політичні новини

Столичні укриття обладнають автоматизованою системою доступу – КМДА

«Використання ворогом балістичної зброї спонукає створювати додаткові укриття в оперативній доступності для людей насамперед у спальних районах міста»

Більшість українців не допускає територіальних поступок для припинення війни – опитування

Лише 10% респондентів вважають, що для досягнення миру і збереження незалежності можна відмовитися від деяких територій

Reporting on Serbian Leader’s Links to Criminal Groups Raises Questions for US

In early May, The New York Times Magazine published an in-depth story about Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic with details about his alleged connections with a criminal group that is being prosecuted for a range of crimes including drug trafficking and murder.

The story drew broad attention internationally, not just in the Balkans where local investigative outlets have reported many of the same allegations, which Vucic denies.

The State Department declined to comment on the merit of the allegations in the story, however at least one high-ranking State Department official shared the story on social media. And the allegations were raised last month during a congressional hearing about the Western Balkans.

Outside analysts though have been vocal.

“It’s a shocking and horrific story that the highest levels of government are so intertwined with criminal enterprises. I think we have seen this in enough other nations that it is a growing concern, the conflation between authoritarian governments and criminal networks,” Gary Kalman, executive director of Transparency International USA, told VOA’s Serbian Service.

“It’s terrible. It’s too bad,” said Susan Rose-Ackerman, professor of law and political science at Yale University, who co-authored the book “Corruption and Government.” She told VOA that connections between people in political power and organized crime create an extreme version of political corruption.

The Times story reported that the connections between police and the criminal group, led by a soccer hooligan Veljko Belivuk, nicknamed Trouble, were well documented. The story also claimed “there is little doubt that Belivuk and his gang are in prison because Europol cracked the code” of the phone-messaging app through which they communicated.

Author Robert Worth reported that Belivuk testified in court that “his gang had been organized ‘for the need and by the order of Aleksandar Vucic.'” He added that the group, among others, used to intimidate political rivals and prevent fans at soccer games from chanting against Vucic.

Worth also wrote that he is skeptical that Vucic was unaware of all the groups did since Vucic “now exercises near-total control over almost every aspect of public life” in Serbia.

International context

Vucic has been in politics since the 1990s. He served as information minister to Slobodan Milosevic, where he led a crackdown on the press, and he publicly voiced support for Serbian war criminals.

His Serbian Progressive Party has now been in power for more than 10 years, during which he was also a prime minister.

Vucic’s spokespeople declined Worth’s requests for comments, but in an interview for pro-government Happy TV in Serbia, Vucic said that the “preposterous New York Times story was ordered” and that he understands it as a message during the dialogue about normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, which Serbia has never recognized.

“I know how they do it,” said Vucic for Happy TV. “You know, CIA sets you up, CIA watches you, if you don’t behave well and don’t listen, this is only the beginning.”

It has become common practice in past years that Serbian authorities denote any criticism as treason, conspiracy against the country or a plot to overthrow the government.

Both Worth and The New York Times denied such allegations.

VOA interviewees noted that the most significant aspect of the story was the fact that it was published in English, in a reputable outlet with a great number of readers.

“It is an exposé of Aleksandar Vucic and his government. And it put it in an international context, given that it’s The New York Times,” Tanya Domi, professor at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, told VOA. “Everybody is reading this.”

Is Serbia a reliable partner for the United States?

“Is this reporting credible?” Senator Bob Menendez asked the State Department’s counselor Derek Chollet during a May hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about U.S. policy toward the Western Balkans, referencing the Times story.

“We believe it is. I can’t speak to the specifics of the article, but there is absolutely a lot of corruption,” replied Chollet, with Gabriel Escobar, State Department deputy assistant secretary, sitting next to him.

“So what are the real prospects for a reliable partner in Serbia with that background?” Menendez asked.

“We’re doing this with eyes open, but we are holding Vucic to account and his colleagues to account for their corruption, for their behavior and activity,” said Chollet, noting that corruption is a major issue in the whole region.

But in an interview for VOA’s Bosnian Service, Kurt Bassuener, senior associate at the Democratization Policy Council, pointed out that the U.S. has not sanctioned any Vucic administration official for corruption as it has done in some neighboring countries.

“They essentially dodged it,” Bassuener said of State Department officials. “They didn’t deal with any of the substance. And I think that’s emblematic of the overarching policy, which is pacification toward the region.”

