Moscow extends counter-sanctions on U.S., its vassals

Russia has extended counter-sanctions on the European Union and other countries until December 31, 2018 in retaliation to the West’s action against Moscow. Specifically, Russia banned wholesale imports of agricultural produce, primary commodities and food products from the United States and its vassals including Canada, Australia and Iceland.

The Kremlin stated that restrictions are aimed at some countries in consideration of the extent of their involvement in the Brussels bloc of sanctions against Russia. Reportedly, the counter-sanctions are helping spur the development of Russian agriculture.

According to analyst Kevin Massengill, President Vladimir Putin perfectly understands that patience and strategic positioning are the keys to a successful endgame for Russia.

‘Russian Threat’ created to justify vast budget for U.S. military/security complex

Commenting on the significant expansion of U.S. sanctions against Russian individuals and legal entities, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov pointed out that this decision prevents Moscow from continuing a dialog with Washington.

According to him, it is disquieting that this step, motivated by domestic political consideration in the United States, pursues the same path of destroying relations between the two countries, which was taken by the Obama regime.

“Regrettably, the new American leadership is taking its cue from inveterate Russophobes in U.S. Congress, which simply ran out of ideas of annoying us and, most importantly, obliterating any prospects for recovering balance in Russia-U.S. relations,” stated Mr. Ryabkov.

Paul Craig Roberts, chairman of the Institute for Political Economy, wrote that U.S. president Trump, being in real estate and entertainment, was unaware of the landmines he was stepping on when he said it was time to normalize relations with Russia and to rethink the purpose of NATO. The U.S. military/security complex sits on a budget extracted from very hard-pressed American taxpayers of $1,000 billion annually. By threatening to normalize relations with the enemy, which was created in order to justify this vast budget, Trump presented as the major threat to the American National Security State’s power and profit.

It is important to note that the budget for the U.S. military/security complex is the largest in the world. It includes not only the Pentagon’s budget but also the budget of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies and the Department of Energy, which is the location of the Oak Ridge nuclear weapons plant and 16 other laboratories.

At present, analysts think Trump is clueless about what he is doing in the White House and is being advised by a cacophonous coterie of amateurs and nincompoops. So, he has no action plan except to impulsively reach for his Twitter account.

KPI implements four worthwhile projects within SPS Program

By Vladimir V. Sytin
The Ukrainian Times

The four projects implemented by scientists of Igor Sikorsky Kiev Polytechnic Institute (KPI) serve as a concrete example of successful scientific cooperation between Ukrainian universities and NATO within the framework of the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Program. These projects are:

1. “Development of Mine and IED Recognition System Based on Ultrawideband Technology” (Prof. Sergey Bunin, Partner Country Project Manager, Institute of Telecommunication Systems), funding totals EUR300,000

2. “Long-Range Stand-Off Microwave Radar for Personnel Protection” (Prof. Viktor Naidenko, Partner Country Project Manager, Faculty of Radio Engineering), funding totals EUR200,000

3. “Infrared Transparent Windows for High-Speed Aerial Vehicles” (Andrei Ragulya, Partner Country Project Manager and Corresponding Member of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine), funding totals EUR420,500.

4. “Modeling and Mitigation of Social Disasters Caused by Catastrophes and Terrorism” (Prof. Natalia Pankratova, Partner Country Project Manager, Institute for Applied System Analysis), funding totals EUR120,000

Overall, the above projects are valued at a total of 1,040,500 euros that is equivalent to some 30 million grivnas. This sum is about 1.5 times national budget allocations to the KPI.

According to Mikhail Ilchenko, KPI Vice-Rector for Scientific Work, in addition to purely financial aspects of the implementation of the projects assigned by the NATO Research Council, their peculiarities are as follows:

– Considerable funds are allocated to buy research equipment and measuring units. In particular, KPI received modern speedy oscillographs, signal generators, spectrum analyzers, vector circle analyzers, industrial equipment designed for powder production of thermally, optically and mechanically compatible infrared transparent materials, among others.

