Another Russian Fake

Green Group sigs same

The list of Russian disinformation fakes is getting ridiculously longer, but this is a good one. The online group calling itself Cyberberkut (named after Yanukovych’s murderous special police) which claims to excel at cyber attacks and liberating e-mails like some kind of WikiLeaks to show US/Ukrainian/NATO wrongdoing published some supposed documents a few days ago showing that the US was using a private security company to send weapons and fighters to Ukraine. Actually it would be great if the US was actually doing that and finally countering Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but this is sadly not the case. As usual, some simple mistakes show the fakery of it all.

Disinformation–Cyberberkut page on alleged US Defence contractor in Ukraine

The intercepted documents have to do with an alleged visit to Kyiv by private defence contractor Green Group LLC, though it is unclear why the group would poorly scan and fax printed and signed proposals in any case (instead of sending just a regular e-mail, or having the delegation, whose names are on another un-scanned document, just hand carry them).

All of the documents are form Green Group but are in Ukrainian. We are not fluent enough in Ukrainian to determine whether they are all correctly written, but the fact is, US companies and the US government do not put such lengthy documents into the language of the recipient. Americans are lazy with languages, and all of these countries like Ukraine have adequate numbers of fairly fluent English speakers who can deal with English. Much more, the company is headquartered in Oklahoma, where some might say English is not even a strong suit, much less Ukrainian.

The list of Green Group reps who allegedly visited Kyiv have their names rendered in Ukrainian as well as English. One, a certain Juan Duran, has his name in Ukrainian written as ‘zhu-an’, which of course could be a mistake a foreigner seeing the ‘J’ might make, if they did not know the Spanish pronunciation is not like a ‘J’.

On the side of each document there are the US and European addresses, with the European one stating ‘The city of Tbilisi, Georgia’. Having spent lot of time in Georgia, we never recall anyone writing ‘The city of Tbilisi’. It is just Tbilisi. Sometimes one might want to specify that they are referring to the country of Georgia, vice the US state of the same name, but Tbilisi never gets confused with anything else.

But the most glaring errors are on the signature blocks for the CEO of Green Group, Greg Holmes. Amazingly for a company that allegedly put so much into crafting these personal proposal letters to the Chief of the Ukrainian General Staff, all translated improbably into Ukrainian, the signature blocks, signature of the CEO, and the Green Group overstamp are all perfectly identical. Absolutely identical. Not any slight deviation in the signature, which intersects the letters of the signature block in identical spots, and the overstamp is in precisely the same spot on each of the three letters.

Another disinformation fake. But on the bright side, at least Russian disinformation has moved on from its bogus infatuation with the no longer extant Blackwater which they earlier claimed were everywhere in eastern Ukraine.

 

Excellent ‘Ukraine@war’ Video Analysis of Kremlin’s Nemtsov Murder

CCTV cameras on lamp post behind Nemtsov murder scene

CCTV cameras on lamp post behind Nemtsov murder scene

Ukraine@war excellent analysis of Nemtsov murder

This repost of Ukraine@war with analysis of the Nemtsov murder video closely follows what we have been saying here, but takes the analysis to an excellent higher level. The street cleaning truck/garbage truck was most definitely part of the plan. Also note that it took a full 13 minutes for the first police to arrive–right in front of the Kremlin!

CCTV cameras on lamp post in front of Nemtsov murder scene

CCTV cameras on lamp post in front of Nemtsov murder scene

Today Interior Ministry officials said all the CCTV cameras on the bridge and in the area were either under maintenance or turned off Friday night. Even the ones on the lamp posts right behind and in front of the kill spot. How convenient  for Putin, who had the sole motive and was definitely behind it (though his spokesman Peskov right away said it was 100% a provocation, either by Islamists, Ukrainians, opposition, or presumably space aliens).

 

Big Turnout in Moscow for Nemtsov March While Kremlin Unabashedly Blames US State Department for Murder

Moscow 1 Mar 8

Surprisingly, Russians found some voice today with a large turnout for the long-planned anti-regime Spring march, which after the murder of opposition leader Nemtsov just before midnight 27-28 February was changed to a memorial march to the spot where he was murdered on Moskvoretskiy Bridge (initially reported as the Bolshoy Kamenniy Bridge 250 metres away on the other side of the Kremlin). Police reported 21,000, though other sources and photographic evidence would suggest something more like 70,000, which is not bad for Russian opposition events.

Moscow 1 Mar bridgejpg

There were some problems with people having banners confiscated at the metal detectors operated by police at the starting point of the march–banners with negative things to say about Putin, but that is unfortunately normal in a Fascist state. Additionally, Ukrainian Rada deputy (who is also a deputy in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) Aleksey Goncharenko was arrested and is being held in a Moscow jail on unspecified charges. He was not carrying any banners or flags, but was wearing a shirt with Nemtsov’s picture and the worlds ‘Heroes don’t die’ written in Ukrainian.

Moscow 1 Mar 9

Quadcopter view of the embankment portion of the march

Banners were mostly related to Nemtsov’s murder, though some groups marched with banners calling for the release of Nadya Savchenko form Russian jail. She is the Ukrainian pilot who was fighting with a volunteer battalion near Luhansk and was captures, interrogated on Komsomolskaya Pravda TV in Ukraine, and then taken across the border to Russia to be put on trial for allegedly directing mortar fire on a Russian fighter’s blockpost which killed a Russian journalist who happened to be there. They have since acknowledged that her phone record indicate she was captured before that incident (which in any case was not illegal since it was artillery on a military target), and she was nowhere near that spot, but are still charging her with illegally crossing the border (which she was taken across while kidnapped). Other posters said ‘we are not afraid’ or had the name Boris with an added soft sign, which transforms it in Russian into ‘fight’.

 

Boris turned into word 'fight'

Boris turned into word ‘fight’

Other marches drawing thousands were held in St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg among others. There, protesters carried more Ukrainian flags than were seen in Moscow (which were nearly all Russian flags), and in Yekaterinburg there was one interesting sign playing on Putin’s popularity figures, stating ‘Putin 86%, Hitler 87%, Qadhafi 99%’.

 

Free Savchenko portion of march

Free Savchenko portion of march

Nadya (Savchenko) Jean d'Arc

Nadya (Savchenko) Jean d’Arc

It remains to be seen whether this march transforms into any kind of a sustained movement. Historically that has not happened, but this could be different.

