• IT Outsourcing Companies Of #ukraine : Overview

    Today I would like to take you on a journey through software outsourcing in Ukraine. We’ll cover the large and small IT outsourcing companies in Ukraine, their services, primary industries they cater to, and their preferred marketing strategies.Top IT Companies. Ukraine Market OverviewLet’s research the software development in Ukraine and the industry’s most prominent representatives. Every outsourcing development company falls under one of the categories:Ukrainian companies;International outsourcing establishments in Ukraine.Top Of The Large Ukrainian Outsourcing CompaniesAmong the leaders of IT software outsourcing in Ukraine in 2018 that are renowned on the international arena are:SoftServe (Lviv-based, 4500+ employees);Ciklum (Kyiv-based, 2000+ employees);Infopulse (Kyiv-based, 1500+ (...)

    #web-development-company #software-outsourcing #mobile-app-development #itoutsourcingukraine

  • #Killing_Pavel

    “Killing Pavel,” a documentary produced by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (#OCCRP) and its Ukrainian partner, Slidstvo.Info​,​ reveals new details about ​last year’s killing of journalist #Pavel_Sheremet. The Belarusian’s reporting had challenged authorities from Minsk to Moscow and Kyiv until he was killed in a car bomb in the Ukrainian capital in July 2016. The film features new information about his death that police never found, raising questions about the nature of the official investigation​.​

    #film #documentaire #journalisme #presse #médias #Ukraine

  • Pixel Art: Mosaics of the Soviet Ukraine in Eugene Nikiforov’s Project - Bird In Flight

    Il y a des images époustouflantes. Superbe initiative...

    Photographer Eugene Nikiforov visited 25 Ukrainian cities and put together the most complete archive — about one thousand images — of Soviet mosaics, before they are ruined by either time or decommunization laws.

    Eugene Nikiforov

    Born in Vasylkiv (Kyiv region, Ukraine), lives in Kyiv. Started his professional career as a photographer in 2005. In 2010, graduated from Geographic Photography College in Tel Aviv (Israel). Worked as a photographer in China, Israel, and Ukraine. Has been working on his own documentary projects since 2013. Has worked with,, Springerin,, Art Ukraine Magazine and other media.

    #images #mosaïques #sovétisme #urss #ex-urss #propagande #ukraine #ukraine_soviétique

  • Killing Pavel - OCCRP

    Belarusian journalist Pavel Sheremet’s reporting had challenged authorities from Minsk to Moscow and Kyiv.

    In a murder that shocked the world, he was killed by a car bomb in the Ukrainian capital in July 2016.

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called for law enforcement to find and punish those behind the attack, but authorities have so far been unable to solve the case.

    For over nine months, reporters from OCCRP and Slidstvo.Info conducted their own investigation, both into the murder and into the police probe – and recorded every step of the way. “Killing Pavel” is the result of these efforts.

    In exclusive footage and interviews, the film reveals crucial information about the night and morning of the killing that never found its way into the official investigation – and asks why.

    #occpr #journalisme #documentaire #Russie #Biélorussie #Pavel_Sheremet #homicide #attentat

  • Ukraine finally passes anti-bias law, a prerequisite for visa-free travel to EU

    In its third attempt in a week, Ukraine’s parliament passed amendments to the Labor Code on Nov. 12 that will end lingering Soviet-era workplace discrimination over sexual orientation, political and religious beliefs.

    The law, which received the support of 234 lawmakers, was the most controversial bill in parliament among a package of anti-corruption and other legislation the European Union requires in its visa liberalization action plan.

    The voting process has been excruciating, however, requiring six rounds of voting and frantic consultations before it finally passed. In the last unsuccessful vote, 219 lawmakers voted in favor, seven votes short of the 226 votes in the 423-seat parliament that are needed for a bill to pass. Parliament’s speaker Volodymyr Groysman then announced a 15-minute break for talks.

    Dear deputies: Seven votes stand between us and a visa-free regime,” Groysman said before calling the break.

    Arguing in favor of the bill, Groysman after the break said that “the individual and his rights are at the foundation of our society.” He ensured that the anti-discrimination measure had no bearing on the broader issue of gay rights. “God forbid same-sex marriages in our country,” he said.

    After the break, lawmakers returned to the vote, and managed to pass the bill at the first attempt. The extra votes needed were provided by the president’s faction, 108 of whom eventually voted for the bill, compared to 99 before the break, and by the prime minister’s faction, where 65 voted in favor as opposed to 62 before the break.

    Parliament twice failed to pass the amendments in earlier voting: On Nov. 5 a similar measure garnered only 117 votes, while on Nov. 10 the draft bill gained 207 votes – still far short of the 226 votes that are needed for a bill to pass in the 423-seat parliament.

    Ah ben, ça y est, le parlement a réussi à voter cette interdiction de discrimination. Mais de justesse et après une suspension de séance (et les remontées de bretelles qu’elle autorise).

  • Mur à la frontière russo-ukrainienne : Kiev manque de fonds pour le projet

    L’Ukraine a renforcé seulement plusieurs centaines de mètres de la frontière avec la Russie en y construisant une clôture métallique avec des barbelés.
    #Russie #Ukraine #mur #barrière_frontalière #frontières
    cc @albertocampiphoto @marty @daphne

    • Ukraine completing ‘wall’ with Russia in #Kharkiv region

      Head of Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service Viktor Nazarenko said that the authority is completing the creation of an intellectual guarding model for the state border with Russia in Kharkiv region. Works are underway in Sumy and Luhansk regions.

