Category Archives: News & Views

Sweden to deport Ukrainian survivor of 2017 terror attack

A Ukrainian woman who lost her right leg in the April 2017 Stockholm terror attack is facing deportation from the country, her lawyer said on Monday.

Irina Zamanova, 39, was visiting Sweden as a tourist in April of 2017 when the attack occurred. She was among the ten people injured and her injuries were so severe that doctors had to amputate her lower right leg.

The attack was carried out by an Uzbek asylum seeker, who had sworn allegiance to Isis and hijacked a truck which he drove down a busy pedestrian street in central Stockholm. He was later sentenced to life in prison.

No Income Tax For Women In Hungary Who Have Four Or More Kids

The Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban, has announced that women in Hungary with four or more children will never have to pay income tax. He has unveiled these measures in order to boost the birth rate. He said that this is Hungary’s answer to the challenges rather than immigration.

Orban stated that this was part of a measure to tackle the shrinking population without depending on immigrants. The Hungarian Prime Minister announced a seven-point “Family Protection Action Plan”, designed to promote marriage and families. This is not the first time Orban (who has five children) has tried to bring up such incentives. Earlier , he had introduced a measure that offered families reduced taxes for every new child.

П’ємонт #1 – Leopolis Jazz Fest | Львівська еротика | Дроздов пішов | Тютюн Козловського

New commentary vlog by my friend Andrii Drozda. At the end he talks about the tobacco factory in nearby Vynnyky.

I haven’t asked Andrii, but I have a couple of friend from Vynnyky who told me this:

* Kozlovski (spelling?) who is name and pictured in the video is either the owner or manager of the factory. He is extremely well liked in Vynnyky because he has taken care of everybody.

* The factory was recently search by the SBU. Also a convoy of trucks carrying about $3M of counterfeit cigarettes were seized. The British embassy wrote about the seizure on their FB page:

* There are a whole bunch of other companies in Lviv and Ukraine run by Kozlovki, including Avalon, a builder which buid some prominent residential buildings in Lviv.

* At 6:00, Andrii asks if the real owner of the factory doesn’t live in London. He doesn’t name who this might be, but apparently he makes an allusion to a current or former gangster named Yuri Federov, nicknamed “Youfa”, also nicknamed “musician” because he used to sing in a choir here in Lviv.

Poland moves to exempt young workers from income tax

olish lawmakers have approved a measure that would exonerate most workers under the age of 26 from income taxes as the country seeks to stem the flow of its young people to other EU nations in search of better paying jobs.

The lower house of parliament approved the measure introduced by the ruling conservatives in a vote late Thursday by an overwhelming majority.

The bill would exonerate workers under the age of 26 from Poland’s 18 percent personal income tax for those whose gross earnings don’t surpass 85,500 zlotys (20,000 euros, $22,500) per year.

That level is higher than Poland’s average income, estimated to be around 60,000 zlotys per year before tax.

The approval of the measure by the upper house of parliament and its signature by the president is widely expected.

Some two million people could benefit from the measure, according to supporters of the legislation, which should enter into force from August 1.

Kazakhstan ends bank bailouts, writes off people’s debts instead

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said he’ll write off bad loans held by a sixth of the central Asian country’s population, while signaling a sharp change in policy to end costly state bailouts of private banks.

The loan-forgiveness program is Tokayev’s first major policy announcement since he was elected president on June 9 in a choreographed transfer of power that began when longtime leader Nursultan Nazarbayev stepped down as head of state in March. His victory was met with rare and widespread protests.

Bank bailouts are also a sensitive issue in Kazakhstan, which has been mired in a decade-long crisis in which the government has pumped at least $18 billion into lenders to keep the sector from collapsing under the weight of bad debts. The central bank is conducting a review of asset quality, prompting speculation that a new round of bailouts may be in the works.

“My attitude is that there should be no governmental bailouts” for lenders, Tokayev, 66, said in an interview Tuesday in the capital, Nur-Sultan. “My assessment of this issue as a president is that the government should not get involved any more, any longer, with its loans as far as private banks are concerned.”

Bernie Sanders’ ‘Economic Bill of Rights’ Taken Nearly Verbatim From Stalin’s 1936 Soviet Constitution

Finally, Sanders introduces the centerpiece of his platform, which he calls “a 21st Century Economic Bill of Rights.”

However, there’s something deeply disturbing about Sanders’ proposal. In an appearance on Hannity, political commentator and historian Mark Levin points out that Sanders has “stolen his agenda from the 1936 Soviet Constitution.”

