yYAXssKCQaUWZcXZ79RJTBLvo-c;SfREtjZ9NYeQnnVMC-CsZ9qN6L0 Finance, Economics, Globus, Brokers, Banks, Collateral-Oriano Mattei: ottobre 2016

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lunedì 31 ottobre 2016

INDIA.... Indian police killed eight prisoners accused of belonging to a banned group as they attempted to escape from a high-security jail in the central city of Bhopal. Authorities in the state of Madhya Pradesh said the men, suspected of being members of the outlawed Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), were shot dead on the outskirts of Bhopal on Monday. The had been trying to escape prison by scaling the facility's walls with knotted bedsheets, officials said....

Images showing pistols lying next to the prisoners' bodies triggered scepticism about the official version of events [AFP]
Indian police killed eight prisoners accused of belonging to a banned group as they attempted to escape from a high-security jail in the central city of Bhopal.
Authorities in the state of Madhya Pradesh said the men, suspected of being members of the outlawed Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), were shot dead on the outskirts of Bhopal on Monday. The had been trying to escape prison by scaling the facility's walls with knotted bedsheets, officials said.
Yogesh Choudhary, Bhopal's inspector general of police, said the men were unarmed but were killed after resisting efforts to be returned to custody.
"They were unarmed but attempted to attack the police with stones. We had to shoot them," Choudhary told AFP news agency.
Choudhary, however, later told reporters that "they had weapons and cross-firing took place".
TV images showed crude pistols lying next to the bodies, triggering scepticism in some quarters about the police version of events.

Calls for inquiry

Meenakshi Ganguly, the South Asia director for Human Rights Watch, called the police's approach "dangerous", and reiterated calls for an inquiry into the shooting.
"Security forces have the right to use proportionate force to save lives, but it appears in this case that the suspects may not have been armed," she said.
"The entire incident should be properly investigated. A take-no-prisoners approach to policing is dangerous and harms efforts to create a rights-respecting police force."
Police insisted there was no breakdown in security at the prison, a supposedly maximum security facility which has a round-the-clock electronic surveillance system.
However four officials, including the prison's superintendent, were suspended and an inquiry has been launched into the escape.
Most of the inmates had been awaiting trial for "terror-related activities, sedition and robbery" for more than three years, although prisoners had only been detained since February.
Indian authorities have accused SIMI of carrying out several deadly bombings and of having links with armed groups based in Pakistan.
Police blamed the group for the serial bombing of Mumbai commuter trains in 2006 which killed 187 people, as well as bomb attacks in New Delhi.
The government banned the group in 2001 in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington.
Hundreds of its members have been arrested over the past decade, but the group says it merely propagates an "Islamic way of life" for Indian Muslims.
da "aljazeera.com"

NIGERIA....... Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused Nigerian officials of sexually exploiting women and girls living in camps for victims of Boko Haram in the war-torn northeast. HRW said in a report published on Monday that it documented 43 cases of women and girls in seven internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Maiduguri, the epicentre of a seven-year battle with Boko Haram, who had been abused by camp leaders, policemen and soldiers......

Nigeria President Buhari said he was "worried and shocked" by reports of sexual abuse [Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters]
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused Nigerian officials of sexually exploiting women and girls living in camps for victims of Boko Haram in the war-torn northeast.
HRW said in a report published on Monday that it documented 43 cases of women and girls in seven internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Maiduguri, the epicentre of a seven-year battle with Boko Haram, who had been abused by camp leaders, policemen and soldiers.
"It is bad enough that these women and girls are not getting much-needed support for the horrific trauma they suffered at the hands of Boko Haram," said Mausi Segun, senior Nigeria researcher at HRW. 
"It is disgraceful and outrageous that people who should protect these women and girls are attacking and abusing them," she added. 
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement that he was "worried and shocked" by the report and directed police to "immediately commence investigations into the issue".
"The welfare of these most vulnerable of Nigerian citizens has been a priority of his government," presidency spokesman Garba Shehu said, adding that the allegations raised by the HRW "are not being taken lightly".
Deeply worrying to hear the reports of sexual abuse and exploitation of women and girls by security personnel in IDP camps in the Northeast
I have seen the new @hrw report, and asked the Inspector-General of Police and concerned State Governors to investigate immediately

