Ukrainian volunteers battalion “Donbas” made clear statement to local police. Their inactivity is obvious betray of the oath they gave to serve Ukraine. Nevertheles, they have no shame still to receive salary for it.
Ukrainian volunteers battalion “Donbas” made clear statement to local police. Their inactivity is obvious betray of the oath they gave to serve Ukraine. Nevertheles, they have no shame still to receive salary for it.
Considering the Donbas history, current actions look absurd, as the present East Ukraine never in its history was undeveloped or abandoned region, quite the opposite – Donbas, like other regions of Ukraine, is historically closely related to Europe. It would be understandable if the fanatic anti-Europe actions were taking place in some purely Russian regions, in Valday district or in some ancient Siberian villages, but when such thoughts occupy the minds of people living in the region which was practically settled and built by the emigrants from Western Europe, that is the real irony of history. Sadly, citizens of miners’ villages that are standing at the barricades erected from tires, logs and iron spikes are barely able to understand the scope of thins historical anecdote due to their lack of historical knowledge. They consider Donbas a soviet region, Russian territory, which must be saved from so much hated “Gay-rope”. But just a hundred years ago Donbas was practically a European enclave within the Russian Empire.
More facts, pictures and names here: http://golosukraine.blogspot.com/2014/05/blog-post_75.html
From Semen Semenchenko via a phone:
Yesterday was a hard day for the battalion “Donbass”. Our brothers were killed and wounded. But the life goes on. The battalion “Donbass” belongs to people, who link their hopes with us, hopes that sooner or later a peaceful life will return and a new Ukraine will be built.
For this reason I will answer the questions briefly.
1. I was not imprisoned, no prisoners were killed.
2. The main question of today is the fate of our wounded, who are really in danger.
3. We must take care of the patriots who gave their life in fight for Ukraine. In the near future I will tell about every one of them (apart from those, whose family may suffer from the disclosed information).
All these people will be buried as soldiers, with military honors, their families will be provided with all the necessary financial support, I ask people to help me with this.
The battalion “Donbaas” is outside politics and does not represent anyone but Ukrainian people, who want to establish the peace as soon as possible and achieve a better life on their land.
We have people from all regions of Ukraine, different nationalities, faiths and political preferences. There are those who do not belong to any party, there are supporters of the BYT, Solidarnost, Udar, there are people who support the “Right Sector”. They all took part in yesterday’s battle, fought bravely, tried to rescue their comrades, one of them was wounded, but to fight against armoured vehicles and professional snipers one needs regular Army units and none of them came to help us.
We are grateful to all patriots of Ukraine, regardless of their political views who jointed our ranks to defend our motherland.
They defend not only the right of people to peace in their country but also their right to freely defend their political views.
P.S. I would like to share the last news. Today two of our comrades, residents of the Donetsk region, who we thought to be dead, came back.
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
The bad news:
1. Today is another black day for Ukraine. In a difficult battle with terrorists, many of our soldiers and officers died near Volnovakha [town in Donetsk Region]. Many have been wounded.
There are more questions than answers in this tragedy. The Prosecutor General’s Office has already opened criminal proceedings on two counts–Art. 258 (“Act of terrorism that resulted in deaths of people”) and Art. 425 (“Neglect of duty in military service”) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
I won’t make any comments regarding this tragedy. There are moral and ethical reasons not to do that. I will clench my teeth and keep quiet. Only, it’s infinitely sad that our Homeland keeps losing its sons.
May they rest in piece.
More than anything in the world, I want not to have any more occasions to repeat this phrase ever again.
2.Around 50,000 cubic meters of natural gas are stolen daily in Crimea by Russian occupation authorities from the deposit in Kherson Region. Simply put, after stealing Crimea, Putin keeps stealing gas from Ukraine without any remorse. Cunningly enterprising guy, what else can I say?
In particular, Russian servicemen set up block posts near the Arabat Spit on the territory of Kherson Region, and therefore cover up the site of the gas extraction, where they also steal from. Kiev doesn’t react to this in any way–even in words. And this is very strange.