    • Ukraine’s ’European Rampart’ Risks Getting Lost In The Trenches

      Ukrainian border guard Oksana Ivanets winds her way past a 2-meter-tall green metal fence topped with coiled razor wire and through serpentine, timber-lined trenches to a bedroom-sized bunker built to withstand a direct hit from a 152-millimeter artillery shell.

      Out of a small window that looks north into a sprawling field of golden sunflowers, she points to a spot on the horizon where Ukraine ends and the territory of its adversary begins.

      “It’s only about 400 meters to the Russian border,” says Ivanets, dressed in a forest-green uniform.

      This outpost was a part of the first segment of an ambitious $520-million, four-year defense plan announced by then-Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk with great fanfare at the peak of the war in eastern Ukraine against Moscow-backed separatists in late summer 2014.

      Dubbed in its early days “Project Wall” and known also as “The European Rampart,” the barrier was intended to fortify a significant section of Ukraine’s porous eastern frontier while both literally and symbolically separating the country from its Soviet-era hegemon.

      But four years on, it’s not exactly the bulwark the government planned.

      A struggling economy has forced a fourfold reduction in its budget and pushed its scheduled completion date to 2020. And an embezzlement scandal has put the entire project in question. Fresh indictments this month have brought it back into the public eye.

      For some, the section of the wall that stands today is more a physical reminder of the country’s enduring corruption than a symbol of progress and security.

      Yatsenyuk responded in English via e-mail to RFE/RL questions about the project, insisting that it has been a success.

      “This is part of one of the greatest achievements of the post-Maidan government and the efforts of all Ukrainian people: restoring the country’s defense capabilities,” he argued, using the colloquial term for Ukraine’s 2014 street uprising that ousted a Moscow-friendly president.

      ’It Can’t Stop Tanks’

      As it stands, the wall project covers merely a fraction of Ukraine’s 2,300-kilometer eastern border with Russia. It comprises 170 kilometers of trenches; 72 kilometers of fencing; a 165-kilometer patrol road; a 19-kilometer ground strip fitted with seismic sensors to detect objects of more than 60 kilograms; and four frontier posts with 17-meter-high watchtowers equipped with security and thermal-imaging cameras.

      There is also a 20-kilometer section of fencing and trenches in the war-torn Luhansk region to the south.

      In some places, there are natural boundaries that prevent crossings.

      “It would be naive to expect that this type of structure...would make any difference,” Oleksiy Melnyk, a Ukrainian political and security analyst at the Kyiv-based Ruzumkov Center, a nongovernmental public-policy think tank, says of a possible Russian attack. “This so-called wall is not suitable, in military terms.”

      Border guard Ivanets still views it with optimism. She says that even the work so far is better than nothing, adding that something needed to be done to try to safeguard Ukraine and, in particular, Kharkiv, from the same fate as occupied regions to the south.

      Kharkiv, an industrial city 480 kilometers from Kyiv, is the country’s second-largest city with 1.4 million residents and a Ukrainian military stronghold. It withstood an initial attempt by pro-Russia separatists to seize control in 2014.

      Swaths of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions with more than 4 million inhabitants and a 400-kilometer border with Russia remains under the control of Moscow-backed separatists. Kyiv and international observers accuse Russia of exploiting Ukraine’s loss of control there, slipping its forces and equipment easily across the border to back separatist offensives and even launch its own when those fighters need extra help against government troops.

      “It was determined that if a Russian attack against the Kharkiv region is initiated, they will try to go right through this point,” says Ivanets.

      She concedes that the wall would not defeat a Russian offensive. But that’s not its point.

      “It gives us time to organize the first line of defense while we wait for the [Ukrainian] Armed Forces to arrive,” she says. “We understand very well that it can’t stop tanks.”

      ’For 100 Years We Didn’t Need A Wall’

      It’s this aspect of the project that has drawn ridicule from many Ukrainians. A well-known journalist and commentator called the wall a “pathetic fence,” and a member of parliament described it as a “4 billion-hryvnya pit.”

      It has also angered residents of border towns and villages who complain it’s an eyesore and a barrier that has disrupted their lives. Some complain it keeps family and friends apart. Local farmers bemoan the loss of fields that stretched into Russian territory where their livestock used to graze.

      A major reason locals were able to move so freely across the border and constructing the project has been such a headache is that the countries’ shared border was never properly demarcated after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

      “We lived here without a wall for 100 years. It’s a big shame to [build it] now,” 83-year-old Alisivka village resident Lyubov Dekhnich says during a break from picking raspberries outside the house her family built in 1955.

      Beyond the barrier itself, new bureaucratic procedures for crossing official border points have been put into effect, further limiting freedom of movement.

      Until recently, both Russian and Ukrainian citizens could cross the administrative border with internal passports. Today, to the chagrin of locals, they need international passports.

      “They must understand that that there’s an aggressor on the other side,” Ivanets says of such complaints, adding that she hopes critics will come around at some point. “We must keep Russia out.”

