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How many tourists will Ukraine get this year?

  1. #813022014-08-05 04:59:57Kirn said:

    A short update to my previous post.

    Heard some addition to the rumour about soldiers, who were previously in Russia. It says that they were detained and held for some time, but now they are, for some time now, already back at the war territory. Well, again, if one is to throw away all rumours, fate of the soldiers returned from Russia previously remains unknown. However, since there are 180+ soldiers returning to Ukraine from Russia now, it may be easier to follow what would happen to those now.

    News from the official separatists site. It seems that some news site published information about 702 people from Ukraine army surrendering to separatists. But separatists themselves write that this is false information.

    It is said that some (no idea, if only some, many or even all) soldier among those 180+ going back promise not to participate in the fighting any more. Obviously, that would be a lie for some, as I am sure that among those 180 there are people honestly wanting to get back into the fight.

    And lastly, speaker for Parubiy finally made official statement and said that all information about Parubiy's retirement is false and he will continue to work as he was. Which really makes me wonder where other media channels got their info from.

  2. #814412014-08-08 08:25:33 *Kirn said:

    Well, them US/EU people gone and done it. They pissed off Russia. So not Russia made its own sanctions against them, the ones that actively hurt.

    I am pretty sure you all know this from the news already, but still. After last batch of sanctions against Russia (which were completely without logic btw, it was pretty much like 'we have no evidence about who downed the plane, but let's sanction Russia for it!'), Putin gave out the order to find out how Russia can sanction those countries back. And they did find a way.
    They pretty much banned all agricultural imports from countries that participated in sanctions against them. Meaning food. A lot of food.

    Since Russia was the second largest buyer of EU food, these sanctions hit EU for 6.5 billions of dollars.
    Norway got hit for 1.2 billions.
    US, while being the most active about sanctions, was obviously less dependant on trade with Russia - they got hit only for 800 millions $.
    Canada got hit for 373 millions.
    Australia - 182 millions.

    The trade goods that are were on the Russian border, getting ready to get in the country, will be allowed in, but nothing after that. And this is pretty damn serious, what just happened. Both for sanctioned countries and for Russia. Obviously, sanctioned countries will right now lose money, since they now have to urgently find buyers for stuff, a lot of which doesn't keep that well. So that's obviously a big hit.
    Russia on the other hand is also hit, naturally, since now they aren't getting a lot of different products. Some say that this was a very dangerous move that can also fuck up Russia's own economy pretty fast. Others are more optimistic, seeing this as an opportunity for Russian products to get strong position on the domestic market. Plus, one of the big food importers to Russia is Brazil, apparently, and they are part of BRICS alliance together, so that trade will keep going strong.
    All in all, this will have some long-term effects on Russia - one way or they other - but for sanctioned countries, especially for EU ones, this is a big change that is happening right now.

    Well, those were obviously big news, but here I am, as many people before me, in danger of changing the thread about Ukraine to the thread about Russia vs West. Easy mistake to make, seeing how the world goes about it all. So anyways, let's get back to Ukraine.

    War is still going, so everything is fine there. Actually, while we had the war, the number of separatists grew rapidly. Obviously, I have no idea how many there were initially, but right now Ukraine media gives numbers like 15000 separatist soldiers, and separatists themselves claim that there are about 10000+ of them.
    And while those numbers are good for the fighting, because Ukraine army still has more people and tech, right now separatists are having a big problem with supplies. Pretty much, it's hard to support an army of that size in a region there there's almost nothing left and nothing works. Ukraine army is getting supplies from other parts of the country, and separatists do not have that luxury. Right now they are asking for humanitarian donations and the like.
    I can't judge the state of fighting, but separatists themselves are saying that Ukraine army is taking more and more territory and cutting off more and more routes.

    Speaking of Ukrainian army. The fate of 180 soldiers that went back to Ukraine remains a mystery. They were supposed to be in Kiev... and some reports say that they were there, but other reports claim that right after that they were shipped out. One thing is certain - Ukraine government have them back, but what will they do with them... that is very uncertain for now.
    On the other hand, Russia is not just letting the remaining soldiers stay comfortable too. It was already known that every soldier had a talk with FSB agents, and they were actively seeking confessions about Ukraine crimes against civilian population. You can imagine how strong would a confession by Ukrainian soldiers be. But now in addition to that, they detained some people. Numbers vary - from 5 officers to 40 officers and soldiers. Detainment is based on Russia's criminal case, opened up some months ago, about prosecuting for war crimes some particular members of Ukrainian army and government, as well as unspecified officers and soldiers, who participated in the acts. I mentioned this in one of me posts here. So, it seems, this thing is used again to detain and question.
    I am not sure what would be the reaction by Ukraine and/or western countries... for now I only saw reports about that, but nothing about any reaction. We'll see, I guess.

    Final news are the ones I always want to hear now and always laugh about. Maidan shenanigans. Right now in Kiev riots are starting again, with current government are finally actively starting to get rid of the free loaders, and maidan people actively resisting. There are reports of maidan actifists throwing stones and small fireworks at police, and police using flashbangs. It is also said that one activist tried to throw molotov, but he was stopped before that.

    It doesn't look like much, really, it's nowhere near the magnitude of riots we had before the government was overthrown... Which is understandable, since nobody is sponsoring maidan now. Still, it is always funny and ironic to see maidan activists being thrown out when they server their purpose and became a bother.

  3. #815522014-08-13 10:12:53Kirn said:

    During past few days I was collecting articles, as usual, to make a summary here... And I was planning to make this post today. And exactly today I get another piece of news, which, once again, pushes the situation here into some retarded area.

    Now, let's start with what is hot in the news now. Russian humanitarian convoy going to Ukraine. Pretence is simple - Lugansk and Donetsk regions are fucked up beyond all recognition now, so people need humanitarian aid, which Russia proposed to provide. However, the first proposal of that, made by Russia, met immediate and incredible resistance in UN. They pretty much said that Russia want to get into Ukraine to, I don't know, destroy it, make some provocations or something along those lines.
    However, after some days of discussion, everyone gave this a go. So, now Russian convoy made of a number of white trucks will be sent to Ukraine... which immediately opened up many more problems. First of all, Ukraine is still screaming that Russia wants to get here to rape and kill everything and that trucks are actually re-painted military trucks, and will have not supplied but rockets and tanks and soldiers inside. And basically, Ukraine, it seems, is denying entrance of those trucks to some of the Ukrainian regions already. Russia in turn claims that there are no soldiers going with the convoy.
    Now, here's my personal thoughts on this. Obviously, claims that Russia may get some arms in Ukraine that way is stupid - there will be UN people watching the whole process, obviously. Plus, if Russia would actually want to invade Ukraine - there would be no need for a Trojan Horse of any kind. Then again, I find Russia's claim about there being no soldiers with convoy not the best one either. Because they should have some, and I hope they will have some, because those trucks are going to the combat area where there are not only starving people but also roaming gangs of Russia-haters. Another thought I have is that in all possibility, the convoy will have normal supplies. But those supplies, somehow, would be rerouted to the separatists. As I wrote, separatists already said that they are extremely low on even the basic supplies, so now is a good time for Russia to support them, and a convoy can possibly be a way to do it without attracting attention. Again, we will see how it will go.

    So, with that out of the way, there are some news about the crashed plane. Then again, it's actually more like news about the lack of news. But let me expand on that.
    First of all, here's another article from the blog I read, talking about the downed plain again. As you can see, this time they explore the possibility of the plane being shot down not even by missile, but by a Su-25 plane. Again, not by a missle, but by plane guns. From what I gather, the main basis for this idea is this analysis by a German pilot. In particular, using this picture one can see the signs of machine gun exit holes. Now, I am no expert, so personally I can't judge.
    Funny thing is, with this there are theories resurfacing about the Ukraine just mistaking Malaysian plane with Russian presidential plane and shooting it down. I still find this theory silly, but if the Boeing was in fact shot down by another plane, it would be obvious that Ukraine is to blame.

