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Ukrainian, Russian leaders sound optimistic note
17 October 2014 - Russian and Ukrainian leaders sounded optimistic after marathon, Europe-brokered talks Friday, signalling progress on both a definitive peace settlement in Ukraine and a gas dispute that threatens to disrupt supplies to Europe this winter. While Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko stopped short of declaring a breakthrough, they both spoke with renewed confidence. The fighting in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian rebels and government troops began a month after Russia annexed the peninsula of Crimea, killing more than 3,600 people, according to the UN. The West, in return, imposed economic sanctions, which Putin is eager to see lifted. (more)

Ukraine, Russia central bankers quip, shake hands in Washington
11 October 2014 - Female central bankers from Ukraine and its bitter rival Russia took the stage together in Washington on Saturday and described differing fallout from the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Their governments in Kiev and Moscow may be at odds, but Valeria Hontareva, governor of the Central Bank of Ukraine, and Ksenia Yudayeva, deputy governor of the Central Bank of Russia, managed to joke about the irony of their encounter on a panel on the sidelines of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings -- and to shake hands afterwards. (more)

Ukraine: Ceasefire being upheld on both sides
23 September 2014 - A ceasefire in east Ukraine is being upheld by both government troops and Russia-backed rebels, a senior Ukrainian official said Tuesday, in a first step toward enforcing a truce that has been riddled by repeated violations since it was imposed earlier this month. (more)

Kiev notes progress on eastern Ukraine ceasefire
22 September 2014 - Both government troops and pro-Russian rebels began withdrawing heavy artillery in the east of the country, Ukrainian officials said Monday, a significant step toward implementing an effective ceasefire in the region. Ukraine, Russia, and the Moscow-backed rebels last week signed an agreement to further the peace process by halting advances and pull back heavy artillery, creating a buffer zone between them. (more)

Buffer zone agreed on in Ukrainian peace talks
19 September 2014 - Participants in Ukrainian peace talks agreed early Saturday to create a buffer zone to separate government troops and pro-Russian militants and withdraw foreign fighters and heavy weapons from the area of conflict in eastern Ukraine. The deal reached by representatives of Ukraine, Russia, the Moscow-backed rebels and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe marked an effort to add substance to a cease-fire agreement that was signed on 5 September. (more)

Ukraine says Russia withdrawing forces from east, sees boost for peace
10 September 2014 - Ukraine's President said on Wednesday Russia had removed the bulk of its forces from his country, raising hopes for a peace drive now underway after five months of conflict. President Petro Poroshenko told a televised cabinet meeting Ukraine would remain a sovereign, united country under the terms of a peace roadmap approved last Friday, but said parts of the east under rebel control would get special status. (more)

Ceasefire holds in eastern Ukraine, exchange of POWs planned
6 September 2014 - An uneasy calm prevailed in eastern Ukraine on Saturday after Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists signed a ceasefire as part of a drive to end a war that has triggered a deep crisis in relations between Russia and the West. The peace roadmap, approved by envoys in Minsk on Friday, includes the exchange of prisoners-of-war. A separatist leader said this process would begin later on Saturday, though the Ukrainian side said details were still being worked out. (more)

Ukraine ceasefire appears to hold
6 September 2014 - The Presidents of Ukraine and Russia on Saturday said the ceasefire between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed rebels was mostly holding. A statement from Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's office said he and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed steps 'for giving the ceasefire a stable character' in a telephone conversation Saturday. Both leaders assessed the ceasefire as having been 'fulfilled as a whole'. A separate Kremlin statement about the call said, 'There was a mutual satisfaction with the fact that the sides of the conflict were overall observing the ceasefire regime.' (more)

Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels agree ceasefire
5 September 2014 - Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels agreed a ceasefire on Friday, the first step towards ending a conflict in eastern Ukraine that has caused the worst standoff between Moscow and the West since the Cold War ended. 'The entire world longs for peace, the whole of Ukraine longs for peace, including millions of residents of (rebel-held) Donbass,' Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in a written statement. (more)

