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Re: Ukraine - Superthread
« Reply #2125 on: May 12, 2017, 12:21:58 »
This, from the counter-UKR info-ops file, via RUS-state media"Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said that he did not use lobbyists and pay them in order to organise meeting with US President Donald Trump ..."  Apparently, the UKR politician who made the claim appears to be a conservative who doesn't seem to be getting on with current management.

Meanwhile, from the separatists/rebels ...
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« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 12:32:53 by milnews.ca »
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« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 16:54:21 by milnews.ca »
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“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

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Re: Ukraine - Superthread
« Reply #2129 on: May 21, 2017, 07:14:34 »
A bit of help from Canada's diaspora ...
Quote
Volunteers from “Free People” NGO continues to help Ukrainian reconnaissance men
May 18, 2017
Ukrainian diaspora in Canada through the volunteers from “Free People” NGO provide assistance to our warriors


Next visit of the volunteers from “Free People” NGO was held on the frontline in the ATO area. A politico-military expert, a representative of Ukrainian diaspora in Canada Ihor Kozak along with the volunteers visited reconnaissance, tank and the Special Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine units.

“I have been favorably impressed of advance of the Ukrainian warriors since the time of my last visit: provision, armaments are improved, NATO standards are implemented step by step. I want to focus on a high professional level and fighting spirit of personnel. It is possible to not only due to financial assistance but to regular training of military instructors from NATO countries, in particular, mission of Canadian servicemen. In addition, the Ukrainian community from Canada last month managed to persuade country’s government to continue mission for another three years”, – underscored Ihor Kozak, while inviting defenders of Ukraine.
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Re: Ukraine - Superthread
« Reply #2130 on: June 25, 2017, 18:53:55 »
Mo' reports of "Canadian instructors" close to eastern Ukraine, courtesy of Russia's military TV network (original article in Russian - archive.org version in Russian - Google Translate version in English below) - highlights mine:
Quote
VSU (Ukrainian forces) draws Grads to the line of contact
16:13* 06/25/2017

A trainload with personnel and heavy armament of the Armed Forces, including the ML-21 Grad missile system, arrived in the area of ​​the village of Vladimirovka, south of Donetsk. This was announced by Eduard Bazurin, deputy commander of the operational command of the Democratic People's Republic of Donbas.

The Ukrainian siloviki used the "bread truce" in the Donbass to regroup their forces and assets in the conflict zone. This was stated by Eduard Bazurin, deputy commander of the operational command of the Democratic People's Republic of France.

     "The existing situation on the contact line allows us to conclude that under the cover of the" bread truce "Ukrainian security forces are strengthening the units in the Donetsk and Mariupol directions, dispersing the prohibited weapons," said Basurin.

According to him, a railway train with personnel and heavy weapons, including the BM-21 Grad missile system, arrived in the area of ​​the village of Vladimirovka to the south of Donetsk. In addition, at Volnova, militiamen recorded three railroad echelons of goods wagons with ammunition for tanks, as well as shells for MLRS and shells and powder charges for 122 and 152-mm barrel artillery. Towards Avdeevka, a column of 28 tanks of the APU moves. And in the city itself there is a battalion of Ukrainian siloviki "Kharkov".

About 50 American and Canadian instructors arrived at Konstantinovka. According to the intelligence of the DNR, foreign specialists plan to start work in Mariupol.

From 00:00 on June 25 in the Donbass the so-called "grain truce" began at the time of harvesting . The silence mode should last until August 31.
* - Moscow time = 0913 Eastern Daylight Time
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Re: Ukraine - Superthread
« Reply #2131 on: June 27, 2017, 20:40:29 »
Mo' reports of "Canadian instructors" close to eastern Ukraine, courtesy of Russia's military TV network (original article in Russian - archive.org version in Russian - Google Translate version in English below) - highlights mine:* - Moscow time = 0913 Eastern Daylight Time
It's official - a CJOC spokesperson says it quite clearly ...
Quote
I can confirm 100% that we do not have any personnel in Konstaninovka.
(source)
Nice try, Dis-info-machine ...
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“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

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Re: Ukraine - Superthread
« Reply #2133 on: July 07, 2017, 17:06:02 »
1)  Some $ (just under $7M) from Canada's Global Affairs for "human rights monitoring, conflict resolution, and mine awareness, surveying and clearance".
2)  Let's see if this'll help ...
Quote
Secretary Tillerson Appoints Ambassador Kurt Volker Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations
Press Statement
Heather Nauert
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 7, 2017

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson announced today his appointment of Ambassador Kurt Volker to serve as the United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations. Ambassador Volker, who has served previously as the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, and as Director for NATO and Western Europe on the National Security Council, will take responsibility for advancing U.S. efforts to achieve the objectives set out in the Minsk agreements. He will accompany the Secretary to Kyiv on Sunday, July 9, and is expected to continue to hold regular meetings with Ukraine and the other members of the Normandy Format: Russia, Germany, and France.

