From Fort Russ
From Fort Russ
From Fort Russ
|RIP Pavel Sheremet|
July 20, 2016
Ukraine is still managing to balance between the two centers of power: the current government prompted by CIA-supported SBU [Security Service of Ukraine] (according to many reports the CIA takes up an entire floor in the SBU building, and the American ambassador in Ukraine is the de-facto president, approving laws and calling the shots) and the Russophobic radical Nazi battalions, which where the muscle responsible for the violent overthrow of Yanukovich government on Maidan and in the aggression of the new Kiev government against the separatist Donbass.
As a guarantor of order in Ukraine, the SBU must appear to defend the population from gangs and crime, while after plundering the mostly Russian population of separatist Donbass in the name of patriotism, members of volunteer battalions who know no other means to make a living, are constantly in Ukrainian criminal news reports.
The nationalist volunteer battalions have always been a source of the greatest threat to the new Ukrainian government, which over the last two years continues to successfully balance on the edge of a third Maidan, constantly accused by the far right of not being patriotic or Russophobic enough. This is the reason why remaining Ukrainian career politicians and oligarchs had to abandon decency and paint themselves in nationalist colors in order to hold on to their power.
Only the future will tell how long can the fragile balance be maintained. Meanwhile we bring to your attention the last article of Pavel Sheremet, a Ukrainian journalist describing the internal squabbles between the two Ukrainian power poles. As common for current Ukrainian journalists, who are still permitted to be published in the mainstream Ukrainian media, he is supporting the Nazi Ukrainian commander Andre Biletsky and explains why he could be a threat to the government.
However, even his assessment confirms that the nationalist battalions were a magnet for the disadvantaged troubled youth who found a meaning, a community and a boost to self-esteem in nationalist ideals, who when not occupied by combat resort to crime, so well documented in the war zone of Donbass.
Three days after this article Pavel Sheremet was blown up in his car in Kiev. – Kristina Kharlova
Translated from Russian
“Azov”, responsibility and volunteer battalions
July 17, 2016
The failed Turkish military coup has stirred the Ukrainian community of political analysts and for a few days intensified fears and talk of a military coup in Ukraine.
Some are warning of the inevitable and bloody coup, others calm – there is no one to rebel.
I am not going to predict anything, just like to draw your attention to two recent curious developments.
Writing this early Sunday morning, just as at this moment the chairman of the supervisory board of Odessa Port Plant, the first deputy head of the board of Naftogaz Sergey Pereloma are released from jail. Following him the second “big fish,” the first deputy chairman of Odessa Port Plant Nikolay Schurikov escapes punishment.
Escaped not because of the poor work of investigators of the Anti-corruption bureau and the anti-corruption prosecutors. Simply the deputies-battalion commanders and some other people in camouflage on Friday and Saturday blocked the work of the court and created an atmosphere of chaos around these two cases.
Why battalion commanders, why men in camouflage? Pereloma and Schurikov were detained on charges of embezzlement of the funds of the enterprise, not even for misconduct in the ATO zone. But deputies-battalion commanders and men in camouflage are now if not above the law, but are able to paralyze the execution of any law on call.
And, mostly the same characters are involved. Causing among the population an increasing hatred of men in camouflage and fueling anger towards any volunteers from President Poroshenko and the leaders of security structures.
The second story. On Friday, SBU spetsnaz conducted an operation to apprehend a gang that robbed banks in the Zaporozhye region. They were lured to the woods following an armored bank van. Two attackers were killed – a citizen of Latvia (he was taken out by a sniper, he didn’t even have time to shoot the guards) and a citizen of Russia (heavily wounded, he died on Saturday in a hospital), two wounded were arrested, and another two managed to escape. One of them – “Azov” battalion fighter.
All these people have been fighting in Donbass from the very first months of the war. Well trained, they went on raids in the rearguard of the enemy for several days. During the truce or trench warfare, they could not find themselves, went from unit to unit and resorted to crime.
