What happened to Donbas business? The story of Russian Bezler gang.

Yury Butusov, 29-06-2014. Translated by Arminas Rasickas.

I met a friend in Dnipropetrovsk – he is a businessman from Konstantinovka, he has a retail shop network and trades spare parts for cars. Two weeks ago he fled his town. Reasons for that are explained below.

What happened to Donbas business? The story of Russian Bezler gang.

I had to flee when after ten days of captivity I was ransomed for 300.000 USD from the Russian special forces that are based in Gorlovka, in the building of Ukraine Security Service.

 Igor Bezler (in the middle of picture, in green uniform) is an infamous GRU colonel that took over the control of corrupt Police forces in Gorlovka ar the start of events in Donbas

Igor Bezler (in the middle of picture, in green uniform) is an infamous GRU colonel that took over the control of corrupt Police forces in Gorlovka ar the start of events in Donbas

In April many people from our town were welcoming the creation of People’s Republic of Donetsk. Reasons for that are clear – many factories in Donetsk work only for the Russian market and have only Russian orders. I was in agriculture, we also sell the majority of our production to Russia. However I understand that Donbas is integrated into Ukrainian economy and infrastructure and Russia simply has no money to support Crimea and Donbas – if you separate those regions from Ukraine, you would have 9 million people at the time of crisis. I was trying to explain this to other people, but they did not want to hear. They wanted to be in Russia, hoping to secure their workplaces, get better pensions and naively expected that the rest of their lives will not change. Nobody thought that it will not be “polite people”, (“polite people” is a cliché used by Russian propaganda to describe Russian special forces that occupied Crimea) but real bandits that will come from Russia.

Information spread through town that “polite people” with Georgian stripes are collecting money from businessmen for the needs of the Donetsk Republic. I was not into politics and somehow thought this would not affect me, as my company is quite small. But everything happened very simply – when I got out of my car to go to my office, three men with machine guns, bullet-proof vests and “PRD” flashes came up to me and offered to get into their car. They took me to Gorlovka, where they had a base established in the building of Ukrainian Security Service.

They took me to a room, to a person in camouflage uniform. He was calm and kind, gave me a list and told me to find my surname. I looked through and saw that every businessman of our town was  on that list, and each surname was accompanied with a number. What was odd that some numbers were un USD, others in Grivnas. The sums varied from 1 to 15 million Grivnas. The number that was assigned to my surname was 250 thousand dollars. The military man asked:

– Is everything clear? Call your family, tell them to bring the money.
– But I don’t have that kind of money. Who would keep 250 thousand dollars at home, especially during such events?
– Listen, I am here not to persuade you, I have a plan which I have to fulfill. It is your duty to come up with the solution. Sorry lad, nothing personal, just business. Here’s a phone, call, start collecting money, meanwhile you will spend a night in the cell, think about everything. And you will stay there until I get the money. If you like the cell, you can stay there, if not – better get the money. Don’t be a problem to us. The only problem for us is “Right sector”, they would not be a good company for you. Is everything clear? See you in the morning.

I was allowed to make a call, then they took the phone away and I was taken to the cellar of the building. All premises there were turned to cells, each one filled with people. I was put in one, together with 3 other civilians, but we were strictly forbidden to talk.

The next morning I talked to the military men who did not introduce themselves. They were polite, for 10 minutes they calmly persuaded me to change my mind, and then sent me to the cell again. By the way, I have to admit, the food they gave to prisoners was good, and there were no threats. My “supervisor” was behaving like a military man, he was strict, correct, talked like a man who is used to give orders, had an official style. I remembered a scene from “Master and Margarita” by M. Bulgakov, when people in the theater were asked to give their gold and jewelry. Each day I was given a list, and I saw that more and more surnames had pluses added to them, it meant that the businessman had paid and was allowed to leave. I was allowed to talk on the phone. My family collected money from friends and acquaintances in all the district. No connections or good relations would have worked. What was interesting is that the man called the ransom “a donation”.

I was shocked when I found out that he had all the information about my financial state and activities. He justified the amount he was asking with exact data – what my income was, in which bank I was keeping my money, how much money I had in my checking account. I drew a conclusion that the amount of ransom was calculated using some unclear algorithm, but the initial data was taken from the databases of Economical police and Tax inspectorate. I tried to convince that after giving away this amount I would not be able to produce or trade in my shops.