Moscow 1 Mar 2

As for the murder, naturally Russian officials and moronic RT put out the versions that it could have been Islamic terrorists, Ukrainian extremists, a mafia contract killing, the CIA, Gosdep (US State Department), or anything but the Kremlin. Putin’s spokesman Peskov said it was ’100% a provocation.’ So they already have made their conclusions and deflected attention from the only person with a motive and who has a proven track record of having his opponents murdered. The sole poor quality video of the murder from a CCTV camera across the river shows Nemtsov and the visiting Ukrainian woman (still in police custody as an apparent witness–in Russia apparently witnesses are kept in jail) walking up the bridge from Red Square , as a street cleaning machine moves slowly behind them (some say snow plow, but it has no plow and moves at a snail’s pace with flashing lights), the murderer apparently came from the street cleaner, as nobody can be seen coming from the nearby stairs behind them, then the shooter runs to a following stopped car and it speeds off. The street cleaning truck appears to have been what the killer came out of, as it also conveniently blocked the CCTV view of the killing, but it is obviously not a quick vehicle to be used for a getaway, hence the following car.

 

Scene of murder on the bridge

Scene of murder on the bridge

CCTV camera view of murder

Nemtsov cctv still

Amazingly, given that there are always OMON present on this bridge and just below the stairs, nobody saw the murder, and it took police 10 minutes to get there. Contrast with August 2014 on the nearby Kremlin Kamenniy Bridge when some activists tried to unfurl a large Ukrainian flag over the side. Video showed the police being on them in 15 seconds and arresting them and pulling up the flag. In a most high security location, nobody saw anything and police were nowhere in sight?

 

Ukrainian MP Goncharenko in Moscow jail

Ukrainian MP Goncharenko in Moscow jail

Aug 2014 Ukrainian flag unfurling and rapid police response near Kremlin

The FSB has searched Nemtsov’s apartment and taken all papers and computers to look for ‘evidence’ related to the murder, though obviously the reason is to find and destroy the report he was preparing to release (much like the many corruption exposes he published such as those related to Putin’s enrichment from the Sochi Olympics),on Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine. This is something the Kremlin certainly would not want to see published, as Nemtsov in the past had meticulously documented his allegations against the Kremlin.

 

Bullets for all of us

Bullets for all of us

Then, Putin, being the cynical scum he is, threw salt in the wound by calling Nemtsov’s mother and offering his condolences. Like Hitler calling Von Stauffenberg’s widow.

Google Streetview showing OMON at normal station one lamppost from murder scene (above embankment street). Must have been off duty Friday night.

Google Streetview showing OMON at normal station one lamppost from murder scene (above embankment street). Must have been off duty Friday night.

Putin Blatantly Celebrates Murder and Annexation of other Countries

 

Yesterday, 27 February, Putin declared by presidential decree as ‘Day of Special Operations Forces’, making it a new professional holiday in Russia. The occasion, as he stated, was the first anniversary of Russian Spetsnaz taking over the Crimean parliament in Simferopol. The same action he denied for months and said was just the will of the Crimean people that was implemented by local separatists. He lied then and lies now about his invasion of eastern Ukraine (which his Spetsnaz serf Girkin has even admitted was planned and carried out by Spetsnaz).

Russian Spetsnaz taking over Crimean Rada on 27 Feb 2014, seen from security cameras

Russian Spetsnaz taking over Crimean Rada on 27 Feb 2014, seen from security cameras

Rossiyskaya Gazeta article on Putin decree of Special Operations Day

Of course, his professional holiday would not have been complete without other special operations forces murdering a top opponent, Boris Nemtsov, in the shadow of the Kremlin. His goal was to not only cow the marginal Russian opposition and dampen their upcoming demonstration on 1 March (which is already scaled back to a memorial march to the murder scene, which Moscow City instantly authorized, probably to rub in the fact that opponents–even those who used to be Russian Deputy Prime Ministers–can and will be murdered, so nobody is exempt), but to clearly demonstrate that he is the unquestionable power supported by the power apparatus.

Nemtsov murder scene on bridge by Red Square, 27 Feb 2014. Special operation.

Nemtsov murder scene on bridge by Red Square, 27 Feb 2014. Special operation.

Interestingly, 27 February was also the 82nd anniversary of the Reichstag fire in Berlin, which was probably done by the Nazis to pin the blame on the Communists, allowing the new Nazi government to cement its absolute authority, much as Putin came into power by murdering nearly 300 Russians by having the FSB bomb apartment buildings throughout Russia to blame the Chechens, cementing his authority and war credentials.

The decree announcement in the official government paper Rossiyskaya Gazeta noted that the ‘polite people’ now have their professional holiday (the name given to the ‘polite green men’ in Crimea–Russian forces that Putin initially denied were taking over the region. They ended with С праздником, самые вежливые люди России! (Congratulations on your holiday, to the most polite people of Russia!). Polite fascist invaders, occupiers, and lowlife murdering thugs.

Security camera video of Russian Spetsnaz taking Crimean Rada at 4 AM, 27 Feb 2014–Denied then, and now a Russian holiday

Putin Murders Critic Nemtsov Near the Kremlin

Nemtsov murder location on bridge near Kremlin and Red Square

Nemtsov murder location on bridge near Kremlin and Red Square

Putin murders another critic. Boris Nemtsov, a former Deputy Prime Minister under Yeltsin and outspoken critic of the Putin regime, was gunned down at 2340 tonight Moscow time on the Bolshoy Kamenniy Bridge (right next to the Kremlin), when a white car stopped, shooters got out, and opened fire hitting him four times. Of course the government says it has started an investigation. Should be easy since they obviously did it, once again.

Nemtsov had recently said he expected the regime would try to kill him.

It did.

Boris Nemtsov murdered by Putin

Boris Nemtsov murdered by Putin

AntiMaidan in Moscow—Idiots on Parade

We are not MaiDownies

We are not MaiDownies

 

Putinism forever

Putinism forever

On Saturday, a day after Kyiv remembered the Heavenly Hundred murdered by the Yanukovych regime a year earlier, Russian authorities organized a mass rally in Moscow from the new ‘Antimaidan’ movement. As usual, it is not a grassroots spontaneous movement like Maidan was, but is organized from the top and at least partially paid. The main organizer is Putin’s FSB biker biddy Aleksandr Zaldostanov (‘Surgeon’), who marched at the front with Ukrainian turncoat and ‘Novorossiya’ advocate Oleg Tsarev. The march, estimated by police at 40,000, though probably about half that according to most estimates, was the usual odd mix of Soviet pensioners, ultranationalists, government employees who had to attend, and paid participants (queues of people getting 300 Rubles—about $5—were filmed), and scores of buses brought people in from outside the capital to increase numbers.

 

Surgeon and Tsarev

Surgeon and Tsarev

Main stage

Main stage

From the main stage, speeches with lines like ‘Maidan is a festival of death;, ‘Maidan is the smile of the American ambassador who, sitting in his penthouse, is happy to see how brother is killing brother’, ‘Maidan is the concentration of everything anti-Russian’, ‘Maidan is the embryo of Goebbels’ were met with a general lack of enthusiasm.

 

Save Russian kids from American slavery!

Save Russian kids from American slavery!

 

Bogus ICRC women

Bogus ICRC women

A number of women were marching wearing International Committee of the Red Cross shirts and carrying a form of Red Cross flags, though this was obviously not an ICRC-authorised event, as they do not participate in political marches—particularly those supporting invasion of other countries.