"Kurt's wealth of experience makes him uniquely qualified to move this conflict in the direction of peace," said Secretary Tillerson. "The United States remains fully committed to the objectives of the Minsk agreements, and I have complete confidence in Kurt to continue our efforts to achieve peace in Ukraine."
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Re: Ukraine - Superthread
« Reply #2134 on: July 13, 2017, 08:38:37 »
UKR defence minister seems to want mo' NATO troops in mo' bases - highlights mine, via the UKR DefMin info-machine:
Quote
Minister of Defence of Ukraine General of the Army of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak held talks with Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, Commander U.S. Army, Europe. General Poltorak underlined the key role of General Hodges in training missions conducted in Ukraine. “There are citizens in any country and if your country has patriots like Gen. Hodges, it’s honourable. Today, NATO assistance gives its practical results. The casualties among our soldiers have reduced and we prevail in military operations. It’s very important, as due to training, the professionalism of our soldiers has been increased”, Poltorak mentioned. The Minister also briefed on prospects of development and improvement of training infrastructure of military posts and training fields of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. “I am sure we have to extend the geography of training in participation of the NATO instructors at the Ukrainian training fields”, the head of defence ministry underscored. General Poltorak thanked General Hodges for a particular contribution to reforms of the Ukrainian army and presented him “For Development of Military Cooperation” medal.
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Re: Ukraine - Superthread
« Reply #2135 on: July 13, 2017, 10:39:16 »
I'm betting the Ukrainian leadership recognizes that they need a profound culture shift, and best way to do that is have NATO guys around as much as possible....
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Re: Ukraine - Superthread
« Reply #2136 on: July 13, 2017, 11:25:56 »
I'm betting the Ukrainian leadership recognizes that they need a profound culture shift, and best way to do that is have NATO guys around as much as possible....

They also have taken hard earned lessons in battle to heart, their forces are very much shifting to a heavy mechanized force with Heavy IFV's based off the T-64 chassis coming off the production line, and new T-84's being built. Now if they could get their airforce updated a bit, and deal with spies/corruption they will having a fighting chance.
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Re: Ukraine - Superthread
« Reply #2137 on: July 13, 2017, 12:57:12 »
... if they could get their airforce updated a bit, and deal with spies/corruption they will having a fighting chance.
And as much as I like to root for the underdog, that bit in yellow seems hard to completely root out for the moment.
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Separatists form "independent young federal state", but ...
« Reply #2138 on: July 18, 2017, 08:04:23 »
No more Novorossia -- all hail Malorossia (Little Russia)! 

This from the separatist Donetsk "Republic's" page - in Russian followed by English (via archive.org*):
Quote
A historic event, the signing of the political declaration on the creation of a new state, which will become the legal successor of “Ukraine”, took place today, on July 18th, in the capital of the Donetsk People’s Republic. The new state formation will consist of 19 regions of the former Ukraine and will be called Malorossia with the center of the new state in Donetsk. Kiev remains a historical and cultural center without the capital city status. A correspondent of the official website of the DPR reported this from the scene.

“All of us have gathered here together to talk about the future. We propose a plan for the reintegration of the country through the law and Constitution. We must build a new country in which the concepts of conscience and honor are not forgotten. We offer Ukrainian citizens a peaceful way out of the difficult situation, without the war. This is our last offer not only to the Ukrainians, but also to all countries that supported the civil war in Donbass. I am convinced that we will do everything possible and impossible,” Head of the DPR Alexander Zakharchenko addressed the audience.

The event was visited by Head of the DPR Alexander Zakharchenko, adviser to the Head Zakhar Prilepin, Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Minister of Revenues and Duties of the Republic Alexander Timofeev, as well as representatives of most regions that formerly were part of Ukraine.

All present delegates unanimously voted in an open ballot for signing the political declaration on the creation of Malorossia with the center in Donetsk.

“Malorossia is a federal state with broad powers of autonomy of the regions. The right of regional languages ​​is guaranteed to be retained, the flag of Bogdan Khmelnitsky is recognized as the national flag,” Alexander Timofeev cited the constitutional act.
More ... (via archive.org)
Quote
During the meeting with signers of the political declaration on the creation of the new State of Malorossia, delegates from various regions of the former Ukraine expressed the hope that the proclaimed federal state with the center in Donetsk would help to rid the ancestral Russian lands from the criminal Kiev regime. A correspondent of the official website of the Donetsk People’s Republic reported this.

“We have been waiting for this day for three long years! Just trust in us, and we will not fail you,” representatives of various regions of the former Ukraine concurred. “We will restore the lapsed power of our country. For the sake of our land and the memory of our ancestors, it is worth fighting.”

Head of the DPR Alexander Zakharchenko stated that the situation in Ukraine had reached a deadlock, and the way out of this situation could become the creation of the new state of Malorossia for a transition period of up to three years.

“To stop the civil war, we discussed the situation and came to the conclusion that Ukraine has shown itself as a failed state. The Kiev regime is not able to leave a civil war,” Zakharchenko said.

According to Alexander Zakharchenko, Malorossia will become an independent young federal state.

The DPR Commander-in-Chief is sure that the creation of Malorossia will help to stop the conflict in Donbass, but this requires support from the international community and inhabitants of the Republics.

He also called the creation of the new independent state the last offer to pull out of the civil war.

In his turn, Secretary of the Executive Committee Alexander Kazakov noted that the proclamation of Malorossia did not contradict the Minsk Agreements, “On the contrary, our proposal to the Ukrainian nation makes up for the Agreements. The war is now impossible, we are one nation,” he said.

