April 25, 2014 Lithuanian media round-up

On April 24th Head of the EU Delegation to Russia Vygaudas Ušackas spoke with journalists about situation in Ukraine after Geneva agreement (voanews.com, delfi.lt). Read more and watch the video on Voice of America: http://www.voanews.com/content/ukraine-forcing-eu-to-rethink-russia-policy/1900809.html.

Due to the Ukraine crisis aviation company ‘Wizz Air’ has decided to temporarily suspend flights Vilnius-Kiev starting from April 30. It is currently unknown how long the flights will stay suspended for. (15 min)

Delegation of 50 Ukrainian medics of various specializations came to National Hospital of Panevėžys in order to gain experience at organizing health-care and physician tasks in Lithuania. This knowledge will help them start health-care reformation in Ukraine. ( lrt.lt)


March for Peace in USA planned on April 27th

The American Ukrainian community appeals to the global community as a whole to show their support for Ukraine’s struggle for democracy by joining our March for Peace and against Russias’s aggression in Chicago on Sunday, April 27th, 2014 at 2 pm. We welcome all Ukrainians, Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Slovenes, Slovaks, Czechs, Georgians, Hungarians, Romanians, Moldovans, Finns, and all people supporting peace and freedom. We will depart from NW corner of Millenium Park at 2 pm and walk to the Daley Center. We will begin assembling for the march at 1:30 pm.


Join us! Bring your families and friends, your national flags, and your support. United in solidarity we will stand together for a democratic and peaceful future for Ukraine, Europe, and the world. If you can’t join us, like our event to show support.

Ukrainians had hoped to put an end to the corruption by signing the Association Agreement with the EU thus reinforcing the rule of law. This effort was undermined by the corrupt Yanukovych government. The ensuing struggle back to a democratic future has brought violence and bloodshed, costing us more than 100 lives so far with possibly many more to be lost. Ukraine is on the brink of war again. Russia is using all its resources to destabilize our country and tear us apart prior to the elections on May 25th.

We, Ukrainians, seek independence, recognition of our sovereignty and borders, peace, economic prosperity, freedom, tolerance, dignity, and knowledge. We can only succeed if we challenge Putin’s disinformation war and Russia’s aggression which threatens stability and peace in Europe.

Please join on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1427005870889844/

Events of April 24th

dmitry_tymchukDmitry Tymchuk, Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

Brothers and sisters,
Here’s the Summary for April 24, 2014

The bad news:

1. Russia initiated large-scale military exercises on the border with Ukraine. According to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, this is in response to the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) of Ukrainian security forces in Donbas.

First, the claim that this is the “Russian response,” is a lie. If military exercises had started just now, what were 50,000 Russian troops doing at our borders for a month and a half?

In fact, Russia is frantically looking for an excuse for the presence of its legions at our borders. The ATO is an excellent opportunity for such an excuse. Especially since it can also become a reason for a full-scale Russian invasion.

Secondly, by voicing its “concern” with the ATO and its willingness to protect terrorists in Ukraine, Russia in fact directly confirms outright that it is a terrorist state. However, we already knew this, so it’s just another confirmation.

But in any case, Putin must understand: the eastern border of Ukraine in April 2014 is NOT the Crimean border of Ukraine in February 2014. The Ukrainian Army is at the very least present, but it’s also ready to meet [the enemy].

2. Donetsk regional council works perfectly in sync with Russia.

[The Donetsk] People’s Council deputies demanded from Kyiv to abandon the use of force against terrorists and withdraw [Ukrainian] security forces to the places of their permanent deployment. As if on the Kremlin’s orders, they are creating the excuse Putin needs: not just Russia, but even the local elected bodies are against the ATO!

This – is direct aid to the enemy.

3. The Prosecutor General’s Office reported that 1,200 subversives have been exposed in Luhansk Oblast [region]. Russian coordinators tasked them with diversions to prevent the presidential elections from happening.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. No one will say how much of this filth controlled by Moscow runs hither and thither around Ukraine.