Here is an excerpt from Sanders’ speech:

A Bill of Rights that establishes once and for all that every American, regardless of his or her income in entitled to:

The right to a decent job that pays a living wage
The right to quality health care
The right to a complete education
The right to affordable housing
The right to a clean environment
The right to a secure retirement

These six “rights,” which define Sanders’ platform, are indistinguishable from the rights identified in the 1936 Soviet Constitution, which is also known as the Stalin Constitution.

Please read Articles 118-122 of this constitution. (Source: Bucknell University)

(Emphasis mine.)

ARTICLE 118. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to work, that is, are guaranteed the right to employment and payment for their work in accordance with its quantity and quality.

ARTICLE 119. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to rest and leisure. The right to rest and leisure is ensured by the reduction of the working day to seven hours for the overwhelming majority of the workers, the institution of annual vacations with full pay for workers and employees and the provision of a wide network of sanatoria, rest homes and clubs for the accommodation of the working people.

ARTICLE 120. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to maintenance in old age and also in case of sickness or loss of capacity to work. This right is ensured by the extensive development of social insurance of workers and employees at state expense, free medical service for the working people and the provision of a wide network of health resorts for the use of the working people.

ARTICLE 121. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to education. This right is ensured by universal, compulsory elementary education; by education, including higher education, being free of charge; by the system of state stipends for the overwhelming majority of students in the universities and colleges; by instruction in schools being conducted in the native language, and by the organization in the factories, state farms, machine and tractor stations and collective farms of free vocational, technical and agronomic training for the working people.

ARTICLE 122. Women in the U.S.S.R. are accorded equal rights with men in all spheres of economic, state, cultural, social and political life. The possibility of exercising these rights is ensured to women by granting them an equal right with men to work, payment for work, rest and leisure, social insurance and education, and by state protection of the interests of mother and child, prematernity and maternity leave with full pay, and the provision of a wide network of maternity homes, nurseries and kindergartens.

The only “right” not stolen from the Stalin Constitution was the right to a clean environment. Climate change, obviously, was not an issue in 1936.

As Russia collusion fades, Ukrainian plot to help Clinton emerges

After nearly three years and millions of tax dollars, the Trump-Russia collusion probe is about to be resolved. Emerging in its place is newly unearthed evidence suggesting another foreign effort to influence the 2016 election — this time, in favor of the Democrats.

Ukraine’s top prosecutor divulged in an interview aired Wednesday on Hill.TV that he has opened an investigation into whether his country’s law enforcement apparatus intentionally leaked financial records during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign about then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in an effort to sway the election in favor of Hillary Clinton.

The leak of the so-called black ledger files to U.S. media prompted Manafort’s resignation from the Trump campaign and gave rise to one of the key allegations in the Russia collusion probe that has dogged Trump for the last two and a half years.

Ukraine Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko’s probe was prompted by a Ukrainian parliamentarian’s release of a tape recording purporting to quote a top law enforcement official as saying his agency leaked the Manafort financial records to help Clinton’s campaign.

The parliamentarian also secured a court ruling that the leak amounted to “an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” Lutsenko told me. Lutsenko said the tape recording is a serious enough allegation to warrant opening a probe, and one of his concerns is that the Ukrainian law enforcement agency involved had frequent contact with the Obama administration’s U.S. Embassy in Kiev at the time.

“Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information,” Lutsenko told me.

The Hill: U.S. Embassy Pressured Ukraine Not To Investigate Liberal “Mega-Donor”


During the 2016 U.S. presidential race Ukrainian prosecutors said they were stymied by then-President Obama’s appointed U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine from pursing investigations into the activities of a nonprofit known as the Anti-Corruption Action Centre (AntAC), according to John Solomon with The Hill.

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko, who is considered a hero in the West for spending two years as a political prisoner for fighting Russian aggression in Ukraine , told Solomon that he was invited to meet new U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. He was appointed to this position in 2016 and it was then that he spoke to Yovanovitch, he said.

He said they, “gave me a list of people whom we should not prosecute.” According to Yovanovitch, it included a founder of the AntAC group and two members of Parliament. Those people “supported the group’s anti-corruption reform agenda, according to a source directly familiar with the meeting,” according to Solomon, who spoke to a source.

Ukrainian law enforcement was probing a group that was co-funded by the Obama administration, as well as billionaire donor George Soros. Further, according to Solomon the group was allegedly collaborating with the FBI agents investigating then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s business activities in Ukraine.

