Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Pushilin Counts on Prompt Signing of Agreement on Lighter Weapons Withdrawal / Belarusian News / July 22, 2015 / MINSK / Talking to media on 21 July representative of the self-proclaimed republic of Donetsk Denis Pushilin expressed hope for a prompt signing of the agreement on the withdrawal of weapons with a caliber below 100mm, BelTA informs. On 21 July the trilateral contact group on Ukraine agreed on a pull-back of tanks and some types of weapons with a calibre below 100mm. The document has not been signed yet. “We have agreed upon the document to withdraw weapons with a calibre below 100mm. We hope it will be signed at the earliest opportunity,” Denis Pushilin said. According to him, the agreement will be signed by the heads of state. He did not comment, however, on the leaders of which countries would do it. Denis Pushilin added that certain progress was made by the working group on economic affairs. Other issues are under discussion. In turn, representative of the self-proclaimed republic of Lugansk, people’s republic in the contact group on Ukraine, Vladislav Deinego noted that there are certain problems in the working group on political matters due to the nuances in the Ukrainian legislation. “There is also a need to prolong the deadline for the implementation of the Minsk complex of measures. These are technical issues, they should be regarded with favor,” he said.
Voice of Sevastopol Tuesday Situation Report / en.voicesevas.ru / July 21, 2015 / “The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko told of a significant increase in Mariupol and Donbass defense. He said this after reviewing the progress of the exercise of naval forces in the Mykolaiv region, the presidential press service reports. ‘Three battalions and one division are sent to Mariupol, well equipped. The Ukraine Marines will greatly enhance the defense of Mariupol. We will strengthen Donbass and Mariupol defense’. […] Construction of the fortification line in the east of Ukraine is completed. It is reported that 300 fortifications were built along 600 km of fortifications with 12 thousand concrete structures for the entire period of construction of fortifications. This allowed to establish three lines of defense. The construction of fortifications involved 20 regions of the whole Ukraine. The work involved five thousand builders having used 35 thousand wagons of materials. According to the Government of Ukraine, the total cost of the construction line of defense in Donbass is 1 billion hryvnia ($ 45 million).” FULL REPORT>>
UAF Shells Civilians Despite DPR Weapons Withdrawal: UAF Lt. Gen. Homchak Gives Orders On Residential Areas – Defense Ministry / DAN / Edited autotranslation / July 22, 2015 / DONETSK / The commander of Sector “B” UAF Lieutenant General Homchak has given orders siloviki [sic] to continue firing at DPR positions and residential areas, despite the withdrawal by Donetsk of armored vehicles from the contact line, the deputy commander of the DPR Ministry of Defense Corps Eduard Basurin told jouralists today. “Despite the efforts made by international organizations and the unprecedented actions of the [DPR] army in an attempt to stop the deaths of DPR civilians, the commander of Sector B Lieutenant General Homchak executed the criminal orders of Kiev and gave the command to increase the number of attacks on residential areas of the Republic,” said the Defense Ministry representative. Basurin added that thus “the heads of the world community demonstrate the attitude of Kiev to the common cause of peace in Donbass”, because all this is happening against the backdrop of a unilateral withdrawal of [DPR] militia tanks and armored vehicles from the front line.
UAF Place Artillery and MLRS “Grad” Near Front Line / DAN [Donetsk News Agency] / Edited autotranslation / July 22, 2015 / Donetsk / DPR [Donetsk People’s Republic] investigators recorded Ukrainian Security Services MLRS “Grad” and artillery 10 km from the front line. This was stated by Deputy Commander of the Defense Ministry Edward Basurin. “In the village of Artemovsk (20 km from the line of contact) are located ACS 2S5 “Hyacinth” and instrument 2B8 “Tulip”…. Also in the village of Novobahmutovka (approx 34 km from Donetsk –DAN), which is 10 km from the line of contact, two units of BM21 “Grad” multiple rocket launcher systems and four self-propelled guns were found.” According to the set of measures to be implemented under the Minsk Agreements, which was signed by the Contact Group on February 12, artorudiya 100 mm caliber and above should be withdrawn to a distance of 50 km separation, MLRS to 70 km, and MLRS “Tornado”, “Hurricane” and “Smerch” as well as the rocket “Point” to 140 km. The parties, including Kiev and DPR/LPR, must withdraw their weapons at equal distances from the current line of contact, a line fixed in the Minsk Memorandum dated 19 September. Withdrawal was to be completed in the first half of March, but DPR settlements still face heavy shelling by the UAF [Ukrainian Armed Forces] with mortars, heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems.
