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AUGUST 2020

Ukrainian Military After 5 Years Of Warfare

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Ukrainian Military After 5 Years Of Warfare

Written and produced by SF Team: J.Hawk, Daniel Deiss, Edwin Watson

Prior to the Maidan coup of 2014, Ukraine’s military existed in a political vacuum, suffering from benign neglect as well as corruption and other problems plaguing the Ukrainian state. Apart from downsizing, which meant the replacement of divisions by brigades, no modernization was conducted in the years of independence. While Ukraine did contribute to a variety of international missions, even sending a small contingent to Afghanistan and Iraq, these units came from various elite components of the armed forces. The rank-and-file mechanized and armored brigades simply languished under successive Ukrainian governments.

Kiev’s bid to mobilize its military resources after 2014 has enjoyed mixed fortunes. On the one hand, Ukraine did benefit from massive stockpiles of relatively modern weapons left over from the Soviet era. They gave a seemingly inexhaustible supply of weapons and spare parts to flesh out existing units and assemble new ones. In practice, however, neglect of the stored equipment and the limited capacities of Ukraine’s manufacturing and repair infrastructure meant that the losses incurred during the battles of 2014 and 2015 could only partly be replaced, and even then only with inferior equipment.  While Ukraine does have the ability to manufacture heavy and light armored vehicles, it cannot do so in large quantities or without continued supply of certain subsystems from Russia. Indigenously developed vehicles like the Oplot MBT or BTR-3 and -4 APCs seem mainly intended for export to earn badly needed hard currency. Domestic modifications of existing vehicles like the T-64BU Bulat MBT have been discontinued due to the combination of high costs and enduring problems. So as a result of five years of intermittent warfare Ukraine’s tank and APC fleets are smaller, older, more heterogeneous, and more worn out than they were at the beginning of conflict. The shortage of heavy equipment has forced Kiev to resort to organizing motorized brigades with hardly any armored vehicles at all.

NATO’s contribution has not reversed this trend.  There is no evidence any MBTs have been supplied to Ukraine, even from former Warsaw Pact members of NATO who, like Poland and the Czech Republic, have limited themselves to deliveries of small numbers of 2S1 howitzers and BMP-1 troop carriers. Western NATO members likewise have not been showering Ukraine with modern equipment. The most notable deliveries of Western gear were the AT-105 Saxon 4×4 APCs from Great Britain, and the Javelin ATGMs from the United States, the latter of which have not seen combat and appear to be held in reserve. There have been spotty deliveries of small arms, including US copies of RPG-7s, large caliber sniper rifles, Humvees, and even US-made counter-battery radars. The most important aspect of foreign aid has been in the realm of provision of munitions, both for small arms and artillery. The provision of large quantities of artillery shells enabled Ukraine to subject the Donbass to continued bombardment for the last five years. Here the culprits are, again, the former Warsaw Pact members of NATO, with the deliveries being paid for by US military assistance to Ukraine funds.

The fact that the Ukrainian state has de-facto lost its monopoly on violence after the events of 2014 also left a mark on Ukraine’s forces. The military has a powerful competitor in the form of the National Guard which comprises some of the most ideological neo-Nazi elements in Ukraine, and which amounts to a state within a state under the command of Arsen Avakov. The fact that Avakov is one of the few high-level luminaries from the Poroshenko era to survive into the Zelensky era proves something that has long been suspected, namely that he is an independent player in Ukrainian politics whose subordination to the President is only nominal. Little is known of Avakov’s ties to the West, though here the fact that Western powers have turned a blind eye to Avakov’s arming of neo-Nazis suggests they view him as an insurance policy against Zelensky or any future Ukrainian leader who might “go soft” on Russia. Avakov and his proxies have made it clear on more than one occasion that he would oppose “revanchism” in the form of improved relations with Russia, which makes his political preferences consistent with those of Western hardliners. Zelensky’s humiliating confrontation with Azov Regiment militants, who plainly refused to accept orders from their supposed commander-in-chief, only underscores the weakness of his position. It also means that should Ukraine’s military suffer disproportionately heavy combat losses, it would create a vacuum of power that Avakov’s National Guard would be eager to fill.

For that reason, the seven brigades of the Airmobile Forces, the elite of the Ukrainian military have seen relatively little fighting in the Donbass.  These brigades were built on the basis of Ukraine’s Airborne Forces units, with adaptations to modern warfare including provision of heavy equipment such as T-80BV tanks, BTR-3 and -4 wheeled infantry fighting vehicles replacing the Soviet-era BMDs, and of course self-propelled artillery battalions. They also contain a considerably higher proportion of contract as opposed to conscript soldiers, are without any doubt the most effective units that Kiev commands. They are also quite visible during parades and exercises attended by Western observers. But instead of being on the front lines, two of the seven brigades are stationed close to Kiev, while the rest are spread relatively evenly across Ukraine’s regions, even Western ones where there is little danger of fighting, suggesting their role is mainly internal security. While their ostensible military purpose is to serve in a “fire brigade” role in the event of an LPR/DPR breakout and possibly even a direct Russian intervention, the fact that only one of the seven brigades is anywhere near the Donbass at any one time suggests that their main task is to guard against the potential seizure of power by the National Guard or other militants.

The political divisions, corruption, and progressive impoverishment of Ukraine have also left an impact on the armed forces. In order to send Ukrainian brigades to the Donbass to suppress what at that point were peaceful demonstrations, Maidan leaders had to resort to a major purge of the command staff, elevating relatively junior officers with proven nationalist credentials in order to ensure the military would follow orders. The early cases of units refusing to act against the Donbass activists showed that the pre-Maidan military was not mentally ready to shoot at Ukraine’s own citizens.

