May 1, 2014 Lithuanian media round-up

On May 1st Andrius Kubilius, Leader of opposition of Lithuanian Parliament, participated in a solemn Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats Party Congress. He mentioned Ukrainian crisis in his congratulatory speech: ‘A terrorist war, which Putin started in Ukraine is a hopeless war of a dying colonial empire. It could be hard and tragic, but dying empire will lose it eventually. Ukraine is fighting a heroic battle today. The battle is not an easy one against Putin’s aggression and Great Russian chauvinism. But it is a war not only for Ukraine, it is a war for safe future of civilized world and civilized Europe, it is a war which opens eyes to civilized world and reveals what a barbaric aggression of Putin the world has to deal with. That’s why today we can say once more these simple words which all of us got to know so well during the past months: Slava Ukraine!’ (Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats Press Office,, unofficial translation)

On April 30, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a two-year Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) for Ukraine. The country will get 17 billion dollars as emergency aid to prevent its economy’s collapse. (International Monetary Fund Press Office,,,

On June 9, 7 P.M. Ukrainian chamber choir “CANTEMUS” will perform in Kaunas Cathedral Basilica. Free entry. (Concert organizers info)

Andrius Kubilius’ speech ‘European future of Ukraine – a safe future for us’

Speech made by the leader of opposition of Lithuanian Parliament Andrius Kubilius during the press conference on April 2014 (unofficial translation)

Ukraine – in the spotlight

Ukraine stays in the spotlight, not only for us, but for the whole world as well. However, it is not Ukraine‘s fault.

The world faces a huge crisis, but it is not ‘Crisis of Ukraine’. The world faces a crisis, staged by the regime of Putin, phenomenon of aggressive Putinism, the development of ‘Putinist’ chauvinism in Russia. There is no ‘Crisis of Ukraine’, there is no ‘Ukrainian separatism’ – there is a new type of war, started by Putin, armed terrorism supported by Russia, Russia‘s special forces, not some joyful ‘little green men’.

Russia is attempting to fight an intensive informational war, seeking to establish several already familiar phrases in our minds: Crisis of Ukraine (meaning that Ukraine is the one doing something wrong, not Russia), ‘separatists’ (so that everybody speaks of a ‘peaceful’ attempt to separate from Ukraine allegedly held by Ukrainian Russian-speakers rather than Russian special forces and terrorism), ‘little green men’ (sounds like a phrase from animated movie – much gentler compared to ‘Spetsnaz forces’). We must respond to such imposed informational war by strongly expressing the responsibility of Russia for waging a terrorist war in foreign country – Ukraine.

I don‘t know what Putin‘s next moves to stop the election in Ukraine will be, however it is clear now that the regime in Russia isolates itself from the rest of civilized world. Vladimir Putin is driving himself into the trap of self-isolation. Consequences will first be felt throughout Russian economy, and afterwards will inevitably be catastrophic to the regime itself.

We have had several examples throughout the history, when such combination – authoritarian regime, promoting chauvinism of nation by its aggressive ways, in the end isolates itself from the civilized world and that leads directly to the collapse of such regime.

It is obvious, that Russia ruled by Putin has no civilized future, so the fact that Putin himself draws the collapse of it nearer, is no bad news for the future of Russia. At the same time it is not bad news for the civilized world, us among it, because civilized Russia is essential for both ours and Europe‘s security. And that was effectively demonstrated by the regime of Putin.

We have to be grateful for Ukrainian people and current Ukrainian Government, because while they are quietly suffering Russia’s aggression, they manage to remain stoic and civilized at the same time letting the world see the real face of Putin’s regime also increasing the prospect of civilized Russia.

Ukraine and the 10th anniversary of our EU membership

In the shadow of the events in Ukraine, this week will also be important as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of our own EU membership. Historically speaking, the fact that we became members of EU and NATO – is a historical miracle, as important as the 11th of March. The importance of this miracle is emphasized by the current geopolitical threats. We can only imagine the way we would feel these days, watching the aggression of Putin‘s regime in Ukraine, if we weren’t members of EU and NATO, with the feeling of security this membership brings us. The soldiers of United States who arrived to Lithuania last week, is something that changes our feelings entirely, and we hope, Putin‘s as well.

The achievements we made over the ten years can be called miracle as well. Though we make mistakes, we still are a rapidly developing country, receiving as well as giving to the whole of Europe. We are the best proof that the decision to expand EU, that was made ten years ago, was wise and brought success for both us and the whole EU. We can celebrate that at that time both EU and US leaders had political courage and will to implement this huge vision.

In the year 2000, while being Lithuanian Prime Minister, I had a chance to contribute to the start of this vision’s realization. I remember well in June of that year, journey barefoot through the dunes of Nida (not burned at that time – editor note in 2006 there was a catastrophic fire in the dunes of Nida) with Gunther Verheugen, the EU Commissioner responsible for expansion at that time. Lithuania was considered lagging in the path of EU membership so we had to put lots of efforts while trying to prove we are capable to catch up. It is great that G. Verheugen, still not appreciated properly at the state level for the miracle he helped to achieve, understood us. As he recently said in one public event held in Berlin, Nida was a place where his ‘large expansion’ plan was born.

