Global Analysis from the European Perspective. Preparing for the world of tomorrow


Babies pierced with pitchforks

There was a time when Poland was officially an ally of the communist Soviet Union. There was a time when Polish communists with the help of their Soviet comrades took over Poland and established themselves as rulers of the country. The Polish nation throughout its history had barely had Russians – irrespective of whether they were white or red – in high esteem. The Polish nation certainly despised the red variety of Russians even more intensely as the latter proved to be culturally rather not sophisticated. On top of this, Soviet Russians – or Bolsheviks – were busy suppressing some of the elements of Polish culture and they churned out primitive propaganda, one of the tenets of which was to convince the Polish nation that Russia, and especially Soviet Russia, had always been well disposed to the Polish people. True, there were individuals among the Polish nation who were ready to rise to the Soviet bait, and there were some who could be politically neutralized. Those who were prone to collaborate with the new masters thought that after the Second World War Poland had no choice and was doomed to stick to Moscow. Realpolitik. There was, however something, that was a thorn in the conscience of even ardent pro-Soviet Polish communists. This something was an event collectively known in Polish history as the Katyn Massacre. What was that?

When in 1939 Poland was attacked by Germany, by the German Third Reich, within two weeks of the beginning of the hostilities Poland’s eastern territories were invaded by the Soviet Union, which step by the way had been agreed with Germany in the run-up to the war. In autumn of 1939 the Polish territory ended up been occupied by Germany and Soviet Russia in a rough proportion of fifty-fifty. Both occupiers were hellbent on subduing the Polish nation and both saw it fit to first of all do away with the Polish elites: with teachers, doctors, priests, writers, engineers, military officers and the like. Both occupiers understood that a beheaded nation – the intellectuals were regarded as the nation’s head or mind – was much easier to control. They both – Germany and Russia – started to eliminate the intelligentsia in one way or another, with mass executions taking place on a regular basis.

After the war had come to its end, the German crimes were systematically exposed and condemned: Germany was a defeated nation, and there were many trials of German administrators or officers responsible for war crimes, not only in Poland but anywhere in Europe. Though guilty Germans were tried for their reprehensible deeds, the guilty Soviets were not. Why? That’s simple. After Germany had attacked the USSR, Soviet Russia became Poland’s (and the West’s) greatest ally and as such its image could not be dragged through the mire in the eyes of the Polish nation by exposing Russia’s exterminating operations executed against Poles. Yet, the Poles knew that Russians had been as cruel in their dealings with the Polish nation as Germans had, carrying out deportations, imprisonments and mass executions of not only the Polish intelligentsia but vast swathes of other social classes. The Katyn Forest (in the neighbourhood of Smolensk) – just one of the many places where such mass executions were performed – became an icon in the collective memory of the Polish nation. After 1945 every Pole in Poland could openly condemn the Germans for what they had done during the war, none could say anything against the Soviet Union. The nation was forced to live in a kind of schizophrenia: though both Germans and Soviets were the nation’s henchmen, the latter were to be viewed as friends and allies: as morally impeccable friends and allies. No mention of the Katyn Massacre found its way into history textbooks, no discussion about it was allowed even among historians. The nation’s mouth was gagged.

Sure enough people knew the truth and the truth spread by word of mouth, not to be suppressed by anybody. The more it was officially denounced, the greater currency among the nation it enjoyed.

When in 1989 communism in Poland collapsed and the country opened up to the so-called Western freedom of speech, the literature – popular and scholarly – about the Katyn Massacre became suddenly available to anybody who cared to familiarize himself with it, and, of course, this historical fact found its way straight into school textbooks. Numerous monuments were erected and commemorative plaques placed on the walls of important buildings to make a point, to show that the nation remembered, and to pay homage to those who had been murdered.

Monument to the Katyn Massacre, Wrocław /VRATS-wahff/, south-western Poland.