    However, we will never know that now.

    Here are a few articles. July 25th - flight recorders are passed along, and they are in good condition. News article. Next one I found was July 28th - here it is. Notice how all information is that just plane was destroyed by shrapnel from missile. There are no in-flight recordings, and additionally it is stated that 'the devices aboard the plane are older versions likely to provide only limited information regarding the sequence of events following the presumed missile strike on the plane'. So yeah, apparently we won't get any real information because of "sub-par flight recorders".
    So, what will happen now? Well, after Russia's sanctions, Australia already made a truly beautiful claim - they said that they will hit Russia with more sanctions, unless Russia accepts full blame for downing the plane. Read this again and try to find some actual logic.
    And today I saw another truly inspiring article. Ukraine now claims that Ukraine, Australia, Belgium and Netherlands on 8th of August signed a paper claiming that facts about the downed plain will... not be disclosed without the agreement of all four parties. So yeah, this is pretty much like saying 'we won't tell you what happened if we won't like the end result'. Oh, and notice how Malaysia isn't even on this list of countries who decide this.
    Obviously, countries that didn't sign that document, are not bound by any agreement, but this is the state of the 'investigation' of the crash right now.

    And to finish it off with some war news. Last thing I heard was news about major attack being planned... by both sides. Obviously, Ukrainian government claims that they will soon make a final attack on separatist. However, another news site I red claimed that Donetsk Republic is also getting ready to major attack, aimed to throw out Ukraine forces completely, if not go towards Kiev itself. Now, I didn't find any information about it on separatists site, so I have no idea how serious that claim is.
    Oh, and I wrote before about rumour about Parubiy retiring. Well, he was retired some days ago now. Poroshenko thanked him for his service (which is hilarious because those past few months for Ukraine military were a total fail in political, moral and any other way there is, they didn't even get good results on the war) and let him go. I don't know yet who took his place, but that event was another Timoshenko comrade being removed from power, and it is in itself a removal of a key figure of the revolution from the office.

  4. #815592014-08-13 16:45:35Ecstasy said:

    Seriously though, "we are not going to tell anyone what happened until Russia takes the blame". Wat? They basically admit that they have no official proof of Russia's involvement in the event. They just have to give Putin more breathing space, don't they?

  5. #815792014-08-14 07:06:15Kirn said:

    Well, it's more of a show of how stupid the things around investigation are now... Supposedly, main experts who should take information from flight recorders are British and... Dutch, I think. Plus, Malaysia obviously should have a say in the matter as it was their flight. Also US, since it was their plane, but as they joke on the internet now 'on 8th of August USA, USA, USA and USA signed a document'...
    So yeah, obviously there are investigators who are not under any obligations with this document, including Russia who pretty much provided the most information so far. But this whole thing reminds me of how our parliament does things - instead of investigating matter or doing things, they just met and passed special bills that would state 'how things are'.

  6. #816142014-08-16 07:46:10Kirn said:

    While Ukraine government is experiencing some changes, this month we already had major changes in separatists government too.

    About a week or so ago prime-minister of Donetsk Republik - Alexander Borodai - has stepped down from his position. If I am not mistaken, prime minister there now is Alexander Zaharchenko. And a few days ago leader of Lugansk Republic - Valery Bolotov - also changed. He said that that's only temporary though, and for now this post will be help be Igor Plotnitsky. But the main thing that surprised everyone was information that Strelkov is leaving the post of defence minister of Donetsk, leaving this post to another separatist commander Vladimir Kononov.
    Now, what the hell does that all mean? Obviously one is inclined to think that Donetsk and Lugansk government are experiencing some internal problems leading to government changes. Still, the explanation for most of it, given by separatists, is not problems but working on restructuring the government. Borodai, for example, is not out, he's still in the Donetsk government and is giving interviews or explains things. Lugansk leader claims that he was wounded, so he is leaving his position temporary, until he heals.
    The most mysterious situation is with Strelkov now. Few days before news of his retirement, there were news about him being seriously wounded. That information was immediately called false by separatists... and, interestingly enough, it seems even Ukraine side of the war is not confirming the information now. Still, few days after he supposedly leaves his post. Well, right now it is said that Strelkov will continue working on coordinating military efforts of Donetsk and Lugansk... however, they also claim that he will take a short break, possibly outside of Ukraine.
    For now I will be waiting for some report of interview with him, but right now his situation, in my opinion, is still very uncertain.

    Now, with that out of the way, let's get to the retardness.

    While trucks with humanitarian aid from Russia were prepared a long time ago now, to this day those trucks have trouble entering Ukraine. Actually, I am not sure if they are in now - I am pretty sure they weren't in 12 hours ago.
    But them being on the border already makes Ukraine idiots as hysterical as they can get. Different politicians are screaming that 'we don't need Russia's help' or even 'we don't need them invading our country'. Journalists on the border had a chance to investigate trucks btw, and they didn't see anything evil inside - no tanks, no rockets, no bears.
    Hey, it would have been okay, but now Ukraine just makes stuff up. Day before yesterday some politician seriously said that 'during the past few days Poroshenko personally stopped Russia from invading Ukraine several times'. I will let you find any logic in that. But there's more. Apparently, two journalists of the Guardian claimed that they saw a column of Russian war tech entering Ukraine. Obviously, no pictures were taken. But as soon as that claim went out, NATO immediately claimed that they had aerial shots of that happening. Obviously, no shots were shown. Just to remind you - that's why noone sends any military tech across the eastern border, because there's constant surveillance by many countries.
    So, story got out, and every one of those who doesn't need evidence to believe in stuff - believed it. But that's not all. Now Poroshenko personally phoned David Cameron and personally said that "Ukrainian military destroyed most of the Russian forces that invaded Ukraine". Again, Russian forces that never was there...

    I really have no idea what to make of it. Was Poroshenko that delusional or did he get too many of the drugs they gave to people on maidan back during winter? Actually, one can't even be sure now - if this a complete lie, or did Ukraine army destroyed some separatists military column and claims that it was Russians, or did they rained artillery fire on their own column? Knowing the state of the country and how this military operation is going, all of the above is possible.
    And while there are, once again, no proof that Russians ever entered Ukraine, countries like England or France are already trying to shame Russians or protest against 'the invasion'. I kinda expect now to see some new sanctions against Russia 'because they attempted to invade Ukraine'. You know, because downed plain is quickly becoming old news that will likely be buried now.

  7. #817402014-08-22 18:13:47Kirn said:

    This whole week I was thinking that there will be nothing major to report. But about few hours ago I got news that changed that completely.

    But let's start with a few minor ones. Well, one is pretty serious. Donetsk Republic passed a law allowing a death penalty. Obviously, that would be used for especially bad crimes, but still, it is a bit thing to do. Probably goes along with the whole restructuring of the army and political structure thing, but I can't be sure.
    One thing I did notice. In articles I red, the death penalty examples that were used were war criminals. But not Ukrainian war criminals exactly, as one would suspect. More was said about marauders and people who may use Donetsk military uniform to commit crimes. Now, that may be preemptive action, or that may be a serious problem Donetsk region has now. Actually, I would suspect, that marauders are a real problem now on both war-torn regions.

    On a more humorous note. Yatsenyuk strikes again with talks about gas. As you know, Ukraine isn't getting any gas from Russia now (I think we are trying to get some back from Aurope, but it won't feel our needs at all), so the gas going through our pipes is all for Europe and we can't touch it and have no say in how it goes.
    However, Yatsenyuk now voiced an idea, that instead of Europe having a contract with Russia, Europe should have a gas contract with Ukraine, so we would be able to change the points of the gas deal.
    So yeah, I also have no idea how that works.

