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60 surprising facts we’ve learned about Ukraine

1. Muslims offering Christians space to perform service in their mosques? This is Ukraine.
2. Jews fraternizing with “right-wing radicals”? This is Ukraine.
3. Russian producers changing bar codes on their goods to non-Russian en masse? This is Ukraine.
4. Jews chanting “Allah Akbar!” walking past a Muslim culture center? This is Ukraine.
5. Russian diaspora supporting Ukrainians and Ukraine? This is Ukraine.
6. Young women raising money to buy batteries for APCs? This is Ukraine.
7. A Jewish oligarch fueling military vehicles at his own expense? This is Ukraine.
8. Civilians voluntarily raising money to restore their army? This is Ukraine.
9. Thousands of men enlist voluntarily instead of dodging draft? This is Ukraine.
10. The Western Ukrainian city of Lviv saving Russian-speaking Crimeans from Russian “liberators”? This is Ukraine.
11. A destitute people raising almost 7 million dollars in a week to support the Armed Forces? This is Ukraine.
12. A library put up amid bloody protests? This is Ukraine.
13. You can write to a minister or Prime Minister on Facebook and get an answer? This is Ukraine.
14. Protesters reading books and playing the piano on the barricades? This is Ukraine.
15. Football fans of every team unite to defend the people’s freedom and peace? This is Ukraine.
16. Singing the anthem when you don’t know what to do? This is Ukraine.
17. The protesters Renovating the Ukrainian House and the Bridge of Lovers damaged during assaults? This is Ukraine.
18. People putting up a modern field hospital in a couple of days? This is Ukraine.
19. You read the news of Berkut assaulting the Maidan and rush to the barricades, leaving your half-naked lover? This is Ukraine.
20. You learn of enemies on the border, leave your paramour and rush to the draft center? This is Ukraine.
21. Orthodox, Catholics, Buddhists, Muslims and Jews praying and holding services together? This is Ukraine.
22. Protesters get refuge in a cathedral and sleep on expensive carpets? This is Ukraine.
23. A suregery block opened in a monastery’s canteen? This is Ukraine.
24. Priets marching in front of rows of protesters in hard hats and carrying shields? This is Ukraine.
25. The wind always blows the tire smoke to the right side? This is Ukraine.
26. Russian occupants persuading a Ukrainian soldier to defect to their side and hear the response: “Russians never surrender!”? This is Ukraine.
27. Soldiers marching on armed enemies with nothing but flags and singing the anthem? This is Ukraine.
28. A small mine-sweeping vessel blocked by four sunk ships and surrounded by traitors and emeny vessels keeps trying to break through for days? This is Ukraine.
29. Yesterday you were a pacifist but today you have several soldiers among your friends on social networks, read military experts and post videos of military vehicles? This is Ukraine.
30. In less than a week amid occupation and sabotage the new government gathers a group of diplomats that manage to get the whole world on their side? This is Ukraine.
31. You speak of an event, say “It was so long ago!”, and then you realize that “long ago” is actually several days back? This is Ukraine…
32. A month ago everyone was telling a politician to go to hell but today everyone is praising him just as passionately? This is Ukraine.
33. Russia’s idee fixe? This is Ukraine.
34. You’ve learned to analyze the media on the fly and tell apart truth and misinformation? This is Ukraine.
35. Laughing so that you don’t cry? This is Ukraine…
36. Millions suddenly becoming patriots? This is Ukraine…
37. A national prophetic poet in ancient clothes suddenly comes to life and his works become topical? This is Ukraine.
38. You understand that the Chinese curse “May you live during a time of changes!” is not a curse anymore, but a good wish? This is Ukraine.
39. One of the first (if not THE first) constitutions in the world? This is Ukraine…
40. The people gathering a presidential candidate’s deposit in two days, no oligarch involved in paying the deposit? This is Ukraine.
41. Parents learning the anthem from their children and singing it in public places? This is Ukraine.
42. Russian, Jews, Moldavians, Hungarians, Poles, Georgians, Armenians, Crimean Tatars, Azerbaijani proudly say “I’m Ukrainian!”? This is Ukraine…
43. Children collecting tires, building barricades and playing Maidan? This is Ukraine.
44. Unarmed soldiers advancing at an armed enemy, singing the anthem they barely know, to protect their country’s pride? This is Ukraine.
45. Cadets at the “city of Russian glory” become a model for the army, taking their first ever voluntary decision and singing the Ukrainian anthem standing in the doors of their dormitory, while Russian occupants watch, mouths agape? This is Ukraine.
46. First raising money for gasoline to burn APCs, then – to fuel them? This is Ukraine.
47. A captive being tortured and paraded naked in the cold becomes a paragon of dignity for men and a sex-symbol for women, and then forgives his torturers? This is Ukraine…
48. Housewives leaving their hearths, students leaving their lovers, grandmas leaving their gossip and everyone rushing to the Maidan to pout Molotov cocktails and crush the pavement for projectiles? This is Ukraine.
49. Men that can’t fix a shelve in the bathroom for two months build a barricade in two hours? This is Ukraine.
50. The majority of the new government speaks fluent English, German, etc.? This is Ukraine…
51. Volunteer doctors going into the firing line to save the wounded, in peacetime? This is Ukraine.
52. Going to anti-government protests with national flags, singing the national anthem? This is Ukraine.
53. A grandma comes to a draft center to enlist, insisting she’s a nurse? This is Ukraine.
54. Foreign tourists greet border guards with “Glory to the heroes”? This is Ukraine!
55. The only country with a legitimately defected president? This is Ukraine.
56. Jews, Russians, Tatars and people of other ethnicities proudly calling themselves Ukrainian nationalists? This is Ukraine.
57. The church helping to arm the military? This is Ukraine.
58. Creating the UN volunteer hundred? This is Ukraine!
59. The people financing state zoos during a crisis? This is Ukraine!
60. An 82-year old standing for a few hours in a queue to volunteer into the military? This is Ukraine!
61. The president, prime-minister or member of parliament seen by chance in a church without security guards? This is Ukraine.
62. The Slavic Ukrainians consider the Turkic Tatars their brethren? This is Ukraine.

