UAVs prohibited by Minsk agreements; Lugansk shoots down armed Ukrainian sabotage drone, April 21

From Fort Russ

By Tom Winter
April 21, 2018

Lugansk, Novorosinform. On Saturday, April 21, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was shot down by the anti-aircraft defense unit of the People’s Militia of the People’s Republic of Lugansk near Lugansk City. This is stated in an urgent statement by the defense ministry’s spokesman Andrei Marochko.

“In addition to reconnaissance functions, Ukrainian terrorists intended to use a drone to conduct sabotage against objects of socially important infrastructure in the territory of the People’s Republic of Lugansk. After the inspection of the apparatus, our specialists concluded that the apparatus was converted into a shock device and carried a military charge,” a representative of the People’s Militia said.

“We would like to remind you that a number of large-scale events are taking place on the territory of the republic with a large number of personnel. Including, preparations for the celebration of the 73 anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War,” he added.

“Currently, our specialists continue working on the Ukrainian UAV. I want to remind you that this is the second drone shot down by the air defense forces of the People’s Militia since the beginning of April. I remind you that the use of unmanned aerial vehicles is prohibited by Minsk agreements,” Marachko added.

Recall that the Ukrainian troops on the night of April 17 shelled the staging area for the military equipment, which was prepared to participate in the parade on the Victory Day in the People’s Republic of Lugansk. As a result of the bombardment, a tank from the Great Patriotic War, which was to take part in the Victory Day parade on May 9, plus four units of the military equipment of the People’s Militia of the People’s Republic of Lugansk, were damaged. The people’s militia accused the OSCE of being involved in the shelling of military equipment for the Victory Day parade.

At the end of March, militiamen of the Donetsk People’s Republic shot down a Polish Fly Eye drone. It was spotting for Ukrainian mortar fire on the village of Sakhanka in the south of the republic.

On March 27, the strategic unmanned aerial vehicle RQ-4B-30 Global Hawk of the US Air Force conducted reconnaissance along the front line in the Donbass.

https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/04/lugansk-shoots-down-armed-ukrainian-sabotage-drone/

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What’s brewing? British, American, Canadian advisers arrive in Donbass

From Fort Russ

February 4 , 2018 – FRN –

RT Russian – translated by Inessa Sinchougova

 

Citing intelligence sources, the representative of Donetsk, Eduard Basurin, has stated that British instructors have arrived in the Donbass, at the locations of the Ukrainian Forces.
“In the area of 93rd separate mechanized brigade in the vicinity of the city of Volnovaha, a group of foreign instructors has arrived – led by a representative of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, for the purpose of training of Ukrainian servicemen on how to carry out sabotage and subversive activities,” said Basurin.
“In addition to the British, from February 5th to the 9th, a delegation of the US military will join the Brits. They will assess the expenditure of funds that Washington has allocated to the army.”
The DPR stressed that rotation of the Ukrainian military has been completed in the Mariupol district. The marines which came to replace the infantry brigade have participated in the NATO exercises in Georgia in September 2017.
“It is possible that the commander of the 36th Marine Brigade will give an order in the near future to carry out provocative actions and practice the skills gained” said Basurin.
Experts admit that the arrival of foreign instructors directly to the region may indicate possible plans for the escalation of the situation. The director of the Center for Strategic Studies, Ivan Konovalov stated that “the essence of what is happening is that the training of servicemen of the Armed Forces and soldiers of the National Guard was so far, carried out in zones away from the so-called ATO. And now they decided to change the format and conduct training in conditions that are close to combat. We can assume that they will conduct local combat operations of a sabotage character, to check the preparedness of their men. ” said Konovalov.
The same opinion is held by the vice-president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Vladimir Anokhin, who believes that Kiev is planning a major offensive operation in the region.
“There are a number of factors that can be used to judge that Ukraine is preparing for large-scale hostilities – possibly late February or early March. This may well be related to the elections in Russia, ” the expert said.
Note that the UK launched a training program for the Ukrainian military under the name “Orbital” in February 2015. Then it sent 75 military doctors to the country, who provide medical help on the ground. In July 2017 Orbital was extended until 2018. During this time, about 6 thousand Ukrainian soldiers were trained in its framework.
In addition to Britain, Canadian specialists who come to the country within the framework of NATO’s Unifer mission are also training Ukrainian soldiers. In March last year it was reported that 200 instructors had arrived from Canada. The US has recently spent $ 22 million to equip a military training center near Lviv, to accommodate the new training programme.
Overall, there are currently an estimated 900 foreign instructors and foreign mercenaries in the Ukraine.
“We know of about 129 instructors from the United States, Canada, Turkey, Algeria, Lithuania, Latvia, Britain, who coordinate the actions of the Ukrainian units,” said Basurin.
In addition to the above, about 500 people are part of the Georgian National Legion and the Hungarian Battalion Magyar. He also noted that there are about 200 people belonging to international private military companies.

