person:arseniy yatsenyuk

  • Avakov: Ukraine’s wall along Russian border nearly half complete

    Ukraine has built almost half of its 2,300-kilometer wall on the border with Russia, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on Nov. 24 during his visit to the border checkpoint in Kharkiv Oblast.

    “The project has been extended until 2021,” Avakov said. “The budget plan for the 2019 allocates Hr 400 million ($14.4 million) for it. But the head of the Border Guard Service hopes to receive additional funds.”

    The Kharkiv section of the Ukrainian-Russian wall has been almost completed with only 20 kilometers left, according to Avakov. The works will continue on the border sections in Sumy and Luhansk oblasts. It includes fortifications with a barbed wire fence, two-meter deep anti-tank trenches, 17-meter-high watchtowers, 40 border checkpoints as well as equipment with motion sensors, border security closed-circuit television (CCTV) and alarm systems.

    Overall, 47 percent of the 2,300-kilometer wall has been built, the minister said.

    In addition, starting from January, Ukraine has launched the biometric control system for Russian passport holders at all border-crossing checkpoints.

    Former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who is running for president in the upcoming March presidential elections, joined Avakov on the trip to the border in Kharkiv Oblast on Nov. 24.

    The ambitious project known as the European Wall was announced by then-Prime Minister Yatsenyuk in 2014 in the wake of the Russian military intervention in the Donbas. Ukraine lost control over parts of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts and 400 kilometers that border with Russia. The wall was designed to protect Ukraine from further attacks on its territory as well as to stop illegal flow of weapons from Russia.

    In the aftermath of the EuroMaidan Revolution that drove pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych from power on Feb. 22, 2014, Kremlin incited mass anti-government demonstrations in eastern Ukraine and occupied Crimean peninsula. In Donetsk and Luhansk, protesters “declared independence” from Ukraine which escalated into an armed conflict between Ukrainian forces and Kremlin-backed forces. In April 2014, pro-Russian protesters took over the Kharkiv administration and “declared independence from Ukraine” but the Ukrainian government managed to retain control over the region.

    The construction of the wall, however, halted due to lack of funding and a corruption scandal.

    In 2015-2017, the Border Guard Serviced received Hr 800 mln ($28.8 million) — less than a quarter of the total cost of the project estimated at over Hr 4 billion ($147.6 million).

    In November 2017, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau arrested eight people on embezzlement charges. NABU detectives found that the officials of the Border Guard Service in cahoots with local contractors had siphoned off Hr 16.68 million ($600,800) from the Project Wall funds.

    #Ukraine #Russie #murs #frontières #barrières_frontalières

  • Yatsenyuk says Russia may be involved in blowing up power line to Crimea

    Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk does not rule out that Russia may be involved in blowing up the pylons of the power line in Kherson region, which lead to power outage in Crimea.

    Le reste derrière #paywall. Hélas ! je ne saurais pas les éventuels éléments de preuve de ces allégations !

  • Yatsenyuk ally says he will resign from parliament amid corruption scandal

    Mykola Martynenko, an ally of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, said on Nov. 30 that he had submitted his resignation as a member of the Verkhovna Rada.

    The decision comes amid a high-profile corruption scandal around Martynenko.

    Swiss and Czech prosecutors are investigating Martynenko on suspicion of accepting 30 million Swiss francs from Czech engineering firm Skoda for giving it a contract to supply equipment to state-owned nuclear power firm Energoatom.

    Last week Sergii Leshchenko, a lawmaker from President Petro Poroshenko’s bloc, published documents from Swiss prosecutors that detail the corruption accusations and ask for help from Ukrainian prosecutors, assistance that evidently was not forthcoming.

    Ukrainian authorities have shown no interest in investigating Martynenko, however.

    Given that attacks against me are also attacks against the Cabinet and the authorities in general, I submit my resignation as a lawmaker and voluntarily renounce my parliamentary immunity,” Martynenko, a member of Yatsenyuk’s People’s Front faction and head of the Verkhovna Rada’s fuel and energy committee, said on the Free Speech talk show on the ICTV television channel.

    He urged parliament to vote on the issue next week, possibly on Dec. 10.

  • Yatsenyuk: Several ministers to be dismissed within two weeks : UNIAN news

    In the next two weeks the Health Minister (Alexander Kvitashvili), Energy Minister (Volodymyr Demchyshyn) and Education Minister (Serhiy Kvit) will be dismissed, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said in an interview with Politico.

    In addition, the Prime Minister announced the introduction of a Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration, Politico reports.

    It’s too early to say who [will come into office], this could shatter the coalition,” he explained. “We are in talks with the president. But the quicker we announce the better.

    There have been mistakes,” Yatsenyuk admitted to Politico. “But I will correct these mistakes with new folks sitting in the cabinet.

    It should be noted that Health Minister Alexander Kvitashvili, submitted his resignation letter in early July, but the parliament did not approve his move.

  • Yatsenyuk and allies of Poroshenko, Avakov targeted by corruption investigations

    Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, President Petro Poroshenko’s chief of staff Borys Lozhkin and an ally of Interior Minister Arsen Avakov have been targeted by investigators and whistleblowers in Ukraine and abroad this week.

    The reports come as Poroshenko, Yatsenyuk and Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin are accused of failing to investigate corruption among incumbent and former top officials and applying selective justice.

    Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, went so far on Sept. 24 as to say that “corrupt actors within the Prosecutor General’s Office are making things worse by openly and aggressively undermining reform.

    Kyiv’s Pechersky District Court has ordered the Prosecutor General’s Office to start an investigation against Yatsenyuk on suspicion of getting a $3 million bribe for appointing Volodymyr Ishchuk as chief executive of state-owned Radio Broadcasting, Radio Communications and Television Company, Serhiy Kaplin, a member of the Verkhovna Rada, wrote on Sept. 26.

  • Chornobyl Corruption : Exclusion Zone Chief Sacked Amid Graft Accusations

    The 2,600-square kilometer exclusion zone around the site of the 1986 Chornobyl nuclear reactor disaster is an abandoned, post-apocalyptic landscape. And the lingering radiation in the forests and fields of the zone isn’t the only form of contamination there, critics say:

    There’s also omnipresent corruption.

    One sign of its presence is that the Cabinet on Sept. 23 fired Yury Antipov, the head of the State Agency for Managing the Exclusion Zone, on orders of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. The prime minister also asked the Interior Ministry to start a criminal investigation into the official.

