Russia – Ukraine Issue

Ukraine moves to sever Orthodox Church link with Russia

Moscow: Ukraine has taken a major step towards establishing its own, autonomous Orthodox Church, setting the stage for increased tensions with Russia by altering a centuries-old religious tradition under which the… Neil MacFarquhar The Canberra Times / The New York Times Some 190 bishops, priests and other church figures spent the day closeted in St Sophia’s Cathedral in downtown Kiev to elect the newly unified Ukrainian church’s head, Metropolitan Epiphanius. He is scheduled to travel in January to Istanbul, the ... Read More »

Ukraine-Russia clash: Nato’s dilemma in the Black Sea

Does crisis beckon in the Black Sea? Could Russia and Nato even come to blows? Jonathan Marcus BBC That – at least for now – is probably unlikely. But the recent seizure of two Ukrainian gunboats and a tug in the approaches to the Kerch Strait, by vessels of the Russian Border Guard, has inevitably brought security in the Black Sea to the forefront of Nato’s agenda at their meeting in Brussels on Tuesday. The Black Sea has long had ... Read More »

Ukraine urges Nato to deploy ships amid standoff with Russia off Crimea coast

‘Put Putin in his place,’ Kiev diplomat tells Germany Tom Embury-Dennis Independent Ukraine’s president has urged Nato to deploy naval ships to the Sea of Azov amid a stand-off with Russia. “We hope that states within Nato are now ready to relocate naval ships to the Sea of Azov in order to assist Ukraine and provide security,” Petro Poroshenko said in an interview with German newspaper Bild. Mr Poroshenko’s request comes after the Russian coastguard on Sunday fired on and seized three Ukrainian vessels trying to pass through the Kerch Strait, which separates Russia’s mainland and ... Read More »

Goodbye Grotius, Hello Putin

Russia’s provocations in the Kerch Strait aren’t just a challenge to Ukraine. Like Beijing in the South China Sea, Moscow is seeking to undermine international maritime law. James R. Holmes FP Sunday’s encounter between Russian and Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait, the entryway to the Sea of Azov east of the Crimean peninsula, revived an age-old question in international politics: Can a coastal nation own the sea? International law says no; authoritarian states such as China and Russia say ... Read More »

Merkel warns ’no military solution’ to Ukraine conflict

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday there is “no military solution” to the Ukraine conflict after President Petro Poroshenko asked for NATO naval support in his country’s standoff with… BERLIN – AFP Berlin Blaming Russia for the tensions, Merkel said: “We ask the Ukrainian side too to be sensible because we know that we can only solve things through being reasonable and through dialogue because there is no… Russia fired on and then seized three Ukrainian ships on Sunday, accusing them of illegally entering its waters in ... Read More »

The Coming War over Ukraine?

The danger of escalation is real and must be treated as such On November 25, Russian warships attacked and seized three Ukrainian navy boats that tried to cross the Kerch Strait. Jonas J. Driedger The National Interest The Ukrainian navy reports that Russian vessels opened fire and wounded at least six Ukrainian naval officers. On the same day, Ukrainian President Poroshenko and his Military Cabinet passed a resolution to impose martial law in Ukraine. The Ukrainian parliament is scheduled to decide on ... Read More »

Ukraine imposes martial law after Russia seizes naval ships

Seizure of Ukrainian military boats marks ‘a new stage of aggression’, says president The Irish Times Ukraine on Monday imposed martial law for 30 days in parts of the country most vulnerable to an attack from Russia after president Petro Poroshenkowarned of the “extremely serious” threat of a land invasion. Mr Poroshenko said martial law was necessary to bolster Ukraine’s defences after Russia seized three Ukrainian naval ships and took their crews prisoner at the weekend. Parliament approved the introduction of martial law after ... Read More »