Four of the victims told HRW they were drugged and raped, while 37 were coerced into sex through false marriage promises and material and financial assistance. 
"Many of those coerced into sex said they were abandoned if they became pregnant. They and their children have suffered discrimination, abuse, and stigmatisation from other camp residents," the global rights body said.
HRW spoke to one 17-year-old girl who was raped and made pregnant by a policeman.
"One day he demanded to have sex with me," she said. "I refused but he forced me. It happened just that one time, but soon I realised I was pregnant.
"When I informed him about my condition, he threatened to shoot and kill me if I told anyone else. So I was too afraid to report him." 
HRW said irregular supplies of food, clothing, medicine and other essentials in camps were making the women vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. 
"In some cases, men used their positions of authority and gifts of desperately needed food or other items to have sex with women," it said. 
Boko Haram has devastated northeast Nigeria, killing over 20,000 people and displacing 2.6 million from their homes. Since taking up arms against the Nigerian government in 2009, the group has also disrupted trade routes and farms.
Now, nearly 50,000 children face death by starvation if they don't get food and almost 250,000 more are severely malnourished in Borno state, according to UNICEF.


da "alla

MAROCCO..... Outraged Moroccan students in the northern city of Al-Hoceima boycotted schools on Monday and took to the streets in new protests over the gruesome death of a fishmonger, who was crushed to death inside a garbage truck in the city. Mouhcine Fikri, 31, was crushed to death in the truck on Friday, as he reportedly tried to protest against a municipal worker seizing and destroying his wares. An image of his inert body - head and arm sticking out from under the lorry's crushing mechanism - went viral on social media, sparking protests in more than 20 cities nationwide over the weekend, including in the capital Rabat. Some compared Fikri's violent death to the death of a Tunisian vendor in 2010 that sparked the Arab Spring uprisings.

Outraged Moroccan students in the northern city of Al-Hoceima boycotted schools on Monday and took to the streets in new protests over the gruesome death of a fishmonger, who was crushed to death inside a garbage truck in the city.
Mouhcine Fikri, 31, was crushed to death in the truck on Friday, as he reportedly tried to protest against a municipal worker seizing and destroying his wares. 
An image of his inert body - head and arm sticking out from under the lorry's crushing mechanism - went viral on social media, sparking protests in more than 20 cities nationwide over the weekend, including in the capital Rabat. 
Some compared Fikri's violent death to the death of a Tunisian vendor in 2010 that sparked the Arab Spring uprisings.

'People had enough'

Footage online showed thousands of people following the yellow ambulance that carried Fikri's body through Al-Hoceima in the ethnically Berber Rif region on Sunday.
Fikri's funeral procession was led by a dozen drivers in their cars - including taxis - and marchers waving Berber flags.
The ambulance headed to the area of Imzouren some 20 kilometres southeast of the city, where Fikri was buried in the late afternoon.
Samir Bennis, editor in chief of Morocco World News, told Al Jazeera that "the government does not do enough to tackle abuse of power".
"While we have a constitution since 2011, and the country is moving slowly but surely towards democracy, a large segment of Morocco's security apparatus is still dealing with the Moroccan people with the same mentality as in 1980's and 1990's," he said.
"So with these protests Moroccans are trying to communicate to the government that they have had enough of this impunity and of this abuse of power."
The circumstances of the fishmonger's death remained unclear on Monday [AJE]
The Moroccan government condemned the incident and vowed that an investigation would be held to "determine the exact circumstances of the tragedy and punish those responsible".
"No one had the right to treat him like this.... We cannot accept officials acting in haste, anger or in conditions that do not respect people's rights," Interior Minister Mohamed Hassad said in a statement.
The circumstances of the fishmonger's death remained unclear on Monday.
But a human rights activist said that the authorities forced the fishmonger to destroy several boxes of swordfish. Catching swordfish using driftnets is illegal.