    Ah ben ça alors !
    Ça ne doit pas concerner le tout petit milliard de dollars confié à Vinci et Bouygues pour la construction de l’arche (sarcophage) de Tchernobyl.

  • Poroshenko puts brake on long-overdue civil service reforms

    Despite broad support from experts and European Union, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko is slowing down plans to overhaul Ukraine’s bloated, rigid, corrupt and politicized governmental bureaucracy.

    Сivil service reform was once one of the top priorities of the autumn parliamentary session.

    No longer.

    At the National Reform Council meeting on Sept. 18, Poroshenko arrived at an unexpected decision to withdraw the civil service bill and set a new working group for preparation of new legislation, citing the EU’s alleged dissatisfaction with a current draft.

    However, the EU’s position on the bill seems to be rather positive.

    A Sept. 22 statement by Jan Tombinski, head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine reads: “The new law of Ukraine on civil service is a key in order to create an enabling reform environment within the public administration.

    • Experts blame president, government for sabotage of civil service bill

      An inexplicable decision of Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko to suspend civil service reform, relying on an allegedly negative assessment by the European Union of the legislation, left experts with one question:

      Who and why would be interested in sinking the civil service bill, which is touted as a way to help transform Ukraine’s corrupt and inefficient bureaucracy into a highly professional and transparent service?

      The answer is: there are at least three groups of interest.

      • The first group is Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Viktor Tymoshchuk from the Center for Political and Legal Reforms said on Sept. 23 at the Crisis Media Centre.

      Because of the bill “they lose the right to appoint people they favor at the key posts. Instead, a bill introduces open competitions,” Tymoshchuk explained, emphasizing that Yatsenyuk has never publicly spoken for or against the civil service reform, although the bill was prepared by the government.

      • The second group is Ukrainian ministers, who are allegedly afraid of the new office of ministerial secretaries who will manage all the administrative work in the ministries if the bill is adopted.

      But introduction of state secretaries is “a necessary requirement of the good governance, said Tymoshchuk. “Otherwise, there will be no effective and stable government.

      Finally, the third group consists of politicians who came from business and believe that the only remedy they have is to fire and hire new staff. “But things can’t be done like that because state is not a private company … We need order and understanding that we can lose control over the country if we pursue such radical measures,” Tymoshchuk said.

  • Is Ukraine blocking Swiss investigation of Yatsenyuk ally?

    A powerful Ukrainian lawmaker facing a criminal investigation by Swiss law enforcement is being protected from prosecution by Ukrainian authorities, lawmakers allege.

    Member of parliament Serhiy Leshchenko, who is part of President Petro Poroshenko’s dominant faction, sounded the alarm over the case at the Yalta European Strategy forum in Kyiv on Sept. 12.

    He asked why Mykola Martynenko, deputy head of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s People’s Front faction, had not been ousted from his post as head of parliament’s energy committee or even investigated in Ukraine, despite Switzerland having launched a criminal investigation into him on suspected bribery.

    Martynenko, widely believed to handle finances for Yatsenyuk’s faction, faces bribery accusations by Swiss prosecutors in a case that has been kept secret for nearly two years.
    Ukrainian authorities may have good reason for playing down the investigation: Swiss journalists reported that Martynenko accepted bribes from Skoda JS, a nuclear engineering company that positions itself as Czech-owned but is actually part of Russia’s OMZ engineering group – which is controlled by Kremlin-run Gazprombank.

    Martynenko is accused of accepting roughly $30 million in bribes, though it was not clear how much of that allegedly came from Skoda JS.

    Swiss newspaper Sonntagszeitung cited Swiss prosecutors as saying in March that Martynenko is suspected of taking bribes from Skoda JS in 2013 in order to grant the company a contract for the maintenance of nuclear reactors in Ukraine.

    Skoda JS and Ukraine’s #Energoatom signed a memorandum of understanding on the deal last October, prompting some criticism from experts in nuclear energy.

    With this contract, the government in Kyiv wanted to create the impression among its people and the European Union that Ukraine had begun to depend on the West in the nuclear sector,” Yan Haverkamp, an expert on nuclear energy at Greenpeace, was cited as saying by Ukrainian media.

  • Whistleblower fired after accusing Poroshenko’s ally of corruption

    Ukraine’s customs offices, long a cash cow for corrupt officials, have come under attack from two directions – Konstyantyn Likarchuk, deputy head of the State Fiscal Service, and Mikheil Saakashvili, the ex-Georgian president and reformist governor of Odesa Oblast.

    The fallout from the affair has already cost Likarchuk his job. He was fired on Sept. 7 after accusing his boss, Roman Nasirov, of theft and restoring ex-President Viktor Yanukovych’s corrupt customs schemes.

    Meanwhile, Saakashvili accused Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and his Cabinet of allegedly sabotaging measures designed to make customs in Odesa Oblast transparent and corruption-free.
    Nasirov, who was a lawmaker in the Petro Poroshenko Bloc faction before being appointed to head the State Fiscal Service, denied Likarchuk’s accusations. In turn, he accused the would-be whistleblower of incompetence and corruption.

    To support his claims, Likarchuk published on Sept. 8 what appears to be a scanned copy of a property title to an apartment owned by Nasirov in London. Since Nasirov did not include this in his property declaration, he should be fired under Ukraine’s lustration law, Likarchuk wrote.

    Likarchuk also said in August that Nasirov was re-introducing Yanukovych-era schemes by appointing allies of the ex-president and his former customs agency head, Ihor Kaletnik.

  • #Fact-checking #Saakashvili: Claims true – up to a point

    Odesa Oblast Governor Mikheil Saakashvili on Sept. 3 lashed out at Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and the government he leads in an interview with Channel 5, owned by President Petro Poroshenko.

    The former Georgian president accused the Cabinet of Ministers and Yatsenyuk personally of sabotaging reforms and lobbying for oligarchs’ interests.

    In three more specific claims, Saakashvili accused the Cabinet of protecting the head of the State Aviation Service, whom he said had taken decisions in favor of billionaire Igor Kolomoisky’s Ukraine International Airlines. He then accused the government of blocking Economic Development and Trade Minister Aivaras Abromavicius’ attempts to dismiss the heads of two state enterprises. And last, he alleged the Cabinet had foiled his plans to reform Odesa’s notoriously corrupt customs service.

    Yatsenyuk countered on Sept. 4 that Saakashvili’s accusations were unfounded and claimed that the Cabinet had approved the governor’s requests.