Why are we giving account of this story? Because much has changed and it looks as if little has changed. Now, more than thirty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union and seventy years after the end of the Second World War (more than seventy years since the Katyn Massacre) the same old story seems to repeat itself. Now Poland has found a new friend and ally in the east. Yes, this friend’s name is Ukraine. Ukraine used to be a part of the Soviet Union, so naturally Ukrainians were also a part of the Soviet repressive system, but never mind that. Ukrainians could easily be exonerated as acting under the Russian yoke. The point is, however, that Ukrainians themselves executed yet another Katyn Massacre against Poles (or, to be precise, a long series of such massacres) quite independently of their being subordinated to the Soviets. When in 1941 the Germans attacked the Soviet Union, they relatively soon took possession of Ukraine, and being involved in the bloody conflict further to the east, they did not have either time or resources to fully control Ukraine. Ukrainians saw a chance for themselves in the fact that Soviet Russia was being defeated. Ukrainians seeking to have their own state, allied themselves with the Germans and began to lay corner stones for their statehood, starting with ethnic cleansing. They targeted Poles and performed more or less regular bloodbaths in the territories that had ethnically mixed populations as located between Poland proper and Ukraine proper. The year 1943 was especially cruel: it is 11 July of that year, when in Huta Pieniacka /HOO-tah pyen-YAHTZ-kah/ in Volhynia the bloodiest massacre took place, and it is this particular date that was selected as the remembrance day for the whole series of events that are collectively known as the Volhynia Massacre.

The Polish nation was, thus, ethnically cleansed twice: by the Soviets (of which the majority were Russians, but also Ukrainians and Jews) and by the Ukrainians. The two iconic names and dates are Katyn (1940) and Volhynia (1943), with both being just symbols of series of extermination operations. In the period between 1945 and 1989, when socialist Poland was an ally of the Soviet Union (which means of Russia and Ukraine, the two largest Soviet republics) the Katyn Massacres were officially recognized as a German or Western anti-Soviet propaganda, while the Volhynia massacres were recognized as such. Why? Whence this difference in attitude? Simply, the image of the Soviet Union, the communist paradise for all humanity, could not be stained, while that of Ukrainian nationalists could. You see, it was not the Ukrainian communists who murdered the poles: it was Ukrainian nationalists. As a result, in post-war Poland films were made and books published about Ukrainian cruelty, though all this was significantly limited, not to be impolite towards Ukrainian communist comrades. The Volhynia events only received full coverage in the media, the popular culture (movies, books) and the universities after 1989. The Western-like freedom of speech, you know. Do I sound sarcastic? Yes, because I mean to.

The moment Ukraine found itself at war with Russia, Ukraine became Poland’s most important and friendly ally. As such, Ukraine could not be reminded of its past and so the Polish authorities duly began to suppress or limit or discourage anything that might keep the memory of Ukrainian atrocities alive in the Polish mind. Such policy began even years before the eruption of the conflict between Kiev and Moscow. Warsaw’s political instincts have always been anti-Russian, which meant that the Polish authorities – by the way: of all political petty persuasions – naturally looked to Kiev as allies against Moscow. The memory of the Volhynia Massacre became as inconvenient to the non-communist Polish authorities as the memory of the Katyn Massacre was inconvenient to the communist Polish authorities. While – as mentioned above – a number of monuments were erected to commemorate Katyn after the period of socialist Poland, few have been put up to commemorate Volhynia, and even these few that have been put up received no or little government blessing. Isn’t it Orwellian!

It is on the initiative of a small local community that a monument to the Volhynia Massacre has been erected and is going to be unveiled this July in south-eastern Poland. Take a very close look at it, and bear in mind that he Polish baby on a Ukrainian pitchfork that you will see in the centre of the monument is no artistic figurative vision. You see, the Soviets, or Russians if you will, were much more humane at Katyn: they would shoot their victims at the back of the head. Ukrainians would thrust pitchforks into the bodies of their victims, they would crucify them and burn them alive; they would not refrain from cutting open pregnant women’s wombs. Russians made an apology for the Katyn Massacre, Ukrainians made none for the Volhynia Massacre, and still the former are Poland’s mortal enemies while the latter are Poland’s dear friends.

