Ukrainian Ultras: A Global Ceasefire

Source: Euromaidanpr

Translated from:

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.”

Terrorist Threat Assessment in Eastern and Southern Ukraine on May 20

Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

As of  20th of May 12:00 Noon EEST, we don’t observe a significant change in the number of Russian troops deployed in the border areas of Russia near the state border with Ukraine. Also remaining static are the groups of Russian troops in the occupied territory of Crimea.

As regards the threat of extremism in the regions of Ukraine, we are seeing a slight increase in the degree of tension in the Kharkiv Region, and a slight decrease of threat in Zaporizhzhya Region.


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

Events of April 29th

dmitry_tymchukDmitry Tymchuk, translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

Brothers and sisters,

Here’s the Summary for April 29, 2014.

First of all, please forgive me that I “fell out” of the information space–I am now constantly on the move. Once again, we are actively monitoring the situation in the regions, I think tomorrow we will give an IR group statement. The situation is simply breathtaking.

The bad news:

1. Luhansk and Pervomaisk are currently under the flags of pro-Russian extremists. Luhansk Oblast [region] threatens to completely repeat the fate of Donetsk. Kharkiv region is next in line.

If the Ukrainian government initially intended to give up the East, then they should gather all their will into a fist and say one word to Moscow–”take it away!” In the manner of the film character in “Ivan Vasilyevich Changes Profession.”

If there is even a hint of desire to fight for the East, one should not hide that inclination. Show it by doing at least some action. Don’t be shy.

It is necessary to understand that if the vampires under the Russian flag hold their “referendums” (which Vladimir Putin will, of course, immediately admit–otherwise why would he have started all this fuss?), then the fight for the East will be a hundred times harder. Because it will not be a struggle with Russian henchmen, but with Russia itself.

2. Oleksandr Turchynov (acting President of Ukraine) found out the guilty in the separatist Sabbath. He suddenly uncovered (I say, what a prompt epiphany!) “inaction, helplessness, and sometimes criminal betrayal by the employees of law enforcement agencies in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.” In Turchynov’s words, “this is one of the main causes of low effectiveness and poor performance by Ukrainian law enforcement agencies in the fight against terrorism.”

I can’t understand–is Turchynov using such delicate banter that I cannot decipher it, or did he previously just turn a blind eye? Simple people like Uncle Vasya, a plumber in Zhmerynka and Aunt Dunya, a cleaning lady in Iljichiovsk, have realized the presence of sabotage on the part of security forces on the ground two months ago. And our acting President has identified and revealed this phenomenon just now.

The RNBO sang the same song before Turchynov today. They obviously conspired.

Therefore, instead of starting to urgently solve this problem in the beginning of, or mid-March, the RNBO and the President have bothered to realize its existence only in late April. How could they even start and carry out the anti-terrorist operation, without being properly informed about the situation in the region? It’s some kind of idiocy.

3. According to the data of our Information Resistance group, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, Mariupol and Berdyansk should expect the separatists scenario that has been enacted today in Luhansk. I am not in the least bit optimistic that Ukrainian authorities will react to this threat.

The good news. There’s crazy little of it:

1. U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt said that the U.S. would react instantly to Russian troops crossing into the Ukrainian border, and that the consequences will be dramatic. This post–is primarily in support of our boys from the Armed Forces of Ukraine, now standing along the border with Russia. In front of them–Putin’s armadas, on their butts are Putin’s mutts. The reassuring promises of the West clearly won’t hurt the situation.

2. And yet, the West, without any haste and in no rush, drives Putin into a dead end. “Gazprom” acknowledged that the sanctions could lead to a “loss of confidence of international investors” in the Russian economy. Just yesterday, the Russians mocked those sanctions. Today comes a sobering up. It is a pity that our extremists become intoxicated from permissiveness faster than Putin sobers up.

Events of April 28th

dmitry_tymchukTranslated by Voices of Ukraine

Brothers and sisters,
Here’s the Summary for April 28, 2014

The bad news:

1. The Anti-terrorist operation (ATO) has turned into a farce.

However regrettable it is to admit this, we are in the same boat as our enemy–the Russians, during the recent conflicts initiated by Russia in the Caucasus. While senior leadership “double-crosses” everyone they can, mid-level commanders bear the responsibility for confrontation on their shoulders.

There are two differences: Russia waged aggressive wars (in Chechnya and Georgia), and its commanders did not have their hands tied. We wage a holy war–a defensive war. But, despite this, our commanders’ hands are firmly tied. Every move and almost every shot is strictly controlled “from above.” The result is abysmal.

We, the Information Resistance group, have tried to avoid criticism of senior commanders to the end. But we can no longer continue to do so. Our soldiers and officers have become hostages in power games. But this is only one aspect. In essence, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state are the principal hostage in this game.