“Our opponents will have to restart their rhetoric, because the people living here and in the territory of the now former Ukraine are not separatists or terrorists. These are people who peacefully made the decision to change the situation for good. The Donetsk People’s Republic has every reason to declare today the starting point of the new state,” Zakhar Prilepin said.
PDF of documents referred to in links (in Russian) & map (Little Russia in red) attached.

One thing, though ... This from the Luhansk separatist government (via archive.org, in Russian) - highlights of Google Translation mine:
Quote
The initiative to create Little Russia is untimely - Deynego

The initiative to create a new state of Little Russia is untimely. This was announced today by the LIC, the authorized representative of the People's Republic of Finland at the Minsk negotiations, Vladislav Deynego.

Earlier today, the head of the DNR, Alexander Zakharchenko, announced the creation of a new state on the territory of the former Ukraine - Little Russia - with the capital in Donetsk. According to him, this decision was allegedly supported by representatives of the People's Republic of China and a number of territories controlled by Kiev. Representatives of the leadership of the DNR denied participation of the representatives of the Republic in the meeting in Donetsk, where it was announced about the creation of Little Russia.

"The initiative to create Little Russia, put forward today in Donetsk, is not timely," Deynego said.

"We learned about it from the media, and nobody discussed this project with us," he said.

"Sharing the position of the majority of residents of the south-eastern regions of Ukraine, who are opposed to the Kiev authorities, we consider it important to remain committed to the Minsk agreements and will continue to demand that Ukraine fulfill them," the authorized representative of the People's Republic of Lugansk stressed.

Participants of the Contact Group for the settlement of the situation in the Donbass on February 12, 2015 signed in Minsk, coordinated with the heads of the participating countries of the "Norman Quartet" (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine) a set of measures to implement the Minsk agreements.

The document provides for a cease-fire, the removal of heavy weapons from the line of contact, the opening of a dialogue on restoring the socio-economic ties between Kiev and the Donbass, and the reform of Ukraine's constitution with the aim of decentralizing and securing the "special status of certain regions of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions."

LuganskInformCentre - July 18 - Lugansk
Time for a bit of divide & conquer by the Ukrainians?
:pop:

* - When I clicked to the separatist web pages, my anti-malware protection went off, so I archived the pages and shared those safer links.
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Re: Ukraine - Superthread
« Reply #2139 on: July 19, 2017, 06:38:08 »
And Russia's public response to Donetsk's plans?
Quote
The idea of the establishment of a new state Malorossiya is a personal initiative of Alexander Zakharchenko, Head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

"The statement Zakharchenko made this morning about Malorossiya is his personal initiative. Moscow learnt about it from the press. We stay committed to the Minsk agreements," he stressed.

Earlier in the day, a project for the establishment of a new state - Malorossiya - that would be Ukraine’s successor and would include a number of its regions was announced at a public meeting in Donetsk. Two documents - a political declaration and a constitutional act - were adopted by voting. According to the project’s initiators, the initiative is geared "to stop the civil war and avoid further casualties."

The neighboring self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) said however it is not taking part in the project. "The LPR was established as an expression of people’s will and we have no right to make such steps without hearing people’s opinion," the press service of LPR Head Igor Plotnitsky said. "The republic thinks it important to stay committed to the Minsk agreements and will continue to demand Ukraine do the same."

Commenting on this initiative, Russia’s chief negotiator in the Contact Group for settlement of the crisis in eastern Ukraine Boris Gryzlov said it should not be taken as manifestation of real politics. "This initiative doesn’t fit into the Minsk process. I take it merely as an invitation for discussion. This statement has no constitutive effects," he said. "This initiative is rather a part of information warfare than a subject of real politics."
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Re: Ukraine - Superthread
« Reply #2140 on: July 19, 2017, 12:43:45 »
An interesting piece on why Russia can't afford to annex Novorossia/Malorossiya/occupied Ukraine, shared under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42) ...
Quote
Moscow Cannot Afford a South Ossetian Strategy in Ukraine’s Donbas
Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 14 Issue: 94
By: Paul Goble
July 18, 2017 08:12 PM


Vladimir Putin has slammed the brakes on a much-ballyhooed Duma proposal to offer Ukrainians in the occupied Donbas region Russian citizenship on a simplified basis (Kommersant, July 18). Almost certainly, the initiative was abandoned because if these individuals were to obtain that status—as the residents of the breakaway “Republic” of South Ossetia did almost a decade ago—then Moscow would have to assume responsibility for them. And this is something the Kremlin clearly recognizes it cannot presently afford.

Numerous Duma members and others in Russia who support this idea see a simplified path to Russian citizenship as opening the way for the ultimate annexation of Donbas. But many in the Kremlin recognize such an outcome would be extremely costly financially and politically. Financially, it would put burdens on Moscow to come up with money to provide at least basic services to several million people; and politically, it would mean that the Kremlin would be eliminating the chief lever it hopes to have in Ukraine as well as further isolating the Russian Federation from the Western powers.

This turn of events suggests that Putin, if not all the members of the Duma, recognizes that while Moscow benefits in many ways from the so-called “frozen” conflict in Donbas, it could lose big by taking any dramatic step to further destabilize the situation. In turn, that means today’s announcement that the Moscow-backed leadership of Russian-occupied Donbas plans to form “a successor state” to Ukraine—“Malorossiya”—should be dismissed as nothing more than the latest incarnation of the Russian propaganda project “Novorossiya.” One may, thus, readily expect that this new iteration will ultimately fail to materialize just like “Novorossiya” did. And in fact, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is already predicting such a fate (Spektr.press, July 18).