‘Ceasefire first, then withdraw’ – OSCE deputy monitor in Ukraine / rt.com / July 22, 2015 / [RT interviews OSCE monitoring chief Alexander Hug.] / The OSCE looks forward to further stabilization of the conflict in Ukraine and stands ready to support this important process, says Alexander Hug, Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. RT: The representatives of the conflicting sides met in Belarus on Tuesday. An OSCE representative attended the meeting in Minsk as well. Has anything important been achieved? Alexander Hug: The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission’s Head of Mission, Ambassador Apakan is coordinating the security working group of the Trilateral Contact Group that met yesterday in Minsk. Within that working group, the members and participants agreed and have reached consensus on a plan to withdraw tanks and smaller caliber weapons. RT: Do you think it’s going to work as it hasn’t been too successful so far? AH: Establishing stability and fostering peace is a long process. It requires the will of everyone involved. The expression yesterday by the sides in that working group to go a step further and also withdraw weapons that have originally not been mentioned in the Minsk arrangements is an expression of the will of the sides that they now need to show resolve, also on the ground to actually implement what they have agreed at the table in Minsk. RT: The Minsk agreement is officially still in place but reports of shelling and gunfights are coming from both sides of the frontline, why isn’t it working? AH: It is true, and the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission can confirm that fighting in certain areas along the contact line continues. In these hotspots, we see heavy weapons too close to the contact line in violation of the Minsk arrangements. Two points are important here: the sides need to cease fire, and then withdraw, in this order, and then that will become possible. It does not function everywhere properly, because the trust between the sides is lacking or is nonexistent. . . . MORE>>
Right Sector Demands Referendum on Ukrainian President’s Impeachment / Ukraine Today / July 22, 2015 / The Right Sector militia is now challenging the Ukrainian government’s authority. Here in Belarusian capital Minsk, the OSCE said that Ukraine and Russian-backed militants had reached an agreement on Tuesday to extend a pull-back of weapons in east Ukraine. The deal comes on top of another truce signed in Februray which has only partially been observed, with casualties in the conflict zone reported almost daily. At the same time as the deal was being made in Minsk, thousands of Ukrainian right-wingers and supporters of the far-right paramilitary Right Sector movement rallied in the Ukrainian capital. Most of them were wearing camouflage gear and carrying their movement’s red and black flag which they say represents the Ukrainians’ blood spilled on their soil. One of their top demands includes a referendum on whether to impeach Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Right Sector leader, Dmytro Yarosh, said the rally would remain peaceful but went on to call on the government to recognize the ongoing fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russian backed militants in the Donbas as a war and not an ‘anti-terrorist operation’. Dmytro Yarosh, Right Sector Leader: “Right Sector is initiating a nationwide Ukrainian referendum to answer several questions. First – (motion) of no-confidence in government; second – we demand for the Russian war against Ukraine to finally be recognized as a war, and not as an anti-terrorist operation. Our Ukrainian people must have their word here.” Right Sector is one of a number of militarized groups that emerged during violent protests in Kyiv that toppled former Moscow-backed President Viktor Yanukovych a year ago. Now the militias are fighting in volunteer battalions alongside Ukrainian forces in the east. Yarosh made two more demands. Dmytro Yarosh, Right Sector Leader: “Three – we demand a complete blockade of the occupied territories. Four – we ask our people to support the legalisation of the Ukrainian volunteers corps and other volunteer units according to the law.”