The problem of motivation has persisted ever since.  Far from every Ukrainian citizen shares Kiev’s political preferences or is interested in shedding blood on behalf of the oligarchs. Those Ukrainians who do serve often do it because military salaries actually compare favorably to what is available in the depressed Ukrainian economy, not to mention the prospect of plunder and/or smuggling in the frontline areas, with the latter being responsible for several clashes among various Ukrainian formations seeking to control this or that smuggling route.  But since the soldiers’ motives tend in the direction of monetary gains, the morale among those frontline Ukrainian units actually on the “line of separation” remains low, with a high rate of non-combat casualties caused by alcohol abuse or careless handling of weapons.  To offset this, Ukrainian commanders appear to have resorted to forming specialized assault units that can be relied upon to undertake difficult missions. The clashes along the line of separation during which Ukrainian forces attempted to seize positions in the “no-man’s land” separating the warring parties were carried out by such assault units usually of company strength. These clashes also showed the strengths and weaknesses of these formations. While capable of launching bold attacks, they are also highly vulnerable to attrition which ultimately forced them to abandon positions they had seized.

Consequently the Ukrainian military can roughly be broken down into three tiers. At the top there are the well-equipped and trained airmobile brigades intended for use as a last resort should a crisis erupt either on the front lines or on the home front. At the bottom there is the grey, unremarkable mass of poorly motivated Ukrainian conscripts serving in poorly equipped and trained mechanized and motorized brigades who perhaps can be relied upon to hold positions on quiet sectors but likely not much else. And in between there are the select assault units among these brigades, as well as volunteer battalions of the National Guard, which can carry out spectacular localized raids but which are unsuitable for sustained warfare.

There is little chance that the situation will change in the foreseeable future. Ukraine cannot afford a professional, all-volunteer force large enough to meet its requirements.  It also cannot afford modern weapons in large quantities. The “praetorian” factor gave Kiev an incentive to concentrate its contract soldiers and best weapons in the elite rapid reaction airmobile brigades, instead of using them in leadership positions among the ordinary mechanized and motorized brigades. While this means a rather dysfunctional military of radically differing capabilities, it is adequate to Kiev’s perception of threat. The “fire brigades” could probably handle a breakout threat by LPR/DPR forces. The Russian military is unlikely to involve itself in force except in cases of dire danger to LPR/DPR posed by a major Ukrainian offensive which Kiev so far has been unwilling to launch for fear of a new round of heavy personnel and material losses. Last but not least, Kiev appears to be aware that the outcome of the Donbass crisis has more to do with Moscow and Washington than with Kiev’s military modernization efforts.

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  • Rodney Loder

    Many Salafists identified with the Ukranian ousting of Russians because it was though that Russia would be targeted, remember Samantha Lewthwaite November 2014 killed in Ukraine fighting with Aidar Battalion, but they refuse to identify with her sacrifice, this played into our hands and Salafist contingents opposed to attacking Russia and China got the upper hand and even Turkey came on board supporting Russia and China.

    So Ukraine lost out and is now a basket case.

    • AM Hants

      Samantha Lewthwaite – The White Widow and did ever use DNA to identify the body?

      I remember the actions of her husband, back on 7 July 2007, over in London very well.

      Now why does she remind me of an ‘intelligence created terrorist’ who comes in handy, when spinning stories?

      Why she interested me, was the fact I grew up in a small town, not far from where her husband got the train to London, and not far from where they actually lived. Plus, when living in London, I used to commute via Aldgate, although it was one of her husband’s mates, that was involved in that one.

      What never made sense, was why would the Jihads allow a female to run their units?
      Her father was a former soldier, who met her mother in Northern Ireland, before settling in Aylesbury, where she grew up, before she met the hubby. Well, that is the Disney version of the script.

  • AM Hants

    Talking of Ukraine and 5 years ago, ironic I was just watching the old Storm Front video and Nulandistan 9 Video, from back in those days. Both are well worth reviewing.

    Ukraine Crisis – What You’re Not Being Told… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWkfpGCAAuw

    What were the BBC saying about Ukraine and the Svoboda Party, back in February 2014?

    Neo-Nazi threat in new Ukraine: NEWSNIGHT
    730,008 views•28 Feb 2014… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SBo0akeDMY

    Nulandistan: 9 facts that prove the U.S. is behind Ukraine crisis…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ufj5hqQ__A0&t=46s

    ……………………….

    The first video interested me, just not because of the late ‘Psycho Billy’ and his far right actions, but, also going back to the Larry Diamond videos. Remember the ‘Ukraine Girl’, who ended up working for Saakashvili, after she fronted the propaganda video, shot by larry Diamond Video Enterprises. Now why does it remind me of the ‘White Helmet’ Fake Videos?

    Who kick started The Maidan? Soros and Obama admit to funding the regime change script. So who runs parallel to the Soros ‘Open Society Foundation’ NGO? Is it not the National Endowment for Democracy tax payer funded NGO? Who sits on the Board of Directors of the NED? Larry Diamond, Anne Applebaum, Victoria Nuland, Elliot Abrams and many more US Ambassadors, specifically involved in regime change scripts in the nations they have been sent. Elliot Abrams, the US Ambassador to Venezuela and which other Ambassadors sit on the Board of Directors, over at the US tax payer funded NED? Why does the late Timothy Bell and his brother David, remind me of who runs the UK version of the NED and Larry Diamond Video Productions? Timothy Bell, Special Adviser to Margaret Thatcher, Boris Yeltsin, Berezovsky and Litvenenko, who set up both Sans Frontieres and Bell Pottinger. Remember, Bell Pottinger, who were given over $500,000 by the Pentagon to spin the Iraq War? Didn’t the Chilcott Report, find Blair guilty of lying in Parliament, with regards Sadam and his WMDs, when Blair was so desperate to take the UK Forces to War. How much did Blair make when he moved out of 10 Downing Street? Still cannot fathom the irony of them making him the Middle East Peace Envoy, knowing full well he lied to Parliament, to take us into an illegal war. David Bell, who runs Common Purpose and how many UK politicians and Prime Ministers are members of the Common Purpose, Shadow Government?

    ……………………………………

    So who are the Amabassadors who sit on the Board of Directors, over at the NED, who were heavily involved in kick starting the Maidan?

