Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Graham Phillips: Investigation into the Murder of Pavel Dremov — Part 1, VIDEO / Digest Press / January 12, 2016 / Comments by Quemado Institute: In this video by Graham Phillips, the British Journalist interviews Commander Monk, a close friend of the late Commander Pavel Dremov, who was assassinated by a car bomb on December 12, 2015. Monk, a former brigade member who fought in Debaltsevo, explains that the Range Rover Dremov was being driven in at the time of his death had been received from a distant acquaintance. This acquaintance had brought the vehicle from the Ukrainian side a month earlier, had tried to “sell” the car to Dremov at one-tenth the normal price, but Dremov refused. The acquaintance then vanished, leaving the Range Rover behind. Dremov used the car only briefly, during a traditional “Cossack” ceremonial break from his planned wedding celebration. The bomb was well concealed under the trim of the interior, implying it had not been planted on the spot, but was already in the vehicle when it came from Ukraine. Monk talks about the lack of media information on Dremov’s death having led to many rumors, but he is sure the assassination was not carried out by Dremov’s inner circle. He adds that “there are many people who would like to destroy us.” The video, covering only the first half of Phillips’ investigation, leaves the impression that the tragic murder was mostly likely committed by Ukrainians. For video, click here. [Select CC for English subtitles.]
Octyabrksy Residents Tell French Defenders About Kiev’s War Crimes / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 12, 2016 / A delegation of French human rights activists visited the Donetsk airport and its surroundings today for the purpose of recording the war crimes of the Ukrainian army. In particular, the representatives of France visited the village of Oktyabrsky, which had been badly damaged by UAF shelling. Local residents told the participants of the delegation about the conditions in which they had to survive in the immediate vicinity of the front line, how they had to leave when their houses came under punitive fire. “I, as a lawyer, have the duty to protect the people and publicize the results of this trip to the French public,” said lawyer Josy Jean Bousquet. Also in the delegation were his colleague Hanen Masood and politician Jacques Klostermann, the president of the association “My country, France,” which is the coalition of Marine Le Pen. The human rights defenders were accompanied on the trip by the deputy corps commander of the DPR Defense Ministry Eduard Basurin. Members of the French delegation visited the airport directly and were within walking distance of St. Iver convent, which was destroyed by Kiev militants. Despite fears that the snow may conceal unexploded ordnance, the foreigners expressed their determination to get acquainted with the consequences of Ukrainian aggression. Although the roof of the monastery temple was destroyed, and it had not conducted services, militia accompanying the delegation told them about their regular visits to the priests. Inside the destroyed shrines, the French found the lamps burning. After a visit to the airport and its surroundings, the French delegation will travel to the city of Debaltsevo, where a year ago the People’s Republic of Donetsk militia engaged in heavy fighting against the Ukrainian invaders. [Photo: St Iver Convent near Donetsk (–twitter.com)]
Kiev Authorities in Occupied Villages of Buffer Zone Begin Crackdown on Opponents – Ministry of Defence / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 12, 2016 / The Ukrainian invaders have begun to purge dissenters among the civilian population trapped in the eight villages of the buffer zone along the contact line. Journalists today spoke about this to the deputy commander of the DPR Defense Ministry Corps Eduard Basurin. “The UAF, who captured eight settlements” in the buffer zone, “have been observed conducting sweeps of local people who disagree with the occupying power. [This is being carried out by] the SBU with additional divisions of the 36th separate marine brigade,” said the deputy commander. Basurin explained that this is the way the Ukrainian military are trying to prevent the leakage of data on the concentration in the “gray” zone of weapons and personnel of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which are banned by the Minsk agreements. In addition, the purpose of the sweeps is to conceal information about the preparation for Kiev’s provocations against civilians. The day before, on January 11, a Defense Ministry spokesman from the Donetsk People’s Republic reported that UAF fortifications have been prepared for combat operations in eight settlements of the “buffer” area that were previously illegally seized by the Ukrainian army. As announced in December, 2015, by the head of the delegation to Minsk and DPR Parliament Speaker Denis Pushilin Republic, the Ukrainian military captured eight villages in the buffer zone. Among them are Shirokino, Pishevik, Pavlopol, Vinogradnoye, Gnutova, Zhovanka, Troitskoye, and Bahmutovka. At the end of the year, in the captured village of Pishevik in the Volnovakha District, a UAF checkpoint was deployed checkpoint. The DPR has repeatedly pointed out that such acts by Ukraine lead to escalation of the conflict in Donbass.
