Thursday, June 11, 2015
(Updated throughout the day)
Zakharchenko on DPR Independence. With the Minsk Agreements as fragile as they are, Dontesk People’s Republic Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko is thinking beyond this measure of peaceful reconciliation to a scenario of independence for the DPR. “The future of the DPR for me personally is a free independent state that can talk as an equal with Ukraine,” states Zakharchenko in his exclusive commentary to LifeNews agency. See Novorossia Today report Zakharchenko: I do not see the future of DPR in composition of Ukraine (June 10).
Pushilin: Kiev’s Rule Akin to Suicide. In a succinct summation of DPR policy, Donetsk People’s Republic Minsk contact group envoy Denis Pushilin told the Rossiya-24 TV channel on Wednesday that “Donbass is not ready to be ‘under Kiev’s rule,’ which would be ‘akin to suicide’ for Donetsk and Lugansk that were subject to Kiev’s special military operation in April 2014 in response to local residents’ refusal to recognize the new coup-installed government.” He added, “But contractual relations within the framework of international processes are possible and are not excluded.” For more see Sputnik report Donbass Offers Constitutional Reform Amid Increased Tensions in Ukraine (June 10).
Voice of Sevastopol Wednesday Situation Report. For accounts of Ukrainian shelling of Donetsk and Lugansk on June 9 and 10, including maps, photos and videos, see The war in Novorossia Online 06.10.2015 Chronicle (June 10).
Zhebrivskyi Appointed New Donetsk Governor. Kiev regime leader Petro Poroshenko has appointed Pavlo Zhebrivskyi the new Governor of the Ukraine-held region of the Donetsk Oblast, replacing Oleksandr Kikhtenko, who was dismissed on the grounds of “inappropriate fulfillment of his duties.” Source: Ukraine Today report Ukraine’s president appoints new governor to conflict-hit Donetsk region (June 11).
Poroshenko and Zhebrivskyi Inspect Fortifications Near Mariupol / en.censor.net.ua / edited by Quemado Institute / June 11, 2015 / President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has arrived in Mariupol. He is accompanied by the incumbent head of the Donetsk Regional State Administration Oleksandr Kikhtenko and [recently appointed] future Governor of the Donetsk region Pavlo Zhebrivskyi. The itinerary of Poroshenko’s travel has not been disclosed. Activities are scheduled to be held at several strongpoints.
It is known that the president has already inspected a fortification structure, the strong point #3, Censor.NET reports citing Mariupol news outlet 0629. The motorcade of the president of Ukraine is moving without a stop so the city traffic lights are not working. “The president inspects the fortifications near Mariupol,” president’s spokesman Sviatoslav Tseholko wrote on Twitter. Quemado Institute comments: The Governer of the Kiev-held part of the Donetsk Oblast Oleksandr Kikhtenko has been dismissed, with Pavlo Zhebrivskyi appointed as his replacement. Reports were that Kikhtenko was not adequately meeting Poroshenko’s goals in the area. Twitter source Victoria sheds some light on this, tweeting at 15:00 UTC June 11: “Pavlo Zhebrivskyi, new head of Donetsk region, fought in Debaltsevo (commander of intelligence), former MP of Ukraine.” One can infer that Zhebrivskyi will act as more of a “yes man” to the authoritarian leader of the Kiev regime.
Poroshenko Decries Fortifications. While visiting so-called strongpoints in Mariupol Thursday June 11, post-coup Ukraine “president” Petro Poroshenko said that fortifications to be built on the contact line must be ready by mid-July. He informed a news conference on June 5 that he was dissatisfied with the state of fortifications in the Kiev-held part of the Donetsk region, which is the area of responsibility of Alexander Kikhtenko, the recently dismissed Governor. “He will be held accountable for it,” Poroshenko added ominously. The fortifications will comprise “about 1,500 kilometers of trenches and connecting trenches; more than 8,000 dug-in emplacements for military hardware and more than 4,000 trench shelters; and the creation of a 60-kilometer [barrier] of non-explosive entanglements.” See TASS report Poroshenko orders to complete fortifications on disengagement line in Donbas by mid-July (June 11). Editor comments: fortifications this massive constitute a military offensive action insofar as they enhance Ukrainian Army assault capabilities. We are seeking a map of these offensive fortifications and ask readers to submit information.
Donetsk Shelling on June 11 by Ukrainian Army. This sad description of loss of homes and human life is presented by the Kharkov News Agency. “Today around 16 hours was again shelled a residential district October in Donetsk. The shells brought considerable destruction to peaceful homes. Also in the shelling killed a man, local resident Vladimir Kartashov…” See Peaceful areas of Donetsk on fire “Minsk agreements” (June 11).