Mosco antimaidan us flag

Mosco antimaidan spontaneous

More notable were the ridiculous banners being carried. Of course, many were mass produced, as were the flags and jackets worn by some groups with patriotic emblems and the omnipresent St George’s ribbon—an old WW-II victory symbol now tainted by association with an imperialist invasion of another country. Groups of Chechens wearing jackets and flags bearing the face of Akhmad Kadyrov, father of current Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov, marched with signs saying ‘Putin and Kadyrov will not allow Maidan’.

 

Putin loves everyone

Putin loves everyone

Putin is better than Hitler

Putin is better than Hitler

Other notable and stupid banners:

‘We are not MaiDown’ (a typically Russian insensitive use of the word for Down Syndrome

‘We don’t need Western ideology and gay parades’

‘Organiser of Maidan’ (mass-produced placards of rock singer Makarevich who has come out against Putin’s invasion)

‘Killed 50,000 people—Poroshenko, why?’ (showing crying Ukrainian President Poroshenko)

‘Save Russian kids from American Slavery!’ (Yeah, because the US really enslaved the kids in Germany, France, Italy, the UK, Japan…)

‘Putin loves everybody’

‘Putinism forever’

‘Arkhangelsk Clinical Psychological Hospital Helps Putin’ (can’t argue with this one)

And the all-time favourite: ‘Putin is better than Hitler’

 

Parade of idiots…

 

Buses for protesters

Buses for protesters

Party is over

Party is over

Putin and Kadyrov will not allow Maidan

Putin and Kadyrov will not allow Maidan

 

We don't need Western ideology and gay parades (Chechens)

We don’t need Western ideology and gay parades (Chechens)

Makarevich, organizer of Maidan

Makarevich, organizer of Maidan

 

50,000 killed

50,000 killed

Year on: Russian Disinformation and Useful Idiots Continue BS Campaign about Maidan Murders

A Maidan shooter with an un-marksmanlike stance 20 Feb

A Maidan shooter with an un-marksmanlike stance 20 Feb

Friday marks the first anniversary of the Nebesna Sotnya—the Heavenly Hundred murdered on Maidan and nearby Institutska (though the term includes those murdered previously, mainly on 18 February on Institutska and during the assault o nthe burning barricades. But there continues to be uncertainty about who did the shooting, though in reality it is clearly the regime that was behind it. The deliberate clouding of the events began almost immediately after the mass murder when Russian disinformation outlet RT began putting out its ‘versions’ of what happened according to their ‘experts’. This continues and has picked up intensity as the anniversary approached.

 

Regime sniper 20 Feb

Regime sniper 20 Feb

In a bizarre twist that gets unfortunately too much credit on the Internet, former SBU State Security of Ukraine chief Oleksandr Yakymenko (a regular for some time in early 2014 on Russia’s RT) blamed Ukraine’s interim post-Maidan government for the shootings from 18-20 February, claiming it hired snipers. As the regime was killing its people on the 20th, the Presidential Administration said the protesters were ‘…working in organised groups. They are using firearms, including sniper rifles. They are shooting to kill.’ The truth was precisely the opposite.

As the first anniversary of the shootings approached, the Russian disinformation apparatus went again into full speed to try to show that it was anybody but the regime that was responsible. They got some probably unwitting help from BBC, of all things, with a story filed on 12 February 2015 by one of their reporters who sometimes covers Ukraine, but mostly deals with North Africa. He got the ‘untold story’ from an unnamed person who somebody put in contact with him, who said he was a sniper in the service of Maidan on the 20th. This source claimed he had been recruited by somebody on Maidan he did not know weeks earlier, and a day before the shootings had been given the bizarre choice of using either a shotgun or a Saiga. He chose the latter, though it is not clear which Saiga model, since there are many ranging from shotguns to hunting versions of the Kalashnikov. Bizarre choice though, since he allegedly was given a spot on the roof of the Conservatory along with another unknown sniper and was either told or allowed to shoot at Berkut on top of the semi-circular roof of the Globus shopping mall below the Ukrainia Hotel, and at Berkut on the hill by the October Palace (which since the 18th housed police). These are long shots of 150 metres or so, though not super long range, but certainly not something that could have been accomplished with a shotgun, so that supposed choice of weapon was rather odd.

BBC item on mystery shooter

He claimed he started shooting at about 7 AM, but only shot at their feet since he did not want to kill anyone. But the ‘confirmation’ to the story was supplied by then opposition Rada Member Andriy Shevchenko, part of the Maidan movement, who said he received a phone call from the head of Berkut on Maidan, who told him that somebody was shooting at his guys from the Conservatory. Shevchenko had Maidan ‘Commandant’ Andriy Parubiy check it out, which he did supposedly with some of his men, who he claims found nothing. Shevchenko said he got more panicked phone calls from the Berkut chief who said that he had three or five wounded and one dead and that he was ‘pulling out’, advising that ‘I do not know what will be next’. The other ‘confirmation’ came from Ukrainian photographer Evgeniy Maloletka who had taken two photos in the Conservatory of one guy on one of the lower pillars aiming toward the October Palace direction with a simple rifle that looked like either a scopeless small caliber hunting gun or, as had often been seen since a month earlier, a pellet gun. His firing stance, like other pictures taken on Maidan on the 20th showing protesters with simple hunting rifles, indicated he was certainly not a professional marksman. Another seen inside the building seemed to have a very small bore broken-down shotgun in his hands. The phantom shooter, in any case, after having been allowed to ‘work’ for 20 minutes or so, was allegedly then stopped by some unidentified men (more of these), told he was finished, and then had his weapon taken away and was driven somewhere outside of Kyiv and unceremoniously dropped off in order to try to find his way back home. So he was allegedly recruited, armed (with something), set up (though apparently not instructed to shoot at anything in particular), stopped, and driven to nowhere by some different bunches of anonymous people. The BBC piece then indicated correctly that the regime began firing in earnest later, but sowed the seeds of doubt as to who might have started the whole thing. Naturally, Russian disinformation outlet RT picked up this story and ran with it before the day was out to ‘prove’ their assertion from nearly a year earlier that Maidan shot itself.

Disinformation academic article on Maidan shooting itself

As the anniversary approached, countless leftist and rightist and generally pro-Russian blogs began re-publishing bits from an academic paper published back in October 2014 by Professor Ivan Katchanovski from the University of Ottawa in Canada. Now, he hails originally from Ukraine, but like people such as Yanukovych and Zakharchenko, can hardly be considered a real Ukrainian given his obvious loyalties. And those loyalties were quite clear in his paper The “Snipers’ Massacre” on the Maidan in Ukraine. Though some of his information is factual, he twists a lot of it to fit his theory that it was Maidan snipers who were firing from the top of the Hotel Ukraina, working in the fact that as of about 0900 on the 20th, the hotel was in the hands of Maidan and that only those with a key were allowed in. Obviously, in his world, this meant Maidan had full control of it and had nothing better to do than use all its security manpower to immediately sweep all 373 rooms of this vast towering hotel just in case snipers would be shooting from it (which had not yet started in any case, so was initally not an issue). The key assertion is also ridiculous, since once shooting began, the lobby—which was really the only part under actual Maidan control—quickly became a busy place turned into a morgue and medical centre. The hotel was also home to countless journalists, including a number from Russia’s disinformation outlet RT and its Ruptly video service.

