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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Is Putin's New Type Of War In Ukraine Failing?

As the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” Putin’s New Kind of War has given him some ten cities and towns  in eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian special forces and self-appointed city officials. They rain terror on non-cooperative citizens, murder political opponents, use human shields, and go so far as to threaten summary execution of those possessing Ukrainian information leaflets.Is Putin’s New Kind of War giving him the results he needs? I would argue, No!


go to Real Clear World Compass

Friday, April 25, 2014

Arrest of International Observers in Slovyansk Ordered by Moscow

A team of OSCE observers has been arrested (kidnapped? held?) in Slovyansk. This action was nominally ordered by the self-proclaimed mayor, Ponomarev. It continues a pattern of arrested, held, or expelled journalists in this epicenter of  Russian intervention and diversion.

From the intercepted phone call between "mayor" Ponomarev and GRU Colonel Strelkov, we know who is boss of Slovyansk. In the intercepted call, Strelkov can be heard ordering around the self proclaimed mayor (to take care of the body of murdered deputy Rybakov). So it is clear that Strelkov would have ordered the action with the OSCE observers, and the arrest of the OSCE team is a major and risky move that Strelkov would have had to clear with Moscow.

What we learn from this is that Moscow cannot afford outside independent journalists or observers poking around Slovyansk and discovering that it is one big Russian covert operation. In Crimea, the Russian forces blocked out international observers and independent journalists. They cannot do the same with all of eastern Ukraine. The more eyes on operations like Slovyansk, the more the whole myth of self-defense forces will unravel. The violent reaction shows how much the Russian occupants of Slovyansk have to hide. Time is not on their side.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Intercepted Conversations of Russian Special Forces Commander With Self-Proclaimed Mayor of Slovyansk

A Radio Liberty dispatch (Radio Svobody) dated April 24 contains the transcript of an intercepted conversation between Colonel Igor Strelkov, the purported commander of Russian special forces in the east Ukrainian city of Slovyansk (Russian: Slavyansk) with the self-appointed Mayor, “Slava” Ponomarev (see the transcript of his chilling interview). The Radio Liberty imprimatur gives the tapped telephone conversation credibility because Radio Liberty must avoid over-the-top claims to preserve the credibility of its reporting. Radio Liberty writes that the Ukrainian secret service (SBU) has made the tape available to destroy any illusion as to who is in charge of  Slovyansk.

The Ukrainian Special Services (SBU) has, in the meantime, released the actual tapes of the conversations between Strelkov, Ponomarev, and another officer. In one intercepted call, Strelkov discusses the You Tube being shown on the internet of pro-Ukrainian council member, Volodymyr Rybak being surrounded by a pro-Russian crowd. He is assured that "thank goodness, none of our guys are on the film." In the next call, Strelkov ("code name "Bes") orders his subordinate to "neutralize" Rybak, giving detailed instructions on torture and disposition. 

The third conversation involves Strelkov ordering Ponomarev to deal with Rybakov's body, whose tortured body was discovered floating in the river.

This short conversation is as follows:

Strelkov: “Slava: you (“Ty,” familiar form) please decide the question of the corpse. This should be taken care of quickly and get it off our hands. The body is lying here and beginning to smell.”

Ponomarev: “The corpse. Yes. Yes. Right away. I am just finishing with the journalists. I’ll take care of it.”

Ponomarev (apologetic): "My stupid guys (literally “goats”) brought the body to you there – to the basement."

Ponomarev: “I am coming right now. I’ll organize the burial of this rooster.”

Strelkov: “Ok. Good.”

I publish my translation, again, to illustrate the kind of Russian forces and stooges that will run those parts of Ukraine taken over by Russia. What a nightmare! I would not like to be a liberal, Ukrainian, Gypsy, Tartar, or Jew caught up in Putin's embrace.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Self-Appointed Pro-Russian Mayor Speaking His Mind: Disturbing to Say the Least

Excerpts from interview by woman reporter from Gazeta.ru with the self-appointed mayor of Slavyansk, Vyacheslav Ponomarev. After the shooting incident on April 20, Ponomarev issued a call to Putin to send “peacekeeping” forces to Slavyansk.