From Maidan to Mukachevo: Evolution of the Ukraine Crisis / by Nicolai Petro / New Cold War / July 21, 2015 / he recent controversy surrounding the nationalist political party Right Sector is further evidence of the weakened political standing of the government in Kiev. The firefight on July 11 in the Transcarpathian town of Mukachevo has emerged as the most serious crisis in Ukrainian political life since the beginning of the “antiterrorist operation” in Eastern Ukraine in April 2014. According to press reports, the conflict began when local members of the Right Sector, a nationalist political party with a paramilitary structure that rose to national prominence during the 2014 Maidan, demanded a more lucrative cut from the cigarette contraband operations being run by local police and politicians. They went to the home of a local politician to press their demands armed with machine guns and a grenade launcher. When the latter called the local police, the result was four dead and ten injured. Since then, authorities have deployed special forces to the region and demanded the surrender of the Right Sector fighters. In response, two did eventually surrender to police, but at least ten others withdrew to the hills, vowing not to surrender unless ordered to by their national leader, and current member of the Ukrainian parliament, Dmytro Yarosh. Yarosh, meanwhile, has called for a nationwide mobilization of all Right Sector fighters across Ukraine (some seventeen reserve divisions), and has ostensibly withdrawn his active forces from the front lines . . . MORE>>
Commentary: Right Sector changing sides? / by Jacek Kaminski / Translated from Polish by J.Hawk / Fort Russ / July 22, 2015 / Right Sector leader Yarosh declared himself in favor of Ukraine’s non-aligned and against joining the EU and NATO. This position diverges from the official Kiev stance, but it converges with that of the Ukrainian opposition, including the Donbass insurgents. Yarosh also made a conciliatory reference to the “Donbass miners.” “The Right Sector has not been and is not in favor of Ukraine joining the EU. We believe that Ukraine ought to be a subject, not an object, of geopolitics. We are in favor of Ukraine’s non-aligned status. Like the Donbass miners, we are against NATO bases in Ukraine, which means we are against Ukraine’s NATO membership. We are talking both to people who favor the EU and those who desire an alliance with Russia. I’d like to emphasize: we are in favor of Ukraine’s non-aligned status,” Yarosh said on TV channel Ukraine…. MORE.
Kiev, Donbass Dissatisfied With Poroshenko’s Constitutional Reform / Sputnik / July 21, 2015 / The planned constitutional reform of Ukraine aimed at “decentralization” of power caused criticism among Donbass militias, Poroshenko’s coalition partners and a number of Ukrainian politicians. However, the US views the reform as an important step towards the implementation of the Minsk agreement, according to Die Welt. The idea of a constitutional reform proposed in the Minsk agreement and discussed on Thursday during a session of the Ukrainian Parliament caused criticism among Donbass militias, Kiev politicians and Poroshenko’s coalition partners. Thus, representative of the Radical Party Oleg Lyashko opposed the implementation of the reform, calling it “unpatriotic” and saying that it would “play into the hands of Moscow.” The initiative has also been criticized by leader of Donbass militias Denis Pushilin who argued that the reform should be discussed and carried out in conjunction with Donbass representatives. Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs Alexei Pushkov, for his turn, posted on his Twitter page that “the change of the constitution, which Poroshenko is talking about, is far from Minsk provisions; this is political fantasy of Poroshenko himself.” The reform was proposed by the Minsk agreement. It is aimed at “decentralization” of powers and provides for more autonomy for Ukrainian regions. The US approved the initiative with the US State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland saying that “Ukraine is doing its job.” The reform was supported by 288 deputies of the Ukrainian Parliament. However, some MPs from the governing coalition voted against it, claiming that the reform would give Moscow more opportunities “to exert influence” on Ukraine.