    Officers:

    Carl Gershman is President of the National Endowment for Democracy, a private, congressionally…

    ANDREW H. CARD, JR. (Chairman)
    Andrew H. Card, Jr. served as President of Franklin Pierce University with its anchor campus in Rindge,…

    David E. Skaggs (VICE CHAIRMAN)
    Office of Congressional Ethics and Dentons US LLP
    David Skaggs holds positions as Co-Chair of the Board of the Office of Congressional Ethics and a Senior…

    Marilyn Carlson Nelson (Secretary)
    Carlson Holdings, Inc.
    Marilyn Carlson Nelson is Co-CEO and former chairman of Carlson Holdings, Inc., one of the largest…

    Ambassador Robert H. Tuttle (Treasurer)
    Robert Holmes Tuttle served as U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s from…

    Board of Directors

    Anne Applebaum
    Institute of Global Affairs London School of Economics
    Anne Applebaum is a columnist for the Washington Post. She is a visiting professor at the London School… (she is also a member of Integrity Initiative and isn’t she linked to the Atlantic Council?).

    The Honorable Karen Bass
    United States House of Representatives
    Congressmember Karen Bass was re-elected to her second term representing the newly drawn 37th Congressional…

    James Boland
    Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC)
    James Boland became President of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC) in…
    (Guess he comes in handy, when Donald needs a wall building?).

    Ambassador William J. Burns
    Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
    William J. Burns is president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,…

    MARLENE COLUCCI
    The Business Council
    Marlene Colucci is the Executive Director of The Business Council, an elite group…

    Ambassador Eileen Donahoe
    Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University’s Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law
    Eileen Donahoe is Executive Director of the Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University’s…

    Dr. Michele Dunne
    Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
    Michele Dunne is a Director of Carnegie’s Middle East Program, where her research…

    Ambassador Daniel Fried
    Future Europe Initiative & Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center Atlantic Council
    In the course of his forty-year Foreign Service career, Ambassador Fried played a key role in designing…

    Dr. Francis Fukuyama
    Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
    Francis Fukuyama is Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli

    Barry Jackson
    Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, The Lindsey Group LLC
    Barry Jackson served as Chief of Staff for Speaker Boehner from 2010 to June 2012. Jackson served…

    Senator Tim Kaine (Honorary)
    United States Senate
    EARLY COMMITMENT TO PUBLIC SERVICE Tim grew up working in his father’s ironworking shop in Kansas…

    Jayne M. Kurzman, Esq.
    Davidson, Dawson & Clark, LLP
    Jayne M. Kurzman graduated from Vassar College magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, in…

    The Honorable Mel Martinez
    Southeast United States and Latin America at JPMorgan Chase
    Having arrived in the United States at the height of the Cold War from Cuba at age 15, Mel rose to…

    Ambassador Victoria Nuland
    Center for a New American Security
    Ambassador Victoria Nuland is Senior Counselor at the Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategic…

    Dayton Ogden
    Succession Advisory Services
    Dayton Ogden is the global leader of Spencer Stuart’s CEO Succession…

    Fred Redmond
    United Steelworkers
    Elected by acclamation in 2005, Fred Redmond took office as the USW’s International Vice President…

    The Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
    Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
    Former U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) served for almost three decades as a member of Congress representing…

    The Honorable Peter Roskam
    Former Member of the United States House of Representatives
    The Honorable Peter Roskam, a native of Chicago, and former member of United States House of Representatives,…

    Senator Ben Sasse (Honorary)
    United States Senate
    Ben Sasse is a United States Senator, representing the great state of Nebraska. He was elected in…

    Dr. Nadia Schadlow
    Hudson Institute
    Dr. Nadia Schadlow is a Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute. She was most recently U.S. Deputy National…

    THE HONORABLE Elise Stefanik
    UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
    Congresswoman Elise Stefanik proudly represents New York’s 21st District in the House of Representatives…

    Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
    Albright Stonebridge Group
    Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield is a Senior Counselor at ASG, where she draws…

    Ambassador Rich Verma
    The Asia Group
    Ambassador Richard Verma is Vice Chairman and Partner at The Asia Group, where he leads the firm’s…

    Ambassador Melanne Verveer
    Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security
    Ambassador Verveer most recently served as the first US Ambassador for Global women’s…

    KENNETH WOLLACK
    Kenneth Wollack has been actively involved in foreign affairs, journalism…

    George Weigel
    Ethics and Public Policy Center
    George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, is a Catholic theologian…

    On Leave: ELLIOTT ABRAMS

    Read more, of the rogues of ‘Double Speak’ and how many of them are also members of the Atlantic Council? Wasn’t Allen Dulles, involved in setting up the Atlantic Council, in the year he left the CIA?
    https://www.ned.org/about/board-of-directors/

    …………………………………….

    Why does Larry Diamond so remind me of the late Timothy Bell, who founded ‘Bell Pottinger’ and ‘Sans Frontieres’?

    ‘…Diamond has served as an advisor to numerous governmental and international organizations at various points in his life, including the United States Department of State, United Nations, World Bank, and U.S. Agency for International Development. He is a founding co-editor of the National Endowment for Democracy’s Journal of Democracy. He is also a coordinator of the Hoover Institution’s Iran Democracy Project, along with Abbas Milani and Michael McFaul…’

  • AM Hants

    The article above is like a ‘soft spy-ops’ article, written for those, who have no memory of events in Ukraine, back in 2014. What the military was like, when Poroshenko came to power and promised to return Donbass and Crimea to the control of the Kiev Government, within two weeks. What happened next?

    How many perished at Donetsk airport and how many of them, NATO Forces included, are still waiting to be picked up, as they lie composting in the Monsanto soil?

    Remember, when Merkel ran to the Kremlin, begging for help, and owing to NSA eavesdropping on her conversations, especially around breakfast, she knew the Kremlin would be safe from NSA eavesdroppers. That led to the Minsk II Agreements, owing to the miners and farmers over in Donetsk, seeing off all Ukraine had to offer, even with NATO lending an unofficial hand. Then, do not forget the cauldrons and how much military weapons, systems and members of the conscripted forces did Ukraine lose? The Azov battalion, so reliant on it’s loyalty to the National Socialist ‘German’ Worker’s Party and not forgetting the battalion of ex-convicts that they had to dismantle. What was that battalion called?