Basurin Confirms Kiev’s Use of Jihadi Fighters in Donbass / Translated for Fort Russ by Ollie Richardson / Fort Russ / January 12, 2016 / Intelligence from Donetsk People’s Republic received information about the use of gangs by the APU of terrorists previously involved in armed conflict in the Middle East. Journalists from News Front quoted Deputy Commander of the corps of the Ministry of Defence DPR Eduard Basurin. “The use by the armed forces of Ukraine of terrorist groups of fighters who participated in combat operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria is confirmed, said Basurin. “The group of bandits, previously involved in terrorist groups in the Chechen Republic, was pardoned by the Ukrainian leadership and were appointed as unit commanders, which led the General staff of the UAF”. According to the Defense Ministry of DPR, the gangs stationed near the village of Shirokino in the South of the line of contact, periodically fire at positions of the troops of the Republic. “Gangs will be formed on the foundations of these squads that will be involved in the organization of terrorist acts against the DPR”, continued Basurin. “Now, as it happens, they deploy a wide range of activities to destabilize the situation in Ukraine and in other countries of Eastern Europe. Ukraine will become a new platform for the spread of the influence of the terrorist group ISIS”.
Mood in Lugansk Perfect, Very Positive, Says Young Resident: Graham Phillips VIDEO / 12 Videos by Graham Phillips / The TruthSpeaker / January 12, 2016 / Results of Your Patreon Support over the last Month: In the last month and a bit, I’ve made near 100 videos from here in Donbass. I’ve worked hard to get either English subtitles on the most relevant ones, or record in English, to bring the facts as they are to as many people as possible. Everything I do is independent journalism, funded by you. And you’ve all played a part getting the truth out there, penetrating the wall of western propaganda. The monthly round-ups focus on English-language journalism, as Patreon is orientated towards that. Of course, much of my content is in Russian, but I’m always working – with particular thanks to Anna and Sergey, to add English subtitles on as much as possible, record as much as possible in English. A huge thanks to those already a part of it, and those thinking of being a part. My Patreon page here. Special reportage from Lugansk, with unique drone footage, as city residents get ready to see in the new year, and look back on 2015 . . . [For VIDEOs click here.]
Ghost Brigade Commanders: ‘Come to front line’ to support Novorossiya’s future / Red Star Over Donbass / January 12, 2016 / When will the war be over? What should we expect? What is the situation at the front now? These questions are probably asked by every inhabitant of Novorossiya, weary of enduring daily shelling of the territories near the front line. There’s only one way to find answers to these questions – by speaking directly to high-ranking officers of the Ghost Brigade of Alexei Mozgovoi. Alexey Gennadyevich Markov (callsign: Good) and Pyotr Arkadievich Biryukov (callsign: Arkadich) agreed to answer questions of interest to readers. Recently, residents of Novorossiya have raised many issues related to the situation on the front line. What would you like to highlight about the situation? Arkadich: Looking to the future, I can tell you that this war is not over. Before me lies a journal summarizing events and incidents related to the situation at the front. The situation is not so terrible, but … No one is safe from a possible offensive by the enemy. Don’t underestimate the enemy forces. They will attack. When, it is not entirely clear: it could be in half an hour, a week, or a different period of time. Just because the war isn’t on television, doesn’t mean that it does not exist. A breakthrough by the enemy is possible, though unlikely. Nevertheless, we will not retreat. We simply do not have the right to do so. So, we will go to the end … and be sure to come out victorious. But, to our great regret, this doesn’t return the lost life or health of fighters who have suffered in this war – most recently . . . MORE>> Click here. Editor’s note: These commanders say nothing about the disbanding of the Ghost Brigade as reported on January 6, 2016, when two-thirds of its members were supposedly dismissed. We have submitted the question to Red Star Over Donbass.