"The goods were worth a lot of money," said Fassal Aoussar from the local branch of the Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH).
"The salesman threw himself in after his fish and was crushed by the machine," he told AFP news agency.
"The whole of the Rif is in shock and boiling over."
Long neglected under the father of the current king, the Rif was at the heart of Morocco's protest movement for change in 2011, dubbed the February 20 movement.
Protests continued in Al-Hoceima late on Sunday, with protesters shouting: "Criminals, assassins, terrorists!"
"The people of the Rif won't be humiliated!"
The crowd eventually dispersed around 21:30 GMT without incident.
Thousands of demonstrators - including activists for Berber rights - also gathered in Rabat, chanting "We are all Mouhcine!".
Smaller protests were held in several other Rif towns and, unusually, in Casablanca and Marrakesh.
In a statement on Sunday, the AMDH condemned the state for "having trampled on the dignity of citizens since the ferocious repression of the February 20 movement and keeping the region in a state of tension".
King Mohammed VI has ordered a "thorough and exhaustive investigation" into Fikri's death and the "prosecution of whoever is found responsible", an interior ministry statement said.
The king - who was in Zanzibar on a tour of East Africa - sent the interior minister to "present his condolences" to Fikri's family, it said.
Morocco is due to host the COP22 climate talks in Marrakesh from November 7 to 18.
da "aljazeera.com"

IRAQ..... Iraqi troops have resumed a coordinated offensive towards Mosul, the last major city held by ISIL in Iraq, targeting the eastern bank of the Tigris river that divides the city, military officials said. Another statement said five villages were retaken from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group north of Mosul, where Peshmerga fighters are also being deployed......

Iraqi troops focus on neighbourhoods along the Tigris River, as the offensive nears its third week [Reuters]
Iraqi troops focus on neighbourhoods along the Tigris River, as the offensive nears its third week [Reuters]
Iraqi troops have resumed a coordinated offensive towards Mosul, the last major city held by ISIL in Iraq, targeting the eastern bank of the Tigris river that divides the city, military officials said.
Another statement said five villages were retaken from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group north of Mosul, where Peshmerga fighters are also being deployed.
Al Jazeera's Stefanie Dekker, reporting from Erbil, said that it is the closest position to any of the fronts surrounding the city, adding that it is "not an easy fight". 
"This offensive is led by Iraq's special forces that will go into Mosul. They are very well trained but we don't expect to see them going into the city anytime soon," she said.
"They are facing fierce resistance, it's been very difficult as we have been told. Fighters are continuing suicide bombings, car bombs and artilleries. However, this is an effective attempt to put more pressure on ISIL as the fight is ongoing."
Iraqi security forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters started the offensive on October 17, with air and ground support from the US-led coalition against ISIL, also known as ISIS.
Pro-Iranian Iraqi Shia militias joined the fighting on Saturday, aiming to cut the route between Mosul and Raqqa, ISIL's main stronghold in Syria.
The battle for Mosul, still home to 1.5 million residents, is shaping up to be one of the toughest in a decade of turmoil following the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.
ISIL members have been fighting off the two-week offensive with suicide car bombs, snipers and mortar fire.
Worst-case United Nations forecasts see up to 1 million people being uprooted by the fighting, which UN aid agencies said had so far forced about 17,500 people to flee, a figure that excludes those taken into Mosul by the retreating fighters.



da "aljazeera.com"

SIRIA.... A rebel assault to break the siege of Syria's Aleppo slowed on Monday amid fierce resistance from regime forces, as the UN said it was "appalled" by opposition fire on civilians. Rebels launched a major assault on Friday, backed by car bombs and salvos of rockets, to break through government lines and reach the 250,000 people besieged in the city's east........

