Despite a ban on any demonstrations by the Russian occupation authorities and a decision by the Milli Mejlis not to hold a mass commemoration lest it become the occasion for a Russian provocation, thousands of Crimean Tatars have assembled in their homeland today to mark the 70th anniversary of their deportation by Stalin.
Today (ed.-18th of May), all roads approaching Simferopol were under surveillance by the police and security forces, to make sure that Crimean Tatars weren’t able to get to their traditional May 18th rally in an organized manner. Most people decided to get to the rally separately. Russian security forces created artificial traffic jams on the main roads. So, many people ended up walking to the rally point at the Ak-Mosque/Kebir-Jami Mosque in pouring rain, leaving their cars behind. Moreover, there entire city was chock full of the ‘self-defense’ gangs with helicopters flying over. About 40 minutes after the the rally started, helicopters left and it stopped raining.
Despite all efforts to prevent the commemoration, several hundred people with Crimean Tatar national flags finally assembled in the Salgirka Park, and several hundred more met in the square in front of that city’s railroad station where the foundation has been laid for a future monument to the deportation which involved 200,000 Crimean Tatars, a large fraction of whom died as a result.
They were peaceful, did not use loudspeakers as in the past, and were surrounded by a heavy presence of Russian security officers. After brief meetings, they left in small groups via public transport and traveled to the predominantly Crimean Tatar Akmechet district away from the city center where they have joined more than 5,000 others
According to the Kryminform news agency, people from all parts of Simferopol as well as neighboring regions are at the meeting. They are carrying Crimean Tatar flags and slogans like “The Motherland! The People! Crimea!” And they are being addressed by longtime veterans of the Crimean Tatar national movement.
Also in attendance are representatives of the other peoples who were deported from the peninsula in 1944. In the air above the demonstration, Kryminform reports, there are two government helicopters. But as of this writing (0630 EDT in the United States), security officials have tried to enforce their regime’s ban on such meetings or reports of any clashes between them and the Crimean Tatars.
You can also read this photo report about commemoration in Simferopol: https://news.pn/en/public/104378. And Dmitry Tymchuk also writes about it here: http://maidantranslations.com/2014/05/18/dmitry-tymchuk-70th-anniversary-of-crimean-deportation-peaceful-rallies-in-crimea-today/.
Meeting ‘Light a fire in your heart’ was held in Lviv (photos by Alim Aliev)
Dnipropetrovsk also held a rally commemorating the deportation of Crimean Tatars on May 17. The Crimean national symbol ‘tamga’ was formed out of lit candles on the bank of the Dnieper river. Representatives of the Crimean Tatar community as well as Ukrainians and people of other nationalities participated in the gathering. The activists plan to ask the city authorities to grant them a flowerbed where volunteers will make a ‘tamga’ out of planted flowers.
Commemoration in Dzhankoy:
Beyond the borders of Crimea, there have been meetings and declarations of support for the Crimean Tatars and their cause from governments and public organizations around the world. The quiet courage the Crimean Tatars have displayed in coming out today in the face of a new wave of Russian repression will only gain them and their cause more support.
And consequently, while the number of Crimean Tatars taking part in this year’s round anniversary commemoration is smaller than the 30,000 who have typically gathered in recent years, the event this year has achieved even more for the Crimean Tatar cause and its fight for justice than did any previous meeting.
On 17th of May, news portal lzinios.lt published an interview with Elvina Ergashova, Crimean Tatar. She said that ‘Tatar’s situation in Crimea is very tense at this moment.’ Also Elvina hopes that Crimea will come back to Ukraine in a year or two and this chaos and terror will come to an end.’ (lzinios.lt)
On 17th of May, Vytautas Leškevičius, Lithuanian Vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, met with Mustafa Dzhemilev, Leader of the Crimean Tatars, in Kiev. According to Mustafa Dzhemilev, ‘kidnapping of Tatars, prohibition to speak the native language, limitations of the meeting law, discrimination and even murders because of ethnicity became common place in occupied Crimea.’ (ELTA, 15min.lt)
John Kerry, US Secretary of the Department of State, has made a statement on the 70th anniversary of Joseph Stalin’s forcible deportation of more than 230,000 Crimean Tatars from their homeland in Crimea. In his statement, he said that ‘for many Crimean Tatars, these abuses are still fresh in their minds and current Russia’s occupation and illegal attempt to annex Crimea has reopened these old wounds.’ (15min.lt)
By Dmitry Tymchuk, Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
The bad news:
1. Today, we recorded a gathering of Russian troops previously located in the 100 km [62 mile] zone from the border between the Russian Federation and Ukraine, closer to the Ukrainian border. At the same time, they did not approach the direct line-of-sight zone immediately next to the border.
