Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Ukie Nationalist Rants “We’ll Burn Down the Crimea”

00 novorossiya. civil war 05. 10.11.14

A rosary in the pocket of a junta irregular thug… NEVER forget the religious aspect of this war. This war will decide the religious orientation of what we now call the “Ukraine”… that’s the REAL reason for the vicious and brutal fighting.


Yuri Bereza, an ultranationalist Rada People’s Deputy and former irregular battalion commander in Novorossiya, promised to “burn down the Crimea, with all of its residents if needed”, vociferously refusing to “liberate the peninsula in a somewhat-cultured manner”. The sabre-rattling politician didn’t specify who might need the people to be burnt and why. He voiced the threat in a live broadcast on Ukrainian One Plus One TV. Bereza already distinguished himself in a scandal over false photos illustrating an alleged Russian military presence in the Ukraine on German TV. A recent news segment that aired on German ZDF TV allegedly showed movement of Russian tanks and missile systems into Novorossiya, illustrating the news with images taken years earlier in South Ossetia, not the Ukraine. The politician first called it “Russian intrigues”, but then opted to accredit it to tabloids. Earlier, in November, Bereza pledged his battalion was ready to “intrude” into Russia, to “break into it with reconnaissance detachments and sabotage groups”. He made those threats in a live broadcast of the Shuster Live TV show. The base of the Dnipro Battalion is Dnepropetrovsk, located near the DNR.  The junta established the unit in April 2014 to combat the Novorossiyan national uprising; reportedly, its funding comes from billionaire oligarch I V Kolomoisky, thus, its nickname is “Kolomoisky’s battalion”.

17 February 2015

Sputnik International



BREAKING NEWS… Junta Forces Attack Donetsk Airport… RT Crew Onsite

00 donetsk airport 01. 17.02.15



RT correspondent Murad Gazdiev and his crew came under fire at the Donetsk Airport, which was the scene of intense fighting for months before the 15 February ceasefire. Gazdiev, contributing cameraman Pavel Klimov, and another cameraman, Sam Henderson from RT’s News Team show, were filming at Donetsk International Airport when it happened. As they stepped onto a runway that serves as an improvised border between VSN positions and junta positions, they heard mortar fire and shells started exploding near them. The explosions followed them as they tried to get to safety. The shelling came during a general ceasefire, which began on 15 February. The RT crew seem to have escaped unharmed.

17 February 2015



Euromaidan Extremism Puts the Ukraine’s Existence in Peril

00 Kiev. Right Sector demonstration. 17.02.15


The ceasefire agreement that emerged from the Minsk negotiations is being overanalysed. Therefore, the underlying story of the Ukrainian conflict is being lost. The Ukrainian conflict is the product of a militant political movement that’s unable to compromise with its opponents. There have been many agreements between the Euromaidan movement’s followers in Kiev and its political opponents. The members of the movement broke every one. The political violence in the Ukraine began on 30 November 2013 when the original Euromaidan protesters reneged on an agreement to vacate Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square), leading to clashes between protesters and riot police.

In the period leading up to the February coup, this worked in the protesters’ favour. Every agreement made and broken with the former government made them stronger whilst it sapped the government’s authority. The result was an agreement on 21 February 2014 which would’ve given the protesters power over all the Ukraine, including the Crimea. Even though the protesters got everything that they wanted, they broke that agreement too, seizing power the following day in an armed coup. Since then, the dynamic has gone into reverse.

Whereas the 21 February 2014 agreement would’ve given the Euromaidan protesters power over all the Ukraine, including the Crimea, by breaking the agreement, they provoked the Crimea to secede and triggered anti-Maidan protests in Novorossiya. During the course of the subsequent conflict, the new government made more agreements, but broke all of them. However, this time, it means that the terms of each new agreement become harsher for Kiev, so its position becomes ever weaker.

On 17 April 2014, the new government signed a four-power statement in Geneva that required it to launch an inclusive national dialogue with its opponents to agree upon a new constitution. Kiev broke the agreement and launched a war to crush them instead. Kiev lost the war. On 5 September 2014, in Minsk, the Ukraine had to recognise the resistance in Novorossiya and pass a law on its special status, pending constitutional negotiations that would’ve granted Novorossiya substantial autonomy within the Ukraine. Kiev broke that agreement as well. It rescinded the law on special status. It imposed an economic blockade on Novorossiya. It reinforced and reequipped its army. In January 2015, it attacked Novorossiya again. Once again, Kiev lost. Because of that, on 12 February 2015, in Minsk again, the Ukraine had to agree to lift the economic blockade on Novorossiya, to pass a law on special status by the end of March, and agree upon constitutional reform with its opponents by December 2015. Pending that agreement, Ukraine had to cede control of the Ukrainian border with Russia to its opponents and Russia.

These terms are harsher than the terms of the agreement the Ukraine accepted in Minsk on 5 September 2014, which it broke, just as those terms were harsher than the terms of the agreement Ukraine accepted in Geneva on 17 April 2014, which it also broke. In the meantime, the Ukraine keeps losing more population and territory, and its economy continues to spiral downwards. If experience serves as any indication, the former Euromaidan protesters who run what’s left of the Ukraine will break the 12 February 2015 agreement, just as they broke the agreements of 21 February 2014, 17 April 2014, and 5 September 2014. When they do, they’d suffer another defeat, causing more losses of territory and population. The terms of the next agreement that they’d have to accept will be harsher still. Beyond a certain point, this dynamic would make their position untenable, putting the current régime’s existence at risk. That is what happens when a political movement plays for “all or nothing”. It risks ending up with “nothing”.

17 February 2015

Alexander Mercouris

Sputnik International


Desultory Ceasefire Violations by Junta

00 Novorossiya. war aftermath. 17.02.15


On Monday, DNR Deputy Defence Minister Eduard Basurin said that junta forces lost 60 killed on 16 February, adding that the VSN lost 2 killed and 21 wounded. He said the most difficult situation was around Debaltsevo, saying, “During the day, Ukrainian troops shelled DNR positions in Logvinovo and nearby localities from Lugansky and Debaltsevo. On separate occasions, we had to fire back at Ukrainian artillery positions. Moreover, Ukrainian troops never stopped gun and mortar fire around Debaltsevo”. He said that junta forces lost 2 tanks, 7 MICV/APCs, 5 artillery pieces, and 6 soft admin vehicles in these skirmishes. Over the same period, the VSN lost three APCs.


On Tuesday, the DNR Minoborony said that it detected no new ceasefire violations overnight. The last violation reported was at a coalmine near Kirovskoye at around 20.00 MSK. Reportedly, junta artillery fired at the mine.

17 February 2015




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