      Corruption Allegations

      Project Wall’s construction should have been faster, wider, and better, according to Ukraine’s National Anticorruption Bureau (NABU).

      That FBI-trained anticorruption agency — formed in the wake of the Euromaidan protests as Kyiv set out to implement crucial reforms to secure Western aid — found that some of the patrol roads along the wall where border guards cruise in fourwheelers, for instance, were narrower than the planned three meters and that at least $365,000 was stolen from its budget.

      Eight people from the Border Guard Service of Ukraine and local contractors were detained in August and November 2017 for alleged embezzlement. On July 5, NABU announced it had completed its pretrial investigation into their actions and prepared an indictment for special anticorruption prosecutors to send to court.

      While it is unclear who was behind the alleged scheme — especially since an order from the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) made all information about the wall project a state secret — some point the finger at Yatsenyuk, as the wall was his idea.
      Yatsenyuk calls those who accuse him of orchestrating any wrongdoing “Goebbels-style” liars perpetuating “Kremlin propaganda.”

      “Moscow openly does not want to have a border between Ukraine and Russia,” he says. “Therefore, the Kremlin is making tremendous efforts to disrupt or discredit any border project.”

      “Even if contractors and local officials had something stolen (the investigation will have to prove it in court), how could [a] prime minister be involved in this?” he adds in an e-mail.

      Russian Activity ’Practically Every Day’

      Yatsenyuk argues that his brainchild has also succeeded in halting smuggling and illegal migration while helping Ukraine secure a visa-free regime with the European Union and lay the groundwork for possible NATO membership.

      “Our partners have always made it clear that Ukraine has to create a reliable border with Russia,” he says.

      Ukraine secured visa-free travel with the EU in June 2017, but it is unclear what role the construction of the wall played in that agreement. And with the conflict in Donetsk and Luhansk grinding on, NATO membership remains a distant prospect.

      Driving along the fence, Ivanets says the only border violators around there these days are wild boars and deer that roam the surrounding forests and tall grass.

      But a greater threat looms just over yonder.

      Ivanets says the most extensive and aggressive Russian military activity was observed along the Kharkiv border throughout 2014 and 2015, but that border guards still see men in military uniforms on the Russian side “practically every day,” sometimes driving armored personnel carriers.

      A Completed ’Wall’ By 2020 — Maybe

      The war in eastern Ukraine is in its fifth year, with no end in sight. More than 10,000 people have been killed and a peace deal known as the Minsk II accord has failed to stick.

      Recently, the rhetoric from Moscow and Kyiv has become more aggressive, with Russian President Vladimir Putin predicting just days after his Helsinki summit with U.S. President Donald Trump a “serious risk of escalation” in eastern Ukraine.

      As Ukrainian troops continue still dug in and preparing for the worst, Ukraine is pressing on with Project Wall.

      The chief of the Ukrainian Border Guards Service, Petro Tsyhykal, predicted recently that the Kharkiv section of the wall would be completed by the end of this year, with more construction planned in Luhansk, Sumy, and Chernihiv scheduled for completion in 2020.

      “We understand that this is a matter of national security,” he says, “so we need to complete it under any conditions.”
      cc @reka

  • Cartes : *Les déplacés en Ukraine (juin 2015)"

    Ukraine : Dnipropetrovsk Oblast - IDP Situation as of 8 June 2015

    Ukraine : Donetsk Oblast - IDP Situation as of 8 June 2015

    Ukraine : Kharkivska Oblast - IDP Situation as of 8 June 2015

    Ukraine : Kyiv City - IDP situation as of 8 June 2015

    Ukraine : Kyivska Oblast - IDP Situation as of 8 June 2015

    Ukraine : Zaporizhzhia Oblast - IDP situation as of 8 June 2015

    Ukraine : Luhansk Oblast - IDP Situation as of 8 June 2015

    #Ukraine #Guerre #Conflit #Guerre_en_Ukraine #Cartes #Géographie_des_Conflits #Géographie #Géographie_des_Migrations #Migrations #Migrations_de_Guerre #Migrants_de_Guerre #Migrants #Déplacés #Déplacés_de_Guerre #IDPs

  • Questions Raised Over Poroshenko’s Role In Valuable Kyiv Land Deal

    An investigation by RFE/RL shows that Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko may have used his presidential influence to shut down investigations into a land deal aimed at building a private mansion on a historic site in the Ukrainian capital.
    Two reports broadcast on RFE/RL’s Ukrainian-language television program, Schemes, reveal that over the course of seven years, Poroshenko quietly appropriated more than a hectare of protected land in Kyiv’s elite Pechera district and recently quashed an inquiry into the damage of an 18th-century structure caused by construction work on his plot. 
    The revelations come as Poroshenko, soon to mark his first year in office, faces growing criticism for failing to divest his billion-dollar business holdings and diminish the political influence of Ukrainian oligarchs like Dmytro Firtash, who last week claimed he personally orchestrated Poroshenko’s rise to the presidency.

  • ’Men Return Completely Changed’: Ukraine Conflict Fueling Surge In Domestic Violence

    A Ukrainian group helping victims of domestic abuse says the conflict in eastern Ukraine has led to a dramatic upsurge in violence against women across the country.