Russian commanders were instructed to prepare for a “peacekeeping operation.” Our border patrol servicemen note that the provocations at the border have died down.
It’s like the calm before the storm.
Although, if Vladimir Putin really wanted to move his troops into Ukraine–Moscow would have recognized the results of the May 11 “pseudoreferendums” in Donbass and would have done so.
It seems that this is just the continuation of long-standing pressure. Let’s see what happens close to the Presidential elections in Ukraine (scheduled for May 25). But we must be ready or anything–however, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense reported that the army is ready for the invasion scenario.
2. The anti-terrorist operation (ATO) once again resumed its crazy jolts. After yesterday’s pro-active phase, the special forces calmed down too quickly–and instantly received a reply.
In Donetsk and Slavyansk, terrorists keep building impressive checkpoints in broad daylight. They bring in the construction cranes, and install the concrete blocks. Military bases and even staff headquarters are being attacked–as happened with the HQ of the Eastern Operative Association of the National Guard in Donetsk.
To be honest with you, it’s already getting tired. Personally, I have no words for it. It’s already not a betrayal or “leaks” of the ATO–it’s some bloody surrealistic art house. And endless at that.
3. The Crimean Tatars. The day after tomorrow is the anniversary of their deportation (from Crimea to primarily Uzbek USSR). This year, they will celebrate this tragic date in a big prison camp once again–no longer called the “USSR” but the “Russian Federation.”
Crimean Tatars have been prohibited from holding any public events. Their homes are being searched throughout. Crimea is stuffed to its eyeballs with OMON police. In a word: Putin-style democracy.
We shouldn’t forget about our Crimean brothers–neither Crimean Tatars nor Ukrainians. Currently Kiev seems to have stopped paying attention to their problems. We don’t hear their confident and harsh statements addressed to Moscow regarding gross human rights violations in Crimea. We consider this a betrayal.
We, the Information Resistance group, are restoring our (information) network and resuming our work in Crimea. It’s our duty. Forgive us for temporarily being distracted from fulfilling our duty.
The good news:
1. The Prosecutor General’s office of Ukraine has finally officially recognized the “People’s Republic of Luhansk” (LPR) and “People’s Republic of Donetsk” (DPR) the terrorist organizations. This was the First Deputy to the Prosecutor General, Nikolay Golomsha.
The fact that these gentlemen who kidnap people and kill-rob-and-rape them, can never be called members of the Macrame Lovers Club, is obvious to everyone. But we now have their official definition. Everyone in the world knows what a terrorist is.
Today, I also resorted to polemics with a representative from Akhmetov’s company on this. She tried to prove to the whole wide world that cooperation with terrorists, as Rinat Akhmetov’s “Metinvest” engages in (accompanied by demands requiring Ukrainian security forces get out of Donbass), is a pledge of peace and prosperity. And since I criticize this tender friendship between Akhmetov’s structures and terrorists, I must be a very bad man. Like, the bandits in Donbass are not terrorists at all, but almost cute and pleasant people.
From now on, these guys can no longer justify their actions. Anyone who recognizes the “DPR” and “LPR” and enters into cooperation with them–are officially the accomplices of terrorists. In addition to our local “princelings” represented by oligarchs in the East, it also applies to the main sponsor of terrorism in Ukraine–Russia.
2. The UN report on Ukraine dotted it’s “i’s”.
The United Nations stated who the pro-Russian “people’s militia” (as Russia calls them) truly are. And this image completely coincides with that seen by simple Ukrainian citizens, patriots of their country. And thugs and criminals is what we see.