The key in this story is the mention of “Azov”. The killed citizen of Latvia, as well as a Russian citizen, once were well regarded fighters in the ranks of “Azov”. Another attacker had served in the regiment until the last day.
The hot heads from the top levels of government called to send spetsnaz to Urzuf and storm the “Azov” base in search of evidence. In Kiev airport two airplanes were on standby.
Former regiment commander Andrey Biletsky urgently flew to the location at night in order to prevent provocations and to calm his hot heads.
People in the know knew that to attack “Azov” base is insane. Sober people know that the regiment had all legal grounds not to let the investigators even from the military prosecutor’s office for several days. Remember how long the military prosecutors could not cope with a small “Tornado” battalion. Compared to them “Azov” is a combat division.
Minister of internal affairs Arsen Avakov was not in Kiev – he left on vacation.
But we must command the head of the SBU Vasily Gritsak and deputy Andrey Biletsky. One had the presence of mind and patience not to bring the situation to a bloody absurd, the second was smart enough to separate a brother from a criminal.
SBU often uses “Azov” at the front as storm troops, perhaps this is why a common ground has been found in this scandalous situation.
Investigators were quietly allowed inside the base to perform their work. SBU leadership acted surprisingly competent, even better than the commanders of National guard – without hysteria, pressure and speculation on the subject of volunteer battalions.
If Biletsky only dropped a word, a crowd of young men would gather in the center of Kiev, ready to tear the enemies of Ukraine, FSB agents and the oligarchs. They would shout about betrayal, the third Maidan, the security forces who protect criminals in Donbass and harass the true patriots. But he acted like a responsible person and a commander.
“We do not leave our brothers, even the dead on the battlefield. But if the soldier crossed the red line that separates war and defense of homeland from violent crime, he will answer to the full extent of the law. Black sheep are everywhere. Of course, if the lost man is a hero and shed blood for Ukraine, we will ask for leniency towards him. [So what about the full extent of the law??? – FR] But we are not savages, we don’t defend ourselves at any cost, we defend our Homeland” – said Biletsky.
“We are not savages” is a key phrase. I can imagine how difficult was this decision for Biletsky, because it goes against the existing trend, when a man in camouflage, especially from the ATO zone, is always right and above the law.
And this example shows that when two sane people from different security agencies – the SBU and “Azov” – find a common language, no scary nonsense will happen.
Andrey Biletsky, of course, must be closely watched. He is very much progressing over the last two years and is growing, but his radical Nazi youth sometimes surfaces. But we can distinguish a mistaken responsible patriot from a crook and opportunist.
And we must follow suit of such volunteers as Azov’s Biletsky or Peacemaker’s [Mirotvorets] Teteruk, and not those strange people in camouflage, who at this moment block the work of anti-corruption prosecutors at the Solomensky district court in Kiev.
The aftermath of every criminal episode involving members of volunteer battalions in Ukraine is the same: SBU spetsnaz is called up, sometimes followed by an armed stand-off at a particular battalion headquarters, which only illustrates that these battalions are nothing but gangs under patriotic colors, consisting of nothing but thugs and criminals. – KK
The important info is midway down the article.
From Fort Russ
April 28, 2016
Translated by Kristina Kharlova
‘Space’ Transcarpathian die-hard Zoryan Shkiryak kind of reminds me with his ‘spirituality’ of the former Kiev mayor Leonid Chernovitsky, commonly known as Lyonya Kosmos [“Space” – FR]. It seems to me that some ‘astral’ resemblance is obvious:
|“Zoryan Shkiryak took his girlfriend to Nepal, and what have you done?”|
In addition, Shkiryak also has some problems with biography. If Lenya Cosmos was a member of a religious sect and kissed the hands (perhaps not only) of a black American pastor, Shkiryak is also deeply esoterical and, it seems, is also connected with the cosmos. And his biography, although it is written perfectly in places where people usually look for incriminating evidence online, evokes clear suspicions of those who were not made yesterday.
|Comments: Manufactured suspicious biography; Shkiryak was identified by drug rehab nurses|
Overall the public has long agreed that Shkiryak is Avakov’s stooge, and was created just for filling certain positions in the government as a plug. The people of Ukraine could judge his performance by operation “SOS in Nepal” or, for example, fire liquidation at the oil depot near Kiev. To consider Shkiryak a politically autonomous figure does not make sense, despite his six pack and yoga hobby. This man has not yet achieved anything better. In four words about this person: Shkiryak, six pack, yoga, Avakov.
