So, about a month ago, as I was trying to sleep, somewhere around 3 a.m., I heard a sounds of explosion. Not windows-shattering, but really quite loud. "Well, they blew up something again," - thought I and then thought - "Gotta check the news tomorrow to see what it was" - right before going to sleep, calmly and peacefully.
Well then, let's put this thing back up then, shall we? This kinda goes into its second year, but I figure I won't change the title. Fuck it.
It's been 10 month since I last wrote here. Donetsk Republic took airport then, we were preparing for parliament elections, winter was, in fact, coming. Now, about a year later... we are preparing for parliament elections and winter is on the horizon. What the fuck, this actually looks like a loop!
Right near the start of winter last year, we entered yet another cease-fire. This one was obviously as fake as all others, but winter did come, and it's a fact that people prefer not to fight during winter. It's kinda cold. So, hostilities didn't stop, but they dwindled to a minimum, and for a while we saw mostly political actions. Specifically - actions of trying to blame/punish Russia for what is happening in the Ukraine.
Here I have to actually turn away from my damn country and talk a bit about the big picture. Big picture is that US tries to wage war against Russia, using Europe as a sort of a proxy. Russia obviously does not like that, so it fights back. And currently the world is just a big board game, and Ukraine is just one chip at the table. Quite big, loud and bleeding chip, but still a chip.
It is important to understand that currently Ukraine government is pretty much controlled by US. Russia, however, has a lot of pull here simply because people of eastern regions trust Russia more, and because, while US is somewhere across the ocean, Russia is just next door. However, it is important to understand, that Russia will not do stuff just to benefit Ukraine. Naturally, not. Russia will, first of all, do stuff that's good for Russia. The most notable example is the status of Crimea (former Ukraine region, now back within Russia) and Novorosia (parts of 2 Ukrainian region that are now unrecognized independent republic). As soon as Crimea went with their elections, Russia immediately took them in as part of the country. Why? Because Crimea is Russia's access to Black Sea. However, state of Novorosia is still uncertain after all this time. I can't even say if they are still part of Ukraine or not, but one thing is - Russia isn't hurrying to take them in. That's because, for all their obvious benefits of mining resources and factories (now very much bombed though), Russia knows that taking them in would cause, at least at this point, more trouble than it would be worth.
For now Russia's tactic is still to wait and see Ukraine self-destruct. And while that happens, Russia keeps gathering strength. It shrugs off sanctions, it resumes its gas trading, it does extensive work as part of BRICS, and it is getting involved in global politics, gathering bargaining chips. While all that happens, Ukraine keeps self-destructing, as I said.
And that's the game we are playing these months. We have constant shootings on Ukraine-Novorosia borders (not that there are real borders there), we have sanctions against Russia, we have media and UN bringing up that Malaysian plane again, we have out own political in-fightings and the country is even more carved up now than before.
Economics. Dollar now costs about 23 hrivnas. At some point it went as high as 30+. But what happens is, out government pretty much tells the banks to keep the rates as they are. Which is fake and hits more on our economy, but we apparently try to compensate for it by asking money from every country we know (seriously, our politicians actually COMPLAINED that Europe gives more money to Greece than to us) and then stealing that money. But yeah, rates are artificial currently. Some time ago, for one whole week, rates were 22.30 hrn for a dollar EVERYWHERE and they NEVER changed even a bit, which actually scared the shit out of me. Now they are a bit smarter, and rates make look like they are fluctuating. When shit hits the fan though, I expects rates to get as high as 35 or even 40+ hrn per dollar.
Military here is still sad. By the way, recently a whole column or NATO troops entered the country for "training" and their trucks were never even checked, so yeah, we get some old ammo from our NATO friends. Not that it helps though - before that we got 3 ultra-cool radar system cases and, like true idiots that we are, one we broke, one we lost and one is captured by Novorosia. Plus, drafting people does not really help now. Drafted guys are sent to ATO borders with minimum of training, where they meet people who have been fighting for a whole yer, not counting their own previous fighting experience. And sure, not officially, but there are enough Russian there now, helping to defend. Additionally, most of the police in the country are switched out - police now are mostly young guys with minimum of experience or even supervision. Even more additionally, our militaristic organizations - national guard, right sector and the like - realized they aren't getting much from the fighting and are now turning against current government.