What’s even funnier is that Russia got immediately outraged by this. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in its deceitful terminology of propaganda, criticized the UN. According to Russian authorities, their own lying propagandists who get rewarded with prizes and awards by Vladimir Putin for dragging Ukraine into the mud, are the truth of last resort. And the rest of the world lies.
Really, the Kremlin inhabitants have the same rotten barley cereals instead of brains that little Russian soldiers devour in Rostov Region at the border with Ukraine.
3. In Luhansk, the terrorist Alexei Rilke, the man dubbed as the “commander” of the so-called “South-East army” was detained.
One would think–nothing out of the ordinary, another bandit has been captured. Slap him on the ears–and lock him up.
But in reality, there aren’t too many freaks stirring the pot in Donbass. If a dozen or two pro-Russian “figures” (which have now declared themselves “Ministers,” “Speakers,” and “Commanders-in-Chief”) get locked up–half the work is done. That’s why we should have more news like this.
4. The Ukrainian Defense Minister announced today: servicemen participating in the ATO will receive increased monetary compensation, an expanded range of social guarantees, and number of benefits.
This is a very rare occurrence in Ukraine, where the emergence of new beneficiaries can and should be welcomed.
At the same time, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk gave instructions to provide housing for the families of servicemen who died during the ATO. And this also is very important.
Guys who shed their blood today for the unity and sovereignty of our state are our Heroes. And the state should do everything it can so that they feel the state’s attention and care. This is the correct thing to do.
On 16th of May Lithuanian Parliament delegated 8 Members of Parliament to observe elections of Ukrainian President, which will be held on 25th of May. (Lithuanian Parliament Press Office, BNS, ELTA, 15min.lt)
On 17th of May Street Music Day will be held for the first time in Kiev, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Dnipropetrovsk and Odessa. Lithuanian artists will arrive to support European Ukraine: groups ‘Biplan’, ‘Dee&Kammy’, ‘Colors Of Bubbles’, Jurgis Didžiulis will perform in Kiev, Edgaras Lubys/Amberlife and percussionist Donatas Senkus – in Lviv. (veidas.lt, vz.lt, delfi.lt, 15min.lt)
On 16th of May Vytautas Leškevičius, Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Valeriy Piatnytsk, Government’s Commissioner for European Integration of Ukraine chaired the 10th meeting of the Lithuania-Ukraine Commission for European Integration. The Commission meeting discussed the creation of a coordination mechanism for European integration in Ukraine, Ukraine’s progress towards a visa-free regime with the EU and possible Lithuania’s expert assistance to Ukraine in the implementation of the Association Agenda. The representatives of Ukraine pointed out that they highly appreciated Lithuania’s support and consultations. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs information, ELTA, lrytas.lt)
On 16th of May Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO chief, said that ‘he could no longer trust Russia’s assurances on sovereignty and the territorial integrity of countries in the region after its annexation of Crimea’ (vz.lt, lrytas.lt, 15min.lt, delfi.lt). Read more in The Times of Israel: http://www.timesofisrael.com/nato-chief-no-one-can-trust-russia-after-ukraine/#ixzz31u0kaIJu.
On 16th of May second United Nations report about human rights situation in Ukraine was published. It says that ‘human rights violations have escalated in Eastern Ukraine and serious problems are emerging in Crimea, as well as a “wave of abductions and unlawful detentions” of journalists, activists, politicians, representatives of international bodies and members of the military’ (delfi.lt, lrytas.lt, 15min.lt). Read more in Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/16/us-ukraine-crisis-un-idUSBREA4F05Y20140516.
On 14th of May Bill Clinton, former President of United States, accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of attempting to ‘re-establish Russian greatness, not in Cold War terms — in 19th-century-empire terms,’ warning world leaders they are perhaps dealing not with a rational foreign-policy thinker (delfi.lt, 15min.lt). Read more in Business insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/bill-clinton-putin-ukraine-russia-obama-2014-5#ixzz31u3nvN7S.