And when this man, formerly head of Ukraine’s Ministry of Emergency Situations, and now adviser and sometimes the mouthpiece of Avakov, suddenly says that certain law enforcement officers in Odessa will open fire if they see a weapon in the hands of some provocateur, I would treat these words seriously, given the recent appearance in Odessa of 300 “Azov” fighters (nick-named “Manure” by the people).
Perhaps Skiryak was talking about them when referring to “law enforcement”, and not the local ball-less militsia-police, which entirely discredited itself on May 2, 2014, and will be a disgrace of Odessa for a long time, no matter how they justify themselves.
“I want to cool the hot heads of those, who possibly want to use this situation and this anniversary to destabilize the domestic situation, that our units, which will be and already are in full combat readiness in the event of such attempts, will act harshly and uncompromisingly. Moreover, God forbid, if such provocateurs possess weapons, the reaction of law enforcement will be adequate, that is they will shoot to kill, – he said”
Against the background of the upcoming anniversary of the tragedy on May 2nd, traditional victory celebration of May 9, the confrontation between the governor and the mayor, which recently ended a temporary victory for mayor, but was the excuse to deploy 300 armed Avakov’s thugs to Odessa, subordinate to the rabid Georgian [Saakashvili – FR] with orders to shoot to kill, May in Odessa promises to be very ‘hot’. Perhaps, for the mayor and his team, which many still consider old school pro-Russian, this May will become the last in every sense. Radicals, Kiev residents and their curators from the CIA have long proven that they are versed in the art of arranging provocations with a bloody finale aimed to overthrow someone and crush resistance. And no wonder they already write in social networks that “The Trade Unions building was burned down, and now it’s time to burn the city hall”. I have long been accustomed to believe such promises of the Nazis:
Odessans, you’ve already lost your city when I for the first time on April 16, 2014 declared the Odessa People’s Republic online and called for you to block roads. You lost your city the second time on May 2, 2014. Now issues are resolved not as then, with bats and stones, but automatic weapons and heavy machine guns on armored cars. The stakes have increased and if you have nothing to resist the arms of “Manure”, I would recommend all of you to go away for “shahliki” [traditional Russian weekend getaway at a dacha (summer house) in grandma’s village with kebab (shashliki) as a featured dish – FR] for the entire May holidays or stock up on popcorn for those who stay in the city and watch the events. Any civil disobedience actions in Odessa without a serious cover today will be just shot by the Nazis. Remember Odessa on May 2, Mariupol on May 9 and how the same “Manure” killed Russians in Donbass.
You NEED to BELIEVE the Nazis who promise to shoot you!
Geoffrey Pyatt: “But I will say to you, I think Mariupol is already the most important symbol of resilience and unity of Ukrainian governments.
I think history will record that this is the city where the Novorossiya project was stopped dead.
And it should also be the city which shows to all the people of Donbass the advantages that come with peace, unity, and stability.”
From Fort Russ
From Fort Russ
December 3, 2015 –
Translated for Fort Russ by J. Arnoldski
“Biletsky: Azov is ready to fight against the Russians in Syria”
Fighters of the Azov regiment are ready to be sent to Syria and participate in combat operations on the side of the Western coalition. The founder of the regiment, Andrey Biletsky, stated this on November 26 live on channel 112 Ukraine.