Ukraine signs cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels
5 September 2014 - The Ukrainian President declared a cease-fire Friday to end nearly five months of fighting in the nation's east after his representatives reached a deal with the Russian-backed rebels at peace talks. President Petro Poroshenko said he ordered government forces to stop hostilities at 1500 GMT (11 a.m. EDT) following a protocol signed by representatives of Ukraine, Russia, the rebels, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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US: Ukrainian delegation visits Maharishi School in Iowa
23 May 2014 - Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment in Iowa, USA, recently hosted a delegation from Ukraine. All of the six Ukrainians in the delegation practise Transcendental Meditation and hope the practice becomes widespread in their own country. Several commented on how much they liked nearby Maharishi Vedic City in particular because of the way the city was laid out according to Vedic principles and that the buildings were built according to Maharishi Vastu architectural designs. (more)

'A New Proven Way to Create Peace in Ukraine' - article featuring Invincible Defence Technology republished worldwide
21 March 2014 - The English-language version of an article titled 'A New Proven Way to Create Peace in Ukraine' continues to be picked up and reprinted worldwide. Two recent publications are Iran Almanac and Palm Tree Reports (Sierra Leone)--where the lead article headline featured on the home page currently reads: 'GLOBAL PEACE WITHOUT DEADLY CONFLICTS: A New Proven Way to Create Peace in Ukraine'. The article describes the 'scientifically verified, military field-tested approach to reducing turmoil known as Invincible Defense Technology (IDT).' The article also features a photo with the caption, 'Military personnel in Latin America, Africa, and Asia practise group Transcendental Meditation to help protect their nations.' (more)

A new proven way to create peace in Ukraine
4 March 2014 - During the last two months, Ukrainians have witnessed a highly volatile political situation unfolding in their country. Tensions continue rising as Russia intervenes in Crimea. World leaders search for ways to prevent tensions from further escalating. What can be done to find a peaceful solution to this serious crisis? Mykola L Didukh, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, and Dr David Leffler, PhD, Executive Director of the Center for Advanced Military Science in the USA, report that many countries around the world have shown growing interest in a novel but scientifically verified, militarily field-tested approach to reducing turmoil. Among military circles worldwide, this approach is known as Invincible Defense Technology (IDT). The military of Ukraine has the opportunity today through IDT to prevent further turmoil and to create national security, invincibility, and peace. But the time to act is now. (more)

Ukraine: Creating coherence and harmony in collective consciousness for peace and unity in the nation
3 March 2014 - At this critical time for Ukraine, when the country is going through a major transformation which opens unprecedented possibilities for unfolding its vast potential, an initiative has been started to enliven the evolutionary power of natural law in collective consciousness, to secure a smooth and peaceful transition into a new era of progress, happiness, and unity for the nation. The project aims to create a wave of positivity, coherence, and harmony in collective consciousness through the scientifically proven, practical application of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Vedic Science and Technology. Efforts are underway to quickly establish a group of 100 practitioners of Transcendental Meditation and the Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme, in Kiev. The long term objective is to expand this group to 700--the required number (about the square root of 1% of the population) to create the Maharishi Effect of coherence and peace for the entire nation of 46 million citizens. (more)

South Africa radio interviews Dr David Leffler about Invincible Defence Technology to reduce violence in Ukraine
22 February 2014 - As political turmoil erupted in violence earlier this week in Kiev, Ukraine, Dr David Leffler, Executive Director of the Center for Advanced Military Science, was interviewed on the Voice of the Cape radio show, based in Capetown, South Africa. In the indepth interview, host Shafiq Morton focused on Invincible Defence Technology (IDT), the topic of Dr Leffler's recent editorial, 'Proven strategy to prevent turmoil in Ukraine', which was published in a number of venues in Ukraine, the USA, Canada, and Asia. Dr Leffler described IDT as a highly effective approach which has been successfully implemented in countries in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, and which scientific research has shown to reduce social stress and violence, even in war-torn areas. (more)