The good news:

1. The ATO continues. Despite the howling of the Kremlin and the singalong of its mongrels in Ukraine, our security forces are working.

Yes, their activity is severely limited by public authorities, they are shackled by their hands and feet and they cannot apply even a tenth of their capacity. But this is ACTION, and not the former peaceful contemplation of lawlessness and their utter helplessness.

Turchynov stated clearly that we will not retreat in the face of the terrorist threat. After his former changes of opinion, such rigidity in his position is very surprising. Fortunately, it’s a nice surprise.

The EU’s position also plays into the hands of Ukraine (by the way, I was not expecting that), for which I’d like to give a special ‘thank you’ to Europeans. Michael Mann, the Chief Spokesperson to [HRVP Catherine] Ashton, said that the ATO is not a violation of the Geneva agreement. The European Union recognizes the right of the Ukrainian authorities to take forceful measures to protect the sovereignty of their state.

2. Mykhaylo Okhendovsky, the Head of the Central Election Commission of Ukraine said that the Presidential elections would be held on May 25, 2014 under any “political climate.”

In fact, May 25 is our main landmark. If elections take place, then we will have a President recognized by the world, and therefore, a hope for stability.

Of course, Russia will not leave us alone. But if we hold out until May 25, it will be easier to resist it. Just as it will be more difficult for Russia to act against Ukraine, shaking its clown Yanukovych as the “legitimate leader” of Ukraine.

3. Russian NTV channel claims that they lost their employee in Ukraine. Just like when Joseph Goebbels’ propagandist dissapeared at Stalingrad. I want to feel sorry for the poor fellow, but it’s impossible.

Informational leaflet for Ukrainians in East Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers are sprinkling informational leaflets from helicopters for citizens living in East Ukraine. Below are the text from one of these leaflets:

For the peaceful part of population in Kramatorsk and Slavyansk regarding the SURVIVAL in the territories where RUSSIAN TERRORISTS ARE ACTIVE

Peaceful citizens of Kramatorsk and Slavyansk, your home country has turned into a training area of Russian saboteurs testing their punitive actions, terrorist activity and preparing for provocations with huge civil casualties!

To protect yourselves and your relatives and to end the terror as quickly as possible please observe the following rules:

1. Under no circumstances approach demonstrations (even if they are small) that are taking place in front of the captured administrative buildings – your presence is helping the terrorists. You become a live shield and a hostage. The more casualties there are, the better it is for the Russian saboteurs, and surely this image will be broadcasted on the Russian mass media.

2. Do not listen to those who advocate federalization and separatism in the streets, who is urging to storm the government buildings – these are corrupt activists receiving 1000 Hrivnas per day.

3. If you see sportsmanlike youth, people with military outfit moving in or towards the captured buildings or people of any age and appearance bringing grocery bags to them – please inform about this the nearest member of police, army, anti-terrorist troops or SBU. If you don’t have such possibility please call the hotline number below.

4. Under no circumstances enlist in any formations of groups – Russian special services will be using your data against you for blackmail and trying to force you to participate in illegal actions and support of terrorists.

5. Avoid places of people gatherings – there are militants of Russian special forces among the demonstrators who must physically eliminate everybody who is trying to criticize the efforts of Russia. They will try to use you as live shield the same way as the Soviet occupants in the period of 1941-1945.

6. Restrain your relatives, acquaintances from supporting terrorists and participating in anti-Ukrainian protests – by doing this you will protect their lives and health. Terrorists consider all participants of the demonstrations as potential casualties, they also received orders to kill peaceful citizens trying to contact the government.


Hotline of SB of Ukraine 0-800-50-14-82

‘Amnesty’ for Crimean Tatars

Yesterday Russia announced Vladimir Putin’s decision to rehabilitate Crimean Tatars. For your consideration we present not only the official announcement of Russian authorities, but some more information, which will help you drawing your own conclusions.

The official announcement:

Moscow, April 21. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian president Vladimir Putin has signed an order rehabilitating Crimean Tatars and other people of Crimea, who suffered repressions.