    How many tanks did the West provide Eastern Ukraine, who happily went on to repair the gifts? Why could the West not hang on to what she had? Remember the Saxons, the UK gave Ukraine. They were banned in the UK, owing to safety concerns. Not a nice gift, to send Ukraine.

    Then you had Azov Engineering and does anybody remember the humour that came out of the Azov Production Line? Didn’t Poroshenko use a photo of a Russian Tank Factory, conveyor belt and try to sell Ukrainian tanks, to foreign governments based on those photos? Hiding the rust buckets, that came off the Azov Engineering Assembly Lines?

    Azov Engineering At It’s Best

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a6631d634147800de00d0542e6ce080acfc6d086c12b3507c58b7ac01d12026c.jpg

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9bd6a06cf77b8cebc973f674bf84f598db90f4d522455cde7257452ca1f89df9.jpg

  • This website is a repulsive example of ruSSian propaganda and only for the entertainment value for a few misguided disinformationists. Fiction doesn’t begin to describe it, no wonder you’re financially pinched and it appears even your Kremlin masters don’t think it’s worth investing in.
    Slava Ukraini~~!!

  • rob jonson

    Top 5 Myths About Russia’s Invasion of Crimea

    Although it is well-known that the first victim of nearly every military intervention is the truth, Russia seems to have broken all records in this category. Here are the top five Kremlin myths about Russia’s invasion of Crimea:

    1. There was no invasion.

    Media from all over the world have reported testimonials from soldiers in Crimean cities who are dressed and armed exactly like those in the Russian Army — minus the insignia. They have seized airports, border crossings and administrative buildings, and are pressuring Ukrainian soldiers stationed in Crimea to surrender. Yet, President Vladimir Putin insists that the estimated 15,000 soldiers who have seized Crimea are local Crimean “self-defense forces.”

    Putin has also said that the Federation Council’s authorization on March 1 of military intervention in Crimea has not been executed yet. What’s more, Putin said last week during a meeting with journalists that the similarity between the uniforms of the Crimean “self-defense forces” and the Russian Army can be explained by the fact that it is easy to buy those uniforms in any clothing store. Putin didn’t clarify, however, if these self-defense forces also bought the armored personnel carriers fitted with Russian military license plates, which were spotted in several Crimean cities, at these clothing stores as well.
    Putin’s explanations have the same credibility of a 5-year-old boy who left the top of the cookie jar open and has crumbs all over his face — and then tells his mother, “I didn’t eat any cookies!”

    2. Russians are in danger in Crimea.

    There is no evidence that Ukrainians in Crimea ­— and certainly not Crimean Tatars — support Right Sector, Svoboda or other far-right, anti-Russian groups whose base of support is limited largely to the Western regions of Ukraine. Nor is there any evidence, despite Russia’s claims, of “Ukrainian fascists” coming to Crimea to carry out attacks against Russians there. Even a group of Ukrainian Jewish leaders wrote an open letter to Putin on Thursday, admonishing the Kremlin not to exaggerate the fascist threat in Ukraine.

    This is a repeat of Russia’s provocation in South Ossetia and Abkhazia weeks before the 2008 ­Russia-Georgia war broke out.

    Then, Russia’s provocation ­­— also centered on the false pretext of “protecting Russian citizens in danger” ­— worked: Georgia fired the first shots in the war. Although Ukrainians have not yet reacted to Russia’s provocation in Crimea, it is inevitable that at some point Ukrainians will be forced to react to Russia’s aggression, particularly if Russia decides to use its weapons on Ukrainian troops in the peninsula. Once the first shots are fired, it is a slippery slope to a protracted and bloody military conflict between Russia and Ukraine that would likely drag in outside powers.

    The Kremlin points to Kiev’s first post-revolution legislation that would have deprived the Russian language of its status as a second official language as evidence of Ukraine’s attempt to discriminate against Russians. But a potential language law is no justification for military intervention in Crimea; otherwise, Russia would have sent troops to Latvia long ago. Second, interim President Oleksandr Turchynov vetoed the bill anyway, making it a moot point.
    In reality, far from defending Crimean Russians against a fictional threat from the new government in Kiev, Russia is stoking a volatile inter-ethnic conflict by seizing Ukrainian military facilities and political institutions. It is precisely Russia’s military aggression that is now pitting Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars against Russians living in Crimea.

    On Sunday in Sevastopol, pro-Russian nationalists, some armed with whips, attacked dozens who had gathered in a pro-Ukrainian rally. In Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, there have been numerous violent clashes between Russians and Ukrainians since Moscow sent its troops into Crimea proper and announced plans to hold a referendum on annexation.

    Russia’s military intervention in Crimea has already led to serious inter-ethnic clashes between Russians, Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars.

    The real question is whether this inter-ethnic conflict will escalate into civil war if Russia decides to annex Crimea when such a large percentage of Crimean residents, as well as millions of Ukrainians outside of Crimea, oppose annexation.

    3. Ukrainian revolutionary armed groups invaded Crimea.

    This was the other justification for the Federation Council’s decision to approve military intervention. The Foreign Ministry claimed that on Feb. 28, forces loyal to the new government in Kiev attempted to seize Crimea’s Interior Ministry building in Simferopol. This attempt to fabricate a casus belli was a complete failure. There was no evidence whatsoever of an attempt to seize the Interior Ministry building – not one broken window or broken-down door, much less casualties, which the Foreign Ministry claimed had occurred. At least with the 1933 Reichstag fire, the Nazis actually set the building on fire.

    4. The revolution in Kiev was unconstitutional.

    By shifting the focus to the “unconstitutional” nature of the revolution and trying to paint it as a “fascist coup,” Putin is trying to conceal the fact that the Maidan protests were, in fact, a widespread, moderate and grassroots movement that rose up against ousted President Viktor Yanukovych’s rampant corruption, lawlessness and autocracy.
    It is odd that Putin is choosing a legal argument to oppose the ousting of Yanukovych. What, then, is the legal foundation for Russia’s military intervention in Crimea? After all, Putin, in opposing U.S. intervention in other countries, has said repeatedly that foreign intervention can be justified only with the approval of the United Nations Security Council. Perhaps this is the real reason Putin is pretending that there is no military intervention in Crimea. But who is he fooling? Even his strongest supporters understand that thousands of Russian troops have left their naval base in Sevastopol and have seized Crimean installations.
    The other problem is if Putin wants to rely on legal arguments, he will have trouble explaining why Russia should not abide by the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, which guarantees Ukraine’s territorial integrity,

    5. Crimea wants to be a part of Russia.

    Crimeans, including ethnic Russians, joined the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians in supporting independence from Moscow after the failed coup in August 1991. Little has changed since then. Independence from Russia is still highly valued by most Ukrainian citizens, including those in Crimea and the eastern regions of the country.