Putin’s decision to quash the Duma bill was reported in today’s (July 18) Kommersant and quickly picked up by Ukrainian outlets (Kommersant, Dsnews.ua, July 18). Deputy Konstantin Zatulin’s proposal on the simplification of citizenship procedures for non-Russians specifically covers “bearers of the Russian language” who live on the territory of the former Russian Empire or the Soviet Union. Putin’s objections to the Zatulin bill were cast by the paper in terms of the entire region, but the Kremlin leader’s decision applies in the first instance to Ukrainians, especially those already living in the Russian Federation or in the Russian-occupied Donbas.

Tomorrow, the Duma will consider the measure but without the sweeping provisions Zatulin had offered. According to Kommersant, the United Russia deputy has already pulled them “on the recommendation of Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, who suggested coordinating this with the Main Political Administration [of the parliament], the foreign ministry, the interior ministry, and the Russian government as a whole.” This brings to a halt what had appeared to be a runaway train. The Duma had already approved Zatulin’s idea on first reading because many of its members clearly felt that tens if not hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians would choose to become Russians overnight if they did not have to go through the current complicated system of obtaining written confirmation of their status as Ukrainians from the Ukrainian government. Kyiv has been slow to provide such confirmation documentation, according to Duma members.

Before Putin’s intervention, Duma members had been enthusiastic about the measure, convinced that it meant, in the words of Aleksey Polubota, a Svobodnaya Pressa commentator, that “Russia is preparing a ‘South Ossetian’ variant for Donbas.” The offer of Russian citizenship to people in the occupied regions would soon be followed by Moscow’s recognition of those regions as independent countries, he further predicted (Svobodnaya Pressa, July 15).

Duma deputies suggested that “by the most modest estimates,” some 700,000 Ukrainians would choose to become Russian citizens overnight, if the new simplified procedures were put in place. And many of them suggested this should have happened long before now, Andrey Yepifantsev, a Moscow analyst, told Polubota. The reason Moscow has moved in this direction, he said, was that Putin decided—on the basis of his recent meeting with United States President Donald Trump, in Hamburg—that the Minsk agreements on a Ukrainian ceasefire have no future. Rather, Yepifantsev argued that Russia must “repeat the steps it already took in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the handing out of its passports. This shows that Moscow will assume responsibility for the defense of its citizens in the unrecognized republics” that will then become independent countries.

Aleksandr Shatilov, the dean of the sociology and political science faculty at the government’s Finance University, agreed. He told the Svobodnaya Pressa commentator that “receipt of Russian citizenship by residents of Donbas will mean that they will be under the protection of the Russian state.” Russians support such a move, even if some in the “Russian elite” still have “illusions” that they can reach a deal with the West on Ukraine, Shatilov asserted.

But Putin’s intervention, signaled by Kommersant today, shows that whatever “illusions” some in Moscow may have, the Russian government clearly believes it cannot afford to do what the Russian parliament would like.
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Re: Ukraine - Superthread
« Reply #2141 on: July 24, 2017, 14:37:55 »
A bit of history, to provide lessons down the road (not just in Ukraine), shared under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42) ...
Quote
Why Ukrainian forces gave up Crimea without a fight - and NATO is alert
By Pavel Polityuk and Anton Zverev

 The career of Sergei Yeliseyev helps to explain why Ukraine's armed forces gave up Crimea almost without a fight - and why NATO now says it is alert to Russian attempts to undermine military loyalty in its eastern European members.

His rise to become number two in the Ukrainian navy long before Russia seized Crimea illustrates the divided loyalties that some personnel in countries that once belonged to the Soviet Union might still face.

Yeliseyev's roots were in Russia but he ended up serving Ukraine, a different ex-Soviet republic, only to defect when put to the test. NATO military planners now believe Moscow regards people with similarly ambiguous personal links as potentially valuable, should a new confrontation break out with the West.

In 2014, Yeliseyev was first deputy commander of the Ukrainian fleet, then largely based in Crimea, when Russian soldiers in unmarked uniforms took control of Kiev's ships and military bases on the peninsula.

Instead of resisting, Yeliseyev quit and subsequently got a new job: deputy chief of Russia's Baltic Fleet.

Yeliseyev, now aged 55, did not respond to Reuters questions sent to him via the Russian defense ministry.

In Kiev, however, there is no doubt where his loyalties lay. "When he took an oath to Ukraine, these were empty words for him. He has always been pro-Russian," said Ihor Voronchenko, now commander of the Ukrainian navy, who once served with Yeliseyev.

In fact, the Russian soldiers were pushing at an open door in late February 2014 - Yeliseyev was just one of many to defect and almost all Ukrainian forces in Crimea failed to resist.

Russia annexed Crimea the following month, prompting a major row with the West which deepened over Moscow's role in a rebellion in eastern Ukraine that lasts to this day.

At the time, Moscow and its allies in Crimea exploited weaknesses within Kiev's military to undermine its ability to put up a fight, according to interviews conducted by Reuters with about a dozen people on both sides of the conflict.