Indeed, one of the great propaganda pieces was done there by RT, which filmed some alleged Maidan self-defence toughs in one room (masked of course), with one in an old Soviet army helmet (as used by some on Maidan) holding a fairly small-calibre rifle of some sort without scope, who casually walked to the window and fired off a shot from a standing position. Given that those shot and killed on the actual square were mostly hit with shots to the head, neck, or heart from skilled marksmen, the random standing small-calibre shot was clearly a made-for-TV propaganda item as usual. Not to mention, why would it be that some Praviy Sektor or other Ukrainian nationalist fighters shooting people would allow a Russian state TV crew to film them doing so. This was fake, but as usual, far too many are willing to believe the RT fantasy. In all likelihood it was simply staged using some of RT’s own people on the scene or some fellow travellers. The other one they believe is the stories in general, and from his hotel room on the 20th, of RT correspondent Aleksey Yaroshevsky. He did a dramatic report in front of his Maidan-facing upper floor room windows, showing where a shot from Maidan had just earlier allegedly hit one of the windows, though he stood at the open window for some time doing the report, seemingly oblivious to the mortal threat. Amazingly a number of more respectable news outlets often referred to him as a native Ukrainian doing a normal reporter’s job, without mentioning he represented one of Putin’s main disinformation mechanisms. However, it has to be noted that some footage Ruptly shot from the upper floors clearly showing Berkut firing automatic weapons at unarmed protesters was of value in showing who indeed was responsible for the massacre.

Professor Katchanovski takes extreme liberties with the truth, such as claiming the Maidan protesters shot on Institutska were not hit from Berkut positions up the street, but shot from the hotel roof—obviously by some kind of Maidan snipers. This, however, is not borne out by clear video evidence which shows them being hit from the Berkut barricades, and his photographic evidence in fact showing a tree full of bullet holes and his claims that this was indicative of (Maidan) shooting from the direction of October Palace is blatantly false. I know this tree quite well in fact, having documented the spray of 5.45mm AK-74 fire in it when I was on Maidan again in May 2014, and it was clearly a shot group originating up the hill by the Berkut barricade, as were all of the many bullet holes I documented there. Yet his ‘academic’ study has gained a lot of proponents who keep proliferating it.

10 Apr 2014 German ARD Monitor conspiratorial programme on shootings

But the ‘truther’ collection has been growing almost from right after the battle, with a 10 April 2014 report form the German ARD TV Monitor programme trying to show much the same—that the people on Institutska were shot from Maidan snipers on the upper floors of the hotel—that is, from the rear. Their sole evidence is a supposed eyewitness, some slow-motion video of shooting victims (they could apparently not get over the fact that they had incredibly been shot through the metal shields they were holding, not realising that the thin former police shields used would not stop anything but the smallest pistol bullets), and some supposedly intercepted Berkut communications indicating the police snipers were surprised by the presence of other snipers on certain rooftops. This latter point was also used by Katchanovski, though if the communications are in fact true, they just show that there were indeed various groups of snipers at work, including probably some with the express goal of inflicting losses on both sides, and from various agencies (it is known that Alfa, Omega, and Berkut employed snipers, and possibly some Russian FSB imports who may have been added to the mix). Plus in such a situation, chaos is a major element. One last point is that Monitor has for decades been an unabashedly extreme left-wing German programme noted for trying to spread dirt on the US, NATO, the German government, and anybody except Russia (or the Soviet Union back in the day). Hardly serious in anything it has done, and I have watched its weekly fabrications for many decades.

And let’s not forget the intercepted phonecall from Estonian Foreign Minister Paet and the EU’s Catherine Ashton on 26 February which RT and Russian channels widely used. The conversation took place on 26 February after Paet returned to Estonia from a trip to Kyiv. Paet, for whom English is very obviously a second language, was talking with Ashton, telling her what a doctor named Olga told him in a Kyiv hospital. He said she told him that the demonstrators shot their own people as well as some police, and said the wounds were all from the same caliber weapons and bullets, and that the new government did not want to investigate the sniping because they knew they were behind it.

However, the version that RT put out, which has been rebroadcast and amplified all over the anti-Western blogosphere already as though it is the truth, was, as usual, taken totally out of context. They only ran a portion of the conversation, where he was in the middle of saying what this Olga had told him, and was isolated enough as to make it sound like these were his own thoughts. This has been rejected by the Estonian Foreign Ministry, which while admitting the conversation was real, notes that this was just what he had been told by this person. The Ministry also voiced its disgust that its Minister’s conversations had not only been intercepted, but made public. RT, for its part, said the call was intercepted by some Ukrainian SBU security service officers loyal to Yanukovych and uploaded, though this is another lie, as the conversation did not take place in Kyiv, but after Paet had returned to Tallinn. It almost certainly was the work of the Russian FSB.

It turns out that the Olga here was a doctor treating many of the wounded in the hotel—one Olga Bogomolets—who said she had not told Paet that policemen and protesters had been killed in the same manner, since she had no access to the police. ‘I was a doctor helping to save people on the square. There were 15 people killed on the first day by snipers. They were shot directly to the heart, brain and arteries. There were more than 40 the next day, 12 of them died in my arms. Our nation has to ask the question who were the killers, who asked them to come to Ukraine.’ Paet’s assertion that an opposition figure was behind the Maidan massacre was not one she agreed with by any means, and in any case, his remarks were taken out of context by the FSB recorders and RT, as usual

In sum, the reports of Maidan sniping itself to give a reason for overthrowing the government in a ‘coup’ is nonsense first promulgated by and constantly reinforced by RT, one of Moscow’s top disinformation channels. While there certainly were a few armed people on Maidan on the 20th, which was in response to the shootings the regime had inflicted on the 18th, all evidence to date shows a few people with pistols and some small-calibre hunting rifles (usually without scopes), and none seen firing could be remotely described as having been a trained marksman. Surely some of these did inflict some wounds on the police and probably a few fatalities, but there is no evidence of Maidan having had special trained snipers at work shooting either Berkut or the protesters themselves. None whatsoever.