Tensions Flare as Ukraine Says Russia Fired on Its Ships

Tensions escalated late Sunday as Ukraine accused Russia of attacking its navy near Crimea. By Aliaksandr Kudrytski , Daryna Krasnolutska , and Ilya Arkhipov Bloomberg Russian warships opened fire on a group of Ukrainian military vessels that had previously tried to enter the Kerch Strait near the disputed peninsula, Ukraine’s Navy said on Facebook. Two men were wounded as the Russians “fired to kill,” according to the statement. Ukraine said three of its ships were captured. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called an emergency cabinet meeting ... Read More »

Biggest split in modern Orthodox history: Russian Orthodox Church breaks ties with Constantinople

In the biggest rift in modern Orthodox history, the Russian Orthodox Church has cut all ties with the Constantinople Patriarchate, effectively splitting from it after it granted independence to the… RT The Holy Synod, the governing body of the Russian Orthodox Church, has ruled that any further clerical relations with Constantinople are impossible, Metropolitan Hilarion, the head of the… “A decision about the full break of relations with the Constantinople Patriarchate has been taken at a Synod meeting” that is currently ... Read More »

US imposes sanctions on China for buying Russian weapons

The US has imposed sanctions on the Chinese military over its purchasing of Russian military jets and surface-to-air missiles. BBC It says such purchases contravene US sanctions on Moscow introduced over Russian actions in Ukraine and alleged interference in US politics. China recently bought 10 Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 missiles. Beijing has not joined in the sanctions imposed on Moscow by the US and its Western allies since 2014. Relations between the US and Russia deteriorated rapidly ... Read More »

Putin warns of ‘consequences’ if Nato develops closer ties with Georgia and Ukraine

Russian president says Moscow will ‘respond appropriately to such aggressive steps’ Tom Embury-Dennis Independent Vladimir Putin has warned Nato of “consequences” if the western military alliance cultivates closer ties with Ukraine and Georgia. The Russian president said such a policy, which he branded “aggressive” and “irresponsible”, was a direct threat to the country’s national security. Speaking to Russian diplomats in Moscow, Mr Putin condemned what he said was Nato’s attempts to deploy new bases and military infrastructure near Russia’s borders, adding there was a… Putin warns of… Read More »

Russian Expansion in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov: Economic Consequences for Ukraine

Moscow’s appetite in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov has not decreased after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. By: Ihor Kabanenko Eurasia Daily Monitor Russia has gradually advanced its presence into significant areas of the exclusive maritime economic zone of Ukraine, which, in accordance with international law, is subject to the sovereign rights of Ukraine. This expansion aims to establish control over critical maritime areas and transport communications nodes. In violation of the UN Convention on the ... Read More »

Ukraine to file more suits against Russia in The Hague – MFA

In February 2018, Ukraine will submit to the International Court of Justice a memorandum, which is now being finalized, on Russia’s violation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, according to Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Olena Zerkal. UNIAN According to Ms Zerkal, the memo will be submitted within two months, and then the Russians will have another three months to file objections to the jurisdiction (until May 2018). According to the procedure, Ukraine will then have three ... Read More »

How to Turn Battleground Ukraine Into a Success Story

If the West manages to talk Kiev out of any hasty ill-judged decisions and convince it to accept Moscow’s peacekeeper proposal as it is, then the world will finally see a win-win Anna Tikhonova, Cyril Fokin The National Interest Putin’s early September suggestion that a UN peacekeeping force be sent to the Donbass region triggered a skeptical reaction from the Western block To a certain degree, the Kremlin’s acceptance of the deployment of UN peacekeepers signifies a diplomatic victory of the ... Read More »

Ukraine’s New Diplomatic Battlefronts: U.S. Weapons, UN Peacekeepers

The front lines between the Ukrainian army and Moscow-backed forces in eastern Ukraine may be static but see frequent and violent firefights Diplomatic manoeuvering over new U.S. lethal weapons for Kyiv risks aggravating the conflict and Russia’s UN peacekeeping proposal could prove a distraction from a genuine solution. Magdalena Grono ICG Washington is considering providing Kyiv with lethal weapons, worrying many residents of eastern Ukraine – and not just separatist rebels or pro-Russian sympathisers. “Most people here don’t think about what ... Read More »