Russia wants more

Just a few days ago, the Russian Prosecutor General found that the transfer of Crimea from the RSFSR to Ukraine in 1954 was unconstitutional – and now the same general prosecution is going to question the legality of the independence of the Baltic states.

Lithuania reacted quickly, and called it a provocation.

The Baltic states do all they can to prepare their citizens and military for a possible   Russian military provocation. Besides, Lithuania is preparing the grounds to send weapons to Ukraine, and the Latvian military has been instructed by Ukraine on the principles of Russsian warfare.

The question is no longer if Russia will intervene military, the question only is when it will be.

The time is ripe for a Russian move: The support of the Russian president is at nearly 90%,  Europe is ready for summer vacations, and Russia’s most important negotitation partner Germany has far more stakes in Greece (some 80 billion Euros) than in the Baltic states (the crashing of NATO which Germans do not support).

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List of Russian crimes against Ukraine 2014/2015

I. Crimes connected to the Euromaidan

  1. Sending titushki to the Euromaidan in order to support the criminal regime of former President Yanukovych, to intimidate and to beat up protesters
  2. Involvement in the abduction, torture and killing of protesters; in the burning down of the Trade Union’s Building in the center of Kyiv (the headquarters of the Euromaidan) on 18 February 2015. The number of dead the fire of the building caused has never been publicly discussed – and how many of the still missing protesters were in the building
  3. Instructing and controlling special-forces (the Alpha unit) with the participation of Kremlin-aide Surkov in order to shoot protesters at Institutska Street and surroundings in February 2014, killing at least 50 people with grenades and sniper rifles
  4. Spreading false information/lying on the background of the protests and supporting the criminal regime of former Ukrainian President Yanukvoych

II. Crimes in context with the occupation of Crimea

  1. Incorporating the peninsula into Russia, imposing Russian citizenship, laws and regulations, Russian currency, Russian (anti-Ukrainian) school curricula, the Russian language, Russian military service etc.
  • Among this falls: Forcing Russian citizenship on orphans and forcing them into the less developed Russia adoption system
  • Banning Ukrainian from primary schools arguing with a lack of pupils or no interest, and getting rid of Ukrainian books, also through burning. Moreover, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar books, many of them have to do with Islam have been put on a “black-list”
  • denying Ukrainian citizens in Crimean prisons medical services, because of the lack of Russian insurance
  1. Intimidating, abducting and imprisoning Crimean Tatars, Ukrainians, other ethnic minorities, and members of religious congregations not being part of the Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, restricting their freedom of speech and expression:
  • Several Kyiv Patriarchate Orthodox priests were forced to leave Crimea and the majority have been summoned to the FSB for questioning, plus churches were shut down; the head of a Roman Catholic parish in Simferopol – a Polish national – was forced to leave the peninsula; additionally a number of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church members were forced to leave; the new authorities are searching mosques, religious schools and private homes, and try to undermine the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims
  • Arresting/imprisoning for displaying Ukrainian national symbols and interrogating Ukrainians on the grounds of their nationality
  • The same goes for Crimean Tatars. Additionally, meetings to commemorate the 70th anniversary of their deportation from Crimea were banned; a woman later had to appear in front of a court for the organization of such a meeting.
  • Targeting the families of national minorities in order to silence/hurt family members. For example the son of exiled Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzemilev was sentenced to five years in prison in Russia – his father is not allowed to enter his homeland Crimea
  1. Destroying economic structures in Crimea
  1. Ethnic engineering and ethnic cleansing of Crimea: Abducting and murdering selected representatives of ethnic minorities or imprisoning them in order to provoke Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians to leave the peninsula.

(For more details on human rights abuses see one of the rare international reports)

III. Crimes committed in Russia against Ukrainians

1. Ensuring the political and psychological environment for war against Ukraine (watch Russian TV’s news shows for one hour and you will know enough)

2. Delegating the rule in occupied territories to sadists, psychologically ill persons, gangsters and organized crime

3. Fueling inter-ethnic hate against Ukrainians in Russian and international media in underlining the inability of Ukrainians to rule a state and in stressing their subhuman nature (i.e. not an own people, never had an own state