On May 16th Helmut Schmidt, former Chancellor of Germany, said that ‘Ukraine’s crisis reminds the eve of World War I and danger that situation will become more tense, as it did in August of 1914, is growing everyday.’ (delfi.lt, balsas.lt, 15min.lt)
We are speaking with Dmitry Tymchuk, the leader of ‘Information Resistance’ (IR) group and the head of ‘Military and Political center’, about anti-terrorist operation in general and problems of Ukrainian armed forces that relates to the execution of ATO.
-Everyone has questions why ATO is so sluggish and ineffective. What is your opinion why the operation has failed?
I wouldn’t say that ATO has failed. Under all given circumstances ATO has reached some results and that is very good. We need to consider that there were plenty of factors influencing the success of ATO in order to understand the amount of problems that ATO soldiers had to overcome. There are several reasons for inefficiency: political, military, psychological, economic (speaking about material and technical supplies)
-I prefer to start from the cornerstone – politics.
Starting from events in Crimea it has become very common to personally blame either O. Turchynov or A. Yatsenyuk. And Yatsenyuk is involved only to not leave Turchynov alone in the blacklist. And, of course, generals of armed forces are there to be blamed as well. Our ‘Information Resistance’ group is not an exception – we also have blamed our government on many occasions.
And it is pretty logical: a fish rots from the head down. On the other hand, after Crimea we had many opportunities to evaluate the situation from the common point of view. And the more we learned the more questions arose regarding every level of governance. Moreover, it turned out that most of questions aimed at Turchynov had to answered by someone else.
Talking about political situation. Yes, after events in Crimea we had no clear position from our highest ranking officers. But in last two months many things have changed. According to our data, Ukrainian government mustered the required political courage to finally start dealing with problems in Donbass.
Unfortunately there’s starts other problems. Firstly, international pressure. Yes, the West supports us – applying sanctions for Russia and encouraging us. But the West has a clear stance – only negotiations and no blood.
This is nonsense. Negotiations are possible only with those who solve problems in a diplomatic way. But if those invited to “round-table discussions” reply with terrorism, they must be punished.
Second problem is Russia. A lot was said about not provoking Russia that I can’t go into that again.
-What about famous ‘Tymoshenko trace’? We often hear that Yulia Volodymyrivna doesn’t need presidential elections in which she has no chances to win. Therefore, Turchynov and Yatsenyuk, who are controlled by Tymoshenko, are failing ATO on purpose to prevent the election.
I have to admit that we also had such suspicions. But now I can claim that yes, current government can’t find competent people to manage ATO. This is the problem and responsibility of our government. ATO is blocked by many internal problems, but we can’t see ‘Tymoshenko’s hand’ there. Whether you believe it or not, this is the way it is.
Personally I’m convinced that current government already has enough real shortages and there is no need to invent new ones. It would be better to realize the situation and fix those issues that currently are ‘in the shadows’.
-Responsibility of 13th of May, 2014 tragedy when soldiers of 95th brigade died, in social networks was assigned to Turchynov and Avakov…
This is nonsense. In case of Avakov – what is the relation between him and 95th brigade or military actions during ATO? These questions should be given to Koval (Minister of Defense) and Mykhailo Kutsyn ( Chief of the General Staff and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine). But for unknown reasons none of the critics have even mentioned them.
In case of Turchynov is the same situation. Is Turchynov assigning tasks for every brigade? Is he giving direct orders? Is he responsible for supplies? Is he personally responsible for actions that according to the military alphabet should be responsible head of a squad? If commanders starting from lieutenant doesn’t know statute then how president is involved into this?
We need to get rid of our habit to blame government for every single reason. It is very convenient to do so but with this way we will never solve our main problems and no significant victories will be achieved.
But I’m wrong – President is related. Turchynov‘s problem as the Supreme Commander is that in ATO headquarters sits incompetent bunch of high ranking officers, which competency and adequacy for that positions are questionable. And the all other problems goes down ike a domino to the lowest rank soldiers.