Kiev Secrecy on Report Boosts Suspicions Ukraine Shot Down MH17 / Sputnik / July 22, 2015 / The refusal of the Ukrainian government to release the results of the official international investigation into the Malaysia Airlines crash a year ago will increase concerns it may have been shot down by Ukrainian fighters, US experts told Sputnik. / WASHINGTON / On July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed in Ukraine’s eastern region of Donetsk en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All 298 people on board, mostly Dutch citizens, died. Forces seeking independence in eastern Ukraine were widely blamed in the West for the attack. “Responses to the MH17 incident have been suspect from the first,” veteran International Herald Tribune correspondent and European affairs analyst Patrick Smith told Sputnik. “There has been a worrisome absence of hard evidence made public, apart from Russia’s report that it had satellite imagery indicating two Ukrainian fighter jets had been following the airliner prior to the explosion. This report, was of course, ignored among the Western powers.” On Tuesday, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister for European Integration Olena Zerkal told a briefing in Kiev that the results of the international inquiry would remain classified. “The latest determination by the Kiev government to classify results of an international investigation adds significantly to the concerns of many that the Ukrainian air force may have been responsible for the fatal mistake.” The analyst also criticized . . . MORE>>
Ukrainian oligarch Kolomoisky to claim $2 bln from Russia for Crimean property loss / TASS / July 22, 2015 / KIEV, July 22. /TASS/. The Ukrainian companies that have lost their property in Crimea after the Black Sea peninsula’s reintegration into Russia may claim a total of $2 billion from Moscow, ex-Governor of the Dnipropetrovsk Region, billionaire businessman Igor Kolomoisky said on Wednesday. The Ukrainian oligarch declined to comment in detail on the intention of PrivatBank, part of Kolomoisky’s Privat Group empire, to file a relevant lawsuit against Russia to The Hague Tribunal. “I don’t want to comment on anything [on The Hague Tribunal]. I believe lawsuits from all various structures and not only from PrivatBank will total about $2 billion,” he said in reply to a question put by a TASS correspondent. In Kolomoisky’s opinion, this is a small sum. . . . MORE>>
US Marine General Joseph Dunford Assails “Russian Threat”: A Threat to World Peace / by Brian Cloughley / Quemado Institute (Source: Strategic Culture Foundation) / July 21, 2015 / On 9 July 2015 US Marine General Joseph Dunford appeared in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee and announced that «If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I would have to point to Russia. And if you look at their behaviour, it’s nothing short of alarming». He said that without weapons to counter tank and artillery fire, Ukrainian troops would not be able to fend off «Russian aggression» and that «from a military perspective it’s reasonable that we provide that support to the Ukrainians». Dunford’s presence in the Senate was necessary for him to be approved as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of America’s armed forces, which he is certain to become, given his belligerent attitude to Russia which, he declared to be «a bigger threat to the United States than the Islamic State» — these savage terrorists whose murderous acts around the world have created fear and misery in countless countries. His comparison was not only insultingly antagonistic to Russia but a bizarre distortion of fact. (Intriguingly, it was reported on 15 July that «NATO and its allies will hold their biggest military exercise in more than a decade from October, deploying 36,000 personnel across the Mediterranean to counter the threat of Islamic State on the alliance’s southern flank».) From his pronouncements it is apparent that one of the greatest threats to peace in the world is the incoming Chairman of the US Chiefs of Staff Committee, the most important military advisor to the US President. His observations and attempts at intimidation were intemperate and vulgarly abusive as well as verging on the grotesque. It is ridiculous to claim that Russia is a threat . . . MORE>>
Brussels and Kiev: a duo of blackmailers / by Pyotr Iskenderov / Strategic Culture Foundation / July 21, 2015 / Serbia’s desire to implement the European integration vector in its foreign policy as actively as possible is inevitably forcing the country’s authorities to decide on issues that are in some way related to national security and state interests. This primarily concerns carrying out a responsible energy policy and engaging in a moral position regarding events around Ukraine. Both of these areas are interdependent, which is why Belgrade should look carefully at the model of relations that Brussels and Kiev are imposing on its partners. The essence of this model is blatant blackmail, cynical deception and the arm-twisting of objectors. The impact of this kind of approach is being felt increasingly keenly by the authorities of Slovakia, a country that European Commission leaders and the Ukrainian government are essentially trying to turn into a silent cash cow and a plaything in the hands of geopolitical hustlers. The Ukrainian authorities are using Slovakia increasingly cynically as a way of achieving its own speculative aims with the clear support of European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, who is responsible for energy issues in the EU. Contrary to business interests and basic common sense, Šefčovič is trying to get major European gas companies to pump substantial amounts of gas into Ukraine’s underground gas storage facilities (UGSF), while Kiev, through Naftogaz, is cynically blackmailing its own gas companies, using Slovakia . . . MORE.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Minsk breakthrough: smaller weapons to be withdrawn from Donbas / Unian / July 21, 2015 / OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Serbia’s First Vice Premier, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic has announced the achievement of the Trilateral Contact Group, which agreed in Minsk on Tuesday that smaller-caliber weapons and tanks would be withdrawn from the contact line in Donbas in Ukraine’s east, according to Russian news agency TASS. “Agreement has been reached to pull back tanks and certain weapons whose caliber is smaller than 100 mm. The text [of the agreement] has been agreed in full, its verification is expected tonight,” Dacic said in Minsk on Tuesday, TASS reported. According to him, the agreement will stipulate in detail how “the withdrawal of the weapons will be verified, who will be engaged in the verification, and the entire procedure will be described.”