I begin with the reporter (R) asking “Mayor” Ponomarev (P) what he intends to do with those who disagree with him:

P. We raised our hands and said: All who are with us, good. He who is against us – it is clearly understood.

R. What does that mean, clearly understood?

P. They will be destroyed.

R. How?

P. Why are you asking how?

R. Even among peaceful residents, even if they are one in a hundred, and they hold other opinions. What do you do with them?

P. Well there are only about 40 of them (here).

R. Are these 40 to be destroyed?

P. They are like apes which people go to the zoo to look at. They will be a separate group but under our control.  I’ll tell you how operational work goes. You light a flashlight to attract the moths, to which you attach a sticky tape. They get stuck and then you smash them with a flyswatter.

R. I find what you are saying horrible.

P. What is horrible? This is a  naked fact of life. Is it not scary when our boys are found in the river, their bellies cut open and tortured. And then I go to the morgue and can’t really determine whether it is one of ours or not. Then it turns out it is the very same elected deputy, Vladimir Rybak (a political opponent) from Gorlovka. I can’t really give you the information but according to all information it is him.

R. This is very horrible. And who is the second body?

P. Probably his driver. Have you seen the bodies?

R. No they did not let me in the morgue. The man said it was closed.

P. Listen, you are better off enjoying the beauty and passages of our city and leave the dirt to someone else. It will be better for you. It is not good to try to get some financial benefit or fame. When you take a picture of death you become involuntarily a participant, And when you bring this death to the public's attention, this is worse. This sows panic, people are frightened and this is essential for our opponents. That is why I forbid every one.   

R. OK. My last question is not about bodies but about the election of the president of Ukraine scheduled for May 25.

P. It will not take place.

R. It won’t take place in the whole Donbass? In Slavyansk?

P. It won’t be anywhere. Believe me.

R. You will not allow? Someone else will not allow? Please explain.

P. We’ll take all necessary measures so that there will be no election in the southeast (of Ukraine).

R. Measures to what extreme?

P. We’ll take someone prisoner and hang them by the balls. Really. Do you understand?

R. Dear God. It is really terrible what you are saying.

P. No. No. I am a good person. Very good. But sometimes they take my goodness for weakness, but that is not so, I love my children and my mother.

The reporter asks the self appointed mayor to describe  Slavyansk as part of the Peoples Republic of Donetsk after Russian peacekeeping troops make eastern Ukraine independent of Kiev

R. What would you say to the people of Western Ukraine?

P. (Thinks it over) Give up. (laughs)

R. What will be the official language of the Donetsk Peoples Republic?

P. Russian.

R. There will be no Ukrainian?

P. No question. They can converse in Ukrainian and sing songs.

R. What will you do with the minority who continue to subordinate themselves to Kiev and consider themselves a part of Ukraine?

P. We’ll let them stay. Only that.

R. How?

P. They should keep their heads down. Let them keep quiet.

R. What would you tell Obama, who claims that you mutineers are acting on Moscow’s orders?

P. I would tell him to keep his mouth shut. 

I pity the poor Ukrainian and Tartar residents of Crimea. They are living under pro-Russian adminstrators who think like Ponomarev. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

An Amazing Film of the Crimean Annexation By Russian Special Forces

Swedish sources have obtained a copy of film of the takeover of the Crimean parliament and then all of Crimea by Russian special operations forces. (Some say it is a training film to guide  future takeovers in other territories or countries.)

Remember that Vladimir Putin denied the invovlement of Russian forces of any kind  in Crimea until his casual admission in last week's talkathon with the Russian people (and Edward Snowden).

go to the film. It has no dialog.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Putin Propagandists Caught Red-Handed Again: Pro-Russian Self-Defense Forces Capture Snipers’ Diapers

The Russian TV coverage of the story of the “Slavyansk slaughter” of the early morning of Easter Sunday contains a major blooper. The cache of so-called Right Sector paraphernalia, proudly displayed to prove its complicity, was already filmed  by Russian TV cameras  during the day of April 19 at least ten hours before the attack. (The camera crew did not bother to remove the date of the filming – the day of April 19). The April 19 film shows the same pile of Right Sector paraphernalia used to prove Ukrainian extremist guilt in broadcasts carried throughout the day on Easer Sunday! 

go to forbes.com

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Russian Regular Forces To Invade "NewRussia" Between May 4 And 9? (Guest Columnist)

Guest columnist, prominent member of Ukrainian civil society, explains why Putin with invade with regular troops end of first week of May and the long term consequences.

go to forbes.com

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Does the Today's Geneva Agreement Defuse the Ukrainian Crisis?