Monday, January 11, 2016
Ukrainian Army Prepares Fortifications in Occupied Villages of Buffer Zone / DAN / Edited autotranslaton by Quemado Institute / Ukrainian troops are preparing fortifications for combat operations in eight villages of the buffer zone, which had been illegally seized by the Ukrainian army. This was said to DAN today by deputy corps commander of the DPR Defense Ministry Eduard Basurin, citing intelligence data. “Our concerns about the Ukrainian security forces’ capture of eight settlements in the buffer zone for the purpose of carrying out provocations were not in vain. In all these villages they have carried out intensive engineering work on equipment and techniques in the trenches for their staff, which confirms the seriousness of the intentions of the Ukrainian command,” said the deputy corps commander. He added that DPR intelligence intercepted photos that prove the presence of the UAF in the settlements of the “buffer zone”. In the pictures taken by Ukrainian drones, weapons and equipment can be seen in the villages of Shirokino, Pishevik, and Pavlopol in the south of the Republic. “The photos clearly show the willingness of the UAF, in engineering terms, to conduct hostilities. This confirms a gross violation by punitives of the Minsk agreement in the armed seizure of [areas in the] so-called ‘gray zone’,” said the representative of the DPR Ministry of Defense. Earlier, the defense ministry issued statements about the placing of UAF self-propelled artillery, tanks and other armored vehicles in the captured buffer zone villages of Pishevik and Pavlopol in the south of Donbass. All in all, as stated in December by the head of the DPR delegation in Minsk, Chairman of the Parliament of the Republic Denis Pushilin, the Ukrainian military has seized eight settlements in the buffer zone. In addition to those mentioned above, also among them are Gnutova, Zhovanka, Troitskoye, Vinogradnoye and Bahmutovka. At the end of December, 2016, a UAF checkpoint was deployed in the captured village of Pishevik in the Volnovakha District. The DPR has repeatedly pointed out that such acts of Ukraine lead to escalation of the conflict in the Donbas. Editor’s note: it is confirmed that at least two of these villages, Shirokino and Zhovanka, were not in what Basurin calls a “gray zone”, but were located on the DPR side of the contact line before their seizure by Kiev in July and December, 2015 respectively. The withdrawal in 2015 of the DPR militias, a symbolic gesture of unilateral Minsk compliance, left these villages undefended.
Ukrainian Security Forces Shell Village of Kominternovo / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 11, 2016 / Militants of the Ukrainian nationalist forces shelled the village of Kominternovo in the south of the Donets Basin this afternoon. This was announced to DAN today by a source in DPR law enforcement agencies. “Ukrainian security forces began shelling the village of Kominternovo at around 14:00. The fire was released from the enemy village Vodyanoye,” a spokesman said. He added that the Ukrainian armed groups have used 82-mm mortars. According to sources, at least ten shells were released on the village. Earlier, the DPR Ministry of Defense reported 14 ceasefire violations per day from Ukrainian security officials, including with the use of mortars and tank shells. Quemado Institute comments: A pattern is becoming evident in enemy Twitter reports lately. More and more often, they parrot mirror-image accusations shortly after DPR reports come out. Today, enemy source Tim Hogan tweeted at 17:30 UTC: “Militants fired at least 10 mines with 82-mm mortars from Kominternovo to Vodyane [Vodyanoye –editor].”
Graham Phillips on Why He Is Leaving Donbass / by Graham Phillips / Facebook / January 10, 2016 / I’d like to say this – my decision to leave Donbass has been a tough one. But, there’s always a time to leave. In my time in Donbass, i’ve worked and worked and eventually come to feel that, for now, i can’t do any more than i’ve done here, and even, that my contribution here isn’t necessary at this moment. There’s actually a lot of excellent journalists here. I have a lot of plans, there’s so much old footage i have in dozens of YouTube videos, which should be put into a proper film, it’s history already. And the truth is that Donbass has become comfortable for me. And that’s a wonderful thing. I’m so happy to see life here getting better, and want there to be peace. But I’d also like to seek out an environment which potentially presents some conflict or even hostility. I feel, there’s interesting reportage in that. Of course, i’ll come back to Donbass, and already have some projects in mind I’d like to work on here. Above all, I’d like to film the rise and development of young republics, DPR, LPR, and beyond!
Berlin Applauds Donbass Defender Alexey Markov of ‘Prizrak’ (Ghost) Brigade / DONi News / January 10, 2016 / More than a thousand people visited Alexey Markov’s public address, the Commander of the Communistic group of the brigade ‘Prizrak’ (Ghost) during the International Rosa Luxemburg Conference in Berlin. As the hostess of the meeting acted Susann Witt-Stahl – the famous German journalist, the editor-in-chief of the ‘Rhythms and Music’ magazine. Guests asked questions concerning the household and everyday life of the fighters of ‘Prizrak’, the military situation in the front sector of the brigade. Markov characterized the political situation by the words ‘neither war, nor peace’, he also told how fighters of ‘Prizrak’ kept an order in the controlled territory, carried out medical care, organized nutrition and tried to help the locals in every possible way. He also outlined that fighters of ‘Prizrak’ repeatedly became witnesses of how fighters of nationalist battalions fired on not only positions of ‘Prizrak’, but also posts of regular Ukrainian units. Markov expressed concern about the fact that in Europe right extremist forces gain strength and that ‘the ruling classes of Europe might again bank on fascists’. He also hoped that to the historical arena there would come the true communists who would be capable to really defend their views. ‘We fight for the society based on mutual help, friendship of people and socialism,’ emphasized Markov. ‘Long live the international solidarity,’ chanted the conferees.