“Given the cooling of relations with Russia and given the fact that there are clashes between Russian and Turkish interests in Syria, it is perfectly logical for Turkey to seek contacts from Ukraine, as this would be logical for Ukraine as well. I can assure you that, for example, Azov could perfectly carry out this function of collecting a foreign legion and sending it to Syria to fight, roughly speaking, for the Western coalition. And we could work against the Russians on a new field while we have a ceasefire once again which is good for Donbass,” Biletsky said.
The presenter, Vasily Golovanov, after listening to the guest, asked what he had in mind: a fight alongside Russia or a struggle against Russia. Golovanov assumed that Biletsky spoke about a fight against the Russian Federation.
“Of course, that’s the point,” Biletsky said to the assumption of Golovanov.
We recall that earlier parliamentary deputy Anton Gerashchenko demanded that data be collected about Russian pilots participating in operations against the Islamic State in Syria.
“Ukrainian neo-Nazis discuss the creation of a private military corporation which would strike Russia in Syria”
Striking Russia across the world is in the interests of the Ukrainian state. Such is the opinion of the leader of the neo-Nazi Social-National Assembly, deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, and commander of the volunteer regiment Azov, Andrey Biletsky, as expressed in an interview with the portal “Left Bank.”
“We have a dream which is not yet possible to implement – we want to create a private military corporation,” Biletsky reported,” Believe me, all these private military corporations are now only in name ‘private,’ but in fact are agents of state interests in foreign policy. And now it is in the interests of the Ukrainian state to strike Russia everywhere, wherever it is. This includes in Syria. If we do not want to do this on a state level, then we can do it on the level of an official private military corporation. In the world, official private military corporations with jet aircraft and tanks exist. In America, it is one of the fastest growing businesses. China has now also gone onto the private military corporation market and invests crazy money in it. This means that China is preparing to become an active player in geopolitics. A private military corporation is one means of leverage and influence, as engaging an army directly is not in trend now. In Ukraine, there are many soldiers who understand the historical character of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia…”
On March 17, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted in favor of a bill submitted by Poroshenko on admitting foreign servicemen for multinational exercises in Ukraine in 2015.
This bill violates the Minsk agreements. These actions by the United States and by Ukraine violate the Minsk agreements.
From Rick Rozoff
March 30, 2015
U.S. army personnel to train National Guardsmen in Lviv region
On April 20, U.S. army personnel will arrive at Yavoriv training ground in Lviv region to participate in a joint military exercise with National Guard of Ukraine personnel, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has said.
“American commandos, numbering 290, will come to Yavoriv training ground, Lviv region, on April 20. This is where a long-term military exercise of 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team of the U.S. Army and combat units of the National Guard will be held,” he wrote on Facebook on Sunday.
Avakov said that 900 guardsmen will participate in the exercise.
“Three parts with 300 national guardsmen each. Three parts for eight weeks each. Then the joint exercise [will be held],” he said.
According to Avakov, the following battalions will take part in the exercise – Azov [Right Sector], Kulchynsky Yahuar (jaguar), Omega, and others from Kyiv, Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, Odesa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Vinnytsia.
“Our American partners will present special ammunition and communication devices to the National Guard detachments that underwent training at the end of the exercise,” he said.
Avakov also said that preparative work between the Cabinet of Ministers and the National Guard had been completed.
“I’m grateful to Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, and the employees of U.S. embassy in Ukraine. Without their vigor, the important and complicated preparation of training would have been impossible,” Avakov said, and he added that the agreement on the military exercise had been reached during negotiations between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden.
On March 17, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted in favor of a bill submitted by Poroshenko on admitting foreign servicemen for multinational exercises in Ukraine in 2015.
On March 22, U.S. Department of Defense reported it was taking the necessary measures to organize the military exercises, and that it would dispatch U.S. army personnel to Ukraine to train National Guard personnel
In keeping with the scheduled exercises, the Yavoriv district in Lviv region will host the Ukraine-U.S. Fearless Guardian 2015 drills scheduled for March through November 2015. Up to 2,200 servicemen will participate: up to 200 Armed Forces of Ukraine personnel, up to 1,000 National Guard of Ukraine personnel, and up to 1,000 U.S. Armed Forces personnel.