Fragment of the monument commemorating the Volhynia Massacre to be unveiled on 14 July 2024 in Domostaw, south-eastern Poland, on the local community’s initiative. Watch the two-minute video footage of the monument.

Ukrainians, please continue dying so that Americans can have good paying jobs

If you wanted to have an audio and visual illustration of the idiom a pack of lies, watch and listen to Undersecretary of state for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland that took place on February 22, 2024 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Taking her words for truth, you get the idea that Ukraine is winning the war, harming Russia enormously while improving its economy. You get the impression that the whole world supports Ukraine and very few irrelevant states are on Russia’s side. You also get the impression that (crushing, as she put it) sanctions imposed on Russia are bringing Moscow to its knees and Russia’s failure is a matter of time. You also learn that the many Ukrainian refugees are impatient to return the their country, which with the aid of the West will soon reform and rebuild. My goodness!

Do you still remember Madeleine Albright? Victoria Nuland resembles her physically and mentally. The same ugly face, the same stout body and the same thirst for blood.

Listening to Nuland’s speech and the following interview with Victoria Nuland, you could also notice her visceral hated of Vladimir Putin. She mentioned his surname almost every other sentence. The more she mentioned the president of Russia’s surname, the more you could see how helpless she felt in her anger. Putin, Putin, Putin, all the time Putin! Victoria Nuland is possessed – obsessed – fixated on Vladimir Putin. Putin has invaded her mind and is there to stay. She will spew out Putin, Putin, Putin even on her death bed. And no wonder. You see, Victoria Nuland thought Ukraine was hers for grabs and now she has found out that all her efforts has come to naught. Poor Victoria… Putin, Putin, Putin – all the time through the speech and the following interview. Putin, Putin, Putin! Victoria Nuland most likely has a doll representing Putin and she regularly pricks it with pins. I just dread to think what vocabulary she uses thinking about her nemesis – Putin – when not standing on ceremony.

Just as a broken clock is right twice a day, so was Victoria Nuland. She said, Most of the aid for Ukraine ended up in the United States, creating good paying jobs. Ukrainians, did you hear? Shed your blood, lose your hands and legs, die in the battlefield so that the Americans can have good paying jobs (and the American oligarchs can enrich themselves)! 

Pushkin or how to cover up a feeling of impotence

The Kyiv Independent proudly reports that another Ukrainian monument to Alexander Pushkin, this time in Ukraine’s capital, has been dismantled, following the demolition of similar monuments in the towns of Zhytomyr, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv and Ternopil. Obviously, that’s one of the many victories that Ukraine has pulled off during the war against Russia. Monuments to Alexander Pushkin are regarded as a sign of Russian colonization. The term “Russian colonization” has been coined in the West as has the practice of dismantling monuments. But then hang on for a moment: if Russia colonized Ukraine (which is absurd, see below), then what right does the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have to occupy the territories that they occupy? They had better pack up and leave.

At the time when Alexander Pushkin lived and worked there was hardly any notion of Ukraine as a region, still less of Ukrainians as a nation. The territories of present-day Ukraine were known as Little Russia (Russia!) while the slightly different Russian speech was viewed just as a Russian dialect. Yes, Russian has dialects just as English or German or French do. 

Russia’s territories centered around Moscow are to the territories centered around Kiev like the German territories centered around Berlin to those located along the Rhine or at the foot of the Alps. Russia was born in Kiev, but then due to historical developments like the invasion of Tartars (Mongols) and the annexation of its westernmost territories by Lithuania and Poland, Russia’s centre of authority moved to the town of Moscow (later also for approximately two centuries to St Petersburg). Nothing out of the usual: neither Berlin used to be Germany’s capital from the get-go. Before it became Germany’s capital (as late as 1871) it was the capital of the German state of Prussia. A note of interest here: before becoming the capital of Prussia and eventually of Germany, Berlin was a… Slavic city, founded by Western Slavs and inhabited by them for a couple of centuries in the Middle Ages. Consider the pronunciation of the Slavic name of Berlin with it stress and the final syllable, quite unlike is the case with town or village names of Germanic origin. Proof enough that Germans are colonizers of the territories east of the Elbe, are they not? 