    Another thing was Russian media fail. Many of media sites posted an info taken from Oleksandr Turchynov twitter (he was the temporary president right after the riots), in which he says that 'if Ukraine army can't win, they should at least die with dignity'.
    Now, the phrase is good enough as it is, but sadly, media sites didn't check the rest of the twitter. And it had a lot of stuff. Like messages about how Ukraine army is failing. Or about how people in Ukraine government are taking money from US. Or about how his son will be the king over the Ukrainian masses. And all that was there because the twitter was fake.
    So yeah, not news, but something that happened.

    Now let's get to the main event.

    For the whole week Russian humanitarian convoy was delayed on the border with Ukraine. I wrote about this. Cargo was checked and re-checked, international observers and journalists poked at it. And Ukraine screamed like it was going to be raped that whole time.
    So, today Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs made this statement. It's in Russian, but it pretty much says that they complied to every safety and moral norm, they can't delay any longer and they are moving in whether Ukraine likes it or not because people are dying without help. Oh, and there's also a warning against trying to fuck with the convoy. Made in a diplomatic language, obviously.
    So yes, today convoy moved into Ukraine. Actually, as I write this, I already read that first wave of trucks has reached Lugansk.
    Obviously, Ukraine continues to scream. Head of Ukraine Security Service made a statement that Russian humanitarian convoy is direct invasion. I expect western countries to pick that scream up soon too. So far the most crazy theory I heard is that Russian drivers in the trucks are shipped into Ukraine that way to drive tanks against Ukraine army. I would axpand on that, but it's silly enough already.

    So, humanitarian aid finally entered Ukraine, so that's good. Political screams that we will probably hear during next days will be bad. And even worse will be some provocation against the convoy. Which is possible, and which can lead to some real bad consequences.

  8. #817982014-08-25 11:19:43 *Kirn said:

    Yesterday Ukraine had Day of the Independence and now there are some important things to tell you about.

    First of all - Russian convoy finished its mission and returned uninterrupted a few days ago. No trucks were lost, no driver was hurt. Though, you can be sure, there were people in Ukraine who wanted to. Funny thing is, the way I heard it, some Russian-haters wanted to just destroy the convoy (those are the ones who publicly tell stuff like 'Russian humanitarian aid destroys Ukraine'), but other people voiced an idea that maybe we should try and somehow steal the cargo. Thankfully they didn't figure how to do that, so, as I said, there was no trouble.
    Obviously, even after trucks left, Ukrainian politicians and just retarded internet users continued to scream. The popular theme now is that the trucks, after unloading the humanitarian aid, got loaded up with other stuff and took it out of Ukraine. There are theories about cargo that go from coal from Donbass (that's the general name for eastern region of Ukraine) mines to parts from local factories to Yanukovich gold hidden in the same Donbass mines. As you can imagine every truck was checked again as it crossed the border from Ukraine to Russia, and every truck was empty. But it doesn't stop idiots from screaming.

    Oh, and on a side-note, and just to remind everyone how the country is killing itself, Fitch Downgrades Ukraine's LC IDR to 'CCC'.
    Just something people may be interested in. Even before the war Ukraine wasn't viewed as a good trade partner, but we keep going down, while the government still talks about how great we are.

    But to hell with that. Let's talk about war.
    First of all, I am happy - this is exactly the word I am going to use - to tell you that we now have US people shot on our territory. Here's the news article I found. Now, if you read it carefully, you will notice that the guy is 55 and is called 'the only American' to fight there. However, I also found another article - this one doesn't give our the name of the guy, but it puts him not with fighting forces, but with training centre. And there's a detail about the anti-tank gun... So, those may be news about the same person, or those can be to separate people.

    But Americans aside. On August one of the bloggers posted the estimate after going through official sites posting the casualties. He got numbers, counting civilians, Ukraine military and separatists as 2678 dead, and he assumed that the real numbers can be higher. However, one can't really trust any information, since, obviously, separatists and military alike would want to conceal their casualties. And there can never be an exact number of dead civilians, since Ukraine military is hitting cities with rockets every day. For example, these photos of civilians killed by artillery was made 14th of August, but were posted only on 22th.
    However, on 23rd I saw a news report by Russian 1st channel. That report claimed that Ukraine army losses are concealed on an incredible scale. They claimed that a source from a closed government meeting, along with information from a certain hackers group, said that by now Ukraine army has 12000 dead and 19000 wounded. And few thousands more missing. Here is the video though it is in Russian. Also, if you scroll to 7.30 mark, you can watch how Ukraine national guard treats its prisoners, and also you can see some people from the guard itself. Notice the sieg heil. Those are exactly the people that were fully supported by the current government which was in turn fully supported by Europe and US.

    Well, our local Nazis aside, if the numbers are even remotely true, then it means that separatists may actually have a chance of winning the war. Especially with the new reports I read about separatists in Donetsk region changing their battle tactics, going more from guerilla fights to proper confrontations. Hey, even now I have three reports about separatists surrounding more military forces - some more 5000+ people. Once again, I have no idea is those are true or which way the fighting is going... but if Ukraine military is really failing that hard while making so little progress, they may just run out of people before the end of the year.
    And it's not just people, a lot of Ukraine military tech was destroyed. And a lot of it was captured by separatists. Because that's where the tanks come from. They don't come from Russia, they come from Ukraine's own army. Here's an interesting site that lists all documented military tech destroyed of captured during the war. As you can see, while some tech is taken back from separatists, Ukraine is on the losing side here also.

    So, with all that, we had a celebration of independence, which is completely meaningless this year and which was, obviously, pumped out to be the symbol of Ukraine's great triumph. We had a military parade for it, which is something, I think, that never happened before, because Ukraine's independence from USSR wasn't a military achievement. But it didn't stop there. In his speech, Poroshenko called the war that is going in Ukraine now a 'Patriotic War'. This is the name we usually use when talking about eastern front of World War 2, yet he made this very analogy. He also stated that celebration of 23th February will now be cancelled in Ukraine.
    23th February was a Soviet holiday celebrating Red Army and Fleet. After the collapse of USSR it was continued in some post-soviet countries, including Ukraine, as the Defender of the Fatherland Day. So, what this is is just another attempt to further distance Ukraine from Russia.

    Now, while army parade was going in Kiev (and they say that most of the military machines were sent east right after that), Donetsk also had its own celebration and parade. First of all, separatists gathered and placed in the city destroyed tank belonged to the Ukraine army. During the day there were rumours of the prisoners parade... and yes, later in the day it did happen. The prisoners of war parade went through the city. Let me even link the exact video here...

    As separatists say, this is an anti-fascist parade. As they say, Ukraine military wanted to go through Donetsk - so now they did, but not as conquerors, but as prisoners. And here's the analogy of this parade: after the column of prisoners they sent street-washing trucks. For those of you who don't know: on 17th July 1944 there was a Nazi prisoners parade in Moscow, and after defeated Nazis there was street-washing trucks, cleaning the fascist dirt from the Soviet streets. This is exactly the same thing that was done here.
    This symbolism destroyed any attempt of Ukraine government to look like they are winning anything during their own parade. Obviously, a lot of pro-Ukraine people are angry at what happened. This is hypocrisy at its finest - cheering for soldiers killing civilians and screaming in disgust when those same soldiers are walked as prisoners.

    Personally, I can't really hope for separatists victory in the war just yet. Ukraine army looked to big in comparison. But if it is really that incompetent, if soldiers are really left to die or be captured by their leaders... well, maybe things will turn out quite differently from how the current government wanted it.

  9. #818962014-08-29 12:15:34Kirn said:

    After the previous happenings, when we heard about many changes in the war, this week was very heavy on opposing information. And this time some of that is not just crazy ramblings by Ukrainian media.

    Let's start with politics though. It seems, Poroshenko was acknowledged as a president by Russia, because some days ago there was an official meeting in Minsk, and Putin was seen to shake Poroshenko's hand. However... that's pretty much all that happened. No real talking was made, no solutions were reached. As later some people said - noone made any promises that would have been broken later.