The Russian defense ministry did not respond to questions on their accounts of the events in 2014 submitted by Reuters.

One NATO commander told Reuters that, in a re-run of the tactics it deployed in Crimea, Russian intelligence was trying to recruit ethnic Russians serving in the militaries of countries on its borders.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the commander said the alliance was particularly sensitive to the risk in countries with high concentrations of ethnic Russians, notably the Baltic states.

NATO had to guard against this, said the commander, though the risk should not be overstated because having Russian roots did not necessarily mean that a person's loyalty is to Moscow.

Officials in the Baltic states, former Soviet republics which unlike Ukraine are NATO members, play down the danger.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg likewise said he trusted the armies of the Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Still, he told Reuters: "We always have to be vigilant. We always have to develop our intelligence tools and to be able to see any attempts to try to undermine the loyalty of our forces."

Dropping the Guard

Years before the Crimean annexation, a Ukrainian appointment panel appeared to drop its guard when it interviewed Yeliseyev for the deputy naval commander's post.

Yeliseyev was born near Moscow, graduated from a Soviet naval school in the Russian city of Kaliningrad in 1983 and served with the Russian Pacific fleet.

So the panel asked Yeliseyev what he would do if Russia and Ukraine went to war. He replied that he would file for early retirement, according to Myroslav Mamchak, a former Ukrainian naval captain who served with Yeliseyev. Despite this response, Yeliseyev got the job in 2006.

Mamchak did not disclose to Reuters how he knew what was said in the interview room but subsequent events bear out his account.

Relations between Russia and Ukraine dived as Kiev moved closer to NATO and eight years after his appointment, with the countries on the brink of conflict over Crimea, Yeliseyev stayed true to his word by quitting.

Russia's actions were not the only factor in the Crimean events. Ukraine's military had suffered years of neglect, there was a power vacuum in Kiev after the government was overthrown, and many Crimean residents felt more affinity with Moscow.

Still, Ukrainian service personnel with Russian ties switched sides when the annexation began and some officers pretended to put up resistance only to avoid court-martial. Moscow also intercepted orders from Kiev so they never reached the Crimean garrison.

"There was nothing spontaneous. Everything was organized and each fiddler played his role," said Mykhailo Koval, who at the time was deputy head of the Ukrainian border guard and is now deputy head of the Security Council in Kiev.

Invitation to Defect

Voronchenko, who was another deputy commander of the navy at the time of the annexation, said he had received invitations to defect to Moscow's side soon after the Russian operation began.

These, he told Reuters, came from Sergei Aksyonov, who was then head of Crimea's self-proclaimed pro-Russian government, as well as from the commander of Russia's southern military district and a deputy Russian defense minister.

Asked what they offered in exchange, Voronchenko said: "Posts, an apartment ... Aksyonov offered to make me defense minister of Crimea." Neither Aksyonov nor the Russian defense ministry responded to Reuters questions about the contacts.

Voronchenko, in common with many other senior Ukrainian officers, had been in the Soviet military alongside people now serving in the Russian armed forces. He had spent years in Crimea, where Russia leased bases from Ukraine for its Black Sea fleet after the 1991 break up of the Soviet Union.

"Those generals who came to persuade me ... said that we belong to the same circle, we came from the Soviet army," he said. "But I told them I am different ... I am not yours."

Naval chief Denis Berezovsky did defect, along with several of his commanders, and was later made deputy chief of the Russian Black Sea fleet.

Many in the ranks followed suit. At one Ukrainian signals unit, service personnel were watching Russian television when President Vladimir Putin appeared on the screen.

"To my surprise, they all stood up," said Svyatoslav Veltynsky, an engineer at the unit. "They had been waiting for this." The majority of the unit defected to the Russian side.

Just a Show

Even those willing to resist found themselves in a hopeless position. One member of the Ukrainian border guards told Reuters how his commander had despatched their unit's ships to stop them falling into Russian hands, and ordered his men to train their rifles on anyone trying to enter their base.

However, the base's military communications were not working, having been either jammed or cut by the Russians. Isolated from his own side, and outnumbered and outgunned by Russian troops outside, the commander struck a deal with the head of a Russian special forces unit.

Pro-Russian civilians were allowed to force the base's gate without reprisals. The Ukrainians "supposedly could not do anything; you cannot shoot civilians", the member of the unit said on condition of anonymity because he is still living in Crimea and feared repercussions.

Russian troops then followed the civilians in, taking over the base and offering the unit a chance to switch allegiance to Russia. About half agreed, although the base's chief refused and was allowed to leave Crimea.

"The commander did not resist," said the unit member. "On the other hand, he did what he could under the circumstances."

Two other people involved in the annexation - a former Ukrainian serviceman now on a Russian base in Crimea, and a source close to the Russian military who was there at the time - also described witnessing similar faked confrontations.

"You have to understand that the seizure of Ukrainian military units in Crimea was just a show," said the source close to the Russian military.

Lessons Learned

NATO's Baltic members differ significantly from Ukraine. Soviet-era commanders, for instance, largely left their armed forces after the countries joined the Western alliance in 2004.

Officials also point out that Russian speakers were among the seven members of Latvia's forces to die during international deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq.