By the way, the generals of military in ATO headquarters are causing most of the doubts. These gentlemen embody the poorness of our military. Pathological tendency to lie and pretend, panic fear to take responsibility for decision making, total lack of professionalism. This is an ugly picture and in today’s situation is unacceptable.
-There were many great talks about General Vasily Krutov, the Head of ATO, but as the time went on these talks were getting more and more negative…
Before ATO I talked with V. Krutov only once, therefore I can’t say that I know him well. I can only agree with the opinion of those who know him for a long time and are working with him now. The work in the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has negatively affected him.
-Why is he not substituted with someone else?
To whom? Tell me the name. We (ed. Information Resistance group) will talk about the candidate and in case of him being trustworthy we start lobbying him. I personally don’t know any good candidates. On the other hand, I’m not an expert of anti-terrorism.
-So, everything can be fixed by changing the government?
We (ed. Information Resistance group) group thinks that government issues are the main problem. Solving this problem will catalyze solutions for the rest of the problems.
First of all, behavior of the soldier depends from his commander. I know this from the times of my own military service when I was a deputy company commander.
From the very beginning of ATO campaign the biggest issue was and still is that our forces – firstly military (more precisely commanders of all levels)- are not psychologically prepared for a battle. It is a paradox, but it is a fact. There are plenty of examples starting from Crimea when officers of middle and juniors ranks and privates simply refused to execute commands or even sabotaged them.
Our army was never fighting seriously. Experience in peacemaking operations is very limited – only Iraq can be mentioned. In other campaigns our soldiers were mainly in guarding roles. All this leads to a catastrophic condition of military training and total degradation of the military education system.
And much the same is within the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Our officers were very brave when confronted with unarmed protesters of Maidan. But when they faced well armed criminals we immediately fell into trouble.
But now we see that SBU together with the National Guard of Ukraine are successfully executing their tasks. In general, experience has a high price, but it can be gained and this is the most important thing. Also I am sure if we would have more adequate generals coordinating operations we would have much more victories and much less blood.
-Speaking about the provision of ATO or more exactly the already legendary lack of it?
At the very beginning of operation it turned out that army had no resources. Army warehouses were empty – most of the things were stolen ages ago. By the way most of the thieves are working in the Ministry of Defense and General Headquarters now and continue to do the dirty jobs. For now I’ll say no names, but I promise, we are going to reveal them.
Resource allocation system (which was implemented even before Yanukovych and his team) turned out to be a very efficient way to steal governmental money, but was poorly suited to supply outside the permanent dislocation place located military units combat actions.
In the Ministry of Internal Affairs – the same problem. Suddenly it was noticed that there are no basic tools for police operations, for example stun grenades. It seems that everything was consumed for Maidan protests during reign of Yanukovych.
All these problems are being solved now. But urgency causes other troubles. The Ministry of Defense public purchasing system (which is declared as “clear”, which in fact is strongly corrupted) allows to receive goods only after 120 days from the day of the public offer is made even when finances are available. Recently a special law for ATO was passed but we can’t say that it was implemented successfully.
Another problem is that we simply can’t buy all the equipment we need from local manufacturers. Nevertheless the West promised their support, but until now not much of it had reached us. We can’t buy equipment from Europe because while “supporting” us, Europe has prohibited selling military equipment to Ukraine. On one hand, it makes sense because EU and UN has regulations preventing sale of weapons to conflict zones. But on the other hand, no one needs such “West support”. It is just a hypocrisy. As of now we can only rely on ourselves and partly on Americans.
But we must remember, that every problem with supplies of equipment is directly related with health and lives of our soldiers. Also every military officer that is responsible for solving these problems must be named and we should demand personal responsibility from him. Otherwise ATO will remain a waste without any significant results.