Proven strategy to prevent turmoil in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Croatian Information Centre reports on Invincible Defence Technology
15 February 2014 - 'In the 1990s, Bosnia and Herzegovina suffered severe violence and conflict. Tensions have risen again. . . . If tensions continue rising, their resulting turmoil might further escalate into war yet again,' write Major General Kulwant Singh (Indian Army, retired) and Dr David Leffler in the Croatian Information Centre. The authors go on to say, 'Further unrest could be prevented if the military of Bosnia and Herzegovina acts now and implements a proven strategy. A new technology of defense is available that has been scientifically shown to prevent unrest, conflict and create peace by harnessing the deepest level of nature's functioning. . . . Among military circles worldwide it is known as Invincible Defence Technology (IDT).' Maj. Gen. Singh leads an international group of generals and defence experts that advocates Invincible Defence Technology. (more)

Ukraine: Year's highlights include Consciousness-Based Education, heart-health benefits of Transcendental Meditation
29 July 2013 - In Ukraine this past year, the health benefits of Transcendental Meditation and Maharishi Ayur-Veda health care were highlighted, through the visit of Lothar Pirc, founder and managing director of the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Centre in Bad Ems, Germany. Mr Pirc gave a presentation on Maharishi Ayur-Veda to a large audience, and also held a press conference announcing important news from the American Heart Association. The AHA issued a scientific statement in April, published in the journal Hypertension, informing doctors that the Transcendental Meditation technique lowers blood pressure and recommending that TM may be considered in clinical practice for the prevention and treatment of hypertension. (more)

Ukraine: Leader of Cossacks welcomes president of Maharishi University of Management
12 July 2013 - In addition to meeting with educators during his visit to Ukraine this year, Dr Bevan Morris, President of Maharishi University of Management in the USA, also met with local practitioners of Transcendental Meditation. In the group was Volodymyr Mulyava, Honoured Getman, or leader, of the Ukraine Kozaks (Cossacks). Mr Mulyava practises Transcendental Meditation and holds the title Honoured President of the Maharishi Movement in Ukraine. Dr Morris described Mr Mulyava as a man of great insight and wisdom. (more)

Ukraine: Orthodox priest appointed national director of religion and culture for Maharishi's programmes
2 December 2011 - The organization offering Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's programmes in Ukraine has appointed archpriest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Yuri Tymoshchuk, its national director of religion and culture. Transcendental Meditation teachers and practitioners in Ukraine expressed confidence that the work of the Orthodox priest 'in this important position will bring prosperity and full implementation of the highest aspirations of religious and cultural integrity of every citizen of Ukraine and the whole country.' (more)

Vastu architectural design to support students in and out of the classroom
26 May 2011 - The Maharishi Vastu (Vedic architecture) design for a proposed new innovative school is laid out to support students in each part of their day, including classes, independent study, group practice of Transcendental Meditation, and meals. (more)


Flops
Short Summaries of Top Stories


Brutal winter set to hit war-torn eastern Ukraine
30 October 2014 - In the eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk, the inhabitants move around like shadows, eyes dull and faces weary with hardship, dressed in several layers of worn-out sweatshirts, vests, and jackets. The tiny rooms are lit with sunflower oil poured into saucers and set aflame. They are either too poor or old to flee the brutal separatist war that has ravaged Ukraine's east. Their dire situation is about to become much worse as Donetsk, which has lost nearly half of its 1 million-strong population, braces for winter. In eastern Ukraine, where temperatures typically stay below freezing all winter, damage to critical infrastructure and lack of adequate shelter for the newly homeless could mean death from cold for many. (more)

Ukraine's truce in trouble amid airport battle
4 October 2014 - Despite a ceasefire declared a month ago between the Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels, the biggest city in eastern Ukraine remains embroiled in fighting that includes daily artillery and rocket barrage hitting residential areas. The fighting focusing on the airport of the rebel-held city of Donetsk shows the difficulties of enforcing a truce that has held in most other areas of eastern Ukraine since it was declared on 5 September. Day after day, artillery shells and rockets fly overhead. Many explode in densely populated residential areas as the rebels have fought to dislodge Ukrainian government forces from the Donetsk airport just north of the city. The barrage has intensified this week. More than 3,500 people have been killed in fighting between the pro-Russia rebels and government troops since the mutiny in eastern Ukraine erupted in April following Moscow's annexation of Crimea. (more)