From July to October 2015, the international center for peacekeeping and security in Yavoriv district in Lviv region will host the Ukrainian-U.S. Saber Guardian/Rapid Trident 2015 exercises. The total number of participants will be up to 2,100 servicemen. This will include 1,000 Armed Forces of Ukraine personnel, 500 U.S. Armed Forces personnel, and up to 600 from NATO member states and countries participating in the Partnership for Peace program.
Servicemen from the 173rd Sky Soldiers airborne brigade stationed in Vicenza, Italy, will be sent to Ukraine to train six National Guard companies with an emphasis on domestic security and territorial defense, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren had said.
He said that the training program is part of a long-term strategy to improve Ukraine’s defense potential and capabilities, and to increase the professionalism of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
According to Warren, the program will be similar to the ones held in Ukraine since 1995, and he added that the United States was holding joint exercises with parties and allies in Europe, and also throughout the world.
Posted on Fort Russ, January 1, 2015
Vauro Senesi for Fatto Quotidiano
Translated from Italian by Tom Winter
Tr.: I get so fed up with talking heads who know nothing but what our State Department feeds them. Read this. Share it. An Italian journalist reports on his tour of Lugansk. I translated it through tears.
“They have the Swastika on their uniform, how is it possible that Europe supports them?”
The Daily has published reports of Vauro Senesi from the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk, a place where the local population is being, on a daily basis, killed by battalions of the extreme right in the service of the puppet state of Kiev. All this in the most absolute silence of the Italian media. A silence to cover up a foreign policy — that of Renzi and Mogherini — unjustifiable and compromised — to follow the United State in this mad rush to the abyss against Russia …
This article of Vauro Senesi in Fatto Quotidiano is an important exception.
On the edge of the street, areas of dirty snow compete for space with craters blackened from the explosions. “Pervomaisk,” the First of May, is written on a sign, but it, too, is riddled with shrapnel from howitzers at the entrance of this town a few kilometers from Lugansk, the capital of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Lugansk, in the russian-speaking region of Donbass. We stopped in a piazza circled by seven or eight story, square, Soviet style, apartment buildings. Their monotonous geometry is shattered, disrupted by outpourings of masonry like lava flows. One of the breaches is so big you see the other side of the building, a wall burned by fire, now the color of an overcast sky. “A mother lived there with her three kids…” Four middle-aged women come up, wrapped up against the cold. “There’s nothing left of her or her children. The explosion blew everything to bits,” one of them, Irina, says, pointing to the gaping hole. She relates this without her expression revealing any emotion. Grief, pain, fear — maybe all her emotions have been burned, reduced into rubble like the city she continues to live in.
Before the war, there were 25,000 inhabitants; now there are less than 8,000. Most have fled into Russia. There is no electricity, no running water. The power plants, the water treatment plants, all destroyed by the bombardment. “But why don’t you go, why don’t you flee?” Irina shakes her head, resigned, obstinate. “This is our land.” “But how can you survive here?” “The Cossacks bring us food when they have any.When they don’t have enough, they scant their own, for us. All this area is defended by the Cossack National Guard of the Don. “Only they think of us. Europe arms the Ukrainian Army that is bombing us. Why? We, too, were Ukrainians.”
The rattle and rumble of an engine interrupts Irina’s outburst. An old and battered pickup truck comes into the courtyard making its way slalomwise around burned-out cars, piles of trash, and piles of rubble. As if drawn by a lure, other groups of women come out from the half-ruined buildings holding baskets of bottles and canteens. The pickup stops. On the door, hand painted, is a red star and a peace sign. The driver is an aged man. Gaunt, with the face framed by a long white beard, on his hat, there is a medal of the Red Army from the Second World War. He greets the women and helps them fill bottles and canteens with drinkable water from the plastic cistern mounted on the bed of the pickup. The first line of the front is just on the other side of these buildings. A woman pushing a baby stroller with a baby in it crosses the cratered street about 50 meters from a trench protected by tree trunks, sandbags, and a position reinforced with wooden beams. There is a machine gun sticking out of it. It is the most advanced outpost of Pervomaisk, and it is manned by an armed Cossack.