Domi believes the United States and the West are pursuing the idea that Serbia is “a stabilizing force in the region.” But if the goal of such foreign policy toward the Western Balkans is to draw Serbia closer to the West and further from Russia, Domi says there is no proof such a strategy works.

Serbia is one of the rare European countries that has not introduced sanctions against Russia, and there is a strong pro-Russian sentiment in the country.

Transparency International’s Kalman said Washington’s strategy with Serbia could shift in the future.

“I think there is a possibility that the U.S., given sort of Serbia’s role and where it sits in the world, that they might put some pressure on to try and improve things in Serbia,” he said.

“How far they push and whether or not they are concerned that the Serbian government will start an alliance with countries and interests that the U.S. counter to their national security, and so then they back up. I don’t know the answer to that question,” Kalman said.

Trump Indicted Over Handling of Classified Documents

In a stunning development, a federal grand jury in Florida indicted former U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday over his retention of sensitive government documents after he left the White House.

The Justice Department informed Trump that he had been indicted and asked him to make his first court appearance in Miami on Tuesday, the former president confirmed on his social media platform.

“The corrupt Biden Administration has informed my attorneys that I have been Indicted, seemingly over the Boxes Hoax,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform, apparently alluding to boxes of documents seized by the FBI from his Florida estate last August.

The indictment remains under seal, but seven news outlets, citing sources familiar with the case, said it contains several criminal charges.

In a request for a search warrant for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate last year, the FBI listed three statutes that may have been breached.

The first is part of the Espionage Act and prohibits the unauthorized transmission or retention of “national defense information” such as classified government documents.

Another statute concerns obstruction of a federal investigation by destroying, altering and falsifying records.

Violations of the two statutes are punishable by as much as 10 to 20 years in prison.

The indictment makes Trump the first former president to be charged in federal court. He is facing separate charges in New York state of falsifying business records to hide a hush money payment to an adult film star in 2016. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.

Evan Corcoran, an attorney for Trump, did not immediately respond to a VOA request for comment.

The Justice Department had been investigating Trump since early last year after learning from the National Archives that the former president stashed hundreds of sensitive government documents at his Florida resort and thwarted government efforts to retrieve them.

The FBI search of Mar-a-Lago last August led to the discovery of more than 100 classified documents.

In all, prosecutors have retrieved more than 300 classified government documents from Trump bearing various classification markings, including “top secret/sensitive compartmented information,” the highest level of classification.

The investigation was led through most of last year by the Justice Department. But Trump’s announcement in November that he was running for president prompted Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint Jack Smith, a former career Justice Department prosecutor, as special counsel.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing in connection with the documents, calling the investigation a witch hunt designed to sabotage his bid for reelection.

He also claimed that he had a standing order to declassify all documents taken from the Oval Office to the White House residence.

But prosecutors have reportedly obtained a 2021 audio recording in which Trump acknowledged that he had retained a classified Pentagon document, which contradicts his claim that he had declassified all documents.

The indictment can’t prevent Trump from forging ahead with his presidential campaign.

In fact, former federal prosecutor John Malcolm noted, there are no laws that would stop him from running, even if he is convicted.

“There have been people who have run for office from prison cells,” Malcolm said.

In 2002, former Representative Jim Traficant ran for his old congressional seat while serving a prison sentence for corruption.

«Укргідроенерго» звернулось до ЄСПЛ через руйнування Каховської ГЕС

Компанія «Укргідроенерго» повідомила, що звернулася до Європейського суду з прав людини (ЄСПЛ) та проінформувала суд в межах справи «Ukrgidroenergo, PAT v. Russia» про «вчинений Росією терористичний акт».

«З метою якнайшвидшого захисту порушених прав та інтересів компанія просить суд розглянути можливість визначити першочерговість розгляду відповідної справи у зв’язку з терористичними діями Росії. Варто відзначити, що організований підрив греблі, що є об’єктом критично-важливої соціальної інфраструктури, порушує Женевську конвенцію, зокрема, Перший додатковий протокол до Женевських конвенцій, що стосується захисту жертв міжнародних збройних конфліктів від 8 червня 1977 року, який встановив перелік об’єктів, які не можуть бути об’єктами нападу. Крім того, вчинені Росією дії грубо порушили порядок ведення війни, створили додаткові та невиправдані ризики для життя, здоров’я та майна цивільних осіб, а також призвели до пошкодження та знищення майна Укргідроенерго, яке, за попередньою оцінкою, відновленню не підлягає», – йдеться у заяві компанії.

