January 11, 2017 – Fort Russ Exclusive –
Translated by Jafe Arnold (J. Arnoldski)
January 11, 2017 – Fort Russ Exclusive –
Translated by Jafe Arnold (J. Arnoldski)
From Fort Russ
January 11, 2017 – Fort Russ Exclusive –
Translated by Jafe Arnold (J. Arnoldski)
August 14, 2016 –
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
Ukrainian Pravda [Ukrainian Truth]
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
From Fort Russ
From Fort Russ
Fort Russ, May 27th, 2016 by Tatzhit
Before we discuss the mindblowing-yet-ignored facts in an official report on the Maidan events written for the Council of Europe, let’s briefly discuss two more subjects:
Almost always, time dedicated to watching or reading the mainstream “news” would be better spent going through official documents and reports. Today’s theoretically “open” governments leave a lot of detailed information buried in their websites, as no one reads it anyway. Oftentimes, very interesting findings are just a couple Google searches away.
Let me repeat that: THE VAST MAJORITY OF PROTESTERS DIDN’T EVEN READ THE DOCUMENT THAT WAS SUPPOSEDLY THE MAIN REASON THEY OVERTHREW THE GOVERNMENT.
I can’t even express how crazy this is.
Let me try to explain by comparing to Russia’s Bolshevik revolution:
In 1917, even the rank-and-file members of revolutionary factions knew the key ideological points, what were the main laws/reforms their parties wanted to implement, and why. Many/most activists actually read the source material, and could competently argue economics and government policy. Political factions were formed around councils that discussed all of these things.
On the other hand, the Maidan “revolutionary” structure wasn’t built around individual groups of thinkers. The organization included fighting units, the medical branch, the food&shelter branch, a transport/car branch… But no branch concerned with analysis and making decisions. Maidan was an animal with horns, stomach and legs, but no brain. And it was largely intentionally engineered that way – by outside forces, for their gain. The same is true of many other modern social movements [note 1].
<somewhat related video on the genesis and anatomy of Maidan, part of THIS larger article – ed.>
When US President Barack Obama perpetrated his coup d’état in Ukraine in February 2014, and even had his agent Victoria Nuland select the person who was to rule Ukraine after the coup, it was with the expectation that the new government would renegotiate, and soon end, the Russian lease of the naval base at Sebastopol in Crimea, which wasn’t due to expire until 2042. (Up until 1954, that base had been in Russian territory because Crimea was part of Russia; but, after the Soviet dictator Khrushchev in 1954 arbitrarily transferred Crimea to Ukraine, and then the Soviet Union itself broke up in 1991, Russia was keeping its navy there by paying a lease on it from Ukraine.)
However, instead of the US winning control of Crimea as had been planned, the racist-fascist anti-Russian «Right Sector» forces, which Obama’s people had hired to carry out the coup in Kiev under the cover of ‘democratic’ demonstrations against the democratically elected President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych (who had received over 75% of Crimeans’ votes in the Presidential election, prior to being overthrown), terrorized Crimeans during the coup, and this terrorizing of them, simply added insult to their injury. On February 20th, Right Sector forces massacred Crimeans who were escaping from Ukraine’s capital, fleeing the rabid sentiments in Kiev against supporters of Yanukovych. Right Sector caught up with them at the town of Korsun, burned some of their buses, and murdered some of the escaping Crimeans, though most survived — some of them severely injured.
Also, early in March of 2014, shortly prior to Crimea’s referendum on whether to remain within Ukraine, a Crimean who had served in Kiev as a prosecutor in the democratically elected Ukrainian national government that had just been overthrown, and who had likewise escaped from Kiev, was now safely back home in Crimea, and did a Crimean TV interview.
This former prosecutor, Natalya Poklonskaya, took questions from the live TV audience. The interview was posted to YouTube on 12 April 2014, and, as I described it, linking to the YouTube, she proceeded there to «inform her fellow Crimeans what she had seen happen during the overthrow, and why she couldn’t, in good conscience, remain as a Ukrainian official in Kiev, and swear loyalty to the new Ukrainian Government.
She had heard the chants of the Maidan protesters and smelled their piles of burning tires, and seen their marches in Kiev with Nazi symbols and salutes, and she didn’t want to become any part of that. So, she quit and was now unemployed back home in Crimea at the time of this interview».
The Obama Administration, in planning for the coup, had polling done throughout Ukraine, and supplemented the sample in Crimea because, naturally, taking control of the Sebastopol naval base was of particular concern to Obama.