    There was never any serious separatist movement to speak of in Ukraine – until Russia stoked the issue of annexing Crimea after Yanukovych was ousted. Still, only the nationalist Russian Unity party in Crimea, which holds just three of the 100 seats in the Crimean parliament, and pensioners, whose only criteria for supporting annexation is that their meager pensions might increase, support the idea of joining Russia. Notably, Sergei Aksyonov ­— who was installed as prime minister of Crimea on Feb. 27 after a group of armed men seized the parliamentary building in Simferopol ­— is a leader of Russian Unity.

    The majority of Crimeans – particularly ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars, who together make up 40 percent of the peninsula’s population — do not want to be a vassal of Moscow again; 70 years living in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was enough. This is precisely why so many Crimeans, including ethnic Russians, supported Yanukovych’s program, before he abandoned it in November, to integrate closer with the European Union rather than with Russia. While many Crimeans may not like Kiev, they dislike and distrust Moscow much more.

    It is precisely because of these myths and lies that RT television anchor Liz Wahl quit on the air last Wednesday, saying, “I can no longer be part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin.” In addition, another RT anchor, Abby Martin, said during her show: “I am against any state intervention in a sovereign nation’s affairs.

    What Russia did is wrong.”
    When anchors of one of Russia’s top propaganda outlets start risking their careers by protesting the Kremlin’s crude manipulation of the truth on air, this shows that the Kremlin has taken its distortions, myths and lies about the Crimean invasion way too far.

  • rob jonson

    WHY DID RUSSIA INVADE UKRAINE ???

    IT WAS FOR OIL AND GAS !!

    Russian officials continue to allege that the Ukrainian parliament and government are dominated by «neonazis» and «fascists.» However, in the parliamentary elections, the parties whom Russia labelled as «fascists» fell far short of the threshold of 5% needed to enter parliament. Ukraine’s electorate clearly voted for unity and moderation, not separatism or extremism, and the composition of the parliament reflects that.

    So if not Nazis then what did Russia invade East Ukraine and Crimea for ??

    1. Putin needs to deflect his people from domestic facts of economic problems of his gangster style corrupted control inside Russia..

    2. Russian is stealing the vast iron and coal resources in east Ukraine..

    3. Russia is stealing the newly found Oil deposits in the black sea and Azov sea

    4 Russian only invaded after it was proved by geologist that Ukraine in fact has the 3rd largest gas fracking reserves this was something they only found out about in 2013 ..(Russia and Putin was afraid if a EU / US friendly government came to power in Kiev the EU and USA will move in start gas production and the EU will start buying its gas from Ukraine and not Russia )

    Ukraine has Europe’s 3rd largest shale gas reserves at 42 trillion cubic …Russia’s silent shale gas victory in Ukraine The vast shale gas reserves in the separatist-held Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions are an important element not to be overlooked when analyzing the Ukraine crisis, writes Szilvia Batkov.
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/opinion/russia-s-silent-shale-gas-victory-in-ukraine/

    Shale gas by country https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shale_gas_by_country
    Ukraine to tap gas on Black, Azov Sea shelf
    http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-98/issue-48/exploration-development/ukraine-to-tap-gas-on-black-azov-sea-shelf.html

    Russia Claims Ukraine’s Black Sea Oil And Gas Bounty
    http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Russia-Claims-Ukraines-Black-Sea-Oil-And-Gas-Bounty.html

    In Taking Crimea, Putin Gains a Sea of Fuel Reserves
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/18/world/europe/in-taking-crimea-putin-gains-a-sea-of-fuel-reserves.html?_r=0

    Natural gas found in Azov Sea
    http://www.gasandoil.com/news/1998/11/dix84767

  • rob jonson

    Claim: The Ukrainian authorities are illegitimate

    Fact: Ukraine’s President Poroshenko was elected on 25 May with a clear majority in a vote which the OSCE characterized (report here http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/ukraine/119078?download=true ) as showing the «clear resolve of the authorities to hold what was a genuine election largely in line with international commitments and with a respect for fundamental freedoms.» The only areas where serious restrictions were reported were those controlled by separatists, who undertook «increasing attempts to derail the process.»
    The current parliament was elected on 26 October in a vote which the OSCE characterized (report here http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/ukraine/126043 ) as «an amply contested election that offered voters real choice, and a general respect for fundamental freedoms». It again pointed out that «Electoral authorities made resolute efforts to organize elections throughout the country, but they could not be held in parts of the regions (oblasts) of Donetsk and Luhansk or on the Crimean peninsula».

    Finally, Russian officials continue to allege that the Ukrainian parliament and government are dominated by «neonazis» and «fascists.» However, in the parliamentary elections, the parties whom Russia labelled as «fascists» fell far short of the threshold of 5% needed to enter parliament. Ukraine’s electorate clearly voted for unity and moderation, not separatism or extremism, and the composition of the parliament reflects that.
    In short, the President and parliament are legitimate, the actions of the separatists were not.

    Claim: NATO provoked the «Maidan» protests in Ukraine

    Fact: The demonstrations which began in Kiev in November 2013 were born out of Ukrainians’ desire for a closer relationship with the European Union, and their frustration when former President Yanukovych halted progress toward that goal as a result of Russian pressure.
    The protesters’ demands included constitutional reform, see here http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26289318 and a stronger role for the parliament, the formation of a government of national unity, an end to the pervasive and endemic corruption, early presidential elections and an end to violence. There was no mention of NATO.

