Civil war in Ukraine

AVERAGE INDIAN

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Retreating Soldiers Bring Echoes of War's Chaos to a Ukrainian Town


As violence continued to plague eastern Ukraine on Thursday, demoralized Ukrainian soldiers straggled into the town of Artemivsk, griping about incompetent leadership and recounting desperate conditions and gruesome killing as they beat a haphazard retreat from the strategic town of Debaltseve.
A spokesman for the Defense Ministry of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic, Eduard Basurin, said that separatist fighters had counted 57 bodies of Ukrainian soldiers on the ground in Debaltseve.
"It was noted that the measures approved by the contact group in Minsk helped allow a reduction in the intensity of fighting in Donbass and reduced the number of civilian casualties," the Kremlin said in a statement, using the shorthand term for Donetsk Basin, as the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine is commonly known.

The Kremlin said the leaders had agreed that the foreign ministers of the four countries would begin consultations "in the nearest future" about implementing the terms of the cease-fire — further indication of Russia's view that the peace agreement remained on track. Germany also issued a generally positive statement.
At one point, a tank was driving in circles on the city commons, Artemivsk Square.

"The guys are unwinding," said one visibly drunk soldier, standing on a corner late at night, still in the muddy uniform he wore escaping from Debaltseve. "What do you expect after a battle?"



http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/20/w...hone-to-try-to-impose-ukraine-cease-fire.html
 

pmaitra

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Kiev Ambassador to Germany: Neo-Nazis Are Part of Our Forces. Without Them Russia Would Have Defeated Us

Goes further and says there are no right-wingers currently serving in Ukrainian Parliament.

Damir Marinovich [SOURCE]




Ukrainian soldier openly wearing Nazi SS insignia

Ukraine's ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk (Western Ukrainian from Lvov), made a shocking statement on Günther Jauch's TV show, one of the most popular political talk shows in Germany.

Answering the question about the large presence of "strange people with SS insignia" in the Ukrainian Army, Melnyk admitted that Azov and Right Sector neo-Nazis are part of the Ukrainian armed forces, that they are controlled and coordinated by Kiev's pro-Western regime and that without them "the Russian army" would advance much further.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcR9jl4AM3A

Let's now carefully analyze his statement:

"Since the last elections there is not a single far right party in our Parliament. And this is important fact."

He is dead wrong on this. Extreme right-wing populist Lyahsko, of the Radical Party, entered the Parliament and is a member of the ruling coalition. Both leaders of Right Sector, Interpol-wanted Dmytro Yarosh and Borislav Bereza, were directly elected in their electoral districts and are currently serving as MPs.

Furthermore, white power Nazi and Azov de-facto leader Andriy Biletsky was also directly elected as an MP and is part of a coalition with Yatsenyuk's People's Front party. Next to Biletsky, Andriy Parubiy, founder of the Neo-Nazi Social-National Party of Ukraine is a MP and deputy chairman of the Ukrainian Rada (parliament).


New democracy requires new symbols (neo-Nazi flags) for kids in school

So the far right elements are very much present in the Parliament and unfortunately not only in the Ukrainian Rada, but also in other important institutions. It seems that the whole Ukrainian political spectrum move radically to the right and one can argue whether there are any center-of-left leaning parties present in the current parliament?

Let's continue with his statement:

"When we were attacked by the Russians last year, we hardly had an army. And that's why there were a lot of people, volunteers, who were prepared to fight for their country, and they are doing it."

Nonsense (the part about Russia attacking Ukraine is of course baseless. If Ukraine was invaded, why don't they provide evidence, or declare war?) We can all clearly remember spring of the last year when many regular Ukrainian army units refused to wage a war against civilians who disagreed with Kiev's coup d'etat and Maidan revolution. The bloody civil war started only after the new regime manage to consolidate itself, formed, equipped and trained the National Guard units and volunteer battalions composed of far right/neo-Nazi volunteers.

Now comes to most shocking part of his statement:

"These (neo-Nazi) units are fighting together with our army, with the National Guard and other units, and they are coordinated and controlled by Kiev. That's why there exists no danger that they do something on their own, beyond they have coordinated with the army commanders."

It is hard to comprehend that the ambassador of a "young democracy" and potential EU member is openly admitting that they are coordinating and controlling neo-Nazis in their war against their own citizens. It is even more unbelievable that at the eve of celebrating 70th anniversary of defeating Nazis in Second World War, we have neo-Nazis as part of armed forces of an European country.