У компанії кажуть, що ЄСПЛ вже прийняв до розгляду позов «Укргідроенерго» проти РФ щодо компенсації збитків через воєнну агресії проти України.

«Загальна сума заявлених збитків, завданих активам компанії – Каховській ГЕС та недобудованій вітровій електростанції на острові Зміїний, за незалежною експертною оцінкою, сягнула майже 17 млрд грн», – йдеться в повідомленні.

6 червня генпрокурор України Андрій Костін підписав документ, яким Міжнародному кримінальному суду у Гаазі надається вся необхідна інформація стосовно руйнування дамби Каховської ГЕС.

За даними ОГП, Костін поінформував прокурора МКС Каріма Хана «про підрив дамби Каховської ГЕС російськими окупаційними військами».

«Зробимо все, щоб притягнути винних до відповідальності. Ми відкриті до співпраці з МКС і готові надавати всі необхідні докази, які збирають і обробляють прокурори, для встановлення і покарання усіх причетних до цього злочину», – зазначив Костін.

У свою чергу, російська служба ВВС сьогодні повідомила, що у четвер російські представники виступили у МКС із звинуваченнями на адресу України щодо руйнування Каховської ГЕС.

На світанку 6 червня стало відомо про руйнування дамби Каховської ГЕС. Українська влада звинуватила у підриві дамби російські окупаційні сили, які захопили і контролюють гідроелектростанцію від 24 лютого 2022 року. Російські окупаційна влада натомість стверджує, що це ЗСУ вночі обстріляли і пошкодили дамбу Каховської ГЕС.

У компанії «Укргідроенерго» переконані, що руйнування окупованої Каховської ГЕС спричинив вибух всередині станції, і що такий вибух стався у трьох місцях.

США і Велика Британія заявляють, що поки зарано говорити, що спричинило руйнування Каховської ГЕС.

В умовах евакуації населення армія РФ вдарила по Херсону. На Миколаївщині є перша жертва затоплення

Південь України третій день бореться з наслідками масштабного затоплення територій через руйнування Каховської ГЕС

Trump’s Lawyers Notified That Former President Is Target of Classified Documents Probe

Federal prosecutors have notified former U.S. President Donald Trump’s attorneys that he is the target of an investigation into his handling of classified materials, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, adding to his legal troubles as he campaigns for the White House in 2024. 

The Justice Department typically notifies people when they become targets of an investigation to give them an opportunity to present their own evidence before a grand jury. The notification does not necessarily mean Trump will be charged.  

News of the notification to Trump’s legal team surfaced just two days after his attorneys met with Justice Department officials to discuss the case.  

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Trump’s attorneys in the documents case could not be reached for comment. 

Trump’s legal team was notified on Monday, the person said. Although there are some signs that the documents investigation is coming to a close, the timing of when a person is told they are a target cannot necessarily be used as a predictor of when charges might be brought, said David Schoen, an attorney who represented Trump ally Steve Bannon during his criminal trial on contempt of Congress charges. 

“Sometimes they are issued at the beginning of a long investigation and sometimes at the conclusion of an investigation,” he said. 

Trump, the front-runner in the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has repeatedly described the multiple investigations as politically motivated.  

A federal grand jury has been investigating Trump’s retention of classified materials after leaving the White House in 2021. 

A second criminal investigation is looking into alleged efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn his 2020 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

A spokesperson for Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is leading the probes, declined to comment. 

Thousands of documents 

Investigators in August 2022 seized roughly 13,000 documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. One hundred of these were marked as classified, even though one of Trump’s lawyers had previously said that all records with classified markings had been returned.  

Trump has defended his retention of documents, suggesting that he declassified them while he was president. However, Trump has not provided evidence of this, and his attorneys have not made that argument in court filings. 

Trump handed over 15 boxes of records in January 2022, a year after leaving office, but federal officials came to believe he had not returned all the documents.  

The Justice Department issued Trump a grand jury subpoena in May 2022 asking him to return any other records bearing classified markings, and top officials traveled to Mar-a-Lago to retrieve the materials. 