Pushilin Calls Absurd Statement by Kiev on “New” Format of Negotiations on Donbass / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 11, 2016 / The statement by the representative of Ukraine to the contact subgroup on political issues Roman Bessmertny about moving the negotiations in Minsk into a new format are illogical. This was stated by the head of DPR delegation to the the negotiations, Chairman of the DPR People’s Council Denis Pushilin. “Bessmertny’s statement fits into a lot of other suggestions by Ukraine, which impress with their absurdity and illogic,” Pushilin said in comments received by DAN. The Parliament Speaker noted that despite its illogic, Bessmerty’s statement marks another attempt by Kiev to disrupt the peace process, which requires the approval of officials, including the head of the Special Representative of the OSCE to the Minsk talks Martin Sajdik. “Once again we have to repeat, to remind the representatives of Ukraine, that ‘Minsk-2’ is a refinement of ‘Minsk-1,'” said Pushilin. “The document, which was the result of 16 hours of discussion on 11-12 February, the document which bears the signature of the representative of Ukraine LD Kuchma, a document which was approved by UN Security Council resolution, requires strict compliance.” On Saturday, January 9, Bessmertny said on Ukrainian television that from January 1, despite the absence of relevant documents, there is supposedly a new format of negotiations on conflict settlement in Donbass, a kind of “Minsk-3.” The Ukrainian representative also stated that “Minsk-2” allegedly “does not address the problems faced by Ukraine and the world in the territory of Donbass.” The full text of Denis Pushilin’s comment available under “Legal notice“.
War crimes fact finding mission: Top French delegation arriving to Donetsk / DONi News / January 11, 2016 / Top political lawyers from France are arriving in delegation to the Donetsk People’s Republic on Monday to make an official visit to gather first hand information and documents about Ukrainian war crimes committed in Donbass. The delegation is invited by the DPR Foreign Ministry and the French group will meet widely high officials and local people around Donetsk in coming days. The program for the delegation will start on Monday evening with official meetings. The French delegation will visit several places in the DPR like a hospital, a university, front line villages and positions where there are also suspected war crimes committed by the Ukrainian troops. The delegation will meet personally victims of brutal activities and the goal for the visit is to collect as much first hand knowledge about events in Donbass as possible. Also international public round table discussions about the situation in Donbass will be arranged in the coming week. So far the first series of 800 war crime dossiers have been filed to the European Court of Human Rights, and 1500 others are awaiting to be submitted. DONi News Agency and International Press Center will follow and report closely on events according to the visit of the French delegation in coming days.
Sunday, January 10, 2016
Ukrainian Sniper Kills DPR Militiaman Near Gorlovka – Defense Ministry / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 10, 2016 / DONETSK / A Republican forces soldier was killed on the evening of 9 January, shot by a Ukrainian sniper in the village of Zaitsevo, north of Gorlovka. This was reported to DAN today by the DPR Defense Ministry. “As a result of sabotage Ukrainian DRGs in the locality of Zhovanka, a DPR soldier, who was on duty near the settlement of Zaitsevo, was killed,” a spokesman said. “At about 22:30, he was fired upon by a Ukrainian sniper.” The Defense Ministry added that the village Zheleznaya Balka on the south side of Gorlovka was fired on seven times during the night by Ukrainian tanks. Editor’s note: Zhovanka, formerly an NAF-controlled village on the DPR side of the contact line, is one of eight buffer zone settlements seized by the Ukrainian army in early December 2015. The DPR Militia had left these villages undefended in order to comply with Minsk unilaterally. According to Fort Russ article UAF Trying to Seize Zaytsevo, NAF Soldier Killed (Translated by Ollie Richardson, January 10, 2016): “The following is a Newsfront social network report from the front line in Zaytsevo, in Donetsk People’s Republic. ‘They are using Automatic Grenade Launchers, guns, Armoured Personnel Carriers with small arms. This happens during the day from 6 to 12 times. The results can be seen at the local school, which was under attack 120 times from mortars. They wounded three local residents. Today we parried a hard attack without warning,’ said soldiers of the armed forces DPR. ‘They are conducting an offensive to capture Zaytsevo, and are trying to take the school at a minimum,’ said the fighters.”