2. Today brought a lot of blood.

Two people who were injured this morning in Kramatorsk are representatives of the SBU and the Interior Ministry. They were wounded in a gunfight with terrorists, it’s pretty obvious. We can only wish these guys a speedy recovery.

The situation around the death of one, and injury of another, contract soldier of the Armed Forces [of Ukraine] is more complicated. We will not disclose the details (hopefully the MOD will though, because their current explanation can hardly be called intelligible). But the very fact that the security forces keep getting killed in similar circumstances, outside of armed contfrontations, is deeply abnormal.

3. Some insane show is happening in Sloviansk.

Terrorists have instituted “journalist accreditation” there, mostly Russian journalists at that. I find it absolutely incomprehensible how journalists can freely roam around in the area of the ATO (moreover, foreign journalists, and especially–Russian journalists) in the first place, without the accreditation of our law enforcement agencies. How can this be happening by definition?

I cannot imagine that in a civilized country, a journalist could freely enter through the cordon of security forces and approach an aircraft hijacked by terrorists with the following words, “I need to interview their ringleader.” What type of nonsense is that? Especially when we know how the Russian media present the information.

Oleh Tsaryov in Sloviansk

The delivery of “humanitarian aid” to Sloviansk, intended for separatists and distributed at checkpoints by Ukrainian Presidential candidate Oleh Tsaryov looks even wilder. What type of savagery is this? How can this scarecrow, God forgive me, this terrorist accomplice, be an official Presidential candidate? It is beyond my comprehension.

4. Today, an assassination attempt on the Kharkiv mayor Hennadiy Kernes took place.

I will not remind you about certain pages from this gentleman’s biography, I like them no more than you do. The fact of the matter is, that for whatever reason, he is on our side now.

And this assassination attempt – is an attempt to turn Kharkiv, with its very shaky stability, into another separatist snake nest, with another “people’s mayor” and another “people’s republic” under the Russian flag. There is nothing good in this.

The good news:

1. The EU expanded sanctions against Russia today–it increased the number of Kremlin representatives affected by it. The European Union also said that they are actively researching sanctions not only against individuals, but against entire sectors of the Russian economy.

The bad thing is that the Europeans have been threatening this third stage of sanctions for a month and a half now, and to no avail. In fact, they only continually expand the format of the second stage of sanctions. But then, any support is important and necessary.

2. The SBU detained the deputy to the breakaway mayor of Sloviansk. An Igor Perepechayenko.

This person was the “snitch” to one of the subversive and reconnaissance groups of the GRU of the General Staff of Russian Armed Forces. A local polizei–and a sellout. Traitors like him were hung on the nearest lamppost in front of all honest people during the Great Patriotic War. Now is the time of humanism, no one will deprive this manure of life. All the same–unfortunately.

Overall, the Interior Ministry complains that there are hardly any vacancies left at the Detention facilities–in some regions, they are crammed to their eyeballs with Russian subversives and their local henchmen. The more these gentlemen busy themselves with intellectual games near the prison “bucket,” the less likely will they be to shit on the loose.

3. Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the Ukrainian Prime Minister, has announced that Ukraine and Slovakia signed a memorandum on gas delivery by reversing the direction of gas from the West to Ukraine. Simultaneously, Kyiv is preparing a lawsuit against Gazprom in connection with elevated gas prices.

I don’t know how the current standoff with Russia will end. But if Kyiv doesn’t have the brains and the will to properly carry out the ATO, at least it tries to show resistance on the “energy front.” If only these initiatives were seen through to the end.

Events of April 25th

dmitry_tymchukDmitry Tymchuk, translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

Brothers and sisters,

Here’s the Summary for April 25, 2014

The bad news:

1. Unknown degenerates threw a grenade at a checkpoint near Odessa this morning, and as a result seven people were wounded. Later in the day it became known that these same extremists planned to beat veterans on May 9 (Victory Day in Ukraine) “under contract” from a Russian TV Channel (as reported by the SBU).

Personally, I don’t like this fuss in the south. According to our data, with all the events happening in eastern Ukraine, our security forces are keeping an eye on Odessa, Mykolayiv, and Kherson. And this is very right.

But we are anticipating a powerful surge in various similar extremist acts by May 1 (Labour Day) and May 9. Let’s hope that the most heinous plans by pro-Russian “snitches” will be disrupted.

2. As a result of a shootout by terrorists at Kramatorsk airfield, a Ukrainian special forces Mi-8 helicopter and an An-2 plane were burned down.

