Tag Archives: Donetsk

OSCE records ceasefire violations in Donetsk and Luhansk

In Donetsk region, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMMrecorded more ceasefire violations, however, fewer explosions (about 110), compared with the previous reporting period (about 150 explosions). The majority of ceasefire violations were recorded at southerly directions of Chermalyk (government-controlled, 31km north-east of Mariupol), in areas south of Horlivka (non-government-controlled, 39km north-east of Donetsk) and in areas south-east of Donetsk city centre. (Image above: illustration).

In Luhansk region, the Mission recorded more ceasefire violations, including more explosions (about 670), compared with the previous reporting period (30 explosions). The majority of ceasefire violations, including about 600 explosions, were recorded at southerly and easterly directions of Popasna (government-controlled, 69km west of Luhansk).”

The Ukrainian army has shelled the positions of the militia in the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) six times over the past 24 hours, the LPR defense ministry reported.

The shelling targeted the areas of Pervomaisk, the urban-type settlement of Frunze, the villages of Zhelobok and Smeloye,” the LuganskInformCenter news agency quoted a spokesman for the LPR people’s militia as saying.

According to the spokesman, the fire was conducted from mortars.

The Contact Group’s security subgroup agreed to declare a new ‘spring’ ceasefire in Donbass on March 7. It entered into force from the midnight of March 8 according to Kiev time. However, the Ukrainian military broke the truce just five minutes after it had taken effect.

Russia considers facilitation of Ukrainians naturalisation

Russia is considering the possibility of facilitating the naturalisation rules for all Ukrainian nationals, President Vladimir Putin said at a press conference concluding his visit to China.

We are thinking about providing the right to obtain Russian passports under a simplified procedure to all Ukrainian nationals,” he said.

Putin emphasized that the decision to ease Russian citizenship for self-proclaimed Donbass Lugansk and Donetsk Republics residents “was not spontaneous, it was not made at the spur of the moment.”

Before the decree was singed, we had made all the calculations concerning the number of people that may apply for citizenship, including the number of retired persons – they account for about 30% of the possible applicants,” Putin underlined.

On April 24, in Moscow (pictured) the Russian President signed a decree, which eases Russian citizenship rules for residents of certain regions of southeastern Ukraine.

Individuals permanently residing in certain areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions have the right to apply for Russian citizenship under a simplified procedure,” the decree reads. According to the document, the decision has been made “in order to protect human rights and freedoms” based on generally accepted international laws.

 

Putin facilitates naturalisation procedure for Donabass

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree, which makes it possible for residents of Donbass to obtain Russian citizenship under a simplified procedure. The document has been published on the Kremlin’s website.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko  accused Moscow of crossing a “red line” by signing a decree to facilitate the process of obtaining Russian citizenship in eastern Ukraine.

It’s a fact that this is about the Kremlin preparing the next point of aggression against our country: the annexation of Ukraine’s Donbass or the creation of a Russian enclave in Ukraine,” he said.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin says that Russian citizenship degree is “the continuation of aggression and interference in our internal affairs,” urges Ukrainian citizens in areas held by Russia-backed separatists “not to accept Russian passports.”

Russia has deprived you of your present lives and now it is encroaching on your future”  Minister concluded.

“Individuals permanently residing in certain areas of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions have the right to apply for Russian citizenship under a simplified procedure,” the decree reads. According to the document, the decision has been made “in order to protect human rights and freedoms” based on generally accepted international laws.

Gratitude to Russia for making a decision on granting citizenship under a simplified procedure. It is an outstanding event all LPR citizens have been waiting for,” said Leonid Pasechnk, Head of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR).

 

Ukrainian minister plagued by lions abuse scandal

Ukrainian animal welfare and animal rights groups demand the resignation of the Minister of Ecology and Natural resources Ostap Semerak (pictured), after the international scandal broke out regarding the horrendous systemic abuse of wild animals in a private Zoo in Pokrovsk. The minister did not respond to an ongoing international campaign for liberation of the lions and bears from torture conditions in Igor Padalko private zoo, in Donetsk region. After three month of relentless efforts, more than 600 hundred complains from the Ukrainian citizens, the requests of renown international wildlife charities, Members of the European Parliament, and stars,  Mr.Semerak did not do anything to save the animals from the horrendous abuse, and ensure an adequate veterinary care.

The animal rights groups were indignant to discover that the lions jammed into rusty self-made cages, freezing to their own urine and feces, were fed by grain, and well as all the other animals in the zoo, disrespectful to their natural needs.

Mr.Semerak broke his promise to the citizens, and did not order the evacuation of the abused, exhausted animals to specialized sanctuaries, and rehabilitation centers, while they were ready to receive the lions and bears, and even organize the transport themselves.

Till present one more lion died, while denied treatment in a veterinary clinic, one more lion from Padalko zoo vanished, as some others, including two bears, who were sitting in cages without a possibility to stretch themselves.

Ukraine does not need the Minister of Nature, indifferent to it, tarnishing the image of Ukraine abroad, unresponsive to citizens, and disrespectful to European values, the activists say in a petition launched online, collecting signatures for resignation of Ostap Semerak.