‘I would like to use this opportunity to inform my colleagues about a decree rehabilitating Crimean Tatars, Armenians, Germans, Greeks and all other nations having suffered repressions during the Stalin era’ ,- Said Putin.

Quoting Mr.Putin, the decree lays the ‘social – economic supply tools, which are allocated for some territories, which during the last few years or even decades had actually been abandoned and „ are not legally executed’.

On the 19th of April 2014, Mustafa Dzhemilev, the leader of the Crimean Tatars, on the Ukrainian Gromadske TV announced having some reliable information about new Russian FSB’s (Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation) plans of Crimean Tatar expulsion.

‘Free Ukraine’ and ‘ULLL’ have informed that in 1944, a mass deportation of Crimean Tatars was executed. By the decision of Josif Stalin, about 180 000 people were deported, mostly to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. Those who were incapable of leaving their homes or tried to resist, were executed on the spot. Tatars were transported in cattle-trucks, most often they didn’t have food for weeks, and sometimes not even water. Bodies of the dead were simply thrown out of the wagons.

Only in 1989 Tatars were allowed to return to their homeland. The decision about the fictitious guilt of Tatars is yet to be abolished.

After the deportations of Crimean Tatars, about 80% of villages were renamed – predictably, mainly those of Tatar origin were targeted. Today just 5 Tatar named villages remain – Bakhchysarai, Dzhankoy, Isun, Saky, Sudak.

April 22, the leader of Crimean Tatar National Movement, Mustafa Dzhemilev was handed a notice forbidding him from entering Crimea or any other Russian territory.

During the last few days, news reports about harsh treatment of Tartars, pogroms, demands to leave etc. became more and more frequent. Crimean Tatars refuse to recognize the occupation carried out by Russia.

Lithuanian Parliament pass a resolution on the situation in Ukraine

April 24 Lithuanian Parliament has released a resolution, condemning any form of Russian aggression in Ukraine and stressing the importance of dialogue between the two parties. The resolution reads:

‘The Parliament <…>, following the internationally accepted law principles <…>, especially the principles of peaceful international conflict solutions, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries, human rights and main principles of freedom, established in Charter of the United Nations <…> condemns any form of aggression, including armed invasion into the territory of another country, occupation and annexation of its territory, organization of armed gangs and the sending of them into the territory of another country, also the illegal granting of citizenship, creation of puppet organizations and systematic violations of human rights in the occupied territory.’

‘<..> (The Parliament) recognizes the territorial integrity of Ukraine, part of which, with accordance to the Section 10 of the Constitution of Ukraine, is the Autonomous Republic of Crimea; states, that the Referendum, organized in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea goes against the Constitution of Ukraine and that its results are illegal and worthless; regards the ongoing presence of Russian armed forces and armed groups, controlled by them, as an occupation of parts of Ukraine, which is a rough violation of general imperative international norms of law; notes, that organizing, sending and supporting armed gangs , occupying state buildings within Ukrainian territory <…> is a rough violation of non-interference principles towards internal affairs of other countries, and the Russian Federation requirements to change the state and constitutional order, the defense of so called ‘Russian speakers’ is an illegal interference into Ukrainian internal affairs; states that following the international law in case of such rough violations, countries must cooperate so that these violations are stopped in a legal manner.’

‘Both countries are encouraged to create a dialogue and withstand actions such as promotion of separatism and blackmail in Energy Sector, which could complicate the search of an internationally lawful, peaceful and eligible solution’.

‘European Union is encouraged to treat energetic independence from Russian Federation as one of the main strategic tasks of EU energetic safety policy’.

Unofficial translation

April 24, 2014 Lithuanian media round-up

Today Lithuanian Parliament accepted the resolution on the situation in Ukraine, condemning any form of Russian aggression in Ukraine and stressing the importance of dialogue between the two parties. Both countries (Russia and Ukraine – ed.) were encouraged to create a dialogue and withstand actions such as promotion of separatism and blackmail in Energy Sector, which could complicate the search of an internationally lawful, peaceful and eligible solution. Resolution was supported by 49 members of parliament, 1 against and 8 abstained. Read more in Lithuania Tribune: http://www.lithuaniatribune.com/67139/seimas-resolution-demands-withdrawal-of-russian-troops-from-ukraine-201467139/.