After about a week we got accustomed with the man, he started talking to me for longer. He did not hide that he is not Ukrainian, some names of our towns were very funny to him – for example, Berdyansk. A day before my release when my family collected the necessary amount of money, he raised it to 300.000. He said that my captivity caused a lot of problems to them, there were talks, so I have to compensate for the inconveniences. Although I am sure he kept those 50.000 for himself.

An hour before my release he gave me a cigarette, we started talking, and I asked him a couple of questions:

– Judging from your age you must be a major?
– Good guess.
– Aren’t you afraid?

He laughed.

– Understand, this is my fourth war. It’s my job. Nothing personal. I’ll be here for one more month, then I will be replaced. I’m here for too long already, I was in Crimea only once, did not even swim in the sea, had to come here. And you don’t have a sea here.
– But what am I supposed to do? I can’t stay here with my family, if I get kidnapped again, I won’t be able to collect the ransom.
– I will be here for one more week. If they will take you again, I will release you, but after that… We have order here, we are military men, but from different groups. We have Cossacs, but we don’t control them, they are separate “firm”. We have Chechens, they are controlled by Ramzan. You don’t want to get caught by them. I would have never thought that one day I would have to bring order together with the chechens…
– So how am I supposed to work here? My company is ruined. I will leave, nobody will make contracts with me, the business will stop, I won’t have money to pay taxes.
– That’s temporary. Understand, that it is either us or the “Right sector” that will take away your money. When it will be Russia here, things will get better. As for the taxes, you don’t have to pay them to Ukraine, we exempt you. We don’t want your money financing Kiev, so they could by weapons and kill us. So consider that you made a donation and got a tax exemption and also attributed to our victory.
– Will Russia be here? Will they help?
– Definitely. As soon as the Ukraine is gone. We are here for it.

When they released me, I got home and we fled at once. My parents did not want to go. I found out that all our businessmen from Gorlovka, Kramatorsk, Konstantinovka, Makeyevka, Artyomovsk are paying to Igor Bezler. The insurgents do not limit themselves to money, they take payments in gemstones, jewelry.

All businessmen, including grannies in the marketplaces are paying to PRD. Everybody is paying and nobody is resisting. The cops tell you the amount, and you have to pay it, or close your shop. Almost everybody went bankrupt. There are constant robberies, so it is not possible to trade valuable goods, only something that is cheap. Today you won’t find a businessman who would support PRD. Everybody understands that the war will destroy Donbas, and PRD are not the government, they are just troopers who imitate government but don’t solve any problems.

As far as I know, only one man from our district refused to pay, he is a very rich man, lives in Artyomovsk. I was once in his place – he has a big house, a garage with racecars, motorcycles. He was visited right after my release. He owns the biggest agriculture company and has security. There was a real battle, troopers came from Gorlovka, but they were fired at, three were killed. Then Igor Bezler sent a whole squad with armored vehicle, they bombarded the businessman’s house from grenade launchers and big caliber machineguns. The battle was fierce. Businessman, his family and security men managed to escape, although some of them died. Now he joined the “Artyomovsk” battalion of MIA (Ministry of internal affairs), he wants to return home with a gun in his hands. It seems that there is no other way to save Donbas. None of the residents will come out to block the Ukrainian troops, on the contrary – everybody wants the army to come as soon as possible, so that the looting would stop. If we don’t do that, we will lose agriculture, there will be a lot of fugitives and it will take years to rebuild.

Addition from Yury Butusov: if you have doubts regarding the authenticity of this story, talk to any fugitive from Donbas or its residents that are still there. Then talk to the members of Donbas, Shaktyorsk and Artyomovsk battalion. They are locals. And when you will be in Dnipropetrovsk, I will introduce you (off the record) to some fugitives, including this businessman.


Arkadyi Babchenko, translated by Arminas Rasickas

The main military aid that Russia is supplying to Donetsk and Luhansk is Goebbelsship*. If Russia would not have exported so much lies and hatred, there would be no war in the East. Militia and weapons are certainly an important part, but not the most important.

The main is Goebelsship. Strelkov and Bes were able to rise and take over the administrative buildings only because the television was flooded with “Right Sector” which, after Maidan, was supposed to come and slaughter all russians. No “green men” would have been possible without this.

If it were not for this flow, would the people of Donetsk have done that? Would they have started creating military groups, taken over administrative buildings with machine guns in their hands, raided police and army, taken weapons from there and then storm the border crossings and airports?

The answer is obvious – no. Airports and border crossings do not even fit the pattern of logic of defense from the “Right sector”. Obviously, this is very distorted.