    Ukraine began discussing the idea of abandoning its non-bloc status in September 2014, six months after the illegal and illegitimate Russian «annexation» of Crimea and the start of Russia’s aggressive actions in Eastern Ukraine. The final decision by Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada to abandon the non bloc status was taken in December 2014, over a year after the pro-EU demonstrations began.

    Claim: NATO tried to «drag» Ukraine into the Alliance

    Fact: When the administrations of President Kuchma and President Yushchenko made clear their aspiration to NATO membership, the Alliance worked with them to encourage the reforms which would be needed to make that aspiration a reality.

    When the administration of President Yanukovych opted for a non-bloc status, NATO respected that decision and continued to work with Ukraine on reforms, at the government’s request. NATO respects the right of every country to choose its own security arrangements. In fact, Article 13 of the Washington Treaty specifically gives Allies the right to leave.

    Over the past 65 years, 28 countries have chosen freely, and in accordance with their domestic democratic processes, to join NATO. Not one has asked to leave. This is their sovereign choice.

    Let’s look at Ukraine’s disgraced former president, Victor Yanukovych. After he fled to Putin with billions of stolen money the idea that he remained the legitimate head of state, and therefore the manner in which he was replaced was automatically illegitimate, was commonplace. This line of thinking was heavily promulgated by his new host country for reasons that are self-evident. But was it right, or even logical, to claim this?

    The legitimacy of the Yanukovych regime indeed began with a fair election, albeit an election in which the Ukrainian people had no good choices. But could that legitimacy go on unquestioned despite the blatant grand scale theft of state resources? No. Of course it could not.

    Common hooligans and thugs were brought to Kyiv by the Yanukovych authorities (first recorded on Nov. 29, 2013
    when the revolution was just a few days old) to terrorize the residents of the capital. This act was completely in contradiction to Article 3 of the constitution that Yanukovych was elected to uphold. It was right to question Yanukovych’s legitimacy after this.

    Can the legitimacy of a ruling authority survive past the blatantly illegal adoption of laws designed to end democracy and create a dictatorship? No. Of course it cannot. Yet, this is what the Yanukovych controlled Party of Regions attempted to do on Jan. 16, 2014. Later analysis of images taken in parliament that while 235 MPs were declared to have voted for these “dictatorship” laws, only about half of this number of MPs were actually in the session hall when the vote was taken (by a show of hands – also illegal.)
    After such clearly anti-democratic and dishonest actions, can anyone consider that authority to be legitimate? The actions were a breach of Article 5 of Ukraine’s constitution – something that Yanukovych was under oath to protect and uphold. But he failed to keep his word.

    There were more violations of the constitution by Yanukovych, its supposed protector.

    Article 27 of Ukraine’s constitution says that “Every person shall have the inalienable right to life. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of life.” Yet Yuri Verbitsky, a 42 year old geologist from Lviv, was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered by forces belonging to the Yanukovych regime between Jan. 22 and Jan. 25 of 2014.

    That Yanukovych had already lost any legitimacy by this point should be beyond question. Later, of course, came the deaths of many more people on Jan. 18 and then Jan. 20, after which Yanukovych fled to Russia, insisting his authority and position were still legitimate. Define legitimate.

    The idea that legitimacy carries on from appointment without further question is a complete fallacy. It is something that we should refuse to accept. An elected leader most certainly can lose their legitimacy through illegal and/or unconstitutional, actions. The most recent public attempt at increasing the fog blurring the distinction between legitimately elected and legitimate comes from Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Bottom line, they are not the same, although it is easy to see why Russia’s ruling clan would seek to pretend that they are.

  • rob jonson

    The underlying premise of Vladimir Putin’s seizure of Crimea is false:

    Crimea has not been part of Russia from time immemorial. Instead, it has had a complex history, one in which Russia’s role has been remarkably brief.

    As a result, it is important that the future of the peninsula be decided by the people of Crimea itself rather than by Moscow.

    If Crimea was “always” Russian as Putin insists, such an “injustice should have been corrected,”, but it should have been done via referendum without the introduction of Russian military force as in the case of Scotland in Great Britain or Catalonia in Spain.

    But a legal democratic election is not what happened in Crimea !. as in Crimea what happen was that we saw that Russian military force was standing over the voting box with fully armed AK 47s when people went to vote that is what happened in Crimea !.

    RUSSIA’S INVASION OF UKRAINE AND THE AND ANNEXATION OF CRIMEA VIOLATES INTERNATIONAL LAW:

    1. The Geneva Convention.
    2. Charter of the United Nations
    3. The Helsinki Accords
    4. The Charter of the OSCE
    5. Budapest Memorandum of 1994
    6. Two Russia, Ukraine friendship treaties
    7. International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination
    8. European Court of Human Rights

    NO LEGAL OBSERVERS WAS IN CRIMEA UNDER THE FAKE ELECTIONS UNDER A GUN DONE BY RUSSIA

    NO international Observers were in Crimea the OSCE and UN had said the referendum (That Russia did in Crimea ) was illegal and in total absence of all legal rights of the people…

    On March 11, the OSCE chair, Switzerland’s Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter, declared the referendum as unconstitutional the OSCE had no observers. OSCE military observers attempted to enter the region four times but were turned away, sometimes after warning shots were fired, which was another reason given for not dispatching referendum observers OSCE also published a report about their observations which “produced significant evidence of equipment consistent with the presence of Russian Federation military personnel in the vicinity of the various roadblocks encountered»

    And even if the false lies about ethnic Russians was being treated unjustly be Kiev, and that was to be found to have been true and that there was a genocide done to ethnic Russians there, (like fake news from Moscow claimed ) the United Nations rules about the right of peoples to self-determination under threat of disappearance might have been applied,. “But there was no genocide in Crimea while it was part of Ukraine.”

    (However one can argue that a genocide is going on right to the Local Tatar that is now disappearing in the middle of the night now once more by the hand of Russia Inprilisem and evil acts of suppression )

    That has forced the Russian side to rely on three other arguments:

    1, “Crimea was always Russian,” “

    2, Crimea has been covered with Russian blood in many wars,”

    3, “Crimea was handed over to Ukraine illegally.”

    All of those, argues, collapse upon even the most superficial examination.