    We are all in one team here. I understand his emotions because he bears all the responsibility for Odesa Oblast,” Yatsenyuk said. “But it is inappropriate for an ex-president to bring unfounded charges against the government.

    The Kyiv Post decided to dig deeper into four of Saakashvili’s claims, and see if there was any substance to them.

    Claim 1: The Yatsenyuk Cabinet has protected the head of the State Aviation Service.
    The Verdict: True

    Claim 2: The Cabinet is blocking attempts to dismiss the heads of some state enterprises.
    The Verdict: True – technically. But while the head of at least one enterprise is indeed still in his job, the Kyiv Post couldn’t find proof that the reason was because of cronyism among Yatsenyuk’s political allies.

    Claim 3: The Yatsenyuk Cabinet is foiling Saakashvili’s plans to reform Odesa’s customs service.
    The Verdict: Somewhat true. While not sabotaging the plan per se, the Cabinet appears to be meddling by moving the goalposts, making it more difficult for the reform to achieve its aims.

    Claim 4: Yatsenyuk is in the thrall of the nation’s biggest oligarchs.
    The Verdict: Not proven. Direct ties between Ukraine’s oligarchs and politicians are hard to pin down.

  • Forget Ukraine. It’s Business As Usual Between Europe and Russia

    It was just like the old days before the European Union imposed sanctions on Russia in 2014. At the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok Gazprom clinched three major deals with some of Europe’s biggest energy companies.

    One of the most important was the revival of a lucrative asset swap between the Russian energy giant and Wintershall, the energy division of BASF, a German chemical company. BASF had abandoned that swap arrangement in December 2014 because of the geopolitical consequences of Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea.

    The asset swap and other deals signed in Vladivostok show how German as well as Austrian energy companies are loath to quit Russia. They also show how Gazprom wants to tie Europe’s lucrative gas market more closely to Russia. In 2013, Russia supplied the EU’s 28 countries with 30 percent of their gas needs.

    But more importantly, the deals confirm how Russia is determined to end Ukraine’s role as the major transit route for Russian gas to Europe. Half of the Russian gas imported by Europe crosses Ukraine.

    Under the terms of the deal between BASF and Gazprom, BASF’s subsidiary Wintershall will obtain a stake of 25 percent plus one share in the Urengoy natural gas fields in Siberia. Both firms will develop the fields.

    In return, Wintershall will transfer to Gazprom its jointly owned gas storage and trading business in Germany as well as a stake in its business in Austria. Through the asset swap, Gazprom will also receive a 50 percent stake in Wintershall’s exploration and production of oil and gas in the North Sea. These activities amounted to sales of over $13.4 billion in 2014, according to BASF.

    The second deal agreed to in Vladivostok involves Gazprom and a European consortium building a second Nord Stream pipeline under the Baltic Sea. This will enable Russia to send more of its gas directly to Germany, bypassing Ukraine.

    The consortium consists of BASF, German energy company E.ON, French electricity company Engie, Austrian oil and gas firm OMV and Royal Dutch Shell. Gazprom will own a 51 percent share of a new company called New European Pipeline AG, which will develop the project. The other partners will have a 10 percent stake, except for Engie, which will own 9 percent.

    The fact that the global energy majors participate in the project bespeaks its significance for securing reliable gas supply to European consumers,” stated Alexey Miller, chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee.

    Tell that to Poland and the Baltic states—and Ukraine. They had criticized the first Nord Stream pipeline, which was agreed to under the then German chancellor Gerhard Schröder in 2005. At the time, Warsaw argued that the deal increased Europe’s dependence on Russian energy.

    Since then, however, Europe has been diversifying its energy supplies, spurred by the 2009 Ukraine gas crisis, which disrupted supplies to Europe because of a dispute between Russia and Ukraine over energy prices.

    Also, through its Third Energy Package, the European Commission is introducing more competition in the energy sector by breaking the hold any one company can have over the production, distribution and trading of gas. That is one of the main reasons why in December 2014 Russia pulled out of the South Stream project, which was to transport gas across the Black Sea to Southeastern Europe. Under the terms of the commission package, Russia would have had to open up the gas pipeline to competition.

    The third deal reached in Vladivostok involves OMV’s participation in the Urengoy oil and gas fields. When the deal is concluded, OMV will acquire a 24.8 percent stake in the project in exchange for Gazprom obtaining some of the assets of OMV.

    • Sans trop de surprise, le projet de #North_Stream_2 ne plait pas à l’Ukraine…

      Ukraine PM calls second Russia-Germany pipeline ’anti-European’ - Yahoo News

      Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Thursday criticised as “anti-Ukrainian and anti-European” a deal between Russia’s energy giant Gazprom and several Western firms to build a second gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea.

      In June, Gazprom agreed with Anglo-Dutch Shell, Germany’s E.ON and Austria’s OMV to build the new gas pipeline — dubbed Nord Stream-2 — to Germany, bypassing conflict-torn Ukraine and also EU neighbour Poland.

      When the first Nord Stream was built, it brought the European Union no additional energy independence,” Yatsenyuk said after talks with Slovak counterpart Robert Fico in Bratislava.

      The construction of Nord Stream-2 is affecting the security of the continuous gas supply of the EU’s southeastern countries. It is a monopolisation of gas supply routes to the EU,” he told reporters.

      This project is anti-Ukrainian and anti-European.

  • Ukraine president’s ally launches bid to oust discredited PM | The Times

    One of President Poroshenko of Ukraine’s closest allies has accused the country’s prime minister of abusing his position by furthering the interests of Kiev’s richest oligarchs, in a move interpreted as the start of a plot to oust him.
    Appearing on a TV channel owned by the president, Mikheil Saakashvili, the governor of Odessa and the former Georgian president, said that Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the Ukrainian prime minister, had tried to help Ihor Kolomoyskyi, a billionaire businessman, to monopolise the country’s aviation industry. He said Mr Yatsenyuk had deliberately reinstated Denys Antoniuk, an ally of Mr Kolomoyskyi, as the head of…


    Le Times roule pour Saakachvili, semble-t-il.

  • S​aakashvili says Yatsenyuk’s Cabinet thwarts reforms, serves oligarchs

    Mikheil Saakashvili has lashed out at Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and his Cabinet, saying that they are sabotaging economic, customs and other reforms and serve oligarchs’ interests.

    Saakashvili, the ex-Georgian President who became Odesa Oblast governor in May, has launched sweeping changes.

    He has cracked down on corruption at the customs office and is planning to introduce faster registration procedures, cut government staff, increase their wages and replace them with new people.