There is one Ukraine and... one Adolf Hitler

It is not a secret that the Neo-Nazi Azov battalion officially became special military unit of Ukraine's Ministry of the Interior and it is under its control. "Moderate" Poroshenko even decorated them for valor.

However, it is hard to agree with the statement that Kiev regime can fully control volunteer battalions. That was the reason the ambassador tried to change the subject and start questioning authenticity of the photo when he was once again asked to reaffirm that these neo-Nazi extremists are not doing anything wrong.

Just yesterday (19 February 2015), Semenchenko, commander of the Donbass battalion, announced the creation of an independent headquarters for eleven volunteer battalions, to counter Ukraine's regular army "Generalstab."

Yarosh's Right Sector units and Azov battalion announced that their military units have rejected the recent Minsk deal and that they will continue with active fighting in the East according to their own plans. That's the reason there are still heavy fights in Shirokino near Mariupol between the Azov battalion and Donetsk forces.

In one of the Amnesty's reports, it is indicated that Kiev has loose regulation on volunteer groups and its "members... act with virtually no oversight or control."

There are also reports that Poroshenko family had to flee the country since there was apparently ultimatum of the Right Sector to Poroshenko, that he "would suffer the same fate as Gaddafi" because of the Debaltseve humiliation.

Whoever think they can control Nazi marauders and other far-right bloodthirsty loonies should get ready for a nasty surprise.

The ambassador finished his statement with a very important notion:

"Without them (neo-Nazis) the Russian army would have advanced much further. That's why they are part of this picture. Without these units, it would be much more difficult to defend ourselves."

I would completely agree with the ambassador reasoning if there was no nonsense about the "Russian army." This regime can survive and defend itself only with the help of neo-Nazis militants and radicals. This is of course excluding their Western sponsors. If there was no "helping hand" from neo-Nazis and the West this war would be long time over.

It's a very tricky and risky game the Kiev regime is playing. On the one hand they are heavily dependent upon neo-Nazi volunteer battalions for their survival; on the other hand neo-Nazi militants can easily overthrow the president and government in Kiev.



Finally, if Kiev says it is controlling neo-Nazi battalions, shouldn't they be held responsible for the crimes committed by them? There are numerous reports about war crimes of nationalist volunteer battalions, even according to the Amnesty International and Human Right Watch. It's obvious that Ukrainian neo-Nazi marauders are not afraid of potential criminal proceedings against them since "full immunity" is a part of the deal they have with the Kiev regime.

 

sgarg

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Poroshenko added that investigating authorities had established a "clear Russian link" to the shootings, in which 77 protesters and 18 police officers were killed.

Valentin Nalivaichenko, head of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), repeated what he had told the president in comments to Ukrainian news agency Ukrainski Novini.

"[SBU Alpha special forces unit] members gave us concrete information [under interrogation] about the positions of foreign sniper groups that were targeting both protesters "¦ and Interior Ministry police officers," he said.

"There's [evidence] of their ranks, last names, copies of their passports, dates of arrival and departure, what cellphone network they used, where they stayed and how Putin's advisor Surkov coordinated their activity in Kiev," he was quoted as saying.

Poroshenko Says Evidence Shows Kremlin Aide Surkov Directed Snipers in Kiev | News | The Moscow Times
This newspaper is clearly an American propaganda organ and you are clearly an American propagandist.

India has higher press freedom compared to Finland. For your information, I have no link with Indian government and I frequently criticise Indian government. However nobody has said anything to me so far.

Poroshenko is an American stooge whose job is to speak what Americans tell him. Ordinary Ukrainian have lost faith in Poroshenko completely. I can bet Poroshenko will lose the polls if held today.
 

sgarg

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As Kiev forces continue to shell civilian areas and infrastructure, and the civil war becomes uglier, NovoRussia is left with no choice but to push back Kiev forces further.
 

pmaitra

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Ukraine's Military Debacles Caused by Incompetent Leadership

Neither a lack of weapons, nor low morale was the cause of defeat at Debaltsevo, but rather Kiev's failure to face realities of the situation.

Paul Robinson (Centre for International Policy Studies) [SOURCE]

This article originally appeared at Centre for International Policy Studies.



Before coming up with solutions it is first advisable to determine the nature of the problem. Right now the United States is considering sending arms to Ukraine, while here in Canada the Defence Minister, Jason Kenney, has been mulling the deployment of Canadian soldiers to train the Ukrainian Army. But is a lack of arms or training the real reason for the Ukrainian Army's defeats?