Syria's five-year war has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions [Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters]
Syria's five-year war has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions [Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters]
A rebel assault to break the siege of Syria's Aleppo slowed on Monday amid fierce resistance from regime forces, as the UN said it was "appalled" by opposition fire on civilians.
Rebels launched a major assault on Friday, backed by car bombs and salvos of rockets, to break through government lines and reach the 250,000 people besieged in the city's east.
Aleppo has been hit by some of the worst violence in Syria's five-year conflict, turning the once-bustling economic hub into a divided and bombed-out symbol of the brutal war.
Since Friday, opposition factions have amassed on Aleppo's western outskirts in a bid to end the regime's three-month encirclement of the city's eastern districts.
While they scored an initial advance, the offensive has since slowed, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor.
"Since Sunday, the regime has been taking the initiative and the clashes are less intense," Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said on Monday.
"The only thing that has been accomplished is partial control over Dahiyet al-Assad," a neighbourhood on Aleppo's western outskirts that rebels entered on Friday, he said.
Syrian and Russian air strikes were hitting the battlefronts on the city's edges, but with less intensity than in previous days.
"The momentum of the rebel offensive slowed after failing to take control of the '3000' apartment block and the military complex," a pro-government military source said, referring to two built-up areas southwest of Aleppo.

Civilian toll rises

In a new toll on Monday, the Observatory said a total of 61 government troops  and their allies were killed in the assault, as well as 72 Syrian rebels.
Heavy rebel rocket fire since Friday has killed 48 civilians, including 17 children, the monitor said.
According to Syrian state news agency SANA, three civilians were killed in rebel fire on Aleppo on Monday.
Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the death toll.
Syria's army said in a statement on Monday that the Nusra Front and what it called other "terrorist" groups had killed 84 people, mostly women and children, in Aleppo during the past three days, adding that the bombardment included chemical weapons.
The Nusra Front broke allegiance with al-Qaeda and changed its name to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham in July. It is one of the main rebel groups taking part in the Aleppo offensive.
UN peace envoy Staffan de Mistura said the high civilian toll raised deep concern.
In a statement on Sunday, his office said he was "appalled and shocked by the high number of rockets" fired by rebels.



da "aljazeera.com"

In a panel meeting on the topic of information security, the scientific council of Russia's Security Council discussed the need to fight the "falsification of history" in regards to the 1917 October Revolution. According to the participants of the discussion, the revolution was a topic which could be subject to "deliberate distortion" in connection with its upcoming 100-year anniversary next year...

Alvaro Barrientos / AP
In a panel meeting on the topic of information security, the scientific council of Russia's Security Council discussed the need to fight the "falsification of history" in regards to the 1917 October Revolution.  According to the participants of the discussion, the revolution was a topic which could be subject to "deliberate distortion" in connection with its upcoming 100-year anniversary next year.
But the October Revolution which ended the Russian Empire and led to the creation of the Soviet Union is only one of six historical topics the council members believe need "protection." According to the Kommersant newspaper, the other five are the nationalities policy of the Russian Empire, the nationalities policy of the Soviet Union, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact, the Soviet victory over fascism in World Wae II, and the Soviet Union's policies toward satellite states such as East Germany, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. 
The council adopted a recommendation to create, develop and implement mechanisms to identify "information campaigns aimed at distorting history." 

Former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said that Russia's authorities still haven't adjusted to the new economic reality. "The price of oil fell, we don't have enough income, and there are problems with growth factors," Kudrin told his audience at the Center for Strategic Research on Monday......


Former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin Maxim Stulov / Vedomosti


Former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said that Russia's authorities still haven't adjusted to the new economic reality. 
"The price of oil fell, we don't have enough income, and there are problems with growth factors," Kudrin told his audience at the Center for Strategic Research on Monday.
"We learned to easily manage money when there was an abundance of it; what I want to say now is that neither the country's leadership nor the ministries understand that we have moved into a new reality," he added.
Kudrin also said that in recent years the growth rate of Russia's economy was less than 1 percent, and that it would remain around 1 percent until 2020. 
In late September, Kudrin said that in order to improve the performance of the Russian economy, the state budget should reallocate more funds into education, health, and infrastructure, amounting to 1 percent of the GDP. He also recommended that the state develops non-resource exports so as to reduce dependency on oil and other natural resources.