Thousands of Ukraine ultranationalists gather on Maidan, announce ‘new revolution’ / rt.com / July 21, 2015 / Up to 6,000 supporters of Ukraine’s ultranationalist Right Sector movement gathered in central Kiev on Tuesday, calling on authorities to resign. The rally marks a “new stage of Ukrainian revolution,” the extremists’ leader Dmitry Yarosh announced. The radicals marched through the center of the Ukrainian capital on Tuesday evening, gathering on Maidan (Independence Square). The rally largely consisted of people wearing camouflage clothes, waving the red and black flags of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). They were chanting “death to enemies,” TASS reported. Speaking on Maidan, Right Sector (Pravy Sektor) leader Dmitry Yarosh said that the group is “showing that we are a disciplined revolutionary force,” opening a “new stage of Ukrainian revolution” with the Tuesday rally. . . . MORE.
Donetsk militias complete lighter arms withdrawal from frontline with Kiev forces / rt.com / July 21, 2015 / The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has announced the completion of withdrawal of lighter arms of caliber less than 100mm from the line of engagement with government forces in eastern Ukraine. The removal of this type of weaponry from the southeastern outskirts of Gorlovka “is the final point, after which the withdrawal… may be considered complete,” a spokesman for the DRN General Staff told RIA-Novosti. OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM), Joint Center for Control and Coordination members and DPR military representatives, including Deputy Head of General Staff Eduard Basurin, have moved to Gorlovka to confirm the withdrawal. On the weekend, the Donetsk militias said that they withdrew more than 40 tanks and 80 infantry fighting vehicles from the contact line. The authorities of the neighboring self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) also said they had pulled back all weapons of less than 100mm caliber from the front line to a distance of at least 3km, with the exception of an area around the village of Schastie. The eastern Ukrainian rebels decided to withdraw lighter weapons unilaterally as an act of good will in hope that Kiev would follow their example. But the Ukrainian authorities refuse to believe the rebel claims, presidential administration spokesman Andrey Lysenko said, calling the announcements . . . MORE.
Donetsk surprised at OSCE’s unwillingness to confirm withdrawal of DPR, LPR weapons / The Indian Subcontinent / July 21, 2015 / MOSCOW, July 20. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) is surprised to hear that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is not ready to confirm DPR’s withdrawal of weapons of a caliber less than 100mm from the kine of engagement, Eduard Basurin, a spokesman for the DPR defense ministry said on Monday. “Like deputy chief monitor of the OSCE special monitoring mission to Ukraine Alexander Hug, we are no less interested in symmetrical withdrawal of Ukrainian armoured vehicles from the line of engagement,” he said in a statement. “But it looks strange to say ‘we observed the withdrawal of DPR and LPR weapons from the line of contact,’ but ‘we cannot confirm it.’ … To report a withdrawal of weapons from a particular place one should observe and confirm its absence in a three-kilometre strip off the line of engagement,” Basurin stressed. “This is what the leaders of the two republics said, and we are implementing this decision in the presence of OSCE monitors,” he said. “So, here is the question: what representatives of this organization came to our positions on these days for? To enjoy the sight of armoured vehicles moving over irregular terrain? If OSCE representatives are really interested . . .” MORE. Quemado Institute comments: Is Eduard Basurin really “surprised” the OSCE refuses to confirm DPR/LPR weapons withdrawal? Seldom has the OSCE ever confirmed anything in favor of the Donbass Republics. The DPR/LPR leadership used to know this. Have they forgotten? They even sent a letter of appeal to the OSCE some weeks ago asking the mission to stop neglecting to report Ukraine’s shelling of Donetsk. Something seems very dishonest about this whole operation of unilateral withdrawal. The DPR leadership, for the first time we have ever been aware, seems to be lying. We are continuing to look deeper into this disheartening mystery, while attempting to maintain a positive outlook.