    Another news is that Poroshenko finally disbanded the parliament. It is now expected that we will have a new one in a month or so, obviously with some sort of voting involved. But seeing how things are in the country, that really mind have been not the best move.
    Another thing to note is that political party Bat'kivshina (Timoshenko party) is losing its most important members. Namely, Turchinov, Yatsenyuk and Avakov. I guess, we will see the results of the parliament elections, but it surely feels that Timoshenko party may now become even more removed from any decision-making. Then again, there may be some other plot going beyond that.

    Well, enough with the politics, let's talk about more crazy claims. Pretty much the day after I posted previous post, I red the news claiming that Ukrainian army has destroyed another Russian invasion. 250 soldiers, 5 or so tanks and some trucks. Obviously, no proof to that imaginary victory. But media pushed on.
    Next day there was a claim that there was a group of about 9 Russian soldiers, some of which were killed and some were taken prisoners. Now, as you see, this is a big drop from the usual claims of victories over hundreds of Russians. But there's an explanation to it, coming in the next section.
    Yesterday, August 28th, Poroshenko made another official claim stating that Russia is moving its forces into Ukraine. And I think about the same time NATO pushed some new aerial shots, showing pretty much nothing, but claiming that Russians are, once again, coming. And obviously, now, once again, western countries have joined the chorus, telling evil Russia to stop.

    So, what did really happened then?

    Some things actually did happen.
    Right after the parade in Donetsk, all sorts of human rights advocates started yelling about how that was a horrible treatment of prisoners. Even though those same prisoners were after that sent back - traded to Ukraine. But apparently, judging by the world, this was an act worse than shooting rockets into civilian buildings. Oh, btw, that Tochka-U ballistic missile that I wrote about before? Was used some time ago already by Ukraine army.
    But that's beside the point. I am pretty sure that the rush of information about Donetsk parade was what started these new rumours about Russians attacking. Ukraine government needed things to bash into the population again. By the way, I recently saw the greatest example of such news as of now. I saw a news report, that says that those news about Russia attacking are not true... and that they are pushed onto Ukraine by... Russia. Yes, the story was about how Russia is terrorising Ukraine and keeping it in a state of panic by false news about its own invasions. Nice, eh?

    However, things took a bizarre turn because, again, right after my previous post, Ukraine army managed to actually catch a few real Russian soldiers on Ukraine territory. 10 of them. And this time Russia admitted that those are real soldiers, and speculated that they are probably border forces that got lost and accidentally stumbled into Ukraine. Not unheard of, especially since Ukraine soldiers stumbled into Russia in mych bigger numbers by now. Hell, our military even managed to sink 2 BTRs in Russian swamps.
    However, after initial reports, came news (with added videos) that those 10 soldiers 'have no idea what the war is about' 'don't want to fight' and 'don't know why Russia is sending them to Ukraine'. This is, obviously, quite hurtful news for Russian position in the whole situation.
    I would imagine, that incident allowed Ukrainian media to run the news next day about 9 more Russian soldiers being captured and/or killed. That one was obviously fake, since noone was shown, and Russia didn't react to that. But you can see how they tried to tie the number of fake soldiers to the number of real ones the other day.
    And right after that Donetsk Republic itself made a claim that looked not too good. They admitted that they have Russian soldiers fighting for them - few thousands of those even. Not soldiers on active duty, but volunteers who went to Donetsk while they are on leave in Russia. I believe, exactly that claim allowed Poroshenko to state on the 28th that Russians are amassing in Ukraine.
    All this together makes for a very bad media image, since now Ukraine's crazy claims have a background of some true events ringing along with them.
    I would say. this story is not over yet, because now those 10 prisoners will be returned to Russia - just as Ukrainian military was returned to Ukraine - and I imagine they will be asked questions about their actions and those videos. We will have to wait and see.

    Going back to the war. News of war are as uncertain as ever. Artillery is still hitting Donetsk and Lugansk. But there are reports of Ukraine military leasing some smaller towns, and of them gathering in Mariupol, getting ready to hold against the separatist attack. So I guess there is an actual possibility of an attack.
    However, by now claims about some Ukrainian army divisions being surrounded have been confirmed. In fact, Putin himself asked separatists to cooperate with Russia and provide a corridor for those surrounded soldiers to get out and leave fighting. After some deliberation, separatists agreed, however, only if soldiers leaving through that corridor would give away their weapons and ammo, which is an obvious demand.
    However, by now it seems that this initiative will not work, because Ukraine army commanders are not agreeing to this, and it seems that they will order the troops to try and break from being surrounded. That will, naturally, result in many many dead people, but I guess that's what will happen now. Again, this situation is ongoing, and I will write later if I hear about how it would end.

  10. #821602014-09-07 08:14:25Kirn said:

    Shame on you, @Ecstasy, bringing funny pictures into a serious thread like that! Shame!

    Well now. Time to make a new post here, and I want to start it with the usual 'blame Russia' idiocy and then move to the more Ukraine-centered news. Saying that, let's open it up with a funny picture! This is a real post on the twitter account of Russian Embassy in UAE. And this picture really is correct in a way. I guess, one way to respond to the crazy and fake claims by Ukraine and US would be to just troll the bastards. However, I am getting a bit ahead here.

    This week claims of Russia entering Ukraine weren't enough. And the head of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine made this claim: first of all, he claimed that fighting in the east is almost over (he made it in a way that suggested that Ukraine actually won there), and then he claimed that Russia has many times threatened Ukraine with... nuclear weapons. And here's pretty much what is his logic "since we are fighting so good and destroying one Russian tank division after another, they now can't have any hope of defeating us other than nukes, so that's what they want to do now!" Alright? That is the highest ranking military official in the country. Going completely crazy. Because, apparently, whenever Russian even mentions it has nukes - it is threatening this poor country called Ukraine.

    But Ukraine is not the only place for such weird claims. European Union is also trying to keep up. EU officials did some weird things before - like recording phone conversation with Putin and then making it public without asking. Well, this time European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso claimed that in his phone talk Putin threatened Ukraine and promised to take Kiev in 2 weeks.
    Obviously, Putin can take Kiev in 2 weeks. Everyone knows that. If he would sent the troops, that is. Which he haven't done still. So, in responce to that claim, Russia said that either Barroso would admit that he took the words out of context, or they will just publish the records of that conversation themselves. In the end, it seems, EU decided to own up to the mistake

    Another news that I got tells that Ukraine is not only trying to spew lies about Russia invasion to the rest of the world. It actively tries to bullshit itself. In particular, about 3 days ago there was a closed meeting/briefing for politicians. During the meeting, politicians were shown photos of Russian tanks on the Ukraine territory. Fake, obviously. But also it was explained to them, that Ukraine will not attack those tanks because "it would be considered as a start of a war".
    And this is going from people who almost on a daily basis claim that Russia is invading them and every week they like to tell they have destroyed another Russian tank column. I mean, even Poroshenko called to EU and bragged about that at some point. Logic? None. What we have here is a very limited number of people who come up with this weird shit, and then they use all their power to convince others, from officials to simple citizens.

    Well, now lets see what is really happening.

    I am glad to say, that western media starts to catch on. Here are two articles. One is from the anti-US site I like to read and it is about how US plans are failing because Ukraine is losing the war.
    But another one article I have today is from another source. Here's the article, and from it I can see, that people who wrote it do not like Russian, and think that fighting Russia is a good thing... but they realized that Ukraine has actual fascists fighting on its side. Nice to see such a realization.

    While all this is going, Tusk admitted that there is war in Ukraine. It seems, then Ukraine military is bombing cities in the east, it's still the 'Anti-Terrorist Operation', but when army is being kicked out... well, with the way it is going, people had to realize that it is a proper war sooner or later.