    Yet now all these changes, as well as reforms nationwide, are being scuttled by the Cabinet, he argues.
    Now the government is paralyzed,” Saakashvili said. “There must be a total reset of the Ukrainian government on all levels.

    Bien sûr tout cela est totalement désintéressé et pour le bien de son pays d’adoption. Il n’y a que quelques esprits chagrins pour faire remarquer que, simultanément…

    A petition has been filed on the president’s site for appointing Saakashvili as prime minister, although he said he was not planning to become head of the government.

    • « Yats » : c’est rien que des menteries, mais je l’aime quand même, pask’il a du mal en ce moment.

      Yatsenyuk dismisses Saakashvili’s accusations regarding oligarchs’ control of government

      Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk dismissed Odesa regional administration chief and former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s claims that Ukrainian oligarchs control the executive branch.

      I would like to address the head of the Odesa regional state administration: I understand all his emotionality, and I understand what hard times he is having now. It’s hard for everyone. We all are united here, and therefore emotions and groundless accusations play only into the hands of those who are against reforms and against real changes in Ukraine. It is even more unseemly for a former president to resort to lying accusations. But I am his first ally,’ Yatseniuk said at a news briefing in Kyiv on Friday.

  • 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

  • Odesa is frontier for Ukraine reform drive

    The moment of truth may come in September, when the team will introduce in parliament the Odesa reform package. The legislation includes deregulation, cutting the number of designated land uses to two-three from 10, making customs clearance faster and more transparent, abolishing licenses in some industries and lifting the moratorium on the sale of agricultural land.
    The regional government has hired Western-educated Ukrainians and members of Saakashvili’s Georgian team of reformers. It also employs experts and volunteers, including ones from Odesa Oblast, Russia and the team recruited by Borovik during his work at the Economy Ministry. Borovik was slated to become first deputy economy minister in March but quit after disagreements with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, whom he accused of stalling reforms.

    Most of the new people at the administration, including Borovik, Marushevska and Maria Gaidar, formerly a Russian opposition activist, are currently working free of charge.

    The regional administration has also fired most of the 27 district heads in Odesa Oblast and is selecting new ones based on professional qualifications. One of the requirements for choosing district heads was fluent English for working with foreign investors.

    We spoke to people in English during telephone interviews,” Borovik said. “We started speaking in English, and if a person didn’t respond, this meant he lied on his resume.

    They were also required to have a good education. “We’re looking for people with a global outlook and people who know the advantages of the region and can promote it,” Marushevska said.

    People with lots of experience in the Ukrainian government were rejected. “It’s more of a downside for us than an upside,” Marushevska said. She also rejected candidates who were lobbyists of specific political clans and people with major business interests in a specific district.

    De bien belles et bonnes réformes à venir. Si les petits cochons ne mangent pas Saakachvili.

    lifting the moratorium on the sale of agricultural land
    ping @odilon

  • Yatsenyuk orders tightened control over access to Chornobyl zone, will dispatch National Guard

    Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has ordered additional units of the Interior Ministry’s forces and the National Guard of Ukraine to protect the exclusion zone of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant from intruders.

    (intégralité de la brève)

  • Ukraine faces mounting coal shortage problems — Energy Ministry

    Ukraine’s thermal power plants face mounting problems with coal shortages while energy companies’ coal stocks are declining, Ukrainian Deputy Energy and Coal Minister Alexander Svetelik said on Friday, as cited by TASS.
    The deputy minister who spoke at a roundtable discussion on preparations for the upcoming heating season said the energy companies were required to have 2.7 million tons of coal at their warehouses while the available stocks stood at 1.5 million tons.
    Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said on Friday during a working trip to Kharkov “the situation in the energy sector is disastrous.

  • Yatsenyuk orders that fiscal service prepares tender to select foreign company to manage Ukrainian customs agencies

    Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has ordered that the State Fiscal Service prepares a tender to select a foreign company that would manage several Ukrainian customs agencies.

  • The Mess that Nuland Made | Consortiumnews

    The Mess that Nuland Made

    July 13, 2015

    Exclusive: Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland engineered Ukraine’s “regime change” in early 2014 without weighing the likely chaos and consequences. Now, as neo-Nazis turn their guns on the government, it’s hard to see how anyone can clean up the mess that Nuland made, writes Robert Parry.

    By Robert Parry

    As the Ukrainian army squares off against ultra-right and neo-Nazi militias in the west and violence against ethnic Russians continues in the east, the obvious folly of the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy has come into focus even for many who tried to ignore the facts, or what you might call “the mess that Victoria Nuland made.”


    Une traduction en français envoyé par Jean-Marie Chauvier

    Le bordel qu’a fait Victoria Nuland
    L’assistante au Secrétariat d’état, Victoria Nuland a manigancé « un changement de régime » en Ukraine au début de 2014 sans évaluer le chaos probable et les conséquences . Maintenant que des néo-nazis tournent leurs fusils contre le gouvernement, il est difficile de voir comment quelqu’un peut nettoyer le bordel que Nuland a créé.
    Par Robert Parry

    Juillet 14, 2015 "Information Clearing House" - "Consortium News" – Alors que l’armée ukrainienne quadrille contre des milices d’extrême-droite et néo-nazies dans l’ouest et que la violence contre les ethniques russes continue à l’est, la folie évidente de la politique de l’Ukraine de l’administration Obama est devenue un point central même pour les nombreuses personnes qui ont essayé d’ignorer les faits ou ce qu’on pourrait appeler « le bordel qu’a fait Victoria Nuland. »

    L’assistante au Secrétariat d’état, pour les affaires européennes « Toria » Nuland a été « le cerveau » derrière le « changement de régime » du 22 février 2014, en Ukraine, complotant de renverser le gouvernement démocratiquement élu du Président Viktor Yanoukovich, tout en convainquant les médias US dominants toujours crédules, que le coup n’était pas vraiment un coup mais une victoire de la « démocratie ».

    Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.

    L’assistante au Secrétariat d’état, pour les affaires européennes Victoria Nuland qui a poussé au coup en Ukraine et a aidé à choisir les dirigeants post-coup.

    Pour vendre ce dernier « changement de régime » d’inspiration néocon au peuple américain, l’horreur de ceux qui avaient accompli le coup a été systématiquement vaporisé, en particulier le rôle clé de néo-nazis et d’autres ultra-nationalistes du Secteur Droit. Pour la campagne de propagande US organisée, les faiseurs du coup devaient porter des chapeaux blancs, pas des chemises brunes.
    Ainsi, pendant à peu près un an et demi, les médias dominants occidentaux, spécialement le New York Times et The Washington Post, ont tourné leurs informations dans tous les sens pour éviter de dire à leurs lecteurs que le nouveau régime de Kiev était imprégné et dépendant de combattants néo-nazis et d’ultranationalistes ukrainiens qui voulaient des Ukrainiens de sang pur, sans ethniques russes.