On October 27, Swedish tax authorities issued a formal death certificate for Raoul Wallenberg, acting on a request by his family to settle his estate. One would have liked to see the sad and uncomfortable burden of declaring Raoul Wallenberg dead shifted to others. For more than 70 years, the Russian government, refused to clarify the mystery of Wallenberg's disappearance. The Swedish government, meanwhile, could have used the occasion to properly honor a man who, as their serving diplomat, saved thousands of Jews in war torn Budapest, only to be unceremoniously abandoned by his home country.........

The U.S. Postal Service issued April 24 a stamp commemoration World War II hero Raoul Wallenberg.Reuters
On October 27, Swedish tax authorities issued a formal death certificate for Raoul Wallenberg, acting on a request by his family to settle his estate.
One would have liked to see the sad and uncomfortable burden of declaring Raoul Wallenberg dead shifted to others. For more than 70 years, the Russian government, refused to clarify the mystery of Wallenberg's disappearance. The Swedish government, meanwhile, could have used the occasion to properly honor a man who, as their serving diplomat, saved thousands of Jews in war torn Budapest, only to be unceremoniously abandoned by his home country.
Much has been written about Raoul Wallenberg. The real person has remained somewhat elusive and literally two-dimensional — the public knows him only from a half dozen black and white photographs. Wallenberg left no tangible inheritance in Sweden, very little correspondence, no publications, no wife or child, or even close friends.  
Instead it was his actions in Nazi-occupied Hungary in 1944 that resonated with the world. 
In recent years, some historians have questioned the true effectiveness of his rescue efforts on behalf of Hungary's Jews: how many people he really managed to save, and if he became famous mainly because he disappeared.
One could certainly argue that Wallenberg's humanitarian mission to Budapest in the summer of 1944 was little more than a small ray of light in an otherwise disastrous failure to stem the tide of the Holocaust. Raoul's mission, backed by the United States and the Swedish government, was conceived late, and haphazardly at best. 
Yet in the hell that was Budapest in the second half of 1944, it is indisputable that Wallenberg made a huge impact. His efforts managed to protect, house and feed many of the close to 200,000 Jews left in the city. He was helped by the Hungarian resistance and the diplomatic representatives from other neutral countries, but it was a task that required an almost super human effort, one that tested every ounce of Raoul's resourcefulness and strength. 
Some analysts correctly point out that Wallenberg's success was made possible largely because by the end of the war, the Quisling Hungarian government wished to accommodate international opinion. But this was a small opening, and it took great courage and commitment to take advantage of it.   
What Raoul brought to Budapest was the idea of possibility, the idea that rescue was possible. Wallenberg’s official status as diplomat of a neutral country enabled him to be effective, and he had the help of many people who have not received adequate credit. But Wallenberg inspired those around him and that will always remain his greatest accomplishment.
It was this attitude that turned a small Swedish protective effort into an extensive rescue operation. And it is precisely this spirit that makes Raoul Wallenberg so special and so rare. He showed us that if we want to protect our core values as human beings, if we want to counter horrendous crimes like genocide,  every one of us needs to take a stand.  
How many of us would today consider packing our bags and going off to Mosul or Aleppo? Activism all too frequently imposes a brutal price on those who dare to speak out.  Unfortunately, Raoul himself was no exception. 
While Wallenberg’s achievements are unique, his legacy as a victim is much harder to define. In Russia alone twenty million people died during World War II. About twenty million more perished in the Gulag. Today, untold numbers of people all over the world endure horrendous human rights abuses.
With so much suffering, should one continue to insist on the truth about one man who disappeared 71 years ago?
The international jurist Thomas Buergenthal, himself a survivor of Auschwitz, answers this question with a resounding “yes”. 
“Six million Jews means nothing. If you want to have an impact, talk about one person,” he says.                                                                                       
The search for historic truth, then - however arduous and 'idealistic' it may seem - is not just a laborious exercise but a vitally important process. Together with remembrance, it is the key step that allows us to learn from history.                                                                              
The Spanish writer Miguel Cervantes once said: “In order to attain the impossible, one must first attempt the absurd.” 
Raoul Wallenberg's relatives certainly understand what Cervantes meant. The search for answers has been draining, and has exacted a financial and emotional toll. The family were forced to fight a two front battle, largely by themselves, over seventy years — against a lethargic Swedish government at home and an intransigent Russian leadership abroad.
Last month, a group comprised of Raoul's family and Wallenberg experts returned to Moscow with  a comprehensive catalogue of open questions and pending research requests to Russian authorities. They communicated the belief that the Wallenberg case could almost certainly be solved if the Russians granted unhindered access to specific documentation in the archives. 
If the Russian government once again does not comply with these requests, the family is prepared to explore legal options.
In doing so,  Raoul Wallenberg's family and international researchers are broadening the traditional parameters of historical inquiry and investigation. The Wallenberg case has thus acquired once again an urgent relevance for a new generation of historians, activists and families seeking justice. 
It is a worthy legacy indeed for a man who so fearlessly lead the way on behalf of fellow human beings more than seventy years ago.
di  Susanne Berger e Vadim Birstein per "The Moscow Times"