If such is the case – and it is so, if we apply the same yardstick to Germany as we apply to Russia – then the monument to Frederick the great and Bismarck and, and, and… that are located in Berlin ought to be dismantled! Down with colonizers! Why should the rule apply to Ukraine/Russia alone? Why should it apply selectively?

Alexander Pushkin authored an epic poem Poltava, which by means of historical characters tells a love-story between Ukrainian military leader (hetman, derived from the German word Hauptman meaning captain) Ivan Mazepa and a Russian woman. The Ukrainian chieftain (both the protagonist of the story and the real historical figure) goes on to betray the Russian tsar and fights on the side of the Swedish king, suffering a defeat together with him at the battle of Poltava, 1709 (hence the title of the poem). By the way, George Gordon Byron picked the same protagonist and historical figure of Ivan Mazepa in his narrative poem Mazeppa, where, however, the Ukrainian military leader falls in love with a Polish noblewoman and betrays the Polish king. The fact that Alexander Pushkin depicted Ivan Mazepa as a traitor to Russia (which clearly means that Pushkin regarded Mazepa and other Ukrainians as Russians) might partly explain the hatred that some Ukrainians feel towards the poet. For all that, Alexander Pushkin modelled vast swaths of his text on Ukrainian folk poems, so Ukrainians might think twice before tearing down a monument to him.

To Russians is the figure of Mazepa an example of high treason, repeated more than a hundred years later by Soviet General Andrey Vlasov, who fought along with the Third Reich against the Soviet Union, and was caught and executed after the war.

But back to the dismantling of the monument(s). It is not only Pushkin that has been ravaged. Other historical figures commemorated as monuments or in plaques across Ukraine (Little Russia) have also fallen prey to this practice. It is to be expected that the less successful Ukrainians are on the battlefield, the more monuments to Russian “colonizers” are going to be done away with. What do psychologists call this phenomenon? Is it not compensation, i.e. “a strategy whereby one covers up, consciously or unconsciously, weaknesses, frustrations, desires, or feelings of inadequacy or incompetence in one life area through the gratification or (drive towards) excellence in another area”?

Volhynia: a frozen conflict

They would cut out unborn babies from pregnant women’s bellies; they would chop off men’s hands and feet; they would impale little children on pitchforks and then hold a party to celebrate yet another act of ethnic cleansing. These events that occurred eighty (80) years ago remain oblivious to the Western reader who is otherwise so much sensitized to atrocities perpetrated anywhere around the world, in the past or at present. That the authorities of the nation that suffered such a bloodbath – the authorities of Poland – turn a blind eye to the fact that the perpetrators of the ethnic cleansing are regarded as national heroes in the neighbouring country, in Ukraine, is sickening. Imagine the state of Israel maintaining friendly relations with a Germany where Adolf Eichmann and Reinhard Heydrich have streets named after them and monuments devoted to them. Why are the Polish authorities operating as they are? Simply because Ukraine fights against Russia, the epitome of wickedness, as it is said on the Vistula, which is why – do you remember the classic novel? – now Oceania is our bosom friend and has ever been. Clear? And we should not wonder too much. As the saying goes: there are Poles who hate Russia more than they love Poland.

If these events had been taking place twenty or thirty years ago, they would have made headline in all the mainstream Western media; sadly, if these events had been taking place somewhere between 2014 and the present, the news about them would have been suppressed, the articles – heavily redacted, most of the information – withdrawn while YouTube would have banned videos, using the usual insolent excuse to the tune of an enigmatic community not wanting to have such material on the platform. What are we talking about?

We are talking about the bloodbath that took place in the summer and autumn months of 1943 in Volhynia, where Ukrainians would murder approximately 50 to 100 thousand defenceless Poles in the territory that had been a part of prewar Poland and is now a part of Ukraine. There are still survivors – witnesses to the atrocities committed by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, and many compelling stories – first-hand accounts – retold by them, gathered in books and articles as well as shown in documentaries.