Commander Motorola Interview. Dimtry Yevtushenko talks with Donetsk People’s Republic militia commander Motorola, the well-known hero of battles at the Donetsk airport. “Motorola: At the beginning of the war in Slavyansk, the Ukrainian army slowly tried to use artillery, they realized that it goes unpunished. Now they have nothing to fear, they do not care. All world community, all this blah-blah, all these peace talks. What is needed is concrete action. While the Nazis don’t stop, nothing good is expected. Yevtushenko: Why aren’t they afraid of? Motorola: Because no retaliatory action against them from the world community does not arrive. Acroaria quietly and with impunity, killing civilians, and with them nothing happens, they don’t.” See full interview at the Niqnaq website It would not be fitting for a true star to travel in anything less (June 10). Editor’s note: We are glad to learn that Motorola drives a safe and dependable Mercedes SUV.
Pope Francis Gives Putin Medal of the Angel of Peace. The second meeting of Pope Francis and Russian President Vladimir Putin was held on Wednesday, June 10, at the Vatican. “The private encounter lasted 50 minutes … Although the two looked at each other once they sat down in the meeting room, they remained silent until the door was closed. Pope Francis was described as being ‘very serious’ from the moment the two greeted each other, although he began to warm up a bit during the group photo.” Putin gave the Pope a golden embroidery of the church of San Salvatore, while Pope Francis gave the president a large medal of the Angel of Peace crafted by artist Guido Veroi as well as a copy of his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. See Catholic News Agency article Ukraine crisis the focal point in Pope’s discussion with Putin (June 10), by Elise Harris.
Putin Firmly Controls Russian Government. Pavel Shipilin, a political analyst close to the inner circles of the government of Russia, refutes the popular notion that the Russian Federation’s course is set by pro-West oligarchs and traitors. “There is no liberal-oligarchic pressure on the development of the most important decisions concerning the country’s fate. Their access to state secrets is limited to their firms.” He discusses the views of Igor Strelkov, whom he calls the “hero of Novorossia.” For full Fort Russ editorial, see Putin’s Logic vs. Strelkov’s Logic (June 10), by Pavel Shipilin, translated from Russian by J.Hawk.
West Misrepresents War in Donbass. Political analyst Eric Draitser hits the mark in this trenchant commmentary about the false portrayal by the Western media of the war in Donbass. “Although the Ukrainian military and Nazi paramilitary units have been targeting civilians – a flagrant war crime by any measure – there is a near total media blackout in the West. Meanwhile, the United States continues to argue that the ‘overwhelming majority of ceasefire violations’ are as a result of anti-Kiev rebel activity, despite providing no evidence to substantiate these utterly false claims,” notes Draitser. “Of course, one should be careful to draw too many conclusions from the incomplete OSCE data as the scope is limited, and the SMM has been reticent to assign blame or responsibility to Kiev’s forces, even in instances where their aggression is blatant,” he adds. For full New Eastern Outlook editorial see War on Donbass Resumes, Western Media Remains Silent (June 11), by Eric Draitser.
Transdnistria Update from Colonel Cassad. General Kunchukov gives an overview of developments in Transdnistria shaped by the United States, Moldova and Ukraine. “Their real goals and objectives are obvious, that is to use blockade and aggression against Transdnistria in order to provoke a response from Russia against Ukraine while at the same time pushing Russia to act; to continue to tear Russia apart from within and without by ratcheting up sanctions, seizing foreign-based assets, stirring internal dissent, destabilizing Russia’s borderlands, and inciting Europe and NATO towards a military confrontation with Russia,” notes Kunchukov. He goes on to list “steps and activities [that] have enabled the Russian Armed Services to successfully conduct the whole range of missions required in order to secure the Russian Military Contingent in Transdnistria and achieve a number of other important goals.” The detailed report may be found at Voice of Sevastopol under Target Transdnistria (June 10).
Kolesnikov Slams Kiev Officials. Prime Minister of Ukraine’s shadow government Boris Kolesnikov told a meeting of the opposition cabinet on Tuesday that the officials in Kiev are steering the country toward political and economic default. “Judging by their actions, what the authorities are really after is not a reform of the constitution or the adoption of a new one,” notes Kolesnikov. “They are to fast-track the introduction of martial law with the net effect of an economic and political default and chaos.” See Tass report Ukraine government steering country into political and economic default — opposition (June 9).
Will the West Shun Kiev? French economist Jacques Sapir, head of the Research Center of Industrialization, outlines his view that “US authorities [are] signaling America’s reluctance to bear the burden of the collapsing Ukrainian economy, which may soon default on its debt,” adding that most EU nations “are exhausted by corruption, incompetence and the political cynicism of Kiev.” For more see Sputnik report West May Turn Its Back on Kiev – French Economist (June 9).