    And Ukraine army is being kicked out still. While there are continuous artillery strikes, most of the army is pushed back, and separatists even took back Lugansk airport, which was holding out against attacks for a long time. Last time I checked, Donetsk airport is still in the hands of Ukraine army though. But mostly, army seems to be concentrating in bigger cities, leaving smaller previously taken villages. Internet is now full with videos of destroyed tech and dead soldiers, which I will not show here since they don't further the news and would just serve as graphic addition.

    With war going well for separatists, Donetsk and Lugansk republics made demands that would allow for them to stay in Ukraine. They pretty much said that if all fighting would stop, Ukraine would start fixing all the damages it done in eastern regions and is Donetsk and Lugansk regions would retain special autonomous status (I guess, a bit like Crimea back when it was part of Ukraine), then they will stay as part of Ukraine.

    This initiative was suddenly supported by our own president. Poroshenko said that there would be peace talks, and we now have another cease-fire announced. I think, it happened on the 5th. Immediately after that, both sides of the conflict reported about continuation of fighting, so right now we technically have cease-fire, while combat is still going. I am not sure about exact situation, but I imagine that, during the cease-fire, Ukrane army forces would try to regroup, but national guard forces (our local nazis) would obviously continue fighting, which is probably what is happening now.

    And while all this is going, Ukraine is trying to find more soldiers. And I have two interesting news on that topic.

    On the 1st of September Poroshenko received a proposition to increase the army size using... prisoners. Yep, the project talked about taking some of the prisoners (as they said, they already had thousands of volunteers ready), giving them weapons and sending them to east. And that would be counted as public service work. I am not sure, what is the status of that project atm, and I haven't heard of it being actually put into effect, but this is something we have to possibly watch out for.

    Another thing, however, already happened now. With war hysteria as it is now, and with Ukraine tv telling people that Russian soldiers, tanks and war ships are closer every day, head of one of the villages in Prikarpat'e (far west of the Ukraine) started drafting children into the army. So yeah, Ukraine now has its first children battalion and our very own version of hitlerjugend.

    Obviously, they are too small to fight, there's not many of them, and there's no proper infrastructure in place to train children to fight. But the fact of this alone shows how far we are gone now. And yes, parents are fully supporting this, and hope their children will get sent to the east, into the combat area, as soon as possible.
    I do wonder now if that initiative would spread to other villages in the west and if any big city would pick this notion up.

  11. #823702014-09-13 11:03:08Kirn said:

    At this moment I have no idea if we even have a cease-fire in effect at all. I think, we may have it... possibly... maybe... Fighting? Yeah, that's still going.

    Once again, I will start with 'World vs Russia' news, then go into what is going in Ukraine, and today I will even add some conspiracy theories about separatists. So, let's see what's new.

    First of all, do you remember the Boeing thing? Well, somewhere around the 9th the investigation experts published their report on that. That's almost 2 months after the crash. And what does that report state? That the plane was most likely... shot down by some outside force. That's literally it. Oh, and they also say that recordings of what was said in the cockpit did not indicate any technical difficulties or emergency situations. So yeah, it turns out that the plane that was shot down is actually shot down. Great investigative work. I guess, there may even not be a next report on that - the issue will just get buried.
    Next... some more weird statements from the current president of Ukraine. On the 10th he suddenly announced that 'about 70% of Russian troops have left Ukraine, which gives us a change for a peaceful resolution'. That I will leave without a comment.
    About the same time, head of the Ukraine National Bank suddenly found who is guilty in hrivna (our currency) collapse. Apparently, it's not the fact that we own everyone money as a country, or a fact that we got no factories, no production and will probably won't survive winter. No, what was claimed is that "200 FSB agents are destabilizing the hrivna". Yes, exactly 200 apparently. And yes, no explanation on how exactly they do that was provided. Again, this one needs no comment.
    You probably remember that Russian cut Ukraine from gas supply. Well, Ukraine is now sort of 'buying' gas from countries that buy it from Russia (apparently, some countries are willing to give us gas in debt just to spite Russia). Well, Poland was one of those countries, and what Russians did - they just didn't provide the gas flow increase Poland requested. They put some nice explanation on that, but the message was clear, and Poland stopped giving gas to Ukraine in a big hurry. At this moment, I think there are still countries that do that. Then again, it really won't be enough for the winter.

    So, what is going on in Ukraine itself then? Well, supposedly, we have a cease-fire. It's not really a complete cease-fire. First of all, it was obvious from the start, that Ukraine army will just use that time to regroup. And the second thing is that our national nazi battalions will not stop fighting. So that's exactly what we have now - army is pulling back, fascists and mercenaries are trying to fight still. I think separatists still can't take airport near Donetsk, and what I heard is that it is being held by foreign mercenaries. Still, it's mostly unconfirmed information, because for now the only confirmed mercenaries we have here on Ukraine side are Polish. Well, saying that, there are enough foreign people on both sides. Apparently, there are even French people here - a few of them - and some of those are fighting for Ukraine army, and some are for separatists. Still, in other places Ukraine forces are mostly on the run, still trying to cover themselves with artillery.
    Which actually presents a serious problem for our current government. Right now it feels like they are not sure if they actually want to continue the war, because they will just lose. And they can't get more people to join the army - even western cities are revolting against it now. And another problem for them is those volunteer battalions - our Ukraine nazis - which, when they realise that Ukraine won't continue the war against pro-Russians any more, will move against Kiev. And those are armed just as well as the army. So, among the crazy claims and patriotic words, one can see a lot of uncertainty in the current government.
    Oh, and they are breaking up already. As I wrote before, there are parliament elections coming. And now everyone is picking their sides. For example, after Communist and Regions parties were expelled from parliament, they are now reforming and entering the political race anew. But they aren't the only ones. Yatsenyuk - the one who made the most laughable claims about the gas situation - and Turchinov - temporary acting president right after the revolution - now joined in their own 'People's Front' party, which pretty much split the government in two, because now we have two major blocks - People's Front and Poroshenko party - that will fight each other for places in parliament. And I have to say, even after the Orange revolution the government held together for a bit longer than that.

    Well, while all this is going, there is something I do have to say. Everyone who kept an eye on the situation noticed that right after Strelkov had left the separatist 'for a rest', they started winning all the major battles. More than that, I wrote about this, about the same time a number of key figures in both Donetsk and Lugansk republics changed.
    It is theorised now, that this was a condition from some outside force - possibly from Russia. The people that were changed were the ones that would never have any kind of negotiations with Ukraine government. Those that came on their places could be more open-minded. And after the change was made, separatists started scoring major victories. Which could be possible if someone would open the flow to some resources - people, ammo, information, whatever.
    So, quite possible, whoever that 'outside force' is, by now results are obvious - cease-fire is announced, and separatists are strong enough to make Ukraine start proper negotiations. And people in Donetsk and Lugansk can actually agree to end the conflict if their conditions are met. Which would mean that the end-game of all this would be keeping the Ukraine territory as it is, de-escalating situation in a way.
    Actually, one obstruction in the way of that plan is Ukraine itself now. As I said, volunteer battalions are still fighting, not caring about cease-fire, which in turn makes everyone shoot at everyone again. And even if there will be some coherent negotiations, Ukraine side can easily mess it up - either by sheer incompetence or by pure hate. Well, we aren't at that stage yet, so we will see how it would go, but yes, some outside influence is obvious in the sudden separatists victories.

    Well, that's how we are for now. Oh, and also the second Russian humanitarian aid convoy has arrived in Lugansk. And while Kiev is unhappy about it again, this time there was no long wait at the border, it seems. So at least we have that going as one positive news.

  12. #827372014-09-21 08:07:57Kirn said:

    Somehow, this week was pretty uneventful, at least in my opinion.

    Still, there are some things to note. For example, EU people think about separating Russia from global banking system. That would be a very stupid thing to because, doing that, would pretty much stop all trade between Russia and the world, and while Russia will suffer, EU would be hit in the same manner. But still, there are people who want to do that.