"Western countries' obsession with Russia has deluded them into thinking that Ukraine's problems are entirely the fault of Russian malevolence, and has blinded them into ignoring the role played by the Ukrainian government's incompetence."

To answer that question, it is worth looking at what has been happening in the town of Debaltsevo, where a large Ukrainian contingent, possibly several thousand strong, was encircled by rebel forces.

The government in Kiev has repeatedly denied that its troops were surrounded, but even Ukrainian military journalists acknowledge that the main road out of Debaltsevo is in rebel hands and that troops of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics have captured most of the town, as well as a substantial number of prisoners.

On the night of February 17-18, a large part of the garrison escaped through gaps in rebel lines, but Ukrainian sources report heavy casualties in the process. Substantial quantities of equipment have been destroyed or have fallen into rebel hands. Ukraine has suffered a serious defeat.

How did the Ukrainians end up in this mess? The answer is not a lack of weapons. They had plenty in Debaltsevo and the surrounding area. Nor is a lack of training to blame. For sure, the Ukrainian soldiers are not as well trained as those of Western armies, but neither are the rebels.

The evidence suggests that those surrounded in Debaltsevo fought bravely and for the most part effectively. It is not the fault of the soldiers that they were encircled.

Rather, it is the fault of Ukraine's highest level political and military leaders. The rebel plan to cut the supply lines to Debaltsevo was no secret. The rebels proclaimed it openly. Moreover, their plan did not succeed instantaneously, but took several weeks.

The Ukrainian high command had plenty of time to withdraw its troops to safety long before it did. Instead, it buried its head in the sand and repeatedly denied that there was a problem. Reports suggest that during the recent peace negotiations in Minsk, President Poroshenko of Ukraine and President Putin of Russia spent many hours arguing over whether Debaltsevo was encircled.

Poroshenko insisted that it was not and claimed, therefore, that no provision was needed in the peace settlement for the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops.

After the agreement at Minsk was signed, the rebels offered the Ukrainians safe passage out of Debaltsevo. The offer was rejected. Ukraine's leaders had the opportunity to save their men, but they did not take it, incorrectly believing that they could still hold onto the town. They could not. Many lives were lost unnecessarily.

This is not a unique occurrence. Last July, Ukrainian soldiers were similarly surrounded in a zone which the rebels called the 'southern cauldron', a thin corridor about 60 kilometres long south of the cities of Donetsk and Lugansk. Again, this disaster was not only predictable but predicted. As early as the start of July, the Ukrainian General Staff warned of a coming 'catastrophe' and suggested that the army abandon the sector in question. It was overruled, the troops were surrounded, many were killed, hundreds more surrendered, and large quantities of equipment were lost.

In short, Ukraine's defeats are the result of dismal leadership rather than a want of weapons or training. Unfortunately, Western countries' obsession with Russia has deluded them into thinking that Ukraine's problems are entirely the fault of Russian malevolence, and has blinded them into ignoring the role played by the Ukrainian government's incompetence.

To date, the policy of Canada and its allies has been to change Russian behaviour by means of sanctions. But Ukrainian behaviour also needs changing: in particular, Kiev has to abandon all hopes of military victory and face the reality that it must negotiate directly with the rebels in order to enact the constitutional reform required in the latest Minsk agreement.

Our influence on Russia is very limited. We do, however, have leverage over Ukraine, and can hope to change its behaviour. Rather than giving unconditional support, we should start trying to effect that change.

[HR][/HR]

Commentary:

Apparently, the author is Canadian, or writing from a Canadian perspective.

I see a sense of defeat and disappointment in this piece. While the article is largely correct in stating the obvious truth about the incompetence of the military and politician leadership, and even about the training, it misses one important aspect.

The most important aspect, in my opinion, is that the militia were fighting to save themselves. They have enough evidence that even if they remain peaceful, they will be killed. They have seen the Kiev sniper attack, they have seen Odessa inferno, they have seen MH17, and they have seen the indiscriminate bombing and slaughter of civilians in Donetsk and Lugansk. When people are pushed to the corner, they will fight back, training or no training. The Kiev regime's forces never had the motivation that the militiamen had.

The purpose of news is to inform the truth, to the best of one's ability. Western media does not work to that end. Western media works to hammer their own government's narrative so that their audience begin to believe what the western governments want them to believe, instead of the reality. The very myth of Russian aggression was propagated to justify some action keeping in mind the larger geopolitical goals of the western capitals.