 

Regime troop with SVD sniper rifle on Institutska 20 Feb

Regime troop with SVD sniper rifle on Institutska 20 Feb

But early on the morning of the 20th of February, regime snipers did began firing on Maidan from at least three elevated positions. The main site was the upper floors of the towering Soviet-construct Hotel Ukraina overlooking the square, but in the direction of Maidan (not up Institutska). Another site was on the west, from positions atop the westernmost wing of the building attached to the burned-out Trade Unions building, and a third was from the roof of the building at the extreme westernmost apex of Maidan, housing a hostel among other things. From these elevated sites, snipers could cover virtually all of Maidan. They began to methodically pick off individuals, usually hitting them with head or heart shots. The main medical clinic to deal with the wounded and to sometimes collect the dead was ironically (given the snipers in the upper floors of that building) in the lobby area of the Hotel Ukraina, which was staffed by volunteer medical and other personnel who were genuinely taking care of war casualties. The regime had succeeded in spreading real fear throughout the square, since nobody could know who might be the next victim, or from which direction the deadly shots might come. Still spirits remained high, anger increased, and numbers continued to swell.

My Russian journalist friend who I again met up with on Maidan in May gave an emotional account then of his day in hell there on the 20th of February, pointing out where the snipers were firing from, and noting that there was really only one place on Maidan where you would have cover from all three directions—that being the front of the central post office with its heavy stone colonnades. He and many others spent a lot of time there that day listening to the shots and watching select people die, noting he has never felt fear and helplessness like that in his life.

On the ground though, Maidaners marched on police with shields and Molotov cocktails, and forced them to retreat up Institutska, though Ruptly and other videos clearly show Berkut in front of the October Palace firing with AK-74s directly at clearly unarmed protesters. In the evening, Radio Free Europe published videos of police shooting protesters with Kalashnikovs and sniper rifles, adding to the mountain of fast-moving evidence on social media that this was indeed the case.

 

My photo of planter at Institutska metro station

My photo of planter at Institutska metro station

Dead and wounded at planter on Institutska

Dead and wounded at planter on Institutska

Yet some of the bloodiest battles would take place once again just up the hill on Institutska, as Maidan managed to push the police back and regain the ground lost on the 18th. This appears to have been done deliberately to entice the demonstrators into a killing zone, and happened up the street before the junction with Bankova, where over the previous day the regime forces had brought in some heavy concrete barriers to construct a massive barricade. The government forces were set up initially just west of the intersection of Institutska and Bankova, the scene of the violent 1 December clashes. From these barricades, Berkut and other unidentified uniformed forces were firing at targets down the hill on that street, in the direction of the Khreshchtyk metro station and Hotel Ukraina.

Multiple outlets reported that police were armed with AK-74 assault rifles, and published photographs of that objective fact. Former Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Hennadiy Moskal speculated that the troops wielding AK-74′s could be Alfa Group units. Berkut veteran organization head Vladimir Krashevsky said that the armed police in black with yellow armbands were a unit of Berkut, and had been deployed to help evacuate the interior troops.

The truth was very different, as shown by the videos of the day, especially those taken over more than a half hour behind the regime lines by Ukraina TV. These showed groups of Berkut and other uniformed personnel repeatedly moving up to the heavy cement barricades and carefully taking aim with AK-74s, sometimes with the assistance of another person pointing out targets to the other, and firing off several aimed shots. Unlike the panicked tone the Berkut commander had reportedly told opposition Rada member Shevchenko an hour or so earlier, where he said his men were under fire and they were having to retreat, the police in this video were all rather cool and collected, even to the point of joking around, and seemed to have only one thing on their mind as they took turns moving around the corder to the massive barricade—killing and maiming protesters coming up the hill.

Video from Regime side of Institutska shooting

Other personnel moved up to firing positions carrying SVD and the new TS-308 M .308 calibre sniper rifle, which is a copy of the Swiss B&T APR rifle produced by Ukrainian company Tactical Systems and has thus far been provided only to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry per the manufacturer—specifically for security at the UEFA-2012 football event. These were seen being carried by troops wearing unique woodland camouflage, though accompanied by police in riot gear carrying AK-74s and bearing the Militsiya (Police) logo. This is interesting for a couple of reasons. Berkut had been the main riot control and assault force to date, and they were well represented there with AKs. Normal police (Militsiya) do not typically have a special weapons mandate and mission, though some are seen here with AK-74s, SVD sniper rifles, and this new TS-308 M sniper rifle. There is also the fact that the reporter tried to engage a couple of times in conversation with the Berkut and police, though was usually pushed aside with few comments except that the other side was shooting at them with ‘bullets’. During these ‘interviews’ and during the overheard conversations of the troops there, the thing that was noticeable is that all were speaking in Russian, and mostly non-accented, though some could have been from the North Caucasus.

Berkut in front of October Palace 20 Feb firing AK-74s

Berkut in front of October Palace 20 Feb firing AK-74s

Regime troops and sniper on Bankovoa and Institutska 20 Feb

Regime troops and sniper on Bankovoa and Institutska 20 Feb

Also of interest was the way the troops moved forward toward the barricade. They moved tactically, hiding for cover behind the large trees or other obstacles, as if they were being fired upon. This is possible, also in that the TS-308 M sniper from the corner of Bankova seemed to be looking over the barricade toward the Hotel Ukrainia, surveying for possible snipers there. However, this could have been just prudent overwatch, or looking for possible Maidan targets in the windows (the back of the hotel was, per reporters there, hit with quite a few rounds fired from up Institutska), or would have probably been the snipers in the employ of the regime, whose job according to Hennadiy Moskal, a former top SBU official, was to shoot at people from both sides to provide a pretext for heavyhanded police actions. This had been, according to him, part of long-prepared plans to stoke violent clasnes in these situations, and would also go along with some statements from doctors treating the wounded who said the wounds were caused seemingly by weapons of the same calibers (whereas all photos of the few Maidaners with rifles showed them to be .22 caliber or slightly larger, but not 7.62mm or .50 caliber). What is odd though is that while the police and Berkut were seen moving tactically, an apparent police photographer with them with his mobile phone was moving around nonchalantly as though there was no danger at all. Also some people coming up from the direction of Maidan were either walking in the open or moving at a jog pace, apparently not fearing for being shot from behind.

 

AK-74 burst in Institutska tree

AK-74 burst in Institutska tree

 

AK-74 rounds and one SVD round in Institutska lamppost

AK-74 rounds and one SVD round in Institutska lamppost

 

There was also a disturbing image on the video—a PKM 7.62mm belt-fed squad machinegun at the barricade, which is hardly a riot control device. Partway through the video a van pulled up (again oblivious to any potential gunfire from the hotel), and its drivers disgorged a couple of green metal ammo belt magazines for the PKM onto the pavement. The PKM was not seen in this particular video being put into action, though it was obviously there for a reason, and had hundreds of rounds of ammo available. At certain points a police BTR-80 was also seen, and this time with its heavy 14.5mm machinegun (not an antipersonnel or crowd control weapon by any means) mounted in the turret.