The Minister does not comment or react to the appeals of the animal rights groups, deleting all the requests and comments on the Ministry sites. “It is useless to write to him, because he is useless. He does not want to serve Ukrainian people, he simply does not care. Semerak should resign!” activists write in Twitter micro blog.

Apparently the Minister has forgotten that his major task is to ‘serve the people of Ukraine’, as a an executive should in a democratic country.

The manifestation for saving the animals of Porkovsk, who are between life and death, will take place in Kiev next to the Ministry  of Ecology on 24th of January at 10:30-15:00.

save pokrovsk animals

 

 

 

MEPs concerned with Ukrainian zoo cruelty

The January hearing of the Intergroup on the Welfare and the Conservation of Animals in Strasbourg chaired by Anja Hazekamp (NL, GUE/NGL)  opened the floor with the discussion of the devastating situation of lions, and bears in Porkovsk private zoo of Igor Padalko (Ukraine, Donetsk region).

The issue of Porkovsk zoo came to attention of the MEPs due to a Petition launched by Ukrainian animal welfare activists, who said they are not heard by their own government in Kiev, asking the European Parliament to take action to save animals from an ongoing horrendous abuse in Padalko private zoo. In a few days the Petition gathered 25 thousand signatures, and continues to circulate. The activists requested to freeze the EU micro-financial aid to Ukrainian government until the European values are respected, namely the Article 13 of Lisbon Treaty, stating that animal welfare is “European value“, and animals are “sentient beings.”

It has been years that Ukrainian activists have been struggling for liberation from a horrendous abuse of six lions, 11 bears and around 100 of other animals in Pokrovsk zoo , suffering in tiny filthy self-made cages, unable even to stretch their paws, stamping in their own feces, not removed for weeks.

MEPs present at the hearing were appalled by the cruelty to the wild animals, but also concerned by the inaction of the Ukrainian Ministry of Ecology, and the other relevant instances, who did not assume their responsibility.

padalko lion abuse

They also reminded that Stefan Eck, the vice-president of the group, has already called (5.12.2018) President Poroshenko to act in line with the European norms and save Padalko animals from abuse. So far the call remained unanswered, and Ukrainian activists informed about death of the second exhausted lion frozen alive in his urine in his cage (- 11C°). Soon after his death the corpse vanished.

Concluding the discussion the MEP sent a a letter from Intergroup to the  Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn, seeking his support, and reminding that the EU and Ukraine regularly reaffirm their strong partnership based on their association agreement and pledge to strengthen the political association and economic integration of Ukraine with the EU. As part of Ukraine’s ambitious reform agenda which is financially supported by the EU, “it would be desirable that also the respect of animal welfare concerns would be taken into account“.

The Intergroup has also written a letter to the Ukranian Minister for Ecology Ostap Semerak, asking him to take an immediate action to rescue and re-home the animals of Padalko zoo:  “…We call on you as the Ukrainian Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources to intervene as a matter of urgency in order to rescue and re-home the animals from this zoo. Be assured that any action you will take in this regard can be supported by NGOs who can offer help for re-homing the animals”.

The local animal welfare activists claim Igor Padalko kept animals in the abominable conditions for years with a purpose to collect money all over Ukraine via social networks: for “food for lions“, and for “cages construction“. Nobody saw any improvements for animals, however the Padalkos acquired for their son a comfortable apartment in Kiev.

The other lucrative activity was in receiving bus excursions of schoolchildren from the region, supposedly to learn about wild nature. Many teachers complained that children were crying, while looking at suffering on animals jammed in small filthy cages.

Although cruel and abusive towards animals, who had bruises and broken jaws from beatings with rods, unable even to stand up from hunger and exhaustion,  Padalko has been continuously accumulating social capital in local community – offering Ukrainian military from the front line the beautiful beach on river-side, and tea-houses for recreation on his 25-hectare territory; organising from time to time free dinners for elderly locals; and even adopting children. The remarkable social skills helped to establish connections, and even patronage, making all the attempts of the animal rights groups to liberate the lions and bears from the torture conditions ineffective.

Reportedly the adopted children were taken away from Padalko, presumably after numerous complains about his cruelty, the question remains, how such a character received the orphans in first place. Lately Padalko threatened to shoot activists, if they dare to enter the zoo. Local police asked to avoid any contacts with him, but also refused any complains of animal abuse. In spite of numerous frauds, and abuses, thanks to his connections Padalko stays “untouchable“.

Animal rights groups presume that Padalko counts on sympathy of the governor of the Donetsk region Oleksander Kuz, who send his employers to Kiev to hash up the scandal, and demand subsidies for the zoo renovation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ukraine: freezing zoo lion in critical condition

One of the abused lions in Padalko private zoo, Porkovsk, Ukraine, is in critical condition, the local animal rights groups reported. In spite of a strong international response the Ukrainian Ministry of Ecology did not react to save the abused animals from filthy conditions, and freezing winter temperatures. The inspectors confirmed the situation in the zoo does not meet a required standard, all animals are exhausted, and many of them are ill. The fences also do not meet the lowest security requirements, causing threat to public safety.