3. We have a great sorrow. Law enforcement professionals “exposed” the editorial office of the “Vesti” newspaper. The tax service of Ukraine, during a search in the office of the chief editor Ihor Guzhva, discovered 1.5 million Hryvnias [USD $125,470]. Not bad for an editor.
Although the staff of the newspaper insists that this is a struggle against freedom of speech and the Ukrainian authorities are destroying the luminaries of Ukrainian journalism at its root.
From myself, I’d like to say that I don’t communicate with journalists from “Vesti” on principle. Although not because of Mr. Guzgva’s habit of stashing millions. Here’s what I explain to “Vesti” journalists: I have nothing to say to those who play Putin’s fifer on the pages of their media. While I could have turned a blind eye to this during peaceful times, I can’t do it when Russia invaded my country.
I support freedom of speech and the press with every fiber of my being. Let “Vesti” print their little pro-Russian articles and manipulate facts in conjunction with the Kremlin–no problem. But it seems to me, it would be more appropriate if they did it in a neighboring country. The one located to the Northeast of Ukraine.
I put the commentary to this incident under bad news only so that I don’t end up under the hot pencil of “Reporters Without Borders.” What a hypocrite I am.
The good news:
1. The events in Volnovakha, despite their inconceivable tragedy, rocked the world of Ukrainian special forces.
The announcement by the General Staff Commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine that the “Rubicon has been crossed,” and that the army will retaliate for this bloody terrorist massacre–is only a small detail. According to our data, the response that’s being planned is truly large-scale. And this [time it] won’t be a false start.
I sincerely believe that every one of our fallen Heroes will be avenged. To do otherwise is not possible.
2. The RNBO [National Security and Defense Council] of Ukraine has initiated the creation of a broad anti-Putin coalition with NATO and the EU, RNBO Secretary Andriy Parubiy announced.
The [starting] point is correct: without stopping Putin now, it’s unclear where Russian tanks and the unyielding little hands of Vladimir Vladimirovich will end up.
Parubiy reported that he discussed this issue in Brussels with the representatives of NATO and the European Union. Although it’s not clear how ready the West is in supporting this idea. Obviously, in words one can hear many things being said. But usually in these circumstances the problems and reflections begin when it comes down to business.
Let’s hope for the adequacy of Western leaders.
3. The commander of the “Donbass” Batallion of the territorial defense in Donetsk Region, S. Semenchenko reported today: Volodars’kyi Raion of Donetsk Region was taken back from terrorists.
The Batallion plans to take the regional center–city of Donetsk–under control.
On this day covered with the blood of our servicemen in Volnovakha, we’d like to wish “Donbass” the most important thing–take care of yourselves, guys. Ukraine needs all of you.
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
The bad news:
1. In Luhansk and Donetsk Regions, separatists captured eleven district election commissions [DEC], there is still a threat of the seizure of eight more.
According to our current Ukrainian legislation, the elections will be valid without a number of polling stations in Donbass. But why should some criminal bandits deny [Ukrainian] citizens the opportunity to make their political choice under normal circumstances?
We want to still believe that Ukrainian special forces will do everything in their power to maximally allow for the work of the election commissions. After all, it’s the state’s responsibility to ensure the realization of the constitutional rights of its citizens.
2. In the Vekhovna Rada [Ukrainian Parliament], the Party of Regions and the Communists thwarted the vote for the criminalization of bribing voters. Those who bribe the electorate, it was proposed, are to receive punishment of a prison term for up to three years.
As expected, at the mention of a prison term for these tricks, the Party of Regions members and the Communists got really nervous. These gentlemen from the past don’t want honest politics. It’s just not for them. Their brain refuses to recognize the idea of an honest life.
Something has to be decided about these brains.
3. Russia does not forego holding the “Aviadarts-2014” [military] exercises on the eve and day of the Presidential elections in Ukraine. Kiev gave Moscow 48 hours to provide an explanation regarding these exercises.