Statue of St. Volodymyr in Canada beheaded and cross removed as anti-Christian attacks continue world wide

Both the head and a cross were removed from a statue of St. Volodymyr in Winnipeg early Tuesday morning. The statue, which was blessed by Pope John Paul II in 1984, was located outside the church.

“It’s a catastrophe to say the least,” said Right Rev. Michael Buyachok.

. . . .

Last month, we also reported on the beheading of a Virgin Mary statue in the French village of Marlhes.

There were 1062 anti-Christian acts in 2018 in France, compared to just 100 anti-Muslim acts. Throughout 2018, no less than 875 churches in France were targeted.

A Catholic church in Glasgow, Scotland was also trashed by vandals last month in yet another random act of desecration.

German lawmakers from across the political spectrum recently denounced the ‘global trend’ of violence against Christians following the Islamic terror attacks in Sri Lanka which killed 258 people.

Will Ukraine Become a Giant Moldova?

From my office in Kyiv’s Golden Gate neighborhood, I see two notaries and three English schools. The notaries represent a faux legalism in a country where judicial decisions go to highest bidders. The English schools offer a ticket out.

In one generation, since independence in 1991, Ukraine’s population has fallen by 23 percent—from 52 million to 40 million today. For post-independence political elites, that is a failing grade.
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Without a red tape slashing revolution, Ukraine will become a big Moldova—a bedroom country for migrant workers building the dynamic economies of eastern Europe. While Ukraine’s bureaucrats cling to business as usual, Poland offers free mobile roaming for Ukrainians, Polish cities sell bus tickets in Ukrainian, and Polish farmers offer summer jobs with cheery Facebook pages, such as: “Pick Strawberries in Poland!” Ukrainians can easily make four times more in neighboring Poland, and they are. More ominous for the 2020s, Germany’s Bundestag is preparing a labor liberalization law designed to meet its growing labor shortage by allowing Ukrainians to work in Germany on short-term contracts. Here in Kyiv, German social scientist Andreas Umland and his Nuremberg colleague Andrej Novak make an eminently sensible proposal: reverse the flow. With Ukraine’s low cost of living, high-quality private health care, and proximity to the EU, Ukraine could attract European retirees to move here.


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Monday, May 20

Zelenskiy: Pro Business…Poroshenko Hails Jump in EU Trade and Travel…5G Mobile to Start Next Year…First Tenders for Public-Private Partnerships by June…Nord Stream 2 Admits Delay to 2020

By James Brooke

🔵With Volodymyr Zelenskiy to be inaugurated this morning at the Rada, cautious praise comes from one observer of Ukrainian leaders for the last 30 years. “He is pro business, pro market, and pro Western,” writes Timothy Ash, senior sovereign analyst for Blue Bay Asset Management in London. Drawing on interviews in Kyiv last week, he writes: “The consensus from those that have had any interaction with the President-elect is that he is clever, business-savvy, a quick learner, that he genuinely has the good of the country at heart and does want to deliver change, which is really what his electorate voted for. He is a joker, but certainly no fool.”

🔵While predicting that Zelenskiy will succeed in dissolving the Rada and holding parliamentary elections this summer, Ash said the major threat to the new government will be efforts by Igor Kolomoisky, Zelenskiy’s main media backer, to win back PrivatBank. While some in Kyiv say “Zelensky is his own man, knows the issues and problems and will box off Kolomoisky,” Ash writes, “his presidency will likely stand or fall on this very issue.” Given the question mark hanging over PrivatBank, the IMF is unlikely to disburse the second tranche, $1.3 billion, until this fall, Ash writes in his widely circulated email.

🔵In parting public comments, President Poroshenko said Saturday that he is proud that Ukraine’s trade with the EU has more than doubled since the free trade zone went into effect on Jan. 1, 2016. Speaking on Europe Day, he also said that 2 million Ukrainians have traveled to the EU since the new 90-day visa-free regime started June 11, 2017. “More and more flights are opening, airports and terminals that have not worked for years have reopened,” he said. “I am proud that during the period of my presidency, Ukraine and the EU have become closer than ever before in history.”

🔵5G mobile service should start next year in Ukraine, according to a decree signed Friday by President Poroshenko. The decree sets a schedule for releasing the necessary frequencies. Separately, Oleksandr Zhyvotovsky, head of the National Commission for Communications Regulation, writes on Facebook that this work will be done by fall. The Rada will have to pass implementing legislation.