In prewar Poland, the province of Volhynia was inhabited by a mixture of Ukrainians, Poles and Jews. This was due to the history of the region, which originally was a part of medieval Rus’, then came under Lithuanian rule, and as the Grand Duchy of Lithuania merged with the Kingdom of Poland in 1569, the territory became a part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The higher classes – mainly the gentry – underwent Polonization and conversion to Catholicism, while the lower classes – mainly peasantry – remained “Russian” and Orthodox Christian. In the 19th, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth fell prey to the three neighbouring European powers, of which Russia incorporated the Commonwealth’s eastern territories, enforcing Russification in turn and stripping the Polish population of its property as punishment for its participation in anti-Russian insurgencies. Then came World War One and the reemergence of the Polish state, which reclaimed some of its previous eastern territories, among them – Volhynia. A process of re-Polonization was launched in that retired officers and soldiers would be given plots of land while attempts were made to turn Ukrainians into Poles, which bred resentment among them.

Ukrainian national activists would establish political organisations and create para-military units that dealt with terrorism with the aim of subverting the Polish state. Elaborate national ideas were developed and floated among the Ukrainian population. They challenged the Polish political and economic dominance and advanced a cause of creating a living space for Ukrainians, a space free of Poles and Jews. Ukrainian activists managed to win support of common Ukrainians while their ideas gained traction with the Ukrainian intellectuals, not excluding priests and bishops of the Orthodox Church, who cemented this belief among its flocks in the excpetionalism of the Ukrainian nation and the parasitic character of the presence of Poles and Jews.

On September 1, 1939 Germany attacked Poland, while the Soviet Union did it September 17 of the same year. Volhynia and other eastern Polish territories came under Soviet rule. At this juncture Ukrainians kept a low profile. It was only with the the attack of the Third Reich on the Soviet Union that Ukrainians saw an opportunity for the pursuit of their political agenda and they seized it. They forged and consequently executed a plan of ethnic cleansing in Volhynia, with its peak occurring in the summer and autumn of 1943.

To put things in perspective: the beginning of 1943 saw the end of the Battle of Stalingrad, in July the Allies invaded Sicily; in September that year Italy would surrender and in November the allied leaders would meet at Tehran.

How did the bloodbath come about? Villages with Polish residents would be attacked at dawn or at night, usually surrounded by Ukrainian troops to prevent anybody escaping the dreadful fate. Then looting would begin accompanied by acts of arson, while men, women, and children would be hunted down and mercilessly murdered, usually subjected to torture before death. Pregnant women had their bellies cut or punched, men had their limbs lopped off, while little children were impaled on pitchforks. No one was spared. The acts of atrocity were committed not only by the henchmen of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, but also by common Ukrainians, who had the bad habit of partying on the debris and ashes of the annihilated villages. The toll of life on the Polish side was enormous.

Why are we reminding the reader of these events? Well, German perpetrators of cruelties were duly put on trial and punished. It was not the case with Ukrainians. First, after the war, the territories were incorporated into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and its authorities had no interest in prosecuting Ukrainians for hostile acts against Polish residents. The Polish state was dependent on the Soviet Union and according to its ideology it strove to operate on friendly terms with the big brother from the east. Ukrainian crime was not forgotten or suppressed at that time in Poland, though: there were a few publications and even a couple of feature films devoted to the problem. Yet, generally, the authorities were not interested in exploring this particular historical theme.