– The complexity of problems being solved requires international cooperation. In this context, the Ukrainian-Norwegian joint project of developing the mine and IED recognition system based on ultrawideband technology can serve as an example. Original research on properties of ultrawideband signals was conducted by Ukrainian scientists led by Prof. Sergey Bunin of KPI while microchips of future mine detectors were made by their peers of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology led by Prof. Tor Sverre Lande. The developed mine detector will be capable of pinpointing plastic and metal mines in any ground at a depth of up to 0.5 meter, and their 3D image is displayed on the monitor of the device. The results of the first phase of this project were presented to Dr. Eyup Turmus, SPS Science Advisor. According to experts’ estimates, this Ukrainian-Norwegian project is expected to make a breakthrough, solving the problems of mine clearing the world over.

– The portable microwave radar for personnel protection is being developed with the participation of KPI scientists. It is supposed to detect hidden weapons on the body of a certain person pinpointed in a crowd at a distance of 20 meters, particularly knives, pistols, grenades and the like. This information can help take timely relevant preventive measures. Also, the implementation of this project serves as the example of international cooperation. Specifically, Ukrainian scientists led by Prof. Viktor Naidenko are developing generators of ultrashort video pulses in the range of 150-200 picoseconds and specialized ultrabroadband antennas designed for their emission. At the same time, their Canadian peers at the Hamilton-based McMaster University, who are led by Prof. Natalia Koleva Nikolova are working on receivers of the above signals, as well as on their special processing and identification to get output information for radar users.

– The NATO project entitled “Infrared Transparent Ceramic Windows for High-Speed Aerial Vehicles” tackles the problem of developing IR-transparent materials for modern high-speed vehicles, particularly self-guided missile systems. The know-how of the project is based on the application of the technology of spark plasma sintering. This technology is of Ukrainian origin and it enables the creation of non-porous, superhard and refractory materials with exceptional mechanical properties in terms of hardness and strength. The practical development of theses materials has become possible, thanks to industrial equipment for powder production of materials under conditions of regulated pressure, vacuum and ultrahigh current. The equipment was acquired at the expense of the NATO project in the amount of 240,000 euros.

– And the fourth NATO project, which is carried out in KPI, deals with the development of tools to process large volumes of unstructured information generated by the mass media and the public. The results of this project help monitor and predict social processes, especially during social disturbances and disasters, particularly those caused by acts of terrorism. Research principles of this project relate to the know-how to evolve mechanisms of predicting and building quality models fit to describe social disasters. The situational analytical center of monitoring, detection and reaction to social disasters, which was established at the expense of the project, is using the developed techniques that provide decision-making support regarding the best practices to eliminate and reduce the negative consequences of a social disaster in the context of sustainable development and a fight against terrorism.

The essence of each of the four projects implemented by Igor Sikorsky KPI demonstrates conformity between tasks performed by this university and aims of the Science for Peace and Security Program.

It must be noted that the large scientific potential is concentrated in Ukrainian universities whose research is represented by the Council of Vice-Rectors for Scientific Work on a voluntary basis. Undoubtedly, its involvement in the tasks set by the Science for Peace and Security Program is requisite. The Council held preliminary consultations with heads of several universities. The following universities are ready to implement projects:

1. Kharkov Karazin National University – eight projects.

2. Odessa Mechnikov National University – two more projects, one of them being carried out already.

3. Uzhgorod National University – one project.

4. Igor Sikorsky KPI – four more projects.

5. Vinnitsa National Technical University – one project.

6. Dnepr National Metallurgical Academy of Ukraine – eight projects.

7. Kremenchug National University – one project.

The project proposals of Ukrainian universities offer concrete engineering developments in the field of security and defense, including cyber security and counter measures against external threats in information space, ecological and energy security, the impact of climate change on the defense capability, development of electronic warfare systems, protected telecommunication systems, georadars, identification of unsanctioned enclosures of radioactive materials on a masking background when transporting large objects, etc.

And last but not the least, the experience of the implementation of projects within the NATO Program is undoubtedly positive. However, the effectiveness of enlisting the great potential of Ukraine’s science to implement the NATO Program will be higher if scientific circles solve the problem of registration of NATO projects with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine. So far, the registration in this country is the machine, which you go into as a pig and come out as a sausage.

