Original Opinion – written by Gleb Bazov
Caveat: the views expressed herein do not necessarily match those of Slavyangrad.ORG
It is impossible to prove or disprove the existence of the divine plan. Russia’s cunning plan in Ukraine belongs to the same category. In analyzing the statements made by Sergei Lavrov in his interview with Russia Beyond the Headlines on September 17, 2014, some commentators have added a third concept—that of diplomatic theatre—to this duality. While it is generally bad form to overanalyze religious beliefs, let us apply some simple mathematics to understand the play behind the curtains of diplomatic theatre.
The concept of diplomatic theatre is understood differently by commentators. Many of the definitions are clearly wrong. Diplomatic theatre is not magic, mysticism, or sleight of hand. The language of diplomacy is far more akin to mathematics than commonly understood. As in mathematics, every word has its place, and no phrase is spoken out of context or frivolously.
The product of a diplomatic equation is directly dependent on the placement of definitions in a string of calculated statements. Like legal language, diplomatic language can be deciphered, broken down into components, and analyzed with precision. To a keen observer, there is nothing mysterious in what diplomats say. Bad diplomacy, on the other hand, is the opposite of this approach. And Lavrov is an excellent diplomat. Accordingly, let us parse out the meaning of Lavrov’s interview without resorting to magic or belief in the guiding hand that can do no wrong.
Video Report: Exchange of 37 Militiamen with 37 Ukrainian POWs
Film by Alexandr Kots and Dmitry Steshin (“Komsomolskaya Pravda”)
Alexander Kots and Dmitry Steshin—the special correspondents of “Komsomolskaya Pravda”—tell about the first captives exchange in the format of “37 for 37”, that took place “in neutral territory” on the highway near Donetsk in the the dead of the night.
It took almost a week to prepare the event, and obviously, the negotiations were going on arduously. The parties were changing and working out the lists of “lucky ones” all the time. Initially they were going to exchange about a thousand for three hundred of POWs, however the lists became much shorter until the end of the week. According to a relator, performing this humanitarian action on behalf of DPR, typically the most difficult task was to assure the safety for such an issue: “When an exchange is carried out by the commanders of enemy units—it is one thing. They discuss everything by mobile phone, and even then, there is an entire mess-up and gunfire. In our case, everything was very complicated. I would say, there was an expectancy of quite serious provocations with unpredictable aftermath.”
The exchange was postponed several times not without a reason. Neither people believed it would likely happen on the night of Friday. However, the OSCI mission were staying a few steps away from their cars. The Europeans were hanging around wearing flak jackets and answering questions evasively. At 2:00 at night—not right time for the humanitarian mission—we joined the motorcade with a yellow regular bus in the middle of it. They even forgot to take off the plate with the route number. Only several persons seemed to know the terminal point, and the place for the exchange. We dodged along the border of the former front-line, which had been here for almost two months, going further to about five kilometers wide neutral zone. The beautiful highway suffered a lot from mines and “Grad” rockets somewhere. We struggled forward through the debris of a bridge blown up—a local driver was groaning dolefully, giving no comment though. The bridge was blasted during the hardest days of the city defence at the beginning of July.
Original: Colonel Cassad LiveJournal
Translated by Daniil Mihailovich / Edited by @GBabeuf / Preamble: GB
Preamble: In the midst of a failing ceasefire, punctuated by regular breaches on the part of the Ukrainian Army and Kiev’s punitive battalions, it is important to reflect on the military situation in Novorossiya on the eve of the implementation of the Minsk Protocol. We trust that this note will permit readers to reflect on the changes at the front that we have been witnessing. It is also a good reference point to enable one to guard against revisionism. The Novorossiya Armed Forces were on the brink of an important military victory before the ceasefire froze the hostilities in a much less favourable status quo, allowing Ukraine to re-establish a meaningful front-line; to reinforce key positions in preparation for an all-out assault that everyone is able to anticipate; to rearm and to replenish its troops. A comparison of the map below with more current versions is very instructive in this regard: and while it may be argued that the additional territory shown here under the control of the NAF was never securely held or that the NAF were thinly stretched, this ignores the very real disarray that was spreading in the enemy’s ranks as far afield as Zaporozhie.
The days leading up to September 1, 2014 clearly demonstrated the consequences of the Junta’s Southern Front disaster.
