Russian Msta-S self-propelled howitzers fire during military exercises in the southern Russia's Volgograd region, on April 2, 2014. Russian troops deployed close to the Ukrainian border will return to base after completing their exercises, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today. NATO said yesterday it had stepped back from a floated idea to reinforce the alliance's military presence in countries bordering Russia, preferring for now to suspend cooperation with Moscow and give more time to talks. AFP PHOTO / ANDREY KRONBERG
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’s the summary for APRIL 3, 2014
The bad news:
1. Russian NTV channel reported the detention of 25 Ukrainians on the territory of the Russian Federation. According to NTV, they were planning terrorist attacks in Rostov, Volgograd, Tver, Orlov, Belgorod oblasts [regions] and the Republics of Kalmykia and Tatarstan.
Among the detained activists, it was stated there were activists of “Right Sector” [ultra-nationalist group], who “confirmed the receipt of instructions from representatives of the SBU [Security Services of Ukraine].”
We can laugh out of habit at this and forget about it – you never know what lies PutinTV will come up with next. But in reality, it’s not really funny: along with the “Banderization” of Ukraine, we are blamed for the direct organization of terrorist attacks initiated by the SBU, i.e. our special forces.
And this is Russia, whose soldiers acted like armed gangs without any insignia or any country affiliation (i.e., as non-combatants), they abducted people and captured ships like pirates. The terrorist state of Russia is trying to accuse us of terrorism!
These are very dangerous games. And the fact that these sick fantasies have been confirmed by the Russian FSB is proof of their scope. And it is also evidence that this is not just the nonsense of the Russian media, but the operation of the Kremlin.
We cannot discount the possibility that Putin could get an idea in his head to blow up a couple of apartment buildings in Russian cities, and then attribute it to the “Right Sector” and SBU. Such a provocation would not increase global support for Ukraine – it would be impossible to prove what is what.
2. Out of nowhere, unnerving signals began to arrive from Belarus. Although Lukashenko has seemingly guaranteed that his country will not become a springboard for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Our sources indicate: the rumours about the “Banderization” of Ukraine are currently being actively discussed in Belarus.
Starting from social networks (it is obvious where the provocateurs who start these rumors come from), the messages about numerous attacks on Belarussian tourists in western Ukraine have been distributed widely.
This phenomenon is in no way harmless. According to some data, four out of five of the largest tour operators in Belarus have suddenly stopped tours to Ukraine. And the population itself is changing their attitudes towards Ukrainians. So, in essence, the Kremlin fosterlings are laying a bomb for us in Belarus.
The good news:
1. While the Defense Ministry is beating around the bush, volunteers continue to fulfill tasks at the state level of importance. Our servicemen and their families are still being transported out of Crimea.
So, tomorrow morning, the cadets from Sevastopol will still be able to leave – the time for their departure for the mainland is already scheduled. A similar problem in Novoozerne has also been resolved by volunteers.
Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry is strenuously solving the global problem of organizing celebrity concerts in military bases. I have nothing against [popular] art, – if needed, I will sing and dance myself (although I don’t advise anyone to listen to or see it). But in this particular case, I am struggling to understand the logic of the Defense Ministry.
2. The Party of Regions is on a riot. A number of regional organizations within the Party of Regions are demanding an emergency congress to consider the views of all regions, and not just three oblasts. As in, Dobkin makes a presidential candidate the same way Yanukovych is an orator and jokester.
We know Dobkin’s key promises. They are essentially fulfilling Russia’s requirements – primarily, so-called federalization. If ordinary Regional party members understand that Ukraine does not need this right now – this is a very positive moment.
Although, in all honestry, Dobkin – even without federalization – is irresistible.
3. The poll data collected by polling company GfK Ukraine indicate that half of Ukrainians (48%) supported the change of government that took place in February, whereas 34% of respondents were against it.
Well, once, we – or to be exact, our leaders – ineptly wasted the achievements of the bloodless Orange Revolution. To repeat the same sad experience with the second revolution, which cost the lives of many of our brothers, we are simply not allowed.
A third chance to become a European power after being a collectivized farm, we simply will not have.