Carnage on Institutska

Match this to some of the videos taken a couple hundred metres down the hill by the Khreshchtyk metro station and it all fits nicely, albeit bloodily. This is the main spot where Maidaners were being mowed down in a horrific fashion. Some with shields were hit, since the thin wood or metal was not nearly sufficient to stop bullets. There were numerous head shots in the videos, indicating they were targets of snipers. There were also many AK-74 round impact points visible when I visited there in May. Interestingly, during the hours when I surveyed the signs of carnage there, it was apparent that all the rounds had been fired from up the hill—that is, from the government lines and barricade, and judging form the angles of some, from the roof of a light blue building near the barricade. This included a couple of obvious .50 calibre rounds. It may well be possible that the police lines had been shot at from snipers in the Ukraina Hotel, but this was not evident in the video or in damage to the trees, planters, and lamp posts as viewed a few months later.

 

TS-308M sniper rifle on corner of Institutska and Bankova 20 Feb

TS-308M sniper rifle on corner of Institutska and Bankova 20 Feb

Regime troops on Institutska barricade with AK-74s

Regime troops on Institutska barricade with AK-74s

The indications that Russian government-provided snipers were at work there are mostly circumstantial, but it seems possible. All the troops in the videos were speaking Russian, with most speaking standard Russian and not eastern Ukrainian accented Russian. Regular police (Militsiya) do not typically have a SWAT role—that is for Berkut and other special units like the SBU’s Alfa, but there were many Militsiya present with AK-74s and various sniper rifles. Perhaps they were Russian FSB operatives put into Militsiya uniforms for camouflage purposes? The jury is still out on their presence. Lastly, as noted and as seen in numerous photos, the Berkut and other troops were all wearing yellow armband ribbons or yellow shoulder squares for identification. But this was hardly a mission to ‘extract’ police under fire—it was a pure major operation against unarmed protesters.

Those murdered on Institutska and further down the hill on Maidan itself stood little chance. Once hit, those trying to come to their aid also often became gunshot victims themselves. Yet the medical crews performed admirably under these horrific conditions. As noted, many wounded and dead were brought into the lobby of the Hotel Ukraina, but from the other side of Maidan the victims were often brought up the hill to St Michaels Monastery and Cathedral, where the cathedral was once again turned into a busy operating theatre and place for some of Maidan’s Heavenly Hundred to depart this life. Central Kyiv was a war zone.

One of the semi-mysteries of the day is the involvement of the Russians in the whole affair. Certainly there had been reports over the previous month of FSB advisers arriving in Kyiv, or planes with riot kit landing to aid the Berkut forces. But in the evening on the 20th at 19:40 a fairly large Russian delegation landed at Boryspil airport outside Kyiv, headed by Vladislav Surkov. He was definitely a very major visitor, having been Putin’s Deputy Chief of Staff from 1999 to 2011, and was considered the ‘architect of the Ukraine scenario’ and was the architect of Putin’s ‘managed democracy’ and has been characterised as the engineer of ‘a system of make-believe’, ‘a land of imitation political parties, stage-managed media and fake social movements’. His role in Russian politics was to manage perceptions and sow confusion. He had been officially out of government for a couple of years, but had become the aide responsible for relations with Georgia’s breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions, and in mid 2013 had Ukraine added to his portfolio. The timing, when Putin and Yanukovych were preparing to turn their backs on Europe and increase their mutual ties, indicates Putin needed his main political BS frontman to stage-manage what was to come. Surkov is also, importantly, the master of the lie, even beginning with his own name, as he is actually a Chechen whose real name is Aslambek Andarbekovich Dudayev.

Surkov was officially there to attend a conference in Kharkiv on the 22nd which would bring together separatist-minded political and social movement personalities from Crimea and parts of eastern and southernUkraine. He did attend it and had his talks with those leaders of the upcoming ‘popular’ revolutions in thos areas, but he likely had other meetings with top officials in Kyiv, including naturally Yanukovych. Surkov was certainly no stranger to the city, having been there in early February and a couple other times after Maidan had begun. He was accompanied on the flight by some high-powered security people as well, the highest ranking being and FSB General-Colonel (3-star). Just in time to set in motion the next phase—the invasions of Crimea and eastern Ukraine. It is not clear whether it is their arrival on the 20th or the mass murder of Maidaners that was the reason, but the initial operation day on the Russian medal for ‘the return of Crimea’ is listed as 20 February.

 

Russian medal for return of Crimea, with starting date 20 Feb

Russian medal for return of Crimea, with starting date 20 Feb

The violence of the day on the 20th resulted in about 68 killed that day, mostly from sniper fire, as well as some 184 others shot, 17 of whom died over the following days from their wounds. (This, on top of the couple dozen murdered on the 18th.) Berkut and other police also were killed, though the details of the deaths have never been made clear, and some could have been fictional. Clearly on the 18th several probably died in the failed BTR attack on the barricades which ended in a mass assault by Molotov cocktails. Some may have been shot by Maidan shooters (the few who had hunting rifles), though given the firing stances seen in photos of the day, most of them would have been rather lucky to have hit anything with accuracy.

 

Regime troops on Institutska with TS-308M sniper rifle and AK-74s

Regime troops on Institutska with TS-308M sniper rifle and AK-74s

 

Political Prisoner/POW Nadiya Savchenko Speech Rattles Moscow Court

Savchenko 10 Feb

Great video of Nadiya Savchenko in a Moscow court yesterday, with English subtitles. she was a Ukrainian military Mi-24 helo navigator/weapons officer and a real gung-ho soldier, On 18 June near Luhansk when she was fighting for the Aidar battalion, their BTRs came under fire and she was captured. Next day she was interviewed (actually more like interrogated) by a Komsomolskaya Pravda ‘journalist’ in the place where she was being detained, and in the next few days the so-called authorities there said they moved her multiple times in eastern Ukraine. Then in July she showed up in Voronezh Russia charged with directing mortar fire that killed a couple of Russian journalists who were with Russian fighters at the time. Never mind that an artillery forward observer is a specialty she did not possess, and her mobile phone records show she was captured an hour before the attack in another area. But Russia never cared about basic facts.

Savchenko 10 Feb Moscow court speech with English subtitles

She has been elected in Ukraine to the Ukrainian Rada for the Batkivshchyna Party in the parliamentary election Russia recognized, meaning they are holding a recognized foreign parliamentarian. She was also sent in December officially as a Ukrainian delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which announced she has international immunity and Russia must release her, though Moscow has a history of ignoring international law and obligations. On the other hand they play fast and loose with this immunity stuff, having had Andrey Lugovoy elected to the Russian Duma so he could not be extradited over murdering Aleksandr Litvinvnko in London in 2006 (which he indeed did).

She was also charged with illegally crossing the Russian border pretending to be a refugee, though it is not clear how she could do that while she was a prisoner. She was made to undergo Soviet-style psychiatric investigation and treatment, and a couple months ago she went on a hunger strike. Yesterday the Moscow kangaroo court extended her imprisonment until May.