    Aliona Zubchenko, the spokeswoman for the Kyiv-based International Women’s Rights Center La Strada, spoke to RFE/RL’s Claire Bigg.

    RFE/RL: La Strada says the number of women calling its hotline for victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, and gender discrimination has spiked in recent months. How big is this increase?

    Aliona Zubchenko: We took a total of 7,000 calls in 2014, 80 percent of which related to domestic violence. This year, the figure has risen more than twofold. In the first three months of this year, we had more than 2,600 calls.

    RFE/RL: Your group blames mounting domestic violence on the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. How are the two connected?

    Zubchenko: Women call and tell us that they were married for 15 years, that they had a good family, and that their husbands were never violent, never hit or insulted them. Then they left for the war and returned completely changed. They are violent. They beat the children. They beat their wives and drink. These women don’t know what to do because they don’t recognize the husbands they had before the war in these men.
    We are very worried about the women who call us, but also about those who don’t call us. While the women who call us receive some kind of support, those who either are unable to call us or don’t know where to seek help remain alone with their problems. This is very dangerous.

    We can assume that the number of suicides or murders will rise, because what begins as minor violence against women often grows into murder. The war in eastern Ukraine continues. The number of displaced people and soldiers who fought there will continue to grow. The consequences of what is now taking place in our country will be felt for decades.

  • ENP 2014 report recommends Ukraine investigates violent acts in Kyiv and Odesa

    The European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) in Ukraine Progress Report 2014, which was approved on March 25, has recommended that an investigation into the events which happened on Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kyiv and in Odesa last year be initiated.


    Politique européenne de voisinage — Wikipédiaéenne_de_voisinage

    La Politique européenne de voisinage (PEV) est une politique de l’Union européenne (UE) visant à améliorer ses relations avec ses voisins n’entrant pas dans le projet d’adhésion. Cette politique favorise les relations avec l’UE sur des thèmes tels que la sécurité, la stabilité et l’économie avec ses nouveaux pays voisins.
    Le partenariat oriental a ainsi été inauguré au Sommet de Prague en mai 2009, visant à rapprocher l’UE de 6 pays : l’Arménie, l’Azerbaïdjan, la Géorgie, la Moldavie, l’Ukraine et la Biélorussie. Il représente la dimension orientale de la PEV et renforce les relations bilatérales entre l’UE et ses partenaires.

    • Based on the assessment of its progress in 2014 on implementing the ENP, Ukraine should focus its work in the coming year on:
      • continue to investigate independently the violent acts which occurred during civil protests in November 2013 – February 2014, as well as the tragic events in Odessa in May 2014, with the support of the International Advisory Panel proposed by the Council of Europe;

      Ukraine Progress Report

      La page des rapports adoptés le 25 mars 2015

    • Compte-rendu par RFE/RL. Pas un mot sur la nécessité d’enquêtes indépendantes sur les événements de Maïdan et Odessa…

      EU Criticizes Azerbaijan, Notes Ukraine’s Challenges


      The European Commission says reforms in Ukraine were carried out in “a very difficult political, economic, social and military/security context of armed conflicts.

      The paper notes that civil society in the country has been developing quickly and that the decentralization process has been launched.

      It also points out that the human rights situation both in the annexed Crimea and in eastern Ukraine has “_worsened drastically.”

      Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula in March 2014 and a conflict between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine has killed more than 6,000 people since April.

      Brussels suggests the implementation of a comprehensive anticorruption package in Ukraine, harmonization of all electoral legislation, comprehensive reform of the public administration, and ensuring that the lustration processes in the executive and the judiciary are in line with relevant international standards.

  • Hryvnia finding new lows, close to 30 to $1

    The core reason for the hryvnia weakness is the lack of trust,” emphasized Paraschiy [an expert at Kyiv-based Concord Capital]. The absence of trust between the NBU [National Bank of Ukraine], the president and the rest of the government is mirrored in the hryvnia instability. If nothing changes Ukraine’s currency will continue looking for a new bottom.

    La guerre et les désaccords internes… Après le petit rebond lié à la signature du cessez-le-feu de Minsk 2 (petit pic au 15/02), la hryvnia continue sa descente.

  • Scène de rue à Kiev

    © AFP

    A patrol made up of members of a Ukrainian volunteers battalion and policemen arrest two men on Independence Square in Kyiv on Feb. 9 who allegedly arrived from Donetsk and are suspected of participating in separatist activities and organizing terrorist attacks in the Ukrainian capital.

  • Former Azov battalion leader works to clean up Kyiv regional police, his image

    In one week at the end of October Vadym Troyan went from being the deputy commander of a right-wing volunteer battalion fighting in Ukraine’s east to chief of police for the Kyiv Oblast. 

    Foreign media portrayed the man as a neo-Nazi taking a major job in the police, but he has remained largely unaware his poor image abroad because since the beginning of November he has been traveling around his new jurisdiction and speaking to police officers.
    Troyan says he has made the fight against corruption in the police a personal priority. Coming back from the front, he aims to bring the ingenuity and dedication that has defined Ukraine’s non-government initiatives since the start of the EuroMaidan a year ago.