Sheltered by a bombed house, there is a gazebo of plastic, below it, a bit of wood burns in a rusty barrel. It’s Roman’s turn to warm himself up. He extends his hands, numb from the cold, to the chance brazier, enjoying a bit of warmth and silence. “It’s been quiet for three days,” he says, and the hint of a smile shows through his thin blond beard that covers his cheeks. “After 32 days of being under constant artillery fire.” Roman is 28, but looks younger, despite the dark circles of weariness about the eyes, and the camouflage he wears, the Kalashnikov slung over the shoulder. He doesn’t know how long the quiet will last, he doesn’t know how much longer the war will last. “We want peace, but on our bit of land. Becoming part of Ukraine again is no longer a possibility. The Army of Ukraine has fired on their own people. There’s nothing for us but to resist to the end.” It is the Resistance Roman is talking about. “Against the Nazis over there…” He points with his arm to the line of the front. “Over there, it’s the Azov Battalion of the Ukrainian National Guard. They’ve got swastikas on their uniform. How is it possible that Europe supports them?”
Azov, Aidar, Donbass-Dnepr, Dnepr One, Dnepr Two — battalions composed of extreme right volunteers integrated into the regulars of Ukraine, and financed, like the neo-nazi group Pravij Sektor [Right Sector] by the oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, the extremely rich and powerful governor of the Dnepropetrovsk region, who, in addition to his Ukrainian passport, has Cypriot and Israeli passports. Roman smiles again saluting us with a raised fist. “No Pasaran!” – the salute of the Republicans of Spain, which, among the Cossacks, has gained a new life, and a new context and has become common.
“No Pasaran,” – Roman repeats, as if to reassure us, too. ЛЮДЫ [lyudi] written in big letters in white paint, a word, which in Russian means “People,” is written repeatedly on homes and schools, a sign that civilians, non-combatants, are there — in an attempt at protection from fire and bombardment. We see it again on the wall of a burned out house as we leave Pervomaisk to continue our voyage through the destruction towards Novosvietlavka, on the way that leads to the old airport. ЛЮДЫ, people. And it is against people, civilians, that this war seems to get carried on non-stop. We left Lugansk, went through Stakanov, Pervomaisk, and everywhere we saw schools, hospitals, factories, power plants, water pumping stations, all destroyed. Not to see a planned program of ethnic cleansing is impossible. The intent to force the People that live and survive in the region to abandon it and take refuge in Russia, leaving behind them scorched earth.
SCORCHED EARTH is what’s left of Novosvietlavka. Burned, like all the huts that composed it. The aqueduct, the House of Culture, the church, the school. On the ruins of the school, near the carcass of a yellow school bus riddled with bullets, stood the remains of a large sign, with pictures of happy boys and girls under the legend “These years of school are the most beautiful years.” Words that sound dramatically ironic in this setting. Also the hospital has been reduced to a pile of rubble. Vladimir Nikolai Svarievski, deputy mayor, tries to compose himself, apparently ashamed, though it wasn’t he that was responsible for the devastation. But he gives up the attempt and his eyes fill with tears, his mouth fills with the words of an account of the horror that seems to have no thought of coming to an end. “The militia of the Aidar battalion came through here. Lootings, shootings, mass graves, corpses desecrated.”
Few inhabitants are left in Novosvetlovka. There is an old man. “I took refuge in a basement. Four days I hid in the dark without food and water.” There, a small group of kids by a burned-out tank wait for a bus that will take them to a school ten kilometers away. “Our school was the biggest, most beautiful,” says one of them. And there are packs of dogs. “Watch out. They are dangerous.” The old man puts us on our guard. Hunger. The shock of the explosions has made them feral; they’ve become like beasts. They attack people. Beasts.