Nevertheless, lessons have been learned from Crimea. "We learned, of course, that there was not only the issue of loyalty, but also false orders were submitted and there was a blockage of communication during the Crimea operation," said Janis Garisons, State Secretary in the Latvian defense ministry.

Latvia has changed the law so that unit commanders are obliged to resist by default. But Garisons said the simplest step was taken long before the annexation, with the introduction in 2008 of vetting by the security services for "everybody who joins the armed forces, from private to general".

Additional reporting by Margaryta Chornokondratenko in KIEV, Andrius Sytas in VILNIUS, Gederts Gelzis in RIGA, David Mardiste in TALLINN, and Robin Emmott in BRUSSELS; editing by David Stamp
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Re: Ukraine - Superthread
« Reply #2143 on: August 05, 2017, 15:01:44 »
Russia's info-machine bringing up an interesting parallel on a relevant anniversary - shared under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42) ...
Quote
Ukraine Mulls Repetition of Croatia's 'Reintegration' of Serb Krajina in Donbass
RIA Novosti/Sputnik News, 5 Aug 2017

On August 4, 1995, Croatia launched “Operation Storm” against the Serb-inhabited territory of Krajina. As a result, the self-proclaimed Republic of Serbian Krajina ceased to exist, thousands of people were killed and over 220,000 driven from their homes. More than two decades on, the Ukrainian leaders are mulling a similar scenario for Donbass.

Model disciples

The idea of emulating the Croatian experience of “reintegration” in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics has been circulating in Kiev’s corridors of power since the start of the armed conflict in Donbass three years ago.

“Croatia is a good example. While tolerating the existence of Krajina for three years, the Croats built up their economy and armed forces and then, in a matter of hours, their tanks wiped the separatists off the face of the earth,” Yuriy Lutsenko, then President Poroshenko’s political advisor, wrote on Facebook in 2014.

In 2016 Ukraine and Croatia set up a working group to provide consultative assistance to Ukraine on “reintegration of occupied territories.” Croatia’s then Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said that his country was ready to share its experience of winning back lost territories.

The move invited an angry rebuff from Moscow.

“The casualties inflicted by the large-scale military operations in Croatia in 1995 – Operation Lightning and Operation Storm – are well known, as is the resulting forced exodus of around 250,000 Serbs who permanently resided there. We have reason to fear that recommendations by foreign “consultants,”, which might encourage dangerous illusions among the Kiev leadership that a military solution is possible in Donbass, will do anything but improve security in Ukraine’s southeast,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Unfazed by this, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Volodymyr Groisman said in June 2017 that Ukrainian officials should emulate the experience of Croatia, which “after a bloody war provoked by the regime of Slobodan Milosevic managed to take back lost territories and restore peace.”

In an interview with RT, Yevsei Vasilyev, an expert on international security at the Russian State Humanitarian University in Moscow, said that Kiev was citing the Croatian experience in order “to apply its military aspect to the disobedient Ukrainians in the east.”

“There are two reasons why the Croatian model is so appealing to Kiev. First, because it would help solve the problem with the help of a large-scale military operation, and, secondly, it would absolve them from any responsibility for the loss of civilian lives, because ‘the winner gets it all,’” Vasilyev said.

“Advised by their Western and NATO mentors, the Ukrainian authorities would like to use the ‘Croatian scenario to get rid of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and bring Donbass back under Kiev’s control. This is exactly what happened to the Republic of Serbian Krajina, which Croatia clawed back in 1995-1998,” the expert continued.

He added that, just like the Croatia of the 1990s, Ukraine was now run by nationalists leaning back on Western assistance in their standoff with Russia.

“However, there is one big difference between the Croatia of 1995 and present-day Ukraine, and this is Russia, which will not allow any repetition of the Western scenarios of war crimes against civilians, much less in the vicinity of its borders,” Yevsei Vasilyev emphasized.

The Donbass conflict erupted in April 2014 as a local counter-reaction to the Western-sponsored Maidan coup in Kiev that had toppled President Viktor Yanukovych in February.

Residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held independence referendums and proclaimed the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Kiev has since been conducting a military operation, encountering stiff local resistance.
In case you hadn't already heard about it, more on Croatia's Op STORM (usual Wikipedia caveats apply) here.
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Re: Ukraine - Superthread
« Reply #2144 on: August 07, 2017, 07:43:20 »
Partnership with Canadian & Brit companies coming up -- shared under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42) ...
Quote
British Stiletto Systems, Canadian MAGNUM ready to participate in tender to build new ammunition plant in Ukraine

British-based Stiletto Systems Ltd. jointly with Canadian-based MAGNUM and its division Waterbury Farrel are considering the possibility of participating in a tender of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade to create a new production of shooting and artillery ammunition in Ukraine.

Head of Stiletto Ukraine Roman Karpenko told Interfax-Ukraine the British-Canadian alliance has practical experience in designing and building modern ammunition production facilities in a number of countries and is ready to provide the construction of a new ammunition plant in Ukraine.

"Stiletto Systems Ltd. in alliance with MAGNUM and its division Waterbury Farrel are interested in participating in a possible tender of the ministry and are ready to offer a wide range of infantry and artillery ammunition, taking into account the request of the Defense Ministry and the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine," he said, noting that the alliance's proposals for cooperation in the project were submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine for familiarization in July.