    He admits though that until salaries are raised for police officers it will be difficult to stamp out corruption completely. A police officer in the war zone who spoke to the Kyiv Post recently said he made Hr 2,000 ($125) per month. He is employed by a special organized crime fighting unit.
    As head of Kyiv region police Troyan has no jurisdiction over the city of Kyiv, but when asked by the Kyiv Post if he would have any issues protecting people at a similar LGBT film festival he said he would not. “I would ensure order,” he added.

    Troyan denies connection to right-wing extremist organizations and says that the Azov battalion was tolerant and there “it didn’t matter what religion you were or what language you spoke.
    Not everyone agrees with his evaluation. Holya Coynash of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group calls appointing Troyan police chief an “awful” move. She says Troyan has been linked to neo-Nazi groups such as the Patriots of Ukraine in the past. She does not think the move is indicative of boarder right-wing sympathies in the government but says it is a careful balancing act in Ukraine currently to criticize right-wing groups because Russia uses any such critiques for its propaganda purposes.
    Troyan attended the Ministry of Interior’s academy in Kharkiv, and has worked for the police in that region for seven years in his early career. He moved on to what he described as “sports, meditation, living in the mountains” for several years.

    Il s’agit de la police de la région (oblast) de Kiev, la ville de Kiev est une région différente. En fait, il était monté à Kiev pour demander la poste de chef de la police de la région de Donetsk…

  • IT pioneer announces candidacy for parliament with holistic vision for army and economy

    The prominent founder of a popular domain name registrar and website hosting company told the Kyiv Post he is running for a seat in parliament as an independent candidate. The information technology pioneer, Oleksandr Olshanskiy, didn’t specify in which of the 225 single-mandate races he would run. Initially, he said he expected to get elected under the UDAR party ticket led by Kyiv mayor and retired boxing champion Vitaliy Klitschko, according to a Sept. 11 interview with the Kyiv Post. 

    Olshanskiy’s announcement comes on the heels of other visible technology business professionals joining politics. Among them are the former head of Microsoft Ukraine Dmytro Shymkiv, who in July became the deputy head of President Petro Poroshenko’s administration, and Viktor Galasyuk, who recently became an economic adviser to Radical Party leader Oleh Lyashko after heading the Bionic Hill innovation park project.

    In addition to them, the CEO and founder of Ukrainian outsourcing software developer ELEKS, Oleksii Skrypnyk, together with entrepreneur and co-founder of Invisible CRM Vlad Voskresenskiy, are parliamentary candidates in Lviv mayor Andriy Sadoviy’s Samopomich party, holding the third and 24th positions on the list, respectively. Elections are scheduled for Oct. 26 with half the 450 seats being allocated to proportional party lists, and the other half in first-past-the-post single-mandate races.

    Après cette revue des candidats issus du monde de l’IT, dont D. Shymkiv, déjà vu ici, le journal passe au programme d’Olshanskiy (soit, Alexandre Olchansky) et c’est pas triste !

    Known for his libertarian ideas and outspoken statements regarding politics, especially on taxation issues and the right to bear arms, Olshanskiy expressed caution and flexibility in his plans for working as a lawmaker.

    I’m saying things that are not peculiar to me,” Olshanskiy said. “I’m a libertarian with a right-wing deviation, […] but the situation today is so thin that unity may prove more valuable than radicalism.

    He continued: “Although not being perfect, the president in my opinion has all necessary qualities to do something. And parliament now must help him. It does not mean we don’t need to control him, but we have to give him a chance to do something…Because the country really needs reforms.

    Encore un chaud partisan de l’armée suisse, du port d’armes…

    He wants to help the Ukrainian army adopt a similar structure to that of the Swiss army and on simplifying the tax code. “I don’t want to see the Ukrainian army similar to the Soviet Army. I’m for an army based on contract principles, but also for mandatory short period of military service and regular musters for all citizens,” Olshanskiy explained.
    Other measures he supports are to introduce a system of pre-draft training for the youth, as well as loosening gun control restrictions.

    … et bien sûr, un pourfendeur de l’impôt et de la régulation.

    As for economic reforms, Olshanskiy wants to “stop the war that the government fights against business for the past 23 years.” The IT businessman wants to start with making taxes in Ukraine more transparent by extending the existing simplified taxation scheme, which is now available for certain business activities.

    Staying true to his repeatedly declared values, Olshanskiy said that in the future he will also stand for abandoning the value-added tax altogether.

    VAT is the absolute evil for any economy, as is any implicit tax,” he added. “I think it needs to be canceled, and its propaganda has to be criminally prosecuted.

    Another measure Olshanskiy wants to introduce is a scheme that allows people and companies to pay their taxes directly to state-funded organizations.

    Let’s take the army as an example. If I buy them a tank, the army would give me a receipt for the amount I paid for it, and I would be able to reduce my taxes by this sum. It’s not charity, I’d just directly fund the state budget skipping the whole bureaucratic machine.

    In Olshanskiy’s opinion, this scheme can create a competitive alternative to the government apparatus.

    Pour conclure par un hymne aux entrepreneurs des nouvelles technologies et un coup de patte aux politiciens professionnels.

    These people [from the IT business] are self-reliant, they’ve already done many things — and will do more. Their way of thinking is similar to that of today’s volunteer battalions [in the war zone] — if I won’t do it, then who will? Do you think Shymkiv dreamed of working in the president’s administration? I assure you that a seat of the head of Microsoft Ukraine is way more comfortable. If you don’t go to the parliament to steal money, you have to understand that it’s hard work.