USAID and the International Republican Institute of the Republican Party (not the National Democratic Institute, because funding from them might have suggested the White House’s backing) polled 500 Crimeans, during 16-30 May 2013. As I have reported elsewhere, the first stage of preparation for the upcoming coup was already active inside the US Embassy in Kiev on 1 March 2013; and so, this was a very coordinated Obama Administration operation. (Most Washington-based accounts of the overthrow allege that it was ‘democratic’ and started after Yanukovych rejected the EU’s offer on 21 November 2013.)
On 27 December 2014, I compared the results of that Crimean poll versus the results of a poll covering all areas of the former Ukraine, which was taken, also, for the US government, but, to Obama’s inevitable disappointment, neither poll found a US-friendly, Ukraine-friendly, Russia-hostile, Crimea.
Gallup polled 500 Crimeans during May 16-30 in 2013, and found that only 15% considered themselves «Ukrainian». 24% considered themselves «Crimean». But 40% considered themselves «Russian». Even before Obama’s February 2014 coup which overthrew the Ukrainian President whom [nearly] 80% of Crimeans had voted for, the Crimean people overwhelmingly wanted to secede from Ukraine — and, especially now they did, right after the President for whom they had overwhelmingly voted, Viktor Yanukovych, had been overthrown in this extremely bloody coup. Furthermore, in April 2014, Gallup again polled Crimea, and they found that 71.3% of Crimeans viewed as «Mostly positive» the role of Russia there, and 4.0% viewed it as «Mostly negative»; by contrast, only 2.8% viewed the role of the United States there as «Mostly positive,» and a whopping 76.2% viewed it as «Mostly negative».
During the intervening year, Crimeans’ favorability toward America had plunged down to 2.8%, from its year-earlier 6%. Clearly, what Obama had done in Ukraine (his violent coup in Kiev) had antagonized the Crimeans. And, as if that weren’t enough, the 2014 poll provided yet more evidence: «The 500 people that were sampled in Crimea were asked [and this is crucial] ‘Please tell me if you agree or disagree: The results of the referendum on Crimea’s status [whether to rejoin Russia] reflect the views of most people here.’ 82.8% said ‘Agree.’ 6.7% said ‘Disagree.’»
In the hearts of the local residents, Crimea was still Russian territory, after an involuntary hiatus of 60 years; and so the Russian Government accepted them back again, into Russia – this was not as Corey Flintoff droned, «Russia’s seizure of Crimea». It was Russia’s protection of them from the invasion of Ukraine by the United States in a bloody coup.
On 20 March 2015, even Kenneth Rapoza at the anti-Russian magazine Forbes, headlined, «One Year After Russia Annexed Crimea, Locals Prefer Moscow To Kiev», and he concluded that, «Despite huge efforts on the part of Kiev, Brussels, Washington and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the bulk of humanity living on the Black Sea peninsula believe the referendum to secede from Ukraine was legit. At some point, the West will have to recognize Crimea’s right to self-rule».
However, Barack Obama refuses to accept this. After all, if he were to accept it, then he would have to terminate the anti-Russia economic sanctions he initiated on the basis of Russia’s ‘seizure’ of Crimea, and he would have to acknowledge that the massive US-led military buildup of NATO forces on Russia’s borders in order to protect against ‘Russia’s aggression’ needs to stop and, indeed, be withdrawn. But Obama doesn’t accept any of this; to do that would negate the whole purpose of his coup, and even his anti-Russian policy, including, perhaps, his refusal to cooperate with Russian forces that are trying to stamp out jihadist groups in Syria.
On 6 February 2016, I headlined «US Now Overtly at War Against Russia» and reported that both US ‘Defense’ Secretary Ashton Carter and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had announced the US was initiating a quadrupling of US troops and weaponry on Russia’s northwestern borders.
On 4 May 2016, Dmitriy Sedov headlined at Strategic Culture, «NATO to Form Allied Fleet in the Black Sea: Plans Fraught with Great Risks» and he opened: «Finally, it has become clear what the world has been set to expect from the NATO summit to be held in Warsaw on July 8-9. Summing things up, it is clear that the Alliance is moving to the east. It plans to create a Black Sea «allied fleet». It should be done quickly – the standing force should be formed by July».
Sedov closed by saying that Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko «is impatiently waiting for the July NATO summit. The event can ultimately do away with whatever is left of ‘détente’, ‘reset’ etc. and bring the world back to the days of uncompromised mutual assured destruction».
