And finally, you can view your Pressimus profile by clicking on your profile image, and selecting your profile, and you can customize your Pressimus settings by selecting settings.
Watch quick explainer video
Finish
X

Request Invitation




Submit
Close
Submit
Stream by
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 572

Publication: Ukraine Liveblogs
Readability View
Press View
Show oldest first
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Is The Ceasefire Holding?

At the YES conference in Kiev, many people here believe that sporadic fighting between combatants on the line of contact may happen, but the narrative of the Ukrainian government is that the ceasefire is holding -- or holding enough. Yesterday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that for the first time in a year and a half there were no ceasefire violations. The mood in Kiev is optimistic.

Today, however, ceasefire violations have been reported. The Ukraine Crisis Media Center reports:

Near the Donetsk airport, the enemy held a series of armed provocations with the use of rocket-propelled grenades and small arms. As a result of hostile attacks, one Ukrainian serviceman was wounded.
Also Colonel Lysenko said that the enemy had not ceased to gather intel on the location of the Ukrainian military. According to Andriy Lysenko, 2 flights of enemy drones were detected yesterday in Donetsk region.
Colonel Lysenko reported about the return from enemy captivity of two Ukrainian soldiers, Serhiy Furaev and Artem Komisarchuk, who were kept in captivity of a so-called “DPR” for more than a year.

Colonel Andriy Lysenko said that there were a total of five ceasefire violations, and one Ukrainian serviceman was injured near Donetsk airport, where small arms, RPGs, and grenade launchers were used.

Lysenko also said that soldiers were being rotated out of the front.  

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier Clarifies Recent Reports of Explosions Near Donbass 
OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier was asked about recent OSCE reports of explosions near Donetsk which conflict with both the Ukrainian military's and the separatists' accounts of what is happening. Zannier clarified that many of the explosions near Donetsk were the result of the detonation of unexploded ordinance (UXO) -- the ceasefire is largely holding in the Donbass. 
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
General Petraeus Supports Expanding U.S. Military Support For Ukraine

Retired U.S. General David Petraeus is now speaking. He was asked directly whether anyone in Washington believes that Crimea will return to Ukraine.

Petraeus started with opening remarks, noting that while "there is no military solution to this crisis, there is a military context." Petraeus said that it is time to increase what the U.S. is doing to improve Ukraine's military position.

As far as Crimea is concerned, he interpreted Nuland's remarks that Crimean was "special" as code that this was a long-term goal, not an immediate reality.

Petraeus says that he has a kinship with Ukrainian soldiers because he has trained with them, and he believes they "truly are heroes," in terrible weather and with equipment that is "no match for what is provided by the Russians to the separatists."

"We have provided a great deal," but clearly it is time to increase the equipment given to Ukraine's military. "It is time for Western countries to think about defensive anti-tank systems" such as the U.S. Javelin, and the short-range AT-4 -- weapons which "would make Russian elements pay a higher price."

Petraeus was asked what he though Putin's strategic intentions were.

"He would love to reestablish the Russian empire. He will never do that but he has taken steps in various in various directions" to do so.

Refat Chubarov, Member of the Parliament of Ukraine; Chairman, Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, was also asked if Crimea would become "Ukrainian in any meaningful sense." Chubarov said that the name of the conference was a sign that Crimea will return to Ukraine.

Chubarov also noted the "surreal" presence of Italian politician Silvio Berlusconi and Russian President Vladimir Putin who are touring Crimea at the moment, at the same time as this conference, the Yalta European Strategy Conference, is held in Kiev, not Yalta.

Chubarov reads a letter he received from a Crimean Tatar who is in a prison run by the Russian FSB. He says it was written by a young person who took place in rallies in support of territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Chubarov recommended strengthening sanctions against Russia, targeting Putin's "retinue" directly. "We cannot 'unzombie' the Russian people, but be can sill influence them." He also stressed the need to reform Ukraine, something within their control. "We have to restore the justice that is placed on international law."

