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Group for Tomorrow's Ukraine (GTU)

Group for Tomorrow's Ukraine
Serving as an informational bridge between the West and a changing Ukraine.

Pressing Forward:
  • September 1, 2014 5:49 pm

    Poroshenko: ‘Finally’ Military & Technical Assistance from EU

    by Seamus Kelleher

    Over the weekend, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko warned the West at an EU Summit in Brussels that if something didn’t change in the coming days to put an end to the ongoing fighting with Russian military and Kremlin-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine, the result could be “full-scale war.”

    It appears that some good news has come Ukraine’s way.

    The President is clearly satisfied by the EU’s decision to “finally” lend substantive assistance to Ukraine’s long and tenuous battle to retain territorial integrity and squash the violence in the East.

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    The assistance is rumored to come by way of loans from the EU. European Commission President Jose Barroso says more than 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) could be released to Ukraine in the coming months. This is part of the 11 billion euro package announced earlier.

    This expedited loan is not expected to fully push the Ukrainian military over the edge in its mission to quell Russian involvement in eastern Ukraine, but it will certainly help. It is also a welcomed gesture of support from Ukraine’s partners in the West.

    The EU is also currently discussing further sanctions against the Russian Federation, sanctions which were initiated following the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 and tightened shortly afterwards when Russia continued its military involvement in eastern Ukraine.

    From VOA:

    Over the weekend, European Union leaders, meeting in Brussels, called on Russia to “immediately withdraw all its military assets and forces from Ukraine” or face a new round of sanctions within a week.

    Chancellor Angela Merkel acknowledged on Monday that enacting further punitive measures against Russia could hit the German economy, but said that doing nothing in response to Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine was “not an option.”

    “I have said that [sanctions] can have an impact, also for German companies,” Merkel told a news conference in Berlin. “But I have to say there is also an impact when you are allowed to move borders in Europe and attack other countries with your troops,” she added.

    “Accepting Russia’s behavior is not an option,” said Merkel.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron also warned that Europe can’t be complacent about Russian troops on Ukrainian soil.

    "Countries in Europe shouldn’t have to think long before realizing just how unacceptable that is," he said. "We know that from our history. So consequences must follow if that situation continues."

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a visit to Siberia, urged the EU on Monday to show “common sense” and not to resort to mutually destructive sanctions, in his first reaction to the threat of additional punitive measures over Ukraine.

    A strong and unified response towards Russia’s aggressive incursion into eastern Ukraine is required or President Putin will continue to chip away at Ukraine’s borders without significant backlash. These are good signs from the EU, but it remains to be seen if the support will be enough for the Ukrainian military to emerge victorious in it’s effort to defend Ukraine’s territorial integrity against increasing military advancements by the Russian Federation.

  • August 28, 2014 12:30 pm

    Not a ‘Crisis,’ but an Invasion

    It is high time to call things by their real names. This is an invasion.

    Yesterday Russian military units crossed the Ukrainian border over 100 km to the south of the current conflict zone and claimed the town of Novoazovsk and the surrounding villages as part of the separatists state of Novorossia. This action opened up a second front of sorts in the Donetsk Region, thereby diverting Ukrainian forces from the vicinity of Luhansk and Donetsk in order to halt the Russian advance. Since yesterday’s incursion by Russian forces we have seen combat between Russian and Ukrainian regular armed forces. What is happening in Eastern Ukraine is not a ‘crisis’ nor is it a ‘civil war.’ It is nothing short of an invasion of Ukraine by Russian government forces.

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  • August 26, 2014 12:44 pm

    Ukrainian Flag on Moscow Skyscraper Highlights Russian Anti-Putin Opposition

    By Zoe Ripecky

    You’ve probably heard that the Ukrainian flag was planted on a Moscow skyscraper last week, and that the building’s spire was spray-painted the Ukrainian national colors of blue and yellow. On Thursday, four Russian citizens were accused of committing the act and were put under house arrest. Since their arrest, Ukrainian extreme sportsman Mustang Wanted has taken responsibility on his popular Facebook page, posting a photo of himself allegedly atop the building. Those arrested by Russian authorities deny wrongdoing, and say they were parachuting off the skyscraper coincidentally around the same time the flag was planted. Though the story has yet to be straightened out, it brings to light activist movements within Russia that have come out in opposition to Putin and in support of Ukraine’s pro-democratic movement. This movement, led by a young, educated, and politically active population of Russians has taken a stance against a corrupt and authoritative governance.

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  • August 25, 2014 4:38 pm

    Breaking: Poroshenko Dissolves Parliament

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    President Poroshenko has called for the early dissolution of Ukraine’s Parliament. In a video address to the nation, Mr. Poroshenko said, “The composition of parliament does not represent the political leanings of Ukrainian society. Society has changed so fast that lawmakers have not been able to keep up with its historic pace.”

    Poroshenko implied that the new parliament would represent Ukraine’s now Western-leaning population. The BBC is reporting that the new general election is slated for October 26. 

    Ukraine’s new government will undoubtedly have a challenging road ahead, as Ukraine’s economy continues to decline and conflict in the country’s East rages on. 

  • August 23, 2014 11:24 am

    Russian Convoy Leaves, Steals Ukrainian Military Hardware

    Mykola Murskyj and Eugene Bondarenko

    The Russian humanitarian convoy has left Ukrainian territory. Its entrance into Ukraine yesterday was denounced by both Kyiv and Western powers. When Ukrainian border guards and foreign journalists searched a number of the trucks earlier this week, they found they were about one-third filled with food, blankets, water, generators, etc., and were mostly empty.

    Kolchuga ESM Systems

    Why send hundreds of two-thirds empty trucks into Ukraine? Maybe the motive was not bringing something in, but taking something out:

    According to the Ukrainian National Security Council Spokesman Andriy Lysenko, that something is Ukrainian military hardware. Lysenko indicated that the Russian convoy left loaded with machinery used to manufacture the Kolchuga Mobile Radiolocation System (similar to radar), as well as various pieces of equipment from the Luhansk Munitions Plant.

    In the meantime, German chancellor Angela Merkel is in Kyiv. The Chancellor promised €500M in loans to Ukraine, to help the reconstruction of the country’s war-torn Eastern regions.

    Merkel also stated that Crimea should be returned to Ukrainian hands. When many in Kyiv have given up hope and are focused on keeping Donetsk and Luhansk, this comment shows that Germany may be growing tougher on Russian agression. Read the full story from the Kyiv Post here.

  • August 22, 2014 1:50 pm

    Russia Moves Artillery Units Into Ukraine, NATO Says (NYT)

    WASHINGTON — The Russian military has moved artillery units manned by Russian personnel inside Ukrainian territory in recent days and is using them to fire at Ukrainian forces, NATO officials said on Friday.

    The West has long accused Russia of supporting the separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, but this is the first time it has said it had evidence of the direct involvement of the Russian military.

    Read the full story here.

  • August 22, 2014 1:30 pm

    Foreign Minister: Lithuanian Consul Kidnapped and Murdered by Terrorists in Luhansk

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    Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius has announced that the Lithuanian Consul in Luhansk, Mykola Zelenec, has been killed in Ukraine by pro-Russian insurgents. If true, this would be the first death of a foreign diplomat in the war in Eastern Ukraine.

    We will have more information as it becomes available, but at moment there is still very little.

    Here is the original Tweet from Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs: