Ukrainian internal soldiers take part in a training at a military base in Donetsk on March 29, 2014. Withdrawn from the Crimea internal troops members settle in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, where they will undergo their further service. Russia pledged it would not invade mainland Ukraine following its seizure of Crimea, favouring a federal solution for the ex-Soviet state as diplomacy with the West gathered momentum. AFP PHOTO/ALEXANDER KHUDOTEPLY
Editor's Note: To counter Russian propaganda lies about the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula on Feb. 27, Dmitry Tymchuk has set up the Center of Military and Political Research in Kyiv. He served in the Army air defense from 1995-1998, the National Guard from 1998-2000 and in the Defense Ministry in subsequent years on missions to Iraq, Lebanon and Kosovo. His blogs are translated into English by Voices of Ukraine. The Kyiv Post has not independently verified his findings, but will correct any misinformation brought to our attention at firstname.lastname@example.org or 38-044-591-3344 or any of our contacts at www.kyivpost.com/contacts
(Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine)
Brothers and sisters! Here is the summary for March 29
The bad news:
1. Moscow is trying to make a feint with our weapons and military equipment in Crimea.
It is well known that Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly declared earlier that weapons from the military bases that remained loyal to Kyiv would be given back to Ukraine. Today we tried to find out at the Ukrainian Defense Ministry which options are truly being offered by the Kremlin.
We know perfectly well that not a single word of Putin’s should be trusted. And this is exactly what transpired. Formally, there is no single Ukrainian military base in Crimea that has completely gone over to the enemy side. Just like there is no single base that remained absolutely loyal to the Ukrainian oath. Therefore, if we judge from Putin’s words, they could give back all the weapons to Ukraine. Or they could give none at all.
In informal conversations, Russian leadership advises our leaders to realize that not everything is up for grabs. As in, ‘we will give you the useless scrap metal and keep whatever is left that is working or valuable.’ And then, Moscow will start singing that it did everything in a just and fair manner. Typical Moscow scam.
2. Hungarians in Zakarpattia are demanding “cultural autonomy.” 39 Hungarian organizations demanded from the Ukrainian government “equality at all standards of living” (although they failed to provide factual evidence of who, where and how, is being prejudicial towards them). And the main point – they are demanding to “recognize dual citizenship.” Their address was published tonight by the Zakarpattia media.
It looks like a stab in the back. In a country where separatism is a deadly disease, only a provocateur can demand dual citizenship. I truly believe in this.
1. For the first time since the intrusion we breathed a little calmer. Not only is Moscow strongly insisting that it has no intention of invading Ukraine. But it really moved some of its units away from the border.
Was this the result of Putin’s notorious conversation with Obama? I don’t know.
As of this morning, we noted that on our very border remain 10,000 Russian military personnel. This is not a reason to relax: considerable enemy forces are capable of entering the territority of Ukraine from the midst of the Russian Federation in a matter of hours.
Moreover, the “withdrawal of troops” represents constant maneuvers. The military bases and units are moving along the border, and keep approaching it and moving away from it. Therefore, if tonight there is not too many Russian military by our border, tomorrow there might be more of them than within the past month.
But in any case, we have detected the lowest concentration of [Russian] troops. And that’s something.
2. Belarus will not be the springboard for the invasion of Ukraine.
This morning, during our update on the forces of the invader, we deliberately omitted the enemy troops stationed in Belarus. It was done after our consultations with Ukrainian government agencies.
Later, [acting President Oleksandr] Turchynov, after his meeting with the President of Belarus [Alexander] Lukashenko, officially confirmed this information. Belarus is insisting there will be no invasion from its territory.
We don’t mind, but we will not stop monitoring the situation. It is hard to believe Lukashenko, who previously recognized the annexation of Crimea.
3. Yatsenyuk reassures that in 2014, Ukraine will receive credit in the amount of $13.5 billion. Moreover, the modernization of the military-industrial complex is also planned.
These numbers are very optimistic. However, this raises two questions. First of all, it is unclear which portion of these funds will be stolen. This is not an idle question, since the number of people at the levels of power not previously known for their honesty and selflessness, keeps growing.
Secondly, we have not yet observed the Ukrainian government’s truly remarkable plan to modernize the economy. Because taking out credit in lieu of investments into the future is the doorway to the abyss. And we have been walking that path inconceivably long.
As for the defense industry itself, today it became known that Ukraine’s state concern “Ukroboronprom” stopped supplying weapons to the Russian Federation.
Finally. Because it looked as if we were going to help Moscow invade us by suppliying it with weapons. So, step-by-step, the Kyivan theater of the absurd around Putin’s invasion finally resembles an adequate response. God willing!