May 18-19, 2014 Lithuania media round-up

On 18th of May Ivan Simonovic, the UN assistant secretary general for human rights, said that ‘Ukraine is coming close to the “point of no return“. He also added that situation in Ukraine remains similar to the situation in Croatia in the 90s. (,,

On 18th of May Michael Birnbaum, journalist of Washington Post, in his article wrote that ‘Vowing to defend ethnic Russians wherever they live, President Vladimir Putin has embarked on an aggressive campaign to rebuild the pride and assertiveness of the Russian people, which he says was lost in the breakup of the Soviet Union’ ( Read more in Washington Post:

On 18th of May, John Ohman, one of Lithuanian activists supporting Ukraine, in an interview to ‘Šiauliai plius’ news portal said that ‘conflict in Ukraine is not only an attempt to expand a territory, but also a grand experiment by Russia which was aimed to test the new tactics in warfare.’’ Also he thinks that Russia is retreating from Ukraine now, but there’s a possibility that Russia will try to experiment in Baltic states too. (

On 19th of May Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General of NATO, said that they have unfortunately not seen any evidence of Russian troops withdrawing from the borders of Ukraine’. (


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.

May 16, 2014 Lithuanian media round-up

On 16th of May Lithuanian Parliament delegated 8 Members of Parliament to observe elections of Ukrainian President, which will be held on 25th of May. (Lithuanian Parliament Press Office, BNS, ELTA,

On 17th of May Street Music Day will be held for the first time in Kiev, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Dnipropetrovsk and Odessa. Lithuanian artists will arrive to support European Ukraine: groups ‘Biplan’, ‘Dee&Kammy’, ‘Colors Of Bubbles’, Jurgis Didžiulis will perform in Kiev, Edgaras Lubys/Amberlife and percussionist Donatas Senkus – in Lviv. (,,,

On 16th of May Vytautas Leškevičius, Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Valeriy Piatnytsk, Government’s Commissioner for European Integration of Ukraine chaired the 10th meeting of the Lithuania-Ukraine Commission for European Integration. The Commission meeting discussed the creation of a coordination mechanism for European integration in Ukraine, Ukraine’s progress towards a visa-free regime with the EU and possible Lithuania’s expert assistance to Ukraine in the implementation of the Association Agenda. The representatives of Ukraine pointed out that they highly appreciated Lithuania’s support and consultations. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs information, ELTA,

On 16th of May Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO chief, said that ‘he could no longer trust Russia’s assurances on sovereignty and the territorial integrity of countries in the region after its annexation of Crimea’ (,,, Read more in The Times of Israel:

On 16th of May second United Nations report about human rights situation in Ukraine was published. It says that ‘human rights violations have escalated in Eastern Ukraine and serious problems are emerging in Crimea, as well as a “wave of abductions and unlawful detentions” of journalists, activists, politicians, representatives of international bodies and members of the military’ (,, Read more in Reuters:

On 14th of May Bill Clinton, former President of United States, accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of attempting to ‘re-establish Russian greatness, not in Cold War terms — in 19th-century-empire terms,’ warning world leaders they are perhaps dealing not with a rational foreign-policy thinker (, Read more in Business insider:

On May 16th Helmut Schmidt, former Chancellor of Germany, said that ‘Ukraine’s crisis reminds the eve of World War I and danger that situation will become more tense, as it did in August of 1914, is growing everyday.’ (,,

Dmitry Tymchuk: ‘The Generals of ATO are pathetic’


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


Dmitry Tymchuk: Russian propaganda on “peacekeeping operation”

Translated by Andriy Berbets and edited by Alex Howard for Voices of Ukraine

According to Information Resistance data, pro-Russian extremists are conducting an intense propaganda campaign amongst the population in Luhansk and Donetsk Regions. Its purpose is to force citizens to take part in the so-called ‘referendum’ to ensure the split of Ukraine. You can read more of it here:

The separatists are trying to give the impression that during the ‘referendum’, Russia will be able to deploy ‘peacekeeping forces’ on the territory of Ukraine, in order to help stabilize the situation in the region, as their main argument in their attempt to convince the people.

About the fact that Russia is itself fueling the flames of civil war in Ukraine, and that the actions taken by the separatists themselves are destabilizing the situation in these regions, there is only silence.

At the same time we’d like to note that, throughout last week, the so-called Russian ‘expert community’ (e.g. the ‘Gazprom’ funded Moscow Strategic Culture Foundation, the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, the Center of Strategic Conjuncture etc.) began actively promoting the idea that a Russian ‘peacekeeping operation’ is strongly needed on the territory of Ukraine.

The main premise in this case is that a “peacekeeping operation” should be conducted by Russia without any consent from the UN (United Nations), as the involvement of the UN supposedly allows the West ‘to seize the initiative’ and to move their troops into Ukraine after receiving a UN mandate. But, as you know, Russia’s membership in the UN Security Council is absolutely unjustifiable, because this country is the aggressor, so it does not allow the UN Security Council to make any efforts in the resolution of the crisis in Ukraine, including carrying out peacekeeping operations by third parties.

Theoretically, Putin has two options to conduct a ‘peacekeeping operation’: to carry it out under the auspices of the SCO [Shanghai Cooperation Organization] or the CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization].

Currently the first option is not possible, because China, as a member of the SCO, would clearly not agree to this kind of global adventure.

What about Moscow’s pocket union, otherwise known as the CSTO? As it’s well known, Putin is currently applying increased pressure on the presidents of the satellite countries. It’s worthwhile remembering the recent military exercises of the Russian Armed Forces, where the question of the use of nuclear weapons was discussed under the personal leadership of Putin, with the presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan in attendance.

The President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, who has not previously supported Russian aggression against Ukraine, has suddenly and inexplicably changed his rhetoric. This change of position miraculously coincided with the message that Russia is ready to give Belarus a $2 billion loan in order to replenish its foreign exchange reserves.

However, the CSTO has no legal grounds for ‘peacekeeping’ in Ukraine, as Ukraine is not a member of the organization. Article 3 of the Agreement on the CSTO peacekeeping operations provides that the organization can perform such activities based on their own decisions only on the territory of the CSTO member states. In the case of non-member countries of the CSTO, approval from the UN Security Council must be obtained first.

This means that any attempt by Russia to move its troops into Ukraine under any pretext, whether alone or in an “alliance” with its satellites, will mean direct military aggression against sovereign Ukraine, or rather the second stage of aggression after Crimea.