Interviewer: Ana Shumakova
On 15th of May, Alexander Lukashenko, Belarusian President, met with Mikhail Yezhel, Ukraine’s Ambassador in Belarus. During the meeting Belarusian President said that ‘he wishes that the Ukraine crisis ended as soon as possible and that there was no need to pull Ukraine in any blocs or bring troops there from any side.’ (delfi.lt, lrytas.lt)
Marius Laurinavičius, analyst of Eastern Europe Studies Center, in his commentary in IQ journal said that ‘Russia is determined to target weak states such as Ukraine firstly, because in these countries it is easy to split up society according to plans form directors of Moscow and also that they hoped to win without any help from army.’ (IQ journal)
On 15th of May Linas Linkevičius, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, participated in global security forum GLOBSEC and stressed the need to ensure independent elections of Ukrainian President in order to stabilise situation in Ukraine.The representatives of the states also agreed to continue to strengthen and coordinate a response to Russian aggression, annexation of Crimea and continuous subversion activities in Eastern Ukraine. (Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs information, ELTA, 15min.lt)
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
The bad news:
1. The first so-called “Ukrainian Round Table of National Unity” started with a farce.
The leader of the Regions Party faction [Olexander] Yefremov started threatening the government in connection with the anti-terrorist operation [ATO]. Apparently, the terrorists in the East have their own “vision,” and are concerned with the matter of “historical justice.” While the Ukrainian government, which dared to retaliate against banditry wrought under the Russian flag, is all but a band of torturers and low-lives.
It is unclear what Yefremov considers to be the “justice” that the separatists are fighting for. The right to murder, kidnap and torture people? The right to plunder and maraud? If that is the case, then their “justice” is not far removed from that of the Party of Regions. The above activities are exactly what the leaders of that party–namely, Yanukovych and his ilk–practiced during their time in power.
I have said it before and will say it again–a dialogue with the East is one thing, and a dialogue with terrorists, entirely another. The anti-terrorist operation is not directed against peaceful civilians, regardless of how critical they are of the Ukrainian government. The ATO is aimed at counteracting terrorism. Because of this fact, anything that Yefremov and his kind have to say about the actions of Ukrainian enforcers is nothing but nonsense and pure provocation.
By the way, Yefremov went further in his cynicism and hypocrisy by comparing Ukrainian special forces to Soviet troops that suppressed the uprising in Hungary in 1956. I’m not sure if he is actually insane or faking it. In Hungary, people rose up against occupiers. In Donbass, occupiers, under a foreign country’s flag, are instigating people to fight against their own country. How can a sane person compare these two cases? Such soapbox rhetoric puts to shame even [Petro] Symonenko and [Nataliya] Vitrenko [leaders of the Communist Party of Ukraine and the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, respectively, known for their pro-Russian views].
2. Separatists in Donbass threaten violence against members of election commissions and their families. In Antrazyt, Luhansk Region, the district election commission has been captured. The purpose of that is clear–sabotaging the [Presidential] elections on May 25.
As the election date draws near, we must be more and more prepared for difficult days. But I’m convinced that we will make it through. Besides, the OSCE made promises to make sure that the [Presidential] elections in Ukraine are carried out fairly, transparently, and without external interference.
3. [Acting President Olexander] Turchynov demanded that the border service explains how the self-proclaimed “people’s governor” and the leader of the Luhansk Region separatists [Valeriy] Bolotov managed to leave for Russia without any problems.
The border service replied–no one stopped him from leaving the country. Apparently, there were no reasons to prohibit [Bolotov] to cross the border.
I’m not sure whether to laugh at this or cry. Logically, one understands that in our bureaucratic country, the border service is technically in the right. But the situation, nevertheless, smells strongly of lunacy.
4. The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine estimates Ukraine’s losses from [Russia’s] annexation of Crimea at over UAH 1 trillion.
And this is just the beginning. Next, Russia will start stealing Ukrainian gas from the Black Sea shelf deposits–they [Russia] said so themselves. In the end, Putin’s Crimean hustle will be (and already is) very expensive for us.
The good news:
1. The “Ukrainian Round Table of National Unity,” again. The dialogue started, and that is a definite plus.
To be honest, personally, I’m critical of this event. For one simple reason–the East currently has no leaders who could participate in the dialogue and who have the trust of the residents of eastern regions. I hope to high heaven that I’m mistaken in this.
But the very fact that the Ukrainian government is looking for an opportunity to hear the East, and be heard by them, is an undoubtedly positive development.