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law halting an agreement with the United States on the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium, a move that comes amid a continuing deterioration of bilateral ties. The law came into force on October 31, the day it was officially published by the Russian government and weeks after Putin submitted the legislation to parliament, which subsequently approved the bill.....

Russian President Vladimir Putin (file photo)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (file photo)


Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law halting an agreement with the United States on the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium, a move that comes amid a continuing deterioration of bilateral ties.
The law came into force on October 31, the day it was officially published by the Russian government and weeks after Putin submitted the legislation to parliament, which subsequently approved the bill.
It formally suspends Russia's participation in the agreement, signed in 2000, which commits the two countries to eliminating parts of their weapons-grade plutonium stocks.
The law sets preconditions for the restoration of the accord, including the lifting of all U.S. sanctions against Russia and compensation for the damage they have caused, as well as a reduction of U.S. military infrastructure and troops in Eastern Europe.
Washington has said the sanctions over Russia's actions in Ukraine will remain until implementation of the Minsk agreements aimed at ending fighting between Kyiv's forces and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.
With reporting by AFP, TASS, and RFE/RL's Current Time TV

KYIV -- Fast cars and fancy watches. Faberge eggs and vintage wine. Prime real estate, including a church. Even a ticket to space. Along with many millions in cold, hard cash, they're just some of the items emerging from the latest effort to root out persistent corruption in Ukraine. Officials there had until midnight on October 30 to file online asset declarations meant to expose those who got rich from misconduct. Most of the 50,000 or so public servants targeted by the requirement -- including civil servants, politicians, and judges -- are thought to have complied.....

The new e-declarations has finally given Ukrainians an opportunity to assess the wealth of senior public servants such as President Petro Poroshenko (left) and Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroysman (right).
The new e-declarations has finally given Ukrainians an opportunity to assess the wealth of senior public servants such as President Petro Poroshenko (left) and Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroysman (right).


KYIV -- Fast cars and fancy watches. Faberge eggs and vintage wine. Prime real estate, including a church. Even a ticket to space.

Along with many millions in cold, hard cash, they're just some of the items emerging from the latest effort to root out persistent corruption in Ukraine.

Officials there had until midnight on October 30 to file online asset declarations meant to expose those who got rich from misconduct. Most of the 50,000 or so public servants targeted by the requirement -- including civil servants, politicians, and judges -- are thought to have complied.