    Y a du boulot, en effet !

    • Son programme : lutter contre la corruption.

      Kyiv elects a mayor for the first time since 2008

      For the residents of the capital a lot more was at stake than just the presidency on May 25. Kyiv elected a mayor and the city legislature for the first time since 2008.

      According to the exit poll by Savik Shuster Studio political talk show, Vitali Klitschko won 57 percent of the vote, leaving the runner-up Lesya Orobets far behind with 10 percent of the vote.

      The capital has lived without a mayor for the last two years since Leonid Chernovetsky, the city’s last elected mayor, resigned on June 1, 2012. He had been absent from Kyiv’s political scene for more than six months before his resignation, allowing a presidential appointee to run the city. The Kyiv city council’s legal five-year term expired in June of 2013.

      Since that time the council’s secretary Halyna Hereha, a business tycoon and wife of the Party of Regions lawmaker Oleksandr Hereha, was acting as city major. Until recently she ran the city along with Oleksandr Popov, an appointed head of Kyiv State Administration.

      In the last two years the ruling Party of Regions kept sabotaging local elections in Kyiv through an array of legal means because its popularity had vanished. Previously, the Regions and allies controlled the 120-seat council. Now, power has shifted to Klitschko’s UDAR, which got 42 percent of the votes, according to Shuster Studio’s exit poll. A handful of smaller parties have also won seats.
      The new Kyiv mayor and the city council are elected for less than a year and a half. According to election legislation, the next elections of a Kyiv mayor and the city council will be held in the fall of 2015. Then the Kyiv mayor will serve for four years and the city council will be elected for a five-year term.

      Kyiv territorial election commission is expected to publish the official results of mayoral elections by May 31.

  • President Putin’s Fiction : 10 False Claims About Ukraine

    As Russia spins a false narrative to justify its illegal actions in Ukraine, the world has not seen such startling Russian fiction since Dostoyevsky wrote, “The formula ‘two times two equals five’ is not without its attractions.”

    Below are 10 of President Vladimir Putin’s recent claims justifying Russian aggression in the Ukraine, followed by the facts that his assertions ignore or distort.

    Pas forcément étonnant que nos médias ne traduisent pas la liste... C’est du niveau de la cour d’école.

    • 1. Mr. Putin says: Russian forces in Crimea are only acting to protect Russian military assets. It is “citizens’ defense groups,” not Russian forces, who have seized infrastructure and military facilities in Crimea.

      The Facts: Strong evidence suggests that members of Russian security services are at the heart of the highly organized anti-Ukraine forces in Crimea. While these units wear uniforms without insignia, they drive vehicles with Russian military license plates and freely identify themselves as Russian security forces when asked by the international media and the Ukrainian military. Moreover, these individuals are armed with weapons not generally available to civilians.

      2. Mr. Putin says: Russia’s actions fall within the scope of the 1997 Friendship Treaty between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

      The Facts: The 1997 agreement requires Russia to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Russia’s military actions in Ukraine, which have given them operational control of Crimea, are in clear violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

      3. Mr. Putin says: The opposition failed to implement the February 21 agreement with former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

      The Facts: The February 21 agreement laid out a plan in which the Rada, or Parliament, would pass a bill to return Ukraine to its 2004 Constitution, thus returning the country to a constitutional system centered around its parliament. Under the terms of the agreement, Yanukovych was to sign the enacting legislation within 24 hours and bring the crisis to a peaceful conclusion. Yanukovych refused to keep his end of the bargain. Instead, he packed up his home and fled, leaving behind evidence of wide-scale corruption.

      4. Mr. Putin says: Ukraine’s government is illegitimate. Yanukovych is still the legitimate leader of Ukraine.

      The Facts: On March 4, President Putin himself acknowledged the reality that Yanukovych “has no political future.” After Yanukovych fled Ukraine, even his own Party of Regions turned against him, voting to confirm his withdrawal from office and to support the new government. Ukraine’s new government was approved by the democratically elected Ukrainian Parliament, with 371 votes – more than an 82% majority. The interim government of Ukraine is a government of the people, which will shepherd the country toward democratic elections on May 25th – elections that will allow all Ukrainians to have a voice in the future of their country.

      5. Mr. Putin says: There is a humanitarian crisis and hundreds of thousands are fleeing Ukraine to Russia and seeking asylum.

      The Facts: To date, there is absolutely no evidence of a humanitarian crisis. Nor is there evidence of a flood of asylum-seekers fleeing Ukraine for Russia. International organizations on the ground have investigated by talking with Ukrainian border guards, who also refuted these claims. Independent journalists observing the border have also reported no such flood of refugees.

      6. Mr. Putin says: Ethnic Russians are under threat.

      The Facts: Outside of Russian press and Russian state television, there are no credible reports of any ethnic Russians being under threat. The new Ukrainian government placed a priority on peace and reconciliation from the outset. President Oleksandr Turchynov refused to sign legislation limiting the use of the Russian language at regional level. Ethnic Russians and Russian speakers have filed petitions attesting that their communities have not experienced threats. Furthermore, since the new government was established, calm has returned to Kyiv. There has been no surge in crime, no looting, and no retribution against political opponents.