Yes, fear and discontent with the West has sprung in the East, and it was quite strong, however chanting “Russia, Russia” and waving a flag is one thing, but taking a grenade launcher, setting a BTR on fire and dying amid is quire the other.

This war is caused exclusively by the Russian Goebbelsship, nothing else. And it would be possible to cut it, the war would wind itself down. By the way, the war did not even start in those places where the Goebbelsship was successfully blocked. Dnipropetrovsk is the most russian-speaking city in Ukraine. Almost nobody speaks Ukrainian there, hearing it two or three times a day is a notable event. It is a completely Russian region. And how they were screaming about the damned “Banderovtsy”, how they beat the activists, dispersed the Maidan supporters.

And now?

Now you will hardly find a more patriotic region in Ukraine that the one of Dnipropetrovsk. Every second car there drives with a Ukrainian flag. Why is that so? Because they did not allow the russian propaganda and military groups.

At the end of April it was scary to go to Izyum. It was on the death row, everybody was supporting Russia and Igor Strelkov. I spent two hours there and understood that I have to run. And at the end of May, only one month after, it was completely different city. I was walking there safely at night. And it is only 40 km away from Slovyansk. The same is Barbenkov (20 km from Slovyansk), Krestishche (it is very near Slovyansk).

The same goes for other places.

Where Russia had no access, everything is peaceful.

The shitstorm only started and is ARTIFICIALLY MAINTAINED only where Russia managed to get its hands on.

That is all.

* – title assigned by the translator
** – Joseph Goebbels – propaganda minister of the Nazi Germany. This name is a synonym for the most brutal, inhumane, yet the most efficient propaganda.

Ukrainian Ultras: A Global Ceasefire

Source: Euromaidanpr

Translated from: http://life.pravda.com.ua/society/2014/05/19/168875/

The football fans, which had been viewed earlier as radicals provoking mayhem by many, are now setting up grand shows akin to yesterday’s fire-show on the Pedestrian Bridge in Kiev in support of united Ukraine, protecting the activists from attacks and performing the “Putin – huilo” cheer in unison.

“Ukrainska Pravda. Zhittya” talked to several activists of the ultras movement and found out what now united the football fans who had feuded before.

Before it has been as follows: “Dynamo-Kiev” is fighting with “Chornomorets Odessa,” and Kharkiv “Metalist” – with “Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk” Clashes happened frequently between the fans of these teams. Now, however, “Metalist” ultras are walking shoulder-to-shoulder with “Dnipro” ultras in one march for united Ukraine, and “Chornomorets” fans are coming to Kiev to support “Dynamo.”

The unification of football fans started after “Berkut” had forcefully dispersed the students on Maidan. Back then, the ultras from enemy camps gathered for the first time on Mikhailovskaya Square. Later the leaders of the ultras movement addressed all the fans of Ukrainian football clubs with the proposal to sign a “gentlemen’s agreement” regarding a ceasefire.

“Everything lead up to it. When Maidan began, people from various regions came to Kiev, and already then everything spurred into action, the ultras started getting acquainted with each other,” tells ultras of the Simferopol football club “Tavriya” Oleg.“We are patriots of Ukraine, we understand who is to blame for everything in the country. We were greatly dissatisfied when the students were beaten. What is more, the ultras themselves have been subject to police repressions numerous times.”

“Three years ago the relations with many ultras were, to put it mildly, not very good,” says former organizer of the movement, and now simply a fan of Kharkiv “Metalist” Maksym “Cowboy.” “Now we have agreed on a global ceasefire. This happened for the first time in the Ukrainian fan movement, and in many other countries this had never happened! When a threat exists, like now, when the issue of the country’s integrity is relevant, there is something more than animosity between the clubs.”

The cheer “Putin – huilo” was invented by Kharkiv ultras. But there is no response as to who the author is. People’s masterpiece.

“About Putin – this is an old cheer of the Kharkiv “Metalist” during the times of feuding between Surkis (president of FC “Dynamo”)  and Yaroslavsky (former owner of “Metallist”),” explains Maksym. “Only instead of Putin, there was Surkis, Yaroslavskiy did not like him. The replacement of the enemy in light of the situation occurred easily. Therefore the current cheer became much more popular than the old one.”

The ultras movement proved to be a serious social force, probably, during the joint march of “Metallist” and “Dnipro” fans in Kharkiv on 27th of April. It was then when they were attacked by the representatives of the separatist movement. According to the ultras, the fans did not attack first during any of the latest clashes.