British-based Stiletto Systems Ltd. specializes in the development of ammunition and small arms.
157 page proposal/package on the idea (dated October 2015) via Stiletto Systems page here.
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Re: Separatists form "independent young federal state", but ...
« Reply #2145 on: August 10, 2017, 10:25:37 »
No more Novorossia -- all hail Malorossia (Little Russia)! ...
Malorossia firing alright, Malorossia - STOPS!  This from the separatist info-machine ...
Quote
Zakharchenko: The idea to re-establish Ukraine has wide support, the name ‘Malorossiya’ off the agenda

Donetsk, Aug 9 – DAN. The idea to re-establish Ukraine based on new principles generated a broad public discussion underscoring the urgency of the issue amidst the country’s deep ongoing crisis, DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko said on Wednesday.

“The very idea to re-establish the state plunged into a deep economic and political crisis which is not making attempts to carry out major federalisation reforms or look for ways out of the collapse, has been given broad support,” Zakharchenko said as he replied a Donetsk News Agency journalist’s question.

“Already at this point we can say that the name Malorossiya will not be adopted as many resent it. There’ve been many interesting different recommendations and comments which shows that starting the discussion was the right thing to do.”

Zakharchenko said that Ukrainian incumbent authorities’ current policies threaten further existence of the state.

“Kiev should ponder the fact that continuing this pernicious policy and the inability to negotiate will result in the country’s breaking up,” he said.

On 26 July, the DPR leader said there would be more public discussion on Ukraine’s possible re-establishment based on new federal principles with the view of resolving the Donbass military conflict.
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Re: Ukraine - Superthread
« Reply #2146 on: September 03, 2017, 13:32:46 »
Ukraine seeks tips from Croatia re:  recovering occupied territory - and Russia's underwhelmed ...
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Re: Ukraine - Superthread
« Reply #2147 on: September 05, 2017, 07:50:11 »
"Not that we control anything on the separatist side, you understand ..." - highlights mine, shared under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42) ...
Quote
Putin’s threat: "Other conflict zones" may be attacked if U.S. gives lethal aid to Kyiv
If the United States provides lethal aid to Ukraine, Russian militants may point their guns at other Ukrainian regions beyond the war-torn Donbas, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a press conference following the BRICS summit in China an UNIAN correspondent in Russia reports.
unian.info, 10:20, 05 September 2017


"This is a sovereign decision [providing lethal aid to Ukraine] of the U.S., whom to sell weapons or supply them for free, and the country that is the recipient of such assistance. We will not be able to influence this process in any way," Putin said.

According to him, "there are international rules and approaches: the supply of weapons to the conflict zone does not contribute to the peace settlement, but only aggravates the situation."

"If this happens in this case, this decision will not fundamentally change the situation, in general will not affect the situation change, but the number of victims, of course, may grow," Putin said.

"I want to emphasize so that everyone understands - nothing will change," the Russian president vowed.

"There is one more point to which those bearing such ideas should pay attention. This is about the fact that the self-proclaimed republics have enough weapons, including those seized from the opposing side - from nationalist battalions and so on. And if American weapons will be delivered to the conflict zone, it will be difficult to say how the proclaimed republics will act. Maybe they will get their weapons to other conflict zones that are sensitive to those who create problems for them," Putin said.
Wonder what that "and so on" means?  See attached ...
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Re: Ukraine - Superthread
« Reply #2149 on: September 05, 2017, 18:53:08 »
"Not that we control anything on the separatist side, you understand ..."
... or, put another way, see attached.

Meanwhile, an interesting take on the message sent:
Quote
Veiled Threat or Realistic Admission?
nobsrussia.com blog, 5 Sept 2017

Those who have been following Russia’s war on Ukraine have no doubt heard the increased buzz about the US potentially supplying lethal arms to the Ukrainian military. While I’m all for supplying Ukraine with military technology (though there’s a big difference between what they want and what they actually need), I find the hype to be ridiculous when you actually look at what US officials are saying. Basically Putin enthusiastically dumps tons of weapons and military vehicles into Ukraine without any reservations whatsoever, while US officials say things like “the US is now seriously considering the possibility of providing lethal weapons…” and the talking heads act like this is a sincere promise, as though the weapons are currently being crated for transport as we speak. Of course on the US side, and only the US side, there are also pundits who object to such transfers, but their arguments are typically poor.

Recently, Vladimir Putin reacted to the question of US arms for Ukraine during a press conference at the BRICS summit. His comments were rather ambiguous, with the first half seeming to indicate no reaction and the last half being a veiled threat about taking more territory in Ukraine. I give you his quotes here, translated by the Ukrainian UNIAN news service.

“This is a sovereign decision [providing lethal aid to Ukraine] of the U.S., whom to sell weapons or supply them for free, and the country that is the recipient of such assistance. We will not be able to influence this process in any way,” Putin said.

According to him, “there are international rules and approaches: the supply of weapons to the conflict zone does not contribute to the peace settlement, but only aggravates the situation.”

 “If this happens in this case, this decision will not fundamentally change the situation, in general will not affect the situation change, but the number of victims, of course, may grow,” Putin said. “I want to emphasize so that everyone understands – nothing will change,” the Russian president vowed.