There is a backstory to that, and, naturally, it goes back to Barack Obama:
As I have previously explained, US Secretary of State John Kerry had told Poroshenko, on 12 May 2015, to stop saying that Ukraine would restart its war against the separatist Donbass region and would invade Crimea and retake that too; but, Kerry’s subordinate, Hillary Clinton’s friend Victoria Nuland, told Poroshenko to ignore her boss on that, and then US President Obama sided with Nuland and sidelined Kerry on Ukraine policy by making clear that he thought Poroshenko was right to insist upon retaking Crimea and re-invading Donbass.
In other words, the Minsk peace process for Ukraine, that had been initiated by Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande, was grudgingly accepted by Obama but he really had no intention of its being anything more than a pause in the war, after which NATO itself would become engaged in facing-down Russia over its ‘aggressive invasion’ and ‘seizure’ of Crimea.
Game’s on for World War III, is Obama’s message to Russian President Vladimir Putin. At some point, either the American side or the Russian-NATO-EU side will have to back down on the Crimea matter, or else the bombs will be release against the other. Kerry has been trying negotiation, but his real enemy is his own boss.
There is every indication that, if Hillary Clinton, a super-hawk against Russia, becomes the next US President, then the policies that Obama has been implementing will be carried out. 2016 could thus turn out to be a very fateful election in the US, and not only for the US but for the entire world.
From DONi News
The International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague started an investigation of the Ukrainian Institute of legal policy and social protection’s complaint concerning the participation of the current authorities’ representatives in murders on Maidan – the Head of the Institute, the ex-deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Irina Berezhnaya.
The International Criminal Court in the Hague started an investigation of our complaint concerning the participation of members of the current Ukrainian authorities in massacre on Maidan.
She explained that the court would consider some episodes, in particular, the cases on the first dead on “Maidan” and an attempt of the deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Sergey Pashinsky to bring away a sniper rifle without being seen, and also the shooting of participants of “Maidan” and law enforcement authorities by the unknown snipers on February 20, 2014.
Berezhnaya has also published the letter from the International Criminal Court in a social network with a promise to consider the complaint quickly.
DONi News Agency
24 Feb, 2016
Nous sommes dans un petit village du Donbass, entre Gorlovka et Jdanovka, l’endroit est sinistre, les routes sont défoncées, une lada s’approche traînant une remorque dont les deux roues sont crevées et font un bruit mou et étrange car il n’y a aucun chemin bitumé dans le village. Le temps qui se réchauffe a transformé le lieu en un cloaque, de petites maisons pauvres et biscornues sont alignées, c’est là pourtant aussi le Donbass, entre la riche capitale de Donetsk, avec ses monuments, ses théâtres et ses universités et puis ici ce village qui est comme agrippé sur un flanc de colline. Seul le soleil d’une fin de journée froide vient atténuer cette impression.
Natalia ouvre la porte de son logis, il est très modeste. Elle peut avoir 35 ans, une femme simple. Elle était serveuse dans le café de son mari dans la ville voisine de Jdanovka. Un établissement construit après un dur labeur, une vie tranquille, un petit garçon de sept ans, c’était il y a deux ans bientôt. Et puis le Maïdan est arrivé, Natalia raconte : « je n’y prêtais pas attention, nous étions au travail, mais j’étais inquiète et mon mari qui avait 40 ans était de plus en plus en colère sur ce qui se passait en Ukraine. Il a été l’un des premiers à participer en dehors de son travail aux meetings contre le Maïdan, c’était en février 2014 et puis étape après étape il a été de plus en plus actif. J’avais peur et je lui disais que je pensais que c’était dangereux, qu’il était papa, mais il pensait que la chose la plus importante était de défendre notre terre, nos libertés. Je ne peux pas dire qu’il n’avait pas raison, mais j’avais peur pour nous et pour lui et je sentais que quelque chose de terrible allait se passer».
Elle continue son histoire, je sens son émotion et aussi ses difficultés à s’exprimer, elle n’ose pas me regarder et fixe Evguéni, membre du syndicat qui s’occupe des soldats blessés, des veuves de guerre, des familles des soldats. Son mari s’engage parmi les premiers dans les rangs des insurgés, ils n’ont au départ aucune arme. Evguéni raconte : « nous n’avions aucune arme, mais en face de nous, nous savions qu’il y avait des conscrits de l’Armée ukrainienne, des tout jeunes pas motivés et qui ne savaient pas du tout ce qu’ils faisaient ici, alors il n’a pas été difficile d’en désarmer un grand nombre, de s’emparer de leurs armes, de rassembler tout ce que nous pouvions trouver dans notre entourage et c’est ainsi que nous avons commencé à nous défendre, nous n’avions rien mais nous avions la foi en notre juste cause et nous n’avions pas peur, nous aurions peut-être dû mais quand vous savez que ce que vous faites est juste vous ne pensez pas au danger ».