4. Blaming Ukrainians for Russian crimes:

  • intending to shoot-down a Russian Aeroflot passenger plane in order to start war against Ukraine in July 2014 (accidentally hitting MH-17, murdering 298 persons)
  • shelling and murdering civilians on territories in control of Russia, blaming Ukraine (hotspots being Horlivka (June) and Donetsk (examples for May and June)
  • attacking Ukrainian consulates in Russia (Rostov)
  1. Abducting Ukrainian citizens and soldiers from Ukraine to Russia:
  • Abducting and selling captured Ukrainian soldiers (battle of Ilovaysk) as slaves to the North Caucasus (also in order to support the fake story of “1000 Ukrainian dead soldiers” and total defeat at Ilovyask in summer 2014).
  • Fake Ukrainian Crimea terrorism (criminal article “creating a terrorist group”): Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko and the civil society activists Henadiy Afanasyiev and Oleksiy Chirniy. The two latter have been sentenced to seven years in Russian prisons
  • Torturing the Ukrainian student Yuriy Yatsenko in Russian prisons in order to get confessions against Ukraine, and sentencing him for the (faked) possession of explosives.
  • Three Ukrainians have been accused of being spies: Yuriy Soloshenko, Sergej Skirta, Valentine Vyhovskyi
  • Mykola Karpyuk, one of the leaders of the “Right Sector” for the “creation of an armed group” (He disappeared while intending to enter Russia in March 2014, and is probably dead), also Stanislav Klih, accused of being a member of the group; Serhiy Litvinov, a reported fighter of “Dnipr” faces life imprisonment
  • Russia has been impeding Ukrainian representatives of visiting the prisoners

IV. Crimes connected to the occupation of Ukrainian territory in the Donbas

  1. Crimes against oppositional politicians, activists, journalists etc.
  • Murdering the member of Horlivka’s City Council Vladimir Rybak in mid-April 2014. Found with him were Yuriy Propavko, a 19-year-old student, active in the Maidan protest movement, and another unknown person. The Ukrainian SBU suspected the Russian military intelligence officers Igor Bezler and Igor Strelkov who were about to establish a terrorist base in the city.
  • Intimidating journalists through arrests and beatings. The most prominent cases have been Novaya Gazeta’s Pavel Kanyign (twice) and Simon Ostrovsky (Vice) (who recently was banned from entering Russia). Serhiy Lefter testified in May 2014, interrogators wanted to hear detained were from the “Right Sector” – those who admitted under torture were “punished”
  • Harassing priests and members of non-Russian Orthodox Churches, for example, the evangelical pastor Serhiy Kosyak from Donetsk and fellow members of his church Yevheniy Frantsuk, Alexander Khomchenko
  • Capturing and threatening parents of pro-Ukrainian activists or journalists who fled the region for in order to force their children to return and give themselves up (abduction and imprisonment of Iryna and Valeriy Ishenko for their daughter Viktoria’s work in Donetsk)
  • Torturing civilians and publicly exposing them (case of Iryna Dovhan / Donetsk accusing her of “spying”)
  • Threatening civilians in order to force them to leave the territory (Case of the leader of the music group „Fata morgana“, Igor Roman / Horlivka)
  • Firing at civilian workers repairing destroyed infrastructure, most recently a water system repair company employee in Popasna
  1. Crimes against soldiers and military staff
  • Shooting down of Ukrainian helicopters and military airplanes between May and July 2014, for example an Il-76 on 14 June 2014, which caused 49 dead (Altogether Ukraine lost nearly a dozen of helicopters and airplanes).
  • Policy of murdering captured machine gunners and snipers, and members of certain (former) volunteer battalions, such as the “Right Sector”, and of not exchanging members of certain (former) volunteer battalions against Russian prisoners
  • Spreading videos (also with the help of “professionals”, i.e. Graham Philips). Videos most often either show how “Ukrainian” shell civilians / residential quarters or how prisoners are humiliated and tortured. Some examples are a video on YouTube (24 January 2015) that showed 12 captured Ukrainian soldiers sitting outside a building with their hands tied; at least two of them were severely wounded and had been tortured, and four other killed; in that video terrorist “Givi” hit the head of a captured Ukrainian soldier with a gun. A video and photographic material shows three Ukrainian POW paratroopers in Shakhtarsk tortured and probably later executed (31 July 2014). In another prominent video, one commander of the Donetsk airport ‘cyborgs’ Oleh Kuzminykh and his colleagues were taken to a bus stop in Donetsk that had been recently shelled – in order to be beaten up by outraged persons. In another clip, tied-up, kneeling Ukrainian soldiers had to eat up their insignia
  • Torturing Ukrainian soldiers in order to produce fake confessions, most recently the captured Ukrainian soldier, Roma Mashchenko, who was presented in a Russian media conference on 5 June 2015 to prove that Ukrainians started the offensive on Maryinka
  • Using prisoners of war for forced labor, for example the “clean-up” of the collapsed Donetsk airport terminal.
  1. Crimes connected to the organization of terrorist groups and their activities
  • Financing and staffing terrorist groups in the occupied territories (some of the more prominent have been Givi’s “Somali”, “Motorola’s “Sparta” etc.) in order to spread terror and chaos
  • Financing and staffing terrorist groups beyond the occupied territories in Ukraine; with focus on Odesa, Kyiv and Kharkiv in order to provoke the collapse of the Ukrainian state
  • Attacking / bombing volunteer offices (at least a dozen all over Ukraine in the last months)
  • Liquidating terrorists after they have fulfilled their purpose (Alexander Bednov / Batman in January 2015 and probably also Aleksej Mozgovoj in May 2015)
  • Using suicide bombers (last at Maryinka)
  • Killing “own people” or civilians in diversionist actions, in order to discredit Ukraine (for example persons tied to the Yanukovych regime in spring 2015)