I short, she is incredibly brave, even struck a conciliatory tone with many Russians, and is in danger. She even notes her guards keep telling her not to use that excuse for a language (Ukrainian), and threaten her with bodily harm, as do many idiotic Russians in social media.

She is nothing short of a war trophy for big bad Putin. Some have equated her to Jean d’Arc as a warrior imprisoned for political reasons–as a trophy.

Pantsyr-S1 of Russian Army in Luhansk on 8 Feb. Billboard has stupid 'Fascists will not pass' slogan

Pantsyr-S1 of Russian Army in Luhansk on 8 Feb. Billboard has stupid ‘Fascists will not pass’ slogan

Somebody got some good video on a main street in Luhansk on 8 February of a Russian Army Pantsyr-S1 combination air defence vehicle. This is a beefed-up version of the 2S6 Tunguska, having four rapid-fire 30mm cannons and six SA-22 air defence missiles.

Russian Army Pantsyr-S1 combination AD system in Luhansk 8 Feb

Once again, this was NOT something taken by local Billy-Bob separatists from the Ukrainians, because the Pantsyr has never been in the Ukrainian arsenal. It was developed n the late 90s and finally started to be fielded in the late 2000s in the Russian military. And this is in Luhansk, based on the adverts, and of course the catchy ‘Fascism will not pass’ billboards. Rah-Rah!

 

Putin Cracks From Horrid Version of Russian Anthem in Egypt

This is great. Putin arrived in Egypt on Tuesday and the band’s rendition of the Russian national anthem was so off-key it seemed like a joke. From Putin’s expression it is evident that something finally got to him. Maybe somebody can weaponise this.

Egyptian Military Band “Plays” Russian Anthem for Putin

Russian Fascists Show Ugly Faces in Ukraine Again

 

Zakharchenko in Donetsk with some of his Russian-supplied Chechen bodyguards

Zakharchenko in Donetsk with some of his Russian-supplied Chechen bodyguards

More indications that the real ‘fascists’ are the Russian ones–not Kyiv as the Moscow propagandists keep putting out. The latest, in a press conference he gave in Donetsk on 2 February, ‘DPR Prime Minister’ Aleksandr Zakharchenko said the leaders in Kyiv are ‘miserable representatives of the great Jewish people’.

While there naturally are some elements in Ukraine with such ultra-right tendencies, they are not in the government (as Moscow contends), and are few in number, even according to Jewish leaders who keep track of these things in Ukraine who say they are under no pressure and that incidents of anti-Semitism have actually significantly dropped in recent years. Russia’s propaganda is belied today by those facts, just as in WW-II when there were ten times as many Russian units fighting for the Nazis than there were Ukrainian ones doing the same. Zakharchenko is just the latest to show his real colours.

One also has to love his comment at the same presser about how ‘I can’t remember a time when Cossacks were led by people who have never held a sword in their hands’. Interesting comment about the leaders in Kyiv not being heirs to the Cossacks since they never held a sword before, since this comes from a coal mine electrician. But Zakharchenko is probably pretty dangerous with a pair of wire strippers.

Human RIghts in Ukraine Article on Zakharchenko’s ‘Pathetic Jews’ Remark

The Latest Sick Fascism Indicator in Putin’s Russia

Mashani in her video 'My Putin'

Mashani in her video ‘My Putin’

The cult of personality—a major tenet of Fascism—is storonger than ever in Russia. A Russian pop singer, Mashani, has a new song and video out from her ultranationalist love song for Putin. Even many Russian viewers have filled the You Tube video of it with some pretty vile comments about being sick or telling her what she can do. (One just said ‘Girl, shoot your producer’.)

Mashani’s ‘My Putin’ video

Mashani in her video 'My Putin' as trapped Ukraine trying to reach Russia (Putin)

Mashani in her video ‘My Putin’ as trapped Ukraine trying to reach Russia (Putin)

The video alternates between her wearing a white-blue-red Russian flag coloured dress in a grain field and drawing a picture of Putin, to her in Ukrainian coloured clothes in a dank brick building trying desperately to get out, symbolizing apparently Ukraine, which really
wants to join Russia (personified by Putin). In an interview with Russian military channel Zvezda she said ‘Our president is the only person who can help Ukraine’, adding that except for Russia, ‘no one in the world needs Ukraine’. Most sane people would beg to differ: Russia has already given far too much ‘help’ to Ukraine (which most Russians despise). This is totally sick.

As for the lyrics thanking Putin for getting back Crimea and holding off wars from the whole world, and calling for him to recreate ‘our free from everything [Soviet] Union’, here they are from her official website:

My Putin

Where is your fear

When facing the prospect of war on all fronts

You see the path,

You coming towards the wind and never turn

It’s risky

You are self-confident

And true to yourself

What about me?

Enchanted, bewitched

I can’t forget you

Who’s he, after all?

And you…

 

You’re Putin, you are so Putin,

I want to be with you

I’m screaming after you

My Putin, my dear Putin

Take me with you

I want to be with you

 

That life of yours

Is full of bright colors and feigned masks

And thru the smoke

You challenging the world, returning Crimea

Then following this deed

You will restore our own

All-freedom Union

What about me?

Enchanted, bewitched

I can’t forget you

Who’s he, after all?

And you…

 

What here can be done?

To run, to run, to run!

To run? Of course, we will run after him!

Because he’s Putin!

Mashani’s website about the song ‘My Putin’

Besides making one want to barf, it is so much a part of the cult of personality that builds Putin up to be the image of the brave strong masculine leader who is capable of solving all problems for the good of the country, and the people want to do everything not for the country, but for him personally. This is textbook Fascism.

 

Russia’s Nazi (or Stalinist) Tactics Against ‘Treasonous’ Mother

 

Davydova and family

Davydova and family

For over a week, the mother of seven young children, including a two-month old, has been held at Moscow’s infamous Lefortovo prison on charges of treason. Svetlana Vladimirovna Davydova was arrested at the family’s apartment in Vyazma, about 200 kilometres west of Moscow at 0815 on the morning of 21 January. Police initially said they were looking into a call from neighbours about noise, even though all the children were still sleeping, but then some FSB operatives appeared at the door and proceeded to take computers and other evidence as well as arresting her, without giving a reason. That was provided on the 26th when they informed her husband she was being held for ‘state treason’—a charge that could get her 25 years in prison. When the husband complained about her arrest and young children, he was essentially told to shut up or else the state would take the children and put them in orphanages.

Her crime according to the investigators was that they had allegedly recorded her calling the Ukrainian embassy in Moscow in April and telling them that the installation of the 82nd Independent Radiotechnical Brigade OSNAZ , V/Ch 48886 (a GRU military signals intelligence brigade), which was across the street from their apartment building, seemed to be emptying out, so she thought they could be heading toward Ukraine. She allegedly related this information, telling them that she thought they might need to know this in order to save lives.