      7. Mr. Putin says: Russian bases are under threat.

      The Facts: Russian military facilities were and remain secure, and the new Ukrainian government has pledged to abide by all existing international agreements, including those covering Russian bases. It is Ukrainian bases in Crimea that are under threat from Russian military action.

      8. Mr. Putin says: There have been mass attacks on churches and synagogues in southern and eastern Ukraine.

      The Facts: Religious leaders in the country and international religious freedom advocates active in Ukraine have said there have been no incidents of attacks on churches. All of Ukraine’s church leaders, including representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate, have expressed support for the new political leadership, calling for national unity and a period of healing. Jewish groups in southern and eastern Ukraine report that they have not seen an increase in anti-Semitic incidents.

      9. Mr. Putin says: Kyiv is trying to destabilize Crimea.

      The Facts: Ukraine’s interim government has acted with restraint and sought dialogue. Russian troops, on the other hand, have moved beyond their bases to seize political objectives and infrastructure in Crimea. The government in Kyiv immediately sent the former Chief of Defense to defuse the situation. Petro Poroshenko, the latest government emissary to pursue dialogue in Crimea, was prevented from entering the Crimean Rada.

      10. Mr. Putin says: The Rada is under the influence of extremists or terrorists.

      The Facts: The Rada is the most representative institution in Ukraine. Recent legislation has passed with large majorities, including from representatives of eastern Ukraine. Far-right wing ultranationalist groups, some of which were involved in open clashes with security forces during the EuroMaidan protests, are not represented in the Rada. There is no indication that the Ukrainian government would pursue discriminatory policies; on the contrary, they have publicly stated exactly the opposite.

    • Russian FM slams US report on Putin’s remarks on Ukraine as ‘double standards’

      “We will not relegate ourselves to polemics with petty propaganda. We will only say that once again we have to deal with unacceptable arrogance and claims of ultimate truth. The U.S. has no and cannot have moral right to lecture others on how to comply with international rules and respect the sovereignty of other countries. What about the bombings of former Yugoslavia and the invasion of Iraq on falsified pretexts?” the statement said.

      “If we turn to more distant historical events, we can find many examples of American military interventions far away from the national borders in the absence of real threat to the security of the United States. The war in Vietnam claimed the lives of two million peaceful citizens, let alone the completely devastated country and the contaminated environment. Under the pretext of protecting their citizens, who had simply happened to be in conflict zones, the U.S. invaded Lebanon in 1958 and the Dominican Republic in 1965, attacked tiny Grenada in 1983, bombed Libya in 1986, and three years later occupied Panama. Nevertheless, they dare accuse Russia of ‘armed aggression’, when it steps in to defend its compatriots who make up the majority of Crimea’s population in order to prevent ultranationalist forces from organizing yet another Maidan bloodbath,” the ministry said.

    • From Washington to Moscow, everyone is lying about what’s happening in Ukraine

      Putin’s statement about the crisis was full of distortions and manipulations. But in an unusual paper meant to expose them, the U.S. State Department offered its own share of inaccuracies and half-truths.

      In Paragraph 3 the Americans seem to be choosing a very specific interpretation of the situation as it developed in Kiev late last month. “Mr. Putin says: ‘The opposition did not implement the February 21 agreement with former President Viktor Yanukovych.’ The facts: ‘The agreement presents a plan according to which the parliament must reinstate the 2004 constitution, as well as returning the country to a system that strengthens the legislative branch. Yanukovych was supposed to sign the legislation within 24 hours and to bring the crisis to an end peacefully. He refused to meet his commitment, and instead packed up the contents of his home and fled, and left behind evidence of extensive corruption,’” said the document.

      In effect, there was chaos in the Ukrainian capital, and a substantial percentage of the anti-Russian opposition demonstrators rejected the agreement formulated by the warring parties with the mediation of the European Union. The developments from the moment of the signing until Yanukovych’s flight and his ouster from parliament is not entirely clear, nor is it clear why mention of his ostensible corruption is relevant to the question of the legitimacy of removing him by force.

      In addition, the protest leaders still recognized him as president on February 25, and only said that he “is not actively leading the country as of now.”

      In Paragraph 4 the Americans deal with the legitimacy of the new government, and with Putin’s claim that Yanukovych is still Ukraine’s legitimate leader. The document of the State Department in Washington notes that on March 4 Putin himself said that the ousted president “has no political future,” and that his party, the Party of Regions, voted in favor of removing him and installing the new government, and that the parliament in Kiev confirmed the swearing in of the government by a huge majority of 82 percent.

      But the Obama administration ignored Paragraph 111 in the Ukrainian constitution, which states that parliament can oust the president only if he committed a crime. The initiation of an impeachment process must be approved by two-thirds of the legislators, with 75 percent of MPs voting in favor of the ousting itself. Those votes were not held, and therefore ratification of the new government, even with 82 percent support, was passed in contradiction of the constitution.

      In Paragraph 8 the State Department wrote: “Mr. Putin says: ‘There were mass attacks against churches and synagogues in southern and eastern Ukraine.’ The facts: ‘The religious leaders in the country and activists who favor freedom of religion said that there were no attacks against churches. All the leaders of the Church in Ukraine support the new political leadership and called for national unity. Jewish organizations in southern and eastern Ukraine reported that there was no increase in anti-Semitic incidents.”