2. In the Airborne Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, combat capability of five anti-aircraft missile units has been restored.
In reality, the restored amount is drastically small for a country as big as Ukraine. But we have to take the situation into account. Regretfully, we are not at liberty to present even the most general of figures here, but, suffice to say, the state of our anti-aircraft forces is nothing to write home about. Therefore, any improvement in this field is worth its weight in gold.
3. The management of one of Brussels’ municipalities did not allow the Rendezvous with Russia festival to be held on its territory. The reason [behind the refusal] was the current events in Ukraine.
In the civilized world, Russia is becoming progressively more synonymous with aggression and evil. Ukraine, on the other hand, is more and more associated with the fight for freedom and sovereignty. This is an objective reflection of reality.
4. [Myroslav] Gai, guardsman of the National Guard, and [Serhiy] Shevchuk, paratrooper of the 95th Separate Airmobile Brigade, raised the Ukrainian flag at the highest point of the town of Slavyansk [Donetsk Region]–namely, the top of the TV broadcasting tower atop Mt. Karachun.
On one hand, this flag means very little, considering how comfortable terrorists are in Slavyansk right now. On the other, it has great importance – it symbolizes that the land it flies over is ours. This land has been covered in blood of our guys, who died at the hands of infiltrating insurgents and local collaborators. And we will fight for our land.
On 14th of May Petras Vaitiekūnas, Lithuanian Ambassador in Ukraine, in a The News radio programme ‘Actual Hour‘ said that ‘the tense situation remains in a most Ukrainian Region. Armed mobs looting flats, shops and banks are raging in separatist’s occupied cities. They also take hostages and demand ransom from relatives, torture and murder families, priests and Ukrainian politics.’ (delfi.lt, lrytas.lt, 15min.lt)
On 14th of May Vytautas Leškevičius, Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Igor Senchar, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia condemned Russian aggression against Ukraine and agreed to continue to hold the position supporting Ukraine’s territorial integrity and non-recognition of the annexation of Crimea. (Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs information)
On 14th of May Sigmar Gabriel, German Vice Chancelor, said that ‘Europe is partly to blame for the crisis in Ukraine although this is no excuse for Russian behaviour towards the former Soviet republic.’ (15min.lt)
Clifford Gaddy, economist and Russia expert, in an interview to Deutsche Welle (DW) said that ‘the only solution to the dispute between Moscow and the West is a neutral Ukraine’ (delfi.lt). Read more in DW: http://www.dw.de/russia-will-not-be-brought-to-its-knees/a-17630878/.
Timothy Snyder, American historian, in his fabulous article said that ‘Even as Europeans follow with alarm or fascination the spread of Russian special forces from Crimea through Donetsk and Luhansk, Vladimir Putin’s propagandists seek to draw Europeans into an alternative reality, an account of history rather different from what most Ukrainians think, or indeed what the evidence can bear. Ukraine has never existed in history, goes the claim, or if it has, only as part of a Russian empire. Ukrainians do not exist as a people; at most they are Little Russians. But if Ukraine and Ukrainians do not exist, then neither does Europe or Europeans. If Ukraine disappears from history, then so does the site of the greatest crimes of both the Nazi and Stalinist regimes. If Ukraine has no past, then Hitler never tried to make an empire, and Stalin never exercised terror by hunger.‘ (Lithuanian National Radio and Television). Read more in New Republic: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117692/fascism-returns-ukraine.
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
On May 7, Vladimir Putin called for armed separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions to abandon the idea of holding a referendum planned for May 11. Of course, one could have rejoiced at such a statement, and dreamed that “The Great Poo” was hanging the separatists out to dry—especially in the context of a communication intercepted by Ukrainian intelligence between the Donetsk separatist [leader of the unregistered organization “Orthodox Donbass”] D. Boytsov and his “spiritual advisor” A. Barkashov from Moscow. In the communication were threatening statements from the U.S. concerning their readiness to introduce new industry sanctions against Moscow.