OSCE Should Focus on Kiev’s Reluctance to Withdraw Weapons From Donbass / Sputnik / July 21, 2015 / The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) calls on the Organization of Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine to pay attention to the fact that Kiev has no plans to withdraw heavy weapons from the contact line in Donbass, DPR military spokesman Eduard Basurin said Monday. / DONETSK / On July 18, DPR, along with Lugansk People’s Republics (LPR), announced the unilateral withdrawal of weapons with a caliber of less than 100mm to a distance of at least 1.8 miles from the line of contact with government troops. The withdrawal process is being controlled by the OSCE monitors. On Sunday, a spokesman for the General Staff of Ukraine said that the Kiev forces did not receive an order to withdraw weapons with a caliber of less than 100mm. Earlier on Monday, OSCE said that it is unable to state unequivocally that all the weapons that were withdrawn from the contact line are at the places of dislocation, because the organization’s monitors did not receive access to some of the pieces of military equipment, while some other pieces of weaponry were not where they were expected to be. “If the representatives of the OSCE are interested in the early realization of peace, than it would be useful that such scrupulousness in the assessments of the recent developments would be aimed primarily towards those who do not do anything at all to demilitarize the contact line,” Basurin said as quoted by the Donetsk news agency. According to UN estimates, the conflict in eastern Ukraine has killed over 6,500 people [QI editor’s note: we believe Sputnik is knowingly incorrect about this number, as the true death toll is over 50,000, according to German intelligence] by now since its start in April 2014. Under the February ceasefire deal, both Kiev forces and Donbass independence supporters were to remove heavy weapons with a caliber of over 100mm, creating an 18-mile buffer zone.
Kiev to Donbass: Minsk always meant your unconditional capitulation, and capitulation is always unilateral; the Kremlin didn’t brief you on this, no kidding? / posted by Vladimir Suchan / Logos Politicos / July 21, 2015 / Kiev officially responded to the DPR/LPR unilateral self-demilitarization by making clear that, like Minsk itself, this too is seen as a matter of Donbass unilateral and unconditional capitulation. Thus, according to Kiev, the DPR/LPR “concessions” (withdrawals etc.) are merely a beginning of the capitulation process prescribed by Minsk and sanctioned by Moscow. The DPR and LPR (despite conscious lies of the Kremlin propagandists) are considered by Kiev as illegal, terrorist formations which have no right to exist. Any so-called special status or a sort of formal local governance applies, according to Kiev, only to the regions cleared of any DPR/LPR formations and structures. The Banderite regime’s message to Donbass is thus, in contrast with the way too clever, cunning planners in Moscow, almost a plain text: Minsk always meant your unconditional capitulation, and capitulation is always unilateral; the Kremlin didn’t brief you on this, no kidding? Editor’s note: Suchan appears to be quoting an enemy source. It sometimes seems, however, that the DPR/LPR unilateral withdrawal that began at Shirokino in early July and is now being implemented along the contact line is indeed a capitulation promoted by Moscow. See for example our post DPR Forces Withdraw Along Contact Line: Shirokino Blunder Revisited? Some prominent observers are more optimistic, suggesting the withdrawal is a trap for Poroshenko. See The Saker’s commentary If Poroshenko Attacks His Days Are Numbered.