    Toute mention de cette réalité sordide était qualifiée de « propagande russe » et toute personne qui disait cette vérité inconfortable était « un laquais de Moscou ». Ce n’est qu’à partir du 7 juillet que le Times a admis l’importance des néo-nazis et autres ultranationalistes faisant la guerre contre des ethniques russes dans l’est. Le Times rapportait aussi que ces forces d’extrême-droite avaient été rejointes par des militants islamiques. Certains de ces jihadistes ont été appelés « frères » de l’Etat islamique super brutal.
    Bien que le Times ait cherché à tourner cette remarquable alliance militaire – des milices néo-nazis et de jihadistes islamistes – comme certaine, la réalité devait être détonante pour des lecteurs qui avaient cru la propagande occidentale sur des forces « pro-démocratie » résistant contre une « agression russe » malveillante.

    Le Times s’est peut-être rendu compte qu’il ne pouvait plus mettre le couvercle sur la vérité gênante en Ukraine. Pendant des semaines, les milices du Secteur Droit et le bataillon Azov néo-nazi ont prévenu le gouvernement civil de Kiev qu’ils pouvaient se retourner contre lui et créer un ordre nouveau qui leur convenait mieux.
    Des affrontements dans l’ouest

    Alors, samedi, de violents affrontements ont éclaté dans la ville ukrainienne Mukachevo, dans l’ouest, prétendument au sujet du contrôle des routes de contrebande de cigarettes. Des paramilitaires de Secteur Droit ont arrosé des agents de police de balles à partir d’une mitrailleuse de ceinturon ( ??? belt-fed), et la police soutenue par des soldats du gouvernement ukrainien – ont répliqué au tir. On a rapporté plusieurs tués et de multiples blessures.

    Les tensions se sont intensifiées lundi, avec le Président Petro Poroshenko ordonnant aux forces de sécurité nationales de désarmer « les cellules armées » des mouvements politiques. Entretemps le Secteur Droit envoyait des renforts dans la région tandis que d’autres miliciens convergeaient vers la capitale Kiev.
    Alors que le Président Poroshenko et le dirigeant Dmitry Yarosh du secteur Droit pourraient réussir à tasser ces dernières hostilités survenues, ils pourraient ne que postposer l’inévitable : un conflit entre les autorités soutenues par les US à Kiev et les combattants néo-nazis et d’autres de droite, qui ont été le fer de lance du coup de l’an dernier et ont été sur les lignes de front dans le combat contre les rebelles ethniques russes dans l’est.

    Les extrémistes de droite ukrainiens considèrent qu’ils ont fourni le plus grand fardeau dans la guerre contre les ethniques russes et éprouvent de la rancune envers les politiciens vivant dans une sécurité et un confort relatifs à Kiev. En mars, Poroshenko avait aussi licencié l’oligarque un peu voyou Igor Kolomoisky comme gouverneur de la province du sud-est de Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. Kolomoisky a été le principal bienfaiteur des milices du Secteur Droit.

    Donc, comme c’est devenu apparent en Europe et même à Washington, la crise ukrainienne est en train d’échapper au contrôle, rendant le récit préféré du Département d’Etat sur le conflit– tout est de la faute du Président russe Vladimir Poutine – de plus en plus difficile à vendre.

    Comment l’Ukraine est-elle supposée de se tirer de ce qui ressemble à une spirale de mort – une guerre possible sur deux fronts dans l’est et l’ouest en même temps qu’une économie qui s’effondre – est difficile à saisir.

    L’Union européenne, confrontée aux des crises budgétaires en Grèce et d’autres membres de l’UE, a peu d’argent ou de patience pour l’Ukraine, son chaos néo-nazi et sociopolitique.

    Les néocons d’Amérique au Washington Post et ailleurs continuent à fulminer sur la nécessité pour l’administration Obama d’investir plus de milliards et des milliards de dollars dans l’Ukraine post-coup parce qu’elle « partage nos valeurs ». Mais cet argument aussi s’effondre alors que les Américains voient battre le cœur d’un racisme nationaliste à l’intérieur du nouvel ordre en Ukraine.
    Un autre « changement de régime » néocon

    Beaucoup de ce qui est arrivé était prévisible, bien sûr, et a effectivement été prédit , mais la néocon Nuland n’a pas ou résister à la tentation de provoquer « un changement de régime » qu’elle pouvait considérer comme le sien.

    Son mari (et archi-néocon) Robert Kagan avait co-fondé le Projet pour un nouveau siècle américain en 1998 au sujet d’une exigence de « changement de régime » en Irak, un projet qui a été accompli en 2003 avec l’invasion du président George W. Bush.

    Comme Nuland en Ukraine, Kagan et ses compagnons néocons pensaient qu’ils pouvaient manigancer une invasion facile de l’Irak, évincer Saddam Hussein et installer un certain client choisi – en Irak. Ahmed Chalabi allait être “le gars”. Mais ils n’ont pas pris en compte les dures réalités de l’Irak, comme les fissures entre Sunnites et Chiites, démasquées par l’invasion conduite par les US et l’occupation.

    En Ukraine, Nuland et ses amis interventionnistes néocons et libéraux ont vu une opportunité de flanquer un coup de poing à Poutine en encourageant des manifestations violentes pour renverser le Président Yanoukovich favorable à la Russie et d’y mettre à la place un nouveau régime hostile à Moscou.
    Carl Gershman, le néocon, président pour les US de la Dotation nationale pour la Démocratie financée par le contribuable, a expliqué le plan dans un éditorial du Post le 26 septembre 2013. Gershman appelait l’Ukraine « le plus grand prix » et un pas important par intérim pour faire basculer Poutine, qui « pourrait se trouver lui-même dans une issue perdante pas seulement à l’étranger proche mais en Russie même. » De son côté, Nuland a distribué des biscuits aux manifestants anti- Yanoukovich à la Place Maidan, a rappelé à des dirigeants d’affaires ukrainiens que les US avaient investi $5 milliards dans leurs « aspirations européennes » a déclaré « Merde pour l’UE » pour son approche moins agressive et a discuté avec l’ambassadeur US Geoffrey Pyatt qui devraient être les nouveaux dirigeants de l’Ukraine. « C’est Yats qu’il faut, » a-t-elle dit se référant à Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

    Nuland a vu sa grande chance le 20 février 2014, quand un mystérieux tireur d’élite - tirant apparemment d’un building contrôlé par le Secteur Droit – a tiré tuant à la fois des policiers et des manifestants, intensifiant la crise. Le 21 février, dans une tentative désespérée pour éviter plus de violences, Yanoukovich a accepté un plan européen garanti dans lequel il acceptait de pouvoirs réduits et qui appelait à des élections anticipées de sorte qu’il pouvait être voté hors de fonction.