As I was informed, he recollected the year 2000 in Nida this way:
‘The idea that all 10 countries could become EU members at once, was born while I was walking in the dunes of Nida together with Lithuania’s Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius. He asked me then, what would happen if the lagging countries would catch up with leaders. Would there be enough political will to accept them together with the countries that were the first to start negotiations. At that point I, as a Commissioner for expansion, decided to seek more ambitious expansion plan’.

Today, in the light of big geopolitical challenges, Europe needs as courageous and visionary solutions. While we celebrate the 10th anniversary of our membership and celebrate it as the 10th anniversary of ours and the whole EU’s success, we must declare that further expansion of EU to the so-called Eastern neighborhood will be as successful. Successful both for Europe as well as for those countries. Maybe this type of expansion will require more time; however the fairest civilized EU response to Vladimir Putin’s barbaric aggression in Ukraine would be Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia memberships’ perspective in European Union.

On the 1st of May, on the occasion of 10th anniversary of membership in EU, The Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats party’s representatives will gather to a special assembly, dedicated for this celebration. It is an important celebration for us, since we consistently striven to turn Lithuania moving towards West rather than East. We are glad we were right and it is unambiguously proved so today, by Mr. Putin.

Our assembly will become an important event, bringing representatives of Center-right parties from countries, which in the same way we did, turned themselves off the empire. Also the ones that are working on it, trying to achieve the same European integration as we currently have. We are hoping for the large number of influential Ukrainian, Moldavian, Georgian, Belorussian guests as well as European People’s Party representatives from Brussels and the Heads of European Parliament.

Before the assembly we plan a particular conference to discuss current challenges brought by the aggressive politics of V. Putin’s regime and our response as the right-wing parties. This type of assembly in Vilnius is part of the consistent execution of active diplomatic efforts of our political party, regardless weather we are governing or in opposition. Our belief is that our diplomatic efforts are very important and significant and sometimes can rival the results of official Lithuanian diplomacy. Today government of Ukraine consists of parties and leaders we consider colleagues of our own political party. Using our diplomatic efforts we had several meetings with them, in Vilnius, as well as in Kiev and Brussels.

On the occasion of our assembly and conference we plan to establish the common informal collaboration network between center-right parties from the countries, which escaped the imperial grip as we had. Thus far this ‘Post-imperial Vilnius network’ will be called relatively nicely EGE – ‘Europe Goes East’.

It would be great if other Lithuanian European political parties, particularly left-wing parties, would follow our diplomatic effort as an example. Today we, Lithuanians, have to take on the responsibility the same way the old Europe’s left- and right-wing parties took after the 90s, when they started educating, training and teaching us about becoming a legal state with European democracy and Parliamentarism. Thanks to them, Lithuania’s post communist left-wing eventually became social democrats.

Now while we work with the right-wing of Ukraine, it is very important that someone would work as intensively with the left-wing, the former Regions party of Ukraine. Because they will win an election in Ukraine eventually, the same way as former communist party of Algirdas Brazauskas did in Lithuania in 1992. It is good that at that point they already had learned enough from Europe’s left-wing. That is why it is essential now, for left-wing of Lithuania, not only the conservatives, to take on the same responsibility to establish European type left-wing in Ukraine.

I congratulate all Lithuanian people and all parties of Lithuania with the 10th anniversary. However I strongly urge and invite all the parties especially social democrats not only to celebrate the labor day, but also to undertake this large European political work for the sake of Ukraine European future, which means safer future for all of us as well.

Informational leaflet for Ukrainians in East Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers are sprinkling informational leaflets from helicopters for citizens living in East Ukraine. Below are the text from one of these leaflets:

For the peaceful part of population in Kramatorsk and Slavyansk regarding the SURVIVAL in the territories where RUSSIAN TERRORISTS ARE ACTIVE

Peaceful citizens of Kramatorsk and Slavyansk, your home country has turned into a training area of Russian saboteurs testing their punitive actions, terrorist activity and preparing for provocations with huge civil casualties!

To protect yourselves and your relatives and to end the terror as quickly as possible please observe the following rules:

1. Under no circumstances approach demonstrations (even if they are small) that are taking place in front of the captured administrative buildings – your presence is helping the terrorists. You become a live shield and a hostage. The more casualties there are, the better it is for the Russian saboteurs, and surely this image will be broadcasted on the Russian mass media.

2. Do not listen to those who advocate federalization and separatism in the streets, who is urging to storm the government buildings – these are corrupt activists receiving 1000 Hrivnas per day.

3. If you see sportsmanlike youth, people with military outfit moving in or towards the captured buildings or people of any age and appearance bringing grocery bags to them – please inform about this the nearest member of police, army, anti-terrorist troops or SBU. If you don’t have such possibility please call the hotline number below.