[hr] Source:
Translated by Kirill Mikhailov

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February 24: In Debalceve all “red lines” were once again crossed by Russia

February 24 – 1 Ukrainian military was killed and 7 were injured in the ATO area in the last 24 hours, – informed NSDC spokesman Andriy Lysenko.

February 24 – Prosecutor General of Ukraine is preparing to charge twenty employees of Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) with organizing and participating in mass shootings of protesters during the Revolution of Dignity (in Ukraine) in February 2014.

February 24 – Terrorists are transferring military machinery and manpower closer to Mariupol direction, – said NSDC spokesman Andriy Lysenko.

February 24 – If Mariupol is seized, this could become the last psychological barrier needed by the West to change its policies and would mean the death of armistice agreements, – said Marshal of the Sejm of Poland Radoslaw Sikorski, reports Newsweek Polska.

February 24 – At a meeting of the State Council of Defence of Lithuania it has been decided to initiate a return to compulsory military service. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite has compulsory military service may be needed due to changes in the region's geopolitical situation.

February 24 – Poland has sent a note to the Russian Foreign Ministry with a request to provide the wreckage of Tu-154 M, which "crashed" near Smolensk in April 2010. Polish President Lech Kaczynski and almost the entire political elite of Poland were killed in this airplane crash.

February 24 – Ukraine believes that it is necessary to reform the UN Security Council considering the fact that a member of the Security Council is now an aggressor, – stated Ukraine's Foreign Ministry spokesman Yevhen Perebiynis at a briefing, when commenting on the situation with Russia frequently blocking decisions on Ukraine.

February 24 – In Paris, foreign ministers of "Normandy Four" have failed to reach an agreement regarding the situation in Debaltseve, – informed Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin after the meeting, reports BBC: "Unfortunately, there was no political decision on how to regard what happened in Debaltseve".

February 24 – "Novaya Gazeta" newspaper has published a summary of the document describing Kremlin's scenario on events in Ukraine. The document contains a phased plan of dismantling Ukraine as a state. The text has been made public on newspaper's website. When planning a war in Ukraine, Putin's entourage hoped to start dismantling Ukraine from Crimea and Kharkiv oblasts, not Donetsk. The document was presented to Putin between February 4 and 12, 2014 – before Yanukovych fled to Russia.

February 24 – Official Kyiv is appealing to the international community to formulate new sanctions against Russia for not fulfilling the Minsk agreements – speaker of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Yevhen Perebyinis: "By their actions Russia is demonstrating that it has no intentions of fulfilling the Minsk Agreements, in particular, to immediately remove, as it is stipulated by the agreement, their soldiers and artillery from the territory of Ukraine. In this situation we are convinced, that in the world community there remains no other choice than to force Russia towards peace by creating new, more active restrictive efforts."