It is clear that we won’t hear a reasonable explanation. Although these exercises (participants master the combat use of missile, bomb, and cannon gun armaments against ground targets, as well as overcoming the air defense system of a simulated enemy) are in fact, the action script of the Russian Air Force in the invasion of Ukraine.
At the same time, we haven’t yet observed the withdrawal of Russian troops from the border areas. However, at least they aren’t currently hanging out in the 10-km [6-mile] border zone–which stabilizes the situation somewhat. But it’s a rather illusory détente. For real stabilization, we need a complete return of Russian troops to the places of their permanent deployment.
The good news:
1. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted to adopt the “Memorandum of peace and harmony.” It calls for the de-escalation of tension in the country, full support of the Geneva agreements, and the promise of Constitutional reform.
Obviously this document is nothing more than a declaration. But in my opinion, it’s a very important step to a real dialogue. Obviously, not with terrorists–we can only speak the language of lead with them. But to a dialogue with the population of East and South–those who for some reasons don’t trust Kyiv. But, at the same time, want to live in a unified and stable Ukraine.
2. 100,000 people representing the world community supported the petition to the U.S. government to recognize Russia as a sponsor of terrorism.
If this status is de facto recognized by the West and the whole world thereafter, it will be an indisputable victory for Ukraine. Even though Russia prides itself on its current role as an actual rogue nation, nevertheless the further growth of international support for Ukraine won’t hurt.
3. Oligarch Rinat Akhmetov has finally shed his false shame and supported a unified Ukraine. In Donetsk and Luhansk Regions, he urged [employees of] his largest enterprises to hold a warning strike against violence and separatism.
We recently criticized Akhmetov for his “memoranda” with the terrorist organization “Donetsk People’s Republic.” The fellow has redeemed himself. We are glad.
There may be plenty of reasons to explain the behavior of the Donbass oligarch. Let’s not forget that a serious part of his business is in Europe–and [people] there wouldn’t understand his “cooperation” with the terrorist organization.
On the other hand, while Rinat Leonydovych is torn between the “Russian” and the normal world, his fiefdom in Donbass is slowly getting overshadowed by Kolomoyskyi. Akhmetov doesn’t need this type of sport even for free. And that’s why his participation in the competition for the title of Best-friend-of-a-unified-Ukraine is self-explanatory.
Again, it’s possible that Akhmetov considered the legitimate government to be more acceptable, while threatening to confiscate a part of [his] business, rather than the chaos and anarchy of his pro-Russian buddies. Especially since they vouched to conduct the “nationalization” of Akhmetov’s enterprises.
In the end, we do not exclude a double play by Akhmetov. But it’s not the point. If this tactical step by Akhmetov positively affects the situation in the region–why shouldn’t it be welcomed? And we’ll deal with his motives and secret desires later.
A journalist of Lutsk’s newspaper “Volin Post” Sergiy Shapoval spent more than three weeks in captivity of Donetsk separatists. He was captured on the 26th of April after he tried to subscribe as a volunteer in Donbass people’s militia. Shapoval was going to join separatists to write a report about people who support the protest.
According to Sergiy, there is a real spy-phobia among separatists: they interrogate all volunteers fearing that members of the “Right Sector” will join them. After they found Sergiy’s journalist ID, he was tortured by electric shock, and for greater impact they put a wet cloth on his shoulder.
During interrogation there were present journalist of Anna News. After the torture, as if nothing happened, they recorded a video with the beaten journalist. Sergiy was forced to say that he is OK and that he is in Slavyansk.
Later this video was removed for YouTube. In total there were recorded 4 videos, in which Shapoval spoke a prepared in advance by separatists and Russian journalists text. They were also publishing articles on Sergiy’s behalf, which were portraying separatists move in a positive light.
Sergiy Shapoval told in his interview to Hubs who and what are these separatists.
Are the ideas of the People’s Republic of Donetsk supported in Donetsk?
Ordinary people in Donetsk do not support People’s Republic of Donetsk. Do you remember on Maidan there were hundreds of volunteers, who cooked and brought food.