4. The (purposeful) murdering of civilians in the occupied territories includes:

  • Firing at a funeral procession in Sartana (near Mariupol), 7 killed, 17 injured (14 October 2014).
  • Firing at school No. 63 in Donetsk, two killed, three injured (5 November 2014).
  • Shelling a passenger bus near Volnovakha with 12 killed (13 January 2015)
  • Shelling in Donetsk and firing at civilians (21/22 January 2015: over a 24-hour period: 20 civilians injured and 15 people killed).
  • Shelling Mariupol, 30 killed, 75 injured with hospital treatment (24 January 2015).
  • Shelling of Kramatorsk with Smerch multiple rocket launchers, 15 dead, 63 wounded (10 February 2015).
  • Shelling Artemivsk (cluster munition), two dead, four injured (13 February 2015).
  • Bombing a rally in commemoration of the Maidan anniversary in Kharkiv, four killed, nine injured (22 February 2015).

5. Destruction of Ukrainian nature, villages, cities and infrastructure (bombing bridges, railroads, gas pipelines, electricity etc.) in the Donbas and other places in Ukraine:

V. Provoking a huge refugee wave from Crimea and the occupied territories in the Donbas causing the biggest humanitarian disaster since the Second World War in Europe

  • Some 1.3 million internally displaced, around 600.000 of whom went abroad, mainly to Crimea, Belarus, Russia etc. (only 000 of them officially applied for asylum in the EU).
  • Caritas Ukraine estimates that switching the front-line by some 15km west would cause an additional one million of Ukrainians to move west, probably beyond Ukraine.

VI. Crimes against humanity: Ethnic cleansing of Crimea and the occupied parts of the Donbas

  • Deliberately killing thousands who do not want to succumb to Russian expansionism and fight for their freedom
  • Stripping those who identify with the Ukrainian/Crimean Tatar nation or the Ukrainian state of their homeland, friends/family and assets

 

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NATO is living in another reality

Two statements of  NATO’s Central and Eastern Europe Commander Hans-Lothar Domröse, a German who is responsible for implementing the “new NATO strategy” to deter Russia (anybody seen a NATO-strategy on how to deter Russia until now?) underline we really have to be worried:

1. It is unrealistic that Russia will embark on a large-scale invasion in Ukraine

“because the costs would be terribly high” for Russia.

Has NATO even studied Russian warfare-methods?

– Russia traditionally uses “cannon-fodder” for the first wave, consisting of fanatics, criminals, drug-addicts, ethnic minorities etc. whose death hardly bothers anybody in Russia or anywhere else (as the ignorance of several thousand Russians who died in the Donbas in Russia’s war against Ukraine proves every day).

– Plus, those persons are an useful instrument to spread propaganda, terror and to commit crimes against civilians / the local population

– Russia relies on highly specialized tactical groups for the “real warfare”; heavily based on paratrooper-battalions.

– Such troops will not be used for a “classic war”, but to destroy or bloc infrastructure (railways, energy, water, crucial production lines) and communication possibilities (with a focus on electronic communication) in order to provoke chaos and a collapse of the state.

So – for whom would the costs be terribly high?

2. NATO shows the Baltic States that we take their warnings seriously: Therefore NATO will install permanent staff in each east European member state consisting out of 40 people as a first step. In the case of emergency, those persons would secure the deployment of rapid reaction forces. However, the military staff would not store heavy material as the western partners do not have sufficient material and money to provide it (sic!). NATO could ensure a joint comand post, ammunition, water, bread, dressing material. The respective states/armies should themselves ensure combat-readiness in regard to the Russian threat.

– Hopefully NATO has studied recent Russian exercises that among others have focused on blocking such command outposts.