“We did not touch anyone and we wanted to avoid any conflicts,” tells Kharkiv ultras activist Igor“The first victims appeared among our fans. After the instance in Kharkiv, both sides prepared for possible future conflicts: many acquired chains, bats, I saw traumatic rifles with some of the separatists. Meanwhile the police was completely idle back then and on 2nd of May in Odessa. Blood was spilt, and in such moments all sanity disappears. A necessity to protect oneself arises. And when the police doesn’t work, the people have a right to protect themselves.”

Ultras are not some mythical radical group. They are a sort of interest club, small communities of 10-30 people which communicate with one another. In each of these communities, as a rule, there are activists which go to fan pool assemblies, invent actions to support their teams – flashmobs, fire shows, performances.

The football clubs do not sponsor ultras activities – besides, maybe, global actions. The fans have a “universal bank,” to which they make monthly payments. The ultras are represented by a great variety of people.

“These are teenagers, and people whose children will get their passports soon. And students, businessmen, plumbers, governors,” says Igor. “Of course, a major part of the ultras are students, the youth, as they have a lot of lively energy and free time.”

After the beginning of Maidan the Simferopol ultras, like everyone else, supported the protest movement and became, essentially, the self-defense for pro-Ukrainian activists. Every meeting with blue-and-yellow flags was guarded by young men in sports wear. However, as soon as the Crimea became occupied territory, the ultras started receiving calls with the petition to appear in the security service – “just to talk.” The fans started receiving strange summons.

“The pressure on ultras started back in the autumn, long before the green men appeared,”says “Tavriya” fan Oleg. “The fans that supported the protest movement were being photographed, and their photos were handed out at Antimaidan meetings.”

According to one of the Simferopol ultras Olexiy, back in the end of November the current head of the Republic of the Crimea Sergey Aksionov tried to “buy” the ultras to participate in Antimaidan – he proposed that they become “titushky” for significant daily payments. The fans refused.

Now, after the Crimea ended up occupied, all the ultras who might have been hunted by the local “self-defense” left the peninsula. Younger men have “retreated into the shadows.”

“We refused to support “Tavriya” because we are really in danger,” says Oleg. “De facto the club has been left without fans and the majority of supporters. Now the stadium attendance is catastrophic: less than a thousand people come, and the games are, for some reason, being secured by representatives of the “self-defence,” however, in contrast, people have to be protected from them.

The situation with the club is very difficult. On one hand, it seems to me that the Russian sponsor will not take “Tavriya,” as the Crimea is occupied territory and it is unknown what will happen next. What is the Crimea is to return to Ukraine tomorrow? Besides, banks, establishments, the airport are not working. Who would want to invest money in this situation? What is more, we know that the Russian economy itself is not living out its best times now. On the other hand, Ukrainian sponsors will not invest money either. However, the leadership of the club is still waiting for mythical Russian funds.

The only way out is for the team to leave occupied territory and play in the neighbouring region “Tavriya” is a Ukrainian champion, laureate of the cup, and on the wave of patriotism it could be accepted as a club from the Crimea which did not want to remain in occupation and left to retain the history of the team.

If the scenario of the Crimean capture turned out to be possible – then why is this option not possible either?”

Now the ultras are thinking what will happen next to the fan movement.

If the fans that had been feuding for years managed to unite – further they could become a big moving force in Ukraine, and this force will surpass the framework of football.

“I would want for us never to return to the point when there was animosity between the ultras,” shares Maksym. “Of course, they are all young hot-headed men, and they need to play with enemies besides supporting their team. It is important for them to match their power, without any weapons or knives. This is a fist-fight tactic.

But, I think, there will be no more animosity between the ultras. Because henceforth we are all standing on one side of the barricades and want peace and unity.”

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…

Thousands of Crimean Tatars Mark 70th Anniversary of Deportation

Source: Euromaidanpr

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)



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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.

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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.

Symbols of subversives from Donbas explained

Do you know that symbols are signs and in turn signs are words? It doesn’t matter if you don’t, you just have to comprehend the following semiotic term: sign. Sign is a depiction of something, for example a word, a road sign, an emblem, coat of arms or something else. A sign always has a meaning and it is used to depict that meaning. It does not matter, whether the sign is spoken or drawn.

Flag of Donbas's People army, wuite popular between insurgents, and also translated symbol of Slovyansk TV. Do you notice something wrong with that shield and sword?

Flag of Donbass People’s army, quite popular between insurgents. Do you notice something wrong with that shield and sword?

For instance, the symbols of “self-defense” units of Donbass separatists were broadcasted on local television in Slavyansk and seen on different flags, although, now they are less seen (compared to how it was before), so maybe the separatists have come to reason. Does it give you any thoughts? Do you know what it says? Older people should remember the symbols.

