Dmitry Tymchuk: Events in Odessa, May 2, 2014

Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

According to Information Resistance, yesterday’s provocations in Odessa, which caused numerous casualties, were the result of an operation conducted and coordinated by Russia.

From the beginning of March until the end of April 2014, we noted the arrival of Russian Armed Forces units and those of the Main Intelligence Directorate [GRU of the General Staff of Russian Armed Forces], as well as representatives of Russian Cossacks and ultra-nationalist organizations on the territory of Transnistria.

Since mid-April, our sources in the Republic of Moldova recorded the arrival of Russian groups with young athletic men in Chisinau, departing further into the territory of Transnistria. They were accompanied by Russian FSB operatives.

As a result, by the beginning of May, about 1,700 Russian servicemen and about 2,200 representatives of various Russian organizations (mostly, the Cossacks) coordinated by the FSB were located in Transnistria. Of the total number of Russian troops, about 800 people are represented by GRU units of the General Staff.

We relayed this information during the months of March and April in the Information Resistance reports.

According to our data, starting from the end of April, subversive and reconnaissance groups of Russian Spetsnaz and groups of instigators deployed to the territory of Ukraine, were tasked to destabilize the situation in southern Ukraine in conjunction with local pro-Russian separatists. And first of all–in Odessa.

The active phase of the operation aimed to capture the local [participating] public authorities , and was scheduled for May 9–when under the ideological slogans of Victory Day, an opportunity to initiate the activity of pro-Russian sympathizers among the local population was present. After achieving tactical successes in Odessa, similar actions by incoming ‘Putin’s tourists’ were to be initiated in Mykolayiv and Kherson.

However, the beginning of the active phase of the ATO in Slavyansk made ​​Russian leadership force events in southern Ukraine, in order to compel Ukrainian security forces to urgently deploy resources and means from Donbass. We observed the tragic result of this monstrous provocation yesterday in Odessa.

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.

Events of April 22th

dmitry_tymchukBy Dmitry Tymchuk, translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

Brothers and sisters,
Here’s the Summary for April 22, 2014

The bad news:

1. Easter holidays brought no hope that Russia and the extremists pay any heed to the Geneva agreements. Extremist acts continue.

On the part of the security forces, sadly, we see no effective response, not even in blocking the loci of this infection. This problem must be addressed, and urgently. At this time, the flames of terrorism have engulfed Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. Unless urgent action is taken, the next few days will see the entire region covered in such “Sloviansk-s.”

Especially since we continue receiving information about the diversions and provocations being prepared. By the way, today a journalist voiced an accusation against Information Resistance group – alleging that we are instigators because we “forecasted” the diversion in Kramatorsk two hours before it happened. Supposedly, our messages are spreading panic among the public.

Personally, I think that’s bull. Panic is spread by the events, not by messages. What’s more, such events can be avoided by using incoming information appropriately. But alas, this issue is not for us to address.

2. The deadline for refusal of Russian citizenship for residents of Crimea expired on April 18, and will not be extended. This was reported today by Sergei Kalyuzhny, Deputy Head of the Federal Migration service of Russia.

Earlier, the self-proclaimed Crimean princelings (Putin’s henchmen) from the “government of Crimea” swore that this term would be extended. Clearly, they are just like their master – liars through and through.

The bad news is, that this lie impacts the fates of hundreds and thousands of Crimeans who became hostages of the situation. While Ukraine, for some reason, has not voiced a single word of alarm about their future. Let alone any real attempts to solve these people’s problems. Lord High Officials, after losing Crimea, let us not lose our conscience yet.

3. Nelya Shtepa, the mayor of Sloviansk, continues to play the part of some surreal comedy character. One moment, she is with the separatists; the next, she swears that her support was not genuine.

She reminds me of the unnamed drunken major from Evelyn Waugh’s Vile Bodies. Now and again, appearing out of nowhere, spouting some gibberish, and vanishing again. To what end? Nobody knows.

Today, in an interview with Russian TV channel, Shtepa, once again, started licking Putin (“very grateful to Putin for entering Crimea”) and the insurgents (“they are strong in spirit, they will defeat both the Right Sector, and the military – they will defeat everyone here.”)

If I had any commentary on this lady’s personality, it would only be very rude. Being a gentleman, I will keep such commentary to myself. But the bad part is that such lovely creatures [as Shtepa] are supplying Russian PutinTV with a picture that Moscow so sorely requires.

The good news:

1. The Cabinet of Ministers registered a bill on the amnesty of extremists with the [Verkhovna] Rada [Ukrainian Parliament]. This means an exemption from liability for those who didn’t cause too much trouble and decided to hand themselves over.

After the law is passed, the criminals have three days to make a decision. Personally, I’m not that in favor of cottoning up to terrorists. But in current conditions, this is still a good move, which allows those who unintentionally found themselves involved in separatism to leave this mess behind quietly. Let us see what results it brings.

2. Joseph Biden, Vice President of the United States, declared that the U.S. is entirely in support of Ukraine.

This means not only moral support in the current situation. This also means strategic perspective – for example, their readiness to help lower [Ukraine’s] dependence on energy resources supplied from Russia.

It should be understood that the very visit of the U.S. Vice President to Kyiv is already a powerful political declaration.

However, Joseph Biden is a rampant optimist. He says that Ukrainian politicians currently have “a historical chance” to create a truly united state. This, alas, is an illusion. Should Ukraine become truly united, it will happen through the efforts of Ukrainians themselves. It looks like the less our politicians meddle in this, the higher the chances for success.

3. The “People’s Militia” in Mykolayiv work together with the police, and successfully detain miscreants.

Today, the headquarters of the city’s “People’s Militia” reported that approximately ten pieces of traumatic and combat weapons were confiscated at block posts around Mykolayiv in the last few days; several people were detained.

This is a vivid example of a situation where people don’t expect favors from the law enforcement, but take the bull by the horns. This is especially important for the South. While everyone’s attention is drawn to the events in the East, the enemy keeps working here.

4. The Cabinet of Ministers allocated UAH 5.304 billion [USD 451.4 million] from the reserve fund of the State Budget for improvement of defense capabilities. Of this amount, the Ministry of Defense is set to receive UAH 3.1 billion [USD 263.8 million], the Interior Troops of the MIA, UAH 1.8 billion [USD 153.2 million], and the State Border Service, UAH 0.109 billion [USD 9.28 million].

This amount may not be that large, but the main question is how to manage it. Sadly, corruption remains a reality, and a thief in an official’s chair is a threat as large as an armed separatist in an ambush. I hope we can manage both of these types of threats.