NATO-trained and armed foreign mercenaries deploy against Donbass to back Kiev regime

March 10, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– TzVezda – Translated by James Harmon

Several hundred foreign fighters were deployed to the line of contact in the Donbass, reporters learned at a briefing with spokesman of the People’s Militia of independant Lugansk People’s Republic, Andrei Marochko.
“According to available information, in the settlements located near the line of contact, several hundred mercenaries from Canada, the Baltic states, Poland and Georgia, armed with small arms and light armored vehicles were deployed” – said the representative of the People’s Militia.
According to Marochko, in various localities, placement of field mercenaries in field camps, where foreign military instructors train soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. They are armed with small arms, via NATO’s “unofficial” support.
Marochko said that mercenaries are preparing snipers whom are taught to perform conducting sweeps in urban environments, as well as training of subterfuge operation groups engaged in sabotage, which are planned to send later into the Donbass.

The real meaning behind Putin’s “Ukrainian terrorism” speech

“…We also see the recent serious flare-up in southeast Ukraine. This escalation pursues the clear aim of preventing the Minsk Agreements from going ahead. The current Ukrainian authorities are obviously not seeking a peaceful solution to this very complex problem and have decided to opt for the use of force instead. What is more, they speak openly about organising sabotage and terrorism, particularly in Russia. Obviously, this is a matter of great concern…”

Vladimir Putin’s speech at meeting of Federal Security Service Board, February 16, 2017
http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53883

From Fort Russ

February 18, 2017 – Fort Russ –
Rostislav Ishchenko, RIA Analytics – translated by J. Arnoldski –
February 16, 2017

On Thursday, February 16th, at the annual meeting of the Collegium of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), Vladimir Putin drew particular attention to the situation in South-East Ukraine. According to the president, Ukrainian authorities are deliberately aggravating the situation in the conflict zone in Donbass in order to disrupt the Minsk Agreements and are betting on a military solution to the problem.
The head of state also emphasized that the Kiev authorities “are openly speaking of the organization of sabotage and terroristic, subversive work, including in Russia.”
A signal to the West
It is clear that anti-terrorist and counter-intelligence work lies at the heart of the FSB’s operations. But it is also clear that such statements by the president, by being made public, were aimed primarily at an external audience.
After all, the FSB leadership can be instructed in secret. Moreover, no one doubts that since the very beginning of the civil war in Ukraine, the FSB has followed attempts to spill the war over into Russian territory. Since 2014, the press has periodically been given information on the arrest of both Ukrainian and Russian citizens caught trying to conduct intelligence reconnaissance on the territory of Russia in the interests of Kiev, as well as prepare terrorist attacks.
Thus, the president’s statement was intended not for a Russian, but for a foreign audience. But this audience is not Ukrainian. If there was a desire to appeal to the Ukrainian government, then this would be done through diplomatic channels. And this statement is also not a threat of military response to Ukrainian provocations. Otherwise it would have been made at the collegium of the Ministry of Defense of Security Council.
The choice of place and format for this statement clearly indicates that it is a signal sent to our Western partners. 
 