Deputy Head of OSCE SMM Hug to Visit Donetsk Next Week / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 10, 2016 / Deputy Head of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the OSCE Alexander Hug plans to visit Donetsk at the end of next week. This was reported to DAN today by the press service of the mission. “At the end of next week, Alexander Hug intends to visit Donbass. Accordingly, a visit to Donetsk is planned,” the spokesman said. He added that the purpose of the SMM Deputy’s visit to the conflict area is not yet known. Earlier it was reported that on January 11, the OSCE mission observers are going to install webcams to monitor the situation in the frontline village of Shirokino in the south of the DPR [sic]. Editor’s note: Shirokino is no longer in the south of the DPR, having been seized by Ukrainian forces in July 2015 after the NAF unilateral withdrawal.
Enemy Report Unconfirmed: Commander Evgeny Kononov with Callsign “Cat” (“Кот”) Killed by Sniper Bullet – Media / UkrainianConflict / January 10, 2016 / Yesterday on January 9, one of the field commanders of DPR separatists, Colonel Evgeny Kononov with callsign “Cat”, was killed in Donetsk. According to pro-separatist media, he was killed by a sniper’s bullet. Kononov participated in almost every major firefight in Donbass: Saur-Mohila and Shaktarsk, Donetsk airport, south-Mariupol front. He was also in charge of the separatists in the Debaltseve cauldron. Previously the ATO headquarters reported an escalation in shooting under Gorlovka and Donetsk, with 29 violations of the ceasefire in 24 hours. As a reminder, a leader of local cossacks Pavel Dremov was killed in LNR in December. Editor’s note: The source may be unreliable. Updates will appear.
Kiev reinforces its positions in Donbass with artillery and Right Sector radicals / TASS / January 10, 2016 / Kiev has reinforced its positions along the line of engagement in Donbass with a howitzer battery and Right Sector radicals, a spokesman for the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said on Sunday citing reconnaissance reports. “A battery of conventional artillery of the 30th brigade has been spotted in the settlement of Svetlodarsk. Moreover, units of Ukraine’s Right Sector paramilitary corps have reportedly arrived to the settlement of Spartak, which is an evidence of reinforcement of the Aidar battalion with nationalist units,” the Donetsk News Agency quoted him as saying. Apart from that, according to the DPR defense ministry, Kiev has pulled an engineer unit to organize a pontoon ferry into the zone of responsibility of the 30th brigade at the Gorlovka direction. [… More general background at source.]
Saturday, January 9, 2016
Ukrainian Security Forces Shell Outskirts of Gorlovka, Woman Injured / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 9, 2016 / Kiev Armed forces began shelling the DPR-controlled village Zaitsevo, north of Gorlovka, wounding one woman. This was announced to DAN today by a source in the DPR law enforcement agencies. “Around 11:30, Ukrainian security forces began shelling the village of Zaitsevo. On Popov Street a local resident was injured,” a spokesman said. He added that the militia fighters are trying to remove the victim from the fire zone. The fire continues. According to the source, the enemy is firing from positions in the village of Zhovanka, using anti-aircraft guns, AGS and small arms. Editor’s note: The map shows Zhovanka (center) in DPR-held territory as of July 2015. Zhovanka, now under Kiev control, was one of the eight DPR villages seized by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in December, 2015, as reported by Eduard Basurin.
UAF Marines Battalion 501 Started Blocking Work of OSCE Under Guise of Militia – Eduard Basurin / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Insitute / January 9, 2016 / Ukrainian saboteurs disguised as militia blocked the work of the OSCE observers in the area of the village of Vodyanoye, in the buffer zone near the contact line. This was stated by deputy commander of the DPR Defense Ministry Corps Eduard Basurin. “According to our data, sabotage and terrorist groups 501 or separate marine brigade battalion 36 are preparing provocations against the representatives of the OSCE mission. We have already determined the fact that these groups are blocking the work of the international monitoring mission in the buffer zone, ostensibly on behalf of the militia,” said Basurin. In addition, according to a representative of the military department, the “elite of the Ukrainian army” were spotted in moroderstve [sic] in the villages of the neutral zone.