1. The Militia’s offensive south of Donetsk continues to gain ground. The Junta simply has no forces here to close a huge gap that stretches from Georgiyevka and Karlovka to the Azov Sea. All available forces were sent to defend Mariupol, and to the front-lines west of Donetsk—to prevent a cleaving strike through Selidovo on Krasnoarmeysk and Konstantinovka. Such an attack could lead to a deep encirclement of the Junta forces besieging Donetsk.
There are simply no available forces to cover this huge hole in the front, so here the Novorossiya Armed Forces (NAF) simply move forward, held up only by its own lack of forces and the necessity of controlling the territory already captured. In essence, only the weakness of the NAF transforms the catastrophe unfolding right before our eyes into a drawn-out process. For example, if the mechanized brigades of the Russian Army were advancing here, then they could have used this operational void to break through all the way to the Dnieper River relatively unhindered—there would have been nothing to stop them. Nevertheless, it is expected that in a few days the Army of Novorossiya will begin encountering some hastily created screens that are supposed to slow down the unfolding of the catastrophe in this area. Also, this week, two or three reinforced, armoured battle-groups are expected to enter combat on the Junta’s side. The remains of the Junta forces by Dyakovo and Ilovaysk are doomed, very few fighters will be able to get out. Needless to say, the NAF will continue to accumulate a lot of trophies.
By now, the NAF have essentially put Mariupol under operational encirclement. The morale of the encircled troops is low, support of the population is about sixty to forty in our favour (among the politically active residents). The hopes for a naval supply were dashed by the attacks on border-guard boats at sea near Mariupol. This suggests that a complete blockade of the city was planned and that the capture of Mariupol is one of the priority goals. At the same time, the NAF can use this blockade to their advantage—they are now free to deploy their sabotage-reconnaissance groups (SRGs) towards the outskirts of Berdyansk and on the territories bordering Zaporozhie. In essence, there is continuous probing to determine the future directions for further advance—reinforced SRGs and some of the NAF redeploying to the area now will advance where there are no enemy forces, or where the enemy forces are weakest.
Original article: http://varjag-2007.livejournal.com/6710678.html
Translated by Nataly
Edited by S. Naylor
The Junta abrogates even the appearance of justice…
Today Poroshenko signed the Act on sanctions. What a glorious law!
Now Ukraine does not need courts.
All decisions will be made by the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine and will be approved by the President and the Rada among other things in relation to its own citizens. Falling under suspicion that you are a “terrorist”, the sanctions will be immediately applied against you.
Under this Law, the citizens of Ukraine—without any court order—can be deprived of the ability to enjoy their possessions, to privatize them, to import currency, as well as other sanctions. Moreover, this is in addition to the measures provided by the Criminal Code of Ukraine, where in addition to the articles concerning the “national security” of the country and prison time, huge changes are made on the deprivation of citizenship.
Taking into account that the country is on a “witch hunt”; and just today Ministry of Internal Affairs reported “four thousand terrorists on the Internet”; the results are expected to be impressive.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine
Original Article: http://el-murid.livejournal.com/1997411.html
Translated by: Gleb Bazov
Edited by S. Naylor
The Ukrainian Minister of Defence, Geletei, has announced that Ukraine will choose to drop its nuclear-free status and arm its army with nuclear weapons in the event that “the world does not help [the country].” In Russia this announcement prompted a not-so-polite proposal that Geletei undergo psychiatric treatment; however this issue does not exist solely as a subject of the field of clinical research.
The United States can no longer simply withdraw from the situation in Ukraine. They already have a well-tested method of conflict intensification. This can be seen in the example of Syria: when frontal attack efforts turned out to be futile, the United States simply launched a new project – the Islamic State, thereby solving several related tasks. In the medium term this landmine will explode simply because all the conditions have been created. The goal of the United States now becomes to channel the energy of destruction, which is simply bursting out of the Islamic State. It appears that the regional players have already accepted such a development as given, and are actively trying to divert the coming explosion.
It would be impossible to repeat such a scenario in Ukraine—the potential of the Banderovtsy has nearly been exhausted. Moreover, the preparedness of the militants of Yarosh, Biletskiy, Lyashko, and all sorts of other Semenchenkos to wage Jihad is much lower. The army of Ukraine has almost completely ceased to exist – and, apparently, a sober assessment of its combat-worthiness is forcing Poroshenko to look for some other means of dealing with the Donbass problem. A sober assessment—by Ukrainian standards, of course, but even these standards do not allow Kiev to have any illusions.