If you have guessed, let’s go through some other signs, used in Donbass, now teeming with separatists and terrorists. If you haven’t guessed, I’ll tell you after some images with flags.

Continue reading

May 16, 2014 Lithuanian media round-up

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)

Dmitry Tymchuk’s Military Blog: Summary – 7th of May, 2014

Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
The bad news:

1. The closer we get to May 9, the more alarming are the signals we receive of the impending activation of the pro-Russian extremists. Although they can hardly be called passive now.

What’s worse, against this backdrop Putin has begun his next game. ‘Tipping off’ separatists to postpone the referendum, his near-willingness to recognize the Presidential elections in Ukraine–it’s like the guy’s been replaced.

But the Head of the Kremlin’s lie about the alleged withdrawal of Russian troops from the Ukrainian border does not allow for delusions. No one is withdrawing troops. This means that the soothing and nearly peaceful statements by Putin–are likely a show for the most gullible.

We don’t yet understand the reasoning behind this game. But it is clear that we shouldn’t relax. Quite the contrary.

2. The geography of extremist danger keeps on growing.

Today, we have included Zaporizhya Region in the ‘red’ zone (with the threat of extremism at 5 or higher on a 10-point scale), whereas the previously assessed threat was at 4 points.

However, the threat in Kharkov region went down–it dropped from the ‘red’ to the ‘yellow’ zone. So, they cancel each other out. We will present the infographic tomorrow.

3. Today at a press conference, the head of the Anti-terrorist Center at the SBU  Vasyl Krutov announced that during the ATO, 14 Ukrainian servicemen were killed, and 66 servicemen were injured.

We have slightly different data, but it doesn’t matter. What really matters is that every day of confrontation is paid for by human lives.

These fallen guys from the special forces are Heroes. Vechnaya Pamyat (Memory eternal) for them.

The good news:

1. Today we ran a small monitoring mission to prepare the region for possible provocations on Victory Day [May 9].

The situation is better than you might expect. Not the most optimistic picture, however, in Donetsk and Luhansk only.

Especially positive are Kharkov and the southern regions (primarily Odessa and Mykolaiv, and Kherson to a lesser extent). Here, very powerful measures have been taken to counter the threat both by security forces and local authorities. (I am not talking about Dnipropetrovsk­–here the local authorities have initially shown themselves to be up to the mark.)

For example, ‘Kyiv-1’, a special police battalion formed by volunteers arrived in Odessa today. The Defense Ministry conducts activities along its chain of command–I think we will be able to report about them tomorrow.

2. The anti-terrorist operation. Today, we finally got the full information needed to complete the puzzles. We received full confirmation of our fears about the reasons for the apparent lack of effectiveness of the ATO.

Our previous claims to the leadership of the ATO and interactions between the special forces were fully justified. The positive is in the fact that we saw some serious, ongoing work from the “top” to eliminate the problem.

The main problem lies in staff. Our generals have grown used to their comfy office chairs, they are unable to make decisions and fear liability, with a panic. The good news is that there are still adequate people amongst them. Despite the delays, they are still being assigned to key positions.

I think that today, in this grim and joyless environment for Ukraine, a new generation of Ukrainian law enforcers is being born. Commanders and leaders who are ready to take responsibility, and soldiers who are ready to defend their country and its people–not in words but in deeds.

Unfortunately, this birth is payable with blood.

3. As a result of the separatist attack on the bus carrying the ‘Azov’ police battalion, the ‘Minister of Defense’ of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, Igor Kakidzyanov was captured.

Is it just me or are Donbass extremists truly idiots? Is this how they famously ‘attack’, to immediately give up their main ‘commander’? And if their ‘Defense Minister’ is such a unique individual, what should we expect from their ‘soldiers’?  What a dumb ‘army’, to be honest with you.

4. The SBU reported that in Odessa the existence of a Conversion Center was discovered that funded the riots on May 2. As expected, Yanukovych’s ‘Family’ bears responsibility for the financing.

In general, it’s not a big secret: the more the channels which finance extremists are blocked, the more chances there are to succeed in the fight against them. Without money, there will be no terror under the Russian flag. And Mr. Putin and his ilk can tightly roll up and stick their ideas of ​​’Russian World’ wherever they earlier stuck norms of international law.

Source: Dmitry Tymchuk FB

Events of April 18th

dmitry_tymchukBrothers and sisters, Here’s the Summary for April 18, 2014.