The FSB has great capacity for conducting counter-terrorist operations. It should be noted that preventative actions against terrorists and their masterminds are one of the main work components of the FSB not necessarily limited to Russian territory.
Sure, their operations on the territory of another state are limited by stringent conditions. In order for preventative counter-terrorism measures on a foreign territory to be justified from the point of view of international law, the concerned state must either be in a state of war or have suffered an unprovoked attack. 
There is yet another scenario which is enshrined at the level of the UN Security Council: the loss by an acting government of control over territory from which terrorist activities are being conducted. This scenario is not relevant in this case, however, insofar as the international community does not consider the Kiev government to be incapable of controlling the situation on the territory of Ukraine.
Yet to this day Kiev has explained away all sorts of provocations against Russia, including bloody ones (in Crimea) as the independent initiatives of individuals and refused to recognize their belonging to Ukraine’s security agencies. Russia’s reaction, however, has been limited to diplomatic protests, documenting the facts of provocations, collecting evidence on the involvement of Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR), SBU, and General Staff in them, and presenting these reports to relevant international organizations.
State Terrorism
Apparently, a critical mass of facts has been collected and a second aspect – international law – is now going to be activated. 

Another explosion shuts down power to Crimea. What about the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant?

Last month, sabotage shut down power to the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant, which has 3 reactors. [1] This newest sabotage to the grid happened on December 30, 2015.

From Sputnik News January 1, 2016

Crimeans Ready to Endure Power Shortages to Remain Part of Russia – Poll

Over 90% of the residents of Crimea are ready to endure power shortages to ensure that their contract from Ukraine’s state energy company defines their peninsula to be legally part of Russia, a poll by post-Soviet Russia’s oldest polling institute has revealed.

On Wednesday [December 30, 2015], Crimea once again faced the disruption of its power supplies, authorities in Ukraine’s neighboring Kherson region confirming that an ‘explosion’ had damaged an electricity pylon. The abrupt cutoff coincided with the expiry of a contract for the supply of electricity from Ukraine to the peninsula. 

In late November, Crimean Tatar radicals and Right Sector militants had set up an ‘electricity blockade‘ of the peninsula, leaving Crimea almost completely without power until the first leg of the Russian energy bridge stretching across the Kerch Strait was completed, and supplies from Ukraine restored in early December.

Sevastopol Limits Use of Electricity Due to Ukraine Supply Cut http://sputniknews.com/russia/20151230/1032521228/sevastopol-power-cut.html

In response to the latest cut, Russian authorities instructed the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM), one of the country’s largest and most respected polling institutions, to conduct a poll of Crimeans’ views on the prospects for a new electricity supply contract with Ukraine.

The telephone poll, conducted between New Year’s Eve and January 1st, asked 3,025 residents two questions.

The first asked whether Crimeans would support signing a contract on the provision of electricity if the document were to read that Crimea and Sevastopol were ‘integral parts of Ukraine’, something which authorities in Kiev have insisted on. The second asked whether they would be ready to suffer energy shortages for the following three to four months if an energy deal with Ukraine could not be reached, while Russia completes the next leg of its energy bridge in the spring, allowing for the peninsula’s complete energy independence.

A resounding 93.1% of respondents said that they would not support a contract which stated that their peninsula was part of Ukraine, with 6.2% saying that they would support such a contract, and 0.7% finding it difficult to answer.

As to the second question, 94% of those polled said that they would be willing to endure energy shortages if a contract with Ukraine could not be reached, with another 5.4% saying that they would not, and 0.6% finding it difficult to answer.

The poll’s findings roughly match the results of a referendum held on the peninsula in March 2014, in the aftermath of the Maidan coup d’état in Kiev, after which the coup’s leaders publically threatened Russian-speakers in the east and south of the country. The referendum saw 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of the residents of Sevastopol voting to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation, with Russian President Vladimir Putin ratifying the peninsula’s reunification with Russia on March 18, 2014.

http://sputniknews.com/russia/20160101/1032587226/crimea-electricity-shortages-poll.html

[1] http://www.fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/12/ukraine-on-brink-of-nuclear-disaster.html

Russia starts supplying power to Crimea

From NHK World, Japan
12-3-15

Russia has started to supply electricity to Crimea as large-scale blackouts continue in the peninsula.