Trump’s attorneys turned over 38 pages marked as classified to FBI and Justice Department officials and showed them a storage room at Mar-a-Lago but did not permit the agents to open any of the boxes. 

One of Trump’s lawyers also signed a document attesting that all records with classified markings had been returned to the government, a claim later proven false after the FBI searched his home.  

Trump’s legal woes are growing.  

A jury in federal court in Manhattan in May decided in a civil lawsuit that Trump must pay $5 million in damages for sexually abusing former Elle magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll and then defaming her by branding her a liar. 

Trump also faces a criminal investigation by a county prosecutor in Georgia relating to his efforts to undo his 2020 election loss in that state. 

Trump’s legal woes are growing.  

Former VP Pence Takes Aim at Trump for Republican Nomination

Several challengers this week have jumped into the race to try to thwart former U.S. president Donald Trump from capturing the Republican Party’s presidential nomination for a third consecutive time. Most notable among the new entrants: Trump’s longtime vice president, Mike Pence. VOA’s chief national correspondent Steve Herman at the White House explains Pence wasted no time doing what he previously hesitated to — forcefully criticize his former boss’ conduct in office.

Reuters/Ipsos: Biden’s Approval Rating at 41%, Americans Concerned About Economy

U.S. President Joe Biden’s public approval was at 41% in recent days, close to the lowest level of his presidency but little changed following a tense negotiation with congressional Republicans over the federal government’s debt, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed.

The four-day poll, which ended on Monday, showed a marginal increase in Biden’s popularity from last month, when 40% of respondents said they approved of his performance since taking office in January 2021. The poll has a margin of error of three percentage points. 

The economy remained the top concern, amid high rates of inflation and a push by central bankers to tame prices by raising interest rates, which has made mortgages and car loans costlier.

Democrat Biden reached a deal last week with U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the top elected Republican official, to suspend a limit on federal borrowing following weeks of talks. The deal averted the financial disaster that would have unfolded if the government were forced to stop paying all its bills.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll showed only 27% of Americans approve of how McCarthy is handling his job.

Some 56% of the poll’s respondents supported sending more U.S. weapons and financial aid to Ukraine in its war against invading Russian forces, about the same share as in a February poll.

But that backing is not evenly distributed across the two political parties. Some 73% of Democrats said they backed more aid, compared to 44% of Republicans.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll gathered responses from 1,056 adults, using a nationally representative sample. 

За підтримку і виправдання збройної агресії РФ судитимуть послушника Почаївської лаври

За виправдання збройної агресії РФ і заклики до підтримки окупаційних сил судитимуть послушника Почаївської лаври на Тернопільщині, повідомляє пресслужба Тернопільської обласної прокуратури.

«Прокуратури скерували до суду обвинувальний акт щодо послушника Почаївської лаври, обвинуваченого у поширенні матеріалів про правомірність збройної агресії РФ проти України й глорифікації осіб, що її здійснювали та у закликах до підтримки російських військових і тимчасової окупації частини території України», – йдеться в повідомленні.

За даними слідства, послушник Почаївської лаври, що проживав на території монастиря з 2017 року, у своїх облікових записах у соцмережах «ВКонтакте» й «Одноклассники» поширював дописи про підтримку захоплення України й «глорифікацію російських військових, за перемогу яких просив молитись».

«Також у поширених ним відеоматеріалах містяться публічні заклики до підтримки окупаційної адміністрації держави-агресора. Висновком судової лінгвістичної експертизи підтверджено наявність в опублікованих ним матеріалах за березень 2022 – квітень 2023 року виправдовування агресії РФ та глорифікації її військових», – повідомили прокурори.

Раніше суд у Тернопільській області ухвалив рішення про штрафу у 8,5 тис грн «за розпалювання релігійної ворожнечі» для ректора Почаївської семінарії УПЦ (МП) Іова Шумського.

На початку квітня група депутатів у Верховній Раді України зареєструвала проєкт постанови про розірвання договору оренди з Почаївською Успенською лаврою УПЦ (МП), що розташована у Тернопільській області, – за аналогією з Києво-Печерською лаврою. Комітет питань гуманітарної та інформаційної політики рекомендував уряду перевірити дотримання Почаївською лаврою умов угоди про користування комплексом споруд і у разі виявлення порушень розірвати договір про оренду з УПЦ (МП).