    There was also another event of foreign journalist suddenly finding out that Ukraine national guard have fascists in it these days. This is a minor news story, really, but I do like when such info breaks through.

    There are now articles that say that 'anti-terrorist operation' in Ukraine already cost the country more than 5 billions of dollars. That's more than our gas debt to Russia, by the way, and it's quite obvious that this is exactly the money that didn't get used to stabilise economy. I don't keep records of all the news of Europe giving Ukraine money this year, but I am sure this is where most of that money went.

    Also, since we have parliament elections, there are some fun stuff there to again. In recent days our head of ministry of defence (he is the idiot who claimed Russia threatened to nuke Ukraine) complained about battalion commanders joining the election. And yes, some of the commander who fought against separatists in the east and bombed cities are now going into politics, probably hoping their war efforts would make them popular picks.
    Speaking about militaristic people, Dmytro Yarosh - leader of right sector - is now threatening Poroshenko. And it's not the first time. There was a similar event about a month or so back, but it was downplayed by both sides. But now Yarosh plainly states that supporting Poroshenko was a mistake, and strategy for east regions should be changed. And not for the more peaceful solution too, if you are wondering. So yes, as it was predicted, local nazi bastards are now starting to turn against the current government, which is already split among itself.

    And as a final note. Probably to celebrate the International Day of Peace, yesterday Ukraine army launched some ballistic missiles against Donetsk city. Thankfully, no heavily populated areas were hit - missiles destroyed one factory and one warehouse, and the third one fell somewhere near the mine. Don't know about the casualties yet. ANd yes, these were Tochka-U missiles, which I wrote about before, and by now 74 such missiles were launched against the separatists. So, as you can see, cease-fire is still going strong.

  13. #830152014-09-27 13:24:53Kirn said:

    So, another update.

    First of all - our leaders are still crazy. Poroshenko recently said that 'in the east Ukraine had shows that it can protect itself'. Probably he means, Ukraine is doing a great job of protecting itself from Russians... Who are still safely behind the border, while bloodied Ukrainian army is running away from separatists.
    Well, to be fair, some movements of the army were more tactical - they didn't run, just fell back on some locations. And I heard that current commander of Donetsk army was almost killed in a firefight recently, so yeah, fighting still goes both ways at times.

    Well, back to crazy claims. As I wrote, Lugansk airport was taken back from Ukraine army some time ago. Well, Valeriy Heletey, who is our current head of Ministry of Defence (the one who is pretty much only known how his crazy claims), claimed, that Lugansk airport was taken because there Russia used... nuclear weapons against Ukraine army. Yep. Either he's that crazy, or our highest military commander has no idea what a nuclear weapon is.

    Good thing is, EU press is really catching on to the fact that Ukraine is now a country of very strange people. Austrian derStandard published that claim with a critical commentary about our military commander.

    I am also pleased that Germans are not sitting idly too. Apparently, some German satire troupe made a sketch about press coverage of Ukraine war. I will give the video with English subtitles here.

    For my Russian readers, here's a version with Russian subtitles, which are actually much better.

    And while all this happens, it seems, there is some negotiating being done.

    Quite importantly: Russia agreed to give Ukraine some gas. 5 billions of cubic meters, to be precise. And the article I read it from claims that even the price is agreed on. However, to make this deal possible, Ukraine will have to pay at least 2 billions of dollars from its 5+ billions gas debt to Russia. I seriously hope that this deal will come through and that our politicians won't fuck this up again, because, I have to tell you, it's getting cold in here.

    But the main discussion now is the fate of Donetsk and Lugansk republics. It's already clear that Ukraine can't take those regions now. It's also unclear if Ukraine will be able to comply with demands from those regions... or if those demands are even still on the table.
    The latest theory I heard is that negotiations are going towards making those two regions separate entities, akin to Kosovo, not being part of Ukraine, nor Russia. That possibility includes in itself a lot of consequences for all three sides - meaning Ukraine, Russia and those two republic themselves.
    Still, officially nothing have been said at all, and the war is still going even, though maybe not as active as months before. We are now in a state of great uncertainty. Well, seeing how we are going to at least some negotiations, maybe war will be over this year. Hopefully. We really have to start putting money to re-building this country, if that's even possible at this point.

  14. #830162014-09-27 14:16:41DarkChaplain said:

    Good thing is, EU press is really catching on to the fact that Ukraine is now a country of very strange people. Austrian derStandard published that claim with a critical commentary about our military commander.

    Gonna translate a few passages for you:

    Der ukrainische Verteidigungsminister Waleri Geletaj hat offenbar völlig den Bezug zur Realität verloren. Jedenfalls bleibt für andere Interpretationen seiner Aussagen wenig Spielraum.

    The ukrainian minister of defence Waleri Geletaj has apparently completely lost his grip on reality. At least there is not much room for other interpretations of his claims.

    Man könnte die Aussagen Geletajs als einen bizarren geschmacklosen Scherz eines "Comical Waleri" abtun, doch schon Anfang September äußerte sich der Minister in eine ähnliche Richtung, als er behauptete, dass Russland mit dem Einsatz von Nuklearwaffen gedroht hätte. Einen Beweis blieb er dabei ebenso schuldig wie jetzt.

    One could put Gelatajs claims down as a bizarre, tasteless joke of the "Comical Waleri", but even in early September he made statements in a similar fashion, when he claimed that Russia was threatening the use of nuclear weapons. He couldn't provide evidence then either.

    Wenn es nicht einen blutigen Konflikt betreffen würde, könnte man darüber lachen, doch bei Kiews Verbündeten in Brüssel sollten die Alarmglocken läuten, wenn Personen wie Geletaj im ukrainischen Bürgerkrieg die Entscheidungen treffen.

    If it wasn't related to a bloody conflict, one could laugh about it, but there should be alarm bells ringing for Kiew's allies in Brussels, when people like Gelataj make the decisions in the ukrainian civil war.

    There's a lot more of that sort in the article, including talk about how the whole thing is like beating a dead horse.

  15. #831772014-10-03 12:48:41Kirn said:

    @DarkChaplain thanks for the translation. I did check the article a bit myself with google translate, to make sure I am writing right stuff about what it says. On a side-note, translation to Russia is still horrible on google translate. Oh well.

    In any case. We are somewhat... well, we do still have cease-fire, but apparently, people noticed that everyone are still shooting everyone. So it seems we are going back into the retarded mode again.

    First of all, here's a curious result of demonizing Russia. Apparently, Rosneft and Exxon together found a lot of oil but now because of Obama administration forbidding US companies to deal with Russian companies, Exxon can't cooperate and take their share of it. Well, this article claims that Russia can't drill this alone, and it seems like for now, while Exxon is making a decision, Rosneft is willing to wait on them, so it may as well be true. But the main thing remains - Exxon will have to decide if it will follow Obama direction and lose a hell lot of profit, or if it will work with Russians on this, essentially making a pretty big precedent.

    Here's also a curious interview with Bob Work Deputy Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defence. This place is very interesting:

    No, I don't worry about World War III. I think there's two things happening, both with Russia and China. First, they clearly are staking out their position in their near abroads. And this is one of the things that we're going to have to work out over the course of the next several years on what they consider to be areas of their vital interest, and what we have to do is find a means by which to make sure that those desires do not resort to the use of force and would require an overt response militarily from us. We have to work these out and make sure that Russia and China feel secure in their near abroads.

    Pretty much sounds like 'they want to strengthen areas near them, so we have to be ready for military response on that'. All the while US is pretty much at everyone's backyard... Then again, some people (hopeful people, I would imagine) think that this statement can be red two way - like I red it, and in a way that suggests some sort of negotiations and peaceful sharing of the world at least. I don't believe it, but hey, who knows.