4. Under no circumstances enlist in any formations of groups – Russian special services will be using your data against you for blackmail and trying to force you to participate in illegal actions and support of terrorists.

5. Avoid places of people gatherings – there are militants of Russian special forces among the demonstrators who must physically eliminate everybody who is trying to criticize the efforts of Russia. They will try to use you as live shield the same way as the Soviet occupants in the period of 1941-1945.

6. Restrain your relatives, acquaintances from supporting terrorists and participating in anti-Ukrainian protests – by doing this you will protect their lives and health. Terrorists consider all participants of the demonstrations as potential casualties, they also received orders to kill peaceful citizens trying to contact the government.


Hotline of SB of Ukraine 0-800-50-14-82

‘Amnesty’ for Crimean Tatars

Yesterday Russia announced Vladimir Putin’s decision to rehabilitate Crimean Tatars. For your consideration we present not only the official announcement of Russian authorities, but some more information, which will help you drawing your own conclusions.

The official announcement:

Moscow, April 21. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian president Vladimir Putin has signed an order rehabilitating Crimean Tatars and other people of Crimea, who suffered repressions.

‘I would like to use this opportunity to inform my colleagues about a decree rehabilitating Crimean Tatars, Armenians, Germans, Greeks and all other nations having suffered repressions during the Stalin era’ ,- Said Putin.

Quoting Mr.Putin, the decree lays the ‘social – economic supply tools, which are allocated for some territories, which during the last few years or even decades had actually been abandoned and „ are not legally executed’.

On the 19th of April 2014, Mustafa Dzhemilev, the leader of the Crimean Tatars, on the Ukrainian Gromadske TV announced having some reliable information about new Russian FSB’s (Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation) plans of Crimean Tatar expulsion.

‘Free Ukraine’ and ‘ULLL’ have informed that in 1944, a mass deportation of Crimean Tatars was executed. By the decision of Josif Stalin, about 180 000 people were deported, mostly to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. Those who were incapable of leaving their homes or tried to resist, were executed on the spot. Tatars were transported in cattle-trucks, most often they didn’t have food for weeks, and sometimes not even water. Bodies of the dead were simply thrown out of the wagons.

Only in 1989 Tatars were allowed to return to their homeland. The decision about the fictitious guilt of Tatars is yet to be abolished.

After the deportations of Crimean Tatars, about 80% of villages were renamed – predictably, mainly those of Tatar origin were targeted. Today just 5 Tatar named villages remain – Bakhchysarai, Dzhankoy, Isun, Saky, Sudak.

April 22, the leader of Crimean Tatar National Movement, Mustafa Dzhemilev was handed a notice forbidding him from entering Crimea or any other Russian territory.

During the last few days, news reports about harsh treatment of Tartars, pogroms, demands to leave etc. became more and more frequent. Crimean Tatars refuse to recognize the occupation carried out by Russia.

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.

Regarding the Anti-terrorist operation

Since April 18th, all coordinators of the IS group (“Informational Shield”) are out in the regions of the country. We plan to release a general review later tonite. Here is a quote from the said review regarding Anti terrorist operation (ATO).


Anti terrorist operation has not yet been manifested as it should have and it seems it has lost its momentum.
During the first stages of the operation, military forces were issued with restraints by Ukrainian government (a guarantee to avoid civilian casualties, even if they are armed and hostile, and their activity can be deemed as terrorism). These restraints were a serious hamper to successful progress of an ATO. Even more so, after Geneva agreement, these restraints became a strict condition.

The problem with the military forces is the ban of destructive arms use. One of a very few exceptions in Mariupol, where a unit of National Guard resisted an armed attack on military unit. In reality soldiers are only allowed the use weapons on occasions provided by Ukrainian law N 877-VII (877-18) changed Crew and Patrol statute. And even on those occasions the use of weaponry can only be non-destructive.

There are reported incidents of commanders ordering troops to sign against destructive weapon application. This obviously had a very negative effect on the course of events and in general the effectiveness of military forces suffered greatly.

Furthermore, particularly after Geneva agreement, ATO has become an OS(operation stabilize), according to Western terminology. Main goals being: containment of settlements and districts with high concentration of mutineers, crewing of containment check points, area patrols. Main forces – units of Ukrainian military.

For reasons unknown to us, military command did not implement the required measures for OS. At the same time, military units and their commanders exhibit their readiness for such actions.


For the Ukrainian military successful implementation of ATO should be a simple task. There is plenty of experience from participation in similar campaigns. For example appearance in KFOR and Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF–I).
Every contingent had a review about its results with recommendations for techniques of organizing further activity. Military command just need to study the reviews and set approximate guidelines for Ukrainian military forces actions in Donbass.

But most important is setting a clear order regarding employment of military forces with precise tasks and targets for the operation. And also an order for interaction between Ukrainian forces and other military groups or special forces.