    Mais ce n’était pas assez pour les forces anti- Yanoukovich qui – dirigées par le Secteur Droit et les milices néo-nazies – ont envahi les buildings du gouvernement le 22 février, forçant Yanoukovich et beaucoup de ses autorités à fuir pour leur vie. Avec des voyous armés patrouillant dans les corridors du pouvoir, le pas final pour « un changement de régime » était prêt.

    Au lieu d’essayer de sauver l’accord du 21 février, Nuland et des autorités européennes ont arrangé une procédure inconstitutionnelle pour exclure Yanoukovich de la présidence et ont déclaré le nouveau régime « légitime. » Le gars de Nuland – Yatsenyuk - est devenu premier ministre.

    Alors que Nuland et ses cohortes néocons célébraient leur « changement de régime » s’est manifesté une réaction prévisible de Poutine, qui reconnaissait la menace stratégique que ce nouveau régime hostile posait à la base navale historique russe de Sébastopol, en Crimée. Le 23 février, il a commencé en prendre des actions pour protéger ces intérêts russes.

    Haines ethniques

    Ce que le coup a fait aussi a été de raviver des antagonismes longtemps refoulés entre les Ukrainiens ethniques dans l’ouest, y compris des éléments qui avaient soutenu l’invasion de l’Union soviétique par Adolphe Hitler pendant la Seconde guerre mondiale, et les ethniques russes du sud et de l’est qui craignaient les sentiments antirusses émanant de Kiev.

    D’abord en Crimée et ensuite dans la région dite de Donbas, ces ethniques russes, qui avaient été la base politique de Yanoukovich, ont résisté contre ce qu’ils voyaient comme un renversement illégitime de leur président élu. Les deux régions ont organisé des referendums cherchant la séparation de l’Ukraine, une action que la Russie a accepté en Crimée mais à laquelle elle s’est opposée avec le Donbas.

    Néanmoins, quand le régime de Kiev a annoncé une « opération anti-terroriste » contre le Donbas et envoyé des néo-nazis et d’autres milices extrémistes pour être le sommet de l’attaque, Moscou s’est mis à tranquillement prêter secours aux rebelles ethniques russes en difficulté, un geste que Nuland et l’Administration Obama et les médias d’informations dominants ont appelé « agression russe ».

    Parmi l’hystérie occidentale sur les supposées « intentions impériales » de la Russie et en diabolisant Poutine, le président Barack Obama a principalement autorisé une nouvelle Guerre froide contre la Russie, traduite maintenant en une nouvelle organisation stratégique US qui pourrait coûter des trillons de dollars aux contribuables US et risquer une possible confrontation nucléaire.
    Pourtant, malgré les coûts extraordinaires et les dangers, Nuland n’a pas réussi à apprécier les réalités pratiques sur le terrain, tout comme son mari et d’autres néocons en Irak. Alors que Nuland avait obtenu que le client qu’elle avait choisi Yatsenyuk soit installé et qu’il supervisait un »plan économique « néo-libéral » exigé par les US – réduisant considérablement les pensions, l’assistance au chauffage et d’autres programmes sociaux – le chaos que son « changement de régime » avait déchaîné avait transformé l’Ukraine en un trou noir financier.

    Avec peu de perspectives pour une victoire nette contre la résistance ethnique russe à l’est – et avec les milices néo-nazis/islamistes de plus en plus nerveux au sujet de l’impasse – les chances pour restaurer un sens de l’ordre significatif dans ce pays apparaissent comme lointaines. Le chômage monte en flèche et le gouvernement est fondamentalement banqueroute.

    Le dernier meilleur espoir pour une certaine stabilité aurait pu être l’accord Minsk-2 en février 2015, appelant à un système fédéralisé pour donner plus d’autonomie au Donbas, mais le Premier ministre Yatsenyuk de Nuland, a saboté l’accord en mars en insérant un comprimé de poison qui exigeait essentiellement que les rebelles ethniques russes se rendent d’abord.

    Maintenant, le chaos ukrainien risque d’évoluer encore plus hors de contrôle avec les néo-nazis et d’autres milices de droite – ayant reçu un tas d’armes pour tuer des ethniques russes dans l’est - se tournant contre la direction politique à Kiev.

    En d’autres mots, les néocons ont frappé de nouveau, rêvant d’un schéma de « changement de régime » qui ignorait les réalités pratiques, comme les fissures ethniques et religieuses. Ensuite, alors que le sang coulait et que les souffrances empiraient, les néocons ont simplement cherché quelqu’un d’autre à blâmer.
    Donc, il semble improbable que Nuland, considérée par certains à Washington comme la nouvelle « star » de la politique étrangère US, soit licenciée pour son incompétence dangereuse, tout comme la plupart des néocons auteurs du désastre irakien, demeurent des experts « respectés » employés dans les principaux groupes d’experts, auxquels on offre des espaces appréciés dans les pages de chroniques, et qui sont consultés aux plus hauts niveaux du gouvernement US.


    Le journaliste d’investigation Robert Parry a réfuté beaucoup de récits sur l’Iran-Contra pour The Associated Press et Newsweek dans les années 1980. On peut acheter son dernier livre America’s Stolen Narrative, (Le récit volé de l’Amérique (…)

    #ukraine #nuland #bordel

  • Obama joins Biden in White House meeting with Yatsenyuk, other Ukrainian officials

    Shape up, Arseniy, Ukraine is running out of chances. That was the essence of U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden’s speech to close the U.S.-Ukraine Business Forum on July 13 in Washington, D.C.

    Biden mixed high praise with pointed warnings for Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to start actively curbing and punishing corruption in the nation.

    Yatsenyuk sat in the audience of 150 people and took it all in.