Monday, July 20, 2015
NAF Withdraws Weapons from Contact Line While UAF Continues to Advance / Donetsk News Agency / Edited autotranslation [condensed from five articles] / July 20, 2015 / UAF opened fire on militia positions in Zautseva at the time of removal of armored vehicles. Fire was opened on the positions near the village of Zaitseva in northwest Gorlovka (Nikitovsky district) that have just been [vacated]. According to the DPR Defense Ministry spokesman, “the attacks are done by snipers and automatic grenade launchers.” The interlocutor of the agency said that the position of the UAF is two kilometers from the place of removal of armored vehicles. Earlier, on July 18, Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic announced the beginning of withdrawal from the line of contact of tanks and armored vehicles equipped with cannons of caliber 100 mm to a distance of at least 3 km. DPR equipment is left only at the positions to the north of Donetsk and Debaltsevo, in the most stressed parts of the contact line. The respective equipment was discussed for a long time in Minsk, but [the DPR/LPR] failed to work out an agreement with Kiev, so the DPR and LPR decided to act unilaterally in favor of a speedy peace. / The militia removed five tanks and 77 infantry fighting vehicles today from line of contact – Basurin. Five tanks and 77 BMP of the militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic were withdrawn today from the line of contact. This was stated by the Deputy Commander of the DPR Ministry of Defense Corps Eduard Basurin. “Today, five tanks and 77 infantry fighting vehicles were taken to 3 km from the line of contact,” he said. He noted that this procedure is assigned to different areas along the line of contact. The day before, as stated by Basurin at the DAN briefing, 41 tanks and 84 infantry fighting vehicles [were pulled back] from the contact line. / The DPR militia began to divert armored vehicles from the village of Styla in the Starobeshevskiy area, it is reported by a DAN correspondent from the scene. Four BMP were discharged to the replacement position in the rear, in the presence of observers from the Joint Center for Monitoring and Coordination [JCCC] of the ceasefire. / The militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic took form the line of contact more than half of tanks and armored vehicles, the Deputy commander of the DPR Corps of the Ministry of Defense Edward Basurin said today. “We have already allocated more than 50 percent of arms. However, this is a long process, there are points on which we do not avert, will look at the situation.” The representative of the Ministry of Defense said that lists of numbers assigned to the equipment will be transferred to the OSCE observation mission. / Ukrainian security forces are building up forces in Donbass, while the DPR militia continues to unilateral withdrawal of weapons of caliber of less than 100 mm from the contact line, the Deputy Corps Commander of the DPR Defense Ministry Eduard Basurin told jouralists today. “Our steps to restore peace in Donbass did not get support from the Kiev authorities. We continue to unilaterally withdraw weapons of caliber up to 100 mm, while the UAF units, in violation of the Minsk Agreement continue to move heavy weapons and artillery to the line of contact.” Basurin added that “while security forces continue shelling settlements in the Donetsk People’s Republic and positions of our troops using guns and mortars of a caliber of 100 millimeters.” Editor’s note: see also Quemado Insitute commentary DPR Forces Withdraw Along Contact Line: Shirokino Blunder Revisited? (July 19) by Karl Pomeroy.
If Poroshenko Attacks His Days Are Numbered / by The Saker / Russia Insider / July 20, 2015 / East Ukraine rebels are going out of their way to show their interest in peace even as they have never been militarily stronger. This is done so that when the inevitable Ukraine attack demanded by nationalists and the US comes it will be impossible to blame the rebels. After that the rebels stand a good chance of neutralizing Ukraine attack and moving on the counter-offensive. At which point it is unlikely Poroshenko will be able to maintain power. Top Novorussian officials from the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (Zakharchenko, Deinego and Pushilin) have held a joint press conference and officially announced that they had taken the unilateral decision to withdraw at least 3km from the front line all their weapons up to a 100mm caliber (weapons of a heavier caliber were supposed to have already been withdrawn according to the Minsk-2 Agreement (M2A); the Novorussians complied, the junta in Kiev did not). Before that, the Novorussians had already done a similar unilateral action by withdrawing all their forces by over 1km from the town of Shirokino. Predictably, the the government side did not follow suit and stayed on their positions (but did not dare enter Shirokino either, at least as far as I know). This time around, the Ukraine sdie greeted the new “gesture of goodwill” of the Novorussians with an unprecedented barrage of artillery fire on the city of Donestsk which, again, was shelled all night long. So what is going on here? Have the Novorussians suddenly gone crazy? Far from it. In fact, they have set a very elegant trap for Poroshenko and his western backers. Here is how it works. . . . MORE.