The Geneva agreement sketches out a general plan for de-escalation and leaves the key details out. How, for example, is the Russian side to disarm local pro-Russian forces and convince them to leave occupied buildings, if they are, as claimed, self organized and independent of Russian influence? The Russian requirement that Ukraine maintain its “neutral status” is not in the agreement but would require Ukraine to nullify its association status with the European Union. Ukraine’s joining of the European Union was at the heart of the Euro-Maidan protests, and the Russian foreign minister appears to be requiring that Ukraine drop its goal of becoming part of the European economy.

go to forbes.com

Crisis Meeting of Foreign Ministers in Geneva Today: Beware Russian Bear Bearing Compromises

The foreign ministers of Europe and the United States are clinging desperately to the fig leaf that Russia has not invaded Ukraine (which requires them to ramp up sanctions that may be economically costly). To avoid taking meaningful action, they will bully their Ukrainian colleague into accepting a “compromise” which, either immediately or after Russian machinations, spells the end of Ukraine as a unified state. They can return home waving a piece of paper that promises “peace in our time.” If so, Munich rather than Geneva would have been a better setting.

go to forbes.com

Monday, April 14, 2014

Smoking Guns Shatter Russian Lies About No Troops In Ukraine

Live radio footage of officer running Donestsk that he is a Russian officer from Tula, ALso a You Tube showing a self identified Russian colonel appointing the chief of police of Ukrainian town.

go to forbes.com

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Russian TV Caught Red-handed

How can anyone believe Russian TV news after this obvious fabrication of the demonstration in a south Ukraine city on April 9. Three Russian stations interview the same guy, playing three different persons -- one being a German spy.

Hilarious if not so tragic.

go to forbes.com

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Eyewitness Account of Kharkiv Demonstrations: Beating and Humiliation by Pro-Russian Thugs (English and Russian Versions)

This eyewitness account by a pro-Ukraine demonstrator reveals what it is like to go against Putin's protest tourists, thugs, and anti-Semites. It rejects the Russian claim of oppressed ethnic Russians and reveals the danger that intimidated  pro-Ukraine citizens of Ukraine's east face. No wonder we see only crowds of  pro-Russian demonstrators. The other side is too afraid to tke to the streets.

go to forbes.com

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ukrainian Military Analyst Warns Russian Invasion Imminent (But First Need Dead Protesters)

The Russian invasion plan requires the advance Russian agents to stage armed confrontations that result in casualties in demonstrations and occupied public buildings. So far Ukrainian forces have exercised remarkable restraint to prevent this from happening, but the Russian plan calls for the shooting of pro-Russian demonstrators by Russian special forces. They will pick out local Russian protesters, not paid Russian operatives. 

go to forbes.com

Monday, April 7, 2014

Putin’s Attack On Ukraine Began Today: What This Means For Europe And The US

The Russian assault’s first covert phase aims for the utter and complete destabilization of key cities that lie near the eastern border. As I write, mobs, directed by Russian special ops forces, FSB operatives, and local thugs are directing rent-a-crowds in Lugansk, Donetsk, and Kharkiv to storm public buildings, rough-up unarmed security forces, and demand referendums to join Mother Russia. As a slight variation, Donetsk demonstrators demand a “free republic.” 

go to forbes.com

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Empathizing With The Devil: How Germany's Putin-Verstehers Shield Russia

A quarter century after the end of the cold war, the German social democrats are still providing ideological cover for the Russian Bear along with their cast-out brethren – the ex-communists of Die Linke party. These prominent German Putin-Empathizers (fromVersteher or, literally “understander” in German) serve as Putin’s first line of defense against meaningful European sanctions for the Anschluss of Crimea.

go to forbes.com