Crimea was annexed by Russia in March of last year.

It has been suffering blackouts since November 22nd. Ukrainian activists who oppose the annexation are suspected of blowing up electricity pylons in Ukraine.

The Russian government has declared a state of emergency and is working to repair the power lines.

Russia began supplying electricity on Wednesday after workers partially completed the construction of undersea cables connected to Crimea via the Black Sea, ending its reliance on Ukraine.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who is visiting Crimea, said the start of power supplies is significant in securing electricity for the peninsula. He urged workers to speed up building other cables.

Russian media report that about 900,000 people in Crimea were without electricity as of Wednesday. Water supplies are also restricted.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak says power from Russia only covers 60 percent of that needed so far.

The Russian government plans to begin supplying power through another cable this month.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20151203_31.html

NOTE: “Activists” blow up electricity pylons? No, that’s terrorism. “Crimea annexed by Russia”, with no mention of the Crimean referendum to rejoin Russia overwhelmingly approved.

Washington wastes no time to sabotage Minsk

By Finian Cunningham
Posted on Strategic Culture Foundation, February 14, 2015

With their noses out of joint and egos bruised, the United States and its European lieutenants immediately got to work to undermine the Minsk ceasefire deal by twisting the terms of the accord and seeking to frame Russia for its imminent failure.

A Washington Post headline set the pace with this headline hours after the Minsk negotiations wrapped up in the Belarus capital. ‘Putin announces ceasefire with Ukraine,’ declared the Post, mendaciously implicating Russia as a protagonist in the year-old conflict, which, it is inferred, is now suing for a peace settlement.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, along with trusty British and Polish allies, warned Russia of more sanctions if the Minsk truce was not «fully implemented».

«The United States is prepared to consider rolling back sanctions on Russia when the Minsk agreements of September 2014, and now this agreement, are fully implemented,» Kerry said in a statement.

In other words, Washington is still peddling the hoary narrative that Moscow is an aggressor and is to blame for the conflict. Rolling back sanctions «when» Minsk is «fully implemented» is the US giving itself a licence to covertly sabotage the ceasefire at every turn and to maintain its unwarranted sanctions on Russia, as well as following up on promised supply of weapons to the Kiev regime.

There seems little doubt that the Americans are reeling from the diplomatic coup that Russian President Vladimir Putin pulled off in Minsk this week, along with German and French leaders, Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande.

Amid threats from the US last week that it was going to flood Ukraine with more heavy weapons, Putin and his European counterparts managed to broker a ceasefire to the conflict after marathon 17-hour negotiations. The truce is to be implemented this weekend and, it has to be said, constitutes only a slim prospect of bringing the civil war in Ukraine to a halt. It is fraught with many thorny issues, such as withdrawal of fighting units on both sides and the accepted definition of a demarcation line. The autonomous status of the separatist Donbas region is also far from clear, or whether Kiev is prepared to follow up with mutual negotiations with the breakaway ethnic Russian population.

Nevertheless, the mere agreement, in principle, by the Kiev regime and the pro-separatist rebels of the eastern Ukrainian region is a welcome chance for a cessation in violence that has cost nearly 5,500 lives and more than one million refugees. That Putin, along with Merkel and Hollande, managed to achieve this tentative breakthrough is something of a feat in diplomatic skills and commitment. The development also tends to negate the official Western narrative that purports to paint Russia as an aggressor and threat to European peace.

The Minsk deal properly frames the conflict as a civil war between the Kiev regime and the Donbas separatists, which Russia is trying to dampen by acting as a facilitator of negotiations between the warring sides.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was on the mark when he said after the Minsk talks that Russia is a guarantor of the peace deal, not a party obliged to fulfil its implementation. He reiterated that Moscow is not a participant in the conflict, as Western media have, and continue, to assert.

