Zakharchenko interrupted OSCE’s Hug when the latter claimed Zakharchenko was responsible for implementing Minsk to tell him that his first responsibility was to defend the people of the DPR. Zakharchenko also point blank refused to remove any heavy or light weapons from the front line until Ukraine does so. Plotnitsky, meanwhile, had interrupted Hug to ask him if he had ever had to live his life under constant shelling. All in all, the two have clearly been told they can harden their line in relation both to OSCE & to Ukraine. There have been other signs of a hardening of positions too. In addition to Putin signing the decree on temporary recognition of official documents issued by the DPR and LPR authorities, there has also been the highly publicised appointment of a prominent Russian writer, Zakhar Prilepin, to a position of some military significance in the DPR hierarchy. There have been public rallies staged in Sevastopol in the Crimea in support of formal, official recognition of the Donbass republics, as well as an attempt to organise a petition calling for the same. Further rallies are planned for St. Petersburg, and one for Moscow (although the city authorities actually turned down the application for one in front of the State Duma in Moscow. Organizers have said they will attempt to apply again). Presumably other cities will follow suit. In Rostov-on-Don the city’s Liberation Day was celebrated with large numbers of citizens waving DPR and LPR flags.
If there is anybody who believes this is because of the “total blockade” of the Donbass by Ukrainian “radicals”, then I’ve got some magic beans I’ll happily sell you for £1,000 a piece.
My best guess would be that two things in particular have pushed the harder line. Firstly, a realisation (hopefully) that the Trump administration is not a “friendly” one and is certainly not prepared to relinquish the enormous asset it has inherited in the form of the Ukraine (a realisation in Moscow, I should say). Secondly, the Donbass has been living under a near total blockade for three years now. The only difference at the present time is that coal shipments have been blocked from crossing the front-lines. That represents a direct threat to the interests of the Ukraine’s biggest oligarch, Rinat Akhmetov. Akhmetov has very good (and very powerful) friends in Moscow. It was largely in order to save his (business) skin—and also to save Poroshenko in Kiev—that Moscow prevented the Donbass Army (Novorossiya Armed Forces, NAF) from seizing an empty Mariupol from which the Ukrainian Army and Nazi battalions were in headlong retreat—to the extent that Sweden and the Ukraine’s favourite trash Viking furniture-removals man was openly asking twitter whether it thought he should either run or surrender immediately to “Russian forces” when they arrived.
Another possible factor in the hardening of the line by Zakharchenko, Plotnitsky and (apparently) Moscow, might be the recent progress made by the Ukraine in its relations with the EU. In return for throwing open Ukraine’s timber resources to the plunder by European (and no doubt also to US) capital, Poroshenko was told that the EU would finalise the visa-free regime with the Ukraine at some point in this coming summer.
Whether this new disposition will translate into a less passive military stance by the NAF towards the Ukrainian Army, nothing seems yet to have translated into an altered military posture by DPR or LPR forces. And artillery, mortar and small-arms attacks are continuing on most fronts.
Briefly on what is happening in the Donbass:
From the second half of the day the intensity of the shelling again escalated. There has been shelling in the areas of Avdeevka, Zaitsevo, Yasinovataya, Gorlovka, Kalinovo, on the Svetlodarsk arc, utilising 80-120mm mortars, and 122mm and 152mm cannon.
In Avdeevka the heating and electricity supply was partially restored. Avdeevka Coking Plant continues working. Also restored was the power supply to Gorlovka after yesterday’s knocking out of the power lines in the Svetlodarsk area.
On social networks there are rumours, citing unnamed military sources, of a possible night-time attack by the Ukrainian Army (UAF) towards Gorlovka. DPR power structures are on high alert.
The USA officially announced that the issue of agreements with Russia can be addressed regardless of what is happening in Avdeevka, i.e. in fact it is a question of direct talks to get rid of the situation on the Donbass fronts.
The enemy continues active exploration of the front-line zones of the DPR and the LPR using UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), probably in order to update the data on the first echelon of the army corps of the DPR and the LPR. Possible enhanced activity of UAF sabotage and reconnaissance groups (SRGs).
According to the DPR Ministry of Defence, the enemy is reinforcing its groupings in the Avdeevka and Volnovakha areas. In the area of the Avdeevka Coking Plant they have noted Tochka-U missile complexes. The core strength of the 92nd Mechanized Brigade [of the UAF ‒ed.] has been transferred from Kharkov to the Donbass.
Both parties continue to accuse each other of using residential buildings in Avdeevka and Makeevka for tactical purposes. No major changes are expected in this regard.
Overall developments are still evolving within the framework of the old script with local relapses in the positional front, but nonetheless a definite probability of intensification still remains, since at this point there are no coherent diplomatic restraints in place.