The year was 1989. Poland became – if for a short time – a sovereign state. Survivors and the families of the survivors of the Volhynia massacre raised their voice and tried to make themselves heard. The authorities made believe they were concerned about the problem but somehow they always adopted a soft stance towards Kiev. Why? Yes, you guessed it right. First, Ukraine was to be used as a counterbalance against Russia, and, second, it was not in the West’s interests to have Poland conflicting with Ukraine and perhaps – God forbid! – allying herself with Russia. Warsaw stood idle by when in Ukraine monuments to the leaders of the Ukrainian insurgent army were raised, when streets and squares received names of Ukrainian national heroes whose hands were all red with the blood of the Polish residents of the eastern territories of prewar Poland. Despite the copious amount of historical evidence and painstaking research done by historians proving Ukrainian engagement in the mass slaughter of the Poles, Kiev refused to admit guilt, to make apologies, to tear down the monuments; Ukrainian historians would exonerate the murderers, undermine the research efforts of their Polish counterparts, challenge the authenticity of the evidence and eye-witness accounts, and they would claim that the numbers of the victims were inflated. What did Warsaw do? Nothing.

Then came the year 2014: overnight, Ukraine began to be perceived as an innocent victim of an unprovoked aggression, a victim who stood in need of aid, as a consequence of which any redress of past wrongs was suspended to an undetermined, later date. Websites that ran articles about the Volhynia massacre were shut down, while school historical contests that had been held annually on the same theme for many years were banned. For some time now the Polish authorities have been displaying and continue to display sheepish submission to Kiev and it looks like they have lost their moral compass. The same is true for the majority of the Polish nation, who hate Russia so much that they are ready to forgive Ukrainians everything. This attitude of the Polish nation stems from the historical resentment vis-à-vis Russia and the impact of the propaganda that in between 1989 and 2023 has presented Russia as the arch evil-doer on the planet.

It looks like this continued miscarriage of historical justice will have no end. The marching orders are: provide aid for Ukraine whatever the price and demand absolutely nothing in return. Millions of Ukrainians have found home in Poland, which was by no means reciprocated by Kiev with a gesture of historical good will, with an act of reconciliation, with the settlement of the Volhynia Massacre accompanied by some sort of apologies. Poles are told that they are friends of Ukrainians while Ukrainians are friends of Poles. Both parties have been told so – nay, reassured – many times before, throughout centuries. Sadly, most people let themselves be duped again and again and again. Historical memory does not usually extent beyond an individual’s lifetime, and not infrequently it does not stretch back even within this period. Yet, one may rest assured: in the relationships between Poles and Ukrainians we are facing but a frozen conflict. The two nations have had a bone to pick again and again throughout history. To think that now it will be different is like thinking that somehow this time I will not get intoxicated after I have drunk one over though eighth.

Why the war is still going on

The war in Ukraine has been going on for almost a year now. There is no doubt that it is a war between Russia and the West, between Russia and NATO, between Russia and the United States. There is also no doubt that Kiev, left to its own devices, would have long since been beaten and conquered and subjugated by Moscow. The constant supply of arms, financial loans and political support coming from the West means that Ukraine continues to fight, albeit not only with its own army, but also resorting to thousands of mercenaries from a variety of nationalities. Polish and British soldiers and officers are said to be operating in Ukrainian uniforms. The West has deployed all its authority, all its diplomatic and economic muscle, to sustain Ukraine’s resistance against Russia. Is it because anyone in Washington, London, Paris and Berlin or Kiev believes that Ukraine can win this war? Is it because anyone in Washington, London, Paris and Berlin or Kiev believes that Ukrainian troops will drive out Russian troops, that Ukraine will regain not only the four provinces that have been annexed to Russia, but also the Crimea? Is it because Moscow, having been repulsed and vanquished, will start paying compensation to Ukraine and the Russian leaders will stand before the international tribunal in The Hague like the former leaders of Yugoslavia and Serbia?

Of course not! So why are they fighting this war? Why are Washington and London, Paris and Berlin encouraging Kiev to resist further? Why are Western governments subjecting millions of Ukrainians to death, starvation, cold and emigration? The answer is self-explanatory. Because if the war goes on as long as possible, then:

① Russia, a rival that the West dislikes (to put it mildly), will be weakened and bled to the maximum;
② Ukraine will incur as much debt and as many obligations to the West as possible, only to repay them for decades, i.e. to relinquish control over its own natural resources, production facilities and population (for how else can Kiev repay these gigantic obligations?); Continue reading

Wanted: dead or alive?