Kiev to Council of Europe: Russia Occupies Donbass. Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin has issued a letter of appeal to the Council of Europe stating that the Donetsk and Lugansk regions are “occupied by Russia”, thus falsely blaming the Russian Federation for human rights abuses in Ukraine’s Anti-Terrorist Operation. “The Russian Federation, which in fact occupied separate territories of the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions and carries out management of them, bears full responsibility for the provision and protection of human rights in these territories in accordance with the international humanitarian legislation and internationally established human rights,” the Appeal says. For more see Novorossia Today report Kiev officially informed the Council of Europe that the ATO zone was occupied by Russia (June 10).
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Russia’s Shrinking Sphere of Defense. We post for its own sake this interesting map, published by Oriental Review, that shows the strategic value of Crimea to Russia. The implications of the map are alarming, as Quemado Insitute advocates a strong and independent Russian Federation to counterbalance the emergence of China and the relentless aggression of the United States, thus forming a trilateral balance of world superpowers. Source: Vatican clergy and Ukrainian nationalism (Apr 22, 2015), by Andrew Korybko.
OSCE Official Report: Donetsk Railway Shelled from North. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission official report for Tuesday June 9 describes observations of explosions and crater analysis at the Donetsk Central Railway Station. “From this location, the SMM heard 129 and saw an additional 202 explosions caused by artillery (122mm), mortar (120mm), and anti-aircraft gun (SU, 32-23mm) fire, at a distance of between 3-7 kilometres, originating from areas to the north, north-east, north-west, north-north-west, and north-north-east…. The SMM conducted crater analysis in the area of the railway station. The SMM observed debris of glass and plastic from the impacts – and two fresh impacts on the roof of the pedestrian walkway and one on the train tracks – which the SMM assessed to be consistent with projectiles originating from areas north-west of the railway station.” Editor’s note: The northern directions of origin are consistent with the shelling of Donetsk by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. For full report see Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 19:30 (Kyiv time), 9 June 2015.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Tuesday Combat & Situation Reports. June 8, 23:00 LT: Gorlovka under attack by UAF artillery. Militia using machine guns to bring down surveillance drones – Militia Source. Combat in progress at Donetsk. Fierce fires burning in the city. Kuibyshev district lost water supply – Militia Source. Ukrainian UAVs are active over the suburb of Yenakiyevo. Militia Air Defence attempting to shoot them down – Militia Source. Ukrainian Army dropped incendiary bombs on Donetsk causing widespread damage – Militia Source. June 9, 13:30 LT: Heavy fighting at Happiness [Schastye]. UAF using mortars and APC. No casualties reported — Militia, Resident Source — Confirmed. At Aleksandrovka a women died as a result of Ukrainian artillery fire — Militia Source — Confirmed. Ukrainian Army resumed shelling of Oktyabrsky village — Militia Source — Confirmed. Ukrainian Army suffered infantry and hardware losses today at Svitlodarsk — Militia Source — Confirmed. Avdiivka and Shyrokyne under intense artillery fire. UAF using 122mm guns and 82mm mortars — Militia Source — Confirmed. Situation near Semigorye escalated. Heavy fighting with tanks and 122mm artillery — Militia Source — Confirmed. Sources: New Russia Press, The Dissident.
Gorlovka Shelled, Situation Report. Reliable Twitter source John Delacour tweets at 23:30 UTC June 9: “Donbass – Hell in Gorlovka yet again. Glossary [see photo]: workarou = war correspondent; fennel = ukrop/ukronazi; SAU = UAF [Ukrainian Armed Forces].” Editor’s note: For more information on UAF shelling, see also RT report: Residential districts ‘intensively’ shelled near Donetsk airport (June 9)
Kiev Prepares Military Assault. Russian Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Andrey Kelin told TASS on Tuesday that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have pulled a brigade to contact line, a demilitarized region forbidden by the Minsk Agreements, and that there is risk that military actions will be resumed. “It is obvious that Ukrainian heavy equipment disappears from storehouses and ends up deployed along the disengagement line,” Kelin added. Source: Tass News Agency, Kiev deploys military brigade along disengagement line in Donbas — Russia’s OSCE envoy (June 9).
OSCE’s Heidi Tagliavini Resigns. In a startling development, we will no longer see the familiar and welcome face of Heidi Tagliavini at Minsk negotiations. “As for the influence of Heidi Tagliavini’s resignation on the negotiation process, of course, the replacement will be found – it’s up to the OSCE to decide,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “As far as we know, candidates are now being selected.” For more, see Novorossia Today report Russia FM says not linking OSCE envoy’s resignation with disappointment over Ukraine talks (June 9). For another perspective on Tagliavini’s resignation, see also OSCE representative to Ukraine resigns (June 6) at the sott.net website.
