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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Ukraine Live Day 372

Publication: Ukraine Liveblogs
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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Moscow’s ‘Main Goal’ In Baltics Is To Sow Doubts About NATO, Vilnius Analysts Say
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Ukraine's Currency, The Hryvnia, Falls More Than 16% From Yesterday's Already-Record Lows

Yesterday we reported that the hryvnia fell nearly 10%, hitting record lows and triggering emergency action from Ukraine's Central Bank. Today it has fallen another 16%, according to Bloomberg and Xe, closing at 32.50 hryvnia to a single U.S. dollar:

XE.com-USD-UAH-Chart-2015-0224.png

-- James Miller

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
UK To Send Military Advisers To Ukraine

The British prime minister, David Cameron, has told the Commons liaison committee that the UK will send military personnel to Ukraine next month to provide training assistance for the Ukrainian army.

Reuters reports:

"Over the course of the next month we're going to be deploying British service personnel to provide advice and a range of training, to tactical intelligence to logistics, to medical care," Cameron told a committee of lawmakers in parliament.

"We'll also be developing an infantry training program with Ukraine to improve the durability of their forces."

More from The Guardian:

Up to 75 personnel will begin to deploy to Ukraine from next month as part of the training mission, the Ministry of Defence said.

There will be four separate areas covered by the deployment - medical, intelligence, logistics and infantry training.

Personnel involved in the training elements could spend one or two months in Ukraine, with a command and control deployment lasting up to six months.

The Guardian reports that, when asked whether the UK is considering supplying Ukraine with "lethal defensive equipment," Cameron responded that "Britain is not at that stage."

Cameron did say that he would not rule out supplying lethal weapons forever though, adding that the US was also considering the idea.

These comments echo ones made earlier by the former foreign secretary, William Hague, who told the BBC's Andrew Marr show:

"We are not planning as the UK to send arms to Ukraine. It hasn't been our approach in any recent conflict in recent years to send arms into those conflicts." 

Cameron did, however, insist that the best leverage that could be brought to bear in the Ukrainian conflict was economic rather than military. 

The Guardian reports on one exchange at the committee:

[Bernard Jenkins, chair of the public administration committee asked]: People say there is no military solution to this. But there is. When there was a conflict in Georgia, it came to an abrupt end when America despatched its fleet.

Cameron says the biggest effect that could be had would be an economic effect.

The greatest power we have in this crisis is an economic one, he says. That is the one we should be leveraging.


Earlier this month, British, ex-service Saxon armoured cars were delivered to Ukraine. The lightly armoured vehicles were bereft of armament, though they could be fitted with machine guns. 

The prime minister also said that suspending Russia from membership of the SWIFT banking system, a measure discussed previously in the EU, should not be ruled out.

-- Pierre Vaux

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Gazprom Threatens to Cut Ukraine's Gas Within Two Days

Yesterday, Ukraine's gas company, Naftohaz, said that the Russian energy giant Gazprom had not delivered the entire quantity of natural gas which Ukraine had prepaid for. We also noted that the announcement came just days after Ukraine halted gas supplies to parts of the Donbass occupied by Russian-supported fighters, forcing Russia to begin delivering its own gas shipments to separatist territories. 

Today Gazprom is saying that Ukraine has not paid for its gas, and Russia could shut off gas flows to Ukraine within two days. AFP reports:

Russia's state-owned gas giant Gazprom warned Tuesday it could cut off gas deliveries to Ukraine within two days, upping the stakes in the crisis there -- and threatening supplies to the rest of Europe...

"Ukraine has failed to make a new pre-payment for gas in time," Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said in a statement on Tuesday.

That "will in two days lead to a complete termination of the Russian gas supplies to Ukraine, which creates serious risks for the gas transit to Europe," Miller said.

He added that it takes two days for Gazprom to receive money transferred from Naftogaz.

But the Ukrainian company issued a statement accusing Gazprom of failing to honour pre-paid gas deliveries on Sunday.


-- James Miller

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Savchenko, Health Worsening, Calls For Supporters To Join March 1 Protest In Moscow

Nadezhda Savchenko, a Ukrainian military officer who was captured by separatist fighters and illegally transported to Russia, where she is now on trial on murder charges, has called on her supporters to join the planned March 1 'anti-crisis' protest in Moscow.

Savchenko has been on hunger strike since December 13, in protest at the Russian authorities' refusal to acknowledge her status as a prisoner of war and to suspend her trial, in accordance with the Geneva convention. Since February 20, she has refused glucose injections.

One of Savchenko's lawyers, Mark Feygin, posted a photo of her letter:

Translation: Nadezhda's call to the protest on March 1. Translate into Russian too.

Twitter user @OldArtillery translated the letter into Russian:


The Interpreter translates:

I can't express how grateful I am to you for everything... 

For all the support and the desperate fight you are carrying on for me. 

Even in my boldest dreams, I could not have reckoned upon such support.

I am fighting too! And I'm not giving up! And will not be broken!

Because I am not only fighting for myself, but against a system, which cripples and kills only those who are afraid of it and folds before those who do not fear it.

I am not afraid! We have many Ukrainians in Russian jails.

We need to get the first one out, so then it will be easier to fight for everyone!

Ukrainians have already shown the world an example of a revolution of dignity and how to fight against a hostile, self-satisfied government. And now I and all of Ukraine have to fight yet again against the crooked government of our neighbour.

Wish me and Ukraine success in this unequal battle with your support in the global protest on March 1, 2015.

I thank you with all my heart. 

Feygin reported that Savchenko's health was deteriorating and reiterated that there was little time left to release her before she could die. Savchenko has now been on hunger strike for 74 days.

On February 10, the Basmanny court in Moscow extended Savchenko's pre-trial detention until May 13.

Translation: Nadezhda's health is definitely deteriorating. So we don't have much time for her release. And she is refusing to stop her hunger strike.

-- Pierre Vaux

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