Kiev deludes itself into thinking that privatization brings in capital

By Vladimir V. Sytin
The Ukrainian Times

The State Property Fund of Ukraine will hold a competition on July 4 to select experts who could evaluate the state-owned block of shares of the Odessa port chemical plant that is subject to privatization. In addition, the fund has established the commission that is supposed to inventory plant’s property until July 25. Readers of The Ukrainian Times know that 99.56% of shares of the Odessa enterprise were estimated at from $800 million to $1.5 billion.

Previously, State Property Fund made the decision to privatize the Black Sea Shipping Company whose fixed assets are estimated at more than 83 million grivnas.

In Soviet times, the state-owned company boasted a fleet of 400 ships. Unfortunately, most ships were transferred to offshore companies during the Kravchuk era of disastrous selloffs. In 1992 the Black Sea Shipping Company had 225 vessels, whereas the only one self-propelled scow Parutine remained at the enterprise by 2008.

The Odessa Regional Economic Court declared bankruptcy of the Black Sea Shipping Company in 2003. In February 2006, the debt-ridden enterprise started undergoing reorganization.

In addition, the plan for privatization of state-owned enterprises envisages the sale of the state water-ways enterprise UstDunaiVodDor and blue-chip companies, such as CentrEnergo (UX: CEEN) valued at $1 billion, the Kharkov-based turbine company Turboatom, which is 75% owned by the state, and the Zaporozhye titanomagnesium plant (51% owned by the state), the only producer of sponge titanium in Europe.

Observers agree that using privatization to cover a short-term budget problem creates a larger long-term problem. The profits of Ukrainian enterprises would flow out of this country, reducing the grivna’s exchange rate. In effect, allowing foreigners to acquire Ukraine’s national assets helps them to speculate against the grivna. Critics say a puppet government’s policy to get foreign loans at any price and to sell off the remnants of Ukrainian industry is the road to nowhere.

According to politologist Paul Craig Roberts, privatization is the vehicle to undercut economic sovereignty and increase profits by raising prices. Today
privatization is a way that government can reward cronies by giving them valuable public resources for a low price. In the United States, deregulation has resulted in high prices and poor services.

In Russia, the government was under a delusion that privatization brings in capital. This delusion caused the Russian government to turn over 20% of its oil company to foreign ownership. The only thing achieved by this strategic blunder was to deliver 20% of its oil profits into foreign hands.

Designer of unique aerostatic lift-and-carry machine seeks investors

Recently, Viktor Abeliants, author and manager of a large-scale project, has applied to the Kiev Polytechnic Institute (KPI), which cooperates with many educational and commercial institutions, for assistance in promotion of his engineering development.

It must be noted that the KPI participated in the project as well. Unfortunately, Ukraine is not ready to complete the project for reasons beyond control.

The project was carried out by Russian and Ukrainian leading aerospace research institutes and organizations. The technical proposal and sketch design of a disk-shaped aerostatic lift-and-carry machine with a hoisting capacity of 250-400 tons (APTS) were made on the basis of the results of research. This work was done to order of the Korolev research and production association Energia while the Ministry of Defense of the U.S.S.R. financed the project. The APTS was included in the State Plan of the Ministry of the Aircraft Industry of the U.S.S.R., and to date it has been seen as the highly efficient and topical project that is unique in world practice. After Ukraine achieved self-determination in 1991, the customer cut off funding and the work within the framework of the project was suspended.

The project is built on the mass-produced, well-mastered Antonov An-12 military transport airplane (NATO codename “Cub”). APTS is distinguished by high performance and a low production cost owing to a small amount of preliminary studies, use of mass-produced devices, equipment, units, materials whose unification accounted for 80%, few skilled personnel that was smaller in number than the group of specialists required to develop and manufacture a dirigible or aircraft with a similar hoisting capacity.

The work, which has been done already, enables any modern aircraft construction company specializing in the design and manufacture of medium and long-range aircraft to complete the project for a short period and at low costs provided the companies have cutting-edge technologies, production capacities, materials, scientific and technical personnel. Reportedly, U.S. and European aircraft construction companies have been taking an active part in the projects of building large cargo aircraft in various countries for many years.