Graham Phillips to Leave Donbass: Change of Plans / by Graham Phillips / Facebook / January 9, 2016 / Plans always change, and in a journalism career, often suddenly, but in principle, tomorrow I’ll be returning to Donbass after a wonderful few days in Rostov, and getting ready to leave Donbass on the 19th, perhaps not to return for a while. I’ll go to Russia to meet up with my parents, then spend a couple of weeks in St Petersburg finishing 2 films, on Aramis, and Debaltsevo. After that, my special reportage trip to the Baltics. Then, a few things are interesting for me – film some reportage from Russia, about the real Russia, in the run up to the World Cup 2018. Film some stuff from Europe, about the immigration situation. Spend some time with my parents. Then, of course, Euro 2016, and a return to Crimea! Of course, a lot of plans, and it could all change. But it could be that I’m not back in Donbass until the end of the year. Of course I’ll very much miss Donbass, and it’ll always be in my thoughts! In any case – absolutely tons of things to do in the remaining week in Donbass, so much to see and film!! And of course, in my absence, Patrick John Lancaster will continue his vital journalism, and humanitarian work there. It’s not in any way ‘goodbye’ to Donbass, just a ‘catch up with you in a bit’. Editor’s note: Yesterday, January 8, Graham had announced on Twitter he would be staying in the Lugansk People’s Republic to investigate the murder of NAF Commander Pavel Dremov, who was killed on December 12, 2015. See report below under January 8.
Friday, January 8, 2016
Lugansk People’s Republic: Will Graham Phillips Unearth the Story of Pavel Dremov? / Quemado Institute / January 8, 2016 / British journalist Graham Phillips, who came back to the LPR last month to resume his video and drone reporting, announced on Twitter yesterday that he is embarking on a project to investigate who killed Novorossiya Armed Forces Commander Pavel Dremov. Commander Dremov was assassinated by a car bomb on December 12, 2015, while being driven on a highway not far from the city of Lugansk. That the vehicle had just been given to Dremov an hour or so before his death, and that he had ridden off in response to a mysterious phone call, implies a plot by professionals. Dremov had at one time been a vocal critic of LPR leader Igor Plotnitsky, and some observers allege he was killed on Plotnitsky’s orders. Others say the two had mended their differences and were working together amiably to curtail smuggling along the LPR-Ukraine border, a scenario that casts suspicion on Ukrainian oligarchs. Circumstances remain hazy, as actions of the LPR government seem contrary to their own interests. Events that raise questions, in addition to Dremov’s assassination, include the disbandment of the late Alexei Mozgovoy’s famous Ghost (Prizrak) Brigade battalion two days ago, and the refusal yesterday by LPR officials to allow a humanitarian aid convoy from Russia to cross the LPR border into the Donetsk People’s Republic. Such events seem strange, particularly after the tragic murders of Mozgovoy last May, of Commander Alexander Bednov in January 2015, and of Dremov’s right hand man Evgeney Ischenko, also in January 2015. The coincidental assassinations of these prominent NAF figures, all Novorossiya supporters and critics of Plotnitsky, have spurred unofficial allegations of murder against the LPR leader. According to pro-Novorossiya Twitter sources, Igor Strelkov blames the deaths on professional Russian assassins, allegedly conducted under Plotnitsky’s orders. Such allegations, however, are just what the enemy wants us to believe. Ukrainian Twitter accounts, as well as reports from journalists in Kiev-held territory, use such accusations for propaganda purposes. At least one journalist inside the LPR, however, persuasively argues Plotnitsky’s innocence. Anna Dolgareva, who interviewed Pavel Dremov last September, wrote a commentary after his death suggesting Dremov was killed by enemy saboteurs under orders from Ukrainian businessmen. It is interesting that Graham Phillips, in his interview with Igor Plotnitsky on December 22, asked the LPR leader point blank about Dremov’s death. If Graham suspected Plotnitsky of the crime, his blunt question would seem out of place, as it might bring Graham himself under threat. That Phillips is now in the LPR investigating Dremov’s murder suggests Plotnitksy had nothing to do with it, at least in Phillips’ mind. Otherwise, he wouldn’t pursue it. Nor would he be allowed to, since the LPR press is heavily restricted. But the questions don’t end here. The humanitarian convoy, which was inexplicably halted by LPR officials at the DPR border Thursday, happens to be carrying, among other items such as children’s gifts and hospital supplies, aid from Igor Strelkov’s own humanitarian organization. Since Strelkov has accused Plotnitsky of murder, there might be a connection. Adding to these questionable events, the disbandment of the Ghost Brigade appears motivated by subsersive pressure, possibly from Moscow. Is Putin—or are pro-Kiev Kremlin oligarchs—deliberately crushing the Republic? Ukrainian forces have been steadily escalating tensions along the front—not a good time to disband a major LPR battalion. We hope Graham Phillips will shed light on these developments. (Photo: Pavel Dremov)
Graham Phillips: Drone Video of Spartak. The settlement of Spartak, near the Donetsk airport and only 1 km from Ukrainian armed forces positions, has been under continuous shelling for 20 months. Nearly every house has been damaged. For video click here.