Actually, this I should tell about in a bit more detail. Normal people in the country aren't the ones feeling that times are hard. Apparently, militaristic nazis we have here are also unhappy. They were unhappy they are being shot at, don't have enough money out of it and aren't governing the country. So they make run for politics, using their own representatives. Which kinda failed, so they tried to muscle their way in. We have a city here - Mukachevo - that's right on our western border. That's the place where we control the flow of cigarettes from Ukraine to Europe. Flow, controlled by our politicians, I must say. So, right sector wanted part of that action. So we had a very strange criminal-like meeting there, the kind you see in the movies. Fron one side came one high-level politician with local police, armed by guns like police are. And from other side came people in military uniforms with machine guns and RPGs. So, somewhere during the business talk, the shooting started. Militarists took hold in local woods, and everyone, once again, had to make a deal. Supervised by the Ambassador of US in Ukraine. He is the main guy in the country, currently, telling everyone from militarists to the president how to act.
Which does not always work. You see, grabbing for power, government keeps breaking down. There are protests in Kiev again, but seeing how it's not backed by US, it's not as massive and doesn't get good coverage outside the country. Inside the country we do have channels now, dedicated to blackening some or other party. Television here is now unreal, by the way, with the amount of propaganda we are getting. We are literally cut off from the rest of the world, and everything your average Ukrainian gets EVERY DAY are reports on how Novorosia keeps shooting at our forces, how Russia is advancing, how Russian spies are being uncovered all over the country. With small breaks for TV series and parliament sessions where they vote on more retardness.
Funny side-note. By now we officially, in this country, forbade communism symbols. On par with nazy symbols (and those can be found abundant in local militias). What that comes to is that in upcoming parliament elections our communist party can't even participate. What they literally were told is that they "have to change all their symbols and name and stop being communists". So yes, we are definitely moving towards real democracy here.
But the most bizarre thing happened in my own region. Odessa region. We have a new governor appointed here. Mikheil Saakashvili. For those of you who have no idea - that's former president of Georgia, who tries to annex South Ossetia шт 2008, thinking US backs him up and using military force, got his whole country's ass kicked by Russia in something like 5 days, chewed on his own tie out of fear, ran, and is now considered fugitive from law in his own country. Yep, that's the guy who we have here now. Let me take it to eleven also. While I rarely mention it, you know how my birthday is on May 29th? Well, that guy got appointed on May 30th. And everyone who knows me on Russian internet trolled me for a week with "Kirn got Saakashvili for a present!"
Well, why exactly that happen? It's ibvious that Saakashvili doesn't get anything from Ukraine government - he is still on US leash and gets his pay from there. And my region is known for our trading ports. And, with current economical situation, the country is trying to sell everything it can sell once again. Well, it is common belief that Saakashvili's main goal here is to facilitate sale of our whole region ports to US, which would later put their own NATO base here. And rockets from here would easily reach Moscow. Now, would Russia allow such thing is a different question, and people who support that theory hope that it won't - that Russia will come here and stop that shit. But there's no certainty in anything these days.
We also have explosions here. Our anti-government activists are bombing places where local pro-Ukraine and pro-US military types meet. They do it during night time, making sure noone gets hurt. Additionally, our activists recently put up this "monument" to our governor. Obviously, it was promptly removed by police, but we had this for a while:
Hmmm... well, that's pretty much how we are currently. With addition of one more big news. With next winter coming (and we really don't have much fuel to heat the country up), with people who supported him before trying to remove him from government, with country breaking down into small chiefdoms, Poroshenko decided to try and make some sort of push. Yesterday we had Ukraine Independence day (from USSR, in 1991), and during that he made a lot of heated speeches.
But speeches of local politicians mean nothing. What means something is the fact that about a week+ ago Ukrainian forces again started massive artillery strikes against Novorosia. As far as I know, there have been no major troops movements to that territory - just artilelry strikes, that are bad enough already. But most people seem to be sure that Ukraine army is preparing for another large-scale attack, which is something that hasn't happened for quite a while.
I have no idea what are Poroshenko's reasoning for this action is. Maybe he think that if he takes Novorosia, he will get more US support, or maybe even people support. However, whatever his reasons are, Novorosia troops are mobilized and are ready for an attack, so we will possibly see a lot of military action before the cold starts.