The problem is that such a large-scale project can be implemented by the well-organized, consolidated institution, which incorporates not only investors and consumers but also general makers, suppliers of component parts, financiers, stakeholders and even natural persons. Undoubtedly, it is necessary to start seeking investors and basic manufacturers. This task requires a high professional level, the wide experience of organizational work and management expertise. Work done by the experts who have the above skills is considered as a determining factor at the present stage.

Additional information:

In Trieste, Western Balkan PMs to start forming customs union

As expected, prime ministers of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Serbian province of Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia will meet in the Italian city of Trieste within the framework of the 4th Berlin Process Summit to sign a document concerning the establishment of the Western Balkan common market. Initially, the agenda is supposed to include a discussion about the integrated digital network that will allow member countries to cut tariffs on roaming services within the single economic area.

Readers of The Ukrainian Times know that Aleksandar Vucic, Prime Minister of Serbia, put forward the initiative to form the Balkan Customs Union. Basic principles of the customs union include the renunciation by member countries of internal tariffs and duties, removal of all restrictions on the movement of goods, as well as the adoption of common customs tariffs.

The documents about the basic principles and terms of operation of the Balkan Customs Union read to the effect that GDP of the countries, which may join the organization, totalled $243.5 billion last year and their population exceeds 18 million. According to Mr. Vucic, the initiative would not only expand a trade turnover within the region but also promote economic growth and a higher standard of living in the member countries of the Balkan Customs Union.

Avangard makes cutting-edge missile complexes and more

In Russia, the Moscow-based engineering plant Avangard is the only manufacturer of missiles designed for the famous S-300 air defense systems, cutting-edge S-400 and awesomely fantastic S-500 missile complexes. Given that Avangard is the integrated plant, it makes not only missiles but also transport launching containers of these weapons.

In the 1960s, Avangard manufactured the missile designed for the S-75 air defense system that shot down the hawkish John McCain as he flew over a bridge near Hanoi in 1967. He ejected upside down moments before his plane crashed, suffering injuries that have plagued him ever since.

The American aggressor spent more than five years as a prisoner of war. The photo of the naked young Vietnamese girl fleeing down the road in terror from the American napalm behind her made Soviet people aware that Washington’s war crimes cry for vengeance. Let McCain’s fate be a lesson to other war hawks in the United States and their European vassals.

Russia develops infrastructure in Crimea

According to the Russian Ministry of Transportation, the installation of arched spans of a bridge across the Kerch Strait will be completed by winter. As a result, the Crimean and Kuban coasts will be connected by the structure. Vehicular traffic on the bridge is expected to kick-start at the end of next year while railroad communication between Crimea and Kuban or the Krasnodar Territory will be established in 2019.

In addition, the federal highway Taurida 280 kilometers long is under construction in Crimea already. It will connect the cities of Kerch, Simferopol and Sevastopol with the bridge across the Kerch Strait.

Ideation launches new platform for innovation management

Recently, Ideation Inc., a U.S. company focusing on solutions to help innovators commercialize their innovations, has launched a new platform for innovation management, promotion, licensing, technology transfer and commercialization. It should be mentioned that Ideation is partnering with Ukrainian Global & Trade Investor Inc. in Ukraine to provide local presence for its program.

According to Chief Technology Officer Vic Korsun, Ukrainian scientists may register as Subject Matter Experts (SME). As SME, they can become available for hire as consultants and may be asked to do Patent Assessments. The payment for a Patent Assessment is planned to be $100 for a four-hour technical assessment in good English.

In addition, researchers may be asked to do Contract R&D in their Field of Expertise, as well as they can register recent technologies and products that they believe are valuable for commercial and industrial applications.

Mr. Korsun notes that there will be no charge for any of these services and no commission on transactions unless they are with parties outside of Ukraine in which case a small commission of 7.5% will be charged to compensate parties involved in finding the licensees or clients of technology developed by Ukrainian scientists and services but only once the payment has been received by its authors.

Importantly, the first 50,000 members will be given a lifetime charter membership for free and will be permanently identified as charter members.

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