Panic in Latvia: Trump Will Hand Ukraine, Syria and the Baltics to Putin / Translated for Fort Russ by Kristina Rus / Fort Russ / January 7, 2016 / Hysteria about the possible choice of Americans in 2016 is gaining momentum in Latvia. A well-known Latvian politician and economist Uldis Osis said that if Trump wins the presidential elections, Washington will give the Baltics to Russia, along with Syria and Ukraine. Latvian politician hopes that “Americans don’t go mad”. But believes that, most likely, they will. Trump, he says, has already promised that he will give Putin the Baltic states… Popular Latvian economist and publicist Sergei Vasiliev commented on the fears of Baltic politicians regarding the possibility of Trump’s victory at the upcoming presidential . . . MORE>> Click here.
Germany continues to demand the return of the Russian Federation in the G8 / mianews.ru / January 8, 2016 / Germany has demanded to return the Russian Federation in the format of “Big eight” (G8). This statement was made by the co-Chairman of the faction of the Left party in the German Bundestag Sarah Wagenknecht. In her opinion, it was initially erroneous and foolish step to exclude Russia from the Association of leading economically developed countries. As the co-Chairman of the faction of the Left party said, the situation in Syria showed that Russia plays a major role in international politics and its exclusion threatens the escalation of the conflict. Recall that informal club, the G8, became the G7 in March last year, when Russia because of the deterioration of relations with Western countries in connection with the events in “Ukraine” left the Association. At the moment the “group of seven” includes the UK, Germany, Italy, Canada, USA, France and Japan. In turn, the head of the Russian presidential administration Sergei Ivanov said that Russia does not seek to return to G8. Russia’s exclusion from this “informal club” is just attempt to punish Russia, but it was meaningless and ineffective. “Big eight” is no longer able to solve serious problems facing humanity at the present stage.
Brilliant Identification of the Source of World Trauma: The Final Word – John McMurtry / Quemado Institute / January 8, 2016 / Philosopher’s Razor Spears Global Question – Answer Is Found / The Quemado Institute platform’s founding goal was to identify the underlying mechanisms causing trauma and terror in the world. Our relentless search led us down numerous avenues, from the Donetsk News Agency to Paul Craig Roberts, from Strategic Culture Foundation to Dmitry Minin, Alexander Zakharchenko, Andrew Korybko, and Finian Cunningham. We have found the answer at Global Research, in the writings of a philosopher heretofore unknown to us: Prof. John McMurtry. Many intelligent political analysts—Eric Zuesse, Paul Craig Roberts, Boris Rozhin to name a few—are anti-American. Instinct told me this wasn’t the answer. I sensed that the real culprit was the Global Financial Elite—the transnational corporate owners. Putin calls this the Ruling Establishment. This elite controls Western governments. My frustration—and I’ve written many comments in rebuttal to anti-American authors—lay in the fact that governments, particularly the US government, only seem superficially to determine world events. Such political analysts aim at the right target, but penetrate only to a superficial level, missing the heart of the problem. And the problem may be deeper even than the human minds of the elite: it may be an organism beyond anyone’s conscious recognition. To solve humanity’s problem, one must first identify the cause. Prof. John McMurtry has identified the cause. Now we are in a position to proceed to the next step: to begin developing strategies for the preservation of Earth and human happiness. The following commentary by John McMurtry . . . MORE>> Click here.