Today Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė together with 8 other EU Presidents and Eastern Partnership states are participating in the anniversary event marking 5 years of Eastern Partnership in Prague. Swedish Deputy Prime Minister, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and European Commissioner Štefan Füle is also participating in the event. During this Summit the situation in Ukraine was discussed and it was decided to give 11 billion euros in support of implementation of important reforms in Ukraine over the next few years. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė and Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Andrii Deshchytsia has also discussed questions regarding Ukrainian security and economic situation and stated: ‘The stronger the democracy in our East neighborhood the more secure we will become’. (Press Service of the President, unofficial translation)

Today Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Neris Germanas has met with with Alois Karl, the new Chairman of the German Bundestag’s Parliamentary Friendship Group for Relations with the Baltic States. They discussed situation in Ukraine, EU reaction to Russian actions and energy and security issues in the region. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs information, unofficial translation)

‘Vkontakte’ founder Pavel Durov is invited to come and stay in Lithuania with his team by Lithuanian startup community. Pavel refused to cooperate with Russian Government and disclose Russian opposition and Maidan activists data so he was forced to leave Russia. (ekonomika.lt, delfi.lt, 15min.lt)

The invitation you can read here: http://www.eddy.lt/2014/04/pavel-come-to-lithuania.html.

Russian propaganda goes crazy

It may seem like a farce, but it’s not. Russian propagandists say that Steve Jobs supports Russian occupation of Crimea. They didn’t get that Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, died three years ago from pancreatic cancer. But they don’t mind. Despite the fact that Jobs died in 2011, they quote him. They might be on drugs, or they might be talking to ghosts. We can’t really know.


One of propagandists in social network VKontakte made “meme” in which he quotes Steve Jobs: “Russia has regained Crimea. This is clear evidence that this government has risen from its knees and will regain its other ancestral realms”.

By the way, delusions about “rising from knees” and regaining mythical “ancestral territories” are quite popular in Russia, especially with Russian neo-nazi groups.

Gabrielius Landsbergis: Russia must be stopped by force

Gabrielius Landsbergis

Gabrielius Landsbergis

Gabrielius Landsbergis, Lithuania

In the 2nd century B.C. Cato the Elder, veteran of the Punic Wars, was aware of the rapidly rising Carthage and was trying to convince other romans to do the ultimate trip to Africa.

To emphasize the importance of defeating Carthage, Cato used the phrase “Carthago delenda est” (English: “Carthage must be destroyed”) to finish most of his speeches.

Maybe it is not be absolutely correct to use this phase straightforwardly for today’s situation but based on the idea of the Roman senator, I declare that Russia must be defeated – stopped by force because it is not going to stop and its aggression is going to continue.

Politicians and analysts are discussing about possible scenarios of conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Both scenarios, one where Russia falls back and starts negotiations, or the one where part of Eastern Ukraine will be annexed by Russia, are essentially the same. Russia’s history and its imperial logic dictates one thing – Russia’s expansion goes on until it is stopped by some natural barriers or geopolitical forces. Russia was always focused on expansion, e.g. the Second partition of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Stalin’s plans to march to Pyrenees, etc.

Current government in Russia, that considers the collapse of Soviet Union as a geopolitical catastrophe, is thinking about Russia in the same way – Russia must expand its territory. In the Western world we were to believe that after Cold War history of this kind is over. Unfortunately, occupation of parts of Georgia in 2008, was a cold shower for this belief. And those that were not convinced that Russia has serious plans to expand its territory, annexation of Crimea was a crystal clear proof that they were wrong.