🔵Given Ukrainians’ low cell phone bills, construction of 5G would take “decades” to pay off, warns Oleksandr Kohut, director of regulator support for Kyivstar, the nation’s biggest mobile phone company. “Implementation of 5G could require the purchase of a large number of frequencies, the costs of which, given the subscriber’s low mobile check and investment risks, could be paid back in decades,” he tells Interfax-Ukraine. “It is necessary to create conditions for improving the country’s economy, reducing tax pressure on the industry and adapting it to European regulatory practices.”

🔵One year after the launch of 4G, about half of Ukrainians have access to the fast service, according to separate reports from the nation’s two largest mobile phone companies, Kyivstar and Vodaphone. Kyivstar, which has 26.4 million subscribers of all levels of service, plans to invest about $110 million a year through 2022 to expand 4G service, Alexander Komarov, company president, told reporters recently. By comparison, Vodaphone has about 20 million subscribers of all service levels.

Unclear if Russia is issuing passports to Luhansk, Donetsk residents

ollowing a decree by the Russian President to simplify the passport issuance process for people living in the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics (LDPR) in eastern Ukraine, the Migration Service in Rostov has been bombarded with applications – all of which have been rejected, said Russian MP from Rostov-on-Don Anatoly Kotlyarov in a Facebook post.

“Citizenship? Aha. You’re getting ahead of yourselves! The Interior Ministry has received 1309 appeals concerning rejected citizenship applications,” Kotlyarov wrote under his video message.

The MP claims to have sat for two hours in the Rostov Migration Service, after which the head of the institution said that “Citizens of the LDPR are not covered by the president’s decree, which applies to Russian territory”.

In a video that Kotlyarov published later, he said that the migration service has heard of the decree but does not yet know how to implement it. “Citizens” of the LDPR must exit Russia and obtain the passport in the territory where they reside officially. In Kotlyarov’s opinion, it is absurd that people who already live in Russia would have to return to the LDPR to acquire a Russian passport.

Three million more Russians not allowed to leave country due to debts

The number of Russians who are not allowed to leave the country due to their debts continues to grow. During the first quarter, 4.4 million citizens were under travel restrictions, 50% more than last year. The number has been growing for four consecutive years, according to statistics from the Russian Federal Bailiffs Service (FSSP). . . .

The FSSP considers travel restrictions an effective way to influence debtors – between January and March alone, Russians repaid more than 19 billion rubles (around $293 million), 45% more than last year. Travel restrictions can be placed on any citizens who owe more than 10,000 rubles ($154). This includes unpaid credit cards, taxes, alimony, traffic fines, utility bills, etc. The order restricts travel for six months and can be extended repeatedly until the debt is repaid.

The most persistent offenders are banks clients (40% of all debtors under travel restrictions), followed by those owing alimony (20%) and citizens with outstanding traffic fines (10%). People with unpaid utility bills account for 5%, and those who have borrowed from international financial institutions only 1.5%, Izvestia reports.

The increase in the number of debtors is related to the growing number of loans taken out by the general population, believes Igor Nikolaev, director of the Grant Thornton strategic analysis institute. He emphasizes that Russians’ incomes have been declining in recent years, leaving them unable to repay their loans. The bailiffs have also become more active, the expert explained.

According to the Bank of Russia, as of 1 April this year, banks had issued Russian citizens a total of 15.5 trillion rubles (around $239 billion) in loans. The United Credit Bureau reported that in the first quarter of the year, the proportion of delinquencies dropped by 1.9 percentage points year-on-year to 9.8%.

Kolomoisky announces his return to Ukraine to advise Zelensky

He should be in prison.

Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, currently residing in Israel, said that he is ready to help the new president of Ukraine run the country.

In an interview with NTV, he said that he will “go so far as to offer his consultation services” to Vladimir Zelensky, president-elect of Ukraine, after he takes office. At the same time, he admitted that in the last six months he had already given the showman advice “once or twice”.

“I am ready to offer him advice, sometimes I do offer him advice, but this is not happening on a mass scale,” the businessman modestly noted.

Speaking about Zelensky, the oligarch said that he “wanted him to win the election” and hopes that he will cope with the “big burden” he has taken on. Kolomoisky also promised to return to Ukraine after the results were officially released.

The oligarch had already announced his intention to come to Ukraine. Ihor Kolomoisky was going to return between the first and second rounds of the election, but changed his mind because he did not want to add to the “turmoil.