Archive for January 10th, 2017

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The Savchenko Lists (Unclassified)

January 10, 2017

It appears Nadya Savchenko has released a long, long list of names for exchange between Ukraine and the “Republics” on her Facebook page.

More accurately she released a long list of 524 names in several categories.  Category 1 prisoners of war, category 2, political prisoners, plus hundreds of missing persons.

A regular reader will note the deliberate absence of a link to her Facebook page for several reasons.  The first is that Nadya Savchenko admits that the list may not be accurate.  The second is that the release occurred without the blessing of the Ukrainian security services – and for reasons that are more than reasonable.

Although it has to be said that the names released are perhaps more de jure classified than de facto, the SBU doesn’t enjoy the absolute parliamentary immunity as Ms Savchenko currently does.  Ergo they have to be mindful of the laws regarding data protection – and unlike Ms Savchenko may well have to deal with any aftermath when it comes to threats, blackmail or confidence tricksters targeting relatives.

Whether or not the tacit nod of the SBU was given is not irrelevant but it not the purpose of this entry.

Further whether there prove to be benefits or setbacks from this release for those held is also not the issue at hand.

What caught the eye was part of a statement made by Ms Savchenko – “An MP has the right to access all state secrets at the highest level.  We MPs are not accountable to the SBU, we can cooperate.  I will continue to cooperate and collaborate regularly with all the services, because they are very much closed. It’s really the power structure that protects Ukraine, so of course I will cooperate with them. And we continue to cooperate.”

Leaving aside the longstanding issue of the absolute lack of accountability of parliamentarians, what is simply striking about her statement is “An MP has the right to access all state secrets at the highest level”.

If that be so Ukraine has no, and will never have, any State Secrets – ever.

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Belarus grants Visa Free to 80 nations (for 5 day periods)

January 10, 2017

Somewhat surprisingly politically, despite the obvious underlying economic intent, the long-standing President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has signed a decree granting 80 nations Visa-free status with Belarus – albeit on;y for a period of 5 days at a time.

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Now who saw that coming?

Nevertheless, any reader now with a hassle-free chance to visit Minsk should do so!

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