Thursday, January 7, 2016
DPR Defense Ministry Announces Looting and Increased Ukrainian Security Forces in Buffer Zone / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 7, 2016 / DPR Intelligence has documented more evidence of looting by the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the intensification of Kiev sabotage and reconnaissance groups in the occupied buffer zone villages in the south Donets Basin. This was announced today at a briefing in the DAN press center by deputy commander of the DPR Defense Ministry Corps Eduard Basurin. “Note that the UAF [Ukrainian Armed Forces] marauding soldiers are deployed in populated areas of the buffer zone,” he said. “In particular, the men of separate 501 UAF marine battalion [tr?] broke into several homes during combat missions in the village of Vodyanoye, below Kominternovo, and seized part of the property. “Meanwhile, Ukrainian saboteurs, according to intelligence reports, are active in the settlements of Vodyanoye, Pishevik, and Pavlopol.” Recall that at the end of December, the Ukrainian side captured eight settlements in the buffer zone, and in one of them, the village of Pishevik in the Volnovakha district, a Ukrainian checkpoint was deployed. The DPR has repeatedly emphasized that such actions lead to the escalation of the conflict in Donbass. Facts about looting by members of punitive operations are regularly recorded in the occupied territories of Donbass.
English-Speaking Mercenaries of Kiev Conspicuous for Drunkenness in Mariupol – Intelligence / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 7, 2016 / Intelligence of the Donetsk People’s Republic recorded a new fact of the presence of foreign mercenaries in the area of Kiev punitive operations in Donbass. This was announced today at a briefing in the DAN press center by Deputy Commander of the DPR Defense Ministry Corps Eduard Basurin. “In the Mariupol bowling club ‘Port City’ 17 soldiers were seen consuming alcohol. Presumably these were US citizens: they were speaking English, and wore the insignia of the US,” said the deputy commander. According to intelligence sources, the vacationing mercenaries acted in accordance with the usual “special American nation.” “It was noted that this group of people, after leaving the establishment, tried in every possible way to provoke the local population into domestic disputes,” said Eduard Basurin. The Corps representative added that the rest of the servicemen in places of entertainment were characterized by the presence of arrogant features inherent in the “specialness of the American nation.” “It was noticed that after leaveing the establishment, this group of people tried every possible means of provoking domestic disputes among the local population,” he stressed. Earlier, DPR intelligence has repeatedly reported the presence of foreign mercenaries among members of the regular army and the nationalist Ukrainian battalion. In particular, the transfer of mercenaries to Mariupol was reported December 23 and 31, 2015. In early October the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada adopted the Law “On the passage of foreign military service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine”, thereby legalizing the use of mercenaries. The reason for this decision was publicly attributed to a desire to reduce the loss of Ukrainian troops in the conflict in the Donbass.
Free Trade Area with EU Will Lead Ukraine to Loss of Economic Sovereignty – Expert / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / January 7, 2016 / The free trade zone with the European Union, which began in Ukraine on 1 January, will lead the country to the loss of economic sovereignty. This opinion was expressed to DAN by Acting Head of Research of the Donetsk National University of Economics and Trade, Doctor of Economic Sciences Natalya Voziyanov. “As soon as the FTA with the EU [begins], Brussels, rather than the Cabinet, will have to set the rules of the game and manage the economic processes in Ukraine. The mode of the FTA with Europe provides an unconditional transfer of all Ukrainian industry to the technical standards of the European Union. These rules apply to all industries, including those serving the domestic market. This threatens the loss of economic sovereignty,” said the agency head. She noted that Kiev had previously introduced European technical standards and regulations, but did not [finish], so the mechanism of certification of producers will be difficult. Those producers who do not pass the standards of the EU will have to either curtail their activities or restrict sales of products to the black market. This situation will inevitably lead to unemployment and a decrease in revenues, which is also reduced due to loos of import duties on European goods. These factors combine to have an extremely negative impact on the social sphere. “The Ukrainian government has no strategy of export development in the altered geopolitical situation nor of promotion of an effective system of Ukrainian exports, and the plan for the beginning of the implementation of the FTA with the EU has not been prepared,” Voziyanov emphasized. She also reminded that since May 2014, Ukraine could unilaterally to enjoy the benefits of free trade with the EU, but this opportunity was not seized. Recall that starting on January 1, 2016, the Association Agreement with the European Union in Ukraine came into full force, including provisions on free trade zone. According to sociological surveys, the Ukrainians are hoping to feel the beneficial effects of the agreement in the first year, while economists believe significant positive changes in the economy are possible in not earlier than five years. Meanwhile Russia, in order to protect the domestic market from the influx of duty-free goods from the West through Ukrainian territory, imposed food embargoes and import duties against Ukraine.