According to him, "all" "red lines" were once again crossed by Russia, and therefore stopping Kremlin is only possible through immediate consolidated acts of the whole civilized world."

As is known, after the signature of the Minsk Agreement of February 12th, the fighters did not stop the firing and took over Debaltseve, left by the Ukrainian army. Also Russia decided to "exclude from the Minsk Agreement" the release of the captured by it, Nadiya Savchenko, by which it invoked indignation in Ukraine. Nadiaya Savchenko is presently in her 74th day of a hunger strike.

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January 2: The enemy began to group its battle formations and is relocating them closer to advanced positions of Ukrainian troops in the ATO area

Maidan Community Sector, Lviv: Dear friends!

January 2 – One Ukrainian military was killed and 5 were wounded in the ATO are in the last 24 hours, – informed NSDC spokesman Andriy Lysenko.

January 2 – Russian terrorists have carried out 16 provocative shooting attacks on Ukrainian military positions, – informs ATO press center. By using small arms, rocket launchers and mortars, the terrorists fired at Donetsk airport (during the night), and by using small arms only – are near Chornukhyne village. The villages/towns of Stryi Aydar, Zolote, Popasna, Vuhlehirsk, Chermalyk have also suffered the effects of mortar attacks.

January 2 – The enemy began to group its battle formations and is relocating them closer to advanced positions of Ukrainian troops in the ATO area, – informs "Information Resistance" group.

January 2 – 2 new enemy formations, which include up to 200 people and 6 armored vehicles, have been recorded near the city of Volnovakha.

January 2 – Aamphibious self-propelled howitzer 2S1 "Gvozdika" has been recorded south of Starobeshevo (4 "Gvozdika" howitzers and several KAMAZ trucks with ammunition).

January 2 – Close to the town of Tryokhizbenka the terrorists have again started to practice "wandering tanks" tactics (they are using these tactics near Donetsk airport as well). Tank crew mostly consists of regular military of Russian Federation.

January 2 – The enemy has relocated an artillery group to its first line near the town of Granitne.

January 2 – Among the terrorists killed during an attack in the village of Pisky (close to Donetsk airport) 4 marines of the Russian Black Sea Fleet were identified, – informs "Information Resistance" group.

January 2 – Pro-Russian terrorists of the so-called "DNR" are mobilizing underage children into their gangs. This was announced by ATO spokesman Andriy Lysenko during the traditional Friday briefing: "According to the reconnaisance, with the goal of completing the evident gang formations, which the leadership of the so-called "DNR" is carrying out on the occuppied territories of the so-called "volunteer" mobilization of the local residents between the age of 16-18," he said.

Lysenko reminded that the involvement of under-age children in participating in the army actions and army services is a deep violation of the International Humanitarian Legal Law, especially Article 38 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children.

Janaury 1 – In 2014 Russia established a series of anti-records. The gross national product of Russia, as of November 2014, for the first time since 2009 went into a minus level, the decrease constituted 0.5%.

This is not the only anti-record of the year – on December 15th, the exchange rate of a ruble to he dollar of the year had n a few hours decreased more than 8.5%. Until that moment the Russian money from the beginningof the year had devalued almost twice the amount.

The devaluation of the Russian ruble was preceeded by the lowering of gas prices throughout five months – due to the strengthening of the sanctions by EU and USA and Russian "anti-sanctions".

The decisions of the countries of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to not decrease the quota of procuring gas, deteriorated the situation. After that the price for raw materials decreased, speeeding up the loss of capital from Russia and the inflation of the ruble.

The devaluation of the Russian ruble was preceeded by the lowering of gas prices throughout five months – due to the strengthening of the sanctions by EU and USA and Russian "anti-sanctions".

The decisions of the countries of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to not decrease the quota of procuring gas, deteriorated the situation. After that the price for raw materials decreased, speeeding up the loss of capital from Russia and the inflation of the ruble.

The gold currency reserves of Russia continued to decrease, while the rating of support for Putin's actions, increased. This year the ministry of the Economic Development of Russia examined the official prognosis about the inflation of the ruble three times. The beginning prognosis to the end of the year was increased almost twice – from 4.8% to 9%. Realistically, as the Russian Minister of Finances Anton Syluanov stated on December 25th, "according to the year's summary, most probably the inflation will quickly rise to 11.5%, and possibly even somewhat higher."

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