Bloomberg: Comedian as President Raises Serious Questions for Ukraine
Newsweek: Hacked Emails Appear to Reveal Russia is Backing Comedian Likely to be Ukraine’s Next President
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Photo JMTG-Ukraine CAF
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported that during the week of April 12 – 18, one Ukrainian service member was killed in action and 6 service members were wounded in action on the eastern front. Throughout the week, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire 77 times including 24 times using heavy weapons on Ukrainian positions on the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors of the front.
Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation headquarters reported that while returning fire, Ukrainian forces killed 22 and wounded at least 28 enemy troops in the last week.
2. Operation UNIFIER’s 7th Rotation Starts Performing Its Duties in Ukraine.
TOCA Ceremony in Ukraine. Photo by the CAF in Ukraine
On April 14 the 6th rotation (Roto 6) of the Canadian contingent which a part of operation UNIFIER in Ukraine has passed command to the next, 7th rotation (Roto 7) during the TOCA ceremony – or Transfer of Command Authority. “LCol Pierre Leroux handed over command to LCol Frederick Côté of the Roto 7 has officially commenced,” reads the publication on Facebook account of the Canadian Armed Forces in Ukraine.
Operation UNIFIER is the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) mission to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Since the start of the mission in September 2015, more than 11,100 Ukrainian Security Forces of Ukraine (SFU) candidates have undergone training.
On March 18, 2019, the Government of Canada announced the extension of Operation UNIFIER until the end of March 2022. Canada sends a group of about 200 CAF members to Ukraine every six months. Roto 7 CAF members will be there until the end of March 2022.
3. (Opinion) The Globe and Mail: A Storm of Misinformation is Coming. Our Federal Election Could be at Risk
Image by Niyazz from GettyImages.ca
The likelihood of foreign operators meddling in Canada’s federal elections is high, suggests Eric Jardine, an assistant professor at Virginia Tech, a fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. The scale of influence may be different compared to the 2016 presidential campaign in the United States or Britain during the Brexit campaign, writes Jardine; and that may have to do with relatively small population and “marginal power in comparison to the U.S and the UK.”
According to Jardine it would be a mistake to think that there is something unique about Canada or Canadians that would make it resilient to disruptive foreign influence. The restriction of information via online platforms has also proven to be ineffective. Instead, the author suggests to “have a frank conversation about what it means to be Canadian. We need to talk openly about what we want our politics to look like, what issues we consider socially relevant and how we want to confront the myriad other challenges.”
Suffice it to say that during the recent G7 ministers’ meeting Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland stated “I think our judgment is interference is very likely and we think there has probably already been efforts by malign foreign actors to disrupt our democracy.”
4. (Opinion) The Hill: Ukraine’s Race a Sign of Our Time
Lawrence J. Haas. Screenshot from a YouTube video
The fact that during presidential race in Ukraine a candidate with no political exposure leads in the election leaving behind seasoned politicians reflects the global trend, suggested Lawrence J. Haas, an award-winning journalist and a Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy at the American Foreign Policy Council in his opinion piece in The Hill.
The author stipulates that as “economic stagnation, immigration, and other challenges are fueling disgust with traditional politics,” the voters become increasingly attracted to candidates who offer a fresh face and a new approach that shakes the traditional global order.
“The question is whether, over time, novice leaders (whether in the United States, Ukraine, or elsewhere) adapt to the post-war arrangements that have served the world well for three-quarters of a century, or those arrangements fall victim to unorthodox approaches that new leaders promise and voters seem increasingly willing to try,” writes Haas.
Click here to read the full Lawrence J. Haas opinion piece.
5. The Atlantic Council: Three Predictions for Ukraine’s Presidential Run-off
Photo courtesy of KyivPost
The results of the first round of presidential election in Ukraine demonstrate the disappointment and anger directed toward the current President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, writes Brian Mefford in his article for the Atlantic Council.
Taking into account that Zelenskiy scored a little over 30 percent of the voter support whereas the incumbent president had close to 16 percent of the votes there is about 54 percent of the electorate that can be swayed to vote either way.
“In times of prosperity, the public seeks candidates with great resumes and many achievements, but in times of change the public simply wants new faces,” contemplates Mefford. It looks like President Poroshenko needs to do something different and fast.
Read more about the history of the polls in Ukraine, the thoughts on the upcoming debates and the chance to change the public opinion in Ukraine.
6. Pysanky: The Beautiful Tradition of Ukrainian Easter Eggs and How to Make Your Own
Picture is the screenshot from the video by Ukrainian EggCessories
Tomorrow is Easter Sunday or Pascha which commemorates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and includes the ceremony of the blessing of the food including the eggs by the priest. It is not uncommon for many cultures to decorate their Easter eggs. Interestingly, Easter egg decoration has grown into an art that dates back centuries.
“Known as pysanky, these Ukrainian Easter eggs are decorated using the wax-resist (batik) method. Covered in stunning motifs often taken from Slavic folk art, you’ll also find these decorated eggs in many parts of eastern Europe,” writes Jessica Stewart. In her article Jessica talks about various tools and methods of decorating pysanky.
“Archaeologists have found decorated ceramic eggs to back up this theory and, according to folklore, pysanky can help ward off evil from overtaking the world. Later, this blended with Christian beliefs, though many people still feel that the decorative eggs works to scare off bad spirits from the home,” emphasized Stewart.
Click here to watch the video and read the Jessica Stewart’s article