Директор департаменту охорони культурної спадщини КМДА буде звільнений за порушення комендантської години – Кличко

Мер Києва Віталій Кличко повідомив, що доручив директору департаменту охорони культурної спадщини КМДА Олександру Никоряку написати заяву про звільнення після опублікованих у ЗМІ повідомлень про порушення ним комендантської години.

«За порушення комендантської години є адміністративна відповідальність для всіх громадян. А чиновник, будь-якого рангу, несе ще й політичну відповідальність. Директор департаменту охорони культурної спадщини КМДА Олександр Никоряк, якого вночі, в глибоку комендантську годину, помітили на виході з ресторану, буде звільнений. Сказав йому писати заяву», – написав Кличко у фейсбуці.

Коментарів Никоряка наразі немає. Він був призначений директором Департаменту охорони культурної спадщини КМДА у вересні 2018 року.

Кличко також звернувся до правоохоронних органів «щодо контролю і притягнення до відповідальності розважальних та закладів харчування за їх роботу в комендантську годину».

Раніше видання «Українська правда» опублікувало метеріал, в якому показало, як директор департаменту охорони культурної спадщини КМДА Олександр Никоряк святкує день народження дружини в комендантську годину, під час повітряної тривоги, в ресторані в центрі Києва.

Комендантська година триває у Києві з 00:00 до 5:00.

Nigerian-Born Political Newcomer Becomes Colorado City Mayor

After a history-making victory, Nigerian immigrant Yemi Mobolade was sworn in on June 6 as mayor of Colorado Springs, the second-largest city in the western U.S. state of Colorado.

Colorado Governor Jered Polis said he is inspired by Mobolade’s story.

“Somebody who has dedicated his life to making Colorado Springs and America a better place, whose story we can all identify with, who came here, who started businesses,” Polis said at the inauguration ceremony.

Mobolade moved to the U.S. 27 years ago as a student and became a U.S. citizen in 2017. He started a family, opened two restaurants and a church, and then won election in this traditionally conservative city as its first elected Black leader.

“I wake up every morning and I think it’s a dream, and then I realize, no, this really happened,” Mobolade said.


But what earned him the trust of many residents, some said, is his stint as the small business development manager for Colorado Springs from 2019 to 2022.

Some residents told VOA that Mobolade’s electoral victory sends a message that their state is welcoming to people from all walks of life.

“Colorado Springs is lavishly hospitable,” Michael Lipede told VOA. “If the natives of Colorado have not received us with an open heart, there is no way we will accomplish all we have accomplished,” said Lipede, a lead pastor at Redeemed Christian Church of God Living Faith Sanctuary in Colorado Springs.

In a city of nearly 500,000 people that is more than 75% White, residents found hope in the fact that so many voters were willing to support someone from a different background.

“Coloradans … don’t believe in ethnicity, they believe in competence and capacity and capability, and they found out that Mr. Yemi has it all.” Olawale Akinremi, a Colorado Springs resident told VOA.

“I feel hopeful about today. I love our new mayor, Yemi Mobolade. He is a man of strength, faith, character, and courage. And we are so fortunate to have him leading our city,” Cindy Aubrey, Colorado Springs resident said.

Another resident, Nkechi Onyejekwe said “I think it is something that is very amazing to celebrate and I think it is something very timely as well,” she told VOA, adding that “Colorado Springs has a very diverse population and I think that their legislative bodies should also reflect that.”

Ami Bajah-Onyejekwe, a Pueblo Colorado resident said it is important for people to see someone they can look up to in positions of leadership. “Just by seeing someone who looks like you, who has similar background to yours and see where that person has reached, and the goals they have achieved,” she said, “gives hope and says, ‘I can do it as well.’”

Mobolade has pledged to be a leader for all of Colorado City’s increasingly diverse population.

“I think today matters for a lot of young black kids because it tells them that the sky’s the limit, that they too can step into the arena and lead,” he said.

This story originated in VOA’s Hausa Service.

«Не підлягає виконанню» – УПЦ (МП) про вимогу виїхати з Лаври за три дні

Раніше сьогодні міністр культури й інформаційної політики Олександр Ткаченко повідомив, що комісія МКІП завершила свою роботу в Києво-Печерській лаврі, і тепер УПЦ (МП) має звільнити приміщення Лаври протягом трьох днів