The article admits that Canada has limited influence over Russia, however, it is difficult to understand why anyone would have any useful influence over Ukraine? Having influence over a chocolate seller is not the same thing as having influence over several battalions of armed neo-Nazi gangs. Moreover, the author of the article fails miserably, either on purpose, or due to ignorance, that the Canadian government has housed a large diaspora of Ukrainian ultra-nationalists who harbour neo-Nazi intentions. I would have expected this article to touch upon the option of Canada influencing its own actions, instead of letting some Alberta constituent call the shots of Canadian foreign policy.
 

pmaitra

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Vauro: "The Americanist front is cracking"

Interview of Vauro Senesi by Lorenzo Maria Alvaro
Published February 10, 2015 in Vita Magazine
February 20, 2015
Translated from Italian by Tom Winter


The satirist is one of the few people from the west to have been on the ground in the Donbass, the part of Ukraine called Novorossiya that is fighting against Kiev. "The situation is extremely dramatic. Instead of Russian regular army, there are guerrillas that fight against a Nazist government."

The situation is at a crossroads. At present there are negotiations between the USA, the EU, and Russia. If Merkel, Hollande and Kerry can find a deal with Putin the situation could cool down. The problem is that in the opposite case, the scenario is at risk becoming quite dramatic. The notices that come from the war zone are few, and almost always from Ukrainian and American sources. One of the very few Italians and westerners to have been on the other side, amidst the pro-Russian combatants, is the famous satirical cartoonist Vauro Senesi. Therefore Vita has contacted him and asked him to recount what he saw.

Vita: You've recently been in the east of Ukraine. What did you see?

VS: A humanitarian disaster. Many cities and villages are partially depopulated. Mainly the refugees head for Russia, and this goes a long way about saying who the liberators are. The ones to remain are those who can't get out. These are the elderly, the disabled, or persons in extreme poverty. It's winter, with temperatures of 20 below. They don't have water; they don't have electricity. I've seen them transport drinking water in old oil drums in the back of pickups in the bombarded and half-destroyed neighbourhoods. One moving scene: the driver of the pickup was an old World War Two vet, still in his Red Army uniform.

It's impossible, going there, not to see the fact that there is a clear strategy on the part of Kiev: ethnic cleansing. When you strike the nerve centre of the life of a community with such arrogance, that can only be the motive: Raze to the ground the schools, hospitals, factories, electric power plants"¦

Vita: What's the response of the pro-Russians?

VS: The reply of the armed Cossacks is participatory, and heroic. In addition to defending the territory militarily, they have also taken on the burden to the extent possible, of sustaining the population. They distribute food and water, and organize co-ops and aid groups to rebuild the social fabric.

The population in recent years has had the experience of a liberalism without rules, a society run only in the private interest of the tycoons. In Ukraine the system denies fundamental rights like access to health care: right in Kiev, the hospital, for example, even before the conflict, was still living in the Chernobyl emergency era, without available cures or treatments. The only access was the black market.

A situation like that, with a state system so unfair, then coupled with the Maidan coup, and the memory of the massacre at Odessa, has cut a deep chasm between the Russo-Ukrainian population and the Kiev regime. I say the regime, because within the same society of Ukraine there are strong currents of dissent, stifled by the militarization in place in Kiev.

Vita: His reading of the facts is a bit pro-soviet, Or at least, that is the accusation of his critics. But we should remind these gentlemen that the Soviet Union ended in 1991.

Actually, the accusation is a matter of being nostalgic"¦


VS: I'm not Russian, so the nostalgia would be about something else. But certainly there is a vein of nostalgia in the population of Donbass. The people there say that while there was a Soviet Union, the welfare was free and better than today. Sanitation and school worked for everybody. In the midst of it all, strange to relate, were mingled Byzantine icons, Madonnas, portraits of Lenin, Russian flags and Red flags. I have to say that this nostalgia is for a system that, with all its horrors, guaranteed basic rights: health, education, and work.

Vita: How did Anti-fascism get into the pro-Russian revolt in Ukraine?

VS: It's outright: the salute the Cossacks give among themselves is a clenched fist accompanied by the phrase "¡No pasarán!" This because on the opposing side there are army divisions that have adopted the symbols of the German SS. The battalions of the Ukrainian National Guard are openly Nazist. At Kiev they have erected a monuments to Nazi criminals like Stepan Bandera.

