Foreign media digest 28 October 2014


Ukrainian election and its consequences remain one of the central themes in Western media. Western experts emphasize that Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk must communicate in order to complete reforms and retain support from the West. At the same time, Ukraine’s NSDC analysts point out “the gas talks” are progressing very hard, since the EU has got ultimately confused in building communication with Kremlin.


Ukraine’s elections mark a historic break with Russia and its Soviet past. Time “Whatever chance remained for Putin to keep his allies in power in Ukraine now looks to have been lost, and with it he loses his dream of forming a new political alliance made up of the biggest states in the former Soviet Union,” the author ponders. “Putin’s narrative about far-right radicals taking power in Ukraine — during a speech in March, he referred to the leaders of the revolution as a bunch of “neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites” — was also exposed as a fabrication in the course of Sunday’s ballot,” Shuster thinks. Though hard-line nationalists did play a key role in the revolution, few of them made it into parliament. But the real threat to Russia was never from the demagogues of the Ukrainian right. It was from the politicians like President Poroshenko who are determined to set Ukraine on a path toward joining the European Union. That path will not be easy, as Western leaders are hardly eager to welcome Ukraine’s failing economy and its 45 million citizens into the E.U. But the national consensus behind European integration and the lasting break with Russia that this agenda entails is now stronger than at any point in Ukraine’s post-Soviet history, the journalist sums up.

Ukraine’s elections: farewell to the old politics! The Guardian:

Election helps Ukraine to be “European”. The Ukraine party of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (People’s Front) must get along with the party of President Petro Poroshenko (Bloc) The Christian Science Monitor:

Ukraine’s election: hope and hard work for European future. The New York Times:

The Kremlin is willing to compromise. Europe, of course, does not recognize the annexation of the peninsula, but if she agrees not to invoke in the negotiations, Moscow could make concessions about the future of Eastern Ukraine. La Croix: Political analyst Alexander Konovalov, president of the Institute of Strategic Analysis in Moscow, fears a resumption of fighting in eastern Ukraine after the parliamentary elections may resume, correspondent writes. A gas problem cannot be solved without Vladimir Putin’s support. He has decided: no gas without prepayment. And this position could be considered as Kremlin’s rematch against Kiev, which seems to become more independent from Russia, political analyst thinks.

Good news of the early parliamentary election is that right-wing populist parties such as The Right Sector and Svoboda won’t be represented in the new parliament. Tageszeitung:

Tough reforms, struggle with corruption and negotiations about new trade agreements and tough peaceful agreement in the east are what newly elected parliamentarian are facing. Independent: Pro-Western parties were heading for victory today in Ukraine’s parliamentary elections, keeping the nation’s integration with the European Union on track but widening the gulf with the largely pro-Russian eastern provinces which boycotted the poll, Independent writes.


MH-17 chief investigator: Maybe Russians knew more?
Der Spiegel: The chief of the group of 10 Dutch prosecutors who are studying the circumstances of the disaster of Malaysian flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine Fred Vesterbeke told German newspapers that the investigation of the case will last at least another month. Initially, investigations have drawn four possible explanations: an accident, a terrorist attack, surface-to-air missile hitting or an attack by another aircraft. Later versions of the accident and terrorist attack was excluded. “The other two remain,” Vesterbeke reports. The most likely scenario, he said, is the collapse as a result of being hit by a rocket plane “surface-to-air”, but the investigation “does not close our eyes to the possibility that it might have been different.” At the present moment, Russia does not take an active part in the investigation. ” We are preparing a request for assistance, in which we ask Moscow to provide us with the information that could be important. Among other things, those radar data with which the Russians wanted to prove the presence of a Ukrainian military jet near MH17 after the crash,” the investigator said. Maybe Russians knew more?

The article in Der Spiegel that separatists shot down MH17 with Ukrainian BUK-M1 has had an incredible highlight in the European press and on major Western television. But Western media did not say anything that Kyiv denies the fact insurgents could steal BUK, because the entire anti-aircraft unit stationed in Donetsk had been moved to other regions since June 29th (ie two weeks before the tragedy). Il Giornale: “Thus, we do not know the truth in the tragedy of Boeing, but we have two facts: 1) in that damned flight 298 innocent passengers were killed, 2) censorship and disinformation are common to all media, including “democratic and Western,” a journalist concludes.


Rather than waging a draining and losing war to win back all of the east – then having to rebuild its devastated cities – they are advised to concentrate on making a success of the large majority of the country that they still control. They can deny the legality of Russian control. But they should accept its reality. Financial Times: Regular contributor Gideon Rachman column is devoted to the question of admissibility of redrawing European borders.


The Kremlin-backed news channel Russia Today will launch a dedicated UK TV channel. Service, formerly known as Russia Today, has been criticised as a propaganda mouthpiece for the Russian government. Guardian