Illusion of the End of History and Last Man by Francis Fukuyama was offering an opinion that the era of the conventional war is over – there will be no more territorial attacks, no front lines, declarations of war, ceasefires, and defeats. The end of the Cold War created an interesting situation where the winner was obvious – there were no doubts that USA was the winner, but there were no loser declared. Modern world, guided by the dogmatic idealism, decided that it is not fair to humiliate the loser, it would be wrong to force him to sign the act of peace treaty, or to force to recognize its criminal past and crimes against humanity.

This was a paradoxical situation in which the loser was not a loser. The closest comparison would be with Germany after WWI. This Germany was humiliated but it was not defeated. It was the key which let Hitler to spread the revenge ideology: Germany was never defeated, because such great force as Kaiser Germany cannot be defeated, and only temporal weakness was the reason for the humiliation. Isn’t it the same basic idea behind Putin’s claims on Yeltsin’s government? Yeltsin was weak therefore the mighty Russia was humiliated and had the economic chaos, etc. There are way more similarities between nazi Germany and Putin’s Russia.

There is a good reason why winners of WWII in 1945 didn’t want to take risks – all Germany was divided into 4 parts. Its capital Berlin was also divided into 4 parts. USA, Great Britain, and France didn’t want any compromises – total disarmament, Nuremberg trials, and division of the country were executed to make sure that there will be no debates on who have won the war. And only when winners decide that Germany is ready, the sovereignty will be returned.

I had a neighbor whose father was nazi soldier and after the war was sent to prison. Today this man is one of many german seniors living in Southern Germany. My neighbor told me that talking about his father is very painful because it forces to feel the shame and guilt. The man also said that it is hard for him to understand motives behind German citizens that were following Hitlers, and therefore killed millions. Nowadays, Germans are very peaceful, therefore completely different from Germans that were cheering Hitler in 1938.

Can we expect such a story from a russian person, when 50% of russians are supporting sending troops not only to Ukraine but also to Baltic states? In my opinion, “soft measures” taken against Russia will only give the feeling for russian people that someone is not completely fair with them. A common russian person who is strongly affected by governmental propaganda has an idea that Russia  was only giving a helping hand for Russian speaking people in Crimea, and was punished without a reason. He thinks that Russia needs to defend itself and to prove that Russia is strong and Western countries need to show some respect.

Unfortunately, history is still here and it’s not going anywhere. This is an era of realpolitik and geopolitics. Therefore, Russia must be defeated, otherwise it is not going to stop itself. If it is not stopped in Crimea, then it must be stopped in Eastern Ukraine or Transnistria, or Baltic states, or Poland, or… Sooner or later Russia will be forced to recognize the defeat and to face the reality. Defeat for Russia is going to be extremely painful – loss of territories, trials for the elite, confiscation of property, maybe even the collapse of the whole country. But only then we’ll be able to talk about the real Russian Spring.

Russia must be stopped for its own good. If Cato’s call seems too old, we can remember George Kennan. His policy on Russia finally was accepted as the right one. He was stating that “soviet force has no concrete plans and it takes no risks. It is not using arguments but it obeys logic of power. Due to this reason it falls back and frequently does it when faces serious resistance.” Now we, the Western world, need to follow Kennan idea, we need to enforce an effective strategy against Russia that would lead to the essential renewal of its mindset.


According to Kremlin media, Simon Ostrovsky from VICE News turned out to be a Right Sector informer

Simon Ostrovsky, reporting from Donetsk

Simon Ostrovsky, reporting from Donetsk

NTV, one of the leading Russian-language TV channels, has posted an article on its website boasting a stunning headline: Dual-citizen journalist turned out to be Right Sector informer (link in Russian).

As many of you know, during past few months Simon Ostrovsky has become one of the most followed Western journalists covering the Ukrainian crisis with his successful video reports. Ostrovsky, who was born in the USSR, currently resides in the USA.

Ostrovsky is held captive by pro-Russian insurgents in the Ukrainian town of Sloviansk since April 22. It appears that Russian media company accurately repeated the explanation provided by Mr Ponomaryov, self-declared people’s mayor of Sloviansk. Ponomaryov stated earlier that Israeli-American filmmaker was visiting Sloviansk with a purpose of providing information to the Right Sector radical movement.