“There is one more point to which those bearing such ideas should pay attention. This is about the fact that the self-proclaimed republics have enough weapons, including those seized from the opposing side – from nationalist battalions and so on. And if American weapons will be delivered to the conflict zone, it will be difficult to say how the proclaimed republics will act. Maybe they will get their weapons to other conflict zones that are sensitive to those who create problems for them,” Putin said.”

As far as interpreting the statement as a veiled threat, it seems that UNIAN focused on the last quote, wherein Putin hilariously claims that the “self-proclaimed republics” are somehow well armed entirely from captured weapons and, presumably, weapons that they either somehow manufactured or acquired from abroad. I tend to think the key takeaway in Putin’s statement comes before that, where he stresses there will be no change. Basically he’s posturing, trying to signal to the West that he won’t back down in Ukraine. To understand why you have to look at what “arming Ukraine” means in Western parlance.

Since the battle of Debaltseve in 2015, “arming Ukraine” has basically been boiled down to one issue- Javelins. For those non-military types out there I’ll give you the quick crash course. The FGM-148 Javelin is arguably the most effective portable anti-tank weapon in the world right now. It is “fire-and-forget,” meaning the operator does not have to guide the missile to its target and therefore can relocate to another position upon firing. It has incredibly long range, over 4 kilometers or nearly 3 miles. It also attacks from the top, where tanks are most vulnerable.

Of course there are some caveats- the system is extremely expensive and it’s not exactly a magic “Make Tanks Go Away” wand. We cannot say for sure how they would have affected the outcome of a battle like Debaltseve. More importantly, plenty of experts have correctly pointed out that Ukraine actually produces plenty of high-quality anti-tank missiles on its own– the problem is that Ukraine’s arms industry often fails to adequately deliver its products to the front. Ukraine’s arms industry also produces another product which is good at knocking out Russian tanks- they’re called other tanks.

But Putin’s quote about arms not making a difference may serve as another reminder of why the arm Ukraine debate should constantly revolve around Javelins. I’ve been saying for some time that Javelins would make little difference given the situation and the Ukrainian government’s position on the war. They can only serve as a deterrent to a Russian attempt to advance in the Donbas, something which they don’t seem interested in doing. Putin’s comment would seem to confirm this. Everything in 2014 from the Crimean annexation to the attempt at creating “Novorossiya” was nothing but a big gamble to see what Russia could get away with. After Minsk II in 2015, Putin knows his limit of advance. So in other words, Javelins would definitely serve as a deterrent, but they’d be deterring something Russia’s not planning to do.

Just to be sure, the Javelins could serve as a deterrent to something I’ve long worried about, especially after the winter of 2016-2017, which is a sort of punitive raid or small offensive aimed solely at isolating and destroying a Ukrainian front-line unit, in a place like Avdiivka or the so-called Svitlodarsk bulge. But beyond this, the only thing Javelins would be good for is sniping the occasional tank which comes up to the front to take potshots from time to time. The Russians could simply halt this practice and rely on their long-range artillery to keep inflicting casualties on Ukrainian forces. They’d be better off for it.

Of course there are ways Ukraine could use Javelins in a more offensive manner to actually retake territory, but the government clearly doesn’t have the stomach for that and doing so would require the military to adopt unconventional, insurgent-style tactics, something that conventional military forces typically don’t do unless they’re absolutely forced to. The Ukrainian military has worked so hard just to achieve a minimum of professionalism as a conventional army that I can’t imagine there’d be anyone among the top brass willing to consider more revolutionary methods of warfare, which is a pity because personally I think Ukraine’s only hope lies in such bold, unconventional strategies and tactics.

Getting back to the topic at hand, one can still read Putin’s final comment as a veiled threat, but it’s most likely an empty one. The meat of this statement is that he’s calling the whole situation a stalemate by saying that new weapons won’t make a difference. For the moment, at least, arms can only serve as a deterrent to something he’s not planning to do.

Of course there is one scenario in which Putin might make good on his threat, and US leaders and other officials had better pay close attention. Although the Russians naturally tell themselves that the US has been arming Ukraine this whole time (this is the a priori justification that Russia’s leaders so often use), if they see the US seriously talking about the matter they might choose to act before those weapons arrive and rule out something like a small-scale offensive. This could serve as a major spoiler and let the Russians chalk up one more operational victory to go along with Crimea, Ilovaisk, and Debaltseve. Therefore if the US actually wants to help and thinks the arms will make a difference, it would be a lot better if they would stop making ambiguous statements and hinting signals at Putin and just provide the missiles. Realistically, what Ukraine actually needs is more advanced electronic warfare platforms, but the rapid shipment and deployment of Javelins could at least prevent or deter a potential “now-or-never” offensive action from the Russian side.

Then again, you might choose to ignore Putin’s comments as another example of his increasingly delusional, rambling statements. After all, this is the guy who seems to have no idea whether he wants to run for president next spring, nor does he seem to have any idea what is supposed to come after him. Perhaps the real key to Putin’s statement is when he said Russia can’t do anything to influence America’s decision. Maybe the confidence from 2014 is beginning to wear off like a crystal meth high, and he’s starting to realize that all this time he’s been punching far above his weight (it’s easy when your opponents are all centrist dipshits who can’t fathom the idea that someone would question their so-called “norms of behavior”). Fatigue, desperation, belligerence? Who can say what’s going through that little man’s mind at this point?
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