The bad news

1. My skepticism yesterday about the Geneva agreements has, alas, turned out to be justified.

I would be very glad to be wrong. But when dealing with a con artist like Putin, it’s impossible to go wrong. His essence is to lie. All agreements with him are empty phrases.

Today, the Russian Foreign Ministry “explained” the meaning behind these agreements. When they specify the disarmament of illegal armed groups, they are really talking about the “Right Sector.” And when they talk about the release of occupied buildings, they really mean Kyiv and Maidan supporters.

Moscow says: disarm “yours” first, and then we’ll think if we should disarm our mongrels in eastern Ukraine, whether we withdraw Russian Spetsnaz and whether we release occupied administrative buildings in Donetsk oblast [region].

Does anyone still have illusions about the possibility of negotiations with Moscow? It has long been clear to anyone: one’s level of confidence in Putin can safely determine one’s level of mental development.

2. Communists thwarted the signing of an agreement between the Rada [Parliamentary] faction heads to stabilize the situation in east Ukraine.

This is savagery. In fact, there is a war against Ukraine. The enemy’s boots are trampling our land. We have already lost a part of [our] territory. In normal countries under these conditions, those citizens (and politicians are no exception) who interfere with work towards victory, are, at minimum, sent behind bars. And here, the enemy subversives sit in Parliament and gorge themselves on caviar bought with the taxes of Ukrainians whom they sold out. I don’t see the logic.

3. This news concern us, the Information Resistance group. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time, and it has [finally] happened. Knowing our bureaucrats, it was not difficult to predict.

The bottom line is that some aunts and uncles at government agencies, who suddenly became very inconvenienced by our group, have woken up. For a month and a half, since the beginning of March and during the invasion of Crimea, they have picked their noses and been engaged in solving obscure questions, and then suddenly decided to famously “PR themselves” during the anti-terrorist operation (ATO).

But here’s the thing: it turns out that the Information Resistance group interferes with their PR campaign, by its activity and the provision of operational information. Now there are behind-the-scenes antics in order to shut us up.

Still, I will keep names and positions to myself. Since there are many more adequate people in the same state agencies, who understand the importance of our work.

But I have also promised the higher leadership earlier: if law enforcement commanders say that we interfere, we will immediately quit work. We need 2 minutes and 20 seconds to terminate the activities of the “IR” group. Of these, 1 minute will be spent on phone conversation with the two other coordinators, and it will take 20 seconds to shut down the computer.

We hope, that common sense will prevail in government agencies, and not personal ambitions and the jealousy of individual bureaucrats.

The good news

1. The SBU [Security Service of Ukraine] representatives have announced today that the ongoing anti-terrorist operation in eastern Ukraine is suspended “due to Easter celebrations and the Geneva agreements.”

This statement sounded strange. How can you stop “military operations” without an armistice? Just [stop] “on occasion,” when the enemy does not intend to do so? And I’ve already mentioned the worth of the Geneva agreements.

I hurry to reassure you. The bottom line is that in fulfilling their part of the Geneva agreements, Ukraine really did proactively suspend operations by security forces. But this does not mean that they will simply relax over the [holiday] weekend and eat Easter eggs and sausage, laid out on a photocopy of the Geneva agreements.

The operation continues – separate groups of extremists are being blocked, territories and roads are being taken under control. As security forces assured us today, the operation only arrived at this format when satisfactory results might be possible, taking into account the severe restrictions put forward in the agreement (no casualties among “civilians”). Let’s wish them good luck!

2. Today, Ihor Kolomoyskyi, the Head of Dnipropetrovsk Regional State Administration, paid the first reward for a captured Russian subversive – $10,000.

I can say one thing – bravo! The use of monetary rewards is a great motivation. And a serious blow to extremist activity. They should no longer be able to sleep peacefully.

3. Zhytomyr Airborne troops from the 95th Separate Airmobile Brigade have recaptured two armored vehicles from extremists near Kramatorsk, which were previously seized by the enemy.

According to our emissaries, the fight was short and tough. If these guys were given orders to shoot to kill, the ranks of terrorists would have greatly thinned. And so, they shot in the air and legs. But it was enough to quickly discourage these degenerates from playing war games.

One conclusion: With the enemy, we can and must fight them. For, defeat awaits weakness and high political considerations. For determination, victory awaits.

And one more thing. Friends, all “IR” coordinators will work in the regions during weekends and holidays. We can share less information, but only the most important and most timely operative data.

Happy Easter to all of you! God bless you.