Dmitry Tymchuk’s Military Blog: Summary – May 19, 2014

Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

The bad news:

1. The farther [they go], the less terrorists in Donbass are burdened by moral and ethical standards. This morning, our posts near Slavyansk were shot at by mortars mounted on the territory of a kindergarten.

Using women and the elderly as human shields is no longer a novelty. Firing positions in apartment buildings are also nothing new. The farther [they go], the more cynical and despicable [they get].

2. We don’t observe a withdrawal of Russian troops as was reported by Russian media citing the Kremlin. The media announced that “[military] exercises in Belgorod, Bryansk, and Rostov Regions have been completed” and Putin’s little soldiers would return to the places of their permanent deployment.

This is not the first time Moscow is launching this “duck,” we have grown accustomed to such lies. But today, the withdrawal of Russian troops is extremely important for us.

For one simple reason–I have already mentioned it today. This would not only reduce the degree of tension in Donbass, but would relieve some of the [Ukrainian] forces that are keeping defense along our Eastern border today. And these forces are badly needed for the Presidential elections on May 25 in the region.

But, let’s wait on what happens tomorrow. Maybe Russian troops really will be removed from the border after all. Although to believe Putin–is to deceive oneself. Been there, done that.

3. The SBU received five reports about possible attempts on lives of candidates for the President of Ukraine, the Deputy Head of the SBU Viktor Yagun announced.

In fact, the information received by the SBU does not mean these were 100% attempts on their lives. But the general tendency this announcement reflects: that terrorists can take any possible measures just to disrupt the elections. And the closer it is to May 25, the less boring it will become.

The good news:

1. The governor of Donetsk Region Serhiy Taruta stated today: the support for separatists declined sharply in the Region. Yesterday, only 500 people came to their action in Donetsk. We observe a decrease of terrorist support in Luhansk Region as well.

Ordinary residents of Donbass–even the ones infected with Putin’s propaganda about the “fascist government in Kyiv”–have grown tired. They, like all normal people, want peace and stability.

We still must understand who exactly is fighting for the “independence of Donbass.” When a drunk and cussing creature comes to you, breaks into your home and sets up a “firing position,” or shoots your neighbor for supporting the “Right Sector,” you inevitably begin to wonder who the hell this “independence” is for.

2. Today, over 50 terrorists in 10 vehicles approached the checkpoint near the town of  Amvrosievka  in Donetsk region at the state border with Russia. An armed fight followed. The outcome: none of ours got hurt, one terrorist was killed, seven–wounded, one was captured.

This ratio is encouraging. But what is discouraging is that most reposts from the ATO [anti-terrorist operation] area talk about the terrorists attacking and the security forces defending themselves. For it’s unclear which one of them actually conducts the operation.

Let’s hope that the situation will change. We are sick and tired of this.

3. Dnipropetrovsk Region formed four battalions of volunteers as part of the Ministry of Defense and the Interior Ministry. The self-defense forces provide 4,000 servicemen at the checkpoints.

Actually, it’s the tip of the iceberg. Similar battalions in the Army and the Interior Ministry are forming all over Ukraine.

Unfortunately, the data about the number of these units and the number of personnel are closed. I can only say the following: the scale of the process is impressive. The country is able to defend itself–both from Putin, and from pro-Russian terrorists. If only we could solve the problem of Donbass…

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