    So let us take a look The Kremlinsfalse statements and arguments ..

    In antiquity and the medieval period, the Crimean peninsula was controlled by many states and populated by many peoples. Russia and Russians weren’t among them because neither a Russian state nor a Russian nation existed, historians have pointed out. It only became part of the Russian world in April 1783 when it was seized in a bloody war instigated by Russia.

    As a result of that occupation, the population of the peninsula declined by a factor of five, and many of the Muslims who remained were forcibly converted to Christianity. Indeed, until the 1930s, many Muslims urged their children to protect Christian cemeteries there because their own ancestors had been buried in them.

    Over the course of the century of Russian rule from Catherine II to Alexander II, about 900,000 Muslims left Crimea. In their place arrived Christians from the Ottoman Empire – Greeks, Bulgarians and Armenians and Germans from Russia, Germany, and Austro-Hungary, Zubov continues.

    As a result, the share of Tatars in the Crimean population fell dramatically: from 87.6 percent in 1795 to 35.6 percent in 1897 and to 19.4 percent in 1939.

    But even if Crimea was absorbed by the Russian Empire, one must keep in mind, that “the Russian Empire of the 17th to 19th centuries and present-day Russia are not one and the same state.”

    The former included many peoples, “and present-day Russia can hardly pretend to any lands only on the basis that sometimes they were part of the Romanov empire.”

    AND LET IS NOT FORGET !! The Bolsheviks rejected the notion that they were the successors of the Russian Empire!.

    The Bolsheviks insisted that “they were building a new state of workers and peasants,” and once in power, “they changed the borders among these states many times,” taking land from one and giving it to another, including the transfer of Crimea from the RSFSR to Ukraine in 1954.

    Moreover, regardless of how the transfer was carried out, the Russian Federation expressly accepted Ukraine’s 1991 borders both in the December 1991 Belovezhskaya Pushcha accords (the agreements that precipitated and codified the dissolution of the Soviet Union) and in the December 1994 Budapest Memorandum that finalized Ukraine’s status as a non-nuclear weapons state.

    But what is important here is this: “however conditional [these administrative borders] were in the USSR, after the disintegration of the USSR, they were confirmed by international agreements” and by the declarations of the countries which emerged, including the Russian Federation.

    As far as time of control is concerned, the Ottoman Empire controlled Crimea for three centuries, the Russian Empire for 134 years, the RSFSR and the Russian Federation which has declared itself that entity’s successor 34 years, and “the Ukrainian SSR and present-day Ukraine 60 years (from 1954 to 2014).”

    Moreover, the Russian, during the Soviet period, “a multitude of crimes were committed against the indigenous Crimean Tatar and all other peoples of the peninsula including Russians.” Some 60,000 died in battles at the end of the Russian Civil War, and another 80,000 died in the succeeding famine.

    Russia evil acts of Collectivization and forced deportation had an additional and horrific impact. In August 1941, 63,000 Germans were expelled, in January-February 1942 700 Italians, and in 1944, 191,000 Crimean Tatars, 15,040 Greeks, 12,242 Bulgarians, 9600 Armenians, and 3650 Turks and Persians were deported. Many died in the process.

    That reduced the population of Crimea by two-thirds, and the places left vacant were then filled by Soviet war veterans, NKVD officers, and political workers.

    As a result, “the composition of the population of Crimea was dramatically changed.” Only in the 1980s did the Crimean Tatars have a chance to begin to return.

    “And now,” Russia says, “’Crimea is ours,’” it belongs to Russia this is a declaration that not only is without historical justification but one that has led to the horrific war in Ukraine and the international isolation of Russia.

    1996 Ukrainian constitution stipulated that Crimea would have autonomous republic status, but insisted that Crimean legislation must be in keeping with that of Ukraine.

    Crimea has its own parliament and government with powers over agriculture, public infrastructure, and tourism.

    The Crimean Tatars have their own unofficial parliament, the Mejlis, which states its purpose as being to promote the rights and interests of the Crimean Tatars.

    On a side note: If Crimea was always seen by Russia as Russian agree to pay money to the owner (Kiev ) for the renting of the port of Sevastopol to house a Russian naval base there

    “Is there a way out? ” Yes, But that will require giving up claims to what is today Ukrainian land an returning that land back to Ukraine that is today’s rightful owners the Ukrainian stated that is today’s Ukraine.

    THE LEGAL FACTS

    The earlier published documents, and materials that have emerged more recently make clear that the transfer of Crimea from the RSFSR to the UkrSSR was carried out in accordance with the 1936 Soviet constitution, which in Article 18 stipulated that “the territory of a Union Republic may not be altered without its consent.” The proceedings of the USSR Supreme Soviet Presidium meeting indicate that both the RSFSR and the UkrSSR had given their consent via their republic parliaments.

    One of the officials present at the 19 February session, Otto Kuusinen, even boasted that “only in our country [the USSR] is it possible that issues of the utmost importance such as the territorial transfer of individual oblasts to a particular republic can be decided without any difficulties.” One might argue that the process in 1954 would have been a lot better if it had been complicated and difficult, but no matter how one judges the expeditiousness of the territorial reconfiguration, the main point to stress here is that it is incorrect to say (as some Russian commentators and government officials recently have) that Crimea was transferred unconstitutionally or illegally. The legal system in the Soviet Union was mostly a fiction, but the transfer did occur in accordance with the rules in effect at the time.

    Moreover, regardless of how the transfer was carried out, the Russian Federation expressly accepted Ukraine’s 1991 borders both in the December 1991 Belovezhskaya Pushcha accords (the agreements that precipitated and codified the dissolution of the Soviet Union) and in the December 1994 Budapest Memorandum that finalized Ukraine’s status as a non-nuclear weapons state.

  • rob jonson

    Russia is the NAZI SCUM the jews are on the side of Ukraine NOT on the side of Russia and your UkroNazis BS, is just that and easy for anyone to see if they just did some research !!!!