But as with so many things in war-torn Ukraine, there's more to the asset declarations than meets the eye.

For instance, Serhiy Melnychuk, a former commander of the volunteer Aidar fighting battalion turned lawmaker, thumbed his nose at the new measure, declaring 1 trillion hryvnyas, or about $39 billion, in cash. Asked about the disclosure, his spokesperson told local media simply, "It's a bad joke on his part." 

Many Ukrainians aren't laughing, however. Perceived excesses in lawmakers' lifestyles -- ill-gotten or not -- have drawn condemnation in a country where government statistics put the average household monthly income at around $200.

Ukraine's mega-rich have also been criticized for not doing more to help soldiers, who are paid just $276 a month and have largely relied on volunteer assistance throughout the 30-month conflict against Russia-backed separatists that has killed nearly 10,000 people.

"[W]e collect money for socks for soldiers, in [a] parallel world [people] have [millions] $ in cash," Ukrainian activist Kateryna Kruk tweeted. "E-decl [-arations] make us realize what corruption really is." 

Ukraine's newly created anticorruption agencies are now expected to investigate suspicious declarations -- a task that could take considerable time, given their limited resources and the fact that many thousands were filed.

But it's a step that reformers insist must be taken.

"E-declarations [are an] unprecedented move forward in holding officials accountable and in the overall strategy for tackling grand corruption," Daria Kaleniuk, executive director of the Kyiv-based NGO Anticorruption Action Center, told RFE/RL.

Officials who cannot explain where their fortune came from face possible jail time.

Bling-Bling

Some of the most notable declarations include those of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroysman, and Interior Minister Arsen Avakov. All are known to have amassed considerable wealth prior to taking office, but the public has not previously been allowed to see the extent of their wealth.

According to his declaration, Poroshenko, a billionaire entrepreneur before he assumed office in May 2014, is the beneficiary of 104 companies in 10 countries, and keeps 540,000 hryvnyas ($21,099), $26.3 million, and 14,300 euros ($15, 654), respectively, in bank accounts. He also declared 900,000 hryvnyas and another $60,000 in cash. His income for 2015 was 62.16 million hryvnyas, or more than $2.4 million.

Poroshenko also listed in his declaration several properties and valuable possessions belonging to family members.

"As for my e-declaration, I'd like to note straightaway that all the valuable movable and immovable property -- housing, estates, cars, paintings, women's jewelry -- had been purchased (not leased) before my presidency. In addition, mainly the property was acquired when I was not a public servant," Poroshenko wrote on his Facebook page a little more than one hour before the deadline on October 30. 

Hroysman, who has been in public service for the past 14 years, declared that he and his wife have some $1.8 million in cash. He also said that he owns a collection of 12 luxury wristwatches.

Avakov's declaration includes hundreds of thousands of dollars and euros in cash, as well as large collections of paintings, clocks, Italian furniture, valuable books, and vintage wines worth millions of dollars. 

There were some oddities among the declarations.

Lawmaker, Radical Party leader, and onetime presidential candidate Oleh Lyashko declared a pricey collection of watches, as well as a "peasant pitchfork" -- a symbol of his Radical Party that he has posed with on billboards. 

Anatoliy Matviyenko, a lawmaker with the president's Petro Poroshenko Bloc, declared a church

And Dnipro Mayor Boris Filatov disclosed that he is the owner of a ticket for a suborbital space flight with Virgin Galactic that he purchased in 2009 for 1.4 million hryvnyas. 
The e-declaration site is publicly available. 

The Euromaidan unrest that eventually unseated then-President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014 was fueled by perceptions of massive corruption, in addition to fears that Yanukovych was turning his back on the European Union in favor of closer ties to Russia.

Western officials and international financial institutions have also warned that Kyiv needs to enact reforms and curb corruption if it hopes to continue to receive the billions in assistance that have helped keep the country afloat since Russian troops invaded and seized Crimea from Ukraine in early 2014


di Christopher Miller per "Radio Free Liberty"