Le mari de Natalia avec les insurgés de la région participe à la bataille de Jdanovka, les forces ukrainiennes s’enfoncent alors partout dans le Donbass, les bataillons spéciaux de néonazis ne tardent pas à les renforcer et les combats deviennent de jour en jour plus durs. La ville est prise par les Ukrainiens, lui et ses camarades creusent alors des tranchées et construisent des positions de fortunes aux alentours, ils reprendront bientôt la ville. Il est tué un jour du mois de juillet, emporté par un obus d’artillerie, laissant donc une veuve et un orphelin. Evguéni poursuit : « tant de mes camarades sont morts, et maintenant je me dois d’aider leurs familles, j’ai dû aller leur annoncer la mort de leur fils ou de leur mari ou père, j’ai vu les pleurs et je vis désormais avec cette question : pourquoi pas moi aussi ? J’espère que je ne survivrai pas moi-même à cette guerre, car toute ma vie je vais devoir faire face à ces femmes et ces familles et dans les regards je sentirai toujours cette question, pourquoi je n’y suis pas resté avec eux ? ». Cette déclaration est terrible, je ne sais que répondre à cet homme courageux, un ancien entrepreneur en bâtiment, je lis dans son regard bleu la douleur et aussi les convictions, car il reste bien entendu convaincu qu’ils devaient défendre leur liberté.
Natalia ne s’éloigne pas sans que je lui confie un peu d’argent, il s’agit de 10 000 roubles, de l’argent que les Français de mon réseau m’ont confié avant de partir et que mois après mois je distribue là où je sens qu’il est nécessaire. Natalia ne perçoit aucune aide, son mari a été tué alors qu’il n’y avait aucune structure militaire, il n’est pas jusqu’à présent considéré comme « mort au champ d’honneur », une des très nombreuses victimes anonymes de la guerre, un oublié. Les démarches sont en cours, mais l’affaire est longue, il faut des témoins, des certificats, des documents et la plupart sont morts dans son unité de volontaires. Elle ne rentre dans aucune catégorie, reçoit toutefois de l’aide précieuse de la Fédération de Russie, un tout petit peu d’autres fonds mais ce sont les voisins et des gens comme Evguéni qui l’aident le plus. Sans revenu, avec un enfant, sans travail, elle survit dans cet endroit oublié de Dieu. Evguéni m’indique alors qu’il y en a d’autres dans le Donbass… je frémis à cette idée, combien sont-elles ?
Lorsque j’annonce la somme, Natalia s’effondre, elle pleure, Evguéni me racontera qu’il ne l’aura vu pleurer que deux fois, le jour où il fut obligé de lui annoncer la mort de son mari, et en ce jour. Ce n’est pas tant l’argent, mais surtout la situation désespérée où elle se débat avec son enfant, il est d’ailleurs malade et elle refusera de nous laisser l’approcher, du moins pour le moment, je comprends d’ailleurs très bien sa gêne. Nous quittons l’endroit, je n’ai pas de mots rassurants à lui dire, alors quand je lui tends les bras, nous nous serrons, je n’ai aucune autre réaction, nous n’aurons que quelques mots pour se dire au revoir, comment pourrais-je atténuer sa douleur, comment pourrais-je lui souhaiter du bonheur. Sur le chemin du retour nous nous arrêtons. C’est la tombe d’un autre volontaire, non loin du village de Rozovka. Encore un insurgé tué, ses camarades de combat lui ont offert un monument, non loin des tranchées où il a péri. Dans le village, il y a une autre tombe. Le soldat repose en plein milieu du village, sur la place centrale, une couronne fraîche orne sa tombe, il n’y a qu’une croix, même pas une stèle ou une butte de terre. C’est aussi cela l’agression ukrainienne, des hommes venus apporter le malheur et la mort à des gens qui voulaient et qui veulent être libres.
Laurent Brayard pour DONi.Press
From Fort Russ
Laurent BRAYARD, in DONiPRESS, February 24, 2016
Translated from French by Tom Winter