    While all this is going, different countries are still demanding the withdrawal of Russian armies from Ukraine. Yep, those are the same non-existent Russian armies in Ukraine that are demanded to leave or nobly destroyed by Ukraine military every week. Goes to silly lengths, because US pretty much says that 'some of the sanctions can be removed' if Russian army would leave Ukraine. Seeing how that demand is impossible to fulfil... Yeah, you get the picture.

    Relations between Ukraine and Russia are still as silly as ever. For example, I am not sure if I mentioned it, but Ukraine (most of all - Yatsenyuk. Yeah, that guy who fucked up the gas situation early this year. Our, I dread the thought, Prime Minister.) want to build a wall on the border with Russia, kinda like US did with Mexico I think. We call it... The Wall!
    Well, the bill passed, about 7.5 USD was gived to build this thing and... No work was ever started. For now at least, but really, even in regions with no combat going - nothing. So, for now we are assuming the people who passed the bill just pocketed the money. However, when asked about the delay, Ukraine border service denied the halt in the work. So, apparently, the work... is going? Or is planned? Or something. Very uncertain. Well, if they pocketed the money, they are now switching the contractor to pocket some more money. However, these news about the wall are complimented by more retarded news.
    There's this think called involuntary labour service. In time of war or similar crisis, some people can be roped into doing some work for the country - defence-related manual labour, crisis situation relief and such. The people that can be made to do this are students, unemployed people, farmers and also company and office workers is their bosses agree. Now private entrepreneurs are added to the list. And- here's the kick - apparently the list of possible works now includes building The Wall. Nice, eh? I really can see this - pocketing most of the money and then roping some unrelated people to build the damn thing. I have no news if this is actually how it is going or will go, but I will keep an eye for that.

    Also, a humorous story. Some maidan activists (those are pro-Europe, pro-US and anti-Russian people in case you don't remember) made a prank for our President Poroshenko's birthday. What they did is they painted the fence of his private residence in Ukraine flag colors, and they also gifted him a car tire and a box of chocolates from his factory. Now they all are being sent to the east.
    Yes, I am serious. Pretty much everyone who was caught on cameras near Poroshenko's place very soon received a draft order - to go to the draft centre next day at 8 am to be sent east. Minister of Defence (the 'Russia attacking us with nukes' guy) already claimed that this is a pure coincidence. Nice, eh?

    And while all this is going, war is still on. I hear reports of hidden mass graves in the east, filled with civilians, found after national guard forces were pushed back from certain places. Donetsk airport still remains the place that holds against all assaults by separatists. Red cross member died in Ukraine which made UN wake up and realize fighting is still going. And now Ukraine government talks about revoking the amnesty law and special status law for Donetsk and Lugansk regions if cease-fire won't hold. And while Donetsk and Lugansk regions are effectively their own autonomies now, that claim shows that after this breather Ukraine current government is ready to try and kill off everyone on the east again.

  16. #835022014-10-12 08:01:56Kirn said:

    Not many grand occasions this week, it seems. Still, there are some interesting things to note. And this post will be just about Ukraine, without getting Russia into it all. Well, no, looking over the links I collected over the week - there will be one Russia-related story.

    In any case. With parliament election campaign going, big boards in my city are now covered with candidates to vote for. Portraits with candidates from the Opposition Block (those are the remnants of Regions Party, who are now pretty much discredited and unliked by everyone now) are now often vandalised now by local pro-government radicals.
    Quite honestly, doesn't seem like a lot of advertisements showing someone one can really vote for in this situation. I think, communist party is participating in elections again, mostly unchanged, but I will expect the votes will mostly split between different representatives of current government, who are not trying to grab more power for themselves, splitting against each other.

    In other news. Seems like there will be moves made against Russian language on Ukraine. Seeing how it's as prevalent here as Ukrainian... well, that's not a good move. But once again, in trying to please the west, Poroshenko now talks that not Russian, but English language should be gives a special status in Ukraine.

    Important war news. Cease-fire is still running strong, and in a major battle separatists took the airport of Donetsk, which was probably the most defended position held by Ukrainian army and national guard. Before the attack, Ukraine was actively trading for that airport. They proposed to leave it, if separatists would give them something like 3 or 4 small cities back. And it seems, after airport was takes, Ukrainian negotiators... continued to make those demands for at least another day. And the humorous thing is that by Minsk agreement, that airport was supposed to be given to separatists unconditionally anyways, and without any fighting.
    Still, with all the weird stuff going on, this is a serious victory, again, by separatists.

    Here are more news concerning Russia. I am not sure if I mentioned this before... I probably didn't. But in the end of a last year, Russia was ready to pour money into Ukraine. 15 billions, to be exact. Which was accepted by previous prime-minister. Money was supposed to go in parts, and we received first 3 billions of that money. However, then all the maidan broke out and, obviously, there was no more money from Russia, because Ukraine changed government and started trying to give Russia the finger.
    However, Ukraine, in addition to gas money, now owed Russia 3 billions (I have no idea where the money went btw, obviously). And Russia now wants to get that back. However, Ukraine, as always, want to try and not pay. The explanation by the current government is that "agreement was made and performed by previous totalitarian government, and we have nothing to do with that". However, Russia was ready even back then, and the terms of a contract are such that in case of any delays with returning any part of that loan... Ukraine would have to pay full and immediate price of 15 billions back.
    The article I red implies that the deal was made through VTB Capital Plc company, which has some pull in London, so if Ukraine would deny responsibility for any payments, it may make it look pretty bad in eyes of England. I am not sure if that would really be as serious, but news of Ukraine not paying its debts once again are still important, especially since EU are now the ones throwing money at our ruined country.

    I want to end this today with a 1-hour documentary about maidan shootings. In case you forgot - the culminating moment of the revolution was when a large number of people got shot during riots. That made the final stages of violence to break out.
    This documentary is in English, thankfully. Most of it is pretty much what any well-informed person of our internet already knows, but it's nice to have something in language the rest of the net can understand.

  17. #836502014-10-17 08:22:20Kirn said:

    I have to mention this - some days ago I finally saw vandalisation of an election poster for one of the current 'ruling' parties. This one was actually more severe - someone threw a huge rock at the picture of Timoshenko, shattering the glass of the stand completely. So, it seems, we are well into the election race now.
    I kinda don't want to know the results of that election though. When we had presidential election, that made Poroshenko president, the turnout of votes was the lowest ever recorded in the country. Today even more people would be likely to despair about elections even changing anything, plus, now that not just Crimea alone, but the whole 3 huge regions went away from Ukraine, majority of votes would be obviously from the western part of the country. I guess, we'll wait and see, but nobody I know is expecting anything good.

    While this is going, Poroshenko announced that our Minister of Defence (that idiot who claims that Russia nukes us) will be relieved. And Poroshenko proposed for that post a general who is now a leader of all the national guard battalions. As 'national guard' is what local fascists now call themselves, I can't expect anything good from that proposal. Well, there may certainly be much less retardness.
    Reasonably speaking, after this, Ukraine army may start acting more coherently, though by now it's already in a horrible state, and I am not sure if it would be able to recover even with a good commander, if that guy is any good. Not that I would mind if the army that we have now would remain inept.

    Speaking of army. After separatists took Donetsk airport, Ukraine army is now constantly trying to take it back again. For now situation is reversed, with Donetsk forces holding strong, and army failing their attempts. Obviously, Ukraine army got much better artillery cover still for the attack, but most of the reports I read tell that they lose a lot of people trying to retake that place.

    Actually, Ukrainian armed forces are not happy with how all this is going. There was an occasion this week of a few hundred of national guard forces leaving the combat zone and going to Kiev, where they protested against long terms of service. Apparently, they were supposed to serve for a year, but with Ukraine needing as many soldiers as it can have, they had to serve 1.5 years already, so that's what they were protesting.
    At this moment I am not sure what happened to those soldiers - were some of them arrested, were they talked to and returned to combat zone, or anything else.