Considering the fact that the Maidan and all the subsequent outrage are to a significant degree controlled from Washington (or from their embassy in Kiev, which, for Ukraine, is a congruent concept) no one is going to pass the reigns of control over the situation to the natives; regardless of any illusions that the natives may have on this issue.
At the same time, it must be understood that the Kiev authorities will not remove the Crimean question from the agenda—a consensus has been formed with respect to it, and the West simply will not allow such a perfect cause to disappear. It is not possible to frighten Russia with an army that for three months with difficulty fought with guerrillas and only on its last breath managed to crawl over its own corpses to reach some sort of acceptable operational results. An Islamic insurgency in Crimea is better in this regard, but Crimea is not Syria. It would be impossible to supply the rebels along the bottom of the sea. The people’s militias of Islamic militants cannot come ashore like the 33 Bogatyrs.
For this reason alone, despite a certain understanding that not all is really quite right with Geletei’s clinical presentation, it is still necessary to treat his words with a fair degree of caution. With his statement, the Minister of Defence exceeded his mandate twice or even three times, taking upon himself the responsibility carried only by the highest official in the country. At the same time, Poroshenko in no way corrected his presumptuous subordinate, which means at the very least that Geletei verbalized that which is already being actively discussed at the very top. And, possibly, even announced—in a controlled manner and under the guise of a reactive psychosis—that which Poroshenko is still unable to discuss publicly. Continue reading
Original: http://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/1767943.html Sept 5th, 2014
Translated by Daniel Mihailovich
Edited by S. Naylor
An industrious comrade began to collect statistics on the assorted punitive and territorial battalions of the Junta, where the structure is very confusing. Below is only a skeleton for a large database of the whole punitive organization, but eventually, the blanks in the table will be completely filled in…
The National Guard of Ukraine [(“NGU”), also known as Nationalist Guard, NaziGuard, or simply nazis,] is a structure with law enforcement functions; a part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Police) of Ukraine; created by transforming the Police Internal Troops on March 12th, 2014 via a new law “On the National Guard of Ukraine”.
By converting the internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs into the National Guard of Ukraine, the coup-formed Ukrainian government achieved the following goals:
- Continuity of command in the ranks of the internal troops and the Ministry of Interior was broken, and their men put in key positions;
- Repression of political opponents under the guise of “cleaning the ranks of the internal troops and the Ministry of Interior” was enhanced and continued;
- Damaging files of criminal and administrative offenses were deleted; which – in the case of disclosure – could discredit the government;
- People in the former internal security forces who were too “by-the-book” were replaced; in effect replacing the “law and order” in the ranks of internal troops and the Interior Ministry with “ideological purity” and “nationalist ideals”.
Due to these changes the ranks of the NGU have swelled with volunteers and extremist fighters of the “Right Sector”. But, despite the apparent “ideological bias”, the confrontation between different battalions of the NGU, due to different understanding of the national idea, and different levels of training, has by now split the ranks of the National Guard into three structures:
Translated by Maria Razdiak / Edited by @GBabeuf
Photo credits: Aleksandr Kots & Dmitriy Steshin
Special correspondents Alexander Kots and Dmitry Steshin drove through the villages and the territories liberated from the National Guard and the Ukrainian Army, alongside the “Trophy Group”, observing how the Militia obtains their weapons.
“Oi, brats, over here! Turn out the backpacks,” the soldier from the Oplot Battalion calls to a group of teenagers, with a commanding voice. The grimy boys stop digging around the ex-field camp of the Ukrainian Army, near the village of Kuteynikovo, and shuffle over.
Only three days ago, it was impossible to get here. The whole territory was controlled by Kiev forces, who were locked into the Ilovaisk cauldron. They were seriously entrenched—the Urals buried almost fully, the KamAZs filled with ammunition, hidden in the groves, trenches, dugouts… Currently, the whole camp-site is littered with stages from Grad rockets, shells, mines and ammunition of every imaginable calibre. The Militia’s artillery had blanketed the whole area with a thick volley; it appears not a single war machine is capable of function. The wind is playing with the once secret papers, abandoned by the commanding officers.
The teenagers, grunting, empty their rucksacks.
“Come on!” the soldier rushes them. “Let’s see, let’s see, let’s see, what are our boys made of?”