«Russia is the country that was called by the parties of the conflict,» said Peskov. «This is the country that called on the parties of the conflict to sign a complex of measures to fulfil the Minsk agreements. But Russia is not one of the parties to fulfil these measures. This is the country that is acting as the guarantor, that comes forward with a call, but, obviously, it’s not a party that needs to take any actions for [the fulfilment]. We simply can’t do this physically because Russia is not a participant in the conflict,» added the Kremlin spokesman.

It was left to the British premier David Cameron and the ex-Polish president Donald Tusk to undermine the latest Minsk chance for peace by casting aspersions on Russia and re-framing the conflict as one of external aggression on Ukraine.

Cameron talked, with typical British haughtiness, of Putin needing to change his behaviour, while Tusk added to the narrative of demonising the Russian leader by insinuating that he is not trustworthy.

Cameron, speaking at an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, said: «If this is a genuine ceasefire, then of course that would be welcome. But what matters most of all is actually actions on the ground rather than just words on a piece of paper. I think we should be very clear that Putin needs to know that unless his behaviour changes, the sanctions we have in place won’t be altered.»

Tusk, who is now the European Council President, said: «If [the Minsk agreement] does not happen we will not hesitate to take the necessary steps. Our trust in the goodwill of President Putin is limited. This is why we have to maintain our decision on sanctions.»

Given that the Western-backed Kiev regime has serially violated past ceasefires, which led to the latest escalation of violence, it would be naive to expect that the latest peace bid will be honoured. The Kiev junta has been emboldened to prosecute its criminal war against the Donbas population because of the unswerving political, financial and military support that Washington has indulged. Massive, systematic war crimes by Kiev have been whitewashed and absolved by Washington with spurious, unfounded claims of «Russian aggression».

This is because the US-backed regime-change operation in Ukraine that brought the Kiev junta to power last February is fundamentally predicated on Washington’s long-term objective of destabilising Russia. That is why the prospects of a ceasefire being implemented are something of an oxymoron. A peace settlement in Ukraine would only be an impediment to Washington’s geopolitical objective of undermining Russia.

The criminal regime in Kiev has become something of a specialist in committing false flag terrorist atrocities, which it and its Western sponsors then duly attribute to «Russian-backed rebels». The massacre in Donetsk on January 21, in Mariupol on January 24, and this week in Kramatorsk, in which up to 17 people were killed from Smerch rockets, have all the hallmarks of false-flag operations perpetrated by the US-backed, trained and equipped Kiev regime forces.

In the Kramatorsk incident, on the eve of the Minsk summit, the Kiev regime claimed that the Smerch rockets were fired from separatist-held Gorlovka, which is 80 kilometres away, and the outer limit of the munition’s range. The separatists denied the attack, saying that they do not target civilian areas. Hours after the massacre, Kiev President Petro Poroshenko arrived in Kramatorsk for photo-opportunities with victims lying on hospital beds. That Poroshenko would hurry to a town that is under fire is doubtful if the rebel threat was real. Also speaking as if from a script, he said: «It is savages who use cluster bombs against civilians. It is a crime against humanity when civilians are killed by Russian weapons in their homes.»

The next day, the «outraged» Poroshenko was in Minsk warmly shaking hands with Putin. So much for Russia war crimes.

To say that the latest ceasefire will be easily sabotaged is an understatement, given the past conduct of the Kiev regime. All it has to do is to keep fighting and committing crimes and that will be «evidence» of Russia not implementing Minsk. That will then allow Washington and its dutiful British and Polish allies, along with the obliging Western news media propagandists, to blame Russia for the failure in «fully implementing» the ceasefire. More American weapons can then be funnelled into Ukraine and more sanctions ratcheted up.

Russian President Vladimir Putin deserves huge credit for showing statesmanlike leadership over the Ukraine crisis. The trouble is that the Americans are playing a very different and dirty game in which there are no rules to abide by.

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2015/02/14/washington-wastes-no-time-to-sabotage-minsk.html