Ukraine opens up for Monsanto, land grabs and GMOs
11 September 2014 - Hidden from mainstream media exposure, the World Bank and IMF loan has opened up Ukraine to major corporate inroads. Loan conditions are forcing the deeply indebted country to open up to GMO crops, and lift the ban on private sector land ownership. The California-based Oakland Institute recently released a report revealing that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), under terms of their $17 billion loan to Ukraine, would open that country to genetically-modified (GM) crops and genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture. In late 2013, the then president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, rejected a European Union association agreement tied to the $17 billion IMF loan, whose terms are only now being revealed. Instead, Yanukovych chose a Russian aid package worth $15 billion plus a discount on Russian natural gas. His decision was a major factor in the ensuing deadly protests that led to his ouster from office in February 2014 and the ongoing crisis. According to the Oakland Institute, 'Whereas Ukraine does not allow the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture, Article 404 of the EU agreement, which relates to agriculture, includes a clause that has generally gone unnoticed: it indicates, among other things, that both parties will cooperate to extend the use of biotechnologies. (more)

Ukraine shelling claims lives, sets houses ablaze
7 September 2014 - Clashes broke out Sunday outside the main rebel-held city in eastern Ukraine, throwing the freshly forged cease-fire agreement between government troops and Russian-backed separatists into further doubt. At least two houses blazed in the rural village of Spartak, which lies just north of Donetsk and adjacent to the airport, after they were hit by fire. A man whose house was struck by a shell said rebels had fired from a spot nearby, which appeared to have provoked a retaliatory attack from Ukrainian government troops. This pattern has been regularly observed in the nearly five-month-long military confrontation. A group of rebel fighters in the village danced and drank Sunday morning in celebration after what they said was a successful assault on a Ukrainian military encampment in the vicinity. One said their group had captured eight government troops, although none of these captives could be seen. The fighter, who provided only the nom de guerre Khokhol, freely acknowledged that the cease-fire was not being respected by either side. 'There was mortar shelling around 20 minutes ago here in Spartak,' he said. 'There is no cease-fire for anyone.' (more)

Over 100 Russian soldiers killed in single Ukraine battle - Russian rights activists
28 August 2014 - More than 100 Russian soldiers were killed in eastern Ukraine in a single battle this month while helping pro-Russian separatists fight Ukrainian troops, two members of the Russian presidential human rights council said on Thursday, citing accounts from eyewitnesses and relatives of the dead. Ella Polyakova and Sergei Krivenko, both members of the council -- an advisory body with no legal powers and an uneasy relationship with the Kremlin -- said around 300 people were wounded in the same incident on 13 August near the town of Snizhnye, when a column of trucks they were driving, full of ammunition, was hit by a sustained volley of Grad missiles. 'A column of Russian soldiers was attacked by Grad rockets and more than 100 people died. It all happened in the city of Snizhnye in Donetsk province,' Krivenko told Reuters. If confirmed, the deaths would support assertions by Kiev and its Western allies that Russia is fueling the conflict in eastern Ukraine by supplying the separatists with both weapons and soldiers. They pose awkward questions for the Kremlin, which has consistently denied involvement in the conflict. A defence ministry official repeated that denial in strong terms on Thursday. (more)

Rebels parade captured Ukrainian soldiers in east
24 August 2014 - Pro-Russian insurgents on Sunday paraded captured Ukrainian soldiers through the streets of the rebel stronghold Donetsk as bystanders shouted abusive slurs and tossed eggs, bottles, and tomatoes at them. The display came as President Petro Poroshenko vowed to raise defence spending to defeat the rebels during an ostentatious procession of tanks and weaponry through downtown Kiev, meant to mark Ukraine's 23rd anniversary of independence from the Soviet Union. The developments underscore the increasing divisions in Ukraine as it gears up for what could be many more months of conflict. While support and mobilization for Kiev's campaign against the separatists has only grown in many parts of the country, resentments fester in much of the east, where civilian casualties and shelling have become a part of daily life. Resentment has grown in the east as residential areas have increasingly come under fire in recent weeks, with the civilian death toll rising to at least 2,000 since April, according to a United Nations report. In Donetsk, an estimated 300,000 of the city's population of 1 million have fled the fighting, and many of those who remain have gone weeks without electricity or running water and spent days staked out in bomb shelters. Early Sunday, artillery shells struck several residential buildings as well as a major hospital and morgue in downtown Donetsk, although nobody was reported killed. The government has denied that Ukraine's forces were responsible for the shelling of any residential buildings or hospitals. (more)

