporadic fighting continues to take place.
- Ukraine says plans major prisoner swap with Russia Press TV 04 Oct 2019 -- Ukraine's Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko says his country plans to conduct a "large-scale" prisoner swap with Russia.
- US approves anti-tank missiles sale to Ukraine amid phone call scandal Press TV 04 Oct 2019 -- The US State Department has approved the sale of anti-tank missiles to Ukraine in a move which is likely to anger Russia.
- At Center Of Whirlwind, Can Ukraine Weather The Storm And Keep U.S. Support? RFE/RL 04 Oct 2019 -- It was supposed to be a special occasion, an event that would symbolize and strengthen the bond between the United States and Ukraine.
- Ukrainian Prosecutor Says Yet To See Evidence Of Biden Wrongdoing, Case Reviews Under Way RFE/RL 02 Oct 2019 -- Ukraine's top prosecutor says he doesn't know of any evidence showing illegal activity by the son of former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden but that his office is reviewing several closed cases, including ones related to a gas company where Hunter Biden worked.
- Belarus Pardons Ukrainian Man After Kyiv Releases Belarusian 'Spy' RFE/RL 04 Oct 2019 -- Belarus has pardoned a Ukrainian man sentenced to 8 years in prison on espionage charges a day after Ukrainian authorities released on his own recognizance a Belarusian citizen also charged with spying.
- U.S. State Department Approves Sale Of Second Batch Of Javelin Missiles To Ukraine RFE/RL 03 Oct 2019 -- The U.S. State Department has approved $39.2 million worth of military equipment to Ukraine, including a second batch of the world's deadliest anti-tank missiles to help Kyiv defend itself against Russia-backed separatists.
- Trump Calls for Ukraine, China to Investigate Biden VOA 03 Oct 2019 -- Donald Trump is openly urging foreign governments to investigate his political foes – doubling down on an action that is already the subject of an impeachment inquiry.
- Ukraine, China Should Investigate Bidens - Trump Sputnik 03 Oct 2019 -- US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that Ukraine and China should launch investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
- Aid to Ukraine Successful, DOD Spokesman Says DoD News 03 Oct 2019 -- Earlier this year, the Defense Department made plans to provide some $250 million in aid to Ukraine, with the goal of transitioning that aid before the end of the fiscal year. The department was largely successful in that goal, a Pentagon spokesman said.
- Ukraine - Javelin Missiles and Command Launch Units DSCA 03 Oct 2019 -- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Ukraine for one hundred fifty (150) Javelin missiles and related equipment and support for an estimated cost not to exceed $39.2 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.
- US State Dept Approves Javelin Missile Sales to Ukraine - Pentagon Sputnik 03 Oct 2019 -- The US Department of State has approved a proposed sale of 150 Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine in a deal valued at nearly $40 million, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a press release on Thursday.
- Steinmeier Deal Sparks Protests in Ukraine, Praise in Moscow VOA 02 Oct 2019 -- The Ukrainian president's support for a deal with pro-Russian rebels that would introduce a special status for Ukraine's breakaway regions drew both outrage and praise across the nation Wednesday.
- U.S. Welcomes 'Progress Toward Peace' In Eastern Ukraine, Calls On Russia To Show 'Political Will' RFE/RL 03 Oct 2019 -- The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv has welcomed "progress towards peace" in eastern Ukraine, two days after Kyiv, Moscow, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) agreed to move forward with talks to find lasting peace in the Donbas.
- Ukraine President Likely to Face Tough Challenge Selling Peace Deal VOA 03 Oct 2019 -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will face an uphill battle selling a peace deal he approved midweek with Russia and pro-Moscow separatists in Donbas, which would see two breakaway republics become self-governing, although still part of Ukraine, say analysts.
- Putin: Russia Ready To Prolong Gas Deal With Ukraine If Needed RFE/RL 03 Oct 2019 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has indicated he is ready to offer Ukraine a temporary contract for the transit of natural gas if talks fail before the current one with Moscow expires on January 1.
- How Russia's Interference In Ukraine Has Altered U.S. Policy Toward Belarus RFE/RL 03 Oct 2019 -- While U.S. relations with Russia remain out in the cold five years after Moscow's seizure of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, ties with Belarus appear to be quickly thawing.
- Explainer: What Is The Steinmeier Formula -- And Did Zelenskiy Just Capitulate To Moscow? RFE/RL 02 Oct 2019 -- KYIV -- In the United States, Ukraine is in spotlight over what some call "Ukrainegate" -- the developments that have led to an impeachment probe involving a phone conversation between the presidents of the two countries in July. In Kyiv, there's been a bigger buzz about a different catchphrase -- the Steinmeier Formula.
- Mixed Reactions For Zelenskiy's Eastern Ukraine Election Deal RFE/RL 02 Oct 2019 -- A deal announced by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to allow local elections in separatist-held parts of eastern Ukraine under certain security conditions has triggered a backlash, including protests, in Ukraine and praise from the Kremlin.
- Putin: Russia Ready To Prolong Gas Deal With Ukraine If Needed RFE/RL 02 Oct 2019 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has indicated he is ready to offer Ukraine a temporary contract for the transit of gas if talks fail before the current one with Moscow expires on January 1.
- US Prepares $39M in Anti-Tank Javelin Missiles for Ukraine VOA 02 Oct 2019 -- Congressional and State Department officials on Tuesday preliminarily approved a $39-million sale of shoulder-launched Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine to help the country battle Russia-backed separatists.
- Ukraine Agrees To Election In Occupied East, Paving Way For Peace Talks With Russia RFE/RL 02 Oct 2019 -- Ukraine has provisionally agreed to hold local elections in the occupied territories of its two easternmost regions once all armed formations leave the area and control is regained over about 400 kilometers of borderland with Russia.
- Ukrainian Rights Activists Worry About 'Kremlin Hostages' as Peace Talks Loom VOA 01 Oct 2019 -- Authorities in Kyiv are working on plans to ease transport difficulties Ukrainians face entering and exiting Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014.
- Ukraine's New Government Unveils Ambitious Five-Year Development Plan RFE/RL 01 Oct 2019 -- Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk has released a bold five-year action plan for Ukraine on the government's website that sets development of human capital and the economy, defense, quality of life, and European integration as priorities.
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