    Biden invited him to a private meeting in his office afterwards, joined by U.S. President Barack Obama. Participants said that Obama reinforced Biden’s message that the United States will continue to strongly support Ukraine, but Ukraine’s leaders need to make progress on corruption and rule of law. The meeting lasted more than an hour and, besides Yatsenyuk, was joined by Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt and other U.S. and Ukrainian officials.

    In his speech, the American vice president called corruption an “affront to the dignity of the people of Ukraine,” and said: “Ukrainians know in their bones, it’s not enough to talk about changes, we have to deliver change, you have to deliver change.

    Ukraine has a strategy and new laws to fight corruption,” Biden said. “Now you have to put people in jail.

    Remontage de bretelles du mauvais élève. Et, pourtant, ce n’est pas faute de lui avoir rappelé :

    Biden, who visited Ukraine three times last year and made 36 calls in the last months with Poroshenko, said corruption has been the “topic of almost all of our calls.

  • Yatsenyuk orders replacement of exclusion zone management agency with state concern for nuclear materials

    Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has ordered the creation of a state concern tasked with handling nuclear materials to replace the State Agency for the Management of the Exclusion Zone.

    (intégralité de la très brève)

    Donc, remplacement de l’Agence nationale par une Entreprise nationale pour gérer la zone d’exclusion de Tchernobil. On aimerait connaître quelques éléments d’argumentaire…

    #qu'est-ce_qu'ils_magouillent ?

  • Pendant ce temps-là, en Ukraine…

    • démission de Kvitashvili, qui était, il y a 6 mois le futur sauveur du système de soins ukrainien
    • démission du ministre de l’Écologie, avec des relents d’hydrocarbures à la clé
    • tout cela dans des conditions opaques et une ambiance de bazar généralisé dans le « gouvernement »…

    In Ukraine, a political power struggle comes to a head | Europe | DW.COM | 04.07.2015

    Seven months after forming a coalition government in Ukraine, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk lost two ministers in the space of a day. The first to go was Ecology and Natural Resources Minister Ihor Shevchenko. According to the government, a flight from Nice to Kyiv in a private jet with a controversial businessman was what tripped up the 44-year-old politician. Shevchenko himself vehemently denies any allegations of corruption. He was fired on July 2.

    Observers in Kyiv suspect that behind it all is a fight for political influence and access to natural resources, above all to natural gas. The Ukrainian media has described Shevchenko as having close ties to former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. She says that, although it participates in the ruling coalition in parliament, her party has no ministerial appointments. On Thursday, the influential Kyiv online news outlet “Ukrainska Pravda” wrote that, “the split in the coalition has become visible.

    Departure of the great Georgian hope
    The second departure created even more of a sensation: Alexander Kvitashvili of Georgia, one of three foreign-born ministers in Ukraine, was forced to step down from his post. On Tuesday, June 30, Ihor Kononenko, the acting parliamentary leader of Poroshenko’s BPP alliance announced, “We don’t have anything against the minister, but he can no longer lead this ministry.” He went on to say that the situation in the health ministry was “uncontrollable.” On Wednesday, Kvitashvili’s compatriot and Georgia’s former president, Mikheil Saakashvili, tossed more wood on the fire. Now governor of the southern Ukrainian region of Odessa, Saakashvili said, “I told him that it was time for him to go.” Indeed, Ukraine needs an “aggressive man” to fight corruption.

    Kvitashvili was brought in to reform Ukraine’s health system
    On Thursday, the president’s party tweeted that the health minister had turned in his resignation. But the ministry denied the claim. General confusion ensued in the media. It wasn’t until later that afternoon that Kvitashvili explained that he had in fact vacated his post. “When the alliance that invited me here mulls my resignation without consulting me, then the right thing to do is to go,” he told the press corps in Kyiv. Parliament agreed.

    Health care reform on paper
    This resignation had enormous symbolic power. Just six months ago, Kvitashvili had been celebrated as a figure of great hope. He was invited to Kyiv to radically reform the health care system. The man who had successfully introduced a health insurance program with western standards in Georgia was asked to do the same in Ukraine. At the beginning of the year, Kvitashvili estimated that bribes were costing the Ukrainian health care system between 8 and 10 billion US dollars annually (7-9 billion euros) - three times the ministry’s annual budget. “Doctors are simply stuffing this money in their pockets,” railed the minister.

    Kvitashvili did not manage to get much done during his brief tenure. He replaced all of the department heads in his ministry, did away with the opaque system of supplying medical drugs to state-run clinics and developed a plan for a fundamental overhaul of the health care system. He presented his plan to the government at the end of June. If and how it will be implemented is an open question after his de facto expulsion.

    Power play before bankruptcy?
    The dismissal of those two ministers is not the only sign of a rift within the governing coalition. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak have come under fire as well. At the end of June, caucus leader Yuriy Lutsenko said that the president’s party had asked the government to look into allegations of corruption against both of the ministers.

    Lutsenko himself surprised everyone by also announcing his own resignation on Thursday. Long seen as a close advisor to the president, he is also his party’s chairman. There is currently much speculation as to the reasons behind his resignation.

  • Le gouvernement ukrainien consacre toute son énergie à faire avancer les réformes…

    • Ministre de la santé (ex-géorgien) Kvitashvili
    Quatrième mission d’enquête parlementaire en 6 mois : « ils auraient au moins pu attendre les conclusions de la précédente »

    Poroshenko’s faction wants to oust Kvitashvili, Ukraine’s health minister ; he slams critics for financial self-interest

    The parliamentary faction of President Petro Poroshenko’s bloc accuses Health Minister Alexander Kvitashvili of failing to conduct reforms and wants him to resign. The president’s bloc, with 144 members, is the largest faction among the 422 lawmakers in office.

    Ihor Kononeko, the deputy head of the faction, announced the decision on June 30.

    Kvitashvili, appointed six months ago, is outraged by the attempt to oust him, saying that the accusations against him are driven by the financial self-interests of those who would lose money if his changes come into law.

    Some don’t need reforms, some need what has been in place for the last 25 years – silent budget embezzlement,” Kvitashvili told a press conference the same day.

    The minister said his team has succeeded in changing the whole system of state purchases of medicine, an historic source of corruption through non-competitive procurement, inflated prices and kickbacks.

    He said he did this despite the lack of support in Parliament.

    But he claims he has the support of the Cabinet of Ministers and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who earlier this month gave Kvitashvili three months to make improvements that Ukrainians would notice.

    Yatsenyuk also granted a request by lawmakers to investigate him, the fourth such probe of his activities this year, Kvitashvili said. “They could have at least waited for the investigation results on July 10,” he said.