      We found no evidence of attacks against churches in Ukraine, but in Haaretz we have already reported on a fear in the Jewish communities of an increase in anti-Semitism, as well as several incidents in which extreme right-wing gangs intensified their activity against synagogues and Jewish institutions. Our correspondent in Crimea, Anshel Pfeffer, reported that Jews were beaten in Kiev and a synagogue was destroyed there, and similar incidents occurred in the city of Zaporozhye in southeast Ukraine and in the Crimean capital of Simferopol.

      Despite that, many pointed to the fact that Russia is trying to defame the new government in Kiev by portraying it as extremely rightist, anti-Semitic and Nazi in its entirety, and some people even wondered whether those incidents weren’t Russian provocations, in order to arouse opposition to the new government. Whatever the case, it can’t really be said that there were no anti-Semitic incidents at all in southeast Ukraine.

      In the last paragraph, Paragraph 10, the United States claimed that Putin is lying about the fact that the Ukrainian parliament is influenced by extremists and terrorists. The Americans claim that the Rada (parliament) is the institution most representative of the Ukrainian public, and that extreme-right organizations that were involved in the clashes in Independence Square are not represented in it.

      But the actual situation differs significantly from the picture Washington is trying to paint. It’s true that legislators from the pro-Russian parties voted in favor of the new government, but we cannot ignore the fact that many of their members fled from Kiev, so that it is hard to claim that the parliament provides optimal representation for the pro-Russian east. In addition, the far-right party Svoboda (Liberty) received 38 seats in the legislature in the most recent elections, and its members espouse extreme anti-Semitic and nationalist views.

      In addition, the party received five portfolios in the new government, including justice minister and deputy prime minister. “The Right Sector, a small organization, armed and more extreme, which espouses a pro-Nazi ideology and is opposed to joining the EU, is not represented in parliament, but its leader Demytro Yarosh declared recently that his organization and Svoboda share many views and values," the paper stated. Incidentally, Yarosh was appointed in late February as the deputy head of the National Council for Defense and Security.

      In Paragraph 6 the Americans tried to contradict the words of the Russian president to the effect that ethnic Russians in Ukraine live in fear of the new government in Kiev, and stated that there are no reliable reports on that. They also presented the fact that the interim president of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchynov, refused to approve a law limiting the use of the Russian language in the country, but forgot to mention that prior to that parliament had approved the law.

    • From Washington to Moscow and Kiev, everyone is lying about what’s happening in Ukraine

      Je trouve le mot « mensonge » exagéré pour la matière qui nous intéresse, ie la géopolitique. Les points de vue diffèrent, certes. Mais parler de mensonge fait plus penser à une volonté de clore tout débat, à la façon dont on évoque le point Godwin à tous propos.

      Et... les occidentaux sont, amtha, particulièrement minables dans l’affaire. Car la narrative du peuple victorieux a sérieusement du plomb dans l’aile, avec toute la documentation sur les nouveaux membres du gouvernement Ukrainien, sur les partis qui les soutiennent, et sur les mensonges au sujet des massacres lors de ce qu’il est difficile de ne pas nommer coup d’état. Et donc, je trouve les occidentaux très silencieux sur ce sujet. Limites merdeux. Ce nouveau précédent dans le « 2 poids 2 mesures » sera-t-il celui qui mettra un terme à la relative impunité de l’occident ces 20 dernières années (et plus) ?

      De plus en plus se dessine un monde « à la XIXème siècle », où les élites du monde entier font et défont les alliances, se font la guerre ici ou là, pour un bout de terre gorgé de ressources, et en entraînant les peuples derrière eux.

      Les Nations unies ne sont jamais plus efficaces que lorsque règne la crainte du nucléaire. C’est malheureux. Et j’ai cru lire que les américains envoyaient leurs bateaux vers la Crimée. Pour y faire quoi à part faire augmenter la pression ?

    • Pour les navires, ils n’étaient sans doute pas loin, puisque les É.-U. avaient envoyé deux unités pour « assister » les Russes dans la protection des JO…

      Et pas n’importe quoi,
      • le USS Taylor, frégate lance-missile (qui s’y est d’ailleurs échouée, le 12/02, en entrant dans le port turc de Samsun (l’ancienne Amisos)
      • et surtout le USS Mount Whitney, « navire de commandement », mais surtout navire espion, comme on peut le constater en comptant ses oreilles…

      Il est d’ailleurs un habitué de ces eaux, puisqu’il était déjà là pour les événements de Géorgie en 2008…

  • An Unfinished Ukraine Palace and a Fugitive Leader’s Folly -

    Et en voici une autre...

    LASPI, Ukraine — Chased from his sumptuous villa outside the Ukrainian capital and last sighted searching for a sanctuary here on the Crimean Peninsula, Viktor F. Yanukovych, the former president, suffered a final indignity on Tuesday: The masons and electricians he had hired to build a Pharaonic seaside retreat in a historic, old-growth forest decided that he would never pay his bills and started hauling away their equipment and materials.

    #ukaine #ianoukovitch