However the owner of the zoo Igor Padalko refuses co-operation with international charities, and does not allow local activists access to animals, although they reiterate their readiness to feed the animals, and also help to isolate the cages with straw, to help lions and bears to survive freezing temperatures without any shelter.

These animals continue to suffer and the government does nothing. The investigator in the case was changed so that this case can be drawn out for as long as possible. This creature “PADALKO” owner of this horror zoo is protected by someone” writes Lionel de Lange, from Lawrence Anthony Earth (LAEO) wildlife charity on his Facebook page. South African, Mr. de Lange came to save the lions from Padalko zoo horrid conditions, and evacuate them to SA sanctuary. He has previously successfully saved lions from of squalid conditions of Ukrainians circuses, transferring them to SA, to their natural wildlife park. But this time unexpectedly his plans were interrupted.

Reportedly all the evacuations of the animals was cancelled due to interference of the Donetsk governor, Alexander Kuz, who  is interested to receive solid state funds to reconstruct the zoo to offer it as an ‘entertainment’ for local children. The activists insist  that children in Donetsk region close to the front line (!), have other needs, and by no means the fading animals can stay any longer in degrading conditions.

However the question of confiscation of Padalko animals, and closure of the squalid camp, is more than about the respect of the wildlife. It is about the intention of President Poroshenko to reform Ukraine, and align the country with the European Union  (EU) norms.

The legendary Brigitte Bardot, and Stefan Eck, vice-president of the European Parliament Animal welfare intergorup (114 members) launched an appeal to President Poroshenko to keep his promise, and respect the EU  Lisbon Treaty Article 13, stating that animal welfare is a “European value‘. But their appeal stayed without response – nothing happened, 5 lions, 11 bears and around 100 other animals are dying from cold and malnutrition in Donetsk steppe icy wind, while Ukrainian authorities are ignoring their suffering, and distress of all those across the world, who care.

The reference to the European values is not a theoretical exercise, the drama of Padalko animals happens amid the reception of one billion euro of macro-financial assistance to Ukrainian government to ensure the implementation of reforms, lifting the country to European norms, and standards, also in the field of justice and public administration.

With Vice-President of the European Commission discussed the progress of reforms, the possibility of completing the current program of macro-financial assistance and providing Ukraine with a second tranche of 500 million euro in early 2019” Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman wrote in his Twitter mico blog

The question is why the European citizens should agree to transfer the second tranche of EUR500, if  the Ukrainian government,  judiciary and civil servants do not show a slightest respect the European values?

 

 

Nine listed for elections in Donetsk and Luhansk

The Foreign ministers Council added nine persons to the list of those subject to restrictive measures over actions “undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.  Formally listed because of their involvement in unrecognised by the EU elections in two entities, resulted from the break-away of the communities of Russian-speaking regions in aftermath of the Maidan Revolution (2014) –  the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic

Through their actions, they further undermined the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine” – the Council concluded. (Image: elections in Donetsk) RIA Novosti agency.

The EU considers these elections illegal and illegitimate and does not recognise them. In a declaration issued on 10 November 2018, the EU condemned these elections, motivating the decision by the breach of international law, undermine the commitments taken under the Minsk agreements and violate Ukraine‘s sovereignty and law.

The actual measures consist of a travel ban and an asset freeze, meaning that these persons cannot enter the territory of any EU member state and all of the assets (if any) in the EU belonging to these persons are frozen and EU persons and entities cannot make any funds available to them.

The decision brings the total number of persons listed by the EU to 164. In addition, the EU imposed an asset freeze on 44 entities under this sanctions regime.

The legal acts, including the names of the persons concerned, are available in the EU Official Journal.

There was no reaction from the break-away regions so far. The head of Donetsk Republic Denis Pushilin tweeted the awarding of an Ombudsman office staff: “Today, on International Human Rights Day, he awarded the Ombudsman and the staff of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in the DPR. The rights of citizens should be at the forefront of any state. Especially in wartime conditions“.

11/12/2018 AMENDED:
The “black list” includes the head of the LNR, Leonid Pasechnik (Леонид Пасечник), who replaced Igor Plotnitsky (Игоря Плотницкий) on this post, elected heads of parliaments of the DPR and LPR — Vladimir Bidyovka (Владимир Бидёвка) and Denis Miroshnichenko (Денис Мирошниченкo), and Olga Pozdnyakova (Ольга Позднякова)— the chairman of the CEC of the DPR, Elena Kravchenko (Елена Кравченко)— the chairman of the CEC of the LPR, Alexei Naidenko (Алексей Найденко) – Deputy Chairman of the CEC of the DPR; Vladimir Vysotsky (Владимир Высоцкий) – Secretary of the CEC of the DPR; Maxim Svidchenko (Максим Свидченко) – Deputy Chairman of the CEC of the LPR; Ekaterina Tereshchenko (Екатерина Терещенко) – Secretary of the CEC of the LPR.

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