In Donetsk the militants make their own sandwiches, and there are few announcements a day from the stage that they need women to cook food. I saw and heard it all, because I was in a room, which windows overlook the main entrance to the Donetsk Regional State Administration.
They didn’t even had enough mattresses. Some militants slept on the floor; they could not organise their everyday life.
In the evening there are patrols in town, presumably to protect the rule of law and at the same time take phones from locals. In the morning they show off who stole better phone.
The parking in front of the Regional Administration is packed with stolen cars. How do I know this? They talk about it – stolen cars.
Are separatists really afraid of the “Right Sector”? Or they understand that the rumors about this organisation are exaggerated?
This is their universal horror story. Whoever is caught is declared to be a member of the Right Sector. Whatever happens – this is all the Right Sector. They are wound up by the Russian TV, which even calls the National Guard the Right Sector.
Who are the people on the rally in front of the administration?
When I came there in the end of April there were many romantics, idealists, adventurers. The audience is 25 to 33 years old.
After the fire in Odessa’s House of Trade Unions on the 2nd of May there was a surge of volunteers. The corridors were packed with people. Some miners squads came.
After the referendum all thinned out. Now there are only young people there. Even on Saturday and Sunday, when there should be many people, there are only a couple of dozens of them. Maximum a hundred, when there is a meeting.
Compare this to the self organisation of participants in EuroMaidan, where they were able to create some structures, organise everyday life, cooperate. Separatists are only capable of impulse, which thins down rather quickly.
This is a very glaring fact. Separatist, who say that they will go all the way to the Polish border, take off their Georgian ribbons when them move more than 100 metres away form the Regional Administration. I have seen it myself. When I asked one girl why it is the case she answered – Don’t you understand how many fascists are here?
Then why the Regional Administration is still not freed?
Because they have machine guns. There are a lot of arms there. I have seen Kalashnikovs, I have seen antitank grenade and objects, which looked like anti-tank mines
There was information in the media that almost in every office in the Administration there is a prisoner. Is it so?
Yes, I have heard cries, heard how they lugged someone though the corridors. One can stand near the building and see how they walk people with hands cocked and heads wrapped in cloth. And so every day. In the best case scenario these people are forced to wash toilets, in the worst – they are tortured.
I was tortured in the editorial office of the newspaper “Life”. They have such editorial office and there I was tortured. Then, after interrogations, Russian journalists came, put a flag on the wall and told me to speak into camera and say that I am in Slavyansk. And say the text that they wrote for me.
What do people in the seized Regional Administration say about Akhmetov?
Bad thing in general. They were saying that he fires people form the mines for taking part in rallies. They also hate the Party of Regions and Tsaryov.
What does the place of protests, the tents village looks like?
Tents village is a loud name for it. There are two or three tents.
There is a stage, but it is always empty. Not like it was on Maidan, where everyone wanted to come out and say something. There, they either play “Get up, enormous country” (old Soviet song – ed.) or a granny reads her poems or a granddad tells how much he should like to throttle Liashko. Or they show reports and news of the channel “Russia 24″
A song “A war with people is bad. Maidan zip it” is very popular. They also have their own “Heaven’s Guard” and slogans “Glory to Russia – Glory to Donbas!”.
The Regional Administration itself is smashed. Everything, which could be taken out was taken out.
How did you mange to break free?
I would not be able to break free by myself. I would get caught and would be killed, that’s why I simply sat and waited. Yesterday a man came and told me that I have to eat and wash and that I was to be swapped. Three hours later a man in civilian came for me. He led me to a car. We went to what looked like the Donetsk airport. There were many people there, I recognised Victor Medvedchuk and Nestor Shufrich. I came to Medvedchuk and asked – why do you need this, why did you free me? He answered that this is his position – to help people who are in need.
What is your forecast for the development of events?
Separatists can be easily finished off. If they are not given any surge, like the one in Odessa. They are demoralised, they do not know what to do. They do not see any outcome. People’s Republic of Donetsk, for which they live half hungry and die exists only in the Donetsk Regional Administration.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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