Служба безпеки України or the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) has its own website. All those security services the world over have one. This website is in Ukrainian and English. Yes, of course, English is the lingua franca or common language of the global village as we are all aware, so no wonder. The website offers the kind of information about the SSU that one expects: what it does, how it recruits its staff, how it can be contacted, what its guiding principles are and the like. Pretty boring stuff. Yet, if you are patient enough, you will discover an interesting tab: the SSU has a wanted list! You will have recalled the Western movies with their iconic wanted posters, will you not?

As you survey the many pics of the wanted people, you come across men and women, many of them in military uniforms, and you begin to wonder what crime they have committed. With this in mind you click on the image or the name underneath in search of information. What you find are merely such data as – again – the person’s names and surname, date of birth, gender, date of disappearance and place of disappearance, form of deterrence and something that is titled precaution and that contains the article, part or paragraph of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Thus, you need to consult the Code.

The wanted list

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With attention focused on Ukraine’s need to create an independent anti-corruption court as a prerequisite for getting more low-interest International Monetary Fund loans, it’s easy to forget that Ukraine is still a long way from qualifying for any of the second half of the conditionally approved $17.5 billion in credits under a program that expires in March. Source Kievpost

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), made the following statement today in Washington, D.C.:

“We are deeply concerned by recent events in Ukraine that could roll back progress that has been made in setting up independent institutions to tackle high-level corruption, including the National Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and the Special Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO). Fighting corruption is a key demand of the Ukrainian society, is crucial to achieving stronger and equitable growth, and is part of the government’s commitment under the program with the IMF.

“We urge the Ukrainian authorities and parliament to safeguard the independence of NABU and SAPO. We also urge the authorities to move quickly with legislation to operationalize an independent anticorruption court consistent with the recommendations of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, which is essential to credibly adjudicate high-level corruption cases.” Source IMF

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Former Georgian president and Ukrainian politician Mikheil Saakashvili, freed by his supporters after police in Kyiv bungled his arrest on Dec. 5, has now marched on parliament and called on his supporters to oust President Petro Poroshenko. Earlier the day, the law enforcers arrested Saakashvili on the rooftop of his house, but he was freed by his supporters, who blocked the way of a police minivan in which police had attempted to transport the politician in an hours-long standoff. Source Kyivpost

The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine is summoning Polish Ambassador to Ukraine Jan Pieklo over the fact that Secretary of the Interagency Commission for the Commemoration of Victims of War and Political Repressions Sviatoslav Sheremeta has been refused entry to Poland, spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine Mariana Betsa has said. Source Interfax Ukraine


Old wounds are reopened as Warsaw and Kyiv revive nagging grievances. Poland’s foreign minister, Witold Waszczykowski, has urged Ukraine to “take concrete steps” to help defuse a dispute over World War II-era crimes. In remarks at the Polish consulate in Lviv Saturday, Waszczykowski also asked Ukraine to “unblock” the work of a Polish team searching for the remains of Polish war crime victims in what is now Ukraine. Source TOL

An explosion in Kiev on Wednesday killed one man and wounded three others including Ukrainian lawmaker Ihor Mosiychuk, an Interior Ministry official said in a post on Facebook. “Altogether four people were wounded in the explosion. Unfortunately, one could not be saved. He died on the way to the hospital from the wounds he received. This man is around 30 years old and his identity is being confirmed,” ministry adviser Zoryan Shkiryak said. Source Tomson Reuters

Some 500 national guardsmen and police have been deployed outside the Verkhovna Rada premises. There are also metal frames, people are checked for weapons and dangerous substances. Read also Brussels to continue dialogue with Ukraine on possible violations of minority rights based on Venice Commission’s opinion Chief of the Kyiv National Police Department Andriy Kryschenko said that, according to various estimates, up to 10, 000 people are expected to attend today’s rally outside the Verkhovna Rada. Source Unian

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