• Poroshenko: MPs shouldn't have absolute parliamentary immunity

    On the 9th of February, at a meeting with employees of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, the President of Ukraine stated that MPs don't need absolute parliamentary immunity.

    “I didn’t wait until the People’s Deputies took the initiative to develop draft constitutional amendments concerning the revocation of parliamentary immunity. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted in favor of it and for sending it to the Constitutional Court. Then, they became very busy and they didn’t have the …

  • IMF Recommends that Ukraine Raise Excise Tax on Alcohol and Tobacco

    By increasing the excise tax on cigarettes and beer, Ukraine will add approximately UAH 28.7 billion and UAH 4.5 billion to its budget, respectively in 2016, as stated in a report by the International Monetary Fund. The text of this report was made available to the Ukrainian news agency UKRINFORM.

    Based on the IMF estimates, by increasing the excise tax on tobacco by 40% Ukraine would receive an income of UAH 28.7 billion (1.3% of GDP) this year.  Raising the excise tax on beer by 100% would …

  • Ukrainian Ambassador to Czech Republic demands that a map depicting Crimea as part of Russia be fixed

    The Ukrainian Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Boris Zaychuk, demanded that the Czech publisher, Ottovo Nakladatelství, rectify a map of Ukraine in their “World Atlas of Football” edition in order for it to be in accordance with national law.

    “In this atlas, Crimea is colored the same as Russia.  In addition, the general map of the world in this edition does not show Crimea as a part of Ukraine.  Therefore, the map violates international law and ignores the consolidated position of the EU …

  • Traffic blocked in Crimea due to transport of Russian military equipment

    In the Crimean city of Simferopol, traffic was blocked for 40 minutes on Thursday due to the transport of Russian military equipment. The column of military hardware was being transported from Sevastopol to Belogorsk, reported Krym.Realii.

    The column of equipment from Russia's Black Sea Fleet included armored fighting vehicles, KAMAZ cars for personnel transport, Ural vehicles, and field kitchens.

    Since the annexation of Crimea, the movement of Russian military equipment on the peninsula has …

  • US proposes spending nearly $1 Billion to support democracy in former Soviet states in 2017

    According to President Obama's budget plan for 2017, $953 million will be allocated to the US State Department to support democratic societies and develop anti-corruption programs in Russia’s neighboring countries.

    As reported by the media citing officials, the money is allocated under the article “to deter Russian aggression using public diplomacy and aid programs, and to establish sustainable government in Europe”.

    “It refers to anti-corruption programs, establishing energy security …

  • Canadian Doctors to Give Free Reconstructive Surgery to Ukrainian Veterans in Kiev

    In Kiev, on February 19 – 28, 2016, Canadian doctors will provide free reconstructive surgery to wounded Ukrainian soldiers and Maidan activists.

    As a correspondent of UKRINFORM reported, this initiative was organized by the Canadian-Ukrainian Fund in cooperation with the government of Canada.  "All operations will be free.  It is expected that there will be about 30-40 patients," the Fund informed.

    To carry out this mission, the government of Canada has invested 1.2 million Canadian dollars.  …

  • Merkel 'shocked' by Russian air strikes in Syria

    German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has reminded all that the UN Security Council resolution on Syria calls for an end to indiscriminate attacks and in particular, attacks from the air.

    Merkel also condemned the Russian bombings in Syria which have forced tens of thousands of civilians to flee.

    She went on to say that she was “terrified” by the results of the air strikes and suggested that they violated the UN Security Council resolution that was signed by Moscow in December.

    Speaking in …

  • Russian airstrikes kill 10 in Aleppo

    Bombers of the Russian Air Force have carried out airstrikes on opposition-controlled residential quarters in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

    Ten civilians were killed, the majority of whom were children.  An additional 20 people were wounded.  This was reported to the Anadolu Agency by the representative of the General Directorate of Civil Defence, Ibrahim Leys.

    According to him, the areas of Salihin, Kellese and Huluk came under attack.  The wounded were taken to field hospitals.  Civil Defense …

  • Russian opposition leader Mikhail Kasyanov attacked in Moscow

    The leader of the People’s Freedom Party (Parnas), Mikhail Kasyanov, has been attacked in Moscow.  He did not suffer any serious injuries.

    This was reported by the head of the youth department of Parnas, Mikhail Konev.  In an interview with Radio Svoboda, he said that a group of people from Chechnya attempted an assault on Kasyanov but that his security personnel successfully fought them off.  Konev also said that at that time, Kasyanov was writing a statement at the police station.

    “There …

  • Russia refuses to participate in next meeting of Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine

    The Russian Federation has refused to participate in the meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group on the 10th of February in Minsk.  This was reported to the Ukrayinskaya Pravda by sources close to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

    As previously reported, the Russian representative in the Trilateral Contact Group, Boris Gryzlov, had expressed readiness to come to Minsk to continue consultations at any time.

    A meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the “Normandy …