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Former President Kuchma Speaks About The Crisis In The East

Former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma (1994-2005) is speaking about the importance of restoring control of the border. Ukraine, Kuchma says, is suffering due to the war in the east, the lack of control of Donbass and Crimea, Russian sanctions, and obviously the economic issues springing from the legacy of Yanukovych and the revolution.

Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State, started her remarks by saying that she is glad the name of the conference (Yalta European Strategy) has not changed because it is a reminder of the Russian occupation of Yalta, on the Crimean peninsula.

Nuland praised the country for coming so far in just 19 months. "Less than two years ago people were standing in the snow in the streets of Kiev to protest in the Euromaidan movement. Less than a year ago hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers were dying on the battlefields in the east." She praised reform efforts, and though she urged that Ukraine needs to continue to make progress, Nuland stressed that the United States will continue to support Ukraine.

Nuland highlighted the more than $200 million the U.S. has given to Ukraine, the training operations which have assisted national guard units and now the regular Ukrainian army, and other efforts which have been given to Ukraine to boost Ukraine's economy and security.

But there is a shift in Nuland's speech as she urges more reform, internal unity, and resistance to Uklraine's oligarchs, some of whom pay no taxes.

Sackur, however, calls her back to the topic -- security. Is the U.S. prepared to give Ukraine what it has asked for -- more defensive assistance.

Nuland says that the U.S. support for Ukraine's military has already had an impact on Ukraine's battlefields. We're not sure that's accurate, however, and Sackur expressed his skepticism as well.

Next up, OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier:

Zannier says that there are signs that the ceasefire is holding and his team is working to move to next steps -- to ensure the withdrawal of heavy equipment and long-range artillery from the line of contact, the improvement of monitoring capabilities including UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles -- drones) and other vehicles.

Zannier says he has no access to the border, but sees significant amounts of equipment present on the battlefield which "someone has provided" which was not there at the start. "There are large amounts of ammunition -- there is a continued strengthening of the fighters on the ground," referring to the separatists. Zannier is clearly implying that the separatists continue to receive direct military support from Russia.

Zannier also stressed that facilitating elections and withdrawal of heavy equipment could bring the next stage of peace, and if those efforts fail this conflict could quickly return to its previous state (hot).

-- James Miller

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Are Ukraine's Reform Struggles Due to Soviet Legacy, Populism, Lack of Time, or Lack of Will?

Ivan Mikloš, Member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic; Minister of Finance of the Slovak Republic (2002-2006, 2010-2012), started his remarks by saying that it is important to think about Ukraine's corruptions as part of a legacy of the Soviet Union. As we see with many former Soviet states (perhaps most notably Russia), the Soviet system of corruption did not die with the end of the Cold War.

However, as guests noted, Poland has thrived as Ukraine has suffocated. Populism is also blamed. Mikloš said that many who champion reform are not popular, and the same may be true in Ukraine. Politicians find themselves blocked by both oligarchs (nearly 20% of the wealth of Ukraine is concentrated in just 10 individuals) and people who expect the government to provide services without raising taxes.

Atlantic Council's Anders Åslund notes, however, that progress is being made, and history shows that the early stages of reform governments are messy, unpopular, and constantly changing. He also cautioned, however, that recent progress is not encouraging. There is concern that the reform efforts are slowing down -- Sackur suggested that the government is becoming "a little bit comfortable" with the status quo.

Minister of Infrastructure Andriy Pyvovarsky says that the "old blood" in his ministry is a problem, but the new blood is already changing the culture. Lack of fair compensation for government officials, however, is a major obstacle --- many of the new members cannot afford to stay in the government for long because of the low pay.

Aivaras Abromavicius, Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, insists that progress is being made and the ministers just need to continue to do what they're doing. He held up reforms within Kiev's police as the best model to copy.

X

Acknowledgements