    Some positive news. Poroshenko signed a document giving 'some regions of Donbass' special status. This is a nice step, though, with situation being as it is, one can't be sure if this will even be noticeable. I would say, that if fighting won't stop, nothing would be changed. However, if there actually will be a peaceful solution to this whole situation, and if for some reason Donetsk and Lugansk would stay as part of Ukraine - such document would come in handy. For now... probably not so much.

  18. #915292015-08-25 09:26:30Kirn said:

    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.

  19. #917492015-08-30 07:41:16Kirn said:

    In my previous post I summed up a bit the happenings in the country (Pretty much - everything sucks here). Now I want to take a turn and look at some Russia-related news concerning all this situation.

    Right now Donetsk and Lugansk republic are still nominally considered to be past of Ukraine. Ukraine itself sure feels that way. However, right now the only things it gives to those republics are bombings. Meaning - people in Novorosia aren't getting pensions, social help or even passports. Yes, right now there's no institution that would make Novorosia passports, and Ukraine isn't providing any, so people who come of passport-getting age are left with nothing.
    Now in the past days there are talks about idea of Russia providing passports for people like that in Novorosia. Now, this is a double-edged idea, and even Novorosia leaders currently don't agree on their position about that. If Russia would provide passports, supposedly, those people would get some social benefits. Plus, it is a common belief that Russia kicked the shit out of Georgia back in 2008 because it attacked South Ossetia where some people had Russian passports in a similar manner. Which may or may not be true. And the passport-giving process is not that simple and convenient.
    Well, it's all just talks about an idea for now, but if it's implemented - it will have its cons and pros, obviously.

    Another issue that was talked about is that Malaysian plane. Do you remember hearing about any official investigation results? I would guess not. Those are very secret. Mostly, I would imagine, because they wouldn't show what mass-media wants people in the world to think. However, while results are still secret, there were extensive talks about UN-based tribunal that would deal with bringing perpetrators to justice. And that would have happened, but Russia vetoed it. Which obviously started talks about how Russia doesn't want the truth.
    Which is very dumb, because it's exactly the opposite. Intentions were to make a tribunal and appoint the blame with ever disclosing any investigation results. And who would the blame be appointed to? To Russia, obviously - the country that provided the most extensive results of their own investigations into the matter. Well, see, if Russia would have supported the creation of tribunal, that would have meant that Russia would have to comply with any of its decision. So, by vetoing the tribunal, Russia pretty much refused to be appointed criminal without any real results. Obviously, that way it gets more public backlash, but it was a reasonable and solid decision.

    And while all this happens, sanctions against Russia are still big and strong and... not really working as intended. Russia placed product embargo on EU countries. And now, while Russia works on its own products or on getting products from more friendly countries, EU has to decide where to put all that extensive food. Obviously, noone will feed the poor - that's just silly. There were attempts to bring products into Russia illegally and quietly, but Russia replied by confiscating and destroying those, making it clear that this will not do.
    You know what's funny? England, that never even exported anything to Russia, suffers because of that. Because now products that are supposed to go to Russia are distributed and sold all over EU itself - wherever there is a demand. And now England is getting a lot of cheap products, and local farmers can't sell their stuffs that well.
    So yeah, sanctions are still working great. By the way, while Ukraine scream loudly about the need to make more sanctions against Russia, we are the one country that did absolutely nothing about that. Russia stopped receiving some of the stuff we make, but we still try to sell them everything they might take.

    To finish this small section, something that happened in my own city. You see, some time at the start of this year (late January), our parliament voted on calling Russia aggressor country. As I wrote before, that's how we do stuff here - we don't work on politics or economy or making stings better. We just vote on parliament on deciding stuff and then telling everyone that that's how it is. Well, this retarded initiative was continued on smaller scale - city councils across the country also voted on the same issue (even though they have no official right for such votings even) with same results. Understandable in our current country where you have to follow the propaganda or face consequences.
    However, yesterday the same thing was supposed to happen in my city. City council was supposed to gather and vote on calling Russia aggressor-country. And it didn't happen. We have 120 people on the council and 64 (more than half) didn't attend, so the vote was canceled. I figure, it is a very distinct protest against the current country policy. And probably it's just that much safer for them to not show up than to vote against that proposition.
    In any case, both parliament voting on calling Russia names and local boycotting of the same voting are made just for effect. But it's still nice to see something being made for effect with the right idea in mind.

  20. #917522015-08-30 11:21:30 *Taro_Tanako said:

    From The Outside Looking In: European (UK) News on The Ukraine

    So @Kirn does a pretty interesting job here of reportage, and I always find reading this thread really informative. I also thought it may be interesting to add a brief picture of what news in the UK is saying about the Ukraine. Not for balance or as any argument, but more as a comparison of what western media seems to be focusing on juxtaposed with the reality as Kirn knows it to be.

    Ukrainian Debt

    So this week the Ukrainian Finance Minister negotiated a debt write-down of 20% with foreign creditors (mostly via the International Monetary Fund bailout but also made up of some skeezy hedge funds and American backers). The total debt is about $18 billion so this write-down is worth $3.6 billion. She was asking for 40% and threatening to default on the total, using this as a negotiating tactic.

    Russia refused to take part in the bailout process and will still be looking for its $3 billion due for repayment in December 2015. This means that the IMF will have to seriously consider lending Ukraine another $3bn for it to pay Russia off.

    Whilst it is expected that Ukraine's economy can be stabilised on the back of this deal, the majority opinion of Euro economists is that Ukraine will be back very soon and that this is just a short term solution. The Greek debt crisis is of more importance to Europe because it's involved in the European monetary zone and Euro. There is little asset exposure for Europe in the Ukraine.

    Biker Gang Plans to Re-Enact WWII

    Apparently, The Night Wolves, a Russian biker gang, has been given land in annexed Crimea by Russian authorities. They then re-enacted an interpretation of WWII using motor stunts, pyrotechnics, and rock music celebrating the Soviet victory. This is seen as part of the patriotic propaganda on the increase in Russia.

    Captured Ukrainian Pilot Being Used For Propaganda by Russia

    The Ukrainian pilot, Nadiya Savchenko, who was captured in June 2014 by separatists and handed to Russian forces, was to be tried for the killing of two journalists from Russian state TV. It was alleged that she was responsible for the artillery shelling that caused their deaths, even though she was captured two hours prior to the incident. The courts appear to be wilfully ignoring the evidence of phone records and video footage in an effort to present this Ukrainian as a kill happy Western soldier.

    Malaysian Air Crash

    The Dutch Safety Board will publish their detailed findings on the MH17 crash on 13th October. The crash, which led to the horrific loss of 298 passengers and crew, was blamed on Russia-backed separatist rebels firing a surface to air missile. The Russian government subsequently blamed this on Ukrainian forces who also denied involvement.

    The leaked findings of the report indicate that the Boeing 777 was shot down by a Buk surface to air missile fired from a nearby village under the control of the rebels. There is a separate international criminal investigation in progress.

  21. #917602015-08-30 17:40:14AolDunedein said:

    I gotta say, this thread is great. I read most of it, and it is highly informative. I agree with many of your points, Kirn, although i don't really support your pro-Russian position. Ukraine seems to be in a ridiculous state right now, and nobody is trying to help the country, just themselves. I do not see things as locals do, and i do not condone the actions that Russia has taken since this whole thing started, but the attitude of the rest of the West was less than commendable either, even though their priority is obviously Greece. Something must be done, and soon, or this will be a very long and harsh winter for all the parties involved. This situation must be resolved by a honest agreement between the foreign powers, both European and Russian, because i doubt Ukraine can recover on its own. Also, i have seen a lot of reporting and complaining and arguing, and that's fine and great, but i think we should be trying to find a solution to the issue. True, it's not as if any of us is a specialist in the matter or has the power needed to make the necessary change, but that kind of thinking might help a bit, if just only our tired minds.