Dmitry Tymchuk’s Military Blog: Summary – May 20, 2014

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.

Sergiy Shapoval: separatists are demoralized. They can be finished off


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.

Dmitry Tymchuk Military blog: summary for May 16

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.