The video is said to have been shot in the Avdeevka area:
Amid the continued support given to the fascist politicians and military of Ukraine by western governments, many people are asking how such a betrayal of the sacrifices of the Allies in World War Two could take place. However, what most people are unaware of, in large part due to an ever-more corrupted media, is that these governments have a shocking history of protecting the perpetrators of some of the most terrible crimes of that war. One of the most egregious examples of this practice of shielding war-criminals from justice was confirmed in 2005 with the declassification of British Home Office papers showing that the British government protected at least 8,000 members of the Waffen-SS Galitsia Division from the justice that awaited them in the Soviet Union.
Ukrainian Maidan deputy Pashinskiy gifted his mistress a $480,000 car
Ukrainian bloggers had their interest piqued by the latest model Bentley Bentayga (license plate AA8880HA) that appeared on the streets of Kiev, the more so because the market value of the vehicle exceeds $480,000.
Journalists discovered that the fancy car belongs to the swanky mistress of Maidan activist, Supreme Rada deputy and fierce “fighter” for the bright future of Ukraine in the European Union, Sergei Pashinskiy.
Some say that Motorola did not have enough security, some—that in wartime, officers and their families should stay in barracks. But those who think this way fail to understand the realities of this war.
121 Chelyuskintsev Street is a common prefab, nine-storey building with six entrances. There, on the seventh floor, lived Arsen Pavlov with his family—his wife and two little children.
I will say it once again—the legendary Motorola lived in a common building. To clarify—when looking for an apartment in Donetsk I did not even consider those options. I am an ordinary man, without special pretensions.
The writer, Zakhar Prilepin, while visiting him, described Colonel Pavlov’s House thus:
“The usual—with the familiar light, musty smell—sufficiently shabby people’s entrance (…) three bedroom apartment, poky little rooms and a very small kitchenette.”
People think that such a big and well-known personality has to live in a luxury house in a closed compound, with security cameras and fences. But there was not even a concierge there.
“Nobody would be surprised or upset,” writes Prilepin, “if Motorola had lived in a large cottage behind a huge fence, with a tank standing in the yard. There are many empty houses in Donetsk, whose owners left for Kiev at the beginning of the war. After all, he was one of the main ‘separatist militants,’ if one believes what the Ukrainian media claims, who had so enriched himself that he should have built himself a palace long ago. But no.”
Iosif Davydovich Kobzon—until recently so respected, so loved by us, conquering our hearts with your fealty to compatriots, with your support for our mortal struggle against the fascist scum, with your courage in risking life and limb to come to your homeland in time of war—your newest protestation that “the entire people of the Donbass wishes to be a part of Ukraine!” has not gone unnoticed. To call your declaration a shameless and a vile lie does not do it justice. Your words are a genuine blasphemy because at this very moment Ukraine is bombing our land, killing our children and the elderly, sweeping from the face of the Earth dwellings, hospitals, schools, nurseries, shops, and industrial enterprises. Ukraine has tended to this labour of love for nearly three years—relentlessly, without stopping to eat or sleep.
The intelligence agencies of Ukraine continue using cynical, cruel, and inhumane methods against the civilian population of the Donbass. One more case in this vein was the kidnapping of the parents of the commander of a detachment of the People’s Militia, Lieutenant-Colonel Igor Sidorenko. This, according to the correspondent of IA Novorossiya, was reported today by the chief of department of the People’s Militia of the LPR, Colonel Oleg Anashchenko, at a briefing in Lugansk.
I met Arsen Pavlov (Motorola) for the first time in Simferopol, at the beginning of April 2014 (although the exact date I no longer remember), in one of the offices at the headquarters of the 1st Regiment of the Crimean People’s Militia. I am certain that this meeting took place after the Donetsk Regional Administration building was occupied by the insurgent local activists on April 6th, 2014. This was after the decision had been made to provide urgent assistance to the Russian people of the Donbass, and the feverish preparations to send a unit had started. At that time, our Simferopol “special purpose detached battalion”—headquartered at the Crimean Conscription Centre—had surrendered its weapons and disbanded, and the majority of the fighters had gone home. The remaining group (the 1st Platoon, led by Romashka)—numbering no more than fifteen men—had been relocated to a small sanatorium near Alushta. The size of the unit was clearly insufficient for the task before us. Another group of fighters who had stayed on was housed at the Conscription Centre. Most of them—natives of “continental” Ukraine and Antimaidan activists—had nowhere else to go.
At the entrance to the Donetsk high-rise, they killed a “Komi carwasher”, but it turned out that he was a People’s Hero of the Donbass, who was mourned today even on the other side of the front-line. There, they wept quietly; in Donetsk, in full voice.
There were more than a hundred Ukrainian punitive battalions in Belarus and not a single Belarusian.
Fighting is only permissible against an armed enemy. The killing of civilians—this is a crime that has no statute of limitations. Documents of the UNA-UNSO, of the UPA [the Ukrainian Insurgent Army ―trans.], expressly refer to the need to kill civilians of other nationalities—Poles, Russians, Jews—in order to gain independence. They also say so of the Belarusians, the ones in Polesye [a historic region which straddles the present Belarus-Ukraine border ―ed.]. This is fascism.