    1. RIGHT SECTOR (The leader of RS. is himself an Orthodox Jew)

    THE RIGHT-WING UKRAINIAN LEADER OF RIGHT SECTOR IS (SURPRISE) JEWISH, AND (REAL SURPRISE) PROUD OF THE FACT THAT HE is an Orthodox Jew, he does not wear peyes, or a kippah in public, but he goes to the synagogue as often as he can. he studies the Torah, and that is absolutely a harmonically integrated part of his life. also, he travels to Israel every year, since 1993, and he has lived there.

    http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/187217/borislav-bereza#IsyUYGGQ28D00314.01

    2. LETS TAKE A LOOK AT PRIME MINISTER OF UKRAINE ( is himself Jewish )

    The Prime Minister of Ukraine is Ukraine’s head of government, presiding over the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, which is the highest body of the executive branch of the Ukrainian government.
    The Prime Minister is now Volodymyr Groysman he is also JEWISH

    Ukraine Voted for the First Jewish Prime Minister of Ukraine, Known for Israel Connections ..

    http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/1.714378

    Josef Zissels, a leader of the Vaad organization of Ukrainian Jews, pointed to Groysman’s ascent in politics as proof of the absence of serious anti-Semitism in Ukraine. Russia regularly points to the country’s alleged anti-Semitism to justify its conflict with Ukraine, including the annexation of Crimea.

    “Clearly, Groysman’s nomination shows the opposite,” Zissels said of the claims.

    Horowitz is among those who believe Groysman will succeed where others have failed. The rabbi points to Groysman’s record as mayor in his native Vinnytsia.

    “He’s a man of action who doesn’t talk too much but gets a lot done,” Horowitz said.
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/1.714378

    3. THE AZOV is NOT-nazi !!! ( they have Jews serving in the battalion in top-level positions )

    Controversially, a minority of the unit’s members have been labeled «neonazi» an accusation that Ukrainian ministerial adviser, Anton Geraschenko has denied A spokesman for the unit has said this label applies to 10-20% of its recruits, and one commander attributed this ideology to misguided youth..

    THE AZOV UNIT is a multicultural and multinational unit, those with a far-right idea are misguided youth that may have some sort of fare right convictions But they live, work and fight side-by-side soldiers from 22 countries and various backgrounds, including Arabs, Russians, and Americans—as well as Christians, Muslims, and Jews

    See link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azov_Battalion

  • rob jonson

    THIS IS WHAT YOU AND RUSSIAN ARE SUPPORTING AND ONLY EVIL CAN SUPPORT EVIL LIKE THIS

    1. RUSSIAN ARMY IS RAPING YOUNG SCHOOL GIRLS IN EAST UKRAINERape in war-torn Ukraine: UN report documents sexual abuse

    In its eleventh report on the human rights situation in Ukraine, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has documented several cases of alleged rape and sexual assault in occupied parts of the country’s east, Ukraine Today reports.
    report detailed one example, where a woman, kept captive with her child by militants in the occupied Luhansk region, was severely beaten with rifle butts and gang-raped until she lost consciousness, according to Ukraine Today. According to some reports many Ukrainian women are kept in sexual slavery by Russian-backed forces in Luhansk and Donetsk. Fearing stigma or repercussions, many rape victims do not come forward to report the violence See unian.info’s video section for more of the latest news from Ukraine

    Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/war/1121239-rape-in-wartorn-ukraine-un-report-documents-sexual-abuse.html

    2. RUSSIA EXPLOITING CHILDREN Donetsk Putin’s backed terrorists openly recruit child soldiers Andrew, is 15 and wears the uniform of the Vostok Battalion. The identity of the two masked adolescents who flank him wielding assault rifles are not known.

    http://euromaidanpress.com/2014/08/02/donetsk-terrorists-openly-recruit-child-soldiers/

    3. BRAINWASHING CHILDREN I RUSSIA SCHOOLS Lesson On Superiority Of Russians.

    Russian schools brainwash kids about the superiority of Russians, just as Germans were brainwashed about the superiority of Aryan race. Dominance over other nations is a major part of the ideology of any fascist society. If your race is superior, you have a legitimate right to enslave other nations and to rule the world, and Russians are now understanding this better and better.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pxyq83Y7Ods&list=PL27DM3-wKkzR391_SYAbSm3aDDD0smfqT&index=22

    4.NOW THE RUSSIAN SCUM IS HAVING THEIR CHILDREN SINGING THAT RUSSIA WILL TAKE BACK ALASKA TO RUSSIA !!

    Russian Parliament Member Anna Kuvychko made a “nice” clip in the best traditions of Hitler-Jugend propaganda in which kids express their readiness to die for Putin.
    В гавань родины Аляску возвратим. Америкосам не позавидуешь
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfP7lTXYeJg

    5. Russian Neo-Nazis mercenaries from Donbas train Russian children in camp near Moscow Among those trained in the camp, there were children under 15 years old. The training is conducted with the use of small arms; participants are being taught by well-known war criminals and Russian Neo Nazis. The training was done at Nikolo-Berlyukovskiy monastery near Chernogolovka town, Moscow Oblast, Russia. Source:

    http://en.censor.net.ua/photo_news/355861/russian_mercenaries_from_donbas_train_russian_children_in_camp_near_moscow_photos

    6. Russian Neo-Nazis- training camp for DNR and LNR terrorists

    Training camps for DNR and LNR terrorists are openly operating in Russia. Aside from providing training for the terrorists themselves, the ‘art of war’ is taught at the camps to school-age kids. Small arms are used in the training exercises. Among the instructors are well-known war criminals as well as Russian Neo-Nazis who are guilty of torturing and murdering Ukrainian prisoners of war. Terrorists from the gang DShRG ‘Rusich’ – Neo-Nazi members from St. Petersburg – also serve as instructors at the training camps.

    Well known Russian Neo-Nazis Andrei Milchakov and Yan Petrovsky from DShRG ‘Rusich’ are among the instructors at the military camp. They became ‘famous’ after ambushing a convoy of ‘Aidar’ soldiers on September 5, 2014, the day of the signing of the first Minsk Agreement, and then taking pictures of themselves with the mutilated corpses of the Ukrainian volunteer fighters.

    http://empr.media/opinion/investigations/report-from-russia-training-camp-for-dnr-and-lnr-terrorists/