Military Report of Novorossia – 100 US Humvees for Ukraine Delivered to Odessa and Moving to the Frontline / Global Research / July 20, 2015 / Artillery of pro-Kiev militants hard shelled Donetsk in the evening yesterday. The city hospital, a large number of residential houses and infrastructure came under fire. There were many causalities among civilians. The clashes have been occurring around Donetsk Airport and Peski settlement. Additionally, Ukrainian forces attacked from the directions of Avdeevka, Mariinka. The town of Gorlovka was also shelled. Intense clashes were occurring in the direction of Mariupol last night. The toe-to-toe fight with usage of small arms and mortars was around Lebedinskiy settlement. Ukrainian shelling and counter-battery fire of DPR Armed Forces were observed in the settlements of Stoganovka, Chermalik, Shirokino and Granitnoe. The military situation in LPR has been growing more tense. The settlements of Popasnaya, Jelobok, Donetskiy and the sector of Stannica Luganskaya came under Ukrainian fire. The clashes were fixed in the sectors of Stannica Luganskaya, Bolotenoe and Bahmutka. Kiev’s side used 82 and 120 mm mortars and APCs. As a result of the recent clashes Novorossian warriors destroyed 2 mortar batteries (8 mortars total), 1 battle tank and damaged 1 armored vehicle. 5 pro-Kiev militants were killed and 21 injured. Novorossian armed forces had 23 soldiers injured and 1 armored vehicle destroyed. Another 100 US humvees for Ukraine were delivered to Odessa yesterday. The military equipment has already been seen moving to the frontline. [Southfront Video available at source.]
Russia submits its draft resolution on MH17 crash in Ukraine to UN Security Council / TASS / July 20, 2015 / Russian Ambassador to the UN confirmed that Russia is against the idea of creating a tribunal to prosecute those responsible for the MH17 crash as suggested by the Malaysian draft resolution / UNITED NATIONS, July 20 /TASS/. Russia has submitted its own draft resolution on the MH17 air crash in Ukraine to the United Nations Security Council, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said on Monday. He added that the UN Security Council will meet behind the closed doors at Russia’s request at 15:00 local time (22:00 Moscow time) on Monday. “We are in the process of consultations. We have submitted our own draft resolution. We have convened a meeting for 15:00 in the afternoon to discuss it,” Churkin stressed. He confirmed that Russia was against the idea of creating a tribunal to prosecute persons responsible for the MH17 crash as suggested by the Malaysian draft resolution, which classifies the crash as a threat to peace and security. Last week, Churkin said that the plane crash in Ukraine was a crime and posed no threat to international people and security. “It contradicts the United Nations Charter. We believe that the UN Security Council should not tackle such situations,” the Russian diplomat said. “I am firmly convinced that the UN Security Council should do its business. Some carry out investigations, others, like journalists, for example, write about it. But we should stick to the United Nations charter; international law and resolution 2166, which we adopted previously, and act on its basis as it pertains to the UN Security Council,” Churkin stressed….
Sunday, July 19, 2015
Voice of Sevastopol Sunday Situation Report. Ukrainian shelling continues as heavy cannon artillery hits houses and one hospital across the contact line. See sitrep with maps, photos and videos at The war in Novorossia Online 07.19.2015 Chronicle (July 19).
Europeans are defending themselves against Right Sector / by Vladislav Gulevich / Strategic Culture Foundation / July 20, 2015 / After the recent firefight between Right Sector militants and the police in Mukacheve, Ukraine’s neighbors are taking steps to beef up their own security. Slovaks have strengthened the forces protecting their borders, fearing that armed militants from Ukraine might cross into their country. The Polish media has reported with alarm that Ukrainian battles are taking place only 60 km. from the nearest Polish village of Ustrzyki Górne, and the press is asking if the Polish government is doing anything to prevent fugitive militants from entering Poland. Polish officials are silent for now, not wanting to cast their Ukrainian ally in an unfavorable light, despite bombings at police stations in Lviv, only 80 km. from the Polish border. And it is only 90 km. to the Polish town of Przemyśl, where radicals from the Union of Ukrainians in Poland are based, who make no effort to hide their roots in the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists-Ukrainian Insurgent Army, their sympathy for Right Sector, or their wish to turn Przemyśl into a center for Ukrainian nationalism in Poland. Czech President Miloš Zeman has stated that a flood of refugees should be expected, fleeing events in Ukraine, and the hour may very well be approaching when the Czech army will have to defend the state’s borders . . . MORE.