I will not pose as a great strategist, but this event inevitably raises a number of questions. It was fine when Sloviansk separatists walked around the oblast (region) as if it was their home (although one cannot call it normal). But damn it, couldn’t they at least provide protection for the objects used by the Ukrainian security forces during this anti-terrorist operation (ATO)? It’s all very strange.

3. In Sloviansk, terrorists have hijacked a bus with OSCE representatives. This is the epitome of rudeness and cynicism.

It is absolutely clear that extremists are a bunch of drunk criminals and Kazachky (diminuitive of Cossack) led by professional subversives from Russia. Here’s the question to Ukrainian authorities. Do they realize that this egregious case – is a spit in the face? The ATO is under way in the region for a number of days already, and now look at it. Very sad, and I see no excuses.

The good news:

1. The Federation Council of Russia is against the invasion of Ukraine.

Valentina Matviyenko, the Chairman of the Federation Council, insists on continuing negotiations to resolve the crisis in Ukraine. This is as clear as day, she is Putin’s pet “talking head.” When it was necessary, the very same Federation Council happily voted to send troops to Ukraine in early March.

Does this mean that Putin has abandoned his plans to invade Ukraine? I think not. Rather, by playing democracy, he is preparing an excuse in case he considers the invasion to be inappropriate. But this statement does take the pressure down a notch.

2. The work of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry never ceases to delight us.

Today’s statement by the Ministry is quite extensive, but it lays everything out on the shelf. This includes the fact that Ukraine does not need Russian “peacekeepers,” the difference between separatists and Russian-speaking Ukrainians (Moscow is convinced that it amounts to the same thing), and the right of Ukraine to defend itself against terrorism through the use of force.

This rhetoric is relayed in a very educated and convincing manner. We must understand that these very guys are responsible for forming the attitudes of the international community towards events in our country. And they are truly doing a great job.

3. The operation to liberate Sloviansk has not been a complete success, but at least the city was finally blocked. It’s better than nothing.

4. It’s not necessarily “good news,” but rather a few words on the subject. Presidential candidates manifest themselves in the “Eastern crisis” in a very interesting manner.

Mykhaylo Dobkin is sitting in Kharkiv, where he wages his tense and invisible war for the unity of Ukraine. Having survived the egg attack by Luhansk separatists in mid-April, he is trying today to avoid the frontlines.

Serhiy Tigipko also performed ​​a quiet act of bravery in Luhansk a week ago. He bravely entered the SBU building, occupied by separatists “to negotiate.” Everyone held their breath. Half an hour later, Tigipko came out, shook separatists’ hands and said pointedly (if you believe the media), “All right, hang on here.” Leaving behind some innuendos.

Petro Poroshenko “landed” in Luhansk yesterday. He was blocked by a pro-Russian crowd right at the airport. Although it is not clear what they wanted from Poroshenko – it seems that he always demonstrated the ability to maintain composure in dialogue with his beloved Russian separatists. Especially since he always had problems with Moscow on business issues.

Yulia Tymoshenko announced that she came to an agreement with the separatists. Although Luhansk separatists immediately declared that nothing like that ever happened. Hopefully, Yulia Volodymirivna will invite separatist to the televised Presidential debates and convince them in front of all honest people that agreements with them still exist.

After visiting Crimea, Natalia Korolevska visited the “hot spots” – Kramatorsk, Sloviansk, and Donetsk Regional State Administration. Then, she made ​​a surprise announcement contrary to the general rhetoric. That in eastern Ukraine, aside from kids running around with guns, there are millions of Ukrainians who are offended by the word “separatist.” These are ordinary retirees, public officials, families with children who have been cut off from the world.

The sensible idea about this is that behind all this “war” (both within the Russia-triggered outrage, and during political battles) ordinary people go into the background. And that’s very bad.

Let us hope that in the future those in power will remember the lessons of today, and realize that human beings are the guarantee of stability in any region.

Rating of extremism in Ukraine, infographic

Here is an info-graphic of extremism in Ukraine for April 22, 2014. The map shows different regions under different levels of threat.

The map shows threat levels for different regions. Click for larger picture.

The map shows threat levels for different regions. Click for a larger picture.

As you can see, levels of threat varies throughout the regions:

  • Donetsk – 8, very high. Lots of armed terrorists and spetsnaz fighters from Russia. Violent incidents, kidnappings, murders, region is partially controlled by extremists groups.
  • Luhansk – 6, high. Lots of aggressive separatists, violent acts, threat of armed incidents, although territory is not controlled by extremists.
  • Kharkiv, Odessa – 5, high. These regions are highly targeted by separatists, but their activity is still under control.
  • Mykolayiv, Kherson, Zaporizhia – 3, moderate. Controlled situation, incoherent groups of separatists.
  • Dnepropetrovsk – 1, low. Situation is under full command, low risk of incidents.