 

29 Jan letter from Duma MP Gudkov to the Russian prosecutor saying the Russian MP does not admit Russian forces are fighting in Ukraine, so there can be no treason

29 Jan letter from Duma MP Gudkov to the Russian prosecutor saying the Russian MP does not admit Russian forces are fighting in Ukraine, so there can be no treason

Duma MP Gudkov's answer from the MOD in September that there are no Russian military forces in Ukraine

Duma MP Gudkov’s answer from the MOD in September that there are no Russian military forces in Ukraine

Her case is getting some attention, most notably form one of the only independent members of the Russian State Duma, Dmitry Gudkov, who wrote officially to the General Prosecutor about the case, and noting that it would have been impossible for her to have given the Ukrainians any state secrets related to Russian troops movements potentially to Ukraine because there were officially no Russian troops in Ukraine. As ‘proof’ he attached a September letter he had received back from the Russian Ministry of Defence explicitly stating as much (in response to an inquiry he had written regarding the secretive funerals of large numbers of Russian paratroopers form the 76th VDV Division in Pskov). Therefore, he said, the woman was being held on false charges because there are no Russian troops officially fighting in Ukraine.

This logic of course is indeed true (though the Russian regime does not operate on logic or law). How can the state charge someone with treason for allegedly relaying telephonic information to the Ukrainian embassy about some insignificant military movements she thought were related to Russian involvement in the war in Ukraine, when all Russian officials up to and including the president vehemently deny there are any Russian military forces involved in the war? But then again, this is a country where people (including some we know) are routinely arrested and charges for ‘crimes’ such as singing the Ukrainian national anthem or carrying a Ukrainian flag. Fascist states make up their laws as they go along to suit themselves.

In the news on Friday, the husband went to Moscow to line up a private lawyer, but as soon as he left, his mother and sister, with whom he left the children, called to say local authorities came and warned that his absence made it possible that they could take away the children to an orphanage. Apparently leaving kids with your closest relatives is not sufficient? This is a pure intimidation and pressure tactic and is truly sick–the same as the Nazis or NKVD routinely did. Welcome to Putin’s increasingly inhumane Russia.

If they succeed in imprisoning her, then what about the hundreds of Russians across the country who have posted photos and videos of heavy combat equipment on trains and trucks heading to the conflict zone, often identifying the units they are from, and even showing such kit being driven right to the Ukrainian border? Certainly they are more guilty of ‘treason’ than she is. (But then again, Putin & Co assure us there is no Russian participation in the war, so logically there can be no treason.

 

Female 82nd OSNAZ Bde soldier in Amvrosiivka Ukraine in Octover 2014 per her VK site

Female 82nd OSNAZ Bde soldier in Amvrosiivka Ukraine in October 2014 per her VK site

82nd OSNAZ Bde soldiers in Amvrosiivka Ukraine in October 2014 per their VK sites

82nd OSNAZ Bde soldiers in Amvrosiivka Ukraine in October 2014 per their VK sites

82nd OSNAZ Bde soldiers in Amvrosiivka Ukraine in October 2014 per their VK sites

82nd OSNAZ Bde soldiers in Amvrosiivka Ukraine in October 2014 per their VK sites

On the reality side, it turns out that in October 2014 there in fact were elements of the 82nd OSNAZ Brigade inside Ukraine, and shown by the VKontakte page postings of some female soldiers from that unit who posed with some of their co-fighters in eastern Ukraine. Specifically, they were at some very obvious symbols and signs in the town of Amvrosiivka, about 12 kilometres from the Russian border and 35 kilometres ESE of Donetsk. Obviously there collecting signals on the Ukrainian military (since that is what OSNAZ units do) in support of GRU Spetsnaz and other Russian Army units fighting inside Ukraine.

Girkin (Strelkov): ‘Will of People’ in Crimea Achieved at Gunpoint

Girkin 23 Jan 2015 TV debate appearance

Girkin 23 Jan 2015 TV debate appearance

Colonel Igor Girkin just cannot keep his mouth shut, and that’s a good thing. For a GRU Spetsnaz colonel who was, according to his accounts, possibly working an operation in cooperation with the FSB to start the ‘popular’ revolution in eastern Ukraine, the now apparently retired Girkin likes to brag. He still holds back and has not spilled all the beans yet, but he let a little more out on 23 January, just over two months after he gave an interview where he admitted that he and his men ‘pulled the trigger’ to start the war in eastern Ukraine.

His latest appearance was on the Neuromir.tv network ‘Political Ring’ talkshow debating another extreme nationalist, Nikolai Starikov, co-chair of the Great Fatherland Party. When Starikov claimed that all the security organs and government in Crimea supported the people there in breaking away from Ukraine and joining Russia, Girkin laughed a bit and said ‘Have you actually been to Crimea during the referendum? Well I have. I have been there since 21 February. What you are describing here is absolute nonsense. There were no policemen who supported our side at that time. The only law enforcement unit that joined our ranks back then was Berkut. The rest of the law enforcement agencies remained under control of Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, and kept carrying out their orders. Yes, sometimes they were sabotaging these orders, but all in all they were under Ukrainian control. I didn’t see any support from official government representatives in Simferopol. Our troops had to force the deputies into the Oblast Council hall so that these representatives would vote in favor of our initiatives. I know this because I was at the time commanding one such militant teams and I saw it all from the inside. We had absolutely no support from the people, not to mention the army. The Ukrainian army units remained loyal to Kyiv as they were. Furthermore, most of the army remained that way. The only thing that made what we have accomplished in Crimea possible was the presence of Russian army.’

Girkin admission on 23 January debate show

 

Girkin during his time in Slovyansk with captured Ukrainian SBU officers

Girkin during his time in Slovyansk with captured Ukrainian SBU officers

He went on to say that soing something similar in eastern Ukraine later was not possible because they lacked the heavy naval infantry and other Russian Army units that were supporting them from the outset in Crimea. Indeed, the start of the ‘popular uprising’ in eastern Ukraine was only done with some Russian imports, some locals, and some Spetsnaz teams like Girkin’s that initially lacked the heavy firepower needed to get the votes necessary from the local political assemblies to formally secede and join Russia.

But at least we have the latest admission which tracks well with what some Crimean Rada members have mentioned. They were forced into their chamber, doors locked, gunmen posted to prevent anyone from leaving, and made to vote first on 28 February to appoint Sergei Aksyonov (whose Russian Unity Party had gained a whopping 4% in the 2010 elections) as Prime Minister, and then again held at gunpoint on 11 March to vote for seceding from Ukraine (followed a whole 5 days later by the world’s fastest referendum). Girkin’s boasts and admissions prove the parliamentarians’ complaints of having had to vote at gunpoint, and further show that for the most part, the Crimeans themselves had no intention of seceding and joining Russia. That decision was made for them by Girkin’s Spetsnaz and a number of Russian military units. That old ‘vanguard of the proletariat’ garbage about leading those who don’t realize they actually want something.