But there it was. As we remember, Hitler once promised Stalin that he wouldn’t attack the Soviet Union. Before the occupation of Crimea, Russian politicians, pundits and media simultaneously shuddered over the failure of Muscovy’s [Ed. –author uses historic name here out for irony] policy in Ukraine, saying “they lost the Khokhols.” The Geneva meeting was promising in and of itself, but history shows that you can’t believe a single statement from the mouths of Russian politicians, just as you can’t rely on agreements signed with them.
Against this backdrop, a special operation by Russian special forces to destroy pro-Russian citizens of Ukraine at the Trades Union House [in Odessa] calls for serious concern. Now the theme of an “Odessa Khatyn,” allegedly hosted by Ukrainian authorities and the “Right Sector,” is being actively used by Russian media (with the help of foreign experts loyal to Muscovy and the mass media) to drum into the minds of Russian residents a thesis of the genocide of “Russian compatriots” in Ukraine, which must be urgently protected. It even reaches the point of absurdity–the Russian “experts” claim that during the fire at the Trades Union House, the most trained “Pravoseki” [“Right Sector” members] managed to rape females among the pro-Russian activists. Even without going into the details of the Odessa tragedy, it’s enough to ask, “who benefited from it?”
In recent days, the Russian media began to exaggerate the necessity of introducing “peacekeeping” troops from Muscovy to eastern Ukraine, while simultaneously denying the Kremlin’s interest in such a forceful development of events in our country. For Putin, the most favorable [development] is the introduction of “peacekeepers” under the pretext of protecting “compatriots,” since direct military aggression against Ukraine will turn Russia into North Korea, and the kids of Russian politicians and businessmen will quickly be shipped out of Europe and the United States back to Muscovy. Therefore, there is the remaining option of devising an excuse, with assistance from Russian mercenaries and separatists, for the introduction of “peacekeepers” in Ukraine.
Also noteworthy is the sudden upsurge in Russian media outreach activities aimed at spreading mistrust towards Ukrainian and Western media which allegedly discredit the events in Ukraine. Such facts were not observed during the operation of the annexation of Crimea. We can assume that the Russians are [currently] being prepared for a powerful disinformation [campaign], wherein their consciousness is programmed to block out alternative sources of information.
In addition, the Russian media are actively promoting “misinformation” about the shooting of local civilians by Ukrainian security forces during the ATO [anti-terrorist operation] (including women and children) and the bombardment of residential neighborhoods in Slavyansk and Kramatorsk from artillery and military aircraft. At the same time, the following labels are used to characterize the Ukrainian government and special forces: “punishers,” “terrorists,” “killers of civilians,” “neo-Nazis,” “Fascists.”
And suddenly, against this backdrop the “Chief Bear” crawls out from its lair–it had until recently nursed its paw after another round of lies to its people–and begins to roar at the separatists in both Luhansk and Donetsk. Although in fact this wasn’t the main point of Putin’s statement, it’s important that in his statement, he:
–did not recognize the legitimacy of current Ukrainian authorities;
–exhibited an interest in putting Ukrainian authorities at the negotiating table with separatist criminals;
–pretended to be concerned with the ATO initiated by Kiev;
–accused Ukrainian authorities of conducting “punitive operations;”
–confirmed his lack of interest in the Presidential elections in Ukraine.
Thus, in view of the presence of Russian troops along Ukrainian borders, and the occupiers’ military maneuvers in Crimea on the occasion of May 9th [Victory Day], Putin’s peaceful statements are worthless. The strengthening of anti-Ukrainian hysteria by the Russian media merely reinforces that the separatists and Russian intelligence services are stepping up their subversive activities in order to create an environment for the introduction of the Muscovan “peacekeeping” contingent in the East, followed by the transformation of that part of our country into a second Transnistria. Putin and the handful of criminals that he paid off can’t hold a referendum in eastern Ukraine and also provide minimal evidence of its legitimacy–this is not Crimea. Therefore, he will use the bought cannon fodder to the maximum extent in order to demonstrate the picture of the insidiousness of “Nazis” from the “Right Sector,” who leave Yarosh business cards “on the corpses of women and children,” to the West and to his own zombified citizens.