Dozens die in Ukraine in street battles, Donetsk shelling
20 August 2014 - Heavy shelling hit residential neighbourhoods in Ukraine's rebel stronghold of Donetsk and government forces fought street battles in other towns on Wednesday as they sought to crush a four-month-old separatist rebellion. The forces of the Western-backed Kiev government are steadily gaining the upper hand over the separatists in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine and are tightening the noose around the main rebel bastions of Donetsk and Luhansk. The government in Kiev and its allies have accused Moscow of orchestrating the separatist rebellion and equipping the rebels with tanks, missiles, and other heavy weaponry. Moscow denies this and accuses Kiev of waging a war against its own people and shelling civilians. The conflict has plunged relations between Russia and the West to their worst level since the end of the Cold War in 1991. As well as worsening conditions for people on the ground, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said the fighting was draining the potential of the economy by the day, with attacks damaging mines, power stations, rail lines, and bridges. 'Russia is aware that rebuilding the Donbass (the industrial east) will cost not millions but billions of hryvnia,' he said. (more)

Ukrainian forces encircle rebel-held city, talk of truce collapses
10 August 2014 - Artillery shells slammed into the outskirts of the Ukrainian city of Donetsk on Sunday as government forces tightened the noose around the rebel-held redoubt and called on pro-Russian separatists to surrender. To the east of Donetsk, government forces and the separatists were fighting for control of the town of Krasny Luch, a rail and road junction through which Kiev says the rebels are receiving supplies of Russian military equipment. Talk of a ceasefire, a possibility raised by a separatist leader on Saturday, evaporated as Kiev government forces kept up an offensive to crush the rebels. Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said if the rebels wanted a ceasefire this meant 'raising white flags and putting down their guns'. There would be no truce while the Ukrainian army continued 'punitive' military action, the rebels retorted in a statement. Donetsk, a major industrial hub in Ukraine's Russian-speaking east, resonated with the crash of shells on its outskirts for about eight hours up to mid-day on Sunday, a Reuters witness in the town said. (more)

How scams and shakedowns brought Ukraine to its knees
7 August 2014 - Late last year, Ukraine's consumer protection agency began filing lawsuits against Foxtrot, the country's largest electronics retailer. By early March, Foxtrot faced at least 231 separate suits that demanded fines totaling more than $150 million. Many of the suits accused the company of minor violations of Ukraine's labeling law -- such as not placing a 'quality seal' on tiny memory cards and wafer-thin batteries inside mobile phones. Foxtrot said it placed the seals on the external packaging, which the law also allows. Viacheslav Povroznick, Foxtrot's CEO, said agency officials proposed a deal -- pay $1 million in cash and the lawsuits would disappear. 'We said no,' he said. 'It was like a kind of extortion.' Today, the company still faces a mountain of litigation. Six months after a popular uprising toppled President Viktor Yanukovich, Ukraine's new leaders are fighting wars on two fronts. One struggle is against Russian-backed insurgents in the east. The other is against staggering corruption that top officials say infected every level of government -- and continues to this day. (more)

Civilians killed in fighting in east Ukraine
3 August 2014 - Nine civilians were killed in new fighting between government forces and pro-Russian separatists around the cities of Luhansk and Donetsk in east Ukraine, local officials said on Sunday. Six people were killed in shelling and gunfire on the outskirts of Donetsk, deputy mayor Kostantyn Savinov said, and city officials said three were killed in shelling of Luhansk over the previous 24 hours. A Reuters reporter in central Donetsk said the shelling echoed through the night and witnesses said several buildings caught fire in the outlying Petrovsky district, including a school. The smell of smoke stretched as far as the city centre. Many residents of Luhansk, which is close to the border with Russia, have no electricity and some are without water, the city administration's press office said. Diplomatic efforts to end the conflict, in which in the United Nations says more than 1,100 people have been killed, have stalled. (more)

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