A charred Makarov hits the ground, followed by a few scorched bayonet-knives, large-calibre machine-gun bullets, VOGs (launching grenades), smoke bombs, a gas mask and a grenade… Signs of the times. A farmer, from Novgorod region, once told us that, after the 2nd Shock Army had been ground up in a cauldron in the Great Patriotic War, that, up until the 1960s, the local boys’ favourite “toys” were military rifles which they would fish out from the local swamps. The parents could barely keep up with having to confiscate the bullets and the grenades. The future “toys” of the Donbass boys can already be observed. It is unclear who will clean up this deadly mess, or when . So, as soon as the strict “uncles” with the assault rifles pass, the boys will return to foraging at the abandoned Army camp-site, in search of a grown-up find. The “uncles”, on the other hand, are already busy elsewhere, reviewing a nearby IFV [Infantry Fighting Vehicle -ed.], which appears to be in working condition. Next to them—more locals, only these slightly older. Armed with canisters. Continue reading
Original article: http://liva.com.ua/kiev-plan.html
Author: Sergiy Kirichuk
Translated from Russian by Ivan Skoblin
Edited by S. Naylor
Editor’s: note: Sergei Kirichuk is a leading member of the Ukrainian socialist movement “Borotba” (Struggle) For many years he fought against the oligarchic regime of Viktor Yanukovych. But today Kirichuk and his comrades are organizing resistance to the new authorities. In response to these they have been targeted by right-wing terror and police repression. Kiev propagandists have described Kirichuk as one of the leaders of the “separatists”, and extreme right wing Ukranian nationalists have included his name in the list of “enemies of the Ukrainian nation.”
Ukraine has been on the verge of an economic collapse for a long time now. Still, the worsening economic crisis of the last number of days points to a convulsive, system-wide, failure of the country’s financial system. The dismally low value of the national currency, which crossed the 14 grivna to the dollar mark, has failed to provide a stimulus for national exports. Instead, the falling value of the currency has been accompanied by a decline in production and rising prices – the classic indicators of stagflation (the combination of economic stagnation and rising unemployment and inflation). In other words, rising unemployment is not eliciting a decline in prices, while inflation is not stimulating a growth in production, which should be more competitive in view of the depreciation of the national currency.
The main victim of inflation is the general public, whose real earnings are declining precipitously. In the past, the Ukrainian economic czars would have resorted to so-called monetary interventions, flooding the currency market at the expense of state reserves. Now, however, the National Bank has been forbidden by the IMF from reducing its gold and foreign currency reserves, which must be maintained at current levels as a condition for obtaining further IMF credits.
Meanwhile, the most high-tech branches of industrial production are languishing. Production at the Zaporozhye automotive factory is being curtailed, while Motor-Sich, which builds aircraft engines, has announced the relocation of its production to Russia. The Kremenchug car assembly plant (manufacturer of Geely and SsangYong vehicles), which assembled some 10,000 vehicles in 2013 – an increase of around 2.8 times over the previous year, has announced its closure and the transfer of production to Kazakhstan. One of Ukraine’s largest ship manufacturers, the Kherson Shipyard, has entered bankruptcy proceedings.
Original: El Murid (Anatoliy Nesmeyan) LiveJournal
Translated from Russian by Gleb Bazov
The latest round of sanctions imposed by the European Union has essentially put an end to any discussion about the possibility of an agreement with the West. Notwithstanding all the concessions and betrayal.
The very fact that Russia faltered in Ukraine and did not defend its national interests, abandoning the Donbass region and its people to the mercy of those bent on tearing them apart, and accepting loss of face on the part of the Russian leadership and frank betrayal—all this only convinced the West that it can dictate its will by continuing to increase the pressure.
It is difficult to tell what was it that the traitors promised to the President, but it is already obvious that they deceived him. There will be no reconciliation. The problem is that now the Western pressure has ceased to have a purely Ukrainian dimension. Sanctions and their tightening are aimed exclusively at fomenting a schism in the Russian elite, at infringing on the interests of one of its parts and at whipping up an early coup.
What is at stake now is no more and no less than the head of Putin himself—no other outcome will satisfy the West. Already after Crimea, the frightened Euro-American elite had resolved that there can be no dealing with Putin’s Russia and for that reason sanctioned the plans for his overthrow. For now—by means of a coup d’état at the hands of aggrieved and disadvantaged oligarchs. If that does not work—through a military conflict.
It appears that the Russian leadership understands this, and that yesterday’s regular exercises of the troops of the Eastern Military District, which required them to be brought to full combat readiness, is a demonstration of the fact that Russia is ready for such a development of the situation. The only question that remains is whether she is ready for betrayal.