Vita: In the western media they refer to the rebels of the Donbass as regular army supported by Russia. True?

VS: I haven't walked through every corner of the Donbass. What I saw was an army equipped with light to medium weapons. I didn't see an army set up like the Russian army. There certainly are Russians among them, but they are volunteers. Guerrillas. A guerrilla army. They are composed, from a tactical standpoint, on Guevarism. So said the general I was able to talk to — the idea is that of a guerrilla war of liberation and of reconstruction of an ethical society.

The thing I don't understand is that here we are in 2015: Why don't we have satellite photos or news of prisoners from the Russian Army that are supposed to have invaded Donbass? It seems that these soldiers of Putin have the gift of invisibility.

Vita: In these hours we have negotiations between the US, the EU, and Russia. There are those who say it's an attempt to manage the conflict at least, if peace itself is not attainable. What do you think?

VS: From my personal experience as a war correspondent, the idea of regulating the intensity of a conflict is folly. When you unchain the breakout of the violence it's not able to be regulated or circumscribed. A war on this scale in the heart of Europe could be the fore-runner of a world conflict.

Europe is getting pushed onto pro-American positions, but I hope diplomacy can get to a positive opening. The alternative would be an immense tragedy. On the positive side there is this: Europe, though Mogherini has categorically squelched the idea of arming Kiev. And Tsipras is dealing with Putin and has said no to new sanctions. So the Americanist front is cracking. I hope they take it hard.
 

pmaitra

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This article is really humorous, and along with that, satirical. Please do read, and enjoy the tales of our "beloved" chocolate seller:

"Shame! Shame! Shame!"--Poroshenko jeered on the Maidan

2/20/2015
Poroshenko jeered on the Maidan
By J.Hawk


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMZ4n8RW1hE

The guy just can't get any respect. For a president who is, well, presiding over an economic miracle, a victorious military campaign, and national reconciliation, and who moreover had led his country into the European Union which is now showering its new member-state with tens of billions of euros, he really ought to be more appreciated by his people.

This spontaneous show of appreciation took place when Poroshenko was (allegedly) paying his (alleged) respects to the memory of people who (actually) died, quite possibly at the hands of his own political allies and their armed goons. Poroshenko starts out with "Glory to Ukraine," the military detail that's just off camera responds, and then the public puts in its two hryvnya (which is devaluing rapidly, so the sooner you put them in the better).

As a side note, given Poroshenko's unpopularity, one has to wonder who might be waiting in the wings, hoping to take his place...

Actually, I'll go further than that. How do we know they are not already running the show behind the scenes? Given how shrill and hysterical Poroshenko has been of late (what with the LPR/DPR gas cut-off, the accusation that a close Putin advisor Surkov personally commanded the Maidan snipers, or his desire to see Yanukovych "burn in hell", to name only a few recent Poroshenko gems?), it's possible he is now only a scared figurehead.
 

bhramos

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UK journalist in Ukraine ashamed of misrepresentation of events in Donbass



British journalist working in southeastern Ukraine in his letter to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Friday said that he was grateful for the diplomatic support of his country, but ashamed of London's misinterpretation of events in Donbass.

"I am proud to be British, proud of my country. HOWEVER, I am ashamed of Our Country's Position Regarding events in Donbass, and am doing as much as I CAN correctly to Represent the Honour and History, of Our great Nation, "Graham Phillips Said in His letter posted on His Blog.

Phillips responded to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office's letter sent on February 18, in which London expressed concern over him being "photographed while wearing military uniforms, separatist insignia, or holding firearms" The office also recommended Phillips to leave Ukraine for safety reasons. "

"I'm not in Ukraine, I am in Novorossiya, Which Voted to secede from Ukraine in referendums Last May 11th, after the revolution of Violent Euromaidan installed an unelected, far-right Government," Phillips Claimed in response.

"I wear 'separatist insignias' because I think Novorossiya is a beautiful country. I've taken in Part firearm drills to Augment my experience, and Understanding, as A War Correspondent, "
Phillips wrote, Adding That none of His working Practices are Against the Law.

Phillips, who was working for Russia's Zvezda television channel and made special reports from the hotspots for the RT television channel, was detained twice by the Ukrainian State Security Service while working in eastern Ukraine. He was also wounded while covering clashes between Kiev forces and independence supporters.



UK journalist in Ukraine ashamed of misrepresentation of events in Donbass | Русская весна
 

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