Blaze Approaches Kiev Military Warehouse. Oleksandr Turchynov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, has reported that the fire which engulfed a fuel depot in Kiev now threatens a munitions warehouse. Rescuers are evacuating people within a 2 km radius. See xinhuanet.com report Ukraine’s fuel depot fire threatens military warehouse: official (June 9).
Kiev-Placed Mine Kills Seven Ukraine Troops. On Monday, June 8, near Krasnogorivka, a Ukrainian Army truck hit a landmine, killing seven UAF personnel. This information comes from a biased pro-Kiev source via Chicago Magazine’s facebook page under the title Seven Ukraine troops die in mine blast, endangering truce (June 9). The report hints that the Novorossiya Armed Forces planted landmines in the area. However, last December, Kiev news outlets published with fanfare notices that the UAF had planted mines along the entire border with the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics, in order to warn the population of Donbass not to attempt to by-pass Ukrainian border checkpoints. This incident follows of series of similar deaths caused by UAF-planted mines, including that of the captain of the Ukraine Border Control vessel that sank off Mariupol on Sunday (see articles at Donetsk Lugansk News Jun 6-8).
DPR/LPR Publish Proposed Ukraine Constitutional Amendments. The full translated text of the amendments to the Ukraine constitution proposed by the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics is available, with commentary on the implications for the freedom and sovereignty of Donbass, under the title DPR/LPR Constitutional Amendments Guarantee De Facto Independence (June 9).
Donetsk Boasts Czech-Slovak Volunteer Fighting Unit. Eight volunteers from Slovakia and the Czech Republic have come to Donetsk to form their own fighting squad. During an interview, they were asked about living conditions and weaponry. “About the quality of the living conditions faced by his unit, the fighter noted that they are good, their present barracks having water, heating, and normal beds, and their soldier’s wages averaging 8,000 Ukrainian hryvnia (equivalent to about $375 US). As for weapons, the fighter noted that they were ‘the same that the countries of the Warsaw Pact used to have. We are using trophy automatic rifles, sometimes taken from [captured] warehouses. Firearms include the Mosin Nagant [bolt-action rifle], anti-tank rifles dating back to the Second World War era, and the famous Ak-47 and Ak-74 Kalashnikov.’ He added that the militia also has access to PTUR anti-tank missiles and RPG-7 rocket propelled grenade launchers.” For details see New Russia Press report Czechs and Slovaks Form ‘Czechoslovak’ Volunteer Fighting Unit in Donbass (June 9).
Russia Insider: One Woman’s Western Illusions shattered. She is not alone. We share her feelings. “It’s been a year since my rose-hued (though already stained) worldview crashed, a year of facing the bare harsh reality of the way things work in this beautiful cruel world, a year of peeling off my treasured illusions, one by one,” laments author Vera Graziadei. “My comforting illusions about living in a morally-superior, humanist liberal society, which respects and cares for human lives around the world. My treasured illusions, which I would still cling to if I could, but which do not stick to me anymore.” For more see The Western Backed Assault on Donbass Shattered My IIlusion of Living in a Compassionate, Humanist Society (June 9), by Vera Graziadei.
Rabbit Vows to Reclaim Crimea, Donbass. Acting Kiev regime “prime minister” Arseney Yatsenyuk, in an article he prepared for the Washington Post, yet again pledges to take back Crimea along with the Donbass region. According to Yatsenyuk, his country “is fighting a war on two fronts: the one you see on television is taking place in the east of our country.” The second one, he claims, is “less visible, but just as important. It is Ukraine’s war against the Soviet past and the legacy of corruption and misrule that has held us back for so many years.” For full Sputnik story, see Yatsenyuk Pledges to Reclaim Crimea, Donbass, Pleads for Washington’s Help (June 9).
Global Research: Harper Funds Ukraine Neo-Nazis. Political analyst Prof. Michel Chossudovsky considers the impact of Canadian Prime Minister Harper’s financial and military support for the Ukraine National Guard, a neo-Nazi outfit established just over a year ago to enforce authoritarian rule over the country. “The gist of Harper’s flash visit to Kiev prior to the G7 Summit was to reaffirm Canada’s commitment to the dispatch of ‘military instructors’ in support of Ukraine’s National Guard, which is controlled by the two Neo-Nazi parties, Svoboda and Right Sector,” Chossudovsky reminds us. For more see Global Research commentary Canada’s Harper Government Provides Military Training to Neo-Nazi Ukraine National Guard (June 8).