    • • le Ministre de l’écologie : Iatseniouk bloque toute réforme et place ses pions, en particulier dans les instances anti-corruption

      Shevchenko : Yatsenyuk should not be Ukraine’s prime minister

      Whether he survives as Ukraine’s minister of ecology and natural resources or not, Igor Shevchenko wants the world to know his opinion about who is blocking major reforms in Ukraine today: Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

      The prime minister is the biggest brake and obstacle to reforms in this country,” Shevchenko told the Kyiv Post on June 28 during an interview in his office in Kyiv.

      Shevchenko this month refused Yatsenyuk’s demand that he resign – what he called the prime minister’s fifth attempt to fire him during his six months in office. He says it is Yatsenyuk who should resign.

      Ukraine deserves a better prime minister than the guy who is doing all these manipulations,” Shevchenko said. “He’s not a reformer. He’s a pseudo-reformer. He’s playing. He’s doing nothing. He blocks appointments of ministers of the presidential team. He is not guided by the public interest and the country’s interest, but by his own interests and the interests of his business partners and political allies.
      One of the latest blowouts between Yatsenyuk and Shevchenko took place after Shevchenko publicly protested the appointments of four members of a selection committee to the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption, a graft-fighting institution created to verify the income and asset disclosures of public officials.
      Shevchenko said it appears that Yatsenyuk simply wants to control the agency and who it investigates, thereby subverting the anti-corruption fight

      He said that Yatsenyuk’s deputy minister of the Cabinet of Ministers, a 600-employee apparatus under the control of the prime minister, didn’t even want to give him the biographical information about the four candidates.

      This dispute, however, was just the latest one between Yatsenyuk and Shevchenko.

      Yatsenyuk demanded me to write a letter of resignation four times during meetings of the Cabinet,” Shevchenko said. “I refused.

    • • dans les services secrets les accusations de participation active à l’ancien régime se succèdent les unes aux autres ; la dernière (?) en date

      Top security officials accused of links to Yanukovych, Kremlin

      Newly appointed top officials of the Security Service of Ukraine, or SBU, have been accused of having ties to ousted President Viktor Yanukovuych’s regime and supporting Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

      The accusations have been denied by the SBU. The appointments, made earlier this week, followed the resignation of SBU Chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko and the selection of Vasyl Hrytsak as the agency’s acting head last week. Vasyl Hrytsak’s son, Oleh, has come under fire for allegedly prosecuting EuroMaidan activists in January 2014, according to Channel 5 footage – a claim that the SBU denies.

      While the SBU’s supporters argue that the agency has changed since the 2013-2014 EuroMaidan Revolution and become patriotic, critics describe it as a leftover of the Soviet Union’s State Security Committee, or KGB. It has also been accused of perpetuating the practices of the Yanukovych regime after its downfall and of being infiltrated by Russian spies.

      • le 19 juin, Porochenko appelait à une purge
      Poroshenko expects acting SBU head to dismiss senior security officials

      Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, during a meeting with the heads of law enforcement agencies and institutions, said that by the end of June 19 he expects acting head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Vasyl Hrutsak to submit proposals for the dismissal of a number of senior security officials.

      • le 27 juin, arrestation du responsable régional de Kiev pour haute trahison au profit de la Russie

      SBU informs one of SBU heads in Kyiv city and region detained on high treason charges

      The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has detained one of the heads of the chief department of SBU in Kyiv city and region on the charges of high treason in favor of intelligence services of Russia (Article 111 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine – high treason).

      Acting SBU Head Vasyl Hrytsak said that the work to purify intelligence services continues.

    • • idem pour la Justice, chaque nomination de procureur déclenche les mêmes séquences

      Appointment of prosecutor tied to pro-Russian party prompts backlash

      The appointment of a top prosecutor linked to Viktor Medvedvchuk, Ukraine’s pro-Russian politician par excellence, has prompted a flurry of indignation in civil society.

      Maksym Yakobovsky was selected as the southern district’s top prosecutor in March, and his ties to Medvedchuk’s Ukrainian Choice party were revealed earlier this month. Critics cite the appointment as proof that Ukrainian authorities are refusing to lustrate officials associated with ousted President Viktor Yanukovych or the Kremlin.

  • Ecology minister clashes with Yatsenyuk over corruption accusations

    Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers wants Parliament to fire Ecology Minister Ihor Shevchenko after he rejected Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s offer that he resign voluntarily.

    The minister stands accused of missing Cabinet meetings and giving favors to Oleksandr Onyshchenko, an independent lawmaker and businessman. The Parliament will consider the dismissal of Shevchenko at its next meeting on June 30.

    Shevchenko, who’s been ecology minister since December, was accused of using Onyshchenko’s jet in June for a private trip to Europe and appointing an employee of Onyshchenko’s gas producing company as head of the ministry’s National Geology Office. The actions, according to the Cabinet’s letter to the Parliament, qualify as corruption.

    Shevchenko admitted he used Onyshchenko’s jet once, to return to Ukraine from a UEFA Champions League final in Berlin earlier in June. But he denied all the corruption charges and criticized the attacks on him.

    It wasn’t an inspection of the situation, but rather an inquisition tribunal from Middle Ages,” Shevchenko wrote on Facebook about the Cabinet meeting that requested his resignation.

    Onyshchenko said that Yatsenyuk wanted to remove Shevchenko to gain control over the Ecology Ministry’s National Geology Office.

    It issues the licenses that Yatsenyuk wants,” Onyshchenko said in a statement.

    On June 22, following the jet scandal that sparked talks of his resignation, Shevchenko published a video address in which he accused Yatsenyuk of resisting anti-corruption processes in government. In Shevchenko’s words, the representatives of Yatsenyuk and his party, People’s Front, have approached him with recommendations.

    The heads of the government have connections with all the clans in Ukraine and protect their interests,” Shevchenko said in the video.

  • “Human rights” imperialism in Ukraine - World Socialist Web Site

    “Human rights” imperialism in Ukraine
    12 June 2015

    In remarks delivered Wednesday and Thursday, representatives of the Obama administration and the Ukrainian government have sought to stoke up a new Cold War atmosphere against Russia, while proclaiming the right-wing regime in Kiev, brought to power by US and European imperialism in a coup spearheaded by neo-fascist groups, as the front line of the “free world.”

    Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk set the tone in meetings Wednesday in Washington with Vice President Biden at the White House, and with the editorial board of the Washington Post, where he denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin and alleged Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine.

    @ukraine #droits_humains