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.