–  NATO does not offer answers on how it intends to stop the further militarization of Kaliningrad (embedded between Poland and Lithuania)

– Wouldn’t it be the purpose of NATO to show solidarity with endangered members and a core task to send allied troops instead of passing them some weapons to look for themselves? (Polish “Patriot”-missiles will not be able to stop Iskander-missiles fired from Kaliningrad).

– Does NATO really consider Poland, Romania or the Baltic states full members worth defending them against Russia?

As long as NATO does not send brigade combat teams and at least 20.000 ground troops to the eastern European front-lines states it will not stop Russia from further testing NATO.

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Ukraine gets hold of Russian plan for large-scale invasion

Specialists from the group “Mirotvorets” acquired documents from the Russian General Staff that confirm Russia’s intentions to invade and occupy the Ukrainian territories east of the Dnipr.

The General Staff of the western military disctrict already agreed on the plan at the beginning of April in Petersburg – and wanted it to be carried out in spring/early summer 2015. It forsees to skirt big cities, and to cut communication lines and destroy infrastructure within 15 days. Such an operation would be carried out by battalion tactical groups (BTG) of the Russian regular army – as Dmytro Tymchuk (Information Resistance) also has repeatedly underlined in his military updates.

The invasion would be backed by massacres of civilians – in order to blame the Ukrainian army and justify the advance – and be again disguised as “DNR/LNR”-operation. It would be splitted into two parts: First an attack of the Kharkiv / Donetsk Oblasts, then of Poltava, Kyiv and Chernihiv. The increasing activities of (Belo)Russian military on the border with Ukraine support those intentions (see the most recent military exercises)

The Russian soutern military disctrict for its part worked out a plan to attack Zaporizhiya and Melitopol in order to open up a corridor to Crimea.

We can assume there are similar plans with Transnistria, according to recent Russian propaganda and military activities in the region.

 

 

 

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NATO is ready to invade Russia

Russia is pushing its preparations to create a prerequisite for an invasion of the Baltic states.

Today, Russian hackers posted an announcement on the site of the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense: The ongoing NATO exercise Saber Strike is preparing the annexation of Kaliningrad. This fake was widely spread in Russian propaganda media (for example LifeNews or Sputnik) and surely is believed by the Russian public.

The Pew Research Center study on NATO published yesterday found that Russians are clear in their beliefs: Russians support the president, and think NATO is an existential military threat.

On the countrary, the study found European allies do not support the use of military force in the case of military aggression against an ally. The higest rates were found in Italy (51%) and Germany (58%). Recently, the Russian president visited Italy, and ensured further support. Additionally, the German parliament is paralyzed by a Russian cyberattack and the server has to be rebuild in the next months (This could be important in an Article 5 case as the German parliament would have to meet and to decide on measures. As Germany has been Russia’s main negotiation partner since its aggression against Ukraine started in February last year, nothing would be decided without German backing).

And what about the recent declaration of the Russian president that only an insane person could imagine Russia attacking NATO?

The statement actually confirms Russia’s interest in the Baltics. More than public statements we should stick to statements the Russian president has made in private conversations. And the Pew survey underlined that NATO countries sharing a border with Russia are not considered to be full members by older NATO members, worth the military effort. Also in the Russian logic the Baltics – countries without permanent NATO (=US)-bases – are no real members, and an attack on them is not a direct attack of NATO.

 

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NATO Military Committee’s Petr Pavel warns of occupation of the Baltic states

“From the technical point of view, if I consider how many forces Russia is able to deploy in the Baltics, the size of the Baltic countries and the density of forces on their territories, the Baltics could really be occupied in a couple of days.”

Is this a new level of NATO-talking?

The words just reflect much more serious internal talks.

Recently, John Schindler reported:

Said a senior NATO (non-US) GOFO to me today: “We’ll probably be at war this summer. If we’re lucky it won’t be nuclear.”

It would be fine to see NATO finally act & and to meet requests from Lithuania and Estonia  to deploy NATO-battalions permanently to their countries, as by now it is clear that Article 5 will not work in the case of the Baltic states.

The absence of permanent bases will provoke a Russian attack in the near future, lead to the destruction of NATO and provoke a large continental war in Europe.

 

 

 

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Russia cannot lose

More than embarrassing…

After their 6:1 defeat in the final round of the ice hockey world championship, the Russian players left the ice before the anthem of the winner Canada was played.

Actually, this was not the only incident: the Russian team had complained about the Czech hotel in Prague (while all other nations had been satisfied with the conditions). The team had to be relocated at additional costs – see a report on Radio Prague including all incidents with the Russian team.

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